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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  July 10, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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everyone else, no way. we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much. we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. welcome to "inside t politics." i'm dana bash. john king is off. as we speak, the president's supreme court pick is on capitol hill for his first chance to win over senators who will decide i had -- his confirmation. plus, today is the day for children under 5 years old who are separated from their parents at the u.s. border to be reunited. the trump administration says they'll meet that deadline but only for some families.
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and as he left the white house this morning for a nearly week-long trip overseas, president trump said his meeting with vladimir putin may be the easiest one. and his elton john obsession confirmed. the president did try to give kim jong-un a cd of "rocket man." >> i have it for him. they didn't give it, but it will be given at a certain period. i actually do have a little gift for him, but you'll find out what that gift is when i give it. >> we begin this hour with the nominee. president trump unveiling his pick to the supreme court last night, brett kavanaugh. now, today kavanaugh begins his mission on the hill to woo senators and make it through the confirmation process. two sources close to the process tell cnn that kavanaugh was at the top of the president's list from the start, even before justice anthony kennedy announced his retirement. they say kennedy and president
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trump sat down for a private chat, and the president walked away convinced, though, that kavanaugh was the top choice. now, the moment last night the president uttered his name, there was a full-court opposition beginning. here's minority leader of the senate chuck schumer on "cbs this morning." >> president trump with the nomination of judge kavanaugh has fulfilled or is fulfilling two of his campaign promises. first, to undo women's reproductive freedom. second, to undo aca. i will oppose him with everything i've got. >> that didn't go over so well with senator schumer's republican counterpart, the majority leader. >> some of our democratic colleagues seem to me to be a little confused. a little confused. they seem to be confusing the nature of a political office with the nature of a judicial office.
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this would explain why some of our colleagues found eager to turn judicial confirmations into something like political elections. >> as for the handful of key senators whose votes will make or break the nomination, we're we're hearing a lot of them say they're going to keep an open mind. cnn's phil mattingly joins me now from the hill. phil, you've been talking to senators and their aides. wh what have you been hearing, anything surprising, or is it standard partisan fare? >> reporter: a little more of the latter. maybe equal parts how this process has devolved. obviously real and significant stakes that are at play here. also how everybody telegraphed how they were going to be. senator mitch mcconnell, who was very deeply involved behind the scenes throughout this process. we knew where he was going to be as well. the key is really those kind of
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senators that are in the middle. susan collins, lisa murkowski on the republican side. on the democratic side, several red-state democrats. trump won states by double digits who were up for re-election. as you noted, those senators, as we expected, keeping their powder dry. that really underscores we're in for a lengthy process. obviously the full-on blitz started frankly even before brett kavanaugh was nominated. you're going to have millions of dollars in outside money trying to influence those senators, trying to pressure those senators. you're going to have grassroots on both sides try to bring to bear their pressure on the senators as well. but this is going to be a lengthy process, one where we probably won't know where the votes actually are, at least in total, until shortly before the floor vote. how long does that mean? until probably about 2 1/2 months or so, 10 weeks, 11 weeks. think about a hearing in the early part of september, c confirmation vote middle of september. the interesting thing is there's a lot to go through here.
