tv Inside Politics CNN May 21, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
ord to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. welcome to "inside politics." i'm dana bash. john king is off. president trump tweets out a demand for the justice department to investigate whether the fbi planted an informant inside his campaign. there is no evidence that is true. but that was last night's tweet storm and today he has moved on to defending his administration's ability to cut a deal with china over trade. and secretary of state mike pompeo lays down a list of demands for iran while the president officially welcomes the first female director of the
cia. >> you live in the cia, you live the cia, you breathe the cia. and now you will lead the cia. congratulations. [ applause ] >> okay, that means we're keeping her, right? >> and we begin with a presidential intervention of seismic and potentially historic proportions. donald trump demanding information from his own justice department about their investigation of his own campaign. the demand, written more like a despotic decree than a request from a leader. i here bs by demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the department of justice look into whether or not the fbi/doi
infiltrated or surveilled the trump campaign for political purposes, and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the obama administration. the president's justice department is trying to handle this delicately, asking his internal watchdog, the inspector general, to review the possible infiltration infiltration. as with most controversial trump moves, this is pleasing his allies who have been asking for more transparency within the doj for months. james clapper said he is missing the point. >> this is politicizing legitimate activity on the part of the fbi. they use informant and see have strict rules and protocols under this, but the big thing here is this is not about spying on his campaign, it's about what the
russians are doing. were they attempting to infiltrate the campaign, and that was the concern. >> let's get straight to the doj for the latest. laura jarrett joins me live. laura, you've been report ing o this all weekend. tell me the biggest concerns you're hearing from the justice department right now. >> reporter: dana, the justice department is really trying to walk a tightrope, if you will, right now, trying to balance this intelligence source from the order of the chief of command. they are trying to find out how the trump dossier was put together, that rather controversial dossier from christopher steele, but how the applicants of surveillance warrants on trump aide carter page were obtained. everyone is focused on that.
but recently the focus has moved to this so-called informant as president trump and rudy giuliani have called it embedded in the campaign. our reporting suggests there was no mole, there was no spy. there was, in fact, a confidential intelligence source that has been used by the fbi and the cia for years. but nevertheless, the justice department sprang into action on sunday with a deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, who is running the investigation saying in a statement, if anyone did infiltrate or surveil trump participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action. it's funny, we haven't seen the president actually order the justice department to turn over any of the closely guarded documents, and that's where the real fight is. >> it sure is, and we'll see exactly how it's worded. if you get it, let us know, and we'll get back to you. here at our table to share with me their insights, cnn's ma manu raju, jeff bender and jeff
zeleny. happy monday, everybody. let's begin where laura left off, about how the president's appoint appointees at the justice department is trying to thread this needle. you saw how laura responded and laura's statement. i'll go to you first, manu, just because you've been hearing this kind of clamoring from republicans you chase on the hill all the time for this kind of, you know, what they call transparency. are they going to be happy with how the doj is responding? >> i doubt it. they seem to constantly be putting new demands forward. the justice department sort of meets, though not to their satisfaction, and they bring more demands on the table. you have devin nunes, the hospit hospitality chair, trying to see
documents. the justice department has not provided access to those documents, but what the justice department has offered is to give a briefing. they invited him and trey gowdy back for another friday briefing to discuss this. nunes declined to come to that friday briefing because he wants to get access to those documents. several people like mark meadows and other conservatives in the house asking for other documents with the scope of details headed by rod rosenstein probably coming to a head. you will probably hear more and more talk about a temp resolution for rod rosenstein. >> the question is whether that's really what this is all about, whether this is pushing rod rosenstein to the point of no return where he feels that he has no other ethical choice but to quit, which then changes -- can potentially change the whole ball game on the mueller investigation since he is in
charge. on that note, joe degeneva was not happy with him turning this over to rod rosenstein. >> this is a typical rod rosenstein move. this could be his undoing. this is dangerous territory for sessions and rosenstein. they're playing games with the president of the united states. it's very ugly. it's insulting to the president. this is a potempkin investigation. it is a joke. it is an insult to the president. and if i were the president i would be very, very angry by the response from rosenstein last night. >> the timing is not a
coincidence. the president seems unusually agitated by this because, as we know, it's not almost to the end, it's almost to the point in time where he will have to make some decisions here, to sit down or not. the president's mood is being guided by what he knows. he knows much more about this investigation than we do, but i was struck this morning that the president had a little shout-out to devin nunes this morning at the cia when he was giving the speech for newt director. he singled him out and him alone as -- i think the word was courageous. and i thought he might say more. he didn't. i suspect that joe degeve vr vd words will be heard by the president. >> they did it with james comey, now they're doing it with rod rosenstein and now the idea that jeff sessions has an adversarial
relationship with the president is a little bit bridge too far. so i think it's making the case in the public arena that all these people are conspiring to put the president in a bad position. >> you heard from digen eva what we've seen from nunes. this is clearly a political strategy from the president and his allies, not necessarily a legal one. if you look at it in framework, nunes has been effective this, sort of so, early this month i had such good shows. republicans are getting more and more skeptical of the mueller investigation. that's the same thing rudy giuliani is trying to do here, too, trying to pull this thing to the end and raise doubts about it.
