tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC June 18, 2017 10:30am-11:30am EDT
being investigated. seeming to confirm he is now under investigation for possible obstruction of justice. >> are you under investigation by the fbi? >> president trump now hiring more lawyers, and fighting back, calling the russia investigation the single greatest witch hunt in american political history. attacking the special counsel as bad and conflicted. will the president try to fire special counsel robert mueller? we'll ask our exclusive guest, trump ally, newt gingrich, one of mueller's biggest critic. >> technically, the president of the united states cannot obstruct justice.
>> plus, where's the proof? >> when he's ready to discuss it, he will. >> do those tapes exist? and if they do, will the president comply? we asked the top democrat on that committee in an exclusive interview the. and will trump's base stand for this? i travelled to the heart of trump country to find out. do you want to get to the truth about this? do you care? is it important? plus, insights and analysis from our powerhouse "roundtable." everything you need to know. what happens after the president of the united states says i am being investigated. good morning. and to all the fathers out there, a very happy father's day. this week, a new sense of urgency over president trump's future and the cost of political anger. the shock of that wednesday morning shooting. a gunman targeting republican members of congress practicing for their annual charity baseball game.
banner headlines. across america. including the full front page of "the new orleans times picayune," hometown paper op congressman steve scalise still in the hospital facing more surgery and a long recovery. the hospital reports scalise is doing better. that he is more responsive. and is speaking with his loved ones. the nation seemed to rebound in the uplifting thursday night ball game. republicans and democrats praying together at second base, the position scalise was supposed to play. it made for a great image for friday's "washington post." but one column over, and here we go again. president trump lashing out at special counsel mueller and his team of investigators. reconciliation and anger battling for space on the page and for hearts and minds. and with those trump tweets aimed squarely at the special counsel and deputy attorney
general rosenstein, the heat is on high at the department of justice. let's bring in pierre thomas. >> martha, good morning. the president in that tweet basically said he believes he's under investigation. that soon could become a reality. the former fbi director james comey laid out what he believes is a disturbing case. he said the president asked him for loyalty. asked him to basically stop the investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn. and he said he was fired to change the course of the russian investigation. mueller faces a huge decision. does he believe the president or go after the president in the way james comey wants him to do? my sources are telling me he's begun preliminary planning. plans to talk to people in the administration. he's not yet made the decision. to go for a full-scale investigation. >> how vast is this team? how vast are the personnel he's hiring? give us a sense of how big this investigation is and how it compares to others.
>> mueller's hired 13 attorneys already with more in the pipeline, i'm being told. he also has a platoon of fbi agents at his disposal. so it's fair to say that the trump team and administration is going to face scrutiny they have never seen before. these people, these prosecutors are experts in conspiracies. investigating the mafia. and bringing down crimes like enron. a lot of pressure here. >> our next guest, speaker newt gingrich, says the first few people mueller hired were democrats or given to democratic candidates. is that a fair issue to bring up? >> clearly, several of the people he's hired have made donations to democrats in the past. but justice department guidelines say he cannot use that against people in terms of whether they're republicans or democrats in regards to hiring. he's supposed to use the basis of their skills.
