tv Inside Politics CNN April 15, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for spending the hour with us. the big news this hour. justice department spokeswoman just moments ago telling us the attorney general now expects to release the redacted version of the mueller report thursday morning. the breaking news just moments ago. let's go straight to laura jarrett at the justice department for more. laura, why did they decide to tell us in advance and what do we know? >> well, john, i think washington has been on pins and needles as the nation awaited the news of when this report would finally come. we had all been wondering. we knew that it would come
sometime this week as the attorney general had testified on capitol hill last week but we now have a date certain, things morning. it's planning to go to congress and to the public. we don't know exactly what time, but, of course, all eyes will be on the justice department that day. and i should mention this is the redacted report. of course, lawmakers have been pressing the attorney general to see anything and everything about this report, but this is the redacted version as the attorney general bill barr has laid out. it will be color coded. the redactions everything from grand jury information to ongoing information. classified information and then information on peripheral third parties will all be redacted. how exactly this will all go down on thursday remains to be seen and how much will be redacted remains to be seen. as the attorney general has said we'll see more than the gist and we'll see it on thursday morning, john. >> thursday morning. laura jarrett, stay with us for
the hour. joining me now manu raju, jackie kucinich and jackie cordero and shimon prokupecz. the barr testimony last week was testy at times and it will be as transparent as he believes he can be. help us what that means. >> the transparency issue is going to be on uncharged crimes, derogatory information, other investigations that, as we know, were started by mueller and then farmed out basically to other u.s. attorneys, grand jury information, classified information. so anything along those lines. everything that i just listed that the department of justice could view as essentially they don't want to violate their guidelines. the guidelines list all sorts of reasons as to why they can't release certain information on criminal investigations, so he's going to try to stick to that, but i think that he does understand that there's a lot of attention on this and that he needs to be a little more
transparent than he would normally be in investigations. so the big question obviously, john, is going to be around the obstruction investigation and why didn't mueller opt to not make a decision on that investigation. instead in many ways punted to the department of justice and to the attorney general and to the deputy attorney general who ultimately made the decision on that issue. are we going to learn more about the various issues? bar's letter talked about there being facts and issues of the law on both sides. both sides of the issue relating to the obstruction investigation. will we get a better window into that? will we see exactly what difficulty did mueller have in reaching some of these conclusions? what did he find that perhaps did not rise to the level of criminal charges, but nonetheless could still be problematic for the president from a political view. so all of that is what i think we'll all be looking towards. obviously you have the collusion question. where do they go with that, what other people were interviewed
and the big question is the reachout from the russians to the trump campaign. how significant was that. how much more detail can we learn about those contacts and exactly how did the trump campaign interact with russians? we know from the report that there were many contacts. the question is going to be whether or not we learned more, exactly who and how the russians were going about and making these contacts, and obviously it's going to come down, to you know, what is ultimately surrounding the obstruction investigation. john? >> and so shimon, stay with us throughout the conversation. carrie cordero about defined transparency and who defines transparency. in this case the first crack will be from the attorney general of the united states. he wants to be as transparent as public but he said i'm not going to get clearance to ask grand jury material. if congress wants to sue, they will sue. on the one hand i'll be transparent but on the other hand i'm not going to push the limits by proactively asking a judge so will we get the president's written answers? will we get testimony from other
witnesses, or will the attorney general say you get what robert mueller concluded but you don't get to see the actual words? >> i think what the report is going to include is going to be the factual scenario and the factual investigation that the special counsel conducted, but you're exactly right that the attorney general, while he's being transparent in terms of saying i'm going to release as much as i can, he's doing so according to the letter of the law. my interpretation is that he's doing so according to the letter of the law and justice department traditions. he's not going to push the envelope, so he's not going to try to stretch what that definition of transparency says and that's why he's not going to the court to release the grand jury information based on some theory what have might be an exception. he's going to -- but i do think the coding that they are doing in terms of identifying the reasons behind certain information redacting is going to be really useful to congress because that's going to tell them the sections that they might want to go to the court on grand jury or the sections that they might want to go to the
