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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  May 22, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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, again and again. the most personal technology, is technology with the power to change your life. life. to the fullest. i'm kate bolduan. thank you for joining me. any moments now, top two democrats in congress will be walking into the white house with another face-to-face with the president. on the agenda? infrastructure. you may insert your favorite infrastructure joke here. but nancy pelosi will walk in having just leveled this accusation. >> would you believe it's important to follow the facts?
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we believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the united states. and we believe that the president of the united states has engaged in a cover-up. in a cover-up. and that's the nature of the meeting. >> this, after the speaker just left another meeting. this one, with her whole team of house democrats and a growing number of whom are now telling the speaker that they're ready to move toward impeachment proceedings. she is still now -- she is still saying that now is not the time. so now what? cnn's manu raju is on capitol hill. we've been speaking to members who have been going in and out of that meeting. what came out? what happened? >> the upshot was that nancy pelosi essentially got what she wanted, to lay out the course of action that committees are taking to investigate this president. they believe they've been successful in the courts, to continue this current line of action. there were not many members who spoke out against her. there was a call for impeachment from alexandria ocasio-cortez
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i'm told as well as david cicilin. her approach stops short of impeach. i spoke to a couple of lawmakers afterwards who said impeachment is not the way to go at the moment. you're not in favor of impeachment inquiry? >> oh, well, it depends. i am concerned about setting the precedent that the only way, apparently, a future congress can investigate an administration is by launching a technical, formal impeachment inquiry. i do not agree with that. the courts need to uphold the constitutional powers of congress, as judge mehta did this week. we don't need an impeachment inquiry to do an inquiry and to do our investigative jobs. >> reporter: do you personally believe it's time to open up an impeachment inquiry? >> no.
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>> reporter: why not? >> it's too early. we need to do the hearings and get the information out to the public to fully explain or hear the explanation of the mueller report. >> reporter: the person who would be in charge of opening up an impeachment proceeding, jerry nadler, has stopped short of calling for one, laying out his current course of action, as well as saying to attendees that bob mueller should testify in public, as we're hearing that the special counsel has suggested going behind closed doors. but overall, this meeting essentially accomplished what the speaker has wanted to essentially show, what they're doing, stop short of calls of impeachment. she doesn't want to go that route. those members who called for opening an investigation, it showed today in this closed door meeting. she did warn, kate, not raise money off their impeachment stances. i'm told she told members that's not an issue of politics. this would give republicans an opening if you were to raise money off impeachment. she said don't do that.
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kate? >> interesting. great stuff, manu. great stuff. what does all of that mean then for the big meeting that's about to go down at the white house? kaitlan collins is there, of course. she joins me now. the idea was for this meeting to be about infrastructure and how they can pay for such a big plan they would like to see come together. it would seem hard to ignore that the house speaker just accused the president of a cover-up minutes before walking in. >> yeah. typically, it doesn't bode well for negotiations when the person you're sitting down with to talk about infrastructure has just accused you of engaging in a cover-up, some of the strongest language we've seen from nancy pelosi. we've seen that, remember, back during the state of the union, the president said he would not be able to work with democrats on legislation if they were investigating him. now, in recent weeks we've seen not only those investigations ramp up, but turn more tense as the white house keeps pushing back on all of their requests for democrats, not only for testimony but also for document production, and in recent weeks,
