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tv   Wolf  CNN  August 3, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's noon in motion coe city. 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 3:00 a.m. friday in sydney, australia. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with a stunning new look at two phone calls president trump had with key allies during his first days in office. the calls with the president of mexico and australia's prime minister happened in january. several details were reported at the time, but today we have complete transcripts of the contentious phone calls. in the transcripts obtained by the "washington post," president trump boasts about his election
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win and tells his counter parts to stop publicly saying he won't pay for a border wall saying -- "you cannot say that to the press. the press is going to go with that and i cannot live with that." in another call with the prime minister of australia, president trump blasts a deal the obama administration made to accept refugees held by the australians. calls her predecessor incompetent, referring of president obama and abruptly ends the call saying, "this is crazy." the leak comes as the white house tries for a major reset with new chief of set general john kelly clearing house and trying to establishment order. to our senior white house correspondent jim acosta from the white house. jim, start with that phone call between president trump and the president of mexico. what else can you tell us? >> reporter: pretty revealing, wolf, after all, during the campaign, i was out there. so many other campaign reporters out there, covering donald trump during that campaign, and he
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talked about just about every rally how he was going to build a wall on the border with mexico, and mexico was going to pay for it. you see revealed in the transcripts of these phone calls obtained by the "washington post" is that perhaps the president is not so wedded to the proposal of having mexico pay for the wall. put this first, first chunk of the phone call on-screen, part of the transcript. "when the press brings up the wall i say, let us see how it is going with mexico. economic issue, the least important thing we're talking about but psychological means something. so let us just say we will work it out." in a is the president talking there with enrique pena nieto. that they'll find another funding mechanism, and wolf, the other interesting item that came out of this phone call was the president talking about winning
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new hampshire. he did not win new hampshire in the general election. he did win the new hampshire primary. up on screen, because it is -- a statement that is grabbing people's attention up in new hampshire. it says we have the drug lords in mexico knocking the hell out of were your country sending drugs to chicago, los angeles and new york. up in's new hampshire, i won new hampshire because new hampshire is a drug-infested den. we understand the governor of new hampshire weighed in with a statement criticizing the president for making that remark. obviously the president focused heavily on is issue of opioid abuse, and, but he obviously did not put it in very diplomatic terns in talking about that problem with the mexican president, wolf. >> what can you tell us about the president's call, the transcript now if released by the "washington post" with the australian prime minister? because that was pretty bombastic as well. >> reporter: right, wolf. remember, we talked about this at the beginning of this year when the president came into office. he had that testy phone call
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with prime minister turnbull of australia, and some portions of that leaked out and made news at the time, but now that we have the transcripts you do see how testy it was. we can put the first chunk up on-screen and it's interesting to see the president talk about the difference between, talking with some leaders and vladimir putin says, look i spoke to putin, merkel, abe and this my mown unpleasant call, talking with the prime minister of australia. i'll be hon effort with you. i hate taking these people. i guarantee you they are bad, why they are in prison right now. the president talking about taking in refugees from australia, that was -- a deal, you mentioned, crafted by the obama administration. obviously the president not want to have to deal with that. and here's another portion of his conversation with the australian prime minister. he says, look, i do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. they said i had no way to 270 and i got 306.
