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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  January 5, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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not ordered special counsel to look at things like this. laura jarrett, very important reporting, thank you for breaking it, being on top of all of it. we appreciate it. thank you for joining us. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. "at this hour" starts right now. happy friday. i'm ana cabrera in for kate bolduan. a report sending shockwaves through the white house raising new questions about whether the president of the united states attempted to obstruct justice. "the new york times" is reporting president trump gave firm instructions in march to the white house's top lawyer, stop the attorney general jeff sessions from recusing himself in the justice department's investigation into whether mr. trump's associates helped a russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. and the "times" reports that the president wanted sessions, a loyal ally, to protect him from the russia probe. it says special counsel robert
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mueller uncovered that lobbying attempt and other incidents that could potentially factor into an obstruction case. cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider is in our washington bureau. bring us the details. >> the president apparently erupted in anger in front of several white house officials when jeff sessions did recuse himself from the russia probe because white house counsel don mcgahn, he was unsuccessful apparently in lobbying the attorney general to stay on in overseeing the probe. "the new york times" reports that president repeatedly voiced his belief that the role of the attorney general is to protect the president and that jeff sessions should, in turn, protect him. according to the times, they put it this way, they said mr. trump said he had expected his top law enforcement official to safeguard him the way he believed john f. kennedy and eric h. holder jr. had for barack obama. so mr. trump then asked, where is my roy cohn. the president there referring to his former personal lawyer,
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known as a fixer, and roy cohn was also senator joe mccarthy's top aide during the investigations into communist activity back in the 1950s. really it's the themes of loyalty, protection, those have been the themes of the trump presidency, president trump's belief in urging that top officials in his government in law enforcement should be loyal to him. it's something the president touched on in that "new york times" interview last week and talked about attorney general holder, attorney general for barack obama, who, in his belief, had been loyal to president obama. ana, we really have seen this here, this kind of putting a point on it. attorney general jeff sessions has been in the cross hairs of president trump repeatedly over the first year and we're sort of seeing this as it played out throughout the past year in this times article. >> of course the theme of loyalty came up with james comey and his testimony to congress. "the new york times" reporting that the president lashed out about then fbi director james
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comey. tell us about that. >> the president reportedly erupted again when james comey testified publicly for the first time last march and at the time, fbi director comey then fbi director comey refused to answer questions when asked about whether or not the president was personally under investigation. that was something that comey later testified that he did tell the president at the white house but didn't want to come out with publicly. the "times" reports after the hearing in march when comey was still fbi director, that's when the president first began to openly discuss his desire to fire comey and, of course, that firing eventually came in may. so in addition to that, the "times" is saying that the special counsel has received handwritten notes from mr. trump's former chief of staff reince priebus showing that mr. trump talked to mr. priebus about how he had called mr. comey to urge him to say publicly that he was not under investigation. so these notes from reince priebus now in the hands of the
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special counsel. of course, that's something that james comey testified about after he was fired in june, he was fired in may, but it was june public hearing and comey did say he took notes after the president made his play, and ana, now we're seeing from the times report special counsel manafort's team has t-- special counsel mueller has the notes. >> one more piece of the puzzle, learning that mueller has at his disposal. thank you for that report. another headache for the white house this morning is the bombshell book that officially is on sale now and flying off the shelves. the author and publisher are ignoring the threats of the white house lawsuit and they are rushing distribution of "fire and fury". one of the more troubling claims revolves around the 016 trump tower meeting with the russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on hillary clinton. these were the players and people at that meeting. see it included trump's son,
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son-in-law, campaign manager. author michael wolff says president trump personally got involved in crafting a false cover story. he writes, the president insisted that the meeting in trump tower was purely and simply about russian adoption policy. that's what was discussed, period. period. even though it was likely if not certain that the "times" had the incriminating e-mail chain. it was quite possible that jared and ivanka and the lawyers knew the "times" had this e-mail chain. the president ordered that no one should let on to the more problematic discussion about hillary clinton. cnn's kaitlan collins is at the white house with the fiery response there. kaitlan? >> yeah. ana, certain will akey passage there that you -- a key passage you read in the book dominating the news cycle because trump junior himself acknowledged he took that meeting because he was promised incriminating information on hillary clinton, so if what michael wolff writes there is true it raises the question why was the president insisting the meeting with was
