tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 30, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
nigeria died in office in 2010 shortly after taking months of medical leave in saudi arabia. his illness triggered a crisis over the transfer of power. thanks to you all for being a part of my program this week. i will see you next week. hello everyone. thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. a new threat to the u.s. north korea did beloy "a firm action of justice against the u.s. if sanctions on the relouisive regime continue." this threat coming two days after kim jong-un tested a ballistic missile experts say could one day reach the u.s. mainland. >> i'm convinced that north korea has never moved at the speed that this leader has. >> and early this morning, u.s. military said its successfully test add missile designed to intercept that type of threat,
and sent two bombers over the korean peninsula in a show of force, all of this comes as the person in charge of protecting the homeland is leaving his post. we'll discuss what it means when a general becomes the president's right-hand man. >> the president wants to go a different direction. wantsalities moor discipline, structure in there. you know that he enjoys working with generals. >> meanwhile, the death toll from venezuela's violent political protests rise. [ gunfire ] >> this morning, a candidate's in that crucial election is shot dead in his home and police are investigating another shooting. we go live to caracas. first, we begin with the growing tensions between the u.s. and north korea on the heels of a ballistic missile test. the rogue nation is threatening firm action against the united states if it pursues sanctions. meanwhile, as we just mentioned, the u.s. said it conducted a successful test of its own.
anti-missile defense from alaska. this is video from that test. the thad system intercept add ballistic missile over the pacific ocean. it is the 15th successful test of this kind. just last hour vice president mike pence weighed in affirming all options are on the table for dealing with north korea.
we have a team of -- >> continued provocations by the rogue regime in north korea are unacceptable, and the united states of america is going to continue to marshal the support of nations across the region and across the world to further isolate north korea economically and diplomatically, but the era of strategic patience is over. >> all right. a team of correspondents covering this for us. diane gallagher in washington, alexandra in seoul, south korea. alexandra, what are you hearing today from north korea? >> reporter: look, north korea continues to respond and frankly
continue to celebrate what they see as a tremendous victory. they put out that video touting the success of the launch of their second icbm. this is a missile they say could describe within the mainland usa. xperpts estimated it could hit anywhere from l.a. to chicago. and they are now sending another warning to the u.s. saying that if the u.s. continues to enforce sanctions against north korea, they will respond with firm action. we've had more response from u.s. administration officials today with regard to that icbm test as well. the president again turning his attention to china with a tweet that says, we will no longer allow this to continue. china could easily solve this problem. the u.s.' ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley adding in, we're done talking about north korea. china is aware they must act and fredricka, you point out vice president mike pence also saying that china should do more. of course, they are all talking about the economic relationship that china has with north korea. earlier this year officials in beijing said they had slashed coal imports from north korea
but, of course, the trade relationship between those two countries does continue, and, of course, china is the biggest economic partner for north korea. since the beginning of the trump administration, we have heard top administration officials including the president saying that it falls on china. that china is the one with the leverage to rein north korea in. the response from beijing, hasn't changed. what we've heard from them since this icbm was tested two days ago is similar to before. a condemnation of the fact north korea was launching another missile bought call again for restraint from all sides asking all sides not to raise it's tension mounting now for months over the peninsula. beijing proposed what they sees is a solution. a freeze on north korea's nuclear missile program in exchange want the u.s. and south korea to agree to stop the military exercises, which provoke and raise the ire of the north korean regime. that's a non-starter for officials in the u.s., and just to prove how much of a non-starter that is, in the
