tv Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News April 15, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hoice babe. oh, wait, hold on. earn 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases. what's in your wallet? chris: i'm chris what -- wallace, the u.s. and allies strike assad regime that used chemical weapons to murder its own people. ♪ >> these are not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead o. chris: we will discus the decision to hit syria again, what it means for the civil war there and the president's message to other countries supporting assad. >> to iran and to russia, i ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with a mass murderer of innocent men, women and children? chris: nikki haley, u.s. ambassador to the united nations live only on fox news sunday.
♪ ♪ chris: then the fbi raids the president's personal lawyer michael cohen raising questions whether mr. trump will fire robert mueller. >> well, i think it's a disgrace what's going on, we will see what happens. chris: we will discuss the latest developments with congressman trey gowdy, chair of the oversight committee. plus, former fbi director james comey's new book lashes out at president trump and the white house responds. >> the intelligence community does intelligence, the white house does pr and spin. >> comey will be forever known as disgraced hack that broke trust with the president of the united states. chris: we will ask sunday panel if there are bombshells in the new book or just a political food fight all right now on fox news sunday. ♪ ♪ chris: and hello again from fox news in washington, strikes on syria by u.s., france and
britain are a show of western resolve meant to punish bashar al-assad for his latest chemical weapon's attack on his own people. the pentagon describes the strikes on three targets as overwhelming and effective. but what happens if assad uses chemical weapons again and where does this leave u.s. policy for dealing with civil war and terror threat in syria? in a moment with we will speak live with u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley, but first to national security correspondent jennifer griffin with the latest on the military operation. >> over 100 u.s., french, british missiles all hit targets successfully landing simultaneously within a few minutes despite being launched from military assets deployed from the mediterranean to the persian gulf. >> clearly the assad regime did not get the message last year. this time our allies and we have
struck harder. >> the three targets included research center near demascus, chemical storage facility near homes and weapon's bunker a few miles from the second site, russian and syrian state media claimed they shot down dozens of the allied tomahawks and missiles but the pentagon says the russian guns remained silent adding syria fired 40 surface to air missiles wildly into the air after the u.s. missiles had already hit. >> what happens next has everything to do with what the assad regime decides to do. >> i spoke to the president this morning and he said if the syrian regime uses the poisonous gas again, the united states is locked and loaded. when our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line. >> u.s. intelligence has only concluded at this time that chlorine was used in the most recent chemical attack, they suspect sern but don't have the
proof yet having many to wonder if use of chlorine in syria is new red line and possibility for future meltrary actions, chris. chris:
jennifer, thank you, joining us from new york u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley, ambassador, i want to start with president trump's tweet after the military action against syria, here it is, a perfectly executed strike last night could not have had a better result, mission accomplished. a lot of people say that echos president bush's 43 premature claim of mission accomplished back in 2003. isn't president trump's claim of success just as premature? >> well, first of all, mission accomplished is a military term and as a military spouse i know that mission accomplished means you have one task currently in front of you and when it's completed it is mission accomplished. politically, mission accomplished means something
broader and i think that the president was referring in military terms. we, of course, know that our work in syria is not done, we know that it is now up to bashar al-assad on whether he's going to use chemical weapons again and should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the united states is locked and loaded and ready to go. chris: i want to pick up on that because obviously you have no idea how assad is going to respond to this attack although i suspect you think he got the message and to add a little bit to this confusion, president trump and defense secretary mattis sent very different signals on friday night about the campaign, take a look at both of them. >> we are prepared to sustain this response until the syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. >> right now this is a one-time shot. chris: so which is it, a one-time shot or a sustained
response? >> that is totally up to assad, what i can tell you is the president has made it very clear that when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, we have no tolerance for it. we are going to watch out for the best interest to have american people and so he made a point and hopefully assad gets it. if assad doesn't get it, it's going to hurt and i think what general mattis was saying was these strikes happened basically responding to their continued use of chemical weapons, but, of course, if assad continues to go forward, there will be more and it will hurt and i think that he has a lot to think about. chris: i want to pick up on that because there were certainly indications since the first strike in april of last year that assad had used chemical weapons an there had been no u.s. response, this particular case last weekend was especially egregious and horrific, but are you saying that going forward that any use of chemical weapons by assad will trigger immediate
