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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  June 6, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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swer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. it's another remarkably busy news day. thank you for sharing it with us. new reporting on much's latest obsession, his power to pardon. cnn has told the paperwork for dozens of pardons is in the work and the white house chief of staff not happy with the boss. an eight-state primary night. democrats believe they will escape a nightmare scenario in california. and republicans in several states prove president trump is in full command of the gop
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train. and it was a simple question -- why did sarah sanders lie? >> nothing has been produced that implicates the president in any way, and you know that. you know it would have leaked if that were there. you know that. i know that cnn has invested considerable sweat equity, time, and money in chasing the russian collusion delusion illusion, and that you're waiting for it to bear fruit. but a year in, you see the polls starting to turn on this. you saw the harvard harris poll. do you have any evidence that there is russian collusion? >> i haven't seen the special counsel's report. i have not seen the special counsel's report. i have seen -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> makes you kind of miss alternative facts. we begin a packed hour at the white house. cnn has been told president trump is now fascinated by his power to pardon and looking at
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ways to use it even more. the paperwork for dozens more pardons is being prepared and at least one case, the chief of staff john kelly is described as worried. the boss now cutting corners and putting his impulse to act. caitlin collins is at the white house. why and why are we headed here? >> reporter: the president does seem prepared to wield his constitutional right here to pardon people, dozens to be exact. the white house has prepared the paperwork for at least 30 people i'm told by sources inside. all they need is donald trump's signature to have these people pardoned. this is showi ining us how the president is going to exert his constitutional right to pardon people. one is alice johnson, the 63-year-old woman that kim kardashian came to the white house to lobby for. she was in prison for drug and money laundering charges. the president has signaled to
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aides that he is inclined to part pardon her. but there is a split whether she should be pardoned or have her sentence commuted. and there is a split between jared kushner and john kelly. jared kushner arranged the meeting with kim kardashian to meet with president trump. but john kelly does not think alice johnson is worthy of a presidential pardon. so that is a debate going on inside the white house. larger what we're looking at is not an unusual pattern of a president pardoning people. all presidents do that. but what's unusual here is that the president has pardoned several people just 17 months in office. i'm told that has caused friends and allies of the president to lobby him on behalf of people they believe deserve forgiveness here, john. >> different, i guess is what way to put it. thank you.
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with me here in the studio to share their insights, maggie haberman, phil mattingly, and eliana johnson. the president is very different. there are a lot of systems in washington that need to be changed. is this one of them? what is the president's impulse here? is it i have this power, i can't get congress to do anything, is that what it is? >> i think that's a big aspect of it. the other thing i'm baffled by with the pardon coverage is the president has been fascinated by his pardon power, when he first pardoned joe arpaio last year. this is one of the magic powers he didn't understand how it works. once he learned how it did work, this is how he ended up asking can i pardon my friends and family and myself. i do think the pardon system does need to be changed. i'm struck in this particular case, the one that kim
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kardashian brought to the president's attention. this is an example of john kelly's real weak political instincts where he's against this and doesn't think she deserves it. of all the pardons the president has done, like joe arpaio, or this one, who is not going to commit the same kind of crime, this would be good politics. the fact that he's arguing against it is curious. >> it's interesting. to your point, the three that make people in politics say is the president trying to send a message here this is this about politics, about james comey, the fbi, sending messages. dfinesh d'souza, joe arpaio, the sheriff from arizona, who was known as a trump immigration ally, to latino activists they viewed him as a racial profiler. and alice marie johnson,
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convicted in 1996 for drug convicti conviction, serving a life sentence. this one, i don't think we would say ha ha, what signals are he sending to paul manafort if he did that. >> i think it's interesting to see not that he's giving out these pardons or considering pardoning people, but who he's trying to pardon. there's been a lot of criticism about celebrities being involved. even in the case of alice johnson, it was kim kardashian who took it to the president. so does a celebrity always have to be involved for the president to pardon someonesome >> you're right, the president has been fascinated with this a long time, maybe it's accelerating. but one of the interesting things you see is people outside getting it. kim kardashian asked for a white house meeting. we know the president's interest in celebrities and he follows reality television. here's another one. the wife of george papadopoulos. she's on television.
