tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 23, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd. that's why i fight. because it's my vision. preservision. also, in a great-tasting chewable. hi, there. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me on this monday. you're watching cnn. we're one week since the president's meeting with poo vladimir putin and we still don't know what happened behind
closed doors. we still don't know what happened behind closed doors. keep that in mind as we begin today with a rattled president and a twitter tail spin unleashing on everyone, everyone but vladimir putin or the 12 additional russians accused of attacking the u.s. let me get you up to speed. the president's threat of war on iran tweeting suffer the consequences, the likes of which few throughout history have ever seen. does that sound familiar? >> north korea best not make anymore threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> the president is frustrated with nuclear talks with north korea. kim jong-un's regime sharpens the tone and makes demands. he is also walking back his walk
back of admitting the russians hacked the campaign by calling it a hoax. paul manafort's trial begins this week. carter page admits contact with the kremlin and the president cannot believe michael cohen would tape their conversations. kaitlyn collins is standing by for the white house briefing. talk to me about what the heck happened that led to this tweet in all caps on this morning to iran. >> well, that was really the question on everyone's mind. it was a weekend of all caps tweeting from president trump who tweeted dozens of times in just the last 24 hours alone. especially over the weekend while he was at his golf club. that remark from the president in all caps directed at iran came after the iranian president issued a statement in remarks saying essentially that any war -- any conflict between the united states and iran would be the war to end all wars, essentially. very strong language coming from
him. and, of course, brook, this all comes, you can't ignore the backdrop. in may the united states withdrew from the iran deal. that meant the sanctions were reimposed. we are weeks away from strict banking sanctions and in november there will be tougher sanctions as well. that is all the backdrop. the president's tweet specifically came after pompmik pompeo delivered a harsh statement at iran saying this. >> the level of corruption shows iran is run by something that resembled the mafia more than a government. it's like an iranian unicorn. sometimes it seems the world has become desensitized to the world's authoritarianism around the world. the united states under president trump will not stay silent.
>> so, brook, between that language from pompeo, a statement from the national security adviser john bolton essentially saying what the president said on twitter and the president's all caps tweet, you can get when entarnsarah hu sanders comes out, she'll be asked about that and what the president was saying one year ago last year about north korea with reference to the fire and fury remark. she's going to be asked about that as well as the president's other tweets this weekend seeming to call into question essentially what the white house had him say last week was he agreed with the intelligence community's assessment that russia interfeerd in tred in th election. he backtracked over the weekend. certainly nothing short to ask sarah huckabee sanders about today when she walks out here. >> we'll see you momentarily. thank you for that. while the president had no -- while the president had no
problem lashing out against iran, he refuses to keep his word on russia. the president is once again contradicting his closer advisers, his very own prepared remarks. calling the investigation into election interference, quote, a big hoax. are we back at square one? >> it's important not to lose track of all of this. let me take you back seven days ago. helsinki, finland. >> dan coats came to me and some others. they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> following those comments backlash erupts and after 24 hours of strategizing a cleanup, the white house enters full on damage control mode and comes up with this. >> the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia. sort of a double negative.