u.s. response? >> well, i think first of all you said it, this last one was egregious, it was barbaric and it was disgusting and so i think what you saw is there had been a cumulative wave of constant use of chemical weapons, assad knew that russia had his back, assad knew that russia would cover for him at the united nations and assad got reckless and used it in a way that was far more aggressive. we have to be very conscious of the fact that we can't allow even the smallest use of chemical weapons, that's why you saw the president strike this past weekend, that's why you saw him expel 60 russian spies after the attack in salsbury, this easily could happen in the united states if we are not smart and if we are not conscious of what's happening and so this was a message sent to assad, we will see how smart he is. chris: but to press my point, if i may, are you saying that going forward there's zero tolerance of any use of chemical weapons
will trigger military response? >> i don't think there's any way that i can answer that. we don't know what he's going to do, the level of what he's going to do or anything else. i will tell you that the president is watching and the national security team is ready, so basically we will watch his actions. he now dictates his life and he dictates what happens between the united states, our allies and his regime and so hopefully he's gotten the message. it was a pretty strong message, not only did we go after absolute strongest research facility, we went after storage unit where they hold the products and after production so we put a heavy blow into chemical weapon's program and setting them back years and taking a lot to recover from it. chris: here is a lot of questions that people have, you have spoken very movingly about the slaughter of civilians in syria and we are seeing pictures right now of the attack in duma, but doesn't the president's
policy allow the mass murder of women and children to continue as long as it's carried out with conventional weapons and not chemical weapons? >> well, i think that's just a very unfair question. in what respect are you asking that? chris: well, what i'm saying is that we are saying that any use of chemical weapons we are going to respond to but we are not saying that about conventional weapons and assad has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his people, why are are we drawing a distinct to assad saying it's okay to do with conventional weapons but we will object if you do with chemical weapons? >> i don't think we've ever said it's okay, period. there is no way that any american or the president would ever say it's okay to kill women and children. i think that we have a lot of issues in the world and i think we are trying to put out as many fires as we can, but we can't control what a country does to its people. we can condemn it, we can
acknowledge it, we can try and do everything at the united nations, i think what you have seen the president used a lot of sanctions whether it's been venezuela, whether it's relate today syria or related to russia and human rights, there's been a lot of things that we have done and taken action. we have never sat back and watched bad things happen, we do wait and use military force as last response to that, but we've always acted in every way related to every incident, in some form, just to let them know how much the united states condemns it. chris: i want to ask you about the u.s. actions and how we are responding, though, when it comes to the displacement and torture of the syrian people. i want you to look at some state department numbers on how many refugees have come into this country over the last three years, in 2016, more than 15,000 syrian refugees came into this country. last year, 3,000. so far this year 11.
on humanitarian grounds how do you justify that? >> well, i will tell you we have spent well over $6 billion on the syrian conflict. i personally went to the refugee sites in both jordan and turkey. i spent time with refugees whether they were in camps or whether they were out and i talked to them about the situation at hand. i will tell you from a humanitarian standpoint, the united states has been a massive donor to this situation but also when i talked to the refugees, what i talked to them about, they wanting to home and there's a mountain that they look over and they know it's on the other side and they know that syria is in shambles and they are prepare today rebuild it. but not one of the many ever said that we want to go to america. they want to stay as close to syria as they can so that when god willing this fighting stops and when there's finally stability and peace in that area, they wanting to rejoin family members, they wanting to
back to what they remember. the kids talked about -- about where they used to play and what they used to do, the adults talked about the fact that that's where they were born, that's where they were raised. there was a real emotional string to syria and i think we need to be conscious of the fact that's really where they wanting to. chris: let's talk about the overall strategy for syria because a couple of weeks ago president trump talked about a very fast pullout of troops there, take a look. >> we are knocking the hell out of isis, we will be coming out of syria like very soon. let the other people take care of it now. very soon. chris: president trump reportedly we wanted to get all 2,000 u.s. troops out within 48 hours and had to be persuaded by folks at the pentagon to keep them there for a couple of months which raises the question what is our goal in syria and what is our strategy to get there. >> well, i can tell you because i was in the national security council meetings with the president when it came to
