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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 16, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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trump administration digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself over the president's false allegation of wiretapping. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon.
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sean spicer gives combative press briefing. berating reporters and refusing to admit trump was wrong. and flynn national security adviser who was fired, going to talk about that. first jim acosta, jim sciutto, kirsten powers, nia-malika henderson, andre bauer and jack kingston. jen psaki had to go. she had other obligations. thank her for the last hour and continue on. jim bring us up to date. you were at heated white house press briefing today trying to get answers as to why president trump refuses to back down from unproven claims he wiretapped by former president. listen to this. get you to talk about it. >> you're refusing the question,
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whether or not the president still believes what -- >> i just said it to jonathan. >> you have senate and house intelligence committee, both leaders from both parties on both panels saying they don't see any evidence of wiretapping, how can the president go on -- >> that's not. mischaracterizing what chairman nunez said, he said i think it's possible, follow up on it. you're stating -- >> literally said if you take the president literally, he is wrong. >> already cleared that up. but president already said when he referred to wiretapping, referring to varlance. >> but sounds like we don't mean wiretapping anymore because it's not true anymore. now other forms of surveillance, what is it going to be next? >> i think that's cute but end of the day, talked about for days. in wiretapping in quotes, referring to broad surveillance.
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you're going back. talked about this several days ago. but house and senate committee not provided all the -- >> but -- >> the president addressed it last night. more to come. these are pointing out there's widespread reporting throughout the 2016 election there was surveillance done on variety of people that came up -- >> there was investigation going on about contacts between the president's campaign and russians, of course going to be looking at -- >> you seem to be you have all this information and read in by all these things. >> haven't been read in by -- >> coming to these conclusions for a guy with zero intelligence -- >> give me some credit. >> clearance, i wasn't done. maybe both. >> so jim, the intelligence community has been read in on
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it, senate intel community read in on it. who else could be read in on it is the president. do you ever recall witnessing something like this? >> would be really hilarious if it wasn't all very serious. i think what we're seeing at white house is they're making excuses after excuses to explain something that the president should really just withdraw and retract. president barack obama did not wiretap trump tower. did not happen in the 2016 campaign. now have the leaders of both house and senate intelligence committees saying didn't happen. no evidence of that. now the white house broadened out to mean other types of surveillance. president said it last night on fox news and sean spicer a couple of days ago walking all of this back. end of the day this is something the president should never have tweeted and he should pull it
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back. unfortunately as you and i know, we've covered this president a long time, it's not in his nature to admit he's made a mistake and apologize. question is how long can we see this go on? tomorrow will be a crucial test. news conference at white house, joint press conference between the president and angela merkel, german chancellor visiting the white house. and donald trump is going to have a very serious choice to make. does he call on conservative news media like he did before and get questions that don't pertain to the wiretapping question or take this head-on, call on somebody who will ask that question? and won't know the answer until tomorrow afternoon. it's critical moment for the president. goes to his credibility and goes to -- i know in trumpland they love the guy. down in nashville and gave a rally and enthusiastic about him. nobody wants to take that away
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from his supporters but end of the day he has to be president of all americans and to some extent all americans have to believe the president is telling the truth and can't make outlandish claims that can't be backed up. i think that's what he's struggling with and has to deal with tomorrow. >> other jim on the panel. sciutto, to you. went through a laundry list to try to back up what the president said. >> "new york times" reported following. sean hannity on fox days after election. heat streak. march third fox news chief anchor bret baier said the following. quote report in june 2016, fisa request for the obama administration for intelligence surveillance to monitor communications involving donald trump and several campaign officials. then turned down in october and renewed with trump tower and
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computer and russian bask banks. >> looks like attempt to muddy the waters. please sclan whexplain what is truth. >> height of irony i to have the white house spokesperson quoting from the presides that the president calls dishonest media. but ranking republican and democrat on the committee, attorney general appointed by president. fbi director. said no evidence. there is no evidence. that's why on the screen we say this is a false statement by the president. it's false. no question. what you've had is redefining of the terms of the allegation. fact is the president alleged that president obama ordered a wiretap on president trump.
