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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 17, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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justice department hands over documents to congressional investigations. the president increasingly alone when top republicans say there is no evidence and one calling him to apologize to president obama. how long will the president stand by his claim? utterliy ridiculous. in a rare statement the british government says that allegations that were reputed by white house officials. were white house forced to apologize? 16 minutes, a fence jumper hiding from the secret service on the grounds of the executive mansion for more than a quarter of an hour before being caught. i'll talk to the lawmakers who launched an investigation. congressman jason chaffetz. with less than a week before the house votes on the measure,
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more than 2 dozen republican representatives still aren't backing the bill. will last minute changes to it get them on board. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. the breaking news tonight. new turmoil sparked by president trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama. mr. trump stood by his unfounded allegation during a news conference with the german chanceler angela merkel, herself a target of the u.s. surveillance with the president saying, i'm quoting her now, at least we have something in common. the justice department handed over documents pertaining to the president's claims to congressional investigators. president trump refused to apologize for sean spicer's
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suggestion that british spies were behind the surveillance, a notion that uk officials dismissed as utterly ridiculous. they were livid at the accusation and spicer apologized. the president said he only referred to what he heard on fox news. a source tells cnn that the man who jumped the fence of the white house was on the grounds 16 minutes or more before he was taken into custody just steps from the main door to the mansion. the source says the man set off several alarms but was able to avoid other sensors. we're going to get the latest from the head of the house oversight committee who launched an investigation. congressman chafe fetz is standg by along with correspondents and analysts. let's begin at the white house with jeff zeleny.
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there is no evidence still but the president clearly not backing down on his wiretap claim. >> wolf, the president is standing by those allegations, now two weeks old, that president obama launched some type of a wiretap on him at trump tower. this became a subject of a question today at a press conference the president held. this has been debunked across washington, republicans and democrats alike. this could have been an opportunity for the president to get this over with. that's not what happened at all when he was questioned by a german reporter today. let's watch. >> a government official in london rejected white house claims on the wiretapping, on you, on trump tower, on trump organization, on members of your campaign was -- that british intelligence was either responsible for it or involved in it. and after these claims are rejected, what is your take on that? are there other suspects or do
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you think it was a mistake to blame british intelligence for this? and, by the way, my second question, from time to time tweets that you regret? >> very seldom. >> very seldom. so you never -- >> very seldom. probably wouldn't be here right now. but very seldom. we have a tremendous group of people that listen and i can get around the media when the media doesn't tell the truth. so i like that. as far as wiretapping, i guess, by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [ laughter ] and just to finish your question, we said nothing. all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was
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the one responsible for saying that on television. i didn't make an opinion on it. that was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on fox. and so you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to fox. okay? >> so the president there confirming that this whole thing started with an allegation on fox, with a commentary on fox and other news reports. about an hour after that report, fox news actually issued a statement through anchor shepherd smith. he said fox news cannot confirm judge nap ol tanno commentary. fox knows of no information that the president was under surveillance. the president passing the buck to a legal analyst and they say there is no evidence. at the end of the day, some allegations created two weeks ago and it sparked that international incident. the british were infewer ated by
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this, and i was told he apologized but then the president said we do not regret and do not and will not apologize. as we stand here on this friday evening, wolf, this hangs over the white house and it has grown far more than something just here that washington is talking about. >> yeah, it's almost two weeks it's been hanging over the white house and seems to be getting worse. jeff zeleny, at the white house, thanks very much. the u.s. justice department has handed over documents about the president's wiretap claim to the house and senate intelligence committees. let's go to our senior congressional reporter manu raju, who is working the story for us. you just had a chance to speak to the top democratic on the house intelligence committee. what did he say? >> well, he said that he does not believe that the justice department document will actually show what donald trump was been saying that he was wiretapped under the orders of president obama.
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i talked to him and also devin nunes as they read the letter and received the letter. nunes was skeptical that it would back up the president's claim. adam schiff went further, being very critical of president trump of saying, suggesting on the world stage alongside angela merkel that and the fact that he does believe he was wiretapped. take a listen. >> i'm not sure that we need in writing that which we are all too aware of and there is no basis for what the president has said and what the president repeated today and i just have to express my moretive indication in the presence of angela merkel. to repeat this outlandish claim with one of our allies of this claim of wiretapping.
