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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 22, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it's 11:00 p.m. ob on the east coast live with breaking news on the russia investigation. we learn more about what robert mueller is focusing on. sources telling cnn that the special counsel wants to question president trump about four main topics so far. the president's role in krafting a misleading statement about
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trump junior's infamous meeting with russians during the campaign, the circumstances surrounding that trump tower meeting, and the firing of fbi director james comey and the national security michael flynn. the source also says the president's legal team is creating a list of dozens of potential question he is mueller's team could ask. and with trump already angry about the mueller investigation and blasting it as a witch hunten kren learned the president was fuming last night when news leaked that his national security advisers had warned him in all caps by the way not to congratulate vladimir putin on the re-election. the president reportedly quizzed allies and outside advisers asking them to tell him who they thought was the leaker. we are getting to all of that. i want to bring in cnn contribute are frank bruni of "the new york times." thank you very much, frank. the president is defending via twitter his congratulatory call. all caps it said not to congratulate. also attacking rob mueller on
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twitter as well. but he is not attacking one person, stormy daniels. that's the subject of your latest column called the calm before the stormy. >> why is that. >> i don't foe why. but i spend the column looking at the possible answers. when you pull back and look at how the president usually behaves and all the people not exempt from attacks. he attacked the mayor of san juan write after a hurricane. he attacked the mayor of london after a terror attack. he doesn't lay off because he thinks it's indelicate. as she is out there representing something that could be a problem for him, why utter silence from him? and i think there are a of possible answers. one of which is this is an area of his life, the ee rottic area, that has been one of the pillars of his vanity.
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and maybe it really freaks him out that somebody out there is about to -- she did in a 2011 in-touch magazine interview and it wasn't a flattering portrait of the president as lothariof. i know that sounds tawdry but we're talking about donald trump and one of his proudest moments was a headline that said best sex he ever had. >> we are gentleman of a certain age and we remember all the headlines and the person you have donald trump used, how the trades and tabloids and magazines wrote about him, oft be in the terms you mentioned. do you think it doesn't bother him? maybe he thinks it's okay or is he rattled by this. >> it could be a little bit of both. but i think it is a little bit of beth. he may feel that to have in his eyes beautiful desirable women out there saying i slept with donald trump, he may actually
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see that as a badge of honor. but i think it also does rattle him. because let's talk about another figure, melania by all outward evidence the marriage isn't the mooting smoothest. spending less time together. all of this in the context of a chaotic white house. i don't think he wants further strain in the relationship. it's my educated opinion, guess be some knowledge, every time stormy daniels comes up, every time the play mate comes up. i don't think it does favors to the marriage or the stability of his home life. >> and again these are all allegations. s in all alleged even what stormy daniels said. >> one of the this inks with he don't talk about much is why would you pay someone to sign abnon-disclosure agreement if there is nothing to disclose? that is a very good question. >> like the riddle of the sphynx. >> one person the president is no longer afraid to attack is robert mueller.
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why did that change. >> i think the investigation has gotten further along. i think, you just talked at the beginning of this about it getting so far along they're talking about what sort of questions they might ask donald trump about. he is feeling the heat in a new way. and if the termination of in investigation is a kind of judgment or verdict that is damaging to his presidency he wants to discredit the accusers. he wants to say this was tarnished from the start and you couldn't trust robert mueller. >> you don't think it's laying the groundwork to fire mueller. >> i'm of the camp that don't believe he would do that. i don't think he thinks he could do that and keep the presidency. >> he is angry about the leaks. and there are larger problems stemming from this white house. there is all the chaos, all the people being fired. -- and he is upset because someone possibly leaked something.