intelligence community to push on classified information. it's going to give them some clues as to how they can approach what more they want to see. >> likely a first report and a road map to get additional information. we don't know what's in it. we know russian interference in the election was part of the scope and the trump contact. did that amount to collusion? robert mueller could not prove collusion. the obstruction question is there. we do know this, even though we don't know what's in it, the white house is nervous about it. the president tweeting this morning investigate the investigators. he wants to turn your focus away from robert mueller and what he looked at and what he found to how robert mueller got there and how the fbi even before robert mueller got started on this investigation. she's the president's lead attorney, again, trying to convince you the mueller report doesn't matter. it's what happened before. >> i think you're going to get the full explanation of mueller. i think you're going to see no collusion of any kind which raises the question why did we have this investigation in the
first place and that's a very good question which i'm kind of working on the answer to. that i don't think it happened accidently. i think it was the product of a -- you want to call it a a political dirty trick or you want to call it a crime, i don't know, criminal conspiracy. but in any event that will leave the collusion question open. how did this come about? it's question. you want to the call it a crime. you want to call it a political dirty trick. he wants to call it a political dirty trick. that's the whole m.o. here. once the report is out, it's harder. it's harder, but for the trump base they are trying to say pay no attention. >> that's right. what we've seen over the last couple of weeks since the report's conclusion is the president and his advisers and spokespeople trying to use every opportunity possible to define the narrative and define the event and conclusions in the best terms possible for the president, trying to hammer this home so that the kind of talking point on there are already set in the public's mind and bases
mind before the time that is much of this 400 page report comes out of as comes out. there are two things i look for. one is there will be sort of direct inverse proportionality how much is released to how much steam the congress has to go forward. attorneys for someone do not get out in tv as much as possible and talk about things as much as possible, so when they do, you have to understand it's for messaging purposes, not for legal purpose%, and i'll be looking not just for what rudy giuliani and other lawyers say but for the areas that they are not that you canning about because if they are directing you in one direction, it's probably because they don't want you talking about it. >> congress is in recess, so i assume now they have gotten the head up from the justice department thursday morning that the relevant members are booking their flights now. >> potentially. >> or they will be ready to work. >> what are their steps? first they have to see what bill barr gives them. the democrats you can tell are very skeptical. they will quickly either be
demanding more from him, maybe going to court or asking for stuff in a classified setting. what else? >> thursday will be the beginning of a new chapter, certainly not the end. >> it never ends. >> it's never going to end. >> you mentioned you showed rudy giuliani, they want to investigate how the investigation began and that's already clear that bill barr is open to that or at least moving forward to that. the senate judiciary committee led by republicans is going into that. house democrats want to look into the allegations within the facts in a robert mueller has uncovered. that's going to be a road map to their investigations. that's going to be split up under various committees so that's one front the other is a front to see what's behind the redacted material. that's going to lead to a court fight potentially after the house judiciary committee drops a subpoena, asking for the full, the underlying evidence. another court fight to get the grand jury information that jerry nadler is going to press forward with, and bill barr has said he'll be open to negotiating to show some of the information behind the redactions. that's going to be another area
of discussions so on several fronts this fight is going to continue and it also, of course, lead to the political arguments on both sides about whether or not the president -- >> as you jump in, let's put it on the calendar, april 2019, as we start to escalate into the 2020 re-election cycle so we have a legal analysis we need to make of the report, a legal and factual discussion about that and then all the politics of which there's plenty and there's going to be more. >> okay. i mean, one of the things that's already sort of starting to happen but to the extend to which the white house uses the things they like about the mueller report to blunt the congressional investigations that are going to go on regardless hand how they use that in 2020 to bludgeon maybe some democrats who don't want to talk about this, who know how this plays at home and, you know, want to move on to other things, so we're going to see that both on the 2020 presidential level and also on the congressional level. >> the law is different from the ken starr days. the law is different from the watergate days. what is reasonable to expect and what is reasonable to expect
