tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 25, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
thanks for joining me. i'm pamela brown in for brooke bolduan on what's shaping up to be a very busy monday. president trump accused of inciting a culture war nfl players for protesting the national anthem. players and team owners say the president is out of bounds, slamming his comments as, quote, divisive after he ranted about the league while speaking to a predominantly white crowd in alabama. >> to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now out. he's fired. he's fired! >> so that comment right there in alabama not sitting well with the nfl, or the president's own chief of staff, john kelly. two officials tell cnn that
kelly is not pleased and did not know the trump plan to wade into the culture war. teams in the nfl responded with a mass protest of the president. some even refusing to stand while others locked arms in a show of solidarity as you see right here. some teams didn't even come out on to the field and more protests are expected in just a few hours. meanwhile, the president is denying his comments had anything to do with race, firing off this early morning tweet saying, quote, it is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem. nfl must respect this. the white house will likely respond to the controversy when today's press briefing begins and any moment we're keeping an eye on that. now i want to bring in cnn white house reporter caitlin collins. caitlin, how is the president's war with the nfl playing out in the white house? >> we know that there is one person who is not pleased with what has transpired over the weekend and that is someone who is very near and dear to the
president, his new chief of staff john kelly. the president actually brought him up on stage just minutes before he made these very controversial remarks about the nfl to praise what a good job that john kelly has done in the white house, but we are told that these remarks about the nfl were not in the president's prepared remarks and he came up with them on the spot when he was there in alabama and that john kelly did not know he was going to make those remarks and then wade into this culture war into the weekend by continuing to tweet about it at least 13 times over the last two days. john kelly was brought into the white house to instill some discipline into this west wing, but we're seeing here, one thing, pam, that john kelly can't control about the president and that's remarks he makes at these rallies when he is his most true self and the things he makes on twitter. he's not the only person who is very frustrated from this. we also heard from lebron james a few minutes ago. listen to what he had to say about the president. >> it's the most powerful
position in the world and we are at a time when the most powerful position in the world has an opportunity to bring us closer together as a people and inspire the youth and put the youth at ease on saying that it is okay for me to walk the street and not be judged because of the color of my skin or because of my race, and he has no recollection of that. he doesn't even care. >> reporter: so as you can see, pam, some powerful comments from one of the most famous people in basketball right now and we'll likely hear from press secretary sarah sanders any minute now and she's definitely going to be fielding questions about this. >> certainly so, we'll be keeping an eye on that, and caitlin collins, thank you very much. >> meantime, the department of defense is also weighing in today on the firestorm involving president trump, the nfl and the national anthem. i want to bring in cnn pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. so what is the pentagon saying about all of this.
>> pamela, it's probably good with recalling, of course, his people know the u.s. military's had a long, decades-long relationship with professional sports in this country, and you know, the president according to how many people view it has put the military, patriotism, the flag, all of these symbols of the so-called culture war, if you will, front and center in this debate. so where does it all go from here. the pentagon asked this morning by reporters, will they be able to continue their relationship especially with the nfl as we saw over the weekend. there were honor guard, color guards, flags, military personnel on the football field. this is something that is part of that relationship of building community relations by the u.s. military. the pentagon, a little bit surprisingly, did come back to us with an answer on this question and i want to read it to everybody and what the pentagon spokesman said and i quote, dod does not require or
request that athletes be on the field during the playing of the national anthem when military members are part of the patriotic opener. what the pentagon is saying this is something they really do not want to get involved in, they provide the color guards and they provide military personnel whether they're active duty and national guard. they build these relationships in the community because, frankly, a lot of this is a recruiting tool, showing the face of the u.s. military in towns and cities across the country to football fans who may be parents of young people thinking about joining the military and it's a very important relationship to the pentagon. it's gone on for decades and to make this statement that they're not requiring anybody to do anything is not only just factually accurate and what it really is doing is the pentagon trying to take itself out of this debate where patriotism,
the flag and all of the rhetoric about support for the troops whether you stand or not and what it all means, the pentagon doesn't want to be involved in it. pamela? >> releasing that statement, nonetheless, making that clear. barbara star, thank you very much. from sports locker rooms to the stage of an international music festival, football players and basketball players alike coming together against the president. take a listen. >> i can't stand, you know, support something where our leader of this country is just acting like a jerk. >> we want unity and stand for something. this man is not welcome here. >> i think it is very unbecoming of the president of the united states to talk like that, to degrade people like that. >> i have a daughter and she'll have to live in this world, you know what i'm saying and i'll do whatever i can do and she can
look at her dad. >> i'm pissed off, i'll be honest with you, because i supported donald trump and it's appalling to me and i'm sure it's appalling to almost any citizen in our country. it should be. >> i certainly disagree with what he said and you know, thought it was just divisive. >> for him to try to use this platform to divide us even more is not something i can stand for and it's not something i can be quiet about. >> i'm taking a knee for america, but not just one knee. i'm taking both knees. >> i want to go straight to capitol hill where protests are erupting during this hearing over the latest gop health care bill. i want to go to gloria borger to get the latest. gloria? >> this health care bill is important to every american and it's really been a flashpoint, and it's going to be voted on
this week or it won't be brought to the floor this week and what you're seeing in these demonstrations is people who feel very strongly that any vote for graham cassidy is a vote that would hurt them and that would take away their coverage for their preexisting conditions, et cetera, et cetera. we'll have a debate tonight on cnn about this between both sides, graham and cassidy on one side and democrats on the other and they're going to lay out the stakes here and the differences between what the republicans want and what the democrats want but there is nothing that affects voters so personally as it affects health care. >> it affects every american family and that's why you are seeing so much passion on so many sides. i want to bring in sunlen serfaty. set the stage.
