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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  November 7, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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that's not how presidents behave. i mean, i'm glad he reads the stage directions aloud so we all know what's in his mind. that's not allowed. even if it's an empty threat and he has guardrails around him in jeff sessions for the time being that will prevent him from doing that, paul ryan and mitch mcconnell, people who doesnn't point this out, that that's not how presidents are supposed to behave, like i don't know what kind of world you're preparing. this doesn't end with him. then a democratic president threatens to do it to a republican congress. it's not allowed. it's not acceptable. >> but it also gave away what he really knows happened yesterday. >> exactly. >> he's backed into a corner and he knows it. for all this i won, this is a great day, that was a squirrel cornered in the back of the room feeling threatened. >> his response is to threaten
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everybody. what you just saw from nancy pelosi, that is now the most important relationship in washington. assuming she wins the speakership, we'll see, but assuming she does and her relationship with president trump, he comes out with bombastic threats and intimidatio intimidations, she's very cautious, slow down, we'll investigate our case. president says i don't like you, i'm going to get you. this is going to be fascinating to let this play out. she has a tough management, too, within her group. she's clearly convinced everything to don't take the bait. >> there are a lot of people who are members of the resistance who are finding speaker pelosi's tone wanting, it's not enough, it's wrong for the moment. this is not going to be -- she's not going to be a match for president trump. >> i think that's fair criticism because her tone does not all resonate with those who are
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wanting people to punch back towards the president, not simply because they have an aversion to his policies, but because sometimes the idea of meeting fire with fire actually makes the american electorate feel as though there is a champion for them. i think many people feel as though in 2020 while there may be candidate, there may not be contenders. that's the real core issue for many democrats. i also look at the the issue as the president projecting his own impotence on nancy pelosi. he knows full well that the power of congress right now and the power of a majority of democrats in the house of representatives has subpoena power and he cannot shield or not get himself behind say devin nunez, who may run back and tell a number of things. he knows full well that is his achilles heel. it's apparent to everyone watching it. one reason you can applaud her, though her tone is lacking in perhaps the equal combativeness, is that she's aware she may not flex if her muscles are already
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apparent. she can look at this issue and say that's well and great but there are 50 subpoena waiting from elijah cummings on the issues of waste and fraud and tax abuse and collusion. they've been waiting for you. while she was tempered, it may not appeal to the emotional interest of people in voting, but her appeal doesn't have to be. at this point in time it can be actually i already have your number, it's the number 50 and it comes with a subpoena at the end of it. >> and also she knows, your point, jake, about republican leaders who have a duty to point out that that's not right, that there is oversight and we should try and do it in a way that's kol e collegial instead of mcconnell saying it's akin to harassment. she said you don't always take
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the bait. that's what she would tell her members out there. you don't fight the fight he wants you to fight, we're going to fight on a different ground. i'll tell you something, the problem that democrats have is they think beyond the moment of today to 2020 is that as offe offended as they may be by him, not only does he have a reservoir of support for that loaded language, that's his life blood where she could have something potentially up her sleeve that could be more effective. >> i remember when we were covering the bush administration and the democrats took over in 2006, she had so much pressure on her to start articles of impeachment against president bush for the iraq war. real pressure. we maybe don't remember it now, but it was not a joke from the liberals. she shut it down and got a lot of flak for it. >> the e-mail you just read from lindsey graham criticizing the
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white house is interesting. mitch mcconnell does not want his committee chairman doing what just happened in the house in the rear view mirror, like devon nunez. mitch mcconnell has no interest in that. >> but it's suggested he would employ -- >> can he now trumpify the republican senate because republican senate because he's lost that in the house. it's going to be interesting to watch what does lindshe do? now there's going to be pressure from the president on this growing republican senate, which he just helped grow, he's going to say help me. now their dna is we don't do that stuff, but we shall see if th this yet another barrier of trump america falls. >> this is a trumpier senator and trumpier house conference. the moderates and critics have been weaned out by the most part
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by the voters. >> because this is a republican party modeled on donald trump. >> and they're going to owe him. >> it is the complete takeover of donald trump's version of politic politics. that is the republican party now. there is no establishment versus grass roots. that is gone. paul ryan has retired. those moderates in the suburbs have left. this is donald trump's republican party through and through. >> on the issue of bait, though, it has to be said because i know the media was attacked. you touched on this issue as well. the issue of not taking the bait and projecting, there has to be kudos extended to everyone who did not take the bait of trying to deflect and reject and be defensive and becoming trump's republican party and the media responding tit for tat. the media certainly showed that today from the microphone being grabbed by jim acosta. >> the president opened up that hour and a half appearance