fights about? >> well, the big difference between the current regulations is that the attorney general is making the determination of what gets reported. >> not the special counsel. >> and the reason the regulations were changed was because so much information in the ken starr report had nothing to do with criminal cup willability or even impeachable information but was all this derogatory information about private virds, and thatindividu the piece that's the really gray area that members of congress want information that's derogatory or negative about individuals particularly in the trump family or now in the trump white house or on the trump campaign but is not grand jury or classified. it's just this other category. >> remember what bill barr said about that last week. he would not protect the president about redactions, but he did not ask about those other individuals. the president's eldest son. >> shimon is still with us. do we know anything about where the line will be in that regard? robert mueller had to look into
the trump tower people. why are people working for the united states presidential candidate, including the candidate's son, the candidate's campaign chairman in a room with russians promising dirt. why didn't they call the fbi? what about these contacts that maybe they were all innocent and jeff sessions meeting with the ambassador and other people meeting with the ambassador. all lied about it. maybe they were knuckleheads meeting with russians during the presidential campaign. is that protected or will that be laid out? >> that's the great question. we don't know how the grand jury is going to do that. in usual sessions, these run charged crimes and it essentially would be derogatory information. you would not see it come out in any way from the department of justice. but we don't know how they are going to handle that here. it would be that we see all of this information, but we don't see names. you know, the names of individuals that were in these meetings that's not out there already pubically in court documents. maybe that's it a deal how they deal with it. obviously the trump tower meeting and how the mueller team viewed it and what they learned about it from all the people
they interviewed and all the intelligence that they gather and the sources that they spoke to about that meeting is important and relevant, but whether or not we see more information on that, that's going to be interesting because that's not something that anyone was charged with, and so then you go into, well, do they violate any kind of guidelines by release any information about that. it is an important part of this investigation so maybe in the public's interest this could be the argument that the department of justice makes. in the interest -- the public's interest we need to put this information out there, and others who were in that meeting, you know, with their interviews. look, we know that mueller interviewed several people that were part of that meeting. will we learn more about what they had to say concerning that meeting? >> that's a big question that i think everyone has on their mind and really ultimately how much more do we feel about the different people that went in to meet with mueller from the president's team outside the president. all the intelligence that was
gathered and all the warrants that were served. do we learn more about the information that they obtained through all that work that they did. >> i know a lot of the people that worked for the president. some of them still there. many of them have gone and are a little nervous about whether their transcripts will be released even in defending the president about his work habits and temper and, again, the courtesy from the justice department. the mueller report expected out thursday morning that. gives the attorney general three more days to think through the questions we've raised here and three days for congress to fight for the documents and three days to set your schedule. if you want to be here thursday morning to watch us as you read through what we get. a new tax day letter from the president's lawyer saying guess what. you're not going to get the president's tax returns.
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personal tax returns on this tax day even as democrats demand for that information gets louder. cnn just obtained the letter from one of the president's attorney general saying they can deny requests for the president's tax information. more live from capitol hill. lauren, what about this letter and what are you learning? >> reporter: in this new letter trump's personal attorneys say again to the treasury department that they should not turn over the president's personal tax information, that six years of personal tax returns, six years of business tax returns to the house ways and means chairman richard neal. now, richard neal had sent a follow-up left over the weekend to the irs commissioner essentially doubling down on his requests for the president's tax information. he set a new deadline of april 23rd at 5:00 p.m. saying that he needed to have that information in hand, and if they did not respond he was basically taking that as a no, so clearly this fight is just heating up. you know, democrats have been arguing that the fact that the president's personal lawyers are writing to treasury hand making
