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tv   Wolf  CNN  March 28, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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that sounds like their problem. my colleagues are perfectly fine. they know we're doing an investigation and that will continue. >> did the trump administration seek to have sally yates not testify before your committee? >> look, you guys are just speculating. whenever there's time, we'll do a -- >> did they ask you to cancel the hearing today? >> come on, guys. >> mr. nunes saying that well, the hearing today was not canceled, but in fact it was. on friday he actually went out publicly and said the hearing today was not going to take place. not just sally yates, her testimony, but also john brennan. we were supposed to hear from him as well as another intelligence official at this hearing. john bren onan former obama intelligence official. that not happening. but they wanted to hear in a private briefing from james comey the fbi director and mike rogers the nsa director. also that private classified
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briefing will cancel today as the committee is scrapped all of its meetings and private briefings this week because of this acrimony. they don't like the way he went and briefed the president of the united states on surveillance information that he got from a secret source on the white house grounds last week. all raising questions about whether or not this investigation to russia and those alleged ties with the trump campaign can continue to go forward in the house or the senate investigation maybe the only investigation on capitol hill that can produce a credible report at this point, wolf. >> that hearing, that was scheduled an open hearing. sally yates the acting attorney general. james clapper, the former director of national intelligence. john brennan, the former cia director both of whom served during the obama administration. we are anticipating that hearing today, but you're absolutely right, it was canceled. the other hearing was canceled,
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that of mike rogers and james comey. we'll see if they are rescheduled. jeff, let me get back to you because we're standing by for this press briefing. sean spicer getting ready to answer reporters questions. i assume a lot of the focus will be on russia, the investigation. other issues coming up as well. stand by. i think spice ser about to start. >> are you done? okay. thank you. i appreciate that. i know the pool is gathering at 1:30 so i'm going to try to keep this on the shortened. this morning there was a listening session with the attorney general to discuss law enforcement issues related to violence. the fraternal order of police is the larger organization of law enforcement officers. they represent those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving. they advocate for improved working conditions for law enforcement officers and for the
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safety of our communities. the president thanked the fop leadership for their support and reaffirmed his pledge to have our back. the president also remarked that his highest duty is security of our people and pointed at several actions he's already taken to enhance our domestic security including creation of a task force on reducing violent crime, an inner agency task secure our borders.cartels and - the group held an in depth discussion about the rise of violent crime in some parts of the country. the disturbing increase in members of law manufacturesment being targeted and the need to address the country opioid epidemic. attorney general sessions toll the fop leadership he looks forward to working closely with them as they work to keep our communities safe. this afternoon at the top the president will sign an executive order on energy independence at the environmental protection agency headquarters.
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the president strongly believes that protecting the environment and promoting our economy are not neutrally exclusive goals. this order will help to ensure we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation. first it directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulation, rules, policies, and guidance documents that put up road blocks to domestic energy production and identify the ones that are not either mandated by law or actually contributing to the public good. it also rescinds a number of the previous administration's action that don't reflect this administration's priorities. the full list is laid out in the executive order which will be provided to you later today after the president signs it. next the order directs the epa to take several actions to reflect this president's environmental and economic goals including a review of the new performance standards for coal fired and natural gas fired plants. that amount to a ban, a new coal
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plant production in the united states. this is great news for states like w-- finally the order establishes a directive for aemg aem agencies to use the best available science moving forward. for too long the federal government has acted like a barrier. by reducing unnecessary regulatory obtackles will free up american energy companies to use our vast resources by protecting the environment by providing well paying jobs. american electricity producers have done an amazing job of adapting to deliver clean power to the united states. under president trump the federal government is going to acknowledge that that progress and adjust its priorities according lie. moving on later this afternoon the president will meet is secretary of state tillerson and secretary of home hand security
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kelly. this evening the president and first lady will host a reception in the white house for saerpena and their spouses. this will be the first time president trump has invited all senators to the white house and he looked forward to this opportunity as well as to speak to some of the saerenators abou where they can come together. one of those places he hopes to find common ground is the confirmation of judge neil gorsuch to the supreme court. yesterday many senate democrats gone declaring september for senate minority lead chuck schumer's fill fill -- of a nominee to join the freedom court. leading democrats have lamented these tactics as recently as last year. senator schumer in fact wrote last year in the new york daily news, and i yoequote, at a time when americans want to move forward, the last thing we need is a new recipe for gridlock at the supreme court.
