tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 26, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
it is a strong foundation for lasting cooperation. on behalf of the american people, i want to express our support and prayers of those affected by the vial terror attack in spain last month. i want to assure the people of spain that america stands with you in confronting this evil that threatens all of humanity. we will continue to deny the terrorists their funding, their territory, and any form of support for their wicked ideology. in this common fight, america greatly appreciates spain's contribution to the coalition to defeat isis. spanish troops and police have trained more than 30,000 members of the iraqi security forces west also thank the spanish people for being such gracious hosts to the american service members stationed at spanish
bases. the united states and spain together face many critical dangers and challenges from north korea to iran to venezuela. we thank spain for its recent decision to expel its north korean ambassador, and for standing with us in our efforts to isolate the brutal north korean regime. it is time for all responsible nations to join forces, to isolate the north korean menace. north korean nuclear weapons and missile development threaten the entire word with unthinkable loss of life. all nations must act now to ensure the regime's complete denuclearization. i appreciate the united nations security council voting twice, unanimously, 15-0, twice, to adopt hard hitting resolutions against north korea. i have recently issued tough new
sanctions against those who do business with this outlaw regime. and i applaud china's latest action to restrict its trade with north korea. and in particular, i applaud china for breaking off all banking relationships with north korea. something that people would have thought unthinkable, even two months ago. i want to thank president xi. here in the western help sphere, we have seen the heart breaking tragedy of the socialist rule in venezuela. spain has been especially help have in promoting the rule and well being of the people and we thank you for your efforts. we hope our friends in the e.u. will soon follow the united states, canada, and many latin america nations, in sanctioning the madero regime.
the citizens have endured immense starvation, suffering and dangers, political unrest. under the oppressive socialist regime. together, spain and the united states hope for peace for the restoration of democracy, and for the release of all political prisoners. wherever socialism spreads, misery follows. the people of venezuela deserve a future of freedom. in the economic arena, we support trade that benefits both spain and the united states. which means it must be fair and it must be reciprocal. such an important word. it has not been used very much in the united states. spain is the tenth largest investor in the united states and i commend spanish business leaders for their confidence in
america and the american worker. xrg our stock market has just hit all time highs, i think they like the united states very much right now. this is a time of tremendous opportunity for our world. but also, serious dangers. as i said at the united nations, which future really is up to us, if we empower our citizens, serve their needs, and appeal to all that is best in the human spirit, then i have no doubt we will succeed like never, ever before. mr. president, i'll look forward to working with you, to build this future of prosperity and peace for both spain and for the united states of america. thank you very much. thank you.
>> i would like the start by expressing my solidarity and that of the spanish people with the people in the u.s. government after the terrible events president trump just referred to. and that took place in texas, florida and other u.s. reasonings, and puerto rico. we hope and we wish that even if what happened can't be changed, we hope that in the future we can do as best as possible for everyone. president trump and i had a working meeting today which was very productive. we went through, spain and the united states are two partners, we share democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, the rule of law, and we have
institutional, cultural corporate ties which are very important. relations between the two countries have been excellent. and we must continue to work to strengthen those relations even more, especially in the economic arena. that's why our priorities to strengthen the economy are key. trade between two countries is growing sustainedly. the united states is our second top trading partner outside of europe. the united states is our top destination outside of european union. and regarding investments, it is the second top destination of the top on investments in spain. for many years, spanish invested in the u.s. they're creating many stable and high quality jobs in different sectors, such as the financial
industry and energy. and this has been possible, thanks to the establishment of subsidiaries in the united states by 600 spanish companies, and they will continue to create jobs. that's why they follow closely investment opportunities in the united states and they can contribute their technology. i've also given details to president trump on spain's role in different crises which are important to us all. for instance, he referred to our participation in the coalition and the crisis due to nuclear proliferation in north korea. combatting terrorism was something we talked about at length. spain has a longstanding experience in this area. we've been hit by terrorist attacks on our soil. both countries agree on
anti-terrorist policy and we cooperate very closely in the police, military and intelligence areas. i've also said that we still need to do a lot in the area of tension. we need to improve coordination in the area of cyber security or preventing the recruitment of terrorists. and spain's row in the global coalition against trich and our deployment in iraq. we've trained over 32,000 officers. in addition to that, i've told president trump that we would increase our commitment with the new phase after the fall of mosul by contributing a new financial package. we also have long relations in the area of defense. both in nato and by laterally in
the spanish forces. our defense agreement goes back to 1988. at the time, spain was in the back seat of the alliance. right now we're at the forefront. so the defense and security relations is excellent. we would like that to spill over into other areas of the bilateral negotiations. regarding the international situation, we've agreed that the challenge by north korea to the nonproliferation regime is an intolerable violation of international legality and i've expressed the full support of the spanish government to the stepping up of sanctions as approved by the united nations.
