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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 27, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> as i said, this is breaking news. where is our banner? the bidding ends in just seconds. the current bid is right now $23,347. the initial was only $9,000. so people want it. thanks for joining us. anderson's next. good evening. if you thought the white house seemed chaotic with the drama over sean spicer and jeff sessions, wait until you hear what the new communications director has to say about the chief of staff and steve bannon. suffice it to say there's not a lot of collegiality in the president's inner circle tonight. the future of health care in the country, brianna keilar joins me now. addressing concern from four prominent republican senators about the vote on a skinny bill. explain what's gone on. >> that's right. the senate, anderson, is in a very weird position, and that is that the bill that the republicans do feel confident they can get the 50 votes that
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they need for this skinny repeal, they don't actually want it to become law. that is very unusual. and so what they want to do instead is use this as just a vehicle to get to what's called a conference committee, where they get together with house republicans and hash out a bill that the entire congress could pass. so they're not really in love with this bill before them, the skinny repeal. it does get rid of the individual mandate, the employer mandate, it defunds planned parenthood for a year. but it doesn't tackle subsidies, it doesn't tackle taxes. because of that, you do have a number of senators who don't like it, and house speaker paul ryan has said that, yes, he's going to give them assurances the house is not going to pass this bill. is it going to be enough, though, for senators like lindsey graham? >> the skinny bill as a policy is a disaster. the skinny bill as a replacement for obamacare is a fraud. the skinny bill is a vehicle to
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getting conference to find a replacement. it is not a replacement in and of itself. not only do we not replace obamacare, we politically own the collapse of health care. i'd rather get out of the way and let it collapse than have a half --'d approach where it's our problem. >> strong language from lindsey graham. paul ryan wrote in part, this is a process to keep it alive, not to make law. he goes on to say that the senate is going to have to take up whatever final measure they can figure out first. he also says the priority is to get something repealed. so he does sort of have that ace in his pocket, in a way leveraged against the senate to come to agreement with the house, if they really don't want the skinny repeal bill to become law, anderson. >> fascinating that senators are going to vote for a bill that they actually do not want to become law. you still have a long night
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ahead of you. voting is to continue into the early hours. >> that's right. there is some action on the flor right now. you'll see some votes in a half hour. that's not actually vote of this marathon session that is technically part of this skinny repeal bill process. you're going to see, though, once that does get started later this evening tons of votes, potentially unlimited amendments. although eventually, they will get pared down. this goes into the wee hours of the morning. the senate extended its recess by two weeks. house members were told they need to be flexible with their travel plans because they were expecting to go home after this week. >> we'll continue to cover it all night long. about now is the time we usually do a segment called keeping them honest. the attorney general and chief of staff both critical positions in helping the president actually further his agenda. a short time ago, a story came out in the "new yorker" that's kind of hard to believe because it's playing out in realtime on television and in print.
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it's the kind of thing you usually have to wait decades to hear, like comments on old recordings of lbj's white house or richard nixon's. with harsh expletives and accusations about who said what to the press and who is upset about not being invited to a dinner. anthony scaramucci called cnn's political commentator, washington correspondent ryan last night. ryan is going to give us the down and dirty in a moment. some of it is very dirty. but first you have to know that the story begins with a tweet. the seemingly benign tweet last night. scoop, he said, trump is dining tonight with sean hannity, bill shine and anthony scaramucci for two knowledgeable sources. ryan after he tweeted that got the phone call. that might be how it is forever known, just, the phone call. i'm not sure where to start with this, ryan. anthony scaramucci calls you last night, he thought that
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reince priebus leaked the information about the dinner at the white house to you, because reince priebus was not invited. i want to read part of what scaramucci said to you. quote, reince is a blanking par annoyic. oh, bill shine is coming in, let me leak the blanking thing and see if i can blank block these people the way i blank block scaramucci for six months. didn't scaramucci say they were dear friends just last week at the press briefing? >> he did. he said there was no friction between them. they fight like brothers. but at the end of the day they're brothers. i think over the last week anthony scaramucci has become increasingly convinced that every negative story about him somehow reince priebus was behind. and when he got out of that dinner with trump and sean hannity from fox news, he saw either my tweet or other people
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asking him about the dinner. and i think he got a little angry, and sort of wanted to know who leaked that to me. and called me in the first part of the conversation that i had with him is who leaked it, who leaked it, him trying to get me to tell him that. and frankly, anderson, i tweeted that, it wasn't a significant enough scoop to write a story about it. sort of interesting who the president is having dinner with, but i didn't think it was a big deal. but he did. >> it's kind of amazing that a guy as sophisticated as anthony scaramucci calling you up to demand who your source or sources were on this story. that's like journalism 101. i want to read another part of the conversation he wrote up in the "new yorker." i asked these guys not to leak anything and they can't help themselves. you're an american citizen, talking to you, this is a major catastrophe for the american country. i'm asking you as an american patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.
