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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  May 8, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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laura jarrett, thank you very much. thank you all for being with us. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm john berman. "at this hour with kate bolduan" "at this hour with kate bolduan" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. the russia investigation back in the spotlight in a major way. just a short time from now, one of the major players in the probe of russian meddling in the 2016 election breaks her silence. the former acting attorney general, sally yates, the same sally yates, of course, who refused to enforce the president's travel ban and lost her job because of it. she will be testifying along with the former director of national intelligence, james clapper, before the senate. and while we don't know, of course, what yates is going to say, we do know that expectations could not be higher. her testimony's expected to contradict how the white house has described her warnings about the president's national security adviser, michael flynn,
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and his contact with russian officials. and this morning, the president has something to say about all of this and tweets in part, blaming obama with this one. let me read it. "general flynn was given the highest security clearance by the obama administration, but the fake news seldom likes talking about that." president trump also targeting the witness with this one -- " @sallyyates under oath. if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to white house counsel." with that, let's get to cnn's chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. a lot of expectations riding on this one, jim. what are you watching for today? >> reporter: well, listen, you have two witnesses here, james clapper and sally yates, who have become something of lightning rods for the gop's reaction to the russia investigation. sally yates being accused, really, of being an obama appointee, kind of a shill for the democratic party in terms of her role in this, clapper as
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well. this is despite the fact that both of them are long-term civil servants. they both served republican and democratic administrations, so you have that. but we do know that yates in particular is going to deliver a testimony that contradicts the white house narrative here, specifically on general flynn. she's going to say that on january 26th, she warned the white house, gave a forceful warning about flynn's contacts with russia, saying that he was lying when he said he did not discuss sanctions in those contacts with the russian ambassador. it was only 18 days later that flynn was fired. and at the sign, white house spokesman sean spicer says, well, when flynn came by, it was just sort of a friendly heads-up. she's going to say, no, in fact, this was quite a forceful warning. in terms of director clapper, he's expected to focus on really the substance of these hearings, and that is the investigation into russian hacking of the u.s. election, calling it egregious. he's done this in other public comments before, kind of trying
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to draw the conversation back to where this all started. >> right. >> reporter: that a foreign power intervened in the u.s. election and caused great damage, not so much with the result. they didn't know who was going on win, but at least damage in terms of confidence in the process. >> a lot riding on this, a lot of eyes on this one today. jim, thanks so much. great to see you. we'll talk much more about this, implications, what we could be hearing today or not in a moment. but while the senate is hearing from sally yates and james clapper, the senate has another big task at hand, the health care bill. house republicans passed their version last week. you'll recall, of course, that the president and gop leaders took a victory lap at the white house directly afterward. well, right now, it's looking like the senate could be scrapping that whole thing and starting from square one. cnn's phil mattingly's live on capitol hill with much more. so, phil, where is this all headed? i mean, for a lot of folks, hearing they could be starting over, that's a pretty big deal. >> reporter: yeah, especially when you think about what the house went through, how arduous that entire process was.
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and look, their proposal, which they passed by the slimmest of margins last week, sent over to the senate, isn't exactly being welcomed with open arms. it's more being taken, looked at briefly and then being tossed to the side. what needs to be understood here is that senate republicans have always planned on making major wholesale changes to whatever the house sent over, if the house was able to do that. now that they've done that, the senate has made clear, they're going to go behind the scenes, take their time and work through a proposal that they believe can get 51 senators. and there are a lot of very complicated dynamics at play, not the least of which is that some of these republican senators come from medicaid expansion states, even though they're run by republican governors. and when you think about it like that, when you look at what the house proposal does, not just to medicaid expansion specifically, but also in the willingness to allow states to opt out of certain things, you have a lot of governors very concerned. kate, take a listen to what ohio governor john kasich had to say this weekend. >> $8 billion. it's not enough to fund -- it's ridiculous! and the fact is, states are not going to opt for that.
