tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN March 20, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
john hickenlooper moderating from cnn center tonight at 10:00 eastern. thanks for being with me. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. >> president trump suggesting he didn't get enough credit for allowing john mccain's funeral. the lead starts right now. president trump continuing to smear a dead war hero, the latest in the most heinous attack moments ago. the president also saying today he is not nervous about the special counsel's report it is latest rants and raves and personal attacks. do they tell us otherwise? brand new numbers about o'rourke
that may have others sweating. welcome to the lead. we begin with breaking news. president trump minutes ago, he cannot let it go. he continues to attack a dead man. war hero john mccain. moments ago speaking at a factory in ohio the president going off unprompted on the late senator mccain in 2018 whose family is still grieving. blaming mccain for not being strong on veteran issues. blaming ending up in the fbi attacking for not voting to repeal obamacare and complaining that he didn't get a thank you for allowing mccain's funeral to go forward.
>> some republicans were finally saying enough. republican senator even promising to deliver a whipping of president trump. let's talk about all of this with my panel. this is going on multiple days now. that's why it doesn't make any sense. >> i think that the republican leaders, more republican leaders are going to come out particularly as it becomes this character question on whether or not they will stand up for a deceased war hero not just a dead man, a deceased war hero
who gave so much. more and more will have to come out. it will be a question on a key character question. >> we did see your former boss say he doesn't understand why the president does this. the president is at peak approval ratings. it is one of his highest. >> on the economy. he has 90% approval with republicans. this will have an impact. i think the larger american public may not have voted for him. they believed he had done a couple of good things. it puts them into the position.
>> soit more of a light raining than really being harsh on it. he is not calling president trump out harshly on it. he is talking on it. it is a reflection of republicans being fareful and what it means for them. >> here is what he said. the country deserves better. the mccain family deserves better. he owns all the of the real estate nothing the more important than the integrity of the country than those that fought and risked their lives for all of us.
deep down he covets the way people in america think about and talk about john mccain. he is revered adds someone that did enormous good for his country. i wish trump says people would say those sorts of thing about him. the country ke deserves better than the republican party right now. they continue to let it destroy democratic principals. nobody says anything.
they have to serve them and the president's policies were in contrary to that. >> teked me out of the blue saying that the excellents that the president makes about mccain hurt his soul. where is the republican leadership. here is the republican leadership. it was a blessing to serve alongside. his memory continues to remind me that our nation is sustained by the sacrifices of heros. if it was your dad would that be enough for you? i would say it wouldn't be enough for me.
he should be remembered for what he gave to this country. it was beyond party. it was about service and greater ideals and that he stood for. that's what we should be remembering not watching this litigated on campaign rally on a stage wall the campaign rally and having to have this conversation. >> mccain has been dead since august. this isn't a counter punch. he is not throwing any punches. >> i have a huge admiration for how she handled this. she said if her dad were alive today he would be laughing about the fact that he is driving twitter today and people are defending his memory. i think one of the things he
said is where he is talking about mccain giving the dossier. it is a political tragedy. he is angry about anything that had a role which he knows is coming to a conclusion. it is reflecting poorly. >> he is not here to defend himself. sheer me began mccain who does a pretty good job. >> i told him seven months after your dead you would be dominating the news. do not feel bad for me and my family. we are blessed. we are a family of privilege. feel bad for people out there being bullied that don't have support, that don't have women of the view to come out and support their family. there are kids committing
suicide. there are people going through rough times. veterans come back. we have 20 veterans a day. focus on these issues. these are the issues i beg the white house to pay attention to. >> i'm surprised because i think it is a new bizarre low. >> i will say attacking someone is a bizarre low. >> this is very difficult for their family including their sons who i believe are in harm's way. they are both min the military. >> when you people in the republican party who standby and don't call out this behavior for what it is that's not a political party that's a cult. people have to start addressing the real issue. it is to not address the issue at hand. it isn't what he says it's how it responds. they cheer this on. they laugh about it.
it's not what it should be. >> we should note it is is not if first gold star family president trump has attacked. remember the cons who came out and spoke against him. their son believed his name was of what was killed in iraq. mccain spoke at that time in 2016. it is time for donald trump to set the example for our country while our party bestowed upon him. it is to defame those who are the best among us.
