tv Inside Politics CNN August 2, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
creation of a story. >> wheeler said that the quotes that were attributed to him in that original story linking the two did not exist. he did not say them. >> chris, there's a lot to this story, but of course, you can read it and you should. thank you so much for joining us at this hour, "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics" i'm john king, thank you for joining us for sharing your day with us. number one the white house confirms the president's lawyer didn't tell the truth and it appears the president himself is stretching the truth in talking about phone calls, the boy scouts and the mexican government say never happened. the president a shortly time ago signed legislation that imposes new sanctions on russia because of its 2016 election interferen interference. the president still doesn't like the new law, but it passed
overwhelmingly in congress. and the white house's plan to restrict legal immigration, say changing who can come into the united states. >> for decades the united states has operated a very low skilled immigration system. issuing record numbers of green cards to low wage immigrants. this policy has placed substantial pressure on american workers, taxpayers and community resources. among those hit the hardest in recent years have been immigrants and very importantly, minority workers competing for jobs against brand-new arrivals. and it has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers. >> that's the president just moments ago, with us to share their reporting and their insights, my panel. it's called the ray's act. reforming american immigration
for strong employment. and it has the president's blessing. here's some of what it will do, it would/legal immigration in half. tighten rules for temporary works visas, sharply restrict family based visas and cap refugees at 50,000 per year. david perdue of georgia was the lead sponsor. they said that too many low skilled workers get into the united states and that rules for getting green cards should be tilted now in favor overhigher skilled workers. minor children and spouses would still get preferential treatment under the law, but not grown children, grandparents or siblings. jeff, why this now from the president? >> well, john, there's one reason for this, the president after, you know, a string of set backs, health care, most importantly, he wants to fire up and reinvigor that conservative base. he wants to show, a, that he's
engaged, b, that he's doing something here. and what he's doing is giving his blessing to a bill that was introduced back in february. this is something that a president can do, use his bully pulpit to talk about issues that are popular with his conservative base. it's almost a certainty that this bill as its written will not become law. it would take 60 votes to get through the senate. we know the president has often talked about how 60 votes is an unfair threshold. but the reality is even some, a small group of republicans oppose this as well. but it is a starting point, it is a conversation point and it's one of the examples of the white house ftrying to get back to business, which is fog abotalkit the issues, not railing against the media, railing against staff members et cetera. something that will get the conservative base on board. it's an early plan for 2018, those midterm elections, it's
not promising, but it is something meant to show that he's here and working at the white house. >> pollicy and politics, this i a conversation the country has to have about little immigration, as jeff noted within the republican community or the business community, there are some splits, there are nose in the agricultural industry who say we need those lower skilled workers. so great, let's tilt it more towards those with high skills. every time you have an election, it gets bogged down into the debate about retractable legal immigration. now what? >> it's interesting to see that how other pro-pose sals they have tried to move have not. if they can get something going
and doing something about the dreamers, which donald trump has said he wants to find a way to resolve, that that could potentially be a way forward here, but the mood on capitol hill does not seem to be amenable to this sort of thing. and as you said, in the business community, there's a lot of resistance to this. this ar0epproach had been tried before. it was a huge lift and in the end, he couldn't make it happen, even though there was a lot of consensus working around this issue, so it's hard to see how this changes now. >> there's basically two factors here, number one on the policy, this is an issue that divides the republican party, much les the democratic party, which is, i don't think very interested in this kind of legislation at all. there are a lot of republicans who say we're for legal immigration, we don't want to reduce those numbers, and particularly in the business community, they're saying, look, unemployment is at 5%, we need more workers not fewer and we don't have enough here in the united states. and the politics of it are, as
julie was saying, the president has lost a lot of clout on capitol hill. the idea that he could use his bully pulpit to push republicans around has faded dramatically since the early days of his presidency because the republicans on capitol hill do not feel like they have a good working relationship with the president and they don't feel that he's been helpful for the things they want to do. so this hasn't gong anywhere since it was introduced february for a reason. there was a time that he might have been able to pass it. but i think that time has passed. >> the kind of bush era dovishness on immigration, wow have this rising star, senator tom cotton, he had basically made a name for himself by being a sort of immigration hawk. next to former ceo business tycoon from sea island, georgia.
