Transcript for Sarah Sanders says Trump has 'no intent' to fire Mueller
And. Hi there welcome to the briefing room on ABC news political director Rick Klein joins you're in our Washington newsroom by Catherine fall there's from a white ST LE Rogan from our capital whole team of big daddy. Because it was the first briefing by sir Sanders and a month. Since the November election since since Jeff Sessions was attorney general lot's changed and so yes it's news to get to we wanna start capital of the story that you've been reporting. I'm pretty extensively the other big announcement from Bob Muller's team overnight last night. That palm at a port according to his team is no longer cooperating. They have asked the court to to step in on this that afford according to this to this. Pleading and filing from the Lawler team has not been providing honest information and molesting him says they can prove it in court. Our John Karl asked about the president's tweet storm on Mueller and out of port and what it all means Nicholas. Certain given the president says this morning news Robert Bullard ruining people's lives history considering a pardon from Paul manor park. Or for others who were prosecuted. I'm nowhere any conversations. For anyone's part to involved and I exiled. Kind of like a follow up he also said this morning its new owners doing tremendous damage to the criminal justice system. If that's true is he considering picking up the phone calling as acting attorney general and saying fire problem. Our outlook adding that the president has touted. Robert Moeller doing his job for the last two years. And he could've taken action at any point he hasn't stolen I'm out. That's because is no intent to do anything seek. So the story lines couldn't. Very much be relevant a lot of people same eighty pulled out of four isn't cooperating because he thinks that he might get a pardon from president trump what do you think the meaning of this pleading of this filing from Mueller last night means. CEO well what I think is significant here is not so much Steve lack of cooperation we reported. Earlier this month of the talks are breaking down between Moeller and -- for that Mueller wasn't getting the answers he wanted to out of mantra but what's most significant here in this new filing in Latin Mueller is alleging is that he lie to break its. They're alleging man a fort Lyon about a number of topics they say they can Brunette as you mentioned that. I'm in Ford's team says that this isn't true so I think the significant thing to look for. Here will be now report that Wallerstein releases the deed sales of these lies the extent to which you lined the topics. He lied about and how consequential. They are and you know he is overall wool in the more investigation with regard to the part and you think about the legal strategy here and you say. Sunday he pled guilty as a cooperating government witness he would it is legal fees of a second trial. But it in agreed that with blunt a quote Ron cooperation deal with the special counsel no topics off the table. And then it goes in there lies so you think. Lot of legal experts of course are saying that maybe it's a hell Marion is hoping for a part. And the president who now has his own attorney general who's overseeing this probe and in May be hearing things from him Syria clearly has this on his mind today is C. Indeed is in a new series of attacks every double set of attacks against smaller. He absolutely it's clearly on his my especially after this. A man afford any news came and he he was attacking him last week I believe went we reported his frustration with answering. Muller's questions he cemented the president submitted a list of the answers. Two dollars questions but at the same time said in I can't believe what he's asking witnesses and all. And an Alley Rogen and other stirrings on Capitol Hill about bringing back a it protect smaller bill some kind of legislation that would. Insulate the special counsel's office Mitch McConnell hasn't liked this idea in the past. Luck but with every developing news cycle that deals with Bob Mueller every time the president starts tweeting about and we on the hill asked senators. Do you think the president is going to fire Bob Mueller take steps to do so and do you think that requires legislation to prevent him from doing that every time lately senators. Mostly Republicans have said absolutely not we do not think this is going to happen the president has not indicated as such the difference now of course is that Matt Whitaker. Is in nominal charge and so that conversation is shifted a little bit Jeff flake. As a senate Republican is one who has. Repeatedly requested that a bill protecting. The integrity of the special counsel it would put in safeguards to prevent the president simply from firing him at will. He's requested a vote on that and in fact now some senate Republicans are saying look. Even if they don't agree with this smaller protection bill that is getting a little more traction and they at least want to vote on it so that. They can move on and I think it would send a signal to the president that's look even. It did bail it would show that there is this is something that is being considered and could come to the floor again if things do you get a little more looking like