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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  September 1, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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in working with the red cross, we now have, across the state of texas, 258 shelters that are now open. 107 of those shelters are shelters that are partnered with or in collaboration with the state in some form or fashion. and 151 are considered to be independent shelters, which would be the type of shelter that, let's say, a church would provide. last night, the overnight population in shelters in texas was 42,399. of those amount, 6,000 are in state parks. in addition to that, our great friend and neighbor, louisiana, has about 3,000 texans in shelters. and i want to express my deep gratitude to louisiana and to the governor of louisiana for helping with search and rescue
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missions, helping to save the lives of texans and also express my gratitude to both individuals as well as first responders from louisiana for being such tremendous humanitarians. a pressing issue in texas is the issue of fuel. now, this is an issue that is pressing, in part, because of a reaction to some media reports where the facts are that there's plenty of fuel, plenty of gasoline in the united states of america. there's plenty of gasoline in the state of texas. all that said, we are ensuring an even greater supply of gasoline so we can tamp down any concern about accessibility to fuel that people may want to access over the course of the
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coming labor day weekend. working with all sectors of the oil and gas community, from refineries to pipelines, from operators, trucking companies, and retailers, we have worked in the past 24 to 48 hours to alleviate concerns about access to gasoline and to ensure that more gasoline will be coming or is already coming to the state of texas. working with our neighbors and great friends, oklahoma, louisiana, and new mexico, fuel is being shipped from each of those states to the state of texas to get fuel into the dallas/ft. worth area and then into the surrounding areas in the state of texas. the pipeline of gasoline that had been going from texas to oklahoma has been reversed, and
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that is now sitting gasoline from oklahoma to texas. we have refineries that are coming back up in corpus christi and three rivers that will quickly be providing a much greater supply of gasoline. the port of corpus christi has now opened with barges coming in already with gasoline that came in today and will be coming in, in the following days. and also, i signed a waiver of certain regulations on fuel truckers to ensure that gasoline supplies can be more swiftly brought to the state of texas from other states. the bottom line is that the state of texas will have plenty of gasoline showing up at gasoline stations across the
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state of texas, so don't worry, we will not run out. and we will be back into our normal pattern before you know it. one of the most important things we can do when we have times of weather challenges like hurricanes and floods is to make sure we can ensure an ongoing supply of food and water. i want you to know that we have accomplished points of distribution in all areas between corpus christi and beaumont. we are relying upon local officials, typically the county judge, on the announcement of the location of the points of distribution. if you reside in any of the counties that are in the affected area between corpus christi and beaumont, and you are looking for food or water, contact your county judge or look for notifications from your
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county judge about where those points of distribution are. also, there are law enforcement officials as well as emergency operation centers in each of those counties who should be able to provide you that information. we are proud to have worked very collaboratively with all military branches. from our military branch, we have received -- i can't read my writing. we have received air support, meaning aircraft, from 43 states helping our mission. now, i want you to know that we have received offers of help from all 50 states, but we have accepted it from 43, and we leave ourselves open to accepting it from the other 7 if
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necessary. the primary focus of the aircraft remains on evacuation and search and rescue. we have had a tremendous partnership with the united states coast guard. they've done a fabulous job up and down our coast assisting in countless ways and among other things, they reported today that they are getting our ports open as fast as possible, and i think there will be a lot of good news to report here perhaps today and in the coming days about the success that's being made. some important information from fema. already, about 440,000 texans have registered for assistance from fema. and already, fema has approved more than $79 million in
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assistance. one thing that we focus on is trying to move evacuees from these evacuation locations into a more semipermanent location such as a hotel room. we want you out of convention centers into a place where you have a living room and a bedroom and your own bathroom and we get you there as quickly as possible. and let me clarify when i say we, that is fema, get you there as quickly as possible. fema has been very proactive and has been moving this process very quickly. and i want to thank them for all that they are doing. also, however, maybe the most important thing i can say to you today, if you are a texan who's been impacted and dislocated because of the hurricane or because of the flooding or because of any consequence of the storm that has hit texas, please contact online
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disasterassistance.gov. you can join now the more than 440,000 texans who have already accessed help from fema. now, one thing that has led to an effective operation in response to this challenge of the hurricane and the flood is the collaboration that we've seen at the local, state, and national level. i cannot thank enough the men and women who served or who serve in our armed forces and what they have done to aid texans in this very challenging time, whether it's army, navy, air force, marines or coast guard, they've stepped up and come to our aid and have worked