this is actually good politics for trump, for a couple of reasons. first of all, you've got a lot of red state senators who are running for re-election, democrats, this is a tough issue for them. you go to those red states and talk about reducing illegal immigration, you're going to find a lot of support among both parties. and if you listen to more raw donald trump sound bites, he's talking about trying to divide black voters and hispanic voters and it's not true at all. >> the question is can he get a senate majority leader or a house speaker to bring a bill like this to the floor. he can run out in 2018 and campaign with senators saying why can't we get a vote on this, but it would be much more effective to get this puppy on the floor and make the people, yes or no, yay or they. . >> there's a more dream act sort
of caucus in the senate. in the house, paul ryan was not a big immigration hawk, but he was talking about how he supportsupport ed building the border wall. >> pop-up the video while perry speaks. >> so that kind of idea is moving in the house, and it's in the appropriations bill, i do think the border wall could pass this year and that could lead to more immigration changes. >> it may be the issue here, that's what they're driving for, they want people to have to go on the record about this, they want republicans in conservative states to have a chance to go on the record on this and be for something like illegal immigration, and it played a large part in putting donald trump in the white house. >> it was a big issue in the
campaign for him, both legal and illegal immigration. >> as a candidate, i campaigned on creating a merit based immigration system that protects u.s. workers and taxpayers and that is why we are here today. merit based. >> if you look at this, look, they -- so far, ineffective in getting the health care law through, we talked about how this president never really received a honeymoon. he won the electoral vote. president bush won the presidency in the disputed election of 2000. donald trump, should he travel the country? should he tell the american people? he can rightly claim, i know it's controversial, the democrats will run against him. and he could say this was my signature issue in the campaign. >> did anybody know that he was campaigning on a merit based
system, but the idea that he talked about, the idea of learning english and assimilate, the things that he said in his speech, those are good politics and something he campaigned on. >> a lot of states in this country generally agree with the idea of it. if he was to marry basically letting the dreamers stay in this country, with a kind of hawkish immigration bill like this and put that on the floor. that's a big issue for the democrats. >> and how about republicans? >> he would be trying to unbreak a broken washington. >> at this point he just wants to win. i went to a lot of trump rallies, they weren't chanting build a new immigration system, they were chanting build a wall. on the other hand, because so
many of trump's promises have foundered on capitol hill, i think the white house really just wants a win. >> what's a win? getting press coverage today? get here on cnn, i assume on fox news, breitbart and the like, g getting to his core issues. >> given what they have demonstrated about how they can work the system up there, it's not been very successful so far. but to the extent that his core support es and a lot of republicans who are going to be running in 2018, they feel undermined, they feel threatened, they feel backed into a corner by a global economy, a lot of immigrants, people who don't look like them, people who have take on their jobs unfairly. i do think this issue is a potent one whether he gets the bill or not. >> he can say, i'm trying, it's the republican leadership in congress who's not getting this done for me. keep that list, it's going to get longer.
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♪ ...let's stay together... welcome back. more business news at the white house this morning. president trump signing a bill that imposes new sanctions on the russian federation along with iran and north korea. the president said he would let these bills become law without his signature because he doesn't like how the bill -- the president did sign it with objections. first a signing statement raising constitutional questions then a personal statement raising among other things, this, you want to listen to this. the bill remains seriously
flawed, particularly because it encroaches on the executive branchs of authority. congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. i built a truly great company worth billions of dollars. that is a big part of the reason i was elected. as president i can make far better deals with foreign countries than congress. if this were not donald trump, if this were george w. bush or president obama they would be raising just as significant issues as is this an encroachment on executive power, because it's president trump and you have the whole russian federation, and the veto proof majority. he has no choice but to sign it. signing statements, other presidents have done that. but a personal statement, why should you pass a bill on immigration if you can't pass a bill on health care?
