tv Face the Nation CBS June 18, 2017 8:30am-9:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: today on face nation, a week of tragedy in washington. and a president under investigation for obstruction of justice. a politically motivated shooting prompted the leaders of the nation's most political city to stop, and reflect. >> in washington we have our disagreements, but we all agree that we are here to serve this nation we love. and the people who call it home. that is the source of unity, and more than ever, we must embrace it. >> dickerson: as lawmakers on both sides of the aisles spoke of unity and resolve. >> we are united in our anguish, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. >> dickerson: showing sadness. >> the american people is a great people, and we have great
values. we represent great people every day in this country. on both sides of the aisle. >> dickerson: and fury. >> i am sickened by this despicable act and let me be as clear as i can be, violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society. >> dickerson: the threat of a crippling inquiry into the heart of the presidency spark a new set of partisan reactions. as investigation into russian meddling, possible trump campaign staff collusion, and presidential obstruction of justice pick up speed. we will talk with florida senator marco rubio who sits on the intelligence committee, as well as vermont's bernie sanders, plus we will hear from jay sekulow a member of the president's legal team, we will have plenty of political analysis and finally a very
different kind of tribute to the class of 27. >> 2017, it is all ahead on "face the nation". good morning and welcome to "face the nation". i am john dickerson. the trump family is off for their first weekend at camp david after an emotional week here in washington. there is good news this morning as congressman steve scalise's condition has been u upgraded fm critical to serious and she able to speak with his family. while the shooting dominated this week's headlines, it wasn't the only news. the president himself appeared to confirm his being investigated by the special counsel for possible obstruction of justice in a tweet. i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch-hunt. >> attorney general jeff sessions testified before the senate intelligence committee and pushed back against the suggestion of any wrongdoing. >> that i participated in any collusion, that i was aware of any collusion with the russian
government to hurt this country, which i have served with honor for 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process is an appalling and detestable lie. >> dickerson: deputy attorney general rod rosenstein told congress he saw no reason to fire special counsel robert mueller dierks spite a friend of mr. trump's saying the president did. rosenstein was also reported to have privately suggested he may have to recuse himself from the russia investigation as his boss sessions did in march. president trump traveled to miami to announce he was reversing pieces of president obama's cuba policy. >> we now hold the cards, the previous administrations, easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the cuban people. they only enrich the cuban regime. i am cancelling the last
administration's completely one-sided deal with cuba. >> dickerson: this morning there are also many questions about saturday's collision of a japanese container ship with the uss fitzgerald off the coast of japan. several bodies were found in the fitzgerald's flooded compartments but the navy has not announced how many until their families have been notified. and we begin this morning with florida republican senator marco rubio, who joins us from miami. the president has called the investigations a witch-hunt. what is your opinion of that? >> well, i know he feels very strongly about it, my advice to the president is what i communicated publicly, i would say we have to try to communicate to ever on this issue and that is this. it is in the best interests of the president and the cup to have a full investigation. if i were the president i would be welcoming this investigation. i would ask that bit thorough and completed expeditiously and be very cooperative wit. that's what ultimately i anticipate they will do. that's in the best interests to president. i really believe that. i think it is in the best
interests of our country that we have a full-scale investigation that looks at everything, so that we can move forward. >> dickerson: so regard loves what you may think about james comey's firing as fbi director you think it should be investigated? >> well, i just think it is important to answer questions because otherwise, if people have any doubts, it undermines confidence in our system of government, in our elections and our leaders, as i said, the best thing that can happen for the president and for america is that we have a full-scale investigation that is credible, that reaches its conclusion one way or the other, so that we can move on, but at the same time, be knowledgeable. we have to know everything the russians did and how they did it so that we can prevent this from happening in the future. >> dickerson: let me ask you about what the russians did. you voted for the sanctions bill in the senate that would punish the russians for that meddling, do you think the president will sign that when it gets to him ( i hope, so it is important to send that message that this is, as i said, that this is not acceptable and i remember back in october when those leaks came out and i think i was one of the few republicans in to the
