tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 13, 2018 9:00am-9:59am PDT
abrupt decision to end joint military exercises. >> the military exercises with south korea without getting anything in return i think puts mike pompeo in a very difficult spot. party of one. a surge in candidate supporting president trump take over tuesday's primaries. some republicans say it's putting the party in a strange place. >> it's not a good place for any party tond up with a cultlation situaticult like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of the same party. destiny's child. destiny productions known as the national security council produces a trailer for what could be the blockbuster of the year. >> two leaders, one destiny. a story about a special moment
in time when man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. what will he choose? good day. i'm kristen welker in for andrea mitchell who is on her way back from singapore. president tr that sum milt mit as a major policy . while the president sells the agreement at home, his top diplomat is reassuring allies that substantive discussions are ongoi ongo joining me is richard engel and jeff bennett. so far to reporters it's been that north korea understands there will be in-depth
verification. he also says he's very optimistic that they will agree to major disarmament. how do you think that will go over where you are right now and what do you make of secretary's message? >> reporter: officially the south korean government is getting on board. there was a statement from the government here saying that it understands that the cancelling of the joint military exercises may have been necessary in order to support the talks toward denuclearization. you're seeing the south korean government which is very closely allies with the united states. tryi to make sure there's no distanceenit.
there was a lot of surprise here, a by of annoyance that they weren't consulted. wanting to know was it really over? would these military exercise vs to be scaled down. wanted to know what the intention was. today trying to put the best foot forward saying they understand why they might need to be postponed or cancelled. i think they are trying to smooth over a diplomatic embarrassment. >> i think you captured an important part of what we saw yesterday. we saw that on capitol hill as well. what the vice president said to
lawmakers on capitol hill to ease some of their concerns -- >> reporter: i may have lost you. >> jeff, i know you've been working your sources and spoke with kellyann conway today. what's the messaging from the white house? >> reporter: kellyann conway as other administration officials to include mike pom ppeo say calling off these exercises set the right condition for these talks to move forward. nt has been tweeting about it calling the exercises war games. taking a line from kim jong-un calling it defensive. it was a couple of months ago that the president signed the spending bill. the president touted it as a
blessing to the military saying that troops would finally be unburdened by these budgetplain cost. people in a position to know how much these drills cost relative to overall defense spending can't put a number on it. can't tell us in large party because the military doesn't break out those specific numbers. he said it's not a burden on the american taxpayer to have a forward deployed force in south korea. he said it brings stablility to the region and sends signal to china they can't take over the entire region. >> among those saying they would like to have a briefing from secretary pompeo on capitolhi
thank you jeff and richard for all of that reporting. really appreciate it. maryland democratic senator joins me to discuss all of this. thaupg for joining me. really appreciate it. bottom line, says north korea derstands there needs to be a verification process. he's hopeful they will achieve nuclear disarmament. do you take him at his word or do you think the trump administration is too easer to trump north korea? >> hope does not equal reality. north leaders he wanted to have psaa summit meeting on world stage. they got heaps of praise from
president trump. what did we got? we so far have gotten a vague commitment to something north korea has comed before which is denuclearization. no details on how we're going to ve and how we're going togo abo line. the jury is still out on the things that we want but the north koreans have already gotten some of the thi o the suspension of the joint military exercin't e u.s. need to put something on the table in order to move thes discussions forward? in other words, isn't this part of negotiating, senator? >> negotiating m you get someth exchange for giving somethg up. what's not clear is what we got.
