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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  January 10, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

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want to say 100%. whatever you make of that, that is exactly what the president said, the new threat ongoing around congress declaring a national emergency to get the money that he wants for the border wall. but what will democrats do in return? we do not know. the only thing we do know at this hour is that washington is no closer to a deal than they were yesterday. and then they were already miles apart. maybe they are getting further apart. the other thing that we know is that president trump is headed to the southern border in texas as we speak to make his case for the border wall. here is more of what the president said just before he left the white house. >> i have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. i haven't done it yet. i may do it. if this doesn't work out, probably i will do it. i would almost say definitely. >> the partial government shutdown is also now bordering
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on making history as the longest ever. today is day 20. tomorrow it also really hits home for the 800,000 federal workers who aren't getting paid because tomorrow is when they miss their first full paycheck. let's start at the white house. he talked a lot about the national emergency before he left. beyond words, what are you hearing from the white house and what he will actually do. >> reporter: we haven't heard much detail frumt white house about what the president believes he can do given a current law and what they are willing to do which might be different things here. what we saw this morning from president trump was someone who seems very agitated, irritated by the state of negotiations with democrats. he talks a lot about his powers that he believes he still has to do this, but he said it is contingent on what happens in the room with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer after talks yesterday broke down.
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listen. >> if we don't make a deal, i would say it would be very surprising to me that i would not declare a national emergency and just fund it through the various mechanisms. by the way, there is more than one mechanism. there are various mechanisms. >> so what we have been talking about up until this point was the idea that the president would declare a national emergency which would allow him to use money from the pentagon's budget unaffiliated with any particular task or contract at the moment to fund the border wall. the president seems to be saying that there are other tools in his arsenal that he might be able to use to do this. of course, we have been hearing from white house officials that they feel like they are still in the negotiation process. they haven't gotten to the point yet where the president has made a final decision on this. at any moment it seems the talks can break down. the vice president is expected
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to be on the hill today. yesterday afternoon even after the situation room meeting with the president jared kushner was on the hill meeting with republicans and moderates. so there are still things happening. the problem is there is still no deal and the president wants to keep this possibility of doing it all on his own in the hopper. it still remains out there as an option available to him. >> let's see what happens. any moment even from air force one, let us see. thank you so much. moments ago also happening, the top senate democrat demanded that mitch mcconnell take up the house bills that are being passed to reopen the government. listen here. >> leader mcconnell is hiding behind president trump saying he won't bring to the floor a bill to reopen the government unless the president says okay, even if president trump doesn't support this legislation, his intransgents and hurt america.
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we need to move forward and leader mcconnell should allow the vote to happen. >> i don't think you have to listen too much more to chuck schumer to realize it seems that there is zero hope of a deal very soon. what are you hearing? is there something different happening behind the scenes? >> reporter: behind the scenes as you know, what is important is the fact that you have a small group of republican moderate senators meeting. they pitched ideas to jared kushner to broaden out a deal potentially to get the border wall funding and entice democrats with some immigration priorities. they are meeting with mitch mcconnell about the ideas. as of now it does not have a chance at the state of play right now. you did see right now in the senate floor they continue to try to demand mitch mcconnell to
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hold a vote on those individual appropriation packages that the house passed and that they continue to pass this week. you saw a little bit of the theatrics play out which is really all you need to know about the state of how things are on the hill right now. we saw mitch mcconnell there with many democrats sitting in their desks. the last thing we need to do up here to address this problem, he referenced that the president has said he will veto these votes. as of now, no path forward. even though there are some pete meetings going on, nothing that folks believe will get them out of this mess. >> thank you so much. i really appreciate it. it is a depressing job to have to cover congress right now. joining me now dana bash. let's try to bring happiness.
