tv Inside Politics CNN March 16, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
tack can happen without warning. a bayer aspirin regimen can help prevent another heart attack. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. bayer aspirin. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. house speaker paul ryan vowing to salvage the republican health care plan insisting all is fine, even as he's forced to revamp his plan because of an internal republican revolt. >> i spoke with the president about a half hour ago. i speak with the president pretty much every day. i spoke to him twice yesterday. so we are clearly in sync on this. we're working very hand in glove on this. and the president's team. so we're working extremely closely. this president is getting deeply involved. he is helping bridge gaps in our conference. he is a constructive force to help us get to a resolution so that we get consensus on how to
repeal and replace obamacare. it's been very helpful. we're working hand in glove. >> you get the message there? hand in glove? more details on that fight in a bit. the first trump budget off the presses. it proposes more money for the military and deep cuts in overseas spend, foreign programs and environmental protection. >> we are proposing a budget that will shrink the bloated federal bureaucracy, and i mean bloated. while protecting our national security. >> and the president lashes out after another big court setback. take two of his travel ban is blocked just as it was about to take effect. >> we're going to fight this terrible ruin. we're going to take our cases as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the supreme court. we're going to win. we're going to keep our citizens safe. and regardless, we're going to keep our citizens safe.
>> with us to share the reporting and insights, margaret of bloomberg politics, harry bacon of 538 and karen tumulty of "the washington post." the president is up on capitol hill going to an annual tradition, the st. patrick's day luncheon. house speaker paul ryan and other members of the congressional leadership greeting them. there are traditions. that luncheon is about to take place in the raeburn room. the president was told of the travel ban ruling just behavior big political rally last night in nashville. >> you don't think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you? no. this ruling makes us look weak. this is a watered down version of the first one. this is a watered down version.
and let me tell you something. i think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what i wanted to do in the first place. >> i think the president's lawyers will dissuade him from going back to the first one. by going all the way, the administration did recalibrate this one. they did take into account the prior ruling which the president was harshly critical of the judge and the legal findings in that. they say they'll take this up to the supreme court. to lose twice in your first 60 days in court on a signature campaign initiative, what does it mean for the travel ban and homeland security policy and, b, just for the momentum of a young presidency? >> in terms of the travel ban if you read the opinion, he keeps focussing on trump's comments during the campaign and comments steve miller made a few weeks ago. it's hard for them to find the travel ban that courts approval because the courts are going back and saying you campaignod the muslim ban so anything you do on this issue, we view as a muslim ban. i'm curious how they'll write
one viewed as constitutional. >> alan dershowitz said this this morning on cnn. if the president stops talk, there's a good chance this will be sustained on appeal. >> certainly harder to use his words against him in a court of law. i think the white house was always looking for a court challenge on this whether it was the initial one or this one. if you are preparing for a supreme court fight, any way you want two things. something that's more likely to withstand scrutiny in the high court. they think by several modifications, including the provision on protecting christians, attacking the iraqis out of the mix, this could better withstand that challenge. and the timing matterses. they want gorsuch on that court by the time is gets to the high court. >> how much time and energy do you want to put into this? if you take it up to the supreme court, i assume that's a process that takes months, and the administration's argument is that we need this yesterday. >> they might well prevail if they take it all the way up. the delay on this is an
embarrassment. particularly to have this happen a second time. it's a district judge, a temporary restraining order, not a definitive ruling on the legality of the bir process, but it is a very tough, harsh ruling. as perry said, it uses trump's words and others around trump against them in a way that makes it more difficult for them to claim that this is something other than what the judge claimed it is. >> perhaps the lesson here for donald trump is that his words have consequences. which is something that is not a reality, that he really had to confront on the campaign trail. this is the difference between campaigning and governing. >> especially on such issues. the court rule, the administration argued, start the clock on january 20th. start the clock when the president was inaugurated as president of the united states. you cannot go back to the campaign. the judge disagreed. the government appropriately cautions that in determining purpose, courts should not look into the veiled psyche and
secret motives of government decisionmakers. the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry. donald trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. that was the national muslim ban. the president has said since, this is not a muslim ban, but the problem is, his words, rudy giuliani's words during the transition. the president called me and said find a legal way to do this. this is an interview with anderson cooper. the administration says this isn't fair. this is candidate trump. courts should only judge president trump but the judges so far disagree. >> i think islam hates us. there is a tremendous hatred, and we have to be very vigilant, very careful. we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the united states. >> i guess the question is -- >> and of people that are not muslim. >> to karen's point, the
president can't erase these words. what he needs is someone on his legal team to convince a judge somewhere that that was then, this is now and they've crafted this policy more carefully. can they do that? >> the problem being some of the words since the election have also indicated this is viewed this way, too. steven miller was referring to earlier. one of the things referred to in the ruling. maybe another judge might think this is more farrowly drawn. you have a -- one fewer country. you aren't stopping college students who are here or doctors or people who already had visas. the policy is more narrow. judges we think as being impartial and not being swayed by politics but you don't have the same intense opposition of people going to airports and so on that you had the first time. maybe another court might view this in a slightly different context because it's not as politically charged. it's not as strong. the ban is a little more narrow. >> they wrote it more carefully.