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that is why they lost the election because of stupid deals like this. you have brokered many a stupid deal in the business. i respect you but guarantee you broke many a stupid deal. this is a stupid deal. this deal will make me look terrible. ed president, wolf, you know, showing sensitivity perhaps welcoming refugees into the country from australia he might look soft on the issue of immigration and refugees, which obviously was an issue he hit time and again out on the campaign trail and feels that was part of the reason he was repelled into the white house. wolf? >> in april we know the vice president mike pence publicly announced the trump administration and u.s. would accept the deal worked out by the obama administration. a deal the president, according to those it transcripts really, really hated. jim acosta at the white house. thanks. we mentioned president trump described his call with the russian president vladimir putin pleasant during the conversation with the australian prime
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minister. relations are anything but pleasant now. president trump reluctantly signed a bill this week imposing new sanctions on moscow and russian officials are blasting him over the move. go to our senior international correspondent matthew chance joining us live from moscow. russia's prime minister says, deppen straighted complete impotence by signing the sanctions bill. this of president trump. what more do you hear from officials in moscow? >> reporter: they've called this -- this bill dangerous and short-sighted. those were the words from the russian prime minister, medvedev, so scathing, completely -- impotence, a humiliating thing and said that the american establishment had completely outplayed trump and put him in his place. these are all phrases that must have been picked intentionally to try and anger the u.s. president. and i think it shows from the
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kremlin point of view not just that they're disappointed with the fact that trump signed this bill, and that congress passed it but almost seemed to have moved on from the idea that donald trump is the president of the united states, he's the man who could potentially turn around the very difficult relationship between washington and moscow. that's what trump promised. that's what the russians hoped for, but i think the russians are basically saying, look, we do not believe that can happen going forward. so i think that's a significant moment in this very difficult, very strange relationship between these two countries. >> yes it is indeed. matthew chance in moscow. thanks very much. and the president blames lawmakers for the affairs. in a tweet this morning he said, quoting the president now, "our relationship with russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. you can thank congress, the same feel that can't even give us health care." rob portman of ohio a member of the senate foreign relations
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committee joining us from capitol hill. senator, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me on. >> what's your reaction to president trump blaming the republican-led house, the republican-led senate, your colleagues in congress, for this troubled relationship right now with russia? >> well we have a difference of opinion. many of us including me believe that russia is continuing to destabilize democracies around the world, that they did meddle in our election. that's pretty well the conventional wisdom now. so they need to be held accountable for that and they have a good relationship with russia it is something important to us. we have thingses in common. including fighting islamic extremism and we should be working better together on that. but we can only do so if it's an honest relationship and one consistent with the values that we hold dear including, not getting involved in other country's elections. not actually, in the case of crimea, taking another country's land, and that's what the sanctions are about. i think if the russian don't
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feel conventions to this activity, they'll continue to do it. we want a good relationship but has to be based on honesty and fouling the rules of the road. >> like ups everyone in washington, democrats and republicans, you blame the russians for this very bad relationship right now. everyone except the president. he blames the republican-led congress and he doesn't say anything at all about the russians what they're doing? there is a thunderous silence as some called it, from the president as far as putin and the russians are concerned. you met with president trump yesterday at the white house. why is that? >> we didn't talk about russia. we talked about opioids, where he's taking a strong stand and i appreciate what he's done with regard to fighting back against what you talked about earlier which is unfortunately an epidemic around our country. with regard to russia, again, we want to have a good relationship with them, should be working together on a lot of things together include the middle east, including fighting back against terrorism and violent extremism. but it's got to be based on the kind of terms that america
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always insist and. by the way, i don't think our relationship with russia is as bad at the height of the cord war. we have communication with them, are working with them. we established the ability to actually have some decent dialogue on some issues including, again, pushing back against terrorism. but it has to be done on the basis that is honest and where we are holding them to account for things they're doing that are affecting us and other democracies. look what they've done, wolf, in europe. whether it's germany or france, or the uk. certainly what they're doing in the eastern border of ukraine, talked about, again building up forces causing more instability in that country, a country that's turned to us and the west. we need to hold them accountable for that. that's what these sanctions are about. i think they're appropriate. >> what's curious, senator, we hear what you're saying, so many others are saying. democrats and republicans. we hear it from the vice president, the secretary of
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state, the national security -- we don't hear it from the president. let me repeat the question, why? >> well, i think he wants to have a better relationship with, you know, major super powers and that's understandable and i understand his frustration that hasn't been able to be accomplished. face it'sthe bush administration tried and was not terribly successful. the obama administration tried. pushed the so-called reset button. they were not terribly successful. so he hoped he would be able to break through and be able to have the kind of relationship with russia that would be constructive for both countries. that's very difficult to do when russia continues to act in the way they have and destabilizing and aggressive way. not just again here in our elections but around the world. one of the issues that we are confronted with today is the fact that the state department has the ability to use can about $60 million in funds to be able to push back against some of the disinformation that russia puts out. and apparently the state
