tv Inside Politics CNN December 3, 2017 5:00am-6:00am PST
yes! yes, indeed. amazing speed, coverage and control. all with an xfi gateway. find your awesome, and change the way you wifi. a blockbuster plea deal rattles the white house, but the president insists he's not worried. >> what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. there's been absolutely no collusion. >> plus, the president re-tweets anti-muslim bigotry and angers america's closest ally. >> re-tweeting from britain first was the wrong thing to do. >> and senate republicans pass a tax cut plan. the hope now is to get a final deal to the white house by christmas. >> this is our
once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hard-working americans. >> "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. toll our viewers in the united states and around the world, thank you for sharing your sunday. it is a moment of high consequence here in washington. a confidant of president trump pleads guilty in the russia meddling investigation. says he is cooperating with the special counsel. and suggests several others still in senior white house jobs knew of his improper dealings with russia. >> this acknowledgement of criminal guilt is a shattering moment for the trump presidency. we have a moment, similar to watergate, where the question is going to be, what did they know and when did they know it? not just the president, but jared kushner and michael pence, the vice president. >> that thickening cloud of
investigation comes at what should be a moment of celebration. senate republicans passed a tax cut early saturday morning and after a frustrating first year, one major piece of the trump agenda now moving closer to the finish line. >> people are going to be very, very happy. they're going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief. and that's what this country needs. >> plus, yet another dizzying week included a major international outrage. the president's decision to share hateful anti-muslim bigotry with his millions of twitter followers raised alarms about his judgment and temperament here at home and drew rebukes from america's closest ally. >> this is like the president re-tweeting the coku klux klan. this is not a mainstream organization for the president of the united states, our greatest ally as a country, to be re-tweeting, to be providing a microphone to those voices. >> with us this sunday to share their reporting and their insights, julie pace of the associated press, sahil kapoor of bloomberg, michael warren of
the "weekly standard." let's listen to the president, in a little bit more detail. he insists he's not worried. >> no, i'm not. and what has been shown is no collusion. no collusion. there's been absolutely -- there's been absolutely no collusion. so we're very happy. >> but despite that public show of confidence, the west wing is shaken, on edge. the new star witness in the russian meddling investigation says there were improper dealings with the russian government and that people as close to the president as you can get knew about them. in fact, encouraged them. that star witness is, of course, former national security adviser, michael flynn. he entered a guilty plea on friday, admitting he lied to the fbi about late 2016 contacts with russia's ambassador to the united states. now, the white house has insisted, if flynn did anything wrong, he was freelancing. but court papers paint a very different picture, saying several top trump advisers knew of flynn's russian dealings and
one was directed by a senior official, presidential sources identified as presidential son-in-law, jared kushner. there is no question, special count robert mueller is focusing on the president's inner circle. and the president himself. and in pushing back, the president is raising new questions and giving the special counsel more to match up with other witness testimony. just this morning, as part of a pre-sun rise tweet storm, the president insisted, quote, i never asked comey to stop investigating flynn. just more fake news covering another comey lie. now the former fbi director, james comey, said the president did ask him to give flynn a pass and fired him after he refused to pledge his loyalty. this saturday tweet also raising eyebrows. "i had to fire general flynn because he lied to the vice president and fbi. he has pled guilty to those lies. it is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. there was nothing to hide." listen here, cnn legal analyst, michael zeldin, a one-time deputy of the special counsel,
robert mueller, call the president's new take curious. a bit more. >> i don't believe that the president would have known or could have known that four days after his inauguration general flynn had lied to the fbi. sally yates didn't tell him that. if it's true, it's a bit more problematic, because it is the possibility here that the president is somehow intervening in an ongoing investigation. >> where are we in the sense that we know that when the president tweets, that tells us what is first and foremost on his mind. he is still at it this morning. he was at it last night. we know what he's thinking about and trying to change the subject. we'll get through some of those. but he's also putting more official statements in the public record, including with, he's now saying in an official statement, that's what a tweet is, i didn't tell comey these things. comey says he did. >> comey says he did. he says that in written testimony, said it appearing on the hill. when the president tweets this
morning on the weekends, you can tell he's generally agitated with something. there was a scramble that happened yesterday after that initial tweet you put out there, about trump saying he had to fire flynn because he lied to the fbi. there was this scramble to portray this as a tweet that was written by john dowd, one of the president's lawyers, in an attempt to put a little bit of distance between the president himself and that tweet. i'm not sure if it's any better if it's coming from the president's lawyer. that's about as official as it gets. but they're leaning hard on this idea that the flynn court documents don't provide a smoking gun on collusion. and that is true. but what they do do is continue to undermine the initial white house explanations about why flynn was fired and what he was up to during the transition. it's really difficult now, i think, to believe that there was no one else in the transition team that was talking to flynn about sanctions on russia. now we've got k.t. mcfarland, jared kushner talking to flynn about russia. is circle has suddenly grown a lot closer to the president.
