tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 17, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
cnn.com/americanwomeninpolitics. and let me know what you think. i'm @brookebcnn. let's go to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. what's the arabic word for lying? "the lead" starts right now. the president's known for jumping to wild conclusions, today still unwilling to criticize in any way the saudis for what seems a killing of a u.s.-based journalist. as new evidence closes in on the crown prince's inner circle. today shocking new details about the hell jamal khashoggi endured inside the saudi consulate and what an audio recording reveals about his final moments on this earth. and so you're saying his dad didn't kill jfk now? president trump going all-in for senator ted cruz as cruz's
democratic challenger rips a page from the trump book of nasty nick names. welcome to "the lead." we begin with president trump taking a stunningly dismissive tone about any possible saudi leadership role in the disappearance and apparent murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. this afternoon, the president is denying he's giving cover in any way to the saudis, insisting he simply wants to find out what happened. but that's about as tough as the president was willing to get. he has had harsher words in the last week or so for stormy daniels, senator elizabeth warren and taylor swift than he has had for the saudis, responsible for the likely butchering and slaughter of a "washington post" columnist. instead, president trump has expressed support for saudi denials of knowledge of the apparent murder, did he sespite strong circumstantial case.
and the president emphasized the military equipment that the saudis have pledged to purchase from american defense contractors. today president trump refusing to say whether the fbi is involved in any investigation, and he pointed out for at least the fifth time by our count that khashoggi was not an american citizen. though it is worth noting, the journalist lived in the united states and contributed to an american newspaper. we have this story covered from the white house to istanbul, turkey, and we'll get the latest details in a moment. first, let's begin with cnn's pamela brown at the white house. and pamela, over and over today, president trump highlighting the billions of dollars the saudis will spend on u.s. military equipment. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, jake. president trump appears to be softening his tone towards saudi arabia, repeatedly emphasizing today how much the u.s. needs saudi arabia, when it comes to the arms deal, the fight against terrorism, iran much. he also appeared to give the benefit of the doubt to the saudis and their denials, while
also casting doubt on whether this audiotape exists that suggests this "washington post" journalist was tortured and killed shortly after entering the saudi consulate. president trump today not giving details about the investigation surrounding the disappearance of "washington post" journalist, jamal khashoggi, playing coy with reporters in the oval office when pressed if he's asked for the fbi's involvement. >> why not send the fbi in to figure this out? >> he wasn't a citizen of this country for one thing. and we're going to determine that. and you don't know whether or not we have, do you? do you know whether or not we have sent the fbi? >> have you sent the fbi? >> i'm not going to tell you. >> tell us! >> why would i tell you? >> reporter: trump indicating, the u.s. asked the turkish authorities to hand over audio recordings they claim proves khashoggi was core toured, tort dismembered. >> we have asked if it exists. >> reporter: the president once
again casting doubt on the mounting evidence that saudi arabia was behind khashoggi's disappearance, and failing to point the finger at the kingdom, telling the associated press, here we go again with "you're guilty until proven innocent." i don't like that. comparing the investigation to the allegations now justice brett kavanaugh faced earlier this month. >> we'll get down to the bottom of it. >> reporter: the president also telling fox business, the u.s. needs saudi arabia, both for the fight against terror and as a financial partner. >> i hope we're going to be on the better side of the equation. we need saudi arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism. >> we're not going to walk away from saudi arabia. >> i do not want to do that. >> reporter: trump later insisting, he's not providing cover for the mid east ally, but rather he is waiting on a report from secretary of state mike pompeo, who is returning from the middle east after meetings with the saudis and the turks. >> i'm not giving cover at all. but i want to find out what happened, where is the fault,
and we will probably know that by the end of the week. >> reporter: so president trump is expected to be briefed by secretary pompeo upon his return either tonight or tomorrow. it remains to be seen what exactly pompeo will be briefing the president on, considering pompeo admitted to reporters today, jake, that the saudis did not want to share any facts with him. he also said that the saudis have pledged to conduct a transparent investigation, so it remains to be seen how much credence the administration will giv give to this investigation, considering the mounting evidence that the saudis are responsible for the disappearance and apparent killing of this "washington post" journalist. jake? >> pamela brown, thank you so much. grisly new details revealed about the torture and likely murder of khashoggi. a source telling cnn the journalist may have been injected with some kind of tranquilizer before he died in the consulate and his body was dismembered. senior international correspondent, arwa damon joins me from istanbul, turkey. forensic investigators were on