>> he's got a formula. he is who he is. he thinks it is a winning formula. i think most republicans that wish he would change course are sort of resigned to the idea that there is no press release. there is no conversation. it will get him to stop being the man he is. >> he was the father in the gold star family. i will say one thing about this. i totally understand that but while we are old enough to know that we are here presidents come and are here for four or eight years we are still here. you guys will be there too. members of congress are still here. long after the indecent remarks these will have to be here. we are all paying attention who is saying things and who isn't. some of us can sleep at night and some can't. president trump making a claim about what he wants to happen. did we mean it? we'll talk about that next stay with us. , saying
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>> president trump declaring he doesn't mind saying he told members of congress let them see it. president's professed transparency is of course of questionable sincerity. he refused to do so the president said he like the rest of us does not know when the report will come out. this uncertainty is what's feeding into the agitation which is evident all over his twitter feed. we have more from the white house. >> no collusion. no collusion. >> for the first time president trump today claiming he wants the world to see special counsel robert mueller's impending report. >> let it come out. let people see it. that's up to the attorney general. >> that coming before the complaints about the investigation first suggesting
mueller's report is coming the a surprise. >> it is is interesting a man writes a report. 63 million votes. i think it's ridiculous. >> attacking mueller himself claiming mueller was denied a job at the fbi is day before husband appointment as special counsel. >> i told him he wouldn't be working at the fbi. the following day they get him for this. i don't think so. i don't think people get it. >> trump also launching attacks against kelly an conway's husband, conservative after he questioned trump's mental fittens and claimed the president had penalty drsonalit disorders. >> i think he is doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife. kellyanne is a wonderful woman.
>> saying you think he shouldn't respond when he accuses him of having a mental disorder. you think he should take that sitting down? speaking to the washington post tuesday her husband says his stinging criticisms are therapeutic. the incompetence is maddening to watch. the tweeting is just the way to get it out of the way so i can get it off of my chest so i don't end up screaming it her about it. in an interview last month well before the latest dust up kellyanne conway reported she was once a trump supporter. >> george was so excited
literally crying with joy on election night and so in that way he has changed his opinion on matters or the president. i haven't. donald trump hasn't. >> sources tell me the white house lawyers expect a preview whatever the attorney general gives to congress so they have the opportunity to assert executive privilege. democratic congressman is is already pushing back saying the white house has waived executive privilege agreeing to cooperate with mueller. the white house contends within the executive branch. this is a preview of the political battle to come. >> all right. thanks so much. kevin, you hear the president's language there. let's let the public see it and see if it's fair to me. what is the strategy here?
is he putting toen a faon a -- >> he is not afraid of whatever the mueller report offers he is going to have his own spin on it. it will be the one he has been deploying for the last two years, that it's a witch hunt, that there was no collusion. i think he feels pretty confident what no matter what it says they are going to deploy it from the get go. >> i was going to say the devil is hugely in the details here. the statute makes it clear the special counsel will give the full report to bar which has a ton of discretion. is the president referring to whatever slimmed down thing barr initially gives to congress? it could be minimal and couldn't give much of a sense of what's in there at all. we don't know exactly what he means. he left himself wiggle room there too. >> i want to play this.
listen to how he described the appointment of mueller. >> sort of an amazing thing when you a great victory somebody comes and does a report out of nowhere tell me how that makes sense, who never got a vote. >> not really what happened. he fired comey. >> a lot of steps missing there. >> the general appointed a special counsel. sessions recused hips. there was a legal process. the president should hope that an awful lot of this is released by the attorney general. anything that is not put out, anything that remains redacted or with held will continue to fuel month and months and months of more conspiracy theorizing about who flew or i mean there's so many layers of intrigue and
conspiracy around this. the less barr puts out there the more it will continue on both sides. i think for the president if he wants this to go away, if there are more pieces of of this that get held back in a way it drags it out longer. >> i think a lot of these questions have been answered. i think it is something we have to keep talking about. this is why on putin before he was there office and after he was in office. >> because of the trump tower? >> he had a multi-million dollars reason to. we haven't gotten it. it is a digital operation. the infamous meeting at trump tower so there's a lot we don't flow. he is going to be carted off the white house lawn like eating a bucket of kfc chicken. i do think the details that you
are bringing up, i think a lot of those you already know. >> you're not saying the president colluded to have them interfere. you're saying he to have a trump tower process. >> i don't know the reasoning he had behind whatever he had going on. you're saying it's a clear compromise on before the campaign trail and after the campaign. >> so take a listen to what the president said trying to attack robert mueller's credibility. >> i know he is conflicted and i know that his best friend is comey. i had a nasty business transaction with him and other things. the day before he was retained to become special counsel. i told him he wouldn't be working at the fbi. then the following day they get him for this. i don't think so. >> so much in there that isn't true. starting with the comey is his
best friend. is this working? >> i mean look, when you looked at let's take the most recent data point that is pretty prominent. in those exit polls an election that was really bad for republicans you nonetheless had a sizable, a majority that didn't approve of the job bob mueller was doing. the president's message that this is a witch hunt and people involved in it are personally going after him. it doesn't mean it's right. it has been getting through to the people that the president wants to get through to. if do you talk to folks in washington you can hear him say he is a man of honor. of course in this sort of soap opera he needs the village. bob mueller is the villain.
