tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN September 29, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
that's what i want to do. >> reporter: does it take an emotional toll? >> yeah, phone never stops ringing. i won't answer that phone because someone's life may depend on it. >> reporter: it's making a difference in the overwhelming opioid epidemic. "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. new cnn poll showing americans sharply divided about nl r- nfl protests during the national anthem. but a majority of them throwing a flag on president trump for weighing in. "the lead" starts now. president trump saying the federal government has made tremendous strides in puerto rico. we'll go live to the island where millions of americans are without power and gas nine days since the hurricane. then just moment it is ago president trump said he's going to decide the fate of tom price tonight. will he be told you're fired
over private plane use? plus a racist attack at the prep school, prompting the attorney general to tlifr thdels message. >> and if you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. we'll have more on the speech that everyone is talking about today. good afternoon everyone. welcome to the "the lead" i'm jake tapper we'll again with the national lead. crisis in puerto rico and growing division between the island and washington d.c. it's a chasm that almost seems to match the actual ocean and distance ta separates the two. in puerto rico this morning, some good news, some reports of progress. >> we have 36 hospitals that have been open that are either in power by generation or powered by diesel with the effort of hhs and leadership o
fema, diesel has been able to be distributed to all these hospitals. we have been able in the last couple of days to distribute around the island over 2 million liters of water, and close to 1 million meals around the island. but on an island of 3.5 million americans, that of course is not enough. and millions remain without food or water or power or gas to fuel generators. and as lieutenant general jeffrey buchanan discussed, there are only 5,000 u.s. troops there right now. >> to answer your question, no, it's not enough. and that's why we are bringing in a lot more. in particular, aviation, we have 25 federal military helicopters here, and we are bringing in many more. that's not enough. that's not enough. but moments ago the president offered somewhat more glowing assessment. >> we have done an incredible job, considering there is
absolutely nothing to work with. earlier today president trump pledged support to the people of puerto rico. but he also, again, under lined the country, puerto rico's debt crisis. >> we want them to be safe and sound and secure, and we will be there every day until that happens. the government of puerto rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort will end up being one of the biggest ever will be funded and organized. and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island. >> contrast that, as many people in puerto rico are, with the president's many messages to texas and louisiana and florida, assuring those states with no caveats, we are with you today, tomorrow, and every single day
after to restore, recover, and rebuild. a somewhat different message to puerto rico. now the relationship between united states and puerto rico dates back to at least 1898 when the united states invaded the island. puerto rico has been u.s. citizens since 1917. more than a lot of puerto ricos have served in the u.s. military, but we and they see an acute difference of president trump towards them. simultaneously, we are also seeing a brigade, being ordered to charge on tour tv screens to win this spin war about the recovery effort. >> i understand the coverage in some cases is giving the appearance we are not moving fast enough. but i don't expect we are doing anything short of everything we can do. >> this is textbook and it's been done well. >> i'm sorry very much that there are certain people, particularly on tv, trying to
politicize this. >> i'm very satisfied. i know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people. and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane. >> a good news story. and the president himself brighting in series of tweets, fema and first responders are doing great job. and governor said great job once again this morning president trump touting, quote, puerto rico governor stated the administration and president has delivered, unquote. he did say that, but the governor of puerto rico also told cnn this. >> there is a lot of work to do over here. we really need to increase the delivery rates. we need to enhance our logistics. >> head of fema detailing the problems that still exist in getting aid to those who desperately need it. >> we have millions of meals, millions of water, i don't want
to get into specific number, but the bottom line is once they come into the ports or the airports or the water way ports, we have 11 regions where we've set up mass points of distribution points. so the problem has been getting it down to the last mile. >> perhaps nothing better illustrates this chasm how this relief effort is being felt and applauded by the trump administration in washington d.c. and how it's felt or not felt in puerto rico. then the response of the mayor of san juan this morning on cnn to the comments of elaine the duke, acting director of homeland security, that this is, quote, a good news story. >> dam it, this is not a good news story. this is a people are dying story. this is a life or death story. this is there is a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people story. this is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because
people are not getting food and water. if i could scream it a lot more louder, it is not a good news story when people are dying. >> after landing in puerto rico today, duke clarified that she meant the good news was how well people are working together. and few would argue otherwise. and few would doubt the intentions of those trying to help. but the bottom line here is according to those on the island, our fellow americans there need much more focus on getting them the supplies, the diesel, the generators, medical supplies, water. and they would like less from the administration as far as tweets all is well and everything is going great when it clearly is not. let's go now to cnn sanchez, live in san juan, puerto rico. boris, is the situation improving at all?
