What should we expect from Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee? Did Sessions have a third meeting with the Russian Ambassador? Does it matter? Is firing Special Counsel Mueller a smart move? If Trump wants to salvage his policy agenda, does he need to move on? Dan & Amy discussed Mueller's status, Sessions' testimony and Trump's agenda with Washington Examiner Columnist Paul Bedard.
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Dan Proft: Morning Dan and Amy, it’s a big day here, we’ve got our sister station, while all has their golf outing. Amy Jacobson: Yeah Bolingbrook. Dan: We’ve got ours Thursday, and then we’ve got some new swag today, New Salam media group hats, and pretty sporting, I like it, and it says I’m a warrior on the back of the hat. Amy: Which is a reference to the memo that we got, that you read. Dan: I didn’t read it, but I assumed like we’re prayer warrior or cultural warriors. Amy: How I feel exactly. Dan: I don’t know… Amy: Through our faith we can make a difference. Dan: Yeah, a prayer warrior, and also cultural warrior by extension. Amy: How do you work in a hat like this? Dan: This is great... Amy: This is bothersome. Dan: Yes. Amy: I can’t see around me, but it’s a slick looking hat so. Dan: Now I’m just kind of staring at myself in the room. Amy: Do you feel closer to God now that you have this warrior hat on. Dan: I feel closer to a dad singer, that’s who I need feel closer to, alright, so excuse me, Jeff Sessions testifies before a Congress today, the attorney general of the United States and there’s a real opportunities for him to provide some clarity to all the swirl being propagated by Democrats, as well as to address some of the things that Jim Comey said last week, to address the underlying reason Jim Comey was fired, to begin to perhaps help the Trump administration do a better job on communication with respect to a matter to borrow a Loretta Lynchism, where the facts seem decidedly on their side and you wouldn’t get that impression if you watched it from afar with just paying surface skimming attention, Chris Ruddy, friend of the President, CEO of NewsMax, didn’t help any when he suggested yesterday that there is a contemplation going on about special council Mueller’s future. We have Ruddy here. Chris Ruddy: I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel, I think he’s weighing that option, I think it’s pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently, I personally thing it would be a very significant mistake, even though I don’t think there’s a justification, and even though, I mean here you have a situation… Reporter: You don’t think there’s a justification for… Chris: For a special counsel in this case, but also I mean Robert Mueller, there’s some real conflicts, he comes from a law firm that represents members of the Trump family, he interviewed the day before, a few days, before he was appointed special counsel with the President, who was looking at him to potentially become the next FBI director, that hasn’t been published, but it’s true, and I think it would be strange that he would have a confidential conversation, and then a few days later become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating, I think that Mueller should not have taken the position if he was under consideration and had a private conversation with the President, and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation, or other matters before the bureau. Dan: So two things are interesting about Ruddy’s statements, one that the idea that Trump is potentially considering firing Mueller, which the White Houser rejected without responding to directly, the rejection was just in the form of, Chris Ruddy didn’t speak to the President on the matter, he’s just speaking for Chris Ruddy, that’s not the same thing as a denial, which is a bit odd, but also the idea that the real conflict that Mueller has is not because of his friendship with Comey, and his professional relationship when Comey was at Justice and Mueller was FBI director, the real conflict is that his firm represents members of the Trump family and that he interviewed Mueller as a possible replacement for Comey. Amy: Right, but also to keep in mind that there’s news out this morning from CNN and mainstream media, that members of Mueller’s team, for them, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. Dan: Right so, I mean… Amy: That doesn’t sit well with me… Dan: Right so, appearances of conflicts or you know… Amy: Well you know where they stand politically… Dan: Yeah, the lens through which they are going see things, now you can divorce yourself you’re your politics in terms of your professional responsibilities perhaps, but the whole thing is coming from a Trump ally, I mean with friends like this, who needs Adam Schiff, Chris Ruddy appeared just a few moments ago on Chris Cuomo’s show on CNN to further expand on what made headlines yesterday. Chris: The President spokesman issued, what I call a bizarre press release last night, saying that I had not spoken to the President about it and I said hey I never said I spoke to the president, and interesting enough they never denied my underlying report. Dan: Well that is interesting enough, but I don’t know how the conflict serves the interest of either one of them among others, David Frum, has weighed in on the prospect that Mueller would be fired. David Frum: I don’t want to sound like I have the limited imagination you condemn, but if President Trump does fire Robert Mueller, he might as well hire a sky rider to trace and smoke over the White House, I am super guilty. Dan: There’s nobody that I’ve heard that believes that firing Mueller is a good idea and I would certainly be in that camp, permanent cloud over the administration, a defacto PR admission of guilt, or a feeling that you are hiding something, Republicans jumping ship, legislative agenda by the boards, it would be potentially the effective end of this Presidency in substance. I doubt that’s happening, but it would be nice for the President to make a definitive statement as this is swirling around, because its these sorts of issues that detract away from the reality, the Democrats have no evidence, they have presented no case, and they’re the ones that should be on defence, rather than Trump and his administration, but it’s not the case