immediate aftermath of that icbm launch we did see the u.s. military working with the south korean military to do their own missile launch drills and you saw them testing that missile defense system and in another move that is sure to anger again the regime in pyongyang, flying b-1 bombers over the korean peninsula just today, fred. >> okay. let's also check in with diane in washington. heard? pence. what else do we flare the trump administration? >> reporter: fred, several different approaches here including the tweeting alexandra just mentioned. get to that in a minute. all of this echoes what vice president pence this more in estonia. all options are on the table for the united states when it comes to north korea. now, as part of that continuing show of force in the wee hours this morning, u.s. forces said they successfully test eed thad system, launched from alaska, detected, tracked, intercepted over the pacific ocean will irritate china, of course, considers the thad system a
direct threat to their own security because components are rolling into south korea now knop response from beijing on that test yet and probably not going to get a response on president trump's tweets accusing china of basically doing nothing to solve the north korea threat, and implying there could be consequences in trade as a result. china, of course did issue a statement about north korea's icbm launch calling for the country to stop escalating tensions. the trade between north korea and china, though, is rising. senator dianne feinstein on a "face the nation" today consulting north korea a clear and present danger to the united states. and she hopes that -- >> i think the only solution is a diplomatic one. i'm very disappointed in china's response, that it has not been firmer, or more helpful, and i think that the administration, and this is one of the reasons that i hope general kelly will be able to be effective, even beyond a chief of staff, is to begin some very serious
negotiation with the north, and stop this program. >> reporter: and negotiations, ambassador to the united nations nikki haley tweeting, done talking about north korea. china has to act penting out allies? japan has to increase pressure herb, it's not just a u.s. problem, requires international solutions. and we blew the b-1 bombers over north korea they were joined by fighter jets from our countries. >> thank you, ladies. talk more about this with gordon chang, author of "nuclear showdown: north korea takes on the world" also with me, a former state department official for east asia and pacific affairs. good to see both of you. so, gordon, you first. north korea threatens "a firm action of justice." hoe seriously should the u.s. consider that language? >> well, at this particular time, you know, this is just
standard operating procedure for the north koreans. they don't want sanctions. so sthar going to say things like that. but once they become convinced about the reliability of their arsenal they're probably going to use it to blackmail the u.s., to break the treaty with south korea. take our 28,500 troops off the peninsula permitting them to realize a long-held goal. absorb the south korean state and rule all of korea. so, therefore, we've got to be concerned this is just a taste of things to come, that north korea will use their arsenal to blackmail us. >> so when the president tweets out that china has disappointed him, and in the issue of north korea. is that a shot in the foot? a shot in the foot to the u.s.? or is that the right kind of response to north korea and its actions? >> well, it's taken president trump only six months to figure out that china is not the collusion to the north korea problem. this is something that was
emphasized and approaches taken by the previous two administration over 16 years. so president trump is catching on actually a little faster. look, the road to pyongyang does not go through beijing. and i think it's time that we stopped relying on china and we actually take china out of the picture. china will not change its policies towards north korea, because its fundamental long-term national interest is in not doing so. >> and what about, gordon, this use of the u.s. missile defense? a successful test? is that response enough? or is that the -- an effective means of protecting the u.s. against whatever north korea has in its missiles? >> the u.s. has the world's most sophisticated missile defense system. not only thad, and also all sorts of things to bring to bear.
no nonetheless, the north koreas can overwhelm it. send a message earlier, no matter how good our missiles are they will be able to overcome them. until we get directed energy weapons, we have to be concerned the north koreans will be able to defeat our defenses. it's good we have them, but north koreas can produce missiles faster than be we can shoot them down. >> is it your view north korea is overcome the missile defense? >> i think, really, missile defense, the system is not 100% foolproof but we have to be a little more careful what we're talking about. it's not clear to me -- certainly north korea does not currently have the capability to attack any of the mainland u.s. and i doubt that north korea ever would. in the same sense, does any of us really think china or russia might actually lob missiles at the united states? possibly. and i think it we ought to have that concern, but it's not really likely. the point is, that south korea
