tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News February 14, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
month. no word on why or what it will do. i guess we'll see. maybe it's for the squirrel. tying that together. i'm melissa francis. here's shep. >> shepard: it's noon on the west coast, 3:00 at the white house where now we're told president trump asked michael flynn to resign as national security head not because any problems or conversations with russia or not because he might be a blackmail problem for russians but because of a trust issue. president trump has none about this for weeks. president says everybody is missing the real story, the leak. turns out, republicans are demanding an investigation of who leaked details with the call to moscow. other lawmakers say the big question right now how this ties into russia's influence on the united states' election.
they have plans to get some answers. also speaking of russia, what is this russian spy ship doing off of our east coast? let's get to it. >> happy valentine's today to you and yours. general flynn lied, got caught and the president sent him packing. the details have changed from the white house on the dismissal of the national security advisor, michael flynn. now as the story goes, president trump knew for weeks that michael flynn had discussed the punishments with russia before the inauguration and he knew that flynn misled mike pence and others. that's the official word from the white house. he says the lie was the problem, not the talk. the white house says flynn didn't do anything at all when
he discussed the sanctions to russia even though some legal experts say he broke the law. the white house says it came down to an issue of trust. when flynn misled mike pence and other staffers about whether he spoke about the sanctions with russia's ambassador. >> we got to a point not based on a legal issue but a trust issue. there's not an illegal issue but rather a trust issue. it was an act of trust, a matter of trust. the issue came down to a matter of trust. the question wasn't did he do anything improper. the question is can he be trusted. what this came down is trust. the issue came down to trust. there was not an issue of law. it was an issue of trust. at some point the trust eroded to a point where the president did not feel comfortable. >> shepard: it's also a legal matter. sean spicer tells a new version of the resignation. one we hadn't heard before. today sean spicer said president trump asked michael flynn for his resignation.
that's new. officials insisted that flynn offered his resignation, that president trump did not fire him. the president was willing to stand by flynn, one source says but he cratered and stepped down. flynn tells our chief washington correspondent i have nothing to be ashamed of. that's yet to be determined. the white house said he lied to the haven't of the united states. what we don't know, what did he tell the russians about the sanctions and did he get instructions from anyone like the soon-to-be president? we don't know. it's possible he broke the law by discussing the sanctions at all. according to "the washington post," the justice department warned the white house last month that michael flynn put himself in position where the russians could blackmail him. yet he kept his job with the
full support of the president. the thesh -- the national intelligence director insisted that the russians could blackmail flynn. yet he kept his job. more coming. december 29th that the obama administration announced that there would be financial punishments against russia and russian diplomats would be kicked out of the united states because moscow tried to interfere in the united states presidential election. that same day the associated press reported that michael flynn repeatedly spoke with russia's ambassador. there's recordings we're told. so the details are known to somebody. the next day, president vladimir putin declared russia would not retaliate against the united states. the obama white house was reportedly very surprised by this. president-elect trump on twitter praised the russian president and former kgb agent vladimir putin for the decision.