>> when you're talking to people since friday inside the west wing, a sense of where is this going? a sense, they can't just say flynn is freelancing. you look at the e-mails, other e-mails, one is from k.t. mcfarland. she was flynn's deputy. she was in mar-a-lago during the transition. he was about to call the russian ambassador. he checks in with the team in florida, k.t. mcfar laland put an e-mail, if there is a at this time ftit for tat trump, will have a tough time. now, what the trump team is saying, she was talking in shorthand. she's saying, that's what the democrats were going to say. but you have -- a, these e-mails confirm, they're having conversations about talking to the russians before they're in official power, about american policy. which is taboo, if not just flat-out wrong. and which has just thrown usa election to him.
bob mueller is not shutting down anytime soon. >> absolutely not. and julie is right that this is part of what this does is sort of give some concrete information and proof behind the idea that this was not a free lansice lancing effort by michael flynn, but in fact, a campaign-wide to make these overtures to russia or improve relations with russia and to talk specifically about sanctions. what those k.t. mcfarland e-mails do show there wasn't just a policy imperative behind that, but a political imperative behind that. because whether or not you believe she was simply stating a fact that democrats are going to say and are saying that russia tried to swing the election to trump or you believe that she was actually stating that as a fact that she knew to be true, it's certainly the case that that was what was animating what their conversations with the russians were going to look like going forward. and that could be a major problem. and again, it gets to this question of whether the president was directing this, whether -- we know that his inner circle and people as far up as his son-in-law, there was
no one closer to him than jared kushner on the campaign or on the transition we're doing, so far from sort of indicating that this is wrapping up, this is an indication that mueller has a lot more to dig into. and every time the president makes a statement like that tweet yesterday, he's got some more. because now he's essentially suggesting that not only did he know that flynn lied to the vice president, but he already knew that flynn lied to the fbi. >> and for anything that happened during the campaign, and up to 25 days into the administration, mueller also now has a michael flynn that signed a plea agreement that requires him to tell things that bob mueller is not asking about. if he become ace ware of anything, if anything pops into his head, he's spoke to talk up. >> i think the fact that the mueller investigation is in the white house now, essentially. short time period, the trump administration official is he was an obama administration official, but he was a trump administration official in the white house. but i think it's important to focus on what this plea deal is about. we should also remember that
mike flynn was being investigated for a lot of things. a foreign agent registration violation. he wasn't reasonabled. all these sorts of things. and this was a pretty small guilty plea. what he's pleading guilty to here. and i think it's important to remember that that what the mueller investigation is after, what it can ask, what michael flynn might be testifying about, may not have to do with this very interesting, you know, late december conversation. it could have to do with a lot of other things. and i think the myopic focus on simply that two-day period where he's talking with kislyak, sort of hides the fact, obscures the fact that michael flynn was a major figure in the trump campaign and the white house. >> i think that is a critical point, because mueller is a very strategic person. he gets the george papadopoulos plea, he indicts the former campaign chairman of the deputy, he gets a plea from a guy they said was the coffee boy, but he gets the word "russia" in court filings and puts it in there. you're right, this doesn't tell us about the campaign. this is about transition after the campaign. but he gets russia, he gets
dealings, and he puts in the court file, in a time when all these other white house officials have to come in and testify and be witnesses, he puts in, you keep saying he was freelancing, i have the proof he is not. you were all in on this and if you were all in on this, what else were you all in? the information said he told four lies. they only charged him with one. a prosecutor only does that, only lets you off easy, if you will be with if he thinks he's getting a bigger fish. >> exactly. and michael flynn is exposed on a number of counts. he has potential criminal exposure on the issue the allegations on turkey, on kidnapping and lobby and stuff like that. and if you're bob mueller, putting him on the two lies he had admitted to, with contacts between the presidential team and russia as it relates to sanctions and a u.n. security council resolution are not necessarily criminal or illegal, just my looking at them. clearly, there's a reason these lies were put out there. why are multiple members of the president's inner circle and transition team lying about contacts with russia? and right now we have four