these kind of demands essentially is, you know, just inappropriate behavior. they have been arguing that trump's personal attorney should not be having a stake in this, that the law 6103, the statute that they say gives the treasury department -- they cannot refuse richard neal's request. trump's perm lawyer should not be weighing in at all. john? >> that's what they say. this day and age, norms were moyd to be broken is the best way to put t.lauren, appreciate the live reporting from capitol hill and they are not at all subtle in this letter. the first line of the letter from the president's attorney to treasury i wrote you on april 5th about my client's confidential tax information is illegal and then it goes on to said chairman is still wrong with his follow-up letter. just not surprising the posture that the president is taking. he resisted during the campaign and he won the election and thinks the american people made him president and therefore he never has to do this, and
however to the point that laura made and i'm making light of it, that the president's personal attorneys are writing to the trish inspector general counsel about a determination that the treasury department and the irs have to make under the law, not under the president's wishes, but under the law and this is the way it works nowadays. >> go ahead. >> i would say indeed it does and it also foreshadows one in so many different court fights shaping up between house democrats and this administration. we're going to -- we're going to assume that very likely the irs is going to take the advice of the president's attorneys, probably not going to turn over the tax returns and the treasury department has shown no interest in doing so and the white house that's been clear they don't want to go that route and think of all the things the support willing to sue over. the mueller report and grand jury information and tax returns. this is going to be a legal fight that will carry out and domination the next two years and we'll see if they get any of this. >> let me play devil's advocate
from the president's perspective. what's the rationale for the democrats. the lawyers are saying just because you're not happy he didn't release them is not enough. just because you think either he's not worth as much as he says there is or there's russian money involved that the president has denied. that's not reason enough. what's the reason under the taxes? can't be that you're democrats and you're republicans and you don't like him? >> this is always the problem with a lot of things, frequently the problem with a lot of things. yes, traditionally, every candidate has given their dax -- has made their taxes public, and, yes, that's, you know, something that certainly is journalists we all think is great. it's for the public. it's disclosure. all the things that we think voters should see but it's not a law. it's a norm, and that gets in real tricky terrain for democrats when they are trying to enforce what's become the traditions of the office the, what people thought was the politically smart thing to do, but it isn't actually what the
president is by the letter of the law required to do. >> but this is a law. >> that the democrats are trying to use to get these tax returns and one of the reasons that chairman neal took as long as he did because he was being pressured right out of the gate is so that they would have, as democrats would say, a really tough time wiggling out of this at the treasury so it remains to be seen. i think we all assume this is going to end up in the courts, but like everything, but it is worth mentioning just how -- how careful they were in crafting what they were asking for, because he knew this was coming. >> they claimed there was a policy reason for this. they say they want to try to change legislation to how presidents are audited. people are very skeptical about that. nonetheless that's their arguments. >> next up, the president spending his tax day morning not messaging about his big tax cut. what his words tell us about how he thinks he can win in 2020.
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the new galaxy s10 on xfinity mobile. the phone and network designed to do more. switch and save today, and you get a new galaxy. say "get a galaxy" to learn more. . the president is on air force one en route to minnesota after giving a window this morning into his 2020 calibrations. it is tax day. talk of the economy and a tax cut that put most money in more american's paychecks will be in the president's teleprompter later. but that theme absent from the president's morning into the afternoon tweets and instead
he's broadcasting big warnings about the mueller report, scolding congress on immigration and trying to turn a first term congress ilhaar omar into a household name saying she's the leader of an out-of-control party and he hopes to use her to animate the president's base. the president tweeting a video last friday night splicing omar's words with images of the 9/11 terrorist attack and threats against her life have spiked since he posted that video and the house speaker nancy pelosi spoke with capitol police to boost her security and pelosi said the president's words said that puts her at risk and team trump says the president is not at fault here. >> i don't think it's the president that is putting her in danger. i think it's her ill thought out words she used to describe the greatest terror attack on the
