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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  August 3, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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leaders. >> and conversations that call into question his most famous campaign promises and his z ability to delivery on them. the leak comes a day before attorney general jeff sessions is due to announce a crackdown on leaks. let's go to greg miller, the reporter who broke the story. long, 52-page tran self-incriminate you obtained in january. what are the key point that is stand out? >> the pain one to me is the contradiction of trump's public decision on mexico and making mexico pay for the wall and what he says to the president of mexico that there's no way for him to do that and trying to enlist the mexican president to stop saying mexico won't pay because it's a big political problem. there are broader things with the calls. these are really acrimonious
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conversations that affect the lives of thousands, if not millions of immigrants around the world. there's no discussion of their plight or discussion of their plight or on u.s. relations with the countries. the conversations are all about trump and how the issues reflect on him. >> again, hammer home the point, if you cover the trump campaign or watch it -- >> turn on the television. >> you watched a rally, he is going to say we're going to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for the wall. in the conversations that took place a week after the inauguration, he is essentially acknowledging, yeah, we know you are not going pay for it, but don't say it out loud. that puts me in an awkward position. what was the response of the mexican leader? >> the mexican leader resists that and tries to explain to president trump what a big issue
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this is. he tells them, you have put a big mark on our back about trying to make us pay for the wall. i can't go there. i can never say it is going to happen. my position is it is never going to happen. >> it was triking to me and i wonder if it struck you as well, at one point, president trump said to the president about the wall, it is, quote, the least important thing we are talking about, but politically -- isn't that him showing he doesn't think the wall is of great significance? >> i mean, it's sort of a glimpse at the stage directions in the script here. this is for public consumption. this is a fiction, an issue i exploited in the campaign, no way to achieve this or enforce the vow to make you pay for it. i have to maintain that fiction, keep that story. >> you know, again, just one other highlight here, highlight
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depending on how you look at it, with the president of mexico, he is talking about the drug problem. there's no question, we have a drug problem in the united states where kids are addicted to drugs because it's sold for less money that candy. new hampshire is a drug infested den. already public officials from new hampshire are offended by the description of that statement. >> absolutely. one of the senators from new hampshire is tweeting this morning about what a despicable statement that is about new hampshire. it's also remarkable for a president of the united states, right, one of those states is new hampshire, talking to a foreign leader and speaking so derisively about one of those states. but again, again, the purpose there is to reflect on trump. it's to, again, find a way to reference his political success even if it is at new hampshire's
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expense. >> greg miller, i know you guys must have been up all night working on it. we appreciate you being on and for your reporting. let's go to the white house to see if they are responding. any comment there? >> reporter: no comment from the white house. i imagine if there's a briefing, they will be asked. we have heard from a spokesman saying, look, we can't confirm or deny the authenticity of allegedly leaked classified documents. you can bet if the white house believes they are accurate documents, which there's no reason to believe they aren't, going to see them rail against leaks and against what they see are in the national security realm trying to undermine this presidency. it does offer a window, one, into what the president's priorities actually are, what he's saying in the conversations with world leaders and, two, his style of doing business. remember, we are talking about mexico and australia. they are two important u.s.
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allies. these should not be derisive conversations. president trump referred to vladimir putin as a pleasant call, saying that was a better conversation, the one he had with putin, who had an adversarial relationship with the u.s. it gis a window into where president trump's head was at early on taking office. >> all right, sarah at the white house, keep us posted if we get react to this in the next few minutes. joining us to talk about this, errol luis. where to begin? i suppose one way to look at this is during the course of the campaign when the president, then candidate donald trump said mexico was gang to pay for the wall, no they are not and everyone knows they are not going pay. the fact that it was discussed
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like this after the inauguration, what's the significance? >> it confirm what is is said throughout the campaign. you cannot compel the leader of another nation to do these kind of things. this is a reality check for donald trump. he began to realize and frankly, the first few months of the presidency are a lesson in the presidential power. the power of the presidency is the power to persuade. we found that out with congress and the courts and in this case, with the dually elected leader of another nation. you cannot compel people to do whatever you want. >> he threatened the mexican president with a 35% tariff on all goods insinuating he can do that. he needs congress to do that. alice, the president heads on the heels of this to west virginia, a lot of those folks he promised would have a wall built and the taxpayers wouldn't pay a cent.
