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White House Press Briefing; Sessions Testifying Tomorrow; Trump Defenders Attack Mueller; Appeals Court Rules Against Travel Ban. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 12, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] QUESTION: When you're saying the president is interested in outcomes and you come from an academic environment, is the president saying that the Labor Department has evaluated all the existing programs for recommending cutting grants or workplace support for young people, seniors, agriculture, you know, adults who have been displaced. Are you saying you've evaluated all those programs in recommending that they be cut because they're not working or because the president merely does not want to spend the money?

ALEXANDER ACOSTA, LABOR SECRETARY: So as you pointed out, I come from an academic setting, so let me try to answer the question by analogy. It used to be that the question of whether a university is - or how to - you know, is doing well was a function of how much the university spends. And, you know, in Florida you're now seeing questions like, what is your graduation rate? How many students that are graduating are holding jobs? And so you're seeing a focus on outcome as opposed to spending.

And the point that I was trying to make, and I'll reiterate, is that we - we tend, in Washington, to simply say, how much more money can we spent on something, rather than, let's think outside the box and try to solve a problem. And I think we owe it to the American taxpayer that is ultimately footing this bill to focus less on how much we spend and more on whether, in fact, the problems are being solved.

So, thank you very much.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I appreciate you coming by today.

As we get back to what's going on today, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the three service members that were killed this weekend in Afghanistan. The injury - excuse me, the incident is currently under investigation, but our thoughts and our prayers are with the families of these American heroes who lost their lives in this tragic event.

As the secretary said, it's workforce week here at the White House. So that's going to be a major emphasis for the administration who are also moving ahead on another - on several other items on the president's domestic and foreign policy agenda.

Today, the Department of Agriculture released guidance for American beef producers who are preparing to ship U.S. beef to Chinese markets for the first time since 2003. As we announced last month as part of the U.S./China 100 day action plan that followed up on the president's meeting with President Xi, China agreed to reopen this $2.5 billion market to American ranchers and cattle producers. Before the market was closed, the U.S. was China's largest supplier of beef, providing 70 percent of its imports. The actions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today are an important first step in the process of reopening this lucrative market to American businesses.

Tomorrow, the vice president will be speaking at the Department of Health and Human Services about the continuing death spiral of Obamacare and why we need to keep our promise to the American people and repeal and replace it with a patient-centered - centric (ph) alternative as soon as possible.

This weekend the president was in Wisconsin. The president will be there tomorrow when he met with everyday Americans who have lost their plans, their doctors and a lot of their hope for this failing law. As the vice president said on Saturday, President Trump will never stop fighting for those families who are facing impossible choices every day as their premiums and deductibles continue to skyrocket. He won't rest until we have fixed this.

The president's tax reform team is also continuing to hold meetings and discussions both at the principle level and the staff level as we work towards a consensus plan that will deliver middle class and tax implication for everyone. Secretary Mnuchin of the Treasury and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn continue to listen to members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. And Director Cohn will lead a listening session on tax reform with auto industry leaders later this week. These meetings have been incredibly productive and we believe that tax reform is well on track for the president to sign later this year.

Together, the three pillars of infrastructure, tax reform and repeal and replace of Obamacare are key to reaching the president's goal of a booming and vibrant American economy. And the administration is going to continue to work every day to turn the president's promises into policies.

Looking ahead, on Friday, the president's commission on combatting drug addiction an opioid crisis will meet here. The meeting will be open to the public through a live stream on I am also pleased to announce that prime minister - that President Trump will welcome Indian Prime Minister Modi to the White House on June 26th. He looks forward to discussing the ways to strengthen our ties between the United States and India and advancing our common priorities, fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and reforms and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders will look to outline a common vision for the U.S./India partnership that's worthy of India's 1.6 billion citizens.

[14:05:06] And before I take your questions, I want to wish the 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush, a happy 93rd birthday. From all of us at the White House, I hope he has a fantastic day and celebration.

And with that, I'll take your questions. Lee (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you.

Following up on your India announcement of the president, in his speech to the Indian-American (INAUDIBLE) has said if he's elected he will be the first (INAUDIBLE) of India ever in the White House. What steps the president wants to (INAUDIBLE) in these next four years (INAUDIBLE) to (INAUDIBLE).

