Trump calls FBI raid on Michael Cohen's home and office 'a disgrace'

The White House press secretary addressed the president's reaction to his personal lawyer being under scrutiny and other questions.
16:14 | 04/10/18

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Transcript for Trump calls FBI raid on Michael Cohen's home and office 'a disgrace'
Either and welcome to the briefing room on ABC news political director Rick Klein joined here by our senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas scenario of sparks from our political team we are tracking big developments at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue the White House briefing. Just wrapping up we also are watching what's going on Capitol Hill will Mark Zuckerberg testimony at a FaceBook founder and CEO talking before congress next writer a couple of days there but let's start. With the big headline that's impacting this White House here. News yesterday that Michael call in the president's personal attorney or at least was we heard from the White House today that they can even there I he's still working for the White House over the president's that does last week. But search warrants served on Michael calling first year how extraordinary is this and how big a deal was this and of the investigation. This investigation is headed in that direction. Extremely unusual we're talking about someone who the president has known. For more than a decade also a person who's done legal work from. For him an attorney so the sucks at the Justice Department would go through in terms of getting this approved would be many layered. And not taken lightly at all as far as what we know special counsel's office uncovered some evidence that was of concern to them. Because they were not Actuate fit within the parameters of their jurisdiction. They went to the deputy attorney general rob goes on who's the acting AG on this matter. And said okay what say you. Well as a sign at that point could have expanded. Mall as authority to look into this matter. He chose not to do that he says up to the southern district of New York as a referral. They may have an assessment. And subsequently gotten a warrant or warrant from a federal judge and pursued the case. With dozens public fishing expedition I think it's also appear to say on the despite what the president said this is not an attack on our country of heat these garrison was asked again about that. I again right now Pierre but this is a deliberate process that suggests that. Investigators have something or suspect that they're gonna get some. When you talk to law enforcement officials they Collins the rule of law. Basically you have a situation where investigators Klein. Potential evidence of something and then there a set of procedures they have to go to admit they follow. These Justice Department guidelines which we've heard about in recent. Months about whether that was adhered to during the Clinton email scandal in a reason why you're hearing so much about is those. Guidelines matter and in terms of when you spray from them or when you don't adhere to them. Problems result in but one thing that you're you're getting from law enforcement officials who used to work Justice Department is it. This kind of thing would receive a hell of a lot of scrutiny before it could go for. And not only because he always adds that scrutiny and get a judge to sign off on a search warrant. Present probable cause that cares talking about but also because there's not even higher bar. When you're talking about a lawyer's office and a lawyer who represents a very unique client here the for the United States so we noting it had to have reached an even higher bar. And Jon Karl joining us now the White House US ARRIS Sanders to back up that claim that the president made it this is an attack. On our country no real answer on that and what's the sense now. Of the White House rage meter what's the president prepared to do as a result of what is clearly his anger at these development. Well I also asked Rick if the president believes he has the authority to fire the special counsel as you know. The special counsel statute says that can only be done by the attorney general which in this case. The attorney general on this matter is actually a deputy attorney general because of the refusal Jeff Sessions. But Sarah said definitively the president certainly believes he has the power to do so when I asked if he believed in the power to fire him so. Clearly it is something that the president believes is within his authority to something he has talked about with his aids you ordinance it last night. That many people have. Told him he should. I'd fire him. The rage meter at it it's pretty high right now but I'm also told on the other side of this wreck. By people that are close to the president's people advising here in this building. The he has been told. By some of it is most important allies on Capitol Hill that it would be a terrible mistake to fire Mahler that it would results. In a constitutional crisis that he could even face impeachment. As result of of such an action. And I am told that he understands that it's been told that he understands it. But nobody can say definitively what he's gonna do on this because he is. He was already outraged going into this and now the outrage is more than it has ever been. Yeah we're we're let's ongoing and prepare up for world this and I think its property there. They add on that note that there are plenty of members of congress that think it terrible idea for him to fire. Our Moeller but they could pass legislation to protect the special counselors a lot of questions on Capitol Hill. Today about when it they should pursue legislation. To make sure that the the president can't. Do they would say on the one hand. The president