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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 20, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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the reaction to the mueller report. a closer look at a key take away after page -- the president's take on twitter. quoting now statements are made about me by certain people in the crazy mueller report. written by 18 angry democrat trump haters which are fabricated and untrue. watch out for people that take so called notes when the notes never existed until needed because i never agreed to testify. it was not necessary to respond to statements made in the report. about me. some of which are total bs and given to me if the other person look good or me look bad. this was an illegally started hoax that never should have happened. and continuing with this tweet. a big fat waste of time. energy and money. $30 million to be exact. it's time to turn the tables from very sick and dangerous people who committed very serious crimes. maybe spying and treason. this should never happen again. here with us for the latest on all that tonight and more. cnn chief white house correspondent.
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>> it took the president nine hours to finish the series of three tweets. this is unusual for him. >> that's right. it might be a sign that perhaps he was somewhat speechless after the release of the mueller report. he said wednesday he was holing a news conference and went past reporters without comment on the findings that were released in the redacted report. the president did late in the day post a tweet essentially finishing a tweet he started nine hours earlier and accused unnamed forces of spying or treason. like so many things the president said and has said, over the course of this administration he didn't back up the tweet with evidence or proof. >> he's saying now is it time to turn the table and it sound like taking revenge on the political opponents or on those he feels have done him wrong. >> that's right. what we have seen so far this week, i think there's a
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highlighted in the report. he makes these threats and engages in this bluster but you have to wonder who will follow the orders? one of the big take aways from this week is that when the president engages in this rhetoric especially inside the white house behind closed doors, even with top aides there are aides to the president like mcgahn and corey lewandowski. who we saw in the report are not willing to carry out the orders. you have to wonder william barr the attorney general in the eyes of some in washington feel like he let people down and was trying to down play what was in the mueller report. is the attorney general going to carry out the orders? mcgahn was not willing to fire the special counsel mueller. and so this maybe once again the president firing off sounding off engaging in bluster making threats. and you have to wonder because if past is prologue you have to wonder if anybody is listening and carrying out the orders.
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i talked to an adviser who said sometimes there are people in the orbit who just don't follow what he says and they don't follow his order. and essentially that is something that they recognize behind the scenes he engages in this bluster and rhetoric. they don't always take it seriously and don't always take it literally. >> thanks. let's have more on the mueller report. itself. and all the dishonesty laid out on page after page. sarah sanders not just because she openly admitted to not telling truth under oath. because she's trying to walk her admission back on tv where she's no longer under oath. randi kaye the sometimes truthful and road back out. >> her job is communicate truthfully with the white house press. the mueller report indicates that sarah sanders lied when she
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said this about the president firing. of fbi director james comey. >> they lost faith in director comey. >> we heard from countless members of the fbi. that say very different things. >> that was may 10. 2017. sanders on camera telling reporters that countless members of the fbi had lost confidence in comey. trouble is, what she said was inaccurate. sanders herself admitted her comments were not fact based. when she was questioned about it under oath by special counsel mueller. her admission in print on page 72. sanders told this office her reference to countless members of the fbi was a slip of the tongue. she also told the tale her statement in a separate press interview where he said rank and file agents had lost confidence in comey was made in the heat of the moment.
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a statement the report says was not founded on anything. >> within hours of the mueller report being made public, sanders went on damage control. saying the point she was making was that both current and former fbi agents agreed with the president. >> i acknowledge that i had a slip of the tongue using the word countless. it's not untrue. comey was a disgraced leaker who tried to politicize and under mine the agency he was supposed to run. >> by friday morning sanders doubled down on her original statement. >> that's not a slip of the tongue. it's a false statement deliberate. >> actually if you look at what i said. slip in the tongue of using the word countless. there were a number of fbi both former and current that agreed with the president decision. they continued to speak out.
