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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  March 29, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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communications director, at least in the traditional sense of those jobs. there is no communications director as of today. hope hicks had her last day yesterday. but there is still a chief of staff, general john kelly works there for now. all of this less than 24 hours after president trump fired his veteran affairs secretary and nominated the white house doctor to take over. more on that in a moment. let's start with the new developments. cnn's jeff zeleny part of the team that broke the story. a rare 10:00 a.m. appearance on "newsroom," it must be big. >> reporter: good morning. more human resources news here at the white house. another staff shake-up, of course, with the va secretary as you have been talking about all morning. we are getting some more information about how the president is viewing his essentially the reshaping of his administration. we have seen a -- a major shake-up, really every week for the last six weeks or so a top adviser to him. we're also told that he's being advised by some people he speaks
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to he may not need these roles of chief of staff or communications director, that other presidents have relied on so often. he, of course, is listening to this advice. we don't know what he'll do with the avdvice, we have no reason o believe john kelly is in danger at the moment. it is giving a window into how the president is reshaping the west wing, how he's becoming more comfortable with the job and trying to change the job in many respects. hope hicks, outgoing communications director, is still here at the white house. but this is expected to be one of her last days on the job. that is raising the question of who is the next communications director going to be. it is somewhat of a ceremonial job, though, because as you know, the president himself, he sets the narrative and the tone and the story line here every day online, on social media. the communications director not as important perhaps as in years past because it is a job he relishes. >> and, again, this is outside people giving the president this advice, but before you just dismiss that, we know that a lot
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of times the president listened to this advice over the people who actually have official jobs in the white house. one official departure you mentioned before david shulkin fired as va secretary and doctor ronny jackson, the admiral, will be nominated. >> that happened yesterday afternoon. really a long time in coming. we have been talking about this for several days, the president not pleased with the direction of the va and there has been quite a fight inside the va about the potential privatization of some of the health care services. now, the va, of course, is the veterans affairs department, but it is also a major medical provider for all of the veterans in america here, so it is one of the reasons the president wanted to put someone in there with medical experience. the question is does dr. ronny jackson have management experience? he does not, you know, certainly has not run anything in a major way, but it is also, you know, certainly giving rise to yet another person who is leaving this administration, saying washington is simply difficult to work in.
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david shulkin was a holdover from the obama administration, but he had a blistering op-ed in "the new york times" essentially saying how difficult it was to do his job in this administration in washington here, so certainly voicing many of those frustrations. but the reality here is the doctor has a close relationship to the president, that helps any cabinet secretary. certainly if he's confirmed, big question, if he's confirmed, will surround himself by people who know how to run agencies. but, john, the va is the second largest part of the federal government here, the second largest department, so certainly an upgrade in terms of people he'll be in charge of should he be confirmed. that will come perhaps by summer. but some weeks away, john. >> senate democrat jeanne shaheen told me she needs to hear what dr. jackson has to say. she's not a no vote but not convinced yet he has the experience. jeff zeleny, great to have you
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here on the big show, thank you very much. here to discuss that report, from real clear politics, caitlin huey byrnes and from reuters, alisha rasco. this is outside advisers, we're not sure the president will take the advice, but it is interesting that the president trusts is saying you deon't nee a communications director, chief of staff, you can handle it. >> you never really leave the white house, as they say. we have seen a year into this administration the president pushing out people and bringing people in that make him feel a little more comfortable. evidenced by the va secretary, i think, is an interesting example of that. and so which, you know, a lot of people have said that this is -- contributes to the chaos. i would note that if you are in the senate right now, having this, you know, you'll have three positions now that they have to confirm at a time when the white house has been very dismayed, they say, at the
