tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN December 5, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
full special, divided we code, you can see that saturday on cnn 2:30. top of the hour, i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. we are standing by for the white house briefing. first since michael flynn pleaded guilty. we expect sarah huckabee sanders press secretary will ask questions about roy moore. expect she will get questions about a possibility government shut down. and president's intent to move the u.s. embassy officially recognizing jerusalem as israel capital which could have far-reaching effects that have many nations, many experts concerned. i want to bring in my panel to talk about. we have gloria borger chief
analyst, and mark preston, laura coats, and michael zelden, cnn legal analyst and former special assistant to robert mueller at the justice department. okay. i want to first ask you, gloria borger something that we managed fr heard from manager of donald trump. he's saying now mueller investigation, special counsel's investigation has moved well beyond the jurisdiction that he should be operating within. do you think that this is just a one off? do you think this could be a preview of something we may hear today at the briefing? >> you know, it's hard to know specifically what he is referring to, if he's referring to questions, there have been stories about bank records being subpenaed. >> that's right. >> i think that's probably what he's referring to. and i spoke with -- i heard from one of the president's attorneys
who denies the story says it's not true. >> says it's not happening. >> says it's not happening. but we have the "wall street journal" reporting it and bloomberg. but the point he's making is this gets into the president's financial records and that is not under the did yojurisdictio special counsel. i think the special counsel might argue otherwise. >> and michael talk about that. because the president has said that he would consider that outside the scope of what mueller should be doing. once he would get into financial dealings of the trump family, that is something that the president feels is unrelated. but is it area where robert mueller is totally fine to be operating in? >> so, the president said it is the red line that mueller can't cross. >> that's right. >> the manafort indictment says mueller does not believe that private financial dealings which
was the manafort case is beyond his scope. these are matters that he considers to be arising out of or related to the russian investigation. because it may be the quo of the quid pro in it. the way it works is if mueller thinks it's relevant, maybe beyond the black letter of his man dit, he goes to rosenstein and says what do you want me to do, do you want me to continue on this, in which case rosenstein has the ability to, under the regulations expand his mandate. or does he say to him do you want it? and he says i'll take it over. either way, if evidence has been developed that a crime has been committed in the private dealings of the trump ecosystem or other wiesz, it will be vegtded, doesn't matter much who. >> and that's the thing, laura, about a special counsel. and when the special counsel was created, that is what is so difficult about this for any president, right.
that was difficult about a special counsel for president clinton was that the special counsel there can be a mission creed. any investigation that leads to information, then the special counsel or perhaps just the u.s. government, doj, fbi can then investigate anything that's found. >> doesn't that make sense? that you wouldn't expect be somebody who was engaging in ha probe to turn a blind eye to things that may lead to incriminating evidence? that would make sense to people. the idea there may be one or more or dozens of rabbit holes that mueller goes into with any progress being made is part of the circumstances of being a special counsel. but the gist of this is donald trump is not in the position nor are his friends to determine what those red lines are and where to stay away from. that's why you have somebody hose independent and objective to say i need to investigate and conduct the investigation in a manner that shows that i'm pursuing every viable lead. and not turning a blind eye
where it is in convenient for you for me to look at. >> can i just add one thing to that? and i agree with that. i think what we are seeing here a little bit is beginning of political/legal strategy. john doud saying even if the president did something wrong, he can't be indicted or charged with obstruction. the "wall street journal" editorializing about mueller's conflicts if we want to call it that. now the thing about mandates. now i this i we are beginning to see as the investigation of mueller begins to creep closer to core people in the presidential team, they are going to start attacking him and his mandate. >> mark, we have heard from president trump when it comes to michael flynn he has said hillary clinton lied to the fbi. but that's been the case that he's making. he's been saying then michael
flynn's life gets ruined and other people get to go along their merry way. do you think that's what we'll hear from sarah huckabee sanders or do you think we'll hear some other approach to michael flynn from the white house today? >> i think when you go back to what the president said about michael flynn, not only did he say that about michael flynn, but lawyers said he wrote the tweet and says i fired him for lying to the fbi. >> not only mike pence. >> yeah, as well as mike pence. i think we can see from sarah huckabee sanders today from the electric tu lectern, i'm going to refer back to the president's statement. nothing else she can say. she is caught between a rock in a hard place. when it comes to was the national security adviser, if he is cooperating with robert mueller, that means he's willing to give up somebody higher than him. not that many people that go higher than the national