the scene today. have the turkish officials been able to gather any crime scene evidence? >> reporter: well, here's the thing. let's take a look at what they found in the consulate. some sort of a toxic substance they're looking into. they say that all of the walls have been repainted. they also took dna samples here at the residence. they have been inside already for six hours. a caravan of turkish forensics teams descended today, gloves and hazmat suits on, ready to conduct their first search of the property since jamal khashoggi's disappearance more than two weeks ago. teams of saudi investigators also piling in. this as u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo says he received assurances from turkish president erdogan that a thorough investigation is under way. pompeo used his visit to deliver messages from president trump, as well as information from the saudis. saudi crown prince mohamed bin salman was all smiles as he met with secretary pompeo yesterday, telling him he is also keen to
examine the khashoggi case, but denied any involvement. the authenticity of that claim coming into question, as sources tell cnn the mastermind behind khashoggi's death was a senior intelligence official, with one source saying he was close to bin salman's inner circle. still, pompeo left ample room for the oil-rich ally to find alternative explanations. >> mr. khashoggi is missing. i'm not going to get ahead of -- we have two countries conducting investigations. we're going to give them the space to complete their investigations of this incident. >> reporter: and the basic facts surrounding khashoggi's fate were not discussed. >> i don't want to talk about any of the facts. they didn't want to, either. >> reporter: according to turkish media, an audio recording from inside the consulate indicates khashoggi was tortured and killed soon after entering. a source tells cnn, agents may have injected the journalist with a tranquilizer to subdue him. the gruesome details emerging. according to a source, turkish authorities are now
investigating a member of the elite protection brigade tasked with guarding the saudi crown prince. turkey has identified 15 saudis who arrived and left the same day khashoggi went interesting as persons of interest in the journalist's death. at least nine worked in security forces, military or government ministries, according to the "new york times." still, the united states is allowing saudi to reach its own conclusions. >> we have many overlapping interest places we work together. >> reporter: secretary pompeo now returning to washington, with hopes that saudi will keep its promise. >> they made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that. >> reporter: and jake, this has become such a highly politicized case. and it's not just about u.s./saudi dynamics. there is, of course, the very different dynamics with turkey and various different regional players. and it's going to be quite interesting to see exactly what
sort of differences or similarities there end up being between the report that turkey comes up with and the one that saudi arabia decides to release. especially given the various different competing interests, and, of course, various different nations' economic ties to the kingdom. >> arwa damon, thank you so much. let's talk about this and start with kaitlan collins who has breaking news on this. you're learning more about the role of jared kushner, obviously the president's son-in-law, senior adviser, who has established from very early on the crown prince a very close working relationship. >> the more this becomes a full-blown diplomatic crisis, the more scrutiny there is on jared kushner, because he did tout that close relationship with mbs, the crown prince, for so long. and now what we're seeing, he's not saying anything publicly. several white house officials fear if he was really involved on this, on a public front, because he has such a close relationship with the crown prince, that there would be backlash. that's a big part of why we didn't see him travel with the
secretary of state, mike pompeo to meet with the saudi officials this week. and a big part of why we haven't seen him say anything publicly. he went to new york last night. and as you have seen, there is that video of him getting off the plane in new york with his wife, ivanka trump, also a white house employee. and a reporter tried to ask questions about the saudis and their role and potential role in this. and he didn't answer the question, and his secret service agent traveling with him kind of blocked the phone. a lot of it has to do with they're trying to not have any more scrutiny on jared kushner. we are told behind the scenes he's helping shape the response to this. he's the one who told the saudis they needed to call for an investigation into the disappearance of this reporter. and this also comes as president trump is getting really frustrated with the news coverage of this and this idea that he has this cozy relationship with the saudi officials. so all of this happening. but what we are seeing is essentially jared kushner intentionally take a step back from all of this. so there is not so much scrutiny on him. the question is, what is the cost going to be? he's touted this close
relationship. he was the one who convinced president trump to make his first foreign trip as president to go to riyadh first. he hosted mbs when he came to the united states for a tour earlier this spring. he messages with him on what's app. he's done that in the past, which was a national security concern. so he does have a close relationship with him. and it's really coming under the spotlight now with all of this going on and the disappearance of this reporter. >> let me read you what the "washington post" david ignatius reported this morning. quote, jared kushner, president trump's son-in-law and adviser, urged an investigation that could identify the culprit responsible for khashoggi's death. the next day, after speaking with the saudi king, the president said he thought rogue killers within saudi arabia's government may have been responsible, seemingly telegraphing a fall guy strategy. the accusation that some democrats are making when they see things like this in the press is that jared kushner and president trump are helping the saudis escape blame for what