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recent days, we saw democrats get a win when that judge ruled in their favor about obtaining the pre's financial records. and we're told by sources at the white house that's something that has infuriated the president. even though he plans on fighting it the idea that democrats could get ahold of his personal financial information from before he was ever considering running for president has not been sitting well with him. it doesn't typically mean good things for the backdrop of this meeting today going on, kate. even if all of this wasn't going on, if there wasn't impeachment talk on capitol hill or all these investigations, this meeting still is not looking that promising. of course, they agreed to this $2 trillion infrastructure package three weeks ago. the president and nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. today's meeting is going to be about how to pay for it, something they're also in disagreement about. last night, the president sent democrats a letter sarksing he wanted to get usmca, that trade deal he recently negotiated, passed before going to infrastructure. that's facing its own hurdles on
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capitol hill. it's not looking optimistic, even if all of this wasn't going on in the background, kate. >> yeah. stand by for who knows what coming out of this. gd to see you, kaitlan. joining me now, cnn congressional correspondent phil mattingly. phil, let's talk about what happened on capitol hill. little over 24 hours ago, the talk was this growing divide among democrats, as some democrats who weren't there before saw don mcgahn's empty chair and said they've hit their limit with the stonewalling coming from the trump administration. of course, the leaders still saying they're not there yet. it seems that's still where they are. what's the state of play, do you think? >> yeah. you kind of get the indication, both from talking to manu and members i was texting with this morning or in the meeting that speaker pelosi knows what she's doing and is speaker of the house, perhaps, for a reason the second time. this meeting was intentional. speaker pelosi had the chairs of
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her committees as they've laid out what they've done in this investigation, where they believe they've won in their myriad of investigations and where they believe they are was intentional. it was intentional to try to at least -- if not beat back, at least kind of pause a little bit what some people thought yesterday was a bit of a growing insurrecti insurrection. democrats feel they've been shut out on everything they've been trying to do. everybody for the most part is staying behind speaker pelosi. manu pointed out the best framing. there are certainly members and growing number of members the last 48 hours who are heading down the line toward supporting an impeachment inquiry. that number of mechls is a minority inside that caucus right now. as long as the majority of the members of caucus, particularly front line members up for re-election in 2018, 2020 have the most potential problems aren't there yet, then neither will the caucus be there. >> where is that level of critical mass?
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definitely not there yet. julie, then you have, as we've been talking about, nancy pelosi came out -- it's not as though she made a mistake and didn't say something publicly she didn't want to when she accused the president of engaging in a cover-up. taking that shot and saying that publicly now, does that help her argument, do you think, that it's still not time to move toward impeachment proceedings? she's now saying that the president has engaged in a cover-up? >> she's walking a tightrope on this i think what she's trying to do here is both show her members that she take this is seriously, that by saying we're not ready for impeachment, it doesn't mean she's brushing off this -- all of these obstacles that the white house, the administration has put in front of these committees. she's trying to make clear that she takes this very seriously, yet she argues that the way to prove that the president is engaged in a cover-up or the way to get around said cover-up is to go through this relatively methodical and long process, but she is trying to provide some
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fire to her members, to try to satisfy their urge to take action against the white house, even as she holds them back on impeachment. >> phil, what then happens at the white house? do we want to put money on the line if infrastructure is actually going to be talked about? would you like to engage in a wager? i'm just kidding. i just want your insight. >> first, you're not kidding. i know how you roll, throwing big dollar bills around. i learned a long time ago and think you learned this lesson, too, gambling on anything that the president will say, not say, what will be covered in that meeting is a terrible, terrible decision. here is the reality on this issue. we saw this three weeks ago when they met. speaker pelosi and chuck schumer told their members going into that meeting, no talk of investigations, no talk of subpoenas. focus on infrastructure. this was perhaps the one issue they could focus on. the fact that they could get a $2 trillion or less package through. they want to show they can walk and chew gum at the same time.
