tv Inside Politics CNN February 18, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
government to police. it certainly adds a level of intrigue here, this as officials that we're speaking to with the government say that the protests that we saw over the last nine days weren't just an expression of popular emboldened upset with the president but there were foreign actors trying to destabilize the government. whether or not these agents play into that, it's not clear. certainly more intrigue at the port-au-prince and a stale mitt with the president and those who want him to step down. >> thanks so much. thanks for joining me. inside politics with phil mattingly starts next. welcome to a special presidents' day of "inside politics. i'm phil mattingly. john king is off.
president de-clar claeclares a emergency. it's our public service to educate you on the rules of campaign travel as the 2020 candidates roll into new hampshire. rule number one, the selfie game. senator cory booker has check thad box. rule number two, know what state you're in, and, of course, who's actually in the room. >> i've been from north conway to here to and benefiting those who take this so seriously. i want to thank ben clemons. he's here. where's ben? maybe he's not here. maybe my card is not -- but i want to thank -- >> ben?
ben? anyone? president trump facing intensifying blowback today after declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall. a slew of nonprofits, watchdogs, and environmental groups spent the weekend watching. moments ago, yet another legal challenge. california's attorney general announced this on cnn. >> it's kind of awkward to say on presidents' day we're going to be suing the president of the united states, but sometimes that's what you have to do. we're going try to halt the president from violating the constitution, stealing money from americans and states that has been allocated by kyong laufully. we have to make sure we keep the president from playing this theater by manipulating the office of the president to do his bidding. >> happy presidents' day indeed. becerra says he expects others to join. a termination effort could also
come from capitol hill, which congress is not actually in session this week, the white house making clear the president will fight any action lawmakers might take. >> will the president veto that, which would be the first veto of his presidency? >> obviously the president is going to protect his national emergency. again, i want to make this point. >> again, there's no veto? >> he's going to protect his national emergency. >> to sum up, yes, he will, indeed. it happened to be presidents' day. ryan joins me live. the question now is you see mobilization to some degree. how effective do you think it will be in their pushback? >> yes. i think that's the important question here today. we do see a pretty decent crowd here at lafayette park across from the white house. the aclu is working to support
the law groups. this is just one of many across the country that are designed to do specifically what you're talking about, put pressure on those groups that are associated with the president's emergency action and also to put pressure on congress. we've already heard many of the speakers today specifically blame congress for essentially not standing up to the president as he pushed food with his emergency action. of course, the big question is just how much will the president and congressional leaders listen to these protested across the country. it seems there are protested like these on a regular basis in washington. and, phil, we should point out, they're loud and unified, but the president is not here, so there's a chance he will have no idea these took place.
>> the president is actually in florida and there are three protests going on in washington, d.c. at any given pont. we'll keep an eye on that. ryan nobles, thank you very much. joining us now is jacqueline kucinich and others. guys, look. we've seen this coming. i think it's important to note that while republicans to some degree are split on this and there's some apprehension that they got to this point in terms of declaring a national emergency, it's not unified by any means. take a close listen to lindsey graham this weekend. >> let's say he took money from the military construction budget. i would say it's better for the middle school kids in kentucky to have a skured border. right now we have an national emergency on our hands.
>> all right, p.k. you know senators combined more than others likely. >> not true. >> all it's going to take is a sim palma jourt vote to block this. what's your read about where the republican conference is? >> first of all, it will pass the house. the house will have a clear majority. i dome think any democrat in the house will oppose pelosi on this. it will move to the senate and they'll have a majority. there are at least five to ten senate republicans will will oppose it. i think susan collins has been out there. what it will take to override a veto is something like 20 senators to buck donald trump on his signature issue. that's not going to happen. >> i thirks thirks, laura, over the shift, if they can't
override the veto, what are their options beyond legislative, i guess? >> right. well, this resolution does present an opportunity for them to put republicans on the record ahead of the election, which is something they very much want to do. we ooh going to see to a dpee glee a split caucus in the house and senate. and then the lawsuit, which house democrats are talking about in partnership with the states. we haven't seen if there's going to be anything. >> there's the public track. you see if you pull up polling, the most recent polling that cnn has conducted, resident
pollsters, you look down one row, republicans, 64%, i think what some of the democrats are saying is we need them to rally and oppose this. think health care, taxes, and the things you've seen outcry on. does that have a play here or an effect? >> i don't think it has an effect. the president looks at the second line. he doesn't look at the national numbers. he looks at where republicans are. he's not worried about adding people. he's wired about keeping people in one place. you saw that on any one of a number of issues. if his people are behind him and he's with him, he's going to stay where he is. >> it's a great point. i want to go to you on this. when you look at how the white house is pivoted when the bill was signed and the emergency was declared, it's very clear they want this fight. they're embracing this.
