tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN June 14, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
nothing like pulling it out of the bag when it matters. that got the 2018 up and running, brooke. >> amanda, thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me here. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brooke. the report comes out that says james comey screwed up. but did the fbi ultimately help donald trump? "the lead" starts now. it's out, the long-awaited report on the fbi's handling of the hillary clinton e-mail case blames now fired fbi director james comey, does it let president trump off the hook for firing him? north korea basking in the propaganda. state media proudly showing president trump returning a salute from a north korean general as the president restorally defends one of the most oppress i leaders in the world. plus, suing the trumps, president trump unloading as the new york attorney general sues him and his grown children and tries to dismantle the trump
foundation. good afternoon, welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. we begin with the highly anticipated report from the justice department's inspector general examining how top officials handled the investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server. it just dropped like a bomb in the j. edgar hoover building, assailing the decisions made by former attorney general loretta lynch, former fbi director james comey, fbi agents whosed biased anti-trump texts the inspector general finds deeply troubling. repeatedly independentor general michael horowitz says he found explanations from the aforementioned to be "unpersuasive" and yet the top line here in this 568 page report, the ig found no evidence that political bias impacted the decisions leading up to the decision to not prosecute hillary clinton. which is not to say the inspector general didn't find a lot to criticize, concluding that former fbi director james comey deviated from the bureau's norms in giving that july, 2016,
press conference about the clinton case and deviated from the norms in the october, 2016, letter to congress reopening the matter. also revealed in this report were more text messages exchanged between former fbi lawyer lisa page and fbi official peter strzok where page questions "trump's not ever going to become president, right? right?" and strong replies "no, no, he's not. we'll stop it." the inspector general writing in response to those messages, "although we found no documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their messages to decisions made about the clinton investigation through july, 2016, the messages cast a cloud over the fbi investigations to which these employees were assigned. you might recall, i asked former fbi director comey about the previously released messages
between strzok and page and he admitted he underthe concern. put yourself in donald trump's concern for one second. you're donald trump and you feel this investigation is unfair. you find out that peter strzok, the lead fbi agent, is texting somebody disparaging things about you and then you find out he's the one that helped conduct the hillary clinton interviente and he called you an idiot, wouldn't you think this was unfair? >> sure. that's the reason bob mueller removed peter strzok from that investigation. it's poor judgment and shouldn't happen so i get the concern about it. >> jessica, this report says comey should not have given the july, 2016 press conference in which he announced they would not prosecute hillary clinton. >> that's right. in fact, the ig calling that decision to call that press conference extraordinary and
insubordinate. comey said he cut attorney general loretta lynch out of the process in part because of her tarmac meeting with former president bill clinton but the ig concluding that none of his reasons justified withholding his decisions from the attorney general and other top justice department officials so this is directly from the ig report that says while we did not find these decisions were the result of political bias we concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from fbi department norms the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the fbi and the department as fair administrators of justice. the ig even continued on to criticize more saying we found it extraordinary that in advance of two such consequential decisions the fbi director decided that the best course of conduct was to not speak directly and substantively with the attorney general about how best to that gait those
decisions and comey has defended his actions in his recent book "a higher loyalty but the ig not finding these explanations are sufficient. >> unpersuasive is the word he uses repeatedly. what does he had to say about october, 2016, when comey wrote a letter to congress announcing to the world a week and a half before the election that the clinton case had been reopened? >> comey, he's faced a lot of criticism for alerting congress just 11 days before the election especially when the bureau doesn't comment on pending investigations. he's defending his actions saying he felt he had an obligation to alert congress to correct that prior testimony he gave but, again, the ig finding fault in all of it saying we found no evidence that comey's decision to send the october, 28 letter was influenced by political preferences but he continued to say we found unpersuasive comey's explanation as to why transparency was more important than department policy.
so, again, a scathing criticism there of james comey, but, jake, comey has said in a statement today that he respects these conclusions that he doesn't thessaly agree. jake? >> jessica schneider, thanks so much. let's go to the white house where we find pamela proubrown. today is the president's birthday, we haven't heard from him yet directly on twitter. is the white house indicating that he is the gift he wanted? >> well, the white house is certainly seizing on the findings in this inspector general report, no surprise there, jake, with sarah sanders, the press secretary, coming out during the press briefing today saying that the findings reaffirm the president's suspicions about comey, the former fbi director whom he fired and tweeted about saying he should be thanked for firing him so the white house using this report to further justify the president's actions in firing james comey.
