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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 1, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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travel ban and possibly removing of iraq from the red list of countries. why is the white house delaying the new release? shifting authorities new details emerging about the terror raid that left the u.s. navy s.e.a.l. dead. and now the white house is debating to how such raids are green-lighted. financial ties are revealed between the fwooib and the former british spy behind the dossier, we're finding out the fbi reimbursed some of his expenses. how much was he paid and for how long? market mover. wall street goes wild as the dow cracks 21,000 for the first time. president trump taking credit for soaring stocks. will he also be blame the if it collapses? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and
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around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "the situation room." tonight president trump and the white house are basking in the mostly positive reviews of the president's speech to congress. trump met with key people in congress. in an effort to keep the spotlight on what people say was president trump's best speech, the white house delays the executive order on travel ban, and as top executives to remove iraq from the ban. cnn is learning there is discussion of the way counterterrorism missions are approved. president trump praised the operation if yemen that lefd the u.s. navy s.e.a.l. saying it yielded valuable information. the fbi reimbursed some of the expenses behind the dossier
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containing ties between president trump and russia. we're covering that and much more this hour, with our guest including senator langua ford. jeff zeleny, the white house is trying to pivot on the heels of the president's speech. >> they're trying to get republicans in line and behind his agenda on healthcare and tax reform and other things. he had congressional leadership here for a lunch today at the white house for a meeting with them. this is what he said. >> we're just here to start the process. it begins as of now and we think we're going to have tremendous success. >> so, of course, that tremendous success depends on whether they can get the rank and file behind him here, particularly on healthcare. some of the poroposals and tax
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cuts, some view it as an extra entirety. he has to get his party behind him. that short clip there is all that we saw from the meeting but talking to people in the room and others, we hear it was a productive meeting on the healthcare agenda. look for that to start on capitol hill next week. >> you're learning about the new revised travel ban that the president was originally supposed to sign today. what can you tell us? >> this was been promised and promised over the last three weeks, but the president was expected to sign that executive order today, essentially a do-over. but they decided to hold off offer the speech because it was getting such positive reviews. what's happening here at the same time, three top officials in the administration, the
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secretary of state, the defense secretary and the national security adviser, all are trying to urge the president and the white house to change this ban a little bit by removing iraq from it, from those seven countries that are included in there. they say they do not want iraq to be included in there. no word tonight if it will be, but wolf, we're expect it go later this week. but remember the urgency for this, that the president talked about repeatedly? suddenly it doesn't seem so urgent if it was delayed today because of the speech last night. >> we'll see when it's released. the president also told a group of reporters yesterday including me, and i'm quoting him, the time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides. sara murray is getting some new reporting about those comments and it's pretty startling. update our viewers. >> she is indeed, wolf. sara murray talked to a senior official today, and said there is a bit of misdirection.
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the president may certainly belief this, and he's talked about immigration reform for a while but certainly not his leading priorities here. but sara is reporting that the president wanted to raise that as sort of a something to have a discussion about going into the speech last night but it certainly is not one of his priorities. this could be a win/win for the president, and they want to show that the president is thinking about those terms. he was not elected on a mandate for immigration reform. we learned his language on cracking down on existing laws and borders. this is something i would say is not on the front burner, it did not come up today at all we're told at the legislative meeting. he talked about it more at the meeting with you, wolf, than last night in the speech. >> jeff zeleny at the white house. thank you. meanwhile u.s. defense resources
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are telling cnn that the white house is discussing potential changes in how counterterrorisms are approved. this follows a raid in yemen. the widow of chief petty officer ryan owens was a guest in the first lady's box. her emotional response drew more than two minutes of applause. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. the president said it produced lots of vital intelligence. what exactly based on all the information you're getting what exactly did they get? >> well, good evening, wolf. it's worth noting right off the top, the intelligence remains classified so this is what senior defense officials are telling us they got. they say that they got vital information and a good deal of
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it and it centers around key areas, al qaeda's key areas, they got information about how this al qaeda group is recruiting, training, how it is working on explosives and all of those things are very vital to understand because this al qaeda group in yemen is one of the few that really has been able to conduct attacks overseas. it is said to have been responsible for the charlie ebb doe in paris, for the christmas day attempt in the u.s. to get a nondetectable bomb defense landing in detroit. the concern is this group is really trying to reach an attack in the west. it's one of the reasons the u.s. is going after them strong.
