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tv   Reliable Sources  CNN  May 27, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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fight for universal healthcare. and stand up to donald trump. as governor, you can trust me to do what's right- because i always have. let's call a lie a lie. i'm brian stelter and this is l "reliable sources." this hour, sean hannity, how he's helping hi ining his pal p trump disrupt the mueller probe. and scott pruitt has been hiding from the press and now a congressman is demanding an investigation. we'll talk with him about that. and then later, the nfl protesting players and freedom of expression, all hot topics on this memorial day weekend.
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but first, all the president's lies. while we're covering this war against truth, this ongoing crisis of credibility, journalists are feeling pressure from both sides, the question lots of trump supporters ask is, why do you hate the president? at the same time what trump's critics ask him, why respect you tougher on him? when he lies, why don't you say he lies? donald trump is the president of the united states, he's also a liar. now as commander in chief, he misleads the public constantly. i understand why many of you want news outlets to use the l-word, lie, more often. you want us to affirm what we all see, that trump has a truth problem. you want us to take it
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seriously, to take it really seriously, to recognize that it's damaging the country and it's causing us to rethink how we're doing our job as a result. maybe we shouldn't be reading his tweets aloud, because it hard to believe anything he says. i agree, but let me attempt to also add some nuance, but not earning he says is a lie and we need to distinguish between a deflection, an exaggeration and an out right lie. thankfully homicide are down 22%, the number is still very high, but the number is on the way down, so either trump has the wrong information, which makes this a falsehood, or he's lying. look, it's bad either way, but we need to recognize the dishing -- differences.
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he tweet according to nbc news, the fbi did brief him back in the summer of 2016, briefed him about russia, so that would make this tweet intentionally false. in other words a lie. but others might reach different conclusions, that's why we created this lie-o-meter on the bottom of the screen. when president trumpncutted -- was it a distortion? or was it a straight up light? was spygate an exaggeration or a falsehood? after all, trump used lots of caveats this week to hedge his claim. did you notice, this could be one of the biggest political scandals in history, spygate. but the idea of a spy improperly
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infiltrating the campaign embedded itself everywhere. it was debunked as you can see here, but it still dominated the news for days. >> it we call this spygate. >> spygate. >> spygate. >> are we doing enough to call out the lying? here's my panel. john, what should we be doing in situations like this? to the word spy has been in the press all week long, i think the president succeeded in poisoning the discourse with this word. was this a media failure? >> i think it was a media failure, i think we're behind the 8-ball. our job is to quote the president. we go to his own words, that's why we go to his tweets, they
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are news, he calls it spygate, we repeat it. i think we repeat it once. i saw it leading into segments, even if it got debunked later, that word was still being used and it gets out there and for his supporters it forms the basis of what they believe and then when we try do debunk it, we're being unfair. so i think we went with it way too long this week. >> how do you handle these quote w unquote big lies? >> i think we have to call them lies, we have to challenge them each and every time trump utters them and we cannot get worn down by his persistence in saying things that are untrue. this is a central feature of his presidency, the incessant
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dishonesty. and i think it's still often tweeted as kind of a side show, it's rel gaegated by people lik me. >> this time last year versus now, there are more falsehoods being shared on a daily basis. let's talk about one in particular, sarah westwood. he tweeted saying a senior white house official does not exist, even though dozens of journalists were at a briefing with this senior white house official. tell us how this is an unusua y ly black and what -- >> this is an instance in which cnn and many others were plenty
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f -- the press briefing room and yet president trump attacked a quote from one of his own officials who was tapped to speak on behalf of the white house. his going after anonymous sources, is one of the most corrosive ways that he does attack the media. >> that we make them up, yeah. >> he knows that in order to trust the news that and an anonymous source -- once a source is anonymous, president trump exploits the neuews gathering process to find fault with all of the press. >> this is trump's plan all along, she revealed a conversation she had with him more than a year ago and here's
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what he revealed. >> he said i do this so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you. >> assuming that lesley stahl is telling the truth there, she has a lot of credibility. i wonder if we can take that to the next step and say what do we do about it? >> well, i think we challenge it every time, we challenge it professionally -- >> and not got tired of it, not get used to it. >> going back to my previous point is that he'll have a rally in which he'll say literally 25 false things and the coverage of the rally will not even mention that. reporters will call out the lies on twitter, but if you read the coverage the next day, it's trump attacked tax policy, trump attacked such and such. i think his lying, his dishon t
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dishonesty needs to be-pou poin out. >> do you think lying is the right word, don't you think he's exaggerating? >> i think what's important as journalists, if we're going to hold ourselves out as arbiters of truth, in some cases we know that this president is confused about policy, we don't know that his intent is deliberately to deceive. when he says the head of the boy scouts called him and said you gave the best speech ever to the boy scouts, we know that no such phone call took place. we need to point out when he's not telling the truth. >> what about the exafact that journal itselves are worried about their access? >> i think that that is, right or wrong, a lot of people think that is why we shy away from using the word lie, that we are