we'll take you up to capitol hill shortly for the st. patrick's day luncheon. there's a guinness in his hand. the speaker of the house -- look at that. happy, public face right there. >> and there's gambling in the casino. but to this point, there's no indication they'll blink this time. last time they read the 9th circuit. instead of fighting this version, let's write another. >> there's not a third try. this is it. >> there are a number of justices on the ninth circuit who indicated they think this could be, well, legal. so depending on the mix of who they get, they might be okay. i mean, it's going to have to go through the process. but i think margaret is right. they'll not rewrite it another time. >> the process takes months. one of the things taken into account are things the president said during the campaign. another thing, taken into
account by this judge is things said by his own aides after the first ruling. a conservative attacked the judges who issued the first ruling and said, yes, we're going to rewrite this but we're going to find a way to do it that gets us the same policy. >> fundamentally, you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country but you're going to be responsive to a lot of technical issues that were brought up by the court. and those will be addressed. but in terms of protecting the country, those basic policies are still going to be in effect. >> did they pay a price yesterday and this is one judge. we'll see how this goes. did they pay a price yesterday for their bravado, for not saying, okay, let's not go out there and say anything provocative and let some gentle, smart lawyers go out and talk not bullheaded policy people? >> yes, they wanted it -- that interview was a mistake. if you don't want to say you
defended a ban we think is unconstitutional. that was a mistake by miller and i assume in the future, on the other hand, donald trump is still making remarks not very care ofl this issue and getting donald trump to give very carefully legal remarks may not be the easyiest thing to do. >> steven moore can restrain himself but when the president will still go out there right after the, you know, yesterday happens and say, this is watered down. we should have just stuck with the first one. doesn't really matter what steve miller says. >> also margaret brought up a point of political timing here. the confirmation hearings for neil gorsuch begin on monday. this is going to provide a big part of the frame for them. and this, i think, was not the context in which the trump white house would have wanted this supreme court nomination to be discussed. >> i think the other aspect of this as john indicates, every time there is a rebuff, wherever it's coming from, it suggests in
one way or another the administration still hasn't got its act together. they've struggled from day one on a variety of fronts and this is another example. we don't know where this is going to end but it's one more nick in their -- she have a cumulative effect of the competency. >> we talked specifically about the travel ban, a signature promise of the campaign, which evolved from a muslim ban into seven countries, majority muslim countries. now we'll see if they can defend it in the court. does it affect the broader momentum the president with 60-plus days in? we're going to talk about the health care battle. we're going to talk about the president's first budget which is a pretty dramatic statement about priorities. we know that he lost the popular vote but won the election. he's been in a tough spot from the outset. does this hurt or help or i'm sorry, the president of the united states speaking now at the annual st. patrick's day
luncheon. let's listen. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, speaker ryan. a wonderful toast, although i've heard better jokes. and thank you to all of our friends and distinguished members of congress for joining us here today. great honor. and a really great honor to be with you, vice president pence. you have been terrific. [ applause ] and all of our friends welcoming taoiseach.
great guy. and you know, you are something very special. we sat, we talked and we're friends now, too, right? and it's really an honor. [ applause ] thanks. appreciate it. also the delegation members, very, very special, to spend some time together and we're going to have a very, very great long-term relationship, as we would with ireland anyway. but this is a very special group. so i very much appreciate it. we're here today to celebrate america's commitment to ireland and the tremendous contributions, and i know it well, the irish immigrants and their descendants have made right here in the united states and throughout the world. the very first st. patrick's day parade. i spent a lot of time at st.