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it reflects so poorly on the united states around the world. this should have never been a topic of debate and a flippant remark in that fashion or in that press conference. it's just embarrassing. >> how confident are you that that letter will show that there is no evidence of wiretapping. >> i'm absolutely confident. the president's statements before and his tweets since, leading right up today, have no basis, in fact. >> now, wolf, mr. schiff also was expressing some frustration that actually the letter that was received by the intelligence committee came on a friday afternoon, as most members were leaving town, including mr. schiff, who was on the way to the airport and was not able to review the one copy that was given to the house intelligence committee. but still, expressing some confidence there that he does not believe there will be anything to back up what the president is saying, also schiff tell me earlier that when james
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comey, director of the fbi, comes before the house intelligence committee on a public hearing he believes that he too will back down what president trump said, say there is no evidence behind it. we're waiting for devin nunes, the chairman of the committee to emerge. he has been reviewing this for some time. he told me this is a classified letter and they'll see what they can divulge publicly. >> thank you, manu raju up on capitol hill. new information about the man who jumped the white house gate, he was on the premises for 16 minutes. jessica, we're told the man was able to avoid sensors. >> for 16 minutes or more, that 26-year-old intruder evaded detection, by passing alarm
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sensors and he was able to end up on the grounds and end up on the doorstep of the president. >> reporter: tonight cnn has learned alarming new details about the white house intruder who got within feet of the president's residence last friday night. according to a secret source, video surveillance shows that jonathan tran hopped a fence. then crossed east avenue. he jumped a fence near an unmanned guard post and he set up several alarms but continued undetected. sources say some of the alarms may have failed. then tran moved around to the social security of the white house, through the first lady's garden. he went undetected for 15 minutes or more before finally being caught at the entrance to the residence just below the president's bedroom. president trump was inside the residence. >> there were multiple failures of the security system whether it was the physical security of the fencing, the technological
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security means and the human capital means. this absolutely should not have happened. >> reporter: the source says tran was observed looming around pennsylvania avenue at 6:00 p.m., almost six hours before he was arrested. >> it's disturbing that officers in the area didn't key on the behavior that may have been present. >> reporter: it's not the first time. this video showing a previous security breach in 2014 when a 42-year-old iraq war veteran armed with a knife made it all the way to the white house into the east room before being tackled, just 29 seconds after he jumped the fence. the day after this most recent white house breach, the president praised the secret service. >> secret service did a great job. >> reporter: an agent with floor layouts, taken from the agent's
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car on thursday morning near her home in brooklyn. also stolen, lapel pins. that laptop is encrypted. that laptop cannot be traced or accessed remotely. the man is now under. the agents are extremely angry and disappointed with how all this transpired. wolf. >> they should be. it's a really, really bad situation. thanks for that, jessica schneider, reporting. the chairman of the house oversight congressman, jason chaffetz of utah is joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> i want to get to the latest secret service problem. you heard the president in the news conference with angela merkel once again implying he had been surveilled or wiretapped by the obama
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administration. he has no evidence to back up that claim. what message does that send to our allies, for him to be making a claim like this with no evidence to back it up in front of a world leader like angela merkel? >> if the president has evidence, i wish he would share it with us. now, the house intelligence committee is leading in on this and looking into russia. but telling you from the oversight and government reform perspective, we haven't seen any evidence of this. i have not seen any evidence of mass voter fraud or evidence of wiretapping by president obama. if there is something there, we will reiterate, please share with us. we haven't seen it. >> do you believe the fbi director, james comey, when he testifies in open session on monday will put this issue to rest? >> well, i hope so. i mean he's but one agency, but he's certainly in a position to know. i think it's important in this country to have an open and
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transparent hearing and be able to ask tough questions and get those answers. and there are other agencies that could potentially be involved. the president is insistent that this is true. i just would like to see the evidence of it. and so i -- but i think the hearing that the intelligence committee is having on monday is obviously a very important one. >> we'll have extensive live coverage of that on monday. congressman tom cole, you know him. he said that president trumpos president obama an jolapology f what he called a reckless claim of wiretapping, do you agree. >> if the president is saying that is true, that extends it. i again, we haven't come to the conclusion. so we'll let the facts take us where they are, but i haven't seen any facts in this case. i'd like them to share them with us. >> the white house today also insisted that it -- it offered no apology to the british