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progress of nominations for other things. so this certainly is going to be a difficult challenge on capitol hill for secretary of state, va now, of course, and cia director. but it does raise the question of, you know, whether -- trump has already suggested that he's going to operate the way that he wants to operate. and the communications director, of course, was not the traditional role of a communications director. but according to the reporting, she obviously served a key role in keeping things kind of running the way that they -- that has been effective. >> maybe because it was hope hicks, the president clearly liked hope hicks, we don't know if he liked the role of communications director, went through a few before he got to her and liked her. i'm stuck on this notion of the outside advisers. every president has the so-called kitchen cabinet people who come in and tell him or her, give advice when required. it seems with this president, the folks he speaks to at
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mar-a-lago, the folks that he dials during executive time or maybe when he's watching tv at night, they have an awful lot of influence. >> well, it is true. and the president, he's made clear that he likes to know how things are playing to the outside. he's someone who is very concerned about how things look, and how, you know, how things are looking right now. maybe not looking long-term, but, like, how is this playing. he likes to talk to these outside people and say, well, how does this look? is this going to work for us? is this making me look strong and powerful? and so they do have a lot of influence, and it looks like going forward that right now he's in this position where he wants to just try things, he wants to see what works for him. >> it is interesting, caitlin, he likes people he trusts around him, dr. ronny jackson, he's around him now in the white house. the admiral is ever present in the white house, getting shipped out to veterans affair as a promotion. he's going to be separate from him a little bit. it will be interesting to see how the senate reacts to this
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nomination. people like this doctor. the obama white house, he was a revered figure, people like him as a person. he has to meet a bar of competence when it comes to managerial issues. >> this is a management job. it is great he and the president get along for the purposes of him being the white house doctor. it is very different, of course, for managing the behemoth that is the va. what you're going to hear, though, from lawmakers is this concern about the privatizati privatization -- >> a tough word. people say it is tougher to pull off. >> exactly. you had the ethical issues surrounding shulkin, but there was dissent within the white house about his approach to the va, not wanting to privatize it. in fact, writing an op-ed in "the new york times" today saying that he does not want to go that route, he's going to be asked by lawmakers about that. you're going to hear from people like bernie sanders, of course, but also some others. so it will be difficult. in addition to the questions
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about how to run this kind of agency. will note, however, the bar may be pretty low for given all the problems that the va has, so that could provide some opportunity for him to get ahead. >> today, we could see the president of the united states and hear him speak words out loud in front of people. he's been in hiding, so forced seclusion since last friday. mostly around the stormy daniels situation right now. it gives a speech in ohio. do we anticipate him touching any issue surrounding stormy daniels, getting anywhere near that, or you to think he'll try hide from reporters? >> no. that's the one issue that he hasn't even tweeted about and we know that he'll tweet about almost anything from jay-z to oprah, but no stormy daniels. and so i think part of the reason, and the white house has done this before, when things happen, that they don't want the president to be asked about in public, and they don't want him to have to respond to questions, i think that the white house didn't want reporters screaming,
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you know, stormy daniels, what do you have to say about that? and i think they may be concerned about what he might say, but so far this is the one topic he's kept quiet about. >> it is interesting. if he walks on the south lawn to marine one, he will get the questions shouted to him today. we'll see if he even responds in any form or fashion. caitlin huey byrnes, alisha rasko, thank you. new questions about whether the trump legal team, what they did exactly. new reports claim that the president's lawyer floated the idea of pardons for both michael flynn and paul manafort, and the real issue is floated the idea of pardons to these men's attorneys. cnn political analyst josh dossy joins me now. you're part of the "washington post" team that did the reporting on this story. john dowd, the president's personal lawyer now gone, he mentioned what to whom when? >> john dowd, the president's personal attorney, who recently left the russia legal team, back
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in summer, mentioned to rob counter, michael flynn's lawyer and reg brown, paul manafort's lawyer at the time, the prospect of pardoning the men, the men had not been charged yet. but the special counsel was closing in on them. there was a raid obviously of paul manafort's house, there was lots of scrutiny on mike chael e and the prospect of pardons were broached with both men. we're in the sure if the president ordered that conversation to happen or john dowd as a unilateral actor, just floating something in conversation. >> now, we had heard before, a long time ago, the president had been asking questions to people around him about pardons, how much power do i have with pardons. that's different than asking your lawyer. whether or not he was asked to, this raises serious questions about john dowd. john dowd may have to be answering questions about this. is this something to your