is clearly frustrated in the since it if you believe as he said. That he did not collude. No and when his staff that he knows of in terms of campaign clues that this is sort of cloud hanging over his administration and he's frustrated. On the other hand you're hearing some of the critics today including some people in law enforcement and former law enforcement that. The president to attack Jeff Sessions the attorney general. You attack. Deputy attorney Enron rules and start to attack Bob Moehler and to say that they broke into the office. He asked attorney. Those words they say. Carry weight with an instance of that's not what happens a federal judge approved the search war. And is those kind of things that. Are you creating. I think more suspicions among some in law enforcement in their otherwise would be because of statements as. He is Justice Department is officials that are still overseen including rob rose's attorney Gerald such extraordinary thing last night guys because. We did that the press was told to that have to gather. Last night for a meeting of the president's. Console you area around the war potential wartime cabinet right about. Reacting in Syria and here's what happened the president went off a little bit on prop to take a look at someone who lets out what happened less. I have this witch hunt constantly. Going dog for. Over twelve months attitude disgrace frankly a real disgrace it's an attack on are. Complicated is that the attorney general met a terrible mistake. When he did this and when he recused himself coordination certainly let us know who's going to recuse themselves. And we would have used a put a different attorney general it. So you mate what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. Why don't I just fireball right. Well I think it's a disgrace what's going on will see what happens but I think it's really sad situation when you look at. What happened that many people have said you should fire him. Again. They found nothing. And it finding nothing. That's a big statement. NPR's or anything in in these statements we've heard from the president when he when he when he events like this is frustration. Is there any and that they could actually be used by Robert smaller and a potential obstruction of justice probe. Mean this short answer is it's unclear but there's some legal scholars who have been watching this unfold and and say the very nature of creating pressure. That at minimum you're putting pressure on the attorney general are putting pressure on the deputy attorney general. And you're putting pressure out there in regards to Bob Mueller in terms of you know disgraced. Breaking into the office that there are some people who say are you. Yield creating undue pressure to impede the ongoing investigation there are some people including the president's council apparently of totaled just look. Be quiet about this let this investigation unfold and in the results will be Wednesday. All right Pierre let's get back to the beat appreciate you being with us. Over on Capitol Hill as we speak you're looking at a live picture of Mark Zuckerberg testifying before congress is opening statement. It pretty extraordinary scene. In the United States senate today Mary Alice because sock you have is to wait two to committees and of the of the senate almost half of the senate. It's set the question the FaceBook founder and CEO in it is in a few minutes in the hearing today they'll play out tomorrow as well. Up Mary Alice for a chat about that we're getting Mary Mary Bruce from the hearing room itself in dot. Oh what's that what's the body language been so far give us a check on how Zuckerberg wearing a tie and a suit not a little bit given that as normal uniform. How's it going over so far from what you can tell. You know what he does come armed with that suit egg on his usual grade teacher at that we always see him in and of course he's armed and an apology we. We heard him come straight out the back here taking responsibility saying that he is. Even mistakes but he's willing to make changes the question now is just. How many changes what kind of changes are that kind of changes that lawmakers are looking for so many of the 44 senators that he is being questioned by today here. Want more robust oversight that they may feel that made things got a little out of hand. To say the least and they they wanted to change the dynamic the fundamental relationship between some of these tech companies. And federal oversight now is Mark Zuckerberg willing to go that far how much is he willing to agree to that's what you're gonna see so many lawmakers are pushing. Him on now as for the bottling adapted tell you what it is a media circus. Down here today in part because you have so many lawmakers hearings you were saying nearly half of the entire US senate is going to be taking a stab. Act questioning Zuckerberg today have to tell you it we've been here all morning. People were lining up members of the public were lining up. Act on the line stretches all the way down the senate Hart office building a lot of people interest it. Getting a front row seat Tibet and we do know that reportedly Zuckerberg has been doing is. His preparation and the New York Times reports that he's been running through mock. Hearings but some and his advisors acting as members of congress to press him to see how he responds. He's trying to convey. A bit more about humble tone than perhaps we've usually seen from him like he's not someone is known for his approach ability anyone. Who saw Saturday Night Live last weekend sought gotten that ticket Babbitt and on that one but he's known as someone who carefully. Controls his media access carefully controls the image he presents to the public. And look for five hours in front of congress is not exactly what