security adviser. so you have to wonder who is in that firing line. some would say speculating on television isn't right thing to do, however that's what happened, you do speculating. so you have to look at the small cast of cheers who have surrounded president trump including himself. >> another thing we have seen, gloria, and we've had ideas that this may be happening, this idea that the u.s., that the president is going to make good on campaign promise and say, yeah, i am moving the u.s. embassy in israel to tell viv to jerusalem i am recognizing it as capital of israel. this is a big deal especially if you are looking not just at peace, not just mideast peace but the fight against isis. where entire middle east are all of these stakeholders whether it comes to these things that the u.s. is trying to achieve in the region. what do you think we might hear from sarah huckabee sanders? what do you think the questions are that she's going to get? >> well, she's going to get
questions, because we think it's go go to happen tomorrow. and i think for the president, and i think what we might hear from sarah huckabee sanders is that this is a campaign promise, that donald trump has become more and more concerned with keeping his promises. and the tax bill is one example. health care didn't go so well for him. he promised during the campaign that he would do this. this is a different kind of time table and in a different way. but i think you have a president who is afraid that his base will desse de, dessert him, and i think sarah huckabee sanders will reflect, this is what the people voted for when they elected donald trump and we are going to do exactly what they wanted us
to do. >> and who is his base? we have new poll numbers showing us where that number is. the university poll as well as gallop poll both putting 35%. approval rating. so he's in a tough situation. >> yeah, his approval rating is historically low. he can't approve to lose any members of his base. he has to fight for his base. and i think that's what we are seeing play out in every venue. and that's why the russia story is such a problem for him. because on the day his tax bill passed out of the senate last friday, you had the flynn indictment. >> you almost wouldn't have noticed it happened because -- >> or the plea deal. >> yeah, it was so over shadowed by this. you are looking at these poll numbers, what do you think? >> a couple things, not only did at the overshadow the tax bill, but you were sitting here when
he went out to utah to roll back the national parks out there. that's a big victory, but again overshadowed by the russian investigation and business hi own tweets. but when it comes to his base, his base has hoff earned between 35, 39%, somewhere around there. when he starts, whether that ticks below 32%, or around 32%, that means he's starting to lose his base. and who knows where he goes from there. because gloria is right, he has no where else to go. >> you stand by for me. we are awaiting this briefing and to be transparent with our viewers we were told 3:00 p.m. and it's now 3:10. we are on borrowed time. we'll take a quick break and bring it to you live as soon as it gets started. when you're clocking out. sensing your every move and automatically adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable. i can even help with a silent night.
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okay. so right now waiting for the white house briefing. it's going to start any moment now. but just moments ago we learned something, that senator diane feinstein the top democrat says she's backs call to subpoena jared kushner to come before the panel. my panel back with me. michael zelden with your legal expertise. when diane fine stain is saying she's now backing calls, clearly taking a sort of tougher call than her republican counterpart. what does this mean? >> it means that's what her hopes are but has no subpoena power. that's within the majority's control. and all she is saying is stop slow walking this investigation. let's get to the bottom of it. the country, the president, everybody deserves to know what happened here. and if there is any reticence on
the part of witnesses, let's subpoena them, as long as not a conflict with mueller and work that out so there is no oliver north immunization of a witness prevents him from being prosecuted, then everything is cop settic. >> what do you think, what are some of the outstanding questions? and where is all this thing with him cooperating? >> i think you have this turf war that's been going on for quite some time from the criminal probe with mueller and congressional probe. and conference going on because no one wants to willing any wants to testify in front of congress if it will put in front of mueller. two guilty pleas of people in the mueller probe, the american people have outstanding questions. and they have to do it what is the term of collusion and what
is happening here. and is there progress on either side. they see it on mueller side and don't see it in congress. and of course can should not be surprising to anyone the daikon years resigned step down from prominent position in judiciary committee, you have feinstein asking for let's get acceleration now. >> gloria. >> they interviewed a bunch of people particularly on what happened on air force one when don junior was the subject of that. and it was a question of that meeting at trump tower with russians in the emails that went back and forth. >> when you say that is correct you mean the crafting? >> the crafting of the statement about what that meeting was about. >> we know the president was involved. >> we know the president has weighed in. is what sarah huckabee sanders. we are not sure what that means and how relevant that is to anything. it's not ha crime to lie to the american public. we know that that statement had to be revised multiple times. but presumably they have interviewed other people about
