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Kushner Arrives on Capitol Hill for Testimony; Senate Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Manafort; House GOP Leaders hold Press Conference; Interview with Rep. Ken Buck. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired July 25, 2017 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: -- testimony yesterday and statement that he did not collude. Some tough questions headed his way. And -

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Just in to CNN, a fascinating development, Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has been subpoenaed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. What is going on there? CNN's Manu Raju has all the details for us. Manu, what are you learning?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: There is a significant development this afternoon at the Senate Judiciary Committee, actually had reached a deal with Paul Manafort to avoid a public hearing. And actually here comes - looks like here, comes Jared Kushner right now.

Mr. Kushner, will you testify in public? Will you testify in public?

Will you come back to the Senate to testify again before the Senate?

No answer from Jared Kushner there, guys, as we try to see if he'll testify in public as we know. There has been a demand that he'll come -- to come back for the Senate Intelligence Committee for the second session. After yesterday, a meeting with just staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, some members want to have a chance to question him as well. And have asked for him to come back again. No word back from the Kushner camp if he would agree to that. Now, he's of course -- he's meeting with the House Intelligence Committee which is where he's headed to right now, of course, not answering my questions on the way in or others.

But you mentioned Paul Manafort at the top here, a very significant development, a former campaign chairman, a person who had been at the center of a lot of key Russian issues, someone who's been looked at by numerous investigations, coming before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a private, classified setting. But that is not satisfying.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, the leaders of that committee had wanted him to initially come before a Wednesday hearing. Now, last week, they cut a deal with him and Donald Trump Jr. and said you don't have to come before this public hearing. You can come in private, as long as you produce records and you agree to a single -- agree to a transcribed interview. Now, it appears that that process is broken down. Paul Manafort said he would only give one transcribed interview to Congress according to the statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee. And that is not sufficient to the Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman and the top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein. And as a result, they are issuing a subpoena for him to appear in public on Wednesday.

So, it's uncertain whether or not Mr. Manafort will comply with that subpoena request. I put the question out to his representatives. We'll see what they have to say. But a pretty dramatic move here, as Paul Manafort now in the crosshairs of two committees this week. The Senate Intelligence Committee where behind closed doors and now the Senate Judiciary Committee, which wants to hear from him in public, guys.

HARLOW: And Manu, Wednesday, being tomorrow, and in public is when the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is subpoenaing Manafort. There are so many things about this that are big and just reading the statement from Grassley. They say they were unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary transcribed interview. Was that for their record or was that in unwillingness on the part of Manafort to have that then released to the public. Do you know?

RAJU: Well, it appears to be not necessarily release to the public, release to the committee, according to the statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee. They wanted their own interview. They wanted to at least get access to this single, transcribed interview. And it appears from the statement, that that single transcribed interview would be given to the Senate Intelligence Committee and now to the Senate Judiciary Committee. So there's a little bit of a turf war, it appears between two key committees investigating this issue.

Now, we are trying to get some more information about exactly what went down here. But clearly, these negotiations that happened over the last several days have broken down, which is why the Judiciary Committee is taking this dramatic step to try to compel his appearance in public. We'll see what he does.

But also, they're saying Donald Trump Jr., not mentioned in this press release. So it suggests that these negotiations that are appearing between him and the Senate Judiciary Committee are still happening in good faith and he's so far been able to avoid having being forced to come into public despite Donald Trump Jr. saying publicly, he would be willing to testify under oath, guys.

BERMAN: It's a great point. Something blew up. Something blew up between Paul Manafort and the Senate Judiciary Committee. --

HARLOW: Big time.

BERMAN: The ball is now in his court. We will see what he does. And it's fascinating because Jared Kushner is behind closed doors right now with House Intel, Don Jr. negotiations still going well. Paul Manafort, what gives three different powers centers there. How it developed will be fascinating. Manu Raju, thank you so much.

HARLOW: Thanks, Manu. Manu on the Hill as you heard him actually trying to question Jared Kushner as he walked by during that live shot. You are looking at live pictures of Capitol Hill.

On top of all of this now this morning, we are waiting to hear from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican leadership. Their news conference begins at any moment. And you can believe even if they don't want to talk about all of this.