discussing russia and he had three major goals that he we wanted to accomplish, he one, we wanted to make sure that chemicals -- chemical weapons were not used or weapons of mass destruction were not used in any way that could harm american national interests, he we wanted to make sure that we defeated isis completely and wholly to make sure that all of that threat was going -- gone because it is threat to national interest and he want to make sure that we had good grounds to watch what iran was doing and they weren't making a lot of aggressive headway in terms of that because iran is a national threat to american interests and so i think that no, he never thought he would get out in 48 hours, yes, it is all of our goal to see american troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things, what he has done is talked to allies and said, they need to step up more, they need to do more and it shouldn't just be us doing it it. and i think that's the right
approach. be very clear, if we leave, when we leave, it will be because we know that everything is moving forward. we are very invested in the political process in geneva, we are invested in political solution and those talks continue. chris: one area where there has been a dramatic escalation in the last week has been in the direct verbal attacks in the administration on russian president putin, here is a tweet from president trump this week, president putin, russia and iran are responsible for backing animal assad and here you are at the un. >> history will record that on this day russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the syrian people. chris: ambassador, has our relationship with putin and russia changed this week? >> well, i think it's been changing over time. this is a very strain time between the united states and
russia. i mean, if you look at what russia is doing, you know, they continue to be involved with all the wrong actors. whether it's their involvement in yuik -- ukraine, they are supporting maduro in venezuela, you look at syria in the way of propping up assad and working with iran, that continues to be a problem and there's multiple issues that we have with russia right now on what they are doing, whether it's the chemical weapon use in great britain, that's another issue. we are letting russia know this is not something that we want to be a part of, it's not something that we want to tolerate and they have to make a decision, right now they don't have very good friends and right now the friends that they do have are causing them harm. i think they are feeling that whether it's been with the fact that we've sanctioned just recently the russian oligarchs which made stock market plummet and their life is about to get harder in the region, whether it's us sending 60 spies home to let them know that we are not
going to put up using chemical agent anywhere or whether it's the sanctions that are continuing to happen which you will see again on monday that let's them know this is not good behavior, so everything that has strained this relationship has been on the side of russia. the military strikes did not have to happen if russia had not covered for assad, six times they vetoed chemical weapon's resolutions related to syria and this last resolution that they had they only had 3 votes out of 15. the international community is telling russia that either you make a decision on how you act and when you act or the rest of us will make a decision in isolating you. chris: in 15 seconds, how would you characterize u.s. relations with putin and russia right now. >> very strained right now but our hope is always to make sure we can get a better relationship with russia. it's in our interest national interest to do that but we are not going to put up bad behavior to get it. chris: ambassador hailey, thank
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goldberg of national review and author of new book suicide of the west. charles lane of the washington post, fox news national security correspondent jennifer griffin doing double duty today and former press secretary to vice president pence mark latter. ambassador haley and the new national security adviser bolton wanted a tougher more aggressive response that defense secretary mattis wanted, quote, a show of strike and prevailed with the president, is that true? was there a difference in terms of how they should respond on friday night? >> i think there's a natural tension between pentagon officials, mattis being in the lead and other national security officials. the defense department doesn't want to broaden this, they want to know when they present their options, they want to know what is the strategy, are we now
going to step up into the syrian civil war, what are the chances of hitting russian bases or iranian troops, i mean, they are all interlaced there, i think what secretary mattis pushed back on was anything that was broader that was going to suggest regime change. they obviously all of the top leadership at the pentagon has a lot of experience with regime change as has not gone well in either libya or iraq. chris: jonah, i want to pick up on the president's tweet mission accomplished and he responded today i was talking about military terms, he's the commander in chief but of course it does -- obviously does have political resonance, what is the mission and what did we accomplish? >> i think it remains unclear. i thought your question to nikki haley, i should fully disclose that my wife works for nikki haley was interesting that she didn't have the answer of the question that is it okay for assad to slaughter civilians
with con conventional weapons be will step in if you use chemical weapons which is very small victims of assad, the mission in some ways defined by the fact that we had video. nikki haley said there had been 50 chemical uses which we did not respond. one of the things that donald trump made clear that when there's video of kids suffering he responds to that, that's his red line, i'm not sure that's a super coherent strategy going forward because first of all, let's assad continue to wipe out domestic enemies an doesn't change status quo on the ground. chris: she did not commit that if there were other chemical weapon attacks they would spend. >> i think that might be the case. chris: all right, here is what president trump said announcing the attack on friday night.
