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national guard troops are deployed to the mexico border to help secure it until president trump gets his wall, but who's paying for? also new developments from munster, germany, where a truck plowed into a crowd of people, killing two and injuring dozens more. we'll start this hour with new reporting from axios this afternoon. jonathan swan reporting white house chief of staff john kelly threatened to quit acourting to sources familiar with the event. kelly reportedly blew up at the president at an oval office meeting the same day. a senior administration official tried to pour cold water on the report and said calling it a threat was "probably too strong. it was more venting frustration." this coming amid the president reshuffling his cabinet and escalating trade tensions with china. president trump tweeting today the u.s. is losing $500 billion a year and has been losing billions of dollars for decades, cannot continue. well, this week the president
stoking the trade dispute threatening an additional $100 billion in tariffs. china responding saying it will use any measure to fight back and has very detailed countermeasures at its disposal if needed. china is retaliating with tariffs on $50 billion worth of u.s. products including pork, soybeans, wine and fruit. the it the for cat caused wild swings on wall street with the dow tumbling 570 points just yesterday. now, the president's new top economic adviser larry kudlow is trying to cool talk of a trade war, take a listen. >> we're not running a trade war. if you read this, you'll see, this is a proposed idea which will be vetted by usdr. nothing has been executed. there may be negotiations in the next couple of months, i hope so. i think everybody hopes so because i guess to your point in the beginning, i don't want to disrupt the economy, the president doesn't want to
disrupt the economy. we need not disrupt the economy. >> for more, let's bring in our panel charlie savage, washington correspondent for the "new york times" and alexi mccam mono, political reporter for axios and kevin cirilli from bloomberg news. but first to the reporting on john kelly that we started the hour with. and jonathan swan join us now by phone. jonathan, before we get to the panel. you heard how we overviewed your reporting. what else do you have? >> so kelly has threatened to quit a number of times over the last eight months. he often says he doesn't have to be there and didn't seek the job originally but this was more heated than it has been. he blew up at the president in a meeting the same day the president fired shulkin, though i'm told the blowup wasn't related to the shulkin firing. i'm told it had something to do with immigration but i don't have any more detail than that. kelly packed up personal belongings. i'm told that wasn't necessarily
because he was walking out but some colleagues were worried enough they got allies to calm him down. at one point homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen, the person he trusts most, also i believe working with the white house on this pla issue came around again to try and talk him through the issue. but it just really reflects how tense things are at the moment, john kelly has been cut out of the loop on a lot of things. president trump has made decisions without properly consulting john kelly in a normal way. the appointment of john bolton of national security adviser is one example of a decision that kelly thought was going to be a much more rigorous process but trump being trump, he moves quickly. >> any sense of where kelly is now in that arc of being upset at that moment with your reporting here? >> i don't have a 4:03 p.m.
update on his mood but i can tell you things are not wonderful in that relationship. >> jonathan, we'll call you at 4:04 and see where we're at. jonathan swan, thank you so much with that reporting for us exclusively from axios. charlie savage, not necessarily new, right, based on the headlines that have been coming out of the white house, jonathan making the comment that the power, the influence of this chief of staff has gone down in recent weeks. >> that is right, and general kelly has been this restraining disciplining force on president trump since he came in as chief of staff and one of the things that trump has said to hate is that same thing i just said, he doesn't like to be managed or be seen as being managed. there's been instances in which he's chewed out kelly and kelly has gone away grumbling he
doesn't have to be there and as a general he was never spoken to that way and doesn't like being spoken to that way. that's been a baseline in the tense relationship between these two extremely different people at the heart of power in the white house. but in recent weeks there's been a growing tension. trump has been floating ideas of getting rid of kelly and not having a chief of staff. more recently talking about more. we understand kelly has been telling trump he has to get rid of scott pruitt. >> is general kelly a person to get mad easily. >> >> i think the bottom line is how this is going to impact policy on the point of scott pruitt in particular, there's a concerted effort to keep him, that's different than what we've seen in the past when you had a situation where president trump would arguebly just kind of fire someone as they come but it's
interesting about the pruitt situation is that you have top leaders on capitol hill sticking by. you've got the senate majority leader suggesting that trying to bring in another political appointee process is going to be very difficult especially before the midterm smidterms. but you have the link of big donors trying to keep pruitt because they are donors in line with what the energy policy is. >> the energy policy, pruitt which is definitely under fire then we have this headline coming out of your paper here, alexi, we were listening to your colleague jonathan reporting on yet more frustration today. what's your read on what both kevin said as well as what jonathan swan was reporting. >> i agree with everything jonathan swan was saying. it's unrelated to david shulkin.