>> okay. unusual strategy, but he says he agrees with u.s. intel chiefs. he says russia attacked u.s. elections. got it. but then in the very same breath he said this. >> let me be totally clear in saying and i've said this many times, i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia is meddling in the 2016 election took place. could be other people also. a lot of people out there. >> dan coats, trump's director of national intelligence clashes with the president, says no, it is russia and russia only, and by wednesday the president is seemingly convinced. >> you haven't condemned putin specifically. do you hold him personally responsible? >> well, i would, because he's in charge of the country. just like i consider myself to
be responsible for things that happen in this country. so certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes. >> what did you say to him? >> a very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling. i let him know we can't have this. we're not going to have it and that's the way it's going to be. >> well, he didn't confront the russian president in front of the cameras. we wraps up the week with this proposal. mr. putin, come to washington this fall. is this unfinished business? the white house won't say. that brings me to today, the president's tweets. a big hoax, a witch hunt. the take away, these appear to be the president's true thoughts. no not the forced statements typed out for him or whatever his administration claims he believes. it's like the fire storms, the backlash the walk backs from last week, it's as if it never
happened. let's open up the conversation. with me gloria borger, aaron david miller and jeffrey lewis. gloria, to you first. after as we just rolled through it, the week that was, how does sarah huckabee sanders explain this? to do you think this all caps iran tweet is supposed to be a distraction? >> well, you never know with donald trump. he's very good at doing that. i personally believe that the truest donald trump you ever get is the one on twitter. because it's his thumbs doing the typing, and in this case all caps, and we know that donald trump doesn't like to be threatened, and he felt threatened by rouhani who said any conflict between iran and the united states would be the mother of all wars. so the president sprung into action. but, you know, he's springing into action everywhere against
mueller, against iran. but not against russia, except when his back is to the wall, and he had to read that hostage video. appeared in the hostage video last week when he had to read that statement about the difference between would and wouldn't. and so i think what you're seeing here is kind of unvarnished stream of consciousness going back to the mueller witch hunt. he's upset clearly about michael cohen. she's upset. the manafort trial is probably going to -- starting today, he's got iran. he's got north korea he's frustrated by. i think it just all comes out. >> jeffrey, we wanted to talk to you. you wrote either this book of fiction about one of trump's tweets starting with a war with north korea. and you say trump's iran tweet is worse. >> yeah. absolutely. i mean, you know, look. on a day today basis this is
probably just a distraction. it's just something he says and it goes away. but the scenario i worried about in north korea, and in my novel the 2020 commission, but also that i would worry about in iran is what happens if we're in a real crisis? you know, not just any old random day where it seems to come out of the blue but in a situation where a world leader thinks the united states might attack? then i think a tweet like this could pour gasoline on the fire. >> sue, does iran not take him seriously? is this not a real world case scenario? the president's truest thoughts coming from twitter? >> i think they have to be sitting there scratching their heads. we've already seen a little bit of anecdotal reporting that north koreans in meetings often are trying to figure out what does one make of the twitter feed. i think that sometimes there is probably a discount, and that's the good news. but, again, the scenario that i worry about is where people are
looking for evidence that we're going to attack and then they see the tweet. >> a discount. that's one way to put it. aaron david miller, it's almost like it's a tale of two responses. response number one, trump threatening iran with war after rhetoric, and then response number two, trump invites vladimir putin to the white house after russia attacks the united states. how do you square the two? >> i mean, i'd square it by -- with the following observation. this is the first president probably in the history of the republic who lacks the capacity to define an american national interest on whatever the subject is, iran, the eu, china, or russia. somehow untethered from his own personal fears? his political interests? his likes and his dislikes. all of these things have -- i think something in common. and what you see in the tweets
is that frustration, is that resentment. i think that's what explains and that's the connective tissue on all of this. one of my former bosses george schultz once said when you dwoent have a policy, the temptation grows to give speech. or in this case to tweet. we don't have a strategy toward north korea. we do not have a strategy toward russia. i suspect we -- he careens from lamp post to lamp post as if he doesn't have a direction except the one powered and fuelled by his own personal resentments and his politics, and i think that's a sad testament to the future foreign policy of the republic. >> stand by, everyone. the white house will have to answer for all of this. the last briefing got heated over that putin/trump summit.
now it's become even more confusing. you're watching cnn. we'll be right back. thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com who would have guessed? an energy company helping cars emit less. making cars lighter, it's a good place to start, advanced oils for those hard-working parts. fuels that go further so drivers pump less. improving efficiency is what we do best. energy lives here. -we're in a small room. what?! -welcome. -[ gasps ] a bigger room?! -how many of you use car insurance? -oh.
