tv White House Briefs Reporters on Sean Spicer Resignation CSPAN July 21, 2017 6:00pm-6:52pm EDT
work." >> we push back on the morbidity of abortion. we push back on the case that it is dangerous. people making decisions about reproduction, a process that occurs within their body, that it is within their agency as human beings to make those decisions. >> >> earlier this afternoon it was announced sarah huckabee sanders will be president secretary, press following the resignation of sean spicer. and tonight we'll show you a c-span interview from april with ms. huckabee sanders, who spoke about why she originally joined the trump for president campaign and how she approached her job as deputy press secretary. see that conversation tonight t 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. right now, today's white house
briefing with ms. huckabee sanders and incoming director anthony scaramucci. it's 50 minutes. ms. huckabee sanders: good afternoon. mark the last day of made in america week this afternoon the president will welcome several living survivors of the attack on u.s.s. arizona at pearl harbor and their families. other events this week have focused mainly on products and goods bearing the highly esteemed made in america label. truly the most prized thing to have come out of our country have been the brave men and women who have risked their lives protecting the freedom of americans and our allies around the globe. just a few minutes ago at 2:00 the president signed an executive order that will ensure the men and women of the greatest military in the world have the ships, aircraft, vehicles, and other supplies they will need to keep us safe in the years ahead.
this order commissions the first ever whole government assessment of america's industrial base, marking the first time since president eisenhower that an american president is investing personal attention into the health of the united states defense industrial base. president trump is committed to maintaining the secure supply chain and robust work force that will support our nation's heroes for decades to come. next week we'll be heighting american heroes like world war ii veterans, first responders who keep our communities safe every day, and the boys and girls who will grow up to be the next generation of american leaders. while i'm on the topic of men and women who protect us i also want to note the president commended the house yesterday for voting to reauthorize the department of homeland security for the first time. the homeland security authorization act also authorizes u.s. immigration and customs enforcement for the first time. secretary kelly has already made tremendous progress in fulfilling the president's promise to end illegal
immigration and fully enforce the laws of the united states. this bill reflects the president's strong commitment to ensuring that progress continues. also on the hill of course senate republicans this week continued to work toward our shared goal of saving the american people from the disaster of obamacare. earlier this afternoon, vice president pence and secretary health and human services hosted representatives from several grass roots organizations, calling on the senate to take action on health care legislation. as the president has said inax is simply not an option. these groups want lawmakers to know their members want them to follow through on their promise to the american people. finally, i'd like to read a statement from the president on the resignation of press secretary sean spicer. i'm grateful for sean's work on behalf of my administration and the american people. i wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities.
just look at his great television ratings. sean will continue to serve the administration through august. the president has also appointed anthony scaramucci as communications director and i have a statement on anthony's appointment as well. anthony is a person i have great respect for. he will be an important addition to this administration. he's ban great supporter and will now help implement key aspects of our agenda while leading the communications team. we have accomplished so much and we are being given credit for so little. the good news is the people get it even if the media doesn't. i'd like to bring anthony up to say a few words and take a few questions and, as always, i'll be back after that to answer ny followup questions. mr. scaramucci: thank you very much. i'll be very brief and make my remarks informal and then take questions from everybody. first off i'd like to announce formally that sarah huckabee sanders is press -- oh, you can't hear me? sorry. better?
