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tv   Wolf  CNN  January 17, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST

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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 defending a dossier with
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unfounded allegations that russia had compromising information about the president-elect. >> translator: these are clear false fictions. trump came to moscow. i don't know when he came, a few years ago, and he was not a political actor. we didn't even know about his political ambitions. he was just a businessman. one of the rich people of america. do you think that the security services are thrown out after every american billionaire? no. this is complete nonsense. >> our senior international correspondent matthew chance is joining us live from moscow. our justice correspondent evan perez is in new york. our international diplomatic editor nick robertson is joining us from london. how unusual is it for vladimir putin to speak out about an incoming american president? >> it would be highly unusual
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and unprecedented, in fact. one of the classifications between donald trump and vladimir putin is that they're almost constantly defending one another and praising one another. this is the latest instance of that. donald trump saying that this whole dossier, this whole scandal is an attempt to undermine the incoming administration of donald trump. we heard from the soundbyte there that he was talking about how it was not possible that the russian security service would have any kind of compromising personal informational compromat, as they call it here, on president-elect trump, and saying this is all part of the obama administration. the outgoing administration in the united states. their attempt to subvert. an extraordinary defense of vladimir putin and coming a few days before donald trump takes office. >> give us some context on the dossier, what cnn reported about
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it and putin's response to it now. >> well, wolf, this is one thing we know that vladimir putin did say and that we -- i think we all agree on is that these are uncorroborated allegations. they've not been verified by anyone. the fbi and the u.s. intelligence community has spent some time trying to see what they can get on various parts of these allegations, and as far as we know, they have not been able to stand these up as yet. it is something that they're still working on. on that account, both donald trump and vladimir putin are absolutely right. we at c nnn they were all over washington, and it was a way to make sure they were aware of what was being -- what -- that this dossier was simply out
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there. western buzz feed that is -- but what is remarkable about what happened today with vladimir putin's press conference is how much alignment there is in the way he describes this document -- these documents and the way the trump -- donald trump and his team have been describing it. it's almost very word for word the type of response that we've seen from them. putin today says that the people who prepared this are worse than prostitutes simply because they were donald trump's political opponents, and that's exactly true. we know that is where these allegations came from. they were dug up by people who were enemies of his. republicans and democrats. right now it's now in the hands of the intelligence agencies to try to see what is truth from fiction. he said nato was obsolete. that's causing a great deal of
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consternation among u.s. allies. there's more reaction. talk about the reaction to his latest comments on nato. >> yeah, woflt. in the context of what we're hearing is -- this is a 70 year flip-flop, if you will. what we're hearing is reaction in europe to donald trump's comments about nato being obsolete. not fit for purpose. not paying its way. his comments that brexit was a good thing, that more countries might follow suit. that he is not really concerned one way or another whether the european union remains united. this is a flip-flop over 70 years. on the one hand you have vladimir putin saying positive things about the future u.s. president and for the first time in so many decades you have now european politicians, french,
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german, and others saying the french foreign minister saying in answer to donald trump's, the only way to defend against this is for the europe to stay united. you have the former french brm saying this is -- this is essentially declaring war on europe by not being clear about whether he wants a united european union or not, and you have the german foreign minister echoing what some of donald trump's chosen appointees for defense, for state department has said. that german foreign minister said how can the president-elect go against what his income, his pick to lead the pentagon, general james mattis has said about nato, that dmato is vital to united states. this is the level of consternation. this feeling that they are out of sorts with the united states for the first time in seven years, and then at the same time some warming of a relationship with russia.
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s xijing ping. globalization has made millions of lives better. that's in reaction to trump's intention to push the u.s. economy in a more isolationist direction. especially when it comes to trade barriers. ironic, surreal, unrealistic. it was the most extraordinary thing, wolf. here you had the communist party in the head of china coming to the heart of capitalism's elite and giving a speech that included quotes from charles dickins, the gettysburg address.