one thing we can take as fact. bob mueller is not seen, by and large, as a partisan figure. he served as fbi director for ten years. he was reconfirmed by the senate, 100-0. >> he's starting to get some pushback from some. >> clearly, some people are pushing at bob mueller. i'm not sure that dog is going to hunt. >> what do you make of the tensions between the president and the justice department? especially deputy a.g. rosenstein. >> extraordinary. i talked to sources on friday. they were perplexed. the president's tweet called into question the integrity of rosenstein. they didn't know quite what to make of it. rosenstein is under extreme pressure. if mueller decides to do a special counsel investigation of obstruction of justice of the president and it involves the firing of comey, rosenstein is a potential witness. he may have to make a decision to recuse himself. if he does that, you would have the attorney general and deputy attorney general of the united states recusing themselves in a massive investigation. >> okay, thanks very much,
pierre. i'm joined by trump ally and former house speaker newt gingrich, author of "understanding trump." good morning. >> good morning. >> i want to start with the russia investigation. we saw "the washington post" headline and attorney general rod rosenstein cautioning people and reports from anonymous officials. but then, as the president tweeted, i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. we know people close to the president's legal team say he wasn't confirming any sort of investigation. you heard what pierre said. president trump was commenting on "the washington post" headlines. you're the man who wrote "understanding trump." how do you understand that tweet? >> trump has a compulsion to counterattack. he's very pugnacious. i don't think it serves him well. i don't think that tweet helped him. but it's almost like who he's been his whole life. he's been a fighter his whole
life. he's infuriated, legitimately, in my judgment, by this whole russian baloney. and notice how it's evolving. they don't have anything on russia. maybe, maybe there was obstruction. we may not get anything on obstruction. maybe there will be perjury. and maybe there will be a -- you go down the list. we have been here before. we watched comey appoint patrick fitzgerald, the godfather to comey's children, and fitzgerald knew there was no crime. >> let's go back to what you just said. this russian baloney. >> it's russian baloney. >> if people are involved in collusion with russia, don't you want to know about that? >> if you want to investigate russia, fine. how about bill clinton's $500,000 speech. how about podesta's brother. who is a registered agent for a russian bank. how about the iranian deal. >> let's stick with this for a moment. >> i'm happy to look at russia's relationship. i think it would be healthy to have congressional hearings on foreign influence peddling in the u.s. way beyond the russians.
i think that's important for the future of our democracy. no one -- and comey said in his last testimony, no one has suggested that donald trump had anything to do with colluding with the russians. there's not a bit of evidence he did. >> we don't know what any evidence is so far. we don't know what is going on. >> senator feinstein, the democrat ranking member said there is no evidence of collusion. >> i want to go back to the tweet for a second. do you think he was confirming an investigation? >> i have no idea what he thought he was doing. >> okay. you said this week that the president cannot obstruct justice. you led the charge to impeach bill clinton. you voted for article 3. of the house impeachment of bill clinton for the obstruction of justice, somewhat the difference here? >> clinton committed perjury. he lost his license to practice law. perjury is a felony. it's the same thing with nixon. the nixon people were involved in a crime.
andy mccarthy, who is a former federal prosecutor. he prosecuted the trade center bombing in 1993. mccarthy made the point over and over again, if you don't have a crime, what is it you're investigating? we don't have any evidence that donald trump -- >> but the president said that he fired comey because of the russia investigation. if the special counsel finds he impeded that investigation by firing comey, how is that not obstruction? >> he didn't impede the investigation. there's no evidence. first of all, the fbi itself has said, they have all the money they have asked for. they have had no problems getting resources. i think he fired comey because comey's public behavior was so destructive. >> he said he fired comey because of the russia investigation. >> right. because comey would not say in public what he was saying to trump in private, which is you're not being investigated. trump wanted people to understand, fine, there's a russian investigation. it doesn't involve the president of the united states. comey apparently said that in
three occasions. >> let's talk about bob mueller. you have done a complete 180 on bob mueller. you heard what pierre said. in may, you said mueller was a superb choice for special counsel with an impeccable reputation for honesty. less than a month later, you say, he won't be fair. >> i have no problem with bob mueller as a person. but i have ever problem with how he's -- with what he's doing. i frankly began to switch the minute comey said, i deliberately leaked to a college professor to leak to "the new york times" for the purpose of getting a special counsel. now the special counsel happens to be a close friend of comey. which is weird. because urnds justice department rules, mueller can't investigate comey. >> mueller was appointed by rosenstein. and comey isn't under investigation. >> comey may be under investigation.