sarah sanders also saying it reaffirms what the president has been saying, that there's political bias within the fbi. here's what she told reporters. >> there are a lot of things in this report that not only worry those of us in the administration but should worry a lot of americans that people played this political bias and injected that into a department that shouldn't have any of that. >> it's worth reiterating while this report was a shark rebuke of james comey as well as the fbi, the report said as you pointed out that james comey was not politically motivated in the decisions he made and it also said there was no evidence political views affected the specific investigative decisions in regards to the text exchange between peter strzok and lisa page where peter strzok texted that we will stop donald trump from winning the election. sarah sanders said while she hasn't asked the president about whether peter strzok should be fired from the fbi she believes
the answer would be. >> pamela brown at the white house. here for more, jeffrey toobin and former fbi supervisory agent josh campbell who working for comey in 2015 and 2017. let's start with this extraordinary exchange, josh, between they were lovers and fbi colleagues, peter strzok and lisa page in august, 2016, this is after the hillary clinton investigation ended. page writes "trump's not ever going to become president, right?" and strzok replies "no, he's not. we'll stop it." the inspector general writes it's not only indicative of a biased state of mind but applies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidates electoral prospects. this is antithetical to the core values of the fbi and the justice department of justice. >> this is a damning report. no question. it was done thoroughly by an independent body whose job is to police those who have these powers. that said -- and i'm the first to admit that lisa page and
peter strzok i think have caused more damage to the fbi's reputation than anyone that i can remember by this bad judgment. that said, within the fbi i don't think that there's any single point of failure so you look at these abhorrent texts, these exchanges in which we have to make sense of what they mean, if you're in the fbi and in a position of authority that strzok or page were in, if you were to attempt to influence an investigation for personal political reasons it wouldn't stand because you would have people up and down the chain of command who would say that's not the investigation we conducted. that's not the facts that we found. so it looks terrible. something they need to continue to investigate to determine whether there was influence. the bottom line in reading this report is the inspector general said there wasn't political influence that impacted the investigation but it's not a good look for the fbi. >> i'm not sure that's right, josh. let me tell you why. the inspector general is very specific about he doesn't think there's evidence political bias played a role in everything in chapter 5.
chapter 5 has to do with the hillary clinton investigation up to the decision to announce in july, 2016, that it's over but he guz say that he suspects strzok did have a bias or at least bias played a role when it came to the decision to sit on the weiner laptop. comey told the office of the inspector general had he known about the laptop in the beginning of october and thought the e-mail review could have been completed before the election it may have affected his decision to notify congress. so here's what happened. peter strzok, according to the inspector general, sat on the laptop, they find no persuasive evidence as to why they didn't go into the weiner happen develop. i want to get you to play in this. the only way they look into it is because people in the u.s.'s attorney's office start asking about it, that's what the inspector general says, then they do the warrant, then comey notifies congress, then history is changed. so strzok may have -- his bias
for hillary might have cost hillary the election. >> that's why -- i mean, you know, real life is so complicated. that he could have -- if he had simply come forward at the beginning and with a reasonable amount of time before the election so comey wouldn't have had to go to congress. as you point out, this is one of the incredible ironies and it was news to me in reading the report that strzok actually wound up helping trump even though he said these now notorious things in these texts, his behavior actually contributed to comey's still frankly to me unbelievable and clearly criticized here decision to make that announcements ten days before the election. >> let me ask you and then obviously whatever you want to say. do you find it plausible that if comey had found out about the
laptop, the warrant had been executed at the end of september that he would not have felt the need to go to congress and notify them? >> that's a good question. what his mind-set was and he said this publicly is he told congress before the investigation was closed and now he felt compelled to tell them that's no longer the truth because we have reopened this investigation. i'm the first one to look at what transpired and look with hindsight. we can't change the past but wonder had that laptop been investigated, had that search warrant been obtained hillary clinton might have been president, probably would have been president because if you look at what happened investigatively, the fbi in a matter of days was able to look at those e-mails and determine they were duplicates and no longer applicable to the investigation. let me say one last thing to what you just said because jake your question was did peter strzok's political motivation cost hillary clinton the election? >> ironically and inadvertently but that's the suggestion being made. >> i still believe there is no single point of failure in the fbi. i think there's a lot of incompetence here that we need to look into. we'll hear from chris wray about
what he is doing to right these wrongs but i think this is probably more incompetence than politics playing a role in their decisions. >> but the paradox of this report is that there are mistakes galore. >> oh, yeah. >> but they don't point in one direction. >> there are a ton of them. >> they don't all show that they were helping trump. they don't all show they were helping hillary clinton. they go in different daexs so you see in the politically polarized environment in which he we live, we see democrats focusing on how the inspector general criticizes comey for holding that news conference -- for announcing that news ten days before the election. there's enough in both of these for both camps to find things to criticize. >> and in fact the report suggests again -- i'm reading inspector general doesn't think comey was politically motivated in any decision but he does lean
