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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 16, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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get fast internet and add phone and tv now for only $34.90 more per month. call today. comcast business. built for business. good evening. we begin tonight with new claims by the president, claims that don't stand up to the light of day. today the president claimed, and these are his exact words that, quote, president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls to families of fallen american troops. they did. he claimed that president clinton's fema director gave him an a plus grade. he didn't. we're keeping him honest tonight on both fronts. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. the same mitch mcconnell he's been feuding with in private and openly for months. >> we are probably now, despite
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what we read, we're probably now, i think, at least as far as i'm concerned, closer than ever before. and the relationship is very good. we're fighting for the same thing. >> well, that was today. again, this is the same mitch mcconnell he's been slamming who leads the very same gop makers he was criticizing just two hours earlier today. >> and i'm not going to blame myself, i'll be honest. they are not getting the job done. we've had health care approved, and then you had a surprise vote by john mccain. we've had other things happen, and they're not getting the job done. >> that criticism came in reaction to his former chief strategist and his pledge to primary republican incumbents next year. >> yeah, mitch, the donors are not happy. they've all left you. we've cut your oxygen off, mitch. >> even as the president echoed bannon credit seek, he also
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seemed to be looking ahead to his lunch with the establishment majority leader. he seems to be trying to have it both ways. >> there are some republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves, but most of them -- i tell you what, i know the republican senators. most of them are really, really great people that want to work hard and they want to do a great thing for the american public. but you had a few people that really disappointed us. they really, really disappointed us. so i can understand fully how steve bannon feels. >> he knows how steve bannon feels. well, despite today's positive talk about mcconnell, it's been a presidential faith. just about nine weeks ago "the new york times" reporting that a conversation -- he's also spoken publicly about his problems with mcconnell. >> can you talk about your relationship with senator mcconnell? >> i just want him to get repeal and replace done. i've only been doing this for
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two years. and i've really only been doing this for six months, but i've been running. so now it's almost two years and all i hear is repeal and replace and then i get there and i said where is the bill? i want to sign it. fist day. and they don't have it. >> and when the president isn't talking, he's tweeting. mitch, get back to work. put repeal and replace, tax reform and a great infrastructure bill on my desk for signing. you can do it. i requested that -- they didn't do it so now we have a big deal with democrats holding them up as usual on debt ceiling approval. could have been so easy. now a mess. majority leader mcconnell for his part has suggested that the president was too green to understand the ways of washington. >> now, our new president, of course accident has not been in this line of work before, and i think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process. >> well, to that one the
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president tweeted senator mitch mcconnell said i had excessive expectations, but i don't think so. after seven years of hearing repeal and replace, why not done? well, today the president seems to be singing a different tup. we'll see how long this lasts. >> we are probably now despite what we read, we're probably now, i think, at least as far as i'm concerned closer than ever before, and the relationship is very good. >> well, joining us now two kevtsd. the two are amanda carpenter and rick santorum. the idea that president trump and mitch mcconnell are suddenly brothers in arms. they're going to save the presidents agenda and republican control of congress, i mean, it's not that simple. >> no, it's not that simple and it's really not real either, anderson. this is all the warmth of an arranged marriage here. and neither one of them really likes each other. i mean, mitch mcconnell won't even talk about the president's tweets. the president, as you point out, has tweeted inses antel about
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mitch mcconnell. but i think that during this meeting mcconnell made it very clear that he was not pleased with what the president said in the morning, in which he said, well, i understand steve bannon, you know, there are a couple of -- there are some republican senators i don't like. mitch mcconnell wants to retain the majority in the senate. he is no fan of steve bannon's, and i'm sure that he went in there saying, look, we have to stand together because your guy wants to defeat all the people that are going to keep our senate majority, and we need to provide a united front. so the president said we're close, we're very, very unified in the republican party. and of course, none of that is true. >> senator santorum, is that true? >> look, you know, donald trump needs mitch mcconnell to be an effective leader, and mitch mcconnell needs donald trump to keep people energized and
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engaged out there in the public for what he wants to do and to put pressure on his members. so whether they like it or not, they need each other in order to get things done. and right now you've got tax reform and, you know, mitch mcconnell and paul ryan have to put together a good package. >> yeah. >> and because donald trump is not doing it. i mean, that's really the missing thing here is that no one really talks about. donald trump is right, republicans rang for seven years on repeal and replace. donald trump didn't come with a package. usually congress is not really used to being in the role of being the initiate or of these ideas. they usually try to take whatever the president sends them and works with things. so it's just a very odd relationship. things are sort of upside down. it hasn't worked very well. the republican leadership, i agree with donald trump, has not done a good job in this new area of trying to be the leader on policy. and maybe we'll see whether this go around with tax reform will change. >> amanda, how do you see this?