indictments and two guilty pleas and it looks like mueller is closing in more and more -- >> and he's moving up the letterhead. this is the national security adviser to the president of the united states. access to every piece of intelligence coming into the united states government. and i just want to read one piece of the filing. a very senior member of the presidential team directed flynn to contact officials from foreign governments, including russia and source tell us that very senior member is jared kushner, the president's son-in-law. if you're the president of the united states, general flynn has flipped, you know your son-in-law has been interviewed at least once. you know this investigation is continuing. that -- this is as close as you can get. the question now is, forgive the watergate cliche, what did the president know and when did he know it? >> i think a very important thing you said, jared kushner interviewed once. i think actually twice. cnn reported that some time at the end of november, that he came in. and it wasn't for hours long, kushner was there, he was there for fewer than 90 minutes, just a week or so before this guilty
plea comes down. i would be very interested to know what exactly mueller asked him in that relatively very short period of time. >> i bet the president is interested, too. up next, more on general flynn and why his guilty plea matters so much. and politicians say the darnedest thing. "saturday night live" putting the flynn flip in the context of the christmas season. >> i'm michael flynn, the ghost of witness flipped. >> mr. president, there's a lot of people from your past that could come back to haunt you. tonight you will be visited by three of them. >> who are you? >> it is i, hillary rodham clinton! you have no idea how long i've wanted to say this. lock him up! >> no! no! filtering it out to help you continue enjoying your screens.
or... you could just put your phones down and talk to each other. [laughing] nature's bounty lutein blue. because you're better off healthy. was supposed to be a wake reup call for our government?sh people all across the country lost their savings, their pensions and their jobs. i'm tom steyer and it turned out that the system that had benefited people like me who are well off, was, in fact, stacked against everyone else. it's why i left my investment firm and resolved to use my savings for the public good. but here we are nine years later and this president and the republican congress are making a bad situation even worse. they won't tell you that their so called "tax reform" plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations,
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these make cleaning between myi love easy.sy. gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. we do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law. cha [ chanting: lock her up ] >> lock her up. that's right! yeah. that's right, lock her up. if i -- a guy who knows this business, if i did a tenth of what she did, i would be in jail today. >> that's michael flynn at the republican convention last year. the irony, more than obvious. but the message of that clip is the important part. the candidate gets the final say on plum convention roles. general flynn was there because of his close relationship with
donald trump. >> the rule of law does prevail in this country. and that to me is very important. obviously, huge implications for the white house. it's not a good day. he is not a coffee boy. this is not a hoax, it's not fake, it's real. >> general clapper there speaking to jake tapper friday afternoon. general clapper, the former director of national intelligence. not a coffee boy, that's what they said at george papadopoulos. you can't say that about michael flynn. and to the general's point, pretty hard to say this is fake and this is a ruse, when you say the former national security adviser admitting he lie, when he was in the white house, the lie took place when he worked for the president of the united states in the west wing of the white house. >> and what we do know that he lied to the fbi in this january 24th interview about activities that took place during the transition. what we don't necessarily know
what was in the rest of his proffer that led bob mueller to give him this deal where he's cooperating with the investigation. and that is what has to be very concerning to the white house right now and is concerning to the president and his lawyers, because those charges that he wasn't charged, that the lies that he told, that he was not charged, in this deal, are still things that mueller could come back and charge him with. so he has a lot hanging over his head. he obviously has a lot to say to bob mueller. and those are the conversations and the pieces of information, those are next shoes to drop. >> and you have to remember with mike flynn, he is one of the few people who's been tied up in all of this, who is around trump in three distinct and really important periods. the campaign. he was flying on trump's campaign with him, he was at campaign events, obviously at a high-profile speaking role. during the transition, he was talking to foreign governments and involved in a lot of real-time discussions about policy going forward. yes, it was 25 days. but it was 25 really important and hectic days in the white house.