the summit meeting wo ining was that kim jong-un'sather had bef. just having that photo op was a win for north korea. then we put on the table suspended the joint military exercises. i'm looking for what did we get. we're all hoping as secretary pompeo said there's nothing there but when y something le and meaningful you get something tangible and meaningful in return. >> there was a sense that prior to these talks and just the discussion of the foultalking happening that tensions wererea. today president trump tweeting that everybody can feel safer. didsident walk usack from the brink? >> well, look, as we all know president trump contributed mightingly to raising the temperature and now so he's got
a photo op which the north koreans wanted. has the temperature gone down, yes. has the n arsenal gone down? zero. they're still producing nuclear material. they still have the same number of missiles. it's delusional for the president to say the nuclear threat is gone awayn the last 48 howeveurs. it's always good to lower the temperature but the president didn't have to raise the temperature so high to begin with. this notion that we needed to do that to bring the north koreans to the table when the north koreans have wanted to come to the table with the united states for a very long timehe nonsense. >> you talk about raising the temperature which brings me to how the president is explaining a part of his strategy. he said it was sanctions and he's saying he needed to engage in some of that tough talkt
was shaly criticized. i want to play an execerpt from an interview he did overnight. said something very bad ilence. and very threatening and horrible just don't answer. that's not the answer. that's not what you have to do. i think the rhet hated to do it, sometimes i felt foolish doing it but we had no choice. >> does he have a point? does he speak kim jong-un's rhetoric and that got him to the table? >> we didn't have to get him to the table. he's wanted to come to the table long an american presi a i do support the maximum economic pressure campaign the purpose is to squeeze north korea so they make real meaningful concessions. >> senator was the rhetoric part of that maximum pressure
campaign? was that potentially a key part of that campaign, do you think? >> i do not think so. what matters to the north korean korean being sqezed economically and i do think those sanctions have been important. they have been supported in a bipartisan basis. in fact, senator toomey and i passed the ban committee, sanctions tof you were the the secondary sanctions component. make sure we punish other countries like clie thhina the administration opposed having a vote to further streions. you have strisan pport in the congress. i should say one of the consequences of the summit meeting and we're hoping good things will come from it. one of the consequences isand o about relaxing t economic sanctions which have put pressure on north korea and which we hope will bear fruit. if you pull back from those sanctions you're going to lose
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president is splitting with his legal team. msnbc legal analyst danny savallas joins me. what do we know? >> michael cohen's attorneys are withdrawing or separating from michael cohen. en this happens it's important to remember that this could be for a number of different reasons. there's situations where attorneys can voluntarily withdraw. there's situations where nay must withdraw under the rules of ethics. it can be for reasons like non-payment. an ir retrievable break down of communication. it could be another reason. another possibility is an attorney cannot counsel any future crime. that's one of many instances that warrant an attorney's withdrawal from represen >> one of the theories in this case is that michael cohen may be changing his strategy in whatever way he thinks is necessary. is that a possibility as well?
>> what we're seeing here is a classic example of the federal government's war of economic attrition against ndants. michael cohen, if he does erate, he will be like many others before him. for the first year of the investigation of prosecution claim i will never cooperate. i will stay strong and i will go to trial. after maybe a year or so of draining their economic resources or even being incarcerated prior to trial, many defendants after time to think about it and to think about their potential exposure at sentencing, eventually end up singing a different tune. >> president trump tweeted several that he doesn't expect michael cohen so flip. who is michael cohen? why is he sonificantent? >> michael cohen is significant for a number of reasons. not the least of which is that he was someone who considered himself a fixer and very close.
pud o being very close to the president. the theory would be that if someone knows where all the hypothetical bodies are buried, it would be michael cohen. the other concern that someone like trump should have is that whenitnesses cooperate, they are under atremendous incentive to give the government a story that the governmentds useful. otherwise the government won't offer them a deal. the complaint that defense attorneys like me have about the cooperating witness process is the story or out right lying to or u.s. attorneys in other words to secure the best deal possible. ultimately, many of these cooperating witnesses they pledge their loyalty to their friend or someone like mr. trump but ultimately when they think about their wife and children and federal prison, that feeling changes. >> danny, quickly before i let you go just to remind folks, president trump was infuriated
