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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 7, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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interview with house minority leader nancy pelosi tomorrow right here on "prime time." thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with d. lemon right now. right by my side. >> if you thought it was crazy and unprecedented before, wait till now, now that the democrats have control of congress. >> i'm hoping for better. >> you actually think it's going to get better? >> yes. and i know you're going to rain on my parade. >> well, i wouldn't ask you -- >> i know. i knew it was loaded when you asked it. >> in a divided nation as divided as people are -- >> and that was proof positive last night. we watched in realtime together, and that was awesome, something i'll never forget. we are very divided and we're moving further in opposite directions. but a balance of power can be good. they know a lot of people will come out and vote. i'm telling you, politicians play scared. >> that's the good part, the balance of power.
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no matter who is in charge, if the democrats in charge or the republicans in charge, you want a check on the system of power. that's what we do in a sense. so you want a check on that. but i think that we have become so divided that this is just going to lead to gridlock. i think the democrats and in some ways rightfully so will demand answers for a congress that has pretty much just been a check on whatever this administration -- >> true, but they got to balance deal making opportunities with ball breaking opportunities. if they're just a hammer the whole time, they won't get anything done. >> yeah. but this president before, remember, he said, my tone could have been better. do you actually think he wants to sit down with nancy pelosi, who he demonizes all the time, maxine waters, who he demonizes all the time, adam schiff who he criticizes. do you actually think he wants to sit down with those people and make deals and have his base say he is making deals with what he calls the swamp or the elites? >> yes. no. no. and yes. yes to pelosi. no to waters. no to schiff because he'll know she'll be the powerful one. and, yes, he wants to make deals, and he'll say to the
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base, i get it done even with these bastards. >> even a wall? >> i think that a wall is going to be a defined term. he thinks they're building the wall right now and they're not. they're repairing fencing. balance of power is a great thing. people want a check. they want opposites. that's why we both get invited to the party. they need you there for the looks and the style, me in case there's trouble. >> well, i wouldn't be so high on you. >> i know you wouldn't. that's why i had to speak my piece. i know i wasn't getting any love from you. >> you're right. we got to watch it in realtime last night, and i thought it was fantastic. a lot of races were not even close. some of them are not called now. i have to say it's great for the country. i think both political parties. it's a win for both political parties. >> 100%. >> the democrats picked up a great number of seats. towards the beginning i was a little surprised by the tone and the consternation of people saying, oh, my gosh, this is terrible. it wasn't terrible for either party. >> right. there was something for everybody. people wanted bigger numbers. why?
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because we like extremes when we cover things. but people came out. you may have had historic turnout in a midterm. that's an unqualified good. >> you had ayanna pressley on earlier. very impressive. i have a young lady on tonight who is one of two native-american candidates who won. there are a lot of firsts, especially for women. and if you look at some of the places that maybe -- georgia has not been called yet -- where people may perceive them as losses, they're losses because they didn't get into office, but they're real wins for this country when it comes to diversity. you have a woman of color in georgia, who could lose. who knows? had the opportunity pretty close to flipping a red state to blue. you had a man of color down in florida flipping a red state to blue. then you have a young, vibrant person in texas flipping a red state to blue. >> almost. >> almost. but that's what i'm saying. almost flipping it.
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that's progress, i think. >> it shows that it's closer together. there's a lot of division, but there's also common ground, and people all want better. >> yeah. i got a lot of folks sitting here tonight. >> much better than me. i don't know why you're wasting time with me. >> laura coates is doing this. good to see you. >> thanks for last night. be well. >> there's our panel. you saw them. thank you, chris. see you later. good evening, everyone. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. thank you so much for joining us. president trump is showing you just how rattled he is right now. on the day he purged a top member of his administration and basically threw a 90-minute temper tantrum in the white house news conference, only hours after his party lost control of the house, he fired jeff sessions. except the man famous for saying "you're fired" for pretend on television apparently couldn't say it himself. so here's what he does. he orders john kelly to fire sessions. he's the chief of staff.
