Trump announces new cabinet officials

President Trump announces nominees for UN ambassador and attorney general while awaiting Mueller court filings.
22:57 | 12/07/18

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Transcript for Trump announces new cabinet officials
And. And what to degree Paramount Devin Dwyer on this Friday great to have you with us did you make Catherine folders or White House reporter today a lot of big news this Friday another staff shake up. At the White House the president is on the road right now in Kansas City but just before leaving he teased a major announcement. An ABC news has just learned that the president of the United States is gonna name a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the top military official in this country. Tomorrow at the army navy football game when he goes to the game there we have learned that the president will name this man. Army general Mike. Mark newly a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan current chairman or chief of staff rather the army to be the next joint chairman of the joint chiefs of (%expletive) that staff. He'll replace Joseph Dunn for who is is the current chairman who has been in place since 2015 jet agenda for news Katherine. As you know as a close friend of the of the current chief of staff of the White House John Kelly. You siege and I'm for theirs it's unclear why this change is happening now John Heard. Was expected to serve until the low end of 2019 September 2019 so bit of a surprise today there. But meanwhile the president announcing to other big appointments just before leaving the White House take a list. I watch you confirmed that bill Barr what are the most respect bit. Curious that the cut be highly respected lawyer former attorney general. Under the Bush Administration. Make terrific band eight terrific person. Britain and respected by Republicans had respected by Democrats. He will be nominated. War the United States attorney general. Had hopefully that process took up very quickly. So bill bar potentially back to the Justice Department Catherine this is somebody. You've you've studied up on bill bars a serious person in this time we see his picture they're formally the attorney general for George Herbert Walker Bush. Someone who has espoused ideas about the Muller probe that president trump has something to to light. And you write exactly you have to I think that the president has her knees and read about these bar has. Said that he thinks that the clintons as should be investigated over. The Russian investigation so surely the president has seen that he said on the ass south on today that bar has been. His first choice is to begin in you know was also controversial. Acting AG Matt Whitaker as well today got up on stage and. Supporters and that's also lots of positive words from the front elbow are likely. Interface and scrutiny and in congress will get a live report just a second from our team up on Capitol Hill meanwhile the president also announcing. His intention to nominate a replacement for outgoing UN ambassador Nikki Haley he's named the spokesperson. Of the State Department a former Fox News personality. Heather Nauert to be his pick for the UN DC. Heather Nauert in of course our State Department reporter Connor Finnegan knows how Adenauer quite well Connor. Canister says they reaction over there at the state department of disappointment and and give us a little bit more about Heather what do you know about her. Well as you said Devin Heather has been serving as the spokesperson for the department since a protest and seventy. He came in under Rex Tillerson. But you know a great relationship with Tillerson she never traveled with him she was only part of his inner circle infect a lot of to Lucent's aides believe that Heather. It was sort of spying on him for the white hats shoes clothes. Relationship with both Jared Kushner and a bunker trump who are senior advisors at the White House. Apple once secretary of state Mike Pompeo came on board she was really empowered. She became the acting undersecretary of state for public affairs and public diplomacy. She travels often if not almost on virtually every trip with Pompeo and she's become really close advisor to him as well so this is seen as sort of a victory for Pompeo and someone that is is loyal to him in this role. An. And down and someone who who knows the president well after all her time here briefing reporters. And working for State Department. To some on the nose the president well it's unclear how she knows matters of foreign policy we know the senate is gonna dig into that an interest in fact Catherine the White House has signaled their intent. To downgrade the UN ambassador position from a cabinet level post. Two in non cabinet level post that's kind of significant. In that she won't have a seat at the table and that independence and influence that perhaps Nikki Haley. Right exactly have to now out what's behind that when the president announce this he said. I'm that you actually be working closely with Haley as well also be interesting to see how much influence that and Hayley still has the a downgrade and the would also seen this and previous administrations too ugly hundreds. Richard bush pushes mustard gas well let's go to Capitol Hill now were Ben Siegel is he's camped out in front of closed door hearing right now with the former FBI director more on that has second and then great to have you. Give us the early reaction now from Democrats senate Democrats to these appointments today. Well it's interesting DeVon when you look at the trump appointees of the nominees who have. Had trouble in the senate it's the people who have questionable credentials for the jobs that they've been nominated for the White House doctor Ronnie Jackson. We've been here that did not work out there were questions about. How he would be able to leave one