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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  September 29, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. it has been nine days now since hurricane maria slammed into puerto rico. nine days without power, nine days with food running out, nine days without fully operational hospitals and nine days without basic communications. nine days later the trump administration is under increasing pressure to do more,
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and now after nine days, this from the acting homeland security secretary and san juan's mayor. >> i am very satisfied. i know it's a hard storm to recover from, with the amount of progress that's been made, and i really would appreciate any support that we get. i know that it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane. >> mayor. >> well, maybe from where she's standing it's a good news story. when you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story. when you don't have food for a baby it's not a good news story. when you have to pull people down from their buildings because -- you know, i'm sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me. you know, get -- i would ask her to come down here and visit the
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towns and then make a statement like that, which frankly, it is an irresponsible statement, and it contrasts with the statements of support that i have been getting since yesterday when i got that call from the white house. this is -- dammitt, this is not a good news story. this is a people are dying story. this is a life or death story. this is -- there's a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people story. this is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water. if i could scream it a lot more louder, it is not a good news story when people are dying, when you don't have dialysis, when the generators aren't working and the oxygen isn't providing for them. where is there a good news here? i mean, the good news is that we're getting her.
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the good news is there's boots on the ground and people from fema has the heart in the right place and the hhs people know what to do. for heaven's sake, somebody, let them do their job. let them get the food and the water in the hands of people and then let's talk about good news. i'm really sorry, but you know, when you have -- when you have people out there dying, literally, scraping for food, where is -- where is the good news? >> that is san juan's mayor. here is the very latest on the relief response in puerto rico. 10,000 federal relief workers are on the ground. that includes about 7200 u.s. troops. that's according to the administration. fema officials say 2 mill liters of water have been handed out with a million meals and a three-star general is on the ground to spear head military efforts there. cnn is covering all of these angles. we have dozens of staffers and teams positioned across the
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island. let's begin in puerto rico's capital. boris sanchez is in san juan. boris, you've been on the streets of san juan all this morning watching the lines grow. what are people telling you? >> they are desperate, kate. a lot of people have come up to us asking where they can find fema, where they can find people that can offer them aid. some of the folks that are getting to the front of the gas line right now were actually here when our crew arrived at 5:00 a.m. the line is enormous. let's give you a glimpse. there are more than 100 cars here. it stretches furtherer than a quarter mile. we stopped counting after we got to 100. it turns into a corner and then it continues for blocks and blocks, kate. here on our left you can see people in line with gas canisters. they're bringing all kinds of receptacles. i've seen gas canister, i've seen old laundry detergent bottles, paint canisters. look, there is old cement
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canisters being used to get filled with gas, old water jug. the other thing we should note, you can't use a credit card at this gas station. it's cash only. and their atm is busted. so if you prepared for hurricane maria and you got yourself stocked with gas and cash, it's nine days later. you're starting to run out of those precious goods you need, just to function. a lot of folks tell us their generates at home are running low. i spoke to a woman early this morning who was here in line who told me she waited for several hours yesterday outside of a grocery store when she finally got in she said she was heartbroken when she saw there was no water on the shelves. none of the food she was looking for was available. resources are running low and people are getting agitated, kate. they're asking us where they can find help. they have few answers so far. >> all right. boris, thank you so much. boris sanchez, taking -- has the view there. we're going to continue to
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follow all the devastation and the recovery efforts that are happening in puerto rico. right now, though, i do want to go to cnn's for the other side of this, we were listening to, the frustration from san juan's mayor, in response to the remark coming from the acting homeland security secretary elaine duke. cnn was on a flight with elaine duke just now, just landed in puerto rico and she had an opportunity to speak briefly with the acting secretary. can you hear me? >> yes, i can. hi, kate. >> tell me, what does the secretary have to say? >> well, obviously, the good news comment isn't exactly what they wanted as the headline out of yesterday and the secretary actually spoke with us on the tarmac just now, we just landed in san juan, and clarified when she says good news she's referring to the response of people. people coming together and she said she's very proud of people working to help other folks, but she did acknowledge yes, as
