tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN April 16, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
platform. do america a favor and remind them that the deputy attorney general that you want to stay in this job, a man of great integrity as you are saying and i worked with him on a couple of issues, go and see the letter he wrote. >> you do the american people a favor. can you ensure that rosenstein is safe in this job? is he safe or not? >> the president makes the decisions around here. >> i am saying you want to say kellyanne struggles to answer the question. is your job safe at cnn? >> it's very safe. i have a contract. >> how do you know they have confidence in you at cnn? >> my boss says he has confidence. he says i'm very safe. >> let me say something. >> the president has control. i don't want you to duck this question. do you believe there is a chance
that the president will remove rod rosenstein and/or bob mueller? >> the president has done everything that he and his team have been asked to do to comply with this investigation and you know it. >> why aren't you answering this question? >> in case there is doubt, he has confidence in me. don't ask me why i'm still here. >> i haven't asked you anything about that. all i want to hear is an answer to whether or not the president is considering moving on the man that you -- >> i just answered that. the president makes the personnel decisions. >> is he safe? >> you want this to be about something other than what the whole day is about here which is whether or not this president has complied with the investigation that your network and others promised would lead to evidence of collusion between the campaign. >> we never promised anything
like that, kellyanne. i don't try to poison people's minds like that. we need common ground and not division. >> no kidding. let's be honest. how much air time did your network give to russia collusion last year? >> i hope it is a lot because it really matters because they are trying to tear us asunder and they are being effective at it and they are still doing it and the president has been slow to respond. you guys don't have a real plan on how to combat it because the president conflates it with his own personal process. you won't tell me he won't make a move on special counsel. >> i didn't say that. >> you won't say anything. that's the point. >> i told you that he makes the personnel decisions around here. i'm not playing that game. what i am telling you is that if it was burning in the brains of fbi director jim comey about russian interference why the
hell did he wait two months to take a trip to new york and go to trump tower. the whole world was going into trump tower every day for interviews. >> he is the head of the fbi. he is not some guy looking for a job. >> what was going on in washington. >> when he does brief the president his suspicions are confirmed because the president doesn't ask questions about what russia did. >> that is the job of the fbi director to say the next couple of things about alleged russian interference. why is it the job of the people in the meeting to say i have to ask a question. you had the cia director, fbi director and we know they supported a different candidate and were working for a different president, but country first. why didn't they go in there and say -- >> we don't know any of that. this is like secret club stuff. there is a secret agency that meets on the outside.
not helpful. >> president's tie was too long. >> that's tawdry. he put that stuff in there to sell books. i'm not asking about those things. i'm not asking you about the power of the president's visit or what size his sun glasses are that he puts on. i do care about whether or not he is going to move on the special counsel. i listened to trey goudy when he said better not move on mueller. if you are innocent act like it. stay away from this. let the probe finish. that's the only way the questions go away. sound like sound advice? >> it sounds like you all keep repeating the same question. does he have confidence in this one and that one? >> why doesn't he just say yes? >> it is yes if the probe is still going on. >> he keeps saying these people are all criminals and that -- how is that implicitly?
>> does it bother you, i know you are a member of the media, but does it bother you that the fbi director admitted to purposefully leaking fbi documents to a friend and private citizen with the intent it would go to the "new york times" and in the hope that -- >> they weren't fbi classified documents. they didn't have a chance to be classified. he leaked them too fast. >> i agree with attorney general lynch on jim comey. there are parts of the book where he goes after condoleeza rice, loretta lynch. what is his problem with powerful women? >> a lot of it is bad for clinton and loretta lynch. >> it's bad for loretta lynch because he is trying to settle scores. rod rosenstein may 9, 2017 says that the fbi director, quote, should not have asurped the
power of the attorney general loretta lynch and certainly shouldn't have gone in front of the cameras. >> so rosenstein you seem to be very proud of his work in the past. i'm taking that as an indication that he is in good standing in the white house right now if you keep referring to him. >> you just ignored the three page memo. >> i reported on it extensively at the time. the president is going out of his way to connect to illegal activity. >> you have to cover why he got removed. it was the recommendation of the deputy attorney general who was an obama appointee and had confirmed with over 90 votes. >> i understand that. what i'm trying to find out is if the guy is safe when it comes to rosenstein. you say the president makes those decisions. i know. >> what i'm trying to find out is if trump had a platform to
someone with three or four limited engagements. >> to make his relevance a function of how many times he was face-to-face with the president -- >> he is talking about impressions in being with the president. >> that is only in terms of whether his hair is well quaffed. i'm talking about his connections to any efforts by russians to infiltrate his campaign and whether or not he felt there was a case that he was trying to be stopped, aka obstructed from pursuing justice. >> let me ask you a question. this will be for the benefit of those watching. christopher, who do you think had a responsibility on january 6 in trump tower to give further information about any type of alleged russian interference? would it be the president-elect who hasn't been part of that information in a big way, the incoming chief of staff or is it the head of the dni, the head of the cia, head of fbi?
