tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN May 30, 2019 5:00am-6:01am PDT
criticizing robert mueller's investigation. president trump claims that mueller would have brought charges against him if he thought he committed a crime, but mueller said explicitly the opposite yesterday. mueller did not even consider charging president trump because of justice department guidelines. mueller said that responsibility falls on congress, which of course begs the question this morning, what will congress do now? >> a growing number of house democrats and 2020 presidential candidates, including one right here on our show, are calling for impeachment proceedings, but continues to resist, though she says nothing is off the table. the spotlight is also now back on the attorney general, william barr. a lot of people are accusing him of misleading lawmakers and the public about the mueller report. mueller's version clearly different than the attorney general's. joining me discuss congressman mike quigley. thank you for being with us. before yesterday you were not on the list that nancy pelosi and others are keeping of democrats calling for impeachment
proceedings to begin. as of this morning are you? >> look, i'd like to think i was a voice in the wilderness here at the length of this investigation and i've been part of it for the last three years, but clearly the needle is moving for many members and candidates for president of the united states. the continued obstruction by the president, less than subtle message from mr. mueller yesterday, the weaponization of the intelligence community to go after the president's political enemies. you know, it's my intention to talk to my colleagues the next day or so and make an announcement this weekend on what my intentions are. >> are you shifting? >> obviously the needle is moving. it was never a question of whether or not this president was fit for office. he is not. it was never a question whether or not the president abused his powers. he has. it is a question as the speaker of the house has pointed out, what is the most speculative way
to deal with this constitutional crisis. we have seen in the past efforts moving toward impeachment have backfired. obviously we don't have the votes in the senate, but there are many other thoughts in play here. what is the -- possibly the only way to get all the documents that are necessary to determine whether or not the president of the united states has committed a crime? if the courts are way too slow and if the president of the united states continues to obstruct, we may have no choice. >> so is it that or what did robert mueller say or did he say anything yesterday that has caused you to rethink your position? and i hope i'm accurately portraying where you are right now. you weren't for impeachment yet, but it sounds like you're thinking about it and it might move over the next few days. >> i think what the president was saying is i didn't spend two years writing this report for the special counsel and the president of the united states to misrepresent it, redact it and attempt to hide it from congress and the american
public. then he moves forward at the exact same time to continue the obstruction that the special counsel talked about. it is extraordinarily difficult to restrain one's self. the irony of yesterday was the special counsel is an honorable person who follows the rule of law more than anyone i have ever witnessed. at the same time in his moment of extreme fairness he is protecting a president of the united states who has absolutely no concern for the rule of law who is flounting it. >> you're saying protecting. do you think robert mueller needs to come testify before congress? >> you know, he does. i was a criminal defense attorney for ten years and i wrote memos and briefs for judges and for appellate court justices and i couldn't just write a report or a brief, i had to come before them and answer questions. there is nuance, there is
argument, there are a lot of other questions. what happened to the counterintelligence investigation? what was his thinking when he made these one dozen or more criminal referrals to other jurisdictions? what else was he concerned about? i have the greatest respect for the special counsel, but he doesn't get to decide whether or not he testifies before the american people and he doesn't get to decide which questions he can talk about. he clearly can't decide that he's only going to talk about what's already in the report. >> i want to read you something that the president of the united states just wrote, and this is in light of what robert mueller said yesterday, how he opened and closed his ten-minute statement talking about the seriousness and severity of the russian attack on the u.s. elections. the president writes russia, russia, russia, that's all you heard at the beginning of this witch-hunt hoax and now russia has disappeared because i had nothing to do with russia helping me to get elected. now, far be it for anyone on
earth to parse the language used by the president of the united states, however, by my reading of that, that's the first time the president has ever admitted that russia helped to get him elected. is that how you see it? >> it is, but wait ten minutes, he could say something else. i don't think the american public can take anything the president says about the russian attack on our democratic process seriously because, again, wait a few minutes, it will change, whatever benefits him the most. i think it is important to register with the american people that that was the second major aspect of the special counsel's discussion yesterday. that was a widespread attack and it's going to come back. director comey said the russians will be back. dni coates said they have never left, the threat is still there. i'm the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds election security and i promise you the bill that we're
going to be moving forward with will make an extraordinary effort to defend this country. it is one of two things this congress needs to do to address this issue and it needs to happen soon because the election is coming soon. >> again, i just think the language is very interesting. i had nothing to do with russia helping me to get elected. maybe he didn't mean to say it, but it's the first time i ever heard the president admit that russia helped him win the white house. congressman, we talk about these 40 members of the house, the ones who were in republican districts that won and helped flip the house to the democrats. you are no the one of them. you are in a democratic safe seat. do you hear from some of your colleagues, democrats who are in less safe seats, that they may be beginning to reconsider whether or not impeachment is a viable option? >> i think the needle is moving along all of those fronts. obviously for each member the decision is important and it's more -- easier or more difficult for different reasons. each of us has to make that own