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obviously you did not end up giving him your source. >> i didn't. i told him what i would tell anyone, if he tells me something in confidence, if he tells me something off the record or on background, i'm not going to go then to some other white house official and sell him out and reveal that he was the source for sflgt something. i think by the end of that part of the conversation, he understood that. but as the conversation -- i did think it was strange he was pushing me so hard and appealing to my patriotism. for a white house communications director he doesn't have a subtle understanding of how political reporting in washington works. and just standard operating procedure, you don't ask someone about their sourcing. you're not going to get that out of them. and so then the conversation moved on to the problems he was having in the white house, gaining control of what he believed is a leaky white house, and specifically, the problems he was having with reince priebus as -- i don't think
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there's any other word for it, sort of an internal enemy. >> i can't remember the exact words, paranoid schizophrenic. that's pretty severe. >> yeah. he was saying -- what he was saying there is, he was -- he convinced himself that reince had leaked this to me because that's the only thing that made sense to him. you know, it's these -- look, bill shine and the former fox news executive is very good friends with scaramucci. bill shine's best friend is sean hannity, that's well known. it was a little bit of a click. the three of them having dinner with trump. scaramucci thought that that got reince priebus upset. so obviously he leaked it. i've said this pub hickly already, i'll say it again, reince did not leak that information to me. he was just wrong about that. but he spun himself up into a lather thinking it was the case. >> he also had some really choice words, i guess you'd say, for steve bannon. and i guess if you can --
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>> yeah, choice words. >> maybe you can read -- >> you read this one. >> use your judgment on this one. >> yeah. you've got to be careful with some of these. they're pretty salty. so, yeah, we were talking about, i was talking to anthony about, you know, the coverage and profiles about him, and whether he would cooperate or not. and he compared himself to bannon and said, i'm not steve bannon, i'm not trying to blank my own expletive. i'm not trying to build my own brand off the blanking strength of the president. i'm here to serve the country. so he was really ripping into him saying, you know, he's someone that is more out for himself, craving the media spotlight, and that he, anthony scaramucci, was going to try to stay more behind the scenes. you know, leave it to viewers to decide if that's what's
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happening over the last week. >> it's interesting. we've had so many people from the white house in the last months and weeks say, look, there's no friction in the white house, everything's running perfectly smoothly and it's a well oiled machine. clearly there is all this drama. one more thing that he said to you is, what i want to do is i want to blanking kill all the leakers and get the president's agenda on truck so we can succeed for the american people. you went on to say that he cryptically suggested he had more information about white house aides, he had sort of a trail -- a digital track of them or something? >> yeah. i mean, this -- let me see if i have this one, anderson, in front of me. he talked about -- he mentioned two things, digital fingerprints. and even sort of started a sentence -- he didn't quite finish this thought but he also talked about lie detectors. so he really was sort of spun up on trying to figure out who is talking to the press without authorization. >> yeah, i actually want to read -- just to be fair, his
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exact words. he said, okay, the mooch, nickname for him, the mooch showed up a week ago. this is going to get cleaned up very shortly, okay? because i nailed these guys. i've got digital fingerprints on everything they've done through the fbi and the f'ing department of justice. you said what? he said the felony they're going to get prosecuted, probably for the felony. >> let me explain what he was thinking there. this is a little bit convoluted but important to understanding this. yesterday, politico reported some information that comes from anthony scaramucci's financial disclosure form. so when anthony called me last night, he had been spending the day thinking that someone in the white house leaked information inappropriately from his financial disclosure, and these financial disclosure forms are public but he believed the information had been leaked before his had become public. right? he actually believed and told me that reince priebus leaked the information to politico.
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he did say that. and he believed that it was a felony that was worth getting the fbi involved in. so this is the communications director of the white house accusing reince priebus of committing a felony, and the communications director telling me on the record he's talked to the fbi about this. >> that he wants to get the fbi going after the chief of staff of the president. >> exactly. mou, it turned out today that the politico reporter came out and said, actually, they just got the financial disclosure information from public sources. it was as easy as that. it wasn't anything mysterious. anthony scaramucci has a job at the export/import bank before he was communications director. he had to file one of these anyway. so there was no mystery. so that is what -- that's what's going on here. >> subsequent to that, he basically -- he told you that when he was getting off the phone with you, i think he said that priebus would be asked for it very shortly, and said he was going to go tweet.
