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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  June 19, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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you will find more about their initiatives at wwo.org. we'll continue to share in these stories all week. you with also watch the champions for change the special on saturday at 1:00 p.m. that's all for now. time to hand it over to don lemon. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. children still being taken from their parents on the border tonight. as trump met with house republicans behind closed doors, calling on him to pass legislation to fix the mess he made. >> these are laws that have been broken for many years, decades, we had a great meeting. >> sources telling cnn the president didn't take questions from members of his own party. went on and on for a promise about his border wall and it will cost $25 million to build it. we'll talk about that. he said his daughter, ivanka
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talked to him about images of children well over 2,000 of them so far, being separated from their parents. some of those children held in cages. some housed in this city along the southern border. the president's daughter has so far remained silent publicly, when so many others, including the president's supporters had been speaking out. if you're attempted with misinformation coming your way to think this can't be as heartless as it seems, listen to trump's loyalist. >> i read today about a 10-year-old girl with down's syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. did you say whomp whomp to a 10-year-old -- >> you can say -- >> how dare you, how absolutely dare you sir? >> there is a word for that. that word is disgraceful. but make no mistake, this is happening because it's what president trump wants.
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this is what donald trump wants. he can put a stop to all of this at any time, right away. no other administration has done this. but not only is the president ignoring growing anger over his policy, he is continuing to blame, guess what, democrats. >> as a result of democrats supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from central america who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together or removed together, only released. >> so, without outrage, that is simply not true. we call something that's not true, it's a lie. the fact is this administration, this white house decided to prosecute every single adult crossing the border illegally, even if they came with children.
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separating parents from their kids with no clear plan to reunite them, that's the fact. the president himself chose this right. immigration gets him like nothing -- getting him going like nothing else. he proved today again. doubling down on his rhetoric, claiming undocumented immigrants will, his word, infest our country. this is a president who is still determined to build his wall. he appears to be willing to hold thousands of children hostage to get it. that's right i said hostage. many of those children, too young to understand what's happening to them. americans understand exactly what is happening here. we see it with our own eyes. we're not stupid, we know what's going on. so, let's bring in cnn's white house correspondent kate colin, april ryan and jonathan martin. good to have you on this evening.
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katelyn, standing there in front of the white house. are we getting closer tonight to a change to this policy as a result president's meeting with republicans on capitol hill? >> we sure don't seem to be, don. that meeting seemed to be like a pap rally for the president to garnish support. that doesn't seem to be the discussion, of course the focus of that meeting seemed like it was going to be the outrage over this policy of separating families at the border, something that has dominated news coverage in recent days. clearly, the president's mind, if you look at his twitter feed or comments he's made at other times. we're told by sours in that meeting that the president only touched on it briefly and saying he did speak with his daughter ivanka about it. she touched on it and showed him images of it. we've seen in the past those images have garnered the president to do something.
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the president repeated to do in that meeting with house republicans he believes this is a legislative solution. doesn't seem any of these members confronted the president over this. even though they have issued these strongly worded statements. didn't seem when they were actually in the room with the president that they said anything. our sources tell us the president didn't take any questions. it didn't come down to that debate that a lot of washington thought they were going to see tonight between the president and the members outraged over this. it was the president essentially going of his greatest hits. >> it's always someone issuing a strong word of statement, what does that mean these days? jonathan, a freedom caucus source said both of these bills are designed to fail. the president is the only one who doesn't get the joke on this. what happens when this bill fails? what does the if the do about these kids and families then? >> i was talking with folks who
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work in the leadership on the house side, my understanding is that there's no hope that the conservative bill gets anywhere near the votes needed to pass. there is some hope that the broader and more mainstream bill that would offer some accommodation for the dreamers and now have language to address the kids at the border, that there is somehow -- it could pass. the challenge there, don, even if you pass that bill is senate is unlikely to move on a broader bill that addresses the dreamers as well as these kids stuck at the border without they're parents. what i'm told is what's likely to happen is the house does not move some kind of a more navarro narrow bill about the kids at the border. the bill goes forwards, passes it overwhelmingly, and that put some push on the house to get those kids back with those parents.