>> the evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. these are not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead. chris: but i want to pick up on this discussion that i had with the ambassador and i just had with jonah, the president seems to be saying, one, if it's conventional weapons it's okay we are going to accept it, maybe he's not it's okay but we don't do anything about it, but if it's chemical weapons we will, to further slice the meat, it depends how bad a chemical weapons attack -- can you argue it's a reasonable policy to say, we are not going to get subbing intoed this civil war, we are not going to get on the ground, we will not stop the slaughter but enforce the principle no chemical weapon? >> if we have a policy, that must be it because that is the
only political objective that is related to this strike and, of course, the strike that the general described in glowing terms but very limited three targets, they made sure the russians were safely out of the way before they engaged in it, so it was -- we used the term pinprick strike, maybe more than that, maybe not overwhelming attack and at the same time it's extremely ironic, we have a president who came into office talking about america first, very contentious of all the alliances and international law that is entangles the united states and yet the military force has been to uphold a humanitarian international norm. i happen to think that's a norm worth upholding actually that you shouldn't use chemical weapons against civilian population but it is not interestingly it's not what he came into office to do, i think that's why they'll be continuing
tension. his instincts are to get out and let other people handle this but he has now committed to this minimal objective in syria which is whatever else happens, not going to do with chemical weapons. chris: criticism of the president's actions, tweets, strategy as the former top adviser, a top adviser to vice president pence, your response. >> one thing we need to know this is a different attack than last year, last year was mostly focused on delivery and the methods to deliver the weapons, this time they took additional step by reducing syria's ability to produce the weapon, it was a targeted response to degrade their ability to use these weapons in the future and not just how they delivered them like they did last year, so i thin there's chemical weapon and there's video that the president sees? >> that's where you find the broader issue there in terms are we going to get drawn into a civil war, regime change, nation
building which is what the president said we are not going to do. he's drawn a red line on the use of chemical weapons, he is now acted twice because of that, but a much different story when you will go in, a, confront russia and confront iran and what they are doing to support regime and i don't think that's a line that the president is willing to commit to but we do have to take steps in minimizing the use of these weapons, we've done it with north korea, we've done it with russia, we sanctioned and we will continue to do sanctions on syria and i think that's where the president's leadership is that we are going to respond and in this case we had allies with us. chris: jennifer. >> two points, lieutenant general mckenzie did say the two spots does not prevent assad from firing in the future, there are more spot that is they choose not to hit because of civilian casualties, i think what we have to look at is that the opcw, those are the
inspectors in what syria signed onto. >> chris: prohibition of chemical weapons on the ground. >> they are on the ground right now, what syria signed onto 2013 when they were suppose today give up chemical weapons did not include chlorine, the question to the president, the use of chlorine bombs in the future, is that the red line, are the u.s. and allies required to respond militarily if he uses chlorine bombs. chris: jonah. >> i think john bolton's position is one that we need to give some credence too, at least acknowledge in so far as -- he's not for nation building and democracy spreading but he is america first, interventionist america first and he sees, i believe, the syrian civil war as a way to bleed russia resources, the way to bleed iran's resources, diminish their role in the region and that's one of the reasons he was more eager to get involved in this as a way to push back on iran.
chris: how do we bleed russia's resources, iran's resources without bleeding our own which we have seen in afghanistan and iran? >> that's the pickle. [laughter] >> having limited strikes and that's why secretary mattis pushed for such limited targeted strikes. chris: couldn't you argue that this morning as putin wakes up at the kremlin, homeai wakes up, that wasn't so bad. >> they didn't pay a price. from that point of view russia and iran did not pay a price but i think what it did was it set a line that the u.s. will not get involved in the civil war but there are red lines. chris: we will take a break and see you later. president trump has present business to deal with, the criminal investigation of lawyer and former fbi director james comey's new book, republican congressman trey gowdy joins us to break it all down next.
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chris: normally the decision to launch a military strike would fill the plate of any president, but this weekend president trump has plenty more to deal with, the criminal investigation of his personal lawyer, a special counsel continue to go breathe down his neck and now a damaging book by the former head of the fbi. joining me to discuss all this south carolina congressman trey gowdy, chair of the house overnight committee and member of house intelligence committee. congressman, let's start with the fbi raid on the home, the hotel and the offices of president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen which raises obvious questions of possible violation of attorney-client privilege. as former federal prosecutor, are you convinced that this raid was appropriate or at least on its face not inappropriate?