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folks have been saying on the ground, this is a life-threatening situation and the government still feels that there's work to be done and we spoke with many officials on the plane from several different departments in the government and that was the message we heard that there's always more to do, but they feel that they are proud of the whole of government response coming together at this point. >> did secretary duke say she regrets the wording she used? >> she didn't say she had regrets but acknowledged that she felt the need to clarify what she had said and that she didn't intend for it to come across as saying that right now, everything is good news. so she did feel the need to point to, she said, the end of the statements she made yesterday but wanted to reiterate and were working to get that video to you as soon as possible that while she's proud she acknowledges there's work that needs to be done for sure. >> absolutely. important clarification. we'll see if san juan's mayor
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gets that message. thank you so much. she will be with the acting homeland security secretary on the ground in puerto rico today. our next guest is all too familiar with the challenges of a massive relief effort following a natural disaster. retired lieutenant general ken keen, commanded response to the devastation in haiti. can you hear me? >> yes, i can. good morning, kate. >> good morning. thank you so much for joining me. when you see puerto rico, general, how does it compare to the effort you led in haiti? >> well, i think there are obvious differences but a lot of comparison to be made. i mean the destruction and the impact that this is having on the entire island of puerto rico i think is reminiscent of what we encountered following the earthquake in haiti in terms of the total devastation and the feeling to a certain degree of the people feeling hopeless at
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the -- in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. >> general, within two weeks after haiti, there were 33 u.s. military ships, 22,000 troops on the island of haiti, more than 300 million helicopters overhead, there's nowhere near those numbers right now in puerto rico. is the government moving too slow? >> well, i think it's certainly fair to say that the response hasn't been sufficient to meet the needs of the puerto rican people up to this point. and i think, you know, when we make this comparison in just raw numbers it doesn't tell the complete story. i mean it's true that we -- within two weeks we had 22,000 troops deployed in support of the operation on haiti, but actually on the island of haiti, the highest number i think we ever really approached was 6,000 because we had, obviously, a lot of marines and sailors on ships going back and forth.
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so i think it's more of applying what resources and what forces you have to the problems that you have. but they certainly need more resources, in my view from where i sit. >> what we've heard now, general, is that there's a three-star general on the ground, but that he reports to fema and fema reports to the governor of puerto rico. is that going to work? >> well, that's not -- obviously, uncommon. it's not different than what we encountered in haiti. i wasn't the lead federal agency for the u.s. government. that was the united states agency for international development led by a designate the ambassador on the ground who was really working in support of the government of haiti and the united nations. what's key here is our military
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is working in support of the governor's priorities and working in concert with him and what they need to achieve with a whole of society, a whole community approach as i think has been noted, is a unity of effort and this is the major challenge i think that we certainly always see and face following large-scale disasters and even small scale. how do you coordinate and cooperate among all these organizations that are being applied to the disaster. >> general, if you can give advice, what is the one thing that can help make a significant change on the ground? it's one thing to talk about having army corps of engineers come in and try to fix the power, short and long term, but folks just need water bottles handed to them at this point, and the mayor there in san juan says that's not happening. what would you say can be done
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today? >> well, they need to get out to every community and location throughout the island and get assessments of all these locations where they can determine where the greatest need is and apply that. that's a major challenge. but they also have got to figure out quickly here how to bring the power of the government and first responders and community leaders into helping one another and i know that there's a lot of organizations on the ground providing assistance to communities but how do you bring all that together. this will be a tremendous challenge in the days and weeks ahead and it won't be easily solved, but i think it's fair to say they're on the right path with putting some command and structure in place to help the
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effort. >> general, great to have you on. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> okay. thanks, kate. so for more on the government's response, joining me right now, republican senator marco rubio of florida. senator, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. >> you heard me talking to general keen right there, a man who knows about disaster response, and he's saying what he's seen so far hasn't been sufficient. what are you thinking right now. >> we're analyzing this and some of the statements if you take all the interviews that preceded together, it gives you insight into what the problem is here. this is not an issue that people don't care, not that we're not doing enough in that sense, because this storm is responded to the way we respond to storms and traditional model is there's a storm and the local governments and the state governments are the first line of defense and if they need something the federal government fills in those unmet needs. that model isn't working here and the reason why it doesn't work here not because the government of puerto rico or the governor is doing a bad job, it's because the government itself has been a victim of the hurricane. not just the people, but the government itself is a victim of the hurricane.