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something the president has wanted to do ever since sessions recused himself from the russia investigation. and now the former attorney general, who was the first senator to support trump's campaign, reportedly wanted to stay just until the end of the week. but kelly told him that he had to go, and he had to do it today. so take a look at these pictures now. it's quite the photo opp, isn't it? sessions leaving the justice department tonight to applause from his colleagues. colleagues who are telling cnn that they learned about sessions' firing from news reports and, of course, a tweet from the president. it's a pattern. sessions leaving with his replacement looking on. there's his replacement right there. see that guy? we'll talk about him. he's the now acting attorney general. his name is matt whitaker. he has oversight of the russia investigation. i want you to place close attention to this, all right? this is what matt whitaker told me in july of 2017 when he was a cnn legal commentator. here it is. >> i can see a scenario where jeff sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn't fire bob mueller, but he just reduces
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the budget so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt. >> so we know matt whitaker here. we've had him on the show a number of times around that time. another guest who was on this show, who actually was on set with whitaker on june 19th -- there's a photo right there -- he posted this on twitter today. this is from attorney john q. barrett about a conversation he says that he had in the green room before their joint appearance. he says whitaker told me in june of 2017 that he was flying out from iowa to nyc to be on cnn regularly because he was hoping to be noticed as a trump defender and, through that, to get a trump judicial appointment back in iowa. so much to talk about, because he's not the only one who did it. fake news, but they want to be on this fake news so that the
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president can notice them. so that really means it fakes. more proof that i say the president watches me every night. so the man who is now in charge of the russia investigation offered a blueprint for cutting the legs out from under that investigation nearly a year and a half ago. seems tailor made to appeal to this president, and he did it on television according to john q. barrett, apparently deliberately in order to appeal to this president and get a job. he became the chief of staff for jeff sessions a couple months later, and now he is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the united states. look at the power i have, everybody. can you believe that? unbelievable. a source close to president trump telling cnn the idea of whitaker ending or suppressing the russia investigation, not an option right now. i don't know why anyone -- why anyone would believe that or how long that will remain the case.
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but that's what they are telling us. so listen to what the president said during his news conference just today. here it is. >> i could fire everybody right now, but i don't want to stop it because politically i don't like stopping it. but you're right. i could end it right now. i could say that investigation is over. >> sounds like a threat, doesn't it? so let's talk about that post-midterm news conference like nothing we have seen before. remember when president obama admitted that his party had gotten a shellacking. that's the word he used. remember when george w. bush said he had gotten a thumping. none of that for president trump. you just heard him threatening the mueller investigation. he also threatened reporters as well. so this is an angry exchange with cnn's jim acosta and nbc's peter alexander, full of down and dirty personal insults simply because reporters are trying to do their jobs, which is to ask the president questions.
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>> i tell you what, cnn should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. you are a rude, terrible person. you shouldn't be working for cnn. go ahead. >> i think that's -- >> you're a very rude person. the way you treat sarah huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible. go ahead. >> in jim's defense, i've traveled with him in washington. he's a diligent reporter who -- >> i'm not a big fan of yours either. >> i understand. let me ask you a question if i can. mr. president, you repeatedly -- >> okay. just sit down, please. >> i couldn't be a white house correspondent. they would have kicked me out a long time ago. and there's more. the president refused to answer a question from april ryan. >> sit down, please. sit down! i didn't call you. i didn't call you.
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>> april's going to be here later on in this show. i want to hear from her. the president calling a question from pbs yamiche alcindor, who is african-american, falsely claiming her question racist. >> on the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. now people are also saying -- >> i don't know why you'd say that. that's such a racist question. >> there are some people -- >> there was nothing racist about that question, nothing at all. the president could have just answered, could have tried to explain his position. instead, what does he do? that old tactic. when you can't really explain it, you attack the person who is doing it. he attacked the reporter. but the president did not just target reporters today. he also threatened democrats if they step up their oversight of the white house, which is their job. >> but they can play that game, but we can play it better because we have a thing called the united states senate.
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>> he even threatened candidates from his own party who made the fatal mistake of not wanting trump to campaign for them. >> you had some that decided to let's stay away. let's stay away. they did very poorly. i'm not sure that i should be happy or sad, but i feel just fine about it. carlos curbelo, mike coffman. too bad, mike. mia love gave me no love, and she lost. too bad. sorry about that, mia. >> that's the president. the fact is mia love did not lose her race. it's still too close to call. facts don't seem to matter much to this president. what matters to him is winning, adoration. when he doesn't get both, he lashes out.