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and shortly after talking to you, he did tweet, in a tweet that seemed to indicate he believed priebus had released his financial forms. >> yeah, we talked, i think the conversation started at 10:28 p.m. last night. the conversation lasted about, i don't know, about nine minutes. at 10:4 1rks the last thing he told me, i've got to go. this is a paraphrase, i've got to go because i'm going to go tweet some stuff about priebus. gets off the phone. and before i could report, i was actually about to report this scoop about, you know, the fbi. before i could do it, he did it. publicly. and then two hours later, he decided he thought better of it, deleted that tweet, and put up a new tweet basically saying, oh, never mind, i didn't mean this about reince priebus. >> which obviously is counter to what he told you. what he told you was he very clearly meant that reince priebus had done this leak.
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which turned out not to be a leak at all. >> absolutely. >> just overall, what did you make of his tone, of his -- i mean, how did he seem to you? >> he seemed like someone who had believed that he had a very broad mandate from the president to change what the culture of the white house, and he believed that the key problem at the white house is unauthorized -- people who are not authorized to talk to the press, talking to the press. and that he was just absolutely driven to stop that from happening. so that's one thing. the other thing was, he seemed -- i don't want to say paranoid, but seems rather obsessed that all the negative stories about him were coming from his main rival in the white house, reince priebus, and he was making allegations about priebus that really were not backed up by the facts, whether it was that, you know, my information had come from
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priebus, whether priebus had given information to politico. a series of sort of paranoid accusations about that. >> have you ever had an official at this level speak to you like this in a way that's not off the record? i mean, you know, usually -- >> no. >> look, adults have frank conversations, and use expletives all the time. but on the record, have you ever had somebody have a conversation like this with you? >> i've never had someone at that level, the communications director for the white house, sort of unsolicited, call up and start in, one, on demanding to know, you know, who my sources are. that's just not done. nobody would do that. or they would just think it was a waste of time. and then two, you know, without saying, oh, this is off the record, or, oh, this is on background, just answering questions in a frank way about his rivals in the white house, what was going on with the
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leakers. and doing it in such a colorful and sort of -- i guess you could say transparent manner. one thing you have to say as a journalist, i think it's great that these guys talk, and they talk in a sort of frank manner. >> sure. >> you know, i talked to him this afternoon before the piece posted because i wanted to make sure he knew that, you know, this was coming out. and wanted to see if there was anything he wanted to say. and, you know, it was -- it wasn't the easiest conversation i've ever had. i don't think he's happy about it. but he agreed with me that the conversation was fair game on the record. and that i posted it shortly after that. >> he's subsequently said he was using terms that -- >> look, to give him credit, you know, i have a little bit in common with anthony scaramucci. we're both from long island, we
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both come from italian heritage, so i've come to know him a little bit and joke about some of that. and he's not a traditional political operative, not a traditional washington guy. and i think he's -- he's a little new at this, frankly. >> yeah. >> and i think the fact that -- the way he handled it with a funny tweet, you know, i think that was the proper way to handle it. not to go to war over it. >> ryan, we're going to speak with you more after the break. we'll also hear what the white house is saying whether the president has confidence in reince priebus. we'll get an update on the republican bill to roll back obamacare.
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first sean spicer then attorney general jeff sessions now another senior member in the president's staff. we've been talking about anthony scaramucci calling white house chief of staff reince priebus a blanking paranoid schizophrenic. what makes this more fascinating is no one in the white house seems to be backing the chief of staff up. no one in the white house is able to answer a simple yes-or-no question, does the president has confidence in his chief of staff.