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that's how democrats are going into this meeting. whether the president decides that's where he wants to be remains an open question. >> i want to hear you on the try to walk and chew gum at the same time but when one of the walkings or chewing of gum is saying that the president is engaging in a cover-up, it seems to change the game here. julie, i find it quite hard to believe that the president can set this aside. and have a meeting about infrastructure and overlook that nancy pelosi -- not like she did it last week. just minutes before heading over to the white house, that the president has engaged in a cover-up. that he wants to actually do an infrastructure week for once. >> he is not great at setting things aside. will he go into the meeting with this fresh in his mind. i think he has some political incentive to try to show that he is willing to work with democrats in spite of this. that is some of what he hears
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from his advisers on something like infrastructure, something that is broadly popular across republican and democratic electorates. that, again, though, is something he's hearing from advisers. it's not necessarily something that he, himself, will go into this meeting ready to negotiate on. if both sides could sort of put all of this talk on the back burner, it is possible they could move forward on this issue. it does have bipartisan support. again, the dynamics make that incredibly unlikely at this point. >> let us start this mid-morning off thinking of all the possibilities and leave it there. just all the possiblities that could come. thanks. coming up, steve mnuchin in the hot seat once again, getting grilled about a newly uncovered irs memo that undercuts his argument almost directly for keeping the president's tax returns secret. we'll hear what he has to say about that. plus housing official, hud
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secretary ben carson confuses a common real estate term that housing experts know about with oreo cookies. i'm not telling a joke. this is also not the first time you've seen trump appointees, cabinet secretaries appearing before congress and appearing quite unprepared. we'll take a look. that's ahead. etsy is the place to find new favorites. the belongings we hold on to. etsy knows that moments, big and small, deserve things that really matter. sold by real people and filled with things that last beyond the latest trends.
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do you recall this wild moment that happened between secretary treasury steve mnuchin and the chair of the committee? watch. >> if you want to continue to grill me, i will cancel my meeting and i will not be back here. i will be very clear, if that's the way you want to have this relationship. >> that was the threat. the treasury secretary is back on capitol hill facing that same committee, facing questions about the president's tax returns and new pushback to his reasoning for not handing them over to congress. according to "the washington post" there was a confidential legal memo written by someone at the irs that said trump's tax returns should be handed over to congress, the ten-page memo stating is that the law does not
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allow the secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information proied the statutory conditions are met. >> did somebody make you aware that the memo states that the law does not require that the ways and means finance chair include a reason or purpose for the request? >> again, i haven't -- again, let me just say the legal advice that we've relied upon and, again, i understand there's three branches of government and when it comes to constitutional issues, there can be different interpretations. and that's why there's a third branch of government to interpret. >> i'm sorry. reclaiming my time. you are aware -- you are at least aware that the conclusion of that memo directly contradicts the conclusion that you're relying upon? >> no, i actually don't believe that's the case. >> he also said that he hadn't even seen the memo until it came out from the washington post. what does this memo now do to
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mnuchin's defense that he's not legally obligated to hand anything over? josh dossey and cnn political analyst. great to see you, josh. >> thanks for having me. >> great reporting this morning. this memo does contradict that mnuchin said he doesn't have to turn anything over and that he hadn't seen this memo before your report. how far did this memo go? >> steven mnuchin has said repeatedly he's not giving the documents over. linked in twain as to when democrats were going to take the house and seek tax returns. they do not have to have a legislative purpose. they can only not give the tax returns over by citing executive privilege and that would be unclear whether that would work or not. the memo says after studying the law the irs attorney decided the
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only way to do it was citing executive privilege. >> you said that this memo was a draft. do you have a sense why it was written in the first place and how widely this was debated i guess? >> as the democrats are taking over, different agencies across the government, different departments began looking at what potential oversight there would be, what requests they were likely to get, what demands they would get for documents, interviews, who might be subpoenaed. in the irs chief counsel's office they began looking at tax returns. treasury department says to us repeatedly and now publicly to others that steven mnuchin and top leaders at treasury never saw this memo. it's unclear if they did. irs would be the agency that keeps the tax returns and that's why they drafted it. >> it also at least seems clear from his testimony today even if he had saw it, it wasn't changing his opinion on where he stood on this at the moment.