january 15, vice president pence told fox news sunday chris wallace that flynn's conversation with the ambassador was not in any way related to u.s. punishments against russia. he said i can confirm that. that wasn't true. that's where the trust really became an issue. yet here we are a month later and finally flynn is out. not after the chat with the russians and the lie, not after the expressed concerns that he's a russian blackmail target. it took headlines in three major newspapers to get the president to let flynn go. the republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee bob corker said flynn may need to testify before the u.s. congress. democrats are calling for an investigation into what nancy pelosi knows the full extent of russia's financial, personal and political grip on president trump. will talk sanctions, why praise
putin? john roberts is on the north line what did the white house and what did they know it? >> a lot to impact today again, shep. the white house taking on the defense of it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. when you look at the crime, there's no there-there. sean spicer in the briefing said the white house first started talking about this on or before january 13. i remember them answering questions about it. inquiries are being made as to what the national security advisor talked about when talking to his russian counter part. we're told they were exchanging pleasant tries about christmas, setting up a telephone call between the president when he becomes president at least and the president of russia, vladimir putin and nothing beyond that. we learned from sean spicer on january 26 the white house was informed by the department of
justice and sally yates who was the acting attorney general that in those phone calls, there may have been damaging information that the russians could use as blackmail. that was then taken to the white house. i asked sean spicer about what evidence was weighed in any kind of investigation that was conducted by the council's office. he wouldn't say specifically. he wouldn't say whether or not the transcripts of the communications were used but he said the determination was made that none of this was against the law. >> his view was this was not a violation. he was proved correct. the white house council undertook an extensive review. both of materials and questioning -- i'm not going to -- what i'll tell you, on multiple occasions they had an exhaustive and extensive questioning of general flynn on several occasions based on information that was provided to
them. >> what he said there, he wouldn't get into the specifics. that's when i asked him, the transcripts of the fbi of the intercepts that probably would have been gleaned by the national security agency through an appeal to the fisa court, the international wiretapping. he wouldn't get into the details of that. "the new york times" is reporting that the fbi interviewed michael flynn about all of this in his tenure as the national security advisor. >> shepard: what are members of congress saying? >> depends on the side of the aisle. democrats say this needs to be further investigated. some democrats held a press conference where they talked at length about it. republicans were talking about it. watch the difference between paul ryan and congressman elijah cummings had to say. we'll play it back to back. >> the president made the right decision to ask for his
resignation. you cannot have a national security advisor misleading the president and others. >> i know he's resigned. but he's not going to get off that easy. we need some answers to a lot of questions. >> and the questions that they say they want the answers to on the democratic side, what did the president know and when did he know it. chuck schumer said that the white house council cannot investigation this, that they're not an impartial investigative body. the department of justice cannot investigate this. looks like they're looking for a special outside prosecutor. so while the white house would like this to go away, the democrats are make sure it sticks like fly paper. >> shepard: there's another story brewing right now. that's the u.s. office of government ethics is calling for the white house to discipline the president's senior counselor, kellyanne conway
after she endorsed ivanka trump's clothing line after an interview on "fox and friends." she said she broke white house rules. what do we now? >> there was discussion about that. what happened in an early morning interview, happened to be on the fox news chance, go buy trump goods, i'm going to buy some myself. the white house passed that off as a political statement than anything. they said maybe there was no sort of contrived effort here to promote the sale of her goods. it was a reaction to something that she was saying. the white house said she was counselled about that. apparently the president hated that word "counselled" and sticking by kellyanne conway. the language specifically and the word "counsel" was greed upon by senior staff, that that's what they would say when they were asked the question. i asked spicer the question. the office of government ethics has kicked it up saying she should be disciplined.
that may spark more action at the white house. they can ignore what the oge says or take more disciplinary action. that can be as severe as suspension, could be firing. i don't expect they would ever go that far. maybe they'll talk to her or ignore it. we don't know. >> shepard: one more thing. the chair of the house ethics committee wants to know if the president had any private conversations in mar-a-largo after photos were tweeted. >> sean spicer talked about that as well. that's when the north korean missile launch happened. they said he was in a skiff, which is an information facility. you can't take cell phones or anything in there. learned about what was going on with north korea, came back to dinner. i think they had some dinner conversations about the general situations. nothing sensitive. after dinner, he went back into the skiff for more of an update with what was going on with
north korea. the white house is saying the protocols with national security were adhered to strictly here. they had one of these skiffs as it's called in mar-a-largo and the president never discussed anything outside of a sensitive nature. >> shepard: and then the reports that the white house is keeping a dossier and reporters. one reporter heard this from omarosa and was unhappy about it. >> sean spicer said nobody is keeping a dossier. before we went on the air, i listened to a recording of the exchange, some calling it a confrontation, the exchange between omarosa and mrs. ryan. i didn't hear dossier. i didn't hear everything being said. could be that particular part wasn't on the recording. i heard a disagreement between people that were old friends, somebody that was supposed to attend omarosa's wedding.