history of the united states soil, that which killed nearly 3,000 americans. the fact -- those are her words. that's what's putting -- making the threats, but make no mistake. no congress person or american should be threatened and no one is inciting slefnlts i think what they are doing is showing outrage toward words that should have been better thought out. >> now, it is a fact the president has the trying do what the president wants to do, but it's also a fact that using images of the twin towers in a political statement is pushing another norm, and it's a fact that the capitol police will tell you the threats are real. so where -- where's the off ramp here? >> i don't know if there is one. i think the president is going to -- you probably see him today make it very clear that he views her as the face of the democratic party and views this as a political advantage. he's -- doesn't seem concerned about the threats that she says she's facing. death threats that she's facing because they believe that they have a political advantage in
making her and putting democrats in a position where they have to agree with her views or not, but one thing she has done. what she said about 9/11 was probably going to put nancy pelosi in a difficult spot, and by the sheer fact that he had gone after her the way he did as a result democrats have turned the attention towards what trump has said and essentially rallied democrats. >> completely managed to unify democrats. >> exactly. >> look, when we talk conventional wisdom about trump and 2020, we talk about his need to hold those three states that gave him the electoral advantage, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania. whether he can do it, if he can't do it may be there's no path for him. minnesota is this the counterintuitive angle where this is a place where hillary clinton won, not by a lot, pretty close, and if the president either really believes he can win minnesota or gets democrats thinking about putting them on defense rather than on offense in some of those states, that's part of his tactic in changing this message, but part
of the tactic is -- is just much more raw. >> part of it -- i was just -- just dwell on this point for the map. the president thinks even though she's from minnesota. not going to her district today. he thinks attacking her, alexandria ocasio-cortez, socialism, immigrants, that he animates his white working class base into america is changing in a way that threatens you. that's what the president is trying to do. to your point about the map, and let's look at the map if you're the president, this is the one that stands out in the region, full. this one right there. you came close. you think you can get it again. so let's move over and take a point. he won all around it. he won michigan. he won wisconsin. the question is can he get minnesota? it was really close when you look at the numbers here. this is incredibly close if you look at the clinton/trump numbers. can you get it this time? that's the argument. that's the argument for targeting this state. there's a whole separate argument about how you do it. >> and i think there is some risk to this strategy. the p. as you point out,
bleaches he can motivate his base to turn out in big numbers with this kind of new culture war issues. immigration, islamophobia and he's not going to be running against hillary clinton. he'll be running with a record and a style that we know from the data has alienated a large number of independents and ail nate women, and it's hard to see how continuing down this line helps him make inroads with those groups so he's pursuing the strategy of doubling down on the base, but you can't fight the last war. >> well, i'm -- i'm not so sure they don't think that. a lot of people think the president is going lose the popular vote again. the question is can he put together the electoral map that squeaks it out and to the flip side of that, you do see, yes, congressman omar said some anti-semitic things for which she was chastised in a bipartisan base and here in a speech when she mentioned 9/11, she could have meant more. >> that doesn't make her a
terrorist. >> she could have been more careful in what she said. doesn't give you the right to take some people did some thing out of context. >> i'm surprised more members of congress no matter who you are aren't speaking out against this. i've been covering congress since 2005. i've seen two members of congress shot since then. that's -- and a lot of these -- there are several bhoems have served with these people who have been shot. the rhetoric and this ratcheting up, politics aside is disturbing, and it really is incumbent on members of congress to speak out to make sure that their colleagues stay safe. >> that's part of what the president is targeting her. i mean, there's a number of reasons, but she is a difficult messenger because she had made those comments that played so heavily on the anti-semitic tropes that you should have members of congress stay safe but there's people who feel the politics are complicated in a way. >> the calculation hat least among the voters who he thinks
that he needs toward to win a second term is this old notion that you are talking about that you have a moral responsibility when you're responsibility to play fair. you don't use the poverty pulpit to pick off the first term congress person, you know. he thinks that the public doesn't really believe that. maybe some people believe that, but not enough people to really make a difference politically. if he thought it was that politically risk, he wouldn't be doing it. it's another stress test on another notion or american political institution. >> his way of doing things from the normal waive doing things and he thinks it's right and it going to work again. up next, somewhat connected, relate story. today is not just tax day, deadline to file your fund-raising report if you're running for president. some democrats vim pressive numbers, but nothing anywhere near the president's. i've always been amazed by what's next.