the european union is working on americanures and spain will continue to press for a full common stance with the united states and its allies. i've also reminded president trump that the spanish government has taken measures that have reduced the diplomatic presence of north korea our country. president trump has thanked me for the firm position my government has taken and the measures we've taken. according to venezuela, we've exchanged views on the direction country is moving and its impoverishment with the irma reply indications in the high school human area. we've noted a need to sustain pressure on the government so it commits to negotiations which will enable us to find a democratic negotiated and
peaceful solution to the current crisis. i have reminded that spain has spearheaded the adoption of sanctions, which were first targeted. so we've gone through the political and economic situation of both our countries. spain and the united states are friends and aize with many common aize and interests. and wee agreed to work together with a comprehensive and cooperative vision. i would like toa the warm welcome that was extended by president trump and his team at the white house. and i would like to underscore the friendship that exists between the united states and spain. thank you. >> thank you. >> steve holland, please, reuters? don't get nervous, steve.
>> instead of dealing with puerto rico -- >> i wasn't preoccupied with the nfl. i was ashamed of what was taking place. to me that was a very important moment. i don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem. to me the nfl situation is a very important situation. i've heard that before about, was i preoccupied? not at all. i have plenty of time on my hands. all i do is work. to be honest with you, that's an important function of working. it is called respect for our country. many people have died. many, many people. many people are so horribly injured. i was at walter reed hospital and i saw so many great young people and their missing arms and their missing legs and they're so badly injured of they were fighting for our country. for our flag. they were fighting for our national anthem. for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of
our national anthem i think is disgracef disgraceful. so i will also say that again i read you part of his quote, but the governor of puerto rico is so thankful for the great job we're doing. we did a great job in texas, in florida, in louisiana. we hit little pieces of georgia and alabama. frankly, it is the most difficult job. it is on an island in the middle of the ocean. you can't just drive your truck there from the other states. and the governor thanked me for fema and all the first responders. and we're mentioning with that, the u.s. virgin islands. it was devastated. at the same time, it doesn't take long the put out a wrong. and maybe we'll get it right. i think it is very important for the nfl to not allow people to
kneel. to respect our country and our flag of thank you. >> is it going to take a war to rein in north korea and what is your advice on dealing with this? >> translator: no one wishes for their to be a war anywhere in the word. but it's true that the recent events in north korea with implications in the neighboring countries, very important countries, and it means that we all have to be forceful of the those of houston defend the values of democracy, freedom and human rights, have to let north korea know that it isn't going anywhere in that direction. for the time being, sections
have been documented. spain will support any political decision which will contribute to putting an end to this situation which has nothing to do with the principles and values most of western and global democracies defend. thank you. we don't know if in your conversation you discussed the catalan situation. this is a question for president trump. do you support what the spanish government is doing regarding catalonia? i would like to ask the president of the spanish government, whether he fears that, and what would the government do then? >> well, i think spain is a great country and it should remain united. we're dealing with a great,
great country and it should remain united. i've been watching that unfold. it has been unfolding for centuries. and i think that nobody knows if they're going to have a vote. i think the president would say they're not going to have a vote. i can say speaking for myself, i would like to see spain continue to be united. >> translator: the decision to unilaterally declare independence is not something, it is not a decision i would make. it is a decision which would have to be made or not by the catalan government. i think it would be very wrong and i think that right now, when everyone knows the referendum can take place because there is not a team at the government organizing the referendum.
there aren't ballots. there aren't people at the voting stations. so it is just crazy. all this will lead to is noise. but certainly, there can be a valid democratic referendum with guarantees, with minimum guarantees. i think what would make sense in a situation such as this is to go back to common sense and put an end to this whole story. the only thing it's doing is generating division, tensions, and it is not contributing in any way to the citizens situation. i want this to be resolved as soon as possible. and i want this to go into a new stage where the rule of law, die go on and common sense prepare. >> thank you. cbs? >> yes, hi.
