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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  September 2, 2018 5:00am-6:01am PDT

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my favorite lady, it is her birthday. i don't think the picture came through. i posted it. >> how old? >> 9. the last single digits. >> happy birthday, sadie. >> sadie lady, i love you. thank you so much for sharing your morning with us. we always appreciate it. we hope you make good memories today. "inside politics" starts now. the final fall sprint to election day. with just nine weeks left, a big primary win for progressives in florida. >> we don't believe we should have to shrink from the things we believe in in order to win. >> plus, the president slams the mueller probe and issues a new threat. >> our justice department and our fbi have to start doing their job. at some point i'll get in there if i have to. and the nation bids farewell
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to an american icon. the bipartisan tribute to senator john mccain. >> the world is smaller for his departure and we will remember him as he was, unwavering, unequalled. >> we never doubted the other man's sincerity or patriotism or that when all was said and done we were on the same team. >> "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm phil mattingly. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, thanks for sharing your sunday. two powerful absences cast a shadow over washington today. john mccain this afternoon heads to his final resting place, the hallowed green lawn in annapolis. a day ago three former presidents, millions paused to remember an irreplaceable american. ♪
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at washington national cathedral the keepers of american power all sang or hummed along to "america the beautiful," a salute to mccain who, maybe more than anyone, his country loved. two eulogies spoke to mccain's and america's aspiration for something higher, a moral clarity carried in the naval aviator's old scars. mccain should be judged for whom he abhorred and those whose causes he carried. >> john detested the abuse of power. he could not abide bigots and swaggering despots. there was something that made him stand up for the little guy, forever tempted to forget who we are and to grow weary of our cause, john's voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder. we are better than this. america is better than this. >> president barack obama asked
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the country to move past its petty divides and embrace something greater. >> our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. trafficking in bombast and insult is born in fear. john called on us to be bigger than that. >> both presidents preaching uncontroversial values uniquely american ideals, unquestionably embodied by mccain. and yet the moment made all the more uncommon by the glaring absence of the current president, the subtext of the service it is the talk of washington. the gut punch grief felt by meghan mccain is common to every american family. >> when my father got sick and i
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asked him what he wanted me to do with this eulogy, he said, show them how tough you are. that is what love meant to john mccain. my father is gone and my sorrow is immense, but i know his life and i know it was great because it was good. >> with us this sunday to share their reporting and insights, julie pace of the associated press, jonathan martin with "the new york times," and "the washington post." i think an internal debate what this week has actually meant. these are statements and ideas that aren't necessarily rare to what america is. spoken by former campaign manager, we are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals not blood and soil. we weaken our greatness when we
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confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries. we weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down. big question, what was this week actually about? >> i think what was so striking about this week is to your point, so many of the things that were said by john mccain in his final letter, by the former president at the final service yesterday were very standard american values. we weren't talking about something that was unique for american leaders to be discussing. but in this moment it was seen as a rebuke to the current president. that's extraordinary things so bed rocked in this country are seen as out of sync with the current president and it's because he has taken such a different approach. he does not cast america as this great nation. he casts america as a canada che -- country cheated by canada and has to wall itself off from other nations. he's been successful in doing
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that. it is counttory what we're used to hearing from our leaders. this is a reminder of those more traditional values. >> and when senator mccain asked the people to speak at his eulogy, he planned every minute of this and set the tone for that in his own message and in meghan mccain's message. i am told the president and others speaking were also told not to hold back. this was the theme, this is what he wanted them to share. and, you're right, it was a message that was heard in a different time, it would have been potentially the same words, but it is different in this moment. and the fact that the president was not there, the fact that a couple of his top advisers, actually several of his top advisers were there, certainly was interesting. i think after we move beyond this week you have to wonder if anything changes at all. the possibility, i think, there will be one senator who wants to be the next john mccain. that is a great position to be in because you can have policy positions. a lot of press coverage, frankly.
