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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  October 18, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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with senate candidate beto o'rourke who is trying to unseat ted cruz. we did invite senator cruz to participate in his own tall hall but he declined. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks for being here. it's been more than two weeks. how long does it take to come up with a good cover story? "the lead" starts right now. the rulers of saudi arabia are considering blaming a top intelligence official close to the crown prince for the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi while the trump administration tells the world wait, wait, wait, give the saudis more time, bracing for battle. president trump gets a new lawyer weeks before democrats salivating to investigate this president could probably flip the house. plus, conflict of interest watch. why does president trump suddenly want the fbi to stay so close to the white house?
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democrats are charging it has everything to do with the trump hotel business. we'll explain. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the world lead. the saudi government which originally claimed for days that "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi exited and entered the consulate without incident is now considering blaming a top intelligence official close to the crown prince. mohammed bin salman or mbs for his murder. three people with knowledge of the plan told the "new york times." this news comes as saudis insist they need more time for their investigation into his likely murder, and remarkably the u.s. government, the trump administration, seemed to be accepting this all at face value or at the very least they seemed to want the public to. secretary of state mike pompeo calling for patience today after meeting with president trump at
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the white house. >> this report itself will be transparent for everyone to see, ask questions about and to inquire with respect to its thoroughness, and i told president trump this morning that we ought to give them a few more days to complete that so that we, too, have a complete understanding of the facts. >> complete understanding of the facts. the facts as apparently uncovered by the saudis investigating themselves. this all comes as "the washington post" reports the trump administration is working with the saudi government on a, quote, mutually agreeable explanation that avoids implicating the crown prince, mbs, which is interesting given that the "new york times" is reporting that, quote, u.s. intelligence agencies have growing circumstantial evidence of the prince's involvement, including not only intercepts of saudi officials discussing a plan ahead of time to detain khashoggi, but these surveillance images released today by turkish media which show a man, a saudi diplomat and
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intelligence officer with close ties to the prince entering turkey the same day that khashoggi disappeared. we should know he traveled alongside mbs throughout his visit to the united states earlier this year at m.i.t. and in houston. cnn's alex marquardt joins us live. a source close to the investigation say the man in the images played a, quote, pivotal role in the apparent assassination of the journalist khashoggi. >> reporter: that's right, and the same source tell us that mutreb was aware of the plot, as they call it, of that operation to kill khashoggi in istanbul, and now this news that saudi arabia is also thinking about ping all of this, according to the "new york times," on a general named ahmed al asiri, a hoy-ringing adviser to the crown prince, those two ties going back to mbs who just met with secretary of state mike pompeo who told the u.s. that the saudis, quote, need to own this. back in washington after a
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whirlwind trip to saudi arabia and turkey -- >> had a chance to talk with in riyadh with the king, with the crown prince. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo was expected to tell the president what answers he had gotten about the death of jamal khashoggi. instead the message was let's wait and see for the results of a saudi investigation into themselves. >> i told president trump this morning that we ought to give them a few more days to complete that so that we, too, have a complete understanding of the facts surrounding that at which point we can make decisions about how or if the united states should respond. >> reporter: pompeo came under fire after this chummy scene with crown prince mohammed bin salman, also known as mbs, but a source tells cnn that behind closed doors the smiles ended when the cameras left. pompeo told mbs he would have to own the situation or the u.s. will take action because the world will demand it, and the vice president today saying the u.s. won't just settle for the saudi's find >> when we have that
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information, and we won't solely rely on that information, we'll collect all the evidence and then the mr. president have a decision to make about what the proper course of action is for us to make going forward. the world deserves answers. >> the problem that the president through his public statements has cast doubt, particularly here in washington, about whether or not those serious strong messages were actually delivered. >> reporter: this as new images were released by turkish media from security cameras alledgedly of another of the 15-man team that flew in from saudi arabia. mutreb is a diplomat and intelligence officer who sources say played a pivotal role in khashoggi's assassination. mutreb has been seen before in the crown prince's entourage. >> the crown prince all the military services, he runs the economy, the military, he's an autocrat and is known to be
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particularly cruel. >> the only concrete action that the trump administration has so far taken after the horrific apparent murder is treasury secretary steve mnuchin tweeting he'll not attend an investment conference in riyadh next week, welatedly joining the long list of business and political leaders who have pulled out as the world waits for an explanation from the saudis. and, jake, the delay in that official explanation from the saudis is, of course, only fueling speculation that they are still working on their cover story. meanwhile, khashoggi's family has just released a statement saying they are not yet resigned to the fact that he's dead saying that he's still missing in their minds since there's been no official proof otherwise. jake? >> alex marquardt, thanks so much. minutes ago president trump spoke about khashoggi on his way to a rally. >> do you think jamal khashoggi is dead? >> it certainly looks that way to me. it's very sad. >> mr. president, what are you considering for possible consequences for saudi -- >> well, it will have to be very
