tv Face the Nation CBS July 23, 2017 8:30am-9:30am PDT
♪ today on "face the nation." the trump presidency hits the six-month milestone amid shake-up and expanding investigation. in the trump campaign ties to russia. end add week of white house turmoil on a high note. at the commissioning of the u.s.s. gerald ford >> when it comes to battle, we don't want a fair fight. we want the opposite >> the ceremony came day after sean spicer abruptly quit firing the hiring of a new communications director, new york financier and friends of the trump family anthony scaramucci >> i love the president, he's an effective communicator >> we'll talk with the new man who says trump should be even
more trump >> i was in the oval office all of today and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity >> dickerson: has been himself communicating unhappiness with jeff sessions along with robert mueller who seems to be in charge of the new legal team, this has son donald trump junior, generated kushner and paul manafort all agreed to speak with investigators, we'll talk with two key members of the intelligence committee investigating trump campaign contacts with russia. senate republican susan collins and the top democrat adam schiff. as senate republicans scramble to save healthcare legislation we'll talk with the leader spearheading the effort, nor senator john barrasso news on
john mccaine. lindsey graham is his best friend. >> i do know this, this disease is never had anymore worthy opponent >> dickerson: plenty of political announcements ahead on "face the nation." good morning and welcome to captioning sponsored by cbs "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. he marked the sick months in office with characterizing. a healthcare bill died yet again the he summoned republicans to the white house for lunch and scolding >> seven years you promised the american people that you would repeal obamacare >> then mr. trump gave a winding interview to the "new york times." in which he raised questions about attorney general jeff sessions's conduct. >> sessions said he's saying on
the job, at least for now >> i plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate. >> dickerson: the "washington post" reported that former russian ambassador told his bosses in russia that he and then senator sessions had discussed the trump presidency in their meetings. something sessions has down played. also this week, the president and his team raised questions about special counsel robert mueller's motivations anded president warned mueller not to go too far in his investigation. might he fire him? even republicans reacted negatively to the idea. >> i believe it would be catastrophic if the president were to fire him >> dickerson: reports that the president was asking his advisors about his power to pardon his aids and himself were knocked down by the president's lawyer only to beery animated by the president himself who declared that he had complete
power to pardon. >> we want to r welcome the incoming white house communications director, anthony scaramucci. welcome to "face the nation." i want to start with the president's tweet yesterday about pardons. he said he has complete pardon power. why is he tweeting about pardons? >> i think unfortunately, he may have had a conversation in the oval office or somewhere about it and then people rush out to leak that information to people. it's very unprofessional and harmful and i think the gist of that tweet is that he's not going to pardon anybody he doesn't need to pardon anybody. and it's just really about the leaking that is actually injury yus to the government. but he's done absolutely nothing wrong, there's no need for him to pardon anybody. he doesn't like the fact he has on a two minute conversation in the oval office or in his study and people are running out and leaking that. of >> we're going to work on
culturally changing that because it's extremely unprofessional. . he's the commander in chief, the president of the united states, the people that are standing around him doing that sort of nonsense are actually unamerican, doing an injustin tin to the american >> what happens to leakers on your watch >> they will get fired. tomorrow i'll have a staff meeting and it will be very -- i'm not going to make any prejudgments about anybody on that staff, if stay, they're going to stop leaking. if the leaks continue, we are strong is our weakest link and i'll say it differently in a pun where a strong as our weakest leak. if you guys want to keep leaking, get together and make a decision as a team that you're going to stop leaking. if you're going to keep leaking i'm going to fire everybody. >> dickerson: you talk about the president's success in communications getting his message across, is it helpful when he tweets about the special
counsel's investigation. >> truth of the matter that's crystal essence of the president, some of you guys thinks it's not helpful, if he thinks it's helpful, let him do the, at the end of the day i believe when those investigations are over, it will be another chapter in washington's scandals incorporated that we had to have a scandal going on and all this sort of nonsense and run around chasing something that's all about nothing and so i know we do that a lot in washington. i certainly don't want to do that. what i wanted to is focus on the president's agenda, how he's going to help middle class people, lower middle class people. how we're going to take it to isis like we're taking it to them right now. those are the things that i really think are super important for us to focus on. let robert mueller and that team focus on that, i will folk as little as possibleed >> isn't there a conflict between that the president is
