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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 21, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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sean spicer said he could not. he did tweet a couple minutes ago it has been an honor and privilege to serve the president and this amazing country. i will continue my service through august. two people unhappy with the choice of scaramucci were reince priebus and steve bannon. we're watching that podium there at the white house where the reporters are lined up. while we wait, let's debrief with our reporters an analysts. kristen welker is at the white house. set the scene for us, what is happening in the white house right this moment? >> well, it is certainly been a frantic morning, cakatie as allf this unfolded. our reporters were waiting outside of the press office waiting to get clarification on
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what was happening. and so there was sort of a crush of reporters trying to get that information, finally of course it was confirmed. now the question becomes what happens next, who will replace him. let me set the scene here in the briefing room. this is a packed briefing room. people are standing, this reminds me of some of the very earliest days of the prump presidency and it shows the importance of this day. someone told me that sean spicer felt very confident about the direction he and the communications team was taking. the president's messaging when it came to ruling out tax reform policy, for infrastructure and other domestic policies, and this decision to put anthony scaramucci in charge of the communications team is one that sean spicer could not get behind. he did not feel he was going to
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contribute to the effectiveness, to the moving forward in the right direction, and that is why ultimately he made this decision. i'm told it is not personal. i think that is something that sarah huckabee sanders will underscore. what does this mean for reince priebus. reince priebus was not supportive of this decision to bring anthony scaramucci on board, but now the public messaging is that he is 100% behind anthony scaramucci. we are waiting to hear from sarah huckabee sanders, this just one of a number of headlines that we were tracking heading into the day. >> so often we hear the public messages greatly differ from what we're hearing from private. >> jonathan, i was talking to sources yesterday and today and they said that sean spicer was
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telling people last night he would resign if anthony scaramucci was hired as a communications director. that he didn't believe scaramucci had the experience to do the job. that he didn't understand what the job entailed. ultimately the white house and the family and donald trump just were not happy with how the communications team was running things. they felt like they didn't have the appropriate push back. they were not defending the president the way they would have liked them to given all of the escalating scandals when it comes to russia. does it jog with what you're hearing. >> yeah, sean spicer, steve bannon, and reince priebus fought tooth and nail to stop anthony scaramucci from getting this job. whatever you hear to the contrary is just false. it's just not true. that is not to say they hate them and there is a personal animosity, or all of that stuff, they have known each other for years, but the facts are that
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the three of them tries their cuts out last night, this morning, to stop this from happening. the president made up his mind, and there was a lot of misinformation being put out last night. people saying he has not even had an interview. it is people that are either out of the loop, or actively misleading. and the fact is they don't speak for the president, he makes up his own mind, jared and ivanka were behind it, and the president was fed up with the communications team. venting about it for weeks and weeks and weeks. >> anthony scaramucci met with the president and ivanka for an hour or hour and a half yesterday. he has been interviewing for the job for a year. >> on that note, there is always the fighting in the white house, who is up, who is down. ultimately anthony scaramucci is
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somebody that they believe is going to come out and act like they did in the campaign which is unfailingly fight for donald trump. not get lost in the weeds of the rules of the presidency. i was told by someone that this is a real win for the "originals." >> the originals. so one could say wow, he is a globalist, a new yorker, anthony scaramucci is a skillful salesman. when you have surrogates that were clumsy, he is crafty. what separates himself is that he is a goldman new york guy. you can look to a wilbur ross, you have it right, he is an original. they are willing to september and honor that the trump family gets special treatment. gary cohen is a straight shooter
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that might not agree with donald trump junior. think about what we're facing. jared, don jr., and paul manafort might be sitting down next week to tell their stories, he would rather have a scaramucci that compared jared to alexander hamilton, speaking on his behalf, than a sean spicer. it's true. i hear jonathan laughing, but it's true. >> i am laughing but i agree with you. >> this might be a win for the originals with the donald trump faction, those with him in the beginning -- >> but not the honky originals -- >> not the honky tonk, but the let trump be trump. those with more experience than someone like coreyli lewendowsk
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had. but they had reince prebiebus a sean spicer in the white house. they still have reince pre bieb now, but who knows how long he will stay and if his influence will matter alonger. hugh hewitt, i got a long message from someone well respected in the republican party, is very important in the republican party, important to get republicans elected in swing states, and they texted me that trump as abandoned any regional approach to the presidency. he is doing rog doing rouge int, throwing staffers under the bus. scene was the most loyal person in the press shop and was replaced by a guy totally unkwul
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if i -- unqualified for the job. trump only protects himself. the president needs them, more than they need him. and she went on to say this is -- look at what happened with mitch mcconnell and look at what happened with health care. mitch mcconnell is going to call a vote to the floor that's not going to pass to the president can say he has a win. hugh hewitt, as a member of the republican party, as someone that talks to the important name that party on a daily basis, what does this mean for them? >> i would not overplay chaos on the reince preangle. i just got a story that an arm of the priebus machine has gone back to the rnc and other
