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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 27, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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may not be able to, but at least one last time. >> reporter: anika cabrera, cnn denver. >> how about that. these stories are absolutely incredible. we're grateful for you. i'm brook baldwin. thanks for being with me. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. >> thanks, brook. in his first big test on the global stage, "the lead" starts right now. the special relationship, president trump welcoming the british prime minister to washington, what they agreed on, and what they don't. president trump also giving us a preview of a critical phone call coming up with russian leader vladimir putin. he said it was too early to discuss lifting sanctions, but will the hacking of political secrets come up on the call? plus, with just days until president trump announces his supreme court pick, vice-president pence firing up thousands flooding d.c. for the march for life.
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we wi welcome to "the lead." president trump came to washington to disrupt the regular way of doing business. in many ways he is accomplishing that. his first week in office set off fire alarms throughout the foreign policy establishment as he ignited something of a diplomatic crisis with mexico and revealed that his white house might drop sanctions against russia, which is generally considered the united states' number one geopolitical foe. by that same washington foreign policy establishment. now, all this while also adhering to tradition in many ways. today the president welcomed british prime minister theresa may to honor the special relationship between the two countries. and right now president trump is on his first visit to the pentagon where he will preside over the ceremonial swearing in of retired marine general james mattis as secretary of defense. mattis a widely respected officer who was confirmed by the senate by a vote of 98-1.
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but even as president trump does that, he is also expected to sign an executive action to limit the immigration of refugees into the united states. that's a further change not only in american policy, but in a broader sense in what the united states has traditionally stood for. at the united nations today, new ambassador nikki haley putting the world on notice, cross us at your peril, she suggested. this about nations that don't have the united states back, quote, we're taking names and we will make points to respond to that accordingly. first let's start with today's white house state visit, both president trump and prime minister theresa may recently swept a power aa midst rising populist and nationalist sentiments and both world leaders today's state visit is seen as something of an early test of their governing ability. cnn white house correspondent jim accosta joins me now. jim, there were clear disagreements if you read between the lines of prime minister may and president trump on this thorny issue of
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sanctions against russia. prime minister may saying that she would not even entertain a notion of dropping sanctions until russia abides by its agreement and gets out of ukraine. president trump says he's keeping an open mind. he just wants to have a good relationship with russia. >> absolutely, jay. president trump seemed to leave the door open to lifting the sanctions on russia, something british prime minister theresa may flatly rejected today. it's also worth noting, jake, prime minister may said president trump told her he was 100% behind nato, an alliance the president has called outdated in the past. now, this change from the obama era could be felt immediately here at the white house at today's news conference. while barack obama spoke in paragraphs, this new president speaks in sentences. but in his brevity, it was clear the trump agenda is taking hold. the focus at president trump's news conference with british prime minister theresa may was less about the special relationship between the u.s. and britain and more about the frayed relations between his
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administration and mexico. >> we had a very good call. i have been very strong on mexico. i have great reexpespect for me. i love the mexican people. >> reporter: one day after the mexican leader abruptly canceled his trip to the white house next week, in response to mr. trump's plan to build a wall on the border. during a remarkably brief 18-minute news conference, the president still had no details on who is paying for the wall. >> we are going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship, but the united states cannot continue to lose vast amounts of business, vast amounts of companies and millions and millions of people losing their jobs. that won't happen with me. we're no longer going to be the country that doesn't know what it's doing. >> reporter: the read out of the call from the mexican government state that had both leaders will now negotiate over the wall in private, saying the two men
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agreed at this point not to speak publicly about this controversial issue. but it's worth noting that line does not appear in the white house statement on the call. >> this was your choice of a question. [ laughter ] >> there goes that relationship. >> reporter: the president needled prime minister may from a question from a british reporter on the use of torture. president trump said he would defer to defense secretary james mattis who said torture doesn't work. >> i don't necessarily agree, but i would tell you that he will override because i'm giving him that power. >> there will be times when we disagree on issues which we disagree. >> this is the original in many ways. >> reporter: even though both the president and the prime minister were talking up relations between the u.s. and britain, there was some distance evident over the sanctions on russia over its invasion of ukraine. >> we'll see what happens as far as the sanctions very early to be talking about that. >> we believe the sanctions should continue. >> reporter: but the president and prime minister have one thing in common.