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severe. i mean, it's bad, bad stuff, but we'll see what happens. >> joining me now is democratic congresswoman tulsi gabbard of hawaii, serves on the house foreign affairs committee. congresswoman, good to see you, as always. saudi sources telling the "new york times" that the regime plans to pin the blame on a hoy-ranking intelligence official with close ties to mbs who they say this intelligence official didn't have the appropriate authority to act. do you buy it? >> we've heard different versions of statements coming from the saudi government as the coverage has really exploded around what actually happened to mr. khashoggi. i think this is really an impetus -- this should an impetus for you, for those in the media, for those in the public to challenge this administration, to challenge many members of congress who claim that saudi arabia is a close ally.
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this should challenge us to look at the facts of saudi arabia's record beyond what has happened to this journalist, things like saudi arabia being a theocratic dictatorship, saudi arabia being this number one exporter of the extre extreme wahabi salafist notion and saudi arabia continuing to wage the centuries old sectarian war, the sunni/shia war in which part of that war they are funding, financing and providing funding and support to terrorist groups like al qaeda in places like syria and also waging a genocidal war in yemen that has killed tens of thousands of yemeni civilians and children and creating what the u.n. has called the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation with 8 million people who are starving and sick because of this saudi-u.s. coalition's blockade
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in yemen, so this should force this tougher conversation here and to be confronted with the facts that saudi arabia, in fact, is not our ally. their interests do not align with ours. >> i have a question about the larger u.s.-saudi relationship in a second, but before i do can, i do want to drill down on the khashoggi incident if we can. sources telling cnn that the president's son-in-law and top adviser jarred kushner has cautioned the president to proceed cautiously before making any decisions on what to do. what do you think of that, and what do you think about secretary pompeo saying the saudis need more time in their investigation into what happened? >> well, i think these are all just examples of how this president is not putting the well-being of our country first and frankly is instead behaving like the businessman that he is, as though this country is a corporation. the problem is he is a business man without a conscience, so he's thinking and he's talked about how we don't want to ruin our relationship with saudi
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arabia because of this $110 billion arms deal and all the money that that will make, but not looking at what the consequences of these decisions are, not looking at the atrocities and this genocide that saudi arabia is waging in yemen today. so when you look at all of these kind of different hedging and excuses and things that are coming forward, it points, again, to this stark fact and reality that this so-called alliance between the united states and saudi arabia really shouldn't exist at all because our interests are not aligned. >> now, you've called for the u.s. to suspend the involvement and support for the u.s. led war in yemen where thousands of people have been killed and are under threat of staff vags, and beyond that what actions do you want the trump administration to take in the wake of khashoggi's death? >> first of all, we need to end this saudi-u.s. alliance pier. we need to stop selling them
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these precision-guided missiles, these weapons and the arms that they are used to go kill civilians in places like yemen. we need to end ours military support in yemen, and this is something that i want to talk about a little bit because there's not been much focus placed on what the united states role has been in partnering with saudi arabia and yemen, something that began in 2015 under the obama administration, continuing now through the trump administration where our u.s. military are refueling saudi bomber planes. they are dropping u.s.-made bombs that we have supplied to them. we are providing them with intelligence and targeting support as has been reported by this administration, and, therefore, very complicit in this genocidal war that -- that saudi arabia is waging in yemen. as you said, it's causing millions of yemeni people to starve and suffer and to speak of innocent women and children in the tens of thousands during
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this war. we have legislation in congress and trying to push to end the support for saudi arabia in this war in yemen now. >> let me ask you a question because you got a lot of criticism after you met with bashar al assad in syria. you same here and we talked about it, and one of the arguments you made is, look, this guy is the leader of syria whether we like him or not. we need to work with him in order to stop the bloodshed in syria. we need to work with him to stabilize that country. what do you say to a critic who says it sounds like you have different standards for assad than you do for the saudis. >> i think you're misquoting my position and my statements on this. my position on syria as well as countries like iraq and libya has been that it is not in our interest in the united states to continue to wage destructive and costly regime change wars that are not only costly for us, the
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american people, but that in each of these instances has made the lives of the people in those countries far worse off, and we go into detail the examples within these three countries where we have and ton wage these regime change wars. that's one situation that i continue to pushily for us to end this destructive united states policy and yemen is a different situation where we're actively working in concert with saudi arabia in waging a genocidal war against the civilians of yemen. >> yeah, no. >> this must end now. >> i meant more like the idea that we need to work with -- i'm not talking with yemen right nourishing the idea that we need to end the relationship with the saudis, but it's okay to have a relationship with assad just to end that war. just the real poll text of that. >> no, no, i'll just interject here, jake, that's not at all i'm saying.
