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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  February 12, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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i want to see. my ci can worry about it,ine. or do something about it. garlique® helps maintain healthy cholesterol naturally. and it's odor free. and pharmacist recommended. garlique.® welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump sends a budget blueprint to congress and rolls out his long promised infrastructure plan. plus, who to believe? a president who vents with his chief of staff or a president who sends top aides on the tv circuit to insist the chief of staff is just fine. do not adjust your set. the top republican and top democrat make a public show of
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respect. >> when we need to come together to solve our country's problems and most pressing issues, we can and do successfully work together. as the longest serving leader of the senate republican caucus, he understands the pressure that every leader faces, including me. i'm new at the job. >> as majority and minority leaders, we're kind of like the offensive and defensive coordinators. i've been both roles. as coach catrino can tell you, offensive coordinator is better. >> offensive coordinator is better. we'll get to that in a few moments. we'll hear from president trump. he's unveiling his longstanding infrastructure plan at the white house. turning $2 billion in money into repairs for our roads. this is all part of the president's new $4 trillion
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budget proposal. you can see the books here, the big tome delivered, a ritual, up to capitol hill. it reads efficient, effective, accountable. with us, bloomberg, and jackie from the daily beast. we should hear from the president any moment now. we were laughing a bit before the show, how many times have we had infrastructure week because the president has promise to do roll this out for a long time. here it is in an interesting moment, early in a midterm election year after rolling out his tax reduction plan which essentially makes his budget useless? is that fair? now this money, can he get it? >> it's going to be tough. infrastructure in concept is something everybody supports. but when you get into the details including the financing of it, that's when there's
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trouble. i doubt you'll hear concerns from the conservative side, particularly in the aftermath of the budget deal. you need 60 votes to get something through. that's going to require a lot of compromise on the senate side, then it's getting something over to the house that the conservatives have to accept. it's very difficult even to get one party behind one idea. remember how difficult it was for obama to get his stimulus done in 2009? they barely passed that, and at that point they dominated both the house and the senate and it was a big spending package. here it's going to require a lot of compromise in an election year. >> we haven't even started hearing from the governors yet. the governors are not going to be happy that states and localities will have to kick in more money. it's putting onus in plays that might not be able to pony up the
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cash in order to invest in these projects, no matter how much they want them. i've been watching my in boxes and i'm starting to hear particularly from republican governors who say, we can't afford this. >> there is also a big question in particularly the house republican conference. they've already sort of been raked over the coals by activists and the latest voters by this budget resolution they supported. are they going to be okay with, is is speaker ryan going to be able to cobble together enough republicans in the house to pass a $200 billion -- maybe even more. the president, i don't think, is tied down to 200 billion. i talked to somebody in the white house who said, he could possibly negotiate that up. the only problem there, if you leave republicans behind, can you get democrats to agree to something that has trump attached to it? >> we'll get to the specifics in a minute, but right now you're also asking him to deal with immigration. a lot of fiscal conservatives don't like the spending
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blueprint they just passed. now they'll be asked about immigration and they would rather just go home. to echo the point at the table saying, we've already done enough spending. >> it makes even a drunken sailor blush. the problem with that is the drunken sailor actually spent his own money. we've got the government spending yours. >> and now the republicans are doing just as bad as obama and nancy pelosi and harry reid did in 2009 and 2010 when they had control of the united states congress. >> i interrupted you. jump in. >> you have to view this in the context of a couple things. one is the budget proposal and the other is the immigration debate, i think. any president regardless of who the president is, which party does he control of congress, is going to put out policy priorities and let them begin as a negotiation point. so this is the infrastructure plan we have been promised for a long time, a budget plan that reflects the president's political priorities, but if you are the democrats, you don't want to do anything unless there is a deal for daca recipients.