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he's cooperating with the special counsel. if you're the president of the united states, you don't like that. but his wife says, let's have a pardon. >> honestly, i know how committed he was to the trump campaign. i know he did an excellent job. and because of this incident, his freedom is challenged. so i trust and hope and ask president trump to pardon him. i hope he will. >> i mean, this is going to sound very flip. i don't mean it this way. but the traditional process, is you apply to the justice department, you go through a long process where they reach out to any supporting or aggrieved parties, what's the history, how does this fit in the context of past pardons. is the new process get on fox news or get jared kushner to get you into the oval office? >> i don't think process has been a strength of the trump white house. john kelly tried to change that to limited effect, i think. but we've seen two different sorts of pardons. you had insiders like scooter
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libby lobbying from the outset of the administration. and now you're seeing not necessarily outsiders but people less familiar with the political process like kim kardashian, trump's celebrity friends starting to realize the president is willing to make these moves, beginning to lobby him. it is celebrities, people connected to the president. but his focus is clearly people who have been the subject of overzealous procesecutorial discretion and he feels empathy for them for obvious reasons. >> i think there's value and merit into looking at this process and shifting the paradigm. if you look across the criminal justice system, there are people who have lists of people who have been wronged, their sentences way too harsh. the reasons or rational of why they're currently in jail, are weak at best. and therefore, the idea of waiting for politics or a lengthy justice department process in getting rid of that and changing that paradigm,
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there's value to that. i think the real question now becomes is it just people that get on fox news and lobby their case, or is he going to take a wider ranging view of a very real power that he has constitutionally, and apply it in a way that could make a system that i think all parties, most notably his son that law think is broken, make it better? >> can the -- people view it through their eye of their political prism. alice marie johnson, okay, jack johnson, joe arpaio, scooter libby. a white house official said trump is obsessed as pardons, but the potential pardon of johnson has caused consternation with chief of staff kelly. is it the process or the end result? is it they're traditionalists
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and they think this is why we have a justice department and lawyers and months of meetings? >> i've got to say being bothered by traditional process is not a hallmark of this white house. i think that don mcgahn has tried more often than not to make actual policy get followed, particularly since the rob porter issue. john kelly i think does these things issue by issue and based on how he feels about them. again, this does not follow the normal process. to your point, should somebody have to be a celebrity or be able to be in a fox news green room to get the president's attention? that's a different subject. but on this particular case, it is still not clear to me and it's not clear to me from "the washington post" story why kelly has an issue here. what i think it is, i think some of it is the method of delivery
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here, sort of the jared kushner push for prison reform, and who is helping it pushing -- >> the existing internal tensions. >> this is about other things and not the case. when we come back, one of the other things that comes up a lot, the russian investigation. big news from the president's top lawyers. maybe bigger news from the speaker of the house. it's gone. that's why you need someone behind you. not just a card. an entire support system. whether visiting the airport lounge to catch up on what's really important. or even using those hard-earned points to squeeze in a little family time. no one has your back like american express. so no matter where you're going... we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it.
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trying to frame him, let that sink in. and paul ryan now joining another republican in refuting the president's allegation that the fbi illegally spied on the trump campaign. ryan, you might remember, was among the lawmakers briefed by the fbi and other justice department leaders. republican congressman trey gowdy entered that briefing an fbi critic, but said the fbi did nothing wrong and did everything right in its use of confidential informants. gowdy is now under fierce attack from team trump, which makes this is a very big deal. >> chairman gowdy's official assessment is accurate. i think -- we have some more digging to do. we're waiting for more document requests. we still have some unanswered questions. it would have been helpful if we got this information earlier. if we got all the information we're looking for, we could wrap
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this up faster. but i've seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that chairman gowdy has made. >> in the middle there, he was trying to be careful and be differential to the conservatives who are on team trump. but at the beginning and the end, the speaker was saying, mr. president, you're wrong, stop it. >> yes, in a word, yes, is what he's doing. you also get a peak of what's been going on as ryan has tried to walk a careful line with devin nunes and the conservatives in their conference, and the reason why trey gowdy has been involved in a lot of this. the speaker trusts him, thinks highly of trey gowdy. his role throughout all of this, and gowdy's willingness to talk about this on fox news and his perspective gave ryan an opportunity to talk about something that's happened behind closed doors. gowdy laid this out there. now the speaker has backed it up, walked the line a little bit, but backed it up.