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department is hesitant to the do that. a bipartisan consensus you'd think the president and his people would be eager to up our game. particularly online, to be able to ensure that america is taking the lead around the world in pushing back against false information, disinformation, that is, again, destabilizing particularly in some of these fledgling democracies. we have a difference of opinion i guess how to approach it. i think the same objective. and i understand the president's frustration. we'd all like to have a better relationship with russia, but it requires them to change their behavior and that's what these sanctions are about. >> you co-sponsored the legislation for what, 60, maybe $80 million to the state department to fight russian propaganda, isis propaganda. they're not spending it. for propaganda, a top priority, problematic this is delayed because the state department
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isn't tapping into these resources. i assume you've raised this issue with state department officials, maybe with the secretary of state or maybe with the president. why are they not using this money to fight russia and isis propaganda? >> i've raised it at a hearing a couple weeks ago on this. talked to the deputy secretary of state specifically about this issue and he indicated that his is one of the secretary's priorities. they wanted to provide the funding. i think part of the issue, frankly, wolf, is they've had a tough time getting up and going at the state department. partly because they don't have nominees confirmed in political positions including with regard to this one area. of pushing back on disinformation. my hope is it's a matter of time until they get people in place and can focus on this issue. we traditionally in the united states have assumed that other countries are sort of playing fair on this, and -- at the same time russia has been spending more and more money and more and more resources particularly online with effective disinformation campaigns. not just here in this country
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but around the world. in fact, even more so with regard to eastern european countries, baltic countries, as an example. we do need to push back and be helpful to other countries as they try to push back. >> before i let you go, i know you're helping lead the bipartisan effort right now behind a bill to combat sex trafficking. a crackdown on websites that promote it. tell us about this legislation. >> it's simple. we're trying to keep girls and women from being exploited online. sex trafficking has exploded in this country. we are told. all the data indicates that. i think the reason is pretty clear. which is -- it's moved as victims of sex trafficking told me from the street corner to the sfamartpho. we need to go after websites brazenly selling girls and women online. they've had immunity based on court cases brought against them. the prosecutions against them. they have had immunity hiding behind in federal law. our legislation is simple. it removes that immunity in a targeted, direct way that says if you knowingly facilitate sex
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trafficking you cannot hide behind immunity and takes the federal law to exist against sex trafficking putting it clearly in place with regards to these websites. the one most offensive, promoting most of this is called we spent two years investigating this organization. found out they were knowingly, again, selling girls and women online illegally, and we just need to have a way to be able to allow victims to be able to get the just it they deserve and allow the states to make this change including the department of justice to go after despicable websites engaged in this sex trafficking. >> senator portman, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. the trump administration is very supportive of that effort and i appreciate that as well. >> good luck. an important issue you're dealing with and thanks for doing that and joining once
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again. >> thanks, wolf. and leaks to transcripts come days into john kelly the role at chief of staff. details on the general's plan to try to bring order to the west wing. plus, the president may be inches closer and closer to a decision on a new military strategy in afghanistan. i'll speak with the secretary-general of nato. that's coming up later this hour. where's gary? 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico. goin' up the country. later, gary' i have a motorcycle! wonderful. ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
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for fast 5-in-1 multi-symptom relief. breakthrough allergies with allegra®. lyriced transcripts of president trump's phone calls with key allies are threatening to derail a major reset week for the white house. the calls are contentious. during one president trump tells the president of mexico to stop publicly saying he won't pay for the wall. the president's call with the australian prime minister more tense wit president saying "it's the most unpleasant call he's had with a foreign leader yet." that includes his conversations with putin and with angela merkel and later says, i'm quoting know "this is ridiculous. this is crazy." he says that to the australian prime minister turnbull, before quickly ending the call. even though turnbull wanted to discuss syria and north korea. with us to discuss, political dave chalian and jackie kucinich
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and john kirby as well. david, you've read through the transcripts. i've read them. your immediate reaction? >> the first thing that jumped out to me about the mexico phone call was that the president was not -- remember, he was president for eight days at the time i believe -- but the president was not arguing for mexico's payment of the wall in principle, clearly didn't want were him to talk about it in the press. so much more transparent than with the american people in his call with the mexican leader this was a political problem with him, is the veneer, the sheen put out about mexico playing for the wall, that is a big campaign rally line will be turned into a lie if mexico keeps refusing to do this. he wasn't arguing for the payment on principle. and, of course, it also made me wonder instantly, tonight he has a campaign rally in west virginia. what is he going to do with that line tonight? and is the crowd going to be around, a chant about mexico
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paying for the wall? >> every time the president said, at least don't talk about it. look, the mexica president kme . i.i i -- nieto. the president also tweeted "thank you to prime minister of australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that fake news media lied about. very nice." if you read the transcript, fake news media was right. it was very contentious on this issue of president trump accepting the arrangement that president obama worked out with the australians to accept some 2,000 refugees. >> well, right.