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you mentioned executive privilege. the memo does discuss, it seems, one way that the president would have to resist would be executive privilege. it was complicated, there was more to it. what did you learn more about that? >> defined broadly, executive privilege is protecting discussions between the president and his top advisers, sensitive internal matters that should not be disclosed to the public. it would be hard to figure out exactly how the president's tax returns before he came into office as president and even now would define as executive privilege. i'm not saying that they couldn't but the memo also shows in some ways it's dubious that they could. >> any sense from the white house and your sources there of how they're reacting? we heard how the secretary reacted but how they're reacting to this this morning? >> the president has said repeatedly he's not going to give his tax returns over, that he will fight this all the way to the supreme court. that no matter what happens he's not giving these over. the white house, the outcome is
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already predetermined. what does a court battle do, if this gets to court? the white house doesn't make clear, the president's personal attorneys have made clear they don't care what the statute says. he's not planning to turn over these returns and what a judge will decide is still a ways away, i think. >> this, certainly, though, is an interesting wrinkle on the path to the courthouse that we'll likely see. good to see you, josh. >> good to see you, too. >> thank you. coming up, house speaker nancy pelosi says donald trump is engaged in a cover-up. what's the message that members of her caucus took from this important meeting this morning? democratic member who was just in that meeting with nancy pelosi joins me next. you'll match my miles? yeah! mile for mile! and no blackout dates or annual fee. nice! i was thinking about taking a scuba diving trip! i love that. or maybe go surfing... or not. ok. maybe somewhere else. maybe a petting zoo. can't go wrong.
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coverage and control you need. manage your wifi network from anywhere when you download the xfi app today. a respectful sharing of ideas on impeach many. that is how house speaker nancy pelosi put it this morning as she left the meeting with her party. respectful maybe but stakes could not be higher when you are talking about, again, something as historic, divisive and extreme as impeaching the president of the united states. about two dozen house democrats say they are ready to move toward impeachment proceedings. what really happened behind closed doors today? did nancy pelosi hold the team together or are they more divided now than ever? let's find out. joining me now is a member of
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the house leadership, michigan congressman dan connelly. thanks for coming in this morning. >> thank you very much. >> where is your sense on where the caucus is on impeachment? >> i don't think we're divided on donald trump. i don't think we're divided or whether or not we may ultimately have to use this tool. there are lots of questions that members have about when that time should really be appropriate. i will say this. i'm much more open to it now than i was a month or so ago. i think this president is taking us to a place where we may have no choice left but to use the tool after the constitution. his willingness to -- i'm sorry. go ahead. >> i was going to say, what you're saying right there is quite important. for our viewers to be reminded, you have been careful and reluctant on impeachment all along to this point. you even said some of the early efforts you thought were premature and counterproductive in moving towards impeachment. now you're saying you're closer
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to impeachment than you were months ago. why is that? what's the difference for you? >> the president is using every tool he can to keep from complying with legitimate requests, subpoenas. the fact that he is willing to essentially cover up everything that he does not want anyone to know and will refuse to allow his own members of his administration testify before committees of congress with legitimate questions, denying subpoenas and, you know, as a member of the ways and means committee i'm concerned about their willful ignorance of section 6103 of the tax code that says that the chairman of the ways and means committee can order a tax return to be delivered to him to support their deliberations of the committee and they're just simply not doing it. now, of course, we've learned that there was a draft memo internal to the irs that stated very clearly what we've been saying all along. it reinforces our concern. the president seems to be willing to direct agencies to
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break the law. and when we find that out, i don't know that we will have any other choice. >> and i do want to ask you specifically about ways and means, and your efforts there in a second. it appears to me that you agree with the speaker that you think the president is engaged in a cover-up? >> no question about it. absolutely. >> so if you think that, if you and nancy pelosi believe that, does it make sense that you are not ready yet to move toward impeachment proceedings? i'm trying to figure out where the line is for you. >> i think we have to be reluctant to come to this conclusion. this is where i think the speaker is absolutely right. i have been very careful to come to these conclusions. and when we use these -- this ultimate tool, we have to make sure that we have taken every effort to give the president and his administration the opportunity to get right with the law. and not rush to the conclusion that we should only use this
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tool at our whim. i don't think that's the case for any of my colleagues, but i do think we have to be careful. i want to make sure we have exhausted every opportunity we have to force this administration to comply with the law, and assuming they continue to take the posture they have, i think that's when we have to come to the conclusion that the only tool left for us is the one in the constitution. we're not there yet. we're a lot closer to being in that place than we were. it's donald trump who is taking us there. it's not congress. >> do you know where that is? is there a standard? have you set, yourself, a standard of once they have done this, it's over for me? like do you -- or is it one of those things where you're going to say, to use a phrase, you're going to know it when you see it? >> i'm not quite sure. i think we will know it when we see it. there are instances where, if this president, for example, refuses to comply with the lawful order of a court. there's a legitimate opportunity for disputes between the
