tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN June 16, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm john berman. we have breaking news this morning, a major admission from the president, we think. in a statement, he confirms he is under investigation for firing former fbi director james comey. here are his exact words. the tweet speaks for itself. "i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt." that statement raises more questions, including is he also attacking his own deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein? >> he very well may be. also at the same time this morning, "the new york times" reports members of the trump transition team have now been ordered to preserve documents and other materials related to the russia investigation, all of this shaking out as the special counsel's team expands in number and widens its reach. we're covering all the angles. let's begin at the white house this morning with athena jones.
athena, any clarification from the white house on whom it is the president is talking about in this tweet? >> reporter: hi, poppy. no. we have asked here at the white house for any clarification on this. we have asked if the president has been explicitly informed that he's under investigation or if he's potentially referring to press reports. no answer from the white house. they are referring us to the president's outside counsel, marc kasowitz, as they've been doing for the last several weeks whenever asked about this sort of thing. but what's curious about that tweet is what you already mentioned, his essentially confirming that he is under investigation. it's not entirely clear who he's referring to, but the most likely person would be the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, because he mentions that "it's the man who told me to fire the fbi director." what's curious about that is you'll remember the assorted explanations we got from the preside president's team here at the white house around the firing of the former fbi director, james comey. we know that rod rosenstein
wrote a lengthy memo, criticizing comey's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation and using that as justification for firing the former fbi director. white house aides frequently pointed to that memo over a 24-36-hour period, until the president himself speaking on nbc said he was going to fire director comey anyway. so, now you have the president refuting his own explanation. so, it's a bit confusing, but certainly significant to see the president putting out a tweet like that. we're hoping to get more information. >> look, if you're looking for a linear thought stream here, it doesn't seem to exist. we're trying to get to the bottom of it, which is why, athena, you are pressing the white house for answers. because we need to know. maybe the president's private attorney will tell us at some point today. athena jones, thanks so much. also this morning, this russia probe appears to be widening. "the new york times" reports that members of the president's transition team have now been ordered to save russia-related documents. this news comes as we learn that the vice president, mike pence,
has hired outside counsel of his own. cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider joins us now from washington with that part of the story. good morning, jessica. >> reporter: good morning, john and poppy. like you said, the transition team, it was put on alert by the team's general counsel's office, that everyone must preserve documents and materials related to the russia investigation. that's being reported by "the new york times." this preservation memo states that people "have a duty to preserve any physical or electronic records that may be related in any way to pending investigations." so, this is just the latest and another indication that special counsel robert mueller's probe is widening, casting a wide net. you know, this memo, also according to "the new york times," also details specific people whose background records should be saved. those people include former campaign manager paul manafort, carter page, former national security adviser michael flynn, as well as informal campaign adviser roger stone. now, typically, this is the type of preservation memo that's put out just after the justice
department issues a preservation order. so, on top of this, we've also learned that vice president mike pence, he's obtained his own lawyer to represent him in the investigation. this lawyer is richard cullen, a former virginia attorney general, also a former u.s. attorney in virginia. and pence's spokesman confirms the hiring, saying his attorney will assist him in responding to any and all inquiries in this russia probe, saying he's entirely focused on his duties and the president's agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter. so, a lot happening in this russia probe, vice president pence hiring the lawyer, as well as the transition team being alerted to save all of their memos in this probe. john and poppy? >> jessica schneider, thank you for the reporting in washington. so, president trump is confirming, as you saw in that statement, that he is under investigation. that's big. here to discuss, david gergen, a presidential adviser to four
presidents, presidents nixon, ford, reagan and. and margaret hoover, republican strategist and keith boykin, democratic strategist and served as an aide in the clinton white house. david gergen, to you, the president tweets that he is under investigation and that he is under investigation for firing the fbi director by the man who told him to fire the fbi director. what do you make of it? >> the president's lawyer must be going a little nuts this morning. you know, they clearly don't have control over what he's tweeting, and it's been longstanding practice that if you're under investigation, you don't attack publicly the investigators. it only stirs them up, and it can invite all sorts of retaliation underneath everything. i just think it's strange. and of course, the facts are off. but i think the most important thing that's going on here, poppy, is that the president is clearly launched a campaign to discredit the special counsel,