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charges are being made over there. the communicator represents part of the chicken little part of the republican party. they are running around and they're very worried about what is going on. this is not the way that the white house ran. it is completely new and different and it is very unsettling. on the other hand, i'm a big fan of jeff sessions, and a telegraph to 9th and constitution that maybe the ag is not around for a long time. many of the ways that -- it is very unsettling for a lot of people. what does it mean in reality? >> in reality that we're not getting anything done. the va reform matters a lot, but
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health care and taxes matter the most. and when they killed health care, they took it over and it was a big defeat. . we're all talking about personnel today instead of the health care. the biggest defeat of the trump administration. there is method toe that madness. the spth goipresident is going youngstown on tuesday. he is by no means on the ropes, i don't think it is accidental. >> i don't think that is accidental either, that is true. republicans, do they have an ally in donald trump? >> this is, i think a significant moment, a significant moment for official washington, it is a significant
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moment in washington, and what sean spicer represented when he got this job, when he came to this administration, and he came from a republican establishment background in washington. he was a party loyaltyist. he was known to reporters long before trump came to politics if donald trump, once he got elected and once he came to office would back off a little of what we saw in the campaign. there would not be as much tweeting. there would be a clear policy gent. putting the majorities to work, the communications would be more strategic. might come out for big rallies, get behind, maybe the infrastructure or health care
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bill. >> but it d he really think that would happen though? that is like saying he was going to pivot the general election. >> but they have the majorities, they got the victory. >> donald trump loves the limelig limelight. >> that is why it is significant. they're not going with someone that came up through the career communications professional ranks. and i think scaramucci, i have seen him on tv, i have to say i think he is the single most effective communicator through the medium of television on behalf of donald trump. he is glib. unflappable. >> he knows a lot of reporters as well. he lives in this world for a long time. >> part of building sky bridge was all about media.
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he built a reputation, built the story, and he told it over and over again as a media permit. >> kristen, i like to say this a lot, nothing happens in a vacuum. it comes on the heels of two bomb shell "new york times" and "washington post" reports about the president's lawyers tries to under cut robert mueller, look for conflicts of interest and having conversations about what his pardon powers were. that on top of one of his lawyers being all be pushed out, and another one of the lawyers being pushed out. what exactly is going on in this white house right now scene there real serious concern that this russia probe is going to come, at least in trump's mind, a little too close to home, and i'm talking about his finances. >> let me start with the two big bomb shell reports overnight, katie, the ones you referenced
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that the trump administration, his legal team, some of his advisors are trying to under cut robert mueller, looking into his background to see if there are any conflicts of interests. he asked about pardons for his family members and for himself. and they are pushing back saying look, this is false. the sources say perhaps this is a trial balloon that they want to see how much push back they get about the potential strategies. look at what the president is saying himself. he has been undercutting the special council for a number of weeks if not months now referring to the whole thing as a witch hunt. telling the new york ty"new yor this week that if robert mueller looked into his finances he would consider it crossing a line. and we pressed sarah huckabee sanders on that and if he was
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essentially threatening mueller, but the president sees it well within his right. i think the bottom line here is, katie, that is continues to be a mounting conversation. and we had our reporters out this week talking to his supporters. they say look, we don't mind the chaos, but we want to see things get done. you have that big defeat for health care, but still no health care reform, and it is that sort of thing they think is potentially going to threaten some of his support. so i think that is where the russia controversy becomes very difficult and we will ask sarah huckabee sanders. >> that is my second question to you, hugh hewitt said don't lose sight of the issues. it is a personnel issue, it may be a little more than a personnel issue because of the way the white house is being
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run. but also there is a big defeat in health care, and they're still finding a way to pass that, if they can, at all, and there is an investigation. so how much is this white house briefing going to be dominated by sean spicer that arguably is at least slightly easier for the white house to deal with than the other two issues. >> i think it will be both. i think she will get tough questions about both of those issues, but taking health care just on it's own, what we witnessed this week was really striking in it's own right, first saying republican don't oen health ca own health care, and he seemed to effectively say we do own health care. i'm here, ready to sign the bill into law, you need to get it done and move on this. of course there was shifting strategies initially he said let's repeal and replace, and then it went back to just repeal, and then it wasn't to
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let's let the whole thing fail and then back to re peel and replace again pim told they just want to g a bill on the floor, that is the new strategy and then work through some amendments to try to have something to show for it at the end of this process. it is clear that the president is feeling the paralegal heat when it comes to hkt. this is one of the heightture promises to voters and it has not happened yet and it is in real jeopardy of not happening, i think that is at the becomedrbecomackdrop of these controversies today. >> what happens to steve bannon. >> he will fester in his office for awhile. he said there was no way it was going to happen. he told people that anthony scaramucci was unqualified. he really fought against it and it is a stinging loss.