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if you're the republicans, you're already being asked to swallow a budget plan that actually takes the country further into red ink, in part for the wall, which remains controversial, which goes back to the immigration question. so you have got a political document here, and it is a starting point, but it's a starting point that is hard to get out of the gate given all these other issues. >> it is at the starting gate, and forgive me for trying to remember history when it's not applicable in this instance. but we have a republican house, a republican senate. the republican senate did campaign saying he would balance the budget. he said he would get rid of the debt long term. i want to show you the federal budget deficits. they started to come down during the obama administration. hard for conservatives to swallow, but partly because of restrictions imposed by the democrats. then you look at 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the donald trump presidency. the deficit starts going that
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way again in all republican washington. what happened? >> it's remarkable, because this was the fight in the obama years. this was what led to a number of major near crises, government shutdowns, fiscal cliff, you name it. this propelled the house republicans to take control of that chamber in the 2010 midterms and later led to the 2014 senate takeover as well. it's an issue that has essentially gone by the wayside for a lot of members. but there are still some significant amount of republicans in the house and some in the senate, but particularly in the house, who are very concerned about this, very frustrated about this, and that's going to make speaker ryan's job even tougher. >> john, you asked what happened. i think donald trump happened as well. this is a guy who won his party's nomination after all those republicans who ran with deficits and federal spending. maybe he gave lip service to it but didn't particularly care much about it and said explicitly he was not going to tackle what republicans under
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paul ryan said was most important, which was entitlement spending, particularly medicare. and that, i think, element has been lost within the party. there is a lot of fiscal conservatives still concerned about that, but they've subsumed their interests here for a republican president. >> if you don't want to skw sequester and you want a tax cut that gives back for a short period of time to individuals, and you want to raise money for the wall and you don't want entitlement reform, this is what you get. >> mick mulvaney said that congressman mick mulvaney would not vote for the budget. it was just sent to capitol hill with mick mulvaney's name on the title. this is not unique to president trump. every president sends a budgets to congress, they say thank you and they use it to right crooked tables. we may accept one or two of your priorities depending how popular
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the president is. tax reduction is in the budget but it doesn't say it will balance the budget. $85 billion for veterans' health care, $238 for border security and the wall. the opioid issue is a bipartisan issue. there are some things in here the president will get. but largely this is what? the president's team saying, we just cut this big spending deal but we're required to send you this, we hope you look at it? >> yes. no, it's one of the priorities. that's what a budget is. because he signed a two-year deal, it's more like a door prop th and a statement of principle than it is something serious.
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rand paul received a lot of praise for the speeches that he gave last week. that said, he voted for his tax bill. so it really is interesting to see how under a republican administration how these deficit hawks have moved. >> and the details aside, it's a fascinating moment because we are in february of an election year. and the party in power rises or falls based on the president's approval rating. his approval rating is not so great right now. they do believe the tax plan is getting more popular. how much do they want to get away from this president? he's asked for infrastructure. he's in a big chaotic turmoil because of the release of a top aide from abuse allegations. >> another thing republicans could run on if they could conceivably pass something like that, i think the difference there is tax cuts are something republicans all generally agree
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on. that's something they're all about. infrastructure, especially a big federal bill for infrastructure, $200 billion, is not something republicans are unified around, and i think ultimately what you're seeing, whether it's infrastructure or immigration, these are issues that divide republicans. they're not going to want to bite. >> the president says they're very sexy issues. let's listen. >> it's a great honor to have everybody with us. we have some very exciting things to be talking about, things you've been waiting for for a long time, for many, many years, and now let's see how badly you want it. because if you want it badly, you're going to get it. if you don't want it, that's okay with me, too, but we have to rebuild our infrastructure. i said this morning as of a couple months ago, we have spent $7 trillion in the middle east, $7 trillion. what a mistake. but it is what it is. this is what i took over. and we're trying to build roads
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and bridges and fix bridges that are falling down. and we have a hard time getting the money. it's crazy. but think of that as of a couple months ago. $7 trillion in the middle east and the middle east is far worse now than it was 17 years ago when they went in, and not so intelligently, i have to say, went in. i'm being nice. so it's a very sad thing. the budget was recently passed, and the reason it was passed is because of our military. our military was totally depleted, and we will have a military like we've never had before. we're going to have an incredible military. to me that means a couple of things. number one, it does mean jobs, but really, number one, it means safety and security. because without the military, and we may have very strong views on spending, which i have. but without the military it's possible there is no reason for us to be meeting. maybe we wouldn't be here.
