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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  July 25, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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it would appear the president has a sessions obsession. jeff sessions, the first sitting u.s. senator to endorse president trump's presidential campaign is on the receiving end of another round of blistering ridicule from his boss, including this tweet. ttorney general jeff sessions has taken a weak position on hillary clinton crimes. where are e-mails and intel leakers? there is that. and this. "the washington post" reports
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the president may be looking to replace sessions. publicly, the white house, to this point, has refused to comment on the president's public comments, until now. the new white house communications director offering a take this morning. we are at the white house with all of this. what are you hearing today? >> reporter: that's exactly right. we heard from anthony scaramucci this morning. he went a step further suggesting donald trump and jeff sessions need to meet. they were both in the west wing yesterday, but they did not cross paths and see each other. jeff sessions was there for lunches he regularly has but did not see the president. anthony scaramucci says the men need to figure out what their future is going to be. let's listen to what he said this morning. >> why not just fire jeff sessions? >> well, listen, i mean, you know, i think the president has certain style, certain skill
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set. he's obviously frustrated. i said yesterday, maybe sarah murray could get together. i don't think the president is going to do. i think him and jeff, sorry, the attorney general should sit down and figure this out. i have an enormous amount of respect for the attorney general but i know the president pretty well. if there's this level of tension in the relationship that is public, you are probably right, but i don't want to speak for the president on that because he's a cabinet official. it has to be between the president of the united states and cabinet official. >> reporter: kate, we don't know what jeff session' future is here, but we know donald trump is fuming. he is equating jeff sessions to hillary clinton on twitter. for an insult from donald trump, that's as low as it can get. he is treating his attorney general like a political faux. since sessions recused himself from overseeing the russia
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investigation in march, we heard donald trump privately complained about it. since "the new york times" interview, he said he would not have picked him to be his attorney general if he knew he was going to recuse himself. we have seen donald trump continue to lash out at him. we cannot overstate how loyal jeff sessions has been to donald trump. he was the first senator to endorse him. he gave up a state senate seat to take the job and he has done a lot for the trump agenda in the last six months since they have been in office. he wheeled a lot of influence over the west wing. several former staffers, including rick deerborn and stephen miller work here. steve bannon referred to him as his mentor. it's safe to say jeff sessions' job is in jeopardy, despite the influence. >> despite all that, things have clearly changed. what that means is anyone's guess and it's in the president's court. thank you. >> reporter: thanks, kate. >> matt is here to discuss it with me.
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he wrote about the trump team weighing options for replacing sessions. david is here with me as well. david, i mean, i think it's a pretty big deal that what the president's new communications director said today. finally, it seems acknowledging rather than dodging the obvious, that the president does want sessions gone. why, then, doesn't the president just fire him? are you getting any read on this, yet? >> it is clear donald trump doesn't want jeff sessions to be the attorney general anymore. it also seems clear he is concerned about blowback. you can see some of the conservative blowback that is already forming to this notion. i mean, you see republican senators coming out today, one after the other. lindsey graham, tom tillis.
