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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 28, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. . good evening thank you for joining us the president is running for re-election. he is at his fund-raiser. no president has ever had one this early in their material. both president obama and george w. bush waited. at least part of the reason for holding the event is to, quote, help show that he is not going anywhere. it is happening at his hotel which he and his family still have a stake in. and contrary to what the white house promised, tonight's event is taking place behind closed
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doors. no reporters, no cameras. just as there were no cameras again today at the white house press briefing, just as the senate health care bill was drafted and being redrafted, we have new reporting on that tonight, including the big surprise the president is promising. we have reporting on frustration inside the white house that the president seems almost in denial about the russian threat to the next elections, lest it throw doubt on his 2016 victory. so a big night of news ahead. it starts outside the trump hotel in washington with cnn's caitlin collins. talk about what's going on in this event behind you and why it's closed to the press all of a sudden. >> reporter: you'll have to excuse me, there's a lot of noise right now because of the protesters outside of trump hotel while the president is inside delivering remarks to donors right now. the event is closed to the press. that has been much debated today. we started out with sarah
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huckabee sanders saying this is because this is a political event and they were keeping it separate. with some prodding from the press, they decided to allow a few reporters in and one camera. two hours later, they changed their minds. so there's no press inside this event right now. we have no idea what the president is saying to donors, and we likely won't find out unless one of the donors tells us. >> how much is the trump hotel getting paid to host this? i know you were asking some questions about that. >> reporter: that's a great question. we have no idea who is paying for this event tonight that the president is attending. we reached out for comment, and our requests have not been answered. so it could be the rnc. it could be the re-election campaign, and it could be that the hotel donated the space. we don't know. >> is it normal for a president to hold a fund raiser for his re-election five months after taking office? presidents obama and bush didn't
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do it for two years. >> reporter: we're campaigning in 2017 for the 2020 election, even though president trump was not inaugurated less than six months ago. this is the earliest we've seen a president hold a re-election fund-raiser. but for president trump, it's like the campaign never ended. he's held five rallies since he took office in january, and all of those in state where is we won, and we know how president trump is in his rallies. he loves the crowds and chants and what not. it's like the campaign is never over for him. >> appreciate you being there. let's bring in my panel. david, it is incredible that a president fund-raising for re-election at a hotel owned by his family to boot. it's also pretty smart just in terms of sending a message to people that he's not going anywhere.
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>> right. each one of those clauses in your question is sort of unprecedented and remarkable in and of itself. put it all together and once again donald trump is sort of redefining how to be president. the timing is certainly noteworthy, that it is only -- he hasn't even hit the six-month mark yet and he's doing this. i went back to look at the first fund-raiser that george w. bush did in 2003, 2 1/2 years into his administration. and the first fund-raiser that barack obama did in 2011 just to see what they said. anderson, their quotes were about touting accomplishments that they had done in the first couple of years, starting to set the frame and the narrative for what they were going to campaign on for re-election. when you're not in the job six months, you're far away from how the voters may think about your re-election. we won't know what donald trump says tonight because this is closed to the press, unlike his
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two predecessors. >> david, it's a fair bet he is going to tout what he says are his accomplishments, which he says he signed more bills than any president since fdr. you can quibble about what those bills said, because some of them were just low-level bills. >> is that to the other david? >> it doesn't matter. david gergen, clearly the president is going to tout his accomplishments. >> absolutely. of course, of course. unfortunately he doesn't have any major legislative victories. he does have the gorsuch victory and that's turning out well from a conservative standpoint. but this is giving fresh meaning to the phrase "permanent campaign." you would think tonight that the president would be scrambling,
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doing everything he could to rescue the health care reform bill, which is now in serious trouble in the senate, as we know. but we're 159 days since his inauguration. 1,224 days till the next election. you would think the emphasis would be on trying to be a good president right now and let the re-election take care of itself down the road. >> kirsten, how much of this is about trying to send a message to fellow republicans considering a primary challenge down the road or to opponents who think he doesn't want to run for re-election again? >> well, i mean, even if he's going to -- if someone is going to run a primary against him, doing things like this wouldn't stop them. i think the idea that he would feel that he needs to send that kind of message is sort of odd. aim just going to say it, it's too soon. it's just not appropriate. he was elected to be president. he should be governing. and it's clear that he likes the campaigning side a little more than he likes the governing side.
