hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it is 1:00 p.m. here in washington. thanks very much for joining us. talk to donald trump. that was the order of the day for republicans here in washington. the presumptive republican presidential nominee made rounds and met with house leadership this morning and left his meeting with the senate leadership just a few minutes ago and had a few more meetings before he leaves washington. the big meeting everyone was anticipating was first meeting of the day with the house speaker paul ryan. the pair released a joint
statement saying this. there is a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall and we are totally commit today working together to achieve that goal. later the speaker, paul ry addressed the media. >> i was very encouraged with what i heard from donald trump today. i do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences. so from here we will go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common groupd is and how we can make sure we are operating off the same principles. this is our first meeting. i was very encouraged but this is a process. it take as little time. you don't put it together in 45 minutes. so hat is why we had a very good start to a process and how we unify. >> trump met with the entire house republican leadership team and sat down with senate republicans to talk policy and politics. he is at a washington, d.c. law firm having more meetings before
he heads back to new york. let's talk about all the day's events and the impact it could have on the presidential race and the impact on republicans in general. jim acosta is our senior white house correspondent. dana bash is our chief political correspond. you know capitol hill very well. unity seems to be the message of the day. the republicans are pushing. then again i didn't hear a formal endorsement from paul ryan of donald trump. >> you didn't hear it because there wasn't an endorsement. that was abundantly clear that paul ryan was not ready to do that. unity is the word of the day. i think you have to not be listening at all to get that. it is some form of that word unite or unify out of the mouths of everybody across the board. still paul ryan's office at least just sent out an interesting tweet with the photo of him with school girls and the
caption said my most important meeting of the day. now, at first blush it's was he throwing shade at donald trump's way. ivent heard back from his office sort of knowing paul ryan and maybe his team i think they are trying to have a little bit of fun with us that there was a big spectacle around his meeting with donald trump and he is trying to kind of put things in perspective. but about that meeting, to me one of the most interesting parts of it was the very first hour at the republican national committee with paul ryan, the house speaker, with reince priebus, the rnc chair and with donald trump. the three of them just met, no staff, no one else in the room. afterwards i spoke to the rnc chair, asked him about it. here is part of our conversation. >> it was a private meeting in my office. i'm not going to talk about the
specifics other than to say things were discussed that were specific. it was a quaterative meeting. it was mutually, i think, cooperative and positive. that is the only way to describe it. >> do you feel like a couple's therapist? >> you wouldn't say that pyou were in the room. it was great. i think it had very good chemistry between the two of them. >> the chemistry, wolf, you know both men you interviewed them both, i can't imagine two more different individuals. still i am told by sources familiar with the first meeting and more importantly perhaps the second meeting of the day which was not just ryan but also other members of his house republican leadership team that ryan made clear in a noncombative, sort of very congenial tone that ryan believes it is up to trump as the presumptive nominee to help unite the party, that it is not
united, even though he did get millions of voters and votes, a lot of people voted against him and that you just heard paul ryan in that sound byte talking about the fact that he won't explain what the specifics were but they did talk specifics. my understanding is one of those issues was something very near and dear to paul ryan's heart which is the budget. had to figure out how to begin to balance the budget. ryan's whole m.o. since he has been here has been to deal with medicare and social security, something that donald trump has been more standoffish on. i'm told that was part of the conversation of specifics. >> stand by. jim acosta, what are you hearing from the senate side on their meeting with donald trump, senate republican leaders? >> reporter: well, keep in mind, wolf, as dana was talking about, the bridge to cross for donald trump with the senate leaders is not as far and as wide as it is with paul ryan. mitch mcconnell is at this point