they did. >> here's how i see it. there are some republicans on capitol hill, like lindsey graham, who are so hopped up and angry at this situation, they're calling for regime change. >> literally. >> in saudi arabia. >> shouldn't we hear from jared kushner, who is architect of the saudi arabian policy before we go to that measure? why is jared kushner, who is always eager to plant himself good press and take credit for things, whenever he has the opportunity -- why is he being allowed to evade responsibility here? and the security element that kaitlan brought up is highly concerning. >> the secret service? >> no, not the secret service. the messaging that's been reported numerous outlets. jared kushner not only with saudi arabia, has communicated with foreign officials outside secure channels, despite warnings from people, you know, who would prefer him not to. why is he this rogue foreign policy actor inside the white house who has no accountability? that boggles my mind. >> one thing we should note, after it was reported he was messaging people like the crown
prince on what's app, he started to pick up on that concern and started filling in white house officials on his calls. >> one more thing. he had numerous security clearance problems. and i am still not sure if those have all been resolved. >> and there was all this reporting, bill, from earlier by the intercept that kushner met with mbs, may have even given him information about people within the kingdom he couldn't trust. that mbs told people that he had jared kushner in his pocket. we should point out, jared kushner through his lawyer has denied all of this to the intercept. but there are some serious questions here about this relationship. >> yeah, and it's a problem when you try to run a relationship between the house of trump and the house of saud. >> there is no ambassador to saudi arabia. >> right. would take notes in a meeting if a senior american went over to meet with someone like mbs. i'm not sure that happened. there are those phone calls that seem to be totally offline, without record. so just a matter of good governance, it's a problem. and, of course, further questions about the family
relationships in terms of money. i think this could be -- this is a real crisis, i think. real foreign policy crisis. not just a trump white house crisis. it's funny how foreign policy works and you have seen over the years -- this is a horrible war in yemen. famine with 1 million people. putin has killed people. there was the helsinki thing. but this one feels like it might become a moment where the whole trump foreign policy gets put in question. people have been saying, well, he really hasn't been tested by the crisis. he's been lucky. things people like me think are big foreign policy mistakes, but haven't paid a price for them. you could have a question now, a historic relationship, one that has been controversial, one that should have been more controversial, perhaps. and it could be a real moment, interesting moment for american foreign policy. >> and simone, as bill points out, the u.s. has been turning a blind eye to saudi human rights abuses -- >> for a while. >> -- for decades.
but there is probably no president who has more starkly talked about why we need saudi arabia in their view than president trump talks about it. take a listen to him talking to fox business, which -- trying to explain, i think, in some ways why he doesn't seem to care more about the murder of this journalist. >> you know, we need saudi arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism. everything that's happening in iran and other places. >> but we're not going to walk away from saudi arabia. >> no, i don't want to do that. i do not want to do that. and frankly, they have a tremendous order. $110 billion. every country in the world wanted a piece of that order. we got all of it. and what are we going to do? >> $110 billion. first of all, that's not an official figure in terms of -- >> of course -- >> -- lines signed. but beyond that, that's money for american defense contractors. >> absolutely. you know, look. i think it's very interesting. before a long time, many people on both sides of the aisle have turned a blind eye.
most recently, what's happening in yemen. it's very striking to me with the capture and seemingly assassination, if you will, murder, of this journalist, that that is a thing that is bringing everybody together to say, okay, we have to hold the saudis accountable. >> as opposed to the school bus full of children. >> or as opposed to when the crown prince, mbs, locked up a number of senior officials in hotels, seemingly, basically locked them up at the ritz for a while in saudi arabia. so i do find that interesting. donald trump has been very clear, though. what he said on fox business is not much different than what he said during his rally in kentucky last weekend. you know, look, i get a lot of money from the saudis. he personally gets a lot of money as personal business interests and now he's talking about the business interests of the united states defense contractors. this is something that should cause everyone to give pause. and i hope to hear more folks on the republican side of the aisle call for something to be held accountable. >> everyone stick around. we're going to keep talking about this. the secretary of state said the saudis didn't want to talk about any facts regarding the apparent
murder of the saudi journalist. so what's the purpose of a fact-finding mission again? and from vote like i'm on the ballot to not my fault if we lose, president trump giving himself a new out in case of blue wave comes his way. stay with us. as a pro athlete, i know great performance starts with great sleep. and the sleep number 360 smart bed is my competitive edge. it intelligently senses our movements and automatically adjusts our firmness and support on each side to keep us both incredibly comfortable. it can even warm our feet to help us fall asleep faster.
