tv Americas News HQ FOX News March 2, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
disappear. >> jon: imagine your anchor team with mustaches and sunglasses. >> jenna: handlebars. >> jon: thank you for joining us. >> jenna: america's news hq starts right now. >> dana: we are awaiting president trump's speech aboard the uss gerald r. ford this hour. in the wake of his recent vow to rebuild america's military. hello everyone. the speech is expected to begin at the bottom of this hour. back in washington, the trump administration is facing mounting pressure over attorney general jeff sessions reported contact last year with russia's ambassador to the united states. top republicans are responding to calls for sessions to recuse himself from the justice department's on going investigation of russian meddling in the election as democrats now are calling for the new ag to resign. >> i think he answered that question this morning, which is, if he himself is a subject of an investigation, of course he would. but if he's not, i don't see any
purpose or reason for doing this. >> because the department of justice should be above reproach for the good of the country, attorney general sessions should resign. >> dana: we're following all the developments, special report reporter is standing by with in depth analysis. we begin wiin washington. have we learned any more to substantiate reports that there was con tack between the trump team and russia? >> reporter: the leader of the house intelligence committee addressed calls for attorney general sessions to recuse himself. >> it's a slippery slope. all the countries in the world basically have embassies here. all those countries, a lot o adversaries, but we all meet with them, senators and congress men meet with those ambassadors on a regular basis. certainly the attorney general's
in no position to oversee any investigation or prosecution involving any of the koupber intelligence issues concerning russia. >> reporter: at issue here is this exchange during the confirmation hearings between then senator sessions and democrat al franken. >> and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> i have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign. i'm unable to comment on it. >> reporter: the attorney general now acknowledges he met with the russian ambassador twice. he is insisting though it was a routine part of his job on the senate armed services committee and the contact was in no way connected to the campaign. >> dana: can you clarify, how many investigations are on going? >> reporter: it's funny. >> dana: seems like it's taking
a long time. maybe that's reasonable. maybe it's not. what do you think? >> reporter: well, it's funny you should ask that. i was at my desk asking me, counting on my hands how many investigations we've had or on going. so we've got the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee. they both have oversight and jurisdictions. then we have the intelligence commune report into the russian election interference that was publicly released in december. then there was a classified verge that was also circulated to congress. we also have on going this fbi investigation into allegations that there may have been inappropriate contacts between members of the trump team and russian intelligence officials. on that point, what we heard this morning again from speaker ryan is that based on his briefings with the out going intelligence commune leadership, john brennan and james clapper, he found no evidence that there was collusion or contact between these groups.
so i think if i'm right on my count, four or five. they continue to expand on the hill as well. >> dana: all right. thank you very much. republicans reacting to the new york times report on the obama administration's effort to set up a potential future tphfation of the trump administration. >> if former obama officials have those concerns, it would be easy to stand up in front of a press conference and talk ab those concerns with all of you. i would suggest that you go chase them down, sit outside their house and ask them if they had concerns about whether or not the fbi and other agencies were going to conduct an investigation. >> dana: anchor of special report is here. i'm so glad you could join us. when you wake up in washington today after covering what was a great speech by president trump tuesday night, arguably the administration didn't want to be dealing with this issue but here they are again. >> pretty amazing, dana. i think there's some serious questions here, obviously. it looks like an unforced error.
