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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  August 6, 2017 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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on this chevy malibu. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> the president cleans house. >> the president certainly felt that anthony's comments were inappropriate. >> the new chief of staff. >> we just swore in general kelly. he will do a spectacular job, i have no doubt. >> but can general kelly manage the president and his staff. refocus the white house and revive trump's agenda. those questions ahead for counselor to the president kellyanne conway. as the russia investigation intensifies a grand jury in place. the president lashes out. >> the russia story is a total fabricati fabrication. >> will he fire the special counsel? how will congress respond? we talk
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democratic senators joining forces to protect robert muel r mueller? and our powerhouse round table. the facts that matter this week. >> good morning. when august arrives. presidents escape and president trump kept up that tradition this week to going to his club in new jersey from a welcoming break from a bruising debut in washington. to repeal obamacare, his approval rating the lowest of any president ever. this week we learned robert mueller is zoe rowing in. documents demanded from the white house and just this morning president trump wakes up to this headline in the new york city times. presidents aside, gop stars move toward 2020 bids. ke
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of political events that republicans are acting more like a second term vice president hoping to clear the field than a number two sworn in a little more than six months ago. can you believe it's been just six months? the economy, another strong jobs report on friday and trump's most loyal followers in west virginia showed him lots of love the night before. >> since our election, not mine, since our election we have added more than 1 million new jobs. and the good news keeps pouring in. >> and with that, let's bring in the president's counselor kellyanne conway. kellyanne thanks for joining us this morning. >> hi, george. >> i talked about the economy right there. you see another good jobs report friday. solid growth through this year. the stock market as the president pointed out at record highs yet the poll showed
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why are people so unhappy with the president when the economy is doing so well? >> but the numbers that you talked about are the most important indicators, you see consumer confidence numbers, small business formation confidence and record close of the dow over 22,000 points. these are the measurements that matter to every day americans. even this president when he came in, he made a promise for every new regulation in, he would have two that went out. we're closer to 16 out for every new one in and that regulatory framework has been so critically important to taxpayers, to property owners, to folks working hard and trying to get ahead. i would note too in some of the polling which i scour daily, his approval rating among conservatives and trump voters is down slightly. it needs to go up. they are telling him just enact your program. don't worry about a congress that isn't supporting legislation to get
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all the distractions and diversions that others are trying to throw logs in your path are throwing your way. focus on the agenda. nobody can deny these economic numbers. the idea that it's not getting huge cover, it's been a great weekend for this president. you see 2.6% growth. it doubled. you see the job creation, 209,000 exceeded expectations. and then you also just yesterday saw a unanimous rebuke of north korea. the greatest economic sanctions package ever levered against them, cost about $1 billion. even allies like china, japan, south korea all agreeing with the united states that north korea and its nuclear capabilities must be stopped. >> the job growth and economic growth has been pretty stead. one of the distractions that "new york times" story this morning talking about all these republicans jockeying now t
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75 republicans expressed widespread uncertainty about whether president trump will run in 2020. are you convinced he wants to run again and what do you make of the story? >> their president says privately and publicly often he'll be there for 7 1/2 more years. so he plans on being a two-term president. i read that article. i want to say a few things. first of all, i think that in the republican party for many decades we have suffered from what i call staff infection. people who are rewarded for losses, most of the people quoted, most involved have never won a national political campaign. like the one i was involved in and you were involved in years ago. number two, they need a full employment act in republican consultancy. some are not supporting their party and their party's main point of view on tax reform, health reform, putting isis in
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vice president pence. i worked with him for ten years as a senior adviser and work with him daily in the white house. it is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020 for reelection as vice president. >> no concern he's setting up a shadow campaign? >> zero concern. that is complete fiction. complete fabrication. i know his advisers who had comments attributed to them have pushed back strongly as has the vice president and as am i right now. vice president pence is a very loyal, very dutiful and incredibly effective and active vice president with this president. he is appe peer to the presiden. he just came off a tour and will go back to south america to represent the country on his fourth and foreign trip since taking office. let me make very clear people -- republican consultants and people
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game, they're not in the i would say trump inner circle because they did not believe in him. they totally missed what was happening in america. the forgotten man and women, many who have never voted in decades came foert and made this new trump coalition in a way that respectfully the last couple of republican candidates did not. mitt romney and paul ryan won one state. donald trump won wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania and iowa. i would say get onboard and start looking at 2020. >> we'll see what happens in september. general kelly wrapping up his first week as chief of staff. we have that picture of him addressing the entire white house staff. i guess that's in the old executive office building. what difference has he made so far? >> it was quite a week with general kelly. i know