endorsing donald trump. donald trump does not have the same problem on a senate side as with the house. they are pretty pleased about how the meeting went with paul ryan. i just talked to a trump aid who said we do not and they feel like paul ryan is not the type of leader who is just going to jump on board on day one but in the words of this one aid that makes paul ryan a good speaker. wolf, when you are hearing all of the right things being said around something as contentious potentially as this it has to lead you to conclude that they are going to get there eventually. what speaker ryan had to say had to have been very promising to the ears of donald trump and the trump campaign. this is a speaker who wants to
unify the party. donald trump even though he spent a good portion of primary process breaking the republican party into several different pieces i think they understand inside the trump campaign they have to start putting the pieces together. this capitol hill primary was a crucial part of it. at this point they are feeling very good inside the trump campaign about how this day has gone so far. >> so far looks like both sides stressing the positive. we saw some protesters earlier this morning when trump first arrived here in washington. he spoke about this being the beginning of the process. how many more meetings should we anticipate before the speaker of the house, the republican leader there backs donald trump formally and endorses him. >> they are having a lot of conversations. i'm not sure how many face-to-face meetings we can expect. this is what the speaker described as the beginning of the process. that is something said that
today's meeting would not end things but start to begin the discussion. the speaker is crafting an election year agenda, something he wants house republicans to campaign on as they face potentially tough reelection choices. 30 seats need to flip for the democrats to take control of the house. speaker ryan wants to give something for the guys to run on. a number of key policy items conflict with donald trump. and donald as they discuss the issues as mentioned earlier in the meeting, but paul ryan wanted to down play the fact that there is a disagreement over key issues. what was interesting was discussions will continue to take place will be about policy, about the agenda. we can see perhaps some trump influence in this house republican agenda that their members will campaign on. >> we just heard the republican majority leader in the senate say it was a very constructive positive very good, very
constructive meeting not a surprise mitch mcconnell is on board more so than the speaker of the house. >> he said earlier this week that he thinks that trump could be very competitive in swing states so that poll we saw earlier this week sort of competitive in pennsylvania, ohio and florida went a long way to alleviate concerns. >> you see reporters on the sidewalks here in washington, d.c. outside the law firm. donald trump is inside and hoping when he comes out he will maybe stop and talk. we will have coverage with that. productive and encouraging, that is how paul ryan describes the meeting with donald trump. he is also saying uniting the party is a process that will take time. let's discuss what is going on. joining us now are chief political analyst and cnn politics editor mark preston. what is this effort by trump and ryan to find common ground mean for the future of the republican party? how crucial is it for the party
to unify right now. >> i think it is very crucial and it is in both of their self interests. i think donald trump doesn't want to get in a big fight with paul ryan or the republican leaders. it's not as if his supporters really care very much about what the establishment thinks on capitol hill but it is in his own self interests to work with them not only on raising money but it is also in his interest to work with them because he wants to keep republican control of the congress if he were to get elected. so what paul ryan is looking for is kept referring it over and over again was the notion of common ground, core principles. because as he pointed out he and donald trump have an awful lot of differences when it comes to specific issues. core principles limited government, they all agree on
that. the constitution. i guess they all agree on that, separation of powers. they believe barack obama has overused his executive authority particularly when it comes to the issue of immigration, for example. they are all pro life, he says. so he is trying to find a way, wolf, to get to yes with donald trump and if its got to be broad areas of agreement then it will be broad areas of agreement. but you want to give your party something that they can all run on and say this is where we all agree as a party and then seem united at least in the broad sense. >> the stakes for both men, paul ryan, donald trump obviously enormous. from paul ryan's perspective he has to worry. he has to make sure there is a republican president but wants to make sure there is a republican majority in the house of representatives. >> that's his number one job.
