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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 27, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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♪ these streets will make you feel brand new ♪ ♪ these lights will inspire you. >> music is a great, explosion expression of humanity and it will always be influential. [ cheers and applause ] this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, are we on a verge of a major, major conflict with north korea that's what the president says. i'm is don lemon. that plus a new russian investigation. michael flynn is the target. i want to begin with breaking news on north korea. joining me now cnn chief national correspondent and reuters white correspondent who
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reported this story. jeff i'm going to start with you. you interviewed president trump at the white house. the president is telling you that we could see a major conflict with north korea. let's listen. >> well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with north korea. absolutely. >> can you tell us more about this interview. what's he talking about? military engagement on the korean peninsula. >> he indicated the seriousness of the conflictwell north korea and made it clear military options is something president trump is considering seriously that coming in the context of having said they're going to work on diplomacy. did say that would be their preference but in the interview he said it's difficult and it clearly is.
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>> he says he prefers diplomatic outcome but did he give any indication how that could be accomplished? >> he didn't. but that's clearly something the administration is working on. he mentioned, we had a discussion about president of china who president trump has given a lot of credit for for 4e7ing on north korea helping on north korea but put a lot of pressure on him for helping with that. so that's certainly part of the diplomatic path he hopes be successful. >> jim are you surprised to hear the president speak this way on north korea. >> not necessarily surprised because we heard the president speak in somewhat aggressive terms about a number of very sensitive conflicts. the question is it truly intentional message the preds is trying to send to north korea. you have a good cop, bad cop going here, saying military options are on the table as
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previous presidents have. rex tillerson secretary of state in an interview that will come out tomorrow he said the u.s. is willing to sit and speak face to face with north korea. you have the u.s. president in effect reminding north korea we have military options that we're considering. the difficulty is, i speak to diplomats who deal with both administration and they say it is a volatile regime and you don't want to add the danger of es escalation and public comments can be misinterpreted from the u.s. president. >> how will north korea react to the president's comment and what would a conflict look like. >> if it stays to past behavior it would be something along the lines of their own fiery rhetoric and north korea has a
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habit of doing that. you may see them say if there's a conflict we would win, that is for public consumption at home and to some extent abroad. the danger is, does north korea feel truly threatened to the point where they feel the need to show some sort of actual demonstration of force, right. this is something north korea has done in the past. fired artillery shells at south korea and sunk a ship. >> some believe the president is being hyper bolic is he aware of his words in situations like this. >> it's a question we would need to ask him about situations with north korea, or afghanistan or iran or canada in terms of nafta you have public comments that
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are in sicindiarincindiary. this is a dangerous machine. if you miscalculate and overreact there's a danger of escalation. >> and jeff you spoke about that regime didn't you? >> we did. and in fact he has somewhat brace comments for kim jong-un, one we felt if he thought the north korean leader was rational and he had no real opinion on that. in fkt he went on to say it's difficult for a 27-year-old to take over a regime as he did when his father died. >> he says he's 27 years old, his father dies, took over a regime, say what you want but that's not easy, especially at
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that age, i'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit i'm just saying it's a very hard thing to do. as to whether or not he's rational, i have no opinion on that. i hope he's rational. >> that's right. i asked at one point in that interview are you trying, wanting to give him credit. he said i'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit. clearly he's not made the analysis that kim jong-un is somebody who can't be dealt with despite the challenges he clearly sees with north korea. he couldn't really be drawn on a specific analysis about this person. >> there's no argument from most about whether he's rational like most leaders they don't believe he is rational. >> that's why we were curious if he would give more insight about what he thought or seen from his own analysis from intelligence that he now has available to him as the president of the united states. but he was careful there. i think you're right though.