he might fire mock. All right Alex stand by for our other topics Catherine thanks for joining us you get back to reporting we want to move down to Mississippi where the final. Federal voting of the 2018 mid terms is under way to day. He senate runoff between the the incumbent Republican senator Cindy heights Mitt. And the democratic candidate Mike SP our man on the ground in Jackson Mississippi ABC news is Tommy Thomas has been reporting this out and it. And Tom I have been struck by the conversations you've been having. With voters a lot of the national coverages have this in race really about race Mike Caspian is African American first city Highsmith has made a series of racially insensitive comments what's your sense on the ground for how big this issue isn't people aware of the national implications of it. You know ever talks about everyone's talking about that the public hanging comments before aware of it. The supporters of senator city Highsmith tell me that. They think it was a dumb comment but that words were taken out of context. And used against Sharon a political sense that a lot of that the the racial sort of remarks had been made about about her past have been taken out of context. That being said they said they're sticking with Earl a lot of people spoke yesterday the trump probably essentially said if president trump is with senator city Highsmith and I'm gonna stake. With senator city Highsmith. We're here and Hinds County this is where Jackson Mississippi is the capital just behind me people been voting all day. This is the biggest democratic county in all of Mississippi Hillary Clinton won here by 70%. All this is only you'll anecdotal this is only us being here for for a few hours but. Were meeting a lot of people that are voting for senator Cindy heights with which is not a good sign for Mike SP again this is only one polling location. What it has the support we talked to who it's been phone banking for for Eskew who's still motivated. Really wants this and as we decided since she's a little ward because the turnout looks very low here. And and and she said they're thinking was that Toronto how to be Heidi Hydro about their base they're jet democratic base if they had any chance whatsoever. Because you know you'll you'll remember of course in in the mid term race and in the original special election there were three candidates the libertarian taking 16% of the vote. You know SP Highsmith work we're neck and neck. But but deep the libertarian took 16% of the vote if she can pull off enough votes from from. That libertarian Christmas Daniel and I did meet him again you'll voters at the trump rallies said they voted for McDaniel they're not gonna vote. A for the Republican in this race. He could be game over and and Rick as you know we've had no reliable polling so it's unclear this has been a really a tight race orbits can be a blowout but the issue. Of races and the issue of race in the history of Mississippi has been at the forefront. And I took a lot of the SB boaters have told me they like SB because they believe he's the future of Mississippi. Whereas the current sitting senator they believe are presents the. Passive Mississippi. Yeah it is it it is a pass that isn't that much forgotten in the national consciousness. And Tom as you mentioned turn out so important especially three weeks after the actual election this is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend. A lot of people have to be reminded about this all over again president trump did his part yesterday with a series of rallies at one of the rallies Tom as you know that president. I mentioned my Caspian said he how does this guy sitting with Mississippi we should note that. That as the SP family goes back generations in the state of Mississippi and that Mississippi happens to be the state. That has the highest proportion the highest percentage of African Americans in the nation has a sense an African American to the senate since the reconstruction era how is that comment received on the ground. Right you know it was interesting comment I was there for what he said it and any mistake in the context of that that SP was true liberal essentially for Mississippi that's essentially saying without really give me that politics that you just gave about. Espy's career here his political career here and the history of despair we hear along with it appoints you mentioned as well. Armed but it still that he wanted to run and and one thing they mentioned Rick which is so interesting to me. I mean we saw this during the mid terms but was Brett Cavanaugh he brought Lindsey Graham to Tupelo Lindsey Graham spoke about Tupelo rallied. And it is is this is all they connect to a larger point you were asking but. Graham essentially the weight from sort of mob was at. Graham was the portions sea Brent Cavanaugh and senator Highsmith who voted for Brett Cavanaugh. And and Mike SB would probably be a no for Brett Cavanaugh so the president trying to tie this back in to his agenda to to make it's about himself. Because he knows if he can drive up his base. Then the Republicans win here. And Rick I gotta tell you they had to be worried about this because. The president usually does sort of these he's running guns stopped he gets here he speaks for a little bit and they