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the thrust of it, wolf, that was all about globalization. it's not responsible for many of the ills of the world at the moment. more than that china was determined to be part of the global economy. now, that sounds like a bit of -- that we sort of heard before, but it has to be seen in context. as you rightly say, of a u.s. that seems to be disengaging and putting more isolationist policies on the agenda, whilest you have xi from china saying quite clearly, look, the oceans may be choppy, the winds may be severe, the seas may be stormy, but you don't sail back to harbor just because things get difficult. what xi said is to right down the barrel to donald trump. don't start a trade war. don't start protectionism. if you do start a trade war, everybody will lose.
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>> our richard quest, thank you. thanks for all of you. our chief political analyst gloria borger is with me here in washington. gloria, how unusual is it for the president-elect to have inserted himself on the world stage even before dramatically being sworn in on friday? >> it's completely unprecedented. donald trump either inadvertently or deliberately has been under cutting the sitting president of the united states, and i think that's part of the confusion from foreign leaders as well as confusion about what he is exactly saying because it is, in fact, quite different from what many of his cabinet people were saying in their confirmation hearings.
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>> to me it's undistilled, modified donald trump. a lot of the things wea've hear him talk about, which is trade or immigration or american first foreign policy, we heard that on the campaign trail. the confusion is about what happens with his members of his cabinet when they disagree with him. we don't know what the impact will be on other issues. >> trump did say over the weekend something rather dramatic. he said i want my cabinet nominees to say what's on their mind, to tell us how they really feel, even if they disagree with me. there's nothing wrong with that, but what you are suggesting is that creates some confusion internationally. >> it does create confusion internationally. they're hearing tillerson say that he supports the transpacific trade agreement. we know donald trump doesn't
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support that. they heard tillerson say that he had not yet talked to donald trump about russia, for example. what this -- and this is a question. we don't know when push comes to shove and donald trump has to confront some of his cabinet members on issues of great importance to the world what he will zo with disagreement. will he trust his gut check or not. i would add one thing, wolf. this is going to be a real test of the balance of power in this country because congress has a lot of republicans who disagree with donald trump. they will clearly assert themselves as we see it occurring on the investigation of the russia hack, with john mccain and lindsey graham, et cetera. i think what we're going to see is a congress that is going to assert itself and maybe very much conflicting with the sitting president of their own party. we're going to have to see how that plays out.
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>> coming up, the vice president-elect mike pence is heading to capitol hill today while two of the incoming trump administration nominees head to the senate for their confirmation hearings. they may have violated the law. we're going live to capitol hill. that's next. with accident forgiveness they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. indeed. it's good to be in, good hands. [he has a new business teaching lessons. rodney wanted to know how his business was doing... he got quickbooks. it organizes all his accounts, so he knows where he stands. ahhh...that's a profit. way to grow, rodney! visit
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vice president-elect mike pence makes the rounds up on capitol hill today. a spokesman says pence will be meeting with lawmakers from both parties. our senior political reporter manu raju is up on capitol hill ripe. what more can you tell us about the vice president's visit? vice president-elect's visit, i should say. >> soon to be vice president. trying to get on the same page with members of his own party as the administration takes shape and comes into power come friday. pence plays a pretty significant role as the key liaison to capitol hill as the trump agenda really starts to take shape. now, what we know is that donald trump's plans for obama care and the republican plans to replace
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obama care may not be really united at this point. that's because donald trump gave a weekend interview to the washington post in which he said that he wants to try to insure everybody with health insurance, with his obama care plan. i have talked to several top republicans who are not sure what that means. they have not seen any details of a trump plan, and they're going forward with their own approach, a piece by piece approach to try to replace elements of the law and they want to focus on actually reducing costs. not so much expanding coverage. this is part of an effort today mike pence to get on the same page with his own party on the key issue, wolf. >> very interesting. manu, the latest round of senate confirmation hearings gets underway next hour. what should we expect? >> well, probably some fireworks in the evening session. that's what betsy devoss, the education department secretary nominee. she's someone that senate democrats have targeted as part of their effort to try to stop
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some of donald trump's nominees. they are concerned with their positions on vouchers and about public schools saying that she does not have enough experience on the issue of public schooling. she does have significant support from republicans to defend her record going forward. also in the next hour, ryan zincy, the montana congressman chosen by donald trump to lead the interior department facing questions about his views on selling federal land, about possibly opening up new areas to oil and gas drilling and as well about his views on climate change. his nomination seen as less controversial than devoss's, which is being targeted by democrats who are waiting for actually more information about whether or not she has any conflicts of interest given that she's a billionaire and has vast financial holdings. they have yet to see paperwork from the office of government ethics on her nomination, wolf. >> and we'll, of course, says have extensive coverage of both of those hearings. you're reporting about a
