tv Americas News HQ FOX News June 9, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
strangers. the pup landed on his paws. he got a job working for the governor, an ambassador of sort. >> melissa: i bet there's lots of treats that go with that. i love it. thank you very much for joining us. >> jon: "america's news hq" starts now. >> joh >> we are awaiting a joint news conference in less than an hour. it will be the first time we hear president trump's reaction on camera to james comey's dramatic testimony as the administration continues its next move. hello, everyone. we have got team fox coverage. bradley mott, attorney specializing in national security litigation. we're kicking things off with john roberts on the north lawn. we expect to see the president greeting someone important very soon. what's this about?
>> reporter: shannon, good afternoon. the president of romania has been sitting at the gate now for about five minutes to entry to the west wing drive. i imagine president trump is not yet ready to come out to greet him which is why they're holding him here. we see this all the time the dignitaries. i had justin trudeau sitting behind me for about ten minutes. they have got a lot to talk about. romania is a nato member. all on the front lines between russia and iran. hosts the nato missile system which has put it in the cross hairs of not only iran, but vladamir putin. said, hey, if things start to go bad, you can be attacked by russia. they've got a lot to talk about. we'll see if they are on the same page when it comes to putin or the european commission president. they part ways a little bit on what they think putin's intentions and policies are. the president meantime will, in about an hour, not even an hour
from now, about 45 minutes from now, take the opportunity to field his first questions on james comey's testimony yesterday. the president clearly feels pretty good about it. thinks it exonerated him tweeting out this morning, despite so many false statements and lies and total and complete vindication and, wow, comey is a leaker. the president's outside counsel is focusing on comey's leak of details from the february 14th oval office meeting saying it amounted to political retribution. we're going to hear some sound from marc kasowitz. the presidents about to meet. kasowitz said mr. comey leaked the purported e-mails about these conversation. one of them testified was classified. also testified immediately after heavens terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of the memos to the press in order to prompt the appointment of a special counsel.
the president's legal team, there you see the president, plans to file a complaint about the leak with the department of justice's office of the inspector general and file a letter of complaint as well with the senate judiciary committee. that can happen the early part of next week. there's the romanian president. president trump is 6' 2". so he's pretty tall. going in there to the west binge had a meeting with the president in the oval office. we'll get what's called a spray of that and head out to the rose garden. 2 press conference between the two. likely to take two questions, that's the protocol. 2:45 the target time. but these things never usually seem to happen on time. >> shannon: we're all waiting with anticipation for the first time we hope to see and hear from the president on camera about what he thinks about the testimony yesterday. in the meantime, comey suggested that the president got himself in trouble with a tweet. but there's more to that story. >> reporter: yeah. there have been a lot of complaints by a lot of people close to the president here in
this administration and outside in congress. mitch mcconnell, among them, that they don't particularly like the president's habit of tweeting. that it sometimes gets him in trouble. yesterday james comey drew a straight line between the president's tweet about potentially having tapes of their conversations and the appointment of the special counsel. that is a real indication if we could say there was that straight line, that tweeting sometimes has consequences. we've seen this in the past as well with some of the other things the president has tweeted about, most notably the fact that he was wire tapped. still trying to prove that one. some would say he's already proved it. so the president may get asked about his twitter habit and what the cost benefit analysis to the president is there. and whether he heeds the calls there people inside to tone it down. >> shannon: thank you very much, john roberts at the white house. as we await that press conference coming up. more on this. let's bring in executive
director of the american center for law and justice and bradley moss an attorney specializing in national security litigation. good to see you both. >> thanks, shannon. >> shannon: let me start with you. first we have mr. comey's explanation on why he decided to put this information out via a friend. we'll play a little bit from the hearing yesterday. >> really just a gut feel laying on top of that. it's gonna be important to protect this organization that i make records of this, 'cause it didn't dawn on me that there might be corroboration, there might be a tape. my judgment was i needed to get that out into the public square. so i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. >> shannon: there's serious questions about that timeline. we won't go to that right now but the question is this. if those documents were created while he was a government employee, using an fbi lap top. are these government documents, did he have a right to release them even though he was a private citizen once he did the release? >> the simple answer is yes in