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about the order and discipline. all of that is true. general kelly is someone who wants to empower his staff to succeed. he commands respect and shows respect. in sitting in different meetings with him and watching him i have been impressed as to what a great listener, fully engaged ener general kelly is and such of president trump's day is filled with facts and figures about this increasingly dangerous world. it helps to have a general in his fifth decade of public service taking that oath of office again for a new position so that he is hand in glove with president. he has been with the president kwoit a bit this week but has been with the rest and his senior staff as well. we're very happy to have him as well because he for the first six months has been a member of this president's cabinet and he knows this hand-picked cabinet of
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women are superstars in this administration. also general kelly i want to say has been the chief military aide for two different secretaries of defense and very bipartisan fashion. in addition, we should mention, in addition to running the southern command. he's knowledgeable about the hot spots around the world. he is a master at unit cohesion and we feel that coming together in the west wing. >> we are seeing tweets from the president. he insists he's going to keep up that tradition including where he said our relationship with russia is at an all time and very dangerous low. you can thank congress, the same people that can't even give us health care. how is congress responsible for relations with russia being at an all-time low and who is he talking about? >> that tweet was likely in reference to the sanctions package the president signed because it's a good step forward but he's been critical. look, if you're russia, you can't be happy with president trump. we're now
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>> wait a second. the president signed -- let me stop you right there. the president signed that legislation. there's been widespread pushback from members of congress including republicans like senator john mccain who say russia is responsible with its actions in ukraine, with interfering in our election, russia is responsible for relations being at an all time low but the president blames congress. >> no he doesn't blame congress. >> that's what the tweet said. >> this president has been very tough on russia when it comes to dipping into their energy capabilities in the region. we're exporting coal to eastern europe. beefing up the military, putting that money and manpower and presidential power behind a better finance military and look at the swift and internationally acclaimed action president trump took in april when assad was
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the babies we saw, taking their last breaths of air. the president very swiftly i think against what russia wanted done frankly took action in syria. so you know he met with president putin for over two hours face to face. if we can work on the big issues with russia like defeating isis and not putting them -- calling them the jv team, then we'll work on the issues. we're happy russia was one of the 15 members unanimously voted for sanctions yesterday on north korea. >> kellyanne that's different from the message the president is sending in the tweet. you have bipartisan members of congress coming up on this program thom tillis and chris coons who are introducing legislation to protect robert mueller saying any decision to fire mueller should be reviewed by a judge. what
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that legislation? >> why are we engaging in hypotheticals. the entire russia investigation is a hypothetical. it's a total fabrication to execution the unwanted defeat of hillary clinton in last year's election. people can't get over that election george. it's co-rosive to our body politic. the president will continue to talk about america and others will continue to talk about russia. but the special counsel has made very clear as recently as this week that the president and others around him will continue to comply and cooperate and provide information they have. but he also was not made aware of the grand jury proceedings until we all were. these are supposed to be done in secret and that leaked out as so many things do that are harmful to our security interest. let me just say something else about russia. the president took on a new tack speaking the other night. he told the people there and around the country that those who are pushing this phony
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fabricated russia investigation are cheating you, the voters, out of what you clearly said you want. you want a new and different direction. you don't want the same failed policies. you want free markets, democracy, prosperity at home. he's making good on the promises. look another the stock market, the growth, the regulatory rollback on things hurting taxpayers and property owners and job creators and look at what he has promised those people. they voted for him and if bob mueller will continue the investigation we'll cooperate. but the president is not a target of any investigation. jim comey told him that as fbi director three times and he assured that under oath. >> we'll see whether the special counsel is looking at obstruction. part of the reason as you know that this story has persisted is because the white house and the president surrogates have told conflicting stories. first no contacts with russia and it turned out there
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the story broke in "the new york times" says the president was involved in the drafting of don junior's misleading response and the president's attorney came on "gma" saying the president was not involved. >> the president didn't sign off on anything. the president wasn't involved in that. >> the new york times says he was involved. you're disputing that account from "the new york times"? >> yes. >> but just this week when "the washington post" reported with detail that the president was indeed involved in the drafting sara sanders conceded it. let's listen. >> the president weighed in as any father would based on the limited information that he had. this is all discussion frankly of no consequence. >> two very different answers in the space of two weeks kellyanne. >> the most important thing that press secretary sara sanders said which is true is there's no consequence to any of these meetings. the president weighed in as a father. di