>> many, many protesters, about a couple of hundred have been lined up behind me. we'll try to give you a vantage point. put simply, the scene all of a sudden broke out out of control. there are a few people who were escorted away from police, by police and we are outside the senate finance committee hearing room, the first and only hearing that this graham-cassidy bill will get. hundreds of protesters waiting to get inside. they said they intended to disrupt those hearings. they are now chanting things like kill the bill, kill trump care. so clearly today really trying to make their voices heard. we will hear from senator lindsay graham, one of the co-sponsors of the bill. again, the first and only formal hearing that this bill will get. normally bills go for more thorough and more extensive mark-up process and note today it is the one and only time they'll be able to defend their
bill and certainly hear from people about the bill. that is encouraging a lot of these opponents of the bill who are out here today chanting and who is been out here for many, many hour hours and that's encouraged them to speak louder. many of them wanted this to be a more open and more open process and not have it rushed through by republicans and to be honest, that is one of the criticisms of another republican, senator john mccain who came out on friday of last week. he said that was one of his chief criticisms and still the fact that he believes it's been rushed through. pam? >> we are just learning that they just declared recess until they can get order amid these protests there on capitol hear during the hearing of the latest gop. i want to bring in malika henderson. what do you think of these pictures. >> this is something democrats want americans to see. there had been criticism of people on the left saying they were caught flat-footed in
responding to what looked like a resurgence among republicans and trying to repeal and replace obamacare, but here you see some of that activity on the hill there, we still don't know what's going to happen on the bill. we've heard from susan collins. we heard from rand paul who even after this latest iteration of the bill which came out today which will be scored by the cbo later today. he has said it's not enough to his liking and he's still a no on this. this will be a key week. they've got until september 30th to figure out if they'll be able to corral enough votes. i talked to some people in the wheeling and dealing side of this. they say the goal is to get to 49 and then pressure whoever is still on the side line to see if they can be a deciding vote to put this thing over the top, but listen, getting to 49 is still an uphill climb for this, but we'll see tonight. maybe that will make a difference of what we hear from
both sides with graham and cassidy and amy klobuchar and sanders on the other, but you look at this, this is a passionate issue and i think republicans haven't necessarily tapped into how people take this so personally because it is about their health. their selling of this had to do with block grants and giving power to the governors in talking to people about their healthcare and the health care industry. i've rarely heard people say i really wish that my governor could handle health care. they usually compare about prices and accessibility in premium increases and so far from what we've seen on this bill there isn't indication that it addresses the real problems that a layoff people have. >> and we're seeing this play out on capitol hill. protests playing out with the hearing that has put on on recess ask they want to wake, and the latest gop health care
bill. i want to bring in gloria borger. it's clear, because over the weekend the nfl criticized players for not standing during the national anthem than he did about this health care bill. what do you think about that? >> i think a lot of republicans are not happy about that. they also wanted him to talk about tax reform which is coming up and he didn't do utsch in of that and phil, he was full of grievance about steph curry and about the nfl and continued to lash out over the weekend rather than deal with the issues at hand. he criticized john mccain, of course, for his decision to vote no and one thing i would say about this is you can't have it both ways. if people want an open process and they want to have more hearings, i get it, then let the
hear pr hearing proceed. i completely -- >> we need to go to the white house for the latest briefing with sarah sanders. >> another busy day here at the white house. on the economic front this week the president will continue his push to secure tax relief for hard-working american families. we are pleased to announce that the president will be traveling to indianapolis, indiana, on wednesday. while there he will deliver remarks on the historic tax cuts and reforms that he has been, woing on with members of congress. during his remarks the president will discuss new details on the framework for these cuts and reforms. these details will include specific proposed rates for individuals, small businesses and corporations and he will also discuss the elimination of loopholes that have rigged the current tax code in favor of the wealthy and well connect. as the president has said before we will give our workers the level playing field they deserve and they will win because if the fight is fair, no one on earth can beat the american worker. these cuts and reforms will deliver massive job creation and