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how does this impact that? or does it shake them or do they say, no, no, no, the mainstream media spin? >> when they go to the heart of his base and when the president is there in the midst of his people, they are going to still be just as jazzed as they were throughout the campaign. he will say we are going to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for it, even in the face of what they say today. he does his best among them. he's able to get directly his message directly to them. i'm sure he's going to do like what we have seen on twitter this morning. he is going to be critical of congress. he is going to talk about russia. he will certainly talk about fake news. these are the kinds of issues he will talk about with his base. my guess is that this news that we got out of the "washington post" is not going to faze or deter the energy that we have at that event one bit.
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>> i'm not sure what the base or anyone thinks about it is what matters as much as what was behind the promise he made on the campaign trail and now, revealed in this conversation on january 27th, there was no meat in that promise. he was perfectly willing to admit, according to the transcription, he didn't think mexico was going to pay for the wall. he didn't want mexico to say it out loud because it was personally embarrassing to him, paul? >> he knew that promise was alive. where i disagree is a whole lot of americans, apparently 63 million of them thought it wasn't a lie. he's a con artist. not really conservative. that's why a lot of republicans are breaking with him on the hill. he says what he needs to make the deal. now he's the president of the united states. this is a crisis of credibility for him because, i believe he knew when he made that promise he could not make mexico pay. i believe he is a liar.
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i hate to say that about my president, but it's true, it's abundantly true. it's black and white in the transcriptions. rather than obsessing about the base, he's at 33%. remember, he said i could shoot a guy and not lose votes. it's true. dick cheney shot a guy and did not lose votes. there are a quarter of americans who will follow mr. trump wherever he takes them. he is taking them in dark places. 60% of us disagree and he's got to reach out to them. >> you bring out the polling, among republicans, 84% of support from republicans now it's 76. when you are below 80 in your own party, it's an area of concern. how will something like this, in a week that's been full of credibility gaps, to say the least, affect the numbers and the presidency. >> they are fairly robust numbers. it's probably premature to
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assume the overall approval ratings are going to spell the doom to get anything done. reality is he's got solid support where it counts in key swing districts and states in his party. he can go along and stumble along and survive a lot of this kind of very damaging, embarrassing news. here again, the wall, i think it was discussed in the campaign, it's a met tor. do something about it. >> do you think that's how supporters saw it? >> absolutely. look where most of us supporters were. do you think somebody in new hampshire cares whether or not the wall gets built on the southern border? >> first of all, we note the irony here. this is one phone call that did actually happen unwlik the phone calls the president said did not happen. one of the things he said in the phone call was about new hampshire since errol brought it up. he's talking about the drug problem.