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i understand anthony scaramucci just responded to all this. explain what he said. >> much like his boss, he decided to respond to this controversy on twitter. so scaramucci tweeted, i sometimes use colorful language. i will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for donald trump's agenda. using the #make america great again. you will notice in that tweet, there is no apology to reince priebus, no apology to steve bannon for the things he said about them. which is the way he may have described those sentiments. >> what's the white house -- have they had a response? >> earlier today we learn from sarah huckabee sanders who had multiple opportunities to say it. she declined to do so. but did essentially said if the president wants someone fired, priebus would be gone. not a vote of confidence there. this evening, we caught back up with her to ask about the drama surrounding anthony scaramucci. he said, look, he's a passionate
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guy. sometimes that passion gets the better of him. i asked her, you know, wouldn't you want an apology for something like this? if someone you were working alongside day in and day out said something about you to this effect? she said that she was not going to weigh in on this situation between priebus and scaramucci, that it's up to those two gentlemen to sit down together to hash this out as to whether the president is going to wade into it. she said he's got a lot of executive experience and he'll decide if it's necessary for him to get involved. but no indication that's happening yet. >> sarah murray, thanks very much. joining me is peter bin art, jeffrey lord and author of the new book. this is what scaramucci said about steve bannon. i'm not trying to blank my own blank, build my own brand off the blanking strength of the president, i'm here to serve the country. does any of that surprise you? >> i was mostly surprised to
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find somebody who's more profane than steve bannon. you don't encounter that very often. this is a kind of conversation these guys have privately off the record. it's very unusual for this to be said on the record to a reporter which is why it's dominated the news today. but this is the language that these guys use with each other. it's not limited to the trump white house. >> it seems to speak to a certain, i don't know if dysfunction is the right word or chaos, or just "hunger games"-like atmosphere. >> "hunger games," "game of thrones," choose your tv metaphor. that's exactly what's going on. i think scaramucci is new to the white house. he's new to washington. he's clearly trying to make an impression. not just on the president, but on his staff and on the media. and to kind of come in and sweep away the chaos through shear force of will, which also happens to be the method that bannon used and trump used, it
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hasn't really worked that well. i think scaramucci's going to have problems if he continues along these lines. >> it appears that's his role, brought in to get the ships running. which is sort of what you would be as a steve of staff's job, i guess. >> my favorite tv metaphor is really "real housewives." it's gotten in the way of that task of cleaning up shop. in the last six days, we've heard much more about the relationship between reince priebus and anthony scaramucci than we've heard about anything else. there hasn't been restructuring in the white house. only one person has been fired in a way that everybody acknowledged was really unusual and perhaps cruel to this person who was a lower press office staffer. there is not a sense of order to this. but it is also pretty clear in the white house from the people i talked to that everyone there feels like this is a battle to the death between these two
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people. the two of them -- >> talking about being like brothers, he referenced cain and abel. >> this is about who is going to win out. i think anthony scaramucci is acting in that way, that if he's going to survive, he has to absolutely destroy the other person. >> jeff, people always said about donald trump as a businessman with his own company, that's how he ran his organization. he sort of liked the chaos, he liked competing factors. does the president -- do you think this is fine with him? >> fdr called this the competiti competiti competitive addhocracy, to get them to go crazy with one another to get the results. i think that's the style here. the white house communications director has communicated, it's safe to say, today. somebody new to washington. i hear by all accounts he's a great guy, nice guy. doing something like this on the record with a reporter is not
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the best. that said, i checked, anderson, cnn on april 30th of 2011, ran a story called the top 16 foul-mouchted politicians. number one and two were barack obama and joe biden. so we shouldn't be so naive to think this kind of stuff doesn't go on. >> no, but on the record, to a reporter, you know, we've all heard -- >> he's a smart guy. he'll learn the ways of the culture what not to do. he's there specifically not to become part of that culture. >> i think this is a perfect illustration of donald trump himself, right? first of all, it's incredibly vicious and crude and unprofessional. most of all, and i think this is what makes it different from previous white houses, scaramucci and priebus are not killing each other over substance. they're killing each other purely over ego, over the fact that one of them was invited to a dinner and the other one wasn't. it's not about the health care debate, about big things that
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happen to regular people. it's incredibly vicious brutal stuff which is purely about your own ego and your own power. >> ryan, is it going to become, you know, scaramucci early on, i think it was last friday when he talked from the white house briefing room, not these words exactly, but letting trump be trump. >> yeah. >> is that at odds with what reince priebus is trying to do? is that part of the conflict? >> other conversations i've had with other people that is something i certainly picked up in the last week is that -- there is a faction in the white house that treats trump a little bit like a, you know, a grenade that can go off anytime, or sometimes a child, frankly. you know, choose your metaphor. and that those people, they don't want scaramucci there because he's not like that. he is in this let trump be trump camp. and he channels trump himself. what did everyone comment when they first saw him in the
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briefing room, they said, wow, he's just like the president. what did he do last night? he publicly berated his chief of staff on twitter and in on-the-record conversation with me. that's something trump would do, right? he sort of crossed those lines. so i do think that the people in the white house who think that their job is to contain trump is to make sure that he doesn't blow up their message every day. they see scaramucci as not the right person for the communications job. you know, i've talked to him quite a bit in a number of interviews over this year. i've never heard him say anything bad about trump. i've heard him have some tough words for people in the white house, but despite the fact he was a trump critic previously, he has this -- he really believes in president trump and he really believes that he's on this mission to fix the white