>> well, here is what we know, we know a neutral detach federal magistrate had to sign on the search warrant. we know that it requires the highest levels of doj permission to seize attorney-client records, and we also know it must have nothing to do with bob mueller's probe either directly or indirectly or he would not have referred it. what we don't know is what the basis of the probable cause was, what was searched and what was seized but so we know a little bit, we don't know a little bit -- i think the most important thing we know is that a neutral detached federal judge has nothing to do with politics signed off on the warrant. chris: i want to pick up on one of your points which is that you -- you noted that special counsel robert mueller refer today prosecutors in manhattan and here was the president's furious reaction to that and it led to this exchange. >> why don't i just fire
mueller? well, i think it's a disgrace what's going on, we will see what happens but i think it's really a sad situation when you look at what happened and many people have said, you should fire him. chris: question, do you still think, we talked several weeks ago, do you still think it would be wrong, a serious mistake to fire mueller and given the growing calls to fire the deputy attorney general, do you feel the same way about firing rod rosenstein? >> well, let me take mueller first, i don't know what mueller was supposed to do other than what he did, when a prosecutor comes in contact with information or evidence of a crime, what are you supposed to do other than to refer it to the appropriate jurisdiction? now, if mueller had kept something unrelated for himself, then i'd say fine, you can criticize him but he came in contact with potential criminality, potential criminality, he referred it to the u.s. attorney's office of jurisdiction and he did so with the permission of rod rosenstein, i don't know what
else he could do. as for rod rosenstein, i don't see a basis for firing him in his handling of this probe, now he's the one who drafted that original jurisdiction for mueller, if you think it's broad, you have to direct your criticism toward rosenstein an not mueller. if you're ub set with rosenstein because he's slow-walking documents to congress, take that up with him. but how this is mueller's fault, just defies logic to me, chris. chris: yeah, here is the point and steve bannon, the president's former and apparently exiled adviser suggested this, if you fire rosenstein and you put a new guy in there as the deputy attorney general to oversee mueller investigation, you don't have to fire mueller, you can restrict him, are you concerned about that? >> the same steve bannon that accused the president's son of act of treason, the same steve bannon that did something no one else in the world can do, elect an democrat in alabama, i don't know who the hell would take advice from steve bannon and if i were the president, i would say go get advice from anyone
else in the world other than steve bannon. chris: just to make it clear, you rule out flatly the firing of mueller, you leave the door open to firing rosenstein? >> it depends. it depends -- look, the president is the head of the executive branch. he doesn't have to run this hiring and firing decisions by us, so if he's upset with rod rosenstein because rod rosenstein is not producing documents to congress, that's a legitimate thing to be upset about. if he's upset with rod rosenstein because he wants to get to bob mueller and that's the way he's going to do it, taking the advice of steve bannon which i will strongly recommend against, no, i don't think that's appropriate. does he have the power to get rid of rosenstein, yes, he does. do i think it's wise, i don't. chris: in the midst of all this, the president fired peter libby, former dick cheney aide, undercover officer case, given the timing, congressman, are you
at all concerned that the president is sending a message to people, associates who may be under fire from bob mueller, just listen, if you protect me, then i will protect you with a pardon if it comes to that? >> well, i would hope most of the folks involved in this already know the president has the power of pardon. he's showed that with arpaio in arizona. most what i read on libby's pardon is they thought it was overzealous prosecutor. okay, there's a way to deal with that. don't hire overzealous prosecutors, he was convicted if memory serves me correctly of a false statement and obstruction of justice. those are things that you want to dissuade people from doing all of the time. i think everyone know the president has pardon powers and i don't know if he wants to send the signal except low-witted people. [laughter]
chris: i want to turn to one of your big issues and that's the way the fbi has handled the clinton investigation and trump investigation. former fbi director james comey he or she a new book out and you may have heard of it and one of the questions, he's going to have an interview on abc tonight, one of the question is what he told the president elect when he talk today him at trump tower in january about the steel dossier and the fact that it had been paid for by the clinton campaign, take a look. >> no, i didn't -- i didn't think i used the term steel dossier, i just talked about additional material. >> didn't have the right to know that? >> that he had been financed by political opponents? i don't know the answer to that. it wasn't necessary for my goal which is alert him that we had this information. chris: congressman, what do you think of comey's answer and what do you think of comey's book? >> well, as for the book, chris,
