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

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from the white house against china back to where the president made comments that he was upset that president xi was meeting with kim jong-un. this summit and the president's desire to have it is affecting his decisions on trade, affecting his decisions on approach to china, too. >>ling it as it is not just as you see it, congrats to the secretaries there. wolf blitzer starts right now. ♪ hello i'm wolf blitzer it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. president trump calling the appointment of the special counsel unconstitutional and insisting he has the absolute right to pardon himself. what prompted those tweets today? just how far do his presidential powers go? former president bill clinton get heated in a new interview when asked about the monica lewinsky scandal. he says he doesn't owe her a personal apology. you'll hear why. and some america's closest
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allies fighting back today, slamming the president's tariffs on steel and aluminum, canada calling them just plain insulting. so what could the long-lasting affects be? all that coming up, but first, power play. the trump legal team claims he has the sweeping authority over federal investigations as president trump attacks the russia probe on constitutional grounds. he tweeted this this morning, quote the appointment of the special counsel is totally unconstitutional. despite that, we play the game because i, unlike the democrats, have done nothing wrong. closed quote. the tweet follows an assertion by the president and his attorney rudyiulianihat the president has the power to pardon himself. >> that's another really interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself? i think the political ramifications of that would be tough. pardoning other people is one thing. pardoning yourself is another.
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>> president was less circumspect he tweeted, quote, as has been stated by numerous legal scholars i have the absolute right to pardon myself, but why would i do that when i have done nothing wrong? let's go to jim acosta. those comments are part of a larger strategy clearly by the president's legal team to assert almost unlimited executive powers. tell us a little bit more about that. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. we've been hearing this from the president's legal team for months. they view that the president has almost sweeping unchecked powers when it comes to running the executive branch of government. they feel as though the president because he is the head of the executive branch can fire whoever he wants. and in some cases, it sounds like from the rational laid out by rudy giuliani and the president that to some extent they feel the president is above the law. the president tweeting this morning he believes he can pardon himself. of course, wolf, we should point out the history in all this. when richard nixon was in hot
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water back in the 1970s the justice department said he could not pardon himself because that would put the president above the law. but you saw president trump this morning another one of these tweet storms saying that the special counsel investigation is unconstitutional that they're cooperating as much as they possibly can and so on. that seems to one of the talking points coming out of the white house this morning, that they've been cooperative throughout this entire investigation. of course, wolf, you have to ask the question, how is it cooperative for the presint and the executive branch, how can they say that sort of thing? how can they lay out that kind of argument when at the same time as we both know, wolf, the president has been going after robert mueller the special counsel's office, the justice department, jeff sessions, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, there have been talks of threats of firing the deputy attorney general, questions on a daily basis as to the future of the attorney general jeff sessions. you know, how is that cooperative? i think that's another question that needs to be asked. but no question, wolf, this is a
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legal and political strategy when you talk to sources familiar with conversations that go on inside the president's legal team. they have definitely shifted the special counsel's ration office to attack, attack, attack and appears to be anoer one of those instances over the last 24 hours whether it be the comments from rudy giuliani or the president himself they seem to be following that approach and sticking to it just about every hour a tweet comes out, wolf. >> yeah. and chris cuomo is going to be hosting rudy giuliani, questioning him 9:00 p.m. eastern later tonight on premiere of his new show. i'll be anxious to see that. jim acosta at the white house, i know you have a press briefing with sara sanders, live coverage of that. in the meantime, let's get perspective on the presidential power of play. we have molly ball with us, laura coates and our chief political analyst gloria borger. the president says he has the absolute right to pardon himself. what do you make of that? >> first of all, i think he
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needs to read a 1970 memo from the office of legal counsel which states very clearly that no one may be a judge in his own case. and says that a president can't pardon himself for that very reason. now, have been legal scholars who disagree with that. solicitor general robert boric back in the day disagreed with that. but then let's take a step back further and try to figure out why this is all going on right now. rudy giuliani is out there saying the president can do anything he wants. this legal memo was leaked over the weekend, 20 page memo detailing why the special counsel basically can't touch the president in any way, shape or form. so it makes you wonder whether they're sending this outside signal to the special counsel that people are with us here so you better be careful because you don't have public support
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and you better not try and subpoena the president and i'm told my sources tell me that they believe he doesn't want -- mueller wants to avoid a subpoena of the president but we don't kno for sure, so what they are doing -- and i believe directed largely by the president and the mouthpieces rudy giuliani, what they are trying to do is send these signals to mueller that if you try and do this stuff f you try to subpoena us, we're ready. and you know, mueller has read the memos. we're not quite sure if he responded to this memo. but, now they're saying,well, now the american public has it and they know our arguments, so it's there in politics. we talk about prebuttals, this is the delivery of that. and making their discussions with mueller almost public. >> yeah. whoever leaked that 20-page memo to mueller from the legal staff the then lawyer john d for the president clearly was trying to send a message to the pres supporters.
