tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN May 12, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
there are no, quote tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. now, here is what press secretary sean spicer just said in the briefing today. and take note of what he would actually not comment on or what he would not explain when it comes to conversations between the president and mr. comey. >> did president trump record his conversations with former fbi director comey? >> i assume you're referring to the tweet. and i've talked to the president and the president has nothing further to add on that. >> why did he say that? why did he tweet that? what should we interpret from that? >> as i mentioned, the president has nothing further to add on that. >> is there -- are there recording devices in the oval office or in the residence? >> as i've said for the third time, there is nothing furthe to add on that. >> does he think it's appropriate to threaten someone like mr. comey not to speak? >> i don't think that's -- that's not a threat. he's simply stated a fact. the tweet speaks for itself. i'm moving on.
>> got jake tapper off the top here. our cnn chief washington correspondent and host of "the lead" and host of "state of the union." jake, good to see you. listen, obviously, i want to get into some of your reporting on this tale of two dinners or really two versions of one dinner. but first, i want your response to the whole, i have nothing to add, you know, non-comment comment from the press secretary. >> i don't no what he could possibly say that would make that tweet seem like anything other than a threat to the fbi director to not talk to the press. it's an odd statement. and then, as you've noted earlier in the show today, sean spicer declined to answer the question several times, when asked if the president is recording his conversations. which is a stunning turn of events, given that, obviously, any such recordings could theoretically be suspected if
need be, one. and two, obviously, there are, you know, the question of recording your conversations against people -- you know, without people you're meeting with knowing about it, is, almost the definition of nixonian. >> so there's that. then there is the center of a lot of this is this dinner that happened, you know, seven days after the president is inaugurated and you have this great detail tweet, essentially, with the opposing views of what, you know, the president has said would happen at the dinner. and what this comey source said happened at the dinner. >> yeah, two days ago i reported that this source close to comey told me that there were two reasons that the fbi director was fired. one was his refusal to pledge personal loyalty to president trump. and two, the fact that the investigation into the possible collusion with russia was not only still going, it was
accelerating. and now we have some more information about the first part of that conversation. the first part of the reason. that we reported and also "the new york times," michael schmidt reported, which is, comey was call eed by the president to co to the white house to have dinner. he went. this is shortly after president trump took office. at that dinner, president trump specifically asked comey to pledge his loyalty to him. comey, according to this account, said that he couldn't do that. he could pledge that he could always be honest with the president, but that he couldn't pledge loyalty to him, and just as an aside, fbi agents pledged their loyalty to the u.s. constitution, not to any individual, obviously, as john adams noted in the massachusetts constitution, that we're a government of laws, not of men. in any case, president trump said to comey, well, could you pledge me your honest loyalty? and the source said, he doesn't know what that means.
it's almost oxymoronic, because you can pledge your honesty or you can pledge your loyalty, but sometimes they're going to come at odds. but in any case, director comey did agree to that, i guess assuming that it was an emphasis on the "honest" part of it. but that in the views of this individual close to the former fbi director is one of the reasons why he was fired. and then, we have president trump's comments to lester holt yesterday saying that russia was foremost on his mind when he made the decision to fire comey. and it's just a remarkable turn of events and it is stunning how quiet republicans on capitol hill are being today, given what the president has admitted to and why he has admitted to having fired the fbi director. >> talking to ana navarro a little bit, and she's basically saying the republicans, to last your last point, it's time to
wake up. wake up. last question for you, tapper. and that is, just stepping back for a second amid this crazy week in washington, that's been. i mean, the utter chaos in the white house and just how it seems no one can save the president from himself. >> well, sure they can. because if republican lawmakers don't do anything about this, you know, i don't see any repercussions, necessarily. i mean, the reason we have a legislative branch is to serve, among other reasons, is to serve as a check on the executive branch and the same thing with the judicial branch. but if one of those branches declines to do its job, i don't know that president trump being his own worst enemy, necessarily, means anything, certainly there have been republicans trying to talk to president trump since he took office about better ways to govern and better ways to manage
