tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN March 13, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. a major trump administration shake-up. the president fires the secretary of state rex tillerson. the cia director mike pompeo will be moving soon to foggy bottom. trump country, a district the president carried by more than 20 points 16 months ago, democrats think they have a chance for a stunning upset tonight. and the house russia investigation is over. even though they didn't call some key witnesses. democrats say it's a sham.
even one on the republican committee says the panel lost its credibility. we begin this hour with the trump administration shake-up with global implications. rex tillerson now out as secretary of state. the president wants cia director mike pompeo to replace him. tillerson did get a heads-up friday night that this might be in the works but he found out it was done and that he was out when most of the world did. when this "you're fired" tweet hit the internet. >> ta talk of firing rex goes back months. another top official out at a time of dizzying personnel chaos in the west wing and across the administration. the president says pompeo is a better fit. >> we're always on the same wavelength. the relationship has been very good and that's what i need as secretary of state. i respect his intellect, i
respect the process that we've all gone through together. we have a very good relationship for whatever reason, chemistry, whatever it is. why do people get along? i've always right from the beginning from day one, i've gotten along well with mike pompeo. >> cnn's jeff zeleny live four s at the white house. jeff n one sense this is a big surprise, in another sense, it's a surprise. >> reporter: this happened moments before the president is flying out for his first trip to california. you could hear the president there openly saying he disagreed with the secretary of state. and that's been going on for months. the bad blood has been simmering. it reached a boiling point. now, the question is timing. we are told that white house chief of staff john kelly informed the secretary of state while he was in africa last week that this was happening, but
we're told the timing wasn't clear. that's why the state department and many here at the white house were caught off guard this morning when this happened. but so clear in the president's praise of mike pompeo, he sees in him everything he didn't see in rex tillerson. he sees in him a like-minded figure on many things. and john, this would not be that big of a deal if he hadn't had so many other staff shake-ups. this coming on the heels of the chief economic adviser and so many other people moving around here. that's why this makes this so important. but on the world stage, it's no surprise, no secret that rex tillerson has not been necessarily speaking with the president's voice. he believes mike pompeo will essentially carry his voice. will mike pompeo continue to be in lock-step with the president in this new role? john? >> jeff zeleny, thank you. with us a bigger group than
normal. cnn's john kirby, our diplomatic analyst. phil mattingly, abby philip, don with the "washington post" and rick santorum. everybody at the table believes everyone has the right to have their own team, to be in sync. a, that's a good thing. if you're a foreign minister around the world, i assume you can trust the secretary of state speaks for the president, but the time sg kiing is kind of cu and how mr. tillerson found out is quite a surprise. >> that's not how you deal with a cabinet situation like this. it's totally ungentlemanly and not at all appropriate. but you're right, the president gets to pick his cabinet. and the president should want for the united states to speak with one voice on the global stage, and we haven't. mr. tillerson has been undermined by the president and we haven't been seen as credibly speaking with one voice out there in the world. in a sense this is a good thing for u.s. foreign policy.
the timing is also maybe not all that bad. my first reaction was, oh, my goodness, right as we're getting ready to sit down with kim jong-un. but you know what? maybe because mr. tillerson hasn't been seen as that credible, maybe it is the right time for the president to do that. >> senator, the president essentially said this was part of a learning curve for him. he said, i've been here 14 months now, i'm finally figuring out the cabinet i want, the cabinet i need. is there a presidential learning curve? every president goes through this to a degree. >> i think he was focused on a secretary of state that had a wild factor. that was a very important thing for his own credibility is getting the a-team around him. but he wasn't a good fit from the very beginning, and i disagree with one thing. i don't think the president undermined the secretary, i think the secretary undermined the president, which he's the policymaker, not the secretary. he was out there saying things undermining what the president's
message was. mike pompeo is going to be on message and it's perfect. i think it sends a very strong signal to north korea. i think the timing is perfect for this. we're on the same page, we're dead serious about this, we're not trying to good cop-bad cop you, we're on the same page. >> because mike pompeo came to washington, new to washington. yes, he traveled the world when it came to oil interests, but we didn't know very much about what does he think about vladimir putin? now we'll have a new secretary of state. clearly somebody the president says he's on a greater wavelength with. get a sense of mike pompeo who sounds more hawkish than the current secretary. >> it would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, get the weapons off of that, but the character holds control over them today. this is uranium compliance