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here are some talking points, here are some arguments for you. >> absolutely. >> laura, i want you to listen to what rudy giuliani said on abc yesterday because something jumped out at me even though we suspected this, he has officially confirmed the president is now a subject of this mueller investigation. listen to this. >> you have everything in it what do you need us for? in fact, most prosecutors don't have the subject or target or whatever you want tol it. he's only a subject right now. and i think will remain that. >> so he says the president is a subject only a subject right now. we checked with the justice department, a witness is clearly somebody who has information that could be useful. a target is someone who is a target probably a criminal investigation. but a subject, according to the justice department, is a person whose conduct is within the scope of a grand jury's investigation. so we have reported he was probably a subject but now he is officially saying the president of the united states is a subject of this investigation. >> and you have to wonder to how much of this rudy giuliani is
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aware of or perhaps getting into semantics based argument in his own he you have toder about that. but in all honesty, it is his campaign that they are looking into counterintelligence with russ possibly collusion. this should surprise no one as an epiphany. what is surprising as the epiphany that only the trump legal team has come to is this notion of being above the law. i really had this idea that the trump legal team is running around a house trying to close every single window for mueller, but mueller has a key. it's called a grand jury subpoena. he can go into the house and try to execute information. he can understand what's happening here and get the information there. i agree with you, gloria, the notion of the 197 olc opinion. the reason it's so important to focus on that, wolf, remember it's been the trump strategy and trump's legal team statement that we have to rely on the fact that a sitting president based on those olc opinions cannot be indicted in office. you cannot on the one hand say
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it's important on the other hand ignore the one that says you're not above the law and cannot pardon yourself in an impeachment. we have seen this version of the king george iii. it wasn't successful the first time iton't be again. >> in that 20-page letter "the new york times" posted, the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into russia's election meddling because the constitution empowers him to if he wished terminate the inquiry or exercise his power to pardon. you're a former trump campaign strategist, what do you think of this strategy now? >> so going public with all these arguments. >> so look i think it's a legal argument and there's a political argument, right? the legal argument they make i think i probably on more solid ground than the political argument. i think the president does have pretty unfettered not unquestioned but pretty unfettered ability to pardon with the exception of impeachment. and what the president could do here, laura and i talked about
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this briefly before, the president could invoke the 25th amendment, the president could step down for a day. the vice president could be the president. he could pardon the president. and the next day the president could come back to work. so, you know, the ability to pardon, i think is -- we're -- how many angels can dance on the head of a pin at this point? the question whether we have to kind of step back and take a look is any of this rise to the nors? of high crimes and right any of this be an impeachable offense. >> that is what the house of representatives has to decide. >> this will not end up in the southern district of new york, this will end up on the lap of the folks in the house of representatives. at the end o ts director mueller complete his report, hand it to the attorney general who then will hand it to rod rosenstein and they'll publish it i'm guessing at some point. won't be able to keep that. will leak within five minutes if they don't publish and it it's up to the house of
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representatives. all of these arguments are really political arguments. they're somewhat legal but really being made for political purposes. >> there was another element in the 20 page letter that "the new york times" reported on, molly, that the president actually, according to the president's lawyers, dictated that statement to "the new york times" about that very controversial trump tower meeting that his son, son-in-law, campaign chairman had with russians back in 2016. i want you to listen, though, to what some of the president's lawyers and aides said contradicting this notion that the presidented this statement. >> that was written by donald trump jr. and i'm sure with in consultation with his lawyer. that wasn't written by the president. >> the president didn't sign off on anything. the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. it came from donald trump jr. >> he certainly didn't dictate but, you know, he like i said he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do. >> and if you read those