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while you might say those senators that are keeping their powder dry aren't committing to anything, well, frankly, they shouldn't. there are more than 300 decisions that judge kavanaugh wrote. there's obviously a lengthy paper trail from his time in the bush administration that democrats are extremely interested in and republicans will have to go through as well. there's a lot of work to be done here, no question about it. there's also going to be a lot of pressure and a lot of fireworks over the course of the next couple weeks as everybody pushes toward that final vote. >> a lengthy paper trail, one that the senator majority leader was a bit concerned about. we'll talk about that and more. thank you so much for that reporting, phil. here at the table to share their reporting and their insights, cnn's abby phillip, michael warren with the weekly standard, and politico's rachel bate. i don't know about you all. it was like something went off. the minute kavanaugh walked out, my phone was almost smoking it was so active. e-mail after e-mail after e-mail. the system almost couldn't keep
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up. everybody was ready for this. the groups on both sides are very well armed, obviously. but one thing that is different this time around, it seems to me, than in the past is that the energy has been, and the money has been, on the republican side, convincing in a case like this, red state democrats to vote yes. now there's more money being raised and energy being put on to the progressive side to convince those red-state democrat bhos are key, three or four, probably three, to vote no. let's listen to one example. >> if confirmed to the d.c. circuit, i would follow roe v. wade faithfully and fully. that would be binding precedent of the court. it's been decided by the supreme court. >> but what is your opinion? you're not on the bench yet. you've talked about these issues in the past to other people, i'm sure. >> the supreme court has held repeatedly, senator, and i don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view
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on that case. >> okay. that was a q&a he had when he was being confirmed for the circuit court about roe v. wade. we are going to talk about that. now let's watch that ad. >> donald trump just nominated brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. here's what we already know about him. trump said he'd only pick judges who reversed roe v. wade and outlaw abortion. trump made it clear his nominee would vote to overturn the affordable care act. call your senators and tell them to oppose trump's extreme nominee. stop brett kavanaugh. >> it's a tough one because the energy in the democratic party is on the left, and that even applies to democrats who are running in states where the president won by ten percentage points or more. >> i think this goes back to merrick garland. it really changed the game. it made supreme court
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nominations were real. when their democrat didn't get their guy, it became an issue for them. even though these red-state democrats might be a bit of a lost cause, and even if they were to hold on to them, there are enough republicans that brett kavanaugh could get confirmed, it is a get out the vote mechanism for the fall. it is an important test of their ability to mobilize their base. so i think for some democratic groups, this is a little bit of a dry run for what they need to do in the weeks and months approaching november this year. >> what we know is historically the court and supreme court nominations have been more mobilizing for forces on the right, particularly social conservatives. they see an opportunity to
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really mobilize their voters, particularly female voters who have been a huge force in the democratic party. >> wow, that was great. you just teed up the next sound bite. >> i'm here to help. >> we played the sound bite of kavanaugh talking about his position on abortion back in 2006. but now the question is whether or not and how much his position or the uncertainty of his position will play into the republican swing votes. lisa murkowski and susan collins. our manu raju caught up with susan collins about this, this morning. >> i'm sure that that's a case we will discuss. his opinion in that case contrasts with that of judge henderson, who went way beyond where judge kavanaugh went. but obviously that's one of the cases that i'm sure i will be discussing with him.
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>> i think that there is a process. that process needs to be fair. it needs to be open. we all, every member of the united states senate has an equal obligation to thoroughly vet this nominee. >> that was senator murkowski there, the other potential swing vote who has been historically focussed on this issue. she describes herself as pro-choice. >> and kavanaugh's comments you played just a few minutes ago saying he wouldn't throw out roe v. wade basically give both of these republicans plausible deniability to say, look, he said this publicly. i'm going to back him because he says he's going to continue to support abortion rights for women. but schumer, chuck schumer, their democratic leader in the senate, he's already warning that just because, you know, kavanaugh said this in the past doesn't mean you should take him at his word now. the reality is that a judge can look at a court case and say, oh, you know, the reality is a
