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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  August 1, 2018 5:49pm-6:19pm EDT

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sunday on book tv on c-span2. white houseay's briefing with press secretary sarah sanders. two guns about sanctions against to turkish officials and ongoing investigation by special counsel robert mueller. this is half an hour. sarah sanders: good afternoon. later today, vice president mike pence at the request of president trump will participate in an honorable carry ceremony at joint base pearl harbor. in the leader of north korea has
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followed through on his promise to return the first set of remains of americans to our homeland. these brave souls deserve nothing but our honor and respect. the families of the soldiers have been waiting for more than 60 years for their loved ones to come home. we hope as remains were identified, families like those of commander john mckeel can find peace. he was killed while leading a dive bomb mission into north korea. john's nephew doug recently wrote the president a letter explaining how his uncle was a , special person a group of the great depression and wanted to serve his country. another letter from mary and -- mary in pennsylvania tells the president of her uncle who has been missing in action in korea since september of 1951. mary has a picture of her uncle hanging in her living room as a reminder of his commitment and service to our country. both of these men and their families represent thousands of proud patriotic american families. the president is committed to them and will work to bring in
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-- bring them the closure they deserve. on another matter, we have seen all of those alarming images of the wildfires causing severe damage out west. the white house and fema have been monitoring the wildfires to ensure federal assistance is provided as quickly as possible. on saturday, the president declared an emergency exists for the california wildfires. fema has placed resources from eight different federal departments and agencies to support the efforts of local firefighters and relief organizations. the president will continue to monitor this ongoing emergency and make sure the people of california receive the assistance they need to keep them safe and recover. our prayers are with the firefighters who recently lost their lives battling the fires and the grieving families. lastly, the president has an following the ongoing situation in turkey involving pastor andrew brunson. we have seen no evidence he has done anything wrong and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the government of turkey. at the president's direction,
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the department of treasury is sanctioning turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, both of whom played leading roles in the arrest and detention of pastor bronson. any property or interest in property of those ministers within u.s. jurisdiction is now blocked and u.s. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. for any think -- or anything further i would refer you to the treasury department. with that, i will take your questions. reporter: a quick note. press corps, last month there were only three briefings with you. at some point -- we would appreciate it -- one of those thishe president's tweet morning about ending bill mueller probe right now.
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he said he is not going to intervene and the department of justice. that this mark a change in posture by the president? -- does this mark a change by the president? sarah: it is not an order and it's the president's opinion. it's ridiculous about the dishonesty that is going on with the launching of the witchhunt the president has watched this process play out but he wants to see it come to an end. we look forward to that happening. reporter: on a different topic, you mentioned the transfer of these remains from north korea the filling its commitment to the president. there was a report north korea is assembling icbm's and it is not yet possible to verify the remains. how does that to meet the test of north korea filling the commitments? sarah: i will not comment on the first part of your question on any potential intelligence matter.
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in terms of the remains we have, the best of the best i've been working over the last several weeks on this process will keep you updated on it, but we feel comfortable in the assessment they have made up until this. john? reporter: on the next proposed tariffs against china, the figure initially was 10%. it is our understanding that the president wants to take that up to 25%. what is the reason behind increasing get from 10% to 25%, and and a tit-for-tat, who has more bullet, china or the united states? sarah: the president firmly believes the united states certainly will have an update later today and there will be a call at 3:30 this afternoon to walk through the details of that update in regards to the question you asked about 10% to 25%. the bottom line is the president will continue to hold china responsible for their unfair trade practices.
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this has gone on for long enough and he is going to do something about it. reporter: does the president -- the president has made some headway with the eu in terms of lowering trade barriers, taking steps towards leveling the playing field. does the president and his team believe that is possible with china without some real punitive measures? sarah: we would like to see the playing field level. the president, as both he and about 15 members of his administration have said repeatedly, we would like to see the unfair trade practices stop. until that happens, the president is going to hold their feet to the fire and continue to pressure on china. he is not going to sit back and allow american industries and american workers to be taken advantage of. dave? reporter: churches around the country, synagogues, evangelical leaders have been up in arms
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about last year's tax-cut law. they say there is a provision that is going to force them to pay 21% of federal income tax of the benefits they give to certain employees. can you assure churches on the podium they will not have to pay a new tax? sarah: i will not make a blanket generalization about every church, but certainly the goal of the tax cuts and reforms package was to provide the greatest amount of relief to the greatest number of americans. we feel it has done that. we feel the other policies the president has put forward when it comes to the economy have moved the ball forward and made our economy infinitely stronger than it has been in decades. i think you can see that by all the numbers that come out over the last year and a half. connor? reporter: what is the president prepared to do to make sure they keep their tax-exempt status? sarah: i don't have anything specific for you on that front. hunter?