what occurred on air force one. and they probably want to fill in the holes here. don junior was not on the plane, by the way, but his attorney was in contact with people. >> right. >> but also not just that it's the wiblkileaks discussions as well. >> that's right. >> we have campaign laws and whether you received a benefit from opposition research. and to put the back and forth direct messages between donald trump junior and julian assange are very interesting if looking at it from context of was there somebody -- >> you guys, let's put this on hold. while we listen to sarah huckabee sanders from the white house briefing. >> i just wrapped up briefing in the oval office with four families. they are veterans, small business owners, workers, mom's, dad's and students. and they all had one thing in common chblt the president's plan to cut taxes and reform our
broken tax code will help them thrive and build a better life and better future for themselves and their children. this event was an important reminder that while washington focuses on the politics of the day. these are the families who deserve a tax cut for christmas, that's what we'll deliver. looking ahead, the president will visit mississippi saturday where they are celebrating statehood. the president will participate in opening the mississippi museum. they will travel and participate in a meet and greet with first responders in corpus christie and travel to rockport. also visit a local elementary
school to speak with them about the hurricane. and last stop at ha local food bank to meet with volunteers and help sort boxes for donations. finally, i know there have been a lot of questions regarding the president's desig on jerusalem. tomorrow the president will delivery marks at 5:30 this evening senior administration officials will hold a background briefing here to explain the president's decision. and with that, i'll take your questions. >> major? >> sarah, one issue you may have seen this morning is the white house and the president at any level considering creating a global or regional spy network that would circumvent the u.s. intelligence apparatus to serve the president outside of the normal and legally defined intelligence gathering mechanisms? >> i'm not aware of any plans for something of that definition or anything similar to that at this time. >> president would be opposed to
that? >> i haven't had that conversation with him but i'm not aware of any plans for anything like that moving forward. >> soirl official briefed on that idea or discussed at any level in this administration? >> i haven't done a full survey of every member of the administration. but i can tell you as of right now that's not something that's currently being planned and not something that i'm aware is moving forward in any capacity. again, i am not going to answer every hypothetical. did any person come in off the street, i don't know. >> consider? >> i haven't asked him but something not currently in the works. >> sara, world leaders have spoken out about the possible move of the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, mahmoud abbas says it would have great stability, saudi arabia saying the same thing, although privately something from that.
french president macron said he thought it was a bad idea. in the face of all that, would the president ignore that advice from world leaders and go ahead and make the move at this time? >> i'm not going to get ahead of the president's remarks he'll make tomorrow. he did speak with a number of leaders this morning. and he's going to continue to have conversations with relevant stakeholders. but ultimately he'll make what he feels is the best decision for the united states. >> is it safe to say other than israel, which thinks that this move is 22 years overdue, that all of the feedback he's been getting from world leaders is overwhelmingly negative from these ideas? >> no, again he spoke with five leaders, that's hardly indicative of everybody across the globe. but certainly he's going to continue to have conversations with different leaders from kroo across the world and we'll keep you posted and let you know when the president has made a decision. >> yesterday the president said he felt badly for general flynn.
will he consider pardoning? >> i'm not aware that has come up or any process or decision ton that front. >> so you haven't talked to him about it? >> no, i haven't asked the president whether or not he would do that. >> you have not? >> before we start discussing the pardons for individuals, we should see, you know, what happens in specific cases too. >> so fair to say it's on the -- >> flo, i just said i haven't ht conversation with him because i don't feel it's necessary until you get further down the road and determine whether or not that's even something needed. steve? >> back on the embassy, has the president made up his mind or is his decision still in flux? >> the president i would say is pretty solid in his thinking at this point. >> april? >> sarah, a couple of questions. one, there are comments from people from the naacp from black ministers planning on protesting and boycotting this weekend the
president's visit to the civil rights museum. what say you? >> i think that would be honestly very sad. i this i this is something that should bring the country together to celebrate the opening of this museum and highlighting civil rights movement and the progress that we've made. and i would hope that those individuals would join in that celebration instead of protesting it. however, they have ever right to protest it. jordan? >> insult that he's coming as we've had issues at charlottesville, the back ang forth the president couldn't keep his statement clear? >> i think he got it clear when, i think he made it very clear. >> thanks, sarah. did the president know that michael flynn lied to the fbi at the time that he fired him in february? >> look, the president knew that he lied to the vice president. that was the reason for his firing. >> matthew? >> i have a follow up.