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>> please explain. >> we need to be willing to have the conversation with people who may be adversaries or dictators, people like kim jong-un in north korea if we are serious about the pursuit of piece. if we're serious about trying to alleviate the suffering of people in those countries. this is a -- that's a very different statement than saying we need to end our alliance with saudi arabia. i'm not saying we don't have a conversation with them. >> got it. >> i'm saying we need to stop using our u.s. military to do what saudi arabia wants. we need to end this alliance that actually has been counter to serving the interests of the american people and our national security. >> i get the distinction. i just wanted to -- to understand it better, and i appreciate your time doing that. congresswoman tulsi gabbard, thanks so much for your time. >> a shouting match inside the west waning time. who was involved and why. plus, despite the constant criticism of the fbi, it turns out he wants to keep them close. we'll explain. ♪
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(music throughout) back with breaking news in our politics lead, a heated argument as a quote, shouting match between two of the president's top aides, chief of staff john kelly and national security adviser and ambassador john bolton according to two sources familiar with the argument who told our cnn's kaitlan collins who is with us. how serious was this argument and what was it about? >> it got pretty ugly talking
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about the rise in border crossings. that's a pretty common topic, something that infuriates president trump. saw him on twitter shutting down the border and what it got dramatic between john kelly and john bolton. arguing about this. started in front of president trump, and it continued in the halls of the west wing. they were shouting at each other. there was profanity and a big part is what is part of this, a really big part of this argument and why it got so ugly. john bolton started criticizing dhs secretary kirstjen nielsen. she had been his deputy at dhs and was the one who convinced president to lead dhs. john bolton saying she wasn't essentially doing her job and needed to start doing it and that set john kelly off and led to this argument and an argument in this west wing is normal. it's really bitter and divided, and there are people arguing on a regular basis this. led people to think john kelly might resign. someone who has threatened to resign in the past when he and
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president trump disagreed and people thought he genuinely could resign because he saw president trump siding with john bolton adding to john kelly's fury. he's not traveling to the president to montana, wasn't scheduled to, but john bolton kept about his schedule going on with meetings this afternoon. a really ugly fight that startled people in the west wing and that sees a lot because they see a lot of fights here. >> david? >> these are both tough guys with very thick skin. >> does john kelly have thick skin? >> john kelly has pretty thick skin and it's a very small space. people think watching the show on tv it's this expansive. >> it's not. >> very tiny. >> if there's an argument outside the west wing you can hear it standing in the briefing room. >> it's pretty tight quarters, so when you have much more than a hush tone conversation it can be heard. look, these folks -- neither of these guys are shrinking violets. they are pretty forceful in
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their opinions, but, you know, i -- i don't -- i don't take it as much. i think there's been a lot of back and forth between this chief of staff and, look, john bolton is a guy who has very strong opinions and will push back hard. what's interesting is, you know, as you point out, the attack on the dhs secretary and if the president sat back on his hands and kind of watched it unfold a little, that's kind of newsworthy if he's letting go on and saying maybe she should be doing her job better. >> i didn't understand when hi first heard that it was about border crossings and perhaps even the caravan making its way through central america i didn't understand what they would be disagreeing about because bolton and kelly are both anti-illegal immigration hardliners i think it's fair to say, so this makes more sense that it has toss do with a personnel matter. >> a personnel issue. look, all this drama in the white house, jake, an they say we can't put the women in charge, i'm just saying. i'm just saying. look, this is -- i don't really
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know what's going on in this white house, but i can say if it is the fact that, you know, there's criticism of the dhs secretary, i would think members on the congress of the hill share that criticism of her. there are many members of congress from kamala harris who noted she should step down because they think she's lied to congress. i agree in that assess president and she's not been truthful it comes to dhs' policy on what defend the trump white house. i used to work in the west wing. i don't support these people, don't support anything that they do, suggests that they are doing their job. but you make a real powerful point. a president has to resolve that, but there has been no real oversight because the same party controls the congress. it would healthier for the president honestly if there was all oversight of dhs.