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president joe biden could jump into the race. all signs point to a biden candidacy as he begins to shore up report from mayor backers. >> how is everybody doing today? >> an his first swing as a presidential candidate he is sharing more details about his record $6.1 million fundraising hall in his first 24 hours. $47 was the average contribution. >> the former texas congressman plans to hit all ten counties. >> my vision for the country is something that i offer and introduce at every stop. your vision for the country is something i listen to at every meeting and every stop. i will continue to do that.
>> what is the immigration policy? >> let's free the dreamers that have already contributed to our country's success from any fear of deportation. there are millions of fellow americans that are working some of the toughest jobs in the shadows paid less than minimum wage. >> joe biden continues to dance around a possible entry with people close telling cnn an announcement is a matter of when not if. biden has been working to shore up major endorsements and making calls to donors ahead of an expected april announcement. this as some push for big changes such as calling for the electoral college to be abolished. >> we could have national voting and that means get rid of the electoral che electoral college. >> dismissing the idea writing
in a tweet i used to like the idea of a popular vote but realized the electoral check is far better for the u.s.a. several saying they are open to expanding the supreme court. >> we need to begin the debate on what it will take to make sure our supreme court is less political. >> another idea opposed by the police department. >> the only reason is they want to try to catch up. if they can't catch up by winning an election they want to try doing it in a different way. it won't happen for six years. >> there was a recent poll that showed people are very excited to vote in the 2020 leks. it has been the case on the ground here in new hampshire. we traveled from county to county. we talked to people who have been at these events. there is enthusiasm across the board here. they hungry for information, for ideas, for policy and that
certain certainly seems to be the case as you go across the state. >> all right. let's talk about all of this. we should note a little bit more of the details that he announced today from the first day of campaign. $6.1 million from 128,000 donors. compare it to bernie sanders, a previous record holder that raised from 323,000 donors of $27 a person. so more money for beto but fewer donors and a bigger average. it could come down to these two candidates. >> yeah. i think the fundraising effort is impressive and deserves to be talked about. he enjoyed a lot of free coverage in advance of his actual announcement. i think it's something that we have to be cognizant of this
time around. i find it interesting that all of these, you flow, the three white men, you know, beto and biden get all of this attention and abrams was in a comparable position. for the past year or so it has been about beto. i think we have to be careful about how we'll do this. >> it is a fair criticism. i'm sure she would be getting coverage. i want to read an excerpt who is making this exact point about there is all of this buzz around them she calls them the three b's. candidates who have also released a number of policy proposals are not getting as much attention. she writes despite a diverse
democratic field they were off and running. biden we should note has not become official. >> that's right. sex sichl is alive and well in politics. people can be covering it wall to wall. i disagree with one thing she said about the vanity fair piece which was cringe worthy and horrible. >> you read it. >> i did read it. >> she was talking about the cover. >> the media was covering it. i don't think they contributed.
>> we need to send a microphone to where she is. explain that. she said guys expect to be in charge. the other says we some times count ourselves out. i think that's exactly right. what do you think? >> there are an awful lot of women not counting themselves out this time around but i think that piece of her argument i
don't think dwiet stands she demonstrated she could take on trump through the controversy and the heritage sort of failed the can you stand up to trump and go toe to toe with him an walk away. that's more of what will be hurting her than sort of perceptions of sexism in the democratic party. >> this is not new. the media covers three things. they cover polls, money and attacks. if you look at the top of the polls it's the three b's. every once in a while harris will show up in a poll, show a strong position. she got a lot of coverage for her announcement. she raised a lot of money in the first 24 hours.
every time she is attacked the republicans or donald trump and draw the starkest contrast in the field. that's how they will really break it. they start raising more money that's when they will get more coverage. i don't think it's chalked up to sexism, just the way they sort soft filter out. >> you look at iowa and how the media kind of descends on these two states. when you look at this it is out of step. the rising majority. >> they happen to go first. >> right. >> now that california and texas moved up their primaries i think it's something to look at. >> you see harris get more coverage as the broader diverse democratic party throw in south carolina. >> she will get a lot more coverage. i think warren will be complaining everybody is
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an unprecedented degree of stone walling delay and obstruction. cummings writing in the washington post stating that the white house has ignored all of the committee's request for documents or ability to question withins. cnn reports it is all part of the trump team's strategy. >> the battle between the white house and house democrats is escalating. >> we are in search of the truth. >> dlaclashing over access to information essential to the democratic lead investigations into the president. >> the witch hunt continues. it is what he calls an unprecedented level of stone walling delay an obstruction. saying the white house has not turned over a single piece of
paper to our committee during the 116th congress. cummings committee has been demanding information from the white house over the handling of security clearances for white house staff including son-in-law kushner. >> i want the american people to understand that when you cannot get information you cannot be a check. >> the many other democratic lead committees investigating nearly every aspect of trump's personal and professional life are running into the same roadblocks. this week the white house ignoring to turn over papers related to their broad investigation into possible corruption, obstruction of justice and hush money payments to women. >> it is a disgrace to our country. people understand it. when they understand it they say presidential harassment. >> behind the scenes the white house attempted to block the democratic probes.
those moves prompting to call on congress to step it up. >> it's time for the congress, house and senate to grow spines. >> all this certainly sets the stage for potential -- excuse me, a subpoena showdown if they do not get what they want. >> thanks so much. it wasn't just john mccain. he escalated his feud after conway started publicly questioning the president's mental fitness for office.
