tv Inside Politics CNN January 17, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PST
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. we'll take you live to the white house for the final white house briefing of the obama administration. you see the briefing room. josh ernest about to give his last performance on behalf of the president. also, another busy day at the u.s. capitol. you see that behind me? two more president-elect trump's cabinet picks, his choices to lead the education and the interior department face this afternoon were promised to be contentious confirmation hearings. the transition of power just
three days away now, and it is very hard to overstate how strange and raw the mood is here in the nation's capital. more than 40 house democrats say they will not attend friday's ceremony, and our new cnn poll out today shows deep political trouble for the least popular new president in history. take a look at this. just four in ten americans approve of how the president-elect has hangdsed his transition. 53% say president-elect trump's statements and actions have made them less confident he is up to the job. the president-elect for the record says those polls, you guessed it, are rigged. a lot to digest and discuss. with us to share the reporting, jonathan martin of the "new york times", julie pace of the associated press, cnn sarah mari, and matt viesor of the boston globe. we'll take a deeper dive into the polling numbers. let's begin with what i'll call the world turned upside down nature of this trump transition. russia today praised the president-elect, and vladimir putin accused the table accusing
the obama white house of trying to undermine the new president. uh-huh. the head of america's premier spy agency, on the other hand, delivered a scathing criticism of trump. calling the president-elect's attacks repugnant. trump compared the intelligence community to the nazis last week. he said he had been briefed on unverified information that russia might have compromising information about trump. it was not trump's first attack on the intelligence agencies, nor was it his last. the nazi reference crossed the line with cia director john brennan, who said this to the "wall street journal." "tell the families of those 117 cia officers who are forever memorialized on our wall of honor that their loved ones who gave their lives were akin to nazis. tell the cia officers who are serving in harm's way right now and their families who are worried about them that they are akin to nazi germany. i found that to be very repugnant." let's start there with our new
president-elect and the fact that john brennan, he serves in the obama administration now. he served in the bush administration before that. he is a public servant. he is also part of the washington establishment. how much of this is that they are genuinely mad, angry, furious, and worried about the new president and how much is it that the establishment just can't handle that donald trump is going to do things very differently? >> it's a combination of both, i think. if you are someone like john brennan, and you have worked in the intelligence community for essentially your entire career to see someone like donald trump come out and really, i think, cross the line with comparing the intelligence agencies to nazis, i think he just couldn't stand for that anymore. i think he is trying to send a message to trump that the intelligence community even when he leaves is going to continue to find ways to push back at this. trump i think is learning that the intelligence communities have power. they have the ability to get information out, but then there is a piece of this that is just the establishment being uncomfortable with the fact that trump is willing to say these things. >> i think, too, that these are things that -- these are discussions and animated
discussions that took place before, but they were private. i mean, they were in the oval office or, you know, phone calls or personal meetings or during the briefings. this is extraordinary in the public nature of this rift that trump cannot resist punching back at the intelligence community. you are seeing them kind of come out and, like enough is enough for them, and they're going to respond to it. >> there are certain norms in american politics and democracy that are just foreign to him, and he doesn't seem to be interested in adapting to them. i think that's why you have seen his numbers sink since election day. you don't call intelligence officers nazis. you don't go after john lewis's integrity. you don't spend king day basically in your own office building and do nothing to honor it except for have some photo op. he doesn't really understand the fact that, you know, american politics and democracy is to rest on certain norms and traditions and he just doesn't honor that because it's not something that he knows.
he is jursz pst popping off bec that's what he gets. >> is it that he doesn't understand or that he fully understands and doesn't care? does he think that's the problem in this town, and i'm going to do things differently? if you're not nice to me, i'm going to get you. if you don't, you know, kiss the ring, then i will attack you. >> i do think it depends on the issue. first of all, when he attacks, he doesn't care who attacks him, and he is going to hit back, but he is not good at finding a medium of hitting back. we saw mike pence out there saying i'm really disappointed in these comments by john lewis. i think he should recalibrate, re-evaluate what he said. trump doesn't know how to do that. he will hit back and call a civil rights icon all talk, no action. he questioned whether john mccain was a war hero in the campaign. he compares intelligence agencies to the nazis, which, like, the first rule of washington is don't compare things to nazis. the second thing is don't compare anything to rape. those are the two things that will get you in trouble. never say it. never do it.