his white house. certainly, there are people on capitol hill and in his own white house who want to focus on the legislative agenda, the reasons why people voted for president trump. people didn't vote -- >> we haven't been talking about that because of what he's -- >> right, no, i get it. i get it. i'm just saying, people didn't vote for president trump so that he would fire the fbi director who was leading a probe into his campaign. they voted for him for a number of issues. and he can't do it, because of all of this other stuff and it's going to get in the way of his agenda. but if republicans on capitol hill don't stand up for what's right, of course he could get away with whatever he does. >> and leaving for this overseas trip and what oufl this swirling around him and taking it with him. jake tapper, i appreciate you, as always, coming on. we'll see you on "the lead" at the top of the hours. thank you very, very much. a lot to talk over with my next couple of guests. i've got bill gavin, who was the assistant director of the fbi's new york office during the 1993
world trade center bombing. and also with us, trump biographer, michael d'antonio, he wrote "the truth about trump," and sabrina siddiqui, reporter for "the guardian." wonderful to see all of you. so much to get to. let's start with this press briefing and the trump tweet this morning and the threat, let's just call it what it was, to james comey and hearing sean spicer saying that it wasn't a threat, and you know, refused to -- didn't answer the question when he was asked three or four different times on, you know, tapes or recording devices in the oval office. your thoughts? >> my thought is this -- you can't interpret that tweet -- and it's not just a statement that he made in private, it's a tweet that he made a little bit more than a veiled threat, he better make sure that there's no tapes. this is just another example of opening your mouth to change
feet sometimes. and he put sean spicer in a horrible position, once again, as the press secretary, where sean keeps answering, we have nothing further to say to that. now, already, we've come out and say it was ant threat. there'll be another change in the story. i just wish we had some presidential actions in this -- with mr. trump. it's been horrible, so far. >> okay, so you all watching haven't seen the tweet, this is one of the tweets from this morning from the president. james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. sabrina, what do you think? >> well, look, i think that it's remarkable that when asked repeatedly if the president is secretly taping conversations in the oval office, sean spicer wouldn't respond and he was very sensitive to this idea that the press is parsing these briefings and the words that he projects from that podium, but this is not the first white house press
shop that is contending with a president who keeps a busy schedule. what's unusual about sean spicer's role is that he has to answer for a president who frequently traffics in conspiracy theories and often shows a disregard for the separation of powers. and so they're trying to answer for his behavior towards james comey, and there really is no way for them to try and ratio l rationalize or justify trump's tweets or his flip of the script yesterday, when he conceded that, yes, russia was, in fact, part of his decision making, when it came to firing james comey. and in doing so, they just invite more scrutiny on themselves and raise more questions than they answer. >> michael, to you. and i know we have you on and we'll get to how you likened the president in the cnn independent piece to a 6-year-old child. but first, this nugget from tapper and his reporting of this dinner between comey and the president, where, again, this is a he said/he said thing. where comey says, the president
asked him to, you know, this loyalty pledge, right? you know trump, the man. what do you make of that? >> i'm sure he did ask him to be loyal. >> despite what the white house is saying? >> absolutely. the thing for president trump going back 40 years is personal loyalty. this idea of the constitution or the separation of powers or pledging loyalty to a system of laws, not men. that's foreign to him. what matters to him is that he has the power. you're supposed to be loyal to him, and if you're not, he'll fire you. and no one should be surprised by this. this is the person he's always been. >> did businessman trump do this? >> absolutely, he did. he demanded loyalty. he actually -- >> actually asking it of people? >> oh, yes. and he hired people who didn't have options. this was an interesting thing about donald trump, is that he sought very brought people, but who would not have had access to
this kind of income, this kind of power, this kind of glamour, but for donald trump. so then they become very attached to him. you know, you see this in this fellow keith shiller, who's his -- >> his body guy. >> his body guy. he attached hills to trump around 1990. and has been there ever since, like a barnacle on the hull of a boat. you know, he just -- >> you called him a human blanket or a baby blanket. >> yes, he's a security blanket for donald trump. you saw him push jorge ramos out of a press conference, physically looming over him and shoving him out of the room. this is the kind of thing trump expects of the people who work for him. it's why the white house is struggling. they don't know they're to adhere to real protocol and common sense and reality as everyone sees it or to follow the president's lead.