kelly feels he is the best communicator, best communications director, he's making policy announcements that have far-reaching implications on twitter, whether firing a top level cabinet member or announcing a possible trade war with china. what we need to look for is how kelly is trying to stay on the same page with donald trump and i'm told from aides on the hill that there are times when john kelly and president trump are on the same page and then donald trump goes rogue that makes kelly feel undermine so we need to look at whether there's more cooperation with john kelly or whether he feels emboldened to continue acting on his own. >> it's that management of the presidential pendulum. let's move to the tariff which is was brought up by fellow panelists here.
we're seeing some republicans, folks from his own party, saying this is not a good idea, let's not do this. and i'm tamping down some of the language that has been used by republicans. where is this going with his side of the party? >> it's clear the moneyed elite wing of the gop as well as the rural stating a chu state agricf his base don't want soybean exports and pork exports and so forth to be gutted because they can't sell them in china or without a huge tax levied on them. but hating trade deficits and being deeply suspicious of china and the huge trade deficit afic united states has run for years seems to be one of the core things donald trump believes and
has for a long time. he seems to relish getting into a trade war with china even as his advisers like larry kudlow are like we don't want to do this. this may be one of the places where the president will be the president regardless of what the people around him are urging him not to do. >> so true, right, kevin? it's been one of the president's major drum beats during election perio periods. but the fact that these are steel and aluminum tariffs that are hurting his, trump, states and now we're looking at potential tariffs he's announced that will hurt the base he would like to get support from. will there be fallouts in the midterm that he won't have to face but republican congress members may? >> it's a great question. earlier this week mitch mcconnell telling a local publication, kentucky, that they're expecting a political hurricane in the midterms, a
blue wave and they're trying to figure out whether it's going to be a hurricane but to bring it back to the policy, you have wall street jittery, you have the ag sector jittery, you have two republican senators jittery. but if you think back to a few weeks ago when the president gave the rhetoric about trade and aluminum tariffs we saw the same reaction coming from wall street but then we saw what's known as carveouts and more than 70% of the steel and aluminum tariffs were exempted worldwide. earlier this week when i spoke with larry kudlow, the president's chief economic adviser he told me nothing has been enacted yet so this is fiery rhetoric but the comment period is going to be several, several months so this is really an opening bid and a storyline we'll be following for some time to come. >> with the steel and aluminum, that happened, he signed
something. we'll see what he may or may not sign. alexi, you get the final word. when you look at these potential tariffs, what can make it to black-and-white on paper? >> well, i think we've seen what president trump has said he's wanted, the specific tariffs against china. going back to your political angle, this is detrimental for republicans. in ohio's seventh district, one in seven rows of soybeans are sold to china and that's trump country through and through, republicans need that. trump is governing by bluffing, he announces these things as a starting point for negotiations, not a policy rollout and that has far reaching implications for people seeking reelection. he's sort of putting his entire party in general any this election cycle. >> and his party wants to talk
about tax deal, they got that done and that's what they want. >> and that's not moving the needle for them. >> great commentary, alexi, thank you so much, charlie savage and kevin cirilli, have a good saturday. >> thanks, you too. we're following breaking news out of germany where a van plowed into a crowd leaving at least three dead, including the driver, more than 30 people injured in the city of munster in the western part of the country, german police telling nbc news there is no indication the attack was linked to islamic terror. ta tammy leitner joins us live from london. we're getting new information. what do you have? >> we know the suspect is a german-born citizen and we've learned from our nbc investigative partner in germany that they have identified the suspect through sources as someone named yenz r. police say there's no indication this relates to islamic terror. investigators say the leading
theory at this point is that the man was suicidal. investigators are examining his past history of mental illness. in addition, german law enforcement is investigating any ties the driver may have had to right wing extremists. we know the suspect took his own life. police believe he was driving the vehicle and there was no one else involved. the attack happened around 3:27 local time in money jer, germany, and police are not calling this a terror attack. the person identified by sources as yenz r drove into a crowded area of town. this was one of the first nice warm days so people were enjoying the outdoor cafes and warm weather. police have closed down the area. investigators trying to nail down a motive, interviewing witnesses. they'll be searching that area as well as the area where he lived and his vehicle, speaking with witnesses most likely throughout the evening. >> we'll follow that with you, thank you so much. nbc's tammy lighteneitner.