>> reporter: i would say incrementally, jake. we have been standing at this gas station since about 5:00 a.m. i want to show you the line here because it not let up. first person in line told me he was here 9:00 p.m. last night when gas station ran out of gas. he decided to park his car and sleep in the line. when it finally opened this morning he was able to get gas. and a few moment it is ago a large tanker came and gave more fuel. but people in line said they are hungry and flustered. the desperation, anger here, jake, is palpable. . getting key resources has proved daunting for puerto ricans. many camping in cars outside a gas station forming a line quarter mile long waiting hours to fill tanks. >> it's hard when you have to
check on your family and wait in lines to get gas. it's hard. >> massive lines forming in grocery stores. and many are only taking cash which is now in short supply. much of what these people desperately need, essentials like food, water, and medical supplies have proved illusive. >> not here. not nada. nothing. water. food. >> >> translator: it's been about nine days we don't have help. supposedly united states has provided help but we don't have water, food, medicine. they keep telling us it's coming from the u.s. but we don't see it. >> reporter: and other parts of puerto rico cries for help are being answered. >> >> translator: thank god. >> reporter: people run on to the streets to run down the mayor and other officials as he drives through town offering emergency food and water from fema. the mayor asks for calm and a.
admits he knows they will need much more. further complicating the recovery efforts, weather forecasts. while many remain homeless, many may have flash floods, with rain expected to hit tt already battered island. >> they said rain coming this weekend, i don't know how we'll deal with it, because it's still flooded every where. >> reporter: and that gentleman, kevin, lives in a neighborhood where many people are homeless. hurricane maria ripping the rips off of several homes. we were there yesterday and we were told that there is a canal that runs through the center of their neighborhood, and often floods for just a typical rainstorm. during hurricane maria raw sewage was flowing into people's homes. keep in mind, jake, there is said to be more rain this weekend. >> all right. boris sanchez in puerto rico doing a great job. thanks.
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back with more on our national feed. fema saying they have more than 800 personnel working with the staff and on the ground in puerto rico. teams have visited all 78 municipalities searching for more potential victims and searching for damage. but some in puerto rico say they are still forced to fend for themselves. cnn leyla santiago is originally from puerto rico. after a week of covering hurricane maria and aftermath, she was able to make it to her hometown. and leyla, how is your family? how bad is the damage? >> reporter: well, my family is it okay. thank you for asking, jake. i had actually flown over my hometown a few days ago, so i knew how bad the damage was, and it's not good. this is interior part of the
island. it's up in the mountains. and i mean it looks like -- i mean, it looks horrible. stores are down. roofs are ripped off. and so when i was finally able to get in and find my family, it was emotional. it was emotional. and i realize that i'm one of the lucky ones. because there are thousands of people in the u.s. mainland that haven't been able to hear what i heard, which was my family saying i'm okay. you know, my family saying we survived. we lost some stuff with the business, but that's fine, you no he, that's all material. and we will rebuild. but to hear your family say i'm okay. i mean, i know we need a lot of relief on this island, but for many that is the relief we are looking for on a personal level, to hear your family say, look, we don't have power, we don't have water, but we're okay.