country that wouldn't discuss wikileaks because i don't want that to be a part of our system here that we can simply not allow foreign governments to be meddling and interfering in our elections that way. but they are going to keep doing it and doing it now, they will keep doing it in the future, we need to know how they do it so that americans are more knowledgeable afout that and take that into account in making their decisions at the ballot box. >> when you were running, for the senate you talked about the senate being a check against the administration, whoever was going to be president. do you see this russian sanctions bill in that form, in other words, the administration seems reluctant to punish russia for this, the senate is stepping in and saying well we are going to punish russia s that a check, essentially, on the administration? >> it is, but not perhaps for the reasons people think a lot of people -- nothing to do with the investigation, per se. it is more along the lines of the secretary of state believes that he wants to explore the opportunity to get russia to be more cooperative on a number of issues. the foreign policy view that they have, and so they think that these sanctions may
undermine that effort. and while i respect that point of view and i have considered it, ultimately i think it is incredibly important for us to make clear there are consequences for doing what they did during 2016 elections and that's why i supported these sanctions. >> dickerson: may ski you about cuba and speaking of consequences? there are new provisions the president has put in place to put pressure on cuba for its human rights record. but when the president -- over go ahead. >> i wouldn't view it just as putting pressure, i really don't, i think this is an effort to strengthen individual cubans, what this basically does is say american travelers to you barks they will continue to fly on commercial airlines and get there on a cruise but when they get there they have to spend their money primarily with individual cubans who own private businesses which is what everybody who supported the obama opening was bragging about, they were saying there were all of these new small businesses we want to put them in a privileged position so american travelers to cuba will have to spend their money with them instead of the cuban military. that was goal of this is to
empower individual cubans to be economically independent of the castro military and of the castro regime. >> dickerson: but when the president gave his speech he said that we will not lift sanction tons cuban regime until all political prisoners are free. he talked about freedom of assembly. he talked about all political parties being legalized. so i guess what i was interested in is that when he weaponed to saudi arabia, he said he is not going to lecture saudi arabia about its considerable human rights challenges, and what is happening in yemen that saudi arabia is funding and i wondered if you could square for us in the one hand a very public lecturing of the cubans and no lecturing of countries like saudi arabia, egypt, turkey and how you see that. >> well, a couple of points, first of all when you talked about, not lifting sanctions until they have elections that is actually the law. that's the law of the united states, it is codified under helms burton and it says that. the embargo goes away when they meet those conditions and you out lined them and the president outlined them. as far as squaring the two obviously the administration
will have do that because i criticize saudi arabia as well, in fact i would -- i take a backseat to no one on criticizing them or anybody the world when it comes to human rights and the violations or lack of democracy. i will say this, however. there is in our region, this is 90 miles from our shores, the western hemisphere 35 years ago was largely controlled by dictators that basically every nation in in region has had a free and fair election at some point over the last 20 or 15 years except for one, and that is island of cuba. so in our region, in our own backyard, we are not going to allow tyranny and dictatorship to grow and to surge we want the people of cuba to have the same opportunities the people in the dominican republic have had, the people in haiti have had, the people of colombia a have and that a is to vote for their leaders. >> domestically the issue of healthcare your republican colleague ron johnson said i want to know exactly what is in the senate bill. it is not a good process. what is your assessment of the process of evaluating healthcare? >> it is always tough because it
is difficult to put something like this together. you know,, in front of every camera in the world, but ultimately, every camera in the world is going to have to see what is in it and have plenty of time to debate it. so i have no problem with a group of people meeting to conduct a proposal, but ultimately that proposal cannot be rushed to the floor, and i don't think the senate rules would permit it. so it is fine if they are working on the starting point but ultimately we are all going to see what i is is in it, and e rest of us will have an opportunity to make changes to it, as a condition of our vote, and so that is the way i view this. this is not -- the senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it through a vote on the floor. there is just -- especially on an issue like this. so they -- the first step in this may be crafted among a small group of people, but then ever is going to get to it at the end and it is going to take a long -- it is going to take days and weeks to work through that in the senate. >> dickerson: finally in the shooting this weekend in washington, what do you think is the lesson in the aftermath of