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gloria borger, aaron david miller and jeffrey lewis are with me. i pulled a couple of different statements we read the congressman will hurd, his piece a couple of days ago in the paper. he wrote as an undercover officer in the cia, i saw russian intelligence manipulate many people. i never thought i would see the day when an american president would be one of them. add to that congressman brian fitzpatrick also a republican who is former fbi saying the
president was manipulated by vladimir putin, and then finally you have the top democrat on the house intel committee who said this. >> i certainly think he's acting light someone who is compromised. it may well be he is compromised or that he believes that he's compromised, that the russians have information on him. we were not permitted to look into one of the allegations that was most serious to me, and that is were the russians laundering money through the trump organization? republicans wouldn't allow us to go near it. if that's the leverage is russians are using, it would explain the president's behavior and help protect the country by knowing our president was compromised. >> compromised,manipulated. this is a democrat but also republicans, thinking about the week that was over the weekend, it feels like a shift. >> it does, because i think after the infamous helsinki
presser, people were kind of stunned that the president seemed to basically cave to anything vladimir putin said or did. sin we don't have a direct readout of the meeting and perhaps sarah huckabee sanders will help us with that a little bit, we're getting bits and pieces of what was discussed not from our side but from the russians. and so we're -- it's confusing. it's questionable. and things that people were thinking privately, could the president possibly be compromised? what's the reason? people are now saying that publicly. and these are republicans. and that's one of the reasons you have the president lashing out saying it's collusion, a witch hunt. that comes after a week ago this past friday you had 12
indictments of russians who were trying to impact the election. so, you know, it's very hard to come up with a rational, reasonable explanation that does not involve the president himself. >> to have the president inviting vladimir putin who did attack and is still attacking the midterms around the fall, somebody said to me on friday, it's like you own the home and you're opening the door to the burglar yet again. aaron david miller on the notion of potentially him being compromised, do you find it more and more credible that the president of the united states could be compromised? >> this is really serious stuff, and i take it seriously. i worked for republicans and democrats. i voted for them as well. this is not a partisan comment. i'm desperately trying to identify a plausible explanation for the reality that with almost -- no exceptions, this president has turned on or has
been ambivalent about every single foreign leader with whom he has interacted. except putin. either he has a natural affection for authoritarians over allies. putin is not cranky. he basically deals with the president. doesn't have a whole lot to say. the president admires and respects his toughness, or you conclude that mr. putin has some form of leverage either financial transgressions, personal transgressions. i'm desperately seeking and searching for the empirical evidence that explains why this president -- look, this is the foreign policy analog to charlottesville. in charlottesville he acquiesc acquiesced. here he willfully compromised american values and interests.
i can't explain it. i'm increasingly drawn to gloria's explanation. >> yes. >> although, we don't know. maybe bob mueller knows. but we certainly cannot draw that direct line at this point. but people are shaking their heads and saying well, give me some better explanations. >> yep. no, it's a serious question, and i don't ask it lightly at all. stand by, everyone. we need another quick break. we're waiting for the briefing. the white house press corps is ready to roll. we'll also fact check the president's false claims about the warrants targeting his former campaign adviser. carter page admits contact with the kremlin. and a georgia lawmaker under
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dirty dossier that was paid for by crooked hillary clinton that was submitted to fisa and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited mueller witch hunt. but for one, florida republican senator marco rubio is coming to the fbi's defense on this. >> i don't think they did anything wrong. i think they went to the court. they got the judges to approve it. they laid out the information and there was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier for why they wanted to look at carter page. >> let's go to cnn politics reporter and editor at large kris for the fact check. where do you want to start? >> this could take a while. marco rubio is right. donald trump is trying to link the steele dossier with the start of the fbi probe which became the mueller investigation. not accurate. we know from under oath
testimony from intelligence officials it was a meeting between george papadopoulos and a professor who had tied to russia that initially piqued the fbi's interest. that point one. point two, this is related to devin nunez, the chairman of the house intelligence committee said the fbi never let the court know some of this information was gleaned from a document, dossier that was being paid for by someone who might be supportive of one of the candidates. not accurate. the fbi speculates the identified u.s. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit candidate one's campaign. that's pretty direct that suggests that this was not sort of a benign nonpartisan effort. this might have been a search for information on donaldtrump. there's a lot here. now, again, donald trump saying
this all began with the steele dossier. no. this is from the fisa warrant. this a lot of this is redacted. page lived in russia. during this time page he began a relationship with someone. there was concerns about carter page prior to this steele dossier. let's go to the next slide. again, okay, remember, this was authorized once. the fisa warrant was thorsed once and reauthorized three more times, brook, by federally appointed judges. who were they appointed by? george w. bush. and ronald reagan. in case you didn't notice the similarity, these people are all republicans. all republicans picked these judges. and the last one here, this is important. donald trump said i didn't know anything about this. why wasn't i briefed about all of this information regarding russia? he was. august 17, 2016.