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former allies or sessions to call him a man of integrity. there seems to be some movement to shore up jeff sessions, but, kate, this is so much larger than just one cabinet member. this, to me, is very different. this is part of a larger pattern into donald trump's thinking about the people who hold the positions at the highest levels of law enforcement agencies in this country, whether it is the acting fbi director, the attorney general, the special council, robert mueller, rob rosenstein. donald trump sees their mission as one that should be about loyalty to him, protecting him and his family's legal points of view and political needs. that is how he seems to think of it more than being committed to the constitution and rule of law. that is what is so alarming about what donald trump is saying about jeff sessions. >> by definition, their jobs are the latter of what you played out. everyone knows that and the
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president should as well. matt, you are reporting that the president is now talking with his team about the possibility of replacing sessions in light of the tweet how it is a constant drum beat of the president attacking sessions. how serious are those discussions in terms of replacing him. they have to get him out, whether it's firing or something else. how serious is it? >> when we reported it, the indication was they were preliminary discussions. in some ways, it was the president venting. he was asking serious questions. he asked one person, if i replace jeff sessions, how would that play in the conservative media? he's clearly seriously entertaining the idea. another point this morning in that interview you played between anthony scaramucci and hugh hewitt, he joked would you be open. that's humiliating to jeff sessions and shows you are seriously entertaining removing
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him. i don't know how serious they are in terms of identifying replacement and having approached people and said, hey, would you step into this role? they know they want jeff sessions out. their minds are starting to go to that next step. >> david, there are a couple names that have been floated about possible replacements. rudy giuliani, ted cruz. how serious are those options? >> until there's a vacancy, you are going to have a hard time getting a sense how serious they are about being wooed. ted cruz put out a statement -- >> i'm happy where i am. >> defending the people of texas and rudy giuliani said -- those calculations can change if there's an actual vacancy. we have to remember, why does he want to remove jeff sessions? he's upset about the recusal. >> it's a moving target. i'm mad that you recused yourself from the russian
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investigation. but now it's morphed into something that we thought the president was past, which is why aren't you investigating hillary clinton? >> do you remember when he made that point during the presidential debate last fall what the reaction -- i mean, across the spectrum, they were saying you don't have your attorney general prosecute because that separates a banana republic from a democracy. there was blowback when he said it last fall. attorney general sessions because of the comments as a trump ally on the campaign trail regarding hillary clinton said he would recuse himself from hillary clinton matters. he has been on the record. i know the president saying he is weak on it. he said if there are hillary clinton matters that came up before him, related to her campaign or the e-mails or the investigation, he would likely recuse himself from that because of his work on the trump campaign. >> matt, you mentioned the president's concern about conservative blowback.
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you have rush limbaugh who says it is discomforting the way the president is going. you see folks coming out as a conservative realm to shore up jeff sessions who is a conservative. you cover the justice department. do you have an inkling where sessions is headed versus last night? >> i wish i did. it certainly seems in the recent days that he is just keeping his head down and doing the work. i have talked to people inside the justice department who wouldn't disclose if they talked to jeff sessions or not. they told me they are demoralized, but a part of them hoping this would blow over, that everyone would roll their eyes and say, well, this is just what the president does and this will blow over. i don't think that's going to happen. so far, it seems jeff sessions is drawing a line in the sand saying if you want me to go, fire me.
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>> it's hard to see this blowing over, but it's mard to see a lot of things. we are here today. great to see you matt. david, thank you as always. >> sure. we are following two fronts. the senate judiciary xhit tee issued a subpoena for paul manafort, compelling him to testify in public as opposed to what was being negotiated before, testifying behind closed doors. a second day of closed door meetings with investigators. this time, meeting with investigators on the senate. let's get to the capital where manu raju is following this. ma manu, is there word on what's going on behind closed doors with jared kushner? >> reporter: we are waiting for the hearing to finish. it started around 10:00 a.m.
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they are members of the house intelligence committee questioning jared kushner different than yesterday when it was staff interviewing kushner. it's the first time he's facing lawmakers. it's a more combative round of questions from democrats who believe mr. kushner has not been forthcoming enough and believe the 11-page statement released about the russian contacts has a number of holes in it they plan to explore. the question for kushner going forward is, is this it for him? will he come back to congress after today? there are a number of democrats who say he should. not just on the house side, but also the senate side. when jared kushner came in for this hearing, just moments ago, i had a chance to ask him, will you appear in public? he didn't say. this is our exchange. mr. kushner, will you testify in
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public? will you testify again before the senate? now, this comes as paul manafort is now in the center of two committees, the senate intelligence committee and the senate judiciary committee. today, we learned, earlier this morning, paul manafort did, in fact, sit down for an interview with staff of the senate intelligence committee, behind closed doors, answering their questions. but, that is not to the satisfaction of the senate judiciary committee who wanted their own interview with paul manafort. last week, calling him to appear in a public session. they cut a deal so he could have a private interview, provide documents and see whether or not a public session is necessary. well, it turns out he did not provide the records the senate judiciary committee wanted. one transcribed meeting to
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congress. as a result, senator chuck grassley, the republican chairman, along with dianne feinstein issued a subpoena to compel paul manafort to appear in a public hearing tomorrow. uncertain whether or not he will heed the request of the committee. i have asked a spokesman, no response yet. clearly, a lot of pressure on paul manafort after testifying today to come publicly tomorrow or plead the fifth if he does not want to answer questions. >> fascinating. that ratcheted up quickly. it was going to be behind closed doors. kind of like what we are seeing with jared kushner where they make a lot of -- try to make a lot of -- make it easy for them, get in, do the interview, get out. paul manafort got on the wrong side of chuck grassley and dianne feinstein. thank you. go ahead, go ahead. >> reporter: thanks, kate.