>> are you contemplating the deployment of special naval assets or air assets to puerto rico to address the problems there? on north korea very quickly, the foreign minister said you have declared effectively war on north korea and the north korean government has threatened to shoot down or aim at american planes flying in international air space. >> i'll answer the second one first. we are totally prepared for the second option. not a preferred option. if we take that option, it will be devastating. i can tell you that. devastating for north korea. that's called the military option. if we have to take it, we will. he is acting very badly.
he is saying things that should never, ever be said. and we're replying to those things. if you look back to the things he's said at past administrations. snouk a situation that should have been handled 25 years ago, 15 years ago, ten years ago, five years ago, and it could have been handled very easily. you had various administrations which left me a mess. but i'll fix the mess. we'll see what happens. as far as puerto rico is concerned, just the opposite. we have had tremendous reviews from government officials, as we have in texas and louisiana and as we have in florida from governor scott and greg abbott. great governors. and this morning, the governor made incredible statements about how with we're doing.
we understand it is a disaster that just happened. the grid was in bad shape before the storm. and puerto rico got hit by two hurricanes. and they were among biggest we've ever seen with the second one being even worse. the second one hit puerto rico as a category 5. i don't believe anybody has ever seen that happen before. hit land with that kind of velocity. the governor has been extremely generous and i appreciated it. we right now have our top people from fema. we are unloading on an hourly basis massive loads of water and food and supplies for puerto rico. and this isn't like florida where we can go right up the spine, or like texas, just down the line and distribute. we have a thing called the atlantic ocean, tough stuff. the governor has been so
incredible in his sfwamts the job we're doing. don't forget, the police force have been decimated. many of the police have lost their homes of the sure, they want to be police but they want to watch their fap liz and find their families. they have to live. so we're very much involved in security in puerto rico. so everybody is saying, it is amazing the job we've done and i'm going there on tuesday. with all of that being said, record, if you look at the amount of water dropped on that side, the first they barely got out of. we are literally unloading on an hourly basis, water, food, supplies. we have our top people from fema and our first responders and everybody else. we'll be deploying navy ships.
and we are going to do far more than anybody else would ever be able to do and it is being recognized as such but it is a tough situation. do you have a question for the president? >> prime minister, if i may, sir, do you share president trump's he hostility toward the venezuelan regime? and what is your opinion of president trump's suggestion that u.s. military intervention might be required if the venezuelan government doesn't change course? do you support that? would you be an advocate within the e.u. for tougher sanctions against the venezuelan government? >> translator: we're spearheading in the european union a proposal to impose sanctions in venezuela. what is happening in venezuela is unacceptable. traditionally it was a democratic country and at this time it is no longer a democratic country.
they're political prisoners. there are people in jail only because they think differently from mr. maduro. the wife of the person who was jailed because mr. maduro didn't like him. there were many others who were sent to jail. there was a parliament and the government has made up this other parliament chflt has its meeting next to the other par amount and that's legislation. they've created an anti-democratic tour which seeks the judge people without respecting minimum high school rights standards. venezuela is on the road to dictatorship unless it can be shared. so we have to do something at
this point. sanctions are important. it is important there is an international coalition so democracy is restored. this lack of democracy and the attack against human rights and freedoms are coming in conjunction with economic, a terrible economic situation, with the 300% inflation rate. with problems supplying foods and medicines to people of the so it is a really tragic situation. and i think that we have, the united states and spain, have a responsibility toward venezuela. there are a lot of spaniards living in venezuela and i'm worried about them and the rest. but they certainly worry me. i think that the international community should be forceful with regard to venezuela. >> translator: i have a question
for each of you. from president trump. with the serious political crisis in spain, because of the referendum on sunday, what solution do you think there is? have you given advice to president rajoy on this matter? do you think there should be a dialogue to find a solution? now a question for prime minister rajoy. it seems what you're doing in catalonia, the way you're managing things that catalonia, is having an impact on the budget, and i would like to know whether you think the situation can be resolved or do you think you will have to call early elections? thank you very much. >> well, i think the people of catalonia have been talking about this for a long time. i bet you, if you had accurate numbers and accurate polling, you would find they love their country. they love spain. and they wouldn't leave. so i'll for a united spain. i speak as the president of the
united states, as somebody that has great respect for your president, and also has great, really great respect for your country. i really think the people of catalonia would stay with spain. i think it would be foolish not to. you're talking about staying with a truly great, beautiful and very historic country. >> we will be delaying the budget in parliament because we think when we submit the budgets, we will need the support to approve then. we're with different political parties, and i don't think we'll have any problems if we continue to work down this line. i don't think we'll have any problems in approving them within a reasonable time frame. we are looking for a majority
like we did last time around when we voted on the budget. i'm not thinking about calling early elections as a result of what we were seeing. >> mr. president. thank you very much. thank you. and there they go. you've been watching the president of the united states, questions on a couple of different issues. back and forth on the nfl and kneeling and patriotism. what we've went listening to that, there's been some serious breaking news with regard to health care. a no go vote coming out of this luncheon. apparently mitch mcconnell just said there's no point on voting on something they know will fail. and the president making news on north korea.
