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tv   New Day  CNN  July 21, 2017 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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new reporting that the president's eleg ee's legal teag to undermine the special counsel. >> the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation. >> he was basically saying, i'll fire you if you go beyond this limit. >> the president has asked the question about whether he can pardon his family members, himself. >> there's something about russia that sets him off. i'm sorry it happened. nine years away from your family is just, just not worth it. >> he claimed that he had led a conflict-free life.
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he is a confessed domestic abuser. >> they have the audacity to not even bring that up? >> the system worked as it should have today. >> announcer: this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day." it is another big day, where i am here in washington. chris is off this morning, john berman joins me from new york. john, great to see crow. >> so much news, we had to be in two cities at once. >> that's right. so let's get right to it. up first, "the new york times" and "washington post" with new reporting that president trump's legal team is trying to undercut special counsel, robert mueller. the president's lawyers are investigating the investigators in hopes of discrediting the russia investigation. >> "the washington post" also reports that the president is asking advisers about his ability to pardon his aides with, family members, and possibly even himself. this as the president has re-shuffled his legal team. we have it all covered for you. let's begin with cnn's senior washington correspondent, joe johns, live at the white house. good morning, joe.
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>> john, i think reshuffling is the word. the president has already signalled that he is geari inin for a fight against the special counsel investigators, citing conflicts. and it appears now that the president's team is looking to the past for information to discredit the investigators. "the new york times" and "washington post" reporting that the president's lawyers and aides are looking to undermine the special counsel's investigation. "the times" says trump's team is skewering the professional and political backgrounds of robert mueller and other investigators, looking for conflict of interests they can use to discredit the investigation. "the post" also reporting that the president has been asking about his authority to pardon aides, family members, and even himself in connection with the probe. attorney general jeff sessions refusing to answer questions about whether he's discussed pardons with the president in testimony before congress last month. >> i'm not able to comment on
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conversations with high officials within the white house. >> all this as the russia investigation appears to be widening. bloomberg reporting that mueller is expanding his probe to include a broad range of financial transactions involving trump businesses and associates. >> would that be a breach of what his actual -- >> i would say yeah. i would say yes. >> reporter: the president warning mueller against delving into his sffinances earlier thi week. >> the president's making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation. >> reporter: "the washington post" reports that the president has told aides he's especially disturbed after learning that mueller would be able to access his tax returns. the president has refused to release them, citing ongoing irs audits. mueller has broad latitude. sources say the president has also vented in recent weeks, that his legal team has not done enough to beat back allegations. >> ladies and gentlemen --
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>> sources tell cnn marc kasowitz, the president's longtime attorney and lead lawyer on the russia matter, will see his role reduced, after the spokesman and communications strategist for the legal team resigned. >> mr. president, does sessions still have your full support? >> thank you, everybody. >> reporter: president trump ignoring questions about his embattled attorney general, after blaming him for the special counsel probe. >> sessions should have never recused hills and if he would -- if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and i would have picked somebody else. >> reporter: sessions signaling thursday, he has no plans to step down, despite the president's remarkable public rebuke. >> we love this job, we love this department, and i plan to continue to do so, as long as that is appropriate. >> the six-month mark here in this administration, the pattern continues, attempts to focus on policy overshad doowed by the president's own words and the russia investigation. we do expect to see president