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and the fact that -- this keeps happening to this president. he says one thing and the it turns out he wasn't telling the truth. and -- the -- the press is actually right, which is why when maybe something comes out that might not be really accurate, it's hard to believe what they're saying. it completely undermines what the administration is trying to do not only with the press and the administration doesn't really care about us, but when it comes to congress. we saw this over donald trump jr. and the russia meeting, for example. they said it happened one way and turns out it happened a completely different way and the conversation was about something entirely different. about adoption, not hillary clinton. and that recently undermined congress' trust in him and in the latest quinnipiac poll, the president is seen as not trustworthy. >> and the president repeated
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again, i think it's a horrible deal, a disgusting deal i would have never made. an embarrassment to the united states of america and you can say it just the way i said it, and then prime minister turnbull says, well, do you want to talk about syria and north korea? and then the president clearly, an inaudible chunk basically saying, this is crazy, and ends the conversation. >> yeah. so i mean on issues that are arguably from a geopolitical persecutive much more important than this refugee problem, cuts it off and doesn't want to talk to the prime minister of a country which is a key ally of ours in the asia-pacific region and key contributor to nato operations around the world. we don't want to talk about that. no matter what your politics are, going on a limb, foreign leaders learned to be careful with him on the phone, but the leak of these transcripts will have a chilling effect on our diplomacy and the ability of foreign leaders when on the phone with president trump to feel they can actually be candid. >> a transcript is classified?
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routinely classified? >> no highly classified, done on an unsecured line but considered confidential. you together work out your readout. summarize the big pieces but let them be confidential. the president needs to be able to have honest, candid conversations with them. politics aside, pretty honest no these calls and needs to have that ability. this is abominable somebody would leak these. >> talk about another phone conversation, very different phone conversation the "new yorker" magazine just released audio from ryan lizza's interview with anthony scaramucci, the now former white house communications director, which was very, very vulgar. let me play a little clip, david, from what the "new yorker" just released. >> got it. >> and reince is [ bleep ] paranoid schizophrenic -- what he's going to do, oh, let me leak [ bleep ] and see if [ bleep ] block these people the
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way i [ bleep ] blocked scaramucci for six months. okay, but he leaked stuff on me. you know my financial disclosure is leaked to politico which is a -- >> you hear his voice. we read the transcript earlier. ryan had released that, but it's still very dramatic to actually hear it. >> it is. although my imagination actually when i read the words initially, i thought scaramucci was going to be much more enraged on the phone than necessarily he was there, but to hear him, just use the language and vulgarity, fine. but, again, talking to ryan lizza, and you hear how he's trying to go back and go back to get ryan to reveal sources. this is the new white house communications director. as if he's never worked with a reporter before. why? why would you go back and -- what reporter is going to say, oh, yeah. here's my source? it wouldn't happen. yet you hear the repeated attempt. >> ryan said an on the record conversation and recorded it. why they have the audiotape.