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there is no outside oversight what have they are doing, but i have no problem with them cursing at each other in the halls of the west wing. >> much more than using ugly words and an argument. much more complicated than that because when john bolt-in came into the west wing he had essentially as much power as john kelly, when john kelly had no intluns with tfluence at thae really emboldened larry kudlow not to answer to the staff. >> and bill shine. >> he's up there, too. but with john kelly and kirstjen nielsen and this dynamic with president trump, president trump is one that dressed kirstjen nielsen down in front of everybody saying she was not doing her job on immigration and agrees with john bolton she needs to step up and start doing her job. >> what did she not do? >> president trump is infuriated that the border crossing numbers run. can you see that from his tweets and you can see he's enraged about that, picks a person to take it out on. he's taking it out on kirstjen nielsen even though john kelly
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who is defending her feels she is doing the job that she's supposed to be doing. that's how we saw president trump criticize her during one cabinet meeting. jeff sessions stood up for her and she remarked that she feels like she's doing her job. it's a lot more complicated than just a fight. lays bear the power dynamics and the arguments between kelly and bolton, so much more than that. >> let's talk about the fact that the president clearly from his tweet today thinks that the immigration issue is an issue, a big issue that could help drive republican turnouts in the mid-term elections. >> i think the president and a lot of republicans in their closing arguments in the mid-terms are use fearmongering tactics to try to gin up their base which is unfortunate. if the president doesn't think kirstjen nielsen is doing her job and thinks she should be a little tougher, if i remember during the obama administration, the homeland secretary went down to honduras and down to the south american countries.
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>> jae johnson. >> gave speeches in the native language. >> they said don't come down. >> how did that work out? >> there's valid criticism that have. what i'm saying is the trump administration ain't even done a little bit, you know what i'm saying? it's not enough to say don't come here. what due diligence is the trump administration doing and also threatening to snatch aid. how is that helpful to the folks in honduras? >> just to explain, the president saying today that if this caravan doesn't stop, president is going to cut off foreign aid to central american countries. >> listen, it's a serious crisis. this is a refugee cries, not an immigration crisis. the problem lies in the home countries, el salvador, honduras, guatemala. people aren't fleeing for theirs jobs, and their lives and to the extent that's not addressed they will keep coming. >> we'll take a quick break. president trump's pick for his new white house counsel may be all about the coming mid terms. we'll explain and everybody stick around. we'll talk to you after this. or. hey guys, up there.
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we've hadfor a long in san francisco and half-measures haven't fixed it. homelessness doesn't just hurt homeless people. it hurts all of us. that's why we're all voting "yes" on c. the plan is paid for by corporations that just got a massive tax break. it's time for them to give back by helping all of us to fix our homeless crisis. with more affordable housing... expanded mental-health services... clean restrooms and safe shelters. vote "yes" on c. it helps all of us. we're back with our politics lead, an abrupt change at what had been a relatively stable if embattled part of the west wick.