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i think many people wouldn't be as careful when describing the the north korean leader. >> listen it sounds like the president is almost describing someone who took over the family business. this is not taking over a real estate empire. it is a dictatorial regime that is heredity. he kills relatives with anti-aircraft guns in public stadiums. he killed a half brother with a chemical weapon in an airport in malays malaysia, this assassination a month ago. it's not a stretch to say it's an improper comparison to effectively praise him for the achievement of successfully taking over a hermit state that your father ran. it is just an odd comparison to
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make. other news tonight, president trump national former national security advisor yet another investigation what's new. >> the defense department is investigating him for possibly violating u.s. army regulations but violating the law, for not reporting that he received a foreign payment in the amount of tens of thousands of dollars from a hostile foreign government. and that is significant. in addition it to that some of these documents released bit democrats on the house over sight committee today bely past explanation that's michael flynn has given, saying i kept the dia defense agency i kept him informed. in fact the dia has no record to show he informed them of this in advance. so the story in his continually
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changing story about the speech and money and who he told seems to be falling apart under examination by the white house oversight committee. >> and the white house is pushing back. >> listen it's a pretty big stretch, trying to say he worked in the obama administration was director of the dia, obama gave him security clearance so it is the administration's fault it was missed. listen to what sean spicer had to say. >> so the issue is he was issued a security clearance under the obama administration in the spring of 2016. the trip and transactions that you're referring to occurred in december 2015 from what i understand. so obviously there's an issue that as you point out the department of defense and inspector general is looking into. we welcome that. all of that clearance was made during the obama administration and apparently with knowledge of
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the trip that he took. >> you know, rich is a word, it's pretty rich explanation for this. yes he got a clearance in the obama administration was then fired in that position and then became a campaign advisor and public supporter of president trump who chose him as the highest ranking national security advisor. to vet that person, they own ion this hire. >> closing in on the 100-day mark did you get a sense this was weighing on the president, syria, afghanistan now north korea, the health care they're not going to vote on repealing and replacing obamacare and so on. and his relationship with the media. >> it's a good question. question asked towards the end of the interview about his feeling about the first 100 days he was wispful about his
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pre-white days, missed driving, felt like a cocoon in the white house. he didn't say these things weigh on him but he did say he thought the job would be easier, he expected it to be easier than his previous life and that was not the case. >> interesting you would think being a leader of the free world would be easier than running a real estate company. gentlemen, thank you. we'll return and talk about the michael flynn investigation. why white is covering it up. /wh. . . . up. is covering it up.
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breaking news, president trump warning what he calls a major, major conflict with north korea is possible. plus michael flynn, the investigation is heating up. the top democrat on the house oversight committee charging the white house is covering up for flynn. congressman joining us now good evening. >> good evening. >> let's talk about the breaking news. what do you make the president's comments the chance we could end in a major, major conflict with
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north korea. >> i believe this is a very serious situation. i was part of a classified briefing yesterday that the vice president along with sects of state, chairman and joint chiefs provided. i agree it's a very serious situation. i hope we can lower the temperatures a little bit and not rattle too many sabres. we have to be prepared. we have to deescalate this conflict in a peaceful way as much as possible and we have to hope that we can work with china to exert any and all leverage over the north koreans to basically deescalate the tensions right now. >> he does say in that interview he would like to solve things diplomatically but says it would be difficult. do you think there's a strategy behind his remarks? >> possibly. but i think right now we have to avoid all tweets. we have to avoid provocative
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measures. especially with someone as unstable as the north korean leader on the other side. i think rather than engaging in provocative measures or rattling sabres we have to intensely pursue a peaceful solution through dip massy. >> he did say in that interview he wasn't sure if kim jong-un was stable or not, said i'm not giving an opinion about that what do you think about that. >> i too hope the north korea leader is rags rational if he's not we have a whole other problem on our hand right now we have to assume he's rational. and pursue all means to deescalate this conflict. >> house republicans have delayed vote on obamacare, the repeal. they will not vote this week.
