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tv   CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul  CNN  May 27, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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glad to have you with us this morning. i am christie paul. >> i am victor blackwell. >> this morning, the president's trip is going to a close. he will speak at the air base of sicily and he will head back to the u.s. >> a source confirmed to cnn that jared kushner did proposed
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a mean of communication s with the kremlin. conversations between russia ambassador to the united states and moscow. >> the line was meant to be used to discuss strategies in syria and policies. >> we have more on this latest report. >> interception russian communication discussed a proposal. president trump's son-in-law jared kushner to russian ambassador to the u.s., creating a secret channel between the trump administration and the kremlin. the post reported that kushner made a -- to use russian diplomatic facilities to shield their inauguration discussions according to u.s. officials. >> the two men met creating a
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back channel to president vladimir putin. these revelations come as the fbi probe interference of the 2016 presidential election includes looking at kushner. the fbi is drilling down kushner on multiple roles of the trump campaign and post election. >> i heard and it is been reported that part of the miss information campaign that was launched was launched in three key states, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania. it was launched interesting not to reenforce trump voters to go out but to target potential clinton voters of misinformation of the last week. >> federal investigators examining russian operatives using trump campaign associates
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wittingly or unwittingly to push information about hillary clinton online. >> jared is going to do a great job. kushner's contact with russia are under scrutiny. he's one of four trump's aid in contact with kislak. at first, he failed to list those contacts but later corrected the form. >> another day, another name. it is hard to find who in this administration is not being connected with suspicious ties to russia. it just points out how important this investigation is. >> they believe he maybe able to provide information that's helpful to the fbi probe. his lawyer says he has volunteered to share information with congress about his meetings with the russians.
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he's willing to talk to the fbi if asked, christie and victor. >> thank you very much, we appreciate it. help is understand what they were saying. >> they did indeed a few minutes here, the president of one of the only world leaders here not speaking about his experience and his views here. the reason that is, the white house's increasingly concerned of this russia investigation is dominating the news here, of course, the president chief's economic adviser said this about the jared kushner's story. >> we are not going to comment on jared.
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>> that's a very brief and short comment there not talking about this. again, the whole russia investigation has been hanging over this summit here at the g 7. the president is following every incremental element of this. we have confirmed outlining of jared kushner back in december was trying to set up some type of back channel communications here. in this briefing a few moments ago, the national security adviser, hr mcmaster, try to down play all of this. it is not uncommon to have back background information. jared kushner was not a white house official at the time. he was a private citizen there. the president is sending out messages on social media including his plans for the paris climate accord. i will make my final decision on
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the paris accord next week. it is been one of the decisions weighing on him. is the u.s. going to stay in or withdraw this global climate agreement. he's been getting ears full about european leaders about urging him to stay in. he will be heading back to washington this evening, so much is waiting for him back home. >> no doubt about it. we appreciate it. thank you. lets bring in our senior editor, and author of "deep under cover" and spy of america. ronald, i want to start with you, your reaction to the white house is saying they're not going to comment on jared.
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>> it is extraordinary. this entire story is extraordinary, earlier this week, john brennan, the cia turned a lot of heads with his story, that was direct. almost expected. he said there was evidence before he left the job that made him concerned enough about contacts between u.s. persons as they put it and russian officials that he turned it over to the fbi because he believed there was enough there to investigate. this certainly to be that thing that would prompt it. the idea establishing a communication link that's run through diplomatic facilities to keep it out of the eyes of the american intelligence community, it is something head spinning in every direction. the russians would be in possession of the
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communications. >> they would have to expose their means and methods to u.s. officials. >> right. that's all the concerns that were raised about michael flynn whether he will be subject to pressure or blackmail because the russians would know things that his colleagues would not about what he said. >> all that applies here. this is a tremendous accelerant overall. >> we heard from the president's national security adviser. hr mcmaster telling cnn that he would not be concerned about a white house official attempting to set up back channel communication s with russia. >> jack pointed out that he was not a white house official when this allegedly start to come to tuition or plan.
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does this eququalify as back channel communication? >> to me, it is the technicality. we are talking about mr. kushner and kislak. mr. kushner is 36 years old and made his fortune of real estate. mr. kislak, came to the united states as an employee of the soviet foreign service, in 1982, in those days, he was an ambassador, part of the contingent of the united discriminati nations. if you came from soviet union and working at the united nation, you were either working o f the kgb, there was no seed.