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the white house counsel's office as news broke that don mcgahn is headed for the exit. emmitt flood will fill that role while they wait for new pick hap sipiloni to start. typically the person stays on until the person is going to tin. the president and mcgahn had had a contentious relationship. the mcgwyn met with special counsel robert mueller, news that caught the president off guard and mcgahn was tired of the president and the president was tired of mcgahn. cnn's jessica dean joins us. is there any indication that the president will have a better relationship with the new guy sipiloni than he did with don mcgahn. >> i spoke with a lawyer who worked with the special counsel under president trump, and he told me president trump is
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comfortable with pat sipaloni who has been acting as an adviser to them and the two have already established a rapport. i'm told that this hiring comes down to one thing, that the trump white house gearing up for a partisan battle should the democrats take control of the house. new white house counsel will have his hands full, stepping into the job as the white house braces for potential legal storms following november's mid terms. the washington, d.c.-based lawyer was a senior justice department official during the george w. bush administration. when he was first being considered in august, president trump's personal attorney jay sekulow put out a statement praising sipaloni saying he's a brilliant attorney. i've had the privilege to work with him and can attest to his skill and intelgy. >> that shows the white house is gearing up should the democrats take to the house which could
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lead it a number of new investigations and perhaps even an impeachment battle. >> i think the president has to feel some degree of confidence that you can utilize those legal abilities in what is a political environment, that you bring to the job some sense of political sensitivity. he's going to have a lot on his plate at one time. >> reporter: as the head lawyer for the office of the presidency, the white house counsel advises the president and his staff on legal issues surrounding everything from policy to any investigations or subpoenas. >> make a public announcement. >> reporter: a tough position once dramatized on "the west wing." >> want the attorney general to appoint a special counsel, not just any, the most blood-spitting republican hating person in the bar. the new slogan around here is going to be bring it on. >> reporter: like that tv version, that may be sipaloni's
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slogan as he protects trump from any legal implications that could be damaging. >> i worked for a president who listened and who took advice and who respected advice and who unless it was patently off base followed that advice. you can't count on that with president trump. that's pretty clear. so that's going to be a challenge for him. >> reporter: former white house counsel don mcgahn found himself in a unique situation as a witness involved in the mueller investigation, as you mentioned, sitting for more than 30 hours worth of interviews. as a result attorney emmitt flood has been handling the white house's response to the investigation as special counsel to the president. again, he'll continue that work alongside sipal ho ni and be white house counsel until sipal ho ni starts. >> you know mr. sipaloni.
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>> 2012 rick santorum for president campaign. >> almost on that one. >> which didn't work out, but is he a -- in the immortal words of "the godfather," is they had a wartime concigliar ney. >> nobody can be ready and the only person who can be ready is emmitt flood. >> because he worked for bill clinton. >> he worked for the bush/cheney white house. >> private law firm. but he was a part of this getting prepared. >> for partisan fights. >> for the onslaught of subpoenas and investigations and document production, but pat is the a serious lawyer and serious member of the bar, very bright guy, litigator, and he's up to the task. >> let's talk about impeachment for a second because former vice president biden was -- did an interview with norah o'donnell at cbs and was asked about it, and he didn't seem to be waving the impeachment flag. take a listen. >> and if democrats win the
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house, do you believe that they may move forward with articles of impeachment? >> i hope they don't. i think we should wait until the report comes out. >> i hope they don't. there are democrats who have already filed papers of impeachment. >> yes. look, jake, democrats are not running on impeachment in this mid-term election. we're running on things like health care, the economy, tax breaks for working people, not corporations, and, look, an impeachable offense is whatever the house decides at the point in time it decides so with all due respect to vice president biden, if it's a democratic house, i think they will decide there is an impeachable offense prior to the mueller investigation being concluded, then they will be well within their rights to do that. i don't know -- >> listen, just to be fair. democrats, i they have already submitted articles of impeachment. sitting democrats have already done that so let's not -- >> and there are not only house and senate candidates, democrats who are running who are on the ballot this november, but 2020
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presidential candidates. >> absolutely. >> it will take care of itself. all across the country, volunteering for challengers, house candidates who are democrats, from new york, nevada, illinois, texas. none of them, none of them, because they realize it's a lose issue. >> they are running as symone says, every democrat in america ought to be advertising on that. you don't want to put the country through impeachment. >> he's the best politician in your party. >> mitch mcconnell's gift to the democrats. >> and speaking of mitch mcconnell, mitch mcconnell says after the mid terms republicans might try to repeal obamacare again saying, quote, if we had the votes to completely start over we'd do it but that depends what happens in a couple of weeks. we're not satisfied with the way obamacare is working. however, take a look at how voters feel about obamacare in this new poll. 53% have a favorable view of the affordable care act or obamacare and 42% have an unfavorable