especially in an area like coro sarks an which is in the interior where it is devastated and destroyed. the buildings, i kontd even recognize some of the areas. i sort of had to figure out where i was, because i couldn't even recognize some parts of it, jake. >> so, leyla, we are seeing pictures and you giving a hug to an older gentleman and lady there as well. that's your mom and dad? >> that's my uncle and my aunt. >> okay. >> reporter: and, again, they are okay. and the rest of my family lives on that very street. so when i arrived, they were excited to see that i was okay as well. but they were more comforting me, i think, because the desperation, again, to not know. i mean, i have not talked to them. i didn't know, do they have
food, do they have diesel, do they have water? to hear them say we're okay, you know, again, i know we need a lot more relief on this island, but the sense of relief i got just hearing those words, that's a lot. that's a lot. that's what i needed and that's what a whole lot of hourt puerto ricans are looking for right now. >> what have your aunt's and uncles seen in terms of relief efforts? have they received any of the meals or the water or the diesel that fema and puerto rico is supposed to be bringing them? >> reporter: you know, i was actually able -- driving in to town, i saw people on the sides of the road already, and they were going to the mountainside to get spring water. water coming from the mountains that they can use to cook, to
bathe. i saw women watching their hair like the old days. but when i asked is there help? while there is some understand that this takes a while and logistical nightmare, no one seemed to know where the help was. they couldn't say we saw the mayor or governor's office. now i'll say i was told that fema has been there, but for damage assessment only. so they basically said, look, we filled out some paperwork, we told fema what our needs were. we did the damage assessment but we haven't heard back from them since. s so we are nine days outside hurricane maria and relief has not arrived. they have no power and communication and water. i mean the basics, the basics, to live day-to-day, jake. >> leyla, how are they drinking? how are they eating? and also tell us what business are they in that got destroyed?
>> reporter: so, you know, there are a few of them. there are a few businesses that were destroyed. you know, my uncle has a chip company. we manufacture chips. that was destroyed. my other uncle has a karrie pca shop, that was completely destroyed. but, again, we're okay. that stuff can be replaced. and my family turning to each other now, we sent somebody down to get water, but that is relief i felt. that town up in the mountains is in desperate need of more relief. i went to the shelters, jake, the hospital is down. there is no hospital in town right now. so we have more than 100 people in the school, living in those classrooms, in need of medical help. and when i talk about medical help, i'm talking about people, cancer patients, people with
cancer that can't get the chemotherapy they need. people with hiv. people with diabetes. children with asthma. i spoke to one woman who had park had parkinson's disease who hasn't had her own medicine. and sobbing she told me i don't know about the rest of my family. that same kerney had. how is my family doing. and that is the shelter. they don't have a generator. the generator went down circumstance days ago. so these patients in need of medical help don't have water. the refrigerator, that's gone too. they don't have food in there. they are relying on the goodwill of people bringing them food from other places. but that shelter in that small little town up in the mountains in the interior of puerto rico has no generator, no power, and people that need medical attention right now, again, let
me run through that list in case you didn't catch it, hiv, cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease, and cleanliness is issue as well, it's a nightmare to see. >> leyla santiago, i'm happy your family members survived the storm. we'll stay aggressively reporting this. you, chief, among hour excellent reporters in puerto rico covering this and making sure the people in puerto rico, american citizens in puerto rico get the help they need. thank you so much for your reporting today. >> reporter: you bet. >> after mysterious sonic attack, the u.s. department ordering diplomats to leave the american embassy in cuba. now there is a warning for any american traveling there. that story next.