economic growth and we are confident that the american people will be very excited about what we are proposing. while working to grow the economy of today the president will sign a memorandum to ensure that american children are empowered to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow. technology is plague a growing role in the economy and this means technical knowledge and skills are more important than ever, but more than half of our schools do not currently offer courses in computer programming and nearly 40% do not offer physics. the memo of the president will sign today will direct betsy devos to address this issue for our students. first it directs the secretary to develop high-quality s.t.e.m. education as one of the department of education's priorities. second, it directs her to establish a goal of devoting $200 million per year in grant funds toward this priority. finally, the memo directs
secretary devos to explore administrative actions that increase the focus computer science and existing k-12 and post-secondary programs. this memorandum comes on the heels of the executive order to expand apprenticeships giving more americans the opportunity to earn while they learn and to receive skills training that will put them on the path to fulfilling work. the president believes it's our responsibility to give our students especially underrepresented groups, minorities and women and those from rural communities every opportunity to succeed. by signing this memoranda he is taking action to ensure they have access to the high-quality stem education they serve. the timing of this memo which will be so important to america's underserved communities is particularly fitting today. september 25th is the 60th anniversary of the little rock nine's first day of class at central high school. a few weeks prior to the first day the governor called in the arkansas national guard to stand by as segregationists blocked
the all-white school. one of the nine recalled, they moved closer and closer. somebody started yelling. i tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd. someone who could help. i looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed like a kind face, but when i looked at her again she spat on me. 20 years ago today as a new student at central high myself i watched president bill clinton and my dad mike huckabee open the doors for the little rock nine, the same doors that had been closed to them because they were black. the little rock nine, elizabethecford, earnest green, carlotta walls, thelma mothershed, terence wallace and the late jefferson thomas are american heros who courageously advanced racial equality. as president trump has said, racism is evil and has no place in our country. central high is the most racially diverse in arkansas. this is a testimony to how far we've come in the last 60 years.
it's not lost on the president or his administration that there is more work to do. we need better schools and we need better jobs to provide a safer, stronger, more prosperous future for every american. president trump is working to make america great again for all of our citizens and his actions continue to show just how committed he is and with that, i'll take your questions. john? >> sarah, clearly the president has strong views on whether or not players in professional sports teams should stand for the national anthem. given the response to the president has gotten over the last 48 hours even from tom brady of the new england patriots who believes that what the president said on friday night was very divisive, does the president regret at all describing these players who take a knee for the national anthem as s.o.b.s when should be fired? >> this isn't about the president being against anyone
and this is about the president and millions of americans being for something, being for honoring our flag and honoring the national anthem and honoring the men and women who fought to defend it. general martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said it best when he said this this morning. it's important to remember that our military is composed entirely of volunteers and it takes a special kind of patriotism for people to volunteer to risk their life for their country. theirs is not blind patriotism that pretends there's nothing wrong with the country. every man and woman in uniform knows we still have work to do to achieve the equality, opportunity and justice for all to which we aspire, but every member of the military also knows that what is right about america is worth defending and if it's worth defending it's worth honoring. he continued, i just hope the athletes who are using the anthem as a protest understand why people like me intend it keep standing during the national anthem. we do so not because we agree
with what america has been done or everything that has been done in america's name, but because all of that the world is a better place because america exists. that seems to me to be worth the honor of respect during the national anthem. >> i understand general dempsey's position. i think people would thank him for his service to this great nation, but did the president go too far in referring to these players as s.o.b.s that should be fired? >> i think it is always appropriate for the president of the united states to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem and to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it. >> the president uses twitter as a platform to emphasize those things that are the most important. over the course of the last 72 hours the president has tweeted nearly a dozen times about sports, kneeling and nascar on this topic. he tweeted zero times about puerto rico. the bottom line is what message is the president sending by emphasizing sports right now and not a crisis that's affecting.