that? >> well, i mean, the only person to blame for that a shooting is that person who did it, who obviously had big problems both mentally and behaviorally and that said i do think it is an important moment for us to understand that violence is the opposite of dialogue, and we in this nation have first amendment, and the law continues to protect the first amendment. i think we have to ask ourselves whether we are culturally cracking down on free speech, have we reached the point now where we are blocking people from speaking because we disagree with them? you know, it is funny on the one hand to hear people say we should be engaging in dialogue with raul castro and mainstream politicians in the united states being boycotted at graduation speeches across america. we cannot have a whole generation of young americans growing up to believe that if you disagree with someone's points of view the way to do it is try to shut them down. i am not saying that i is the means f the shooting we have to be a nation capable of debating issues on the merits of the issues without dehumanizing or demonizing the person on the
other side. you and i can disagree on the right approach to cuba, taxings or healthcare, i don't have to go around telling you, you are an evil human being for what you believe in because once you convince someone that the other side is evil, that, i think, in the minds of a deranged individual is an invitation to commit a violent act against them, i am not blaming the shooting on any democrats or the lerveghts i am just telling you, both sides need to think about that as we move forward. >> dickerson: all right, senator marco rubio thanks so much. >> thank you, john. >> dickerson: joining us now is vermont senator bernie sanders. he is in burlington. senator sanders i want to start with this week's shooting and talking to senator rubio he said obviously this was the man who did the shooting is responsible for his own actions, be new the wake of that, in this conversation about what leads to the heated political atmosphere, senator rubio pointed out, he said when people try to stop frefree speech, stop people from talking it creates pressure in the system that might cause people to act out. what do you think of that theory?
>> i think he is right. look, freedom of speech, the right to dissent, the right to protest, that is what america is about, and politically, every leader in this country, every american has got to stand up against any form of violence. that is unacceptable and i certainly hope and pray that representative scalise has a full recovery from the tragedy that took place .. this week. >> >> dickerson: there has been a lot of protests on campuses when people come to speak, they have been -- people of, have protested and said they shouldn't be allowed to speak, where do you come down on that in the context of this pressure on free speech? >> i think people have a right to speak, and you have a right, if you are on a college campus not to attend, you have a right to ask hard questions about the speaker if you disagree with him or her. but why should we be afraid of somebody coming on a campus or anyplace else and speak something you have a right to
protest, but i don't quite understand why anybody thinks it is a good idea to deny somebody else the right to express his or her point of view. i think, john, what is very clear is we are at a contentious and difficult political moment in our country's history. i have very grave concerns about the trump agenda, right now, we will -- we are looking, w we are not looking there is a healthcare proposal in the senate which nobody has seen yet, but the proposal that passed the house as you know, it threw 23 million people off health insurance, to me that is just incredible. it would raise premiums very significantly for older workers, it would defend planned parenthood and deny two and a half million women the right to get their healthcare that they want, cut medicaid by over $800 billion. you know, we -- i would say the vast majority of the american people have strong disagreements with that
approach. but you don't have to be violent about it. let's disagree openly and honestly but violence not acceptable. >> dickerson: i want to get to the details of the healthcare plan in a moment, for details you don't know at the moment. but let me just stay on this question here. is anything going to change in the wake of this in washington, at least in the way lawmakers deal with each other? and is there something that should change? >> i think, you know, and again, where this is such a strange moment is we are looking at a lot of dishops news that comes across, where people are lying outrageously about other people, and i hope that folks on all sides can say, look, i disagree with him or her but that is an outrageous lie. but let us, on the other hand, be frank. is there a real differences of opinions that exist in congress? it is not like, you know, you mentioned marco rubio. i like marco rubio.