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our colleague heard from richard burr, who rarely speaks on these issues, he said he agreed with trey gowdy. you're seeing everyone but devin nunes saying everything the fbi has shown us shows what the fbi did was correct and in line with their process and what the fbi did is not at all what the president is trying to say. >> sometimes we need to slow down in the blur age of trump we live in. so the speaker of the house, trey gowdy, three very prominent republicans, including the man third in line to the presidency, saying mr. president, stop. mr. president, you are wrong. mr. president, the fbi did not spy on you. mr. president, give it up. >> he's not really saying that, though. they're saying the president is wrong, but what they are not doing is laying down some gauntlet and say thing is an outrage, this is undermining our institutions. you are seeing people, i think -- >> it's a step out of hiding, which they've been doing on
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these questions, but it's not a full step. >> we've seen them step out and step back the last three years. i don't know that this marks some new moment in time. paul ryan is leaving. gowdy is leaving. the people who are staying, are they going to say that? it doesn't seem that. and trump does these things by attrition. i do think you are seeing people who recognize this is something of a tipping point in terms of what people are going to be comfortable with, and feel okay about the bounds of what trump is doing. trump has undermined and discredited law enforcement institutions in this country in the service of himself and the service of saying, they're after me. i think you are increasingly seeing republicans uncomfortable with that, that they are not saying what you said, in my opinion, i'm not trying to be argumentative, but that's a really important thing. they're not doing that. until they do that -- >> they're not taking it all the way. we have to take the inference the fbi did not spy on you.
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what is they said is, he's just not accurate. >> it's an excellent point. as the speaker said, republicans, who used to think -- team trump used to think of trey gowdy as a hero, now saying he's joined rod rosenstein and jeff session and everybody else in the deep state. >> to pull back for a second, this is an example of how trump tends to divide republicans. democrats are united on this. but then trump comes forth with a statement about the fbi spying on his campaign and it's an issue that plit splits republin two, and going towards the midterm elections, it's why republicans are fearful approaching november. >> it's interesting that even though they're retiring from congress, they're not going all the way yet and saying mr. president, stop doing this. they're still couching their words a little bit. >> that's because they care about the ramifications for the midterms, even though they're leaving. paul ryan, who has struggled to
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stay on as speaker and had to make an argument he can try to hold the house, even though people are pushing him to step down. >> that's a key point and a window into how republicans have just flat-out decided they're going to deal with the president. there have been no shortage of behind the scene conversations amongst top republicans. how do we deal with the president, how do we operate when he throws things out like this? they have made the calculation that dealing with the president behind the scenes by phone is far more effective than stepping out and making some bold statement. this suspect tisn't the speaker his face saying mr. president, stop. behind the scenes, he continues to tell the president, please don't do this stuff. >> to that point, we don't have time to discuss it. the speaker was asked if the president had the power to pardon himself, he said i don't
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know the technical answer, but he shouldn't do that. >> that's much further than everything else he said about the fbi and spying, that was a different answer. >> he's got a lot of republicans who are going home to campaign. the white house press secretary sarah sanders will be on "cuomo primetime" tonight at 9:00 eastern. we'll be right back with the big election results. ♪ ♪ ♪ no matter when you retire, your income doesn't have to. see how lincoln can help ensure you still have income every month of your retirement, guaranteed, at lincolnfinancial.com. join t-mobile. and get netflix included for the whole family. so you can get lost in space in your own backyard...
