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tv   Wolf  CNN  May 4, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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i'm engine sciutto in for wolf blitzer. thanks so much for joining us. he'll get his fact straight. president trump seemingly throwing his new lawyer right under the bus and claiming he has not changed his story on that payoff to stormy daniels. nobody wants to speak to the special counsel more than me. the president saying he is game to talk to robert mueller, but only, he says, if he's treated fairly. and the date and location are now set. trump says the high stakes summit with kim jong-un is in the books, teasing that details are imminent. trump expected to speak this hour at the annual nra convention in dallas. he's called for new gun safety measures in the wake of a shooting in parkland, florida. we haven't heard so much about that lately. we'll see where that ends up today. before heading to texas, the
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president made comments on headlines of the russia investigation, and rudy giuliani and his explosive interviews. >> he started a day ago, but he really has his heart into it. he's working hard. he's learning the subject matter. so rudy knows it's a witch hunt. he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. he's a great guy. >> well, he actually started a couple weeks ago. cnn senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is at the white house. the president seeming to blame it all on rudy giuliani there. do you have any better sense now, jeff zeleny, of who is telling the truth? >> reporter: jim, that is a central question here. the president did not do much to answer it. he certainly added more confusion to an already pretty confusing situation and a credibility crisis here at the white house. one thing is clear, the president not pleased with the news coverage, at least, in the
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last 24 hours or so of the suggestion that the president change his story. of course, he has said for weeks and months he did not know about that payment to stormy daniels. then over the last 24, 48 hours when rudy giuliani said the president did know about it, the president not pleased by that. so saying that rudy giuliani will get his facts straight at some point. but as you said, he actually started about 15 days ago. he talks to the president all the time. but this is a pattern of something that is clear. the president often likes something, sees negative news coverage about it and changes his mind. i asked him if he would still like to sit down with the special counsel robert mueller. this is what he said. >> nobody wants to speak to him more than me. in fact, against my lawyers, because most lawyers say never speak on anything. i would love to speak. because we've done nothing wrong. there was no collusion with the russians, there was nothing. there was no obstruction.
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i would love to go, i would love to speak, but i have to be fine that we're treating the family fairly. if i thought it was fair, i would override my lawyers. >> so jim, one thing is clear here again, the president trying to undermine the credibility of this investigation, saying i would go, but it's not fair so i can't go, likely. so it sounds to me like closing the door to this idea, but of course this is all negotiation in process. the president clearly in a mood to talk today. white house aides and officials suggested earlier this morning he would not speak because he was flying to the nra convention. in fact, he did speak at least three times here at the white house, at joint base andrews and on air force i flying to dallas, also talking about the summit, not saying exactly where it will be but saying the details are all worked out. jim, the president pent up wanting to speak, but not necessarily clearing up the confusion about stormy daniels.
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jim? >> not at all. jeff zeleny at the white house. thanks very much. president trump denying he changed his story on the hush money paid to porn star stormy daniels. this after rudy giuliani said the president repaid the $130,000 to his personal lawyer michael cohen. today the president scolded reporters for even asking him to clarify his position. >> this country is right now running so smooth, and to be bringing up that kind of crap and to be bringing up witch hunt all the time, that's all you want to talk about -- >> you said on air force i that you did not know anything about the payment. >> you take a look at what i said. you go back and look. you'll see what i said. >> you said no, i don't know anything about the payment. >> excuse me. take a look at what i said. >> let's take a look at what he said on air force i when asked this very same question and when he denied in no uncertain terms having known about the payment.
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>> reporter: did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. no. what else? >> reporter: then why did michael cohen make those if the tru truth is not true? >> he was asked if he knew anything about the payment. he said no. our chief political analyst gloria borger and shimon prokupecz. can the president claim that he knew nothing about this payment? >> no. i think rudy giuliani has some explaining to do and i think tha that's what we'll hear this afternoon. can you imagine a client saying about his attorney, give him some time, he'll get his facts straight? i don't think he should pay rudy giuliani for that. rudy giuliani is new to the
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case. our reporting is that the other attorneys on this case were appe apoplectic about rudy's media tour the other day, because he doesn't have his facts straight, that michael cohen's attorneys were not happy, either, obviously, because these are different stories. rudy giuliani was supposed to be out there to be a message about how terrible the special counsel is, how the fbi is corrupt, and if he decides in the end not to testify, he can then say, why would i testify before these people who are unfair? so that's the case rudy giuliani is supposed to be making publicly instead of messing up everything that was said before. >> and potentially hurting michael cohen in all of this. >> exactly. >> we've seen lawyers come and go in the last couple weeks.
