Christie: Trump's letting McGahn cooperate with special counsel 'bad legal advice'

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics.
17:11 | 08/19/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Christie: Trump's letting McGahn cooperate with special counsel 'bad legal advice'
Everything he throws at me, believe me, my tapes are much better ttheirs. Donald Trump has met his match. Rememthat happenethis we, omarosa talking about the tapes she S of Donald Trump. Her new book CAS aspersion on the trump white housend suggng that psident trump may have known about the e-mails leaked by wikileaks before they out. I wa to get to that in a minute. Rst let me induce everyone. Ou political Ast Matthew Doud. Sonriley, senior fellot the Watson institu Chris Christie, former governor. Democratic strateg Karen finneylong-time adviser hillarinton. I want to get to that but a lot more has happethis morning. We have Ries of tweets F the president responding to a "New York tis" story that don mcgahn, his white housunsel, has given 30 hours of testimony to robereller and his team. The president sa this prove he has absolutely nothing to hide but Chris christie,et me start with you, is the ite house going to regret that cision not to invo executive privilege or attorney/client privile? Totally, George. U remember mths ago I sat here when we were talking ab that. This shows what a c-le team the president had at the beginning in Ty Cobb and John dowd. Mcgahn in an impossible situation. Once you waive that prege turn over ose documents, N mcgahn has no choice but to go and answer everything, ever they can ask him. This is not in the president's intest. It wasn't in theresident's interest. If he had gotten good legal advice at the time he would havedone something a little less. It's bad leg advice, bad lawyering Anthis is the result of it. Doe that presuppose the idea that he could have gotten good legal advice and not followed it. Thing we've seen -- UT he didn't. But my T is time and timeagain the president does what he wants to do regardless of th advice. You want to blaim when he GE good advice and D't follow it and blame him when he gets bad advice. We don't knowessarily whether or not it was good bad advice. We do kno Karen, you're wrong. Mcgahn's advice, note advice to cooperate. Correct. What you're seeing tt the president is wisely doing is turning this into an opportunity for him to start tweeting about how open he's be and therefore why shouldgo talk to muelle I think he's setting himself up for a reason to not have to talk to Mueller. You use the phrase setting himself up. One of the more intriguing Lin ine New York Times" article is they're positinhat one of the reasons don mcgahn gave so much testimony is that he feared he was being up by the president. T's justificaon why somebodyhat works for the president would fr bei set upy theresident over WHA we've seen over the last 18 months in the oval office. I don't know if you have it, George, the tweet that the state -- I folloem. The one about the rat, he mentioned the rat, John Dean. T failing "New York T" wrote a fakeiece today implying because wte house counsel was givingours of testimonto the special counsel het be a John Dean type rat but I allowed him to testify. I didn't have to live nhing to lie. To me that is so fundamentally telling, that tweet, because what esident thinks is, is somebody that helped hold a predent who was corrupt untable, Richard Nixon. John Dean helped H accountable and gave a congressional commit permission to do that in front of watergate as a rat, first, the term is something out of a James cagney movie. That's what moters use Athey refer to somebody that's betrayed them. M surprised he hasn't called somebody a dame. You mentioned James cag the president also mentioned Joseph mccar compares Mueller to Mccarthy. I guess whathis gets to here, there are six tweetsy the prident thisorning on this. When you look at this and look at the actions about jn Brennan theek, he seems to be most energized with thing Ving to do with the mer investigatiohing is happening through the prism of that investigation. You're right, he is very much inrested in that investigation and Hould be. I agree with the governor that this seems to be on mcgahn part self-prestion. I think that story is in the "Timescause mcgahn wanted it in the "Times." Remember, muelleis looking obruction anmcgahn was there for the Comey decision, there when theresident was threatening to fire Eller. Mcgahn said I'll quit if you do that. They have a lot to talk about, Mueller and mcgahn. So the president I think is right to following this very, very cloly. Erms of brnan, George, I just think that waan empty gesture. It to stop T criticism. You've elevated the platform of a critic like Brennan. I do uerstand -- hat soundsorse than empty. Well, empty gesture oe part of president trump to do it. I don'ow what it gethim. Think that- he's right to be upset with ban. Mean, it'serstandable that he would be upset. Brennan has been out there pushing the Russian interference, helped elect tru narrative. Narrat brenn has beenushing the Steele dossier narrative B this looks more aboupolitical payback than national rity. Let's go that because it does seem like -- you've see how thhas taken off on any having to do with the early stages of the Russia investigation. Heeems moremboldened than ever on this front. He's not worried at all that this might get played into an obstruction instigation. Don't think