tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 22, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield here in washington, d.c., this inauguration weekend. we begin this hour with the first 100 days alert. the white house. the white house announcing today it is in the beginning stages of discussions to move the u.s. embassy to israel -- in israel. white house press secretary sean spicer telling cnn, quote, we are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject, end quote. moving the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem was one of president trump's pledges during the campaign. that alert coming on the heels
of a phone call between president trump and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. we have coverage on this breaking story. we begin with jeff zeleny at the white house with more on this. right after the phone call president trump heading to the east wing of the white house for a swearing-in of his senior staff. we're looking at live pictures right now. that could happen at any moment. but first talk about israel and what potentially is the issue here. >> good afternoon, fredricka. by now president trump should have had that conversation with prime minister netanyahu. it was scheduled for about 30 minutes ago. they were going to talk about a variety of things, of course, including the embassy, as you mentioned earlier, but also syria, also iran. this is really the beginning of the relationship in its official sense between president trump and the prime minister here. of course, the u.s. is essentially resetting its relationship, indeed a very troubled relationship that president obama and the obama
administration had with prime minister netanyahu. we do not have a readout yet of that telephone call, fredricka, but we are likely to hear from president trump this afternoon in the east room of the white house as he swears in many of his senior advisers here who will work in his administration, help set up his administration in the coming days. these are all assistants to the president, people who serve in a variety of capacities from foreign policy to national security to communications to other positions here. so the pictures that we will see coming up here shortly are these aides and some of their family members who are gathered in the east room here of the white house and president trump is likely to speak as well. but as soon as we get more information on that phone call, fredricka, we'll be sure to bring it to you. >> we're still awaiting information on this phone call. meantime, this swearing in, what's our expectation about president trump answering any questions, responding to a host of issues that have arisen
within the last 24 hour. realize that mostly family members and staff members who are in that audience, but what's your expectation? >> well, i would be surprised if president trump would answer any questions at this setting this afternoon. but who knows? this is his white house now, his chance to talk about anything he would like to. we spent the last essentially 24 hours or so talking about crowd sizes, talking about how he was frngly upset by the comparisons of his crowd and sizes to a previous inaugurations and certainly the marches yesterday. so the white house, i'm told, from senior advisers, want to in one respect change the conversation and move on to what he would like to talk about. he'll be doing this today in the east room, but as we saw yesterday when he visited the cia, anything is possible when he speaks. we'll have to wait and see what he says. he later today will be greeting some first responders and military officials thanking them for their help in this inauguration as well. so we are expected to see the
president twice today on sunday. his second full day in office. >> all right, jeff zeleny, we'll check back with you outside the white house as we continue to watch the activity there in the east room. thank you so much. let's turn now to oren liebermann. has been there any reaction on the israeli side to that phone call today? >> just like jeff said, we haven't gotten the readout of that phone call yet. we do expect it shortly coming from the prime minister's office. this is something he announced early this morning given an indication how seriously he vieweds this phone call. at the sunday cabinet meeting where he said exactly what he wanted to talk about and made it clear what his number one priority is. here's a part of what he said. the supreme goal of the state of israel continues to be stopping the iranian threat and stopping the threat from the bad nuclear deal signed with iran. netanyahu was probably the most outspoken critic of the iran deal internationally, although he went quiet in the final months of the obama administration, he is renewing