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>> let's say they didn't get excellent intelligence that could set the stage for another operations raid, there is a discussion who have approve the raid. >> this discussion is seeing if the trump administration can and will move beyond the obama white house. under obama many military commanders felt their hands were tied, they had to get the president's approval, he asked a lot of questions. you hear the phrase micromanagement. now the question is, is president trump less of a micromanager. he's willing to trust his top commanders, trust his defense secretary, he will still sign off on everything he has to sign off on. but he's willing to delegate just a little more. here is the risk, if you have a
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mission go badly as it did in yemen, he is still the commander in chief. will the buck stop with him or will he say it's the penton. >> let's get more on this with republican senator james. >> glad to be with you, wolf. >> have you gun briefed on the intelligence that has been collected on the raid. >> i don't talk about what we've been briefed on. but obviously when you go on the ground to go into a location you're obviously very aware there may be valuable information there. there is a read you do on the ground attack versus just droppi dropping munitions. >> your republican colleague, warned against overselling the gains in that yell enraid. do you agree with the senator?
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>> i don't know what is gathered. it takes a long time to get all the information of a raid like that. there is translation, they work through the process, so they have different tiers of what they're trying to get immediately based on immediate attacks and then they work the way through the process. it takes a long time. as you go, you hit troves of information. >> have you seen information that leads you to believe that now a revised travel ban including banning at least six, maybe seven mostly muslim countries is necessary for u.s. national security? >> those are decisions the president makes actually dealing with it. i will tell you, i don't know what the travel ban is going to list, obviously we're all waiting on that and what that's going to include. when you're talking about yemen, somalia, syria, talking about a terrorist nation like iran, those are high-risk countries,
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regardless, especially if a situation where there is a failed government like yemen and somalia. >> would you include iraq? >> i would not personally. the iraqi government is more reliable because of our relationship. when you're dealing with yemen, al qaeda has been very active and trying to target the united states. that's long been aspirational for them and that's well-known and that is a failed state with no functioning government currently. >> we were told iraq was included in the first executive order because so much of iraq including the second largest city, mosul, a huge chunk of mosul is still under the control of isis and people may wind up in syria and turkey, but it there can't be serious vetting. >> it depends on how much you
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trust the documents. we're not talking about opening up and all individuals being able to move, not like canada and the united states. there is a lot of vetting that occurs now. every individual that petitions to be able to come is not accepted coura accepted currently. this is an additional block and whether you have to keep the high standards we have now. if they're coming from mosul and don't have documents and show a next us, they're blocked right now. what president trump is doing a vetting -- is our vetting high enough for countries where we do not have functional relationships. >> let me move on to another key issue. a senior administration official tells me that president trump now believes as president obama believed at the end of his administration that north korea
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represents the greatest immediate threat to u.s. national security. do you agree? >> there are a lot of immediate threats. cyber security, narco terrorism, but when you deal with north korea specifically they have been very clear and testing of their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, and trying to create aid weapon that will reach the continental united states and i don't know another leader with a nuclear weapon as the north korea leadership is. it's a great unknown. when you try to determine what is the deterrent, we don't know what a good deterrent would be. it does make him a very strong, very serious threat to the united states at any moment. >> thanks very much. i want you to stick around, senator, we have more to discuss. we'll take a quick break. and we'll be right back.
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a bombshell statement by president trump on comprehensive immigration reform. but did he really mean it? we're back with republican senator james lankford of oklahoma. president trump told a group of journalists in the white house, including me, this, i'll read the on the record quote. the time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides. sara murray is reporting that a senior administration official a source calls that simply in the words of this official, a misdirection play designed to give the media a story line to generate some positive news coverage for the president.