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lots to talk about. laura coates is here, evan perez, ryan lizza as well. we're going to dig into that, all of it, next. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo! ♪ ♪ -whoops -sorry! ♪ ♪
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just hours after republicans lost control of the house, president trump fired attorney general jeff sessions and installed matthew whitaker as acting a.g. whitaker now controls robert mueller's russia investigation after openly criticizing it in the past.
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and sources tell cnn views whitaker as a loyalist. so is the president moving to control, to derail or end the mueller investigation? i think we all know the answer to that. laura coates, evan perez, and ryan lizza. good evening. we know the answer. thank you. good night, right? so in firing sessions, is the president trying to interfere with the mueller investigation? >> i think that's the big concern, and i think the president deliberately chose someone who he knows. he, i'm sure, don, was watching your program the night when matt whitaker was saying these things. and i think it's no mistake that he chose matt whitaker to run this investigation. the question is what does whitaker do? he now has full control of this investigation. he will make the decisions on whether or not there is any big investigative moves, subpoenas, whether, you know, any part of this report that mueller is preparing -- whether any of it gets to see the light of day. there's a lot of big, important decisions that are now firmly in matt whitaker's hands, and i
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think the president trusts matt whitaker more than he trusts anyone else. >> and just for the explanation, people will say -- and we talked about that -- what happened to rod rosenstein? well, rod rosenstein was only in charge because jeff sessions had recused himself. >> right. >> so now the person who is the attorney general or the acting attorney general is actually now back in charge of the russia investigation. can this be seen as anything else, laura, as trying to restrict, constrict, shut down the mueller investigation? >> i don't think so. i think that this is very clear and transparent, that the president of the united states essentially killed two birds with one stone. he was not happy with jeff sessions. he's been very vocal about that for more than a year. he has been emasculating him politically. he's been vilifying him over twitter and in actual press conferences for quite some time. but he was very cautious not to fire mueller because there would be obvious political consequences, particularly
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during the midterm elections. so now he can say, i didn't fire mueller. i didn't touch mueller. i also didn't touch rod rosenstein. i have no issue with him following "the new york times" revelation that maybe the 25th amendment being talked about or him wearing a wire. i'm just going to replace the person who made it possible that rod rosenstein would have his position and mueller would have oversight by that person. and so by putting matthew whitaker in the position, which by the way is not in line of succession. it would naturally go to the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, then to a solicitor general. the chief of staff or the a.g. is not the person who is supposed to be in line. so one has to first wonder by what authority he's going to put him there. but the president's already told us he's temporary. he'll have a more permanent placement put there in the long run. so i'm wondering if in many ways this is the president's attempt to gain information about the investigation. so once he's downloaded everything and debriefed from robert mueller and then he walks away to have a permanent replacement who is senate-confirmed come in, well, guess what donald trump has?
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he's got the keys to the castle. >> that's what the first thing i thought about today. to get as much information and get his hands on as many levers as possible so that when the congress actually takes over, he will have all the information he needs and when the report actually comes out, he'll have everything he needs. it's amazing. go on. >> no, i was just going to say that the idea that an acting anyone should exercise authority over something as controversial as this really would be unprecedented. >> do you think he should recuse? >> well, i don't know that he should recuse. he should basically freeze things where they are. when you are in as important a position as the attorney general of the united states and you are not confirmed by the united states senate, you don't monkey around with anything. i don't care if you're at the department of interior or any other department. and this is why congress exists. they need to step up and set some parameters for him. >> what about the -- >> and force trump to appoint a permanent attorney general. >> you actually think congress is going to do that? >> someone who is not confirmed by the u.s. senate is going to
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go in and mess around with this investigation? >> let me ask you this. >> that would be an abuse of power. >> let me ask you this before we go back to the other, guys. what about the timing here, right? on the day that he -- the day after he loses control of the congress, he makes this decision. he could have done it before. he could have done it anytime. he could do it a week from now. what does the timing say about you? >> he's got past the midterm. there's no immediate political ramifications anymore. he obviously thought there could be some blowback if he had done it before the midterms and that he decided to do it once the voters had said what they're going to say. i mean that's very clear. >> how does this affect -- because we talked about rosenstein no longer in charge unless the scenario plays out like ryan says. but how does this affect rosenstein? >> well, i mean i think rod rosenstein now wonders whether there's any reason for him to stay. one of the reasons why rosenstein has been sitting there is simply to protect this
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investigation. now it is completely out of his hands. so now we're starting to watch the doors. it's like one of those things we've been waiting to see what happens to sessions. now we're looking at the exits to see when rosenstein heads for them because there's really no reason for him to stay now, you know, in this place. keep in mind behind the scenes, whitaker and rosenstein, there's been a bit of a tension there because whitaker has been behind the scenes, essentially gunning for these jobs. and there's a lot of distrust about, you know, behind the scenes for whitaker and what role he's been playing with the white house. so i think that if you're rosenstein, it's not clear that you want to stay around for this. >> ambition here. there's so much ambition. >> there's no clear regulation, though, that says that rod rosenstein can have no part whatsoever going forward in the investigation. now, realistically you're absolutely correct. if you're matt whitaker -- >> but he's in charge now.