sarah huckabee sanders will be the press secretary. and so you can congratulate her after the session. still can't hear me? no sound? ok. better now? i'll start over. [laughter] mr. scaramucci: you guys heard me in the front, right? what did i say, john? sarah will be press secretary. right? so congratulations. [applause] and, so, i want to say a couple things. i want to thank personally sean spicer not only on behalf of myself, the president, the administration, but sean is a true american patriot. he's a military serviceman. he's got a great family. and he's done an amazing job. this is obviously a difficult situation to be in and i applaud his efforts here and i love the guy and i wish him well. i hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money. as it relates to me in this position, i'm going to spend a couple weeks getting to know
the people here. and i'm going to be as coordinated as i can with the people inside the west wing. there's been some speculation in the press about being right so i just want to talk about that real quickly. reince and i have been personal friends for six years. we are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers. a lot of people in here have brothers so you get that. he is a friend. he brought me into the political system. he brought me into the republican national committee network. he introduced me to governor walker. we spent many times together socially. a lot of people are not aware of this but after the romney ampaign, i invited reince into skybridge. i think it reflects poorly on reince he didn't take my offer and come in to be our chief operating officer. i say that in jest, obviously. so what i want you guys to know, my first call this morning, i met with him before
-- we sat in the oval office and we are committed as true professionals to the team and the process of getting the administration's message out. i think that is one of the big goals for us. i said during the transition, i'll say it up here. i think there's been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you, perhaps, see the president. i would say the american people probably see the president the way i do but we want to get that message out there and to use a wall street expression there might be an arbitrage spread between how well we are doing and how well some of you guys think we're doing and we're going to work hard to close that spread. i'm done. i'll take the questions. >> number one, what we have seen from this administration so far is the president being his own messenger very frequently. as you know, trouble for the communications staff. how do you expect to get this white house back on track? >> i take slight issue with the
question. the white house is on track and i think we're doing a really good job. we have a whole list of things -- i didn't want to come out here with our list of accomplishments and start a whole advertisement informercial right now. i really just wanted to talk about personnel movement and how we're thinking about things. i think we're doing an amazing job. the president, himself, is always going to be the president. i was in the oval office with him earlier today. we were talking about letting him be himself. letting him express his full identity. i think he has some of the best political instincts in the world and perhaps in history when you think about it. he started his political ascent to -- two years and two months ago and he has done a phenomenal job for the american people. people i grew up with, they so identify with the president and they love him. we'll get that message out. >> my second question --. a little bit about how you plan to handle any potential conflict of interest and how was the offer made to you?
was it by -- was it extended when you were here? >> i don't think it is fair to the president to go into the exact conversation because i want to keep those conversations between me and him private but we talked a little bit about the white house. we talked a little bit about our personal relationship. then we extended the offer -- he extended the offer to me and i said i'll do it because i want to serve the president. a lot of family members have served the american military. unfortunately my generation, born in 1954, i did not serve. i filled out the selective service. that is one of the regrets of my life so this is an opportunity for me to serve the country. i love the president. i obviously love the country. look at my life experience here in the country. and so it's an honor. [question inaudible] >> so i have worked with the office of governmental ethics to take care of all of my business conflicts. my start date is in a couple weeks so there is a 100% totally cleansed and clean and i don't see an issue and the
government ethics office doesn't nor does the white house. something i want to say about this, though. when you are bringing american business people into the administration that have had some level of success in society they have to unencumber themselves. it is just a very interesting thing. it's somewhat ironic. you want to go serve the country and the first thing is to take on this megaopportunity cost by getting rid of all of your assets. i'm willing to do that because i love the country. >> anthony, you've been watching this white house somewhat from the side and i'm sure you have your own perspective on what you've seen. --. t quite as you >> what is the first thing you're going to change to try to right this ship and put it on course? >> again, i take issue with that. i think the ship is going in the right direction. i think we've got to just radio signal the direction very, very clearly. i like the team. let me rephrase that. i love the team. and so i'm an incrementalist.
most entrepreneurs you'll find are incrementalists. to say something overly bold or dramatic is unfair. what good entrepreneurs do is they start the day and they go through the process. the navy seals would tell you if you want to eat an elephant you got to eat it one elephant at a time. sarah and i are going to do that together. >> anthony, did you have any hesitation taking this job knowing it might cause some friction in that it might lead to sean leaving, which is what's going to happen, and the two are at least somewhat coincidental? and did you have any hesitation about how you would relate to the rest of the white house staff if you came in under those circumstances? mr. scaramucci: ok, well listen. i'm a business person and so what happens in business a lot of the times is you have some rotation in personnel. as you're making changes and you have lifestyle choices people are also making. i would love to have sean here. sean decided he thought it would be better to go. and for me, as it relates to
sean it speaks volumes to who he is as a human being and a team player. his attitude is if anthony is coming in, let me clear the slate for anthony. i appreciate that about sean and i love him for it, but i don't have any friction with sean, i don't have any friction with reince. this is the white house of the united states of america. we're serving the president. i want to make sure our cultural template is that we put the president's agenda first, which is perfect for the american people. so if we have a little friction inside the white house as a result of that, it's ok. we can live with that. i'm a business person and i'm used to dealing with friction. >> was it disappointing that you did not land a post here from the get-go? mr. scaramucci: again, as an entrepreneur you have to be accustomed to setbacks. i've had a series of setbacks in my life which i wrote about. i wrote a best selling book. if you don't believe me you can come into my basement and i'll show you every copy. i am very honest about mistakes i made and setbacks i've had. was i disappointed?
yes. i said that candidly that i was disappointed. but i love the president and i'm very, very loyal to the president. i love the mission that the president has. since the early days of the campaign, when i went to these rallies and i saw the love that the people had for the president, and a lot of -- i grew up in the middle class. so there is a struggle out there. i feel that struggle and i have empathy for that and i want to make it better for the american people. i'll try to get there. i promise. >> it was felt the president needed a clean slate. how does that go with a white house in the right direction and how badly does the president need a win on health care? mr. scaramucci: here is one problem with the way our society is working. right now we are micro managing the seconds of the new cycle. i predicted the president will
get a win in health care. that is my honest prediction just because i see him in operation over the last 20 plus years. the president has really good karma. ok? and the world turns back to him. he is a wonderful human being and as members of congress get uncomfortable with him they'll let him lead them to the right thing for the american people. we'll get health care done and i think we'll get tax reform done. whatever else is on the president's agenda we'll work very studiously to make it happen. >> the cameras are back. will you commit now to holding regular on camera briefings? >> with hair and makeup, i'll consider it. i did a lot of hair and makeup, john. really. this is the press secretary. i'm up here today only because i think it's the first day we made a mutual decision that it would make sense for me to come up and try to answer as many questions as possible.
the answer is, we may. i have to talk to the president. i like consulting with the president before making decisions like this. reporter: one of the president's strongest supporters for a while now. but does he know what you said about him in 2015 when he said he was a hack politician? mr. scaramucci: he brings it up every 15 seconds. one of the biggest mistakes i made because i was an inexperienced person and politics and was supporting another candidate. he should have never said that about him. mr. president, if you're listening,i personally apologized for the 50th time for saying that. here is the wonderful thing about the news media -- that was three minutes of my life, he has never forgotten it, you have never forgotten it. i hope some day, mr. president, you will forget it. let's go to the next question. reporter: a question about credibility, things that have been said in this room. we don't have -- a variation of what i asked sean spicer's first day -- is it your commitment to give accurate information to the best of your ability from that podium?
mr. scaramucci: i almost feel i don't have to answer that question. you can tell from me and my body language what kind of person i am. reporter: was reince involved in offering you this position? was he consulted by the president ahead of time? mr. scaramucci: yes, he was consulted. there was a lot of speculation about the timing and so forth. we are a team. reporter: job was offered? mr. scaramucci: some of this stuff, it is unnecessary to go into the granular detail. it is like that book "the circle," you have a camera on you. when you're having conversations. i don't think it's fair to the president. here's what i would tell you. i'm a team player. i've played team sports my whole life, at least as a kid. i believe you have to subordinate yourself to the greater good of the team. if teammates don't have disagreements about certain
things, they are not going to get the championship. you have got to get together and mix it up a little bit from time to time. i have no problem mixing up with these guys. i love these guys, i respect to these guys. is it perfect everything ok? whose life is perfect every single day? here's the commitment i'm making to you and the american people and the president, i'm here to serve him in the west wing. reporter: you admitted to regular televised briefings and having a transparent relationship with the press? are you committed to that? mr. scaramucci: again, i'm obviously committed to being transparent, because i'm standing here, but i would like to talk it over with the president. we have a new press secretary and i would like to talk it over with her. we will get back to you on it hisen, i'm standing right here and i'll -- i'm trying to answer every question. go ahead. reporter: the president has
been feeling under siege with the russia investigation. do you feel he was being exposed and that he did not have people coming to his defense? is that part of the reason we have you here? mr. scaramucci: i don't think so. not at all. one of the things i'm doing today is i sort of have my white house counsel briefing before have the press briefing. i want to limit my remarks related to the russian situation and things like that. here is what i will tell you about the president and he is the most competitive person i've ever met. i've seen this guy throwing a dead spiral through a tire. i've seen him at madison square garden sending file shots and swishing them. he sinks three-foot putts. i don't see him as a guy who was ever under siege. he is a very competitive person. there's a lot of incoming into the white house. the president is aware. ok? what we are going to do is we will do a lot of winning. reporter: in terms of the relationship that the press operations had, they made
a habit of calling stories they don't like fake news, calling errors -- is that the kind of relationship you want with media outlets? m scaramucci: i'll speak for myself right now. it is my first day on the job. i want to get familiar with everybody and get direction from the president. i had a personal incident with your news organization, and i thought i handled it well. you guys said something about me that was totally unfair and untrue. you retracted it and issued me an apology and i accepted the apology immediately. for me, i've never been a journalist but i've played a journalist on television. i used to host "wall street week" for fox business. i have empathy for journalists. sometimes they will get stories wrong. but i sort of don't like the fake news and if you said to me there is some media bias out there, to be candid as i'd like to be with you guys there feels
like a little bit of media bias. we hope to deescalate that and turn that around and let the president's message get out here to the american people. reporter: the president is known that - [indiscernible] that was clearly a problem that sean had at the podium. how do you plan on navigating that? mr. scaramucci: here is what i will say -- i think sean did a very good job. he is a very articulate person. 30 years in communications. i imagine people here will be super excited when he lands in a job and be a very effective communicator wherever he goes. as it relates to standing at the podium, everybody has their own individual personality. i do believe that the best messenger, the best media person, the most savvy person in the white house is the president of the united states, and i'm hoping to learn from
him as well as learn from sarah and other people. reporter: your relationship with the president -- how long has it lasted? m scaramucci: the first time i met the president, he was a name brand even back in the day. i was 31. a personal friend of mine, we were at goldman sachs together, he introduced me to the president. i met him a few more times. the president of the yankees introduced me to him a few times. and then i would say we got closer during the romney campaign where we had a couple fundraisers in his magnificent apartment. listen, i have a good relationship with the president, i love the president. you guys in the media know i have been very, very loyal to him, and i will do the best i can with my heart and soul in this job to serve him the best i can. reporter: are there going to be other changes? mr. scaramucci: the thing i can talk about specifically is that dan scavino and hope hicks are staying.
i know there was some speculation about that. i just spoke to them. i love the two of them. i go back a long ways with them. i think they are 2 phenomenal people. as it relates to the other people in the comm shop, i need to get to know them. sean was incredibly gracious, a few hours ago we sat in his office and he spoke to them on my behalf. reince was incredibly gracious. i spoke to them as well. i got to get to know the people, they get to know me. hopefully they will like me and want me to stay. and want to stay. we will make it a very fun place to work. we will try to get everybody. [question inaudible] mr. scaramucci: that is a really good question but it is inappropriate for me to answer that question right now. i have to get back to you on that and get direction from general mcmaster and the president. i will do every thing i can to get to every person in this
room. reporter: will president trump have a press conference with us in the near future? mr. scaramucci: i will talk to him, absolutely. listen, he is a great communicator. he won this election -- i used to know the numbers a lot better when i was in the campaign and transition, i think we spent, i don't know, 60% of the money and one third of the personnel. we won the president because of donald j. trump. he is an unbelievable olitician. of course at some point we will make sure that happens. i don't know what point that will be, but i will talk to him. i will get to everybody. i will do my very best to get to everybody. reporter: anthony, you seem like a very savvy person, and you said that the white house is a difficult place. how are you going to handle a couple things?
mr. scaramucci: let me explain that -- it is a difficult place because here is what happens. it is a little cramped in there. you have a lot of reporters from international news agencies, and it is a difficult place, because you are trying to get a job done and you are sitting in a fishbowl. that is what i mean by it's a difficult place. i don't mean difficult in terms of people. what you find is that there is a lot less palace intrigue than is getting reported about. but that does create tension and anxiety, and i will work alongside my peers to reduce the tension and anxiety because we all genuinely like each other. reporter: how are you going to handle, when a crisis or big things come up, and you put a sophisticated message out at night, and the president in the morning tweets something very different. are you willing to say you made a mistake?
mr. scaramucci: listen, i took trial advocacy at harvard law school -- a little name dropping, if you don't mind. i'm not going to answer that because it is a ypothetical. the first thing they teach is not to answer a hypothetical. here's what i will tell you. i love the president. the president is an effective communicator and he will use social media -- if i get this wrong, i will hear it from him. 113 million, 114 million? i know he is picking up 300,000 followers today, god bless him. it is an effective use of reaching the american public directly, and listen, i welcome him continuing to do that. i think it is very, very important for him to express his identity, because what i have found when i travel around the country, people love him. reporter: the message is different -- [indiscernible] mr. scaramucci: that is a hypothetical so how can i answer that? i don't know what the tweet is.
i don't know what happened. just unfair. you learn that early in law chool. reporter: since he wants to get his message out wouldn't he believe getting it on camera would be beneficial? mr. scaramucci: yes not express that opinion that he has not express that opinion to me so i cannot that. reporter: how much going forward? mr. scaramucci: as much or as little as he wants to be. he is the president of the united states. i'm here to serve him. i will do the best to communicate what is the most effective strategy for him to get his message out to the american people and the global community. but it is as much or as little as he wants to be. he gave me orders today and i will report directly to him. i'm going to do my very best to serve him as much or as little as he wants. reporter: your relationship with the chief of staff - is he your boss, or do you report directly to the president? mr. scaramucci: ok, so i will let reince answer that.
i have no problem reporting to reince. i can only speak about my management style. ok? i worked on wall street for 29 years. no one's ever worked for me. people worked with me. i believe in a lot of collaboration. if you do that, it is empowering for people. i have no problem working for reince. the president said i report to him directly. listen, you guys are going to be very, very surprised about the relationship that i have with reince and the closeness we are going to have in terms of working to serve the president. he is the chief of staff. it would be foolish of me not to communicate with him, not to relate to him every single thing i'm doing. reporter: do you stand by some of the factual claims that have been contested that have been made by this administration -- 3 million illegal votes cast? do you endorse those statements? mr. scaramucci: a little bit of an unfair question because i'm not up to speed on that -- just candidly telling you that.
reporter: 3 million people voted illegally. mr. scaramucci: ok, so if the president says it, let me do more research on it. my guess is there is probably some level of truth to that. what we have found it sometimes is that the president says stuff, some of you guys in the media think it is true or not true and it turns out to be closer to the truth than some people might think. i'm feeling the hook here. let me get back to that: let me get to blake first. reporter: congratulations on the new job. mr. scaramucci: are you really congratulating me on the new job? reporter: you have gone through your past, law school, business, finance, but you have never held a communications-type role. what would you say to critics who say he has never done anything like this in the white house? secondly, can you lay out why ou wanted the job? thirdly, why you immediately chose sarah to be press
secretary? mr. scaramucci: let me start with sarah. the president thinks she has done an excellent job. a phenomenal job. i agree with him. i think reince priebus and other members of the staff agree. and i'm super proud to work with her. i think she'll be phenomenal as press secretary. as it relates to me, you find in my background and my career, i have a lot of communication experience, and i spent a lot of time on television, spent a lot of time shaping the message for my old firm. time will tell. here is something i will tell you about myself, there is a lot of stuff i don't know, so i will lean on people like sarah to help me be the best i can possibly be. i will take one last question. this question right here. reporter: 2 questions -- because of your legal background and the fact that you mentioned the white house counsel, can you explain what role you've had to play in
communications interacting with he president's legal team? secondly, most analysts who look at white house communication, academia or historians have said when a president says he has communication problems what he has is usually policy and political problems. you're arguing that we're not understanding in the united states how much the president should be appreciated and how much they love him. can you describe to us how much you think -- the president has political and policy problems? mr. scaramucci: start with the irst question. reporter: legal -- will you interact with the president's legal team? mr. scaramucci: i'm a close personal friend with jay sekulow. i have a relationship with john dowd. i will work with don mcgann and
other people to make sure we are handling ourselves in the most appropriate way possible. and that we're on message. that is all i can say about that. reporter: and so than to follow on, communications problems versus policy problems. the way you see that in the context of this president. mr. scaramucci: long ago, teddy roosevelt said that the presidency is a bully pulpit, and the president has a great gift in being able to control the news cycle and the messaging. if we get super coordinated around here with the president and we go back to what he did, some of the great successes he had on the campaign and the transition, and even in the presidency, frankly, it is delivering that message to the american people. i think the policies are fantastic. i think he has done a phenomenal job. i think sarah read something hat he is doing a phenomenal job and we need to get it out
there a little more aggressively and we will do that. i will take one more. reporter: thank you very much. you talked several times about your relationship with reince preibus. can you talk about your relationship with steve bannon? he is said to have had strong objections to you taking this job as well. mr. scaramucci: i am on the record, i've been interviewed about steve. i think he is one of the smartest people i know. he was instrumental in helping us win the election. he has a strong personality, i have a strong personality. we did not overlap at goldman sachs but we both worked there for a period of time. there is something great about that culture. back in yester year. maybe it's true today though i've been out of goldman 21, 22 years. there were 2 great things about that culture -- the first is that you subordinate yourself to the team if you have disagreements. the second thing is that the legendary john weinberg, now deceased, said that some people grow, other other people swell.
it's a great line to think about. for me, i want to keep my head in the game and my ego low and work with steve bannon closely as i possibly can. i have a huge, enormous amount f respect. reporter: you said that you don't need to right the hip. but the president has a 38.8% approval rating. that is historically low. what are you going to do to change that? mr. scaramucci: that is a really good question. these polls are moving targets. i've taken plenty of statistics courses. we know from statistics, because i've taken plenty of statistics courses, that sometimes the polls can be wrong. reporter: the gallup average. mr. scaramucci: ok, but we were using averages during the campaign and they said we were going to lose and we ended up winning. they are a barometric pressure reading for right now, today, but the american people are
playing the long game and i think they really love the president. if you look at individual states, you can see that the guy is doing phenomenally well. it is indicating to me personally that the president is really well loved. there seems to be a disconnection in terms of things going on and we want to correct that, sarah and i. i feel great about what he is doing. maybe you don't feel great, i don't know you. but i want the american people to feel great in general. keep going. reporter: thank you, anthony. there are reports of general mcmaster having disagreements on policy on russia. can you say that there will be no other high-profile resignations of white house staff? mr. scaramucci: i honestly cannot answer that one way or the other, although i have an enormous amount of respect for general mcmaster. i don't know enough.
reporter: you are going to work ith the legal team messaging as it relates to russia --. mr. scaramucci: i specifically said i haven't been briefed yet by the white house counsel about what is appropriate to talk about from this podium so, therefore, i don't want to take any questions related to russia. reporter: is the strategy that seems to be coming from this white house now in going after robert mueller's credibility the right one? r. scaramucci: i -- again, that is sort of in that zip code of the legal team, and not in sarah or my code. it is actually very complicated, and i don't want to bore people with the legal details, but it is important on my first day standing up here that i don't go in that direction. i'm not going to answer the question. not because i'm not trying to be forthcoming. i just think there is legalities there i don't want
o touch. last two questions, then i'm going to go. reporter: the president is the great communicator. how important is the relations between the president and the press? and you think the media -- how is it going to change? how much trust in the white house press? mr. scaramucci: listen, i'm a super optimistic guy. i'm too short to see the glass anything other than half ull. i think the president will have a phenomenal relationship with the press. e will get there together. reporter: don't tell us how to stage the news, we won't tell you how to report the news -- do you think that is an accurate reflection of what your job is? mr. scaramucci: say that again? reporter: don't tell us how to stage the news, we want to you had to report the news. do you think that is accurate? mr. scaramucci: i don't
know. we're in a different world. i have an enormous amount of respect for press secretary speakes, but when he was standing at this podium, it was a different world. everyone of us has a recording studio, television studio, in the palm of their hands. we can say things and it will be read certain ways. sarah and i will work for as many people as we possibly can for today's era. maybe it was accurate for 1980, but sarah and i will think of something cute to say once we start working -- reporter: is it possible for the communication team -- how do you make sure that you are on the same page as this president? what have you said to him about to know what he is thinking and the need where he stands as it relates
to policy? mr. scaramucci: i'm not going to speak on behalf of the president. i have a close relationship with him, sarah has a close relationship with him. it is important to have him express his personality. it has been a very successful life experience for president trump to be president trump. so let's let him do that. let me just finish. and, you know, let's see where the chips fall. when something happens that you don't like or you like he'll talk to me or sarah and we'll address it. >> do you chat with him every day and do you have oval office privileges? mr. scaramucci: i am not one of these people that need to have unnecessary face time with the president. ok? i do have oval office privileges if that's what you're talking about and i do have the opportunity to meet with him because i'll be his comms director and he told me he was going to put me in charge of this. i want to be sure i'm linked to him and in sync with him in a
way that he likes. i'll meet with him but i don't want to waste his time and sit in the oval office unnecessarily. ms. huckabee sanders: thank you, anthony. thank you. obviously i would have been happy for him to stay up here all day and continue to answer all of your questions. i figure i probably should answer a couple today. also, the president has an event shortly so i want to try to work through as many as i can. i'll start with jeff mason since i believe it is maybe your last day and my first so with that, jeff, take it away. reporter: can you talk a little bit about how this will affect the press office and can you speak a little bit for sean about how he is feeling and how he took the news and how he made the decision to resign? ms. huckabee sanders: i'm not
going to speak for sean in detail. i can say that he understood the president wanted to bring in and add new people to the team, and sean felt like it would be best for that team to e able to start with a totally clean slate. i think it speaks volumes to who he is to be willing to do that and allow anthony to come in with a brand new starting place and i think he served the president loyally and admirably. he'll continue to stay on for the next several weeks through the transition. i'm sure he'll be happy to answer some of those questions directly. reporter: first of all, congratulations on the job. ms. huckabee sanders: thank you. reporter: can you clarify where the president stands on the issue of pardons? is he considering pardons in the issue of the russian investigation and does the president believe he has the power to pardon himself? ms. huckabee sanders: i refer
you to the comments already made by the outside counsel in terms of their actions. the president maintains pardon powers like any president would. but there are no announcements or planned announcements on that front whatsoever. reporter: does he believe he has the power to pardon himself? ms. huckabee sanders: i don't have anything to add to what was already said. reporter: according to the "new york times" you raised questions about robert mueller. do you endorse the legal team's efforts to undermine robert mueller's credibility? ms. huckabee sanders: the president has absolutely nothing to do with any of the allegations being made. i think he's maintained that. he wants them to completel tross esas quickly -- complete their process as quickly as possible so we can move on from the ridiculousness of all things russian and russia fever. reporter: the question that i asked, does he endorse his legal team's efforts to undermine the credibility of the special counsel? ms. huckabee sanders: i am not
aware of those details and that is something you'd have to ask his legal team. i am not part of that process. reporter: what does the president want the senate to vote on next week? ms. huckabee sanders: i think as was said earlier this week and many times before the president's preference is to repeal and replace obamacare. we haven't been shy or quiet about that and those intentions have certainly not changed. john? reporter: how much arm twisting is going on regarding the health care bill? the vice president had a lot of conservative groups over today and the conservative groups announced they will be scoring votes next week on the motion to proceed, which i believe is unprecedented. ms. huckabee sanders: i don't think anyone here has made a secret that this is a big priority and that congress should do what they've been talking about for the last seven years. it's time to get in atlanta repeal and replace -- time for them to get in there and repeal and replace obamacare. these groups recognize that. their stns certainly recognizes that.
and they're supporting the mission of their organizations and pushing and putting pressure on members to get the job done. nothing beyond that. reporter: the organizational structure, now that anthony has come in, the press secretary and the comm secretary used to be coequal reporting to the chief of staff. will it remain that way? because there was some move toward making the communications director sort of press ty chief and the secretary and comes director would report to that person. do you still report to reince or to him? ms. huckabee sanders: i think anthony said it better than i can in this capacity. we plan to work together as a team and our goal is to work together to promote the president's agenda not just with the two of us or the entire press comm's office as well as the entire white house staff. reporter: do you report to him or reince? ms. huckabee sanders: we all serve at the pleasure of the president. reporter: there were comments made by a senior administration
official this morning on television talking about motivations of people who are part of the special counsel investigation. do donations to political parties, not the president's party, does the president believe that disqualifies people from being part of this special counsel? ms. huckabee sanders: i don't know we're putting out a litmus test but questions regarding that i would direct you to the outside counsel running that process. reporter: does the president have confidence in -- [indiscernible] ms. huckabee sanders: i have no reason to believe otherwise. eporter: [indiscernible] intelligence committees are already looking into financial data from the commerce department. is there anything the white house can do to stop that? ms. huckabee sanders: the president's point is he doesn't want the special counsel to move beyond its scope and outside of its mission. the president has been very clear as have his accountants and team that he has no financial dealings with russia and, so, i think we've been
extremely clear on that. blake? reporter: it became apparent in the house the first go round on the healthcare bill there that it was going to fail. it was pulled at the last minute, within the last hour or two. when you look at both the repeal in place, the potential, the numbers suggest that they don't have the votes and it's set up to fail. why does the white house believe this time around a vote should proceed? ms. huckabee sanders: again, we continue to focus on repealing and replacing obamacare and we're not going to stop until we can continue to move that forward and get that done. not only have we wanted to commit to that but, frankly, a lot of the members of this senate and the house have not only committed but campaigned on that and it's time for them to step up and get that done. reporter: do you believe that vote should take place next week one way or the other? ms. huckabee sanders: i don't think you can repeal and replace obamacare without a vote so i would think it would be a necessary part of the process. john? reporter: thank you, sarah.
i want to get something straight. earlier in the week you indicated the white house was not opposed to outright repeal. and then based on your remarks today and the remarks two days ago, you seem to favor a repeal and replace. does that mean you are against the outright repeal bill that congressman bigs has introduced? ms. huckabee sanders: not against but our preference is to repeal and replace. reporter: two questions. can you take us through the process of how the president decided to hire this new communications director, anthony scaramucci? and moving forward, what will his role be in terms of objectives that the president wants him to meet? ms. huckabee sanders: as anthony said he's known the president a long time. he's been a loyal supporter of the president. and anthony is somebody who has come from nothing and built an incredible, i think several incredible companies. he is one of the most
successful, smart people that the president could put on his team. and the president recognized that and wanted him to be part of this process. think very early on he was a very strong advocate throughout the transition and this has just been part of the process to bring him inside the white house. reporter: to follow up on rob mueller does president trump have confidence that robert mueller will conduct a fair investigation? ms. huckabee sanders: you know, at this point i don't have any reason to see otherwise. i have not had a chance to ask the president and i'd want clarity on that before i comment. reporter: indiscernible] the oes that say about administration at the start, what has the president learn about himself and his team and himself as president and can
you explain the very high turnover rate we've seen? ms. huckabee sanders: you would have to ask the president what he learned in that process. i can tell you, though, i think what we've all learned is that working together and working to accomplish the things that the american people elected the president to do is our focus. it's what we come here every day to do. we are a lot less focused on the who but the what. we'll continue doing that every single day. jim? i don't see it as chaotic. you want to see chaos come to my house early in the morning with my three kids running around. that's chaos. reporter: there was news this week concerning the attorney general and the resignation of mr. schweitzer could it have the effect of alienate org demoralizing trump loyalists both in and out of the administration? ms. huckabee sanders: i think trump loyalists particularly within the administration but certainly across the country are energized by the accomplishments of the
president in the first six months. stock market is at a high. jobs are growing. regulations are coming off. the country is becoming more secure. the border is becoming more secure. immigration is down. i think we have a lot of things to celebrate. a lot of things to be excited about. i think our morale is pretty high. reporter: first of all, congratulations. >> thank you. reporter: do you approach the new role with excitement, trepidation, apprehension? if you could reflect on the last six months and what you've learned about how it is to speak for the president? is it a tough job? have you found it easy? ms. huckabee sanders: i think it is certainly professionally one of the greatest honors that any person could ever have, to work in any capacity within this building and to get to do that up here in such a public way and speak on behalf of the president is absolutely an honor and something i will cherish and hope to do my very, very best every single day and be as open, honest, and
transparent with you all as humanly possible. and will always work to operate at the highest level and, certainly, with the most amount of integrity as you can. with that, i think that's a great place to end today. and the president will be having an event here shortly. hanks so much, guys. >> earlier today as you just heard, current press secretary sean spicer resigned and it was announced that sarah huckabee sanders will take his place and become president trump's second press secretary. this past april c-span interviewed ms. huckabee sanders about why she originally joined the trump for president campaign. and how she approached her current job as deputy press secretary. she is the daughter of former presidential candidate and
arkansas governor mike huckabee. see that conversation tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. xxx >> join us on c-span3 sunday for an american history tv live special. the 19 ch 67 detroit riots. 50th anniversary. at noon eastern, pulitzer prize winning historian heather ann thompson of the university of michigan and detroit free press editorial page editor steven henderson. at 1:15 p.m. eastern former detroit police chief isaiah, ike mckinnon and former detroit free press journalist tim kiska. an american history tv special. the 1967 detroit riots. 50th anniversary, live, sunday t noon eastern on c-span3. >> for the next hour, an american history tv exclusive. our cities tour visits hyde park, new york, to learn more about its unique history. for six