if you look at this, the testimony there, senator franken is not asking specifically about whether jeff sessions met with the russians. sessions offers that up. but it is in the context of the campaign as a campaign surrogate. so the trouble is that sessions doesn't go back and correct the record and say, i did meet with the russian ambassador as a senator. that stuff happens all the time. and it's interesting to watch washington's head explode about this. it is serious. there are questions to be asked, and there are investigations that we're obviously covering as well. but to see the senator from missouri come out today in a tweet this morning and say, i have been on the armed services committee for ten years. no call or meeting with russian ambassador ever. it turns out that senator
mchaskell did meet with the russian ambassador. there are pictures of them meeting. when confronted with that she said i meant to say no meeting one on one. i ran out of twitter characters. you cannot make this stuff up, dana. this is washington today. i think it's not over. >> dana: it was curious to me as a former staffer. say jeff sessions doesn't remember meeting with him, but somebody on the senate staff arranged the meeting, scheduled it, was briefing the senator before the meeting and was in the meeting probably who at that point wouldn't have said, senator, you may have forgotten, we did meet with them, and they could have corrected the record. i want to listen to paul ryan who said the democrats are getting way out ahead of themselves. >> i think democrats are getting their hair on fire to have you covering this story. i think they're trying to get this coverage going. there's nothing new we have seen here. this is stuff we've been going over. we'll make sure we leave no stone unturned. that's why our intelligence committees are conducting the
investigations. you have to protect your sources and methods of intelligence gathering. >> dana: i buy his argument. then you had congressman jason chavis who tweeted attorney general sessions could clarify his testimony and recuse himself. i wanted to ask you, why not just recuse? he was part of a campaign and surrogate that is now, there's at least four investigations looking into the russian stuff. i think if the attorney general said, okay, i'll recuse myself from it, it could all go away. >> i think that's going to happen. i think you're already there. i think senator sessions -- >> dana: getting a little ahead of myself. >> i think that will happen. he came out and said, if appropriate, i will recuse myself. i think we're going to get to appropriate really fast. i think there is blood in the water from the democrats point of view, and you are seeing all of these calls for resignation.
now you're seeing all the democrats on the judicial committee in the house saying they want a criminal investigation of jeff sessions. i do think there are issues here. i'm not discounting the issues at all. the investigations are going to continue. but as katherine mentioned, the investigation that the investigation in november an december came to the conclusion that there was no collusion, collaboration or communication beyond mike flynn, obviously didn't know the meeting with ambassador of russia with senator sessions. >> dana: how explosive is it or potentially explosive, that you now have this report that obama administration officials were planting seeds around washington to leave clues for investigators before they left on january 20th? to me, i think that that would be pretty earth shaking in d.c. >> it is. and i think there are a lot of
questions about what is happening below the scene, if you will to possibly try to under mind this president and go after and raise serious questions about any ties with russia, alleged ties, we should say. i don't think this is going to end anytime soon, dana, but until we get to the end of these investigations, i think before long you may have the white house calling for an independent person, maybe like a fred fielding or someone who comes in and shepherds this overall short of congress enacting a special prosecutor law. >> dana: all right. thank you, bret. we'll see you at 6:00. >> okay. >> dana: new information on u.s. air strikes overnight in yemen targeting the terror group al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. pentagon saying more than 20 air strikes targeted the mill tans reportedly killing at least four al qaeda fighters. the strike marked the first military action in yemen since a
navy seal was killed there last month. one u.s. official said intelligence gathered from the raid likely provided information needed for the overnight operation. the president set to deliver remarks aboard the uss gerald ford. a next generation war ship set to be commissioned this year. we'll take you live to newport news ship yard in virginia. new fallout over attorney general jeff sessions meeting with a russian ambassador last year. and some critics say his explanation just doesn't add up. we'll talk ab that. >> i have been on the armed service committee for ten year. the russian ambassador has never called me. the russian ambassador has never asked for a meeting with me. the russian ambassador has never had a one on one meeting with me. where's the car? it'll be here in three...uh, four minutes. are you kidding me? no, looks like he took a wrong turn. don't worry, this guy's got like a four-star rating, we're good. his name is randy. that's like one of the most trustworthy names!
