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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 26, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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and that does it for us. thanks for watching. have a great evening. "cnn tonight with don lemon" starts now. the white house has a blunt message for the press. shut up! this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. chief strategist steve bannon telling "new york times" the press should quote keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. meanwhile looking like one step o' forward, two steps back for the trump white house. mexico's president canceling his visit in the wake of president trump's order to begin building a border wall. visit. trump later saying the decision to scrap the meeting was mutual. press secretary secretary sean spicer telling reporters trump wants to hit mexico with a 20% tax on imports, only to walk that back hours later saying the president is still weighing his options.
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so much to get to. but i'm going to get straight to cnn's leyla santiago in mexico stow. mark preston, david gergen. lots to talk about. jeff, we'll start with you. the u.s. relationship with mexico in crisis tonight. what can you tell us about the day's developments? >> don, it is indeed the first diplomatic standoff of this young trump administration, the trump presidency here. and it all started of course over that long-running campaign pledge to build the wall. now that campaign promise because a governing reality, the controversy here really bubbled over today where the president of mexico said look, i am not coming to the u.s., i am not coming to meet with you next week, mr. trump, if the payment of the wall is a central issue here. so president trump was flying to philadelphia today to meet with republican leaders. one of the things they were going to be discussing was paying for the wall. but mid-flight -- i was on that flight with him on air force
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one. he found out that that meeting next week is canceled. so in fact, you know, all diplomatic talks at least between the two leaders are on hold for right now. and this is indeed something that is an issue. it's causing alarm for many lawmakers simply because they do not want to start a trade war with mexico. it is our third largest trading partner. and they think that this is not good by any means. >> all right, jeff, stand by at the white house. because i want to go to mexico city now. cnn's layla santiago is there. leyla, mexico's foreign minister is responding tonight. what is he saying? >> it is pretty fascinating what he's saying, don. he's talking about how everything went down with the back and forth. he says that he was at a meeting at the white house in the middle of working out the logistics of mexican president enrique pena nie nieto's meeting on january 31st when he saw the tweet from donald trump. he asked for a break, immediately called the mexican
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president immediately, who then said go in there, tell them it's off in a cordial, respectful way. >> i'm sure you've been speaking to the people of mexico. what are they saying about this feud with the u.s.? >> you know, over the last few weeks actually i've been talking to mexicans on the street about the wall, about the relationship, and one of the words -- several of the words they used, racism, you know, being humiliated. when i was talking to one family, something that stuck with me today, when i was talking to one family and told them what happened, that the mexican president had canceled the upcoming meeting, when i told them that you could sort of see them smile. it was as if they felt that dignity was restored and it didn't even matter to them what the consequences could be as far as trade or immigration. it was just that they felt they were not going to be bullied. >> what is the foreign minister
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saying about this 20% tariff proposal to pay for the wall? >> the foreign minister is saying i'm not going to respond to that until there's actually action. but i did speak just a little while ago to a mexican senator who's been very vocal against trump, and he was pointing out look, you put that 20% tax and we're not going to pay for that wall, the american consumer will be paying for that wall. then he took it one step further saying, it's not just the price of products coming into the u.s. from mexico, which by the way 80% of mexico's manufactured exports end up in the u.s. we're talking about cars, all sorts of stuff. he said it's not just going to be the american consumer, it could lbs u.s. jobs because millions of jobs depend on that free trade with mexico and if we see that trade in any way put in jeopardy or minimized, suppressed, that could affect u.s. jobs as well. >> all right, leyla stand by.