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seamlessly as we have worked every single day to keep our state and our citizens safe. i'm proud that we have with us today the leader of this effort, general robinson, who is the commander of north com and i would like to ask her to come up and say a few words. >> sir, thank you very much. >> sure. >> thank you very much. governor, i can't tell you how excited i am to be here and how proud and honored that you would have me be here with you. you know, on behalf of secretary mattis, chairman dun ford and all the men and women in our active duty armed forces, i would like to offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of those who have been affected by hurricane harvey. >> thank you so much. >> yes, sir. yes, sir. and it is my role as the commander of north com to be responsible -- okay. to be responsible to deploy active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to support fema requests and the state of
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texas for assistance to local, county, state, and federal civil authorities in devastating times like this, just like harvey. when disasters of this magnitude strike, a whole government response is necessary, and d.o.d. is a part of all of that. you know, one of the things that we've learned over time is how important it is to have the right capability at the right place at the right time to support the needs of the citizens. as we know, sir, i can't tell you how much we appreciate your leadership and the things that you've done and the leadership of fema and the things that we are able to do to support the two of you each and every day. our military has unique capabilities to support disaster relief. these same capabilities that make our armed forces so effective in combat make our forces uniquely effective in disaster relief efforts. we have been and we will continue to deploy any and all
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capabilities requested by fema and, sir, of course, you. i want to tell you, i had a conversation yesterday with secretary mattis, and he made the comment to me, laurie, texas gets everything they need. and we'll get it there as fast as we can. i have to say, i'm so proud of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that have deployed in the effective area and that will continue to deploy as long as requested and needed. you know, the army has provided 200 high water vehicles to support red cross in the movement of personnel and the patients. army helicopters with hoisting capability are providing to help rescue and transport the survivors and the army is also receiving the receipt of life support items. the air force is providing strategic air lift, medical evacuation, airborne command and control and helicopters to transport people and supplies. the navy amphibious shows, "uss
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kearsarge" and "uss oak hill" along with the 22nd marine expeditionary unit are en route should you need them. our defense logistics agency has provided fuel, sandbags, generators and is delivering meals to dislocated citizens. and the u.s. army corps of engineers has deployed experts to the state and fema, response notes to help provide technical assistance with the power restoration. sir, these are just a few things that the men and women in uniform are doing to help with the larger relief effort, and we are committed to -- to help with the larger relief effort and we are committed to assist at local, state, and federal agencies throughout this trying time for our nation. so, governor abbott, mr. robinson, administrator long, again, thank you so much for your leadership. we look forward and we will be there, steady, ready, and to support at a moment's notice. thank you, sir. >> thank you, general.
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>> yes, sir. >> thank you, general robinson, and again, i cannot thank you or those who serve under you enough for what they have done to make texas a better place. and if you would please pass along my deepest gratitude to secretary mattis. we have had a seamless and really daily collaboration with members of the d.o.d. throughout this process, and that collaboration will continue. and i have expressed to our commander in chief directly my gratitude to all the d.o.d. and the united states military has done to help texas in this very dire time. with that, i'll be happy to take a few questions. >> governor, you talked about gas runs that are happening right now. people are going out and seeing lines snaking around their block and those red tags on the pumps. how do we instill confidence in
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them that supply is on its way. >> we have already heard today about one way that people are still with confidence as they are on the roadway and they see these big tanker trucks filled with gasoline coming down the way, the best thing they can do is when they see one of those tanker trucks of gasoline, move out of that lane and let that tanker truck get down the road faster. we have been working literally overnight, nonstop, to line up tanker trucks to be coming in from other states. that, in addition to the pipeline reversal and these other actions, the barge coming in, we are being -- i started to say flooded with gasoline, but we have a bunch of gasoline coming in. and so there is a perception of concern, but the reality is -- >> that was a huge, huge thank you from the governor, from the general really, to sailors and soldiers and airmen and marines who have all swooped in to help in this rescue and recovery effort there in texas and
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louisiana. so many of them have come in and they were expressing their gratitude and reiterating what we heard from the secretary of defense saying, texas gets everything they need. a lot of people, you know, worried that they won't have the gas in texas. the governor trying to reassure everybody, saying hang on, we're bringing shipments of gasoline in from neighboring states and beyond so you should have the gas that you need, trying to reassure texans of that, and really, though, hammering home how still so dangerous eastern areas of texas like beaumont, texas, i know i've got ryan nobles standing by in origin, texas, not too far from beaumont, but ryan, just listening to the governor talking about the neches river, how that continues to rise. he said it was seven feet above the record and it's going to stay that way for another week so that, i'm sure, affects folks down the way where you are. >> reporter: no doubt, brooke. i mean, listening to the governor, he was talking to the people in this community of orange, texas, and you could see this is the reason why. take a look at this neighborhood. i mean, we're now a full 48 hours after the flooding
