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tv   Wolf  CNN  April 24, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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daily life a guessing game. and bloating made will i have pain and bloating today? my doctor recommended ibgard to manage my ibs. take control. ask your doctor about nonprescription ibgard. hello i'm wolf blitzer. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we're keeping a very close watch right now in the white house where a little bit later we expect to see the white house press secretary sean spicer. h'll be briefing reporters. we'll go there live once that briefing starts. one of the things we expect to hear more about is china now promising grating cooperation as far as north korea is concerned as the threats continue from kim jong-un's government. that commitment came in a phone call with the chinese president xi jinping. just a short while ago at a
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white house lunch with ambassadors from the united nations security council, president trump spoke about the threat from north korea and about what he sees as a chance for a new beginning for the united nations. >> the mission of the united nations and the u.n. security council is to maintain international peace and security. these are important aims and shared interests. but as we look around the world, it's clear that there's much work for you to achieve. you're going to be very busy people i suspect over the coming months and years. our nation faces serious and growing threats and many of them stem from problems that have been unaddressed for far too long. in fact, the united nations doesn't like taking on certainly problems, but i have a feeling the people in this room and i know for a fact that nikki feels very strong about taking on problems that people steered away from. i encourage the security council to come together and take action to counter all of these many
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threats. on syria, the council failed again this month to respond to syria's use of chemical weapons. a great disappointment. i was very disappointed by that. the status quo in north korea is also unacceptable. and the council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on north korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs. this is a real threat to the world. whether we want to talk about it or not. north korea is a big world problem. and it's a problem we have to finally solve. people have put blindfolds on for decades and now it's time to solve the problem. the united states just one of 193 countries in the u.n. pays for 22% of the budget and almost 30% of the united nations peace keeping which is unfair. we need the member states to come together to eliminate inefficiency and to ensure that
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no one nation shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden militarily or financially. this is only fair to our taxpayers. i look forward a discussion about our shared role in keeping the peace, advancing reforms, and getting everyone to do their fair share. i also want to say to you that i have long felt the united nations is an underperformer but has tremendous potential. there are those people that think it's an underperformer and will never perform. i'm so happy with the job that nikki is doing and our representatives, but nikki and the group and i see the relationship that she's already developed. i think that the united nations has tremendous potential, tremendous potential. far greater than what i would say any other candidate in the last 30 years would have even thought to say.
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i don't think it's -- i know it hasn't lived up to the potential. i see a day when there's a conflict with the united nations, you get together and you solve the conflict. you just don't see the united nations solving conflicts. i think that's going to start happening now. >> senior white house correspondent jim acosta inside the white house briefing room getting ready for the sean spicer briefing. senior international correspondent ivan watson joining us live from seoul south korea. jim, what should we expect to hear from the white house press secretary as far as strategy on north korea, the latest u.s. steps? we heard a strong statement there from the president. >> we absolutely heard a very strong statement from the president there, wolf. that was a gathering of ambassadors to the united nations and some pretty undiplomatic talk almost lecturing those ambassadors saying that the u.n. has not lived up to its potential, he's
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not going to be worried about how much money the united states gives the united nations if they can have successes and they also lectured about how they did not do much when it came to syria and its use of chemical weapons. and i think on top of that, just those comments on north korea where you heard the president say this is a problem that's going to be solved, it is essentially saying that during his administration he's going to solve this problem with north korea. but you talk as you know to foreign policy experts, you talk to former secretaries of state, former ambassadors to the united nations going back administration after administration, north korea's one of those problems that challenges every white house to come up with a solution and at this point it has been for the past couple of decades to trade water. so i suppose we'll be asking sean spicer about that when he comes into the room about half an hour. what new is the president proposing when it comes so solving this problem with north korea. he's been asked about this issue the past couple of weeks what he
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has said time and again is he's going to be leaning more and more on china to get to the bottom of this, to apply that pressure to north korea, to curtail its behavior. that is a strategy that administrations have been using for some time to no success. we should point out we did obtain these talking points that the administration is using for its first 100 days to highlight its achievements. north korea is not on there. but in the foreign policy national security section of those talking points, wolf, it does mention the syria missile strikes that the president authorized a couple of weeks ago. and also talks about that travel ban that is tied up in court. but no question about it, the president is trying to make the case that during his first 100 days, yes, a lot of people were saying he didn't accomplish much. legislatively he has relied on executive orders. all of that is true. but he's making foreign policy front and center. when you say things along the lines of we're going to solve this problem with north korea, we're going do make that happen,
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he's setting the expectations awfully high for his team here at the white house. >> ivan, you're in seoul. the president, his kmecomments e as the u.s. waits for word while another u.s. citizen obtained in north korea. what can you tell us about this most recent u.s. sncitizen who' been detain snd. >> he goes by the name tony kim. he'd been teaching for weeks. he was on his way out of the country on saturday from pyongyang airport and that's when the north korean security forces detained him. we have not had any official confirmation of this from the north korean authorities. we're getting this mostly from the embassy of sweden in pyongyang because of course the surs do u.s. does not have an embassy in north korea.