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statements, i went back and took a look at the statement that the president dictated which his aides denied he did it, but among other things it said in the statement that it was not a campaign issue at the time. there's the statement right there. it was a short introductory meeting. i asked jared and paul to stop by. we primarily discussed a flam about dopgts of russian children that was active and popular with american families years ago but since ended by the russian government. but it was not a campaign issue at the time. it was because the russians promised, quote, dirt on hillary clinton. that's why the president's son and son-in-law and campaign chairman went to that meeting. >> right. although that is also something that they initially denied because we have had these evolving and contradictory and ever shifting rationals that have been offered. this is a remarkable admission in that memo. but it is not the first time that we have heard admissions following denials, following arguments that while it doesn't matter any way, even if this was
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done that it's okay. so, as david was saying, all of these shifting rationals add up not to any kind of sustained or consistent legal case but to trying this case in the court of public opinion because the mueller team isn't doing that. the mueller team is completely silent. when they speak, it is through actions. it's through the legal filings, often surprising ones that we don't know are coming or bring people into the investigation, make charges that the president's legal team didn't know was coming much less the public. and so you have this very lopsided process where one side is dealing strictly in the legal realm and the other side is dealing entirely in the legal realm because they know their defense is not going to be whether or not a judge or a court believes their legal argument, it's going to be whether the republicans in the senate and the house of representatives decide that because of public opinion they must back up the president. >> gloria, we know that the
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mueller team is investigating that statement that was put out. >> sure. >> because it potentially could be some sort of obstruction argument. >> and we also know that senator chris coons is saying that don jr. lied before the senate judiciary committee, and i have what he said here and he was wiggling around this, but you know, my question is why is the president's attorney and rudy giuliani talking about impeachment so much? i can't really understand that. why is he so sure that this is, in fact, political and not legal? does he know that? >> i think he is misconstruing every nt. he believes talking about only a political issue. but it's only political if you abide by the principle that a sitting president cannot be indicted of a crime. well, if he's impeached, he is no longer sitting and then it could end up in asdn-y or virginia or other cases. it's short sided thinking about
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impeachment. the end result could be a criminal prosecution. >> we were all here for the clinton impeachment, it's not a pretty sight. this is not going to happen. i predict this is going to wrap up. we'll see --t saying. they're not going to have impeachment. >> thank you very, very news w the u.s. supreme court has now ruled on a case that pitted religious liberty against gay rights. the justices deciding in favor of a colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple. the baker claimed doing so would violate his religious beliefs. cnn supreme court reporter ariane is joining us right now. this ruling came down in favor of the baker but isn't necessarily the broad ruling many were expecting. what exactly did the court say? >> reporter: as you said, this has always been the collision between religious freedom claims and lgbt rights. here the court did rule narrowly in favor of the baker. remember the baker refused to make that cake. the couple sued. a lower court ruled in favor of the couple and today kennedy
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reversed 7-2. and this is what he did. he said the state violated the baker's religious freedom by showing hostility to his religion. justice kennedy pointed to one specific hearing held by colorado civil rights commission where he said one commissioner said, look, phillip's beliefs amounted to discrimination. and justice kennedy said that those comments showed that the commission wasn't applying this with the religious neuity it needed to. sot is a win for phillips and it's a win for religious liberty but not necessarily that big religious liberty case some people focussed on. kennedy was straddling two sides of his juris prudence. he wrote the decision that cleared the way for same sex marriage nationwide but today he gave a nod to religious freedom. religious concerns. he said that commissioners hostility was inconsistent with the first amendment's guarantee that our laws be applied in a
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manner that is neutral toward religion. so there you have it. he gives this victory. it's a narrow victory, but it's for the baker. >> good explanation. thank you very much. other news, dip mlomats are working around the clock preparing for the meeting between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un. ahead, why some say the singapore meeting may be more of a meet and greet. also aheadt bill clinton on the defensive right now. he says he doesn't owe monica lewinsky a personal apology. hers morning. having it problems? ask a business advisor how to get on demand tech support for as little as $15 a month. get your coupon for 20% off supplies, technology and furniture at office depot office max. ♪ ♪ don't juggle your home life and work life without it. business financing to help grow your business. another way we have your back. the powerful backing of american express.