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mark preston, are we in for a trade war with mexico? >> i don't think we'll get to that point where we get in a trade war but we're seriously in some very precarious times right now where we have so many other problems around the world right now whether it's north korea or fighting isis or even just getting more jobs back here in the u.s. to be fighting with mexico over this issue, you know, when donald trump talked about building that waushlgs don, it seemed like an easy thing to do but it is not very easy. whether it's the financial burden, the 10 to 15 billion dollars it would cost to building or quite frankly physically putting it in place and quite frankly what we're seeing today right now, the diplomatic problems it's causing. >> did they expect this problem? do you think they foresaw this, david gergen, when you know people were talking, donald trump saying "build that wall"? this is all within the first week, that this would be such a problem. >> i think they probably didn't mind if there was sharply
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negative reaction in mexico. his modus operandi now, his way of doing things is to create chaos, create enemies, and play off of that to see if he can find a solution. so don, i think this transcends mexico. it really sends a signal about what kind of president he's going to be with a lot of countries. if you're in almost any latin american country, this is not a friendly invitation to work with donald trump and the trump administration in the future. but others are going to watch this. and i can tell you in asia it's going to be watched very closely. i just came back from hong kong a couple days ago, and i will tell you the big fear there is that whatever happens between the u.s. and mexico may well happen between the united states and china. and that's the big one. these two big huge countries, if they get into a trade war over things like this, it's going to be one hell of a mess. >> back to the white house now. jeff, the president spoke in philadelphia today to republican members of congress at their gop
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retreat. what came out of that meeting and how are lawmakers reacting, especially after a week of trump peddling conspiracy theories? >> well, don, i think first and foremost, the house members and the senators in the room, republicans, are indeed thrilled that they have the first majority in ten years of the house, of the senate, and the white house. so there is definitely enthusiasm. and there's also a bit of trepidation about what exactly this agenda is going to be there. but the president was coming in, he was thanking them for their support, talking about his own victory of course, but then really laying out some agenda items. he really is holding a lot of meetings with the speaker, paul ryan. with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. really throughout the week they've been meeting several times, had long conversations backstage tonight. so this really -- we are -- but speaker ryan i thought interestingly, bluntly told
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reporters today in philadelphia, look, this is not a conventional president, you're just going to have to get used to it. let's listen. >> he changes his opinion day to day. you'll see different emphasis but with respect to the core agenda we've laid out for members, planning and coordinating in the house and the senate. we have done this in conjunction with the administration. we ran on these issues all of 2016. >> this is going to be an unconventional presidency. i think you know this by now, casey. and i think we're going to see unconventional activities like tweets and things like that, and i think that's just something we're going to all have to get used to. >> unconventional presidency. i think that is perhaps an understatement. it was also casual thursday there you saw. this was a congressional retreat. so republicans were all without ties. mitch mcconnell had jeans on today. they were really trying to discuss their agenda going forward. and donald trump of course was their special guest and was talking to them about their agenda here. one thing he didn't do, don, is take questions. i've been at these meetings with
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president obama and president bush as well. he took questions from lawmakers. donald trump didn't do that today and he also didn't say how he's going to pay for all these things he's proposing. that's what worries fiscal conservatives the most. how's he going to pay for it? >> mark preston, we are learning something that's very interesting. we are learning that the president called a national park service because he was angry over tweets -- allegedly called them. comparing his crowd size to president obama's. what can you tell us about that? >> well, look, we saw what happened over the past couple of days when tweets went out that were not necessarily favorable to donald trump's theory that he had, you know, millions of people that had come to watch his inauguration. what this does demonstrate, though, and continues building on this narrative, that donald trump is really being sidetracked by these minor things. these minor things to all of us but major things to him because these issues are issues of importance because they affect him, they're about him
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personally. and i think when we look at the grand scheme of things right now in how he governs, if he continues to be sidetracked by these, if he's so concerned about his image all the time, that's going to be problematic as he's going ahead to try to get things done. whether it's going to be working with congress or whether it's going to be trying to negotiate trade deals with other countries, not everyone's going to be his friend and not everyone's going to say that he's the greatest or that he is the best and he's got to get over it. >> yeah. david gergen, i would like to turn to something different now. president trump's chief strategist steve bannon, who spoke to the "new york times" about the media and he says the media here is the opposition party. they don't understand this country. they still do not understand why donald trump is the president of the united states. so david, have you ever heard something like that come out of the white house before? >> i've heard it inside the white house, don, on more than one occasion. white house staff. presidents get really angry at the press. i've never heard it come out this way outside of the white
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house. and it was stunning. i do think he has a point that those of us in the media should have some humility, that we should be listening more. there are forgotten americans out there we don't know as well as we should. but when he tells the press you're the opposition, shut your mouth. mr. bannon, we're not shutting our mouths. we're not shutting our mouths. you cannot intimidate us. >> yeah. well put. jeff, he also says the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. the media should keep its mouth shut. you heard what david gergen said. the media is not -- we're not going to keep our mouths shut. what's your reaction, what's the reaction from the press corps at the white house? >> i think he does offer a bit of an important point of listening. i think we all need to listen more to what the country is saying, what voters are saying. the president included. yes, he won and there is a -- there was a sweeping call for change, but this is not a one and done situation.