>> this is the president taking aim at his own party on capitol hill. he wants to be seen as a winner in the media, that is the overriding goal here, and he can't do that if he can't sign bills. and that's the game here, and that's why he's frustrated. but he had no choice, he was going to be overridden on this legislation, on the sanctions if he hadn't tried it so he has no choice. >> he could have declined to sign it and just let it pass into law, which would have been a little bit less of a situation. he really could have picked a fight an said i'm more popular with the republican base than you are, i dare you to take a direct shot at me. because overriding a president of your own party is a bigger deal than just passing l legislation, he did have a choice and he capitulated and republicans in congress don't really want to say this out loud, but this bill was a slap in the face to president.
the signing statement says that president donald trump knew that and he's taking a shot back. >> he knew where this was going if he vetoed it. and the most telling part of that statement was the last line that said i can make better deals with russia than you can. the whole reason they passed this bill is because they don't want him to make a deal with russia and if they lift all of the sanctions, they wanted to a, substantive limit that ability and, b, send a very clear political message, we don't agree with that and if it's up to us. >> i never remember a president, when there's issue a, in the personal statement, saying you couldn't pass a health care after seven years of talking. what does that have to do with
russia? >> bush signed a lot of sanctions, but they were usually very technical, this paragraph does not conform with what the constitution said. but this is more personal. this is a week where the hill and trump kind of broke up in a way. we have seen five or six examples of the hill saying, no, mr. president, we're not -- and mccain saying we don't report to you, we're an equal branch of government. they have pushed back four or five times, and president trump has pushed back once. >> the deal they make on health care is also a rebuff that the president has advocated which is to worsen obamacare and make it fail. >> this is day three, of john kelly as chief of staff? i just don't get. i was going to talk about other issues, but i'm stuck on this one here, congress could not even negotiate a health care
bill after seven years of talking, what does that have to do with international sanctions with russia and korea and i ran. i built a company worth billions of dollars, that's part of the reason i was elected, as president, i can make better deals with foreign countries than congress. >> it does make sense, because this bill is tying his hands on deal making. >> is he saying i don't need a congress? >> what he's saying is deal making is the president's job. it's just a more trumpian way of exerting executive authority. >> why not veto it, i know you can override it but i'm going to veto it and you can override it. >> he's wrong, the president isn't in charge of foreign affairs, and congress is an equal branch of government. forget the staff, scaramucci, it
was fun, god love him. but now congress is going to make changes about how -- >> what is he doing? >> he's adding a log to the fight, whether it's health care, whether it's presidential power, the president's not just signing it, but he's signing it and poking back. >> at least kelly did get him to do it offcamera, or not on twitter. it was a statement. next up, correct questions about the white house, did the president's lawyer tell you a lie about what the president did about that russian meeting with donald trump jr. and also he got a call from the boy scouts, and the boy scouts cannot find any record of that call. (vo) when you wake up with
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about politics when i'm in front of the boy scouts, right? >> well, as most of you probably know, the president went on to talk about politics at great length and the head of the boy scouts apologized to scouts and their parents, the president says he got a different take. he said i got a call from the boy scouts saying that was the greatest speech ever made to them and they were very thankful. but the boy scouts say they have no record of the call. and the chief scouting executive's message to the scouting community speaks for itself. here's another example. >> the border was a big problem, and now close to 80% stoppage and even the president of mexico called me and said their southern boarder, very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate complement. >> enrique pena nieto has not
been in communication with if the trump. >> he just makes up stuff. but it's certainly a consistent pattern. >> and a major economic and cultural partner, mexico, and now the boy scouts of america, now saying that the president of the united states is telling fibs, really? >> talent for picking enemies, starting with prisoners of war and war heroes starting back several years ago. and this is just another issue that trump hasn't changed from the candidate that we saw on the campaign trail from the very beginning and the people that voted for him, had their eyes on him from the beginning, they didn't vote for him because they thought they were electing a truth teller, they saw someone who was flawed and this is one of his flaws. >> molly makes a good point on the voters having their eyes