if you have an obstruction case comey has to be one of the major witnesses. now i'm curious. then i look at who mueller has hired. one of the lawyers he brought in has such a record of hiding evidence from the defense. the supreme court ruled 9-0 that when that lawyer participated in destroying arthur anderson, 85,000 jobs, that it wasn't a crime. he hid the evidence. he hid the evidence in enron and four people who were innocent spent a year in jail. you bring in head hunters like that. the first four people he brought in, one was someone who defended the clinton foundation against the freedom of information act. >> you heard what pierre said. you now have 13 in there. federal law pro hibts the just of political or ideological affiliations in order to assess applicants. >> these aren't applicants. he's recruiting. you tell me why the first four names that came up. i don't know about the next
nine. the first four are people that gave to democrats. two of them are people with a record of hiding evidence from the defense. one of them is a person who defended the clinton foundation. in this environment with a justice department where 97% of the donations last year went to hillary, 97%, explain to me why i should relax as a republican. >> bob english says the charges against trump are more serious than lying under oath. he writes that former president clinton was impeached for charges less serious than the ones before us now. in the current case, comey was exploring the possibility of american involvement in the russian plot, a treasonous >> what are the charges? >> talked about what they could investigate. >> notice how the whole system, including you moves the game. there are no charges against trump. comey said, three times, no evidence of collusion with
trump. senator feinstein. the ranking democrat. >> comey is no longer there. we know that. >> he's said after six months of looking, there is no evidence that trump's involved. senator feinstein said there is no evidence that's been found that trump is involved. so what is the evidence against trump? >> let's talk about rosenstein. why was trump, or was he in that tweet, publicly calling out his deputy attorney general? has he lost confidence in him? >> i think he's furious. i think trump sits there and says, let me get this straight. i know i didn't do anything with the russians. comey has said three times i didn't do anything with the russians. nobody on capitol hill has any proof that i did anything with the russians. and now i get an independent counsel. who will mess up the next year at a minimum. and who is now planning to expand the charge. now they're talking about obstruction. going and looking at financial files. i said yesterday, you have two more leaks like this, rosenstein is going to have to appoint a
essential counsel to investigate a special counsel. >> should rosenstein recuse himself? >> no. i think this whole game of recusal is a nightmare. and i don't think people realize this. you have this legalistic nightmare. trying to block the trump presidency on behalf of a department in which 97% of the money was given to hillary. you want me to believe this is all just random behavior. as a historian, i don't believe it. >> what do you think should happen here? if you have allegations. if you've got people saying things. >> what allegations? >> allegations of collusion. you say there is no evidence. we don't know that. so should they just stop it down? >> show the evidence. show the evidence. if they have evidence donald trump is personally involved, show it. >> we're not just talking about donald trump. >> trump did nothing to slow down the investigation below comey. no one is suggesting -- the regular fbi could investigate to their heart's content. trump said he wanted it done. he was angry at comey, not the investigation.
>> we'll see how this all turns out. i'm sure it will be many months of going back and forth. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you. congressman adam schiff, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee joins me now. good morning, congressman schiff. >> good morning. >> you heard speaker gingrich say he doesn't trust bob mueller. but bob mueller is close to comey. does he have a point? >> no, he doesn't. i found it hard to follow his argument, frankly. this is someone, as you pointed out, newt gingrich was extolling, just a few weeks ago, nothing has changed. bob mueller's investigation is only getting started. the only thing that has changed is the president is attacking bob mueller. and therefore, newt gingrich is attacking bob mueller. members of congress on both sides of the aisle find mr. mueller to be someone of bravery and courage who served his
country with bravery in vietnam, who served both parties. >> let's talk about the democrats he was talking about. congressman. is that a point? if he's got democrats in there, if he's got people who have given to clinton and other democrats? >> no, i think anyone who knows bob mueller knows he is choosing the best people to serve on the investigative team. people with experience in the issues he wants to investigate and believes need to be investigated. as you and pierre pointed out, he can't go through f.e.c. filings to determine if he should or shouldn't hire people. he's picking the best people. members of congress have confidence in that. what's happening here, the president wants to take down bob mueller. his lawyer wants to take down bob mueller. the question is, why? and i think the answer is they want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever bob mueller comes up with.
they're essentially engaging in a scorched earth litigation strategy. they're trying to discredit the prosecutor. i don't think we should acquiesce in the besmirchment of this good man. we ought to let him do his job. he's just getting started. >> you said recently, there is evidence of collusion. what kind of evidence have you seen? what can you tell us? >> i think there is evidence. i can't go into the particulars of our closed investigation. i think there is also evidence of obstruction. in both cases, whether there is some, evidence doesn't mean there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. the same people that say there is no evidence of collusion say there is no evidence of obstruction. and that the president can't commit obstruction. i don't buy that. if you look at james comey's testimony, and we were trying this in a court of law, no judge would exclude that. that would all be relevant evidence as to potential obstruction. the fact that the president can fire someone for good cause or
can fire someone with no cause doesn't mean that he can fire someone for malicious cause. the fact that an employer can terminate an employee at will. that doesn't mean he can fire an employee because they rejected their sexual advances. so i don't -- >> i want to go back to the collusion and -- i know you can't talk about specific evidence. dianne feinstein says there is no evidence of collusion. collusion between who? >> the russians and the hacking and the dumps of documents in the election had essentially relationships with trump campaign people. and, coordinated those efforts. now the fbi open investigation into that issue in july. well before congress did. i think they did that for good reason in july. i think they maintain that investigation. it's ongoing for good reason as well. i'm not prepared to say there is proof you could take to a jury. i can say there's enough that we ought to be investigating.