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we are checking with voters constantly who wanted change, demanded change, and what we'll be watching for the next four years is to see how they -- if they believe this president is answering that and delivering it for them. so in terms of shutting our mouths, no, of course we're not going to shut our mouths. we'll do our jobs like we always do our jobs in any administration, asking questions on behalf of the public looking for truth, what the government is doing. but of course we can all listen more. i think that's actually an excellent piece of advice mr. bannon has. >> i think everyone agrees with that. mark, the other part, though, do they understand that there are also many people many country in the country who did not vote for donald trump as well and they should be listened to? >> sure they understand that they didn't get the votes but someone like steve bannon, i don't think they care. the reason i say that is just look how the first few days, almost a week now of this presidency has gone. they have played to their base.
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they are following through on issues that got them there with their base. and quite frankly i don't think that they think they have to play to those who didn't vote for them. if you're not going to get on the train then you're going to be left behind. and i really think that's going to be the governing philosophy. at some point, don, you and i, david and jeff all know that that's not a winning way. so at some point they are going to have to change their tune and steve bannon's going to have to change his tune. but let's not forget, he was playing us. he is trying to play the media right now against the american public. he's trying to play to his base, to hear those comments and say steve bannon, right on. so he feels like he's probably doing the right thing. >> winning doesn't always mean that you're right. it just means that you won. thank you very much. >> hey, don? >> go ahead, leyla, yes. >> i just think it's an interesting point that that's the message coming out of the white house because that's exactly what i'm hearing here from mexico's government. they actually want president trump to do a little more listening and a little more
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understanding. the mexican senator i spoke with today said there seems to be a lack of understanding on how much we are connected, given trade, given immigration, any of the issues that you may have with a neighboring country. but it's interesting that we are hearing that message come out of the white house because we're also hearing that message come out of the mexican presidency, saying i wish that there was a little more understanding and listening from the white house. >> essentially take your own advice. thank you very much. i appreciate all of you. when we come right back, president trump meeting tomorrow with british prime minister theresa may. but she got some advice ahead of the meeting from someone you might not expect. ♪ to err is human.
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was caught selling the stolen goods online. visit and see how easy it is to switch and save on renters insurance. mexico's president canceling next week's meeting with president trump over the executive order to build the border wall and trump's insistence that mexico will pay for it. meanwhile, britain's prime minister set to meet with the president tomorrow. i want to talk about this with
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bill richardson, the former democratic governor of new mexico who is also a former american ambassador to the united nations. governor, good evening. thank you so much for joining us. pleasure to have you. >> thank you, don. >> so tomorrow the president will meet with brsht prime minister theresa may at the white house. two new leaders both elected on populist platforms, and they will have a joint press conference. cnn is reporting that before he left office that president barack obama encouraged the new prime minister to become close to president trump. could this be the beginning of that, do you think? >> well, yes. i think britain is our top ally, always has been, always has supported us. but you know, president trump has not started out too well. he started out by canceling the transpacific partnership. that was 11 countries that he upset. now we're in a potential trade war with mexico and canada. so my hope is that with prime minister may that the special
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relationship with britain is retained. we need to work together on so many issues, on syria, the united nations, economic issues, brexit. yeah, president obama is right. this is the key relationship for the united states. and we started off by the other key country, mexico. this is the lowest ebb i've seen the u.s.-mexico relation in a long time. >> someone said 1948 or something. something close to that. listen, governor richardson, i want to get your reaction to the mexican president enrique pena nieto canceling his meeting with president trump. what do you think of that? >> well, he had no choice. i think president trump, his idea of negotiating is bullying. it's bullying ceos, bullying his primary opponents, bullying nations. you can't bully nations because pena nieto has a constituency.
