tv Inside Politics CNN July 26, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go online today. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump is on the road this hour in iowa, hoping a new trade talk with europe eases farm state anger. in just a moment, we'll map out the political toll on the president and his party in the heartland. plus, new reporting on michael cohen and how he went from the man who promised to take a bullet for the president to releasing recording of the president talking about buying a playmate's silence. and as some look to impeach the
deputy attorney general, his boss offers a fresh endorsement and suggest lawmakers find something better to do. >> yesterday they could not answer how many documents. how long do you go on? >> my deputy, rod rosenstein, is highly capable. i have the highest confidence in him. what i would like congress to do is to focus on some of the legal challenges that are out there. >> but we begin the hour with the president on the road this hour, out here in iowa, soybean country. he's in iowa now. he's going to tour an advanced manufacturing plant. then he heads to illinois to visit a strip mill and steel coil warehouse, the trip highlighting the trade conversation both here in the united states and around the world. now this a day after the president pressed the pause button on a mushrooming trade war. the president last night, take a look at this, tweeting this picture. he and the european commission president embracing after securing what the president calls a new phase in their economic partnership.
while the united states and the european union committed to stop the game of tariff chicken, talks to strike actual deals just now to begin, meaning the president has nothing new to promise farmers hurt by his own protectionist policies. right now the president is out here. he's in dubuque county. look at this. you see the red? see the red in 2016? let's go back to take a peek at 2012. this was one of the counties out there in the heartland, strong democrat for years. dubuque went blue in every presidential since 1956. but it switched to donald trump in 2016. that's where the president is now, out in iowa. from there, let's take a look at some numbers in the heartland as he makes his cay se in iowa. some poll numbers that have republicans nervous. remember, the president won wisconsin and michigan. he barely lost minnesota. look at his approval rating in those states right now in these new polls. 36%, 36%, 38%. that's bad news for republicans in a midterm election year when they have some house districts and some senate seats, governors
races out in the heartland. look at this. choice for congress in the heartland as well. again, the republican president's approval rating is what matters. democrats, eight-point advantage in wisconsin when voters are asked which party do you want to control congress. michigan, a nine-point advantage for the democrats, same question. in minnesota, it's a 12-point advantage for the democrats. in part, republicans say, because of the president's trade policies. the president is on the road now trying to tell everybody this will be okay, stick with me. listen to his white house counselor saying this is a fight the president thinks is necessary but the farm states will be okay in the end. >> the farmers, of course, know this president is a great friend of farmers. he's made many moves, taken many actions and kept many promises that have helped them. obviously the tax cuts, the deregulation has helped them. everybody needs to be patient. these things take time. and that's why recognizing that some may need additional assistance while everything is taking hold. but we can't keep getting
screwed, folks. >> tough words there. with me in studio to share their reporting and insights, julie herschfeld-davis with "the new york times." molly ball of "time" and cnn's m.j. lee. he's take an lot of blowback from republicans in iowa, republicans in minnesota, republicans everywhere out in the farm economy about this. where are we now? what happened yesterday? he certainly hit the pause button, but he's not backing down completely, is he? >> it's not clear where we are. what is clear is he has succeeded in sort of pushing forward on these talks with the euu such that there may be a deal to be had, but there isn't in front of anyone right now. this action he took on tuesday was just basically a stopgap is how the administration is presenting it to give farmers some relief in the shempl for what the administration is acknowledging will be pain that will come from these tariffs
