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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 26, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. president trump about to
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have his first face-to-face meeting with a head of state. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. here's what the president said about the meeting with british prime minister. >> i'm meeting with the prime minister tomorrow as you know. great britain. i don't have commerce secretary. they want to talk trade. i'll have to handle it myself. >> and we're learning that president trump will speak by phone with vladimir putin on saturday. meanwhile there's another world leader the president won't be talking to, not yet anyway, the president of mexico scrapping white house meeting in the wake of the president's executive action on border wall. president trump says it's mutual decision. and white house walking back 20% tax on imports saying weighing options. let's get to my panel.
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good evening to all of you. michelle tomorrow is first major meeting with a foreign leader. theresa may is very reserved. he is not. she says haven't you ever noticed sometimes opposites attract. how do you think the meeting will go? >> i think you could glean a lot from her speaking today at republican retreat. she is all about positivity and how important the relationship is. what was striking is when you think back to the past year, president obama in britain trying to convince them not to vote for the brexit, kind of a lecture he was delivering, telling them how detrimental it would be for stability and security around the world. and here is tereheresa may comi
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to visit the new president and talking about victory not rooted in the halls of washington but aspirations of working people. seeing a new future to take back control of borders and immigration system. she's looking for ways to align with trump. obviously they have their differences. what is tricky here is her citizens want to see her get tough on certain issues. they want to see her stand up for britain, tough against torture which she has reiterated that the u.k. is several times now. what this meeting is going to be about is how can we move forward together on trade, make this as good as possible for both sides? >> david the stakes are particularly high because he's going to host first side by side press conference.
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you think same hostile tone towards press or be more reserved. >> hostile. it's worked well for him. this is donald trump. president of the united states. it's been extraordinary the last six days. talking about seizing iraq's oil. creating safe zones in syria, no idea if that's deploying troops. blockading islands in the pacific that china might get near and what seems to be trade war with mexico that's pedalled back, and banning visas from seven predominantly muslim regions. extraordinary what is thrown out there and pulled back. unsettling to the u.s. allies. >> you usually blisht policy and discussion and then go talk about it. do you think he talks about it
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and then they establish how to react to it? >> he doesn't have people in place. to be fair -- >> i mean with the team he has in white house now. >> i talked to people who worked with obama administration on the transition to trump administration. and trump people slow to get people in place and i don't think the national security apparatus is in place yet. >> reports before he left office barack obama encouraged prime minister may to forth a close relationship with donald trump and be a moderating force on him. should she follow his advice? >> i hope she does. given what we've seen. it's interesting to see how president obama during the transition period publicly tried to make things as easy as possible for donald trump. only had some interesting things to say when donald trump seemed to attack him but by and large try to work hand in hand.
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behind the scenes had great concern and wasn't just prime minister may but malcolm turnbull and asked for the same thing from australia. reason why is he didn't think that donald trump fully understood the weight and gravity of the office he was about to assume and he felt that he needed to do this to try to bring some stability to it. and these conversations perhaps from other world leaders perhaps help him achieve that goal. >> we learned that president trump is scheduled to speak to russian president putin for the first time. tumultuous week. what do you think of the timing? >> it's early to be speaking to russia but surprises no one. on the white house's side going to say it's relationship that's been damaged, so much said on both sides and time to see ways
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these two countries can work together. more constructively instead of being basically rivals right now. so much scrutiny is going to be on this conversation but remember what comes out is going to be a readout. we're not going to hear the conversation. don't know exactly what is going to be said. often the readout from the russian side is much, much different than the one you get from the u.s. side. will be interesting to see what is said about this conversation on each side. how important they view it as being and what happens from there. >> i want to talk to you guys about mexico. here's president trump announcing cancellation of his meeting with the mexican president today. >> president of mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week. unless mexico is going to treat the united states fairly with respect, this meeting would be
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fruitless, and i want to go a different route. we have no choice. >> so was this a mutual cancellation or do you think the mexican president pulled the plug? >> the mexican president pulled the plug because donald trump put him in a corner. in his tweets he was pushing mexico. saying you have to pay for the wall. and i think nieto, this is key to political negotiations, mexicans have been angry for months about trump and he had to protest. if we talk this way to china, president xi has a way to respond. this is different. foreign leaders have to stand up for themselves for their own survival. just starting, backed off today but dangerous pattern. >> talk about the time line.