okay? he's the republican nominee at this point. donald trump briefed foreign adversaries including russia would try to infail trailtrate campaign. obama goes public. october 9th, trump says the reason they blame russia is because they're trying to tarnish me. then he's the president-elect. two weeks before he's sworn in. the intelligence community chief showed him the efforts for russia to try to compromise him. whether it's that or what donald trump says more broadly on twitter and elsewhere, he's just not presenting facts when it relates to the fisa warrant, carter page, the fbi investigation, the special counsel. he's making a lot of connections that facts don't bear out that they exist. back to you. >> the fact that you weren't able to show the fisa court documents were redacted, yes, but they have never been
released before. unprecedented that they're released. thank you so much for walking us through all of that. >> thank you. as the backlash grows more toxic over the president's dismissal of attacks on u.s., any moment the white house will answer for all of this. also in two days the criminal trial of former trump campaign chairman paul manafort is set to start. but now that is in jeopardy. hear why and what just happened with five witnesses in that case. liberty mutual saved us almost $800
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just in, just two days before the criminal trial to set to begin, paul manafort is in court as a judge is deciding whether to delay it. we are on this outside the courthouse. what's the deal? >> reporter: yeah. we're waiting for the judge to decide whether or not he's going to delay this trial for perhaps another two weeks or a week.
it's not entirely clear. manafort's attorneys came into court today asking for this delay saying they had just received new documents and they needed some time to review the new documents. it seemed at least that the judge was giving some indications he was inclined to do that. we're waiting for him to make that decision. he's listening to other matters right now we're told. that's the delay. manafort and his attorneys were ordered back to court at 2:00. we're waiting for that. the other news here today, brooke, is that the judge has granted immunity to five witnesses for the prosecution. the special counsel's office made a request of the judge last week for immunity for the five mystery witnesses. it's not entirely clear to us yet who they are. that may happen today. we may get a list of the witnesses that are going to testify against paul manafort. the judge and the prosecutors here have indicated they have about 30 witnesses that they
intend to call and that list could be made public later this afternoon. >> all right. we'll wait for the news and the request for that delay. thank you. for now and staying in washington, live pictures inside that briefing room waiting to see sarah huckabee sanders stand behind the podium. the last white house briefing got pretty heated as the president walked back his comments after he'd stood alongside vladimir putin and now that he has walked them back again, how will sarah huckabee sanders respond? we're about the find out. thank you! ♪ ♪ wait, i have something for you! every stay is a special stay at holiday inn. save up to 15% when you book early at hollidayinn.com
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he has met with 23 senators. unfortunately all of them were republicans because senator schumer is encouraging his members to not even meet with the judge. for members of the opposing party to refuse to meet with a qualified supreme court nominee is unprecedented. senator schumer should stop the political games and meet with judge kavanaugh. we welcome senate democrats who take their constitutional duty seriously. judge kavanaugh stands ready to meet with members of both parties. in a few minutes the president will be participating in an event and we're excited to hold the 2018 made in america products showcase at the white house. the president is committed to policies that ensure more products are made in america. today we'll see snow boards made
in colorado. campers made in indiana a truck made by the ford motor company in michigan and bats made by bwp bats this pennsylvania. a personal favorite, ranger boats from arkansas is also here. the president celebrates every state's effort and commitment to american made products and he his honored to have these companies here today. we look forward to having you all join us for that event made. we'll jump into questions. >> reporter: is the president considering the request to declassify key sections of the records with respect to the fisa document release? and will he do it before the house goes into recess? >> the president wants -- has purposefully remained uninvolved in this process. he said repeatedly he wants the department of justice to be fully transparent with the requests from congress. and he's going to continue at this point to remain uninvolved.