patrick's day parades over the years. i will tell you that. was held in my hometown new york city on march 17th, 1762. with each subsequent year, the irish people marched, passed another accomplishment and celebrated another very hard-earned success. and they have had tremendous success all over the world but in this country, they have had tremendous success. over the years they marched past the beautiful st. patrick's cathedral, now an immortal monument to the faith of irish catholics in america. they celebrated their shared success in american society with the election of john f. kennedy. [ applause ] they fought for america in war and combat, and their battlefield courage has earned admiration and acclaim
throughout the world. they have great courage. the proud tradition that started in 1762 has flourished and is now celebrated by americans of all faiths and backgrounds all across our very beautiful and very special land. as we stand together with our irish friends, i'm reminded of that proverb, and this is a good one. this is one i like. heard it for many, many years, and i like it. always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you. we know that, politically speaking. a lot of us know that. we know it well. it's a great phrase. the people of ireland and the people of the united states have stuck together. through good times and bad times
over many centuries we have built a bond that thrives, inspires and endures. and with us it's going to be closer than ever before. i can tell you that. as we celebrate our shared history and our enduring friendship, let us commit ourselves to working together as we will to build that bond to the benefit of our citizens for many more generations to come. thank you. god bless you. and may god always bless our deep and lasting friendship and relationship. we love ireland. and we love the people of ireland. thank you very much for being here. [ applause ] >> the president of the united states, donald trump, brief remarks there. the irish prime minister to the president's right. the left on the screen there.
the annual tradition. day before st. patrick's day with a traditional lunch on capitol hill. the president, the prime minister, congressional leadership as well. big crowd on hand to celebrate this tradition. quick break for us. up next on the travel ban. hardly the only trump agenda item in trouble. the gop health care plan? that's off to rewrite, too. tech: at safelite, we know how busy your life can be. mom: oh no... tech: this mom didn't have time to worry about a cracked windshield. so she scheduled at safelite.com and with safelite's exclusive "on my way text" she knew exactly when i'd be there,
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welcome back. a third house committee today gave its blessing to the republican obamacare replacement plan. some of the republicans who helped get the plan through the budget committee voted yes only after being promised there would be changes before it goes to the full house napt was not the way house speaker paul ryan wanted this process to work but he nonetheless says all will be fine in the end. >> we're making those improvements and refinements based upon the feedback from our members and the president of the united states is the one mediating this, bringing people together, sitting around a table, hashing out our
differences so that we can get to a consensus document. >> in addition to major policy differences, the speaker is facing a political storm. many trump loyalists don't like the speaker's plan. they are critical of the speaker. the speaker says the relationship that matters most is fine. >> the president has a connection with individuals in this country. he goes -- no offense, but he goes around the media and connects with people specifically and individually. this is a power that we haven't seen since ronald reagan. so what this president is showing is that he knows how to connect drctly with people. that helps us bridge gaps in congress and get republicans unified to deliver on our promises. and that is extremely constructive. >> says it's extremely constructive today. last week, he sent his emissaries to the president and said don't negotiate now. please don't negotiate now. let me pass my bill as written
through the house and negotiate when we get to the senate. what happened? >> you see what he's doing? >> paul ryan is very polite. hard to see what he's doing. he's taking this out of his lap and putting it in president trump's lap. he's saying you are the one who -- >> ryancare just became trumpcare? >> it certainly did. he had a plan. the president kind of helped blow his plan up, although his plan would have had some problems anyway because there are these existing different factions. and ryan has said, you are the boss, the president. we all want to work together. you'll be the one to lead us out of the forest. >> that's a great way to put it. did the president blow up the house plan or help speaker ryan get to the problem faster in the sense he had a lot of trouble here. the speaker's hope was he could fully or just push republicans into voting for the house plan and saying it's going to get changed in the senate. the president's argument is, if this thing was not going to pass the house or was such a risk, let me help you. >> what blew up the speaker's plan was the fact the speaker
wrote it without talking to his own members. and this argument that the senate is going to change it is actually a scary one for house members. you are essentially saying to them, be on record voting for something you hate that is going to damage you with your base back home, and then the senate will fix it. that is just handing a weapon to your primary opponent. that's encouraging someone who might want to to be your primary opponent. >> it's a more diverse party right now. can they pass it any other way? can they get one big compromise because it's very hard to get a susan collins in the senate, lisa murkowski in the senate to sign off on something you'll get the freedom caucus to sign off on. do they have to have everybody go to the white house and negotiate one deal or have a messy process? some house members are going to cast votes. senate will strip that part out and say welcome to 2018.