he is becau think at bottom elieves that he didn't do anything wrong and that by doing these things, taking executive action, that he's autrized under the constitution.back to the mcgahn thing, there's an important distinction to make. Let'not lionize John Dean, okay? John deaordinated the coverup. John Dean authorized the paying of the folks to keep them quiet. Then when John Dean was about to get caught, all of a sudden he heldomeone to count. The opposite is what Jon said about don mcgahn. Don mcgahn was saying from the beginning, Yant to fire mueli won't participate and M out of here. N mcgahn was give -- giving the right advice a saying the right things to the president the beginng. Let's not put John Dean and don mcgahn -- other the ident puttg it in a tweet but let's no -- there's a difference, Matt. He putit in a tweet the way he characterizes what Dean wa but let's remember what Dean was. Don mcga is not Jo Dean not only because of what the president put in his tweet but because don mcgahn was giving honest aice from the beginning unlike John Dean was helping Nixon coordinate the coverup. The B of that tweet, the president seesimself as I'm Richard Nin and the president sees don mcgn as he didn't become John Dean, right? The psident is T saying that. The president aying he's being open and allowed mcgahn to talk. Xon told dn pay off the burglars aeep your mth shut. He's saying anybody that might reveal infortion about the president doing something wrong is a Rike -- No. That's what he sa No, WHA's saying is -- It's plain as day. No, matthew,t' wrong. The president Ising the reason he's not a rat is they gave him permission to talk. That's different. I gave him permission to T richnixon -- That's T what he's saying. THAs exactly what he's saying. He's saying I allowed him and all others to testify. That's much drent than what Nixon D. Nixon did was to say to Dean to pay off the burs and keep your moutshut. Dean made a deal for himself what the president das to say to mcgahn from the beginning -- by the way I think it was bad advice. Good ce for the country. No, no. Nonecessarily good for the coy. You know, Matt, there's gog to be another time when a president wants se executive privilege and should use executive privilege to protect the country and theyset a bad precedent. Kar. Overall ihink what this proves is the president is all about self-preservation. The idea that whether it was mcgahn who wanted the story out or the white house, clearlin that tweet what he did is to T to flip the narrativwhen he saysave him permission right,hich is like when somebody breaks up with him he says I broke up with them first, right? We've seen thime before. I think this is the way that he's tryto flip this narre and protect a way for elf to say, why should I talko Mueller? I waived executive privige, I T mcgahn go out there and say everything. He knows everything, he's had access to evhing. The president's ccerned about self-preservation, he better do well in the terms. Yes. Want to bring from our friends at who put out their first forecast for the mid-term elecs and they say Democrats have a three in fo chance to win corol of the house. Republicans have a one iur chancekeep control in the house. Ja that's a very qlified forecast righthere. They're saying these a probabilities, N predictions in any way. But this corresponds to what we're being from other experts, there's no red wave that the present keeps talking about. No, think that's wishful thinking on some part. I think republicanwill lose seats. The question is how many. The party in oppition generally does pick seats in miterm elections weon't know Donald Trump is going to have the same problem that Barack Obama which was ansferring his personal popularity to otpeople when he's on the ballot. That isng to be the challenge for trump. At doing think, or what the white house strategy is is is to focus on more polarizingssues in order to get THA base out. But there are a lot of Republicans in swing districts and suan areas, rural areas that don't like that aspect of the presids agenda. They want to talk about the econand judicial nominations and employment being low and so forth. So I'm having been burned by Having been burned by many of usrned in 20 by a lot of these prediction models, I'm not ING to prect who wins a kite flying contest ie midst of hurricane. Democrats are going to take the house. The president's L aroval ratings which are at the point where everysident has lost the house when they lost one of thchapters. There's enthusia behind the people as opposed to for P, 20 points highein enthusiasm advantage. The special elections,oney raised, retirements. All of those point to this. The seats as of today are likely to be won by Democrats but we have 79 more days left in is. Seats spread across the country, northeast, midwes sound the west. So I think the Democrats -- but I ha two predictions I will make. Get refer a bumpride if the Democrats take the house back i2019. If we thout we had a fous 2017, exciting time, geteady for when thehave the investigative body. Two, one thing we ought to pay attentio on election night, the's going to be a bunch of new leaders erge that we have T even heard of. In both parties, no question about . L the factors Matt points T are right, Karen. What he didn't mentionthe Republicans built very hig walls in many of their districts againsany wave. Absolutely true. That's wn some of these primaries we were talkinabout, places where democts