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democratic nominee hillary clinton said, quote, it should not be an exercise in political brinks manship and partisan posturing and that nominees deserve a full and fair hearing followed by a vote. senator clare mack cas kel tweeted -- that means having an up or down vote. so who are senate democrats going to enact this on an extraordinary lengths to block? it's an individual who their body including senator schumer confirmed for a seat on the tenth circuit not too long ago. this is a judge who received a unanimous well qualified rating by the american bar association, was a harvard law graduate who received the edward j. randolph award. so it can't be their qualifications they're taking issue. judge gorsuch is a mainstream judge. he are some figures and stats. in 98% of the cases in which he issued the opinion he received the unanimous support of all of
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his colleagues. in divided cases over the last five years involving public and democrat appointed judges, he sided with the democrat appointappoint judge one in three times. when the shoe was on the other foot, went through the confirmation meetings, neither justices faced an attempted senate filibuster. both received senate reports. in fact during the nomination on the senate floor when senator hairy re harry read, it was then senator and now jeff sessions who stopped him and i said i have a high standard before i would attempt to block an up our down vote and asked them to proceed with a vote. judge gorsuch had met with most of the senate democratic caucus. he has gone through days of hearing and answered probing questions. he is qualified and deserves the
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def -- a few things i want to highlight. last night the president announced his intent to nominate one to serve as the attorney general of the anti-trust division at the department of justice and this morning we announced the president's declaration that a major disaster existed in the state of nevada and to assist recovery efforts from this past february. this morning the president was received that ford announced $1.2 billion in three manufacturing facilities in michigan two weeks after auto executives came to the white house and met with the president. this adds to the growing wave of jobs news under the president and continued invest ment from charter communication says, his approval of the pipeline on friday. in addition energy transfers partners reported monday that the dakota access pipeline has
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been filled with oil as they enter the final stages of preparation that will finally put this into service. according to data released by the conference board, in march consumer confidence quote soared to his highest level in 16 ye s years. from individual announcements from both consumer, it's clear that the president's economic agenda is what american's businesses have been waiting for. these businesses spent years being held back by unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. lastly, i want to make a comment on a false report regarding former acting attorney general sally yates. as a matter of fact, i'd like to walk you through the sequence of events just to make sure that everyone is a -- on march 14th chairman nunes invited sally yates to testify on march 28th. on march 23nd sally yates attorney sent a letter to the department of justice asking for their consent to testify without
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constraints o. march 24th the department of justice responded that the president owns those privileges to discuss the communications they were requesting to talk about and referred them to the white house. also on the 24th ms. yates attorney sent a letter to the white house counsel requesting that consent specifically stating if they did not receive a response by march 27th at 10:00 they would conclude that the white house does not assert executive privilege over these matters. the white house did not respond and took no action that prevented ms. yates from testifying. that's the story. that's what the documents show. with that i'm glad to take some questions. >> i'd like to follow on that. there are reports that even though the hearing that was set for the 27th was not scheduled, it was canceled by devin nunes to prevent this white house from publicly invoking a claim of executive privilege. could you speak to that. >> i hope she testifies. i look forward to it. let's be honest. the hearing was never -- was
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actually never notified. if they choose to move forward, great. we have no problem with her testifying. plain and simple. the report in "the washington post" is 100% false. the letters that they frankly publish on their website all back up everything i just read. all of the letters are available on their website. i hate to give them the traffic. but the reality is that they specifically say if you don't respond, we're going to go ahead. we didn't respond. we encouraged them to go ahead. but to suggest in any way, shape, or form that we stood in the way of that is 100% false. brian? >> couple things you said earlier. couple quick follow-ups. you said the agency to use best available science. does that mean there's going to be no further scientific research? you don't want to fund additional scientific research? and number two, what other issues do you like to see the president reach out to democrats to tonight? >> on the first one, best science is best science. that's whatever -- >> whatever is available is what you said. >> right.