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view. how does obamacare -- i don't hear every single one of president trump's rallies, but it doesn't seem like he focuses as much -- talks about obamacare. he talks about the attempt to repeal, and he takes a shot at john mccain even after he passed away, but it doesn't seem to be a focus of his speeches. >> it's not, and it used to be a really big one because he was so incensed about that. now he's talking about medicare for all. has a few more hits worked into that rally where he gives the same speeches at most of these, but he's becoming increasingly concerned about the mid-terms. he's not going to take responsibility if the democrats do take back the housing, and he's pubically saying he thinks republicans are going to be fine which is not what republicans -- >> the president should be saying that. >> republicans don't want him to say that but trump is increasingly saying that but behind the walls in the west wing people are readily admitting they believe this can happen. >> that the democrats will take the house. >> they are pretty much prepared for that. whatever that is going to entail is more worry sosusa worrisome
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pat sipaloni. don mcgahn and the president had a love-hate relationship, mostly hate, described as a tortured relationship because you see how president trump viewed don mcgahn as his personal lawyer, not the white house counsel which he was. it's interesting to see how he fits into this mold, how he interacts with the president as the president becomes increasingly agitated that the mueller probe hasn't wrapped up, and if as based on our reporting there are more indictments to come from mueller and what not, we're going to see that increase, so it will be interesting to see how president trump treats sipaloni. we know based on our reporting from evan perez we wasn't told that this is how we're going to roll out the job when president trump announced during the interview. >> announced in the a.p. interview. >> didn't have this worked out because they had to name emmitt flood has white house counsel council so there's already chaos
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behi behind the scenes. >> let's talk about some of the races, a slew of fascinating races. i want to run a little bit of an ad from senator joe donnelly, democrat running in a very, very red state of indiana. the latest poll shows the race is essentially a tossup. take a look at the new joe donnelly ad, and just a reminder, this is a democrat. >> i'm guessing his internal polling shows different. >> i split with my own party to support funding for trump's border wall. the liberal left wants to chop defense spending, no way. i'm not into a fair fight. i'm about giving our troops the edge. i've always been pro-life and pro gun, and mike braun, he shifts jobs to china. >> honestly, that's one of the most -- that is one of the most trumpy ads i've ever seen in terms of his messaging. >> love it. >> the liberal left, border wall, give our troops an edge, pro-life, pro gun, goes after
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the republicans. that's a fairly reliable democratic vote. >> look, i like senator donnelly. if i was one of his consultants i might not sign off on his ad. i'm looking forward to him winning re-election. there's a number of democrats across the country doing what they need to do without compromising their values. i can't say the same for their values. >> fact check, everything he said was absolutely true and in his record. i checked. the nerd website 538 says joe votes with trump 53.8% of the time so that's a legit honest ad. i have a problem with candidates half the time. >> he votes with trump quite a bit. >> the way they calculate -- the way that the nerds calculate it, but that's a far cry from my beloved texas there's a republican congressman will hurd. he's running as if he's bipartisan. he votes 97.5% of the time with trump. joe is not partisan here in
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washington. i think he has every right to go home to indiana and say i'm not part man. >> a guy running to be the next joe donnelly as it were is phil bredesen, former governor of tennessee. he's running in tennessee against congresswoman marcia blackburn and a new shows the race essentially deadlocked, 45-45 and i heard from a republican source saying that's not so different from internals that republicans v.maybe blackburn gets a little bit of an edge, but that's a tight race, too, in tennessee. >> listen, phil bredesen was an incredibly popular mayor of tennessee and incredibly popular governor of step see and a great retail politician. marcia blackburn not as popular statewide. getting the trump bounce and bredesen is fighting his own because he's a great politician. >> what do republicans in the white house think that they are going to pick up seats in the senate, that it's going to stay the same, or do you they like at indiana and tennessee and say we might even lose a few seats? >> depends on how hopeful they are and those around washington
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and have worked for other people, people who didn't come here with trump, you know, from new york or from wherever, they are not so confident. they really do see that this could be a very real problem for them, and they are trying to look ahead to the future, how they are going to react when the democrats do take back the house, what is their plan going to be? >> speaking of races, tune into cnn at 7:00 p.m. eastern this evening for a live town hall in texas with senate candidate beto o'rourke. dana bash will moderate. senator ted cruz was invited several times to appear in his own town hall. he declined. the reason why president trump doesn't want the fbi to leave the building next. they gre as they always do. sergeant baker, how are you? they took care of everything a to z. having insurance is something everyone needs, but having usaa- now that's a privilege. oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (vo) people with type 2 diabetes
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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, but they've done nothing. sky-high gas and food prices.