some of this stuff he knows, and he just doesn't care about. other things, i agree. probably doesn't know all that much about. >> in this bizarre world we live in, remember, last week the whole nazi thing came after trump was briefed by intelligence agencies and cnn was first to report it. we did not get into the details about this unverified document suggesting that russia has some compromising information about donald trump. well, the voice we hadn't heard from on the record, vladimir putin. he is the president of russia. he said the idea that this dossier exists is garbage. then listen to the choice language here from the russian president? >> translator: people who order false information and spread this information against the elected president fabricate it and use it a political fight, they are worse than prostitutes. >> wow. anybody? >> it's ironic because in russia they are so used to their
intelligence agencies collecting -- they have a term for that procedure. you know, the idea that russia wouldn't even consider collecting anything on a prominent american that comes to their country. anybody who has traveled to russia as a u.s. citizen with the president knows that this happens. >> it happens to us. it happens to any -- ask any american businessmen or prominent american that's traveled to russia in any years, but including recent years under the putin region recommeme. good luck with that. zbloon there is a reason that there is a word for this in russian, says and it's because they do it, and there is a reason that if you are traveling overseas to russia extra and you work in the u.s. government that they wipe your phone, that they give you a burner phone, that they encourage you not to take your actual computer with you. >> obviously donald trump has said he wants to get along with vladimir putinin, and donald trump has said, and, again, this is part of how trump views
things. i might lift sanctions on russia imposed after russia took property from its neighbor. the crimea, ukraine. donald trump said if i can get a good deal on nuclear weapons, maybe i'll lift those saekzs. that's how he views the world. listen to john mccain saying, no, not with this guy. >> i just hope that the president-elect will listen to people like mattis and flynn and kelly and a lot of the good people that i have known for years around him who clearly do not share that view, and my conversations with mr mr. tillerson, he doesn't share that view either. there's no moral equivalent there. vladimir putin is the guy that has sent airplanes with precision weapons to strike hospitals in aleppo killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children. he is a thug and a butcher.
>>. >> it's an important kmes dplisic jand, but the world is on edge as well, and that the republican -- hawkish republican continue. they thought after the election trump would turn, pivot and say, okay, i get it, but they feel like they still need to remind him putin is a little different. this guy is not somebody who you can just say, yeah, we'll be friends now. >> this collision, i think, is coming between mccain and trump, and there's no real love there, you can tell. i think for now trump is appealing to his party, his base because he, as my colleague says, is hitting two of his favorite chew toys. the media and democrats. the second that that stops and the conflict moves to trump and his own party, whether it's with mccain and graham on russia, says whether it's with more small government conservatives on health care law, that's when this is going to be a much more fascinating dynamic. right now trump has a sort of measure of goodwill from his own
party because the base still likes him and because, again, he is focussing on the media and democrats mostly. >> then the question is you heard mccain. the republicans like the national security team. they like -- they're going to prove rex tillerson has some questions about him. general mattis, they like. the homeland security general kelly, they like. the guy they have doubts about is general flynn, who will be the national security advisor. general flynn's son tweeted this. -- to reform intelligence he says essentially read this analysis. that's great. he is helping his father. the guy whose analysis he is saying there is a 9/11 denier essentially. he wrote "the big lie" saying he thinks 9/11 could have been a plot concocted by the united states government. i put this in the with friends
like these file. what are they thinking? >> we don't know what flynn is thinking because he doesn't have to go through a confirmation hearing, like mattis and tillerson have. they've been able to get out in public and say things reassuring. flynn doesn't have to go through this process, and we take our cues and things his son are saying on twitter, which are anything but reayou are shooing for a lot of supporters. >> he circulates crackpot conspiracy theories. you would think the general would say, son, please. >> it's also an open question among sort of how much tillerson, you know, or mattis sort of fight with trump in the oval office during the situation room. i mean, we saw from their confirmation hearings that they are completely opposite from the person that they are serving, the president. how much -- what is that dynamic going to look like, and how much of that was sort of for show to get through the confirmation and how much it is going to.