iz efforts to either change or repeal the deal now that he has president trump in office. he's made it clear that's one of his priorities. he'll talk about the israeli/palestinian issue. i suspect he'll talk about settlements and settlement construction, where is it okay, where will trump allow him to build in the settlements either in west jerusalem or the east bank. and then syria, one of the major concerns with a russian presence there or a are newed or empowered syrian president bashar al assad. that's one of his concerns. and maybe he'll go a step further and ask trump to recognize israeli annexation of the golan heights. that's something no american administration has ever done. but as netanyahu said, this is a new era for everyone. >> we're also hearing this move could be held up by jordan's king abdullah ii. what would be the role potentially of jordan on weighing in on the location of the american embassy? >> i would say held up is probably too strong a term
there. there's no doubt that many other countries in the middle east would oppose such a move, but do they have the power to stop president trump from making the move? that is doubtful. the palestinians made it clear they'll work with every other country they can, in fact, every other international organization they can to do whatever they can to convince trump not to move the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, which would effectively recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. the palestinians have said for them that would be a violation of international law, that they would pursue, additionally they said they would consider revoking recognition of the state of israel. that would be a game changer in terms of relations between the israelis and the palestinians and between the palestinians and the u.s. that would have far reaching consequences, but that's just an indication of the lengths the palestinians and the jordanians will go to to see if they can head off this move of the embassy. but as we just heard from jeff, the white house making it clear the discussions, even if they are in the early stables, have begun. >> oren liebermann, thank you so
much. let's discuss this more, this phone call with netanyahu and donald trump, let's talk about it with our panel and take a closer look at trump's busy week ahead as well. news that trump will not release his tax returns even after the audit is complete. a lot on the table here. joining me now is cnn global affairs correspondent elise lavin, a cnn political commentator, also the assistant editor for "the washington post," he's a historian, professor, and the washington bureau chief for the chicago sun-times. elise, let me begin with you. this call to netanyahu, is it an indicator that trump is on to serious business now after spending the first few hours in office really talking about crowd size and a relationship with the media and now this first order of business. >> well, i think, fred, he can chew gum and walk at the same time. yes, there's been all this kind of distraction about the crowd size, but that doesn't mean that
the president hasn't been kind of signing executive orders, getting ready to swear in some of his cabinet and his advisers. we're focused on that distraction about crowd size, but clearly the white house already announced that the mexican golf would be coming, the mek can foreign minister, british prime minister theresa may will be coming later this week. so clearly especially on the foreign policy front, i think that this white house is getting down to business. this call with prime minister netanyahu so important. there's a lot of focus on the embassy and we're expecting some kind of announcement this week, not necessarily that the u.s. is moving it, but that president trump will reaffirm his pledge during the campaign to move the embassy. it doesn't happen on day one. there's a lot of preparation and a lot of consultation that needs to happen. i think at first you might see the ambassador, david freeman, once he's confirmed, living and working in jerusalem. but as oren and jeff said,
there's a lot of issues on the agenda. when i talk to israeli officials they say the embassy is not their first priority. their priority is stopping iran's nuclear program. their priority is dealing with syria and hezbollah. also they want to improve their relationship with gulf allies. so we're focused on some of these, you know, kind of really hot button issue, but there's a lot of issues in the relationship with israel that i think they're going to be discussed and i think we could see an early visit from the prime minister next month. >> why is this potentially such a tenuous issue on moving the u.s. embassy? >> well obviously the u.s. right now does not recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. it feels that this is one issue that needs toy about discussed in a context of a comprehensive peace deal between israelis and palestinians, but you know, president trump throughout the campaign has said i'm ready to move the embassy and to recognize israel as the capital. now, will that be in the context of talks with the palestinians? will this be a unilateral move?