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i don't think we should draw too many conclusions, you can elaborate and say what does it mean for his future, but i don't think it means a whole lot. the president to overrule his chief of staff, and chief strategist shows you have frustrated he was and how he thought the status quo was unacceptable. >> steve bannon and jared went their own ways. my source said that ban nonon, though some wanted him out of the white house, it was safer to keep him in the white house. >> but his only ally in the white house, he didn't really have much to do, but he would hang around in reince's office. so without reince there, steve b bannon is a team without a
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mission. we got video of sean spicer walking out of the white house. not leaving, there it is, there he is, just walked right out. is that the extent of that video? that just passed by, that is the extent of that video. sean spicer, there he is again, he is not leaving, i think he is maybe just getting a breath of fresh air, who knows. jen palmeri is on the phone as well. thank you for joining us. how important is this job? >> reporter: it is, you know, it is an important job for the president, and it is an important job for the staff. the communications director, you know your job along with the press secretary should be for the intermediary between the president and the press, and you play an important role as a point of coordination with the rest of the white house team.
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so because communications and press is sort of where everything comes together. if you're communicating the policy agenda, you put it together and you figure out how to put that forward to the public and engage with the press on it, or if there is a big moment or a problem with the country, that is where you're figuring out how the president of the united states is going to communicate with the american people and inform them of what this problem is. and how you're going to deal with it. so it is a, you know, it is the best ones i think are people that can work really well with the -- as a team member and -- >> do you think anthony scaramucci is a good choice for the job? >> i have talked to him a few times, i have been on television with him. you don't get a lot of words in edge wise. he is effective at defending
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trump. but i don't imagine he would play the kind of role that traditionally a white house communications director does. >> i don't think anyone in this white house is playing a traditional role. >> so we got the two minute warning about a minute ago. it all went down in a bit of a tight hold, no one really knew about it except for ivanka trump and her father, the really close golden ring, if you will, anthony scaramucci was at the white house yesterday and met with them in the oval office for about an hour or hour and a half. steve bannon found out about this and pushed back very forcefully to try to stop this
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from happening. the president called him as late as midnight last night, and 5:30 this morning saying i'm getting a lot of push back. don't worry, you're getting the job. then they met in the oval office around 10:00 a.m., and he was offered the communications director job. he accepted it and that is around the time we got scene spicer's resignation. so who will be white house press secretary in will she end up getting that job, and what happens to reince priebus, the chief of staff that has been under fire internally for quite some time, will he end up leaving because of this. publicly he said he was supporter, he wasn't trying to get the president to not hire him, he just wanted to slow down the process.
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he said there was ethics issues there according to his sources that spoke to peter alexander. -- oh, wait, hold on. sarah huckabee sanders, the lady in read today. and there is anthony scaramucci, communications director at the white house officially. >> the president will welcome several living survivors of the attack on the u.s.s. arizona at pearl harbor and their families. truly the most prized thing have come out of our country have been the brave men and women that risked their lives protecting the freedom of americans and allies around the globe. at 2:00 the president signed an executive order near will ensure the men and women of the
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greatest military in the world have the ships, aircraft, vehicles, and other supplies they need to keep us safe in the years today. this is the first ever whole assessment of the home defense industrial base. marks the first time that an american president is investing personal attention into the united states defense health. he is supporting our nation's heros for decades to come. next week we will be highlighting american heros like the world war ii veterans, the first responders that keep our community safe every day, and the boys and gharl will grow up -- girl that's will grow up to protect. the president voted to reauthorize the department of homeland security for the first time. it also authorizes u.s.
