tv Reliable Sources CNN September 9, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
argentina's peso has lost half it's value. this crisis is just the latest in a century long economic decline. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, i will see you next week. how to cover crazy town. i'm brian stelter and this is "reliable sources," our weekly look at the story behind the story. how the public media really works, how the news gets made and how all of us can make it better. new this hour, that incredible op-ed, why journalists are asking the wrong question about the op-ed. plus disturbing developments from myanmar where two reuters journalists have been sentenced to ten years in prison. and later why it's time to stop using terms like active shooter. but first breaking news,
from "fire and fury" to "fear." many of these claims are coming in bob woodward's new book titled "fear." it's already one of the year's best sellers and it's not even on sale yet. the moment these excerpts came out, the book soared to number one on amazon and it has been there ever since, this book is not budging from the top of the list. solely based on preorders, it's the biggest book of 2018. it will actually be released to the public on tuesday. here's the thing about trump's reaction to the book, by raging against woodward and claiming he might have made up stories and lying about woodward's r reputation, trump seems like he's proving the thesis of the book.
>> bob woodward's track record. he had the same problem with other presidents. he's discredited other presidents there. >> obviously nobody is perfect, bob woodward is not perfect, but his reputation is very strong, not just in washington, but across the country, this is the 19th gobook that woodwards has either written or co-written. trump has tweeted against the book not once but eighth time, boosting the preorders. this is what happened with michael wolf and "fire and furry," with ammarosa's book. and now with woodward's book.
woodward is saying his book is a wakeup call for the public. >> you look at the operation of this white house and you have to say, let's hope to god we don't have a crisis, people who work for him are worried that he will sign things or give orders that threaten financial security or the national security of the world. >> who do you believe, the president or bob woodward, that is an ongoing argument. but is it an argument that the president is going to win? what about the issues of credibility here? and what about the astonishing claims in the book and in the new op-ed. and let's talk about it, it was someone who knew the president way back when, tony schwartz, he was the co-author of "the art of
the deal" and schwartz now an outspoken critic of the president. tony, thanks for being here. since we're talking about books, we wanted to talk to someone who worked with the president on a book several years ago. what is your reaction to the tall revelations in woodward's book? >> it's textbook trump, he makes the shift to whatever position is necessary to try to undermine the credibility of something that's critical to him, he will do so in a way that relatively few people will by deceiving, lying, deflecting, distracting, anything he can do to keep people from focusing on what the book says. >> so he'll say whatever he has to say in the moment, just to get through the day? to get through the week? >> he's trying to control the narrative, as we know, he's trying to shift the narrative, what's happening, though, is that he now has people on every side of him, he will pretty much
say that he doesn't trust anybody anymore. he has everybody that he has occupied inside the white house saying you're pretty nuts. >> and do you think too many journalists are -- i think this book the woodward book is renewing and reviving those concerns, but are they being taken seriously enough about the press corps? >> i think you and i have taken this seriously in the past, and the idea that it's kind of an anti-dying way to describe not fit for office. but the reason that he's not fit for office, is that he's mentally unstable, he's a deeply disturbed guy. >> but you're not saying that with a doctor's license, a psychiatrist license. >> you don't need to be a psychiatrist to see that when someone lies that -- whether we
come up with a term's psychological in nature, the bottom line is this guy is not stable, he's not logical, he's not rational, and he is indeed as you say unfit to be president. >> let me say with regard to what's in the woodward book, the claim that his aids think he's a threat to the country, a thread to national security. is woodward uncovering anything new here? when you read the excerpts were you saying what's the fuzss. >> it's a big fuss when people are around him every day fully support his policies and nonetheless say he's unfit for office. that is a huge piece of news and it should be of interest of anybody who's sitting on the fence who if they believe in his policies, it is worth supporting him. so a reporter from the white
house who you you have said has been -- >> so john kelly's denied some of the quotes, mattis has denied some of the quotes. i have been in situations where sources will tell the truth anonymously, and then they'll lie on the record. i think every journalist has determined that. the but we should acknowledge that they have denied some of the claims. >> well, fine, acknowledge that they have denied some of the claims, but recognize that these are people who have consistently been not just by woodward, but by others noted ore or recognizd by others.