what is the timeline, how specific will he get? i'm not sure the administration has the answers right now. it's very early. the secretary of state rex tillerson hasn't even been sworn in. president trump hasn't been able to talk to his cabinet about what the long-term implications are. i think you'll see baby steps on this. i think you're going to see some kind of gestures towards making those plans permanent. right now there's a waiver in place that successive presidents have signed against moving it. that waiver will end in june. i think you'll see these baby steps, then i do agree that this president is intense on moving the embassy. everyone's looking to see whether that he about in the context of some kind of larger mideast peace plan. >> julian, on the world stage, why is this so important to president trump? >> first, this is one of the most volatile regions and volatile issues that american presidents face. and we've seen successive
presidents try to bring a resolution. it's the ultimate goal in many ways on foreign policy. the only one who has had some real success was president carter back in the late 1970s brokering a deal between israel and the egyptians. second, it's political. there's been a lot of talk through the campaign about president trump and the jewish community. he's had a two-track system, a lot of criticism the rhetoric his campaign used, some of the groups that supported him, on the other hand he's aligned himself with pretty hardline figures including ambassador friedman, seeing that move through. so people are watching politically where he'll be on this. >> lynn? >> may i add when you talk about the politics of it, these are domestic politics more than international. because israel's got a lot more substantive issues than where the embassy is. >> right. >> and here's one of the things to think about. that the politics of it have as
much to do with the republican base consisting ofi zionists as the american community, the trump has to do with mega conservative jewish donors and at large which is overwhelmingly democratic. with the jewish community at large there are divisions within the community as to the right approach, the left to left, the center, kind of said in shorthand, j street apac, this is a trump move more than an international solution. >> it's also about the iran deal, which is one of president obama's major legacies. and -- >> yes. >> president trump has been very consistently critical of this. many people surrounding him have. i would assume that this is a first step at testing just how durable this is. >> if it's a first step of
domestic policy and the first step of -- >> it's not in a vacuum though, right? this is going to have reverberations through our world. to be frank, a lot of arab countries are very sick of the israeli/palestinian issue. it's a thorn in their side. they want to have better relationships with israel on security, intelligence, diplomatic issues on syria, on economy and trade. they're just waiting to put this past them. but i think something like this without, you know, thoughtfully preparing the ground will see a lot of protests in the region and these are headaches that the arab states don't necessarily want. >> if this is a follow-through of campaign promises, another campaign promise was the release of taxes after being elect ed. now there's a stunning statement about tax returns. kellyanne conway saying that trump will not release his taxes even after an audit is
completed. so david, how much of a possible problem is this? >> well, first of all, when we look back on the last year and a half, it seems unlikely that president trump was ever going to release his tax returns. one thing that worked for trump and his team over time was the idea that, you know, unless something wasn't working, they continued doing it. it never was a problem for them that they didn't release tax returns. so they didn't and they won't. >> this was kellyanne conway on this issue. >> the white house response is he won't release his tax returns. we litigated this all through the election, people didn't care. most americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while president trump is in office, not what his look like. and you know full well that trump -- president trump and his family are complying with all the ethic lal rules, everything they need to do to step away from his businesses and be a
full-time president. >> we've said this ad nauseam. the first major party nominee since '72 that hasn't released his taxes. but julian, donald trump has said he's doing it his way. he made that promise on the campaign but those who have great support of donald trump really trust him. is this now a trust issue or the beginning of an erosion especially of trust? >> it's not a political problem for him in that it's true, his supporters didn't care. but it's a democratic problem, small "d." the reason we have those laws is that so that presidents can't have everything their own way. there are certain measures of account aekt to make sure there's not conflict of interest taking place. this is an unusual presidency. he's not divested himself of his business. it's just a door away with his
sons. >> he says he's not breaking any laws by doing so. he says because he's president he really doesn't have to. but there are many in the legal community who are arguing that because there is a clause in that lease with the federal government for that old post office building that says that someone in elected office would not be able to profit from, you know, the consequence of a lease. >> and other issues will emerge in terms of security, in terms of deals with other governments. we don't even know the extent of his holdings. i think that's the issue. >> specifically on this quickly, white house.gov was taken over by the trump people. they left a lot of the features of the obama white house on it including the "we the people" petition, petition number one, i think i looked before the show, it has 100,000 signatures on it for president trump to release his tax returns. we'll see if the people weigh in. >> thank you so much, to everybody. elise labott, and everybody. coming up, the president on
his first full day in office, blasting the media calling the press dishonest in our inauguration coverage. not just the president directly. sean spicer, a direct messenger of the president reiterating that claim. that's next. >> the president is committed to unifying our countrynd that was the focus of his inaugural address. this kind of dishonesty in the media, challenging the bringing our nation together is making it more difficult. introducing the new turbocharged volkswagen alltrack with 4motion all-wheel drive. soon to be... everywhere.