is in immediate firing range and not necessarily just north korean missiles, but north korea as a threat in this convention's military, and unconventional. including biological and chemical and cyber. we really have to talk about threats to our allies in the region as well as the homeland. >> and, gordon, kim jong-un has launched more ballistic missiles than his father, his grandfather, and there's been an incredible spike just within the first you know, six, seven months of this year during the trump administration. what's your view as to what he is trying to prove or convey to the world? >> well, he's trying to prove that he can overcome our defenses. that, you know, he can hold us to ransom and as i mentioned, i'm sure that one way or another, he will use them to blackmail us. you know, but we've got to remember about his missiles -- he's making fast progress. we need to ask a question. how come he is able to do all of these things now? and i think part of it is because he's getting help from
the chinese. you know, the missiles fired july 4th and on friday were brought to the site by chinese transporter erector launchers and north korea's most advanced missiles, not the ones on friday and the 4th, the most advanced missiles look like variances of china's jr-1 submarine missile. we need to ask the chinese how come the north koreans have missiles that look chinese in origin? >> you said, road from pyongyang doesn't go to beijing. with that premise is that what president trump is talking about when he says china is a disappointment and perhaps is helping with the missiles? >> i don't think the world focus is on that connection and i think gordon is exactly right. we should take a closer look at the contributions of china and not just china but russia as well. two north korea's nuclear missile development. i feel president trump and everybody else is focuses on,
try economic leverage over north korea and certainly china has the most relative economic influence, but we ought to separate out now the help and assistance that is coming from china and russia and other countries, and target that. and that's what i meant by, we can't rely on beijing to help us, because it has different goals. >> gotcha. leave it there. thanks so much to both of you. appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. this breaking news -- a candidate in venezuela's controversial election has been killed as voters head to the polls today to choose a new assembly with the authority to rewrite the constitution. authorities are investigating the death of jose felix pinata. a royalist to president nicolas maduro shot inside his home last night. meanwhile, the opposition is defying the government's ban on protests with sporadic clashes in the streets and a death of a youth opposition party leader is also under investigation. cnn's paula newton joins me now
from caracas. so, paula, there's a lot going on. very volatile situation. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. you're getting an invitation from video seeing. the fierce resistance of authorities whether the national guard, police or military are putting up. remember the opposition is boycotted this vote. they wanted to be out here on it's streets and elsewhere to hamper the vote going forward. that hasn't happened. in fact, the opposition has had to push back, and we got indications why a few minutes ago here, fredricka, and you can see, fred, from video we're showing you, every time the protestors try to advance they are met with what is the kind of police presence, military presence, national guard presence we haven't seen in days. we can smell the tear gas and are several floors up at our live location. imagine what it's like on the ground? for that reason opposition pushing back trying to figure out their next move as voting continues around the country. fred? >> and tell us about this
candidate killed and how intimidating is this nofor vote? >> reporter: it is intimidating for everyone. they deal with this every day. details are murky. apparently shot several times in this home. he was a fairly minor candidate. is this random violence? a political assassination? the attorney general's office is looking into it. it underscores the point, a voters or politician, here this is an incredibly unstabilized situation and for that reason many we spoke to are just staying home trying to stay, in terms of the safety and wait to see what happens as the other shoes drops from this vote. >> all right. paula newton in caracas, thank you very much. and leaving for the west wing. up next who will succeed general john kelly as he takes on his
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welcome back. as the president starts his new week the white house tries to reset and refocus. tomorrow retired general john kelly takes over as the new white house chief of staff. that move is raising speculation about whether attorney general jeff sessions could switch roles and move into kelly's old job as homeland security secretary. sessions, of course, has been publicly shamed by president trump over sessions decision to recuse himself from the russia investigations. earlier today the president's counselor kellyanne conway responded to whether another shake-up might be in the works. >> again, that's a personnel question only the president can answer. i will tell you that the president has expressed