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on the emergency declaration, one of the options that is getting more and more talk, i would say more than a theory, more of the offramp or the way this is going to be headed. the president declares a national emergency to get the funding knowing that it is going to be challenged in court, at the same time agreeing to open the government back up and in doing so can say i tried my best to get my border wall. >> and i didn't give in. and i didn't give in to the democrats. that's just on the politics of this. you are exactly right. i tried my best. i didn't give an inch. i kept my campaign promise to not give an inch and not compromise. >> what does it then mean? >> it allows the democrats on pure politics to say the same thing, allows nancy pelosi to say i didn't give an inch. he is running rush out on the
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constitution by taking congress's power of the purse out. on the actual process through which he could declare a national emergency, one option is just declaring the national emergency which could get struck down in courts. another, i was talking to somebody who worked in the white house council's office said there are a couple of other options where you could use executive emergency powers that he has like something called the stafford act. but the problem is that takes money from fema. that takes money that is supposed to go to -- >> it has to take money from something. >> it is supposed to go for hurricanes and other actual natural disasters as opposed to emergencies. it also could be something that could be safer to do when it comes to the legal grounds. >> still, if he goes this route, it is taking money from something. that's the way it goes. and what the political fall out
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is from that, they are weighing that and we'll see it play out. i wonder in response, if this is the path no matter what bucket of money that the president would go for, if he declares a national emergency i wonder how the democrats would respond because if he would declare the national emergency, don't democrats have to agree to reopen the government? >> it is unclear how that happens. there are bills that go forward that don't include this wall money because the president is going to get money from somewhere else either the pentagon or some other fema funds, certainly not mexico that he promised he would do. that is sort of the unclear part. if whatever has happened out of the congress so far the house bills that passed and the one in the senate, is that just the path for it. this is an extraordinary moment we are in for this president to be considering this, going
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around a congress that as you said has the power of the purse. the precedent that this sets is quite extraordinary particularly when you talk about a republican president. we just had years and years of republicans really hammering the former president obama for what they saw as executive overreach and ignoring congressional laws and congressional authority. for them at this point -- i think you would likely see from republicans essentially saying this is within the president's authority. this is what he can do as president for them to be so willingly complicit in their own kind of neutering will be something extraordinary if this happens. something that the president has telegraphed for many days now. it doesn't look like this will be something that happens. it is not clear what the court challenge would mean. who would have standing? would the judge see someone as having standing? is this something the court
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would broadly interpret in the president's purview? >> so many questions. one thing that we hear from the president is that he is open to compromise. let me play you what the president said about compromise. >> either we are going to win or make a compromise. i'm okay to making a compromise. compromise is in my vocabulary very strongly. so we are either going to have a win, make a compromise because i think a compromise is a win for everybody. >> compromise, compromise, compromise. the more you say it, the closer you are to getting to it. no. is there a case to be made that if they are at a complete stalemate that a broader deal might be the way to go? getting some money for a border wall. do you think there is any chance of that? >> anything is possible. it seems unlikely at this point that that could happen.
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that sort of deal was on the table last year and it got torpedoed. it certainly was a deal that was a whole lot better. it did come with a cost to the very republican base that he was trying to placate and keep his promises to which is allowing legal status, even citizenship to dreamers. his base went ballistic and he pulled back. so what makes it different now, unclear whether he learned a lesson or feels that now he could kind of face that head on if he keeps the promise for the wall especially after this has been front and center in the news. it really we don't know the answer to that. what is clear is that the political imperative here isn't just for and about donald trump. it's for and about the new
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democratic speaker showing that she's not going to back down. look, the republicans do have a point that there is a very different rank and file that she has to deal with that are fighters. >> i absolutely hear you. to that point, democrats are not giving an inch at all. just look at the read outs coming from the meeting yesterday at the white house. is it a complete loss for them? would it be a complete loss if they would give a little? >> i think the loss would be in setting up a precedent that says an american president can shut down the government because of something he wants and the congress won't give him and that he ends up winning. this is essentially what he is doing. this is his whole idea to shut down the government. he was in agreement that the government could keep going and then the government got in his ear. i was at an event where harris
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was talking in her book. this is the main point she made, setting this precedent that an american president can hold government workers hostage and the economies in some of these states that rely on government workers spending money that they earn, that is a precedent that i think the democrats are very wary of setting and what it would mean for future presidents. >> there is such a contradiction that i haven't seen in a long time at play which is federal workers are feeling the impact. we are hearing these stories. federal workers are hurting. stories are coming out. it is going to get worse starting tomorrow if it is not already being felt ald. at the same time it seems that both sides couldn't be more dug in. they don't see a political advantage to undig. i don't understand how that contradiction can be reality right now. >> it's terrible. it's really terrible.
