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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 14, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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but it's about all reporters and journalists and it's about the first amendment and that's why this case is so entirely crucial to fight. brian, thank you very much. >> thanks. >> for being with me. and thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin here in new york. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. should there come a time when we look back at the first two years of the trump administration as the calm before the storm? "the lead" starts right now. annoyed, angry, frustrated. lashing out. stunning, brand-new details of the president behind the scenes ever since a blue wave in the house hit him with a new reality. purely political. president trump has sent a total of zero tweets since the election about that migrant caravan. so what does defense secretary mattis on the border today have to say about this so-called invasion? plus -- he called himself a meth-smoking, pipe bomb-making
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alt-right, now thankfully under arrest after he terrified his own family about what he might do. did the u.s. just dodge another massacre? welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. breaking news in the politics lead in what aides are describing as a darker than normal cloud hovering over the oval office. a white house official saying if president trump, quote, he's pissed at damn near everyone. unquote. with democrats having recaptured the house and the mueller noose presumably tightening, few trump aides feel any sense of job security these days. the president confirming what many have speculated, he's looking to make major changes. the two at the top of his list, apparently, chief of staff john kelly and department of homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. the president telling the daily caller he's looking at a lot of options as he contemplates his next purge but has not yet major a decision. this as cnn is learning from white house sources about the
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president's intense and bitter mood, which escalated after the mid terms with stumbles during his trip abroad, including that no-show at the world war i armistice ceremony punctuated by the first lady. the president caught off guard, sources telling us, and feeling backed into a corner. kaitlan collins, you're learning that president trump was furious over the first lady's move yesterday, making it look like he was a bossed around husband. >> reporter: that's right, jake. that's what the president is saying, because he feels these aides who don't report to him have thrust this internal staffing matter into public view and has dominated headlines now, something the president doesn't like. and he also feels that by this statement coming out, calling for the firing of a top national security aide, the president feels backed into a corner. and as we know, that is a position that president trump least likes to be in.
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the revolving door at the white house is spinning faster tonight as sources telling cnn a major staff shakeup is on the horizon and president trump is growing more isolated by the day. trump has been in a dark mood since he returned from paris, berating aides over a decision to cancel a planned visit to a military cemetery due to the rain. but his fury hasn't stopped there. sources say the president is also weighing several major staffing changes and has his sights set on department of homeland security secretary, kirstjen nielsen. who traveled to the southern border earlier today. >> i want to thank you on behalf of dhs. >> reporter: trump telling aides he's made the decision to replace nielsen, though it's still unclear who with. nielsen's imminent departure raising questions about the job security of the man who brought her into the white house, chief of staff, john kelly. amid whispers he could be replaced by the vice president's chief of staff, nick ayers. though some white house
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officials have threatened to quit if trump does. and one day after first lady melania trump issued a scathing statement, calling for the firing of john bolton's number two on the national security council, mira ricardel returned today. on a work trip with the vice president in singapore, and he's scrambling to save her. and the episode setting the stage for a showdown between the national security adviser and the first lady who says she has always been candid with the president. >> i give him my honest advice and honest opinions. >> reporter: but trump was said to be blindsided by the first lady's statement tuesday, feeling backed into a corner and complaining he looks like a boss around husband. whether ricardel stays or goes will be a test on the limits of melania's influence and the extent of bolton's. so jake, the president's frayed
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relationships are essentially being laid bare for everyone to see. not just with john kelly and kirstjen nielsen, but apparently with his own wife and her staff, as well. we haven't seen or heard from the president yet today, but he is scheduled to make an appearance in the next half hour where he will voice support some bipartisan criminal justice legislation, jake. >> kaitlan collins at the white house for us. we have a lot to talk about here. ryan, even in a white house that has been known to have chaotic days, this sense -- this seems a little extraordinary. >> a lot going on. i mean, it's not unusual for a white house to make major staffing changes after a shellacking in the mid terms, right? in the 1994, president clinton made a lot of changes after that loss. 2006, bush made a lot of changes. 2010, obama made a lot of changes. what is unusual about this white house is everything is sort of battled out in public. right? so you have the first lady tweeting about staffing changes, right? you have the president in these sort of stream of conscious
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press encounters talking about it. so i think it's maybe a little bit more than those other examples, but also the trump white house, you know, he governs in a very chaotic style, and everything is for public consumption. he let's people twist in the wind like kelly has for months now. and there's just not an orderly process that you normally would find after a big midterm loss for staffing changes. >> simone, what do you make of kaitlan collins reporting that president trump really didn't like what happened yesterday with the first lady calling for in deputy national security adviser to be fired because it made him look like a bossed around husband. the deputy national security adviser still at work today, apparently. >> look, i don't like -- i'm not married and i don't have a boyfriend, jake, and if i did, i don't want people in my business. so i would hope that the president and the first lady could work out their, you know, home business at home. but unfortunately, the first lady has drug us into a spat with her husband. that's exactly what this is. and frankly, i don't want any parts of it.