but w we disagree on issues and people should understand, it is not that there is all kinds of hatred. in the congress, there is a fundamental disagreement. president trump made a, brought forth a budget which will go nowhere, but this is a budget that over a ten year period would give $3 trillion in tax breaks to the top one percent, the very wealthiest analysis america, while making massive cuts in education, into healthcare, in nutrition programs, really devastate working class of this country. i disagree with that. but obviously that debate has got to be played out based on the facts and let's debate it. >> dickerson: let me move here now to healthcare. you mentioned some of the policy differences, but there is a procedural debate going on about how this is being handled in the senate. some democratics are suggesting because the -- because you don't know what is in the bill and the bill is being worked on in secret, to just stop all senate business, to just shut the place down as a
way to kind of force play. are you on board with that? >> john, here is the situation. we know the legislation that passed the house. it was the worst piece of legislation, frankly, against working class people that i can remember in my political life in the congress. throwing 23 million people off of health insurance is beyond believe. now, in the senate, what you have is you have, i believe it is 10 republicans working behind closed doors to address one-sixth of the american economy. that is what healthcare is. republicans, the affirm republican doesn't even know what is in that legislation. my understanding is that it will be brought forth just immediately before we have to vote on it. this is completely unacceptable. i mean, nobody can defend a process which will impact 10s of millions of americans and nobody even knows what is in the legislation and, john, the
important point here is the reason they don't want to bring it public is because it is a disastrous bill, i suspect similar to what passed in the house. who is going to defend cutting medicaid by $800 billion at the same time as you give massive tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent? so they want to keep it secret. they don't want the media involved. they don't want members of congress involved and at the last minute they present it, they push it through, and that is one-sixth of the american economy and millions of people thrown off the health insurance that is unacceptable, i believe democrats should do everything they can to oppose that legislation in any way that we can. >> dickerson: all right, senator sanders, we are at our last minute so thanks so much for being with us and we will be back in wasn't minute. >> so we need tablets installed... with the menu app ready to roll.
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it is not the words we use, it is what is in our hearts. we are meaner that we used to be, according to the pew research center a majority of both parties see the otherq in very unfavorable terms, a view that has doubled since 1994. we used to think our opponents were just wrong and now a lot more of us think they are evil. politics defines more or our of our lives which means this is all more personally felt. the political system uses hate to motivate voters, no fund-raising letter or get out the vote flyer starts, hey, the other guy has a point. instead, the other guy is corrupt and heartless. in debates, in social, partisan and mainstream media, if you are skilled at pointing out dark motives in your opponents, the market will reward you. we can stop applauding this and we can stop taking the bait. we can start acting in the ways we praise after a tragedy, recognizing our common humanity, acting with restraints, assuming good motives, your opponents
have families just like you do who would worry about them in a crisis. their kids amaze and confuse them, just likes yours do, one people into groups steal the humanity we recognize in times of tragedy. judging motives off the bats starts conversation in the gutter. this doesn't mean ending the battle of ideas. it means returning to ideas, not being lazy and defining other people by the left for right or your ilk. let's hope lawmakers are successful toning down hate but we can do more than hope. we can act and we must because we are all part of the problem. back in a moment. >>
>> dickerson: and we are back with our political panel. jamelle bouie is slate's chief political correspondent and cbs news political analyst, ramesh ponnuru is senior editor from the "national review". we are also joins by cbs news chief congressional correspondence nancy cordes and we want to welcome the
"washington post" white house bureau chief, philip rucker to the broadcast. and let's start with you. you have spent so much time on the hill after the shooting wednesday. give me a sense of the feeling, the temperature, the atmosphere in the wake of that. >> well, you know, every member of congress knows in a sense they are a target. they have all gotten death threats. they all have a story about someone who has vandalized their property or someone who was arrested for making such extreme threats. but they go about their daily lives with that knowledge in the background. otherwise they really wouldn't be able to get out there and meet the public and do their jobs. now, it is in the forefront and i heard many members say this week, not just they are worried about themselves but they are a lot more worried about their staffers, because those are often the people who who are on the front lines here in washington and in their home districts, and they are not really sure what the solution is, how you stop a madman like this. >> dickerson: phil, the president has had to -- this is the first kind of thing like this he has had to respond to. what did you make of the white