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if it's not available, it's tough to use it. >> is it a code for -- >> no. it's a code for it's got to be able. that's it plain and simple. you shouldn't read anything into that. i think the president will speak more to that at today's signing at 1:30 -- 2:00, i'm sorry. i think there's a whole list of issues. we talked about health care, infrastructure, tax reform. we'd love to have as much support as possible. >> couple questions. your actions today, the white house is saying that they're going to reverse president obama's war on coal. a lot of people in the coal industry suggest that jobs are just not going to come back in that industry based on the way the industry and technology has changed. does this administration have an estimate of how many jobs will be created as a result? >> i know the president met with some of the coal miners and senators mansion and one from west virginia and others from
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kentucky that were here and we did the eo signing a few days ago. i will tell fyou from a mining perspective, the miners and the owners are very, very bullish. the people in the business applaud this. it's obviously a private industry so imnot goi'm not goit into who does what. >> you said the announcement today comes two weeks after the automakers met at the white house. did the white house or the president do anything in that meeting that led to this today? >> i think there's been some regulatory effort and some commitments on the regulatory efforts going forward in the future that i think may have played a role. i would ask ford on that. i think it's a continued sign. i think we have seen a number of industry leaders, union leaders,
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truckers, truck companies come in. there's been several cases where meetings in the white house or frankly we went to michigan and held that round table there as well, meetings we have have a very positive follow-up in terms of a commitment from a company or an industry to create jobs, to invest more in this country. but in each of these cases -- >> does the white house get political credit for this? >> i'll leave it up to ford to make that determination. i think we're obviously please ds wi ed with more americans gedittin jobs and the president has made it clear he continues to fight to bring back jobs and manufacturing here in the country. >> look seriously at tax reform, could you just go through what is the president's bottom line? does it need to have middle mass tax relief? can you do it comp
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comprehensively? >> on the first two, those are both two key components. the individual middle class piece of it and the corporate rate has to come down. as far as how the process works, there are i think -- i don't want to get ahead of the folks in the legislative affairs and the guys on capitol hill, but i would suggest there's a prevailing attitude out there that the fy 18 reconciliation is the most likely to move some of this. what we do want to do is keep options on the table. do we put infrastructure in. but part of gathering folks together now from capitol hill, from industry, from groups is to begin that discussion to talk about what needs to go in, what the way forward is, and so that conversation has begun and it's continuing. >> when do you think you'll have
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some recommendations to take to the president? >> well, internally the team has been talking to him for a while. i think there's a bigger discussion that has to happen as we branch out with outside groups, industry, members of cal toll hill, et cetera, that start to formulate some additional listening that needs to help on that. again, i think part of it is a legislative strategy that needs to tie into this. >> is the white house currently involved in any renegotiations on the health care bill? and if so, in what manner? >> staff has met with individuals and listened to them. so i don't know how detailed you want -- i mean, are we -- have we had some discussions and ideas? yes. are we actively planning an immediate strategy? not at this time. i think there is a discussion that began as i mentioned yesterday of a lot of individuals on both sides of the aisle reaching out to both the president and key staff members
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to share ideas and additional ways forward. so there has been a discussion and i believe there will be several more. >> what would you say to the folks who have a genuine concern that if you will could not get health care done, how do you go about getting big ticket items like tax reform and infrastructure done? people say if you can't get one, how are you going to do the next? >> again, i think as i -- i mean, we're going to build a coalition for this. i think each of them have different con tet wstituent. i don't want to prejudge. outcome at this point. john. >> thank you, sean. >> we'll do both. >> all right. sorry for jessica.