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and so they've tried to identify that problem and move on it and i just think they need to do more of that. so i know they're doing more, right, they're embedding two marines with every local official with temporary communications. started with the big municipalities and moving down. at its core the challenge here and the immediate term is the logistical challenge. there is aid in puerto rico, there is aid sitting at the port, there is aid coming in and more aid to come that can't be allowed in because there's no room for it because the old aid is there. they have to get that aid moving to the right places. to do that you need to restore roads, bare minimum power, bare minimum of communications and a logistical change. the government of puerto rico, it's not that they're not trying hard and don't want to do it and we don't have sufficient assets -- we may not but that's not the cause, the logistics change is broken and only the u.s. military can stand it up. it's my hope in the next few hours that the generals that are down there now, someone with three stars, or two stars or three stars on their shoulder, will be able to be the ultimate
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decisionmaker until we get basic logistics. i'm not talking about a military takeover of the government in puerto rico. i'm talking about logistics. re-establish the basic logistics and then move transitions back towards the traditional model. until he they do that it's not going to get substantially better. >> you were in puerto rico this week and you wrote this exactly to the president. saying that in the long term, the existing structure the way the order of command if you will is fine, but right now, you need someone, you need d.o.d. to lead the charge to get food, water, life-saving things in the hands of the people to fix that break in the logistical chain. have you heard back from the white house about this? >> well, i think they're moving in that direction. i think sending the general down there today and yesterday is important and they're going to come back with the same recommendation. >> if he says he reports to fema and fema reports to the governor, is that -- >> that's the way it eventually
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will be again, yeah. but that's -- in my view. he knows more about it than i do. he's here now. if that's what his recommendation is we'll see what the results are. you're asking my view and my view is i have people that want to help, okay, i have aid lining up here and there that wants to get there. the aid can't come in because the old aid that's already there hasn't been moved yet. there's nowhere to put the new aid if the old aid hasn't gotten out. that logistical chain has to be moved, that has to be improved, broken, shattered because the government of puerto rico is a victim of the hurricane and until the logistics is reestablished. at a core basic level so you can get basic stuff going, you're not going to go back to that traditional model. i don't know of any other organization in the country or world that can do that faster or better than the u.s. military, but they have to have the authority to say go and it happens. and some of that is happening -- >> who do they call? >> the president would. i understand the sensitivities. i don't think anyone wants to say we couldn't handle it so the federal government had to come in and take it over. that's not what we're talking
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about. the government of puerto rico will still be the government of puerto rico. and they will be in charge of the mid and long-term recovery. i'm just talking about logistics. we need to put someone who knows about logistics in charge of logistics with the authority to act quickly and decisively without going through a bureaucracy of five different decision makers and i hope that that's what's happening today. you do that and things will start to get better. you don't do that and you're going to keep reporting on those things. it's not because the president doesn't care, it's not because we responded too late, it's not because people aren't working hard, it's because the process is not going to work in the circumstance until we deal with logistics first. >> two things can be true, the government is trying to help, and everyone's heart is in the right place, but also it is not enough, right? >> it's not that it's not enough. it's not enough in the right places. in essence there's a lot of food coming in, lot of water, medical assistance, but if that medical assistance is sitting at the port it's theoretically in puerto rico, but it's not enough.
