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Hurricane Maria Hits Dominica, Takes Aim at Puerto Rico; U.S. Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired September 19, 2017 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds like a tornado, and it feels like an earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be an incredibly strong storm as it continues on this track.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Catastrophic is the only way to put it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sources tell our team that the FBI got permission to monitor Paul Manafort before and after the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manafort has been in the crosshairs of this from the beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's much more aggressive than the norm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: this is, like, an unprecedented situation.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent years the United Nations has not reached its full potential.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is expected to use what aides are calling a harsh tone in talking about the threat posed by North Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has a tall order. He needs to show that he can be a world leader.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, September 19, 6 a.m. here in New York. Chris is off. John Berman joins me. Another busy news day.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New day, new hurricanes.

CAMEROTA: That's right. We're like a broken record.

But let's begin with breaking news right now, because there's another monster storm. Hurricane Maria barreling towards Puerto Rico. It is on course for a direct hit tomorrow. Puerto Rico's governor fears the impact could be, quote, "catastrophic." This is a Category 5 storm at the moment, meaning that it packs 160-mile-per-hour winds. It is devastating the Caribbean island of Dominica overnight.

We are also following major new developments in the Russia investigation. CNN is reporting exclusively that the U.S. government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort because of concerns that he was communicating with Russian operatives who wanted to influence the 2016 election.

BERMAN: And in just a few hours, President Trump will make his debut speech before the United Nations General Assembly. The White House says the speech will be, quote, "deeply philosophical" and includes strong warnings for North Korea and Iran.

Also, Senate Republicans are pushing a new health care proposal on that House Speaker Paul Ryan calls the best last chance for the Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

We have complete coverage of all of this, starting with meteorologist Chad Myers for the very latest, Chad, on Hurricane Maria.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hurricane Maria, now a Category 5. At 5 p.m., the 5 p.m. advisory, which is probably posted everywhere, said Category 4. And that was a Category 4 for ten minutes until the hurricane hunter aircraft flew through it and found a gust to 160. And so therefore, now, we're back up to Category 5 again.

It just went right over Dominica. It was a terrible, devastating hit. The prime minister there saying "We need help. We need help of all kinds." It was a devastating storm.

And the storm is still very powerful, moving into open water again. It got a little torn up over Dominica, a little bit, down to five miles per hour, but now back up into that warm water. Where is the next hit? It is St. Croix. It is Puerto Rico. About 155-mile-per- hour Category 4 about to make landfall somewhere near Puerto Rico about this time tomorrow. St. Croix and all the U.S. Virgin Islands still inside the cone. And some of the latest models in the overnight hours very close to Vieques in the northeast corner of Puerto Rico. Very few on the south side going toward Ponce.

So as we see this storm continue to move out of the Caribbean into the Atlantic, it does take a right-hand turn. That right-hand turn takes it over the Caicos and also up toward the northeast, maybe toward Bermuda.

Nothing so far today is over toward America, toward Florida or even into North Carolina. The American interests today are the American Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is the area that will be very hard hit over the next few days as the storm goes by.

Wind gusts, I don't care if it's Palmas del Mar (ph), El Yunque (ph) or up to Conquistador, will do tremendous damage to places around Puerto Rico. Also, the devastating rainfall could be 15" with heavy rain, mud slides and, certainly, torrential flooding across that island -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Chad, obviously, we'll check in with you as often as possible to see what those models are doing. Thank you very much.

Puerto Rico is now bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 storm is expected to hit the island tomorrow. CNN's Nick Valencia is live in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with more. What are you seeing, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.

We're more than 25 hours away from that direct landfall, expected to be here in this island territory. And the weather is already a factor here on the island.

Just take a look at this at this -- on the beach right now. The blue skies are out there. There are some clouds in the distance. But those waves are starting to swell. And what we felt all morning long is these sustained wind gusts.

It was a very ominous warning yesterday from the governor of Puerto Rico, Governor Rossello, who says we should not expect a miracle here. This is not expected to change. We should expect this to land at either a Category 4 or a Category 5 when it ends up hitting.