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see, i think the fundamental issue here are the resources. i don't want to give you exactly the numbers, but it's about half the resources in this bill that were in obamacare. now, i can tell you that we can do with less resources, but you can't do it overnight and you cannot give people a $3,000 or $4,000 health insurance policy. you know where they're going to be? they're going to be living in the emergency rooms again. >> reporter: okay, that perspective is shared by a number of senators, rob portman, ohio senator in the senate republican working group in this. dean heller from nevada, shelly moore caputo from virginia, lisa murkowski from alaska. all of these states have very important parochial issues when it comes to medicaid expansion. then you have people concerned about the structure of the tax credit, very conservative members concerned that the house bill didn't go far enough when it came to trying to attack and dismantle obamacare regulations. all of this is going to need to be addressed in a major way, and that means, kate, to your
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original point, there will be a lot of scrapping and starting over here, despite the struggle we witnessed over the course of the last six weeks over in the house. >> yeah, and as you laid out perfectly, phil, everything you laid out also indicates this isn't going anywhere very fast. this is a slow and arduous process as they work out these details and try to. great to see you, phil. thank you. with me now to discuss this and much more, errol louis, cnn political commentator and anchor for spectrum news and betsy woodruff, political reporter for "the daily beast." guys, great to see you. errol, first you. you have the victory lap, kind of the party at the white house last week with the president and republicans. they acknowledged then it was a momentary victory lap. they knew that, obviously, they know how it works and it needs to head over to the senate. but now you have a victory lap, but also a key senator, susan collins, saying, forget that, we're starting from scratch. for our viewers, listen to what susan collins had to say. >> the house bill is not going to come before us. the senate is starting from scratch. we're going to draft our own
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bill. i think we will do so and that we will come up with a whole new, fresh that solves the legitimate flaws that do exist with the aca. i would like to see us put together a bipartisan group to solve this problem. >> starting from scratch. what does that really look like at this moment, errol? >> well, what it would look like is a long, arduous process that will go well beyond the real deadline here. because look, to the extent that susan collins is talking about dealing with health care itself, the approach she just outlined makes a lot of sense. the hard politics of the moment, however, which really sort of links this to tax reform and the need to come up with hundreds of millions, of billions of dollars in savings in order to enact some of the tax cuts that the white house and the republican majority would like to see done -- to get that done, you've got to really slash and burn obamacare. there's just no getting around it. now, that call is really a leadership call. it's not going to be susan collins who makes that call. it's going to be really much more mitch mcconnell's decision
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about how to strategically deal with those two sort of big goals of the majority. >> speaking of mitch mcconnell, yes, mitch mcconnell will have the largest say in how quickly this moves, how this goes. he's also, betsy, he's one of the members of this working group of 13 senators that are going to be working through all of this, but what does it say that susan collins, who will be a key voice in this, other senators like bill cassidy who have been really skeptical of the efforts so far, they're not part of this working group in the senate? >> it suggests that this working group, whatever final product it produces, could potentially have a hard time selling that more broadly to the senate republican conference. remember, bill cassidy beat a powerful incumbent in 2014 in the midterms in large part because he pitched himself as a medical doctor -- >> that's a great point. >> -- who understood health care policy and could craft a replacement to the affordable care act if elected, but now he's been president efrozen out
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been very open and candid criticizing the process, saying some of the ideas bandied about in the senate aren't going to necessarily lead anywhere. so, the fact that cassidy and collins aren't involved in this means it's going to be a long process, it's going to be a tough process, and hard to game out or guess how this all plays out. >> it absolutely is. timing, though, i mean, we're all kind of talking about timing in a very abstract sense. it's going to be long, it's going to be hard, and that means when you look at the calendar, who knows where that could end up. and republicans are not necessarily putting a date on it, even though you point out the most important part, in they want to link it to the savings for tax reform. but democrat chris coons, who was on msnbc this morning, he had his idea of how the timing would going to go. listen to this, errol. >> my guess is that leader mcconnell is going to take some time here. and while he may ultimately pass a bill in the senate, i think he will send it to conference with the house. that conference will go on a very long time, and we won't actually see a final product until after the '18 elections.
