tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN May 8, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
oil prices up 1% overnight, close to $70 a barrel. it is mainly due to expectations that president trump will pull out of the iran nuclear agreement. iran is a big oil exporter. new sanctions would lessen the supply in the market. that announcement comes 2:00 p.m. today. thanks so much for joining us. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. the clock ticks and the world waits. just three hours from now, president trump will make the biggest foreign policy announcement of his entire presidency. the future of the iran deal. sources say that he is expected to push ahead on sanctions against iran, which means a first step toward pulling out of the deal. but those same sources, of course, also say nothing is final until the president speaks. so what has he said? quite a lot. >> 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 is a bad deal. it is a bad structure. it is falling down. should have never, ever been made. what kind of a deal is it where you're allowed to test missiles all over the place? >> add to that, the newest members of his foreign policy team, secretary of state mike pompeo celebrated trump's election with this since deleted tweet, i look forward to rolling back the disastrous deal with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. and new national security adviser john bolton echoed that last summer, tweeting this, withdrawing from the iran nuclear deal should be a top priority for the donald trump administration. so, all signs here point to see you later iran deal. yet another public service announcement contradiction may be the only constant coming from the president these days. so, stand by. and worth noting, those hawkish
views aren't necessarily shared by most of the country at the moment. according to a new cnn poll, fewer than one in three americans believe the u.s. should withdraw from the nuclear deal. 63% saying they oppose that move. again, my friends, the world watches and waits. ? there >> there is a chance nobody knows what i'm going to do on the 12, though mr. president, you have a pretty good idea, but we'll see. >> we sure will. soon enough. there is a lot to break down here. let's bring in cnn's jim sciutto for more on this. before we get to the big announcement, remind everybody what is in the deal and what the president needs to decide by may 12th. >> what's in the deal. the basic exchange here was iran agrees to freeze the nuclear program, shipped the vast majority of enriched uranium out of the country, that's the precursor to a nuclear weapon. reduce the number of centrifuges that enrich that uranium, and allow very intrusive inspections
by the iaea, the nuclear watchdog. in return for that, iran had u.s., european, u.n. sanctions waived. able to sell its oil on international markets, able to have european companies go in there and do business, sell cars, you name it. that's the essential quid pro quo there. and the fact is u.s. intelligence agencies have found both under the obama administration and the trump administration that within the bounds of that deal iran is complying with that. allowing the access to those inspectors, it has stopped spinning those centrifuges, et cetera. but the president in effect makes a different argument that that limited deal, that deals only with its nuclear program, should not have been made and that you should have had a bigger deal that deals for instance with its testing of icbms, precursors to icbms, et cetera. that appears to be the president's problem with this
deal. but the fact is, and i should say, not just u.s. intelligence chiefs, but israeli intelligence chiefs say that within the confines of the deal, iran has been sticking to its side of it. >> jim, if the president pulls the united states out completely, what happens next? >> i'll tell you, i met with european diplomats who have been trying to lobby the president, keep in mind this is another international agreement, along with the climate deal tpp for instance that -- the closest u.s. allies want the u.s. to stay in. trump made different decisions. i spoke with the senior european diplomat yesterday. i asked him the very question you asked me. he said, we don't know. and in fact he said it is his view that the trump administration doesn't know, that they haven't prepared for the consequences of this. you may hear today, kate, something that sounds look a half measure, saying, well, we're only allowing some sanctions to go forward, we're not doing others, it is going to take some time for that. i want to tell you this fact, the way the europeans are
partners in the deal, they say that just the question mark could be enough to kill the deal because what company in the world is going to want to do business with iran if there is a threat, even if it doesn't happen today, of u.s. sanctions action. that's the view of u.s. partners in this. >> jim, great to see you. thank you for coming in. appreciate it. with me to further discuss this, cnn national security analyst samantha vinograd, and dennis ross who served on the national security council. great to see both of you. cnn's reporting is that the president is likely to allow sanctions on iran to continue. if that is what the president announces and nothing else this afternoon, is the iran deal dead? >> well, it may be on life support. i'm not sure it is dead, it may be on life support. i would say this, i suspect what it will do, but i'm very humble when it comes to predicting what president trump will do, i suspect what he will do is say
