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GOP Lawmakers Urge Trump to Call Out White Supremacists; Trump: Kim Jong Un Will "Regret It" If He Attacks Guam. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 13, 2017 - 08:00   ET




[08:00:18] JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Neo-Nazi and white nationalist protests turned deadly. There's bipartisan outrage and this --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.

KING: Plus, fire, fury and more.

TRUMP: He will truly regret it and he will regret it fast.

KING: An escalating war of words with North Korea.

And a big GOP family feud. The president blames the top Senate Republican for his stalled agenda.

TRUMP: I'm very disappointed in Mitch.

KING: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.


KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thanks for sharing your Sunday.

It is a sad morning after in Charlottesville, Virginia. A federal civil rights investigation is opening now and an Ohio man faces a state murder charge after a march by white supremacist turns deadly. President Trump is under fire for his response to the violence, adding to the spotlight he faces this week.

The president interrupting his vacation to pick a trade fight with China, as he grows frustrated that Beijing won't or can't do more to rein in North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. It's a gamble after a week of escalating Trump rhetoric that at times caught his own national security team off guard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen.


KING: Plus, there's no summer break for Republican dysfunction. Still without even one big legislative win, the president side steps any blame and lashes out at the Senate majority leader.


TRUMP: I'm very disappointed in Mitch. But if he gets these bills passed, I will be happy with him, I will be the first to admit it. But honestly, repeal and replace of Obamacare should have taken place.


KING: We begin, though, with that state of emergency and the political fallout after Saturday's deadly violence following a march by white nationalists and neo-Nazis.


GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came in to Charlottesville today: our message is plain and simple. Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend you are a patriots, but you are anything but a patriot.


KING: With us to share their reporting and insights, Margaret Talev of "Bloomberg Politics", CNN's Manu Raju, and Michael Shear of "The New York Times", and Karen Demirjian of "The Washington Post."

What presidents say in big moments matters. Sometimes what they don't say matters just as much. Now, make no mistake: President Trump did condemn the deadly Charlottesville violence.


TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time.


KING: But that many sides reference, put simply, failed the presidential test and it is the source of remarkable condemnation this morning across the political spectrum. No, President Trump cannot be held responsible for the Trump campaign signs held by some of the white nationalist marchers, nor can he be held responsible for these words by one of America's best known hate-mongers.


DAVID DUKE, FORMER KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We're going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That's what we believed in. That's why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he is going to take our country back.


KING: But it should not be too much to expect the president of the United States to specifically condemn neo-Nazis and white nationalists especially when they claim some affinity with him. By failing to do so, the president as much of an issue as the marchers in their reprehensible view.

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of many, many, many Republicans who say the president came up way short. Mr. President, we must call evil by its name, Gardner tweeted. This were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.

White supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites are the antithesis of our American values, added Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. There are no other sides to hatred and bigotry.

We begin the morning with a simple question, why?

[08:05:01] Why -- this could have been -- this could be a very different morning.

This is not hard. The president understands his history. The president had the access to the video. We assume the president has the confident staff.

If he had added one sentence, one sentence to what he said. There are some very strong words on what the president said. Let's make no mistake about that.

He added one sentence saying, I do not stand with you. I do not stand for you. You do not represent me. Go away, you have no place.

Something to that effect. Anything to that effect and we're having a different conversation this morning. But he didn't when he spoke. He didn't in his tweets and he's had hours since and he hasn't cleaned it up.


KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: He chose a different sentence. Actually, if you want to be perfectly honest about it. That on all sides is what he chose to word a strongly worded speech. Not the sentence that you're suggesting, which would have been to name -- many Republicans want him to say, too -- which was to name white nationalism by name, Nazis by name, that's a very different choice on all sides he said.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: This was a slam dunk. I mean, this was very easy for him to do. Condemn white supremacists. That's something that virtually everybody who is in politics they do. They condemn white supremacists and that's what we saw last night from Republican after Republican.