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knowledge that the special counsel has been sniffing around? >> what we have seen time and time again as special counsel is interested in, you know, obstruction cases, whether air force one issue, where they wrote a statement that appear fod mislead the press, the firing of james comey what folks knew about michael flynn, to the attempts to oust jeff sessions, a number of incidents where we have seen subpoenas, questions, about potential obstruction. and from what the folks we talked to yesterday, they indicated that this could also be another issue. again, no one has been accused of wrongdoing here and we don't know where this is going. but it fits in a pattern of behavior where the president and those around him seem to obstruct the investigation or to at least impede what folks were doing. >> josh dawsey, go nowhere. a carefully worded statement from the white house, not considering pardons now, but how about then? and losing their edge. new polls show shrinking support
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for democrats in the midterms and a historic meetings, leaders from the north and south korea agree to meet for first time in more than a decade. stay with us. ♪ hey, sir lose-a-lot! thou hast the patchy beard of a pre-pubescent squire! thy armor was forged by a feeble-fingered peasant woman... your mom! as long as hecklers love to heckle, you can count on geico saving folks money. boring! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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liver problems can occur with entyvio. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. back now with new reporting from the "washington post" about the possibility that the president's lawyer dangled the possibility of pardons before lawyers for paul manafort and michael flynn bought -- one of the reporters that broke that josh dawsey and we're joined by manu raju from washington to join me here, cnn's senior congressional correspondent. we know the president has broad powers to pardon. john dowd, the president's lawyers, i'm not sure his powers are as broad when it comes to pardons to lawyers for possible criminal defendants. >> that's absolutely true. it is undisputed that the president has almost unlimited
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powers to issue a pardon. but, you notice that the white house, both john dowd as well as his current law ty cobb and sarah sanders has been very clear that we don't talk about pardons now, we're not talking about pardons now. and you wonder why they would say that. if it is totally lawful to issue a pardon, why can't you discuss it. you think they would consider it and then reject it. i think the reason they're sensitive about that, they realize you can do something lawful in an unlawful manner. if you're using a pardon like a bait to try to get someone to not talk to the government, not enter a plea agreement, using it for that purpose, then it can arguably be evidence of obstruction. >> they also are doing that for verbiage reasons, saying we're not talking about it now, so that they don't have to deny the possibility that they might have talked about it before. manu raju, so fascinating. you cover congress. ultimately this may not be a
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legal issue. this might not be an issue of whether or not talking about pardons constitutes a legal obstruction of justice, but it might be something that the house of representatives deems is reason for impeachment. that's far fetched, but that's the only real way to hold the president accountable. have you had a chance to check in with people last night or in general about pardons? >> this has come up before in the past. i talked to republican members who frankly think this say pretty bad idea. when you talk to republicans about what they believe the president has gotten in hot water for in this investigation, they don't believe the russia collusion stuff. but they do believe the president potentially interfering with this investigation, his firing of james comey, things that he's done to go after the special counsel's investigation, those attacks are frankly not good for this president. they believe it is significantly problematic and these talk of pardons just adds to that. i've heard from a number of republicans who pushed back on that idea. so certainly you would hear some
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significant concerns that the president were going through this -- actually pushing this. it is interesting, though, also, did the president actually know of the john dowd was floating this, we don't really know that yet. i think people on capitol hill want to know if he did know that. >> just to be clear, josh dawsey, specifically that is one of the unknowns in this, what was the connection between the president and john dowd, right? >> yeah, we don't know whether the president sanctioned these offers or these conversations or not. the president, you know, said at different times he wants to know what he can do about pardons, if he has the constitutional authority to do them. we reported that earlier in 2017, he was reporting about it. the specific conversations between michael flynn and paul manafort, we don't know if the president, you know, said that john dowd should be having these orred no. we know the president criticized the investigation into michael flynn. he thinks it is weak and flimsy and praised paul manafort at length calling hmm a good man.
