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McConnell Walks Back Moore Criticism, Says Let Voters Decide; Campaign Tell-All Book Hits Shelves Tuesday; Alternate Universe for President Trump; FBI Community Outraged by Trump's "In Tatters" Tweet; Senator Dianne Feinstein Says Judiciary Committee Investigating Trump for Obstruction. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired December 3, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:01:19] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Ana Cabrera. Thank you so much for joining us this Sunday. It is just about 6:00 p.m. on the East Coast.
We start with President Donald Trump's attorney saying that it was him, not the president who wrote a problematic tweet yesterday, which said that Donald Trump knew that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI when he fired him. Meaning that he also would have known about Flynn's dishonesty to FBI agents when he asked then FBI Director James Comey to quit investigating Flynn just one day later. Legal experts immediately jumped on this tweet saying that it could be proof of obstruction of justice.
Today, 24 hours later, there is a new revelation. Senator Dianne Feinstein says the Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating the president for obstruction of justice. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well, and it involves obstruction of justice. And I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of case of obstruction of justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The president has said he's not worried about the Russia probes because he has done nothing wrong, but his Twitter feed today tells a bit of a different story. He's unleashed a tweet storm, attacking several people including James Comey, Hillary Clinton and going after the FBI, saying it is in tatters and, quote, "the worst in history."
My colleague, crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, joins us now. He's been following the Russia investigation from the beginning, done some incredible reporting on it.
Shimon, based on who the special counsel has been interviewing and the plea deals that we know about, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, does it appear to you that obstruction of justice is now the focus or at least an equal focus as is collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. So I would say that it's probably of equal at this point and perhaps maybe more involved with investigators and investigators are still looking into that. We know why the special counsel was initially put together was to look at possible obstruction after the president fired the former FBI director James Comey.
You know, ultimately it's always hard to tell and read into these investigations, but there are two things that we do know, and that is that two people associated with the president during the campaign and one of them, Michael Flynn, who was in the White House, lied to the FBI about the investigation, about who they were talking to, Russian contacts, and that is a big focus of the special counsel's investigation.
And also the question is why were people consistently lying? So that is part, for sure. These two people who have now admitted to lying could be part of a larger investigation sort of a conspiracy into perhaps an obstruction case that is being built by the special counsel -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: Now, Shimon, you obviously have great sources within the intelligence community. Have you heard anything about a response to these tweets from the president saying that the FBI is in tatters, the worst in history, even though we should point out it's being led by his own appointee in Christopher Wray? How did they see all of that?
PROKUPECZ: Right. So the FBI certainly can't talk about it, but there is one person who could and that's James Comey. And just moments ago he tweeted saying that, you know, the FBI is honest and brave and taking issue really with the position that the president calling -- saying that the FBI is in tatters and that its reputation has been ruined.
And here's James Comey's tweet now on our screen. And basically, you know, he is now in a position, not only trying to defend himself, his legacy, but speaking for the FBI, saying that the FBI is strong and the FBI isn't always will be independent.
[18:05:10] This morning the president took issue with the FBI with the Hillary Clinton investigation after it was revealed that one of the investigators was texting with another FBI agent about the -- during the campaign about Trump and sort of intimating that this agent was favoring Hillary Clinton.
So this morning the president went on his tweet storms, so to say, saying that the FBI is in tatters and well, now we hear from the former FBI director James Comey defending the people he once led and probably most of them, I could say, are probably happy that he's doing that because right now the FBI is in a position where they just cannot say anything.
Between the inspector general investigation and the ongoing Russia probe they are limited and really cannot speak and defend themselves, you know, in relation to these tweets. SANCHEZ: Yes. Interpreting James Comey's tweets in light of recent
events has become something of a sport.
Shimon Prokupecz, thank you for that.
Very quickly I do want to put this up on our screen. The FBI Agents Association tweeting a response to the president. They write in part, quote, "Every day FBI special agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats. Agents perform these duties with unwavering integrity and professionalism and a focus on complying with the law and the Constitution. This is why the FBI continues to be the premier law enforcement agency in the world. FBI agents are dedicated to their mission, suggesting otherwise is simply false."