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so we're going to have the strongest military we've ever had by far. we're increasing arsenals of virtually every weapon. we're modernizing and creating brand new, a brand new nuclear force. and frankly we have to do it because others are doing it. if they stop, we'll stop, but they're not stopping. so if they're not going to stop, we're going to be so far ahead of everybody else in nuclear like you've never seen before. i hope they stop. if they do, we'll stop in two minutes. frankly, i would like to get rid of a lot of them, and if they want to do that, we'll go along with them. we won't lead the way, we'll go along with them. but we will have a nuclear force that will be absolutely modernized and brand new, and hopefully we'll never have to use it, and hopefully we can reduce it in the years ahead. and that depends really on what other people are going to be doing. but we will always be number one in that category, certainly as long as i'm president. we're going to be far, far in
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excess of anybody else. i'm honored to be here with the governors, with county exec sdpifz m -- executives around the country. secretary pruitt, secretary ross, thank you for being here. i appreciate it. we're here to discuss the need for america's crumbling infrastructure. and one understands and the people in this room really understand better than most, probably hopefully better than anybody, that the problem the states have and local leaders have with funding the infrastructure is horrendous, and we will build, we will maintain, and the vast majority of america wants to see us take care of our infrastructure. trucking companies are complaining that they used to take trucks from los angeles to new york and there was no damage. now they bring from los angeles to new york and there's tremendous damage to their
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trucks because our roads are in bad shape. and we're going to get the roads in great shape. very important. we're going to make our infrastructure modernized, and we're really way behind schedule. we're way behind other countries. we always led the way for many, many years. then a number of decades ago it slowed down, and over the last eight years and 15 years, to be honest, it's come to a halt. this morning i submitted legislative principles to congress that will spur the biggest and boldest infrastructure in history. the framework will generate an unprecedented 1.5 to $1.7 trillion investment in american infrastructure. we're going to have a lot of public and private, and that way it gets done in time on budget. it will spur the approval process from 10 years to two years and maybe even to one year. because when we give you, as governors and mayors and people
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representing your great states, when we give you money, and you can't get your approvals, i guess we'll have to take that money back or you're not going to build. and some of you are sitting around the table that i know, some of the governors, you're going to get those permits, i have no doubt. others, i see a couple sitting around the table, i don't think they're going to get their permit so fast. but you have to get it because otherwise you're not going to be able to build. we can't give you money and you take 15 years to get a permit. in one state it took 17 years for a basic roadway to get a permit and the cost was many, many, many times what it was supposed to be, and we can't have that. so we want you to get going and work on the permit process. from a federal standpoint environmentally and everything we have to do. scott shee scott is here. we're going to get you permits quickly. it builds rural infrastructure that have been left out. the rural folks have been left
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out, including broadband internet access, and they want it. the farmers want it. it will create thousands of jobs for our state and local workers. they know best what their people need. washington will no longer be a roadblock to progress. washington will be your partner. a lot of money. up to 1.7 trillion. that's bigger than people thought, and we're going to have a lot of great people working. we're also going to have great companies investing and building, and they'll build for you. because sometimes the states aren't able to do it like we can do it. or like other people can do it. or like i used to do it. when i did the wallman rink, it was seven years. it would have been forever, they couldn't get it built. i did it in a few months at a much smaller price. they had invested $12 million in building an ice skating rink in the middle of central park.
