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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Sessions, Trump Spent Election Day Huddled In War Room; Wyndham Lathem And Andrew Warren, Turned Themselves In. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired August 5, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have learned that some FBI counter inelegance agents spent Election Day huddled in a war room, looking for fake news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These types of endeavors end up being fishing expeditions.
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Russia story is a total fabrication.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's under investigation is Trump campaign conspiracy, with the Russian meddling, and possible obstruction of justice.
CNN ANCHOR: Investigators working for special council Robert Mueller, have asked the White House for documents related to former National Security Advisor Michael Fynn.
CNN ANCHOR: With this much smoke, there is a fire somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's had a lapse of judgment here and it's going to get him in some serious trouble.
JEFF SESSIONS, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: And I have this warning for (inaudible) leakers. Don't do it.
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leaks are a bad thing, leaks are concerning, because leaks can often compromise national security.
JEFF SESSIONS, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: This nation must end this cultural of leaks.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So grateful to have your company as always. And we begin with breaking news with you this hour, after a national manhunt in North Western University, a professor and an Oxford University employee have been arrested and tracked down in California.
Professor Wyndham Lathem, and Andrew Warren are suspects in a stabbing death of a Chicago cosmetologist. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: That cosmologist 26 year old, Trenton
Cornell-Duranleau. He was found in Lathem's Chicago apartment, with multiple stab wounds. That was July 27. CNN Sara Sidner is following this story for us. Sara, good morning to you, and how did investigators find these two.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: They turned themselves in quite simply. The Chicago police department this morning, saying they are very thankful that this didn't end with more death, and tragedy
One man turned himself in here at the Federal Courthouse that is professor Lathem. He turned himself in here in Oakland. The other turned himself in, in San Francisco to the San Francisco police department. They will both be heading to court on Monday.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: The nationwide manhunt for two murder suspects is over. Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warner are under arrest in California. Both wanted in connection with the stabbing death of Chicago cosmetologist, Trent Cornell-Duranleau.
U.S Marshalls say Lathem, a North Western professor, surrendered at the Federal Courthouse in Oakland Friday night. And Warren, of Oxford University in England, turned himself in to the San Francisco police department.
GRACE GATPANDAN, OFFICER, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Upon running the individuals name - we did confirm that he had a warrant out of Chicago for murder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 26-year old Cornell-Duranleau was found dead on July, 27th in Lathem's Chicago apartment. Police officials said he was savagely murdered. Police recovered what they believed to be the weapon in the attack - a broken knife blade.
His death occurred on the same day that one of the suspects walked into a public library in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and made a $1,000 cash donation in Cornell-Duranleau's name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the suspects - any connection to Lake Geneva?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None what so ever - the suspects nor the victim are not known to our department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Friday, Chicago Police say Lathem sent a video, which has not been released, to his family and friends apologizing for his involvement in the murder -- calling it quote the biggest mistake of his life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very typical in crimes of passion, which is what we can call this - for the person who committed the crime to have remorse and guilt afterwards.
SARA SIDENER, CNN ANCHOR: And the big question is why, why take somebody's life. At this point though, the two men are expected to be in court coming Monday. Of course the courts closed on the weekends. Victor, Christi. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Alright, Sara Sidner for us in Oakland
there, thank you so much.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And this morning Baltimore is passed with a peace challenge. In fact, not just this morning but all weekend. Active community leaders and activists are enforcing a city wide cease fire, for 72 hours. They have been hitting the streets, urging drug dealers and gang members to please back off.
To put their guns down this weekend, so far there have been 208 homicides this year in Baltimore, compared to 318 for all of last year at 2016.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And now to the CNN exclusive. Sources tell us that dozens of FBI Analysts watched Twitter and Facebook, other social media platforms on election day, and they tracked specific accounts that they thought were spreading fake news, in an effort to harm Hilary Clinton.
Now the conspiracies and false information, that's believed to be pedaled by Russia.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: This all happening as the special council for the first time, asks the white house to turn over information related to the Russia hacking of the 2016 election.
Now, Robert Muller is affordably looking at the secrets payments ousted National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn took from the foreign government, while he was apart of the Trump campaign.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And the former Russian Ambassador is defending his past conversations with National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. He just told reporters that there were no secrets with Flynn, adding that he did not discuss sanctions with anyone.