[10:05:01] These are the questions they will be asked including the president's latest attacks, especially the attack on his own attorney general and fanning the beltway buzz that Jeff Sessions may be kicked to the curb. The president is still seething over Sessions recusal in the Russian probe, putting out a statement reading, "Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a very weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are e-mails and DNC server) and Intel leakers!"

BERMAN: Just one part of the story in Washington. John McCain takes a dramatic return to Capitol Hill. He will cast a crucial vote on health care just days after being diagnosed with brain cancer, this return as to the high drama already there today with this vote. Really, really, too close to call.

I want to get to the White House. CNN's Kaitlan Collins is there for us right now. Omnibus reports, Kaitlan that the president is trying to push out the attorney general.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, there are lots of reports of replacement for Jeff Sessions, even in this White House. Names like Rudy Giuliani and Ted Cruz have both been floated, though both of those men have dismissed the idea that they are being considered to replace Jeff Sessions. And as they dismiss those claims, they also said that they greatly admire Jeff Sessions.

But what's clear here is that Donald Trump is fuming. He is starting to treat Jeff Sessions as a political faux and is equating him to people like Hillary Clinton, which we know, for a Donald Trump insult is about as low as it can get. He has not gotten over the March recusal from Jeff Sessions of overseeing the Russia investigation. Starting with his "New York Times" comments last week when he said he would not have picked Sessions as his attorney general if he had known he was going to recuse himself.

Now, we can't overstate how loyal Jeff Sessions has been to Donald Trump. He was the first senator to endorse him. He gave up a very safe Senate seat to take this job as attorney general. And he's done a lot for Donald Trump's agenda in these past six months. He also had a big influence here in the west wing. He's brought in multiple people like Rick Dearborn who was his chief of staff for a long time, Stephen Miller who was his communications director and Steve Bannon has even said that Jeff Sessions is like a mentor to him. So it's hard to overstate just how much influence Jeff Sessions has on this White House.

HARLOW: Because the president isn't talking publicly about this, though he is writing a lot about it. Anthony Scaramucci, the new head of communications is talking about it. And he was asked about this morning, very bluntly, seems like the president wants Sessions out. And he didn't argue with that. COLLINS: No, he definitely did not argue. Let's listen to what Anthony Scaramucci said this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGH HEWITT, HOST, "THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW": It's clear the president wants him gone, isn't it Anthony?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I have an enormous amount of respect for the attorney general, but I do know the president pretty well, and if there's this level of tension in the relationship that - that's public, you're probably right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: So, as you can see, John and Poppy, it is clear that Jeff Sessions' job here is in jeopardy.

BERMAN: Kaitlan Collins for us at the White House. Kaitlan thank you so much.

You know, the president does hold a news conference later today at the White House. -

HARLOW: Two questions.

BERMAN: Yes. One of them ought to be -

HARLOW: I think it will.

BERMAN: -- Do you want Jeff Sessions out? We will hear the president answer that directly - probably later today.

Joining us now to discuss, Margaret Hoover, CNN political commentator, Republican consultant, John Avalon, CNN political analyst, the editor- in-chief for "The Daily Beast," Mark Preston, CNN senior political analyst and Asha Rangappa, CNN legal and national security analyst. Wow. You know, a lot going on.

Margaret, let's start with you on this effort. We'll put Paul Manafort subpoena aside for a moment -

HARLOW: For a moment.

BERMAN: -- because we just learned about that. But the president trying to force out Jeff Sessions, you know, clearly Anthony Scaramucci said, yes, that's probably what's happening right. That's extraordinary, this public shaming of the man who was once his best political elected friend.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITCAL COMMENTATOR AND REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I don't know why we continue to use the benchmark of precedent and what has been done in the past to measure this presidency. Donald Trump is a bit of a bully, right? He's always been a bit of a bully. So he is going to publicly shame people. He's done it all throughout the course of the campaign, frankly throughout the course of his real estate career. And this is what he's brought to the White House.

I mean, this is just sort of we continue to be shocked at sort of some of the behavior and the sort of change in decorum emanating from the Oval Office. This is Trump being Trump. You may not like it. I personally think it's beneath the office. But this is what's happening in the office now.

HARLOW: But many --

HOOVER: And he very clearly wants him out. There's no question. I mean, he wants him out and he is beating around because he can.