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remember when we covered congress we would stand in hallways and wait to see the white smoke or whatever would happen because we were standing in the hallways knowing at some point there would be a deal on whatever it was that was dividing the two sides. >> chief of staffs would come out and say we stayed up all night and got together. >> the thing is that with pick your issue, medicare or prescription drugs or whatever it is or like the financial crisis, for example, there was general agreement on what the problem was. there is not general agreement on what the problem is. the democrats don't believe that the wall is necessary. they don't believe the numbers coming from the president's homeland security department saying there is a crisis. >> they are not starting in the same place. >> the dangers for democrats is if the president continues to do what he did today which is
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telegraph the notion that democrats don't care about your security, democrats don't care about crime and democrats don't counter that with an equally powerful message, it could be a problem for them. >> i think the danger for the president is presenting this wall as a cure all because this is how he is presenting it, this idea that a wall will stop what is going on at the border. he says these criminals are coming from central america. the truth is these are asylum seekers. that is unlikely to stop because of a wall. we also know it is probably going to be sometime before you can put up a wall. we don't know where it will be. i think that is the danger. immigration problem and asylum problem in central america doesn't stop, i think that is going to be a bit of a problem for this president because he is really seeing himself as this kind of person who can cure it all and the border being the
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most fundamental part of this problem. i think all of the data suggests it really isn't something that would solve what is going on and has its roots in central american governments and instability and crime there. >> both of your points of how are democrats -- what are they going to say about it. we are hearing from nancy pelosi. she was just asked about declaring a national emergency to get this funding. i want to play for you what she said. >> if and when the president does that you'll find out how we will react. i meant not going to that place now. i think the president will have problems on his own side of the aisle for exploiting the situation the way that enhances his power. let's see what he does. right now there is a path. open up government. let's have this discussion on where we can agree on the best ways to protect our borders, to secure our borders, to do so in
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a way that honors our values. and the president is going to the border now. he is saying maybe the trip isn't necessarily. he goes and comes. let me close by saying this. clearly there is a disparity of shared values here in terms of respecting the dignity and worth of everyone, being concerned about every death that happens because we live in an imperfect world. that's very sad. but it is not a justification for having more children dying in custody or being separated from their families. we aren't going into that decision, taking babies out of the arms of their parents. as a mother of five and grandmother of nine, i find that appalling. they find it normal. we talk about what he might do
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tomorrow or today at the border. i think he is going to have to answer to his own party on that much power. i'm not going down that path until we see what it is he is willing to do. it is unfortunate because there is an opportunity cost here of this money. he keeps increasing the amount of money, increasing the amount of beds, increasing the obstacles to finding the solution. i don't think he really wants a solution. i think he loves the distraction that this is from his other problems. and that's most unfortunate. it's a luxury our country can't afford under any circumstance. he shuts down the government and takes pride in it and says months or years. that is not the action of a responsible president of the united states. so let's see what he decides to do. let me just close as a
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californian by saying how shocking it is that this president would say he is going to with hold funding to meet the disaster needs of people in california. most of those fires except maybe part of what happened in earlier in santa rosa, most of those fires took place in rural california. the votes he did get in california were in rural california. so we're saying to him, if you think you're punishing our state, you're punishing your own voters. and besides which, unless you have a different definition of what a disaster is, you have no right to with hold those funds. i look to my republican colleagues from california to stop looking the other way.