>> bill -- thank you. bill, back to you on, we have this other piece of information. this is from pamela brown in her reporting about how she's talked to this source close to comey and back on this tape, or were there tapes of this conversation and the threat to the president. this source says that comey, quote, is not worried about any tapes and the source says, quote, it is absolutely untrue that jim asked to have dinner or that he asked to have his job, which is what the president told nbc. that is a complete fabrication. so this is essentially a comey source saying the president is lying. >> it's, again, we get into a he said/she said situation here. this need to stop. i'm sure the president has gathered around him some people who have some good common sense and offered him some advice. the problem is, the advice isn't being accepted to and adhered to. with this latest tweet that he did, there's no way around this thing. i'm sure that was when the
people in the white house heard that, that was an oh, my god, he didn't say that, moment. it happens frequently. and it's got to stop, if he wants credibility among the citizens of the united states of america. >> well, how about, file this under oh, my god, did he tweet this, moment. sabrina, this was for you. he tweeted, as a very active president with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at the podium with perfect accuracy. sean spicer was basically bemoaning the coverage from the press this week, and meantime, the press is bemoaning the white house for the shifting stories. and why don't the american, you know, why doesn't the american public deserve accuracy from surrogates of the president? >> well, it's -- there's just no sense in saying that they should be held to the same standard as previous administrations when it comes to telling the truth while they're standing by that podium. sean spicer and sarah huckabee sanders are speaking on behalf
of the most powerful office in the nation and their words matter. and i think that on the one hand, sean spicer was complaining that the media coverage is unfair, and then, moments later, he made a false claim that the allegations of collusion between trump and russia had been debunked. when, in fact, what james clapper had really said is he had -- he did not know if there was collusion and that's the same thing that congressional leaders who are investigating this russia issue have said, as well, that at the time, they had not seen any evidence of collusion. but the question is still open-ended. you can't, on the one hand, say that you're being held to some sort of unfair standard, and then moments later, continue and misstate the information that you have. and willingly do so to try to protect the narrative that the white house is trying to put out there. >> last question to you, michael. that being your piece. you point out that some of the words that the president has
used, crying chuck schumer or crying like a baby blumenthal and others. >> well, it's shocking that we have a president who speaks this way, who thinks this way. if you go back to lester holt's interview with the president, the moment he said that comey asked to have dinner with him, i knew the opposite was true. >> how? >> because he's setting up an expectation. because the next thing he said was that comey wanted to keep his job. this is inconsistent with james comey's lifelong reputation for integrity and independence. so, what he does is he tries to create reality, use name calling in the way that a 6-year-old boy would do. "you're a baby" because you're disagreeing with me. or you're immature. or -- it's almost crazy talk, to listen to the president step by step set out claims that can't be supported. then when they get caught, like on this issue of "is there a tape or not?" there is evidence
of whether there's a tape or not. you can't wiggle out of this. >> well, now to members of congress, two democratic members of congress have already written a letter, saying, if there are tapes, we want to see them or hear them. michael deantonio, thank you very much. and bill and sabrina, thank you both of you, as well. >> thank you. another big question here. did the president obstruct justice with regard to his actions involving comey? former nixon white house council, john dean, joins me live, and we'll ask him about this threat over tapes. also, once again, president trump praises his fired national security adviser. why he says he waited 18 days to fire him. and you know who this is. it's not exactly the guy we saw today behind the podium. surprising new yorkers today, this is just outside of cnn. what's going on with melissa mccarthy and "saturday night live" this weekend. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. this is cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. first the president changed his story about why he fired fbi director, james comey, and now according to his twitter page, he is threatening him. during an angry tweet storm this morning, the president tweeted this, and i quote, james comey better hope there are no, quote, tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. now, the white house, as we just heard in the briefing a bit ago says that was not a threat. but in the backdrop of all of this are questions about the president's intent and whether an admission during an nbc interview constitutes an obstruction of justice. >> and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. it's an excuse by the dls femoc for having lost an election that they should have won. and the reason they should have won it is, the electoral college is almost impossible for a republican to win, very hard,