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>> quick answer for you before i get to april. essentially, this is what's going on here. give me my wall and i'll give you your kids back? that's what's happening? i'll give you the kids if you give me the wall? >> yeah, i don't think he's going to demand a wall to sign a bill that's going to address the kids at the border. i have no doubt later on in the year he's going to push aggressively to get money for the wall. >> these kids are not the bargain for the wall? >> look, i think if the senate passes a narrowly tailored bill to address the kids at the border, 85-50, the house -- that creates enormous pressure on the president to sign the bill. let's say that's four or five days from now, the fastest. that's four or fever more days of these kids at the border the
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pressure will be immense at this point. >> we'll see. april, this is according to dana bash, one disappointed and disgusted gop member described the president saying quote, the crying babies doesn't look good politically. he was more concerned with the optics, he can changose and the policies any time he wants to. what is this strategy here? >> it's crazy because, you know a president wants to have a winning picture. the picture that makes people say, wow, he's strong, there's strength, we can rally around this. this is not something all america is rallying around. not only is it not helping him. when you have cory lewandowski say whomp whomp whomp, or -- she misses her dog when she leaves -- >> she almost cried when she left her dog. >> yeah, it's crazy. those are not things that help the president get a winning
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picture. i talked to the congressional leader last night, this boils down to the -- we are a nation that's coming a hispanic population that's increasing and the votes are going to be more so for democrats. they're looking at all of the short-term and long-term plays as it relates to this. this is not about politics at this moment. many people are talking about the humanitarian piece. children being separated from their parents, crying, left in kennels, not knowing if they're going to be reunified with their parents. this is an ugly issue for this president and he's got to get over this hurdle. >> katelyn, a moment ago you mentioned strongly worded statements. my real question is how far does that go? anyone can release a strongly worded statement and back up every policy that this president puts forward. signs every bill that he wants signed.
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this is my question to all republican senators, sent a letter to jeff sessions calling on the department of justice to help families -- this again shows that this is not the fault of democrats as the president falsely claimed here. >> right, this is are conservatives, the president's own party doing this, expressing the outrage to say, hey you feed to stop this policy. it is causing them a lot of problems as well. the president is continually trying to get on top of this narrative by saying it's the democrats that are doing this, it's all the democrats fault. he has repeatedly said that over the last few days, that is simply not true. this is not the fall of democrats. you're seeing that play out in this capitol hill's not too far down the road here from the white house.
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the whitehouse sent talking points to republicans on capitol hill yesterday, the outrage over this was continuing to get louder and louder and they could no longer ignore it. they sent the talking points to the capitol hill, the staff members that they can't use because they were blaming democrt's something you have not heard from republican members. if they had a chance to blame democrats they certainly would, here they're not doing that because they realize that's mott -- that's not the problem here. it's administration, zero-tolerance immigration policy. much as the administration wants to blame it on democrats, or say because criminals are bringing children across the border, or saying it's a deterrent, none of those thing are true. we're expecting to see the white house fail to develop any kind of messaging strategy on this. either they're going to try to adopt something over the next few days because it doesn't seem the president is backing down
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off of this measure. >> let's talk about the possible strategy, okay, jonathan. this is what you're reporting. you said the president sees issues like immigration as a way to rally his support for med terms. you say with more americans still opposing the tax measurement than supporting it, mr. trump's allies believe that trying to link democrats to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, and gangs like ms-13 will do more to galvanize voters and get them to the polls in november than emphasize economic issues. one thing, is he saying that republican voters are that vulnerable or that naive? and another thing is it's a deliberate calculation because the tax cut is falling flat. they're thinking let's use this racially charged issue to gem up
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votes. is that correct? >> yeah, that's exactly it. the fact is that the committee is doing well. i think a lot of americans now believe the country's headed at a better course than they perhaps would have six months ago. i think the challenge don, in the midterm election is these parties are won by whoever's base shows up. every poll suggested they are more likely to come to the poll. the republicans are trying to figure out, how do we match the anti-trump intensity on the left with some kind of rationale for our own base to show up. a lot of trump voters don't love their members like congress. this is trump sort of thinking out loud because the cultural war stuff worked for me, these tactics works to get me elected in 2016. if we rally folks with meat, that gives our folks a reason to show up. >> april, having said that, "new york times" is reporting that
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fox news is coming from within the murdoch. each express disgust with how the news network coverage of the trump administration border secure policy going. could that ultimately have an impact on fox news and the white house? >> people are saying truth. if you're not saying the images or hearing the audio on fox, and it's been spun a different way. crying baby being pulled away from its mother, seeing people in cages, how can you spin that? you have to also look at the fact that this president wants to push this base to appease issues like matters of race. this is racial. and that's something that fox wants to deal with as well. that are looking at it as different pieces versus the whole picture, the whole plate.