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he's been criticized this week for not really -- by senators who met with him for not seeming to know the details of this very important health care bill and instead he's putting his energy into spending time with people that love him, his donors and spending time doing these rallies. the rallies are also unusual to be doing in his first term. >> there have been criticisms of past administrations about campaigns never ending. this is taking it to another level. >> it is, but it shouldn't surprise any of us. he campaigned last year in ways we never seen before and lots of people thought he's breaking every rule we know about presidential politics and it works for him. so it doesn't surprise me to see him breaking these rules. on inauguration day is when he filed his re-election committee with the s.e.c. he's been doing online small dollar fund-raising, and he's done a bunch of campaign
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rallies, that his campaign has paid for already. so he's definitely decided that the permanent campaigning is where he thinks he excels. i agree, this suspect going to necessarily ward off a primary challenge. the thing that will do that is if his poll numbers are better than they are now two years from now. that will determine how many people come out of the woodwork of his own party to decide if he is beatable. >> david gergen, why would they not allow even a pool camera in, given that the president likes coverage of the rallies that he gives, and this is certainly a favorable crowd that he's going to be speaking to. >> yeah. i think a couple of things. he seems to be doing a lot of this, because this is the one steady place he gets adulation he can count on in front of his
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base. he gets adulation and he seems to feed off that. why they would close this to the press is part of the continuing mystery why they've become so secretive. i think it's hurting them. had they had more transparency about putting together that health care bill in the senate, there wouldn't have been republican senators say this was done in the dark and hurt the bill. it only has about 20% of support in the country according to polls. this obsession with taking -- they reportedly took real delight between three reporters made a mistake, cnn owned up to it, and cnn left. they owned up to the mistake. when is it that the trump people are going to own up to the things they've said that are wrong? we may wait a long time for that. >> kirsten, there's also the question of money being paid to the trump hotel.
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it's very possible that the president is financially benefiting from this event, which is a fund-raiser for his re-election, but if they have to rent out the hall of the president's hotel, the president and his family benefits from that financially. again, we haven't had answers about the economics of this. >> right. we've gotten little details about this. and now we'll get fewer details. although presumably they'll have to release how much the campaign paid out for this event and they have to make sure they didn't pay too much or too little, because either could get them into trouble, because this is something that the president has a financial interest in. so if they paid too little, it could look like they were getting some sort of contribution. if they paid too much, it could look like they were trying to use money to help enrich a trump property, which enriches the family.
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then at a minimum, of course, even if everything is on the up and up, it's still inappropriate, because the president is using his role as president of the united states to gain attention for a property that he enriches himself from. >> thanks. we have a lot more to talk about tonight, including the threat that dare not speak its name. what we're learning from inside the white house why there's so much resistance to addressing the russian hacking. to the point that the president's own advisers are getting frustrated. the reporting on that ahead. and later, what did the president mean when he promised a big surprise on health care and how does it fit a pattern of promise making dating back for years before becoming president? i never miss an early morning market. but with my back pain i couldn't sleep or get up in time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid
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we've been reporting recently on how little beyond a single executive order the trump administration has done to address the russian meddling. however, it doesn't mention russia by name and appears to be all the administration has done. this is something top members of the intelligence community have warn is a real danger.