that have in turn prompted our trading partners to slap tariffs back on our products, including predominantly farm products. but also, they're going to extend to other sectors. they're already hitting the automobile sector. harley-davidson has been affected. the question really is -- and i think republicans have pushed back hard on the assistance package because of this. where do you draw the line? if you're going to say, you know, we're imposing this policy, we acknowledge it's going to hurt our own workers and producers, where do you stop with the bail yououts for peoplo are basically having the short-term pain that is presumably going to lead to benefits? but their benefits aren't here now. >> but team trump would say to all of its critics, you said this wouldn't work. we got the attention of the european union, now they're willing to negotiate. we don't know what's going to happen. reducing all these tariffs will be hard on both ends of this, not just near in the united states, but in europe as well. is there an argument to be made for team trump that by starting the skirmish, they don't like to
call it a war, that he did get -- talking tough, imposing some sanctions got them to the table? >> sure. it's absolutely prompted a discussion on this. i was standing in the rose garden yesterday. you got the sense this was a white house, a president in search of wanting to announce something, wanting to announce some kind of deal. when you pull back the fine print, it's the beginning of a conversation with the aspiration of a goal to have zero tariffs. keep in mind, this is the eu only. china is a big concern for iowa soybean farmers. china is a big concern for so many other issues out there. this is a small slice of it, an important slice no question. you were mentioning dubuque county. it's astonishing that donald trump won dubuque county. it's going to be one of the places to watch in 2018 and 2020. first gop person to win since dwight eisenhower. things are changing out there. that's why the white house is sending him there. it's increasingly interesting to me that i talk to a lot of farmers, i'm from that part of
the country, they want to give the president the benefit of the doubt. they think that he has their interest. they think he'll get some kind of a deal. but they're increasingly not sure as they get closer to harvest time. this is something that is going to be an anthem of the midterm election campaign. the president has started this fight. we'll see if he can end it in time. he's definitely trying to show that he's trying to do something. >> he was getting a lot of blowback from republican lawmakers, a lot of farmers who supported him. i'm just interested if he reads this from the european commission president who he cut this deal to try to get a deal. there's no deal. there's a deal to try to get a deal i think is the best way to describe it. but it does turn the temperature down in the short-term. the major progress today is that our american friends agreed to not increase tariffs on cars and other products during the negotiation, which is a major concession by the americans, i have to say. if the president reads that, he might not like that. >> he may not. julie, you were saying we don't actually have the full details of what this deal might look like. i think the fear also is that
whenever the president decides to announce any kind of deal that came out of a negotiation that he was involved in, we don't know if that's temporary, whether that's permanent, whether he might wake up tomorrow morning and say, actually, i don't like that headline and i'm going to take it back. and to your point, jeff, you said some of the farmers might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. for the representatives representing those farmers and constituents, they don't want to count on their constituents giving the president the benefit of the doubt. the reason they're so frustrated and they've sort of gone from holding their breath to frankly just feeling very ticked off is that they're not only now having to potentially, you know, be on the defensive on this issue, they're also having to be defensive about a whole host of other sort of distractions that they feel like have come from the trump white house. whether it's the president's credibility issues, whether it's the russia investigation, how he handled putin. this just feels like one more thing on a very big list of things they're having to answer to. >> and this someone harder,
right, molly. all politics is local in this sense. they can go home and say the russia thing, that's a washington debate. this is main street. every small town and farm country. for these republicans who have said we're the free market people, we want global trade, we don't do bailouts, the president of the united states has turned their world upsidedown. >> if you're a farmer, you know, it is not an abstraction whether those soybeans are piling up in your warehouse or not. it's not going to matter what he says or what ceremony he stages in the rose garden when those farmers can see for themselves whether or not this is affecting them. remember, there were supposed to be losers and winners from this policy. the winners were supposed to be the industrial economy. this was supposed to be about bringing back manufacturing jobs and rejuvenating those rust belt, those hollowed out rust belt towns in places like iowa and pennsylvania and wisconsin and minnesota. so i think when you look at those abysmal approval ratings for trump in those places, you're also seeing that maybe we