to discredit the investigations, no matter what happens, and it could be a prelude to firing rosenstein, it could be a prelude to firing the special counsel, but it is certainly intended to, whatever the results are, to say they're so tainted, they're unbelievable, forget it, we're moving on. that's what the president's clearly trying do. >> so, we're just getting some color from jeff zeleny, our white house reporter. i'll read it to you. "we are told," jeff is, that this statement from the president is "a sign he is taking matters into his own hands." white house aides have been instructed not to talk about the russia investigation, but that clearly does not apply to the president, as we've seen this morning. >> also another important beat from this, as we go through it, as you're getting it, this official at the white house saying that the president has decided over the last few days that "this is a political fight," and he's going to fight it. >> what we don't have is clarification on exactly -- >> on who. >> -- if he's talking about rod
rosenstein, and if so, why? but margaret hoover, we do know from earlier this week that the president has had discussions about firing bob mueller or was considering about it or the thought was in the air there at the white house. you know, rod rosenstein is the person who would fire bob mueller directly right there. it seems strange, but it really is reasonable to wonder right now if the president is not just attacking the special counsel, but also his deputy attorney general. >> certainly, if you listened to any of the testimony of rod rosenstein this week, many of the senators were actually most curious about not whether he would fire the special counsel, but what would happen in the event that the president fired him, right? so, it is reasonable to wonder and is perfectly within the president's constitutional authority to fire rod rosenstein and to fire robert mueller. i mean, we don't have a j. edgar hoover fbi anymore. but beyond this, what you just said and what the president said is that this is a political fight and he's going to fight it on his own terms. this is much more than a political fight. this is now a legal fight, this
is a special investigation. because of the widening scope of this investigation and its broadened terms, the vice president now has a white-collar criminal attorney. everybody is having to lawyer up. this is far broader than politics, and the president risks by his continued lack of discipline the complete unraveling of any progress, political progress, in his administration, if this continues, and there's truly -- and by this, i mean his lack of self-discipline. character is destiny. i think many people voted for this man hoping he would be able to bulldoze, like a wrecking ball, through the bureaucracy in washington. the only thing he may end up wrecking is himself. >> keith boykin, you worked in the clinton white house, so you know what it's like to have special counsel involved in something and to have an investigation metastasize from one thing into something completely different. what is your view of what is happening? because this president is taking a different tact. twitter wasn't around, i know,
but still. >> this is unprecedented from the '90 or anything that happened before. we're not even 190 days into the new administration and we have a full-fledged criminal investigation, apparently, not only of the campaign, but now of the transition and even of the white house itself, the current administration, the president of the united states. at the same time, the president is doing everything wrong. you're not supposed to, as david gergen said, you're not supposed to discredit the special counsel, you're not supposed to as a president of the united states go out and tweet every day about it. you're not supposed to tell your attorney general and your advisers not to continue the probe. >> but you're also not supposed to win an election the way that he won. >> exactly. >> and he proved everyone wrong. besides not supposed to, what are the ramifications? >> i think what we're possibly about to learn is there is a political law of gravity and it does apply to everyone, including donald trump. and eventually, we are starting to see the ramifications of that with the potential that this could actually take down his presidency. >> just one historical point, your former boss, bill clinton, the clinton administration did go after the independent counsel quite a bit during that.
there is precedent for that, political reasons, as margaret pointed out, for doing that. that may be a separate strategy. still don't understand why he's going after his own deputy attorney general. but let me read you a statement from the deputy attorney general last night that had us all scratching our heads before we were scratching our heads this morning by the statement from the president. rod rosenstein wrote last night, apparently without provocation, "americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous officials, particularly when they don't doo not identify the country, let alone the branch or agency of government, with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated." talking about americans, maybe rod rosenstein stew a story was coming out and sent a message to the president, saying don't believe it. maybe that's what he's talking about there. there's a lot of back and forth between key players and we just don't know what's happening. >> very interesting point, john. listen, my imagination runs along the idea that someone from the white house, perhaps the general counsel's office, wanted a stronger statement from rod
rosenstein, going as far as he could to exonerate the president, to say all these leaks are wrong and so forth and so on, and rosenstein wrote something which didn't satisfy the white house but tried to get them off his back. i think he must be under a lot of pressure from various parts of the white house. but let me go back to one other point. you know, the president in using these tweets to go after the special counsel to go after the whole investigatory process, is only adding to a growing body of evidence that he is trying to tamper with the investigation, he is trying to influence the investigation. and just as he saw in the issue of the travel ban, his tweets were used by the courts to say he has an intent that makes this unconstitutional, which happened in a couple of circuits now. and the more he plays this game of attacking, attacking, attacking, the more it will add to the weight of this amounts to obstruction of what he's trying to do. he ought to be staying away from this. >> margaret -- >> can i say one thing, though?