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>> tell us. because you know personally a lot of these players. you ran the trump campaign in pennsylvania. what's going on here? >> look, i don't have a clear picture of what's going on. it's not unusual like you have seen and has been reported for the first ladies to be involved in personnel decisions. in the reagan administration. nancy reagan. >> but behind the scenes. >> behind the scenes, to a certain extent. >> it leaked out. >> she wasn't active on twitter. >> twitter didn't exist. it's a different world. can you imagine the kennedy administration or lots of other administrations with the news cycle and the media onslaught we have today would be laid bare. look,it n look, it's not a good look to have this laid out in public. i'm not quite certain how it's going to end up. the reporting is that ricardel is still at the white house and maybe moved to a different spot. and so if that's the goal, it probably should be done kind of behind the scenes. and, you know, as a subtle personnel move. but we'll wait and see.
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this president -- there is no lack of transparency, right? no one ever says tell us what you're thinking. what's on your mind. and so we find out. and so hopefully we'll see -- and, again, like john kelly -- john kelly has been around for a long time. he's been on the chopping block many, many times. >> right. but the reason the story keeps getting fed is because president trump keeps asking people who would be a good replacement, who should i have as chief of staff. president trump also today in that interview with the daily caller lashing out at how elections take place in this country. he blamed republican losses on this fantastic -- in the true meaning of the word fantastic, unbelievable, nonsensical story. he said, the republicans don't win, and that's because of potentially illegal votes. when people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. nobody takes anything. it's really a disgrace what's
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going on. to be very clear, and i just want to make sure everybody at home understands, there's no evidence of that story. it's a fever dream. it's like it never happened. there aren't people who are not allowed to vote putting on different shirts and running around in different cars so they can vote. and yet this is from the president of the united states. >> yeah. and it's an echo of what we have heard before. a., we know that the president is a conspiracy theorist, right? he was a birther for a time, he came into the white house citing another conspiracy theory, this idea that 3 million people voted illegally. i think -- >> that's a lot of hats and shirts. >> suggesting i guess they were also illegal. it's also this idea -- do people want to vote that badly? if they did, i think our participation rate would be much higher. it's not. but, yeah, i think the thing when you look at the circumstances that have happened over these last couple of days in the fury that it's in, it's not clear that it's going to end. it seems like this might be a preview of what we're going to see for these next two to six years, however long he's in the white house. if you think about it, legislation -- that whole process isn't going to get any
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better. there is going to be more gridlock. you've got the house now in the hands of democrats with nancy pelosi presumably going to be the speaker of the house. as you said, the mueller investigation at some point will end. but it probably won't be good news for this president. the staffing problems, he'll bring new people in, but at some point he's going to be calling around to replace those people and get in a fury with those folks. so that's what i think is troubling. for the next couple of years, he's going to be brooding in this way in a job he really hasn't quite gotten the hang of and also doesn't really seem to enjoy. >> simone, i want to read one more quote. he's talking about the need for a voter i.d. and the president said, if you buy a box of cereal, you have a voter i.d. then they try to shame everybody by calling them racist or calling them something, anything they can think of when you say you want voter i.d. but voter i.d. is a very important thing. do you know what he's talking about? the box of cereal? >> i'm not sure. because i buy cereal, jake, and i don't have to present i.d. to
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buy my cereal from the local harris teter. >> wine. >> box of wine, maybe. but not my cereal. this is an issue. i do not think the president understands the gravity of his words. to be clear, voter i.d. laws, laws that require exact match, these are things that have been put in place, getting rid of same-day voter registration. these are things put in place to disenfranchise and curb access to t to the ballot box, overwhelmingly put in place by republican state legislators across the country. i work on these issues, so i can say that. >> there's obviously a big disagreement about this. but know, you can get i.d.s for lots of other things in the world. i.d. on a plane -- look, voting means to be reformed in america. it's a shame you can put $100,000 in an atm and transfer it anywhere in the world or $10. everybody in the world relies on their banking system. and doesn't get hacked. very instantaneous. yet we have this voting system that's like out of, like, horse and buggy, right?