i'm disappointed. i hold prosecutors and law enforcement officials to a higher standard. i think the book is sad. let's not kid ourselves, jim comey now complains that president trump is unat the timerred from the truth, he would still be the fbi director if he had his way. all of the complaints about president trump, he was willing to put those aside so he could keep his job. the reason he wrote the book was because he got fired and not because he thinks president trump is untethered from the truth and not because he wears tanning bed goggles. as to what he told the president the source of this solicitous opposition research, would you want to know, that's the first question you ask, where did you get that from. i'm more concerned that they didn't tell the fisa court. that's what i'm concerned about because president trump doesn't sign off on warrants, the fisa judge did. i think he should have told
president trump, but i know for a fact they should have told a fisa court. chris: let me pick up on that because we learned that you and the chair of house intel commit yes devin nunes have now read the original fbi memo that launched the whole trump investigation in the summer of 2016, having read it, are you persuaded that they had a legitimate reason to launch this probe? >> i've always been persuaded. i didn't have to read the initiating document. you've got george papadopoulos, you've got a meeting at trump tower and meeting with cambridge analytic and what russia did and who they did it with. this origination document is important to me because it goes to credibility to those who launched the investigation, was it because of george papadopoulos. this took months after george papadopoulos had conversation in
bar. that's important more me to know -- someone hacked the dnc server, someone hacked john podesta emails, someone played games with the american people, whether or not there's a dossier, i'm never faulted or discrediting the dossier discrediting the russia probe. chris: one final question, i want to switch subjects, in your role of house oversight committee you wrote a letter to epa administrator scott pruitt seeking formal interview with five top aides why and how much trouble is pruitt? >> i don't know how much trouble he's in. the reason the oversight committee wants to know whether or not the epa is a good steward of taxpayer money is because congress created the epa, fund the epa, entirely legitimate for us to ask, are you being good stewards of the american taxpayer dollar and appropriate because we have jurisdiction over government ethics to look into the lease, i didn't hire him.
i'm not the one contemplating promoting him or getting rid of him, that's all for president trump, but congress does have a responsibility to provide oversight and the responsible way to do it is gather documents, look, we are not having a prime time hearing. chris: let me ask you because i have 30 seconds left, how troubled are you by this report that he's spent too much money on his desk, office, the planes, the security detail, that there are some serious ethical questions here about mr. pruitt? >> i'm concerned about both what you cited and the explanation for it and whether or not it is credible. look, if you sit first class, you're guarantied to come in contact with everybody else on the plane. if you really want to avoid people on the plane, sit in the last seat not the first seat. i'd be shocked if that many people knew who scott pruitt was so the notion that i've got to fly first class because i don't want people to be mean to me, you need to go into another line of work if you don't want people to be mean to you like maybe a
monk where you don't come in contact with anyone. [laughter] chris: a monk who sits on the last seat on the plane. listen u i've got to have to consider that, congressman, thank you, thank you for sharing your weekend with us, always good to talk with you, sir. >> you too, thank you. chris: when we come back more of fbi raid of president trump's lawyer and mr. trump ongoing faceoff with special counsel, plus, what would you like to ask the panel about former fbi director comey's new book, just go to facebook or twitter at fox news sunday and we may use your question on the air
chris: president trump venting his anger over the news his personal lawyer michael cohen raided from the fbi. what do you make of the president's, i think it's fair to say, furious reaction to raid of personal lawyer, cohen likes to call himself a fixer and he left in the same event, left wide open the question of whether or not he's going to fire robert mueller? >> in the trump organization, they actually refer today him as -- referred to tom, he's owned the persona for quite a while. chris: having known michael cohen and having seen the godfather movies he's no -- [laughter] >> the idea that trump conspired with vladimir putin to steal the election, i still want to find out what mueller finds out but i've always thought that the biggest objection to the mueller probe is he's afraid of what else they might find.