HARLOW: So, will he say it directly or not when he is definitely asked this today as John points out.

John Avalon, to you, the question is, is this moment different than after FBI director James Comey was fired in terms of how Republicans in Congress will actually act and what they would do if the president forces Sessions out. What do you think?

JOHN AVALON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE DAILY BEAST": Absolutely. I mean, it can't be said enough that Sessions was his first and for a long time, only Senate endorsee. And for members -- Republican members of Congress to witness him decide to publicly humiliate and attack him and belittle him repeatedly, even on the day of a major health care vote.

[10:10:08] The first thing on his Twitter account is calling his own attorney general weak after calling him beleaguered the previous day. It says very clearly that loyalty is a one-way street with this president.

And that you know, maybe he took the phrase bully pulpit a bit too literally. But there is -- there can expect no loyalty in return for service. Because this is just a vicious, you know, hobby horse. I mean, at this point, you know just let all the insults fly and start calling him a Keebler elf. He's really emasculated him in terrible way for the institution as well as for the prospect of the Justice Department.

I don't know how many moves out he has thought this. Maybe he's thinking there will be a recess appointment he'll make in August. You know, because otherwise, Rosenstein would become AG until the Senate confirms a new attorney general. But expect very tough questioning because the plan seems to be to appoint an AG who will then fire the special counsel. That's the game here.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Let me put that question to you, Asha. Because that's a big deal, right? If you are the president who's already fired the FBI director because of the Russia investigation. That's what Donald Trump told us in an interview. That's the President Trump said to Lester Holt. He fired him because of Russia. You have already done that and now you're forcing out or pushing out -- maybe firing, we don't know yet -- your attorney general because he wouldn't recuse himself from the Russia investigation. That's because that have some pretty thorny issues, I think, especially for members of Congress.

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. And it also raises some pretty thorny legal issues, John, because he's already raised the specter of obstruction in firing Comey and the reasons behind it. And at this point, he's basically given an interview to "The New York Times" where he admitted that he's angry that Sessions recused himself, because he wanted an attorney general who would have helped put a stop to these Russia investigations. So, if he fires Sessions, he's adding yet another nail to the coffin of charges of obstruction. So he's sort of stuck a little bit and I think he's counting on Sessions resigning.

Now, even if he replaces Sessions - even if Sessions resigns and he was able to replace Sessions, it's still a long road to hoe to get to firing Mueller. The special counsel regulations are pretty specific that the special counsel can only be fired for good cause or misconduct or a number of other very specific factors, which Mueller doesn't meet. Conflict of interest is one of those. And I think that's why you see them honing in on that. But, all of these things begin to -- again, potentially pile on to his legal troubles because he keeps stating his intention that he wants thus Russia investigation to go away.

HARLOW: All right. And we are just getting a new tweet in from Senator Lindsey Graham as well. Let me just read that. I think we have that that we can put on the screen here.

"President Trump's tweet today suggesting Attorney General Sessions pursue prosecution of a former political rival is highly inappropriate. Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts to the law without hint of political motivation. To do otherwise is to run away from a long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party."

Mark Preston, that's from a Republican.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

HARLOW: And he's probably not alone.

PRESTON: He's certainly not alone. 51 Republicans voted for Jeff Sessions to be the attorney general. And they are not going to look kindly on one of their own being treated the way that the president is now treating his attorney general. Jeff Sessions spent several terms in the United States Senate.

And what's interesting about what Lindsey Graham said there is not only did he say that, but in another tweet, he acknowledged that he has vigorously disagreed with Sessions, but he never doubted Sessions' integrity. And I think that is very key because even if you were not a fan of Jeff Sessions as a Republican in Congress, perhaps you didn't agree with him on immigration, perhaps you didn't agree with him on some of his conservative beliefs. There is a sense of loyalty that still will cling to Sessions from those United States senators.

And in terms of a recess appointment because it's something that I have been thinking about as well, is that's going to be very difficult to do if the United States Senate stays in pro forma session. Meaning every three days in the month of August, they don't go on recess. So Jeff Sessions, to what John was saying, would then have to turn to his assistant attorney general or deputy attorney general who, by the way, he has been critical of as well.

