Transcript for The Briefing Room: White House responds to Woodward book, NYT anonymous op-ed
Happy about it welcome to return her mind Devin Dwyer ABC news in Washington drummer senior national correspondent Terry Moran earned deputy political director Mary Alice park's great to have you with us today. A briefing. In the briefing room yeah. General rarity not a fun time in nineteen days we had a chance to question. CR Sanders over there at the White House a lifetime pact today guys. I watch I'm here a lot to ask her about dead first big issue of course on the docket today the Woodward book. Bob orders big bombshell just cannot about a week ago lax it's technically out tomorrow. In bookstores came out a little bit early and she. It's you who's trying to turn the page literally on this thing. It's bin. And match and complemented by that opt antigen or gonna get to but now those two story sort of all wrapped up lending to get in each other because there's this repeated theme of staffers saying the president is. Incompetent. Or amoral and that they are essentially working behind the scenes to protect the country from this. They're his own president from their own president and it has been interesting to watch this White House trying to avoid any conversation about the content of the book. For the content that op that and instead focus all attention on whether there's a factual errors or who tend not. Cancer you've covered a number of administrations here you saw Sarah communications professional come out today and say we're gonna try to focus on doing the things that matter getting our jobs done. The thing of the president tweeting. Tweeting up a storm outlive us all about and I want to read his most recent tweet DeVon where he said there are bound book. As him try to turn the page because I think they all feel the damage done. That that this whole atmosphere of turmoil and chaos and crisis in. And disloyal to the is dragging him down politically he can't resist having the last word but when I saw that tweet this morning hours are bound book I thought okay he doesn't want talk about Woodward anymore and. Zachary and Bob what are making the media rounds of facts here an ABC news who have. Women more on Nightline with Bob Woodward coming up tomorrow president Ers are centers are dodging the question a lawsuit for Bob ordered. But sort of he Teaneck part potentially some action Terry against the New York Times for that anonymous sop that they see that. Very much is a national security issue this is. Can portion. Any kind of criminal responsibility around someone who has NASA security clearance or whatever they're gonna try and turn what was a political. Dig up that somebody said I work in this administration I don't like this president and I'm trying did. Do things underneath the president that he wouldn't like in two. An espionage case or national security case that is they can torsion of the criminal law around she could name alive in Iraqi Nash who. You'll what was violated the early lives at stake here is the First Amendment biz person. Spoke his or her opinions. Revealed certain things that may or may not be true in Indian getting the free press and there's. Nelson and conversion of the story. I Gallagher is saying there are trying to make a villain they're trying to make this whodunit murder mystery to find a coal Brent. Find that author of this op that instead of addressing any and the accusations in the pockets. I'm sort of surprised we don't even have many more clarity on who the author is. Let's go to the White House sound bring in Catherine fall there she's been tracking the hunt. For the anonymous author in the New York Times Catherine sir Sanders they're sort of trying to downplay the search for this person. But we know the president is very eager. To identify this person said over the weekend four or five people he has in mind it could be my pants offering to take a lie detector test. What's the latest on their hot to to out this person. The act and you see a list of denials from the administration growing whether it's Mike Pence whether it's all of the cabinet secretaries and staffers Sarah Sander said that. That lie detector test why aren't. Under consideration she's the media should actually be spending. Time not on this but the reality is that on the president is felt very focused on. Finding this author he's tweeting about it he says it's found the 45 people and as we reported as we know from our sources. There was a list internally inside the white house with a list of nearly a dozen people who they think. It could be the bottom line we did in glean any more clarity Estes who does could be and it seems like the search is still on. The search is still line meanwhile. Catherine at this. Weeks ago but those two Republican congressman two of his earliest congressional supporters Chris Collins of New York Duncan Hunter of California both indicted. And the president of course tweeted that he thought that those indictments were politically motivated and questionable. Let's listen to for answer on that. Senate president said he was looking into whether or not take action is your hottest Republican. The anonymous op Ed does the president did not think they've got all of that is protected by the First Amendment because you really think that the federal government should. Contemplate action against the newspaper from publishing an article. I think it's less about as that part of it and whether or not somebody is act. Actively trying to undermine the executive branch of the government and a duly elected president of the United States they don't want to be part of that process they shouldn't be here don't. Parties trying to undermine the undermine it are. Out Hank. I mean mining executive reds the United States is not a crime I mean there's there's people out in the streets says somebody protesting John Bolton speech grown having people trying to undermine the executive branch of its in. Democrats the Republicans I would Mitch McConnell said my job is to make sure he doesn't get a second term when Barack Obama was elected that's undermining the executive reds and not a crime. It's all politics. If that engine yet Jeff Sessions is is in this awkward position of of needing to do something to showcase although he seems now that I'm standing and in defending the law and it seems like he's at the point. Writing is on the wall he's probably going to be gone by the end of the year. We'll see how he takes it in what he says when he leaves. That I think we should breast by and other treats that you