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immigration and customs enforcement for the first time. he has fulfilled the president's promise to fully enforce the laws of the united states. this bill reflects the president's strong commitment to ensuring that progress continues. also on the hill, republicans continue to work toward our shared goal of saving the american people from the disaster of obama care. earlier this afternoon, vice president pence and secretary of health and human services dr. tom price hosted representatives from several grass roots organizations calling on the senate to take action on health care legislation. as the president said, inaction is simply not an option. they want them to know that they will follow through on their promise to the american people. finally i would like to read a statement from the president on the resignation of sean spicer. i'm grateful for sean's work on
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my behalf and for the american people, i wish him continued success. he will continue to serve the administration through august, and the president has also appointed anthony scaramucci as communications director. i have a statement on anthony's appointment as well. anthony is a person i have great respect for and he will be a great addition to this administration. he will lead the communications team. we will have established touso h and we're being given credit for so little. the people get it even if the media doesn't. i would like to invite him up, i will come back after to answer any follow up questions. >> i'm going to be very brief, i will make my remarks informal and then take questions. i would like to announce
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formally that sarah huckabee sanders is going to be -- sorry, can't here me? sarah huckabee sander wills be the press secretary, you can congratulate her after -- you still can't hear me? no sound? okay? better now? better now. i'll start over. you heard me in the front though right what did i say? sarah is going to be the press secretary, right, so congratulations to you, sarah. so i want to make a couple statements. the first thing i want to say is i want to thank personally sean spicer. not only on behalf of myself, the president, she a patriot, an american serviceman, he has done an amazing job. this is a difficult situation to be in, i applaud his efforts, i love the guy, i wish him well, and i hope he goes on to make a
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tremendous amount of money. as it relates to me in this position, i will spend a couple weeks getting to know the people here. and i'm going to be as coordinated as i can with the people in the west wing. there has been speculation in the press about me and reince to i want to talk about that very quickly. reince and i have been personal friends for six years. we are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in awhile, which is normal for brothers, a lot of people have brothers and you get that, but he is a dear friend. he brought me to the national committee network. he introduced me to governor walker. a lot of people are not aware of this, but after the romney campaign, i invited reince into sky bridge, i think it reflects poorly on reince that he didn't take my offer to come in and be
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our chief operating officer. he was my first call this morning. i met with him before we sat in the oval office, and we are committed as true professionals to the team and the process of getting the administration's message out. i said during the transition and i will say it up here, i think there has been, at times, a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president, and the way some of you perhaps see the president, and i see the american people see the president the way that i do, and we want to get that message out there and to use a wall street expression, there may be a spread between how well we are doing, and how well some of you think we're doing and we're going to work hard to close that spread. i'll take the questions, i'll get to as many people as i can. >> number one, what we have seen from the administration so far is the president being his own
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mess me messenger frequently. >> i have a slight issue with the question. we're on track, and i think we're doing a very good job. i think we have a whole list of things and i didn't want to come out here with our list of accomplishments and start a whole advertisement infomercial right now. but i think we're doing an amazing job. the president himself is always going to be the president. i was in the oval office with him earlier today and we were talking about letting him be himself. letting him express his full identity. i think he has some of the best political instincts in the world and plahe just started two year ago. the people i grow up with so identify with the president and love him and i'm going get that
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message out. >> how do you plan to handle any potential conflicts of interest and walk us through how the offer was made to you, what president said, when you were here, what the conversations were like. >> i don't think it is fair to go into the exact conversation, i want to keep the conversations private, but we talked a little about the white house. we talked a little about our personal relationship. when he extended the offer to me i said i would do it. i have a lot of family members that served in the american military. my generation, born in 1964, i did not serve, i filled out the selective service. this is an opportunity for me to service the country. i love the president, i love the country, look at my life experience here, it is an honor to be here and stand here. >> interms of my personal business? >> yes. >> i worked with the department of governmental ethics to take care of my business conflicts.