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i was going to say a turf war between them, fighting over who to -- which witnesses come forward. grassley not happy. he's agreed to talk intelligence. >> thanks manu. coming up for us, senator john mccain expected to return to washington today as it has senate gets ready for a vote on something of a health care mystery. still, a vote many senators are undecided on. john mccain's return is ahead. plus, is the president's assault on jeff sessions an abuse of power? we will ask muellers former aide on that one. the president's wild speech to thousands of boy scouts speaking on everything from loyalty to the electoral college and he threw in christmas. republican eagle scout joins me live. ries of smart choices. and when you replace one meal... ...or snack a day with glucerna... ...made with carbsteady... ...to help minimize blood sugar spikes... ...you can really feel it.
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. it is decision day for the republican led senate. john mccain is returning to the hill to cast his vote days after brain surgery and diagnosis of an aggressive form of brain cancer. will it be enough to help them debate or fall short?
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we will soon find out. that means the final lobbying blitz is on in a big way. some of the loudest pressure coming from the president himself, this morning issuing a statement. big day for health care. after days of talking, we will see whether or not republicans are ready to get up? national politics reporter, mj lee is following all of this from capitol hill. what is the latest? >> reporter: it is a lot. a lot of moving pieces. first on the news john mccain is going to come back today. that is a big deal for his colleagues. obviously, a lot of colleagues have been sad and shocked about his brain cancer diagnosis. the fact that days after his z big surgery, he is going to come back with all that much more pressure brings in a lot of emotion to a day that was going to be dramatic. i have new reporting to share on leadership plan or a plan on how
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they want to move forward if the motion to proceed vote is successful. they will bring forward the 2014 repeal bill. this is not likely to be successful. republican senators are not happy about doing a repeal without a replacement. this is the repeal and replace plan but a third version of it that includes funding for medicaid and the cruz/lee amendment that conservatives wanted. this is a sign leadership wants to offer members a chance to offer what they want to offer in this health care bill. finally, what leadership wants to get to is a skinny repeal bill. a smaller version of the 2015 repeal bill and leadership feels like they could get 50 votes on this. obviously, a very fast moving process. the lunch today, we should keep a close eye on. this is when mcconnell will continue pressing the case for members to vote yes so they can
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move on to have this debate. >> a lot happening on the floor. a lot of senators may not be with him. mj, thank you so much. joining me to discuss, mark sanford of south carolina. congressman, it's great to see you. thanks for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> what do you make of what's going on in the senate? they are voting to move ahead to a vote. a lot of senators don't know what the end game is. mj was trying to lay it out. it's still muddled. >> she did a good job, an accurate assessment of where we are. it's something that has been very much in flux. up until today, i don't know that you could have zeroed in on those three possibilities as being the logical outcome of what would come next after a motion to proceed. that's where we are. everyone is trying to read the tea leaves. >> to be clear, i was not being
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critical of her reporting, more critical of the senators not knowing what they are going to vote on. you know -- you have, in the past, had some interesting thoughts on where this is all headed. the former republican, someone who had interesting thoughts on where it is headed is the former republican speaker of the house, john boehner. "the washington post" obtained his talk in las vegas. i want to play it and get your reaction. >> sure. >> here we are, several months into this year and yet they have not passed this bill. they are not going to repeal and replace obamacare, it's been around too long. the american people are accustomed to it. they are accustomed the the medicaid expansion. trying to pull it back is really not going to work. >> is he right? >> um, yeah. what's interesting is he called this, you know, you know,