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trump in the oval office this afternoon with the survivors of the "uss arizona." alisyn and john? >> joe, thank you very much. let's bring in our panel to discuss all of it. we have cnn politics reporter, chris cillizza, abby phillip, and cnn national security analyst, david sanger. abby, let me start with you. "the washington post" is your paper and it's reporting that the trump legal team is looking into the backgrounds of all of the robert mueller's legal team. is the assumption that if they find someone on there who has given money to a democratic candidate that that prosecutor or that lawyer cannot be impartial? >> i think they're going to make that case. i don't know that that's actually true. i think that, first of all, these are lawyers. so it's very common for lawyers and the way that our legal system works, to make political donations. but they're going to raise all of these issues publicly. it's not clear that there is even a sort of non-public venue
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for them to air these complaints. i think the idea is that they want to publicly discredit whatever comes out of this investigation, by undermining the people who are involved in it, but trying to, in some ways, some people might consider this an attempt to intimidate the investigators, by saying, if you go here, we'll find things on you and air that out publicly. it's a really interesting strategy, but again, not one that's strange for donald trump. i mean, he has a long history in his legal dealings of doing exactly this kind of thing. >> by the way, while we're at it, not one that is strange for other politicians, as well. we heard jeffrey toobin talk about how, in fact, they did this during the ken starr investigation with bill clinton. they wanted to look into what they thought was an overly conservative panel. >> right. it makes a level of sense. if you see a prosecutor who is -- who has pretty wide latitude to start, special counsel, i should say, and then you know from the reporting that we've seen that it's ramping up
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and broadening, not narrowing, it does make some level of sense. the thing that i wonder about, and i just don't know is, what we've seen so far, is there is a lawyer that mueller picked one of of the investigator said he picked who has donated to hillary clinton. we know that. bob mueller and james comey, the fired fbi director, are friendly. we know -- i mean, that's public knowledge. bob mueller, according to trump, was in his office, interviewing for the fbi job. we know that. >> so does that taint everything? >> and i don't -- i don't think it does. i think what -- i'm not even sure trump, necessarily, thinks it does. i think what trump is doing, he's making sure the case exists, particularly for his supporters. that if and when he wants to get rid of bob mueller -- now, i don't think that's where we are yet, but if and when we wants to
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get rid of bob mueller, there's been some groundwork. remember, as soon as the special counsel is announced, political witch hunt, biggest hoax -- you know, political hoax, biggest witch hunt in history. so it's not as though he was saying, like, bob mueller is the greatest human being ever. he's from the start laid this path, i think. >> put this in a bigger context. let's put this in a bigger context. this is happening, raising the conflicts of interest, the same week that the president knifed his own attorney, right? went on the record and interviewed a criticizing question, should he even be in the job right there? the same week now that people close to the president are floating the idea that he's considering pardoneniing or ask about if he can pardon people who work for him, his children, even himself. we know that he has reshuffled his legal team overnight, including, we've just confirmed the spokesman for that legal team, he's out. he's quit here. you know, david sanger, the question is, again, that has this white house lost control of its messaging?
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what's the message they're sending here? >> well, remember, this was supposed to be the week for made in america. and the week for the health care bill. and -- remember those, john? and here we are, you know, once again, discussing russia, discussing the president's strategy and so forth. look, if this is a brushback pitch in some ways to mueller and his team, it's an understandable tactic, as alisyn pointed out. bill clinton used it. i covered the clinton administration. i was a white house correspondent for the times at that time. and he certainly attempted this. but the justice department has very clear, strict guidelines about what does and does not constitute a conflict of interest. and even political donations to candidates is not listed among those. that doesn't mean if they were excessive that they might not qualify.
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but it strikes me, it's going to be a very uphill battle to make the argument that mr. bipartisan, robert mueller, the former fbi director, the decorated war hero in vietnam, whose appointment was greeted by many republicans for exactly the reason that he's considered so down the middle, it's going to be a pretty uphill case for him to say that mueller himself is biased. i think that's going to be a hard political argument. >> by the way, just quickly on that, alisyn. david's exactly right, legally. and politically, for people who are not trump's base. i think independents will look at it and say, bob mueller was the director of the fbi for 12 years. this is not a guy who's been a partisan, but trump's base wants things to believe that the establishment is fundamental ly corrupt and fundamentally biased against him.