>> it forces people into a portion where they lie in order to keep their job, so if you are john kelly or you're jim mattis and you have come out on 50 or 60 of them and say i didn't do that. you do that because if you don't do that, you don't have a job. >> let's go to some of the responses from trump world to this book, let's put on some of the uncredible reactions to the book, people who are familiar with the book say it's a work of fiction, that he just talked to disgruntled sources, maybe he just made up the stories, maybe he is just a democratic operative and an idiot. mattis and kelley issued denials, and it's to change the subject. >> first of all, those five of six things and ten more are a fog machine, it's part of the fog machine that trump and his
people create every day in every moment. no, i think what's happening is that his credibility, which was never very high is progressively diminishing, even among those who are generally supportive of his policies. so i think this is a cumulative impact, i'm very low at this point to say it's a clear turning ain't, it's an infleck shurn poi -- inflection point, but i think day by day he undermines his own likelihood to stay in office. a quick break here on "reliable sources," the one and only carl bernstein, his reaction to how one of his long time friends and collaborators bob woodward is being treated by the white house. plugs ts the reaction to th new op-ed coming up right after the break. (vo) combine the right things.
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editor at the "new york times." i would like to talk about the woodward book and the "new york times" op-ed book that's making waves. we have just heard from woodward for the first time on cbs. he talked about what he hopes people will take away from this book. let's take a look at what woodward said. >> this one was in the belly of the beast. >> and what did you conclude about the beast? >> that people better wakeup to what's going on. >> and to what woodward is saying in this book and what he wants the public to know? carl, do i have you? i'm sorry -- >> i think i couldn't hear you, brian. >> you're a little bit far away from me today. i was asking for your reaction to what woodward was say about
t the fact that the public needs to wake up. this needs to be a wakeup call. >> i think that's true because this book is an astonishing book with detail piled upon detail, with memoranda in which people in the administration of the united states that people need to be saved from donald trump and his presidency, saved from his ignorance, saved from his lies, saved from his unwillingness to do the hard work of being president. it's an unprecedented situation, its very different than either bob's other books on the presidents and presidencies including our books together about nixon presidency. nixon presidency in its final days was teetering with an unstable president. this president, if you read this book carefully has been teetering from the beginning with an unstable president. >> and there are lots of question about how woodward
obtained this information. this is part of what he's said on cbs. this is one thing carl, because he's doing the same thing that you and bob did together during watergate, going to people's homes late at night. listen. >> in one case, i called somebody at 11:00 at night and said i would like to talk. yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll get to it. and i said, well, how about now? and he said now? it's 11:00 at night. i said, i'm four minutes away. okay, come over for a while. >> come on over. carl, what can you tell us about woodward's style and his reporting methods? >> the methodology that both of us still use today is what we developed reporting on nixon which is to go to source after source after source who has firsthand information about what he or i is covering and that
especially applies to the president of the united states and to confirm by going to source after source and getting different accounts and triangulating them to come up with what bob and i long ago called the best obtainable version of the truth and what you see in this book is such a convincing -- this is not about one person in the trump orbit calling the president of the united states a moron or an idiot, this is about being in the room with the president of the united states where he demonstrably is not capable of being the president of the united states. take a look at the south korean situation. the way one meeting is described, the president asks general mattis why, why are we in korea? what are these 28,000 troops doing there? we need to just bring them home, get them the hell out of there,
they cost us too much money, and mattis has to say to the president, we have them there to prevent world war iii. there is this methodology that we started with a back in the nixon days, it works because it's what real reporting is. and remember that as with nixon, with trump even more so, he has tried to make conduct of the press the issue, the conduct of bob woodward instead of the conduct and lying of that he has engaged in. you got to ask yourself, look, who are you going to believe here? a reporter with a record that has established what every presidency is really about, the basic information we know going back 45 years, or a president of