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with this type of plan there are no networks or referrals needed. also, a medicare supplement plan... ...goes with you when you travel anywhere in the u.s. call today for a free guide. we're continuing the conversation about the apparent murder of "washington post" journalist, jamal khashoggi and the response or lack thereof from the trump administration. amanda, let me start with something that president trump
told the associated press regarding the claims that saudi leadership must have been behind this, based on all of the circumstantial evidence and just basic common sense. you have 15 saudis linked to intel and military flying in and flying out. president trump says, quote, here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. i don't like that. we just went through that with justice kavanaugh, and he was innocent all the way. so i was unconcerned. what do you make of that? >> i am concerned that not only president trump doesn't seem interested in finding out what happened, secretary pompeo doesn't seem interested in finding out what happened. as you mentioned earlier, he is not interested in talking about the facts. who is interested in finding out what happened? because i saw with the saudi arabian government did in the wake of jamal's disappearance, whatever you would like to call it. they issued a warning to their people, saying that spreading fake news -- >> right. >> or smears online is
punishable up to five years in prison and about $800,000. that's what they're going to do there. so why -- it is on us to find out. i don't want to rely on the turks. i want our people to find out. >> kaitlan, let's play that sound from secretary of state pompeo after he left saudi arabia regarding his meeting with the crown prince and talk about it. >> did he tell you whether mr. khashoggi is alive or dead? >> i don't want to talk about any of the facts. they didn't want to either. they want to have the opportunity to complete this investigation in a thorough way. >> what was the -- i mean, this completely sincerely. what was the point of him going to saudi arabia if they didn't talk about any of the facts? >> well, that's the question. and that's who is coming back to brief president trump, and white house officials are essentially waiting to see what mike pompeo is going to say when he gets back. after visiting riyadh and then going to turkey to talk to officials. that is why president trump sent him there. because president trump was expressing concern and saying
there is going to be severe punishment if it is the saudis who are responsible for this guy's death. but then we saw pompeo go there, and he's smiling in had pictures with mbs. we see photos of his spokesperson smiling, posing while she's in turkey. those are raising a lot of questions about what exactly it was they're doing there. and he can't even answer the simple question of whether or not this reporter is dead or alive. he is asked, is he dead or is he alive and he said, well we didn't talk about the facts. that's raising questions. >> this is all the -- we know what happened. we know what happened. he was lured to the saudi -- >> sent -- >> we know what happened. we don't know every grisly detail, and i'm not sure we want to know of the torture and his killing. but we know he was lured to the embassy there and killed, right? there's no question about that. he's not there as a fact-finder. he's supposed to be conducting u.s. foreign policy and they're trying to distract this into some police detective show. we have to find out details before making a judgment. what judgment -- shouldn't they
have meetings of the national security council to say what is our policy going forward with saudi arabia? >> it looked like the folks from the state department went on a dang gone vacation this past week on america's tax dollars. i literally do not understand the purpose of the chief of the state department rolling around smiling, next to mbs, and while in turkey. this makes absolutely no sense. the point that bill made earlier about the fact that there are no -- in the region in saudi arabia and turkey that we lack high-level state department officials, we lack the ambassadors, we lack the lower -- the senior lower-level staff in those offices is not something that should be glossed over. there is no -- when our folks -- when pompeo is not there, we have no one on the ground. we have no high-level staff on the ground to connect with the other governments. >> we have diplomatic staff. >> we have diplomatic staff. we don't have the high-level staff, jake. we don't have the folks who can march in and have the followup conversations. so this is what's going on.
and this is all we've got? i, frankly -- am extremely concerned and unimpressed. >> but the larger question is what is the response going to be? because you hear pompeo there, and maybe he's waiting for the full investigation to be completed. because they have called on them to conduct this investigation. if that's their defense, that's fine. but the question that was posed to president trump just this morning is, if the saudis are responsible, what are you going to do? what will your response be? and he didn't say it's going to be bad. it's going to be ugly. like his allies on capitol hill, including senator lindsey graham are saying. instead, he turned the answer into something about how important the saudi/u.s. relationship is to him. talking about that arms deal. and that's exactly what pompeo told reporters, as well. he's like, well, while you're thinking about all of this, you've got to consider our financial endeavor -- >> the answer is -- i can tell you the answer now. the answer is they will do as little as they can get away with doing to be tough with the saudis. >> everyone stick around. robert mueller reportedly almost ready to deliver his report. how soon could we see the report on the president's campaign and russia, possible conspiracy, obstruction of justice and more. stay with us.