wide open. as reported by "sports illustrated," he told some friends in jersey that the white house was, quote, a dump. if any other president said these things, and this is why i think the conservative route that the media is tough on trump is actually laughable. to call the white house a dump and make up stuff about the boy scouts and the president of mexico, that would have been the story for days on end, the scrutiny and the questions about this. but because of the volume of this, and because it's donald trump as you said, it doesn't quite get the kind of outrage and i think the question is, at some point, do his voters care? because in the last few years, they haven't. >> some would say that the president was making a point and i'll the point that matters. that's what they will say, or oh, give him a little creative license. and here's another question,
there's zero wiggle room if you listen to this. >> the president didn't sign off on anything, he's coming back from the g-20, the statement that was released on saturday was released by donald trump i'm sure in consultation with his lawyers, the president wasn't involved. >> that's jay sekulow, the president's lawyer. but what you just heard the president's lawyer tell you, not true, not even close. >> the statement that don jr. issued is true, there's no inaccuracy in the statement. the president weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had. >> the president said that he weighed in the way any father would on the statement, he wasn't part of the meeting, he wasn't part of the statement. there was no followup, there was no attempt to come collude. >> and donald trump's initial response, that he organized the
initial meeting with moscow. the statement said the prime your focus of the meeting was russian adoptions, donald trump has released emails saying that he took the meeting because he was promised dirt on hillary clinton. in the same answer in which the president's lawyer didn't tell the truth, the president's lawyer himself twisted the truth. i'm sorry, i hate to say it, but there are credibility questions about this white house. spicer is gone, sarah huckabee sanders is at the podium, does she have the same issue in the room, that people doubt or question her credibility? >> absolutely, and the problem with the boy scouts and the president of mexico, whether it's creative license or making a point or not. is these smaller little more might have be minor lies and mist truths point to a general disregard at the white house about telling the precise truth about things, whether it's a whopper or it's a slight shading of the truth, as
sarah huckabee sanders said about donald trump jr.'s initial statements, she expounded on that because there was a lot more that was offered before that discussion took place. i do this this has created an unmistakable credibility problem for the president and his aides who speak for him on a daily basis. >> what i believe is more telling the that the police chiefs came out and criticized, and the boy scouts say no, you didn't talk about this, it seems to me that trump is as lying as the news itself. but it seems like other institutions are coming out and saying, the president has no credibility, he's also lower in the polls so we have no problem criticizing him bluntly in public. >> he was talking about when police officers arrest someone, and you put your hand on their
head, say take your hand away, now he says he's joking. politicians should be allowed to joke, but is that an issue on which anybody, especially the president of the united states should be joking? if he take him at his word that it was a joke. even if a bad joke. >> it's not credibility at this point. >> repeat what you said. >> he's the president of the united states. >> yes. >> he's the president of the united states, i was raised in a family where you listened to the president of the united states. i'm waiting for my children to tell me, it's okay that i fib, daddy, the president does it all the time. it's sometimes these statements just roll through the room, people don't listen to the president of the united states, or don't trust what the president of the united states says. >> and people who do trust and listen to the president of the united states, his core supporters probably love that statement, is don't put the hand
behind the head when you arrest the bad guys. this is rhetoric that appeals to them and donald trump knows that, so i don't actually think that he thinks that's a liability. >> there is a chipping away, there's a gradual erosion, even with core supporters when these patterns keep happening, when the president's behavior doesn't improve, when he doesn't, quote, unquote act presidential. it does make it hard to get people to work for him. when you go out there and you act on information that he's given you, you never know whether or not you're telling the truth on his behalf when you're his press secretary, when you're his lawyer, so the new chief of staff, who's going to try to hire a communications director for a president who still thinks it's a communications problems and it's his staff's issue, there's a lot
of people who are wary of going in there. >> here's the playbook and julie knows this well because she's there in the building every day. if the president says it public and on camera, they have to say that he was just joking around if it's indefensible, if it's not on camera, he'll just deny it. >> that's modern day presidential. up next, that missile launch by north korea wasn't just a threat to the united states, it might pose a threat to a airliner in the neighborhood filled with passengers. elined. 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. it survived 4 food fights,ew but old, home: a one-coat wonder named "grams", and rolled with multiple personalities. number one rated marquee interior.