do they think they can use this over the course of the next two years? they're very clearly in a re-election campaign right nigh. >> stephen miller is the architect in the thinking of immigration is the political issue for donald trump and the republicans. he thinks the 2016 election validated that. i think one of the challenges for the president is he's declaring it a national emergency, but there isn't evidence of what peel feel as a national emergency. you go down to the border. they can look around and say it's not. you can look at the president's activities. he's golfing in palm beach. he'll be traveling abroad to deal with north korea. that's going to be a challenge for them just like it was in the midterm elections when he tried
to whip up the fervor about the caravan invading the country, and when people turned on their television sets, there weren't actually invaders across the border. the reality is, i think, going to be a political challenge. can he sustain it for the next 18 months to two years. >> he know he tried that or that was the rhetorical question. one thing i like to keep an eye on, there's a lot of lawyers that are going to be very involved in this. don't look past a number of things. he's using other executive action as well. so a lot of stuff playing out and we have him to keep an eye on all of it. up next, how long should his
deputy keep his job? the white house, they're leaving that unanswered. >> how long is rod rosenstein in this position. >> you know, that's a decision for rod rosenstein to make. here's how you do it. spray and scrub anything with a stain. soak your nasty jersey. it stinks! wash the really dirty clothes separately. remember -hard work builds character! new tide pods with upgraded 4-in-1 technology unleash a foolproof clean in one step. aww, you did the laundry! but you didn't fold it. oh, that wasn't in the note. should have sent a text. #1 stain and odor fighter, #1 trusted. it's got to be tide.
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i want go wish our new attorney general great luck and speed and enjoy your life. bill, good luck. >> that luck seems in short supply for the new attorney general now on the job at the justice department. bill barr expected to fill out paperwork, now he faces something of an urgent variety. does he fire the attorney general or take a stand against his boss? why do we say that? rod rosenstein was said to have been caught in an offensive act.
mccabe says rosenstein did talk about the 25th amend used to remove presidents and the deputy attorney general did seriously suggest he wear a wire to surreptitiously record conversations with the president. >> the comments about wearing the wire rod raised with me, again, multiple times in front of other people. i did not perceive them at any point to be made in jest or as a joke or sarcastically. while the deputy attorney general said he never all rised anyone to wear a wire, that is true. he never authorized it because we never asked for the authorization. >> meaning his seeming story was not a denial, meaning you don't deny anything he said. >> i'm don't think i can. >> kind of surreal.
laura, his office technically remains a few floors above where you sit. is there a rod rosenstein strategy at this point? >> the deputy attorney general has been here before. by all accounts, it's said that this, too, shall pass. there's no word when he'll leave as the number two. but as reported, bill bair, the attorney general, has a pick in mind nr a number two, jeff rosen, transportation secretary, berosenstein plans to stay on for some transition period. also no words on the explosive "60 minutes" interview. in the past they try to focus on what he did or didn't do as opposed to what has been discussed. remember back in september when the reported first surfaced about wearing the wire. we thought rosenstein's days
might be numbered. we remember him going to the white house expectationing to be fired, but that's not what happened. instead days later, he appeared on air force one with president trump. he's been here before and managed to get through it. mccabe has reopened old wounds. he says he's going to get to the bottom of it. >> from as the world turns. sara murray, i guess that becomes the big question. you watch the entire media tour. what tangible effect does it have beyond blaring headlines? >> super awkward for one, which is the position rod rosenstein has been in for a very long time.