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>> dana: president trump said he has total confidence in attorney general jeff session and those remarks from reporters coming as several democratic lawmakers call for the attorney general to resign amid reports he had two conversations to the russian ambassador leading up to the election contradicting his confirm eight testimony. >> i have not met with any russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me. i don't have anything else to say about that. but thank you. >> what about calls to recuse yourself -- >> i have said that whenever it's appropriate, i will recuse myself, there's no doubt about that. >> dana: joining me to discuss is steve hayes, a fox news contributor. i'm glad you're here today. your insight into the intelligence community is always very good. i wonder what you made of the report that the obama administration, before it left on january 20, had apparently put clues in different places
about these allegations about russia ties to the trump campaign or meddling in the election so that investigators, which we now know there are at least four investigations, so they could find those clues to i guess create chaos. what are you hearing about that? >> it's certainly not surprising. the obama administration was leaking stories well before the changes in administration. there's no doubt the obama administration has a long history of politicizing intelligence. you can go back years and listen to the president himself in the runup to the 2012 campaign when he talked about al qaeda being decimate, al qaeda being on the run when there was testimony that al qaeda was, in fact, growing, maybe doubling in strength. it' not a surprise that the obama administration would be politicizing intelligence as it was headed out the door. i think the real question is what is the ground truth here? and with respect to jeff sessions i think the question is less about his potential meetings with russian ambassador
or russian diplomats as other senators have indicated. that's not necessarily uncommon. it's the testimony, where he said that it didn't happen and sessions defensors are saying look this conversation took place in the context of a discussion about the election. but it's harder to reconcile what he said in his testimony with what's come up. >> dana: you saw paul ryan saying let's not get ahead of ourselves. but then you other republicans like senator collins saying he needs to recuse and clarify his confirmation testimony. >> i think he ought to clarify his confirmation testimony certainly. there will be enough questions about his ability to be fair given that testimony that i think he ought to consider a recusal. on the other hand, i think democratic calls for him to resign over this are premature. we heard more from him. >> dana: if we could switch gears for a second. you had a really interesting article about isis and the state
of that terrorist organization. in addition, there is a plan in front of the president now from the pentagon that he asked for on how to decimate isis. what can you tell us? >> very interesting. there's a plan that's been handed over from jim mattis to president trump and the national security council about how to launch this campaign, how to wage a successful campaign against isis. that's been the big story in washington over the last couple days. what we had was an eagle eye contributor named jerry beer look at the actual number of engagements and notice that over the last week or so of february, the engagements with isis had roughly doubled. so we wondered whether that actual uptick in -- or renewed campaign against isis had maybe already started. some of that is explained by the campaign in mosul. i think it's an open question as to maybe we are already seeing president trump's administration take it to isis the way he talked about during the campaign. >> dana: how long do you think
the review by the national security council will take before they decide to imphrement or embrace mattis' plan? >> well, i hope they would do it quickly. we don't have time to wait. we've been, i think, wasting time with isis for a long time. if you're sitting on a national security council you look at somebody like jim mattis and say, this is somebody who knows how to fight wars. i'm inclined to be differential to him. you want to carefully vet the campaign. but i would hope that this happens sooner rather than later. >> dana: all right, steve, thank you very much. >> thanks, dana. >> dana: a look inside the mind of an isis fighter. benjamin hall sits down with get answers on what drives them to kill. senator mchaskell weighing in on her interactions with the russian ambassador at the center of the jeff sessions controversy. was there anything inappropriate during last year's campaign? you don't let anything keep you sidelined.
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>> dana: welcome back. we have shots of donald trump, the president of the united states. he is going to be giving remarks at the uss gerald r. ford. that is a brand new ship. we will bring that to you in the meantime. greg is here with me. we were talking about this controversy starring jeff sessions. remember you were going to write a book. we were gonna call it before twitter. he quoted. he said i have been on the armed forces committee ten years. no calls from the russian
ambassador ever. then it turns out that twitter got her in the end. >> yeah. i'm greating to be preempted right now at any moment. great thing about twitter. it's like a one night stand. it's fun to do but not important enough to remember. she has no memory, so she said she has never met it. >> dana: he must be unmemorable. >> she was lost in her own self-righteous fervor. i have an interesting picture of jeff sessions. can i throw to it? can you throw to it? i guess they've decided not to. >> dana: it was a great picture. >> there it is. democrats are claiming he is drinking clearly a vodka like substance. i'm joking. it's water. that's my point. they're conflating two thing. he did water an they're pretending it's vodka. >> dana: very instructive. >> they asked him a different question than what they're