so those three areas of time give him an awful lot to talk to bob mueller about. >> and bob mueller put a marker down here. and he is very strategic in the sense that this is about conversations during the transition, but showing that flynn is saying now on the record and cooperating that he was in touch with all of these other people in the transition. what message is bob mueller sending to those people when he calls them back in about election stuff and ask him about other things. they all know that flynn is cooperating, that the e-mails have been turned over. you asked this question to the president. what did he know and when did he know it? >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course of the election? >> well win told you, general flynn, obviously, was dealing, that's one person -- >> during the election? >> no, nobody that i know of. >> so you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election? >> how many times do i have to answer this question? >> can you just answer the question? >> russia is a ruse. >> there's the president of the
united states on the record. the charges with flynn deal with after the election. deal with the transition. but that's on purpose. we know he's still looking into a whole lot of election season stuff there. the credibility of that statement and so many others from the president are going to be called into question as we go on. and you have to have a sense, if you're one of those people that was at mar-a-lago in december, who was around the president in campaign, you're asking, is there something i need to know about. or if you've told anything to investigators that you now flynn can contradict, you have to get in there and clean it pup. >> there's a flippenantspaflipp president himself seems to get his news from a lot of sources that aren't talking about this. and one this comes back home to the white house, i think a lot of people are going to be shocked. >> i would imagine that the president's flippancy aside, everyone below him is calling up their lawyer, make sure -- if they didn't have a lawyer already lained up when mueller was named as special counsel, they're doing it now.
i can speak for myself, i've got relative radio silence from a lot of those people that were in campaign, transition, white house, somewhere in that span over the last couple of days. people have to be worried. because they've got to make sure they've got their stories straight. >> and the defining question for mueller, tracing it back from the transition, trying to pull the levers of foreign policy while president obama was still president, to help russia, but why are you so inclined at every stop to be cozy to russia, to be favorable to russia, to take russia's side on these big questions. that's what they're trying to trace back. the president is trying to change the subject a bit today. director mueller, now special counsel mueller, did remove from the investigation an fbi agent this summer. he got reports that the fub agent had sent some texts to a colleague that indicated an anti-trump bias. he was removed from the investigation back during the summer. what the special counsel's office would say, we found a problem and dealt with it quickly. the president saying, after years of comey, the famodishone clinton, its reputation is in
tatters. but worry not, we will prinbrin back to greatness. now he's saying the whole thing is tainted because of this. >> that's his best argument? i told you that they were going after me, that they were favorable to clinton, this is the proof they need. i think that mueller seems to have acted pretty quickly is a counterweight to that. but as a messaging tactic for the president, this is about the best he could ask for coming on the heels of the flynn plea. >> and there's a method to that, too. every time he does that, it gets a lot of attention and his base listens to him and believe him more than anybody else. that's why we see 80 to 85% of republicans continue to pottsup him. and the way the party leaders deal with the situation in the wake of these charges is going to be dependent on what the base thinks is really true. >> and what we'll get next from bob mueller in addition to that. up next, senate republicans pass a big tax cut plan and are betting it awill help the econoy
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now that the senate passed its plan, as you heard from the president, very early saturday. one giant hurdle remains. the house and senate now need to negotiate a compromise between two competing plans. a compromise that can then, again, pass both chambers. the senate drama included last-minute changes made by hand. some democrats complained they were learning about changes from lobbyists, not fellow senators, but it passed, 51-49. all the democrats voted no, plus one republican defection. tennessee's bob corker. >> as you noticed, at the end, there was not a single democrat who thought this was a good idea. and so, we're going to take this message to the american people also a year from now. everybody had plenty of opportunity to see the measure. you complain about process when you're losing. and that's what you heard on the floor tonight. >> a very happy, if a little weary, majority leader after the vote early saturday morning. this is a giant deal. there was a question of whether the republicans could get to the