a couple of things here. first of all, the bottom line is that paul ryan became the speaker of the house on his own terms. he was drafted into it. he didn't seem to necessarily want the job perhaps because he wants to run for president in 2020 and that is a difficult position to run for president from. when it comes to donald trump by not capitulating paul ryan is setting tone for leadership in the house of representatives. we are focussing on how trump is setting the tone, paul ryan is doing the same thing. talking to senior trump advisers they knew there would be no endorsement and in many ways this works to paul ryan and donald trump's advantage. and the reason being is that donald trump still looks like he is not part of the establishment even though he is. he will be the nominee. and paul ryan is able to show that he is not going to fall over for donald trump or for anyone else at the same time
creating a safe haven for those candidates that are republicans that are afraid to align themselves with donald trump. and while there are differences on policy issues, wolf, there certainly will be, they are not going to be all issues, i think paul ryan's biggest concern is donald trump saying something outrageous that paul ryan just cannot accept. perhaps morally doesn't agree with and has to take a step back. >> what was also interesting to me today was you didn't see an orchestrated joint photo-op with trump and ryan together. ryan held his press conference. i'm sure we will hear from trump at some point. they didn't go out of their way to kind of come out with their hands up together and say now we are all unified. because i don't think it would have been believable at this point. and perhaps not in either of
their self interests at this point. they have to show that this is a real trying to come together around some core principles. i don't think they were ready to do that photo-optoday. maybe in the future but it didn't happen today. >> we'll see if they release a photograph from inside that meeting not only trump and paul ryan but reince priebus help put the meeting together. i want to show viewers live pictures from washington right now. this is outside the law firm where donald trump is continuing some meetings. he has had a series of meetings with republican leaders in the senate and house. the house speaker paul ryan says great conversation with donald trump but several republicans on thrill are refusing to lineup behind him. our cnn team chased them down to ask questions. much more on all of that when we come back. tomorrow starts today.
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but i've managed.e crohn's disease is tough, except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems,
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meeting all day with republican leaders of the house and senate. you see his vehicle leaving that law office building in washington. trump has been very busy trying to search for common ground rank and file republicans in congress are doing a lot of soul searching right now. many are dealing with a very important dilemma, fall in line behind donald trump or risk potentially alienating supporters. our senior political reporter is back with us. i know this has been a difficult choice for lawmakers in tough battles. you had a chance to catch up with some of them. >> spent the last couple of days trying to pin down members of congress on where they are. i found the party is all over the map. >> donald trump is on the verge of becoming the gop presidential nominee. but many republicans on capitol
hill seem to think it's all a bad dream. >> you know what -- >> you don't want to comment one way or the other? >> any reason for that? >> i'm trying to wrap my head around it right now. it's a big change for a lot of us. it will take a little while for the party. >> as trump met with gop leaders today many in the rank and file are struggling to get behind him. they disagree with key positions. they worry his divisive rhetoric will hurt chances of holding a majority in congress. some in tough reelection bids like illinois senator have little interest in discussing their party's standard bearer. still republicans are in a dilemma. many need trump's legions of supporters to help them in november. they don't want to be tied too closely and potentially turn off swing voters. >> do you think he will be good
for your party? >> i am supporting the ticket but the race i'm focussing on is my race. >>. >> some republicans say the colleagues shouldn't fear trump including senator richard burr who faces voters in north carolina this year. >> he has brought a level of enthusiasm to the primaries. >> i think anytime you increase the amount of turnout for a general election the greater the likelihood is to elect the right person, the best person. i hope in my case that is me. >> senate leaders are starting to believe trump can win in november. with the new poll showing trump competitive in three key swing states. that has eased some fears on capitol hill. >> you have been repeatedly saying you want a nominee who can win in blue states and purple states. how confident are you that donald trump can do that? >> a long time to november. early indications are nominees are likely to be compet ittive.
>> speaker paul ryan vowed the party will be united in the fall campaign even though he expressed reservations about trump. if he refuses to back the likely nominee some trump supporters say that will be a problem. >> the risk of not getting behind the nominee is that the american people will feel what they are already saying is that washington doesn't get it. >> as the number of republicans fret about donald trump party leaders are saying to their members in tough reelections when you want to run for re-election don't worry about national trends and national ticket, focus on local issue and what you are doing back home. they want to localize this race because they are worried about national trends. >> reporting from capitol hill, a lot of important decisions have to be made by these members of congress. you just saw moments ago donald trump getting into the vehicle leaving the building, a law office building where he was continuing meetings.