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you know, as i was talking to david axelrod and others, every white house has leaks. >> yes. >> this one more than others. and maybe that's because they just don't -- they don't trust this president. >> every white house has leaks but the latest, the do not congratulate him and he went ahead and congratulated him process. it says something that most leaks don't. it says the people around him don't trust him to behave correctly. it says they're acting as minders. that's extremely humiliating. and i think that's why this leak in particular is unusual and bothersome so much. >> shouldn't he learn that you have to earn trust, rather than having people take loyalty oaths. >> the verb learn coupled with donald trump i haven't noticed this is a manna learns a lot. >> i think we talked about earlier. >> my bad again. i know that you know you want to did he construct the president tweets defending his congratulatory call to putin let's start with the first one. he case i called president putin
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to congratulate obama called him in the past also. the fake news rmt is crazed because they wanted me to excoreiate him. getting along with russia is a good thing not bad. he says getting along with russia and others is a good thing and not bad you say. >> i satisfy that's one of the funniest lines i've read in one of his tweets. why is constantly alienating allies? why he is he taking on angela merkel to the point where she is saying maybe europe needs to think about security by it seven. why is bragging about having lied to the prime minister of canada? he is not getting along with everybody. he is getting along with putin. it's an interesting crowd of one. >> did you see the interview with john brennan. >> yes. >> who said they must have something on him. >> yes. >> he said he was speculating what do you make ever that that sputen has something on him. >> everybody is wondering if that's going on. because his hands off treatment
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of putin, his utter inability or unwillingness to fully acknowledge and act on what russia did in terms of meddling with the elections, it begs explanation. one of the obvious explanations is putin has something on him. i'm not saying i believe that. and i didn't like hearing john brennan say it. whenever we go too far we feed trump's persecution narrative. and we feed the belief among his supporters that none of us can be fair to him. and i think we can be fair to him. but we have urgent questions here. >> second part of the tweet i read before it says they can help solve problem was north korea, talking about russia. they can help solve problems with north korea, syria, ukraine, isis iran and even the coming arms race. bush tried to get along but didn't have the smarts. obama and clinton didn't but didn't vermont energy and chemistry. remember reset, peace through strength. he doesn't attack vladimir putin obama what does he get out of saying bush didn't have the smarts. >> i don't know why is smarts in quotation marks.
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i think it's hilarious doing the trump twitter tick of putting random words in quotation marngs as if it's artful really it's nonsensical. >> he trusts russia because he says they can help out in ukraine. he is trusting russia to solve ukraine. >> you know, don, because they have been an portrait of a intention altruism throughout time. russia wants nothing more than to help us with diplomatic and foreign recommendations problems. >> frank bruni thank you very much. a cnn exclusive. mark zuckerberg breaks silence. what he says he will do to make sure america's personal information is safe. hi, i'm bo jackson. for years, i was the king of both football and baseball. but now that i'm getting older, my body is starting to slow down. that's because after the age of 40, your body produces less free testosterone, making it harder to get in shape. thankfully, i found alpha king from force factor.
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host of reliable sources and cnn national security analyst juliette kayyem and former official at the department of homeland security joins us as well. the ceo mark zuckerberg speaking to laurie segall let's listen and we'll discuss. >> there is hard work we need to do to make it harder for nation states like russia to do election interference, make it so that trolls and other folks can't spread fake news. but we can get in front of this. and we have a responsibility to do this not only for the 2018 mid-terms in the u.s. which are a huge deal this year. and that's just a huge focus of us. but there is a big election in india this year. and in brazil. big elections around the world. and you can bet that we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on facebook is secured.
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>> brian stelter, what stood out to you in zuckerberg's comments. >> he is looking to the future thinking about how to avoid some of the embarrassments of the past. in scandal that's consumed almost a week is about data from 2014 that might have been misused in the 2016 presidential election. but we're now close to mid-terms. people are thinking about 2020. as zuckerberg it's not just about the u.s. but countries around the world. facebook is now a global player. it influences elections whether it wants to be a part of them or not. so zuckerberg is saying root he things, talking the talk. we have to see if this company will walk the walk in the future. but i thought this was a positive step that he is talking about security, saying they're hiring more people, trying to manage what is all over facebook. because let's make no mistake, the russian trolls that tried to attack the 2016 in they're getting more creative in future elections. and it's not just russia. >> you mentioned the 2016 election. he talked about election meddling, joult, let's listen and we'll talk.
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>> know wlag you know now do you believe facebook impacted the results of the 2016 election. oh, that is hard. you know, i think that it is -- it's really hard for me to have a full assessment of that. you know, it's -- the reality is -- >> why. >> there were so many different sporeses at play. the organic posting that people did, the get out of the vote campaigns we ran, the pages that both candidates ran, the advertising they did. i'm sure all of that activity had some impact. >> so juliette, can fischer's potential to influence people be dialled back at this point? >> i think it can be. you know, like what brian said, i think mark zuckerberg is looking forward. but i don't give him a buy. there was a little bit of victimization in the interview. what people have to remember is that facebook -- there is a difference between what facebook does and how it makes money.