who do you think had a responsibility to speak most -- >> the reason the president has been running down the existence of russian interference is because nobody told him? >> no. it flies in the face of what comey said last night. i was just shocked that they would do pr spins instead of asking further questions. why didn't just give the information. >> you come when you are called. >> he was there on january 6. why not give the information. >> he gave them a briefing saying the president talked the whole time and asked no questions. he wasn't curious about what they did. how to spin it to keep his election a victory. >> that is just not true. >> how do you know? >> this guy went from being a public servant to a public relations spin artist, from an investigator to an instigator. why did he not tell president-elect trump about the unverified salacious dossier?
why wouldn't you tell him that it was funded to the tune of millions by political opponents. >> how is that relevant? he says it wasn't relevant. >> and the clinton campaign spent millions of dollars. >> no question that that is the reporting. how did that effect what comey wanted to do? what does that have to do with what comey was in the room to discuss if this information is out there you need to know that. >> i think that cnn has said it is relevant. you revealed many times -- >> i'm saying in that conversation context matters. is it relevant that clinton and her campaign or dnc or however you want to organize it paid for it? yes. >> was it relevant to the conversation with jim comey in the room in that moment with the president? comey says no because he was just letting him know the
information is out there. >> comey's exact quote was i don't know how to answer that. i know the answer to that question wasn't relevant to my goals. >> that's his answer. what were his goals? the president hardly knows him. they had very limited contact. he is trying to avenge his firing and termination which was recommended by his boss. >> the president keeps connecting him to illegality saying he should be prosecuted. has the president asked the doj to look at jim comey and investigate whether there is criminality? >> i think that america sees somebody and struggling to realize why this is so relevant to them and why they are about to see jim comey nonstop for the next month or two everywhere they turn. i can't blame them for wanting to know how this is relevant because he is an admitted leaker and the fbi had a quick cleanup
his testimony right after giving it. >> the president says comey drafted the crooked hillary exoneration long before he talked to her. investigators and prosecutors make decisions about cases all the time before talking. in fact, the president's lawyers right now are asking for mueller to wrap up his investigation before speaking to the president. so which way do you want to have it? you say he is a liar because of what he said to grassley. he corrected testimony in a way that was favorable to the clintons. your lawyers for the president are saying end this. how is that any different? >> you are talking about somebody who wrote a book and went on tv. none of that is under oath. that is one man's account. the president says that comey drafted the crooked hillary exoneration long before he talked to her as if that is
something that is done wrong. that's exactly what his lawyers are asking for right now from bob mueller end this before you talk to the president. >> july 5 of last year all jim comey had to do was keep his mouth shut. he is incapable of it. all he had to do was put out a line. we decline to prosecute. ask anybody who worked with him. lots of people would tell you that he as howard dean said jim comey has disgraced the fbi forever more and now is on the side -- >> there is a lot of critics. president can do the same thing going down to florida to push tax cuts. he could ignore all of this. he could ignore the jim comey stuff. >> comey can say what he wants unresponded to. >> that's why you are here. that is why sarah sanders exists. the president of the united states tweeted almost a dozen times about this in the midst of
a military campaign in syria. he doesn't have to give this guy his attention. >> you can't have it three different ways. i'm constantly on your network. i'm one of the few willing to come on. i tell you every single time that you want to talk about everything except the issues. you can't have it both ways. you and i have hardly talked about syria if at all. >> this is the preponderance of the news of the day. i am happy to talk about that. >> if comey is going to be the news of the day then we have every right beginning with the president of the united states to respond. why should it just go -- >> who responds and how response i think is legitimate. one more question. i am getting told i have to wrap and i think i owe john berman a couple of meals. the idea that inside the white house there is more concern about the cohen investigation than the mueller investigation, does that square with your
