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Sessions Plans To Testify As Russia Questions Swirl; Reports: Tensions Rise Between Sessions, Trump; Trump Jr. Defends President, Slams Comey; First Lady May Move Into White House This Week; Ivanka Trump To Lead Meetings On Workforce; Taliban Claims Deadly Shooting Attack In Afghanistan; Lavrov To Tillerson: Stop Bombing Assad's Forces; No Working Relationship Between Trump And Obama; U.K. Prime Minister To "Reflect" After Big Election Shake-Up; Tapwrit Wins The Belmont Stakes; Yankees Crushed The Orioles 16-3; Kickboxing Fight Ends With Fans Attacking Fighter Aired 6-7a

Aired June 11, 2017 - 06:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There remain a number of questions about his own interactions with the Russians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a third meeting and even without it, what we have is a pattern of contacts with the Russians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House still cannot say whether President Trump has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A claim of responsibility for the deaths of three American soldiers in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Afghan Taliban is claiming responsibility.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we call a green on blue attack. When a member of the Afghan Security Forces fall turn on U.S.-NATO soldiers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When heroes fall, Americans grieve.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You are up early on a Sunday morning and we are so grateful to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

New this morning, Capitol Hill maybe getting ready for another blockbuster testimony. This time it looks like it could be Jeff Sessions who will take a turn on the hot seat.

PAUL: The attorney general plans to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is happening Tuesday, we understand, although we don't know yet if it will be public or closed door. This after former FBI Director James Comey hinted that Sessions may have had a third contact with Russians that he did not disclose and reports that he and President Trump had heated exchanges after Sessions recused himself from the Russian probe.

CNN Washington correspondent, Ryan Nobles, is following this story. Ryan, what are you hearing there this morning?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, good morning. This is a bit of a surprise and at this point, we don't even have full confirmation from the Senate Intelligence Committee that this hearing will even happen. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was supposed to appear before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the Justice Department's budget on Tuesday.

But Democrats were already threatening to bring up the investigation into Russia and the role Sessions has played so Sessions decided to pull a switch. He's sending his Deputy Agent Rod Rosenstein to the Appropriations Committee hearing and Sessions has offered up his testimony to the Intel Committee.

Here is part of what he said in a letter to the committee. Some members, quote, "have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election from which I have recused myself and for which the deputy attorney general appointed a special counsel.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is the more appropriate forum for such matters as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant classified information." Note the use of the words classified information in his letter.

That could mean that Sessions is expecting his testimony to happen in closed session although the letter doesn't specifically state that. Keep in mind, the Senate Intel Committee currently does not have plans to meet on Tuesday and it may be difficult for the committee to prepare quickly enough for a hearing of this magnitude.

Now among the issues Sessions may need to confront the CNN report that investigators are looking into a possible third undisclosed meeting that Sessions may have had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The Justice Department has repeatedly said the meeting never happened, but Sessions, himself, has yet to answer a direct question on the topic and appearing before the committee, he would need to answer that question under oath.

Now at this point, committee leaders from both sides of the aisle have yet to even acknowledge that they have received this letter. So at this point, we also have to wait and see if and when Sessions ever appears before senators. PAUL: Very good point. All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for the clarity this morning.

SAVIDGE: All right, let's bring in Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and a political anchor for Spectrum News, Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and historian and professor of Princeton University, and Tom LoBianco, CNN politics reporter.

Tom, let me start with you. Why is this happening? I mean, is this a direct result of the fact that Comey made this testimony and said some things about Sessions that now he feels he has got to clarify?

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, I think Comey's testimony last week certainly accelerated it. Remember that is not just the private testimony, the closed door testimony we found out from sources included that there may have been this possible undisclosed third meeting that they think they have found between Sessions and Kislyak. That is a possibility.

But it's also the public portion of that testimony before that. Then you also got to remember that even before that.

[06:05:00]We knew that Democratic Senators Al Franken and Patrick Leahy, members of the Judiciary Committee, had already asked the FBI to investigate Sessions for, you know, any possible contacts because of the other previously undisclosed Sergey Kislyak meetings.

So these questions have been building up already. Whether or not this is a smart move politically or calculated on the part of the Trump/Russia war room team, we don't know that part yet. But it's a very interesting move and certainly Comey's testimony accelerated this.