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someone told me about this the other day, that they've never forgotten it. it was a big deal at the time. it remains a big deal. it took many, many years and they weren't able to open it. and i said, you know, i'd like to be able to have my daughter ivanka, who is with us, i would like to be able to have her go ice skating sometime before she doesn't want to ice skate, and i got involved, and i did it in a few months and we did it for a tiny fraction, tiny fraction of the cost. it's really no different with a roadway, with a bridge or tunnel or any of the things we'll be fixing. the returns of money and investment to the states and local government will be incredible. and nobody knows better than you people where you want the money invested. that's the other thing. the federal government to say, gee, this is what we want you to do in wisconsin, scott. you know exactly where you want to do it and you've done a great job, by the way, but you know
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exactly where that money is going. how is your new company that's opening up there doing, by the way? are they doing okay? that was a big one. foxconn is moving along, right? they make the apple iphone, and i said for a long time i want those companies to be making their product here. they went to wisconsin. scott did a fantastic job of presentation. i actually saw a site that i loved. i said, that was an old auto site. i was with the head of foxconn. great man, actually, great businessman. incredible. i said, that's a great site for you right in wisconsin. i hear that's where they're going, so you've done a fantastic job. this is a common sense and bipartisan plan that every member of congress should support. i look forward to working with them and we're going to get the american people roads that are fixed and bridges that are fixed, and if for any reason they don't want to support it, hey, that's going to be up to them. what was very important to me was the military. what was very important to me was the tax cuts. and what was very important to me was regulation.
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this is of great importance, but it's not nearly in that category, because the states will have to do it themselves if we don't do it. but i would like to help the states out and we're doing that with a very big investment. one of the other things i think so important to mention is that in the budget, we took care of the military like it's never been taken care of before. in fact, general mattis called me and goes, wow. i can't believe i got everything we wanted. i said, that's right, but we want no excuses. we want you to buy twice, okay, twice what you thought for half the price. so maybe we're going to get involved a little bit in the buying. we want to get twice as many planes for half the price. and believe me, we can do a lot because the procurement process is very outdated, to put it nicely. but we're going to have something very special. one of the things that was very important to me with respect to the budget was daca. i did not want daca in the budget. i wanted daca separate so that we could talk about it and make
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a deal. and i hope to be able to make a deal. i hope the democrats are not going to use it just as a campaign. you know, they've been talking about daca for many years, and they haven't produced. we started talking about daca, and i think we'll produce. but if the democrats want to make a deal, it's really up to them. because we want really tremendous border security, but we have to have democrat support for daca. and they are starting that process today. we didn't want to have it in the big budget, because if we have it in the big budget, it's going to get mixed up with all the other things. so now we have our military taken care of, and now we start very serious daca talks today. and we are -- i can tell you speaking for the republican party, we would love to do daca. we would love to get it done. we want border security and the other elements you know about. chain migration you know about, the fvisa lottery we know about.
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but i think there is a good chance to get daca done if the democrats are serious and really want to do it. we didn't get one vote for massive tax cuts which turned out to be very popular. companies have stepped up and millions of people got bonuses. that was just the beginning point. we didn't get one democrat vote, not one. i think that's a big political problem for them, if you want to know the truth. they are going around saying they made a mistake because the tax cuts are unbelievable. unemployment is at record lows, hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level in recorded history which is so great. and we are very, very -- it's amazing what's been going on with the economy. i just want to end by saying it's an honor to have all of you
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with us. we'll have a few of you make statements and then we'll all stay around. if you want we can leave the press or have the press leave immediately. i'll leave that up to scott walker because you're going to be the first speaker. so scott, do you want to say a few words? >> sure. >> and thank you very much, everybody. >> mr. president, first of all, thank you to you and your administration for hosting us all today. before you came in, we were having a good, lively discussion about answering some of the questions many of us had. you alluded to a moment ago foxconn, which you were great to help us announce here. as i mentioned to many of the folks assembled here today, for the first time ever, lcd panels, the panels here. in the future they'll be even bigger. >> congressman governor scott walker speaking at the white house. president trump has a big group on hand. administration officials unveil his big infrastructure plan. this was a big part of the campaign for president. in year one he did not release
