Transcript for Breaking down today's White House press briefing
Mark give a company here at ABC news headquarters we just finished watching the White House daily press briefing and now we're gonna break it all down I'm joined by two of ABC news's political team's finest. Mary Alice parks from our Washington DC bureau and Jordan Phelps joins us from the White House north mom thank you for being here this afternoon. I. So the issue of the president's tweets came up again this is something that has come up time and time again because he is such a prolific Tweeter. And jumped by to have an opportunity to comment on that would even say was that the tweets are considered official White House statements because the coming directly. From the president this is something that in the past members of the administration said there was just social media this is not an expression policy. There has been some discord on that Mary Alice. What if anything we learned today about the White House and and how they consider the president's tweeting. You know exactly like you sad. I'm shocked risers sit up there and said of course didn't consider presidential statements may come from the president and he also made a point of saying that the president is the most effective. Messenger for for the White House for the president's message I'm so really it seems like. Nearly watching this Tug of war back and forth should try to fill to the president's tweet should they let the president. Each round. Out and today we seem to see a White House that was ready just to stand behind what ever was coming out a 140 character. An economic some of the foreign policy questions to John Spicer in no way looking to back down from around the tweets and controversial that they Nady. But enjoy hundreds of follow up on that you know one of the things that the president has been tweeting about this issue of -- and the isolation that is taking place in the region right now now Sean Spicer said that he wants to see the issue. Is taking shape on and on Twitter and what we know about the White House's position I. Yeah at this is at classic example of how the president of the United States has one thing and his communications teams that's an entirely different and it's different thing. It's a constant Tug of war. I hear and it's the same thing we've been seeing. Going on with at with his Twitter and whether these are official statements or whether we're not supposed to take him seriously. We get a lot of mixed messages from the White House. I'm an aunt and cutter we see the president really taking that stand really almost taking credit. For the isolation that we've seen a lot of the air neighbors put on cutter. At bank here from the podium today without an entirely different message from Spicer saying that you want to see this situation to escalate that. Probably at big factor in that official statement is. The US has a meter base there that's meter center for our operations in. In the Middle East and in that region snow. I as much as the president cannot be restrained on Twitter and can stay as he wants. White house Press Secretary has to come out to the podium. And defend US policy and protects these these important you know pieces of infrastructure we not there so. You know again the president's Wear habits making chants risers job a little bit more typical day. But during this begs the question you know this is the president states he's in charge why can't he do wrecked his team to deliver a message that's in line with what he is going to Tweeter what he has already tweet it. There can be cohesion here why isn't there. I think the problem parents that the president's message my heat tweets. It's not that it and that question was posed directly to the White House in the briefing yesterday it is anyone betting the president's tweet. This is something. They talked about doing before. But again answer is now this seems to be aware the president likely is drawing the line saying. No one is going to be betting these tweets at defending that. It's through these tweets that he's gotten where he is but. But what we see is that the presidents tweets are out of line and act with. With what this standard policy is the reason the president's tweets can't stand on the around never want it into line with average. The president tweets as because it would be a radical shift on policy matter after policy matter on it dated eight basis which is something the federal government simply can't sustain. And over and over again we're seeing him in fact undermine members of his administration different departments and the like. Mary Alice in terms of one of those tweets you know he has been treating extensively about what's happening right now I'm with cutter he says that his visit to Saudi Arabia made a very big. Impact in the decision to isolate this country didn't the visit to Saudi Arabia have an impact on what's happening there now. Well you know I think you should I got injured who has with them at that time it's for Iraq wasn't just got back. From there but I think it during also exactly right when she talked about the fact that. That these tweets seem to be putting. In jeopardy long standing. Federal government positions and that there we have bases and Central Command. In cutter we do a lot of intelligence work and launched. I'm strikes in Syria from their self when he seems to be taking credit for really disrupted diplomatic issues. In the region this is no small thing this has real consequences something that is sending shockwaves. Through our intelligence community are pouring sort of the my community but around the world that. But again I certainly punt back to Jordan who just got back and we'll look and it's here at Jordan Jennifer. Resonate a parent and impacted the does that matter. That president deadly Saudi Arabia went with some new commitments and understanding from a lot of air allies about uniting behind. The fight against crisis particularly around the subject. Of finding an and that's why we keep president. Point mean Q here now of course we don't now what the president needs leaders discussed behind closed doors. Abbott the president certainly. I his tweet is to be I have believed did I secure some understanding. At that you know that funding is really cracked down on and we did hear statements like app honest leaders and the president. Didn't eat at me progress specifically on the issue a