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does not have formal diplomatic relations. the ftactic they've used is one they've used in the past. grabbing them either at the airport or in one case off of the plane when he was about to take off. there are at least two other american citizens that we know of who are in detention in north korea and their situation is very dire. university of virginia student who was arrested in 2016, he faces a 15 year hard labor sentence for pulling a sign off a wall in his hotel. a businessman by the name of kim dong-chul, korean american who was detained in 2015 facing a decade of hard labor or espianage charges. in the past cases of americans who have been grabbed at the airport, it usually takes them at least months to be released,
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wolf. and usually they have to make a televised confession or apology before that can take place. >> amidst all of this, the u.s. aircraft carrier, the carl vin son finishing up exercises with the japanese agency. are there similar plans in place when it gets closer to south korea? >> well, the south korean officials say they're talking about this and of course you've got to put this in context. the u.s. has been conducting joint military exercises with different branches of the south korean military for all of the past month. this is an annual series of exercises and it really, really irritates north korea which every year claims these are exercises preparing for a possible invasion of north korea, which both the south korean and u.s. governments deny. but the arrival of this aircraft carrier strike group in the region which was expected much earlier. it came later than expected. that's been the source of some
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controversy. the north koreans, the state propaganda has been going after that claiming that this could also be part of an invasion and they've been putting out warnings saying they could destroy the aircraft carrier with a single blow. also claiming they could destroy the u.s. allies with five million nuclear bombs. that's kind of standard hyperbole coming from north korean state media. the fact that now you've got a u.s. citizen who's just been at the -- detained, that may complicate matters. nikki haley told journalists that she thinks the north koreans are using tony kim as a bargaining chip. >> ivan in south korea, jim acosta, thanks very much. lots of news today. the white house has said that all options are on the table for dealing with north korea. but when asked today about a preemptive u.s. military strike, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley said the united states would only
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strike if provoked. >> if you see him attack a military base f you see some sort of entintercontinental ballistic missile, then we're going to do that. >> if he tests another missile, if he were to test another nuclear device, when you say obviously we're going to do that, do you mean military retaliation? >> i think then the president steps in and decides what's going to happen. >> here with us is sam nunn. former chairman of the senate armed services committee. also the founder and co-chairman of the nuclear threat initiative. senator, thanks so much for joining us. let me get your quick reaction to what nikki haley just said. if the north koreans were to test another nuclear bomb, if they were to test more ballistic missiles. she says i think then the president steps in and decides what's going to happen. what should happen if the north koreans take those provocative steps? >> well, i think all options
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ought to be on the table. military option. but i also think the diplomatic option ought to be on the table. that's where we do not seem to have a strategy at this point in time. i certainly agree with the emphasis that the president is putting on the u.n. and the potential of the u.n., even though often short of its goals. one thing that we have not really focused on in the last two administrations is u.n. resolution 2270 which gives a mandate to all countries to search every vessel, every plane coming in or out of nourrth kor. that's important from the pressure point of view. it's also important from preventing the leakage of nuclear materials which could be used for catastrophic terrorism. this is an area that china voted for in the u.n. security council. an area where we can really work together and a area where the united states can strengthen our allies in southeast asia in terms of their capacity to search the ships.