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little different here than it was from a previous court case. i respect that precedent, but i'm going to rule a little difficultly because of x, y, or z. so schumer has said that's a trap, do not follow that. i also think it's interesting that kavanaugh last night in his first remarks to the nation really showed that he was trying to reach out to women who were concerned. he talked about his wife, his daughter, his mom being, you know -- judge kavanaugh will always be my mother, who is a judge and used to practice her legal arguments at the dinner table. i think we'll see if that works. >> you talked about the realities. the other reality is that since the bomb natinomination and he answered questions and it went south, nominees have learned not to answer questions. "the new york times" this morning reminded everybody of that saying, what americans can't know about judge kavanaugh, pretty much anything else, ever since the bitter battle of president ronald reagan's failed no, ma'am in
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this case of robert bork in 1987. it is true. it's an art, but people say, lest just see what he says in the confirmation hearings. not much. >> no, but i've been watching social conservatives and how they've sort of been reacting to this pick. it's interesting. there's a bit of disappointment, of course, as a general feeling that of course it's from this list the federalist society developed. so kavanaugh will be good. but i think there's a lot of hope that amy coney barrett, who's been much more forward leaning on her views of abortion, would have been a better pick for those. i think that tracks with what's likely to happen if and when kavanaugh is on the court and this issue comes before the supreme court. i think you're more likely to see restrictions on abortion, something that narrows it down to, say, late-term abortions,
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more so than a full overturning of roe v. wade. you can look at this in one way, whether it's kavanaugh sort of having this record that's not as easy to parse on his position, but also the very strong likelihood that john roberts, the chief justice, will be doing what he's been doing over the past ten years, which is sort of moderating, taking his role as chief justice as a sort of caretaker of the institution fairly or unfairly. conservatives don't like this about john roberts. but looking at this and saying politically, a complete overturning of roe v. wade may not be best for the court as an institution. >> and he's kind of made that clear. he made that dleer clear in hi n confirmation hearings. okay. we're going to turn to a story that's captivating the world, has been for two weeks. all 12 boys and their soccer coach are now safe after being trapped inside a cave in thailand for more than two weeks. divers finished the final stages of that dangerous rescue mission earlier today.
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cnn's matt rivers is outside the hospital where the boys are recovering. matt, what can you tell us about their condition, and also just about what it's like to be there to hear those cheers and to cover this very, very good news story? >> reporter: you know, it's not often we get to cover unabashedly good news, especially in situations like this. yet, i can report that at least from what we know so far, this is fantastic. you had 12 boys extracted from that cave along with their coach, making it 13. even the divers, the navy s.e.a.l.s here from thailand that spent the last week inside that cave with them, they also made it out safely. no one is left in that cave. everyone that needs treatment is getting it here behind me at that hospital. as for your question about conditions, that's what we don't really know yet. boys 9, 10, 11, and 12 who were taken out today along with that coach are being treated in the hospital. they're going through a battery of tests, making sure they're not dehydrated.
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they're taking blood tests. then their conditions will be released. that's what we're waiting on here. hopefully it mirrors the conditions of the first eight boys that were rescued. we got updates on their status earlier today. generally speaking, they're doing pretty well. they came in with some complications, five of them had lower body temperatures. two of them had lung infections. but they responded immediately to treatment. they're actually asking for fried chicken and chocolate. they want to watch the world cup. hopefully that is what the kind of news that we're going to get tomorrow about this latest round of rescues. but here in thailand, this country has been riveted by this, as has the rest of the world, and we are so happy to report that everyone has made it out of that cave and the reunification of families will be going on at this hospital behind me over the coming days. dana? >> it is a story of survival and rescue for the ages. it really is. matt rivers, thank you so much. up next, president trump is on his way to the nato summit and then helsinki for a meeting
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with vladimir putin. does trump consider putin a friend or a foe? he won't say yet.
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fiber choice. the number one ge recommended chewable prebiotic fiber. welcome back. the president this morning before jetting off to europe tried to set some expectations for a very big week. >> so i have nato. i have the uk, which is in somewhat turmoil. and i have putin. frankly, putin may be the easiest of them all. >> well, check that out. you can see the president's schedule is packed with highly consequential meetings, each with potential pitfalls. the west would like to see trump warm to european leaders that he's clashed with since assuming office and then draw firm lines when he meets with russian president vladimir putin. but this answer from the president likely sent a chill through diplomatic circles this morning.