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three elements. president obama did it, target was trump and wiretap. now saying talking about general surveillance and had trump advisers and not trump himself caught on other end of communications with russians. there is evidence of that. cnn's own reporting. gets you into potentially dangerous territory. why trump advisers and members of the campaign repeatedly according to cnn's reporting in contact with russian officials and others known to intelligence in the campaign? that's what there is evidence of, gathered during perfectly legal surveillance of russian officials. what intelligence does. listening to them to see if something important for national security. information is minimized by u.s. law. perfectly legal, what u.s. intelligence agencies do.
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but raises other question, subject of house and senate investigations, why were trump advisers campaign and staff caught up in that. no direction of this is good for the administration. >> the more the spin comes, it's not good. no matter how you slice it for this administration and president. want to get everyone in. and should have bsh questions should be shorter. brevity is the key. did sean spicer do any good today? >> for himself personally, no of course not. i think every time he does this, further erodes his personal credibility which he built up for a long time in washington. but i wonder if anyone else is getting angry about what donald trump has done here? >> yes. >> he has sent everybody on a wild goose chase. taken entire apparatus, entire u.s. government and sent them
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down a rabbit trail to hunt down something that never happened. >> and he knows it's no the there. >> no evidence it's happened. by press secretary's own account. didn't learn from journalists. sean hannity doesn't say he's a journal. andrew napolitano doesn't say he's a journalist. entire government apparatus hunting down something that probably never happened when there's real problems in the country he should be spending time on. i don't understand why anyone is defending this. >> andre why is anyone defending this, take us inside the president's head or -- why would anyone defend this? everyone has said, anyone with any brain and anyone who has any idea of how this country works and intelligence has said there is no -- as president whispers, he does that too.
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there is no proof. i was watching cnn and there is no proof. there is no proof. >> number one. that's sean spicer's job. he's rambo of the media, taking on heavy artillery from every angle and handing it back to them, admire the guy. >> no he's not. >> not bend down to the press. >> anyone think he's handing it back? i feel embarrassed for him. >> that's his job. not to say you all are right and i'm wrong and president is wrong. his job is defend the president of the united states to best of his ability. >> jim? >> he's not defending -- andre. >> hired by democrat party? >> forget what we're reporting, but we're reporting what his appointees are saying about the claim. attorney general is denying, republican speaker of the house
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is denying it. >> nia. >> but i think what he's effective at in the long sill ill kwoi he's giving talking points to trump supporters, brietbart and rush limbaugh and laura ingram who wants to talk about this and defend the president. in that way it's very effective. also you have to wonder is there going to be a consequence with this president's credibility? possibly not. at the same time republicans working on health care and him putting budget out. it's not clear this is a president who thinks there will be consequences, weren't in the campaign or so far in terms of him spouting conspiracy theories. >> i don't know if anyone nose. jack kingston kindly stuck around. last word. >> if you're a trump person you believe that all this discussion
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about russia colluding with the trump campaign is partisan bull. >> doesn't mean it's true. maybe someone should tell him it's not. >> democrat but looking at same thing and saying that tweet was irresponsible and bad. i think this whole debate is reflection of -- >> republicans are saying it too. >> i hope in two weeks. >> do you think -- >> whoa, whoa. >> truth. do you think it was irresponsible for the president to put that tweet out? >> i think he should have said surveillance. >> come on jack. honest with me. >> responded in legalistic way. >> obama spokesperson. >> even if he said surveillance -- >> would have been wrong. >> comparing president obama to richard nixon and trying to pull off a watergate style -- >> heat of the campaign. >> is that not what the democrat
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party is doing right now when they say collusion -- >> no cleanup on 5th avenue on this one. i think this is just if the president could delete these tweets, whoever it is he dictates to, could dleemt, doing a service to every american. >> i might walk back what i said about president obama but you have to walk back what you said about my campaign. >> why? he won. >> might be what i wants. >> should he say i'm going to walk back what i said about birtherism. >> and in two weeks when he says there's no collusion, i wonder. get you to hug nunez when he says there's no collusion in two weeks. >> to be continued. >> oh, boy. >> that's why i love this show.