so your predecessor said on june 6th the president of the united states considered official statements by the president of the united states in regards to his tweets. does ta standahat standard stil to the president's tweets? >> it does. and you are probably referencing the tweet that was written by the president's attorney and he since clarified that and i would refer you ba can to that clarification. >> the white house initially said if the accusations are true for roy moore then he should step aside. i'm wondering how they are lying? >> he didn't say they were lying. the president's position hasn't changed. still finds it concerning. but as we have also said, the president feels that he would rather have a person that
supports his agenda versus somebody who opposes his agenda every step of the way. and until the rest of that process plays out, you have a choice between two individuals. and the president has chosen to support moore. >> even if that person has done what roy moore accusers have said? >> again, we said the allegations are concerning. and if true he should step aside. but we don't have a way to validate that. and that's something from the people the alabama to decide. and we've said that. and ultimately come down to the people of alabama to make that decision. david? >> can you tell me a little bit about the process and timing how the president got to potential jerusalem announcement tomorrow? do you have some what of a back story in that to the degree you can? >> i can tell you it was a very thoughtful interagency process in terms of specifics, that's something that will be addressed in greater detail later this evening. at the background briefing. and further by the president and his remarks tomorrow. >> quick follow up p evangelical
role in that, how faithfis that? >> best decision for the united states, and i'm not going to get ahead of the events later today and tomorrow. >> i have a question for you about special counsel's office. does the president believe that special kpoe special counsel robert mueller or anybody on his staff is biased in any way against the president? >> i think we have seen some reports that certainly causal great deal of concern. and we hope those are fully looked at and investigated. blake? >> follow up if i may, sarah. i think it was about five or six weeks ago that you indicated from that podium on a few occasions that you believed the white house believes that mr. mueller's investigation will be wrapping up shortly. since that time we have seen very high level aide to the president, former aide to the president, former national
security adviser has entered a plea deal with the special counsel's office. do you still believe that this investigation is wrapping up soon? >> we would refer you to the comments by ty cobb that he indicated as such as in the past few days. >> if robert mueller ends up looking into the president's finances or has already looked into the president's fninances, does the white house believe that's a red line and if so why? >> i think it's important to note, and hopefully you guys have seen this statement, that jay sec a low confirmed that the news reports of the special counsel had subpoenaed financial records related to the president are completely false. so subpoena has been issued. we have confirmed this with the bank. i think this is another example of the media going too far and
too fast and don't see it going in that direction. >> let me ask you the second red line, this white house has consistently said there are two red lines on tax reform, middle class relief and then 20% corporate rate. but the president over the weekend seems to stug that he would be amiable to a corporate rate up to 22%. why would he be willing to step over his own red line on that issue? >> look, the president said, just i guess maybe a couple of hours ago, that we are firm and we feel strongly about the 20% and we are very excited about the progress we made on that front and think we'll get there on both sides in the house and senate. >> two quick things. one, does the president believe as the lawyer from the court today, that a baker could put a sign in his window saying we don't bake cakes for gay weddings and that would be legal? >> i'm sorry can i say the first part. >> yeah the lawyer from
solicitor lawyer said today in the supreme court it would be legal, it would be possible for a baker to put a sign in his window saying, quote, we don't bake cakes for gay weddings. does the president agree that would be okay? >> the president certainly supports religious liberty. and that's something that he talked about during the campaign and since upheld and since taking office. >> that would include that. >> i believe that would include that. >> one other country on russia, what does the president think of the decision to ban russian athletes from the olympics in 2018? >> i haven't had the ability to speak with him directly about that decision since it was made here earlier today. but i'll certainly be happy to talk to him and follow up with you on that. kathryn? >> sarah, for a shut down. does the white house think it's ha possibility? >> it's always a possibility but certainly not what we hope for. and we have both nancy pelosi