there were charges thrown back and forth about who is accurately representing the other and who might be acting on behalf of someone else. i never heard -- i don't want to get into it too much. i never heard the word "dossier" being used or a threat being thrown about. again, some of it was unintelligible. it's not the complete recording. maybe that was missing from the portion i listened to. i listened five or six minutes of the recording. >> shepard: thanks, john. good to see you. president trump wants the flynn debacle to be about leaks at the white house and some republicans are not asking the fbi to see if anybody has broken the law. but other republicans and powerful ones are joining the democrats who say that michael flynn's incident ties into russia's interference with our election and it's time for answers on that. that's coming up from the fox
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dateline washington for "the new york times," fbi agents interviewed michael t. flynn when she was national security advisor about his conversations with the russian ambassador. what did he say to them? john bussey is here from the "wall street journal." that's one question. there's more. >> a lot of questions at this stage. we're at the beginning of this. this resignation is not the end of it. this is the beginning. the investigation really gets momentum because there's so much concern about how this unfolded. if it was a trust question, why was that not dealt with when they first found that he had in fact talked about sanctions with the russian ambassador? that was in january. sean spicer says there's due process, we had to investigate this, look at. >> shepard: they had transcripts. >> and it was a trust issue. you said you didn't talk about sanctions. you did. i know that in january it's taken to mid february for the resignation to be asked for.
that leaves the trump administration open to a couple things. one, allegations. one is that they hoped it would go away. or that it was the press. "washington post" particularly, "the new york times," the "wall street journal" writing about this. >> shepard: all in the same day. >> not a good place to be in. who else knew about this? who else knew about the conversation this was taking place between flynn and the ambassador talking about sanctions? was that just michael flynn freelancing? this is the national security advisor and not talking about isis, ukraine or hot spots. he's talking about sanctions? is that just him or was he guided? >> shepard: like guided by the soon-to-be united states. we're not talking about president trump. if you're his advisor and you talk about sanctions and you don't have clearance, history says that's trouble. >> that's right. so it opens the question.
if he's subpoenaed, which it looks like it's going to happen before congress and to testify under oath, that is a question. who else was in on that discussion with you before you raised it with the ambassador from russia. an then the bigger question, how does this play together into the investigation that is already underway about how the russians interfered with the u.s. electoral process. was there some other communication that was going on? the white house has said no. but was there -- was this part of a quid pro quo? >> shepard: in other words, you help me get elected, we don't know those answers. >> we don't know them at all. that might be going too far. >> shepard: those are the questions. >> those are the questions being raised by democrats and by republicans now. this will stay with us for some time. >> shepard: a couple of notable republicans. we're not talking about john mccain and lindsey graham. this is something else.
>> yes. roy blunt from missouri is saying we need to get to the bottom of this. then the question of judgment. the national security advisor did not know that a conversation that he was having with the ambassador from russia was being monitored by the nsa and others? how did that slip by his thinking. >> shepard: how did he not realize of course, we're monitoring those conversations. that's what they do. >> that's what they do. so him saying we didn't talk about sanctions and not thinking that, well, maybe they are going to find this out some other way is just an extraordinary lapse of judgment. >> shepard: there's this recall that the president, then not president trump, businessman trump and russia, having meetings over there. the russians say we don't monitor billionaires that monitor our country. we monitor everybody that comes over here. not that trump was doing that. you wonder what is out there.
