tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News July 12, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
reports that he's out of the icu. he had an infection. doctors say he remains in serious condition and will need more surgery. the majority whip is one among several shot on the baseball field last month. i'm harris. thanks for watching fox news. here's shep. >> shepard: it's noon on the west coast. 3:00 at the white house. president trump has been attacking critics and defending his son. behind closed doors, we're hearing how donald trump jr.'s extraordinary e-mails are affecting life in the west wing and now concerns that impact will ripple down the streets of capitol hill affecting republicans plans for everything. from healthcare to taxes. we're expecting to hear from the white house shortly. we'll bring you news from moscow where the kremlin is now denying ties with the russian lawyer at the center of the controversy. thanks for that. ahead, what vladimir putin's people are saying, if you're interested. we'll also take a close look at the legal issues for these three. you've heard people throw around
words like collusion and conspiracy. today you'll hear from a former prosecutor said that the e-mail may not be enough evidence on its own but the door is open for the investigators. the nominee to lead the fbi tells senators how he would handle the russian investigation and how he would run the bureau. >> i believe to my core that there's only one right way to do this job. that is with strict independence, by the book, playing it straight, faithful to the constitution, faithful to our laws and faithful to the best practices of the institution. >> so there was that. and he directly contradicted the commander-in-chief today while sitting right there. let's get to it. first from the fox news deck this tuesday afternoon, we're now expecting the white house at any moment to respond to news that donald trump jr. met with a russian lawyer after a middleman
said she was a russian official that had dirt on hillary clinton. that it was part of the russian government's support for then candidate donald trump. to be perfectly clear, the russians put their thumb on the scales of our democracy. so they're investigating it obviously. white house deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders is right now set to begin an off camera briefing from reporters. a live at the camera. the camera is great these days. we get the great seal of the white house and words in the background that we're not allowed to play as they're said. we're not. wu can bring you the information as it happens and we'll play it later. the administration won't let us show her on camera or play the sound. third day in a row. that will let us listen. we'll tell you what sarah huckabee sanders is saying as she says it. we'll have live updates when she starts and then play back the sound when it's over as i mentioned. first president trump is defending his oldest son and lashing out at the news media
for its coverage with a russian lawyer. donald trump jr. told hannity he went for the meeting as a courtesy for an acquaintance. his own e-mails show "i love it" after a middleman told him a russian lawyer had information that was part of russia's effort to help candidate trump. donald trump jr. in that interview described the meeting as nothing. he said he doesn't think his sirens went up because it was all pre-russia mania. >> in retrospect, i would have done things differently, this is before the russia mania. this is before they were building it in the press. this is opposition research. they had something, maybe concrete evidence to the stories i had been hearing about, that were probably been reported for years, not just during the campaign. i wanted to hear it out. really, it went nowhere and was apparent that that is what the meeting was about. >> shepard: today president trump tweeted --
>> shepard: of course, when it comes to transparency, donald trump released the e-mails minutes before "the new york times" published them in detail. the times reports that the president's son was told we're going to bring these things, we're going to print the e-mails. he tweeted copies of the e-mails replying for request for content. this was not being transparency. then there's the president's claim that the russian investigation is a witch hunt. fox news can confirm, it's not. current and former officials that russian interfered in our election, put their thumb on the scales of democracy and that vladimir putin ordered the thumbs and all the meddling. lots of meddling in different
ways to attempt to change our democracy from moscow. some people think it's okay. it's astounding. president trump's pick for the fbi director testified today. the trump pick for the fbi director that special counsel robert mueller's investigation on russia is not a witch hunt. obviously. we'll have more ahead from that hearing. the daily beast reports that the russian lawyer has ties to the russian military and intelligence officials including officials from two of the kremlin's top intelligence agencies. according to the website, an american financial executive who has investigated russian corruption for a decade is set to brief the senate judiciary on the woman's ties to the russian government. this is not a variable. this is not an unknown. she is fully tied to the russian government and russian oligarchs. there's no doubt. e-mails show the middleman told
donald trump jr. that she was a government attorney for russian. in the initial message to donald trump jr., the british publicist rob goldstone wrote -- >> russian officials deny she has any connection to the kremlin, of course. a spokesman for vladimir putin saided the on the whole, it definitely looks like a long-running soap opera, which can compete with the most successful tv series airing in the united states, however, there's no since drawing us to such soap operas since we're not playing any roles in it except for the whole thumb thing. state department officials say that president putin denies meddling in the united states election after president trump pressed him on it. that's a quote on the issue,
during the leader's first face-to-face meeting in germany last week. president trump through his private legal team has said that he does not know the russian lawyer who met with his son. the president's son-in-law and the president's former campaign manager paul manafort did know about the beating. they knew about it because they were there. the chief white house corresponde corresponde correspondent john roberts in paris. who else did donald trump jr. say about his meeting? >> he will be leaving for paris in the next half hour. we expect to get more about the briefing. it's going to be a hot topic of conversation. we expect the christian broadcasting network to get excerpts of the interview with pat robertson. they talked about vladimir putin but they didn't talk about don jr. and this e-mail controversy.