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riding into populist movements in their country. he tried to push back on p perceptions of his hard charging persona. >> we'll get along very well. it's interesting because i am a people person. i think you are also, theresa. i can often tell how i get along with somebody very early and i believe we're going to have a fantastic relationship. >> reporter: now, the white house says the president will have other phone call this weekend with french president and german chancellor merkel along with britain. those two countries have been instrumental in keeping a lid on vladimir putin in europe so it's no surprise they will be all on the phone the same day president trump speaks with the russian leader and, jake, we'll have to wait for those read outs to see how brash donald trump is on those phone calls, jake. >> all right, jim accosta, thanks so much. that brings us to our world lead. as you heard president trump also addressed a call he'll take tomorrow with russian president vladimir putin. so far the two have had nothing but flattering words for one another since mr. trump won the
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2016 election and beforehand as well. that was, of course, an election putin really wanted him to win according to the u.s. intelligence community. president trump will be on the phone with one of the most cunning world leaders at a time when top-level state department posts sit empty including secretary of state. today the president avoided answering a question about whether he will lift sanctions on putin. jim sciutto is back with us live now from the pentagon. and, jim, the president didn't put this talk of lifting sanctions to rest at all today. he's clearly leaving the door open. >> no question. and the sharp contrast between the american and british leaders on the key national security issue. you heard theresa may there saying definitively no change to sanctions until russia is out of ukraine, out of crimea. donald trump noncommittal on the question of sanctions, he hasn't made a decision, it's too early in his words to make a decision either way. >> i don't know the gentleman. i hope we have a fantastic relationship. that's possible and it's also possible that we won't.
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we will see what happens. >> just one day before his first phone call with the russian leader, president trump expressing indifference about vladimir putin. a man he has repeatedly praised in the past. >> i've had many times where i thought i'd get along with people and i don't like them at all. and i've had somewhere i didn't think i was going to have much of a relationship, and it turned out to be a great relationship. >> still, in a press conference with the first foreign leader to visit him, british prime minister theresa may, trump said he is looking to work with russia. the u.s. adversary in the battle against isis. >> if we have a great relationship with russia and other countries, and if we go after isis together, which has to be stopped, that's an evil that has to be stopped, i will consider that a good thing, not a bad thing. >> this, although both his defense secretary james mattis -- >> i have very modest
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expectations about areas of cooperation with mr. putin. >> and cia director mike pompeo told lawmakers during their confirmation hearings that russia has done little to nothing to combat the terror group. >> russia has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying ukraine, threatening europe, and doing nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of isis. >> president trump's conversation with putin will come amid growing speculation on capitol hill that trump may ease or lift u.s. sanctions on russia. imposed by the obama administration for its invasion of ukraine in 2014. and interference in the 2016 presidential election. >> as far as the sanctions, very early to be talking about that. but we look to have a great relationship with all countries ideally. that won't necessarily happen. >> speculation on capitol hill, i should say as well, jake, consternation, this from both democrats and republicans
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concern about the possibility donald trump seeming to leave the door open to lifting those sanctions, concern that in this phone call between putin and trump this weekend they might discuss lifting those sanctions. senator john mccain as you know a republican, strong russia hawk, saying in his words it would be reckless to do so and scolding really to some degree it sounded, or warning president trump, in his words it would be naive and dangerous to consider vladimir putin a possible partner. jake? >> all right, jim sciutto, thank you so much. in their news conference today president trump and prime minister may both emphasized the special relationship between the u.s. and uk that relationship often depends upon how the two countries' leaders get along. a former aide to british prime minister thatcher after she left office joins me now. niles, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> there is obviously this tension, even though they played very well in front of the cameras, about how much of a threat russia poses and whether or not these sanctions should be lift. just as somebody who advised
