White House Remains On Defensive After Week Of Controversy


White House Remains On Defensive After Week Of Controversy
  1. White House Remains On Defensive After Week Of Controversy
    knau.org
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Happy to say that it is finally Friday. Can we say that again? AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: It is finally Friday. (SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, America - White House in crisis... UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: The White House scrambles to explain what happened in the Oval Office meeting. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: When you thought it couldn't get any stranger, it does. We begin tonight with a question of intelligence…
    Arizona (AZ)
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Happy to say that it is finally Friday. Can we say that again?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It is finally Friday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, America - White House in crisis...

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: The White House scrambles to explain what happened in the Oval Office meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: When you thought it couldn't get any stranger, it does. We begin tonight with a question of intelligence - new bombshells concerning the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #3: It is a major development, raising the stakes for President Trump.

CORNISH: Almost every day this week, there were new revelations that put President Trump and the White House on the defensive.

SHAPIRO: So we're going to spend a few minutes now just taking stock of all that has happened. It began Monday with news that President Trump shared highly classified intelligence with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. This was during a meeting at the Oval Office.

CORNISH: The Washington Post's Greg Miller helped break the story. He described Trump boasting to the Russians.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED)

GREG MILLER: We quote him in the story saying, I get the best intel; I get great intelligence.

SHAPIRO: Trump's disclosure dealt with an ISIS plot.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MILLER: This concern that the Islamic State is repairing or trying - attempting to use a laptop bomb on an aircraft. And he goes into details about that plot and how - and the - what - how the Islamic State is pursuing it and what the U.S. is doing to try to suppress it.

SHAPIRO: The White House sent out National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to handle the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

H R MCMASTER: At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed.

CORNISH: The next morning, Tuesday, the president tweeted he had the absolute right to share information with Russia. Lawmakers expressed concern - among them, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BOB CORKER: Obviously, they're, you know, in a downward spiral right now, and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening.

CORNISH: ...And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHUCK SCHUMER: The American people will rightly doubt if their president can handle our nation's most closely kept secrets.

SHAPIRO: Hours later, a new scandal erupts. Now, remember; at this point, it is still only Tuesday. That evening, The New York Times is the first to report on a memo written by fired FBI Director James Comey - an account of an Oval Office meeting during which the president reportedly asked Comey to drop the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

CORNISH: So on Wednesday...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PATRICK LEAHY: If somebody really meant that, I'd tell them, they face the possibility of being charged of obstruction of justice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LINDSEY GRAHAM: If Mr. Comey is alleging the president did something inappropriate, I don't want to read a memo. I want to hear from him.

CORNISH: South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham there and Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy. So Wednesday night, pressure is building. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announces the…

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