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this is his background. once a member of the kgb, this is how he learned how to be whether he's still a secret service or not. it does not matter. the bottom line is that the two were matched completely unequally and the whole idea that the two were talking at matters of international importances is really, very troubling. >> let me continue, the line from the white house that "we are not going to comment on jared." how long do you expect that to last? >> it could last a while or as long as until the next briefing because they'll be asked about it and who knows if they'll have more briefings. the story is such gravity. it does no matter if there is just a comment from the white house because the stories are going to speak for itself. we'll know if jared is kept in
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molt positions that he has or keeping multiple portfolios. i would say a vanilla comment one way or the other is not meaningful given we have two congressional probes and the fbi special prosecutor on it. i am not putting a lot of attention on whether or not there is comments from the white house especially if it is the throw away kind. there is many more great things here. the big thing to watch is does this change any of the assignment of jared kushner. does this impact security clearance or his ability to be a top adviser to his father-in-law, president trump. >> there is been democrats in the last couple of days renewed the calls, at least jared kushner's security clearance suspended while the investigation continues. do you expect this strengthen that case and how likely is that
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request? >> the administration will resist to the last possible moment if they ever conceive to it at all of implication of doing so and in terms of confirming and valid reasons for concerns. i think what we have had in the last couple of weeks is a series of revelations, which are extraordinary to begin with that cumulatively essentially demolish the idea that this is all fake news and a witch hunt. the president argued there is no evidence and nothing and move along, there is nothing to see here. you heard the cia director, there was plenty to be concerned about. no, i do not know where the end point is of this road, there is enough there that i felt that we had to continue to explore it and the evidence seems to support that conclusion. whether whether jared kushner did something illegal himself or not. no one is accusing him of that. all of the evidence that this is
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supporting, evidence that under scores that there is enough here to justify serious or criminal or investigated examination by congress which is a different thing. >> we have not heard jack and any confirmation of the story from russian officials, although we received from the foreign minister this morning saying comparing this to mccarthyism and now there is a confirmation of a source to cnn that this was a real plan, not clear who initiated it. jared kushner wanted to set up his back channel. do you expect we'll hear more characterization or classification from russian officials? >> well, leave it up to the russians to accuse somebody? the united states of mcc mccarthyism. i wish that it would all go
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away. every time you think it is over, there is something else coming up, i think it is pretty much discovered the tip of the iceberg of all these investigations are going on. there will be more that's coming whether i want to go to the point, i want to be careful but negligent. that's not good enough for the white house. jack barsky and ron and lynn, thank you, we'll see you after this hour. >> this was during the clinton e-mail investigation. why he said he did it. >> what police say he did at a protrump rally, tim kaine's son now facing charges. a witness said he thought he was breaking up a fistfight.
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the choice is yours. ♪ lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. there's only one invokana®. ask your doctor about it by name. we have new information of james comey. >> dana bash walks you through the details here. victor and christie, cnn has learned that james comey knew that a critical piece of russian information related to the e-ma e-mail information of clinton was fake. he was concerned that in the investigation becomes public, it would under mind the investigation and the justice
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itself. these concerns were a major factor in comey deciding to publicly declare that the clinton probe was over last summer without consulting the attorney general loretta lynch. you may remember earlier this week, the washington post reported on this intelligence and doubts about his credibility. >> the russian information at issue claims to show that general lynch had been compromised in the clinton's investigation because of e-mails between dnc chair of debbie wasserman schultz. comey told lawmakers he was afraid that the information would "dropped" and under mind
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the investigation. he did not tell lawmakers that he doubted the accuracy of that information. record to sources posted by comey of the fbi felt that the validity of the information did not matter because if it became public, there is no way of discredit it. think of the chains of events. when comey held this press conference in july, 2016 and said no charges against clinton. he took the inappropriate step of calling her extremely careless. she never recovered and talking to many officials on capitol hill and elsewhere, desemination of fake information is still a major issue. russia is still trying to spread false information in order to cloud and confuse ongoing
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investigations. victor and christie. >> dana. thank you very much. we spoke with tom fuentes, fbi assistant director, listen to his reaction. >> if there were any truth at all to this story that the fbi decided to close the investigation based on information that the fbi knew to be false then director comey deserved to be fired. if that was in fact true, he should have been fired. >> june 8th the new deadline for the fbi to hand overall of comey's documents to congress. a son of virginia and former vice president candidate tim kaine is now facing several misdemeanor charges. he's charged of obstructing the legal process by interfering with a peace officer. he was arrested in march after