>> yeah. i was just going to point out, say it's not just -- you know, the president is doing this, which is completely confusing and needs explanation, but his closest allies are also going in attack against mueller. newt gingrich keeps doing it day after day after day after day, calling it this sphere aimed at destroying the administration, the tip of the deep-state sphere, gingrich calls it. >> yeah, look -- look, back to rosenstein. i mean, rosenstein, i'd like to say, david gergen and keith and i have all worked in white houses where we'd read things in the newspaper that absolutely have no resemblance to what's going on behind the scenes, so you can emphasize and appreciate rosenstein's frustration, especially in the wake of comey's testimony last week where even comey said reports about russia were entirely false that appeared in "the new york times," but welcome, folks, to the tension between the first amendment and a self-governing republic. i mean, you have to be able to have a free press. you have to be able to have
sourcing for that press. and what we want is actually, you know, a wide disclaimer for americans to read as much as possible and discern as much as possible from as many sources as possible what's real and what's not. when you look back at the watergate investigation, details unfolded over a very long period of time, and it's only with hindsight that you're able to put it all together. we need good reporting, and sometimes those reports -- at the same time, consumers of news have to also have a certain caution about what they read in the paper. >> but i think that the problem is that the president here doesn't seem to have any understanding of this sort of historical context, so. >> we will see. >> the president doesn't understand the precedents for watergate or he wouldn't be behaving this way. >> we'll see. we'll hear from him shortly. i think we have pictures now of the president, arriving now at joint base andrews to go to florida for what was supposed to be a major announcement on cuba
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live pictures, there is positive news this morning about congressman steve scalise. hospital officials say he has improved his condition over the last 24 hours. he does remain, though, still in critical condition. he underwent a second surgery yesterday. he will need more surgeries before he's able to go home. lawmakers still carried out the charity baseball game last night. there's the president right now walking off marine one, as poppy said, getting ready to go to florida moments after he sets off a firestorm, admitting that he is under investigation for firing the fbi director. president sent the video message last night as part of the charity baseball game at the nationals ballpark, a game the democrats won, but the democrats immediately gave the trophy to republicans to put in the office of steve scalise, who cared so much, cares so much about the game. really, it will be a memento, i think forever, of his heroism. cnn's ryan nobles joins us now with an update on the
congressman's condition. >> reporter: john and poppy, steve scalise is getting better, but his situation is still pretty rough right now, and it's going to take a long time for him to completely recover. the hospital where he is being treated, medstar washington hospital, put out a statement, actually during the baseball game last night, where they did announce that he did undergo a second sushlg ergery to repair that were damaged as well as a broken leg as a result of the shooting thursday. scalise has a lot of effort and a lot of work to go before he is able to leave the hospital. they, in fact, said in that statement last night that they expect him to be in the hospital for some time, but scalise obviously on the minds of everyone at the baseball game last night. the team scalise shirts were worn by many in the stadium, and we saw a tremendous amount of unity among republicans and democrats last night. in fact, normally at that baseball game, republicans sit on one side of the stadium, democrats sit on the other side. this time around, members made a pointed effort to sit with each other. you saw republicans and democrats in the stands
together. they were certainly competitive on the baseball field. there were some booze wh-- boos republicans got up, but now people wonder if it transfers to the legislative process. many are hopeful, but there's been situations like this before and the acrimony returns quickly. no scheduled votes today on either side of congress, but they'll be back to work on monday. john and poppy? >> ryan nobles, beautiful thing to see last night, for sure. please keep us posted on congressman scalise's condition. joining us now, democratic congressman thomas suozzi. he sits on the armed services and foreign affairs committee. nice to have you here, congressman, and it's been really nice to see the unity in washington. we were just there yesterday and we could feel it, being right outside of the capitol. you played last night. what was it like? >> it was a very humbling experience. i was so happy to be a part of it. we're all praying for steve scalise. he's got a rough road ahead of
him, but we're hoping he's going to be fine. it's going to be a tough, tough road, though. >> and of course, the news we're just getting in, positive, more positive for the congressman, went through surgery. still in critical condition, but they do expect that condition to improve now, congressman. so, thank you for playing last night. thank you for your time. we want to get to the news that really just broke this morning. the president of the united states confirming he is under investigation for firing the fbi director, james comey. he wrote "i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director! witch hunt." if i can, sir, just your reaction to that statement, which just came in from the president? >> you know, the president, i think, is doing himself a disservice by constantly tweeting about this stuff. while the investigation's going on, he brings more attention to it than anybody else does. let mueller do his job, let the people do their investigation and let's find out what the answer is. the president really should focus, as well as the congress, let's all try and work together to try and accomplish things. people are sick of politicians, they're sick of politics.
