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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 18, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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don lemon. please tune in for that. that is it for me. i'm brook. let's go to washington. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. trump is spending his president's day accusing top officials of trying to end his presidency. the lead starts right now. >> president trump claiming officials involved in the russia probe committed illegal acts right after one said his own words and a actions prompted a count counter intelligence investigation. may have to worry about the courts but also congress. some republicans voicing opposition and now one top adviser says this just made from trump to cast the first veto of his presidency. a crowded field of democrats looking to stand out. is that pushing the candidates too far to the left?
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we are talking to voters in one key state. a stunning new interview. he is asking current deputy attorney general of an illegal and treasonist plot. he claimed he offered to wear a wire into the white house to secretly record the president and even discussed the 25th amendment to remove him from office. president trump tweeted so many lies. he and rob rosenstein, another beauty looked like they were planning a very illegal act and got caught. the president also endorsing the idea that quote this was an illegal attempt on the president of the united states.
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cnn has more. >> the president on a twitter tirade insisting the former acting fbi director was fired for lying and calling his tell-all der ranged. he was fired last march one day before he was scheduled to retire. it came after the inspector general after he mislead about the role authorizing the release of information to the wall street journal. now he reveals he believes he was actually forced out for his role investigating trump. >> he made it quite clear that he wanted me gone before i could retire. i believe i was fired because i opened a case against the president of the united states. >> the president is echoing conservative commentators.
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>> e we're a democracy. people that enforce the law can't take it into their own hands. it was it a cue? i don't know. i know rosenstein denied it but we'll get to the bottom of it. >> will you subpoena them to appear in. >> how can i not if that's what it takes? >> he detailed how far rosenstein was willing to go to get evidence that could get the 25th amendment into motion. >> we talked about why he insisted on firing the director and bl or not he was thinking about it and did it impact his decision? in the context of that conversation the deputy attorney general offered to wear a wire into the white house. he said i never getter searche.
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i can easily wear a recording device. he was not joking. >> rosenstein distanced himself from the conversation only saying for was he in a position to consider invoking the amendment. he was unsettled by how the president fired it to russia. >> he was concerned by his interactions that seemed to be focus and firing the director and saying things like make sure you put russia in your memo. that is in the same way it concerned me and fbi investigators on the russia case. >> it's not clear what he meant but ultimately rosenstein did not mention russia there his memo explaining why he was fired. pamela, he has also revealed that all of his conversations
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with the president are documented in his own detailed memos and he handed those over to special counsel as part of the russia investigation. >> okay. thank you so much. let's discuss this with our panel on this holiday. a lot to discuss from this interview he did. first to you, scott. he laid out during his interview the reasons why the fbi opened up the investigations into president trump. what did you think? did you think there was enough cause to do so? >> i don't put a lot of stock into what he says. remember, this guy was fired from the fbi after an investigation done by the inspector general. he was found to have leaked information. when he talks i think of a guy that has that in his past and think of a guy trying to sell books and fix his own reputation. as it relates to this issue what he says rosenstein was up to, i'm inclined to believe him
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more. i do think it's troubling if they are having these kinds of conversations and the congress and american people deserve to be fully informed about this. i don't think he is the most reliable. >> he does have credibility issues. it is true he was trying to mislead investigators. he did take meticulous notes. he did keep memos documenting what happened. i want go back to what i was asking scott about whether there was predication in your view to open up these informations. there listen to this. >> what he determined was the rationale for opening an obstruction of justice. it certainly wouldn't work on an average citizen let alone
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somebody elected president of the united states. >> what do you agree? >> i think it would hold up if it were not for the fact that there has been so much that has come out of the russia investigation and the various trump contacts or people surrounding contacts with the russians throughout the course of the campaign and since he has become president and the fact that the mueller investigation has worn a lot of fruit. i think it was very disconcerning when he fired him and the president himself said he fired him because of his investigation on russia. we have the president's own words to confirm some of what he is saying even if we take parts with a grain of salt. >> but this is the problem. i understand what you just
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outlined. >> i am very troubled about this conversation about the 25th amendment. we don't flow how far it went but the mere fact that the fbi and justice department was having this conversation is truly troubling. so they said they had evidence to start an investigation. the investigation had not even concluded and they thinking of removing the president of the united states and even if that's the case that's not the role of the fbi. they get very specific.