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it's a very powerful tool that has been aproved. >> it seems prattthe president' strategy is to try -- be more aggressive and take steps to convince the north korean regime to step back. >> that's exactly right and i think that's what the president should be doing. i'm glad he's talking to his counter part. >> when you say he doesn't have a strategy, that seems to be a strategy. >> i'm saying a diplomatic strategy. i certainly agree talking to china is a very big part of it. our goal in korea is to have a stable nonnuclear korean peninsula. that can only be accomplished with the help of china without a war. >> you think it's realistic that the north korean regime of kim jong-un is going to up of their nuclear weapons? >> i'm not sure. our short term should be a freeze of their missile tests as well as their weapons. one thing we ought to do on the diplomatic side is have informal bilateral talks with north
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korea. number one reason is to prevent some kind of miscalculation that could lead to absolutely catastrophe. mistakes can be made. i think that kind of informal dialogue would be in and of itself -- >> you want direct talks between u.s. representatives and north korean representatives. >> i wouldn't call it negotiations. i'd call it dialogue at this stage. it's important to make sure there's no tragic miscalculation. also it's important because that's what china has been urging us to do for the last couple of years and we haven't been willing to do it. it could make a difference in china's willingness to step up and have a lot more pressure on north korea, including the sanctions i just mentioned. >> clearly the president right now, i believe accepts what former president obama told him in the final days of the obama administration that north korea right now represents the greatest national security threat facing the united states. do you believe that? >> i think it's a real threat. as they develop the capacity to
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deliver nuclear weapons, they already have nuclear weapons, deliver them to targets, i think that's an enormously destabilizing. south korea and japan already but potentially for the united states. >> let's say they have another nuclear test. they've had five in recent years. they have a sixth right now. let's say they have another ballistic missile test. what should the u.s. do? >> i think we ought to get china involved. i think we ought to crack down on the sanctions. i think we should have military options which are viable. we should strengthen the alliance between the united states and south korea. and japan, the military side of it. and we should talk directly to the north koreans informally because that kind of informality is important. it's not a formal negotiation. it should not be preconditions. but we've got to make sure we don't have a war that nobody wants. >> because if there's any military confrontation, you know that north koreans, they have a million troops north of the dmz with thousands of artillery
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pieces. seoul, the capital of south korea is 30 miles below the demilitarized zone. that area could be leveled within days. >> yes. we would win any war with north korea and i hope they're smart enough, i think they are, to know thact. but south korea, our ally could be decimated while -- >> millions of people could get killed and there are almost 30,000 u.s. soldiers along that zone. >> that's right. a war is not in anybody's interest. we have to have a military option to on the burner, but it shouldn't be on the front burner. >> when you say informal talks, mean diplomatic back channel? >> well, it could be any of those but i think at some point it would be ideal to have officials from north korea including possible military officials and including those that have responsibility over the demilitarized zone to talk to their counter parts in the united states in terms of -- >> is it smart for the u.s. to
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be deploys the u.s.s. carl vinson to the korean peninsula? >> well, i think it is important to show military strength. it's important for japan and for south korea. but it's also important to have discussions so we don't have a mistake, miss calculation that could lead to a war that neither north korea, south korea or japan or the united states wants. all those things need to be. this is not a sequential sort of thing. we've got to do a number of things parallel. the ones i mentioned i would at least from my point of view put on the front burner. >> senator sam nunn, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. coming up, moments away from the white house press briefing. looking at live pictures coming in from the briefing room. spec'd to address this issue north korea. plus the president's first 100 days, upcoming tax reform announcement. we'll have live coverage. that's coming up. plus the president stepping up calls for border wall funding as
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capitol hill scrambles to a voter a government shutdown. we'll discuss that and more. republican congressman standing by. we'll talk with him when we come back. hey allergy muddlers are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec® and muddle no more®.
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looking at live pictures from inside the white house briefing room. the press secretary sean spicer will be coming to the briefing room shortly to take questions from reporters on this the president's 95th day in office. live coverage of that coming up. lots going in washington this week as the president nears the 100 day mark on saturday. the scramble to avoid a government shutdown. the border wall show down.