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we're awaiting president trump who is expected to attend the swearing in on assistants in the east wing. they're taking their oaths in the east wing, they will be momentarily. we'll be bringing you this live as it happens. donald trump spending his first few days in office the same way he spent much of his campaign, at war with the press. this morning one of his top aides railed against the media and the coverage of the inaugural ceremonies. >> why the president asked the white house press secretary to come out in front of the podium
for the first time and utter a falsehood. why did he do that? it undermines the credibility of the entire white house press office -- >> don't be so overly dramatic about it, chuck. you're saying it's a falsehood and they're giving sean spicer our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. >> all right. cnn's brian stelter is following this story and is joining me now. does this set the stage of more to come. that was combative, a fair enough word? >> some reporters who expected a contentious relationship are surprised it's so severe, so bad, so quickly. here we are the second full day of the trump presidency. looking at what kellyanne conway there said talking about alternative facts. this is a phrase being mocked all over social media, being criticized even by the merriam webster dictionary people. facts are facts.
falsehoods are falsehoods. from trump himself on saturday from his press secretary sean spicer and kellyanne conway and reince priebus. ing what priebus said, he said the media is obsessed with trying to take down trump. >> i'm saying there's an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president. we're not going to sit around and let it happen. we're going to fight back tooth and nail every day and twice on sunday. >> twice on sunday. a longtime trump aide say almost the exact same thing to me this morning. you in the media, you all are obsessed first with trying to focus on the popular vote, then on russian interference, now on this issue about crowd size. in other words, the view from the white house today is that it's the media trying to delegitimize this president. i would flip that around, though, and say this administration has been trying for a long time on the campaign trail and now in the white house
to delegitimize the media. when trump says he has a running war with the media, we're seeing that now play out. >> it doesn't help to use the language war. >> this is a president who now is in charge of real wars, real combat and he's talking about having a war with the media. >> yeah. it's interesting, even if this morning's tweet from donald trump he's talking about a fixture, a hallmark of democracy, the right to protest. this was a response to what we saw yesterday in the nation's capital. but the hallmark of democracy is also the freedom of the press. and there usually does take some time between a president developing a relationship with a white house press corps, but when there's talk about potentially moving the white house press corps to a physical -- a new physician location on white house property, that certainly sets
and sends a strong message. >> and there is still an issue whether they'll move the briefing to another place. tomorrow they'll be in the normal briefing room. we'll see how it goes. maybe spicer will seek a do-over and try to be more truthful and have a better relationship with the press on monday. that will be fascinating to see. and how donald trump will handle this event with the senior stap. maybe they're trying to create new positive images for the new president. yesterday was a strange day. a lot of reporters have a lot of questions after that. maybe today back on a better foot. >> it was a statement yesterday, not a q&a. >> right. >> the expectation will tomorrow the first briefing there will be a q&a, be interesting to see the dynamic. brian, you'll be back. we'll talk more next hour. being here through the weekend including friday's inauguration right here in the nation's capital has meant being able to talk to so many who witnessed the swearing in right behind me here. i talked to them about expectations in the first 100 days. take a look.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect of the united states, donald john trump. >> how does this compare to other inaugural occasions. >> it has been unbelievable and the crowds of people that just -- you have to have a sense of feeling. you get goose bumps every time you come to one of these thins. >> i donald john trump. >> what do you expect in first 100 days? >> i think you're going to see a lot of activity. that's what he sort of promised through his campaign. that's what he's promised since the election that he's going to get to work. he's a businessman. he knows you've got to take action, you got to do what you said you're going to do. like him or not, i think you're going to see a lot of activity and see a lot of things happen. >> this moment is your moment. it belongs to you.
>> he said this moment belongs to you. what was your interpretation of that? >> i just think, like he said throughout the campaign, you know, sort of the government left the people behind and it's sort of like hey, he's giving the government back to the people where it belongs. you could just hear through the crowd when he said that, just a murm murmur through the crowd, they want to take their government back. he's giving it back to us. >> what do you hope to see in the first 100 days? >> just the first 100 days, what he's promised as far as bringing work back here to the united states and all of us working together. >> welcome back. just talking to people there who have been here all weekend long. now we'll take you straight to the east room of the white house and i listened to vice president pence alongside president trump. >> the president is being commissioned this afternoon as officers of the president of the united states. president trump has commissioned only 30 assistants to the president for his
administration. and it will be my high honor and distinct privilege to swear each of you in to these extraordinary responsibilities that you will accept today. with that, ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america. >> thank you very much. thank you very much. that's very nice. i just went to the oval office and found this beautiful letter from president obama. it was really very nice of him to do that. and we will cherish that. we will keep that. and we won't even tell the press what's in that letter. i want to start off by telling
you i just spoke with governor nathan diehl of georgia, great state, great people. florida affected, alabama affected by the tornadoes. and just expressed our sincere condolences for the lives taken. tornadoes were vicious and powerful and strong, and they suffered greatly. so we'll be helping out the state of georgia. we'll be speaking with governor scott right after this and we'll be -- alabama is a special place, florida a special place. but they got hit hard. they all got hit hard. looks like georgia's lost at least 11 people as of this moment, a lot of people. so on behalf of all of us, governor diehl, condolences. we are going to tell you that this has been a very interesting few days.