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that infrastructure plan, but now early in year 2, the president asking congress to appropriate u.s. federal money that would leverage against state and local money if this goes through as planned. the president went off the script of it to talk about a lot of things, including can he get this done, can he get this through. the president also saying he did not want to include daca, the so-called dreamers issue, in his budget because he wanted it done separately. that debate starts five hours and six minutes from now in the united states senate when they're going to bring this issue to the floor. we know how it will begin, manu. do we have any idea how it's going to end? >> no, we don't. the vote will proceed to a debate. what they end the debate with, we don't know. we know amendments will be offered, we know one from the senators to caudify the president's plan. that will not get 60 votes in
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the senate. then there will be an effort to pass the dream act, something democrats have pushed for a long time. that will also not get 60 votes. will they come up with some sort of bipartisan compromise in the middle, some sort of dream act with funding for the wall that the president has demanded as a condition of that? perhaps that could be where they end up. we still don't know if that can happen. we still don't know if that could get 60 votes or pass the house. >> that last part, there is a lot of people in the senate that seem to want to do something. this is washington. things go off the tracks quite a bit and it seems to be worse in the last 10-plus years. but you can see the senate agreeing to something. let's put up on the screen what manu was talking about. there are several plans being pushed and some others. you have the president's proposed framework, so the republicans pushing for that. you have the one from susan collins in the bipartisan group. i thought it was great when she
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quoted, after several long meetings and several boxes of girl scout cookies, we still have nothing. they were trying to come up with a plan there, but the issue is even if the senate does something, what happens in the house? they don't want to touch this. >> there's been a subtle difference. did you hear from speaker ryan, i think it was last week, said whatever the president sends us, not a majority of the house republican conference, and people were saying a lot of immigration hawks in the republican conference hear that as a back away from sort of what the conference really wants. but it is a question and it's a question of whether or not the freedom caucus or other i immigrating hawks in the house will go along with what the president says gets his seal of approval. >> he is directing the house speaker paul ryan, but it may be a better question for the
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president. he talked about immigration stuff that republicans don't like. he said 1.8 million people would be able to stay in the country, ultimately have a path to citizenship. people have said that's amnesty. >> if the freedom caucus won't support that, i don't think the majority of the house of representatives will support that, and speaker ryan knows he can't put a bill on the floor unless a majority of the house republicans are supportive of that measure. what's being proposed in the senate will not be acceptable to conservatives in the house, guaranteed, because it's not going to be acceptable to the american people. >> he's blaming the speaker there, but the issue for the conservatives is not the border wall or not limits on legal immigration, they would love to do those things, is the 1.8 million people. they call that amnesty. thaelts t that's the president's proposal, not the speaker's. >> but the speaker isn't going to come back at him.
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the president might. jim jordan's district is a very conservative district. it is trump country. and paul ryan, i'm imagining, is a little less popular than the president and he's a much easier person. >> paul ryan is saying we'll put a bill on the floor that the president supports. he needs the president's cover to protect him from the right wing of his own conference because that's really the only way to get something over the top. but to your point, john, the money for building the wall could be upwards of, say, $20 billion. that's not something that conservatives want. they want something much more than just giving the wall for the dream act. they want all these other things as well, chain migration, reversible lottery. that's something the democrats don't want. it's very difficult to navigate. what ryan wants is trump support to help him with the right. >> it is also a matter of pass the hot potato. president trump, as we just heard in this infrastructure meeting, saying, daca, i think we'll get it done, but it's
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really up to the democrats to get it done. but of course the republicans control both chambers of congress. all of this is fine. it's a nice rhetorical debate, but march 5th is still the date and every day march 5th gets clos closer. it's about three weeks away -- did i do my math right? two and a half weeks away, and if you're one of the 1.8 million people affected by this, march 5th is a big day. how will the white house, how will the president, how will the counsel's office interpret this? what can congress do to step in? what happens next? >> if this is going to get to the finish line, the president can't say, i'd like to make a deal. i hope the congress gets one. let's see how far they can get, but to get something through the house, the president will have to carry it.
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he didn't sound like he was interested in doing that. the president's job security depends on who you ask. oh, manatees. aka "the sea cow"" oh! there's one. manatees in novelty ts?