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>> thank you, sean. just as a follow-up question, did the president himself have any discussions with speaker ryan or leader mccarthy or anyone over the weekend about health care and making an actual vote on the american health care act, and one got the impression from speaker ryan today that he was going to try to pass this through republican votes which would contradict some of your statements about reaching out to democrats all along. has any of this come up with discussions between each side of pennsylvania avenue? >> so i think i talked yesterday, they have spoken a few times about different strategies, different ideas, different policy aspects to the bill. absolutely. at least on two, maybe three times they've spoken. and i know several of our staff members have also engaged in
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discussions. again, to talk about potential ways forward. so those conversations have occurred. i think that's what i mentioned to blake. i mentioned some of it yesterday. and if we can find a way forward, we'll do it. but i don't think just so we're clear, john, to your question, i'm not saying we've picked a strategy and we're going to go with this group or that group. i think the president was -- several people reached out and expressed an interest and the president's view is that he's willing to listen to them. and hear what their ideas are. i made a comment yesterday that was -- that just so we're clear, we have let's call it 205, 207, somewhere in there, votes. maybe 210 depending on what it is. the point i made yesterday to get to 216, 218 depending on the day of the week, there are certain things that people want that would take what i think the president views as a very good
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bill that weren't worth doing it because it would make the deal bad. the question is can we add the additional votes in ways that enhance the bill? or bring people over that have been previous skeptics. there have been people sathey if you bring me on board with these provisions then i'm on board. i think that's the balancing act that has to happen. one is can you add additional folks on without pushing additional folks off in and two is that in what you have to add to the bill zr, does it make it stronger or does it not? there have been suggestions saying we're willing to come along with the bill but in doing so would make it a bad deal. that's the important aspect. how do you take whatever that number is that we have now and get it up to 216 to pass without making -- without losing people and/or making it a bad deal.
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>> you've gon with republican votes, not democrats. >> however we get there, john. >> yesterday you wreren't able o tell us very much about congressman nunes's visit to the white house grounds to give you classified information. a democrat on the committee said the white house would have known that he was here. the same democrat also said it looked lying a criminal cover up to him. my question to you is have you learned any more information since we had conversation yesterday about how he would have got ep ten in and how he w have gotten cleared and do you think he should recuse himself from the investigation. >> it's not up to me. he's a member of the house. he's appointed by the speaker. we're not going to start commenting on that kind of stuff. i do think that he is running an investigation which we asked for. and i think the thing that's important to note is there
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somewhat of a double standard when it comes to classified information. when leaks are made illegally to the press, and you all report them, the coverage focuses almost entirely on the substance of the allegation that are part of an illegal leak, not on the illegal nature of the disclosure, the identity of the leaks or their agenda. but when the information that is occurring now which is two individuals who are properly cleared or three or whoever he met with, i don't know, that they are sharing stuff that is entirely legal with the appropriate clearances and then there's an obsession on the process. it's a backwards way that when you all report on stuff with sources that are leaking illegally leaking classified information, that's appropriate and fine. no one questions that. when two individuals or however many are engaged in this process have a discussion that is 100 pf100% legal and appropriate and cleared sudden it becomes about the process and not the
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substance. i think that it is somewhat reckless in how the conversation over classified information is discussed without -- while sort of attempting to press a false narrative that exists. so while it is completely appropriate to share classified information with individuals who are cleared, it is clearly not the case to do that with -- when it is illy leakegally leaked oui think that's how this conversation has gone. >> just following up on your statement in regard to "the washington post" story, you say it's false. the white house counsel office ever consider invoking privilege as it relates to sally yates testifying before this congressional committee? >> no. >> why is that? you certainly would be in a position to invoke. after all these were privileged communications between the acting attorney general and the executive office of the president. >> i know this will be a
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shocker, but part of it is i think we've been very clear that when you actually get to the bottom of the facts, every single person who's been briefed on this as i've said ad nauseum from this podium that they've been very clear that there is no connection between the president or the staff here and anyone doing anything with russia. i think that the view here was great, go share what you know. so no. and that's why "the washington post" should be ashamed of how it handled the story. it was 100% false. the letters that they actually published back up exactly what we're saying. that she was asked about this information. that her attorney judged the doj. the doj said she had requested the white house. they made it clear, if you don't do this, we are going to go forward. we had no objection to her going forward. that's it. hold on. matt goes next. we're going to go in order here. >> just quickly following up on that, i have two questions on two different topics.