SPICER: Well, I know - and we've red these out a few times, but the president and the prime minister have had a number of positive phone conversation and expect to further that discussion when they meet in person on June 26th. As I mentioned just a moment ago, whether it's economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism, expanding our cooperation as major defense partners, U.S./India trade has grown six fold since 2000, from $19 billion to $115 billion in 2016 and the Indian economy is growing at over 7 percent. U.S. energy and technologies, including natural gas, are helping to build Prime Minister Modi's vision for a new India and creating thousands of U.S. jobs in the process. I think you can expect the two of them to set forth a vision that will expand the U.S./India partnership in an ambitious and worthy way of both countries' people.

Jessica (ph).

QUESTION: Sean, thank you.

Two questions on trade. Number one, your talked about the beef arrangement. Is that beginning today and can you flesh out a little bit more about what (INAUDIBLE)? I understood there was going to be an announcement from the USDA. Are we waiting for that to actually (INAUDIBLE) the fact -

SPICER: No, that's -

QUESTION: Or where are we in the process?

SPICER: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will have much - many more details on the process moving forward with the announcements coming from them today.

QUESTION: Do shipments leave today?

SPICER: No, I think the announcement's coming today.

QUESTION: Oh, OK. (INAUDIBLE) other quick question is on steel and aluminum -


QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) review that the administration is doing. The president said - and was quoted in one of the pool reports - as saying that there is legislation being drafted on anti-dumping. The 232 process goes to Congress anyway. Was he referring to additional legislation or a 232 review that you had already initiated as reported by Secretary Ross?

SPICER: So, Secretary Ross should have a further update on the review - the 232 review later this week, I believe. When that comes out, there are recommendations that will be made to Congress to address anti-dumping provisions in the steel and aluminum and other markets. So when that comes out, but I think there will be recommendations to Congress to follow up on, on how to rectify some of the problems.

Fred (ph).

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean. A couple questions for you. First, does President Trump have audio recordings of his conversations and meetings with the former FBI Director James Comey?

SPICER: The president made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly.

QUESTION: Any sort of timeline on when that announcement will be?

SPICER: When the president's ready to make it.

QUESTION: A quick follow-up on the attorney general. From the perspective of President Trump, what role did Attorney General Jeff Sessions play in the firing of James Comey?

SPICER: I'm not going to discuss private conversations between the president and the attorney general.

Blake (ph).

QUESTION: Sean, to that end, do you - if - when Jeff Sessions testifies tomorrow, do you believe that he should invoke executive privilege on conversations between himself and the president as it relates to Jim Comey?

SPICER: I think it depends on the scope of the questions and it would be - to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature.

QUESTION: In any way did Jeff Sessions, folks at the DOJ, ask for the White House's permission, in essence, for him to testify publicly tomorrow?

SPICER: I don't know the answer to that question. I know Congress, generally speaking, sets the - whether a hearing is open or closed based on the sensitivity of the subject.

QUESTION: Is the president then OK with him testifying in this open setting tomorrow?

SPICER: I think he's going to testify. We're aware of it. And we'll go from there.


QUESTION: Just to follow on that. The president seemed to indicate that he thought that it was a mistake for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. He said that his preference would have been to the contrary on camera. What does the president think about the fact that Sessions will be testifying tomorrow and, according to the Department of Justice, wanted to testify in an open session rather than a closed, classified session.

SPICER: I think the president has been clear last week in the Rose Garden that he believes that the sooner we can get this addressed and dealt with, that there's been no collusion, he wants this to get investigated as soon as possible and be done with it so he can continue with the business of the American people.

QUESTION: If I could ask you about the other headline of the day. The state of Maryland, the District of Columbia filing a lawsuit against the president.

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: Seeking rulings on two points in the emoluments clause to the Constitution. What does the president - the RNC thinks that this is a bogus lawsuit. What does the president and what's the White House's perspective on this?

SPICER: Yes, the president's interests, as previously discussed, do not violate the emoluments clause for reasons at length that the Department of Justice filing enumerate in their Friday night filing with respect to the CREW lawsuit, which is the first one. This lawsuit today is just another iteration of the - the case that was filed by that group, CREW, filed actually by the same lawyers. So it's not hard to conclusion that partisan politics may be one of the motivations behind the seat (ph). The suit was filed by two Democratic attorney generals. The lawyers driving the suit are an advocacy group with partisan ties. It actually started with a press conference as opposed to filing it, which is interesting. And the suit challenges the sort of business transaction that everyone from Penny Pritzker, who served in the last administration, and others have engaged in while office. So I think we'll continue to move to dismiss this case in the normal course of business.