students keeping the momentum going in their calls for tougher gun laws. i'll talk with a parkland survivor about the next phase of their movement, next. over the years, paul and i have met regularly with our ameriprise advisor. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. giving us the ability to add on for an important member of our family. welcome home mom. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms
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>> the push continues from student activists calling on lawmakers to reform gun laws, students from parkland, florida, helped organize dozens of town halls across the country today, more than 12 of them are being held in 34 state, joining me is dimitry hoff, a senior at marjory stone man douglas high school and he spoke on the day of our lives demonstrations that were happening around the country. thank you for being with us, dimitry. give me a sense of what you are hearing in terms of lawmakers showing up at these town halls. what is being heard? >> i can tell you that the town hall that i have been to and the teen political forum i went to a couple days ago we had a lot of commissioners there locally, not a lot of state representatives have been coming to the hotown halls here in florida but i've been hearing positive things about the town halls happening
across the country, a lot of kids have been getting answers for their questions and i think that's great that the politicians and representatives are hearing us and giving us the answers we deserve. >> we understand there's about 120, over 100 lawmakers that did not go to the town hall in their district. what are you hearing about that and your response? >> my response is that they have to realize we are the generation coming forth and we will be voting in the midterm elections and they have to start realizing that if they don't work for us and don't listen to us and start changing the issues that surround our communities and listen to our concerns then we're not going to be voting for them when the midterms come around and they shouldn't expect us to so they need to start being more proactive about how they're treating their constituents because when the midterms come around they may lose their seat. >> in one word, dimitry, how
would you characterize these town halls in terms of how they've gone so far? in terms of tone? >> positively. >> let me ask you this. you're part of a nonprofit called students speak up, right? >> that is correct. >> give me a sense -- it's a non-partisan effort here but then there's also the "washington post" that put out at least some understanding of those who were at the march for our lives and almost 80% said that they were left leaning. but you're saying your effort is non-partisan. >> yeah, i think that when we speak about the issue of non-partisanship we have to realize that yes the majority of people who want gun reform are left-leaning, whoouhowever what want is our politicians, whether state or local, to come -- reach
across the aisle to come up with a bipartisan solution. so we are non-partisan in the fact that we are not left-leaning or right-leaning, we just want politicians to come together and solve the issues that surround communities across the nation, whether it's gun reform or anything, really. >> in one word, energy higher or lower since march for our lives as you look at it today from this movement in. >> higher. every single day we strive to make more change. we've said the march for our lives is not the end and we plan to go forward from here. >> dimitry, thanks for your time. dimit dimitry hoff. >> thank you so much for having me. how the president's only comments about the adult film star could help her case. this is the ocean.
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donald trump's comments on air force one created huge liability for michael cohen. he threw him under the bus, he put him in the cross heches, whatever metaphor you want to use. this situation got more complicated for michael cohen and donald trump on thursday. stormy daniels attorney referring to the president's first public comments about his
client in which he denied knowing anything about the $130,000 alleged hush money payment made by his attorney michael cohen. for his parent, cohen says he used his own money to make the payment and neither the trump organization nor the campaign was a party to the transaction, avenatti took to twitter as well saying "a major announcement in the coming days to identify the thug who threatened ms. clifford in las vegas in 2011 two leave trump alone while making reference to her little girl." cohen has previously denied threatening daniels, the white house denied the allegations against the president so far. here with us now, karen desoto, a defense attorney. chermichael singleton, deputy chief of staff at the department of housing and urban development and chris cofinas. what do you make of avenatti's
statement on "a.m. joy"? >> i think a lot of the attorneys in this case have ethical problems but he's right in this sense, he did throe cohen under the bus. because when you look at the agreement that was signed, there was a space for donald trump's signature. that's problematic, are you the client or the attorney? so there's serious ethical problems for mr. cohen that he has to answer to from somebody. where the payment came from, as an attorney, we have conflicts and rules of conduct and you can't be both the client and the attorney. you can but was that known? stormy daniels was also represented by an attorney so there's so many complicated legal issues but they just made it more complicated for cohen and his professional conduct will be questioned.