>> he's not emphasizing sports. he's emphasizing something that should be unifying and celebrating and promoting patriotism in our country is something that should bring everybody together. >> when it comes to puerto rico, he has sent senior adviser long to puerto rico today and they're on the ground to assess the damage. we've done unprecedented movement in terms of federal funding to provide for the people of puerto rico and others that have been impacted by the storms. we'll continue to do so and continue to do everything that we can possibly under the federal government to provide assistance. >> to be very clear, you're saying the president is instead emphasizing something that brings americans together then what message does it send for the president to stand behind the presidential seal at a rally in alabama and call an american citizen who is expressing his first amendment rights a son of a bitch? >> it is always appropriate to defend the flag and the defend the national anthem.
hold on, i'm not finished. it's always appropriate for the president of this country to promote the flag and promote the national anthem -- >> and promote the first amendment? >> switching topics. >> north korean leader said president trump had declared worry on north korea and it has right to shoot down. does he take it as a decoration of war? >> not at all. we've not declared war on north korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd. >> what is the white house's reaction to north korea's threat to shoot down u.s. aircraft even if it's not in their airspace? >> it's never appropriate to shoot down another country's aircraft when it's over international waters. our goal is still the same. we continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the korean peninsula. that's our focus. doing that through both the most maximum, and diplomatic pressures as possible at this point. >> does the president believe
that there are very fine people who kneeled yesterday or are they all s.o.b.s? >> i think you're trying to con flight different things here. we respect the rights people have, but we always need to focus. this isn't the president being against something which is what everyone wants to draw. this is about the president being for something. this is the president being for respecting the country for symbols like the american flag and the hundreds of thousands that stand versus the few hundred that may have knelt. >> the president said that kneeling has nothing to do with race. colin kaepernick took a kneel, took to his knees in his games and specifically because he said black people in this country were not being treated fairly by police. how is that not an issue of race? >> think the focus has long since changed and certainly the message and what a lot has been communicated over these last several weeks through this
process and through these protests by these players. >> sarah, from this podium you've often expressed frustration on the media and not focused on what the president has and substancive issues and things he wants to get done, tax reform, et cetera. when did the president decide at this rally that he was going to spend so much time talking about the flag itself and doesn't that distract from the things he's trying to accomplish whether it's tax reform, health care or the efforts in puerto rico or the showdown with north korea? >> look, i certainly think that talking about the american flag is a distraction for the president of the united states. >> again, this should be something that every american can get behind, support and celebrate national pride in our country and supporting those that have fought and died to defend it from all different backgrounds, and so i think again, that that certainly
should be a priority of the president and you act like that's all he did over the weekend. we also did a lot of other things and we're continuing to push forward on tax reform and continuing to push forward on health care and continuing to push forward on the safety and security of the border and our country. >> he came to the rally with that in mind. that was a point he said i want to put this in the headlines. >> i'm not sure when that decision was made. i wasn't there, but i know it's a priority for the president to always defend our flag, always defend the national anthem and certainly to support the men and women in uniform. jennifer? >> a couple of questions if you don't mind, sarah. on the german election has the president called merkel yet to congratulate her on her win? >> i know they spoke on friday and are working on a second call. i don't believe that's taken place yet today? >> why not yet? she won on sunday. >> they're just working on the logistics piece of both leaders coordinating. >> and on tax reform, can you say when the president was briefed on the big plan?
has he signed off on that? does the president have a final plan now? >> he's had quite a few conversations with members of his team and both secretary mnuchin and gary cohn. those will continue and he'll make those announcements on specifics on wednesday in indiana. mike? >> can you address the it over the weekend that the president was, and kim particularly in the united nations speech. >> i'm sorry? i missed the first part of your question, i'm sorry. what you said. >> "the l.a. times" report that the president was warn not to provoke kim jong-un in his united nations speech because it would politically backfire and now we see that they've taken this as a declaration of war. >> as i've said many times before, i wouldn't use another news source as your source and i pushed back on that story at the
time, but that's a false narrative. the national security team was involved and engaged throughout the speech writing process and was very happy with the president's speech at the u.n. >> when colin kaepernick says that his protest is about fighting police brutality, fighting racial disparity and racial injustice, you're not taking him at his word. you're saying the focus has long since moved on, but when white supremacists say that their protest is about heritage and not hate the president does take them at their word. so why is there this disparity about who gets to decide what protest is about? >> i think the debate is really for them about police brutality they should probably protest the officers on the field that are protecting them instead of the american flag. >>. >> i'm sorry. i wanted to ask about the
president said on the radio, he seem pessimistic about health care and i wonder what his reaction is today. is he calling on individual senators and i know the vice president has been doing that. what is his thought today and do you think there will be a vote this week? whether or not there is a vote, we hope so. we will call congress to do what they are elected to do and that is to repeal and replace obamacare. we're continuing to push forward. we know we can't live about the obamacare status quo to complete disaster an we're hoping this moves forward. >> is he doing something? >> he's continuing to be engaged both directly and through his team -- the legislative affairs team and the president. >> tomorrow he's going to new york. can you tell us what that dinner is? it seems like a fund-raising dinner from e-mails. can you tell us what he's doing tomorrow? >> it is a fund-raising dinner and i'll have to get back to you with specifics. >> this is a significant week, a pivotal week for the president
and republicans. it's an opportunity, some are saying, the last best chance for repealing and replacing obamacare, and much of yesterday, the beginning part of yesterday was focused as far as the president was concerned on the nfl on players who take a knee. can you explain how that's helpful to that effort of repealing and replacing obamacare when the president spends so much time on that other issue, the issue involving sports? >> it really doesn't take out that long to type out 140 characters and he's more than capable of doing more than one thing at a time and more than one thing in a day. >> you see, sarah, how it's taken up so much oxygen, right? when the president speaks about that particular issue you see how the majority of questions that have been asked of you so far today -- >> that's determined by you guys. >> he has a tremendous amount of power when he tweets and we report on it and so when he tweets something it does take away from his legislative agenda, would you not agree?