[14:10:42] QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. I wanted to just - two questions. But first, why would he have opened this question of whether there are tapes? Don't the American people - do they deserve to know whether Comey was lying to the Senate? I mean why leave this question open?

SPICER: I think the president made it clear what his intention is on Friday.

QUESTION: But is - I mean it's an open question that -

SPICER: I understand that and he said he would answer that question in due time.

QUESTION: OK. But to follow up - to - speaking of lawsuits for the Ninth Circuit, they just came out and they upheld the block -

SPICER: Right. QUESTION: Of the travel ban. Any response to that?

SPICER: We're currently reviewing that opinion. I think we can all attest that these are very dangerous times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence. We continue to be confident that the president's executive order to protect this country is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the Supreme Court.

QUESTION: Hey, Sean, so two questions for you then. I want to follow up on the tapes issue. If the president does have evidence that the FBI director lied under oath, what is he waiting for?

SPICER: I think the president made it very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this and his position on - on that conversation.

QUESTION: Right, but so what is he waiting for? What's the delay?

SPICER: He's waiting - I mean he's not waiting for anything. When he's ready to further discuss it, he will. But I think he laid out his position very clearly, very concisely on Friday.

Olivier (ph).

QUESTION: On the travel ban, Sean, is the second question.


QUESTION: You just mentioned - you obviously responded to the Ninth Circuit ruling today. That ruling also cites the president's tweets from June 5th on the travel ban. It sites your statements, this administration's statement that the president's tweets are official statements. So given that measure, given that the travel ban is obviously a priority for the president, how is it that the president is not putting his own agenda in danger when it comes to these Twitter habits?

SPICER: I think the bottom line is, as I just noted, I mean cases should be decided on the rule of law and on that. And when you look the - when you look at what the law is and the U.S. code that allows the president to do whatever he has to, that's what we were deciding on. And, frankly, I think any lawyer worth their salt 100 percent agrees that the president is fully within his rights and his responsibilities to do what is necessary to protect the country.

Olivier (ph).

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) his judgement on the Twitter question, Sean?

SPICER: Olivier. Olivier.

QUESTION: It's a different question, though. It's obviously (ph) the Twitter issue?

SPICER: I - Olivier. Thank you.

QUESTION: So I just want to - I just would live -

I'm sorry.

SPICER: Thank you. Olivier. Thank you.


SPICER: Thank you.

QUESTION: What is the president's reaction to the Russian government's crackdown on anti-corruption protests today?

SPICER: Are you speaking in general or with respect to an -

QUESTION: Well, just involving - in particular, but I assume that would be part of your overall.

SPICER: Right. No, I just want to be clear we're talking about the same thing. I think the United States strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters throughout Russia that happened on June 12th. Detaining peaceful protestors, human rights observers and journalists is an affront to core democratic values. The United States will monitor the situation and we will call on the government of Russia to immediately release all peaceful protesters. The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.

QUESTION: Thank you. One more. The president mentioned a press conference in a couple weeks on the ISIS review. Can you say where and when? And has he made a decision about changing the policy?

SPICER: When we have an update on his schedule, I'll let you know, but we don't have one at this time.


QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. You said that the president wants to see this Russia investigation and all these investigations wrapped up as soon as possible. He said on Friday that he would be willing to testify under oath. Can you say when he would be willing to do that? Would he be willing to do that before Congress goes into recess to get this done as soon as possible?

SPICER: I think the - he was actually specifically asked whether or not he would talk to Director Mueller. And he made it very clear what his position was.

QUESTION: So he would -


QUESTION: No, sorry, just want to be very clear about this. So he's not saying that he would go before Congress -

SPICER: I don't know. I've not had a further discussion with that. I know what - exactly what he said on Friday in the Rose Garden is exactly what - what he believes.

QUESTION: Do you have confidence in Director Mueller, Sean?


QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. Two questions. Does the president have a reaction to the vote in Puerto Rico yesterday, the non-binding measure calling for statehood at the first choice of their people for their future?

SPICER: Right. This matter is something that's going to be determined now that the people have spoken in Puerto Rico. This is something that Congress has to address. So the process will have to work its way out through Congress.