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questionable stock purchase by the health secretary nominee, tom price, getting a lot of attention from lawmakers as you reported price bought some stock in a medical device maker only days later he introduced the measure that would have benefitted the companies. just spoke to the senate democratic leader chuck schumer. what was his reaction? >> well, he is calling for an ethics investigation, wolf, and he believes that price may have broken the law. if he knew about it. he is questioning price's defense that a broker purchased this without his knowledge. some sharp words from the democratic leader. take a listen. >> this is very, very troubling. this is not some broad legislation, cut all medicare and affect some large company like johnson & johnson. this is a very narrow specific company that dealt with implants, hip and knee, and the legislation specifically affects implants. he puts it in. a week after he buys the stock,
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that cries out for an investigation. >> by the house ethics committee. >> by the house ethics committee or who knows? he knew about it, it could be a violation of the law. >> you think he broke the law? >> if he knew about it. now, they say there is a broker kind of strangs that the broker would pick this stock. i think there's a very good chance that he will not be confirmed. >> now, in order for him to not be confirmed, republicans would have to vote against tom price's nomination, and we haven't gotten any indication of whether there will be enough defections to block price's nomination, which goes before his first confirmation hearing on wednesday, and price's office is pushing back on these reports saying that this is a smear campaign launched by democrats, but interestingly, wolf, price
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recognizing that the stock that he purchased could be a liability if he were to become health and human services secretary, promising to divest from that company because of possible conflict of interest concerns. >> one of the cornerstone campaign promises has been on health care. he has vowed to repeal and replace obama care as soon as possible. he could be the point person, the man we've been talking about, the georgia congressman dr. tom price. the nominee for secretary of health and human services. joining us now are national politics reporter m. j. lee, who has been a lot of reporting on this. price's confirm's hearing, as we noted, set for tomorrow. how has the trump team actually prepared him for these tough questions? he is going to be asked on health care plans. >> well, wolf, the reason this is such a highly anticipated
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hearing tomorrow is because of the ongoing discussions to repeal and replace obama care as you and manu just discussed. now, keep in mind tom price, the georgia congressman, he has been one of washington's most vocal and critical members when it comes to obama care, and he has in the past released detailed legislation to roll back the health care system. presumably, if he is confirmed as hhs secretary, he could play a very influential role in the party's efforts to repeal and replace obama care. that being said, i am told, wolf, by a transition official that price actually doesn't want the focus of the hearing tomorrow to be about his own obama care legislation. the way it was described for ple is that price doesn't want to signal, but he is asking federal lawmakers to endorse his own bill, and a part of his thinking is that he understands that being a policymaker is very different from moving into a position where he would be
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implementing and overseeing policy. another interesting tidbit that i should mention too, wolf, is that price has not been a part of the ongoing debate among trump transition officials to write this obama repeal and replace plan that trump has been talking about. remember, trump said over the weekend that he is actually close to finishing this bill and that he wants to release it as soon as price has been confirmed. now we're learning from a transition official that price has not been a part of those meetings and discussions. all told, wolf, the confirmation hearing tomorrow could be very contentious. he obviously could face many questions. especially from democratic senators about his past financial investments. coming up this hour on cnn, we're going to hear directly from two lawmakers and the
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future of obama care and the dmgz who are boycotting president-elect trump's inauguration on friday. and mr. trump is coming into office with the worst approval rating of any recent u.s. president by a long shot. we're going to break down the latest numbers. that's next. stay with us. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. and if you do have an accident, our claims centers are available to assist you 24/7. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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>> donald trump will be sworn in as 459th president of the united states in three days. he is coming into office with the lowest approval rating of any recent u.s. president. the cnn-orc poll shows 47% approve of the way that president-elect has handled the
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transition. that's 44 points lower than president obama back in 2009. it's also lower than presidents george w. bush and bill clinton. how do the disapproval numbers compare to the poll numbers he had immediately after the election? >> right. you just showed historically the other presidents at this point at the inauguration, he is not measuring up well at all. measuring up against himself post-election, take a look at this, wolf. we asked that question immediately after the election in november. 45% disapproved of how he was handling the transition in november. that's up seven points now. 52%, a majority of the country, disapproving now. his own transition is just not wearing well with the public. >> it was asked why those numbers are increasingly bad as far as the transition for the president-elect. listen to what he said.