PAUL: I want to ask you, Julian, let me send this to you. We started this week with reports that Sessions and Trump, there is a rift there that they have been having heated conversations with President Trump and even made it clear that he would be willing to step down if it's something that Trump wanted. Do we know how loyal is Sessions to the president? And how candid might he be in these conversations?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he was very loyal to the president. We have to remember we are talking about someone who is one of the first movers in the Trump campaign from Congress, one of Donald Trump's first big supporters from the Republican Party.

The question is what has happened since the governance part of the Trump presidency began. There are now stories, both of the contacts and the non-reported contacts, between Sessions and the Russians, but the other part of this story is where was Jeff Sessions in this investigation?

We had the stories at the beginning of the week that there are big rifts between the two of them and then during Comey's testimony, he suggested a level of discomfort from Sessions when he saw President Trump remove everyone from the room so he could speak with Comey privately and Comey then said that Sessions in the end left the room.

So I think there is multiple levels of this relationship that have opened up through the hearings and those stories.

SAVIDGE: Errol, I know that Comey made some reference to the attorney general several times. I want to play the sort of second time where he was -- this one was insinuating something and he started to reveal and then he said, of course, I can't go too far. Here is the former FBI director in his testimony.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: My impression was something big is about to happen. I need to remember every single word that is spoken and, again, I could be wrong. I'm 56 years old. I've been seeing a few things. My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving, which is why he was lingering and I don't know Mr. Kushner well, but I think he picked up on the same thing and so I knew something was about to happen that I needed to pay very close attention to.


SAVIDGE: OK, that was actually the first preference. The second he was insinuating perhaps about this third meeting that the attorney general had with members of the Russian government. What I'm asking here, Errol, is that whose idea do you think, if he testifies, whose idea is it? Is this the president forcing Sessions to come out publicly or do you think Sessions did this on his own?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I suspect. I'm speculating and I don't want to do too much of that because already a lot of that going around, but I think Jeff Sessions is sort of looking out for himself. When you see in major media that the president is unhappy with you and maybe wants to fire you, well, you've got to do something about it.

So regardless of what internal conversation might be going on for the sake of public relations for the Justice Department, for himself, the attorney general, I would think, need to sort of come forward and make clear and sort of answer directly or indirectly, even if in a closed hearing, some of what James Comey said.

Because what you -- even just the clip you just played, I mean, it sounds very, very damming as if there is some sort of shadowy thing going on that Jeff Sessions was a part of or at least was aware of and did nothing to stop.

And to the extent that James Comey is credible, is now public, has a story that a lot of people have heard. It's incumbent on Jeff Sessions to try to protect and defend himself and the Justice Department.

SAVIDGE: I mean, I was struck by the fact that there were a number of references made about Sessions. The question now, I guess, would be do you think that Sessions might say anything regarding Comey's firing? In other words, we may get a different window into this whole rather bizarre scene?

LOUIS: Well, you know, it's funny because he was not supposed to be involved, right? I mean, as we just saw in his recent letter back to Congress, he has recused himself and not supposed to be involved in it and here when the firing of James Comey takes place, his name is all over the place, right? He essentially signs the letter blessing the entire event.

[06:10:05]And then the very next day, the president goes on national television and says that it was all about Russia. So it wasn't supposed to go down this way. The senators, I'm sure, have some legitimate and very pressing questions about that.

But you know, Martin, I hope we don't lose in all of this that there is an important question behind all of this. We talk about Russian collusion but, like, what were they doing some what happened to our democracy? What happened in the election?

The person who is supposed to be able to answer that question is, in fact, the head of the Justice Department. So hopefully, we will get some questions and some answers out of the attorney general about that as well.

SAVIDGE: Hopefully, it will also be held in a public forum in a way that we can all hear it too. Everyone, stick around because we are going to have more to discuss in a moment.

PAUL: We want to let you know that Senator Dianne Feinstein is going to be a guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today at 9 a.m. Eastern. Senator Susan Collins will also be on that show. Do not miss "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today at 9:00 a.m. right here on CNN.

Coming up, a focus on women of the first family, Ivanka Trump with her father taking the lead now on shrinking the gap between people looking for work and employers looking for workers. The latest on the first lady's move to the White House.

SAVIDGE: And the he said- he said debate over what President Trump told James Comey. This got a whole lot more interesting. Donald Trump Jr. weighs in. Wait until you hear what he had to say next.