personal decision after researching and understanding the issue a little bit better, talking to their constituents and talking to leadership frankly about what the ramifications might be for the entire caucus. >> how concerned are you about the polling which seems fairly consistent that the majority of the american people are not yet there? >> you know, and i understand that. you can't get ahead of that, but i also understand that four months before richard nixon left office the american people were pretty strong in polling that showed that he should not resign and the watergate investigation has taken too long. i think we need to listen to our constituents and talk about the issue, understand the issue, and make a decision that's right for the american people overall. >> congressman mike quigley from illinois, we look forward to hearing from you maybe this weekend, give us a call and let us know when you make that decision. joining us to talk about this we have bianna golodryga,
david chalian and jeffrey toobin former federal prosecutor and chief legal analyst. great to have you here in studio. the needle is moving, we just heard him say that several times and, in fact, the needle has moved for other lawmakers, more are calling for impeachment now. we had governor hickenlooper now, his position is different this morning. it's fascinating to me, david, that robert mueller in his lack of pizzazz kind of way just speaking out loud has moved the needle for people because a lot of that was in his report. >> this was the audio book version of his report. he basically was reading word-for-word from it, but, you know, pictures and sound, that makes an actual difference into the political climate, there is no doubt about that. what i thought was to interesting about representative quigley about the needle moving was also this desire to consult with his colleagues. he seems to be suggesting that there is an active conversation going on right now among house democrats because the one person the needle hasn't moved for yet is their leader, the speaker
nancy pelosi, but watching her separate out is the needle moving in just sort of a noise way out there or is the needle moving in some way that i need to change my approach to how i've been handling this situation, that is the calculation we are all waiting to hear. >> i think congressman quigley also contributed to a bit of mythology that is now becoming more pervasive, which is that congress will get access to more documents and more witnesses if they call it an impeachment investigation not an oversight investigation. >> and knost not true? >> i don't think that is true. remember, there have been two court cases so far about the tax returns and about the deutsche bank records. congress won both those cases so far. i expect they will continue to win those cases. so the idea that you need an impeachment investigation, i just don't think adds that much, plus even if congress uses the impeachment investigation to go to court, it's still going to go
to court and it's still going to be delayed by the president either way. so this idea that, well, the reason to push an impeachment investigation is we will get more access, i just don't think is true. >> might it add political weight is this i wonder if in the context of an impeachment inquiry calling mueller let's say to testify in that context versus a house judiciary committee meeting or what have you, if there is the context of an impeachment inquiry is there a bigger political weight to make the case and move the american public? i don't know the answer. >> mueller also said he wouldn't testify. he said he would not like to. >> he would prefer not to. >> if it were up to him that that would be the last you would hear from him. even in those eight minutes nothing new came out but so much changed. just hearing first of all for so many americans it is the first time they heard mueller say -- because many didn't read the report -- for mueller to say if we could conclusively conclude that the president did not commit a crime we would have said that. that was powerful. you saw two presidential
hopefuls come out and call for impeachment because of that. even if he doesn't add anything more than read from his report or defer back to his report, that is a lot more powerful than just reading from a 400 plus page report. >> mike quigley made clear that he wants to hear from the president -- hear from robert mueller. >> by the way, he even thanked the attorney general for releasing the majority of the report. so if congress -- i agree with you, if they're pursuing to get the full report, if they're trying to get grand jury testimony they may be barking up the wrong tree. they should be focused on, a, getting mueller to testify even though he doesn't want to and there were other witnesses who congress still hasn't heard from that played key roles throughout this report. >> look, no privilege, period, full stop. corey lewandowski has got zero. >> pursuing don mcgahn, too, i just don't see a court drawing a major distinction between an impeachment investigation and oversight investigation. >> the president has now walked out of the white house, he is speaking to reporters, it's a
taped turn around. we will tell you when we know what he says. we imagine he will comment on what happened yesterday. why do we think that? because he's already writing about it extensively on twitter saying things that are not true. saying if robert mueller could have charged me he would have -- no. sorry. >> that's what robert mueller said. >> saying if riebld wanted to charge me or found anything he would have charged me, which is the opposite of that mueller said. and then not to harp on this, but the president did write russia disappeared because i had nothing to do with russia helping me to get elected, which, bianna, to my reading is the first time the president has said, whether he meant to or not, or admitted that russia helped get him elected. >> in not so many words vladimir putin said the same thing. he said i wanted president trump to win. he said i can't help it if some great russian patriots decided to do computer hacking and what have you. so in his own way vladimir putin said this did, in fact, happen, i wanted president trump to win. why? because so that we could work better together. >> i appreciate your diagraming