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what it does is bring us together, we get to see pictures of nieces and nephew communicate with college roommates all the fun stuff. it doesn't make money by that. it makes money by gathering intelligence on users and selling it. we are used to that being advertisers they do it with advertisesers but in this case they got caught that some of the information with the sold to a company involved with sort of very anti-democratic practices and candidates and also involved with the trump campaign. so how did they all of a sudden i don't buy they woke up to it. they knew about it a couple of years ago. it's a difference what they do and how they make money. they are now going to focus on making money more responsibly. but they're a company. they're not -- they're not a- they're not a platform. they're a company that wants to make lots of money. and now they are willing to make less. >> they lost billions this year are they back. >> this week $50 billion wiped off the value of the stock. the stock is down 8% for the
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week but bounced back a little bit today, maybe investors saw a buy in opportunity. >> that's why i brought it up. but listen to juliette's point, brian, he said that they fixed the issue long ago that led to the breach. still, millions of people personal information was compromised. do you think that they can fix that so it doesn't happen again. >> facebook, think of a room with lots of doors. yes they locked this door. doesn't mean they locked every door as securely as they need to. i think users when they hear about story, scandal from years ago they wonder about the security today. because there could be new ways to misuse data today. i think what is good about this controversy and what's great about zuckerberg speaking out is it's a chance for all of us to reevaluate our recommendation was the giant social networking sites. you probably signed up a decade ago right. i don't think we were thing about the fact that we were giving over data and our personal negatives to the giant tech companies. >> before i get to a -- i have a question about cambridge
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analytica to you juliette. this is me personally and some of the people i know. i find myself not going on facebook as much because it became so toxic. it was -- the comments were sort of -- the fake news i would see things that had cnn on it. i was like that is not a cnn product. you click on it there was no cnn product. i wonder how many people feel the same sort of thing that i'm feeling. >> facebook is starting to see that, starting to see a decline in time spent that's the threat to the business model. because if you rely less on facebook in your life that's the threat to the business model. >> so let's talk- this is a bigger issue to you hear i'm sure you'll agree, that is the cambridge analytica part of this. able to exploit the data, juliette or the fact that facebook made it easily available. what do you think of that? >> so, i just -- it's a challenge here because it's like who do you believe right now? so cambridge analytica careerly did something wrong in the sense
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that it bought information that should have not been gathered, at least under facebook's rules. on the other hand facebook knew that it had happened and didn't notify it or try to shut it down. in fact let's be honest here. it did not kick cambridge analytica off the platform until friday night a few hours before matt appear others post-ed the story in the "new york times." there is that sort of, you know, timing issue here about what facebook knew and how engaged they were to stop it. let's go back to the first point, which is there is a reason why they didn't do this before. and that's because their business model depends on the selling of information. that business model will have to change or we will have to change. one or the other. but it's -- you know, we just have to face up to it that facebook is not the victim here. >> go ahead, brian. >> i think thinking about cambridge analytica what they are facing. facebook certainly under pressure to come and testify on capitol hill. zuckerberg said he is willing to come to capitol hill. that's a big change for him.
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he also said they're open to regulation. that's a big change for facebook. so again they are saying the right things. >> did he say social media -- he thinks social media should be regulated. >> he said it's not a matter of whether to regulate it's how to do it. he opens the door to some regulation. i don't think he is specking dramatic changes but maybe some regulations but cambridge analytica could be in criminal trouble. robert mueller asked for cambridge analytica's documents that's an important note. >> i want to asked juliette that. the question about whether cambridge analytica or nonfrom the trump campaign provided the russians with the raw facebook data and the disinformation campaign that somehow influenced the election. that's the big -- and will robert mueller look into that? >> well he is looking into it. remember in the indictments against the russians facebook is mentioned several times. there is this sort of not -- we don't know it yet but not yet proved connection between the different actors. what he will say is that the trump campaign's insistence now
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that cambridge analytica was a second rate data management. >> not helpful. >> that had to do with the trump campaign is a bogus explanation. we know when trump won there was focus on the data team led by or chaired by jared kushner and what they were able to do with the information cam principle analytica had. there are strong ties. whether mueller is connecting all of those circles we don't know yet. but he is looking. >> that's got to be the last word. thank you fascinating conversation. i could talk to you both about it all night. it would be great if facebook with people like me who have been become disillusioned with facebook. >> thank you. when we come back we learn what robert mueller wants to talk to the president about and what he is focused on you a how the president's lawyers might be preparing.