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>> would you say vladimir putin is a friend or a foe? >> i really can't say right now. as far as i'm concerned, a competitor. he's a competitor. i think that getting along with russia, getting along with china, getting along with others is a good thing. >> who wants to start that? >> this is a reflection of the foreign policy view that trump has, you know, talked about for his whole political career. there's no moral element to it. it's all sort of transactional. i think he views himself as somebody who can figure out whether putin can be a friend or a foe and whether or not he can do anything in the negotiating room to figure that out, suss that out. actually, not that difficult fr -- different, from the way george w. bush looked into putin's eyes and saw his soul. i think it ignores what a lot of people in his own administration have said about a lot of what vladimir putin has done over the
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last decade , at the very least the annexation of crimea, which the president has been unwilling to stick by the u.s. policy of saying we're against that. >> if you are a transactional president, you can make an argument, i guess, which is hard to make but you can try to make it that crimea is over there. but this is also -- since president bush said he looked into vladimir putin's eyes and saw his soul, russia has meddled in america's elections. how is that not a foe? >> i also think it's important to point out that this is already his flirtation or whatever we want to call it has already had an extremely corrosive effect on his relationship with these allies. the premise of nato is deterrence, which is the idea if someone attacks one of the nato countries, they will act. without necessarily someone having to test that. but now if you don't have that implicit promise that nato will respond in force, which the president has undermined,
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deterrence doesn't work. >> did you look at my notes? once again, you are teeing up exactly what i wanted to play, which is comments from the eu president to donald trump, a very specific message to donald trump on this very issue. listen. >> dear president trump, america does not have and will not have a better ally than europe. today europeans spent on defense many times more than russia and as much as china. america, appreciate your allies. after all, you don't have that many. dear, mr. president, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the nato summit. but above all, wihen you meet president putin in helsinki. it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.
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>> i mean, wow. there's no diplo speak there. you know exactly what he's saying. >> i think europeans are kind of fed up with this at this point. it's really reaching a breaking point. the president is not just -- it would be one thing if it was just vladimir putin. but he's simultaneously exposing cracks in nato. he's alienating allies. he's criticizing world leaders in europe when they are at their weakest. theresa may, at this moment, in her tenure when she risks a no-confidence vote. the same thing with angela merkel in the last week when her coalition was on the verge of fraying. the president is exploiting these rifts with european allies. he's also questioned whether or not it's worth the united states making good on its article 5 commitment of defending europe if one of its members is attacked. he's questioned that. i think that's a big deal.
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>> stand by, we're going to go to capitol hill. the judiciary chairman chuck grassley is meeting right now with supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. >> i'm just going to make a short statement. i'm not going to take any questions. obviously our nominee will not take any questions. but i've just had a pleasant conversation with judge kavanaugh. he and i have not interacted a lot in our lifetimes. so meeting with him is very important. he's a respected jurist with outstanding opinions that i think are going to be -- [ inaudible ]. we're going to have a thorough process. hopefully we can get it done
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quickly. but it's going to be thorough. it's going to be done right. and try to do what we can to accommodate everybody's interests. in the end, i think his record speaks for itself. we thank you all very much. >> a little hard to hear over all clicking sounds there, but that is chuck grassley. he's the chairman of the judiciary committee. he will be running the confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh. the gist of what he said was there's going to be a thorough process. obviously he didn't say, okay, i'm in, but he sort of alluded to that, saying he has a good record that speaks for itself.
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he's a respected jurist and so on and so forth. you know, this is about as standard and conventional as we see of any process in the trump administration. this happens in every administration, democrat or republican. you do the nominee. the next day they go up to the hill and do the meet and greets and say words without really saying much before the cameras. >> i think this is because this is the -- sort of the kbbiggest part of trump's administration that he's farmed out to another group of folks, that being the federalist society. this is sort of the result, the fruit of a really earnest effort by a lot of serious young lawyers who were concerned about the way the legal profession was going too liberal. they've now created a community of lawyers who have focused, better than i think anybody else in the conservative movement, on actually getting their people into the federal bench. this is the result of that.