we have set up meetings with the prime minister of the united kingdom and prime minister may will be coming over to the united states shortly. we're also meeting with the prime minister of canada and we will be meeting with the president of mexico, who i know, and we're going to start some negotiations having to do with nafta. anybody ever hear of nafta? i ran my campaign somewhat based on nafta. but we're going to start renegotiating on nafta, on immigration. and on security at the border. and mexico has been terrific, actually terrific. and the president has been really very amazing. and i think we're going to have a very good result from mexico for the united states, for everybody involved. it's very important. so very, very important thing.
and speaking of important, you are very important because with you and all of the people in this room, we are going to do some great things over the next eight years. okay? thank you. right? right? great group. this is a great group of people. and if they're not, i will let you know about it. this is the bad news about being the -- i will let you know if they're not doing the job. i'll praise you if they're doing it, and i'll let you know if they're not. i know they'll do a fantastic job. i'm so proud of them. i know them so well. each and every one of you should be extremely proud. give yourselves a round of applause. come on. give yourselves a round of applause.
to your family and friends who are gathered here today, i want them all to know how important you are to the functioning of the white house and ultimately to the functioning of the united states of america. i also want to thank the families here today for all you have done to support your loved ones as they've devoted their time and energy to causes of public service including many long nights. they'll be away long, long nights. and that will go on for a long, long time. but we're going to come out way ahead. we're going to come out way, way ahead as a nation, as a country, we'll come out way ahead. because i know what we have. i know how talented these people are. we're also a team. it's a team. it's a great team. it's a team that gets along. and as i said during my
inaugural address, this is not about party. this is not about ideology. this is about country, our country and it's about serving the american people. we're not here to help ourselves. we're here to devote ourselves to the national good. public service is a high and great calling. it's our solemn duty together to protect the country, our country, this great, great country, to defend its workers and promote the well-being of all americans. so many people are depending on us and on you as families, you as people that are going to get it done.
so many people. the veterans, the unemployed, men and women serving in harm's way overseas, victims of crime and young americans looking to fulfill their dreams. so many of those young americans, and they're going the be fulfilling their dreams. we're going to make it much easier for them. we will face many challenges, but with the faith in each other and the faith in god, we will get the job done. we will prove worthy of this moment in history, and i think it may very well be a great moment in history. so be proud. be very proud. now, i began with this gentleman right here.
i said, mike, how about it? and he said not even a question. and it was a great decision for me. so mike pence, our fabulous vice president of the unite, will administer the oath of office. and congratulations to everybody. congratulations. >> and now the oath of office. with all those who are performing the oath and accepting responsibilities as assistants to the president of the united states, please rise. i, state your full name. >> i -- [ many speaking ] >> please raise your right hand.
i, state your full name. >> i -- [ many speaking ] >> do solemnly swear. >> do solemnly swear. >> that i will support the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> that i will wear true faith and allegiance to the same. >> that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. >> without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. >> and i will well and faithfully discharge. >> and i will well and faithfully discharge. >> the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. >> the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god.
>> thank you mr. president with the most solemn and important responsibili responsibility. who have taken this oath while surrounded by their family and clothe friends. to those who took this oath, this is a moment that we'll never forget. it's also an opportunity to reflect on the immense responsibility we have to our president and our nation. when i walked into my office this morning, there was a verse
on a desk. it was from isaiah 40:31, those who hope in the lord will reknew their strength. they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not be faint. it is our duty to serve with character and integrity and to support president trump as he places the interests of the american people first and everything that he does. finally, i want to thank not just the president one more time, but the vice president, our families and our loved ones and all the kids that are here and finally -- and finally i want to thank god and ask for his protection over us as we serve president trump, vice president pence and our beloved country. thank you.