raising issues about the motivations of mueller's team. is that helpful? >> like i said, it doesn't matter whether it's helpful on that mattered >> does it get in the way of the message you were just talking about >> it may and may not. i'm going to do -- we're going to be proactive, and aggressive on the president's agenda and so you guys want to talk about that, that's fine. i'm going to talk about the stuff things like this are important to the american people. >> dickerson: sounds like there's new line, you won't be talking about the special counsel, kellyanne conway was on raising questions about donations counsel staff made, will that stop, there will be talk about the agenda and no talk about the investigation >> i'm going to sit down with the outside counsel very close to jay sack low, we know each other very well, i know john dowd. i will understand the lines of communication, what we can say
from the white house, what we can't say from the white house. and then we'll operate a strategy that i think will knock the socks off of people. what i don't like about what's going on right now is that we're -- were he get hit we are on the heels of our feet and we want the president to be on the heels of his feet? president doesn't operate like that. the president operates off the balls of his feet, he's an aggressive guy. it's the reason he won the presidency, so we're going to come up with a strategy that's going to knock people's socks off and it's going to be pro trump agenda. and when the investigation dies down, i hope you'll invite me back on the show, see that was another one of those ridiculous investigations. >> dickerson: you're from the business world. the president was critical of the attorney general in public in "new york times." how does that help? >> well, from the business world, what i would say about that, and from may experience with the president, the president is a pretty, wears his heart on the sleeve sort of a guy. if people are very thin skinned
and things will be super tough to work for this president. the president has said things to me in a tough and honest direct way and i think he's a very good athletic coach, if you will and so what i4kw of my colleagues in washington i know the president very well. if has a saying stuff about you that you don't like, call him up, go see him, go get in the oval office or the study. >> dickerson: why not in private? it undermines the manned trying to serve the country >> that's the president's personality. it's not really that big of a deal. if you have a thin -- what i'm learning about washington, crocodile skin is not even the right met for, how about titanium oxide. >> dickerson: the president is known for responding to things about him, so surely he respond to everything said about him. does he have thin skin. >> the president doesn't have thin skin. the president is a fighter. he doesn't like people saying stuff about him. he wants them to stop it and so he hits back. what i enjoy about that if you're saying something about him that he doesn't like and
then he says something about you, all of a sudden you get upset. then you don't want him to get upset when you're saying stuff about him. it's asymmetrical nonsense. why don't we focus on the agenda instead of all of this nonsense >> dickerson: you said in a tweet, my political views don't matter, that assume carries over to the donations you've made, the supported democrats in past. all that doesn't matter for you doing your job >> listen, i'm an american businessman, practical guy, support add lot of different people, went law school with president obama. if you noticed the last two years i've been more or less in the public domain, i don't like attacking people personally. i like debating policy. i never once attacked personally secretary clinton. i have found when i have attacked people personally that's been a stupid mistake on my part. so whoever i've attacked personally i apologize for but here's what i was trying to do yesterday with those tweets, i think it is nonsensical and more washington nonsense that we have
to take this political pure tea i did deal logical test. if i say i was for something and now i'm against, that makes me a hypocrite. i don't believe in that. i want to subordinate my political views to the views of president and his agenda >> dickerson: if you're able to subordinate the people in the past and money you've given, why then does the president raise past donations of dis qualifying of the people who are working for robert mueller? shouldn't the principle work in both case >> hold on. i'm not the president, john. >> dickerson: i'm talking about the principle. you said past donations don't matter >> i understand -- let me. you asked me the question. let me just answer the question. i don't think it really makes a difference for me but i'm the communications director. the president saying something a little bit different. the president suggesting that there might be people that are politically motivated to hit him and his family members, even though there's nothing there. now, i had been the victim of
