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White House Press Briefing; Trump Won't Stop Comey; Trump London Mayor Comments. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] QUESTION: But is that going to hamper the appropriations if you want a three to six month time frame to be able to initiate what you're doing?
DAVID SHULKIN, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: We've already begun to engage, starting today, with - with the appropriations leadership in both the Senate and the House.
And I will tell you that this is something that Congress has been asking for. I believe that they will support this.
Of course, this has to be a dialogue between us. They have to make sure that we're making the decision at the benefit of the taxpayers, as well as veterans and active servicemembers.
But I do believe we will have the leadership and the partnership to get us there.
QUESTION: Just to clarify, one last thing. If -- if this is an off- the-shelf system, this is not a low-bid process. That's why you're going with speed, right? You are not putting this out to bid. You have selected the vendor.
SHULKIN: We -- we have not agreed upon any pricing, but I can assure you that before we were to sign off on a contract, we are going to make sure that this is the best value for taxpayers.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary...
QUESTION: ... kind of (ph) -- you've had a couple questions around this. What kind of fights do you anticipate in Congress when this -- by -- by selecting this vendor and not having a competitive bid? There will be some pushback, right?
SHULKIN: Well, this wouldn't be Washington if there wasn't pushback.
But I don't expect -- I do not expect any major fights on this. I think that the one thing that I feel extremely proud about, about the way that Congress has acted when it comes to veterans' issues, is the bipartisan support when it's the right thing to do for this country's veterans. And I do expect that -- that to essentially carry through on this.
That does not mean that it is not appropriate to ask hard questions, to make sure that the due diligence is there, to make sure -- as we said, this is a risky process -- that we've thought about everything and that we've considered people who have different options.
But in the end, I do believe this is something that we will see strong bipartisan support for.
QUESTION: And another version of one of my colleague's questions.
EHR has been promised before. Why is it going to happen -- it was promised during the previous administration. Why is it going to happen now? You say bipartisan support, but we haven't seen a lot of evidence of that in Washington. So what makes you hopeful at -- for this time?
SHULKIN: Well, I've not seen the Department of Veteran Affairs come out with this type of decision before, so I think that this is new. We now know what is in the best interest of veterans, and we're moving ahead with -- with an accelerated process so that we can get this done.
And I do believe that this is exactly what Congress has asked us to do. I can count four times when they've asked DOD and V.A. to get in the same room, and I can count four times when V.A. and DOD left doing separate things.
So this one's going to be different. The Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs are together in lockstep on this, and the president is behind this, and we need Congress to support it and I believe that support will be there.
Yes, all the way in the back.
QUESTION: Thank you.
You mentioned how suicide prevention is one of your top priorities here (ph).
SHULKIN: Prevent -- suicide prevention, yes.
QUESTION: Yes. In that context, are you willing, maybe, to sit down with DOD and encourage the active duty officers (ph) to go on record about their mental problems and issues while they are still on active duty so you avoid, in a way, that it shows up only after they leave the service?
SHULKIN: We are -- we are doing exactly that. We are in discussions with the Department of Defense. Secretary Mattis and I have talked about this. We know that what we're doing is not enough, and we have to look at exactly the issues that start in the Department of Defense and make sure that we're addressing them. The transition time is -- and -- and that gap between when you leave active service to when you enter as a civilian and you get health care. We have to -- that's an area that we have to pay particular concern about. That's why this EHR is going to be helpful. But we have to look all the way back into the process, just as you're suggesting. So we are doing that, yes.
You mentioned seven blue-ribbon commissions have recommended something...
QUESTION: ... along these lines. What's been the opposition in the past, the main reason it hasn't happened, or...
SHULKIN: Well, I -- I think one of the things that we're doing differently in this administration is -- is that we're essentially eliminating some of the silos and turf battles. And, frankly, I think that, if you put the veteran and the servicemember first, you would come to the conclusion that we've come to today.
But nobody likes to give up power and control over their system. In the Department of Veteran Affairs, we are very, very proud of our history of being the first major system to develop an electronic medical record. This was done over 30 years ago by brave clinicians who went on their own and developed this.
So giving this up -- I do not want to underestimate how difficult that will be for people in the Department of Veteran Affairs. Change is not easy, but when you've had that for 30 years, it's going to be really hard.
