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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  March 15, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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listen to the principles that american people have told us are dear to health care. that's what the president said in the joint session of congress a couple weeks ago. he wanted a system that made certain that we addressed preexisting condition and made certain everyone had the feasibility to get coverage. made sure the system worked for patients. that we were driving down drug costs and making certain that the system had a transition to this new system that is going to work, i believe so much better than where we currently are. we want to make sure we're meeting the needs of the american people. when we do that, i'm convinced people will be supportive. >> thank you for joining us. i suspect this debate is only just beginning not only with your fellow republicans but democrats as well.
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we'll continue this conversation down the road. dr. price, thank you very much. and be sure to watch the messy truth with van jones, another special town hall event on this stage tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. eastern featuring chris collins and crekareem abdul-jabbar. >> thank you to everyone for participating and to our audience. >> just past 10:00 on the west coast. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. >> i'm isha sesay. this is "cnn newsroom" l.a. we're following several big stories starting with the temporary restraining order issued against president trump's travel ban. >> and netherlands seen as a
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bellwether of far right politics. dutch voters appear to have rejected the anti-immigrant party of geert wilders. a setback for u.s. president donald trump. the new travel ban was knocked down hours before it was due to take effect. >> he revised the original executive order from january which caused halvoc at airports. he said he would appeal to the u.s. supreme court if he had to. >> hundreds of refugees are under federal investigation for terrorism and related reasons. we have entire regions of the world destabilized by terrorism and isis. for this reason, i issued an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration from places where it cannot safely occur. >> and let me tell you something. i thought we ought to go back to the first one and go all the
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way, which is what i wanted to do in the first place. >> well, an attorney with the american civil liberties union said this about the judge's ruling. the constitution has once again put the brakes on president trump's disgraceful and discriminatory ban. we're pleased but not surprised by the latest development and will continue working to ensure the muslim ban never takes effect. stephanie e stephan stephanie elam is covering it. stephanie, let's start with you. help our viewers understand why hawaii's attorney general felt compelled to take this stand. >> well, aisha, there's multiple reasons. when you talk to the attorney generals and there are a few in hawaii representing different states, but the fact that they're saying if you attack this problem as they saw it, from multiple states, then you can actually find a resolution,
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perhaps, and one place you might not find an the other. one of the other things that came up, and i asked this question. i asked why not join in with the other lawsuit in washington state which other states joined. he told me he felt that this ban, this travel ban here in hawaii specifically went against -- counter to the culture, the sense of welcoming and working with people here as they would like to do. they were also very concerned that their universities and institutions would be directly impacted as right now the universities are in the process of accepting candidates and they'd have to get their visas. and that would effect them. they were saying that needed to be handled right now, and also the other point that's worth noting which has been mentioned in context from the attorney general and from others. the fact that here in hawaii there is a large population of people of japanese disesent.
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the idea of doing something similar to that which they felt the travel ban would do did not sit well with the population there. no and this federal judge ruling there was a need for the temporary restraining order blocking the key provisions within this executive order saying this was just against what would happen -- what should happen here in the country based on the fact that it took a look at where people were from and looked at their faith. even if it was watered down as the president said. it was still the same intent of the first executive order. >> stephanie, we appreciate it. stand by for us. we want to bring in our guests in the studio. >> let's look at the legal reasons and implications. this travel ban was the slimmed down, cleaned up version of the version donald trump issued in january. all the changes which the
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administration made for fut iil? >> i was stunned by the ruling, and i believe it was politically motivated. i think this was an am, on president trump. president obama had identified these same six countries when he was in office as being on the hot bed list for terrorism. president trump identified them. i was on your show six weeks ago and i was critical of the first -- it's not travel ban. it's a temporary travel restriction to allow proper vetting. i was on before and critical of the first travel restriction. i believed it was creating unduly unfavored one religion over another. here i disagree. i believe it was shored up and this was facially constitutional, and you have waivers to allow folks who are immigrants or refugees who may not have a visa or green card to obtain a waiver to come to the united states. and that's unconstitutional?