and chuck schumer coming later this week and the president hopes to have conversations with them to make sure that doesn't happen. >> and the president doesn't think it's politically advantageous? >> i said that isn't what we want to see happen and we'll have meetings to try to make sure it doesn't. >> when did the president know that michael flynn lied to the fbi? >> as i said earlier i referred you back to john doud clarification. >> i'm asking for a day. when did he find out? was it when the announcement was made friday or prior to that? >> i'm not aware but refer you to john doud on that specific question since that's a legal matter. >> no problem. point to you, you have waited on other special matters before, statement of fact during the administration what day the president discovered this lie issue? >> and i'm telling you as a statement of fact you should contact john doud. >> you said a minute ago would
want somebody in the senate who supports his views rather than one down. is it the white house position that it is worst to have a democrat in that senate state than somebody who is accused of sexually abusing a teen girl? >> look, as i said, we find the allegations to be troubling. >> why did the president endorse? >> look, i think that those are different things in terms of we aren't going to be the ones who determine that process. that's for the people of alabama to determine what those things come down on. he does want people that support his agenda. he's not going to obviously support a democrat. and i think if that's our standard then we need to look at a number of members of congress that have allegations brought against them that are still in office. steven? >> thanks, sarah. i do want to announce something with regard to john doud, he's argued that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice because he's the chief law enforcement officer in the
country. that's his opinion. does the white house share that opinion? has this alonglooked into that? >> i'm not going to get in back and forth on legal theories. but as the president said there is no collusion and no obstruction. and that we are kftd that tconf the facts will show that. >> obstruction of justice now, discussed in the last couple of days. what do you think about it? >> i'm not an attorney. and as far as i know only john decker in the room is. and so if you want to ask him legal questions, you certainly can. i don't know if he'll answer them. that's as far as i'll go. >> i'm not ha attorney either. let me ask you. >> i know. that's why i didn't call you out. >> i appreciate that. >> this decision ton jerusalem is the president concerned there could be violence in recognizing jerusalem as capital of israel? has that been looked at by this white house? >> a number of things have been
looked at that weighed into the president aesz decision, but as i said a few minutes ago i'm not going to get ahead of his remarks and happy to address those on a later time. >> i have a couple of questions. isn't there a moral decision that you are making here? and i'm sure you heard this talked about in the news the last couple of days that the president has decided to endorse roy moore. this is someone who has been accused of child abuse, of molesting children. how can that vote in the senate be that important that you would take a gamble on somebody who has been accused of molesting kids? >> i think that's something as i've said. >> under age? >> as i've said, that's something for the people of alabama to decide. and up to them. >> anyway? has he wrestled with that question? >> as i said we find the allegations very troubling. and again this is up to the people of alabama to make that decision. i'm not a voter in alabama and can't make that decision.
>> sarah, thank you. the president said that the tax plan will hurt him individually. will the president release his taxes to prove that? >> i'm not aware of any plan to do that. but if it changes i'll certainly let you know. >> he can release it even if under audit. >> as he said as long as it's under audit he won't do that. and i'm not aware of changing any plans. >> john? >> on matter of procedure on roy moore endorsement. did the president have any conversations with chairman mc-daniel of the rnc after he made his position known or did he talk to state chairman latham in alabama or any of the players involved in the republican national committee before they decided to get back in the race and support roy moore? >> i know there have been conversations between administration officials and the rnc and supported that move. but legally i can't, because of the hatch act, go much further
beyond that. >> you can't take who the officials are? >> i know there were multiple conversations. i'm not aware if he spoke specifically with the chairman. but i do know the administration supported the rnc's decision. however, i can't go any further than that at this time. hunter. >> thank you, sarah. given the president's endorsement, does he agree that muslims should not be allowed to serve in congress? >> i haven't asked him about a past statement from roirm. >> roy moore. >> the president doesn't support everything of roy moore agenda. >> does president support douche bank to cooperate with documents from u.s. law enforcement if they get them? >> as i said a few months ago jay sack a low from the president's legal team. >> if they get a request, should they comply with that? >> look, i'm not going to get