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do not take stelara® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. we're fed up with your unpredictability. remission can start with stelara®. talk to your doctor today. janssen wants to help you explore cost support options for stelara®. welcome back. today's washington. the president is determined to move on from his chief of staff, disgusted with john kelly for keeping an aide in his position after his ex-wives said he physically abused them. the president has been floating names for who can take over. that encourages chatter like this. >> i think the president has to make that call. i think from the end we have to hear from john kelly as to what he knew. we haven't heard that directly from him yet and i think the president can hear that before he can make a violation of
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competency. >> recently the president said john kelly isn't going anywhere and should we listen to this show of force? >> i talked to the president and he said, please tell jake that i have full faith in chief of staff john kelly and that i'm not actively searching for replacements. i saw that all over the news today. i have faith in him. >> john kelly is doing an outstanding job. >> i hear i'm being considered in the media for replacing the chief of staff, and you would think someone would have mentioned it noticto me. nobody has talked to me, not a single time. >> real or not real, is the president going to keep his chief of staff? >> as we sit here today, monday at this moment, it is real. the president is going to keep his chief of staff. that is an important question we'll be asking all week long here. firings usually don't happen at this white house on a monday, so we'll check in on friday. but the reality here is white house chief of staff, john kelly, was standing in the room
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there with the president and other leaders talking about infrastructure. he is on the job here and we're told he does have the president's support. that does not mean, of course, he does not also have the president's ire. we've seen for months the president essentially browbeat and bully other members of his staff, other members of his cabinet. jeff sessions the first among them, the attorney general, and criticized them. but i'm told what is really going on here, it's giving an opening for those who are not thrilled with john kelly or felt he was too controlling, it is giving them an opening to voice some complaint here. the question is will the president listen to any of that? we know the president is restless often. but at this moment, as we start this week, it appears john kelly is still in his position and that is not going to change at the moment. but again, john, sometimes things change around here fairly quickly, so we'll see if he gets through this week. >> words of caution from an experienced trump white house hand. thank you for the reporting. this is a musing to a degree in
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the sense we've watched the trump white house go through this from day one, his outside advisers saying, i'm going to do this, i'm going to do that and sends his team to do something different. the core of this is not amusing. it's a question of who knew what when and how the white house could have somebody deep in the house who has been accused incredibly by two ex-wives by violent physical abuse. this was brought to their attention as much as a year ago. a year ago. so there is hopefully a soul searching going on at the white house about how this happened and whether they protected this aide even after they knew. i want to bring this into the conversation. i'm reluctant to do so, but the president watches certain tv programs as he's trying to figure out what to do. here's some advice from judge danine. >> for everyone who is looking for someone to blame, chill out. you want to stop a four-star general who is running the white house who believes in chain of
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command? who makes a decision in 40 minutes because you hate donald trump? find another scapegoat. you might want to look at the last president. >> on that last point, nice try. they blame obama for rain. they blame obama for traffic. there's a lot of things we could talk about president obama, but that rob porter was kept on in the white house for more than a year after it came attention to the white house counsel that he had been accused of domestic abuse, that's a government problem, not a donald trump problem. who is she talking to inside the white house? >> she's talking to donald trump. that's the only person she's talking to. there is soul searching going on in the white house and they should be concerned about the decision making that led up to this. but when you see what president trump himself tweeted over the weekend about how accusations can ruin a person's life, about what he said a couple days ago about wishing rob porter well,
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president trump's beef with john kelly stretches back several months and has nothing to do with rob porter. it is about whether the chief of staff has too greatly tightened control about who comes and goes and whether john kelly has too much unilateral control over decision making, whether the president feels hemmed in or challenged by him which many of the president's friends have been whispering inside his ears from inside the building and outside the building in recent months. ultimately i think that is more likely the factor in john kelly's longevity, but the president has to consider it's a midterm year, he has several balls in the air right now in terms of policy priorities that he wants to move forward on, and changing chiefs of staff would be an incredibly disruptive move. general kelly coming from the military chain of command structure i think is highly unlikely to offer himself up to go unless the president asks for it, and that's where we are now on this monday. >> you mentioned it's a midterm election year. whose job is it to tell the
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president when you make public statements, you should show some empathy, some concern for the women here? even if you want to wish rob porter well because he served you well, the president's tweets and public statements have done no such thing. they have defended the man who was accused incredibly by two ex-wives. the previous wife jenni says, there it is again. the words "mere allegation" and "falsely accused" meant to imply that i am a liar. that colbie holderness is a l liar. that the work rob was doing in the white house was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical well-being. that his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. that abuse is something to be questioned and doubted. >> and roy moore. >> roy moore.