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pres about what's next with health care reform. just some of the issues on the agenda. colorado republican congressman mike kaufman is joening ining u denver. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> let's talk bt effoabout the to avoid a government shutdown. you're a member of what's called the bipartisan problem solver's caucus. a majority of the group have come out and supported a clean spending bill just pass something to keep the government operational. where do you think -- see things standing right now? how's all this going to play out? because at stake is a government shutdown. >> well, there's about 40 of us that have come together in this group to try to bridge the partisan divide in washington, d.c. our goal is to avoid a government shutdown. we have to pass legislation, a spending bill to keep the government funded through the end of the fiscal year, which is
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september 30 t. we we want to have a clean spending bill free of any polarizing ideological provisions that would cause a shutdown. >> one of those ideological divisions, $1.4 billion spending for the start of construction of the border wall between the u.s. and mexico. i take it at this point you would just as soon leave that out of this stop gap measure thr, this temporary spending bill. >> sure. obviously the discussion to secure the border can continue and we can have provisions into the next fiscal year starting in october, but there's such a short time window here. there's just really no time. i think that the fact is that it is a divisive issue. i certainly support securing the border, but i also support keeping the government open and i think this would cause the kind of show down that would lead to a shutdown.
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>> i think a lost your colleagues agree with you. republicans held a weekend conference call with the speak tore discuss plans for dealing with the funning deadline, discuss plans to try to revive health care reform, repealing and replacing obamacare. but a gop congressman shared this description of the call with us. let me put his word on the screen. they were short on details and didn't take any questions because they said they had to assume the call was being recorded by somebody and it would get leaked. so they didn't take any questions which was disappointing. it was content free. it was embarrassing. i don't know if you were on the call but what do you make of that? >> i was certainly on the call. there is an outline in terms of an agreement on health care bill that would allow an opt out for states that wanted to cover presift existing conditions through a high risk insurance pool. i have not seen the technical
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details of that. we expect to have that conversation early this week. >> you think that this effort to repeal and replace obamacare has a chance of getting approved? for goet about this week. do you think there's enough of a compromise between serve republicans and more moderate republicans to workout a deal? >> you know, i think certainly progress. i understand has been made through negotiation from the tuesday group which i'm also a member of and the freedom caucus and to try to come to an agreement to at least continue the conversation about how we reform our health care system and to get something over to the senate to allow them to work on it. >> so you think there's a still a chance of 216 votes you need. you think that can be achieved? >> i think there's a chance. i've got to look at the details of what that agreement means.
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what does a high risk insurance pool mean and are the people with pre-existing conditions truly covered. i'm open to taking a look at that. >> those details are being held pretty much close to the vest with only a few of the other republican leaders. as you you well know. congressman, thanks so much as usual for joining us. >> thank you. thanks for having me. the defense secretary james ma mattis is in afghanistan. he reassured that the afghan knees are committed to the fight against terror. >> we're under no illusions about the challenges associated with this mission. 2017 is going to be a tough year for the afghan security forces and the troops who have stood and continue to stood shoulder
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to shoulder with afghanistan against terrorism. >> secretary mattis was supposed to meet with the afghan defense minister but the minister stepped down just hours before the visit. the resignation follows a major taliban attack on an army base on friday that killed more than 100 people including dozens of afghan soldiers. coming up, the white house press briefing getting ready to begin moments from now. looking at live pictures from the briefing room. we'll have live coverage of that once it starts. also former president obama just wrapped up his first public remarks since leaving office. what did he say? what was his message? we'll update you on that and more when we come back.
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as you know the ambassadors for the u.n. security council are here visiting. ambassador haley wanted to come by and have an update. when she's done she's got to join a meeting in progress.