claiming they asked earlier. they were asking him did he discuss the campaign? he said no. that's what he was thinking. he did talk to ambassadors. he talked to 20. that's part of his job. >> dana: part of me feels like, if they are calling on him to recuse, why not recuse? >> i want to recuse. you still get paid. i would love to get recused from so many things, like not looking at dog pictures. can i recuse myself from looking at your dog pictures? >> dana: are we gonna keep greg here? i hope so. >> do you know what they did? it's like asking a bartender if he's been out to a bar. that's what they did to sessions. he reflectively says no because that's apart from his own job. >> dana: but he had been to the bar. >> that's where he works. >> dana: somebody who to have had to have arranged the meeting. brief the senator for it. when they hear him testify in front of the senate about it, why not say wait, sir, don't you
remember, we actually had that meeting? now the conspiracy theorists are growing wilder by the moment. >> it's whack a mole. it's going to go on for four years. they can't get over the fact that they lost, so they're gonna keep doing this. that's why they had such a terrible rebuttal after his speech on tuesday was 'cause they were counting on this. they had russia in their pocket. we don't have to do a rebuttal. >> dana: what do you think ab the suggestion that the obama administration was planning ceased for investigators all the way around washington? >> i don't know. maybe they did. there's no love lost between the two. i would probably do the same. look. we, republicans, conservatives, are demanding eric holder resign every 13 minutes. i'm not gonna play hipocrite and feign oral -- oral. moral outage. oral outrage. that's like one of those weird
movies on cinemax. >> dana: what do you expect the president will say today? do you think he will even address jeff sessions? i don't. he might. he just made comments and said he had full confidence. >> how great the military is and how much greater if military will be under him. he is pro national defense. i hope he doesen talk too much about his previous speech which was fantastic. because like i said, after you dumped the basket, don't do a victory dance. >> dana: what would you know about dumping a basket? >> that was unnecessary. completely unnecessary. >> dana: while you're here, let's bring in our political editor. chris, are you there? when you have momentum like the president had after tuesday night's speech. you're going to hear the speech on the uss gerald ford. what do you expect him to say? >> there was kind of that pot hole yesterday about jeff session and that's something that had washington in full
culmination. i agree with most of you it would be unlikely he would address the subject. what he should do today is focus on the military, talk about strength, focus on those things. praise the people around him. praise the navy. talk about the strength of our military. keep it short. keep it sweet. look good in a hat. >> dana: what about what he'll say about the increase in military spending? obviously he will be talking to a crowd that's gonna love it. but then you have the problem of trying to lavined that plane as you were telling me all these planes are circling the runway. which one is going to land first? the budget is really his policy document. >> the budget is his policy document. that is sandwiched around what they can figure out around obama care. that is the $64,000 question in washington today. what does donald trump really want from obama care. he sketched it out in his joint session to congress. how do you pay for something that's really, really expensive?
we'll find out soon. >> dana: we have president trump about to take the podium. i think that we will go to him now. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you very much. what an honor. you know, they just gave me this beautiful jacket. they said here, mr. president, please take this home. i said let me wear it. and then they gave me the beautiful hat. i said, you know, maybe i'll do that. we have a great make america great again hat. i say this is a special day, we're wearing this, right? i have no idea how it look, but i think it looks good. it's a great looking hat. just like this is a great looking ship. thank you. i'm privileged to stand here today with the incredible men and women of the united states navy.
american sailors are the best war fighting sailors anywhere in the world, and it's not even close. and susan, i am so glad you could be with us. i know how hard you worked. 17 visits. she wanted things done right, i will tell you. they told me, she wanted this one done right, in honor of both of her parents, who were great, great people. we wanted to introduce this beautiful vessel to the american people. i wanted to be here. i wanted to be with you. so susan and to your family, unbelievable job. unbelievable. the soon to be commissioned gerald r. ford uss, what a place. it really feels like a place. you stand on that deck and you feel like you're standing on a very big piece of land. this is better than land. it will not on be a great symbol of american strength, but a great legacy for your father and
our former president gerald ford. president ford was a navy man. by the way, he was also a great athlete, for those of you that didn't know. he saw action in the south pacific during world war ii. shefrbed this country with honor in the military in congress and in the white house. the proud dignity of this ship is a fitting tribute to gerald ford. the man and the president. congratulations to all of the men and women who helped build it. this is american craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest. american workers are the greatest anywhere in the world. this warship and all who serve on it should be a source of shared pride for our nation. we are joined today -- pwer believe it, right? better believe it.
[ applause ] better believe it. and, by the way, we're going to soon have more coming. we are joined today by general mattis, now secretary mattis. [ applause ] who will be charged with overseeing this great rebuilding of our military might. we will give the men and women of america's armed services the resources you need to keep us safe. we will have the finest equipment in the world, planes, ships and everything else. we are going to have, very soon, the finest equipment in the world.