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>> it justifies starting an investigation not reproving the president of the united states. >> i don't think they were veersly trying to remove the president of the united states. >> well -- >> i mean it's not a serious effort to remove the president of the united states. they did have very serious kshs. they were concerned about the way he was talking about an adversary of the united states. that was one of the first things that caught their attention. >> i think my question is what were they trying to do if they weren't actually concerned about this? is it oh, let's invoke the 25th amendment? >> they didn't pursue the wire.
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>> right. we are going to get to your point. you're talking about putin here. there was one story they told that gained a lot of attention. that is during tan intelligence briefing that he said they didn't believe their intelligence on missiles and he believed putin. let's take a listen to that. >> he said he did not believe they had the capability to hit them here. they did not believe that because president putin told them they did not. intelligence responded it was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses to which the president replied, i don't care. i believe putin. >> okay. why? >> okay.
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it's important to know because someone could say it act cllly happened. it is on a world stage after his meeting with putin. >> yes. of this is election meddling. >> so he says i'm with him even though my entire community says something different. >> i'm stunned somebody given access to this is now out on television saying here are the p private conversations that say sheer what went on. no matter how you feel about that statement if it happened it is his job to set our national foreign policy and his job to have conversations about the security officials he doesn't think will be put out in the media immediately or down the road. if i'm sitting out and watching all of this i'm thinking to myself so we have the unelected part of our government essentially moving against the elected part of our government. i think that's what is troubling
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to anyone who believes more in the democracy part of this. >> why rosenstein? >> the elected representative of the american people. >> yes. >> and we have -- >> go ahead. >> this is where i think his language is important. the president himself delves in and we know a lot of supporters are probably loving this conversation about it coming after the president. we don't really think they did that. that seems like it was more of a -- you know, it was a joke or offhand comment. >> i think we have to go back. if it were not for the fact that the president has defended putinputi putin on the national stage. you had our own allies expressing concerns about the ways in which president trump has supported putin and not so much in the interest of allies
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there. we have them contradict him when we talk about russia. the president said no. they told me they were taken out of context. we are saying coats may be fired. there seems to be too much evidence. >> and let's put this in perspective. you get this information. it's not the first time the president of the united states disagrees with this. you know -- >> but hostile foreign governments? >> you have to put it in context. >> what is that? >> it is tougher than policy that was set forth by president obama. >> except when they removed the sanctions. >> no. >> yes. >> you additional sanctions. >> it is tougher than obama against people with links to putin. so don't tell me she being nicer to putinth than barack obama.
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>> however you feel about trump's position has posture towards putin. we tend to sort out policy. there will be an election in 2020. it strikes me there were people that were trying to maybe raise issues here outside the context of the normal way we resolve policy differences. >> okay. lots more to discuss. stick around. next up the battle lines are drawn over president trump's national emergency declaration, how the white house is already trying to fight back. we'll be back. wake up sweetie. ♪ doctor dave. ♪ here's your order. applebee's to go. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. means they won't hike your rates over one mistake. see, liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. for drivers with accident forgiveness,
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so you can make your next trip monumental. read reviews, check hotel prices, book things to do, tripadvisor. a new lawsuit for president truf trump. he announced he is suing the administration over the emergency declaration. this is one in a lit any of lawsuits filed so far.