because you start off at such a disadvantage. so everyone was thinking, they should have won the election. this was an excuse for having lost an election. >> joining me now, former white house council to president nixon, john dean, welcome. >> thank you. >> you are someone who knows a thing or two about tapes in the white house. what do you make of this threat? >> in this day and age, i'm sure it's not a tape. i'm sure he's referring to a listening device. today it would be digital and not a magnetic tape. so just to eliminate that technical problem. but did he record or did someone record? no idea. but today it would be very easy. he could have a smartphone in his pocket and probably pick up a room conversation with some ease. so i don't think comey would do that. that's certainly contrary to all the fbi protocols. so that's just not going to happen. but what i suspect comey did is
report it to his colleagues what had happened and made a record of what had happened during the conversation. >> well, apparently, i should just put a footnote on that, that comey is, according to his source and cnn reporting is, quote, not worried about any tapes and if there is a tape, there's nothing, he says, hays worried about. let me ask you about this. we've just received word in the last hour that these two members of congress, democrats, have sent a letter to the white house asking for any tapes or digital -- you're right, i'm sure that's what it is, between president trump and comey. and in the letter they write under this section of u.s. code, it is a crime to intimidate or threaten any potential witness with the attempt to influence, delay, or prevent their official testimony. do you see anything funny about this? >> well, i think that's a reach at this point. >> you do? >> when comey was there, he certainly wasn't a witness. he's made himself -- he's become a witness, if this comes into some sort of impeachment
proceeding or even later, a legal proceeding, when trump isn't president. it could well be that he's going to be a key witness. and -- but i don't think there was any effort to intimidate him as a witness, with the threat of the tape or in taping him. >> is -- what about just in this threat, period. and again, the white house saying it wasn't a threat, but -- >> well, it's self-evident. >> you be the judge on that one. >> is there any sort of legal ramification whatsoever for this type of threat in 140 characters or less? >> not really. it's a pretty loose ly phrased statement. so i think he's more playing to the media and trying to brace -- this is a standard -- as your other guest said earlier, it's kind of -- it's just the way he acts. it's the way he tries to anticipate things, tries to cut people off before they take action and here, it's a threat
to, oh, i've got a record of this, so don't say anything if you're not sure. >> what about any sort of obstruction of justice, based upon anything that we've known that's come into the public? >> well, what is a potential obstruction of justice is his mental state when he fired comey. and what he told lester holt. that is right on the border line. and stit's certainly in the are of an endeavor. and that statute, if you get into the statute, even an endeavor to -- if you don't accomplish an obstruction, you're in trouble. >> okay. john dean, thank you so much. >> thank you, brooke. next, more on our breaking news. the president threatening james comey with possible take place of their conversations, as we were just discussing. plus, he just gave another interview. hear what he says about sean spicer's future.
we'll take 2! [ laughing ] xfinity x1 gives you exclusive access to the best of the billboard music awards just by using your voice. the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st eight seven central only on abc. are you moving so quickly th that your communications department cannot keep up with you? >> yes, that's true. >> so what do we do about that? >> we don't have press conferences -- >> you don't mean that? >> just don't have them. unless i have them every two weeks and i do it myself. we don't have them. i think it's a good idea. first of all, you have a level of hostility that's incredible. and it's very unfair. sarah huckabee is a lovely young woman. i you know sean spicer. he's a wonderful human being. he's a nice man. >> is he your press secretary and today and tomorrow?
will he be tomorrow? >> he's doing a good job, but he gets beat up. >> will he be there tomorrow? >> well, he's been there from the beginning. >> that was president trump moments ago on fox news addressing the contradicting statements on the reasons for firing fbi director james comey and on the current press secretary, sean spicer. so i get to talk to david axelrod today. he's our cnn senior political commentator in chicago. nice to see you, sir. before we get into -- >> how are you doing, brooke? anything going on? >> oh, slow news day. nothing, really. before we get to your ax files special tomorrow night. on this conversation about tapes and the questions to sean spicer today, are there any tapes? you know, conversation recorded between docomey and the preside, we know that any kind of secret recordings in any white house has been off-limits since the nixon administration. so when you listen to sean spicer's response, the non-response wh non-response, what did you think? >> well, i think that he, as he often is, was in a really difficult spot.