>> all right. you just saw in the east room there of the white house, the swearing in of a number of senior staff members. just look at the familiar faces there, kellyanne conway, omarosa, president trump's son-in-law jered kushner and you saw mike flynn as well, steve bannon as well as reince priebus there now rounding it out with a few comments there expressing a graciousness for the importance of this position there and, of course, you heard president trump opening it up, expressing his condolences to the state of georgia, which is experiencing a very tragic storm overnight. 11 people have died. and then very touching moment at
the very beginning with president trump saying he found a beautiful letter, i'm quoting him now, he found a beautiful letter from president obama and he said, quote, unquote, he was nice to do that. also, quoting him now. i won't tell the press what's in that letter. and got a little bit of a chuckle there from the audience there. mostly made up of family members of those senior staff, members who have been sworn in as well as many staff members who were eyewitness to this event. so cnn's senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is there at the white house, outside. so jeff, a number of messages there coming from president trump there in this first swearing in there in the east room. >> indeed, fredricka. this is the first time that we've seen and actually heard from president trump inside the white house, inside the east room of the white house, which is, of course, a familiar room. it is where so many press conferences in history have gone. it's where presidents host foreign leaders and other things, but this was president
trump with his own team and with a markedly different tone from the last time we heard president trump just yesterday when he appeared at the cia. a few things that struck me, fredricka, when he said we will prove worthy of this moment in history. certainly a different tone than when he was talking about history when he was at the cia talking about the crowds, other things. he was not litigating any fights today. this is something that he is changing his tone at least for this moment. but fredricka he also said this is not about our party. this is not about our ideology, this is about conducting work and doing work for the american people here. and indeed the staff right around him there are the very people who will be tasked to do this. and this really is a who's who of people who he be occupying those all-important offices inside the west wing of the white house. you see the most important advisers had those front row seats there. steve bannon, we seldom see him in public. he is going to be the chief
strategist, reince priebus, of course, the chief of staff. kellyanne conway as well. and jared kushner, the son-in-law to this president who will be a senior adviser, and he is going to play a very key role as well. this is something that happens once in the administration. he swears them in. and now in the words of one adviser, it's time to get to work. and indeed they will be starting their work or continuing their work, i should say, this afternoon. >> right. and then tomorrow with the first press briefing, any expectations that you can share with us, jeff? >> well, certainly sean spicer, the white house press secretary is expected to brief reporters tomorrow at the first press briefing. we are still awaiting executive orders. president trump has promised to do a lot of things early in his 100 days. executive orders could be on immigration, i'm told they still do not have the exact order of executive orders as they hope to play out here.
but president trump there also talked about the visit later this week from british prime minister theresa may. she will be coming here to the u.s. on thursday. that's his first visit by a foreign leader. so he certainly wants to point that out as well. he points out so many similarities to his election to brexit in the united kingdom. but the thing i'm most struck by, fredricka, is we see this second day in office as they sort of get their sea legs. holding up that letter from president obama. most presidents do not show that. most read it privately. and he didn't read it, of course, today, but we all sure wonder what is in that letter that president obama left? >> oh, yes, we do for president trump. >> yes, we do. he made it very clear, i will not be sharing that with the press. doesn't necessarily mean that he won't be sharing it with other family members or friends who are there in that office. so jeff, let me bring in some members of our panel here and we'll continue our conversation about expectations, what we
heard. lynn sweet is the washington bureau chief for the chicago sun-times. a marked contrast in the demeanor of president trump today especially after hearing him speak to the cia there in langley, hearing sean spicer yesterday, too, david, what do you suppose happened within the last 24 hours? >> yeah, things went relatively smoothly on inauguration day. then yesterday there was that very awkward, you know, event at the cia headquarters, then today a more subdued tone. i'm not guessing that we'll see subdued president trump that often in the next days and weeks but perhaps that he and his team thought it was best to have a more low key set of remarks. after yesterday, they got a lot of criticism. >> helping to set that tone. by president trump coming out and immediately talking about the letter received by president obama and then, of course, offering condolences to the victims in georgia after those storms and then making it very clear with his statement, i'm quoting now, this is not about