this has caused a huge political and p.r. problem for the president because it appears to give fuel to the fire to the worst of what people are saying that the russians wanted to interfere in the u.s. election and some members of the trump campaign were eager to hear about it. reading from that e-mail exchange between rob goldstone and donald trump jr., goldstone wrote, and i quote, "crown prosecutor of rush met with aras this morning who is an acquaintance of donald trump jr. in their meeting, offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be useful to your father." donald trump jr. is playing this down saying nothing came out of the meeting and that he didn't know what this information was all about when he agreed to take the meeting. here's more of what he said on "hannity" last night. >> i've been reading about
scandals that people were underreporting for a long time. maybe it had something to do with one of those things. it was her, perhaps involvement with the russian government. i can't vouch for the information. someone sent me an e-mail. i can't rep that. i read it, responded accordingly. there was something interesting there. it's common. >> as a result of these new revelations, some democrats are kicking around the word treason and describing what the donald trump did with the russian attorney. jay secula, said where is the crime here? listen to what he said this morning. >> what statute -- a meeting takes place between donald trump jr. and this lawyer. what statute has been violated? none. >> at the very least, shep, two things happened here. president trump came out of the g-20 meeting hoping to turn the page away from russia by confronting him on the issue of an interference in the election.
he hasn't been able to do that. now he's about to head to paris after 7:00 eastern and this visit here to see emanuel macron and participate in the bastille day festivities likely to be overshadowed by everything else back home, shep. >> shepard: what is the plan for his trip to paris, john? >> he will get here tomorrow morning, will visit with u.s. troops. goes over to the hospital for a ceremony there. then he's off to a bilateral meeting with macron. he will have a press conference. this is expected to come up. tomorrow morning he takes part in the big bastille day parade. it's very significant. you remember reporting on this a year ago, july 14th, 86 people were mowed down by a terrorist driving a truck in the resort city of nice. so this really is a big show of solidarity between the united states and france against isis, against terrorism and the
president wants that to be the headline and not this business going back home. >> shepard: john roberts as the sun has set over paris tonight. it's a category five hurricane in the white house. that's how one supporter of president trump describes the situation to "the washington post" in the wake of the russia controversy. journalists from "the washington post" and the associated press spoke with at least half a dozen officials and advisers says that the president is fuming behind closed doors. white house sources reportedly say the president is upset with the media, but not just -- but not his son, donald jr., who met with the lawyer. the sources paint a picture of the west wing in disarray with staffers divided about how to handle the crisis. president trump pushed back the
reports on twitter saying the white house is functioning perfectly, focused on healthcare, tax cuts, reform and many other things. i have very little time for watching tv. jonathan is here from the associated press that wrote about what's going on behind the scenes. a lot of people are talking about it. he's painting a very rosy picture. they thought from your articles and thought from journalists working there, this trip overseas went great. >> that's right. this has become a familiarly depressing routine for white house aides where they feel like they string together a couple good news cycles and the russian cloud appears on the horizon. they thought his speech in poland was a high point. on the way back to washington, they have to start coming up with a strategy how to deal with the don jr. e-mail story. >> shepard: in previous presidencie presidencies, to get access is a
complicated thing. you have to go through channels. that's now how it is now. this presidency, people come and go. lots of people -- you can walk into the oval office. reporters have access. that's how we know these things. how are they describing the general way the place is working? >> that is exactly right. far people -- there's more of an open door policy for president trump than his predecessors. president trump in his be a career and politics talks to a lot of people. some of those people paint the picture how things are going in the white house. the public hasn't seen the president since saturday. nobody has laid eyes on him since he returned from europe and they won't until he leaves tonight. we know that in private he's obviously very unhappy with the developments of the last few days. he's raging against the news media. those in his own team frustrated with the crisis.