And I should just note very quickly, this is not normal. This is not normal and we shouldn't normalize quite frankly the way the president has been acting and has been acting for the past six months.

BERMAN: And again, just to hammer on your point about what Republicans feel about this. Rush Limbaugh himself yesterday -

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: -- in the radio, was saying this is "a little bit discomforting, unseemly, for Trump to go after such a loyal supporter this way."

Let me shift gears to campaign chair, Paul Manafort, right now. We are learning just in the last few minutes that the Senate Judiciary Committee after striking some sort of deal with Paul Manafort has issued a subpoena for him to come testify before that committee tomorrow.

[10:15:11] Now, it's hard for us to know exactly what's going on here, is this for real information? Is this showmanship? You know, Asha, let me ask you, what are the implications, a subpoena has been issued. What if Paul Manafort doesn't show up?

RANGAPPA: Well, then the committee can hold him in contempt and he can go think about not showing up while he sits in jail. So, that's the ultimate penalty. I think what could be happening here is that a lot of pressure has now been put on Manafort as a result of Jared Kushner's statement.

Jared -- you know, if we take Jared Kushner's statement at face value, this was you know, the Three Stooge's meeting with the Russians. And we know that that's not true. And Paul Manafort, in particular, who has a lot of campaign experience, probably has much more information to give and now I think the pressure is on him to give more details because Jared Kushner claims that he can't recall.

The other thing that might be going on here in his reluctance to appear or share the transcribed interviews is we don't know what's happening with him and Mueller. And if he does have a lot of information, he and his lawyers are going to want to leverage that with Mueller for as much as they can in order to, you know, reduce his criminal liability. So he doesn't want to put all of those cards on the table before he's had a chance to milk it for all it's worth. So I think there are a lot of different things that are going on here that could be creating this tug of war.

BERMAN: All right guys. Stick around. We have a lot more to talk about. We are trying to keep up with the flow of events. -

HARLOW: With the news -

BERMAN: -- this morning. It's awfully hard because there's so much going on. In the Senate today, you are getting drama, you know, coinciding with real important policy positions. Republicans, they are holding a crucial vote - process vote to repeal and replace Obamacare. And the Arizona senator, John McCain, he is rushing back for this vote after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Obviously, this will be a fascinating and emotional moment to see.

HARLOW: This morning, the president wrote about John McCain. "So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave - American hero! Thank you."

MJ Lee is on Capitol Hill to set the stage. And I should just note, he's calling -- Senator John McCain a hero now, which he is. But of course, he questioned, really, if he was a hero during the campaign and never apologized for that statement. MJ?

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Hey, John and Poppy. Well, you know, his colleagues have been saying all along, if anyone can pull off the impossible -- that is John McCain. We are about to potentially see that in real life later today, McCain coming back to cast his vote on this health care vote, this first procedural vote that we are about to see happen later this afternoon. But the question is, is that going to be enough?

Just to quickly walk through what we are expecting to see today, first there is going to be the policy lunch. This is a lunch -- again, very, very important where Mitch McConnell will try to sell his members -- try to essentially bring them to a yes vote so that they can even proceed to start the debate on this bill. And then, the vote will take place after this policy lunch. Now, a lot of members are still undecided. We already know -

BERMAN: MJ, hang on one second. Hang on one second, House Speaker Paul Ryan.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Just yesterday, as Kevin just mentioned, we passed the expansion of a GI Bill. It's the biggest expansion of college aid for veterans in a decade. It means the GI Bill will keep doing what it has done for generations, giving opportunities to veterans and their families.

Also this week, we are going fully fund a pay raise for our service members. It's the biggest military pay raise in eight years. Because the last eight years, we have seen our military getting hollowed out and we are addressing that again for the second time this year, this week. It's well deserved.

The last point I want to make is about security in our borders. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel down to Texas, to McAllen, to go to the Rio Grande Valley and spend time with our border patrol. When you see what they are up against, it really gives you even greater respect for what they do. They clearly need more tools and more support to do their jobs effectively. So this week, we are going to take action on key elements of the president's strategy to secure our borders, including the resources for a physical barrier.

I've got to tell you, when you go down there and meet with the border patrol, themselves and you see the fact that the cartels are staging just over the river, there is a need for a physical barrier in many parts of this border. And that is what the border patrol -- the experts on the ground who are in charge of keeping us safe and enforcing our laws are telling us. That's why we are going get this done this week. And we are going to keep working on our agenda to address the real problems that people care about so that we can improve people's lives, which is why we are here. Questions?