he's no longer going to wave sanctions but not going to go ahead and implement them either. and that he will use this period of not implementing the sanctions to gift europens more of a chance to try to work out a set of understandings with us and possibly even with the iranians as well. the iranians for their part will react to this and say once you don't wave the sanctions, that means you're violating the agreement, which means they're justified in walking away. i don't believe, however, they will move quickly to walk away. i think they want to present themselves as being the victim. i think they want to play upon the european attitudes and create a divide between the united states and europe. they want to try to get the europeans to create some induce ims mentes or incentives for them to stay in the deal. >> are you saying that if that plays out, this isn't really that big of a move. it is bluster on everybody's
side now? >> no, i'm not saying it is bluster on everybody's side. what i'm saying is you are obviously raising fundamental questions about this agreement, you do have the united states taking a step that is inconsistent with its obligations to it. iran, i believe, will want to present itself in such a way that it tries to draw the europeans more to them and divide them from the united states because ensuring we don't carry out sanctions that are collective is the best thing for the iranians. having said all that, you're taking a step into the unknown. and the iranians, my guess is, even though they'll try to play the victim, i suspect they will also begin on the margins to do things they're not supposed to do and say, look, you can't blame us, it is the americans who walked away from the deal. >> do you think the president can do these two things at once? might be threading the needle, might be impossible, you tell me. a lot of the sanctions, what the ambassador said, say he's no longer going to wave sanctions on iran. and also negotiate a new deal at
the same time. >> i don't think so. i don't think there is any possibility of a partial pullout scenario when it comes to iran. the sanctions are what iran cares about. if they are not waved by saturday, the united states is in violation of the agreement. and regardless of when those sanctions do go back into effect, we have to be clear eyed. there is going to be an immediate impact on u.s. national security, on several fronts. our interests and personnel in the region will be at greater risk and it will be iran and the other signatories against the united states. we are going to be isolated in this case. and finally, we're going to become the scapegoat, again, within iran. when ambassador ross and i were at the white house together, the regime was able to manipulate their own economic mismanagement and blame the united states for everything that was wrong in iran. if we abrogate our responsibilities and violate the agreement, that's giving a card over to the regime and they can again make the united states a scape goat.
>> ambassador, dom trunald trume no secret he wants to undo what president obama did. do you think that's what's driving this decision? >> i think it is a major element. i would say this, there clearly were flaws in the deal. and i think the israeli intelligence revelations created the ability to use those revelations as a lever to try to affect some of the flaws. i believe it would have made much more sense for the president to announce that he was going to maintain the wavers for the time being, but he was going to be talking further with the europeans about the significance of the revelations including the fact that the iranians who promised never to seek, acquire or develop nuclear weapons and also in the agreement itself made clear that they would not engage in computer modeling or computer simulations of weaponizing. they maintain all the materials that would allow them to do that. you can ask the question, why do
they do that when they committed not to do any of those things? that could have been a lever to then work with the europeans. i'm afraid it is going to be much harder to work with the europeans to try to, in a sense, address those questions when it looks like the americans have already made a decision to walk away. >> and samantha, when the iranian foreign minister says if the u.s. leaves the deal, quote is we will exercise the right to respond in a manner of our choosing. what is he threatening? >> he could be threatening retaliation again against u.s. personnel or assets in the region. and i think that that's dangerous. that's happening at same time we're about to open our embassy in jerusalem. if i was at the national security council right now, and i was working with ambassador bolton, i would be hopeful he's undergoing a review to determine if we need to plus up any of our security sources in the region to protect people. >> stand by it stand by. let's hear what the president has to say at 2:00. everyone listening to his words
very carefully here and around the world. ambassador, thank you very much. coming up for us, rudy giuliani may not want to get too comfortable now. what cnn learned about why the former new york mayor may be falling out of favor with his boss. and rising star on the democratic party, out of a job. the stunning allegations and quick demise of one of the -- of one of president trump's most outspoken critics. we're right back. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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it's hard to get all the daily that's why i love fiber choice. it has the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables, all in a tasty, chewable tablet. fiber choice... the smart choice. president trump's new attorney rudy giuliani, aka trump's legal attack dog, it seems, might not want to get too comfortable or start measuring the drapes. mulle new reports now that the president who was so pleased with giuliani's approach to it all last week is now less than pleased this week. are you feel a little sense of deja vu? kaitlan collins is at the white house with much more. what are you hearing about this? >> reporter: it did not take long for rudy giuliani to fall out of the president's good graces here. he's only been on the legal team for about three weeks now. not even three weeks.