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he's the boss. >> why do you want the person whose shoes you're trying to fill to still walk around the room? you probably do not. but technically he could still be informative. i also think the same way we anticipated this, this is not necessarily the biggest shock to anyone that jeff sessions is no longer in the department of justice. robert mueller has this baked into the cake already. i'm certain he's anticipated there was going to be a time and deadline when his grand jury -- >> are you talking about sealed indictments? >> it could be sealed indictments. it could be the idea of having -- remember the last indictments that came out that weren't sealed involving russian nationals had people that were anonymous, but roger stone talked about, i think it's me, as american citizens who somehow were complicit in the collusion or at least in facilitating different discussions. so he already anticipated and knows that. i suspect he was trying to honor that doj regulation about not trying to interfere with an election, although he didn't have to. there's no one on the ballot who is a part of the campaign.
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but now he, i'm sure, anticipated this. >> is that southern district of new york move -- was that pretty smart move, pretty -- >> you talked about this as well, evan, in the past. the notion that he, in anticipation, has been farming out cases. one of them is this sdny and michael cohen case. >> we're told there are others that have been sent -- one of the things mueller has done is farmed out parts of his investigation to other places. you can shut down mueller. you can't shut down the entire justice department. >> right. >> so that is part of the contingency. the other part of the contingency is simply protecting the evidence in this investigation, which we know rosenstein and top officials at the justice department and the fbi have discussed. so they are doing what they can to protect this investigation. >> i want you guys to listen to something the president said at his presser today. watch this. >> going back to the russia investigation and the potential investigations from the now democratic majority in congress, some say that you could stop all this by -- >> i could. i could fire everybody right now. but i don't want to stop it because politically i don't like stopping it. it's a disgrace. it should have never been
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started because there was no crime. it is -- everybody has conflicts. they all have conflicts over there that are beyond anything that anybody's ever seen in terms of conflicts. >> so he says that he could fire everybody right now. is he right, though, ryan? i mean because he has a stronger majority in the senate. >> i mean he could. he could fire everyone. he is the president of the united states, right? but what's always prevented him from taking that action, that's the one red line he wouldn't cross because enough republicans piped up and told him not to do it. now, in the last two years, a lot of those -- >> we heard their responses today. they're pretty tepid. >> and they were treated. he used to have someone like lindsey graham who was a hawk on this. so some of those voices have retreated. trump now has a stronger -- slightly stronger majority in the senate.