let me bring my entire panel in. starting with you, first, on the nfl of the the question i think was, why have you been so preoccupied with the nfl? and comparing that with why the silence this dire situation in puerto rico is this the president saying, i wasn't preoccupied but i've been ashamed. so he is still tripling down on how those players and coaches who have been kneeling, calling it disrespect have. >> right. i would note when he came into the rose garden before the event got underway with the bilateral agenda, he made sure to make comments about puerto rico. when asked about this, he said he wasn't distracted at all and this wasn't a distraction, note what the president of the united states chose to put front and center before things got even started today. it is the thing that he knows there's been some criticism
about. so he got out there and did that which means, he does know the nfl distracted from the opportunity of him to lead out in front early on on the puerto rico issue. to your point, he didn't step away at all from his criticism. and you can see how firmly he believes in the position he is holding on this nfl issue. he didn't shy away from saying that, or equivocating in any way. he is clearly on one side of this issue. and he reaasserted that he thinks the nfl should put a rule in place that prevents people. >> heroes of our military, badly wounded and said how could you do this? this is so disrespectful. the president's words. pam oliver, your senior correspondent for fox sports. you've been in the thick of. this you've been talking to
players. you just heard the president's words. what are you hearing? >> let me tell you, the game i worked on sunday, the seattle seahawks were in tennessee to play the titans. before the game, i noticed something different. i've been doing this 20 years and i noticed that players were not really distracted, but they were a little bit annoyed. they were ticked off, angry. their emotions were all over the place. and i felt it was because of the president's comments. i felt they felt emboldened. when you see no players, coaches, any other personnel on the side line with the singing of the national anthem, i think that sets this up to get everybody to understand this is serious. we are taking this whole thing regarding social injustice. not the flag. not the anthem. a lot of people are missing the
point. and no one more than the president. >> i think it is noteworthy. i've been a fan of yours for a long time. in all the 20 years you've been covering football, that says something to me. >> i want to add to what the panel is saying it spoke to somebody who is a friend of the president's. and who has spoken within the last couple days. and he said that the president is happy about all of this. because he believes that he has struck a chord in america that people are rising up because they want to be patriot bic abo the flag. and as he said, he was ashamed of what he saw taking place at football games. so the president tripling down cops will at it from a completely different point of view. and it doesn't sound to me like he will back down or change his mind any time. >> right.