that. it's a nasty thing. it's really not something you'll like going through, someone accusing you of something you didn't do and you have to hire yourself a lawyer and have to prove. for one reason or another in these scandals we flipped the constitution around you're guilty until you go out and prove yourself innocent. you're not innocent until proven guilty. the president doesn't like that. the thinks it's dishonest and subverting the agenda he's trying to project >> dickerson: the investigators are doing the work. i don't think they accused him of anything, he says he's not being accused of anything and not under investigation but they're doing their job and subordinating whatever they may have done with political donations which seems like the same accommodation you're asking for. >> but again, i'm not the president. so if the president want to say that about them. let him say it, it's fine. >> dickerson: do you think their >> am i comprising >> dickerson: do you think the investigators are >> do i think the investigators
are? i don't know. i don't know these guys personally if you give me half hour with each of these guys i'm pretty good at reading people. i can figure out in probably 30 minutes if they're comprised or not. they may or may not be. ed >> let me ask you on the question of mixed messages. this week the president said three different things about healthcare. on the 17th he said the republicans should repeal the obamacare bill and start with a clean slate. 18th he said let fail, the 19th he said the country needs more than repeal, it needs repeal and replace. that's three different messages. isn't the president's message muddled >> in the at all. i hope we can do this for the president. i hope we can explain what he's doing and explain what he's thinking and i hope that what you'll start to realize which is very refreshing to the american people, he's signalling over the top of the mainstream media. let's go over each tweet.
he basically wants to repeal and replace obamacare. he knows that's the best thing for the american people. it turns out that he may not be able to get that done with theory cal gent congress. he's working super hard, probably the most effective legislature person in the world. he may get the chance to repeal and replace. he's a business person, got a rubic cube on his desk. and he's trying to figure out if he can get his objectives done which are to repeal and replace obamacare. a lot of different interest there. >> dickerson: the senators working on the bill right now i have no idea what his position is not he's betting them up on the one hand then saying he should do this, i guess that's the point. >> that's not true. there's not one person in washington that doesn't know the president's position. and if there is, and hopefully they watch your show, because you got a great show. he would like to repeal and replace obamacare.
that's what he would like to do. if you're going to stop him from doing that, the next best thing would be to repeal obamacare. if you're not going to repeal and replace obamacare, then the third best thing is to let it implode. because if you let it implode there will be a big enough crisis and unfortunately in this town call washington, these politicians respond better to crisis than practical problem solving, which we can do right now before the immotion. i think on a gradient that's what the president saying >> dickerson: will he get what he wants next week? >> he's going to get what he wants eventually because this guy always gets what he wants. what i know about. is that the world, he's got very good karma, very good to the people that are super close to him. look how great his kids turned. you can't fake good kids and the world turn back to. . my prediction is he's got to gel exactly what he want, healthcare reform, tax reform and start to put the deregulatory pillars in place, so that our businesses
and our economies can grow again, community banks can start lending again and the people that i grew up with. the people in my neighborhood that have been struggling with low income and low wages are going to see a burst in economic activity and he's going to getry elected. he'll work work feverishly over the next two and a half three years. >> dickerson: the senate and the house passed sanctions legislation on russia or going to mean will the president sign that and if not what more does he need -- what more does the president need to know about russian interference with the election >> that's a good question. i don't know the answer to that. or whether he'll sign it but we'll know shortly and when we do, whether he signs it or doesn't, if you invite me back on i'll try to explain to you the rational and the reasoning that went into that decision >> dickerson: anthony scaramucci thanks so much for being with us, we'll be back in a minute with a lot more "face
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republican senators susan collins, senator i want to start with your former colleague, jeff sessions, the attorney general, the "washington post" has a story suggesting those answers he gave to you and the rest of the intelligence committee in the senate may not have been complete. based on wire-tapping of what apparently has been overheard by the former russian ambassador. what do you make of that story? >> well, first of all, let me say that the intelligence committee will follow any credible allegation part of our investigation. i would point out that there is a big difference between an unsubstantiated leak about an alleged intercept versus sworn testimony and facts. and our focus is on sworn testimony and getting all the facts. i would note also that the russian ambassador is our