into the idea that -- i think he uses the phrase comey alone believed he could preserve the reputation of the fbi. he alone believed which gets to the criticism that james comey gets a lot, including on this show, that he has an infatuation with his own sense of integrity. >> it's been called sanctimonious by some. but his decisions are fair game. you don't step into the position of fbi director with all the responsibility that comes with that and not understand you're going to be criticized for decisions you make. >> it's been my fate to cover these in all sorts of situations and it seems the mistake that is made is that people make special rules for special cases instead of just following the rules. when the fbi doesn't prosecute someone they shut up, that's the rule. but instead, comey invent this is convoluted justification for holding this news conference and
it was, as the inspector general concludes and i agree, a bad idea. if he had simply followed fbi policy i think everybody would have been better off. >> jeffrey toobin and josh campbell, appreciate it. does the inspector general report benefit president trump or democrats or does it depend on who you ask and what channel you watch? stay with us. so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling] (passenger) what are you doing? (driver) i can't believe that worked. i dropped the keys. (burke) and we covered it. talk to farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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visit alz.org to join the fight. a new inspector general report faulting several fbi officials over how they conducted the hillary clinton investigation and to a lesser degree donald trump. let me start with my political panel. ultimately, do you see this report and its criticisms as helpful to president trump in his battle against the mueller investigation and the fbi or hurtful or a little of both? >> i think it helps a bit because there are two sort of battling narratives here. one, as this sort of comey story that the fbi and all of its employees are perfect upstanding citizens and can never do wrong
or lie or mislead anyone and to suggest otherwise is insane. then there's president trump's story which is just that there is a whole cavalcade of bad actors and no one is doing the right thing. the truth is somewhere in the middle. it won't surprise you to find out i think that but i do think the idea that these texts are going back and forth between strzok and page who are not in low levels of two different very important politically charged investigations and dumb in the way they're communicating their political biases, that's not a good story and it's not a republican's pounce story. just a bad story for the fbi. >> i was at pandora and i was asked about a cnn commentator whose views i respected even though i frequently disagree and that's mary catherine hamm and this is why. when we have a situation where the fbi has demonstrated a
challenge in treating people with power fairly, whether we're talking about martin luther king or we're talking about a situation involving hillary clinton, james comey's justification being something like she's going to win anyway, it's ridiculous. rules have to be the rules across the board. jeffrey toobin made that point, i think it's a profound point and at some point governmental agencies are going to have to apply the rules the same to every actor regardless of the power in which they hold. i think that's a great point, mary catherine, i agree. >> nia-malika, do you agree? does this help trump in his argument against the fbi? >> i think it does. those very easy to read easy to understand text messages between lisa page and peter strzok, this idea that she's nervous about a trump presidency and he says we won't let it happen, we'll stop it. so we haven't heard from the president yet, i think people are wondering what he's going to tweet. but you can imagine, it's his 72nd birthday. this is a good gift for him we
heard sarah sanders saying this reaffirms some of their concerns and i think this is a good day. i also think there's something for everyone here. if you're a democrat you look at this and you say james comey did act inappropriately and you can also perhaps argue that his actions cost hillary clinton the election. she's argued that in the last days, that october 28 memo to congress saying that the investigation was going to be reopened into the weiner e-mails, you can argue that cost her some of her support cratered in those last days, at least according to some of the pollsters. so i think no one -- there won't be a lot of agreement here. if you look at what happens out of the mueller probe, you imagine there's never going to be a real consensus about this and that people are going to be arguing about this for decades. >> the one thing that is clear and the inspector general finds fault with the decisions of a lot of people is the former
attorney general loretta lynch and her politeness when former president's bill clinton on a tarmac in arizona walked over to her airplane and got on the plane even though doj was investigating his wife hillary clinton at the time. i asked loretta lynch about that. >> looking back, do you wish that when hi came over you said we really shouldn't talk, it would be inappropriate and hello and good-bye? >> so as i've said at the time, i think days after that meeting i regretted not seeing that issues and not seeing around that corner. i wish i had seen around that corner and not had that discussion with the former president as innocuous as it was it made people wonder if it's
going affect the investigation. that's not something that was an unreasonable question. >> the inspector general concluded they couldn't find any evidence that they talked about the case but the inspector general said attorney general lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem created by former president clinton's visit and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment. her efforts to exrespond to the meeting by explaining her role in the investigation going forward created public confusion and did not adequately address the situation. angela rye, bill clinton and loretta lynch in some ways set this in motion? >> i think the optics are problematic but we're revisiting this so many months after the election and the inspector general has concluded the same thing that high-level campaign officials concluded. i don't know what this does to advance the narrative or change the culture of the fbi or