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katy cordero, is this a problem snl. >> this is a problem about truth telling and lies. this is more of a truth-trelg and whether the white house tells the truth about anything more than it's implications of the president. the president's legal team is not manageable. he has a dollquestion of whethe there are legal issues. is the lawyer speaking on behalf of the client? whether or not the client is truthful with their lawyers. is it possible that the president has told one thing to rudy and tells another thing to his prior lawyer, michael cohen? whether he's truthful with the public? this whole issue really is more
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about them doing their public messaging than it really is about -- there's a potential campaign violation in there, but that case really is much less significant to the other legal exposure that the president has on obstruction and the big russia inquiry, and i feel like this piece is sort of taking over because it's what's consuming them in the public relations realm. >> aren't we seeing here the reason trump's lawyers -- at least some of them don't believe he should testify before the special counsel, because he can't be expected to tell the truth? >> perhaps. that's been the concern from the lawyers and people close to it. some of the reporting we've done, that's been the concern, that if he goes before the special counsel, if he goes before a grand jury, how could you put him in front of a grand jury where he could potentially lie. if you go in front of the fbi agents, you can't lie. that's their whole argument,
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that perhaps maybe mueller, this is a perjury. they know the answers to these 49 or 50 questions they put out there, they know the answers to them already and somehow they can come there and lie and say, oh, he's lying. that's what they claim they're afraid of. >> but look, his lawyers, no lawyer in his right mind -- you are one -- would want this client to testify. it would be very difficult for you to recommend it. >> what does he do? >> exactly. what does he do? he's the president of the united states. pleading the fifth could be really problematic for him. can they narrow the questions down to such a degree -- rudy said, oh, he'll spend two to three hours -- can they come to any kind of agreement and would they still let him testify.
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what i think we're hearing from trump now where he goes, i want to testify, he would change his mind after the michael cohen raid. he went from yes to no. now, is this pr for the american public so he can say, well, i wanted to, but my lawyers kept me grounded. >> it sounds like he's floating a trial balloon saying, look accident i want to -- the federal prosecutors against paul manafort, that judge was questioning the counsel for paul manafort saying it sounds like the prosecutors are just trying to get to the president, but they're not as interested in manafort's crimes. >> the judge sort of gave the lawyers a talking-to and said
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shs what you're really after is getting after the president. there is a, lined at the government, tax fraud. it is a hefty, money laundering fraud indictment. i'm not particularly too worried about that. they want to know that the attorneys aren't going to come in and just run their case. the judge runs the show here. they may be going one step beyond what we might normally expect judges to talk about in terms of characterize iing. remember, this was in the eastern district of virginia because paul manafort's lawyers would do it well. he would have consolidated it.
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management thought they would get a little bit of a friendly audience. >> the judge asked the prosecutors to turn over a more unredact version. is the manafort stuff or even the stormy daniels stuff, is this outside the scope of what this was all about from the beginning? was this an opportunity for a judge to pipe in in an influential way on that question? >> i think with a judge, once he gets this memo and he's given prosecutors about two weeks. important to know that manafort's attorneys, the goal here is to get a better understanding of everything the special counsel is looking into
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and what does pathis mean? special counsel wants paul manafort's cooperation. this could be a strategic part on the special counsel, but legally how does this play into the case and whether or not this case could be dismissed. that didn't seem to come up today. it didn't seem to be part of the argument. get a better. this judge doesn't have the power to look back on that and say, look, you have to limit your argument. >> the judge claimed it was not valid and that the case could go forward. it could be the judge is sort of precluding that and saying, well, i'm going to look and see if this case falls within the special counsel's authority. if not, the remedy would be that the case could be referred to
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the eastern district of virginia. there still are potential federal crimes that the justice department thinks they could succeed at trial. so it would just be shifted in terms of the prosecutor. >> don't forget, republicans and congress are fighting with rod rosenstein over this, because they want to see this memo, too. what they've gotten is a redacted version of it. >> we have news to that very question in the next hour. thank you very much. we are following breaking news surrounding house intelligen intelligence. all of that is next as we await president trump. he is set to take the stage. that's a live picture there at the nra convention this hour. we're going to take you there live. keeping me from the things i love to do. talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424.