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before the news media in the east room of the white house, attacking the news media, continued throughout the questioning, and he ended it with the same we've been hearing a lot of it, the news media is the enemy of the american people. he had this, change with our own chief white house correspondent jim acosta. >> you know what -- >> honestly, i think you should let me run the country, you run cnn. and if you did it well, your ratings will be much better. >> mr. president, if i may ask one other question. >> that's enough. that's enough. >> the other folks had -- pardon me, ma'am. >> excuse me, that's enough. beto, let's go. >> on the russia investigation, are you concerned that you may have -- >> i'm not concerned about anything, what you may have an investigation because it's a hoax. that's enough. put down the mic. >> are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation? >> mr. president -- >> i tell you what, cnn should
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be ashamed of itself having you working for them. you are a rude, terrible person. you shouldn't be working -- >> let me bring in jim acosta now if i can. i believe he's at the white house. jim, that must have been a surreal experience. obviously you were being very aggressive, as is the job of a white house correspondent. david gregory and i are sitting here talking about our experiences pissing off everybody in that room, pissing off president obama and president bush and asking questions that made them mad but president trump went on a personal rant against you for the questions you were attempting to ask. >> reporter: well, when they go low, i ask the questions. it was about a lie he told about this caravan of immigrants
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moving to the u.s. border was somehow an invasion when it's not, they are still hundreds of miles away and they pose nothing of a threat to the united states, but the president used that language, obviously as we've talked about so many times, to galvanize his base. he didn't like hearing that question, didn't like being challenged on that point and he certainly doesn't like being called out for his falsehoods. as you mentioned, that's our job, that's what wolf did here as a white house correspondent as well. i was struck by the fact that the president we thought was going to come in and do this victory lap, it sounded very much like a pity party. he was talking about lawmakers that wouldn't stand by him on the gop side and various house races. he seems to be unaware of the fact that his immigration rhetoric and rhetoric on many levels was turning off a lot of suburban swing district voters. he doesn't understand that. i think the other point that needs to be made is during this press conference, the president
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time and again seemed to be attacking journalists of color. he was attacking my friend april ryan, telling her to sit down. at one point he went after anisce from pbs, saying she was concerned he was a nationalist. it was a very fair question. i asked it in the white house oval office a couple of weeks ago and he answered the question in there. despite the fact that they were framing this as a victory lap and he was tweeting up a storm like he was all fired up for 2020, he sounded, i thought, very depressed, very despondent, almost defeated in the way he was talking about these election results. i think that's probably why you saw things spiral out of control. we're not used to -- the president is not used to seeing himself lose and he lost big. he loves t he lost the house of representatives. while people are spinning there
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was a red wave in the senate and so on, what we saw in the east room i thought was really an acknowledgement on the president's part that he does somewhat feel like he lost something yesterday and that he understands that the job moving forward is going to get a whole lot tougher in this town because he does have the house of representatives now falling into the democratic hands. but as for being called the enemy of the people and so on, jake, wolf, all of our folks on the set there with you, i think the american people know we're friends of the american people, we're going to defend the american people and we're going to stand up for our rights to seek the truth in this country, and the president can call us all the names in the world but we're going to keep doing our jobs. >> let me read a statement that cnn has released following your exchange with the president at this news conference and other journalists' exchange. "this president's ongoing attacks on the press have gone
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too far. they are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-american. while president trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has sworn obligation to protect it. a free press is vital to democracy and we stand behind jim accosta and his fellow journalists everywhere." that's a very strong statement from cnn. >> president trump attacked nbc, pbs, people from conservative news outlets, he attacked the press. if you just read the transcript of what acosta was asking the president and what president trump's response was, acosta was asking about the ads and the mueller investigation. those are all legitimate lines of inquiry. that is our job to ask these questions. maybe some people don't like how
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one or another reporter asks a question. it doesn't really matter. the point is the questions, we're supposed to bring them to the president. the president's response was to personally, personally attack jim acosta. this is the president of the united states, all right. we're not on equal footing. the president is way up here. individual reporters are way down here. we are supposed to ask them questions and, yes, they always think we're rude, impertinent. obama thought it, bush thought it, clinton thought it. it goes on and on and on. so the idea that cnn is putting out a statement like that is great and what i like about it the most is they're not just standing up for accoosta, they' talking about everybody in that room. >> we mentioned it earlier but it bears repeating the president said three times an african-american reporter's question about his use of the word nationalism, his embracing of that concept that questioning