frustration about the recusal. so much has flowed from that recusal and so much of president trump's agenda flows from the department of justice. many of the primary issues and the programs he ran successfully on go through the department of the justice. look what happened with this ridiculous russia collusion delusion. >> what's ahead in the new week? >> this speculation ar jeff sessions installed add head of the department of homeland security at this point is purely speculation and comes from some reporting from politico in which sh some of their sources talking about this being a possibility. it is at this point a wild theory. cnn has no ed kaindication the president is considering this or that jeff sessions would even accept the job. i should tell you because we've seen oh many unprecedented moves from the white house, you've already see republican lawmakers responding to this being a
possibility. tweets from lindsey graham saying this was a bad idea and from susan collins. listen to what she said on "meet the press." >> the attorney general made absolutely the rice decisight do recuse himself from the russian investigation. >> you would not support any attempt to move jeff sessions to dhs? >> it's up to jeff sessions and the president, but if he's being moved because of his correct decision to recuse himself, i think that's a mistake. >> fred, i have to tell you, this is a wild theory, but it is a possibility, because jeff sessions has already been confirmed by the senate. the president could theoretically, at least, install him as the head of d johs for uo 210 days looking for a different person to nominate as attorney general, and then the confirmation process continues. you can imagine it might be difficult getting someone else confirmed with so much support,
especially from republican lawmakers, for jeff sessions, fred? >> we'll talk about that now. some of the other lawmakers who say it's going to be a tough battle if that is, indeed, the case. boris sanchez, thank you so much. whether jeff sessions might slide into a new role is already prompting strong reaction in washington. hoar on that republican senator lindsey graham tweeted. he said this -- "a.g. sef session has a good ring to it. highly qualified, committed to the rule of law. tough on crime and fiercely independent. dhs secretary jeff sessions doesn't sound right. doesn't feel right. bad idea." that from lindsey graham. let's discuss with jeffrey rolo and dana milbank from the "washington post." go to see you both. at the time the white house is trying to reset why nmove jeff sessions to homeland security be a good idea? >> no know it would, quite frankly. i understand and agree with the
president on the recusal situation, but other than that, and that's kind of like saying, other than that this is lincoln, the playhouse, from the president's standpoint. other than that doing a good job at attorney general. sort of a natural fit. i believe he was attorney general of alabama and also a u.s. attorney. so i think this is the role that's, you know, great for him. >> all right. so dana, by the way, welcome back. it's been a while. >> yes. >> so let's not make it so long. >> all right. >> right now all of this, talking about, it's speculation. senator grassley said there would be no time for confirming a new a.g. one other lawmaker said, no way, to a recess appointment. what would be the likely consensus from fellow republicans if trump tries to oust the attorney general? >> if you looked in the abstract, the notion of jeff sessions being, going over to homeland security, it's not a crazy idea, because so much of jeff sessions is about the border and that's so much of what that job is. of course, we're not looking at this in the abstract and
everybody would interpret that as a way for the president to get a new attorney general in there who could at least in theory fire bob mueller and put the russia investigation to an end, and that's where you're seeing lindsey graham saying there will be hell to pay. you hear chuck grassley saying, sorry. can't fit you in the calendar of rett of this year and at each stage along the line many speculated this is too much for republicans in congress to take. each stage they seem to have gone along with it. there are lots of rumblings this would be different. where they draw a line say that's not acceptable, mr. president. >> and jeffrey, when it comes to the white house shake-up, the "wall street journal" writes this saying -- "the shuffling the staff furniture won't matter unless mr. trump accepts what the white house problem is not, mr. priebus. it's him." is it your view john kelly would be able to convey that if he's the one to help restore or bring some order to the west wing?
>> well, i think general kelsey a good choice for this. i checked on this, fred, and president's franklin roosevelt, harry truman, dwight eisenhower and richard nixon all at some minute to their term had an admiral or general as white house chief of staff and in every single case all did a great job. i suspect that the military aspect of it and discipline is a good fit for any white house and i imagine that's going to be true with the trump white house as well. the president clearly has a great deal of respect for general kelly. he is in the way of the world here, appears in terms of agened experience, his military experience, which is something i think the president appreciates. so i think it was a pretty good decision. and i would add -- >> go ahead. >> i would add one thing. i was in the white house when president reagan fired don reagan as chief of staff. an unholy mess.