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this just in to cnn former president george h.w. bush has been released from the hospital. the 93-year-old who is in maine for the summer was admitted to the hospital just over a week ago. a spokesman says the former president was suffering from low blood pressure and fatigue but now he's back out of the hospital. we wish him, of course, only, only the very best. and now to the high stakes
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summit between the united states and north korea just eight days away. and we're learning it will be less about deal making, more potentially about meeting and greeting. and kim jong-un is quickly becoming the many want to meet. the kremlin says the north korean leader has been invited to visit russia in september and meet with president putin and north korea state news agency says syria's president bashar al assad is planning to visit peon yang in north korea this as there's word of a major shakeup in north korea's military leadership. three top military officials are out and younger kim loyalists are now in. to talk about that and more i'm joined by our senior diplomatic correspondent michelle kaczynski. you've been learning a lot about the preparations that are under way and the lowering of expectations. >> we started to see some signs of this last week. it was less than a week ago the state department told me for a summit to be successful the north koreans are have to do something they've never done before and between now and the
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summit they have to spell out what they're willing to do. we're looking for someig gesture, something historic. not words but action. and then less than 48 hours after that the president was saying, oh, we're going to do this summit. buthis is just the very beginning of what could be a long process. so it's pretty clear that whatever they were looking for so emphatically in those meetings between the summit was announced didn't quite happen. and so now we're hearing from a source familiar with the discussions that it was pretty much only president trump who thought maybe they could get some kind of unilateral concessions from north korea. come pay owe's discussions, secretary of state, his discussions with the north koreans proved that wasn't going to happen. so now when they do this summit, sure, they're going to be looking for maybe some broad agreement on deearization. and remember the north koreans have been telling the south koreans they've bting it in writing t they are committed to denuclearization, but it's known through intelligence sources that what they view as denuclearization is
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still quite a bit different it appears than what the u.s. sees. so maybe they could get , but as far as negotiating out the details of what denuclearization is really going to be, if it is to be eventually, that's going to be the state department and team there assembling of north korea experts and those negotiations could take years, wolf. >> years and years and years that they say, you saw barbara starr's report, our pentagon reporter over the weekend that the explosions at that nuclear test site in which the north koreans invited international journalists may have been less than meets the eye, may have been for show rather than a substantive destruction of some sort of nuclear capability. >> to many observers no surprise they didn't quite deliver what they said they were going to deliver. again, these intelligence reports that cnn reported on showing that when north korea -- when kim jong-un himself talks about denuclearization, really he still wants to hold on to
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some capability. that is the opposite of what the u.s. wants. so there are a lot of indications that they're not exactly -- not in where near where the u.s. is on what they would like when we're talking denuclearization. so the summit is on, but what comes out of it, of course, is a big question mark. >> i'm curious to see if one thing potentially that could come out of this some sort of diplomatic relationship between the united states and north korea if they open up intersections in their representative capitals or have an ambassador. we'll see what happens on that front. michelle, thank you very much. coming up, former president bill clinton says he does not owe monica lewinsky a personal apology. there was a heated interview. we'll have some details. and eight states are holding primary elections tomorrow. est battleground. the what will it take for the democrats to deliver that so-called blue wave they desperately want in november. that and much more when we come back.