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to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. trulicity is not insulin. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes, >> live to the white house briefing room. josh ernest in his final briefing for the obama administration. >> i don't have any announcement at the top. but because today marks my last briefing, i hope you'll indulge me. a couple of personal thoughts before i go to your questions. as i prepare to stand here at this podium for the last time, i thought a lot about the first time. it was 16 years ago this week. it was january 2001. i had just moved to washington d.c., and i got on a west wing tour with a friend of a friend. we walked through the halls of
the west wing on that tour. we saw tired white house staffers lugging boxes of their personal belongings out of the building, much the way that people who are on west wing tours today see. on the tour i smiled for a photo that a friend had took of me standing behind this very podium. i had been in d.c. for a grand total of two weeks. i had no contacts. i had no job prospects. i had no relevant washington experience. i was sleeping on the floor of a college buddy's apartment that had a spare bedroom. by spare i don't mean -- it was an empty bedroom -- so it's fair to say that there weren't too many other people on the tour that night who thought i would stand here in front of are you as something other than a tourist. it's been an extraordinary journey, and this has been an extraordinary chapter. this is the 354th white house
daily briefing that i have led as the press secretary. mark can check me on that number. not every briefing started exactly on time. there might have been a briefing or two that went a little longer than you would have preferred, but you have to admit there was a lot to discuss. we had plenty of shameless plugs for the kansas city royals to squeeze in. there was, of course, the freedom caucuses infamous tortilla coast gambut. there was congressman steve scalise who compared himself favorably to david duke. there was the reintroduction of the word snafu into the political lexicon as we were working to pass tpa. we discussed at length the various ways you can catch zika. the various ways you can catch ebola, and the various reasons scientists recommend you vaccinate your kids so that you don't catch the measles. john stewart lit me up as i struggled to explain to john carl why a couple of our political ambassadors had no
idea what they were doing. at least the stewart segment made some of my friends laugh. president-elect trump, of course, took advantage of the opportunity to light me up as a foolish guy who makes even the good news sound bad, and i have to admit that even that one made me laugh. it wasn't always fun and games around here. there was the time that i tangled with senator schumer about dhs funding for new york city and the time that i tangled with senator schumer over the iran deal and the time that i tangled with senator schumer over the jasta legislation, and the time i tangled with senator schumer over the wisdom of passing obama care, and the time i tangled with senator schumer over trade promotion authority legislation and to think we actually spent most of last two and a half years complaining about how unreasonable republicans in congress are. the daily briefing is the most high profile part of the press secretary's job. the more important part in many
ways is working with all of you and insuring that the freedom of the press and insuring the freedom of the press that keeps this democracy vital. bh i first entered this role i worked closely with white house travel office and the department of defense to reform the billing process for flights on the military aircraft, including air force one, making those bills more transparent and smaller. in the last two and a half years we've cajoled governments in china, ethiopia, and cuba to hold news conference on their soil allowing the leaders of those countries and their citizens to see firsthand what it means for independent journalists to hold those in power accountable. of course, it was the end of the year news conference that the president convened in this room in 2014 that got as much attention as any other because president obama called on eight journalists, all women. finally, everything that -- about this final week makes me think of all the incredible people whom i have been blessed to work with these past eight years. i only had this opportunity
because robert beggibbs pulled aside as the returns were coming in to tell me he wanted me to come work with him at the white house. i'm only here because jay carney, jennifer palmeri and dan pfeiffer ep zurjed me when i was the deputy and advocated for me when jay stepped down. i have also benefitted from kitchen cabinet of senior white house officials who got a lot of other important responsibilities who are part of their formal job description, but stepped in to help me out every time i asked for it. that people like dennis mcdonough and susan rice and jennifer saki, melissa alanne, jesse lee and cody keenan and ben rhodes. i have been able to do this job because i have an incredible team around me. my assistants, ben tiller, and now desiree barnes all patiently supported a guy who, let's face it, sometimes isn't so easy to assist. the white house stenographers, dominique danske barry, amy
sands, caitlyn young, and their tireless leader peggy suntom. they work as hard as anybody at the white house and complain about it less than anybody at the white house. [ applause ] >> applause is appropriate at that point. i think the only team that may contend with it might be the research department here at the white house that's led by alex plotkin and kristen baraloni. i hope you'll get a chance over the course of the next week to thank the stenographers for her important work. i know they make your lives a lot easier too. the same goes for peter bells, brian gabe yell and sarah rutherford who are stretched as thin and are effect ti as any team of press wranglers we've ever had. ned price, carl woog and doo -- patiently explained to me things i didn't know so that i could in turn explain them to you. my team in lower press, patrick roddenbush, katie hill, and brandy hofffooin as dedicated as my in i press team in this town.