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>> the president's lawyer said he wasn't involved at all. they didn't tell the truth. >> george, i know there's this whole thing about everybody wants to -- >> about telling the truth. >> let's talk about -- no. okay. well, let's talk about telling the truth. let's talk about a president looking americans in the eye who are still suffering eight years later who were lied to. if you like your plan, you can keep your plan and doctor. benghazi happened because of a video. go tell the families of those four innocent americans who were slaughtered in benghazi that that lie mattered. >> hold on a second. >> no. no. that is a subject. you're talking about creditability that impacts people. >> i said directly different responses within two weeks. how do you explain that? can the president and his team get control of that and be open and truthful about the russia investigation? >> george, the president has said the entire investigation is fabricated. this is a conclusion in search of
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we have been doing this for about a year now and what is this to show for it? what has actually metastasized in a way we can say, wow, there's a smoking gun? i spent a lot of time as a campaign manager on your two programs and others with abc as well. what one thing did we ever say, do or conspire that had anything to do with russia? when i needed negative information about hillary clinton, i took a moment and listened to hillary clinton. i mean, we went to michigan, not moscow. >> we know now what has come up in just the last few weeks is don junior responded to an e-mail saying he was going to get russia government information on hillary clinton. that was revealed in the last several weeks. >> right. but what came of that meeting, nothing. jared kushner shared with the house and senate committees and all of us in a public statement at the white house that ten days
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and said please get me out of this meeting, it's a waste of time. if you're getting dirt on your political opponent and the secret sauce on how to win the election, you don't ask your aide to pull you out. you say please order lunch. there's nothing -- nonsense. it was a ridiculous meeting. nothing. people want to offer their services and have meetings all of the time, believe me. i know you know this. but let's look at the consequence. no follow-up. no results. no -- i was never informed of that meeting. i found out about it when the rest of the public did, the president had no knowledge of that meeting. >> bottom line kellyanne, does the president commit to not firing robert mueller? >> the president has not even discussed that. the president is not discussing firing bob mueller. we are cooperating -- he has not even discussed -- he has not discussed firing bob mu
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>> hold on. i'm not the president's lawyer but as his counselor he is not discussing that. you have to listen to ty cobb who works in the white house. he has said we will continue to cooperate with bob mueller and his investigation. he hired the 16th. we'll continue to cooperate and comply. anything that gets us steps further to this conclusion of what the president has called a complete false and fabricated lie, a conclusion in search of evidence, anything that brings us closer to that conclusion, we are all for. so far you have got conclusion and no collusion. anybody who denies that is lying. we were promised watergate, direct evidence of interfering and changing the electoral results. people talk about the 70,000 votes in michigan, pennsylvania. and wisconsin. there's none of that. nobody talks about that. what about adam schiff and mark werner the two
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in charge of the intelligence committee. they spend more time on tv than they do sinterviewing witnesses. it's about execution for the democrats who have no vision. the democratic governor of west virginia became a republican because his party is so out of touch with every day americans. he can't look at the coal miners, working people, those who were lied to by the last president about keeping their doctor and plan, he became a republican because he believes in free markets and democracy. >> no one can take away the president's popularity in west virginia. we'll see what happens with the mueller investigation. this transgender ban that the president put out a couple weeks ago on july 26th. he said after consultation with my generals and military experts be advised that the united states government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military after he sent out that tweet, th
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of staff says he's going to wait for any official order. saying he's not going to break faith with the transgender individuals inside his forces right now. general mattis was apparently blind sided by the tweet from the president as well. i want to know specifically which generals and military experts signed off on that tweet from the president? >> well, first of all, the tweet didn't make policy, it announced policy. this had been discussions had with generals and other stakeholders for a long time. the president announced lu the form he doesn't cut out the middle man. >> which -- >> hold on. he had talked to generals for a long time. i know that. and other stakeholders. the pentagon is a big place. if you five 5 or 10 people say we had no idea, that doesn't mean that everybody there who needed to know. i don't know when everybody at the pentagon found out but the president made clear what his
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policy is. the next steps are to have policy guidance and to put the order out and to work with the stakeholders. secretary mat tick and others to implement this new policy. >> did the defense secretary, did the other service chiefs sign off on that policy on that tweet before the president sent it out. >> i can't answer that because i wasn't in the room when they discussed it with him and i certainly aren't on the national security council. having spoken with the president directly about this and having been involved a little bit in the discussions that the president had consulted for a while with different stakeholders including his generals, what he says, he consults with generals and others about this issue. president obama took late in the game action. everybody runs around acting like he had a particular policy for all eight years. he did not.