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>> well, i think you can assume that it is because he seems to want to engage with every windmill that he can find rather than focus on the large aspect of assuming the most important position on earth, and obviously -- apparently according to the polls, many americans are not happy with that approach when he is not even assumed the presidency. >> i suspect he is complaining that trump seems to respond angrily to every bit of criticism that's levelled against him, whereas he should be stepping back taking the high road. >> right. as we know, we've seen this behavior throughout the whole campaign. even looking at donald trump prior to being a candidate, he just can't let something go. he doesn't seem to have any desire or ability to let a pitch go by, let a critique go by, and what we've seen throughout this transition period is a lot of
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contenti contention, chaos, consternation, and i think that that is, you know, the cause of seeing these depressed numbers. >> the -- our new poll also shows that a lot of americans are skeptical that he can actually keep some of his major commitments to the american people. will trump defeat isis? 42% said likely. 57% said not likely. only 44% believe he will build a wall along the border with mexico. 55% not likely. just 29% say he will get mexico to reimburse the united states for the cost. 71% say not likely. what do you make of those numbers? >> well, i mean, think about all those rallies where he would say to his crowd, who says going to pay for the wall? his die hard supporters no doubt believe he can get mexico to pay for it. those numbers are troubling. when we tested economic figures, wolf, on the economy, the country actually has very high expectations that he is going to accomplish his goal. some 61% of americans say that he can get jobs, especially create jobs in those economically depressed areas.
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when you ask about renegotiating nafta, says when you ask about tariffs, these are issues when it's the issue number one, the economy, that there are high expectations and so if donald trump can meet them where a majority of the country thinks he will, perhaps his overall numbers will go up as well. >> that's an encouraging number for him. 61% think he can create those high paying, good jobs for americans. david, thanks for the latest numbers. >> thank you, wolf. up next, senator rand paul. i'll ask him about the democrats' boycott of the inauguration on friday. also, we'll talk about republican efforts to repeal and replace obama care and whether ethics questions aimed at some of trump's cabinet choices could hurt those efforts. senator rand paul live. we'll discuss right after this. . laser precise 0.4 millimeter tip for our most defined line. all-day wear. waterproof. maybelline's master precise liner. ♪ maybelline new york. make it happen.
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>> the first of this week's eight cabinet confirmation hearings starts in about a half hour or so. one of the most watched hearings will be tomorrow with congressman tom price, president-elect trump's choice for health and human services secretary. kentucky republican senator rand paul sits on the senate health education labor and pensions committee which will handle that hearing for congressman price. senator, thanks very much for joining us. >> absolutely. >> so are you concerned about these questions that have been raised about the ethics -- the ethics qualifications for congressman price that presumably not everything has been presented to the ethics committee yet? >> you know, i'm pretty excited about congressman price's nomination. he has been one of the innovative thinkers, one of the people putting out, you know, great ideas for trying to let
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individuals pool together to buy insurance at cheaper prices. i think he has a lot of great ideas, and he will be great at hhs, bit i think he will be more than just the secretary of hhs. he is going to be also involved with bringing forward some of the innovative market solutions to try to help people get insurance at a cheaper cost. >> as you know, cnn has been reporting that congressman price bought stock in a medical device manufacturer just days before pushing legislation that likely would have benefitted that company. will you be asking him about that tomorrow? >> i guess the question i would ask is when did he become in favor of not having taxes on medical devices? my guess is probably he has a 20-year record of being eposed to that. i think that every republican up here was against the medical devices tax. i think it's probably an overstatement to say somehow his buying and selling had to do with a position that probably he has had his whole entire public career. >> senator schumer, the
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democratic leader in the senate thinks he could have some trouble getting confirmed, do you agree with him? >> no. i think the democrats have assured that all of the nominees will win because the democrats have said that we don't need 60 votes anymore, and so i think -- i haven't seen any rebellion on the republican side, and so i think republicans are going to vote to let president trump have his picks. this is the way historically it had been done anyway. for the most part, you know, right after george w. bush was in, he got most of his nominees, president obama got most of his nominees. i don't know. i think there's still some sour grapes over the election, but we're going to work through this nomination process, whatever it takes, but i don't see any of the nominees probably being defeat defeated. do you whan he means? this is his replacement plan