of the sentences of twitter. it's not easy. >> that tweet comes a long way from a 400 pound guy on his bed in new jersey. that's a different assessment of what went on. >> but i also think, again, congressman quigley was right. the president could change his mind in the next tweet. i mean, he very likely if asked directly would say i've seen no proof that russia helped me. >> can i say imagine a world where we would have first heard what we heard yesterday from robert mueller instead of what we heard from bill barr. you can't skroefr state how significant it was that he controlled the narrative and controlled the interpretation of this report. had bob mueller come out and said those exact same words the day or two or three after that report came out, i think we would be in a completely different situation. >> absolutely. and that is the shame of how bill barr misrepresented what was in there. that was the first bite of the apple, that's what people first
understood and now it's hard to unwind that tape and redo it. >> right. >> and now there is a war of words it seems or at least they're trying to present a united front, the special counsel and the justice department, but it's really hard to decipher. i heard you last night you said you know english very well, you couldn't quite understand what that statement was from the special prosecutor and the justice department. >> just because we don't want to send viewers screaming from their televisions, there was a statement issued last night jointly by the justice department and the special counsel that was so incomprehensible and so broke in its triple negatives where they were trying to pretend that they were agreeing with each other but the substance of it was -- >> it was about whether or not robert mueller was depending on the guidance from the office of the legal counsel to not to bring charges. it was a discrepancy over word choice. it doesn't matter. the bottom line is mueller made clear it was absolutely because of that guidance that he didn't even consider charges. bill barr muddied the waters as much as he could really and
that's crystal clear. >> why is robert mueller bending over backwards to still be in good favor with bill barr? he did that in his eight minutes yesterday in front of the cameras. why is he doing that? >> i think he is an institutionalist, he is someone who believes in the institution of the department of justice, he recognizes he was an employee of the department of justice. i think in general he has respect and admiration for barr. remember he also wrote two letters complaining about what barr has said so it's not like he has rolled over completely, but, you know, mueller is not a bomb thrower. >> it's still an asymmetrical fight between robert mueller and everyone else involved here because the president we're getting a readout now, we will show you the tape shortly, a continuing to attack robert mueller and saying that mueller is conflicted somehow in his findings. again, we're not going to replay the language, the difference between barr and mueller on that issue. i do think there is an issue where there was a clearer difference which is significant, who now gets to decide this and
what mueller wants. i want to read what bill barr said in his four page summary, barr said the special counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. mueller says the opposite. mueller says the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing, that would be congress and that's where we are this morning. that's a much more clear example of where mueller is splitting from barr. >> no doubt about it. he thinks barr made the wrong call by barr and rosenstein coming in on top of him and saying we're clearing the president of obstruction here. too, mueller clearly believes -- he put ten episodes of evidence of that forward for congress to adjudicate that. that's where presidents are held to account. so that's a clear difference. john, you had mentioned the part of the tweet where the president said for the first time that russia helped him get elected.
>> he is just talking about it now. >> he heard john. >> we can't also forget -- you gave a reference to this, but this line in here where the president says no -- mueller didn't find obstruction, either. i mean, that's just flat out false. that is not at all -- the president of the united states is saying mueller didn't find obstruction. that is not what mueller has said. >> barr presented a case where there is a binary choice, you either indict or you don't and move on. that is not where mueller sees this. mueller sees this in the situation being i did not have that option. if we could have cleared the president of in i wrongdoing we would have. we did not and thus it falls upon congress. barr even in his testimony before congress said he disagreed with mueller's theory on how things stand right now. so i think mueller is not going to want to answer those questions, it's why we didn't hear him take any questions he had yesterday, but you see a clear line of difference between these two men. >> mueller said yesterday i do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about
the investigation. so that's more than just i don't want to. i mean, that suggests that he might fight something if he had a subpoena. he doesn't think that it's appropriate in his role to go farther. what do you think? >> i just think that's so wrong. i mean, justice department officials testify before congress all the time, particularly about policy matters and sometimes about individual cases. just, again, representative quigley said what happened to the counterintelligence investigation? did you participate in it? are there facts that we need to know about that? that is a very important question. what was russia's role in the 2016 election, more broadly defined? mueller should answer that question and he has every ability to do so. he doesn't want to. do you know what, too bad. >> it seems like mueller does not want to make this political which is why we hadn't heard from him for two and a half years. >> too late. >> he has made it political throughout this entire process and i think words do matter.
one, you heard mueller think the integrity and talk about the integrity of those who worked on this investigation, i think that was a rebuttal to the president's two and a half year assault on the 18 angry democrats and the fbi in general. this was mueller saying that wasn't the case, but by not speaking i think mueller is saying i don't want to be political. he's already been dragged into this. >> and the president is attacking robert mueller as we speak on the south lawn as he is leaving. we're getting that tape turned around, we will play it for you as soon as it comes in. as we said, much more on that ahead. as we said, the president has just left the what u.s., he is speaking with reporters right now. we will bring you that next. high protein. low sugar. tastes great! high protein. low sugar. so good! high protein. low sugar. mmmm, birthday cake! pure protein. the best combination for every fitness routine. hi. i'm fatima and i love my crunch. ♪ delicious 100% real chocolate embracing the lightness of crispy rice.