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reporter: federal law says "all threatening letters or communication aimed at impeding a criminal investigation constitutes an instruction of justice." rudy giuliani issued a statement saying he does not think this et is obstruction. you just echoed that reasoning. is rudy giuliani the one giving the president legal advice on his tweets, and does it reflect the opinion of the president's legal team? sarah: the president is not obstructing. he is fighting back. he is stating his opinion and stating it clearly and expressing the frustration he has with the level of corruption we have seen from people like jim comey, andrew mccabe. there is a reason the president is angry and most of america is angry as well. there's no reason he should not be able to voice that opinion. margaret?
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reporter: tesla spent $5 billion building in china. i am wondering whether the administration has concerns plans?esla's sarah: we would like to see all american companies investing here. i don't have anything specific on tesla but we would encourage all companies to build a plant in america, put their investments here and not engage in helping bolster a country like china that has continued to be part of a very unfair process and very unfair trading practices. john? reporter: there was a reaction to the president's tweets from some of his allies on capitol hill. senator hatch said i don't fully get what he was trying trying to -- what he was trying to do. another republican senator said the mueller investigation needs to move forward and they ought to let them complete their work. do you agree with that sentiment
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expressed by the senator that this investigation by mr. mueller ought to be completed and not be cut off? sarah: we think it should be completed sooner rather than later. it has gone on for an extensive amount of time. they have still come up with nothing with regards to the president. we would like to see it come to a close. we have said that a number of times. sure, we agree. cecelia? i'm sorry, we are tight on time. the president is going to be speaking. john, we are tight on time. i will try to get to as many people as possible. reporter: does the president believe people are voting illegally in this country? is that the basis for requiring voter ids. are 10 people voting illegally, it should not be happening. : that is the purpose of his comments. the president was insistant the integrity of our election system
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upheld. he wants to make sure anybody that is voting is somebody that should be voting. i think that is something that should be celebrated, not discriminated. major? reporter: [indiscernible] sarah: i'm not sure what that matters. reporter: you go to the grocery store, i go to the grocery store. i have never had to show id when i was at the grocery store. sarah: if you go to the grocery store and buy beer and wine, he will show your id. he is not saying every time he went and, he said when you go to the grocery store. i'm pretty sure everybody has been to a grocery store that has purchased beer or wine had a show their id. if they didn't, that is a problem with the grocery store. reporter: to follow up on john's question, you want the investigation to end without any interference. many have described the s thisdent's tweet
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morning as blowing off steam. is that a fair characterization? it has nothing to do with his actual governmental control or supervision of this investigation? sarah: the president is stating his opinion. it is not in order but he has been crystal clear how he feels about this investigation from the beginning. sarah? reporter: you said the investigation is corrupt. the mueller investigation, and you mentioned comey and mccabe. sarah: the entire investigation is based off a dirty dossier paid for by an opposing campaign and had a lot of corruption within the entity that was overseeing it which is peter strzok james comey, andrew , mccabe. we have laid without a number of times. we don't have to go through it every single time you're in here. reporter: why doesn't the president use the powers he has to end it? sarah: the president has allowed this process to play out but he thinks it is time for it to come to an end.
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reporter: can you clarify this tweet from this morning? is it his desire for jeff recuse himself? sarah: i have clarified this about 10 times. i don't have anything further. reporter: last night at the tampa rally the president pushed for creation of a space force, a new military branch. the defense department missed its deadline to submit a report to congress about how this was to be structured. we are told the white house has now twice rejected drafts because the defense department does not want a space force. it would rather create a space command under the existing military structure. how is the president going to force the creation of a space force? sarah: we are continuing to work with the department of defense to determine the best way forward, something the president feels strongly about.