I thought Corey Gardner's statement was remarkable, in the sense that he's a member of the Senate Republican leadership. He's someone who has been careful in his criticism of the president, unlike a lot of other Republicans. And he represents, of course, purple state, swing state in something that could, you know, a state that could easily flip, a seat that he could potentially lose when he runs again for re- election.

But the larger question that I think a lot of Republicans have, is why the president show no nuance in dealing with North Korea, dealing with Mitch McConnell, and dealing with other people that he is concerned with. But when it comes to white supremacists or even Vladimir Putin, he does not go out and condemn them. That's a real question from a lot of Republicans and Democrats.

KING: To a lot of Americans. I think a lot of Americans are asking -- this -- we could be having a very different conversation this morning about a president who seven months in, a lot of people saying he's drifting, change the conversation if you just looked straight into the camera and said, I didn't represent you, you don't represent me. Go home.

MICHAEL SHEAR, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: And part of being president is finding opportunities, right? If -- there has been a lot of criticism over the months and over the years that Donald Trump hasn't denounced sort of the white nationalists. The -- you know, he brings Bannon into the White House. But, so, but here's a moment, right, like here's the opportunity for him to fix some of that.

You've got white national -- you've got white nationalists and Nazis not just of -- it's not -- it's not a generic question. They're marching in an American city and then somebody dies. Like that's the opportunity that if you want to, you can take and sort of put this to rest and he didn't.

MARGARET TALEV, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: When I -- as yesterday's events were unfolding, I interpreted the president's initial caution with his words, or even sort of slow to speak as wanting to get it right, wanting to understand who was driving the car, what they were a part of, the big picture.

But as the hours have gone on and the story has become clearer, I think the problem for the president is that the absence of a more decisive statement creates a vacuum where everyone is going to interpret what he's doing and what he's not doing. So, even now if he doesn't -- even if he didn't want to insert himself, even if he didn't want to make a pointed statement, the expectation now is very high.

It's Sunday morning. It's -- he has an entire day to figure out how to handle this. But at this point, we have no, no word from the White House on the plan. KING: Right. Plenty of time to clean this up and change this. He

should have got it right the first time. Any president with a confident staff and just the president by himself should have understood the moment, should have understood the moment.

But to your point, the Daily Stormer, which is the hateful propaganda of the marchers, the neo-Nazi and the white supremacist, they said this after the president. Trump's comments were good. He didn't attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry and implied there was hate on both sides. No condemnation at all.

Now, again, that may not be fair to the president. However, he has to know that. He has to -- if he had just simply looked them in the eye and said, I don't speak for you. You don't speak for me. What you're doing is reprehensible. They can't do that.

DEMIRJJIAN: Right. Also, words have meanings to different people, unfortunately. We don't have like absolute definitions of words until white supremacist who is putting a banner that says diversity equals white genocide, bigotry doesn't mean, oh, you're talking about white supremacists. It means maybe something else. It means maybe anti- white bigotry, I mean, in the world view that these people have.

And the president -- I mean, this is not happening in a vacuum. At this point, the president or his advisors should understand this, and should understand that he has been criticized when he's not absolutely explicit about what he means by calling out Nazis. Remember the David Duke dustup, you know, whether he would denounce that.

And even that, even the white nationalism reactions don't exist in a vacuum. I mean, there are people who have questions about where the moral barometer of this administration is, because of things like not mentioning Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Tillerson saying that basically human rights can get in the way of U.S. interests sometimes.


[08:10:07] DEMIRJIAN: -- Minnesota mosque, that's the recent example, right.


DEMIRJIAN: Exactly. It's thing after thing after thing, and this serious -- is the most serious or egregious thing that we've seen because of what Michael was saying. You know, it results in death. It's so blatant.

KING: The death of a woman who was hit by that car. Two Virginia state police officers dead in a helicopter that crashed that was overseeing down there for that reason.

To that point, is it a breaking point is the question for me in the sense that you see Republicans coming out? There are a lot of criticisms from Democrats and we'll get to that throughout the hour. But if you look, we mentioned Cory Gardner, we mentioned Ileana Ros- Lehtinen, more moderate Republicans, you might say.