it still remains to be seen how effective is the trump legal strategy. >> and what's interesting about this whole dispute is the chief white house john kelly signed this. they were concerned about this white house intelligence source because they were concerned it could risk lives. this was john kelly's position a few weeks ago, and here was the president taking an opposite position citing nunes. >> so far we talked about this in the political frame. but then there's the legal, and frankly the constitutional question that this poses. first of all, the legal question, i spoke to rudy giuliani yesterday, and he was very much on board with the strategy, said they talked about it. he encouraged the president to send out that tweet. i asked him about whether or not he's concerned that -- an investigation is already looking into potential obstruction of
justice if the president fires james comey. whether this adds another layer to it because he seems to be trying to change the way this investigation is going. he said, i mean, this person either got or didn't get information. nothing is going to affect it. it's been made a matter internally. now that's it. nobody can obstruct that at this point. and if you can't answer relevant information under investigation conducted by your department concerning you, i mean, my goodness, that can't possibly be obstruction. >> he is trying to, without question, set the public frame of where this is going. and i think, you know, the president and his men have been fairly successful, i think, in getting supporters, certainly, and others to have questions and raise doubt about this. but it is all coming as it is coming to a close here.
never mind the white house has always said, or they did say, you know, we want this to wrap up before the midterm elections. they are adding fuel to the fire before it's even over here. we'll see if we hear more from the president today. >> there is no proof that -- other than what rudy giuliani said, that that september 1st deadline is even real. >> it's his version of events. >> i think it was a roeuter stoy that said when it was. and you know, he said, if the president testifies, we could wrap this up september 1st. >> they can say whatever they want at this point because they're talking about people who don't comment for the record. if you look at all the stories about mueller, there is never a comment from him and that's on purpose. >> giuliani always said this
would wrap up in two weeks. that didn't happen. >> so rod rosenstein who is a deputy attorney general at the center of all of this, he was in charge of the mueller investigation, was out in public today and he was self-depp ra indicating, self-aware, trying to grow a little humor. >> j. edgar hoover was known for lunch in here when he served as director of the fbi. sometimes onlookers would recordly recognize hoover while he was here and they would gather to watch him. so the hotel staff would sneak him out through the kitchen and out the back door. when i got this job, i remember being grateful that i would not have to worry about that sort of thing. deputy attorneys general are very low profile. >> not you, mr. rosenstein, at the mayflower hotel, i should add, this morning. what if iran pulled out of
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what are you teaching these kids? ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs, backed by a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. secretary of state mike pompeo gave his first major foreign policy speech since being sworn in. he spoke this morning at the heritage foundation, backing up the president's decision to pull out of the 2015 iran nuclear deal. and warning that new sanctions are on the way. >> this will end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete. i spent a great deal of time with our allies in my first three weeks. they may decide to keep their old nuclear deal going with tehran. that is certainly their decision to make. they know where we stand. >> he also gave a very long list, you see there, of demands for iran to agree -- they need
to agree to them in order for a new deal to be negotiated. strong words from the man president trump says he has great chemistry with, but the big question is, does this change anything? we're going to talk about that, and joining us this segment is "new york times" david sanger. welcome, david, to you. you wrote a great piece about north korea which we're going to get to in a second, but first your thoughts of what we heard from the secretary of state about iran. >> this is his first big speech as secretary of state. it was extremely hard hitting. it was directly critical by name of john kerry, his predecessor once removed. which is rare. you don't usually see secretaries go directly after their predecessors. it had this long list of demands which, if you added them all up, stop all support for terrorism, stop messing around in iraq, stop messing around in syria, never enrich a single gram of uranium, it would basically be
telling iran not to be iran, right? so it's not a list the iranians are going to sign up for. his message to the allies was basically tough luck. if you don't like the secondary sanctions, which basically hurt european firms, well, that's life. what he never quite got to was the critique that the united states had ended a deal, granted under a different administration, signed up with its allies from it and then turned around and said, forget it, we don't like it. >> it seems as though the main purpose of this, in addition to being as detailed as he possibly could, whether it's signing this guy or not, is to echo the feelings and the thoughts of the guy he works for, the president of the united states. and it was really striking to our team the difference in approach that we're hearing from pompeo and his predecessor rex tillerson. listen to an example. >> the iran deal, which may be