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with the right steps, 80%of recurrent ischemicide. strokes could be prevented. a bayer aspirin regimen is one step to help prevent another stroke. so, i'm doing all i can to stay in his life. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. the breaking news now,
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possible fallout from the controversy over president trump's dr. ronny jackson. jackson pulled his name after trump nominated him to be the va secretary. now vice president pence's doctor has announced her resignation. let me bring in cnn white house reporter kaitlyn collins, senior congressional correspondent manu raju. do we know why the president's doctor is resigning? >> we're just learning this from the vice president's office. she was assigned to the vice president. she was assigned to him from the medical unit much like ronny jackson was originally assigned to president trump so he worked in the medical unit. the vice president's office gave me this statement saying, quote, the vice president's office was informed today of her resignation. physicians assigned to the vice president report to the medical
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unit, and any information would go entirely through the medical unit and is not through the vice president's office. they're making the clear distinction there, jim, but of course this comes after that failed va nomination for dr. ronny jackson, after colleagues complained about when he was running the medical unit. there are swirling questions surrounding that nomination. he did drop that nomination early this week. >> let me ask you, manu, because i believe it was you and kaitlyn who reported earlier this week that the vice president's doctor had raised concerns about ronny jackson's performance in the white house. do we believe this investigation is relate to do that? >> reporter: i don't know if it has a direct connection of our story from monday. in that story it was very clear that the vice president's doctor had significant concerns with ronny jackson, had raised those
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concerns internally, in three different memos we obtained about the interactions, what he had with three officials. ronny jackson may have disclosed private patient information from the second lady, carol pence, stemming from an incident that occurred last september. after this the concerns were raised by the vice president's doctor that perhaps dr. jackson did disclose this private information. ronny jackson angrily brought up the fact this was private information at the time. perhaps some connection here but clearly there were significant concerns internally raised about ronny jackson's from the vice president's world and perhaps this is the follow-up from that. >> just very briefly,ignations .
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is it your understanding this was a voluntary resignation or under pressure? >> that's the question here, of course. we have no reporting to lead to the fact that she was pressured to resign, but you can't ignore the facts of the reporting and the events that the president or the white house was refusing to withdraw those allegations. those weren't just allegations by random people. they were by people who worked with dr. ronny jackson at the time and people who formerly worked with him. his coworkers were saying these things about him, alleging these things, ask that's whnd that's his resignation being pulled.
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dr. jackson has returned to the unit. he isn't the president's attending physician and is not expected to be the president's attending physician again. she has resigned from the white house medical unit. it's unclear where she will go from there, if she will remain a medical unit. this is quite an unusual resignation here, jim. >> thank you, kaitlyn and manu. i'm going to keep you here because there is nor bremore br news. senior correspondent manu raju is back. also lorna jarrett. >> a document actually detailed the start of the russia
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investigation and rod rosenstein, deputy attorney general, had been resisting. so much so that he said he faced possible impeachment. what we have learned, sources have told me, laura jared and jared herb, when. . gowdy read those documents as well staff members read the documents. it showed no intelligence was breached. he had been briefed about it and they said it's okay for a chairman to be briefed by these documents, but it really just shows the way he wielded this
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gavel in this committee, not really looking into the details that could perhaps give you a different impression of what happen happened. he's not raising major concerns at the start of the investigation. he has some more questions he wants to ask that person who drafted any intelligence document he read but which nunez did not get. >> these arnlt. certainly with respect to this investigation. he released certain documents, also the one on the trump dossier. he chose not to read them. staff read them, gowdy red them, others read them, but he chose
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not to. in february he also admitted he had not read the applications for surveillance orders on former campaign aide charlie page. he told fox news, of course, no, i did not. reporters say -- certainly congressman gowdy is more than capable of reading them, but his critics say, why isn't he looking at some of the most sensitive documents when the justice department is only a couple blocks away, jim? >> it seems to be a simple thing to do. our other breaking news now. president trump says the details are set for his high stakes summit with kim jong-un. we're going to be right back. se. but they're different. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate. find your favorite and give kind® a try. it's just a burst pipe, i could fix (laugh)
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mueller's russia investigation and will he personally will speak to investigators. have a listen. >> nobody wants me to speak. against my lawyers, because most lawyers say don't do it, but i want to speak. i did nothing wrong. there was no collusion with the russians, there was no obstruction. i would love to go, i would love to speak but i have to be found that we will be treated fairly. it's a very unfair thing. if i thought it was fair, i would override my lawyers. >> the president also said that all of the investigators on mueller's team are democrats, not something backed up by the facts. he also said robert mueller worked under president obama for eight years. that's also not true. joined by congressman swello. he joins me now. when you heard the president there, did it sound to you like he was floating a trial balloon, in effect, his excuse for saying no to an interview? >> jim, he's been given the
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questions which most suspects or witnesses are not given. he has been told by his team much of the evidence that exists in the case because of help he's received from republicans and the house intelligence committee. i think it's time for him to come clean, stop screwing around. if he's serious, take bob mueller up on the interview, sit down, answer the questions and get this over with. this is not just affecting bob mueller's investigation, he's created a mess for the country. and people at home who are counting on him to look after their jobs, health care and their kids' education, they're just looking at this guy and saying, you've made a mess of our country. le let's move on. stop talking about it and let's move on. >> there was a call he made regarding attorney general jeff sessions saying, in effect, sessions need to step in now, speaking about the russia investigation. that, of course, echoes, you