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homelessness. gavin newsom, it happened on your watch. so, yeah. it is time for a change. time for someone new. the president is keeping fbi headquarters close, very close to the white house, but democrats are asking if scrapping plans to move the fbi headquarters is actually a
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scheme to boost business at the trump hotel in d.c. new internal government e-mails released today show the president was directly involved in the decision to keep the fbi headquarters in washington, d.c. instead of the previous plans to move them to the suburbs. cnn's tom foreman joins us in our conflict of interest watch series. tom, the president's business interests are have led to court cases could. that happen here? >> reporter: it could. could certainly get very messy. congressional democrats are demanding a pile of papers from the trump administration explaining how this massive plan to build a new fbi headquarters suddenly changed course. who was behind it and who might stand to profit. overcrowded, outdated and crumbling, plans to relocate and rebuild fbi headquarters have been in the works for years with government studies showing how it could be moved from downtown d.c. to one of several possible sites in nearby maryland or virginia. the cost, $3.6 billion tax
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dollars, but now a different plan is calling for the fbi's center to be rebuilt right where it is, even though it would be smaller than the suburban alternative, likely have security risks and be more expensive, $3.8 billion, so who came up with that? >> i'm a real estate guy. i build buildings. >> reporter: a study by the inspector general of the general services administration traces a series of meetings in which the suburban plan was pushed aside by the trump administration amid claims that keeping the headquarters downtown would be cheaper. the ig report shows team trump's math is wrong though press secretary sarah sanders insists the president wanted to save the government money and also the fbi leadership did not want to move its headquarters. skeptics, however, suspect a hidden motive. for years donald trump had been all for freeing up that fbi land downtown for private
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development. with his brand-new hotel close by and even talking about getting in on the action, but congressional democrats in a letter to the gsa say something important changed. after he was sworn in as president and became ineligible as a federal employee to obtain the property, he reportedly became dead opposed to the government selling the property which would have allowed commercial developers to compete directly with the trump hotel. he was directly involved with the decision to abandon the long-term relocation plan and instead move ahead with the more expensive proposal. there is no proof so far and the white house insists once again house democrats have it all wrong, but those democrats are demanding the paperwork to prove it. >> the government won't turn over the information on the president's exact reasoning. why is the president doing this? >> why we just don't know but inspector general found an administration official may have misled congress about the
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president's role in all of this reigniting the long smouldering concerns about potential conflicts of interest for this billionaire president. jake? >> tom foreman, thanks so much. both sides point to the president's direct involvement in this plan. do you think this is a serious issue? >> we don't know yet. he is the president. he has a right to have a direct voice in where the fbi is located. i don't have a problem with that, but this conflict of interest will always hang over him. jimmy carter was a people farmer and put his peanut warehouse in a blind trust so that nobody could say people were buying peanuts from him to influence him. this guy owns a huge hotel right down the street. the problem is he should have divested himself of all of this. he should still. he is going to be tied in knots by discovery. god forbid there's somebody at the fbi that says the president in an e-mail -- the president wants to improve his real estate values so "x." that's the kind of thing that could come out with proper oversight from congress >> is this something that the white house takes seriously? obviously they have been dealing with questions about conflicts
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of interest from the very beginning when the president did not put his assets in a blind trust. >> that was one of the problems that the white house faced on a regular basis because of the trump hotel here in d.c. blocks from the white house where he regularly holds fund-raisers. i think it's the only place in washington he goes to besides private fund-raisers at people's homes, but that is the question. does -- is anything else going to come out from this report that shows as much, but the white house is saying, no, he simply was merely following the wishes of the fbi when he made this decision. >> just to be clear, so everybody in the real world knows and doesn't live here in d.c. there's lots of other hotels in washington, lots of hotels across the street, the marriott, the w, tons of hotels up and down pennsylvania avenue so the notion that they won't let the fbi move so another hotel comes to pennsylvania save somewhat far-fetched. i will say to paul's point, look, this is something the white house and pat sipaloni buckle in because a lot of this is going to be coming, a lot of