finish line in the senate. they still have a ways to go. most people seem to think they're going to take the political imperative, that we better do something this year, and get it done. but, let's start with the senate getting to the finish line. what was the most critical thing? >> well, they made a series of compromises at the end to placate holdouts. . you got jeff flake and jim langford with some various measures to contain some of the gimmicks in there, specifically as it relates to small businesses. you gave susan collins an exemption on the state and local deduction, which is important for the northeast. so, they were close, now they finally have it over the finish line in the senate. they've got to go to conference with the house. and get it back to the house and the senate, but this looked very doubtful for a long period of time. they're very close. they're pretty much there. >> and if you look at some of the details, this is the senate bill. they have to reconcile with the house. the basic architecture are the same, but some of the details are a little different. if you look at the senate bill, corporate tax rate would drop from 35 to 20%. individuals get two times the
standard deductions, temporarily, though. families get twice the child tax credit they now get. access for state and local income tax deduction. health care, it acts as the individual mandate and expands the medicaid deduction. so now they try to figure this out in the short-term. the republicans are betting getting a signature item done. this is the one thing that was on everybody's list for the republican party in 2017 they'll do. obamacare repeal is not going to happen. president's promised infrastructure plan this year is not going to happen. that political imperative seems to be drawing to the finish line. given the past ten months, will they get it done in the next three queweeks? >> it seems like they are most of the way there, and there is such a desperation on the part of republicans to have this be a win. there's so much in this bill, as you just outlined, that they like. the repeal of the individual mandate. the large, large and permanent corporate tax cut. the individual tax cuts, even though they are only temporary, the tax cut for pass-through
entities, these smaller businesses and partnerships. this is all huge for republicans and they really, really want this to happen. the problem, i think, that we saw this week, the only problem is that in getting it to the finish line in the senate, they pretty much negated the possibility that they were going to be able to get this back through the house without a conference, which was a hope among some white house officials, that they could sort of pre-bake a lot of these deals they would have to cut with the house republicans, and essentially have a bill that after passing the senate, could very quickly just be pre-conferenced in through the house, within a matter of hours. and that clearly didn't happen, because of all the deals they had to cut at the very end. and it's not totally clear. i mean, the run? hold out bob corker had big concerns about the deficit effect of this bill. and there are a lot of conservative republicans in the house who ostensibly, are very concerned about deficits. and so, you could imagine a scenario where they have some last-minute reservations and they want to see this held up. but again, i think the imperative is so strong, i wouldn't be surprised to see most of them swallow those
concerns. zble >> especially in the house, since the deficit is such a huge concern. some of these guys got elected on the idea of deficit and government overspending. but they're all up for election next year and they're facing the prospect of having to face voters, you've got the white house, the senate and the house and you couldn't get anything done? that for house members is actually, i think, worse than perhaps putting a i side some of their concerns about deficit spending and just voting for this bill. >> political imperative. the fact that so many are turning their back on the deficit pledge is pretty stunning. let's listen to the president who has been asking him to do this. he's the one who says, plaez ea get it done by christmas. don't carry it over to 2018. he's happy. >> it was the biggest package in terms of tax cuts ever passed in our country. now we go on to conference and something beautiful is going to come out of that mixer. we now go into what i call the mixture. and the mixture is conference. and out of that, the house republicans and the senate republicans are going to pick