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we're taking what you're saying as assurances that chairman nunes decision to call off the hearing did not have any pressure ur from the white house? >> no. on a different topic we're seeing more states, maine, virginia and kansas specifically moving to expand medicaid under the affordable care act joining the 30 plus states that have already done that. what's president's trump message to republican legislators generally in those states now that the affordable care act future is so uncertain? >> i think there's a reason he explained to congress and especially members who have talked about entitlement expansion why we should have pass t passed this bill last week and why we need to address it now. it's a major issue. it's one of our talking points so i hope they listen. i think he understands that the way that it was handled in terms of the able bodied provision right now are leading to an
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imploei implosion and to push the money back to the states to best determine how to handle issues within their states both in terms of high risk and individuals that they wanted to cover. frankly the bill made it a much more states rights program and a much more states rights decision making process in terms of how to care for the population that they had to address. >> how exactly -- how and when exactly did the white house encourage her to testify? >> the letter that her attorney sent literally says if we do not receive a spons by march 27th 10:00 a.m. i will conclude the white house does not exert -- i don't think you can be any clearer than that. >> you're saying executive privileges does not -- >> i'm not saying anything. that's what she wrote.
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the action was if you don't act we'll assume the following. great. i don't think you can read that any other way. she's i'm sure -- he is a very talented lawyer and wrote it specifically for it. we read it that way and chose not to act because we have no problem with her testifying. plain and simple. >> so executive privilege is not an issue for sally yates testifying. >> that's correct. >> one issue. you want to add? >> no. it's interesting, this is very clearly worded. and yet somehow you're asking me how to interpret that in any other way than literally reading plain english. >> okay. interpret something else for me. does the president still believe that climate change is a hoax? >> i think you'll hear more today about what he believes. he does not believe as i mention ed outset that there is a choice been economic growth and caring about the environment. i think at the end of the day
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where we should be focusing is making sure all americans have clean water, clean air and we do what we can to protect our environment. >> sean, don't seem so happy. anyway, with all of these investigations, questions of what is, how does this administration try to revamp its image? two and a half months in, you've got the yates story today, you've got other things going on, you've got russia, you've got wire tapping. >> no, we don't have that. >> you've got allegations on capitol hill. >> i get it, but i've said it from the day that i got here until whatever, that there is no connection. you've got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a russian connection. but every single person -- i appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is -- hold on.
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at some point report the facts. the facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion. republican, democrat. so i'm sorry that disgusts you. you're shaking your head. i appreciate it. but understand this. at some point the facts are what they are. every single person who has been briefed on this situation with respect to the situation with russia, republican, democrat, obama appointee career have all come to the same conclusion. at some point, april, you're going to have to take no for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion. >> how do you change the perception of -- >> we're going to keep doing everything we're doing to make sure that the president -- what the president told the american people he was going to do to fulfill those pledges and promises that he made, to bring back jobs, to grow the economy, to keep our nation safe, that's what he's been focused on since day one. we're going to keep focusing on that every single day. >> did not support this
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president. she did not go to -- kma wwhat the agenda? is it healed since 2006. >> here's what i'll tell you t.'s interesting that you ask those two questions back to back. you ask what are we doing to improve our image and here he is meeting somebody that hasn't been a big supporter. hold on. april, hold on. it seems like you're hell bent on trying to make sure whatever image you want to tell about this white house stays, but at the end of the day -- >> i am just reporting -- >> you're asking me a question and i am going to answer it. i'm sorry. please stop shaking your head. at some point the reality is this president continues to reach out to individuals who supported him, who didn't support him, republicans, democrats, to try and bring the country together. that's it plain and simple. so if you're asking what we're doing, i think we continue to do it which is to bring groups