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that is something that mae change. you saw a lot of hungry senators wanting to fill that void, but in terms of changing our politics, don't count on it. >> i want to get to that last point in a second. first i want to play some sound from meghan mccain, take a listen. >> we gather here to mourn the passing of american greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. america does not boast because she has no need to. the america of john mccain has no need to be made great again because america was always great. [ applause ] >> the applause as much as the words that i think i was taken aback by there. you just don't hear applause at most funerals mid speech period
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and you don't hear applause mid speech in a funeral in the national cathedral which is a place majestic but sort of very old church and very proper and that was something else to hear that. i think to be totally blunt, i think our politics marches ahead. jeff is right, i think there will be opportunities for folks to step up and try to fill that mccain role. i think those opportunities will be whetted, by the way, by the election in two months. that, to me, is the pinpoint here what happens on election day and is there a rebuke of the republican party and of trump-ism? if there is, you'll see more of what jeff talking about realizing there's an opportunity to set ourselves apart and perhaps not just an opportunity but an imperative, too, how bad the election day actually is. >> you and i traipsed through the halls of congress, we put
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together something that senators publicly or privately talk about, a younger group, both parties, that the institution is broken, that they want to fix it. haven't quite figured out how yet. i will pull some of those up. michael bennett, doug jones, james langford to some degree, tim scott, todd young on some issues. what's your sense of this next generation if there's any chance they will be successful? >> i think there's clearly a hunger for more bipartisanship in the mold of john mccain but those efforts haven't come to fruition just yet. we've seen so many instances where the gang of 40 or the gang of 25 gathered -- >> talking six. >> gathered in susan collins' office or that office has been regarded as the switzerland of the senate. but yet what have they done to result from it? the polarization of our politics has really steeped down into the senate and there will be no
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figure like john mccain for some time. i thought it was appropriate when mitch mcconnell said he would put together a gang and figure out how to properly remember the senator because john mccain was involved in basically any gang in the senate whether it was trying to pass immigration reform in 2013 or, you know, trying to stave off a filibuster at times back in 2017 when it ultimately failed. but i think that there will be -- there will be a struggle to kind of replace that bipartisanship of gravitas the senator brought. we felt that missing from the senate halls in the last eight or nine months. >> speaking of primaries, tom harper from delaware has a primary this week. he is somebody who i think always tried to be more of a moderate democrat. let's see how close his opponent gets because that is the kind of chilling impact that certainly we've seen the last eight years in the gop. if that kind of thing starts happening with democrats now, i think that will make it harder
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for democrats like chris coons to be bipartisan and defy their own party. >> it's not a straight line. there are so many different dynamics in play whether or not this will actually occur. i will miss being called a little jerk. >> and a little brat. >> and a little brat. as we go to break, one more image i really want to show you, you're looking at 87-year-old congressman sam johnson. the texas republican was a fellow prisoner of war and a cell mate of mccain's in vietnam. he normally is confined to a scooter or wheelchair. democrats nancy pelosi and joe crowley here helping him to the casket to say farewell to senator mccain. we'll be right back. sometimes, the pressures of today's world can make it tough to take care of yourself. but nature's bounty has innovative ways to help you maintain balance and help keep you active and well-rested. because hey, tomorrow's coming up fast.
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or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. stop me if you've heard this one before, with his administration facing growing legal pressure, president trump is lashing out at the mueller probe and the justice department. >> our justice department and our fbi have to start doing their job and doing it right and
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doing it now. because people are angry. people are angry. i wanted to stay out, but at some point, if it doesn't straighten out properly, i want them to do their job. i will get involved, and i'll get in there if i have to. >> now, the president says people are angry, but a new abc news washington post poll suggests otherwise. take look at this. 63% of americans approve of special counsel mueller's handling of the investigation. a near mirror image of president trump's 60% disapproval rate, just 36% of americans approve of his performance as president. now, these numbers suggest somewhat of a shift. there once was an agreed upon narrative that the president's attacks on the investigation were having an effect, perhaps that's not so subtle anymore. even more significantly, there is zero indication that any of those attacks have deterred robert mueller from opening new avenues of his investigation. just on friday a washington lobbyist pleaded guilty to funneling foreign money into
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president trump's campaign. and in a new court filing, george papadopoulos publicly contradicted testimony by attorney general jeff sessions, papadopoulos says at a march, 2016, meeting, you can see that pictured here from a trump campaign instagram post, both sessions and then candidate trump signal support from a proposed meeting trump and vladimir putin during the campaign. while some in the room rebuffed george's offer, mr. trump deferred to mr. sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it. george's giddiness over mr. trump's recognition was prominent during the days that followed. we'll get to george papadopoulos in a second. a lot to go into there. i don't know if we have enough time. but first of all, i want to go 30,000 foot level. that is what we're seeing from the president right now on twitter, including yesterday throughout the course of the week, this is a reflection to what he's reading in the news or is this just the lingering frustration of what this investigation means for this administration? >> that's a great question.