So there you have the FBI Agents Association responding to the president of the United States who says that the agency is at its worst state in history.
I want to move on from that and talk about the unusual explanation for the president's tweet about his reasons for firing Michael Flynn. Trump's personal attorney John Dowd today claimed that he was the author of that social media post.
I do want to remind you for context that something very important that came from the White House podium previously this summer from Sean Spicer, then press secretary, when he made the case that the president's Twitter account, his tweets, are official White House statements. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: On the president's tweets, are President Trump's tweets considered official White House statements?
SEAN SPICER, THEN WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the president is the president of the United States, so they're considered official statements by the president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Pretty self explanatory, right? Let's go to CNN's Jeremy Diamond at the White House.
Jeremy, Dowd claims that he authored the tweet. Is he trying to clarify what he meant? Is he saying that it was accurate or inaccurate?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, this tweet has raised a lot of questions and really revived this whole notion of obstruction of justice and whether the president actually engaged in that through his firing of FBI director James Comey and through what Comey alleges is the president asking him to drop the investigation in to Michael Flynn. And the president's tweet appeared to suggest that he knew that Michael Flynn had, in fact, lied to the FBI, committed a crime, the crime to which he actually pled guilty to on Friday. The president's personal attorney who now claims that he wrote this
tweet told me in an e-mail this morning that at the time of the firing no one including Justice had accused Flynn of lying. So appearing to suggest there that the president of the United States of all people did not know that Michael Flynn had, in fact, lied to the FBI during his interview with them which took place while he was still the president's national security adviser. So it's interesting to see what the strategy may have been behind this tweet in the first place, which clearly has caused the president and now the president's attorney more trouble than it appears to have been worth.
SANCHEZ: A lot more explaining necessary.
Jeremy Diamond, thank you for that report.
I want to bring in our panel to help us sort all of this out. Joining us White House ethics czar under President Obama and former ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norm Eisen. Donald Trump biographer and the author of "The Truth About Trump," Michael D'Antonio, CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Tim Naftali.
Ambassador, I want to start with you because I've been keeping track of what you've been saying about this on Twitter. You had some ominous prognostications of the result of the Mueller probe. You seem to also have doubts that Trump's attorney John Dowd actually composed this tweet. Why?
NORM EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Boris, thanks for having me back. The tweet is in the tone of President Trump and I think that now that John has come forward and said it's from him, let's see some proof. Is there an e-mail that was sent to the president? Are there texts that were sent to the president?
There's no privilege anymore. The privilege, attorney-client privilege has been waived by these disclosures and this is too important, Boris, to leave it to a simple assertion, oh, it wasn't written by the president.
[18:10:08] Because if it was written by the president, it's exhibit A in a criminal case against the most powerful, most important man in the world. So, you know, we have a saying in the -- at the bar that documents don't lie, people do. Let's see the documents.
SANCHEZ: Well, documents may not lie but Dowd says that he wrote this. He doesn't say that it was inaccurate. Do you think he's being honest about what he tried to portray in that tweet, Norm?
EISEN: Well, it's early days yet to understand what the intent was.
Boris, it doesn't make sense that the president would simply cut and paste what Dowd sent him. Did the president edit it? Did they work on it together? Did the president read it at least before he hit the punch button? What was in the president's mind?
That's what's most important here. So they've opened a can of worms and now we need to understand, we need to see the proof that the president had nothing to do with this.
SANCHEZ: Michael, to you, you've been very close with President Trump, as we mentioned here, a noted Trump biographer. When it comes to his tweets, he's often, as we heard from multiple sources, very protective, even defensive over his access to Twitter, his ability to use it as a megaphone. He sees it as a strength, his ability to go over the heads of the press and connect with the people.
What's your sense as to how comfortable the president might be in letting other people compose his tweets and ultimately speak for him?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, DONALD TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: I don't think he would ever let anyone else post something under his name without having reviewed it and likely altered it. And this, as Norm was saying, sounds like true Trump. And he also -- Norm might know better than me, but it doesn't sound like something an attorney would post.