chief of staff priebus takes the brunt of the heat. we don't expect changes to happen any time soon. there's dissatisfaction with the legal counsel as well. >> he sent out the tweet about how he doesn't have much time to watch television. after responding to like six things that happened on "fox and friends". >> that's right. >> shepard: maybe it was eight actually. >> between monday and today, he tweeted 10 to 12 times from links to "fox and friends." >> shepard: a journalist described on another network the president watching a dvr recording of "fox and friends." good for you. we like for rating. makes us money. yay! but come on. >> that is part of his routine. he likes to watch the morning shows either live or later in the day. he likes to shout back to the television if he sees something he doesn't like. >> joe and mika. >> yes. >> shepard: have a nice time. it's all available and up right
now from jonathan lamir from the associated press. check it out at the a.p. app. >> thank you. >> shepard: much more in the news ahead. they're doing the white house briefing. we'll have new details from that straightaway. i look in the mirr everyday. everyday, i think how fortunate i am. i think is today going to be the day, that we find a cure? i think how much i can do to help change people's lives. that helps me to keep going to cure this. my great great grandfather lived to be 118 years old. i've heard many stories from patients and their physicians about what they are going through. i often told people "oh i'm going to easily live to be 100" and, uh, it looks like i might not make it to retirement age. we are continually learning and unraveling what is behind this disease. i may not benefit from those breakthroughs, but i'm sure going to...
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the christian broadcast network. just happened. a real thing. john roberts mentioned this a minute ago. we just in our e-mails here at the fox news channel, we received excerpts from this. in it the president talked about putin and hillary clinton. he said "there's many things that i do are the exact opposite of what he would want" meaning putin. "so what i keep hearing about that he would have rather had trump, i think probably not because when i want a strong military, you know, she meaning hillary, wouldn't have spent the money on military." so says donald trump. so far no indication that pat robertson asked about his son's meeting with the russian lawyer. we'll bring you other major developments as we get them from that interview. we understand video is coming as well. if a foreign government offers
up information on your political opponent, you might want to call a lawyer. the feds would like to know about it as well very quickly, as a matter of fact. that from president trump's pick to run the fbi in his confirmation hearing today. so if russia calls, calls the fbi. christopher wray is his name. he wouldn't say whether donald trump jr. should have met with a lawyer after a middleman said she had information about hillary clinton related to the russian government's "support for mr. trump." >> i'm not really in a position to speak to it. >> let me ask you this. if i got a call from somebody saying the russian government wants to help lindsey graham get re-elected, they have dirt on his opponent, should i take that meet something. >> senator, you'd want to consult with good legal advisers before you did that. >> so the answer is should i call the fbi? >> i think it would be wise -- >> you're going to be the director of the fbi, pal. here's what i want you to tell every politician.
if you get a call from somebody suggesting a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state or any nonstate actor is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> all right. so i'll take it that we should call you. that's a great answer. >> shepard: fake news. wray's confirmation hearing comes after two months after president trump fired james comey. he was heading up the bureau's investigation into russian interference in the election. the possible collusion of members of team trump. fired. the president admitted the russian investigation was on his mind when he made the decision to fire james comey. we'll get to our chief intelligence correspondent
catherine herridge who is live on capitol hill and details of what wray had to say. the white house press briefing has not started yet. when it does, we'll get that. pat robertson and the president sitting down. a plethora of stuffia coming up. tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass, you get time for more life. this family wanted to keep the game going. son: hey mom, one more game? tech: with safelite, you get a text when we're on our way.
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number of questions about whether he was asked to take a loyalty pledge. that's something that james comey testified to last month. something that he felt uncomfortable with. wray confirmed today that he has met with the president along with a group of others at least twice and that he did not have the same experience. >> my loyalty is to the constitution, to the rule of law and to the mission of the fbi. no one asked me for any kind of loyalty oath at any point during this process. i sure as heck didn't offer one. >> also, what you told me yesterday, you wouldn't give one if asked. >> correct. >> and wray was also asked how he would deal with any kind of political pressure or influence from the white house. >> if the president asked you to do something unawful or unethical, what do you say? >> first, i would try to talk him out of it. if that failed, i would resign.