something that will be truly spectacular. >> it's like baking a cake. you put the mixture in. i love sometimes -- the language of this time needs to be changed. the mixture. it's not -- but in that same set of remarks, michael, he also said, maybe the corporate rate will be 22%. that was one of the reasons it held up things in the senate. mitch mcconnell, the leader kept telling senators, the president wants 20%, we can't raise that, which would free up some money to do some other business. now the president, after the vote, says he's open to this. could the president complicate the very delicate act of trying to get to the finish line? >> that sound you hear is mike lee and rubio's heads exploding when they heard that. that was the push at the very end. as you all know, it was just, raise the corporate rate just 0.94% and they couldn't get it done. i think this was -- this is a big victory for republicans, but it's also, in some ways, a missed opportunity as they look at 2018. it is a bill that looks very much like a conventional
republican tax bill, there were some opportunities there, i think, to actually do a more trumpian-style populist, particularly with the child tax credit, to expand that child tax credit, which rubio and lee were trying to do, to working people who don't pay income tax, but pay payroll taxes. they weren't able to get that done and in fact weren't able to get many democrats even onboard with that. i wonder if what comes around to november 2018, that's going to be a very difficult political sell. this is a typical republican tax bill, pre-trump. is trump going to be able to sell that? he's going around saying, this doesn't help wealthy people. wealthy people are mad about this. republicans have often argued, just because wealthy people are getting a tax cut, that's good for growth, good for the economy. that's the sell that paul ryan wants to make, but donald trump will be the one at the front. is he going to make that? i'm not so sure it's going to be effective. >> and as you have analysis during this conference period, is he going to call it mean or come out and say something -- to me, there's two sides of this
coin. stunning, hats off to mitch mcconnell, not about the policy, but as a partisan leader, being able to keep the republican discipline and force that in the end. he only last one vote. but on the flip side, stunning testament of the current political environment. ten trump state democrats, president won their states, on the ballot next year in the senate races, not one of them felt the political compunction that they had to vote for this. in fact, they said their safe vote back home is trump's for it, i should be against it. >> there's no strategic plan to win over heidi heitkamp or joe manchin or joe donnelly, who would like to be able o to s survey, i voted with republicans and broke with my party. 30-plus points in west virginia. these are democrats who are certainly vulnerable. can i just say, republicans are playing a very interesting long game here and playing it very effectively. when democrats have the presidency under bill clinton and barack obama, they talk about the debt, the debt crisis, they get them to cut spending. then when they return to power, they use that spending to cut taxes. it's a very effective strategy
and it's worked well and it's the mantra starve the beast, shrink the size of government. the next one will be, our entitles are out of control and we have to cut medicare and social security, because now we have no money. >> great historical perspective. up next, the president stokes anti-muslim sentiment and angers a critical ally. and the secretary of state insists he isn't going anywhere.
welcome back. america's place and its face on the world stage were called into question this past week. on the personnel front, word of a major shake up plan leak. the president wants secretary of state rex tillerson forced out. and to tilt his team to the right by shifting mike pompeo over to state and asking conservative senator tom cotton to take the cia job. word of this came from the president's inner circle, but on friday he called it fake news, though his tweet doing that then went on to make clear who's boss. he's not leaving. and while we disagree on certain subjects, i call the final shots, we work together, and america is highly respected again.
that from the president. highly respected would not be a factual way to characterize the reaction to another set of trump tweets, re-tweets putting the president of the united states' blessing on anti-muslim bigotry promoted by a neo-nazi british fringe group. >> the fact that we work together does not mean that we're afraid to say when we think the united states have got it wrong and to be very clear with them. and i'm very clear that re-tweeting from britain first was the wrong thing to do. >> let's get to the personnel stuff in a minute and start there. this is the president of the united states re-tweeting just a hateful account, from the white house, angering the british ally. the white house says it doesn't matter who cares about the details of the video. this is about the president trying to make a point that having tough immigration is important. there are a thousand million ways to make the point that tough immigration -- why?