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general rod rosenstein is urging robert mueller to wrap-up his investigation as quickly as possible, according to bloomberg news. mueller's report is expected to focus on possible conspiracy between members of the trump team and russia, and whether president trump object instructed the investigation. cnn's sara murray joins me now. sara, the mueller report, we're told, is likely to come out after the mid terms. beyond that, is there any more specific timing? >> jake, mueller has been in this quiet period for a while, but with the mid terms weeks away, that's expected to change. and we are expecting -- we will see a report, potentially sometime between the mid terms, but before the end of the year and that raises the big question of what exactly is going to be in this report? anticipation is building about whether moore indictments are soon to drop and exactly what special counsel robert mueller will wrap into his final report. the report expected after the november election and before the end of the year will be delivered to deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. but it's up to him to decide if it will ever be made public for
the american people. one outstanding question, just how much president trump will cooperate. his lawyers are readying answers to mueller's written questions. but in a tuesday interview, the president told the associated press, the whole process is a tremendous waste of time. adding, we are looking at certain questions having to do with the word collusion. of course, there was no collusion. trump offered up his strongest defense yet of his son, donald trump jr. who participated in the june 2016 meeting in trump tower, with a russian lawyer who has ties to the kremlin and promised dirt on hillary clinton. the meeting became about a different subject, and they couldn't get out of the meeting fast enough, trump told the ap. while insisting his son is innocent. there is nobody harder on my son than i am. if he did something wrong, i would have been livid. >> the phony witch hunt. >> despite his anger over the investigation, attorney general jeff sessions decision to recuse himself from it, trump still won't say whether he wants
sessions out. i could fire him whenever i want to fire him, but i haven't said that i was going to, trump told the ap. but if you ask me, am i thrilled? no, i am not thrilled. the other person the president isn't thrilled with, his former personal attorney, michael cohen, saying cohen's under oath comments that he arranged hush money schemes was false. trump said, oh, absolutely he's lying. and michael cohen was a pr person, who did small legal work. very small legal work. cohen's lawyer, lanny davis, defended his client, tweeting, trump calling anyone a liar is a compliment. sources are also telling cnn today that prosecutors met with michael cohen, as well as his attorney. they are investigating donald trump's business, as well as his charitable foundation, so it gives you an indication of why president trump is none too happy with his former lawyer, jake. >> very interesting. thanks very much. let's talk about that. cohen cooperating with
prosecutors looking at president trump's businesses and charities, in addition, obviously, to multiple meetings with special counsel, robert mueller. if i were president trump, this would bother me too. >> look, they say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and keep your fixers were flipping. i think donald trump should be extremely concerned about the information that michael cohen could give to the southern district new york attorney. if anybody can bring donald trump down, i do believe it's michael cohen. >> and this fits with what we have been told by people close to president trump for a long time, that the real concern is with the southern district of new york investigation and not with the mueller probe. >> especially. and we've seen with that damning "new york times" report on his finances that didn't get the attention it deserved. and president trump's response to it, he was so livid over that. and so we're just seeing that play out, of course. also yesterday we're seeing how frustrated he is, again, with michael cohen. this has been playing out since april when they first broke into, according to the president, michael cohen's office and hotel, the fbi -- >> legally obtained search
warrant. >> with a search warrant. yesterday, he said michael cohen is this pr person who did a very small amount of legal work. what he did do was really consequential legal work, since he had to plead guilty, even though president trump said he feels lying, implicating him in that crime of violating that campaign finance law. so we're seeing just how frustrated the president is with michael cohen and how it's really coming back to affect him. >> and i know you get a kick out of the fact a democratic source told mj lee that michael cohen is prepared to campaign against president trump for the democrats. >> yeah. >> you know, as a former campaign hand. what do you make of that? would you use michael cohen on the campaign -- >> no, he should be disqualified from political life. listen, he defended trump, lied for trump, engaged in unethical business practice for trump and only saw the light because federal prosecutors were knocking on his door.