crunch. the chocolate bar all americans love. (vo) be the first to stream 4k beautifully for the first time ever. be first to real time with verizon 5g ultra wideband. get the new samsung galaxy s10 5g. on verizon. moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis. but you're still moved by moments like this. don't let psoriatic arthritis take them away. taltz reduces joint pain and stiffness
and helps stop the progression of joint damage. for people with moderate to severe psoriasis, 90% saw significant improvement. taltz even gives you a chance at completely clear skin. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection, symptoms, or received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz, including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. for all the things that move you. ask your doctor about taltz. you don't see psoriasis. you see clear skin. you see me. but if you saw me before cosentyx... ♪ i was covered. it was awful. but i didn't give up. i kept fighting. i got clear skin with cosentyx. 3 years and counting. clear skin can last. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you.
cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx, you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. if you have inflammatory bowel disease, tell your doctor if symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. see me now. i'm still clear. how sexy are these elbows? get clear skin that can last. ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. we're the tenney's and we're usaa members for life. call usaa to start saving on insurance today. and we're usaa members for life. plants capture co2. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology
that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions. carbon capture is important technology - and experts agree. that's why we're working on ways to improve it. so plants... can be a little more... like plants. ♪ here's the story of green mountain coffee roasters costa rica paraíso. meet sergio. and his daughter, maria. sergio's coffee tastes spectacular. because costa rica is spectacular. so we support farmers who use natural compost. to help keep the soil healthy. and the coffee delicious. for future generations. all for a smoother tasting cup. green mountain coffee roasters. so at this moment president trump is attacking the special counsel robert mueller on the south lawn of the white house, insisting that mueller is conflicted after mueller declined to clear him of a crime. we will bring you that tape as soon as we get it. we do have snippets of the transcript which we will read to you. back with us now, david chalian
jeffrey toobin, and bianna golodryga. also joining us david gregory. the president cleared something up after before tweeting, raising questions whether whether or not russia helped him get elected he asked that directly. he said russia did not help me get elected president, i got me elected. didn't help me at all. david gregory, the president also called robert mueller a true never trumper, which is the first time i believe i've heard donald trump say that about the special counsel. >> well, you've got a sad contrast between somebody in robert mueller who has conducted himself professionally and with integrity as a patriot, and the president who in his pet u lens i think is doing more to move the needle toward getting congress to initiate impeachment proceedings than anyone else. we have to refined ourselves there wouldn't have been a special counsel if the president hadn't brought this on himself. so that is this lack of
self-control that our president of the united states displays on a near daily basis. again, the notion -- it's not really worth defending because it doesn't make any sense, but i think hearing the president's reaction certainly belies whatever measured reaction there was from the white house yesterday. this is his true colors. he just wants to fight and fight all the time and now i think you have to ask yourself whether there will be more momentum toward getting mueller to testify, whether he wants to or not. >> although this is part of that goading that nancy pelosi talks about, right? this notion so it may also help her political argument for the moment with her caucus. see what he's doing? he's trying to goad us into impeachment. >> i mean, the president has been speaking now for 15 minutes to reporters, he is on his way to colorado for an air force academy event. i don't know if it's worth dissecting. i think today we are past it. we know that he doesn't like robert mueller, we know he didn't like the investigation,
that he doesn't think that russia interfered. we know he thinks some of this is a hoax. so what has happened, i think, today and where the needle has moved as we've heard so much on the program today is that somehow democrats feel that it's framed differently or feel that the wind is in their sales today. the president is reading the same old script that he has been for the past two careers but somehow because, again, in robert mueller's very lack of pizzazz way they heard something different that gave them added momentum yesterday. >> i was just thinking about what you said about, you know, is it worth listening to what the president is saying on the lawn. i mean, you know, what is our job? because, i mean, he's lying constantly on the lawn, saying that mueller was a never trumper, saying that russia didn't help him get elected. over and over again. one job of journalism is to tell the truth when public figures lie, but on the other hand how many times can we do this? do we have to do this every time? i struggle with that point. the question you're raising.
it's outrageous that he is lying so consistently and publicly on the same subjects over and over again. >> but keep in mind what we heard yesterday from mueller was nothing new other than we heard his voice, right? he did not move or change his views from what we saw in the mueller report. the president, however, six weeks ago when the mueller report came in after bill barr gave his four-page summary of his interpretation of it was asked whether he thought mueller was an honorable man. he said yes. he thought he was vindicated by what bill barr had interpreted from the report, i'm not sure the president had read the report. but just those eight minutes from bob mueller yesterday just reading his version of a brief summary of his report has now completely irritated the president to the point that he's now calling him for the first time a never trumper. >> who absorbs -- television coverage and picture and sound in ways more than president trump. >> he understands the power of it. >> exactly. without a doubt. >> now robert mueller has said it out loud, said that, you know, i didn't even consider
charging the president with a crime because i couldn't, but in no way am i clearing him of a crime. the president is saying something completely opposite, he's directly misrepresenting what mueller said yesterday. there is also another bit of news, there is this development overnight first reported by the "wall street journal" that someone in the white house reached out to the navy to try to get them to hide somehow the "u.s.s. john mccain" which is a naval destroyer stationed in japan. the people in the white house didn't want the president to see this naval vessel which is named after the former late senator, his father and grandfather when he was speaking in japan. the president was just asked about that. he said i don't know what happened. he said he wasn't involved. he does say he was angry at john mccain because he killed healthcare reformat one point. the president said somebody did it because they thought i didn't like him. somebody in the white house asked to obscure the vessel because i didn't like him. >> where did they get that impression?