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without further a do, the ambassador to the united nations nikki haley. >> thank you. i will tell you we've had an exciting day in d.c. we are hosting members of the security council. when you think of that, this is the most powerful group that decides sanctions, relief, any sort of conflict that comes up, this is the group. and so the idea that they were able to come to d.c. is overwhelming for them. they are extremely pleased. we started the morning at the blair house with senators graham and cardin. talking about issues from budget to peace keeping as well as conflicts in north korea and syria and then with the problems in iran. so it was a very healthy discussion there. from there we came over to the white house and the president greeted all of the members. had his picture taken with them. and then we all sat down for lunch. it was an open dialogue very
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much of the members wanting to hear from the president what his plans are, what he was going to continue to do on syria or not continue to do. north korea. all of those issues are certainly at the forefront. the idea that he would have that dialogue with them is tremendously helpful to me whereas in the security council we need them to really engage. we need them to now know that we are about action and i think that what we've tried to do in the u.n. is really bring reform. reform in the way we spend, in the peace keeping operations. but also reform in the resolutions that are passed, that what we pass actually means something and there's accountability in what we pass. i think they heard that loud and clear from the president. i think they are thrilled with the engagement they had. i think it shows that the president's very engaged on foreign policy. they see that. the idea that he would sit down and want to talk to them about each of their countries and the security council collectively is massive for a president to be able to do this and it was certainly helpful for the united states. now they are in briefings with
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general mcmaster focusing on north korea, also focusing on isis and engaging on that front and will continue to have other conversations as well. but as far as, great day for the security council, great day with the president and certainly more good to come out of this meeting. thank you very much. i've got some ambassadors waiting. we will talk to you soon. thank you. >> so without further a due, sergeant of treasury. >> seems like i'm becoming a regular here. it's nice to see all of you again. earlier today the united states department of treasury office imposed sanctions in response to the april 4th, 2017, sattack on --. sanctioning 271 employees of syria's scientific studies and
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research center. the syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing nonconventional weapons and means to deliver them. olfac has targeted these 271 employees because they have expertise in chemistry and related fields or have worked in support of chemical weapons programs since at least 2012. today's action, less than three weeks after the attack, is one of the largest ever executed. we are more than doubling the number of individuals and entities sanctions since the start of the conflict. these sweeps sanctions are intended to hold the assad regime and those who support it directly or indirectly accountable for their blatant violations of the chemical weapons convention and u.n.
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security council resolution 21118. the united states is sending a strong message with this action that we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by any actor and we intend to hold the assad regime accountable for its unacceptable behavior. the treasury department together with the department of state and our international partners will continue to relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of any individuals involved with syria's production or use of chemical weapons. i'd also comment that recently we had sanctions on north korea and iran and will also continue to add to and monitor those as appropriate. with that i'd be happy to take a few questions. >> is this the only round of sanctions we can expect against syria in the wake of that chemical weapons attack or are you krg more and are you
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considering the possibility of sanctions against russia for not going far enough to try to d dissuade assad? >> we don't comment on the sp z specific of sanctions we are going to do in the future but the sanctions programs are very important. they're very effective. we will continue to use them to the maximum amount available by law. >> secretary, on the budget, is the border wall a deal breaker for the president even to the point of government shutdown? >> i'm not going to comment on the specifics of that, but what i will say is i was in a meeting this morning with director mulvaney and other senior people. the president is working hard to keep the government open. and addressing various issues. >>. >> can you tell us what the sanctions actually do? what is different today than was different yesterday? >> well, the sanctions are enormously important. by identifying 271 additional
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people, these sanctions as you know will both freeze assets if there's assets here and prevent u.s. entities from doing business as well as the sanctions have enormous impact with all of our partners around the world who also work with us on these issues. >> as you know, the administration's trying to grab el wi -- grapple with the paris agreement. do you support staying in paris. >> i would comment that we're having discussions on that and that's where i'll go on that. >>, you aware of any american companies doing business with those individuals? >> the president said last week there would be a proposal released wednesday. >> he did indeed. w widely reported. >> i imagine that surprised you a little bit. what can we expect? >> let me first say i've been working with the president for over the last year on his