and was instructed not to say anything beyond what was in the tweet. the interesting thing was him trying to convince people it wasn't a threat. it was just helpful advice to a departing employee, you know? a little legal advice for mr. comey. obviously, it was a threat. and you know, the problem is not with the spokespeople, but they're in a constant game of twister, trying to contort themselves to explain the latest tweet or comment. he sent the vice president out there to tell a story and cut him off at the knees the next day himself. so if donald trump has communications issues, he should start by looking in the mirror. >> threw the whole white house under the bus, as chris cillizza wrote so well on cnn.com. let's talk about you and your axe files special. you ask california governor enginejerry brown about the sto the week, of the year, the james comey firing. here's part of your
conversation. >> i do think that comey's public statements about the e-mails and hillary was a very bad and unprofessional -- and he never even acknowledged it. so i think comey has real serious problems. >> what about the timing of it? >> but that's the other point, that he asked for resources to investigate the russia/trump connection. so, yeah, that smells. no question. >> and where do you think this all goes now? is this going to hang over trump? >> well, it's hanging over washington, that's all they can think about. i would like to see the senate restore some of its earlier luster, thinking of the great giants in the senate in the past, and with truly bipartisan, democrat and republican. let them investigate. i think that maybe you bring the house in, too. but watergate was a lot -- the investigation there was driven by the house of representatives and by the committees.
so i think they're capable if they can get off this circus of partisanship and polarization, which they seem addicted to, tragically. >> circus of partisanship, david. is it a circus of partisanship, or just the circus? >> well, i think there's an element of both. but, obviously, you've seen -- for the most part, there have been some outliers, but you've seen a lot of people kind of retreating the partisan sidelines. and you know, the most notable was mitch mcconnell, who basically stonewalled on the issue of whether there should be a special council or a special committee to look into this, as some democrats and a few republicans, john mccain, has suggested. and he was very stalwart in opposition to that. and i suspect he will be, unless the politics changes. but i'll tell you an interesting thing about jerry brown. there's a guy who was once about the youngest governor in
america, 1970s. he's now the oldest governor in america. and his father was dwmpb govern california. and he's got an enormous sweep of history in his lifetime. it was interesting to hear him talk about how things have changed. and he's clearly a little wistful about days gone by, when republicans and democrats could work together. and he prides himself on that in california. >> mm-hmm. david axelrod, thank you so much. we'll be watching your full interview with governor brown. "the axe files," a cnn special, airing tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. eastern. we continue with the firing of james comey, apparently not a massive topic of conversation right now at a big meeting of republican leaders in california. what one member of their own party says they need to wake up. she joins me next. travel with m. roller derby. ♪ now give up half of 'em. do i have to?