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mexican president was planning to come despite pressure at home to cancel. and early this morning on twitter president saying if mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting and few hours later the mexican president tweeted this. informed white house i will not attend the meeting scheduled next tuesday with the potus. so been in office a week and kicked off major diplomatic spat. >> certainly wasn't rolling out welcome mat in the tweet and mexican president pushed into the corner. go back a few months when donald trump left the campaign trail and made unprecedented visit to mexico, the president at that time and had this joint news conference and questions whether the wall was discussed at that
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point but president of mexico is under incredible political pressure back home and to come to washington and look like bending at knee and kissing ring of donald trump is not beneficial. but if he had been here and come out and publicly dloird we're not paying for this wall would have been devastating for donald trump. i think donald trump dodged this by not having the mexican president come to the u.s. it's not going to be donald trump and mexican president able to figure out this trade deal. it will be those who work underneath them to do the dirty details. >> michelle, mexican foreign minister is in washington. he responded to president trump tonight. >> we simply cannot accept the concept of us paying for your own wall. that's something that does not
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happen. in communities between citizens. and something that will be totally unacceptable between nations. something that we would not, we will never do. and because this is about our dignity. and our pride. >> it sounds pretty final michelle. is that the final word on mexico paying? >> it does sound that way. i think the trump administration seems determined to find a way to make mexico pay. i mean we're talking about tariffs and trade war which would ultimately affect consumers but also thrown out other ideas, targeting remittances, huge number sent back to mexico every year or aid that the u.s. provides to mexico. this relationship is important to both countries. woor neighbors obviously.
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trade is a big deal, big number. so is counterterrorism, trying to stop the flow of people across the border. mexico does some of that work as well. has a few cards to play here. but look at what is happening now, did anyone not see this coming? before the election all this talk about the wall. hyper heated words like calling mexicans rapists. president pena nieto referred to donald trump in the same breath as hitler and mussolini. so now first meeting about to happen and now not happening because the tweets are flying and still stuff on both sides. i think this was bound to come to a head. maybe once this is gotten past and everybody sees what is in these executive orders and finds out a lot more detail about what is being proposed, then the relationship can move on from there. looks like going to be rocky for
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some time to say the least. >> odd thing is isn't tides of people coming over the border, some great tlechlt there's debate whether we need the wall and many immigration experts say a wall wouldn't save the problem anyway. narrative that donald trump created in campaign of huge threat of illegal immigration not supported by facts. >> most people coming in via airplanes and overstaying their visa. man with some say toughest job in washington. sean spicer speaking for donald trump. i realize that ah, that $100k is not exactly a fortune.
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well, a 103 yeah, 103. well, let me ask you guys. how long did it take you two to save that? a long time. then it's a fortune. well, i'm sure you talk to people all the time who think $100k is just pocket change. right now we're just talking to you. i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment
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donald trump is no fan of the muzz media. regularly calling reporters dishonest. chief strategist in no uncertain terms. put the press secretary in uncertain position. >> strat edgist steve bannon says the media don't understand the country and should keep collective mouth shut. in interview referred to media as opposition party. this is the framework that president press secretary is supposed to operate. he's speaking to the country but focusing on audience of one.