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the president made a tweet today talked about the infestation of illegal immigrants. that is racial. you cannot walk around that any kind of way. listening to civil rights leaders who are against this zero-tolerance policy, they are saying look, it's racial and not only that, it not just effects mexicans, it effects people from other nations, include haiti, people from guatemala, honduras. this isn't about mexico only, it's a bigger piece. >> infest, that's what we come to, huh. i said disgraceful. we're all part of the human race and doesn't look like they're acknowledging that. >> yes, a beautiful race of people.
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>> thank you all. more on this program about the backlash to the side of fox. and trump's policy separating children from their parents at the border. officials claiming they're just following the law. is it really a defense? stick around, i'm going to talk to the former director of the cia and the nsa. do these moves look familiar? then you might have a condition called dry mouth. biotène is clinically proven to soothe and moisturize a dry mouth. plus, it freshens breath. biotène. immediate and long lasting dry mouth symptom relief. your neighbors. you like them. they always remember everyone's names. your kids love swimming in their pool. you like them. if you forget your trunks,
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president trump made a decision to enforce a zero-tolerance immigration policy, prosecuting 100% of all adults caught crossing the border illegally and leaving thousands of children separated from their parents tonight. the president is doubling down on that policy, even in the face of criticism. joining me now general michael hayden, former director of cia and nsa. general hayden, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> i've been listening to you and watching you over the last couple of days. i had to congratulate you on the boldness of your statements, the truth of them, and that you also have the courage to come out and say it in these times.
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thank you so much for that and thank you for coming on. so, in response to this separation policy. here's what you tweeted over the weekend. you said other governments have separated mothers and children along with the picture of the concentration camp. most cities have been reluctant to invoke nazi germany. >> tell me about it, why'd you go so far? >> sure, i've been there several times. that railroad that you saw is were families were separated. if you walk there you're overwhelmed by the horror of the history of the site. i sent that tweet out with a picture and then i sent a companion tweet out. simply, no one today can walk through that portal that you see behind the railroad siding, walk through that portal and casually
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believe that civilized behavior is guaranteed. that was the point i was trying to draw. the vanere of civilization is thin. we're nowhere near berkinal, it's nowhere neither nazi. our needles are not in the red. i sat there reflecting on my back porch saturday. i thought the needle's not in the red but it's moving. it's not moving in a good direction. as bad as what's happening on the southern border is, it's a symptom of broader trends in our society that frankly, frightens me. >> the attorney general was asked about the -- here's what he said. >> well, it really -- in nazi germany they're keeping the jews from leaving the country, but
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this is a serious matter. we need to think it through, be rationale and thoughtful about it. we want to allow asylum for people who qualify for it. >> how do you respond to that? >> i agree with the attorney general, this is a serious matter and we need to think our way through it. it's clear to me, don, that the administration did not think its way through the second and third order effects of changing their policy five or six weeks ago. they were unprepared for what happen to the children and then, what the american public would think about what happened to the children. by the way, don, i started at that tweet a long time before i hit send. and what i felt was, the sky's darkening, i've tried to be very patient and understanding about what's been going on for the last couple of years. but i just thought i had to send out a warning flare, to draw
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attention -- not to say we're nazi, or the president is hitler, or those poor people at the border trying to enforce the law, none of that is true. but a warning flare. should i have waited to send a flare until we had hundreds of people in a torch-like parade hantting blood and soil and jews will not replace us? should i have waited into the white house press office look like the propaganda. should i have waited until the attorney general started to prosecute the weaker group we get our hands on? that's all i'm talking about. all of it is based on false information and untruths with regard to who these people are, why they're coming here and the situation along the border.