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house and get people to see what he sees in trump. and the most charitable explanation of his behavior is that that's what drives him. he's sort of blinded by it. >> we're going to have to take a quick break. we'll continue this discussion. before the details of the phone call came to light, scaramucci called in to cnn's new day to explain his relationship with priebus. e accident forgiveness. so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight- four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
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we're talking about anthony scaramucci's late-night profanity-laden phone call to the "new yorker." scaramucci took a long, strange trip on the new day this morning. >> as you know from the italian expression the fish stinks from the hid down, i can tell you two fish that don't stink, okay? that's me and the president. i don't like the activity that's going on in the white house. i don't like what they're doing
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to my friend. i don't like what they're doing to the president of the united states. or their fellow colleagues in the west wing. if you want to talk about the staff, we have had odds, we have had differences. when i said we were brothers from the podium, that's because we're rough on each other. some brothers are like cain and abel. there are people inside the administration that thinks it's their job to save america from this president. that is not their job. their job is to inject this president into america, so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform america and drain the swamp. >> not up on the biblical references -- look, jeff, lots of people, curse in white houses, that's all throughout history. this is all playing out so publicly. the president is not in any way letting all these people twist. now the stories about the
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reporting of mcmaster being isolated in the white house. is it a sign of a white house in chaos? or dysfunction? >> i've seen too many other stories about white houses. i've gone all the way back to reagan. all of the recent ones, both parties, et cetera. there are plenty of stories out there, literally, white house in chaos. >> a lot of white houses have been in chaos. >> right. it can be there eve a lot of pressure, a lot of things going on. you've got new personalities, et cetera. >> but if the national security adviser has been let go, the press spokesman has been let go, you have a new communications director who's now at war with the chief of staff who may be fired, mcmaster being isolated to some reports. and jeff sessions, the president going after the attorney general. >> each president has to get to their own center of gravity with this. it does take a while to do. they're all different. so it works differently. one quick thing, anderson. the very first column i wrote on donald trump running for president was in 2013.
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i specifically said in the reagan white house we used to say let reagan be reagan. i said in there the way that donald trump could win is to let trump be trump. now he's there. that's the -- >> it's clear the amount of turnover in this white house is unusual. the amount of public acrimony in the white house is unusual. there have been interpersonal disputes in past white houses, you're absolutely right about that. but to the degree this is playing out publicly, that people are calling in and talking about each other publicly, and talking to reporters and calling each other names. that has not -- that has absolutely not happened. >> the notion that the biggest problem the trump administration has is leaks. is it self-pathological? this is part of what led richard nixon down the path to watergate. the president clearly does not understand one of the largest policy changes that will take place in our lifetimes being passed by republican senators who basically hate the bill they're going to pass and they
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think their biggest problem is they have too many people leaking. and that's what they're hugely obsessed with. that if you got the handle on the leaks that the trump presidency would be okay. that's at the core of the craziness here. >> part of it is a lack of understanding about the dynamics in washington. this is a president who is not a politici politician. he has a communications director who is not a political fick ur. they're coming from a new york per speck tur. anthony scaramucci said this himself. these new yorkers don't understand the degree to which washington people rely on the press to sort of move their agenda forward, both personally and policy-wise. and they don't like it. and that's what anthony scaramucci wants to change. >> also, you can't have everybody have a nondisclosure agreement that president trump is used to having in private business. >> i don't think this is just
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about anthony scaramucci's new to washington. i was sitting on the cnn set as scaramucci's call came in. after about 15 minutes of his rambling dialogue, i started getting e-mails and texts from trump advisers who were aware that this was -- >> they were watching -- >> they were watching the show and freaking out. one of them called and said, this is a car crash. another one said it seems like scaramucci is working through issues with his therapist. another one called me afterward. this is somebody who's very hostile to reince priebus. he said that outburst bought priebus another four months in the white house. i think there was a clear sense among other trump advisers that this was a very bad look. >> i don't know -- have there been communications directors in the past who have made themselves so prominent -- i mean, usually communications directors are working behind the scenes to advance the president's agenda six months down the road. clearly anthony scaramucci feels he needs to be hands-on, needs
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to clean the deck. but isn't there a danger in making yourself so well-known, and especially in trump world, where, you know, the kiss of death for donald trump is when he says to you, oh, you're getting more famous than i am. >> the best thing to remember is what anthony scaramucci has said. there's only one important person in the white house, that's the president of the united states. and everybody works for him. you do have to do that. that said, i mean, i was in the reagan white house when there was sort of a dismissal of staff during iran contra and they brought in pat buchanan, experienced in the nixon era, and whatnot. people went bonkers over this because they couldn't stand pat buchanan. but things worked out. >> i want to play what scaramucci said about some people in the white house feeling they need to sort of protect people from the president. i don't want to put words in his mouth. let's play that. >> there are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save america from this president.