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we know the president has not fully distanced himself from either one of these figures. whether he made the observations or sanctioned them, we don't know. >> page, i'll play you some sound i'm open cessobsessed ove last fall. this is after the first indictment was issued, the lawyer kevin downing. listen first thing he said. >> i think you all saw today that president donald trump was correct, there is no evidence that mr. manafort or the trump campaign colluded with the russian government. >> it just struck me as interesting last fall that the very first line of defense that he had was for president trump, not his own client, paul manafort. i'm wondering, if perhaps now we have an explanation, maybe he was trying to curry favor with the president. >> john, i think that's absolutely correct. it makes no sense for manafort's lawyer not to be discussing the merits of their defense. these are very serious charges
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against manafort, the money laundering, the financial dealings, and now not only do they have the documentary evidence to back it up, they have this co-defendant cooperating with the government. so why would you not consider a plea agreement to limit your exposure in a case like this, it is because you think you have got a pardon in your back pocket. now, i don't know if they had those discussions, i don't know if one was promised, if you watch the way manafort and his lawyers are handling this case from the defense side, it is clear they are counting on him not going to prison even if he's convicted at trial. >> manu raju, political news here in the new cnn polling overnight. the congressional ballot test, the democrats still hold an edge. but it is down to 6 points, 16 points a month ago. i have a chance to speak to some republicans about this. they're happy it is only six points, but not exactly doing an end zone dance. still the same concerns they had. >> the map still favors democrats now, they need to pick up 23 seeds to take back the house, the same up in of seats
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that hillary clinton won in present held districts. you're seeing a number of retirements. the overall environment favors democrats. and if you look at the poll numbers too, a significant enthusiasm gap and some i think 22 points or so, but favoring the democrats and, of course this is a -- a midterm election that requires energy from the base, the base needs to come out to vote and when there is enthusiasm on one side, that's very good news. however, democrats can't be too comfortable shrinking and their message is largely anti-trump and if trump is doing better in the polls, that's not necessarily good for them. >> the economy is also good. josh dawsey, one thing that happens in a midterm election when the president's popularity might be sagging is the president will disappear or not get involved in the campaign. i sense there is about a zero percent chance that president trump will not be involved with the congressional midterms come next fall. getting any word of that from inside? >> the president wants to be aggressively involved going into the fall. he wants to be on the road almost every week.
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he told his advisers he loves having big rallies, we can attract 5, 10,000 people and big supporters. there will be places where i think republicans will want to deploy the president, will see the president is helpful and other districts they will not want to deploy the president. manu makes a good point. the president's numbers have gone up a few points in recent days, up to above 40% now and see the tax cuts, tax reforms republicans did last year, those have become more popular as a public -- the polls show they have become more popular. i think the president cuts both ways in 2018. a lot of places that suburban districts, moderate districts, candidates will probably not want to be near the president. other places where maybe he's an asset. >> josh dawsey, manu raju, page pate, thank you very much.
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comparable bundle, for less. call today. the bell tolls for yet another trump cabinet member. here to discuss that and much, much more, republican congressman leonard lance of new jersey. congressman, thank you very much for being with us. dr. ronny jackson, admiral jackson, works inside the white house. revered by many people. a good choice to be va secretary? >> i think that's for the senate to determine through the confirmation process. he has the president's confidence. and as i understand it, he had the confidence of president obama as well. >> as a physician. >> for -- physician of -- that he had in the white house. now he's going to be the head of a very large agency, second only to the pentagon. and certainly he should surround himself with those who understand how large
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organizations work. >> absolutely it is the senate's job to confirm this person, though you've been mentioning you're doing district work, i know congressional office is one thing they deal with a lot, constituent services and veterans concerns. in that vain, do you think from what you see he's got the bureaucratic experience, the managerial experience to handle a department with 377,000 employees? >> his experience has been as a physician, but i wouldn't exclude the possibility that he would be a fine secretary. we have a veterans hospital in the district i serve, lions veterans hospital and we want to make sure the veterans hospitals are administered as well as possible. >> you're a lawyer. a good lawyer for a long time in private practice right now. these reports that the president's personal lawyer john dowd was dangling the possibility of pardons or mentioned the possibility of presidential pardons to attorneys for michael flynn and paul manafort, what questions does that raise for you? >> the presidential pardon power