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months, back in january or december, he said, well, you know, at the end of the day, we have a lot of debate. at the end of the day, they are not going to fully repeal and fully replace, it will be much, much watered down. he said something to that effect. ronald reagan said the closest thing to eternal light is a government program. what john was getting at is once things are in place, they are hard to pull back. they have gotten used to the medicaid expansion and the money. >> is it a foregone conclusion? is it a foregone conclusion that it is going to stick? >> again, i think, it's not my vote. the police cal reality to the former speaker's point is that, you know, there's been a lot of hyperbole in washington, d.c. republicans talked about, quote, full repeal. it's never been full repeal. if you look at staying on your parents plan until age 26,
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that's part of the affordable care act. treatment of pre-existing conditions is part of it. republicans overstated their claims in terms of what they want to do and democrats overstated the degree of harm or loss that would come with, frankly, what amounts to a bill in either case of tweaking the affordable care act and pulling back to where it is from tax and standpoint and giving the folks out there in the marketplace relief they don't have right now. >> let me ask you about this, congressman. the president is, again, publicly shaming attorney general jeff sessions. today, calling him weak, yesterday, beleaguered. you have been critical of the president's rhetoric in the past. can you explain this one? >> i can't other than it's mistaken. you get the loyalty you give in life. if there's any person on capitol hill that has been loyal to the president of the united states, it's jeff sessions. he gave up his senate post to take on this post.
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he was out there as an advocate for then candidate trump, at a time nobody else was z. what you can't say is i don't like everything -- or you didn't do one thing i don't like, therefore you are off the playing team. that's not the kind of loyalty anybody expects whether in a corporate courtroom or the church or capitol hill. we have to be loyal to ideas we believe in and recognize the fact as human beings, we are going to have a difference in the way we approach those ideas. >> what is the president missing if it's so obvious to you? >> he beats his own drum. that's his political and business success. i'm not one to try and say you ought to do this or that. i'm saying, i don't think it's a way a lot of folks would do it whether in business world or private sector or church world or go down the list. i think he's doing it to his own harm because, indeed, the loyalty you give in life will be
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the loyalty you get. he signals to other folks on the team, oh, my goodness, if sessions could go, am i next? >> you are an eagle scout i learned this morning, congressman. the president spoke at that huge gathering of boy scouts yesterday. here is some of what he said. listen. >> who the hell wants to speak about politics when i'm in front of the boy scouts? we ought to change from the word swap to cesspool. did president obama ever come to a jamboree? do you remember the night with the maps and the republicans are red? a scout is trustworthy, loyal, we could use more loyalty, i will tell you that. they have been down playing that little, beautiful phrase. you are going to be saying merry christmas again, folks. >> that was in front of boy scouts. what do you make of that speech? >> again, what we have been
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talking about, which is one can expect the unexpected the trump. that's been part of his allure. again, he does these things to his own undoing. this is an 80 year tradition before the scout jamboree where presidents of both parties have come and spoken on civic themes. they talk on leadership themes. they talk about a number of different things that apply to young folks of that age and that fairly impressionable chapter of life they are in. he decided to deviate from that, again, to his own undoing because we are talking about it now. i loved my time with boy scouts. it's an incredible program and i think it's important to keep politics out of that program. >> that's what i was going to say. would you want your scout troop to sit and listen to that? >> i don't think scout troops want to listen to political
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speeches, but i can't speak for all groups. that is my guess. >> thanks, congressman. >> pleasure. thank you. as the president gets ready to hold a news conference, shortly, we are going to show you the five biggest questions the president needs to answer today. that is next. you don't let anytg keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. theto me than my vacation.tant so when i need to book a hotel, i want someone who makes it easy to find what i want. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. c'mon, gary! your vacation is very important. that's why booking.com makes finding the right hotel for the right price easy. visit booking.com now to find out why we're booking.yeah!