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and there should be i.d.s, should be able to go vote, get it done. everybody knows within minutes. should be able to do it. >> the reason some folks have an issue with requiring i.d.s at the polls is because it likens itself to a poll tax. unless you're making the form of i.d. free and easily accessible to get, you are blocking a certain number of people from getting there. there was a time in this country, i've just got to remind people because folks' memories are short where people that look like me, if you were a woman, a person of color, just a white man -- only white men could vote. so that is why conversations about curbing access to the ballot box is not only dangerous but antithesis to our voting process. >> one thing we can agree on, you don't need i.d. to buy cereal. what president trump is tweeting about and what he's not tweeting about. whatever happened to that caravan he called an invasion? stay with us. name. or if thou wilt not,and y be but sworn my love, and i'll... so she's telling romeo to ditch his parents and then she'll be
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while visiting the u.s./mexico border today, defense secretary jim mattis
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urged service members to ignore the news and stay focused on their mission. but it is difficult to escape the growing questions about their mission, including were they sent to the border for purely political reasons? and since the election, what happened to all of president trump's urgent warnings about a migrant caravan invasion? he hasn't tweeted the word caravan since the mid terms, compared to 45 mentions in the three weeks before election day. let's bring in cnn's barbara starr in the pentagon. in the weeks before the election, the president painted a stark picture, sent thousands of potentially armed troops to the border, kind of suggesting he was doing so to fend off an invasion of dangerous migrants. what's actually going on, on the ground down there? >> reporter: well, what's going on on the ground today where the secretary of defense was, not a migrant to be seen. no price tag attached to this mission. and jake, that's just the beginning of some of the questions.
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defense secretary james mattis checking up on the troops at the bare bones military camp on the texas border with mexico. 5,900 troops deployed to stop caravans of migrants, still hundreds of miles from the>> th. that's an invasion. >> reporter: but on the ground, the reality is different. mattis reiterating, the military will not be confronting the migrants as he defended the mission. >> obviously, a moral and ethical mission to support our border patrolmen. >> reporter: 1,300 of those troops in texas, largely tasked with putting up concertina wire for migrants coming north and may try to cross. >> the troops are not armed, don't need their weapons. the engineers delay the barbed wire. the soldiers and marines are overwatched by mps who are
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arou armed. >> reporter: matrtis now tellin american forces to ignore the news media. >> there's all sorts of stuff in the news and that sort of thing. you just concentrate on what your company commander and your battalion commander tells you. if you read all that stuff, you'll go nuts. >> reporter: but the question of not going away. from october 16th to november 6, midterm election day, 45 tweets mentioning the border. but since then, zero. >> i think that strengthens the argument by those who believe that this was a politically motivated mission in the first place. >> reporter: and in a bizarre moment, mattis insisting, there is precedent for forces on the border, actually citing poncho via, the famed mexican revolutionary leader. >> i think many of you are aware that president wilson 100 years ago -- a little over 100 years
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ago, deployed the u.s. army to the southwest border. that's over a century ago. the threat then was poncho via's troops, a revolutionary raiding across the border into the united states. new mexico in 1960. >> reporter: the difference being poncho via led a group of revolutionaries with guns while the current group of migrants includes men, women and children who are mostly escaping violence in their own countries. one soldier asked mattis if they're all going to have to go back and pick up all that concertina wire they laid. he did not have an answer for that. there is no answer how many troops, if any, will make it home for thanksgiving. but the secretary of defense talking about poncho via, and an incident on that border back in 1916. jake? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks so much. take a listen again to something secretary mattis said today about the mission. >> we were asked by the
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secretary, due to the number of people coming this way, to back them up. what does that mean? it means that we're standing behind them as a confidence builder, and that sort of thing. >> so the department of homeland security is in charge, and the customs and border patrol and presumably other agencies are there providing the security. and the troops are there as a confidence builder? what does that -- >> yeah, i didn't know that that's what american troops did. i thought -- you know, and if you listen to what the president was saying, he was saying this was an invasion and they would be there and be armed and presumably he said that they would be shooting at some of these folks if they threw rocks. i'm not a military person, but i didn't realize that you deploy maybe 5,000 or -- >> 5,900, yeah. >> 5,900 people sort of as a confidence booster to the folks who are already there. and remember, they're going to not -- they're not going to be home with their families.