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but it wasn't really serious. what is your reaction when you hear that. >> when we deal with the immigration reform there is a lot of things that the administration can do and law reform. it has to be a cooperation between the house, the senate and the white house. it's been the barrier that we've had for several year. and we try to do the simplest things even people that have graduate degrees, graduating from the united states, keeping them on a green card so they can stay here. in the past they've been blocked saying we need to do larger rerm months as well. there are a lot of things that need to be done in immigration reform. there are a lot of common ground already in immigration reform. the challenge is focusing on what it be done and not trying to create this into something that can't be done politically or shouldn't be done. i think we should work on legislation. we have to deal with the affordable care account, tax policy, regulatory reform.
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and then we'll get to immigration at the earliest this fall. >> would you support comprehensive immigration reform if it led to a legal status of millions of undocumented immigrants, allowing them to work, pay taxes, raise families without fear of being deported? >> i would have to see the exact text and for whom that's extended and how. i would never support something that leads to citizenship. my own faith and own journey, there is something very, very special about american citizenship and i don't think you begin that with an illegal act and cutting the line that we have people in philippines that wait 30 years to wait through the legal process to come here. that is definitely off the table for me. how we would deal any other relationships, who would be earn that, i have to see the exact proposals on that. we have to do something on a lot
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of areas in our legal system. even the 50,000 people a year that get citizenship in a visa lottery system is nonsensible. rather than what the president talked about the merit basis like the u.k. does, australia, do we need the job, what's the best interest, are you coming to do research and development. we have not done in the past. that's a wise thing to do for any nation. >> what about the so-called dreamers, the children born here, raised in the united states by their parents? would you allow a pathway to citizenship for these so-called dreamers? >> again, there is a lot of complications. i have to look at that as a package. i would not exclude them as individuals. some say no way i kwo never do that. i would not exclude them. there are some individuals that should be able to work through the system and come on as
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americans because they've grown up and been here their own lives. we're holding their parents accountab accountable have done. i was talking to law enforcement folks in tulsa oklahoma and were in the process of deporting an individual because they were involved in a gang, narcotics trafficking. you can't have a blanket rule on that. >> you and the president based on what i know, you both seem to be on the same page on all these very sensitive issues. we'll see what happens down the road. senator james lankford. thank you. >> thanks wolf. does his well-received speech mark a pivot in president trump's.
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cnn has learned that the fbi reimbursed some expenses of the former british spy behind the dossier containing allegations of ties between president trump and russia. you're learning new information, update us. >> that's right, wolf.
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the british spy who produced a dossier detailing these allegations between president trump and russia got paid by the fbi for some of his expenses. the bureau had a short-lived arrangement with christopher steel who is a former mi 8 operator before the election. because steel became frustrated that in his view the fbi wasn't doing enough to investigate trump and the russian allegations. he was hired on a research firm that was working and hired by the trump administration. and then later by the democrats. we don't know how much the fbi actually paid steel and for how long, but we do know that the fo fbi spent months last month trying to evaluate his dossier, and his own worse and trying to -- to try to check aspects of
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steel's work. the fbi was able to match some of the communications that the dossier describes as happening between some of the people described and on the dates that the dossier said that they happened. steel was well-known to the fbi and to other u.s. government agencies because he used his russian sources to come up with some of the information that the fbi used in its corruption probe of fifa, that's the world soccer governing body. >> evan perez with the latest news. thank you very much. let's dig deeper with our experts and analysts. what do you mean of that reporting and let me turn to bianna as i ask her that question. the latest reporting does it give more credence to the allegations that have been so widely rt roed over the past several weeks. >> it's suggesting that there may have been some there there. it may be why the u.s. intelligence brought to the attention of the president obama and president-elect trump as well to tell them that this is