and already the president is disappointed in his performance. of course, the president brought rudy giuliani, his long time friend, on, because he thought he was going to be able to help bring this russia investigation to an end much more quickly with more aggressive approach, something that matched the way that the president wanted to go after this, but now after this string of interviews that rudy giuliani has done here in the last week, starting with that bombshell referencing the payment to stormy daniels, the president is now thinking that rudy giuliani is causing more headaches than he is solving problems, which is exactly what the president brought him on to do. he was particularly bothered by that clip of rudy giuliani on sunday, refusing to say -- refusing essentially, kate to rule out the president would not plead the fifth amendment if it came down to it with the special counsel's investigation. and now the president is very exasperated with him. it is not just the president. white house staffers are as well because they feel like they have been left in the dark. they're left out of the conversation between the president and giuliani and giuliani goes on television and contradicts what they have been
saying for months and several staffers in the white house have said that the reaction to giuliani has been overall negative with some of them questioning privately when is the last time he practiced law and even questioning if he's all there mentally. a lot of bad reaction to say the least here in the white house. he's also causing problems with national security officials by speaking about north korea, the iran deal, several things they say he is not a white house employee, does he not have a security clearance, he's not been briefed on these things. quite a change in the last three weeks since rudy giuliani was initially brought on board. >> something short of glowing reviews there we could say. thank you very much. i appreciate it. joining me now is asha rangappa, former fbi special agent. you never want someone to review -- have a review of you and say they don't think you're all there. if the president is not happy now with rudy giuliani, after being so happy with his initial
forum an performance, how long do you think he lasts? >> i think if the president is smart, he would not last much longer. i believe that the president has brought on emmet flood, a well well regarded attorney and i think what he needs is somebody who is going to basically keep a steady ship and not create more legal problems and contradict what the narrative is that the legal team is on. you want them to be speaking with one voice, that's what he's going to want. doesn't sound like giuliani is on the same page. >> giuliani is not speaking with one voice for himself from interview to interview. the wall street journal is reporting that the -- that trump's legal team has set something of a deadline for may 17th on whether or not the president is going to testify before the special counsel. what do you make of this? it seems to me self-imposed deadline. what do you make of it? >> they're going to need to make a decision one way or the other. if they decide not to sit down with mueller, then they are going to need to prepare a legal strategy. because it is inevitable that mueller is going to issue a subpoena -- >> do you think it is
inevitable? >> i do. i think mueller will cover all his bases and treat him as he would any other witness. i think he'll try to be as courteous as possible and, you know, observe all the niceties you would for the president. but at that stage, his legal team is going to have to come up with a constitutional strategy to move forward if they're not going to sit down voluntarily. >> one thing that strikes me in all of this, you talk about -- has to do with the turnover of the legal team, is one of the problems that it seems that this legal team for president trump is running up against is security clearance. because of the turnover rate, how wiquickly this is all moved for the president, it appears the only attorneys who have a security clearance are ones that have either just left or are leaving at the end of this month. rudy giuliani does not have clearance quite yet and may not according to some reports get it. what problems does that simple fact pose for the president when he's facing the mueller investigation? >> i don't know that at this stage it poses a problem
necessarily. they're not right now reviewing what mueller has in his possession. that's what would be classified. you know, i think that they do, you know, if it moves forward, he's not going to go to trial. this is eventually going to get decided in the political realm, what i think they need to do is basically just get the facts straight at this point. i think they can worry about the classified issues that may come up later when -- >> what you're telling me is carpet before tca cart before the horse. >> cart before the horse. >> great it to see you, appreciate it. a major ally of the me too movement facing shocking abuse allegations of his own. what ended the political career of a rising democratic star and so quickly in just hours. ♪[upbeat music]