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>> right. and in d.c. there is one part of con sense, completely legal to record anyone you're on the phone with and showed a misunderstanding of his personal financial disclosures. those were from the xm bank. the reporter requested them fair and square like anyone could and received them. the fact he said -- not leaked at all. not even a little bit. legally released to a reporter. >> not a felony. >> nope. not even a little bit. >> guys, thanks very, very much. jackie, david and john. coming up, the growing rift over how to handle the war in afghanistan. speaking with nato's secretary-general as the president's national security team, scrabble imbling to reveaw military strategy for afghanistan.
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president trump may be moving closer and closer to a final decision on afghanistan. the president met with his national security adviser general h.r. mcmaster just a little while ago with the two expected to talk about the promised new policy. right now still more than 8,000 u.s. troops on the ground in afghanistan. earlier i spoke with the nato secretary-general about the mission and participation by the united states. >> secretary-general, thanks so much for joining us. have you been given any indication of what the new u.s. policy towards afghanistan will be? >> well, secretary mathis met all the -- mattis met in june and discussed the presence and u.s. presence in afghanistan and
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agreed to continue to train assist and advise afghans fors. end the combat mission in afghanistan. the focus is now on enabling the afghans to protect and defend their own country, and also agreed that there will be an increase in the number of nato troops in afghanistan. but exact number is not yet finally decided. >> and has the united states as far as you know agreed to increase the number of u.s. troops as part of the nato mission? >> the u.s. ma not given any final numbers, but we had the meeting in june with all of the defense ministers, and several nato allies indicated a willingness and also announced more, or increased, force contributions. so there will be an increase, but we will not change the nature or the character of the
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mission. not do combat operations in that framework in afghanistan. the aim is make sure the afghan sources themselves are able to fight taliban, fight terrorism and to stabilize the country. we don't think that's an easy task, but we are -- we welcome the fact that it the afghans now are able to do this themselves, and we are in a supportive role training and assists them. >> as you know, the united states has been supplying most of the troops in afghanistan. are you concerned, secretary-general, that president trump would pull a few thousand at least u.s. troops out of afghanistan? >> well, around half of the troops in the nato mission, the support mission are europe's and the rest, half of them, older nato allies or partner nations. so there is a considerable non-u.s. contribution to this
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mission. as i said, we haven't gotten a final figure from the u.s., but i expect the u.s., of course, to continue, to continue to be a part of the mission, because the u.s. is by far the biggest force contributor, and the whole reason why nato is in afghanistan is in response to a response on the united states. this is the only time nato has invoked article 5 of the defense clause, an attack on the united states, 9/11/2001 and the reason why we are in afghanistan is to prevent afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism once again. >> to be precise as far as the u.s. troop level in afghanistan. based on latest numbers, 6,700 u.s. troops are part of the nato mission you describe and another 2,100 u.s. troops part of a counterterrorism operation.