We understand it's being reported some basic food is being rationed, things like baby formula, batteries. The governor wants to make sure that everyone has access to those.

About 500 shelters have already been set up. The expectation and the impact is expected to be dire here, as those wind speeds continue to increase. A lot of anxiety. Not much time has passed from Hurricane Irma. And in our conversations with residents, it's very evident with them that they're as nervous as the government officials were yesterday in their press conference -- Alisyn, John.

BERMAN: All right. Nick Valencia for us in Puerto Rico, watching this very, very closely. We'll get an update in just a few minutes.

In the meantime, a CNN exclusive. Sources say U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election. Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown broke this story. We have the breaking details about why the government was listening to someone so close to the president.

Evan Perez joins us now.

Evan, a big scoop. What are you learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

Well, sources tell us that the FBI got permission from the secret surveillance court to monitor Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, before and after the election. Now, this is an extraordinary step for the FBI to do surveillance on a

high-ranking official. And of course, Manafort is now at the center of the Russian meddling probe. Now we're told that there are intercepted communications that raised concerns about whether Manafort was encouraging Russians to help with the campaign.

Our sources tell us that this intelligence was not conclusive. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team now has been provided all of these communications.

CAMEROTA: Evan, but what do you -- what do they mean by encouraging the Russians?

PEREZ: There's a lot we don't know, Alisyn, exactly about what was said. But we're told that the FBI has communications between suspected Russian operatives, relaying what they claimed were discussions with Manafort, as well as communications involving Manafort himself.

Now none of this has amounted to what people would consider a smoking gun in this investigation. There's still work being done as to determine whether there's a criminal violation here. Now, we didn't get a comment from Paul Manafort's spokesman. But Manafort has previously denied that he ever knowingly communicated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election. He's also denied helping Russia undermine U.S. interests.

BERMAN: All right, Evan. The timing here is crucial. Because there appear to be two separate time periods where he was monitored. Explain that.

PEREZ: Well, yes. So the -- there was a secret order that began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation in 2014 that centered on work done by a group of consulting firms here in Washington for Ukraine's former ruling party, according to the sources we've talked to.

The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources. But then the FBI restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA court warrant that extended to at least into early this year.

Now, the sources we've talked to say that the second warrant was actually part of the FBI's investigation to figure out these ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. It's unclear when the new warrant started. But as part of this FISA warrant we've also learned that earlier this year the FBI actually conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort. And then, of course, we know that this past July the FBI raided his home in Virginia.

CAMEROTA: So Evan, do we know whether Manafort was speaking to President Trump or President-elect Trump at that time?

PEREZ: Right, well, that's a big question. But we've been told by sources is that the president and Manafort were still talking into early this -- earlier this year, well after the campaign was over. During that time, the FBI was listening to Manafort's phone. So it is possible that those conversations were collected.

BERMAN: And, Evan, the question here is, of course, President Trump claimed he was being wiretapped by the government.

PEREZ: Right.

BERMAN: Any proof of that?

PEREZ: Well, you know, the Justice Department has denied that the president's own lines were tapped. But as we said, it is possible that he was picked up on the Manafort surveillance. And we should note that Manafort does have a residence in Trump Tower. It's not clear what type of surveillance the FBI did, or if they did any of it there.

But you know, we've seen the government respond in lawsuits as recently as week, and they have said that they won't confirm or deny whether there was a FISA warrant on any of this.

CAMEROTA: OK. So Evan, what does -- what does all of this mean for Mueller's investigation?

PEREZ: Well, look, the investigation appears to be accelerating. That's for sure. We know that Manafort is a major focus of this investigation, especially because of financial issues, tax issues that the government says that they've uncovered. So we'll see whether or not this information really becomes something that they can use to try to, perhaps, flip him and perhaps get him to cooperate and provide additional information on this Russia investigation.