the sense there was no criminal restriction that would have applied. once he became a private citizen, the only way anyone could stop him from doing it, the only criminal provisions could apply is if he was releasing classified information. the memos themselves are strictly unclassified, so there was no restriction on his ability to share it through the friend to "the new york times." there are ethical concerns and civil liability concerns to take into consideration. arguably he was quite possibly violating executive privilege by exposing the memos. but given the extent of the president's public comments, both to lester holt, through his tweets, it would be a stretch to try to make that argument before a state bar. >> shannon: jordan, what do you think, mr. comey or the friend who served as the con due it to the press? >> they're in serious legal jeopardy. it has nothing to do with classified. it has to do with what jim comey said. it was a record. it was an official government record. there's actually a criminal code about that. it has nothing to do with
classified documents. 18usc641. people can look that up on their own. it says government officials, which he was when he wrote it and when he took the memos with with him, cannot take government records, convey them to someone else without authority and that that's it. that's a crime. just conveying it without authority. could be a felony depending on how they determine value. but the courts have said intangibles count under this statute. we actually have prepared what a tkraflt indictment would look like with jim comey. doesn't even get into the privacy act concerns, executive privilege. just taking government records is illegal. they don't have to be classified. >> shannon: prior to yesterday when he got that stunning confirmation that, yes, i leaked this out, the focus on whether the president would be in any trouble, obstruction of justice. here's what his attorney said following the hearing. >> the president never, in form
or substance, directed or suggested that mr. comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that mr. comey quote let flynn go, closed quote. >> shannon: what do you think? >> now you've got sworn testimony of the former director of the fbi who served under multiple different presidents versus the unsworn tkpwra mattically riddled statement of the president's private attorney denying it. one person's under oath, one person's not. so if this is going to go away, if it will be investigated by the special counsel, you're almost guaranteed that the president's going to have to be deposed under oath by robert mueller to address whether or not he said or didn't say what director comey -- excuse me, mr. comey, alleged that he said. >> shannon: we've got to move on, but quick final word from you. >> i think very clearly for everybody out there, saying you hope something is not a directive.
jim comey admitted under oath he wishes he was stronger. he didn't stand up. he didn't report this. do you know why he didn't report this up the chain? the truth is, shannon, he knew it wasn't necessary under 18usc4 which would make it criminal for him not to because it wasn't obstruction. he knew wasn't obstruction of justice. >> shannon: jordan and bradley, two great legal minds, thank you both for weighing in. >> thanks, shannon. >> shannon: we have a lot of angles to cover. let's bring in chris stirewalt live and in the flesh. great to see you. >> what up, dog? >> shannon: a lot. as we said yesterday, there's a whole lot up. what do you make of something jordan was pointing out? there were so many times we heard from mr. comey yesterday that he didn't feel like he was able to stand up to either the president or the attorney general loretta lynch. he talked about feeling kwaoessy, about feeling concerned, about taking the cowardly way out in explaining certain things to the president. seems like he was distraught a lot in this job.
>> well, james comey may be a magnificent prosecutor. he may be a marvelous attorney. he might have been a good head of the fbi. that's up to everybody else to figure out on their own. one thing no one will ever take away from james comey. heck of an actor. heck of an actor. when it comes to portraying the parts -- if we think about it this way. he's had three basic collisions with american history. in 2004 when he basically shirked from alberto gonzalez over harsh interrogation techniques of the bush administration. again when he ruined hillary clinton. i mean just -- yeah, i can't convict her, but she's a dreadful person and lied to you. he just absolutely wrecked her. and then what we saw this week when he did the same thing to donald trump. in each place he was playing a slightly different character. he is a guy who understands the public consumption of his word.