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is extensive. that regards the president himself. now, regarding his lawyer, i suppose that those questions should be answered. but i would imagine when the ford white house was discussing potential pardon with president nixon, i assume the lawyers must have engaged in discussions as to what president nixon should have said in receipt of the pardon he received, and the mark rich pardon with president clinton. i presume lawyers do discuss the parameters of a pardon, but regarding the president himself, john, obviously the pardon power is absolute. >> i'm asking you this as a congressman, member of the house of representatives, who does have a certain oversight role over the executive branch, ultimately once you get the report from robert mueller, if it does turn out that the president asked his lawyer to bring up pardons with these folks, would that concern you? >> certainly we would want to know the entire context of that. and president ford came up to
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capitol hill before the house judiciary committee, after he had pardons president nixon. >> the difference there, of course, is president ford was never under investigation in waterg watergate, we don't know if president trump is under investigation but it is his campaign being focused on here, so the situation there different in many, many ways. i want to ask you about your district. you obviously are in a district now rated as a tossup by the cook political report. you've done very well there before. hillary clinton won the district, i believe, but you also won, you did much better than hillary clinton did. the congressional ballot test and the new cnn poll shows that democrats are favored by a six-point margin, that's down from 16 before. why do you think that gap is shrinking? >> i think because of those who have received a tax cut, perhaps, across the united states. i didn't vote for the tax bill because of the assault provision and i think it exacerbates the deficit, but that might be a reason. the fact that the north koreans
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may be coming to the table, and so these are issues that i think will be in the mix. but i would rather be six points ahead, not six points down, john. >> there is a huge enthusiasm gap, though. those who say they're voting for democrats are more enthusiastic by 22 points right now. so if you could ask the president, people largely think it is because of the trump administration, the reaction among some on the left, voter on the left, if you could ask the president to do something, what would be helpful to you for the president to do? >> i conduct myself based upon my personality and i would hope that the president might, as he moves forward, tweet appropriately. there is nothing wrong with tweeting. but i would respectfully recommend that he tweet less and always tweet in a presidential fashion. >> change his behavior, in other words? >> i, like my personality, i'm satisfied with my personality, and i think that we should always be respectful of others.
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i note on the left there are some who are not respectful of republicans and i try to be refectful, john, of everybody. >> you mentioned the debt and i saw the treasury is auctioning nearly $300 billion in debt this week, the highest number since the financial turmoil of 2008. that's an enormous figure when the economy is booming and supposed to be the opposite right now. how alarmed are you about the possibility of just a ballooning deficit? >> i'm very concerned. i was one of the principle reasons that i voted against the tax bill, and we now have an annual deficit that approaches a trillion dollars. it was down to $450 billion, and now it is going back up and i think that this is -- this is the elephant in the room. >> but it is caused by this tax cut this tax cut is making it worse, isn't it? >> certainly there are provisions in the tax cut and that was one of the reasons i voted against it. >> congressman leonard lance, have a happy easter. great to have you with us. thank you very much. still to come, a landmark
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meeting, and it could set the stage for kim jong-un's sit-down with president trump. stay with us. (vo) make her day with just one touch. with fancy feast creamy delights, she can have just the right touch of real milk. easily digestible, it makes her favorite entrées even more delightful. fancy feast creamy delights. love is in the details.
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developing overnight, there is now a date for the historic meeting between kim jong-un and the south korean president, ivan watson has the very latest in seoul. this is, what, this is the third meeting between leaders from the north and south? >> yeah, the last one was in 2007. this is history, potentially, in the making. they have agreed to have a one-day meeting in that compound on the demilitarized zone known as panmunjom and the south korean president meeting with kim jong-un. the south korean delegate who is at these talks about the talks today with the north koreans, he says that the agenda has been set for improvement of inter-korean relations, peace settlement, and denuclearization of the korean peninsula.
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and that is really the elephant in the room. it is north korea's nuclear weapons that were being tested just last year, along with many ballistic missile launches, all of which have been banned by multiple united nations security council resolutions. north korea previously argued this is a nonstarter, talking of disarming its sacred nuclear weapons, it considers them kind of existential defense, but now we heard both from the south koreans and from the chinese that the north koreans appear to be open to discussing denuclearization, that we haven't heard that from the north koreans themselves yet. so that is going to be something vital to look at in the weeks running up to this april 27th inter-korean summit. >> listening to what the north koreans actually say themselves will be very interesting in the coming weeks, not just in regards to south korea, but the united states as well.