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>> you heard what brian said, the administration tried that line to kind of tie this, to past thinking on the part of the obama administration. that didn't wash. >> the federal court judge in hawaii a stinging rebuke of this second travel ban which i think many of us believe it is a travel ban, and the court rejected the trump government argument that this ban was needed to protect the country from terrorists coming into the united states. in fact, the court focussed on the department of homeland security's report which said that the country was not at risk from suffering any kind of terrorist attack because of individuals coming from any of the countries identified in the ban, and let me just talk one thing about the timing of the new travel ban. the court also said if this is so urgent, why the delay? why the constant delay from the trump administration? and we heard one delay was to allow the president to bask in the glory of his speech that he gave to congress.
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that doesn't suggest a real urgen urgency. >> another aspect of the decision by the hawaii court, the judge took into consideration past statements made not only by the president but also those around the president, his surrogates. the court, the decisions specifically referenced an interview donald trump did with cnn last year when he said this. >> you think islam is at war with the west? >> i think islam hates us. there's something there that's a tremendous hatred there. there's a tremendous hatred. we have to get to the bottom of it. there is an unbelievable hatred of us. >> in islam itself? >> you're going to have to figure that out. >> it seems as if this judge considered not just content of the executive order but also motive. >> well, a couple things. first of all, how is this a muslim ban when there are 90 million plus other muslims in 40
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plus other countries who are not on this travel ban list? that's my first point. i don't believe this is a muslim ban because of that. and this judge, by the way, his opinion was personal. he said something to the effect that the government's position on this is palpable, or their logic was palpable. that's personal. that's the first point i want to make. >> the lack -- >> right. the lack. we got it the third time is the charm. >> the ill logic of the government's intention is palpable. we the executive order cannot be found to have targeted islam because it applies to all individuals in the referenced countries? >> this judge should not have considered comments made by president trump during the election process. because that could have a chilling effect and could create
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a global gag order for any person who wants to run for public office. they are going to zip their mouths shut because anything they say now can be used against them when they try to craft legislation. >> that's just false, brian. the reality is there's a 2005 supreme court case that says the court just look at the context in which policy is made. it wasn't just the interview you showed. it was also the surrogates. rudy giuliani, steven miller who came on television and said that trump wanted to develop, design, create, a travel ban that restricted muslims on the basis of their religion and asked rudy giuliani how do i do it? trump is his own worst enemy, whether it's his tweets or his own words, that's what's haunting him. the judge says there's evidence that you're wanting to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their religion, and that's unconstitutional. >> she's wrong because the six countries on this travel
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restriction list are the predominant countries that have the most potential for domestic terrorism. trump has isolated to those six countries. he hasn't just magically created the list of countries. >> trump says we'll see you in court. we know the ninth circuit rej t rejected the travel ban. let's go to court. >> thank you both. next, a federal judge in hawaii has blocked president trump's travel ban. we'll speak with hawaii's attorney general in just a moment. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪
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welcome back. more now on a hawaii federal court putting a temporary block on the second attempt at a travel ban. let's go now to honolulu and the attorney general for the state of hawaii. thank you for being with us. bottom line, the judge in this case, he essentially decided the executive order, the travel ban is a religious test? >> yes. i mean, essentially the
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rationale that judge watson applied to this case was a little different from what judge robart did in the washington case where he looked at it and analyzed the factors which is essentially the establishment clause wants to make sure wherever there's an official action taken by the state that it's not favoring one religion or disfavoring a religion. >> how do you respond to president trump's reaction to this move? he said it in public comments on wednesday that this judgment displays unprecedented judicial overreach. what do you say to that? >> well, i don't think that judge watson was necessarily overreaching since there is precedent for the courts to be able to look at the context. context matters. in other words, that is something that the u.s. government has been arguing which is that the only right thing to do is to look at the
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four corners of a document to see whether or not there's neutral language. unfortunately for them, the supreme court has just agreed with that proposition and told judges that the right thing to do is actually to look at what is going on behind the curtain. and that is our argument, and essentially that's what was happening. there have been so many statements and even up until tonight statements made by president trump and even when he was a candidate and now when he's president that just indicate that he continues to display, unfortunately, a religious animus that is not constitutional. >> during arguments the department of justice asked the judge if he was leaning toward an injunction, if you can tailor it specifically for hawaii. they lost on that front. what are the implications there? >> right.