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the information that we've gathered. we don't find that all of it to be credible. we can't release it all. obviously cnn broke the story, not releasing a lost the stories because you can't confirm this. this validates that there is infact some there there, and the dossier may have legs. i thought the most rewarding thing for the president coming oust the speech that except for now we vanity been talking about russia. he didn't talk about it last night at the speech, russia wasn't talked about throughout the news channels and the newspapers because were focusing on the depth and issues that he talked about last night. so that to me, if anything, signals a success for the president. >> i agree. gloria, we didn't hear much about syria, afghanistan, iraq, other international issues, a little bit here and there, not
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that much alall. and he wants to focus on domestic issues. >> right, we all know as a candidate it's so much easier to come up with solutions to foreign policy, i would do this, i would do this. as president you get confronted by the reality of the daily presidential brief and you know that the world is much more complicated. the line that the president used last night which struck me, my job is not to represent the world, my job is to the represent the united states of america. so that's the larger america first, you know, theme that he's used over and over again. but yes, you're right, wolf. right now his challenge is in domestic policy and he spent most of the speech talking about the issue coming before congress because his captive audience was there, and he was talking to the republicans. >> jackie, one of the most
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powerful moments, several moments was near the end when he mentioned the death of the navy s.e.a.l., ryan owens and specifically mentioned to his wife, who was sitting up there in the gallery with the first lady, this was -- with his daughter ivanka trump. this was a powerful moment, and the president was very strong in talking about his bravery and the accomplishments, read a statement from the defense secretary and talking about the importance of the intelligence that was gathered. interestingly enough senator graham cautioned the president today that theo wen owens is a but don't eversell the raid. >> first, we should say, carryn owens, to be there and to be in the spotlight, it was impressive and our hearts obviously go out
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for her loss. but lindsey graham is right, and john mccain said a very similar thing. his sacrifice is important and no matter whether it was, you know -- if intelligence was gained or not. and there are still investigations going on into this raid, inside the military. so there are things that we just don't know yet, and you don't want to risk disappointing this family after the fact. particularly after that powerful moment that we saw last night. >> it was truly a powerful moment and our hearts go out to the woman, the wife of this navy s.e.a.l. by the way, lindsey graham and john mccain are going to be in the town hall 9:00 p.m. eastern. dana bash will be moderating this. i think they'll have all sorts of things to say about this and other issues. david, they're not considering who should categorize the raids.
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it was always had to go to the president before they go out there and take a risky mission like this and get it under way. but now maybe the generals themselves should authorize them. there is a serious debate under way. >> it's not that surprising. this was talked a little bit on the campaign, not a lot. there are folks that believe those closer to the fight, depending on how close they are, are in better shape to make a decision on that kind of intelligence. i think whatever the administration does, they've got to go out there and say, look, we still recognize the president has to say that the buck stops with him that ultimately the commander in chief is responsible. >> president obama he always insisted that he wanted to personally authorize these kinds of operations. in effect suggesting, the generals are great, but i need as the commander in chief it's got to come to me. >> and donald trump just the
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other day said the generals made the decisions which made it look like he was passing the buck to the generals but we know the commander in chief is the one who bears the ultimately responsibility. >> bianna. >> yes, mattis was, of course, put in a box if you want to describe it that way last night. with the president calling him out, see, this was a victory because general mattis said it was. gloria is talking about something that we reported yesterday and the day before that seems to contradict what the president was saying and trying to validate last night. let's not forget our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this lost s.e.a.l. but somebody was killed in this raid. in that alone it proves that it wasn't necessarily the success that it south it to be. >> can the president unite republicans behind a plan to
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key republican lawmakers were over at the white house today strategizing with the president about replacing obamacare. our congressional correspondent phil mattingly has the latest. they appear to be coming together at least around top
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details. >> there are some areas of agreement. but just a few minutes ago senator republicans broke up a closed door meeting, a question-and-answer session that one said was a good exchange. in this process as it moves forward there are still a lot more questions than answers. >> tonight i am also calling on this congress to repeal and replace obamacare. >> reporter: tonight president trump attempting to sell lawmakers on his healthcare plan. >> action is not a choice. it is a necessity. so i'm calling on all democrats and republicans in congress to save us from this impoeding obamacare disaster. >> reporter: congressionals meeting with the president, hoping to seize on the momentum of trump's big night last night.