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right now he's weak in the polls. right now there are huge gasoline lines, higher gasoline prices. trump says he wants them to build a wall and pay for it, wants them to renegotiate nafta. and now an import fee of 20%, which by the way is illegal under nafta. you can't do that. it's supposed to be free trade between canada, mexico, and the united states. so you know, pena nieto's back is really -- he can't probably make too many concessions now. so i think president trump has negotiated and negotiated against himself and we have little leverage now. >> i want to talk to you a little bit more about nafta and the policy toward mexico but first i want to play this because the president spoke about his policies regarding mexico and the canceled meeting today at the republican retreat. this is him in philadelphia. >> we've put in place the first steps in our immigration plan, ordering the immediate construction of the border wall, putting an end to catch and release, expediting the removal
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of criminal -- this is so important to me. from day one i've said it. and i mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens. they're going to be gone, fast. i will not allow the taxpayers or the citizens of the united states to pay the cost of this defective transaction, nafta, one that should have been renegotiated many years ago except that the politicians were too preoccupied to do so. to that end the president of mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week. unless mexico is going to treat the united states fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless. >> governor richardson, you have been an ambassador and negotiator in your career. president trump was elected by a lot of americans on the strength
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of his deal-making abilities. mexico's foreign minister told reporters mexico's ready to make nafta better. what are your thoughts on how this has unfolded so far? >> well, i think u.s. and mexico need each other. it's not a one-way street. you know, don, mexico and canada are our biggest trading partners. mexicans buy american goods more than japan, germany, britain, and china combined. in other words, they're great consumers. so it goes both ways. i think the problem with nafta, there's some labor, environmental issues. yeah, let's negotiate, that let's renegotiate it. canada's part of it. but you don't do it under duress. and i think what president trump has done -- i read "the art of the deal." the way you advance yourself in commercial relationships with casinos, real estate is you beat up your opponent, you humiliate them, and then they come to your
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position. well, with nations you can't do that because these political leaders have constituencies. mexico's very nationalistic. look, i was a border governor. i have mexican heritage. i was one of the few democrats that voted for nafta. i was in the congress then. you know, these are very complicated issues that require preparation. you can't just have foreign policy by tweet, by bullying, by executive orders, by speeches. we have to prepare and work toward what is the best interests of the united states. and you know, my worry, done, is mexico has leverage over us. we need mexico's support in the drug war. we want drug lords extradited like el chapo. we want thb suppoeir support on migration issues, on trade issues, on so many other cross-border issues. i was a border governor. and to back oft president of mexico, make him look bad, humiliate him, is not the way to do it.
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>> and to that end when you're talking about negotiating with mexico, because there are -- let's see if i can find it here. they're our third largest supplier of imports. and there's a list of things that americans would have to pay 20% more for that come from mexico. vehicles, computer and electronics, appliances, fuel, medical instruments, fruits and vegetables, beer and so on. mexico's foreign minister says the 20% tax would be paid by u.s. consumers. do you think most americans would like to pay 20% more for these types of items in exchange for a border wall? >> no, of course not. they don't want to pay more for that. this is why nafta i believe on the whole needs some adjustments, but it's been good for both countries. created jobs in both countries. in my state of new mexico, border states, nafta has been very good. there are a lot of nafta businesses created because of that pact that was passed years ago. look, these issues need to be
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negotiated in a diplomatic way. with finance ministers, with secretary of states. we don't even have any of our cabinet members in national security except the national security adviser. but we don't have the trade negotiator, commerce secretary, secretary of state. there's got to be a lot of preparation instead of the president sending tweets and sending executive orders hastily arranged and then backing off. i think he's backed off on this 20% import fee because it's illegal. you can't do it under nafta. the president needs to be prepared, needs to learn foreign policy. you can't negotiate a business deal, the art of the deal, and be a president and protect america's national security -- it's totally different. he's got to start being the art of the deal reality negotiator. he's president of the united states. i want him to succeed. but it's making it very hard. you know, we're only in the sixth day. we've alienated 11 countries.