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first amendment. >> stick around jim. we have to talk about new troubling information about the administration, michael flynn, fired, ties to russia. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪
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hello, my name is watson. working together, we can do things we could not do before. fbi director james comey set to testify before a house committee investigating russian meddling in the election. joined by my panel. good to have all of you on. jim thanks for coming back. you've been digging on the ties between president trump's associates and russia and tonight you have troubling information been michael flynn, fired national security adviser. >> coming from the house oversight committee. what they've documented are payments that general flynn received for visit and speech to russia in december 2015.
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speech known about. probably seen the pictures. viewers have. of general flynn sitting next to russian president vladimir putin in moscow. acknowledged the speech before but not acknowledged he was paid money by the russian channel who is backed by the russian government. important not just how it looks but u.s. law requires he disclose payments from foreign government on his application for position. and pentagon has no record of him reporting the payment. house oversight is asking trump administration and pentagon and fbi whether he disclosed the payments on his form. i asked today, no comment.
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still open question. if either are no, didn't report to the army or security clearance form, that's a major problem for general flynn. >> juliet, flynn said the speaker's bureau paid him to speak. but r.t. wrote the check. told the vice president and others he didn't talk about sanctions with the russian ambassador until it was clear and he was fired. rogue player or connections signal a deeper problem with the truth? >> i think we don't know yet and also don't think we've heard the last of flynn yet. looking at pieces unfolding last summer and over the course of the transition, flynn incident always seemed most inexplicable, because of all the ties, who he was paid for, essentially lying to the vice president, white house and trump and his people essentially covering for flynn
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and sally yates telling the white house this guy could be compromised and them not doing anything. that whole series of events is not explained in any way that should make us feel good in terms of who he is. i think likely see either further investigations of flynn. did he lie on his forms, not disclose, some internal penalties, some may be criminal penalties. but also the question i have, while we're waiting for monday hearing to happen, one of the most important people that won't show up is of course flynn. question remains out there is he talking to investigators about what he knows about what happened during the transition? we simply don't know what flynn's strategy is to either protect himself or the white house. >> i wonder how this sits with you bob as former intelligence agent. image of american general sitting next to ruthless
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autocrat like vladimir putin, getting paid to speak for russian propaganda outfit, that's jarring. can you remember anything like this in recent history? >> i think you already know how i feel about this. sitting down with putin is fine. i would do it, you would, anybody would. but the question is -- r.t. is an arm of the kgb. r.t. provides cover slots for the kgb, sfb, svr. it's intelligence organization, russian propaganda. had pravda in my time, now it's r.t. he knew better. you don't take money from the russian government period, whether it goes through speech agent or not. i find it very troubling. everywhere in this russian crisis or whatever you want to call this thing and trump, you see the fingerprint of the kgb.
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whether it's hacking, trump advisers in touch with the people in europe, and it gets worse by the day. i just -- you too have to wonder what is going on here. >> jim, while congress is investigating russian intrigue, north korea is heating up. said diplomacy has failed and pyongyang is warning of war. how dangerous is the threat? >> consistent message you hear is biggest most immediate threat to the u.s. is north korea. you have terrorism no question, and russia and all. but -- saying that policy has faired over the last 20 years and fair argument. multiple administrations of both parties, clinton, bush, obama, tried negotiations, sanctions, pressure, push china to be
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tougher on north korea and they've had a long successful march towards nuclear weapon and ability to miniaturize it and put on ballistic missile and testing them. it's view of the u.s. intelligence program today they have intercontinental ballistic missile capability with nuclear warhead. untested but you have to assume they're capable of it. it's hard to say, looking back 20 years, whether it's success by any stretch of the imagination. it's a clear failure. >> thank you panel. appreciate it. have a good evening. see you soon. coming up preliminary outline for budget, what is it could mean for older and impoverished americans.