the single worst deal i've ever seen drawn by anybody. >> the obama administration made a bet that the deal would spur iran to stop its rogue state actions and conform to international norms. but that was a loser with massive repercussions from all the people living in the middle east. >> we want to take the agreement as it exists today, fully enforce that agreement, be very demanding of iran's compliance under the agreement, and then begin the process of addressing the these issues. >> and you wonder why there is a change. >> pompeo seemed to handle it a little better than rex did. but everyone wasn't exactly going in the same direction on the iran decision. there were folks inside the administration asking for more time before the president made his decision. the difference this time, as you see, all the comments in the same direction. i think the other significance
of this speech today, to piggyback on david's comments a little bit, is now how will iran respond to this? i think we know how iran will respond to this. there is a much different posture in the middle east. a much tougher nuclear than was in the current deal. but at least now we know what this administration's grand policy is, which is something i don't think we knew a few days ago when trump made this decision. >> and jeff, it certainly seems as though the people in the administration -- and they do exist -- who think this is the wrong way to go. they see the writing on the wall. >> they've been so quiet, and watching that segment there, there is a new sign of trump's new foreign policy. we could see him find his way in office. all presidents learn in office, no question, but he has shoved any approximated.
now he's very comfortable with his policy with mike pompeo. the defense secretary has not said a word about this. >> tell us about north korea and the angst about what the president got himself into. here's what you wrote. president trump's decision to month to withdraw from the 2015 iran nuclear deal raises the stakes for the north korea negotiation. if he emerges with anything less than what president barack obama got, which in iran included the verified shipment of 97% of owl nuclear material out of the country, it will be hard for mr. trump to convince anyone other than his base that the negotiation was a success. the stakes are getting higher and he's starting to get worried that he couldn't figure it out. >> if you could get out of the
north koreans what president obama got out of the iranians, shipping that much fuel out, bringing the enrichment down to negligible levels and people could get that, people would be dancing in the streets. there would be shouts of they're coming face to face with the thought that while meeting kim jong-un is a great gesture, and i think possibly the right gesture to do things in a different way than past administrations have tried and failed. once they're in a room, they're not likely to emerge, at least in the beginning, with anything resembling a solid deal. >> i want to point out the great detail, trying to get into the nitty-gritty of the actual.
whereas his opponent, his negotiating partner, is very familiar with it. >> because it's his program. we had to try to disassociate the the iranian nuclear program. he would be down there trying to find out what it rain ythe iran doing. i don't see donald trump doing that. he doesn't want to hear about the other program he'll have to confront. >> he's been so eager to get a deal that maybe he'll sign up for everything, it just may wno be a good deal, especially one where they're demanding to denuclearize and they're just
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only remfresh usesody's ion-powered melatonin to deliver up to 7 hours of sleep support. number one sleep doctor recommended remfresh-your nightly sleep companion. new reports about what happened inside santa fe high school. terror of shots ringing outs for about a half hour. there are details about the 25-minute shootout of the gunman before he was taken into custody. a moment seif leof silence reme the 10 people killed was observed outside the school this
morning. tv correspondent nick valencia is live for us in santa fe, texas, and nick, what are sources saying about the timeline? >> reporter: dana, we know the shooting happened about 7:45 in the morning. it was for the next 25 minutes they were engaged in that gun fight you were talking about. what's unclear about that gun fight is if anybody who was killed or injured on friday was caught in the crossfire. if investigators are any closer to figuring out motive, they aren't making it public. one family member i spoke to, the mother of shana fisher, has her own theory. she thinks she knows why her daughter was targeted. for the last four months, the gunman targeted her, trying to be her boyfriend. shana apparently stood up in class and embarrassing the gunman in front of his classmat classmates. a .30-caliber revolver is what
the gunman used. they say he got weapons from his father, but those weapons are still be processprocessed. so that at this point is also unclear. dana? >> back here in washington, jackie cusinoch joins us again. let's go over what we've heard from officials across the board but on the republican side about the reaction to this. and then we're going to finish up by hearing a response from president obama's education secretary. >> it's not any one issue. but again, we have to look at the our culture of violence. >> all we need to do is turn on the tv, go to a movie. if you look at what's happened to young people, many of these young boys have been on ritalin since they were in kindergarten. >> they want to talk about