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>> until after the 2018 midterm. who does that help and who does that hurt then politically? because yes, health care's real and health care reform is a real conversation that impacts everybody, but it has real political implications -- >> it absolutely does. it helps a couple of dozen -- if that timetable were to play out, it would help the couple dozen or so republican members of congress who are in districts that hillary clinton won, who maybe didn't want to be associated with some of the harsher side of the reform package that just passed the house. it enables them then to sort of put up the visual of standing with the president in the rose garden, sort of clapping and smiling and saying we're doing the people's business without actually enacting any of the harm yet, until the other side of the midterm elections. >> yeah, and if it's lingering out there, maybe, i don't know, in a strange way it gives both sides ammunition for whatever they want to push in the 2018 election. somebody else adding their voice to the debate right now, betsy, is former president barack obama. he was accepting a profile in courage award at the john f. kennedy presidential library. and during his speech, he said
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this. listen. >> i hope that current members of congress recall that it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. but it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirmed, those who often have no access to the corridors of power. >> i think it would be no surprise to anybody if president obama doesn't like the health care bill that came out of the house, but who do you think president obama's speaking to there? >> well, i think he's talking to vulnerable house republicans at that point. i mean, the reality is, one of the biggest political challenges to republican leadership in pushing for a health care replacement plan is that they know a number of their members are going to lose their seats over it. members of the house know this.
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talking to republican aides and operatives over the weekend, people are aware, it's extremely obvious. so, the question becomes, are house republicans, potentially senate republicans, willing to actually lose their seats because they care so much about repealing and replacing the affordable care act? when president obama was doing health care reform years ago, there were democrats who knew they were going to lose their seats, but the vision, sort of the goal is theoretically a bit more compelling for them. in virginia, the democratic gubernatorial primary, tom parrella, who is sort of the bernie sanders-aligned contender, has been emphasizing on the campaign trail, he lost his house seat because he voted for the aca. can house republicans say the same thing? it's not necessarily equal. it's tough. >> yeah, that's an interesting point. i do remember being at some rowdy town halls for him and we all saw how that all turned out. a lot we didn't see this time around. thank you guys so much. >> sure thing. coming up for us, the acting attorney general that president trump fired getting ready to speak out for the first time
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under oath. is the president already, though, trying to discredit sally yates before she even speaks? and why? plus, the sales pitch and a big apology. what jared kushner's sister told chinese investors that forced the family business to apologize and has a lot of folks again talking about another potential conflict of interest. we'll discuss. and this father lost his son to an overdose, and he said he voted for president trump because he trusted trump wouldn't let it happen to another family. well, this man now says he feels betrayed. we're going to get his reaction to the possibility that the white house is planning massive cuts to the drug czar's office. that father joins me live. hi..and i know that we have phonaccident, so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight- four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
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for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. breaking news from jim acosta over at the white house. jim acosta reporting from his sources that back on november 10th, an important date, that is when president obama sat down with then president-elect trump for their very important, private meeting. in that meeting, jim acosta's learning from his sources, president obama warned president trump against hiring michael flynn as his national security adviser, warned him personally and directly during that meeting
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in the oval office on november 10th. early lew errol lewis is here with me still, jeffrey toobin, senior legal analyst. how significant is that? >> you can always tell what's going on with president trump because he tweets exactly what he's thinking. >> like this morning. >> and he's very uncomfortable with congress looking into this while michael flynn thing. he essentially threatened sally yates, which is something presidents are not generally supposed to do, you know, essentially threatened her by saying that she, you know, implying that she released classified information. >> here's the tweet for our viewers. this morning he wrote " @sallyyates under oath if she knows how classified information got into newspapers soon after she explained it to white house counsel." but now we learned it wasn't just sally yates who warned the white house it was president obama who warned the white house, or president trump." >> apparently. and another thing you'll notice president trump was saying is, well, it was the obama administration that gave him a
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security clearance. it was president obama who fired michael flynn from the defense intelligence agency. so, you know, this attempt to put michael flynn on the obama administration suggests that trump is really feeling very uncomfortable about flynn, the suggest of flynn being raised. and again, it all goes back to this issue of whether flynn and other people involved in the trump campaign were working with russia to defeat hillary clinton. i mean, that question is what hangs over all these hearings. we don't know the answer to it, but there's more and more evidence that justifies further investigation. >> and with flynn, it was were sanctions, were relief of sanctions discussed or implied during conversations with russian officials. errol, as this was coming through, you're recalling that was that very important meeting everyone was waiting for between the two, the two presidents. >> sure, that's right. the shock of the election outcome had really not even settled in, right? remember, the election was on november 8th. two days later, in the oval
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office shaking hands with president obama with all kinds of different sort of bad blood between not just the two parties. >> right. >> but the two men still up in the air, you know? the whole birther campaign was still, you know, sort of unresolved, never really discussed. there was that great srt of iconic shot of a lot of the obama transition team folks standing there with their arms folded in the driveway of the west wing, watching as the trump entourage came into the west wing. and so, if during that conversation the president, then president obama said explicitly, do not hire this man, this is a problem, i fired him for a reason, this is going to cause you grief, it would be very interesting then to see why the incoming president decided not only to sort of have him involved but to really sort of elevate him and defend him, even beyond the point when we now know he had had meetings with the russian ambassador. >> and remember, trump did not just appoint michael flynn to some job.