i begged brandy to join this team, and she's far exceeded the recommendations i got from all over town after i interviewed her. they are all katie, brandy, and patrick, as they say, going places. eric schultz is simply the best deputy that anyone in any field could ask for. he shows up early, stays late, he is deft. that's an inside joke. he is always prepared. he is unfailingly loyal. his judgment is sought after throughout the halls of the white house. not just by me, but by various members of the senior staff. i'm sure that he'll be sought off in his bright post-white house future, including by me. when you are president of the united states and widely regarded as one of the most thoughtful and eloquent speakers on the planet, it must be hard to watch someone go on tv and speak for you. i suspect that's why when the president offered me this job, he said he wouldn't watch my briefings. i know that he saw parts of them on those very rare occasions that he watched cable tv, and he never second guessed me.
not once. he didn't just give me the opportunity of a lifetime. he had my back every single day, and i'm grateful for it. but there is one person who contributed to my success more than anyone else, and she doesn't even work at the white house. my wife natalie was 6 months pregnant with our first child when i got this job. she was home with the air conditioning repairman when the president of the united states called me into the oval office to offer me the job. when i got back to my desk, i saw that i had several missed calls on my cell phone from her. i quickly called her back. i told her i was sorry i missed her caughts, but that i had the best possible excuse for missing them. since then she's extended to me more support and understanding than i could ever ask for. even as she was becoming the best mom any 2-year-old kid could hope for. when i miss the markup here, she didn't hesitate to tell me about it, and when i got it right the next day, it was usually because i followed her advice. so thank you, sweetheart, for your patience, your loyalty, your counsel, and your love. without it, i would not be standing here, and i'll never be
able to make it up to you, but i look forward to spending some more time with you and walker so i can give it a shot. serving as the white house press secretary under president obama has been an incredible honor. i've had the opportunity to advocate for his vision of the country, the same vision that deeply resonated with me when i signed up to work for him in iowa in march 2007. while those of us who have been fortunate enough to serve him here will go on to make a difference in new ways. i take heart in knowing that all of you will still be here. i draw confidence in knowing that you are driven by the same spirit that -- those young kids that i mentioned a couple of weeks ago. to move to an iowa town that they had never heard of to organize support for the obama campaign. you have the same determination as the young people who are moving to washington d.c. today with no job, with no contacts, and no prospects who are hoping to work in the trump administration. you're motivated in the same way as the career civil servants like the ones at the department
of education who are trying to stretch her agency's budget to insure as many hispanic kids as possible can get a decent education. you have so much in common with these people because each of you and what you do every day is critical to the success of our democracy. there will be days when you'll show up to work tired. i know the saying is true. obama organizers in iowa. there will be days where you will feel disrespected, and i know many of the young republican staffers who moved to washington looking for a job will feel that way at times. it's hard to pound the pavement in this town when you don't know anybody. there will be days where you will wonder if what you are doing even makes a difference. i know that our civil servants sometimes wonder the same thing. but i assure you, says if you, the most talented, experienced, effective press corps in the world didn't play your part in our democracy, we would all notice. your passion for your work and its centrality to the success in our democracy is a uniquely
american feature of our government. it's made president obama a better president and a better public servant, and it's because you persevere and you never go easy on us. so even though it's my last day, you better not let up now, so in that spirit, let me say for the last time standing up here, joshua, you want to get started with questions? >> sure. thanks. >> i -- i am not interrupting because he was saying nice things about you guys because i largely concur. when i first met josh ernest, he was in iowa. i think he was wearing jeans. he looked even younger than he was. since my entire campaign
depended on communications in io iowa, i gave him a pretty good once over. there are a couple of things i learned about him right away. number one, he just has that all american matinee good-looking thing going. that's helpful. let's face it. face made for television. then the guy's name is josh earn ernest, which if somebody is speaking on your behalf, is a pretty good name to have. but what struck me most in addition to his smarts and his maturity and his actual interest in the issues was his integrity.