understanding? >> no. i see it gets the ratings and revenues that there is no evidence to that whatsoever. you saw him say it publicly in the cabinet room and stood by that on the week. we are very busy here working on the issues that this president was elected to do. this is the last tax day that people will have to live under the yoke of the tax increases tat th that they had over many different years. it will be simplified, paying less cht corporate tax rate is way down. look at the 5 million plus americans who are getting bonuses, raises or both. we have bnt gun to talk about trillions of dollars in repatrioted wealth. >> you need to offset that big fat deficit that we have now
because of the tax cuts and other spending. >> what was the deficit when donald trump got here? that just exploded. >> this is an unprecedented amount of adig dditions to the deficit. >> you disagree with the money for school safety? it's about overall fiscal landscape. >> the military -- >> your party was always about cutting the deficit and now you are ballooning it. that is all it is. that is the fact. we'll see if the moves offset that and create more revenue. we'll have to see. we have done enough for today. >> until
next time. berman sorry to cut into your time but not sorry the eagles beat the patriots. >> i'm sure you boosted his ratings. thank you for being on the show. it's anna cabrera.
>> i could not imagine any show having more varied perspectives on the james comey thing. >> this is going to be a war of words. they are going to go after jim comey and you saw how. they will say he is a liskpr can't be trusted and he doesn't know the president. will it stick? it is time now for cnn newsroom with anna cabrera. >> good morning to you. i'm anna cabrera. john is running the boston marathon today. fireworks as you have just been listening. the president's team is in full attack mode. kellyanne conway fighting back here on cnn after fired fbi director james comey's explosive interview. %-p let me read the tweet. comey drafted the crooked hillary exoneration long before he talked to her, lied in congress to senator then based
his decisions on poll numbers. minutes from now the president may speak on camera as he leaves the white house for an event in florida. let's bring in our panel. cnn legal analyst. huey burns for real clear politics and susan page, washington bureau chief for usa today. your reaction to what we just heard there with kellyanne conway. >> really striking inso far as it kind of shows that the white house is in full on attack mode after this comey interview and it kind of shows the vulnerabilities perhaps that they sense coming from what is to be lots and lots of coverage of this. the book doesn't come out until tomorrow. yesterday was the very first interview and susan page had another interview with comey and the next couple of weeks actually you will be hearing these one-on-one interviews with comey responding to each kind of iteration of this. we know that the president responds in real time as he just
did this morning. >> you mentioned susan page who is with us. you spoke with comey last week on friday. comey seemed to go a bit further when you talked to him about the possibility that russia may have compromising information on the president. tell us what he told you. >> he said we couldn't rule out the possibility that russia is holding compromising information over the head of the president of the united states. this is an extraordinary charge. he said he didn't have hard evidence of that. he said it is based on things we have seen in public that have been widely discussed to criticize vladimir putin. he said what struck him in private conversations with the president when he was fbi director was even in the private conversations he was unwilling to say critical things about vladimir putin and he found that quite extraordinary. >> you also talked to him about putin specifically and, in fact,
he never said anything bad about putin in private. that is insignificant. >> he made the point in his interview with my colleague that you can understand the president perhaps wanting to say positive things about a foreign leader in public. he can understand that. the idea that he would be talking to the director of the nation's leading law enforcement agency who deals with issues involving russia all the time, russia as oradversary, the idea that he would not be willing to engage in critical comments about him in those settings he thought was notable and contributed to the conclusion that it is possible there is something more there to be found. >> do we have sound with james comey talking about the possibility of having dirt on trump. >> do you think the russianvise something on donald trump? >> i think it is possible. i don't know. more words i never thought i
would utter about a president of the united states but it is possible. >> you can't say for certain that the president of the united states is not compromised by the russians? >> i wish i wasn't saying it but it's the truth. >> when it comes to russia possibly having dirt on trump you heard him say it's possible. he later says it is unlikely. he offers no hard evidence, no proof. this is just a cheap shot or how do you read that? >> it is important to think about the context here. james comey is in many ways the beginning of the obstruction inquiry in the case. what he knows for a lot of us is based on what we have all learned. why he is in a unique position to talk about that or make the assessment is prior to that he was heading an investigation to figure out if there was information that was worth while about the president maybe being subject to blackmail. because that he is in a unique position to be informative. there is talk about him being a