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>> the president and his allies are gearing up for a fight after he granted himself to use billions to bypass congress and fund his wall. a move that is expected to face multiple legal challenges. >> we should be filing some time today. it is kind of awkward to say on president's day we'll be suing the president of the united states but some times that's what you have to do. >> it is proof it's not a real emergency. >> i didn't need to do this. i would rather do it much faster. >> aids insisted it is. >> he could choose to ignore
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this emergency but that's not what he is going to do. >> the white house isn't just facing legal challenges. democrats to repeal the national emergency and hoping skeptical republicans will join on. >> i think there's enough people in the senate who are concerned that what he is doing is robbing from the military and the dod to go build this wall. >> despite the threats the president's chief immigration adviser said he won't back down. >> he will protect the national emergency declaration. >> republicans have been plit over the emergency. others are making clear they fully back trump. even if the diversion of funds means jeopardizing projects such as construction of a middle school in kentucky. >> i would say it is better for middle school kids to have a secure border. we'll get them the school they need. right now we have got a national emergency on our hands.
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>> it the trigger protest this president's day. >> the white house knows it is the beginning of a long drawn out fight it's a fight they have been preparing for. there will be lawsuits. they are waiting to see how many there are going to be. >> we will be counting. >> all right. thank you so much. we appreciate it. let's start off with listening to this explanation about why he is filing this lawsuit against the trump administration. >> the people that live in this country it is congress that decides how to spend the taxpayer dollars. whether or not it is in texas if dollars are taken from states that have a purpose. >> does he have a point?
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>> no. he doesn't. >> let me say i don't agree. as a congress servetiservative to see through executive akts. i think the president does have the authority. he was delegated to the national emergency act and through very broad legislation. this is a problem when you spend over a trillion dollars like congress does. >> they applauded them. >> the difference here is this is the first time a president has declared a national
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emergency for money that congress would not give him. basically he is going around congress. congress didn't give him the billions he needed. my understanding is this is the first time a president has done this in this example. >> absolutely. >> it is that he can actually move the money around. >> i think legally it will be val validated. liberals i think are, you know, on thin ice criticizing for not following the constitution. >> let's talk about that. there's a lot of scrutiny. you're taking money away from other projects. one of those reportedly is for a middle school on a military base there kentucky. >> that's right.
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>> take a listen to what graham said about that. >> let's say he took money out of the military construction budget. we'll get them the school we need. we have a national emergency on our hands. it is for those that might be skeptical of the president in this national emergency declaration? >> i don't know if it's a winning argument but the possibility of it being on a chopping block is purely hypothetical. my suspicion is when someone is in the state of the senate majority leader a conversation. it is in the wake of 9/11.
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it's not unprecedented. some times they do have political considerations. >> that was an act of terrorism that we were responding to not women and children starving women and children coming to our border and being held in detention camps however i think what democrats need to focus on, let's not forget that lawsuits are part of the trump play book. know this is handing him a 2020 issue. there was a story in 2016, 3,500 active lawsuits against various trump properties. it was 50/50 that he had brought or brought against this company. it will give him the opportunity to run on building a wall like he did in 2016. the second piece is democrats need to refrain this issue.
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they voted for abortborder bord. i think they need to be careful how they talk about this. >> we have to do a better job of explaining. they didn't reach an agreement on spending. they don't want to give a dollar for fencing. in this last agreement last week they gave him $1.4 billion for fencing. this should have been avoided. >> nlunless they said -- they said -- >> no. he could have gotten like -- >> no. no. there was no money -- >> no. that was for something on the border security -- >> but it was -- >> i don't think that's true. >> it is absolutely true.
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>> he did get money for that. she said this in december. he will not get $1. >> he did -- but there's no money for the wall which is what you're complaining about. >> at the same time saying that she gave money for the wall. it is hard to follow all of these arguments. i think the fundamental problem, i actually think that the democrats did what they could do. right? they tried to get a deal that worked for them. it didn't work. if he wants go on and do this and get sued by california and other people that's his and they will decide whether or not he has the authority to do this. >> we'll see how this plays out. a big question all of us are asking is will he or will he not? that is former vice president joe biden. he may have given his most direct answer to that question. you'll have to read his lips to know what he said. we'll be back. you.