>> you laid out the nuances based on the commentary coming from the president. chris, were you surprised the president answered the question? >> i'm never surprised anymore about what president trump says or doesn't say. to be honest i think he can't help himself. >> why on air force one at this moment in time. >> he may have been ought off guard. i don't think he has the self-discipline to avoid political policy or personal questions and what concerns me is not the issue going on here about -- consequences about stormy daniels or not but what is he going to do policy wise to distract the american people? that's where we should get concerned. we've seen a pattern of behavior that when he gets into a
difficult position he becomes more erratic on more dangerous and significant issues on this. >> what do you any. >> when you think about michael avenatti, i remember when he sent out the tweet and people watched because they thought there would be a bombshell dropped in the interview and it didn't occur. >> there was the disk he was tweeting out. it wasn't part of the interview but part of that release. >> right, and it made people think stormy daniels was going to say something that related to the image of the disk and it didn't occur so i think michael has to be careful and strategic in how he deals with the media as it relates to this and the president, you don't want to continue to send out tweets and fall short days and weeks later
when there's anticipation from journalists and the public who are obviously intrigued by this, as it relates to the president, i'm not surprised that he finally said something and if you recall i thought he was going to say something weeks earlier. when you look at the patterns of president trump, he can only maintain some level of self-discipline but in the long run he feels he has an obligation to say something even if his attorneys and advisers are telling him it's not in his best interest. >> i want to play more about what might be the major announcement related to this statement avenatti said. >> that threat could have come from a handful of places and we're pretty certain we know where and we're going to get to the bottom. we'll make an announcement related to that and we won't stop, joy, not next week or
month or year. >> the threat? >> well, i understand wanting to get to the bottom of something but the time to get to the bottom of it was 2011. it's my understanding there was no police report if it was terroristic threat, in a legal sense it's over so what are they trying to get to the bottom of? and this has information to do with a porn star, it's very sensational. we're not looking at it for obviously the legal consequences, it's just very sensational. >> you don't think he has anything? >> whether he does or not, it was 2011 so legally it doesn't matter but if he believes it's going to have an impact on his presidency from 2011, that's another issue. why exactly are we talking about it. karen desoto, shermichael
singleton and crisco fhri chris owe you both one. >> what's different about troops being deployed to the border this time and what can we learn about previous attempts? to help manage blood sugar. every meal. every craving. it's the choices you make when managing blood sugar that are the real victories. glucerna. everyday progress. ...most people. but on the inside, i feel chronic, widespread pain.