[ applause ] we will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing. do you know what that is? win! win! we're gonna star winning again. admiral john richardson, chief of naval operations, is with us today as well. great gentleman. admiral, we're going to ensure our navy has the resources, personal training and equipment, the kind of equipment that you need. so congratulations, admiral. a lot more is coming. let me congratulate captain richard mccormack, commanding officer of the gerald r. ford. this ship will make an
extraordinary addition to the fleet. like no other. like no other. anywhere in the world, there's nothing like this. it represents the future of naval aviation. i have no greater privilege than to serve as your commander in chief and the commander in chief of the men and women of the united states military. great people. great great people. i salute you and i salute our sailors. i will always support you and your mission. i will never, ever let you down. and i also have to recognize mike petters, president and ceo of huntington ingalls as well as the president of newport news ship building.
they won't let you down either. they're not gonna let you down either. to those who serve our nation in uniform and to those who build the instruments of our defense, i thank you on behalf of our nation. i agree. i agree. our towers are the center piece of the military might overseas. we are standing today on 4.5 acres of combat power and sovereign u.s. territory. the likes of which there is nothing to compete. there is no competition to this ship. it is a monument to american might that will provide the strength necessary to ensure peace. this ship will carry 4,500 personnel and 70 aircraft an
will be a vital component of our defense. this carrier and the new ships in the class will expand the ability of our nation to carry out vital missions on the oceans to project american power in distant lands. hopefully, it's power we don't have to use. but if we do, they're in big, big trouble. [ applause ] this great aircraft carrier provides essential capabilities to keep us safe from terrorism and take the fight to the enemy for many years in the future. the great admiral limits who commanded the u.s. pacific fleet through the second world war once said it is the function of the navy to carry the war to the
enemy so that it will not be fought on u.s. soil. true. and it was under admiral limitz command 75 years ago this june that the navy did just that. at the battle of midway. you've all known about the battle of midway. where the sailors of the u.s. navy fought with the bravery that will be remembered throughout the ages. storied bravery throughout the ages. the back bone of the american fleet at midway was three beautiful aircraft carriers. the york town, the enterprise and the hornet. all three were built with american hands right here at the new port news ship yard. [ applause ]
at midway, america was greatly outnumbered by -- i mean, a lot. and its fleet badly damaged, but the heroic deeds changed the course of history. many brave americans died that day. and through their sacrifice, they turned the tide of the pacific war. it was a tough time. it was a big time. it was a vicious tide. and they turned it. countless other americans in that war, some of them parents and grandparents to people in this room today, came home thanks to their very heroic deeds. the sailors at midway are part of a long line of american heroes, an unbroken chain of patriots from each generation to the next, who rose to defend our flag and our freedom.
that legacy continues today as american warriors protect our people from the threat of terrorism. on tuesday in my address to a joint session of congress, i asked congress to eliminate the defense sequester and to support my request for a great rebuilding of the united states military and the united states navy. [ cheers ] after years of endless budget cuts that have impaired our defense, i am calling for one of the largest defense spending increases in history. and by eliminating the sequester and the uncertainty it creates, we will make it easier for the navy to plan for the future and thus to control costs and get
the best deals for the taxpayer which, of course, is very important. right? got to get a good deal. we don't make a good deal, we're not doing our job. the same boat for less money. the same ship for less money. the same airplanes for less money. that's what we're doing. that's what we're doing. means we're gonna get more of them so we can use them. our military requires sustained, stable funding to meet the growing needs based on our defense. right now our aging front line strike and strike fighters, the whole aircraft, many, many aircraft, are aufp more likely to be down for maintenance than to be up in the high. the navy is the smallest it's been since, believe it or not, world war i. don't worry. it will soon be the largest it's been. don't worry.