however, he sees more and more every single day that this is proving further and further to be a total witch hunt. particularly because it was based on a false and unverified and discredited dossier. >> reporter: we saw the president tweet on iran last night. what prompted him to use such stock language? >> the president's been, i think, pretty strong since day one in his language toward iran. he was responding to comments made from them, and he's going to continue to focus on the safety and security of american people. >> what would it take to have direct negotiation between the president and president rouhani? >> i'm not going to get into specifics and negotiate with the press. that would be a determination the president would make. the ultimate goal and focus of the president is making sure we keep nuclear weapons out of their hands and that we focus on the protection of americans. >> the president tweeted
yesterday that russia's election interference was all a big hoax. those are the words he used. last week he said he had full faith in the u.s. intelligence agencies. does he believe it was a hoax or does he have faith in the intelligence agencies that have concluded definitively the other way that russia did meddle? >> the president has stated over and over again as have i and other administration officials, we maintain that russia interfered in the elections. the president, however, very much so and has repeatededly as again have the rest of us, that his campaign colluding in that process is a total hoax. we still hold true to that. the president is referencing the collusion component once again. the president has faith in the intelligence that suggests and maintain that russia was involved in the elections. however, it's also important that that same information concludes that it had no impact
on the election. and that the president, again, would like to repeat there was no collusion. >> reporter: the president forcefully has spoken out against iran and forcibly against north korea. he said he'll forcefully speak against any threat to the united states. >> the president has been incredibly tough on russia. he's brought it up directly to him in person every single time they have met. he has put unprecedented sanctions and been extremely tough on russia across a number of fronts which we've addressed here many times before. frankly, i'm not sure why that is so hard for the media to write about. we've repeated it time and time again. the policy that the president has been since day one in office has been extremely tough on russia. probably more so than with any other country. >> reporter: thank you, sarah.
senator rand paul today made a strong attempt to talk about the credibility of former cia director john brennan saying that he's, and i quote, monetizing his security clearance and that it should be removed from him. will the president consider senator paul's suggestion and call for the removal of former director brennan's security clearance? >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's security clearance. he's also looking into the clearances of comey, clapper, hayden, rice, and mccabe. the president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearances because they've politicized and in some cases monetized their clearances. making accusations of improper contact with russia. it's extremely inappropriate, and the fact that people with
security clearances are making baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. >> when the president called out jcpoa he did not reveal an alternate plan to address the nuclear am bigs. -- ambitions. he seemed to bank on them coming back to the table. >> the president's number one goal is to make sure iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. we have similar and shared interests with our european allies. we're continuing to have discussions with them. and when we have specifics on that front we'll let you know. >> reporter: my question was a follow up. my question about russia is president trump continues to air his grievances about the coverage of his meeting with vladimir putin. >> since you guys continue to obsessively cover it. >> reporter: we can't. it's been seven days. we have not received a readout
or any specific details about agreements that were reached whether formally or verbally. when can we specific that? >> the only specific agreement made was the two national security teams from both the united states and russia would continue at a working level. these discussions, can i tell you ambassador bolton plans to have a meeting, a followup with his counterpart from russia next month in addition to meetings with other european allies to further those discussions, and we'll keep you posted when we have specific details on what that meeting looks like. >> sarah, so does president trump plan on ordering to move any carriers or additional military resources to the region should iran continue to pose the threat he alluded to? >> i don't have specific announcements on this. >> secretary of state pompeo yesterday talked a lot about corruption and human rights abuses in iran.