of course, he should not go on the campaign trail. but the real problem for trump is that he has engaged in unseemly behavior. we know that. he never set up any fire walls between his business, his campaign and his family. that's where michael cohen comes into play. that's where paul manafort comes mayo play, that's where people in the trump organization come into play. so mueller may release the findings on his report on collusion and obstruction of justice, but those court cases can unfurl much further than that. >> ai think collusion is going o be very big. >> you think they're going to find conspiracy. >> yeah, and obstruction. i don't know if it's enough to convict. trump got all alarmed this week, the witch hunt stuff and all of this. and that was after a story appeared that cohen spent 50 hours with justice people. trump accuses cohen of lying, right? >> he did lie for trump a lot. >> wait a second. but the lie he's accusing him of is saying trump was knowledgeable about the crime to
which he pled guilty. the justice department has to believe that when they accept a plea that it's truthful. >> right. >> it's not like -- it's not some movie he flipped and he starts lying about it. so they have evidence that makes them believe that cohen was being truthful. >> we heard some of the recordings. >> fair enough. so trump can say cohen is lying. but trump knows that the justice department has this evidence. and i think he's now very worried about what's about to happen after the election. >> there are less than three weeks before the election. we're going to talk about mid terms in the next block. i do wonder, since we're talking about impeachable crimes, because you think mueller is going to find something -- >> i don't know. let me be clear. >> we haven't heard a lot. republicans want the democrats to be talking about impeachment. but i haven't heard a lot -- >> republicans don't want us to win the house. the democrats to win the house. >> why would impeachment be a turnoff for voters? >> because, look, i think you have to give folks a vision. and what democrats have seen, we have to run on something. he cannot just run against someone. and frankly, running on
impeachment is running against donald trump. so what you've seen folks in the house do, and we'll talk about this, talk about health care. talk about taxes, talk about the economy. talk about the fact that when republicans gave a tax break to billionaires and millionaires, semi permanent, very temporary tax cuts for the rest of us. and now look, the deficit is ballooning and they're going to try to pay for that by snatching medicare and medicaid. >> the democratic leaders poo-poo any talk of impeachment, nancy pelosi and the like, who knows what will happen. there will be articles of impeachment. but what's interesting is, one of the arguments you hear about the replacing of john kelly, the chief of staff whose obituary has been written now 15 times, just in the last week, is he's not a political mind in terms of how is he going to deal with the democratic house. how is he going to deal with impeachment. the president needs to, quote, godfather a war time consigliere. do you hear talk like that? >> that's what people are saying, but it depends on if you like john kelly or not.
the president's allies, inside or outside the white house, people who don't like john kelly, john kelly has probably restricted their access to the president, saying john kelly doesn't have a plan for when the democrats do take back the house, which is largely considered in washington what's going to happen in three weeks from now. but president trump seems to be in this fantasy that's not going to happen. somehow things have reversed with the brett kavanaugh confirmation fight and now republicans are going to be okay. republicans probably wish he would stop saying that, because they want voters to be worried that democrats are going to take back the house so they'll come out and turn out. but the question inside the white house is what are they going to do to respond to that? it really depends on who you ask? but also a greater question is how do you prepare for something like that? how do you prepare for aides to be called up to come testify on capitol hill and the president to be attacked on a daily basis? it's really going to -- it could derail his agenda, what agenda he's accomplished so far if they do take it back. and you are seeing an increasing concern about that from president trump, but he's also becoming less concerned with the mid terms and more concerned
with 2020. we've heard the president in private conversations, talking more about who is going to run against him than what's going to happen this fall. >> all right. everyone stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. what a difference a couple of years can make in politics. >> in the case of lyin' ted cruz, lyin' ted -- lies. oh, he lies. >> the change in tune about ted cruz today from president trump. that's next. mitzi: psoriatic arthritis tries to get in my way?
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it could save your life. minutes can mean the difference between life and death. proposition 11 saves lives by ensuring medical care is not delayed in an emergency. proposition 11 establishes into law the longstanding industry practice of paying emts and paramedics to remain on-call during breaks and requires they receive fema level training and active shooters and natural disasters. vote yes on 11 to ensure 911 emergency care is there when you or your love one need it.
we're back with our politics lead and a ringing endorsement from president trump today in one of the most consequential midterm elections in the country. the president tweeting in part, quote, ted cruz has done so much for taxes. ted has long had my strong endorsement. for his part, campaigning in texas, cruz was very grateful for the love note.