popped back out to another state. He did two stops you in the northern part of state. And the southern part of the state he also that a business roundtable. Besides it would struck me was that Lindsey Graham was here Mike Pence was here to cheer of the Republican Party. And the head of the troubled campaign were all here rallied for Heisman. Most the only show in town I know you're going to be following it. All night long out tonight on world news and tomorrow on GMA Tommy homicide thanks to you for a reporting on the ground in Mississippi today thank you Tom. Want to move on to the economic news that rocketed through Washington yesterday announcement from General Motors that'll be closing a series of production class including several. In the United States. The including including ones in not in Maryland's Ohio and Michigan. That announcement met with saw some anger from the White House that actually escalated today take a look at the tweets that president trump fired off a just in the last couple of hours. City is very disappointed with General Motors and there's CEO who happened to meet with just yesterday for closing those plants well nothing is being close in Mexico and China. The USC and General Motors and this is the thanks we get and now we are looking at cutting all GM subsidies including those for electric truck cars he went on to talk about how. GM made a bet on China years ago he says is not going to pay off the president vowing to protect American workers. David Crowe he's been helping cover this story for us here. Eddie BC news and David this is not fit well with the president's agenda and the argument that he has made about his ability to revive American manufacturer. It doesn't and he does have a point don't reckon that is that. The government did bail out GM in 2008. But this restructuring that GM is talking about. Is actually taking place in the auto industry as a whole in fact Ford announced a number of changes. Earlier this year. Quietly but they did a lot of what GM is doing as well. And it is downsizing and right size it because the car industry is changing. Now GM tried to spin this that the plant closings and the lay offs are because. Getting rid of cars. It's a dance that people are buying suvs and trucks. And Ford kind of did the same thing 678 months ago as well saying they were to concentrate on their F 150 the truck that is. The most popular selling vehicle in the United States of America so part of this is restructuring by GM. But it really. The way it kind of landed as a five whereas Ford kinda made it quiet and I mean they did talk about a publicly but it wasn't like. 141000 jobs are going away were closing down five plants. But everybody's talking about in the car industry that they're moving away from the sedans and they're going to electric autonomous. And hybrid cars. But this this is the bigger cities where the president can actually do any thing. About what he called the subsidies he's of the federal tracts tax credits you get if you buy an electric car 7500 dollars basically. That you get to write off of your taxes can you take that away from one model and one carmaker and off from another. Opal way conceive that this is. A dilemma in the way it landed right before the holidays in General Motors not great optics from the White House or really from the general public either. Yet David Alley reading here with Rick on sat you talked about the subsidies the second ago have we heard from GM already vis other auto companies. About their reaction to the president threatening that's. No we haven't heard from GM and when I don't think Jim's gonna say things specific. Mary Vera has been apparently talking to Larry Kudlow the economic advisor at the White House and broke the news to him that. They were gonna make this announcement it's just it's the timing and the amount that is very difficult and as we've heard from the president he's being very vocal. About how he feels about this but this if you watched what happened on Wall Street yesterday which GM stock it went off. Because investors think. Opt GM's making some of the right moves. For the future they here's the great irony in all of this we were talking about the climate change report and that a majority of Americans believe in climate change. And yet a majority of Americans are buying trucks and suvs and not smaller sedans. Which the car company is a getting out now you can argue that the mileage of the suvs in the trucks much better and closer to some of those sedans. But Americans want those suvs and the trucks and that's what the carmakers are going to build. And that's what GM is doing in restructuring to try and meet that consumer demand. Whether that's good for the country as far as climate change in the world in the long run that's for others to debate. Pat. And in fact David added that he had just Palestinian and I responding specifically to the president but saying that they. Who remain committed to US manufacturing before we let you go you mentioned. This being that we're hearing from General Motors on this on the timing of this that the White House is engaged novelist in as well we heard from our column earlier today at the White House. Who reiterate what the president has been saying this is not connected in any way. Two tariffs the president's