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i think certainly the most important thing is that national security is protected and what really the implication of this tremp rare restraining order is that the existing system which is very secure which is very strict and is also constitutional, continues to remain in place. what the judge was enjoining was the application of an unconstitutional standard that was grouping people or just basically saying if you were from one of these six muslim majority nations, you're presumptively a terrorist. it didn't matter if you were a baby or grandmother or the mother-in-law of our individual plaintiff in the case who wasn't able to get a visa and still hasn't. you were presumptively a terrorist and would now have to go through extra steps in order to prove to the government that you're not. >> you have made the point that challenging this travel ban wasn't simply a matter of the law, but it also came down to hawaii's history. can you tell us a little bit
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more about that and what you mean? >> sure. the timing of this executive order couldn't be any worse. it really is 75 years ago to two weeks ago that another president, it was president roosevelt, had issued an executive order based on national interest, national security interests that resulted in the internment of japanese americans, german americans, italian americans who were placed into camps having done nothing wrong. and really what's chilling about when you read the executive order back then is that there was a certain rationale and a certain argument that deference must be given to the federal government to decide what national security interests are. as well as phrases such as the reason why we need to put them all in the camps is because you actually can't the tell which are the ones you can trust and what are the ones you can't trust. sadly, i think that's the kind of rhetoric that gets repeated today, and it's just a dark
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chapter in history that we simply don't want to repeat. >> this is a temporary injunction which has been issued by judge watson. i guess what happens next here? and do you see this going all the way to the supreme court? >> well, yeah. that's a great point. it is just a temporary injunction. it only lasts for a few days and the parties are supposed to work together to set another briefing schedule to be able to decide whether judge watson will extend the order. what i would predict might be something that's similar to what happened in the washington case, they initially got a temporary restraining order and the procedure that the u.s. government could do if they repeated the same thing would be to appeal the current temporary injunction up to the ninth circuit. if they get a ruling that's adverse or either side if they get a ruling that's adverse, there's the option to appeal up to the supreme court. i think we're all predicting that this isn't the end of the
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story, that we're simply in a first round, but moving on from here. >> the rule of expectation is that this will end up at the supreme court, and the point is being made by other lawyers that whereas the judge in hawaii looked at the motive here in the drafting of this travel ban, that when it would get, if it does get to the supreme court, it would simply be about the content and not the motive. that's unclear, but that is what some legal experts are saying. if that is the case, what is the preparation in terms of how the argument is adjusted for that setting? >> sure. well, we may not actually know until the -- we get to the supreme court, but certainly, that would be one of the legal issues is how much can the court look beyond what's in the initial document? u.s. will say let's just stick to the document. we'll say no, i think you should look at the entire context. but ultimately, i think we have
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some other arguments that we've preserved in the record below that shows how the president's order is an overreach just to borrow a phrase from what was said tonight by the president. he, in fact, was overreaching by discriminating against people by national origin in contra vengss to what congress ordered in the immigration and nationality act 50 years ago in 1965. >> all right. attorney general of hawaii, we appreciate you joining us to tell us more about this moment and the significance. thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. joining us now is the democratic strategist matt litman, and john phillips. >> john, first to you. strike two for the president. now what? >> this is just the beginning of the story. this is a democratic elected politician. the attorney general who we just heard from who took it to the ninth circuit court of appeals,
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the most liberal court of appeals in the country. the president has said he's going to appeal, and allen dershowitz who is so liberal he thinks o.j. simpson didn't do it, believes that president trump is going to win at the supreme court level. it also underscores how important it is for him to get judge gorsuch approved. right now there's a four-four slit on that court. if he's able to get his nominee on that court, i think you could see allen dershowitz be proven true and see them vote in trump's favor. >> the president making out this is a political decision on the part of this judge. >> i think what's interesting here, one is that the department of homeland security said this ban won't make americans any safer. sean spicer said there were no imminent threats from any of these countries. what's trump doing here? he's banning muslims.