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troops are heading to the u.s./mexico border this weekend in response to the president's order for tighter security, texas began sending 250 troops, arizona will follow suit with 150. this is the first wave of up to 4,000 approved last night by defense secretary james mattis. president trump tweeting "we are sealing up our southern border, the people of our great country want safety and security, the dems have been a disaster on this very important issue." i'll bring in hipolito acosta, a former border patrol agent and author of several books, including one called "deep in the shadows" which is his book about human trafficking. hipolito, thank you for being with us. how does this work? the national guardsmen are now heading down there at the moment, we understand they're in the hundreds. how do they work with the border patrol? >> well, they work in a support
role. they don't participate in anybody apprehending but they play a crucial role. we've had national guardsmen deployed since 2010 without any break in there so it's nothing new. it's not a concept. this concept was used by both president bush and president obama and i think the president certainly -- the public sees this as a sensationalized deployment and certainly the person contributes a lot to that in his announcements but the reality this has been done before, it provides support and by the way i need to mention that most of the agents on the field support this concept from the president. >> you were mentioning previous administrations, george w. bush, 6,000 was the number he asked for. is this effective in the idea of
securing the border? of keeping those from entering and crossing the border illegally from your experience? >> well, i think it's an important component. i think the administration is keen on not relying on what -- not just concept. the president talks about the wall, he talks about the national guardsmen. the standard he employs, we had 310,000 people still trying to enter the united states border during the past year even though that's considered a low number, that's a huge number and, by the way, the cartels in mexico control the human smuggling, the people coming in are placed at great risk. they pay huge amounts of money to get into the country. from personal experience when i got smuggled into the united states as a young agent i got injured seriously, we had a 13-year-old girl that was raped and conditions are worse with the cartels controlling the criminal activity along the boarder so i don't think that by saying that we only have 300,000
apprehensions, it's an acceptable standard. >> who calls the shots? will it be the border patrol? how did i.c.e. work in this? >> i.c.e. has a presence along the border and remember i.c.e. has the presence in the interior enforcements. i.c.e. has the presence outside the united states so it's only one effort to secure the borders but the national guard play a huge role. like i said, we have had military operations during this week along the southern border, the public probably doesn't know they're engaged, not in the levels we saw in the past and will see again, but i think the important thing will be pushed forward by the administration and i want to say that the topic of immigration is being given the attention by the president that has never been given before. it's a priority in securing the border but hopefully they will
continue with their interior enforcement operations. >> so if you had a choice of more national guard or more wall or higher wall, which would you select? >> i think that the -- they're all components. i don't think any in itself is going to be the total answer for the issue of immigration. i think it's a combination. we won't see a wall from california to texas. i think it will be a partial deterrent that will be built and i think the national guard will play a crucial role but i think i want to say that they have been playing that role already. they'll continue doing so. i think it's sensationalized because it's an announcement by president trump but it's a continuation of what has already happened in the past. >> pragmatic view from hipolito acosta. thank you again for joining the show. >> thank you. joining me now, california democratic congressman and
member of the house arms services committee john garamendi. congressman, thanks for being with us. what did you think of what hipolito told us? >> i think he has it mostly correct. the national guard has been on the border for more than a decade here in california. we have 55 national guardsmen deployed everyday along the border doing a variety of tasks, mostly handling the intelligence operation, operating the drones, other listening devices and providing support, all of which has been helpful and yes we need a secure border. whether we need another 4,000 are necessary sand that the best expenditure for several tens of millions of dollars? we can debate that but what we have not seen is how these people, these guardsmen will be used, where they will be used and what effectiveness they will have. it's interesting to note, hipolito mentioned the 2006
deployment by president george w. bush and the 2010 deployment by barack obama and here we are 2018. what is similar about those three years? they happened to be midterm election years in which the president's party is in deep trouble. well, that's worth thinking about. does that have anything do with it and hipolito did say the sensational of it has a bit to do with it in my mind. >> i think he was saying it's part of a solution that he is seeing but maybe it's the person giving the message he's saying in terms of what's causing the energy behind. i think that's what he was saying. >> i agree. it's part of the solution, has been, more troops, will they be helpful? possibly depending on how they're used along the way. all of it to their good but what i find most interesting is the political dynamic that's been in place through three presidencies, each one facing a
tough midterm election. >> so 4,000 is the number we're hearing from secretary mattis, we've only seen hundreds so far, in fact, we are watching through, of course our reporters and reporting coming out to get a sense of what that activity set was this weekend because that was something we're following very intently. you are saying that those who are being called up, national guard from state of california, hey, your thought might be maybe they might not go? >> well, they'll certainly go if they're called up. these are soldiers, they obey their instructions and their orders and they'll certainly go. i think there is a question to my knowledge not yet resolved about who's going to pay for this. what i've seen from the pentagon, it's not clear whether it's going to be pentagon money, homeland security money or state money. if it's state, doubt there will be many guardsmen headed for the border from any of these states.
previously it was the federal government through various appropriations that have funded not only the ongoing national guardsmen that are at the borders but these surges that seem to periodically occur. keep in mind also that with regard to the border wall, it's not the mexican government that is paying for it, it's the american tax payer that will be paying for the big beautiful trump wall. that's not to say walls are not necessary in some places, they are. fences are. other kinds of devices to monitor the border, to observe what's going on. the new unmanned aerial vehicles are also very, very important part of this whole thing and the guardsmen will be playing a role in those kind of activities. >> congressman john garamendi from california, member of the arms services committee, thank you, sir. >> thank you. targeting the oligarchs. how the latest sanctions on putin's power players could impact u.s. ow russia relations.