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my start date is in a few week sos it is 100% cleansed and clean. the office of government ethics doesn't see an issue about it. here is one thing i want to say. when you bring american business people into the administration that have had a level of success in the society, they have to unincumber themselves. it is interesting and ironic. you want to serve the country, so the first thing you have to do is take on a mega opportunity cost by getting rid of your assets, but i'm willing to do that. >> you have been watching this white house from somewhat outside, and i'm sure you have your own perspective as what you have seen. >> not as tan as you, though, not that outside. >> what is the first thing you will change to try to write thisshithis sh -- right this ship? >> i take issue with that, i think theship ship is going in
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right direction. we have to radio signal it correctly. i love the team, i'm an incrementalist. saying something bold or dramatic is unfair. what good entrepreneurs do is they start the day, and they go through the process. the navy seals will say if you want to eat an elephant, you have to eat it one bite at a time. me and sarah will do that together. >> did you have any hesitation taking the job knowing it might cause some friction and it could lead to sean leaving which is what will happen. and the two are at least somewhat coincidental, and did you have any hesitation about how you would relate to the rest of the white house staff if you came in under those circumstances? >> i'm a business person, what happens in business is you get rotation of personnel. you have lifestyle choices that people are making.
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i would love to have sean here. he decided it would be better to go, for he as it relaced to s n any friction with sean, i don't have any friction with reince. this is the white house in the united states of america and we're serving the president and i want to make sure that our cultural template is that we put the president's agenda first, perfect for the american people, and we serve his interests. if we have a little friction inside the white house as a result of that, we can live with that, i'm used to dealing with friction as a business person. >> were you disappointed you did not land a post here from the get go. >> as an entrepreneur, you have to be accustomed to setbacks. i wrote a best selling book, and if you don't believe me, i can
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show you my basement where i have every copy to make it best selling. was i disappointed, yes, i said that candidly, but i love the president, and i'm very, very loyal to the president. i love the mission that the president has since the early days of the campaign when i went to these rallies and i saw the love that the people had for the president, and i grew up in the middle class. there is a struggling out there. the president saw that before i did. i wish i could tell you i saw it before him, but i feel that struggle, and i have everyone thi -- empathy. >> sean told the ap that the president needed a clean slate. >> one problem the way our
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society is working right now. we are micro managing the seconds of the news cycle. i predicted the president will get a win in health care. it's my honest prediction. i have seen him in operation over the last 20 plus years. he has really good karma and the world turns back to him. he is genuinely a wonderful human being. as members of congress get comfortable with him, he will be lead to the right things for the american people. i think we will get health care and tax reform done. and anything else on the president's agenda, we will work very hard to make it happen. >> so the cameras are back, will you commit now to holding regular on camera briefings. >> if she supplies hair and makeup, i will consider it. i need a lot of hair and makeup. i'm up here today because it is
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the first day and we made a mutual decision that it made sense for me to come answer as many questions as possible, and we may. i will have to talk to the president, i like to consult with the president before i make decisions like that. >> i know you have been one of the president's strongest supporters for awhile now, but does he know about what you said in 2015 when you said he was a hack politician. >> it was one of the biggest mistakes i made, i was inexperienced in politics, i was supporting someone else. i personally apologized for saying that. it was three minutes of my life, he never fogt forgot, i never forgot, i hope one day mr. president will be able to forget it. >> there has been questions about credibility. let me ask you a variation of
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what i asked sean spicer on his first day, is it your commitment to the best of your ability give accuratie information. >> i feel like i don't even really need to answer that question. that's the kind of person i am, i'll do the best i can. i'll get to everybody, go ahead. >> you mentioned your relationship with reince, was he involved in offering you this position? was he consulted by the president ahead of time? >> yes, he was consulted. he was involved in the thing. there is speculation about the times and so on and so forth. what i'm here to tell you is that we're a team. >> can you walk us through how the job was offered. i think some of this stuff is unnose go into that detail. then you know it's like the book, the circle, where you have a police camera on you when you're having conversations. i'm a team player. i have played team supports my whole life, at least as a kid,
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and i believe you have to s subordinate yourself to certain things. you have to get together and, you know, mix it up a little from time to time. i have no problem mixing it up with these guys. i love and respect these guys. is it perfect every single day, tell me whose life is perfect every single day, but here is the commitment that i'm making, i'm here to serve him and the people in the west rinwing. >> are you committed to regular televised briefings and having a transparent relationship with the press. >> again, i obviously am committed to being transparent, i'm standing here, but i want to talk it over with the president and a new press secretary, i would like to talk it over with her, and we'll get back to you on that. but you know, listen, i'm standing right here to try to