after investigators raided the office and residences of michael cohen. one of the things they are look at is that alleged pay out to porn star stormy daniels. president trump, the white house, have denied there was any type of affair. this is separate from the russia investigation, correct? >> it is. that's why we see a separate branch, so to speak, of the u.s. attorneys handling the cohen investigation. robert mueller must have believed whatever he saw that cohen was involved in was outse the purview of his original mandate. that's why the southern district of new york, an entity separate from the mueller team is investigating michael cohen now. if he's ever arrested and chd wi a crime, it will not be directly related to the russia investigation and what mueller's team is investigating separately. cohen might find himself ensnared in that investigation as well. so much for all o that information on that break
news. really appreciate it. joining me now is ron clain and michael steele. we don't know what this breaking news mean. we know that michael cohen seems to be seeking new legal representation. >> potentially, i w stresspoy,h huge deal for this investigation. michael cohen is one of the few people who had senior roles in the campaign and trump organization prior to trump's decision to run forpresident. he not only knows where the bodies are buried but also the year prior to that. the president said you cannot investigate that portion of my life and my business. >> we know the president is just back from
this is one of the scopes of the legal cloud holding over him. >> michael cohen is not his personal attorney. he's his perso co-conspirator. a federal judge went through every piece of paper and found that less than 1% were legal matters. 99% were him helping donald trump build trump power moscow. it came out t ivanka trump sent russian contacts to michael cohen. michae cohen is at the center of this not as a lawyer but a business partner and a fixer for donald trump and that evidence is something donald trump should worry about. >> before we switch topic, the president tng what happened in singapore as a big victory and now you know political speaking this overshadows that to some extent. >> i think that investigation
overshadows his presidency. it did last week. it will this week and the week after and the week after. trumpather than shying s to audiocassette about it. he brings it into the political dialogue. i think that also magnifies the political impact. >> the other thing he's tng about, the upset for republican congressman ousted by his challenger. president trump slammed sanford in a tweet taking aim at his highly extramarital affair. that was back in 2009. sanford a vocal critic of the president. the move unscoring the critical test for republican candidates in the fall. cross president trump at your own peril.
>> every cycle we use candidates. >> if you're not on board with trump and you criticize him, yo you'll be out. >> they see the good economy and prospect of a better relationship with north korea. a lot of things he's supportive. he's keeping his promise to dismantle the obama legacy. he didn't run a good campaign. he lost with a ton of cash on hand. he didn't take his opponent seriously. he almost lost two years ago without the president intervene ng t in the race. >> a lot of factors. bob corker is a trump critic. not seeking re-election. still, take a listen. >> i want to say we have a lot of people who are willing to do the things they feel are right for our country.
we have some who are fearful of upsetting the president. it would mostly the leadership. it's not a good place for us to be. to have an administration that wakes up every day and making stuff up as they go along, with no coherency to it, i think us having to way inhatld cause them to have to think about what they're doing versus well, i'm upset with x today so i'll do this. >> your reaction to that. >> senator corker, now tt he's retired is speaking out about it. he still votes with president trump pretty reliably. the republican party is donald trump's party. there's no question about that. the question is how do they stand up. last night we had only one actual election in america. a final result, a special election in wisconsin for state senate seat. a districtonald trump won by 18 points in 2016, a democrat won last night.
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at if a people that share a common and rich heritage can find a common future. their story is well known. but what will be their sequel? destiny pictures presents a story of opportunity. a new story, a new beginning. one of peace. two men, two leaders, one destiny. >> this slick hollywood like action trailer is produced by the white house, was shown during the singapore summit in an effort to win over north korea's leader, but did it work? and what are the implications? joining me is jake sullivan former advisor for hillary clinton's campaign.
jake, have you ever seen anything like that video we just played a clip of? >> i can't say i have. that was definitely a first for me. at a minimum you have to give the trump administratiministerm for creativity. we'll see if it ends up having it appears in singapore it didn't generate any practical outcomes or practical concessions from kim. when you're dealing with someone as bizarre as kim, a bizarre film may not be the wrong thing to throw out there. >> it is possible the president
is trying to speak kim jong-un's language or could this backfire? >> i'm sure the intentions are good. how do we reach this young, isolatedader? pompeo been the only american to meet him twice. how can we give him a different view of the future. it's an odds film. it snacks a bit of a slick propaganda film. i think it backfired on the administration. the other thing is it puts donald trump and kim jong-un in the centerpiece of video. no mention of a man named moon jae. south koreans have much more in stake of this. this is not just about us. >> they were caught off guard by the president saying he's halting mihalt ing military exercises. what does he need to do? how big is his burden now?