it would be negligent for us not to investigate. and the principal reason is, martha, that if a foreign government has something they can hang over the head of our president or our administration that can influence u.s. policy, it's very much in our national security interest to know it. and we need to conduct this investigation now. newt gingrich and the president would like us to shut it down before it's under way. we're far closer to beginning the investigation than the end. but it would be the worst form of negligence to our republic to say we're going to close the investigation before we can determine whether there is merit to the allegations. >> abc news has recorded deputy attorney general rosenstein has started discussing whether to recuse himself. do you think he should recuse himself given his role in justifying james comey's firing? >> i think we ought to let bob mueller develop some of the
evidence and determine what he needs to investigate. if he believes he needs to look into the circumstances in which rod rosenstein wrote the memo. if bob mueller were co-conclude that there is evidence that rod rosen steen knew that the memo he was working on was a pretext to fire comey for completely different reasons. that the president was going to fire comey to inhibit or instruct the russia investigation. i'm not saying this is the case. i can't say what mueller may or may not be investigating. if he should conclude that rod rosen steen's conduct is culpable in some way, he can't report to him. >> and you have asked for tapes. if tapes exist from the white house, we should know soon. president trump said we'll know soon whether tapes exist. do you think they'll turn anything over? if not, what happens?
>> i don't know. i would certainly hope by the date that we set in our bipartisan letter the white house will respond that yes, they have tapes. yes, they'll preserve them as we have urged and required. and yes, they'll turn them over or that no, in fact, there are no tapes. it was an idle threat. one way or the other, we need an answer. if we can't get one, i think we'll need to subpoena those potential documents to make sure that we have them. >> and you have said you believe james comey's testimony, if accurate, was potential evidence of the president's obstruction of the investigation. absent those tapes, how is that verified? >> there are a number of ways to verify it. of course i think one of them was compelling pieces of evidence thus far is the fact that the president urged everybody else to leave the room. you don't do that unless you have a consciousness of the guilt of your actions. but we can talk to the people around james comey. those that were in the fbi supervisory team, some were in
the room when james comey was on the phone with the president and heard one end of the conversation. we can look at the memoranda. which we're seeking. the contemporaneous recollections of james comey at the times of those meetings. we can talk to the heads of the intelligence agencies and we can find out, did the president or the white house intervene and ask them similarly to drop the flynn case? or to weigh in with comey to drop the flynn case? or help lift the cloud or make public statements. we have had some corroboration in the testimony of jeff sessions who also said that -- >> quickly, if i could. paul ryan says president trump is new to this and just doesn't understand the protocol. is that an explanation? >> no, it isn't. we don't have one ethical standard for this president and a different ethical standard for other presidents. what's more, getting back to the
fact as jeff sessions corroborated, the president cleared the room of everyone but himself and james comey. that signifies, i think, that this president knows all too well that it was inappropriate for him to be asking the attorney general to essentially drop a criminal case against michael flynn, his national security adviser. i think there is ample indication that the president knew what he was doing. i think it is a dodge by our speaker to suggest that we hold this president or any president to a lesser ethical standard. there is only one standard for the president of the united states. >> thank you, congressman schiff. >> thank you. when we come back, i travel to trump country and see how his supporters view the latest headlines on the russia investigation. plus the nation's former top diplomat to nato on the continuing threat from russia. and the powerhouse "roundtable" looks ahead to next week's special election in georgia. we'll be right back.