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about russian adoption when it so clearly was not and it also could form the basis for those allegations of a cover-up and personally involves the president in that statement. certainly a lot of questions being raised there. but for right now, the white house is dismissing many of the claims in this book as complete fantasy with the president himself specifically saying that he did not grant michael wolff access like michael wolff says he did with the president tweeting overnight, i authorized zero access to the white house, actually turned him down many times for the author of the phony book. i never spoke to him for the book. full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don't exist. look at this guy's past and watch what happens to him and sloppy steve. now, of course, the author of this book, michael wolff, contradicted the president this morning in an interview when he said this. >> what was i doing there if he didn't want me to be there? i absolutely -- i absolutely
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spoke to the president, whether he realized it was an interview or not, i don't know. it was not off the record. i spoke to him after the inauguration, yes, and i had spoken to -- i've spent about three hours with the president over the course of the campaign and in the white house. so my window into donald trump is pretty significant. >> so as you see there, ana, certainly two different stories coming from the author of this book and from the white house. what is clear today is the president's cease and desist order that he sent to the publisher of the book has backfired because not only has the book been published and released they decided to release it four days early here. >> kaitlan collins at the white house. bring in richard, a cnn legal analyst and former watergate special prosecutor, and chris cillizza, reporter and editor at large for cnn politics. thanks. lots to talk about here. richard, let's talk about that latest reporting from kaitlan, michael wolff saying the
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president had great input, in fact, on the statement crafted on board air force one about the trump tower meeting and that statement we know did not give the whole story. it didn't give the part that really matters here and the president knew it. he wanted to make sure that hillary clinton stuff wasn't revealed. do you see a crime here? >> well, you don't have a crime in making a false public statement, but what it is, is a part of what seems to be a tendency of the white house to go to cover up wherever there is a choice between telling the truth and coming up with some fabricated story. here again, as we saw from the very beginning, the inconsistencies in the story led directly to donald trump dictating a false story about adoptions in place of what actually happened at this meeting when there were so many people who could contradict that
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initial cover-up story. >> so a cover-up isn't a crime, though? >> a cover-up, if it's an obstruction of justice and has other aspects to it, most definitely can be a crime. it is not a crime simply to make a false public statement. >> got you. >> and if so, the president would be indicted for a thousand counts of making false statements in public. but it is a piece, as i say, a more serious inquiry into whether the president was at the center of directions for flynn and others to tell investigating authorities a different story than comports with the truth. >> right. and you talk about the idea of obstruction of justice which we're going to get into more, but chris, the president and the white house, is now saying that this whole book is full of lies. in fact, they say that's where the falsehoods are. they aren't pinpointing specific
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things other than disputing the assertion that the president didn't know john boehner, for example, politically how strong is their defense? >> well, it's probably necessary more than it is strong, ana. they couldn't ignore this book, given the allegations, given the way in which it casts president trump, given the way it casts the sort of broader trump world. they had to engage. is their engagement effective? among people who already believe everything they say, sure. what's hard is they're trying at least to have their cake and eat it too. trying to say the book is all lies, totally made up, never met with the president, 30 requests syria huckabee sanders -- sarah huckabee sanders said were denied by wolff to meet with the senior staff. on the other the president is describing steve bannon, his former top strategist, as sloppy steve, calling him a leaker, so all of that is through wolff's book. so it's hard to reconcile the
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idea that the book is all made up and he had no access -- wolff had no access with the fact that the president seems to be taking steve bannon's quotes seriously and all those quotes are on the record. those quotes from michael wolff's reporting as well. >> and bannon hasn't denied any of the quotes. >> no. >> richard, i want to turn to "the new york times" report that the president ordered the white house lawyer don mcgahn, the white house lawyer, not the president's own personal lawyer, but the white house lawyer, to urge sessions not to recuse himself from this russia probe because he needed sessions to protect him. the president is even quoted as saying where's my roy cohn. richard, what's your reaction to that? >> well, this strikes me as one more it bizarre example of how the president has no familiarity with what the norm is in terms of his relationship to the federal government and the institutions of the federal government.