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rudy giuliani said trump called him and asked him how we could ban muslims and now he's trying to do. what's also important here is that we're spending the first two months of the trump administration talking about this. trump came in as the jobs president. he was going to help people get jobs, build up infrastructure, cut taxes. where's the focus on the reason people elected him. . >> you mentioned the statement from rudy giuliani. it was considered by the court. it was part of the judge's opinion. this is it. let's listen. >> when he first announced it he said muslim ban. he called me up. he said put a commission together. show me the right way to do it legally. i put a commission together with a judge, a congressman, a group of expert lawyers on this. and what we did was we focussed on instead of religion, danger. >> john, the trump administration and those around him, are they learning now that words matter? >> well, if this is a muslim ban, it's not a very good one.
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saudi arabia isn't on there. there others aren't. they said they came up with the list because they can't trust the documents from these countries. you can trust them from saudi arabia. you can trust them from other countries. that's why they're not on the list. matt said this was not part of trump's main agenda when he was running. this was absolutely part of trump's agenda when he ran. he ran on this explicitly as a candidate. he said he was going to bring back extreme vetting and try to make sure the orlando nightclub shooting and other events like that didn't happen on his watch. >> supporters said trump didn't mean it when he said that. that's what they kept telling us. we've heard that a million times. the problem for trump is that this is a muslim ban. he's doing it with the -- he tried to do it with the countries where he thought he could get away with it. then they wanted to expand it to other country. rudy giuliani said he wanted to ban muslims. >> we need to pivot to other
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issues. there are so many. let's talk about obamacare. words matter when it comes to wiretapping. take a listen. >> but wiretap covers a lot of different things. i think you'll find some interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. >> so many issues, obamacare, wiretapping. let's talk about that. words matter. but only if they're in or not in quotation marks? . >> on the wiretapping thing, he said that obama is a sick guy who was wiretapping the phones at trump tower. now he's trying to walk it back. the problem for trump is he sounds a little crazy. even the people on the house intelligence committee have said there's no evidence that indicate that what trump is saying is true. he's ruining his own credibility when he needs to be concentrating on the reasons that people elected him. jobs. it was the big focus. he's losing credibility.
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>> again, here is the chair of the house intelligence committee investigating the wiretapping. a big supporter of trump. here's what he said. >> we don't have any evidence that took place. and in fact i don't believe in the last week of time, i don't think there was an actual tap of trump tower. >> okay. so that was nunes. even he's walking away. >> he's not a big supporter of donald trump. i think he might have snuck in at the back of the drink cart to be generous to him. trump's critics take him literally, not seriously. he cut his teeth in the new york tabloids. we all know, or at least i know what he meant when he said that. he had conversation with the president of mexico, leaked to the press. conversations with the president of australia leaked to the
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press. someone is listening to phone calls and someone is taking that private information and illegally making it public. and they're not in prison. they should be in prison for doing that. it's a violation of the law. >> trump said that barack obama is a sick guy wiretapping the phones at trump tower. that's what he innocent. he meant his phone calls were being tapped and obama is ordering them to do it. that's not what happened. now he's being called out by his fellow republicans who see trump has gone off the deep end a little bit. >> and the democrat from ohio -- >> who is not in congress. >> has recently come out and said his line was tapped by president obama. >> all we ask is that the white house present the evidence to support it. >> we look forward it. the day is coming. >> pass the note along. >> thank you. time far break. voters in the netherlands are making a strong statement. just ahead how anti-immigrant candidate geert wilders figures into their new future.