[14:15:08] QUESTION: And, Sean -- Sean -

QUESTION: My other question was regard - there are widespread stories and speculation that when the president goes to Miami this Friday, he will undo the executive orders from the Obama administration that eased relations with Cuba. Can you confirm whether he will undo all of them or some of them?

SPICER: That was a good try. I will say that when we have an announcement on the president's schedule, we'll let you know. But just stay tuned. We'll have - we have a very busy week and an ambitious agenda this week.


QUESTION: Thanks (INAUDIBLE). Following on some of the stories over the weekend, England. When the president signs off on a foreign trip, how much does he factor in his personal popularity in this country?

SPICER: None. And so with - with - since you brought it up, I don't - just so we're clear on that, the - her majesty extended an invitation to the president. He's accepted that invitation. And we look forward to scheduling that trip. But there is - there is nothing that was scheduled and we look forward to working out a mutually accepted date with the United Kingdom and then looking forward to sharing that date with you all when we have it.

Thank you. Have a great Monday. Take care. We'll see you in Wisconsin.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, pretty short and sweet from Sean Spicer there, though, hitting on a couple of topics. Asked about the - now we've learned the open hearings in front of the Senate Intel Committee with the A.G., Jeff Sessions, talking about that. Talking about this new additional ruling, another lawsuit for the Trump administration when it comes to their revised version of the travel ban. This coming from the Ninth Circuit today. He talked about that. Again, questions continue about, are there tapes, is the White House recording conversations. Punted that ball down the road. Again, reiterating what the president said Friday. Essentially that answer will come in time.

Let's dive into all of this, shall we. I've got a mega panel standing by. David Chalian, we begin with you, our CNN political director, specifically on everyone will be listening tomorrow, right around this time tomorrow, when Mr. Sessions will be testifying in this open hearing. Do we know whether he will invoke executive privilege? I mean Sean Spicer was asked that and his answer essentially was, well, it depends. What does that mean?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, he said it - he said it depends on the scope of the question. So it's unclear if that means that A.G. Sessions, question by question, will be invoking executive privilege depending on where that question is going or if there's some sort of blanket kind of agreement going in.

The other thing that Sean mentioned there when asked about this big development that Sessions is going to testify before the Senate Intel Committee in open - in an opening hearing tomorrow about what the president thought of that and all he had to say about that was, we're aware of it and it's happening. So we didn't really get much insight into the president's thinking because we do know that the president was none too thrilled about the fact that Sessions recused himself to begin with and that that has caused some strain in the relationship.

BALDWIN: Do we know, Michael Zeldin, just from your, you know, legal perspective, I mean we all were sitting around in Washington as we watched the Coats and McCabe, Rosenstein testimony the day before Director Comey. I mean what if - what if Jeff Sessions doesn't really say much?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We won't learn very much if he doesn't say very much. I think that the question of what will Sessions say and whether or not there will be an innovation of executive privilege is really going to be question by question determined. I think that the White House is preserving its right to assert executive privilege, whether it's, you know, properly asserted or not, if they ask for the deliberations between the attorney general and the president. If they're asking who, what, when, where fact type questions, I think that the attorney general will have no choice but to answer them. But if they're asking, what was the deliberative process between you and the president, we may find that the president is told Sessions to assert - to asset the president's right to assert executive privilege.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you also just a simple question. I'm thinking of people watching at home. And define executive privilege for me. I mean is that just because he's talking to the president of the United States and anything in that realm equals executive privilege? How do you define that for - for the A.G.?

ZELDIN: Well, so the Supreme Court addressed the question and that is, in this context, really the deliberations between the president and his key top advisers as it relates to policy determinations. That is what is generally speaking protected by executive privilege. Then there are ways that executive privilege can be overcome as if - as in the example of, if there is a law enforcement need for it. But if the nature of the question is, tell me what advice you were giving the president, that may well be a proper basis for the president to say, no, Attorney General Sessions, please don't answer that question. That deliberative conversation that you and I had, as it related to policy considerations, is something I want to keep protected and therefore not revealed and therefore privileged

[14:20:06] BALDWIN: Got it. Got it.