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that is not their job. their job is to inject this president into america so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform america and drain the swamp. >> peter, that's an amazing statement about people who are working in the white house. that scaramucci believes, and clearly others in the white house believe, other people in the white house who think president trump is the problem. >> what makes it even crazier is that what exactly are the policies that scaramucci is talking about? he himself on a whole litany of issues basically said he thought donald trump was wrong. with reagan, you had the idea that there were true believing conservatives who believe reagan was one of them and they thought there were moderates trying to kind of carve off the hard edges of reagan. but that's not what this is about. what does scaramucci thinks donald trump stands for that scaramucci believes in anyway? >> arguably one of the true
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believers for donald trump is jeff sessions, who is actually executing policy on the president. >> exactly. and left the country today to fly to el salvador, maybe get distance from this chaos. that's the real frustration among true believing conservatives in the administration. they understand that this white house has a considerable amount of dysfunction, and they also understand that sessions is one of the few people capable of carrying out some of trump's policies. in fact, was doing so, we see immigration arrests up, and all the things that trump talks about at his rallies, sessions has been working to carry out. yet that's not what we're talking about on tv, that's not what trump is thinking about. and the story to go to jeff's point, scaramucci is out there trying to glorify trump, but making the story all about him. i think that's problematic for everyone in the white house. >> yeah, i think to peter's point about policies, for the people who call themselves movement conservatives, who are finally getting their republican
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president, their republican congresses, the quiet frustration, or not so quiet frustration is that there is not a whole lot on paper about what this president believes and what he wants to accomplish. there's a one-page tax plan, there's a health care bill that's in bits and pieces right now, there's an infrastructure plan that doesn't exist and there's a lot of frustration that the issue isn't communication, it's actually the lack of policies, the lack of things, concrete views of the president of the united states. that hasn't been resolved by any of this. >> i want to thank everybody. also, understand that josh's book is going to be debuting at number one on "the new york times" best-seller list. that's huge, that's great. update on the other breaking news. the new effort under way to scale back obamacare. the question is, can republicans get anything passed after lindsey graham just called the bill half-assed. my a1c wasn't were it needed to be. so i liked when my doctor told me
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5:43 pm help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know™. other breaking news as reported at the top of the hour, a senate vote is expected on the skinny repeal of obamacare. paul ryan issued a statement offering assurances to senators, that they would go to conference. is this a game changer for the senate republicans who demanded those assurances? >> we just don't know. and there were like about four republicans who did demand it. but most republicans want this, anderson. this assurance that actually what they're going to vote on is not going to become law. unusual because it is. what they are voting on is this so-called sinny repeal. it's not actually what they would want for the house to take, and then pass, and then put on president trump's desk. so they wanted some assurances that that wasn't going to happen. instead, they want to vote on this skinny repeal. if they can use it as a vehicle
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just to get together with house republicans and hash out a new bill, a very different bill, and what the speaker said was, yes, he will give them assurances, but he also said the senate is going to have to act first in voting. he also said, look, the priority is to pass something. in there is a little bit of a threat. you have to figure out something, senate, to pass. because we want to pass something in the house. >> and let's talk about this idea of a skinny repeal. explain, you know, why it's being called that, what it actually includes? it would include the original mandate, right? >> think of it repeal light. it does something key which gets rid of the individual mandates and employer mandated, defunds planned parenthood for a year, but it doesn't do what the house bill does. in part that's because senate republicans, they couldn't get enough votes to deal with things like the subsidies, the medicaid expansion that is very much downsized in the house bill, to deal with taxes. and so that's why it's being
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called the skinny bill. some republicans do not like that. one gop aide said whoever named it skinny repeal should get kicked in the face because it speaks to the idea that republicans aren't doing a full repeal in the senate, and they really want to certainly appear like they are trying to make good on this promise to repeal obamacare. >> appreciate it. thanks very much. we'll continue to check back in with you. so, when you -- there was the announcement, doug, from the four key republican senators, senator graham said the skinny bill is as policy as a disaster, the skinny bill is a replacement for obamacare is a fraud. is he right? >> well, i don't think so. i think we know that the house is now promising they'll vote on something that takes it to conference. it's certainly unusual that the senate will be voting on something that a lot of them hope doesn't become law. that's obviously not a position that they want to be in. it also highlights how difficult it is to do anything on health care. i think aside from president