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i think a lot of people would be sympathetic to what she's writing there, and i think trump saying this is just a mere allegation is far more damaging in a lot of ways than the way general kelly dealt with the situation. while kelly, obviously he knew about something that he didn't tell the president about, and his comments have been conflicting with other accounts, the timing is a little squishy. apparently he told white house staffers to give a different accounting of what exactly happened here. this is a president of the united states who needs to lead by example, skpeez nand he's no that. he's saying this is an allegation, downplaying it, not showing any sympathy for anything, and that's why this scandal probably will not go away tie ni tiany time soon. >> we know that rob porter himself told the don mcgahn,
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counsel, that his record could be a problem. they sent out the photos. he didn't see the photos but he sent out a report saying this was real. here's don mcgahn saying, we handled this as well as we could. >> that's what the president did up until the time it became obvious, when the photos came out and that person was not being honest with the president. when that happened, we dismissed that person immediately. >> i just have a hard time with this because they have not been able to give us a full -- and they contradict themselves in terms of the timeline. they had an fbi report that said he should not be given a security clearance because he was accused of abuse not once, but twice, months ago. as opposed to reknwe knew abouts privately and it's okay because we knew about it? >> it's hard for reporters even
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covering the white house to figure out exactly what happened because we started the segment talking about the different explanations for where john kelly is currently. the truth is that they're probably both true, because people are saying these things based on what they believe. that's been a problem, a consistent problem, for the last year of trying to cover the white house and understand what this white house is thinking. people have different stories and they need to get their stories straight so we have a better way of grappling with what they knew when they knew it. i do think the question of don mcgahn, the white house counsel, what he knew has not been explored enough. obviously chief kelly is at the top of this and we want to know what he knew as well, but don mcgahn knowing this a year ago does raise a lot of questions about why nothing was looked into further if they're getting this report through the fbi. >> how did they react, what happened next. >> i'll close with this. the white house put out a paper
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statement last week saying domestic abuse is a horrible thing. it would be refreshing if, in any of his public words or public tweets, the president of the united states would say something like that. that would be refreshing. up next, barack obama and michelle obama back in the spotlight today and immortalized on campus. before we take a break, take a listen to what president trump said a few minutes ago about trade deals, including the country the vice president just visited: south korea. >> we lose vast amounts of money with china and japan and south korea and so many other countries. they understand where i'm coming from. i've talked to all of them and they understand it. it's a little tough for them because they've gotten away with murder for 25 years. but we're going to be changing policy. we have an incredible country but we can't let that happen. and it's really affecting our workers, it's affecting everything. so that's going to be a very big part of what's happening over the next month.
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woman: where are we taking him? i have no clue. we're just tv doctors. if this was a real emergency, i'd be freaking out. we are the tv doctors of america.
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we'll check some other stories on our political radar today. secretary of state rex tillerson says the ball is now in north korea's court, that on the question when it comes to possible talks over its nuclear program. this comes after vice president pence told them we would be willing to talk to north korea under certain circumstances. he said, if you want to talk, we'll talk, on his way back from the olympics in south korea. the "washington post" said pruitt uses travel money much more often than his predecessors. first class from new york to rome costing $7,000. from washington to new york or birmingham to atlanta. the pruitt spokesman says all his travel was approved by the ethics office.