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going to be covering everyone in america with affordable health care insurance? >> i think that's a goal of everybody's plan is the goal of my replacement plan is to have most amount of insurance at the least amount of cost. even a governmental system is not 100%. i agree with donald trump. the goal should be to insure everybody. we should have the goal of being 100% access. it's not really that we have a difference of opinion on that. democrats want the same thing. i think we all have the same motives. it's really the debate is about how you practically get to that goal. >> so if someone -- if people can't afford any health insurance, the government will give them the health insurance. is that what you want? >> well, we already have that. basically if you can't afford medical care in our country, we have medicaid, so we already have a government system that
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supports those who don't have an income. what we're trying to figure out is for those who do have an income, for those that do work, how do we find out -- how do we get insurance at a reasonable cost? the failure of obama care was that it made the cost higher, so if you are a working individual and you're working class and you are struggling to get ahead, obama care made your insurance too expensive to be able to afford. they said they would subsidyisu it, but where does the money come from? you need a thriving economy. the more people working, the less people have to be on government assistance and the less people have government assisted insurance. you need a thriving economy. you also need a marketplace where insurance marketplace allows inexpensive insurance. you need to let individuals band together so they can buy it as a group. then you need to help them through health savings accounts so they can safe for their family's insurance. >> the russian president vladimir putin today weighed in on the transition of power here
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in the united states saying he thought the obama administration was actually trying to undermine the incoming president. putin also said allegations that russia monitored trump during a trip to russia a few years ago, in his words, was rubbish. >> i don't have any control over the russian president, but i think it's unseemly that people in our intelligence community, the cia director, is out there giving press krnss criticizing the incoming president. i think that's inexcusable. i would not have anybody in the cia that's publicly criticizing the president. it's not their job. it's not their role. it's, frankly, unseemly, and it takes away from the credibility. the intelligence community has a great loss of credibility in the last couple of years. james clapper came to the senate and lied under oath. now we have the head of the cia publicly criticizing the incoming president. i think that's not the role of the cia. the cia should be in the
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background trying to protect our country and not out there trying to score political points. i think it's a terrible and tragic day, and it hurts all of our intelligence gathering and their credibility to have the head of the cia out there doing this. >> the cia is behaving as if they were in nazi germany, is what the president-elect said. doesn't the cia director have the right to defend the men and women in the intelligence community? >> i think it's very important that private information that's discussed in private intelligence briefings be private. classified information should not be leaked to the press. i don't know who did this, but i can tell you in all likelihood, it wasn't a republican. it wasn't donald trump. it wasn't his people. this was either leaked to networks and other organizations by intelligence officials or by democrats that are part of the elite eight that get these briefings. there's only a few people who could have leaked this
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information. the reason why this is important is that you don't want public officials who are being blackmailed to be afraid to go to the fbi and say here's this information. if a public official takes private information that you are being blackmailed with to the fbi and then it leaks into the public domain, that is inexcusable, and really somebody should go to jail and we have not talked about this enough. a leak like that is so significant if it came from the intelligence community, they should go to jail. if it came from the obama administration, they should go to jail. you cannot allow the leaking of classified documents, particularly whens it goes -- >> i don't know who leaked this. i'm telling you what my position is that it's inexcusable, and someone should be prosecuted for the leaks. >> you disagree with him making a comparison to nazi germany? >> i can only do my -- i can
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only vouch for what i'm for and for my statements. i would spend too much time if i had to defend everybody else's statements, but i would say my position is that it's inexcusable and someone should be prosecuted, and it's not just about this instance. it's about how we move forward as a country. are we going to make it so public officials are not going to report blackmail because they're afraid that either the fbi or the cia is going to leak this to the press? i don't know if they did it, but it was either them or president obama's administration or lead democrats in congress. it's a very narrow window. there's about ten people that were aware of this briefing, and it became public. now, i'm not blaming the news for reporting it. what i'm blaming is the government officials who leaked this broke the law and they ought to be prosecuted. >> before i let you go, senator, i want to get your quick reaction to more than, what, three dozen democratic members of the house boycotting friday's