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thank you very much. also meeting for the very first time today, president trump's incoming national security adviser john bolton and defense secretary james mattis. they apparently have never met before. with us now, pentagon correspondent barbara starr. a lot of importance surrounding this meeting, barbara. >> reporter: there is indeed, john. that meeting is supposed to happen here at the pentagon at 1:30 this afternoon. i mentioned the time because before that, at 11:15, there is even going to be an equally interesting meeting, we're just learning now that secretary mattis is going to host this morning the cia director mike pompeo, soon to be secretary of state, if his nomination is confirmed, attorney general jeff sessions, and one of the leading republican senators on the armed services committee, lindsey graham. this according to pentagon officials, all three coming here this morning, meeting at 11:15, we don't know if they're staying for the 1:30 with john bolton. that bolton meeting is going to
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be important both substantively and in terms of optics. a lot of questions if bolton is too hawkish for mattis. is mattis going to have access to the president when bolton takes over. there is substantive things the two men disagree on now if you look at their records, o.j. nor -- on north korea, on iran, bolton not happy about the nuclear agreement, three top generals telling him they need to stay in the agreement, and earlier this week, mattis talked about working with bolton and said, i want to quote it to everybody, he said, i'll tell you right up front, it is going to be a partnership. we're going to go forward, i hope that there is more -- i hope there is -- some different world views, that is the normal thing you want. and unless you want group think. so mattis very much on showing the page that everybody is going to work together happily, meeting with all of these other
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cabinet officials, we'll see how long the happiness lasts. john? >> barbara, it is interesting people are looking for which constituencies inside the west wing support who, what, where and when. "wall street journal" is reporting that jared kushner has been talking to john bolton a lot in the past apparently. >> reporter: indeed. that article, spelling it all out, and perhaps underscoring that bolton's appointment as national security adviser didn't come as a surprise to anybody. if, indeed, mr. kushner was working with him over the months on key issues that he was involved in, including middle east peace, and mexico soliciting bolton's views. and now perhaps talking to mr. bolton about what the president's views are on these matters to help him get ready for moving into the white house, no surprise to anybody, john. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, great to see you, thank you very much. as stephon clark's family prepare for his funeral, a new day of protests over his shooting death. we'll have the very latest next. sometimes a cough gets in the way of a good night's sleep.
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the funeral for stephon clark happens later today. clark was unarmed when shot and killed by sacramento police in his grandmother's backyard a little more than a week ago. for days now, protesters have flooded the streets of downtown sacramento demanding the district attorney charge the officers involved. there will be new protests today. dan simon outside the church where the funeral will be held. good morning, dan. >> reporter: good morning, john. it is going to be a packed church when this memorial service gets under way in a few hours. as many as 500 people are expected to attend and reverend
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al sharpton will be delivering the eulogy. in the meantime, no new updates as far as the investigation is concerned, but still plenty of questions linger, namely why the police officers muted the microphones just after the shooting. earlier this morning, on "new day", the civil rights attorney benjamin crump addressed that issue. take a look. >> it seems like a very suspicious time to do that. and the family believes that that was when they started to try to conspire to try to cover this up, and justify shooting. >> reporter: we have yet to hear directly from the police officers, but the police officers association is defending them. they put out a statement earlier, i guess, yesterday, this is what it says. even as tragic as this event is, we cannot ignore the fact that the shooting was legally justified under the law within police policy and in accordance with training. these officers reacted to the
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threat as they perceived it as such. their actions are legally justified. meantime, more protests are expected tonight, but perhaps we will not see a repeat of what we saw twice already at the sacramento kings arena, we saw protesters block the entrances to the arena. that's because the sacramento kings have actually partnered with black lives matter, where they actually said they're going to try to create opportunities for black youth in sacramento, partnership between the kings and black lives matter. they also said that they're going to establish an education fund for stephon clark's children. john? >> dan simon for us in sacramento again. that funeral starts in a few hours. thanks so much, dan. happening now, more testimony in the justice department lawsuit to block at&t's purchase of time warner. the judge warned attorneys on both sides to speed things up. jessica schneider outside the courthouse. jessica? >> reporter: you said it, the judge in this case issued a stern warning before they went
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to break last night. he said, pick up the pace of this trial or else this merger deal could be in serious jeopardy. now, this case has really been moving at a glacial pace. we're on day five and we only heard from three complete witnesses. the fourth witness is on the stand right now, getting questioned by government attorneys. the judge initially projected this case would last six to eight weeks. but both sides combined have about 30 witnesses. so if you do the math on this, that would extend this case well beyond that 6 to 8 weeks initially projected. and here's why it matters. both of these parties, at&t and time warner, they are racing against a june 21st deadline, when the merger deal expires and both parties could walk away from this case if that happened. at&t would be on the line for $500 million breakup payout to time warner. so really here's the timeline of how this case has been going. it was in october of 2016 that this merger deal was announced between time warner and at&t.