he's used it to an aerial. Yeah this quite quite a scene playing out we're keeping an eye on it right here a ID BC news.com or Bruce thanks for being here and Mary Alice. It does seem like a major moment for FaceBook. Attack for the relationship with washing Washington. Lot of questions are gonna come his way lucky were catalytic up what questions are gonna become can't come his way about Russian interference in the election. FaceBook was a vehicle for a whole lot of bad things that were happening over the last year two years in politics. And these members want answers smiling and chatting at texts from. A senior can't turn of political aide that works for one of those members of congress in the room. Who said he was frustrated at Zuckerberg didn't seem to know much or at least by the letting on too much people want to know now what are the steps going forward. And so what will probably matter a whole lot more than these few days of political theater will be what regulations if any old place at a mid terms at a two point twenty. To change the relationship between campaigns and political advertising. And it's free giant platform. Giant platform indeed all right other big story of the week. Syria we saw the president's. Starting his reaction over the weekend going through last night we're joined now by Stephanie Ramos our correspondent who's covering. The Pentagon for us and Stephanie. What stage is the planning at right now what are the possible options that US military is talking about in terms of responding to that. Humanitarian disaster that the world witnessed over the weekend. Well Rick right now we understand that military planners are still working on options for the president US intelligence officials are continuing to assess. What type of nerve agent was used in that chemical attack. In two months too to firm up if it's not regime. Is really responsible for that attack over the weekend now as far as Defense Secretary Mattis we have not heard from him today but we did hear from him. Yesterday where he said that the US is not ruling out any type of attack against Syria but he also said the USC's take a look at. Why chemical weapons are even being used in that region keep in mind Syria has been supported. By rush. For some time and that Russia itself has used chemical weapons since 2012 it is a war crime is by at least in. Of international law but it also needs to be verified and might now. The US is is working on that working to collect evidence and and and really firm up exactly what happened over the weekend before there's any type of military response. Keep in mind we do you have the US house about 2000 troops in that region and their safety is a big concern. Now as far as strike options. Officials here at the Pentagon or are keeping that really close to the bass as they should but what we can. What we've learned so far is that there is the US as Donald Cook there's a ship Al. In the eastern Mediterranean. That cam launched tomahawk tomahawk missiles. Tort Syria which is the exact type of missile that was used last year when president trump ordered an attack against Syria. And there a couple of different options the US can also send a submarine toward that area to to launch or a B two bomber for instance. That could. A significant. Significant impact there in that in that region back. Arts it's that Stephanie Ramos watching it for us over at the Pentagon the president earlier this week promising that big price to pay by Syria not clear. Can actually accomplished or went. -- when he one other quick thing Mary Alice because recover so much about the White House chaos on. Just over the weekend Tom Bonser the president's. A Homeland Security advisor was out with Martha Raddatz on the Sunday shows talking about. But the latest news of the day including Syria. Word today that he's out. The latest to be caught in the in the revolving door around this presidency intriguingly this over the weekend. He was asked in another interview about south staff's ability felt like things were okay if things were starting to settle down and yet he's he goes. Life writing a point of saying he thought that a lot of turnover was gonna quiet down so it seems like it came as a surprise. To a lot of fuel that worked with him and your rate is just this constant revolving door have to wonder how in the world the president in making decisions of this magnitude. But it team that's constantly changing all right woodlands it was a B take away. That we need to go watch Mark Zuckerberg should like pop the pop brands of curious what he's saying there's so much attention. So much information at stake and and and patent personal. Sort of relationship that's interesting thing about these look at that everyone feels like they're part of the story. And we're gonna recover that it ABC is that kind be able watch it from be the point that John krall made about all these people were trying to tell the president don't firebomb volatile fire Bob Mueller. But nobody knows whether he's not whether that's in a fire Bob Lawler not because he as we heard very close this. Believes he has the power to do this is clearly frustrated with house direction the direction this investigation. And clearly asking questions and about his right or his ability to fire and that's why she's getting answers about what legal analyst telling them I think that's is that the right all right Mary Ellis Burks. Thank you all for being here on the briefing room download the ABC news that you can keep watching and abcnews.com including if you want to click over and watch that Zuckerberg testimony playing out over on Capitol Hill. That's it for the for here from here from ABC news thanks for watching.

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

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