SHULKIN: So this is -- this is a major decision for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
And as I've said previously, I wish the Department of Defense had joined us years and years ago so that we could be working together. But that isn't the situation I faced as secretary. They've moved forward. It's time that we move forward and come together.
Take one more question.
QUESTION: I'll just drill down on a question...
QUESTION: ... Zeke asked, which was the Office of American Innovation that's here in the White House. You mentioned they are one of the stakeholders you consulted with. Can you speak about that role, specifically Jared Kushner, who helps lead that office, and what kind of interactions you've had with him in developing this?
SHULKIN: Yeah. Yeah.
When I -- when I became secretary and -- and the office was stood up, they indicated a strong interest in helping the Department of Veteran Affairs, which I welcomed.
And when we sat down and they said, "Talk about the pain points. What do you really need to do to make a -- a quantum leap in where you are?" I identified the electronic record.
And what we talked about is best practices, about how industries make quantum changes, how you go out and solicit information from leader -- leaders in the field to make sure that you get the right stakeholders and opinions.
And so they were advisory in this process. This decision, though, was fully my decision to make, and there was no influence ever put on this. But they were very helpful in helping us keep and move the process along, and in facilitating discussions with the Department of Defense, as well.
Thank you very much, everyone. Appreciate it. SANDERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
As the vice president noted this morning, the American people elected a builder to be the 45th president of the United States, a builder who has a vision for modernizing the entire federal government.
Secretary Shulkin just spoke about how that vision is being carried out at the V.A. And this morning, the president launched a great new era in American aviation, starting with the modernization of our outdated air traffic control system.
Today, everything from the cars on the road to the cell phones in our pockets use GPS technology. But Washington has been unable to upgrade the air traffic control system from ground-based radio and radar systems, despite 14 years of attempts by the FAA. This delay has left us stuck with a system that just can't keep up with an industry that has grown exponentially since it was designed.
Our current air traffic control system costs our economy as much as $25 billion a year in delays, inefficiency and unreliability. This is a problem that nearly everyone agrees needs to be solved.
Joining the president today were representatives from the Air Traffic Controllers Union, passenger advocates, leaders of airline and cargo companies, and every former COO of the FAA. And those aren't groups that typically agree on much of anything.
But even with all of these stakeholders behind air traffic control reform, it was still stuck in the Washington political machine. President Trump was elected to unstick these kind of common- sense efforts, and will be continuing to work with Congress on getting these principles turned into legislation and getting that legislation to the president's desk. To accompany the president's announcement, the Department of Transportation today launched a new micro-site -- that's SmarterSkies.gov -- which will continually be updated with fact sheets, Q&A, and other information regarding ATC reform.
Infrastructure is only one of the many action items on the president's legislative agenda. The health care team is engaging with Congress daily on the American Health Care Act, which we hope to see the Senate take up soon.
New stories of skyrocketing premiums and fleeing providers are coming almost every day.
Just last Friday, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Nebraska announced that they are canceling their Obamacare-compliant bronze and catastrophic plans, and the only remaining plans they currently -- which are the only remaining plans they currently sell on the exchange. That leaves the entire state with only one choice for insurance on the exchanges. And that insurance -- insurer raised rates by 51 percent last year and is threatening to pull out of Iowa completely. With our health care system breaking down around us, this administration is committed to finding a solution. This afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of HHS Services (sic) Dr. Tom Price, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma are holding a listening session with female small-business owners to talk about how we will repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that benefits all Americans.
Tomorrow, the president will welcome representatives and senators to the White House to talk more about what's next on the legislative agenda, including repealing and replacing Obamacare and crafting a revolutionary tax reform proposal that will provide relief to hardworking taxpayers.
SANDERS: And on Wednesday, Infrastructure Week continues with the president's visit to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he will speak about his wide-ranging vision for rebuilding our country, with a special focus on repairing our 12,000-mile inland waterway system, which carries $230 billion in commerce annually, while our locks and dams crumble because the federal government can't fund the critical repairs they need. The president will present his sustainable solution to this problem in Ohio on Wednesday.
And because I know all of you are very deeply concerned about the birth of each of my children, I wanted to carry on with tradition and announce that my son George will be 2 on Thursday. So happy early birthday to George.