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now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! welcome back. the president, in a fresh fight today, with a leading member of his own party, and with key american allies over his push for new trade tariffs, the eu, canada, mexico, announcing fresh retaliatory steps against the u.s. tariffs. the president says he's not going to back down. either it seems at least for the moment is senator bob corker, who is pushing a plan to block
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the president. president trump called him this morning to tell him to back off, saying it hurts his ability to negotiate with countries. corker says, sorry, mr. president, he has an obligation to stick to his plan, even though he knows many republicans won't support it because they're fearful of the president. what to make of this. we were talking in a separate context about the russia investigation. are republicans getting a little more emboldened to stand up to the president? does it matter? >> the genesis of this is there's one issue the republicans have been willing to take the full step forward is trade. the republican party differs greatly with the president. why the president had to make this phone call, this is now real. instead of behind the scenes phone calls, there is now a legislative threat on the table, and i'm told, republican leadership is amenable to the idea of giving it a vote on the floor as part of a broader defense bill. the issue here is that it's not just corker.
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corker is retiring and can be the face of it and take bullets. behind corker is people behind senator pat toomey and other senators keen on what this will do. it goes beyond just the idealogical split. it goes to these are what we're hearing from back home, and this is now a very real threat to the president. >> you're seeing the president has a bill signing ceremony at the rose garden. part of what you said is the most significant part is we were talking about paul ryan agreeing with trey gowdy, saying the president shouldn't pardon himself. mitch mcconnell, willing to let it -- if he lets them propose that amendment, that's a change. that is the majority leader letting there be -- they've all been saying mr. president, you're wrong, this is dumb. mr. president, this is not the 1920s. talking and doing are two very different things. the republican party has been reluctant to do the do part.
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if mitch mcconnell allows a vote, what does that tell us? >> mitch mcconnell is thinking about his majority and expanding his majority in the senate. there are a lot of senate democrats up in red states where agriculture is a big issue. so they're probably hearing like phil said, from their constituents there, and that's what is on mitch mcconnell's mind right now. >> and yet, u.s. steel announced overnight, it will create 300 jobs in illinois. half the factory is open, it will open the rest of it. the president will argue, i'm right. >> he will, and they're going to be individual data points helpful to him. i do think to phil's point, the more there's actual legislation on the table that will have to be an up or down referendum on, instead of just whispers about concerns and this could happen or could not happen, it's going to be hard to cherry pick pieces of information. >> senator corker said, some republicans are "fearful" of crossing the president. there's ample evidence that you get on the wrong side of the president as a republican, it
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can hurt you. democrats like the president's actions on this issue. others aren't so sure. >> this is a local issue for politicians. some republicans may be fearful of crossing the president, but they may be more fearful of losing their elections in november. so it's a tug of war between how popular trump's actions are in their home state versus what the economic ramifications are. and it's a tug of war for voters. how much do they like trump versus how much are these tariffs hurting them? >> there's a strength in numbers issue, where you have the entire part y co y y part y coalescing behind this. >> i wouldn't mind spending time on that. >> we'll watch this one. we started the show by talking
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about the president getting more aggressive in his use of pardons. president trump just commuted the sentence of a woman we mentioned, 63-year-old alice johnson. this follows a white house meeting with kim kardashian who pressed for her release. jeremy diamond has more. >> reporter: two white house officials are telling us that president trump commuted the prison sentence of alice marie johnson. he has been serving a life sentence in prison on charges of attempted cocaine possession, conspiracy, and money laundering. this comes a week after the president met last week with kim kardashian-west, who brought some celebrity appeal to this case that had been gaining popularity with calls for an act of clemency on the president's part. it appears her appeal was successful. kim kardashian coordinated this with kasjared kushner just last week. of course, john, this comes as
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the president has been increasingly turning to his power to pardon or to commute the prison sentences of people. he's issued several pardons recently. but this is one of the first that has been really somebody who is currently serving in prison, a commutation, and somebody that doesn't fit the profile of a political ally of his. the closest thing that we can think of is jack johnson, the famed boxer, who his case was brought to the president's attention by sylvester stallone. but that was a posthumous pardoning. this is somebody's whose life will be affected by this. she is going to be released from prison as a result of this commutation, though it is unclear at this point when that would take place. how short the commutation will be, and whether it will apply to these 21 years that she has already spent in prison. so we are still awaiting more details. but interesting following that meeting with kim kardashian-west last week, and the reporting
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that we have that the president is increasingly turning to this power of the pardon. john? >> jeremy, appreciate it. if you get the paperwork, let us know. let's bring it back in the room. we talked about this case is different. alice marie johnson, drug charges, not a political figure. interesting, you talked about the resistance from john kelly and how it seemed tone deaf politically. i don't know if compromise is the right word, but is this a compromise on the president's pard that it's commutation but not a pardon? it's a get out of jail card but not wipe it away. >> it looks this way, but i'm hoet loathe to speculate. i think the specifics of this case match what the pardoning and commutation power is 130 supposed to be. it's not supposed to be devoid of process. i also think that the thing i hear from white house officials about sort of this pardon issue generally is the message the president is sending.
