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tv   New Day  CNN  July 19, 2017 3:00am-4:00am PDT

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we know there was a second meeting, the white house confirming that second encounter after reports of it surfaced in the media. president trump lashing out calling coverage of his previously undisclosed second meeting with russian president vladimir putin sick, and a legend that's made to look sinister. an official tells cnn that the sideline meeting after dinner lasted nearly an hour and no other u.s. officials were present. ignoring protocol, the president relied on a russian translator leaving the u.s. with no official record of their conversation, the white house downplaying the second encounter asserting, the insinuation that the white house tried to hide a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd. this new revelation the latest in a string of undisclosed meetings between trump associates and russians. >> this kind of private meeting is virtually unprecedented in the diplomatic world.
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there seems to be a pattern of reckless or willful concealment of contacts with the russians. >> reporter: this meeting coming to light as cnn learns new details about the eighth person in attendance at the june 2016 meeting where top trump aides hope to get damaging information about hillary clinton from the russian government. that man seike kaveladze seen behind the president is a senior president of a company run by alex argalav who has ties to putin. >> there was absolutely no conversation between argalav and the russian government that they had. >> reporter: they were having a conversation with a russian translator, despite the fact she
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brought a translator with her. ike kaveladze was brought for charges of money laundering, though never actually charged. >> it's amazing to me that they say this meeting was about russian adoptions. >> reporter: new this morning, reuters reports that the russian lawyer who met with donald trump last year, 2016, has offered to testify before congress, citing hysteria over the encounter. meanwhile, democratic senator diane feinstein has told cnn that special counsel robert mueller has given the green light for two people to testify before the senate judiciary committee. that would be donald trump jr. and former campaign chairman paul manafort.
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though it's not clear when that could actually happen. aly allison and chris, back to you. >> we have political panelists. great to see you. >> there must be something political going on. >> what, you can't come up from d.c.? he says coming from new york is not the point. always pushing his new product. >> davids, let's talk about this previously undisclosed, possibly hour-long meeting between president trump and vladimir putin that there is official u.s. record of. what are we to think of this? >> i don't like it. anybody who has covered the white house like i am, the president who does things in the name of the american people should be transparent. and certainly when you're being investigated for improperly having, you know, cooperation or collusion or contacts during the campaign with the russians, i
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don't think it's appropriate. i think this is another example where the president must think, oh, look, i can just forge this relationship, i can make it work, not understanding that putin is an enemy of the united states, is manipulating and has manipulated u.s. leaders, and let's find out exactly what they talked about. i'm interested to find out whether the president is going to get tough with putin for attacking america during the campaign. there is no evidence of that. the previous president had in place countermeasures that he could have used. instead they are now having, you know, the two-hour meeting and then a separate meeting, and the president's position seems to be, well, look, he said he didn't do it, so what am i going to do, get into a fist fight if we disagree? to me that's not good enough. >> just to be clear, the president took on this reporting calling it fake, but there seemed to be a misunderstanding on his part of what the reporting is. there is not a report, as far as we know, that there was a separate dinner between the president and the russian leader, it's just that at a g20
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dinner, the president got up and went over and sat next to putin on his own accord for about an hour. that's the reporting so let's deal with that. the pushback is, john, he's the president of the united states. this is what he does. on his own when i im, he will gk to whoever he wants whenever he wants. that's why he was elected to create relationships, forge deals, and he doesn't have to tell you anything. >> that wasn't why he was elected or a core part of the job. when an american president sits down with a russian president, that's news. that's high level negotiation even if it's under the auspices of something social. what's really sick, using the president's words about this, was the fact they had a great rapport. that shouldn't make a good rapport. but if there is, that's why questions keep getting raised about possible collusion between the trumps and the russians, and
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this kind of belated report does nothing to stop that. >> here's what they put out. there was no second meeting between president trump and president putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. the insinuation that the white house has tried to hide a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd. it is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president's duties, to interact with world leaders. but we don't know anything about the content. >> nobody said they were hiding. donald trump's tweets and the statement go to the same thing. they're creating a story that doesn't exist. to chris' point, no one said it was a secret dinner. no one said they were trying to hide it. all that was said was this wasn't known, and by my definition, obviously this is flexible, but brief is not almost an hour long.