think about it. think about it. in these troubled times, our navy is the smallest it's been since world war i. that's a long time ago. in fact, i just spoke with navy industrialists and have discussed my plans to under take a major expansion of our entire navy fleet, including having the 12 carrier navy we need. we also need more aircraft to modernize capabilities and greater force levels. additionally, we must vastly improve our cyber capabilities. this great rebuilding effort will create many jobs in virginia and all across america. it will also spur new technology and new innovation. america has always been the country that boldly leads the
world into the future. and my budget will ensure we do so and continue to do exactly that. american ships will sail the seas. american planes will soar the skies. american workers will build our fleets. and america's military will ensure that even though the darkest nights and throughout, a bright and glowing sun will always shine on our nation and on our people. our navy is great. our navy is great. our people are great. great. our republic will meet any challenge, defeat any danger,
face any threat, and always seek true and lasting peace. may god bless our military. may god bless our navy. may god bless the wonderful gerald ford family. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> dana: that was president trump giving his first speech since his joint session of congress speech. it got rave reviews. he was speaking specifically about the defense budget. and i gotta tell you, looked like he was pretty comfortable up there. let's bring in chris starwell. one of the things i have noticed, even the setting today. troops are behind him. the jacket looks great. he actually, for the most part,
stuck to script. what do you think? >> yeah. he did little flourishes that he likes to. he likes to repeat certain words that appeal to him. by and large he stayed with the script. remember, this is what he's going to have to do, if he wants to increase spending by $50 billion and take that money from other programs including domestic spending, he's going to have to sell this budget hard. that's not a small ask given the fact that we have enormous deficit spending and enormous national debt. as he goes out to do that, he's going to have to take moments like that and sell the message directly to the people. >> dana: earlier, we don't have him on camera saying this, apparently president trump said that he has full confidence in his attorney general, jeff sessions. i don't think there's any reason for him necessarily not to. but chris, there's an earthquake happening in washington, d.c. today as you have this controversy about whether jeff sessions had met with the
russian ambassador. and if his testimony was not correct before he was confirmed. what do you make of things? >> so we heard from john roberts and sean spicer, the white house press secretary, that spicer did not think that sessions should step aside from what is an on going investigation. we know from reporting from other outlets and from our own reporting there is an on going investigation into points of contact between the trump campaign and the kremlin. to see if there's anything there. the question that hangs in washington today is should sessions allow somebody else basically to take over and be the responsible party when it comes to that work? his failure -- by the way, there's no allegation that he said or did anything improprietary in his discussions with the russian ambassador. the complaint, and i talked to some members of congress, republican members of congress this morning, the frustration on their part is that sessions failed to disclose this even
after, even after the controversy around michael flynn with the same person. while that dominated the news for a week, they really wanted sessions to come forward and say i had an unrelated meeting with this person. >> dana: at the same time though in a court of public opinion, do the democrats risk overplaying their hand when they're calling for a resignation before an investigation is even complete. and like with senator claire mccatskill talking about whether she had any connection to the russian ambassador. it was about atkoptions and how those have been stopped by putin from russian adoptions to america. i just -- do the democrats just seem like scatter brains? >> it's just the screaming. it's just the constant, everything is at 11 freak out screaming. this is why, of course, when nancy pelosi, if you were to ask
her about every one of trump's cabinet secretaries should resign, she would say yes. nobody cares. >> dana: i agree. >> this is discounted. as my mother would have said bar talk. it doesn't matter. what matters though is what do sensible democrats, what do moderate democrats, reasonable folks, and what do republicans think about this? remember, an administration strength, its vitality, relies on the defense of it mounted by members of its own party on capitol hill. and what the trump administration is counting on republicans in congress to do is, as we've seen nunes and other members of congress say, nope, we're gonna hold on, we're gonna protect you. if you put them in a situation where it's too hard to hold the line, where you're not disclosing things to them, you're not being forth right. if that's what's happening, you can end up with a rift. as bill clinton, as george w. bush an every recent president save barack obama who was very well protected by democrats and
sometimes the press, as they have learned in the past. when though rifts open up, bad things happen to administrations. >> dana: let me ask you, do you think it's to the benefit of the trump team trying to get its agenda passed or a detriment to have a distraction like this? they're trying to sequence a whole bunch of policies. budget, immigration, obama care, repeal an replace. is it better for them to be able to operate over here while the press is distracted trying to chase down this story about attorney general jeff sessions? >> so basically paul ryan is trying to train bees with his bare hands right now, trying to get this obama care replacement through. it is hellacious work. they are just beginning on what is going to be savage fighting. this issue hasn't been resolved. republicans have to get this done. that's the most important thing for him. and the budget that descends out of that.
as long as everybody is talking about all of the drama from russia with love and all of this jazz, while that's going on, that may be less paul ryan an his team stay at work an work with members of the administration to do what has to get done in the next two weeks. we've got the budget. >> dana: that's a lot. >> the debt ceiling is due in two weeks. >> dana: you're a great guest. thanks for sticking with us. some are saying the new attorney general should recuse himself from any investigation into alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia. do they have a point? we're gonna debate it as the white house pushes back. >> if there's nothing to recuse himself from. he was 100% straight with the committee. people are choosing to play partisan politics where they should be ashamed of themselves.