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we're a year and a half past when that merger deal was announced. then you go back to november of 2017, that's when the department of justice after a lengthy review decided that it would in fact sue to block this deal. then, of course, the trial began in march, about march 22nd, and here we are looking at this june 21st deadline that this merger deal needs to go through by if it does go -- if it does in fact go through at all. they have already extended that merger deadline deal already once, it was up in march. but really the judge in this case saying that a lot of these witnesses are redundant, he's urged both parties, the government as well as at&t's lawyers to go back and look at their witnesses. but, john, the government, this is the big case for them, they haven't tried a vertical merger case in more than 40 years, there are a lot of technical details here to work out in what has become really this antitrust trial of the century, but the judge putting out that stern warning, we'll see if they do in fact speed it up. >> jessica schneider outside the
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courthouse, thank you very much. happening now in florida, the orlando nightclub shooter's wife waiting to hear her fate. jurors are deliberating again today, whether she provided material support to her husband and whether she obstructed justice by misleading law enforcement. jury already submitted a question to the judge asking about clarification on aiding and abetting, if convicted, she could face life in prison, 49 people were killed, 58 more injured in the pulse nightclub massacre. president trump could address the media as he departs from the white house next hour. will he talk stormy daniels? wouldn't bet on it. but will the questions be shouted? stick around for that. morning on the beach was so peaceful. until... it... wasn't.
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the dream dance for loyola chicago continues. coy wire with the very latest on march madness. >> top of the morning to you, john. four teams traveled to san antonio. they arrived yesterday. villanova had to travel the furthest, over 1700 miles. kansas traveling the shortest distance, less than half of that. kansas, they believe that history repeats itself, because the last time the final four was in san antonio, they won it all. today the teams will practice a bit, have some media availability. right now, put down your coffee, grab a tissue. one of the most inspiring stories of the entire tournament, michigan's austin hatch, looking for a fairy tale
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ending to a tragic and inspiring collegiate career. he survived two plane crashes in the span of eight years. first took the lives of his mom and two siblings. the second took his dad and stepmom. that was days after committing to michigan. austin spent two months in a coma. had to learn how to walk again, talk and play basketball again and he did. he persevered, he conquered that challenge. he played in five games scoring this lone point of his career for the wolverines. austin and the coach decided he best be utilized as a student assistant helping the coaches and players. that didn't stop him from being honored last year, what a special moment for that young man, and the entire wolverine basketball family. austin hopes what he's been through has inspired his team. >> don't get a stat for encouraging guys. don't get a stat for motivating guys to work hard. it is not going to show up on the stat sheet. no one knows what i'm doing. that doesn't really matter.
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maybe i'm not doing anything. maybe it is just my teammates say that to make me feel good. i don't know. >> austin on the sideline on saturday in his suit for the wolverines, great testament to the resilience of the human spirit. he'll take his team to face loyola chicago. 98-year-old team chaplin sister jean on easter weekend, the first 11 seed looking to win a final four game. and kansas and villanova, all games including monday's championship bout can be seen on tbs. mr. john berman, the hype of sister jean is real. friends from socks and you can get your own pair tomorrow, i've just been told, you will have them on your feet. >> i'll have a pair of sister jean socks. >> i heard if you walk on water -- you can walk on water if you wear them. >> i can't do all -- i'm almost in very last place in the cnn
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march madness pool. thank you very much. have a happy easter. enjoy the march madness. thank you, all, very much for joining us today. that is it here. i'm john berman. "at this hour" starts right now. hi there. i'm brianna keilar in for kate bolduan. we could hear from president trump as he leaves the white house on a bit of a road trip. and after he sends another cabinet member packing, veterans affairs secretary david shulkin is the latest to spin the revolving door at the white house. he becomes the seventh high profile departure, and that is just this month. the embattled shulkin publicly fired by presidential tweet, joins a dizzying list of other administration officials to be shown the door. and keep in mind, that all of these departures have taken place in just 14 months. shulkin leaves washington, calling it, quote, a

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