flawed messenger and that he is based on his decision making. the fact that he holdathize unique perspective, was in the room to hold discussions about russia and about what the president's impression about possible meddling into the election was about, for him to be in the room when there were conversations about whether or not there was interference i think you have to give that a great deal of weight about what he really knows. >> comey says the president is morally unfit to be president and says he will stain everyone around him. we heard from kellyanne conway, one of those around him. in case you are just joining us here is a clip of what she had had to say this morning. >> the president thinks that jim comey is engaging in revisionist history. if he objected to anything he witnessed in meetings he should have said so. jim comey loves to be in the center of power. he loves to divert the spot
light to himself. this man had no political instincts whatsoever. he was wrong about the election. he went from bogue a public servi servant to a public relations spin artist. >> trump's dub comey slippery. the president will be on camera in just a few minutes. later this afternoon opportunities for him to comment again on this interview. we know comey is not going away. he is about to embark on kind of a book tour and go on all kinds of different media shows and outlets. how ugly could this get? >> let's take a step back and recall how wild this thing is. you have former fbi director who was fired by the president openly and the president openly feuding with one another. this book, there are a lot of salacious details. comey doesn't really bring
anything new in terms of the russia probe or any kind of criminal activity. so the president could just let this kind of play out because you also have lots of democrats going after comey because they are recalling his behavior in the 2016 election coming out with the few press conferences, the key one being days before the election. you heard from a lot of democrats really kind of really upset about the way in which comey was referencing his decision during the process during the interview. you could let these two sides spar it out while continuing to focus on your agenda. remember, the president is going to be in florida today talking about taxes. he is supposed to be focussed on that. instead this is very much top of mind and shows how defensive the white house is going by the fact that they are issuing kind of a full-court press on this. not only kellyanne conway's interview, the president talking about it and the rnc has the
whole website dedicated. >> abc described comey as disciplined during most of the interview but then let loose in the end. comey has been described as a show boater. what was your experience or your impression? >> in contrast to the white house which i think was an extraordinary interview we just saw between chris chris cuomo. we asked him about the death of his infant son to preventable infection, nothing he talked about before. he writes about it in his book. we ask him why he included this personal story in his book. he said it is because it informs the sense of what the obligations of a leader are when something bad happens to you a tragedy like death of a son or a setback you have an obligation to turn it around and make something positive about it.
that was a moment in our interview that was different in tone from the rest of it. >> i want to play another clip from james comey's interview where he talked about whether the president committed crimes. >> was president trump obstructing justice? >> possibly. certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. >> what will it mean if president trump tries to fire robert mueller? >> it would i hope set off alarm bells that this is his most serious attack yet on the rule of law. >> the fact that james comey is making this statement about obstruction of justice, talking about the russia investigation and it is not completed yet, is he potentially jeopardizing robert mueller's investigation? >> until you hear what he had to say, he hedged a great deal on it by saying possibly it could
be evidence of that. the reason is probably two fold. his entire book and his entire conversation i'm sure was already invevetted by the fbi. they already knew what he was going to say. i'm sure mueller's team has seen all of this and probably takes very little issue with what is being exposed now. the second part about this is that obstruction of justice cases are only easy to prove if you can presume very hard which is their mental state and intention. it is but one of the indications that a prosecutor will look at when they say did this person have intent. it is one of the instances that can show and develop a pattern of behavior that gives evidence of intent here. the biggest thing, however, would be the lester holt interview where the president's own mouth is telling the world why he chose to fire james comey. you combine those and you have one heck of a case for obstruction.