you know, there are people you meet who you have a pretty good inkling right off the bat are straight shooters. and were raised to be fundamentally honest and to treat people with respect, and there are times where that first impression turns out to be wrong and you're a little disappointed and you see behind the curtain that there's spin and some hype, you know, posturing going on. but then there's others who the longer you know them, the better you know them, the more time you spend with them, the more you're tested under tough situations,
the more of that initial impression is confirmed. i have now known this guy for ten years almost. i've watched him grow, and i've watched him advance, and i've watched him marry, and i've watched him be a father, and i've watched him manage younger people coming up behind him, says and he has never disappointed. he has always been the guy you wanted him to be. and i think that, you know, if you are the president of the united states and you find out that this is the guy who has been voted the most popular press secretary ever by the white house press corps, that may make you a little nervous thinking, well, maybe the guy is kind of being too solicitous
towards the press, but the fact is that he was worthy of that admiration. he was tough, and he didn't always give you guys everything you wanted, but he was always prepared, he was always courteous, he always tried to make sure he could share with you as much of our thinking and our policy and our vision as possible. and try to be as responsive as possible, and that's how he trained the rest of his team to be. of the folks that i have had the great joy of working with over the last ten years on this incredible journey, you know, this guy ranks as high as just about anybody i've worked with. he is not only a great press secretary, but more importantly, he is a really, really good man.
i'm really, really proud of him. so, josh, congratulations. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> natalie and walker, thanks for putting up with all of this because they've made sacrifices too. >> thank you, sir. >> before you go, respond to vladimir putin's -- >> where are you going on friday? >> well, that was awfully generous. so the president will be back tomorrow. he will be staying here, and he will be answering your questions. today you're going to have to settle for me. >> i want to thank and you your team for your hard work and servicing your roles. we've tussled aggressively over the last many years, but that was as it should be, and you all have continued to always engage with us, and we appreciated
that. have the obamas decided where they will be heading? >> i can tell you that the first family is looking forward to flying to palm springs. he vowed to take his family to a destination that is warmer, and palm springs fits the bill. this is a community that the president has gone to a number of occasions as president of the united states. he and his family have enjoyed the time they spent there in the past, and they're looking to travel there on friday. looking forward to traveling there on friday. >> and president putin today was accusing the obama administration of spreading false information about the president-elect in an attempt to delegitimatize his presidency and said those in this administration who did that were worse than prostitutes. does the obama administration have any comment on that? >> that's an interesting metaphor that he chose there.
the men and women in the u.s. intelligence agencies are -- they have to keep their names secret. they don't it for are the big pay because in many situations they could make a whole lot more money in the private sector. they do their important work to keep our country safe because they love this country, and they have served us incredibly well in keeping us safe. they have served president obama enormously well, and this is not the first time that the intelligence community has had some uncomfortable things to say about russia. these are the kinds of things that i'm sure the russians would rather not hear, but ultimately -- and this is something that the next administration is going to have
to decide -- there's a pretty stark divide here. on one side you have the men and women of the united states intelligence community. you've got democrats in congress. you've got republicans in congress who are concerned deeply about the way that the russian apparatus sought to call into question the legitimacy and stability of our democracy. on the other side, you've got wikileaks and the russians and the incoming administration is going to have to decide which side they're going to come down on. they'll be among the very interesting things that all of you will be closely watching next week. >> i was wondering as you were reflecting over the last eight
years whether you can identify -- >> listening there no josh ernest, the white house press secretary. this is his last on camera briefing. they'll call it a surprise, but a not so surprise from the president of the united states to say a job well done and thank you. he has been a loyal deputy going back to senator obama's days as a candidate. iowa press secretary in the 2008 campaign. they have a long relationship. nice of the president to give him an atta boy there. i want to talk about the jobs because we have questions about how the trump administration will handle access to the press in that briefing room and otherwise. at the last question there was josh ernest was asked about vladimir putin today, essentially trying to turn the tables and say it is the obama administration spreading dirt on donald trump to try to undermine the donald trump presidency, and josh ernest saying the president-elect will have to face a choice when you have democrats in congress, republicans in congress, the entire u.s. intelligence community saying no, russia meddled in our election, and russia should be held accountable, and you have vladimir putin, trustworthy guy saying, no, i didn't and it's
your fault. it is a big choice, and it was clear at his last briefing, one last nudge, i'll call it politely, julie, to the trump administration to change your tune on this. >> and there is an irony in putin saying that the obama -- that president obama is trying to undermine the legitimacy of donald trump because obama has been going out of his way when a few democrats are going out of their way to say, no, he is the legitimate president of the united states. a lot of people in washington and around the world, frankly, are concerned by this idea that you have basically everyone over here in this camp on this question about what russia did and putin over here and trump still sides with putin. it does raise questions. we don't know why he is doing this. there are a lot of theories about it, but on the surface it is really odd to have an american president choosing to side with vladimir putin over his party, the other party, the current president, the intelligence community, and allies. >> and we will have the president of the united states who will probably get asked the stam question tomorrow in the briefing room. his final press conference will be tomorrow.