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started, and we've been talking to residents. you can see a couple of them there in the distance who have been coming in and out, checking their properties and they're saying in some of these houses it's still as high as four or five feet worth of water so they have a long way to go and the concern they have is that even though the water does appear to be receding in many of these neighborhoods, you mentioned the neches river, the sabine river is only about two miles from where i am standing right now and that may not crest until sometime in the middle of next week. that could bring with it a whole other round of flooding so they really cannot begin the recovery effort here yet because they just don't know if the worst of the flooding is over, and i told you this yesterday, brooke, and it remains the same. everyone i've talked to today, they've just never seen flooding like this before. i talked to one gentleman who said that he's lived in this community for more than 40 years. he's seen water maybe trickle down the street but never come up to his door. he was walking through three feet of water in his house for two days and he said it's just
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been something like he has never seen before. and that's what this community is still dealing with even today. >> so here's one more question for you, ryan, and i know your photo journalist zoomed in on those kids. are those families who haven't left? who are the people who are still in the neighborhood behind you? >> reporter: for the most part, what we have are people that have come after already evacuating and coming to check out their properties. the vast majority of people that live in this neighborhood behind me, they've already gone and come back. but i will tell you, i did talk to a gentleman who just rode it out, was in this neighborhood for the last three days, and it got to the point where his cats were starting to get out of the house and that's what finally led him to decide that it was time to get out of the community. so, i'm not telling you that everybody in this neighborhood is out of this -- out of their homes. it's impossible for us to tell you that. i do believe the vast majority of them are and i will also tell you that about two hours ago, we
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saw a cadre of national guard troops with the high water vehicles and they made a complete canvas of the entire neighborhood, knocked on every single door, asked if anyone needed help or needed to be rescued and the national guard troops told us that everyone they encountered said they didn't need any help. so there is just an immense amount of resources available for the people that need that help, at least when it comes to the rescue and just getting to somewhere safe. i think the big thing everyone here is worried about is the recovery, which is going to take a very long time to do and i should also tell you, brooke, i've talked to probably 20, 25 different people. only one of them has told me that they have flood insurance. so this is going to be a long and expensive recovery for the folks in orange county, texas. >> ryan, thank you so much for us there. just a heads up to all of you, we're watching and waiting for that white house press briefing to begin. live pictures there of the press briefing room. we will be right back.
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welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin. a lot of harvey's evacuees are just now returning to their flood mo flood-damaged homes trying to see what's left and much of it is just being taken to the curb to be hauled away. nick valencia is standing by in a houston neighborhood talking to folks who are helping. you were saying last hour a lot of these people are in line waiting to see what remains of their homes. who have you been talking to? >> reporter: brooke, this crowd has grown by the hour here. people waiting to get on some of these civilian boats to get back into their homes. we want to give him his space but he is one of the first responder civilians that has turned into a first responder. went back in to get some of his stuff. now he's using his boat along with this friend here to rescue people. we've been seeing people all day. these people here are just going through the worst of it right now. this is the worst area of houston that remains.
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the flooding is just as bad as it was a few days ago. there's no sign of the water going down. i've heard from residents that say that the water's as high as four feet in some places. we're here by the addicks dam and people have told me here a part of the problem is the army corps of engineers has released water into this area, so some people are a little mad at those that are seemingly trying to help out. you see some of these supplies that have been brought for those that have been affected. you have gasoline cans to presumably power some of the motors here that are being launched out. someone's air mattress here, food and supplies for those emerging from the water. it's heartbreaking to watch this all morning long. here we are a week later and people are still living through what they've been living through when the hurricane first hit, if not worse. i was speaking to one gentleman who said there's parts where the water has gone up. there are still high water rescues happening behind here. there are people stranded in that community behind and sme,
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yes, some people are afraid to leave but partly because they're afraid of the security of their own homes. they're worried about looters. we saw the houston police department go in with a high water vehicle earlier this morning. they brought out a group of people. some of them had not touched dry land in over eight days, since even before the hurricane. >> tell me, what's the guidance people are getting from houston city officials, because i've heard different versions of, do go home, don't go home. what's the directive? >> reporter: at this point, in this area right now, it's, everybody get out right now. get out while you can. even still like i said, though, brooke, there are people that are refusing to leave, that are on the second or third stories of their apartment complexes, and they're just going to wait it out. but from what we've seen, we went into that water yesterday and it looks just as high as it was yesterday so it may be a long time coming before any of this water comes down. >> all right, nick, thank you. we are waiting, again, for that white house briefing to begin.