finding. In cutter but high is again questionable whether the the president can in fact be taking credit for. This since the United States isn't standing with air allies and cutting off ties with cutter. I would obviously work we're not prepared to do you at this time eight if Sean Spicer is briefing is any indication. I know we did your questions about Thursday when company is expected to testify about where the president will be will he be watching Sean Spicer would not confirm whether the president will be watching order if you be paying attention. Directly but Mary Alice we have some new information now from reporting from ABC news. About what we may see on Thursday what can you tell us about woody BC news report. Yet it's really interesting and also to sit back you know Jon Karl was in the briefing room. Our art chief white house press plant has some really interesting new reporting saying that while. Call me is going to say honestly you prepared to answer questions about what he wrote in a memo. Specifically. Conversations he had with the president conversations that the source tells Jon Karl you know made him uncomfortable so uncontrolled he. He wanted to go in and he's not going to elaborate packed bag he's not going to draw conclusions and in some way I'll go on to. To accuse the president of obstructing just. You know we we've talked about how. Forces who are familiar with this memo say that that the president. Say add deeds on in the memo the president told Connie I hope you can see your way clear to letting this to go through letting flamed out. You know the the investigation the FB IA and the DOJ were pursuing. Against landed but and some legal analysts had talked about whether or not that would constitute. Obstruction of justice and so this reporting is interesting saying that he will pockets are black and white terms about what the president told him about what he wrote about those conversations. But will not in any way sort of offered his own legal analysis will not suggest that it was obstruction of justice will not accused the president of what would be. A really serious crime. Now the president also said repeatedly that company had told him that he was not under investigation. Is this something that companies expected to address. Our understanding unease that he's absolutely expected to address that and has every intention of disputing that fact. Of saying that that was not what happened at did not take place. I'm that he did not tell the president that angst astronaut on three occasions so it's interesting and it's part of what you will be watching closely that it shore. Some of the most urgent questions on a long list of questions the senators have for the former actor. And there were questions about the president's level of confidence in Jeff Sessions Jordan what can you tell us about that. At wasn't very interesting nominee and that briefing eyes that you I don't watch really close seat with these statements in the briefing about whether or not. At this Press Secretary is ready to go out there and say the president has absolute confidence in someone if that when the Press Secretary doesn't state that which he did it say in this case it's a signal that something might be app foul here meet me. There are back average discussions about Jeff Sessions status. I hear it here in the administration at the Justice Department. We've seen some reporting this week that the president. And is series are developing rift with his attorney general. And we even saw the president take to Twitter this week to laying his own justice department for the watered down second first and it's probably an executive order that's now. Scuttled in the court's eyes so to blame his own attorney general law for something on Twitter as pretty striking. On and even more striking now to see. I Sean Spicer not say categorically yes the president has confidence. I in the attorney general he said they had a conversation with the president have to happen so that's certainly was something will be chasing here this afternoon following up with the white house on. And Jordan has there been any reporting on how anyone at the Justice Department as responded to two these tweets from the president undermining his own Justice Department. I not accurate for you act you act the Justice Department on that I hear at at the White House. Either deciding that the tweet speak for themselves announcing hearing anything about me. How the Justice Department how that how that went down and that there. You know not in particular bad but it's it's unprecedented you know people of we've talked a lot. Over the last few days internally about the fact that. That is just not something that you've seen especially a case that firm that is really sort of likely headed to the supreme corps and the White House has said it may want to be taken up by a Supreme Court. Soon so it in is really isn't shocking statements to see that kind of internal fighting played out in public with an administration. And there was also a good conversation at this press briefing the rest of this leaker who's accused of leaking. Information to the press in the White House has been very critical of anyone leaking information and has been very clear about the fact they want to see these sneakers found and prosecuted Jordan what did we learn today about their views on this most recent arrest. Yeah I mean that the White House there the administration is really sending a masked it with. This particular case leaks will not be tar rate at. In this case kind of stands as as a case in point this is a 25 year old contractor not not a chronic individual not an Edward snout and not. Not that's where prominent level person but that tweet six Ers are acts aren't the leaks or something that this administration is that. Are not going to be tolerated and attack and in this case it certainly scenes that that this woman is being used that as an easy up. All. Right Jordan felt so I report from the White House north line and merry Ellis park from ABC news's DC bureau I think you both for your time this afternoon. And helping us analyze all things from the white house press briefing. Yeah you. At a want to thank you guys are watching online for checking in on us please continue to check in we have more news of course on abcnews.com and don't forget to watch world news tonight in here.
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