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. president trump will be facing reporters in just hours. a joint press conference with the prime minister of lebanon at the white house. before that, the leaders are expected to discuss syria, refugee crisis and growing tension in the middle east. with the presidents consistent
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attacks against attorney general, jeff sessions, money is on that being the first question the president faces. joining me, cnn politics reporter, chris cillizza. talk about the questions the president should be, will be facing today. it is no short list. i'm sure you are a betting man. where do you put your money on the first question? >> reporter: he probably will only take a few, usually about two. the first question should be and i assume will be, are you going to fire jeff sessions, why or why not? i don't see how you could ask anything else. the president is basically courting this question with calling him, his attorney general beleaguered and weak. anthony scaramucci saying it may be time to go, it's probably right that trump wants him gone. you have to ask that. i would say question number two should be, are you going to fire jeff sessions.
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just because it's that important. this is the attorney general in his administration. this is someone who is one of his loyalest supporters, a senate endorser. it's really hard, i think, to get beyond that. question three, i'll refer to my list. oh, yeah, there's the old health care bill. >> i was going to say, what about health care? isn't that supposed to be the focus? >> any other day, kate, that's the first question. on a day like today, it can't be, but should be asked. depending on the timing, does the senate vote before or after? he has been outspoken saying this is republicans last best chance. he just tweeted before i came on air, the best chance to repeal and replace obamacare. what does -- what's the consequence? is he going to campaign against republicans who didn't vote for it or don't vote for it? is he going to like what jeff
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flake talked to primary challengers to it? this is a carrot and a stick approach. this is the carrot, he tried the stick, where does he wind up. or see if you get it before i do. do you agree with russian meddling? this question has been asked a million times but should be again. one outlier unwilling to say yes. >> how about this, are you going to sign the sanctions bill? then he has answered the question. >> he hasn't asked that. what crime do you think hillary clinton committed? he suggested hillary clinton's crimes. he said she should be prosecuted, should not be, now she committed crimes and jeff sessions should look into them. what specific crimes? don't just say stuff when you are a president or high profile anchor on cnn or me. you have to be responsible for what you say. >> not so much, if you have seen anything you and i talk about.
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i'm kidding. >> reporter: i mean, the truth of the matter is, he's unlikely to answer anything beyond sessions. sessions he has to say something about and maybe health care. >> like the tapes, he will say, you will soon find out. that's my guess. >> stay tuned. i think you are right. >> stay tuned on that. great to see you, thank you. president trump very publicly and strongly condemning, slamming his own attorney general, jeff sessions as we were just discussing. what happens if sessions bows out? what happens if the president fires him? robert mueller, special counsel, his former aide joins me to discuss the ramifications, coming up. you said $30. yeah, well it was $30 before my fees, like the pizza-ordering fee and the dog-sitting fee... and the rummage through your closet fee. who is she, verizon? are those my heels? yeah! yeah, we're the same size...in shoes.
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first he was beleaguered, now he's weak, according to the president of the united states, donald trump. jeff sessions waking up with another headache that is quickly becoming a migraine with the public shaming and bullying from his boss. this started with the president telling "the new york times" he regretted appointing him in the first place because he recused himself from the russian investigation. it's important to note, the president is the one with the power to fire the attorney general. what is the president's end game here? joining me now, michael zelden, a legal analyst. michael, i want to read to you, because it came out a while ago. lindsey graham put out a statement regarding the president and jeff sessions. president trump's tweet suggesting attorney general sessions per sue prosecution of a former rival is highly inappropriate. how would you describe it?