PAUL: Donald Trump Jr. is defending his father after the testimony of James Comey. Remember Comey's submitted testimony saying the president told him on February 14th, quote, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," unquote.

SAVIDGE: But the president and his personal attorney denied that happened. Listen to what Donald Trump Jr. said during an interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to get back to James Comey's testimony. You suggested he didn't tell the truth in everything he said. He did say under oath that you told him to let the Flynn -- or you had you hoped the Flynn investigation, you could let --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he lied about that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that.

MARC KASOWITZ, OUTSIDE COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president never in form or substance, directed or suggested, that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey, quote, "let Flynn go," closed quote.

DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S SON: When he tells you to do something, guess what. There is no ambiguity in it. There is no, hey, I'm hoping. You and I are friends. Hey, I hope this happens, but you got to do your job. That is what he told Comey.


SAVIDGE: All right, there you go. You got it played out there with a series of sound bites. Our panel is back with us. Let me start with Julian. What is your take on how Trump Jr. is sort of saying what his father did? Is he just coming to his father's defense or does he somehow add a bit more mud to the water here?

ZELIZER: Well, it's the chaos versus strategy question about the Trump White House, meaning the chaos is there is no war room. There no coordinated message as we have seen in scandals in the past and everyone is saying their own thing. Here he is directly contradicting what the president and his attorney said. The strategy side of this is the chaos is intentional.

It's to create confusion. It's to send out multiple messages and it's to somehow put opponents in Congress with the investigators in a tougher position. We don't know which of these it is. I think it is more about the chaos.

And I don't think there is this coordinated war room mentality in the White House as much as different player giving their own spin without someone at the top in firm control of how to respond to this unfolding investigation.

PAUL: Errol, how did you take what Donald Trump Jr. said?

LOUIS: I think Julian is exactly right. I have seen enough of this and really goes all the way back to the campaign. They do not coordinate their messaging. They do not have sort of a party line. Kasowitz, the attorney, the president's personal attorney, he rushed before the cameras so quickly he misspelled, you know, the word president in the very first line of his statement and he rushed off without taking any questions. We have had reporting of him telling everybody to centralize

everything through him and then he doesn't answer questions from the press. So I don't think they have a strategy here. I think there's sort of a loyal son and that is commendable, I guess, on some human level, but beyond that, I don't think they have an answer for the many legitimate questions that are being put to this White House.

LOUIS: All right, well, let's move on to something else. That is that the first lady, now that her son's school has come to an end, she is going to move into the White House and we understand that could be as early as next week.

Ninety plus people are on hand to accommodate her every request and it's all under the direction of others in the White House. But here is my point, the fact that she is there now with the president, is that going to change the dynamic at all, Tom?

LOBIANCO: Well, probably doesn't hurt him to have another minder with him, you know? There is always that reporting that, you know, Jared and Ivanka had been kind of keeping tabs on him and keeping his Twitter finger off the button, so to say, and that during the week, you wouldn't see that too much -- too many interesting tweets from the president.

Then on Saturdays, he would pop off a little bit. Probably helps him in that regard. You know, there has been a lot of questions, more unlike the social scene of whether the Trump's would become a Washington family. Obviously, this would seem to show that.

[06:20:02]You know, we are a long way away from them talking about keeping another White House effectively up in Manhattan. All the, you know, questions about trying to secure that. So you know, probably a natural progression here, you know.

Are they part of the swamp? I don't know. I don't think that, you know, that is the case here. Maybe not just yet, but definitely does kind of hurt the outsider image a little bit.

PAUL: Julian, this is another big week too for Ivanka Trump we should point out because she is about to leave these meetings this week about the work force, we understand, and bridging the gap between people who want to work and employers who want workers. What do you see her role being? How is she going to define this?

ZELIZER: Well, look, she has been the ongoing promise within the Trump campaign and administration of one of the more serious or thoughtful mind. This is an area of policy that has been a basic promise of the Trump presidency. We will bring more jobs.

And so the question is can Ivanka be the person to finally step forward after months when we have heard really almost nothing about responding to the jobs problem in this country and offer some kind of work force plan.

But at least from what we have heard so far, this is more of a set of discussions with CEOs and others than a very robust set of policies that will get to the core of what is causing middle class Americans to be so insecure and so anxious about their future.