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about the president of the united states at this moment. one of his chief critics, new york attorney general eric schneiderman, yes, this eric schneiderman. >> we have never seen anything as despicable as what we have seen here. a pervasive pattern at the weinstein company. >> schneiderman now is facing this. >> i just want to relate the message of one of these women and it was a shared sentiment among 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. >> if you blinked yesterday, you could have missed it. within three hours of that story by ronan farrow publishing, schneiderman resigned, putting out this statement about the allegations against him. the allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct they will effectively prevent me from
leading the office's work at this critical time. i therefore resign my office. joining me with more details, brynn gingras. how did this all go down so quickly? >> a tremendous fall from grace from a rising politician and a man who really was a champion for women during the me too movement. he filed an enormous lawsuit against harvey weinstein, the weinstein company, passed anti-choking legislation in new york in 2010. let's talk about the allegations in the new yorker. they were made by a total of four women, and paint two very different pictures of eric schneiderman. according to the new yorker, three women had romantic relationships with schneiderman, none say they consented to physical abuse this in those relationships. two spoke on the record, two other women wanted to remain anonymous. but their stories similar. in the fact that they accuse schneiderman of violence, choking, slapping, demeaning comments, to women say they had to go to the hospital. two of the women claim many times at abuse happened after
schneiderman had been heavily drinking and they say he would threaten to kill them if the women left the relationship. at the time, the women never did go to authorities. in response to the article, schneiderman says in the privacy of intimate relationships i've engaged in role playing and other consensual sexual activity, i have never assaulted anyone, i never engaged in nonconsense wall sex, whiual se line i would not cross. ronan farrow described the women's experiences this way on new day. >> these women described and they produced these fact patterns independently, you know. these are not women talking to each other in almost all cases. they described really horrific and serious allegations of abuse. slapping, hitting, choking, bear in mind, this is an individual who was a very public champion of women's rights, who in fact introduced anti-choking
legislation. and he was according to multiple women in this story choking them. among other things. >> immediately after the story was published there were calls for schneiderman's resignation and did, like kate said, three hours after the new yorker article was on print, he now -- we do now have an acting attorney general, barbara underwood is her name, she worked in several new york district attorney's offices, argued 20 cases before the supreme court, and clerked for justice thorogood marshall. this is just the beginning of a spiral down of things to come for eric schneiderman. >> pretty amazing. thank you for bringing that to us. appreciate it. joining us now, chris cillizza and the host of "reliable sources" brian stelter is here. brynn lays it out. the hypocrisy of this moment is impossible to miss. you can list out and it could take a long time to list out all of the ways that eric schneiderman was championing throughout his career women's causes and was chief among those
going after harvey weinstein. >> i remember sitting in his office when he was holding a press conference about this a couple of months ago, filing a lawsuit against harvey and bob weinstein and the weinstein company, trying to ensure there would be a victims fund so some of his victims are compensated. trying to make sure the executives involved would not be in the future of the company. all of that work continues. this is obviously a blow for that effort and the hypocrisy is absolutely suffocating. i think he knows that. maybe that's one of the reasons why it took three hours from the story to the resignation. when do you see that in politics? >> never or maybe not often enough if i look on capitol hill at this very moment. chris, the president's family and his allies, they didn't -- speaking of quick response, didn't wait a moment to revel in his downfall. he wasn't just a political critic of the president's family. he was taking trump and his family to court. how big of a blow is his resignation to those cases and
investigations that he had started? >> well, as brian said, those will go on. i think eric schneiderman did these things at least in part because in his public life he believed it, but also because he saw this as a venue to other things. being one of the main foils to donald trump as a democrat is not the worst thing in the world politically speaking. the problem is you had this sort of monster in private life as described by ronan farrow and the women he spoke to. but i think those cases go on. i do think there was some level of spiking of the football that is a little bit unsavory there. understand the natural human reaction that when someone who has said no one is above the rule of law, that includes you, donald trump, as eric schneiderman repeated in october 2017, i understand the desire in some ways to say, look at you now, but, again, let's remember, we -- it is hard too in these situations, the politicians, but