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inauguration. we're showing some pictures of some of them. not all of them, but go ahead and give me your reaction. >> you know, before the election there was a lot of talk. everybody was saying trump is not going to, you know, consider the election legitimate if he loses. then it turns out it's completely the opposite. hillary clinton lost, says and her supporters are trying to say it's not legitimate. i think that is not a good idea because it's not good -- you know, even president obama realizes this that when an election happens, we should have a smooth transition even if our candidate didn't win. we should acknowledge that the elections are legitimate. we probably have more legitimate elections in our country than any other country on the planet, so i think to delegitize our licks a m elections is a mistake. >> senator rand paul, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. we're going to speak with him about his decision to skip the event right after this.
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at last count 47 house
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democrats are boycotting president-elect trump's inaugural ceremony. three others won't be attending and citing other reasons. congressman ra ul -- is one of them. >> it isn't a victory party, it's honoring the smooth transition of the power of the president of the united states is the argument, so why have you decided you can't attend and affect honor this principal american democracy? >> well, the principal of american democracy is not in question. the president-elect will be taking the office and will be the 45th president of the united
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states. the issue at here is at that mantle with the president of the united states, with it comes a great deal of responsibility. with it comes a -- it's a solemn responsibility, it is a difficult responsibility and quite frankly, the comportment and the thin-skinned response to everything by trump since the election and before the election leads one to conclusion that that mantle -- that he's not ready for that mantle. but beyond that, questioning the smooth transition or form of government that we had you know, clinton, carter, bush one, bush two, obama, they understood this transition period was about talking about unification, about making sure and the majority of
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americans don't feel there's a place at the table. that they can dialogue, that there are issues and concerns that might have lost in the presidential election are still valid valid and real in this divided country of ours. >> do you believe that donald trump will be a legitimate president? >> he will be the president of the united states, the legitimacy question, and thank you for that, wolf, has to do with his open comportment and how he accepts the responsibility of president. the legitimacy questions come up when cyberattacks by russia that have been validated and verified by every, every intelligence agency that we have he dismisses them in a cavalier way, those are serious intrusion into our democracy, any conclusion needs to be investigated but that's conflict of interest, draining the swamp, the swamp is
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mechanici becoming murkier, so the american people with trust it is in good hands and i think what this president-elect has failed to do is provide any real assurance to the americans that after the election there is a place in this government, this representative government of ours, for them and that there are concerns and issues will be heard. that has not happened. the attack on john lewis was not only an afront to him but to many who believe that the civil rights era, voting rights act that allowed people like myself to be in congress were legitimate, good changes for this nation and the list goes on. >> i just want to be precise, congressman, you say he will be president of the unite, but
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you're at least reluctant to say he will be the legitimate president of the united states, is that right? >> figuratively, he is going to be president and as a consequence of an election. the legitimacy issue that you asked me about, i define it as capacity. and he has not shown the capacity at this point to accept that enormous responsibility and the unseemly behavior to senator rand's word regarding how he responds to any criticism, t to any news conference, to ak except and be president of all americans that question is legitimacy yes. >> so you will not be here but boycotting with many of your --
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thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. and that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room. in the meantime, the news will continue right here on cnn right after a quick break.
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hi there, i'm brooke baldwin you're watching cnn, right now inauguration preparations are underway, in a matter of three days donald trump will be -- to the highest level in the land. here is the latest polling from our cnn poll. dogging the president elect