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call today. comcast business. built for business. hello. welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. >> i'm john vause. the leader of far right anti-immigrant party in the netherlands is trying to put a positive spin on disappointing election results with 94% of the vote counted wilders is projected to finish in a distant second. the people's party is leading right now. >> and rutte is claiming victory over the anti-eu campaign
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themes. he spoke with supporters in the hague. >> translator: i've had lots of european leaders on the phone already. this night is a night for the netherlands. after brexit, after the american elections, where we said stop it. stop it to the wrong type of populism. >> wilders wanted to ban immigrants from muslim countries and wanted to close down mosques. he says he'd hoped his party would have won for seats. he's not giving up. >> translator: if they need me or if they need the pvv for talks, then i am happy to take part. if not, they haven't gotten rid of me yet. with more people, with 19 to 20 people in parliament, we'll have a strong opposition against the cabinet and we'll make their lives difficult every day. >> let's go live with atika shubert and the chair of the department of french studies at
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ucla. dominic, let me start with you. the president of the european commission called the result in the netherlands a vote for europe, a vote against extremists. how are you reading these results? >> reporter: i would agree with him. i think what happened yesterday and this was very much in response to the enormous international attention bestowed on the netherlands in this election yx is that in recent years there's been a decline in voter turnout. yesterday we saw a surge over 80% of dutch people came out and voted. the message was wrong. there may not be consensus on every issue, but they're not the divided society of french, and not the trump of america, and we're not the turkey of erdogan. we're going to work these things out and as we move forward, the dutch people have reaffirmed a fundamental belief in the ways in which the society in netherlands operates around ideas of democracy and tolerance. wilders picked up seats. there are many stories around
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the ways of the votes working out. wilders did not perform well. the ideas and issues he raised will not go away over night. yesterday was a strong affirmation against those, and also a very good day for the european union. >> atika, you heard dominic talk a about working things out. the next stage here is one of coalition building, working things out. what are the expectations for that process? how difficult is that likely to be? >> i think it's still going to be quite difficult. i mean, rutte did win a good chuck of t chunk of the seats, but he lost ten. oh so he really still has a lot of bartering to do. and the way the votes spread out are interesting. a three way tie for second with a desperate group of parties. wilders with the pvv and socially conservative democrats.
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rutte now has to figure out how to stitch something together. that's a process that's going to take weeks. either way, wilders is not going to be a part of this. rutte made very clear in a number of other party leaders that they will not work with wilders. so he is being relegated to an opposition role, but that's clearly a role that he relishes. >> yeah. and dominic, to drill down a little further in that. we heard wilders say basically that rutte hasn't gotten rid of him. he tweeted out rutte has not seen the last of me yet. he clearly plans to remain a thorn in the side of the next government. what does that mean going forward? >> well, he can. he has to say this. the ideas and issues and problems that he is talking about are problems that are impacting much of the european union. that important conversations need to be had on these sorts of questions. i think there's a way to go about doing this that is
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engaging with tolerance and trying to find positive solutions. wilders is not really interested in that, or interested in compromise. he's been interested in fear mongering and dividing society. people are not going to be accepting of that. and as we look at the different political parties and the way they come together, most of the -- the overwhelming majority of the political parties rejected the idea of working with wilders. he really stands alone. yes, he's picked up seats in parliament. he will have a voice. he represents a segment of the population. i think it's the responsibility of the new leadership to try to understand a little bit better perhaps who the wilders voters are. what is it they're upset about and what is it that they see in him. that may be the most productive thing that could come out of this conversation. >> atiatika, final question to . wilders unleashed, if you will, in the eyes of some, some dark forces, dark ideas during the course of this campaign in this
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election. and some say this nation is forever changed as a result. how do you see things now that the votes are in in terms of what happens to the soul of the netherlands? what does that look like now? >> well, you know, i think dominic is right. there have been so many questions about identity. what are traditional dutch values? how should they be defended? what does it mean to be dutch? through the process of the election, voters are saying this is who we are. we are not extremists and so concerned about islam that we're going to be wrapped up in voting only for wilders. whereas a variety of opinions on display here. one of the great stories was the fact that green left basically suddenly came up and won a surprising amount of seats. and i think that goes to show that yes, there is this voice that says look, we don't want the establishment anymore. we don't want the mainstream parties, but neither do we want
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the far right. there's a lot of alternatives out there. i think that is very dutch. it's a dutch identity where you say we're open to all kinds of ideas, and yes, we'll even listen, some of the people will listen to what geert wilders has to say. ultimately, there are other voices just as dutch as his. >> atika schubert and dominic joining us. thank you for the great conversation. we'll take a short break. when we come back, we now know who was behind one of the biggest cyber hacks in history. the justice department says it was the russians. and it's been withered by winter. but all pete needs is scotts turf builder lawn food. it's the fast and easy way to a thick, green, resilient lawn with two simple feedings. one now, and one later this spring. it takes grass from hungry - to healthy.