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they know people died. communities were wiped out. and they are just cavalier about it because of the president of the united states. thank you. >> nancy pelosi right there. fascinating i think in what we heard, one being she is not going to telegraph what democrats will do. >> it was interesting. it was also was very smart politics because either they don't have a plan or more likely than not knowing nancy pelosi, they do have a plan. they don't want to show their cards. just what we are talking about right before she came on about the democrats' messaging. you and i were struck by how she went out of her way to say the democrats don't care about security. it's not at those they don't care that a cop was killed by an undocumented immigrant and so on
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and so forth. it's not an accident. they need to keep up with the president on that messaging because the president's campaign manager tweeted out last night that their data shows and this is what he is clearly showing to the president that the vast majority of people who aren't republicans when asked about illegal immigration and securing the border, they are all for it. if the president can continue to turn that messaging they are hoping it can broaden the support beyond the base. >> it is great having you here. really appreciate it. coming up for us, a top democratic says it is one of the biggest developments yet. paul manafort sharing internal polling data with a russian operative. president trump claims he didn't know anything about it. you always pay your insurance on time.
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president trump responding to the revelation that paul manafort shared internal polling data with an operative with ties to russian intelligence. listen to this. >> did you know that paul manafort was sharing polling data? >> i didn't know about it, nothing about it. >> cnn political correspondent is joining me now with more. what are you learning now about this tangled web involving manafort while he was working with the campaign? >> i think one of the big questions about paul manafort was why was he sharing this information with his russian associates to begin with? trump says he had no knowledge of it. we are learning that apparently paul manafort meant for this
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polling data to go to two pro russian ukrainian oligarchs, people who owed him millions of dollars. manafort expected to get this payment in 2016. we asked if this was a quid pro quo, polling data in exchange for money he was owed. it still begs the question why did he want this information to get in the hands of these ukrainian oligarchs? was this to further some other kind of russian effort going on. democrats questioned whether this was information they wanted because they wanted it to direct the troll farm efforts. this could be the kind of thing that we see mueller reveal in perhaps more indictments that could be coming or the kind of thing that he could lay out more clearly. how much of this is the american public ever going to see. when president trump was asked whether here was committed to making this report public he really dodged that dwequestion.
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we see no inclination. >> it's worth pointing out again i'm not the first person to say this. internal polling data is not just something you hand out to friends. that's why this is so interesting. your question is so important which is why would he? what is the reason you think? paul manafort maybe possibly has the answer. great to see you. thank you so much. there is more. by more, i mean more russian oligarchs and prominent putin allies that he is linked to. one is one that have been slapped with sanctions for russia's interference in the 2016 election. today treasury secretary steve mnuchin is heading to the hill to brief lawmakers on why the administration is planning to lift the sanctions on the companies linked to this russian
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oligarch. what answers are democrats expecting to get here from mnuchin? >> reporter: it's not entirely clear because they are not clear why the treasury department took the action late last year to lift sanctions against those three companies linked to the russian oligarch, close ally of vladimir putin, former business part of paul manafort. they want to get answers, a sign of early indication of how significant it is to have democrats in charge. they would have made the request last year and the trump administration would have ignored that that request. now they can't necessarily ignore what the democrats now are asking for. this also is important because in the senate side democrats took steps to begin this process to go after the sanctions relief essentially within 30 days. it is a 30-day review period.