they want us to get something done, so let's take this really special time in history related to what happened to steve scalise, and even the baseball game last night, of people coming together, and let's work together to actually accomplish something. >> do you think -- who do you think the president is talking about with this tweet, mueller or rosenstein? and do you think either man's job is in jeopardy as a result of this? >> you know, i'm not even going to get into the speculation. we've got to move away from all the speculating and us versus the president, the democrats versus the republicans. let this play out the way it's got to go, and let's do our jobs. >> along those lines, sir, there seems to be some kind of a debate within the democratic caucus about how to treat this. there are some democrats who think that any talk of the "i" word, impeachment, is out of bounds. congressman adam schiff, who is the ranking member of the intelligence committee, said "no one ought to, in my view, rush
to embrace the remedy that involves the removal from office." are you in the camp that talk of impeachment is premature? >> i think it's a distraction from the important work we have ahead of us. the day of the shooting, you know, we left practice. we had to come back and do our work. we questioned secretary tillerson about the secretary of state's budget, had a briefing with general dunford from the joint chiefs of staff. this is serious life-and-death business that we need to work on, and these are distractions. we need to be focusing on the work that we need to do. let the investigations go on. you know, i have questions about russia and the president and about this and about that and the investigations. let the process that has been set up, let that be the focus of what's going to happen with the president. let's get back to the people's business on the other hand. this is life and -- health care -- >> so, on that point,
congressman, is all of this, the president's tweets, comments about impeachment from your fellow democrats, is that getting in the way? you say it's a distraction, but is it actually holding you up, congress up from getting things accomplished? it seems like it to us on the outside. is it on the inside? >> i think so. i think that everybody's talking about how they'd like to see the congress be more civil and more civil-toned and people treat each other better. you know, i'm a freshman. i get along great with my colleagues on the republican and democratic side. i see everybody treating each other civiling. i think what happens is, is when we go on television, when we see social media, this is where we get pulled away from being civil. people want to do the people's business, and i think that can happen, and i think the president is distracting us with his tweets, always bringing these topics up, and i think that some of this reckless talk on both the right and the left sometimes distracts us. people want us to get something done.