party, ideology, country and it's about serving the american people. lynn. >> the main difference i think between yesterday and today is that today his audience was his own people. he didn't have to affirm himself in the way when he said yesterday at the cia, hey, did you all vote for me? he was with his family literally and the family of his appointees. so that had to do with the difference of tone. he was able to talk about the very short-term future, the leaders that are coming to the white house, mentioning the news event of the tornado. so the letter from obama. so it just was kind of an easier lift where he didn't have to get into any kind of policy detail at the cia. he might have wanted to talk about something more tailored for the cia. i think he thought he did. and he had, therefore, since he was in his now white house, i
think that is really accounts for all the change in tone. i think it's temporal. isn't everything? so i think we'll end a lot of these discussions as we'll see more tomorrow. i think there is this kind of explanation for today. >> we'll talk more about that. this is the second full day in office. we saw that swearing in taking place in the east room with the president and vice president side by side. jeff zeleny, lynn sweet and david swerdlick, thank you so much. um. something wrong? so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? you want the whole thing? yes, yes! live whole. not part. aleve. [vo] quickbooks introduces he teaches lessons to stanley... and that's kind of it right now. but rodney knew just what to do...he got quickbooks. it organizes all his accounts, so he knows where he stands in an instant. ahhh...that's a profit. which gave him the idea to spend a little cash on some brilliant marketing! ha, clever.
the trump administration has had a busy weekend and it will be a busy week ahead. the president's first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader is with theresa may, the british prime minister. that meeting will be taking place at the white house. may said she wants to talk to trump about building on the strong alliance between the u.s. and the uk. >> yes. at the end of the week i should be meeting him on friday and talking to him on friday. there will be many issues for us to talk about because obviously the special relationship between the uk and the u.s. has been strong for many years. we'll have an opportunity to talk about our possible future trading relationship but also some of the world's challenges thatty with all face, issues like defeating terrorism, the conflict in syria. >> all right. i want to bring in cnn
international diplomatic editor nic robertson who was in london today. this is a post-brexit world for theresa may. how important for her is it to forge a strong relationship with president trump and vice versa? >> hugely important for her. i mean, she wasn't for brexit originally, but now she's said we're going to have essentially what people call a hard brexit. she had a major speech last week. and she basically said to the european union, you know, no deal is better than a bad deal. and if you guys can't light up and let britain out of european union on good terms, then i'm prepared to kind of cut it short, lower taxes in britain and become some kind of tax haven. okay, that's great. big strong talk. but what she hopes to get from president trump is guarantees of trade deals in the future. so she can offset any losses of getting out of the european union. but more importantly, so she's got something to back up all
that strong rhetoric when in a couple of months she begins that really tough negotiation, two years of talks about 27 countries to get the best deal for britain. but now she can get the best deal knowing she can count on the united states. that's why it's important to her. and for donald trump, here you have a leader coming, a very important global leader, that special relationship between the two countries. the country going through brexit, something he strongly identifies with. i mean, it's a match made for both of them now, fredricka. >> nic robertson, thank you so much. in london. president trump quickly trying to mend fences with the intelligence community meeting with hundreds of members of the cia on saturday. trump giving a speech in front of the cia memorial wall and much of the time he focused on the size of the inauguration crowd and he also spent time insulting the media. the agency's outgoing director john brennan blasted that visit saying trump should be, quote,
ashamed of himself for his, quote, despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of that memorial wall. cia director nominee mike pompeo was at that speech but sean spicer says pompeo should have been there in an official capacity. >> i'd also note that it's a shame that the cia didn't have a cia director to be with him today when he visited because the democrats have chosen -- senate democrats are stalling the nomination of mike pompeo and playing politics with national security. >> all right. i want to bring in our national security panel, elise labatt, cedric layton is a former member of the joint chiefs of staff and a cnn national security analyst and a former secretary for the department of homeland security. welcome to all of you. elise, you first. fill us in on this fight to get