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brief is a minute long. the second thing is, yes, presidents talk to world leaders, of course. they have phone calls, at a thing like the g20, they have conversations, but this isn't just any world leader. this is the guy who, according to the fbi, cia, office of national intelligence, was involved in a somewhat secret meddling in the united states elections. this is not -- trump said, i talked to macron. france and the united states have a different relationship than the united states and russia, and not recognizing that difference is another part of the problem. >> i just think that why can't the president of the united states do a real press conference where he takes all these questions on russia? why can't he talk about what his vision for a relationship with
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russia is actually like, will they cooperate, will they disagree. bring us in on this. i don't care if he wants to spend all that time with macron in paris and be as affectionate as a dad would be at a bar mi mitzvah with his son. but with putin, there are going to be real questions with what russia has done. >> that's what this is about, the extension of transparency. he doesn't like the questions so he tries to shade the reality on this and call it fake whenever he can. why is it relevant? because of what we're learning about the don jr. meeting and this eighth person. this eighth guy who was at the meeting, we'll talk about him, but it's the fact that we didn't know he existed. there is a continuing problem with this story for those who are saying, what's the big deal. it's too important to find out what happened at this meeting
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and now the eighth guy wants to be connected to the agalaravs but he has his own history that makes it suspicious to be sitting with the president. >> he's been connected to money laundering to the tune of a billion dollars. nobody here seems to be a saint in the context of the russian folks they're meeting with. but here's the tick-tock. there was no meeting. the meeting was about adoption. the meeting was a handful of people and it was all a terrible misunderstanding. actually, it was between eight people with top members of the campaign, with e-mails that show there was dirt on hillary clint clinton, and now an eighth individual. so this keeps getting worse because they have not been transparent from the start. >> so that leads us to what is upcoming, chris, and that is that there are reports that robert mueller has given the all clear for don jr. and manafort to testify in front of congress in public.
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that's great for us who like transparency and are interested in this, but why it bob mueller letting them testify in public? what's his rationale? >> i find that interesting. my initial take on it, not being a lawyer or a member of the criminal justice system, is that this probably means that he has gotten what he needs either from them or about them and is not worried about a public testimony getting in the way of the investigation that he is running. it would be, obviously, i think, beneficial, to david's point, i think it would be beneficial for these things to be held in public. the biggest issue tied to the russia story -- john mentioned this -- we just keep getting different stories. the july 9, 2016 meeting is the best example, june 9, rather, is the best example of that, but we just keep hearing different things. this sidebar with putin,
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whatever you want to call it, is just one in a number of ways in which it feels as though the story shifts based on what we find out not from the trump administration but what we wind up finding out from reporting. so i think it would behoove the public right to know as well as, frankly, the trump administration. let's remember, donald trump has called this investigation a witch hunt and a total hoax, among other things he's called it. it would be in his interest -- if he believes that that is true, it's in his interest to have all these major players testify in public, because in his mind there is nothing to hide here. he should show it. shine some light on it, and that's the opposite of what's been done. >> they have not told the truth of what's gone on with russia. therefore, if i'm covering the president as i am, i'm suspicious of that meeting with putin. i want to know what they talked about. i want to know what this president has done to push back against russia. he's been coddling russia. i thought we had a major party,
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the republicans, who were pretty tough on the idea of russia and the soviet union. now the head of the republican party, the president of the united states, appears not to be. i'm sorry, i don't take them at their word that it was a couple guys getting together forming a better relationship. >> before president trump, you had two of his biggest critics in his party, lindsey graham and john mccain. bob mueller has no right to tell congress who they have come before it. you could argue that congress has every bit as much, if not more right, to invite people. mueller doesn't need to tell congress who can come before it. >> but does he decide which one can be closed door and which one can be public? >> no. congress has their own jurisdiction. what they're trying to do is negotiate who does what. the special counsel at this criminal jurisdiction -- >> but he has a strong hand in that negotiation. >> he does, but this is about deference.