CAMEROTA: OK, Evan, thank you very much for all of this exclusive reporting and sharing it with us and explaining it to us. Obviously, we'll check back in with you.

Let's bring in our panel now to dissect and understand this better. We have CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin -- Jeffrey.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: What does all of this mean?

TOOBIN: Well, just stepping back, what it means is this is a very aggressive investigation. In white-collar cases, it is unusual to have wiretaps. It's unusual to execute search warrants of people's homes. The Mueller investigation has now done both of these.

Obviously, the key fact that we don't know is what was disclosed on these tapes and what did -- what did Manafort say? What did other people?

[06:10:02] CAMEROTA: But wait a second. Doesn't the wiretapping predate Mueller? The wiretapping was before Mueller's investigation.

TOOBIN: Yes. Yes, that is true.

CAMEROTA: So that means that somebody, the FBI...

TOOBIN: It's the same FBI. It's the same -- it's the same group of FBI agents who are working on it.

CAMEROTA: But it's James Comey?

TOOBIN: Correct. Yes, I mean, ultimately, he was the supervisor of it all.

CAMEROTA: OK.

TOOBIN: But -- but it means that Manafort has been investigated intensively for a very long time, including when he was very close to the president, president-elect, candidate Trump.

And the question is, what was disclosed?

The other point that's worth making is it's not just that simple to get a warrant like this, a FISA warrant. That means the FBI, twice, had to assemble an enormous amount of information, saying to a judge, look, there is probable cause to believe that Paul Manafort is an agent of foreign intelligence. They persuaded a judge twice. So there does exist considerable evidence. It doesn't mean he's guilty of anything. But it is important.

BERMAN: Just to emphasize two things you said there that I think are worthy of stating again.

No. 1, there are tapes. There are tapes now in someone's possession of these conversations that Paul Manafort had. That is not something that we knew beforehand.

CAMEROTA: Because surveillance means, by definition, there are tapes. They weren't just listening. It was taped.

TOOBIN: Right. Right. There are recordings. That's what -- when you get a FISA warrant you get the permission to make tapes of phone calls.

BERMAN: And that's a big deal.

TOOBIN: Yes. They are now presumably in the hands of the Mueller investigation.

BERMAN: No. 2, you bring up the point that this happened twice.

TOOBIN: Yes.

BERMAN: It happened twice. The second time, it indicates that probably there was something found that first time or they had reason to go back? It indicates that the investigation was picking things up?

TOOBIN: Yes. And you don't -- it is -- it's not unprecedented, but two separate FISA warrants almost certainly indicates that a continuing investigation was at least somewhat productive.

CAMEROTA: Well, sort of, except that, as we understand it from CNN's reporting, the -- it was stopped. The first FISA warrant surveillance was stopped because of lack of evidence or they weren't getting traction. And then something happened, maybe something new.

TOOBIN: Right.

CAMEROTA: That allowed them to go back and get a second FISA.

TOOBIN: The way that FISA warrants work, every 90 days while you are up on a wire, you have to renew -- you have to renew it. And sometimes the judge says you don't have enough to renew it. Sometimes the government says, "We want to take a break and then come back." So, again, I don't want to speculate too much about what happened.

But two separate FISA warrants on the same person, it's unusual, and it's suggestive of a productive investigation.

BERMAN: Maggie, you've been waiting patiently here.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's OK. Jeffrey can take it away.

TOOBIN: No, no.

BERMAN: The issue of timing here is something that supporters of Donald Trump have already pointed out here. They're like, "Look, the president was right. He was being wiretapped."

Well, no. Look, Paul Manafort was being wiretapped, No. 1. And there appears to be this gap.

HABERMAN: That's really important.

BERMAN: This gap where Manafort wasn't being surveilled, when he was the active chairman of the Trump campaign.

HABERMAN: It's a really important thing that I was thinking about last night as I was reading the CNN story and as I was watching sort of, you know, angry Twitter, talking about how President Trump is right when did this tweet. People owe him an apology.