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he said we have a massive drug problem, the kids are getting addicted to drugs because they are sold for less money than candy. new hampshire is drug infested. the senator from new hampshire, extraordinarily upset about this. let me read you some of what she is writing right now. donald trump's comments about new hampshire are disgusting. he knows new hampshire and states across america have a substance misuse crisis. to date, policies to set back the efforts to combat the epidemic. instead of insulting people in the throws of addiction, work across party lines to stem the tide of this crisis. you know, look, i can understand why anyone, public official in new hampshire is upset about seeing these comments out in the public. the fact of the matter is the president of the united states never thought they would be made public. he thought it was a private
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conversation. these leaks continue from inside the white house. the question is, why? >> there's any number of reasons. first, let me address a comment he made. once again, it's not so much what he said, it's how he said it. there's no disputing the fact there is a drug abuse problem in new hampshire and many states. that's why we are having the conversation about opioid addiction and funding addiction programs to help curb the problem in many states, including new hampshire. as for the leaks and why we are having them, there's a number of reasons. it could be because someone feels they are being undermined. he's made critical statements about the intelligence community, that could be it. someone could feel as though they are influenced in the white house. it is being diminished and they want to get information out there. there's any number of reasons why people leak informers to the press. if anyone is going to stop the
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leaks and plug the holes, it will be general kelly, the chief of staff. that's a top order of business. we are going to hear more from jeff sessions tomorrow on this. i think it's critical for many reasons, not just classified information. a lot of leaks are entry. it's a distraction. we should be talking about how we are going to take another go at repealing and replacing obamacare and certainly tax reform and we are stuck talking about palace intrigue stories. i'm encouraged general kelly brought about discipline, order and a call for unity in the white house and will demand more accountability. it's going to go a long way to plugging the leaks. >> thank you very, very much. we continue to pour through -- i have one more question for paul, i'm sorry. i have to ask you this, if bill clinton had conversations with world leaders and the transcriptions published like this, would there be
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embarrassing things? >> no. he would never say new hampshire was a drug enfisted den. he didn't call the white house a -- they are the most on the record thing. they are for history and go throughout the national security apparatus so people know what's going on between the united states and mexico. thousands of people in our government, presumably the mexican government have the conversations with the heads of other countries. the president knows there's a note taker beside him. there are people in front of him, in the oval with him taking notes. president's have to be extremely careful talking to heads of states. it is on the record. >> thank you very, very much. the president says u.s.-russia relations are in dangerous and
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problems between the ice and russia, not the fault of russia. he writes, our relationship with russia is at an all time and dangerous low. you can theyen congress, the people that can't even give us health care. >> joining us is francis rooney. it is nice to have you with us. let's begin with reaction to the president's statement blasting you and your colleagues in congress for everything bad, it seems, about russia, this all time and dangerous low. checking history, is it you guys who annexed crimea or invaded ukraine? >> you know, i think as i wrote that op-ed we talked one other time, there have been a lot of actions the government have taken and shown weakness to the russians and they have exploited it. >> why is he doing this? >> i can't speak for the president. we have to take actions to get into parody with russia.
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what we do in ukraine is a big part of it. >> what is a statement like this. you voted for the sanctions and pushed them hard. this is near and dear to your heart. when the president of the united states makes a statement like this, that the problems having to do with russia doesn't point out intervention in syria, doesn't point out ukraine or russian meddling, it's because of you. what message does that send to vladimir putin? >> well, i don't know how vladimir putin would react to that. i think he's such a steely eyed kgb operator, he would take it as an opportune toy exploit the united states. >> in the piece you wrote earlier this spring, you talk about the actions and the words from the administration, even though you are supportive embolden putin. does a message like this further that and embolden putin more?
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>> well, i don't know. i guess it could. i think that we need to do the thing that is are being talked about in the ukraine, sell those mobile missiles. i think we need to continue to deploy sanctions on russia and iran. they were added by the house. i think it would be nice to highlight the things the house has done rather than talk about what the senate has not done, for example. >> one point of the sanctions. you must be pleased they passed both houses of the congress and signed by the president of the united states. what difference do you think they will make going forward? >> well, you know, there's a dispute about how affective sanctions are anyway. but to the extent that they can be effective, i think we need to put them in place. it's going to be more effective when we couple the sanctions with acts like in the ukraine and like, hopefully drawing china and russia into the north korea problem. >> i'm sure you have read "the