The president may well have been informed ironically by Barack Obama that there was a problem with Flynn. And he may have well known ahead of appointing Flynn that the FBI was investigating him and yet he never owned up to this. And so now we have a guy who's tweeting something that could get him in trouble where obstruction of justice is concerned.
I don't think that this is something an attorney would do for him. The president also is a man who sits up in bed at night and early in the morning and tweets from there. So the idea that on a weekend there'd be this attorney somehow accessing his Twitter account I think is ridiculous.
SANCHEZ: Tim, what a tangled web we've weaved. I want you to listen to something that Senator Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the Senate, said on CNN today. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VICE CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There's never been in modern American history a political campaign that had this much outreach to a foreign government and a foreign adversary in this case throughout the campaign and throughout the transition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You're a presidential historian, leaving out the fact that the story about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia has changed and kind of morphed multiple times, have you ever seen a historical precedent for this much friendliness between a foreign entity and people within not only a campaign but then a transition team?
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I think the real key here is whether the incoming team is trying to undermine U.S. policy towards an adversary at a time of crisis. And that's what's so unusual and I would argue unprecedented about what General Flynn did. Who worked with him on this, we have yet to find out. But President Obama decided before leaving office to send a message to
President Putin, you do not intervene in our elections. That's a message that I suspect all Americans would like to be sent to an adversary. The Trump team at the same time sent a different message with a different melody through General Flynn. That's unprecedented. To try to undermine U.S. policy when we're dealing with an adversary in those critical moments between administrations.
I mean, there's only one president at a time, but everybody knows when there's a transition things are changing, is unprecedented and worrisome. What's really key is that for all this discussion about potential obstruction of justice, which is important, there's no one from the Trump team, no one from the White House who has disputed the account of what General Flynn said to the Russians in December of 2016.
[18:15:01] SANCHEZ: I want to stay with you, Tim, because you as we've mentioned earlier, curated the Nixon Presidential Library. You've seen some parallels between this investigation and Watergate. Had you ever imagined that something like this might happen, that now Trump's own personal attorney may have created evidence that the president attempted to create obstruction of justice?
NAFTALI: Well, I better say, I'm not a lawyer, but one of the things that people said about Nixon is that only a lawyer -- only a fool is his own lawyer or has himself as a lawyer. All right? And Nixon -- one of the mistakes he made, he was trained as a lawyer, was that he was his own lawyer. In many ways, in many instances he didn't share with his legal team what he knew and therefore his defenses were much weaker than they should have been.
What is so baffling about Mr. Dowd's assertion is that the Trump legal team has actually maneuvered the president into greater legal jeopardy, which is exactly the opposite of what you expect your lawyers to do. So this is an unprecedented -- if the lawyer did this, we don't have a Watergate precedent for this. If anything the lawyers didn't get a chance to do enough for President Nixon. Now they seem to be doing too much for President Trump.
Ambassador, I want to get back to you, and specifically George Papadopoulos' plea deal, the belief was that when Papadopoulos got a deal to flip on a bigger fish, it might help the special counsel nail somebody else from the campaign. Now it appears he may not need George Papadopoulos if he has Michael Flynn.
What does that tell you about perhaps the future of George Papadopoulos? He's been described as a coffee boy. Do you think he still plays an intricate role in this special counsel moving forward?
EISEN: I think that it's too soon to say, Boris. The exact role that Papadopoulos will play. I know Bob Mueller. And he's not one -- I've worked with him and against him. He's not one to show his cards until it's necessary. Papadopoulos gives them evidence of connection to the -- to Russia
during the campaign. That's one of the very important nodes of the investigation here. There's a transition node that we learned about from the Flynn plea and then there's the obstruction and false statement issues that the president's Twitter account worsened this weekend.
So I wouldn't assume that we're not going to see more of Mr. Papadopoulos. The special counsel is working on all of those parallel tracks now and there's going to be a lot more -- Bob Mueller likes surprises. There's going to be more of them just as the White House was shocked by the Flynn plea.
SANCHEZ: Michael, for almost a year now we've talked about Donald Trump's loyalty to Michael Flynn. It was I believe January 26th when then acting attorney general Sally Yates went to the White House and said you have to be weary of Michael Flynn. You might be blackmailed by Russians. It wasn't until mid February that he was ultimately fired.