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not saying what is in plain sight. >> i think it has more to do with not knowing what he believes. >> i think that's often true, but i also think there are some journalist and some news organizations who go too far to avoid the word lie, but lie is very powerful and when it's real, it's there. i don't know why reporters did not -- >> i think part of the answer is it wasn't this guy's fault. it was anonymous said, he didn't renig, he didn't lie to the press? >> but he works for the press that's now calling us liars, he or she is now participating in this lie about our news business? why are we not more protective about our own news business and our own credentials and our own
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integrity. this poor guy can go get a new job, but i don't see why we're protecting him. >> here's how msnbc nicole wallace, a former bush administration official, here's what she said the other day. >> can we even -- brett stevens, this is -- and even by reading it these are bold-faced lies. >> all right, sarah, putting you on the spot here as a cnn white house reporter, how do you handle these situations, when we are, both of us covering tweets on the air that are full of holes? >> that's a remarkable response from nicole wallace because it's not one you see too often. president trump exploits our journalistic im -- by saying
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something that's blatantly untrue, he knows we aren't going to be able to help ourselves, we have to fact check it. so we are talking about ms-13 when he makes unrealistic claims about their affects on society and stuff like that. we are being led to cover the things he wants us to cover in the form of fact checking, but we're still talking about it. >> he's using his bully pulpit very effectively. i do think ms-13 is a threat, it's very complicated. want to take a quick break here and then look at how some liberal columnists have pulled a page from president trump's playbook putting a spotlight on my fwramigrant missing children on a cloud that runs on premises.
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a personal' computer?! ha! smart neighborhoods running on a microgrid. a stadium powered with solar. a hospital that doesn't lose power. amazing. i like it. never gonna happen. . we're talking a lot about how pro-trump narratives flip the screen. my headline here says federal agency says it lost track of 1,475 migrant children. it's agenda setting 101.
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the overarching issue is what happens when immigrants enter the u.s. illegally. unaccompanied minors get placed with sponsor families, but some of those kids disappear. no that was found at a senate hearing almost exactly a month ago. incredibly, it was just a one-day story at the time, it got a little bit of attention and then people moved on. i guess it was missing the human element, the pain and the agony of individual families. but the story is back no, in part because of the trump administration's new policy to break up more families across the border, it's supposed to be a deterrent as jeff sessions made clear a few weeks ago. >> if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law. >> that's the policy, but let's back up here, what's really going on? trump's key issue for the past three years has been illegal
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immigration, and every time he watches fox, he's reminded how people feel about these immigrants. it's bad because the homeland security secretary almost resigned earlier this month. here's the backdrop, more children will suffer now. let's be clear, it's been going on for years. it's not just a trump issue. but that story about the kids who are missing now is back in the news thanks to some writers and reporters who have forced it back into the news. one day before the aclu report came out tuesday, a columnist asked, rather than announcing a plan to protect more children, w what about the children who are already here? on tuesday, and for some reason
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i can't quite figure out, this all went viral on saturday. in you can see here there were dozens of stories on friday. chris hayes also called it out by interviewing immigranted a voe cats. >> what's happening now is unprecedented. we're seeing kbhirn who are 2 years old regularly and last week we saw a 53-week old infant in court without a parent. >> it was national missing kids day, and that might have been another reason to propel this into the national headlines. on saturday, president trump weighed in and tweeted about it. let talk about it now. joan walsh and daniel dale are with many . he said you've got to end this
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terrible law that separates children from it's parents. >> there's no law that requires children to be straeparated fro their parents. so trump, as he did with daca seems to have got on squeamish and is now telling democrats to end the law that does not exist saying that his own policy is something that he's powerless to change. >> border crossings are down 40% right now, that's not true, border crossings are up. what do you make of this. >> border crossings are up and he is very concerned about this, this is a new policy, we saw jeff sessions declare it, it disease not does not go back to -- there is a history of, we had a tragedy of unaccompanied minors, coming
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into the country, there were many -- >> during the obama years. >> during the obama years, that happened, it's not his fault, but on his watch, there were kids that were probably lost during the obama years, but what is happening now, while we cannot account for the children in our care, we are now adding more children into a system that is obviously not keeping track of them. doing the cruelest thing imaginable and pulling babies, little babies from their parents. there was a mother crying as her toddler was taken away and she was given a yellow wristband, shades of nazi germany to mark her as a mother who smugged in a child and that smuggling of a child is considered a crime.