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coordinated cyber attack has targeted at least 74 countries in the last ten hours. this attack has instantly installed ransomware on computers across the globe. the program is demanding users pay hundreds of dollars in order to regain control of their computers. of those affected, at least 16 national health services in the united kingdom. one expert tells cnn the rans ransomware could likely spread to u.s. firms, as well. as we get more information, we'll keep you posted. . meantime, obstruction of justice. a cover-up. just as the president is facing extremely serious allegations on why he fired fbi director james comey, many in his own party are shrugging it off. hundreds of republican national committee members are gathering for their spring meeting this week, where they say james comey's firing has barely been mentioned. so is the issue being avoided? is this apathy? should more be discussed? with me now, cnn political commentators, ana navarro and
paris dennard. so ana navarro, first you. you know, you're calling out your party, right now, you're saying to republicans, wake up! >> mm-hmm. look, i think republicans have been asleep. i think they need to remember, especially elected republicans, that their loyalty is to this country. it's to america. it's to the constitution. and i'm very troubled by the escalation of donald trump's behavior of president trump's tweets. you know, look, if you want to go out there and billion an enabler and defend him when he's lying about inaugural crowds, when he's tweeting against rosie o'donnell, when he's tweeting against meryl streep or against nordstrom's. if you want to go defend him when he's lying about 3 to 5 million undocumented having voted. okay, go ahead and do that. but this transcends that. this is so much more serious. in a matter of one week, in a
matter of four days, on one day, he was tweeting out an intimidation of sally yates, the day she was to testify in front of the senate. and today he sent out a veiled threat, another intimidation of former fbi director, james comey. we owe it to the professionals at the fbi, at the intelligence community to stand up and not allow this. republicans cannot continue lacking the other way and enabling this. history is going to judge them oh, so harshly, oh, so harshly if more comes out. we need to stand up and defend the search for the truth above everything else. we cannot -- we cannot hand in a blind loyalty to a president, even if it's the president of our own party. that is not the duty of elected republicans. >> paris, as a republican and someone who's been very loyal stot president, how would you respond? >> well, i think ana is 100% wrong. and as someone who has worked at the republican national
committee with the members of the 168, who are our party faithful, listen, i spoke to one of the members, national committee women who is there right now, and she said, we are unanimously excited, optimistic, and focused, celebrating our victories and focused on 2018, because we understand full force that the history of first-term, mid-term elections are for presidents. and so they are laying the groundwork and the foundation and the infrastructure to continue to be successful, just as we were in 2016. so i would say to ana, no, we're not asleep, we're wide awake. that's why we won this election. that's how we won the presidency, the house, and the senate. we are awake and we are excited, motivated, and we believe wholeheartedly and members of the 168 believe that this president acted responsibly in the removal of comey, because he lost faith in his ability to lead the fbi. he lost faith in him. a lot of americans lost faith in him. many senators did. and even there are democrats who lost faith in james -- in mr.
comey's ability to lead the fbi. so we're not -- members of the 168 are not asleep. they're awake, they understand what's going on, but they don't care about the punditry of ana navarro. they care about the people who sent them there. the party faithful will come out to vote in 2018 to give us more electoral victories for the gop. >> ana, do you want to respond to that? >> no, i really don't. you know, first of all, i don't respond to personal attacks from colleagues. second of all -- >> there was no personal attack. >> you know, what am i -- >> that was not a personal attack. >> okay, you've said your piece. it's now my time. what am i going to say to somebody who refuses to hear what's going on in our country? do you think that donald trump's approval ratings are at 36% because people are not bothered by this? do you think the credibility of the president is where it is and of the presidency because people are not bothered by this?
have you stepped outside to have the beltway? i'm not in washington, i'm in miami, florida, i'm traveling around the country and i can tell you people are very worried and so many americans feel that this government is in crisis. that this president thinks he is above the law. and republicans need to send a clear message that that is not the case. we need to push for the search for the truth. we need to push for a resolution for this, for the good of the country. we can't continue living with ybw, you know, in this society, where half the people, if not more, think this is an illegitimate president who got to power through collusion with the russians. if that's not true, let's get it out. and you know, let's all be able to have some faith stored ed ie presidency of the united states. >> got to go, with ana and paris. thank you both very much for that. not on the same page, but that's why we wanted to hear from both of you. coming up next, melissa mccarthy taking sean spicer out for a ride today on this moving podium outside the cnn offices here in new york.
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ego, actress melissa mccarthy who is hosting "saturday night live." check this out. this is melissa outside of our cnn headquarters here in new york just this morning. motorized podium. you know, you've seen the sketches. they are upping it and then some apparently for this upcoming saturday night. i have the peendabody award-wing comedian. apparently she's just been spotted thanks to our contact over at 30 rock. >> she's the best. >> on the motorized podium. she's the best. >> gave me an idea to incorporate. i'll start a fleet of sean spicer pedi cabs and get a whole bunch of look-alikes and the slogan will be we'll get you there on time and angry. like a game of frogger, jumping out from bushes. it's the best.