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his boss, the president. >> sean spicer one of the most visible people in the world. that's always one of the hardest jobs in washington but speaking for president trump takes hard to a whole new level. >> what evidence do you have of widespread voter fraud if that's the case. >> the president does believe that. >> spent two decades in washington leading up to this. naval officer and eventually republican national committee. >> he's not draining the swamp, he's been around d.c. a long time. >> brad woodhouse, they did battle but also good. making bets for charity. >> he's a good egg, someone i think is decent and good person. you envy someone in that role. >> why? >> few of us been in this
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business would say i would really like to do that, be white house press secretary. >> spicer's friends say he told them dream come true but first full day more of a nightmare. >> there's a lot of talk in the media about holding donald trump accountable. here to tell you it goes both ways. >> statement on inaugural crowds, direct order from the news president riddled with factual errors. >> first time floor coverings used in the mall. >> after calmer spicer comes back looking for do-over. >> there are things we may not understand but intention is never to lie to you. >> at rnc spicer criticized candidate trump. >> painting mexican-americans with that brush is not helpful to the cause.
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>> that changed when trump became gop nominee and when he won in november spicer with long time 'and white house chief of staff reince priebus lobbying for spokesman. coming back to work after father passed away to show trump how much he wanted the job. because not early loyalist at times appears to go out of his way to prove his mettle to his boss. >> report is not intelligence report, plain and simple. >> not changed odd habit, chewing orbit cinnamon gum and swallowing it. packs a day. those who have known him say may be ambitious and territorial but wife and children come first along with country. >> he's a true patriot. will focus on the right priorities. >> even before he worked for president trump spicer eager to
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do battle with reporters he fell were unfair or getting a story wrong but also a long history of good relationships with many journalists. balancing that is learning curve with any press secretary. especially one with president watching from down the hall. >> there is no reason for anybody to expect the white house to stop taking shots at media. does fight with the press help the president and his agenda? [vo] quickbooks introduces rodney.
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one of the president's chief advisers, steve bannon slamming news media as opposition party. discuss with brian stelter and salena zito. we've been talking about the "new york times" interview where they interviewed the white house's chief strategist steve bannon. said the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep their mouth shut and listen. they don't understand the country and why donald trump is president of the united states.
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labelling the media as opposition party, saying keep our mouths shut -- we're playing in his hands. he knew it would be covered. >> he's sowing divisions, trying to play the base who is skeptical of the media against it. but it's corrosive to media to hate the press this way. >> you think this fighting helps his agenda? >> it's always been part of his thing right? up until he won the nomination used us very effective and brilliant way. and as soon as he won the nomination, he understood we were the opposition. low approval ratings and easy target. anything said, that's just the media. plays into his hands. what bannon hasn't ever not been
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said in administration, just used inside voices. he actually said it out loud and it escalates this battle between us and honestly i don't think it helps anybody. it just tunes everyone out to the whole dialogue. and we're not paying attention to the important things like what's his policies? what's he going to do going forward? so focused on this white noise that -- you know, reporting on everything he's doing. in some ways does help him. >> just e-mailing with the committee to help journalists joel simon, normally helps journalists in syria and russia and iran and now paying attention to the united states because of the antimedia tone. he thinks does undermine the press. any response risks playing into
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his hands but we have to pay attention to this. bannon wants us to talk about it, be on the defensive. we have to note it but keep playing our own game. >> the words dishonest media aside, trump doesn't hate the media. doesn't mean he understands yet what it's like being potus in medialand. >> he's watching. loves press. loves being covered. up watching fox news this morning at 5:50, tweeted same words on screen 14 minutes later and watches cnn endlessly as well. this issue of hating on the press is partly creating confusion so people don't know what is true for false. today donald trump said murder rate in philadelphia has been increasing terribly. it's been on the decline and the mayor is blasting him for that. yesterday said to david muir two