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i hope we don't do that tomorrow with the prime minister of britain. >> i've got to get to the break. thank you, governor. i appreciate your time. thank you so much for coming on. up next, grading president trump's first week in the white house. how does he stack up against the last republican president, george w. bush? audi pilotless vehicles have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the audi a4. with one notable difference... ♪ the highly advanced audi a4, with available traffic jam assist. ♪
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tomorrow marks president donald j. trump's first full week in office. here to discuss what he's doing so far is frank bruney, columnist for the "new york times." frank, i want to talk to you about something we learned just moments ago, that president trump will speak to russian president vladimir putin on the phone saturday. what's your reaction? >> well, we were waiting for this moment. i'm not surprised at all. and i look forward to the "saturday night live" skit of it as well. >> yeah. so not a surprise to you? >> obviously not a surprise. they've been throwing hlt love bombs each other's way for a while. >> you wrote a column and then qulurs colleague wrote a column as well which i'm anxious to speak to you about. michael grynbaum. your colleague at "the new york times." and he wrote this about bannon. in an interview with him he said the media shp embarrassed -- this is bannon saying this. "should be embarrassed and
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humiliated and keep its mouth shut and listen for a while, mr. bannon said for a while. i want you to quote this, mr. bannon added, the media here is the opposition party they don't understand this country they still don't understand why donald trump is the president of the united states. what do you think? >> well, i think there's one good point in there which is there are things about america we all missed during this last campaign and there were voices in america we didn't hear. but i think that statement is the height of arrogance and the summit of defensiveness. let's remember here what we got so wrong and what we don't understand. how well do steve bannon and donald trump understand america when they lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes? yeah, i know, voter fraud. prove it, right? how well do they understand america when donald trump right now is sitting on a 36% favorable or approval rating or however that one's classified? you know, he is -- this is the end of a week that has been chaotic, that has had a white house that cannot stand message, in which donald trump stood before the wall of heroes at the cia and talked about how many
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times he'd been on the cover of "time" magazine. i hear in steve bannon's voice someone who realizes that he has hitched his ideology and his wagon to a man who does not act in an always stable and concentrated and disciplined manner. i think he's as frustrated with donald trump as he is with the media and he's trying to make us the enemy so we don't be listened to when we call out important things about the way donald trump is behaving and running his administration. >> interesting you should say that because history will tell us for example by comparison, you covered bush 43 white house, right? >> i did. >> how do you think donald trump is -- this transition, how are they stacking up the first day of -- >> i mean, this is night and day. this is a degree of disorder and chaos that i don't think we've ever seen in a first week in modern times. and it if you talk to white house reporters, who are not -- and i'm an opinion columnist. i can speak my mind. they're stunned and they're unsettled by this in ways they can't really fully communicate because of the way they do their jobs. if you talk to republicans who are sort of just outside the
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trump circle or who toggle back and forth across the membrane of the trump world, they're stunned by what they're seeing. they're seeing an administration that's not very prepared. they're seeing a president who doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. look at the claim of the pro golfer and the story of all that we've just gone through. also we're seeing something we really need to look at carefully and not stop talking about, which is this attempt to control information, to distort information, to suppress information. there was the order that went out telling people in various agencies, you know, say nothing until it goes through the white house. the "washington post" has just reported that donald trump summoned the acting direction, of the national park service and said i want photos that are better than the ones i've seen, i don't want you tweeting things that make it look like my crowd was small. and you know, steve bannon's telling us that we have no credibility and we should shut up. and this is an administration that in its first week had the press secretary come out, berate the media with falsehoods, falsehoods, and then one of the senior advisers the next day and
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says oh, those are just alternative facts. who has a credibility problem here? is it really the media or is it donald trump and the people around him? >> so is this gaslighting? projection? >> it's gaslighting. it's projection. it's distraction above all else. if they can convince americans that everything we say is suspect, then they can act as they please. and that's the scary part. >> your piece in the "new york times" this week is titled "the wrong way to take on trump." i have a copy of it right there. here's what you say. you use the examples of "saturday night live" writer who tweeted about barron trump and then madonna's f-bomb laced speech at the women's march last weekend. you say these things are passing for impassioned advocacy and it should not be done that way. >> it just looks like petulant theater. the the problem is there are so many -- there's so much substantive ground on which to confront donald trump and his administration that when you stand at a microphone as madonna did and curse you actually take people's eye off the ball. >> that's what you say on the screen-u say as much.