and on puerto rico, let me get over to jim acosta who is standing by. it was puerto rico from the very beginning, he's been criticized, it sounds like he's saying puerto rico is pleased with the job done so far. >> i should point out we're being asked to leave the rose garden any minute now. you heard the president say, his administration has received tremendous reviews from people on the ground of the if you go listen to what some of those local officials have been saying over the last 12 to 24 hours, there have been crises for help. primarily coming from those officials in puerto rico. not necessarily a whole chorus of reviews. that will be a herculean effort
for the president to go to puerto rico. he said he would like to go to the virgin islands as well. so you heard him try to make this pivot over the last few days. we've been focusing a lot more on the president's views when it comes to what the president is saying. not so much his focus puerto rico. you can look at the number of tweets that he's issued since friday night. 24 or so tweets on the nfl and the players and on these sports issues. only about four or so on puerto rico. at the same time, no question about it. there will be some eyes on this president. watching and studying his actions because there has been some criticism that he hasn't played attention to what's going on down there. >> let's to go health care as we
were listening to that. the news was crossing. that the senate majority leader told republican lawmakers in this luncheon that the graham/cassidy legislation is a no go. they didn't have enough votes. so -- enough yeses so why bring it to a vote. try, try again. it failed. is it tax reform time? what is your assessment? >> the clock is certainly running out on being able to do repeal and replace effort. this is going to remain an albatross around republicans. it is a core promise they haven't delivered on. yet every attempt has not been popular with the american people. which is why they haven't been able to deliver on it. so it is this constant
conundrum. and what is so interesting in this moment, mitch mcconnell saying we won't even show people that we don't have the votes. we don't want that embarrassment on the floor again. some folks before the lunge today were thinking, no, no, we have to show that we're trying. according to our reporting from them, that there was a consensus in the room. that it was better for the conference if they did not have this vote. did not slow this failure publicly on the floor. >> the irony is, republicans blame, the republicans and the congress more than they blame donald trump on this. so they're going to be the ones who will be held to blame -- >> is that fair? mitch mcconnell has been touted as this, i can help get mega legislation through. and i mean, eye kind of keeping track on the ws in the win column and i'm looking at a
goose egg. >> sure. when you have a congress that had years and voted, what? 50 times to repeal and replace and then they came time run the country and they couldn't do it? sure. i think they deserve the blame. i also think that donald trump doesn't get off scott-free of the he got involved. he tried to cut a dewith his own republicans and he couldn't make it happen either. but polls are showing it is the members of congress who are really going to take the biggest share of the blame here. >> i assure you, this is not the last effort. it may be the last effort this week but republican there's come back. >> so here's the rub depending on your perspective. president trump and mike rogers, this is for you, having worked many an hour, many a year on
capitol hill. president trump told house republican who's are having a bipartisan meeting on tax reform, if they fail on health care, he would work with democrats. the work that did he, according to the discussion. how is that supposed to sit with your fellow republican when's he is saying, you don't play my way. i'm working with democrats. >> it is one leverage point that trump actually has. probably not the best way to use it. if you know, he got great reviews when he crossed the aisle and worked with democrats to solve a problem. you would hope that would catch on. hey, maybe has the good idea. bring the groups together. i think what i saw last night. we're going to repeal this big ugly monster is probably gone. now they should back up and say what can we do to bring costs
down? the middle class was suffering under the rate increases. so republicans would do well for themselves and i don't think you a is lost if they stop for a moment and take a deep breath and say let's get back to fixing that problem. if we can fix that problem, i think they can recover. they all have to come together to understand they'll fix that problem. not the big repeal and replace. that's not going on get enough votes to get through. >> we'll watch and wait on that. moving to a totally separate topic, that being this russia probe. in your new reporting on bob mueller, who they're going to be questioning next. >> well, my colleague and i are reporting that the special counsel is going to start interviewing current and former white house staff as soon as later this week. that could slide into next week.
but we've already reported and others have reported there are about a half dozen current and former white house staffers they want to talk on to find out about the questions regarding potential obstruction. the firing of james comey. and on and on. particularly, they had been interested, and we've he reported this before. they've been interested in people who were involved in the crafting of that statement aboard air force one regarding don jr.'s meeting with russians. the trump tower meeting. so they're going to clearly ask about those things. now we know that documents have been collected. that the interviews could start very soon. >> mike rogers? >> clearly, i think that there's a financial angle to all of this. if you're going to have a successful special prosecutor
investigation into all of this, the financial trail. it was a young fbi agent about, the third day in the academy. they tell you, remember, every investigation is never about the money. it is always about the money. so i think what you're going to find is there will be a financial angle in addition to what gloria is voting on. nothing solid if they don't get that piece of it done. >> let's listen to the spanish pm talking, it seems it was a toned down message when we heard him speaking last week. the headline out of today is that the president is calling for a complete denuclearization of north korea. not for the total destruction, which is i believe the words last week were the threat to totally destroy north korea. the implication being not just