>> right. >> he also said they were well meaning. whoever did this in the white house, david gregory, was well meaning so defending the action to obscure this naval vessel. >> what a snowflake president trump is. really? he's going to be triggered by the sight of a navy destroyer with a political adversary's name. i mean, it's just -- this is so absurd. of course how did they get that impression? because the president has spoken publicly in such horrible terms about senator mccain. it's no mystery. can you imagine working for president trump and trying to anticipate his moods and what he would be so upset about. i want to go back to what we also have on the table more generally because i think it bears repeating that in robert mueller president trump should be thankful in what he got. he got a full blown investigation that was very tough and he had somebody with the integrity to stand up in the face of attacks and say, we don't want to do something
that's unfair to a sitting president and not allow him to be able to challenge evidence against him. that's the institutions of our government working properly even when we have an individual who has the office who doesn't appreciate it. >> such a great point. it could have gone so differently had it not been robert mueller. he has been called at times the last boy scout in washington. it had been somebody else with more of an ax to grind or somebody who doesn't see himself as just sort of a vessel for justice, you know, the justice department, it could have gone completely different. >> what if it had been an equivalent of ken starr who held press conferences every week when he was taking out his trash about the clinton investigation. i mean, you know, it would have been a very different political media environment. >> and yet look at the outcome. five convicted associates to president trump, right? you had two dozen russians who were indicted. nobody can say this was for not. you look at how mueller ended his press conference yesterday and that was once again reminding the american public of
just what the russians did. the president does not talk about this at all, there have been news reports about how this is actually hidden from him, that he doesn't even want to be approached about it. >> like the "u.s.s. john mccain." >> how embarrassing is that? how embarrassing? >> i don't know. >> it's so revealing. it's so revealing and a good reminder of the president's psyche. we shouldn't get used to that because it is a really telling tale. >> all right, friends, we are turning the tape around, the president has finished speaking to the press on the south lawn, he is now on his way to andrews, with he will get that tape for you as soon as we can. stick around, much more on that developing story next. athe bett, i started with anoro. ♪ go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪ go your own way once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night.
anoro is not for asthma. it contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. the risk is unknown in copd. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, glaucoma, prostate, bladder or urinary problems. these may worsen with anoro. call your doctor if you have worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes or eye pain while taking anoro. ask your doctor about once-daily anoro to start treating your copd. ♪ go your own way save at anoro.com. you know those butterflies aren't actually in the room? hey, that baker lady's on tv again. she's not a baker. she wears that apron to sell insurance. nobody knows why. she's the progressive insurance lady. they cover pets if your owner gets into a car accident. covers us with what? you got me. [ scoffs ] she's an insurance lady. and i suppose this baker sells insurance, too?
progressive protects your pets like you do. you can see "the secret life of pets 2" only in theaters. "the secret life of pets 2" stand up to chronic migraine with botox®. what if you had fewer headaches and migraines a month? botox® prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. botox® is for adults with chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® injections take about 15 minutes in your doctor's office and are covered by most insurance. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness can be signs of a life- threatening condition. side effects may include allergic reactions, neck and injection site pain, fatigue, and headache. don't receive botox® if there's a skin infection. tell your doctor your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications, including botulinum toxins, as these may increase the risk of serious side effects. having headaches and migraines more than half the month? it could be chronic migraine.
all right. welcome back. you are looking at live pictures of air force one at joint base andrews. the president will arrive there shortly. he is headed to give a commencement address in colorado. we're still waiting to get the tape of what the president just said when he was departing the white house on the south lawn. he spoke for some 17 minutes, he had a lot to say. he had a lot to say about robert mueller, the special counsel, after what robert mueller said yesterday for the very first
time publicly hearing his voice saying that if he could have cleared the president of a crime he would have. >> we in two minutes will be able to see what the president said, but we have some notes from abby phillip for one who has told us what the president was saying. it's very hard -- oh, great. okay. i would like to do that. let's bring in abby. there is a line here that i really feel begs out for some explanation. when the president is being asked about robert mueller's investigation and the only note that i have here, which is a paraphrasing of a quote from the president is i hope it goes down as one of my greatest achievements. did the president really say that about robert mueller's investigation? >> reporter: he was referring to his push to investigate the investigators. it's a little confusing, but he started by saying this will go down as one of my greatest achievements and he then went on to say that he is going to get to the bottom of how this all began. >> okay. >> reporter: i think this was a period of a period in that gaggle where the president