it is still early in the game and premature mostly because mueller's charge does not have an end game of obstruction. the biggest context is the collusion. >> thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. moments from now the president leaves the white house. will he respond to james comey on camera? we are there and will bring it to you whatever he says. days after the fbi raids the president's personal attorney michael cohen said to be in court today. ♪ it's a lot easier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira, we make sure you're in the loop at every step from the moment you decide to move your money
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quote i think given his experience with me he is referring to rod rosenstein, that he has an opportunity in overseeing bob mueller to restore some of his professional reputation and i am confident that he would refuse to abide that order referencing an order to fire bob mueller. my next guest is not sure mueller's job is secure. congressman, thank you for being here. >> good morning. >> i know you had a chance to watch james comey's interview with abc. what do you see as the biggest headline there? >> most of what he said we knew. to me the biggest headline is that when he and others informed the president-elect a couple of days before the inauguruation of the russian attack on our democratic system and the fact that russians could continue this, that the reaction of trump and people around him was
entirely political. what does this mean for me? how does this effect how people see legitimacy of my election and no thought on how to protect the country from continuing attack. completely political reaction, no reaction on the part of the president-elect of the united states to a threat to the united states. >> i know you have introduced a bill to protect the special counsel bob mueller who is investigating. comey was asked about the possibility of the president moving to try to fire robert mueller. let's watch. >> what will it mean if president trump tries to fire robert mueller? >> it would i hope set off alarm bells that this is his most serious attack yet on the rule of law and it would be something that our entire country, democrats and republicans, that is higher than all the normal fights about policy and it would be to the ever lasting shame of partisans if they were unable to
see that higher level and to protect it. >> congressman, i spoke with your colleague, a republican in the house this weekend. he is on board with legislation to protect robert mueller. are you finding more republicans who are prepared to take the action? >> a few in the senate. i don't know too many in the house. the republican leadership in both houses saying that won't happen. he won't fire mueller. it's not a problem but it may very well be. it would be a catastrophe to the country if mueller were fired or if rosenstein were fired because rosenstein's replacement could either fire mueller or could put the investigation in a straight jacket tell mueller don't follow this line of inquiry, don't look into this. he can control it without knowing about it. the president apparently thinks he is above the law and no man
can be above the law. no person can be above the law. that is what is really at stake here. are we still a country of laws. the president said he drew a red line. mueller shouldn't look into this or that. person under investigation has no power or right to draw a red line. if the prosecutors or investigators think a person may have broken the law they have duty to look into that. no man can be his own judge. that is what the president seems to be demanding. if he were to fire mueller and stop the investigation that would be a real crisis. >> there has been talk of potential impeachment of this president. comey was asked about whether the president should be impeached. here is his answer. >> i hope not because i think impeaching and removing donald trump from office would let the american people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that i believe they are duty
bound to do directly. people need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values. >> do you agree? >> yes and no. i think he misses the point. impeachment is intended by the constitution to be a political act, not a judicial act, and it is intended to be a defense of the constitution and of american liberty. you impeach a president if the evidence is overwhelming of impeachable offenses. impeachable offenses are things that threaten the constitution order, threaten powers, seek to aggregate to the presidency and threaten liberty. i don't know if we are there yet and we don't have the evidence yet. we have to wait and see what the prosecutor comes up with. if you got to that point you would be duty bound to do an impeachment. hopefully we never get to that point. if you got to that point where you must defend the constitution
and defend liberty then you have to do it whether you like it politically or not. >> thank you for being here. >> james comey will sit down with jake tapper for a live interview airing on thursday here on cnn at 4:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. michael cohen, the president's personal attorney is fighting to stop federal prosecutors from looking at material seized from his home and office. president trump's legal team is siding with cohen over the justice department.
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the legal team for michael cohen has just about 30 minutes to hand over cohen's client list to a federal judge. cohen was seen leaving his hotel in new york just this morning. the judge wants his client list before a hearing this afternoon on whether material fbi seized during raids last week is protected by attorney/client privilege. president trump's legal team siding with cohen and going against his own justice department in this fight. they filed papers demanding the right to look at all the material first. following the developments and joining us now. >> basically these documents that the attorneys for the president filed last night puts him in the middle of the criminal investigation. the fbi and department of justice are revealing that michael cohen is under criminal investigation. the president in his filing last night is arguing that because
michael cohen was his attorney the materials that were seized in that raid, the government should be restricted in viewing any of it because of privilege concerns and essentially what the president is asking for is that his attorneys and that he be able to review the materials that the fbi seized and then make a decision as to what the fbi and the department of justice and prosecutors here in new york should have access to. >> we also know adult film star stormy daniels will be at the hearing today. explain. >> it is more theater than anything else with stormy daniels coming to court. her attorney on friday said he was thinking about having her appear. she will be there simply as a spectator. she has no real sort of way of speaking about this today or doing anything in court. just merely her presence as a spectator. she has interest in the outcome of this criminal investigation because of the hush money that was paid to her.