>> dana: new video of president trump moments before his speech. he told reporters he has full confidence in his attorney general, jeff sessions. let's bring in the chair of the conservative union and michael mehan former senior communications adviser for john kerry's presidential campaign. i love it when friends can get together for an afternoon, so i'm glad you're here. michael, if i can start with you. when you woke up this morning and saw democrats were already calling for attorney general jeff sessions to resign did you think it was premature? and does this actually help them back in their own districts if it looks like they're pushing back? >> well, i personally think it's premature. i think that it's whatever mr. sessions has to do in his day job as a u.s. senator, which includes talking to russian officials. i worked in the senate for 25 years. that's what u.s. senators are supposed to do on behalf of the people. i think it's testimony -- congress has one problem to the
ebbing ten that he didn't do it. but on the other hand, you got congressman chavis thinking that he should recuse himself. as the chief law enforcer in the land, we should get the facts out. it's unclear to me what the facts were. i do think this country has two dialogues going on at once. people who don't want to see the republicans in charge and people who do. the language does get overheated sometimes. >> dana: matt, is this a controversy that you think could go away within 24 hours as more information comes out? you had senator mchaskell saying she was aghast about this apparent alleged ties between sessions and the russian ambassador that had not been disclosed in testimony. but turns out she had actually met with the ambassador four years ago and had forgotten that. do you think it's an enduring problem that the trump administration will have to keep dealing with, even as it tries to accomplish its legislative goals? >> i think the role of russia in the election is now something of
legend. i think we're going to be talking about it, unfortunately, for a long time. that being said, i think this is not just premature, it's pre-premature. people saying jeff session should resign, people saying we need a special counsel. the democrats look a little absurd here. first of all, we've got one political jeff sessions. how about confirm the next three people at the senate? why don't you allow him to assemble his team? if he decides that he wants to recuse himself, that's his choice to make. then he can have somebody else k competent to lead the charge. the democrats just look so partisan. the on thing i would say to the trump administration, and you know this from your days in the bush administration. do not get on defense for doing something that's in your job description. it's in the job description of senators to meet with foreign dignitaries all across the globe. >> dana: it's interesting you say that. there was one issue in particular that i wish i had never ever been defensive about
because it was something that was obviously in the president's prerogative. i can't redo history. but it's something that i keep in mind. michael, let me ask you about the substance of the president's rashes. he was talking to a military audience about the increases that he wants, $54 billion increase for the military. how hard do you think the democrats will push back against that? and what's going to be a pretty tough legislative session. and going into those midterm elections. >> right. you've got a lot of people running in 2018 that came to washington to curb the size of government. to have a $54 billion enhancement on the military side without setting off a bunch of tax cuts on the other side is a very ambitious infrastructure agenda that's going to be billions if not trillions of dollars. the problem is there's not enough money to go around for all these things. congress will have to sort out the priorities. that is a big raise on the biggest military in the world already. >> dana: but, matt, do you think it plays politically well for
republicans? >> you know, i think that the fact is that one of the lowest percentages of gdp on the military than we have in the last half a century. and we, under the obama years, we have allowed our defenses to get weak. and i think it's right for the president to step up and make sure that our veterans are taken care of, make sure men and women in uniform are taken care of. they need a system to make sure they can do their job effectively. i'm for this. i love democrats when they are saying, oh my god, it's spending. has anybody been reading about nick mulvaney's budget? these are cuts in discretionary spending. >> dana: it will be a fun march. i'm grateful to you both. we'll be right back.
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as he promoting his book. all of the book's profits go to ptsd research. here's shep. thanks for joining me. >> shepard: it's noon on the west coast. 3:00 in d.c. the scene of fast-moving developments today in the broadening controversy over the trump administration's ties to russia. mush of the action revolving tomorrow around the attorney general jeff sessions who testified he had not been in contact with the russian government. >> i didn't have communications with the russians. >> no communications. except he did. now some republicans are asking him to recuse himself from an investigation into the trump team. but top democrats say the attorney general needs to go. i'll speak live with the republican senator lindsey graham in this hour. plus, drastic action from the obama administration in its final days. staffers so concerned that the trump team would cover up intelligence about ru