adversary and the russians have shown themselves to be masters at misinformation. nevertheless, this scenario that we need to pursue further, the one final point that i would make is if, in fact, this is a leak of an intercept and i don't know whether or not the report is accurate, that is extremely serious, that has the potential to compromise our national security and to undermine the safety of those who are in the intelligence community. >> dickerson: the president said it was unfair for attorney general sessions to recuse himself and not tell the president before he hired him. do you agree with that? >> i don't agree with that at all. the attorney general followed the rules and guidelines of department of justice. he met with staff and made the
right decision in recusing him >> dickerson: in my conversation with the new communications director at the white house anthony scaramucci suggested this new strategy we've seen which is to raise question about the special counsel, mr. scaramucci said of the president who has been critical of the special counsel, quote, let him do it. what's your assessment of what the white house message is about the special counsel? >> i understand how difficult and frustrating this investigation is for the president, but he should not say anything further about the special counsel. his staff or the investigation. i know it's hard but he needs to step back and not comment and let bob mueller, who is an individual with the utmost integrity, carry out the investigation and make his determination. >> dickerson: i understand the memos from former fbi director james comey are with the
committee, have you looked at them? >> we have not yet been given access to those memos. i'm very eager to see them as you know, the fbi director memorized his discussion with the president. particularly about his suggestion that the president directed him or implied that he should drop the investigation into michael flynn. so it's important that we see these memos. having said that, i do think that it was a violation of the fbi's old guidelines, which mr. comey helped to write for himself to have leaked some of those memos to a friend of his in hopes of prompting the appointment of a special counsel. >> dickerson: let me switch to healthcare. what's going to happen next week, and what will you be doing
and what will your position be? >> well, it's a good question about what's going to be happening next week, appears that we will have a vote on tuesday, but would know whether we're going to be voting on the has he been, the first version of the senate bill, the second version of the senate bill. a new version of the senate bill or 2015 bill that would have repealed the affordable care act now and somehow figure out a replacement over the next two years. i don't think that's a good approach to face the legislation that affects millions of people and one sixths of our economy. what i would like to see us do is to go back into committee, la mar alexander the chairman of the healthy committee indicated his willingness to hold hearings. we could divide this issue into separate bills and take a look at the serious flaws in the
affordable care act. most serious of which right now is the collapse of the insurance market in several counties throughout this country so that people had subsidies we only have insurance that can sell them insurance that, would allow us to hear from expert witnesses to get input from actuaries and governors and advocacy groups and healthcare providers and most important from members of both sides of the aisle, democrats. >> dickerson: ten seconds will have the. have you heard from the president turned to lobby you on this >> i personally the vice president from the head of cms and from the president's chief of staff. i talked to the president briefly at the lunch but have not had further conversations with him. >> dickerson: we'll have to end it there, thank you, senate collins, we'll be back in a moment on top democrat to senate
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back with congressman adam schiff joining us from los angeles. your committee will be talking to jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, a do you know from him >> we certainly want to know about several meetings that have been alleged taken place, obviously the meeting with donald trump junior and the several russians that we now know were in that meeting but also the meeting with the head of the veb bank sanctioned russian bank as well as that alleged conversation he had with the ambassador about setting up a secret back channel to russia. we want to know whether those meetings took place, whether others took place, we have a lot of ground to cover, his counsel has said they will make him available two hours we expect this is just going to be the first interview. but there's a great many questions that we'll have for mr. kushner >> dickerson: we have great many questions now, we'll be back after the break to ask them, stand by and we'll be back in a moment.