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an incident at a protrump rally. he was a protester. police officers say they tried to run but they were caught a block away. the county declined to press charges against kaine and five others. the saint paul attorney decided to charge kaini yesterde yester following an in-depth investigation. former official zbgnie zbgniew brzezinski has died. >> his death was announced on instagram by his daughter, she
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called him the most inspiring and loving and devoting father any girl can have. brzezinski was 89-year-old. our thoughts go out to her and her family. >> we are half hour away from president trump addressing the crowd in italy. >> we'll bring that to you live when it happens. a man is facing a list of charges in portland, oregon, after police say he stabbed two men to death when they tried to stop his anti-muslim rant. my day starts well before
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house. now, the washington post originally reported requests came interception conversations -- >> the idea was discussed last december when jared kushner met with russian ambassador. this line of communication would allow them to talk securely with russian military officials. it was never set up. >> president trump wraps up his first international trip in italy. he will board air force one and returns to the white house with more scrutiny. nick robertson is live in sicily where the g-7, summit is wrapping up. any indication that this new report has really over shadow the president's meetings with
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foreign leaders? >> reporter: you know the best indication that we have because we are not able to ask president directly is not holding a progress conference here and other leaders were told by economic advisers, mr. cohen, saying he had a robust schedule working 16 or 18 hours a day. >> but, did this issue of jared kushner's connections and involvement with the russian ambassador had come up in the meeting and we are told it did not come up in those meetings. did it over shadow and influence the president's time here? we don't know the answer to that or mr. cohen and mr. mcmaster says they would not answer questions about jared kushner. i may not have come up in this meeting but it did it a few
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times. that's not clear. the dissatisfaction expressed by the german chancellor and the french president by the fact that the united states, president trump, has not agreed to sign up to the paris climate accord of 2015, the climate part of the summit communicate which by recent g-7 standards is very short. president trump is still deciding whether or not to agree to the paris accord. disappointing is now the german chancellor is calling it. >> nick robertson right there. nick, thank you. thank you all so much for being with us. we'll get to the g-7 in a minute. i want to get information that
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we are learning here that the trump campaign, they have been forced they say we are giving this information to cancel the rally that they had scheduled in iowa on thursday. it is unusual that the president would cancel a rally, ron. do you think this is in direct proportion to what he's dealing with, not just right now over seas and this whole week or nine days trip he had with what's happening now. >> i don't know why they have cancel it. they're going to come back to a lot of questions. i have been struck struck by thr of formal intelligence. this is something very different from a back channel. we got several former intelligence officials on social
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media which is an incredible thing to begin with saying they may have face questions of espiona espionage. these are big questions. the other big thing hanging over the week for robertson is all e alluded any other day that the u.s. president is not confirming we'll join the rest of the world in upholding the paris climate treaty which was an extraordinary broadly agree event. that it would be, you know, an earthquake. so he has said that he's going to decide on that this week. that's a big moment as well. both internationally and is ongoing struggle over russia. there is a big week ahead for the president. >> lets talk about that, steward. >> angela merkel just said this about the talk. the climate discussion was very difficult. we had a situation where six.
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there are no indications whether the united states will stay in the paris agreement or not. do you get the sense, steward, that any of these leaders have any more confidence regarding where the president stands on climate change and nato and russia and in other words, do they have any clarity on what this president stand force after this trip with them? >> i think they're getting an indication that this president stands for america's first and last, frankly, it is a remarkable situation where you had the president basically under mind or at least go against the pillars of what has been the western world, the western alliance for the last 70 years. he gave no indication of a collected defense commitment to nato when he was in brussels. he talked about pulling out of the paris climate accord and did not give them any reassurance and no reassurance with respect to russia and sense we are in an
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era where we are seeing the world of a lack of america's leadership, particularly of what the west is looking like. the president just tweeted a while ago, i will make my final decision on the paris accord next week if he is talking to his base here, did he talk to foreign leaders? who was his focus? >> he was definitely in deceive mode from what foreign leaders were saying. i think he was talking to his base. this is basically making it clear that we are going to have a narrow focus attitude and we are going to do what's best for the economy. >> lynn, when it comes to climate change, any indication of the national voices over rides the domestic voices at home? >> no.