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executive and legislative branch over the interpretation of law. it's the courts who make those interpretations. if they fail to comply with a court order, for me that's a red line. >> i spoke to one of your colleagues, democrat andy kim of new jersey, freshman democrat that represents a district that had been a republican district. i asked him about where he was in terms of impeachment proceedings, he says he's not there yet because he's listening to his constituents and that's not what they want him to focus on. what his constituents are telling him is keep your eye on your agenda and his concern is that the focus is not then on the legislative agenda and trying to get things done if it's all about these investigations of the administration. do you think that he is right? are you concerned that battles with the president are overshadowing your agenda? >> i think it's a legitimate concern. the work that the american people want us to do is to improve their lives. if they don't see us focusing on that, of course, they have legitimate questions about what
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we're doing here. we swore an oath to the constitution. when we were elected, we were elected to do the things that the american people need us to do to improve their lives but also to uphold the rule of law. and sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable. and sometimes we have to do things that might not be particularly popular. but when it comes to this question of impeachment -- this works both ways. when it comes to the question of impeachment, the political implication needs to be set aside. i've heard people say we shouldn't impeach because it's bad politics. i've heard people say that we should impeach because there are people who are clamoring for it. any member of congress who takes their responsibility seriously will that, to me, political implications for something like this are interesting but not particularly relevant to my determination. >> let me ask you about ways and means, getting the president's
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tax returns and this memo that the washington post got their hands on that was written up which by the irs' general counsel's office. did you know the memo existed before today? >> i did not. not until i saw the report. >> do you think -- and steve mnuchin says he had not seen it either but he also said today he still thinks he's following the law in saying he's not going to be turning over the president's tax returns. he thinks he's on the right side of the law. do you think the secretary or the irs commissioner, for that matter, should face fines if they continue to resist the subpoena from your committee? >> the path that i think is the more appropriate path is to take that subpoena authority to court and have it enforced by a court of law. it's better for us to resolve the courts, that's what the framers of the constitution anticipated. on this particular point, the fact that it appears that the irs commissioner or the
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secretary ignored what was the initial advice that was being prepared regarding this question, it reinforces what many of us thought, that there is undue influence to protect the president on other matters. that's one of the reasons we sought the returns in the first place. to see the irs commissioner and apparently the secretary apparently take a tact against the advice causes us to question whether or not on other matters related to the president and the irs there may also be directives coming to protect the president as well. it sort of makes the case as to why we need to have access to these returns to make an evaluation as to whether the irs is properly enforcing the law on the president of the united states. >> congressman, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. brows for days.
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♪ ♪ "i'm okay." ♪ ♪ i came here for a meeting with democrats, not thinking that they wanted to do infrastructure or anything else other than investigate. nancy pelosi, just before our meeting made a statement that we believe that the president of the united states is engaged in a cover-up. it turns out i'm the most -- i
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think most of you would agree to this. i'm the most transparent president probably in the history of this country. we have given on a witch hunt, on a hoax the whole thing with russia was a hoax as it relates to the trump administration and myself. it was a total, horrible thing that happened to our country. it hurt us in so many ways. despite that, we're setting records with the economy, jobs, with most people employed today than we've ever had in the history of our country. we have the best unemployment numbers we've had in the history of our country. in some cases 51 years but generally in the history of our country. companies are moving back in. things are going well. let's have the meeting on infrastructure. we'll get that done easily. that's one of the easy ones. and instead of walking in
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happily to a meeting, i walk in to look at people that just said that i was doing a cover-up. i don't do cover-ups. you people know that probably better than anybody. i was looking at a list of some of the things that we just did more than 2,500 subpoenas qualified for. i let everybody talk. i let the white house counsel speak for 30 hours, 30 hours. i have 19 special counsel lawyers, fbi agents, said open it up. let them have whatever they want. nearly 500 search warrants. did you ever see a search warrant before? neither did i. this was over 500 search warrants. and of the 19 people that were heading up this investigation or whatever you want to call it, with bob mueller, they were
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contributors into the democratic party, hillary clinton. they hated president trump, they hated him with a passion. they went to her big party after the election, that turned out to be a wake. in the a party. it was a wake. and they were very angry. after $40 million, it will be more than that after all the bills are paid. this is what happened. no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing. they issued 50 orders authorizing use of pen register s then i have nancy pelosi go out and say that the president of the united states engaged in
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a cover-up. we've had a house investigation, senate investigations. we have investigations like nobody has had before and we did nothing wrong. they would have loved to have said we cloouded. they would have loved it. these people were out to get us. the republican party and president trump. they were out to get us. this was a one-sided, horrible thing. the bottom line is no collusion with russia. you heard so much talk about phone calls that my son made to me from this meeting that was set up by gps fusion, it looks like, the other side for these that don't know. for year i heard about phone calls that went to a special number unauthorized. it would have been my son, don, who is a good young man, who has gone through hell.