>> she a whack job. no question about it. i really don't know him. i think he is doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife. kelly ann is a wonnerful woman i call him mr. kellyanne conway. or that he has narcissistic personality disorder none of that is considered expert. the tweets from the as evidencer obtained by the washington post. okay. once again, is there any sort of strategic advantage for president trump to be attacking george conway? does it help him in anyway? it brings conway a lot of attention in twitter followers.
>> you draw more attention to them. >> she was trying to make it so she didn't know where the house in malibu was. >> suddenly everyone was exposed. >> right. >> the george conway thing like this is kind of a curious story, it was the sort of thing where i feel bad for kellyanne to be stuck between a very prestigious job. i think from this it is another one of those things that i don't think it's a strategy think. the president doesn't like when the people attack him. >> it is to counter punch too keeping up as they come today responding you are nuts.
that's conway to president trump. what do you think of all of this? is conway doing a public service calling into question these issues? is he hurting his own cause? >> i mean some times we think the president is -- but i think we are talking about the conway battle here. we are not talking about the fact that he is in ohio in a place where the plant is closing down and people are losing jobs even though he promised he would bring them back. we are not talking about his weird relationship. we are not talking about the ups and downs of the mueller report. he is a marketing expert. >> voters can careless.
it is very inside the beltway. for the people out there worried about getting laid off or worried about health care expenses those things matter. her relationship with her husband -- >> the other thing that's interesting she spoke to her for her series about -- this is before this latest round. this is her talk about election night and how excited conway was. take a listen. >> george was so excited. so in that way he changed his opinion on matters. i haven't and donald trump hasn't. i do wonder though there are a lot of people this think the president is distracting or even
that it is just an act. i don't think it's just an act. there is this thing. he keeps talking about how trump the mentally unfit. he says you're bringing attention and tweets out pages of medical diagnoses that suggests the president has malignant narcissism or whatever. >> it is one of those things i have to rub my eyes every time it's playing out on screen. i can't believe it. and i think most of the american public do too. it is one of these things where i think what conway is doing is just offering a big distraction away from all of the bigger issues when he is focusing on things like mental health when he doesn't have the sort of platform to be making that type of judgment. that's why i don't pay much attention to it. i don't think it's a beltway thing. i think people in the beltway
don't want to talk about it. you know, i know we used the term pigeon table conversations a lot in politics. like these are not the don ver sagss we were talking about. >> yeah. health care. not what a wife and husband are argumenting about over whether or not the state of the president's mental health. >> and what i found interesting is that she talks about during the campaign he was very excited about donald trump. there are a lot of people excited about donald trump that may not be as excited now. that's the thing that baffles my mind. the pentagon quickly deploys bombers and hundreds of american troops to europe. the reason sending a message to one man. stay with us.
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aggression. in just the last few days six b52 bombers arriving in the u.k. 1,500 army troops in europe on their way to poland for army and artillery exercises. it is happening as the russian president troofling to mark the fifth anniversary of russia cease military annexation. >> today another important step has been taken to strengthen the energy security of peninsula and the south of the russian federation. >> the pentagon stepped up military exercises to counter and moscow is not happy. >> they will always take any kind of deployment in a very negative way.
they have always done this. >> putin and the u.s. has reacted has and flying in europe and asia where russia operates. the top u.s. commander says it doesn't appear to be working. >> i'm not comfortable with the posture that we have in europe. >> and he says he is not getting what he needs from the trump administration. >> when you look at both the building capability and modernization of russian forces that we face there and then finally of concern is my intelligence and reconnaissance capacity given that increasing and growing threat of russia. >> so the question always remains the same the u.s. may be sending the message but is put itputi
putin even listening? you can tweet the show at the lead cnn. we actually read them. our coverage continues right now. thanks so much for watching. happening now breaking news. let people see it. president trump slams robert mueller buss she has says he wants to see mueller's report and wants the public to see it too. our exclusive new cnn poll shows a huge majority agrees and wants mueller's findings to be made public. can't stop won't stop. president trump launches another scathing attack on the late senator john mccain as republicans call the president's words deplorable. why won't the president stop? whacaw