let's remember why schneiderman is in office because of the way he treated women that he was involved with and a woman he wasn't involved with. that's the thing that i wish we could say this is a bad thing societally, whether it is eric schneiderman, who is a democrat, whether it is eric greitens, the governor of missouri, accused of some allegations of blackmail, sexual man cisconduct, this is period. you're taking joy in the fact that this person engaged in violent behavior with women, and no one wants to celebrate that. >> but it is -- in that regard, and in the very political sense, it is -- people don't silo things, right? you got democrats who will say this is more a republican problem because a lot of democrats are carrying the me too mantle against trump and republicans and republicans can say, oh, really? >> that's true. and, look, rubin kuhn in nevada,
john conyers in michigan, there are examples, megan berry in nashville, the mayor of nashville, there are democrats -- al franken resigned his office amid allegations, you're right, kate, there is a tendency to tabulate, there is this -- we have these eight versus these five. i'm a political reporter. i get it. there is political scoring that goes on. i just -- as a human i wish that we did less of that and we could say, look, there is -- let's say there is eight over here and ten over here, that's 18 people acting in ways that we don't societally accept. doesn't matter if they're republican or democrat. >> i think a lot of people would like to see more women taking these jobs. barbara underwood is now taking other on an acting basis for schneiderman. al franken's case, a woman took over in that position. maybe that's one of the outcomes of this me too movement. >> you are seeing just to brian's point you're seeing more women than ever -- than we have
ever historically seen running for office up and down the ballot in 2018. >> great to see you guys, thanks so much. coming up next, a fresh vote of confidence from president trump, but is it enough to get his pick for the next cia director over the finish line with a contentious confirmation hearing on the horizon. we'll be right back.
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president trump's pick to lead the cia returns to capitol hill today. gina haspel is trying to gather support out of her confirmation hearing tomorrow, likely to be a contentious one. she's the current deputy director of the cia and is facing stiff opposition from democrats who say she is not doing enough to come clean on her record. many questions surround haspel's role in bush era enhanced
interrogation tactics. president trump is having none of it, coming to her defense, tweeting this today, she's been and always will be tough on terror. joining me right now from capitol hill, democratic senator ed markey of massachusetts. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> you oppose gina haspel's nomination because of her role in the bush era interrogation tactics. why not be open to what she has to say, though? >> the president himself has basically said he supports torture as a method of getting information about those who we have captured. and gina haspel was actually in charge of the program in thailand where the united states sent people who we had captured, al qaeda people who had been in our possession and sent them to thailand where enhanced interrogation techniques were used against those prisoners and
gina haspel then subsequently oversaw the destruction of more than 90 tapes which were taken of the enhanced interrogation or torture of those prisoners. so i just think that for the united states to nominate someone to run the cia, who has engaged herself in conduct which is barbaric, which is inhumane, and which has been proven to be ineffective is just the wrong signal to be sending to the rest of the world that the united states is no longer the moral leader that the rest of the world can depend upon. >> senator, key word here, legal. it was legal at the time. if she sits down tomorrow and says i was following techniques that were legal at the time, techniques that are now illegal and i would never use again, would that be enough for you? >> no, it would not be. and it is clearly not enough for
senator john mccain, he has come out against her nomination, it is clearly not enough for rand paul. i think this is a very tough nomination. i think that this type of interrogation is such that it calls into question whether or not she is the right person to run the cia, and in my opinion, she is not. we have to move on. we have to move to a new era here where the person who is running this agency does understand that there are rules, that there are standards, there are moral goals that our country must have and that if in the past this individual has not met those higher standards, she should not be allowed to run this incredibly important american agency. >> let me -- let's see what happens with the hearing tomorrow. senator, let me ask you about this, sources tell cnn the president is likely to no longer in a big announcement today no longer waive sanctions on iran.