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and they were calls that must have been made from him before and after the meeting. three calls. after massive study, a friend of ours, a real estate developer made the call. great guy. most of you know him. nice guy. loves our country. and the other was the head of nascar, two of them. of the three calls that were so horrible that he had a meeting and called me and then he had the meeting after and he made tw more calls and they were written about like this little lines, couple of lines. no one wanted to admit it. we had an election for fred keller, 50/50 shot and won in a
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landslide. we went and did a rally. hardly mentioned. though if he lost it would be the biggest story in the country, even bigger than this witch hunt you guys keep writing about. here is the bottom line. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. i've been doing this since i've been president. the crime was on the other side. hope it turns out well. to my way of thinking and a lot of you agree with me. the crime was committed on the other side. this whole thing was a takedown attempt at the president of the united states. and honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for the way you report it so dishonestly. not all of you, but many of you. the way you report it.
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so i've said from the beginning, right from the begin ining that you probably can't go down two tracks. you can go down the investigation track and the investment track or the track of let get things done for the american people. i love the american people. we can get them down lower working with the the democrats. we can solve the problem on the border in 15 minutes if the democrats would give us a few votes. just wanted to let you know i walked into the room and told speaker pelosi, chuck schumer, i want to do infrastructure, more than you want to do it. i would be really good at that.
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that's what i do. but you know what? you can't do it under these circumstances. so get these phony investigations over with. "the wall street journal" just wrote today, just a little while ago, i saw it. mr. mueller wasn't obstructed in any way. this is wall street journal editorial today. mr. mueller wasn't obstructed in any way. his copious report, now 430 pages. now they want to interview all the same people again. they want to interview -- jerry nadler, who fought me in new york unsuccessfully, by the way. i've had great success against jerry. he was representing manhattan and would fight me all the time on the west side railroad many times, very unsuccessfully. he failed. i come to washington, become president and said oh, no, i have jerry nadler again?
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wall street journal, mr. mueller wasn't obstructed in any way, his copious report was released for all to see. this is the wall street journal. there was no collusion between rush wra and the trump campaign. that's it. but they want to make this a big deal, whether or not they carry the big "i" word out i can't imagine that but they probably would because it will do whatever they have to do. there's a danger here. if some day a democrat becomes president and you have a republican house, they can impeach him for any reason, or her. any reason. we can't allow that to happen. we can't allow it to happen. so, when you look at all of the transparency, when you look at all i've done -- and i'll tell you, my lawyers say you can use presidential privilege. you don't have to let your
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lawyers and all of your staff testify. you can use presidential privilege, sir. would you recommend it? well, you can be transparent or be tight. if you've done nothing wrong, being transparent is better. i said i did nothing wrong. let's be transparent. so that's what you have. all of these things. look at that. all of these things. 500 witnesses that i allowed to testify. it's a disgrace. so when they get everything done, i'm all set to let's get infrastructure. let's get drug prices down. meantime, we're doing tremendous work without them. we've had a great success, most successful economy perhaps in our country's history. we've cut regulations at a level that nobody else has cut them before.