house and the president's response to this? >> i thought his response the morning of the shooting was a really tone from him, he was presidential and talked about uniting the country and i think he is starting to recognize the danger of this political rhetoric that we are all dealing with that you spoke about a few minutes ago, and he is at the forefront of that. i mean, it is his tweets, it is his comments at his rallies that is stoking so much anger and emotion out there in the country and she trying to use the bully pulpit as a presidency to calm that down a bit. >> dickerson: ramesh, how long do you think, if things have changed, have they and how long do you think it will last? >> well, the precedent is that the tendencies towards increased polarization, less civil rhetoric, that just keeps increasing, there are these moment tear pauses, i don't have any reason to doubt that is what is happening now. i am always reminded when i cover presidential elections, tokesville's it is like a national crisis, a national fever and after the election it passes. this time it doesn't feel like the fever broke. >> dickerson: jamelle, in the way people talked about the
event itself, it seems wherever you started the conversation might get you into an immediate fight again, i mean whether it was about guns whrshes it was about rhetoric, the president or what, what did you make of it? >> it was striking because i got this, so many people are trying not to make this a political conversation, not to make this something so politicized because there is, crass, there is something about crass about trying to turn the shooting of a congressman into a partisan football. at the same time, there are legitimate issues here and i felt people were struggling trying to get those to the fore front, some of those legitimate issues are guns, the shooter was arrested for domestic violence incident and all of that i think got a little lost in this drive to not political size. >> dickerson: all right. we are going to end this here briefly. we want to take a little break. next up is jay second lowe's on president trump's legal team and then a whole lot more from our panel. stay with us. >>
>> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation". we are joined now by jay sekulow, she a member of the president's legal team and chief counsel at the american center for law and justice. mr. second low, i want to start, second low i sekulow, i want to start with i am being investigated by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, witch-hunt, what is he talking about. >> he issued that tweet on social media because of the report in the "washington post" from five anonymous sources none of which of course anyone knows about, alleging that president was under investigation, this purported expanded probe. the fact of the matter is, the president has not been and is not under investigation. so this was his response via twitter by social twitter in response to the "washington post" piece with five anonymous sources, by the way five anonymous sources, they don't even identify the agencies upon which these individuals
purportedly work so the response there is clear, i want to be very clear about this, the president is not and has not been under investigation. >> dickerson: how do you know? >> . >> because we have received no notice of investigation. there has been no notification from the special counsel's office that the president is under investigation. in fact, to the contrary, what we know is what james comey said, the last thing we know when he testified just a couple of weeks back, that president was not and is not a target of an investigation. >> dickerson: of course there have been events since james comey told him that, is that your view or that if you were under investigation there would be an obligation for the special counsel to let you know? couldn't you be under investigation and they are just not let you know yet? >> well, look, i can't imagine a scenario where the president would not be aware of it, number one there is a serious constitutional issue here, i want you to think about the context upon which this would take place. under the "washington post"'s theory of the case, this is the "washington post" theory that the president of the united states, after being advised by his attorney general and the
office of the deputy attorney general determine to remove james comey from the fbi director ship, if the "washington post" leads were correct the president of the united states .. would be, if this were correct, under investigation for taking the action that the department of justice asked him to take. that raises, not only serious -- it is not a serious, constitutional question, the president cannot be investigated, certainly cannot be found liable for engaging in an activity he clearly has powers to do under the constitution. >> power to fire the fbi director and let me ask you this question. james comey acknowledged that, james comey said he served at the please area of the president. >> dickerson: more broadly the big question is, did the president interfere in any way into the investigation of james comey was undertake something. >> no in fact he said to the contrary, remember, part of the interviews he has given, he acknowledged when he removed james comey, especially during the less hollywooder -- you read the entire context of the
transcript of that interview, he acknowledged by firing james comey as fbi director, the president acknowledged he would, in fact, probably extend the nature and length of the scope of the fbi -- the special counsel probe. the but he thought it would be the best for american people and look, i have got the letter, let me. >> dickerson: let me ask you. >> it is important here. the fbi director was removed after a deliberative process, and in part based upon, of course, the statements coming from his own attorney general and deputy attorney general who said and i want to read this, as a result, the fbi is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a directive or understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges to never repeat them. having refused to admit his errors the director cannot be expected implement the necessary corrective changes. so this is not coming out of whole cloth. this is coming out of a recommendation. yes, sir. >> dickerson: the president said he would speak under oath about all of that. that will that, i assume is still true? >> the president was very clear about that, he said if he was