And with that, I'll take your questions.
SANDERS: John Roberts?
QUESTION: Sarah, as you know, also, on Wednesday, as the president heads to Ohio, James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and there's a question as to whether or not the White House will allow him to testify -- or -- pardon me?
QUESTION: Did I say -- did I say Wednesday? I'm still jet- lagged.
SANDERS: Wasn't that nice of your colleagues, to so politely correct you?
QUESTION: I'm still jet-lagged. Yeah, sorry. On Thursday.
SANDERS: If only they had that same politeness when correcting us.
QUESTION: He's scheduled to testify on Thursday, and there's a question as to whether or not you will invoke executive privilege, or if you will allow him to testify.
And then I have a second question. SANDERS: Sure.
The president's power to exert executive privilege is very well established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony.
QUESTION: I have a follow-up on that question.
On the president's tweets regarding the travel ban, Kellyanne Conway's husband pointed out that such tweets are not helpful when it comes to the solicitor general's ability to make an argument -- an effective argument before the Supreme Court. Is the president concerned that he may be tainting the waters of the legal system by issuing such tweets?
SANDERS: Not at all.
The president is very focused on exactly what that order spells out, and that's protecting Americans, protecting national security. And he has every constitutional authority to do that through that executive order, and he maintains that, and that position hasn't changed in the slightest.
QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.
Why is the president picking a fight with the mayor of London right after his city was hit by a terrorist attack?
SANDERS: I -- I don't see that the president is -- is picking a fight with the mayor of London at all.
I think, again, the president's point, as something he said, frankly, back -- gosh, it's been almost two years now -- a year and a half ago, when the president talked about how we have to be more committed to national security, one of the reasons we have the travel ban here through that executive order is a focus on national security. That was the point he was trying to make.
QUESTION: But -- but the president -- but the president is saying that -- that the mayor said there's no reason to be alarmed by the terrorist attack. That is not what the mayor said. The mayor, in fact, said that the threat level remains severe, that the chances of another attack are highly likely.
He was saying, "Don't be alarmed by the armed police presence on the street," and the president directly misrepresented what the mayor of London said.
SANDERS: I don't think that's actually true. I think that the media wants to spin it that way, but I think that the president...
(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: Do you think that the mayor was saying there's no reason to be alarmed by an attack on his city? You think that's what -- what he was saying?
SANDERS: Look, I -- I think the point is is there is a reason to be alarmed. We have constant attacks going on, not just there, but across the globe, and we have to start putting national security and global security at an all-time high.
President Trump has been very clear that's his priority, and he's not backing away from that.
QUESTION: Sarah, what -- what was the president's reaction to the move by several Middle Eastern allies to sever ties with Qatar?
SANDERS: Look, the president's committed to continuing to have conversations with all of the people involved in that process -- with all of those countries. We want to continue to deescalate that. And at this point, we're continuing to work with each of those partners.
QUESTION: Secondly, did the president get any word that this was going to happen when he was in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago?
SANDERS: I'm not aware of that, but the State Department would probably be best suited to answer that question.
You just mentioned the word "ban." The president, when he was tweeting earlier today, said, "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is: a travel ban." But early on in the administration, when you were trying to justify -- when this White House was trying to justify the executive order on extreme vetting and these travel restrictions, the White House was adamant that these were travel restrictions; that it was not a travel ban. Sean Spicer, from that podium, said it was not a travel ban.
Is it a travel ban?
SANDERS: Look, I -- I don't think the president cares what you call it, whether you call it a ban, whether you call it a restriction.
QUESTION: I'm asking about what he called it (ph).
SANDERS: He -- he cares that we call it national security, and that we take steps to protect the people of this country.
SANDERS: It's real simple. Everybody wants to get into the labels and the semantics of it, but the bottom line is he's trying to protect the citizens of this country. The danger is extremely clear, the law is very clear and the need for this executive order is very clear, and the president's priority in protecting the people is very clear. Full stop.
QUESTION: And let me ask you a follow-up on the -- what John was asking about with respect to the mayor of London. There are going to be folks who are going to ask the question "Was the president attacking the mayor of London because he's Muslim?"