>> shepard: this is a president who has been almost pro russia in a lot of comments. he's finding way to excuse putin's behavior. is this part of that? >> shepard: we'll see. we'll be back in just a moment. i didn't know where i was from ethnically. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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>> shepard: michael flynn is gone but the problem is not. that's a quote from the democratic national committee which is calling an investigation. some republicans are demanding probes, a short time ago, the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell said it's highly likely that the senate intelligence committee will look at flynn's contact with the russian ambassador. catherine herridge has more. >> house democrats, john conyers
and elijah cummings said they want a full briefing on the phone calls. at the same event, we heard from the house intelligence committee's ranking democrat, adam shipp. >> there were course of contacts that is within the scope of what the house intelligence committee will be investigating, and i think those are among the most serious allegations. if there's any form of collusion with the russians, that would be of the utmost gravity. >> democrats dispute the white house's position that flynn did not commit any violations and it was a trust issue for the president. just for context, this statement from mitch mcconnell is extremely important because republican control these committees and they'll have sign off if flynn is called to
testify before the end of the recess. mcconnell is saying that's highly likely this is a signal for a green light? and some republicans say they want an investigation. >> the house committee told fox news that he's asking for an assessment of the media leaks because they reviewed details of discussions and mets. the release of this information from the phone call with the russian ambassador is problematic because in the united states, there are special protections to shield americans when the intelligence community is monitoring a foreign national and picks up their conversation. unmasking the caller needs sign-off at the highest levels of the government. >> if you look at the fact that an american was having a phone call listened to by the government and leaked to the press, if the shoe was on the other foot here and this was a democrat, you can imagine the democrats in the house and senate would be going crazy. >> for their part, democrats say this is really not about the
leaks, it's about this relationship between the trump administration as well as russia and any investigation of the leaks they feel can be handles reasonably and effectively by the justice department. it's not an issue for congress, shep. >> shepard: thank you. catherine herridge live. more on the fallout from flynn's forced resignation as the president's national security advisor. republicans and democrats calling to an investigation to his connections to russia. andrew napolitano is here. you hear it over and over, this is about trust, it's about trust. it's not about legal. it's about legal, isn't it? >> there's a lot of potential legal issues. general flynn will have to conduct council. if the house or the senate, more likely the senate calls him to testify, he will probably refuse to answer because he's in jeopardy of prosecution. >> shepard: the senate intelligence committee. >> right. or testify under some sort of
immunity. the statute is a 1799. john adams, the second president, said the person that cannot conduct foreign policy while they're not in the government and can't conduct foreign policy in the government and not authorized to speak for the government. so if he was conducting a foreign policy of some sort like on behalf of the president-elect at the time he had this conversation with the russian foreign minister, he would have violated that statute. no one has been prosecuted for this. on the other hand, if he lied to the fbi, they will not take that lightly and they prosecute that aggressively. just ask martha stewart or roger clemens. >> shepard: it's a felony. >> yes. these are the types of things that the fbi takes aggressively. if they think he did, they'll conduct an investigation.
that's another reason that he won't answer questions. >> shepard: they really want to know, was there a quid pro quo with the russians. did they release information from the dnc to hurt hillary clinton. in return, did donald trump is a i -- say, we will release the sanctions. >> could this be the tip of an iceberg of other relationships that might corrupt the government, but those who are looking at this have a right to know, which would be the press, the eyes and ears of all of us as well as those members of congress that feel that there's trouble here and we need to know about it. >> shepard: there is this discussion and there was discussion in the last hour about how there are a lot of people within the intelligence organizations that may be wanting to hurt this president. he did say a lot of things about them on the way to office. >> he did. >> shepard: when you blame the leaks and not the substance, there's a problem.
>> correct. which would -- >> shepard: if the leaks were wrong, it would be different. >> if the leaks were true, if the transcripts that we haven't seen are true and accurate transcripts of the conversations, then the problem is deeper than the leaks. the leaks is an issue. >> shepard: barack obama asked bush 43, bush 41. they're a problem. >> if the intelligence community is trying to embarrass the president because they don't like him or they want to teach him a lesson, that is a very serious issue. but you're right, it avoids the issue of the accuracy of whatever it was stated in the transcripts, which we haven't seen. i'll take it one step further. if those transcripts are leaked to somebody in the press like jimmy rosen and we publish them, we're immune from the consequences even though whoever stole them and gave them to rosen -- i'm using jimmy as a hypothetical here, it's a crime.