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he's always been hemmed in. he's always just not been willing to pull the trigger of just shutting down the investigation unilaterally. i still don't think he'll do it because it's -- i think he has people around him explaining just politically it's still not the smartest -- >> look, his legal team believes that they're very close to the finish line, that they're very close to the end of mueller. why do this now? >> yeah. >> and i think they do believe that things are wrapping up. and so i think what they'd rather do is this, which is to have someone that they trust more who will handle the final result. >> what's interesting to me is that he did this. he knew what he was going to do. he was at the press conference, right, and he said all these things, whatever. and he knew what he was going to do after this press conference. he knew that the resignation -- >> it had been done actually. >> that it was going to be done. what do you think of that? >> i think that he was trying to use the focus group and trying
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to threaten people to show how much power he had and to promise and then fulfill a promise like he does so often, he says, on the campaign trail. i did also notice that the letter from jeff sessions was not dated. now, i know that everyone says he was aware of this prior to the press conference through the telephone call with general kelly. but i suspect jeff sessions has had a resignation letter prepared for quite some time in anticipation of this. i think what he was trying to do is show everything that he was powerful in the one area where he has the most apparent achilles' heel. nancy pelosi and the house democrats are well aware of their subpoena power. they actually had, what, 50 subpoenas ready to go from elijah cummings months ago, that the republicans who were in control refused to either issue or compel compliance with in many ways. they're well aware they don't have to take the bait, but the president was trying to cast that line and show how powerful he was. and all he really did, in many ways, through the exploration of all of this is to show he has a lot of bark, but the teeth now
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belongs in the house. >> i just thought it was interesting. basically he was saying, when you told me to pretend i'm -- >> right. >> but you fired me, this is the letter. this is my resignation. >> we all knew this was going to happen. >> of course. >> it was telegraphed. lindsey graham talked about it. >> we had been reporting that he had threatened to do this. what's interesting is when we reported that, what was it? fake news, right? everyone knew it was going to happen, but not like the second after the midterms. >> this is the shortest victory lap i've ever seen someone take after the midterms. i mean in reality he could have taken a much more extended victory lap of the accomplishment he actually had. gone for all of his own doing. >> thank you. thank you, all. i appreciate it. you want to know what matthew whitaker thinks about robert mueller's investigation? well, we've got the receipts for you. whitaker in his own words next. you've had quite the career.
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to getting answers. "activecore, how's my network?" "all sites are green." all of which helps you do more than your customers thought possible. comcast business. beyond fast. all right. i want everyone to pay real close attention to this next segment because i think you're going to learn a lot about what's going on here because jeff sessions is out as the attorney general. now acting attorney general matt whitaker is taking charge of robert mueller's investigation from rod rosenstein. whitaker is a man who has been very critical of the special counsel. listen to what he said on this show in 2017. >> i could see a scenario where jeff sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn't fire
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bob mueller, but he just reduces the budget so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt. >> so whitaker also argued that rosenstein should limit the scope of mueller's investigation in an august 2017 op-ed for this was the title of it. the title was "mueller's investigation of trump is going too far." and it said in part in that op-ed, 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 as special counsel. if he were to continue to investigate the financial relationships without a broadened scope in his appointment, then this would raise serious concerns that the special counsel's investigation was a mere witch hunt. that's a quote from the op-ed, okay? witch hunt.
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where have we heard that before? also last summer, whitaker tweeted his approval of an npr article suggesting that the public might never learn mueller's findings because the attorney general could simply decline to release his report, and he wrote this. he said, article is correct. it will be very difficult to ever see evidence discovered by mueller grand jury investigation. okay? whitaker also weighing in on allegations of mueller conflicts of interest. here's what he said to anderson. >> bob mueller does have ethical duties as an admitted lawyer to practice law, and so did jim comey. so there are other rules in addition to the doj rules and regulations. and if bob mueller had these conflicts which were described in the beginning of this segment, that could raise some situations that i hope he's analyzed before he accepted this
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position. >> okay. so he said that. he has repeatedly argued that president trump's firing of fbi director james comey was not obstruction of justice. this is what he said. it was a radio interview after comey testified before congress. >> there is no criminal obstruction of justice charge to be had here. there's just -- the evidence is weak. no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case on what we know right now, and, you know, because it all boils down to what was the president's intent. and we really don't have any evidence of what the president's intent was. >> so remember that infamous trump tower meeting, 2016, june of 2016? he weighed in on that, the one with don junior, jared kushner, and others. they met with a russian lawyer with ties to putin. >> i think, you know, sort of to suggest that there's a conspiracy here, i mean you would always take that meeting. >> it's also worth noting that
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whitaker has personal ties to one of the witnesses in the mueller investigation. he was the campaign chairman for sam clovis' 2014 bid for state treasurer in iowa. clovis has been interviewed by mueller's team, testified before the grand jury. and according to "the washington post," clovis was also lifted as an unnamed campaign supervisor in the indictment of former trump campaign aide george papadopoulos. so as we all know, the president has railed against mueller's investigation from the very beginning, calling it a hoax, a witch hunt 160 times since last spring. trump has even floated the idea of actually firing the special counsel. over a year ago, i asked whitaker whether the president would actually go through with that, and here's what he said. >> i don't. it will be a spectacular -- we will spend a lot of time talking about this if and when he does. but i think this president puts these things out there into the ether of politics to see what
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the commentators and the rest of the folks think and respond, and then ultimately makes his decisions, i think, based on that feedback. i don't think there's a single person that's heard this today that hasn't been, that's a little ill advised, i think, would be a proper term. >> hmm. it's also important to note that kellyanne conway also said today that trump won't fire mueller. who knows if she is right? what we do know is the man he appointed to oversee mueller's investigation has repeatedly criticized the investigation that he will now be overseeing. is this all just a slow-moving saturday night massacre? nixon white house counsel john dean weighs in. he's next. (female speaker) even the best shoppers like to get a head start!