Flynn was forced to resign mid revelations, that he discussed U.S sanctions with Kisley Act, the month before President Trump took office.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: In the meantime, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, promising to shut down leaks by targeting a reporter ...
JEFF SESSIONS, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good morning I want to thank ...
Taking our place lives at risk with impunity, we must balance the presses role with protecting our national security.
CHRISI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Sessions is now reviewing policies in sending subpoenas to journalists, prompting questions if he's considering taking legal action to appease the anger of the president - after a couple of what have been tense weeks. As I know you've probably noticed.
The FBI says it was forced to monitor Facebook and Twitter, though, for Russian propaganda, in the 2016 election. However, they risked freedom of speech protections in the process. Pamela Brown is here with CNN's exclusive reporting.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well good morning, Victor and Christi. Our team has learned that some FBI counter intelligence agents spent election day, huddled in a war room looking for fake news. And what they could see is negative stories posted about Hilary Clinton, some having to do with her health, that were fake stories generated from accounts was suspected Russian links. This is according to multiple sources we've spoken with. In fact the FBI agents could see how the fake news, was impacting the conversation online.
Now the idea of monitoring her fake news, was certainly uncomfortable and somewhat new territory for the FBI, as one official told me quote, we were right on the edge of constitutionality, because of, of course first amendment protections. But it was something they believed they needed to do, because it was important and better understanding how fake news played into this - what roll it had, and whether or not anyone in the Trump campaign, in the Trump world, worked with the Russians in this disinformation campaign.
And amid all of this, we've learned there was constant coordination between the FBI, the Department Of Homeland Security, as well as DNI holding conference calls every three hours with the team in the White House, to discuss any possible problems.
At that time though during these conference calls, a big focus was of course this notion that the vote could be tampered with, that the machines could be tampered with by hackers, and while the FBI says that didn't happen, there is still this open question of whether the disinformation campaign by the Russians (or) did the intelligence community impacted the outcome of the election. And it's something we frankly, may never really know, Victor and Christi?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Pamela, thank you very much - here to discuss (Lynn Sweedwashing) and Bureau Chief, with the Chicago Sun- Times, and Eugene Scott, CNN Politics reporter. Good morning to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning.
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So, let me start with you. The former ambassador - Russian Ambassador to the U.S (Surgete Kisley Act) saying this morning to a reporter, that there were no sanctions discussed with former NSA, Michael Flynn.
That does not correspond with the reporting that U.S officials say that they indeed discussed U.S sanctions.
LYNN, CHIEF FOR THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES NEWS, WASHINGTON D.C: Well, we will find out as the - as this investigation unfolds, Victor, is if there were intercepts of conversations, or real time contemporary records of conversations, that will be substantial information as to what happened.
More than what some - which is usually more creditable than what somebody is saying now, or using recall, or not addressing the question in the way that you and I might understand it. So, there are so many pieces of this puzzle to put together.
And some of this before we even get to the question if there is criminal actions that have been taken, is just - this - this one (purchase) how hard it is to understand. And also there is other way the conversations on the way to sanctions that people could have. As we know from that famous June meeting, in Trump Tower where Trump says the conversation was about Russia adaptions - or Russia adaption's is really a conversation about sanctions, because that's why we had the issue.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, that was retaliation for the (macmicky act). Let me come to you Eugene, and stay with Michael Flynn. The New York Times, reporting that the special prosecutor - the special council I should say, (Bob Muller) is now requesting documents from the White House, about Flynn.
And trying to get to the idea or the potential of his having received secret payments from the Turkish government - evidence of a broadening investigation here.
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, indeed. We've seen this past week, that the special council is moving the investigation into a more financially focused area -- which is something that Trump Administration has expressed some frustration with.
But the reality is - as Lynn was saying, it's not that the first conversation always leads to something that people, investigators would find problematic. There are conversations leading up to that, that they want to pay close attention to, to see what could have possibly happened.