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former k for merkel to make that statement, and here is the phase that we are in the young trump presidency. president trump has taken his accomplishments, signing executive orders and pulling out of nafta or taking the first step to, there is nothing that he has done that has shown that he's been able to do the hard work of ledgislating something. this is the coin that he's been spending, telling people just flirting with him almost whether or not you are going to do something or not, dropping policies that obama has had. this can only go so far. when he comes home in the next day or two, he is going to face congress and a budget, he actually has to do something whether he gets these budget items or not. this is the first time he's coming home in the midst of this
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controversy with his son-in-law top adviser and he has to decide how he can get a budget through congress within other days, for the moment it is because of all these side matters. if he decides to pull out of the paris agreement, he might take this as an accomplishment but doing things negatively will weaken the united states standing in the world. >> ron, how quickly can policy be advanced with all of these distractions. >> well, they're having enormous trouble legislating. it is important to know whether or not the president chooses to stay in the paris agreement. he begun the process of unwhining the two principle mechanisms that president obama put in place.
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that's the beginning of the process of undoing the regulations and rolling back the feud economy after 2022 for autoin taut auto in the u.s. from where the private sector that's been going, the utility industry has been on board of decarbonizing of the way we have been producing electricity. so we are talking about a kind of whiplash here, whether or not we stay in the paris agreement. the president is moving very aggressively if there was an executive action to pull out the foundation of the way we are going to meet our obligation. that's going to be a challenge no matter what happens on the agreement itself. >> ron brownstein, i appreciate
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having your voices. thank you. >> on the stage, we expect the president to be speaking soon. when he does, we'll bring it to you live. a lot of stranded passengers, british air ways assisted outage causing some major problems this weekend. a luring headache if you are flying at the department of homeland security, consider expanding electronic ban. what the new regulations can mean for your trouble plans. witl you can banish them without harming plants nearby. so draw the line. give the stick one click, touch the leaves and the gel stays put killing garden weeds to the root. draw the line with roundup precision gel®. manait's a series of is nsmart choices. and when you replace one meal or snack a day with glucerna made with carbsteady to help minimize blood sugar spikes you can really feel it. glucerna. everyday progress.
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children there. military gentleman holding his little girl. >> always exciting to see the president. it is customary that those top officials stop and speak with the troops there. the big question is will we hear the president commenting on any of the big breaking story involving his son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner now. we would not expect the president to speak about that with the troops, president trump has in the past, broken away from scripts of these kinds of events to speak what's on his mind. we'll see if that happens. looks as if those were just white house officials on that first chopper. this maybe marine one. what we do know, we have seen the president's plane there. this is the very end of his
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nine-day, five country first international trip. the president will be heading back to the u.s. after these comments. looks like this chopper would be marine one if the president is on it. he comes to marine one, air force one. we'll see if president trump steps off in just a few moment to speak to these troops and what appears to be families here in sicily. >> there are three main headlines and the biggest one involving jared kushner and his conversations that he had in september with the russian ambassado ambassador. we know the president has been updated of all happening. we had reports this morning, one of our reporters is saying he's being briefed by moment by moment as to what's happening, incremental changes. we heard from the white house
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who said we are not going to comment. that is comes from national director gary comb. it is the news of the day. we are going to wait to see if president trump will speak about it. we know he's supposed to spend 25 minutes speaking of these military families. we can expect that he will give them support and thank them for their service. but, whether he will go off script so to speak is yet to be seen. we'll see when he steps out the podium, with el brie'll bring i live. he arrives here in italy. most likely, it is a long trip for him and melania. >> the explanation from the white house, there is been several questions from the media and from others about why the president has not held a news conference on this nine-day trip, these days have gone 16 to
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18 hours. we heard from nick robertson there the senior diplomatic editor, these days have been very long and the president has declined to do that because so much packed into the official's schedule. we are awaiting to hear from the president and we'll see if he will comment on the big news today. we'll take a big break. still there at the tarmac. we'll bring it to you live when the president comes to speak with the troops there. quick break, more news after this. wo years. i was in a coma. well, i still deserve appreciation. who was there for you when you had amnesia? you know i can't remember that. stop this madness. if it's appreciation you want you should both get snapshot from progressive. it rewards good drivers with big discounts on car insurance. i have also awoken from my coma. ♪ it's called a nap, susan lucci. ♪