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he made him the national security adviser, which is the single most important national security job in the white house, and perhaps in the united states government, with access to every bit of classified information in the entire federal government -- >> a position that doesn't require confirmation from congress, also why it's an important position to point out. >> also. and someone who really is in the president's ear every single day. so, the idea that president obama felt so strongly about michael flynn that he personally warned the president-elect about it, you know, suggests that there's something there that really should not have made him -- not have allowed him to get as far as he did. >> yeah, i mean, giving personnel advice so directly, especially about one specific person, is a pretty amazing thing. stand by. i want to talk not just about the breaking news, but how this breaking news could possibly impact the hearing today that everyone's waiting for, with so many expectation surrounding the hearing of sally yates, the former acting attorney general
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who warned the white house about michael flynn and that he was misleading the white house. well, now we have not just sally yates, but according to jim acosta's great reporting and sources, president obama also warned the president about michael flynn. we'll be right back after this. . ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. experience amazing. they'll always be our babies.. to keep us up at night, but tonight johnson's® can help with a bedtime® routine, clinically proven to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. tonight we sleep™. ♪ won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation.
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continuing to follow breaking news out of washington that president obama warned president trump about michael flynn. this information coming from jim sciutto, great reporting. he's hearing from former obama officials that during -- as we're looking at pictures right
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here from this november 10th meeting, right after the election. president obama, according to jim's sources, warned president trump about michael flynn, against hiring michael flynn, in that private oval office meeting. let's get over to the white house. joe johns is following all of this. joe, as we're looking at these pictures and this video, remind us of this meeting, the dynamics going in and what they said coming out. >> reporter: they came out with glowing words for each other. it was november 10th of last year, two days after the election. it was a surprisingly long meeting. >> right. >> reporter: it lasted about 90 minutes or so. president obama indicating that he wanted to do everything he could to make sure the trump administration succeeded. this was the first time the president and the president-elect had met. and now we learn that among the things they discussed in that lengthy meeting, 90 minutes
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time, was apparently the fact that michael flynn ought not be hired as national security adviser, though we all know donald trump was certainly loyal to him, given the fact that michael flynn had traveled with the administration -- had traveled, i should say, with the campaign, worked for the campaign, and had gained donald trump's trust. so, the president, trump, went ahead, named him as national security adviser, and we know the rest of the story. he ended up being fired by president trump because he had not disclosed certain information to the vice president, all of this coming as the acting attorney general also goes to capitol hill to talk just a little bit more about michael flynn, kate. >> it's pretty amazing turn of events, joe. let me know if you hear any reaction from the white house. we're very interested to see what they have to say about all this. let's get to chief national security correspondent jim sciutto for a little more perspective. pretty amazing stuff, jim.