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this was an outrage and proves you're no better than he is. it's theater. >> it gives the people on his side a way to say you all think you're so virtuous and high-minded, explain to me that tactic, explain to me that behavior. and as i say, there are so many substantive things to talk about here, that when you just kind of vent in that undisciplined and vulgar way you allow people to focus on something other than what you really want them -- i think madonna wants people to focus on the threat to women's health. i think she wants them to focus on the threat to lgbt rights. she doesn't get that attention when she stands at a microphone and curses and that's all anybody talks about afterwards. this is about not playing into donald trump's hands. and this is about not surrendering your own credibility. and it's been staying on the moral high ground and not letting this administration and this man tug the level of discourse down as low as they would like to. >> it's interesting you would say that because that's the same advice or the same criticism that people have had of the white house. maybe there are? good things or at least donald
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trump is doing what he said he's going do, at least with the executive orders, at least trying to put it in place. if not for self-inflicted wounds where he's talking about thikz there are no facts to back up, the media would be talking about that. so the same thing with madonna. what gets a headline is the controversial thing -- >> that's right. >> -- you that say. >> madonna's been around long enough. she should know that and she should know that when she behaves that way she's not going to get out the message she supposedly intends to. >> you mentioned earlier this golfer bern 4hard langer. another one of your colleagues glenn thrush wrote about that. langer responded today saying "unfortunately "the new york times" and other outlets was mischaracterization by the media. the voting situation reported was not conveyed from me to president trump but rather was told to me by a friend. i then related the story in conversation with another friend who shared it with a person with ties to the white house. from there it was misconstrued. so is this a mischaracterization
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or is it possible the president relayed it to them that way? >> if i followed that whole story correctly, and a lot of this is coming from different places, donald trump was the one who put the words in the pro golfer's mouth. >> from several different sources. >> and the pro golfer was saying in a statement, this is a friend of 'friend of a friend who said to me et cetera -- and i think it's a pretty unsettling glimpse if donald trump said this to the lawmakers who reported this back to the media, it's a pretty unsettling glimpse for his standards into truth and accuracy but not the first time we've gotten that glimpse. >> frank bruni, thank you. i appreciate it. when we come back, what's behind donald trump's escalate's media war? what's with him?