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so for them, i think this will work. and i do think he spends a lot of time thinking about the care and maintenance of that base and laying the groundwork to make sure he can sell this. now, whether that's a broader political strategy that can help the republican party in 2018, help him in 2020 -- >> though it is hard to see the argument against bob mueller, when trump himself considered mueller to serve as the fbi director. so, we're going to come up against reality on that very quickly. trump thought of this guy lacking in conflict enough that he was willing to hire him, at least for some period of time. so i think that's why you've seen the sights of the trump aides and lawyers going to those lower-tier attorneys who are more rank and file -- >> their impartiality -- >> exactly. lesser known and perhaps are the great risk. these are peel who are experts in white-collar crime. that's the crux of the problem
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for trump. >> i want to stick with you, because "the washington post" has other new reporting this morning about the powers of the pardon, and whether president trump's legal team is looking into who the president can pardon. can he pardon family members? can he pardon himself? the john dowd part of his legal team was just on another morning show and said this reporting is complete nonsense? do you want to comment on this? >> i'm going to say, we stand by our reporting on this. and what is interesting, this is a kplaecompletely unsettled iss whether the president has pardoned hupardon ed himself. it has never been done, it has never been adjudicated, it would likely go straight to the supreme court. but in our reporting, we made it very clear. where they are on this is, the president wants to know what are his powers. where can he go? who can he pardon? and the reality is, he can pardon anyone. he can potentially even pardon himself, but the pardoneniing o
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hu himself is the part that would essentially throw this into a legal quagmire. it was be extraordinarily controversial. and even parting other people as a part of this case would be extraordinarily controversial. it would likely prompt, we know, based on the comments from lawmakers on the hill, it would prompt, you know, the congress to take their own actions to appoint another special counsel to basically get in front of this. it would be an incredibly -- it has already, i think, become an incredibly controversial -- even the idea being thrown out there into the public sphere has been incredibly controversial. >> i want to get your take on one of the latest threads that has developed over the last 24 hours. and that's bloomberg. the president warned robert mahler not mueller not to expand the investigation into his finances. guess what bloomberg is reportireport i ing? that the special counsel is expanding the investigation into possible financial dealings of the trump corporation right now bhap do you thi . what do you think makes the white house so nervous about this? and is this a good hill to fight
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on if you are the white house, politically? >> i don't think it's a terribly good hill to fight on, but i know it's one they're going to fight on, john. i thought the most interesting line, and alisyn mentioned it, in "the post" reporting on this whole thing is donald trump grew increasingly concerned when he was told that bob mueller can access several years of his past tax returns. let's remind people. donald trump is the only modern american presidential candidate to -- and certainly the only modern american president, to not release his taxes. any of them. he has been extremely cagey about it. he's offered a number of reasons, most often that they are still under audit, though kellyanne conway said differently after the election, saying, well, this has been adjudicated by the public. i think it is telling that that is the thick that may be the impetus that is driving trump to say, we've got to be more aggressive about this. there's -- he made a calculation during the campaign that it made
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less political sense for him to release his -- or it was more politically dangerous for him to release his taxes than the flack he was taking over not. there's a reason for that. >> interesting to see how far he is willing to take it. all right, guys. thanks so much. is the president laying the groundwork to fire special counsel robert mueller? a key member of the senate judiciary committee weighs in, next. people would stare. psoriasis does that. it was tough getting out there on stage. i wanted to be clear. i wanted it to last. so i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. and keeps on working. now? they see me. see me. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx, you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to.
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finally, gig for your neighborhood too. "the new york times" and "washington post" both reporting that the president's legal team is trying to dig up dirt on special counsel robert mueller's investigators. joining me now to discuss this and a whole lot of other stuff going on overnight, senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, a member of the senate judiciary committee. senator, thank you so much for being with us. now, digging up dirt is one thing, but discussing or raising possible conflict of interests, even small conflict of interests that may arise within the investigative team, is that out of bounds? paul begala is on before. he did it famously back with kenneth star during the impeachment proceedings. >> it's a standard tactic, as a
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former prosecutor, i can tell you that there were defense counsel who attacked me in the courtroom and before we reached the courtroom. but bob mueller is a prosecutor's prosecutor. apart from his war record and all of his personal credentials, he has been around this track quite a few times. and he has the grit and backbone to stand up to those kinds of tactics. >> you know, i'm old enough to remember, obviously, the impeachment proceedings, and you were also with president bill clinton. and it feels like the president's team went after ken starr every day. >> they may have tried to put him on trial and that is a standard tactic, but trying to draw lines, red lines or boundaries or put certain subjects off-limits and then intimidating or threatening a prosecutor, if it's the president of the united states, i think verges on potential obstruction of justice. >> so what exactly verges on
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potential obstruction of justice? are you talking about the president saying to "the new york times" in that audio that we have, saying, look, if he starts looking into my finances, that's out of bounds? >> i think any attempt to draw lines around a prosecution, to intimidate or influence a prosecutor, if it's the president of the united states, with that tremendous power he has, raises very severe legal questions. and let's remember that he, himself, in that "new york times" interview very revealingly said that he knew about the e-mails that led to the early june meeting, even if he denied that he knew about the meeting. so he has some knowledge here that he is really trying to conceal, perhaps. >> his language, murky and confusing enough. hardton when he knew about those e-mails. it may have been after they were revealed in "the new york times" -- >> the question is what did he know and when did he know it. >> i understand. you were saying, just the fact
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that he told "the new york times" he doesn't want robert mueller looking into his finances, that in and of itself is an obstruction of justice? >> no. combined, perhaps, with other things that he's done, for example, firing comey, which is the topic that bob mueller presumably is reviewing and investigating. other circumstances surrounding everything that was done in connection with the trump campaign, perhaps colluding with the russians in -- >> but you don't think he -- all the praise you happy on robert mueller, you don't think he would be intimidated by this, do you? >> i am very confident that bob mueller is going to pursue this investigation, vigorously and fairly. >> just quickly, what happens if the president does fire him or tries to? >> there will be a firestorm of reaction. and i would lead an effort to legislate a special counsel, as was done during watergate, perhaps appointed by a three-judge panel. let's remember, we're very far from conclusion about obstruction of justice.