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north korean missile tests, but it was the pentagon says a democrat n demonstration that the united states is ready to face a threat. and pyongyang's latest missile flew within miles of the flight path of an air france passenger jet. barbara starr from the pentagon with more on that. >> if you didn't think you had enough to worry about with north korea, this is now very much an emerging concern. north korea has been firing its missiles lately into the sea of japan, so that's off the coast of japan and especially after the northern coast which is a very heavily trafficked area by both commercial airliners and maritime shipping and now what has emerged is this latest test on friday. it went into that sea of japan area off northern japan and there was an air france airliner that passed by that area just 7 to 9 minutes before the missile hit. now the good news is because of
the speed of the airliner, it was well beyond the area when the missilie ismpacted and we he talked to civilian military analysts say that it hit a benign area, but we have also heard that commercial airliners are responding to this by looking at the area is a high risk area. there are a couple of key corridors through there that commercial airliners know very well and they might have to consider staying away from them when they fly between seoul and japan. neither of those countries are considered war zones, right? but now the north koreans because they don't notify when they're operating their missiles in these areas, it's much more a risky proposition. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks so much.
how will the trump administration respond? some see mixed signals as a deliberate good cop, bad cop routine, others see it as a diskwekt between the white house and the state department. >> we'll handle north korea. we're going to be able to handle north korea. it will be handled. we handle everything, thank you very much. >> and here's the secretary of state just yesterday. >> we do not seek a regime change, we do not seek the collapse of the regime. we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the palestinians, peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel, bwe are not your enem, but you are presenting a threat to us. >> sometimes good cop bad cop
might be predictable. the secretary of state seems to be hey, let's sit down and talk we can fixture this out. >> i think the disconnect we're seeing is that it's very hard to be a diplomat in the donald trump administration, i mean this president is not afraid to talk tough and be very confrontational and sometimes over and beyond what the people that are working for him are me patie prepared to follow up on. last week he tweeted out no transgender people in the military. so when he says they'll handle it, you don't know if he's just talking tough or if there's a plan to handle it. and rex tillerson says the only way to handle north korea is with diplomacy. >> your question, is there a disconnect? there's absolutely a disconnect. it's an absolute fact that the white house and the state department are badly estranged
and this is not the ifirst time they seem to be speaking out of t both sides of their mouth. and a lot of foreign countries around the world, allies and enemies alike don't know where america stands right now. >> he's inherited a problem that goes back several administrations and because of his boss sometimes moving the bar in bar. >> he says he listened to secretary tillerson yesterday, he has some empathy for the position, because it's such a difficult issue, but -- >> but have you heard a clear message on this from -- >> no, secretary tillerson is trying to convince the chinese and the north crane koreans thae not trying to implement regime
change. >> that kind of talk would have raised the hackles of the hawkish portion of the party and john mccain and you would have seen scathing editorials from people like lindsay graham. they'll give tillerson a path. what you said, i mean, he's trying to delicately, as a word diplomatically, and the president says we're going to handle this and every ally says, what does that mean, we're going to handle it? >> we have heard this many times in this administration, but we have heard the headlines they're contemplating tough actions against china. and we have heard every week, they're about to crack down on chinese trade practices, but to the point you were making earlier about the president trying to conduct foreign policy by tweet. the chinese newspaper editorial
said trump is quite a personality and he likes to tweet. however emotional venting request not become the diguidan for solving the nuclear issues on the korean peninsula. emotional venting cannot become the guidance for solving the korean problem? >> this is an issue where i don't think it's necessarily a trump issue, it's not clear to me what president bush or president obama would have done, they would have had a more organized process. it's not clear what the u.s. policy response can ultimately be to stop him from doing these things. >> that's the most interesting part of trump saying we'll handle north korea. yes, it's vague, it's also aggressive because islt's in th future tense.