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back with our world lead. the state department announced today it is pulling more than half of diplomatic staff from u.s. embassy in havana, cuba after the mysterious sonic attacks that hurt americans. they are warning not to travel to cuba and they could be exposed to similar attacks. they stopped doing visas. must have been as many as 50 attacks ranging from dizziness and concussion and hearing lost. here with me talking about it general, thanks for being here. general, what do you make of the sonic attacks? >> i don't know what to make of them. the obvious attack is someone in there. they have all denied that. i think reducing our diplomatic
presence is the right thing to do for the reason secretary tillerson mentioned first and foremost safety of our people. because it appears this has continued. i think the other message, implicit message of course is to the cubans that if they are interested in sustaining this relationship, then it's in their best interests to help find what the cause of this is and stop it. >> let's turn to the north korean crisis. we learned this week that august 2017 was the biggest month of trade between china and north korea since last december. does that suggest to you that the chinese don't take this threat seriously enough? >> i think the chinese do. my own engagement with them is they don't particularly care for kim jong-un. they don't like his behavior. they don't like the under ground tests and missile tests and
thaad deployment. but what they don't like more is the thing in north korea. so i think they'll put the screws to the north koreans to a certain extent. but it's a strategic imperative. what they don't want to do is lose their buffer state. and the thought of having a reunified peninsula under the control of seoul, and they are on the yellow river by the united states, that's strategic imperative they avoid. >> is that worse than a nuclear north korea? >> well, no, they don't want that. but i say what they don't like more, or like less, is the thought of north korea imploding, particularly violently. and that has all kinds of implications for them. so you are going to get, continue to get i think this mixed message. i know they said they would shut down all the businesses in south
korea. north koreans are very resource full. if they lose a business, they'll open another one. >> i want to turn to russia's meddling in the u.s. election. there was a twitter account named black vist and said watch another savage of police brutality, police are let letting us know where we feel and stand. were you aware of this, not specifically this one, russia and creme ln were actually taking out ads and assuming fake identities on twitter? >> it was alluded to in our publishment last january, i think that was the tip of the
ice berg. and as things have unfolded subsequent to this, i think we have seen the magnitude and depth of this penetration, use of social media, fake news implants, rt propaganda which was quite sophisticated in addition to the well-known hacking. so this is serious problem. and one of the things that concerns me has been the trurusn assault on the very fabric of our democratic system. that's what people should be alarmed about. and what we are seeing now is more depths of the efforts they went to to skew the campaign. >> twitter said they've disabled 200 russian accounts. facebook says shut down more than 400. i'm sure you don't think that's enough? >> i think that's a good sign. because i think the philosophical issue this raises is what is the extent of the providers, these companies, what is their civic responsibility
here to weed out or even better, prevent the dissemination of these fake news items, which are designed to undermine our system. t and that, by the way was the russians first objective was to sow discontent in this country. which i believe will continue. >> thanks for having us on. appreciate it. minutes ago president trump said he's going to decide the fate of tom price tonight. will the charter pricey flights of the planes be the cost of his job? that next. i was working for the c.i.a., d.e.a.,
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some, shall we say, turbulence after the press learned of private charter planes on the taxpayers dime i guess the question is will he survive this? >> there are two options. he can resign and the president could accept that resignation or be fired. i'm told that first one is more likely when he said there would be announcement this evening. but the president made clear again and again calling him a fine man. but i asked him specifically if he had lost confidence in his secretary. let's watch. >> it's not a question of confidence. i was disappointed because i didn't like it cosmetically or otherwise. i was disappointed. so i don't like to see somebody that perhaps is the perception that it wasn't right. >> [ inaudible ].
>> well, i don't want to say. but we'll be announcing something today. we'll be announcing something today. >> and, jake, just as soon as we said that, we do indeed have breaking news that the secretary tom price has indeed resigned. just as we were told it would happen, that he would resign, i'm told the president is prepared, of course, to accept this resignation here. this again as we heard was about optics. was about the whole idea of draining the swamp, saving taxpayer money simply was not done in this case. the president was disappointed furious at him. also, of course, tom price was the long-term house member, the physician who was supposed to lead the health care reform effort, that of course failed. he wasn't able to get that off of the ground and he now has offered his resignation, has resigned and the president we are expecting to accept that rest i resignation, and of course the
new search begins for the new adviser president's cabinet. again happening on friday. >> well, just an example of how great your reporting is. telling us that tom price is not going to survive. and literally as you are doing tt white house secretary is sending out a note. let me read this. thomas price offered his resignation earlier today. and the president accepted. heel have the office of disease health and prevention. but let's keep talking about this for a second. because this has been a lot of turbulence in this administration. a lot of resignations. i wasn't prepared for this. but i mean off the top of my head, we ht national security adviser, thoin scaramucci, he
fired james comey. we had a number of communication director in addition to scaramucci, there was mike dubke. who else? sean spicer. steve bannon. >> and to point out all the charter flights, it happened during the tenure of ryan pref vast chief of staff. but this is an example. the president is making an example of tom price here. in fact, he told us earlier when he was leaving the white house, that there would be no more private flights at all. he added a caveat, if you can afford your own plane, that's fine. so that's ironically. he's a wealthy measure. upwards of 10 million.