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former president bill clinton on the defensive today over how he handled his affair with then white house intern monica lewinsky 20 years ago. it was a scandal that led eventually to his impeachment by the house of representatives. here is his response in an interview earlier today. >> asked if you ever apologized and you said you have. >> i have. >> you apologized to her. >> i apologized to everybody in the world. >> it is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow i feel is genuine. first and most important my family, monica lewinsky and her family. >> but you didn't apologize to her. >> i have not talked to her. >> do you feel like you owe her an apology. >> no. i do not -- i've never talked to her. but i did say publicly on more than one occasion that i was
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sorry. that's very different. the apology was public. >> our cnn politics reporter editor at large chris cillizza isoining us right now. what did you think of the former president's response? >> not great. he had 20 years to do it. i take his point as you played wolf, he did publicly apologize to virtually everyone including monica lewinsky in that same prayer breakfast he said i'm a sinner and said those things. i do think it is different, might just be me, i think it is different to offer a broad scale public apology that includes someone and to reach out even if monica lewinsky doesn't ever call you back, reach out to try to apologize personally. just because her life for the last 20 years and i think she's written eloquently about this, her life has been extremely diff d i do think it's a lack of recognition by bill clinton. he was the president of the united states.
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she was an intern. many people on twitter say they -- takes two to tango. consider that relationship in that dynamic? i don't think that's right. >> she tweeted in response this this. she was grateful to the myriad people who helped me evolve, gain perspective in the last 20 years. tell us how her thinking has changed over these two decades. >> so that piece i would urge people wherever you come down on this, i would urge people to take five minutes of your day and read it. i read it back when it came out. it's worth rereading. her argument in the piece is trying to explain how this is still something in her life, all these years later, that she has to deal with. how she has come to deal with it and most imporly for what we're talking about in the present is how at the time and even five years ago i thinkhe says she wrote about how it was consensual, there was no forcing of anything, but that now in light of the #metoo moment,
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given the disparity in the relationship, president of the united states, white house intern, she now has begun to sort of re-amine t dynamic. i think read the piece before you judge her, bill clinton or anyone else. the piece is very interesting. i think she's an eloquent voice not just on this but on issues of bullying as well. >> has she asked the president for a personal apology. >> we do not know that. we didn't know until today really that he had not offered a personal to her apology. right? he would say he offered her an apology. not a personal to her apology. here is what i would say, wolf, even if she didn't want and didn't ask for it, i do think given what we now know about what transpired, it is bill clinton was a former president of the united states who had an affair with an intern who was in her early 20s, 23, 24 years old. i do not think it is the worst thing in th world for bill clinton to have some point in the last two decades say, i understand how difficult this was for you. i'm sorry. i wish we could do it
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differently. the end. that he hasn't -- he responded the way he did, angry i did this already. how dare you. and basically said in another clipwo thirds of the public agreed with's not a polli is a right and wrong issuey estimation. it feels like he's done on the wrong side of it. >> chris cillizza, thank you for that. coming up, how are democrats feeling about the chances a so-called blue wave in november? i'll ask chairman of the democratic senatorial campaign committee, senator chris vanlla by live. plaque psoriasis can be relentless.