department of justice overall. and in this regard using their power to influence the outcome of something it's not much different from donald trump and for all of the hillary supporters out there, i'm not saying there the same, but i'm saying the way in which power has used -- >> too late, twitter is going crazy. >> the way power is use it can get hazy and it confuses people who don't have access to that same power. >> stick around. we'll talk about the trumps next. donald trump and his kids sued by the new york attorney general accused of using the trump foundation as their own personal piggy bank. stay with us. ot dog suit. what? where's that coming from? i don't know. i started my 401k early, i diversified... i'm not a big spender. sounds like you're doing a lot. but i still feel like i'm not gonna have enough for retirement.
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and eric trump claim thing they repeatedly and illegally used the trump foundation charity to benefit their father, his businesses and his 2016 campaign. the new york attorney general says "the trump foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments for mr. trump. among the many complaints the trump foundation used tax deductible donations to settle legal claims against his mar-a-lago resort. it alleges before the iowa caucuses in 2016 then candidate donald trump skipped the last republican primary debate and made a big show of putting together a fund-raiser to benefit veterans organizations. the new york ag claims that event was set up and run by the trump campaign although theoretically the foundation was supposed to be doing it. the foundation called the lawsuit politics at its worst and president trump tweeted the sleazy new york democrats and their disgraced attorney general er eric schneiderman are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18 million and gave out more money than it took in. i won't settle this case.
let's bring back the panel. this is a civil case not criminal meaning the president might be forced to fight this in court. nia-malika, i think it's clear these charges are ugly but confusing. >> and some of this about the charitable foundation and its giving, there was reporting done during the campaign. if you're the president you are worried there will be a discovery phase and everything but i think it underline what is we knew about the campaign, about fishiness with his campaign, his foundation. if the charitable money was mixed with his business so this is something we'll find out. >> one of the things that's clear in the complaint is that political activities are not supposed to be part of a
foundation like this and without question president trump used the trump foundation for political activities when he was running around in iowa giving out these big checks at campaign events. i mean, it's -- i don't think it's any serious joil time or anything but he was violating the law. >> yes if what is in this is true then this is a problem and it's unseemly at best and then you have in the black and white from lewandowski in e-mails requesting funds to be dispersed so that's a problem. the issue is whether in the grand scheme of trumpdom it sticks, right? even if any of it is true, what does that come to in the end because because of this was -- much of it was reported on during the campaign and is sort of unsurprising even though i'm not excited about it. >> angela, what do you make of it small the truth of the matter is that people might hear about this case and they might hear
some of it or think, oh, he gave this much to charity, gave that much to charity, who cares if it came out of this foundation or that foundation? >> i think that there are some other folks who will ask questions in this case and it will cause doubt in the minds of those people because they know donald trump never released his tax returns to so to nia-malika's point about what's discover bkovcoverable for the this civil suit, will they have to prove he's charitable and we'll finally get to see the tax returns? if you are dirty money donald trump then this just reeks of the similar ways in which you've handled money. you filed bankruptcy to enrich yourself, you've had deals for your daughter while you're serving as commander-in-chief perhaps violating ethics rules, you have a pattern and practice of being greedy and using things around you, including your campaign, to enrich your business. those are things that have been discussed, asked, answered, and
argued and yet again we're seeing they may have also used their foundation designed by nature to benefit people are less than to enrich themselves again. >> one of the other things, nia-malika, that is in this lawsuit is that president trump's mar-a-lago resort in a settlement with palm beach agreed to give money to charity but mar-a-lago didn't give money to charity, the trump foundation gave money to charity. if the facts are as they are presented, he did things he wasn't supposed to do. >> we knew there was a comingling of campaign of businesses so we'll see so we don't know where this is going to go. we don't know what the stance of this white house is going to be. this is a political witch-hunt by people out to undermine and get the president. >> the president said he will never settle this but he also said that about the trump university case which he did settle to more than $20 million. tense moments during the white house briefing after the attorney general invokes the
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. a fiery exchange at the white house briefing room over immigration. when pressed by cnn's jim acosta, sarah sanders defended the policy separating children from their parents as they cross the board eer illegally. >> the policy to take children away from their parents. >> it's a policy to follow and enforce the law. jim -- >> they're with their parents and then they're pulled away from their parents. why is the government doing this? >> because it's the law and that's what the law states. >> you don't have to do that. >> you're right, it doesn't have to be the law and the president has called on democrats in congress to fix those loopholes. the democrats have failed to come to the table.