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it's not unusual for a president to see the press as adversaries. but president trump may be taking it to a whole new level, to the next level. here to discuss, cnn political commentator karn berylstein, cnn's senior media correspondent brian steeler, timothy naftali, cnn presidential historian, and curt bardella who resigned as a spokesperson for breitbart and is now president and ceo of endeavor strategies. good to have you all along. carl, before we get to that media and adversary and all that, let's get to the president's going to speak to vladimir putin we're learning by
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phone on saturday. wouldn't you like to eavesdrop on that phone call? >> sure. look, we have two things going on at once here. we have a kind of pathology of lying, which is what we're here to discuss i believe, and we also have an enormous amount of presidential activity in the area of policy, some of it perhaps wise, some of it perhaps very unwise. and we need to parse through both. and of course we all want to know what that conversation is going to be about and wheths er putin has a lot to do with his election or doesn't have a lot to do with his election. we're still trying to find out what the exacts of that are. >> whether it starts with thank you and you're welcome. >> we need to do a lot more reporting. and i agree with mr. bannon about that. >> a lot more reporting. do you think we need to shut up and do a lot more listening? listen, blaming the media and this whole adversarial
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relationship it's a blood sport for politicians zblsh he sa. >> he said something beyond the pale. he said the media is the opposition -- >> opposition and they should keep their mouth shut. >> the truth is the opposition party right now. the truth is the opponent of what donald trump is doing because he and his surrogates are lying in a way that those of us who are reporters with a lot of experience -- i've been around 50 years. i've never seen a president of the united states or his people lie with this kind of intensity and regularity in the first days of a presidency. rather than focus on the policy. look what -- frank bruni was just talking about this extraordinary thing of going to the park service to lean on the park service. this is about pathology, not policy. >> go ahead, brian. >> i'm going to give my time over to carl. i mean, i can't say it better than that. as you were talking, i was thinking what we're doing here, what we're talking about, this is not anti-trump.
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it's pro truth. that's what we're here trying to dpop a do. and sometimes we do make mistakes. and humility is valuable. and i'm glad ban ovn said there should be more listening. i can agree on, that there should be more listening. but for him to say we're the opposition party is definitely inappropriate. he knows that. he's -- >> about how quote the media got this election wrong. there were lots of people in the mainstream media after donald trump got the nomination especially and me on this show and others who said there's a really good chance that donald trump is going to be -- >> we said that a lot. even according to their own reporting. he didn't think he was going to win on election night. >> exactly. this -- bannon is also contributing to this false narrative. >> i've got to get other folks in. i want to play this, and then i'll get curt and i'm going to get timothy. i want you to listen. this is my colleague christiane amanpour, who has for decades -- she has decades of experience covering oppressive regimes
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around the world, and here's what she says. >> but he's playing a strategy which involves creating straw men and women, creating an enemy out of the press, and then you know, dividing, diverting, obfuscating, while other things are going on. that's the only thing i can imagine. obviously, there are many other i want to say totalitarian regimes in the past which used this same kind of strategy. i mean, if i was going to be funny, i'd say that he's angling for an order of merit from president sissi, putin, erdogan and the others. that is how they treat their press. that is what they believe the press should be, a compliant state propaganda unit in the service of the president. it is not the tradition of the american press. so of course we're not going to shut up. and why should we? >> she's saying essentially what my colleague gloria borger did, we're not supposed to be state-run media, we're not. that's not our jobs. >> those of us who've studied authoritarian regimes know that the first step is you want to intimidate people who would be
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saying things that the leader doesn't want to hear. and i have to tell you, as someone who worked for the federal government at some point that one of the most chilling things that i learned in the last few days is the effort by the president to tell the national park service what it could and could not provide as information to the american people. we rely on a lot of things, not terribly sexy, sources of information that the federal government gives us, like the unemployment rate. if you start to politicize that -- and in this case -- richard nixon tried to do it but he would always do it through someone else. donald trump does it himself. if donald trump starts putting pressure on civil servants to provide data that is parallel to his reality, we're in trouble. because then we -- >> he said show me pictures to show the media lied. >> but that is the beginning. because what are the american people going to think? they're going to hear from the president of the united states and from the u.s. government that the climate isn't changing, and then if we say it's changing they're going to say we're lying because -- >> you're saying show me pictures, meaning of the crowds and -- >> yeah. he called up the park service, wanted pictures of the crowd --
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>> everyone says the time stamp of the picture they're comparing, one is cnn i think it's 8:53 or 8:55, pt, pacific time. they'll say that's 8:00 in the morning or almost 9:00 a.m. yes, pacific time but not eastern time, which is five minutes before the president was sworn into office. there's a difference between -- >> there's a lot of trutherism going on. >> pacific time and eastern time. it is time stamped. both pictures were taken around the same time. kurt, you worked with steve bannon. he relishes being provocative. i'm wondering what he's trying to achieve here with this strategy, to get us talking about it? what's going on? >> well, i think steve inherently believes that to be successful, and their paradigm of what success looks like, they need an opponent, they need an enemy. during the campaign they had 16, 17 republican presidential candidates to foil off of. during the general election they had the legacy of barack obama and hillary clinton to foil off of. and now that they're in power they need to create another opposition, another enemy, and
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they're going to make the press that. i also think this is as much about accountability as anything else. they're trying to tear down all of the pillars of accountability that would hold them to the truth so that when the president has bad news, when the president doesn't like a report, they can go into the oval office anddon' us, and it's a way to innoculate themselves and also to continue to narrow who the president listens to where he gets his information. i think it's a very dangerous thing when you have a president who is going to be more specific and not broad where he gets his information to get facts, and when you look at what the advisers are supposed to do to paint a real picture of accuracy so that the president can make the best informed decision as possible, they will try to monitor the data and censor the
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government. what happens when the jobs are not what they want them to be? what happens when they come back to the narrative? >> it's like a weather forecast, the facts are, we'll be right back.