>> on russian government interference in the 2016 election, wray said consistently that he believed it's a seteled matter, shep. >> shepard: that white house news briefing has begun and sarah huckabee sanders is at the podium. she's just praised christopher wray for his testimony today. they're talking what a great job he did. we'll let you hear from that after the white house rules allow us to do that. what about meeting privately with president trump? he was asked about that as well, right? >> that's right. that was another sort of central line of questioning. comey testified last month after he was fired that he felt uncomfortable meeting with the president alone and this is one of the reasons he felt he had to document his conversations in the memos. it was the leaking of one of the memos that led to the special counsel appointment. wray did not rule out meeting
with the president. he thought it was unlikely. he would do so if he only spoke with his immediate superintendent first, rod rosenstein. >> would you meet with the oval office with no one else present? >> i think it would depend on the circumstances, senator. it would be highly unlikely. i think -- i could imagine a situation where there would be some national security matter where it might call for it. >> there were several occasions throughout the 3 1/2, 4-hour testimony where wray clearly separated himself on a number of key issues with the president. for example, what is called the enhanced interrogation program, the tactics that critics called torture. the bottom line for folks at home is that as a senators left the hearing, we had a bipartisan consensus that they will not block this nomination and the republican chairman, chuck grassley, wants to get the confirmation process complete before the mid august recess, shep.
>> shepard: catherine herridge in the hall on the hill. thank you. donald trump jr.'s e-mails racing legal questions about his meeting with the russian attorney. that meeting also included the president's campaign manager, paul manafort and his current senior adviser and son-in-law, jared kushner. some legal experts are pointing out that federal law makes it -- declaring it's a crime for a foreigner to give money or some other thing of value as its written in connection with a u.s. election. federal law states the following. no person shall knowingly solicit, accept or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by the paragraphs above in this section. paragraph b is a section that lists any other thing of value. of course, the russian man that set up the meeting promised very high level damaging information on hillary clinton. the question that remains is,
would that information qualify as a "thing of value" under u.s. law. donald trump jr. has denied any wrong doing. he said he was seeking the usual opposition research. elliot is here with the manhattan district attorney's office going to help us through this. so is that a thing of value as described under federal statutes? >> potentially. the immediate impact, prosecutors have a lot of tools at their discretion. to use search warrants and subpoenas, you need legal authorization. when i was a prosecutor, i couldn't walk in and say judge, sign this warrant. sign this subpoena. i had to say to the judge, here's a valid basis for why i'm seeking this and here's the criminal conduct that the evidence that i think will be ex-supposed as a result of your signing this warrant. but releasing the e-mails and showing welcomeness certainly to receiving this information or awareness of russian government interference, they have emboldened or given muleter power to walk into court and get
search warrants and subpoenas. so team trump before was alleged mueller is on some kind of fishing expedition. they might have made it broader to get warrants and subpoenas. >> shepard: any appearance on why it is that donald trump jr. would release the memos that "the new york times" will publish -- >> i think he's going to say -- >> shepard: come on. look at this. he got some extra stuff out there. >> he knew the times was going to release this. >> shepard: he knew it. he knew it. >> i don't think anyone will say from a political standpoint this is a win for them. at best, they're saying we are being transparency. >> shepard: transparency is coming before "the new york times" is about to print it. >> and before a year of saying
we have no idea if russian is behind this either. >> shepard: you can make an argument. this ain't a good thing. someone sends you an e-mail. i got stuff on hillary. it's part of the russian's government to help your dad. okay. but illegal. specifically i wonder about jared kushner. >> he's presumably filled out forms under penalty perjury if there material omissions of fact and knowingly omitted, he faces culpability for that. >> shepard: i know a lot of who have done that. it's not like an act. are you sure on this? you can go to prison if you mess this up. not if you lie. if you mess it up. you can go to prison for ten years. >> the challenge is showing it's materials. most would agree it's material. it's all over the world. the question is was it a knowing omission. criminal liability could be --
>> but they have given muleter tools now. >> shepard: he has the tools. whether people want to say it's nothing burger doesn't matter at all. robert mueller's thing now. great to see you. white house press briefing, details next. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish,
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atmore than one flavor, oruch texture, or color.ing. a good clean salad is so much more than green. and with panera catering, more for your event. panera. food as it should be. >> shepard: breaking. lots of stuff breaking. a lot of stuff here for you. just happening, brand new, white house press briefing going on. see the seal? that's all we can show you. a hand comes up every now and then. we can listen to it, but we can't let you listen to it because of transparency. so far she's been asked has the president spoken to d.t. jr. did he help him craft the response to the e-mails. not really sure. sarah huckabee sanders says the president still stands by his claim that this whole russia investigation where all of our intelligence agencies -- there's a hand. see there? they're asking questions.