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that is racist, i don't even know where to start with that. it makes no sense at all. the term nationalism, anybody who has studied it for more than five minutes has an understanding that of course there are racial not just tinges to it, there's a racial bent to it. it has been used in a very racial way. whether he knew it or not, he should have known it. and then by making it worse by calling an african-american reporter basically racist, saying her question was racist but it's not that different -- >> but that's how he plays. that's how he plays. >> it doesn't make sense. >> the first time he said "i'm a nationalist," he opened it by saying "i know i'm not supposed to say this." >> he knows that word has baggage and he knew in the last weeks of the campaign where he escalated a legitimate debate about border security, a
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legitimate debate about illegal immigration into race baiting and fear mongering and now he thinks it works when he looks at the senate map. now that is his due fauefault to confrontation with the press. the african-american woman journalist asking the question, i was trying to make the point earlier about nancy pelosi. in addition to the default to race and fear, this president does not like being challenged by women. so i am just fascinated by the coming relationship, if nancy pelosi assumes the speakership and donald trump is the president for all this talking reviving infrastructure week and cutting a deal on immigration, nancy pelosi in her own way, trump does it with bomb bast. she does it with a smirk. >> let me just say today, this extraordinary spectacle we saw was full of threats and shaming
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of his own republican members of congress and journalists and, you know, it was full of grievance. here's a man who came out and tried to make the case this was a great success for me. this is great, we kept the senate, look at what i did, i was so important in winning the senate. and then he devolves into into invective and grievance. listening to him today, anything that went wrong was about other people, people who didn't hug him, it was about the media and nancy pelosi. he let us now how he really felt. >> we may see, to your point about the relationship, this new world order in washington, i think there are going to be pretty epic battles over the
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institutions and the president's attempted destruction of those institutions. nancy pelosi has made that a running argument of her entire fall campaign. she's not going to impeachment, she's not caught up much about tax returns initially right now, but she does day after day on the campaign trail and in the last 24 hours make this argument about institutions under attack and the article i role in the constitution and the first amendment role of the free press, and this president has been on a strategic mission from the day he got in office to chip away at these institutions. i think we are going to see now that democrats have some leg of a stool here of power, i do think we're going to see again and again they're going to knock heads over this very notion of whether or not our institutions are going to continue to be knocked down or actually built back up. >> we will soon hear from one of those institutions he's also
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attacked, robert mueller. >> no one would be delusional enough to think every time you interrupt only the black female reporters, every time you patronize them because of their questioning that this goes unnoticed. it's proven by just last night's election results. the year of the woman became the day of the woman. more than 100 women for the first time will represent congress. it's not just nancy pelosi. it's about the two native american women for the first time, all the women coming great strides. having said, that the president's tactics in some way and the republican party in turm of gerrymandering, in terms of voter suppression, those were successful in some areas. i think that notion by the president feeling emboldened by the aspect of if i can silence certain people votes, i can carry that with me going forward.
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that's one of the most concerning thing for voters going forward, why you have a lawsuit in places like georgia about having brian kemp overseeing the counting of the runoff, why you have people looking at these issues. people are noticing what happened today on a much grander scale and it will have consequences, if not today or yesterday, in 2020 most assuredly. >> and the flip side of what david was saying in terms of the attempts to chip at the at the igs constituti institution of a free press, the reality is the opposite. the president as are in a golde being accountable, being annoying, what they are there to do. there's a lot of great journalism and there's also bad journalism. the media has been fractured in a way that really bothers political figures, some know how to deal with it, some don't. we're trying to figure it out. the reality is that the
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fundamentals of our job are really, really strong and they are revealing everything that the president is, his strengths, his weaknesses, his temperament, all of that is coming out because the president is doing its job. >> april ryan has been a long-time correspondent. she tried to get a question to the president. let me play this clip. >> sit down, please. sit down! i didn't call you. i didn't call you. i didn't call you. i'll give you voter suppression. excuse me, i'm not responding to you. i'm talking to this gentleman. will you please sit down. it's such a hostile media. it's so sad. you ask me about -- no, you rudely interrupted him. you rudely interrupted him. >> april is joining us right now. she's over at the white house. so, april, tell us how that went. >> reporter: well, you saw how it went, wolf. wolf, you know, like we have done for years, been here 21 years and this is not my first time at a press conference.