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welcome back, we want to continue our conversation with congressman adam schiff. you're a former prosecutor, what did you make of the president's comments in the "new york times" that he thought it would be a violation if the special counsel went looking >> first the president is clearly worried that bob mueller will be looking into allegations, for example, that the russians may have laundered money through the trump organization, that is something in my opinion he needs to look at. what concerns me the most, is anything that can be held over the president's head that could influence you as policy, that would be among most powerful form of compromise. i think it's something plainly the president is concerned about but clearly within the scope of mueller's investigation.
i'll say this in light of the talk about jeff sessions lately. it does concern me that the president should bring this up now. if it's an indication that he wants to somehow push sessions out and get in a new attorney general who then take rod rosenstein's place as supervising the mueller investigation, if this is part of a longer term strategy to define or confine the scope of the mueller having, that would be concerning. >> dickerson: the deputy attorney general who oversees the investigation now speaking of senator sessions, there's been this report in the "washington post" as senator collinses said, it's an anonymous source about perhaps an intercept picked up. the caution is in order, but even if the post is right. senator sessions said he didn't talk about the campaign, the allegation is he talk about maybe russia and russia policy with the ambassador. isn't that perfectly fine for a senator to do to talk to the ambassador about policy and what a possible policy toward russia
might be >> it wouldn't be objectionable if he had been straightforward and honest about it with the senate. of course, he, initially denied having any such meetings and then he acknowledge such meetings but said they weren't about the campaign. and i think that's strange whether or not that "washington post" story is accurate. i believe i share the assessment john mccaine expressed earlier of deep skepticism that he was being sought out in his role as a member of the armed services committee rather than his very prominent role on the trump campaign. so, you know, this is part of a pattern, if the members of the trump team were honest and transparent and forthcoming about these things, it would raise a lot less questions but of course, that has not been the case. and now we see evidence in those e-mails about the donald trump junior meeting, why they had been concealing these things, quite separate and apart from the "washington post" story, i think there's a lot about what the attorney general said that doesn't hold much water, and that we really do need to get to the bottom of
>> dickerson: what's your response to the officials say this is an investigation where the special counsel can go wherever he wants, and it can go all over the place? what are the checks on him >> the checks on him are what is said out in his charter, he has an investigation he's been authorized to do into russian connections with the trump campaign and anything that arises from that. so that's his charred and i think all of what we're talking about is well within the scope of that. if he were to go off on a detour that had nothing to do with that, it would be an issue. bob mueller knows exactly what he's doing, which is why members of both parties have confidence in him. i don't think he's going to use this to explore things that are completely unrelated but he does have the power to look into these financial issues that the president seems so concerned about, because russians use their financial leverage over people to influence policy. that's what they do in europe. it's part of why they like business leaders as heads of state, because they can enter
into business transactions before or during that then can be used as a way of influencing their decision making and of course, that would be detrimental to u.s. interest >> dickerson: you're speaking about this as a kind of theoretical matter. is what you looked at in the course of your work suggested that pattern has more than just possibility but there's evidence behind it >> i don't want to comment on the evidence but i do think we need to look at each and every instrumental tea the russians used elsewhere. some we know were used here and determine are there other ways that the russians have sought to exercise influence. because at the end of the day, we need to make sure that our president is operating not in his personal best interest or not because he's worried about what the russians might have but because what he is doing is in america's best interest. the fact that we have questions about this is in itself harmful but we need to get answers to them, so that the country can be
that the chief executive is doing the nation's business first and foremost. >> dickerson: thank you so much for being with us. and joining us now is john barrasso who is a member of the republican leadership team and there have been a lot of healthcare meetings in your office. senator. the president wants repeal and replace. what is going to get voted on next tuesday >> it's a vote a motion to proceed to the bill that passed the house. that then comes to the senate and weekend vote once we get on that bill to amend it in various ways and lots of members have different ideas on how it should be best amended to replace what is really a failing obama healthcare plan >> dickerson: when you talk about the motion to proceed, that means basically a begin conversation. there have been senators who expressed they will vote against that. where does that stand >> we're continuing to work with all the members, we're getting much closer, we are going to vote this week and until the vote is on the floor of the senate, some people may not tell you what they're actually going to do.