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they don't need his permission, necessarily. >> but he's giving the green light saying, it's okay with me. >> i wouldn't read too much into what he says they can do and what he says they can't. >> panel, thank you very much for all of the information. >> all right, so there is little question that president trump is raising eyebrows after saying, let obamacare fail. why? because it's insensitive. because it's going to cause a lot of human pain and suffering if it's allowed to happen. well, now the president is trying to turn the page and get a fresh start. he's inviting 52 senate republicans -- that's all of them -- to the house today for lunch. cnn's suzanne malveaux live on capitol hill with more. what do we think the plan is? is this a fresh start? is this an idea session? is this time for carrot and stick? what do you think? >> it's going to be interesting to see how that lunch turns out
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because we have 52 senators invited here, and what we heard from that dinner was people were being coddled but really the president was surprised when he felt betrayed. after 24 hours of incriminations and soul searching and replacing and repealing obamacare, president trump very likely saying much of the same which is he refuses to take any credit and any blame, that perhaps what is next on the table is simply allowing obamacare to fail rather than fix it. >> let obamacare fail. it will be a lot easier. and i think we're probably in that position where we'll just let obamacare fail. we're not going to own it, i'm not going to own it. i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. we'll let obamacare fail and then the democrats are going to come to us and they'll say, how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan? >> senate majority leader mitch
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mcconnell also moving forward offering a repeal and not replace the obamacare plan which also looks like it's going to fail next week when it comes up for a procedural vote, four senators speaking out against it saying they're not going to support it. notably three of those four women who were excluded from the senate's working group who crafted that legislation secretively. >> thank you for that reporting. that raises the question of where do the republican senators go from here in the battle of health care? we discuss that next. i'm ryan and i quit smoking with chantix. i tried to quit cold turkey. i tried to quit with the patch; that didn't work. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. for me, chantix worked. it reduced my urge to smoke. compared to the nicotine patch, chantix helped significantly more people quit smoking.
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we'll let obamacare fail. i'm not going to own it, i can tell you republicans aren't going to own it. >> let's talk about that statement, the president saying let's obamacare fail. it sounds insensitive because it is insensitive. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is still trying to move forward to repeal it with no plan of replacement. again, that could have serious implications for people's health care and the inability to pay for it. four republican senators are
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saying they wouldn't go with that vote which could spell doom rather than simple math, but there is a lot of time between now and then and deals could be struck. mcconnell is a master of that. david gregory, why is it insensitive to say that we should let obamacare fail? >> look, he's the president of the united states. he's the leader of the country. and people may forget after this gambit to try to destroy obamacare, the truth is the federal government is responsible for making it work. the president has a duty to go out there and not just own it but fund it, shore it up where it needs to be shored up in terms of now the markets operate, how the exchanges operate. >> he doesn't like it. this isn't his plan. he doesn't want to own it. he doesn't like it. >> but the federal government is responsible for paying some of these subsidies. the notion that -- look, obamacare has plenty of
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problems, but part of this death spiral is that the trump administration and the republicans have talked it down so much that it does have uncertainty. when you talk with the insurance companies, they want to know what the deal is. obamacare's implementation was getting a lot better because there was more certainty in the marketplace, a lot more people are getting covered, so there is a responsibility to own it. they tried and they failed. the irony of all this is that trump could have actually pulled something off here if he had worked with democrats because he's not idealogical about it. it's conservatives who can't agree about this. it's what john baynor said years ago, that republicans will not agree, and that's come to pass. >> what president trump is doing is a go-to move in business. when you want to get people's attention, you walk away. it's often very effective to say, you know what, i'm walking away. sometimes that does make the deal come together, as we all know. that's a power move on walking away. so i think he's employing that, but it's different when people's lives are at stake as americans
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are with health care. >> look, i think that's exactly right in terms of his psychology of saying rgs fi, fine, we'll l fail and that will change your mind. but this is the opposite of harry truman saying the buck stops here. you can't say, fine, i'm hands off, i'm not going to own it, because it's happening on your watch and you have a moral and political obligation to try to fix it and help people's lives. >> that's why this business move doesn't work in this particular context, because this is a business, to use the analogy, that is on his balance sheet. so he can't walk away from this. he has set responsibilities. and if he were to walk away, as he suggested he would, which means, how do you walk away? how do you let it fail? you don't provide the federal subsidies. you don't let insurance companies know whether or not the insurance mandate, that creates a healthier and wider pool, exists. if you do that, people will lose care. it is mostly on his watch.