So then, Maeve Reston, two questions off the top of my head that I know this country wants answers to, you know, being specifically, why was the A.G. lingering outside of that Oval Office meeting between Comey and the president, right? And did he feel -


BALDWIN: Was there a reason why he was lingering? He maybe didn't want to leave the president alone with him. And also, what about that potential third meeting during the campaign between Jeff Sessions or then Senator Sessions and the Russian ambassador? Will those questions be answered?

RESTON: I don't think they'll be answered necessarily, but they certainly will be asked. They are burning questions that we all have had. You know, it's why over and over again the administration is being asked, you know, whether Trump still has confidence in Sessions. And the other day the White House spokeswoman said, you know, he has confidence in everyone in his cabinet. So - but certainly those questions will be asked and I can imagine it's not going to be as explosive certainly as the Comey hearing was last week. Sessions is there to protect the president. Likely will very well do that.

But maybe to that simple question that you raised, why he lingered, what was going through his mind at that moment as he left the Oval Office e meeting between Comey and Trump, that - he might well have to answer that question tomorrow and that will give us one more little clue into what was happening there.

BALDWIN: What about this tapes question? Lindsay Moran to you, former undercover CIA operative. You know, this refusal to answer this very simple question, are there tapes? Are White House conversations recorded? I mean this is almost like become a game.

LINDSAY MORAN, FORMER UNDERCOVER CIA OPERATIVE: It's baffling. It's almost become comical if it's not so scary, you know, that - that there's the voice from the White House saying, we're going to look under the couch cushions and see if there's - why can't - why can't that question be answered simply.

I think another thing to consider - I mean we've got extraordinary circumstances tomorrow with Sessions testifying. And what he chooses not to answer based on potential executive privilege. He might also choose not to answer publically based on a potential classified nature of the answer. And I think that he will resort to that quite a bit. The extraordinary circumstances are, we have a huge

counterintelligence issue surrounding this administration. So these are things that Sessions might not even know the state of the investigation. He might not be able to answer because he is essentially at the center of this counterintelligence investigation.

BALDWIN: Let me play, though, let me play this exchange. I want to talk a little bit more about the tapes. This is Sean Spicer answering- ish moments ago.


QUESTION: Does President Trump have audio recordings of his conversations and meetings with the former FBI Director James Comey?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly.

QUESTION: Do you have any sort of timeline on when that announcement will be?

SPICER: When the president's ready to make it.

QUESTION: Why leave this question open?

SPICER: I think the president made it clear.

QUESTION: If the president does have evidence that the FBI director lied under oath, what is he waiting for?

SPICER: I think the president made it very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this and his position on - on that conversation.

QUESTION: All right, so what is he waiting for? What's the delay?

SPICER: He's waiting - he's not waiting for anything. When he's ready to further discuss it, he will. But I think he laid out his position very clearly, very concisely on Friday.


BALDWIN: Maeve, I remember, we were going - I was doing the show and listening to the president. And I remember at the end of the, you know, the meeting, when he was meeting with the Romanian prime minister - forgive me, president, at the Rose Garden on Friday, he essentially said, well, you might be disappointed when I give you the answer. Maybe that means there aren't tapes. I don't really know. Do we have reporting on when the president's going to answer this question?

RESTON: We don't. And I think this is something that, you know, Trump is holding close to the vest for whatever reason. I don't know if he's trying to entertain the American people. You know, the big reveal. He - it seems like a very straightforward question to answer and a question that the American people deserve to know the answer to. That, obviously, would be a huge part of the case, if there are tapes or if he recorded something, you know, on - on a phone, we need to know that. And we eventually will know that. But I - I tend to think that he will keep us in suspense for a lot longer.

CHALIAN: And, you know, Brooke -


CHALIAN: Just take a - take a look at Sean Spicer there answering those questions. The difference in Sean Spicer when he gets a question related to the Russian investigation or tapes or Trump's behavior in the way, versus all the other questions he was taking there, it's just a noticeable difference. He - this is clearly not a realm that he seems comfortable to be in right now.

We know that they've pivoted more of those questions to Marc Kasowitz, the outside counsel, but, obviously, when the president does something like he did in the Rose Garden, it is appropriate to continue to ask the White House press secretary something like this. And he just seemed to just try to get through that without adding any other data points. He clearly wants this to stay on the president's plate and not his plate as a spokesman.

[14:25:17] BALDWIN: Yes, you can tell the difference when he's answer other questions and it's scripted.