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we don't know exactly what he's reacting to. usually it's something he sees on fox. if we take stock of where we are right now at the beginning of september, summer is over. this investigation is still very much on. that likely means almost certainly means that the investigation is going to continue through the midterm elections, so it's going to be something that the president is going to use or try and use. he likes to find an opponent. but the reality here is we still don't know what bob mueller has found, what his team has found. they're probably going to put this on hold, releasing any findings until after the midterms. rudy giuliani was out this week saying we're going to release our own report. half or probably a third of the country's interested or will believe what the evidence say. but the reality is the real report from bob mueller will come after the midterms and what party controls congress at that point? that is the central question to all of this. so after the summer, i kind of thought more of this would have been resolved by now. it's not. it means bob mueller is still
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going after something. the plea deal on friday i think is more significant than we think. we've never heard of this guy, but the reality is if they were looking into money from that point, what else are they looking into from that same period? >> on that front real quick, because rudy giuliani actually talks about this. to your point, this is the first time the justice department publicly charged a person for helping a foreigner secretly funnel money into the trump inauguration. something a lot of people have been looking into. rudy giuliani was asked about that. take a listen to what he had to say. >> turned out to be this irrelevant indictment where i think mueller turned into the private prosecutor. what does this have to do with president trump? not a single thing. has nothing do with collusion. some guy donated to the inauguration. my goodness, 500,000 donated to president trump. >> i think rudy giuliani answered his own point there, which is what does this have to do with president trump? it was the trump inauguration.
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there's the link right there. bob mueller, yes, is going after things when you're talking about such high level questions like obstruction and collusion with russians, can look small, but actually i think it's just being methodical. he is deep in a complicated investigation and he is pulling out bit players. he is charging them when they lie to him. he is charging them for things like fare violations that don't get prosecuted. but all indications are that he is moving towards something bigger. that doesn't necessarily mean an indictment of the president or someone in his inner circle. as he tries to answer those larger questions, he's letting nothing slide. part is trying to send a message to someone who come in to sit before the grand jury and interview with his prosecutors, if you don't come in and tell us the truth or you have something in your background, we are going to go after you. that's the type of aggressive investigation this is regardless of what rudy giuliani and others say. >> yeah. and he's also trying to get folks to talk and he's using the
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various levers at his disposal to make folks talk, including offering them some measure of plea deals in some cases that's worked. others said that's not worked, at least not yet with paul manafort, of course the president said he didn't break. which is extraordinary in its own right. i think we'll see if that continues given the fact that manafort has a second trial coming up here. i agree with julie. i think we're very much in the dark as to what he actually is doing and what he actually has. most of the information that we know has come from the trump side of this, not the mueller side of this. >> yeah. i want to ask you something -- first of all, i want to read something -- the president sat down with bloomberg news and gave an interview. he was asked about complying with the subpoena, if he chooses not to testify, that's clearly a legal fight that i think everybody thinks is coming. and he said, trump said in the interview i'll see what happens when it comes to a subpoena. i view it differently. i view it as an illegal
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investigation because, quote, great scholars have said there never should have been a special counsel, the president told bloomberg. so you have great scholars, which the president is not specifying who that is. let's also pull up federal judges and their views of whether or not the investigation is legal. so if you take a look at these four federal judges from president's from both parties, all of whom have ruled that the special counsel is, in fact, legal. so, despite what maybe is being heard on cable news -- but i want to ask you to the broader point here. is this the fight that's coming right now? the fight over a subpoena, squashing a subpoena? >> i think his lawyers made it clear weeks ago that if there is a subpoena issued by mueller, this is a fight that will go all the way to the supreme court. that's why we've seen these interview negotiations between mueller's team and trump team ebb and flow and almost essentially stop at this point. subpoena issue is so important, too, in the fact it may go all the way to the supreme court. again, we'll talk about this later, we do have a supreme court confirmation fight going