>> we have to steer this to a different place. take focus off president trump. >> secretary burns brings up the chinese who heard about the fact the president was halting those joint military exercises and from their perspective that was a win. a win for russians as well, right? >> of all the people who benefitted from this summit, chinese president probably benehe most. he gets an american president to commit that we're going to stop doing something the chinese don't like, be joint military kperdss. ghets an person predent to float the possibility of pulling u.s. troops off the korean peninsula which is chinese would like to see. he has the pressure alleviated
china of enforcing the sanctions because president trump is all but inviting the rest of the world to engage more directly with north korea and kim jong-un. he has the possibility of their being ratcheted up tensions reduced. it's all good for china. it's good for north korea. for the united states it's not clear that we really got anything in the way of concrete steps toward denuclearization. no timeo verification. nothing that suggests that he's even approaching let alone exceeding what the north koreans mised the past. you have to score this as a win for china. >> we all woke up to some tweets this morning from trump who is beginning his sales pick on this deal. one of them really raised some eyebrows. he tweeted just landed a long trip but everybody can feel much sayer than the day i took office. there's no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. no longer a nuclear threat in.
still a. [ inaudible question ] -- nuclear threat. they are still a threat to japan and the united states. the president should feel proud of the fact he's turned this toward diplomacy. he'll overselling it. there's months and years ahead of us. we're no longer close of being free of a north korea nuclear threat. >> it's about verification. that's one of the key things that the secretary needs to secure now. he is telling south korea that will happen. >> that's right. he said we need a complete verifiable and reversible process of a nuclear apparatus. they didn't get that yesterday. there's a lot of work here. we're talking about 2019 or0 if there's going be an agreement. it will be lots of set backs along the way. >> all right. thank you so much for a great conversation. really appreciate it. we have more now on our breaking news on the russia investigation.
msnbc media and politics contributor cherman is reports that michael cohen is expected to be indicted at any moment. i want to start with you. what can you tell us? >> my reporting does line up with gabe's reporting. i spoke to a source close to michael cohen a couple minutes ago and taying that michael cohen expects to be arrested pretty soon. he expects to be arrested because his lawyer sa e front got a call from lawyers saying they were preparing paper work. they are expecting that to happen at some point. there's also reporting that michael cohen has ditched his two current attorneys. the source i spoke with said expecting to do that and that is imminent. he's also lining up another
atrney that's more suited for his personal case. a white collar attorney that's more suited to defend him. there is some speculation out there from a number of reports that michael cohen could be cooperating with sdny. we do not have that. all sources we have spoken with indicate that currently is not happening. i've been speaking to a number of people who know michael cohen well and they believe, they are speculating here, they believe that's a smoke sign to president trump. warning, be considering cooperating with the sdny. we will see. that is what is being discussed right now. >> i want to bring in game sherman. tell me what your sources are telling you that michael cohen
is bracing for potentially being indicted. >> this is a fast moving story and dove tales on something i reported yesterday which is that in recent days cohen has been telling people that he expected to be arrested at anyoment and one day to point to is it was 12 weeks after paul manafort's office and home were raided when charges were filed and been about nine weeks since the sdny and the fbi raided cohen's hotel room and office. this sort of felt the noose closing in. as katie and others pointed out, there is talk about him cooperating. my reporting he's not made a decision to flip yet but he's thinking about it. theresomes to some sort of stra tee -- strategic communication going on and he might be trying to signal to the president he feels abandoned and needs some
sort of legal reprieve as inindictments seem to be coming ooze ear as early as tomorrow. >> what do you make of all of these developments? the fact you have michael cohen looking for new legal representati representation. how significant is all of this? >> the change in lawyers could mean a lot of different things. it could just mean he has some irreconcilable differences with these lawyers ort too expensive. i'm not sure that alone signals anything. if he's about to be indicted, they haven't reached an agreement with him. one that getsorked out by the lawyers. we saw that in the case of orge papadopoulos and mike flynn.
a pre-indictment pa agreement and an agreed upon statement of the offense. if instead prosecutors are gng to grand jury to seekindieans t proeshl have not been successful negotiating a plea. once someone is indicted and see what the penalties are, that does raise the stakes and put additional pressure on them to cooperate. >> the big question around mich has been if ghhe gets pressured by prosecutors, would he flip. there's been aed lot of debate for months. i want to remind our viewers of a tweet from president trump. he tweeted michael is a bun for his own account lawyer who i've always liked and respected. most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble even if it means lying or making up trouble. sorry, i don't see michael cohen doing that despite the horrible witch hunt and the dishonest media. bet betsy, what do you make of these developments and as a political maor president trump.