>> the speaker indicated we may be headed for a very long conference between the house and senate but that begs the question of what they have in those individual bills. the members are in a very difficult position, obviously. if they don't pass something, they are going to get creamed by the people who say -- who sent them there. on the one single big promise we're going to repeal obamacare. if they pass anything similar to this, they're going to get creamed by people who are going to lose their coverage baseod what the cbo report says. now the administration has fought back against that. the speaker has fought back against that but nobody has yet come up with a credible answer to how you solve the problem in that bill. i think they are just going to go in fits and starts and the idea the speaker has handed this to the president. i suspect the president will find a way to hand it back to him at a critical moment. >> that may have been the conversation going up the capitol steps. the president reached into the jacket and gave it back to the speaker. the president was on the road
last night. you heard the speaker there. he believes this. he knows he need the president to go on the road and go to states where republicans are squishy on this. the speaker needs to the president to go out and prove my members are still with me. i'll back you up if you do. i'll nudge you to get there and back you up after. listen to the president on the road. is this what the speaker wanted at this delicate moment? >> the house has put forward a plan to repeal and replace obamacare baseod the principles i outlined in my joint address but we're going to all get together and get something done. >> i think the speaker loved that up to the first half. the house has put forward a plan that matches what i wanted outlined in my address. but then we're going to arbitrate part, that means essentially the door is open. and as long as the negotiating phase is open you have again a very diverse -- some of this is about politics. a lot of this is about
principled policy. the conservatives say the government shouldn't be in the health care business. it should be free market. other people saying, even if i didn't like obamacare, it created this system and i'm not going to have the number of people without health insurance double. so as long as the president says we're going to arbitrate, how long does this process last? >> paul ryan is a very intelligent person. he was trying to write a bill that met the goals of the moderates and conservatives already. it's not -- there's not some easy tweak here that's going to unify the caucus. he's worried about the changes. any change to the right annoys the moderates in any chachbnge opposite way does the same. you change medicaid you might lose ten votes quickly. hard to figure out how to arbitrate. they're trying to get this done quickly. they don't want to turn this into obamacare 2009, spending 13 months on it. the more you say it's up for discussion it becomes a long, drawn out process they're trying to avoid. >> then you have senators.
moderates in the senate and tea party people in the senate like rand paul out publicly. settle differences in a family quietly or do this publicly. >> i think paul ryan is selling him a bill of goods he didn't explain to the president that the grassroots doesn't want what paul ryan is selling. >> kumbayah. >> that sound you hear is a lot of schottenfreud on the part of the democrats. up next, another test for president trump. the white house releases its budget blueprint. cuts for virtually every nondefense agency. so now the battle begins. ♪ so nice, so nice. ♪sweet, sweet st. thomas nice. ♪ so nice, so nice. ♪st. croix full of pure vibes. ♪ so nice, so nice. ♪ st. john a real paradise. ♪ so nice, so nice.
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welcome back. the president's budget always gets rewritten by the congress. it's important to consider it not as the last word but as a starting point, a statement. what a dramatic statement the first trump budget is. let's take a look at some of the winners and losers. the big winners, the department of defense, pentagon. a 10% increase. department of homeland security, border security is included here, up 7%. the president promised to take care of the veterans. department of veterans affairs up 6%. a lot of losers if the president's budget were enacted as is.