And part of that is because Flynn has repetitively had to update his disclosure forms, and they have shown each time that he has received more money from foreign, perhaps governments or companies that he was not open with in it's initial filings, and so there is a lot of interest in seeing if there was any illegal activity in that transaction.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And Lynn it's important to point out here that receiving money from the Turkish government, is not a crime in itself, it is not - it is the lack of disclosure of receiving that money maybe hiding it, in this businesses and then not filing as foreign agent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, campaign can hire whoever they want. There might be public fall out, political implications, if you're hiring people seen as registered agents for foreign governments who are advising your campaign. But then once you move into the White House, and you do not do disclosure you know, you are asking for trouble. Even if you don't have a special prosecutor after you - and certainly it looks like the Trump organization at the time, not organization, the business of the trump campaign wasn't aware of it, and remember certainly Vice President Michael Pence, for whom Flynn eventually was ousted for not being - for misleading, for lying to him, about his contacts.
And it looks - look how long it is taking just to get everything out of the money trail of Flynn. And this certainly also shows us how much of this probe is focusing on him.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Flynn was NSA for 24 days, and we are now at day 197 in this administration. Eugene, quickly to you on this CNN exclusive reporting that FBI agents, on Election Day were watching social media, and the Russian disinformation campaign.
We know that we have a new FBI director, (Chris Ray) who started this week, who says that there is no reason not to believe the U.S intelligence, the community findings that Russia was involved.
The President has equivocated on that topic at best, is the FBI any closer, any better at finding and controlling potential the disinformation that comes from Russia.
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN ANCHOR: Well, they seem to be better at monitoring and acknowledging it, and making it public that this something that they will have to keep an eye on in future elections.
What we will be able to determine is if they actually are better in 2018, next year when this is expected to happen again, because Russia's interest in interfering in American elections, is not over.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Eugene and Lynn, stay with us. We have more to talk about.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Jeff sessions issuing a warning to those who want to publicize sensitive information about the trump white house. He says, don't do it. How the justice department is planning to combat leakers.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Also, president trump is on vacation. Two and a half weeks. Bedminster, his resort there. Arrived yesterday. White house officials say this is a working vacation. What does that mean? What will he be doing?
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The culture of leaking must stop. Strong words from Attorney General, Jess Sessions, as he takes aim at those leaking classified information from the Trump administration. Sessions revealing not only has the justice department tripled the number of leak investigations since the Obama White House.
It will also review the process for handing out subpoenas in the media in those investigations. All of this as the A.G Attorney General comes under fire from his boss over how he is doing his job.
Lynn Sweet, Eugene Scott, CNN Analyst Joey Jackson, now all join s for this conversation. Thank you all for sticking around. I want to listen here, Lynn, come to some sound from Paul Ryan, after he addressed sessions' comments shortly after the speech yesterday. Let's listen.
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE U.S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Leaks are a bad thing. Leaks are concerning because leaks can often compromise National Security. But that's the problem with the leaker, not the journalist.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Which is opposite, Lynn, from what Session is saying. How is that being received there in D.C?
LYNN SWEET, CHIEF FOR THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES NEWS, WASHINGTON D.C: Well journalists are going to - every journalist organization, I am guessing, will speak out against anything that has a chilling effect on journalists doing their news gathering here.
And part of what the Trump White House is doing, I think is co conflating leaks that are annoying to President Trump about palace intrigue, dinner parties, meetings, communications issues, as opposed to what you correctly said was the important stuff, classified information.
Not all classified information puts lives at risk. Sometimes it's just the opposite. The most important thing I hope we think of when we continue this, is that there's not one size that fits all on this.
Not every bit of information that is leaked is negative. Sometimes it has been very important information that the public needs to know. I'm sure every journalist is going to argue very strongly that anything that is seen as chilling effect is not good for the nation. Certainly journalists, in the meantime are going to continue to do their job.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Eugene, the top democrat of the senate Intel committee, Warner, said leaks reflective of a chaotic White House, but congress should investigate.
IF that would happen, I mean, how would that - what would the protocol be there? Would the Intel Community investigate? Would that fall under judicial hands?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN ANCHOR: It depends on exactly what it is that they would want investigating. I mean, we have to realize that so much of the information that has been leaked has contradicted much of what the White House has told us on the Record.