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>> true to form, she tried to turn the misstatement around on the democrats. >> it was in the heat of the moment. meaning it wasn't a scripted talking point. i'm sorry i wasn't a robot like the democratic party who went for two and a half years and stated time and time again there was russian collusion. between the president and his campaign. >> she continued her offense on cbs. >> i have acknowledged the word countless was a slip of the tongue. the big take away the sentiment is 100% accurate. the fbi is a better place without james comey. >> the backlash for members of the press was swift. one reporter pointing out that even though sanders called it a slip of the tongue, she said it two days in a row. we asked her to comment on calls for her firing. she didn't respond. >> randi kaye cnn, new york.
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>> joining us max boot. author of the biography category the road not taken. the american tragedy in vietnam. sarah sanders not only did she have a slip of the tongue two days in a row. she never corrected herself. if this was a slip of the tongue and she was concerned about having misled and said something that was not true about countless fbi agents contacting her which would be unusual. because active members of the fbi don't normally call the press sec tear of the white house. she could have corrected herself that day or the next day. or a month later. when they had the next press briefing. >> slip out of the tongue will join the lexicon of white houses. to describe their out and out lying. up there with the nixon white house press secretary saying the exmr. nation was no longer operative. clearly sarah sanders job is to lie on behalf of the president. that's not the normal job of the white house press secretary.
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in the past all white house press secretaries are supposed to put the best possible spin on the administration actions but they are not supposed to lie. previous white house press secretaries would have drawn a line and refused to do that. we saw that from start of many administration. with sean spicer. when he lied about the attendance at the inaugural. just a ridiculous lie that nobody could possibly believe. sean spicer had to stay up there out there and put it across. because that's what the president expected and that is what the president expects from sanners. to lie to justify his own lies. so it's a lie built on lies. now you read that administration officials who talked to mueller are now afraid for their jobs because donald trump is going to be so upset for telling the truth. this administration the only real is telling the truth.
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telling lies gets you rewarded and promoted. >> rudy giuliani going after mccabe. mcgahn. for his testimony. under oath. where giuliani isn't under oath. sarah sanders not just this incident. another incident which hasn't gotten as much coverage is that which was newly learned in the report. the press office at the white house wanted to put out a statement claiming that rod rosenstein was the one who wanted mueller fired and he's the one behind it all. that was just not true. rosenstein had to say it them i will tell truth. if asked. >> that episode was sort of comedy of inside the white house. trump is going to fire him. and learns rosenstein didn't like comey and write a memo. they use that as cover.
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and tried to get rosenstein to be the face of it and he said no way. trump says his team messed up all of this and he was going to do the interview and straighten it out. and the statement in that interview that he did it fired comey because of russia. was highly incriminating. i think if you take a step back, we learned this white house lies like they breathe. and the only way to pin them down is when you have the force of law enforcement there. and the threat of criminal prosecution. >> which is extraordinary. crazy. >> i read the report thinking this is every journalists dream. to have the white house press secretary under oath. and can't get out of it. that's what it took to get the true story. and of course none of them are under oath anymore. and let's just rewind everything. and say mcgahn is lying. sanders backtracking from that. there are no consequences. >> the it's not as if this
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doesn't come from the top. this is we all know the president said numerous thing it's well documented. and later we'll talk to the secretary. he says the tone of the white house is set from the top by the president. >> it's a fundamentally dishonest tone. if you road the "washington post" fact checker. you'll see as of april 1, president trump had been caught in 9,400 documented falsehoods since coming into office. 12 a day. that is a record unmatched by any previous occupant of the oval office including nixon. that example that sets the example for the administration. they know what they are expected to do and won't be punished for lying. that is a betrayal of the trust the american people place in the president and the administration. it's a shame mueller didn't take greater efforts to get trump
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under oath. the only way to get the truth is to put them under oath and trump hasn't gone under oath. >> certainly you have the president talking about turning the tables. the quote he said in a tweet. essentially talking about looking like he's talking about retribution against the perceived enemies. >> i agree with jim. that there's a threat a day from trump. and he follows through with one out of ten. you never know what it will be. he says a lot of unusual. >> depends which staff will carry out. >> that's true. we learned from this report he is very conflict adverse and tells other people to do it. if they don't carry it out it won't get done. >> what democrats do next. whether it's seeking the full unredacted report.