we know he's been preparing his exit. i think the question is whether he hastens it or bill barr does on his behalf. and we look at what happened on the hill. you know, if you're using an amendment of the constitution, then it's not a coup. it's positive you could see these guys dragged in front of the hill again to have awkward conversations about things discussed, and i think it's telling that rod rosenstein hasn't flat out denied them takes place. he's been careful to say he's never acted upon it. >> a little bit of hedging. and teeing up, this sound from senator len city graindsey grah. take a listen. >> there's an allegation at the time that the deputy attorney general was basically trying to
do an innovative cool. the deputy attorney general denies it, so i promise your viewers the following, that we will have a hearing about who's telling the truth, what actually happened. >> i can promise your viewers we will likely cover that. do you really think that republicans want to have a hear hearing with two high-level justice officials and the ration alt of the president and whether to wear a wire sth that would be a very awkward hearing. and i don't think if i were a political adviser fehr donald trump i'd want anybody talking about that in open hearing. >> also the fate is in a different context than it was back in september when we all thought he was about to be fired. >> that was six years ago,
right? >> it only feels that way. remember, there wasn't a permanent toattorney general to face him. whapd would the departure mean for the future of the mueller report. now you just had a big debate about the fate of the muller report around bill bar's confirmation hearing. i think there's a sense whether bar fires him or he leaves in a couple of months, it doesn't matter as much as it used to and that gives republicans cover to not be as outraged as they might have been had he been fired back in september. >> also andrew mccabe has an ax to grind. he sat back and allowed others
to tell their version of events. he probably wants to appear in front of a senate committee and tell his side and you wonder if perhaps house democrats would ak yes, sir that sort of request or give him that opportunity. we don't know that, but it's not possible. >> he's also in the middle of a war between them twochl laura, doesn't this also lead to the fact there was some conspiracy? you've seen some of his allies seize on that. is that not the case? >> if you're one of the president's supporters and you believe the deep state has been out there, you can look at it. they opened investigations into him. they were thinking about wearing a wire to trap him. if you're on the far left and you think this is a president
who's unfit to be in this office and you think he is someone, you could say, look, they decided to take this zoord step of opening an investigation into him, they even considered wearing a wire. it really depends where you fall. >> there's lots of clarity. obviously, keep a close eye on. this andrew mccabe still in the midst of his media tour. i don't think the president is going to give this up any time soon. up next, the 2020 candidates have landed. we'll take you live to new hampshire. ♪
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state with a tweet. that feeling when you get one more day of new hampshire. yep. booker spent the morning at a party in na shaw where he claims they know it all. >> do not believe any presidential candidate is going to say, hey, i've got all the answers and all the solutions. definitely don't believe a president who says only i can solve these problems. it is we. it has always been we. >> i feel like there should be kid in play ref repss whenever anyone says house party. that's an inference for youths. i guess the big question is when we watch the candidates in the early stops, what sticks out to you in terms of what's coming next strategically for them? >> it's one year out.
iowa first and then new hampshire. i think you're seeing candidates like booker and harris and others trying to really establish themselves early in these states. they want to try to make up for maybe ground that if biden were to jump in, he could, you know, become the front-runner in these states like new hampshire and iowa. so they have to be strategic about where they're playing. we could see castro try to play heavily because that's a state that's really wide open and he could have a breakout moment there. it's all about trying to find their lane and making a name for themselves, especially before maybe other candidates like sanders and biden jump in who have greater name recognition. >> it's a great point. we jump around. they're actually laying out at least early what their thought process is with these stops or how many of thestones they make or what states they're going to and why does new hampshire matter? i think we get into this debate every four years. but take a look at the last ten
democratic primary winners and you can see when we put a poll up here, six of the last ten democratic primary winners have also won new hampshire. sure you have been a veteran of it during the course of your career. how much does this particular state matter in the grand scheme of things? >> i think it matters a lot. the system we've devised in the last few decades has provided a lot of significance. it's seen as sort of a kind of litmus test. i think one of the things about this field we just don't know yet, in past years, one of the past things is the field has been winnowed down when candidates have done well in places that people don't expect them to, right. >> so when barack obama did well in iowa, african-american, you know, in a state that wouldn't
have been thought to have been of bastion support, that sort of rocketed him forward in a way where he wouldn't have had he done well in, say, south carolina where there's a heavier black population. what we don't know is which of these candidates is going to have a breakout moment because they've done well somewhere they're not expected to. and because we're so far ahead, because we're a year ahead, that won't become clear for a long time, i think. >> in the old days of not that long ago, elizabeth warren being from massachusetts would have a huge advantage in new hampshire but now everyone is seeing it in a national way. they're not just getting news from "the boston globe" and tv stations, i think they're getting the news from cnn and msnbc, so it's not that same thing.