why is he zeroing in on iran when a number of other states are guilty of the same transgressions including russia which we are warming up to? >> again, we've been tough on russia with our policy. we've had tough discussions. we can be tough on more than one country at the time. that's what we're doing. >> reporter: could you explain a little bit of the threshold that the president has for taking away former official security clearance? is it his position that any former obama official that holds clearance and makes political statements about him should have their clearance revoked or is it limited to the names you read? >> as of now we're exploring the mechanism on those specific names. >> reporter: the language the president used in the tweet that he sent out last night was very similar to the language he used last august in new jersey when he spoke of fire and fury being rained down on north korea.
and that led to a one on one meeting the president ultimately had with kim jong-un. is the president open to diplomacy with iran, meeting perhaps one on one with president rouhani? >> i'm not going to negotiate the specifics the president or the administration would be looking at. our goal is to stop iran from nuclear weapons. we'll keep you posted on that. >> reporter: your statement regarding judge kavanaugh at the top. there's one republican is that right who says he's undecided. there's a few that say they're undecided. rand paul says i'm honestly undecided. i'm very concerned about his position on privacy. are you concerned about losing rand paul once this vote for judge kavanaugh ultimately gets through? >> we're hopeful senator paul will do the right thing and vote for this highly qualified nominee. >> reporter: sarah, flipping around john's question about iran, considering the comments that we've heard in the past day
from the president's tweet, ambassador bolton's statement which you put out and secretary pompeo's speech last night, what is stopping this administration from just openly advocating regime change in iran? >> again, our focus is on stopping iran from having nuclear weapons regardless of who is there. that's what our priority is, and if we have any further announcements on that front, i'll let you know. but the president, his administration are going to continue pushing and advocating for that. >> reporter: regarding one of the stories that broke on friday, how did the president feel when he found out his long time lawyer and fixer had recorded him? >> while the president maintains that he's done nothing wrong on the specific topic, i'd refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> reporter: does the president still deny he had a relationship with a woman named karen mcdougal? >> the president maintains he's done wrong. i would refer you to rudy
giuliani for all questions on that matter. >> reporter: i want to follow up about brennan and his security clearance. are you considering any additional actions against brennan and the other names you read off in addition to revoking their security clearance, is is there any other action under review? >> not that i'm aware of. >> reporter: to go back to the russia information. the carter page states that he is a russian agent involved in clan december tine activities. given that the president continues to say there was no collusion between his campaign and russia, is he concerned or does he not believe the intelligence community's assessment that carter page was a russian agent? >> again, i think we've spoken extensively what our position is on this, and we have no changes to that. >> reporter: the president is threatening to punish brennan and comey and clapper for saying things about him that he doesn't like. is that presidential? >> the president is exploring these mechanisms to remove
security clearance because they've politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and their security clearances. and making baseless accusations of improper relationship with russia is inappropriate. the president contends that the fact that people with security cleerns are making the baseless charges provides ill legitimate -- when we have further updates on the front, i'll let you know. >> there's a speech he doesn't like, and he wants to punish them for it. >> i think you're creating your own story. the president doesn't like the fact that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances. >> reporter: the followup on that, isn't the president doing exactly what you just said the president doesn't want all these people doing? politicizing matters of national security by going after his political enemys?