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>> i watched this rose garden press conference and honestly, i just had to laugh. donald trump talked a lot about unity, but donald trump is only about donald trump. what i see him doing right now is playing mitch mcconnell and steve bannon against each other perfectly to president trump's advantage. here is what's going to happen. either mitch mcconnell is going to pass tax reform, he's going to repeal obamacare, he's going to do something on immigration by primary time next year or donald trump is going to get steve bannon to sick the dogs on mitch mcconnell's men. because if we get around to the midterms in 2018 and if nothing is done, donald trump would be well within his right to see clean them out and send me some strong conservative who are going to get the job done. >> you've got some new reporting on the strategy behind steve bannon. >> well, since his candidate won in alabama, he's been spending a lot of time out west, because
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he's trying to recruit candidates there. he's going to appear tomorrow night for kelly ward, who is challenging senator flake. no party of donald trump's, i might add. he's going to go out there to her first campaign rally. and he is continuing to say that he's going to challenge people like flake and heller out west and fisher in nebraska. and, you know, barrasso, for example, is somebody who the president might consider a friend. so maybe the president will get him to back off a little bit, although, you know, bannon sounds like this is his job right now, which is to repeal and replace the republicans who are in the senate. >> yeah. >> who are the establishment. >> senator santorum, having been in the senate and knowing it as well as you do, how much does personality matter? how much does it matter the personal relationship or lack
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thereof between the president and mitch mcconnell or paul ryan in terms of actually getting stuff done? >> look, these folks are pros. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan, particularly mcconnell has been around a long time. he's put up with different personalities. obviously the president is a unique one. no doubt about that. but he's going to be focused as the speaker on trying to get the agenda passed. look, i agree with amanda. i think the president is in a great position right now. i think he is trying to stress to the leader that there is -- you better feel a sense of urgency in getting these things done. you know, i've got my attack dog out here, and he's going to destroy your leadership if you don't deliver for me. i know that -- i'm sure mitch mcconnell doesn't want to hear that, but the reality is it's going to happen whether donald trump has steve bannon as an attack dog or not. the republican leadership better start delivering on these two big things, both tax reform and repeal and replace obamacare or
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this leadership team and certainly in the senate and probably in the house are going to be in big trouble come next election. >> amanda, does any of this blow back, if nothing gets done, does none of it blow back on the president himself? >> i mean, sure, but he'll have two more additional years before the re-election campaign to figure that out. i mean, donald trump has never shown himself loyal or beholden to a previous position. i mean, he will change it on a dime. and if he can play this right, if he doesn't get anything done by the midterms, he's going to need a scapegoat. and anderson, i have to tell you after being a top staff to jim did he minute and at the time cruz, i know how deep the republican base anger is against mitch mcconnell. and i promise you, he knows it too. his aides put out a memo earlier saying the republican congress has a big target against them. no, it's not the republican congress. it's want paul ryan. it is mitch mcconnell. steve bannon is endorsing all kinds of candidates. people may look at them and say,
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well, gee, what positions do they share between a person, lay say, like roadway moore and michael grim in new york. it's probably one thing. they probably pledged to steve bannon that they will be a royal pain to mitch mcconnell and will do anything to oust him. that is the ideological test for steve bannon. there's nothing else. >> i would say in an odd way what steve bannon is doing is actually helping mitch mcconnell. >> yeah. >> because it actually creates a sense of urgency among republicans, even moderate republicans who like maybe the leadership style of both ryan and mcconnell see that that is threatened. their ability to be able to influence legislation is going to be threatened if we see a wholesale replacement of a lot of mainstream republicans. >> bannon helps donald trump as well because donald trump can thread the needle when he needs to and he can sit back now and watch this all play out. >> senator santorum, thanks. interesting discussion. coming up next, the president
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breaks his 12-day silence on 12 troops killed in niger. and later the president's claim he's getting an a plus from president clinton's fema director. this is what it's all about, jamie -- helping small businesses. damage your vehicle? we got you covered. [ glass shatters ] property damage? that's what general liability's for. what?! -injured employee? -ow. workers' comp helps you pay for a replacement. what's happening? this is carla. how's it going? and if anything comes up, our experts are standing by. ♪ boo! you're more than just a bathroom disease.. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara® stelara® works differently for adults