economic. Vision is going to be on his. The international display at the G-20 later this week the president Larry hello again previewing the possibility of a trade war escalating even further with China if any. Is that the administration right in saying this has nothing to do with the tariffs at the top administration is intent on imposing. What I will tell you is what the carmakers said when the terrorists are being talked about and they said it is going to impact their business affect GM was quite. Straightforward in saying that they put a dollar amount of in it was a billions of dollars. That would be impacted because the terrorists because so many other parts come from outside of the countries in have to pay more for those parts that they put on the vehicles and somebody's got to pay for that. And that's the American public. All right David Crowley reporting for us out here in Washington thank you didn't appreciate you that. Singing a brick if we can just look at that political implications of this for a second because that's what we do here. The fact that this is happening in Ohio and Michigan to stay president from one but you look at their margins in the Ohio senate race just now Sharon brown. Campaign on the message very similar to lead to kind of the reaction that this this leave the GM leaving is happening. And he wine. His senate race by similar margin that present in trump won the Ohio presidential ballot in 2016. So this to be a potent message for Democrats to capitalize on given that GM is leaving. These critical states with critical votes. Definitely a threat to the potential trump coalition for 220. A let's spend up to your normal stomping grounds on Capitol Hill. I'll Wear house Democrats are gathered this afternoon to begin discussions that will culminate a vote tomorrow. On who should lead their new majority come January their vote. In tied inside the house lead the house democratic conference for speaker of the house John parkinson's our man on the hill today and John. Is there any drama lasted this is Nancy Pelosi have this locked up in and what does that he has a policy folks who. He may into the post election period pretty confident they be able to walk for what are they saying at this hour. Well I think that we look ahead to tomorrow the expectations. The idea that Nancy plus he's gonna lock up the speakership. At least the nomination it goes to the floor right now the caucus rules. Dictate that all she needs to win is a simple majority of the caucus in order to earn that nomination. There was an effort by the never Pelosi never Nancy. Folks to try and change that rule to get a caucus voted to earn eighteen which would then you know abuse and can support on the floor attacks in the newspapers have. Applause he's telling her caucus look. The rules in the past have always been a simple majority and she's appealing to them. To stick to that and support her if she wins a majority tomorrow in in the clothes were. And as of now John there there actually isn't an opponent to Nancy Pelosi how would it play out. Tomorrow is there another candidate that that could receiver is expected to receive any votes. That's right so when this all kicks off first they're gonna go through and will adopt the caucus rules than they're gonna vote on the caucus chair. And when that's done there gonna move ahead to speaker. Now Pelosi is the only declared candidate right now so there's nobody else that's nominated it takes two people to nominate. Candidate for speakers so two people don't step up and nominate somebody else. There will be closely supporters and asked for humans consent. To be able to just Mae heard who the nominee for speaker so there may not being an actionable received 206. People that are for Pelosi and you know thirty others that are against her. Instead we might just see that it was a voice vote that. Plus he was unopposed. If there are an more candidates that are nominated to actually contend against terror then we can expect a redoubt where. The winner is announced and then perhaps we hear some sort of tally on how close that never Nancy people were able to knock her off. All right our John Parkinson Donald Wright capital with following that story line tonight and into tomorrow our thanks to John. I finally today we want to lot of close of the very important story that continues develop along the US border. With Mexico we've seen the pictures in recent hours and days tear gas canisters being fired. How women and children in some cases. Fleeing. The grounds we're gonna get our reporter on the ground in just a moment but I want to first play but president trump said on the subject yesterday asked by our colleague here at ABC news Karen Travers about these reports. People alleging criminal if you or he's on the fringes of the women's news right here yeah yeah I do. Say why are they there I mean that this first of all the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It's very safe the ones that were suffering to a certain extent were the people that we're putting it out there but it's very safe but you really say why is apparent. Running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it's going to be formed and they're running up with a child. And in some cases you know then that the parents these are people they