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thatcher, how much more is the threat of russia or then the soviet union felt by the uk rather than here in the u.s.? >> well, i think that british prime minister theresa may was absolutely right to point out the russian threat, to warn against any liftding of sanctions and send a clear message, not today, but the speech in philadelphia, that vladimir putin's russia poses a fundamental threat to the nato alliance, to great britain and the united states and their allies. this is a very important message to be sending. but she also reiterated that both she and president trump believe firmly in the importance of the nato alliance, the fundamental heart of the transatlantic alliance. and i think that was made very, very clear in today's meeting. >> well, i know that prime minister may believes in it, but obviously president trump has been very critical of nato and i don't know that he believes that russia is a threat. how will prime minister may deal
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with that given there do seem to be clear areas of disagreement? >> i think the white house does say clearly russia poses a tremendous threat to the nato alliance -- >> i know that general mattis does and i know that cia director pompeo does. i'm sure there are plenty of others, but i'm specifically talking about president trump. >> yeah, i think there is an awareness of that. and i think it's very, very important that in the coming weeks, the message is sent to moscow that the united states and the nato alliance will resist any kind of russian aggression. that message has to be sent loud and clear, not only from the pentagon, but also from the white house as well. and i also think there is going to be an interest upon urging nato allies, especially in europe, to spend more on defense. and that's the message that both the white house and downing street will need to be sending very, very clearly in the coming months because far too many nato members are not investing enough in their defense. they are purely relying upon the u.s.-british security umbrella. they need to step up to the
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plate and resist any kind of potential aggression faced by the alliance. >> there is a fun moment when prime minister may, traditionally what happens is the president calls on two reporters. the prime minister calls on two reporters usually from the uk and each reporter asks questions of both leaders. one of the british reporters had some rather -- had a rather edgy question for president trump about all the things he believes that might scare people in the uk, including support and a belief that torture works. the president said he doesn't -- he thinks it works but he's going to leave it to mattis who doesn't think it works. it's unusual to hear a president talk so openly about torture which is by definition, international and national law. >> there has certainly been british press scrutiny of the issue. i don't think there was a major discussion between the two leaders. this was more of a big picture meeting about the larger importance and the american special relationship.
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this visit certainly succeeded in doing so and we are going to see i think a very robust partnership between theresa may and donald trump. and to his great credit, donald trump did emphasize the, in his view, why it is important for britain and america as well. so, a key part of these discussions of course focuses on the development of the u.s.-uk free trade deal which i think is going to become a reality and it is going to be a tremendous powerful symbol of the power, the special relationship. but some very, very encouraging words from the u.s. president today on brexit which will be extremely well received in the united kingdom. >> i want to play the sound from the new united states ambassador to the united nations nikki haley and get your response. let's play that sound. >> in a way that will show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies, and make sure that our allies have our back as well. for those that don't have our back, we're taking names.
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we will make points to respond to that accordingly. >> for those who don't have our backs, we're taking names. that's how they do politics in south carolina. how might that language be accepted in the united nations, do you think? >> first of all, i think nikki haley will be a tremendous asset to the united states. >> she's great, of course. that's some edgy language. >> it may be very, very tough language, but this is the message i think the united nations needs to hear. for far too long, the u.n., many actors operated in a deeply anti-american way and i think nikki haley is simply saying that the united states will strongly advance its interests on the world stage and that's the right message to be sending. i think the u.n. has far too long been sort of a play thing for dictatorships and anti-american regimes. she's sending a very robust message to the enemies of the
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united states they will be held to account. >> allegation a pleasure to have you here. thanks so much for joining us. appreciate it. let's go back to the pentagon now where there is some action. we are expecting the ceremonial swearing in of general james mattis as secretary of defense any second. mr. sciutto, looks like it's going to start any minute now. >> that's exactly right. you're seeing there in the hall of heroes already assembled the joint chiefs of staff, the chairman of each of the military, the armed services, really the chief military advisors to the president on all issues of national security and the armed services. they're standing there in front of those big medals kind of representations of some of the most coveted cherished medals in the u.s. military, one of them being the medal of honor. of course, this as you mention, jake, is really the ceremonial swearing in for james mattis. he's already taken the job, he's been confirmed, he's been sworn in. this is -- will be in effect the second time he takes that oath of office, more for ceremony,