the job is interesting. i covered the white house for almost ten years. the clinton administration into the george w. bush administration, several different press secretaries in that time. you see the public side, the public sees the press secretary when he travels with the president, but it is a bear have a job. the press secretary comes in early and essentially gets incoming from every federal agency. he is his own intelligence department if you will. what's happening at the agriculture department and where is the defense secretary and you have to be able to stand up and speak to the world about everything in the united states government. what do we know? does the trump administration accept this model of how it's been done? the obama administration, pretty traditional. people change, but it's pretty traditional for administration to administration. does the trump administration going to do it this way? >> i don't think we can necessarily expect them to do it the same way. they've already raised the possibility that they might not have daily on camera briefings. they've raised the notion have moving the press outside of this briefing room and to try to accommodate, they say, more members of the press. obviously concerning if you try to move them outside of the white house, but i do think that they're beginning to get an early taste of the gambit of
questions they'll be facing. they do phone calls in the morning right now where they're asked about everything from commemorative license plates for the inauguration to agriculture priorities for an agriculture secretary that is yet to be named to the daily goings on. i think one of the concerns is they obviously have an adversary yar relationship with the press. they may carry that out -- their other concern is that donald trump and his staff, like a big audience, and they have had an out sized amount of -- they're trying to figure out ways to accommodate maybe more media outlets that are not so traditional in the white house briefing room. >> you can notice too, i mean, the praise that josh ernest was getting from president obama for some of the qualities that he admir admired sean price espicer is f
and that's what trump and that relationship will be a little bit different in that briefing room. josh said the president always had his back no matter what he comes out and says. if you are a mouth piece for donald trump, a man who believes that he is his own best spokesman -- it's to speak on behalf of the incoming president. >> he will speak for himself whether on twitter or tv interviews with print folks. that's the thing. yes, trump, is obviously publicly very antagonistic towards the press. did not appreciate their role. our role in american democracy. but the duality of trump. he also cares more about the presses and more about the coverage than any president probably in american history.
who, by the way, is responsive to the coverage. you know, he is never going shun the press entirely, because he covets the confirmation, and i think it's going to be a fascinating thing to watch. >> i'll be switzerland. i think he has a certain tag that i won't use for it, and the place that i work very frequently, more than others. why? because he is an avid consumer. >> avid consumer. when we come back, says new numbers that are a challenge for the president-elect. americans are optimistic he can create jobs, but our brand new poll shows he is incredibly unpopular and he has lost support from election day to now as he prepares to be inaugurated just three days from today. inside politics back in just a minute. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™,
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eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily ...and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis the right treatment for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you. welcome back in. in three days we inaugurate the president. our new poll out today shows
that donald trump will be the most unpopular new president in memory. let's look at some of the numbers here. first, let's just start with the basic number. how has the president-elect handled his transition? only four in ten americans, 40% approve of how donald trump has handled from election day to today. a majority, 52%, disapprove. here's another way to look at it. match it up with other presidents. 84% of americans approved of the way the current president, barack obama, handled his first transition. you see the numbers for bill clinton, george w. bush. pale numbers compared to the three most recent presidents. here's another way to look at how the american people view donald trump. by party. republicans, his support has dropped some from right after the election. republicans largely, though, approve of how he has handled the -- that's now. independents are skeptical of the new president. democrats, forget about it. only 12% right after the election. now 8% of democrats approve of how donald trump is handling his transition. you see the boycotts. democrats feel they're on safe ground when he this boycott the transition. will donald trump do a good job
as president? on this question, you can see it right there. the country is evenly divided. we have a polarized partisan country, polarized partisan guess early on about whether the president will do a good job. again, by party. 93% of republicans are optimistic. their new president will do a good job. independents, evenly split. the skepticism in the middle of the electorate. they are pessimist ek that the new presidency will be up to their standards. they don't think donald trump will do a good job. we saw this in the campaign, and we see it now. a big gender gap. approve of the presidential transition. women very skeptical. only 31% of women approve. half of men do. think donald trump will be a good president? nearly six in ten men are optimistic. only 40% of women think donald trump will be a good president. confidence has dropped since election day, and donald trump's ability to do the job again. 45% of men say that. more than six in ten women say from the election to today, they've lost confidence because of donald trump's actions and his statements. let's close with this.