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he seems to be channeling his inner sonny corleone who in the godfather was upset because tom hagan was insufficiently sicilian and he puts sessions in the role of tom havigan and sayi needed a war time [ inaudible ] like obama got with holder and jack kennedy with bobby and all i got was sessions. where is my roy cohn. referring to the pond scum of the new york bar, roy cohn, who had an inglorious history of being indicted for federal crimes and was reviled among people for his work with joe mccarthy. >> on that bigger picture,
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though, is it okay for him -- appropriate for him to be ordering the white house counsel to go tell sessions not to recuse himself? >> well, it's quite inappropriate and sessions was following the advice of long-time professionals at the justice department who quite clearly looked at the facts and said, look, mr. sessions, as attorney general, you cannot be in charge of an investigation in which you are implicated as a witness and perhaps have done something inappropriate in how you have responded to questions about your contacts yourself with the soviet -- with the russian ambassador kislyak and so attacking that. >> yeah. >> is extraordinary. of courses trump finds himself in the remarkable position of having an independent person of the highest repute, robert
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mueller, being in the position to conduct an investigation. he was like hit on the head with a mallet when he recognized how events had evolved and -- >> sure. >> -- and was so disoriented and enraged by this that he lashed out about everybody at everybody near him including his white house counsel, don mcgahn, who apparently saluted and dutiful trotted over to the justice department to try to persuade the attorney general not to recuse, which was futile and appropriately so. >> we know how that ended. chris, this is yet another example, as ben mentions, that the president seems to be treating the justice department in a way we haven't seen before. >> yeah. richard is right. i think what you see is in donald trump, this is true in this case and true sort of more broadly across how he treats the government and members of the house and senate, he doesn't
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seem to either grasp or care to grasp, and i don't know which one it is, the difference between being a businessman who runs a company, you know, all these people work for you, you want to fire them, do your bidding they can quit or do your bidding and sort of the norms that past presidents have acknowledged and operated under which is yes, the justice department is under the broad umbrella of the federal bureaucracy which donald trump sits atop but has long sort of treasured and cherished the role of independent. it's not a trump justice department or obama justice department. it's the justice department. >> for the american people. >> correct. donald trump doesn't seem to care about that the way he doesn't grasp the idea that members of congress are elected in their own right and their own bosses as opposed to them doing whatever he tells them to do. >> instead of serving the president. chris and richard, thank you very much for the conversation. we have a programming note,
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tonight a cnn special report "the trump-russia investigation". pamela brown will break down the key players and where the investigation could be headed next tonight at 10:00 eastern only on cnn. it's time for jeff sessions to go. that's a quote. an explosive rallying cry now coming from a pair of conservative lawmakers in a blistering op-ed targeting the attorney general. they are blasting his handling of the russian investigation the same russian investigation he has recused himself. breaking news this morning, the feds are now actively investigating the clinton foundation amid allegations of promising special favors and access in exchange for donations. stay with us. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call
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so if you need a great plumber, find one at angie's list. join today for free. because your home is where our heart is. we have breaking news out of washington, federal authorities are investigating claims of corruption tied to the clinton foundation. that is the charity of bill and hillary clinton. cnn justice reporter laura jarrett is joining us with more details on this. fill us in. >> hi, ana. cnn has learned that federal authorities down in arkansas are now actively investigating the clinton family foundation for public -- alleged public corruption. a u.s. official tells me that
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the fbi and federal prosecutors down in little rock are specifically digging into whether foundation donors were improperly promised policy favors or special access to clinton while she was secretary of state in exchange for donations to the charity's coffers. they're coming whether non-profit tax laws were followed. cnn reported back in november of 2016 that the fbi had opened preliminary inquiries into whether there had been impropriety with the foundation's dealings and money and that caused tensions within the bureau and a justice department and the current inquiry, at least in part, as a continuation of that probe, that originated before the presidential election, but what's unclear is precisely what new evidence, if any, ignited the current federal investigation after those initial inquiries were stalled. the clinton camp is pushing back hard against this news as nick, a spokesman, for clinton told me. let's call this what it is, a sham, and a spokesperson for the
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clinton foundation said the clinton foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations and time after time those allegations have been proven false. nevertheless, this probe comes in the midst of a really sensitive time for the justice department under this administration as the president continues to demand time after time that his political rival be investigated while the justice department stays silent. ana? >> the question surrounding jeff sessions coming from both camps, in fact, democrats and republicans alike, laura jarrett, i want to talk more about attorney general jeff sessions. there are now calls for him to resign, growing louder from within the gop, conservative house freedom caucus member mark me dos and jim jordan in an op-ed for the washington examinationer they criticize sessions handling of the russia meddling examination. here's jordan speaking to fox news.