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>> reporter: it is, kate. there's been a lot of buck-passing on general flynn, you may have noticed. not the first time it's happened in washington. but even this morning donald trump tweeting that, hey, the obama administration gave him his security clearance. listen, fact is, particularly for the most senior national security officials, when they are picked for top administration jobs, there is additional vetting that's a responsibility of that administration, not to mention the fact that flynn was fired as head of the dia in 2014 by the obama administration. but you have that, you know, the vetting of him is the responsibility of the incoming administration. but in addition to that, we already heard that sally yates is going to testify today to say that she delivered a forceful warning on january 26th that the white house canceled about flynn saying he could be compromised because he lied about speaking to the russians during the transition. that's january 26th. now we know that president obama, a month and a half before that, november 10th, two days after the election, when he sat down face-to-face with trump, at
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a time, as joe johns was saying, when their relationship was at its peak, you might say -- you remember trump coming out of the meeting saying we could work together, we were on a level. we now know that in that meeting, president obama said listen, you shouldn't hire general flynn, there's some smoke around there, in effect. so, he got multiple warnings, the trump administration did, yet, went forward with it, and it took them a number of weeks before they did fire him. and remember, kate, they fired -- i'm not going to say this was the only reason, but the day after a "washington post" story came out detailing those conversations. he had with the russian ambassador. >> and when it comes to where we're at least going to hear one contradiction with sally yates today when she testifies, we know, we've heard that sound bite over and over again when sean spicer, the way he described it was that sally yates gave a heads-up to the white house about michael flynn. but with this information, you can't really call it a heads-up anymore, can you? i mean, if this warning came
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directly from president obama, the warning came directly from president obama to president trump. >> reporter: clearly, a warning delivered from the most senior level of the outgoing administration. and sally yates, i mean, keep in mind, she was the acting attorney general in the trump administration, of course, while trump waited to make his own appointment. >> right. >> reporter: but keep in mind as well, she was a civil servant for a number of years serving both administrations. so, she's often characterized by the republicans as, in effect, a shill for the democratic party, but she had been in the justice department for a number of years. but bottom line is, multiple warnings came through. it was not, as sean spicer said, just a friendly heads-up. they were sounding the alarm, in effect, about michael flynn. president trump went ahead with this appointment and then some 20 days later or so -- that's as long as he lasted in this job -- they were forced to fire him. >> and the fallout clearly continuing as this is one of the subjects of this huge hearing that's now taking up even more importance today. >> reporter: exactly. >> thank you, jim.
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>> reporter: thank you. >> jeffrey toobin and errol louis is still here with me. does it surprise you, jeffrey, that president obama, any president would warn another president about a specific kind of personnel decision? >> it doesn't surprise me, but it's certainly got to be very unusual, because president obama obviously knew that donald trump was going to appoint people whose policy views were very different from president obama's and his administration. >> of course. >> so, it's not like he's saying don't appoint people who are going to -- >> if you don't like my climate change policy or whatever. >> obviously, something was about flynn personally involving his background, involving his actions, that prompted president obama to take this extraordinary step of warning him away. obviously, we know that donald trump did not take president obama's advice, did make him national security adviser, but he was gone 24 days after the administration started. >> and errol, i want your
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perspective on this just a bit for a final question. my producer just handed me a fascinating quote to remember. when president trump in december did a interview and after the warnings came to the white house, president trump said "general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media." >> interesting. >> i just find that very interesting because there was this period of time where they were not even comfortable saying that michael flynn was fired. they say he resigned, he decided to resign. >> right, right. well, i think you have to keep in mind, when president trump uses the term treated very unfairly, what it normally means, and this goes back to the campaign trail and before that to his commercial life, it means he's on the losing side of some kind of activity. so, if he thinks michael flynn was being treated unfairly what it meant was negative information was being surfaced by cnn, the "washington post," "the new york times" and other news outlets. i think he's in for another round of his so-called unfair
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treatment now. i think especially as questions are going to now be put to the president personally through his spokesperson, john spicer, and to everybody else, about what were you told on november 10th, what did you do about that information. we've already -- >> the timeline has already been kind of a moving target of a flow chart that we've had to, you know, make a decision tree on. >> we've already heard the president say -- well, i remember on air force one saying, well, he doesn't know anything about this "washington post" report. >> that's right. >> when of course, he did know about the "washington post" report, and more importantly about the facts that were disclosed in the "washington post" report. there have been sort of warning after warning from everybody, now including, apparently, the outgoing president of the united states, that michael flynn was a problem. why the president wanted to cling to him for so long under those circumstances and only acted when it was really untenable because he apparently had directly misled the vice president, why that level of allegiance, i do not know. >> but remember, it's always the same subject. it's always russia.