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answer every question. >> two quick questions. first, the president has been feeling under siege with the russia investigations with the department of justice and on him, do you think he was feeling exposed. he didn't have people adequately coming to his defense? >> i don't think so. one of the things i'm doing today, i sort of have my white house counsel briefing before the press briefing. i want to limit my remarks related to the russia investigation and things like that. the president is the most competitive person i have ever met. i have seen him throw a dead spiral through a tire. i have seen him with a topcoat on swishing the ball on the court. he sinks three foot putts, we're
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going to do a lot of winning wi wi with. >> they have a habit of calling news outlets they don't like fake news, stories they don't like fake news, using errors that were corrected -- is that the kind of relationship you want with media outlets? >> i want to speak more myself right now. it's my first day on the job. i have to be familiar with everybody, get direction from the president, but i had a personal incident with your news organization, and i thought i handled it well. you said something about me that was totally unfair and untrue, you retracted it and issued me an apology and i accepted the apology immediately. for me i have never been a journalist, but i have played a journalist on television, i hosted "wall street week" for fox business. i have empathy for journalists. sometimes they get stories wrong but i sort of don't like the
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fake news. if you said is there media bias out there, it feels like there is media bias. we want to deescalate that, turn it around, and let the message from the president get out there to the american people. >> the president, welcome, the president sees himself as his own best spokesperson and that was a challenge that sean had at the podium. how do you plan on navigating that? >> i thought sean did a very, very good job. he is very articulate. he had 30 years in communications. i imagine there are people here that will be super excited when he lands in a job that he really likes, and he will be a very effective communicator for where ever he goes. as it relates to standing at the podium, i think everyone has their own personality. i think the best messenger, the
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most savvy media person in the white house is the president of the united states, and i'm, franlfran fran frankly hoping to learn from him. >> the first time i met the president, i was 31, michael fastatelli introduced me to the president. i met him a few more times after that. the president of the yankees introduced me to him a few times. i would say we got closer in the romney campaign where we did a couple fundraisers in his magnificent apartment. i would not be standing here if i didn't have a good relationship with him. i love him and i think after of you you know i have been very loyal and i will do my best to serve him the best way i can. >> do you plan on changes in the
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construct beyond this? >> dan skavino and hicks are staying. i love both of them. i think they're fphenomenal people. for the other people i have to get to know them. sean was incredibly gracious a few hours ago where we sat in his office and spoke to them. reince was gracious, i spoke to them as well. i have to get to know the people. they have to get to know me. hopefully they will like me and they will want to stay and we'll see what happens. we're going to make it a very fun place to work. >> are you going to discuss more about the security issues -- >> that s a great question but it is inappropriate for me to answer right now.
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ville to get back to you on that so i can get direction from general mcmaster and the president. >> blake, i will get to you i promise, i will do everything i can to get to everyone in the room. >> are you encouraging president troump have a press conference with us in the near future? >> i'll talk to him, listen. the president is phenomenal with the press, okay? she he is a great communicator. he won the election, i used to know the math better, but we spent like 60% of the money with one-third of the personnel. we won because of donald j. trump. he is an unbelievable politician. of course at some point, we'll make sure that happens. i don't know what point that will be because i have to talk to him. >> anthony -- >> i'm going to get to everyone. ly do my very best to get to everybody. >> anthony, you seem like a very savvy person and you said that
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the white house is a difficult place. how will you handle a couple of things -- >> when did i say that? >> at the beginning. >> let me explain that, let me be specific. it is a difficult place. it is a little cramped in there. you have a lot of reporters from international news agencies, and it is a difficult place because you want to get a job done but you're sitting in a fish bowl. that's what i mean by it is differe difficult. not in terms of the people, there is a lot less palace intrug thi intrigue than is being reported about. >> how are you twoigoing to hana crisis or a big thing coming up and you put a very sophisticated message out at night, and the
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president in the morning tweets something very different. and are you willing to say you made a mistake? those two questions there. >> listen, i took trial advocacy at harvard law school, a little name dropping there. i will not answer that because it is a hypothetical, and they always teach you not to answer a hypothetical. i will tell you i love the president. she a very effective communicator, he will use social media, i think he has -- if i get this wrong i know i will hear it from him. 113 million or 114 million. i know he is getting about 300,000 followers a day, god bless him. i think it has been an effect i have use of reaching the american public directly. so listen, i welcome him continuing to do that, but it is very important for him to express his identity. what i have found is that people love him.