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they've said on the record that russia hacking efforts are active and potentially could be far worse in the next election. the homeland security secretary warned about calling election hacking the way of the future. but still, it seems little action from the white house. there seems to be out and out resistance. tonight, new reporting on why that may be. specifically who is standing in the way. sarah murray joins us now. what have you learned from inside the white house? >> reporter: anderson, speaking to multiple senior administration officials, they say they're struggling to convince president trump that russia still poses a threat to american elections. one official said there's no evidence to show that trump is
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engaging on the issue. the president still gets a daily briefing, and that includes updates on russia. beyond that, an official said there's no paper trail, no schedules, no readouts or briefing documents, nothing to indicate the president is convening meetings on this subject the way he has with other threats, for instance, threats against the u.s. power grid. sources tell dana bash and jim sciutto that mike rogers expressed his frustration to lawmakers to convince president trump that russia meddled in the election. >> so top officials have called this a major threat. why is the president reluctant to address it? >> reporter: people say that president trump is having difficulty separating the investigation into russia collusion and russia meddling into the election itself. so trump sees everything regarding russia as being organized as a challenge to him. basically a move to undermine
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his presidency. >> has the white house responded to this at all? >> reporter: sean spicer insisted that the white house is taking action, just quietly. in a statement to cnn, spicer says the united states continues to combat on a regular basis malicious cyber activity without bragging to the media. spicer pointed to the fact that the trump administration upheld the obama administration sanctions against russia. but sources say the white house is already trying to water down an additional package of sanctions that passed the senate and awaiting action in the house. >> sarah murray, thanks. former bush state department official nicholas burns accused the president of dereliction of duty to defend the country for his disinterest in russian meddling and criticized the obama administration. he joins me now with jim sciutto. jim, president obama did sign an
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order on cyber security. any evidence that he's focused directly on the threat from russia itself? >> reporter: no, little evidence that he's focused on the threat. we're hearing that from people inside his own administration. i've spoken to democrats and republicans on the hill who don't see the level of urgency either. this is not just looking backwards but looking forward, anderson. because everybody says, not just russia, but china, iran, north korea, very actively targeting the u.s. political process, political organizations, et cetera. and there is no reason to believe that russia in particular will not attack again, and the big concern, anderson, is that this time, they will take the alarming step of targeting voter tallies. that didn't happen in 2016, but
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there's real concern a lot of these probing attacks or laying the ground work for going after voting systems, vote counting potentially in 2018 and 2020. >> ambassador burns, in your testimony in front of the senate intelligence committee today, you said if the president continues to refuse to act against russian hacking is a dereliction of duty to defend the country. >> we were the victim of a massive cyber attack by the russian government. all of our intelligence services agree. for six months the president has done nothing. he has not initiated an investigation into what happened. he's not had conversations with his cabinet officials to ask them what they think happened. he's not been talking to the european governments, also victims, the french, the dutch, the germans of russian cyber attacks. he's not even in favor of a senate bill that voted to impose
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harsh sanctions on russia. the administration is trying to dilute that bill. so you literally have no response from the american president on a critical issue of defense of the united states and trying to protect our democratic process. i can't imagine any prior president acting this way. and so we do need to see this situation turned around. let's hope that this executive order is the first step to do that. >> jim, today secretary kelly said hacking is the way of the future. how much can intelligence agencies drive u.s. efforts to combat that if the president isn't devoting his time to it? >> reporter: the intelligence agencies, law enforcement have been really doing all they can. they did it in private. they've been giving these warnings for months, going back to the obama administration. and then in public, you've had very public statements, fingering russia for hacking the 2016 campaign. but now public testimony, more details how many states, 21 states that have been targeted. secretary kelly, this is
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president trump's own appointee, sounding the alarm today. so in public and private, they are giving these warnings. this is at its base often very much a partisan issue. but i'll tell you, i hear bipartisan level of concern and increasingly a bipartisan frustration with the efforts coming from the white house so far. >> so ambassador burns, if they had the weight of the white house behind them, how much would that change things for the intelligence community in terms of doing something? >> it would help enormously. you have to raise the defense of this country, and that's complicated. it's our states and local authorities who run the elections, so you have to have that dialogue, a federal, local, state dialogue. number two, you want to send a stiff message to the russian federation that we're not going to tolerate this kind of attack on our own country. that there will be retribution.
