Transcript for Trump begins vacation as Mueller convenes grand jury
politics now and president trump is waking up in his estate in bedminster, New Jersey. This is day one of his 17-day vacation. But the Russia investigation not taking a break. This morning "The New York Times" reporting that apparently for the first time special counsel Robert Mueller's team has reached out directly to the white house to request records. Trump's attorney general is issuing a stern warning about intelligence likes and ABC's David Wright is in bedminster, New Jersey, with the very latest for us this morning. Good morning to you, David. Reporter: Good morning, Paula and Dan. This is the president's first extended break. 17 days at his golf clu here in bedminster, but the turmoil back in Washington has brought storm clouds overhead especially the news that the Russia investigation appears to have heated up. As president trump arrived here with his family for the summer holiday, special counsel Bob Mueller is pressing on with the Russia probe backed up by a federal grand jury in Washington. This morning, "The New York Times" reports that investigators for the special counsel recently requested documents from the white house related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. And questioned whether the Turkish government secretly paid Flynn for lobbying work. Flynn declined to comment. Meanwhile, the president is looking to stop leaks, especially after transcripts of two of his private phone calls with world leaders were leaked this week. These cases to investigate and prosecute are never easy but cases will be made and leakers will be held accountable. Reporter: Attorney general Jeff sessions has commissioned a new FBI unit to investigate leaks. And I have this warning for would be leakers, don't do it. Reporter: While no one would begrudge the president what the white house calls a working vacation, it's worth noting how frequently trump denigrated his predecessor for taking time off. He plays more golf than people on the PGA tour. Here at the white house and you have so much work to do, why do you fly -- why do you leave so much? Reporter: Although this is trump's first full vacation he's already made 12 trips to his own resorts including seven to mar-a-lago and five to bedminster. The white house is very sensitive about the "V" word. They call this a working vacation and note that the west wing is getting some big renovations while they're away including the installation of a new heating and cooling system, believe me, Dan and Paula, you do not want to be in Washington in August without air-conditioning. A trumpian believe me, David. More more on all this let's bring in ABC news political consultant Matthew dowd who joins us from his hometown of Austin, Texas, this morning. Matt, good morning to you. Hey. This story in "The times," what to you is the significance of the report overnight saying that Robert Mueller's team is now reaching out to the white house for these records on the fired national security adviser Michael Flynn? Well, if I were worried I wouldn't be worried about the "V" word but the "I" word which is indictments and to continue the weather metaphors this is like the president looking out the white house and watching lightning and counting seconds until thunder to see how far away the weather is. The weather is getting closer and closer and closer to the white house. Every step we've seen over the last ten days has been one step further for Mueller to be investigating. People around the president and the president and this is just another example as they gather records, we've seen it taken further with the grand jury. I think we're going to have a long few weeks and months ahead but it's getting closer and closer to the white house. Closer and closer but hopefully we'll get closure on this. Okay. Let's switch gear, attorney general Jeff sessions yesterday said he's going to investigate these intelligence leaks that continue to dog the white house, Matt, particularly the confidential conversations that trump had with world leaders. Do you think this crackdown is going to change much? Well, put on your bell bottoms and hot pants and turn on the disco because we're back in the '730s. I mean when you look at this, in 1971 Richard Nixon put something together called the plumbers which was to patch leaks in the white house after the Pentagon papers. That was done then in the midst of a scandal, in the midst of a tloefrs. The same thing is happening now. I don't think it will have any effect. I think it's going to cause people to pause and consider but when you look at this, nearly every leak that had impact had impact on things like Michael Flynn resigning because of what "The Washington post" published so I think what you're going to see is the white house trying to tighten down but it won't have an effect on what leaks out of the white house. So the president is starting this working vacation with historically low approval ratings. What do you think could turn things around for him going forward? Well, as you say, Dan, he's at the lowest point of any president has ever been six months going into summer. Augusts are usually never good months for presidents. They usually fall in the midst of August. The only thing that I think can fuddly turn his numbers down in a real way is some external crisis that happens international or domestic that he handles competently and well, absent that the day in day out won't fundamentally change his numbers. He needs some external event though show he has the capacity to handle it in a way the American public would support. Matt dowd bringing up bell bottoms and the "I" word. Always great to have you. Love your analogies. Thanks for joining us. The dueling lottery
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