>> shepard: they want this about trust. when you find out he lied to the vice president of the united states, that's where rubber meets the road. does not meet the road when the washington, "the new york times" and the "wall street journal" make it a headline story above the fold. in this case, that's what it took. didn't take finding out he lied to the president. it took the headlines. >> it's egregious. the president has known about this for weeks. it didn't pop up last night or the night before. listen, one could make the argument that the president was aware of the conversations and knew what was said and wants to wash his hands of it. general flynn is being thrown under the bus. another argument could be he did this on his own because he think this is what the president-elect wanted to do but didn't want to tell him. when he got caught, he couldn't tell the truth. who knows? >> shepard: we may find out. thanks, judge. >> yes. >> shepard: as the white house deals with there, there's word
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now would be a good time to have new car replacement. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like me. it's good to be in good hands. >> shepard: hello russia! your spy ship is patrolling off of our east coast in the united states. that's what two u.s. officials tell fox news. no word where it's going or what it's doing. it can intercept communications and has surface to air missiles. last check, the russian spy ship was about 70 miles or so off the coast of delaware and southern new jersey there moving north at 10 miles an hour. u.s. waters extend 12 miles from the short. so that is the u.s. waters line. this is in international waters. u.s. officials say this is the first time that a russian spy
ship has gotten this close to the waters since president trump took waters. he has said that he wants to improve relations with vladimir putin. one u.s. official said at this point, the ship is not a huge concern, but we're keeping our eyes on it. trace gallagher has this. what more do we know about this ship of no concern? >> shep, the ship made a port call in cuba and made its way up the east coast. experts say at some point it will likely head back down to cuba. meantime, there's four u.s. navy vessels conducting routine training exercises. the u.s. ships are not shadowing the russian vessel but they're monitoring it. there's no u.s. aircraft carriers off the east coast. remember, while the russian ship is gathering information off of our coast, there's american
ships off the coast of russia. as reminded many times, they're not there to study whales. >> and the russians are deploying cruise missiles? >> yes, two battalions of ground launched cruise missiles. one in the southern part of the country and another location that is not known. that violates a 1987 treaty that bans land-based missiles. the obama administration tried to get russia to comply with the treaty when the missile system was in the testing phase. now the systems are fully operational. it's a major concern for the pentagon who has to decide if the best way to respond is by deploying additional missile defenses in europe or by strategically placing more air and sea-based missiles. either way, the experts say the move by russia cannot go unanswered. shep?
>> shepard: we've confirmed a report, i understand, that russian jets buzzed a u.s. destroyer last week. >> yeah, it happened in the black sea. first a pair of su 24 fighter jets conducted what the military described as potentially dangerous fly-byes by a destroyer. the third incident is a russian transport plane. all three pieces were an unusually low altitude and high speed. the russians did not respond to the radio requests, this comes as the trump administration is trying to improve relations with moscow. today we should note, russian officials said the resignation of michael flynn may be a sign the new administration is infected by anti-russia feelings. is shep? >> trace gallagher, thank you.
the united states could pay a heavy price should the united states team up with russia to be beat isis. a partnership with russia could push away allies. human rights groups have accused the russians of war crimes in syria. president trump told sean hannity it would be a great thing to get along with russia and to go out together and knock the hell out of isis. peter doocy is on capitol hill. analysts say this is not worth it. >> the reason they're saying that, shep, they don't think the united states and russia have any shared interests other than wanting to keep isis out of their countries. so the one expert witness summed it up for the house armed services committee was like this. >> partnering with the russians to destroy isil in my view comes at a high political cost and
offers very little in return operationally. >> that witness from the rand corporation, a think tank has concluded that participating in the kind of anti-terror raids that russia has been using in syria where there's widespread damage to hospitals and builds that could make some in the u.s. military uneasy if they were asked to participate. >> shepard: president trump said he talked to the russians about working together. >> right. they're serious enough about it at the white house that a significant portion of the phone call was dedicated to figuring out ways that the u.s. and russia could make more peace in syria and a something that president trump alluded to in an executive memo in january where he offered a plan featuring "identification of a new coalition partners in the fight against isis and policies to empower coalition partners to fight isis and its affiliates."
there's not been a formal alliance cast yet. however, he mentioned that president trump has said many times as a candidate, as a president, that if moscow wants to sends their people and resources to syria to fight isis, that's a good thing. shep? >> shepard: an apparent assassination in the middle of an airport. trained killers taking out the half brother of the north korean dictator. moments before he died, we're hearing the victim told workers exactly how the assassins got him. the story is insane and it's coming up. [vo] quickbooks introduces rodney.