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washington post" reporting by this point that came out about an hour ago. full transcript of the president's conversation with two world leaders including the president of mexico where he concedes the wall is not the most important issue, but the most important politically and concedes that he knows mexico is not going to pay for it. they will figure that out, it will come out ott wash, but he cannot have the president of mexico saying that publicly. what do you make of that? >> it's another bit of campaign rhetoric. it's highly unusual. i don't think anyone during the campaign thought mexico would pay for the wall, even though we desperately believe in the wall as a metaphore for border security. >> do you feel like it was a campaign promise? he said that at every rally. we are going build a wall and
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the crowd says mexico will pay for it. >> they are full of promises, commitments, expressions, and once the campaign is over, it's time to move on to governing. >> time to not implement what you would? chalk it up to something you said, but no one believed it. >> there's been a lot of those. there are things people say during campaigns that are not believed later. >> hold on. hold on, congressman. he said it after the campaign. he said it in the white house. he may say it tonight at his rally in west virginia. he made clear to the president of mexico in this phone call while he was sitting, you know, president in the white house, that no, i don't think you are going to pay for it. please don't say that publicly because, quote, the press is going to go with that and i cannot live with that. are you comfortable with that from this president? >> i think it would have been better had he not distracted the
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discussion of border security by bringing up who is going to pay for the wall and what kind of wall it would be. we have a lot of ways to strengthen our border and physical barriers are one, technology is another. i think we need to do that. >> what we are really trying to get from you, as someone who is a republican member of congress, very supportive of the president, do you think he was -- knowing what you know from the transcript, which the white house is not disputing, do you think he was straight and honest with the american people? >> i don't think anyone really thought that the mexicans were going to pay for a wall. i mean, regardless of a boisterous campaign or post campaign comment. these politicians, professional politicians make comments all the time. president trump was not a professional politician, so he made more comment that is might be disputed. the bottom line is no one could believe mexicans were going to
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pay for a wall and no one would believe we don't need to secure our borders. they are two asymmetrical comments there. >> how should this color how we view other promises, then, that come? given that he made this promise and may not have meant it, how should we perceive other promises that come from the president? >> well, how about the promises for the last eight years to repeal and replace obamacare? there's a lot of promises politicians have broken. no wonder the american people want to see things done, concrete things done to fix the country, fix the work force and get the economy growing again. >> congressman francis rooney of florida, a busy, busy day. thank you for being with us, appreciate it. >> thanks for having me on. we are minutes away from a meeting with the president and his national security advise zer. will they hash out a plan? we'll have the latest on that.
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the breaking news in the "washington post," transcripts and phone calls with the president of the united states and leaders of mexico and
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australia and leaders of russia as well, revealing contentious conversations and arguments about who would pay for the wall in mexico. joining us is aaron david miller, global affairs analyst and vice president at the woodrow wilson center. it's interesting, david. the transcription that is are released reveal the president of the united states trying to influence or push the president of mexico into not saying they would not pay for the wall in a negotiation. you wrote this week that the president, who likes to say what he does best is make deals and a master negotiator has not proven to be real. there's little evidence of donald trump, master negotiator, quite the opposite, in fact. what do you mean? >> well, i mean, nobody expected the president to solve any of these problems. th that's not the knock on the president. the knock is on issues like
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saudi arabia gutter, negotiating with putin, trying to deal with north korea, the policy is nonexistent. the so-called master art of the deal has proven, i think, that the united states and america not first, but last. take mr. putin, for example. he looks at the world as one big intelligence operation and for reasons, this is not a partisan concept. i voted for them. for reasons i cannot saying the president has a protected political space to mr. putin. last year at the g-20 vladimir putin was a riot. this year, at the g-20, the president singled him out for a private, quote, public meeting in the presence of others. that's just one example. that's part of the problem here. the mexico business doesn't surprise me at all.