today. grudging, minimalist, temporary with no intention to what the agreement is. it was designed to foster ability and bring iran into the western world and they haven't attempted to do that. there is a long history of russian efforts to influence the united states and connect influence operations against the united states. >> abby phillip, you cover the white house. the new secretary of state sounds more hawkish on the subject of vladimir putin. is he more in sync with the president, especially with the iran nuclear deal. >> he is certainly more in sync with the president on iran, and you heard the president say as much this morning when he talked about this issue, when he talked about how tillerson and the iran deal, they weren't seeing eye to eye. i think the most important thing
about pompeo is he understands how to run the president. he's gotten to know trump in the last year or so, and they have a good relationship. he knows how to talk to trump, how to execute for trump and how to walk that very fine line between giving trump what he wants to hear and see, and also knowing he has responsibilities to people that he oversees at the cia. that's something tillerson has never been able to do. president trump met rex tillerson for the first time in his job interview. they didn't know anything about each other. it wasn't just that we didn't know anything about tillerson's views, tillerson and the president didn't know much about each other's views. they came into that relationship from a bad place, and pompeo is already coming at this at an advantage, which is that he knows how to have that fine balancing act with president trump that others have had to learn on the job, for example, like john kelly, figuring out what you can bend him on and what you have to execute his
desires on. >> dan, you've been in town a bit with me. the question is what's the impact on the administration? a question from day one has been, who is donald trump? where does he plant this flag, where is he malleable? he served on the benghazi committee. didn't think the benghazi committee was tough enough on hillary clinton. harvard graduate. what is different with mike pompeo in the state department apart from rex tillerson? >> i think one thing mentioned is iran. the president will have to make a decision in the next couple months on whether to pull out of the iran agreement. one would think given what we heard from mike pompeo up to now, he will push to do that. that's a different place than rex tillerson. there is a more immediate situation that would actually crop up before he's confirmed, but he'll have a role in it, and that's with the nerve gas poisoning in the u.k. the u.k. has given the russians
until tonight at midnight to come back and respond to the criticism from the prime minister. they may go to nato and ask for support. what will the administration do? the white house put out a very weak statement yesterday, tillerson put out a very strong statement about the russians. where will pompeo come down on that and how will that affect the president? there are two areas right away where we'll begin to possibly see a difference. >> on the specifics of what the brits think happened, they're out poisoning a spy. is there the possibility that president trump will be tougher on putin now? when mike pompeo says be tougher on putin, where if tillerson said that there was tension from the start? >> i don't want to impose too much policy order on something that i think ultimately is about personal antipathy or peak.
he hears things better from people he likes better. pompeo has been no slouch on russia. he's been consistent on that. as we move along, if you take this as a learning curve, the second gen cabinet hires have been better than the first one and has worked better with trump and has seemed to go better. but there's just so many of them. >> phil, you've come down from capitol hill where john corwin, the number two republican, kind of sided with pompeo. he's a texan so he said things about him being a texan. but now we have to have two confirmation hearings. you have the new secretary of state, also the first woman likely the cia director. but on capitol hill there's been a lot of concern about the chaos, both from a policy perspective. how do you get a straight answer, whose answers do you trust? and the midterm election year, all the churning in the country about does this administration have its facts straight? >> and to the republicans i talked to, they're happy about the mike pompeo selection.
the house likes mike pompeo. they know the relationship between mike pompeo as the cia director and the president is certainly better than where rex tillerson was. the hill has a difficult time not unlike our u.s. allies in trying to figure out if what rex tillerson was saying was where the white house is. as the admiral stated, a lot of republicans i spoke to were a little unsettled about how this actually came to be, right? i was at breakfast with two administration officials this morning, and i informed them that this had occurred. that was pretty much par for the course across the capitol. john cornyn found out through news alerts. every republican aide i spoke to with the exception of the speaker in the senate found out through twitter wars. usually you have a white house team to handle that issue. the other issue is the confirmation process. this is going to take a very long time to actually move
through. april will be the first hearings on mike pompeo. but as you noted, it's an election year, and what this will become is a referendum on president trump, president trump's foreign policy, the direction of everything and how it's going. democrats have made it clear to me they're going to make this as difficult and as long as possible. mike pompeo will be confirmed as secretary of state barring some massive blowup. likely the cia director will be as well. she has some ties to the bush administration that's raised some concerns here. both of them should be confirmed. but the process and how quickly they want to move and need to move given how restricted floor time is and how complicated democrats want to make this, that certainly makes things more difficult than people would like given what's on the foreign policy. >> as this is playing out this morning, we also learned that a person most of america don't know, jonathan mcatee, the president's personal aide, you see him putting speeches down on the podium, but he's been at the president's side for a long time, escorted off the property because of a background issue.