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he took late in the game action and the president is acting early in his administration because he believes in military readiness and unit cohesion. this is what he and others have said. but the policy guidance in the exact order in the final configuration of the law are forthcoming. >> kellyanne conway thanks very much for your time this morning. >> thank you, george. always a pleasure. >> when we come back, two senators from both sides of the aisle joining forces to protect the special counsel from being fired. chris coons and tom tollis joins us live and later our powerhouse table.
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and we are joined by the two senators joining forces on the legislation to protect the special counsel robert mueller. thom tillis and chris coons. thank you for joining me. senator tillis let me begin with you. you heard kellyanne conway. no commitment from the president not to fire robert mueller. she says it's not being discussed. your legislation would give a judge the ability to review any decision by the president to fire robert mueller. why do you think it's necessary? >> i think it's a necessary part of just continuing to improve the reputation of independence for the department of justice. this is something that lives beyond the special counsel. it
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the opportunity to consult with the ag and the department of justice, potentially have one removed but have that subject a judicial review. >> the president is calling and you heard kellyanne conway repeat it, the entire russia story, a fabrication, a witch hunt and hoax. do you agree? >> i'm not sure i agree with the witch hunt and we'll let the facts lead us to whether or not it was a hoax or distraction. we are where we are and i want to see this investigation concluded so that we can get on to doing the good work the president has already started with regulatory reform, health care and tax reform. this is a distraction i would like to get past so i could go back to supporting the president's agenda. >> senator coons what are the prospects of passing the legislation? >> we have already heard strong interest from colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support thrg legislation. senators graham and booker introduced a similar piece of legislation before we
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george, i'll point to you the fact that the president just signed a russia sanctions bill, one that he initially opposed but passed the senate 98-2. this is a bipartisan effort that may shore up the rule of law and separation of powers and may get passed. >> the president signed that sanctions legislation but we saw the tweet saying it's congress' fault and kellyanne conway said he was referring to the sanctions legislation for relations with russia being at an all-time low? >> i disagree. the beginning of a better relationship with russia is pushing back on vladimir putin's aggressive actions. putin is a bully and he interfered with our elections and stood behind assad and his murderous regime. for us to have better relations we have to push back on this bully and that's what the russia sanctions bill is going to do now it's signed into law. >> senator tillis are you
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to take the blame for relations being at an all-time low with russia? >> the only reason is russia is doing bad things. we are here because of their actions in crimea and meddling in elections, because they're not necessarily being helpful in syria. our relationship with russia is on russia. if they want to come to the table and work cooperatively i'm sure this president would like that and this congress would like that. but their behavior has to change. >> senator coons we have heard a variety of objections to the special counsel from the president and his team. they pointed out saying robert mueller has a conflict, a friend with the former fbi director. they say james comey although they say it's been a close professional relationship. they say that the fact that several members of the team, of the lawyers on the team have given contributions to democrats in the past, signs of a conflict. they also say if robert mueller
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finances that would be crossing a red line. any of those concern you? >> they don't. frankly, bob mueller is one of the most respected senior federal law enforcement officials in modern american history. he's a republican who was appointed by a republican. i agree with senator tillis, with thom. it is in everyone's best interest for mueller to be able to carry forward this investigation to its conclusion so we can work in a responsible way to address the real issues facing this nation. it's in president trump's interest, in protecting rule of law for bob mueller to be allowed to continue this investigation until it's conclusion. >> do you see anything that would suggest robert mueller has a conflict? >> no i haven't. i have not seen any evidence to suggest that and that's why i want this investigation to just follow through to