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that's not directly related to the nato operation. as we speak, secretary-general, russia is sending thousands of troops to the borders with several baltic nations. estonia, latvia, lithuania, all nato member countries. russia's planned military exercises next month. do you see this as a military buildup? are you concerned about what's going on along these borders? >> we don't see any imminent trouble against any nato ally, including against any of the baltic states, but we have seen exercises as part of what we've seen over several years with a significant russian military buildup and only reason nato has responded with the strongest reinforcement or collective offense since the end of the cold war. we have tripled the size of nato response force. we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance and deployed four
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battle groups to the baltic countries and poland. at the same time, we don't want a new cold car, occupation with russia. we balance it's proportionate and continue to see russia, our biggest neighbor, and have to try to keep tensions down. >> it's interesting you say that, because president trump today tweeted this -- our relationship with russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. you can thank congress, the same people that can't even give us health care. first of all, do you agree that the relationship -- forget about the u.s. -- the nato relationship in europe, the secretary-general of nato, is the nato relationship with russia right now at an all-time and very dangerous low? >> this i think is droect say that nato's relationship with russia is -- is more difficult than it has been anytime since
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the end of the cold war. at the end of the cold war we hoped to develop a close partnership with russia but especially after the illegal annexation of crimea in 2014 and the continued russian destabilization of eastern ukraine, and the relationship between nato and russia has deteriorated considerably. but at the same time, raur ussi our neighbor. so we are -- we are pursuing it, a dual approach, which is defense deterrence and dialogue, and we believe that as long as we are strong. as long as we are predictable, we can also engage in political dialogue with russia to try to avoid escalation and avoid a new cold war. >> president trump blames congress for this dangerous and low relationship right now with russia. interestingly enough, he's not blaming president putin or the russi russians. who do you blame for the low in
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this relationship, the dangerous relationship, the worst you've seen since the end of the cold war with russia? >> i'm not get into a u.s. debate. of course, it is russian behavior why we have this. violated the law. the first time borders have been changed in europe by the use of force since the second world war, and they continue their aggressive policies, destabilizing eastern ukraine with russian forces in eastern ukraine supporting the separatists. so that's the reason why we have seen a worsening in the relationship between the west and russia and that's the reason why nato has responded, both with our military buildup, but also with economic sanctions, which has been imposed by not
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only nato alines but nato allies and european allies. >> secretary-general, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, a drug-infested den. that's how president trump labeled new hampshire in his phone call with mexico's president. now new hampshire senator maggie hansen is calling him out. about to join us live. she's up on capitol hill. we'll be right back. (dog) mmm. this new
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oh! farm-raised chicken! mmm...that's some really good chicken. i don't think i've ever tasted chicken like this. what!? here come the accents. blueberries and pumpkin. wow. that was my favorite bite so far. not even kidding. i mean that was... ...oh! spinach! mmm. that's like three super foods. pretty, uh, well...super. now i got kind of a pumpkin, chicken thing going on... ...whoop! time to wrestle. (avo) new beneful grain free. out with the grain, in with the farm-raised chicken. healthful. flavorful. beneful. president trump is now facing serious criticism over comments he made during a phone call with the mexican president enrique pena nieto.
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the "washington post" released a full transcript of that. and talking about stopping the flow of drugs in the united states the president said "i won new hampshire because new hampshire is a drug-infested den." joining us now from capitol hill is senator maggie hassan. democrat from new hampshire. senator, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> i should point out first of all that the president, president trump actually lost new hampshire to hillary clinton in the general election. he did win the republican presidential primary there. you had a very harsh response on twitter to what the president told the mexican leader. you called his words disgusting. what's your message to the president? >> well, his words were disgusting. they're an outrage, and my message really is this -- he should stop insulting people and instead work with us to get the resources to our state and states all around the country who are also challenged by this epidemic so that we can roll up our sleeves, get people more
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medication and treatment and work together do beat this thing. what we've seen from the administration so far is, efforts that would actually undermine what we've done so far. the administration's attempt to repeal the affordable care act, which had medicaid expansion in new hampshire. we have bipartisan medicaid expansion and people on the front lines of this epidemic say that's the number one tool they have to combat the epidemic. then you seats the presidee the budget, defund critical forces for our ongoing work here. my message, stop insulting people, learn about this illness and help us combat it and beat this epidemic. >> because he has established a task force to deal with opioid-related deaths. the new jersey governor chris christie is directly involved and other top officials. have they consulted you? has the president asked for your thoughts or anyone senior in the administration? >> well, they certainly