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there was an opening from one journalist to another, there was a space where i screamed out "mr. president," and i'm sitting in the second route, "mr. president, what about voter suppression"? he heard me, he responded to me. i stood up thinking he was going to continue. then he told me to sit down. you heard him respond about voter suppression. then he talked about voter suppression with cnn poll numbers. i stood up because that comment was kind of trite. i said, mr. president, what about north dakota, what about florida as well as georgia because the naacp is now dealing with some of these voter irregularity issues they've been hearing in the state of georgia and florida. it was a very serious question. so he blew it off. then another reporter, iesha roscoe from npr followed it up and he was flip as well. so he does not take this issue
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seriously. we saw numbers, i saw video out of atlanta, one video that came from the morehouse polling district in a black community that had a very low number of polling machines and they had a long line wrapped around on the inside. they had to get people like reverend jesse jackson and others to help solve the situation. it was a real question. i asked him. he responded. then when he saw it was me, he told me to sit down. >> he did call on the white house correspondent from pbs. i'm going to play that exchange he had with her. >> hi, mr. president. i'm with "pbs newshour." you called yours a nationalist on the campaign trail. some people -- >> that's such a racist question. >> reporter: there are some saying the republican party is seen as supporting the nationalists -- >> i don't believe that. why do i have my highest poll numbers ever with
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african-americans? why do i have among the highest poll numbers with african-americans? that's such a racist question. honestly, i mean, i know you have it written down and you're going to tell me. let me tell you, that's a racist question. you know what the word is? i love our country. i do. you have nationalists, you have globalists. i also love the world. and i don't mind helping the world. but we have to straighten out our country first. we have a lot of problems. excuse me. to say what you said to me is so insulting to me. it's a very terrible thing that you said. >> let me get april's reaction to that. >> yeah, i was in the room and i was taken aback to hear him say that was a racist statement or racist question. this president said that he's a nationalist. define what a nationalist means. when he said he was a nationalist, there were people in the black community that were up in arms about it. when you say the word
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nationalist, they feel that you have to put white next to it and that's the white supremacist groups and white supremacy. and she asked a real question because there is a concern about saying he's a nationalist. he is a white man who is a nationalist. there are people who are concerned that that is code for white nationalist. what the president has to do now at this moment is to explain what his white nationalist -- what his nationalism means as there is a linkage of white nationalist, but he's a nationalist. it's confusing. but there is a concern about it and the reporter is now -- she has the residue of hate, you know. he called her statement or question racist and he was insulted. it was not meant to be insulting. it was meant to get clarity on what he was saying, that's all. >> you know, jake, reporters as we keep pointing out, you were a white house correspondent, i was a white house correspondent, at a news conference like this in
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the east room of the white house, you stand up and ask your question, it can be a very tough question, the president might not like it, very often they don't but i've never heard a president respond the way this president did. >> no. look, if the president has an explanation for his use of the word nationalist, i don't mean it that way, i'm trying to reclaim it, i just mean it in terms of i am not a globalist, i am about the united states, then make that explanation. you know, that is a perfectly logical explanation. the word has baggage. a lot of people have not used the word. i had senator santorum on my show a few weeks ago when president trump said this and he said he would not call himself that because of the historical bag and of the word. rick santorum is not exactly some shrinking violet. if he felt strongly, he would use it. but if you want to make the argument, make the argument. the idea that any reporter asking that question, in
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particular an african-american woman is asking a racist question just boggles the mind. it is a perfectly legitimate question and i'm sure there is a will the answer. i've had kfconversations with conservatives that the idea that this is a code word, a dog whistle is not fair. that's fine. make the argument that the word is not racist, is not meant to be a dog whistle. >> but let's not be surprised. >> but no one should be surprised because this is how the president does that. you challenge that, he attacks you harder and that's what this press conference was all about. i feel threatened, therefore i'm going to threaten everybody here. >> when former democrat, then independent donald trump decided he was going to be a republican, how did he make his entry? barack obama is not a legitimate president. this has been calling card since day one. >> and he said "i'm a
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nationalist," he brought back the incredibly loaded term of america first, which is -- so to be a nationalist, it has racist overtones, it has anti-semitic overtones in the way that nationalists around the world have used it in other errors. but the reporter is a model as well. she was unflappable. that is what we all are trying to do, which is to keep our head down, keep driving. keep asking the question, ask the follow up and try not to pay attention to what the president is doing because it is exposing what the president is doing. everybody can see what that is. >> what is so sad and i think all of us will agree, that on this day after the midterm elections, where there were some significant republican wins, significant democratic wins, the president had an opportunity to come out and say the right thing and say you know what, the election is now behind us, it's time to work together, we've got a lot of important things to do, let's focus in on the positive, i want to work with nancy pelosi
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and we can make things happen. instead he came out so combative. it was a very sad moment. >> full of grievance. when he was reading his statements, he told us he went to 30 rallies and how much more he did than other presidents had done and that's fair, that's legit. but then it devolves into all of this. i'm reminded having covered trump as all of us have for a while, when he first started in public life, whether it was in with tabloids. he always had great press. the donald had great press all over new york. he posed for himself own p.r. person, he used to love playing with the press kind of. he was the tabloid king. so he lived for years with all this great media about how he
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had, you know, taken his father's business and built it alone into something much bigger. we now know that is not the case. so it really grates on him that he gets to washington and he is not treated in the same way that he was like the new york press. >> you're right. and we shouldn't forget the contrast we've all seen this afternoon in the person who is going to be his most important foe, potential partner, all of the above, and that is nancy pelosi. because, look, she acted like frankly many women do, which is ignore the noise and let's get down to business and that should not be overlooked in her approach. >> meanwhile, not every race is called. there are still outstanding senate and house seats. i'm going to go to mark preston right now who has a key race alert. >> reporter: jake, it's been a tough 24 hours for democrats but you know what?