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let's discuss now with cnn legal analyst michael zeldin. robert mueller areas former special assistant at the department of justice and rindt o mar yeti, a former federal prosecutor. talking about the new reporting that mueller has told trump's lawyers that he has four lines of questioning for the. here they are be with the circumstances surrounding the june 2016 campaign meeting orchestrated by john are don junior, the president's role in krafting a statement about the meeting. and the firings of fbi director james come and national security michael flynn. what are the topics telling you about the investigation, michael? >> well, so these topics cover a couple of things. they clearly cover obstruction of justice, the false statement out of air force one is one of those things. and so might be some of the circumstances in the trump tower denials after they took place.
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but it also indicates this the firing of flynn -- the conversations with respect to the sanctions which flynn was engaged in implicate coordination, the so-called collusion investigation. so from these four topics i think you see mueller focused on coordination and also obstruction ever justice. i'm surprised this is the list. i would be more surprised if this was the complete list. because i think there are other things that mueller has on his mind, the wickky leaks communications, the possible financial crimes ala manafort and gates. this is a broad stroke of what are primary issues of conversation but not an exclusive list. >> okay. so that said -- you know you're right about that. none of these topics certainly represent everything mueller is interested in. but notably there is nothing in here about trump's personal finances, trip to moscow, nothing about the steele dossier. what do you think. >> i have to say none of the
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four topics surprise me very much. we have heard a lot about all four of the topics in the past. certainly the fact that the president dictated a statement that turned out to be false would be interesting, you know, i don't think anybody at home needs me to explain to them why that might be of interest to a prosecutor. it's certainly obviously the firing of james comey could potentially be obstruction of justice. and i believe there is sufficient evidence to prove that. so we have heard some of the topics before. i think what's interesting is whether or not mueller has something else that he is holding back on. because i will say it is very unusual for the -- a prosecutor to give questions or topics in any kind of detail to the defense attorneys in advance. so these are certainly high-level topics. i've given those out in the past saying i'm asking about a, b and
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c. but getting in the weeds about questioning, that is something that's very unusual. so i'm interested to know whether or not this interview has been circumscribed in any way in other words limited in any way. >> michael it's important to keep in mind that the special counsel has a number of trump associates cooperating with him including michael flynn. if he is looking into the firing of flynn, he has a great source doesn't he. >> sure. he has michael flynn. and he also understands that michael flynn touches on lots of other issues. they were discussing sanctions. and sanctions is thought somehow to be what undergirds the relationship between trump and the russians. you help me with my election, i will relieve sanctions. it's theory, speculation. but all of the topics are start points for a broader investigation. i agree completely with rinatto, that the high-level topics are
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the tip of the iceberg of what mueller will speak to trump about. which is why we saw such an eruption from the president when he he was told this is the breadth of what mueller wants to talk about to start when mueller was -- you know when trump rather was being told that mueller's investigation was winding down, it would be over quickly, it was a short interview to take place, i think that he was blind-sided a bit by the breadth of what mueller is asking. that's why we saw the weekend tirade. >> and trump insisted loudly and often that there was no collusion between his campaign and the russians. could he be right. >> what this suggests to me is that the primary focus as to trump is obstruction of justice. which doesn't sprois me because we have heard a lot of evidence that suggests that the president may have obstructed justice. we have not heard the details of
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a lot of the subjects that he -- that were just discussed a minute ago by financial dealings and so on. so one thing that i think is a real open question here, don, is does mueller believe this to be the only interview of trump? you know, i will say that coming here from the outside with the information only available to the public, if i was a prosecutor in mueller's shoes i would be thinking this might be my only chance to interview trump. he might take the fifth in the future, may try to stone wall me in the future. i'm asking him every question about every topic under the sun. but it might be that mueller is asking about topics that he is ready to ask questions with now, that he has gathered documents and evidence on and he may circle back later for another interview on additional topics as he continues the investigation. >> michael. >> in fact to that point, don we remember ken starr did that exactly with bill clinton. there were multiple interviews. and with respect to financial crimes, it may be too that mueller doesn't need to interview the president about