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you want to work with the europeans to tighten up what the nato alliance can do. you want to find and prosecute hackers. if the russian government is subcontracting this to some of the private hacking organizations in that country. there's so much that has to be done. this should have been the first executive order signed january 20th. you ought to -- they ought to think about forming a 9/11 type commission, because there's nothing more important that the american people have confidence in their votes when they go to the ballot box, either for the midterm elections in 2018 or the next presidential election in 2020. >> thanks. coming up next, the president is promising a big surprise on the obamacare replacement bill. we'll look at what it might be, as well as his habit of telling us to stay tuned for something, and then not necessarily delivering. we're keeping them honest, next. and we came up with a plan to help reduce
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before the president got ready to go to his fund-raiser tonight at the hotel bearing his name, he made some remarks for the cameras about the stalled senate obamacare replacement bill. >> health care is working along very well. we're going to have a big surprise with a great health care package. >> what is the big surprise, sir? >> it's going to be great. >> the surprise might be the last thing people with health care might want to hear or experience. the president made a point of putting it out there, and a surprise might be coming. whether that's good or bad remains to be seen. what's clear is that donald trump enjoys telling us all to stay tuned. we've heard that phrase a lot. and keeping them honest, we've seen him fail to deliver on schedule or in some cases at all. here's a small sample. >> we're going to be announcing something over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal.
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we're going to do construction very quickly. we've got the plan largely completed and we'll be filing over the next two or three weeks, maybe sooner. we're going to have some pleasant surprises on nafta. so she's going to have a little news conference. we'll be having a news conference in about two weeks to let everybody know how well we're doing. >> people now in hawaii -- >> absolutely. and they cannot believe what they're finding. >> we never got word on what his investigators found. there was no evidence that those investigators existed or were on the ground. fast forward to now, what the president is promising, you have to wonder whether the real surprise is there is no surprise, whether anticipation will give away to anticippointment. joining us now is jim acosta. this "great great surprise," do
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we have any idea what we might be referring to? >> reporter: we're going have to find out. if it's something like those tapes that he talked about having, which did not exist about six weeks ago, we had to wait six weeks to find out the president did not have any recordings. i am told by one republican source that the president is looking at a variety of ways to try to make this work, to get those 50 votes that he needs to get this bill out of the senate. but that same source, anderson,
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said it's suspected this might be another case of empty rhetoric. keep in mind, this is a health care bill. we had a number of polls come out today, all of them, if you average them together, show that this has about 20 to 25% approval among the american people. those are legislative dog food numbers. to think that you're going to have 50 republican senators, some of them up for re-election, that will sign on to this, he might be in for a big surprise of his own, anderson. >> should we expect more effort by the president, more face-to-face interaction with the senators, some more working the phones. we've been told he's been working the phones. he has been working the phones and will continue to work the phones. the question is whether or not he can make the math work and part of the issue is, anderson, and you know we've been talking about this debate for several days, can he make adjustments to the bill that satisfy moderates when it comes to medicaid funding while at the same time appeasing conservatives who really want to repeal and replace obamacare just begs the question how many times can they rinse and repeat on repeal and replace. >> jim acosta, thank you for the update. on that new polling, the most recent is from fox news, showing
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just 27% support, 18% say they are unsure. back now with david chalian. does anyone know what the president is telegraphing when he promising a big surprise on health care? >> i can't find anyone that knows. certainly the white house isn't saying. nobody on capitol hill seems to know some surprise. some republicans on the hill were feeling more optimistic today than yesterday. although there's not much evidence as to why, other than yesterday mcconnell had to reset. so it was a down day for republicans on the hill. but i can't find anyone that knows of a surprise coming. as you pointed out, anderson, donald trump has a history of being addicted to a big reveal promoting one, even if one never comes.
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>> although to be fair, when the house was debating this, there was a lot of talk that they weren't going to come to agreement. they did finally come to an agreement. the president could just be saying a surprise is, you know, maybe he thinks the chances are -- that they will come to agreement and people will be surprised by that. i want to play something that susan collins said yesterday how the president is adapting to washington. let's play that. >> this president is the first president in our history who has had neither political nor military experience. and that's -- it has been a challenge to him to learn how to interact with congress and how to push his agenda forward. >> david, i think that supporters are listening to that and they like that he's not a creature of washington.