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smo . >> i like jeff sessions. i want you to do your job. we expected a different process and treatment and a different justice department when you took over. >> joining me republican congressman dana rohrbacher of california. thanks for being here. sessions facing calls to resign from meadows and jordan over the russia probe. you and others are angered over his latest action on marijuana. does sessions need to resign? >> let me put it this way, the american people and now are getting a taste of what people in washington have known over this last year and that is jeff sessions betrays the people who have had faith in him. faith in him to do his job and faith in him not to succumb to pressures from the outside like from cnn and other news bureaus
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to try to do their bidding. this is -- when he recused himself from this whole russia thing, he knew he was setting in motion the establishment of a special prosecutor and a special prosecutor as happens in washington, we understand is just giving unlimited power to someone to go after you. and not just you, but to go after anybody they want to go after. and you don't do that unless there is some really tangible reason for that and jeff sessions had no real reason to recuse himself. >> so does he need to resign? >> well, you know, i think -- i don't -- i can't call out myself. all i can tell you is people have a legitimate right -- the president has a legitimate right to say that he was betrayed just like jeff sessions betrayed us -- >> you don't want to answer that question. >> this issue was supposed to be about cannibis. let me note -- >> we'll talk about cannabis for
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sure. >> okay. >> i definitely plan to get to that. but this is, obviously, news of day real fast. >> okay. >> on the issue of sessions' involvement in the russia investigation, that leads us really to "the new york times" reporting that the president ordered the white house counsel to urge sessions not to recuse himself from the russia investigation. and now some are saying that could be obstruction of justice. is it? >> that's why you don't want a special prosecutor. here you have a special prosecutor who set in motion to try to find collusion between trump -- the trump campaign and the russian government, all right, and now, is obstruction of justice about the conversations had about that. this is -- this is just why you don't want a special prosecutor because it's making this into a felony because there's no restrictions on special prosecutors at all. zero. >> let me remind you the special counsel is a republican who served under both democrats and
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republicans, and was appointed as an fbi director by a republican president. when you talk about no reason for recusal, forgive me in all due respect, other legal minds have suggested -- >> with all due respect -- >> he had to recuse himself. just a moment, i mean you have walter shop, the former ethics czar under president obama saying that because sessions was a member of the trump campaign, we heard this from richard ben very niece ta in our last segment, because he was a member of the campaign he could be a witness involved in the russia probe and for that very reason -- >> your guest say a few words -- maybe somebody who is your guest should be able to say a few words. your last interviews had nobody on the other side of the issue coming in to have the discussion with cnn. maybe you should give me a chance when you have -- when you have me on your program to express my opinion rather than have you try to refute every point that i make. let the public decide some of these things and in terms of what's going on with the special
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prosecutor, it is exactly why the president should have been concerned. now we have a situation, the special prosecutor is supposed to look at a collusion between the donald trump administration and the campaign and the russian government, all right. and instead, now, they're getting into was his reaction to this, was some words he said to somebody, obstruction of justice. this special prosecutor has only come up with a couple of things and they were all happened before the election, before there was an election. manafort who the special prosecutor has indicted and gotten to agree to some sort of plea bargain, he's -- he's been looked at -- >> he hasn't -- >> before he had any association. >> paul manafort has not pleaded guilty. >> that's why you don't want to have -- that's why you don't want to have a special prosecutor. please, you might let me make my
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point and -- >> you did. i have to make sure we have the facts. >> to try to refute me. this isn't a news operation. this what is the president is upset about. he's not getting a fair share from you and from the other media and things like this that will try to build into something sinister has happened. oh, he had a conversation because he was upset that jeff sessions recused himself and thus laid open everybody to unlimited investigation and innuendos like the ones we're hearing today. >> okay. well, i think that the jury is still out whether there was obstruction. the jury is out whether there was collusion. >> there's no jury out. a special prosecutor who is out of control. no, there's a special prosecutor who is out of control. >> you made your point on that. >> who is taking his direction from the news media like yourself. >> so you do not have confidence in robert mueller? >> no. i don't have confidence in robert mueller. i don't have confidence they should have -- that a special