they call it white house reporting, he's being investigated for serious alleged financial crimes. he was escorted off the grounds at the white house and within hours put on the trump campaign payroll. what's afoot here? >> this is extraordinary. i think it's a really serious problem. there are a lot of people, clearly like jon mcatee and rob porter who have serious backgrounds and have been working in this white house. it's only now with scandal after scandal that they're being dealt with. it raises serious questions about what was going on since the beginning. we don't know details with assistant mcatee, but just to give a sense of who he is, he is president trump's body man. he is physically close to the president, almost as close as you can get, really. he's with him virtually every single day. has been with trump since the campaign and is privy to a lot of things. so there's a problem in the
white house, and some of these resignations really highlight that these people were not being vetted and now they're being pushed out as quickly as it seems john kelly can get them out. >> to that point it is a problem that you're on a year and change and if you have significant problems in your background check, hopefully it is a turn in the page of progress that john kelly has the list of who has a problem and he's going through it as he needs to. the history between the president and his now outgoing secretary of state, coming up. are those my heels? with t-mobile taxes and fees are already included, so you get four unlimited lines for just $35 bucks each. deyou were persecuted,, and forced to flee the country of your birth. but you started a new life in a brand new world. when i built my ancestry family tree, i found your story... then, my dna test helped me reclaim
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these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancercenter.com welcome back to our top story and the tension that ran until the very end. after getting word that he is fired, secretary of state rex tillerson thank ted the preside for the opportunity to serve, but not before questioning the president's merit. the secretary of state had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on national security issues.
he established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts. then this. the secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason. but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted. dan, i've read a lot of these statements over the years, people on the way out. normally they just focus on the thank you for the opportunity to serve part, not the -- the secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason after going on and saying, i think i'm doing a pretty good job and i wanted to stay. >> yes. it's extraordinary, to say the least, john. i think it more fundamentally speaks tie lao a lack of a relationship between the president and his secretary of state. like abby said, they didn't know one another from the beginning, they never hit it off. there was no relationship there. there has been talk for months and months and months that rex tillerson was on his way out or soon to leave or would be fired, however you want to characterize
it, and i think that statement today says everything we need to understand about what the situation was of longstanding between these two men. >> so why did it go on for so long? you're right, this goes back months. why did it go on for so long? i get the white house perspective, if they had done it right away the media would have said chaos, trump brings in people and doesn't give them a chance, constantly undermines them. but as to the bigger point, he is the president of the united states. he has the right to have whoever around him that he wants to. if he lost trust with rex tillerson months ago, why not? >> to be frank right now, if you talk to senior republicans on the hill, they're kind of exhaling a little bit because they knew for months and months and months this was happening, but they had the battle for rex tillerson. bob corwin wourespon correspond would come out and defend rex
tillerson. people believed he was good for the job. they didn't necessarily know where he would end up on the policy side of things. they thought he should be given the opportunity. i do think he worked very hard to have those relationships on capitol hill so people like senator bob corker were out there to defend him politically but also behind the scenes, to inform administration officials, to inform john kelly, hey, back off on this one for now. we believe he should be given time to work this out. that obviously became untenable at a certain point and on the hillside it became untenable, too. they were tired of being the people who stood in the middle of this fight that they knew how it was going to end. >> they gave tillerson the chance to leave gracefully and he never did. if you look at the other cabinet official who has been in the crosshairs of the president and sort of saying, why don't you leave, which is what was encouraged to tillerson is jeff sessions. the difference between sessions and tillerson, while tillerson may have had some friends, they
weren't the friends that were the base of the president's people. jeff sessions is the base of the president's people. that's why i don't think he'll ever fire jeff sessions because it will simply alienate too many people who are important to him. firing rex tillerson, there might be a few people upset on capitol hill, but nobody will be that upset. >> to that point, and you mentioned jeff sessions, this is what he said on the way to the white house this morning. i've gotten to know a lot of people very well over the last year. i'm really at the point to where i'm getting very close to having a cabinet and other things that i want. very close is not done. so rex tillerson is out. you don't think it will be jeff sessions. then who is supposed to take the hint? >> what is so stunning about this is it could be any number of people. it could be his va secretary, shulkin, it could be jeff
sessions. there are a lot of people. h.r. mcmaster. the president is tired of and doesn't want them around anymore. just a week ago the president feels like he won a significant victory in the north korea situation. his maximum pressure campaign, his rhetoric, he believes he did that, not rex tillerson. he didn't even ask rex tillerson before he agreed to it. so he's coming at this one as a position of strength, and i think that's what he's expressing there this morning on the lawn is, i am finally in a place where i can do what i want, and he's going to get rid of the people he doesn't want to see regularly. >> and secretary tillerson out of the loop on the north korea decision, without a doubt. admiral, i want you to weigh in on this one because you served at the state department and the pentagon. he likes to be loved after being quoted by news sources that he went into the meeting and called the president a moron.