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you have to get it from the port to the people who need it. and that's the problem. we don't know where they are because of communications. they don't have enough gasoline or trucks to get it there. some of the roads are damaged. my staff visited a community yesterday where the mayor had to establish a zip line because a bridge had gone down. that might be okay to get some healthy people across, but how are you going to get gasoline on a tank on a zip line. who is going to rebuild that bridge? i don't know of anyone that can do that in a short term quickly unless the army corps of engineers who's on the ground and more will need to happen. that's been my argument and so i know they're moving in that direction, my only encouragement is they keep moving in that direction and do it as quickly as possible. the faster they do it, the shorter time frame they have for decision making, the quicker this thrill will begin to improve. >> your response to the acting secretary of the department of homeland security, elaine duke, when she said this was a good news story, it really clearly upset the mayor of san juan when she heard it today. elaine duke today saying that it seemed to acknowledge that wasn't the sentiment she was
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trying to portray, trying to say she's proud in people and how people have responded. but what do you say to that? >> yeah. i don't think she meant any harm by it. i'm confident she's aware of the dire circumstances there. my sense is she's not a politician, not guarding every word. that's what she said is true, she was trying to tell -- it's a good news story in the sense there are people working hard and doing a lot. obviously, the mayor of san juan or you're someone in puerto rico and drinking water out of a pipe to grab spring water coming down a mountain you don't view that as good news and it's frustrating to hear that because it indicates someone is out of touch or doesn't understand the true circumstances. i don't think it means that she -- she -- the secretary, the acting secretary, somehow out of touch with reality. she was trying to not -- obviously trying to do it in a way that acknowledged the hard work. there's people out there working hard. there are people that haven't slept in two days. we recognize it. it's not that they're not working hard or sitting around watching tv all day. it's just that the logistics
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have to be rebuilt. until they do the frustration will only build. >> senator, real quick, i do want to ask you because florida is still recovering, of course. and we did just learn today it was confirmed a 12th patient died at that nursing home in hollywood, florida, after losing power after hurricane irma. 12 people now. >> yeah. terrible. tragedy. >> what do you say. >> a terrible tragedy and law enforcement involved in that and a full investigation and that will move in that direction. it's unacceptable. we'll -- but i think it also enlightens us, these storms, also reveal vulnerabilities and revealed some vulnerabilities in puerto rico and reveal vulnerabilities in florida. not just nursing homes. we have a lot of senior housing places, we have where the staff on the eve of the hurricane went home and left eight seniors by themselves and had it not been for great students at the university and local sheriff deputies those seniors at that assisted living facility would have ridden out the storm without anybody with them in
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home that wasn't secure. state officials which look at and the state aging committee began to look at to see what federal policies could do to analyze and confront that. >> senator, thank you for coming on. i appropriate it. >> thank you. >> any moment we will hear from president trump. he will be speaking live, set to talk taxes but will he also address what seems to be a disconnect as we've been discussing today already, between washington's relief response and what puerto rico is seeing on the ground. plus, how high a price will tom price pay for his private jet travel on the taxpayer dime? the president says he is not happy but what exactly does that mean for his cabinet secretary's future? your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car.
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all right. moments from now, we will be going right there, president trump will be speaking live, going to be making his pitch for as he calls it a once the a generation opportunity to
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overhaul the nation's tax code. no small task whatsoever. we're going to bring you those remarks live when they begin. no small task right now the white house facing major questions about privacy, as in private jets and private e-mail accounts. used by some of the president's closest aides and cabinet secretaries. with me now to explain at the white house, senior washington correspondent joe johns and cnn crime and justice reporter in washington as well. all right, boys, joe, the president said this week, he's not happy with health secretary tom price. but how unhappy i think is the question, like as in, he's going to be out of a job unhappy over his use of a private jet? where do things stand? >> that's a question we're asking and it's hard to discern quite frankly. i spoke with presidential counselor kellyanne conway a few minutes ago and she said for now certainly he has a job. he was here at the white house for two hours in a meeting just yesterday with sh high-level administration officials talking
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about one of the president's signature issues the opioid crisis and they're acknowledging the fact that he has paid $51,000 to cover the cost to taxpayers of the charter flights. hasn't reimbursed for the military flights, but the white house message is, they don't have anything to do at the white house with charter flights. so open question, clearly the president is upset, and tom price trying to continue to go about his job. >> and a couple reviews under way of exactly how those were approved, why those were approved and should they have been approved, those charter flights. so the other bit of privacy we need to talk about the white house seems to have a private e-mail problem on their hands and jared kushner seems to be front and center on this. how serious is this getting? >> yeah. it's serious enough that members of the senate intelligence committee, the two top leaders of the committee, which is running its own investigation of russian interference, is now