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conclusion again so we can get back to fulfilling the promises we made the american people that the president is already working on. we need to be solely focused on that. >> what would it mean if the president fired robert mueller? what would the consequences be? >> i think it's another example -- to me, the reputation of the department of justice has suffered hits in the past. it would be another piece of fotter for people trying to discredit one of the most important parts of the administration and the fbi within the department of justice. i'm working very hard and i know senator coons is too to re-establish the integrity of this department which is critically important to restore the confidence of the american people. >> senator coons republican senator of arizona suggested if the president does fire wroesht mueller, the congress should think about hiring him. would you be open to that? >> i would. i think
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fire robert mueller abruptly that would be crossing a big line and you would see strong bipartisan action from the senate which might include our reinstating him or rehiring him to continue to conduct that investigation on behalf of congress. >> george, one thing i would like to put there, i don't want this day to become a narrative to where we think that the president is heading in that direction. kellyanne conway said she hasn't had discussions with the president on this matter. our effort is to take that off the table, any sort of precipitous removal but we don't have any specific evidence to suggest that the president is going to do that. this is policy that lives beyond this administration incidentally and it's supported policy going forward. >> i want to bring up another subject, health care. since the effort to repeal obamacare has failed, lots of concern that the health insurance markets are going to implode if congress doesn't pass bipartisan legislation to keep up the ssi
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your colleague is working on that in a bipartisan fashion. is that legislation you support or you think the president should sign? >> i met with senator alexander and others to talk about what we can do to stabilize the market. i think chris had a different view. i was disappointed we didn't get the votes to move forward with the health care reform bill a couple weeks ago but we have got a destabilized market where insurance ratsds will go up 20%, 30%, 40% next year. anything we could do to prevent that and the damage that will have on people i think is something i have to look at. >> the president hadn't committed keeping those subsidies. what's your message to him? >> the cost-sharing reductions over time need to be eliminated. we can't pull a rug out underneath an industry that's had this in place for seven years. in an ideal world i would like to see them go away overnight but we don't live in an ideal world. it will have the effect
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that's why we have to come up with a balance. i think the administration understands that. >> senator coons? >> i agree with thom. what i've heard in delaware is about half of the projected increase in annual rates is because of uncertainty in the marketplace. we need to come together quickly in a bipartisan way to strengthen and stabilize the individual marketplace and need to begin working across the aisle to find ways to fix what is not working about the affordable care act while keeping in place the expansions that made better health care accessible for millions of americans. >> remarkable amount of bipartisan agreement between the two of you today. senator tillis that's not sitting well with everyone in your base. laura ingram is saying another republican senator who doesn't understand there are three branches of government. any response? >> well, the response is the irony in the statement. i work in congress. i'm a member of the senate. my job is to assert the authority of the congress as a
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for that particular person, they may want to study up on civics 101. >> senators, thank you both very much. our round table ready to weigh in on all the week's politics. we'll be right back. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos brought to you by at&t business. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. we cut the price of trades to give investors even more value. and at $4.95, you can trade with a clear advantage. fidelity, where smarter investors will always be.
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might be the communications director in the white house and we'll see what happens with all that. let's talk about the week's politics. matt schlapp is here. democratic strategist stephanie cutter, communications director for president obama. megan murphy and senior editor at national review. let me begin with you. as you look at the program today you see a bit of this divorce between the president and the republican establishment. kellyanne conway being quite tough on the republicans of thinking of runs in 2020 and senator thom tillis about supporting this legislation, protecting the special counsel. what are we seeing? >> you're seeing a lot of division amongst republican that is started in the primary season going forward. so much political change. definitely i can tell you on the republican side i see a lot of change going on on the democratic side as well.