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it used to be if immigrants are caught crossing the border, they are caught together and they are sent back together. >> and trump and sessions may say, it's working, it's having a deterrent effect, it's doing what we want to make sure that people don't cross the border illegally? >> shooting people would have a deter rent effect, so are we going to start doing that? >> we have been talking about when to call things lies and when not to, you were saying you try to identify something as a falsehood or misleading statement because you don't know what the president is thinking, but in this case, you said it was an outright lie. >> it's subjective, i can never quite know what the president is thinking, often if it is a complicated policy, i give him more leeway, we know he doesn't always understand that. if it's something that he has
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knowledge of, if it emsee seems he's making it up out of thin air, i'm more prone to call it a lie. i think we as journalists need to be cautious to sticking to what we know for sure. zblft i think trump fans will say, what do you mean too quick to tell a lie? all a y'all are calling him out for lying every single day. >> he is lying every single day. >> i was struck by something that don lemon said on sunday night, he said this is an extreme crisis, i like the framing of that because we sometimes lose sight on how it's an ongoing problem. we can't just let this fadeaway from the headlines. >> our parents raise us to say be honest and if you lie, people will never trust you again, to donald trump has lost the
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presumption of truth, he's been lying his whole career, he's been lying his whole presidency, without evidence he doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. this is a conscious tactic that politicians have used for time immemorial. the truth losing means and we're fighting about can negligetangem with damage, bring that pattern of lying itself, that should be part of our beat. >> thanks for being on the program. up next, why are top government officials like epa boss scott pruitt trying to work in the shadows. a congressman and a reporter are here to tell you how they're trying to shine some light on it. at's why there's ocuvite. ocuvite helps replenish nutrients your eyes can lose as you age.
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. what are trump administration officials like epa head scott pruitt hiding from you? many of trump's cabinet officials have been running their offices under a veil of secrecy. lately the government's been
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pushing harder, pushing journalist s out. in one case, pushing an ap reporter out of a meeting at the epa. back in the summer politico reviewed press access into all 17 cabinet agencies and the white house was not releasing appointment coalendars or basic information that past administrations provided. the epa is of particular issue right now because there was a two-day summit meeting being held at the epa, where pruitt was speaking about -- for some reason the epa said there weren't enough seats in the room, but that was b.s., there were plenty of seats in the room. let's look at in from two different perspectives. rebecca lieber, environmental
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policy and politics reporter. were you there at this summit earlier in the week? >> i was there early in the day when the epa opened it to all press but they closed it the next day, so they went worth on that. >> is it your impression that the inner workings of the epa have become more secret than they were under obama? >> the epa certainly had issues with reporters during the obama era, but all that has been taken to a new level in the trump administration and you could argue that it's the agency wide embodiment of the trump administration's attack on press. >> so the epa, borrowing from trump's playbook, or adopting his playbook. >> yes, i think scott pruitt had taken it and run with it for a taxpayer run agency. >> you said pruitt when he came
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into his office wanted to run the epa press shop like a campaign style media operation. is he succeeding? >> he hired a firm last winter that, to collect media clips and that in itself is not too unusual, but he wanted this firm, an overtly partisan campaign firm to attract explicitly track in oklahoma and right wing media and that is unusual in itself that he wanted to essentially build a campaign operation by hiring this outside no bid contract, and we got documents this week that shed additional light on that and i think it just adds to the speculation that he has a future interest in politics. >> congressman, what is your position on this issue of access this week? i know you wrote a letter