all of our intelligence agencies that have looked into the thing, all of them, they're 100% sure the russians put their thumbs on the american democracy. next time it may be the candidate you love who is getting hurt. yet he still calls this whole thing a witch hunt. he said the reason -- she says the reason that the president still calls it a witch hunt and he know what's he has done and what he hasn't done and it's a witch hunt. more breaking news. video of note. we have the video of part of president trump's interview with pat robertson from cbn. this clip runs less than three minutes and has pat robertson asking the president in general terms about russia. here. >> what do you think he wants? i know he said what he wants. what do you think his game is? >> he wants what is good for russia. i want what is good for
united states. >> okay. >> and i think like in a case like syria where we can do a cease fire and there's other cases, many other cases where getting along can be a very positive thing. but always putin is going to want russia and trump is going to want united states. that's the way it is. sometimes you're not going to get along on things and sometimes you will. we had a good meeting. it was a face-to-face meeting. a long meeting. 2 hours and 15 minutes. everybody was surprised by the amount of time. that was a good thing, not a bad thing. yeah, i think we got along very well and that's a good thing. it's not a bad thing. >> of course not. >> people say they shouldn't get along. who are the people that are saying that? i think we got along very well. we're a tremendously powerful nuclear power. so are they. it doesn't make sense not to have some kind of a relationship. >> we used to have that thing called mutual ly destruct --
m.a.d. he can destroy us and we can do the same thing to them. >> it's something you don't like talking about, but again, we're the most powerful country in the world. we're getting more and more powerful because i'm a big military person. as an example, if hillary had won, our military would be decimated. our energy would be more expensive. that's what putin doesn't like about me. from day one, i wanted a strong military. he doesn't want to see that. from day one, i want fracking and everything else to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy. we're going to be self-supporting. we about are now. we're going to be exporting energy. he would like hillary where he wants wind mills. he would rather have that. energy prices goes up. russia relies on energy.
there's many things that i do that are the opposite that he would have want. when i keep hearing they would want trump. i think probably not. when i want a strong military, she wouldn't have spend the money on the military. when i want a strong military and tremendous energy, we're opening up coal, natural gas, fracking, the things that he would hate but nobody mentions that. >> shepard: what we mention is that the russians interfered with our election. the russians acted to help donald trump become president and to hurt the chances of hillary clinton becoming president. this is a fact. some senate republicans say that they're stating focused on healthcare and their agenda, not russia and donald trump jr.'s e-mails. >> that's the very thing that we need to not be distracted by. we have specific things that we have to do here. we've got to be disciplined and not get distracted by things that may be legitimate but right not in our lanes. >> the investigation in the
senate is being handled by the intelligence committee. i'm sure they will get to the bottom of whatever may have happened. >> shepard: there you go. the white house said that president trump is frustrated that the russia investigation is an issue. he just said -- hang on -- he just said this happened seconds ago in the white house briefing that we're not allowed to let you hear because the white house does not allows to let you hear it. they allow us to hear it but not you. sarah huckabee sanders just said, when asked about his mood, the president's mood, how is he doing? he said, well, that he remains focused on the agenda and would rather talk about healthcare. mitch mcconnell said he plans to lay out a revised gop healthcare bill tomorrow. tomorrow morning. revised gop healthcare bill coming in the morning. ten republican senators have come out against the first draft bill, which is dead. the gop can afford to lose by two votes.