shouldn't inning by the numbers they're winning, ihink the average is about 10 or1 points that you're seeing in these primaries in some of these specl elections and the idea is people E looking at that margin of victory gets you over the wall. But to the point mt made, on of the thingthink -- I'm very nerus always talking about blue waves because as we know, an can happen in November. We've all learned that lesson. Right? Also November at point is ten yes away, forget about a lifetime away. U have to remembne of the things ti'm seeing in th races th I'm working in, the way issues are playing out on the ground are very different than I thinkome of these mols are able to show us. Whichs why democratic leadership said let 1,000 flowers bloom, letry candidate run their own race. Generally, C, things don't get better for the Republican pay from lab day. No. If yook at it now, you have to say that given the historic norms D some of the gs that are happening on the ground here, I can see it in new Jersey. We have a number O risk. The other thing that Matthew didn't mention was retirements. A lot of these incumbent retirents really hurt my ngressman who has been in congress for 20 years. He decided to he would have never lost the race in my district. Now we have an open seat and who knows what's G to happen. Don't you think he retired in part because he thought he was going to LE? No. I think he retired becau he watired of the atmosphere in wagton D.C. He's a Rockefeller Republican moderate. He couldn't find -- he was chairman the appropriatio committee, George. This is not a guy who wao leave. He had finly reached that pinnacle but I Thi he was tired of T atmosphere in Washington and went . The things that are imrtant for Republicans and Democrats on election night that we haven't talked about today is the governor's races bec the wall you talked about was built because 2010 and 2009 in my instance, we got the governorships all ss this country and controlled redistricting. 'S going to happen now wh- the Republicans have overnorships, lose a bunch of those governorshin November. If they do, redistricting becos a different thing. Combine that with the P that Matt made earer, setting ide impeachment. Democrats with subpoa power on ways and means committee, house oversight committee, can create rld of hurt. I wonder if the present Rees this. S agenda -- Different world. It will be a differenworld and he might think, oh, I'll have fun with speaker si as a foil. No, it won't by fun. I absutely think he realizes it becait will also mean, forget about impeachment, the Russia investigationnd all the stonewalling we've sn from republics on a number of things that democratve been asking in terms of various mates. Talk about parand behavior we're going to see in terms of E Democrats' ability have more access in theory and te more trouble. Before you get to ru, the chairman of the house wa and means committ if it's a Democrat can get the president's returns and give it to every single member of congress. We only have a couple of minutes left and I don't want to go before discussing what we saw T of Pennsylvania bishop Zubik just a few minutes a hard to read and we didn't repe lot of details on television, but that report, more than 000 victims, just sickening. George, here's somebody baptized catholic, grew up catholic, was an altoy throughout his years, was an alter seer in college, attended mass Mo of my life, it's more than disturbing and it's more thanand it's more than just a diocese problem or est problem. It an institutional church LEM and this has been going on. Wee seen reports of going on for decades N we had the movie "Spotlight" I which an investition started in 2001. Wein the middle of this. It's not just one place in thuntry, it's not just sylvania, Boston or los an Ireland, Australia. Fundamentally is an institnal problem that the church fundamentally needs to deal with institionally. Do we need a ral investigation sf. I think we do. We saws with cardinal Mccarry where I live iwark but then came tothe cardinal in Washington it extended not just to child abuse but abuse of young men were enter the prsthood and were adults but we forced to engagin sexual contact wi someone who ultimately becama cardinal and was in the leadership of the chur. This sho a systemic problem that Matthew said and we need a broadeinvestigatn. Needs to go to the vati Well, bt's more than just that it needs an itigation. Sadlatt, you and I were on this show Easter 2010 talking abouthen this exact LEM. The institution has reform itself. In addition to whatever prosecution, there needs to be some sort of truth recoiliation becse we know that what happened in nnsylvania, as you said, it is not just one state. I wouldn't T it just the institution of the ch. Our schools, our foster care systems, we need -- bureaucratically, we need more oversight, moransparency we're seeing this arise in other parts of sty, not just the church. But the cathoc church -- Women need to be more in power in the church like they ne to be Morin power I politics. Tt is going to he last word F today. Thank you very much.

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

{"duration":"17:11","description":"The \"This Week\" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/ThisWeek","id":"57271176","title":"Christie: Trump's letting McGahn cooperate with special counsel 'bad legal advice'","url":"/ThisWeek/video/christie-trumps-letting-mcgahn-cooperate-special-counsel-bad-57271176"}