SANDERS: Not at all. And I think to suggest something like that is utterly ridiculous.
QUESTION: Given the importance of Twitter...
SANDERS: Sorry, I said Matthew. That's OK. I'll go to you and then we'll come back.
QUESTION: All right. Thank you.
Given the importance of Twitter in the president's communication strategy, can you tell us if his tweets are now being vetted by a lawyer or any other aide? And if not, why not? Or if so, when did that start?
SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.
But I think social media for the president is extremely important. It gives him the ability to speak directly to the people without the bias of the media filtering those types of communication. He has -- at this point, has over 100-plus million contacts through social media and all those platforms. I think it's a very important tool for him to be able to utilize.
QUESTION: So, I have a question about those executive order comments the president made this morning.
He said that he wishes that his Justice Department had stuck with the original executive order. DOJ, of course, is part of the executive branch. If he wanted to stick with the original E.O., why didn't he order the Department of Justice to stick with that? Why did he even sign the revised one if he wanted to stick with the original?
SANDERS: In the purpose they were trying to meet the demands of the 9th Circuit.
But again, the president's been very clear: He wants to go as far and strong as possible under the Constitution to protect the people in this country. That's what he felt the first executive order did. The second one was another version of that.
But look, let's be really clear about what this is. These are six countries that were identified, not just by this administration, but by the Obama administration and by Congress, that are dangerous, they're unstable, they're volatile, and, frankly, they're not capable or are unwilling to even vet people coming in or out.
That's what this is about. Everybody wants to make it something different than national security issue, and that's exactly what it is. And that's why the president's so focused on pushing it forward in the strongest form possible.
QUESTION: But if it is that important as national security and if he believed the first one was safer and constitutional, then why did he sign the second one if now he's coming out today saying, "Oh, we never should have done the second one"?
SANDERS: He was looking to, again, match the demands laid out by the 9th Circuit and, for the purpose of expediency, to start looking at the best way possible to move that process forward.
QUESTION: ... I just want to clarify that. So does the -- as it is currently written, given that he called it, as Matthew's pointing out, politically correct, a watered-down version, does the president support his own travel ban as it is currently written?
Again, he -- he supports steps moving in the direction of all levels and forms possible. He wants the strongest executive order out there and he wanted to move as quickly as possible, and that was the reason for that purpose.
QUESTION: Two questions then.
The original intent of the travel ban was to provide a temporary pause in order to review immigration policies and procedures of those coming into the United States. That was January 21st/22nd. It has been nearly five months since then. What progress has the administration made looking and vetting and doing some of that while this travel ban is working its way through the court system?
SANDERS: Extreme vetting is taking place and that's something that's extremely important that was laid out in the memo. I think one other thing to...
SANDERS: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Specifically though, what has the administration been working on when it comes to extreme vetting?
SANDERS: Look, I think that, you know, if you want to get down into the details, I would refer you to the Department of Justice on some of those points.
But one of the things I can tell you is that there are over 300 people that are under investigation that are part of this process -- under investigation for terrorist-related activity -- in our system. And that's a large part of the vetting process that the president has stepped up.
QUESTION: And then last one for you. You just mentioned that the president's tweets are...
QUESTION: ... essentially a way to get around the filter of the biased media when it comes to his tweets; that he sees them as an important way to get his message out. Just this morning, another top adviser in this White House said that the media was obsessed with the president's tweets, implying they didn't matter.
So I guess just, philosophically, which is it: Do the president's tweets matter or are they just something that the media gets obsessed about?
SANDERS: I think that they matter in the sense that it gives him a communications tool, again, that isn't filtered through media bias. But at the same time, I do think that the media obsesses over every period, dot, as -- John was a perfect example earlier. He made a mistake. His colleague politely corrected him. If somebody from our administration had done the same, all hell would have broken loose and it would be the -- you know, it's just total chaos and conundrum here at the White House.
So I -- I think it's just the obsession over every detail of the president's tweets.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) statement?
SANDERS: That come directly from the president's Twitter account? No.
QUESTION: So to follow up on -- on the whole travel ban thing, the president also said this morning he'd like the Department of Justice to ask the Supreme Court for an expedited hearing. Has he done that? Has he asked the DOJ for an expedited hearing?