all just have to be patient and those factories are going to open eventually when this takes hold, but what you're seeing is those places where trump was making essentially a liberal pitch, a protectionist pitch on trade, they are not feeling like that's servin them either. >> you make a great point because we do know one way to get this president's attention is to focus in on him. he rightly can say, i'm president because of pennsylvania, michigan, and wisconsin. he just barely lost minnesota. one and a half points i think was the margin out there. you mentioned the midwest is changing. in these nbc/marist polls, should the president be re-elected? michigan, only 28% said yes. minnesota, 30%. wisconsin, 31%. if the president reads those numbers, the question is do you read those numbers and say forget about it and back off on trade, or do you read those numbers, and as he's said before, i understand there's going to be short-term pain, but i'm confident by the time we get to 2020, we'll be out of this
tunnel. >> i think those are the realities facing him, the reality check, if you will. he loves to point out how many republicans are with him, but that's a smaller slice every day, self-identified republicans. i think these are a fascinating window into this. it is early for his re-election, no question. we should point out democrats have enough of their own issues in terms of who the alternative will be. but the question is how long will people give him the benefit of that doubt? the harvest is going to come between now and midterms, right around that time. there are a lot of important things. you mentioned the industrial sector. so much of these economies in these parts of the country are not ag economies. or they're other things, the supply chain, the john deere plants, the washer machines, whirlpool washers now up 20%. so it is impacting everyone personally. it's a local story. and there's not much the president can do by visiting that will change that. >> and the markets encouraged by the announcement that at least
they were going to turn the temperature down between the united states and european union. the risk now is what happens, if you show progress in those negotiations. we'll take a quick break. just moments ago, a big move in the race to replace the house speaker, paul ryan. at the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's, we carry flowers that signify why we want to end the disease. and we walk so that one day, there will be a white flower for alzheimer's first survivor. join the fight at alz.org/walk. man 1: this is my body of proof. woman 1: proof of less joint pain... woman 2: ...and clearer skin. woman 3: this is my body of proof. man 2: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 4: ...with humira. woman 5: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain,
stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the #1 prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. avo: humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. woman 6: need more proof? woman 7: ask your rheumatologist about humira. man 1: what's your body of proof? a hotel can make or break a trip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be
welcome back. breaking political news just in to cnn from capitol hill. a controversial combative house conservative republican congressman jim jordan just confirming to cnn that he is jumping into the race to lead house republicans. we know the house speaker paul ryan is leaving congress at the end of this term. the battle under way now to replace him with a new entry. cnn's sunlen serfaty with us. this makes it a little more interesting and bitter. >> reporter: it certainly does, john. jim jordan, this is something
that has been long speculated about. would he indeed announce he was going to run for speaker of the house should republicans hold the house after the midterm election. he made it known today that, yes, he does indeed to run for speaker. i spoke with him a few minutes ago. he said, yes, i will send a note to my colleagues in a few minutes here on capitol hill, making my intentions known. of course, the fact it was long speculated, there's been a lot of questions about whether the investigation into osu, whether that really stunted his rise to potentially go to speaker, the fact he's been just embroiled in the last month in this scandal. what he knew, what he didn't know about the serious allegations of sexual assault against the team's doctor at the time, coming from former wrestlers while he was an assistant wrestling coach back there in the late '80s, early '90s. a lot of questions up here on capitol hill in the aftermath of that scandal, whether he indeed would go forward with a push toward speakership. so today, john, he confirmed