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prosecutor should be brought in to look at specific actions. rather than giving them what we -- what happens and what's happened with robert mueller, just a universe from what they can select on what they're going to focus on. >> have you talked to the fbi or robert mueller? >> look, the only thing manafort has been -- is now been looked at and exposed for is something he supposedly did long before he had anything to do with donald trump. >> okay. and he is now suing the special counsel because of that. >> excuse me, congressman, excuse me -- >> excuse me -- >> you have made that point. may i ask you another question, a follow-up question. >> you can interrupt me again. go ahead. >> paul manafort is pushing back on that himself and we have reported on this very program about his lawsuit against the special counsel right now and as well as the justice department for the appointment of the special counsel and his authority. so that we have talked about.
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but i'm curious if you yourself have talked to the fbi or robert mueller's team? i know you have gone before the senate intelligence committee to talk about your contacts with russia, your meetings with russians, with wikileaks leader julian assange as well? >> yeah. >> have you talked to mueller's team as well and interviewed? >> i've -- i have talked to everybody who wants to talk to me. i am an open book. and it's just the innuendos like this. oh, and i notice that you said one of your guests said that somebody had been indicted, you know, twice and that was supposed to mean that he's a bad guy. well, people can be indicted for anything, especially if there's a special prosecutor. and yes, i am an open book to everybody. and i have spoken to everybody who wanted to talk to me. >> do you think it's okay to lie to the fbi? >> look, is that -- the answer is no, it's not good to lie to anybody. it's also not good to interrupt people when they're trying to make a point when you're a news
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person. >> i apologize if you feel like i've interrupted you for that. i mean you no disrespect sir. >> no disrespect? i got no respect. no disrespect? you don't respect trump, you don't respect people who disagree with you politically and that's why the news media which has an agenda drive special prosecutors. you don't want a special prosecutor unless he's looking at a special issue. that's when you do it. we've already seen manafort, here he is, i mean, having to face the onslaught of things he had -- that had nothing to do with trump's collusion with russia. >> okay. excuse me, congressman -- >> tell me why people are upset with special prosecutors. >> i know that you want to talk about marijuana, so i want to honor that as well because i find it very interesting as well. i want to remind our viewers and your voters, because i know a lot of your voters care about pot in california given it was
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legalized here's what the president said during the campaign on this issue. >> i wouldn't do that, no. >> so you think colorado should be able to do what it's doing? >> i think it's up to the states, yeah. i'm a states person. i think it should be up to the states, absolutely. >> so with the administration just rescinding past policy that left it open to the states to regulate, did president trump betray a campaign promise? >> it's not trump who is betraying the campaign promise. it's jeff sessions, his attorney general, is betraying trump and the rest of us. the president made his position clear. jeff sessions now is going in the opposite direction from what the president actually committed during the election. this shows you what happens when you have an attorney general who is not loyal to someone who has been elected by the people on a specific issue. and sessions betrayed us on this, and he's betrayed the president on the special prosecutor for the russia
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collusion that never existed. >> senator cory gardner has said he will hold up judicial nominations over this issue of rescinding the past policy on marijuana, but bottom line, congress has the power to change this. your party is in power. you can change the law. why not push legalization of marijuana? >> we're not pushing for legalization. we're pushing for the rights of the states to make sure that they determine whether or not the medical use of marijuana should be legal in their state and their community. the people in the local communities and the states should make that determination. that's what the president's policy was. and that's what -- i might say that's the way our attorney general has betrayed the president by going in his direction rather than what the president was elected it to do. >> to be fair, it was only guidance to begin with. it's still up to u.s. attorneys in each of these different jurisdictions to decide how much they are going to prosecute marijuana related crimes.