Ted Cruz, a very conservative, former primary rival to the president, the Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred that they propagate. I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism. That from Senator Ted Cruz.

Senator Orrin Hatch, we should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.

This is not, Mr. President, you know, your little off year. This is, Mr. President, what planet are you on?

TALEV: This is a Republican Party statement very clearly, if you won't say it, we will. And by the way, you should say it. And, you know, I mean, two things going on. One are the political ramifications of what is happening. The other is this is a moment of national tragedy. It's a moment of national discussion.

It is August, it was a Saturday. I think a lot of people were doing other things when it happened and come slow to this story. This is a terrible thing that happened and a moment of crisis and requires presidential --


SHEAR: And, look, you know, one of the things that happened. President and White Houses sometimes get things wrong. I remember when President Obama announced the beheading of the journalist in ISIS in 2014 when he was on Martha's Vineyard and then went to play golf. It was sort of a moment that they sort of misjudged and misunderstood the sort of feeling in the country.

But they came back and quickly, you know, canceled the rest of his golf for the rest of the trip and kind of changed it up. And it's 8:00, 8:12 now. I mean, the question is, does he go and play golf today in Bedminster before he fixes this? Does he come out and make a statement? Does he at least tweet?

I mean, usually by now, you know, he would have been up and fired off a couple of tweets.

KING: And so, we know who he is. We know he followed the coverage yesterday. We know he's up early on a Sunday morning reviewing the newspapers and the cable news program.

And so, the question I'll come to as we close this block and we continue the conversation is why? Why?

Let's assume. We're all human. Human beings make mistakes. If they were being cautious, if they didn't have the full information, if they wanted to wait yesterday -- fine. But, why? Why are we still sitting here with the president saying many sides, not white supremacy is evil, neo-Nazis have no place in America, I do not speak for you? RAJU: And, John, remember, last week, Sebastian Gorka, one of the

president's advisers in the White House, suggested in a radio interview that white supremacy may not be as big of a problem as some people in the media believe. And that, of course, is crazy considering that white supremacists have been responsible for a significant amount of debt since 9/11, actually more than Islamic terrorists here in this country.

So, there is a concern that some people in this White House may not be taking the threat of white supremacists seriously enough and the president by not denouncing that feeds into that perception.

DEMIRJIAN: I would add ratings. Trump seems concerned about alienating any part of his base. And if these people are claiming to be a part of his base, that is potentially a problem. And look at his approval numbers, although, if -- you're right, Manu, if Gorka is right about what he said, he shouldn't be concerned, because it's -- I mean, there are a few hundred people in the streets. This is not like a million people movement type of thing. It is small numbers, but with a very, very large --

KING: There is no job in the world worth having if that's the only way to get it. We'll continue the conversations as we go through the hour.

The president promises fire and fury if provoked by North Korea. And with his escalating rhetoric now comes an escalating trade stare-down with China.


[08:18:16] KING: Welcome back.

Locked and loaded. Fire and fury. And more.


TRUMP: If he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it. And he will regret it fast.


KING: Unorthodox to say the least. The president of the United States in a daily, sometimes hourly, rhetorical escalation with North Korea. Maybe you think it's long past time to stand up to bully dictators. Maybe you see such talk as reckless.

So, help me explain this. From a call designed to reassure Guam's governor after North Korea threatened to show its missiles could reach a U.S. territory.


TRUMP: Eddie, I have to tell you, you've become extremely famous. All over the world, they're talking about Guam, they're talking about you and, I think you're going to get tourism. I can say this, your tourism, you're going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you.


KING: Is that funny? I try, you try to give like, OK, people are different. This president has a different style. You know, he's trying to put the governor at ease, trying to get him to relax after these North Korean threats. Are we -- when you're talking about fire and fury and locked and loaded and sort of building the American people up for pay attention here, what's that?