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meaning mostly likely will have no votes and won't get this credit for the first 100 days what's your reaction on that. >> i don't think the american people really care whether he gets this american health care act passed in a hundred days. i think they care we have the best health care system possible. we have challenges and we need to work together in a bipartisan fashion. >> you think it means he doesn't have votes on it and that's why they're not doing it. >> yeah he didn't have the votes three weeks ago and he doesn't have the votes now that's why they're not bringing it to a vote. again i think we have to work in a bipartisan fashion to improve the current affordable care act and i think the fact for the second time they're not able to muster voltes on the republican side to bring their proposal to a vote means they will come to
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the table and we can work together to improve the current system. >> what's it say to you, they have a republican state, senate and white and can't repeal it after several years what's it say to you. >> it says to me that it's a lot easier to say no as they have been doing for seven or eight years in terms of not wanting to improve the current system now that they're in charge they have to own up to the responsibility of improving it. because too many lives depend on it. we've received literally thousands of letters and phone calls detailing very moving stories of how people's lives have moved significantly under the affordable care act at the same time they point out some of the challenges and that's what we have to work on together to improve. >> more developing news, as if we didn't have enough. i want to talk about michael
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flynn under investigation from the defense department. he didn't get permission to travel to moscow was paid by the kremlin. allegedly didn't disclose that he was warned about accepting payments from foreign governments. do you think michael flynn broke the law? >> i agree with the chairman yesterday who said we haven't seen any evidence he complied with the law. to alert the viewers, the law is very clear, a retired military officer must get permission from the american government if he or she is to accept any foreign payments or payments from any foreign governments. that is a warning given to every military officer before they leave the service. michael flynn did receive that warning. there's no evidence he did comply with that law and now we know the army inspector general is inspecting these violations as the oversight committee is.
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i reviewed classified documents yesterday and they raised the same questions that we're seeing raised in these documents today. we're seeing a lot of smoke here. it's time to get to the bottom of this. we got to press this investigation further. the white house must turnover any and all documents related it to this issue. >> i want to play this. congressman cunnings is slamming the white house let's play this. >> watch sean spicer. make all kinds of excuses about how hard it would be to comply with our request. come on, man. i honestly do not understand why the white house is covering up for michael flynn. i don't get it. after the president fired him. for lying. >> so if he didn't comply with the law one would say it's the
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same thing as breaking the law. do you agree? is this a cover up? >> i don't know whether it's a cover up. what i do know they're not producing documents relating to either the vetting of michael flynn or the firing of michael flynn. i'm almost certain such documents exist and i think the white house must produce these because as i said before there's so many questions at this point and there's just no answers. at the end of the day the reason this matters is we kneneed to k the state of our national security whether we're kpr compromised and how did we get to the position where michael flynn could become the national security advisor after so many extensive contacts with russia and in the process receiving a lot of money from them. >> congressman murphy thank you very much we appreciate your time. >> thank you. when we come back the house's vote to repeal and
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replace obamacare and the president's about face on nafta. more setbacks in the white house with the 100 day mark just around the corner. this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv. you must become invisible. [hero] i'll take my chances. ♪ depression is a tangle of multiple symptoms. ♪ that's why there's trintellix,
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breaking news on capital hill house republican leaders say there will not be a vote on it's health care bill on friday. the. the president -- let's discuss. it is a lot.
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listen i want to ask before we get started. both of you as a matter of fact about the president's comments on north korea possibility of major, major conflict. >> i'm not sure scaring people is the best approach but no one tells the president what to do, right. but i think clearly this is a top of mind issue for him. he's got a circle of national security advisors around him who he trusts and people say he's listening to. >> do you think it's just to send a signal. >> i think aggressive and violent language is part of his political messages, since he started running for president. the way he labels people, the
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insinuations he made on president obama on down, the way he rattled the saber, in is sort of his approach, to talk very, very tough. to tweet very, very tough first. but when we see actual engagement and confrontation like we did with syria that was relatively disciplined attack. it was a pinpoint attack. and to her point the president has people around him who i think who do reign impulses for greater and more chaotic action. >> it makes you grateful for so many generals. in a situation like this thank goodness the generals are there. i also want to talk about the breaking news on health care. the vote is delayed. the republicans don't have the votes to repeal and replace on obamacare this vound two. round two.