he is, if anything, overly conscious of the public perception of what he's doing and the portrayal that he was giving on thursday to the senate intelligence committee was that of i wish i could have done more. i'm so sorry that i did not do more to stop these monstrous acts. i'm only one man. i'm not captain courageous. that was an effective way for him to do it. makes republicans furious. they're like -- why didn't you stand up to him? but it's effective in this way. what he's casting himself as is the victim of donald trump. >> shannon: we heard criticism of democrats. diane feinstein saying, why didn't you say to the president, this is wrong, we shouldn't be having this conversation? most people agree there's no legal trouble for the president based on anything we heard yesterday. there are some outliars who are saying, oh, obstruction of justice. but most people across the political spectrum say it probably doesn't rise to that. but now the political implications. >> trying to call a horse race
based on seeing one haof go through between the slat on the fence, right? the real thing that's happening is former fbi director bob mueller's investigation. now, maybe the biggest and most important thing that was said yesterday, i don't care about your feelings, america. i'm sorry. how you feel about whether comey did a good job or bad job or do you feel vindicated doesn't matter. what matters is robert mueller's team let out yesterday that they're thinking a few months, they're just a few months from concluding this investigation. that is huge. >> shannon: lightning speed in washington especially with a special counsel setup. >> right. for the white house, the way they're going to interpret that is to say, we're getting off. we're gonna beat the wrap. if he can be done in three months, that means there must not be some enormous controversy. this must not have tentacles leading into every corner of the administration and go on forever. they can look at it in a good way.
democrats could look at it in a good way and say the case was so close to fruition when mueller took it over that all he has to do is basically take some depositions, check the work and then bring it to the court. >> shannon: well, as we have noted before, mr. comey is good at giving both sides something to celebrate. >> always. >> shannon: then leaving the final decision to someone else. >> then we can just talk about it. >> shannon: you may not care about his feelings. >> as long as they give me barbecue. >> shannon: and bacon. all right. now you know how to bribe him. good to see you. we are just about 30 minutes away from a news conference with president trump. this will be the first time he is facing reporters head on since the capitol hill testimony from fired fbi director james comey. what do you have there? p3 it's meat, cheese and nuts. i keep my protein interesting. oh yea, me too. i have cheese and uh these herbs. p3 snacks.
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>> shannon: british prime minister theresa may facing pressure to step down after her call for a snap election ended with a stunning failure resulting in heavy losses for her conservative party. we have the very latest from london. have they caught their breath just yet? >> shannon, this was indeed a staggering result. completely unexpected. just a few weeks ago the conservatives had a lead of more than 20 points and somehow they lost that. they do still have the most number of seats but they do not have the all important majority. now there's a hung parliament. the conservatives got 319 seat, so just short. while labour got 261. another smaller parties around the uk made up the rest. but already theresa may visited the queen to ask for permission to try and form a government. to do so, she announced she's going to work with the dup.
they are a small northern irish party who won just ten votes. but those, plus the conservative's 319 would just about give her the majority she needs. >> i have just been to see her majesty, the queen, and i will now form a government. a government that can provide certainty and lead britain forward at this critical time for our country. >> she was uninspiring during the campaign. she did a number of political u-turns. there are questions about how long she can stay on as prime minister. it seems she's going to try and hang on at least for the time being. it was supporters of jeremy corbint far left leader, who was celebrating. many thought the labour party would be wiped out completely, but they have managed to pull off quite a coup. this is being called one of the biggest political miscalculations of all times and it will have real effect moving forward. not at least in the brexit negotiations which are due to
start a couple weeks from now. real impact here. still the party is trying to figure out she can form a governmentshannon? >> shannon: as we wait to hear remarks from the president, i want to ask you. it's such a unique way of doing things here in the states. within weeks to have this whole thing thrown together. seems like something you wouldn't do unless you were fully confident. such a change in the political atmosphere in just a matter of weeks. >> that's right. she was entirely confident. the far left leader couldn't seem to muster any votes. she had a majority. she was moving forward with her own agenda. for some reason she thought she could win. she wanted a bigger majority. she wanted her own political mandate. she inherited power when david cameron resigned. it is being called a huge mistake. >> shannon: benjamin hall live for us on the scene, thank you very much. now we are waiting to hear from the president. his first remarks now on the
election remarks on the u.k. as he meets with the leader of romania. let's listen in as we get a bit of remarks from them just moments ago. >> welsh thank you very much. it's an honor to have you. a true allied wonderful country and a great relationship, and that relationship, as you know, as of moments ago, is getting even better. so thank you very much for being here. it's my honor. >> thank you very much, mr. president. great pleasure and honor for me to be here. and i'm looking forward to our discussions and our partnerships. >> yes. it's been a great partnership. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you. surprising.