We haven't had an incredibly forthcoming white house. So, the reality the leaking of information that has Americans care about, it's been beneficial to them, who want to know more about what this administration is doing. Whether or not what administration is doing and what's being leaked is
illegal or problematic or a National Disaster security violation, that hasn't been proven yet. But if it is, that is what we would see congress investigate and look into terms of finding wrong doing.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Alright. Joe Jackson here - Kellyann Conway in an interview this week, said it is easier to figure out who is leaking than leakers may realize. Then she was asked whether lie detectors would be used to determine who is doing what.
She said, well, they may. They may not. How likely would that tactic be employed, Joe Jackson? Is there any legal red light you see going off?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know Christi; I see so many legal red lights. We are living in different times. And I think what will happen to the broader issue is that this President, through his attorney general, will push this issue. I mean, as far as it can be pushed.
Let's be clear about something, obviously, the intent of even releasing information and saying, look, we're going after you now, is going to deter it from occurring. Right? In the event you don't want leaking, you have to serve notice that there will be action taken against the leakers.
But then, of course, when you start talking about, okay, lay detectors, who are going to take the test? Call in members of the press, your administration? It's not admissible in court. So, what is the overall theme to deter it?
I think we all need to really take solace in is, the fact that there is a separation in government, right? I think that any push in terms of attempting press, attempting to do a lie detector tests, anything, will ultimately end up in court system.
Courts have held that we have a first amendment. That first amendment is very valuable. The press needs to do its job. Historically, you go after leakers, not the publishers. Which are the press informing the public, attempting to educate people as to what's going on.
So I think, although this is pushed, although the attorney general could start trying to say, I want to jail, you know, people from the press, I want to do lie detector tests on people, I think the reality is, the press will continue to be vigilant in reporting information and informing the public.
I think the courts will protect their right to do so.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Lynn, how much do you think the leaks can be contributed to the rotating doors of this White House? We've already seen, you know, Flynn and Spicer and Priebus rotated out. New people rotated in. How is that affecting all of this?
LYNN SWEET, CHIEF FOR THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES NEWS, WASHINGTON D.C: Well, for the stories that are dealing, again, with the Palace Intrigue, the more people you have that are in and out of the Trump White House, The more sources that reporters have of people who are kind of more easily gettable to.
When you talk about National security leaks, you really have a more close community of journalists and News makers of people that know them. These sources and figures just are not as well-known to the public.
If you knew who some of them were maybe you wouldn't know them, as opposed to people who are more or less in front of a camera or who have been in the news. So there's - when you have a big investigation like this, one of the other things, you have lawyers for a variety of people - one of the other things, you have Lawyers have clients and different purposes in getting things out.
SO, if you're a journalist, you have many points of entry, depending on the story you're pursuing. So it is not just the rotating door of a White House. It's a sprawling investigation where you have four congressional committees, a special prosecutor and now a lot of people with attorneys that means a lot of people know different aspects of what's going on.
CHRISI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Lynn Sweet, Eugene Scott, Joey Jackson, grateful to have you in this conversation. Thank you.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you, Christi.
VICTOR BLACKWEL, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump criticized President Obama for going on vacation. Even saying that Obama ought to get off the golf course. Now, Trump is at his golf resort for the next two and a half weeks.
Plus, -- Russia and Iran now saying they'll cooperate with each other more closely as both counties face U.S sanctions.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right the breaking news this morning, a search and rescue mission right now for a U.S service members after the Marines are calling a mishap off the coast of Australia.
CHRISI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We know that the Marines boats and planes are searching for the service members in a search and rescue mission. We'll follow this. As we get more information. We'll pass it on to you.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Also new details on the breaking news story this morning. Northwestern University professor, Oxford University employee, as well, wanted for murder, is now in custody in California. Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren surrendered after police searched the country for them.
CHRISI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: They're suspects in the stabbing death of a Chicago man, Trenton Cornell-Duranleau. He was found dead last week with multiple stab wounds at Lathem's Chicago apartment. On the day of his death, one of the suspects walked into this public
library, near Chicago, and made a $1,000 cash donation in his name. The suspects are waiting to be extradited to Illinois this morning.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also this morning, president Trump waking up at his Bedminster, New Jersey Golf Resort. He is on a working vacation, as it's been characterized. It's going to last for about 17 days.
Plus former Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak is saying he did not talk secrets with Michael Flynn. This as the New York Times is reporting Special Counsel Robert Mueller is asking the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser.