>> no, i don't because i think it's important for our president to show patriotism, to be a lead or this issue and he has. john? >> thank you, sarah. two questions. one, secretary carson recently voiced his disagreement with the president and the vice president on the runoff in alabama tomorrow. my question is not about the runoff, but about personnel. our members of the cabinet and the president's official family, free to disagree with him on matters such as political contest. >> the president has a lot of people with a variety of backgrounds and certainly with a variety of opinions. he always welcomes in voicing those. on that particular issue, i didn't talk to the president about it. >> second question. >> on september 15th, another narrative the spokeswoman for the state department spoke at the national press club, and i think this is important because
prime minister rahoi is meeting with the president tomorrow. the u.s. took no position on the site that is scheduled october 1st about separating and becoming a separate country and i quote, we will work with any government or entity that comes out of it, end of quote. now does that mean that if catalonia votes to secede from spain the u.s. will recognize it as an independent country. >> >> i don't have anything fth other than what heather said on that issue. if it changes after that takes place we'll let you know. >> sarah, thanks. is the white house reviewing jared kushner's private e-mail account for official government business and how wide spread is the use of private e-mail accounts in this white house? >> to my knowledge, very limited. white house counsel has instructed all white house staff to use their government e-mail
for official business and only use that e-mail. >> has he instructed them since this came up? >> i think we get instructed on this one pretty regularly, so -- matthew? >> politico's reported that secretary price has been taking private jets, and kellyanne conway traveled to six states. given that conway was on one of these trips, one was the white house aware of price's travel and given he spent more than $400,000 on taxpayer money on private jets just since may, is there any standard for what is and isn't tolerated by this white house when it comes to this kind of conduct? >> this wasn't white house-approved travel. this was done through the general budget of the department -- sorry, the department of hhs and i think secretary price addressed this over the weekend. they're conducting both an internal and i.g. review and all travels on private charters have
been suspended until that's completed. >> if i can get the white house's take on that travel since it wasn't approved ahead of time and is it ever appropriate for a cabinet official to spend money on private planes and notice private planes differentiate from military flight. >> i think there are certain instances where it probably is, but that has to be done on a case by case basis. i'm not going to give a blanket statement on hypothetical situations that couldn't possibly be aware of. >> whether or not the white house is looking back on that, do you approve of that travel? >> the white house again, travel wouldn't have gone through the white house for approval and so i couldn't speak to this. mike? >> two immigration-related questions. one, do you anticipate a refugee announcement on the next couple of days on refugees from the president which has to happen before the end of the year and this week and so can you give us some sense of what that's going to be in, and will there be
restrictions built in and second on daca, there's been word now on the principles that the president and the white house wants to put out to sort of describe the way forward towards a legislative deal. is that something that you can give us some guidance on? >> on the first question, i expect that something will happen on that relatively soon and we have those details and it's appropriate we'll be happy to share them. again, i think it will be soon and we'll let you know who that's been finalized. in terms of your second question, and the responsible immigration reform, we will be putting out specific prens pein that the white house supports and would like to see it done legislatively. [ inaudible question ] >> probably in the coming days. >> can you clarify, are you encouraging nfl players to protest police? >> no. no. that's not what i was saying. i was pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that if the goal is
and the message is of that police brutality which they've stated, then that doesn't seem very appropriate to protest the american flag. i'm not sure how those two things would be combineded. >> today iraqi kurds -- i was just wondering you expressed your dissatisfaction with that taking place, and i was wondering if the white house had a message for the turks, the iranians and the iraqis as they waive their response to the vote? >> we hope for a unified iraq to annihilate isis and certainly a unified iraq to push back on iran. >> and second question, why is saudi arabia not included in the list of countries? >> because the way that the travel order has been placed is that countries has to meet a minimum baseline requirement and
be a part of sharing information over this last period of time they stepped up and met the baseline requirements that the united states has laid out. zeke? >> back to the situation in puerto rico, can you address the criticism for the islands and the delegates, representatives and other lawmakers about the slow pace of federal assistance. what steps is the administration taking presently and in the coming days to increase the pace of relief and aid and more broadly, was the administration put it to two other massive storms and is that a bridge too far? >> want at all. the federal response has been anything, but slow. in fact, there's been an unprecedented push through of billions of dollars of assistance that the administration has fought for. as i mentioned earlier tom bosser and the brock long are on the ground today to do a more thorough and deeper assessment of what needs there are. our focus is still continuing to