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we're a very divided nation. i'm not a politician. and have never wanted to be a politician. believe me. [ cheers and applause ] but when i saw the trouble our country was in, i knew i couldn't stand by and watch any longer. >> that was candidate donald trump last fall. speaking in gettysburg, pennsylvania.
wednesday's shooting on a baseball field in virginia seemingly motivated by political anger highlighted deep divides. in the wake of the election. we traveled back to gettysburg this week to get a sense how president trump's supporters are viewing these tumultuous times. gettysburg, pennsylvania, is a charming, welcoming town. bordered by those vast fields that bear the scars and blood of battle. tourists from across america flock here. many from solid trump country. reflecting on where the country is today. >> here we stand in gettysburg. a place where -- where brothers fought. families were divided. i see that same thing happening in america today. and it concerns me greatly. i think there's a lot of -- a lot of finger-pointing. i think we have sort of lost our heart. >> reporter: jim is a pastor from idaho. wrapping up a cross-country trip with his friend, gary keeler. retired from a career in law
enforcement. both men voted for donald trump. jim is having second thoughts. if the election were held again today, would you vote for trump? >> i would vote for pence. um -- i don't know. it's -- it's hard. >> reporter: gary has an opposite reaction. >> i have grown more to support trump, just because of the extreme stuff that comes out against him. it was so over the top on some of the coverage on major networks. i'm a stubborn person. that made me want to support him more. >> reporter: but it was the pastor's views that seemed to echo along the streets here. you voted for -- >> trump. >> reporter: how are you feeling about president trump? >> not good. just not good. >> i voted for donald trump. >> reporter: are you happy with the job he's done as president? >> um -- it's my opinion of him keeps going down every day.
>> reporter: jill from cleveland said she's not happy about some of the things the president has done. >> there's a lot of thing that have, um, made us a laughingstock of the world. and i'm kind of upset about that. >> reporter: most of those we talked to aren't paying particularly close attention to the latest twists and turns in the russia investigation. and don't agree about the significance of what they are tracking. >> there maybe be some smoke where there's fire. i will be very surprised if they come up with anything, certainly any kind of impeach-type movement. >> every president goes through something. this is his something. and he's just got to put on his man pants and go with it. >> it sounds like he's just trying to -- i don't know. not let the truth be known maybe? >> reporter: but everyone we spoke to visiting gettysburg, including nicole from new york, showed real concern about where
the divisiveness in the country will lead. >> i think it's very sad. i think it's very sad. i feel like that's part of what our country has been built on is people being able to have a difference in opinions. there's a lack of respect currently for that, as a person. >> when you look at somebody across the table and realize that we may not agree on something, but when we start hating each other for that, we're going to get right back to gettysburg. and i think we need to be careful of that. >> and here to discuss those sentiments and all the week's politics, we're joined by the powerhouse "roundtable." abc news contributor kristen soltis anderson. a republican strategist and pollster. democratic pollster margie omero. together, they co-host the pollsters podcast. cnn commentator marc lamont hill, author of "nobody." and abc news political director, rick klein.
who hosts the powerhouse politics podcast. lots of podcasters here today. welcome, everybody. and rick, i want to start with you in that. those very moving words from the pastor. i was struck by that and by a lot of those voters and what they were saying. they were trump voters. it -- of course we all think, i cannot believe it was just wednesday that terrible, horrific shooting on the baseball field. you saw that powerful image at nationals park. of them praying together. but, will this last? will this moment of coming together last? gabby giffords was shot before. it dissolved in years. >> and we saw a moment this week. a real moment. but only a moment. it was remarkable to me. time moves more quickly. the trump era only exacerbates that. the president, before that game, he had moved on to attacking hillary clinton, the to
attacking the prosecutors on his case. there are not a lot of people i talked to that are optimistic about this being something that wakes everyone up and changes the tone. one thing i am watching for and i talked to a couple of lawmakers on both sides this week who said, it's going to be up to us to call out people on our own sides when they go too far. can you go on your own side and say, this is unacceptable? >> you talked about the president's tweets quickly turning to hillary clinton. kristen, who what extent does this healing have to come from the top? i know kellyanne conway said this week he was the healer in chief. >> it would be lovely. i don't think it has to be at the top. it has to come from everybody looking to the other side of the aisle. someone from the other side of the aisle. former president joe biden said, we need to stop questioning the motives of the folks on the other side. we can say, i believe you're
wrong. your taxpayer policy is bad. that's different than saying, i believe you want people to be bad. i believe you want people to be poor. i believe you are a bad person. that's where so much of our political discussion is today. it allows someone to go from holding up signs and being engaged in a political campaign to becoming radicalized to the point of violence. >> marc, certainly, vitriol in the past. in presidential administrations. is this one different? have things really changed or not? >> well, i think your first point is quite accurate. we can't be nostalgic about it. that there was a golden age where people were nice to each other. and everybody was warm and fuzzy. it's always been personal. that's the nature of politics. >> was this a turning point? >> i think the last election cycle turned it up a notch. part of it is the nature of who is running for office. part of it is new media.