And in an exclusive report, CNN is getting new information that the FBI monitored social media on Election Day for fake news believed to be from Russia on Hillary Clinton.
CNN's White House reporter Kaitlian Collins is in New Jersey right now though. So Kaitlian you are of course near where the president is staying, what do we know about his itinerary for the next couple of weeks?
COLLINS: Well its day one of his 17 day vacation here. Deputy Press Secretary Lindsey Walters told reporters on Air Force one yesterday that this will be a working vacation for the President.
You know the west wing is under going several renovations right now getting spruced up including a new air conditioning system so they're billing this as a working vacation for the President.
But as you know this is the same President who said that Congress should stay in Washington, D.C. until they had a Health Care Bill measure passed; and he also as a private citizen regularly criticized Barack Obama for taking too many vacations for to long, and playing to much golf.
PAUL: All right Kaitlian Collins we appreciate the update. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right let's bring back now Lynn Sweet and Eugene Scott, also Jack Kingston, CNN Political Commentator and former Senior Trump Campaign Adviser joining us as well.
We have jack? OK we do not have Jack yet. All right Eugene let's start with you. Working vacation, what's that mean from the White House perspective? What will the president will be doing?
SCOTT: Well we will see right? I mean this is something that he constantly criticized the former President Barack Obama for taking long vacations and this working vacation is actually longer than any that we have seen President Barack Obama take on the record.
But what his party is hoping he focuses on is moving forward to issues like tax reform and infrastructure. Projects that they said were priorities during the campaign that they were hoping to table after health care reform was passed. But since that was not passed they're now trying to figure out ways to keep that promise to the American people even though they weren't able to focus on the first one.
BLACKWELL: All right Jack is with us. Jack, Jack you know where I'm going, Jack.
KINGSTON: I'm here.
BLACKWELL: All right let's play it this is the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I love working I'm not a vacation guy. I don't take vacations I'm not like Obama, where he takes Air Force One to Hawaii.
I don't take vacations. I promise you, I will not be taking very long vacations if I take them at all. There's no time for vacation.
Other people that go away for weeks and weeks, I don't like taking vacations. Obama likes relaxing and going on vacations; me like working. I like working I really do.
If I get elected president I'm going to be in the White House a lot. I'm not leaving. We have deals to make, who the hell wants to leave right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINGSTON: I'm not leaving dozens of days at his properties away from the White House, two and a half week vacation. How is this anything other than hypocrisy?
KINGSTON: I beg for fair criticism. I'm not going to debate it. I do think that you know those are sound bites that are certainly useful they drive a point. I do want to say this though historically presidents are unable to go on vacations.
They simply change venues. They take most of their staff, key staff and key communication methods with them. To give you a couple examples, in 1862 --
BLACKWELL: Hold on wait before we get to 1862, wait a minute Jack. I'm going let you get to 1862 but to say that presidents don't take vacations, yeah they do take vacations. Yes, they take their advisers with them. Yes in this case he's taking his Chief of Staff but he's going to a golf resort for two and half weeks.
KINGSTON: I can promise you Victor he will be making big announcements, he will be in the press he will be making decisions. I don't know if he's going to have Heads of State.
Want to point out that Ronald Reagan did many times entertain Heads of States while on vacation in California. George Bush did in Crawford ranch. Want to point out and if you'll let me --
BLACKWELL: But this president said he wasn't going to do this, but go ahead go to 1862 quickly.
KINGSTON: No I'm going to give you that point, 1940 Franklin Roosevelt worked out the Lend Lease Program on a ten day fishing trip.
In 1981 Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers while on vacation in California, and in 1862 Abraham Lincoln spent half the year outside of Washington at Soldiers Hill during the Civil War.
All of them working while they were gone it was a change in venue. I promise you the president of the United States particularly in today's age of communication, they can't get away.
BLACKWELL: OK so we'll see by the fruit of this vacation if he actually has accomplished anything. Lynn let me come to you and let me put up this Newsweek cover depicting the President "In and as a lazy boy."
Writing here on the cover that Donald Trump is bored and tired, imagine how bad he'd feel if he did any work. I mean he heads to this two and a half week vacation without any major legislative win.