RESTON: And so how do you even - and how do you even interpret that? And how do you even interpret like the - the idea that he's saying, you're going to be disappointed. I mean there's a million different ways that people could interpret that. And for Sean Spicer to try to parse what that meant I think would be a dangerous situation for him.

CHALIAN: Yes, no, it's wise sort of not to, yes.

BALDWIN: Wise for him not to.

What about - what about looking ahead. There were a lot of, you know, before the Comey hearing, right, Michael Zeldin, we were talking about how a lot of people were already trying to discredit Director Comey even before this hearing. And how ahead of this mega investigation, this special counsel in Bob Mueller, the former director of the FBI before Comey, you know, we already have Republicans, like the former House speaker Newt Gingrich, trying to discredit him. Newt Gingrich, who initially supported - let me show you two different tweets which just show my point, supported Mueller as a pick is now calling into question his credibility.

So, first up he tweeted this. "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring. Check FEC reports. Time to rethink."

Sorry, say that again in my ear?


CHALIAN: FEC. BALDWIN: That was the second one. This is - let's read the other one now. "Robert Mueller is superb." This was the original one. "Robert Mueller is a suburb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty, integrity. The media should now calm down."

I mean, Michael, that's two different - entirely two different thoughts from the same man on Bob Mueller.

ZELDIN: Right. We'll leave aside Newt Gingrich's multiple thought processes. But I think what we are seeing here potentially is trial balloons on a legal strategy that's not -

BALDWIN: You think so?

ZELDIN: Not differently - not - very different from what Clintons did with respect to Ken Starr, which is, there's legal maxim (ph) that says, if you have the law, argue the law. If you have the facts, argue the facts. If you don't have either, create diversions. And if the possibility here is they don't have law, they don't have facts, what are they going to do? Well, the diversion may well be to go after Comey and to go after Mueller. I think the difference between Comey and Mueller and the Clintons I think successful use of that in the case of Ken Starr is palpable. Mueller is, I think, unassailable, as I think is Comey. So these little drips and drabs on the edges of their personalities, whether or not there were federal election donations by member of his team to the Democrats, I presume, is - I don't think is going to be an availing strategy, but I think that's what we're seeing here because we saw that with the (INAUDIBLE) interview with good - with George Stephanopoulos and we're hearing now with Gingrich. But I think it would seem Republican senators and House members push back against that as an effective strategy. So we'll see how it plays out, but that's what I think is going on here.

BALDWIN: David - David Chalian, do you - do you agree and do you think we'll see more and more like this chorus of Republicans equally criticizing Bob Mueller as this thing rolls along?

CHALIAN: Yes, I mean I think, as was mentioned, it's certainly an attempt to see how that strategy may play out, this sort of PR strategy to take Mueller down. Of course, none other than Ken Starr himself this morning touted Mueller's unassailable character and what an incredible legal team he's put together. So when Ken Starr and Newt Gingrich aren't on the same page, it's always worth paying attention to that. And I do think you're not hearing it -

BALDWIN: That's a good point.

CHALIAN: From Republican House and Senate leaders. You're hearing it from folks that are Trump allies trying to provide some cover figure to see if there's some political strategy here to try to take down Mueller a peg or two. I think it's going to be very difficult for them to execute that.

BALDWIN: Let me add in another talking point.

MORAN: And I would like to - BALDWIN: Hang on just a second. Let me add in one more quick - just talking, I want to bring in another voice, Laura Jarrett, and we can parse this out as well on this latest travel ban ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court.

Laura Jarrett, has this - I'm just - this is yet another setback for this White House, Laura.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Absolutely, Brooke, yet another court has found that this travel ban cannot stand. You'll remember last month the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals also found that the travel ban was unconstitutional. And this court has ruled on slightly different statutory grounds, but still largely affirming the district court in Hawaii finding that this cannot stand. Federal immigration law says that the president can bar immigrants in certain circumstances but he can't do it in a discriminatory way, Brooke.

BALDWIN: And part of this opinion, and this is even asked of Sean Spicer, and we talked about this in previous rulings, where, you know, it's the president's own words or members of his own inner circle have ended up working against him. And they cited this tweet from the president just as recent as June 5th when he tweeted, "that's right, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries. Not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people."

[14:30:09] Lindsay Moran, what do you think of that?

MORAN: Well, I think it shows a completely un-nuanced view --