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raising questions and demanding that kushner provide those e-mails from his personal account that may relate to their investigation. you know, the republican and democratic senators who lead that community -- committee, wrote a letter to kushner's lawyer expressing their frustration that kushner, when he appeared before them at a closed session, didn't reveal his use of the private e-mail where he reportedly conducted white house business. the use of private e-mail only came to light after news reports revealed kushner conducted official white house business on the account. e-mailing various officials in the administration. the senators are now questioning whether any of these e-mails need to be scrutinized by them and their investigators and are demanding that he go back and reviews these e-mails and perhaps other messages, text messages, maybe some of the apps he's been using, that may now be related, may have information that relates to the russian investigation. >> and what's the response from
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kushner? >> so far we don't have a response. the letter was just received by his attorney abbe lowell yesterday, and we don't know that there's any response yet. we do know that this -- that this investigation is going forward and, you know, i think the senators are now waiting for a response. the attorney is going to eventually determine what e-mails should be turned over. kushner will forward them to abbe lowell, his attorney, and at that point they probably will come to a decision as to what should be turned over. >> all right. e-mail problems, private jet problems, lots of problems right now. all right. joe, shimon, great to see you. joining me to discuss david, a senior political director and [ inaudible ] white house correspondent for politico and julie, cnn political analyst and white house reporter for "the new york times." great to see you. let's start with how high a price tom price is about to pay. how much trouble do you think tom price is? donald trump has said he is unhappy with folks in his
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cabinet before. he's -- i think he's still unhappy with jeff sessions. i'm not sure. but i think he is. jeff sessions is still there. how much trouble is tom price in? >> obviously there's only one person that can answer that question legitimately and that's donald trump. but i think that this world of hurt that tom price is in right now, is not going away any time soon. it seems to be getting worse, not better. he seems to be becoming a bigger problem for the president not one totally wrapped up and going away. in that sense, he's in pretty hot water here and donald trump could not have been clearer when asked specifically if he was going to fire him, his answer was, we'll see. that -- i mean that means that there is sort of an open decision to be made about tom price that the president is intending to make after looking into this further and further, and he hasn't yet made that decision. we will see what it is when it comes down. >> we'll see. not something i would want someone to say about my future
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job prospects. >> exactly. >> tara, if it wasn't a problem, then the president wouldn't be unhappy about it, right? if it wasn't a problem, then tom price wouldn't have felt the need to pay a dollar back out of his own pocket. right? i mean -- >> right. my sources inside the white house say trump is furious over this, but the one saving grace for secretary price right now is the fact that there's been so much turnover inside of the white house, that trump doesn't want the appearance of another shakeup. that is why he's holding on to see if this will pass. right now that's all that's saving him. trump is furious with him. >> julie, how does this end well for price if he survives? does this impact his ability to lead a massive agency with a massive budget? he would need to be the steward of? >> certainly it's going to
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affect -- it's going to diminish his effectiveness and we're seeing, another factor that i think is working in price's favor in short-term survival is what we know about president trump he does like to publicly call out members of his administration for things he thinks they've done wrong. he doesn't love to fire people. what me a we may see is the ritual that he kind of enjoys of publicly humiliating and berating members of his team for doing something wrong but doesn't follow through with firing them. it's possible he will in this case but this can't be a comfortable period for tom price even if he doesn't get fired because we will see as these investigations go forward and people people in the white house look at this and how big of a price they are paying for what tom price has done, the president may want to cut the cord or publicly humiliate him a
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little longer. >> and if he doesn't cut the cord, does the word "draining the swamp" mantra go out the window? >> i think this is the core of the problem, right. it is not just being mad about bad headlines. it is that this issue cuts to the very core of what donald trump presented himself as, as somebody that was going to come up, break up swampy washington that is about corny canpitalism and not in the public's interest and change that. when you see your secretary living high on the hog, your cabinet secretary, and using taxpayer dollars to fly around privately when it's not necessary to do so this cuts against the very grain of what donald trump promised. so i think that is why it's such a precarious kind of problem for tom price. it's not just oh, you're causing me a tough pr problem for a few days of headlines. it's that this is not the image
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donald trump promised to present to the american people. >> also unique in this one. this one -- this is not a problem -- this is not a self-inflicted wound for donald trump. this was the problem created by tom price and the white house's defense, donald trump wasn't making these flights and donald trump, the white house at least according to the white house, no say in this approval process for flights. >> he's stuck actually being responsible for, you know, a hiring decision he made. he's had a lot of turnover in the past ten months. you see chief of staff leave, chief strategist spokesperson and at the end of the day, it's donald trump who decided to hire these people and he put his trust in them to serve the american people so now he's sort of stuck answering to his own hiring decisions. on "the apprentice" you could quickly fire someone if it doesn't work out but when you're president of the united states it becomes more complicated.