>> it puts more pressure on the white house. it's manager that will be causing a lot friction among white house aides. the possibility that someone who knows where all the bodies, if there are bodies, are buried. somebody familiar with the president's personal finances could be on the cusp of working with federal prosecutors. it's something that will deeply concern people in the white house. the news that's coming out is good news for the southern district of north korea. prosecutors love cay yohaochaos. they love seeing the people scramble, have to make have to look to change who is helping them in middle of an investigation. that is evidence of more oe stress, more of the friction that michael cohen is under and that's good news for the sdny. >> barbara weigh in on that. how is the sdny viewing all of this? >> i'm not sure that prosecutors love chaos. i think they prefer continuity. a change in lawyers sometimes cause challenges.
i think they will mlly move forward. i'd be surprised if indict or issue their final indictment until after they have seen the results of that search of michael cohen's office. it seems prosecutors would want to see all to have that before they make final decisions. you can supercede on an indictment later. one strategy could be to indict now and michael cohen and every one knows additional charges could be coming unless he decides to cooperate. >> katie, you have been covering esident trump since the very beginning since he first announced his campaign. we all saw him react so angrily on that day that michael cohen's office space and residences were
raided by the fbi. it was one of the real inflection points, i would say when we saw the president's rage unleashed. what do you think he's thinking right now? what kind of reaction are you cti ing expecting? president trump just back from singapore. >> i just talked to somebody who works forhe ent. i asked them that very question. will the president be upset about this. that person said no. i said hold on. we've seen him be publicly upset about michael cohen. he said sure. in looking at what happened in the campaign there's no reason for anybody to believe that michael did aing wrong in regards to the campaign. the president doesn't have anything to worry about in that regard. it's what michael cohen might have done outside of the campaign as a back door potentially or what he might
have done in his personal business or what he might have from the trump organization that could potentially be worrying the president. this source was very adamant there was nothing that the campaign had that could hurt the president in regards to michael cohen. look at the reaction from the president in that cabinet meeting. he was very angry and folks around and in trump world thought that was the president sending a signal to michael cohen saying don't worry. i've got your back. he's been relatively silent on this except for popping off a few times on twitter. now those people believe michael cohen is now trying to send a signal back to the president. hey, where are you? why aren't you on my side any longer? fyi, the pressure is getting
pretty strong here. i don't know what i might do. obviously that is all speculation. that is from folks who know michael cohen well and worked for a long time with michael choen and understand the relationship that michael cohen has with the president. >> what are you hearing from the cohen camp about these points that katie is making? >> what i learned this morning is a source with direct knowledge told me cohen has not seen any charges yet. there seems to be, this is a swift moving story, there seems to be game of brinksmanship going on. cohen told a source of mine that he wants to wait to see what the sdny comes up in terms of cha l charges before he makes his decision to cooperate. by sending this signal before an indictment come, it seems to be to send a signal to the white house but the other signal it's
sending is to the sdny, like you better have something good. i've not made up my mind yet. if you're going to get me to flip, you have to have some pretty significant leverage over me. he may thinking that the sdny doesn't have the goods or if they do, he wants to wait and see to keep his options open. >> i kno rushed in with all this breaking news we're getting. let me read a statement from michael avenatti. he says our understanding is squint with the reporting that the abandonment of mr. cohen by mr. ryan is a disaster for mr. cohen and for mr. trump. gabe, what do you make of that? >> clearly he's self-interested source. he wants to paint this clearly many most negative light possible. to advance his own legal case. avenatti has been a thorn in the side of this president for
months now. he has been able the drive this story. keep the pressure on the white house. he's saying this will be bad fo out of hand. >> betsy you've been doing some reporting. the president's attor have been in contact with some of the other attorneys who are roped up in all of this investigation particularly as it tes to the mueller probe. >> that's right. they have a joint defense agreement which is pretty common. it lets lawyers share information. wh your client's recollection of the event and all those conversations are
protected by privilege. joint defense agreements tend to annoy prosecutoecause any time there's additional cooperation or information sharing between the people they're going afte that's something that can sometimes make their jobs slightly harder. it's all above board. it's permitted. it shows for very much the white house sees this as a team effort as something that's involved in all the key players. >> trying stay ahead of curve on the fast moving developments. thank you. really appreciate all of your reporting and fantastic insights. thank you. coming up, the contndsers. inside president obama's secret meeting with 2020 hopefuls. prepare for your demise, mr. y! do your worst, doctor. i will. but first, a little presentation. hijacking earth's geothermal energy supply.