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but of course you know as well as me in the military, ceremony matters. and this is president trump's first visit to the pentagon here face to face with many members and commanders of the u.s. military. his first visit as commander in chief at a time that the nation is at war, its two longest wars in iraq and afghanistan. so, this moment, this meeting with his defense secretary, this chance to meet here at the pentagon with uniformed members of the armed services. it has enormous value, symbolic value. at the bottom of the hour we're going to have the president signing some of those executive orders. a couple of which deal with the military. they talk about military readiness, focus on increasing the size of the navy, for instance. but i believe the ceremony is about to start now. >> all right. we're going to take a very, very quick break, we're going to bring the ceremony to you live when it starts. stay with us. we'll be right back. ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." you're looking at live pictures from the pentagon. any moment we expect president trump to walk in there with retired general james "mad dog"
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mattis. this is the official swearing in at the pentagon. we find cnn's own chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. jim, general mattis was confirmed almost overwhelmingly, 98-1 in the u.s. senate. he is highly regarded by both democrats and republicans, and his fellow members of the military. i think a lot of people in the building in which you are right now breathed a sigh of relief when they heard mattis was being considered for the job. >> no question. deep respect for general mattis, and that is up and down the ranks. at the highest levels, but also enlisted men and women who served with him in iraq, earning that nickname "mad dog" during the fight for fallujah. as you know, a much deeper experience in mind, military mind, he's an educated man, a big thinker, an historian. so, that kind of wisdom really and experience, that weight give the people in this building
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great, great confidence, right, in light of the fact that they don't have experience or great deal of knowledge about donald trump's direction going forward. and big topic of conversation today, we know between mattis and president trump is strategy for isis. he's asked for new options to become more aggressive, more forward leaning and some of those options are going to put u.s. troops in greater danger if the president were to choose to take them, for instance, deploying attack helicopters in syria, this kind of thing. but again, this is a big moment for the u.s. military. how big of a change does he take going forward? and i will say that after the ceremony, you do have the signing of executive orders here, two of which relate to the military. they talk about military readiness, doing thing like increasing the size of the navy. of course, the military is never going to say no to spending more money, but there has been a great deal of consternation here in the pentagon in the age of sequestration, makes it very difficult for them to make
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long-term decisions, strategic decisions. but one of those executive orders he's going to sign different, one that relates to immigration from muslim majority countries, and that's one that even general mattis, at least in the broad topic of a muslim ban that came up during the campaign, not one that he has been comfortable with. so, you know, when those executive orders are signed you're going to have general mattis there next to president trump as he takes these decisions, two relating to military which general matt iks will be happy with, one relating to immigration less comfortable, i imagine. >> and the president has said he will defer to general mattis on the subject of torture. president trump has said that he thinks torture works. general mattis has told the president trump that it doesn't. give me a pack of cigarettes and a six pack and i'll be able to get the information that way. >> that's exactly right. general mattis is someone, listen, he is not alone among
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military commanders that i've spoken with who say, listen, torture doesn't get you good information. as a commander in the field he knows there are a whole host of other reasons not to torture. he knows in iraq and afghan and elsewhere, these are battles for the hearts and minds of people. listen, i was in iraq during abu ghraib when those photos were released. the damage that did to u.s. standing there at a time it was trying to earn the confidence of the iraqi people, these things make a difference in that part of the world in the views of military commanders such as general mattis. so, it's not just about whether it works or not and many military commanders believe it doesn't work, but it's about what it means for u.s. standing in the world. what it means for the standing of the u.s. military. troops deployed in the field. these are factors and no one is going to be more aware of those factors than general mattis who has served and commanded troops in battle in iraq and elsewhere. >> it looks like an aide is
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putting up prepared remarks on the poed poed yum. we're going to squeeze in one more quick break. stay with us. we'll exum back with the ceremonial swearing in of the new secretary of defense by president trump. stay with us. introducing the new turbocharged volkswagen alltrack with 4motion all-wheel drive. soon to be... everywhere. people confuse but they're different... nice tells you what you want to hear. but kind is honest.