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this is a force that has been deployed for years and years on end and all of the foreign wars we've had. so, yeah, if that's a sort of new direction for this military, that's something different. >> let's go to our west point guy. >> a guy who has spent a little time. >> you served. you were in the gulf war, the first gulf war. what do you make of all of this? >> look, there is historical precedent for this -- >> poncho via, we heard. >> since poncho via -- >> president bush. >> president bush sent -- >> 9,000, was it? >> a giant number. so did president obama send about 2,000 troops down to the border. and they provide a wide range of services. logistical. they can lay barbed wire, concertina. it's about securing our nation's border. the other thing is also just -- is providing support. logistical support. not necessarily emotional support. and the notion -- >> well, confidence building sounds like emotional support. >> and i don't know what to -- to address nia's point, i don't know if these folks have been in a rotation, have been deployed
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before, if they're back home. lots of times folks -- this could be part of their training, part of the deployment. they do peacekeeping missions all over the world. so getting out and doing this stuff is not necessarily counter to their mission. they may be home, rotating through. i don't know the exact specifics. but it's not without precedent. >> ryan, it's true that bush and obama did send troops to the border, but didn't do so in the closing weeks of a midterm election while making a big case out of it. and that's what a lot of the critics are seized on. >> i didn't serve in the military, but if i had, i can't think of anything worse than being suspicious that i'm being used as a political pawn before the election. right? and, look -- >> hardly the first time that's happened with troops. i mean -- >> right. imagine being one of those troops down there and having to wonder, is this a real mission? or is this just for a show in the run up to the mid terms? and i don't think we fully have the answer for that. i think there are a lot of important questions. and i can tell you that the democrats who take over the house next year will be
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investigating this and will try to get to the bottom of it. >> yeah. >> it sounds like a show. look, for president trump always likes to talk about how much he loves our military and how president obama didn't care about the military, which is absolutely not true. but these are things he says. and i care about our military, i make sure they're paid. but he is absolutely using the military as a political pawn. and, again, trying to scare people in the closing days of a midterm election so they would go out to the polls and vote for republicans. and i think in large part, that backfired. in many places across the country. and so i do not -- i think the president needs to be held accountable and this administration needs to be held accountable for this. is this what we're spending our tax dollars on? i think the issue with the politicization of this and now we don't hear about the caravan. where are the news articles? where's the caravan? did the caravan leave? are they still on the border? >> is it a little suspicious to you? >> this is -- >> you know, the notion that if the troops should be down on the border and he didn't even bother to show up.
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maybe at some point he'll go down and visit there. it was interesting to have mattis and nielsen down there talking about this mission that the president basically said -- >> listen, the question is, again, do we believe in secure borders or not believe in secure borders? >> we all believe in secure borders. >> listen, we have porous borders. how about that? >> i just want to show one quick thing, a map of the election results, and look at the border. and if you look at the borders, a lot of those borders are blue. i mean, not all of them. but a lot of those borders are blue and that's because there are a lot of latino voters and some didn't think his message was effective. let's take a quick break. wild claims about florida votes from both parties. will we ever return to reality with the florida recount? stay with us.
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all smiles today on capitol hill as freshman house democrats posed for their class photo. but there is underlying tension about who might be the party's leader come january. some not quite ready to commit to former speaker, nancy pelosi, as the next speaker. >> we're waiting to see if somebody else is going to emerge to challenge her. >> i think it's a new time and there has been some change. and i think it would be good if we had some change in leadership. >> i made a commitment to my district that i would not be
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supporting nancy pelosi. >> pelosi had to see this coming, of course. is there enough energy among this new class to generate new leadership? simone, what do you think? is nancy pelosi -- i mean, that's -- you know, that's three democrats saying -- >> those are three new democrat senators in the house of representatives. i think the fact of the matter is, look, a challenger to leader pelosi has not currently emerged. and i frankly don't think anyone is going to step up, but there is still time, so we never know. some of these members can decline to vote -- they can vote present and not vote yes or no, so there are maneuvers that can happen for folks who don't want to be on the record voting for nancy pelosi as the next speaker of the house. but i think, again, if there is someone who would like to take nancy pelosi's job, come get it. but you have to get the money she has been able to raise and you have the gravitas and prowess. and i don't see anyone who has emerged to say i can do this job and i can do it better.