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it demonstrates the limits of presidential power. what i think is extraordinary is in a recorded conversation which others were listening to, the president chose to undermine one of his most important and resonant campaign promises. he knows mexico wasn't going to pay for the wall and he wanted the mexican president, essentially to say so, which put the mexican president in an impossible situation. >> on russia, these calls were, by the way, seven days into his presidency, after inauguration. on russia, the response this morning to the president grudgingly signing the russia sanctions bill, saying i can do better bills with russia than congress can, he is dealing with, you know, the pushback and the jabbing of him by putin's regime saying the u.s. establishment, meaning congress,
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fully outwhited the president. how effective do you think that will be to president trump because he, again, on twitter is knocking congress for everything wrong between the united states and russia. >> the russians clearly are or m -- threatening a trade war. i'm not sure that is possible. mr. putin has been restrained in reaction to the sanctions. i suspect still, for reasons that i don't think anybody can actually articulate, the two of them appear to be willing to accord one another the benefit of the doubt, hoping that somehow, for some reason, there will be some sort of reproachment. i don't see it. u.s./russian relations are fraught and mr. putin, to some extent, uses the united states to validate his own domestic
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agenda in the russian agenda. i don't understand it. to say the least, the transcriptions are going to be problematic, not so much to the base, but those undecided, the "d" who crossed the line, the drip, drip, drip is going to make its felt in 2018, if not beyond. >> one thing on afghanistan, the president is close to making a decision about troop levels there. apparently there's pressure on the military to increase troop levels and political pressure from steve bannon and the likes to do the opposite. what will this decision tell you? >> i suspect the president probably will give way to some sort of surge in afghanistan. these are the two longest wars in american history. they are ongoing. we can't win in afghanistan. the military, understandably, doesn't want to lose. i suspect the president, even though he's risk adverse and doubts theeth ka si of more
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troops will probably exceed to what general mattis and dunford suggest. >> thanks so much. >> thanks, aaron. a bipartisan push to stop the president from the ability to outright fire the special council. of course he has to go through the attorney general to do so. an interesting bill put forth by a democrat and a republican in the senate to take this to the courts, if necessary. stay with us. 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. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance.
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happening today, a young massachusetts woman convicted of inas a rule untear manslaughter for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide. she faces up to 20 years and is
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expected to take the stand at her sentencing. mike galanos has been following the trial and joins us from outside the courthouse. we are going to hear from her before she is sentenced by the judge. any expectations today? >> john and poppy, we gather most experts say it will be one to three years, not the max of 20. let's talk about how we could get there. you mentioned it, she could speak on her own behalf, we shall see. it will start at 2:00 p.m. eastern. we will hear both sides, the prosecution, the commonwealth is going to state the case it should be 20 years. we believe his aunt will read a letter say 20 years will be a lot. the other side is going to plead for leniency. he may hear from her father pleading leniency. his daughter was struggling and the right thing to do here is
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probation only. a couple things to think about, yes, we hear about the texts, it's what she is going on the phone, when he is committing suicide, she is on the phone with him. he gets out of the truck, she orders him back in and sent a text a couple months later to a friend, convicting herself. here is the way it went. the girl is samantha, sam, his death is my fault. i could have stopped him. i was on the phone with him. he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared. i told him to get back in. so, that -- being on the phone with him and doing nothing. that's what the judge said, you are convicted of involuntary manslaughter. you could be 35 miles away, yet be responsible for somebody's suicide. it was a virtual presence that she was there and between the words and text, she set the table and did nothing as he took his own life.
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>> mike galanos, what a day, we'll be following it. shielding robert mueller. a bipartisan bill to protect the special council from being fired by the president. at least some. we are going to speak to some of the lawmakers, a republican behind the bill. that's next.
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a push to protect special council robert mueller from being fired by the white house. a group of senators, republicans and democrats plan to introduce a measure that would prohibit the president from firing any special council. it would establish that only would have the power to remove a special counsel. >> this is fascinating. this comes after a lot of speculation that if the president were to oust attorney general jeff sessions, he would put in an ag that might want to fire or carry out the president's wish, perhaps, to fire bob mueller. let's bring in the republican senator who co-sponsored him. it's nice to have you here.
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>> good morning. >> good morning. why do you think this is necessary? >> i think, i know in the lead in, we were talking about it being about the general counsel or special counsel mueller, but this is a bigger area we need to focus on. that is a power that has wayned. there are probably two bill that is will work on and come together. the proposal i have made with senator coons is the regulation shah already exists in the department of justice. the president would maintain the power to remove the special power. it would have merit and the back end process. >> you make it retro active to the hiring of robert mueller. it seems as if you are concerned the possibility exists that somehow the president might try to get rid of him.