i's wide open field there. >> new hampshire is going to matter until candidates decide it's not going matter anymore. as long as you have 11 people trying to muscle each other out this that state and spending money and hiring staff, it's going to meade -- meet. >> what's your sense now? what's your trigger for a candidate that new hampshire has to be off the table for us, we've got to find something else? >> right. again, i think it's too early. i would be surprised if that happens this far out, but i think, you know, dynamics could totally change with someone like bernie sanders or joe biden jump in or sharon brown and he's able to peel awhey what klobuchar peels in her path.
we may see some compete in the middle lane and sanders and warren compete for the left lane. if polling for the first caucus and primary start showing one is pulling ahead, others are going to bolt and run for the next state to try and make sure they get an early win. >> no question about it. meanwhile presidential hopeful amy klobuchar issal in new hampshire preparing for tonight's cn town hall in manchester. our jeff zeleny joins me now live. what's ooh your sense of her message going into tonight's town hall? >> i did. one thing she's tried to point out is she's a pragmatic progrisive. she talks ore amend ore how she is a progressive, but she's also voting to get things done. i was spending time with her in iowa before she flies here and she was talking about her voting record, but particularly, phil, you know from being on capitol
hill last week, that voting to keep the government open on the spending bill, she voted in favor of that. several of her senate democrats did not. that's where she said she's more pragmat pragmatic. she'll also be doing her first town hall meeting here in new hampshire. she's definitely making argument she's a candidate for the midwestern states the red states if you will, wisconsin, iowa, some of the places that the president won where democrats should compete in. but it's clear, phil, this is essentially a national primary. you cannot overlook any piece of the landscape. she'll be having a town hall this afternoon and our town hall here tonight. >> jeff zeleny already in new hampshire. my jealousy is palpable at this table. jeff, thank you very much. i'm sure i'll be checking in with you. >> come on out. >> you can watch more.
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two officials tell them that the withdrawal is imminent. and there's a hearing today on the last congressional race. the ninth between harris and mccrady has been in limbo while they've been investigating issues of ballot fraud. harris holds a slight lead. this weekend's dramatic twist in the jussie smollett case forcing the 2020 candidates to recalibrate their reaction. sources say they believe the actor staged the attack. the case still highlights the bigger issues of violence and bigotry. senator cory booker specifically called it a modern-day lynching and he asked if this in turn could undermine one of his bills in congress.
>> wouldn't that be a detriment to your working bill? >> we're seeing a violence brought on by hate and more. we need to do more to protect all americans. >> senator harris also called it a modern-day lynching when smollett first told his story. tr trump tweeted out a response. i have a self-correction. it's laura barron-lopez. i owe her coffee at cups for the next several weeks. this is a really important issue. >> no. it is they don't have a member in congress and they haven't since november, and so as you mentioned, what happened is
harris appeared to win the election by 1 -- 905 votes on election night, but the election board didn't certify him because of ballot irregularities, so right now today is the first day in this hearing which is presenting evidence showing that there was the illegal collection of absentee ballots by a man who was hired by the red dome consulting firm, a consunseling firm that was hired to help him throughout his election campaign. and what the hearing is going to reveal or not reveal is how high up this went, whether what harris knew what this political operative was doing, whether he says he did know. he says he didn't. he did ask that this political operative be hired, but he thought he was effective, and so the board could either d today decide they're going to certify harris as the winner depending
on what the evidence shows or they could call for a new election. but, again, i's going to require a bipartisan vote or they'll join with republicans. >> i feel like there's a lo more to come on this. keep an eye on political. laura has a great story laying out all of those details. up next, the president will soon address a humanitarian crisis of a different kind and the so-called leader who won't let food into his country. every day, visionaries are creating the future.