ritalin, they want to talk about video games, they want to talk about culture, they want to talk about anything except access to guns. why is the united states such an out outlyer? it's because guns are so readily available. >> look at this. school shootings since 2009, 288 in the united states. mexico, which is not exactly the most peaceful of societies, eight. south africa, six. india, five. canada, two. russia, germany, greece, china, one. i'm pretty sure they have violent video games in those countries and they have people with mental health problems. but they don't have guns. >> right. and there's no question, the outrage that the white house or the president himself was first having a couple months ago after the parkland shooting, he said he is going to be the president to change this. >> i think we have video on
that. >> he invited the students and the families and people from parkland and newtown, into the white house in the east room, saying, i will be the president to change it. and then initially silence. he had reported changing things the nra was against. it all went away. >> it's always kind of a bogerman argument you hear from the right, talking about taking away the guns. if that had come out of a democrat politician's mouth, it would have been -- >> right. he sat with parents, grieving parents, from parkland in the white house on more than one occasion saying he would try to do something. then apparently he had a meeting with the nra, and as you said, silence. is it as simple as that, manu? you talk to republicans all day every day about issues like that. is it as simple as the power of the nra? in fairness to all of these
lawmakers, there are complicated issues before us. >> exactly. it couldn't be more fundamental divided over this issue between the two parties. after sandy hook, they said we'll have detailed background checks done. it wouldn't get out of the senate because of a handful of democrats and republicans. anything modest through, very difficult, and you look at how the president is dealing with this after parkland. they said they wanted to deal with some of these tough issues, so they created a commission to study this, and on friday, sarah sanders said they are going to restart that same commission they initially started back after parkland. so it's clear that the very difficult issues, they are not going to do anything. >> texas is a very gun-friendly
state and that makes a difference in terms of the reaction. >> and florida, to be clear, they were definitely on the forefront of some of these pro-nra laws we've seen pushed through over the last decade or so. but down in south florida, you're right, that's the liberal heart of florida. common sense says that kids there follow their parents' politics and maybe are more liberal. but i think also a part of that is that there was a lot of things -- there were a lot of things already in the hopper. they were talking about bump stocks and they were able to move that off the board. this president promised to make this a priority, and a few months later i don't think that is quite the case. >> before we go to break, let's turn to a feel-good moment i think everybody can use. this is from over the weekend. it is crowds in kennebunkport, maine welcoming back their
city's most famous seasonal resident, former president george h.w. bush just a month after he lost his wife barbara and he himself was hospitalized. son jeb bush tweeted this photo of his father waving to the crowds. those who came out to greet the former president say they're grieving along with him. >> i was moved to tears thinking about the fact that mrs. bush would not be accompanying them. then when we came pto find out e was coming back today, we feel incredibly lucky to be here. >> he has given so much of his life to serving the country, and this is the least we could do. brighthouse financial
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our political radar today is tracking two outspoken politicians, one who is already in the senate and one who is trying to get there. 76-year-old independent bernie sanders said yesterday he is going to run for a third term to represent vermont in the senate. meanwhile in west virginia, don blankenship wants to launch a third party bid after finishing third in the republican primary there. he's going to have to overcome the state's sore loser law which means failed primary candidates from running in the election. broken glass moment at cia headquarters. gina haspel sworn in as the first ever female director a short time ago. the president was on hand and gave a short speech to others at the spy agency. she now leads. >> i would not be standing before you today if not for the remarkable courage and dedication displayed by
generations of osfs and agency women. enrolled both large and small who challenge stereotypes, broke down barriers and opened doors for the rest of us. i stand on the shoulders of heroines who never saw public acclaim but served for generations that came after them. >> sarah sanders said on twitter, democrats are losing their war against women in the trump administration. what do you make of that? >> the white house and republicans have been trying to turn the argument against democrats. i don't know if it's working when we were talking to senators about the fact that gina haspel, when going through the confirmation process, none of the senators were looking at that, including susan collins,
saying that's not part of my consideration whether i vote for or against her. i would not -- but still, i think this is something that republicans are still going to try to use against democrats in the midterms, in terms of whether they're going to reject a republican woman versus a male democrat. this isn't going away, but how effective it is? i don't know. >> hearing senate republicans yielding their argument, when they were defending qualifications, really it was about her role in waterboarding torture. >> it was gender neutral in some ways. welcome. everybody stand by. next the u.s. and china appear to have avoided a trade war, at least for now. but did beijing meet any of the president's demands? stay with us.