that, yes, indeed, he does. we know at least one person who he has the support from, mark meadows, the chair of the house freedom caucus, which he co-founded, saying, yes, i will support him. so in essence, let the games begin up here on capitol hill. john? >> interesting new ripple. always drama and intrigue. let's bring it inside the room. this is very interesting. not a total surprise. jim jordan very close to the president. however, the president is also very close to kevin mccarthy, who is paul ryan's choice to succeed him. we don't know if this is a race for speaker or a race for house republican leader or the minority leader. we won't know that until after the midterm elections. jim jordan jumping in. the last month he's spent saying i saw nothing, i didn't see anything, nobody came to me for help regarding i hhis time when was the assistant wrestling coach at ohio state university. several wrestlers have said there was a doctor at university who fondled them and did other sexually inappropriate things to them. they say jim jordan knew about
it and didn't say anything. this is jim jordan in a local tv interview saying it never happened. >> it's false. i mean, i never saw, never heard of, never was told about any type of abuse. conversations in a locker room are a lot different than people coming up talking about abuse. no one ever reported any abuse to me. if they had, i would have dealt with it. what bothers me the most is the guys that are saying this thing, i know they know the truth. i know they do. >> that's obviously with fox news. i thought it was back home in ohio. to the point where he says, i saw nothing, this is not true, these guy who are saying that i did know, know that i didn't know. this is an ongoing investigation. yet, he has the confidence in the middle of that to say, i'm going to run to lead my fellow house republicans. >> well, he has given some conflicting answers on this front. i think that this is not over in terms of him being asked about this in the press, particularly back home, demanding more answers on this and the scandal
unfolding. i think it is really important to emphasize for people who might not understand it that this is only a race if the republicans retain the house and there's a quite good likelihood there won't be an opening for speaker. in that case, republicans already have a majority leader. they already have a leader, they have a whip. all those people would likely be frozen in place and there wouldn't be a race at all. this could all be moot, but it is interesting as a window into the continuing divisions among the house republicans. you do have to wonder, you know, paul ryan came in as sort of a unity speaker who attempted and mostly failed to bring together the freedom caucus wing with the sort of silent majority of the republican caucus. this would be very clearly a leader of the freedom caucus. you have to wonder about the rest of the republicans, i don't want to say moderate, but the conventional conservative republicans, if they'd be comfortable with that.
>> the question has been, this is the same group that john boehner finally said, forget it, i'm done, i can't deal with this anymore. a lot of people think it's the source of paul ryan's frustration as he goes. even if he doesn't succeed, just doing it causes a divide within the house republican conference. some people say, why would you do that? why would you get everybody in a circular firing squad or looking over their shoulder when the biggest single dynamic in a midterm election year is to try to have unity and intensity in your party? >> absolutely. but a lot of people would also question why the freedom caucus and this band of conservatives, which is a very small group, relative to the rest of the conference, that's driven a lot of what goes on in the house. certainly since president trump has been in office. i think the answer is they think it's been successful for them. they've prevailed on a lot of policy issues, or at lee stopas stopped things from happening they didn't want to happen. in a lot of ways, that's
deprived president trump of some wins he wanted to get on the board, most prominently with health care. the fact this division is going to continue and that there's even the possibility that this small group could actually be the one that's in the leadership of the party, whether they're in the minority or the majority next year is quite profound. that's going to make a big difference in the way the house operates. >> and if they can't win, do they have a big enough block to influence who wins. if they don't have enough votes among themselves, do they have the swing vote. these leadership tensions will matter when they have to pass another spending bill. a few other things they have to do this year. jim jordan entering the race for speaker. up next, john kelly nearing his first anniversary as the white house chief of staff, but he doesn't nearly have the power he once did. liberty mutual saved us almost $800
when we switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
does your business internet provider promise a lot? let's see who delivers more. comcast business gives you gig-speed in more places. the others don't. we offer up to 6 hours of 4g wireless network backup. 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 online today.