it increases the speed of conversation. it allows a different type of vitriol to be normalized. >> normally, there's a lot of discussion about tougher gun laws. there wasn't this time. does that have to do with the fact that you had the capitol police officers there? the security detail who stopped this from being a much more tragic event? >> we don't need to wait for more tragedies to take more action on guns. voters are ready. we did a poll in may in advance of, the one-year anniversary of the pulse shooting. that also happened last week. other shootings. dozens of shootings happen that don't make national news. the majority of americans want fewer guns. want guns harder to get. and we tested 16 different proposals. the majority of americans supported 15, even in gun house holds. >> the majority of americans don't vote in the gop primary. i agree with what you're saying.
this is about politics. this is what -- most americans want universal background checks. still doesn't matter. we have to get beyond the power of particular lobbies if we're going to get anywhere. if you are on the right this week, this was the perfect case study. a good guy with a gun beats a bad guy with a gun. i disagree with that. but it's hard for the left to push back. >> speaking politics, georgia, the runoff this week. that is a big one. it is a bellwether. it is the canary in the coal mine. talk about that race. and what you're seeing. and what it will mean if the democrats don't win. >> the pressure is on the democrats now. on one level, this is a republican seat. this is speaker gingrich's old seat. you would expect a republican to be fine there. this is the most expensive house race in the history of the country. they're not going to have an opportunity to elevate like this. if they're not successful, it
will exacerbate the democratic civil war. ossoff has run a main stream race. he's not fire and brimstone against donald trump. he's not bernie-sized the anger. if he loses, people will say he should have. the anger at donald trump. the anger at what's going on in the country is not enough to win elections. >> marc, you live in georgia part of the week. what are you seeing? >> i see a lot of people on the ground who are changing vary vote. people who traditionally vote republican are voting democrat. the numbers look good for him. i disagree with the idea that democrats have to win. i think the pressure is on the republicans. money notwithstanding. i say that because this seat was won by 23 points last year. if democrats make this a race, i would be wildly optimistic as a democrat that anything reasonable, we can win. if we are winning the suburbs of georgia, where i have never seen a democrat have a shot, we can
win in two years, is what i would say. >> i want to ask you about the russia probe. we spent a lot of time on that this morning. americans in washington are riveted by this. you saw some of the folks i talked to from around the country who were in gettysburg. are we wrong to assume this is a big deal outside the beltway? >> people are determining whether or not they approve of the job donald trump is doing based on how it is affecting their lives. i think that is particularly true for his supporters. i think there are a lot of folks that don't like the president. he came into office, they already disapproved. only 8% of democrats approve of the job donald trump is doing. it's been that way his whole presidency. for many folks this is baked into the cake. there's a group of voters like the ones in pennsylvania. just waiting for things to get better in their own lives. they're waitinging to see progress on things like health care reform. tax reform. the stuff that republicans on the hill want to see advanced. it feels like there's a distraction here because of the russian investigation. and that's what's causing so
much frustration. >> donald trump is running an ad on facebook based on this with the witch hunt. he clearly thinks this -- this witch hunt, any way, appealed to his base and talking about it. >> it may for some voters. and for sure, there are for a lot of americans this is not the top priority. this is a priority. we're just in the beginning of this. we'll talk about this for months. the majority of americans feel that trump has done some sort of obstruction of justice. you have a majority of american who is feel he doesn't respect democratic institutions. this is pretty serious. 19 million people watched the comey hearings. we're at the beginning of the conversation. >> trump's message, as always, is aimed at his base. that's the thing to understand when he goes out like this. >> a good point, rick. what does this do to the legislative agenda? we got a lot happening on the hill. tax reform, health care. what does all this tweeting do? >> republicans on the hill have gotten good at
compartmentalizing trump. they can say -- focus on what he does, not what he tweets. this is a problem on a couple of levels. this particular instance. one, it's one thing to declare war on democrats. but declaring war on bob mueller after james comey, rod rosenstein. you've got a lot of republicans on the hill who are not going to be comfortable following him down that road. the second thing is these tweets, they're not just distractions. they're potentially evidence. the fact that donald trump is building a case against himself with every tweet has people squirming on capitol hill. they are seeing a president they're not sure if he's pulling in the same direction. they're seeing distractions every day. >> people agree in the polls that he should stop tweeting. and he's not a good spokesperson for himself. >> almost every poll we look at we see big partisan divides. 90% of democrats feeling one