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killed during an ambush in niger. 12 days after the fact the president said he'll shortly be sending them letters to their families and said he'll be calling their families later this week. he took the opportunity to disthe commander in chief in both parties who came before him. you got the full context to it. take a look. >> i've written them personal letters. they've been sent or they're going out tonight, but they were during the weekend. i will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families, because i have done that traditionally. i felt very, very badly about that. i always feel badly. it's the toughest calls i have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed. it's a very difficult thing. now, it gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day, it's a very, very tough day.
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for me that's by far the toughest. the traditional way if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. >> president obama and other presidents most didn't make calls. that's what the president said. keeping him honest, they did. late today former obama and -- the president and first lady who had just been posthumously been awarded the medal of honor. that came after the president's rose garden talk. it did not even take that long for the president to try and back away from he had said. instead he shifted the blame. >> earlier you said that president obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. how can you make that claim? >> i don't know if he did, no.
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i was told that he didn't often. and a lot of presidents don't. i do a kbipgs of both. sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do, but i do a combination of both. president obama, i think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't. i don't know. that's what i was told. all i can do is ask my generals. other presidents did not call. they'd write letters. and some presidents didn't do anything. but i like the combination of -- when i can the impinge of a call and also a letter. >> so let's just remember the president, who after charlottesville tragedy said he waited two days to condemn neo-nazis because -- well, let him explain why. >> it was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly. i couldn't have made it sooner because i didn't know all of the facts. it takes a little while to get the facts. i had to see the facts. i want to know the facts. i want the facts.
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i wanted to see the facts. before i make a statement, i need the facts. you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. i want to make a statement with knowledge. i wanted to know the facts. okay? >> that was the president after charlottesville talking about how he wants to know the facts. now when it comes to his criticism of the former presidents, making false statements about former presidents, essentially the president of the united states is saying maybe they did make the calls, maybe they didn't. i don't know. somebody told me. leon pan et at that knows. secretary pan et at that, when you hear president trump criticizing president obama's treatment of the families of servicemen and women who gave their lives for the country, i'm wondering what your reaction is and can you explain how president obama handled military deaths? >> well, look, anderson, every president and i served in public life under nine presidents, every one of them had their own
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approach to condolences for the loved ones of those lost in duty, either in the military side or in the diplomatic side. president clinton, who i worked for, wrote notes and also visited with families of those that lost loved ones. president obama i know wrote letters, also made some calls, as i recall. but more importantly, actually, visited with the families. we lost a group of seals, a large group of seals with a helicopter loss in afghanistan, he came to dover and we greeted not only the bodies as they arrived, but he met with each of the families at the time. so each president has their own approach. i think it would be well for president trump, we're now ten months into his administration, that rather than seeking some kind of scapegoats in the past with president obama or other
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presidents, that he now accept responsibility for what he does. and he can figure out his own approach to how he deals with loved ones who have been lost in the field of battle. i can tell you this as secretary of defense, it was one of the toughest jobs i had. i used to write a written note to those that -- to the loved ones of those that lost someone dear in battle, and it was one of the toughest jobs i've ever had. so it's something that every president has to deal with. >> white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders sort of continued this today in a statement she said, quote, individuals claiming former presidents such as their bhosz called each family of the fallen are mistaken. i guess the issue here is is president trump using, you know, this most sensitive of subjects to both criticize his predecessor and essentially pat himself on the back? >> well, you know, it just -- it bothers me that a president of
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the united states, instead of accepting responsibility for what he does and what his administration does, constantly looks for other scapegoats, whether it's congress, whether it's past presidents, whether it's somebody else. he is never responsible for anything that goes wrong. and the reality is the american people understand that presidents make mistakes, that presidents make miss judgments. and it would be far better for him to just be honest with the american people. >> i also wanted to ask you about comments senator cork erg made recently comparing the white house to an adult day care, suggesting that president trump is putting america on a path to say things that