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president trump's 2018 budget. blueprint could slash money from programs like meals on wheels. ceo of meals on wheels of san francisco is here. so glad to have you on. good evening. >> good to be here.
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>> under the budget blueprint, meals on wheels set to take a bit of a hit. how is it going to impact you? >> i think we have to take it in context. approaching potential cuts with already a pretty challenging situation. we have unprecedented brogrowth seniors who need services across the country. meals provided in 2005 and lack of funding under 23 million meals less than in 2005. starting at point that's really bad already. the president's volley and budget, starter, has suggested that under the community development block grant will be impact on the meals on wheels program. while we don't have the actual cuts that will take place, there's proposal is cut 18% from
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that. and largest funding is older americans act, part of hhs. really don't have the information we need. bottom line is we're struggling to meet the need and any cuts when seeing more and more seniors needing services and growth of the population is not good news and will mean -- go ahead. >> can you survive with this current proposal? >> well, you know, i don't think it's a question of survival. i think what you're going to see is program as cross the country unable to meet the need. about 35% of the funding for most meals on wheels programs across the country come from the older americans act. a really solid public/private partnership where dollars from the federal government build the base of the program and communities through volunteerism and dollars step in.
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there's no way to take and buffer that type of cut, especially when programs are struggling to meet the needs at their door right now. >> you won't be as effective and affects people's lives. talking about people and their lives. white house budget director mike mulvaney asked about the cuts to meals on wheels. listen to what he said. >> can't spend money on programs just because they stand good. again it's state decision to fund the portion. take the federal money and give to the states for programs that don't work. can't defend that anymore. >> national office responded. meals on wheels is proven private/public partnership that effectively meets community needs and stats. 81% of seniors say it improves their health. 92% allows them to live at home
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and 90% say it makes them feel more safe and secure. statement that there's no benefit for taxpayers with no proven results? >> i disagree with him. and not just us but independent investigation of the program and model and service delivery shows time and again that not only are the things you said true, but real assistance offered in keeping people out of hospitals, going back in the hospital after leaving the hospital, and diminishing the need to place people in nursing care. we've proven time and time again in study after study that there's a real return on the investment that is made and that every dollar out there really makes a difference. just one stat. my program in san francisco, and every program across the
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country, can serve a senior and keep them in their homes for entire year for the cost of one day of hospitalization. i think that the argument this doesn't produce a return or have impact is just not true. >> cnn's van jones wanted to see just who is going to be affected by these cuts. went to visit christa patton, she's here in new york and depends on meals on wheels. listen. >> think you should try to put yourself in my situation and what would you do? as i indicated, i'm on a fixed income, basically homebound, haven't been out of this apartment in like seven years. how else would i eat? i don't know. >> you saw congressman chris collins there, watching. van had him on the show.
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is she a typical person who benefits from meals on wheels? >> yes. >> and what are her options. >> many of the clients live on $900 a month of income in san francisco. imagine if we're not providing meals. this is not just value add but the difference, as the client that you just heard, it's difference between life and death and being able to survive. and this is not uncommon. this is true across every community of the country. i think what is really troubling is as you look at first round of cuts and community development block grant, these are targeted predominantly at low income communities and communities that live on the margins. we're really kind of causing and exacerbating a problem we need to remedy. >> ashley mccumber, director of
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mealsen wheels in san francisco, thank you. donald trump campaigned as law and order president. what does the budget mean for police around the country? that's next. ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade g new cars. you're smart. you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car. you'll see what a fair price is, and you can connect with a truecar certified dealer. now you're even smarter. this is truecar.