go and grabber is they gray every child because they think they're gonna have a certain. And they get have a certain status by having a jugular you have certain advantages in terms of our crazy laws. That frankly congress should be changing you know if you change a law as you would be having this problem. And joining us now from Tijuana Mexico where she's been reporting. On the team refugees would be refugees. Are our ABC colleague from Mina who got and Amin a first of all this issue. Of core rappers is there been any evidence to support what the president has been saying that essentially. You migrants have been using children who warned there says as she yields or as a way to access to camouflage themselves are inoculate themselves from potentially be stopped at the border. There isn't the families we've Mack have all come together from the beginning and we met a lot of families today so. I can't say that we've seen any of us here today. For me what is the scene like on the on the ground we've seen tensions flare up at times we've seen groups tried to cross into the border. We've obviously seen the the tear gas canisters what is the date by the hour by hour like. Right now on the war how tense is it. So I think we've been here since the morning it's interesting right now we are outside of the stadium where the migrants have set up this tent city this is there home now. And earlier today this was a quiet road not much is happening now. It's bustling there are kids playing soccer here on the street we saw little kids online jungle gyms earlier today. It's a mixed. Mood of relief and restlessness I met a woman earlier. Who showed me the calluses on her feet she was telling me she felt like the pain was behind her she felt relieved to be here. And to kind of be able to rest after her monthlong block and take a listen. So they've been here since Sunday they're finally able to rest a bit. He's hoping that president on ninety in his heart I let them in. Up until they. Yeah. And he seemed EP CNN's men Clinton had not been mechanic and a isn't much it is that Matalin and I have. She's saying they Ari healed and coming up and hit I have can happen between. Say. She walks here is seeking is that now is letting her feet rest in sandals. He then went into your feet they had just a bit he believed that of that came in and around one million Winona. I can't let them give them in Atlanta at Louisiana State. They said that they Wear out and empty handed out creams for the calluses on their feet by medics along the way. Remain Alley there you sense of support. Yet. Allen running here with recline on sat on the incredible resilience being shown by that I mean you just interviewed Kenny tells little bit about how the children. Are feeling I mean certainly I would imagine. The pain threshold for them as a little lower than perhaps facilities adults. Yeah and a children. Will seem like there really noticing what's happening like I said earlier today they were playing on jungle and they are playing with little toy cars toy that people have donated here. And now the streets are lively people are. You playing ends playing soccer and the children seem to be or not really realizing what's happening right now. All right music and grounded meet one yet not going to remain and it's not. Knowing that one woman who was at the border on Sunday. And that's just part of the peaceful protest and landed it here gas started she ran and hid she thought she it's possible ordered to the US side. It wasn't until later that day Mexican man came out of his house and hold her. She still was in Mexico but she came back here. She says she could've you know try to get to the borders came back here that he did feel like there was a sense of community and safety to stay with the groups here. I mean approve a thank you reporting down there until wanna. Mexico we appreciate it we really on all of our our ABC shows later in the day in and through tomorrow. Our reporting on this an Alley we talk of politics at this the president already signaling he's using this this tension these renewed. Pictures and images coming out of there for his didn't part of his call for border wall with a possible government shutdown looming next week. Yes absolutely it's become a very real part of the conversation on the hill. The president has requested five billion dollars U for the construction of his wall. And so far there is a breakdown between what Democrats are willing to give and what Republicans are willing to push for Republicans have sent that the president is insistent he wants that five billion dollars there's questions about. Over what period of time could that money be allocated but certainly he is using these images. To demonstrate that what he says is a crisis on the border that requires us money. And so far folks including moderates like Lindsey Graham on this issue are saying he's absolutely right we need to give him this money to dull the law it's all right. Allen room and thanks for being here today that is gonna do it. For today again we had a white house press briefing we covered all got through it all. Thanks for being here here on the briefing room and you watch ABC news live on ABC news political director Rick fine thanks for watching.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.