i'll be making a statement. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> shannon: okay. that was just moments ago at the white house. they talked ab their strong relationship. he was given a question there, mr. trump, what he thought in reaction to the u.k. election that benjamin was just reporting on and said surprising. we're awaiting a press conference the two of them. it's scheduled for 2:45. simon rosenberg and the president founder of new democrat network and the new policy institute. joining us fox news contributor at town hall.com. great to have you both. we are going to get into the comey fallout. i wonder if you have a reaction to the uk. >> dramatic results. i have done a lot of work in the uk. i worked with the labour party.
they weren't expecting this result. i was on the phone with some of my friends there. they were as shocked as anybody. it's a big change. i think the march of nationalistic politics in europe is on hold. there's a different reality now. i think it's good for the united states, frankly, and good for the world. >> shannon: katie? >> i think this shows the winds of politics are swift and that when big things happen like brexit, things can change very quickly. we've been hearing in the after math of the election that this is the revenge of the remainders. they got organized. they got to the polls. they wanted to send a message. also a big part of this making the rounds is that it was young people who really put labour over the top here in terms of getting people out and voting for far left policies and politicians. i think that if the u.k. wants to have a future based on free market principles and upholding brexit they'll have to do a lot more with young people and changing their minds.
>> shannon: i think that election will be getting more attention if we didn't have such a political stew here state side. back to what we heard from the former fbi director yesterday. we learned a few new things we didn't know before or got more information. one of those things is about his interaction with former attorney general loretta lynch when it came to the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. here's a little of what he said. >> yes. in ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me that i had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation which meant both the fbi and the justice department. probably the only other consideration i guess i can talk about in an open setting is at one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter which confused me and concerned me. >> shannon: as to whether that is a big deal, nancy pelosi has reacted, saying this. >> i think that president
clinton was probably paying a courtesy visit to people to say hello. it was unfortunate though because it was misinterpreted as for what it was. matter, investigation, i don't know that's such a big deal. >> shannon: that language, simon, the former fbi director said the way he explained it, he said he was concerned by it because it seemed to track the language that the clinton campaign was using. he said whether it meant anything or not, he didn't want to treufbg appearance of that. >> yeah. he all said it didn't work. as soon as he used it, everyone used the word investigation anyway. i don't think this is news. i think we know the essence of what he was discussing which is he felt uncomfortable with the attorney general's involvement in the investigation because of her meeting, because of the matter, matter and because of the meeting with president clinton and so he went on an independent route. he maintained the independence of his investigation. he was also trying to do that with donald trump and it didn't work. he was fired. there's a huge difference between how the obama
administration handled this and the trump administration handled this. there was material that he was able to finish his investigation under president obama but not under president trump. >> shannon: katie, i'll give you a chance to respond. >> it's news for a couple of reasons. the first is that it's news based on the situation we're in now. the left has been accusing president trump op obstruction of justice without any kind of evidence on the russia investigation. but here we are yesterday with james comey saying, look, loretta lynch directed me and told me to use the term matter, not investigation. it does matter in the sense that the hillary clinton campaign repeatedly called the fbi's criminal investigation of hillary clinton a security review which james comey last year told katherine herridge he wassen aware of what a security review was because the fbi does criminal investigations. it does matter. it also matters because in the election last year, one of the issues that was severely overlooked when it comes to voters is that they were
concerned about government corruption. loretta lynch made james comey's job harder when she met with bill clinton on the tarmac. >> shannon: we were hearing from a man yesterday who was fired publicly. anyway, anyhoo, listen. mr. comey had some really strong language. he basically called the president a liar. one of the reasons he decided to write these memos is because he thought the president would lie ab their conversations. >> they were. i think taking one step back from where we are. if this -- were going to happen no matter what the white house did.