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>> so 226 democrats as of right now, nine races undecided. she can only lose a few. she needs 218 votes. >> there was something like four dozen democratic nominees who ran for the house that actually publicly said they wouldn't support her. i don't know what the exact number is going in. but, look, you see an inkling of democratic house caucus being similar to the struggles that republicans have dealt with over the last decade, right? where, you know, some faction that's constantly going to be anti establishment and very public about it. and unlike the other races, speaker of the house is a public vote. right? all the lesser offices that run the house are internal -- >> secret ballot? >> so you don't have to do as much work. >> my prediction, that's the last time you'll see that caucus smiling together. and you saw ocasio ortiz leading a protest. already started. governing is very difficult,
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right? >> and nancy pelosi has done it before. >> and that's -- >> you can't beat something with nothing. >> that's the thing. there is nothing. i think part of the critique of nancy pelosi is that there needs to be a generational change, bring some youth in. but this is a real job. it's not just about symbolism. like, you can't be qualified for the job just because you're young or -- >> house chamber. >> yeah. you have to know things. you have to know how to raise money. so part of the critique, i think, feels like she's too old for the job. no old lady should have so much power. which i think is, you know -- i think they have to have a better argument for why she should be replaced other than she's too old and we need somebody young. >> so the outgoing speaker, paul ryan, had a moment with his old running mate. paul ryan the 2012 vice preside presidental nominee, meeting with mitt romney, a freshman senator from utah. ryan and romney together again. he wrote, an old friend dropped by to ask directions to his new
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office. it did make me wonder, what is the role of mitt romney going to be? you could argue republicans don't have any lions of the senate with mccain having passed away and you have flake and corker, who were critical of president trump, they're leaving. there is possibly a role for him, a national role, but i don't know what he's going to do. >> this is me not holding my breath, jake. i do not think mitt romney is going to stand up to president trump. even flake and corker, who were on their way out, who had no incentive to go along with -- get along with the trump administration and republicans in the senate, did so. they hemmed and howed and tweeted and voted with the president. i think that's what we'll see from mitt romney. >> a conservative state. not a bastion of liberalism. i don't think there is going to be a hue and cry. >> there is a bastion of anti trumpism. emotional -- >> tone, right, more than substance. >> but these disagreements republicans have with president trump are not really policy disagreements. except for the ones on tariffs and trade that's generally about the kind of thing that they're
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very polite in utah. >> i imagine at some point he will critique the president's language and we've seen some of that. but, you know, mitt romney has i think often embraced donald trump when it's been convenient for him, when he was running for the white house in 2012. he sought out the endorsement of trump, who was at the time -- he was a birther. he was a raging birther at that time. >> trump was. >> right. >> so, again, my good friend john james, who should be the senator from michigan, had it down. he said, i could be critical of the president without attacking him. and i could agree with him without worshipping him. right? >> what about the votes? i think -- >> i think that's the tone mitt romney is going to take. >> romney gave a speech we are all going to play every time -- >> he gave the most scathing anti trump speech of anyone, i think, who wasn't running against him. >> so a lot of people in the media are going to hold him to that standard. so he's going to have to, you know, either live up to or live
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down those words from that speech. >> there was an election -- we talked about nancy pelosi and how she's going to fare. house republicans met and they elected kevin mccarthy, who was next in line to become speaker, or not speaker, i guess, minority leader, because they lost. and so that did happen. but i also just want to bring in this new news. this just happened. senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, is blocking an effort from a fellow republican, jeff flake, who we were just talking about, to force a vote on the senate floor on legislation to protect special counsel robert mueller. this coming even after the president just fired attorney general jeff sessions. republican senator jeff flake attempted to force a vote today. the bill had been reported out of committee. and flake just announced, he will not vote to confirm any trump administration judicial nominees if that legislation doesn't receive a vote in the whole senate. take a listen. >> one further note on this unanimous consent request that has just failed today.