be on the life-saving efforts and the immediate disaster response efforts which are still currently under way and those funds have been secured and are available and once we have a greater insite into the full assessment of damage then we'll determine what's needed and we're in the fact-finding process. jordan? >> to jen's question earlier about tax reform, and you didn't answer her question about whether the president won't be announcing the last several days and administration officials about whether the corporate tax rate will be set and is the tax plan finalized right now. >> there are certain details that are finalized and the president will be announcing those on wednesday. jordan? >> on puerto rico, what would the administration say to people on the island who are saying there's not a lot of time to do
the fact-finding mission and with electricity and gas and there are buildings that don't even have roofs and there is water coming into houses and what would they say that there's not enough time and that aid needs to be rushed there immediately. >> again, the response has been in a an unprecedented level and we're supplying federal assistance as quickly as possible. we'll continue to do that. the president asked both tom bosser and brock long to go beyond the ground and help come back and give us a list of what is needed. i'm talking about longer-term assessment which simply can't be done. >> we want to make sure that the funding is provided, but we also want to make sure that we're actually funding the correct things. sarah? >> deb? >> steep bannon and another former white house official are supporting more and more in the alabama primary tomorrow and we know that they met with -- who
is challenging dean howard. does the president believe, we talked about loyalty friday night. does he believe that he owes it to republican senators who voted for a senate health care bill to support that? how does he peel about his own people, basically, supporting a challenger and he's spoken to him about it? >> as i said about it before, the political nature of the question, and i'm not going to weigh in on a specific race. >> i'm not asking about a specific race. i'm asking about a principle here. the president talked about loyalty friday night. does he feel that on principle that if republicans vote the way he pushes them to or wants them to or asks them to, does he owe them something in return and does he feel that the people who have worked in this white house should go along with his thoughts on these races? >> i think the president feels he owes it to the american people who elected him which means that they supported the agenda he was trying to promote and the more we have like-minded
officials helping promote and push that agenda and pass that legislation, i think the better off we are and that's certainly the reason that the president was elected and so i think the more that we can have people help make that successful, that's certainly, i think, a positive thing and the right step forward. halle? >> i want to follow up here. will the white house commit to releasing jared kushner's private e-mails? >> i would have to ask them. i'm not aware of that conversation. >> again, i'm not going to get ahead of a conversation that hasn't taken place. >> will you let us know? >> sure. >> great. my other question, too. i want to sus out the question, you talk about the president wanting to defend the flag. you know the oath of office was to defend the constitution. so does the president have a problem with the first amendment? >> not at all. the president is simply stating that pride in our country is a good thing. it's something that we should all celebrate and something that
should bring us together and not divide us and standing up for the national anthem is a symbol of that. jim? >> a follow-up on what halle was asking, why is it that the president over the weekend is seeming to go after african-american athletes and this morning he's putting out a tweet praising nascar which obviously is geared toward a different demographic, and the way they stand in respect in honor of the flag. is he trying to wage something of a culture war? >> not at all. the president is not talking about race. the president is talking about pride in our country. what you saw yesterday were players and fans of all races. that's what the president is talking about and that's what his focus is on. as you know, the president has got an, vent in a few minutes and we'll close there. thank you very much. have a good day. >> all right. you have been listening to white house press secretary sarah sanders, the administration defending the president's
controversial attacks on nfl players saying that he's not against anyone, but standing up for the flag. so much to discuss here. you heard that briefing. she was being pummelled with questions about the president's comments criticizing those nfl players who kneel during the national anthem. i want to bring in my panel now, gloria, i want to start with you. it was clear the talking point here was saying that you know, he's not against anyone. he is for bringing everyone together. he wants everyone to be united. how can that be if he singled out players in alabama, calling them names, s.o.b.s? >> well, it was difficult. it was clear to me that sarah sanders had an audience of one who would be watching her and that's the president of the united states and what she seemed to be saying is that, look, this is just about the flag. this isn't about the first amendment. this isn't about race. when she was asked quite