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are not really scrubbed by the staff and by policymakers, it just makes it very difficult to try to have the appearance that this president really has a strategy behind everything he says and does. i think it is what it appears to be, which is that often times it's very haphazard and oftentimes he's reacting to his
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emotions in the moment. and unfortunately, i think if this president is ever going to get a handle on the job and on the issues that he's dealing with, very frankly, they have got to be better disciplined in the way they operate. >> secretary pan et at that, appreciate your time. thank you. >> good to be with you. >> well, new polling shows most americans approved of how the president was handling hurricane response until hurricane maria hit puerto rico and his approval rating dropped by 20 points. that story next plus what the president said about puerto rico today. the ceramides in cerave. they help restore my natural barrier, so i can lock in moisture and keep us protected. we've got to have each other's backs and fronts. cerave. what your skin craves. and fronts. i tabut with my back paines, i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve.
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it has been almost a month since hurricane maria hit puerto rico. there's breaking news, some brand-new numbers tonight show how people think the president is handling this crisis. new cnn polling shows 44% approve of how the president is handling hurricane response. that's a 20 point drop from just a few weeks ago. after harvey and irma hit. at the same time blaming both geography and local services. >> puerto rico is very tough because of the fact that it's an island, but it's also tough because as you know it was in very poor shape before the hurricanes ever hit.
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we have done -- i will say this. >> people don't have drinking water. >> we've delivered tremendous amounts of water. you have to have distribution of the water by people on the island. >> the president also repeated his claim that he's getting prays from all kinds of people for the job he's doing in puerto rico. >> i was very honored james lee wit of the clinton administration, the head of fema, he gave us an a plus. i just see it just came out. and i've always had respect for him. he gave us -- he's the fema director of the clinton administration. gave us an a plus for how we responded to the hurricane aftermath, all of the hurricanes, and that includes puerto rico. >> well, keeping him honest, that is just not true. don lemon called mr. wit to see if that's what he said and he said it was placed on harvey and irma, not maria.
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that in fact mera had not happened yet when he said it. the truth, 28% of puerto rico still has no access to drinking water. some people are resorting to desperate and dangerous measures. >> reporter: nearly a month after hurricane maria hit residents around the town of der a dough keep tapping into this water facet with a sign that reads danger, do not enter and despite the warnings from a police officer, they can here to fill containers of water. but few of them know this we will sits in an area designated by the environmental protection agency as a superfund site, where the ground is known to contain dangerously high levels of toxic chemicals. it's located in the northern edge of the island west of san juan. in the der a to superfund site there are at least six wells that residents have reportedly tapped into for water.
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one of the wells is ak segsd in a shopping center parking lot and there have been long lines of residents filling up what they can. the governor insists the water is safe. he is the territory's democratic of health has tested it. >> obviously if it's want none drinking water, we're not going to be serking it but if it implies with the clean water act, it is going to happen. >> but it's not clear if the other wells safe. an environmental protection agency teerm spent the weekend gathering water samples for further testing. >> we're not saying that somebody is in immediate danger by drinking this water. we are considering it a long-term risk. >> incident commander in puerto rico. he says they're looking for signs of industrial toxins often linked to serious health problems including cancer. and eps documents show that as late as last year dangerous levels of those industrial toxins were found in the ground. >> how concerned are you about what might happen to them? >> we're concerned because it's
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not absolutely clean, you know, pure water. there are some contaminants. >> right after the epa team left and locked the site, these men showed up, peeled back the fence and filled up dozens of containers with water. >> are you going to drink this water? >> yeah. >> you're going to drink it? you're willing to take the chance -- he said this is it. there's no other way. i'll take the chance. if i don't drink water, i'm going to die. might as well drink this one. he brought us to a home where he lives with his family. the top floor was destroyed by the hush. his mother says they only received two packages of water since the storm, and she's been drinking the wraurt from that potentially contaminated we will for two weeks and says she now has stomach pains.