he's extended the life of the investigations themselves by delaying them. and he's also made an enormous amount of investigation themselves. it would have been nothing is wrong and he's done nothing wrong. they've done the exact opposite. i think it's causing, it's been grossly mismanaged. i'm sure he's said it himself, frankly. >> shannon: quickly, katie. >> i would say it's fair that the president that james comey who knew repeatedly and told the president that he was not under criminal investigation by the fbi and refused to acknowledge it publicly which implies the investigation is still on going. >> shannon: katie, nice to see you. any minute wre standing by expecting a join news conference at the white house. where the president is going to
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director james comey. as we learn brand new details about the plans to file complaint involving comey. catherine herridge joins us. >> reporter: the trump legal team plans to file a complaint with the inspector general, as well as a letter of complaint with the senate judiciary committee that has oversight for the justice department and the fbi. the ig complaint doesn't have a lot of teeth because comey is now a former employee. the senate complaint appears to have more weight. meantime former agents are drawing fox attention to this fbi employment agreement that bars the disclosure of records and raw information regardless of classification that is acquired during the course of their everyday duty. it reads in part violations of this employment agreement may constitution cause for revokation, subject me to criminal sanctions, disciplinary
action by the fbi including dismissal and subject me to personal liability in a civil action. a former senior fbi directive said every agent, they are required to sign the argument but it's tough because these are administrative consequences and once you go, they really don't have the authority to punish you by taking away your clearance, for example. >> shannon: that's a good.. how strong is the argument that the memos are comey's property or material? >> reporter: susan collins told fox this morning that the memos were drafted as part of his job as fbi director. while unclassified, collins said they met the definition of a government record because he used government resources to make them. >> mr. comey was writing in his private journal at home at night. he produced the memos on fbi computers, in an fbi car. he started writing one.
and they are fbi documents and that's government work product. they are not his private papers. >> reporter: that's also an assessment that was backed up with a former justice department official who spoke to fox news this afternoon. they said anything that you write in the course of your daily activities, even a post it note with the government is considered a government record. even in a case like this. >> shannon: a post it note. >> reporter: that's so bureaucratic. >> shannon: it is. we learn something new every day. thank you. >> reporter: you're welcome. >> shannon: as we await president trump's arrival in the rose garden at the white house to hold the first news conference since the comey testimony, let's bring in ari fleisher press secretary for george w. bush. good to see you. >> great to be with you. >> shannon: beautiful day in the rose garden. the president of romania is going to get a front row seat, which will probably be all about yesterday. what advice? the president knows these questions are coming.
how does he handle it? >> i hope the president is able to pivot smartly and get back to policy. he needs to say, let the investigation take place. i have full confidence that when bob mueller's investigation is done, we'll move beyond this as a country. that's the way to handle it. but that's really never been the way donald trump has seen to handle it. >> shannon: we know during the white house briefings when questions come up ab these probes, they've taken the policy of pushing the questions to his personal attorney, marc kasowitz. would the president be, do you think, would it be proper protocol for him to give the same answer, you need to talk to my attorney? or do you think he'll take the bait? >> that's harder for the president to do that. the attorney is a subordinate of the president. i think what the president has to say, and i wish -- all of them have this discipline. when you're under investigation, you don't have to speak. let the investigation take its course.
the problem i had is that the president is such a strong counter puncher. more often than not he ends up counter pufrpbling himself. he says something, goes too far, gets too angry at the people making accusations against him. this is what's ultimately hurt the administration time and time again. i wish he had more discipline and the whole white house team did. >> shannon: listen, he's got a lot of things to celebrate from yesterday. if he can focus on that. i told you that he told me three times i wasn't under investigation. so much of what he said and things we didn't even know, they turned out to be wins for the president, based on what we heard from the written testimony and the verbal testimony yesterday. >> if i team president, i wouldn't even go down that road. now you're discussing i. there will be a day that comes up when it's nothing but bad news for you. how are you gonna deal with that question. the high ground the president should stand on is let bob mueller do his job. let the special counsel do it. i know what i did.