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marco rubio implored the embattled president to allow the aid to come in. >> there are certain lines and maduro knows what they are. if they're crossed, i'm confident that everything i know about the administration, consequences will be severe and they'll be swift. >> i know this is an extremely important week. what's your sense of kind of how this goes in the next couple of days? >> reporter: we're three hours ahead of what's being billed by a key speech. it's a building where the tension is the most. imagine walking back and forth trying to get food for your fami family. we're dealing with two presidential realities. government officials said they
were going to send food in from colombia to aid. many people are aware that a large amount of aid is being brought here to go to an opposite direction. this is the parallel realities we're dealing with. but it's also where they're wondering about guaido. nicolas maduro still runs pretty much lots of the show. be this is an absolutely key week because donald trump is going to outline his vision of what he think is going to happen in the days ahead. it says it will bring humanitarian aid into the country. >> obviously the president will be speaking on this in a couple of hours. up next, presidents' day has gone to the dogs or at least the ones attached to a 2020
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for a ride maybe. or maybe it's the other way around. >> we'll have a timetable of a couple of weeks. >> are the odds still 50-50 as you said before? >> more or less, yeah. >> higher? >> i don't know. 50-50, 51-49, i don't know. >> so you're running. then there's joe biden. he's got the president of armenia digging for clues. >> no, we did not cut the audio to that clip. he lowers his voice so we can't hear what he says. look. it's a huge decision. i don't in any way knock anyone for taking the time to figure it out. i guess the question remains what are you waiting for? i know it's individual to a
person. >> right. the field is going to be massive, everyone knows that. so when they do announce, they want to make sure it's splashy enough that it grabs enough attention, that they can maybe dominate the news cycle for the few days surrounding their announcement. you know, there was some skepticism around the way warren announced her run on what was it new year's eve or christmas eve and that not being the best opportunity. now that so many have jumped in, brown is waiting maybe to see the best moment for him as well as beta o'rourke. i would be surprised if o'rourke doesn't run or biden. brown, i'm not so sure about. he may. i'm not sure whether or not he's going in a different direction. >> and for some of these candidates, particularly someone like beta o'rourke, we've seen that waiting can be harmful. look at elizabeth warren.
she definitely should have ran the last time. there's also the sort of why not. you're keeping your profile up there, raising your nasal profile, and you're making yourself a player no matter what, in this massive race. >> the question is what's the downside minus the travel and all that stuff. you can take a couple of headlines. politico, bernie sanders announcing a 2020 campaign. i think everybody at this point expects bernie to get in. >> yeah, i think so. but ultimately, if you think you're not sure if you want to go in it, going in halfway is hard. my friend kevin madden said years ago, if you're still deciding whether or not you're going to run, you're not going to run a good cam pane because this is so grueling. >> this is not unfamiliar to
that cycle. >> i think we have that headline of the greatest bread crumbs waiting. there it is. cuomo decides he won't run for president. i believe there was an airplane waiting on him. >> there were two. they were waiting to take him to new hampshire. they had sent him with an operative in case he waited too long and didn't make it for the deadline. ult natalie he didn't file. there were other candidates throughout. we're all waiting potentially for michael bloomberg to decide. he's not decided yet, but he toyed with it in 2012 and 2016. i even wrote a story back in 2007 he was considering running and never did. to p.k.'s point, if you're not sure -- we assume they're going
to get in and it's strategic, you never know. >> thanks for joining us on "inside politics." erica hill is in for brianna keilar. she starts right now. >> i'm erica hill in for brianna keilar with a special edition of "right now." disgrace and deranged. that's how president trump describes andrew mccabe, the former acting fbi director after he makes explosive claims about the president's relationship with russia. while acting like it's already 2020, is too much choice a damages place