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any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again! house judiciary chairman nadler today subpoenaed attorney general barr seeking a full unredacted version of the mueller report. congressional leader rejected a justice department proposal for a congressional and committee leaders to view a less redacted edition. late today citing the mip mall redactions in that version. justice department called judiciary committee move premature and unnecessary. one decision democrats have to make whether to pursue impeachment is another. we'll talk about it with former obama senior adviser van jones. host of the van jones show. a cnn political commenter what
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should democrats do. is impeachment the way to go? >> i think that this kind of dilemma do we impeach r let it go. that's premature. we need full hearings. there are a lot of questions unasked. you can have the effect of impeachment trying to figure out what is going on here. after as the hearings go forward, let'sot forget with water gate they didn't say impeachment. they said there's something fishy and we the hearings. and that then actually produced more evidence that led then to the impeachment. >> to the -- >> do you think some people are hearing this. more hearings. how can it be more comprehensive
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than the last two years. >> this is where i'll diverge. we need to go full bore into impeachment. we need to be smart about it. mueller really gave democrats the blueprint. we have it let it sink in. people have to understand and as a party we have to raise the temperature so that people feel the intensity of why it matters to have the -- this is donald trump is the most corrupt president certainly in a generation we have seen. and the behaviors in the mueller report certainly i think make the case for impeachment. we have to make the case to the american people. and they got caught flat footed this week in not having a group of people ready to go with the a response. we knew barr was doing the press conference. >> there's a reason. you can make an argument. it was released when it was.
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everybody is sout of town. >> you can bring people come back and they have to hit it hard next week and communicate to the american people why it matters. and this isn't just about politics. this is about who we are as a country. this president acted in ways that are unethical and immoral and that actually damage his ability to be effective for the american people. >> if democrats do go down this road of impeachment, there's a lot of republicans and observers who aren't republican say this can ignite the president's base in a way that nothing else -- they're always excited. this could rally them in a way to hurt democrats in the election. >> that's true. actually i hope the democrats pursue impeachment. of course we try that two decades ago and didn't work out very well. >> it hurt republicans. >> i will say this. maybe we should just skip impeachment and go to the hanging. since the conclusion has been made.
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the conclusion has been made that is most corrupt president. it was already corrupt. >> did you read the report? >> i read it differently. i don't read that way at all. the country is quite divided by this. and the polls show 65% of the american people say the report had zero impact meaning -- >> that was the fox news poll before the -- >> we'll see. i watch all your programs. i watch this program. i watch fox news as well. there are two different americas on this. this is very different. than the situation -- i'm old enough. nan 1973. i don't believe with all due respect your party. i don't believe this meets the nancy pelosi test of the test being bipartisan. and is forth. what they'll do on this is they'll go full court press
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try to drum up as they did with collusion for two years a fever over impeachment. >> he wasn't investigating collusion. he said that in the report. >> as a democrat, do you worry that going down this road of impeachment lays into republican hand? and takes candidates running for president or local office away from talking about what congressman said the other night, table top issues. that's what he wants to hear. >> two things. number one having actually been in the white house and lived through the clinton impeachment. there are very significant differences. >> he committed perjury. >> it was about the under lying issue was very different. it was a seven year investigation. that people sfwl based on a lie. he lied to the american people. >> about a personal matter. not about his contacts with russian and trying to protect that and getting people to lie. the other point i would make, more importantly. i think we have to proceed with
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caution. no question. but why not make 2020 about saying to the american people you deserve better and a clean slate. there's an opportunity to do that. if they can do both talk about the agenda and talk about -- >> democrats are getting to what could be a long legal fight over the full unredacted report. that will be a distraction from table top campaign issues. >> i think a couple things. there is a myth that everybody comes back to you that the republicans impeach clinton. and just disappeared in a big fire. and destroyed the -- i don't understand why we keep saying that. the republicans held onto the house. held on to the senate and got the white house after they impeached. they didn't do as well in a midterm. the idea that if you impeach someone your party falls apar. i don't know when that happened. for those who say the reason not to do this is because it will destroy the democrats. that's over stated. there's no evidence.