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so the democrats are calling
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acting attorney general matt whitaker to recuse himself, calling on him to recuse himself from the russia investigation. but are whitaker's critical comments about that investigation actually the reason the president chose him in the first place? i want to discuss this now with mr. john dean, the former white house counsel to -- a former white house counsel. thank you so much. so good to have you on this evening and every single night. i got to ask you a question before we get started, right? they were saying it was a resignation. he resigned. if your resignation reads, john, at your request, i am submitting my resignation, what does that mean? >> it's not unlike my resignation where the president requested it and accepted it, and i was the last to learn that he had done either. >> yeah, that means you're fired, right? >> that's exactly what it means. in fact, the press room actually put out the word that all of us
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had been fired. >> yeah. you say that trump's firing of jeff sessions seemed to be planned like a murder. explain that. >> well, as i watched him today at the press conference where he clearly dodged the question of something that was on his mind because it happens a couple hours later, and it has been very carefully plotted. and what also happened is whitaker just didn't appear out of nowhere. this is the scenario they had originally planned for rosenstein, to replace him, is to have whitaker become the deputy attorney general. that plan, after the president and the deputy attorney general started getting along, then got escalated today. and as i say, it was carefully planned, and whitaker was ready to step in. he had just the right credentials under the federal vacancy act. so they'd studied that. they obviously had gotten an opinion out of the white house counsel, and they knew exactly what they were doing, as i said earlier, which is planned like a
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murder. >> i want to read a quote from michael beschloss, the presidential historian. he says, if this is going the way it looks, this is ten times worse than nixon. is he right? >> i think he is. one of the things we know about nixon today is that he did collude with a foreign government to get his presidency. that happened during the '68 campaign. that was something that was buried and kept buried during the totality of his presidency and only a couple years ago did we learn that. what makes this bad is the degree with which the plotting and the actions are being undertaken. the scheming that's going on to try to undercut a very legitimate first of all counterintelligence investigation and then a related criminal investigation. >> mm-hmm. so do you see this as -- how do i say it -- a slow moving saturday night massacre? and if you can explain a little bit, saturday night massacre is
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referring to the nixon times. but go on. watergate. >> that was the firing of archibald cox, the special prosecutor who refused to stand down when nixon asked him to in appealing to a court to get a decision favorable to get the tapes from nixon. and when cox refused to stand down and held a press conference as to why, nixon called his attorney general and asked him to fire the special prosecutor. the attorney general, elliott richardson, who had pledged not to do that before the senate judiciary committee when he was confirmed, turned to his deputy attorney general, and he refused to do it. and the only person who those two men convinced to do it was the solicitor general, robert bork, who did execute the president's order. >> so is this a slow-moving one?
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>> this is -- this appears to be a slow-moving one. i don't know that trump will go so far as to remove mueller. you know, there are a number of members of the senate on the republican side who have said that's a step too far. mitt romney, who is now in the senate, said it during the campaign. lamar alexander has said it. not just those who are on their way out the door have said it. so it's very possible that trump knows he's playing high risk if he ever were to go that far. i think what the plan may be, as was said by matt whitaker, that you can do a slow death by cutting off his funding. >> yeah. >> cutting off his resources. cutting down his staff. and giving him some turndowns on his prosecutorial choice. >> squeeze the life out of the investigation.