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we are going to work with our team and figure out the best solution. reporter: i've a question about the president and his meeting pastorser-city today. secretary carson pushed policies that would raise the rent on poor people and slow anti-immigration initiatives. what is the president going to say to the inner-city pastors? sarah: that is the reason to sit down with these individuals and hear their concerns. i know the primary point of discussion today is to discuss prison reform. i would not be surprised if they raised those issues and that's why the president invited them here, so he can have those ongoing conversations and determine how to help them in a number of different situations. reporter: are those policies raising rents on poor people and slowing anti-segregation initiatives, are they helping inner cities? sarah: i would have to look at the specific policies and i would be happy to do so after the briefing.
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reporter: members of the administration are talking about the refugee resettlement program, which currently has 45,000 but there is talk to cut it as low as 25,000 next year. does the president feel that the country think of refugees, what is the president think is the proper level is and what was the rationality? sarah: that is part of an ongoing discussion and a policy -- no policy decisions have been made. we will keep you posted as they are. reporter: does the president think there are too many refugees coming into the country? sarah: the president wants to make sure that the refugees coming in the country, we know who they are why they are coming , and that they pose no danger or threat to americans. that is the number one priority. we want to make sure we have the processes in place inability to vet any individual coming into this country. they would work in coordination to determine they do not have the ability to vet a certain number, the president would have concerns with that. the number one priority is
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national security and making sure we have the ability to properly vet and process any individual coming into the country. madee president has not the decision to sit down what the robert mueller, isn't he a par of dragging this out a bit? and when he tells you something personally, d take it as direct give or an opinion? >> on the first part, i would refer you on the special counsel. on the second part, i'm sorry? reporter: when he tells you something as a member of his staff, how do you know it is a directive from the president, or simply his opinion? sarah: the president makes it clear when having those conversations with him. : the tweets that it was time
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for the investigation to be stopped. does the president of jeff sessions can't stop the investigation? he directed rod rosenstein to do it. sarah: he is a well aware of how the process works. he is stating his opinion. reporter: 3-d plastic guns and he spoke to the enemy about this issue? sarah: the department of justice made plans without approval by the president. he is glad the effort was delayed to review the issue. this administration supports the decades-old legislation on the books that prohibits the ownership of a plastic gun. >> in the case of the pastor in turkey, as the president raised this directly with the president in turkey? sarah: they have discussed this on several occasions. reporter: [indiscernible] i think you can see in the actions of the president that he is not happy with turkey's decision not to release the pastor. reporter: the possibility of a shutdown. does the president support restructuring the way capital gains are taxed and the
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on the possibility of a shutdown, is the president talking about potentially endorsing a government shutdown before november's election, after, herb roast -- after, or o both? sarah: this is something that has a lot of support from various people. no administration policies have been determined. the president asked the treasury department to look into it. on the second part in regards to the shutdown, the president is not focused on the timing of before or after, he is focused on the results. he has been talking about this for a year and a half. our immigration system is completely broken and he is begging for congress, particularly democrats to step up, do their jobs, stop kicking the ball down the field and work with him to fix our system. it is that simple. reporter: does the president have a personal opinion as to whether or not the current -- sarah: he is asking the treasury department to look into it.
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reporter: does the president encourage the support of people who showed up last night in n and blacks for trump fringe groups? is the white house willing to say in view of what happened with one of our tv colleagues last night it is wrong for his most vocal supporters to be menacing journalists doing their jobs? sarah: on the first part, the president condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against another individual and certainly does not support groups that would promote that kind of behavior. we have been clear about that a number of times since the , beginning of the administration. on the second part, the president does not support violence against anyone or anything. we have been very clear every single time we have been asked about that. when it comes to the media the president does think the media holds a responsibility.
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we fully support a free press but there also comes a high level of responsibility with that. the media routinely reports on -- classified information and government secrets that put lives in danger and risks valuable national security tools. this has happened in our administration and the past administrations. one of the worst was the reporting of the reporting of u.s. ability to listen to osama bin laden's satellite phone in the late 1990's. he stopped using that found in -- that phone in the country lost valuable intelligence. unfortunately it is standard to abandon common sense ethical practices. this is a two way street. we support a free press and condemn violence against anybody , but we also ask people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly. >> nobody was being violent last night, they were trying to prevent a broadcaster from getting his broadcast out and yelling his network sucks.