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together that have been supportive of him, that haven't been supportive of him but to share a goal which is finding common ground on areas of national security, of personal security, of economic security, of job creation, of safer communities, of education, of health care, that can unite us as a country and make the country stronger. >> what about russia and tillerson -- >> when we're done with that, we'll see if we can have a readout. hold on. i understand. we're not at friday yet. i will have a readout when that's done. i know the pole needs to get to the van for the signing. thank you. i'll be back for tomorrow. we're going to do five days in a row this week, ladies and gentlemen. >> so there once again sean spicer the white house press secretary, another pretty contentious briefing over at the white house on several important issues including the investigation of allegations that russia was involved with trump associates during the
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campaign. you heard some strong statements from sean spicer. we'll have full analysis and reaction coming up. our senior washington corresponde corresponde correspondent. a lot of discussion was on this "washington post" report that he flatly denied saying it's 100% wrong about the white house saying they did not want sally yates to testify before the committee. she was supposed to today today with the james clapper. none of them are testifying. that meeting was -- that intelligence committee hearing was canceled. he says i hope she testifies, we have no problem for her testifying. "the washington post" 100% wrong. >> she's going to be testified. we just learned senate mark warner that the democratic co-chair of the senate intelligence committee just said that their committee is going to have her in to testify, so we'll
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get her testimony. >> will that be an open session? >> i'm not -- i'm just getting this in right now. i'm not sure at this point. but she's going to testify one way or another before the senate intelligence committee. the key point here is this. was sally yates prepared to contradict certain aspects of the white house narrative about what took place between general flynn on those phone conversations with kislyak and perhaps others? the russian ambassador. >> we don't know. and so there was this kind of flurry of letters which we have here and it was between sally yates's attorney and the justice department and also then the white house counsel. sally yates' attorney is saying we're happy to testify. we have no problem with testifying. and then the department of justice says such communications
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are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege. the president owns those privileges, so you need to talk to the white house. so a letter was sent to the white house counsel at the white house, don mcgann, and a reply was requested by monday, march 27th. no reply came, so that's why sean spicer is saying the white house didn't do anything. no reply came. but then sally yates was canceled by devin nunes. so the next question is, why did devin nunes cancel sally yates? and did anybody tell him to do it. >> the suspicion is that this hearing, like last monday's hearing, was going to be negative as far as the trump administration is concerned. let's step back. sally yates was the acting attorney general. she was the one who notified the white house that michael flynn, the then national security adviser, had misled top
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officials including the vice president of the united states about his contacts with the russian ambassador and other russians and as a result of that he was eventually fired. >> let's remember who sally yates was the acting a.g. who was a deputy under the obama administration who was a hold over until they could get jeff sessions in place. so this is not someone who at all is friendly to donald trump. that's just very clear. so -- >> let me direct you for a second, because once she announced as the acting attorney general of the united states after the president unveiled his travel ban, the first travel ban, which was eventually rejected by the federal courts, then sean spicer said in a formal statement, quote, the acting attorney general sally yates has betrayed the
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department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the united states. that shows you the relationship between the white house and the acting attorney general. >> so if you are the white house, if you disagree with the the white house, but if you put yourself in their shoes, why would you want sally yates to testify? she's not going to say anything that is going to be helpful. so that is -- that is taking a look at what would be happening. but also looking at what -- let's take a look at what sean spicer said. he sort of blew this off. like oh, the hearing wasn't notified. actually, yes, the hearing was notified. he said this is 100 % false. it's not. it is well reported out. so just his defense of this. and then the other thing is we've seen manu raju, senior congressional reporter here at cnn asking nunes about the cancellation of this hearing, what happened, and was this something you did at the behest of the white house.
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come on, guys, is what nunes said and blew it off. there's no denial coming from nunes ats that what's happened. >> how do you see it? >> well, where is this going? he said today when he said that the post piece was 100% false, he talked about what those letters meant and that the white house technically did not evoke executive privilege and ban her from testifying. however, he didn't talk about the fact that in the post there was a report that both yates and brennan made it clear in their testimony they would have given today that they would have contradicted accounts from the white house. and where is this going? somehow sean spicer got through another briefing without asking who cleared nunes after his visit to the white house grounds. we've all spoken to people who worked there. you guys have been there a lot. the secured room where you review classified information is not some room that you -- we all have a key t.. it's manned.