directly by john roberts of fox, you know, how do you defend that when the president calls people s.o.b.s who should be fired she said it's always appropriate to defend the flag. so what she was doing was deflecting every question about how this might be interpreted by people who were called names and saying, well, no, no, no. wait a minute, the president really just is patriotic and these people, by insinuation are not patriotic and by the way, if they want to attack police officers who don't think or defending them, why not look at the people who are protecting them on the sidelines? she said that a bit sarcastically, but i think what she was trying to do was deflect. >> all right. i want to bring in jim acosta, jim, we saw sarah sanders, she sort of cut you off there on the heels of asking whether the
president is trying to wage a culture war, and she claims that no, he's not. >>. >> reporter: hi, pam, that's right. what we heard from sarah sand sers this is not about race and you heard repeatedly during the briefing today, the white house trying to say no, that the president wants to honor the american flag and wants to see athletes do the same thing at sporting events. i wasn't given a follow-up question like my other colleagues in the room, but why is it that the president was seeming to go after african-american athletes and he went after colin kaepernick in alabama friday night and went after steph curry of the golden state warriors on saturday saying he was no longer invited to the white house for their championship celebration here when at the same time and i tried to follow up with this question, tom brady did not make it here to the white house and the new england patriots made it and there were no angry tweets from the president directed at
tom brady and i think it does raise this question especially when you have the president early this morning tweeting about his respect for and his gratitude toward nascar fans and the way they honor the flag at their events. i think, pam, you know, i don't think it's a stretch to say it is a bit of a dog whistle that is being played out there, and as you saw here at the very telling of the briefing and sarah sanders wanted no part of the conversation and she insisted this is not about race and not a culture war and she was headed for the exits. >> thank you, jim acosta. stand by. >> sure. >> i want to bring back our panel on that note. sarah sanders was asked point-blank how can it not be about race when the whole thing started when colin kaepernick kneeled to protest what he believed was racial injustice and police violence. ifram salam, you're a retired nfl player and she responded to that saying the reason for kneeling has become something other than that, that the focus
has long since changed. what is your reaction? is that true? >> it's absolutely false, and when she said it i kind of chuckled because that's the narrative that they want you to follow. they want it to be about something other than what the actual issue is. colin kaepernick himself and other players who have been protesting during the national anthem at these games have stated what they're protesting and the injustice at the hands of paid, protecting officials in this country in large part due to minorities. now if you want to change the narrative to help you and make it about the flag and being patriotic then that only helps your case instead of actually talking about what the actual protest is about and it's frustrating for those who want a voice in this because they want the narrative to change. because if the narrative changes now they seem like they're in the right. hey, we're all americans. let's, you know, we're
patriotic. we'll stand for the flag. we won't desecrate the flag by taking a knee and in fact, how can a man who claims to be patriotic and about the flag who was a known draft dodger who insulted senator mccain for being a p.o.w. and called him a loser who made fun of a gold star family when their child was killed in battle, how can that be patriotic? you can't have it both ways. >> christine brennan, i want to get your perspective on this. of course, you're a sports analyst. sarah was asked this notion that the president has every right to promote the flag and to be patriotic, but what about the first amendment in all of this? >> yeah, well, i will say this, certainly, she was exercising her first amendment right to say whatever she wanted to say. as a journalist who has covered many, many press conference i
have to say that was just alarming, appalling and you just want to throw up your hands as a journalist and say what are you hearing? obviously, the answers -- just, she can't answer. there's nothing to say. the tweets speak for themselves. what you have here with colin kaepernick is a man who quietly, who peacefully protested, as you said, just exhibiting his opportunity to exercise his first amendment rights as he feels that he could. also, while he was doing that as many people know, he pledged to give a million dollars to charity and he is by all accounts close to that million dollars. that's what colin kaepernick has done as he's drawn the ire of so many people, kaepernick has been giving a million dollars to charity. so there's that piece of it, as well, and i think the overall outcome. you can see by the questions, this story is not going away. it is a big deal, and by not answering the question properly
as i believe the president secretary did not do, i think it just keeps it going and it's a big issue and it should be a big issue in this country and an important issue to discuss for all of us. >> nia, what do you have to say to her response about this is aing that, look, protesters should speak out against officers protecting them if their issue is with police violence and not speak out against the flag? >> well, i don't remember any of these protesters speaking out against the flag, right in the this idea that they're protesting the flag, i mhadn't - hadn't realized that is what they're doing. they're using a moment during the football games to draw attention to their cause, to their issue in their call for racial justice and racial equality and you see that often with protest, right? even if you think about the march on washington. it was in washington to make a point, right? it was in washington to dramatize a point and that's what protesters often do.