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to her point that he needs to be able to work with congress if he wants to accomplish his agenda, i suppose there's truth to that. >> you're absolutely right. he was sent to washington to disrupt washington and the way washington works new york doubt about that. but i would just point, if you look at the totality of the trump presidency, i would say the cleanest victory he has had throughout his presidency is getting neil gorsuch on the supreme court and i think he followed the most washington playbook doing that. he put out a list of potential supreme court nominees for everyone to look at and vet. and then he made sure to nominate from that list, so he had buy-in from all the outside groups and the republicans on the hill and he was able to get his guy on the court. he followed a traditional playbook, that was his biggest success. >> senator chuck schumer said he would like the democrats to come to the white house to work on this bill. any chance that might happen? >> it's hard to see that happening right now. why?
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if you're a democrat, would you decide that working with the republican president who beats up on you every day and down to 39% approval rating would be a good idea? i don't think there's a political incentive to do it. their own base would be enraged if they did, because they're fueled by anti-trump fervor. and mitch mcconnell himself said, you know, if we have to work with the democrats, it means we're not going to get the reforms we want in health care. so i don't think republicans would be that eager for that kind of help either. coming up, the president likes to talk about what he considers fake news but he doesn't seem to have any problems of a fake news cover. "the washington post" discovered this kind of just weird story. that's next. there's nothing more important to me than my vacation. so when i need to book a hotel room, i want someone that makes it easy to find what i want. gets it, with great summer deals up to 40% off. visit booking.yeah!
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"the apprentice" is a television smash. trump is hitting on all points, even tv. exclamation point. if those headlines sound a little exuberant, that's because they're fake. it's hanging on the walls of multiple trump properties. the magazine has asked the trump organization to take it down.
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the real question is how and why it was put up there in the first place. david, this is just weird. first of all, donald trump has been on plenty of magazine covers, they don't need to put fake ones up. how did you figure out it was fake in the first place? >> i happened to be at a trump club and i saw this thing. it just looked off. the borders on the red border and "time" magazine was too thin, and the headlines are just sort of cheerleader. you don't ever read a "time" magazine story where the cover says this guy is great! that was the tone of this cover. it just looked off. so i took a picture and called "time" magazine and they confirmed it was fake. >> it's not just a one off, it seems like there are multiple copies of this displayed at other trump properties, including ones overseas, right? >> right. we found it now, pictures at
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eight different clubs. seven golf clubs, including two overseas in ireland and scotland, in mar-a-lago, and sitting in trump's office in trump tower. >> michael, does this make sense to you? he's been on the cover of "time" 14 previous times. why not display the real ones? obviously maybe not as favorable mentions as this fake one, but why would he need a fake cover boasting about him? >> well, there are probably a couple of things going on here. one is that there isn't ever enough praise for mr. trump, and i think the normal headline that would appear in "time" magazine would be insufficient for him. but i also think this could be a case of someone trying to please him. there is an expectation around the trump orbit of constantly
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making the extra effort to have him look good, have him look even more accomplished than he might be. so someone could have gotten carried away with what they thought was a good idea. it's almost as if you put it out there, how do you take it down? everybody gets accustomed to seeing this. but kudos to david for noticing this and using his reporter's instincts to note it and follow up on it, because once you get a good look at it, he looks better than i think any magazine editor would allow him to look. because it's almost like a wax figure representation of donald trump. and the headlines are way over the top. >> david, it's not just somebody in one of his clubs like mocking this up to praise, you know, the boss.