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>> we think we're going to have tremendous success. >> reporter: this is health and human services tom price to swaj their concerns. but many of those same conservatives are held up on the republican leadership pathway forward, disputing trump did anything like endorse that plan last night. >> i get that there are folks today in the media trying to spin that he was supporting one legislative package. >> that's also the house speaker saying that explicitly. >> well, the president was not laying out a piece of legislation. he was laying out the piece of reform. it's going to be up to congress to work out the details and i think we can get it done. >> reporter: gop leaders say that's exactly what the president did. >> i thought it was a home run. he articulated what we all think. >> reporter: with these words -- >> through the use of tax
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credits. >> reporter: trump attempting to adopt pall ryan's plan. and a more detailed plan than just a few days earlier. >> it's an unbelievably complex subject. nobody knew that it was so complicated. >> reporter: just as house republicans prepare to launch their action. kevin grady and greg walden making the trek across the capital. the house leadership proposal repeals the mandate, and puts financing for high risk pools but it also relies on refundable tax players to help those not an plans. and reform medicare. those remain the thorniest. trump's influence on those specifics won't just be welcome but exceedingly necessary in the
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weeks ahead. for now, though, on both sides of pennsylvania avenue, a welcomed step forward. >> here are my principles here is how we'll make a better healthcare system in america. that's exactly the kind of leadership that will guide the congress and guide the legislative process to a better future. >> and wolf, if you want an idea of how delicate this process is, there are two house committees that are working through the repeal language and one of those committees will get a view on where the staff is currently tomorrow, behind closed doors with no electronic copies allowed and no ability to take copies out of that room. the reason why, they are concerned about leaks, leaks that have sprung a lot of the conservative concern we've seen up to this point. just how republican leaders try to handle this entire process, it is as dell cad as it gets and there is a recognition that anything that could go sideways could sink the process as a whole. that's why everyone is being exceedingly careful. >> as they should be.
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phil mattingly, thank you very much. gloria, republicans, they're not yet all on the same page. >> no. some of them aren't even in the same book. and they're scrambling to try to get some kind of a plan that not only conservatives and more moderate members and pro-trump members can agree with, but also that the house can agree with the senate, and they're doing it behind closed doors because they don't want any of this to come out until they're finally done. that's why you have dr. price making house calls -- all right. that's a little too much. >> sorry. >> sorry. >> in the house and in the senate, and i think that in the end, it really is going to be up to the president. and don't forget, this is going to be his first big domestic agenda item, and he's going to call people in and say, i need this because i can't lose on my first vote. and i'm going to go sell it to the american public.
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and if he tells republicans he's going to do that, that's going to have a lot of sway with them because they need a president to go out there and explain it and tell people why they need it, and how republicans are going to keep their health insurance. >> he wants to do haeng before tax cuts and other things. >> yes. >> this could add to the national debt, the expenditures, at least in the short-term and there are going to be fiscal hawks, tea party activists who are not going to be happy. >> absolutely. at least today they all seem to be holding their fire. you sue ted cruz doing that. it's going to be fine. it's not going to be fine. it's going to be a fight. no matter what the issue, healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure. i mean, that bill, donald trump is going to need democrats to help that through, if it comes this years or next year. so yeah, while there was some sort of coalescing and a bit of
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sigh of relief after last night. if you get someone off the record, they know there is a long way to go. >> bianna, part of the speech at the very beginning when he made a point of condemning anti-semitic activities at the jewish cemeteries and community centers and the kansas issue as a hate crime. he expressed a commitment to working with muslims in the battle against terror. how important was all of this? >> it is important. and it's about time. wolf, we shouldn't be talking about this. this should not be an issue. he should have been saying this from day one, the first time he heard about a cemetery being desecrated or a bomb threat called in. he's the president, he leads by example, and people follow his words. yes, it's important that he says that but it's important that he tells people to wear seat belts
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too. he shouldn't be rewarded waiting three weeks after cemeteries where desecrated, and one man was wounded and others. >> why did he wait, david, so long? >> this goes back to trump having a lack of comfort talking about politically margin liesed groups in a way that he can affirm people. the people need the president to set an example and not talking about these things as political correctness. bianna is right. >> this goes beyond political. this goes beyond political correctness. in what world is it took to call bomb threats in and cribs ushered out of communities. i just interviewed a holocaust survivor on monday, and he says it brings up fears. i'm not comparing the two, but there is a reason why a lot of
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people in this country are concerned and the lack of action the president took initially. >> when i say that. can i clarify? what i say there are those among trump's supporters who feel like talking about minority groups is political correctness and giving into the left. not that i -- bianna, i totally take your point. not in a way it is mere politically correct to talk about full throated -- >> there is the aspect, though, that he takes things personally, that he's being accused of anti-semitism rather than wanting to address the problem and making people in the country feel better. >> so then grow up. because honestly this is about the country. it's not about him. and i think we saw the initial white house concern by mike pence went to one of the
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desiccated s desiccated cemeteries and helped clean it up. we saw the white house had some concern. but it's not good enough to just have the vice-president do it. and i think that became obvious to them had you saw more and more things occur and it should have been obvious from day one. >> all these pho they have no real leads so far, apparently no one has been arrested yet, no one has been charged, no one has been picked i. they've got all sorts of suggestion spigss and that's so frustrating. >> it is frus straight straighting and completely unnecessary. people are worried about fiscal responsibility should be outraged from a ethical ar moral standpoint but our fbi and law enforcement now have to waste time to track these callers down and tax-pair dollars doing that. >> we reported that at least some of the calls have come in
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from overseas and they have to investigate those calls official very clearly as well. >> this should be investigated but he should give a full-throated denunciation of it by saying we need to look into it. >> and so should the attorney general of the united states and say we're going to use the full force of everything we have at our disposal to investigate this and prosecute these people. >> all right. stand by. just ahead, wall street celebrates a record high. does it have president trump to thank?