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>> what if his message is different from what you put out the night before. >> it's a hypothetical, it's unfair to answer that, i don't know what the tweet is, i don't know what happened, it's just unfair. you learn that early in law school not to answer that kind of question. >> a lot of these briefings have been off camera, wouldn't he believe that putting them on camera would be beneficial? >> he has not expressed that to me, i cannot answer that. >> how involved in the day today operations of the press department will he be going forward. >> as much or little as he wants to be. i'm here to serve him. i will do my best to communicate to him how to best get his message out to the american people. he gave me the orders today that i'm in charge and to report to him and i will do my best to serve him. as much or little as he wants. >> your relationship with the
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chief of staff, he is your boss, or do you report directly to the president? >> okay, so i'm going to let reince answer that. i have no problem working for reince, i can only speak about my management style, okay? i have been on wall street for 29 years. no one has ever worked for me, people work with me. i believe in collaboration. i think if you do that, it's very, very empowering for people. i have no problem working for reince, the president said i report to him directly, but you will be very, very surprised about the relationship that i have with reince and the closeness we will have in terms of working to serve the president. he is the chief of staff. it would be foolish of me not to communicate with him, not to relay to him everything that i'm doing. >> do you stand by some of the factual claims that have been claimed by the administration, like three million illegal votes
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cast -- >> a little bit of an unfair question because i'm not up to speed on all of that. >> he said three million people voted illegally -- >> so, if the president says okay, let me do more research on it. had my guess is that there's probably some level of truth to that. i think approximate what we have found sometimes, the president says stuff, some of you guys in the media think it's not true or it isn't true and it turns out it's closer to the truth than people think. so let me do more homework on that. i'm feeling the hook here. is it okay to answer a few more questions? let me get to blake first and then i'll go to the other people. >> okay. congrats on the new job. >> are you really con great gralt lating me on the job? >> you've gone through your past, law school, business, finance, but you've never held a communications type role. what would you say to your critics who say he's never done anything like this and this is the white house.
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secondly, if you can just lay out kind of why you wanted the job and thirdel, before you go, why you chose immediately right off the bat sarah to be the press secretary. >> i want to start with sarah first. okay. so the president loves sarah. he thinks she's doing a phenomenal job. i agree with himt. i think reince priebus and other members of the staff agree. and i'm super proud to work with her and i think she's going to be sfen om natural as a press secretary. as it relates to me, i think you will find in my background and my career, i have a lot of communications experience and i spent a lot of time on television, i spent a lot of time shaping the message for my old predecessor firm. and so time will tell. here is something i will tell you about myself, there's a lot of stuff that i don't know and so i'm going to leap on preem like sarah and other people to help me be the best thatic possibly be. i'm going to take one last question. i'm going to take this question right here. i'm getting the hook. >> two questions. because of your legal background and the fact that you mentioned
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the white house counsel, can you explain to us what role as somebody who has been trained in the law you've had to play in communications interacting with the president's legal team and then secondly, can i add on most analysts who have ever looked palt white house communications have in ak deema or historians have said that when a president says that he has communications problems, what he has is usually policy and political problems. you're arguing that we're not understanding in the united states how much the president should be appreciated and how much you love him. but can you describe to us how much you think that it goes beyond that concept and that the president has political and policy problems? >> okay. so let's start with the first question and just repeat the first question. it was what again? >> so you're going to interact with the president's legal team. >> yes. that's a good question. so i'm close personal friends
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with jay sekulow. i have a relationship with john doud. and i'm going to work with john mccann and other people and make sure we're handling ourselves in the most appropriate way possible. that's the bestic say about that. >> and so then the follow-up was communications problems versus policy and political problems. >> yeah. >> and the way you see that in the context of this presidency. >> well, long ago teddy roosevelt said that the presidency is a bully pulpit that the president has a great gift in that he's able to control the news cycle and the messaging. and so i think if we get super coordinated around here with the president and we go back to what he did, some of the great successes that he had in the campaign and the transition, and even in the presidency, frankly, is delivering that message directly to the american people. and so to me i think the policies are fantastic. i think he's done a phenomenal job. i think sarah read something that i totally believe is that
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he's doing a phenomenal job and we just need to get it out there a little bit more aggressively and we're going to try to do that. i've got to go, right? i'm going to take one more right there. >> thank you very much. you've talked several timesless with your relationship with reince priebus and some of the rest of the communication staff. can you talk about your relationship with steve bannon? he's said to have strong objections about you taking this job as well. and then i have one other thing. >> all right. so i'm on the record. you know, i've been interviewed about steve. i said he's one of the smartest people i know. i think he feels instrumental in helping us win the election. he's got a strong personality. i have a strong personality. we didn't really overlap at goldman sachs, but we both worked there at a period of time. and there was something great about that culture back in yesterday year. maybe it's true today, but i've been out of goldman for 21, 22 years. but there were two great things about that culture. the first one was that you subordinated yourself to the team even if you had