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what does the president's preliminary budget blueprint mean for police forces around the country. tonight the nypd commissioner james o'neill slamming the president's proposal. tweeted this under potus budget virtually all -- how much money are we talking about? >> break it down for you don. $700 million affected. all the states affected with that money. if you break down to new york, $190 million would be cut according to the proposed budget and 110 of that to nypd. talking about a police department constantly foiling terrorist attacks. as mayor said, we're in the
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cross hairs here and said they need the money for the resources. talking about surveillance cameras around the city, dogs that can sense vapors in the air. active shooting training for its new police officers in enormous force here. police department called this critical money. here's more what the commissioner said today. >> this funding is absolutely critical. it is the backbone of our entire counterterrorism apparatus, cornerstone of effective preparedness and -- against terrorist threats. we need to keep the city secure. to cut this funding affects keeping the city safe. >> reporter: saying for a president who says he wants to keep america safe, ironic he threatens to take so much money away from city that needs it to
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do so. >> what have new york republicans said? >> reporter: any reduction to new york and long island is dead on arrival. it's bipartisan refoous fusal to the cut. even last year president obama threatened some cuts, not as serious as this year. but listening to the city leaders, commissioner and mayor, it's personal. new york city is trump's hometown. find it to be a little bit personal. >> good question or answer. because i want to ask you. first lady and youngest son living in trump tower on 5th avenue. hundreds of thousands of dollars going on to protect them in nyc.
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discussion about that? >> reporter: $146,000 a day go into protecting them and even more when the president is in town. lot of resources. unclear right now so early to say where the money will come from for that. nypd is trying to get reimbursed by federal government so don't know if the money goes to that. it's discussion ongoing. nypd needs money for that. >> $146,000 per day. thanks, appreciate that. coming up how budget cuts may affect african-americans, a voting bloc donald trump swore to work for. right now get two lines of data for $100 dollars. with taxes and fees included. that's right 2 unlimited lines for just $100 bucks. all in. and right now, pair up those two lines with two free samsung galaxy s7 when you switch.
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candidate donald trump reached out to african-american voters by famously asking what do you have to lose? at some points, what the hell do you have to lose. here's some answers. preliminary budget plan is out. discuss. good to have all of you on. go through this. paris start with you, president trump said on the trail to african-americans, listen to this. >> what do you have to lose? by trying something new like trump? you're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed. what the hell do you have to lose? we'll get rid of the crime. you'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. right now you walk down the street, you get shot. what do you have to lose? >> wow that did happen, didn't
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it? so what do we have to lose? what do african-americans have to lose. proposed budgets slashes funding for federal agencies that assist the poor in urban areas, including many african-americans. departments down. seems like some african-americans are losing a lot. am i wrong paris? >> yes. i think you are. if you look at 13.5% cut mentioned for department of education, what we know is at time when cuts happen across the government, when the president said he would do that. no cuts to hbcu. that money was not cut. no cuts to pail. >> when people kicked out of houses go live in historically black college or university i
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guess. >> said those would be top priority. kept the same amount of money i heard you complain about from president obama. that's why mouth dropped open. right on the numbers but defending the same number. at least hold your guy accountable on this. champion for hbcus. >> i am a champion. that's why disturbed when president obama cut funding from his budget. this president did not make one cut to that funding or pell moneying. >> wh-- what did he do with pel? >> hbcus are important but lot of people watching tonight going, i got to eat, live somewhere. would love to send my kid to a college, any college. maybe hbcu, but why rambling on about that when talking about urban development, other education, health and human
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>> i will caution you by saying to the 300,000 students. >> i said there are more important issues. don't put words in my mouth. did you hear what i said. i said there are more important issues. >> when you put up the graphic with all the cuts. >> my entire family went to hbcu. i know what they are. >> i'm glad. >> i have an hbcu family. there are more important things than that and you keep pointing to one of them when i have gone down a list of things that are important and when i amming you i would rather eat or the priority for them is to eat rather than where they are going to college. >> the graphic that you put up, you showed where there were cuts and i was pointing out that there might have been a 13.5%
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cut. as it relates to african-americans, no cuts to hbcus. the other things like charter schools, there was an increase to charter school funding that african-americans support. when you look at building the wall and things going to impact jobs, money is going into dhs that are going to lead to more jobs and ice officers and immigration officers. >> so michael, please go ahead. >> you can make fun of hbcu. >> don't say i made fun of it. that's a flat out lie. >> you said they were not important. >> that's a lie. >> he said other things were more important. >> you have to have a good education. >> it's more important that you come here and tell the truth. >> did the president cut the funding? no, he did not.