into hypothetical situations and try to determine everything that could happen. we know it hasn't happened up until this point. and that the reports out were totally false and again the media got ahead pushing that story that wasn't true. >> just a follow up on one more event. are you saying that, are you saying let the people decide, but this administration has endorsed roy moore. why endorse him? you are influencing it by endorsing him. and secondly are you saying no matter who runs with it, you are in lock step and key with the president? >> i'm not going to get into that. >> this person. >> i'll finish answering the question if you allow me to. the end of your question was every person that runs from the congress, one i'm not going to weigh in, because i don't know who might run for office. but what i can say the president
made that decision. and he decided that it was better to have somebody that supports his agenda than a democrat that doesn't. again, it's still up to the people of alabama to decide. they are ultimately the only ones that can vote in the election. we'll see what happens. last question, dave. >> thanks, sarah. administration reported today that illegal border crossings have dropped to 45 year low does that lessen the urgency getting down to spending decisions whether to go forward with building the wall in this budget? >> i think it shows probably the effectiveness of the trump presidency. and another success story as we wrap up the year. and certainly something that could be looked at. but i think the need for the border wall and border security as well as responsible immigration reform still stands. and we still need to look at all the ways that we can protect our national security. and we still feel strongly that's one of them. thanks so much, guys. >> briefing. >> all right. back now with our panel to
discuss pretty event full white house briefing. michael zelden to you first, this was fascinating when sarah huckabee sanders was asked did the president know when flynn lied to the fbi in february. her answer was he lied to the vice president. michael flynn lied to the vice president that was the reasoning for the firing. later she said the white house was not aware of when the president knew when flynn lied to the fbi. you need to try to be aware, just to be clear, but don mcghan told them in january that. and she is staying away from that. >> how is it that the vice president didn't know it also? because he's gone on and said i didn't know it.
and unless this is wag the dog and vice president who is going to funerals in far away places, how does he not know what's going on here too? so was he being truthful? and was this lie to the vice president a pre-tex? >> i think those are questions that mueller will have to answer for us. >> and don't forget, this story only came out after "the washington post" published it. >> that's when flynn was fired. >> when flynn was fired after it became public. and there was a matter of weeks between of when mack gan met with sally yates who was then the acting attorney general, and when flynn was fired. so the questions that mueller is obviously asking is who knew what when, including the president of the united states. now you have the president's spokesperson coming out there and saying that, you know, the president knew that he lied to the vice president, that was the reason for his firing. but you didn't directly answer the question. >> that's right. and it creates this nightmare for them, which is doud is
saying one thing, ty cobb is saying another thing. now sarah huckabee sanders on behalf of the president is saying sort of a third thing. there is a gang that can't shoot straight aspect to this and mueller will have to sort it out. >> further complicating this is you have john doud the president has the white house folks legally, then he has personal legal team. so you have john doud part of the personal team who is saying now that he's the one who actually drafted the tweet that president trump put out that said he fired flynn not just because of lying to vice president but because he lied to the fbi. so it seems like there is admission he knew he lied to the fbi, but he hadn't said that at this point in time. she then basically punted that onto john doud saying yeah look he is the one who was beyond the tweet. >> now they can vie for the
johnny apple seed award. cast reasonable doubt. all the contradiction is a great thing in the core public opinion because you never know which one has the right story and which one is credible. laying the ground work to discredit the agency that is investigating people closer to your inner circle. now you add the contradictions. and what are the american people to do? how do they evaluate it? which is why you have to look to the special counsel office who can weighed through all of this and say this is what the media is doing in playing catch up and the seed planting is going on. but ultimately our role here is to try to figure out what happened. and i think the closer you get to these, and you have the guilty pleas and conviction, that's going to be the true testament, not how well sarah huckabee sanders will clean up this game happening in the white house. >> let me say one thing. she didn't clean it up today she made it messier.