in that sense she does have some stake in this. she is interested in the outcome. she would potentially be a witness in criminal investigation because as reported part of the fbi's investigation is looking into some of that hush money. as you will recall on friday reporting that audio recordings possibly seized by the fbi where there were recorded conversations between stormy daniels' former attorney and michael cohen about the potential hush money that was paid to her. >> we know you will be following this very closely. thanks for that. joining us now former federal prosecutor daniel goldman. thank you for coming in. we have cohen and stormy daniels in court. i want you to listen to what her attorney said this weekend on cnn. >> i strongly believe that within the next 90 days we will see an unsealing of an indictment against mr. cohen for a host of very serious offenses
and i believe jake that is going to be a significant domino that will fall in connection with this. >> so he is predicting an indictment in the next 90 days. how do you see this playing out? >> i think michael cohen will be indicted. i don't know if 90 days makes the most sense. >> without looking at evidence what gives you that confidence? >> having reviewed the government's filings they already obtained e-mail search warrants and they are already going through the privilege review process that they outliernou outlined to the court in this most recent motion practice. they are already aware of a lot of what michael cohen has been up to through his e-mails. and that most likely was the trigger for getting the additional search warrants. and in order to get those additional search warrant there
is a high bar of evidence. they are not going to make such a spectacle naphraid like this if they don't believe that there is something very serious going on and if they believe that michael cohen has committed federal crimes. >> president trump's attorneys also are part of this case and they filed their own response this weekend arguing that prosecutors shouldn't have access to the files seized from cohen they say any rush to review the files by a third party or a tank team because of attorney/client privilege makes clear that the team will not zealously protect the president's privilege. what do you think of this argument? >> i think it is a bad argument. i think it is an argument that will likely fail. this is a process that is used in numerous cases just like president trump is not above the law, lawyers are not above the law and the department of justice had to go through a process to show that a subpoena is insufficient to get the
materials that they need and that's why they need a search warrant. what president trump is effectively arguing and said his lawyers said that is we should treat this as a subpoena. there is a reason it is not being treated as a subpoena and there is a process in place to make sure that his privilege is protected and a court will have to sign off on any documents used in the investigation and ultimately the u.s. attorney's office bears the risk because it is called a tank team for a reason. if the investigation is tainted by privileged documents that is a whole mess for the u.s. attorney's office. >> i want to get your take that another attorney has turned down the president's offer to join his legal team when it comes to the russia investigation. now, that makes about a half dozen attorneys just in the past month or so who have sort of abandoned ship. i'm curious what you think of the president's tweet on this saying i have too many lawyers
and are probably wondering when their offices and homes will be raided including phones and computers taken. all lawyers are deflated and concerned. >> he is not right about all lawyers being deflated and not right about the attorney slient privilege. he may be right about having a lot of lawyers. it doesn't seem that way given what we know about his defense team. >> we know of two. we have ty cob who is a member of the white house counsel. >> it is a valid concern that there are conflicts of interest. the question is whether the conflicts arise because lawyers have other witnesses involved in this investigation which would prohibit them from representing donald trump. that was the problem before or the conflicts of interest that they have other clients or employees who don't want them
representing donald trump. that is the big question and we don't know the answer from the right side. >> would you be eager to join the president's legal team? >> no. i think donald trump is a very difficult client and in many respects he is through his tweets and through other things that he does he views himself as his own lawyer. and that's just a very difficult position to be in if you are representing someone. his tweets do not help him and if he doesn't realize that he should read the u.s. attorney's briefing in the southern district of new york where they cite his tweets and other public comments that people have made including the fact that he said that he doesn't know anything about the stormy daniels payment. that was cited by the government as a reflection of the fact that michael cohen was not representing him in that matter and therefore the privilege does not afly. >> classic case of your words can come back to haunt you.