the united states, who has made compulsive lying the hallmark of his presidency. >> and the through line with both the book "fear" and that shocking "new york times" op-ed is that president donald trump is trying to make the press the issue. let me ask you about the issue of the op-ed, we should be really clear that the "new york times" newsroom where you work and the op-ed page is not near you, not even on the same floor of you. it but what i have seen about the op-ed is the anonymous nature of the op-ed writing and the anonymous nature of the woodward reporting, why should the american people trust anonymous sources? >> the "new york times" has some of the most tough, strict, vetting processes for our sources, particularly on the op-ed side or the editorial side for any kind of anonymity that
is provided. the white house who covered national iraq war reporting, they know who this is. >> what about your boss? dean mckay, the newsroom bost, does dean mckay know who the op-ed writer is? >> he doesn't know the identity. that's the fire wall between many things, between the editorial department and the news department. >> is he trying to find out who the source is? the are your report errs investigate i -- reporters investigating? >> if you find out who it is, are you allowed to print it? >> if we find out who it is, i can't get into what we would ultimately publish, but the decisions that the editorial department has made to the vetting to the anonymity granted
is different from the reporting. the key here thing is just the deliberative nature of this, and you know this, brian, when anonymity is granted, it's not grabbeded will granted willy nilly. they went through a really thorough deliberation process on this and they felt that even though maggie haberman and others have done great reporting from the administration, that having someone on the inside that was able to bring some sort of texture to that reporting was the solution. >> book that came out on wednesday, it's the week's most popular article, this op-ed has
been viewed more than 13.# million times on nytimes.com. that makes it the times most red single article of the year. so from a page view, from a traffic perspective. but carl bernstein, what about the ethics of this decision? there's a lot of critics out there that say that the times should not have given this person anonymity. >> i think it's an appropriate article to publish anonymously. i think there's something about the author not coming forward. this is different from the case of deep throat where we were seeking information from someone inside during nixon presidency, someone who did not want to volunteer much information and we were able to get some out of deep throat about an ongoing criminal conspiracy.
rather than this is someone on the inside, who has come to a newspaper and said, here, i am going to give you this, and i think it's absolutely right that the "new york times" published it, but i would hope that this individual would come forward in the national interest and give himself more credibility in what he has to say by identifying himself or herself and letting us know and then becoming part of the open debate about donald trump's presidency as reported in bob woodward's book. because the two follow parallel tracks in which those closest to the president are saying he cannot be trusted with the national security of the united states. we have never had this in our history. the final days of nixon, yes, something a little different with an unstable president because of the pressures he was
under, but for from the first days of a presidency, a president of the united states who those working with him consider him a danger to the national security of the united states, this is really extraordinary. >> look at what axios said earlier in the week, when this op-ed came out, two other senior officials reached out to axios reached out and said the author came and stole the words right off the bat out of our mouths. there are some folks coming out saying it wasn't me, it wasn't me. sarah sanders the white house press secretary even told people to call up the opinion page and complain about what happened, we can put her message on screen there. the thing about the "new york times" phone system, if you call up and say opinion, you --
>> i got two calls saying how outraged people were, and i got three calls from subscribers saying how proud they were of what we have done. going back to something that carl was saying, they understand that for tough in depth reporting, for bob woodward or cnn or the "new york times" is they're going to trust the people we choose, we're just not going to grant anonymity, we're not just going to slap on sloppy vetting. >> there are a lot of folks out there who do not trust anything about the "new york times" or cnn. >> that's true, we rise and fall on the credibility of our reporting. but you look at the pulitzer prize that maggie haberman and others have won, that "the washington post" have won, some
of the break through investigative work. it's not like the -- and saying i demand all these corrections, you know, when they had that meeting over the summer. it's not like when donald trump came to the editorial board when he was elected president, to say what a jewel the "new york times" was. we know that donald trump has been anonymous source for stories over the decades, and he has praised woodward. anonymity isn't just granted all over the place. it's really thoughtfully handled. >> all right, guys, stand by. thank you both for being here. after the break, when is a fox news interview really just a pep rally. we're going to talk about that when we come back. 'cause that's no ordinary family.