he has had a series of meetings going all day from early morning first with paul ryan and then other house republican leaders and then senate republican leaders. now this meeting. so he has a busy day. we haven't heard from him. he hasn't tweeted yet. no formal comment on these meetings but i'm sure we will be hearing from him very, very soon. coming up, the former vice president of the united states, dan quail, is discussing donald trump and the big decision on who trump should pick on vice presidential running mate. we hear from dan quayle when we come back. you do all this research on
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served in the house of representatives, the u.s. senate and as vice president so the indiana republican dan quayle clearly qualified to discuss possible running mates for donald trump. cnn special correspondent sat down with him to discuss precisely that. >> do you have any advice for him on the kind of person he should pick for vice president? >> i think that he needs to probably have a younger person and somebody that comes from the conservative wing of the party, if you will. there are many people out there. >> any names come to mind? >> the two that would be clearly folks that he should consider and i'm certain he will, one would be marco rubio from florida. >> he says he doesn't want it. >> they all say that. let's wait and see. john kasich from ohio. >> he also says he doesn't want it. >> they all say that until the
phone call comes in. >> i know you are past this, but if donald trump called you up and said would you be my vice president you would be comfortable with that? >> i was young and conservative at one time and that would have been a good choice. i'm much older and quite frankly i'm not sure how conservative i am these days compared to where the party might be today. >> has it been surreal watching this process? >> it has been really quite unbelievable. and it's interesting. it's entertaining. i travel around the world and people, that is all they want to do, who is going to be the next president? what is going on? america's political presidential campaign has got the world's attention more so this time than perhaps anytime in our history. >> anybody else on your short list for donald trump? >> i think he should pick a
person that has political experience. if you want to look at somebody that has stature and really substance that would be a great vice president it would be senator rob portman from ohio. he would be an excellent choice. there is a couple other senators and governors. we have a good governor in the state of oklahoma and new mexico. there is a big array of people that he can choose from. >> rob portman would be your personal choice? >> rob portman to me would be an excellent vice president and somebody that should be seriously considered. he has all the credentuals, well respected. he has been in government. he was trade representative. he was director of omb. he knows government and would be a good partner for donald trump. >> joining us live now. will the former vice president go out there and fully support, endorse, work for donald trump? >> in one word, yes.
he has not met with donald trump. he has not spoken to him so there hasn't been any lobbying on trump's part but dan quayle believes unlike bush 43, he believes, he keeps saying that trump is a winner and he believes the republican party has to rally around him. >> 11 million people voted for donald trump so far. given today's very important meetings on capitol hill does dan quayle think paul ryan, speaker and donald trump will work together? >> he really does. it is sort of interesting because we did this interview before the meeting. now we have heard from after the meeting that it has been encouraging and positive where the words we were hearing. dan quayle absolutely believes that paul ryan will come around
and will support trump and he says that one of the reasons you heard him talk about ohio senator rob portman as a perfect vice presidential pick is he is hoping trump will pick someone like portman because it will reassure paul ryan and other republicans who are very nervous. >> good work. thank you very much. take a look at these live pictures we are getting right now. donald trump has arrived at reagan national airport. there you see his plane with the name trump. he is presumably boarding that aircraft heading to new york city. he has had a busy several hours here in washington. we will monitor that and hopefully get some comment from donald trump soon on how he thinks all of these meetings went today. coming up, bernie sanders
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that he's the speaker of the house. he should already be using responsibility he has to implement that agenda and that is not at all what republicans have done. that certainly is not what leader mcconnell has done. there are a number of important critical priorities that republicans could be focussed on in the house of representatives right now and in the united states senate that are important part of the job they have right now. unfortunately, republicans seem much more focussed on the elections than they do on embracing the responsibility to deal with the result of the last elections that gave them the majority in the united states congress. right now we see republicans much more focussed on their relationship with the presumptive nominee than they are on things like passing a budget or passing funding for zika virus to avert a public health disaster or passing