kim jong-un but all 25 million people. >> it was interesting. clearly as he always does, the president wanted everyone to know, if we had to go to a military option, we're prepared to do so. the president of the united states can absolutely cause a lot of damage to north korea. he made that point. you notice that he said, that really is our second option here. that is the sort of plan b he was trying to say and he was trying to focus more on calling upon spain other, countries. i just say spain because he was standing next toly. but calling on the world community to help denuclearize the korean peninsula and that's where the president was putting the he said fast it is. it was a market difference. >> the emphasis, too, gloria, he kept going back to, this should have been handled years and years ago. he said various administrations
left me a mess but i'll fix that mess. >> he does have a point. i would like to see what mike rogers says about this. this has been an albatross for many years. i guarantee when president obama was talking to him when they had their private session, that he told him, this is going to be the number one issue on your plate. and he was unable to deal with it. the question, of course, is whether donald trump has ratcheted up an already bad situation to an even more terrible place than it was. or whether this is going on get solved in one way or another. and i don't think we know the answer to that. i'll going to agree what i heard today was aly bit of the rhetoric being toned down here of the. >> it seemed softened. he was asked about the tweet over the weekend which north
korea deemed a declaration of war. with a should americans think of this? >> i think the speech was pretty toned down and pointed. there are two levels. where a piece gets rubbed off, trump adds his special sauce to what the mention is from kim jong-un. >> what was the special sauce today? >> it is that we're going to do this, we have a military option and we will use it. he heightens it up by using peng or i have the terps. i think it is a solid strategy of change kim jong-un's calculus saying we have a pretty big and competent military tweflt resources and the technology. we will use it to take you out, kim jong-un. that was a mattis finger printed event. that's why you see the bombers going over, lots of preparations
happening with the military. kim jong-un needs to believe the use is serious. that's the one thing that's been around. nobody believed there was a military option. they've changed that calculus. i wish the president would tone down his part of it and start looking for that diplomatic out for kim jong-un. i think we could go a long way. i do agree they had to change is that break that paradigm, there's no military option. there are not very good options and we hope to god they don't use they will. they need kim jong-un to understand that. now it is time to get to -- >> sure. let's jump back how bob muellerer and the special counsel will be. i wanted to go back and loop
back to you, the point of how with the statement drafted, in the wake of the news from the trump tower building. what you make of the fact bob mueller is so focused. >> i think this goes to the larger potential of are obstruction of justice. was there some deception going on? if so, why? it seems to be part of a larger piece starting with comey's he firing, that mueller is going to try to piece together. as we've been reporting about these were coming fwhouflt the news they may be here the end of this week, perhaps the beginning
of next week, this is when white houses can start making mistakes. people have a hard time as they're under the glare of investigation and doing interviews, also making sure that they're sticking with their day job. so watching how the white house, john kelly in his now role of he clo , the chief of staff, he's been able to structure the work flow. how now when people are sitting down for these interviews and talking on mueller's team does trump react? does his team react as they try to move on to taix reform and other big agenda items. >> we'll have more on the president's war with the nfl.
we danced in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen.man. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com.
well, i wasn't preoccupied with the nfl. i was ashamed of what's taking place. to me it was a very important moment. i don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, the national anthem. to me the nfl situation is a very important situation. i've heard that before. was i pre okay piled? not at all. i have plenty of time on my hands. all i do is work. i have respect for our country. many people have died. many, many people are so horribly injured. i was at walter reed hospital recently and i saw so many great young people and the missing legs and the missing arms and they've been so badly injured. and they were fighting for you our country, our flag, they were fighting for our national
anthem. for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem i think is disgraceful. i think it is a very important thing for the nfl to not allow people to kneel during the playing of the national an then to. respect our country and to on respect our flag. >> let's start there. i have scott jones, special assistant to president george w. bush. great to have you on. >> you heard the president saying, why have you been so preoccupied? i find all of this disgraceful. taking a knee. >> the presidents can do more than one thing at the same time. it is conceivable that he wasn't distracted. his twitter feed would tell you something different. i thought it was in poor form to raise the question about the soldiers who have been injured,
going to walter reed. >> why? >> first, a lot of d.r.e.a.m.ers are soldiers. no respect for them. he also did not joint the military himself because his foot hurt. i think that he's not the right person to go in and say, i care so much about the soldiers. he doesn't care about the soldiers. he missed the chance to become a soldier. more importantly, this is not about disrespectful the flag or the an they will. they aren't fighting for an anthem. fair fighting for freedom. the reality is taking a knee in sports is what do you when someone has been injured. i got kids who play soccer. somebody gets hurt in soccer, everybody takes a knee. what they're trying to say, civil rights has been injured because of the issue of policing. we've gotten so far away from the policing issue. now bits free speech about, the flag, about everything but what