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on. one of the big contentious points about kavanaugh's record is his views on executive power. he gives a lot of latitude to the executive branch in this. he discusses his views in detail in legal articles and public forums, but that is a point democrats will bring up when there is a potentially live fight that he will face as soon as he's sworn into this supreme court, how will you handle that issue? now kavanaugh is not going to answer that but is definitely an issue that is looming over this confirmation and the subpoena fight. >> good tease to a couple minutes from now. one more before i let you go the george papadopoulos finding. there was a lot of questions whether jeff sessions was honest in his questions before congress. >> george papadopoulos has been one of these strange characters in all of this because he was not a major player in the trump campaign, but he actually was on this foreign policy advisory team announced by trump. he was in meeting with the president. i would think there are two
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significant things here. one, it does contradict jeff session's testimony. there's been a lot of questions about what sessions has said in part because there have been holes picked in other things that he said. so i do think he probably is going to have to answer for this. and the second piece of this, though, is president trump is already furious at jeff sessions. and i think anything that fuels that is noteworthy. i'm surprised we haven't seen any tweets from the president about that so far. >> one more reason to they. the president also said in the bloomberg interview that jeff sessions was safe until november. after that he wouldn't say. >> yeah. i think it's widely understood that sessions is on the way out after midterms. coming up, bad news for the gop. we are unveiling new cnn house race ratings with some unwelcome numbers for the president and his party. hey allergy muddlers. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec®. it's starts working hard at hour one. and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day.
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welcome back. the blitz is on, nine weeks until the november midterms, and this morning, new signs of a potential looming republican reckoning. cnn is moving 11 congressional seats away from republicans and toward democrats. and three seats are moving towards the gop. now of the 30 seats cnn considers tossups, 28 are held by republicans. 12 of those republicans are running in districts hillary clinton won in 2016. so at least in the house, for the most endangered gop candidates, the president's presence probably hurts more than it helps. now his post labor day travel schedule mostly keeps him out of purple territory. the president, he's keenly aware an election day wave would imperil not just an agenda but things like impeachment on the table. his message to voters this week, i'm not on the ballot but 2018 is about my presidency. >> you aren't just voting for a
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candidate, you're voting for which party controls congress. somebody has a cold, we no longer have the majority. we need republicans in congress. >> look, first of all, he's not wrong. he's absolutely right about his agenda, absolutely right about his poll here, but i want to pull up -- we noted there are the abc washington post poll where we talk about the president's approval is. take a loot at his approval among gop voters. this is the stall wart lynch pin to everything they've been doing. over the court of the last month and a half, two months, at least according to this poll, is down nine points. now, it's one poll. it's not indicative of everything, but is that a -- is there a bigger problem here. >> yes. oh, yeah. look, if he's below 80% with this party, that's a huge issue. >> yeah. >> i had a really smart republican operative tell me a challenge that we have, the party has, is that every time there's one of these episodes
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whether it's elacinky, whether it's the reminder of stormy daniels, where that cohort of sort of swing republicans, folks who kind of like the policies but cringe at some of the behavior, every time their noses are rubbed in the face of what they don't like about this president, they see a 10 to 15% drop in his own views, the views of the president. and what that does, phil, that directly impacts the house candidates on the ballot because so much of these house races is about the views of the president and the views of the two parties. and any time those soft republicans as they're called are reminded about what they don't like about this president, it sort of turns them off. it sort of makes them walk away from the party. and that's a lot of crucial votes, too. >> well, when you combine the drop in republicans those numbers on independents, those are terrible numbers with