DEMIRJIAN: Come watch our lovely sunsets, there's not quite North Korean bombs potentially falling from the sky in Guam. So, it's not the greatest selling point and the president did set up that tourism pitch, if it is, in fact, a tourism pitch. So, it maybe is good for the president feeling better for himself, but I don't know how it's actually, you know, would put the presidents of Guam and their potential --

SHEAR: It's dissonant when you're talking about a subject as deadly serious as not only potential war on the Korean peninsula, but nuclear war.

[08:20:05] I mean, that's -- and so, it came across as a kind of particularly insensitive moment when, you know, there's people worried about what could come from his rhetoric.

KING: In the president's defense, he inherits a nightmare scenario. The Clinton administration didn't get this right. The Bush administration didn't get this right. The Obama administration didn't get this right, because they also face bad choices.

North Korea was moving ahead with this nuclear program, with its missile program. At times, China helps, and at times, China pulls back. So, the president inherits a cumulative mess, if you will.

The question is, is this the right way out including this from the president this past week?


KING: The people that were questioning that statement was it too tough, maybe it wasn't tough enough. They have been doing this for our country for a long time, for many years. And it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So, if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough.

REPORTER: What would be tougher than fire and fury?

TRUMP: Well, you'll see. You'll see.


KING: You'll see, you'll see. From the president there on Thursday. And on Friday, here's part of what he said you'll see.

Military solutions are now fully in place locked and loaded should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully, Kim Jong-un will find another path.

If you talk to folks that Pentagon, they say they haven't been told to evacuate Americans. They haven't been told to put ships or missiles on high alert. The White House would say, well, we mean they're always contingency plans in place.

Again, some people say, good. Get in Kim Jong-un's face, stand up to the bully, and make clear you're ready to act. Other people say, well, wait a minute, that's in a way drawing a line. What happens if we're having this conversation two weeks and two months from now? Is the president's credibility at risk?

TALEV: That's right. So, in this past week, we're really seeing the president be tested in that sort of what is going to happen when the phone rings at 3:00 in the morning, right? On issues that are not created by him, on issues that are not kind of created by politicians, right?

What you see in Charlottesville is a domestic example of that. You have to respond. You have no control over it.

Then what you see happening in North Korea, you have to respond. You have some control over it. But not that much control over it.

And so, we're really seeing him. This is one of the early times of his administration. What is his instinct? What does his instinct tell him to do when he decides to go off script and when he decides to push a little stronger.

And, obviously, by making that joke to the leader of Guam, you know, the president is saying, don't worry. Nothing imminent is happening. That's, obviously, what he's saying. But he is, his statements, which are meant to prod China and North Korea have impacts on Guam, South Korea, Japan. And that is --

KING: And also other allies all around the world. You're right. Mostly in the neighborhood to start, but other allies in the world saying, well, when the president of the United States says something like this, what are we supposed to think about it?

RAJU: It's remarkable to see the president go further than his advisors or his advisors trying to clean up what he has been saying afterwards, which I think was probably one reason which you saw the president actually answer questions at length from pool reporters at his golf club, because he realizes that things that he says may be discordant with things that his advisors say and the world needs to understand exactly what the president is thinking, because when his adviser start to explain what he's thinking, it doesn't go in line with what the president is actually tweeting or suggesting publicly.

KING: And we can laugh at the comedy of the conversation with the governor of Guam but this is pretty serious business, and everybody understands that. North Korea has made remarkable faster than anticipated progress in developing an ICBM. The length of its ballistic missiles to potentially reach the United States or at least reach Guam or Hawaii. They've also progressed in their shrinking, miniaturizing a nuclear weapon.

Listen to Senator Lindsey Graham here, you know, if you think this isn't serious, how about this.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We've two bad options, that is let them get a missile to hit America or go to war to stop them. China should have two bad options. Deal with a nut job in your backyard or realize that there will be a war in your backyard.


KING: That's -- that's -- is that common on Capitol Hill? Do they think it's at that point?