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that. remember, he didn't need to interview march or gates before he indicted them on financial crimes. it may not be necessary. he may have all the documentary evidence that he needs for that aspect of his investigation. the own thing i would disagree a little bit with rinatto about dsh did and i agree principally topic and the june 9th trump tower meeting is broader than obstruction of justice. those speak to coordination between the trump campaign -- trump campaign and the russians. and so i think that is different than obstruction. >> so abc is reporting tonight that a year ago fired fbi director andrew mccabe had overseen an investigation into whether attorney general jeff sessions had lacked candor when testifying to congress about his contact that he had with the russians. sessions of course fired mccabe this past friday, blocking him from searching his full pension
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for a similar investigation. what's your reaction to that, michael? >> well, it's not clear to me that jeff sessions did lack candor in his interviews. his attorney, chuck cooper, a good lawyer has said that mueller told him that sessions is not a target or a subject or a person of interest to the mueller investigation. so it may not be a factually correct statement to say that sections lacked candor. if, however, we find out that sessions knew that mccabe was investigating him, then -- and investigating him with respect to something touching on russia, then the attorney general should not have involved himself in the determination whether to fire mccabe. he should have left that to rosenstein and recused himself from this aspect of the inquiry. >> quick, rinatto, could the firing of mccabe be seen as a retaliation then considering the scenario. >> i think so.
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i think more coming from president trump himself. because he expressed displeasure regarding mccabe. and it appears to be part of a pattern that was similar to the firing of comey. we know that mccabe reportedly kept personal notes and kept memos that seem eerily similar to what comey kept. >> thank you. i appreciate it. when we come back big spending of taxpayer money from the trump cabinet. so much for being public servants. - my family and i did a fundraiser walk in honor of my dad, willy davis, who has alzheimer's. i decided to make shirts for the walk with custom ink. the shirts were so easy to design on the site. the custom ink team was super helpful and they just came out perfect. seeing my family wearing my shirts was such an amazing reminder of all the love and support that everyone has for my dad. - [narrator] check out our huge selection of custom t-shirts and more, for teams, businesses, and every occasion. you'll even get free shipping. get started today at customink.com.
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so the president said it over and over. he says he only hires the best people. but you can't prove it by the scandals rocking his cab. i want to bring in now cnn contributor walter schwab, a former director of the office of government ethics for obama and trump. i left the s off the name. for savings that goes with in conversation. okay. so thank you all for joining us. walter, there is a new heavily censered pea document reefrlg
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the administrator scott pruitt sense more than $120 in public funds last summer, more than 30,000 spent on a security detail for pruitt, nearly $90,000 of that was spent for food, hotels, commercial air fare and a military jet used by pruitt and nine epa staff members. what is going on here. >> that's just the money spent by the federal government. he has been exacting money from outside sources as revealed in travel reports that he filed with the office of government ethics. this is just a wave. you have zingy bringing a security detail overseas. shulkin spending shh 122,000 on a ten-day trip with his wife to europe. >> italy. >> to mnuchin spending about $1 million last year on travel.
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but these guys follow the tone from the top. the president spent tens of millions of dollars jetting off to his vacations at his own properties, every one of which is an advertisement for the properties and the moneyization of the presidency. i think what's going on from the top is you have people who doesn't have the sense abilities of public servants that they're supposed to be kevl federal resources, which of course is one of the primary principles of the government ethics program. you have secretary carson even admitting his ethics official pointed out the dining room table purchase might luck funny. and he responds that he doesn't care how things look to people. the problem is the ethics program asks you to think about the appearance of impropriety. and that's alien to these guys. >> alice, he mentioned a number of other people. let's stick with pruitt.