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but there needs to be a full, fair, vigorous investigation here. >> let's talk about the attorney general, jeff sessions, someone you do not support in that job, any which way. but the president this week sort of suggests he regrets having him as attorney general. never would have appointed him, you take issue with that, even though here's an attorney general you never wanted the job to begin with. >> i opposed jeff sessions for that job. i was the first member of the judiciary committee to speak against him. but he recused himself by following the rules of thux aet and the rule of law. so he should not be fired for doing if right thing. what the president wants in that position is a political lackey. he wants a lap dog, not a watchdog. and the attorney general of the united states should follow the rule of law. >> if you were in that position wigt n right now and the president said about you what he said about jeff sessions, what would you do? would you stay on the job?
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>> i would stay on the job, because the president is plainly wrong about the reasons that he's dissatisfied with jeff session. obviously, the president of the united states losing confidence in his attorney general is a very serious development. but the president has a tendency, apparently, to unloose his tirades against all of his people around him. and so i think jeff sessions would be well advised to consider whether he wants to stay there, personally, but there's no reason for him to resign. >> interesting, there's irony, you want this guy to stay who you opposed from t beginning. let me ask you about the senate judiciary committee, next week scheduled to flare jared kushner, and don trump jr.'s scheduled to appear. >> they have been requested to appear. and i believe that they will voluntarily. if they don't, there will almost certainly be subpoenas for them to appear. >> when you say you believe they
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will, is that because you've heard that theically or you believe they will because you think it's the right thing to do? >> i think a combination of both. i have no authoritative knowledge of whether they will or not, but i think their comments to date and their attorney's comments indicate they will. but let's be very clear. we have a bipartisan investigation here. there's been cooperation between the chairman, senator grassley, and the ranking member, dianne feinstein, in a very bipartisan way. and i believe that we need to hear from manafort, trump jr., about what the president knew, what other documents there were, what other meetings occurred. and those kinds of questions deserve to be fully explored. so i think one way or the other, there ought to be subpoenas they don't appear voluntarily. >> we are waiting to hear from those gentleman. thanks so much for being with us. >> that you have. >> alisyn? >> john, he is one of president trump's strongest supporters. so how does congressman chris collins feel about the developments in the investigation and that of special counsel, robert mueller
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new reports this morning that the looking into ways to ut robert mueller's investigation. president trump already hinted in a "new york times" interview that he's holding some kind of damaging information on mueller and his potential conflict of interests. joining us now to discuss all of this is republican congressman of new york. >> it's hot and steamy. figureatively and literally. great to have you here. so why do you think president trump's legal team is looking into robert mueller's legal team background and political leanings? >> i would say this was fairly standard legal practice, if you're going to be sued or are sued, you're always going to look for conflicts with the judge, with prosecutors, with witnesses. i think this is just nothing more than standard practice when you're involved in litigation or potential litigation. >> fair. but where does it lead, i guess is the question. is it to discredit robert mueller's investigation?