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calling for more information about why those journals from cnn and ap and other outlets were denied access to pruitt's speech? >> like i said, this administration operates in the dark, and when it comes to something as basic as clean drinking water, which in part this discussion was all about, we need to be far more transparent. i represent flint, michigan, one of the big casualties of the flint water crisis, is that the people there lost trust in institutions of government because information about something has vital as drinking water was kept for them. now i have another community up in michigan that's dealing with the same thing, and they're dealing with pfas, which is what this two-day summit was supposed to deal with. one of my own staff people, my senior legislative assistant has
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been working on water issues for the six years i have been in congress, went over on wednesday just to get information and was not even allowed to get into the lobby, they would not allow limb limb -- him to participate either. we have always had difficulty getting information we want from the federal government, but the trump administration has taken this to a new level. i'm not going to stand for it . i have asked for the epa inspector general to take a look at this and see if any laws were broken, and if not, we may need to look at legislative measures so that the epa understands they work for the united states. >> there's open meeting laws to ensure access. do you know if the i.g. is going to pursue this? >> we have not heard a response yet, we just sent the letter last week after my staff person was essentially kicked out. we were able to watch some of it on a live stream, some of it was
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made available, but that second day, the epa was discussing with each other regulatory tones, that's what we want to make sure is public. and that's why i asked the ooichli.g. to take a look at it. >> scott pruitt hasn't given an interview in many weeks n other administrations he probably still wouldn't have his job. we'll see where this goes. just want to point out we did invite both pruitt and an epa spokesperson and we got no response. reliable is where you can find up with all the day's leading news. up next on the program, the nfl taking a stand on kneeling, we'll talk about the reactions
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protest is patriotic. honoring national symbols like the flag is also patriotic. and that is what causes so much tension when players kneel during the national anthem. nfl president roger goodell said that players will stand during
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the anthem or stay in the locker room. this has emboldened trump even more. >> i don't think people should be staying in the locker room, you should stand proudly for the national anthem. or you shouldn't be in our country. you have to stand proud for the national anthem. >> it's that kind of rhetoric that is exactly why players feel like they need to kneel in the first place. the former wide receiver turned activist, your reaction to the president kind of offhandedly, rab comely say iing they should leave the country. >> i think american citizens who are peacefully protesting for social inequality and against social injustice. now the president has been -- this is following a disturbing pattern from this president, and
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i have said it on a number of different occasions and others have said it as well. that this president has been flirting with authoritarianism since his campaign -- since he s.t.a.r.t. started his campaign, he talked about a number of issues where people are -- have raised eyebrows and he's tried to implement those. >> he hinted be a boycott of the nfl and then nothing happened, nobody boycotted. how can he be flirting with authoritarianism if he turns out to be so weak? >> just even the rhetoric of him using the fact that maybe those players who were protesting maybe shouldn't be in the country. any offhanded remark like that from donald trump the tv host or donald trump the real estate mogul might -- you cannot use
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that type of rhetoric. >> do you believe that news media has -- when they're talking about as a subject as sensitive as this? >> i'm a lover of history and i always have. i believe we can't forget what has happened throughout history. these players who are peacefully protesting, brian, what they're essentially doing is practicing dissent. and we know that dissent is not supposed to make you feel comfortable. protests are not supposed to make you feel comfortable. even when people were sitting in in the civil rights era, when people were sitting in restaurants, they were spat on them, they had food thrown at them and drinks poured on them. and we shouldn't take this out
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of context. >> thanks for being here, great to see you this sunday. and we'll be back here with much more "reliable sources" after a quick break. and make adjustments on the fly. ♪ ♪ the ibm cloud. the cloud for smarter business. the ibm cloud. ♪ rawwggwwrughh! well, i told you they wouldn't have it. rawwggwwrughh! it's ok, it's ok. we've got time.