DEMIRJIAN: It's all up to China. It's been all up to China for a long time. I mean, China is the one that actually has the most leverage over North Korea, and, you know, the idea of using sharper terms to call the North Korean leader a nut job versus somebody who is the leader of a rogue state is all well and good. But the basic chess game of this has not changed. Except for the fact that we're now talking in bigger and bolder terms about military options and leading open the question of, would there be a strike, but one that isn't backed by anything --

KING: And the president comes back tomorrow and says we're going to have another investigation of what he views is unfair Chinese trade practices, is that enough to push China?

DEMIRJIAN: Again, this is something he has been kicking around for a very, very long time as a discussion point on Capitol Hill that nobody passed a bill to sanction China. Very, very big step.

RAJU: Capitol Hill doesn't know what the president is going to do. Some leaders of the key committees have been briefed on the plans of going forward.

[08:25:04] I think they're just as much in the dark as a lot of the country, a lot of the rest of the world is.

KING: We'll see the president again interrupting his vacation and come back to Washington tomorrow to deliver his statement on the Chinese aspect of this. We'll see if he takes some questions. People have some other questions for the president as well.

Up next, did the president fail a key leadership test in his response yesterday for that Virginia violence?


KING: Welcome back. The day after story from Charlottesville, Virginia, should be about

concerns for those killed and hurt and about condemning hatred and bigotry, led by our leaders, including our president.


TRUMP: We must remember this truth, no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first.


KING: There should be no argument there, whatever your politics, but specificity matters at times of testing. And here, the president fell far short of condemning the white supremacist, the neo-Nazis stirring the weekend hatred.


TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.


KING: It's interesting when you watch that and you watch it repeatedly. A lot of people have noted the president was reading from a script and that many sides, he waves his hand, not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, long time was clearly an ad lib.

And that is where a lot of people - people close to the president want to attach their name to it, saying this is - on days like this and moments like this, we needed him to keep his head on that script instead we have this.

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Also, it wasn't about the president before he said that. It was about the country. Now, it's about the president because he said that.

KING: And his daughter this morning, Ivanka Trump tweeting at 8 or 9 this morning, "There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis. We must all come together as Americans and be one country united. #Charlottesville"

Good for her. Good for her. And I'll say it again, good for her, but she is not the president. Where is the president?

MARGARET TALEV, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "BLOOMBERG POLITICS": And we don't know whether the president will re-tweet his daughter now. That is in a lot of ways how you measure what he's reading, what is getting his attention and he has been re-tweeting - already concerned about law enforcement officers sort of killed as part of their response yesterday.

So, look, I think the next few hours really are important in terms of the White House and this President understanding the implications of that vacuum, what the reactions has been in deciding how to step in. MICHAEL SHEAR IS A WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": John, rhetoric is important. And we have been talking a lot about what he says. But some of his policy, and it wasn't that long ago before this incident that it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security, as it sort of renew some grants on combating extremism, they're refocusing towards extremism by Muslims, but dropping programs that were aimed at white nationalists and neo-Nazis and the like.

Part of what they have to - the White House has to look at is not just what he says, but what this White House does in pursuing this kind of thing and what that says about where - kind of wear this White House (INAUDIBLE).

KING: To that point, before you jump in, I do want to note that the attorney general of the United States got out ahead of the President late last night, approaching the 11 o'clock hour, but the attorney general issued a statement.

"The violence and death of Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice." He went on to say the FBI is involved and the US attorney has started an investigation down there. They potentially will look into hate crimes, maybe domestic terrorism, civil rights issues. So, the attorney general out ahead of the president.

Before you jump in, I just want to say we've talked a lot about so many Republicans, so many Republicans worried, frankly, about the direction of their party, coming and out saying, Mr. President, you fell far short, you need to say a lot more, you need to step up, call evil evil, name names, if you will.

Democrats also involved in that. Nancy Pelosi tweeting directly at the President yesterday, "Repeat after me, @realDonaldTrump, white supremacy is an affront to American values."