i have full faith and confidence that we'll all be vindicated. none of this matters. i'm here to build a wall, grow the economy. that's how presidents can handle this, move beyond it and be disciplined day in day out. >> shannon: we'll see if he's listening to your advice. >> i'm establishment. i do it differently. he may be successful doing it the opposite way from what i do it. >> shannon: people who love him love the fact that he's breaking the mold in washington. we think we probably know. good to see you. >> thanks. >> shannon: minutes from now president trump expected to answer questions about james comey. during a joint news conference in the rose garden, brett baeir is on deck and we'll bring this news conference to you live as soon as it gets started.
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the tv yesterday for james comey. this will be the first on camera reaction from president trump. >> pretty significant, shannon. good afternoon. i think you're going to see this president probably track with what his tweets said early this morning. it had been 24 hours in between the last twitter tweet from the president and that was a significant moment in and of itself. i assume this will be two and two. two questions for each side the traveling press and also the u.s. press. and i would assume that the two questions will have some tie to the comey testimony since it has been all over the news over the past, well, 24, 48 hours. >> shannon: with that in mind as we were just discussing with ari fleisher, who's been inside that white house and part of the press operation there handling these issues, the president knows he's going to get these
questions. do you think he's taking advice on how he wants to handle them or do you think he'll do his usual independent streak? >> that's a great question. that's the question of the trump presidency. is he taking advice? is there a trump whisperer in the white house who is able to say put the twitter down or say it this way. so far i would argue you haven't seen that. the biggest stretch where you saw a real constrained kind of presentation was on that trip overseas to saudi arabia. >> shannon: we're going to pause here to allow our affiliates to join us for coverage. this is fox news coverage of the president's joint news conference. this will be his first news conference since fired fbi director james comey's testimony on capitol hill yesterday. the questions he will take, and there will only be a couple of them, will likely be about that hearing. mr. comey called into question the president's credibility.
he is appearing alongside the president of romania. let's bring in bret baeir. those questions are likely going to focus on the hearing from yesterday. one of the most remarkable things right off the top we heard from the former fbi director was basically calling the president a liar. in multiple way, multiple times. do you think he responds on that front? >> i think so, probably. he's tweeted that this morning about comey pushing back and questioning whether comey was the leaker in his words. obviously we know that the former fbi director did share some of those memos that he wrote with a friend to leak to "the new york times." i bet you'll see or hear some of that from the president. remember also, shannon, while we are very focused in washington about this jim comey testimony and the investigation on going, there's a lot happening around the world that could also be fodder for questions. think about north korea. think about the election over the u.k. that just happened.
think about the situation with qatar that has been cut off by several middle eastern countries in the gulf states and those nations. so there are other questions to ask, but i assume that washington will be focused on the comey testimony. >> shannon: as you said, there's been yet another missile launch. at the same time, we have a new south korean leader that wanted to strike a more harmonious tone in working with that rogue regime and scaling back plans to put a u.s. missile defense system there in south korea. you have to wonder what the thought process is now that north korea moved ahead with yet another missile launch in light of that decision. >> the leaders of all nations are really anxious to focus on that issue because it is the number one security issue, if you talk to anybody inside the intelligence community or the u.s. military, they are most concerned about north korea and what's happening next there. on the bigger picture about the u.k. election how that affects
the world, he may talk about that. we know that in the photo spray that just happened earlier this hour, you have the president saying that he was going to make a statement about qatar. this is the threat from these other middle eastern nations, arab nation, saying qatar is a supporter of terrorism and extremism. >> shannon: they bonded together in a coalition under the leadership it appears primarily of saudi arabia. they made things tough by closing down ports and air traffic. initially the u.s. who has a critical base there for fighting isis, said it wouldn't impact us. today it sounds like we're hearing from rex tillerson that it may be beginning to impact our military operations and efforts against isis. >> just moments agothe pentagon put out a statement clarifying secretary tillerson's comments, shannon. i think the secretary just left out a not affecting military operations just in the past