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i think americans are going to be looking at him saying, we want to have a leader who is a good manager and a good higher. >> on the private e-mail front a couple things have come out i want to get your take on. sources now saying that following this revelation of jared kushner using private e-mail for government business the white house is launching an internal review of private e-mail use by white house officials this just before i came on air we got this, that according to the white house official the white house has instructed staff to fully comply with the presidential records act and brief staff on the need to preserve records. isn't that working in the white house 101 though? >> yeah. i mean so this goes also back to the issue of the private jet use. there is an issue here for the white house of setting a culture, setting a tone of living up to the highest ethical standards and communicating to white house staff and the cabinet that listen, you to go -- bend over backwards go out of your way to avoid even the appearance of trying to get --
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skirt these rules, get around these rules, special treatment, or have a special arrangement for yourself that wouldn't apply to other officials or other americans in their day-to-day lives and that wasn't done in the white house. so as much as this president is having to answer for the actions of his staff and his cabinet officials and he hey not be involved in those decisions there's responsibility he bears and his senior staff bears for failing to communicate at the outset these are really serious issues, we cannot be on the wrong side of this, and it's a particularly hard one for him because, obviously, you know, lock her up, the mantra he sort of invited at his rallies about hillary clinton was about her use of a private e-mail server and her actions with regard to the same issue about trying to keep some communication private that she didn't want necessarily subject to public disclosure. >> yeah. >> that's two really difficult issues to contend with this far
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into nua white house operation. >> you're only supposed to be using a government e-mail address for government use. just saying. a news flash of the day. great to see you. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. coming up for us we will keep our eye in washington. very soon donald trump will be taking to the microphone right there pitching taxes, but as we always say, you never know. we'll be going there live to listen to the president making live remarks in just a moment. coney island has been around for a long, long time. reminds me of how geico has been saving people money for over 75 years. hey, big guy! come on in! let me guess your weight! win a prize! sure, why not. 12 ounces! sorry, mate. four ounces. i've been taking the stairs lately. you win, big guy. sorry, 'scuse me! oh, he looks so much more real on tv. yeah... over 75 years of savings and service. get your rate quote today.
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donald trump on the stage right now. going to be speaking on taxes and we shall see. he's speaking in washington at the mandarin oriental hotel in front of the national association of manufacturers, and he will be pitching his tax plan. shaking hands, hey, everybody, how is it going. going to stay with you until he takes the microphone. donald trump will be talking about his tax plan and see if he gives us more detail because as we said big on promises so far, a lot of folks still need a lot more detail on what is included in the president's long promise tax reform plan. see if we get more details today. >> thank you, all. thank you. thank you very much. i'm taking up a lot of television time b ut that's oka. great to be here with you, national association of
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manufacturers and i especially want to thank your president, jay timmons, and your chairman, david farr, along with all of the members of congress that are here today and they're working hard, i will tell you that. i would like to begin by sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of puerto rico who have been struck by storms of historic and catastrophic severity. people have never seen anything like this. we've undertake an massive federal mobilization to assist puerto rico, including the presence of over 10,000 federal personnel, including 5,000 u.s. military and national guard personnel, led by a very, very strong and talented three-star general. all appropriate departments of our government from homeland security to defense are engaged fully in the disaster and the
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response and recovery effort, probably has never been seen for something like this. this is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water. we're closely coordinated with the territorial and local governments, which are totally and unfortunately unable to handle this catastrophic crisis on their own. just totally unable to. the police and truck drivers are very substantially gone. they're taking care of their families and largely unable to get involved, largely unable to help. therefore, we're forced to bring in truck drivers, security and many, many other personnel, by the thousands, and we're bringing them on to the island as we speak.