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sarah: what was the first part of your question? violenty was being last night, they were trying to do a standup at a public rally and people were trying to prevent them from doing their job and yelling their network sucks on live tv. do you support that are not? while we certainly support freedom of the press, we also support freedom of speech. we think those things go hand-in-hand. aisha? reporter: you talked about this earlier but the president talked about paul manafort and comparing his treatment to that of al capone. he thought he was being treated unfairly. why does the president feel like paul manafort is being treated unfairly? when he talks about solitary confinement and the fact that manafort has not been convicted yet, does this administration have a larger concern about the solitary confinement being used for people being convicted outside of paul manafort? sarah: i am not aware of a
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specific policy position on that front. certainly, the president thinks paul manafort has been treated unfairly. reporter: two questions. one on and dia and one -- one on on pakistan. can you confirm the president has excepted invitation from the prime minister to be the special guest in india next year on february 26? sarah: i know the invitation was extended but i don't believe a final decision has been made. both secretary mattis and secretary pompeo will be traveling to india next month and will begin the dialogue in the process of potential discussion for a presidential visit later in the year. reporter: pakistan is concerned. they had a historic election and ran.han he had little good things to say
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israel.dia, u.s., and how are you going to deal with him? sarah: united states and india have a deep and abiding strategic partnership. we are going to continue to build on that partnership and advance cooperation. i think you will see that at the meeting that will take place with the secretaries. reporter: does the president believe paul manafort is innocent of the charges he faces? sarah: i don't believe that is the president's role to play. he believes he is being treated unfairly. reporter: to follow up on the views the president said on twitter today the president said , the attorney general should stop this witchhunt. as the president said it directly to jeff sessions at any point? sarah: the president is stating his opinion. -- not that i'm aware of.
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reporter: the president's opinion that sessions it should , but it isller probe also his opinion that it should play itself out. sarah: the president believes he has watched this process play out. if you like to see this come to a conclusion. this has been going on for the better part of a year and a half and have found no collusion between the president. the president has an event starting in a couple of minutes. reporter: you said the president also believes that he can fire mueller. doesn't it look weak for him to say sessions should in the probe the rp he probe -- end probe when rosenstein ends the probe? sarah: it is not weak for the president to express his opinion. thanks.
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>> on c-span this week in primetime, tonight, the 2018 national governors association summer meeting on transformation of the workforce by artificial intelligence. thursday at 10:00 p.m., the netroots conference in new orleans with cory booker. and friday, more from the netroots conference. this week in prime time on c-span,, and the free c-span radio app. tonight, hearing examines foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms. the senate intelligence committee held the hearing today and you can see it tonight starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span. tonight, testimony from
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active epa administrator andrew wheeler. it is the first time he will take part of the hearing following scott pruitt's resignation. spoke before the senate environment and public courts committee and that starts at 9:30 eastern on c-span. ♪ journal""washington live every day with policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, the s mark moriel, and a political defense writer. c-span'so watch "washington journal" 7:00 a.m. eastern every morning. join the discussion. citiesekend, the c-span tour takes you to new mexico help of our comcast
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cable partners, we will explore the history of las crcuces. saturday at 12:00 noon eastern. explores theat impact of the project on new mexico. the cold war and the atomic west. h --hen often brought to new mexico, he changed this state that was poor, had very little infrastructure, and put in the middle of it this federally funded facility that just transformed the state. ewsthen author martha andr discusses the role of western
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frontier women. andsisit the white s missile museum. >> the testing that has been done out here, people begin has been mostly military testing, but it has involved a lot of civilian use. a lot of the rockets fired out here are used for upper atmospheric research. a u.s., a tour of military outpost near the rio grande river established to keep peace in the region. watch c-span cities tour saturday at noon eastern. and sunday on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. senate confirmation hearings for brent kavanaugh are expected in september and senators are likely to questioned judge
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kavanaugh on roe v. wade. tuesday on 8:00 p.m. eastern, landmark cases present an in-depth look at roe v. wade. we will also hear from "los angeles times" supreme court reporter. next, health-care industry leaders and economic scholars testify on what can be done to reduce health care administrative cost. this runs for one hour and 42 minutes. >> senate committee on health education will come to order. senator murray and i will each have an opening statement.


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