>> many immigrant boys were taken from their parents and are being housed in a walmart superstore in brownsville, texas. ed lavandera explains what it's like inside the facility. >> reporter: the shelter is clean, equipped with recreation yards, televisions and games, a long line of boys age 10 to 17 were waiting to eat dinner. the bare bedrooms with no doors sleep up to five children. this is the first glimpse inside the more than 100 detention centers that houses undocumented children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a highly controversial trump administration policy. bob ortega was part of a small group of journalists allowed to tour the center. >> there wasn't anything about it that strikes you as unsafe or as dirty or as horrible at the same time. but these kids don't have a choice about being there. they're detained.
there's a strangeness to the facility, the facility used to be a walmart. it's sparsely decorated. there are murals featuring presidents like jimmy carter, euleulysses grant and barack ob. but the first is donald trump that has a quote that says "sometimes by losing the battle, you win the war." in more than 100 shelters across the states there are more than 11,000 undocumented immigrant children living in detention centers according to the office of refugee resettlement. twice a day, nearly 2400 undocumented immigrants are bussed into the federal courthouse in the texas border town of mcallen. since the zero tolerance policy went into effect last month, a public defender says more than 500 families have been
separated. >> it's really hard to look in the eye of a mother or father who will plead for you "help me get my child back." >> reporter: activists and attorneys say they spoke to people who were misled by authorities before being separated and one activist told the story of one immigrant that has sparked sharp anger across the country. >> one of the women that i interviewed today told me she was breast-feeding her daughter when the government took her daughter from her and when she resisted she said that was when they put handcuffs on her. >> reporter: a customs border official says nothing could be further from the truth and the allegations are unsubstantiated. the zero tolerance policy has been celebrated by the trump administration as necessary to discourage illegal immigration. earlier today. republican house speaker paul ryan says changes are needed.
>> are you comfortable with the current zero tolerance policy leading to parents and children being separated at the border? >> no, i'm not. this is because of a court ruling and so this i do think ought to be addressed. we believe it should be addressed in immigration legislation. >> and jake, the trump administration has been under criticism for the catholic church and just a short while ago attorney general jeff sessions issued a biblical defense of the administration's immigration policy referencing the apostle paul in a speech and said that though his wise commands taught to obey the laws of the government because god has ordain it had government for his purposes. he went on to say criticism of his policy is not fair and not logical. jake? >> ed lavandera live near the border. thank you so much. republicans and conservatives were outraged when president obama bowed to the saudi king. now they're condemning president trump saluting a north korea general. just kidding. stay with us.