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people shot and killed in chicago when president obama was giving farewell address. no one was shot during the speech. one in the next hour. not killed. point with the facts are he continues to mislead people and sow confusion. sometimes that helps people in power. for our audience, point is refuse to be confused by any politician. >> mayor of philadelphia saying his words insulting to the men and women working hard to protect him while he was in philadelphia at the time. the president sat down with fox and cia speech came up again. >> one standing ovation. whole thing. i get back -- and i will say fox treated it great. said it was great. when our new person running mike
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pompeo, fantastic. he said to me other day, that was so great. everyone loved it. everybody loved it. i got back. they didn't like it, wasn't respectful, smattering of applause. there were 300 people in the room, over 1,000 wanted to come and if i took a vote would have won 350 to nothing, believe me. even that was demeaned as much as they can demean it. what i'm saying shaun is this, much of the media is dishonest. it's fake. they make things up. >> so cia story, his speech may be mentioned in passing on this show. i can't even remember. but hasn't been a big subject of the show. had he not spoken about it we would be moving on to something else. so my question is wanting media
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to pander to him? sounds like he thinks anything other than glowing coverage is unfair criticism. >> i think he's had a bre breathtaking week. if you take this aside look at everything he's done. mexico city, taking that back. meeting with ceos, heads of the car companies, talking about labor and trade unions, obamacare, it's just -- in egypt, a fast-paced great week. only thing that's got in the way of it is focusing on things that don't matter. and i haven't quite decide yet if it's to his advantage or disadvantage. but i would rather as the press be talking about what his
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policies are, impact they have on the people, how it affects our budgets, economy and national security. i feel like that's what we should be doing at press but just been boondoggled by all this white noise. >> and once the president says something, he's leader of the free world, then we talk about it. >> and he does care about popularity and this. i think she's onto something crucial. if he didn't bring up ratings or crowd sizes wouldn't be this noise and distractions and more conversation about the policy. it's fundamentally about his ability to take criticism or take the coverage and handle it. as maggie haberman reported, still wondering if he's going to go on long-term. >> first rule, if you don't want to talk about it don't. >> should be thankful he's doing interviews.
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>> that's a positive. you say the president is fox news' pr guy. >> he's promoting fox. turn on fox. this is continued discussion about him preferring network i likes the message from. but reality is he's watching cnn and reading "new york times" and consuming media. i hope when he's watching this network and msnbc he's learning more and more how to govern the country. it's clear there's incredibly steep learning curve. there is for every president but especially for this businessman. maybe cable news has responsibility to educate trump and his aids. >> i think he knows it's not real until cnn says it. that's why so much opposition. coming back, president trump
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for a man who cares so much about ratings, president trump can't be happy about the latest polls. joseph borelli and john -- democratic strategist. matt i said you were here right? >> i'm here. >> you're ganged up on tonight. >> i can handle these people. >> talk about the standing of the presidency. new poll. 36% approve. 44% disapprove. how does he turn it around? >> only people less popular at this table. step one is keep a campaign going and go after the media, that's part of it. this will sound hackneyed maybe but i think it's opportunity. if you start off very high with huge expectations, there's nowhere to go but down.
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donald trump can now build from this but he has to at some point turn it around. if people start getting jobs and economy turns around, numbers fix themselves. >> there's always opportunity to build. >> and politics is under promise, overachieve. >> joseph, do you think republicans in congress are concerned about the numbers? >> well i think as far as the republican base, shouldn't be. republicans in this poll very supportive of donald trump. i think republicans in congress are looking at this as someone fulfilling nine out of ten promises made on the campaign trail and have to be largely happy about the performance thus far. he's doing what the party wants him to campaign on and what he in fact promised himself. willing to make good on funding wall and repealing obamacare. i think not dissuaded by it.