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independents. look at some of these swing districts where republicans are going to need to hold their seats in places like virginia and pennsylvania, there's a really competitive race in minnesota that hasn't been competitive in a long time in that district f you don't have those independents you're in a difficult position. if you're dropping to 80% with republicans it's almost impossible. >> they're almost on the verge of now acknowledging at the white house that the house is going to be impossible to hold. so much more discussion is on the senate. i'm hearing from more people saying, well, what if democrats control the house? what if impeachment happens? maybe that is better for the president in 2020. that conversation is very much alive and well. they may be right about that. it happened in the clinton impeachment, of course, the situation is totally different. it's a different era, different time. but the idea of holding the house seems to be escaping. we saw where the president is traveling. yes, he's going to red states. but even inside red states, they have to pick very specifically where he can go because he fires up the base for these house districts in other big cities. so it's a complicated mine field
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out there for the president. but the idea of the house, it's tough. >> so you make an interesting point, the pths announcing this week on twitter that he's going to texas for ted cruz, looking for the biggest stadium he can find, kyle field, that's my vote. 105,000. >> that's an interesting mark i. that's the challenge. >> you have republicans in those market who are endangered. don't do this, please. don't do this. i mean, is that right? >> yeah. and it's just the constant struggles that you're seeing and the different dynamics between the house and the senate races that we're seeing because we talk about how bleak the picture looks for house republicans. senate republicans are in a better position right now, and i think to jeff's point, when i was traveling with the president to columbus, ohio, a few weeks ago or maybe it was last week. i don't remember. >> best state in the union. >> the best city in the country. he took a little bit of a different tone.
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he was bullish on the senate, which i think is a fair assessment, but he did acknowledge that the house is probably tougher. i think that was such an interesting point that it was such a contrast to his constant red wave rhetoric that we hear from him. and you do see that little bit of political reality seeping in, but in the senates, republicans still feel very good. they feel good about north dakota, florida, indiana and missouri. those are the states that the democrats are most concerned about. so we'll end, as we know with the senate, it can accomplish more of trump's agenda just because of their role in the confirmation process. >> just real fast, these cycles go together the house and the senate. labor day, it seems right now it's possible the house and senate fortunes could die verge. if you look at that map you showed on the screen, what's so striking to me about that is that the two coasts in this country, not a single state was filled in as somewhere where the president is going to campaign. why is that? a lot of the action on the two
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coasts is house races. where as the senate races are by and large the interior of the country. >> this is an interesting point. two separate maps and they're looking two different types of races. and then in the middle you have florida. >> right. >> where it's like the exact -- i'm talking about the governor's race specifically, you wrote about this, where you have people tack back towards the center after the primary. you have ron desantis, look at this ad from the primary, which is pretty clear about what it means. >> ron loves playing with the kids. >> build the wall. >> he reads stories. >> then mr. trump said, you're fired. i love that part. >> he's teaching madison to talk. >> make america great again. >> people say ron is all trump, but he is so much more. >> big league. so good. >> i mean, the panhandle is thrilled. >> subtle. >> that was tongue in cheek, poking fun at themselves. but that's florida, not wyoming,
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or oklahoma, right? these swing states where every election is basically decided by a point or less or at least lots of them are. i think it's a real risk to sort of do that in the primary. look, i would expect him to try to tack back towards a more florida-centric center right positioning in the general election. i think we're going to hear a lot more about navy jag officer ron desantis. >> andrew gillum isn't tacking towards the center either. he's a progressive candidate. >> because that's where democrats -- >> that's where he does well. >> that's where democratic energy is and for him to win in a state like florida he has to ramp up that turnout. messaging wise, i think you'll see a bit of an evolution. >> it will be more about algae than bernie sanders and donald trump. algae, for the folks there at home in florida know this, is a huge issue in florida right now. >> huge issue. >> you can be the algae.