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we were briefed by the governor of texas. now we are watching washington, waiting for sarah huckabee sanders to stand behind that podium and brief the white house press pool. we'll take it live. stand by. you're watching cnn. at holiday inn express, we can't guarantee that you'll be able to contain yourself at our breakfast bar. morning, egg white omelet. sup lady bacon! fruit, there it is! but we can guarantee that you'll get the best price when you book with us. holiday inn express. be the readiest. so we know how to cover almost almoanything.hing even a swing set standoff.
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and we covered it, july first, twenty-fifteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ ["l♪vwho can turn the worldan jeton with her smile?s♪ ment wanted to make sure the dwo governor of texas was able to complete his briefing. i'll keep it quick up here at the top so we can get to your questions. the president and his homeland security team and the entire administration continue to focus on the lives and safety of those affected by hurricane harvey in texas and louisiana. yesterday, at the direction of the president, the vice president, mrs. pence, labor secretary acosta, transportation secretary chao, energy secretary perry, and acting homeland security secretary duke traveled to texas to speak with people on the ground and assess the damage. early yes tod
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earlier today, the president signed a proclamation declaring this sunday a national day of prayer for those affected by the hurricane and just this afternoon, the president heard from the heads of the salvation army, american red cross and southern baptist disaster relief on their efforts throughout the devastation of hurricane harvey. as gail mcgovern said, the american people are bound and determined to bounce back and these organizations, along with so many others, have been on the ground from the beginning helping the people of texas and louisiana do just that. the president will be back in texas tomorrow to visit with storm survivors and tell them personally that the federal government is here to help in any way that we can. the president is currently finalizing a supplemental request to support the needs of emergency responders at the federal, state, and local level. and we will share more information on that later. president has had calls with several foreign leaders who expressed their support for the american people during this difficult time. just today, he spoke with the presidents of south korea, cause
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stan and colombia. i would like to take this opportunity to follow up on a question i was asked yesterday and announce that the president will host the emir of kuwait at the white house on september 7th and the president of spain on september 26th. finally, i'd like to reiterate the message that tom bossert, the president's homeland security adviser gave yesterday, in case there's anyone watching today that is in need of assistance. once you have access to a functioning computer, please go to www.disasterassistance.gov and if you have access to a working phone, please call 1-800-621-3362 and with that, i'll take your questions. >> sarah, you mentioned supplemental. does the president feel that it would be helpful to tie the supplemental to the vote on raising the deabt ceiling and d
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you have any details on the amount of supplemental. >> right now, those details are being finalized, and we'll have more information shortly, most likely by the end of today. >> what about the issue, though, of tying the vote to debt ceiling. >> again, those details are being finalized as we speak and we should have something for you by the end of today. >> sarah, so what the president said that he would have a decision on daca in the next couple of days. can you talk a little bit about what are the factors driving that decision? you know, what is he weighing right now? and also, does he think that the program, as it is designed now, does he think it's illegal? >> i just spoke with the president, and we're in the process of finalizing that decision and those details and we're actually going to make that announcement on tuesday of next week, and the president's priorities on immigration are to create a system that encourages legal immigration and benefits
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our economy and american workers. the president's been very clear, he loves people, and he wants to make sure that this decision is done correctly, and so that's what he's doing now is finalizing that part. >> a question that might help us understand what informs this decision. does the president feel that young people who came to this country illegally who came of age here, who have jobs here, went to school here, are those people americans? or are they foreign -- >> look, i'm not going to get into the back and forth while we're in the process of finalizing the details on this but we're going to be working on that throughout the weekend and make that announcement on tuesday. >> how incumbent does this white house believe it is upon congress to come up with a solution to the d.r.e.a.m.ers? >> again, we're in the process of finalizing the decision on this front and once we make that, we'll walk through next steps of what any action that
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would be needed at that time. >> but if i could just follow up. i ask that question because senator tom tillis of north carolina is introducing a conservative d.r.e.a.m. act. he's leading a group of conservatives in the senate. senator jeff flake says it's important for congress to do this. paul ryan, while he said he doesn't agree that the president should end daca as we know it, does think that there needs to be a legislative solution. does the white house agree with what's being said? >> again, i mean, i'll say it for a third or fourth time and i'm sure i'll get another five or six more questions on this and i'll get to say it again. we're in the process of finalizing that decision, and those details, and we'll announce that on tuesday. >> sarah, the president said we love d.r.e.a.m.ers today and in april, he said the d.r.e.a.m.ers should rest easy. you know the president. is it conceivable that he could end this program and send all these people out of the country after saying things like that? >> i knew i'd get another chance to say this. we're finalizing those details. >> that's not a detail.