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>> since i've known you, you've always been very moderated in your comments, and glass half full, positive. there's something lately that seems to -- something has triggered something in you that you feel that you must speak out. and i think wolf blitzer's question to you was -- you answered it -- that you were afraid. but that you're afraid, you're worried? >> i am. i'm an intelligence officer, all right. people can debate the virtues of the profession. one of things i've experienced is to go through a bunch of trouble with societies. i usually don't get sent to relate work in or help societies that are healthy. i've experienced what happens to civilized people when they lose their touch with civilization. what about us in north america, don?
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guarantees that it can't happen here. i'm back at berkinal at the siting. during the war, you can't find a more civilized people on earth than the germans. don't tell me that we can't slide if that directions. maybe we don't go there or go to that location or go that far, a lot of things about us are fragile. frankly, i'm concerned. >> we go to some bad places. may not be that, but we go to some bad places. i've got to get you -- i've been wanting to show this to you. one of the explanations that we're beginning to hear from customs enforcement are that they are following the law, doing what they're told. this is the exchange, watch. >> law enforcement officers we're enforcing laws, if anybody's to blame for that child being taken away is the
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parent that chose, i'm going to break the law. >> is this new zero-tolerance policy that the president has supported, that the attorney general announced, is it humane? >> i think it's the law. >> it may be the law -- >> look, it's the policy. -- >> but is it humane? >> i think it's the law, i'm law enforcement and i must follow the law, that's our job. >> so, essentially i'm -- how do i get out of this without actually -- maybe -- to me it sounded like he thought it was inhumane and he couldn't say it. what do you think? why can't he answer the question on this is an enforcement of policy of law, which is not a law? >> don, i actually watched it live. i felt for the official there. trapped into a fair question from wolfe, and trying to defend
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an indefensible position. a pattern that we've seen in the administration, it's not just confined to this issue or that officer. a pattern we've seen is you make the law, you repeat the law, you repeat the lie again and then good people end up being forced to defend the lie. i think that's what we saw here today. look, serving in the federal government is hard. i actually had admiration for the president i served other people, i don't think is highly of president bush, but i did. i can't imagine, don, being a senior official in this administration. it's hard enough in normal times, and these aren't normal times. quickly add, i'm talking about the people at the senior political appointee level. i am convinced that the good americans along the border who have to carry this out are doing
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it to the best of their ability to do it in a humane fashion. >> listen, i have to run. but i do have to say that he doesn't have to defend it. >> i fully understand, but don, the dynamic is good people end up doing things that they'll regret. >> thank you, general hayden. always appreciate your time. >> thank you. when we come back, more comparisons of the president's policy of nazi germany. next.
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now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. interesting segment coming up, first lady melania trump keeping her usual low profile. he issued a statement saying she hates to see it and hopes congress can find a solution. her former immigration attorney, michael wilds, speaking out tonight. he's the author of the upcoming book "safe haven in america, battles to open the golden door." thank you, mr. wilds for coming in. you called the separation of churn from their parents, you said it was inhumane, reminisce
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reminiscent of nazi, germany, slave trade. very powerful word. why do you say it that way? >> first of all. thank you for having me. i'm a big fan. i'm also a big fan of my client, melania trump, and i represent the trade transparency for years. but, i am a jew, a practicing jew. there's -- if you evisrated the j, there was a name israel by every male and every female, sarah on their passport. the notion of separating people is what disturb me. i'm a law professor, i don't believe for a moment that any of the law enforcement, i.c.e. agents are in any way nazis, they're not just following