of the largest bureaucracies and the federal government. You're seeing some similar criticisms or in the in that came from Heather Nauert has really never worked in diplomacy. Or politics before joining the trump administration. But on the other hand would would build more you have some some tough talk from Democrats about his public statements which I'm sure they will Parse very carefully. Through the nomination process but this is a very different. Attorney general then in the acting. Individual that would accrue serving their right now this is somebody who has held the job before his portrait is up in Maine justice. As as is the the for the previous attorney general so this is somebody who. Is a little bit insulated and in some way from on the criticisms of the affair that the question of his credentials that he's already had the job so it now becomes a question of yes. Yeah we know that dead democratic leader Chuck Schumer just said that. He just hopes that Bill Maher was simply a farm the right of Bob Mueller to continue the investigation. And also that he'll make that report public at the end though seemed. Two pretty reasonable requests I think for Democrats over the interesting to see bill Barr. Honors those in his confirmation hearing of course the president is exhibiting confidence of all this he is just at an event in Kansas City here's what he had to say about the prospects. Don't bar will be confirmed Nicholas. Demonstrated an unwavering. Adherence to the rule of law which the people in this room like to hear. There's no one more capable or more qualified for this role he deserves. Overwhelming. Bipartisan support I suspect he'll probably get it. Or their remains to be an open question something that congress will tackle after the first of the year meanwhile. Catherine on that trip to Kansas City the president did not have one of his closest advisors with them chief of staff John Kelly. Hasn't been talking to the president for days we've been there lending rate we learned that it's the two of them they they should be talking frequently every day right they haven't been talking to each other for days John Kelly. Wasn't on this trip out with them which. It isn't particularly unusual is trips than you skip before but an in light of the recent news another relationship has. Has soured really over the course of a few months and he might not either much longer we're learning that he he's expected to resign really in the. And is by the end of the year perhaps unique airs the vice president's chief of staff has seen as the likely front runner. To replace John Kelly we've been here before so it all remains to be seen in song and crime boss in the president's court. A but it does seem that things have soured sufficiently now that it could be time for new chief of staff Pokemon that. Meanwhile speaking of members of the trump cabinet who have laughed and potentially are moving on we're. Hearing from the former secretary of state for the first time Rex Tillerson. Are dropped a bombshell last night with some remarkable comments about his former boss president trump. I had a charity fund raising dinner the president former secretary of state Rex Tillerson had this to say he said it was challenging for me. Coming from a disciplined highly process oriented Exxon corporation and go to work for a man who's pretty disciplined. Doesn't like to read doesn't read briefing reports. It doesn't like to get into the details on a lot of things. And of course predictably that has set off the president who just treated in response. Two Rex Tillerson his former secretary of state take a look at this one the president. Land blasts Rex Tillerson as someone who did not have the mental capacity needed dumb as a rock couldn't get rid of him fast enough lazy as hell. Ouch Catherine this is somebody that the president. Hailed when he nominated him as the most excellent choice for the job. There's no one more prepared than writing over the course of that tiller since tenure. I'm we know that their relationship soured their where reports that it'd Tillerson has spoken morally behind closed doors about the president's so. The pretty shocking. What Tillerson said about the president but at the same time you'd probably expect trump to respond in the flag. And Connor Finnegan over at the State Department how's the head to head the former secretaries it's the comments from received fair to those ring true in the hallways of state. It's something that was pretty apparent I think to Iraq to listens ten years that he income president from. Didn't get along and they didn't see idea eye to eye on so many issues that was one of the reasons why Tillerson was pretty ineffective at his job because he was constantly undermined. But the fact that he didn't represent the administration he didn't speak for the president on the world stage. And the president continually undercut him so in a way this isn't surprising you'll what is surprising to me is that. This is a man whoo whoo doesn't need the limelight is a billionaire the former Exxon Mobil's CEO. And and pretty private person as well so the fact he's now gone out of his way to speak out it's the second time he's done so since he was fired last march by tweet. An aunt and I think it's pretty apparent that he wants to send this message that he doesn't believe that the president is doing in effect. Duke job. The president Chafee not only at his staff Connor Finnegan think he's so much but also at that ongoing. Investigation into his campaign's ties with Russia the special counsel investigation we're expecting some major developments today in court. On the Muller investigation meanwhile the former FBI directors up on Capitol Hill at this hour behind closed doors. Being interviewed by Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee this is sort of their last. Hurrah before they turn over power in the house to