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this may not change the status owe, right? >> the president's policy -- that wasn't the president's policy. the president's policy what he stated in the election an the voters voted for was to leave that up to the states not the u.s. attorneys, and u.s. attorneys you have all sorts of pressures on by local -- by law enforcement to go in and, for example, asset forfeiture gives them a means to take people's property and then you have to prove you're innocent before you get it back. that type of pressure is on the u.s. attorneys. and we don't want that to happen. we want to leave it up to the state and local governments to determine policy on medical marijuana. >> what are you worried about? what is the impact that has happened in california because of this action? >> well, the people of california, like the people of most states, i think it's 40 states now, have voted to have some degree of letting their people use marijuana for medical
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purposes. the last thing we want to do now is to have the federal government, because of jeff sessions not paying attention to the president, and his pledges to the american people, to have the u.s. attorneys now decide to shut down the medical clinics. you have a lot of veterans and senior citizens that depend on cannibis-type related treatments for arthritis and all sorts of things now and we don't want to have those clinics shut down. that should be decided at the local level, not by the attorney general of the united states. >> congressman dana rohrbacher, thank you for your time. the stunning details keep pouring out from this new tell-all book on president trump one former aide telling michael wolff trump's eyes rolled into the back of his head while he was briefing him on the constitution, next.
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back to the bombshell book that president trump calls phony, full of lies and sources
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that don't exist. author michael wolff of "fire and fury" says sam nunberg at the beginning of the race, i could be the most famous man in the world and quotes widely saying of trump he's just an expletive fool and this incident where trying to explain the constitution to trump i got as far as the fourth amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and eyes in the back of his head. joining us a. scott bolduan and carrie sheffield, also the founder of bold media. twice, we read the nunberg quotes because he is one of the people quoted in the book who is not refuting what he is quoted as saying. he does say that some of those didn't have the full context of them but by and large he said those things, admits to it. there are, obviously, a lot of quotes from steve bannon that have gotten a lot of attention. steve bannon doesn't refute what is in this book either. what's your overall reaction to
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what we have learned, the revelations that have come out of this book, scott? >> well, i think it's just confirmation. i didn't need "fire and fury" or this book to tell me about the president's ecbo and the madhouse there and the infighting. all of this has been reported. the book is really just a confirmation of it. but what stings and what is really hard for the gop and the white house and others to swallow, vis-a-vis their attacks, it's coming from someone who is -- had a front row view, right, of the fury and this nonsense that's going on at the white house. their attacks, the more they attack as someone once said, a protest too much. it might be true. we donald trump and his administration has no relationship with the truth. and so this is going to be a good read, but it's going to be a good confirmation or corroboration of what we know of donald trump's leadership so far. >> carrie?