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we're back with breaking news. we are waiting for president trump to arrive and conduct the ceremonial swearing in of his newly minted secretary of
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defense, retired marine general james mattis. you're looking at live pictures from the pentagon right now. we were talking with senior national chief correspondent jim sciutto. i might have to rudely interrupt you as soon as i see movement there. we are also expecting president trump to sign some executive orders about immigration, specifically cutting off at least temporarily immigration from syria, for syrian refugees, and also putting a hold or freeze on immigration from -- of individuals from seven majority muslim countries. >> that's exactly right. a few of them iraq, iran, somalia, libya. the thing is these are countries that have a lot of americans, people who hold dual citizenship, or they have wives or children who do. this is going to have a real effect on them and really the principal measure is going to be -- the take away is this is a small form muslim ban.
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30 days for these countries, 120-day stop on all refugees. but that time period is meant as per the executive order to allow for greater restrictions. and it even recommends some that would ask people what their religious beliefs are. and that's, of course, a test that i don't have to remind you or our viewers that a religious test like that is one that is inconsistent in the view of many americans and lawmakers, republican and democrat, with american principle. so, it's not blanket, it's not every muslim in the world. it's not permanent, but it is -- it's a real shock to many involved and let's be clear, even to many of donald trump's own cabinet picks who have expressed -- >> announcer: ladies and gentlemen, the vice-president of the united states and the secretary of defense. ladies and gentlemen, the
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president of the united states. >> good afternoon. you may be seated. mr. president, chairman done ford, members of the joint chiefs of staff, leadership of the department of defense, men and women of our armed forces, distinguished guests, thank you for being here today for the ceremonial swearing in of general james mattis as the 26th secretary of defense of the united states of america. it is a high honor for me to be with you today. you look around this room, we stand in a place of honor.
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the hall of heroes. the names of 3498 american patriots are inscribed on these walls. each of them performed personal acts of val or above and beyond the call of duty and received the medal of honor as a consequence. it is humbling for us to be among their names and to be with all of you. secretary mattis is soon to mark his 50th anniversary in the service of this country. during more than four decades in uniform, secretary mattis commanded marines at all levels from an infantry rifle platoon to a marine expeditionary force. he led an infa fan tri battalion in iraq in 1991 and afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attack. went on to lead the first marine expeditionary force, u.s. marine forces in central command as a joint force commander, secretary
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mattis commanded u.s. joint forces command, nato supreme allied command for transformation and u.s. central command. had u.s. central command he directed military operations of 200,000 soldiers, sailors, air men, coast guard, marines and allied forces across the middle east. and now, mr. secretary, your president has called you to lead all of the armed forces of the united states. he and i have the highest faith in your judgment, your courage, and your dedication to this nation. and, so, on behalf of president trump, it is my great privilege to administer to you the oath of office. if you would please place your left hand on the bible, raise your right hand, and repeat after me. i, james norman mattis do solemnly swear. >> i, james norman mattis do
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solemnly swear. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> that i will bear 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 that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties. >> and i will well and faithfully discharge the duties. >> of the office upon which i am about to enter. >> of the office upon which i am about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> thank you. [ applause ]
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>> thank you, mr. vice-president and mr. president, thank you very much for your confidence in me. and welcome to the headquarters of your military, your always loyal military where america's awesome determination to defend herself is on full display. i would just tell you that you've made clear, mr. president, your commitment to a strong national defense and the americans honor ed in this hall remind us of our strength as a nation of patriots. on behalf of your department, i want you to know that after more than a decade of war, our longest war, those serving today have been tested and you can count on us all the way. we're grateful for you being here, for showing your respect for us on a day when former secretary of defense bill cohen, former deputy secretary rudy de leon are here. it is a reminder this department stands in perpetuity as the defender, as the sentinels and
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as the guardians of the nation. and thank you for your confidence in me, mr. president. >> total confidence. thank you. [ applause ] >> and that's total confidence, believe me. i'd like to first congratulate general james mattis, now secretary mattis. secretary mattis has devoted his life to serving his country. he is a man of honor, a man of devotion, and a man of total action. he likes action. he is the right man at the right time, and he will do us all very, very proud. i am honored to stand here today among so many patriots. you are the backbone of this country. you are the spirit of this nation in every sense. the men and women of the united states military are the greatest force for justice and peace and