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know, the president's public calls to bring this investigation to an end. does that concern you, to hear that both from the president and the president's new lawyer? >> it very much concerns me, and it concerns me that the president has dozens of fixers in congress now who are trying to bring articles of impeachment against rod rosenstein. it is a multi-facetted effort to undermine bob mueller's investigation. we're not helpless, though. we don't have to just sit and watch the undermining of law. >> does that legislation have a prayer now? he said he would not bring it to the floor. >> it would have a prayer, jim, if people tell their members of congress and their senators that they do care about the rule of law. right now it comes down to, who do you believe? do you believe in donald trump or bob mueller? the country trusts bob mueller to do his job. they will accept the findings he
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presents. what they will not accept, though, is this continued torching of every floor in the fbi building and the department of justice to protect this lawful investigation. >> on this effort of the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels, before -- before i go question, this is a live president of the president there arriving in dallas, texas. that's where he'll be giving this speech to the nra later, and we'll bring you his comments there live when the president begins those remarks. president trump walking out of air force i on a rainy day in dallas, texas. i want to ask you to listen, if you can, to this exchange from yesterday's white house briefing regarding the stormy daniels payment. >> did the president file a
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fraudulent personal file disclosure that did not include a payment to michael cohen? there was no loan for which he was reimbursed? >> i don't know. you would have to ask the president's personal counsel. >> those are live pictures on the right-hand side of the screen. the president just arrived in dallas where he will speak to members of the nra. you listen to that and is it possible the president broke the rules by not including a loan for michael cohen on his financial disclosure form, and is this something congress can pursue? >> it's certainly possible, jim, but i think it's best for the fbi and the federal and what the
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law enforcement's job is. this lets the president act in such a shady way to conduct business. when it comes to russia, there are lots of questions as to whether he was seemingly act --. >> you wrote an op-ed today about the possibility of an assault weapons ban and buyback program. congressman swalwell, thank you for taking the time. we look at the floor of the nra convention in dallas, texas. we expect the president to speak there while the country is gripped in a crisis.
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president trump signalling he is one step closer to meeting with north korean leader kim jong-un. >> we're in constant contact with the leadership. we are in constant contact with north korea. we've actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly. >> where? >> very soon. >> while the exact details of that meeting may be certain there are mixed messages regarding three americans detained in north korea. there is still no update on their release and the status remains unclear. the president hinted otherwise. >> we're having very substantive talks with north korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages, and i think you're going to see very good things. as i said yesterday, stay tuned. i think you'll be seeing very,
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very good things. >> let's bring in ryan haas. he's a former national security adviser for president obama specializing in china and asia. thanks very much for joining us. so first, big picture. it looks like this summit is going to come off. there's a very good chance you have the three americans released. what are the chances for a bigger step, though, some sort of peace deal for the u.s. and north korea? >> it's interesting to watch, because on one hand president trump continues to raise expectations. and it means one of two things. either he knows something the rest of the world doesn't, something that would cause him to override the decades of experience that we have dealing with the north korean regime, has reneged on every past communication we've made. we're not going to know the answer to that question until he
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gets there. >> victor cha who was going to be the head said it creates dangers on the other side. if you don't meet those high expectations, then you fall off a precipice back to potential conflict. >> right. that's been the pattern of diplomacy for decades. when something fails, all that's left is military options, which is the danger of building expectations before you have solid, secure outcomes of a meeting such as this. >> look where we are, though. to be fair, we're in a better place than we were two or three months ago. there were open threats going back and forth. there was at least the possibility of potential conflict between these two countries. do you think the policy has at least yielded fruits to get them
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to the table? >> i think the president deserves some credit for getting us to the point where we are now. it's clear the north koreans would like three things. they would like a reduction in economic pressure and an economic lifeline. they would like to be welcomed back into the community of nations, and they would like to reduce the risk of conflict. their guess is by entering agreements with the u.s., china and south korea, they can be pushed down that pathway. >> we want them to denuclearize. i hear two things about that. i hear on one side, as much as they love them, they're in such dire financial straits that they're willing to deal now. but i hear on the other hand that nuclear weapons are survival for this regime. you hear the omar hussains in
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this world. >> north korea has never given up military weapons without outside pressure. this would be the first time they go down that path. they also have the pleasure to denuclearize while continuing in this program. while i think we all hope for the best outcome, experience has shown that that won't be the outcome. >> is the president considering withdrawing troops? >> it sends a signal to kim jong-un that the president is so committed to the success of this summit that he will sacrifice what no other leader is willing to sacrifice. by doing so, it will give kim jong-un knowledge that he has the ability to hold up a program
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because the president is so committed to this summit. any minute now, we're going to hear from president trump himself at the nra convention in dallas. we're watching that. that's a live picture there. please stay with us. and non-24 p too early... or too late. or make me feel like i'm not really "there." talk to your doctor, and call 844-234-2424. but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. real meat #1. a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one true instinct. now, try new purina one true instinct treats.