thank you for joining us. we are watching other news this morning. french president says he is the one who convinced president trump to keep u.s. troops in syria. even as the white house says the president's position, quote, has not changed. joining us live cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. fill us in. >> by all to fight isis, not the air strikes against assad's chemical weapons attacks that we all saw over the weekend. after the macron statements came to light, in fact, you're right, the white house coming out very strongly, pushing back against the french president. let me read you a short statement from the white house press secretary, sarah sanders. she says the u.s. mission has not changed. the president has been clear that he wants u.s. forces to come home quickly, as quickly as possible. we are determined to completely crush isis and create the conditions that will prevent its return. in addition, we expect our regional allies and partners to
take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region. so, we know, number one, the president wants troops home from syria in the fight against isis. the pentagon has convinced him to let them stay long enough to defeat isis in syria. but when they do come home, that timeline still very much open, when will the u.s. declare success against isis, we don't know. this morning, clearly still watching the other part of the equation to see if assad begins to move again with his chemical weap weapons. >> barbara starr from the pentagon, thank you. this morning, the bush family is rallying around their matriarch. we'll tell you why coming up.
new this morning, starbucks says the two african-american men arrested at a philadelphia store last week have agreed to meet with the company's ceo. a racial firestorm was what set off the reaction after the two men were arrested for trespassing. police say they were called by an employee after the two refused to leave the store. protesters have been filling this local starbucks this morning. this after weekend protests kicked off once footage of the arrests went viral. alex marquart joins us now with more on this story. >> we understand there were 100 people protesting, they said they saw the apology from the ceo kevin johnson but don't want this apology to mean this goes
away. for his part, the ceo, kevin johnson, he has called this whole incident reprehensible, says he will be meeting, hopes to meet the with two men later this week while he happens to be in philadelphia. and he personally apologized this morning on abc's "good morning america." let's listen to that. >> i'll say the circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on thursday were reprehensible. they were wrong. and for that i personally apologize to the two gentlemen that visited our store. certainly, you know, it is my responsibility to understand what happened and what led to that, and ensure that we fix it. >> so he says they want to fix it. starbucks ceo johnson notes they have 28,000 stores around the world, with varying guidelines. he says they are going to be doing more training with store managers, not just on those guidelines, but on unconscious bias as well. just to recap, this incident
happened on thursday when two african-american men went into the starbucks to meet a friend of theirs. they were not buying anything, they were not using the facilities. they asked to use the restroom, they were told by the manager they would not be allowed to because they were not paying customers and that's when the manager placed a 911 call accusing the two men of trespassing. the police showed up, they were -- they asked the two men to leave, the men said they would not. the police commissioner for philadelphia saying that his officers did absolutely nothing wrong. he says they politely asked the two men to leave. but when they said no, they were arrested without incident for trespassing. i want to bring up the initial tweet, from the woman who shot this video. because it really goes to the core of all of this. she wrote, the police were called abucal called because these men hadn't ordered anything. all the other white people are wondering why it never happened to us when we do the same thing. and that really is what this is
all about, ana. >> that's why it hit such a nerve. thank you so much for that story. another first family is on many minds today. the bush family surrounding former first lady barbara bush, a family source tells cnn the 92-year-old is in failing health. she wants to be cared for at home now instead of going back to the hospital. joining us live from houston, cnn correspondent nick valencia. nick what more can you tell us about barbara bush's condition? >> reporter: good morning. we reached out to the bush family to try to get an update on barbara bruush this morning. she is in failing health and she decided to not seek additional medical treatment. she doesn't want to go back to the hospital and said she's now focused on comfort and care in what appears to be the final days of her life. she has been in failing health for quite some time, battling a life threatening illness of copd and congestive heart failure. last year, shortly after george sr. was hospitalized in houston, she was hospitalized and eventually released. it appears she's focused though
on getting comfort and care in what now appears to be her final days. ana? >> nick valencia, we know you'll continue to keep us updated, thank you very much for that. hello again. i'm ana cabrera in for john and poppy. great to have you with us on this monday. this morning, it is getting fiery after being called morally unfit and compared to a mob boss by the former fbi director, who he fired almost a year ago, president trump is calling james comey a liar and a crook. this morning the president writes, comey drafted the crooked hillary exoneration long before he talked to her, lied in congress to senator g., then based his decisions on her poll numbers, disgruntled he, mccabe and the others committed many crimes. comey maintains it is trump who may have committed crimes. and says he doesn't deserve the office he holds. >>