>> the president is not not making baseless accusations of contact with a foreign government and accusing the president of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance, when you're the person that holds the nation's deepest most sacred secrets at your hands and you make false accusations against the president, he says that's something to be concerned with, and we're exploring what those options are and what that looks like. >> reporter: the message -- >> sorry, i got to keep moving. we're running out of time. about two more questions left. kaitlyn, go ahead. >> reporter: the president's message to paul manafort, does he have one? >> not in a i'm aware of. >> reporter: when is the president going to make the decision on the security clearances? >> when we have an update, we'll let you know. my question has the president since you didn't answer if he's briefed since they haven't briefed reporters on what went down -- >> reporter: we had a press
conference. the president has done interviewed. >> reporter: has the president briefed his national security adviser, his secretary of state, the director of national defense on what was said between him and vladimir putin? >> the president has met and spoken with all of these individuals since he -- >> is he relying solely on his own memory to tell them what happened during the meeting? >> the president has met and consultanted with his national security team. we feel confident. >> it's on what he remembers? >> i'm not going to go into the specific details on how the president interacts with his national security team. >> this is a sit-down with the russian team. >> this is a normal practice for two world leaders to have a conversation with one another. >> reporter: what about president obama and vice president biden and their security clearances? are they on the list as well? >> i'm not aware of any plans on
that at this point. thank you. okay. so sarah huckabee sanders there. let's just call it what it was. she threw a grenade in there when it comes to the news that she's now saying the white house is now considering not only revoking the security clearance of the former cia chief john brennan but also that of comey, clapper, mccabe, and rice. in case you missed it, let's reroll the found and then we'll have a big discussion. >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's security clearance. he's also looking into the clearances of comey, clapper, hayden, rice, and mccabe. the president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances making baseless accusations of improper contact with russia or being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless
charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. >> dana bash, starting with you first. we know that senator rand paul was supposedly meeting with the president to revoke the security clearance of mr. brennan. that whole list? what are you thinking? >> it's political. i impleernmean, it's political. we need to call things for what they are. this is political. there's no question that james clapper and others, i mean, size susan rice was always a political appointee when she was working for the president of the united states. the others are in different categories. clapper and brennan and others, particularly clapper have been in the united states military. they have served democrats. they have served republicans. it is only in recent months that they have been extraordinarily political, because they say it's what they see is needed with the
president who is not respecting institutions, especially the intelligence community where they all worked. by way of context when i say it's political, michael flynn was in the intelligence community. he headed one of the intelligence agencies, the defense intelligence agency. and after that he was making money. he still had his security clearance. he was on the campaign trail saying that hillary clinton should be locked up. he didn't get his security clearance pulled by barack obama, the then president. if you're looking for something that is as -- is the closest to compare it to would probably be that. and, again, we have not seen any of the individuals that sarah sanders put out now on the campaign trail actively campaigning for or against a candidate. not yet. >> so if this is politically motivated, this would be
retaliation, gloria borger. is this even doable? >> you know, i think the president could do what he wants. you'd have to double check me on that. maybe david would know, but i agree with dana. it's punishing your critics. it's telling people whom he sees on television or reads in tweets who are criticizing him, i'm going to get you, and i don't think it will stop them from criticizing him. it may stop them from getting the intelligence that a lot of people think you need to keep getting to continue through the years. so these people can consultant with the current people who were in office. as dana points out, flynn was marching around stage saying lock her up. nobody did anything about that. and it's petty and small. rand paul had an idea, gave it to the president. he probably thought it was just
great. all these people who have devoted their lives to public service, whether you like them or not, suddenly donald trump says well, i don't like what you're saying, so you have no clearance. >> mark and aaron david miller, hang tight with me for a second. we have james clapper on the line. he's a national security analyst and former director of national intelligence. mr. clapper, you are apparently now on a list according to the white house. they would like to revoke your security clearance. how do you feel about that? >> well, it's interesting news. i'm reading it and learning about it just as you are. i think it's off the top of my head a sad commentary. for political reasons this is a petty way of retribution, i suppose for speaking out against the president which i think on the part of all of