talked about just still getting a lot of buzz on Washington because it Greenberg and she didn't have a good answer for that because. There is a good answer the president treated last week that he thought two of his political allies shouldn't face corruption charges because they're his France and that's something that. I had a lot of Republicans worried anyone Abbott a lot agree worried and frankly a lot of voters worried because it's not it's not normal for the president to say that he she used the Justice Department. To keep some political ally safe. It's wrong it would be an impeachable offense no one is above the law. She says is exactly with the brilliance says he is indicating otherwise is actions. Let's go back to the White House for a quick one other headline out of the briefing now with Catherine folders were with respect to North Korea those talks have been on the rocks. Although we didn't see any ICBM some parade over the weekend in North Korea. For the big festivities there but Catherine the president has received another letter. From king John. Yes she said that the president has received a letter the State's department has that letter from Kim Jung and she discard this letter as a warm. And positive but she said that they aren't. Going to release this letter unlocks Kim Jong-un. Allows them to do that and she said she sees a signs of progress she says there's a new optimism in a way and referred. To that parade. Where she says North Korea wasn't highlighting their nuclear arsenal. All right and then she also said there are guys that the White House is working on scheduling a second means that fifty between trumping camps it's unclear whether that well bee in Washington or North Korea bank the scheduling on a storm that before or Eleanor who are. Electrical happen at all we'll see a cap exactly the White House. Thank you so much for that shifting gears a little bit Terry where to you're fresh back from overseas relatively stoic and say here now and Washington. A big development when it comes to Middle East peace process today with the White House announcing. Ambassador John Bolton across the street here saying that the US the trump administration is going to close down. The Palestinian offices here in the United States this on the heels of course of the embassy moving. Cutting back financial aid. What's going on here why should we care about this what we're secure our. Because bed. Palestinian Israeli conflict is been going on forever is a a continuing source of instability and more than anything a kind of test of American leadership always has been at least that's what American presidents have had taken it and present trump has taken it as a terrorist. And his approach is to muscle the Palestinians. You must come to the table on our terms and on our allies Israel's terms or else and this is an or else cannot stick a lesson. To that message for half stumble. The trapped administration will not keep the office open. When the Palestinians refused to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. The United States supports a direct and robust peace process. I knew about the earlier this comes on the heels of the top administration making big moves to cut any aid. Packages of Palestine money for refugees and most recently about twenty million dollars for hospitals finding used by Palestinians so one of a long list. Stuff of must there was sort of a two part part announcement obviously shutting down that office but then he took aim at the ICC the international criminal court. Republican administrations have often. Version of shunned this organization but he gave Bolton today said he would US which the sanction. That organization if they went after Americans or Israelis. Bringing you strata. Upped the ante no democratic presidents have not been friends in the international criminal court it has nobody voted for it no voters voted for it this. He's countryside is on countering guided and his point was as conservatives have to have made this point and democratic presidents have not embraced it. You know who really doesn't represent all the peoples of the world well that's that some amorphous thing and he said. Because. There's a risk that it could be politicized than they couldn't I Americans for a cent to political reason the president whose policies they don't like like say trumps. That the united now and won't cooperate but will actually sanctioned the organization itself that's what this. I'm administration doctrine of Shawnee and America first and shunning these multilateral the UN NATO the whole life. All right shifting gears to close out this Monday talk about politics is to big mid term week we're closing out mid to primary week rather primary season 57 days to the mid terms. Merrill's parks has the preview for us we've got three states this week right. Frank New Hampshire Rhode Island and in New York a big competitive gubernatorial primary here New Hampshire is really interesting obviously it plays an outsized role in all presidential years. And issue their some jam packed primaries there's a Lenin at Democrats they're competing for want the chance. Tube be on the ballot for one congressional seat Daryn part of New Hampshire are still be watching that tomorrow everyone wants a piece of the action and. I'm fascinated by the gubernatorial democratic gubernatorial primary in New York Cynthia Nixon a lot of us. More on an up against Andrew Cuomo awarded Lincoln. Right that's a big blue state with two big blue players. Indian accents create a lot of buzz internationally almost definitely nationally because she's just a first action a Hollywood superstar she's well knowledge and she's taking not a pretty unpopular. And gubernatorial. Governor their New York. You know injure Cuomo might be under water with his popularity but he has a longstanding tradition in the state hot and money. And a touted backing so it's still a long shot for her. But she's run as an. Big progressives she's run starts in the last. And she's are able to push him to come and meet her on a number of issues so a lot of people are saying in some ways even if she loses she's already won. All right colonel sparks thanks very much we know you'll be on now mid term watched primary watch all week this week Karen ABC news live that ended abcnews.com. Be sure to download BBC news app to follow her coverage this week in person finest right back here in the briefing room tomorrow afternoon as well for Terry Moran Mary Alice parks and Devin Dwyer. Thanks watches.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.