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we are expecting president trump to step off marine one in a couple of minutes, scheduled to speak to the service members there. we saw a couple of kids and their families there as well. >> we'll bring those to you live. lets go to cnn's jeff zeleny who's been traveling with the president. what do we expect from the president? >> reporter: this is a moment for the president to rally american forces who were based here in italy and give them a prememorial day message here as he heads in the holiday weekend and celebrating his weekend as well. he's going to thank them for their service. the only time really in this whole week long journey, this is his first trip outside the u.s. to speak in a public setting. it is been have extraordinary
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that he's been closed in and boxed in and in constant meetings and not taking questions from reporters and not giving the full flavor of donald trump on the world stage here. at this rally happening shortly here. the white house hopes it is an opportunity for him to be in a familiar setting for r the president. he loves rally, we saw all of 2016. that's the kind of moment -- >> the president is getting off marine one with the first lady. lets listen in for a second as the president approaches the platform.
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>> jeffery said something that's so true and i think many people will agreed. president trump shines when he goes to rallies and we are seeing this here in a sense of the welcome that he's receiving and cameras that's going off and
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children on top of people's shoulders to get a glimpse of them and cameras being held over head of people's phones. we don't know what he will say in the next 25 minutes. but, we cannot ignore the fact that he has another rally scheduled here in tuu.s. that's now been cancelled. it is unusual for the president to cancel something like that. what do you make of the cancellation of that rally in iowa this week? >> he was scheduled to have a rally next thursday in one of these common rally he's been having in iowa. iowa is the last state he has not visited as president. it is a sign that this president is going back to the bunker mentality where he's been living under the potential staff shake ups and this investigation
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clearly is getting back to work and he's not going to be traveling that much. this is the president who has traveled less than recent presidents in modern history. it is a sign that he's in a bubble and he's trying to reset some things. no question. the rally we are toobt see is absolutely going to be a moment, all armed forces and the family loves to see the president on ma this memorial day weekend. he has not explained his position on a really much of anything with the exception of a public speech he gave in rhea, saudi arabia on sunday. he's not been seen much and he's not talking about his pressure from european leaders to stay in the paris climate agreement. he has not talked about his plan to fight isis and his afghanistan. this is a rallying speech, no
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question, i think this is another example of how careful orchestrated this trip is by this white house to keep him protected from any types of awkward moems a awkward mo awkward moments and protests. again, he's returning to washington after having -- >> let me jump in here, the first lady is speaking. >> we had a great time here. we did a lot of great stuff. i want to thank you very much. this has been an incredible trip and a great strive has been made. my husband worked very hard on behalf of our country. i am very proud of him. this trip has also been incredible for me as first lady. in saudi arabia, i visited the children at local schools, and a
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call center of all female employees. is israel, i spent time with some children at the medical center along with mrs. benjamin netanyahu. in rome, i was honored and blessed to be granted by pope francis followed to a special visit to the children's hospital. just hours after leaving, a young boy, i spent time with found out he has received a heart donor. receiving that news is a moment i will never forget. i wish him a speedy recovery. in brussels, i met with the queen and we spoke of the forum
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of children and paid a visit to the patients. this week for me has been very special and i will never forget the women and children i met. as one of the kids at the hospital that i visited , a picture he drew for me. we are all the same. i want to take a moment to thank you all for the sacrifices you make on behalf of our country. it is because of your self less commitment that we enjoy the freedom that we have today. for the families who endured times apart or constant moves to the base, your sacrifices do not
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go unnoticed or unappreciated. thank you and god bless you. [ applause ] [ cheers ] >> now, it is my great honor to introduce my husband, the president of the united states, donald j. trump. [ applause ] [ chanting: usa ] >> thank you, thank you both. that's great. i am trying to figure out who's in that helicopter that's coming in. it maybe prime minister abe or justin from canada. great

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