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>> he's provided everything under the moon regarding health care. when he ran for president, from single payer to saying don't call it trumpcare. you have an obligation to put something forward. republicans never got past opposition to proposition. that's why we're in this problem. and now the question is will the president lead and try to come up with some bipartisan deal to at least fix the problems that exist in the bill. now the official position of the president of the united states says, not on my watch, not my problem. >> chris, you wrote a piece saying six months in, the president is teetering on the brink of disaster. that was the theme of it. how do you see this in terms of the role of health care in this six-month measure and what the president needs, and what is teetering, exactly? >> well, i think there is a number of things. the russia investigation has been a constant problem for him both in the way he's dealt with it and now in the investigation's special counsel ongoing. you never want a special counsel in your first six months.
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his approval ratings are 36, 37, 39%. he says he's signed more bills than any president in history. that's not true. number two, what's the big accomplishment you can point to? health care has been the big push. i agree with you mitch mcconnell is very good at this sort of thing, but they're not going to repeal obamacare and then replace it. the votes are just not there, and they're not going to change it. so now, where does he go? remember that he ran as a guy who knew how to make deals. he persuaded people. these people who run the government are stupid, i'm smart. they make bad deals, i'll make good deals. where is the evidence of that? i think this thing that happened on monday night, he's got seven senators who are all yes votes on health care. he's talking about bastille day, he's talking about how he and macron got on famously. all of a sudden they put out a
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statement saying, we're not going to vote for this and suddenly the vote is dead. the great dealmaker at some point has to make a deal. >> the reelection campaign slogan cannot be, we'll always have paris. it's just not going to work. sdplz that wou >> that would be in advisable, david is right. >> the signature of the trump campaign was big time leader, we're going to repeal and replace obamacare, you're going to make improvements to make america great again and you get big time tax reform. on health care he talked about, we're going to do all these things, and then he says, well, these guys just couldn't get it done. it's funny that we're talking about they couldn't get it done. he couldn't lead it, he didn't get deep enough in it -- >> today he's having 52 senators for lunch. >> if he wants to carry the fight into 2018, that would be
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interesting, but this puts a lot more pressure on tax reform. you got to come through. >> he's talking in a different way than he's acting because why have all these gop senators over for lurcnch if he really is walking away. >> because he's concerned about the inability to get anything done. >> obviously something is going to happen at this lunch. they're either going to vent to him, or -- >> one other surprise move, though. there is an area of opportunity for the president to get started on today, if you're watching, this is what your guys are talking about so you know this already, pharmaceuticals and the cost of drugs. democrats are against them. the republicans want to move on t. the president has said he's not afraid of big business. if you move on prescription drugs, you will lower costs in
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health care and that's what everybody wants. >> chris, i'll tell you one thing on that. epi pens. remember the controversy on how expensive they were? my kids need them. we went to get the generic, $1200. you're still talking about a massive amount of money these companies are taking away, and that is something that fits with a populist theme, right? what -- david makes the point, what he runs on at some point has to be what he does or the reelect is just not going to work. >> he checks every box and he could own it. chris saliza, that's the point. >> six months in, is president trump's agenda somehow alienating the rest of the world? the president's politics on the world stage. that's next.
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cnn's nic robertson has more from london. >> reporter: wherever president trump goes, controversy seems to follow. these are some of the protesters at a recent world meeting in hamburg. new research explains why. the headline in the pugh center study is that around the world and in europe in particular, trump's policies are unpopular. in 35 or 37 countries surveyed, confidence in the u.s. president to do the right thing is down, and that's dragging america's overseas image down, too. take germany, host of the g20 and the protests. confidence fell a massive 75 points compared to the final years of president obama. other shockers include south korea, another ally, down 71 points. france, a close friend, down 70 points. canada, a neighbor, down 61
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points. and so the list goes on. the only countries to buck the downward trend are israel up 7 points and russia, a statistical o outlyer, up 42 points. it includes a border wall with mexico, international trade agreements and the global trade agreement plus the president's travel ban. the majority of the 40,448 respondents said trump was arrogant, intolerant, dangerous with just over half saying he is a strong leader. the white house has yet to respond. despite trump tanking in the global rating, america's popularity as a nation is bouyed by its culture, its democracy, its citizens. but in another blow to trump, both the presidents of russia
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and china were judged more likely to do the right thing on global affairs than him. nic robertson, cnn, london. >> nic, thank you very much. so we now know president trump had a second meeting with the russian leader, vladimir putin, at a dinner at the g20. it was just the president, putin and putin's translator in this conversation. was this dangerous? should we have known? we have answers to those two questions from diplomatic experts, next. i had frequent heartburn, but my doctor recommended... ...prilosec otc 7 years ago, 5 years ago, last week. just 1 pill each morning, 24 hours and zero heartburn.