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they're doing well right now in montana. we can now predict that john tester will win reelection in montana. this is a race we had to wait a little bit to call because of this factor right here. if you look right here, this is where the outstanding vote is, jake, in montana. there was just no way that his republican opponent could make up that ground. this is an interesting race when it comes to donald trump, it was a very personal race for donald trump because it was john tester who went after ronny jackson, who was donald trump's v.a. secretary pick. remember he was the white house doctor, became the v.a. secretary pick and john tester released information that was very damaging to him. so when it comes to donald trump, he would have liked to see john tester lose. but as we move along, though, this was a very good night had it comes to republicans in general right here, if you go here, look at this, jake. this is just really an amazing bit of information here. you have claire mccaskill, she loses.
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specifically we're talking about a year of the woman right there. up in north dakota, heidi heitkamp loses as well and over in indiana where mike pence is from, joe donnelly loses. democrats thought he was going to pull this one out. democrats can also take a little solace in knowing they picked back up this seat in nevada. we've seen dean heller go down. the big problem, jake, as we talk about what's happening in florida, we have no resolution right now. it looks like this is going to go to a recount. we have seen bill nelson, the incumbent senator, demand one. governor rick scott has laughed it off. we haven't seen what's happening here. i would expect to see quite a few lawyers from the national parties down in florida as soon as possible. jake? >> i'm just looking at that number, mark. it has the incumbent senator nelson behind 0.4 percentage points? is that about right? because we all have the scars to show it from florida recounts, if the margin of victory is 0.5
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or below, there's an automatic state recount, is that right? >> that's right. that would get you to the recount because it is .4, jake. rick scott's people think no matter what happens, there's not enough vote to make it up. but still, this is a fight that we will see that will go on certainly for the next few days, if not for the next few weeks. >> florida recounts, they happen as we all know. >> what the final number is from the secretary of state on saturday will determine whether or not -- >> they have to go through absentee ballots. >> no hanging chads this time. >> and county by county, some of them will go over the vote again to make sure that they have the official count and they're going to be pressed on. let's talk about the landscape of the senate. that's one pick up for democrats in nevada and potentially four for republicans, making the
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margin of victory -- so that's 54 votes theoretically? >> assuming the mississippi senate leelection -- >> we still don't know what's going to happen in arizona. so 54 as of now and it could be 55. >> assuming rick scott does emerge as the winner in florida. right now they're at plus two. nevada went to the democrats, north dakota, indiana and missouri went to the republicans. if scott does emerge from this, the republicans are at plus three. that's a big pick up. i'll just say donald trump actually had some good news to share, and it is amazing to me that he would rather have this fight, relish this fight with the press than actually continue to tout the good news of a nearly, truly well-padded public majority, helps on judicial
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confirmations, if he's going to have a cabinet shuffle, helps him getting people confirmed into his administration. >> amazing but not surprising. >>a and some of the governors that he helped as well. >> florida, another big 2020 battleground, ohio. mike dewine is not a donald trump partner but he owes him a little bit. kim reynolds held on in iowa. there are good reasons for republicans to say in what we thought was a blue year, we did some good things. let me be a little skunk in the garden about indiana and missouri. it's hard to be an incumbent senator, the president's campaigning helped. claire mccaskill and bradley were almost accidental senators. mitch mcconnell thought he had those seats six years ago and the whole tea party things made his primaries delicious and wonderful and interesting and they won.