Now we've learned that Jared Kushner was that senior administration official that directed Michael Flynn to call Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to discus sanctions. Ultimately where do you think the president's loyalty sits, with Flynn or with Kushner?
D'ANTONIO: Well, I think it would ultimately rest with Donald Trump. That's a fascinating question, Boris, but when you consider Flynn and Kushner, I don't think there's that much separation between the two of them. I was just looking at something Donald Trump the citizen wrote in around 2005 and he has said that it helps to be a little bit paranoid and you shouldn't trust even the people who are closest to you because everyone acts according to self interest.
So I think that he would be willing to sell out both Flynn and Kushner. I don't think he'd have that much reservation about each of them suffering. And this idea of the paranoia and this gets a little bit too tense observation about Nixon being his own lawyer, I think that Trump is so fearful and untrusting of others that he does often try to act as his own attorney.
In the past, he did that in civil matters and he could usually bully or bribe or beg his way out of bad legal trouble because he could outspend most of his opponents. Here we have a far more complex matter, something he's not accustom to. It's very dangerous and he seems to be getting himself deeper with every move.
SANCHEZ: And one thing we did not have time to mention was the reporting that's out there this week that he had approached Congress people on several investigative committees about getting rid of this investigation all together, bringing it to a speedy conclusion.
[18:20:13] Gentlemen, Ambassador Norm Eisen, Michael D'Antonio and Tim Naftali, that's all the conversation we have time for. Thank you all so much for joining us tonight.
NAFTALI: Thank you, Boris. EISEN: Thanks, Boris.
D'ANTONIO: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Coming up, four people now charged in the Mueller investigation, so are the House and Senate probe still necessary? We'll talk to a congressional Democrat asking about what the goals of those investigations are.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
SANCHEZ: We're back with new developments in the Russia investigation. Plus, this unexpected explanation for a problematic presidential tweet.
Senator Dianne Feinstein says the Senate Judiciary Committee may be building an obstruction of justice case against the president. She's the ranking Democrat on that panel. And then there's this.
[18:25:02] Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd claiming that he was the author of the Trump tweet sent out discussing the firing of Michael Flynn. The tweet suggesting that the president knew that Flynn lied to the FBI before he fired him.
Let's discuss this and more with Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
Pramila, you are a Democratic congresswoman. You sit on the House Judiciary Committee. Ultimately, do you think this tweet has any legal significance in the Russia investigation?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), WASHINGTON: Well, I think it's a very important tweet. I think a number of tweets that he's put out in the last 24 hours have been very important. But this one certainly seems to indicate that he knew that Flynn was lying and I think that this is a big issue.
Now clearly the lawyer has stepped forward and taken the fall for this, but this is Donald Trump's Twitter account. Donald Trump loves his Twitter account. He is all over his Twitter account. I don't think we've heard of any other tweets where Donald Trump hasn't written the tweets. So it's a little difficult to believe that the lawyer wrote this tweet. And if he did, then I think that was a big problem as well.
SANCHEZ: Congresswoman, we have several concurrent Russia investigations, right, the House and the Senate, Bob Mueller's special probe. Are all these investigations necessary at this point? What is the House probe doing differently than the Senate?
JAYAPAL: Well, you know, Boris, it is very important because Congress first and foremost has the authority to investigate all of these issues that are before us. So certainly collusion with Russia, certainly the impact on our elections. This is something that Congress has authority over. There are four committees of record, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
I sit on the House Judiciary Committee, I have to tell you we're very, very disappointed in Chairman Goodlatte that he has refused to hold any hearings on any of these issues. We did get a chance to question Jeff Sessions, and, in fact, I asked Jeff Sessions multiple times when he came to testify before us about his tremendous lack of recall that seems to suddenly appear whenever he's asked important questions about Russia.
It is extremely important that Congress maintains its jurisdiction over these investigations. And don't forget that Robert Mueller reports to the Department of Justice. So he is not an independent investigator and the Department of Justice still does have the opportunity to shut down the investigation, something we're very concerned about. We need to make sure that Congress is fully in there investigating in both the Intelligence and the Judiciary Committees.