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thank you, john dean. i appreciate it always. thank you so much. >> thanks, don. can the new democratic majority in the house -- can they do anything to protect robert mueller? i'm going to ask congressman ted lieu, who serves on the judiciary committee, next. fidelity is redefining value for investors. introducing zero account fees for brokerage accounts. and zero minimums to open an account. we have fidelity mutual funds with zero minimum investment. and now only fidelity offers four zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. because when you invest with fidelity, all those zeros really add up. ♪ so maybe i'll win ♪ saved by zero
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so the firing of the toerp general jeff sessions comes hours after democrats won control of the house. giving them power to block parts of the president' agenda. can they protect mueller? good evening. can you do anything to protect
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mueller? >> thank you, don for the question. yes. we're already sending out letters to various government officials asking them to preserve the document. make sure there's no shredding happening or getting rid of documents during a transition. because come january, we get subpoena power. we can subpoena relevant documents and witnesses. it's really too late for donald trump to put the horse back in the barn. the investigation is gone on for far too long and democrats can do our own investigation once january starts. >> what do you say to people. there are people in the country both democrats skb republicans who are concerned about what's happening here. that the law is not being followed. in a sense. that's the concern. >> people are actually should be concerned. donald trump fired jeff sessions for one reason. if you look at sessions policies they were in lock step with donald trump.
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they disagreed on the russia investigation. the only reason he fired him was put in someone who would interfere with the investigation. that looks a lot like obstruction of justice. the same way firing comey was obstruction of justice. >> the congress both chambers. meaning the senate and congress. haven't had many checks on this president. basically on this administration. he's able to with a blank check to do whatever he wants to do. so what do you say to the folks that say they're not going anything differently. they have been doing the last couple years. >> that's one reason democrats had a blue wave in the house of representatives last night. people want to put in a kmek and balance on the president of the united states and his administration. come january the house is going to be a coequal branch of government. we'll act like it.
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and make sure we hold trump and the administration accountable. and it's also important to understand that with subpoena power, we can get relevant documents. we can subpoena relevant witnesses. so we can continue any investigation that trump tries to arbitrarily stop. >> does that mean more investigation? reopening the congressional investigation into russia? >> we're going to -- that's a great question. on a conference call on what to do. we'll meet next week as a caucus. and meet with folks on committee to prioritize the investigation. we're going to look at ways to work the president on moving america forward. we're happy to work with him on issues like infrastructure. preexisting conditions. reducing healthcare cost. we can do both. we can have a positive agenda and hold the president and his administration accountable. >> after all the past couple years especially with the democrats and calling people
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personal names. attacks. do you think this president will work with you? >> i think it's possible. the press conference today he talked about that quite a bit. and also understands power. the democrats now control the house of representatives. we have the pow to stop stupid legislation. we can advance positive legislation. we can subpoena power. there's a big incentive for the president to make deals with the democrats. >> do you think that was part of the reason for his mood today? because he realizes that now he's going to have to answer to someone. >> the president clearly was in a sour mood. and if he thought the election results were good, he will not have announced the fires of sessions today. he would have waited to next week. he wanted to change the subject. we had a blue wave and won a large number of legislator
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seats. increases in governor ships. a blue wave across america. trump wanted to change the subject. >> can i ask you because you have subpoena power. and the big part of the equation here if a lot of folks. people are really concerned about. this president has never released his tax returns. they don't know who in his businesses. who he's beholdened to. who he's done business to. who he might owe favors to possibly. is part of the mission to get the tax returns and make sure this administration this president abides by the clause? >> i think it's important to see the president's tax returns. to make sure he's not under improper influence by any foreign entity. or organization. and subpoena power if there's an actual law. in process. that allows the chair of the house committee to get the tax
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returns. so i do expect that to happen. >> when will this start? day one. >> it could be day one. or week one. relatively soon. you need make sure the president of the united states is putting the country first. and not his interest. >> thank you. congressman ted lieu. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> the president publicly lashing out at just about anybody who disagrees with him. today. the midterm results have anything to do with the bad mood? we'll talk about that.
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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. president trump firing his long suffering attorney general. hours after polls closed in the midterms. jeff sessions forced to submit a red nation letter. catching top white house fishes off guard. the president who became famous for the phrase you're fired. punting to his chief of staff to give sessions the boot. john kelly didn't do it face to face. but opted by phone. kelly refused to grant sessions request to stay on until friday. matthew whittaker who started chief of staff. finishes as acting ag. over seeing the mueller investigation. are leaving the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein