tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN May 8, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
punishment in grammar even if the president's grade is -- >> sad. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. it was about time as someone diagrammed those sayings. >> now we get it. time for cnn "newsroom" with john berman and poppy harlow. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. we could be just hours away from a new global nuclear order. shortly the president will announce his decision on the iran nuclear deal and all signs are that he will pull out. this is a deal he's called the worst in history. also this morning, president trump's on the phone with chinese president xi jinping. just hours after he met with kim jong-un, the north korean leader. we'll tell you what we're learning with kim. also the president growing unhappy with the man that he hand selected to handle his
counter punch to the russian investigation, his long time friend and attorney rudy giuliani. let's go to the white house. our abby phillip is outside. let's begin with the iran deal and the most consequential announcement from this president on foreign policy coming today. >> reporter: that's right, poppy. one that probably would not come as a huge surprise to a lot of people. the president teased yesterday that he would be announcing this at 2:00 this afternoon and he's widely expected to pull out of the deal that's despite weeks of frantic calls and meetings with the president from his european allies trying to urge him to stay in it, but president trump has for quite a long time dating back all the way through the campaign denounce this had deal as being insufficient and badly negotiated by his predecessors and just take a listen to some of the ways that over the years the president has talked about this iran deal. >> the iran deal, which may be the single worst deal i've ever
seen drawn by anybody -- >> one of the worst and most one-sided transactions. >> it's a bad deal. it's a bad structure. it's falling down. should have never, ever been made. >> what kind of a deal is it where you're loud to test missiles all over the place? >> reporter: so you hear there the president talking a little bit about some of the concerns he has, ballistic missiles being one of them but also this idea that the deal doesn't prevent iran from continuing to fund terrorism in the region. he has support on that point from benjamin netanyahu who's also been pressuring him, along with a lot of republicans to pull out of the deal. we'll see what the actual details are when he announces it later this afternoon. it's important to find out exactly what that's going to mean for the specifics of the iran deal right now. >> that's behind nuclear door number one, behind nuclear door number two, prospective talks
with kim jong-un. what do we know about the phone call with president xi this morning? >> reporter: this phone call is coming just after the china president and kim jong-un met and they announce this had morning that they met face-to-face, the president speaking with the chinese president by phone. he wrote on twitter that the talks would focus on trade where he says good things are happening and north korea, where relationships and trust are building. now, the president is pushing toward expectant meeting with north korea in the next several weeks or so. here's the key thing and maybe the tie here between iran and north korea, what is going to be the u.s. credibility around negotiating a deal with north korea if he is, in fact, deciding to pull out of the iran deal. only time will tell but the president seems pretty optimistic that he can do both of these things and be successful if them. >> abby, before you go, multiple reports that the president is very quickly unhappy with his long time friend, his hand
selected attorney, rudy giuliani. do we know why? >> reporter: the media blitz around rudy giuliani has raised the stormy daniels issue back on to the front pages where president trump, frankly, doesn't want it. sources tell us that there are some concerns that giuliani is just simply flying too close to the sun here, that he's pulling anthony scaramucci and that he might need to pull back because his -- you know, his media blitz hasn't worked out in the president's favor. we have also heard the president trump isn't -- he isn't ready to get rid of giuliani yet. he's already told him that he's giving him the leeway to be out there on television, but giuliani hasn't coordinated with the white house press shop on all of these appearances and has gone back and forth about what he's been saying about the stormy daniels' case. a lot of concern within this white house that he's simply going way too far on this issue.
he's the president's attorney when it comes to the mueller's investigation but he's been talking quite a bit about this other issue with stormy daniels. >> he has, indeed. thank you for that reporting. so bombshell, the new york attorney general resigns late last night after a stunning and incredibly disturbing report. eric schneiderman is a man who brought legal action against harvey weinstein. he's openly criticized president trump over and over again and investigated him. he's now accused of physically assaulting at least four women. >> the allegations include slapping, choking, threatening on so many different levels. the allegations are plentiful and horrific. >> horrific because it's -- he was a champion for women and during the me too movement. poppy you mentioned about everything with the harvey weinstein, this is a tremendous fall from grace for a rising politician, again, someone who was really active in the me too movement. this is a man who filed an enormous lawsuit against harvey weinstein and the weinstein company and he reached a
$25 million settlement for the students for the now defunct trump university. two of the women spoke on the record to the new yorker, two other women wanted to remain anonymous. according to the "the new yorker," three other women have romantic relations with the attorney general but none say they consent today physical abuse in those relationships. manning barish describes the abuse like this, quote, all of a sudden he just slapped me, open handed and with great force across the face landing the blow directly on to my ear. he then used his body wait to hold me down and he began to choke me. the choking was very hard. it was really bad. i kicked in every fiber i felt i was being beaten by a fan,ened quote. she recalls going to the hospital after one of the incidents. another one, dated schneiderman from the summer of 2016 to last fall and she said this to the "the new yorker," sometimes he'd tell me to call him master and he'd slap me until i did. he started calling me his brown
slave and demanded that i repeat that i was, quote, his property. the woman also claimed many times this abuse happened after schneiderman had been heavily drinking, sometimes on drugs and they say he would threaten to kill them if the women left the relationship. at the time the women did not go to authority. schneiderman strongly contests all of these allegations but he is resigning today. he described the allegations as role playing, quote, in the privacy of intimate relationships, i've engaged in role playing and other consensual sexual activity. i have not assaulted anyone. i have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line i would not cross. now after the article published, it just took three hours for schneiderman to resign. ronan pharaoh had this to say about his comments on "new day" this morning. >> i just want to relate the message of one of these women and it was a shared sentiment amongst this group that this was
not role playing, that this was not 50 shades of gray. it wasn't in a gray area at all. this was activity that happened in many cases fully clothed outside of a sexual context during arguments -- >> he continues to talk about how difficult it was for these women to even come forward. we're talking about the highest legal wise in the state of new york. we also know that manhattan's district attorney is looking into all this conduct. >> thank you. let's bring in our appreciate political analyst rob brownstein and alex byrnes. as john pointed out so aptly this morning, yeah for journalism, right. horrific that this happened, but good that people are being held accountable. three hours after these allegations came out, alex, he resigns. >> it's really staggering that this is -- it's not just the breadth and severity and really disturbing nature of the allegations, it's the reality that eric schneiderman was so
prominent for so long and so powerful in exactly the area that is supposed to police these kinds of allegation that's he really put himself forward as a champion for women, as an opponent of a whole range of trump administration policies including policies that he described as hostile to women. from a political standpoint, this does leave democrats in new york as a really decision point in trying to figure out how are they going to find somebody who can step into that job and continue the work that schneiderman was doing while also sending the message somehow to the people of the state that even though they've now seen over and over very prominent office holders here disgraced in the most lurid ways possible that they'll going to find somebody that won't embarrassed the state like that. >> disgraced again and again. eric schneiderman has a national role because of the way he has chosen to go after president trump on some things and there have been a lot of people on the left and progressive who have looked at him as possible save
your of the mueller investigation. schneiderman would take it up in new york and federal pardons don't work in state court. is this a set back for people who are looking for a backup plan? >> we saw this begin under president obama with attorney generals repeatedly suing the administration over almost all of those policy decisions from immigration to health care. the idea of essentially a second front in the states, you battle the other party in congress horizontally now you have to fight vertically and we've seen democrats attorney general pick that up completely under trump. it is now a feature of our politics. on the one hand, this is a setback, on the on the other hand that whoever succeeds him will take on this role as well. in california, attorney general has 30 lawsuits against the trump administration at this point. i think we'll continue to see that in new york. this is a very high profile choice in new york and obviously
there are whoever has this job will have a national profile because of this new responsibility that we're seeing transfer to the states' attorney general. >> he's the one who brought charges against weinstein company, we have never seen anything as despicable. this is someone who in his office put forward a know your rights pamphlet, the hypocrisy is rank. >> now the manhattan district attorney is going to be looking in to him as he was looking into the manhattan district attorney's. there's a lot going on here. >> sounds like departed a little bit. >>s just a level of hypocrisy. in 2010 he passed antichoking legislation yet several of the women accused him of choking them. >> never -- i will never not be shocked by the hubris of some politicians and how they can speak out of both sides of the mouth.
rudy giuliani brought on to get rid of the president's headaches, not create more? we have reports that the president is growing increasingly frustrated with his attorney? >> republicans on edge as primary voters hit the polls today. is it the party have a real problem if ex-convict don blankenship wins today? we'll take you there live. also the most consequential foreign policy decision of the trump president just a few hours away. we're giving you reaction from the crafter of the iran nuclear deal as always signs point to the president basically killing it. a place with 24-hour fvalet servicee and a boutique salon a place with all day arts and crafts it even has a day spa
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top republican officials, including the president, actively rooting against one of the republican contrnders, ex-convict don blankenship. >> not because of his policy positions, but because of the stunning things that the outspoken coal executive has said and done. not to mention that he spent a year in prison for his involvement in a 2010 coal mine explosion where 29 people were killed. let's go to charleston, west virginia. joe johnson is there with the latest. he has spent more money than the other two gentlemen running against him combine pedestrian and he's been surging in internal polling the last few days. >> reporter: that appears to be the case, at least internal polling apparently says so. you have what's going on inside the beltway, poppy and you have what's going on the ground here in the state of west virginia. i'm outside of polling place in charleston. this is mt. calvary baptist church. talked to the secretary of state's office just a little while ago, they're describing
turnout as steady. they had enormous turnout, in fact, during early voting, in fact, almost 50% higher than four years ago during the last midterm election. what is going on inside the beltway is a lot of hand wringing among establishment republicans who are concerned that out of six republicans, in fact, on the ballot here in west virginia, the one who may be chosen to run against the incumbent democrat now holding the seat, senator joe manchin, could be don blankenship, that former coal executive, also an ex-convict who served a year in prison for conspiring to violate the coal mining laws and their concerned not just about the fact that he has that on his record, also concerned about the type of race he's run, the language he has used which could be construed as racist. a campaign that could also be described by some as grievance
politics. the president has been persuaded by establishment republicans to go out on twitter opposing the candidacy of mr. blankenship. mr. blankenship in turn has responded that the president is misinformed about his campaign and says he will win and beat joe manchin in november without the help of the establishment. back to you. >> joe johns for us in west virginia. let's bring back our panel. alex, the argument you're getting from the president is west virginia, you shouldn't vote for don blankenship because he can't win the general election. jeff flake, senator from arizona has a different argue money. he says the problem isn't that don blankenship can't win, it's that he shouldn't win a general election in west virginia. those are two different arguments there, so why are we primarily hearing the argument he can't win from the president and from republican leaders in the senate? >> it's very similar to what we
saw in the roy moore case. they're largely not comfortable telling their base this candidate is unacceptable for reasons of values and ethics and character and policy. imagine what a powerful moment this could have been for the president and in that race if the president has talked a lot about being a friend to miners, that he's in touch with that part of the country. if he had gone out and said, look, the argument that his republican opponents has made, he has blood on his hands. i can't allow this to happen. he's not doing that. he's making the least effective political argument imaginable. it's purely tactical. >> if blankenship is a reflection of the force that the president himself has set loose in the republican party in the post-trump world, why is he surging? he's surging after he has made an overtly racist argument against mitch mcconnell in a state that remains virtually all white that has very few immigrants and is reflective of this national dynamic where the
opposition to immigration has been most intense to the states at least touched by it. it's very hard for the president to draw a line and say, rapists and murderers are okay but china person is not and, look, joe manchin is not a sitting duck. in 2010, barack obama's approval rating was under 47%. 15 of those democrats lost. harry reid and joe manchin are the only ones who won. i look at this as more reflective of the forces that donald trump has set loose in the republican party and the difficulty that anybody is going to have containing these kinds of arguments in the months and years ahead. >> let's turn to rudy giuliani and multiple reports that the president is frustrated at his sweep through the sunday talk shows, all of the news bombshells that he's been dropping. he's frustrated, yes, but he's been frustrated with john kelly time and time again. john kelly's still there.
he's been more than frustrated with jeff sessions. jeff sessions is still the attorney general. so where does this leave rudy? >> that's precisely the right context with these reports. it's a ferris wheel of approval and frustration. one day you're up and very, very down. we'll see if the rudy giuliani thing is different than john kelly, whether the frustration reaches a fever pitch with the president, but we knew before he brought rudy giuliani on board, he was having difficult finding people who were willing to work for him as lawyers and he has an existing personal relationship with giuliani that predates any direct involvement by trump in just electoral politics himself. personally, i would be sceptical that giuliani is truly on the rocks just based on the foundation he has there. >> good point. >> put a graph together. scaramucci, price, kelly over here. it's unquestionable that rudy giuliani has not helped his legal case, not helped the legal case for the president, but politically speaking, he has
thrown bombs. he has criticized the mueller investigation. it's quite possible this is really only ever going to be a political argument. if you play this out to its ultimate conclusion, you know, ultimately the president could just plead the fifth here and that it's a political argument whether congress or the american people care and maybe he's helping. >> good point. in the end the most likely sanction on the president, if there is ever going to be one for his behavior on any of these fronts is much more likely to be political than legal. we do have the office of legal counsel under both nixon and clinton that a sitting president cannot be indicted. it is possible that robert mueller or someone else might decide they want to challenge that. more likely if there is any sanction against the president or any determination that he did something that requires it, it will come through the political process and the issue remains, are republicans in congress willing to support in any way the idea of a constrainted
oversight? >> especially when cnn's new polling just out shows that the president's approval rating is stable despite all the stormy daniels stuff, and six in ten americans think that things are going well in this country. >> it's the president's great strength and weakness. it is hard, it is really, really hard as a president of the united states to have an approval rating any lower than that. you have to really put your back into it. he's at a point where if he's comfortable being stable and low, he can just continue that way pretty much indefinitely. >> there's a reason he's only at 41% when unemployment is under 4%. there are doubts about him personally that are effecting him -- but there aren't that many more people to excuse out of that pool of people who reject him simply because they think of him as personally unfit. they make a policy argument. on that front his ratings are starting to drift up. >> they don't move. >> they're improving even as the personal ratings stay low. >> it's just another tuesday.
president trump's pick for cia chief is on capitol hill this morning making her case to lawmakers as the white house is scrambling support of gina haspel to avoid another cabinet pick fiasco. just moments away from the opening bell, markets look like they open down as investors wait for the decision on the iran nuclear deal. already having a major impact on oil. crude prices up more than 10% over the last month. let's get started. show of hands. who wants customizable options chains? ones that make it fast and easy to analyze and take action? how about some of the lowest options fees? are you raising your hand? good then it's time for power e*trade
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president trump's pick to head the cia, gina haspel is back on capitol hill today. she's scrambling for support from lawmakers one day before what is expected to be a contentious confirmation hearing. >> the president trying to rally support for haspel. you'll be a leader who will be tough on terror. the big hang up for a lot of democrats right now and some republicans as well is her role in enhanced interrogation. joining us now, cnn ryan browne. what's the latest here? >> reporter: i think haspel is expecting a very tough and contentious hearing tomorrow focusing on this issue of her role in the cia's controversial interrogation program which many consider to be torture. now she is scrambling for support. president trump's signaling his support for his nominee to lead
the cia, the cia expressing support. now they're going to need some democratic votes given the nature of the balance in the senate right now so the hunt for democratic votes is paramount. the top democratic on the committee says the cia had provided an unacceptable level of transparency with regard to haspel's record at the cia. however, senator joe manchin of west virginia, did signal to his willingness to support haspel potentially in comments today. >> she has been a true soldier and done her job. everything i've seen, but there's other people who might have a different twist. you want to listen to them. i believe that they show the respect. this is a professional. she truly is and she's put herself in harms way all over the world for us. >> reporter: that was actually yesterday those comments. all eyes will be on other democrats at the intelligence committee seeing if there's any willingness to support haspel
who needs those votes in order get confirmation to lead the cia. >> ryan browne, thank you. a member of the foreign affairs committee, it's nice to have you here as gina haspel is on capitol hill trying to rally support of what will be a tough confirmation hearing tomorrow morning. as our ryan browne just went through, the concerns about the black opposite she operated in 2002, the fact that water boarding of at least three suts pected terrorists happened there, what does she need to say to members of congress who assuage their concerns tomorrow? >> i think she has to make it clear that 2002 just coming off the heels of 9/11, america was very nervous. these were approved. you actually think enhanced interrogation, this is just me speaking, should still be in the toolbox in extreme toolbox. actually not as effective as many other ways. she needs to assuage people's fears, when she becomes cia
chief, she's going to reinstitute these and talk about it where we are at right now. i think she'll get approved. the good thing about the appointment process is people get to ask questions and get answers from it and hopefully it'll be good. >> this is what confirmation hearings are for is to ask these questions and answer them. i don't think there's anything wrong with putting tough questions to her, correct? >> no. anybody put in front needs the top questions. ultimately with that comes the responsibility for the democrats to also say, look, we have to give some deference to the fact that we're going to give the president his preference unless something major blocks us from that, because that's always in the rules of the senate and i would hate to see that go away long-term because it would make that place even more dysfunctional than it already is. >> in just a few hours the president will announce a decision he's made on the iran nuclear deal whether or not to waive the sanctions. that will pull the u.s. out of the agreement. if he does that, here's what richard hoss the president of the counsel on foreign relations
said will be, it will violate a cardinal national security rule, avoid having more than one nuclear crisis at a time. is he right? >> no, i don't think so. if the president -- i don't know what answer he's going to do, it appears that he might be pulling out of the deal. i think there's a way for him to pull out and hopefully compel something broader and better and let's reimpose some of these sanctions. the reality is in 2026 most restrictions on iran's nuclear program go away. that's eight years from now. eight years ago -- >> but not the key one. but not the key one? they signed -- >> most do. >> the nonproliferation treaty meaning any enrichment of uranium has to be for peaceful purposes, so of course, it is iran. how much do you trust? that is an important part of the agreement. >> there's not much people out there that really will defend this to the inth degree. they'll say this is better than nothing. i think there's an opportunity to get a much better deal here
by being tough about it and saying, look, if iran truly doesn't want -- if they want to have peaceful nuclear activity and they don't want to have ballistic missiles, let's negotiate that into this, let's make this deal never expire. let's talk about their behavior in syria in propping up a guy that's killed millions of syrians. i think we're sitting on a situation where in eight years we're going to look at some of the things that expire and start to regret it. >> you keep on saying eight years. it's years. tichl months from now, tomorrow, do you think the world is safer if the u.s. pulls out of this deal? >> i think the world is safer if we take a long-term approach at keeping iran not just from getting nuclear weapons which we have the ability to do and we can negotiate a better deal to do it but when we confront iran's behavior in the middle east. they're destabilizing -- >> you can -- you can confront that behavior even while preventing them for staying in
this deal to stop them from producing nuclear weapons for eight or 15 years? >> i think it's possible but if you want to confront that behavior peacefully and not militarily you have to compel them to the table and that includes some of the sanctions included in all of this. this sends a message to the negotiations in north korea. we want a deal with kim jong-un, but we're not going to accept something that allows you to get back on a track toy nuclear weapon. this sends a message that he needs to give up his nuclear weapons long-term and he'll get a guarantee of security from china or something like that. >> let me get your take to congress's role as it pertains to oversight. rudy giuliani as you know in one of his many interviews said that the president, quote, funneled money, hush money payments to -- for stormy daniels through michael cohen, his attorney. one of your republican colleagues who was on the show with us last week, said, yes, at this point congress has a role to investigate. that oversight should look into this. do you agree?
>> congress always has a role in oversight and investigation. the problem is when the intel committee comes out and says i don't see any collusion, it's wildly dispelled as partisanship -- >> i'm not asking you about the russia investigation, i'm asking you about the hush payments to stormy daniels. that's what dent was talking about. >> an issue like this if, in fact, this turns out to be the case is an fec issue and from my understanding fec issues has purview by the fec, is there a role for oversight? i think congress should always have oversight and be a competitive branch with the executive branch no matter who's in power. the idea is we're going to claw areas from that i don't think that's necessarily appropriate. >> rudy giuliani would not rule out the possibility that ultimately president trump will assert his fifth amendment rights here if, in fact, he is compelled to testify. what message would that send to you? >> it's hard to tell. the president has a right to take the fifth amendment, of course. i'm really confused by
giuliani's interview so it's hard for me to tell what he's putting together all in one. the president takes his fifth amendment right, it's probably a concern about what's going to be said. i have no indication that he's going to do that right now beside these confusing interview by rudy giuliani. >> is rudy giuliani helping or hurting the president, yes or no? helping or hurting? >> yes or no, seems to me hurting unless there's some deep strategy i don't understand. >> thank you. >> any time. deal or no deal? when the president announces his decision on the iran nuclear agreement today, the world will be watching, so will our next guest who helped craft it.
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progress on them is easier with an iran that doesn't have a nuclear weapon that an iran which is moving towards one. that's former secretary of state john kerry. his message to the president. the president's message to john kerry, butt out. john kerry can't over the fact that he had his chance and blew it. stay away from the negotiations, john, you are hurting your country. >> joining us now is thomas countryman former acting of state for arms control and international security, during the obama administration and worked on crafting the agreement with iran, thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> to the argument the white house makes, is this deal is no good and i don't think anyone would argue it's a perfect deal, but the trump administration thinks it can renegotiate the deal with iran. any chance that can happen? >> the trump administration has laid out no plan for how credible negotiations could take
place with iran. what they are doing, whatever the president decides today, would be the first of seven states that signed the agreement to be in violation of the agreement. it's incredible that iran has shown more credibility and more consistency with international law than the white house is showing and it will have several very negative follow-on effects. first, an unnecessary fight with our best allies in europe. secondly, the loss of visibility of inspection capability for the international community in iran. third, the possibility that iran goes back to exactly the behavior that we stopped in its tracks four years ago. and finally, the white house will create a crisis, not one that you'll see tomorrow but a slow motion crisis that significantly increases the risk of the u.s. making another disastrous military intervention
in the middle east. so it's a very bad idea and the trump administration has not laid out any credible plan b to get to a renegotiation of the terms it doesn't like. >> you talk about this slow motion process, the idea you think they'll manufacturer a slow motion crisis here. one of the things we're hearing from the administration is, is that the president will not waive the sanctions any more, move to reimpose the sanctions but that might take some time. you'll have this few month period, this nebulous perg ga tri while we're waiting for the sanctions to go in. during that period of time, what happens? >> that's very unclear, but first, make no mistake, if the president refuses today to waive the sanctions that the u.s. is committed to waive, that would be a violation of the agreement. it would not immediately kill the agreement because there are six other parties that are
committed to the agreement, but it would be -- it would seriously wound the agreement. at that point what matters is the way that iran and europe respond. would hope that they would do everything that they could to uphold the continued agreement despite united states absence but the thought that the european union can negotiate a better deal with the u.s. without involving the iranians is ludicrous. >> iran has been able to, though, despite this deal increase its ballistic missile program, increase its funding of terrorist across the region, continue meddling in syria, propping up al assad, shouldn't the u.s. be deeply, deeply concerned about this? >> absolutely, and our best allies in the world, the european union are equally deeply concerned, but again, the trump white house has not shown
any way that blowing up this deal makes those other issues easier to deal with, rather it's going to be harder -- >> but the argument is if you keep waiving these sanctions and allowing more money to flow into iran and prop it up economically, it just encourages these bad actions? >> well, if the u.s. policy is eternal hatred of iran, then you should try to have all the sanctions you can, but if you wish to have a situation in which the united states has credibility as a negotiating partner, then you uphold the agreement that you made and you work seriously on all of the other issues using all the other elements of pressure. as you heard secretary kerry say, addressing terrorism or ballistic missile threats becomes harder, not easier when iran is moving towards
enrichment of uranium and towards a nuclear weapon. >> thomas countryman, thanks so much for being with us. thank you. congressional investigators want proof that scott pruitt had permission to fly first class. they have not received it yet. we're hearing from white house staffers why pruitt's job is likely safe. now fight both fast new tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums new tums chewy bites with gas relief ♪ he eats a bowl of hammers at every meal ♪ ♪ he holds your house in the palm of his hand ♪ ♪ he's your home and auto man ♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help.
only one candidate for governor when students were stuck in failing schools, led the fight to turn them around. as mayor of l.a., antonio villaraigosa invested in classrooms and security. graduation rates soared. antonio for governor. the spokesperson for epa chief scott pruitt said that his boss had official permission to take all of those first class flights on the taxpayer dime. >> but a new reporting to cnn with congressional investigators asked to see proof, all they were given were a pair of memos.
now white house officials say one thing helping pruitt keep his job is the continued struggle to confirm other nominees and the challenge that would come from confirming pruitt's replacement. what is the latest here? >> good morning, john and poppy. that tough time confirming nominees may be the only thing that is allowing pruitt to keep his job at this point. as republicans on the house oversight committee, republicans are combing through 1700 pages of epa documents turned over as part of their investigation of pruitt, we're learning that one thing that was not turned over was permission required by law for pruitt to fly first class before each and every trip, the epa says he had it, but documents do not back that up. instead, there was just one request in may of 2017, that simply says we have observed increased awareness and at times lashing out from passengers and that sitting in coach class would endanger his life because he's not easily accessible by
his security team. now, a second memo as part of that -- those documents grants permission, but says that the upgraded travel is allowed if use of coach class accommodations would endanger your life or government property and also cites a federal statute that states justification must be prepared for each and every trip. now, all of this comes as 24,000 pages of documents were released to news organizations by an advocacy group called the sierra club. the new york times has been combing through those as have we. they have an analysis out there that says many of the communications between staff of pruitt show it was his desire to be shielded from the public that was driving his secret schedule, not security concerns as previously believed. so it was staff trying to keep him from tough questions from the public, john and poppy. >> important reporting, sarah, thank you very much.
equally interesting, the fact that he's keeping his job from our reporting largely because the white house thinks it would be tough to get someone to fill it that could be confirmed. >> it would not be easy. >> in hawaii, in hawaii, volcanic activity may have subsided. look at those pictures. but the threat of lava, toxic gas still is huge for many residents on the big island this is time lapse video. you can see the lava consuming a car, dozens of homes have been destroyed, 1800 people evacuated. officials warning people to stay away after two people were arrested for ignoring those lava roadblocks. >> we are getting some brand-new reporting just in to cnn about how president trump views his relationship with his new attorney, rudy giuliani. he may not want to buy new office furniture just yet, things may not be going as planned. new developments just ahead.
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get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. all right, good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poppy harlow. new reporting that president trump is not pleased with his new attorney rudy giuliani, far from it. he is irritated, he is frustrated because the man he brought in to help end the russia probe may be making it worse for the president, at least on the legal front. >> plus, president trump on the verge of announcing his decision on the iran nuclear deal, all signs point to withdrawing. in fact, we believe the president is speaking at this moment with one of the deal's biggest supporters, french president emmanuel macron, perhaps informing him of what the united states intends to do officially. kaitlan collins