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government for accusing the intelligence agency for spying on the president at trump tower during the campaign under orders from president obama. the president and the white house press secretary were citing a report by judge andrew napolitano, a fox legal analyst. was that a mistake to utter those words from the podium of the white house and for the president again to repeat that report by judge napolitano? >> well, i hope that people understand that just one account of one news story, particular when some of these are just by anonymous sources, that's not nearly enough, doesn't rise to the level where you should be out and repeating those. they have to be very careful that way. i have not seen all the facts in that particular issue. so i can't issue sort of my final judgment on it. but again, they need to be ultra careful. this is the leader of the free world. when you're at that podium, you
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have to be very, very careful with that. >> you heard the statement from shepherd smith on fox news right after the president made the statement at the news conference saying fox has no evidence at all to back up the assertions from judge napolitano or any other suggestion that the president was wiretapped. why do you think the president is -- is reaching for a single fox news story to back up his claims, instead of relying on the u.s. intelligence community or the law enforcement community? he's the president of the united states. he can just pick up the phone, and say, "get over here, tell me what's going on." instead, he's relying on these news reports. why do you think that is? >> i'm not in a position tho answer that. i'm really not. you have to ask the white house house and the president himself. i don't know. let's talk about the secret
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service. this is a subject you've been working on for a long time. >> yeah. >> you wrote a letter to the secret service about this incident a week ago when a man jumped over a white house fence. the committee has received allegations of additional information that was not included in the aft. according to those allegations the individual may have triggered alarms the u.s. secret service ignored, may have moved around on the ground for a considerable amount of time and may have attempted entry into the building. if true, these allegations raise questions about whether the agency's security protocols are adequate. if that's true, it seems like many layers at one of the most sensitive spot on earth failed. >> it was i total failures. they have concentric circles that radiates out. but the white house is probably the most targeted place on the
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face of the planet. we spent billions of dollars to secure it. the president was in the white house that night. how can a person get over and jump the fence, i was on the fence with secretary kelly -- he told me the person was on the ground for 17 minutes, went undetected, was able to get up next to the white house, hide behind a pillar, look through a window, rattle the door handle. it's just beyond comprehension especially because this is not the first time this has happened. i've been on your show talking to you about other fence-jumping incidents. the moment someone jumps over the fence, they have to be taken down. this one scares me proper than any because of the length of the time, the proximity to the president, getting up to the white house and going so long without being detected. it makes no sense. i don't know what in the world
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they're doing, but it's a total and complete embarrassment. >> when you say rattle the door handle, i assume the door was locked, right? >> we don't know whether it was locked. the intruder did not get into the white house. but to be able to touch the white house, come on. that's why we spend billions of dollars of personnel and dogs and technologies and fences and under cover people and video, surveillance, and yet the person is able to get up close to the white house and spend 17 minutes before he's apprehended. that's unbelievable. >> the rattling of the door handle, he may be able to get inside the executive side, the resident. the president was inside. none of that was in the official statement released by the secret service. and all of us do remember the 2014 incident when the intruder ran through the north lawn of the white house, got inside. and we assumed the secret
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service had learned lessons from that incident. did they? >> we have been given repeated assurance by the secret service that the technology was working, they solved the problems, they went through this. i was impressed when i talked to secretary kelly. he has been out there. he walked the route exactly how the intruder did it. he's very hands-on secretary. he's flabbergasted by this. i've shared with him the past few years that we've looked at the secret service. the men and women are better than that, but how can they have such repeated constant failures on this? i don't know how else to sound the alarm bell for the secret service and say, i know, folks, it's boring and nothing happens maybe for days, weeks and months, but then when it does happen, you have got to pounce on these people. it's common sense, and it's frustrating. >> i have to take a break,
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congressman. for 17 minutes alarms were going on but this guy was running around the south lawn of the white house getting up to the south lawn entrance to the white house? >> no, no, no, no. what i'm saying there are supposed to be alarms. there are multiple redundant systems that are supposed to trigger a response. so part of what we need to learn as part of oversight, what kind of response did they get. the first excuse we learned talking to the whistle blowers they thought it was an animal, ra raccoon or something like that. it went underkted. i don't think it went properly from top to bottom. stay with me congressman. there is no breaking news coming into the "the situation room." we learned that the member of the intelligence committee devin nunes is about to release a statement based on what the
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justice department toed them. stay with us and a lot more on the breaking news. we'll be light back. go to protect your vehicle? i'm on it. ♪ ♪ ♪ weathertech. made right, in america if you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's, and your symptoms have left you with the same view, it may be time for a different perspective. if other treatments haven't worked well enough,