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barack and michelle obama at the smithsonian to have their official portraits unveiled. >> let's face it, the relative to amy was working at a disadvantage because his subject was less becoming. not as fly. michelle always used to joke, i am not somebody who is a great subject. i don't like posing, i get impatient, i look at my watch, i think, this must be done. one of those pictures must have worked, why is this taking so long? >> interesting event. any art experts at the table? >> i don't like portraits. >> the only thing i could think of when i saw barack obama's portrait was the wrigley
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long-time cubs fan. he claimed to be a white sox fan, but it reminds me of wrigley in june and july. no better place to be. >> i think what's important is they like them. >> at the end of the day, i have no experience in this, as long as you like it, great. >> that is important. that is important. that's why i'll never have a portrait taken, thank you very much. this just in, trump spoke today with his russian counterpart vladimir putin to express condolences for the weekend plane crash just outside moscow. we'll be right back. ♪ up to 40% off at ♪
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brand power. helping you buy better. we've had a lot of interesting speakers here over the years. in my view, none more interesting than our guest this morning. >> that was a crowd down in kentucky unsure if they should laugh at that line from the
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majority leader mitch mcconnell. he and chuck schumer sharing a stage at the louisville mcconnell center. it's rare to see the two outside washington, and there's been a lot of talk inside washington that their relationship is anything but chummy or respectful. not true, as shown with the chance to poke fun at each other. >> after graduating from harvard law school, chuck was elected to the new york state assembly at the age of 23. in his memoir, chuck remembered his parents actually didn't want him to run. they thought the life of a corporate lawyer would be respectable. and more comfortable. well, chuck, i've got to say my life would have been a lot easier if you had listened to your parents. >> a little fun, a little lef y levity, not a bad thing. i know pundits would be saying,
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how can they be in the same room together. a good gesture? >> yeah. >> certainly. they just cut a big budget deal last week so they're coming off some bipartisan accolades there. but this is a relationship that has been fraught with tension for years. in 2008 chuck schumer as dadc cut an ad going after mitch mcconnell on t.a.r.p. mitch mcconnell was very upset about that. they actually broke the pledge not to attack each other over the wall street bailout. this is something mcconnell remembered for years and years and years. after that they really didn't talk a whole lot, and chuck schumer voted against mitch mcconnell's wife to be department of transportation secretary last year. mcconnell undoubtedly remembers that. so a lot of episodes from their past that are not so bipartisan. >> mcconnell remembers everything. a lot of fun here, but chuck schumer created a capital offense in kentucky bringing undocumented vermin across the
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border. >> another thing you might not realize we have in common, bourbon. it turns out brooklyn where i was born, raised and still proudly live produces some of the best bourbon in the world. i know that's a contentious thing to say in these parts. as a thank you for his invitation, i'd like to give this bottle of widow jane bourbon to mitch mcconnell. >> the bourbon trail is one of kentucky's great tourist attraction. it's worth the drive, ladies and gentlemen. fun but bad idea. >> that could be an attack ad in kentucky. >> you will i can say is i imagine mitch mcconnell, for whatever differences he has with chuck schumer would much rather be dealing with schumer than harry reid. >> it's true there is no such thing as brooklyn bourbon, but more broadly, if you're going to jab at each other and do
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passive-aggressive things like that, it's much better for republicans and democrats to talk to each other, try to find some commonality. the complete breakdown of that in congress has made a difficult situation into a terrible situation the last ten years, and more things like this should happen all the time. >> we'll watch, starting at 5:30 tonight, we'll watch it start to fray again over the talk of immigration. the senate used to be called the solidified body, i doubt people agree with that, but here's chuck schumer's take on being a senator. >> the senate is an interesting place. it's only 100 people, and i like to tell my colleagues you really get to look into the souls of people. you get to see who they are. it's very hard in a body that works so closely with so few members, you know, to hide who you are. and i think the senators that have the most respect are actually the people who get things done, not the people who make the most, you know,
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flamboyant or even fine speeches. >> the workhorses in the senate. not show horses. nice moment in kentucky today. we'll see if it carries over to the immigration debate. that starts tonight. thank you for joining us at "inside politics." wolf joins you right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem, 9:00 p.m. in somalia. wherever you are around the world, thank you for watching. baffled. the white house telling cnn they can't understand the president's position and foreign aide who is accused of domestic abuse. this as he defends rob porter and seems to defy the entire me too movement. open secrets. 30 to 40 trump administration officials operating without full security clearance, including the president's son-in-law jared kushner. what this means for america's national security. and getting warmer. the


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