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>> it has been done already. didn't the fbi spend a year and a half investigating hillary clinton from benghazi to the server to her e-mails and come up with conclusions that it wasn't criminally worthy of their time? i'm not sure exactly what more he wants investigated. i thought this was a done deal and that was part of the reason he became president of the united states. it's confounding to me. what's equally confounding is why he is going after jeff sessions the way he is going after jeff sessions. leaving aside the politics of sessions being the first senator to endorse him and a loyal guy, the firing of sessions or the forced resignation of sessions, they are equal. there's no difference if he retires himself or getting fired himself. it will provoke, i think, a constitutional crisis of an order we have not seen in a while. if sessions is removed, i don't
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see how rosenstein stays. i don't see how christopher ray, the fbi nominee stays. i don't understand why mueller doesn't ratchet up his destruction of justice. i don't understand how congress doesn't look at articles of impeachment for abuse of office. it's a cascade of horrors for the president. i don't understand who is giving him legal advice that he would do these things that are so against his legal interest. leave aside politics, i don't know anything about politics. it can't be helpful to him. yesterday, you asked, what would jeff sessions do if he woke up and saw the articles. take two advil. today, he needs prescription strength. i think he has to, for the sake of the constitution, if you will and the rule of law, stay on, as tough as it may be for him, personally. >> john weaver, a cnn political
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commentator, worked with john kasich in this election. he said this, he tweeted we are witnessing abuse of power, threatening prosecutors if they don't prosecute. he says this has reached the level of abuse of power with the president over the sessions thing. do you think it has? >> it's certainly walking up to that door if it hasn't already crossed the threshold of it. this is why we were talking about whether mueller views it as obstruction of justice or paul ryan and his team of republicans in the house should begin looking at if an article of impeachment would lie. i don't see how it makes sense to him legally. if the string is this, you fire or force sessions out. you make a recess appointment of an attorney general who is loyal to you. there's only one that doesn't violate the code of regulations that doesn't allow a personal
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relationship type. >> right. >> you get a new attorney general. a new attorney general then says i don't need to recuse myself and either one, i fire mueller or i so constrain his investigation as to essentially neuter it. under those circumstances, you have just a disaster, a legal disaster waiting for you. that, if he goes that route, i think that's an abuse of power, consideration for the house and i think it would be something that would lead the senate, at least, to look into reinstituting the independent council law for mueller to be reappointed if the attorney general fires him. >> there are a lot of steps there and a big one seeing the change in opinions and the change in stances rather than calling things inappropriate that the president is or would be doing if he took these steps. we'll see where it goes. michael, thank you. thank you so much. >> okay, thank you. coming up for us, breaking
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it is down to the wire now for senate republicans in the battle over health care. will they or won't they vote today to move ahead with a health care vote? a procedural vote today that's become hugely important. it appears too close to call. over to cnn chief political correspondent dana bash with more. a big factor is senator john mccain, returning to the hill today. besides how remarkable he's coming back after surgery, how big a factor in the senator in this? >> a factor in that every vote counts. no question about it. you and i covered health care when obamacare first passed and remember that dramatic return from senator ted kennedy to cast one of the critical votes. that was legislation he was passionate about and wanted to see passed. i'm not sure this is analogous.