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>> you are done. >> here we go again. >> if i can interject, the president did not cut hbcu and the funding remained the same prior to the president being sworn in. i want to talk about more critical issues such as housing. for example, 85% of hud's budget that oversees housing if are a lot of poor people who happen to be african-american, 85% is resitual. you decreased a budget by $6.3 billion and you will see a net loss of people relying on housing vouchers. they are african-americans. when you look at programs such as that where you are going to be decreasing the number of housing vouchers that will assist people with moving out of public housing into a rental home where they will have a decreased rent because of the government's ability to assist is extremely troubling. you want to get people out of a bad neighborhood to a decent
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neighborhood to assist them and at some point moving on to a market rate apartment meaning they can pay at market rate with anyone else. that's problematic when the president said i want to revitalize the inner cities, etc. when you are cutting programs that will hurt people who you claim to want to assist. that's hypocritical to say that. many african-americans are not concerned about a border wall. many are not when there is a large number of people living in communities where they will have to worry if they are currently relying on a housing voucher, is that still going to be there. if you are a single mother and rely on wic, that will program still be there. >> wic was not cut. >> wic was cut! >> you should read the budget. >> i want to figure out what you are looking at. >> michael is a conservative
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republican and once worked in government. anyway. how much will this budget -- let other people speak. >> that was me, don. >> sorry. >> go ahead. >> i think the way you judge a budget is by how they treat individuals who are at the dawn of their and the children and how they treat people at the twilight of their life and in the shadows which are the disabled individuals. this budget fails on all of those metrics, specifically to african-americans. the irony that we are sitting here having to defend and i heard it earlier, meals on wheels that directly affects many of the old ladies who sit at the black churches and wear the big hats who have to decide whether or not they are going to get their prescription drugs or pay utility bills. they depend on meals on wheels throughout the week. you are talking about after school programs and school lunches that affect many poor
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african-american children. to paris's point about historical black colleges and universities and i appreciated the dialogue because they need to be lifted up, but the fact that they were not cut is not a success story. we need money into the programs and not some harmless stature. he said what the hell do we have to lose? you can't falloff the floor. african-americans feel like they are on the floor and he didn't do anything to lift us up in this budget. >> i will give you the last word here. 8% of african-americans voted for this president. he vowed to work for the african-american communities. how do you think they are feeling? >> they are learning about the budget right now and it's incumbent upon us to tell what's in it. after this administration including ben carson tweeted that small businesses are the backbone of this country.
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this cuts the minority business development agency and cuts the program to ensure that kids and mothers and families can stay warm. there are cuts to wic and snap programs. that is a fact. cuts to department of justice programs that we know, love, and care about. there is an increase in funding and earmark of $2.6 billion. guess who is paying for the border wall. mexico is not paying for it. he lied. it's me and you and your cousin too. >> that's it for us. see you back here tomorrow night. thanks for watching. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "truck-cicle."
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[second man] how you doing? [ice cracking] [second man] ah,ah, ah. oh no! [first man] saves us some drilling. [burke] and we covered it, february fourteenth, twenty-fifteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ are upgrading their watere filter to zerowater. start with water that has a lot of dissolved solids... pour it through brita's two-stage filter... dissolved solids remain! what if we filter it over and over? oh dear. thank goodness zerowater's five-stage filter gets to all zeroes the first time.
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so maybe it's time to upgrade. get more out of your water. get zerowater.
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good evening and thanks for joining us. the president of the united states has no facts to back up his startling allegations that the former president of the united states, president obama wire tabbed him at trump tower during the campaign. bipartisan members of the senate intelligence committee said they have seen no evidence that his phones were ordered tapped. paul ryan also sai

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