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>> he is a killer. >> he's a smart guy. he's a great negotiator. but i think we understand each other. >> but he's done some really bad things. >> yeah. but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. >> kim jong-un. a very smart guy. today the white house defended the president's praise of north korean leader kim jong-un, the leader who's ordered the executions of members of his own family, who starves his own people, who puts tens of thousands of political dissidents into camps, who essentially killed a young american, otto warmbier. he's a tough guy, the president
says, a very smart guy. angela rye, i want to start with you. this week president trump called kim funny, smart, a great negotiator, talented. why do you think he is saying these things and not calling out the atrocities publicly? is it because he wants the denuclearization deal? >> i think he may not know, jake. just as we saw him salute the general like he just -- i think he may not know protocol, he may not be reading briefing documents and unfortunately he makes for a very embarrassing commander-in-chief. i think our reality is donald trump calls things tough that many of us including kids we might mentor or who may be our own call bullies. i think of people who are resilient and have overcome tremendous oppression and struggle and for whatever reason that doesn't resonate with donald trump. what resonates are people who make it impossible and hard. i think he may admire the fact this person is a dictator and
that's a platform he doesn't have in this country thanks to democracy. >> here's the white house on the president's praise today. >> that's a factual statement. a lot of people have done some bad things however the president hasn't ignored the bad things that have been done by the north korean regime. he's called it out on a number of occasions and he brought it up at the summit. >> mary katherine, what do you make of the praise that the president is lavishing kim jong-un with as well as the salute when he saw the north korean general salute him, he saluted back. >> i think it's two things. i think he does want the deal and he likes people who like him and as angela was referencing he has a moral blind spot for guys who are strong men so that combines to give you this behavior. on the salute, he was returning the salute not initiating it but the people mad about obama saluting with a coffee cup in
his hand or bowing to so and so would 100% be mad about this if it were obama doing that and that's important to note but i think the bigger issue is at the state of the union when he had a defector from north korea there and spoke about him it was a moment of moral clarity. it was very nice to see and he's had those along the way but then they're all out the window when he's negotiating. whether that gets you anything, i'm willing to give him leeway because this is a generation's-long problem that we haven't tackled doing what we've been doing but you're giving north korea a ton of propaganda fodder here. >> and nia-malika there is decades of quotes from president trump praising horrific oppressing dictators. ren when he said -- at the time he referred to the chinese leaders putting down the tiananmen square protests, the massacre, he called them strong. >> and even more recently the leader of the philippines, he's praised him and he's someone who's basically had
extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and the president on the phone call with him said -- sort of congratulated him far approach. this is a pattern. if you're kim jong-un, you know this about this president, you know he responds to flattering. you are probably a bit surprised at how effusive the praise was but you expected that it would be used in propaganda. that's why they invited him. they knew based on his history, based on the things he's said and he's sort of a cheap date in some ways. if you flatter him, you get good things. >> thanks one and all. chick-fil-a franchises, used mattresses, 24/7 security, expensive hand lotion sought out by security, a special phone booth, i could keep going. have scott pruitt's scandals reached a tipping point? stay with us.
in our politics lead, et tu, in hin hin hinge -- ingraham? >> long under fire from environmentalist, scott pruitt face faces people getting fed up with the scandals. >> if that doesn't stop, i'll be forced to be in a position where i say scott, you're not doing your job. >> that criticism from oklahoma senator jim inhofe came on laura
ingraham's show. she also went after pruitt. >> he's hurting the president because he has -- i'm sorry, bad judgment after bad judgment after bad judgment. >> reporter: ingraham tweeted "pruitt's got to go." his list of controversies is long, including questions about his pricey travel, unprecedented security, controversial raises to aides and overall questionable spending. the latest allegation, reports the government employees job hunted for his wife and among the jobs they tried to help her get -- a chick-fil-a franchise. >> using his staff to find a job for his wife is something outover order but i won't draw conclusions on that but i have a different feeling today than i had yesterday on that part of it. >> reporter: republican senator chuck grassley from iowa is already upset over pruitt's decision that favor oil over corn-based ethanol.
an issue that drew protesters when pruitt made what should have been a friendly visit to a farm in south dakota this week. >> we welcome if he's ready to give us e-15 year round otherwise he's not welcome. he's undermined our industry. >> reporter: but amidst all of pruitt's bad news, president trump still has his back. >> scott pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the epa. we're setting records. outside he's being attacked viciously by the press and i'm not saying he's blameless but we'll see what happens. >> reporter: a bit of a shift in the language coming from the white house today, jake. when press secretary sarah sanders was asked at her daily briefing she said this about pruitt "there are areas of concern." jake? >> sara ganim, thanks so much. be sure to follow me on facebook @jaketapper. you can tweet the show @thelead cnn. that's it. i turn you over to mr. wolf blitzer in the situation room. thanks for watching.
happening now, breakig news. blame but no biegas. a blistering report by a department of justice watchdog says former fbi director james comey deviated from department norms at handling the clinton e-mail probe but was not acting out of bias. why does the report say key officials cast a cloud over the bureau? the director responds, we're standing by for a live news conference by christopher wray. will he announce stepped to repair the bureau's damaged reputation? suing the president. new york's attorney general sues president trump and three of his children alleging illegal conduct by the trump foundation and saying the president used the charity to settle legal claims that promote his businesses. and north korean spin. kim jong-un's regime puts its own spin