>> that's the point. >> but i think she gets put in la difficult position, because she's obviously not privy. >> is she trying to not be privy? >> i don't know. >> it's not unusual for a white house press secretary don't ask about something you don't want to talk about, then you don't have to talk about it. >> but what di do think is important about names being brought up, talked about this before she took the lectern, sarah huckabee sanders took the lectern, why they don't want to deal with congress. for a couple of reasons, one is that it's republican led investigations right now. these are not democrat politically led investigations. they are republican led investigations at this point. now there is a rub right now about whether the investigations are going as robust as democrats would like to see. but in addition to that when you testify before congress as opposed to going into some nonscript office building in a
city known as washington d.c. to have testimony, oftentimes in congress you are in front of the cameras. and when you are in front of the cameras and taking oath of office, all bets are off. mission creek, that's when they can get donald trump junior, anybody for that matter, and ask them ha lot of questions that could be very embarrassing. >> i want to ask you about something. john doud had made this case in like you were saying there is so many ideas about what the legal strategy is, but john doud on the president's personal legal team has said there is no obstruction of justice because the president is the top law enforcement official so technically he can't obstruct justice. she was asked about that because that's not what we are hearing from white house counsel's office. what she answered was, referred to what the president said, in has been no collusion, there has been no obstruction. and she said the facts will show that. which did seem to what we are hearing from the white house counsel's office that it's going
to be a fact based defense here. >> yeah, and that's what ty cobb alluded to as well the facts will exonerate the president at some point in time. that may be the case, brianna. what we do know right now is we have legal teams, including john doud making statements that have legal consequences. you cannot very well say you are aware of his lies to the fbi, which is one of the things they are trying to investigate as to whether he engaged in obstruction of justice, when he fired james comey. by the way, based on the premise that he couldn't let an investigation go to michael flynn. so once again you are in this gray area of who are you going to believe. and the question, the answer can be answered by robert mueller who says the credibility are being made by us and we are going to make our decisions based on that. >> let's just stipulate this is not a well oiled legal machine that the president has. hand i don't think it's so much. >> three machines tied together that keep bumping into each other. >> but i don't think it's so
much john daud and ty cobb disagreeing. i think ty cobb with my discussions with him has always been saying this is going to be a fact based investigation. i think doud did is put the cart before the horse and say no matter what he can't be prosecuted for obstruction. and so that started the conversation. that is not their legal strategy. that is doud's opinion. that is not a strategy that they have presented to mr. mueller and said, you know, forget what you are doing here. there is no case to be made no matter what. >> as far as we know. >> as far as we know. but, you know, so i don't think it's so much a conflict as it is a matter of timing and what doud should have said at any ti particular moment. >> we'll have to leave our conversation. thank you so much. and you just heard the white
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house called the allegations against alabama senate candidate roy moore still very troubling, but that the president still supports him and wants someone to win who supports his agenda. the republican national committee has also changed its tune. it's putting support financially back behind moore. you may remember that last month
the reason kra had severed ties with moore following accusations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and allegations that he has pursued relationships with teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s. but now the rnc -- now an rnc official is telling cnn they're restoring funding for moore's campaign. this is a decision that came just hours after president trump ramped up his endorsement for moore. trump reiterating that support today. >> i think he's going to do very well. we don't want to have a liberal democrat in alabama, believe me. we want strong borders. we want stopping crime. we want to have the things that we represent and we certainly don't want to have a liberal democrat that's controlled by nancy pelosi and controlled by chuck schumer. we don't want to have that for alabama. thank you all very much. >> my next guest is the founder of we knowe of bikers for trump. he is planning another event in
birmingham on saturday. chris cox, thank you so much for joining me. the rnc is now financially supporting roy moore again. i do want to ask you personally, how did you make up your mind about whether or not to believe roy moore's accusers? >> well, we're certainly here to support our president. like you've heard him say not that long ago, that we certainly don't want this seat to fall in the hands of the democrats. it's our opinion at bikers for trump that the diplomats are setting the bar very high for just how low they're willing to go and we think desperate people do desperate things, and i think that exemplified what the democrats are doing right now. >> so you think the democrats are behind these accusers of roy moore's? is that what you're saying? >> well, we take these allegations very seriously, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me.