a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! welcome back. some breaking news now in the special counsel russia meddling investigation. the special could beliensel andm are looking at the president's tweets trying to answer the question of whether the president deliberately in a calculated scheme was trying to obstruct justice, first the fbi investigation and now the special counsel investigation. let me read you a little bit from that story. the special counsel is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements about jeff sessions and james comey, according to
three people briefed on the matter. mr. mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. his interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he's investigating as a possible obstruction case. they quote rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer in this piece, as saying the president is a politician, he's under constant attack, and mr. giuliani feels he has every right to defend himself in public. it's interesting if you try to think of the puzzle pieces of obstruction of justice. we know the president has publicly criticized comey and jeff sessions, his attorney general, on twitter, in speeches, and elsewhere. the question is, do you then have other private acts, asking other people to do anything. that's the stitching of the quilt, if you will, that they say moouler ueller is trying to together. >> so much of this investigation is still secret. one thing that's not secret is the president's feelings. we know back in that period in may of last year when he fired james comey, it still remains a central item of issue, a point
of interest in the mueller inquiry of obstruction of justice. what the president said, he had several stories when he was talking about why he fired james comey. he explained to lester holt something. then he's been all over the board since then. going after jeff sessions repeatedly, we have already learned that that's a subject of the inquiry here. the chances of the president sitting for an interview with bob mueller to find out about his mind set of this, i think, is diminishing. the time for that has sort of been out the window. we'll see what happens. but the president's own words are now front and center in this investigation. >> to that point, it puts on the table of will mueller go ahead with a subpoena. if he's going to do that, will he do it before 60 days, before the november elections, or will he wait until after the november elections? but to your point, this from the story, privately some of the lawyers, meaning the president's lawyers, have expressed concern that mr. mueller will stitch together several episodes, encounters, and pieces of evidence like the tweets to build a case that the president
embarked on a broad effort to interfere with the investigation. that is why the president's lawyers have tried in the negotiations with mueller to say, you can ask him about the campaign, but not anything as president of the united states. i can't imagine that's a deal robert mueller would ever on this planet accept. >>, no and to jeff's point, the chances are clearly almost nil that he would willingly sit for an interview, but he may not have a choice. that's what the subpoena would be about. in any criminal scenario, the intent of the person who's being investigated is very important. we have always had a very good window into the president's intentions and exactly what he's thinking because he tells us all the time. so yes, absolutely. on the one hand, it seems kind of obvious they would use the tweets as part of that narrative. on the other hand, it does open this whole area of the way they are going to understand what the president is thinking. >> and this is just a very good reminder of why the people closest to donald trump,
advisers, aides, his legal team, have always viewed twitter as such a dangerous tool for donald trump. jeff, as you were saying, this is the medium he uses without a filter. this is where you know exactly what the president is thinking and feeling. as the story points out, robert mueller and his team could be using the tweets to try to build a case to see if they can build a case using the tweets, using other information that they've gathered to see if they can make the case that there was any sort of attempt and intention for obstruction of justice. i think the reason that people are so worried, the people close to donald trump, about a potential sit-down and interview with robert mueller is of course because this is the one setting where he cannot have people around him explaining away what he actually meant to say. the interview, whatever he says, sort of goes. this is not a situation where, you know, the spokesperson goes behind the podium and says, well, yes, the president tweeted this, however what his actual intention and meaning was is