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it. >> the began service administration igeneral report concluded that officials greatly underestimated the cost of keeping the fbi headquarters in d.c. and additionally said the gsa was not taking into account the money earned from selling the hoover building land so it's unclear whether or not financially keeping it was the right decision. >> absolutely, which is why i think congress sent a left asking for more information. i don't think we should paper over the fact that donald trump had been on record previously when he was a private business owner. >> he wanted to buy it. >> he wanted the land and all of a sudden he becomes president his mind changes because he's now ineligible to buy the land. not about the another hotel. it's about anybody else not donald trump, so this is why congress needs to exert proper oversight. i wish the republicans in congress would do that. since they haven't, if democrats win the housing, they will do so congress 2018. >> the congress does a terrible job, has been doing a terrible job of exercising their constitutional responsibility of
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oversight. >> and this is the kind of thing that congress could actually do an oversight hearing and find out that the there's nothing there and they don't do it. >> right. >> it also comes the week that pro publica reported that president trump and his family regularly misled investors and potential buyers to mick a profit off their real estate projects. ivanka trump told reporters 60% of the united states of the tower in soho were sold. in reality 15% and that tower has since gone bankrupt. ivanka trump says the trump international hotel in toronto was virtually sold out of units and in reality only 29% of its units, 2016 bankruptcy file and the five-letter name t-r-u-m-p being stripped from buildings in new york after being licensed years ago. when it comes to the trump hotel question, it's not as though this family hasn't been accused
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of shading business dealings though we should point out shady in real estate is not the same thing as illegal. >> a difference between hyperbole. >> people have lost money, saying the trumps are doing this. almost all the units are filled. >> and i'm sure there will be lawsuits. >> you can say this is the great, most excellent typical trumpian hyperbole. when you say 60% of the units are swhoeld itold when it's 20% accurate reporting, that's fraud. >> i'm sure there will be lawsuits for recouping the money. >> the narrative that the president is a liar and the family has lied about the business and seems to have trouble will telling the truth. >> does matter to voteers? >> yeah, it matters. i think it's becoming a trend and into the trend people are getting comfortable w.folks honestly thought that donald trump would grow out of this as he became president and the fact that he's not. if he'll lie about small things the president will lie about
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large things. what else has the president been untruthful about? that lickers in the pack of people's minds. >> people who thought president trump was a liar before all of this are still going to think he's a liar and people who do not think he's a liar and thinks that the media is make stuff up and their reporting is inaccurate so -- >> she's got t. >> there are voters in the middle. >> "new york times" story about the president's taxes saying he engaged in all sorts of things that were clearly fraud and against the law and it lasted a couple of days. >> but he's not running yet. this will come back when he's back on the ballot, and not simple police in terms of is he a tax cheat, right? it's going to be he lied about that. he's also lying about your social security and your medicare this. thing is all going to be about entitlements. mitch mcconnell wants to cut medicare and social security so i can pay for my tax cuts. we know now and we've known for a long time. leave republicans alone with the room with the lights off they will steal your social security. that's what they will do.
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>> not attached to social security. >> he lied just like he said 60% of the units were sold. donald trump lies. >> it's a big leap. >> big leap. >> thank you so much. coming up next, an usual and unexpected invitation to north korea's dictator an atheist inviting pope francis to the hermit kingdom, but will the pontiff accept? stay with us. ♪ ignition sequence starts. 10... 9... guidance is internal. 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
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minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
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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.
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happening now. breaking news. a few more days. the white house is prepared to let the saudis keep trying to come up with an explanation for the apparent murder of the u.s.-based journalist jam a.g. khashoggi as the "new york times" reports that the sawedries considering blaming an intelligence general close to their crown prince. profanly-laced fight. two top white house officials get in a heated shouting match laced with swear words. sources say national security adviser john bolton and chief of staff john kelly had it out over border crossings. will one of them resign? manafort in