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>> i think that one of the things we are trying to do for the department of justice is repair its reputation which has suffered setbacks in the last administration. things we can do to restore the people's confidence in the department of justice, the fbi, the independence of this agency, i think is important. >> there is, to john's question, there is a reason that you guys are making this legislation retro active to may 17th, that is the day bob mueller was appointed special counsel. do you, sir, have concern that the president would like to get rid of him and is this a way to protect against that? >> i can't get inside the president's head. >> i'm asking you, do you have that concern? >> no, i don't. i think we had a difference in it. this may be an area where i would not think it makes sense while we are trying to restore
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the reputation of the department of justice to have something. it would be difficult for the american people to understand. if there is a termination, we want to make sure through judicial review it was warranted. >> the president would have to sign this bill, if you get it through congress. i'm not sure he will. what message would it send to you if there's a presidential veto on this? >> it means we have work to do to override a ve toe. what we are looking for is good-bye partisan support. having republicans lead, you know, this is when we have republicans controlling the congress, willing to do our job as stewards of the u.s. senate. that is to claw back and assert our authority so we have the confidence of the american people. >> do you believe you have broad republican support for this? what have you heard from your colleagues? >> i think in our conversations, both the bill senator graham is considering and the bill we put forth, we will have good
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support. i think it will be bipartisan. we are trying to get discussion going by filing today. this could be the last day of the session before recess. i want to have those discussions over the course of recess so we have a good, strong showing, a good, bipartisan strong showing. >> "the washington post" publishing transcriptions from conversations with the leader of mexico and who would pay for the wall. even if mexico won't pay for it, stop saying you won't. do you think it was reasonable to think mexico would pay for the wall, senator? >> i think mexico should do their part to help us. it's a very dangerous place for mexican citizens to live. the cartels run the plazas down there. there's human smuggling and drug trafficking. there's reasons i hope they will work with us and me and senator cornyn who are filing a bill on border security. to that extent, we should expect they step up.
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it's in our best interest. >> does this transcript that "the washington post" published show in your mind that the president was, at the least, not fully honest with the american people or lied to the american people about the belief mexico would pay for the wall? >> i'll defer that president to the president. i don't know the full context of the discussion. i haven't read the transcriptions, i will. at the end of the day, it's never made sense to assume we were going to build a large wall. we have a smart approach to it. it's an approach the new chief of staff agrees with. i know border security experts and people in the rank and file do. we want to make this better, not lose the opportunity to secure the border and make the homeland safer. >> thanks for being with us. >> thank you. what do you give an nfl quarterback with fife super bowl rings when he turns 40, john
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berman? >> i haven't decided yet. maybe take him out for dinner. hi, i'm joan lunden with a place for mom
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get zero percent for seventy-two months plus an additional thousand on top of your trade-in. offer ends soon. the baltimore ravens saying they are resisting signing colin kaepernick. we have more in the bleacher report, including a very important birthday to john berman. >> we'll save the best for last. an espn report came out saying ravens managerment support signing kaepernick. blocking the news, we are going through a process and we have not made a decision. they have not told us we cannot sign colin copper nick nor has he blocked the move. whoever is making the claims is wrong. the ravens are interested in signing kaepernick as a back up
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whose on-field play has diminished. they have gauged public opinion about signing the man who protested against social injustice and police brutality during national anthems. will the ravens or any team for that matter take a chance on kaepernick, determining the ability to help the team wins outweighs the potential to be a distraction. i would be remiss if i did not give the opportunity to the massachusetts native to tell this story, a very special birthday for someone mr. berman. >> very special indeed. there he is, turning 40. tom brady turning 40. he doesn't look 40, he looks 25. >> he looks like he's 25. what do you get a guy that seems to have everything. five super bowl titles, a supermodel wife. how about baby goats? that's what the patriots did
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bringing a petting zoo to the kids. i would let you sing happy birthday, but i don't know if you want to do that to the viewers. >> we'll have a private dinner tonight. >> john will not be on the show tonight because he will have a big night with giselle and tom brady. on this hour with kate bolduan starts now. hello, i'm monica in for kate bolduan. happening right now, president trump holding a closed door meeting with national security adviser, hr mcmaster as the white house faces questions about the stranlg gi in afghanistan and increasing tensions with north korea, russia and congress. after president trump signed a sanctions bill to punish mouse cow for the 2016 meddling in the

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