this idea that there's a right way and a wrong way to protest is just silly, and sort of misses the point of what protest is all about. it is actually meant to disrupt. it is meant to draw attention to a cause and i think if you look at social movements throughout history. the public often disagrees with protesters, even if they're marching peacefully across a bridge, right? that was seen as disruptive as well. if you think about the march in selma. so this idea that somehow there's a correct way and if they do it that way they would somehow be correct and draw some support, i think it's just not in line with history here. it was interesting, if you look at what she did in the beginning, she was talking about the little rock nine at some point, wrapping the white house in this administration in the civil rights movement and the civil rights movement was
incredibly disruptive and people didn't agree with the civil rights movement as it happened and you can go back and sanitize it now, but is wasn't that way back then. >> gloria, there are people in his base and otherwise who do believe that it's disrespectful, and it's insulting to members of the military who have fought for our freedom by kneeling during the national anthem. so you know, why is it such an issue that the president spoke out about this? >> well, look, absolutely. there are people who disagreed about taking the knee, and honest people can have that disagreement about whether that's appropriate thing to do, whether it was the right thing to do at the moment and the president, however, was full of grievance and he was mad because he wasn't going to go to the
white house. the warriors, you're not invited to the white house. he's so full of grievance that he can't see the larger argument here so he moved from steph curry to the taking of the knee and then he started calling people s.o.b.s. this is the president of the united states who started calling people names. tomorrow he may move on and call somebody else a name, whether it's john mccain for voting against him or jeff sessions if he doesn't like what he does, but at this point we understand this is the m.o. of this president when he has a grievance for somebody, this is what he does or when he feels like he's been insulted, but the country is really not about donald trump. the country is about larger things and if you want to have a discussion about patriotism and you want to have a discussion about how people are treated by the police, that's something the president ought to say. we need to have that. we need to do that.
let's use this as a moment, but you know that's not going to happen and so everybody else has to have that discussion without him. >> it is so interesting. you look at the bigger picture and all that's on the president's plate right now, tax reform, healthcare, puerto rico and this has seemingly been a big focus for him over the last few days. efraim, i want to ask you, only a small faction of nfl players kneeled during the national anthem before this. now in the wake of the president's tweet it seems as though he has galvanized nfl players and owners. >> he has, and yes, it was a small group of players who carried on what colin kaepernick started last year and i'm disappointed that it took something like this from the man who is supposed to be the leader of the free world to make those disparaging statements about these men who have done nothing, but elevate people in their communities and donated their time and money to charity. i played 13 years in the nfl.
i had a foundation. i put children in school. it's -- the things that these professional athletes in all of sports do to help their community, to call them s.o.b.s, it's disheartening, but i want to make one thing clear. what we saw yesterday was we saw owners and we saw players come together. they were galvanized by the staples that trump made, but i want you to understand this, i am not fooled by any of it because you have to remember, a large portion of these owners, nine teams, to be exact, contributed funds to -- directly to president trump and his campaign. this is not something -- these statements he made about the nfl and about these players taking the knee, those aren't surprising to me. i'm not shocked by that because if you look at his platform that he ran on, the rhetoric was unbelievable. he's been disparaging people,
handicapped people, women, minorities and the whole time and for you to come out of your pocket and donate money to a person like that, to take office in the best country in the world and now you're upset because he says something about your beloved nfl? let's not get blinded by the fact that some of those same owners who were locked arm in arm with those players who they did not want to recognize prior to those statements as having a constitutional freedom to protest now all of a sudden they're galvanized there with the team. i'm not okay about that. to me it's a slap in the face. >> let me -- let me ask you on that note, christine, what do you make of these owners here who have released statements condemning the president's comments, but none have hired colin kaepernick? >> that's true. i kind of joke, but how long before kaepernick gets hired?
now he's the least of anyone's concerns and he's a good quarterback who took a team to the super bowl five years ago. so there's that piece of it. these owners are business people and at the end of the day they want to make sure these employees -- this is a big deal to their employees, obviously. thankfully it is. they get that. it may be that they are kind of playing both sides against the middle, however it was nice it see them working together with the players on sunday and standing with the players on sunday. i agree their history and the background of a lot of these owners is very different in terms of supporting trump, but at least for one day they were with their players. >> all right. thank you so much, everyone. much more to discuss on this very busy monday. coming up, the other big headline today, north korea claiming president trump declared war over twitter saying that now gives them the right to shoot down american planes. we will discuss the escalating tension and what comes next. people confuse nice and kind
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thanks for joining me on this monday. i'm pamela brown in for brooke bolduan. the white house today in damage control once again. it seems this time after president trump triples down on his attack on the nfl, blasting players who kneel during the anthem as, quote, s.o.b.s and urging team owners to fire them. press secretary sarah sanders was pressed on the president's comments moments ago. >> did the president go too far in referring to these players as s.o.b.s who should be fired? >> i think that it's always appropriate for the president of the united states to defend our flag, to defend the national apth sxem to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it. >> does the president believe there are very fine people who kneeled yesterday watching those games or are they all