Again, I don't care whether you're a Democrat, Republican, independent, not quite clear in your politics, you can't argue with that. Why does the president not embrace it?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: This reminds me a lot of the whole David Duke flap during the campaign season when he was asked by Jake Tapper whether or not he would disavow white supremacists, David Duke.

And he said, I don't know David Duke initially and that led to days of negative coverage. Republican after Republican at that point came out and criticized Trump, to criticize David Duke.

And then, the president said later when he was asked belatedly, "oh, of course, I disavow David Duke," but almost in a flippant way and not as direct as a lot of people would like.

The question is, how does he deal with it now when he's asked Monday. He said on Friday that he is prepared to have a press conference on Monday. We'll see if they still do that. And of course, this will be a question that comes up then. But, today, what does he say? No publics events on the schedule at the moment?

DEMIRJIAN: You asked in the last segment, is this a breaking point basically for Republicans? And the question I think that needs to be answered is like, OK, maybe, but a breaking point of what? Like, where will the break be?

A breaking point where we talk about what our moral stance is on Twitter or a breaking point where it actually matters in terms of backing the president in various other things that he does and policy measures in places where it would actually matter in a day-to-day.

I mean, this matters. I'm not trying to say that. But, like, we're not in election season, right, where there's actually people going to the polls.

KING: We are getting closer by the day. We are getting closer by the day.

DEMIRJIAN: We're talking about healthcare. We're talking about tax reform. We're talking about a whole bunch of - we're talking about the open questions of what's the end of the Russia probe. Does it affect any of that, which actually was what affects the President's safety in his tenure in a day-to-day way.

KING: But I think you make a key point that this is a character test, a morality test to the President. The Republicans are pushing, saying, President, you failed this test yesterday, you failed the character test, you failed the morality test.

They have also recently broken from him on policy issues. They don't trust him as a conservative. They think he tweets and does other things to undermine their negotiations, but there's the history - as we continue the conversation, Manu brought up the Jake Tapper conversation about David Duke. This goes way back in the campaign, just to refresh your memory.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?

TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke, OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy and white supremacists.

I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about. You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.


KING: Not know actually. We would want you to condemn - David Duke is very well known. You don't have to know him. You don't have to meet him. We know what he stands for and what he says. It's pretty easy to say, no, that has no place. There's that. And then, remember, the judge, that Mexican American

judge who was overseeing the Trump university. And again, it's the history that bothers a lot of Republicans.


[10:05:00] TRUMP: He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings, rulings that people can't even believe. This is a case that should have ended.

This judge is giving unfair rulings. Now, I say why? Well, I'm building a wall, OK? And it's a wall between Mexico - not another country. In my opinion -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's from Indiana.

TRUMP: He's Mexican heritage. He's very proud of it.


KING: You try to step back and let the Trump supporters out there watching or saying, how dare you go back and pull all that up. Let's start from today. All that happened, whether you agree with the president, whether you think he was misunderstood, whether you think that was taken out of context, why hasn't he learned the lesson, understanding the world he lives in and he's now the president of the United States.

SHEAR: And I think the reason it's interesting and helpful to go back and play all those is because it reminds you that the pattern is always the same. Manu said it before. He gets caught saying something that gets a bad reaction and then it goes days and days and days.

He sort of resists correcting it because he sees it as an attack on him and an admission of failure. And this is a not a guy that admits failure or that says I'm sorry very easily.

So, I don't know that we should all be surprised that this goes for days.

KING: It's a great point because when he looked up yesterday and said not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, to your point, that's when he made about him because he gets sensitive or defensive about these issues.

Up next, the special counsel investigation turns a critical corner. A morning raid at the home of president's campaign chief and now where key West Wing players are being asked for records and for interviews.


[08:41:10] KING: Welcome back. The president may call it a hoax and a lame Democratic excuse, but the Russia investigation is hitting closer and closer to home. First word of an early-morning FBI raid on a home owned by former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. That bold tactic clearly got the president's attention.