Democrats in January Ben Siegel let's bring you back and in the conversation. Your staked out there Iraq how long has James homey Ben behind those closed doors and what are Republicans hope to learn that they haven't already learned about James. On DeVon it's been a little more than five hours just around the corner. Over my shoulder is is the rumor James Cumming is. It's meeting with the Republicans on the house judiciary and oversight committee about a dozen Republicans and a small number of Democrats from those two committees and they say they have gone unanswered. Questions that he has needs to answer about inconsistencies they claim. They've seen between what he said publicly about his accounting the Russian investigation in his final days in the trump administration. Would that would some of the things they've uncovered in their ongoing investigation into how those. Investigations along with the Clinton you know investigation were overseen at the Justice Department. But it's really. I've been a day. Rorschach test here Democrats are coming out of the terms thing they've learned nothing new. Republicans are saying they've uncovered new details and they're getting stonewalled by the DOJ lawyer who was accompanied James coming to his. Telling him not to answer certain questions based on sensitive ongoing national security matters some of that is similar investigation. But he's expected to wrap up. Around 430 today the question is whether or not they will extend to actually a second day on Monday a question whether or not this will be the end today. All right so political charade of sorts continuing up there with James calmly and and I know you stay on the at former FBI director expected to perhaps make a statement. At the very least we are expected to get those transcripts from this multi hour session with Republicans I know you'll stay on an And at NYC on Twitter band thank you so much have a great weekend Catherine you're digging into the X the expected filings today in federal court. For both the Michael Cole and the president's personal attorney. Bob Muller's expected to put in a sentencing memo today for him same thing with palm out of fort. The president's former campaign chairman were expected to hear from Bob Mueller today about some of his misbehavior. And right and two separate filings here I am. It to win two with current and longwood manna for. The difference here is that with with colonies of the sentencing memos last week he have pled guilty to lying to congress now what are your learned from that while. Mueller could. Haven't spoken to Muller for over seventy hours so. There's a potential two way. For Mueller to shed more light on exactly what they discussed now what manna for. Separate here your member he agreed to cooperate with the government and the September those conversations broke down. Robert Morris special counsel's team they're alleging that. Men fort lied to baton he breached the agreement and man affords attorneys claim that they still don't know the details of those lies so in the report that Mueller. That is supposed to listen at today now we don't know what time. He's expected to. Stoking into other media outlets and he says that he's learned from man of forts attorneys. An eighty Sony's lies have to do with the trump tower meeting. We're not sure there are heading out of all this straight sounds very. Eight and but I know you be pointing the documents when they come out perhaps an interest in nuggets Bob Mueller. I keeping those cards close to the vast. I'm but I want to ask you another interesting thing that you've been leading the charge are on our and investigative coverage with this. Rudy Giuliani the president's personal attorney in this matter today tweeted that the president is preparing his own. Count your report to Bob Muller's report he president says he's at. 87 pages already right now yeah morally Leon Panetta personally heard that number. Well look they and their lawyers behind the scenes have been. Preparing it for some time to add to count her what comes out and Miller's filings. It what you learn about and an important how Lannan and what he prepares in his final report which we still don't know. Whether that will come but look we're talking about the Sullivan earlier in the White House really isn't in preparing this they punch outside counsel so Giuliani says the have a counter report but they can't finish it until we see. Muller's final report yeah. Some preparation Affleck for when this storm hits which we think could come imminently. We know your static Catherine thank you so much meanwhile if you thought the mid term elections were over think again. An interest in developments out of North Carolina today of all places if you haven't been paying attention there is an unbelievable story. Unfolding in that state in the ninth congressional district this is a district that was held by a Republican congressman that now it turns out. May be up for grabs again the Democrat there who just a few weeks ago conceded after appearing to lose by about 900 votes stand McCready. Has now withdrawn his concession. And says there could event election fraud take a listen to what he has to say. I hey folks I'm Dan the three month ago I considered my opponent marketers in the race for north Carolina's ninth congressional district. Last week we begin to learn about shameful criminal activity bankrolled by my opponent take away north Carolinians very rights to. I serve overseas in the Marine Corps just come back home and watch politicians and career criminals who attack our democracy that's why today. I withdraw my concession of more terrorists whose remain completely silent not call on Mark Harris tell us exactly what he knew when he knew it. Join me in this fight for the people whose voices taken. And Mark Harris Katherine as the Republican in this race who had appeared to when he just offered