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already under scrutiny for flying expensive first class travel for several trips. how do all the expensive trips get approved and how is he allowed to do that. >> well some of them it sounds like they're not getting prufrl. that's the problem. they need to make sure they go through the proper channels how to get approval whether it's for travel, hotels, whether dining room furnitures or whatever it is. and that's something that needs to -- need to have a tighter grip on this. look, i think one shining light out of this if i can say this is that louise mnuchin's wife who got in trouble for stepping off the government jet and instagraming all of the high-dollar outfits she was wearing and also wearing the long gloves and the enaggravating area, she has said -- i think she learned hero lesson very abruptly, she wishes when she came to washington trfs a book of dos and doesn't. since all of this happened she
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has learned. has gone to a washington protocol expert and learning -- learning about political etiquette on how to playbook sure that when you are a public servant you act like a public servant. you act as though you understand you are working by the people, for the people and of the people. that is important. i think all the people whether you are in office or not. >> don't you know that before you go into office before you take these listen fine if she learned her lesson. come on that's not a tough lesson to learn. that's simple basic human decency. and if -- it's like getting on a -- on a commercial airplane and saying why are all these other people on the airplane because they're used to flying private? so i see your point but i don't know if i'm buying that when it comes to mnuchin. >> don, don, go ahead. >> >> go ahead. >> if i may one of things we see and comparing steve mnuchin's
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wife to someone like michelle grace period. she got criticized because she was first lady wearing stocking. she redefined being a first read. she didn't have to read a book or learn how to act in public. i'm not sitting here and chase tries or criticize some of the secretaries or individuals which was that's not my waist. you your from louisiana. i'm not talking about somebody's wife that's fighting words. i'm not doing that. what donald trump did was surround himself with incompetent people. is so, no, they're either aloof like zincy or mnuchin or incompetent like ben carson and others. what we are seeing right now is the evolution of a cabinet that has no where with aldoesn't understand what common american folk go through. at a and the irony is that donald trump sold the merp people a pill bill of goods. he said we're fighting for you.
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now he has people like the epa director who doesn't know a first class seat that he does not like. and that's the problem with all of this. >> well, listen, we are going to have to fight because this is my job to talk about your wife especially if he spends money. >> i'm not talking about nobody's wife, don. >> and making decisions -- and spending our money as taxpayers. because, you mentioned. he mentioned a $31,000 dining room set and said his which have was responsible. why is his wife not even an employee even making decisions. >> listen, i'm not talking about his wife but maybe dr. carson's dog got the invoice. >> he threw his wife under the bus so it gave me leeway. >> i'm not doing that. the criticism is fair. the dinette set is fair. the pruitt's first class travel is fair.
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but what's not fair is a lot of the travels when pruitt would go to the dsh paris accord agreement in paris there he has to travel with the detail when the secretary jenna mccarthy during the osh administration she had detail and incurred koufts some of the costs criticism the spare some of these the criticism is silly at this point because it's standard normal operating procedure. but i do think that people in this administration at least the kablt secretaries i worked with getting them confirmed are forgetting the principle of this is taxpayer money. we need to prioritize. justify. go the extra mile to make sure we are spending this dollar as frugal as possible because a lot of hard people worked for that. >> costs are always scrutinized with every administration and they should be scrutinized but this particular administration ran on draining the swamp, and looking out for the little people. and so far if you look at all of these you know 36,000 for this,
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120,000 here. $17,000 for this. $90,000 for that. come on. let's be real. >> don. >> we're coming back more on this, the reality show white house. we'll be right back. don't go anywhere.
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the white house is looking more and more like a reality tv show starring cabinet members and their spouses. back with me, walter shaub, bakari sellers, bryan lanza, and alice stewart. bakari talking about people's wives, not good. walter, it's hard to believe, but these stories go on and on, david shulkin traveled to london to attend a conference last july where he and his wife spent time shopping and then went to wimbledon. his wife's air fare was paid for by the government. i understand shulkin called you, and you said what? >> well, he called, and he was quite angry that i had joined the chorus of people criticizing him, and he pretty much chewed my ear out for 26 minutes telling me i don't have the full story. so i told him i'd be happy to go back and look at the investigative file again, which i had read in detail before.