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midterm races heat up. democrats are hoping to use california as a spring board to retake the house of representatives while also protecting their tenuous seats in the u.s. senate. joining us now from capitol hill maryland senator van hollen. senator, thanks so much for joining us. >> great to be with you, wolf. >> so a third of the senate up for election this year and all democrats are trying to protect 24 seats. what's the strategy from your perspective? can youealistically retake control, become the majority in the u.s. senate? >> well the answer is as of toefinitely have a credibility path toward taking majority of the united states senate. i would not have been able to say that to you one year ago, certainly a year ago january. and that's because we've seen incredible momentum for democratic candidates around the country, both in the november
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elections in virginia and elsewhere and the special elections in places like alabama and in the special election in pennsylvania where you had a state in the case of alabama, congressional district in pennsylvania that both went big for trump in 2016 but wanted to representatives and senators as they went forward. so, we see a lot o momentum, but we have a very difficult political map in the senate. there's no sugar coating that. >> yeah. there's a 51-49 majority of the republicans have right now. let's get to some substantive policy issues that could have an impact on the elections. countries like canada, close u.s. ally, maybe the closest u.s. ally. mexico, the european union, they promised retaliatory trade moves in response to steep new tariffs announced by the trump administration. can the senate step in, will senate republicans join senate democrats to do anything about this? what's your perspective?
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>> so, wolf, there's big bipartisan concern in senate about these moves. let's distinguish between china on the one hand and canada, mexico and our european allies on other. there's no doubt that china has been trying to steal our technology secre and if you want to do business in china,th american company and say you have to do a joint venture with us to get access to that technology. weeed to clamp down on that, but penalizing our european allies is a big mistake and also going to boomerang on the american consumer. let's remember what we're talking about, raising tariffs is raising taxes on american consumers. i can tell you in my state of maryland, the maryland chamber ofrce is very nervous at what's happening. farmers on the eastern shore of maryland like around the country are nervous about having their markets closed down and the reality is for american consumers, they're going to be
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paying more on items they're purchasing here in the united states. it's a hidden tax increase that will come back to bite us. finally, wolf, the president should not be trading off national security issues for some of these trade issues, as he has been with respect to the chinese telecommunications company zte. >> i know you're very sensitive on that issue. the president tweeted about pardons. i have the absolute right to pardon myself, but why would i do that when i have done nothing wrong. what's your reaction? >> wolf, this is a jaw-dropping claim by the president of the united states. and let's think about what he is saying. he's saying the president of the united states can violate every federal law and be immune from prosecution because they can either shut down the enforcement and investigation or if they're guilty they can pardon themselves. we have established as a basic principle in this country that
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no person is above the law, that the president is not a king. the president is not above the law. so, to make that claim that he can violate federal law with immunity totally undermines the basic constitutional premises in our country. and i would hope that republicans and democrats and everybody else says that this is unacceptable to make this claim. >> senator chris van hollen, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be with you. thanks, wolf. new trouble for the epa administrator scott pruitt. house democrats say pruitt used his staff to run personal errands including trying to buy a used mattress from the trump international hotel during his controversial apartment search. the white house press briefing getting ready in a few moments from now. sarah sanders getting ready to take questions from reporters. we'll have live coverage. and with twice the detail of other tests... can show dad where he's from ...and strengthen the bonds you share. give dad ancestrydna
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there are new questions today being raised by house democrats about the controversial epa administrator scott pruitt and how he may have inappropriately used a member of his own staff. joining us now from new york our own sara is working the story for us. take us through the latest allegations here, sara. he new details coming from democrats on the house oversight committee who are releasing a partial transcript from an interview with one of scott pruitt's top aides. she is a close personal friend of pruitt and his wife. among the things she did for him, trying to secure a used mattress at a discounted price from the trump international hotel. democrats say it's apparent from talking to her that pruitt has been using his staff to run errands for him, something that