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another official candidate in the 2020 presidential race today and with that some important perspective. mayor pete buttigieg, southbound of indiana, drawing a contrast with the republican incumbent. >> that's why i'm here today, to tell a different story than make america great again. >> because there's a myth being sold to industrial and rural communities, the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back. it is time to walk away from the politics of the past and towards something totally different. >> within hours of the launch the campaign said it raised a fresh $1 million, impressive,
yes, but mayor pete ranking fourth trailing behind bernie sanders. all the democrats, lock over to the right of the screen. all of the democrats dwarfed by a massive $30 million first-quarter 2019 haul by the trump re-election campaign, and -- and part of that, you can say, a lot of democratic money still on the shrines. 18, 19, 20 canned days. a lot of people say let's wait and see how that sorts out, but part of that is the president launched early. he's raising money early, and, you know, for the democrats we think we just won big in 2018, this is going to be easy in 2020, think again. >> look, i think money isn't everything, but it's an awful lot, and, i mean, the fact that the president is walking in with this financial advantage certainly is freaking out a lot of democrats. that's clear. now i think it's worth noting that he raised maybe half -- a little more than half as much as hillary clinton in the last election and he won and she didn't, so it depends how this money is used and democrats, you know, have a lot of democratic
dopeors sitting on the sidelines because it's a crowded field and democrats on the flip side not doing super pacs. they are not taking corporate dollars. they are not doing big fund-raiser, at least elizabeth warren is not so they are trying to be really very heavily dependant on the small donors, and we're not just how that's going to look in a general election in part because we've not seen it before. how this all plays out is totally unclear. it's still really early and what is clear is the president has a big advantage. >> democratic big donors who are really nervous from the strategy from a lot of their candidates says, look, this is what we're dealing with, because almost no matter what the president will be able to sledgehammer whoever emerges from this massive field because of that money, so this -- i think you're going to keep having that friction internally among democratic fund-raisers and the strategists of these campaigns as to how to go forward, and in a way that's
best for the that's right. >> and if you just think about connect the dots, if you will. in today's digital age and whatever you think of the trump campaign and their politics at home and how it comes to the digital space. why is the president talking about the mueller report and talking about immigration and going after ilhan omar. they raised $33.3 million, $41 million cash on hand. 99.97% contribution, low dollar, the average donation $34.26. they are doing on right what bernie sanders does on the left. how do they get that small money? listen to the campaign manager. you keep in touch with those people you know which issues motivate them. a, raise money and, b, you keep them on the field. >> it's much more efficient two years out to try to find a possible donor. there's so much across the social networks and capabilities to find sub-that's a prospect. that's a considerable advantage, and getting that. if we could get to 40 million,
50 million, 60 million prospects, that will generate millions of dollars in donations later and develops contact via phone, text message, email, a considerable advantage the other side can't have because you can't replace time. when you go build that army now, it gives you time later to only worry about activation and not worry about trying to find them. >> that's the connection to the interview. you raise money off them but you keep them activated and you know from that text messaging and e-mails immigration motivates this voter. it's something else that motivates this vote and the mueller report that motivates this one. not only to get the money but to get them out to play. >> one thing we do know is the trump campaign -- trump has basically never stopped running for p.as soon as he was news rated he filed for re-election and he's been, you know, not concerned about how it looks to campaign in the first couple of years of a new presidency. barack obama was not even near where president trump was. he barely even launched his
re-election campaign, similar point. they really started raising money in the second quarter of 2011, so president trump is way ahead of where barack obama is because he knows it's going to be an incredibly closely contested election, but he's not been afraid of how it looks. >> and he may get a challenge, but right now he doesn't have a serious challenge at all and you have a divided democratic race that could go on in a long time. hard to beat an incumbent. up next, president trump starts to threaten undocumentied migrants in sanctuary cities. now house democratic chairs want some answers. my mind off it all. maybe you could relieve some stress by calling geico for help with our homeowners insurance. geico helps with homeowners insurance? they sure do. and they could save us a bundle of money too. i'm calling geico right now. cell phone? it's ringing. get to know geico and see how much you could save on homeowners and condo insurance.