environmental protection agency loses almost one-third of its budget. the state department, 29%. department of labor, 21%. agriculture, a lot of rural states carried by trump get money. army corps of engineers down. health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, education. down, down, down. just about every nonsecurity department in the government loses spending. democrats say this is cruel. republicans say we'll give it a look and see what happens here. the president's budget director says if you followed the campaign, you should not be surprised. >> a real simple you have an america first candidate, america first president and budget. we're spending more money to defend the country, enforce the rules and more money to take care of our vets of, more money for school choice and less money for foreign aid. exactly what the president said he was going to do. that's what the budget is. >> it's a starting point. but it is a pretty dramatic
statement. most commentary not since ronald reagan have we had a president that comes into washington and says i'm going to rip some roots out. i'm going to rip some roots out. i guess the question is as a statement, what's its shelf life? >> i'm -- in the -- there's two questions, right? one is what does it translate into? as a statement, it actually absolutely encompasses what he talked about in the campaign. what his base believes in. to some degree, what republicans believe in. really interesting split to me is not on the domestic agencies which are obvious but on the state department. where the rubber meets the road. this is a hard power budget versus soft power budget and that the state department would be gutted. that these global initiatives would be gutted is really where a lot of the decision time is going to come down between the congress and the president could be very interesting. >> he promised to come and blow up washington essentially as a candidate, and that's what this
budget tries to do. i mean, it is reaganesque in the approach in terms of more for defense which reagan did in 1981 and a lot less, therefore othe domestic side. it's difficult to squeeze some of these programs. they've been squeezed for a number of years because of the budget caps that have been in place. it's hard to get some of this. and there's built-in resistance to it. in terms of a directional shift, it's very dramatic. >> and what donald trump doesn't have that ronald reagan did have is a landslide victory and a democratic party that is scared to death of him. >> that's a very key point. and even though this democratic party is scared to death of ronald rag eagareagan, they had majority in the house. >> a lot of democrats most scared of him were -- those were conservative democrats. this is a different environment. >> if you talk to the swing voters who vote forward trump, they wanted him to bring our
jobs back, work on the economy. so far we've had this health care bill and budget which are very ted cruz-like ideas. they are sort of fiscal conservative, sort of republican but in that sort of right wing part of the republican party. i wonder why trump, these moves don't fit in with -- he was going to blow up washington but his first promise was i'm going to bring the jobs back and cutting government funding doesn't really fit into that idea. >> a lot of the voters who had reservations about him said he's going to help me. he's a businessman who is going to help me. as always, though, it's a starting point. we'll get to the democrats in a minute. they don't like any of it. republicans say good for you for proposing to strecten government. here's marco rubio. the administration's budget isn't going to be the budget. we do the budget here. the administration makes recommendations but congress does budgets. that's marco rubio quoted in a newspaper called "the washington post." anyone familiar with that newspaper here? >> fine newspaper. >> a fine newspaper. >> but it say key point, and the
question is, and the president's budget director mick mulvaney acknowledged this on television this morning. he's a former member of congress. you fight for your district. if you are a house member you fight for your district. you are senate, you fight for your state. i am the budget director now, i have to do that nationally. wh what's going to jump out to them? >> this list of programs being cut. every one of those has a constituency back home somewhere. the proposal to cut the national endowments for the arts and humanities, there are symphonies around the country, opera boards around the country. you don't think of those as trump base supporters but they'll weigh in. all of these, there will be mayors complaining, governors worried about what the impact of this is in terms of cost shifting and cost pass-throughs and unfunded mandates. every one of those house members will be responsive to their constituents even as they're trying to pass the president's -- >> let's bring the democratic
voice in. short votes in the house. to pass a big budget you need democratic help in the senate. nancy pelosi saying the republicans are just cruel. >> the republicans in congress and this white house as we are seeing now just in a few weeks never miss an opportunity to suck up money from the middle class and working class families to the richest people in our country. and you see that in the health care bill. you see that in how they establish their budget priorities. >> how much sway do the democrats get in this debate is my question? >> this goes to perry's point. if democrats were somehow able to stay on message and convince voters in ohio, in wisconsin, in indiana, in pennsylvania, in these places where there is a rust belt, working class dynamic that went for trump this time, that these domestic cuts, programatic cut goes directly to their needs that would become
problematic. a lot of these same voters believe in small government. they just don't want the programs that help them to be cut. and it's a difficult thing to balance. >> and this is probably more framing for the midterm elections than it is actual hope that they could prevail on the house and senate floor. >> the other aspect of this is we still haven't gotten the tax reform or tax overhaul piece of this. she's right. in terms of the health care bill, the shift from poorer people to wealthier people, aspects of this budget do the same and presumably, the tax cuts will do the same. by the time you see the entire package, there will be a judgment rendered on what are the priorities in terms of across the spectrum of income scale. what are trump's real priorities as opposed to what he talked about in the campaign? how much that will spway his strongest supporters is an open question. and probably a fair amount of leeway to do it. >> until we know the final math any of health care bill or tax
reform proposal, this is a document. it's a starting point. but it's even the math within it is not the final math. if the -- if, if, if they get through their other priorities. everybody sit tight. up next, president trump digs in on his wiretap claims. members of his own party say they've been told there's no evidence. z282uz zwtz y282uy ywty
of course, ma'am. my apologies. c'mon, caesar. let's go. caesar on a caesar salad? surprising. excuse me, pardon me. what's not surprising? how much money matt saved by switching to geico. could i get my parking validated? fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. welcome back. president trump isn't backing down even though top republicans in congress have seen no evidence tof support the allegation that president obama tapped the phones of trump tower during last year's campaign. remember this spy saga began 12 days ago with these presunrise tweets. terrible. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory.