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all right, so you're going to be hearing about this second meeting between putin and president trump. why does it matter? well, first we didn't know about it. there were no u.s. officials there, reportedly. there wasn't even a translator for the american president. why? because he was sitting next to the japanese head of state, so he had a japanese translator who couldn't translate into russian, so when he got up to go over and talk to vladimir putin, he went
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alone, okay? what did this meeting mean in terms of sparking interest? this isn't just about the media, this was about how other g20 leaders saw it. pull up the excerpt from the "new york times." the dinner discussion caught the attention of other leaders around the table, some of whom later remarked prooivately onne odd spectacle of an american president seeming to single out the russian leader for special attention at a summit meeting that included some of the united states' staunchiest, oldest allies. ambassador richard burns, help us understand, give us some perspective. the president seemed to have a little misunderstanding of the reporting here. he said it was sick to suggest there was some private dinner for just him and putin. nobody here is reporting that here. this is just about, at a big g20 dinner, that the president of the united states got up unattended and went over and
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talked to the russian president and the russian president's translator. does this raise your eyebrows? >> chris, i don't think the fact of the meeting is a problem. we should want these two guys to get to know each other and have an effective relationship. they're the two most powerful people in the world. he should have had our own translator with him. they should have understood he wanted to have this conversation. we wanted a record of the conversation. the real problem is the weakness of president trump towards russia because they hacked our election and the president hasn't done anything about it, so the real test is will this administration now support a big sanctions bill against russia that congress is debating? i think it's the policies that are the problem here. president trump seems to be running after putin, chasing some kind of elusory, good relationship when the russians are applying half of ukraine. the president should be tougher with putin at the beginning of
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this relationship. >> let's dig down a little bit into this, john. if we don't know what happened at the meeting, how do we know whether or not the president was dropping the hammer on putin about sanctions? we don't know. >> that's a concern of mine, too, and i think this gets to the ambassador's point about russia, they are so opaque, they're not weak and we doen't know where this is going. now we have an hour-long meeting with putin that we don't have a record of. and because he didn't have haze translator, we don't know if putin's words were translated effectively. these poolsides happen all the time at these international conventions, but it was so unprepared for and that we have no record of it, that is a concern. >> why is it a concern, though, ambassador? it seems every time this issue comes up, the american people seem pretty unanimous in saying, look, anything that gives us a better relationship with russia, that's a good thing.
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this hard line hasn't worked, anyway. they're still in ukraine, as you point out. they still do whatever they want in syria, so trump campaigned on putin likes trump, trump will use that to forge a better relationship. why isn't this meeting just an extension of that effort? >> you know, chris, i'm not sure that the american people, the average american, the majority of americans support a weak policy towards russia. we need to be effective in the world. we're the global leader and be need to stand up for nato. president trump has to be careful here. the issue that he is chosen as president and presidential candidate to make a single policy issue, i'll make a better relationship with russia, he's not playing it correctly. putin has been 18 years in this game. he's very tough minded and very cynical. the way i think we've dealt successfully with him in the past, president clinton, president george w. bush and president obama, is you have to draw the line. you have to show putin where he can't go and president trump has
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not done that. i think you're seeing a rebellion by senior republicans in the senate who want this sanction bill to pass. they voted 97-2 to pass it. the trump administration is now trying to water it down in the house. i think that's where the drama is going to be, and that's where the trump administration has to get smart. if you give, give, give to putin, he's going to take. if you let him hack your election with no penalty in return, he'll do it again in the 2018 midterms. >> i get that that concern, john kirby, that there may be an effort to soften the position on russia that feeds into the anxiety about this donald jr. meeting where he may have been pitched a softer approach on certain issues of russian sensitivity. but how do we know that the desire of this administration is to go easier on russia? where is the proof of that, john? >> well, i think it's just evident in all the things they haven't done with russia and the
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things that they've said, the failure to disclose these contacts. all that is a mounting body of evidence, chris, that while they say they want better relations with russia, they seem to be willing to pursue those relations at almost no cost to the russians and certainly at any avenue here in the united states. i don't think -- i think it's obvious that there is something special here going on between these two, and we don't necessarily know what it is, but we are definitely not seeming to prove able to hold russia to account for all the destabilizing activities that they continue to conduct. >> one thing is for sure. for the second time now, ambassador, final word to you. we've had a meeting between the american president and the leader of russia where we don't have a transcript of it, we don't know exactly what happened, so it is impossible to vet the conversation. >> well, and it's impossible for secretary tillerson and secretary mattis to be able to do their jobs.