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about last night's primary elections ahead of this year's midterms. i'm going way past that in talking about 2020 and early stages of what could be a very large fi terms of the democratic primary for 2020. this morning we had what i'm calling speed dating with the senators. we had it's calmed "we the people forum." basically coalition of a lot of forces in the resistance movement. labor unions, planned parenthood, move on, bringing candidates and issuing a challenge. to talk to this very important audiencee representing that array of the resistance movement not just about what donald trump is doing but their message, vision for the future of the democratic party. senator cory booker, kirsten gillibrand, pamela harris, bernie sanders, not a democrat, as well as elizabeth warren. >> that will keep you busy throughout the day. mike memoily. and waiting to see what former
have the joe biden does. author of the new book "first in line: presidents, vice-presidents and the pursuit of power." thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> one of the big revelations in your book, not a big revelation or a big surprise but you go in-depth, the extent to which former president obama, former vice president joe biden, are talking about 2020. they've started this conversation. >> yes. and i was really surprised that joe biden and mike pence are talking and at lea once a month that biden is acting as a conduit for foreign leaders and told me he speaks to about a dozen worried about trump and puts them in touch with pence saying trump doesn't have the bandwidth to deal with foreign affairs so talk to pence. i think it's unusual to see this level of outreach from a vice president to former vice-presidents and you don't see trump obviously doing that with obama. >> well, one of the points that you make in your book, the
extent to which mike pence is walking a very fine line. in some of his public comments, for example, but also in private. let me read you from your book, you write, even top aides at mid pence is loyal to a fa sometimes ding by and defending trump even when it jeopardizes his own rep dautati and could cost him what he wants more than anything. the presidency. how had se navigating this, kate, and the one vice president who didn't sit down and talk to you? >> that speaks volumes. really. you know, it's very strange to me he's walking this tightrope, obviously, effusive in his praise of donald trump but his aides worries sometimes it's over the top, joe arpaio, for example, jeopardizing his future and looking to 2024, maybe sooner, they joke. never know. positioning him, and he got rid of some of his loyal indiana
aides and replaced them with washington political types like nick heiairs, someone very connected who,solates him but keeps him safe from scrutiny and doesn't let him talk to a lot of people. >> your past book focused and first ladies. an intersection in the book. melania trump was sort of a person who said, look, pence is the type o perso we need for then candidate trump's vice presidential nominee, because no drama. doesn't come with baggage. >> her word for it was "clean." a decisive voice. surprising. i don't think people think of her weighing in on politics at all. we need a clean v.p. and trump had michael flynn on his list. newt gingrich, chris christie. she recognized her husband doesn't need more baggage and illustrates her roam. >> thanks for being here.
and coming up, family matters, epa chief scott pruitt used his position to get his wife yet another job. craig melvin has much more ahead and breaking news as we head to break. we are learning that larry kudlow, the economic adviser for the president, has been discharged from the hospital after suffering what the white attack. newsthere. a minor heart everyone wishing a speedy recovery. stay with us. en. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneraon, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd. that's why i fight. because it's my vision. preservision. try areds 2 + multivitamin. you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed?m
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and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." craig melvin is up next right here on msnbc and craig, i hand off a very busy news cycle to you, my friend. >> indeed it is. good to see you kristen welker. craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york. following eaking news. a legal split. trump's longtime personal lawyer and defender michael cohen plans to ditch his legal team. talk to a reporter who has sources saying cohen expects to be indicted. also, drain the swamp. even more news about who else. scott pruitt. this time he reportedly asked a top aide to reach out to republican donors who might hook his wife up with a job. and trumped. another blow to a republican who has spoken out against the president. mark sanford voted out of office last night and emphasizes yet