something else. >> what we don't know is what have the dozens of officials who have been interviewed, including white house staffers at various levels, officials in the administration at various levels, what have they said. if bob mueller asked, what was the president's mood that day, what did he say about that, did somebody help him with that tweet, what did he do privately after that tweet, what did he ask you to do about this subject? that's the part we don't know. in this, rudy giuliani says, quote, if you're going to obstruct justice, you do it quietly and secretly, not in public. i think that's true in most cases. in most cases, that is true. mr. giuliani is a former prosecutor. but there are exceptions to every rule. >> we see this time and time again with the president's twitter feed. through reporting, we've learned that a lot of what he tweets publicly he has said or acted on privately. so it is actually a very good window into his thinking, into his actions, into maybe something he's been briefed on that's made him angry and want to either change the subject or obscure a fact that everybody knows is in evidence. so as molly said, it's sort of
obvious that they would want to include the tweets in sort of the tapestry of everything that the president has tried to do and say. but i think, you know, with giuliani says that he's a politician, he's just going to say these things, this is not a typical situation where you have a politician saying one thing to his base and a president acting very differently behind closed doors. this is all of a piece. i think the big question is going to be, is it that these tweets and these actions and statements that he's taken behind the scenes, are pushing back when he feels threatened, or are they actually taking action that could be seen as obstructing an investigation. >> is he doing it to vent, to voice his opinion, or is he doing it as part of an effort to obstruct the investigation or to intimidate his own officials. here's one tweet the president sent. attorney general jeff sessions has taken a very weak position on hillary clinton crimes. where are the e-mails, the dnc, the intel leakers? he's tweeted at james comey before. the story says after several
tweets against sessions, an aide to sessions said they wanted one negative article in the media about comey every day. the question for bob mueller, is that the president trying to pressure the fbi director to do something that ends up getting in the way of investigation, or is it, as rudy giuliani would say, the president has every right to fire people who work in the administration, so what. >> going back to the idea of an interview, it seems like there's very little he could be asked in an interview that he hasn't already come out and commented on in public, often in mind-blowingly inflammatory or revealing ways. this is why every lawyer who tells a client under investigation, shut up. don't say anything. don't comment on the case. don't talk about it, even to your friends, much less to the world. but that is not donald trump's m.o. that clearly could come back to bite him. to say that because he didn't do it in secret, it doesn't count,
that's like the guy who turns himself into the police and says, well, if i'd done it, would i be turning myself in? usually that doesn't fly. >> the question is can you piece the public tweets and other statements together. remember the controversial early on when he called dan coats, and did he just tell them to get in comey's way or just vent to them? they've been interviewed as well. we'll watch this one. when we come back, the story we're about to get to before the breaking news, john kelly about to hit the one-year mark. that discipline he promised at the beginning, does it still exist now? [music playing] (vo) from the beginning, wells fargo has supported community organizations like united way, non-profits like the american red cross, and our nation's veterans. we knew helping our communities was important then. and we know it's even more important today. so we're stepping up to volunteer more and donate over a million dollars every day.
here's a number to think about today. 363, as in 363 days since president trump announced through a tweet, of course, that general john kelly would be his new chief of staff. our reporting today at cnn is that as kelly hits this one-year mark, he's just a shadow of the dominant figure he once was inside the west wing. he's been sidelined for most big decisions, and the discipline he famously brought to the white house in those early days breaking down. many think he may be finally on his way out this summer, but of course remember, kelly has long been rumored to be leaving or about to be fired basically since the day he took the job. look at some of these headlines going back to last october. president trump is always denying those reports, like remember this? >> john kelly is one of the best people i've ever worked with. he's doing an incredible job. and he told me for the last two
months he loves it more than anything he's ever done. he's a military man, but he loves doing this, which is chief of staff, more than anything he's ever done. he's doing a great job. he will be here in my opinion for the entire seven remaining years. >> what are the vegas odds on that? >> i think pretty slim, but our reporting is showing that the time is running out at some point for john kelly. we don't know when it will be, but we do know talking to a variety of people over the last several days and weeks that he will leave at some point. but the point of being fired is probably over. if that was going to happen, that probably would have happened by now. one of the issues is the president always talking openly about who would be a better chief of staff. no one has risen to the top in that sense. but in terms of john kelly being happy on the job, he's told people this is the hardest and worst job he's ever had, actually.