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that's whether he ends the program. >> it is part of the answer is that we're finalizing this decision, and that would certainly be part of the details of the announcement on tuesday. >> sarah, the president had said that we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. is he backing down from that threat now? >> no, the president still very much committed to building the wall >> so there's a report in the "washington post" that says he's -- you have a smile -- that says he's backing away. >> well you know how i feel about using other outlets as your source. >> is it wrong, then? >> i think the president's been pretty clear what his position is. i would take that as the president's position over a report on what it is. >> two questions. one about the call that happened today. there's a readout of the conversation and in it, the south koreans are saying that the president of the united states promised more missile capabilities to seoul. can you confirm that and do you have any sense of what we're talking about there. >> again, we'll have a readout out shortly and we'll make sure
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all you guys receive that. >> the talks are going on now, obviously the president made his feelings pretty clear but he's talked about terminating the deal. is that on the table. >> those negotiations are still ongoing, and no decision has been made at this time. >> getting back to the hurricane harvey, has the president made a decision what charities he's going to donate to? do you know if that's going to be coming from his own money or from the trump foundation. >> he has not finalized where all of that will go and i was actually going to use that as a perfect segue to remind everybody, if you have suggestions, he is very open to hearing those. we've gotten a couple, but please send more if you have them. john -- >> but do you know whether it's his personal money. >> i haven't had a chance to do that but i will. >> thank you, sarah. yesterday, sheriff dave clarke of milwaukee, wisconsin, announced his resignation
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effective immediately and this started a rush of speculation in the badger state and in washington that he would be appointed to a position at the department of homeland security. possibly even the secretaryship, which is vacant now. a lady at dhs said he's not coming here to reporters. is former sheriff clarke under consideration for any position, particularly at the department of homeland security? >> i'm not aware of any specific jobs that he's been considered for. but as always, we'll certainly make sure when we have a personnel announcement, we let you know. >> poll released by fox news on wednesday said that 56% of americans think the president is tearing the country apart. approval rating polls are usually in the 30s. how do these poll numbers affect how the president governs? >> i think a lot of these polls are the same polls that predicted that donald trump would never be in the -- would never be the president and he's
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sitting in the oval office as i stand here, so i don't have a plot of faith in a lot of these polls. i think if you look at what he's been doing this week, particularly in terms of focusing on unifying the nation on hurricane harvey recovery, talking about tax reform, an issue that's got very wide bipartisan support, the numbers that we are focused on and that this administration cares about aren't poll numbers, but we care about 94% of americans who get assistance to file their taxes, that the majority of americans think the tax code is unfair. and that 70% of individuals in ten key states support broad base tax reform. the numbers that we're focused on have to do with actual problems that americans are facing. the numbers that we're focused on are the ones that actually impact day-to-day life for all americans. that's what we're focused on. certainly not silly polls that frankly weren't much use to us in the election and certainly i don't think are now. >> thank you, sarah. i want to switch to tax reform.
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we learned today that the president will be traveling to north dakota next week. this week, he was in missouri. republicans hold 52 seats in the senate, and the democratic senators from those states are ones that the white house is targeting. if the white house got those votes, that would put you up to 54. joe donnelley and joe imaginen are two other democratic senators that the white house is looking to pick up. that would be 56. where are the other four democratic votes that the white house and the president think they can get for trying to reassure. >> i would love to see all of them come on board. i can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to support helping more americans keep more of their hard-earned money. we want to simplify the tax filing process for individuals, encourage job creation, encourage job growth, provide tax relief for middle class america, and encourage companies to bring back money to the united states and invest it. i don't know why any member of the senate or the house wouldn't want to support those things. and hopefully they'll all come on board.