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we're back with the house oversight committee chairman jason chaffetz as we following the breaking news news. and also waiting for information from the house chairman from the justice department on surveillance during the presidential campaign. stand by for that. congressman, in addition to the lapse on the ground of the white house, the secret service reporting that this individual got 17 minutes free time to walk around the ground. we're learning that a laptop belonging to a secret service agent was stolen yesterday in
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new york city, it contained trump tower floor plans and evacuation protocols, lapel pins worn by secret service agents were also stolen. here is the question. were protocols broken in this case? >> we don't know. that's another question we have for the secret service. we're also concerned that a radio was also stolen. you can replace lapel pins literally within an hour or two. the incrip shun, we hope is on. it's an appropriate to leave this in a car on the scene when you're not working. why was it sitting there? somebody can break into a car and steal that stuff. it seems like it should be a violation of protocol. we need the secret service to answer that as well. >> the information about a radio also being stolen, i had not
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heard that. that sounds new. what can you tell us about that. >> again, we're basing this a lot on news reports at this point. we have some difficult situations that are going on and i love the men and women of the secret service, they do a difficult job. they're understaffed by roughly a thousand agents and officers, but you can't have these catastrophic failures particularly the fence-jumping incident. >> while i have you, totally unrelated. a lot of us remember contention moments when you held a town hall in your district in utah. you said some of those were planning to bully. was that a fair statement to make about some of your constituents who came to simply have their voices heard. >> after an hour and 20 minutes of yelling and screaming and flailing. i think most were utahans, most
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were not paid. but there were some agitators, more than a few, that you couldn't have the dialogue and discussion back and forth. i think it was a missed opportunity. i went there, i don't think everybody agrees with me, but that's why you have town halls. you can watch the video yourself. it was over the top. it was bullying and intimidation not just to me, trying to do it to other people who don't want to be part of such an irate group of people. you have every right to protest and put up signs and disagree, but let's have a dialogue on particularly issues where we disagree. i think it's helpful to me and the people i represent as well. >> how are you going to vote next thursday when the legislation to repeal and replace obamacare comes up on the floor for a final vote? >> well, i'm encouraged by what happened today. the president's interaction with representative mike walker and
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mia love and they were there, they were encouraged with some of the alterations that were happening. for me obamacare is a complete and total disaster, i have heard story after story after story about how expensive it is, how the deductibles have gone up, coverages are up, the access to competitive products have gone down. we know obamacare is in a death spiral. i'm excited about this. i look forward to the final product and we'll have a big vote on thursday. >> it sounds like you're inclined to vote a yay? >> at this point i'm leaning towards a yes. i have to hear about the fortunately details. there is a three pronged approach to this. but what it does by helping the deficit and getting away of the mandate which i think is a violation of who we are as
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americans. but also making sure that people have access to good quality healthcare and access. this is for american, no matter where you are on the socioeconomic scale. i think we've done this better for americans. to do nothing will be the absolute worst thing we can do. >> congressman chaffetz of utah, thanks so much for joining us. >> i appreciate it. >> the president will be happy with what he heard on the vote. ahead, the president uses angela merkel to press his wiretap claim. >> as far as wiretapping, i guess, by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [ laughter ] onto the shag carpeting... ...and his pants ignited into flames, causing him to stop, drop and roll. luckily jack recently had geico help him with renters insurance. because all his belongings went up in flames.
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breaking news news. we're standing by for a statement from the house intelligence committee on information provided to the committee late this afternoon from the u.s. justice department on surveillance activities during the presidential campaign. devin nunes, the chairman of the committee, about to release a statement. we'll have live coverage. stay with us for that. in the meantime, let's dig deeper with our experts and analysts on the breaking news of the day. during the news conference with angela merkel today, the president once again at least cited this totally unproven
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report by a fox news commentatoror that the british had spied on him under the order of president obama during the campaign. when he was asked about that, he said you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to fox. >> fox news cannot confirm judge napolitano's commentary. fox news of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the united states was surveilled at any time, any way. full stop. >> where does the president go from here? >> first of all, can you imagine if you had to do that. i feel back for shep smith to go out and insert himself in a story that he had nothing to do with. the president has nowhere to do here. he's placed the blame on fox news. we've seen sean spicer do the same thing. he will never apologize about this situation, no matter what we hear from the house