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she says the stomach pains started about two weeks ago and she's trying to ignore them. do you think it has something to do with the water? she doesn't know for sure, but she thinks it might have something to do with the water she's drinking. it's impossible to know for sure if the stomach pains are related, but when we went back to the water wells today, a different scene. puerto rican officials had stationed guards at the we will sites to prevent more people from accessing the potentially con tm natured water wells. >> what do we know about the a testing timeline? >> we were told by epa officials that the water samples that were taken from those wells in question, that the biological tests on those could -- those results could come back as early as tuesday, tomorrow. but the more serious and troublesome aspects of that water testing, testing for those chemical compounds which could
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induce -- include some cancer causing industrial toxins, that those results won't probably be back until early next week. >> thanks very much. coming up, john mccain just finished a speech and he had some very strong words about what he says as the direction of his country and the man leading it. we'll play the sound for you when we come back. today, the new new york is sparking innovation. you see it in the southern tier with companies that are developing powerful batteries that make everything from cell phones to rail cars more efficient. which helps improve every aspect of advanced rail technology. all with support from a highly-educated workforce and vocational job training. across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state, visit to grow your business with us in new york state, take 5, guys. tired of your bladder always cutting into your day?
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we started off the broadcast tonight talking about the split between the president and the establishment gop. moments ago senator john mccain at an awardser is money took at what are seen as a direct shot at the trump administration. dan abash life from that event. what did senator mccain say? >> well, this was a very emotional, very raw event. he was receiving the liberty medal here in philadelphia. got from from the former vice president joe buy den. and p of his speech was about the honor that he's had in serving in the navy and the senate, some jokes. but there was one particular part where he stopped and he was incredibly emphatic, maybe the most of the entire speech. listen to why. >> the fear of the world we've organized and led for three-quarters of a century to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our
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duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems. [applause] >> is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dog ma of the past that americans con signed to the ash heap of history. >> now, john mccain didn't say donald trump. he didn't say steve bannon. he didn't mention any names at all. but there was no question about what he was talking about. he was talking about trumpism, maybe bannonism, but he was talking about his fears,
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anderson, of what was going toward, particularly from a man who has traveled about 75,000 miles between the first of the year or at least right around inauguration when donald trump went into the white house to when he got his diagnosis this summer, almost at a feverish pace trying to go from country to country, world leader to world leader to try to reassure them about america's leadership place in the world, and it's something that clearly he cares more about than just about anything else, especially at this place in time. >> yeah. stick around. i want to bring back in rick santorum. gloria, obviously -- as dan asaid didn't mention president trump but little doubt about addressing trumpism, i guess. i mean, he called half-baked, spur i didn't say nationalism. >> yeah. i mean, it was directly aimed at donald trump. there's no question about it. he didn't have to mention his name. and as you saw in the clip that you just showed, he was
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interrupted by applause there. he also went on to say that the united states is not going to thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. and i think that was another spiep at donald trump. he's made no secret of his disdain for this president and made no secret of the fact that he disagrees with him on occasion and is happy to say so. and i think the -- it's returned by the president, who always talks about john mccain is the man who thwarted health care. so i think you have to understand that mccain has always been kind of an honest and forthright guy, and i think now even more so. >> senator santorum, certainly mccain's view of the world and america's role in it is very different than president trump's. >> i would agree. there's no question that was a
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swipe at certainly elements of donald trump's national security team. i wouldn't say it was necessarily a complete swipe at the trump administration. there's a lot of folks very much align aligned with john mccain and he's trying to weigh down on their side. and a lot of what donald trump has done has been very consistent with that line. i would also note that he also talked about the ideology of america's leadership being in the past, on the ash heap of history. that is very clearly directed at barak obama and, you know, he was -- john mccain is very tough and you heard it on donald trump. he was kwaequally as tough on b, the sequestration, the defense department, the leading from behind. john mccain is sort of a man without a country in some respects, the left and the nationalist right are not where traditional republican politics -- and i would even argue the scoop jackson democrats were and i think he's attacking both ends. >> dan a.
