Transcript for White House faces infighting, backlash over criticism of Jeff Sessions
Jon, stand by. I want Mary Bruce to stand by as we bring in John avlon. You mentioned, John, Jeff sessions still out there. Big criticism from the president all week long. You also heard the president getting criticized after announcing that transgender ban by his joint chiefs of staff saying they're not going to implement that bill until they get more direct guidance from the president, of course, the senate and the house passing Russian sanctions to the president over some objections that he's had previously. Now that's on his desk as well and, John, you broaden out this week and look at the last seven months heading into the August recess and running out of an tiffs to describe what's going on here. We've never seen anything like it before. We haven't. This is a level of chaos that we have just not seen in any modern white house and can't imagine being in the past. There's been no significant legislative achievements. Last night's high drama moment with John McCain was decisive for the Republicans' core campaign promise to repeal Obamacare because they never could agree on what they would replace it with. But these internal feud, internal wounds festering and exploding into the public shows that tone comes from the top and president trump has failed to unite his white house let alone the nation. It's hard to see how both Anthony scaramucci and reince Priebus survive after this open warfare playing out on the front pages of papers all across the country. Reporter: Yeah, I talked to a senior adviser to this president, both inside and outside the white house since this all broke. Some of those individualers say reince Priebus needs to say fire scaramucci or Rhame gone but also talked to officials who believe that they could both stay. One actually invoking "The lord of the flies" here to describe what's going on. That's not the only tension, the president has tensions with his national security adviser over Afghanistan, with general Mattis, the head of the Pentagon over this transgender and with his own secretary of state. Reporter: Yeah, secretary of state tillerson actually had to come out and deny reports that he was on the verge of resigning. Tensions with most of the senior people advising this president, the one exception, the real bright exception to that is John Kelly over at the homeland security department and, George, I am told he is high on the list of possible replacements for reince Priebus as chief of staff. Meantime, Mary Bruce on capitol hill, one of the other things we saw, not only that vote by John McCain to stop the Obamacare repeal effort but Republicans becoming more outspoken this week in their criticism of president trump. Reporter: Yeah, George, especially when it comes to Jeff sessions. Republicans up here are taking sides. Many top Republicans, in fact, drawing a red line. Senator Lindsey graham came out swinging yesterday saying that if trump does fire sessions, there would be holy hell to pay. He said if he goes even further and tries to meddle in the investigation with Bob Mueller, he says that would be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency. Even if the president does move to fire sessions or if sessions steps down, you have Republicans up here saying that they simply don't have enough bandwidth to give him a new one. Chairman grassley saying no way they would have a new attorney general any time soon. John avlon, that investigation still at the heart of president trump's anger. Absolutely. And it is the highest stakes investigation we've seen. Every step of the way president trump gives every indication of trying to shut it down one way or another but what the senate is saying if you fire Jeff sessions we won't confirm a replacement is a strong signal that they recognize that Mueller's investigation cannot be derailed and these are as high stakes poker as you get right now. No question about that. Thank you all very much. Much more Sunday on "This week." Robin. Let me ask you this. Many people feel this chaos at the white house, it's kind of like, look over here, look over here so you don't look here here at the major arnettes facing the American people. I don't think it's distraction, I don't think it's strategy. It's impulse and the personality of the president. I think he tolerates this to some degree, one thing we're seeing play out. The question is how long can a white house go on with open warfare like this. I know you'll talk about it Sunday on "This week." Thank you very much.
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