mcconnell has also announced that the senate will delay its recess for two weeks in august to try to pass something. mike emanuel with the news on capitol hill what do we know about the roll-out of this updated and revised version of the original? >> shep, it's a critical time with the roll-out coming tomorrow morning at 11:30. nobody is saying the bill will be perfect. key republicans say they're looking for an upgrade. >> this is what i'm looking for. i'm looking for anything that will pick up the pieces from obamacare, the broken promises of obamacare and the fact that 72,000 iowans can't get insurance today. >> senate republicans should have a pretty good idea of what is in there since they talk healthcare every day at lunch. now it's about getting to 50 votes. >> hopefully we're moving in the right direction, which is voting yes on legislation that will give relief to the american people from obamacare, which has been a disaster, which has
caused premiums to sky rocket and given less choices to americans. we'll see where everybody is when the chips are down next week. >> after talking about doing this for seven years, pressure should be intense next week, shep. >> shepard: mike emanuel on the hill. we'll watch for that again. the revised healthcare bill expected in the morning. they told us. expect it in the morning. watch for that. we'll have details. changes, we'll find out what they are, whether the moderates and the conservatives can get on board with that. another question just came out in the white house press briefing which we're not allowed to let you watch. sarah huckabee sanders asked, why hasn't the president been seen in three or four days? what's going on? she said he has no secrets. he's having meetings with his staff. he is not hiding. he's off to paris and will answer questions from reporters tomorrow. normally two questions from the french press, two questions from the american press. who knows how they'll do it tomorrow. the hands are up. put your hands in the air like a
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ask your doctor about lyrica. >> shepard: the news keeps breaking. it's almost broken. just a minute ago, a second ago actually a second ago, hands in the air ended. the debriefing is over. that means we can play it back for you. there seems to be some confusion. we're hearing this, we get to hear it. so we're not frustrated or upset or anything. we have complete access. we hear it all. we can't show it to you. if we could, we would. we can't. that's it. not passing judgment in no way. we get to hear it and pick what we tell you ant don't tell you. we played it out. you can hear if it you want to. if you don't want to, flip over to the sum sons or bugs bunny or something. now we're going to play it for you. turn the sound around around let you hear the q&a. here it is. here you go.
>> has president trump had any communication with his son, donald trump jr., over the last several days and was he involved in helping donald trump jr. craft his statement to the press over the weekend on air force one as reported in "the new york times"? >> i'm not sure about specific communications. the nature of the conversations. i know they have spoken some point the last few days. beyond that, i don't have further details. >> how about the response? >> i'm not aware. >> is it not true? >> i'm not sure. i don't know the answer. i'll have to check and let you know. matthew? >> you talked about the strong character and integrity of christopher wray. he said during the hearing he does not consider mueller's probe to be a witch hunt. neither do the republican leaders in congress or rob rosenstein. why does the president continue to call it a witch hunt?
>> the president made it clear his position on that. it certainly has not changed. >> why he calls it a witch hunt? >> the president knows specifically any action or inaction that he's taken. that is pretty clear. >> does that include members of his campaign? >> look, we've been extremely clear. i know don jr. was and discussed it at least last night as does the president's personal counsel the last couple days and have walked through that very detailed. i think if there's been any evidence of collusion in 2016 that has come out at all or been discussed, that has actually happened, it would be between the dnc and the ukrainian government. i don't often quote "the new york times" but one of their reporters tweeted that while this example provides evidence of collusion "cooperation was between dnc officialed and officials from the ukrainian
government, not just some associates. information passed to the dnc from the ukrainian government directly targeted members of the trump campaign in an attempt to undermine it." that was just ukraine. the other big news is the foreign intelligence dossier. the president's political opponents funded and disseminated widely and based on discredited opposition resources. the only collusion that i've seen and certainly been proven would be between those people. >> the senate republicans have made changes to retain all of the tax increases on healthcare ceo. why? >> i can talk about the specific breakdown. the president from day one has been very clear about his priorities when it comes to the healthcare legislation. that's what he is focused on. beyond that i haven't gotten
into the details. >> what about tax increases? the republicans have criticized to fulfill the president's pledge to repeal the affordable care act when there are foundational tax increases. >> i'm not sure. the president is committed to fully repealing and replacing obamacare. >> can you do that and keep the tax increases? >> i'm not sure of the piece. >> on the issue of those within the administration that have had to subsequently admit or concede contacts with russians. mike flynn, jared kushner, the attorney general. now don jr. can you explained to us why there's this plague of amnesia that affects all of these people associated with the campaign and one country and one country only? >> look, i think -- if you want to talk about having relationships with russian, look no further than the clintons.