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republican congressman francis rooney. thanks very much for taking the time. >> jim, thanks for having me on. >> as you well know, being a congressman from florida in the wake of that horrible parkland shooting, you proposed new gun safety laws, which included mazing the minimum age to buy rifles. the president expressed support for some of those safety measure but we haven't heard a lot of that from the president. why do you think he's abandoned those calls for change? >> i hope he hasn't abandoned them. he did say very positive things about gun violence reform, after florida took some fairly courageous measures and then he went silent. we need to make sure that unstable people can't get guns, that background groups are pursued vigorously and some of these loopholes are plugged.
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>> i don't want to say you're a lone republican but you're not surrounded by your caucus colleagues on these issues. is there enough support for measures along those lines? >> i think there would be enough support if you looked at it from a bipartisan point of view but there are committee republicans that have been speaking up. i wish they would because, you know, we could protect the second amendment and still protect children. >> on another issue, charlie dent, a fellow republican in the house, he says congress needs to look into the stormy daniels affair. have a listen. >> if a democratic president had paid off a porn star to keep quiet while he was president, i suspect we'd have oversight hearings and i'd suspect there probably should be some oversight hearings to get to the bottom of that. if a democratic president had done this, we'd be waving a bloody shirt right now. >> interesting argument from
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charlie dent, a republican, granted a retiring republican. do you agree with him that congress should have an oversight role? >> not at this point. i think we need to know a little more about what happened. congress needs to take care of the oversight it's already got to take care of, which it's notes inly not necessarily doing the best job of. i think we ought to have a little time to seek thorough standing of it. >> let me ask you this question. do you think that this white house has a credibility problem on this and other issues, particularly when you have contradictions coming from the president and his own personal lawyer on an issue that -- the questions at least are pretty simple. did you know or did you not know? >> at one time or another, i think every administration has been challenged and tested. that's part of what having a good first amendment is all about, is doing that. it will be in the public's
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interest to know, you know, who paid who and when and probably what who knew. but, you know, there's no morality police test to be president. we've had a lot of presidents do pretty bad things. >> you're on the foreign affairs committee, in the issue of north korea. rudy giuliani commented on those three americans announcing it seemed they were going to be released. when asked about this, here is what the white house press secretary sarah sanders said. >> we can't confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release, but we certainly would see this as a sign of good will if north korea were to release the three americans ahead of discussions between president trump and kim jong un. >> as a member of the foreign affairs committee, has congress
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been briefed on the status of these negotiations? >> no. all i know about it is what i read on cnn earlier today. we're in recess right now. but i'll tell you what, i'm comforted by the fact that we've got an a-team foreign policy leader like john bolton at the helm here as we wade into negotiations with north korea. they've outnegotiated three consecutive presidents and i think president trump has got their attention like no one else has and it's going to take some serious discipline to keep from getting outtraded again. >> we'll keep on that story, congressman rooney. thanks for joining us today. >> you can see vice president mike pence has taken the stage at the nra convention in dallas, texas. the president will be on that stage very soon. we'll take you to that convention live when it happens. i was just finishing a ride. i felt this awful pain in my chest. i had a pe blood clot in my lung.
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hello, i'm erika hill in for brooke baldwin today. the vice president is there in dallas, the president is there as well. there's good news for the president on an economic front the nation is edging towards full employment according to the late jobs report. yet today that good news is once again overshadowed by the president and his remarks on a payment to porn star stormy daniels.