mr. reagan heard about this over, through cnn, that he was being fired. so angry, tendered a letter of resignation, had it hand-delivered to the president. the pled called him on the phone. too late. walked out never to return again. this is a whole lot better than that. >> gosh. well, okay. if you say so. so as, ittains to these generals, dana, the president has said even as a candidate, he loves the generals. respects the generals. however, generals, you know, many military leadership was blindsided, you know, by the transgender proposal that the president tweeted out. so is there -- you know, a real problem here that there might be a verbal message that he respects the generals, but is there an overt message that he might not? >> well, i think that's exactly right. and not just respecting the generals. will anybody be able to have that authority? if anybody's going to have it,
it would be somebody like kelly, but what we've seen all along, fred, it's not really a personnel problem in the white house. the main issue is that nobody seems to be able to rein in the boss. that they may all think they have something under control and then the president of the united states is up tweeting something that contradicts or undercuts them at 6:00 in the morning. that is the, sort of the core illness here. if you're just, you know, bringing in a new chief of staff, well, that's essentially a manicure. not even, if well qualified and an ideal temperamentally, the question is, can donald trump himself be tamed? he's shown no ability to do that so far. >> and so jeffrey, do you see this job being chief of staff as one to rein in the president, particularly at this juncture and the way in which john kelly is being brought in? >> no. it's to let the president be himself. whom ever that president may be. the very first column i wrote on donald trump as a possible candidate thinking that he could succeed was in 2013 and i went back and looked at it the other
day and i said in there that, in the reagan era we had a saying in the staff, let reaganen reagan and that donald trump's best success lies in let trump be trump. >> but i mean, aren't we seeing trump? has anyone held him back? in other words? >> i think there was a lot of in-fighting you know, out of range here we weren't seeing from people who don't like that. and they were undercutting him. so the thing to do is to understand how the president works, and make his -- get his best foot forward letting him be himself. the minute you try and have a president become not himself, is the moment the world sees that person as a phony and that's not a good thing. >> hmm. all right. >> dana? you want to -- the real trump 2.0 a coming? because we haven't seen him. >> i think we've seen a whole lot of the real donald trump and i urge general kelly to please stop letting trump be trump.
>> we shall see. day one for john kelly tomorrow. thank you both. good to see you. >> thanks. >> we'll be right back. why? terrible toilet paper! i'll never get clean! way ahead of you. charmin ultra strong. it cleans better. it's four times stronger and... ...you can use less. enjoy the go with charmin. tais really quite simple.est it comes in the mail, you pull out the tube and you spit in it, which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple.
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all right. breaking news out of russia. russian state media says president putin is ordering the u.s. to cut its staff in the diplomatic mission in russia by 755 people. this in response to a u.s. sanctions bill that president trump is expected to sign. let's get right to cnn senior international correspondent matthew chance, in moscow. so matthew, this 755 is that a significant makeup of u.s. diplomats, or, you know, diplomatic corps in russia? >> reporter: yeah. i think no matter how you cut it it's a very significant reduction in the amount of people employed by the united
states in various missions in russia. an embassy in moscow, the russian capital and three continents around the country as well where there is a mixture of u.s. citizens employed and on diplomatic status, and, of course, russian nationals as well. employees to carry out certain functions at that the embassy undertakes. not clear at the moment, and this is a story that's been floating around on state media at least since yesterday, what's not clear is what the exact makeup of those cuts will involve. the president of russia, vladimir putin harks come out and confirmed what state media already reported 24 hours ago. in fact, if anything, he's upped the number of people that the diplomatic numbers are reduced by saying now 755 people. again, we don't know the exact pro portion of u.s. citizens, what it will be, whichever way you cut it, a significant rebuke to the united states and a significant part of russia's
retaliation for this u.s. sanctions bill passing so overwhelmingly in the u.s. congress. and also other measures taken as well. diplomatic compound outside of moscow has been seized by the russian. sort of the embassy dacha, and a storage facility in the russian capital that's been confiscated by the russian government as well. and all this for the russian, a long overdue response is what the russians call it. to the expulsion's the end of the presidency of barack obama, of 35 russians and sieger of russian diplomatic compounds in maryland and new york. what the russians are saying is that they wait add long time, since december of last year, for the situation to get better. vladimir putin, the russian president, said he hoped it would get better, but it didn't and it won't anytime soon and that's what he announced themeae