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the largest tax cut in the history of the country. so we're doing a lot of work. steve, yeah? >> reporter: any assurances that they won't -- >> this is very sad. last night i heard that they'll have a meeting right before this meeting to talk about the "i" word. the "i" word. can you imagine? i don't speak to russians about campaigns. i went to wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania, i don't say let's call russia. maybe they can -- it's a hoax! the greatest hoax in history. yeah, go ahead. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. do you view congress as a co-equal branch of government and do you respect their oversight? >> i respect the courts, congress, i respect right here where we're standing. but that they've done is abuse.
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this is investigation number fo four. probably number five. it started the day we came down the escalator in trump tower. i say to you that we're going to get everything done. we're doing a lot without them. let them play their games. we're going to go down one track at a time. let them finish up and we'll be all set. thank you, everybody. >> have you read the bob mueller report? mr. president, have you read the mueller report? >> wow! what you just saw was very important. we need to get into this. because, first off, we can see how well infrastructure week is going this time around. secondly, the president of the united states just took to the rose garden. this was not an event that was scheduled. that's important to note. he took to the rose garden to say that he is not going to be working, it sounds like, on anything until democrats in the
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house finish up, wrap up, end their investigations into the president of the united states. much to discuss. let's bring in sr. correspondent jeff zeleny. jeff, this day took a very big turn just now. >> kate, it certainly did. you could tell the president was doing a premeditated rose garden strategy here. you couldn't see it on screen. in the rose garden he had a printed placard of the cost of the mueller investigation with big words saying no collusion, no obstruction. this was a planned ambush, if you will, of that infrastructure meeting that speaker pelosi and chuck schumer were going to the white house to do. his state of mind just validating what we hear from advisers and others, that he is, indeed, consumed by this investigati investigation. it's important to point out, kate, this comes one day after hope hicks was given a subpoena. former long-time aide who lives
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in los angeles. he considers her like family. that's always been a red line that he didn't want to cross. so that is the president's state of mind here going into this kate, it says one thing. not one single issue will get done in washington. the president said right there until the mueller probe is ending. these are lagger heads. we've never seen anything like this before, the rose garden used like that, kate. >> absolutely. the president saying there will be no negotiating on anything with regard to any kind of policy unless and until they wrap up their investigations. >> reporter: white house has denied them having testimony from people who work here or worked here before. the president made it clear he will not be able to work with
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democrats as long as they're investigating him. he made that threat first in the state of the union address. today he followed through on it. reporters were called into the rose garden at the last minute. arriving at white house, nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, steny hoyer. group of democrats coming to the white house for what they thought was a meeting to fund that $2 trillion infrastructure plan and instead of the president walked out to the rose garden and made his anger clear. what he was the most infuriated about, the president said, was nancy pelosi's comment an hour ago that she believed the president is engaged in a cover-up. that was the strongest language we've seen from the house speaker so far in relation to the president's activities. it came after she held a meeting with her congress, trying to tamp down talk of impeaching the president. with a poster on the front of
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the podium in front of him, talking about how much the mueller investigation costs. we tried to ask the president the more the president stonewalls them the more their impeachment the president did not answer that question but instead turned to go back into the white house. >> is phil mattingly on capitol hill? phil, i want to go to you now. >> reporter: i've been talking to sources with direct knowledge of what happened in the meeting. take you behind the scenes. democrats were sitting in the room. the president walked into the room, these sources said. he did not shake anybody's hand. he made clear there were things he wanted to get done with congress, both house democrats and democrats in the united
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states senate, whether it was infrastructure, the farm bill, the trade deal, but he said based on speaker pelosi's comments, there was, quote, something terrible to be accused of that. he then said that there not be two tracks, as he said publicly. as long as democrats are investigating, they will not be negotiating on actual polishes, despite his priorities that he has laid out. he then walked out of the room. speaker pelosi said something along the lines of i knew you weren't serious about negotiating on infrastructure, and that was it. >> wait. phil, that's an important point. he walked out. he made a statement and just walked out? there was no discussion? >> there was no discussion at all. democrats were, i think, dumbfounded that that was how he walked in. didn't shake anybody's hands, say hello. walked in, clearly was ready to say what he had to say, which was, as it currently stands, there will be no negotiations on infrastructure or any other polish so long as the