SANCHEZ: Congresswoman, have you gotten any indication that the White House is planning some sort of move to have Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein get rid of Robert Mueller?
JAYAPAL: We continue to be concerned about that. You know, I think that there have been many reports that have come out in the news that Donald Trump considered firing Robert Mueller. We have had the opportunity in Congress to ask Rod Rosenstein whether he would allow for that to happen. He's been clear that he is going to continue this investigation.
I think in the Senate you have bipartisan efforts to actually try to move forward legislation that prohibits the firing of Robert Mueller, and so we'll have to see. But I think it's always something we're very concerned about. This president has made it his business to try to continue to get in the way of finishing this investigation and really having an investigation his continued efforts now reported that, you know, he tried to get the Senate to stop its investigation.
This is really a pattern and I think we all have to continue to wonder what his next step is going to be to try to stop an investigation from taking place.
SANCHEZ: Representative, I have a dozen more questions for you. Unfortunately I'm being told that that is all the time that we have.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you so much for joining us.
JAYAPAL: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Wall Street could rally this week following the Senate's passage of a tax bill. Hope for tax cuts has been driving stocks higher all year. Last week the Dow crossed 24,000 for the first time ever. The index has spiked almost 6,000 points since President Trump's election last year. But stocks were volatile on Friday following that guilty plea from former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Developments in the Russia investigation could cause additional
jitters on Wall Street going forward. Overall, though, investors are in a cheery mood because the economy seems to be gaining steam and the job market is healthy and employment is historically low.
We'll get a fresh read on that Friday when the November jobs report is released, though. In October the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs and the unemployment rate slipped to 4.1. Investors are monitoring whether that job growth continued last month.
With Alabama's race for U.S. Senate tightening, Senate leader Mitch McConnell now said that it is time for voters to decide if they trust Roy Moore. If they believe that he should be senator. This after he initially called for Roy Moore to step aside amid allegations of sexual assault.
We talked to Christian voters in Alabama and asked them how they view the candidate next.
[18:34:57] SANCHEZ: With just a bit more than a week left until the special election, all eyes in Washington are on a critical Senate race in Alabama.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tune today on the embattled Republican Senate candidate there, Roy Moore.
Last month, remember, McConnell said that he believed Roy Moore's accusers, who said that he pursued relationships with them when they were teenage girls and he was in his 30s.
Then, McConnell said that Moore should step down. Now, he says it's up to the voters. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: I think we're going to let the people of Alabama decide a week from Tuesday who they want to send to the Senate, and then we'll address the matter appropriately.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you believe that Judge Moore should be in the Senate?
MCCONNELL: I'm going to let the people of Alabama make the call. We're -- this election has been going on a long time. There's been a lot of discussion about it. They're going to make their decision a week from Tuesday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you are prepared to take action if he is indeed elected?
MCCONNELL: The Ethics Committee will have to consider the matters that have been litigated in the campaign should that particular candidate win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: That is a notable shift. Churches have become a focal point in this high stakes Senate campaign.
A poll that came out on Saturday shows the race is neck in neck. Democrat candidate Doug Jones has 50 percent of likely Alabama voters while Moore is polling at 47 percent.
Our Kaylee Hartung joins me now from a church in Birmingham.
Kaylee, just how much influence do evangelicals have on this Senate race?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, nearly half the adults in Alabama identify themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Many pastors I've spoken to over the past couple of days tell me they're not willing to address this special election from the pulpit.
Though, as illustrated by Daniel Wilson, the pastor here at First Baptist Pleasant Grove right outside of Birmingham, he is comfortable addressing social and moral issues from the pulpit, especially ones that he feels are rooted in biblical scripture.
This morning, for example, as we approach the Christmas season, he reminded his congregation that Jesus was once an unborn child in Mary's womb, and that God chose a home for Jesus with a mother and a father. That sermon made it clear to me, for many in Alabama, it's hard to discern where religion ends and politics begin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE FOR ALABAMA: Abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good.
HARTUNG (voice-over): That's Roy Moore, appealing to his constituents, but not all of them are convinced.