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>> did i dream this? president trump said a year ago nobody thought that hyeidi heitkamp -- did he say that? >> as somebody who went to north korea, heidi heitkamp was in the fight of her life, but probably even she wouldn't agree with the president's statement. she knew she had an incredibly uphill battle. he did convince kevin cramer, who is the senator elect to run. he didn't want to run. kevin cramer told me point blank i didn't want to run and the president called me. >> there's also the kavanaugh effect, the contentious kavanaugh hearing. it was a slumbering gop electorate that got energized and the president went to campaign in the states where he was popular and where kavanaugh
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was and where all of that shook out positively for republicans. it was important because it allowed the president to unite all wings of the republican party, which he has not done otherwise. >> from never trump to always trump, everybody came around. >> right. because again, if you care about -- if you care about life, if you care about other social issues, he's delivered on the supreme court. what's interesting is he specifically declined to go down that road that could have helped suburban republicans by kavanau emphasizing the economy. >> to follow up on that point again, the president deserves credits, the republicans made gains they thought they were going to lose. but the national referendum was the house. all 435 are up. if you look at the results here, a president -- he doesn't like to remember this -- a president who lost the popular vote by a pretty good number actually shrunk his base yesterday. we have no idea if that will
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carry over. bill clinton got his butt kicked in '94 and pretty easily won reelection. president obama got shellacked, pretty easily won reelection. but the president lost republicans. the president was not on the ballot. the republican vote, they lost in the suburbs, their african-american numbers went down from the presidential election, latino numbers went down from the presidential election, the asian numbers went down from the presidential election, the white educated women number went down from the presidential election. he saw his base shrink last night, not grow. that's not good going into 2020. >> he did something i don't think any of us have seen before, i certainly haven't seen it, he shamed some fellow republicans who were defeated in the elections publicly. listen to this. >> we saw the candidates that i supported achieve tremendous
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success last night. as an example of the 11 candidates we campaigned with during the last week, nine won last night. this vigorous campaigning stop, the blue wave that they talked about, i don't know if there ever was such a thing but could have been. if we didn't do the campaigning, probably there could have been some who decided to let's stay away. they did poorly. i'm not sure that i should be happy or sad, but i feel just fine about it. carlos cubella, mike kauffman, too bad, mike. mia love. i saw mia love. she'd call me all the time to help her with a hostage situation. being held hostage in venezuela,
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but mia love gave me no love and she lost. too bad. >> he mentions a couple more. barbara comstock of northern virginia, peter rascomb, he publicly shames them and as you said earlier, dancing on their graves. >> it's ridiculous. and you lost the house, you should be sad. and too bad about congressman mike kofman, who has been a republican congressman, he's probably the only kind of republican who could have that seat. you're not going to elect a trump republican in the suburbs of denver. it's going to be either a moderate republican or what they have no, a democrat. and listen about mia love. they haven't called that race yet. she hasn't officially lost. she might ultimately end up winning that seat. so the idea that he's dancing on
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her grave when she's still alive is remarkable. >> is there a ryan costello tweet, if you could get that. >> the other thing that was so remarkable about this, wolf, is the fact that he remembers about mia love. she called me for help with a hostage in venezuela. as if she in doing that, in asking for the president of the united states to help save an american who was being held hostage abroad, thatthat'sher asking for a favor and therefore she should have shown loyalty to him, as if she wasn't just doing her constitutional duty of trying to save an american and asked the president, who is charged with protecting us all, to help her in that task, as if it somehow involved. it's just a bizarre way to look at the world. >> i'll put it up on the screen. i want david chalian to read it in his own style. >> this is a republican congressman retiring from pennsylvania. >> can i quickly jump in?
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he retired. the president mobbcked those wh retired today. >> he complained the chairman didn't want to lose their power. he tweeted "to deal with harassment and filth spewed at gop mocs, republican members of congress, to bite your lip more times than you'd care to, to disagree and separate from the president on principle and civility in your campaign to lose because of the president of the united states and have him pisso you angers me to my core. >> the number of republicans who will say that aloud is greatly diminished. i don't know if congressman
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costello, with all due respect for him, if he was an incoming member of congress and had run and won, i don't know if he'd say that. second of all, people like mike kofman and ryan carbello, they're on their way out. the republican conference in the house is smaller and trumpier. the republican conference in the senate is bigger and trumpier. >> and flake and corker are gone. so ben sass is calling and saying are we good or am i alone? >> and if you're the godfather and you dare disobey, kiss the ring, invite me to your district because of course only i can save you, then i'm going to shame you. and it's just a form of political narcissism that we just don't see.
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>> also, the larger picture of the results is something that unfortunately reinforces his view of party, his view of washington, his view of the world, which is -- >> and himself. >> and himself, which is that there are very much two americas in two different directions who are expressing themselves politically. and he is making a decision to speak to one, to reinforce one and to take on everybody from the other sides. from the media, to democrats, to members of his own party who would defy him. that is our reality. >> which is why we should be so skeptical when we hear him say "i should have a softer tone, that's my biggest regret." or, yes, i'd be for unity. there is no track record to suggest he wants to conduct this in any other way than to fully exploit that divide, not repair
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the breach. >> and it worked in 2016 with his largely white coalition and he thinks it can work again in 2020. that's a bet. that's risky math given that every moment every we've been sitting at this table, even the states he won are becoming more divorce. your commonwealth of pennsylvania. can the president win pennsylvania again? he does have a booming economy, which could change everything in this calculation. if you're just looking at demographic, census, the math, every day it gets more difficult for the president to redo what he did in 2016. last night, a democratic senator and governor reelected. >> one of our reporters just interviewed the person expected to become the chairman of the house ways and means committee. he could potentially speubpoena the president's tax returns. we're going to get some of that interview right after this.