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they're the ones who have to carry most of the water here with the russians. they need to know exactly what did putin say, what did he commit to, what did our guy say? that's what you need as the admiral saying at least your own interpreter. they should have planned for this. >> let's remind people, donald trump has a long history of conducting meetings on his own and by himself. this may be an adjustment to the presidency. we'll have to see what comes out of what he says this meeting was about. i see you shaking your head, john. i get it that it's not the right way to do it but it's the way he's done it in the past. gentlemen, thank you so much for your perspective. i appreciate it. chris, new jersey governor chris christie is not getting any love in the polls. how did the crowd respond when he caught a foul ball one-handed at a mets game? the bleacher report, next. >> strong. and we don't want something like meningitis b
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getting in their way. meningococcal group b disease, or meningitis b, is real. bexsero is a vaccine to help prevent meningitis b in 10 to 25 year olds. even if meningitis b is uncommon, that's not a chance we're willing to take. meningitis b is different from the meningitis most teens were probably vaccinated against when younger. we're getting the word out against meningitis b. our teens are getting bexsero. bexsero should not be given if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose. most common side effects are pain, redness or hardness at the injection site; muscle pain; fatigue; headache; nausea; and joint pain. bexsero may not protect all individuals. tell your healthcare professional if you're pregnant or if you have received any other meningitis b vaccines. ask your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of bexsero and if vaccination with bexsero is right for your teen. moms, we can't wait.
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usually when you catch a foul ball at a game, you get cheered by the home crowd. well, not when you're a politician, especially if you're named chris christie at citifield in new york. andy scholes has more on the bleacher report, but let's just call it for what it is. this was strong, this move, as new jersey governor. >> it certainly was, chris. most of us in a baseball game catching a foul ball, it's not easy. chris christie made it look easy catching it one-handed. it happened in the third inning. christie is just going to lean over right here and make the catch with his left hand. he gets plenty of high fives from the people around him, but
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mets fans were not impressed. christie hearing the boos. he did, though, find a young fan to give the ball to, even signed it for him. the card nalsinals a play by ply having fun with christie catching the ball, saying nice he could get from the beach to the ballpark, making fun of he and his family being on the beach when it was shut down to the public. that was an impressive catch. >> new jersey governor, he's at a new york sports thing, and politicians get booed at ball games with one exception i've seen in my lifetime, giuliani at basketball games. >> he didn't give them the one-finger salute. >> and i gave it to a kid. >> he did all the right moves,
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that's right. thank you very much. meanwhile, there is this new book. it is a revealing bombshell about what went down inside trump tower on election night as well as the role steve bannon plays in this administration. the author joins us next. concrete. we're good. and wood for my castle. we got it. and a slide, and a drawbridge. take on summer right with ford, america's best-selling brand. now with summer's hottest offer on ford f150. get zero percent for sixty months plus an additional thousand on top of your trade in. that's the built ford tough f150 with zero percent for sixty months plus an additional thousand on top of your trade in. offer ends soon during the ford summer sales event.
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we are getting a closer look at president trump's tumultuous relationship with a key figure
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in his administration, steve bannon. the new book is called "devil's bargain ", it talks about everything from trump tower on election night to the explosive fights inside the white house. josh green joins us. nice to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> this is an in-depth look at steve bannon who is sort of a mystery man. >> the goal of the book was to be the first full accounting of the election, of what really happened, but especially about the relationship between trump and bannon, because bannon is such an odd figure who suddenly emerged on the stage. and i argue in the book it was really key to trump's win. >> let's look at some anecdotes that help get us a window into him. election night. what happened inside trump tower? by all accounts, they were surprised by donald trump's win. so surprised, is it true they did not have a victory speech ready? >> traditionally a politician's staff will have two options.