this is personal favorability. 44% of americans now view their new president, president-elect for three more days, favorably. for george h.w. bush it was 50%. george w. bush, he had the contested election. 62%. bill clinton, barack obama, much higher standing than donald trump. again, donald trump begins his presidency with a very skeptical country. a divided country. high unpopularity numbers. i will close with this. our new president-elect, muck his many tweets this morning, says none of this is to be believed. >> and here's exactly what he says in that tweet. the same people who did the phony election polls and were so wrong are now doing approval rating polls. they are rigged. just like before." okay. that is his opinion. there's an abc-washington post poll, an nbc-wall street journal poll out that show all the same thing. that there's a deep degree of skepticism and a pretty even divide in the country, good job or bad job. i'm sorry for -- rigged aside -- >> he is wrong, though.
the national polls were largely accurate. she won popular vote by almost three million votes. now, his beef where he would have more grounds is on individual state polls. i'm starting to go into the weeds here, john, but the fact is national polling -- that's a national poll that cnn did -- was fairly accurate about this campaign's outcome. >> but -- this is -- forget what this is about for a minute. it's just if he doesn't like it, he attacks it. this is a trademark. if he doesn't like it, he attacks it. if he doesn't like it, he says it's rigged, false, fake news. it's something that -- get used to it. to this point, let's just step back. some 50, almost 50 house democrats say they're going to boycott the inauguration. it's happened in the past. they just don't talk about it as much. they want to make a point about it. 48% of the country say he will do a good job. what is the challenge? he is the least popular new president in our lifetime in memory if you go back and look through the polling. he doesn't want to deal with that, which is fine. i understand he doesn't want to deal with that publicly, but when he wants to govern in an
evenly divided congress, how does he do it? >> i think he has to make a choice. you can be a president who as long as you have your party and majority in congress who can actually get quite a bit done. if you look at what obama got done during his first two years with democrats in charge, and you can do a narrow party line vote on most of your priorities. we've also seen the down side from that in obama that it can turn off a lot of americans, and trump may have to decide that he is going to ram a lot through in the first two years and deal with the consequences later. he is a person who looks at the election and says i won. why would i have to change? as we all know, it's cliche, but it's true. running for president and winning is different than governing. >> because he is so different, normally -- normally -- we don't know if normal applies to donald trump. normally in the economy is humming, that will fade away. if people feel good about their pocketbook and economic life, the president gets some credit. i guess these numbers are rigged too, but in our poll 51% of americans say they think he will create good-paying jobs.
they think he will renegotiate nafta in a way that benefits the united states. he would say those are rigged. i would say in our poll there's a reason for the president-elect to say, okay, if i perform on the pocketbook issues i ran on in the campaign, i'll be fine. >> that's why a lot of people ended up voting for him in spite of all the things they didn't like because they really felt like he was strong on the economy and would create jobs. there are things he could do to help himself out in the meantime. he could give an inaugural address talking about unity, going deeper into being a president for all americans. he could have done that in his press conference talking about how he wanted to put his business aside because it's the most important thing for him to be able to represent every american. he could have gone out there on martin luther king day and did something to maybe ease the fears of minorities in the united states who think that he does not have respect for them. so far he has not tab any of these opportunities. obviously we'll see what's in his inaugural address, but he may just be sitting back and saying, wait, let me pass this piece of legislation, and you will have to rely on what i do for you rather than how i act or what i say when i'm in the white house, and then hopefully
everyone comes around. it seems like you could do a dash of both to start to hedge your bets. >> you also have -- i think his attacks on john lewis were so striking for some of those reasons. you know, he has opportunities every day when he wakes up to figure out a way to unify, and that was something -- usually his attacks are sort of -- he studies the person he is attacking and finds their vulnerability. this one was so off the mark because john lewis, you know, he attacked a strength of john lewis's who has practiced in sit ins and practiced in sort of egging on an opponent to overreact, which is what trump did, and so trump sort of lost that battle in a way that not only is he not unifying the country, but he is probably dragging his own numbers down. >> this is not from our poll. this is from the brand new nbc-wall street journal poll out today. they asked is the health care law, meaning is obama care a good idea or bad idea? obama care is now at its most popular point. just as the republicans prepare to repeal it.