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goodness that have ever walked the face of this earth. your legacy exists everywhere in the world today. where people are more free, more prosperous and more secure because of the united states of america. and you have earned and ensured for our children the glorious birthright of freedom bestowed upon us by god. we stand today in the hall of heroes, great heroes, a testament to the undying courage of those who wear our nation's uniform and who have received the highest distinction, the medal of honor. this is a sacred hall, the soul of our nation lives between these walls. these walls tell the story of
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those intrepid americans who gave everything, risked everything, and fought with everything they had to save their fellow warriors and warriors they are, believe me. warriors they are. and to save our wondrous liberties and to save this god-blessed land. they shed their blood and poured out the love from their hearts to protect our home. we are in awe of their valor, tremendous valor, and we pledge our dedication to every single family serving our country and our flag. that is why today i am signing two executive actions to ensure the sacrifices of our military are supported by the actions of our government, and they will always be supported by the
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actions of our government. believe me. first i'm signing an executive action to begin a great rebuilding of the armed services of the united states, developing a plan for new planes, new ships, new resources, and new tools for our men and women in uniform. and i'm very proud to be doing that. [ applause ] as we prepare our budget request for congress -- and i think congress is going to be very happy to see it -- our military strength will be questioned by no one, but neither will our dedication to peace. we do want peace. secondly, i'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical islamic terrorists out of the
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united states of america. we don't want them here. we want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. we only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people. we will never forget the lessons of 9/11 nor the heroes who lost their lives at the pentagon. they were the best of us. we will honor them not only with our words, but with our actions, and that's what we're doing today. i am privileged to be here with you, and i promise that our administration will always have your back. we will always be with you. and i just want to thank you very much. [ applause ]
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i want to just extend a very special congratulations to a great man, and that's secretary mattis. and i think he's going to lead us so brilliantly. he's a tremendous soldier, always has been. he's a general's general. every general that i spoke to, they just -- i won't say that they all said, he's our favorite, but they did. he's our favorite. he's a special, special man. so, i want to bless him and god bless you and god bless america. and, secretary mattis, i have no doubt you're going to do an outstanding job. and thank you very much for accepting this responsibility. thank you. [ applause ]
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so, this is the rebuilding of the united states armed forces. that's a big one. [ inaudible ] doesn't that sound good? it's been a while. secretary mattis. [ applause ]
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and this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the united states. we all know what that means. protection of the nation from foreign terrorists' entry into the united states. that's big stuff. and i want to thank everybody. there are many great heroes, great warriors. we have tremendous respect for all of you. [ inaudible ] [ applause ] >> president trump finishing up the ceremonial swearing in of
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retired general james mattis as secretary of defense. he's there with his vice-president mike pence. he also signed two executive actions, one beginning the process of, in his view, rebuilding the armed forces, and then another one which he said would protect the country from enemy -- from foreign enemy entities, islamic terrorists specifically he referred to. let's go to cnn national chief correspondent jim sciutto at the pentagon once more. and we were talking about this before the ceremony. but this isn't specifically singling out people with extremist ties and banning those individuals from coming into the country. this is a blanket ban, at least temporary, of all individuals from specific countries. and we should point out islamic terrorism is, of course, an extreme problem in many of these countries, but muslims happen to be the biggest victims of that islamic terrorism in these
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countries as well. >> no question. we'll list the countries covered under this executive order. iran, iraq, somalia, syria, yes, ma'am enl, libya and sudan. that's why they're on the list, that's their governments. the people, though, in effect, there is a presumption of guilt here by this, and i should note the president said as he signed this order that he wants to learn, he wants the country to learn the lessons of 9/11. just to remind people, the high jackers, including those who came into the pentagon here, they were from four countries, saudi arabia, united arab em ritz, egypt and lebanon. knows of those countries are on the list there. so, it just shows -- it raises questions about what exactly from a counter terror standpoint this will do, will accomplish. and then the broader question about what a religious test is because this is a religious test. it's not about banning people who have ties to terrorists or
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backgrounds. it talks about a delay initially for 30 days, 120 days for refugees, for everyone from these countries. muslim majority countries, until the executive order says there can be better measures, including asking questions about their religious beliefs which raises questions with many people including people in that room there as the president was signing that executive order. >> all right. jim sciutto, thank you so much. coming up next, a first for the march for life, vice-president mike pence pays a visit to the thousands of demonstrators who hope that the trump white house will pick a supreme court justice who opposes abortion rights and will overturn roe v wade. stay with us. to bring an entire stadium to its feet. you missed it, buddy. it's all good. and much like this hero, courtyard is all about the game. one, two, three... waaaaave!