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the senate could move and take action to vote to gut this effort to ease the sanctions. if it passes the senate and the house, then it would land on the president's desk and put him in an awkward spot. mnuchin in some ways wants to head off that action. we'll probably have to talk to senators about exactly what is happening and prevent senate republicans from defecting. they have their work cut out for them to convince lawmakers particularly democrats skeptical on why they took the action. of course, it is still taking shape. >> republicans in the senate have gone against what the white house had wished before with regard to sanctions against russia. this could be a very interesting development. thank you so much. coming up for us, secretary of state mike pompeo today denying there are any contradictions in the president's syria policy despite the fact that there have been several different stories laid out surrounding the pull out of u.s. troops there and the fact
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ask your doctor if cologuard is right for you. unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. secretary of state mike pompeo says there is no contradiction, his words, in the u.s. strategy towards syria despite the fact that everybody from republicans on capitol hill to the former defense secretary very clearly say differently
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about the surprise announcement that he is pulling the u.s. troops out of syria. pompeo says the u.s. is still committed to fighting back isis. >> there is no contradiction. the president has been very clear about this. the threat from radical islamic terrorism is real. isis continues. we fight them in many regions around the country. our commitment to continuing to prevent isis's growth is real. it is important. we will continue at that. >> cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is joining me with this. what do you make about the statement that there is no contradiction in strategy here? >> i think it is being viewed overseas as damage control if the president continues to be amb ambigue s.
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they saw president obama as being weak because he didn't stand up to his red line on bashar al assad over the use of quemical weapons. mike pompeo's message is trying to be clear despite the differences that there appear to be that trump, bolten and mike pompeo are all going to go after isis. that is not a message that will wash very easily. the way that they are fwogoing be judged is are they delivering on that? the message is mixed and the results are hard to discern on the ground. what is very clear to the leaders in the middle east is that pompeo is asking for giving us your support. the egyptians want more support for all sorts of things. the answer is you want our support then you start fixing the problems in the region. that is a message we have heard
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before and step up on iran. we are big on iran and we want you to help and support us on that. on this issue of isis and the clarity of the message, no, it continues to be ambigue s at best. >> clear as mud. who knows? maybe undetermined. that is a real shift and a change from what we heard from the president. >> it is. the president was very clear that we are done, we are getting out. that is the only reason we were there. we heard we are there because we are not going to leave until the iranian elements that are inside syria are gone. now here we are beginning of the year, january 2019 talking about iran again. to the countries in the middle east to whom the united states is looking for support, the reality is that while they might be able to get some of the things that they want, crown
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prince in saudi arabia didn't want to get pushed into a corner by the united states over the murder of jamal khashoggi. they have that. in terms of reciprocating and the united states getting what it wants, these leaders in the middle east, many are going to be there long after the next u.s. president comes into office. he will be judging the u.s. based on that pretty soon. >> i really appreciate it. good to see you. coming up for us, president trump is being noncommittal about whether he wants the final mueller report to be made public, not saying if he wants it public, not going there. really. what do the comments mean? that's next. ♪ and if you feel, ♪ like i feel baby then come on, ♪ ♪ oh come on ♪ let's get it on, applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. pain from chest congestion can make this... when you have a cold, ...feel like this. all-in-one cold symptom relief from tylenol®,
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call for your free publisher kit today! we'll have to see, that's the president's response today when asked if he wanted special counsel robert mueller's final report to be made public. the "washington post" reports a beefed up white house legal team is gearing up to try to prestlent discussions with top advisers from being disclosed. joining me right now is the cnn legal analyst with the southern district of new york. so first and foremost, with what we heard from the president leaving the white house today asked very specifically, do you want the report to be made public from bob mueller, he said we'll have to see. what do you think of that and what would the process be? >> that is a hedge.