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hello. the u.s. department of justice charged two russian spies in a massive breach of yahoo user's information. two hackers were also indicted in the 2014 attack that affected at least half a million e-mail attacks. the stolen information had pass
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words but not financial information. government officials and journalists were among the targets. this is the first to link russia's cyber criminals directly to their government. >> we want to send a clear message to criminal hackers everywhere. you can try and hide in corners of the dark web, but we will hunt you down. we will expose you, and we will bring you to justice. the fbi has a long reach and a longer memory. >> the four accused are now facing economic espionage. >> rex tillerson is in tokyo as part of his first official visit to asia. he's meeting with the japanese prime minister right now followed by prime minister abe in a few hours. >> it will be a busy few days for rex tillerson. next he heads to south korea then china. and the one topic in all these meetings is likely to be the growing threat from north korea. ivan watson is following the story in tokyo, we also have
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matt. not a lot of daylight between washington and tokyo on most issues. >> reporter: that's right. these are two very close allies. the meeting is under way right now at the top american and japanese diplomats sitting down. it's not the first time they've met. in brief comments before the meeting rex tillerson did say that part of his goals here was deepening not only the bilateral relationship between tokyo and washington but also the trilateral relationship that includes south korea, and this, of course, is in response to the nuclear program in north korea to the missile program there, in particular, the missile launches of last week. one of which landed within the economic exclusion zone of japan. so it was seen as a threat in
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this part of the world. naval exercises conducted for the past two days involving ships from all three countries that have the missile defense on them to try to theoretically intercept missiles in the future if north korea is to launch missiles in the direction of u.s. allies. but a big challenge for this trip will be the fact that while japan is a stable and reliable ally of the u.s., south korea is suffering from a leadership vacuum. its president forced to step down after an impeachment and elections suspected within 60 days. and big questions about where the next president, where the next government of south korea will take that country and whether its future policy will be as close to u.s. policy as the past disgraced president's policy was. john. >> ivan, rex tillerson has kept
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a fairly low profile for the first month in office as secretary of state. it looks like he zbenintends top that. he's not traveling with a press pool. >> reporter: this has been a subject of some controversy notably with the state department press corp. that he's not bringing along jury roournalists on his plane. they were told originally there wasn't room. then it came out he was going to be bringing journalists from a website called "the independent journal review" which is supposed to have conservative leanings. when asked about this, the state department spokesman said, well, the effort was to try to broaden exposure to media outlets that haven't traditionally gotten
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exposure. that said, there is international press in the meeting where they will be attending a press conference where rex tillerson will come out and speak and presumably take some questions from the assembled journalists who have traveled separately. >> ivan, i guess we'll wait and see if that happens. matt rivers standing by in beijing. when rex tillerson arrives there, he's going to have tough words for china when it comes to dealing with north korea and the possibility of penalties for chinese companies which do business with north korea. >> reporter: that's right. senior u.s. officials tell cnn that the secretary of state will make it known that the u.s. is prepared to increase financial penalties against chinese companies. chinese businesses and banks that do business with north korea, that the united states is tired of chinese companies helping to fund pyongyang's weapons program. earlier today we had a require opportunity to sit down with a policy maker here in china.