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news outlets will be arguing for investigation filings. in a new filing this week, he said the request should be denied because it's not a closed matter, but an ongoing criminal investigation. someone should tell that to sean hanni hannity. hannity has been hammering away at the mueller probe since the beginning and he's claiming that mueller's found nothing and it's all a sham, itself. but media matters, a liberal group that tracks what trump does, showing how hannity has been doing this, how he's been
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spreading anti mueller rhetoric, music to trump's ears. they basically just crunch the numbers here to find out what hannity's been saying over the past year, there's been 254 episodes of hannity's show since then, including 487 segments featuring the probe. there were 256 segments including media criticism involving the mueller probe and so on and so on. this is helpful data because it speaks to how hannity is repetitive, how he says the same thing over and over again, convincing his audience, the mueller probe is a witch hunt, when in fact there's already been a bunch of witches found. joining me now the columnist for the "new york times," is handy the tip of the spear in this -- >> he has millions of viewers,
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huge prime time audience, and whatever he's saying has been echoed throughout the web and other sites throughout social media so it's a pretty loud echo chamber and let's a part of it. >> when he's attacking the media, we wish we could understand how your newsroom really works, which brings me to this new documentary airing on demand now, it's going to air tonight on tv. i want to show people a clip from the series and then talk about why it important. >> what happened? >> bill o'reilly. >> jim ruttenberg, how are you? is there anything else, were there other settlements pending that facillitated this that you know of? >> i love this because you're showing people how the sausage is made, how the reporting happens and i think if hannity's
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viewers or anybody else knew more about how we do our jobs, they would be at least a little bit more trusting and understanding of the imperfect art that is journalism. is that why you agreed to participate and be one of the reporter who is would have cameras follow you around for a year? >> i personally very much felt that way, that if you show people what goes into reporting, it's really hard and i think, especially in this era of social media, people don't necessarily even get it themselves because it's so easy to pick up on a threat and just retweet it. what we have to do, and it's not just the times, it's every news organization, is really, you report, you report, you lose sleep over the details. >> i found it to be very useful for the public to see how it works and i'm glad this is on tv this weekend. one more question for you, jim,
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thanks to your colleagues at the "new york times," winestein arrested on friday. what do you think of this made for tv moment, where all the journal it ists were tipped off ahead of time to be at the p precinct to get these pictures. >> we have seen harvey winestein with these starlets with the same number of press around him to receive the accolades. i like the point you made about o'reilly in that film, because if the bill o'reilly case didn't happen, the harvey winestein story is increasingly hard to get. and it features bright people who are stepping forward telling
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their stories. >> that was just a chapter, not the end of the book. thanks for being here. quick break here on "reliable sources," we'll be right back. wait what? directv gives you more for your thing. your... quitting cable and never looking back thing. directv is rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable. switch to directv and now get a $100 reward card. more for your thing. that's our thing. call 1.800 directv. gather your vikingsn set a course for new lands and lead them in conquest give them glory in combat and gold by the sword empires will fall as you claim your place in valhalla
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turn on audible and binge better. i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file?
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virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. carl bernstein is here with me now, 1/2 of the famed woodward and bernstein duo, what do you see happening at the end of this week, carl? >> with my conversations with people at the white house, with lawyers, with some of the defendants who have come before mueller and people on capitol hill, i think we can look at a
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big picture now with some real definition, in which the perilous moment for our country right now, and it's a question of whether lies, authoritari authoritarianism and the character of the president of the united states are going to take us to an authoritarian place where we have never been in which he will bury a duly constituted and legal investigation that will determine whether or not the president is above the rule of law. and what we are seeing, and what donald trump understands and the reason he wants to bury, demean, undermine and put this investigation out of business for all time is, he knows that mueller has the ability and the facts to reveal him, donald trump in a really terrible light, whether it's criminal behavior or not. mueller has enough to show donald trump and his lies in a way that definitively the american people including a lot
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of facts viewers perhaps may be convinced that we are seeing a false narrative by the president of the united states in which well, maybe there is collusion, how do we define collusion? trump does not want this story told, that's the bottom line. and whether or not it will be told will have a lot to do with whether the republican party in washington insists that mueller's investigation be protected and that it go forward and if mueller produced a report, not necessarily that he brings the president in shackles into the congress or before a grand jury, but whether his report is allowed to be made and made public and then the american people will be able to judge what happened with donald trump and foreign powers, and corruption as well. and that is what donald trump is trying to prevent and i think we can say that with real dif f
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finity with people in the white house and congress. >> by the way, carl is one of the many stars of the cnn special "1968" that's airing tonight and tomorrow morning. i hope you have a thoughtful, restful memorial day weekend. special request. president trump's legal team wants its own briefing after lawmakers say they learned nothing new on an fbi confidential source. >> what i want is i want total transparency. >> is this just another strategy to discredit the russia probe? >> i wonder what the heck is the legitimacy of the mueller probe in the first place? >> president trump's attorney rudy giuliani wil