i mean, look at all the women that came out and accused donald trump. where are they now? what are we hearing from them now? we're hearing nothing but crickets. i think this is a ploy to distract the voters here in alabama, to confuse them and keep them home from the polls. >> to be clear, chris, one of those women who accused donald trump is actually in court today saying that she's in court proceedings related to this saying he defamed her. i want to make that clear. that literally happened last hour. but back to roy moore's accusers, you know, right, that they're mostly if not all republicans who have only ever supported republicans, right? these are not democratic women. these are not women who identify with the democratic party. who are accusing him. but do you believe them or do you think that they are -- they're being dishonest in this accusations? >> well, first and foremost, i believe in the bikers for trump collectively believe in the constitution, the principles
this country was founded on. one of which is you're presumed innocent until proven guilty. due process. we can't allow the direction and political orientation of a state shift on allegations. so we're going to do our best to show the woman's perspective on the platform of bikers for trump so we'll inspire women around the state of alabama to put their insecurities behind them and to show up at the polls and vote for judge roy moore. >> what do you mean put their insecurities behind them? >> well, this -- the news, you know, he's pretty much been found guilty as far as the news is concerned. public opinion has been lynching him. but it's not like judge moore is new to the political landscape in alabama. he's been around for 30 years. he's been here for some time. the citizens of alabama have been able to get to know him on a personal level. they've been to church with him. they've been in many different situation with him and over a 30-year period, we've never heard anything like this.
you think it would have come up before now. that's why we believe at bikers for trump that this is right out of the dirt and playbook of politics. so we're going to do everything we can to squash that narrative. >> okay. i want to listen to something that doug jones, who is the democratic opponent to roy moore, has said. >> i believe these women and so should you. we need to look at this as parents, not voters. will we tell our daughters that if you're abused and if you speak out you will be believed and alabama will stand with you regardless of when you come forward. or will we tell our young sons that this behavior, this disturbing behavior is okay? if you're powerful enough or important enough, alabama will simply look the other way. >> so, chris, when i hear you talking about this, i hear you questioning the timing more
than -- and the timing of this as it relates to roy moore as he's running for senate. but do you think, i mean, are these accusations -- do they just not matter as much as someone who -- putting someone in the senate who would not support donald trump's agenda? i mean, is that what you're saying, that it's more important that his agenda is supported by whoever is the senator from alabama than getting to the bottom of these accusations? >> by no means. getting to the bottom of these allegations means exercising due process. exercising the principles that or forefathers used to form for the framework of this government. and for us to switch and change the leadership and orientation of a senate race i think is just unjustified. i think we need to move forward. that the citizens of alabama are going to do some soul searching. they're going to look back over the last 30 years of leadership by judge roy moore and they're going to come to the right decision and we're going to
support him. >> i want to ask you about mitch mcconnell. he's not a popular figure among people who support roy moore. and he had -- he had, though, just recently changed his tune. he seems to be in a way -- he's insisting he's not changing his tune, but he's now saying that this is all up to the voters of alabama. here's what he said. >> there's been no change of heart. i had hoped earlier he would withdraw as a candidate. that obviously is not going to happen. if he were to be elected, he would immediately have an ethics committee case and the committee would take a look at the situation and give us advice. >> okay. so he's still saying there, look, he may be in trouble ethically in the senate. there is a question from some republicans who had previously said he should be expelled. but what's your reaction to that, to mitch mcconnell now saying it's going to be up to the voters of alabama? >> we put little weight in what
mitch mcconnell says. i believe that she's sly and he's fickle. we're going to leave this to the decision of the citizens of alabama. we trust their judgement and we trust that the leadership that roy moore has exemplified over the last 30 years and we're confident that roy moore will win this race and he will be there to support donald trump and his agenda. >> all right. we'll be watching. we are one week out from this special election. chris cox, thanks so much for being here with us on cnn. >> thank you, everybody. and just in, a small number of u.s. troops are being repositioned overseas ahead of president trump's expected announcement tomorrow to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. these troops are mainly marines. they specialize in securing u.s. embassies. the u.s. state department is already warning about demonstrations planned in jerusalem and also the west bank. thank you so much for joining me. i'm brianna keilar. "the lead" with jake tapper "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
from the resignation of the longest serving member of the house of representatives democrat john conyers who announced what he called his retirement today after a series of allegations and reports about settlements dealing with his past alleged sexual harassment. to the president and republican party full-throatedly supporting roy moore who has been credibly accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. the guilty plea from the former national security adviser and the questions raised about the president and his team regarding michael flynn's admission he lied to the fbi about contacts with the russian ambassador. today the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee said president trump's nomination for ambassador to singapore, k.t. mcfarland, who had once been flynn's deputy national security adviser in the white house, has put her nomination on hold because of concerns she was less than truthful about flynn and russia. >> her nomination is frozen for