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it's secured. it's very formal and instruction and he cannot be wandering the grounds late at night. they're going to have yates testify before the senate committee. possibly nunes will be forced to having her at the house too. when are they going to admit nunes was invited on the house grounds. this can't hide from this. >> let's go to jeff, our senior white house correspondent. jeff, what was your takeaway from this briefing? >> i think first and foremost sean spicer follow -- end up here at the white house complex a week ago today, a week ago this evening and was looking through those -- the intelligence information. sean spicer did not answer any of those questions. the white house has told us that they simply do not intend to say who cleared him in, who escorted him in, who started all of this here. so this was a bit of an abbreviated briefing because the
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president is going over to the epa to sign an executive order, so the press secretary was not taking as many questions as he normally does. but they simply did not provide that follow-up information. back to the yates testimony for one second, yes the white house says we'd be happy to have her testify. that is not the feeling that we get here talking to people. she of course has -- her involvement in all of this, she has some information about, you know, the events leading up to the firing of michael flynn. she had conversations with the white house counsel's office. this is not something as i had they said the white house wants to talk about. so this is not the end it all, but the white house is aggressive pushback on that "washington post" report does not quite square with their through intention. they do not want her to testify despite what sean spicer said from this podium i can tell you. >> they were worried, and this is the widespread assumption, jeff, that if this hearing had
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taken place today with these three top officials from the obama administration, testifying about the russia -- the russian involvement, the cyber attacks during the presidential campaign, the leaks of c confidential e-mails and all of that, this could have been another cloud, if you will, hanging over the trump administration as of last monday's hearing was with the fbi director and the director of the national security agency. >> no question, wolf. you do have to wonder how many of those hearings like this this administration can withstand. it was only a week ago when the fbi director said in an extraordinary testimony that the fbi is indeed investigating this. so certainly it's in the white house's interest to limit these numbers of public hearings and things. the reality is they're likely to happen at some point if not this week. >> we don't know specifically what the former head of national -- director of national intelligence james clapper would
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have been saying at this hearing today. we don't know what john brennan, the former cia director what he would have been saying. but until january 20th, they were in charge of the national intelligence community and had good information about what was going on and in the end they decided that is not going to happen. now we're hearing, we will be a hearing, i wonder if you're hearing additional information before not the house intelligence committee but the senate intelligence committee where there seems to be greater bipartisan cooperation between the chairman and the ranking democrat. >> certainly there has been much better cooperation between those two senators. a senate intelligence committee is sort of viewed as a sacred bipartisan ground, if you will. they've done many investigations. they have their differences between each side, but so far at least as of now, the senate investigation seems to be proceeding in a much more cordial basis here. they have given an indication that they would also like to
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hear this testimony from sally yates and others. so again, this will continue. as the house side investigation is certainly in a disarray it seems, the senate is ongoing as well as that fbi investigation still ongoing. so as much as this white house wants to move forward, move back to the agenda, you heard sean spicer talk about health care and other things, this russia cloud is hanging over this white house and it seems it will continue to do so. dev devin nunes, getting clearness to come into the white house grounds, going next door to the west wing and then going into one of those secure rooms, those intelligence briefing ruooms an getting access so sensitive classified information. an official at the white house or officials at the white house, that has to be authorized. that has to be approved. >> without question. even if you're a member of congress, even if you're the chairman of an intelligence
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committee, to come on to these grounds at the house, you must be invited in. you must be cleared in, escorted in regardless of who you are. i talked to several former government officials who kind of walked us through this process and i said there are several rooms that have these security facilities. yes, without question someone invited him in. they cleared him in. they escorted him in. simply to take up looking who that was on a computer system. but this white house has maeds t made the decision to not say who that is. they believe their visitor logs are private and privileged, certainly a departure from the obama administration. >> everybody stand by. we're going to continue our analysis of what we just heard. lots of breaking news developments. we'll be right back. ingredients. remove artl kind never had to.
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let's bring back our panel. our senior washington correspondent and your chef political analyst. the other confusing element that came up today, gloria, is there going to be a renewed effort after the failure of last week
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to get health care repeal and replace of health care once again moving a little bit and see if they can revive? >> well, there are conflicting messages on that, because nobody is sure how it could quite be done. i spoke with a senior white house official sunday night who said to me look, there are whispers about getting it back to track because they believe that now the freedom caucus is kind of divided to a degree and they may be more willing to work with the president because they are concerned that, for example, the prolife move ment is going to go after them because it was an opportunity to kill planned parenthood. could they also work with democrats? i guess. except there's nothing but disincentive for democrats to work with donald trump. he is not popular with their base at all. >> you heard sean spicer say they had maybe 205.