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oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's. this week, lots of new evidence that president trump is volatile, that he's erratic, that he's raging against bob woodward and the "new york times." let's continue our conversation with patrick healey, the staff writer at the "new york times." all right, sarah, you're at the post, you're the arch rival of the "new york times," your assessment of the op-ed, were they right to give anonymity to this person? >> i think it's clearly newsworthy, it's clearly a very successful story in terms of what people are interested in
and i think it adds something to hear this message from someone's own words inside the white house. my issue with it is that the writer talks about not wanting to trigger a constitutional crisis by invoking the 25th amendment and then backs out of the piece by saying everyone should just relax and be less partisan, when meanwhile they're writing a kind of five-alarm bell op-ed. >> it they're telling us the house is on fire, but there are firefighters and not to worry. >> that's really disingeneraluo and not wore-i have a lot of criticism to things that president trump has done, but there are people saying, don't worry, we have people subverting the president. i think that kind of wording in
the piece is shocking and disingenuous. >> i think there was initially questions about sort of who the writer was, you know, who knew what. but pretty quickly, think people moved on to, again, sort of reporting around the 25th amendment question, reporting like all angles of this, and i think that we, again, we trust certainly a lot of us worked with james bennett and jim dowd. they had a great amount of trust within the newsroom. but we were getting phone calls. like, who is this? >> and the times did have to step up security at the building as a result. let's turn to other bits of news confirmed this week by cnn that the president has been grousing about bill shine, he came over
from fox news, so this is a sign of that ongoing sort of merger between the trump white house and fox news. so patrick, your newsroom reported that the president has maybe complained of shine's performance, criticizing shine's performance. then we had that interview that was a pep rally type interview, what do you know about this shine situation? >> the president felt great comfort over the years with hope hicks. he saw hope hicks as kind of a magician in terms of keeping relationships good with the president. you know, donald trump as a president could hop on the phone, have a back and forth with amount of report-- a lot o reporters, myself included. and now while shine has the bona fides from fox news, trump looks
at the chaos and thinks it should be solved like that and that hope hicks could do it. >> there were a lot of calls for bring back hope hicks. >> when "the washington post" published the reporting of kellyanne coming in with bob woodward. the messaging that bill shine could have somehow undertaken and closed down the story story was dead, donald trump himself by having that reporting and hearing his voice and what he's saying, made it all but impossible for a white house spin machine to play it. >> i think that's exactly right and what trump wants and what hope was able to do to a degree was to save him from himself and he won't allow anyone to do that anymore. and i'm not sure that she could have necessarily pulled a rabbit out of a hat on this. it's just a matter of time and it's focusing on, you know, it's
just a matter of time before he was going to get upset with bill shooi shine. hi wanted bill shine to come in and control the "new york times." >> jim acosta noticed shine almost giving instructions to the fox crew at the rally on thursday. so i find that curious. i wonder about these fox and friends interviews, you know fox and friends on the opinion side of the house, different standards as say brett behr or someone else. here's an example of what pete said at that pep rally interview. >> what's going to win this cultural show down of standing for the ending.
>> we are. >> this is something that fox has in common, go to the culture wars issues when everything else isn't working. >> they know this is something -- they love to talk about the nfl, they love to talk about kneeling players, i think their ability to deflect in the way that trump agrees with is kind of unparalleled and it's showing perfectly in this particular moment. >> sarah, patrick, thank you both for being here, appreciate the conversation. we do have some breaking news, we're going to take a quick break here and bring in roman farrow. but allstate agents know that's where the similarity stops. if you're on park street in reno, nevada, the high winds of the washoe zephyr could damage your siding. and that's very different than living on park ave in sheboygan, wisconsin, where ice dams could cause water damage. but no matter what park you live on, one
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it is being called a miscarriage of justice, two reuters journalists sentenced to ten years in jail, their crime, doing their job. they were supposed to be set free, but this time it landed the two reporters in jail. they have been locked up for the better part of a year now. it was this week when they were sentenced, when they were convicted in myanmar, each sentenced to seven years in prison. let's hear more about this disturbing disturbinging case, steven --
>> these are reuters reporters, working as staff reporters, in the world of reporting, you forget there are people on the ground figuring out what's going on, establishing facts. the facts they were establishing is that ten muslim men, and 1te 17-year-old boys, lined up, they were hacked to death in that grave and behind them there were some pictures of those individual who is did it. they were trying to figure out who they were. and the government didn't want that, and they were arrested and they have been in prison ever since. >> and now with the sentencing,
what can you do next? enter the whole trial showed a total lack of due process during the trial. one of the police said that it was a setup. police were told to set up by another police officer. we know from the start that the justice system was not going to do justice. so now we have to look at how productive would an appeal be and they do have a right to an appeal. so we're looking into that. >> your newsrooms gathered together and held up banners trying to call attention to this. >> between 30,000 and 40,000 people have used this hash tag. we're going to look at international forums, the u.n.'s coming to town, we're going to see what we can do, we're not going to stop, we're going to do everything we can to get them out.