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why is the trump campaign, the trump administration, why are they always so defensive about their ties to russia? why have so many members of the administration made misstatements, made false statements about russia? michael flynn, obviously very tied to russia. this is what these investigations, perhaps, will uncover. >> yeah. there are, i think, four investigations on some various level in congress. of course, an fbi investigation looking into these questions as well. michael flynn is out. he was fired. the fallout not over. today the stakes now being raised even more with this breaking news that president obama warned president trump in the oval office, according to jim acosta's sources, against hiring michael flynn back when they met privately in the oval office on november 10th. president trump, what does he have to say about this? keep an eye on his twitter feed. we'll be right back. etty much lr favorite princess dress. but once a week i let her play sheriff so i can wash it.
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made daily life a guessing game. will i have pain and bloating today? my doctor recommended ibgard to manage my ibs. take control. ask your doctor about nonprescription ibgard. president obama warned president trump against hiring michael flynn as his national security adviser. that is according to former obama officials to cnn's jim acosta. we are learning that that warning happened in this meeting on november 10th, this private meeting that everyone was waiting for just after the election between the outgoing president and the incoming president. that warning now taking on a whole new meaning as we wait to hear from the acting attorney general later today testifying about her warnings to the white house about michael flynn. let me discuss this right now with andre bauer, cnn political commentator and former lieutenant governor of south carolina. hilary rosen is a cnn political
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commentator and democratic strategist. so, guys, andre, this is the outgoing president warning the incoming president against hiring michael flynn, and that was still not enough for president trump. he still hired him. he was there for a short period of time. does that concern you? >> well, you know, so much of this anymore, i think myself, like so many americans, wonder how much is political, how much is really of concern. and so, you know, first i would ask, why didn't the obama administration take his top-secret clearance or top-level clearance before letting it get to this point anyway? why wasn't -- when they had concerns, why didn't they take that? and another question is, is who actually -- what are the best interests? why won't susan rice testify? you know, so much of this it seems from the outside -- >> let's just talk about michael flynn, though. let's talk about this scenario. >> okay. >> susan rice is a completely different can of worms at this
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point. but this news that president obama warned president trump in their private meeting against hiring michael flynn, because for what, obviously, we don't know for exactly what reason, and that sally yates also had warned the white house about michael flynn, that he was misleading the white house in terms of his communications with russian officials, that was still not enough until much later for them to fire michael flynn. should he have been hired in the first place? >> you know, that's definitely a question worth asking. but again, if there was this much concern, why didn't the obama administration immediately take that clearance? why does sally yates go on msnbc and start talking about they were gathering information -- >> he wasn't part of the obama administration when this conversation was happening. he had been fired. >> sure, and you can give -- >> he was fired from the obama administration, andre. i mean, that -- >> that's what i was getting ready to say. >> go ahead, andre, finish up. >> he was -- >> no, hilary, go ahead. same point i was going to make. >> well, he was fired from the obama administration.