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[ soft piano music playing ] mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget. flo has it, i want it, it's a whole thing, and she's right there. -yeah, she's my ride. this date's lame. he has pics of you on his phone. -they're very tasteful. . welcome back. we are hours away from the cnn town hall. she just wrapped up the first campaign trip of the 2020 presidential run focusing on the midwest where she vowed to bridge the rural urban devine. she is starting to look like one
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in this race because of of a massive race by a more and more from guessive field of can dates. >> the sound you hear on the campaign trail is candidates moving sharply to the left. >> health care is a fundamental right. >>. [ cheers and applause ] >> and we will deliver that right with plmedicare for all. >> to a great new deal. >> it should be the shot of this generation. >> it is time to put a modest tax on the giant fortunes in this country. >> the winds of the democratic primary are blowing from the left creating early litmus tests and setting up long-term political land mines.
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president trump is already trying to seize on that shift and brand democrats as extreme. >> we the resolve that america will never be a socialist country. >> most democrats resist that label there's little doubt the energy of the party is coming from the left. >> it is raising a question about the balance. the divisions are also playing out on the senate floor last the vote to avoid a government shutdown. sanders supported the spending bill. others opposed it. she is selling herself as a
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progressive. >> do you feel to sign on? >> i voted for it. i thought that's what i would do whether i was running for president or not. everyone makes their own decision. you to be able to be yourself and not just try to be someone different than you have been. >> there is an appetite for moderation. it shows 53% of democrats and independents prefer a more moderate direction. it is one democratic voter that takes the pragmatic amount. >> you're looking for someone. >> i don't like this idea of purity on the left. the candidates have to be so pure. >> now that comes up again and again in iowa and here in new hampshire. she is holding her first campaign event.
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she will be on the stage behiends me here. that is a central question going through this democratic proi ma -- primary right now. are they looking for someone that can defeat the president? what often sounds good in a primary campaign can be problematic in a general election. >> okay. thanks so much. let's focus on amy. she made the first campaign trail over the weekend. here is what she said about the importance of that state. >> i came here because i am the senator next door. i will be traveling to every state in the midwest. no one thought the democrats would be able to dee feet gof flor walker. we did. we did it in a smart wisconsin
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way there are all of these different people that are running. she is a very respected legislator. i think she is incredibly smart and had a break-out moment. she will occupy a more kind of middle of the road type of lane which isn't exactly where the base is right now. that will be the question. i think to what you were just saying is about are they looking about someone that can win or checking all of the boxes? it seems like most democrats are saying they want somebody that could win. it will be interesting when push comes to shove what prevails. >> you wonder how much some of the freshmen house members are influencing the can thedidates pushing them. >> i think what he said is right. you can't, you know, you cannot be swayed by efrlg that comes
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out of washington and sort of what is the next legislation. if you're running for president you got to show you have got your vision wloon you would do on health care and criminal justice reform. i firmly believe the way for democrats to win in 2020, whether it is left, right, center is about putting together a diverse coalition of voters. i think it will be a version of the obama strategy. you can be the do that if you're not also talking to african americans and latinos. you have to go to the west and you have to go to the south. >> it wasn't be the ability to beat republicans but the ability
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to for americans. let's look at the polls. it shows 49% said it is extremely important the democratic nominee had a good chance to beat trump. 39% said it was very important. do you think booker had it wrong here? >> i think it's on brand for booker. there are two kinds of democrats. as a republican looking there on this it strikes me some of them are running on trying to be more optimistic and some of them running on the populism. booker is trying to go down that route of the uniter. ultimately i'm waiting to see how they will play out on a debate stage. it is two very distinct kinds of communication styles. trump style was different than obama's which was different than george w. bush's. it's not like one style is necessarily better than the other. which of these can make that work for the time? my view is it's the cortez
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model. she is the heart and energy of a democratic party. that wing will drag the candidates. i don't believe most are looking for middle of the road. >> okay. >> i agree with that 100%. >> i think democrats are under estimating the problem. they had the rise of the tea paer party. you have extreme left activists that are influential. i don't know if they can win with that kind. it is a great new deal doing away with private health care
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insurance. >> it is pretty remarkable. >> good, how are you. >> first of all he must love this. that answered the question. >> of course. >> and earlier today that the expectation is of the message that the biden people are putting out is that they have time. i think they are kind of dividing their time to see when he needs to get in. they are try to go give him the most runway possible in terms of whether it is a month or two months. >> thanks. >> this is horrible. this manmade crisis of epic
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a power struggle coming to a head as trump administration warns that nation's president to step aside. it has military officials blocking waves of humanitarian aid. he is calling it unnecessary. shipments are held up across the border and columbia. so what's the latest there?