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we've never seen a situation like this. the electrical grid and other infrastructure were already in very, very poor shape. they were at their life's end prior to the hurricanes and now virtually everything has been wiped out and we will have to really start all over again. we're literally starting from scratch. ultimately the government of puerto rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort will end up being one of the biggest ever will be funded and organized and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island. we will not rest, however, until the people of puerto rico are
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safe. these are great people. we want them to be safe and sound and secure and we will be there every day until that happens. likewise, we're working closely with the virgin islands on the disaster recovery an that effort is going very, very well. both governors, i have to tell you, of puerto rico and of the virgin islands have been extremely good. they are working so hard. there's nothing left. it's been wiped out. the houses are largely flattened, the roads are washed away, there is no electricity, the plants are gone, they're gone. it's not like let's send a crew in to fix them. you have to build brand new electric. sewage systems wiped out. never been anything like this.
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so, there remains a lot of work to do and we will work with the folks that we're working with right now. they're trying very, very hard, i will tell you that. but nobody has ever seen anything like it. we're here today at the national association of manufacturers to discuss our vision for america's economic revival and to celebrate the people whose vision and products stock our shelves, fill our homes, and enrich our lives. i want to express my special gratitude to the incredible workers on stage. congratulations. [ applause ] they are the ones and millions out there, now they're not as good you, but they're very good,
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but the millions out there whose dedication and drive makes this country run. it's a great honor to be here with the men and women whose creations power our communities and protect our nation. we're all here today for the same reason, because we believe in that beautiful, beautiful phrase that hasn't been used so much over the last three decades "made in the usa." [ applause ] it's a phrase that fills our hearts with pride and they embody the skill, grit and drive of the american worker. the single best tribute to our workers can be found in the unmatched quality and craftsmanship of the amazing products they bring, from the
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blueprint to the storefront. made in the usa is a global symbol of unrivaled excellence. my administration is working every day to lift the burdens on our companies and on our workers, so that you can thrive, compete, and grow. and at the very center of that plan is a giant, beautiful, massive, the biggest ever in our country, tax cut. [ applause ] for decades the policy of washington, d.c., on the subject of manufacturing, was a policy best summarized in one word, "surrender." they surrendered. under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over
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and the rebirth of american industry is beginning. america is winning again and america is being respected again and you see that happening all over. you see the five plants that were announced just recently, auto plants, so many people are coming back into this country, they want to be back in. other countries are bringing their companies and sending their companies in. they all want to be back and that's great for our worker. on every front in every way, every policy, we are guided by the same economic goal, to keep jobs in america, to bring jobs to america, to create real prosperity for america, the country that we love. that is why we have lifted the restrictions on american energy, ending the war on coal, approving the keystone, xl and the dakota access pipelines, and
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i'll tell you something, i did that immediately, first couple of days, 48,000 jobs. and everybody is happy. and reversing the e pa intrusion into your business and into your lives. instead, we are returning the epa to its core mission. clean air and crystal clean water. that's what we want. we want clean air, clean water. we're fighting to create fair and reciprocal trade for american companies and the word reciprocal is so important. lifting barriers to our exports, cracking down on countries that cheat of which there are many. . ensuring a level playing field for our great american workers and our great american companies. because when our workers have a
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level playing field, no one, absolutely no one, can beat us. [ applause ] . we've also taken historic action to protect our manufacturing and defense. we cannot have national security without economic security. to further unleash american enterprise we have taken unprecedented steps to remove job-killing regulations that zap the energy creativity, and dine nism from our country. we are cutting regulations at a pace that has never even been thought of before.