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allergytry new xyzal®.ou have symptoms like these for relief is as effective at hour 24 as hour one. so be wise all take new xyzal®. welcome back. set aside for a moment the giant disagreements between republicans and democrats on the future of obamacare. the most important gap at the moment is an internal republican affair, a stare down between senate gop leaders and the trump white house. >> let's not move on from health care just because you failed by one vote. the president isn't giving up on health care and neither should the senate. >> but the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says, sorry, mr. president, the senate won't try again. and as he made that crystal
here, he also fired back at the president's weekend tweet storm suggesting somehow a change in senate rules might help. >> it's pretty obvious that our problem with health care was not the democrats. we didn't have 50 republicans. there are not the votes in the senate as i have said repeatedly to the president and to all of you to change the rules of the senate. >> that was the long way of saying, no, sir, mr. president. senate health committee chairman lamar alexander says he's working with democrats to hold hearings on the biggest immediate health care challenges, quote, if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire. and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market. both republicans and democrats agree on this. so two questions for the table. number one, pretty remarkable, the senate majority leader saying go away to the white house. >> not for the first time. >> not for the first time, but
it seems to be getting a little more pointed there. and we were joking during the break about a ouija board. what can the ouija board tell us, can this congress actually doing something bipartisan in terms of small, moderate fixes in obamacare? >> i think on the part of democrats, they -- the political fallout of the president's suggested strategy of sabotaging obamacare, making it fail, undermining it so that people's health care gets worse and then the democrats all run ads saying see, republicans just want to make your health care worse, that, you know, what frutrump d is not necessarily the biggest political problem for republicans in 2018 when they're on the ballot and he isn't. because a lot of voters really do see them as separate entities richard hamilt a lot of voters really don't blame republicans in congress when they get mad at trump.
but what they will hold republicans accountable for is if something does or doesn't get done in health care. >> i think they need to keep it to what came up in those bipartisan discussions. there are some bipartisan ideas about ways to improve the affordable care act and perhaps attach them to the reauthorization of the children's health insurance program, which has to be done before they leave, i say has to be done, but we have seen congress push things off. see you could see a possibility for some sort of a bipartisan thing to take hold. the question is can they hold votes on something like that and resist the temptation to try to and attach these more partisan issues that accepted them on the broader bill and then you get back to where you started and you'll have the president tweeting unhelpful things that could crater the whole thing. >> is this divide, temperatures
are still wounded after the failure of health care or is there a big break between republicans and the white house. sarah huckabee sanders was asked about the president's legislative agenda if he was hurting it by -- i think what's hurting the legislative inability to get this passed. >> i think the problems have been exacerbated by the trump health care. and when the times turn tough rpgt they're not going to hang with each other like this at all. but in fairness to trump, i mean obviously he's more floored in what he does and how he says it. but it's not new to shift blame to congress when things don't go well. i think every president wants to blame congress when they lose a vote for an election. but it's frustrating for
mcconnell, i think, because it's not just his call, there aren't the votes there to change the rulings of the senate and the president knows that, but he just wants to kick at them, change the rules. >> tax reform coming up. well put, we'll see. thank you for joining us for inside politics today, see you back here tomorrow, wolf blitzer in the shachair after a quick break. i do outrank my husband, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates? it was an instant savings and i should've changed a long time ago. there's no point in looking elsewhere really. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life. usaa. get your insurance quote today. for over 100 yearsaking like kraft has,al cheese you learn a lot about people's tastes. honey, what do you want for dinner tonight?
hello, i'm wolf blitzer, it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 8:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching around the world, thank you for joining us. up first, president trump tackled some major issues, with a new plan to limit legal immigration into the united states. the president has just signed a bill to impose additional sanctions on russia, but it also restricts his ability to ease restrictions on moscow and he announced a trump to restrict immigration in the uni