asked to do it he would, that has been asked and addressed. again -- >> dickerson: would he do it with congress? you have this investigation going on, it takes a long time, he could short-circuit by going up to congress, senator graham and others have asked him to testify before congress. could that getty faster? >> that doesn't short-circuit anything. there are multiple tracks of investigations going on here, which is problematic, because once the special counsel is appointed, it changes the nature of who can and who will not participate before congress. so i vice president discussed that with the president. at all. he stated he would testify under oath. he didn't specify the venue. we will just leave that as it is. again, there are multiple tracks of investigation, but again i want to be clear here. the president has not, is not under investigation. james comey said it. nothing has changed since then. >> the president said last week he would release the tapes, if there were tapes of his conversation this week, that hasn't happened. where is that? >> i think the president is going to address that in the week ahead. there was a lot of issues this past week. the president gave a major address in you batch we
had the assassination attempt of steve scalise, there were a lot of intervening factors so the issue of the tapes, i think right now is not priority issue number one when the country is facing an assassination attempt on steve scalise and other members of congress and their staffs by the way and a our thoughts and prayers are still with him. i know he is in a very difficult situation. he also gave a major address on the issue in cuba and the attempt there to reconcile and redraft a policy that makes sense. so the president has a lot of issues and i think this shows that the president is concentrating on governing. this issue will be addressed in due course and i suspect next week. >> dickerson: jay second low, thank you so much. >> sekulow thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> we are back with our political panel. phil, the president said he was being investigated but his lawyer suggests he was just basically retweeting maybe something from the post. where are we on this. i can tell you the "washington post", my colleagues there have reported based on u.s. officials that the president is indeed under investigation. that it is an investigation into
his potential obstruction of justice, in addition to a number of other issues related to the russian matter. now the president may not have been given any sort of formal notice about that that but that usn't mean that mueller for special counsel is not investigating him. >> dickerson: ramesh, jay sekulow's arguments seemed to be because the president has the power i guess under the unitary to fire his fbi director are for, that's it he has the power and that sort of opens and shuts the case but it doesn't seem like it will. >> well, i think there are a number of potential problems with that line of argument. one is that if you are doing something corruptly, that raises a separate set of legal issues, and two is that there is a question of political accountability. it is certainly true that it is within the constitutional powers of the president to pardon anybody who commits a crime in his name, for example, but that doesn't mean that the house and senate would or should treat that as just par for the course. nixon's, the articles of impeachment against him, clinton, the articles of
impeach. against him, both referred to obstruction of justice, so the idea that there is no accountability for that is, i think, just not true to our constitutional tradition. >> dickerson: jamelle, the first kind of question the president had to clear up is something the president tweeted, the president's lawyer, although the president says this is a great thing for me, but if he had not tweeted about this investigation we wouldn't have had to stepped the time talking about it. is he basically building this case for himself by what he says? >> i think, i think that is a fair thing to say, if you look at sort of this entire saga, so much of it is self inflicts inflicted, so much stems from choices, the president made impulsive firings, for example, tweets, going on -- having interviews in national outlets and simply saying out right that he -- i fired director comey because of this russia stuff. had the president simply showed more discretion he would not be in this mess. and we are sort
of in this sort of feedback loop where the president's lack of discretion results in investigations or pushback, which then fuels further lack of discretion, which then fuels further investigations and da pushback. >> that's why so inning congress, many congressional republicans wish he would just stop tweeting because he would worry if he is not in trouble with the special counsel before he is now because of the things he is saying publicly, and they also worry that he is essentially taunting these investigators, you know, if you are saying to these investigators you are fake news, you are a witch hunt they worry that is just going to embolden them. you really don't want to be on the wrong side of the fbi and the special counsel. >> but it is not just what he tweets. he said on the record in an interview that he fired comey because he was upset about the russia investigation, that is the kind of thing vase was trying to barrel past in his interview with you and if the president lacks impulse control, a sense of self-discipline, that is not a problem -- >> is there any solution to this
challenge that they kind of have to keep dealing with here? which is the president is in a sense taking himself off message? >> the solution would be for him to focus on his agenda and lay off twitter but he has shown that is not really possible. look, he is in the white house stewing over this and he is angry and confiding in friends about the russia investigation and the cloud as he referred to over and over again and i don't know where this ends. we were currently at the white house staffing up with lawyers, vice president pence just hired his own counsel, trump's lawyer michael colon hired his own lawyer so they are preparing for a much more serious investigation. >> dickerson: and that sorts to get quite expensive for those who have to pay owl of this those, all of those legal bills which creates tension in a white house, on top of everything we talked about. jeff session it is attorney general testified a lot of democratic senators were frustrated they are not getting answers from him. where does that stand? will they bet the answers, specifically about the firing of james comey? >> probably not because they