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. today's national lead for the third time in a week, massive crowds have descended upon the nation's capital. today it was anti-abortion demonstrators marking 44 years since the u.s. supreme court
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ruled abortion legal with roe v. wade. the people who marched today are more hopeful than ever than a high court reversal of that decision. cnn's sunlen is covering it. vice-president pence is the first to address the rally. what did he tell the crowd? >> that point not lost on the marchers today. the point was crystal clear in his message. he at many times during his speech recited the same refrain saying life is winning again in america. so, certainly trying to project this image that with the results of the election that this is a new era they believe for the anti-abortion movement in america, indicating that now not only because you have a republican in the white house, but because you have a republican-controlled senate, a republican-controlled house. he said there is going to be
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movement up here on capitol hill. here's what he said earlier today. >> that's why this administration will work with the congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers. [cheering and applauding] >> and we will devote those resources to health care services for women across america. >> and that message certainly resonating with the crowd. i spoke to here today on many of them, of course, wanting to see the de-funding of planned parenthood, but top on the minds of many people i spoke to certainly who donald trump will pick to be the next supreme court justice, who he will nominate. many people here sensing an opportunity to get an anti-abortion justice in place. and certainly many of the marchers are watching every move that donald trump makes. one marcher telling me that they will hold donald trump's feet to the fire on this one. jake? >> all right, sunlen, thanks very much. congresswoman mia love of utah got personal with the crowd when she spoke at today's march for
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life rally. take a listen. >> years ago, that couple from haiti could have made the choice to abort, but they didn't. they chose life. i'm certain that this couple would never have thought that that child would become the first black female republican ever elected to congress. [cheering and applauding] >> and the congresswoman joins me now. that was a powerful moment, that caught our attention. i have to ask, i don't know if you were speaking more broadly to illustrate a point, or if your parents actually had contemplated getting an abortion. >> oh, you can only imagine, you know, they came here with just $10 in their pockets. they're working really hard. they had no money. they left my brother and my sister behind and it was awhile before they were able to get back. they wanted to become u.s. citizens so they could bring my brother and my sister along. so, you couldn't even imagine the sacrifices and the c the contemplation --
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>> did they tell you that? >> they don't tell your kids that. they're always a blessing, your children. >> you just put yourself in their shoes. >> i put myself in their shoes. but they have talked to me about how difficult it was and how, you know, that would have been an easy out for them. >> so, president trump says he's going to pick his supreme court nominee next week, i think thursday. earlier today he spoke with christian broadcasting network david brodie and said he's wrang up the vetting process. here's what he had to say about his potential nominee. >> the person that i pick will be a big, big -- i think people are going to love it. i think evangelicals, christians will love my pick. and we'll be represented very fairly. >> the president has also said out right that he wants a justice who opposes abortion rights. is this, you're not going to vote on in the house. >> right. >> you certainly have a respectable and respected voice. is this the most important issue
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to you when it comes to who he picks for the supreme court? >> look, i look at my job very simply. i look at my job as a human being. i look at my job especially in congress very simply, to protect life, libber tiff and the pursuit of happiness. that is first and foremost my job. life being important, the most important, so this is obviously very personal to me on a religious standpoint and i believe when it come to what -- who we are as americans and what we stand for. our job is to protect life, and i believe that it's our job to protect life at all stages of development. so -- >> so, from the moment of conception? >> yes, that's my belief. and i think it's really important because when we look at these unborn lives, one of the things i tried to mention is what's to come. people don't see the missed potential when we -- when a child is aborted. i mean, that child could be the doctor that cures cancer, or could -- there's unlimited potential that we miss out on. >> let me ask you a question because this is something that i've never really fully