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senator coons and i are prepared to make it again and again until there is a vote on this vital bipartisan legislation on the senate floor. and i have informed the majority leader that i will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the judiciary committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the senate floor until s-2644 is brought to the full senate for a vote. >> that's not an idle threat. jeff flake, if he votes against any of the 32 judges that come before the senate floor, that makes it 50-50 and mike pence gets to be a tiebreaker, but that's still ugly that pence has to do it. more importantly, the 21 judicial nominees, republicans only have a one-vote advantage. if jeff flake refuses to vote for any of them, that means they don't get reported out of committee. >> they will not get out of committee. >> is this what you've been begging for jeff flake to do? >> jeff flake, thank you! why did it take so long?
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>> listen -- >> i heard -- maybe simone wants to work on his campaign. >> there you go. maybe i will. >> i saw on the senate floor, the beginning of his senate primary campaign against -- on the floor of the senate, you saw the beginning of his presidential run there. >> ryan, the issue that jeff flake is saying is like, they reported this out months ago from committee, this protect the special counsel bill. >> yeah. >> and mcconnell said you don't need to do it, he's fine. and then this happened with president trump, firing sessions and putting in matthew whitaker, who is very critical as acting attorney general. so they really feel like they need to protect him. >> and this shows who was serious about protecting the mueller investigation, and who wasn't, right? the truth is, a lot of republicans up on the hill warned president trump from taking any rash action. they warned him against firing sessions, they certainly warned him against firing mueller. and lo and behold, he takes an action that is short, of course, of firing mueller but puts this loyalist in charge of the
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investigation now. there's a lot of controversy over whether it's even legal, right, this acting attorney general. and flake is the one person who is living up to his promise. >> we're going to continue with this conversation. first we dip into the white house where president trump is talking. >> members of the house and senate have pored their time and heart and energy into the crucial issue of prison reform. a very respected man, chairman chuck grassley and my friend -- where is chuck? chuck. thank you, chuck, very much. >> you bet. >> worked hard on this. and bob goodlatte. i saw bob here. thank you, bob. great job. senators lindsey graham, mike lee, kim scott, collins. t fantastic people who have worked so hard and we appreciate what you have done. thank you all very much. working together with my administration over the last two years, these members have
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reached a bipartisan agreement. did i hear the word bipartisan? [ laughter ] did i hear -- [ applause ] did i hear that word? huh? that's a nice word. bipartisan agreement on prison reformulation known as the first step. and that's what it is. it's a first step, but it's a very big first step. today i'm thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our community safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time. so important. and i have to tell you, i was called when i announced and when we all announced together this news conference by some of the toughest, strongest law enforcement people, including politicians, by the way, who are so in favor of it. and i was actually surprised by some. like as an example, mike lee. and rand paul. and others.
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no, it's got tremendous support at every level. it's really great. and we're all better off when former inmates can receive and reenter society as law-abiding, productive citizens. ask thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they have ever had before. it is true. our economy is so strong that when people are getting out of jail, they're actually able to find jobs. and i have three instances of companies that hire people coming out of prison, and they are so thrilled by the performance of these people. and now they're doing it more and more and more. a lot of people are seeing this. it's great. they wouldn't have had the opportunity, frankly, except for the fact that the economy is so strong. and our job market is the lowest and best it's been in over 50 years. and seems to be getting even better. our pledge to hire american includes those leaving prison and looking for a very fresh start. new job.