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>> we've been reporting on cnn he's doing what he said he would, whether or not the executive orders have teeth. he's doing what he said he would do. if not for self-inflicted wounds would be talking about that. break down the numbers and then you can weigh in. republicans approve 81%. democra democra democrats disapprove and independent. so far not uniter. is the team concerned? >> his approval ratings and likability numbers not been strong for some time. now in office and to be honest, i don't think their team cares about popularity but performance, policy, promises. and they're following through on all of those. as joseph said, campaigned on repealing and replacing obamacare and building a wall and securing bored and out of
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the gate passing executive actions to do exactly that. give him credit for focusing on what's important and doing the job of president. not being job -- >> his team doesn't care about the polls and numbers. you know he does. come on. i just wonder if you're worried about -- you can weigh in -- independent numbers. >> certainly. and we saw from the coalition that elected donald trump he pull over a significant number of the independents. q poll is not only one. few are higher. rasmussen poll was last week gospel with barack obama at 60% and highest approval ratings ever according to the media and now rasmussen. >> you always throw everybody in the media together. we never use rasmussen polls because heavily weighted -- >> not reliable.
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>> huffington post did a big story -- >> you believe the huffington post? >> wouldn't say that exactly. >> not surprising. donald trump didn't win the popular vote in the election. that's just fact. >> love pointing that out. >> not bringing up in legitimacy. he won the electoral college. that's clear. but popularity, majority of the american people don't support donald trump including people who didn't vote. i don't know if registered or population in general but it's refliskt and look what is happening in the street. rebellion going on in the country. march was unprecedented, number of people that turned out to protest against donald trump. donald trump is not a liked politician. and he is reinforcing that by
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frankly his personal behavior. when you try to govern by twitter, think people out there, average person reacting to that, this man is out of control. >> even his own supporters wish he would show a little bit -- >> he's out of control. >> it's polarized country. if hillary clinton were president, i don't think her numbers would be high either. >> you know my colleague van jones said, talking about the number of people out there the day after the inauguration, he said all you have to do is look back, remember we covered tea party intensively, how those things can become a movement. bring up independent numbers, i wonder if concerning, 53% of americans also say optimistic about the next four years and 44% say help rather than hurt economy. not great numbers. should there be concern within the republican party and within
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the trump administration? maybe he can't -- >> yes. that reflects itself in two ways. either in the congressional elections in two years. republicans control congress and white house. >> midterms will be tough. >> next two years will be hard for democrats to stop most things with the exception potentially of the supreme court nominee. that's different than the movement in the streets and as democrat that rebellion, the things i've seen, also against the democrat party and not just donald trump, rebellion against the elites. >> pink hats poised to be new movement as red hats were last year. if not on guard republicans could lose seats. but not focusing on who is the trump coalition. women's marchers focusing on social issues. not going to win over to the republican party people who
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fundamentally disagree on those issues. rust belt states that formed that coalition, those are the people he's working for right now, focusing on jobs and american products and re -- >> people out at march though from rust belt states and people -- those people, not all, happy with the democratic party. so could pull those in. got to get to break. >> difference is they need to organize and find a single message. tea party was limited government and fighting obamacare. pink hats all over the map with issues but lot of energy and enthusiasm, need to organize. >> and do -- which was -- >> it was smart. >> trump campaign, immigration, build a wall, jobs, and those were among the two that just kept hammering home. hillary clinton had a cacophony of things, where is she on this,
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sorry about that. back with my panel first to jonathan. president trump has a congress
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that wants to do business. here's a vice president mike pence speaking to congressional republicans today. >> the point is by sticking to the president's agenda we will kick the economy into overdrive to the likes this country has not seen in generations. as i said on my visit to capitol hill, i say with great respect to members of the house and senate, buckle up. we are ready to go to work. >> the president signed a lot of executive orders. do they have teeth? >> it depends on orders that require money. he will have to go to congress and get money i assume to build a wall and other things. there will be lawsuits. for example, his threat that he will withhold moan for cities or states that want to provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants who trump tries to
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deport. he will try to withhold that money and there have been signs that there will be lawsuits around that. we will see. >> that's not going to scare him. a threat of a lawsuit. the thing about that is withholding funding is nothing more than him asking these cities to enforce existing immigration laws. why is that so hard? why would they have a problem with that? with the money for building the wall, there is already funding stream in place under a george bush law sitting there. they have to continue the funding for that. i don't see it being an issue. >> i thought the price hike they are talking about is completely unnecessary because it's a solution for a problem that does not exist. that money they are talking about a price tag of 14 to $20 billion. >> i don't think you can say it's a problem that doesn't exist. >> it doesn't exist. >> it's a problem they are making out to be bigger than it is. >> it doesn't exist. >> i disagree.