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is it to possibly lay the groundwork to fire robert mueller? >> well, i can't speak to reasons other than it's standard procedure. if you find an investigator or have a judge or have somebody on the other side that had significant conflicts of interest, you would want them removed, because there's a bias or other conflict, and i don't think this is all that unusual to -- certainly the president's got some real pros surrounding him. >> but what if you find that somebody on robert mueller's legal team gave money to a democratic candidate. does that disqualify them? >> no. >> it doesn't? >> no. i think -- there's lines you cross. i think you're looking for different kinds of conflicts -- >> like what? give me an example. >> a lot of this is supposition, as well. we have four investigations going on with the house and senate plus bob mueller's investigation. but clearly, if somebody had an axe to grind, you know, that they had a family member -- you know, the president's been involved in other litigation. who knows if somebody has a relative that's been involved and they are then going to push
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the envelope. there could be somebody here that had been speaking out. we know about his tax returns. >> i see. >> that's going to use this as some way to get at those tax returns. >> so you're looking for an axe to grind. because what's been floated. at times is that the contributions that they have given -- that robert mueller's team has given to some democratic candidates. but you don't think that that would make them impartial? >> no. i mean, we -- that's the way our process works in america. money is the ugly side of politics. you need to raise money to get up on tv. we all have a race every two years. so the fact that somebody could be contributing money to one cause or the other or one party or the other, i would not think that's at all -- that would suggest everyone has to be a republican then. >> absolutely! and that you can't ever vote for anybody and still do your job, basically. what do you think about bob mueller? can he do this investigation impartially and fairly? >> well, everything i know about bob mueller would suggest, yes. but he's got a team of people
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working with him. i don't know where they may head. i'm a little bit -- you know, we find it a little disturbing, what we might call leaks coming out, that perhaps shouldn't be. >> well, this is not a leak. here is what president trump himself said directly to "the new york times." let me read it to you. mr. trump was critical of mr. mueller. "he was up here and he wanted the job," mr. trump said, "after he was named special counsel, i said, what the hell is this all qu about? talk about conflicts. he was interviewing for the job. there are many other conflicts that i haven't said, but i will at some point." that sounds like a threat. >> i was not aware of some of those, but i would say it's more in tune, dronald trump's pretty aggressive as president. and i think bob mueller is up for the job. i do -- would worry about some under him who may be having another agenda, like trying to get tax returns, and the president has no obligation whatsoever to release. >> do you worry that president
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trump will try to fire robert mueller? >> i would think that would be a very extreme situation. i would hope that mueller doesn't cross the line into tax returns. and he should let go of some of the business things. let's face it, the president is not subject to the normal ethics issues when it comes to business. >> but how will he know if president trump has investments in russia if he doesn't look at his tax returns and his financial dealings? >> first of all, legally, the president could have investments in russia. >> sure, but there are entanglements he's looking at? >> but the president is exempt from most, if not all of those. it's just this president has a very complex business relationship around the world, but he's been clear, the president has been clear, he doesn't have those relationships. >> but nobody's seen his tax returns. >> well, they've seen his personal financial disclosure. it lists every property he's involved with. it lists the income that he's receiving from those properties. it's also on his personal financial disclosure, which has
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more information than a tax return. >> i want to also ask you about what president trump said to the new yo"new york times" about hi attorney general, jeff sessions. where he basically expressed a lot of displeasure with jeff sessions and said that he would never have chosen him, had he know how this was all going to play out. >> well, i can't speak to his exact words. but i do know jeff sessions very well. we campaigned together for the president. he nominated and i seconded donald trump's nomination at the convention. he's a man of integrity. i respect him. he's a great attorney general. i'm happy to hear he's not going to resign. i think what we have is donald trump, the president's frustration with everything russia, every day. let's face it. yesterday was the president's six-month anniversary on the job, and here we are talking about russia, instead of all of his accomplishments. >> fair enough, but he's the one who gave the interview to the new york toou"new york times" wd a lot about this. >> it's the frustration.
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and i think he would have liked to have had, of course, i would, too, jeff sessions right at his side, but jeff recused hilmself which i think was the proper thing to do at the time, or that would have been another story. so i would put this in the context of president trump's frustration with everything russia, every day, including today, one day after his six-month anniversary of being on the job. and here we are talking about it. >> but i mean, as someone who was an early supporter of president trump, like jeff sessions, you were, both you and jeff sessions right there supporting publicly the president, do you ever fear that the president will publicly turn on you? >> the president and i have a very unique relationship. and no, i have no fear of that whatsoever. first of all, i'm not in the administration. i'm right where i want to be. on the energy and commerce committee in congress. so, no, that thought that has clearly never entered my head. he and i get along very well. >> congressman chris collins, thank you so much. >> alisyn, great interview. great question there.