TRUMP: I thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever. I know Mr. Manafort. I haven't spoken to him in a long time, but I know him. He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time, but I've always known him to be a good man.

I thought that was a very - it's pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there, I think that's pretty tough stuff.


KING: Now, we knew Manafort and the president's elder son Donald Trump Jr. are under investigation for meetings and contacts with Russians.

And now "The New York Times" is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion or interference includes interest in talking to current and former top West Wing staffers including the former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. That's the stuff that gets under the president's skin.


TRUMP: There is no collision. You know why? Because I do not speak to Russians. Look, I won because I suppose I was a much better candidate than her. I won because I went to Wisconsin, I went to Michigan, I won Pennsylvania, I fought a smart battle. That's why I won. I didn't win because of Russia. Russia had nothing to do with me winning. The thing that - we had a great team and I guess I did a good job.


KING: We don't know where this goes. The president knows a lot more about it than we do and his legal team does.

But when you raid Paul Manafort's home and when you're now saying we want to talk to White House officials, including the former chief of staff about the firing of James Comey, who was in the meeting.

What did the present say beforehand? What did he say after? Who else was involved in the decision? That's about potential interference or obstruction more than the collusion that the president always says never happened. Again, we don't know where it's going, but we do know just those two developments that we're at this for a while.

RAJU: And we do know this is going to become - continue to be major distraction for this White House. I mean, these White House officials are lawyering up, they need attorneys to deal with a lot of these questions that are going to come from Bob Mueller.

The president can dismiss this all he wants, but this is incredibly serious. Bob Mueller has a significant team of lawyers who are digging into this. They have a budget where they are going to go at this pretty aggressively. We're talking a lot about the issue of possible coordination and collusion.

There are other meetings that have not been reported yet that clearly Mueller is looking into as well. They have leads, of course, exploring these things. And the issue of obstruction is another separate issue from the whole idea of possible collusion. So, the president can dismiss it all he wants, but this is very serious.

KING: And in a White House that has recurring chaos and recurring disruption that we didn't mention, where is the chief of staff in this whole Charlottesville response. He was supposed to bring focus and discipline to the White House.

But what I remember from the Clinton White House days, when a day has to go before a grand jury or going to (INAUDIBLE) just starts a conversation across the building that has nothing to do with what you're trying to accomplish that day.

TALEV: We are in the phase now where everybody who doesn't have a lawyer is getting a lawyer or looking for a lawyer. And guess what, that is no surprise. This is actually the least surprising development. We have always known that this was coming.

And as you begin to see major and key staff turnovers, which you would at White House, but usually after the one-year mark or the two-year mark, things are a little sped up now. But you're going to see people moving on. You've seen a couple of big ones, like Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer.

That makes them a different kind of target or subject for investigators to want to talk to because when they become detached from the White House, their knowledge of the day-to-day receives a little bit, but their knowledge of what they knew when they were there perhaps becomes easier to talk about.

[10:45:08] And even if some of these aides still feel loyalty to the president, even if they think the president didn't do anything wrong, they still have information about basic facts, were you in the room during that meeting, what happened, what didn't happen, what was said, what wasn't said, what memos are there, and that helps the investigators to build timelines or kind of fact sheets for whatever it is that they're going toward.

SHEAR: And the truth is, regardless of John Kelly coming in, an investigation like this is not like regular politics. It can't be controlled and that's what the developments of the week remind us, is that that investigation marches forward and there is no amount of political spin or whatever that's going to stop it.

KING: All right. To your point earlier about Republican cracks, the Republicans on Capitol Hill support Bob Mueller, support their own investigations 1000 percent.

DEMIRJIAN: Right, they do. As they have said a long time, they think that Mueller is pretty much beyond approach. They support Jeff Sessions staying in place who, if he goes, that would be a way for Trump to begin to try to get rid of Mueller and they also think that the investigation will exonerate him, but the more steps Trump takes to try to dissuade things, the more difficult he's making it for himself.