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a second loss for him in this category. >> it's so dangerous and he knew, jared kushner and ryan knew what they were getting into by trying to take a second bite at the health care apple. >> they were saying that they don't really care about the 100 day mark which he touted so much on the campaign trail and that's why they threw everything against the wall see if it would stick but why do this. >> this whole week has been a ka bu ki theater exercise in washington and now the president won't get a passage in health care going forward, going to pennsylvania on saturday to give his speech on his 100th day in which he will suggest there's been all this action and activity there. he gave a speech in pennsylvania in october where he laid out his 100 day agenda and will try to reclaim that now. in d.c. will have the white
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house correspondent dinner and everybody sort of ripping him apart. >> to his point, you say we've accomplished all these things when really it's mostly been executive orders many of which have no teeth, some of them do but one of them was to study effects on nafta. >> the equivalent of a blue ribbon commission. a lot of them had that effect. >> is it style over substance. >> i think that the president clearly did not understand the kinds of obstacles he was going to face when he came to washington, with the health care bill for example there were a lot of people who told him not to go with the health care legislation first to do something more bite-sized, more manageable, doable in the congress, and he chose to go for that. >> that infrastructure which everyone's on board. >> right, right. so you see here them putting out all these zoexecutive orders hu
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flury of activity. it's a very mixed bag. some could be regulatory roll backs down the line that will make his base happy but it will be an interesting rally in pennsylvania. >> yeah i think the traditional wins that a president likes to point to in first hundred days usually one big bill through congress, some legislative win. he has judge gorsuch to point to but a lot of it is on paper. >> isn't that mitch mcconnell. so the washington post spoke with the president earlier, sorry that was reuters, the washington post spoke to the president tonight he told them this about nafta which he elected not to term in ate when he spoke to the leaders of mexico and candidate saying this -- inate when he
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spoke to the leaders of mexico and candidate saying this -- according to the washington post he changed his mind because he seen a map how many communities in trump countries would be hurt by the loss of business. did he not, should he have understood that before. >> this is so representative of his style, so similar in a way to the syria situation where he went out with all this campaign rhetoric about america first and not getting involved abroad and then he felt personally moved by pictures and then went in and did syrian air strikes after the chemical attacks. in this situation again he's getting new information, absorbing it, changing his mind. he's talked about being flexible and being proud of that flexibility. i'm not sure how it will go over with his supporters going forward but that's what we seen through the first hundred days. >> can you imagine all those 17 people on stage with him who
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were giving these rational responses saying you just can't do that and explaining to the american people how it's done and he's like no can't do it that way. are they sitting at home now going, we told you so. i don't mean hillary clinton. i'm talking about republicans. >> right i think a lot of them probably are. but this is the most interesting thing about the trump presidency is that he is so unpredictable. not ideological. >> you say unpredictable does that mean just not knowledgeable. that unpredictability has been, i mean it has resulted into not having knowledge of a particular issue and then -- coming out a different way. >> i don't think any president goes into that office knowing about all of these different issues. clearly it was going to be an education on donald trump. >> of course it is. >> usually all presidents have a big ego there's some level of humility knowing what you don't
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know, turning to advisors, wanting to get a lot of advisors in your cabinet, who will give you more information, this president has such enormous self-confidence whether it is well-placed or not. he believes that when he is able to sort of make, when he makes these comments about nafta, about north korea, the way it's going, there just is not a lot of nouriotic self doubting going on. at least boastful is different from self confidence because confident has a quiet power instead of outwardly. you wrote a piece about first hundred days. so many colorful anecdotes and it comes guys a warning about language so what the heck is going on in the white house. >> i think it's a very colorful white and they use a lot of colorful language in there. this is a tick tok of the first hundred days that looks at the evolution of trump that is
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publishing tomorrow morning with our cnn digital mag zan. >> it's new digital magazine. >> it's called state. >> yeah. >> i think it's so interesting to watch his evolution through this whole process. there were certainly many moments of anger and frustration within those walls that we delve into. >> is there a certain sense of you don't know what you don't know. what do you get out of this first 100 days. >> that's a good point you don't know what you don't know but that he has really absorbed a lot, learned a lot, that people think the white house in some respects is maybe beginning to find its footing on some of the mechanics. i spent a lot of time on the hill this week and some of his harshest critics said that. but we're still seeing a lot of turmoil and flury of activity around there. see how it goes. >> i got to run. i thought it was interesting he said he didn't realize this would be so hard.
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he thought it would be easier. >> that's a fair statement. >> yeah. thank you both i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we come back, more on the investigation into those payments from russia that general flynn failed to disclose. going to ask former inspector general from the defense department what this investigation could reveal.