just somebody, why? >> there's no good reason for it. and it does matter. it matters who he's choosing to promote on his twitter account, given the wide following that he has, given that he's used that as an official mouthpiece of the administration, and the reaction from theresa may is particularly notable, because she's been trying to find ways to play both sides with trump. she was here very early in the administration. she had a visit where she was very positive about him. she's been a little more restrained in the criticism than some of the other european leaders. but for her, in her political moment, this was unacceptable. there was no way that she could say anything that was short of the statement that she did make. and she actually, i think, is going to get a bit of a boost in britain right now. and what that means in terms of the u.s. relationship with the uk, what it means with europe as they're dealing with things like the iran deal, for example. where he actually needs the brits on his side, if he's going to try to make changes to that deal. this is not a situation where it's a tweet that's just a
throwaway. i think it could have implications for the relationship with the uk. >> consequences in the relationship. and some are worried, and we haven't seen any evidence of this yet, but his own state department sent word to the white house, be careful here, this could cause protests around the world. >> right, stoking grievance and resentment is a big part of president trump's political appeal, economic, and as we see here, racial. i think that's the answer to your question. it's part of the fuel thaen fla that enflames his base. i think it's important to know that at president has a tendency to tweet and observe things as if he's an idle observer of his own government. when you're president, every word weighs a ton. i'm not sure he quite grasps the impact of his tweets on world events. >> and the idea that he could be putting aside for a moment the truly hateful nature of these particular videos that he was retweeting. the idea that the president of the united states would actually be circulating something on his twitter account, which as julie said, he has said, they have indicated at the white house, they consider to be an official
statement of the united states government, that he doesn't know the nature of. and he doesn't know where they come from. and the white house essentially asked reporters this past week to believe that he had never heard of this woman who initially put out these videos is stunning. and we've repeatedly seen from the white house lectern, at the briefings, that this is not a white house that considers their words or their statements to have to be particularly carefully worded, to have to be accurate, necessarily, if they didn't know it at the time. and that is something that's new under president trump, and it's not something in the ten months that he's been in office that he's learned on. he's continued to do this. >> it's reckless. >> and there's no indication that he thinks that there's a price to be paid for it. >> and let's come now back to the personnel. these stories leaked out, first to "the new york times," that the president had this plan, the chief of staff was orchestrating it, pushed tillerson out, put pompeo in there, now the president says it's fake news, rex tillerson said people need to get better sources.
this came out from senior administration officials. so whether they're going to force him out whether they wanted to diminish him and publicly humiliate him, why? >> well, with i don't think the president is very happy with rex tillerson, despite what he's saying. i think this is real. i think this is happening, it's in the motions. and the question really now is when. look, i think there's actually a correct view that pompeo, though he's to the right, certainly to where the right of the state department bureaucracy is, might be a better manager of what rex tillerson has been. there's been a lot of reason not just from the white house, but from the state department, as well, to be angry and frustrated with the way rex tillerson is running -- just hasn't worked out. i think the bigger question, though, is whether tom cotton at the cia is the right move, either for the krcia, both for e cia and for cotton himself zplp and if you're going to fill these jobs over a four-year term, do you want to take these jobs? >> if the president asks you, that's what i'm hearing.