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new life. the legislation i'm supporting today contains many significant reforms, including the following. first, it will provide new incentives for low-risk inmates to learn the skills they need to find employment. avoid old habits and follow the law when they're relieveased fr prison. these incentives will encourage them to participate in vocational training, educational coursework and faith-based programs. and i want to thank paula white very much, because i know you very much wanted that. thank you, paula. that reduce their chances of recidivism and in other words reduce their chances of going back to prison. substantially. second, this legislation will allow federal inmates to be placed closer to their home communities in order to help facilitate family visitation. so important. because we know that maintaining family and community ties is key
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to a successful reentry into our society. third, the bill includes reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets. in many respects, we're getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals of which, unfortunately, there are many. but we're treating people differently for different crimes. some people got caught up in situations that were very bad. i give an example of mrs. alice johnson, who served 21 years, and she had i think another 25 or so to go. so she would have been in there for close to 50 years for something that other people go in and they get slapped on the wrist. which is also wrong, by the way. which is also wrong. but i'll never forget the scene of her coming out of prison after 21 years and greeting her family and everybody was crying. her sons, her grandsons, everybody was crying and hugging
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and holding each other. it was a beautiful thing to see. it's a very tough situation. among other changes, it rolls back some of the provisions of the clinton crime law that disproportionately harm the african-american community. and you all saw that and you all know that. everybody in this room knows that. it was very disproportionate and very unfair. throughout this process, my administration has worked closely with law enforcement. their backing has ensured that this legislation remains tough on crime. it's got to remain very tough on crime. and supports the tremendous work of our police and the tremendous job that law enforcement does throughout our country, our communities. they do an incredible job. we have great respect for law enforcement. we're honored that seven of the major police organizations, including the fraternal order of police and the international association of police chiefs, have fully endorsed this bill.
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we could not have gotten here without the support and feedback of law enforcement and its leaders are here today, two of them, especially chuck canterbury of fop and chief paul sell of iacp. thank you very much. >> i appreciate that. [ applause ] >> and these are two tough cookies. they want what's right. they want what's right. and interesting. if you look at texas, if you look at georgia, if you look at mississippi and kentucky and some other states that are known as being very tough, these are big supporters of what we're doing. and some of it has been modeled after what they have done. they have done a tremendous job. my administration will always support the incredible men and women of law enforcement and we will continue to pursue policies
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that help the heroes who keep us safe. they are truly heroes. we also thank the more than 2,000 leaders in the faith community who have signed a letter of support. we have tremendous support within the faith community. unbelievable support. americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reformulation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption. so if something happens and they make a mistake, they get a second chance at life. today's announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible. and maybe it will be thriving if we're going to get something done. when republicans and democrats talk, debate and seek common ground, we can achieve breakthroughs that move our country forward and deliver for
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our citizens. and that's what we're doing today. and i have great respect for the people standing alongside of me. i urge lawmakers in both house and senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk. and i look very much forward to signing it. this is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. they have been talking about this for many, many years. i want to thank jared krishner for working so hard on the bill. [ applause ] he really did. he worked very hard. he feels very deeply about it. and it's my honor to be involved and it will be an even greater honor to sign. so good luck, chuck and mike and grant and everybody. lindsey. everybody back here. go out and see if you can get that done. and if you can, i'm waiting. i'll be waiting with a pen. and we will have done something. we will have done something that
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hasn't been done in many, many years. and it's the right thing to do. it's the right thing to do. thank you all very much. thank you. very much. [ applause ] >> all right. that's president trump talking about a criminal justice reform bill, the first step act, which he is calling for congress to come together and pass in a bipartisan way. one of the first moments of bipartisan expression that we've heard since president trump and the republican party did so poorly in the midterm election. let's take a brief moment to talk about what this legislation is. this is not a grand, sweeping reform of the criminal justice system, as people like van jones, for example, have been pushing for. what does this bill do? >> this is prison reform. so the first step act is an act that passed the house of representatives earlier this year, and has been stalled in the senate. it doesn't deal broadly with sentencing which is why 57 democrats voted against it. they said it did not go far
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enough. sentencing issues in this country -- how you get to jail is just as important as how you get out of jail. what this bill does do is mandate the attorney general to create an assessment tool to assess recidivism, the potential recidivism rate of potential prisoner going into jail and creating a program and reassessment so folks can get out of jail earlier and it can be a rehabilitative process that we are not just warehousing disproportionately, if we're being frank, black and brown people in america. >> the name is out there. first step act. this is a great first step. the president has to thread the needle here. the members of congress do. as simone points out, doesn't pass, the democrats think it doesn't go far enough. republicans are very suspicious. so you kind of have to run through the raindrops without getting wet on this. by all accounts, it's something that should be done. we'll see if the politicians get out of the way and get it done. >> and why now? >> well, a couple of things. one, jeff sessions is now gone. he was an obstacle to this legislation.