>> congressman, what was your batting line last night? i missed it. >> how did i do batting? >> yeah. >> listen, it was -- that was -- i had a great, hard-hit line drive that the shortstop caught, so that took it away. >> spoken like a man who was oh for something. congressman tom suozzi, thank you for being with us. appreciate your words this morning, sir. >> thanks so much. we have more breaking news this morning overseas. the question over whether or not the leader of isis, abu bakr al baghdadi, is dead or not. we'll have a live report on that, ahead. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me,
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baghdadi may have been killed in this bombing. if true, it would mark a major milestone in the war against terror. >> at this hour, u.s. military officials are unable to confirm his death. russia says the strike took place last month in syria. it targeted a command post where isis leaders were reportedly meeting. let's go straight to our senior international correspondent, arwa damon, with more. i assume people should look at this with skepticism because it has been reported before that it was thought that baghdadi had been killed. >> reporter: yeah, a whole lot of skepticism, actually, and the russians themselves are saying that they're investigating the possibility that al baghdadi himself was attending that meeting. a couple of things to take into consideration, given how savvy of an organization isis is and how elusive al baghdadi himself has been. there's a reason why he's basically referred to as something of a ghost. it seems hard to fathom a
scenario where he would actually be attending such a high-profile meeting with so many other of the top leadership, apparently some 300 isis fighters, including 30, at least, who were senior isis fighters are said to have been at that meeting, according to the russians. it just doesn't really make that much sense. and then the location of the meeting in the southern part of raqqah at the end of may at a time when isis was really being forced into smaller territory in mosul when the syrian democratic forces were pushing towards the city of raqqah itself. so, that in and of itself is raising a lot of questions. plus, yes, as you mentioned, al baghdadi has been reported to have been at least killed or wounded in the past, and in none of those instances has that been confirmed. and just to sum it all up, we
have to remember that even when the leadership of these organizations are taken out, that does not mean an end to the entities themselves. >> indeed. arwa damon reporting for us. thank you very much. all right, president trump left moments ago for miami, where he plans to talk about cuba policy, deliver on a campaign process to tighten restrictions. our rosa flores is in miami where the president will land in a couple hours. rosa. >> reporter: well, hi. good afternoon. you can see behind me that this is the place where president trump will be speaking. we are expecting protests and counterprotests. but let me set the scene for you right now. the building with the steeple, that is where president trump is expected to speak in a few hours. the line to the right side of your screen, these people have been waiting for hours to see and hear president trump speak. and then there is a group of supporters that has already been rallying for about an hour or so. and then we're expecting a counterprotest. but i have to mention, there is
a rift that's emerging in the cuban-american community here in south florida. a professor from fiu that's been studying this for a while tells us two groups are emerging of cuban americans. first of all, the old guard, the people who are the cuban exiles, who want president trump to sever all ties with the communist island nation, and then there's the younger group, the second and third generation and the new arrivals from the island who want to keep the obama-era policies. and poppy and john, from talking to some of these folks here, they might be a little disappointed if president trump doesn't roll back all of the obama policies, because in the audience, he's going to have that old guard, the people who want to sever all ties with the island nation. and perhaps president trump will learn, like he has learned with health care, that the cuba issue is a complicated one. >> yeah. >> john and poppy? >> to say the least. rosa flores, we're so glad
you're there. thank you very much. we'll watch you and we'll watch the president at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. we'll carry his speech from miami live for you. promising news on congressman steve scalise's recovery from his gunshot wounds. he is still in critical condition. he is still in the hospital, but things are looking up, we're hearing. what does the road ahead look like? at whole foods market, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful and fresh. delicious and powerful, and full of nutrients. so there are no artificial colors... no artificial flavors... no artificial preservatives... and no artificial sweeteners... ...in any of the food we sell. we believe that the food we eat connects us to the natural world and to each other.
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>> nice to see you. >> we know he's undergone two surgeries, has more ahead. he's still in critical, they didn't say critical, stable, but that he's improved over the last 24 hours. what's that tell you? >> i think it's promising that he's improved. the critical condition could also relate to nursing support. when you want someone by your bedside watching you every second, you will also call that critical condition. now, there are several injuries he could have had. so, direct injuries from the bullet trauma and then ripple effects. if you've ever stood by the highway and felt the cars pass by at high speeds, you feel the breeze. the bullet passing through the body can have a shock effect on your other organs in the area. plus, if you had medical conditions beforehand, something like this can precipitate that. so an asthmatic could have an asthma attack, someone with a heart attack. >> the key word is there is improvement. >> sure. >> something we were waiting for and it's thrilling this morning. the hip, the place where he was shot, a complicated area.