not as wealthy as cabinet who has own fleets of planes. so he was using taxpayer money for private planes. so you are right, this is a long list of advisers here. i would not put tom price in the higher echelon of someone the president listened to on a lot of matters but of course was an early supporter. and one of the members of congress who was brought over to join this administration, to be confirmed, and help get things through congress. that simply has not happened at all here. so the president as he left today seemed like he was not sweating this too much, jake, he wanted to -- he said, look, he's a fine man, he's a nice man. whenever you hear that on a friday, that's a kiss of death. >> i'm going to let you make some phone calls and do so reporting and come back tous. if you are just tubing in, we just got this from the white house press secretary, thomas price offered resignation earlier today and president
accepted and plans to serve as acting secretary effective at 11:59 p.m. this evening. we have lots to talk about with our pan tell. amanda carpenter, let me start with you. price was trying desperately to do damage control on this. although he never did the number one rule in washington, which is when there is a bad story, get out all the information, get it all at once, be contrite, and get it out on your own terms. he let there be a drip drip drip. politico has been working tire easily leslie on this story for days. first it was one trip, two trips, by the way never contrite. >> also don't do it. first thing. >> that's the first thing. >> i look at this as conservative and think what an
utter total waste. this guy knew this. he was part of the committees. he knew better. and conservative expected him to be a fiscal conservative. but also in this role get to work on the regulations with obamacare. this was the selling price of tom price. he was a physician. he had been built up in republican circles for so long and you finally get the chance to do good in washington. show that we can execute on the fiscal conservative stuff and he starts getting on private jets the second he gets there. and you know you get on private jet, it's not like i skipped the tsa line. you know how extravagant is. because when they get one it's a big deal. so it's sad. i'm angry. and i think republicans in washington better look atom price and see how quickly they can blow the opportunity they have. because we are at the end of the year. nothing is getting done. and this is a big setback. >> and kirsten, let me say, i thought it was surprising when i
heard he took a private jet to philadelphia. i'm from philadelphia. so i go back and forth all the time. i have never flown anything to philadelphia. it is an hour and a half on a train. >> could have had his driver take him there. >> uber. >> yeah, truly most cabinet sents have a driver. he could have driven. but we all know we live here this is insane. even if you wanted to fly, there are plenty of flights to take. you know what i mean. but most people take the train. i go back and forth to new york every week for cnn. it's in sane to even say something like that to think anyone would fall for it. and i think what he did is just inexplicable. he would know that that's not how things are done. it's not appropriate. it's extremely expensive. if you ever are using a private plane as a cabinet secretary,
it's usually for international travel, which he did do some of it. but usually because you have all of your staff with you. >> other thing is national security official, sometimes if you are in fbi or attorney general or the chairman of joint chiefs of staff. >> yeah, right. so i think even the thing with his wife where he's saying he's going to reimburse for it, but since he won't say when he reimbursed sort of implies that he didn't. and that again is a major no no. you would never not reimburse for your spouse traveling on official travel. >> and other thing about the reimbursement, i have to go to jeff because he has reporting, yesterday when he said i'll pay for it. no taxpayer should pay for my seat as opposed to the flight. and crazy thing in washington where they let people take charter flight and reimbursement is equivalent of commercial flight, which is nothing like flying on a charter jet.