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it almost never happens. the government never puts up people to be interviewed. this is the director general of the asian affairs department of the ministry of foreign affairs. we asked him about what the secretary of state plans to say when he comes to beijing. >> it is not fair. that's not right. that's not the correct way of dealing things. >> if it did happen, would that propose a serious obstacle in china's ability to deal with the united states diplomatically and work together on this issue? >> well the secretary is coming in two days. let's see how we communicate. >> reporter: and so he did avoid that question there. but it will be an interesting meeting. the other thing that's going to be brought up as we talked about is how the united states will work with china to curb the north korean problem. china has a message for the united states and north korea. they have a proposal they're calling the suspension for suspension proposal. that's just a fancy way of
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saying if the u.s. and the south koreans stop their military exercises, that the dprk will stop their missile test. that's the proposal from the chinese that they say is a win/win. >> we would like to see americans to move first. to show their sincerity. china's proposal is why not do it at the same time. no secrets. no first or second. there's a parallel. we do it at the same to work together on the north korean problem but at this point it's unclear how they are going to do that. >> thanks to you both. a short break here. when we come back we'll learning new details about the fat leonard bribery case. charges against some of the navy's highest ranking officers. in just a moment.
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>> brian todd braiks breaks down the accusations. >> reporter: the seventh fleet, the navy's largest. its motto, ready power for peace. according to a new indictment some of the fleets commanders were ready for parties and prostitutes. prosecutors say bruce loveless and eight other officers accepted lovely dinners, and prostitutes and gave classified information about their ship's movements. >> this is beyond the pale. when you look at the ranks of the officers involved in this scandal it is something the navy hasn't dealt with literally in decades. >> reporter: according to the indictment, when some of the officers docked in manila in 2007 when went to a party at the manila hotel. quote during the party historic memorial related to general douglas mcilroy arthur were used by them in sexual acts. >> totally disgusting. there is absolutely -- when you look at that.
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that is the history of the united states of america. and to take those artifacts and embarrass general mcilroy arthur's family in that manner, being used in what is purported to be those sexual acts, it's just -- i -- there is no words that can describe it. >> reporter: the contractor who allegedly supplied the lavish gifts and parties was this man, leonard glenn francis, also known as fat leonard a wealthy flamboyant executive who ran a marine contracting agency which provided dockside services to u.s. navy ships. fat leonard francis bleed guilty in the case and is awaiting sentencing. nm now many of the details of what happened were not public. in may 2008, according to prosecutors, francis allegedly paid for the admiral and five other navy men to stay at the shangri la hotel in manila. it's written, francis hosted a raging multiday party with a carousel of prostitutes.
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during the party they drank all thedom pair none in the hotel. there was exotic food followed by expensive drinks and cohiba cigars, $2,000 per box. prosecutors say in return the officers helped steer navy ships to ports operated by francis where he overbilled the navy tens of millions of dollars. experts say admiral loveless who was a top intelligence officer and the others charged took massive risks that could have exposed american secrets. >> they are success suspectible of being blackmailed. >> reporter: experts say given this all allegedly happened in the asia pacific theater, chinese spies could have gotten wind of the alleged bribery that was going on. we contacted an attorney for admiral bruce loveless who said neither he nor his client would comment on the case.
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brian today, cnn, washington. i'm john vause. >> i'm isha sesay. more news right after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ lease a 2017 lincoln mkx for $369 a month. only at your lincoln dealer. well, what are you doing o take care otomorrow -10am? but... staff meeting. 3:45? tai chi. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. you are busy.
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