continued to attack the origins of the investigation. he criticized mueller for not investigating people like peter strzok and lisa paige, the usual suspects he brings up in situations like this, but, no, he had no praise for robert mueller today. in fact, i felt as if this was some of his harshest criticism yet. he was asked by one of my colleagues at another network do you still think that robert mueller acted honorably and he said he wouldn't even repeat that which he had said months ago right after the mueller report was completed. he said mueller is conflicted, he brought up that golf dispute that he had with robert mueller and it was really, i think, quite -- you saw him being quite angry about the situation even after all that we have learned. even after all of the fact that the president continues to say that he was exonerated, but here he is. >> we just had news that turkey
released a prisoner that we were trying to get and they released him a little while ago into home custody and will be released from home custody to the united states pretty soon, and i just want to thank president erdogan, we dealt with that and he was -- he was great. they released this prisoner, hostage, whatever you want to call him. he is at home custody in turkey, he will be released fairly soon so that's good news. i guess probably you know about that. other than that, i think things are going very well. the economy is doing fantastically well, beyond any expectation. unemployment numbers are just about the best in the history of our country. employment numbers are the best. we have close to 160 million people working today, which is more than we have ever had before. i'm going out to colorado today to give the commencement address for the air force, which is
actually very exciting for me, it's an amazing place. these are great people. so i look forward to doing that. any questions? [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think it was the same as the report. there wasn't much change. it was to me the same as the report. and there's no obstruction, you see what we're saying, there's no obstruction, theres no collusion, there is no nothing. it's nothing but a witch-hunt. this is a witch-hunt by the media and the democrats, they're partners, and it keeps going. i thought it was finished when the report was released, but it goes on and to me it was the same frankly as the report. and he said basically it was the same as the report. [ inaudible question ] >> i think he's totally conflicted because, as you know, he wanted to be the fbi director and i said no. as you know, i had a business
dispute with him after he left the fbi, we had a business dispute, no at nice one, he wasn't -- he wasn't happy with what i did and i don't blame him, but i had to do it because that was the right thing to do, but i had a business dispute and he loves comey. you look at the relationship that those two -- so whether it's love or deep like, but he should -- he was conflicted. look, robert mueller should have never been chosen because he wanted the fbi job and he didn't get it and the next day he was picked as special counsel. so you tell somebody, i'm sorry, you can't have the job and then after you say that he's going to make a ruling on you. it doesn't work that way. plus we had a business dispute. plus his relationship with comey was extraordinary. one other thing i will say, why didn't he investigate strzok and paige and mccabe and comey and
all the lies, and brennan and the lies, and clapper and the lies to congress and all of the things that happened to start this investigation? why didn't comey come clean? why didn't comey come clean and say the things that he knows are fact? why didn't mueller investigate comber, his best friend or his very good friend? and there are so many other things. here is a question, this is a study of russia. why didn't they invest the insurance policy? in other words, should hillary clinton lose, we've got an insurance policy. guess what, what we're in right now is the insurance policy. [ inaudible question ] >> i think he is a total conflicted person. i think mueller is a true never trumper, he is somebody that dislikes donald trump, he's somebody that didn't get a job that he requested that he wanted very badly and then he was
appointed. despite that and despite $40 million, 18 trump haters including people that worked for hillary clinton and some of the worst human beings on earth, they got nothing. it's pretty amazing. [ inaudible question ] >> no, russia did not help me get elected. do you know who got me elected? do you know who got me elected? i got me elected. russia didn't help me at all. russia, if anything, i think, helped the other side. what you ought to ask is this, do you think the media helped hillary clinton get elected? she didn't make it, but you take a look at collusion between hillary clinton and the media. you take a look at collusion between hillary clinton and russia. she had more to do in the campaign with russia than i did. i had nothing to do. and, by the way, that's one other thing. if you look this was all about russia, russia, russia. they don't talk about russia anymore because it turned out to
be a hoax. it was all a hoax. and then they say, gee, he fought back, isn't that terrible? he fought back. of course i fought back because it was a false accusation, a totally false accusation and it's a disgrace and it's a very -- it's a very sad period for this country. i think in the end i will consider what's happening now to be one of my greatest achievements, exposing this corruption. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't see how they can because they're possibly -- although i can't imagine the courts allowing it. i've never gone into it. i never thought that would even be possible to be using that word, to me it's a dirty word, the word impeach. it's a dirty, filthy, disgusting word and it had nothing to do with me. so i don't think so because there was no crime. you know, high crimes and -- not
with or or -- it's high crimes and misdemeanors, there was no high crime and no misdemeanor. how do you impeach based on that? it came out there was nothing to do with russia. the whole thing is a scam. it's a giant presidential harassment and honestly i hope it goes down as one of my greatest achievements because i've exposed corruption -- i've exposed corruption like nobody knew existed. [ inaudible question ] >> i think we're doing very well with china. i want to shake your hand. come here. you've treated me fairly. thank you. thank you. wait. wait. i want to ask a real reporter's question. we're going to answer a real