funding to relieve puerto rico. we haven't seen action in either house of congress on funding programs to fight opioid addiction. we see them trying to take victory laps on legislation. if republicans had much conviction about their agenda they would be trying to implement it now as opposed to trying to convince other members of the republican party or the presumptive republican nominee that what they propose is the right thing to do. all of the things i just outlined are things that republicans at one point or another have indicated is a priority to them and all of those are things that i have said president obama believes are a priority. we have been working hard to try to cajole congress to act on the budget, zika, puerto rico and
opioids. republicans do have a governing agenda because they had an opportunity to present it and implement it and they haven't done it. in fact, on this score card they haven't done anything. >> you get a sense of what the white house thinks is going up on capitol hill, the republican majorities in the house and the senate strong words from josh earnest, white house press secretary. democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders is talking to voters at a community meeting in south dakota right now. you are looking at live pictures. earlier sanders stopped by mt. ru rushmore where he did some sight seeing. their candidate is in the race all the way to the convention in july with an e-mail to supporters saying this. let me read the quote. then we will have a contested convention where the democratic party must decide if they want the candidate with the momentum
who is best positioned to beat trump or if they are willing to roll the dice simply to protect status quo for political and financial establishment of this country. jeff zeleny is with me now. he believes he would do based on recent polling better as a democrat against donald trump than hillary clinton. to suggest disaster those are strong words assuming he thinks if she gets the nomination that is what would happen. >> they are strong and historical words. what weaver was trying to do is harkin back to a line when bill clinton said election of barack obama would be a roll of the dice. jeff weaver is the campaign manager for bernie sanders backing a little bit from that. he said it would be a disaster if donald trump were to win. he said it would not bow a disaster if hillary clinton were to be elected. what they are trying to do with
this is fire up fundraisers. they need more money to keep going on. they want to have ads on the air in california and new jersey. they are trying to make the case. mathematically speaking as we talked about so much here it is just virtually impossible for him to overtake her at this point. that does not mean he should not continue. everyone has a right to vote for him if they want here. but those are strong words. at the epd of the day a lot of democrats are ready for this to wind down. >> interesting that they are back tracking suggesting the words are directed to trump presidency. interesting. thanks very much for that. live pictures donald trump's aircraft over at reagan national airport. he is getting ready to take off soon after series of important meetings with republican lawmakers including the speaker of the house. how is donald trump softening the stance on banning muslims from entering the united states.
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getting ready to leave washington, d.c. i believe he is heading back to new york city. you can see the plane on the tarmac here at reagan national airport outside of washington. we will monitor what is going on and standing by to hear if donald trump offers additional comments on his important series of meetings with republican leaders. by all accounts trump's meeting with republican leaders seem to have gone pretty well. it will take more than one meeting for the speaker of the house of representatives to embrace the presumptive republican nominee. let's discuss all of this joined by trump supporter and cnn political commentator matt lewis. thank you for joining us. this is clearly an important
first step. we didn't hear a formal endorsement from the speaker for donald trump. were you surprised? >> i was not surprised that an endorsement didn't come but surprised by how much paul ryan wants this to work out. i thought ryan aside from not endorsing him really is bending over backwards to try to make this happen. he is sort of balancing a couple of things. on one hand ryan wants the republican party to defeat hillary clinton. ryan obviously as the speaker has a prominent role in the republican party but he is also the head of a conservative movement that could go in exile during a donald trump regime. i think he has to worry about preserving his status, not letting trump's populist version, rougher version of republicanism tarnish ryan's reform conservatism message. >> they did issue a joint statement after the 45-minute meeting among other things saying we had a great conversation this morning.