way, 90% are feeling the other way. tweeting is the number one issue people agree on. >> can the republicans pull off health care and tax reform? >> oh, yeah. and immigration. and the deficit. everything. it will all happen. it will be worked out by july 4th. >> see, we're going to end on just such a high note. it will all be terrific. thank you all for joining us. when we come back, i'll talk to america's former top diplomat to nato which uses force and diplomacy to keep russia contained. how concerned is he? about the trump administration's moves on the world stage? we'll be right back. time's up, insufficient we're on prenatal care.es. and administrative paperwork... your days of drowning people are numbered. same goes for you, budget overruns. and rising costs,
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and learn how you can get it for free. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. so we need tablets installed... with the menu app ready to roll. in 12 weeks. yeah. ♪ ♪ the world of fast food is being changed by faster networks. ♪ ♪ data, applications, customer experience. ♪ ♪ which is why comcast business delivers consistent network performance and speed across all your locations. fast connections everywhere. that's how you outmaneuver. i'm joined now by former u.s. ambassador to nato doug lute. he previously served as deputy national securitied a vidser for iraq and afghanistan, serving under both presidents bush and obama. he's now a senior fellow at harvard's kennedy school. ambassador lute, welcome back to "this week." good to see you. happy father's day. >> thank you, martha.
good to be with you. >> we're five months into the presidency. you were nato ambassador for four years. do you think our allies and adversaries understand president trump's policy, what it is towards nato? >> i think what they do understand is the first time in 70 years, the u.s. rock solid commitment to the alliance is in question. it's very disorienting to our nato allies. beyond our allies themselves. this unpredictability over the first five months of this administration. possibly opens potential opportunities for opponents. here, i think, russia, in particular. but it also, because it's been so uncertain with the president saying one thing, key advisers saying something else. >> i was just going to say that you have key advisers, mattis, tillerson, saying absolutely. article five. so how do they read that?
>> so, you see the vice president, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, all going to nato in the first months of this administration and being very clear and unequivocal about the u.s. commitment to the alliance. then you have the president for the first time at the head quarters on may 25th, seemingly reversing all that. deliberately not standing by the commitment of an attack on one is an attack on all. the bedrock pledge of the alliance. being rather disrespectful of allies in public in the public presentation. the allies are sort of whip-sawed between key advisers and the president himself and wonder, i think, who actually speaks for this administration. >> is it dangerous? what will allies do? >> they will, and here the president is right. they'll undoubtedly recommit to the commitments they made back in the obama administration to increasing defense spending.
this is where the president is correct. we should press our nato allies to do more. s so i think they'll continue to do that. they'll also begin to hedge their bets. because they can't rely, they believe they can't rely on u.s. leadership, as they have for the past 70 years. we should think about what that 70 years has featured. it has featured u.s. leadership the backbone of recovery from world war ii. seeing us all the way through the cold war period. beyond the cold war seeing nato as a stabilizing force. outside nato boundaries. in the balkans. today in afghanistan. >> and when russia is watching this. we had russia hack into our elections. what else did you see the russians doing during your time there and how are they reacting? >> americans are centered on what the russians did to our -- to erode the confidence and credibility of our own election
process last year. that really is just the latest gamut. this game began at least in 2014, when russia seized a sovereign part of a neighboring state, ukraine. the crimea peninsula. russia holds that peninsula today. it's destabilized eastern ukraine with russian troops, propaganda, so forth. it's conducted a series of large, no-notice exercises right on nato's periphery. these are exercises that should be announced in advance and should feature russia inviting nato observers. there to stabilize the situation. it's modernized its military. it's promoted very dangerous incidents at sea and in the air. there's a whole pattern of things into which this election controversy falls. >> when they hear president trump talk about russia, what is going through the minds of the russians? what do you think putin thinks of that? >> i suspect he sees an opportunity to do what military force alone could never do.