reporter's question. okay? china would love to make a deal with us. we had a deal and they broke the deal. i think if they had it to do again they wouldn't have done what they did. we're taking in billions of dollars in tariffs. china is subsidizing products so the united states taxpayers are paying for very little of it. if you look at inflation and if you look at pricing, it's gone up very little. the tariffs are having a devastating affect on china. people are fleeing the country with their companies. these companies are leaving for vietnam, other parts of asia and they're even coming to the united states because then there is no tariff. i think we're doing very well with china. we will see what happens. i can tell you china very much wants to make a deal because the companies are leaving china to avoid the tariff. china is becoming a very weakened nation, just as iran
has become a very weakened nation and iran wants to make a deal also. [ inaudible question ] >> i may. nigel farage is a friend of mine, boris is a friend of mine, two good guys, very interesting people. nigel has had a big victory, he's picked up 3 32% of the vot starting with nothing. i think they are big powers over there. i think they've done a good job. well, i like them, they're friends of mine but i haven't thought about supporting them. maybe it's not my business to support people, but i have a lot of respect for both of those men. >> do you think it is fair to the sailors of the john mccain that they were banned from hearing you speak -- >> i don't know what happened. i wasn't involved. i would not have done that. i was very angry with john mccain because he killed
healthcare. i was not a big fan of john mccain in any way, shape or form. i think john mccain had a lot to getting president bush, a lot to do with it, to go into the middle east which was a catastrophe. to me john mccain i wasn't a fan, but i would never do a thing like that. now, somebody did it because they thought i didn't like him. okay? they were well-meaning, i will say. i didn't know anything about it. i would never have done that. >> do you owe the sailors of the mccain an apology. >> no not at all. we had a tremendous group of sailors from various ships. it was a beautiful day, but the mccain thing i knew nothing about. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think i've been much tougher on elections than president obama. president obama was told in 2016 just before the election in september that russia may try to
interfere with the election. he did nothing. and the reason he did nothing is he thought hillary was going to win. we are doing a lot and we're trying to do paper ballots as a backup system as much as possible because going the good old fashioned paper in this modern age is the best way to do it. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think we want to have a relationship with russia and china and everybody, and i've said that for a long time. getting along with russia, getting along with china is a good thing if we can do it on fair terms or our terms. [ inaudible question ] >> well, venezuela we are just on watch, we will see what happens. i'd love to see them work out their problems. i understand there are a lot of talks going on, but i'm all for the people of venezuela, you know that probably better than
anyone. steve, go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> well, it's too bad what happened in israel. it looked like a total win for netanyahu, he is a great guy, he is a great guy, and now they're back on the debate stage and back in the election stage. that is too bad because they don't need this. i mean, they've got enough turmoil over there. it's a tough place. i feel very badly about that. it looks like they're talking, but more likely they will have to go back into election mode. that's too bad. [ inaudible question ] >> i believe that russia would rather have hillary clinton as president of the united states than donald trump. the reason is nobody has been tougher on russia than me, whether it's our energy policy which was not heard, whether it's the pipeline as you know in europe going all over the place
that i've been bitterly complaining about, whether it's ukraine, whether it's a whole host of things, there is nobody ever been more tough or difficult for russia than donald trump. i have to tell you this, i put sanctions on russia at a level that nobody has seen before. nobody even wants to write about it. with all of that i want to get along with russia and i want to get along with china and i want to get along with europe, i want to get along with everybody if it's possible. i even want to get along with iran and iran wants to talk and if they want to talk, i'm available. thank you. [ inaudible question ] >> -- and it will be an overnight stay and i look
forward to that. [ inaudible question ] >> a lot of things that we said. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i can't, because i didn't know anything about it. i don't know who did it. we will probably be able to find out who did it. they thought they were doing me a favor because they know i am not a fan of john mccain. john mccain killed healthcare for the republican party and he killed healthcare for the nation. i disagree with john mccain and the way he handled that because i said you've got to get choice. he was never able to get choice. i got choice. i disagree with john mccain on the middle east. he helped george bush to make a very bad decision and go into the middle east. so i wasn't a fan of john mccain, i never will be, but i couldn't care less if there is a boat named after his father. [ inaudible question ]
>> there were no charges. none. if you look at -- if you look at bill clinton, that very nice gentleman who has been so much on my side, as you know, his special prosecutor it was guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. so many guiltees. with me there was no guilty. number one, there was no crime and number two i fought back and i will tell you -- wait. wait. wait. wait. there was no collusion. there was no collusion. read volume one. there was no collusion. [ inaudible question ] >> that means you're innocent. that means you're innocent. excuse me. then he should have said you're guilty. [ inaudible question ] >> that's wrong. that's wrong. no. because he said it -- he said it differently the first time. so he said essentially you're innocent. i'm innocent of all charges and you know the thing that nobody brings up, there was no crime.