nothing found. this is mccarthyism. how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. this is nixon, watergate, bad or sick guy. leading members of his own party have asked the fbi if there's any evidence of wiretapping and have been told no. the president's close friend and attorney general jeff sessions yesterday says, no. when asked if he is the president's source of that information. but the president says, stay tuned. >> i have been reading about things. i read in, i think it was january 20th, a "new york times" article where they were talking about wiretapping. there was an article. i think they used that exact term. i read other things. i watched your friend bret baier the day previous where he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening and wiretapping. i said there's a lot of wiretapping being talked about, but wiretap covers a lot of different things. i think you'll find some very
interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. >> okay. let's unpack this. a lot of people read this as the president trying to retreat. the president knows there's no evidence and he's trying to say it could have been about this, that or the other thing and wiretap could be so widely, broadly defined. is he sticking to his guns or trying to back out? >> a word salad of sorts. there, i don't think he's sticking to his guns but he doesn't really apologize for things or back away. certainly not feeling the way he was ten days ago. if he's lost jeff sessions, he's lost. jeff sessions is one of his strongest supporters. >> is he going to try to claim because they listen to general flynn in a phone conversation with the russian ambassador who is routinely monitored, is the president going to say that's what i meant? those tweets are pretty specific. he's not a candidate anymore. he's the president of the united states who in those tweets was
accusing his predecessor of nixonian behavior and potentially law breaking. >> predicting where donald trump ends out say fool's errand because you do hear the word and then he comes back, you'll hear something very interesting. it was very reminiscent of years ago when he claimed to have sent investigators to hawaii to find out the truth about where president obama was born. >> still waiting for that. >> same investigators maybe. >> so this has been embarrassing for his fellow republicans. the house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes, a republican who has been pretty loyal, came out yesterday and said there's no evidence. we've asked. there's no evidence. the house speaker paul ryan trying to navigate a difficult environment. health care reform, tax reform next. asked this just today. >> do you believe the president? when he says he was wiretapped? when he says president obama ordered wiretaps of -- >> no, we've cleared that up. we've seen no evidence of that.
>> speaker thinks this is -- speaker thinks this is cleared up. they are bringing the fbi director up publicly before congress on monday in which he is expected to say publicly, uh-uh, didn't happen. so why is the president saying you're going to just wait a couple of weeks. >> president trump is moving the goal posts. in part because comey is getting ready to testify. the president has his news conference tomorrow with angela merkel. now a way not to answer that other question which is, would you like to apologize to president obama for accusing him of a crime he didn't commit? >> does president obama want to apologize to angela merkel for wiretapping her? >> might hear that tomorrow. >> some of these republicans, i don't think you're seeing them abandon president trump. they're trying to help president trump to stop having to answer questions about this. >> he'll maneuver back and forth and in some ways, it's a little like him before the intelligence report came out in early january definitively saying the conclusion was the russians had
hacked and they had done to to help trump and hurt clinton. at that point he sort of finally grudgingly seemed to accept the conclusion. and then a few weeks later at his infamous press conference, he seemed to not accept tarks gain. so he could be backing away from this. but once, let's say comey goes up and definitively ends this, he can conceivably come back and still raise the question that something nefarious was done. >> and we laugh about this sometimes because individual bubbles along the road are funny. some of them are funny. but the credibility of the president of the united states, whatever his or her name is, is pretty important. if this goes forward, yes, there's some humor, but this is why a lot of these republicans are frustrated. they get asked about it every day. tucker carlson put the defining question to the president. you wouldn't get in some of these messes if you didn't get up early in the morning and go on twitter. so maybe stop? >> do you talk to anyone before you tweet? and is there anyone in the white house who can say, mr.