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>> i would say nancy pelosi knows better. in 1998 republicans lost 15 house seats and held onto. >> kept the house. >> by six seats. when they were supposed to pick up 25. >> huge price to be paid for impeachment and the democrats will pay for it. >> thank you all. up next the tension between president trump and his note taking former white house counsel. next. [♪]
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>> is it a sign of retribution
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or something else? politco is reporting the trump campaign hired an in-house attorney for the 2020 effort. former white house counsel mcgahn is a partner. siting an adviser quote to the white house is asking why in the world would you want to put your enemy on the payroll? talking about don mcgahn. saying they have indeed hired their own counsel as a cost saving move and haven't fired jones day. also reported all that so it's hard to see the objection. more on mcgahn and trump. >> total bs. as the president rages against the mueller report he appears to be singling out one particular person who spoke to investigators. former white house counsel don mcgahn. watch out for people that take so called notes. when the notes never existed until needed.
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>> it's been a privilege to part of the presidential campaign that was successful. >> it's a big turn around considering mcgahn's role during the russia probe. it was mcgahn who refused to fire the special counsel when trump said mueller has to go. mcgahn refused to lie about it later. the mueller report indicates both actions protected trump from obstruction charges. jack o'donl says trumps anger is typical. >> this this case where mcgahn really saved him, it's not rel vent because the bigger picture makes donald look bad. >> it's more general. >> the mueller report suggests trump was always suspicious of mcgahn potential power. why do you take notes? he reportedly said in a meeting. lawyers don't take notes. he said he was a real lawyer. trump shot back. i have had a will the of great lawyers like roy cohn. he didn't take notes.
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cohn served senator during his infamous campaign to root out communist and worked for trump in the 1970 ds when trumps company was accused of discriminating against after are african americans. he had to settle and lost his license. trump said he would not be a rat. >> perhaps the president had reason to think that. after all when he was trying to get his casino up and running years ago, battling politicians and regulators and more. who helped manage every detail? mcgahn's uncle, pat. >> he could ask him to do anything. and he would do it for him. obviously don had his limits with donald trump. >> trump fans are facing
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something of a puzzle right now. sure, the president is putting mcgahn down. but also the very man who appears to have saved the trump presidency. >> thanks. joining me cnn contributor and mueller biographer. the fbi at war in the age of global terror. and nixon white house counsel john dean. so many things to talk about. roy cohn is the mode el of a good lawyer in president the's mind is terrifying. he lost his license for unethical behavior. that's the least of all the things he did. the great irony the president might be angry at mcgahn according to the "new york times" rudy giuliani is going after him. it's his actions that saved president trump. >> that's true. partially. what mcgahn was able to show and
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what's in the special counsel report, is that it shows he was able to testify to trump's intent. or endeavor to obstruct justice. he does so in detail. he cited some 529 times in mueller's report he's been interviewed by the fbi on five occasions. late as february 28 this year. so he's been deeply involved. i'm sure trump hasn't read the record. i suspect his staff have. and realize this is a key witness. in the future for proceedings. >> one of the messages if the white house if president trump and rudy giuliani are going after don mcgahn now, doesn't that send a message to everybody in the white house if you have ethics and you stand up and refuse to lie about something, ultimately the president is going to go after you. >> yeah. >> that's certainly a
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possibility. >> sorry. >> the irony in this is that this is in some ways exactly the behavior that got donald trump in trouble in that volume two of the mueller report. where you have him attacking witnesses who cooperate and praising people who don't cooperate. both publicly and privately. in trying to send back channel messages to encourage either a lack of cooperation or lack of honesty. in the testimony. in many ways as john was saying as you were talking about, mcgahn in some ways it the person able to keep this investigation in the gray. that by preventing the president from being nailed down to a story, by testifying before mueller. mcgahn is been able to keep this an ambiguous situation. short of a slam dunk impeachment case.