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they're working to get to the number but they don't want to work and repeal the legislation. >> to the democrats, you have to have a willing partner. there is no incentive for democrats to work with donald trump. their base is completely against donald trump and would hold it against them at the ballot box no doubt if they were to somehow give him they would need to peel off some more of these votes. it's unclear if they would be able to do it. >> you think they can revive it? you think there are enough republicans that will flip and decide to go along with the republicans. >> i spoke to a member to said, seriously, if we had put them on the fold, jim jordan wouldn't have fold, one of the biggest purists among them. with the democrats screaming and pelosi and all of them voting no, a couple of them would have
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folded. it is not clear that would have gotten them over the hurdle. they lost so many moderates. i think they are right to recommit to this. they can't get out of it. their new plap n to require reconciliation requires democrats. >> the speaker came before the microphones a little while ago and offered a pretty upbeat assessment of this compared to what they said last week when the whole thing collapsed. listen to this. i'll read it to you. we are united around a common set of principles. this is the speaker. we are united around our agenda. we all want to advance the cause of freedom and limited government. kevin mccarthy, the majority leader said, we promised we will repeal and replace obama care. that's what we are going to do. >> they want to do it because they are confronted with a tough reality. because they didn't repeal
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obamacare, they are missing a big chunk of change they would need to use for tax reform. that's a problem for them. if it is supposed to be deficit neutral, budget neutral, then they have to find the money somewhere and they don't have the money. so what they would be left doing on tax reform would be a small kind of tax reform as opposed to the broader kind of tax reform that they also promised. one thing does depend on another. so any are looking back at this and saying, first things first. >> even if they were able, brie na brianne in, y brie na brianna, you know even if they get something they would accept, once the legislation goes to the senate, it is not going to get a bare majority, 51 votes, let alone 60 you might need for other aspects. >> i was talking to tom delay
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yesterday, a very good whip in his day. he was saying they should have repealed it and instead of worrying about the senate, they should have done something they should just get through the house. that is a big enough lift. certainly, they would have to consider what the senate would do in the case of health care reform. they are trying to come out after a very stinging loss and trying to paint a pretty picture after a tough week. they are also perhaps hopeing that this is a lesson learned for some republicans. we did see some step awhich from the freedom caucus. they are hoping they can say, this is how it panned out is this time. when we are moving forward on other legislation, we need to be
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more unified. >> the president certainly focused on this during the campaign. core issues and another core issue, building the wall along the border between the united states and mexico. the trump administration is asking for $1 billion to cover the first 62 miles of that border wall with mexico. experts now estimate that the whole wall would cost between $12 billion and $20 billion. this is a potentially big problem, specially if mexico is not going to pay for it. >> republicans are on the record saying mexico is not going to pay for it. you have republicans trying to avoid the subject. they don't support this. you have republicans saying, we are not going to take away people's land and build this wall and they don't have the money. democrats saying they will not support a government funding bill that has to be passed by april 28th. you combine that bipartisan
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opposition, it will be a very hard push for the president to get his wall funding. >> mexico clearly saying, don't expect any cash from us. >> $1 billion here and $1 billion there. at some point, tax reform costs you money. the wall costs you money. i remember when conservative republicans used to complain about george w. bush because he spent too much money. >> they would like to go back to fiscally conservative roots. >> people would like to see the national debt reduced. in just a few minutes, we are expecting president trump to sign a sweeping executive or the that significantly changes the u.s. approach to climate change. this order is aimeding to drastically reduce federal enforcement of climate regulations. that's happening in just a few minutes over at the environmental protection agency here in washington. we are going to have it for you once it begins. that's it for me. thanks so much for watching. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room."
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breaking news here on cnn. hi, there. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. the white house denying that it blocked the testimony of former acting attorney general, sally yates, who was fired by president trump, a holdover from the obama administration. yates had been scheduled to testify on this investigation of the trump campaign's ties to