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when we reported the president's former lawyer john dowd discussed this with manafort's lawyer about the possibility of a pardon down the road. so it's not a surprise, but it does suggest that basically laws don't matter. if there's a constant get out of jail free card, that is where you start to see an issue. i think there would be less concern on the alice johnson case had you not had all these other pardons prior to that. >> some people say it's the celebrity, kim kardashian getting a meeting that the average joe from omaha, nebraska can't get. but somebody else asking for the same case, rod blagojevich, who is in prison for a pay for play scheme. his wife has gone on television saying let my husband out. that would take you back into the political conversation. he was a prominent democrat.
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that would be -- we would be having a very different conversation. >> that is political corruption, and the selling of a senate seat. that is why that is so disturbing. >> the use of the pardon power, in part, to get back at prosecutors like pat fitzgerald or james comey, who he has a bone to pick with, is certainly would be, if he were to go through with it, a unique use of the pardon power that we've never seen by a president. >> so it gets hard to separate these other cases. even though the pardon of jack johnson, sylvester stallone called the white house and brought this to his attention. who cares who called, it's the right thing to do. who cares if it's the right thing to do? >> but if it's the president thinking someone like alice johnson was treated unfairly and that's why he's commuting her sentence, the larger issue of sentencing reform is not something he's shown willingness
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to take up. sentencing reform, which could have helped someone like alice johnson, is not something on the table. >> the other thing is that the type of reforms that you're talking about involve people across the board. you don't get to cherry pick who deserves fo s good treatment an doesn't. when we see the president talk about law enforcement, it's real iron fist stuff. and when it comes to people like rod blagojevich, you hear about how unfair this is. >> consistent si question. when we come back, a big primary from coast to coast. california sends the biggest message, but it's not just california. we'll break it all down. we'll be right back. once there was an organism so small
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welcome back. california understand my getting most of the attention today, but the lessons of the biggest primary night so far in this midterm election year extend from coast to coast. one is, have no doubt about the president's power the republican base. another is, being a woman is way more often than not a big plus with voters this year. california lessons are many. and important. even though a lot of the election results are far from final. let's take a quick look at some of these races. i want to pop up a house district. devin nunes, people thought he might be in trouble because of his prominence in russia. an easy primary win. he'll face a democrat in the fall. want to go up here to california ten. this is one of the seven districts held by a republican that hillary clinton won. democrats want to target this race. there was a question would they have a candidate? jeff denim, only 91%, it appears
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the democrats will not be locked out in this so-called jungle primary. it's the top two primary finishes, because of california rules. they were a bit nervous about that. they were more nervous down here. darrell issa, republican congressman, he's retiring. diane harky is a republican, and it appears now the democrats were nervous about having a candidate. looks like they will have a candidate in that race. again, the jungled primary on full display. dana raurback, hillary clinton carried it in the presidential race. it does appear, again, we have 100% in now that democrat also have a candidate in that race. so democrats breathing a sigh of relief when it comes to the house races, they did not get locked out in any of the races they feared. another big test in california. remember dianne feinstein, she was vulnerable the bernie
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sanders revolution might get her. she's below 50%. looks like she'll have a democratic opponent. no republican in the california senate race. that's embarrassing for the republican party. if this solds up, feinstein will face a challenge to the left. and lastly, imagine if the nation's largest state did not have a republican on the ballot for governor. the california republican party has been struggling for years. john cox was way down in the polls until the president of the united states tweeted, get out and help support him. the trump bump they're calling it in california. john box will be on the ballot. a republican candidate and gavin newsom will be heavily favored. the two candidates for governor in the biggest state of the country, the president will be an issue. >> hello, california. are we ready for a republican governor? yes! we put a businessman in the white house, let's put a