Look, we don't know when that gap took place specifically. But it did appear that it was essentially during the time when Manafort was in charge of the campaign. And remember, that was a really brief period. That was basically four months.

And then it started again at some point, it sounded like in the fall or you know, maybe late August. He was gone by August 10, August 12, or something like that. And that continued then into earlier this year. After you know, both, it sounded like had been told, the president and Paul Manafort, by lawyers, "You need to stop communicating," and they were still communicating.

CAMEROTA: But hold on a second, Maggie. It sounds like the president was right. If Paul Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower -- "my lines" as he put it -- and Paul Manafort was being surveilled and wiretapped, Trump Tower was wiretapped.

HABERMAN: No, it was not. I'm sorry.

CAMEROTA: How do you know?

HABERMAN: Well, I don't know, but I know that what we know is that -- unless you're saying that he owns every single thing in Trump Tower.

CAMEROTA: Yes. That's what I'm saying.

HABERMAN: But -- OK, but that's not -- people who own their condos or co-ops or whatever those residences are in that building are not, by default, being used to get to the president, No. 1.

And No. 2, he used that tweet to suggest that the surveillance was political, and I think his word was a "witch hunt." And to Jeffrey's point, this was a FISA court warrant.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Yes, but I mean -- hold on. Hold on one second. Just to go back to the original tweet, OK, March 4 at 6:35 a.m. Obviously, President Trump heard something, maybe from officials.

HABERMAN: This is actually really an important point. There's two questions here. One is whether he read this in Breitbart...

TOOBIN: Right.

HABERMAN: ... which had a piece that was being pushed around...

CAMEROTA: Yes.

HABERMAN: ... somebody put on his desk, or whether he knew from something internal within his own government.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

HABERMAN: Well, that raises its own questions. You can answer that.

CAMEROTA: Let me just go back.

HABERMAN: No, but if he was told that, that raises other questions, too, about propriety of information.

CAMEROTA: All true. However, here is the tweet: "Terrible!" -- exclamation point -- "Just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism."

HABERMAN: But let me ask you a question. Why is whether he was right in some form on that tweet more important than what the information is showing?

CAMEROTA: Because everyone pooh-poohed -- this was so out of left field that everyone thought, "Where was this coming from?"

BERMAN: It says, "My wires were tapped."

CAMEROTA: He means Trump Tower.

BERMAN: Everyone in Trump Tower is his? Is my mortgage company, the mortgage company that owns my house, do they -- if my phones are tapped...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HABERMAN: There's public space in Trump Tower that does not actually belong to Donald Trump. I just don't think that you can say that this was on a curve.

TOOBIN: And to add another -- to add another point to this: most wiretaps at this point are of cell phones. I don't know whether Manafort's -- his hard line or his cell phone, but very likely it was his cell phone. Most people operate on their cell phone these days. So his cell phone goes with him. It's not Trump Tower at all.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. I'm just saying when this first came out, everybody said, "Whoa, this is out of left field. The president sounds crazy."

HABERMAN: But that's a legitimate response.

CAMEROTA: Suddenly it sounds like there's more credence to it.

HABERMAN: I disagree with the interpretation, No. 1.

But No. 2, when the president of the United States says something like that, the obligation is really on him to explain why he's saying this.

CAMEROTA: Agreed.

HABERMAN: He didn't do that. So I think that to say, like, "Wow, everybody said that was 'What are you talking about.'" Yes, of course everybody said, "What are you talking about?" because that was a really, really loaded, serious charge. And if true, and his own Justice Department has explored it and said it wasn't true.

CAMEROTA: That's also interesting. That's an important point.

TOOBIN: Maggie needs -- I mean, that's -- it's not that, you know, those of us in the fake news business pooh-poohed it. It was the government itself.

CAMEROTA: OK, I have that. Because this is very interesting. FBI director, James Comey, who would have been aware of this...

TOOBIN: Certainly, would have known.

CAMEROTA: ... at the time, this is what he testified to. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Look, which to me indicates, because there's no information that Trump's phones, "my phones" were tapped, he can say that easily. I do want to get back to Paul Manafort.