of we all got elected to legislate and that's why we're here. people have campaigned, republicans over the years, to repeal and replace obamacare this our chance and i think it's hard to believe somebody who has won an election can go home and face the voters and say i'm not willing to debate it on the floor >> dickerson: you mentioned that repeal and replace will be on but there's been talk of having a straight-up vote on repeal. senator mcconnell said the 2015 bill would be voted on, that vote will still happen? it will just be an amendment >> people can offer that as an amendment. i have a number things that approve on the house bilk president trump has said it should be more generous, the bill i've been working on lowers insurance premiums, makes it more affordable by 30%, puts medicaid on a much more sustainable path and you know medicaid was designed initially for low income women and children in the disabled but it's changed significantly under obamacare >> senator corker talked about
the efforts this week to try and get everybody back on beam and he said i fear it's going to feel like a bizarre, much like how was put together where desperate things were added and put in. pats your response >> i was in wyoming legislature five years, you get a bill and started aing amendments, you bring your best ideas forward and then people vote. up or down. so as the amendments get added to the bill, in the end, there's a final vote. do you approve or not approve of the whole amendmented package and that's what we're trying to do and that's why i think people run for office, to take tough votes, to legislate and to live with the consequences. of >> dickerson: there's obviously another structural way to do this, which is the bipartisan route. you heard senator collins make that claim, she said we should go back to a bipartisan approach. this wasn't has not been. senator graham, is senator mccaine and polls show people desperate for a bipartisan approach why hasn't there been
one on this one? >> i agree. it should be bipartisan should have been bipartisan when was passed. it should be now as well for big things that affect the country, it should be done in a bipartisan way. let's set the record straight. with this resistance movement to. and the energy and the democrat party pulling chuck schumer is the leader far to the left, to the bernie sanders elizabeth warren approach, senator schumer has been pretty clear up from the beginning, that we should expect no cooperation from him, we know where bernie sanders and elizabeth warren want to take it which is to a single pair canadian british style government run program >> dickerson: has anyone reached out in a serious way? we talked to senator mansion to democrats, he said he had not heard from the republicans or from the president. i mean, everybody in their opening gambit set no way, no how, that's kind of what the senate does >> i visited on the floor of the senate and off the floor with a number of democrats, they say we do want to work together but there's a couple things, one is
don't touch the mandate, the individual mandate that says people have to buy a government, be it's that the most hated part book. status quo is different from the original intent of medicaid of protecting the most vulnerable who are now getting crowded out of medicaid because of the expansion and they say oh, by the way, make sure you put more money in to stabilize insurance markets. well, you know. just last week once again provided a transfusion to, which is in the intensive care unit. >> dickerson: the american doctor and the ama american mel association, does not like this bill. are they wrong >> i'm still a member of the american medical association, they've done incredible things for patient safety and healthcare over the years, they were big supporters of the obama healthcare law, lost a lot of members as a result of that. i think that they're misguided on this because the doctors i talked to at home and the nurses and the patients i was in
wyoming yesterday, continue to say we need to get rid of this obamacare. we need to replace it with something that lowers the cost. makes healthcare more affordable. health is very personal and we need to make sure we do it right. ed >> senator barrasso thank you for being here. we'll be right back with the political panel. daily fiber... that's clinically proven to help me feel fuller longer. benefiber® healthy shape. this i can do!