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these were clearly sent around to multiple clubs. >> that's right. and it wasn't just passed out at one time either. there are clubs like the one in ireland and scotland he only bought the last couple of years. so they were only trumpified recently. so they were making an effort as they opened new clubs, this was part of the stuff that you added when you redecorated the club in the trump style. >> obviously, people are being critical that this is a minor thing. but if president trump or even citizen trump at the time knew about it, it does say something about his personality or what he likes. did the president know about it? >> we don't. i asked the white house that question and i asked the trump organization the same question and they wouldn't say. one thing that was interesting to me, you would think he must have known it was fake. how could he not know that he wasn't on the cover of "time" magazine. but i found this interview from july 2016. last year where trump is talking
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about how much bigger than politics is that business. he said i've been on the cover of "time" magazine a lot as a politician, but all those years i was a businessman, i was on the cover twice. really he was only on the cover once in 1989. so he might have been counting this fake cover as a real one. certainly he displayed it alongside real covers in his clubs. so it's possible that trump was not even in on the joke that he thought it was real and somebody fooled him. >> michael, do you think as some are saying that this just underscores how deeply the president wants the attention and praise of the media? despite all the anti-media rhetoric, he consumes more media than anybody i've ever heard of. >> you think about the activities of his life, they involve around publicity seeking that far exceeds the developments that he's built or
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the golf courses he's developed. so you've got to think he's a headline writer going way back. twitter is his version of tabloid newspaper headlines. so he produces it. he wants to appear in the media constantly. and i think until the presidency, this was a measure of success for him. the problem, as senator collins mentioned in your previous piece, is that he has to learn how to be the president now and achieve actual things, and that's a much different thing from ginning up a fake "time" magazine cover or seeking awards, which he also did avidly, from organizations that he created. so it's a steep learning curve for a man whose background is promotion. >> we mentioned that "time" magazine asked the trump organization to take them down. do we know, have they? >> i heard from a trump club in virginia, that one has been taken down. i don't know about the rest.
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a lot of these are at private clubs. it is hard to get in and see them. we know from people's photos in the past that they were there. and we're trying to figure if it had come down. the trump organization is not answering any questions about this. one thing that just going off the other point, these clubs are nice. in fact, the clubs themselves are signs of success. you couldn't be successful, to own a club like this you need to be successful. yet they felt the need to add a phony trophy on something that was trump's success. up next, the president's obsession with the media rages on. at the last press briefing, the press secretary lashed out and a reporter said enough is enough. he joins us next.
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megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. president trump and some of his supporters declared war on the media long before he was inaugurated, and there are no signs that battle is slowing down. right now the president is holding his first fund-raiser for his re-election campaign, an event at his own hotel in washington. reporters were supposed to be allowed but then they weren't. this is a pattern. the president has been tweeting incessantly about what he considers fake news. this network, "the new york times," others on any given day. today's white house press
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briefing was off camera. yesterday sarah huckabee sanders was on camera and spoke about what she called a constant barrage of fake news directed at the president. then had this happened. >> if we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. but news outlets get to go on day after day and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources. you mentioned the story where they had to have reporters resign. >> come on. everybody right here and right now with those words. this administration has done that as well. why in the name of heaven any one of us are replaceable and any one of us if we don't get it right the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. you have been elected to serve for four years at least. there's no option other than that. we're here to ask you questions.
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you're here to provide answers. what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look and say, see, once again, the president is right and everybody else out here is fake media. everyone in this room is only trying to do their job. >> i just -- i disagree completely. first of all, i think if anything has been inflamed, it's the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media. >> that was brian karem who stood up to the deputy press secretary. two other reporters who are familiar with the white house briefing room, april ryan of american urban radio networks and jim acosta. brian, why did you feel the need to speak up yesterday? >> jim wasn't there. somebody had to do it. [ laughter ] all i can say it was very frustrating. that was the first on-camera
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interview in a week with the press secretary. she came out and the first thing she did was blast the media. i was look, every one of us knows reporters that have been bullied, have been hurt. some have died. some have been jailed to try and do this job. and they went after cnn specifically, but they went after all reporters generically. and at the same time, sarah is telling us to look at a video that isn't vetted and is fake media and lamb blasting us for being fake media. it's disingenuous. at some point in time, i taught my kids there is only two ways to deal with a bully. you either make him your friend or you have to thump him one and let him know you can't be pushed around. i'm tired of being pushed around. >> jim, the incident that she started talking about, which is