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it'tthat's why at comcast,tsy. to be connected 24/7. we're always working to make our services more reliable. with technology that can update itself. and advanced fiber network infrastructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. we do have some breaking news. a prelim their investigation into that deadly crash between the "uss fitzgerald" and that philippine cargo ship off the coast of japan, it gives an early indication of who may be at fault. cnn's barbara starr is live at
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the pentagon with all of the breaking details. what have you learned, barbara. >> good morning, alisyn. u.s. officials are telling us the preliminary findings are telling us the u.s. navy was at fault in this collision that killed seven navy sailors when they collided with a cargo ship. the preliminary finding are indicating that the u.s. navy crew on the bridge failed to sound warnings. they knew the cargo ship was approaching, but they did nothing. they stayed on course. there was no warning until it was too late and they were unable to maneuver out of the way. why there was no warning? why they failed to understand the emergency that was right in front of their face is now the key question for investigators. there is a lot of concern on how this crew, if this is what proves to be the final report, on how a navy ship could go to sea with such poor seamaneamans.
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a tragedy for the seven families that lost their loved ones when the berthing compartments below the water line were ripped open and the ship flooded. but navy officials are also saying, this ship came dangerously close to sinking, to having the entire crew lost at sea. john? >> so many questions still there and our hearts go out to the families. barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you so much. o.j. simpson expected to walk free in a matter of months, after a nevada parole board ruled in his favor. but the nfl hall of famer raised eyebrows with some of what he said to the parole board. listen to this. >> i always thought i've been pretty good with people. and i basically have spent a conflict-free life, you know? i'm not a guy that ever got into fights on the street and in the public with everybody. >> joining me now is o.j. simpson's longtime friend and former manager, norm pardo. let's get your reaction to the
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news yesterday that after nine years, as early as this fall, o.j. simpson will be free. >> i mean, we were excited, very excited that he was getting out. almost elated. >> when you heard -- >> just to know that he's actually coming out of there and going to be free. >> and that's something that you've been looking forward to? >> oh, yeah, we've been working hard at it. he's been in there for nine years, for something we felt he shouldn't have been in there for in the first place, all of his friends, including fromo. so it's time for him to come back out. >> when you heard mr. simpson yesterday say, and we played some of that sound leading into you, say that he has led a conflict-free life, your reaction to that? >> well, in o.j.'s world, it's conflict-free. and it has been. he doesn't get into fights with people, et cetera, on the streets. i've been with him for a lot of years. the main conflict is, he is o.j.
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simpson. that's why he's in there now. the last nine years have been hard for him, it's been hard for everybody. i've had to keep his kids out of the media for the last nine years and him in the media just so people know he's still alive and he means something. >> why were you laughing when i asked you to react to the "conflict-free" quote. what's funny about that? >> well, i could see how people could take that the wrong way. [ laughs ] if you go back into the murders and all of that. >> well, let's not -- >> -- out on the streets, no conflicts. >> well, he was found not guilty in those murders. leave the legal questions aside and the people around the country of various opinions on that, aside. what about the allegations of domestic abuse, which were never refuted. >> that was only once, i think it was, it was only one that was recorded. >> you think he only -- in your opinion, he's a friend of yours, you think it only happened once? >> yeah, once or twice.