minute or so. i think they're trying to say they're hoping this will lead to a diplomatic talk between these gulf states, saudi arabia, the united arab emeritz, bahrain, kuwait, other, so that they can end this embargo around qatar. but remember that this was something that they signed onto in riyadh when president trump went there. they were going to fight extremism, funding extremism and there was a tweet from this president saying that all of those countries were pointing at qatar. >> shannon: you mentioned the u.k.'s shocking election for a lot of people. there was quite a bit of movement in the polls. we heard the president as well when asked about the election called it surprising. how much do you think it will impact our relationship, if at all, with the u.k. does it represent a swing of the pendulum in where we are with the populous movement, those
folks, what's driving people to the polls. >> i think the president knows this well from his election, from tracking the brexit vote in the u.k., that this is a powerful swing. sometimes elections don't go the way people plan. i don't think theresa may ever thought that it was ever going to be close. the question is whether she can cobble together a coalition government to continue on as prime minister. so that affects the world. back to the topic at hand, which is the comey testimony, the one question that i assume will be expressed by someone in the u.s. press is, are there tapes of their conversations? because jim comey, the former fbi director, shannon, said yesterday, lordy, i hope there are tapes. saying, please put them out. now the white house is not confirming or denying there are tapes of those conversations. that's one of the questions.
>> shannon: kelly anne conway pressed very hard on that question and could not get anything either way. while we're waiting, and we'll jump in as soon as the president takes the podium. let's bring in ari fleisher press secretary for george w. bush. we talked about your advice to him and how to tackle these questions today. there are so many other issues and you've noted that it's important for them to talk about other things as well. we've got a huge domestic agenda as well as everything bret was pointing out on the international stage. >> i think bret was three for three. i think the president will follow his own gut and fight back. his colleagues in the press corps are right. i don't think they'll ask questions about north question. third, the question about the tapes. that is also really on the minds of reporters. they haven't been able to get a straight answer on that one. so i think it's business as usual in washington. everybody in washington is riveted by the latest scandalous
news. that's where they'll look to stay. >> shannon: we have a lot of other things that are bubbling. tax reform, the debt ceiling is coming. that's something no matter what other scandal may be playing out, that cannot be ignored. that is just weeks away as well. >> this is the high ground and the advantage the president has if he sees it this way. we can either get mired in a scandal only washington wants to talk about. or he can pivot out of it and talk back to the issues of the people who elected him, want him to be successful on, that's so he can grow a coalition. that's the trump we haven't seen yet though. but there's so many opportunities for president trump to do that. now, what's interesting is, he's got a new lawyer who does want to handle this. a disciplined man. is he going to be more influential with the president, getting the president to stick to a message and not get himself in any legal trouble and, therefore, not take the bait when reporters try to feed it to him? we'll see. >> shannon: bret, we're talking
about marc kasowitz, the attorney who's been a long-time attorney for president trump. they're not new to each other. they've got a relationship. what do you make of the question ari posed there about whether or not the president may be more willing to listen to him than maybe some of his other advisers? >> there's evidence yesterday that the white house and the aides inside had some success with that, in that the person kasowitz, the personal lawyer and not the twitter feed. and we will see whether that holds as the president, the door is opening there to the oval office. i think you're going to -- the real question here is whether this investigation has more legs. if there are other shoes to drop. we don't know what we don't know, right? we do know this testimony is kind of each side sees something in the testimony that they grab on to and say, see, i told you. i think middle america, the folks in the middle of the country who are upset that
washington isn't working either side of the aisle really want things to get done. so there's a sure window here where people pressing the president who are bringing this investigation will have to make that case. otherwise, i think there's going to be some frustration that bubbles up. >> shannon: yes. we're looking now at the president of romania and u.s. president donald trump, head to the podium. they will take a couple of questions. there's, of course, media there from both nations. and we'll listen in. >> thank you for being here. it's an honor to welcome such a good friend of america to the white house. as you know, the people of romania and america share much in common. a love of freedom, proud cultures, rich traditions and a vast and storied landscape to call home. the relationship between our two countries stretches back well
over a century, but today we especially reaffirm and celebrate our strategic partnership that began more than 20 years ago. that partnership covers many dimensions, including economic, military and cultural ties. and today we are making those ties even stronger. mr. president, your visit comes at an important moment, not just in this partnership, but among all of the responsible nations of the world. i have just returned from a historic trip to europe and the middle east, where i worked to strengthen our alliances, forge new friendships and unite all civilized peoples in the fight against terrorism. no civilized nation can tolerate this violence or allow this wicked ideology to spread on its shores.