>> okay. our reporters share from their notebooks next, including a big decision from the president in the middle east and a year-end showdown over a possible government shutdown. we all want restful sleep. that's why nature's bounty melatonin is made to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. so you'll be ready for whatever tomorrow brings.
because mom's love is unconditional. even at 6am. nature's bounty melatonin. we're all better off healthy. was supposed to be a wakenty reup call for our government?sh people all across the country lost their savings, their pensions and their jobs. i'm tom steyer and it turned out that the system that had benefited people like me who are well off, was, in fact, stacked against everyone else. it's why i left my investment firm and resolved to use my savings for the public good. but here we are nine years later and this president and the republican congress are making a bad situation even worse. they won't tell you that their so called "tax reform" plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations, while hurting the middle class. it blows up the deficit and that means fewer investments in education, health care and job creation. it's up to all of us to stand up to this president. not just for impeachable offenses, but also to demand a country where everyone has a real chance to succeed.
>> this week the spouupreme cou will hear arguments between a gay couple in colorado and a baker who refused to bake them a wedding cake. the couple is really worried this will open up the door to a wide range of discrimination from businesses against same-sex couples. the baker argues that he's an artist and he shouldn't be compelled to make a cake that violates his religious views. this is something that's going to get a lot of attention. a lot of interest from both sides here. a big argument to watch here. >> fascinating case to watch this week. hopefully we'll have the time to spend on the supreme court. sometimes we get distracted by other things. >> john, the government is set to shut down this month and democrats are debating amongst themselves how far to go and push and force this battle. there are three things they want, b stabilization, extend the children's health insurance program and they want a daca fix. democrats are really mad about this tax bill and various other things that are going on. and there is determination among some of them to fight to the end, even force a government shutdown if they have to. some of them don't want to go so far. we'll see what happens. >> very interesting few weeks ahead. michael?
>> well, with taxtaxes aren't d have a government shutdown, but maybe we're actually going to get something in the next year on infrastructure. the administration has got a goal, i'm hearing, of something like early summer. you should be watching people like elaine chao, the transportation secretary, epa administrator, scott pruitt to be lead from the administration. what i'm hearing from capitol hill is, some complaints that the administration's a little vague, not entirely clear about what they want. general idea is, though, more flexibility to states -- and that means more money to spend on roads, bridges, these sorts of things. be on the lookout for that. >> they promised it in year one. we'll see if they can get it in year two. julie? >> this year the president will make a big speech on jerusalem, recognizing jerusalem as the capital of israel, which is something no american president has done in decades. it is follows of the united states, but this is a big move that he's actually making, sort of in substitute for making the decision, which he promised to
do during the campaign, to actually move the american embassy in israel to jerusalem from teleaviva. a lot of his pro-israel and religious conservative supporters wanted to see him do that. he's punting on it a second time. and i'm hearing he's getting a lot of pressure to say in this speech this is the last waiver he'll sign, this is the last time he'll make the decision. but it's not clear they've laid the groundwork in the arab world or in the middle east at all for this kind of a speech, which is going to be a very significant stateme statement. and there's a possibility, too, that it could actually violate some u.n. security council resolutions that do not recognize the sovereignty of israel. so, big speech to watch and a lot of unanswered questions about how the administration is going to play this and how it will affect the potential for a peace process. >> to borrow a word from the president, huge. it's a very huge deal. i'll close with this. there's an old saying that timing is everything in politics. well, the paraleglea deal with l
michael flynn is a great example on two fronts. michael mueller has to disclose his spending and a guilty plea makes it most difficult to cast the investigation now as a waste of time and money. and as the legal fallout rattles theest wiest wing, there's this with the first year winding down, we're already starting to see a trickle of departures. with the stunning flynn news, lack for morale issues to tip the scale for many that are leaving for many that are torn about moving on or giving it another year. thanks for sharing your sunday. much more on the michael flynn cooperation deal and the broader russia meddling investigation just ahead as the top democrat tonight senate intelligence committee joins "state of the union" with jake tapper. have a great.
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investigation bombshell. president trump insists ha s het worried about michael flynn pleading guilty to lying to the fbi and now cooperating with the probe. >> there's been absolutely no collusion. >> but now new questions about what the president knew and when. we'll talk exclusively with the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee, senator mark warner, next. plus, late-night victory. >> the tax cuts and jobs act is passed. >> while you were sleeping, and without time to read the full
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