this is donald trump and paul ryan. while we were honest about our few differences we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. sounded like a diplomatic communique following a summit meeting going on. there are clear difference business tween these two men. >> it was definitely carefully worded. the message was unity. i am pleased to see speaker ryan try to join the rest of his party. you had camccain come out and s republican leaders would be foolish, a very strong word, not to listen to voters who send a clear message in every cnn exit poll that they feel betrayed by the republican party. john mccain understands the republican party does not exist if they don't have voters. to see speaker ryan come over to the dick cheney point of view he is almost there. very encouraging step for future
of the republican party and for this election. >> do you think he he's softening his stance? paul ryan clearly disagrees with him on this. one he announced the ban on muslims coming the united states and then what he said yesterday. listen to this. >> donald j. trump is calling far total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> no. it was never meant to be -- i mean, that's why it was temporary. i would like to back off as soon as possible because, frankly, i would like to see something happen. >> is he softening his stance there or is it just nuance if you will? >> softening and saying a suggestion. but the problem is that if donald trump can flip flop both ways and so he might be able to moderate and temper the rhetoric enough to get people like paul ryan to support him, there's no
guarantee he'll stay there. this is why i think it's very -- it's a very dangerous spot for paul ryan because six months from now donald trump could be a losing presidential candidate an you could have a republican party with three consecutive losses saying maybe we need to attra attract hispanics and if he's coopted by donald trump he's not in a position to lead in that moment. >> what do you think? is he softening the stance, kayleigh? >> i don't think. pund punditry calls it a total ban on muslims forever always because this faction of the party doesn't like the group of people. that was irresponsible to characterize it as such. donald trump was very clear from the beginning, this is a temporary ban. we have a problem when someone gets to this country on a legal visa and kills more than a dozen
americans which is what happened in san bernardino. donald trump's been clear from the beginning. this is temporary and the motive is to protect americans, that includes muslim americans and americans of all religions, colors, ethnicities and some empty punditry simplifying this. this is what he's saying from the get-go. >> stand by. we have much more to discuss and i just want to point out in the next hour democrats up on capital hill reacting to what we have heard so far. stand by for that. getting ready for a news conference up there and show you a live picture of reagan rational airport. donald trump's aircraft on the ground getting ready to d-back to new york after high-stakes meetings here in washington. much more after this break. ♪ you're not gonna watch it! ♪
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he's still on the ground, donald trump. that's his ashlgt at reagan national airport. we'll continue to monitor the takeoff of that plane. i want to bring back our panel right now. trump supporter and cnn political commentator. matt, does it make any difference if trump releases the tax returns or doesn't? >> no. >> between now and november. >> it makes zero difference to his supporters. you know, and but it is interesting because this is like the latest example of kind of hypocrisy and criticizing mitt romney not that long ago for not doing it, just get it behind him. this is like the latest of so many issues trump giving advice he is now not taking. >> yeah. we just heard from john boehner saying he endorses donald trump for the presidency. he also says that anyone who thinks he can't win the presidency just watch. i'm paraphrasing him.
along those lines. are you surprised boehner has come out as strongly as he has for donald trump? >> i'm not. he kind of indicated to us calling ted cruz lucifer and more comfortable seeing donald trump the nominee. i'm not surprised and boehner like paul ryan will get there. i know john boehner is there. paul ryan will because they don't want to see hillary clinton in the white house and not surprised to see paul ryan come around, either. >> when donald trump said he could put blue states in play in a presidential contest, whether pennsylvania or ohio's sort of a purple state shall we say, but michigan, wisconsin. and he says even new york state, he is from new york, that could be in play. you think he's got a point? >> i think he has a point and new york might be a bridge too far. some is the running mate. occasionally they deliver states. >> occasionally. >> john kasich. in ohio. we would imagine or someone like
a jim webb, a democrat to sort of reach out to working class whites and the rust belt. i do think donald trump could win states like michigan and ohio, that republicans really need to win. especially if you're going to lose -- >> win ning those states, it's over, right? >> i'm not concerned about him winning and not predicting but he has a good shot. >> i'm sure you agree. >> i do. we saw those polls come out and people shocked in the quinnipiac polls indicating he is doing extremely well in ohio, florida and california and a lot of us weren't surprised because like matt's pointing out he appeals in the crossover sort of way and voters never voted republican and perhaps never voted at all that i think we'll see come out. >> thanks very much for joining us. matt, as well to you. in the next hour, a response of senate democrats of what's going on in washington.
donald trump's series of meetings here. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." for the viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. hi. there i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. donald trump goes to washington on a huge day for the future of the republican party. >> i'm jake tapper live on capitol hill. today has been, quote, productive. quote, encouraging. quote, a good start. but still no endorsement for donald trump from house speaker paul ryan. trump and ryan met today for a highly anticipated conversation about how they might be able to come together, how the republican party can unite for the one objective they all can actually agree