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>> the president railed against note taking both in his tweet and in his conversation with mcgahn. that were detailed in the report. the idea that the president doesn't want written records of what's happening in the white house, this is not the trump organization. this is the white house. and there should be a record of what has gone on. >> there should be. and we know no president since nixon is going to record meetings in the oval office and on the phone. so it's very smart for a lawyer and lots of staff. for example. in nixon administration took remarkable notes. that didn't surface until long after water gate. that could have solved the case quickly. had they been made available. he buried them so they weren't. mcgahn could have been subject to a claim of executive privilege. no attorney client privilege.
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he was given permission. they waived that privilege. he was given permission by trumps lawyers his private counsel to testify. >> for a long time the president has been complaining he doesn't have a roy cohn. i keep coming back to this as being the model for president trump what a good attorney is. i think it speaks volumes about what the president is expecting even now about his legal representatives and his attorney general. and everybody. >> exactly. you hit on the key point. where mcgahn had a specific role to be the president's effectively in house counsel. that's not the role of the attorney general. yet you do see donald trump complaining that his attorney general don't act like roy cohn.
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and that jeff sessions was not roy cohn. and that now it really seems like bill barr is acting as the president's personal defense attorney. not the chief law enforcement for the united states. >> i appreciate it. thank you for being with us. on this night. the one key player in this who is not been heard from in person is robert mueller. i'll talk with the former deputy of the fbi. the man and the process he just completed. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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today, life-changing technology from abbott is helping hunt them down at their source. because the faster we can identify new viruses, the faster we can get to stopping them. the most personal technology, is technology with the power to change your life. life. to the fullest. the one person who hasn't spoken publicly about the investigation is the principal author robert mueller. there's a serious divide.
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just one for instance barr said the report didn't find the trump campaign or americans criminally colluded with russia in the 2016 election. true. but barr left out some striking details in the report. and links between trump aids and russian officials. one man who might be able to shed light on exactly what mueller is thinking and what he was operating under and what barr is doing. mueller former deputy of the fbi. and current president of the anderson university. thank you for being with us. someone who worked closely with mueller, i wonder what you make of the conclusion particularly on potential obstruction given the limited sort of frame work he was under. of the department of justice guidelines on the sitting president cannot be indicted? >> right. i think that's one of the keys. because it seems like special
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counsel mueller walked up to the line of indicting. especially on the obstruction of justice with the ten overt acts and conspiracy. under the federal conspiracy. and says the acts go to the issue of potential obstruction. then because of the doj policy of not indicting a sitting president, held up there. it seemed like given his adherence to the rule of law. 12 years as fbi director and decades as federal prosecutor, that doj policy of not indicting a sitting president was paramount in his mind. and yet, laid out the case perhaps for when he's not longer president. >> it's interesting. for those who haven't read the report. he talks about the department of justice guidelines he is following. also there's a explainer which i think is important because given
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all the things the president said about mueller and people working for him, in the report he says not only are there the department of justice guidelines if you can't indict a sitting president, to actually charge a president would be unfair to the president. because the president cannot wouldn't have an opportunity to defend himself in court. and it would cast over the presidency without him defending himself. >> right. i think that's just consistent with the bob mueller i knew. i was deputy for six years. and of course worked with him in the years after 9/11. that he would detail provide that detail if you will a road map for potential future prosecution. make sure he was adhering to the guideline policy as he understood and follow them previously. that doesn't mean -- go ahead. >> go ahead. finish the thought.
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>> that doesn't mean that there's not evidence of obstruction of justice. it just means in this instance because of the high office of the president of the united states, he is giving that the due respect that the doj guidelines and policy have provided for him. over again the decades he's part of doj. >> if donald trump was a private citizen that mueller would have pushed for an indictment? >> that's my take on it. if it wasn't the president of the united states, we would have seen obstruction indictment. against the person. again if that person was not the president of the united states. when you think of the elements of obstruction and the intent and the overt acts. there's been a will the of commentary about how the
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presidents aides kept him from actually obstruction of justice. attempted obstruction of justice. and just the way i know robert mueller. the smoking gun it would have been clear and compelling evidence of that criminal he held up short. >> the road map to for congress to potentially pursue an obstruction case. which he references as he makes it clear. it's also potential future road map for a prosecutor to handle once the president leaves office. the president despite exonerated by mueller and all fronts. that's not true. and the president wants out of office. if the charges held up could be in a court of law defending himself on that. >> well, that's right.