s. >> math chew chance, thank you. and waging an anti-corruption campaign and also testified before the senate judiciary committee on thursday. good to see you. so what's your reaction to what now appears to be retaliation. retaliation, perhaps, for the u.s. sanctions bill that the president of the united states has yet to sign, as well as the failure of the u.s. to return the compounds in the u.s., maryland and new york, that russia said it wanted for its in-country diplomats? >> i view this as textbook putin. his big thing is to look like a strong man in his country. the number of diplomats expelled, 755, is 20 times the number of diplomats that the u.s. expelled from washington, d.c. as a result of election hacking. this is putin's way of really sort of showing up america. showing his own people he won't be pushed around, and it's quite
interesting that it took him this long to do it, because as you mentioned, he didn't do anything after the diplomats were expelled back in december. he was hoping that trump would lift sanctions, and what he's discovered is that trump isn't the only person who controls u.s. foreign policy. the u.s. congress does as well. >> hmm. and so you believe largely it's in response to congress pushing for this bill. it wasn't the president's initiative, even though he has yet to sign it. his office says that he will, but it was congress that said we want to propose this. there needs to be more sanctions and we also want to be able to override the president if he denies that, and putin saw that at, this is changing the game. >> yeah. so i was just in washington last week testifying at the senate judiciary committee and met a number of senators and also representatives, and there is absolute unanimity in congress as far as russia sanctions are
concerned. in the senate side, there were 98 senators for sanctions, 2 against, and house of representatives, it was even more extreme. only 3 people in the house of representatives that voted against the sanctions bill, and basically the legislative branch of government has as much power as the executive branch. so whatever sweet things that donald trump is mumbling in putin's ear, it doesn't affect policy. this is the result of effectively putin going to war with the u.s. congress. >> there have been some european allies who have said that their concern is this plan of -- this proposal before the president's desk, could potentially backfire. that it might make it more difficult for european countries as it pertains to trade. are those legitimate concerns? >> well what you have is certain european business people arguing to their governments that they're going to -- they're not going to make as much money with
this sanctions policy in place, and europe has much more to fear from russia than the united states does. europe is much closer to russia and putin only understands a boot on the throat. this is a boot on his throat. so anyone who's arguing in europe this is going to backfire is effectively arguing certain businessmen aren't going to make as much money. >> this morning russia's deputy foreign minister says the order to cease property and expel 755 or, you know, regardless what the number is, it could be really step number one in what's to come. take a listen. >> you were the one who notified the americans that the russians would be expelling american diplomats and technicians, closing down some facilities. so is this what president putin was talking about in terms of retaliation? >> yes, it is, and i think this retaliation is long, long overdue. after the senate the day before yesterday voted, or rather on
the 27th of july, voted. so overwhelmingly on a completely weird and unacceptable piece of legislation, it was the last drop. if the u.s. side decides to move further, towards further deterioration, we will answer. >> so the president had said particularly after the g-20 that the -- there was going to be a concerted effort made to increase or improve the relationships between the u.s. and russia. is that impossible at this juncture? >> well, the main reason why -- yes it is impossible. the main reason why is that russia interfered with the -- the democratic process of the election last year. >> but the president still is not convinced of that. >> well, he may not be convinced of it but everybody else in the countries is convinced of it and as i said, the legislative branch has as much power as the
executive branch in many situations. this is one situation where president's hands and overrid him in terms of whatever sentiment he has about putin and about russia. >> so is this now a new reality check for the president? >> well, he now can no longer lift sanctions which is a big part of what vladimir putin is upset about. it doesn't mean he can't offer putin other gifts. one of putin's big objectives is weaken nato. trump made various noises about that during his campaign. that's the next big battleground to see where that plays itself out in the future. >> bill browder, thank you so much. appreciate it. and we'll be right back. you don't let anything keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home...