mike pam payo confirmed. what is happening behind the scenes? >> well, i think democrats have had a lot of problems with mike pompeo. he's widely respected, though, in the house and the senate. and he was expected to get through last week. now, on friday he submitted some -- after his confirmation hearing, which went pretty well. if you remember, a lot of his answers were what both democrats and republicans were looking to hear about russia, about a lot of other issues and he didn't always, you know, side with president trump on a lot of these issues. i think it was a very encouraging sign -- >> which we're starting to see rather consistently -- >> absolutely. whether rex tillerson or james mattis of defense, but that conversation went really well. later in the week he submitted written answers for the record for the senate to review and there were some problems with his answers on he might be willing to talk about bringing back enhanced interrogation techniques. there was some talk about whether he would be willing to
increase data collection on americans for, you know, combating terrorism purposes. and specifically democratic senators particularly democratic senator widen of oregon had serious problems with those answers and the democrats said they want some more time to discuss his qualifications. there was a bitter fight between the administration and chuck schumer, the senate minority leader, and now what will happen is monday the senate will discuss for about six hours debate this and then he will have a vote monday afternoon and he's expected to get through. i mean, it is -- republicans are saying, look, this is a delay tactic. it's a fait accompli he's getting through and the democrats are saying, listen, he's going to get through. let's at least talk about it first. >> we're talking about 17 intelligence agencies that likely took offense to a lot of the verbiage coming from
president trump, his visit to the cia yesterday. some say it only, you know, puts salt in the wounds. how do you see the relationship between the president moving forward and the intelligence community, whether his nominees get through or not? >> well, i think a lot depends on whether those nominees get through. if they all do get through and right now the indications are that they will, then it will be a lot smoother than it otherwise would be, but in the situation where they don't get through, it's going to be really tough. and i think it's tough already just because of the pronouncements that were made during the campaign, all the things that have come out and as elise mentioned, the mention of waterboarding. the cia and the military intelligence agencies follow the army field manual when it comes to waterboarding, which means there is no waterboarding. and it is considered to be torture. therefore, it won't happen. and you know, those are the kinds of things that become really important when it comes not only to intelligence gathering but also to foreign
relations in the u.s. image abroad. >> for a moment it seemed like the waterboarding issue had been put to bed. now it's back in the forefront again. how do you see this influencing confirmation? >> well, you know, look, the waterboarding issue should be resolved because, as the panel has been stating, the united states has been pretty consistent, at least the operators, that waterboarding is not part of the u.s.' arsenal of tools for interrogation. so i think what you saw in those written answers is hard to explain. i think it is reflective of a transition in which you have sort of a white house and then the cabinet secretaries or the nominees sort of not in line. i think it's very appropriate for the senate to say why is there a discrepancy between what you said and what you wrote even though he may get through just to put a place card down there to say, look, if you actually advance on this, we're going to have criticisms. what pompeo is going to realize
and what the trump administration will soon realize is that while they've politicized the intelligence community, at a place like the cia, for example, about 28,000 employees including covert operatives, only about a couple dozen political appointees. at dhs, 300,000 employees, about 100 political appointees, look, the trains have to run on time, the intelligence has to be gathered, safety and security has to move forward. and so i think all this politicization they'll soon realize that they actually have a government to run and that these agencies have only one interest at heart and that's the safety and security of the united states going forward. >> all right. julia, thank you so much. juliet kayy, merks, colonel leiton and lynn sweet. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can
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i'm fredricka whitfield. this inauguration weekend we've got a lot on tap here. beginning with the white house press secretary sean spicer telling cnn, quote, we are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject. we're talking about moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. that was one of president trump's pledges during the campaign. we also know that there was a phone call between president trump and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. jeff zeleny joining me live. we watched the senior staff being sworn in. the president, vice president there, no mention about this phone call. what more do you know about this phone call? >> well, fredricka we do know that president trump talked to prime minister netanyahu just more than an hour or so ago, about an hour and a half ago, actually for a call that lasted less than 30 minutes. we do not have the exact details of that call. we know topics included syria, included