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>> well, i think, senator, you certainly were serving in the senate when you were around more republicans who were like john mccain is now, very internationalists, and clearly what he has been saying since donald trump become the republican nominee and even more so since he became president is he's very concerned that his party, that the republican party is becoming much more inward looking, much more nationalistic and obviously led by the person in the white house. you're absolutely right that mccain and other republicans, and this came out in the open a couple of weeks ago when the foreign relations chair bob corker said what he said about the national security team being kind of a stead i go force. mccain agrees with that. he is very much a big fan of the defense secretary general mattis, of the national security adviser mcmaster and others. and it's the president and the rhetoric that he uses is very concerning to somebody like mccain whose number one life's
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mission is to keep america's leadership role in the world. >> senator santorum, you know, the notion of, you know, america is a shining city on a hill and something that the rest of the world, you know, that we're involved in the rest of the world, that is something that president trump doesn't really ascribe to. >> he doesn't from a rhetorical point of view, clearly, but if you look at his axctions, i thik the fact that he is trying to increase money for the defense department, that's very much in line with what john mccain wants to do, the approach that he's taken on north korea, i'm not talking about the words he uses, he's drawing more of a line there. his engagement in the middle east, there's a lo the of areas where the president has done things that are not consistent with the rhetoric. i understand what john mccain is doing and i actually agree with what what he's doing, but i think you have to look at the
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trump administration from the standpoint of what actually he's done as more of a mixed bag than just pure nationalist. >> and i think john mccain's whole career in public service and dan and i have covered him for years and he says this over and over again, particularly when he ran for president that you have to be devoted to something greater than yourself. and i think that his beef with donald trump is that he believes that donald trump doesn't believe there's anything greater than himself, and i think that john mccain believes in order to be a true leader, you have to be unselfish. >> yeah. >> and that's how he defines his patriotism. >> yeah. senator santorum, glory -- dan abash, i'm sorry, we've got to get this break in. >> no problem. >> the president's nominee to be the nation ae drug czar is under fire tonight after an explosive report, support for a law that would make it nearly impossible for the dea to go after opioid
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today president trump told reporter that is he would officially declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency next week. if that's familiar it's because he said he would do it in august, which he never did. it came from comments released yesterday it reported that drug
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companies pushed millions of dollars into congress. that's as tens of thousands of americans are dieing from opioid overdozes every year. tom foreman has more. >> what did the law do that's generating the attention. >> a new law stripped the drug enforcement from come batting t opioid epidemic. specifically the articles in "the washington post" and 60 minutes say it made it difficult to stop large suspicious shipments of by drug companies to areas they're being sold to the addicts. the proponents was republican congressman tom marino, who is the president's nominee to lead the office of the national
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control policy, to be the drug czar who has received donations from pharmaceutical companies that are making a great deal of money from the sale of opioids. >> there was very little congressional opposition to this law at the time when it was signed by post. how did that happen if it contained an enforcement loophole? >> reporter: it's not entirely clear, but the investigation suggests the legislation ran through a protective cover under the idea there was nothing controversial in it. why did they do that? because these investigators found the pharmaceutical industry made generation donations to a good many campaigns while the law with his being developed and passed. but we just received a statement that we have to report here from the pharmaceutical research and manufacturers of america. what they have said is with regard to the recent washington post and 60 minute stories, we want to be clear that pharma did not support or lobby in favor of the act we're talking about here. and reports that pharma sent $40 million lobbying this bill are unequivocally false.