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becauseman in tbecause m -- put businessman in the governor's mansion. >> we need a governor that will stand up to donald trump rather than a foot soldier in his war on california. >> let's start with the republican perspective. john cox is a hefy underdog, but i don't think he would have been there if not for the president. so you have the trump bump. the president says vote for him, it worked with the republican base. in alabama, a republican woman who said she would not support president trump, she's going to be in a runoff against a former democrat. in montana, we have the republican candidate going to run against senator candiman. it was jon tester who used the candiman word . what did republican voters tell us last night? >> i'm going to turn that over
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to people who are following this more closely. >> i think in california, first and foremost the president had an impact on the governor's race, but you look at having a republican on the ticket, having the gas tax issue on the ballot in november, and this plays into the issue of having front line republican candidates in the state having a boost. you look at their numbers in the primary. those don't necessarily correlate with the general. but four or five of them have good nights. these guys that come from clinton districts, these are front line republicans to begin with. they're good candidates. they know their district. there's a reason they win there. from that sense, republicans can feel comfortable about what happened in california. to your point -- >> if you don't care about congress, you might not care at all. republicans will not have a candidate for senate. so having cox on the ballot, even though you expect him to
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lose, we'll see what happens. >> it's the interesting night where both parties can end up happy. the democrats not getting locked out for the most part and making sure that they're in there, gives them the opportunity they want. and should there be a wave or have a good push, they have all of those opportunities that they wanted in that state and places like new jersey that they need to get kind of the 1/3 to a little more than toward the 23 they need for a majority. >> democratic intensity, we see decent turnout on the democrat ek side. it is the year of the woman on the democratic side. the sanders revolution has its limits. we saw that in iowa and elsewhere. candidates backed by bernie sanders didn't do so well. bob menendez is probably going to be re-elected in senator. his corrupt case there.after and diane feinstein, she's under
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50%, but a couple months ago, the progressives were saying your time is done. >> this is being overstated to some extent. the schism in the democratic party is nowhere near what we see in the republican party. >> it seems overstated, and there might be energy on the sanders' side on the far left side, but they haven't been able to organize in any way that we've seen so far at least. >> quick break for us. when we come back, yesterday, the eagles did not attend the white house. today they're back at practice. their coach, speaking out. ♪
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it's hard to get all the daily that's why i love fiber choice. it has the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables, all in a tasty, chewable tablet. fiber choice... the smart choice. president trump signing the v.a. mission act, options to get care in the private sector. the philadelphia eagles coach speaking out on the president's decision to cancel the team's visit. peterson said while he wanted to go, his team now is focused on football. >> i was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions. you know, it is what it is. i'm not discussing it. it's over. what you have seen and what you've heard is enough. i'm not going to discuss it, because we have two practices, a mandatory camp next week and i'm
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focused on that. we're united. we're a team. been that way since i've been here. >> the state department spokeswoman had a little damage control this week, but may have dug the hole deeper. while trying to explain a controversial statement to the ambassador to germany, she listed examples of u.s.-german cooperation and brought up a famous world war ii battle. >> when with you talk about germany, we have a very strong relationship with the government of germany. looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the marshal plan. tomorrow is the anniversary of the d-day invasion. we have a very long history with the government of history and a strong relationship with the government. and so we want to reaffirm the strength of our relationship with germany. >> back to the history books a bit on that one. scott pruitt back in the news. it involves chick-fil-a. seriously. ♪
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welcome back. if a cat has nine cat cats, the maybe scott pruitt has 90. pruitt had his taxpayer funded staff ask about a business opportunity for his wife with fast food chain chick-fil-a. that on the heels of a report that he had another aide contact the trump international hotel about purchasing a used mattress. [ laughter ] there are more than a dozen investigations into his conduct, and importantly, the patience of some senate republicans past the breaking point. >> i am hopeful that the president will just recognize that mr. pruitt is breaking our president's promises to farmers, and at some point he will say it's time for you to go. he is about as swampy as you