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i think it is clear the president is going to fight release of at least some portions of the report. the way he is going to do that is by invoking executive privilege. we will hear it a lot in 2019, i think more than any year since 1974 when richard nixon invoked executive privilege unsuccessfully in 1974. i think he will invoke it in a couple different scenarios. one rudy giuliani said we expect to get the report in advance. and congressional subpoenas. when we see the house democrats lobbying the subpoenas the main weapon that the president and lawyers will have is executive privilege. will it succeed? there is not a lot of law in it. the leading case is richard nixon. >> do you see a reason why playing the scenario out, if the mueller team finds nothing and as the president has said he has
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done nothing, do you see a reason why then the president or his team would want to or should prevent the report from becoming public? >> no. if the report is clean he would tweet it. it's clear they know or strongly suspect that there will be problematic things in there that are damaging to them. that is why they are hiring the attorneys and invoking this executive privilege. >> do you think they have a case to invoke executive privilege? we don't know what conversations are detailed in a final report. the white house shouldn't know what is detailed in the final report. what do you mean? >> executive privilege is a real thing. if you look at the nixon case, the supreme court sort of delivered richard nixon ultimate good news, bad news decision. certain communications are
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entitled to be kept secret. bad news, richard nixon, you don't get to use it here because what the supreme court said 8-0 unanimous at the time is that executive privilege is meant to protect the secrecy of national security information, military information. it is not intended as a sort of general shield against criminal liability. >> especially if we are talking about a crime being committed. >> and there is an exception. every privilege has an exception. if mueller or a prosecutor can show evidence of a crime then the privilege is out. >> tangled up in all of this right now is the media which is the president's new nominee to attorney general on the hill meeting with lawmakers ahead of his confirmation hearings which are next week. you have taken a deep dive in the questions. >> he will be right in the middle of this, the mueller report has to go through bill barr. he will make the initial
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determination do i send it to congress. there are legitimate questions about william barr's impartiality. he has a distinguished career. >> he was attorney general. >> 27 years ago. he went on a tour in 2017 and '18 where he attacked robert mueller and his investigation publically as a private citizen. some of the things that barr said and wrote i think are of great concern. among other things, barr said mueller was overzealous, overaggressive and said the obstruction of justice is asinine. there are questions to ask about his impartiality. >> you have senator graham who says barr has assured him he will not get in the way of the mueller investigation. on the other hand, you have democrats calling for him to
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recuse himself from overseeing it. >> the fact that he assured lindsey graham helps but it doesn't answer the questions. there is plenty of damage that can be done. look at the mueller report after the investigation. the recusal question. matthew whittaker was told by ethics officials you ought to recuse and he ignored that. i think that is one of the questions that senators need to ask william barr, if you are advised that you have a potential conflict, will you follow that advice?
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i hear it in the background and she's watching too, saying [indistinct conversation]
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[friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪ the question isn't whether he should be impeached any imore....
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he's the most corrupt president in american history. and we all know it. the question now is, how fast can we move past this president so we can build a more just and prosperous future? please, join the more than 6.5 million americans who are demanding action now. because there's nothing more powerful than the unified voice of the american people. together, we will make this happen. need to impeach is responsible for the content of this ad.
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we have some breaking news coming in from cnn's kevin l liptack. he has some reporting of how the white house is preparing for what could be an anticipated legal challenge if and when the president of the united states used an emergency declaration to go around congress to get the money to fund the border wall. let me read you just a little bit of what kevin put out. the legal justification would be that when advising the president's aides of ramping up the national emergency talk that could be used in court to defend the national emergency. the president has been using that term over the past week. the lawyers had suggested the more times the term is used, the more citations they'll have in filing a legal defense. what do you make of this? >> this is what attorneys call making a record. normal people call it fader. everything they're doing and saying, they're anticipating,
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where is this going to fit into our brief when we defend this declaration of national emergency? the use of those phrases, humanitarian, crisis, security. these are all things that will make their way into the brief, and even, i think arguably, the oval office address and congressional leaders can use it to decide is it a national emergency? it will be challenged in court for sure. >> we will see. now we're learning a little more about what could be coming next. we'll have much more on this breaking news after a quick break. place, the xfinity xfi gateway.
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump on his way to the u.s.-mexico border. he says he's open to a compromise to end the government shutdown, but today is about making it clear it would have to include his wall. democrats repeat, the wall to them is a nonstarter. and on this day 20, they blame the president for the increasing stress on furloughed federal workers. one way out, some believe the only way out is for the president to declare a national emergency to take wall money from the pentagon, maybe other federal agencies. he says that might happen soon, but it's clear his immediate


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