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economic plan in regards to creating growth. the president is very determined that we can get to sustained economic growth of 3% or higher. we're working on tax reform. we're working on regulatory reform. we're working on job creation. and this is something that on the tax side i've been meeting weekly with the house and the senate on designing things. and we'll be coming out as the president said with more details on wednesday. >> along the lines of tax reform, i know the specifics of the broad details. but without getting into the specifics, what does the middle class gain if there is a simple -- if we lose the deductions, how does that help the middle class? >> we've been clear on what the president's objectives are for tax reform. middle income tax cut, a
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priority of the president. simply. the -- business tax reform, we need to make business taxes competitive and we expect with doing that we will bring back trillions of dollars from offshore. >> the question i have to sort of bounce off this announcement on wednesday t doesn't sound like we're going to get the finer details of what this tax reform package will entail. is it a good idea to start talking about tax reform, something that you said kaeptcae accomplished by august, when you don't have all the details? >> there will be details that will come out. yes, i think it is important that we talk about it. i'll just take a couple more. >> can i just follow-up on what adrian was asking you. for those of us not completely clear about the 271 employees,
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are you suggesting by looking at these sanctions that there are u.s. companies or they have holdings in the u.s. or they would be traveling or doing some sort of business that we're actually freezing or barring? >> again, i can't comment on the specifics of these sanctions beyond what were released, but i can assure you that when the u.s. puts out sanctions, they have impacts here and throughout the world and we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think was impactful. >> would you say that simply fi indication of the tax code or cuts would be the first priority? >> both. >> closing the gap with clothe. but which is first? >> again, on the personal side, for about a middle income tax cut. on the business side we're about making them competitive. this is the last one. go ahead. >>. [inaudible] >> what i said before is the tax
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plan will pay for itself with economic growth. thank you, everybody. nice to see you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. and ambassador haley. so i just want to kind of walk through what the rest of the day and the week and then we'll get to some questions. as you know this morning the president had a call at german chancellor merkel who had extended an invitation for the first daughter to -- and assistant to the president ivanka trump to taken the w. 20 summit tomorrow ivanka will be in berlin participating in a panel that is entitled inspiring women, scaling up women's intre prenurship. this follows on works force development. issues that are central both to ivanka and the trans lorchancel agenda that they hosted here at the white house. while in germany she will visit
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a tool with students participating in the program. she will visit the memorial to the murdered jews murdered in berlin. we're following that call the president spoke with the commander of the international space station via teleconference. as i told you guys last week, the doctor who is on her third extended stay breaks the record for the most space time of any american astronaut. the president was honored to celebrate this incredible achievement by the doctor in the american space program and discussed the exciting future of sprays exploration and space science including how the inspire women act which the president recently signed ensures that nasa recruit women for important jobs. after that as i mentioned at the top the president had a working lunch with nikki haley and the other ambassadors of the countries that are part of the
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u.n. security council. under the president's leadership america has once again taken a leadership role in the world stage and are global partners have welcomed this renewal of american diplomacy. later on this afternoon the president will sign a c-- week long day of remembrance first held in 1979 and later established as our nation's commemoration of the hollocaust. president trump will participate in a days of remembrance commemoration. as he said during his video message, the trump administration is committed sto stamping out prejudice. the president will host a ceremony. he el then have dinner with senator and mrs. mccain and senator graham.
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he will return to washington where he finished his time throughout the world. while in hawaii today the president will have lunch with u.s. troops at joint base pearl harbor and participate in arrival ceremony before boarding air force two for the ride home to washington. as we get closer to the president's 100th day on n office throughout the week the white house is hostings briefings and events to provide several opportunities for many folks in the press to hear directly from the administration and our official on what we've achieved in the first 100 days and what we're looking to continue to achieve. throughout the week the president cabinet officials and senior white house staff will be talking about the president's agenda on national local media and various platforms. finally i want to acknowledge the distressing reports regarding american citizens coming out of the ukraine in north korea. we're deeply saddened by the death of a paramedic and united
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states citizens for. we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones and wish his colleagues who were injured in the blast a quick and speedy recovery. we call on all parties to cooperate to allow it to fully investigation this incident. the tragic death of a staff member only serves to underline the urgent need for all sides, particularly the russian-led forces to implement their commitments under the minsk agreements chl agreements. we're also aware the reports of the citizen being detained over the weekend. i would direct any further inquiries to the state department. also the white house campus will play host to a briefing for all u.s. senators on the subject. the briefers will be secretary tillerson and mattis. director coats. this is a senate briefing convened by the majority leader, not a white house briefing.