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get. >> i think i made myself clear on what i expect and what i intend to do if these changes do hurt biofuels. i think that pruitt has betrayed the president. >> those are iowa's two republican senators. important to note that joni ernst takes it into the swamplan swampland. but then they take it to a higher degree. why does this guy still have a job? >> we talked about republicans being willing to stand up to trump. this is one area they have lost patience. scott pruitt must have the thickest skin in washington. he's taken all this incoming and he seems to have no shame. >> this is the thing, if you have no shame, it's going to be very hurtful for people, and where else have we seen that? i just -- it's been described to me as a problem the president
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doesn't want to deal with, including they now have a deputy administrator they like. but he hears from a lot of people who he thinks need their support, that pruitt is great, and this sun fair, and he always equates people being under attack with him. the volume -- >> i was going to say, maybe some of it is exaggerated. maybe some of it is the staff problem, not the administrator's problem. but, aides buying a used mattress from the trump hotel, $1,500 on 12 custom made fountain pens. blocked reporters from the speech at the epa summit. 2017, din we are a vatican official accused of sexual abuse. "the new york times" have done some reporting on a number of
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these issues. let me just imagine if hillary clinton were president, and her epa administrator did this, and the republicans controlled congress. >> correct. right. >> one of the funnier elements of all this is his biggest mistake is he didn't have a political adviser inside the epa saying don't mess with ethanol. if you mess with that, then you have two iowa senators who are very, very, very angry. >> i'm willing to give him a pass on the chick fi-fil-a thin because if i'm ever in high government fice i'm going to get a chick-fil-a restaurant, too. >> to your point, you do hear more privately, the iowa senator more privately, a number of senators saying we can't have
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another confirmation fight. we shall keep an eye on that. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." see you back here tomorrow. "wolf" starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you very much for joining us. up first, we're following the breaking news, summit showdown. we're not talking about north korea. the g7 summit of the world's wealthiest nations, shaping up to be a rather tense gathering, with allies of the united states very angry over tariffs imposed by president trump. we're standing by for a presummit briefing from larry kudlow, the director of the economic national counsel. he will be discussing the tariffs imposed by the u.s. and the possibility of a major trade war erupting between the u.s. and its closest allies. larry kudlow getting ready to
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brief reporters. we'll have live coverage. the canadian prime minister meeting in quebec on friday. he's lid over president trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and we're learning about a rather testy phone call between the prime minister and the president of the united states. let's go to jim acosta. jim, tell us what you're learning about this phone call and what it could mean for g7 summit. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. president trump and canadian prime minister justin trudeau, according to our sources, had a testy phone call last month over new tariffs imposed by the trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming in from canada. this included one moment during the conversation in which trump made an erroneous historical reference. according to our sources familiar with the conversation, telling cnn, trudeau pressed the president on how he could just thy these tariffs as a national
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security issue, and he said, didn't you guys burn down the white house? this was in reference to the war of 1812. the problem with those comments is that british troops burned down the white house during the war of 1812, those historians note the british attack on washington was in retaliation for the american attack on york, ontario, a british colony. sources don't know if the remark was his way of adding some hefty to the conversation with prime minister trudeatrudeau, but we told that this is no laughing matter and won't be a laughing matter for canadian or american workers. and justin trudeau has denounced the national security justification for the new tariffs, and the prime minister blasted the tariffs over the weekend as insults. we're told that the foreign minister of canada made her concerns very clear in a coer

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