they're saying he's obstructing something and there was no crime and nobody brings it up. also some day you ought to read a thing called article 2. read article 2 which gives the president powers that you wouldn't believe, but i don't even have to rely on article 2. there was no crime, there was no obstruction, there was no collusion, there was no nothing. and this is from a group of people that hate me. if they only found anything, they would have had it, and he knows that better than anybody. [ inaudible question ] >> there was no crime. there was no charge because he had no information. >> do you agree with louisiana's ban on abortion at six weeks? >> well, we're going to have a statement about it and i'm also going to have probably today a major statement on the border. this is a big league statement, but we are going to do something
very dramatic on the border because people are coming into our country, the democrats will not give us laws, they will not change laws, they will not meet, they will not do anything. they want to have open borders, they want to have crime, they want to have drugs pouring into our country, they want to have human trafficking. i'm going to be making a statement probably tomorrow, but maybe today. >> [ inaudible question ] >> no, i'm not closing the borders, we're doing something else. i'm going to be having a major statement on the border sometime day or tomorrow. [ inaudible question ] >> it will be a statement having to do with the border and having to do with people illegally coming over the border and it will be my biggest statement so far on the border. we have brought something to the light of the people. they see now it's a national emergency and most people agree. the democrats agree, too, but they won't give us the legislation you need to fix it.
right now when you catch somebody you have to release them. they won't give us the legislation. whether it's chain migration or whether it's lottery, they won't give us any -- and the asylum procedures are ridiculous. no place in the world has what we have in terms of ridiculous immigration laws. so i will be making a major statement. i would say my biggest statement on the border probably today or tomorrow. thanks. >> okay. that was the presidential palooza from president trump as he heads off to colorado to give the commencement speech at the air force academy. so he touched on so many things, let's bring back our analysts, we have david chalian and david gregory with us. i barely know where to begin, david chalian, what was most news worth. >> i've never heard him be this aggressively angry at robert mueller. i mean, clearly mueller appearing on camera yesterday
and reciting from the report that he did not clear the president of a crime, that's gotten under the president's skin. this isn't just wanting a fight, this is an angry exasperated president who is desperate to move on from this and there's no moving on because of all these hovering investigations and mueller is still speaking as of why he had. >> this is absolutely the most aggressive he has ever been on robert mueller, he dialed it up to 11 calling him conflicted but calling him a true never trumper, david gregory, and also saying that mueller wanted the fbi job, which jeffrey toobin has done reporting on this and says it's simply not true. mueller was brought in by the white house and the president to talk about a job which he had already had for longer than anybody, besides jay edgar hoover and the president saying he was conflicted because he wanted that job and i didn't give it to him. >> i'm still reacting to allison's presidential palooza. it's the only way to begin understanding a display like that. i think being so pointed toward mueller, this is classic trump
as we've seen him in the presidency which is to aggressively use shock and awe and overwhelming force against any of his enemies or perceived enemies to try to capture the narrative and to dictate the narrative against this special prosecutor who he didn't deserve because of mueller's integrity and the way he conducted this investigation to get to the end point to say he would not bring charges, that there was not a conspiracy and that it's up to congress to ultimately determine obstruction, but that he couldn't be exonerated. so it did bring to light something, i think, in these comments from trump that were mueller to testify you can be sure republicans were galvanized by what the president was saying and they will cross-examine mueller about the genesis of the investigation, the conduct of the investigators from strzok and others, he will be put on the defensive. i think that's one of the reasons mueller doesn't want to
testify, he doesn't want to be a political football for either side and i think that came through here. one last point is for russia, which, you know, the sobering part of all of this amid all of the screaming and yelling is that russia inter teared in the 2016 election, it was dangerous, they engineered the use of fake information to try to influence the public. the president does that himself in the way he speaks about it and he is giving shade, he's giving cover for russia to do it again instead of taking it really, really seriously, despite protestation saying he is taking it seriously, he is not we be he calls the whole thing a scam. russia was up to something very serious and they pulled it off. >> he completely undermines whatever attempts his administration nation on this front. you're absolutely right, david. this is why bob mueller both opened and closed with this in his statement. this is the actual national security threat to the united states and the president just isn't having any of it. >> robert mueller said i will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments
that there were multiple systemic efforts to interfere in our election and that allegations deserve the attention of every american. thank you. thank you for being here today. every american, which includes the president of the united states who, again, today called it all a hoax. >> i think that there were a few things -- i mean, just today, the window into the psyche of where the president is today, i mean, him saying that he thinks that his greatest achievement, i hope it goes down as one of my greatest achievement that he will investigate the investigato investigators. has that is how strongly he feels, i guess, about getting back at them. >> but i think it's also making this a winning issue for him in 2020. this is the thing that he understands which is how to dominate the media narrative and this argument is his 2020 argument to use as a weapon back against democrats. >> he's trying. how will the democrats respond? obviously now they have the president's comments to weigh alongside what we heard from robert mueller yesterday.
much more to discuss as this day continues. we've heard democrat after democrat say that the sands are shifting a little bit, maybe they will consider impeachment where they haven't before. cnn's special coverage of all of this continues with "newsroom" right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> a good thursday morning to you, i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm poppy harlow. no shortage of news from the white house this morning. you just heard the president attempting once again to get the final word on the russia probe and a whole lot more this morning. he claimed russia did not try to get him elected, plus contradicting his own statement from a few minutes earlier on twitter. then he blasted robert mueller the special counsel as a never trumper who had an ax to grind. >> make no mistake here the president on the white house lawn there recited a series of claims, long debunked claims not based in fact, easily contradicted and fact checked. he said that robert mueller was conflicted. this after a couple of weeks ago