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not even thought of. this is a groundbreaking campaign and involves every department and agency across our government. we're requiring every federal manager to systemically review and then remove the regulations that destroy your jobs, hamstring your companies and undermine your ability to compete. we need some regulations. but we don't need 35 regulations to take care of one item. we don't need to go through nine different agencies to get something taken off. we want beautiful, fast, efficient, regulation that works. [ applause ] . thank you. already, we're seeing the results of an economic policy that puts america first. unemployment is at a 16-year
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low. wages are rising. the stock market is soaring to record levels. the s&p hit a record high just this morning as i was coming over. gdp growth hit over 3% last quarter, was just adjusted yesterday, and is now at 3.1%. a number that hasn't been seen in a very, very long time. and a number that's way ahead of schedule. this month, but unfortunately having the hurricanes hitting in texas and florida and louisiana and obviously other locations and especially where we are right now with the kind of money
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we are spending on puerto rico and th virgin islands, it's going to be a little bit of a hit, but we are doing extremely well even this quarter despite the hurricanes. manufa confidence is at an all time high. americ is finally back on the right our co and our economy cannot take off like they should unless we transform the outdat complex, and extremely burden tax cuts. it is a burden on our country. we have a once in a generation opport to pass tax reform that is pro growth, pro job, pro worker pro family, and pro americ our current tax code punishes compan for doing business in
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the united states and encourages them to leave. that's what's happened for so many years. that's one of the reasons, probab the prime reason that compan are leaving our countr and firing all those people. they are not bringing the jobs with them. they are giving other countries. firing all the great people. that's stopping. it already started to stop nine months ago, but that's stopping. and it's stopping right now. we need a tax system that encour companies to stay in americ grow in america, and hire with congress to develop a framew that will deliver exactl that. more jobs, higher pay, and lower
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taxes for middle income families and for american businesses of all sizes. these are businesses that create jobs. we unveiled an uncredible framew on wednesday in indian a great state. i would like to share with you four core principals. first, we will cut taxes for everyd hardworking americans. we are going to cut them substa under this framework, the first $12,00 for a single individual and the first $24,000 for a marrie couple will be absolu tax-free. no tax. we are nearly doubling the amount of income that is taxed at a rate of zero. above that amount, income will be taxed at three rates.
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12%, 25% and 35%. we will also substantially increa the child tax credit to save working families even more money because we know the most import investment our country can make is in our children. our framework provides relief to those who care for an older loved one through a $500 tax credit somebo that everybody has been wantin so badly for so long. by eliminating the credit and special interest loopholes that benefits the healthy, our framew ensures that the benefi of tax reform go to the middle class, not the highest earner that's why we also have given congre the flexibility to add an additional top rate on the very highest income earners to provid more tax relief for everyd working people.
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second our framework will make the tax code more simple, fair, and easy to understand. americ families and businesses waste billions and billions of dollar tens of billions on excruc paperwork in compli every single year. it never ends. under our framework, the vast majori of families will be able to file taxes on a single sheet of paper. we are also repealing the unfair and complicated alternative minimu tax or amt. it requires many people to calcul their taxes two differ ways and pay the higher of the two amounts. we are closing loopholes, reduci burdens and replacing confus with total clarity. as part of the simplification, s
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of family businesses by ending the crushing, horrible, and unfair estate tax known as the death the family won't have to sell the bu just to pay high and unfair tax. your families can continue to run your businesses with love and dedication in remembrance of you. we will protect our workers and make taxes simple and easy and fair for all americans. it's about time.
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we will cut taxes on american busine to restore our compet edge and create more jobs and higher wages for the americ worker. the last major tax reform was passed more than 30 years ago in 1986 a large bipartisan majori this sounds so nice. wouldn that be nice? come on. we have so many right here. raise your hands. the 1986 tax bill substa of business tax rates make america globally compet the plan worked and the jobs and indust boomed. other countries saw our success and copied our playbook. our foreign competitors adopted tax rates much lower and much more competitive than


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