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disagreements and the second thing was that the legendary john wine berg who is now deceased said some people grow. other people swell. that's a great line to think about yourself. and so for me, i want to keep my head in the game and keep my owingo loeg low and i want to work with steve bannon spas much sassy possibly can. i have a huge amount of respect for him. sarah saysic keep going. >> you said that you don't need to right the ship, but that you guys are doing great work, but the president has a 38.-- 38.8% approval rating in his second quarter. that it is historically low. what are you going to do that to better communicate with the american people? >> that's actually a very good question. these polls are moving targets that sometimes the polls could be wrong. we do that. >> that's average. >> we're going to use gal will you please's average, but we were using averages during the
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campaign and people said we were going to lutz but we ended up winning. what i will say about polls is they're a barometric pressure reading right now for today but the person people are playing a long game and they really love the president. you can see the guy is doing fen om naturally well. it's indicating to me at least personally that the president is really well loved. there seems to be a disconnection in terms of some of the things that are going on, and we want to connect that. sarah and i, to the best of our capability. and so that people feel great about what he's doing. i feel great about what he's doing and i want -- well, maybe you're not. i don't know you, but i want the american people in general to feel great about what he's doing. i'll take the question. when she saysic keep going, i'll keep going. >> thank you, anthony. there have been reports about general mcmaster having disagreements on policy over russia. can you say that there will be no other high-profile rez i go nations or exits from the white house staff? >> so, again, another
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hypothetical. i honestly cannot answer that one way or the other, although i have enormous amount of respect for general mcmaster, i just don't know are the situation. i'm not going to answer it because i don't know. >> you said you're going to work with the team and messaging as it relates to russia. >> didn't say that. i specific -- no. i specifically said that i haven't been briefed yet by the white house counsel about what is appropriate to talk about from this podium, and so therefore, i don't want to take any questions related to russia. >> okay. i'd like to ask you, though, if -- is the strategy that seems to be coming from this white house now in going after robert mueller's credibility the right one? >> okay. so, again, that's sort of in that zip code of like, you know, the legal team and not really in sarah or my zip code, so i just want to stay away from the question. it's actually very complicated, and i don't want to bore all the people here with the legal details related to it, but i just think it's important for me on my first day standing up here
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that i don't go in that direction. i just think there's leels there that i don't want to touch. >> my question is really -- >> we'll take this question first and then i'll take you. i promise. >> thank you very much, sir. >> yeah. these are the last two questions. >> communicate or, had you influenced is the relations tweep the president and the press and you think how it's going to change and how much he has trust in the white house press and what is the future? >> listen, i'm a super sopt mistic guy. i'm too short to see the glass anything other than half full. so i'm a super hospital mistic guy and i think the president is going to have a phenomenal relationship with the press. we'll get there together. last question. >> larry speaks, who once said don't tell us how to stage the news, we won't tell you how to report the news. do you think that that's an accurate reflekds of what your all's job is. >> say is again.
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>> larry speaks said don't tell us how to stage the news. we won't tell you how to report the news. do you think that's an accurate reflection of our relationship? >> i don't know. we're in a different world. i mean, i have enormous amount of respect for secretary speaks, but when he was standing at this podium it was a very, very different world. each one of us right now has a sound studio, recording studio, television studio right in the palmful our hands. and so we could stage things and it's going to be read certain ways, may not be read other ways. but i know sarah and i are going to work on is reaching as many people as we possibly can for today's era. so maybe he was accurate in the 1980s, but sarah and i will think of something cute to say when we start working together. i'll take -- yeah. >> the president tweeted that it's impossible to expect a communications team to know what it's in his head at every moment. how are you going to make sure that you are on the same page as
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this president? what have you said to him about the need to know what he's thinking and where he stands as it relates to policy? >> listen, i know -- i'm not going to speak on behalf of the president. i have a close relationship with him. sarah has a close relationship with him. i think it's super important for us to let him express his personality. it has been a very successful life experience for president trump to be president trump. and so let's let him do that. and let me just finish. and let's see where the chips fall. and then when something happens that you don't like or you like, you'll talk to me or sarah and we'll address it. >> do you plan to meet with him every day and do you have oval office privileges? >> do i plan to meet with him every day and do i have oval office privileges? listen, hiem not one of these people that need to have unnecessary face time with the president, okay, but i do have oval office privileges if that's what you're talking employ and i do have the opportunity to meet with him because i'm going


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