>> i appreciated the president's tweet this morning. i'm very glad that the president is coming on monday to come down to texas for a rally in houston. >> that is so sweet. because it wasn't that long ago that those two were trading devastating insults, starting with trump coming up with a nasty nickname for his then primary opponent. >> lyin' ted! lyin' ted cruz. he's lyin' ted. he's no good, i'm telling you. l-y-i-n appositiostrophe. >> then trump suggesting cruz's father was somehow linked to the assassination of jfk. >> what was he doing with lee harvey oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting? it's horrible. >> and going after cruz's wife, heidi, threatening in a tweet to, quote, spill the beans on her. and then retweeting this unflattering photo, comparing her to melania. >> it is no the acceptable for a
big, loud new york bully to attack my wife. i don't get angry often. but you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that will do it every time. donald, you're a sniffling coward and leave heidi the hell alone. >> which led to this at the republican national convention. >> god bless each and every one of you. and god bless the united states of america. >> what you heard there at the moment was senator cruz getting booed at the republican national convention, because he did not explicitly endorse donald trump for president during his speech. but we're in a different period now. that was then, this is now. and amanda, you used to work for ted cruz. are you surprised by this, you know, kindling romance we're seeing between these two? >> yeah, but i guess it's better for cruz that trump is saying nice things about him rather than negative things. the thing i think is most
bizarre, in the debate ted cruz had with his opponent last night, beto o'rourke, picked up trump's attacks on cruz. went off with the lyin' ted. and i think that's so funny, because democrats think trump is this terrible, moral character. so why are they using his talking points? >> to be clear, beto o'rourke was not lobbing personal insults. >> we have the tape. let's roll the tape. i just want to show the debate last night, congressman beto o'rourke and senator ted cruz, and here is the page out of the trump nasty nickname book that beto o'rourke took. >> senator cruz is not going to be honest with you. he's going to make up positions and votes that i've never held or have ever taken. he's dishonest. it's why the president called him lying ted and it's why the nickname stuck, because it's true. >> exactly. so i'd like to -- wait, you agree with trump? >> what i'm saying is, what beto o'rourke was laying out is ted
cruz has a history of not telling the truth to voters. he has a history of misrepresenting -- beto never said, that's why you're lyin' ted. he presented the argument, and then inserted a very poignant attack line i know folks don't like from president trump. the fact of the matter here is, though, if i were ted cruz, i don't care how do you know i was in the polls. my moral dignity, my dignity and self respect would not allow me to take support from someone that talked about my father, talked about my wife, lambasted my character and attacked me personally. >> beto is the next great southern hope to save the democratic party, he's going to have to do better than recycle donald trump's attacks. >> this happens in politics, right? i mean, you know, ted kennedy says nasty things about jimmy carter and endorses him. john mccain and george w. bush hated each other. i don't think that's too strong a word. but ultimately came to a political agreement, an alliance. the difference here is that the stuff that trump himself has
said -- bush had surrendogates things nasty about mccain and his family. the trump himself has said personally about his dad, his wife, spilling the beans. it's just remarkable to see. and i get, trump needs texas to stay red. and cruz needs to win. i get that. but it is surprising. >> i mean, would it be surprising if you -- yeah, except for the last two years. nothing is surprising any more. the degree to which trump's behavior has been normalized, certainly mostly by republicans. but i would say, honestly, i think that's a mistake what beto did yesterday, citing the president. even the president says you're lyin' ted. wait, does beto o'rourke think he's a reliable source? it's clever, it's the kind of thing a consultant tells you, this is clever, you can criteria trump against ted and some of the trump supporters will go anti ted. but it's a mistake. he had a good message, an upbeat message, cruz is too right wing, wants to cut your medicare and
social security, perfectly sensible message. maybe would even work in texas, even though it's a tough state. and i think it sort of confuses things for a democrat to now be citing trump. >> on a lighter note, trump did say when he went to texas, where he's going on monday to campaign for him, he was going to fill the biggest stadium he could find. if you're any kind of football fan, you know that the stadium they pick on monday is certainly not the biggest one. they're not going to jerry world or anything like that. >> where are they going, an 8,000-seater. >> in houston. much smaller. it's interesting the president tweeted he's going to find the biggest stadium in texas. you know they have big tustadiu in texas and it's smaller. >> the fact that beto o'rourke is even within striking distance of ted cruz is something note worthy. so maybe -- look, i hope beto pulls it out in november, but i'll be surprised if he does. he's opened up the door to allow someone else to come in after that. >> speaking of trump rallies, the president has three moral lease scheduled just this week.