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what's coming, they're prepared for anything. the first can we go is, can, sarah mcconnell get enough votes to get the bill on to the floor? i think that's still in question and i think that he has decided the only way you answer that question is to take the vote. it may be embarrassing for him if he can't do it but i think he wants one way or another either to have this debate or to get some closure to where this particular chapter ends. and then we'll see what happens after that. >> dickerson: how do you see the nature of the things they're a debating the republican only
conversation at the moment. what's -- what's happening? >> there is no bipartisan consensus what's due, that's right there's no partisan, listening to republicans talk about what they're going to do with this bill is a little bit like listening to george r martin talk about what he's going to do when the next game of thrones novel will be published. just admit you're never going to finish it. and i think you know, this is, we've been following this for months, we saw process with obamacare, it was dead, alive, it was like a zombie, unzombie bill of the century. democrats knew what they wanted to do with healthcare. they have obviously within the caucus about exactly what's due, they wanted the government to provide a universal guarantee of coverage. everyone in the caucus wanted to goal >> dickerson: the democrats >> the democrats, the republicans what they would like is for obamacare not to have passed. unfortunately since we don't a
time machine and as far as i know have not funded research into it perhaps they should, there's not really any way to achieve what the actual caucus agrees on. part wants you know, to cut medicaid. part of the caucus really wants to pass something called the obamacare repeal act of 2017. and part wants to just slash this, put nothing in its place and there's no way to sort of pull all of those goals together >> dickerson: anthony scaramucci said the president was the best legislative person in the world. but the president has been -- had a lot of different messages and his approach susan collins said she hadn't heard from him. what do you make of his role in this process >> the striking thing is that the president hadn't had much of a role at all. other than simply repeating the rhetoric of the campaign, we're going to repeal and replace obamacare. it's very difficult to see which he or his staff have been engaged in this effort. i think that is is critical what
happened with the affordable care act. where at the critical moments, after the election of scott brown, for example, barack obama, the white house, worked with congressional leaders to insure that the bill would survive and make its way through. and trump isn't involved. the president has not even been able to articulate exactly what his policy goals are. he has not really defended the theory of the case here. so he's largely hands-off and i think. i think had he had the reverse been true, that might have been some of which he needed to get republicans together, just like straight-up leadership but in the absence of that, these divisions, these different the, they take the poor >> dickerson: give us a sense of the politics. if, republicans don't pass something that repeals obamacare is that more than passed at the moment >> i believe it's like do you want to chew glass or poke a needle in your eye?
which one is less painful to do? nobody like this bill. voters don't like it. megan is right, people within the caucus don't like it, within the republican caucus, nobody wants to vote on something but they promised they oh vote for something and the most important thing if you're going to vote for something that nobody likes and you don't even particularly like very well as a member of congress, how do you go and defend it in the next election? that's the real challenge, there seems to be a piece where it's like a check the becomes for a lot of republican, we promised we'd do this, that's the number one concerning if we don't do it, our base is going to be upset and they're not going to turn out and vote. but if we check this box, get something done, we'll move on to things we like talking about, we'll be more coordinated on like tax reform. the problem is that vote doesn't go away. i talked to a number of democratic strategists, they can't wait for 2018 to make the vote that republicans have taken on the house bill a central argument in 2018. they still have to defend on what they have or haven't done.