it is supposed to be about. you want a president to come forward and clarify the issues. instead, the president is making the issue more murky. i think it is in bad form. >> how do you see it? >> well, i do agree with van. i think we've gotten far away from where this all started. this was an important discussion we need to have as a country about the tension between neighborhoods, communities and the police force. it is one of the most worrisome civil issues. do i disagree with van on this. if the commander-in-chief isn't the right person to defend our patriotic traditions, to talk about defending the honor of the soldiers who fight, to talk about how we honor and respect our national anthem, then i don't know who is. the president is channeling the feelings of a lot of people. and there's been a reuters survey, a "washington post," you mass lowell survey, people
booing at nfl stadiums. and the one guy on the steelers who came out and saluted during the national anthem and stood has now got the top selling jersey. >> now he's coming out saying he regrets that. that's a -- i take your point. you're absolutely right. that was the number one top selling jersey. to van's point, how do you respect that the men and women who serve our country so valiantly for the choice. for the right to choose whether you want to take a knee or not of spl a fair argument? >> sure. i actually agree that the players should be able to express themselves in any way they see fit. i as a conservative want people to exercise their first amendment rights. free speech is free of the it is what it says it is. and they have to face the consequences of that. i think what they'll find is that a large portion of their fan base and potential fan base
sees at this time way the president does, rather than the way the players do. >> i want to say a few things. i don't agree with the idea that when people are expressing themselves, that that's a bad thing. i think we're on the same page there. but you said something else that was very interesting. you said if the commander in chief can't defend the country, then i don't know who can. no one is arguing the president of the united states shouldn't be defending the country from actual threats. there is no actual threat coming to the united states from football players saying, hey, guys, we're concerned in the neighborhoods we grew up in. the places we go to for thanksgiving. there's something horrible happening. maybe if we didn't say police are killing black people unjustly. maybe if we had police are killing americans unjustly. if you have pea putting on their jerseys, when they could that off the feed, they have text
messages from their cousins. americans are being killed unjustly. if that's not a state of emergency, i don't know had a is. the president is not addressing it. i don't think that is a throat democracy. that's what democracy is. an act of democracy. and i think the president does the country a disservice and he especially does his base a disserve by acting as if they don't love the country. nobody out there has said one word, i hate america, america is a bad place, i want to go live in north korea. these guys love america. they want to make america better. i think trump needs to have more respect for what they're trying to do. >> how do you see that? do you agree? >> i don't -- i don't disagree with van that these players have every right to do what they're doing. i think they have a very valid message. the ones protesting police brutality. it is an extremely worrisome
problem that we have to get our hands around. it has been a debilitating problem. >> what about the president dealing with it specifically to van's point? >> i think the entire federal government has a responsibility to deal with this. i think in some cases, the department of justice has stepped in. in some cases they haven't. i think we need to have a national conversation. i think if the president were part of it, that would be terrific. i think we need people at every 11 of government. what i was saying about the president's engagement, i didn't mean he was trying to defend the country. i meant he was trying on defend he the country. i meant that he is trying on defend the patriotic traditions. not just nfl, but a little league game, at the soccer games, people stand for the national anthem. and there's a heck of a lot of people in this country who don't take kindly to watching folks not respect the one thing briss us all together. the concept that we stand and we're all in this together.
it is a ritual that says we're all in this together. when people see disrespect of that, it makes them mad. >> i understand. listen. i'm other southerner. my dad was a cop in the military. i understand the way people feel. i also think it is important when you're president of the united states, to try to clarify. when colin kaepernick first started doing his protests, he wasn't standing, he wasn't kneeling. he was it willraly sitting down and a navy s.e.a.l. approached him and said, hey, listen, guy, i don't appreciate that at all. the nay s.e.a.l. said at least it is acknowledging that it is going on and take a knee. that would make me feel like you know what's going on. so colin kaepernick, his protest, this kneeling protest was the idea of a navy s.e.a.l. so yes, it is a break from our normal tradition of everybody standing of the but it is also a sign of respect that they're trying to do. you have to remember, these guys
are in a tough situation. they're living a tale of two lives. on the one hand, they worked hard and they're successful. on the other hand they're coming from communities still struggling. they're trying to figure out a good thing to do and i think the president of the united states is deliberately failing to at least acknowledge there's something there. his justice department is taking a step back from police reform. which is making things worse, not better. >> it is a whole issue you are so passionate about. thank you both so much. we have to wrap and it move to the top of the hour. thank you. now this. we're going to continue on. we begin with the breaking news on the russia investigation now. sources are telling cnn, special counsel investigators could start interviewing current and former white house staff as soon as this week. so let's go straight to our justice correspondent, pam