BILL BREWBAKER, ALABAMA VOTER: I'm going to sit this one out.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Bill Brewbaker is a life-long Republican and an evangelical Christian, but he won't be voting for his party's candidate in Alabama's December 12th special election.
No state has a higher percentage of Christians among them than Alabama, according to Pew Research.
DR. JOHN KILLIAN, FORMER PRESIDENT, ALABAMA BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION: And I think for that reason, Judge Moore -- his message has resonated because of the culture.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Like many, Dr. John Killian, former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention, thinks this deeply Republican state is ripe and ready for the taking by the former judge. But some, like Brewbaker, think that's an unfair assumption. BREWBAKER: Evangelicals are being painted with a very broad brush.
HARTUNG (voice-over): He says this goes deeper than the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore.
BREWBAKER: The idea that there's a candidate who is wrapping himself in the mantle of Christianity, and he's at a political rally and he pulls out a handgun?
HARTUNG (voice-over): Moore has been hitting his base, visiting rural conservative churches. Though some of the worship services have felt more like campaign events.
JEREMY RAGLAND, PASTOR, BRYAN BAPTIST CHURCH: The only way our voice can be heard throughout this country is by us taking our liberties and voting with them.
MOORE: They want to do two things -- or several things. They want to hide the true issues. That's why you see "The Washington Post" bring out a Russian investigation when the people want to know about immigration, about healthcare.
HARTUNG (voice-over): But Brewbaker worries about the message electing Moore would send.
BREWBAKER: I'm deeply concerned about the effect that Roy Moore's presence in the Senate will have on the reputation of evangelicals. I'm tempted to vote for Doug Jones for that reason, but I can't really bring myself to pull the trigger on that.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Democratic challenger Doug Jones' biggest hurdle with Republicans like Brewbaker, he's pro-choice, an issue -- the issue -- that puts him at odds with conservative voters.
Jones is also a man of faith, attending a fish fry at a Baptist church in Montgomery.
DOUG JONES, DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE FOR ALABAMA: Folks, pray, but we've got to move our feet. All right?
HARTUNG (voice-over): Jones will need high turnout in metropolitan areas, particularly the African-American population in the state, to capitalize on Moore's perceived vulnerability. It's a steep mountain to climb in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in a quarter of a century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: The latest poll that has Doug Jones with a slim three-point lead over Roy Moore, that's within the margin of error of "The Washington Post" polling.
[18:40:01] And, Boris, what's hard to nail down right now are the people like Bill Brewbaker, who you saw there, who won't show up to vote come December 12th.
SANCHEZ: That election is just a little bit over a week away. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much for that reporting.
President Trump's former campaign manager is spilling the beans in a new tell-all book on what went down behind the scenes of the campaign trail. Some of it is just downright bizarre. Wait until you hear what the President orders from McDonald's! Next.
SANCHEZ: President Trump's enormous appetite for McDonald's cheeseburgers and milkshakes, his legendary hot temper and furious screaming, and how he sometimes has his suits pressed while he still wears them.
[18:45:06] These are just some of the stories in a new book that comes out this week about what was it was like to work for Donald Trump while he was running for president. The stories are told by two men who had full access to Trump during the campaign.
"The Washington Post" got an advanced copy of the book, which includes the following line -- quote, sooner or later everybody who works for Donald Trump will see a side of him that makes you wonder why you took a job with him in the first place.
CNN media and business reporter Hadas Gold is here.
Hadas, many of these stories paint Donald Trump in not exactly the most flattering light. In fact, the two authors say they both had moments when they wanted to, quote, parachute Trump off of off -- off Trump Force One, I should say.
Is the entire book like this? Is it just a teardown of the President?
HADAS GOLD, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICS, MEDIA AND GLOBAL BUSINESS REPORTER: No. So I mean, we're going off of "The Washington Post" report of this book, but what they say is, actually, for the most part, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, the authors of this book, were very -- were praising Trump during the entire book.
Although they did illustrate some of these moments where Trump comes off as sort of raging at them and vindictive, in some ways, even leaving behind staff members when their food wasn't ready in time after a campaign stop.