if my theory is true, this has to be the most terrifying thing that could happen to anybody that has something to hide, have the fixers, and i completely understand why he's livid about it, at the same time i do not think it's a violation of all that america stands for. astray gowdy explained you had to get a warrant, the test will be what they actually find there, my hunch is they're going to find a lot. also one last point, donald trump and michael cohen both public i will say that michael cohen was not working for donald trump when he was fixing the stormy daniels information. there's no attorney-client privilege. chris: that's why you shouldn't talk? [laughter] chris: reaction to top senate republicans on another round will he fire robert mueller was
strong and fierce, take a look. >> it would be suicide for the president to want -- to talk about firing mueller. >> i don't think believe he will fire mueller and if he does it would be a terrible mistake. >> i think it would be a mistake, grave mistake. chris: at least on capitol hill among democrats and especially democrats no appetite to firing special counsel. >> no appetite but sarah sanders raised eyebrows on tuesday that the president has the right to or believes he has the right to fire mueller and that's why you have seen open letter from 245 former doj officials calling on congress to act to protect mueller, so clearly there's a sense that the president may act and, in fact, you heard reports that week that rod rosenstein has been telling his close associates that he feels he may be fired because the president has two choices and the legal advice he's getting, maybe, you
can't fire mueller but you can fire rod rosenstein and so -- so i think you have to really watch what does the president say about rod rosenstein in the coming -- chris: just to give you a since of the frenzy about all of this, one of our top on capitol hill put an alert to us on friday night, he had gotten from close source that rosenstein wasn't going to be fired tonight. [laughter] chris: i mean -- anyway, let's turn to the new book from james comey, the former fbi director, you may have heard about it. here is what he says about president trump's preoccupation with the steele and contention that he spent time with prostitutes in moscow, here is mr. comey. >> i honestly thought never thought the words would come out of my mouth but i don't know whether the president of the united states was in moscow
peeing with prostitutes. it's i don't believe. chris: we got this on facebook, is there any new information on this book or is it just comey as employee attacking president trump, marc, how do you answer? >> i don't think there's anything new in the book, one of the things that i found unique that the former director talked about there being classified information that we still don't know about relating to attorney general lynch that would have compromised her which also influenced his decision in the -- in the hillary clinton investigation. now f those are unsubstantiated it's reckless to throw former boss under the bus in a book like that and helped prompt his decision in addition -- chris: what do you make of what he has to say about the president both
factually and also his opinions? >> i think the one thing that has brought washington together in the last year and a half is everyone at one point or another has questioned james comey's credibility, his disservice to the fbi and wanted him to lose his job and i think he just continued the narrative of flip-flopping his stories and not having a lot of credibility in the book. chris: chuck, on the scale 1 to 10, how damaging is this book to donald trump? >> well, my expectation was somewhere in the 7-8, 9 range, it came much more in 4 or 5 or maybe 3 range. look, people -- it's like everything else, people are already predisposed to think the president are going to think ill of him and vice versa and what you're look for is real powerful nugget of brand-new information, not just the atmospheric of how i felt, maybe i was listening, that's atmospheric, i don't yet see a blockbuster new fact in
here. what -- what is interesting is this revelation of comey, comey admitting i was thinking about politics as i was going through some of the decisions regarding what i would say about hillary and he sort of confessing that he got that wrong or, you know, and what that tells me this is a guy who is kind of bad at spin, says he shouldn't do spin because it's inappropriate to his role and then keeps trying to do spin in a way he's -- he's -- i wouldn't dismiss him as some kind of disgruntle employee but he's trying to affect his legacy in the public eye. i have to say just one final thing how we all have to sort of sit back and think how extraordinary it is, the former director of this large police law enforcement agency is calling the president of the united states somebody he thought of as a mafia boss on the one hand and the president responding calling him a slime ball. this kind of interaction between these kinds of people, it's
really a bad show for democracy. totally unseeingly. chris: jonah, your thoughts about the come by book, both the facts and his characterization of the president? >> yeah, i largely agree with chuck. it would be outrageous for the former fbi director to sit on damming news so he could monetize it a year after he's fired. if he had anything truly damming he needs to give it to mueller and couldn't say anything. i expected to book to be atmospheric, the problem for comey is he is trying to get down on trump's level while seeming on the fray for another. that's a hard look for a polished politician and he doesn't pull it off and it leaves diminished. >> he reminds me during the republican primary when -- when the -- chris: marco rubio. >> they didn't know whether to go high or low, trump, the
candidate had them and knocked them out of the ring. chris: less than 30 seconds, what impact can this have, he told the story, if he ends up being a witness and just a hypothetical in a case on the issue of obstruction of justice has he damaged credibility? >> obviously the president's lawyers were going to go after him as disgruntled employee, the book doesn't change that. chris: thank you panel, see you next sunday, we will be right back with the final word. i'm ginny and i quit smoking with chantix. it takes a lot of planning to be a smoker. it's like when am i gonna be able to sneak out of here and go have a cigarette?
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