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and they're saying if they had been contacted by these news outlets, they would have explained they're backing the dea and they have efficient controls and they want an independent investigation to approve that. the biggest and most important reaction came from the man who has pushed marino for this new job, president trump, who was asked about the reports and she said he's aware of this issue. >> we're going to have a major announcement probably next week on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem. and i want to get that absolutely right. this country and, frankly, the world has a drug problem. the the world has a drug problem. but we have it and we're going to do something about it. so i'm going to have a major announcement on that problem next week. we're going to be looking into tom. >> reporter: looking into tom. the president hinted he might make a change on that front and
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several democrats are urging just that. senator chuck schumer of new york said confirming representative marino as the drug czar is putting a wolf in charge of the hen house. and now democrats have introduced legislation to repeal the controversial opioid law. >> tom thanks very much. just before air i spoke to claire mccaskill. >> before last night's '60 minutes" story, did you have any idea about just what kind of impact this law was having? >> i didn't realize a couple things before we began visit some of the investigators on this report in the last few weeks. i didn't realize that these distributors were getting a plan before they were punished. and i didn't get the full standards that had been changed. and so that's why i want to get this repealed as quickly as possible. we need to give the dea every tool possible not make it harder for them. >> how does a bill like this get
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passed? because, i mean, red flags seem to have been raised by the dea and eric holder, yet it passed anyway. >> they had good expert help in that they hired people out of the dea to work for the first time. they kept wearing down the folks at the dea. with, you know, they need to work with industry and i think congressman marino in a hearing said you need to work with industry. no, not so much. if industry is sending 9 million opioid pills into a community of fewer than a thousand people, then they need to be held accountable. we don't need to change the standard to work with them more closely. it's unfortunate that the dea backed down and kind of said okay, this is better than what you originally proposed. that's actually what happened. unfortunately. and i wish it hadn't, but we have a chance to fix it.
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>> would it be unreasonable for someone to think this isn't an isolated incident? to worry that big business essentially is getting laws passed in congress? >> i don't think there's any question they should worried about it. there are unanimous consent bills to get through, but they have been vetted pretty thoroughly. i would say this is in some ways an outliar, but pharma is a big player, anderson. they are one of the biggest on capitol hill. i believe if you just look at the medicare part d program, the notion congress would pass a bill that they are not allowed to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices on prescription drugs? that's outrageous. that was pharma. that was pharma doing really hard work on capitol hill to have their way. this is another good example. >> do you agree with your colleague that the president should withdraw his
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nomination of tom marino? >> i could never support tom marino after this and i'm optimistic most of my colleagues would agree. i was worried when the president originally cut the budget of the office that marino was nominated to hold to nothing. they've since reversed that slightly, but the bottom line is we need a strong leader there that understands that the opioid is the public health crisis our country faces right now. it is as big as any public health crisis we've had in our lifetimes and it's all hands on deck to help the dea make sure we got treatment beds available, and make sure we're helping law enforcement. >> how much support do you expect that call to get. the grip the drug industry has in congress doesn't seem any less now than when the law passed a year ago? >> this will be a good test. i think, frankly, everyone is feeling pressure about the opioid crisis and we've done a lot here on capitol hill trying to address it. because this is impacting so many families across our country, every single senator and every single member of congress has tragedies they can speak of that they know about in
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their state. and so i do think this is one of these times where you're going to have a collision between doing what's right and, frankly, what the big drug companies want you to do. i have a feeling we're going to prevail on this and get this repealed. >> senator, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. when we come back, president trump says he and mitch mcconnell are closer than ever. how long will that last? we'll talk about that ahead. tems you get the most out of every one of them. only proprietary tempur material precisely conforms to your body, instead of pushing back. you get up to twice as much pressure relieving power, so you won't toss and turn. and tempur-pedic is the best at minimizing motion transfer from your partner. so you won't be disturbed during the night. you'll sleep deeply... and wake up, feeling powerful. only the best carry tempur-pedic. find an exclusive retailer at
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