bill clinton was paid $500,000 to give a speech to a russian bank thanked by vladimir putin. hillary clinton allowed 1/5 uranium to be sold to a clinton foundation firm. i think if we're looking at russia relations with anybody, it would be with the clintons. >> my question is about the need and the requirement to re-remember things that were not disclosed or forgotten. i want your explanation. why so many people can't remember contacts with one nation and the inquiries lead to them remember and subsequently disclose them. what is the cause of this plague of amnesia? >> every day we do our best to give you the most accurate information we have and have offered to be as transparent as
possible. anyone looking into -- >> is there a pattern of not trying to be transparent? >> not at all. our goal is to be transparent as humanly possible and to put every bit of information that we have at the forefront and willing to cooperate with anybody that is looking into the matter. >> when it's not at the forefront, when it has to be conceived and security clearance forms have to be amended and there's a re-remembering forced on them by investigators or by journalists. how is that being at the forefront of transparency? >> every time a question have asked, we give you the best information we have and try to give you as full and accurate information at all times. >> have you done so in this case? >> absolutely. >> so we're all on the same page and now you have had time to look into all of these various meetings and people can remember things, are there any other additional meetings, members of
the campaign have had, advisers have had, during the campaign with any russian nationals, members of the campaign or advisers to the campaign? anything else that has come to light that we should know about? >> not that i'm aware. >> can i have one more follow up? >> sure. >> you've been doing a lot of briefings lately. will you continue doing the briefings or can we expect sean to be doing briefings in the future? >> you know, we're all trying to do the best job we can every day. sometimes it may be me, sometimes sean. >> on the meeting with the advisory board, somebody tweeted out a picture of the meeting the other day. there was a picture that showed people, state leaders laying their hands on the president as they prayed. there was an inference from that photo coverage that they were praying for him because of a political crisis. can you explain more about how the meeting came about and what it meant to the president to have them there?
>> the idea that somebody would only pray when they're in crisis i think makes you miss the entire point of what prayer is about. you should do that every day. that's -- you can do that in the best of times and the worst of times. it would be ridiculous that you suggest to do that is in a time of crisis. >> what does it mean -- >> the faith advisory board. they meet from time to time to speak about important issues to that community. john? >> thanks. christopher wray was asked whether he believes russia is a friend or a foe. he said in his answer that he believes that russia is a country that should be viewed wearily. i asked you this question monday and i didn't get an answer from you. i believe the same question was asked of you yesterday. you said you would get back to us. it's pretty basic question as to whether or not the president
views russia as a friend, partner, ally or an adversary? you have an answer on that question? >> i don't. john, i do assure you i will certainly work to make sure i get that answer to you. >> another question as it relates to the russian sanctions. you had mark short out here the other day talking about the need for a waiver on that bill. that's what the administration would like to see. if there's no waiver attached to the ball and it comes before the president's desk, would the president veto this legislation? >> right now we haven't made a determination. because we don't think that this is an all or nothing process, nor should it be. in the current form, the legislation poses a number of risks to u.s. government's ability to conduct foreign policy. until they get further in the process, we won't weigh-in any further. jeff? >> sarah, calling up on the chris wray testimony. he said he would pledge loyalty
to president trump. is that the president expects? >> i think the president expects anybody that works anywhere in government to pledge loyalty to the country. i think that would be the only pledge of loyalty that anybody would be asked. >> one follow up on russia. can you describe the president's mood? frustrated by these stories, frustrated by donald jr.? >> the president wants to be focused on his agenda. he would rather be talking about healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure, national security. that's his focus. when he's talking about those things, it's a good day for all americans. >> i want to ask you, the drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration. >> i think it's undermining the credibility of the media. they drip, drip, drip things that don't have much adieu about anything. >> this is tray gowdy the republican saying this drip, drip is undermining the
credibility of this administration. what do you say to congressman gowdy? >> i think i just answered that. >> you said being asked about the witch hunterlier. you said the president feels comfortable saying it's a witch hunt because he flows any action or inaction that he's taken. given the fact that jay sekulow that he wasn't aware of donald trump jr. meeting with someone that was there from the russian government, how can you say that the president does know any action that has taken place? >> i think jay sekulow discussed this at least and covered that nothing inappropriate had taken place. >> would you concede the president doesn't know? there may be actions that the president doesn't know about. >> the president has been clear about his opinion on the matter. >> two things. one on the issue of
transparency. we now have three straight week days were there hasn't been a single event on the president's schedule. that's unusual for any president, especially this one through the first month of his presidency who was constantly, you know, bringing the pooling. we saw him doing a number of events a day. why the sudden secrecy and hiding from the public that we're seeing now? why is the president not been visible to the public for the better part of a week? >> there's nothing secret about having meetings that i read off to you with members of his staff and members of the administration. the president had an incredibly robust schedule overseas in poland and germany. he's prepares to leave this afternoon where he will be spending quite a bit of time with a lot of you that are traveling and will be taking questions from you guys tomorrow. >> on the don jr.