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significant breaking news right now. the attorney general of the united states, jeff sessions, he has now resigned and the president of the united states has confirmed that. the president just tweeting, jake, let me read the president's tweet. "we are pleased to announce that matthew g. whitaker, chief of staff to attorney general jeff sessions at the department of justice will become our new acting attorney general of the united states. he will serve our country well. we thank attorney general jeff sessions for his service and wish him well. a permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date." jeff sessions has been repeatedly humiliated for over a year. >> president trump asked the attorney general jeff sessions to resign. it's effectively a firing, even though technically sessions willingly submitted his letter
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of resignation and now he is going to be replaced as acting attorney general by his chief of staff matthew whitaker. >> we have the actual letter from jeff sessions, the attorney general, to the president. "at your request, i am submitting my resignation." those are the key words. and then he goes on to say "since the day i was honored to be sworn in as attorney general of the united states, i came to walk at the department of justice every day determined to do my duty, serve my country. i have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice." >> so, first of all, we should change the chyron, it should say president trump fires attorney general jeff sessions, the president asked him to submit his resignation. he was fired. he's doing this one day after the election, doing this with a senate that is more republican, he feels a lot of them owe him
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their jobs. let's remind people why president trump is dissatisfied with jeff sessions, who in every respect but one did everything president trump wanted him to do when it came to immigration reform and being tough on the border, when it came to the policies that had separation of children from their parents when they came into the country illegally, when it came to the drug war, when it came to all sorts of things, attorney general jeff sessions was in lock step with president trump. the one thing that he did that angered president trump to no end was he recused himself as the justice department ethics lawyers advised him to do, recused himself from supervising the mueller investigation into obstruction of justice and any possible conspiracy between members of the trump campaign team and the 2016 election. that is why president trump was dissatisfied with the attorney general and that is why ultimately he fired him today. >> and it was so awkward for the
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past year to hear the president, laura, almost on a weekly, sometimes on ona daily basis publicly humiliate the -- >> he wrote an op-ed last august "mueller's investigation of trump is going too far." he said the president is absolutely correct in thinking that the red line of the finances would actually be in fact too far. he said this, "any investigation into president trump's finances or the finances of his family would require mueller to return to rod rosenstein for additional authority under mueller's appointment. if he were it continue to investigate the financial relationship, this would raise a serious concern that the special counsel was a mere witch hunt." this man is now replaced by jeff
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sessions. >> this is where the make-up of the senate and the margin that they now have, we have exhibit a of why it matters so much. leading up to election day, you had republicans like lindsaey grah graham, who is likely -- >> lindsey graham has said don't mess with robert mueller. does he have a spine to back it up? we'll see. >> the president said he doesn't want to mess with robert mueller -- >> he just did. he just did. >> rod rosenstein still controls that investigation. >> does he? >> let me finish my point. what he and other republicans, some of whom are now leaving, have said is obviously sessions is going to go but, mr. president, you have to put somebody up who is going to come before us in a confirmation hearing and swear under oath they are going to let the mueller investigation continue. it is an open question, the point you were making, whether
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or not they will have -- whether they will have the ability to enforce that even if they want to because the margin of republicans will be so much bigger with republicans donald trump helped get into office. he -- >> >> did he tell rod rosenstein it goes through me now, not you? >> you have the later submitted, laura, jeff sessions' first is he -- sentence is i'm resigning because you told me to. >> reporter: that's right. we're told despite the 90-minute press conference where trump deflected what would happen for the attorney general, he actually asked for his resignation before he even took the stage.