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>> well, ana, you're right that the comments from steve bannon have not been disputed to date, so in that respect, i think that what steve bannon has been doing is he's been going rogue trying to perpetuate the civil war in the conservative movement and it's time to end that conservative war. i think it's time for people to come together. i think that the president has been working with congress, tax reform was the embodiment of ending that civil war, so i think that steve bannon by trying to perpetuate the civil war it's troubling. in terms of the broader issues of the book, there's so many questions about this book that are really the definition of fake news. i mean you have anna wintour from "vogue" disavowing the claim in the book she lobbied to be the uk ambassador. that's fake news. and in 2008 the same author wroi wrote a book about rupert murdoch and "the new york times" reporter called it a borderline on parody, so much falsehood and the book itself states this book is -- may or may not be true
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because there's so many misstatements and contradictions in the book itself. >> it doesn't go that far -- >> there have been errors identified in the reporting but the author of the book stands by his reporting and frankly a lot of what has been reported in the book is only backing up previous reports that have come out. >> exactly. >> about this administration. again, a lot of the people who were quoted in the book are saying i did say that and there are third parties who were witnessing conversations that took place who have also confirmed a lot of the quotes. i do think it's fair, though, to say that wolff was asked directly whether he standing by the book and he said i have recordings, i have notes, i am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with everything i've reported in booting. that's what he said today. he does get into some policy issues, you'll recall if you had a chance to read some of the excerpts or watching our show, he talks about issues critical to the conservative agenda. take a look at this.
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i want to get your take on this quote from the book as well. it says, in fact, he, trump, probably favored government funded health care more than any other republican. why can't medicare simply cover everybody? he impatiently wondered allowed during one discussion of aides all of whom were careful not to react to this heresy. are you concerned to hear this? >> ana, i was one of those kicking and screaming former never trumpers understanding trump -- i think that trump has been learning in real time and i've been learning in real time. like i said earlier, i would like to see the end to this civil war. i think as trump has proceeded to be president and listened to the voters who were speaking to him directly, that he's learned a lot and so i'm excited to see what's going to happen in 2018 with health care, the fact that in the tax reform bill there was the repeal of the individual mandate, that was an excellent policy and the president has been full throated in support of
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that. i will say, if mitt romney ends up running in utah where i'm from maybe he could be the standard bearer to find a different alternative to obamacare. that could be a great place for him to show leadership and bring the movement back together. >> scott, are you happy that the president may be open to single payer health care? >> i don't think he's open to that. i think he had his heart of hearts. he's really a new york democrat, he always has been, but then for political purposes and for this, quote, trump movement he's had to change. he hasn't gotten smarter on it because a majority of americans, over 65%, maybe 80%, don't like the health care plan which is why it's been defeated several times. here's the deal with regard to donald trump. he doesn't -- the idea of his competence or even wanting to get smart on health care or any other issue is really at the heart of this book and the heart of the -- those who would challenge donald trump. that he doesn't have the desire to get smart.
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he likes the trappings of the presidency, why he's not very good, but you can't educate him on the constitution because he's so concerned with his image and ego that the depth and substance from being the president and the leader of the western world goes by him. that's dangerous. i.e., he doesn't know that the doj, the department of justice, is not his agency. he can't use the federal agencies as his piggybank or food bank or whatever he wants to use them for and that's a real problem for all of us as americans. >> a. scott bowleden and carrie sheffield. >> i have to disagree. >> i thought you would. >> he is preserving -- >> those objective facts. >> he's preserving western civilization protecting us from pakistan, stripping away the people harboring osama bin lauden. >> he's killing us with his tweets. stop it. >> isis was the jv -- >> we agree to disagree. thank you for being here.
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we'll have another chance another day to hash this all out. >> thanks, ana. >> work with us on immigration or face a government shutdown. that's the rallying cry from some democrats on capitol hill as the president prepares to meet with top republicans on immigration today. details straight ahead. this is the all-new chevy equinox. it offers rear seat reminder, built-in 4g lte wifi... apple car play compatibility... -wow... ...and teen driver technology. that's crazy... yeah... now to get all of the features, you'd need all six of those crossovers. that's insane! yep, and you still wouldn't get everything that's in this equinox. wowww... six cars in one. get zero percent financing for sixty months. or two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars total cash allowance on this equinox lt when you finance with gm financial. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change.