45% of americans say it's a good idea. 41% say it's a bad idea. that reflects, a, it's been in place for a few years, but, b, the idea that now people feel like something might be taken away. the question is how does he do it? i want you to listen here. this is the house speaker paul ryan. republicans on capitol hill are annoyed with their new president. they won't use that word. they're annoyed with their new president because they want to go about the repeal system matticly. they've been boxed in by a republican president who sounds a lot like a democrat in saying i want insurance for everybody. listen to the house speaker. >> donald trump told the washington post over the weekend that everyone is going to have health insurance. accurate? >> well, it's everyone who wants to have health insurance. >> you think, yes, it will be that lower lower in two years, that uninsured rate here? >> the uninsured rate it's up to a person as to whether they want to buy health insurance or not. the government is not going to force you to buy something you don't want and you can't afford.
>> he is a philosophical conservative, and if you have paul ryan on truth serum, he would say it's not the role of the federal government to subsidyize health insurance for everyone in this country. we can do reforms, but he doesn't actually philosophically believe that that's the role the government should play in the life of americans, and trump does not have to put it mildly, strongly held conviction on this issue, but he doesn't want to pay a political price for having folks -- >> i -- >> i aguy -- die on the streets. >> maybe he does have strongly held conviction on this issue because he has said consistently that he zents want people on the streets. he doesn't want people to have it to lose it. he doesn't have strongly held conservative convictions on this, but i think he does. he was once for single payer. i think he has called him compassionate. the problem is he has a republican congress that thinks if we repeal obama care, why pass obama care? >> he almost -- he will
criticize -- he is not criticizing the policy. he is criticizing the messaging, and he wants a message that he can sell, and, you know, he is a businessman who, you know -- he almost doesn't care what the product is as long as he can sell it. >> one of the things about obama care that's so interesting to me is that, yes, there are definitely people who disagree with the policy, but obama care came to represent so much more than the actual health care law. it came to represent the bay that obama dealt with republicans. it came to represent his view of government. i think that this idea that the law ichts when you really get down to it could start to become more popular when people talk about taking it away is going to be a real phenomenon that republicans are going to have to grapple with as they try to explain how an individual who only has health care because of this law will be able to be covered under a new program. >> i think in the meantime it's presented some fun gymnastics for sean spicer as he prepares to head into the white house briefing room because he is the one sort of running in the
middle and saying, well, what he meant was we're going to bring costs down and that's going to broaden access and more people are going to be able to buy it. only people who want to. that's a position we're going to see a lot of donald trump's advisors and allies on the hill find themselves in over the course of the next four years. >> person helping craft trump's plan is congressman tom price, his choice to be health and human services secretary, who now faces some questions about some stock trading, buying stock in a health care company and then sponsoring legislation that would help that company. he just met with senator bernie sanders on capitol hill trying to get confirmed. this is part of the process. senator sanders says not only does he disagree with him on policy but he has ethics questions. >> the big question that looms here in the first year, and that is what is going to win the day? trump's rhetoric, which is much more populist, as you pointed out, or does he say the papers and on tv, but all the while that building behind us, they go about passing a much more conventional conservative market-oriented agenda that trump will probably sign into
law. the trump advisors, they are conventional republicans. they just want this to not be real, but trump keeps saying it. >> he this think they have a black pen, not a red pen at the white house that will sign their legislation and not get involved in the details. >> wolf starts after a very quick break. (becky) i've seen such a change in einstein since he started eating beneful. the number one ingredient in it is beef. (einstein) the beef is fantastic! (becky) he has enough energy to believe that he can jump high enough to catch a bird. (vo) try beneful originals with beef. with real beef as the number one ingredient. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage.
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hello. i'm wolf briblitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. in three days donald trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the united states. wherever you are watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. the world of politics turned on its ear today. the chinese president championed free trade over at the world economic forum. leaders of the republican party directly contradicted the president-elect's comments on nato, and then there was this. the russian president vladimir putin defending donald trump