>> this is the first time that you as an editor have had two of your own behind bars? >> we have had people detained, but not imprisoned falsely. it's astonishing that reporters on the ground gathering facts could be -- 70,000 muslims had to three bangladesh. now they have to live in squalid refugee camps and we have been covering that. myanmar has been moving towards democracy, has been calling itself a democracy, has been calling itself an increased freedom of the press. they have been standing up saying this is an injustice, and so what we really want is to get them out of prison. if a pardon does that, we would be very happy with a pardon. >> please keep us updated on the
case. a quick break here, and then breaking news again from the new yorker, new reporting about cbs chief les moonves. cbs reporter ronan farrow will join me in just a moment. with fidelity wealth management you get straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management.
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six weeks ago ronan farrow published a story about les moonves. now he's published on new yorker.com says that six women have raised new assault and harassment claims, an incident that took place between the 1980s and the early oughts. the so ronan, you have just published this new reporting, why is there basically a part two. you had a part one in july?
did it take time for other women to be willing to go on the record and speak out now? >> two things, these are more numerous claims, these are six women all of them on the record, also describing more serious allegations. this includes multiple allegations of being physically forced or coerced oral sex, it included the case that resulted in a criminal investigation. and the reason, brian, that these women are coming out now is that they have been extraordinarily frustrated by what they perceive to be inaction on the part of cbs and it's board. and that really is integral to what prompted this follow-up story. >> les moonves, a legendary broad kacasting executive, but there have been talks that may lead to his exit. the board did hire two law firms and there has been reporting
that moonves may leave the company in the coming days. do you know any more about that? >> there are a number of cases recently where media companies have moved very quickly to remove and even fire for cause individuals subject to allegations of considerably less seriousness than these. so these women have watched the process that you just described, that yes, outside law firms being brought in to investigate and also moonves being allowed to stay and continue to run the company, and now in the last week as we have reached out to cbs for comment. for this moment, there are negotiations, but as of a couple of days ago, they were still talking about potentially letting him leave with a very generous exit package, up to $100 million. and some of the women found this very, very frustrating. this is a man who has a lot of power in this country, and the
board is letting him get away with it. >> the company says, quote, cbs takes these allegations very seriously, our board of directors is conducting a thorough investigation of these matters, which is ongoing. i'm wondering if we're going to hear an outcome of the investigation by the board. thank you, brian. >> you'll recall back in july, he said he may have misbehaved in his past, but he never abused his power, and some of these women certainly took issue with that. we'll be right back with more "reliable sources" here on cnn. t expertly paired mozzarella and parmesan for pizzahyeah!
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click, call or visit a store today. surprised by all of these stories about president trump? the revelations coming from bob woodward's book, the claims in the anonymous op-ed? are you still surprised in i spoke with michael cruz, he bought all the books trump ever wrote, he has studied the trump library and he's not surprised by trump's behavior. >> everything he does, everything he is, every way he thinks, he has said outloud often repeatedly over and over and over. so, you know, i sort of feel like anybody who is remotely
surprised by almost anything that happens every day under president trump has not done the reading, has not. >> don't we have to maintain our capacity for surprise? we can't grow numb to unpresidential behavior, to lying, to attacks on the media, right? kruse says there's a way to be surprised without seeing trump's history. >> the surprise is not that he is who hess and he's acting in these ways and these reasons, the surprise is he's doing it in the context of the presidency, of running the country and of being literally the most important person and the most powerful person on the planet. what's different is not who he is or how he acts or the reasons
that undergird that behavior, it is the consequences, it is the take stakes, it is the context. >> listen to our entire conversation, my chat with michael kruse on my weekly podcast. we'll see you right back here this time next week for more "reliable sources." insider attack. >> anonymous editorial. a gutless editorial. >> fear and loathing on pennsylvania avenue. trump hunts down a traitor who denies and defends. how far will trump go to root out the enemy within. kellyanne conway is here. plus warning signs?