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i read it, and i'm afraid it doesn't change my mind at all. i mean the bottom line is this was a frivolous trip. there was no effort to work with the ethics officials to comply with the rules. and frankly as time passed, i started thinking what kind of person who's got 370,000 employees and millions of veterans to care about has the kind of time on his hands to sit around and yell at his tv or call up the people on the tv and yell at them? my advice to him is get back to work on caring for our veterans and maybe follow the ethics rules. [ applause ] >> thank you. i have to ask you does all of this stem from the top? i'm going to ask you that, alice. does this stem from the top? >> a lot of it, i think, don, just comes from the environment. you have donald trump is a very wealthy man. he's used to having everything he wants at his fingertips. a lot of the people he's brought on are very wealthy, have been successful in the private sector, and they just this
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mentality that they're entitled to this. but, look, i sort of disagree with you and bakari. i think their wives are fair game. if they're out there blowing taxpayers' money like a drunken sailor, they are deserving of this criticism. i will say this, don. if you say something about bakari's wife, somebody's going to have to hold my beer because i'm going to come after you because she's a lovely lady. >> ellen is off limits. >> i think all of these people would be well served if they went to iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina and saw the hardworking people in this country that put donald trump in office and, in turn, their spouse in office, and they would appreciate the opportunity they have to serve this country much better and hopefully be a little bit better public servants and not help themselves to these luxurious trips and fancy >> not to enrich themselves. i would love to go visit the roman baths, wimbledon, high tea, copenhagen. that would be really nice. bryan, what do you say to this? does this stem from the top?
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>> i think these people need to be better stewards. when i think you look at individual cases regarding zinke and the doors, maybe you can make the reason that's why the doors are so expensive. it wasn't as luxurious as we thought. i think culturally, some of these people have -- >> wait. what wasn't as luxurious as you thought? >> i think the doors. my understanding is the doors that he had to purchase had to be customized doors because of some historical preservation reason. like that's what i'd heard, so i took it at that value. but, you know, i do think a lot of these people need to be reminded of what the original mandate is, and that's to serve the american people. i think some of it has gotten lost along the way. i myself am disappointed. i do believe several weeks ago we heard the president and general kelly brought a lot of these members into the west wing and said, hey, guys, get your act together. the priority is the american people. it's not a wimbledon trip, and it's not a first class ticket to italy.
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it's about the mandate of the american people. >> i don't make that kind of money, but i do see some of these folks out and about. bakari, you know where i'm going here. i wonder what they were like when they worked in corporate america, right? a lot of these folks, they're used to flying private. they're used to people handing them things. they're used to expense accounts and all of that, and they're supposed to be -- he was going to hire the best people who were relatable to the american people. these people aren't relatable to the american people. they have no idea how the rest of america lives and they're showing it. if someone hands you a bill for doors that's $130,000, and you don't go, wait. was that supposed to be $1,300, or as my mom would say, 139,000 american dollars? if you don't say that, you have a problem. go ahead, bakari. >> i think the best example is ben carson, our good friend ben carson, someone who is still invited to the cookouts, i think.
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ben carson bought a $31,000 dining room china set. when i looked at it, i said, oh, my god, my grandmother has one of those. my grandmother also has -- when she was alive, we also had the plastic leather or the plastic covering on our sofas. there was china you couldn't touch unless good company came over. >> good company too. not the people who come over all the time. good company. >> there were towels in the bathroom that you could not touch at all. they would just -- they were decorative. and i just felt as if ben carson was just trying to fill himself. he was just trying to go back home, maybe even understand what wakanda felt like. i completely understand what he was doing. throwing his wife under the bus was not something he should have. donald trump hired people who are inept because donald trump is inept. >> i got to tell you this. my mom is staying with me for a couple weeks. >> i'm coming over friday. >> i tried to get her -- every time she goes to a restaurant, i'm like, mom, you don't have to
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take a doggy bag home, but she cannot -- she grew up poor, and that is what she's used to, and that's the kind of person i think we should hire, who remember that they are public servants and that not everybody grew up with a silver spoon in their mouths. thank you. >> amen. >> see you all tomorrow. good night. so start your search with our teams of specialists at cancer treatment centers of america. the evolution of cancer care is here. learn more at cancercenter.com/experts . . .
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this was a major breach of trust and i'm really sorry this happened. >> sorry and ready to testify. mark zuckerberg breaking his slence in a cnn exclusive. a $1.3 trillion spending plan is all by a done deal. what is in it and which is not and which senators are voicing concerns? and the president on the hot seat after congratulating vladimir putin and he is furious about that leak. welcome to "early start." you can't make it up. i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. it

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