that is crack the nato alliance. if he can crack it politically or provoke internal fissures inside the alliance, putin sees enormous opportunity to achieve a long-standing russian goal. >> i want to ask you about national security adviser mcmaster. he's active duet pi military. i think we forget that because he doesn't have his uniform on anymore. he's still active duty. a general, that was, i think the first day when they made the announcement. since then, he's been in civilian clothes. you were active duty. same thing. three-star, active duty, army general when you were in the white house. is that a tough line to toe? are there things an active duty military general should not do, when they're in the white house? should not say? do you have to stay in certain lanes? >> i think h.r. mcmaster sits in the most difficult position in washington. whether he's an active duty officer or not this is a really tough job.
i think he's up to it. i think his job is complicated by the fact that he's still on active duty. why do i say that? an active duty military officer like the lowest private in the army must all abide by the chain of command? so as an active duty officer, h.r. remains in the chain of command. i think that complicates his role in the national security arena. >> what about talking about policy or defending the president? is that all fine for active duty? >> i think to some extent, this puts him on a tight rope. that he's trying to walk being, on the one hand, apolitical. i don't think you can be apolitical in the white house. everything in the white house is political. and at the same time, nonpartisan, which is a long-standing divide where our active duty forces remain nonpartisan. he's, i think, there's an internal tension he has to deal with between politics and partisanship. >> i want to ask you one final
question. we have just not very long here about isis. moving into mosul. into raak ka. there were reports, not confirmed, about al baghdadi being killed. the russians said that. what do you see happening after that? >> it's very good progress. in terms of eroding the caliphate. as they declared three years ago. it was baghdadi who declared the caliphate in mosul. as isis loses territory in both iraq and syria, and potentially loses key leaders. i think some of the credibility. some of the image of invulnerability of isis will begin to erode. we shouldn't be mistaken here. this is not the end of isis. the ideology exists. and thousands of foreign fighters who have pledged allegiance to the ideology also exist. >> thank you for being here. >> good to be with you. >> great to have you back. >> i'll be right back with a closing thought on this week's
as we have noted there was a striking show of unity after that shooting at an early morning baseball practice for republican members of congress. lawmakers joining together in a moment of prayer on the baseball field before the annual charity game went on as planned. but one player says he felt conflicted about being there. as a fellow member of congress was lying in the hospital in critical condition. connecticut senator chris murphy has played on the democratic team for the past decade. on facebook, he asked, what does it say about us as a country that we can so easily move on from such a seemingly cataclysmic event? are we so jaundiced to gun violence and mass shootings that it only takes us 24 hours now to revert back to business as usual?
senator murphy is right. we have become too numb to it all. massively desensitized to the carnage, as he put it. that, perhaps, includes us as journalists. who rush to cover the latest shooting, and then move on to the next headline. we have marked the anniversary of some of the most devastating attacks recently. last monday, one year since the orlando pulse nightclub shooting. 49 killed in the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history. yesterday marked two years since nine were killed at emmanuel a.m.e. church in charleston. those mass shootings are seared in our collective memory. in the last week alone, 262 people have lost their lives to gun violence. across the u.s. 559 more wounded. consider that. 262 killed in one week. so today, we think of congressman steve scalise, as
well as matt mika and capitol police officer crystal greiner. who are still hospitalized after wednesday's senseless shooting. but we should also pause this morning to remember each and every life cut short by violence in our country. because as house speaker paul ryan put it this week, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" tonight. and have a great day.
>> philadelphia city council president darrell clarke is our guest. let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning. i'm tamala edwards. welcome to "inside story," and good morning to you, council president. happy father's day. >> thank you so much. >> big week in city council. rebuild, the mayor's signature program, makes its way through, very different than what he originally proposed. one of the key things had been a back-and-forth on minority participation. we saw somebody from city hall say that they expect, in the first year, 45% participation, to which you said, "comment in the heat of battle." do you think they will meet that benchmark in the first year? >> we better. i mean, we've hyped this program, we've set expectations across the board, and i think that it will give us the ability to achieve those goals.