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potentially good news for your 401(k), new tonight a
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record my forwall street the dow closing above the 21,000 mark for the first time. richard quest, how much credit does president trump for the dow reaching this milestone? >> i think most of the credit, frankly. yes, there's the prospect of the fed raising interest rates and what president dudley told us yesterday, but president trump's expectation of policies in the foreseeable future is what is driving this. but it's not just tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure, it's not so nare rhode island row as that, wolf. there say renewed optimism, there is a confidence that business is moving forward. from a survey from jp morgan we've seen it again and again that there's no question about it, confidence is higher in the business community than it was a year ago or two years ago, and that is one of the reasons that's propelling the market higher as well. >> you went up 300 points. but if you look at november 8th
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the day of the election the dow was about 18,300, now it's well over 21,000 already. richard, were there details in the president's speech to congress that further reassured investors. >> $1 trillion, a number that was put on the infrastructure plan. also the fact that tax reform is going to come. now the president said and he may have said repeal and replace obama obamacare comes first, but as long he's keeps hammering this idea that tax reform is coming and, indeed, treasury secretary mnuchin said that afterwards, as long as that message comes forward, then the market will -- this march kelt has confidence at the moment, it has legs and the legs will probably run the rally further. >> as you know, the president, president trump he's take something credit for all of this, but what happens when
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there's a downnurn the markets. >> downturn oar correction, that's good we look forward to that. it's a full-scale downturn he has a very easy get out of jail card. he blames congress. he simple will he says, i came along, i had a plan, they wouldn't pass it and now look at the results. his plan as such will raise the deficit but the market likes it. it will have infra strauktustrue market's pleased about that. i was on the stock market today when it went to 21,000, i was on the floor of the exchange. >> i asked the traders and again and again the message was simple. we believe that there's better things coming and we have faith that they're going to arrive. >> and i remember just for some perspective, richard you do as well, when president obama was elected what -- eight years plus ago the dow jones was below
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7,000, when he left office above 18,000 back in november, now it's 21,000. he deserves some credit for that market going newspaper a dramatic swing like that as well. >> oh, no question. i mean, the former president rescued the u.s. economy, which is why when donald trump took credit for the fact that his budget deficit was lower or that the federal deficit was lower in january than when obama took office trr was spurious and frankly rather nonsense cal. when obama took office, it ballooned because of the need for spending to prevent a great depression. what bill dudley said to me yesterday was a really great risk of depression. now president trump takes office with growth of 1.6%. maybe not as good as he wants, unemployment down 4.6%. the garden is rosy, the blooms could get better, and now it's
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really up to him to execute on the plans he's put forward. >> richard quest, as usual, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> that's it for me, that's all the time we have. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett out front starts right now. up next breaking news, stocks sore in the glow of the president's speech, plus his tone gets high marks. did we see a new president trump or was it a prime time performance? and the hispanic pastor the one that led a prayer now offering shelter to terrified immigrants. has he lost faith in trump? let's go out front. good evening i'm aaron i erin burnett. we begin with breaking news, tr


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