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intelligence committee. nunes has come out and said there is no evidence. the justice department and the fbi, two of the committees will remain the same. donald trump is not known for apologizing. >> he joked out of the whole thing, jackie when he was with angela merkel, whose phone had been tapped by the obama administration, by some intelligence services during the obama administration. he was joking, oh, wiretapping, at least we have something in common. insi insisting in effect he was wiretapped. >> and the look on her face, i think it was german for, what? she did not look accused. if he was making a joke, it's too soon. it doesn't -- it's not funny because think of all the man-hours that have gone into looking into this, the time and energy that has gone into something that he started. this is completely started with donald trump and doesn't seem like it's going to end with
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donald trump. and you certainly can't laugh it off at this point. >> what about the embarrassment of the previous administration, i mean, dredging up something from the house. >> we have the bipartisan intelligence committee. we have the director on monday about to knock this down. we have the head of the british intelligence service. we have fox news, whom he blames this on today. >> all of his allies that he's blaming. >> and you have the former dni. there is nobody in a position who would know about this. >> he's not backing -- he's doubling down, bianna. >> it's becoming harder and harder to give him the benefit of the doubt. on the summit, other circumstances we we have heard about isis, about north korea, and tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of russia annexing crimea. and we have angela merkel
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defending the order and the president in campaign mode. this is the same president who said it was hard for him to believe the results of 17 investigations, 17 intelligence agencies reporting that russia infiltrated our elections, yet because of one judge on fox news and because of one newspaper article, he's doubling down on saying that his predecessor and our closest ally tried to spy on him. >> bianna, people all over the world, average people, and world leaders, they're watching the united states right now. 57 days into this new presidency, and they're wondering what is going on? what does this do to the credibility of the president? >> well, i think people here at home, in washington, a few blocks from where this was happening are wondering what is going on. you're absolutely right, we can say this is uncomfortable, unprecedented. but at the same time we have to have an administration and a president whom we can hold accountable and we believe facts do matter. we may be sending troops into
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syria within the next couple of weeks. lives matter here. suggesting that i was wiretapped and no evidence, doesn't cut it. >> angela merkel wanted to bring up at the news conference when her cell phone was tapped -- that was an awkward moment in u.s./german relations. >> this entire visit was an awkward moment. i want to remind everyone that nothing unexpected has happened yet to this administration, god forbid, a crisis. we don't know how they're going to react because they've been mired in crises of their own creation. >> everybody stay with us. just ahead the vote on the republican healthcare bill now set for next thursday. more than two dozen republicans in the house are still not on
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air force one has just landed in west palm beach, the president on board. he's going to spend the weekend once again at his estate mar-a-lago in palm beach. we're also standing by right now for a statement from the house intelligence committee. the u.s. justice department gave
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the committee some information about what is known about surveillance of the campaign. it will be the first indication of what the justice department is giving the committee, devin nunes, the chairman will be having a statement as well. >> in the meantime, let's talk about the repeal and release of the obamacare. jackie, there will be a final vote on the house floor next thursday. but all accounts it will be close. the president is working hard to get it approved. >> it looks like he's made inroads with some conservatives, not all conservatives. part of the deal he reportedly made today has to do with imposing work requirements on some medicaid plans -- and instead of the -- instead of the amount increasing by the number of beneficiaries. now, this does not solve the complaints of the freedom caucus who say they still have enough
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votes to sync this thing because they still think this doesn't do enough and is obamacare-lite. >> i see it needs 216 votes and if it gets 216 votes and goes to the senate, it's dead on alive. there will be more power to the individual voters, you have susan collins and quite frankly some conservative republicans who say i can't go back to my constituents with this. >> this is a major struggle. >> that's right. the irony he'll have to veer far to the right to get this into the house but turn to the left to get this passed in the senate. he seems to be in a pickle right now. he says he's the man behind the art of the deal, right? he seems confident. it's the words coming out of his mouth. we'll see if it comes through. >> listen to what the president said today on this very issue. >> we met with 12 pretty much
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nos, and they all went from nos, and to all yeses. it's all coming together. >> it's all coming together. he's confident. >> i'm not sure if those were public no, and he twisted their arm. sometimes they were nos, sometimes seminos. he does have to have the center of the republican conference on the house on board with this. the fundamental tension is any time you restrict medicaid, you win over conservatives and you lose moderates. the freedom caucus, the most conservative, 40 members in the house, that is the group that has not come on that is the group still on board. >> it's about 25 right now and that can go either way.