associated press in their interview asked him, since you're out campaigning so much, will you take some of the blame if republicans lose the house next month. his answer, quote, no. i think i'm helping people. i don't believe anybody's ever had this kind of impact. but compare that to how the president was trying to motivate voters just a few weeks ago. >> i'm not on the ticket. but i am on the ticket. because this is also a referendum about me. get out and vote! i want you to vote. pretend i'm on the ballot. >> so is he on the ballot or not on the ballot. >> to be fair to trump, the party, when they control both houses of congress -- >> you lose seats. sure. >> having said that, what districts -- the gender gap is 30 points. he's losing districts where well-respected republican congressmen and congresswomen are going to lose because the district has become so anti trump. >> your district. >> yeah, my district in northern virginia i think, likely. so there i do think trump actually is doing more damage to the republicans than a typical incumbent. especially with the economy
being good and until mr. khashoggi -- no obvious foreign policy crisis. so it is partly a referendum on trump. >> and it's pretty simple. if they win, trump is going to say it's because he was on the ballot. if they lose, he's going to say it had nothing to do with him. >> might pick up one senate seat. >> that could happen. >> that could happen. he will do -- look, he could be pretty good at this. he will go out and say, better than the usual midterm. often you lose both houses. >> mark was on cnn yesterday saying that the average when the -- there's one party control is a loss of 48 seats. so anything less than that is a victory. the spin began. i thought it was pretty well done. you talked about women. amanda, president trump just tweeted, college-educated women want safety, security and health care protections. very much along with financial and economic health for themselves in our country. i supply all of this, far better than any democrat, for decades, actually. that's why they will be voting for me. so don't worry, women will vote
for trump, according to trump. >> that's all true, but he could also stop tweeting about the porn actress he had an affair with. >> stop calling them horseface? >> yes, that kind of stuff. but listen, i was worried about the blue wave. but now that i look at the map, i was worried about republicans losing senate seats in arizona, tennessee, those have stabilized. and now i think it's very likely republicans will make gains. >> in the senate. >> yes. you look at the republican candidates in north carolina, missouri, new jersey is in play right now and possibly florida. i mean, it may not be that bad for republicans. >> i think it could be bad. i think the wave picks up in the last two weeks. >> the wave kicks up and, we do not know who a likely voter is in this midterm election. a lot of unlikely voters will come out in the midterm elections. >> we'll see. and a reminder, cnn's dana bash will moderate tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. just minutes ago, one of the nation's highest honors was awarded to a war hero 50 years in the making. stay with us.
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minutes can mean the difference between life and death. proposition 11 saves lives by ensuring medical care is not delayed in an emergency. proposition 11 establishes into law the longstanding industry practice of paying emts and paramedics to remain on-call during breaks and requires they receive fema level training and active shooters and natural disasters. vote yes on 11 to ensure 911 emergency care is there when you or your love one need it. traffic and roads... a mess, honestlyrents going up,le. friends and family moving out of state, millions of californians live near or below the poverty line. politicians like gavin newsom talk about change,
in vietnam. just moments ago, retired u.s. marine corps sergeant major john canley. barbara starr has the story. >> reporter: marine corps sergeant major john canley, a vietnam hero, honored at the white house with the nation's highest award for valor in combat. >> he assaulted enemy stro strongholds, killed enemy fighters and did everything you had to do. >> reporter: now 80 years old, he was lauded by the president of the united states for a battle in which 147 marines were killed and 857 wounded. >> despite sustaining serious injuries, very, very serious injuries, he continued to face
down the enemy with no thought for his own safety. john personally saving the lives of more than 20 marines. >> reporter: years later, canley still speaking about what it takes to be a leader. >> i think it's about taking care of subordinates. as a leader, as long as s subordinate unit leaders take care of their people, you don't have to worry about the mission. >> reporter: in vietnam, he was a heroic leader in 1968. >> my marines, because they believed in me, they would follow me to death. and i had no doubt about that. >> reporter: saw a month of brutal house to house combat
before forces took control. canley fought off ongoing enemy attacks, and despite suffering his own injuries, carried other wounded marines to safety and led his team into the city. >> he stood up in the middle of fire fights. i don't know what else to say. and i know that might sound unrealistic to people listening. but you will hear that from every alpha company marine. >> reporter: he climbed the wall of a hospital in full view of enemy forces, to carry out more wounded marines twice on just one day in this a far-away place half a century ago. sergeant major canley is the 58th united states marine to receive this honor for service in vietnam. he is the first to receive it while still living. jake? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you so much. and we at "the lead" would like to thank sergeant major john canley for his service and
sacrifice. you can tweet the show at the lead cnn our coverage on this nn continues right now. happening now, breaking news. in full swing. cnn learns the mueller investigation's quiet period may be the quiet before the storm. the special counsel's team is going full tilt with indictments expected soon after the november midterm election and a report expected in december. how the white house is gearing up for a fight. not walking away. president trump vows, the u.s. won't walk away from saudi arabia, despite grisly new accounts of the alleged murder of a u.s.-based journalist, and new evidence suggesting the involvement of loyalists close to the crown prince. cohen it alone. he was at