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documents show fired
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national security advisor michael flynn was warned not to accept payments from foreign governments a full year before taking money from russian for a speaking engagement. the pentagon now investigating that. we have our analysts with us from yahoo news and former inspector general for dod. talk to us about the rules that michael flynn broke here and how serious of a charge is this? >> don, of course the rules regarding the imogualste kauds and taking payments from foreign government is serious. general officers typically know what they're doing, they know their business, they know when they've done something right or wrong. we don't know yet whether lieutenant general flynn did anything wrong but if he did not
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comply with the rules i believe the inspector general will determine that and of course the report will go to the secretary of defense and then to the congress and if there's criminal violations then those reports go to the justice department that will review them and take action. so yes this could be a serious matter if in fact he violated the clause and in fact engaged with foreign government officials without authorization. >> i want to ask you steve, sean spicer told reporters that his security ask r. clearances were approved under the obama administration that there was no need to rerun a back ground check but in the obama administration the white house conducted it's own investigation of candidates even if it already had security clearance so what do you make of this defense from
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the white house. >> to be honest i think it is gobbly goock i think there's certain types of vetting. there's certain back grounds that happen but you would hope the white house would do its own vet from a political perspective. but you have to remember on the issue of background investigation so much depends on the subject themselves of the investigation. if flynn didn't mention, as we know guys like jared kushner also left some stuff out, then that does a lot of harm in terms of the ability to investigation and to get their security clearances at the end of the day and perhaps even more important i think security clearance in the big picture is from a counter intelligence perspective is not that critical of a thing. some of the biggest damages that
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was done to u.s. national security guys like alder james and those guys had great security clearance through top secret level. there's a lot more it to it than clearances and vetting, it's what these people did and that's what the fbi is doing from counter intelligence perspective. >> according to gordon he said once you get to the level of michael flynn he is saying, i don't want to take you out of context gordon but sounds like you said you should know the game, should know the score, should know what you have to disclose and what you don't have to disclose. is that not correct? >> yeah, no, look, first of all, i mean, michael flynn was the chief of the defense intelligence agency. the chief intelligence officer for the department of deaf. for the department of defense. that's no small thing. you would think someone at that level would know the rules. i think this is actually a
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pretty significant development tonight. the acting pentagon inspector general who is doing this investigation, glen fye is one of the most experienced inspector generals in the government at the justice department for years did a lot of hard hitting very aggressive investigations, he knows how to did them rl. and this is the first indication of a u.s. government agency that is actively investigating a piece of the whole trump russia puzzle that we've all been talking about for months. so i think that's a very important milestone and development. as far as where it goes, look, i interviewed michael flynn at the republican national convention in july and asked about this
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russia trip and who paid for it he said i can tell you i didn't take money from russia he said my speakers bureau asked them. the house over sight committee reviewed that interview and took flynn up on his offer and went after the documents got them from the speaker's bureau, showed that rt, the russian propaganda network reached out to him directly on e-mail so there's no question he knew where the money was coming from but he was making this bizarre distinction without a difference i got the money from my speaker's bureau not from rt, i don't think that's a kind of defense that will hold up very well. >> i wonder how often someone at this level gets referred to the inspegtor general for investigation. is this common for this to happen? >> yeah, don, actually it's more common than you would expect. we're talking about senior military officials here.
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in this case lieutenant general flynn was a three star general officer. no, it's really -- it's not that our military is running rampant, don't believe that for a second. i ask tell you this. for the most part we deserve the recognition of having the finest military in the world. but the fact of the matter is general officers know the rules. i have no doubt that three star and four star, every general officer rank in the books knows the rules here and a lot of this is a matter of common sense. if these rules were violated i can tell you it's either a matter of not having common sense or being arrogant. i'm not suggesting we know what happened in the case of lieutenant general flynn yet. but if it turns out that he has done what we are investigating, and again i agree glen fine is going to do an excellent job because he has the resources,
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skills, the knowledge, the people to do this, if it turns out it will be a matter of arrogance or lack of common sense with respect to the general. >> gentlemen, excuse me. thank you very much i appreciate it. how often has this president admitted he didn't know something. he finally did and you'll hear from him after this. weight-loss medicine that mayad help adults who are overweight or struggle with obesity lose weight and keep it off. contrave is believed to work on two areas of the brain: your hunger center... (woman) i'm so hungry. (avo) to reduce hunger. and your reward system... (woman) ice cream. french fries. (avo) to help control cravings. across three long-term studies, contrave patients lost approximately 2-4x more weight than with diet and exercise alone. contrave is not for everyone. one ingredient in contrave may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teens, and young adults within the first few months. other serious side effects include seizures, increase in
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breaking news. a new interview from president trump sound a little knnostalgi tonight about his life as real estate mogul. >> i loved all my previous life. i loved my previous life. i had so many things going. actually, this is more work than my previous life. i thought it would be easier. i'm a details oriented person. i think you would say that, but i do miss my old life. i like to work, so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work. and while i had very little privacy in my old life because i've been famous for a long time, i really -- this is much less privacy than i've ever seen before. i mean, this is something -- something that's really amazing.