who can blame him? wee s we see what's happening outside. one of the dynamics is the discipline he impoissed when he arrived. he did instill discipline at the beginning but quickly realized he cannot control the president. so he tried to control the processes around him. that has essentially fallen away. a new person in the west wing is complicating this even more. that's bill shine, former fox news executive, of course fired from fox news. he's now at the president's side nearly constantly. john kelly is on the periphery. he goes from being praised by the president to the subject of profanity by the president, often in the same day. he's there for we're not sure how much longer. >> i want to read a little of the reporting to your point about bill shine. when trump was jetting home last week from helsinki, it was shine at the head of the table in air force one's conference room, managing discussions of how to triage the disaster. kelly sat to his left. quote, the president doesn't
want someone telling him what to do, one white house official said. he wants someone to make him look good doing it. that has been a constant theme in this white house. one more piece from it that i find fascinating. kelly still doesn't read twitter unless shown one of the president's messages, and he still doesn't watch cable television in his office, gazing instead on the abraham lincoln portrait he hung in place of the large tv screen above his fireplace. in one way, i admire and respect that. in the other way, if you're the chief of staff to this president, can you ignore twitter and cable tv and understand your job and your boss? >> well, it depends how you define the job. i think as jeff is saying, the scope of john kelly's job has changed dramatically as he's sort of strategically given up on some things. he realized he can't impose discipline on the president. he can't take twitter away from the president. he's increasingly not doing as good a job of being an information gate keeper for the president who has access to his
own sources of conspiracy theories and what have you. but what he -- the other thing he was assigned to control was the rest of the white house. you remember in the early days, it wasn't just trump sort of being out of control. it was everybody else in the white house being at each other's throats, all of the staff, all these big personalities. so with people like bannon and gary cohn gone, you see the white house still not very happy place to work, but there is a lot less of that civil warfare beneath trump. i think that's been kelly's main achievement and the main thing he continues to try to do. >> but for white house chief of staff, you have to sort of be able to control the whole process. so much of this white house and this president's process is around message and what people see on tv and what people read on twitter. it isn't about the policy process. so even though you could argue that he has had more of a handle on the internal sort orderly
machinations a normal white house would have, this white house doesn't use that process very much. we just saw the summit in helsinki where the president met with vladimir putin, and there were no principals meetings leading up to that summit. if they're not using the policy process, and in truth all the president cares about is how he's perceived, having that portfolio is not much of a portfolio for john kelly. >> 363 days. >> not bad in this white house. that's pretty long. >> excellent point. up next, he went from the man who promised to take a bullet for the president to the guy who just released that embarrassing audiotape. cnn caught up with michael cohen today. >> questions? >> not right now. there's a lot to love about medicare.
there's also a lot to know. part a that's your hospital coverage, part b is all the doctor stuff... the most important thing to know? medicare doesn't pay for everything. and guess what that means... yep...you're on the hook for the rest. that's why it's important to consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. a plan like this helps pay for some of what medicare doesn't. so you could end up paying less out of your own pocket. that's nice. and these are the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp. selected for meeting their high standards of quality and service. it feels good to have someone looking out for you. want to find out more? call unitedhealthcare insurance company now to request this free decision guide,
with aarp medicare supplement plan options to fit your needs. and learn how this type of plan works together with a part d prescription drug plan. here's something else good to know. with a medicare supplement plan, you have freedom. freedom to go with any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. you're not restricted to a network. ever. and if you need to visit a specialist, you'll have a choice there, too. your coverage goes with you, too, anywhere you travel in the country. we have grandkids out of state. they love our long visits. not sure about their parents, though. call unitedhealthcare now to learn more and ask for your free decision guide. want to apply? go ahead, apply. anytime's a good time. remember, the #1 important thing, medicare doesn't pay for everything. a med supp plan could help pay some of what's left. and this is the only plan of its kind endorsed by aarp.