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cnn, three employees resigned over it. and there were repercussions for errors that they made. has anyone in this white house given all the lies or untrue statements? has anyone's head -- has anyone had to resign based on mistakes they have made so far? >> so far, anderson, no. and the president founded birtherism and perpetuated the myth. nobody had to resign. when he said that obama wire tapped him at trump tower, nobody had to resign. when he said he may have tapes of his conversations with james comey, nobody had to resign. it seems for this white house, when it comes to fake news, nobody ever gets in trouble, namely the president. and i think brian is exactly right. i appreciate him speaking up yesterday. i think more of us are going to be speaking up in the days to come. it's funny, the off camera
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briefing happened on monday. we had one on camera on tuesday. and an off camera one today. and yet the one yesterday is the one where they lash out at the news media. >> yeah, i wonder how that happened. >> i wonder how the emoji goes, but i would put the emoji to use in this case. >> mike flynn resigned, but that was for lying to the vice president who then went on television and told an untruth. >> i don't think they have ever even admitted a mistake, this administration. >> the president has always been reticent to do that. the president challenges anything that doesn't fit into his own perceptions of reality or what he wants other people to believe reality. he has done it with inconsequential things like the see size of his inauguration. he has done wit important issues like russia's interference in the election. >> yes. just today in the briefing room, there was a question of the two
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guests that sarah huckabee sanders brought out. the president likes to say that the numbers of illegal immigrants in this nation are 30 million. and then we ask the professionals from doj and from homeland security. they said what they're hearing or what they've been seeing is 11 million to 12 million. so this president likes to inflate things, but yet we are the liars, we are the fake people. it just doesn't add up. i will say this. jim and brian for the last couple of days there was something that happened today in that briefing room. today people pushed back in unison. >> good. >> against sarah huckabee when she came -- when she came to the podium and said, you know, oh, well, if we had the victims here, you wouldn't cover it and this, that, and the other. you wouldn't cover this. yes, we have. and then others have said why is there not a briefing on camera? so i believe the push is getting momentum. and, again, it's not about us. >> it isn't, you're right.
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>> it's about free press, the american public, getting the information from the highest office in the land, from the man they elected. and martha joint kumar, author of "managing the president's message" said if you don't hear the president's voice, that's why the briefing. particularly an on-camera briefing is so important. and we're not hearing the president's voice. as jim has said over and over again. we've had one solo press conference. that was february. what is this, june. >> brian, what do you say, though, to folks who are listening at home who think this is reporters complaining about their jobs being difficult or complaining about not being respected? >> i think april makes a great point. it's not about us. it's about what this president is doing. look, i separate from the president from his white house press staff because sometimes they've shown promise for doing some things. i credit them for bringing in people from the cabinet to talk to us in some of the briefings. i give them credit for all that. but this president has undermined us from the very
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beginning. he's called us enemies of the people. he has told us we are fake media, and he is trying to undermine and drive a wedge between the electorate and us and we are the public. we are the republic. so in attempting to undermine the first amendment, he's trying to undermine the republic to sell a message. and the message is what i say is factual and whatever else you hear is not. there are some people that will listen to that. but slowly, i have to tell you, i was -- i know our frustration in the room. and jim has kind of led that struggle. the thing he went through on monday in the press room kind of led indirectly to what happened to me and april was the first ones to speak up in that press room. the three of us together, i don't know, be it could be dangerous. tonight. the point being is that in that room we have felt the tension. but after what i said yesterday
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i've gotten presents from people and i've never seen -- i struck a nerve. i didn't expect to strike a nerve outside the press room. but i think the public is really beginning to vibrate with them and it's bothering them. and that's important. >> brian karem, i appreciate you being with us. >> again, brian -- >> i'm sorry, april. we have to cut it off. >> i just want to say this -- it's not about us. it's about the american public getting their information, freedom of the press. >> that's right. >> april ryan, jim acosta, i appreciate it. more coming up about tonight's presidential fundraiser, the earliest ever campaign kickoff. some ethical questions around it taking place at the president's hotel and strategic reasons behind why the president is doing it. the late details when we continue.
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the president is spending tonight at one of his properties outside the white house, which isn't new. he's guest of honor at the first fund-raiser of his 2020 election campaign which is unheard of. no president has ever done this so early. president george w. bush and president obama each waited three years before kicking off their campaigns for a second term. we'll talk about the ethics and legalities of the event which took place it at the president's hotel in washington. we would bring you video of it but at the last minute the white house disinvited the president. katelyn collins is outside the venue and joins us now.