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it really has -- it all proceeds president trump. i think president trump has given that up and said, help me decide this, and i don't think he cares that much about it as long as it pleases the people who voted for him, which it does. >> that's so true. this is a very labor-intensive, long game plan among conservative lawyers and conservative groups. i mean, decades, a generation plus. it's bearing fruit right now. that's no small thing. >> and also, i think it's worth noting that kavanaugh is a guy who gets this process. this is someone who had a first career as a political operative. i thought that really came through during his speech, right. he understands he needs to get up there. he clearly has decided he was going to sprinkle his remarks with a lot of references to his support for the women in his life because he understands the political dynamics as well as anyone. i think the biggest risk to him might be the president, might be president trump coming out and saying something that he then has to go clean up on capitol hill. >> all right. everybody stand by. coming up, dozens -- oh, excuse
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me. before we go to break, i just was being told our manu raju was told by joe donnelly, one of those red state democrats who voted for neil gorsuch, is up in the air. he said he fully intends to evaluate brett kavanaugh's record and would keep an open mind but also said the question about pre-existing conditions and whether those can still be covered by the aca is, according to donnelly, a central part of this nomination. that's just in. we are getting information really by the second as our team is up on capitol hill talking to these key, key senators who will determine whether brett kavanaugh actually is confirmed. and now we will go to break. but before, i want to tell you on the other side, we're going to talk about dozens of immigrant children taken from their parents. they're supposed to be reunited by day's end. will that happen? we'll tell you after the break.
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only half. there are about 102 total. now, the administration is struggling to keep up with the pace of these deadlines, struggling to find some parents, either because they've been released into the u.s., into criminal us ccustody, or have b deported. miguel marquez is in texas. where does the unification process stand at this hour? >> reporter: well, it has begun in cities across the country. i.c.e. vans are pulling up to centers that are housing children, picking them up. we saw this in phoenix, arizona, for instance. several kids there at two different facilities were picked up, taken to another i.c.e. facility where their parents were so that they could be reunited. we know of one happening in grand rapids, michigan, fairly shortly. we expect some of that to happen here in the rio grande valley in south texas as well. two things really happening today. so that is happening. 54, perhaps 59 by the end of the day, children reunited with
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their families. the others, the government says, is just not going to be possible to do today. that will be discussed in court. but the bigger issue that will be discussed in court, what about the thousands of kids over 5 that need to be reunited with their parents? the judge in california going to basically work out a process because the trump administration doesn't have one for how that is going to happen. lawyers for the aclu that brought this suit want a truncated process, two, three days with existing documents, fingerprints, maybe if necessary dna tests. the trump administration says, no, we have to have these people treated like unaccompanied minors. that process could take a month, perhaps two. dana? >> miguel, thank you so much for that update. appreciate it. back here with the panel, look, this is about as difficult as it gets. but it bears repeating as much as we can, the immediate deadline, these are children 5
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and under. children 5 and under who are not with their parents. and the difficulty getting less than half of them back with their parents is pretty astounding. >> it makes you wonder, really, what were they planning on doing before they were forced to do this? were they planning on just simply orphaning these children into the system in the united states, the ones who they've already deported? it's shocking. it's astonishing. i think that's kind of what the judge is saying in these rulings. the judge is saying it is astonishing that the government can take a child from their parent and not have enough information to reunite that child with their parent, barring some profound reason why they cannot or should not be reunited. and the trump administration doesn't seem to really care all that much about the time it's taking. the president was asked about this, this morning. it was kind of like, well, just don't come -- >> let's play that. let's play what he said. >> i have a solution.