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trump, we all knew that health care reform, that obamacare repeal was a very difficult and complicated thing. house republicans vk demonstrating this for about four, five years now, and all the struggles they've had. i've worked on some of those. it's about time the senate learns how to actually move something as well. >> jen, as somebody who supports obamacare, how concerned are you? >> i think if you look closely at paul ryan's statement, he said, if it requires a conference committee, we are willing to do that. it will be up to republican senators to determine if that's enough of an assurance. reportedly he's meeting with the conference tomorrow as well. many of them are going to have to make that decision tonight. i think obamacare repeal is still alive. and i think what we've learned over the past couple of weeks when many thought it was dead before this week is that until democrats take over either the house or the senate or the white house, this drumbeat is probably going to continue. whether or not this effort is successful, i think we'll know a
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lot more over the next 24 hours. >> ken, this is probably not what you envisioned the obamacare repeal would look like. what do you make of the process and where it's going? >> it's interesting, you hear the staff comment of whoever named this skinny repeal ought to be kicked in the face because it doesn't trick people enough into thinking this is real repeal. these folks have campaigned for years. they've made half careers, whole careers for some of them, out of campaigning against obamacare. here it's time to deliver and now they don't want to deliver. some of them are downright vehement about it. really, more than anything, they need to be held up to that standard. let them vote on it. if it doesn't pass, it doesn't pass. and then this gets litigated again in 2018. and then they have to go back to voters and say, no, no, now this is what i really believe. and particularly with the environment with voters that helped deliver president trump to the presidency, i think that's going to be an awfully
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hard stew to jump in for republican senators who are flipping back on the promises they've made for years. >> doug, if paul ryan promises that there will be this, you know, discussion, is that a binding promise? i mean, is it possible that congress -- folks in congress and the house could just get together and say, look, we're just going to vote this forward? >> well, it's a promise that when paul ryan gives his word, he means it. he's obviously in a difficult situation in trying to do something. i can take you back to 2014 when i was in a lot of meetings with paul ryan and his staff where we tried to move any kind of legislation forward. we couldn't even put a white paper together. i think republicans have demonstrated it's a very hard thing to do. campaigns really matter here. i point out four races in the senate where we nominated terrible candidates, delaware,
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and iowa. >> doug, since you've been there, what does a conference look like? how many people are involved in that, from the senate, from the house, i assume safers as well as members? >> yeah, initial meetings will be a small group of staffers, maybe six to ten to 12 members. you'll have anywhere from four to six, the top leadership. and then the committees of jurisdiction members. ultimately, every member has a say. when the republican conference -- house republican conference meets tomorrow, they'll have something that's called open time where any member can get up and say whatever they want to on anything. i can tell you, it won't surprise you. a lot of members aren't shy to get up there and express their feelings. maybe even using some kind of scaramucci-like language. >> anderson, look, the republican leadership, especially in the senate, is at a crisis point, because they've been exposed as liars. the entire leadership has been exposed for lying. remember root and branch, root
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and branch, so if we had people who just were honest in the senate republican leadership, we could pass a bill but they aren't honest and the voters are finding this out the hard way because the thing they wanted the most policywise for the last seven years is being yanked out from under them when the votes are. >> to deliver it because we have liars and leadership. that's the problem. and it's going to be explosive in 2018. >> i don't think that's true. >> i know you don't think it's true. but the facts remain, paul ryan may be honest with you but he wasn't honest with conservatives when he became the speaker. the people in the senate have to say, gosh, what is this worth? eventually it catches up to you and it's catching up to the republican leadership right now. >> jen, you were communications director for president obama. i've got to ask you, what do you make of the new communications
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director anthony scaramucci's comments? >> my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap if i talked like that publicly. >> adults talk like that behind the scenes but in talking to a reporter and in terms of being able to get things done and move the president's agenda ford, what do you think? >> you're never supposed to be the story. you're supposed to be the story of your boss and certainly not supposed to be making his story worse. he obviously apologized for that. people can take that for what they want. the problem here is he is becoming the center of attention and right now the health care bill is potentially imploding. we don't know what's happening with tax reform. when you're the communications director, you're supposed to be mapping out the strategy for that and telling the story of the president's agenda to the public and clearly he isn't doing that. i'm not convinced that he wasn't hired to become the
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communications director in the traditional sense of that. that may be a separate issue. up next, more on that from the former chief of staff leon panetta on what some are calling a white house in chaos. i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪go your own way once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators, that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night. anoro is not for asthma . it contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. the risk is unknown in copd. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, glaucoma, prostate, bladder, or urinary problems. these may worsen with anoro. call your doctor if you have worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain while taking anoro.