then he had to try to clean it up. >> i'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. this is what i don't understand about washington. >> is it true? did you call him a moron? >> jake, i indicated earlier when i was asked about that, i'm not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff. this is a town that seems to relish gossip, rumor, innuendo. >> why didn't you deny calling the president a moron? >> that's a really old question. >> you understand that by not answering the question, some people thought you were confirming the story. >> i think i've answered the question. >> of course, he's never answered the question. >> actually, i think he did, john. i think he did answer. >> forgive me, yes. >> and i do think that this was certainly a nail in the coffin for rex tillerson. you're always going to have disagreements between cabinet officials and cabinet officials and the president. i saw that working for secretary
panet panetta and others. this is a different white house and i think the president views white house differences as personal differences. he brings it inside a little more than he should have. clearly there are significant differences between tillerson and the president on a lot of foreign policy issues. the one to watch is going to be mattis. because he has stayed sort of under the radar. he's still considered very, very strong and influential inside the cabinet but he's losing in rex tillerson a real compadre in how to handle foreign policy and sticky issues like north korea. he calls it a small race, but today's election in western pennsylvania is a big test for the white house and the republican party. applebee's to go.
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back to our breaking news. fallout from the firing of secretary of state rex tillerson. the white house has now fired a spokesman who put out a statement this morning defending tillerson's work and expressing surprise at how tillerson found out. his name is stephen goldstein. he's the secretary of state for diplomacy and he is fired. he put out a statement saying the secretary had every intention of remaining in the job. you see the statement there, and went on to essentially question the president's manners, saying the secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason for being fired. on the one hand, you would say a quick-acting white house, what they view as defiance firing someone in the state department. because of your experience working in these kind of jobs, does it shock you the secretary goes? >> no. >> clearly the secretary had something to do with the statement issued, essentially saying i was doing a great job.
i don't know why i'm being fired and i don't like how it was fired, and the guy who put it out under his name is gone, too. >> but there was long-simmer tensions, i think, between mr. goldstein and the white house. he tried to get tillerson out a little bit more and he's been on-the-record spokesman for tillerson on these trips. he's been seen as tillerson's voice. when tillerson pushes back on the the president it's usually in steve's name. it doesn't surprise me this has happened. i can speak for experience. i worked for secretary chuck hagel when he worked for president obama. guess who was on the street looking for a new job? when you're a spokesman in this town, you're tied to the principal. when your principal goes, you can expect you're going to go. this was pretty fast, but given the tensions that existed, i'm not surprised. >> i want to read the statement again because it is unusual. mr. goldstein clearly expressing his loyalty to secretary tillerson here and paying a
price for it. the secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical security issues. he established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts. the secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason. went on to say that he is grateful for the opportunity to serve. tillerson was essentially saying, i was doing a good job, i don't know why you fired me, and you really handled it in a lousy way, in my opinion. >> mr. goldstein works for the president of the united states and he should be putting out a statement for the president, not criticizing the president, number one. this goes to a broader problem. i think it stank, but in a lot of other departments, which is the battle between the trump loyalless and those who -- the secretary who was certainly not a trump loyalist, rex tillerson, and bringing in oy whole bunch of new people. there was a war going on of just throwing all these trump people out just indiscriminately of the
positions. he sent people over there and systemically rex tillerson has just thrown them out. you may recall about six months ago tillerson was in an argument, one well reported in the white house. it was about staffing in the state department because of what he's doing and getting rid of all the trump people. i think you're going to see a lot more of this in the days ahead at state. >> and jim acosta said don't be surprised if you see this happening in the next coming days in the state department. it affects how you can do your job day to day with important business, and i thought these were the best-hired people in the administration. >> it's not just what the senator is talking about at state. the state department has been decimated over the last 15 months. there has been an exodus of career foreign service officials, and morale is very, very, very low at the state department. i don't know what secretary