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to the point about him being such a great deal maker, he's not negotiating one-on-one. he needs to cut a deal with 535 different people. >> he's distancing himself from this as well. >> he has had more buy-in today and over the last -- >> more today than yesterday. >> absolutely. and mike pence has been up there talking to these guys for several days. >> they're sture's stuff going d the scenes. mark meadows was in deep negotiations for several hours at the white house with steve bannon and other white house aides, and that's the linchpin, those 40 members of the freedom caucus, mark meadows is the head. >> what is he saying now after those meetings with steve bannon and -- >> a senior white house official told me that meeting saturday night was the beginning of a larger deal but not consummated yet. the freedom caucus is not coming out saying they're on board in any way. >> you can't help thinking about
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the bridges he's burned with his predecessor, president obama. president obama had been hoping to work with president trump in fornling th inforging this and more democrats on board. i can't imagine the two having a conversation about this right now or anything. >> tomorrow morning it will be exactly two weeks at 6:35 a.m. he started tweeting those four tweets concluding at 7:02 a.m. with the tweets that says this is nixon watergate, bad or sick guy. i referring to the former president of the united states. bad or sick guy. >> and it doesn't seem like president obama sweat much at least publicly but this is something i can't imagine him being able to tolerate. >> it's haunted him ever since and i don't think this is going away until donald trump -- >> he doesn't like to say i'm sorry, i made a mistake. >> he doesn't. can i make a bold prediction? if this one incident happened in any other presidential administration, that's what that administration would in part be
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remembered by. i think we forget about it because he'll do something more outrageous down the road. >> spent two weeks talking about it day in and day out. >> everybody stand by. a lot more coming up. we're standing by once again for our statement from the house intelligence committee, just received new information from the justice department related to president trump's wiretapping claims. when you have digestive sensitivities, life can feel like a never ending search for food that won't cause bloating, gas, or inner turmoil. try pronourish. a delicious nutritional drink that makes a great mini meal or snack that has protein and fiber. and pronourish has no gluten or high fructose corn syrup. and is low in fodmap ingredients that can trigger digestive sensitivities. the search is over. pronourish. nutrition you can feel good about.
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the trump administration is taking a more aggressive stance against north korea. our global affairs correspondent elise lavit is joining us. military action against the
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regime is possible. >> it's important he said this on the eve of his visit to beijing where secretary tillerson is expected to warn chinese leaders that the trump administration is serious about combatting the growing north korean nuclear threat and expects them to do the same. >> reporter: after coming face-to-face with the enemy, the chief u.s. diplomat gave the clearest sign yet that the trump administration would consider a preemptive strike against north korea. >> certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict. but obviously if north korea takes actions that threatens the south korea forces or our own forces, that will be met with an appropriate response. if they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level we believe requires action, that option is on the table. >> reporter: secretary of state rex tillerson toured the dmz, the demilitarized zone between
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north and south korea, still in a state of war. the region on edge as north korean leader kim jong-un inches closer to having a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the u.s. mainland. donald trump said during the campaign he would be willing to meet with kim jong-un. >> what the hell is wrong with speaking to him? >> reporter: but today in seoul his top u.s. diplomat signaled a new u.s. strategy, one that did not include negotiations or waiting for the government of kim jong-un to collapse. >> let me be very clear. the policy of strategic patience has ended. we're exploring a new range of diplomat, security, and economic measures. >> reporter: and he wouldn't rule out a controversial idea president trump raised on the campaign trail to get japan and south korea a nuclear weapon. >> that ditches seven decades of u.s. settled proliferation policy, and that shows the anxiety in washington right now, that they are willing to consider almost anything in
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order to keep north korea in the box. >> reporter: tillerson's tone comes on the eve of his arrival in beijing saturday. he'll warn chinese leaders to use more leverage over north korea or face new sanctions on chinese companies doing business with kim's regime. the tougher line echoed today by president trump, who tweeted, "north korea is behaving very badly. they have been playing the united states for years. china has done little to help." tillerson weighed into tensions between china and south korea over seoul's decision to deploy the american thaad missile defense shield, which beijing sees as a threat to its own nuclear deterrent. beijing now banning south korean imports and preventing chinese tourists from traveling there to change seoul's mind. >> we believe these actions are unnecessary, and we believe they're troubling. >> reporter: while in beijing, tillerson will also set up the
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visit for the first-ever meeting between president trump and chinese president xi jinping next month. north korea will be at the top of that agenda. >> will be. elise, thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "erin burnett out front" starts right now. "out front" next, breaking news, the president not backing down from yet another unverified accusation of spying, this one against america's closest ally, the international incident unfolding at this hour. and a secret service laptop stolen, filled with floor plans for trump tower. as we learn a white house spruder was on the ground for 16 minutes before secret service took him down. is the secret service falling apart? plus trump and germany's angela merkel extremely awkward body language. what did it actually mean? let's go out front. i'm erin burnett. out front on this friday night, the president putting his pride above his country. president donald trump doubling down on a false

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