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at the same time, you're really into your own little cocoon because such massive protection that you really can't go anywhere. >> here to discuss jason miller, jeanpier jeanpierre, and bacarri sellers, and andre power. this is the toughest job in the land. so listen, the president said -- i'll start with jason because you know him very well. he didn't the presidency would be so hard. what do you think of that? >> that's an honest answer. >> most people would say, my gosh, i don't want that job because it is hard. it is so hard. i can't imagine anything that's harder. >> it's a tough job. i would be surprised if there's something different at any - point, but as we've seen so far, i think the president has done a good job of stepping up and filling the role and doing a good job.
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but it is tough. you know, one of the things i'd be remiss if i didn't make the comment if the republicans on capitol hill would get their acts together, maybe it would be a little easier. maybe we could see speaker ryan step up and get this health care bill done. >> governing is hard and being the party of no is skrjust not working when you have the house, the senate, and, by the way, the presidency. donald trump is learning that health care is economy kacompli. he's learning the history of north korea is complicated and now he's missing his old life. >> it's only been 90 days. >> he wasn't serious from the beginning when he was running. >> andre, what do you think? >> i think we're fortunate to have folks who are willing to run for this office. i sure wouldn't want it. if you look at president obama, president bush, it takes a toll
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on anybody. how much they age in eight short years -- a lot of things happening, but i'm enthusiastic about the fact that we have people willing to serve in this capacity. i'm sure his life was better before. he's got this job. he asked for it. i'm ready for him to buckle down and tackle some difficult issues this country has to deal with. >> bacarri sellers? >> i think donald trump, who inherited his wealth from his father, who had four bankruptcies, who most people when you begin to pull back the onion saw it was a house of cards now becomes president of the united states and has failed most of the standards he put forth in his first 100 days, the hope we have for the country, the hope we have for the united states of america, is someone who has the lowest approval rating of any president we've had through this 97-day period, does some self-reflecting in this interview and should ask the question how do i be a
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better president for myself and the trump family, and the united states of america. >> i want to talk about the new polls now that we've gotten that out of the way. there's a new poll that shows half as many republicans see russia as unfriendly as they did in 2014. andre? >> i think the news can take any country -- i mean, if you look just the short news we've seen over north korea, a couple of days of news stories can change a lot of folks feelings about where we stand on any country. right now we're hoping russia is going to help us in some of our own problems we've taken on. they're becoming at least a partner, maybe not a friend, but a needed partner around the world with so many problems right now. i don't think it's just that the republicans say, oh, well, now trump has had some type of contact or his administration
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has with russia, but they are in fact a partner we drastically need right now. >> democrats have not changed their mind about russia or the threat of russia. >> as they should not. we just came out of an election where our democracy was undermined. this should not be a bipartisan issue. >> is that number surprising to you, that republicans are -- and the power of this president to get people to change their mind. >> there's the question from the cnn poll that asked do we think that russia played a role in the election. >> we can put that up. it says 72% surveyed believe it is extremely likely or somewhat likely that russia had improper contact. 27% said not. >> that's a big number. we need to get to the bottom of this and it shouldn't be partis partisan.
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>> the percentage of who actually defined russia as an enemy, which was 25%. what the president would always say is i'm not saying russia has to our friend, but they don't have to be our enemy. the audience he was talking to, that's that 75%. that's where most of the country is. so i think the president was actually much more spot on. that's a key detail to point out. >> that's all we have time for. when we come back, the latest on our breaking news. president trump warning of a possible major conflict with north korea.
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breaking news. president trump warns a major, major conflict with north korea is possible.


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