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he was not active in briefings. he wasn't getting security information, but he was sharing information from russian intelligence. that's what sally yates went and warned the trump white house about. so you know, i think the real issue is why is it that president trump did not seem to care at all about michael flynn's subversive connections with russia until it became public that he lied to the vice president and embarrassed the vice president so much that he had to essentially fire him? so, you know, look, this whole russia thing, jeff toobin made the point before, it all seems to keep coming back to what is donald trump's relationship with russia, why does everybody look the other way in the trump white house when it comes to russia? it is both boring and infuriating at this point because, look, i want the intelligence committees to investigate this. i don't want to keep talking about it. i want the trump administration
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to cooperate with the investigations. if the president has nothing to hide, just give them the information that they're looking for and let's move on with the country's business. this is not democrats continuing to push this as a conspiracy theory. these are actual facts that are troubling about how an administration operates. >> here's also an important point. as you were wondering, andre, why didn't the obama administration pull his clearance. take that one step further. why didn't the trump administration vet him further? and here's why i ask this, because of president trump's tweet this morning. general flynn, he blames obama for flynn essentially. "general flynn was given the highest security clearance by the obama administration, but the fake news media seldom likes talking about that." well, i want you to listen here to general john kelly. the secretary of the department of homeland security said this to fox news about the vetting that he underwent before he took his post. >> i would tell you this, the process i just went through,
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they completely ignored my last 25 years, started from scratch. i had to submit, again, financial statements, my tax records, anything and everything -- any foreign contact i had had, anything and everything. and then they checked at the fbi. so, i think the process -- i can't imagine how much tighter it could possibly be. >> so, andre, secretary kelly says the trump administration, it was on them to vet, and they did vet him. that's directly in contradiction to what the president's saying in his tweet. >> well, i think there's -- you know, you can argue both sides. clearly, if the obama administration thought he was a threat, they should have revoked his clearance. quite possibly, maybe he should have been vetted more before he took on his new post. i hope that, in fact, all of it does come out. i think when we continue to talk about russia, we always, it seems like so many commentators forget the close ties that the clintons had as well. and so, when this investigation goes on, it shouldn't just be one-sided, it should be totally
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who had ties to russia, what were those ties, and did they involve meddling in any shape, form or fashion -- >> donald trump is the president. >> not just one side. >> donald trump is the president. this isn't -- >> well, podesta took tens of millions, so -- >> this is not about politics now. this is about running our government, and it is worth noting two things. the first thing is that when donald trump and barack obama had their first meeting post election, both of them came out and said that their goal was to make the country work better. >> yes. >> and to succeed. and donald trump praised president obama for his candor and good advice and honest advice in that meeting. for him -- now that we know that president obama actually said, don't hire flynn, he's not what you think and there's trouble there, for president trump to now tweet this morning that it's obama's fault that he hired ray flynn is just beyond.
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that's the thing is that the president perpetuates the lies about ray flynn -- >> mike flynn. >> sorry. i keep saying ray flynn, former congressman. mike flynn. and yet, president obama actually warned him about him. that says all you need to know about how donald trump is acting about -- >> well, it doesn't, hilary, it doesn't. i'm sorry. if he was that concerned about him, he should have never let him keep his clearance. i mean, we all -- if you've got an employee -- >> okay, i don't think -- j. >> i don't know why you keep saying he kept his clearance. >> he was not working in the obama administration. >> that's right. >> just point of fact, he was not working in the obama administration when this all went down. he was fired from being the top intelligence officer in the department of defense. so he was fired for whatever reason. this was not obama pushing mike flynn at all towards president trump. he was warning president trump to not hire one of the men that he brought on as his top adviser. these two things do not go together. stand by. i've got to ask jeffrey toobin one thing as we look forward to
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today and sally yates and her testimony, talking about the tweets we heard. we had a tweet from the president about michael flynn and a tweet from the president about sally yates, saying that you should ask her under oath, as we see right here, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers after she explained it to the white house. i don't ask this flippantly. is this witness tampering? >> well, i don't think it is criminal witness tampering. however, it's just a demonstration of how president trump has changed the norms of what we expect for how presidents behave. he's the head of the department of justice. the department of justice investigates people for perjury. he is essentially saying in that tweet, she will lie about her contacts with the news media. i mean, it is a pretty incredible -- >> or suggesting she was the one who leaked it, right? >> that's right, they should ask her about it, and she was involved in illegal leaking and may lie about it today. it is just indicative of how differently donald trump behaves than any other president. the idea that a president would
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insinuate that a member briefly of his administration, a senior justice department official, a career prosecutor, was involved in illegal leaking based on no evidence, just as she was about to testify, it's not witness tampering, but it's clearly an attempt to intimidate her. and presidents just haven't done that kind of thing historically. >> a lot more on this, guys. great to see you. thank you, jeffrey, so very much. andre, hilary, thank you guys. i really, really appreciate it as well. we'll have much more on this to come, plus this -- what jared kushner's sister told chinese investors that forced the family business to apologize this morning. it has a lot of folks talking again about more possible conflicts of interest. we'll discuss. at whole foods ma, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful, fresh and nutritious. so there are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives in any of the food we sell. we believe in real food. whole foods market.