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it's really important. >> it's a huge story in florida. >> serious, serious. >> where does the president go in florida? he'll go to florida, does he go to orlando. >> panama city, baby. after tuesday's primary, another sign that this really is the year of the woman. six senate races will be all female contests. in nebraska, new york, washington state, wisconsin, minnesota and arizona and there could be one more depending on the results of this week's massachusetts primary. that's a record. the previous high of three back in 2012. . and your eyes have the power to speak volumes. with voluminous original mascara from l'oreal. now in deep burgundy. the original brush separates every lash. builds 5x the volume. america's number 1 mascara. voluminous original. from l'oreal paris.
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how much more does congress need to see? donald trump has now been implicated in two felony crimes, and he's all but confessed to them on fox news. no one is above the law, so we have to make sure this president doesn't use pardons to cover up crimes. if you agree that a president should not be allowed to pardon himself or his associates, join us at the washington establishment
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♪ 85 and i wanna go don't get mad. get e*trade, kiddo. this weekend marks the end of washington's long, hot and very eventful summer. you can look and see some of the big stories. all of this has happened since july 9th. why does that matter? that's the day president trump nominated brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. it looks small in print because there's so many of them. all the other news has largely overshadowed brett kavanaugh. he may be president trump's longest lasting legacy. kavanaugh could cement dominance on the high court into the 2040s. his confirmation hearing starts tuesday. you can hear questions about abortion and whether he would vote to overturn roe versus w e wade. he could be the swing vote on does robert mueller have the power to subpoena president trump in the russia probe.
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democrats say they're concerned. >> one of the things that's unique about his views are his -- is his position on presidential supremacy. and he is way up there. he believes that a president cannot even be investigated, if you will, let alone convicted while he's in office. >> i just want to turn this over to you. you've been covering every in and out of this. i think we know the top line issues here, but i want to pull up the recent cnn poll that has kavanaugh whether he should be confirmed. it's at 37%, one of the lowest of all time, yet it doesn't feel like there's much chance he won't be confirmed. what's your sense of democrat's strategy here? >> i think what we're expecting now, unless there's a major error at his confirmation hearing and we don't anticipate that happening. he's been preparing for the confirmation hearings next week. he's on a glide track to be confirmed here. lisa murkowski and susan collins
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the two swing votes haven't publicly indicated that they are actually waffling here, that they are struggling to get to a yes on the vote. and we have at least three red state democrats who have made it very clear that they are open to supporting him. heidi hide camp, joe donley and joe manchin supported gorsuch last year. ultimately again, unless there's a major error in front of the bright lights of the camera it won't matter as much and the democrats will be examining was our tragedy effective to make it process and focus on documents or should we focus on the larger issues at stake such as abortion rights, voting, rights, civil rights. that's something democrats will examine for some time. >> i want to play sound from dan pfeiffer, a pod amaretus if you will about the red state democrats and their votes. take a listen. >> infuriating that some
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democrats are abiding by this old politics idea that was probably never even true that somehow voting for some small handful of the president's nominees for anything will help you win election. the danger of voting for the kavanaugh nomination is you'll get no points from the right and you're going to deflate the enthusiasm of your base. >> yes, jeff zeleny. >> that's barack obama's former aide dan pfeiffer, does not sound the like dan pfeiffer who worked for another indiana candidate. come on. >> if you already voted for neil gorsuch, i think you know which way this is going to go here. so i think love dan on the west coast, that san francisco dan calling in the line. other democrats here have a slightly different view of that. >> real quick -- >> and you deny the republicans an issue. you don't help yourself proactively with voters, but you deny the republicans at least.
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you can say that. >> that's the tension right now. that's the tension between the base and more of the reality and the humor keeping an eye on -- >> the biggest mystery really going to be of doug jones an aye or a nay? >> don't knock that. that's what we're going to spend the next three weeks trying to figure out. feel free to make an appearance in the halls of congress. next, the president dares congress to stop him from junking nafta. pokes a little fun at your friends to the north. higher! higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again. to take care of yourself. but nature's bounty has innovative ways to help you maintain balance and help keep you active and well-rested. because hey, tomorrow's coming up fast. nature's bounty. because you're better off healthy. nature's bounty. i'start at the new carfax.comar.