nothing like it. let me go back to jeff sellwho trying to explain more how it played out. >> jake, really in less than 24 hours time i'm told that it became clear to secretary price that he had to leave. when he was leaving a capitol hill office building yesterday, he told one of our producers greg wallace who was out there talking to him, that he would absolutely stay on. of course, after the latest round of stories about the military planes was adding onto this last evening, even though that was approved by the white house, he was given word that he was not going to stay. so today all day long i'm told this is not coming as a surprise to the secretary. he knew that this was coming. and you can certainly see it in the president's body language, this was not something that he wrestled with as attorney general. if you think back to how the
president deals with these things, often he will let his advisers hang. that was not the case on this. i am told because the president was offended by it. but, jake, also he found what you were talking about, typical washington. $52,000, paying that amount of money does not begin to cover the amount of jet fuel or anything else. so the question we have tonight that we have not got an answer, will former secretary price after midnight, will he still cut that check for $52,000? we don't know if he will or not. swreel to see, jake. >> well, i'm not going to guess. but let me ask you a question, jeff. there are other people in the trump administration who has been reported in the last week flew on private charter jets, including the interior secretary, and the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin who is
worth at least $300 million. does this mean that these three individuals are also on the bubble? or does the administration just want to make a sacrificial lamb out of price? >> i do not believe those three individuals are on the bubble. ryan zinke who you mentioned at the beginning, he is the latest to come under fire on this. he was flying on something again that his office approved, the ethics office approved he was flying from las vegas to his home in montana. and he's being unapologetic at this point. he suggested all of these reports were bs, excuse me lang. and he said that, look, these were appropriate flights. he was trying to get to ta rural part of the country there. so di do not believe that any o these three are on the cups like tom price. but i can tell you that the president was pretty clear in
saying there will be no more private travel like this in less than unusual circumstances of here. so yes tom price is being made an example. but had more flights. >> first eight or nine months in the trump administration is like a wedding in how much people in the trump administration do not end of leaving the room at the end of it. at some point i do have to wonder if you are looking at, here's a list. that's not just a small list. steve bannon, i can't see everybody in this. oh, that's d urubke. flynn. and dr. tom price. that doesn't include all the members of the national security counsel who have been ousted since flynn left. does it at some point make it difficult for trump administration to hire someone?
>> sure. this is particularly troublesome because getting into open enrollment season for obamacare. and already issues with liberals and democrats complaining that the government isn't doing enough to promote the obamacare enrollment season. >> i don't think they are doing anything. >> and now they are down a cabinet secretary. and lots of questions going to come into that sphere when republicans are talking about repeal, that discussion doesn't end. and now that position is empty. huge problem. >> yeah. >> people were never really lining up to work in the trump administration, to be honest, because he's not an establishment candidate. and most of the people who want these jobs are establishment people. but i think it's even worse now, right. so we already started out with not a lot of people wanting to work for him. and now it's so chaotic. you look at all those people lost their jobs and thinking about going to work for donald trump, it's going to make you think twice, am i going to up root my family and in six months
be out of a job. >> and this was price own doing. >> yeah, this is a different situation. >> so it gets back to republicans, if you are going to get into position of influence and power, do what you said, things will be discovered, cut it out. >> that's a good point. i'll say though tom price was perhaps the most be loved member of the trump cabinet by house republicans. now, that probably doesn't matter very much to president trump who has a chance relationship with republicans on the hill or republican leadership on the hill. and he did give up his job. he was going to have the congressional seat for the rest of his life probably. >> yeah. but this is one of those things with donald trump, i mean, people who have followed him for a long time, even before he was in office, they know he is
frugal. that he just doesn't -- even when people have tried to negotiate contracts, or work on a campaign and fly business class, he doesn't go for it. >> a lot of criticisms flying to mar-a-lago. >> yeah, it's more for other people. he flies obviously on private jet. but famously his kids travel for business, they have to fly coach. and if they want to fly business class, they can upgrade. but even working for him trump tower, they didn't get business class. so if doesn't do it for kids won't put up with it with tom price. >> this is a lot of stuff in the administration, though, it's not easy to build a cabinet to begin with. and not easy to go through the vetting process. and i mean they still don't have a full-time director or secretary, rather, of the office of homeland security, department
of homeland security. because general kelly is chief of staff. they haven't filled that. now they have another opening as pending as of 11:59 this evening. and we have also seen, not just a matter of staffing. there is an ideological thing going on here too. because tom price was one of the, we thought he was, fiscal conservative, which he is except in terms of his jet travel, i suppose. but then there was also steve bannon, losing him, and he was an important voice for that part of the trump coalition. so this could have affect on a lot of things, not just staffing wise, but in terms of where the administration goes from here. >> yeah. i think the big question that will come up through the next person's confirmation hearings is what the actual future of obamacare? we keep having this big fight among republicans, not heaven republicans, and democrats, are we truly repealing this bill or not? that could be determined by the next cabinet secretary how these