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consulted with a group of us who are senators from states where this epidemic is particularly challenging. but my message here is, let's stop the talk and let's get to action. people are dying every day. from drug overdoses, and from this epidemic. we need to come together and do what the experts in the field already have dents phiidentifie critical actions. action items i've supported a long time. the national governors association rolled out recommendations a couple years ago. this isn't about talk. this is about action, and i would invite the president to learn more about this and more importantly to commit to providing the resources to new hampshire and other states who are challenged by this epidemic so that we can beat this thing and save lives. >> is there any prospects, serious prospect, of bipartisan cooperation in the senate, now that repeal and replace of the
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affordable care act, obamacare, has failed? any prospects of bipartisan cooperation to try to improve, to fix some of the serious problems of obamacare? >> oh, sure. i mean, you heard senator alexander and senator murray, chair and ranking member of the health committee on which i serve announce we would have hearings in september about how to make the improvements that democrats have been calling for, for some time, and hoping to work with republicans on. and you know, democrats and republicans have been working on the opioid crisis together as well. senator young and i have both successfully put into the fda reauthorization critical work to make sure that doctors know about the dangers of something called abuse deterrent opioids. so we have been doing some work together, and there is bipartisan interest in particular on the opioid crisis. it affects people from all walks of life, all across our country, and we really need to be coming
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together and helping people get healthy again. >> senator maggie hassan of new hampshire. thanks so much nfor joining us. >> thank you. >> good luck. up next, set to unveil an aggressive new approach towards china and its trade policies, and china's already pushing back. new information, right after the break. with hydrogenated oil... ...but real joyful moments are shared over the real cream in reddi-wip. ♪ reddi-wip. share the joy.
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oochl tensions between china and the united states could increase as the white house moves closer and closer to launching an investigation into whether chinese trade practices are unfair. this as president trump continues to voice his strong disapproval over the country's handling of north korea. a chinese official is already sending a direct warning to the united states. >> translator: any trade measures taken by wto members should abide by the rules of the wto. we have always considered china/u.s. economic and trade relations the bedrock and propellers of the china/u.s. bilateral relations. >> cnn's international correspondent will ripley is following the story, joining us live from beijing right now. will, what can you tell us about
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this investigation? >> reporter: well, there are several factors at play here, wolf. one is president trump's frustration over the trade issue, also trade takes in washington pretty much fell apart and companies in china have complained that it's not a level playing field. they are forced to share their technology with chinese companies as the chinese government infuses state money into those companies and protects them from competition with american competitors, especially in the high-tech field and so there's a lot of fear moving forward that american companies in order to do business in this market where they make money are going to have to give more and more and more and that's what the trump administration is expected to launch this investigation, and if the investigation finds unfair trade practices, then the penalties could be steep tariffs on chinese companies or even pulling some licenses. >> what are the other possible consequences you're hearing over there in beijing? >> reporter: well, we know that china in the past has had a tit for tat response in these trade
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issues and this wouldn't be coming as a surprise to chinese officials. chinese officials also saying that the united states should not conflate the trade issue with the north korea issue, but nonetheless, u.s. companies could really feel the pinch here. china could halt its imports of soybeans, a major revenue generator and take other steps to increase the already growing $350 billion trade deficit between the united states and china. we've seen in the past, china really cracked down on companies when they're not happy with the actions of their government and a lot of people are concerned this could evolve into a trade war which could have really catastrophic consequences for all sides and cause the stock market to lose a lot of ground after those recent gains. >> very quickly, any chance the chinese will squeeze the north koreans? >> reporter: at this point, it seems as if the chinese feel they are doing what they need to do, and they have no intention as far as we can tell of cutting off trade or cutting off the flow of oil to north korea.
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they're going to keep going forward because they think that keeping north korea economically stable keeps the peninsula safer, which of course is not what the united states feels. >> will ripley reporting from beijing. thanks very much. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." in the meantime, the news continues right after a quick continues right after a quick break. -- captions by vitac --
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the dinosaurs' extinction... you outnumbered. don't listen to them. not appropriate.
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now i'm mashing these potatoes with my stick of butter... why don't you sit over here. find your awesome with the xfinity stream app. included with xfinity tv. more to stream to every screen. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. as president trump heads to what is expected to be a campaign-style rally tonight in west virginia, new leaked transcripts show the president getting combative over the optics of one key campaign promise. building that wall. and mexico's paying for it. "washington post" obtained the verbatim of the president's official phone call with mexican president