But of all the different players, she is the one within the Trump orbit who many opponents and supporters hope or believe can bring the most policy seriousness to this White House.

SAVIDGE: Yes, it's an interesting point to be made. Errol, let me ask you this then. Unemployment is pretty low and I'm wondering the message of jobs, jobs, jobs, still resonates with those who voted for the president. Clearly that is what they want to do is more focus on the employment issue and less focus on Russia, right?

LOUIS: That's right. Look, there are a couple of different issues within that. There is getting a job and then there is getting a decent good paying job that you can stay in and can support a family on. So we are at nearly full employment by one measure.

On the other hand, if you add in the people who would rather be doing something else or aren't making quite enough money then there is a rather serious problem. I mean, look, with all respect to Ivanka Trump, this is a problem that is going to be solved by detailed policy work, people inside the government.

There are more than a dozen job training programs. This White House has talked about streamlining it and it requires a tremendous amount of coordination between private industries between community colleges, the states have to get involved.

There is a meeting of governors of the White House later in the week that has been scheduled. This is it's very intricate policy work and you have to have a lot of information flowing and a lot of different directions and to make it work and to make it effective is going to require a very serious policy apparatus.

So Ivanka Trump being the face of it, sure, maybe that will be nice, but we really need to see a lot of the details as well.

PAUL: Very true. Errol Louis, Julian Zelizer and Tom LoBianco, always appreciate you being here. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: From Russia with no love, Moscow's top diplomat delivers a pretty harsh message to the Trump administration. We will also talk about the bombing strikes in Syria. The details just ahead.

PAUL: Also, British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to be cleaning house after that election disaster left the party without a majority. We are taking you live to London in just a moment.



PAUL: It's 28 minutes past the hour. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. President Trump's embattled attorney general plans to testify. We believe it's going to be Tuesday, but it's definitely will be on Capitol Hill.

PAUL: It's not clear if Jeff Sessions is going to testify in public or in private before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the appearance means he will be grilled over his alleged contacts with Russia and Moscow's meddling in the presidential election. He could also face questions, of course, over the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, President Trump's international policy is facing new tests on two different fronts. Russia's foreign minister has told his American counterpart, that is the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, that the U.S. needs to stop bombing Syria's military.

In recent weeks, U.S. forces have launched three strikes on pro-Assad forces. They occurred near Syria's border with Iraq where U.S. and coalition forces are supporting a moderate rebel group.

Then there is this, three U.S. soldiers were killed in Eastern Afghanistan and one U.S. official says a member of the Afghan military is believed to have carried out this attack. The Taliban is claiming responsibility for the shooting rampage, which also left a fourth U.S. soldier wounded.

So let's talk about all of this now with CNN military analyst and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. General, good to see you this morning. Thanks for being with us.

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning, Martin. Good to see you.

SAVIDGE: So you know, these green on blue attacks, they have not been as frequent as they have been, but that's primarily because the troop drawdown on the part of the U.S. How damaging could this be when it comes to the White House's consideration of deeper involvement in Afghanistan?

[06:30:00] The first thing, Martin, I'd say it's damaging, indeed, to the troops on the ground, not only because of the loss of their brothers, but also because of the loss of trust with the Afghan forces they are working with.

You always have the potential for these kinds of insertions of militants or terrorists inside of armies that are recruiting from the population. It certainly has gone down over the last couple of years as you just said. There were 44 of these kinds of green on blue attacks in 2012 and they have continued to increase in numbers since then because of, primarily, the fewer number of U.S. soldiers but also because of some actions that soldiers take before they go on patrol with the Afghan partners to make sure that risk is mitigated in this case.

But it's -- it's certainly going to play a role, I'm sure, especially as Mr. Trump is considering placing 5,000 more soldiers in Afghanistan to continue the efforts there and he has to make that decision soon. The decision he makes on the number of soldiers that -- number of U.S. soldiers that will go into Afghanistan to compliment the 8,500 that we have there now will certainly influence what NATO does to continue to contribute to that train and advising assist operation.

SAVIDGE: You know, I just wanted to ask you about one detail about this attack and that is that the Afghan soldier was supposedly to be a commando and so that tend to imply that they were more trained and longer in the fight, and to be turned like that, if that was the case, I just wonder whether that detail struck you in any way.