>> it's easy to say if you're a democrat strategist, the republican party spent the better part of an entire first year doing nothing. and that's hard to push back against. >> there's also the thing of, it's actually better for them if it doesn't pass, it's better for -- each individual person if they voted to repeal obamacare and nothing happens, you can go out and campaign as amy says, but minute there's something that's actually happening, republicans 100% own what's going to happen and since a lot of people won't like what happens, there's in a rough spot >> dickerson: i want to switch to the changes at the white house, give me a sense of within this administration and then president have said if i just fix the communications everything will be great. is that what this is or is there something else >> you have a white house from the beginning was built to be dysfunctional. this is not a hierarchy administration, if you drew a
table of organization at the white house, you would have all of these boxes, but they wouldn't necessarily connect with anything or many would connect only directly with the president or none would connect directly with the president. he likes it that way. so yes, they have a communications problem. but it's so easy for every administration and we've heard it before to say, if only people understood what we were doing, then things would be fine. it's much more complicated than that. and the president gets in the way of that. the agenda gets in the way of that. what we've been talking about on healthcare. clouds all of that and obviously. russia gets in the way of that. moving anthony scaramucci who's certainly a different personality than sean spicer into that role and have a visible role, could make some small difference. but the problem is so much bigger. >> dickerson: one of the challenges the president's interviews and tweets seems to get in the way of his own agenda.
>> we've known from the beginning, that the real communications director in the white house is the president of the united states, and what he tweets sets the agenda. and so what you saw the day after scaramucci was installed, we saw a whole line the tweets on saturday from the president, that were kind of all over the place. whether it was the issue of pardons, there was a little bit about what he was doing down in norfolk with commissioning a new ship. really, there was nothing there that was like a cohesive strategic message. this was made in america week, that's what this week started off to be. certainly didn't end the week talking about the agenda. that's, you know, you listen to scaramucci talking to you. he talked about we're going to get back to the agenda, back to the agenda. the biggest difficulty in getting back to the agenda is the president's twitter account. this that you white house communications director says we just need to let him do more of
it >> dickerson: more from the president. is that the solution. >> it would not be my personal strategy where i appointed the cz ar of white house communications i often wonder why they don't have a an aid where every time he tweets trip and break it. the in fact is that's part of the problem. he doesn't have a policy agenda in a traditional sense. he doesn't, you know, when you see the lack of leadership in healthcare. he doesn't know what he wants. he just wants it to be often. he wants people to like him. that sort of repeated over and over even on issueses where like immigration, staffing up and doing some of these executive orders. there's no vision, controlling the executive branch and making it do things, he doesn't have that, focuses on controlling the news cycle and thinks ok, when you control news cycle with
things that are bad now, eventually that ads up into not getting an agenda done >> dickerson: one was the "new york times" interview and the president's clear view that the investigators working for robert mueller and the special counsel himself, robert mueller are somehow compromised. that seems to have been that plus some on the other things, a new strategy from the white house >> in keeping with megan's observation, the president wants to control the news cycle and that's sort of where his skill set lies, i think he trying wrestle control away from the investigation and by making these allegations that the investigators are themselves personally compromised i think his hope is to -- to kind of so doubt broadly among the supporters and make this the crux of discussion and not the actual substantive investigation itself. i want to add on to what megan said and just emphasize that during campaign one of president
. when the news broke that john mccain had been diagnosed with brain cancer, this week marks the anniversary of one such example. 50 years ago, the u.s.s. forestall aircraft carrier was deployed during the vietnam war. a rocket accidently fired sparking a fire on the deck. it spread to planes preparing to launch and set off a chain reaction of explosions. 134 sailors were killed. one of the pilots preparing for take-off, who was hit were you senator john mccain, who miraculously escaped his burning a 4 sky hawk. the math of endure ability. he has survived three others including being shot down over enemy territory. then survived five and a half years of torture as a prisoner
of war and later three skin cancer surgeries. his former chief of staff and co author mark seltzer wrote this, john mccain will be around for a long while. i've always known he'd out live me. i wrote the you'll gee he'll give at my funeral. there's standards devoting yourself to that are more important than self interest. keep the faith even if it means turning down early release from torture and living in a dark box in north vietnam. he didn't just hold fast in hanoi, wrote jonathan martin, an 80-year-old man with brain cancer pushed himself to exhaustion this year, traveling to assure the world about america. this does not make john mccain, a sane, he's flawed, a hot head. he'll tell you nearly all of this himself, but when off the path, his fight is to get back
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