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each sunday our reporters share a tidbit from their notebooks to give you a peek at the headlines for the week ahead. what have you got? >> if there is one thing republican lawmakers could have done without it's president trump's move to block a pay raise for federal workers. they are across the country but concentrated heavily in virginia
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which happens to have a couple of competitive house races. you saw some of the republican lawmakers pushing back on the president's move. ultimately congress can still give the federal workers a raise. trump is already talking about reconsidering, but democrats i talked to said the mere fact that trump was willing to come out and block the raise will cause problems for people like barbara comstock who is a vulnerable republican. this was a gift for democrats. >> how many seconds before barbara called the white house switch board? >> filling john mccain's shoes is impossible. filling his seat could happen this week. this is one of the biggest decisions that will be on the lap of arizona governor doug ducy. he's on the ballot as well this fall. the reality here is the politics of arizona have changed so much. once this would have been appointing someone in the mccain-like tradition. that's likely not acceptable to republicans on the ground there.
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the urgency is because of the supreme court vote coming up. so one arizona republican i talked to this weekend said if the governor picks anyone not 100% loyal to this president, this white house, it's a problem for the governor. you could see the governor yesterday had a lot of conversations with people during the funeral service. one conversation i saw was with jared kushner and ivanka trump. look for the decision this week. probably someone not in the mccain mold. >> mitch mcconnell having conversations on that one as well. >> tomorrow is labor day, but primary season rolls on. in boston on tuesday there is an interesting house primary. a 20-year veteran of the house mike capuano in a seat the kennedys had, tip o'neal, he's facing a challenge. this is the first real race he's had in two decades in congress.
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he's never had a primary like this before. one democrat said he should be okay. but a lot of incumbents when it comes to making sure back home was taken care of. this race is expected to be a real race on tuesday. we are now moving toward the general, but keep your eyes peeled in the bay state. >> what reporting of yours can i steal? >> it's september. not only college football season but shutdown season in congress. it's been interesting to watch. there's been a little bit of bipartisanship on the spending bills that have to pass before the end of the fiscal year september 30. we have seen the senate working to pass basically nine of 12 spending bills that have to go before september 30. there is always trouble ahead with, first of all, having to reconcile bills with the house. the house has more controversial policy provisions. we call them riders. they have to deal with the senate and also the x factor of
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president trump himself. we have the president saying he wants money for the border wall. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan have a plan to punt the border wall funding until after the elections. will president trump go along? that's yet to be seen. >> tuesday or thursday. we'll see in september. when it comes to nafta republican senators have no intention of letting trump do it his way. that's what senators and aides say this weekend as the president has opened a new front of attacks saturday warning by tweet congress should, quote, not interfere with negotiations or i will simply terminate nafta entirely. republicans make a key point in response to that. bullying trade negotiators and acknowledged this fraught strategy is different from bullying someone like, say, pat toomy. can he unilaterally terminate nafta without congressional approval? technically, yes. can he count on republicans to do what they have done and just
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grumble and accept whatever he decides to do? no. the deadline that matters is september 30 when the administration must post the new pact. canada must be a party, republicans tell me. if they don't or if they aren't, the president will officially be at war with his own party. as one senator told me friday night, quote, this is a red line issue. it is too damn important to too many states. that's it for "inside politics." thank you very much for spending part of your labor day weekend with us. hope you can catch us weekdays at noon eastern. up next, don't miss "state of the union" with lindsey graham and joe lieberman to reflect on john mccain's life and legacy. stay with us.
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mccain's message. washington remembers the late senator in a politically loaded ceremony. >> the america of john mccain has no need to be made great again because america was always great. >> as former rivals and lifelong friends reflect on his legacy, we'll speak with mccain's closest friends -- former senator joe lieberman and former senator lindsey graham next. plus, marquee match-up as the midterm elections kick off in r earne earnest. >> this election, we can't let up. >> all eyes turn to the


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