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understood. it seems the best way to bring down abortions, the number of abortions is to prevent unwanted, unplanned for pregnancies to begin with. and that would seem to me from a medical perspective -- not a religious perspective, from a medical per sf medic medical perspective, it would seem as much contra exception you can get out there, that would reduce the number of abortions. it seems at the same time the republicans in congress talk about wanting to have a pro-life country. they look for ways to reduce the amount of contra exception. >> now you're really -- yes, that's the heart of it, right? i would say that my job in congress is to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. i do not believe it is my job to control how they manage their family. i don't believe it's my job to put -- not put contraceptives
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out there. i think women and families should be able to make those decisions. i think it's up to us to get as many people as many options as possible so that -- >> republicans want to take away the contra exception mandate in obamacare, and that would seem to be -- >> see, there are some answers to that, right? so, there is a bill that i led out on last year that was over the counter, which would allow contraceptives, birth control to be put on -- to be put in over the counter, which would bring the cost, bring it down to a fraction of the cost. there by giving as many people as many options. now, one of the things i want to be very clear about is protecting the youth is something that is important to me also. you can't go in and get a birth control without parental -- without a parent or legal guardian. but these are the types of things that i think that we need to be looking at because it's not our job to tell people how to plan their families. but to give as many people as many options, and it is our job to protect life. >> congresswoman, great to have you on the show. thanks so much for being here. we appreciate it.
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now to our lead, these are stories we think are not getting enough attention. a rough road lead to the stars. it is also the title of a new kennedy space center tribute. the three men were killed a half century ago today during what was supposed to be a routine count down simulation. because of their sacrifice, nasa was able to pave a safer and much more reliable road to the moon. >> apollo astronauts lose their lives in a tragic flash fire aboard the grounded space capsule. >> it was supposed to be the first manned flight of the apollo program. during a routine count down at cape canaveral, apollo one ended in disaster. the capsule was filled with pure oxygen. the hatch door latches fastened tight when a spark erupted into flames. astronaut shouted fire in the cockpit, but seconds later all
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three astronauts inside perished. >> on january 27, 1967, my little 8-year-old world was torn apart. that evening my mother had to tell my brother steven and me, that our daddy was never coming home. >> that daddy, roger chafe was just 31, a rookie astronaut who had not yet been to space. as an adult, his daughter cheryl spent 33 years working at nasa to help others achieve that dream. the hard lessons learned from the apollo one disaster were applied to future missions as the u.s. raced the soviets to the moon. redesigned hatches, less flam i believe material and safer mix of oxygen and nitrogen allowed men such as kneel armstrong and buzz all children take off safely and land safely on the moon in 1969. >> one giant leap for man kind. >> today all children tweeted a reminder, we lost the apollo one crew, but we all new the risk so we pressed on and we were willing to take the risks of
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their sacrifice wasn't in vain. tune in to cnn for state of the union at 9:00 eastern. that is it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." have a great weekend. >> happening now, extreme vetting. the commander in chief visits the pentagon. orders a boost in u.s. armed forces and a sharp scrutiny of refugees to the united states, which he says is aimed at keeping out, quote, radical islamic terrorists. walled off, president trump speaks by phone with mexico's president. they agreed to disagree about who will pay for a border wall. in fact, the president did not mention a wall publicly today. have they agreed to keep quiet about that? prelude to putin. while welcoming britain's prime minister and hailing her special relationship, president trump gives a hint about tomorrow's phone call with russia's president say