QUESTION: The president appears to be laying the groundwork to fire his attorney general (INAUDIBLE) someone who could fire a special counsel. Does that concern you? (INAUDIBLE)

[10:20:01] RYAN: Look, the president gets to decide what his personnel is, you all know that. He is the executive branch for the legislative branch. He determines who is hired and fired in the executive branch. That's his prerogative. If he has concerns or questions or problems with the attorney general, I'm sure he will bring them up with him, himself.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

RYAN: It's up to the president to decide what his personnel decision is and any possible thought that comes from that. If he has concerns about anyone in the administration that conducts their jobs, I'm sure he is going to talk to them directly.

QUESTION: The president says that the attorney general is (INAUDIBLE). Do you think the Department of Justice (INAUDIBLE)

RYAN: What we are focused on here is doing our jobs. We are not focused on what the Department of Justice is or is not doing. We are basically trying to get our legislative agenda passed. And I think the best way we can support the president and the administration is to move this agenda forward, which we've all collectively promised we would do. And that's what our focus is. So we are not focused on micromanaging D.O.J.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

RYAN: We have -- the majority of our conference is for the amendment. But as you saw in the NDAA, it didn't have a majority on the floor, but a majority of conference is for the (INAUDIBLE). So, the typical tension of an issue like that is occurring. With respect to these four bills. We have consensus for these four bills. We do not yet have full consensus on the other eight bills. That's what we are working toward. We have made substantial progress.

Appropriators have been working with the whip to get the rest of the members on board. And so, we anticipate building support for the rest of our bill going into September. But right now, we have consensus on these four bills. We have consensus on funding our military, funding military construction, funding our veterans and funding the border wall and the physical barrier that we need on the border. That's what we now have consensus. So when we get consensus, we are going to go and get it. And we're going to go for more later and we are making good progress on that. Jonathan?

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) the Appropriation Bill (INAUDIBLE) which is usually the reverse of how that usually works, FY '17 budget to do the reconciliation for health care. There's a lot of precedence and usual things have been done and better process and have been overturned and tossed aside this year. Did you think that it was necessary to go through the policies that you say will help -

RYAN: As you know, a budget resolution is (INAUDIBLE). It's not an H.R. meaning. The budget resolution is not a law. And appropriations with the caps in place require a law change. So, a budget in and of itself does not do that. But where consensus has been reached in the Budget Committee, which came up with a unanimous Republican vote is on these appropriation numbers. So we have reached consensus with respect to our appropriations numbers in the Appropriations Committee, in the Budget Committee, with respect to the Armed Services Committee and in the NDAA.

So we have found on the House side consensus on these appropriation numbers. That is out of Budget Committee. The question of whether or not one comes before the other is kind of an academic exercise because you don't need a budget to pass appropriations. That's a totally different issue. So we are going to move both simultaneously and I think at the end of the day, we'll get both done in law.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

RYAN: -- I think the Budget Committee is -- the Budget Committee and Diane Black are the ones who got everybody to talk to each other, who got consensus. If it were not for Diane Black and the Budget Committee, we would not have the kind of consensus that we now have, which is bringing these four bills to the floor today. Thank you.

HARLOW: There you have it. House Speaker Paul Ryan, not directly at all addressing the questions on Attorney General Jeff Sessions. I think it's his prerogative to hire - the president's prerogative to hire and fire whomever he wants. We're focused on the president's agenda.

BERMAN: That's an answer though, right? I mean, that's an answer saying, you know, I'm not touching this. If the president wants to fire or push out his attorney general, he can do what he wants. It's fascinating to hear.

HARLOW: All right.

BERMAN: We are joined now by Mark Preston and Margaret Hoover for their analysis on that. You know, Mark, it's one of Paul Ryan's least favorite things to be asked repeatedly, what do you make of what President Trump did about x, y or z, yet he continues to face these question. Sometimes he decides to take issue with things that are controversial, other times like today, he punts.