HERTLING: It did. And -- because this was in Nangarhar Province. That is the place where most of the counter -- U.S. counterterrorism and Afghan counterterrorism forces are fighting. It's a contentious province.

And, yes, that did strike me because usually you get these kind of attacks out of new recruits, the ones that have you embedded as much, the ones that come to the recruiting station and want to be a part of the Afghan army. So, yes, this individual, more than likely, without knowing any of the details, had more training, was accepted more by the Afghan counterterrorism forces and this is a -- this is -- this is a plant inside of an organization if it did incur that way. But the investigational showout, how this individual got into these of more elite forces and how they were allowed to continue to train when they might have these kind of contacts.

SAVIDGE: Mm-hmm. All right.

Let's move on to Syria. The U.S. role there, the bombing -- now the Russians asking that the U.S. sort of back off of some of this. How seriously would the U.S. take a request like that?

HERTLING: Well, it's a continuing request, isn't it? Mr. Lavrov made this request to Secretary of State Tillerson for the first time during their meeting in April back in Moscow.

So this is a continuing effort to get the U.S. to back out. And as the fight against ISIS continues, as the fight against the transit between Syria and Iraq when the fight in Mosul and Tal Afar continues to show results, you may see these continued kinds of actions because there are strikes going on against convoys, against people going in and out of Syria. And sometimes you may see the fact that the Syrian forces under the government of Assad is actually supporting some of this action. So that is not going to deplete the capability of the U.S. forces to deal with these kind of things.

But, again, these are the conversations that have been ongoing that show how complex this situation is in Syria because Mr. Assad considers everyone that go against him as a terrorist. And some of the forces the U.S. are training and advising and fighting alongside are, in fact, in that considered terrorist mode but in fact they are actually fighting against the government of Assad to try and get a little bit more representation.

SAVIDGE: We've only got a few second left. But the real concern, of course, is that U.S. force, in some way, inadvertently or directly, come up against Russian force. The likelihood of that happening does it increase or decrease over time?

HERTLING: I think it has increased. And I think what you're seeing to look into the nuance of the Russian statements they continue to say, be careful U.S. You're getting closer and closer to Assad. You've conducted a strike against his forces.

My take is this is unfortunately going to be something they can call back on when something unfortunate happens where they can say, see? We told you so. When they might conduct a strike or the Syrian forces might conduct a strike against U.S. forces or U.S.-led forces and it could cause quite an incident.

SAVIDGE: It would, indeed. Yes. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thanks very much. Good to see you this morning.

HERTLING: Thank you, Martin.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Behind the scenes tradition. Former presidents regardless of party affiliation, advising their successors. Well, President Trump says he has no relationship with Former President Obama. This makes this presidency a very unique one. And a lot of people wondering if it's affecting things in Washington.



SAVIDGE: It's unprecedented in recently political history at least a sitting president with not even the faintest of ties with his predecessor.

PAUL: Yes. White house advisers and former administration officials say President Trump and Former President Obama they haven't seen each other since the inauguration and they may not have even spoken on the phone since then but it didn't start out that way. Take a look.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president elect is successful.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I just went to the Oval Office and found this wonderful letter from President Obama. It was really very nice of him to do that.

Well, he was very nice to me but after that, we've had some difficulties. He was very nice to me with words but -- and when I was with him but after that, there has been no relationship.



PAUL: No relationship. So let's talk about this with Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor at "Spectrum News," and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer -- and historian and professor at Princeton University. Gentlemen, thank you for sticking around.

Julia, does the lack of relationship affect what happens in the White House right now?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I do think it's important. Previous presidents have communicated with their predecessors back in the 1960s. You can hear conversations between JFK and Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman, even Nixon and LBJ as part of a pattern where the existing president draws on the expertise and experience of their predecessor. George W. Bush spoke several times a year for example with Bill Clinton during his presidency for guidance.

So I do think with the president currently who is so inexperienced that, in some ways, where there is so much chaos in the White House, this hurts. And I also think that President Trump is focused so much on continuing to attack President Obama, such as his accusation of wiretapping that it continues to distract him from developing an agenda of his own.

SAVIDGE: Errol, how realistic is it though to believe that these two men would have carried on, at least in a public way, some kind of relationship? I mean, very different politics, very different personal style. So are we making too much of perhaps the fact they just don't necessarily have lunch every week?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, no, no, no. Not at all. In fact, I think, look. Julian put his finger on it. There are past presidents who have been able to get along with their predecessors even in the case of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. Think about that.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Probably the biggest example there.