president, please don't tweet that? >> i don't think i would be here if it weren't for twitter because i get such a fake press, such a dishonest press. >> i'm going to stay out of this one. >> sometimes the tactics that get you elected are not good in the white house. he's right about social media and working around the media. although we cover him a lot as well. maybe working around the media helped him during the election. we're in a legislative process now. not sure these help. paul ryan would tell him that in these calls they're having every ten seconds. >> nikki haley, it puts his own team in a tough position. she said on nbc this morning, i want him to be successful and these tweets come out. and i look at them and go, okay, where did that come from? but i don't pick up the photocopy and sphone and say, what are you doing? that's who he is. >> he is tethered to twitter. every time he's been asked
about, should you clean uppior act on twitter or eliminate twitter, he comes back with a version of what he said to tucker carlson. which is, as he put it last fall. this is a modern form of communication and i know how to use it effectively. he's going to continue to use it. he's going to continue to create controversies about it and republicans oar and people around him in the administration are going to have heartburn as a result of that. >> and i think the president believes because it works for him in the campaign that his voters love this. even if -- forget the specifics of any given tweet he's talking in a non-pc way, disrupting washington, giving us fits and giving republicans and depp kmos fits. up next, one senator accuses another senator of working for vladimir putin. who is who? and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years.
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going to close a little differently to have a little fun. the resolution saying montenegro should be allowed to enter the nato alliance. rand paul objects. john mccain takes offense. >> no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of nato that is under assault from the russians. so i repeat again, the senator from kentucky is now working for vladimir putin. >> i think he makes a really, really strong case for term limits. i think maybe he's passed his prime. i think maybe he's gotten a little bit unhinged. >> the senate is the upper chamber, right, gentlemanly --
>> they should take a road trip together and make a playlist together? >> maybe they should just take a long drive. >> again, we laugh about these things but this lack of civility matters when you're trying to negotiate, right? legislate? >> and fascinatingly, president trump has been talking in recent days about the old washington, where democrats and republicans squabble during the day and went out and had dinner at night and got along and how there's an absence of that and how he wishes that existed. good luck. >> john mccain remembers, though, washington where democrats n republicans did socialize. the tea party forces like ron paul, they view mccain and mcconnell as guys as much a part of the problem if not more so in many cases. >> and john mccain sort of famously a few years back referred to rand paul as being in a group of whacko birds. so we're -- there's a continuum here. >> rand paul has a long memory.
>> these guys both ran and won in 2016. they feel a little bit of freedom. if you want to look for the people that take shots at donald trump, rand paul, john mccain also leading lights among republicans in that. i want to say what i want to say and these guys have a lot to say. >> is the appropriate response to, he now works for vladimir putin to say i think he's a little unhinged? >> i don't know what response there is. >> what response is there to that? >> these are both republicans and you look at what's going on right now. republicans in charge of both chambers of congress, a republican in the white house. this is, obviously, in theory, a time to kind of circle the wagons and get stuff done. as president obama learned with health care, sometimes you just get one shot. if this is the way your party is coming out of the gate, it puts some drag on that momentum. >> i'm going to be the optimist in the room. when you have some wins, it's like a bigger thanksgiving dinner. the more family members at the table, the more interesting it
gets. thanks for joining us. hope to see you back here tomorrow. wolf blitzer in the chair after a quick break. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community. altogether, the industry supports over 9 million jobs nationwide. these are jobs that natural gas is helping make happen, all while reducing america's emissions. energy lives here.
hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 5:00 p.m. in dub lynne. 2:00 in tokyo. president trump reveals his budget and the cuts to nonmilitary spending are deep. the budget blueprint calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending. take a look at this graphic. on the left you see the departments getting an increase. that would be defense, homeland security, veterans affairs. the social security administration. on the left are the agencies also facing cuts. the environmental protection agency, the state departme