TOOBIN: But that's significant.

HABERMAN: It wasn't just Comey, bear in mind. There was a recent Justice Department statement.

BERMAN: September 1.

HABERMAN: Yes, that said there was no -- that's still headed by Jeff Sessions, a presidential ally.

BERMAN: I do want to talk more about Paul Manafort in just one second, because there was some reporting in "The New York Times," a paper you're familiar with, that says he was told he was going to be indicted by the special counsel's office. So we'll talk much more about that. We'll have new details on the raid on Paul Manafort's home this summer. What this all means for the special counsel investigation. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: We're learning new information about a July raid at a former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, his home.

"The New York Times" is reporting, quote, "Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They took blinders -- binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet. The special counsel, Robert Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning. His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him."

Bring back our panel right now, Maggie Haberman and Jeffrey Toobin. The special counsel's office told Paul Manafort they planned to indict him? Is that normal par for the course for an investigation?

TOOBIN: Actually, it's not all that unusual. There is actually a formal process called getting a target letter where you're informed; your lawyer is informed that you are likely to be indicted. How exactly this information was conveyed, it perhaps may be unusual. But the fact that someone is about to be indicted is -- is not an unusual thing to be told. It is also almost certainly followed by an indictment. The FBI, the

U.S. attorneys, federal prosecutors don't make idle threats. I mean, that is sort of part of the culture. So if they told him he's likely to be indicted, he's likely to be indicted.

CAMEROTA: But Maggie, it also sounded from your paper, "The New York Times," as though this is part of the shock-and-awe tactic that they refer to them, where just scare Paul Manafort. I mean, he may be indicted, he may not. But this is the aggressive way that Robert Mueller's folks are doing things.

HABERMAN: Look, I don't think they would have told him that he was being indicted if it was simply about -- about freaking him out. Yes, but I do think that it is true that Mueller -- and we've been hearing this for weeks, -- is using very, very aggressive tactics to go after -- look, he is not keeping this particularly narrow search so far, right? I mean, we've had the president give a warning shot to Mueller in an interview that my colleagues and I did with him in July, you know, essentially crossing a line into his family or finances, that was the president's red line, so to speak. It's not clear exactly where he's going on that. But it is clear that Mueller is not just keeping this specifically on Russia.

And remember, we don't know yet. We know what the CNN reporting said about what Manafort was overheard discussing loosely, maybe. We don't really know what else Mueller is looking at in terms of Manafort. And that's a big open question right now.

BERMAN: Look, I'm not trying to be cute, Jeffrey, but it seems like a big deal if President Trump's former campaign chair is about to be indicted.

TOOBIN: You are cute, John, but it is -- it is -- it is a big deal. I mean, it's -- this guy is very close to the president. He's been wiretapped at a time he was speaking to the president. He was involved in the creation of the Republican platform, which became more friendly to Russia during his tenure as -- as head of the campaign. I mean, this is -- it's a very big deal.

HABERMAN: Very close to the president.

TOOBIN: He is obviously a crucial figure if you believe that there is warrant to investigate collusion between the Trump campaign and people and entities affiliated with Russia.

CAMEROTA: As you know, Maggie, the president has tried to distance himself from Paul Manafort, basically, saying he's some guy...

HABERMAN: I didn't know him.

CAMEROTA: I barely know him. He worked here for a very short time. But it is true he worked there for a very short time. That's not false.

HABERMAN: OK but still the campaign chair.

CAMEROTA: I haven't spoken to him in a long time. He said last month he was with the campaign for a very, very short period of time.

[6:25:00] So, I mean, if he's -- look, we know that Mueller's investigation is continuing at a rapid clip. He doesn't like long, lingering investigations. But we don't know when we could see something with Paul Manafort. But it does seem more clear that that's the route that Bob Mueller is pursuing.

HABERMAN: Yes. Or certainly one of the routes. One of the things that was interesting to see in the story was that the president and Manafort were talking, it sounded like not -- not unregularly when the president first came in.