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you write a victory speech ahead of time, you write a concession speech and you pull out whichever one you need. bannon knew trump was so superstitious that he would not want to go through that exercise so nobody ever brought it up. so about 10:00, 10:30 on election night, it's clear trump is going to be the next president, so bannon kind of nudges him and says, hey, shouldn't we go upstairs and write a victory speech? so they go knock one out. >> how would describe steve bannon? >> he started out in the navy, he went to harvard business school, he was an investment banker at goldman sachs in the go-go 1980s. wound up in hollywood doing film financing and eventually became a conservative documentarian, a conservative filmmaker which brought him to andrew breitbart, at conservative republican, and he ended up taking over
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breitbart news when breitbart died. >> his world view became this sort of america first, anti-global, anti kind of -- is it fair to say anti-other? >> absolutely fair to say of the bannon had always had these nationalist, populist politics and a real anger, i think, at liberal secular culture. what breitbart did was try to start a small publication that would fight back against the media. bannon took that over and really used it as a vehicle to push his ideas into national politics and elevate politicians like donald trump who he thought could carry that message for him. >> let's talk about that, because you also say bannon had been looking for basically a ve vessel and he had worked with sarah palin, sarah bachmann, jeff sessions, but not until he found donald trump was it sort of a match made in bannon heaven. what was it about donald trump that allowed this symmetry to
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happen? >> what it was was trump's great personal force. bannon was introduced to him way back in 2010 and began informally advising him, but nobody, including bannon, thought trump was seriously going to run for president until years later. but when he did, bannon was always involved in his campaign long before he joined behind the scenes. he was feeding trump breitbart news articles, he helped arrange trump's trip to the mexican border right after his announcement that caused such chaos and controversy. >> while we're on that topic, there is reporting that you found about how the concept of the border wall came to pass. >> the story of the border wall is terrific. it's one of trump's greatest hits but it wasn't trump's idea. two of his staffers, sam nunberg and roger stone, came up with it as a device to keep trump whose attention famously wanders, focused on immigration reform because they thought that was
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important. trump tried out the speech in iowa -- >> but they knew it was concrete and he could hang onto that. >> trump was a builder and he saw the wall thing start to resonate, so he started to improvise saying, i'm going to build a wall, and nobody builds like trump. i'm going to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for it. it became the greatest hit on the campaign trail. >> chris christie was an ally of donald trump, they were often seen together. then you have an anecdote here about election night and what happened. you write in the book that basically chris christie said, i've just spoken to president obama, when it was clear trump was going to win. he's going to call my cell phone, and i'm going to hand it to you, mr. president-elect, to talk to president obama. trump did not like that. >> two problems. trump did not like people
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stealing his thunder and christie was trying to interject himself in the most important moment in his life. so as a number of people there explained to me, trump exploded at christie and that really was the moment when christie began to drift out of trump's inner orbit. >> chris christie disputes this, by the way. do we have this, guys? listen to what governor chris christie has said about this moment. >> the book is wrong fundamentally in that there was no call from president obama that evening to me. i didn't speak with the president that night at all. >> your response? >> no disagreement there. all i said was he tried to arrange the call. >> but didn't you say chris christie said he had had a conversation with president obama? >> no, no, with obama staff. he said he arranged for obama if trump won that obama would call christie's cell phone. but that never happened. >> so he is parsing it to say that whole exchange never happened. >> he's giving in politics what is called a non-denial denial.
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>> i see. so steve bannon, back to him. people, obviously democrats and liberals call him the pupp puppetmaster and thinks he functions as donald trump's brain. what do you think? >> i don't think that. bannon had a lot of ideas and he helped shape trump's politics during his run for president, but what bannon really is is a soldier. i tell different stories in the book, the fight between donald trump and megyn kelly, the fight in the media over the access hollywood tape. at every pivotal moment in the campaign, bannon was the guy fighting on trump's behalf, even when other people like house speaker paul ryan or other republican leaders abandoned trump, when people thought his campaign was headed toward an epic loss. >> there is a particular passage


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