LOUIS: Yes, exactly. And he defeated him. I mean, he beat him. That is not just having different politics. He went directly at him and took the man's job.

In this case, I think we are not going to see anything resembling that kind of relationship or rapprochement because Donald Trump's entire political career is really based on attacking Barack Obama with the birther lie that was sort of the foundational sort of theme of his emergence into politics and even after getting elected, sort of throwing out this baseless accusation about being wiretapped at Trump Tower.

One of the thing that we know about Donald Trump is he always goes back to his base and one of the things that works best with the base is an attack on Barack Obama. And the more irrational that attack the more unbelievable and the more fact-free that attack the better it is for his base because it just makes clear that it's just pure animosity and it doesn't have anything to do with policies or truth. So to the extent he is always going to be going back to his base, it is very, very -- not just convenient, but actually necessary for him to make his hostility to Barack Obama known at every possible opportunity. PAUL: But this is what is unique about this, Julian. I mean, these men are in -- they have a commonality. They're in a fraternity so to speak that very few people will ever be able to be in, the presidency of the United States and to understand the pressure and the challenges that come with that. Do you see at any point where it might be necessary to soften that relationship and for President Trump to reach out, maybe not to Obama, but would he reach out to the Bushes, would he reach out to somebody else who might have some guidance for him?

ZELIZER: Well, the answer is right now. And I think you are correct. And there is a reason that presidents, even after bitter campaigns with their opponents, do have some kind of relationship. It's not just for civility. It's practical. And there are just very few people who have had the experience, a handful of understanding how to deal with the multiple challenges that the White House faces. And what is distinct about President Trump is not simply the severed relationship with Obama, but the severed relationship with the Republican presidents, including the Bushes.

And I do think that the deeper he gets into the presidency logically you would expect some relationships to form. But I don't know if that is going to happen. If President Trump continues with this style and with this attitude toward Washington and toward governance, it's conceivable he will go through the remainder of his presidency without really healing these rifts or without reaching out to his predecessors, Democratic or Republican.

SAVIDGE: Errol, one of the things that struck me and it was noted in the sound bite we showed of President Trump talking about the letter he received and truly felt touched by the word that came from President Obama.


Their (ph) -- President Trump seeming now distained or dislike of President Obama do you think that is political theater or do you think that personally he really does not like the man?

LOUIS: Well, for Donald Trump, politics is personal and the personal is political. So notice how often he talked about himself. Well, he was very nice to me, you know, that sort of a thing. He has said the same thing about world leaders about who was nice to him personally. And that is really all it amounts to, to a certain extent.

You know, this isn't about policies or philosophies or effectiveness or anything else. But here again, you know, to the extent that there is an underlying politics, you can't just dismiss the fact for four years and he's -- to this day never renounced it -- Donald Trump went around saying that the president was born in Kenya or he had sent investigators there. Just a complete mishmash of factor and fables, and he never backed away from it. So this is -- this is -- this is who he is. You know, I mean, one wonders if Barack Obama wants to spend a lot of time on the phone with Donald Trump at this point really.

SAVIDGE: Right. I'm sure that goes both ways. PAUL: That's a point there, yes. Errol Louis and Julian Zelizer -- excuse me -- thank you both. Gentlemen, excuse me. Thank you...

ZELIZER: Thank you.

PAUL: ... for your time and your insight today. We always are grateful for it.

SAVIDGE: All right. Deal or no deal? The United Kingdom prime minister sacks her two top advisers after was definitely a disastrous election. Now Theresa May's attempts to reach agreement with the opposition position have fizzled.



PAUL: So call it the calm after the storm. And the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May said she will take time to -- quote -- "Reflect," after calls for her resignation and the loss of her party's majority from this week's election.

SAVIDGE: All right. So let's go to London where CNN's Melissa Bell is standing by at number 10 Downing Street. Melissa, major concerns now about Britain, how it's going to handle this whole European Union exit thing after this election. There's even some talk maybe another election coming on. And then we hear about several of May's top aides quit or fired, which is it?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Resigned, I think, before they could be fired.