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all right, so let's bring my panel back in. we're talking about the relationship with the media and the new trump administration. in an interview, the press secretary sean spicer talked about the alternative facts, comments by kellyanne conway. >> when the facts are -- sometimes you look at a situation in the same way you look at a weather report. one report comes out, says it's going to be cloudy and light rain, no one lied to you, it just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion. >> weather reports are about what is going to happen, not what happened. we're talking about our lies about what occurred. let me just say one thing very quickly about steve bannon, and that is that i would speculate here, not report, that he is very concerned that the story is
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now moving to donald trump's emotional stability and maturity. and reporters and republicans on capitol hill are talking about it and it's a big part of the story. >> let me just say this is not normal, this is unprecedented. we have had unstable presidents before but they had people around them and tried to protect them, that was the nixon case. it's always true that white house is spin, the glass is half full, they say we may say it's half empty. we now have an administration that invents the glass, that is the difference. >> kurt, you have insight because you worked there and again worked with steve bannon, you know these folks in the white house. so give us -- do they believe the facts are like a weather forecast? >> yeah, i think it's more -- we talk about alternative facts for them, it's very much an alternate reality. i think in their minds their did it their way and they won, and they don't need to change,
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everybody else needs to change. and as long as they believe that the media will cover everything that they do. as long as they believe that as soon as donald trump treats something it becomes breaking news, saturating every television and every on-line news site they were going to keep doing what they were doing, and the press, the traditional way, you need to have a relationship with reporters and needed to rely on them to help get your message out and communicate with the morning people. they now believe as we saw during the election, they can do whatever they want. and whether you like them or hate you, they call you names and assault you you're going to cover them more than anything else going on in the world. if that is the case they feel like they have the freedom to say and do whatever they want. >> i think timothy said it best, he said we're not at war with the press, but with information. >> the one thing that those who love the first amendment have to remember is they need not be
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defensive about it. that is why the founders gave it to us. don't be defensive, there is nothing wrong with defending your right to free speech. and it covers the media but also covers everybody out there who wants to learn the truth. that is the philosophy today. you know, don, one thing that was interesting -- in my time with robert, they are obsessed with getting coverage, the worst thing you could do in steve bannon's lexicon, is not talk about him at all. >> i've been saying that for months now, especially, we need to be more judicious with the tweets. y is found in the audi a4. with one notable difference... ♪ the highly advanced audi a4,
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president trump about to have his first face to face meeting with a head of state. here is what the president says about his meeting. >> i mean, i'm meeting with the prime minister tomorrow as you know, great britain. so i'm meeting tomorrow, i don't have my commerce secretary, they want to talk trade, so i'll have to handle it myself. >> and we're learning tonight that president trump will speak by phone with vladimir putin on saturday. meanwhile, there is another world leader the president will not be talking to. not yet


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