if he says that -- if he says that, but also says that he would like to try to negotiate a better deal now, will you stand with him and try? >> the iran nuclear deal is working. the iaea, the international atomic energy agency has made clear that they have found no violations. if the president wants to deal with the iranian ballistic missile program, the military intervention in yemen or other countries, he should come to the democrats and work with us. he already has the sanctions authority to be able to deal with those issues. if he needs additional authority, he should come to democrats. but you don't have to burn down the house in order to remodel the kitchen. you don't have to destroy a deal which is already working, that ensures there is no active nuclear weapons program going on in iran, in order to deal with these other issues. we can deal with the other issues separately.
>> if he's just renovating the kitchen or burning down the whole house, if the whole house burns down, you still need to rebuild it if you want somewhere to live. do you feel a responsibility, especially in your role in the foreign relations committee, to try to help him to reach some new deal with iran? >> well, he will have jeopardized our relationship with our european allies, the british, the french, the germans, they oppose him pulling out. they will have empowered, emboldened the most radical elements inside of iran who never liked the deal in the first place. and so of course i will work on a bipartisan basis where necessary. but the president is engaging in a reckless act, destroying the treaty which works and substituting no new pathway towards achieving this larger goal of ensuring there is no nuclear weapons program in iran. >> just a real quick question. do you see him being able to kind of do a halfway measure, a
halfway pullout in an announcement today or do you think if he announces anything with regard to no longer waiving sanctions, the deal is dead? >> i think that the deal will be fundamentally crippled if he pulls out. we need the united states and all of our partners in order to ensure the deal is reached. if iran is in a situation, where it has no working relationship with us and the right wingers in that country are moving forward, then i just think it is going to create a very problematic environment in the middle east, saudi arabiaens will be looking at because they want nuclear weapons as well. i just think that the problems it creates are so much larger than any solution which he says he wants where democrats are saying that they're willing to work with him. ballistic missiles, yemen, human rights, come to us, mr. president, we will partner with you on those issues.
>> senator ed markey, thank you. >> thank you. coming up for us, west virginia, you are on the clock. it is primary day there and the three other states on a very important day. so who is trumpier than trump? is that what today's elections will hang on? we'll be right back. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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because antonio villaraigosa millions got it done.healthcare he defended women's healthcare, banned military-style assault weapons, banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the trumpiest of them all? voters in four states hit the polls today in the first multistate primary of the 2018 midterms, ohio, indiana, north carolina, west virginia, all states president trump won in 2016, some by huge margins. in west virginia, he -- trump
beat hillary clinton by 40 plus points. you would think then being trumpy would be a slam dunk there. but irony of ironies, the president is rejecting a republican senate candidate who claims to be trumpier than trump himself. we're talking about don blankenship, of course, the ex-coal executive and ex-convict. the president's advice there, tweeting, remember alabama. reminding voters how another controversial republican roy moore lost the senate race in alabama turning a red seat blue. this morning, blankenship basically said, yeah, i remember alabama and how you, mr. trump, supported roy moore. >> again, we all really like president trump's policies. but we know he doesn't get things right. he recommended that people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia >> joining me now, cnn political commentator and hillary
clinton's former manager, robbie mook, and josh holmes. josh, you have made no secret of your distaste for west virginia senator candidate don blankenship, to say the least, as he have attacked your base pretty literally. do you think it's okay that president trump said don't vote for blankenship? >> obviously if you care a lick about the trump agenda or supreme court justices or all the regulatory reform or all the things that republican congress has been able to do, like generational tax reform, you probably shouldn't back candidates who have absolutely no chance of becoming united states senators. i think the difference in this statewide will have or could have a significant impact just because we have a body of evidence. at this point you look back at alabama, and president trump made a very similar warning. five months later we found out he's absolutely right, and roy moore, who lost the reddest
state in the union after being an absolutely terrible candidate. >> a quick thing happened within there. then trump endorsed roy moore in the midst of it all. we'll get to that in a minute, josh. he has an uphill battle no matter who he faces post republican primary. i take it you think it would be bad if don blankenship wins. >> i think don blankenship is an extreme view of where this party is going. aside from the incredibly offensive comments he's made and so on, this is a person -- we just heard josh talk about deregulation. this is a person who built mines that weren't safe and workers died and he went to prison because of it. i think democrats will have a case to make no matter what, but blankenship is obviously the worst possible person the republicans could put forward.