i addressed a summit of more than 50 arab and muslim leaders, a unique meeting in the history of nations, where key players in the region agreed to stop supporting terrorism. whether it be financial, military or even moral support. the nation of qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level. and in the wake of that conference, nations came together and spoke to me about confronting qatar over its behavior. so we had a decision to make. do we take the easy road or do we finally take a hard but necessary action? we have to stop the funding of
terrorism. i decided, along with secretary of state rex tillerson, our great generals and military people, the time had come to call on qatar to end its funding. they have to end that funding. and its extremist ideology in terms of funding. i want to call on all of the nations to stop immediately supporting terrorism. stop teaching people to kill other people. stop filling their minds with hate and intolerance. i won't name other countries, but we are not done solving the problem, but we will solve that problem. have no choice. this is my great priority
because it is my first duty as president to keep our people safe, defeating isis and other terror organizations is something i have emphasized all during my campaign and right up until the present. to do that, stop funding, stop teaching hate and stop the killing. for qatar, we want you back among the unity of responsible nations. we ask qatar and other nations in the region to do more and do it faster. i want to thank saudi arabia and my friend king solomon and all of the countries who participated in that very
historic summit. it was truly historic. there has never been anything like it before, and perhaps there never will be again. hopefully, it will be the beginning of the end of funding terrorism. it will, therefore, be the beginning of the end to terrorism. no more funding. i also want to thank the romanian people for everything they contribute to our common defense and to the fight against the evil menace of terrorism. they have their own difficulties with it, and they've come a long way, and they're doing a lot. romania's been a valuable member of the coalition to defeat isis.
and it's the fourth largest contributor of troops in afghanistan. there 23 of your citizens have paid the ultimate price and america honors their sacrifice. i want to recognize romania's president for his leadership in committing romania this year to increase its defense spending from 1.4% of gdp to over 2%. we hope our other nato allies will follow romania's lead on meeting their financial obligations and paying their fair share for the cost of defense. but i will say this. that because of our actions, money is starting to pour in to nato. the money is starting to pour
in. other countries are starting to realize that it's time to pay up. and they're doing that. very proud of that fact. as you know, i have been an advocate for strengthening our nato alliance through greater responsibility and burden sharing among member nations. and that is what has happened. because together we can confront the common security challenges facing the world. mr. president, i want to applaud your courage and your courageous efforts in romania to fight corruption and defend the rule of law. this work is necessary to create an environment where trade and commerce can flourish and where citizens can prosper. i look forward to working with you to deepen the ties of both
commerce and culture between our two countries. romanians have made contributions to the united states and to the world. very notable among them was nobel prize laureate eli wiesel who was worn in romania and sadly passed away almost one year ago. i understand that earlier this week the american jewish committee presented you with its very prestigious light unto the world for his work to further holocaust remembrance and education in romania. i join the ajc in saluting your leadership in this vital cause. the people of romania have endured many, many hardships.
but they have made a truly remarkable historical journey. the future of romania and romania's relationship with the united states is very, very ripe. i thank you for your leadership. i thank you again for being here today. i look forward to strengthening our alliance with your country and the bonds with your people. the relationship has been good but now it's stronger than ever. thank you very much. >> president trump, thank you so much for the words you found for romania, for the romanian people and for me. thank you very much for the invitation to be here today with you and thank you so muchor