SANDERS: He has.
QUESTION: OK. So he struck (ph) it down to (inaudible).
SANDERS: He -- he has asked for an expedited process, I can say that.
QUESTION: And then, secondly, can you say, on the ambassador -- the U.S. ambassador to the U.K., can you say why we don't have one yet? Is there a reason for the delay? Anything in particular?
SANDERS: I'm not aware of that and I'll have to check and get back to you on that.
SANDERS: Sure, Major?
QUESTION: Sarah, following up on that last question, in addition to seeking the expedited process, the president said, "so we can seek a much tougher version." Is a third version of the travel ban in the works?
SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of. But I know that, again...
QUESTION: What should we take from that presidential statement?
SANDERS: That the president's going to continue taking aggressive steps every single day to protect the people in this country. I don't think that there's...
QUESTION: ... the president ask DOJ to contemplate a tougher approach?
SANDERS: I think he's asked the entire administration to look for ways we can defeat ISIS and to protect the American people. And if that's part of that process, it could be. But I don't know specifically if that's part of it.
QUESTION: And, Sarah, from your vantage point then, based on the questions that Jonathan and Jim asked, what is the origin of this confusion or misunderstanding about what the president said about the mayor of London? Is it the mayor of London's fault?
SANDERS: I'm sorry, I'm not following what you're asking.
QUESTION: Well, the mayor of London and many there feel that the president not only took the comments that the mayor of London made out of context, but compounded an emotionally difficult experience for Londoners.
What's -- who's to -- to blame for that? Are they misinterpreting the president, or did the president make a mistake?
SANDERS: Look, the president's been extremely clear that we stand in complete solidarity with the United Kingdom in protecting that relationship and that partnership. And we're fully committed to doing everything we can to help them in this process, and we condemn any act even similar to that.
QUESTION: Sarah, how -- how is the president not contradicting this administration when he tweets out "TRAVEL BAN" in caps, and when you're talk about extreme vetting? How does he not contradict himself when he's trying to get this thing to go through the Supreme Court?
SANDERS: Well, again, I -- I don't know how many times I have to answer this question today. But I'll try to do it one more time.
SANDERS: I -- I think that the president isn't concerned with what you call it. He's concerned with national security and protecting people in this country. Whether you call it a travel ban...
QUESTION: ... and he goes from one extreme to the next, and then goes back to the first. And the Supreme Court...
SANDERS: He's not concerned with being politically correct. He's concerned with protecting the American people. I mean, that's the bottom line here. And, you know, he's going to take whatever step he can to move that agenda forward.
QUESTION: But does he believe this could be a loss for him going (ph) -- for him and this administration, with this extreme vetting or travel ban, going from "travel ban" to "extreme vetting," back to "travel ban," on Twitter in extreme caps?
SANDERS: I don't think he thinks any step he takes towards moving the ball forward and protecting the American people and implementing the executive order is ever going to be a mistake.
QUESTION: I have a question: Where's Sean?
SANDERS: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Where's Sean? SANDERS: He's here today.
QUESTION: Why didn't he come out?
SANDERS: This is part of my job as well. Did you guys ever ask any of the other deputy press secretaries when they filled...
QUESTION: ... position now?
SANDERS: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: Is he in a new position now, or are you just...
SANDERS: I mean, he is taking on a little bit of extra duty at this point, so I think it's...
QUESTION: ... should change that (ph)?
SANDERS: It's probably upgraded at this point, given that where we don't have a communications director...
SANDERS: I did not say that at all.
QUESTION: Well, can you -- can you give us a little bit more...
SANDERS: I'm just filling in for the day, April. There are a lot of demands on his schedule, particularly given the fact that there's not a communications director. And this is part of my job as well, and when I'm needed, I'll step in.
SANDERS: Nothing -- nothing...
One of the main stories (ph) (inaudible) in Washington suggested that, in fact, in Brussels, the president was given a draft that -- of his speech to the NATO partners that suggested that he would invoke, or at least respect, the Article 5 commitments.
The -- a senior administration official told us flatly that the president himself did not take the Article 5 reference out of the speech. So, Sarah, who did? SANDERS: I'm not aware of that, and I'd have to check back and let you know.
QUESTION: You could stay longer.