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i think the mueller report obviously goes boo that detail to explain why the president was is not in a position to adequately defend himself. in while he's in office. and that's debate about that. the fact is that he could be charged and maybe charged when he's no longer president. there's statute of limitations questions. if he's reelected. >> five years. >> right. so those are all issues that will be taken into consideration. my stance is that will be much more a political decision. just like the decision whether congress decides to pursue impeachment. that's such a political decision. opposed to a criminal due process position. >> yeah. thank you. >> thank you. >> up next. lies, paranoia. staff ignoring orders. the question is, is this any way to run the place? i talk it over with former chief of staff from another president.
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>> the long awaited redacted report by mueller made it clear that possible obstruction of justice by the president failed because others refused to quote carry out orders. to get insight, talk to leon panetta who served in official washington for decades. secretary panetta, has someone who's worked for a lot of presidents, when you read about what's been going on at this white house i'm sure it doesn't surprise you, "a" given the reporting and "b" what you said yourself early on how the whole white house staff is set up. does it resemble anything that you've ever experienced? >> i don't think there's
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anything certainly in recent history that compares to this white house and how it fails to run. if you just glance at the report it confirms, i think, our worst has a very difficult relationship with those around him, and that those around him spend most of their time worrying about what this president will do. that's never been the case as far as i can remember with past presidents. >> i mean, he's also got obviously a difficult relationship with the truth, just as you read through the mueller report, if you need more evidence, jake tapper spoke to a senior administration official today. they said the report is nothing surprising, that the president
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makes certain demands of his staff and administration officials who are alarmed by them and reluctant to follow them is not only not surprising but becoming the norm. it's interesting because so much of this was also alluded to the in the anonymous op-ed published a while back. it reads now, when you look back on it, as very much revealing all the stuff later on in mueller about people ignoring the president and people kind of standing up to do what's right every now and then. >> i think there's no question that if you not only think about that op-ed, but almost everything that's been written about this white house, the woodward book and those who have left the white house, and those who have commented on their experience in the white house, and what we know about how this white house operates. i mean, we have a president
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that, instead of wanting to be truthful to the american people about what exactly is going on, cannot be trusted with regards to the truth and not only cannot be trusted with regards to the truth, i'm afraid cannot be trusted with regards to upholding the rule of law. and that raises a lot of concerns about the future of this presidency. and what will happen, particularly if a crisis occurs. >> the sheer volume of lies, though, it's -- there's kind of a shamelessness to it all. i mean, you have sarah sanders today not even owning up to, you know, making up stuff about countless fbi agents calling her. she said the countless was a slip of the tongue. but it's not like she ever came out an hour later after saying it or two hours later or the next day and said, you know what, i was thinking back, i said this countless thing, it wasn't countless.
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that was a slip of the tongue. she didn't say that until today when it had just been revealed what she actually said to mueller under testimony. it seems like there's so much lying. >> there's no moral standard here that the president and obviously those around him abide by. and we've always looked at the president for moral authority in this country. and what we're seeing is a president that basically ignores any kind of sense of morality about how he approaches this office. this is all about him. it's all about protecting him. it's all about saying whatever he has to say that will somehow protect him, particularly with his base of support. and rather than reaching out to the american people as a whole, and rather than being truthful with all of the american people as a whole, instead what we're getting is a president who
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cannot be trusted. and when -- you know, i don't say that lightly, anderson. i think it's a dangerous moment when we can't trust our president with the truth. >> secretary panetta, i appreciate you being with us, thank you. >> good to be with you. more news in a moment.
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the killing of a young journalist in northern ireland. police there just announced the arrest of two young men. cnn is live with the very latest for you. plus as top democrats demand to see more of the mueller report, the u.s. president is lashing out at the probe on twitter, a day after claiming vindication. also ahead, france's yellow vest protesters prepare to protest again, now angered by the millions of dollars donated to restore notre dame cathedral. live from cnn world head you quarters in atlanta, we welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell.
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