former fixer and ally michael cohen. our own m.j. lee here with us today has new reporting on how cohen felt increasingly hung out to dry by the president, showing just how much the current situation facing the white house is, you could say, a large part of the president's own making. cohen, m.j. reports, was looking for a sign from the president or others around him that his long time boss had his back and became increasingly distraught as he realized help wasn't coming. in fact, trump minimizing cohen's work for him over the years, brashly predicting cohen would never flip. rudy giuliani saying cohen has no valuable information on trump. so you quote some friends in this and only othsome other sou can't identify. he decided, i'm on my own, change my tactics. >> that's right. we've seen a lot of this take place in the public arena. we've seen donald trump go out there and try to minimize his relationship with michael cohen, saying that he didn't actually do that much work for him, i
haven't talked to him in a long time. then michael cohen, his signals to the public and therefore, too, president trump, his former boss, those have not been so hidden either. he has been willing to tell, you know, things to friends and friends have communicated those things to reporters. sort of trying to show his frustration, trying to show that he had expected some kind of sort of return loyalty from donald trump. at some point t became very, very clear to him that that wasn't going to come. not that that would have necessarily helped him, given all of the legal troubles he is in, but i think that's why we sort of saw the culmination of the recording being released by his legal team earlier this week because they felt like, look, if trump and his legal team are willing to throw michael cohen under the bus, we want to try to set the record straight. >> as part of that -- so you have that recording about the karen mcdougal payment, buying essentially the rights away from the national enquirer. he was also involved in the stormy daniels payment. we're just learning from "the wall street journal" a long-time financial gatekeeper of
president trump at the trump organization in new york has been subpoenaed by the southern district of new york to testify before the grand jury looking into cohen and cohen's financing and business practices. if you're the president of the united states and somebody who knows everything about how the money was dealt with at the trump organization -- we're going to show you some pictures in iowa as we have this conversation. the president and ivanka trump at a workplace round table in dubuque, iowa, or near dubuque, iowa. we'll come back to that in a minute. if you're the president of the united states and read "the wall street journal" and a guy who knows everything about the finances of the trump organization is going before a grand jury, how are you thinking? >> you're thinking that it's getting closer and closer, and there are people who know a lot of things who the president does not want to be answering those things. it's a very tight-knit, small, family organization. michael coshen then is the clos person to the president nonfamily. >> the journal describes him as the most senior member in the organization who's not a trump. >> if you think about what we know about this president's view of how people around him should
operate, particularly lawyers, it's that they should defend him at all costs. he had that line of i want my protector, i want someone who is going to have my back no matter what, whether i've done something inappropriate, not inappropriate, whatever the case may be. so to the degree that everyone in the trump organization was a raid in order to do that, to basically defend him at all costs, these are a bunch of people who the southern district has access to and are going to want to question. >> in the case of these payments, allegedly to buy silence of women who had alleged affairs with the president, or then-candidate trump, was there any corporate money involved? was it done deliberately to influence the election? that could be a campaign violation. we're going to continue to keep our eye on the president out in iowa. coming up, the candidate vying to be america's first black female governor. can she turn a historically red state blue?
with tripadvisor, finding your perfect hotel at the lowest price... is as easy as dates, deals, done! simply enter your destination and dates... and see all the hotels for your stay! tripadvisor searches over 200 booking sites... to show you the lowest prices... so you can get the best deal on the right hotel for you. dates, deals, done! tripadvisor. visit tripadvisor.com
welcome back. one of the more interesting races this midterm election year is the race for georgia governor. stacy abrams, the democrat, hoping to turn a traditional red state blue. if she can do that, she would be the nation's first female african-american governor. you see her there on the cover of "time" magazine. molly ball is the author of this great cover story. we talked about the republican candidate yesterday. he's a trumpian conservative. stacy abrams says, no, that's
not georgia. >> she's hoping this race follows the model of a couple other states that recently had races that pitted a democrat, who emphasizes pocketbook issues, versus a republican who is very much a trumpian culture warrior, talking about guns and illegal immigration and all kinds of other cultural issues that a governor doesn't usually concern themself with. for example, the virginia governors race and the alabama senate race. in both of those you had republican candidates using a trump echoing message. democrats are running on expanding health care, expanding medicaid in the case of stacey abrams. georgia, historically red state. it's only become republican in the last decade and a half. it's also diversified incredibly rapidly. the voting population in georgia
only about 55% white, 45% communities of color. her bet is that she can galvanize that with an effective campaign and a compelling candidacy. >> great race to watch. appreciate the cover sorry. everybody get your "time" and read that story. thanks for joining us today on "inside politics." see you back here tomorrow. don't go anywhere, more breaking news. wolf starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with breaking news involving the russia investigation and president trump's twitter account. "the new york times" now reporting that the special counsel robert mueller is scrutinizing the president's tweets. according to the report, mueller is focusing in on tweets and negative statements about the attorney general jeff sessions and former fbi director james comey. he wants to talk to the president asht those