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constitutional disagreement between the legislative branch and the executive branch. that's baked into the cake they're supposed to have disagreements. but reason publicans run the wh show. donald trump is kind of testing things that we haven't seen before. >> and going straight to the base in west virginia this week. >> sure. >> yes. i think matt is the expert on the republican party but i think what's also happening is that there's -- people are losing confidence in him as the leader of the party and you can see people pulling away. john mccain's quote in that story is classic, people smell weakness with this president. i think the president understands this and knows that he's losing right now which is why he goes to west virginia. >> we'll let you have john mccain if you want him. you can have him. >> let me pose to you the question i put to kellyanne conway at the start. she recited those economic statistics. no question that the economy is chugging along in the
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fashion it did under president obama yet the president 61% disapproval. >> and perhaps most importantly some declining numbers, some weakness in his base which kellyanne admitted, they're seeing falling away. yes, he had a strong jobs number, 209,000 last week. we should remind viewers the pace is slower than it was in 2015 and 2016 although still robust. here's one important fact for the president among people without a high school degree over the age of 25, their participation and movement into the labor market is the strongest it's been since 2011. a huge factor for him as we see people who voted for him get jobs and we see wages stick up. we see among lower income earners to be more robust than higher income. that is what matters. despite the chaos and politics, among people's pocketbooks it's possible that we see the wage growth really helps him. >> the president at 61% when the economy
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wage growth is starting to tick up, we're now what, eight or nine years into the recovery. at some point there's going to be a downturn. does he have a bottom? >> there has been no national crisis over the last six months. the president has achieved these sorts of approval numbers without anything external to the administration causing problems for him. i think that has got to be a cause of serious concern for republicans. one of the reasons he is not having the sway among congressional republicans and in his own administration that you might expect is that his popularity is so low. >> what we saw this week, general kelly come in, stephanie, you served in the white house. it appears he started to get his arms around the staff this week. be careful when you say something but so far the president's only tweet make america great. they seem to be more strategic with the russia tweet. how much difference can he make? >> he can
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difference. i think, you know, from what we can tell on the outside it's already happened. giving the white house some sense of organization. controlling the information or better controlling the information that gets to the president to ensure its accuracy. putting the white house on a structure. all of that is so important to the success of a presidency. not about controlling the president but what goes around him. like the announcement on transgender. we were just talking about this. rolling back transgender rights. he puts out this announcement and everybody in the pentagon starts disagreeing with it. >> and kellyanne couldn't really answer the question of which experts signed off on that tweet. >> it's clear relatively none have signed off since they said they didn't. what's surprising is they put up such a weak support for it saying first the expense of transgender in the military. that was knocked down quickly and cost
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more on viagra than educating people with sexual identity issues. we support the men and women who support. they're questioning whether they have the support of their president and commander in chief. that is destabilizing. it's when he makes a policy announcement that could be much deeper. >> as someone who lived through the don't ask, don't tell controversies of the early 1990s and saw the resistance to the idea of gays serving openly in the military. what a remarkable turn around. i mean the military pretty much as united front saying hold on. >> well the culture has changed dramatically on all of these issues but the other thing is this administration, there's a certain amount of dysfunction. the pentagon seems to be ignoring the president's tweet. that's not something that's just isolated to the pentagon. the vice president seems to have his own russia policy if you listen to what he says and the president, they are not on
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attorney general sessions not doing what the president wants him to do in terms of prosecuting or investigating hillary clinton. there's a question on the part of subordinates how seriously they should take the utterances of this president. that would involve not just managing the staff but managing the president. >> i think that's overplayed but i think it's fair, your comments on getting ahold of the bureaucracy. that plays right to the question about filling these jobs. #resistance in the senate. they're slowing down the president's picks but the president hasn't been rapid enough. he's got to get ahold of these agencies and understand that the west wing has to work with the agencies to develop these policies. i think the changes in the west wing under general kelly are good things. several of us have worked there. it was never set up where you could see it working. for the first time in this administration i think the president is doing the right thing on the agenda. there's been too much turbulence around the decisions. i
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straighten this out. >> general kelly comes in and turns out it seems in the wake of that the attorney general's job is safe again. he got a call from general kelly. i wonder if the president may have laid a bit of a trap for himself by bringing general kelly in particularly on the mueller investigation. let's take kellyanne conway at her word for now, the president is not discussing firing robert mueller although we know he did it in the past. she would not commit to saying he wouldn't fire him. i have to believe if the president took a step like that he would have trouble with his chief of staff. >> absolutely. you would see mass resignations in certain parts of the government and obviously what we just heard from the two senators. there would be, you know, a real constitutional crisis if something like that happened. so whether that's a trap, i think a lot of that would happen anyway, but i don't think that general kelly would stand for something like that. it's a clear obstruction