just writes itself. >> we don't know what they have up their sleeves for this saturday. she eats one hosted, but it's incredible to me how -- i'll never forget where i was when i first saw her, you know, as sean spitzer and do you sometimes look at sean spicer and think melissa mccart? >> melissa mccarthy does a better sean spicer than sean spicer. >> and we were looking at bernie sanders and how well larry david pulled that off. >> exactly. >> this is the video that "snl" has released, the hair and makeup. >> i love her dimples. >> the forehead is exaggerated. not even a forehead. >> last question, sean spicer was back at the podium. on navy reservist duty. sarah huckabee sanders has stood in his place. not giving enough material to late-night writers. >> opposite end of the spectrum,
that southern charm. >> yeah. >> you know, when i hearings i want to have a mint julep and bet on horse racing. you know, that saying, it's not what you say but how you say it. she could say anything and it could be fine. like i do declare we're at war with north korea. all right. let's play croquet. it's all good. listen, the bushes thing is the best, that he was in the bushes. is he a press secretary or a cub scout leader? what are we doing? this is the only press conference in the history of the white house where reporters walked away with poison ivy. we'll have a press conference. you bring the bug spray and i'll bring the s'mores. >> jay is laughing at you. that's good. we got a laugh. >> always a pleasure. thank you so very much. >> yeah. >> coming up next, nba hall of famer and personal friend charles barkley talked to me about his new series on race in america, and we also talked about president trump and why he says he respects the president but says, my goodness, every day is a wild ride.
also this. a moment to honor two cnn heros who joined forces to help women in greek refugee camps. their project uses the life vests that refugees wore on their journey. >> the project is making welcome mats from the life vests, so they are weaving these, getting paid to weave them, and we're going to sell these in the u.s., and the ideaed is that we are laying down the welcome mat for them. >> they are done! >> we can do so much better in welcoming people to our country. this is a direct way to give empowerment and hope in something as simple as purchasing a mat. >> love that. find out how you can buy a mat or nominate a cnn hero. go to cnnheros.com. whoa!
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you know charles barkley, sir charles, for his hall of name nba career and now tnt's "inside the nba" and he's also premiering a two-part series on tnt called "american race in 2017," journeying across the country himself to explore the diverse cross-section in america. >> when you protest peacefully, sometimes your voice doesn't get hurt. a lot of people were hurt from burning down the cvs, but it brought all of middle eastia down on pennsylvania avenue. sometimes you have to take that narrative by the neck. >> i'm saying it was negative that it had to burn down. >> that served no purpose whatsover! >> how, if it didn't burn down. >> it brought the media, that's all it did because everybody that was affected by that was the people you said that you felt bad for. >> so i talked to charles reece entally. we talked a lot about those
conversations he had. talked a lot about undocumented immigrants, muslims. it was fascinating, his take, and the people he talked, to so we're going to post that. mean phil, of course, i also asked him about the president. >> i didn't vote for the president, but i respect him for being the president. i respect the office, but this notion that everybody voted for donald trump is a racist or they are all full of evil, they have the right, that's what makes this country great. we have to demand more of our leaders. >> how would you grade president trump these first couple of months in office? >> i think the thing that bothers me the most is just waking up every day and the democrats and republicans are arguing, like little kids. i mean, that drives me crazy. they disagree on every subject. the only people who really get hurt is the actual people. we're a little over 100 days in, and it's like turmoil every single day. i don't remember with any president that i can remember, like i say i'm living in the
moment, but i don't remember something happening every single day like it does now. >> we'll make sure to post entire conversation i had with charles barkley. we'll put it on cnn.com, my twitter @brookecnn. his show "american race" tonight on tnt at 9:00 eastern. thanks for being with me. "the lead" starts right now. thanks, brooke. is president trump recording conversations in his white house? "the lead" starts right now. president trump now seeming to threaten the man he just fired as fbi director telling james comey not to talk to the press and alluding to tapes of their conversations. the former director of national intelligence shutting down the trump talking point. what james clapper said about the trump team and possible collusion with russia. plus, more russian laughter. the day after the kremlin troll the the white house was video of the foreign minister giggling about the comey firing, a putin spokesman says america is