One of the things we know about the president is he loves reaching out to people he has fired or in some way, you know, semi-humiliated by taking away their jobs. You know, pining for Mike Flynn after he had fired him. Reaching out to Steve Bannon, reaching out to Reince Priebus. Like, this is one of the things he does to keep people feeling good, to keep people feeling as if, you know, they're still in his good stead. I have to wonder if the calls were of that nature.

I do want to revisit something we were talking about before, though, about Trump's tweets and whether he knew. I do -- I think that -- I agree generally and broadly that the tone of coverage of Trump can often be very inflammatory and can treat everything as if it is the same in reaction to Trump. I do think a president claiming "I was wiretapped during the campaign. I just learned this" requires the president to offer up some evidence.

CAMEROTA: Agreed.

HABERMAN: To explain what he's talking about. And it does not necessarily mean that at least half the coverage after, you know, something semi-related to it should then be reverse-engineered as an example of it.

BERMAN: Right. In the scope of this, in the midst of his former campaign chair possibly being indicted soon by the special counsel's office, the president's legal team is doing what? They're arguing out loud.

CAMEROTA: Well, they're having lunch.

BERMAN: At a steakhouse near -- near "The New York Times," being overheard.

TOOBIN: I went to law school. They don't tell you to do that. They don't -- they don't tell you to have loud conversations. No. I mean, you know, there are sort of two big things here. Obviously, it was inappropriate to do this in very -- in close quarters near, you know, where Ken Vogel, Maggie's colleague...

HABERMAN: It's a few steps from our office.

TOOBIN: Right. I mean, you know, and good for Ken for being an aggressive on-the-spot reporter.

BERMAN: Eating an expensive lunch.

TOOBIN: Yes. That actually struck me. You know, I'm impressed that he was eating in a fancy place like that. Journalists still eat well.

But the fact that -- that lawyers in the White House were debating how much to cooperate, there's nothing particularly extraordinary about that. That comes up in all these White House investigations. You know, the Clinton White House started out, "We're going to cooperate with Kenneth Starr," and then they wound up fighting him in court over disclosure of evidence. And that kind of dynamic is something that is clearly going on here, as well.

CAMEROTA: But Maggie, isn't this just a little too convenient? I mean, not to go too far down the conspiracy rabbit hole, but let's go there anyway. Isn't it a little too convenient for two seasoned lawyers to be having a very loud conversation at a popular steakhouse doors -- steps away from "The New York Times"? Is it just carelessness, or did they maybe want to get some information out into the ether?

HABERMAN: I don't think so, because it would have required knowing that Ken Vogel was going to be sitting there. It also would have required the suspension of disbelief about one of the lawyers, Ty Cobb, who was last heard responding to dummied accounts from some e-mail impersonator pretending to be various members of the Trump administration, and Ty engaged this guy over and over again.

CAMEROTA: So what are you saying with carelessness? There is a pattern here.

HABERMAN: I mean, I think that -- I think that what we have seen around President Trump during the campaign, in his White House -- it is much less now, to be clear, by the way. Things are actually more stable in that White House. How long that lasts we don't know. But for the time being I do think that John Kelly has had an impact.

But he creates chaos, and then he responds to the chaos he creates. And everybody around him ends up sort of in some kind of, you know, death grip with another side in their lane.

So you have this sort of battle -- you know, I'm using that word loosely. McGahn versus Ty Cobb, versus whoever, Don McGahn, the White House counsel. And -- and it's the sort of public nature of the fighting that has been surprising about this White House over and over again. I don't think that this was intended for public consumption, literally and figuratively.

BERMAN: Ty Cobb is supposed to be better than this. It's not his job to be as confused as Nigel, to quote "Spinal Tap" here. I mean, he's supposed to better.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys, very much.

The world is about to see President Trump get deeply philosophical -- those are his staff's words -- as he takes center stage today at the U.N. We have a preview of his first-ever General Assembly speech, next.

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