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including in the sanction was olo oleg dare paska, former associate of paul manafort. as for paul manafort, special counsel robert mueller's have a new search warrant against him, the seventh so far, one of those warrants for a storage locker. his attorneys filed a motion to suppress evidence found inside that locker. let's bring in barbara mcquaid and also the author of the book "how to catch a russian spy." what do you make of this week's developments, barbara and what i just introduced our segment with. >> there were a number of search warrants revealed in the paul manafort case that are interesting. one is a storage locker, there's a motion to suppress that evidence. that will get litigated. apparently they found lots of business documents that could be very interesting and of value in the case and there was the
search warrant for five phones that was disclosed as well, as recently as march 9, unrelated to the current charges. so that is looking at additional things. and the phones, one theory i heard floated, it could provide that link between the activity robert mueller has been doing, with meeting russians at the airport, and searching their phones, is he trying to link up phone conversations to this day. reading the tea leaves out of the various filings in the manfort case. >> we have the sanctions, seven russians that we know, coming from sanctions from the treasury department. describe to us that web of power that valdimir putin, and with
the them. >> a web is the right way to describe this. in a normal times, this would mean something. the problem today is not the lack of sanctions, it is a policy from russia you take the mueller investigation, put it ax side. operations in syria, shooting down an airline. with all of these efforts, even if mueller's investigation goes after the president, and result in impeachment, the russian threat will exist. when i see at sanctionses punishing russia and not calling out valdimir putin. russia is a threat to the united states. it falls terribly short. i am desperately afraid, richard
we will be be in danger of russia's aggressive actions of russia against the united states. the memo, the span of what he may be authorizing mueller to do is large and wider than what we may have thought initially rosenstein asked for. >> the memo was filed in response to this motion by manfort's lawyer, that special counsel exceeded his power, and investigating more of his mandate, and if you look at that directive. a memo written by rosen stein in august, he lists the thing that is robert mueller is allowed to investigate. the most interesting, what is
redacted. things that included thing that is manfort is charged with. more than a page is redacted. it lists other targets and people that robert mueller is authorized to investigate. >> the amount that is redacted, with big black boxes on it as you two have seen, is 60, 70% of what that entire memo had. also, what has been said about this week, mueller is not only pushing to see if he can flip, as we have been discussing over the months, his obligation here is to see if paul manfort -- >> i think you are right,
successful to date, in terms of getting people to flip. that is the best way to build a case wherever he is going. what paul manfort must know must be of incredible intrigue to bob mueller. as barbara will say, mueller will go into an interview knowing things already, looking for paul manfort to confirm them. he is really up the creek here, so to speak. >> that old game, rock them sock them robots and body blow, body blow. this is what it appears manfort is receiving. is he ready to flip. are we close to striking a deal? >> he has not given any indication that he will ever strike a deal. hard to say. as that trial date approach, first trial for july. you could see things. until that date, there is no reason for him to crack. he can argue the motions, get
part of the case thrown out. it makes his situation brighter. as the july date approaches, there could still be movement. >> we will leave it there. thank you. trm, an in-depth look at robert mueller. what drives the man at the center of the russia investigation. sunday night, 9:00 on msnbc. >> tscott pruit, calls for him o go. could john kelly be at the breaking point?
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all right, good saturday afternoon to you, live on msnbc studio in new york city. a question enveloping capitol hill, how long can epa administrator scott pruit hang on to his job? the associated press reporting that pruit spent millions on security and travel. politico, saying the lobiest couple that owned it had to change the locks to get him out. the washington post, reporting that pruit is hanging on to support from the weary white
house. bloomberg politics, national political report. betsy, start with you on this. partial listing of pruit. you decide what you want to pull from from the bag of tricks here. pruit able to hang on in the white house, evidently the president saying,ir am going to hang on to this guy. >> pruit is lucky in the timing of the scandals, the white house has three cabinet vacancies, it is working on filling. the veterans affairs, and cia, he has to go through senate confirmation, and gina haspo will have a tough go getting through