And in order that Theresa May have any chance at all, Martin, of fending off the leadership challenge the noises of which appear to grow louder with every hour that pauses. This is an extremely embattled British prime minister looking ahead as you say and it is one week from tomorrow that those Brexit negotiations will start with the whole of Europe looking to see whether she will be in any position to take part in those negotiation. And that was what this was all about.

This catastrophic election that she called seven weeks ago looking at the time as though she were an unassailable position was all about securing a parliamentary majority that would allow her to go into the negotiations from a position of strength. Now whether she will be in power even is the question that is being asked today here in Downing Street and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. She has two things that she needs to do and the time is ticking -- the clock is ticking.

First of all, she has to conclude some key negotiation with Ulster Unionists in order to hope to form a minority government in time for the queen's speech a week on Monday. She also has to fend off those growing calls for another leader perhaps to take over the conservative party and the British press is full of them this morning. And those are the things that she is having to balance at the same time and as quickly as she can. Just within the last couple of hour, Martin, the leader -- the leading conservative or former chancellor in fact described her as a "dead woman walking." George Osborne said that it was just a matter of deciding how long she chose to stay on death row. It gives you an idea of the weakness of her a positioning this Sunday afternoon.

SAVIDGE: It certainly does. There was a time we thought she could be in power for years and now it looks it could be done in just months, if that. Melissa Bell, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you, Melissa.

So staying in Europe here. You got to how this kick boxing fight ended in Paris. Andy Scholes has a video for us here.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: You know what, Christi? The number one rule in fighting is you don't drop your guard until the bell rings. And one fighter unfortunately for him learned that lesson the hard way and that punch wasn't even the end of the fire. We're going to have more coming up in this morning's bleacher report.



SAVIDGE: It is not easy winning the Triple Crown and for the second year in a row we've got three horses that have kind of a crown (INAUDIBLE).


PAUL: That's right. They have pieces of it, I suppose, Andy Scholes.


SCHOLES: Three different horses winning each leg of the Triple Crown for the second straight year. It's kind of hard to put all that together. But, yes, you know, yesterday's Belmont Stakes lacked some star power.

PAUL: Yes?

SCHOLES: The Kentucky Derby winner, the Preakness winner both of them not racing. So it's kind of a wide open field. And in the end Tapwrit proved he was up to the grueling mile and half challenge wins.

The favorite Irish war cry though looked like he had (INAUDIBLE), had the lead coming around the last turn but Tapwrit found another gear down the back stretch rallying to win by two lengths. The Belmont turning into a family affair for jockey Ortiz. His brother won the race last year. So that's pretty cool.

The one-eyed fan favorite Patch took third place in the race. And fun fact, the first four finishers all ran in the derby and skipped the Preakness and came back fresh for the Belmont so that might be the secret to success there.

PAUL: That could be.

SCHOLES: All right. Speaking of derbies I'm going out on a limb and say Yankees rookie speaking of derbies and say Yankees' rookie slugger Aaron Judge is going to be in the home run derby next month. Judge lead the American League in 19 home runs and this shot that night was clocked as the hardest hit ball ever for a home run.

It came off his bat at more than 121 miles per hour. Now they just started tracking exit velocity just a few years ago. So maybe not that impressive but the bomb definitely set the tone for the Yankees. They would pound the Orioles 16-3 last night.

All right. Finally, stop what you're doing and watch this. A kick boxing event in Paris yesterday ended up in complete mayhem. Harut Grigorian get kicked in the face then he's going to turn around for some reason and walk away while Murthel Groenhart since the fight was still going did -- clobbers him from behind and knocks him out.

Get this. Some of the fans in the stand didn't like it. They run into the ring to attack Groenhart in one corner. One even landed a punch that may have broken Groenhart's jaw. Now Grigorian's trainer said afterwards about the knockout punch it was not illegal but it was also not very nice.

But I'm guessing, guys, Groenhart's objective there in that fight was not to be nice. So mission accomplished. But what an ending.


PAUL: I don't know. I haven't seen anybody jump from the stand into the ring. And -- I mean, the guys are professional boxers so you think you better be good and physical. Physically fit to go in there.

SCHOLES: Yes. But he kind of just went -- but, you know, to his credit he didn't fight those fans back. He kind of just --

PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) he has a broken jaw...



PAUL: ... possibly. Yes.

Andy, thank you so much.

SCHOLES: Have a good one, guys.