designate pompeo will do about that or if he cares about that, but that's another factor he'll have to deal with as he comes in along with these policy issues. >> at a moment when he's facing media challenges. >> i think this plays sort of as a blaze of glory in their rights to show him the door. but it speaks to how things go differently in this white house than you've seen, and for a white house this is like the on-line dating app for white houses. there is a lot of fire in the beginning, little thought to come p compatibility. this is not a great way of doing business, but the other part of it, folks in their career respond to this in ways that are unprecedented as well, and i don't think that's effective in the trump white house. things like this don't help you out. >> you'll never get a job at foggy bottom, i can tell you. this is mr. goldstein, the man who was just fired at the state department, he says this has been an honor of a lifetime and i'm grateful to the president and the secretary for this opportunity. i wish everyone well and look
forward to getting more rest and perhaps winning an indoor rowing competition. we will see what happened next. okay. >> i think it's worth mentioning here, what a lot of this comes down to, to mary catherine's point, the way this is done, mr. trump does not like to fire people. he does not like to pick up the phone to someone who is his secretary of state, in line of succession for the presidency and say, you're fired. >> he did pick up his phone. >> he just didn't pick it up to make a phone call, that's true. it's a problem. rex tillerson is someone who is the head of a major multi-national company. he came into this administration at the urging of his friends. the president, by all accounts, picked him because he felt like he had the stature to be in a job like that and then to be dumped olt sin the side of the
unceremony ys unceremoniously and saying, you know what, i'm willing to put my job on the line standing up for the secretary. that's something the president is not good at, giving them respect on the way out. >> and the guy whose catch phrase is "you're fired," not wanting to fire them to their faces? we'll see if there's more to come today, but when we come back, voters are at the polls. about 7 and a half hours left. it's one congressional seat but there will be a giant message. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%.
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first big test of the 2018 election climate now underway right now in western pennsylvania. it's just one congressional seat. you see it right here, the 18th congressional district, but it's a giant test of democratic voter intensity and whether the president is a midterm help or a midterm drag, especially in trump country. let's look at this district right here. for conor lamb, the democrat tonight, the key is right here. this slice of allegheny county in the northern part of the district, the lower part of the county, 42% of the vote. this is where you find, a, the most democrats in the district and the suburban republicans. suburban republicans bolting over to the democrats, key part to that. if you're rick saccone you have to run it up in places like washington, green county, and you have to run it up in the trump areas of the district. why are people watching this so closely? let's go back in time. let's look at this congressional district.
bring it back up from 2016. this is the district donald trump carried by 22 points, by a vote margin made up of republicans in pennsylvania statewide. so if democrats can win in trump country, they think they can carry it over to other districts leaning toward the democrats. these are the two candidates making a final push. the democrat says, who? >> he needs some help down there. he's getting beat up in washington as you can see from the media, from the bureaucracy, from hollywood. he needs a good wing man and as an air force guy, i want to go down there and protect him and help him implement that agenda. >> i'm really excited for this race and i'm happy their voices are carrying around the world today. this is a local race. people are either voting for me or rick saccone. >> back with our panel. senator santorum, this used to be your house district by name. the lines are different.
the district is more republican, actually. you won a democratic district back in the day. number one, what are you hearing from your friends and sources back in the area? number two, what is the national message from a guy who knows the area, knows the district if the democrats weigh in in what is clearly trump country? >> i would say the national message is if you want to win a district in trump country, you have to run as a republican and not a democrat. he is saying this is a local race. remember, there's 70,000 more registered democrats in that district than there are republicans. a lot of democrats at the local level still win. most of those rural counties you looked at still have very heavily elected democratic officials at the local level but they don't vote republican at the national level. if rick saccone was running against a republican, we wouldn't be talking about this. but he's running against someone
who is running against the republican party. if they can elect somebody who is not critical of trump at all, then they can probably pick up some of these seats. we'll see whether they stand up to the party that is becoming the more progressive party. as far as the race is concerned, i would say a week ago everyone i talked to in the district felt like this had gotten away from us and that it looked like this was going south and there was no way to get it back. i think the president coming in this weekend has shown that intensity of republican voters has gone up in the last week or so. there was about a 20-point gap between intensity between democrats and republicans in that district, and now they're saying, hey, we might eke this out on election day. >> we'll count their votes tonight. everybody should stay with us. phil mattingly, when you walked the halls on capitol hill, we've already seen a high number of retirements. it's a disastrous environment.