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>> it is actually a fact and i now can tell you that this is the pew study. the number of mexicans who are coming to the country have declined dramatically. >> the people are still coming. >> the americans are am can be through mexico. even if you look at beyond the immigration issue, the obama administration said there is $193 billion of loss through the drug trafficking that comes in. >> hold on. >> that's not about the drug trafficking. no, no, no. that's the narrative about it. >> there is no problem in terms of the flow of people that this wall is required to deal with. >> there is also a -- >> it was all about fear and division. it's political. >> the positive thing which is to say that if we ever want to do immigration we form with the dreamers and treating people who
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came here a long time ago compassionately, i don't think the public will go for it until they believe that we can and have secured the border. building a wall? >> i want to you discuss this. we are dealing in facts here. jonathan is right. more people are going back. we are doing a series on the border and the border wall. you can tunnel under the wall. most people come in illegally on airplanes from places that are not mexico. they overstay their visa in numbers that are larger than people coming from mexico. that is the real immigration problem. >> that are is why he is adding 5,000 border customs agents. this is a bigger problem. >> that's not what people believe. they think it's people coming from mexico. when you think of immigration, you think of mexican immigrants. >> here's the fundamental problem. going back to the campaign, what donald trump used the wall to symbolize was division and fear.
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what he said to people, particularly in the midwest and it worked in the election is it's them. you should fear those people. they are taking your jobs away. that's false. that is not the reason people have lost jobs in the industrial midwest. that's not the reason that wages have been declining. it's because of corporate greed and the way corporations shifted jobs. it's not true. it is a driver. it's not the main thing. it's not because of people coming from mexico. that's a lie. >> 10 or 20 years ago when a moderate position was we should allow people who are here to stay here. we have to build a wall. that was something that bill and hillary clinton and barack obama at one time -- >> you did preface by saying 10 or 20 years ago. things have changed. more people were coming in. i'm not saying it's right. i'm just putting it in. >> even reagan's amnesty. >>.
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>> i think the american people are generous and compassionate and if time after time we are saying we are going to secure the border and we are going to do amnesty and you never secure the border -- >> you have to be honest about the facts just as you have to be about the coal industry. i understand my brothers and sisters are hurting, but some jobs are never coming back because of automation. unless you are going to make a cell phone out of coal, it's not going to happen. >> and manufacturing is a prime example where american manufacturing is more productive and efficient, but it takes fewer people to run a factory. >> there are several reasons behind building the wall. a, the influx of people coming here and taking haven this this country using our goods and services and health care and education without having to pay for it. there is the influx of drugs which is a big factor that president trump mentioned numerous times on the campaign
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trail and bringing weapons into the country. i talked with farmers and those that live along the border and they said it's hell on earth along the border with the illegals coming in. the easiest way to stop the problem is to build the wall and we deal with the other problems after this. >> i hear people say you don't understand unless you live there. they show the bulk of it. >> it's a positive factor in the economy. all people show immigrants, billions of dollars on the economy. >> that's it for us. good night.
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good evening. another big night because of what the trump administration did today and because of what they were expected to do and did not. they did not take action on the election fraud claims. president trump did clash with mexico's president over the border wall and who will pay for it. his spokesman floated a plan to fund it with a 20% tax on imports from moex coe. they called the media the opposition party and said that we should keep our mouths shut. that and the white house asking for top officials at the state department to leave. another big day. we start with mexico and cnn's jeff. >> days after taking office, president trump is facing his first diplomatic standoff. >> the president of


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