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not that john mccain doesn't care about health care but i wouldn't say he is coming in to be the deciding vote to convince fellow republicans to do the same. seems to me more along the lines of, the senator wanting to get back in the game. you and i know that's what john mccain is all about. he feels good enough right now to do it. his doctors said it's okay. he's getting back. and there are other issues for them that are really critical. the defense authorization bill, very important for lots of reasons. chief among them, he's the senate armed services chair, his bill and the russia sanctions bill moving through the house, and he has a very important imprint on. those are other issues and also to make his statement about the state of play. he is going to vote and we know he is going to give a floor speech on the senate floor shortly after the vote, which i am sure is going to be one that, hard to imagine most if not all of his colleagues sitting in
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their seats to listen. >> absolutely. absolutely. on the health care front right now, there is news you have on senator rand paul and his position. what's changed? >> reporter: well, our colleagues, the team confirmed and reported that rand paul is going to vote to proceed to this measure. so he is not going to try to block the procedural measure which is really all that it is today. a vote on whether or not to get on the bill. they still don't know if they have the 50 that they need, though, even with rand paul. the thing that i am finding just in the half hour i've been running around here, kate is that there is a relationship between what is going on with donald trump and what he is doing to jeff sessions, and the kind of feeling of whether or not his former colleagues, the senators who are still here, feel like they should go out on a limb for a president who's trying to put pressure on them. if you have a guy who was the first to endorse this president
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as a candidate, who was, they believe, very loyal to him and now he's being treated, they believe, very chablsha shabbily them from a precarious position back home? >> who can you trust when the chips are down? great to see you, dana. thank you so much. joining me to discuss this ferter is former democratic senator from florida bob graham. senator, great to see you. thanks for coming in. >> thank you, kate. >> an important day with chaos and confusion around the health care vote but also, as dana laid out, an emotional one. john mccain, your former colleague makes his return for this. what will it be like for senators on the floor and his return? how will this emotion play and the senators vote today? >> a few senators are held in such high esteem and affection by colleagues than john mccain. john and i came into the senate at the same time in 1987. he's a good personal friend.
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obviously an american hero. and i am so pleased that he is going to be back in the game, and that his health is at least at a point that he can participate. that's a great sign. >> absolutely is. another one of your former senate colleagues is in the spotlight today i want to ask you about. jeff sessions. under attack by president trump, his boss, right now. with everything that's transpired in the past, recent days, the latest one today is donald trump calling him weak. do you think jeff sessions is weak? >> no, and it's incredible that the chief executive is using the media and third parties to communicate with one of his most important appointees and a man who was extremely in his election to be president. this really is unseemly. i think without previous example in u.s. political history. you mentioned connections.
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there is a connection between the sessions' issue and health care for the exact reasons that you gave. the president would treat a friend like jeff the way he is, how can i depend on him to be my ally if i cast this very unpopular vote? but it's also the connected -- connected to the congressional inquiry, into the russian affair. i think that if the reason for attacking sessions, asking him almost bluntly to resign is in order to appoint someone who would then fire bob mueller as the independent prosecutor. that's going to put tremendous pressure on the congressional committees, who are conducting parallel policy investigations through the prosecutorial
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investigation that mueller is doing. >> do you see -- you were the former chair of the senate intelligence committee, one of the committees investigating this. one thing we see with the attacks on sessions and kind of what the president is now saying, the justice department, he'd like to see do. doesn't want to see investigation on russia but does want to see investigation on hillary clinton. do you see that as abuse of power? >> i think it's an babuse of power, just totally below and beyond the dignity of the president of the united states to be treating the most important law enforcement official in the united states of america in such an unsavory manner. >> what do senators do about that? they could have a say in a confirmation if it came about that. >> they could do that. i mean, i think they could demonstrate their, displeasure, with the president in this vote that's going to take place today. if a number of senators voted no and said the reason they did so
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was because they did not believe that they could trust this president to implement an all tish to obamacare that would achieve his own stated objectives of being more accessible, a fraction of the cost, and, therefore, they're not going to support the motion to proceed. >> that would be quite a statement. senator bob graham, always great too have you. thank you. >> great. thank you. we'll be right back. eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, they could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call today to request a free decision guide. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. it is a day of crackling tension here in the nation's capital. president trump again publicly mocks his attorney general hoping, white house aides say, he will take the hint. a new shot at the fbi director, too. profound frustration and disgust with the boss' management style. the president's son-in-law back before congressional investig e investigato investigators. this a day after a rare public statement in which he denied any contacts with russia's vladimir putin as improper. and a defining day for the republican party brand. a test vote in the senate today over obamacare. how big a deal?

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