why? >> well, you have the aorta, which is the main branch through which the heart pumps blood, and it brabnches in the pelvis, whee the two hips are sort of forming. if those blood vessels are injured, you can lose all your blood volume in a matter of minutes. now, when surgeons operate to repair that, there are a few issues. it's not easily repaired. when you surrture, you're makin holes, so you may bleed through the surgical wounds. and second, when you're operating, if you think of all this blood, it's hard to see what you're doing. then the anesthesiologists have to work on keeping this person alive through the surgery. >> he was right after the attack able to speak to his wife on the phone, right, able to drag himself across the field. >> sure. >> and then it seems like he got critically worse in the next ten minutes that he was airlifted to the hospital. is that normal? >> i think it's within the normal range for something like this, right? so, if a person's shot, they could have several different injuries, but as long as they
have that blood flow to the brain, they can still communicate and stuff, but as soon as you have that loss of blood volume, that loss of blood pressure, then it might be much harder to get blood flow to the brain and other organs. >> what are the coming days and weeks like for congressman steve scalise? i understand he has multiple surgeries over time. >> there are different teams. there are vascular surgeons that address blood flow issues. you have urologists that work on the reproductive organs, the bladder, the ureters, the prostate. and then you have surgeons like orthopedic surgeons that may work on the hip joint itself, neurosurgeons if the skyattic nerve is injured. it goes down the leg. and you have plastic surgeons or special disease specialists who might work on the skin because there's risk of infection as well. it's really a lot of different teams that have to work together, all types of doctors, nurses and other health care providers that have to coordinate to try to help the person through their recovery.
>> dr. devi nampiaparampil, thank you for being with us. really appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> again, the key word is improving for steve scalise, which is wonderful. president trump moments ago admitting he is under investigation. he attacks the people behind the russia probe. is he also attacking his deputy attorney general? we've got much more on the breaking news unfolding as we speak. stay with us. with type 2 diabetes a lower a1c is a lot about choices. but it can be hard sometimes, 'cause different sides of you struggle with which ones to make. well, what if you kept making good ones? then? you could love your numbers. discover once-daily invokana®, a pill used along with diet and exercise to significantly lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. it's proven to lower a1c better than januvia®. invokana® works around the clock by sending some sugar out of your body through the process of urination. it's not for lowering systolic blood pressure or weight loss,
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breaking news this morning. the president of the united states is admitting that he is under investigation for firing james comey. he wrote in a statement, "i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director! witch hunt." >> it is unclear exactly who he's accusing him of telling him to fire the fbi director. probably, we think, maybe rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, but his post comes as
the man actually leading the russia investigation, robert mueller, beefs up his legal team with more than a dozen new hires. joining us, journalists and at the aspen institute, author of "the threat matrix: the fbi at war." garrett just wrote a fascinating piece for "wired" where you profile this new legal team put together by mueller. broadly speaking, without naming names here, broadly speaking, what does, you know, the personnel on this team, what does it tell you? >> well, this is a fascinating piece that bob mueller is assembling. it may actually be the most experienced and most talented group of fbi investigators ever assembled under a single task force at the department of justice. >> talk specifically about the most significant hire. >> sure. so, you've got all sorts of names here that matter a great deal to people within the justice department community. michael dreeben is joining the
team from the solicitor general's office, the unit that argues in front of the supreme court on behalf of the government. it is one of the most experienced criminal appellate lawyers in the united states. but then from there, you also have a series of hires that point in interesting directions to where this investigation may be going. >> such as? >> aaron zeddley, who is mueller's right hand for the better part of a decade now, former fbi agent, great experience in overseas investigations. you've got lisa paige, who's one of the justice department's most experienced organized crime lawyers with a speciality in working on russian organized crime and eastern european organized crime. then you've got james quarrels, who mueller brought over from his old law firm, who is one of the leading campaign finance violation lawyers. and andrew weisman, an expert in
former general counsel to bob mueller at the fbi, who is one of the nation's top money laundering experts. i mean, this is a team of powerhouse attorneys with very unique and telling specialties. >> yeah, you can see the breadth of perhaps the investigation that's going on right now. there has been some criticism of this team. newt gingrich and others have pointed out that many on this team have given almost exclusively to democrats in the past from their campaign donations. is that a fair criticism, garrett? >> i mean, it's certainly a criticism. i don't think, though, that there is a name on this team that anyone who knows these people would question their independence and their integrity. >> you have written as much or more about bob mueller, special counsel, than any other reporter in america. take us in the mind of bob mueller looking at these statements on twitter from the president. what does he make of them,