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we are just serving as the location. for further questions i would direct you to the majority leader's office and the office of the fore briefers. with that i'll take a few questions. >> talking about the budget, how committed is -- you talk about how committed the president is to having the border wall funded this week or having some funding in that spending bill. and if it is not in there, will he sign it? >> again, there's negotiations continue with house and senate leadership. obviously the money for our military and our border security and wall have been part of that request. that is something that those are the president's priorities heading into -- with respect to keeping the government open. i think we feel very confident where we're headed. i'm want going to get ahead of the negotiations that are ongoing. director mulvaney has been very, very deep in those discussions and i expect to be an
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announcement soon. but i'm not going to start to take things on and off the table with respect to what the president may or may not do. >> doubling up on that question there about the cr debate and the funding, does he specifically expect there to be funding for the border wall or would border security measures be enough to satisfy the president and how do you differentiate between the two? what could be funded in the cr you that could say is part of the wall even if it's not explicitly -- >> there's a lot of components to that. fencing and drones. i don't want to get ahead of those negotiations. they are ongoing. but the president's priorities have been very clear from the beginning. >> just to follow-up, are we backing off from the wall or saying it is on the table? >> no. we're saying the president has made it very clear he's got two priorities in this continues resolution. number one, the increase in funding for the military. number two, for our home land
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border security and the wall. but imwant goi'm want going to get into -- we're having negotiation and to prejudge where it ends up at this point would not be prudent. >> two questions for you. on the syrian economic sanctions, how will the administration determine how effective they are? >> well, i think there's going to be a lot of ways, but first and formost is send a clear signal to make sure that they understand that we don't take their actions lightly. and that we want to do everything we can to have stability in the region. so i think there's going to be a lot of ways in terms of their behavior going forward that we'll know whether they're working. i think we have a lot of tools at our disposal to try to achieve an outcome that brings stability to that region. >> on north korea, the fact that a third u.s. citizen has been detained by the regime, does that make it more difficult for
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the president to negotiate through china to try to denuclearize north korea? >> no. i think china and ambassador haley noted it, but china has been very, very helpful in this process and continues to be and i we hope to see a change of behavior, but it is a very positive sign it is level of engagement that china has been -- has enacted. >> are they calling on the release of the u.s. citizen being detained? >> we want to make sure our citizens were protected and returned home. the state department is playing the lead on that. >> you know there's quite a bit of concern among republicans on capitol hill about the federal defini deficit. when you roll out the tax plan r you going to include those things that raise revenue as well as those things that are tax cuts so swepts conservatives can be confident. >> i'm not going to get ahead of the president, but i'm not going
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to -- the level of specificity and the cost we'll have to see how comfortable the president is. >> can you tell us that the president is aware of the american pastor jailed in turkey and did he raise that with the president? >> i'm not going to get into the specifics of the president's conversation. we're obviously aware of that action. and we're going to continue to work through the state department on that. >> jordan? >> can you explain why the president didn't use genocide when killing the armenians? >> the statement that was put out is consistent with the statements that have been put out for at least several of the past administrations. so if you look back to the language that president obama, president bush, the language is consistent with all of that. >> first the border law, still
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expects to start this summer. there are still a few in texas and arizona who welcomed security, but are conservative kl of giving up family-owned land. so what is the white house message to them directly and what can you guarantee that they will be commentated. >> this is an issue that's gone on several times. we'll do everything in accordance to the law. but the homeland security secretary understands what's going to be noded and we'll do surveys to make sure we minimize that to the extent possible. >> the fbi arrested two doctors in michigan for performing on b a little girl.