president trump had china on his mind this morning, citing victory over the possible trade war. here's the president
in a series of tweets throughout the morning. he said, china has agreed to buy massive amounts of additional farm/agriculture products. under our potential deal with china, they will purchase from our great american farmers practically as much as our farmers can produce. he talked with the agriculture secretary wilbur ross. >> for the moment it's at the 40,000-foot level. this is not a definitive
agreement, this is what we hope will be a path forward. we have agreed on a framework, now the effort is to transfer that framework into executable reality. >> the only firm commitment so far is from the u.s. which agreed to suspend its planned tariffs on chinese goods while negotiations continue. and as we talk about this, i just want to show the dow right now. you can see it in the corner there. it is up about 300 points so far today, and there's no question that's because they like what they heard from the president and what they heard from wilbur ross. at least in the short term, there is no trade war. >> you heard that from the administration, not from the president necessarily, but the members of the administration, it's a good thing there is no trade war. your point is a good one. this seems to be a real work in progress here. we have seen a couple concessions. they're backing away from the annual dumping probe.
they've agreed to buy more goods and services, but mnuchin this morning at the white house was very specific that there are no specifics yet on that deal, and that there is a good reason they didn't include any numbers is how much this will shrink the deficit because they don't really have that number yet. >> they said they were going to get about $12 billion to cut the trade deficit, and then they had to walk that back when china said that wasn't part of the deal. so it's really unclear what the white house got from these threats it made about the tariffs. >> what they're doing is trying to make nice with president xi before this summit. the president is meeting tomorrow here with the south korean president. they wanted to sort of have a happy headline on this. but beyond the happy headline, this does not match up to the
rhetoric. >> his former opponent for the republican nomination, marco rubio, said china is winning the negotiations. their concessions are things they plan to do, anyway. in exchange, they get no tariffs, can keep stealing sbi our lk. ha #losing. >> the reason he said that is because they've been so helpful with north korea. since they're helping with north korea, why would i go after them? >> that's true, but one of the most potent campaign arguments donald trump made was about china. he's been very tough on china.
>> history has shown he usually goes back on his campaign promises. >> yes, he does. >> we'll have to see if that happens in this case and i think that hinges on your point about north korea. up next, paul ryan is trying to avert a mutiny in the house among his colleagues. not the first time we've seen it, not the first speaker to deal with it. we'll explain after a break. fin? so in honor of military appreciation month... active duty and veterans get half off select samsung galaxy phones. brushing only reaches 25% of your mouth. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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welcome back. a civil war over immigration is ranli i raging in the house and highlighting long-standing tensions on the republican party. a series of immigration bills have gathered steam and is now just 21 votes away, maybe even fewer, at sparking a new vote in this war. what i'm hearing is that part of this dynamic -- this is all sort of sparked by moderate republicans, many of whom, most
of whom are in tough races back home who want to prove they're moving on an issue in which their constituents really care, which is daca. but they kind of felt like they were okay to push this and to challenge their leadership because their leader, the speaker, paul ryan, is a lame duck. >> that's right. you're actually seeing an interesting division of sorts between ryan and mccarthy privately. ryan seemed more amenable to dealing with the immigration issue, mccarthy taking a harder line from behind closed doors. you're also seeing a broader tension play out within the republican conference. last week tied to this immigration plight was this farm bill that was on the floor of the house. there was a strategic dispute from the house conservatives who wanted to bring a much more hard line immigration bill to the floor first and not deal with the farm bill. as a result, the farm bill imploded. so we're seeing a lot of tension. >> and this is a republican majority clinging -- clinging -- to the notion they want to at
least try to keep it and not lose to the democrats. on that, rich lowry with the international review said something very telling, looking back at history. the discharge petition f it were to succeed, would remind me a little bit of the rule on the crime bill going down in the democratic house in the summer of 1994. a month jort on its last legs losing control of the floor. >> this is sort of tenuous. i'm watching to see what the white house is going to do specific on this. they're trying to avert a crisis here, but that's certainly what it could be. >> there will be an overreaction from members wanting to sort of send the freedom caucus a message and helping to get this immigration bill onto the floor. >> on the flip side, you have the republicans that are really
pushing this are looking at their district, someone like a jeff denham, who wrote an op-ed saying about 25% of the daca recipients are in california. so many of the california candidates having a tough time. thank you so much for joining us on "inside politics." john is back here tomorrow, and wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 7:00 p.m. in rome, 8:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us. the president of the united states demanding his justice department investigate claims of an fbi source enteri -- interac ingwith his campaign. the president blurs the lines. donald trump jr. yet another campaign meeting with two