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tell people not to come to our country illegally. that's the solution. don't come to our country illegally. come like other people do. come legally. >> so he's basically saying -- let me just translate. i want to bring you in, rachel, but it's a deterrent. he's admitting this is a deterrent, except guess what, it's not working. look at this graphic. you see this new policy was announced a few months ago, april-ish. it hasn't deterred people and their families from coming. at all. look at that. it's all the way up this month to almost 10,000. >> the president's trying to change the subject here. the story is that the trump administration, they don't have the infrastructure or are not willing to put the energy into creating an infrastructure to unite these kids with their parents. the interesting thing is they're really on their own here. you know, in congress when this first started, we heard a lot of republicans on the hill saying, oh, we're going to pass some sort of legislation that helps
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them. well, my house sources say they have no plans to pass anything anymore, especially after the president burned them on their own immigration bills just a couple weeks ago. they are not going to pass anything unless the white house actually forces their hand on this. meanwhile, the senate is distracted. of course, they have the supreme court. that's what they're going to be looking at. and this immigration issue, the issues just keep piling up. it's not just the families, it's also the daca kids. they're going to be another court ruling on this. >> i'm so glad you brought that up because there's so much news, it's sometimes hard to keep on top of for our viewers the things that are and aren't getting done. this was a huge issue. the president for the first time did a 180. he reversed himself with the executive order. there was pressure on congress to act on this. then the broader immigration issue. they punted and now there's no discussion about it. >> but this is just -- the family separation is egregious. we had -- a.p. had a story that was recounting a 1-year-old in
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court, in a hearing. the 1-year-old cried when he was passed from one caregiver to another. how can a 1-year-old tell anyone where his or her parents are? it's a humanitarian crisis. and the president, i'm really curious to see whether the president will pay the price for this. our history tells us he tends not to pay a political price for these kinds of actions, but i wonder. >> the pressure needs to stay on, and obviously we're covering it and hopefully that will be at least a little bit of pressure to make sure that at least these families are reunited as the judge has ordered and as the president has ordered with his executive action. okay. up next, congressman jim jordan facing allegations he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse while he was a coach at ohio state. he denies it, and now he has the support of a top republican. ♪ ooh, heaven is a place on earth ♪
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topping our political radar, rudy giuliani tells "the washington post" he's still working for foreign clients while serving as president trump's attorney, and it's an arrangement me says that is okay but experts say it could break c conflict of interest laws. giuliani told the paper he maintains clients in brazil and colombia and gives paid speeches for a controversial iranian exile group. he also says he didn't need to register as a foreign agent because trump doesn't pay him for his advice and he doesn't directly lobby the u.s. government. ex-national security adviser michael flynn makes his way to court, his first court appearance since admitting he lied to investigators. a judge telling prosecutors and flynn's legal team he doesn't
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have a problem delaying sentencing because flynn has been assisting the special counsel's investigation. flynn's team says their client is eager to proceed with sentencing in order to bring an end to the process. both sides are required to provide an update on possible sentencing dates or delay by late august. and house majority whip steve scalise is defending congressman jim jordan amid accusations that jordan knew about alleged sexual abuse while he was an ohio state wrestling coach but did nothing about it. in a statement to cnn, congressman scalise says, i have always known jim jordan to be honest, and i'm confident he would stand up for his athletes just like he has always stood up for what's right. i'm glad jim is committed to working with the investigators to see that the full truth comes out and justice is served. congressman jordan tells cnn he's working to set up a time to speak with investigators. >> yesterday six coaches came
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out and said the exact same thing that i said. you know why they said that? because it's true. >> are you meeting with investigators this week? >> we're working on setting up a time to talk, yes. >> you said you were unaware of the abuse but you were aware of locker room talk. can you tell us more specifically about that? >> well, a lot of republicans on the hill have been sort of quiet, sort of watching to see what happens with jordan and whether, you know, there would be pressure on him to either step aside or would this hurt his influence. that makes scalise's comment all the more interesting. scalise is the first member of republican leadership to come out and support him. scalise also received a boost from gop leaders a couple years ago when reports came out that he had spoken to a white supremacist group when he was in the state legislature, which is interesting. so he said, of course, i'm not racist, i didn't know what the group was, and they saved him. gop leaders saved him. it's interesting that as a leader he's lending a hand to jordan and clorg aoloring all o
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is the race to replace paul ryan. obviously whoever succeeds ryan is going to need the support of the freedom caucus. jordan is a member of the freedom caucus. and scalise clearly wants to make friends in that regard. >> nothing is simple. a very noteworthy statement. up next, the president's supreme court pick has been a d.c. fixture for years. his past work in the ken starr investigation and why one of his writings from 2009 are making headlines.