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it's the first case in the united states. what's the reaction to that case? >> we have talked before about pending investigations. we don't comment on any pending investigations or actions by the justice department. >> the president said on twitter a ridiculous benchmark or an important one. >> ity in the context of the entire administration, there's a lot that i think we'll feel proud we have gotten done and taken care of. the immigration piece, border crossing is way down. pieces of legislation, we feel very proud of what we have been able to establish and fulfill the promises that he's made to the american people. i think it's got to be kept in context. there's this artificial number that gets thrown out. the context is it's 100 days. four years in your first term, eight years for two terms.
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the place the u.s.'s role in the world, there's a lot that we feel that of accomplishments that have occurred ask we feel good about what we have done in the first 100 days. you're going to continue to see a lot of results into the second 100 days. all the way through. >> there's no health care reform or repeal of obamacare. would the president consider that and would his supporters consider that a failure based on the promises he made during the campaign. >> when you lock at job creation, immigration, trade, i
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think when you look at it overall in terms of the drop in border crossings, if you look at consumer confidence in the relationships that we have developed around the globe and the establi the accomplishments on bringing back jobs and starting, those have been unbelievely significant. to minimize that or to look and pick out two or three things, we're going to continue to push for health care reform. system of it has been slower because of working through congress, but when you think about what he started, he'll move forward on tax reform, health care, immigration, trade, it's been a hugely successful first 100 days. >> without the president necessarily describing as a failure or not, would he say
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he's learned something about the process and how long things take that he didn't appreciate as a candidate? maybe he overpromised? >> with all due respect, when you look at the list of things and each of the various areas he's been able to do, he's very pleased. >> talk about the con speck wous campaign promises saying it's going to happen. >> i think on health care -- >> does he have a different awareness of how difficult those things are that he did as a candidate? >> i'm sure there are things you learn in the job, but i think he's very proud of what he has set out to do and the progress that we have made. i think you're going to see health care get done and it's going to get done right and in particular it's something that we're continuing to work at. we can't make people vote, but we have moved the legislation forward and improved it greatly. i think we are going to see progress on that. >> two questions. the first on the budget.
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is the president going to sign a resolution that is not in reducing. this would increase the deficit. >> i have not seen a score on anything that's come out. we'll have to wait and see what the final -- not at this it point. >> it's not criticizing the predecessors for missteps from both parties and has made a point of convention. so why not take this moment to label the billion and a half armenians with genocide? >> as i noted, the statement that the president put out is consistent with the last several administrations. i understand that. but it is perfect ly in keeping with the language that's been used over and over again. john?
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>>. >> i think we have been very clear the president made it clear on friday that if it happens and we have the vote this is week, if it's next week or the week after, bewant the to make sure we have the votes and headed in the roigt direction before putting an artificial dead line. >> you think it's likely? >> whenever the speaker and the leadership over in the house tell us that they feel confident that they have the votes, we would encourage them to move forward. i think that's the answer. it comes down to when they feel as though they have the commitments to push the bill forward. >> the ones that pushed to try to get something on the score board, does it look like that won't happen? >> we have been very clear from here and the president has been clear in his comments that it
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our goal is to get it done and get it done right and to get it done that we have the votes. i read some background quotes and sources about when it wants to, but we have been cloer about when we want to get that done. >> the president has been clear that justice gorsuch is a big part of his first 100 days accomplishments. the roll out of 100 days said there would be a dinner with the president and the justices of the supreme court. now that is off the list. is the dinner not happening or not publicly being talked about because it's wrapped up in the politic website. >> we have moved some things around. is it fortunate to sweep up into the politics of 100 days? >> no, having a a relationship and meeting with the supreme court at some point would be a a great idea and something we hope to have on the schedule at some point soon. >> he's been consistent about
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two things. one, that he's had a heart. he wants to make sure he does what's in the interest of children in particular. but secondly, i the president's priorities since he took office have been very clear. the focus would be on folks who presented a a danger to public safety and that's what it's been. that's where it continues to be. he's someone who understands the issue and the priorities that need to get laid out by this country. so everything that he's done has beenen siconsistent with what hs said from the get go. >> i understand that he said the criminals would leave first, but last august he said that daca defied federal law and is illegal. >> his comments that he made last week that he understands that a lot of cases this involves families and small children who have been here. e he has a heart and we're going to work through the immigration piece.