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get across state lines and more. quote/unquote. the president making it clear he is perfectly fine with letting obamacare implode. that's not quite what we heard from his health and human services sent just hours ago. listen. >> is he going to let it implode or as he says do the right thing for the american people? >> i think what the president said is that it's not the right thing to do because it hurts people. >> this week he said he was going to let it implode. is that what he's going to do? >> no. i think, again, that that punctuates the concern about getting this moved in the right direction. >> but he says, let obamacare implode, then deal. what does that mean? >> well, again, i think what that does is punctuate the seriousness with which he understand the american people are having to deal with the current situation. >> tom price not answering that question, deferring to other language. cnn's white house correspondent athena jones joining me now with
more on this. athena, united front or a little -- you another, redirecting on the whole issue of health care? >> hi, fred. well, it's a little unclear. because you heard martha radditz repeatedly trying to get the hhs secretary tom price to respond to that question and the reason it's such an important question is because we repeatedly heard president trump talk about how he said all along, obamacare should be allowed to implode. that would force democrats to the table. to the table to have to forge a deal. that is the kind of language, though, that has concerned a whole lot of people. the budget director, mulvaney, was also asked about this issue and in a tweet the president put out yesterday, i'm not sure you have that tweet to put up on the screen. this is all still related to health care. the president said yesterday, if a new health care bill is not
approved quickly, bailouts or insurance companies or bailouts for members of congress will end very soon. well, that statement, which sounds a lot like a threat, a threat in part to end the cost-sharing subsidies that help reduce deductibles and co-pays for some 7 million lower income people in america. well, the budget director was asked about that tweet, asked what the president meant by it. and here's what he had to say about that. take a listen. >> yeah. actually i talked to the president at length about that exact issue yesterday, and i think his attitude is this. his attitude is pretty simple. keep in mind he does have a way of channeling a large number of the american public and what he's saying is, look, if obamacare is hurting people, and it is, then why shouldn't it hurt insurance companies and more importantly perhaps for this discussion members of congress? >> and what's so curious about what we just heard from mr. mug vainy, the idea if obamacare is hurting people and it is, why shouldn't it also hurt insurance companies? a lot of people say, well, isn't
the goal to not do any of that? isn't the goal to make sure there is a functioning system? we've already heard criticism from both sides of the aisle. maine's republican senator susan collins send ends cost subsidies would not just hurt insurance companies but detrimental to the most vulnerable citizens if the payments were cut off. bernie sanders echoing that sentiment as well, and arguing that the president should not be trying to sabotage health care. one more thing i want to mention, fred. you mentioned at the top, the president's tweet, how the republicans should go to 51 votes. that was the threshold they weren't able to meet this past week in repealing health care, obamacare. >> a big issue. talking about, back to the vulnerable people. 7 million very vulnerable of the other millions counting on the care. so athena, let me also ask you about the latest information about russia. president putin now saying 755
u.s. diplomats will have to leave. this in retaliation to the sanctions proposal that the president of the united states has yet to sign, but is there any response from the white house thus far on this latest retaliatory move from russia? >> reporter: fred, no response so far. also i have been checking, of course, the president's twitter feed, which i did just a moment ago, and we haven't seen a response there either. but i would imagine we'll get one at some point. and i should mention the president did wake up early this morning once again to send out that tweet in the 7:00 a.m. hour and then went to the trump national golf club in sterling, virginia, and, fred, that makes the 47th day that he has spent time at at property that bears his name. he has visited one of his golf properties 43 times as president, and we just learned that they have departed that golf club, and so perhaps he'll come back here, and we may here more response to that news out
of russia. >> all right. we'll look to that. athena jones, thank you so much from the white house. appreciate it. much more from the "newsroom" after this. they're d. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate. give kind a try. ♪
welcome back. making us laugh, he was also dealing with his own personal demons. take a look. >> when i was 12 or 13, one of my best friends called me up once. like a drug dealer at 12. come over. what you got? you got to hear this! >> do something with the -- i want you to -- anything. >> a pretty good -- want to buy it? i think we're on to something this time. uh-huh. i'm sorry, margaret. >> here we go.
[ mumbling ] >> routines brilliant. i'm going, whose brain can do that? >> the united nations -- now recognizes the delegates from -- >> to be as genius as jonathan winters you have to think differently than normal people. he's working within his mind at a very high level a very fast level. by thinking that way and being that untethered to the rest of us, you can lose your mind more easily. >> jonathan was profoundly troubled guy with drinking issues, depression issues that were clinical. that were deep. >> be sure to watch cnn's history of comedy tonal at 10:00. we'll be right back. be $50 bucks. ll you said $30.
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