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the president's new communications direction for anthony scaramucci went off on reince priebus during a phone call with ryan lizza. before the interview was
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published, sarah huckabee sanders was asked about the status of priebus. let's listen. >> does the president have confidence in his chief of staff? >> look, i think i'll address this question when it comes to staffing a he personnel many times that if the president doesn't, then he'll make that decision. we all serve the pleasure of the president and if he gets to the position when that's not the case, i think we'll know. i think what we have, this is a white house that has a lot of different perspectives because the president hires the very best people. >> that's pretty much a nonanswer to the question and in this case a nonanswer about whether the president has confidence in his chief of staff is actually kind of an answer, ironically. joining me is leon panetta, former chief of staff to president clinton and former defense secretary. secretary panetta, when you were
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the white house chief of staff, did the communications director of the white house accused you of being a f'ing schizophrenic, what would you do? >> number one, you can't run a white house where you have members publicly shooting at one another while the president needs the support of a strong staff in order to be able to conduct policy. you just can't do that. and as chief of staff, if the communications director publicly said something like that, then i would have a very serious talk with the communications director and with the president to make sure it never happens again. he's just gotten into this job and he's probably trying to learn the ropes of how you operate in washington but there is no excuse for having one staff member going public and attacking another. that just doesn't make good
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sense. >> you know, sarah huckabee sanders today said this is just helping competition, whether it's comments by mr. scaramucci, the treatment of reince priebus, the treatment of the attorney general, treatment of sean spicer. looking from the outside, how do you explain what the president is doing? is there a strategy there, do you think? >> i have no idea what the method is here. the way you're supposed to do this, frankly, is that if you -- sure, you should have good competition. sure, you should have individuals in the staff who are strong-minded, strong-willed and have opinions. but that should take place inside the white house. not out in the public. look, most presidents exert power in their position because they are able to earn the trust and respect of the people who
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work for them, of members in the congress and of the american people. and if you develop that trust and respect, that can give you a lot of leverage to be able to get things done. but when you have chaos, when you have people fighting with each other on the staff, when you have a president who's tweeting every day, either undermining and demeaning his attorney general or talking politics to the boy scouts or skai saying we ought to prosecute the person he defeated in november, if he keeps doing that and if his staff members keep shooting at one another, then the bottom line is that he is not going to be able to be effective as president of the united states. >> you know, it's interesting, this morning anthony scaramucci in an interview to cnn said something which got a lot of attention. i just want to play it. >> as you know, from the italian
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expression, the fish stinks from the head down. i can tell you two fish that don't stink, okay, that's me and the president. >> the head of the fish is the president. >> well, you know, i think he's been watching a lot of "the godfather and has to realize regardless of where he comes from, he's now in washington and in the white house and he's got to be able to learn to be able to devote himself to ensuring that the president's agenda is accomplished. this is not about scaramucci. when he becomes the issue, that's a problem. staff members ought to be quiet and doing their job. that's what he's got to learn to
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do. >> i want to ask about the ban of transgender people in the military. you were the secretary of defense that oversaw don't ask, don't tell in 2011. does yesterday's announcement make sense to you both how it was made and the policy itself? >> no, not at all. i think it frankly undermines something that has made the united states the strongest military power on the face of the earth. the fact that we allow everyone to serve our country, we have opened the doors to people that want to be good soldiers and serve this country, regardless of race, regardless of color or creed, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation. if they can be a good soldier, then they ought to be given the opportunity to serve. >> secretary panetta, appreciate your time. thanks. >> thank you. lawmakers right now are soldiering on in the battle over health care. there are phrases like skinny repeal and