really have no recourse in congress to somehow compel him to answer questions about his conversations with the president, and you really saw a split this week between democrats who thought, you know, there really is no written policy that prevents him from sharing what he said to the president and what the president said to him about james comey or anything else, and republicans who have said, no, there really is a tradition, the president's top advisors do need to be able to keep those conversations confidential because the president has a right to, you know, free information and guidance from the people around him. he can't be thinking that anything he says to them is going to end up in congress or in the public space. >> dickerson: jamelle, i thought that actually the attorney general sessions because he was able to say i am not going to talk about the obstruction things and was able to defend himself on the collusion actually ended up helping the white house this week. >> right. i think the attorney general sessions is sort of emphatic denials of collusion ended up,
yes, tangling some of the heat away from president trump, suggesting that the, that that kind of almost conspiracy that has been sketched with regards to collusion is overstated. and if, you know, if the president could show more discretion would have, i think, really helped the president politically this past week going forward, but the problem, of course, is that sessions could give those kind of politically helpful performances again and again and again, but as long as the president is unwilling to temper what he says in whatever forum, it kind of is a wash in the end. >> dickerson: in this whole context, the white house had, the president of the, president had a cabinet meeting this week. i want to take a little, a look at a little bit of it and i want to ask you, ramesh, what the president intended to do. >> what an incredible honor it is to lead the department of health and human services at this pivotal time under your
leadership. i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you have given me and the leadership you have shown. >> mr. president, last week was a great week. it was infrastructure week, thank you so much for coming over to the department of transportation. hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled to hang out, watching the ceremony. >> on behalf of the entire senior staff around you, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda and the american people and we will continue to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals. >> dickerson: ramesh, cabinet meetings like this tend to be show which at the start. we are familiar with that, but this still was a little bit different. >> well, it was the first time he got his entire cabinet assembled for a meeting, and he i guess wanted to put on a show. amongst some of the cabinet members, not all, it seemed to devolve into a contest about who could praise the president most full somely and i would say that the chief of staff, reince priebus won that contest, you
know, going away. but a lot of the others, they were just saying thank you for honor to be able to serve the public which i think is a pretty anodyne kind of statement people in both parties would have said. >> these are smart people they knows what works with this president, it is like the saudis putting a ten story high image of him up on a building. they know what he reacts to, they are all competing to get his attention, to get him to embrace their proposals for how to move their particular department forward, and they know that one of the quickest ways to do that is to flatter him. >> dickerson: phil, was this -- there was an orchestrated feel to it, against, ramesh rightly put, this is not totally unfamiliar, cabinet members praising the boss, but still, they all seemed to have been given a memo, and what i wonder is, whether this tells us anything about the sense of where this president feels, either under siege, he has talked about being under siege, whether he feels it personally and whether this was an effort
to kind of beat back or put forward some kind of strategy or whether it was just about saying nice things about the president. well clearly the president feels like his whole presidency is under siege and under attack but these cabinet members when they introduce him at events in public individually they say the same thing, vice president pence says it everywhere he goes, broad shouldered leader, the amazing president donald j trump trump and sort of the dear leader language you hear out of north korea and other countries but president trump responds to, this he feels this is a very personal leadership style he has and he w nts to be praised and it works. >> dickerson: jamelle, let's switch quickly to healthcare. the senate is trying to put together a bill, the president apparently told some senators he thought the house bill that came out was mean, where do you see things right now for this? >> i mean, part of the trouble here is we don't really know what is in the senate bill. it is being crafted in almost complete secrecy, key senators are unwilling to speak about its
contents. box.com did a series of interviews with eight senators who to a person could not describe how the bill they are considering meets their goals. and so substantively, it is generally difficult to say whether or not the senate bill is going to be less mean and then the house, than the house bill. i think it is clear that the majority leader mcconnell is desperate to get something across the finish line. is trying to insulate his members from any kind of political or public pressure and i think trump's scandals have had this effect of making that even more urgent, that the longer the president is sort of under scrutiny he the longer our political conversations focus on the president's misconduct, perhaps, the more difficult it is for them to do anything. >> dickerson: nancy, mitch mcconnell is a smart guy and knows how to do things. what is his strategy here? >>, you know, his challenge is if you are not going to do the house bill because it is mean and if you are not going to do obamacare, because you think that is a failure, yo your unive