one thinks they'll get at least four, and if they lose this seat, maybe six or eight more retirements. are people from new jersey and texas watching this race? >> no question about t. there are reasons why republicans have dumped millions of dollars into this race for a candidate who some on the record right now are more than happy to go out and nuke, saying he's a terrible candidate, he shouldn't have been running, he hasn't done anything we asked him to do. which is kind of covering themselves in the wake of everything, but they're saying this race is more for the narrative and going into november than one that isn't going to exist in a couple weeks or more. they know that what this means for congress, whether they're trying to come to terms or seek election, it's extremely important. heading off the perceived momentum and perhaps media coverage of what this race means, that's more important to republicans i've been talking to
and republicans in the hood asking if they might take the plunge in november. >> is that your sense of the national message we're going to watch tonight? >> there are a couple things we will learn about this and we'll all interpret it as we do on any special election, but nevertheless, one is clearly the ongoing issue of democratic intensity versus republican intensity, which the senator just talked about. how much can donald trump change that gap that exists? because we know it exists. that's one issue. i think the other is the degree to which democrats can run candidates who fit the districts that they're trying to pick up. and that could be an ongoing issue. we see some potential problem for the democrats in texas from those primaries. democrats that may not quite fit the mood of the broader electorate in a place like that. in this case on trade, conor lamb is actually with the progressive wing of the
democratic party, not the republican party on trade. so there is a lot of mix-up on what those issues are are. you know, this is an important race, but it's one of a series of data points that we continue to watch heading toward november. >> and to the degree that democratic intensity can support almost blue dog democratic candidate, that's probably an okay thing for the democratic party. if their progressive base can get behind a guy who is republican and allow him to win. >> remember, the democrats pooled their money, so even if he can win, they have not jumped in with both feet to help. pretty soon we'll be able to start counting the votes. be back in a minute.
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it's hard to get all the daily that's why i love fiber choice. it has the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables, all in a tasty chewable tablet. fiber choice: the smart choice. welcome back. fresh evidence today that congress really can't do anything important right. the house intelligence committee
investigation into russian meddling is over. there will be no bipartisan findings, no bipartisan support despite the gravity of the questions at hand. in fact, they released their questions to the media before sharing them with democrats. they found in evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russians and breaking from the view of the intelligence agencies, the republicans said they saw no evidence that the russian meddling was designed to favor donald trump over hillary clinton. the president takes these findings as vindication. but listen here, a republican member of the committee calling it a waste of time. >> we've gone completely off the rails and now we're just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day's news. so we've -- as you alluded to, we've lost all credibility and we're going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately, so in that regard, that's why i called for the investigation end. >> i know we live in a
hyperpolarized world. is it not possible to get 15 to 20 people on a bipartisan basis to get in a room and say, this is actually very important for our country. did russia try to meddle in the elections? if so, can we come to a bipartisan conclusion? is that possible? >> on this issue, no, it's not possible. >> look, and i think you heard from congressman rooney -- >> why do it at all is my question? if it's a waste of taxpayers' time and money, why bother? >> if there is a positive thing to take from the report, as partisan as it will be on both sides, it will be 150 pages on protecting the next election. there is a recognition of something happened in 2016, something is clearly going to happen in 2018 and people need to take it seriously and pay attention to it and perhaps that ball has been dropped up to this point. anybody who has been paying attention to the house intelligence committee over the course of the last, i don't know, 14 months, 12 months, knew
this was was goigoing to end. i think this spells out the importance. >> tadam schiff at the start of the investigation on "meet the press" said i see evidence of collusion. even if you don't, get to the investigation. >> there is less leaking. it was politicized and weaponized in the house committee somewhat on both sides and that's why things fell apart, because you get this lack of trust between the two parties. >> what it also reveals is when it comes to trump or russia, there's two sides. you're either for him or against him. i think republicans recognize that president trump is not going to look kindly on anyone who gives an inch on this russia issue, and that's why we are where we are. the mueller probe is important because that's about legality, and i think at the end of the day, this is what it will all
come down to. >> on the oversight committee, wasn't your allegiance to the facts, not the president? i'm going to go find the mud pits. thanks for joining us for "inside politics." we'll be with you throughout the election tonight. we'll start counting. wolf will be with you after a quick break. i wanted to be clear. i wanted it to last. so i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. and keeps on working. now? they see me. see me. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx, you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to.
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vicks vaporub. goodnight coughs. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you very much for joining us. we begin with breaking news on multiple fronts, including another major cabinet shake-up here in washington. president trump firing the secretary of state rex tillerson, citing irreconcilable differences on foreign policy issues. tillerson finding out about all this firing, finding out about it on twitter. with tillerson out, the president is asking the cia director mike pompeo to switch seats, take over at the