So it's both praising him, it seems, but also shows some unflattering moments.
SANCHEZ: Yes. There was another moment where he apparently ordered pilots to lower the altitude of his plane so he could make an angry phone call.
I mentioned earlier that sometimes Trump, apparently, has his suit pressed while he's still wearing it. What's the story behind that?
GOLD: So this -- the book apparently talks about how Hope Hicks, who is now the communications director at the White House, would sometimes steam the President's suit before an appearance while he was still wearing it. That's sort of one of those funny campaign trail anecdotes.
I'm not sure if people remember the documentary about Mitt Romney that came out after the 2012 that showed him kind of ironing his shirts while he was wearing them.
So that sort of provides some of the more fun aspects of this book, but there's plenty in here that I'm sure will be dissected and investigated as sort of a window into President Trump's personality and what he's like behind the scenes.
SANCHEZ: Another fun aspect is his diet, right? Apparently, his order from McDonald's -- two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish, and a milkshake.
It seems funny, but the White House has avoided questions recently about him getting an annual physical. What can you tell us about what this means about his diet and his health?
GOLD: So the President's affection for fast food is not at all unknown. As we can see on the screen, he loves his McDonald's. He loves his fast food. What we're seeing here is his actual order, which, if you break down the calories on that one order by itself, it's way more than the daily amount anybody should be getting.
And in addition to that, just this week, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked, is the President going to go to the military doctors and get the annual physical that's then released to the public as presidents have been doing now for decades? And she didn't give a clear answer on that.
And that begs the question, if the President is at his age and he is having this sort of diet that it's clear that he likes, what does that say about his physical health? And we might not know that if he is not going to go to the military doctors and release his physical.
SANCHEZ: A few people love Mickey D's as much as I do, but two Filet- o-Fish, that is -- that's living on the edge. Hadas Gold, thank you so much for the reporting.
GOLD: Thanks, Boris.
SANCHEZ: We'll be right back. Stay with us.
[18:48:23] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SANCHEZ: You've heard of alternate facts. Well, on this week's "STATE OF THE CARTOONIAN," Jake Tapper takes a look at the alternate universe that may exist for President Trump.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: As comic book aficionados know, Superman has his archenemy, Bizarro, who lives in a topsy-turvy world where stop means go and yes means no.
And increasingly, it sounds as though there's a Bizarro Trump who also lives in a world of opposites.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This reality, this wonderful place --
TAPPER: In the real world, in reality, we all heard President Trump say this about that hideous "Access Hollywood" tape.
TRUMP: I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade old video are one of them.
TAPPER: But for Bizarro Trump, well, "The New York Times" reports that he is still insisting the tape might not be his voice.
TRUMP: Totally fake and made-up. It's like a novel.
TAPPER: Here on planet Earth, President Trump finally admitted this.
TRUMP: President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.
TAPPER: But in Bizarro world, we're told the President is still questioning the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In other breaking news, the world is round, not flat.
TAPPER: You can see this phenomenon almost everywhere, whether it's how often the President golfs or how well he's doing in the polls.
TRUMP: I'm getting tremendous support. Even in your polls, I'm getting tremendous support.
TAPPER: In fact, what we're all watching these days, it makes a lot more sense if, as a kid, you read a lot of Superman comic books.
TRUMP: This is reality. You know it. They know it. I know it. And pretty much the whole world knows it.
SANCHEZ: And coming up, after the new developments in the Mueller investigation, President Trump went on a tweetstorm, slamming the FBI saying it is in tatters.
[18:50:00] We got a strongly worded response from former top officials, next. We'll show it to you live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
SANCHEZ: It is the top of the hour. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Boris Sanchez in New York, in today for Ana Cabrera. We thank you so much for joining us on this Sunday night.
Tonight, a lesson for President Trump. When you push people connected to the FBI, those people push back. Earlier today, the President sending out this slam of his own federal
investigative agency writing, quote, after years of Comey with a phony and dishonest Clinton investigation and more running the FBI, its reputation is in tatters. Worst in history. But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.
[19:00:08] That's not sitting well with the agency's leaders, past and present.