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justice. he's already been investigated for obstruction of justice. he's -- >> it would depend on mueller's actions. everyone is acting as if mueller wouldn't go outside that scope. if he stays in the scope of the investigations, follows the law he's going to be fine. >> you're one of the first to report mueller would be looking into financials of president trump. that does derive from this investigation. >> well that's why this empaneling the grand jury is significant. we knew this was a serious complex investigation. what's interesting is we're going to see from the kind of witnesses, the kind of leaks we're going to get out of this, that the kind of material they're looking at. are they focusing on possible obstruction, collusion with russia or looking at some of the financial dealings that were made with broader people around
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see. >> from the hiring it appears that's what they're doing. >> these are prosecutors most sophisticated at looking at mob ties, complex financial fraud we have seen. make no mistake -- it is within his scope of his investigation. >> so the point if he made any money on russian transactions, that would be illegal how? >> are you saying if they find people made a quid pro quo, that is -- >> i didn't say that. that is the hardest thing to ever prove by a prosecutor. >> people are buying up a whole bunch of apartments is a way to launder money. >> it's clear that they have discovered evidence of something. so there is a predicate of wrong-doing here. >> we have two grand juries. >> because we all know general flynn and paul manafort have a certain amount of legal trouble. >> you know, we learned it was on this week and we would have expected, you have got
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in the justice department and the fbi who are likely to be called in as witnesses on the obstruction case. that is a remarkable lineup facing the president. >> right. you know, special prosecutors have a way of expanding their purview. we have to keep in mind it's not something that has to caulminat in an indictment. it could just be a report to congress and lay out fact that is are unbecoming of the president. there are multiple ways this could play out and none of them -- if you're in the white house you have got to be very concerned about the way scandal has become further and further institutionalized as an issue that could harm this administration. >> that is why the john kelly issue can be also something that he's setting himself up for failure when we look at replacing the communications director. stephen miller, a man who has appealed to the most native impulses of the base, but h
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main stream republican voters and increasingly the base. filling that position is crucial. >> as a republican expert as stephanie said, i might take exception at that. >> let's focus on that right now. no question that stephen miller, that gets a lot of attention, he gets cheered inside of the white house. a lot of president's supporters say you go, you showed cnn in that exchange right there. if you look at that, if you look at the trip to west virginia, if you look at the transgender ban, what you see is the president focusing on his hardest core supporters right now. >> i think what you see the president doing is trying to implement the agenda that he said he would implement and what you have is a west wing that wasn't set up to do it in a seamless way. i think the press is enjoying covering these skirmishes and it's why the daily briefing, days when it's painful and when it's not. because you also have to admit
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moments when all the cameras are on them and they're show-boating and that's not necessarily helping the country either. what i would say, we're all trying to get in donald trump's head and trying to look at why did he do it this way or that way, fair game. what i'm looking at are the policies he's implementing and none should be shocked at what he's doing. >> and i don't see a lot that's been implemented. i'm looking at health care, tax reform, success. >> regulations alone have been -- let's get back to the immigration bill. we talk about the base. the base is a very egated thing. a lot of the administration's priorities have been pitched to a much more traditional republican party base. health care. people have talked about tack reform deregulation. not a whole lot for the white working class voters part of a distinctive trump base. the immigration proposal is the first time this administration has really gone after and catered to this group of voters. >> one of the big questions is it actually going anywhere in the congress
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that is all we have time for. thank you very much. we'll be right back. now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. in july one service member was killed in afghanistan. vo: the saudi's, the uae, israel correctly saying, qatar has been funding terrorist organizations.
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nikki haley: tell qatar, quit funding hamas, quit doing these things in gaza. trump: the nation of qatar has historically been a funder of terrorism, at a very high level. catch "this week" online all week at, on facebook and twitter. >> and that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight." i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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>> ♪ a scientist in germany recommends a chocolate treat. ♪ sharyl: the study was a hoax by a journalist to show how easy it is to get shoddy research published. john bohannan: i already knew fake journals would publish this stuff, but would journalists pick it up and turn it into a big story? and the sad answer is yes, very big. sharyl: a chocolate diet is one thing, but more and more, prestigious journals are getting caught inadvertently publishing false studies. what's your view of how much we can trust the articles that appear in these prestigious medical journals? dr. howard pomeranz: one always has to be aware of the possibility that somebody


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