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>> president trump on his way to camp david today. he is inviting gop leaders to join him. topping their agenda for discussion, the looming government shut down and the democrats want to make sure daca protected for dreamers is part of the deal. congressman is a democrat fighting for the dreamer and a ranking member of the house appropriations committee. thank you very much for being with us. i appreciate it. >> i want to make it clear we can do this. in 2017 democrats worked with republicans even though it was seven months late, but we managed to get our work done. it is outrageous that the total focus on the tax bill and other nonsense going on at the white house is preventing us from doing our work. >> when you talk about it, you called the issue of dreamers and
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daca a moral issue. are you prepared to shut down the government if protection for the dreamers is not included as part of this deal. >> i want to make it clear. if the government shuts down, republicans control the white house, the house, and the senate. they will be cutting off money for all the work that we have to do whether it is building instra structure, roads, highways, veteran benefits. we have a lot of on work to do. we did it in 2017 and i am hoping when i get back to washington this week we can sit cown and set a deadline and get a number from the white house and republicans and get to work. >> you are optimistic. what gives you that optimism besides the bipartisanship in the past. this day and age, everything is on a party line vote. >> well, let's make it clear as i said. the republicans control the white house, the house, and the senate. they are in charge.
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if the government shuts down, it's because they could not do the work. i'm ready to work in a bipartisan way as i always have done on appropriations. it's important that we sit down and get that number from the republicans and get to work. if the government shuts down because they don't want to fund after school programs or the children's health insurance program or daca -- >> you don't think republicans don't want to fund chip, for example. we heard that from a lot of them. remember when the government shut down last time in 2013 you said the reckless republican shut down is a disgrace and it's hurting businesses and families across the community and the shut down is avoidable and it's time for republicans to stop holding our economy hostage. do you worry about the republicans suggesting democrats are holding the country and the economy hostage should a shut down happen? >> we we are giving numbers, we
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call them top down numbers. democrats and republicans can sit down and do our work within the next two weeks. we can do our work and finish the appropriations process. daca and certainly the children's health insurance program have to be part of that process. the republicans know it. let's do it now rather than later and let's get our work done and do it in a bipartisan way. >> that are means compromise and we know the president laid out some of his priorities when it comes to immigration, when it comes to border security. he obviously wants the wall. democrats are saying no way, but there are other issue you are willing to give a little when it comes to diversity and chain migration. are they areas where you might be able to reach a compromise? >> i'm glad you brought up the wall. democrats understand and i had many meetings with my republican friends about this.
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there are ways to provide better protection. there is communications equipment, electronic equipment and repair the roads so our offices and people in charge can have better access. they know there are dozens of ways to provide a better work for protection of our country other than the wall. if we sat down, we get it done. >> what are about chain migration and the diversity lottery? >> the important thing is we have got to pass daca. there are over 800,000 hardworking young people and i met with them. i have gone on our universities and they are lawyers, doctors and businesses depend on them for their jobs. everything should be on the table so we can talk about it. >> so you are willing to facilitate that. no hard nose at this point. how confident are you that this is going to happen before the end of this month?
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>> i don't think the republicans want to shut down the government. they know and the public knows they are in charge with the white house, the house and the senate. if the government shuts down, it's the republicans that are doing it. let's sit down and let appropriators do our work and we always addressed these serious issues. we have differences of opinion. i would want after school programs, they may not. i may want benefits for veterans, they may not want to invest. we can get our job done if we sit down and do the work. >> thank you very much for sharing with us. good luck. >> thank you, thank you. >> raising new questions about whether the president of the united states ob instructed justice. according to the "new york times," president trump ordered his lawyer to try to block attorney general jeff sessions from recusing himself from the russia investigation. that's next. ( ♪ ) with 33 individual vertebrae
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>> welcome to inside politics. i'm dana bash. john king is off. robert mueller's investigation started as an effort to determine if team trump colluded with russians in 2016. did the president's actions in 2017 turn the focus to possible obstruction of justice. plus the fbi is investigating the clinton foundation to see if donors were promised special access to hillary clinton while she was at the state department. president trump isn't the only republican lashing out at the attorney general. >> let me put it this way. the american people and now are getting a taste of what people in washington have known over this last year. that is jeff sessions betrays the people who have had faith

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