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in the first line session says "at your request, i am submitting my resignation." he goes on to say "since the day i was honored to be sworn in as attorney general of the united states, i have come to work at the justice department every day determined to do my duty and to serve my country. i have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice." as you have said, session was the champion of this president's agenda. he carried through on every single policy initiative, even the most controversial immigration policies that were highly critical. he supported him in lock step. but his original sin was the fact that just very soon after he took charge here, he recused from all matters related to the russia investigation, and clearly the president never forgave him for it. the big question now is what happens to the special counsel's investigation. we know that session's chief of staff is now taking his boss's
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job, at least temporarily. he will serve as the acting attorney general. but given some of his very controversial writings about mueller, writing for, that mueller went too far, i'm sure we will hear very, very soon that he is unfit, unfit to serve as the supervisor of the mueller probe, jake. >> thank you, laura jarrett for that. what's going to be very interesting, john, is there's been a lot of talk in these first two years about how president trump has had guardrails. there have been people put around him to keep his behavior in check, even if he voices opposition to various institutions, you have jim mattis at the pentagon, you have john kelly at the white house, you had jeff sessions at the justice department, but right now president trump is in the process and he already has been in the process when you look at getting rid of h.r. mcmaster, when you look at getting rid of rex tillerson at the state department, he is in the process of getting rid of the guardrails. >> and he largely side railed
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his staff stajohn kelly. does he tell rod rosenstein i'm in charge. number two, does rod rosenstein stay? number three, quickly, jeff sessions sends a message here. the president repeatedly attacked the men and women of the justice department, the men and women of the fbi. jeff sessions says i'm particularly grateful to the fabulous men and women in law enforcement, we have restored and upheld the rule of law. that's a push back. >> pamela, the president declined to answer any questions at that hour and a half news conference. now all of a sudden we learned he fired jeff sessions. >>reporter: that's right. he was asked what he was going to do specifically about jeff sessions. he said he'll talk about that at
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a later time. he made it clear he didn't want to take any action before the midterms, but this was a long time coming, as one white house official just told me. no one here at the white house seemed surprised by this action by the president, asking for the resignation of the attorney general. there is some surprise that he did it today. as you saw, the president came out today claiming victory in the wake of the midterms. if he really thought that, the question is why would he want to overshadow that with asking for the resignation of his attorney general? that is what has happened. the letter has been submitted. and now the attorney general's chief of staff matt whitaker will be in an acting attorney general role. there have been previous discussions between whitaker and the president about him taking on this time. at the time it was view accidenticalaccident icallyskeptically because of
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comments that were made. also senate leadership has signalled they have no appetite to confirm an attorney general during the lame duck. so there's certainly a lot of open questions in the wake of jeff sessions being asked to resign today. it is clear that this is what the president has wanted for some time, he's repeatedly groused about firing jeff sessions. as you've been pointing out, he's been mad about jeff sessions recusing himself from the russia investigation from the very get-go, that jeff sessions didn't give him a heads up. so much he wasted no time follow the midterms and asking for his resignation. >> pamela brown, thanks so much. i want to go to evan perez, justice department correspondent for us. evan, the first question i have is the obvious one, which is jeff sessions had recused himself from the russia
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investigation. the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, who president trump has also been repeatedly attacking for the last year, if sessions is gone, does that mean that the acting attorney general, matthew whitaker, is now in charge of supervises the russia investigation? >> that's not entirely clear right now, jake. at this point the department has not said exactly what happens now to the russia investigation. rod rosenstein is still there so for now it appears he's still in charge of it. but, you know, the big question here will be does someone who is only an acting attorney general, does he have the capacity -- he's not been confirmed by the senate so does he have the capacity and the responsibilities that a regular attorney general would have in this capacity. that's the question i think we're asking. certainly we're asking people at the justice department to clarify for us because, you know, one of the things that had been discussed internally at the justice department had been that if sessions goes, that rod rosenstein would remain in charge of the investigation and
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that whoever came in as an acting -- in the acting capacity would be in charge of the rest of the department. essentially rod rosenstein would still be in charge and nothing would change. that was the plan as least as it was discussed inside the department in the last few months. we don't know whether they stuck with that plan. i think that's one of the big questions we have that we want answered from the department of justice because we don't know exactly what has been the arrangement. certainly president trump tweeting that matt whitaker is now the acting is also a bit of surprise. that's not usually the kocourse that these things take, jake. >> thank you so much. one thing that has been hovering over this presidency is were he to take the step that he just took and this is potential the first step of one or two that ends with him firing bob mueller, were he to fire sessions, were he to fire
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rosenstein or mueller or gets whitaker to fire mueller or whatever, would congress step in and hire muler to contin er tmu investigation? now the president has a democratic arm of congress who without question, without question would take that step. the or question is would any republican in congress raise their voice and support that? >> maybe lindsey graham would. >> the same lindsey graham from south carolina? >> who has said mueller has to finish his investigation. there are so many dominos here to think about. first of all, who's in charge? is whitaker now in charge of rosenstein, how is -- >> if he's the acting attorney general. >> and in charge of rosenstein and in charge of mueller as a result. because they were thinking of whitaker to replace rosenstein, remember when