KING: Difficult, he makes it. Everybody, sit tight. Our reporters share from the notebooks next including the president's feud with the Senate majority leader and an endorsement that has the GOP base labeling the president "back stabber."


[08:51:03] KING: I suppose it's busy hours. We always do head around the INSIDE POLITICS and ask our great reporters to share a little bit from their notebooks to help get you out ahead of the big political news just around the corner. Margaret Talev?

TALEV: It's - with North Korea and what happened at Charlottesville, (INAUDIBLE) there is like a lot of other stuff going on, but Vice President Mike Pence heading out for a Latin America trip. And this is something I'm going to be watching in the coming days, some big important countries here, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and they all kind of make a ring around Venezuela and, of course, with the tensions and real concerns given Maduro's behavior, President Trump's threat of military options in Venezuela as a potential option, the Vice President's conversations particularly in Colombia are going to be really important to watch.

KING: Let's just see how he explains that in the neighborhood. Fun to watch. Manu?

RAJU: John, Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law, is under focus from the Senate Judiciary Committee which sent a letter to the White House and the FBI asking for responses to his security clearance form by July 6.

Now, Kushner's outside attorney did respond about the security clearance, but I was told by a Chuck Grassley representative on Friday that they want the White House to respond in full to a series of questions including whether or not the President, the White House intervened in any way during the background check process as well as these questions about his lack of disclosure of these foreign contacts as well as that Russian Ambassador meeting and the Russian banker Sergei Gorkov.

One key question they want to know is whether or not he could be trusted with sensitive security information. Grassley has told me in the past he's willing to subpoena if he does not get information for this.

So, Jared Kushner came to Capitol Hill late July, the Senate Intelligence Committee senators do want to talk to him and the Senate Judiciary Committee wants more answers as well.

KING: Noteworthy. More pressure from a Republican on the White House. Michael? SHEAR: So, planning has begun for, in the next few weeks, the UN General assembly which will be President Trump's first really big moment on the world stage to the entire global audience. It was already going to be an interesting moment with everything involving Russia.

When you add the North Korea and the Venezuela moment over the last few days, it's shaping up to be a really blockbuster UN General Assembly.

And not only watching what President Trump says in his address to the General Assembly, but even more interesting, maybe what some of these other world leaders say with him in the audience.

KING: Right. On his own turf. Karoun?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, President Trump spoke about a lot of things this week that caught a lot of members of the GOP off-guard. We're talking about locked and loaded, ready for a military strike in North Korea, potential trade wars with China, a military option for Venezuela, and now Charlottesville is this little cherry on top.

A lot of Republicans want to know what do you mean, Mr. President. We need details, we need explanations. They've spent a lot of time, many months, excusing many things on just fast Twitter fingers - that's just what he's saying off the cuff, but there is frustration building, especially as they have to decide this recess, do they stick by the president or maybe start to criticize him. And if they choose start to criticize him, that has implications for tax reform and really the Russia probe as we get back to DC next month.

KING: I think you see that divide starting to grow. I'll close with this. The president's repeated attacks of late on Senator Mitch McConnell do have a most receptive audience among grassroots and talk radio conservatives, who long have viewed the majority leader as a poster child for insider Washington and establishment deal making.

But that same base is mad at the president for what radio host Mark Levin calls a "stab in the back" to every conservative in this country. By that, he means the president's GOP primary endorsement of interim senator Luther Strange of Alabama. That endorsement over two more conservative anti-establishment Republicans.

Now, many Trump allies see the president's decision rightly so as a big win for McConnell and a big win for the pro-business establishment groups, like the Chamber of Commerce.

And they see it as proof the populist chief White House strategist Steven Bannon, who makes no secret of his disdain for establishment leaders like McConnell and those establishment groups, does not pack the inside punch those Trump supporters had hoped for heading into the 2018 mid-term cycle.

[10:55:12] That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday. Remember, we're also here weekdays at noon Eastern. Up next, more on the Charlottesville fallout on State of the Union with Jake Tapper.