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according to south korean media reports, two women stabbed him with poison's needles before running away in a taxi. kim junk um has killed dozens of people for different reasons. greg palkot has more. >> kim jong nam, a one-time possible heir apparent to kim jung il lived for several years outside of north korea. he fell out of favor with his half brother when he came to power in 2012. the estranged brother department die right away. he said somebody grabbed him, held him and he got dizzy. he did die. an autopsy is being done on his body. the alleged north korean female
assassins are at large. following other critical statements about kim jong-un, unincluding a comment that family succession is not a great thing, kim jong nam has been targeted before unsuccessfully. this time it worked. finally this comes after the banned midrange ballistic missile test over the weekend. pyongyang calls itself defense. shep, for north korea in a lot of ways, seals like the best defense is sometimes deadly offense. back to you. >> shepard: greg palkot live in london. donald trump promised to drain the swamp in washington. with no political experience, he would need an experienced gator. that's how kennedy is describing vice president pence. what the v.p. is doing behind the scenes. stay with us. rheumatoid arthritis like me,
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>> shepard: lots of conservatives said they felt better about voting for donald trump once they picked mike pence for his running made. we're learning more about how mike pence is championing conservative causes behind the scenes. he brought in true believers before the inauguration when he was leading the transition team. but his conservative support for limited government could put pence at odd's with america's first populism. kennedy is here. happy valentine's day. >> same to you. >> shepard: tell me, it's not as if -- people that love donald trump wouldn't say he's a textbook conservative. that would be more vice president pence. >> yes, absolutely. he's more of a traditional conservative. that means many things in
washington d.c. that means that you can be a social conservative and fight for traditionally conservative things like family values. could mean that you're the kind of the conservative that wants to conserve the resources of the federal government and making it smaller. >> your kind. >> one that is fiscally conservatives. and what we know about the president, populism is his. so it's not a surprise that someone like mike pence who is not only been a representative in congress but he's been the governor of a pretty good size state in the midwest. so he knows how to govern and lead and has a lot of relationships and a totally different temperament than the president and he's using those things, including fact that his
politically tethered with-like-minded people. >> shepard: wonder how he feels why mike flynn is out of a job. that's the kind of influence the vice president has. he's a mild mannered and unflappable person. this unset and angered him. >> shepard: sounds like he's the only one that didn't know. >> someone knew. >> shepard: the president knew for a while news. >> a couple weeks. >> shepard: 17 days. >> yes. >> shepard: is he exerting power in other ways? >> we're seeing a power with the presidency and followed in the vice presidency. for him, it's smart to concentrate as much influence as he can over this president. is it what is best for the nation? that remains to be seen. what we're seeing here, everybody is out for themselves.
this isn't a president that necessarily represents the party. so it's not about the party faithful and their loyalty. they're like millennials. >> shepard: trying to figure out what it is about. it's like where will this end up? it's clearly a work in progress. >> it is. we've never seen anything like that. i think there's a lot of people that are optimistic, hoping that that means because it's going to be so nontraditional that it's better for the country. business of usual has not worked. so that's why the nonpopulism so -- >> shepard: it's hope. hope is a strategy. >> as long as you don't combine it with change. that upset some people. >> shepard: happy valentine's day. >> a day filled with chocolate and sunshine. >> shepard: hopefully. we approximately right back. (vo) this is not a video game.
>> shepard: the ladies of uconn could be the best basketball team ever. the huskies are in a 100-game winning streak after beating south carolina last night. no other college team has done that, mens or womens. the last time they lost a game was november of 2014. average margin of victory, 38 points. instead of confetti, fake $100 bills came raining down from the ceiling last night. on this day in 1929, the scottish scientist alexander fleming went public with a discovery. months earlier, he noticed strange mold that killed off bacteria. he identified it as penicillin. during world war ii, doctors used penicillin to treat soldiers in battle. fleming won a prize for this after he first introduced
penicillin to the world 88 years ago today. should news break out, we'll break in. breaking news changes everything even on valentine's day. the dow has done it again. a broken record. music to neil cavuto's ears. we'll see you later. >> neil: all right. certainly a lot of democrats are saying show me the hearings. a lot of people on wall street are saying show me the money. we had big gains today. stocks strongly advancing today. we'll tell you why that is and the anomaly that that is. welcome. i'm neil cavuto. this is "your world." a confusing fast-paced crazy world. at this hour, president trump is meeting with john kelly, his new attorney general, john sessions. they're at the white house over