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the president's pick for
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supreme court is no stranger to high-profile work. brett kavanaugh is an appellate judge now. in the past, the 53-year-old served in both bush administrations, and in the 1990s, he worked on the ken starr investigation involving president clinton. saul wisenberg worked with kavanaugh for two years on that investigation. thank you so much for joining me. saul, he was 33 years old when he became a lead author of the starr report. i want to read part of it to you and to our viewers. here's what he said. the president has a manifest duty to ensure that his conduct at all times complies with the law of the land. in sum, perjury and acts that obstruct justice by any citizen, whether in a criminal case, a grand jury investigation, or civil discovery are profoundly serious matters. when such acts are committed by the president of the united states, we believe those acts may constitute grounds for an impeachment. very tough words for the
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responsibility and role of the president, which i can get to in a second. what was your experience with him in those days on this issue? >> i don't know what you mean by he changed now. he would absolutely agree with that statement today. who could disagree with that, that a president committing perjury and obstruction of justice, that it may be grounds for impeachment. i think it was right then and it's right now. >> right. i guess my point is that in 2009, he wrote an article where he said i guess more broadly the idea that he has -- since working in the administration, he has learned more about what it takes to be president. in fact, in that 2009 writing, he talked about -- he said having seen first hand how difficult and complex that job is, it's important the president
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focus with as few distractions as possible, going into his argument why a president shouldn't be indicted. i understand that's not contradictory to saying the focus should be on impeachment, but the point is that he has come to understand, he said, more of the difficulties and the role of the president vis-a-vis dealing with an investigation like the two of you worked on. >> right, that it can be a great distraction. it's important to know in this article he's talking about statutory reforms. he specifically talks about clinton v clinton versus jones, which held constitutionally the president has no right to defer a civil suit. but the court in jones, which was a unanimous decision, said look, if congress wants to pass a law providing for a deferral, just defer until you're out of office, like congress has already done for some military members, congress can do so. that's what brett argued in that
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article, that he thought as a policy matter, congress should do that for civil cases and criminal cases. then when the president's no longer president anymore, he can be indicted or sued or anything you want. >> since you have unique experience, talk to me about the kind of work he did on that report, the starr report. >> you said he was the lead author. i'm not sure that he was. certainly he played a role in it. he was -- our office was roughly divided into the prosecutors who had a lot of prosecutorial experience with the department of justice, and then kind of the brain trust and the people who handled the legal briefings and things like that. and brett was part of that group. he did very brilliant work. of course, he was also involved in the foster investigation. so he wore a couple hats, but he was a young guy. he wasn't married yet. very bright guy, very quiet guy, but with a really good sense of humor. just a delight to work with.
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>> unfortunately, we're going to have to leave it there, but i appreciate your insight. i'm sure we're going to get back to you in the months that we're going to be covering what we expect to be a lengthy confirmation process. thank you so much for your time, and thank you for joining us on "inside politics." jim sciutto is in for wolf blitzer, and he starts after a quick break. ballpark. y at the [park announcer] all military members stand and be recognized. sometimes fans cheer for those who wear a different uniform. no matter where or when you served, t-mobile stands ready to serve you. that's why we're providing half off family lines to all military.
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hello. i'm jim sciutto in today for wolf blitzer. 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you for joining us. really an extraordinary day of news. first, as the president gets ready to arrive at the nato summit, he calls russia's vladimir putin not an adversary but just a competitor and says that their summit could be easier than the one with u.s. allies. the fight begins over the president's supreme court nominee. why democrats are sounding the alarm that brett kavanaugh and the russia investigation are on a collision course.


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