SWEET: Well that's true the only thing that seems to be functioning very well in Washington right now is the Bob Mueller investigation which is chugging along; and actually Sessions we tried to get rid of is doing a lot in the Justice Department.
But let's divide up this vacation question because I agree a president is always on duty. Yeah I think that's easily agreeable to no matter where you are and what the venue is, but you cannot ignore that stream of video you just played Victor where President Trump went on the attack of Obama for taking vacations and he leaves the White house on multiple weekends.
Here's what's interesting when you talk about the lazy boy cover is how uncurious is about using the awesome power of the presidency to make a difference in the country.
When Trump leaves the White House he has yet to go west of the Mississippi except I think for one trip to Iowa in six months in office. OK his weekend trips are to his homes his comfort factor is going from the White House to a Trump property, to a Trump property, to a Trump golf course.
So think how insulated in a ready President Trump is just from sampling the riches of America that he could on his travel. Can you even imagine him taking a walk in a national park?
KINGSTON: Well for example maybe what would happen if he actually went to the Middle East and met with a Muslim country, and a Jewish country, and then a Christian -- oh wait a minute he's already done that. He's also gone back at the invitation of France.
SWEET: Well Jack I'm not arguing with you that he's done some foreign trips. I'm talking about --
KINGSTON: Chances. SWEET: -- he criticizes other people about vacations and the takes them himself, but of all the things to be hypocritical about this probably a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
BLACKWELL: It's also important to point out that as he was criticizing President Obama; President Obama went with many of the same advisers that he is now going with.
I guess the advisor of course in his White House. Let me come back to you Eugene. One news conference the 197 days, typically, the President before heading off on his own August break as Congress is on the August recess, he holds a news conference; this President did not and has had one that was back February.
SCOTT: Yeah I think what that has led to as we've seen repeatedly is that when he does speak publicly be it for a something related to Boy Scouts or athletes coming to the White House, you see reporters ending up asking him questions that they would be able to ask him if he actually had news conferences.
I think the president has a message, and ideas, and an agenda that he wants to communicate to the American people. Doing so via news conference would be in his best interest. We'll see if he maximizes that opportunity now that he'll be out of the White House for 17 days.
BLACKWELL: So Jack what's your expectation on the President and his social media, on Twitter and Facebook? The first week of the new White House with General Kelly now as Chief of staff, the president has been fairly tame on Twitter. Do you expect that the next 17 days, we'll see more of this?
KINGSTON: You know I can't predict the President on Twitter. He does communicate with over 100 million people when he does it so it's a very important tool for communication, but he is going to be working.
I'm excited about General Kelly. I think that he will put in much needed discipline procedures and processes which all White Houses need. I do want to say this though I think the real criticism in this town is right now with the legislative branch.
The president has pushed an agenda but he has come across this piece of Jell-o that you can't push and can't pull called the U.S. Congress of which I'm a proud alumnus. Let me say that, but the same hand who was it whose brought down health care, who's dragged on really tax reform so far and infrastructure and so many other things.
I think the president has really pushed an agenda, but he has met opposition from the other party and his own party.
BLACKWELL: Understood but we have to remind viewers that republicans are in control of the House. Republicans are in control of the Senate and in some of those same rallies that we played those bits about the vacation a moment ago, the President said that, I'm a deal maker I can bring people together and at the RNC speech said "I alone can it".
So to now say I can't push the Jell-o seems like it's not going to satisfy the promise he made during the campaign. We got to end it there. Jack Kingston, Lynn Sweet, Eugene Scott thank you all.
SWEET: Thank you.
SCOTT: You too.
KINGSTON: Thank you.
PAUL: Well former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is opening up about his meeting with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Next what he says they talked about and what they did not according to him.
BLACKWELL: Plus New Hampshire politicians they are not happy about President Trump's comment about their state being a drug infested den. They called him wrong and disgusting and they're not the only ones who are angry. We're going to hear from some New Hampshire voters.
PAUL: Well former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak says he talked about terrorism but not about sanctions when he met with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in an interview with Russian State Media, Kislyak said he only talked bout topics that were important to the U.S./Russia cooperation.
BLACKWELL: All right for more let's go now live to CNN correspondent Oren Leberman in Moscow for us, Oren good morning to you.