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i think it was the one he was talking about all time when we were out was the one that happened on new year's eve. they were both drinking tequila, he said, and they got totally wasted and he won't drink it again. >> that conflict-free? even if it is only one or two instances of domestic abuse, is that a conflict-free life? >> well, i, you know -- [ laughs ] i wouldn't say conflict-free, but sort of -- conflict sort of free. [ laughs ] >> again -- >> i don't know what to say on that part. >> and i appreciate. he is a friend of yours and you are excited to have him out, but again, this is what many people would consider to be a very serious matter. domestic abuse is certainly something that is considered conflict in some people's mind and diminishing it, either by saying it only happened once or twice or not including it as something which, you know, should reflect on your character, that's something that struck a lot of people as odd on the stand yesterday. >> yeah, but i don't think you should go back 20 to 30 years
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and say, okay, something that somebody did 20 or 30 years ago, one time, is something that you can judge him by for the rest of his life. i thought that he did that, he said he's sorry he did that, he was never going to do it again,. >> he didn't want -- >> you know, in his life. he misspoke a little bit there. he misspoke on a few things. i'm not saying that he's, you know, an angel, for no means. but the same token, that was way a long time ago. >> you think there's any remorse? >> now he's got a new life. he's going to come out of there a different person? >> do you think there's any remorse? did you see remorse? have you heard remorse? >> oh, yeah. he's -- he's very remorseful for the things he had done in the past. he may not be remorseful for going into a room and taking his stuff and going to prison for 33 years. i don't think that was right in
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the first place. if he had not had been o.j. simpson, he would not be in there right now. so, yes, i can see he has a little bit of issue and he doesn't understand, like, i just took my own stuff, i didn't bring any guns you kn. you know, o.j. simpson didn't like guns. everywhere we went, he said, we don't need security, we don't need guns, keep it away from me. didn't want it. it's amazing to me saying that he's got two of his best friends in there, we're going to need to brick gu bring guns. i don't believe that. >> my understanding is that you actually warned him against going to that hotel room way back when, but you've talked to him a lot over the years, not, i understand, recently, but if you could give him some advice about how to live and what to do when he is released, what would you tell him? >> i would tell him to stay away from a lot of his friends, especially the felons and the bad people, spend time with your children and retire. i think it's time for you to
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just retire. and if you're going to do something, don't do it for the money with, do it because it's fun. i think he would like that a lot more. it's not always about the dollar. >> just to be clear, the condition of his parole is he's not allowed to be around felons. if he is around felons, he's going back to prison, if that's discovered. you mentioned his family. how are they doing? and what do you see his relationship with them going forward? you've been in touch with them over the years. >> i'm sure they're -- right now, everybody is depressed over it, but now that he's coming out, i think everybody's excited. his family will survive. they're survivors. they've gone through everything, from the murder trial on. and they've survived. they will survive. o.j. coming out, he was the rock. he was the one who held the family together and he needed to be back there. the kids really do need him. and they've needed him since the beginning. i think this may have helped him to a degree, because now he
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knows what's important to him in life, which is his family and his kids. and maybe that's what he'll focus on. and that's what i'm hoping. >> norman pardo, thanks so much for coming on this morning. appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. >> all right. alisyn? all right, john, there's new reporting this morning that claims that president trump is looking into his authority to issue presidential pardons. can a president pardon himself? the man who wrote the book on it tells us.
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all right. now to a legal battle pitting two secretaries inside the trump administration against each other. the treasury department slaps exxon mobil with a $2 million fine for blatantly, they say, violating u.s. sanctions on russia. why is this so interesting? the president's u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson was leading the company at the time. cnn senior diplomat correspondent michelle live with the latest on this. hi, michelle. >> reporter: exxon was slapped with a maximum fine, calling it egregious, harmful and disregard for in 2014 continuing to do business with, in fact signing eight documents with a close friend of vladimir putin, head of the state oil company. he was sanctioned after russia took over crimea. the state department was asked
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repeatedly about this, asked repeatedly why doesn't the secretary of state come and talk to the public directly about this. it was pretty clear that wasn't going to happen. here's part of what they said. >> the company he led violated the sanctions scheme, so how can the american people trust that he is committed to continuing with this? >> i think he was very clear with president poroshenko, the united states, this administration, the president have all been very clear about our support for the ukrainian government for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. >> so the treasury department calls this reckless disregard. exxon calls it fundamentally unfair and they say they got guidance from the treasury department back in 2014 that because rosnaf company was not sanctioned it was okay to do business in part with them but not with sechen personally. they are suing now to get rid of