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investigations are ongoing and his key issue was two-fold. he talked about it publicly, that after that 9:00 a.m. meeting this morning with the house democratic caucus, she believes there's a cover-up. and he said that was a terrible thing that was said. you heard his rationale publicly as to why he believes that. he walked out before anybody was able to say anything at all. democrats now on their way back to capitol hill where we expect to hear from them shortly. >> it's amazing even if -- both sides say how important infrastructure and moving forward on infrastructure is, that no matter what bad blood is between democrats and the president, that he's willing to lay down this marker that he's serious now, that he's not going to do anything there is no sign, no suggestion that -- it's holding legislation hostage until they finish an investigation. >> it's not just infrastructure. that was the one bipartisan thing they thought they could get done. there's also things they
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absolutely have to get done, a spending deal they have to make to force over $120 million in cuts by the start of october, they need to raise the debt ceiling. negotiators thought they were making progress on that yesterday. that is a legislative issue that they have to figure out. there's a myriad of things that even with all the partisan back and forth, all the investigations, they thought they could do something. right now, apparently, they'll be doing nothing. >> nothing is exactly what it sounds like. let's get back over to the rose garden. kaitlan collins has more information for us. >> we want to show you this sign. this is the view that reporters came out here to. we thought that the president was having this meeting with democrats on infrastructure. we were unsxekedly called out here. white house officials did not tell us why we were coming out here but it came clear as soon as we entered the rose garden. the official seal, president of the united states. sign in front of it on white house cardboard that says mueller investigation by the
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numbers, over $35 million spent on mueller's investigation, over 2800 subpoenas issued, it took 675 days over 500 witnesses and, of course, the president's mantra that he repeats so often on twitter, 18 angry democrats and says no collusion, no obstruction. that's what the president has maintained ever since the mueller investigation ended. we're told by sources the president has been so furious about these investigations about democrats because for so long he thought once the special counsel's investigation was over so, was all of this. instead, it only ramped up on capitol hill. now you've seen as we were noting earlier, not only so many subpoenas and document requests but also for some of the people who are the closest in the president, including hope hicks, one of his closest confidantes when she was in the white house, and don mcgahn's chief of staff, meticulous note taker. that painted the most damning portrait when the mueller report came out. you could sense the president's
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anger as soon as he came out here and this disdain for democrats and especially house speaker nancy pelosi when she came out here. this is a huge difference from the last meeting we had on infrastructure three weeks ago when democrats said the investigations didn't come up when they were in the meeting with the president. clearly that hour-long coverage of nancy pelosi's comment, that the president was engaged in a cover-up, struck at the heart of him. he said i do not do cover-ups, that the reporters would know that better than anyone. you can sense the president's anger over that remark. what happens with the president and these investigations? we've known he has been angry. they've stonewalled and tried to block what they're going to do. the president has said their strategy is to ignore all the subpoenas. how much does that get ramped up after what we just saw in the rose garden, which was not on the schedule and not planned? i cannot stress that enough. >> that's exactly right. but, kaitlan, it seemed like he was lashing out. in returning to some of the
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comments he has made, things that need to be fact checked, we'll get to in a second, but it seemed like lashing out right now. >> it's the president airing his grievances, what you read on twitter from the president, multiple times a day. except this time he said it in person and singled out nancy pelosi, something we haven't seen that much from the president, holding her responsible for these investigations even though she's been trying to tamp down the talk of impeachment, kate. >> appreciate it. playing out, momentarily we'll get the other side of this contentious oval office meeting. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, top democrat of the united states senate about to speak to reporters. you see it on the right of your screen there. moments before what was supposed to be the white house meeting. the president complaining to the speaker of the house that she accused him of a cover-up, walking out of a meeting that was supposed to be to discuss if


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