right now, for more on this we’re pleased to be joined by Paul Bedard, he of course is the Washington Secrets column, for the Washington Examiner, washingtonexaminer.com, I read it regularly I actually use something that he unearthed just a few weeks ago on my commentaries, this is an FBI report about cop killers, which was very interesting about how many were motivated to, and why many of those who murdered cops last year were motivated to murder them per the FBI report, Paul Bedard thanks so much for joining us appreciate it. Paul Bedard: Hey Dan and Amy thanks. Dan: So, your take on what would be the best-case outcome would be from Sessions appearance today. Paul: Yeah, I think we’re looking to hear any major surprises, pretty much he’s already addressed everything that the Senate Intelligence Committee, with one slight exception, which is explaining this third meeting he had with the Russian ambassador, now Sessions has been saying all along, I’m a Senator, I meet with these people what is the big deal? And I think that will be kind of the thrust of his testimony today. Amy: Was it that though, a meeting or just they ended up at the same press conference together, because I saw CNN had highlighted Jeff Sessions and then the Russian ambassador and there were four seats apart but you do exchange pleasantries when you see someone you know. Paul: Yeah that’s it, Sessions who said that in his role as Senator, they meet with foreign diplomats all the time, especially the Russians since they’re the big bad dog in the room and he’ll have to address and say I think firmly that he did nothing to collude with the Russians to try and take Hillary Clinton down. Dan: Well I tell you what, this is fascinating to me on so many levels, it shows you the importance of proper communication, because the Trump administration is so badly mishandled, a fact-free allegation, legal reference free allegations and also just a little bit if institutional memory, Mitt Romney laughed off the staged, but President Obama on the prospect that Russia posed any threat what so ever. Today Dan Rather, saying Russia committed a psychological pearl harbour, it is just astounding that people that are that unhinged and that beset by contradiction would have the upper hand in this conversation. Paul: Well the whole part of the spin by the Democrats and in Washington especially that you hear which is, that there trying to delegitimise the Trump President, basically said that he was improperly elected, and they keep forgetting, she already got more votes than he did, she just blew it. Amy: What about asking why Comey got fired, and did he play a role in Comey’s firing. Paul: Yeah, I think so and there will also be questions about why did he allow Comey to go into the meeting with Trump alone, the one that he complained about, he said to Sessions, hey don’t leave me here alone, I think he’ll probably say something to the effect of the FBI director a big boy, he can handle himself, and the question will be just how hard the Democrats go after their former colleague Jeff Sessions and will that kind of cross a line. Dan: Well and what about Republicans I hope there not just going to be window dressing at this proceeding, they have some portions of testimony form Jim Comey to re-review as the exchanges with Loretta Lynch about the Hillary Clinton criminal investigation, the leaking of the memo, Comey’s own contradictions about what he said previously before Congress compared to what he said last week there’s a lot there for Republicans to pore over as well it seems to me. Paul: Yeah I think they’ll really want to know to what degree the communications were between Sessions and the FBI director was and did Jeff Sessions know about these memos, would he play any role in a blessing, in Comey’s decision to go through a college professor to leak to the New York Times, but I also think Sessions will be a very firm in saying that in reiterating what Trump has been saying for a month or so that he’s not under investigation. Dan: And on Mueller, do you see the prospect of firing Mueller, would be catastrophic if that was seriously under consideration. Paul: I mean generally sure, but part of me also says no, I mean we insist that is a political game that is going on in the city and unlike in the firing of Comey, it seems to me that once you’ve got a close friend like Chris Roddy, starting to leak out that there may be going to get rid of Mueller, I think this is the normal Washington process, we leak things out and it gets two weeks to kind of act as a trial balloon and he decides what to do, but his people would not be against it, because they were already describing him, the special prosecutor, as someone who is extremely partisan, hiring prosecutors so that’s a sign that he wants to after the President and in hiring Democrats you’ve got the whole PR operation outside the White House in which Chris Ruddy, Speaker Gingrich folks like that, he needs to go, but it would sit well with his people. Dan: Yeah so Gingrich called it a witch hunt and Napolitano is warning about this is tricky and they’re going to try and trip you up, and there going to try and walk both Sessions and Trump into perjuring themselves, but if you continue to play the comms game this way, it seems to me that you’re extending a story that hobbling the administration, rather than making one declarative address on the topic and saying I’m done talking about it, there’s nothing here, Mueller go do whatever you’re going to do, I’m getting back to the domestic policy agenda. Paul: It is using classic New York media style was, instead of like you’re suggesting rightfully, doing what past Presidents have done, which is move on, and hope to salvage your agenda, and if this is the fight he wants to pick and he wants to pick it every day, means that person is out tweeting again today about fake news and all that stuff, and Loretta Lynch, he’s losing valuable time for pushing infrastructure, changing Obamacare, whatever he wants to do. Dan: Yeah that’s my take on it, he is Paul Bedard, we appreciate his take on in Washington Examiner’s, Washington Secrets Committee columnist, check him out at washingtonexaminer.com and also twitter @secretsbedard, Paul thanks so much for joining us again, appreciate it. Paul: Thanks. Amy: And he joined us on our Turnkey dot pro answer line.