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this fine. >> michelle, this is a really interesting development. thank you very much for all of that reporting. so another story we're following this morning, "the washington post" is reporting that some of president trump's lawyers are looking into the president's authority to grant pardons. can a president pardon his family members? how about himself? here to discuss this is michigan state university law professor brian kalt. he's the author of "constitutional cliffhangers: a legal guide for presidents and their enemies." professor, thank you for being here. is this one still a cliffhanger? is it legal for a president to pardon himself? >> well, we don't know. no president's ever tried, so it hasn't gone to court, hasn't been decided. but you can certainly try. >> well, it feels wrong. because it feels as though then, you know, why bother going through an investigation and a trial of any kind if a president can just pardon himself. and by the way, if it is legal,
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then why didn't richard nixon try that? >> well, nixon did consider it. he asked his lawyer to look into his options. and his personal lawyer said that he could pardon himself if he wanted. nixon was concerned about his legacy and he, i guess, was willing to put his fate in the hands of his successor, which the argument that the president can't pardon himself is that he has to do that. there is the argument on the other side. but there are arguments on both sides. and so it's -- it really won't be decided until a court gets the case. which will only happen if a president does it and federal prosecutor continues to go after him. >> i mean, look, as we know president trump is fond of breaking the mold. he's known for that, but basically what you're saying is that the legal language on this is ambiguous. and so it's just never been tested in court because no
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president has tried it. >> right. so the argument that he can do it is simply that the constitution doesn't say anywhere specifically that he can't. the argument that he cannot pardon himself, it's a little more complicated, so part of it is just that the meaning of the word pardon is inherently something that you give someone else, comes from the same latin root as the word donate, you would never say you donated something to yourself. you donated $1,000 to yourself, it doesn't make sense. so similarly it doesn't make sense if you pardon yourself that's not a pardon. and there are other limits on the pardon power that are like that. that they're implicit in the definition. for instance, you can't pardon someone for something he hasn't done yet. that's not in the constitution but it is implicit in just the word pardon. and then the other main argument is that there's just this principle and the law that you can't be the judge in your own
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case. just like a judge who's put on trial that would be in front of another judge. president who wants a pardon would have to wait until someone else is president. >> right. now, what does the law say about pardoning family members? >> well, there's no restriction on that. president clinton on his last day in office among other people pardoned his brother, roger clinton. so it's been done. there are issues with potential uses of the pardon power that might be other things, other crimes. so, for instance, if the president pardons someone in exchange for a bribe, the pardon would be valid but the bribe could be prosecuted. so by a similar token, if the president was pardoning people affiliated with him, using his power to protect himself and his entoura entourage, that potentially would be obstruction of justice,
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prosecutor would pursue that. but there is some doubt as to whether the president can be prosecuted when in office. so, again, that would probably have to wait until he's out of office. >> and, by the way, a pardon -- i mean, you correct me if i'm wrong, only refers to a crime. it's not you can't pardon yourself out of impeachment or even out of somehow a tarnished reputation. it's if there's an actual crime. >> yeah. so first of all it's only federal crimes. so it wouldn't give him any protection at all from any state level prosecution that state attorneys general might be pursuing. and then, yes, impeachment is protected from the pardon power. the pardon power cannot be used to stop or undo an impeachment. and ultimately that's the main remedy. president does something wrong, impeachment is supposed to be -- is designed to be the way that you deal with that. then once he's not president anymore, then you can deal with those other things.
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the thing about the pardon power is a lot of people think that you have to be charged before you can be pardoned or you have to be convicted. that's not true. you can be pardoned before that. so he wouldn't have to wait until he was actually charged, this would be after he was out of office but ford pardoned nixon, nixon hadn't been charged yet. >> well, professor brian kalt, thank you for studying all of this so the rest of us don't have to. we appreciate all of your theories on this and the fact that it is as yet untested. thanks for being here. >> thank you. we're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it. it's inappropriate for the president to try to dictate the boundaries of the investigation. >> "the washington post" reporting trump's legal team working to discredit the special counsel investigation. >> bob mueller should look at anything that falls within the scope of special counsel's mandate. >> the president steps in by
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firing bob mueller, i think he will pay a very heavy price. >> what you can feel coming out of this white house is a tension and anxiety. >> i've done my time. i've basically spent a conflict-free life. >> his statements were self-justifying showing no remorse. >> if you take a look at what they're supposed to consider, it was a slam dunk. >> thank you. this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning. welcome to your new day. it's friday july 21st, 8:00 here in washington. chris is off, john berman joins me in what looks like a very lonely new york studio. >> it is very lonely, but it's also 8:00 here, i can confirm that also. >> very good. up first, the "new york times" and "the washington post" are reporting that president trump's legal team is trying to undermine special counsel robert mueller. the president's lawyers are investigating the investigators in hopes of discrediting mueller's russia investigation. >> it comes as the


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