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orders, and so forth. but, i do believe that the execution of our immigration laws and the broken system we have is illconceived from the muslim ban to this. it doesn't make a difference to me who my clients are. today i can speak up, and i'll be respectful on the attorney/client privilege, on the relationships i have and everything i do. i need to speak up. i'm a former mayor and a very proud american. this is not in the spirit of what our founding fathers and mothers visualized. >> so, she spoke out and said she thought it was she hates to see children separated from their families. would you like to see her take some action to change this policy? >> the last five first ladies
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all came out with statements. i'd like to see our president take action. he is the only one that can take action so that the orders then would be followed. so, that people can be put together in proceedings. understand this, the act of coming into america unlawfully is a crime, but the continued presence in the united states isn't. what's more upsetting to me is the dialogue that deteriorated. the media coverage, every time i'm on other networks when they have people running behind my shoulders climbing walls, the insinuation that everyone with an accent is a criminal. and those words we talked about, chain migration, it's family -- >> okay, they use that -- >> i'm a second immigration person. the notion that families should
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be torn apart whether it's john lennon, at the time looking for a child absconded by a first marriage, or these poor children, we have to get our act together. our children are watching us. when we fought pirates in the high seas we didn't throw out the culture of our community. >> couple things, because mentioned families. nor the first lady's being torn apart, didn't her family come over on what they call chain migration or family -- >> the parents are residents, it has been implied they are obtaining citizenship. those golden doors need to be hinged open to anybody who comes
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in lawfully or qualifies based on a family or an employment. >> so, let me ask you, in the process that you have just described, is that family reunification? >> i think so, don't you? >> i think you just answered my question. >> and you want to know something, i'll do it again, and tomorrow. i'll do it for people in provocative ways. our office right now, and we're in several states, we're in overdrive because of the challenges going on here. and i have to tell you that the first lady and her family are -- how should i say this? they're elegant, they're impressed with quality and they're getting this thing right. i just want to read -- >> before you read that, and i'll let you finish. so far as you can answer, did the first lady do everything by the book as you know when it comes to immigration? >> oh, absolutely. i told her when i met with her, if she hadn't i couldn't be
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there for her as a loyal democrats number one. i'm a former mayor, number two i wasn't going to advocate if i thought somebody broken the line. i went through all the papers and she was pristine, her parents and sister all by the book. >> thank you. >> i wantt to read something from former chief rabbi, our lord sax. only once does the hebrew bible command us to love our neighbor. it commands us several times to love the stranger. throughout this book michael shows his love of the stranger and his passion for opening the door to the world. >> this is from the first lady? >> no lord jonathan sax, former chief rabbi, who is also a client of our office. >> i thought she gave a blush. >> right. she did. the bottom line is our doors need to be hinged open.
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we have these foreign students on boarding to the work force. we need to not shoot ourselves in the foot. we need to embrace people in harm's way so they can do every job from television in studios to pulling blueberries in georgia. this is not the time to be intimidated. >> if you can just answer, there is a way to have zero-tolerance immigration policy andip children away from their parents? >> absolutely. you can keep them all in the same proceeding. just because the parents are going into criminal federal court doesn't mean we lose our hospitality. back to the bible, abraham meeting strangers, he circumcised, he washed their feet. >> so this whole thing -- >> it's election stuff. let's look at the big picture.
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>> thank you. pleasure having you on. sources telling cnn the president's former fixer is willing to give information. just how worried should the president be tonight.
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we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. tonight a source telling cnn that michael cohen, president trump's personal attorney is willing to give investigators information about the president. i want to bring in evan perez. welcome to the program. thank you so much. i want to talk to you about this new information you have about the president's long-time lawyer or fixer, he's lawyering up and considering whether to cooperate with prosecutors. what are you learning about that? >> that's right, he's hired new lawyers. a criminal attorney here in new york.