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>> so you don't have four other states that you might be traveling to specifically. >> not specifically. again, i'm hoping that the senators from all 50 states get on board to help americans and do what, frankly, americans are demanding. i think you'd be hard pressed to find somebody that doesn't support tax reform in this country and those were the people that are the bosses of those individuals, those are the people that elected those members to go there and help do the things that they are asking for. and tax reform is at the top of their list. glen. >> sarah, my paper just published a story that robert mueller has obtained a copy of a letter drafted by president trump, in part by steven miller and other aides around the time of the dismissile of fbi director james comey but focuses principally on the russia investigation. first of all, can you confirm the existence of that letter? secondly, can that letter be made public? and thirdly, we report that don
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mcgahn thought it was inappropriate. can you discuss whether or not you or the president believe that drafting such a letter was appropriate at that time. >> i'm not going to get into any of that. i think we covered a lot of those things very extensively during that time. as ty cobb said earlier today, to the extent the special prosecutor is interested in these matters, we will be fully transparent with his investigation. and frankly, i don't have anything to add beyond that. >> do you have a copy of the letter. >> again, we're going to work with the special prosecutor. as ty said and we'll work through that process. >> sarah -- >> hey, guys, one at a time. i'll come back to you after that. >> earlier this week, the president tweeted that talking is not the answer in regards to the north koreans. today, the south korean president's office says he and president moon agreed to reaffirm that north korea should be brought back for dialogue. so, which is it on that?
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>> i think i was clear on this yesterday. the president's looking for integrated process, and we're continuing to move forward on that. we take north korea extremely seriously and all options are on the table. that hasn't changed. >> follow-up to the nafta question. mexico has threatened to end the negotiations that are going on if the president initiates steps to pull out of nafta. would the president view that as a positive outcome, and is there any concern overall in the white house that the escalation of the rhetoric will hurt the white house's ability to craft a better deal, as the president has promised. >> no, we're continuing to move forward in these negotiations, and as the president says, we'll see what happens. april. >> on daca, on the issue of daca, the vice president said that the president will use a big heart in making this decision. what is the definition of a big
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heart? >> again, i'm not going to get into the back and forth on this until there's a finalized decision, which we're in the process of doing. and we'll make that announcement on tuesday. >> i have one more. on jobs. what is this white house saying about jobs, particularly as the unemployment rate is at 1.4% but you have continuation, historically, of african-american and latino rates that are higher for august. the african-american unemployment rate, 7.7%, latino rate is 5.2%. the white rate is 3.9%. few weeks ago, steven miller was at this podium talking about the black unemployment rate versus that of the immigrants. is there going to be a targeted approach? i mean, these numbers bear to show that there is a difference when it comes to minority american unemployment versus mainstream. >> i think you make a great point for why we need tax reform. it's one of the primary reasons that that's a top priority for this administration is to do a massive overhaul of the system so that we have a better
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environment, we're creating more jobs, higher paying jobs, and i think that's a perfect example. there were 150,000 new jobs created over this time period, and since the president came into office, 1.2 million new jobs. we are inkrelkcredibly focused this. this is not something we've just been talking about, but something the president's been very active in since day one. he's gotten rid of over 800 regulations that have created a better environment for job creation. we're continuing to focus on that. primarily through tax reform and that's why it's such a big deal for us in the fall. dave. >> can you confirm that the president is meeting with congressional leaders on tuesday about tax reform and does that mean that the details are almost finished? >> he is meeting with congressional leaders next week, and -- >> on tuesday? >> i believe it's tuesday. yeah. i believe that's right. and i believe there's a second meeting on wednesday as well.