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subject to homeland security and given to sanctuary cities and states. that tweet coming moments after the house democrats made a new big demand of the administration. the democratic chairman of the house judiciary, house oversight and house homeland security committees want the white house to turn over documents about the president's proposed plan, including emails and internal security memos. priscilla, the chairman want to know what? we've heard a lot of white house proposals in recent days. they want to know where this is coming from. >> they want to know exactly where this is coming from and the correspondents between the dhs officials and the white house, so among documents they are looking for is e-mails and correspondents between dhs officials and the white house as well as internally within dhs and i.c.e. officials as well as any other documents and memoranda that might be on hand. they called this in the letter alarming, and that is something that they have said and signaled since we heard of these reports that this was a proposal being
floated and that later president donald trump did confirm that it's something that they are considering, and so what they are trying to get to lather is the core of what exactly was floated and when, so the range here is between november of 2018 and april 2019, and the deadline that they are giving the administration to turn over these documents is going to be may 3rd of this year. >> priscilla awful reds with the latest reporting on that. yet another confrontation between house democrats and the administration over big administration policy ideas. speaker pelosi plays down the sway of the freshman congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. aoc is turns out isn't just backing impeachment and the green new deal, she's got a peace deal. >> who is going to end up on the "game of thrones"? can you imagine if no one end up on the throne and they transition to dem? i. >> that is such a skillful answer.
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>> that's some shade, that's what that is. >> that's like five people. >> not the first time she's done that, too. when the green new deal, she said it was the green new something or the other. she's questioned whether or not to move forward on medicare for all. for moving forward i'm doing something on obamacare. clearly this wing is the most vocal. pelosi realizes that the vast majority listen to her. don't listen to alexandria ocasio-cortez, and she makes that pretty clear. >> this is kind of like she has to -- obviously she has to be in charge of her party, but i think there's something more strategic to this looking ahead to 2020 also she understands what donald trump is trying to do, call democrats socialists and make aoc and ilhan omar the freshman class the new face of the party and if you wanted, liberal, standards of the democrats, now
pelosi and now pelosi is the moderate. she's seeing this as a strategic means to redirect and plunt what he's doing. >> we watched her in her first go-round as speaker and it was a really different dynamic when president obama was president and you see her now and remember a couple months ago when we were in the fall talking about whether she could retain the speakership and seems absurd in light of the way she's managed to quickly dispense with these issues over the last couple of months. >> she wants the face of the democratic party to be a moderate member from a suburban district that flipped from republican to democrat, preferably a woman, that that's the face democrats want to project so they can win those districts again and hold the majority in the house and maybe flip some of these states in the presidential, so that's part of what she's definitely -- definitely a part of what she's doing and she pointed that the back of her majority was won the back of those kinds of voters. >> they know who made her
speakers. >> and that's why the president is trying to cast most of the freshmen democratic candidates who won in the conservative districts just like aoc. she's trying to say it's a very small group, a lot more people that are more pragmatic and more centric and that drives the conversation on capitol hill, not the wingch aoc. >> and leslie stall exploring t are democrats asglad she eats first person in my life that has scared the heck out of me, but i have so much respect for her. there were times early on when we had to take difficult votes. i'm kind of embartsd. we would run to the lady's room after the vote. >> the run and hide. >> some of them told us that they are afraid of you. >> oh, no they are not. >> sometimes yes, sometimes no? >> look, she controls a lot, including committee assignments.
ask kathleen rice from new york who went against her in the speaker's vote. not looking good for her because of the backlash she faced from pelosi. >> also the reason why she's one of the best whips we've ever seen in the house of representatives. >> nancy pelosi can count. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." brianna keilar starts right now. have a good afternoon. >> i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. under way right now, as the drum beat grows louder over the imnent release of whilers eat report and more on the college cheating scandal and the freshman congresswoman has received more death threats after president trump's tweet and despite the president falsely pushing his audit excuse, it's now the white house that says congress isn't smart number to understand his taxes.