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so the cross currents on this are fascinating. democrats who don't think it goes far enough and you have big divisions within the republican party. you have a libertarian wing that supports it. >> the koch brothers, as well. >> they're in favor of it. >> yeah. >> you also have the traditional tough on crime republicans, which trump has also -- >> everyone, stick around. we have some breaking news in the money lead now with huge consequences for the world's economy. british prime minister theresa may just secured a deal with her cabinet on brexit. the plan for the uk to get out of the european union. let's go to cnn's bianca knnobi in london. tell us about this step. >> reporter: it's a decisive ten forward today, jake, almost 900 days after the european kingdom voted to leave, they voted. this was no easy feat for the prime minister who herself is under constant speculation about whether or not she'll remain in post. she's in a very weak position as prime minister. but today she claimed victory
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and said she would agree on a brex i will de brexit deal with her cabinet, something she said she believed in with her heart and head and would be the best thing for the future of britain. but jake, this cabinet agreement is just the first skirmish she's managed to get passed. and the true battle lies ahead. and that's getting it through the raucous house of commons, which is in complete division over brexit. it split not just along party lines, but in many other directions and the prime minister will have a very difficult time passing anything through there. but today is a historic moment. a prime minister who never wanted brexit to happen, taking britain one big step forward to removing itself from the european union. >> all right. bianca nobilo, thank you so much. coming up, connected by hate. did the synagogue shooter inspire a potential copy cat? stay with us. you've had quite the career.
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our buried lead now, what we call stories not getting enough attention. the fbi reported this week that hate crimes in the united states have increased 17% with a notable surge in anti semitic hate crimes which brings us to our next story which we almost hesitate to tell you because there is fear that reporting on these incidents may in some sick way bring bigotry to some criminals. yet it's clear in recent events and fbi statistics that this type of problem is growing in the u.s. and is important for everyone to be aware. and thankfully, this story about
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a racist and anti-semite, an individual who was friends on social media with the pittsburgh synagogue shooter. this story has a different ending because his family went to the authorities, who acted quickly. less than the week after the massacre, the fbi received a call warning about two washington, d.c.-based brothers, quote, heavily involved in the alt-right movement. the eldest connected to the pittsburgh shooter. days later, one of the brothers was dead. the other had been arrested for illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine. newly released arrest records show family members warned the fbi that siblings jeffrey and edward clark, quote, openly discussed killing jews and black people. they also, quote, believed that there would be a race revolution, and they wanted to expedite it. the eldest brother, 30-year-old jeffrey, who was currently being held without bond, was active on gab, the same controversial
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social media site where the synagogue shooter posted minutes before the massacre, "i'm going in." the fbi says the two were friends online. jeffrey later posted that the victims, quote, got shot by the hero, robert bowers, and every last one of them deserved exactly what happened to them and so much worse. >> we saw the worst massacre of american jews in american history this past month by a loner. and that is where a lot of the danger is. it's not that these anti-semites are growing significantly. but they're more emboldened, public and feel they can act out. >> the synagogue attack occurred just before 10:00 a.m. on saturday, october 27th. less than three hours later, jeffrey clark's younger brother, 23-year-old edward, shot and killed himself in a washington, d.c., park, according to the fbi. police recovered a pistol and two additional magazines of ammunition.
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edward's family told the fbi they believed, quote, he may have been planning to commit an act of violence on the day that he died. >> we're seeing a more emboldened set of white nationalists running for public office and getting engaged in large rallies. we're also seeing an increase in bigotry on the internet. and that increase dovetails many times with increases we're seeing in hate crime. >> according to the affidavit, both clark brothers attended the 2017 unite the right rally in charlottesville, virginia, where anti semitic chants and nazi symbolism filled the streets. and where a counter protester, heather heyer, was killed. records show the brothers owned four registered guns. in addition, fbi agents recovered two boxes of ar-15 rifle conversion kits and four high-capacity ar-15 magazines. and in a disturbing second post on gab following the synagogue massacre, jeffrey warned, quote, get used to it, libtards, this
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is a dry run for things to come. and we should note that cnn has reached out to the defendants' attorney twice and we have not heard back. you can follow me on facebook and twitter at jake tapper. tweet the show at the lead, cnn. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, breaking news. deciding shortly. president trump set to be isolated and fuming. top administration officials, including the homeland security secretary, is a shakeup imminent. press access after the president claims he can pick and choose which reporters are allowed inside. will the judge restore the press pass of our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta? rising death toll. more bodies are recovered in california as federal officials survey what one calls one of the most complic