[14:24:34] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You've been watching the White House press briefing. That was Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Once again, the administration forced to defend the president's tweets. This time those tweets may end up undermining the president's own agenda on the travel ban. And he also slammed the mayor of London in his tweets just two days after a terror attack there.
There's another headline emerging above it all. It has to do with James Comey, the fired FBI director, who is expected to testify in three days.
[14:25:04] And I want to go to Gloria Borger, our CNN chief political analyst.
Gloria, that was a huge headline when the White House came out and said they will not exert executive privilege.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Yes, it is a huge headline. It means that James Comey's testimony on Thursday will go on as scheduled. It also might mean, quite frankly, that the White House knew that its case on executive privilege might be interpreted by the American public as a president that had something to hide. And it might also mean that they believe that their legal case might be diminished because the president tweets so much about James Comey and about his conversations with James Comey. Remember when he tweeted he said, James Comey told me I was not the - you know, I was not being investigated as part of the Russia investigation. So I think that all those things taken into consideration, they made the smart move, which was, you know, which was not to take executive privilege.
I would also add that the thing that struck me about this press conference is that Sarah Huckabee spent a lot of her time trying to square a circumstance, which is difficult. And what she was trying to do was say that the president did not in fact insult the mayor of London after he, of course, tweeted calling him pathetic and that the president did not actually misinterpret what the mayor said, which if you read what the mayor said, which was that he didn't want his people to be alarmed by the presence of more armed police in the street, rather than don't be alarmed period.
BORGER: And she stood there in a way that was astonishing to me trying to explain that the president didn't insult the mayor and then she went on to say that there is reason to be alarmed.
CABRERA: Right. Right.
BORGER: As just echoing what Donald Trump meant. And I just - I mean you could see from the reporters' faces in there it was - it was astonishing.
CABRERA: Well, again, Chris Cillizza, I want to ask you this, when you heard that response to why is the mayor picking a fight with - or why is the president picking a fight with the mayor of London following a terror attack, she straight up said, he's not picking a fight. What's your reaction to how she responded?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes. Well, in a way, this wasn't Sean Spicer, Ana, but it was sort of the tactics that Sean Spicer's put into place over the last, you know, couple weeks certainly and certainly over the last week, which is, just create an alternate reality. If the questions are about x, say y. And then just continue to defend it.
Gloria's 100 percent right, when you call the mayor of London pathetic, and the mayor of London takes that as an insult, it's kind of hard for the White House press secretary or deputy press secretary to say, that's not an insult. This is the impossibility of trying to manage a message with Donald Trump. Remember that James Comey was fired because of that memo Rod Rosenstein wrote. Or Donald Trump tells NBC he fired him because of the Russia stuff.
Over and over and over again, Donald Trump outruns attempts to manage him message wise. It makes this job - Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, any other person you could possibly think of, it makes it impossible, because as Gloria points out, you are trying to do something that cannot be done. You are trying to pretend that there's a consistency of message here that any reasoning logical person can see simply does not exist.
CABRERA: And they're also saying don't read into his tweets so much - too much. Don't overanalyze them.
Laura Coates, given that we now have on the record, they're not going to invoke executive privilege. The president will not invoke executive privilege and they say because he wants to have a swift investigation, wants to get to the facts. What did you think about them coming out and saying that he's not going to do this?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's odd that you would say, I don't intend to do what I never had the power to really do in the first place. I mean the executive privilege is kind of a toothless animal for the president of the United States at this point. James Comey is no longer a federal employee or a subordinate of the executive branch. It's really the threat looming over him to have privilege asserted would be, he could be fired for insubordination. That's not an issue for a private citizen.
And, number two, the issues surrounding this really (INAUDIBLE) what happened before he actually took office presumably. So things took (INAUDIBLE) before you were actually president of the United States are not under executive privilege in the first place. So the idea that he couldn't do what he couldn't do already or won't do what he couldn't do isn't really giving him a lot of credit.
[14:29:51] But on Ryan and Gloria's point, one more thing, the job - who has the worst job right now is the entire Justice Department who is trying very, very steadfastly to promote a consistent constitutional message for the travel ban and they cannot do so at this point based on the tweeting, based on his statements, based on his pre-campaign and his now post-campaign now presidential speech