double, and how will he respond to these direct attacks from the president, from the white house, and from its surrogate? >> one of the weird things is i don't think that bob mueller considers this a particularly high-pressure situation that he is now in. he is certainly leading a high-profile investigation, but this is a ram rod stream former marine platoon leader, someone who received the bronze star for valor for his role in combat and a purple heart during vietnam and then went on to take over the fbi just one week before september 11th. i mean, this was a guy who on the morning of september 11th was sitting in his first briefing on al qaeda. i mean, this is someone who has been through the crucible before and come out the other side. >> you know, garrett, do you care to try to help us analyze the most recent statement from the president, where he said "i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi
director, witch hunt"? if he is talking about rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general there, where is the gains? >> yeah, it sort of does seem that that is likely who he is talking to, which is puzzling on many levels, not the least of which is, as you all know, president trump had said previously that he was going to fire james comey, regardless of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general's recommendation, that he needed to relieve this pressure on the russia investigation. but this is a story that seems like it's accelerating in the last 48 hours. i mean, we've seen the president speak on twitter repeatedly about it in sort of increasingly angry terms, and evidently, we're going to hear a lot more about this from him in the coming hours. >> it would be surprising not to at this point. garrett graf, thank you for coming on with us. we appreciate it. your books are great, so we
appreciate it. >> interesting he says high-profile, not high-pressure. he's worked through pressure. now it's about working slowly and meticulously. >> it is interesting. for bob mueller, another day at the office. high drama at the u.s. open. a blimp flying near the golf course crashes to the grounds, burst into flames. we update the pilot's condition in the "bleacher report." i joined the army in july of '98. i did active duty 11 years. and two in the reserves. our 18 year old was in an accident. when i call usaa it was that voice asking me,
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i miss home. ♪ ♪ for those who find a way. always unstoppable. the u.s. open gets under way with a lot of drama on and off the court. >> i'll say. andy scholes has more in the "bleacher report." good morning, andy. >> good morning, john, good morning, poppy. you know, this is the first major without both tiger woods and phil mickelson since 1994, so perfect timing for one of the golf's youngest stars to put on a show, and that's exactly what rickie fowler did in round one, conquering the waist-high rough at erin hills. he scored a record-tying 7 under 65 in the first round.
some say fowler the best player in the world without a major championship. maybe that title goes away this weekend. some of the best players in the world may not be sticking around very long. dustin johnson, rory mcilroy and justin day in danger of missing the cut. meantime, a blimp pilot is recovering from serious burns after he crashed near the course. investigators say the blimp may have had mechanical problems. the pilot was trying to return to an airstrip when he went down about a half mile away from the u.s. open. no one else was hurt in the crash. louisville's basketball team could lose its 2013 national championship in the wake of an alleged sex scandal involving prostitutes. the ncaa says the team must vacate all records from december 2010 to july 2014 where ineligible players competed. coach pitino will also be suspended for the first three conference games next season. >> not only is it unjust,
unfast, over-the-top severe, but personally i've lost a lot of faith in the ncaa and everything i've stood for for the last 35 years. now, louisville is appealing, calling all of the sanctions excessive. if the cardinals lose that appeal, they'll become the first basketball program ever to have to take down a college championship banner. all right, the warriors celebrating their nba title with a parade yesterday, and you've got to check out draymond green. he was clearly trolling, wearing this t-shirt that read "quickie" on it. the cavs' home arena is called the "q." the logo and the arena almost identical. he says he wore the shirt because last year lebron wore the t-shirt with "ultimate warrior" on it and it turned into an instagram war between the two. lebron teased him for the quickie t-shirt and then he went back saying the warriors finally made lebron go bald.
so, the nba finals may be over, but the rivalry between lebron and the warriors continues on in the offseason. >> lebron james doesn't seem to be the type of guy you want to give extra motivation to. >> just a pro tip there. >> andy scholes, thanks so much. >> all right. thank you all for joining us today. have a great weekend. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. "at this hour with kate bolduan" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> thank you, john. thank you, poppy. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. we are following breaking news. president trump on fire this morning, confirming in a statement on twitter that he is under investigation, while appearing to attack his deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. let me read you the president's statement. here it is. "i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director! witch hunt." that man that the president is alluding to, it seems, is tasked with overseeing the justice depart