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>> does that mean it's almost finish. >> that means that, you know, we're pushing forward. we're going to continue, again, focused on those four principles, using that as the guide and the focal point moving forward and sit down with a lot of members of congress to make sure we get this deal done. >> thank you, sarah. two questions. the first one is on daca. i know you're not ready to make an announcement yet, but these people, these d.r.e.a.m.ers came out of the shadows and they provided their personal information to the government for work permits. if the president does end daca, will that information be used to round up and deport any of these people? that's my first question. >> well, i'll answer it the same way i've answered it 18 other times today. those decisions are being finalized, and once they are, we will announce them on tuesday. >> the second question is on infrastructure. clearly, the devastation in texas brings attention to problems with our infrastructure
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and there's going to be a need for massive rebuilding. i know tax reform is the focus right now, but will there be a push for an infrastructure bill, either after that or around the same time, and will that be coming from the white house or will the administration be letting congress take the lead on infrastructure bill. >> infrastructure certainly is something that's very important to the president, a priority for the administration. the timing of that hasn't been set forth yet but it's certainly something that we're actively working on and looking at every day as we like to say here, we can walk and chew gum at the same time and we'll continue to push forward on how to best improve infrastructure. >> hurricane harvey, the president was down in texas on tuesday, he's going back tomorrow. i understand the schedule, that schedule might not yet be set but can you give us any idea of what kinds of things he's going to be doing and what thematically he's going to be doing. >> he'll be able to go into houston, which he was not able
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to do on tuesday. that will be the first stop of the day. he'll have the chance to meet extensively with quite a few storm survivors as well as talk with some of the volunteers that are helping administer a lot of the support that these individuals have needed over the last week, and then from there, he'll go to lake charles, louisiana, where he'll do a stop there as well, meeting with a lot of the volunteers and other storm survivors. >> are there any events on sunday or is this all contained on saturday. >> all on saturday. >> any other weekend plans after that. >> we'll keep you posted on further guidance for the weekend. >> i have questions on that. do you think the president is going to be busy on saturday, down in that region. you said 19 times that he's going to be finalizing the decision in the next three days. can you specifically explain what is there to change between now and tuesday given that we heard the president talk in the oval office about a decision coming this weekend. what specifically is he doing in
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these next three days that he hasn't done so far. >> i think this is a pretty complicated process as you all know, and we want to work through every bits of that and that's what he's doing, making sure he takes the diligent time and effort and attention that this very important issue deserves. >> and given that it's so important, i just kind of want to personalize a little bit. there's a guy in texas right now, a paramedic, he's been working since the storm hit to help people in the community no and around texas. he also happens to be a d.r.e.a.m.er. what's the president's message to jesus? >> i think it's the same message that he said many times before, this president is a president that loves people, and we are working on the best decision possible and we'll announce it on tuesday. >> sarah, follow up. new reports are detailing how the -- under the obama administration, the group antifa was being watched and their activities were declared as domestic terrorist violence.
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my question is, was the president or his chief of staff aware of those investigations and reports before charlottesville? >> i'm not sure. i'd have to ask and i haven't had that conversation. >> and follow-up. is he tracking the rise of violence from this group going forward? is he tracking the rise of violence from these groups going forward. >> i think we're certainly, you know, constantly monitoring all violence across the country as best we can, and something certainly that the department of homeland security and the administration takes very seriously and is constantly looking for ways to end all violence in all forms. so certainly that would qualify. >> sarah, the follow-up to her question for a moment. i think i read there were 120,000 d.r.e.a.m.ers in the state of texas. is that, in any way, weighing on the president's decision about daca and what the situation there is. >> again, i think that this isn't a decision that the
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president takes lightly. and he's taking time and diligent effort to make sure that he goes through every bit of the process and he'll continue to do that and make that announcement on tuesday. >> is what's happening in texas and even louisiana weighing on him at all. >> i think the decision itself is weighing on him, certainly. >> thanks, sarah. i've got two. first one is, coming back after labor day weekend, there's obviously a lot of stuff on the agenda. >> going to be a busy september. >> there were some tensions between the president and congressional republicans over the summer, and i'm just wondering if he has a message for them that you would want to share about any reset that he hopes to effect in the next four days before he comes back. and i also wanted to ask you, with all the caveats that you're allowed to discuss, this letter that is part of the investigation -- >> let me answer the first question so we don't get lost in that. i think that the message that
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the president would have for the members of congress would be, let's get to work. you've had a nice long break here, and we've got a lot of things to do. we've got some big commitments to the american people that we need to fulfill, and we need to do some really big and bold things throughout the fall and hopefully they'll get on board and be part of that process. >> the letter, as reported, suggests that some of the rationale did have to do with russia, but the president initially talked about hillary clinton and i'm wondering whether you can square those two for us. do you think his message -- do you think his -- do you think there's now an inconsistency that needs to be addressed and would you like to address it from the podium. >> i'm not sure i'm following fully your question, but as i said earlier, in reference to the letter, and the comey firing, we have discussed that extensively. in fact, i've done that many times from this podium, and i'll refer you back to ty cobb's
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statement that i read earlier.
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