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continuing to follow breaking news. more coming out with regard to president obama. according to sources warned president trump in a private meeting in the oval office on november 10th against hiring national security -- what became his national security adviser michael flynn. also getting some new
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information from jake tap thape that president obama's concerns he related were not related to them firing flynn but rather because of the investigation. because how the investigation had gone so far into russian interference in the 2016 election. a quote from an obama administration source to jake tapper, flynn's name kept popping up according to a senior obama administration source. with me here still is jeffrey toobin. that's a little bit of what we were wondering allowed before we went to break exactly what the warning was relating to. >> i think it's clear that president obama understood that president trump was going to appoint people with different policy views than the obama administration. he was not going to warn him away from people who simply had different policy views. this is an -- his concern as jake tapper has learned more specifically now related to mike
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flynn's relationship with russia. which ultimately led to his departure a little more than three weeks into the administration. but the fact that donald trump would ignore that advice is yet another example of how the trump administration and donald trump himself have looked the other way where russia is concerned. >> it also makes me wonder what does that say also about the vetting that was under way? we played a sound bite earlier of john kelly. when i became secretary of homeland security, my last 25 years were thrown out the door and they vetted me meticulously once again. if this warning came on november 10th, what does that say about the vetting? >> i don't know what the vetting was, obviously, but it is also a fact in my experience and reporting is that when the president wants you for something, when the president says i want him to be national security adviser, he's going to be the national security adviser and they can ignore unpleasant
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facts in the vetting process. i don't know what the vetting said, but it was quite clear that donald trump wanted mike flynn as his national security adviser and he got him, albeit briefly. >> the vetting continues to be a question because the president is blaming the obama administration for not vetting flynn well enough. that's what he kind of said in a tweet this morning. let me bring in larry noble. he's a cnn ethics expert. larry, your reaction to an outgoing president warning the incoming president against hiring someone like michael flynn because according to jake tapper's reporting because it had to do with the ongoing investigation into russian meddling in the election. >> it seems to be pretty basic that when the former president tells you to be concerned about somebody that they fired the person, that there are potentially problems here that
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you would be very reluctant to hire them. looking at it at a basic level, you have the previous employer saying i'm not sure i would hire them and there are concerns. why that would not put up a red flag is not understandable. it is one of the highest security positions in the country. whether or not trump just really wanted him, at some point you have to put aside what you really want and look at what's best for the nation and say is this person -- is this the right person for the job when the president is telling me that there's a real problem here? >> and who knew what when is the key question in the hearing that will be happening today led by li lindsey graham and sheldon white house and i wonder what sally yates will be able to offer. >> a lot of the information sally yates had about mike flynn and the russian government apparently comes from intercepts which are very highly classified. the government never wants to
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discuss them publicly. so the basis for her concerns, she will be able to talk about them at some level of gener generality, but it will be interesting to see how close they get to the line of disclosing material. >> don't worry, you don't have to wait much longer. she will be testifying in just a few hours in a hearing that has taken on more importance with all the breaking news we've seen this hour. our special coverage will be conditioning in just a moment with john king. stand by. wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. switch and you could save $509 on auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. big breaking news, president obama it turns out warned then president-elect trump not to bring retired general michael flynn into the new administration. we'll go to the white house live on that news in a moment. it comes as we wait to hear from a star witness in the russia election meddling investigation. former acting attorney general sally yates. she issued another warning then to the trump white house that flynn who was hired as the national security adviser might be vulnerable to kremlin blackmail. >> if the acting attorney general insists on seeing the white house counsel, that's something in its own right but she's going to put an exclam -- >> speaks out against the plan passed by


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