of options is quite small, so they are trying to thread this needle in private, they are trying to craft something that is somehow going to get 50 members of their caucus, you know, the most conservative, the most moderate, and that's incredibly difficult. it is pretty clear at this point they are not going to meet their self imposed deadline at the beginning of july, just because time is running out. they don't have information from the cbo about what this would cost and what it would mean and they promised to do that before they tried to pass something. >> dickerson: 30 seconds. >> i had a long conversation with a member of the senate republican working group. there are very serious decision thaghts are still not made. how many people will be eligible for medicaid, what is the growth rate going to be. the i agree, i don't think they are close to hitting this deadline. >> dickerson: and the question also is, the way they are doing it, don't they run up against the criticism they had about the affordable care act which did have a lot of bipartisan discussion? >> absolutely, i think senator rubio is probably going to be joined by other republicans in
it is a new day in this country in part because there is a new president who is promise ago change in strategy. president moon was elected just last month, and what he is talking about is going back to the sunshine policy, opening a dialogue with the north, and that is a significant change, a significant break from the past decade. in fact, president moon just this week said he wants to sit knee to knee with the north korean dictator, president kim jong-un. >> dickerson: and for are a, your interview comes at an important time as well for his relations with the united states. >> the timing is incredibly significant because president moon is heading to washington and the white house to meet with president trump, and that relationship between the south korean president and the u.s. president is incredibly important. this is one of the most important strategic alliances in asia, and this part of the world, we heard from defense secretary mattis saying north korea's nuclear program is ther. national security. how will
president trump and president moon work together? we have already seen the new president create some distance with the united states. one of his advisors saying just today they are talking about their own anti-missile program. what about the status of the 28,000 u.s. troops who are stationed here? there is talk about in a concession perhaps to the chinese or to the north to talk about reducing the number of joint military exercises. so all of those things are on the table as this president, in particular, is looking at a way to find a solution to north korea's nuclear program. >> dickerson: an incredibly delicate time and we are happy to have you over there, for a it is a bit of a homecoming for you a little bit. >> my dad served in the u.s. army for 30 years, so i was stationed here. my dad was stationed at the i don't think some army garrison, i lived on the military base for two years when i was about ten years old, so it has been a while, it has been 30 years since i have been here, so it is really exciting for me to be back here and i am going to take
a tour of the garrison tomorrow, see my old, see if my old home is still there but it is just significant because they are talking about moving most of our troops from yognsam to another base further away from the dnz, so i have a lot to learn and also because i think this is just a new time as i said earlier, with this new president, president moon going to the white house, what is this going to mean for the future of the korean peninsula? >> dickerson: norah o'donnell on assignment, for remarks thank you so much, norah's interview will wear on cbs this morning tuesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern and pacific, and also throughout the day on our digital network, cbsn. we will be back in a moment. >>
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>> dickerson: commencement season is just about wrapped up, and as we take a look at some of our favorite speeches this year, instead of focusing on the famous, we thought we would share the fresh wisdom of the graduates themselves. they spoke the languages of the world. >> friends, and fellow graduates, welcome. in arabic -- or in the words of
confucius -- >> dickerson: and they did it with the millennial touch. >> but first let me take a self at this. >> selfie. >> dickerson: they braved the elements. >> thank you, everyone for hanging out in the rain. >> we usually try to forget -- >> dickerson: without missing a beat. >> hidden in our stories are silences that critically shape our experiences. >> dickerson: they showed us they were listening when we thought they were just wasting their time. >> spongebob taught us love yourself and stay optimistic. even south park, south park taught me to question authority, question power, dig beneath the most convenient answer. >> dickerson: and in their enthusiasm for the 11 of life they showed us they were actually paying attention to the important stuff too. >> remember that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. don't worry about your failures. worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.
worry about the direction you have fallen, fall forward, never backwards. >> dickerson:. >> cherish within your heart the love of those characteristics which will make you the best parent, partner, coworker and friend. don't silence those who have been silenced their whole lives. often it is the quiet person in the corner who has the best stuff to say. and lastly for the love of god, shut up and listen. >> let courage be our defense against cowardice, hope, our defense against despair, compassion our defense against destruction. >> dickerson: the class of 2017, from spellman college in atlanta, to teen university in new jersey. >> ♪ ♪ have sunshine in my pocket. got that sunshine in my feet. >> and boise state university to west point, graduates, we salute you. and we will be right back.
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