a response to these allegations. Here's what Mark Harris a Republican as saying about this out. Integrity of our electoral process is the heart of our democracy and we must protect it. And although I was absolutely unaware of any wrongdoing that will not prevent me from cooperating. With this investigation. I'm hopeful that this process will ultimately result in the certification in my election to congress before the next house session begins however. If this investigation finds proof of illegal activity don't either sat to such a level that it could it change the outcome of the election. Then I would wholeheartedly. Support a new election to ensure all voters have confidence in the results. All right let's bring in our Steve us in Sami who's on the ground in North Carolina for a little bit more on that Steve could we really be headed for possibly another election a redo here. I it's possible entirely possible all of the attention right now it's OK it's on one political. Operative unnamed freight now we ran into its intraday. He is accused of forging hundreds of absentee ballots ballots bet it is seeing collected and then. Later culture according to some voters. And the birds are. Suggestive that something's happened here. They were more than 500 absentee ballots that this person collected in one rural county in blatant county North Carolina. And it was the only county where the Republican in this congressional race want but we didn't want intake and today she is a person of interest. And we have a little bit of a book of what he says. It. It netcom Utica and you can contact my attorneys thinking and saying it's what do you say to people who say that you rig this election. So you don't you you refute any allegations that you that you that you bring the select. There. Okay. So we talked also with different people caught stop who are all disturbed by this and believe that. I'm thing would permit. And the numbers are are are surprising what you look at how many absentee ballots were talking about it's got everyone's. Eyebrows raised others percent that where there's smoke there's fire in this case not yet been named a purse interest. By eight board election that they continue to investigate this. And as the democratic candidate. He Republican candidate in this race paid for the book collection. And his campaign has been subpoenaed as well. All right Steve a fascinating story I know your on the case tonight for ABC world news tonight right here and world his prime and ABC news live at 8 o'clock seamless and Sami. I think so much fascinating there if by the way as a footnote to that if the Democrat gamma creek. Can in fact win there in the ninth district in North Carolina that will put Democrats. Up with 41 plus 41 seats in the mid term so. Really a lot at stake for Democrats in their new majority in the new years of will be interest in to watch that. Finally on this Friday when a close I would have briefing room series we've been bringing to you on Friday's bringing you behind the scenes on Capitol Hill are Alley Rogen. Has been looking into some of the history of former presidents and of the United States who actually served in the United States senate. And gone inside their office is up there on the hill to see what they look like now people. I mean if you valley Rogan on Capitol Hill now one of the coolest parts of covering congress and fact that there's history everywhere you turn. In fact six senators worked and he's very always before they moved into the Oval Office. We're taking you inside as he won his life before they became president. I'm here in Russell Senate Office Building number 249. This is pat tunes office now senator from Pennsylvania. But it used to belong to Lyndon B Johnson and I'm here with Kate Scott. For the senate historians office Kate tell us. What should people know about LBJ at the president first about before we get into the. History are well LBJ was the 36 present in the United States he was selected as VP in 1960 became president in 1963. After the assassination of president John Kennedy but. He really came onto the national stage as a member of the US senate so that's an important part of the story that's often overlooked when we consider his political career he was a very. He was a large purse and pat Sullivan terms of his physical presence but also in terms of the way that he intimidated members when he was trying to get their voter when he was asking them for a favor. It was known as the Johnson treatment he was a very forceful presence. And part of the reason that he rose so quickly is because of the relationships he developed with some very prominent members here in the US senate primarily his relationship with Richard Russell editor from George French pay dividends when. In the new jobs and start working the civil rights bills absolutely because the southern caucus had managed for decades. Particularly under senator Russell Richard Russell's leadership had managed to block its civil rights legislation. And Lyndon Johnson who had aspirations to move out of the senate and into the White House believed that he needed to. Be seen by people across the country as someone who supported civil rights so he worked with senator Russell and the members of this his southern caucus. To develop a bill that could give Lyndon Johnson a political victory. And could also assuage some of the concerns. Members of the south cock sent Russell's leadership great point. I think it absolutely thank you. Are not thanks to Alan Rogan for that great story many more to come here on the brief hearing on Friday is that's it for days 687. Of the trump presidency were glad you stopped in here. And the briefing room to join us for Katherine folders on Devin Dwyer hope you have a great weekend to see back here on Monday.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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