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could be, could be a violation of federal law. which says you can't use your public office for private gain. now, this staffer told the committee she also spent several hours a week apartment hunting for pruitt in washington, d.c. even touring more than ten of those places during work hours. and that's where the potential problem for pruitt really could lie. she also says that she helped pruitt do things like book his family vacation to the rose bowl in january, but r the potential violation lies in the work she did during work hours. and epa spokesperson said they are working with the committee to provide necessary documents but democrats are asking the house oversight chair trey gowdy to issue a subpoena to get communications of the epa has so far not turned over, wolf. >> more controversy indeed. sara, thanks very much sara ganim reporting. we're moments away from the white house press briefing, sarah sanders will start
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we're waiting for the white house press briefing to begin. sarah sanders expected to face questions over the president's latest tweets being able to pardon himself. we'll have live coverage as soon as it begins. stay tuned for that. >> the former chief white house domestic policy adviser. he's the author of an important new book entitled president carter, the white house years. congratulations on this new book. you go through an enormous amount of history, i want to get to it in a moment. how do you think -- and i kw you're still in touch with jimmy
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carter, how do you think he's reacting to this uproar with th alleged connections between rush gentleman and the trump campaign. >> one of the reasons for his tion was because of watergate 37 he put together special c laws and interestingly and revealingly, the first instance in which the special council law was his own chief of staff, what turned out to be charges about snorting cocaine. carter never criticized it, he respected the institutions of government, he respected the justice department, he respected the independence of the special council. and that is a sharp contrast, addition. in many ways, he's the antithesis of the way this administration is being conducted. he really respected the
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institutions of government, he a apeeled to the better angels. didn't divide us, stokeover answers, while he was for lean government, his government believed the government had a role to play. >> summit the camp david accords between israel and egypt. leading to a peace treaty between israel and egypt. now president trump has an oric summit with the leader of north korea right now. how did jimmy carter prepare for those intense negotiations and i'm wondering how -- from your perspective, how president trump is preparing for this historic summit next week. >> i think it's important to talk, but in symmetry, there are three words, preparation, preparation, preparation. >> jimmy carter prepared for this, he looked the cia reports to understand the individuals involved. what they could accept, what
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they couldn't accept. cam much david didn't come out of the blue. there had been months of preparation so we knew the gaps that existed, and it wasn't just a meet and greet. 13 agonizing days and nights, 20 drafts the president himself did, he negotiated separately with the two presidents and then added personal touches, like, for example, when it looked like everything was going to fail, he signed eight photographs with bagan's grandchildren. it combines intense preparation, and i hope that's being done now for the president. >> you believe jimmy carter is the most successful one term president in american history. tell us whyieve that. there were some set backs, 44 days of americans held hostage in iran. interest rates were high, unemployment was relatively
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high. tell us why you think he was the most successful one term president. >> we lost the election because of inflation, iran, interparty differences, inexperience on his part. but i think that the accomplishments areeally overshadowed by this. 70% of all his legislation was passed, the energy security we enjoyed today is largely based on those energy bills. he was the greatest environmental president, doubling the size of the whole national parks system. the ethics laws, more important than ever, he was a consumer champion deregulating airlines and telecommunications, and then in foreign policy, camp david which has stood the test of time, normalizing relations with chi china. human rights, applying it to the dictators in latin america, and also to the soviet union, a big defense buildup against the soviets and the panama canal.
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these have all been obscured by the real problems which i don't whitewash. >> why corporate he get himself re-elected in the face of that challenge from ronald reagan. >> the major reason, it was too much coming at the same time, the combination of double-digit inflation largely caused by the iranian revolution, also, 444 days of humiliation. he made the decision with which i disagreed, that the number one prty was getting the hostages out safely, rather than taking military action like manning the harbors, holding himself up in the white house and making that the sole focus, and the rescue effort which was aborted. without question, iran was our coup de gras. >> he had some health issues. >> he had met static mel anoma which spread to his brain. he's gting therapy for, and
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he's doing fantastically well. >> the book is entitled president carter, the white house years, sues artize an stat is the author, thanks for writing the book. that's it f me, i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern, in the situation room. among my guests, jay johnson, stand by for that, in the meantime, the news continues right now. wolf, thank you so much. hi, everyone, i'm brooke baldwin, thank you for tuning in to cnn on this monday afternoon, we're moments away from the white house briefing. we're finding another case of what was said at that po, also with the lawyer on tv, even with the president himself, they were not telling the truth. as the credibility of this white house is under question, the question is tweeting today that he is above the law. let me read for you,