PRESTON: More often than not though he's punting, right, John? Because what he wants to do is he wants to go out and he wants to talk about, OK, we passed the health care bill. It's now on the Senate side. I want to talk about tax reform. Hey, let's talk about infrastructure funding. Hey, let's talk about trying to get some legislation done.

But yet, when he goes to the cameras, when he goes to the microphones, he is going to be asked time and time again, what do you think about this or how do you think the president is acting here? What do you think about this tweet?

[10:25:00] So, what I think you saw in Paul Ryan's face though is just a level of frustration that we are hearing from all Republicans on Capitol Hill right now because they are getting tired of the side show. They realize that nothing is necessarily getting done here in Washington. And the big promises that they have made, whether that be repealing and replacing Obamacare, putting a new infrastructure bill into place to start rebuilding our highways and our waterways and our electronic infrastructure and really getting tax reform done has all been pushed aside because of President Trump and President Trump himself.

HARLOW: All right, guys, stay with us. Panel, if you would stick around because we do have Republican Congressman, Ken Buck of Colorado here with us as well. And we would like to get your reaction on all of the news of the day. So, shall I just begin with the president's attacks, consistent attacks on the attorney general, Jeff Sessions? Do you think the president wants Sessions out? And if so, do you agree that Sessions should go?

REP. KEN BUCK (R), COLORADO: I don't know what the president wants. I think that it's important -- I think the attorney general has a good relationship with folks on the Hill. I think he's doing a good job.

HARLOW: OK.

BUCK: I think -- the president and attorney general need to work this out in private and the less said in public the better.

HARLOW: So, you don't think he should go? It sounds like.

BUCK: I don't think what? I'm sorry.

HARLOW: You don't think Sessions should go? It sounds like. You say, he's doing a good job.

BUCK: I do think he is doing a good job. - You know it's the president that has to evaluate that. He's doing a good job with his relationship with folks on the Hill.

BERMAN: You know, Rush Limbaugh yesterday said that he finds it discomforting and unseemly for the president to go after such a loyal supporter in this way. Do you find it unseemly?

BUCK: I don't find it unseemly. I think that the president has to work things out with the attorney general. I think they should do it in private. I think the attorney general is doing his very best to support the president in a way an attorney general can. And so, I think that it is -- it's not good strategy in a place like Washington, D.C., when you are under a microscope to have a communications director making statements that -- where the words are going to be parched in different ways.

BERMAN: I'm sorry. You say, the communications director making statements where the words here -- this is the president making statements, you know, criticizing the attorney general, and then when the communications director, Anthony Scaramucci was asked if the president wants him out, he said, yes, probably.

BUCK: So I think anytime you communicate in 140 characters or less it's a difficult form of communication. So I think the communication director was trying to expand on that. But yes, I think the best thing for the country is for the attorney general and the president to get together and work this out.

HARLOW: You said, you used the word unseemly, I believe. You don't think that it is unseemly the way that the president has handled this. So, handling something in the public sphere like this, he could come to the microphones, give an interview. He's choosing to use 140 characters. He's choosing to use that as a way to repeatedly attack his own attorney general. You are OK with that? You are comfortable with that tactic and that sort of -- that's befitting of the office in your mind?

BUCK: I don't think the president has been treated fairly by the media. And I think he's in a unique situation -

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: What does that have to do -- that's just not what I asked. What does that have to do --

BUCK: Sure it is. It's exactly what you asked.

HARLOW: No, what I asked you -

BUCK: What are his alternatives if - he's going to be asked questions and is going to be cornered by an unfriendly media where he doesn't have a chance to get his message out. He's going to do it in social media.

HARLOW: He could film something in the Oval Office and put it on the White House website, if he wants. I'm asking you if you are comfortable with his response, the way he's doing this, the way he's attacking his own attorney general, the first sitting U.S. senator to back him. Are you comfortable with that? Is that befitting of the office of the presidency?

BUCK: I think the president has chosen a way to communicate. It's not a way that I would communicate. So, I'm less comfortable with communicating on social media than I am standing in front of a camera and answering questions. But I think the president has this style and we'll see in the long run whether it works or not. I don't think it's unseemly. I was asked a question with the word unseemly. I don't think it is unseemly. I think it is the president's style. BERMAN: All right, Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado. Thank you so much for being with us, a busy, busy morning. Appreciate your time, sir. We'll be right back.

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