>> josh, what does mitch mcconnell do? forget donald trump. what does mitch mcconnell do once again, the guy he doesn't want to get the nomination gets the nomination, if that happens? >> look, i'm not speaking for mcconnell. i'll let him speak for himself and whatever the election results are toepnight. but i will say to robbie's point about democrats wishing and hoping for a specific candidate, republicans spent $1.3 million in an attempt to get blankenship nominated in this category. they certainly see him as a candidate. if i'm taking a gander and i see liberals in washington, d.c. are actually taking a chance on him in the primary, i'm leery of that. >> robbie, crystal ball tonight. what do you think is the headline coming off this big primary day? what's the headline coming off of it tomorrow? >> if blankenship is out there,
i think we'll be talking about a senate race that the republicans are potentially letting slip away. joe manchin is going to be -- i believe he can win no matter what because i believe he has a special standing in the race. i don't know. my honest crystal ball, i don't think there is going to be a lot of news. ohio, i think rich cordray is likely to win there -- >> so the establishment winds over bernie sanders? >> i wouldn't call rich cordray establishment. >> you don't want to, that's for sure. >> i would say dennis runskli k runs a weak race. >> you've got three candidates, two members of congress and a businessman named mike brown.
i think republicans are in good shape there no matter who of the three win, and i think that race is probably number one on the most likely to flip with senator donnelly in a democratic positionment i think the republ republicans are in good shape provided don blankenship doesn't win in west virginia, provided they take him off the list altogether. >> "provided." i've never seen anyone use that word more. another scandal, if you can believe it. new details about the ever so embattled epa secretary. the question, though, remains the same. facing at least 11 investigations by the inspector general of the department, why does president trump keep scott pruitt in the job? we'll be right back.
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new documents and new details and none of it helpful to the embattled head of the epa, scott pruitt. the latest of his many legal and ethical scandals involves his first class travel on the taxpayer dime. sara gannon has all the details. sara, what are you learning? >> they're combing through 700 pages of documents by scott pruitt, but one thing we know wasn't turned over was the petition by law for him to travel on air force i in the united states. it said we have observed increased awareness and lashing out at passengers, and sitting in coach could endanger his life because he's not easily accessible by his security team. a second memo granting permission says upgraded travel is allowed but also cites a federal statute that clearly states a justification must be
prepared before every trip. all of this comes as 24,000 pages of additional documents were released by an advocacy group called the sierra club. as we go through them, the "new york times" has found that it was actually pruitt's desire to be shielded from the public that was driving the secrecy and not the security concerns, as we had previously known, kate. >> much more to come. sara, thank you so much. and thank you all so much for joining me at this hour. "inside politics" with john king start now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. there is breaking news on several fronts today. the president is poised in just two hours to walk away from the iran nuclear deal. the tug-of-warov over how to do that continues until the very end. plus the