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he previously was represented by lawyers out of washington. really, don i think this means there's going to be a new legal strategy. we're hearing from people who are close to michael cohen. he's been telling friends that he's got a story to tell. if prosecutors want to hear from him he's willing to talk. >> what does that mean for his loyalty? is there new information about that? is he going to stay loyal with the president? >> right. i think that's the signal. i think what michael cohen's doing is signaling he's ultimate for the highest bidder. he's willing to talk to prosecutors. he's telling prosecutors, hey, if you want to give me a deal i'm willing to sit down and talk to you. we didn't know if prosecutors want to offer him some kind of deal or plea agreement. he's also signaling to the president who he feels let down by. he feels the president has abandoned him and he's looking at millions of dollars in legal payments if he doesn't find some
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kind of way to pay for this. >> do you remember during the campaign when rudy giuliani says there's a big surprise coming? there's questions being raised about that. tell us why and put it in context. >> it's clear the president -- usually just a couple days before the length, i raised the question that there was going to be surprises coming and there was a surprise from comey who told congress he was reopening the hillary clinton investigation. giuliani says he was interviewed on february 28th. he said that he didn't know anything special from the fbi agents. he says he was simply speculating. >> always something. thank you, evan perez. i appreciate you on the new reporting. when we come back team trump's latest strategy to distract and deflect from the immigration mess on the border. why they're calling for the president to fire jeff sessions.
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hillary clinton just before the 2016 election. so i want to talk about this now with jack wynn. gentlemen, good to have you on. renato, you're up first. president trump's lawyer rudy giuliani raised questions today, remember the comment he made about the election where he was predicting the surprise about hillary clinton we reported on hillary clinton we reported on this program, you say this could be a big problem for rudy giuliani. why do you say that? >> well, a couple of things. first of all, this was certainly consequential if you read the inspector general's report that came out. comey and others were believed that agents in the new york field office were leaking information. they believed they were anti-clinton, they were trying
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to help the trump campaign. that was a widespread belief with comey and loretta lynch and others. and leaking grand jury material is a crime. if you obstain something first via grand jury subpoena and then you leak it, that's a crime. that can be an issue for those agents. >> so i want to play, this is what rudy giuliani said. this is october 2016, this is what's come under question. >> he's got a surprise or two that you're going to hear about in the next few days. i'm talking about some pretty big surprises. >> i heard you say that this morning. what did you mean? >> you'll see. >> you guys remember that, right? so, jack, the suspicion has been that people in the fbi new york field office may have leaked the surprise information to giuliani. what is their exposure legally speaking if that is so.
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>> renato just pointed out they have significant exposure. i don't think rudy necessarily has that exposure, except i wish i had been able to hear him in his interview with the special counsel's office. because reportedly he said he was speculating. the clip you just played does not suggest he was speculating at all but rather he had pretty hard information that this was coming. but, look, i don't know. you don't know, and we can be pretty certain that bob mueller either does know or will know. >> well, i was going to play it again but we don't have time. what do you mean when he goes ha, ha you'll see. brad perscow, he says time to fire sessions in the mueller investigation. you can't obstruct something that was phony against you. the i.g. report gives donald trump the truth to end it all. so sources are telling our dana bash this is part of a new
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strategy by perscow and other gop operatives who are tearing their hair out over the immigration fallout. they think it's better to talk about the i.g. report. you say this isn't going to help them. >> first of all, i've got to say, don, it's interesting to me because who would think that having the president focus his attention on his own criminal investigation would be a good thing, right? it tells you something about the pickle they're in right now. but i've also got to say, you know, their strategy, i think part of the reason they're willing to do that is the strategy has been working for them. they've been turning public opinion away from mueller and his investigation. we've seen the poll numbers go down for mueller. and i think what they're concerned about and focused on is a report from mueller saying their concerned about the president obstructed justice. and they're going to make sure
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that gop and congress do not vote for impeachment. the problem for them is jeff sessions is very popular in congress amongst republicans, so this could really backfire for them, the strategy of attacking sessions. >> especially coming on the heels of this mess at the border. i mean, this senate like the house, these folks are irritated with the white house. >> jack, let me give this to you. giuliani's responding to parscow's tweet. he told the president he would prefer if the president's political team adding i wish they'd sit back and keep quiet for a while. even the president's own lawyer thinks it's a bad strategy here. >> and rudy hasn't been saying most things i agree with. i think this is a terrible idea. i think, frankly, the campaign manager didn't get off to a good
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start in terms of demonstrating political acumen. i think to now turn around and suggest that sessions be fired, he's popular in the senate, who does he think is going to be confirmed in sessions' place? we have a long history of seeing how well these fir turn out from, you know, richard nixon to the firing of james comey. you can't fire your way out of these things. that's the lesson. >> jack renato, thank you. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪
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