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>> we are supposed to hear from president trump and the speech he will give in miami is supposed to tighten the screws. it remains loyal to president nicholas m nicholas maduro. he is threatening the money backing maduro and say they know where that money is hidden suggesting humanitarian aid is not allowed through the border. if it is not allowed in it is experienced further sanctions. it was all brought ahead when they flew planes of aid.
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the opposition said it will get that humanitarian through the border. it isn't clear how it will happen. the national security adviser of the united states says there's no military option for making that happen. they want venezuelans to do it. it was on the military increases. >> thank you very much. it president trump maduro. it military.
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>> okay. >> i don't know exactly what they should do. i want to say i think they are on the right side on this issue. no question it is a humanitarian crisis. it isn't a partisan issue. this is a dictator and somebody we need to do something to help. how we help i don't have a plan for that. i do think that they are on the right track at least by taking this seriously. >> i think the president is doing the right thing by leading a global coalition. since he has come out so strongly on this nearly 40 countries have joined in tighten the screws on this. i think we ought to consider any military intervention to get these people the humanitarian
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and in this world. it is build ago coalition. it is from latin america and governments recognizing that. it is important to show there's a transition government that if he leaves could lead it to doe mock si. that's an important part of this message is to encourage in the high command of the military to distance themselves from maduro. that way it will see. >> he is addressing the fact the
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u.s.is blocking it. he spent the weekend. let's listen. >> there are certain lights and maduro knows what they are. >> i think the ploes important thing is that the aid that is there certainly supports it and shows that he has a support of the united states and support of this coalition. it is between diplomatic efforts and to continue perhaps we can avoid sending troops. it is sent to president trump that this is what america does when we do stand up for
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democracy. >> they tl are not enough democrats calling out and recognizing. the only two that mentioned venezuela, sanders criticized trump. . >> okay. much more to discuss. up next new calls to investigate allegations of corp. corruption as another nation spirals into chaos. ess to every platform. yeah, that too. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. everything you want. one low price. td ameritrade. ♪ (clapping) every day, visionaries are creating the future. ( ♪ ) so, every day, we put our latest technology and vast expertise to work.
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we are back in crisis mode with five americans wrapped up in chaos arrested on conspiracy charges. protesters have been in the streets accusing those in power of corruption and demanding they leave as the price of every day living soars. in some spots food and water are hard to come by. it is all in what is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. >> no official figures exist but one family is certain he is right here. he was 14 and shot dead they claim during the riots by haitian police. unable to protect him in life she defends him in death.
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>> the death condemnation at the highest level. >> today i am the prime minister? but his words carry no weight. >> it is sadly open the case they suffer most in these configurations. in this case the victims are being further threatened. >> we want the prime minister to keep us safe. my other little brother receives call ts from blocked numbers saying if we don't close the case there will be consequences. >> she saw a policeman gun him
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down. >> he went into the hospital to hide. >> she is now afraid to leave her home. >> these are no go areas for police. >> the police have said that no case has been lodged with them. there is no investigation into this death but one thing they are investigating is the detention of five americans, russian and both of them in the united states which has been confirmed by the state department who is saying that these americans allegedly found with six autonottic weapons, six handguns and drones are going to get visits. >> okay. thank you for your reporting
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there on the ground in haiti. be sure to tune into cnn tonight for amy klobuchar. you follow the show on twitter and facebook. that's it for this special edition of the lead. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now breaking news, not sugar coating it. tonight a close ally reveals what he calls a general disappointment at the white house with the nation's top intelligence official and suggests it may be time for a major change. now on his way out. the president unleashing a ferocious response saying former acting fbi director is deranged and calling his actions illegal and

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