Trump faces backlash for tweet about robbery at Elijah Cummings' home

Trump also threatened to slap tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports and says he has narrowed down his list of possible replacements for director of national intelligence.
6:34 | 08/03/19

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Transcript for Trump faces backlash for tweet about robbery at Elijah Cummings' home
We do want to turn to president trump saying he's narrowed down the list of possible replacements for director of national intelligence after his original nominee dropped out. This as the president faces backlash including from a key supporter over his tweet about a break-in at a top democratic congressman's home. ABC's white house correspondent Tara Palmeri is in New Jersey where the president is spending the weekend. Tara, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, whit. President trump attacked the press for revealing damaging information about his choice for director of national intelligence and then thanked them for doing the white house's vetting. He said it saves them money. Now, he just adds to a growing list of presidential appointees who failed to make it through senate confirmation. Americans need to know this. Reporter: President trump's top pick for director of national intelligence, Texas congressman John Ratcliffe withdrawing his name for the this comes just less than a week after he was tapped to replace outgoing Dan coats. Leaving for his New Jersey golf club trump defending Ratcliffe as he came under scrutiny for his lack of experience and inflated resume. The press was treating him unfairly. He's an outstanding man. Reporter: Ratcliffe said, I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surround my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue. More than 60 trump appointees have been withdrawn before confirmation or rejected by the senate. The vetting process for the white house is very good. But you're part of the vetting process. You know, I give out a name to the press and they vet for me. We save a lot of money that way. Reporter: Trump's pick for labor secretary, Andy puzder, department of veteran affairs, Dr. Ronny Jackson. U.N. Ambassador, Heather nauert and federal reserve board members Herman Cain and Stephen Moore are among the high-profile picks whose names were pulled after negative information was revealed. The president also lashing out again at house oversight chairman Elijah Cummings who is leading investigations into his administration. The president mocking Cummings' recent home burglary calling it really bad news and adding too bad. That post prompting immediate backlash. Fellow Republican and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley replying this is so unnecessary. President trump standing by his tweet. That was not meant as a wise guy tweet. His house robbed and came over the news at a certain moment last night, and I had just mentioned it. Reporter: President trump has been attacking Cummings since last weekend when he called Baltimore a rat and rodent infested place where no human being would want to live. Now, many called those tweets racist, but Cummings hasn't gone that far and is expected to speak today in Baltimore. And we'll see if he responds. Tara, I do want to transition to economic matters for a moment. The markets tumbling this week over escalating concerns of a trade war and president trump is sounding off on China once again. Reporter: That's right, whit. President trump is doubling down on his threat to slap tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. That's virtually all Chinese imports, and it could take place as soon as next month. Now, Americans will pay the price on everything from shoes to phones and clothing, China said they will respond with appropriate measures. Whit. A big story to watch, Tara Palmeri in New Jersey, thanks so much. Dan. Thank you, whit. Thank you, Tara. A lot to talk about politically this morning so let's bring in ABC news chief political analyst Matthew dowd who is joining us from Texas. Matthew, good morning. I want to start with this story about congressman John Ratcliffe who took himself out of the run for the job of director of national intelligence. It was interesting to hear the president say he relies on the media to vet his nominees. To your mind, how does that square with his constrain refrain of fake news? Well, you also could ask how does it square with what he said he only hires the best people as Tara related. All these people that have been thrown out because of the qualifications problem. It doesn't square. It is an explanation the president doesn't vet these people but watches Fox News or some other program and decides he's got somebody in mind. It's a continual process of this and I think one of the thing it highlights is the importance of the press in this, because if the white house isn't vetting these important candidates to these really crucial positions, at least the press is doing their job and doing the process to find out what really is the background. Let's move on now to the president's tweets about congressman Elijah Cummings, the Democrat from Baltimore. I have heard conservative analysts say that this kind of dustup actually hurts the president's chances of getting re-elected because it takes the attention away from our strong economy. Do you agree with that analysis? Well, if you look at the data, the last president to have economic numbers like this president has in his presidency had a job approval rating 20 points higher than president trump has, so trump is basically doing this to himself. His job approval numbers should be much better than these but Donald Trump as we've learned and we talked about it a number of times is an incredibly impulsive person. He doesn't stay disciplined on what anybody would naturally think would be the conversation he's having, so as I said earlier, he arises. He has an impulse, he does something but over and over and over Donald Trump's Twitter feed is his biggest own nightmare. This is going to be a huge issue as we head into the 2020 elections. Finally another big headline, finally let me just ask you, another big issue as we head into the next presidential election. We now as of Friday have a majority of Democrats in the house of representatives coming out in favor of beginning the impeachment process against president Donald J. Trump, however, most Americans are against that. So is this a dangerous road for Democrats? I think it's a careful road for the Democrats. If you look at past numbers on impeachment numbers, take a look at Richard Nixon, the numbers of people, Americans today who want impeachment today are higher than what it was with Richard Nixon even as the process of impeachment started but we're incredibly polarized and tribalized in this country so you have this divide on each side of this. I think the Democrats have to be careful. I think they have to go through this process. Right now a majority of Democrats supporting impeachment won't be enough for impeachment. I think Nancy Pelosi has tried to take it in a discipline manner to see where she gets by the end of the summer, early fall. Nancy Pelosi walking a tightrope. Matthew dowd, really appreciate your analysis from Texas on a

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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