hearings have gone. i didn't like to admit this as the con serp tive, that the consensus is obamacare is not going to be repealed. they've already decided that. they don't want to come out and say that the future confirmation hearings coming up could determine the course for obamacare through spring, through summer, and what republican party actually does for it, the votes for him in the senate or her, whoever that person may be, may actually get everybody on the same page. >> that's interesting. >> possible. >> yeah, no, jeff back with us from the white house. jeff, as opposed to individuals like mike flynn or steve bannon, tom price was not a particularly vocal campaign supporter of president trump. tell us what you can of their relationship before the news today obviously that tom price has resigned, looking as thoul though he was resigned before he could be fired? >> yeah, no question about that. just acquit bit of news. the president has arrived in new
jersey. and he did answer a reporter's question that was shouted to him, if he was accepted the resignation hand we were told he gave a thumbs up sochlt this is playing out before prime time, president said it would be announced tonight. but we do know that sotom price was never particularly close to this president. he was on a list of names of people to serve in the administration because of his expertise on health care. he was the author, architect of several house republican efforts to repeal and replace obamacare during the obama administration. so at the time of the people who were sort of organizing the west wing here, ryan prevas and others thought he would be a good choice. the president liked him, respected him. but after it became clear that health care was not going to happen, and that the secretary price was not particularly even playing a central negotiating
role, i'm told that the president did not have all that use for him. it was in the words of one aide, more in different than anything else. so you get the sense president likes his generals, someone with strong command and in control of things. tom price was a georgia member of congress who has served for a long time. and as a physician. but never necessarily warmed to this president i've been told. but i think actions matter here. and the health care, the lead agenda item never happened. so i think this may have been a different situation if this was a rock star member of the cabinet. james mattis or someone else here. but of course at the end of the day, tom price is pretty easy to expend. now the question is who is going to replace him? keep your eye on sema irma, she's a top official, she came from indiana, plays a central role in a lot of the back and forth on the bill.
i'm told the president respects and likes her. so of course a new round of job openings, i guess, if youle, jake, so one more opening, second cabinet that i can think of homeland security and health and human services that now as we head into october will not have a full-time cabinet member. >> that's a good point by jeff. thanks, jeff. it's a good point by jeff, if obamacare repeal, replace and repeal had worked, and also if secretary price, soon to be ex-secretary price had been the rock star on that issue, had been the leading voice on that issue, this might have turned out differently. but maybe president trump just figured he had nothing to lose. he didn't really care. >> yeah, i think this is going to help trump. quite honestly, great example of how he got cabinet member because wasting taxpayers money. >> yeah. >> and conclude their examination of what happened with treasury secretary steve
mnuchin trip to kentucky during the eclipse. now trump can say we solved the plane problems, it's over, done, sent him packing, the end. >> we do have some breaking news on the story. inspector probe nous tell cnn is shifting. cnn is following the story. rene, what can you tell us? >> well, i can tell you from the source they say what they are looking into. and remember, just to reset, they are looking at all of steve mnuchin secretary use of all government planes. but now specifically what they are looking at is the approval process as well as justifications given for why these government planes were needed. they are asking treasury, i am told, for more information, specifically forms that were filled out that detail the
requests. they also want information on who reviewed the forms. who approved the forms. they are looking very closely at this process. the concern is, and what they are looking into is, is whether flimsy justifications were given as accuse to allow them to use these government planes. again, this is something they are looking into and asking for more documentation so that they can make that assessment, jake. >> that's interesting. thanks so much. just as we were talking about the pending report from the inspe inspector general. and if you agree, president trump will be able to say we had a problem with this and taken care of, you saw i fired tom price? >> i guess so. but more to the point of balancing act what do you do when this happens. so it does matter how important they are to the president. different rules sochlt if you p p put. so if you put it in the case of
tom price, he wasn't, so he goes. steve mnuchin isn't on the shaky ground tom price is. >> tan tax reform going on right now. thanks one and all. be sure than tune in this sunday morning state of the union, my guests will be there. all starts at 9:00 a.m. and 12 eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning it over to wolf blitzer. in "the situation room" have a great weekend. breaking now, health and human services tom price is forced out resigning after extensive use of private jets is made public. now there are questions of other cabinet sents chartering planes, are their jobs now on the line? wiped out the president points a dismal picture. acting howe h