tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN October 17, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
this is cnn breaking news. top of the hour. we do begin with breaking news this morning out of raqqah. isis' self-described capital, the city has been liberated. u.s. backed forces in full control working on clearing the city of sleeper cells if they exist and mines. we are on top of this story and we will have a live report in a moment. >> a significant milestone to say the least. there is also a major development within the trump administration. just a short time ago the president announced a key position, a position needed to battle the opioid crisis will
not be filled right now. the nominee for drug zarqawi congressman tom marino is withdrawing his name after revelations he was the main proponent of legislation that limits the dea's ability to fight the crisis. cnn's sunlen serfaty joins us with that. >> john, some pretty quick action after that scathing "60 minutes" and washington "post" report. it was sunday when that hit. the president announcing tom marino has withdrawn his name. something that president trump not only tweeted about but spoke about on fox radio. here's a small portion of what he said. >> he's a fine man, he was a supporter of mine from pennsylvania, great state, i won pennsylvania, and he was a congressman from pennsylvania very popular, he told me look, if there's even a perception that he has a conflict of interest, with insurance companies essentially, but if there's even a perception that he has a conflict of interest,
he doesn't want anything to do with it. whether we have insurance companies or drug companies, and there was a couple of articles having to do with him and drug companies, and i will tell you, he felt compelled, he feels very strong about the opioid problem and the drug problem which is a worldwide problem, but a problem that we have, and tom marino said look, i'll take a pass. i have no choice. i really will take a pass. i want to do it. he was gracious, i have to say that. >> now keep in mind it was only yesterday when president trump was asked in that rose garden press conference what he thought about the report. at that time president trump said he will look into the report. but it was very clear based on the backlash and the fallout most certainly up here on capitol hill, that this certainly was serving as an embarrassment to the trump administration. the fact that drug czar that's nominated, while he was up here on capitol hill, sponsored a bill that would make it easier for drug companies to distribute
opioids. . importantly, marino if he were to be the drug czar, would be chief in handling this opioid crisis. so a lot of calls on capitol hill for his withdraw, including democrat from west virginia. >> announcer: joe manchin. his state is battling with the opioid crisis and called for marino to withdraw his name. reacting to the news he tweeted out to president trump, president trump thanks for recognizing we need a new drug czar who has seen the devastating effects of the problem. i look forward to working with president trump to find a drug czar that will serve west virginia and our entire country. of course that begs the next question, john and poppy, who will be the next drug czar nominee. this position is still vacant. >> an incredibly important one right now for the country that has been vacant now for months and months. thank you for the reporting. meantime senator john mccain once the party standard bearer as the presidential nominee last
night launched into a blistering salvo aimed at his fellow republican in the white house. listen to the senator. >> to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership, and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurs you nationalism, cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, we live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. we are the custodians of those ideals at home. and their champion abroad. >> you can hear senator mccain getting choked up during that speech. a new cnn poll just out shows that americans believe that president is moving the country in the wrong direction. that number is as high as it's been since his first month in office. joe johns for us at the white house, joe? >> john, the calendar days are
flying by up here. the time to get things done is growing short. the congress and the president don't have any big agenda items to crow about. and the midterm elections are about a year away. a bad combination. our poll does show that americans, the respondents to our poll, have a problem with the president and the way he's handling the relationship with congress. let's just look at the graphic. 32% approve of the way the president is handling the relationship, 52% disapprove. important also to say that tension plays well with the trump base. 68% of republicans think that the president is doing the right thing there. what we have seen here over the last day especially with the president is he's trying to play both sides between the warring factions in the republican party. he's playing up his relationship with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell as well as
trying to keep the peace with his former chief strategist steve bannon. listen. >> i know how he feels. it depends on who you're talking about. there are some republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves, but we've been friends for a long time, we are probably now, despite what we read, we're probably now i think, at least as far as i'm concerned, closer than ever before, and the relationship is very good. we're fighting for the same thing. >> the president will get an opportunity to try to massage a relationship between the warring factions in the party tonight when he speaks to the heritage foundation, the conservative think tank. back to you. >> joe johns at the white house, thank you very much. a lot to get to this morning with our team. political analyst molly ball, david gergen, joshua green. a lot to get to, guys. let's begin with tom marino, out. david gergen, what do you make of all of this?
this is someone the president thought would be the best fit to be drug czar in this country right now, amid the opioid epidemic. let's handle that. he's out. this is someone the president thought would be the best fit because of reporters, real reporting, real news, was anything but? >> well, listen, first of all, the president and congressman marino did exactly the right thing, cut their losses quickly, to try to move on as quickly as possible. frankly, "the washington post" "60 minutes" program in their combined journalism i think spared them an embarrassment down the road because this would have eventually come out and just think if he had already been sworn in. it would have been a bigger mess than it has been. journalism, fake news, came through for the trump administration. i think the big question of the day is, not only who's going to be the next czar, but how did they get this far? how did this nomination get this
far without anybody picking it up? journalists could see it. the red flags were flying. they saw it clearly. i don't know why the white house didn't see that. i don't know why the congressman marino didn't see it? >> i'm bursting here neither did, you know, president obama didn't see anything wrong with this legislation, no member of congress objected. >> joe manchin was on "new day" and said he didn't see any reason
to inject back then. jack reed from rhode island, told us his staff read the bill then and it's unfortunate what turned out to be in it. this is all on congress and on the past administration, on the current emergency, if this is as big of a problem as "the washington post" and "60 minutes" are portraying it's on everyone that it went as long as it did. that said, molly ball, it is interesting to me it took three days, after the "60 minutes" reports came out for the white house to push tom marino aside. we saw it with tom price, didn't last long after the plane trips, michael flynn whacked in february. when the president wants to move
on somebody he moves quickly. >> right. it's actually amazing that, you know, so many members of the administration have been brought down by this kind of thing. there are so many vacant posts, they can hardly afford to lose more. but what we have seen, however, people getting blackballed by the administration from nominations for being disloyal to the president and that's still the currency that matters most to him. this is
someone who supported trump, therefore he made it through the vetting process to be appointed to this type of a post. that seems to be the main consideration when vetting people and it's only when something like this comes out in the media they're sufficiently embarrassed to like you said, to move on it to withdraw the nomination. >> josh, let's turn to steve bannon. so much to get to. you wrote the book on steve bannon, the definitive book on steve bannon. how do you think he will hear the president's press conference yesterday? he said the president in so many word, i'm going to try to talk steve bannon out to his key mission now, which is primarying
every republican in 2018 except for ted cruz. >> i made a few calls to the people in the bannon camp last night, the unified message, that's not what's going to happen. one described what mcconnell and trump were doing is negotiating with the guerrillas, military, not the animals, but they see this as a case of mcconnell trying to basically manipulate trump into doing something against his own interests and striking yesterday to see, you know, two hours before that, trump had been parroting the steve bannon message in blaming congressional leaders for the lack of movement in his legislative agenda and specifically absolving himself. that's exactly the message that steve bannon and his candidates are bringing, it is mitch mcconnell's fault and the people around him in congress. they need to be replaced. >> interesting. so he's not going to let up. steve bannon is not going to let up, no matter what the president says. >> not according to people i spoke to last night, he's not. >> david gergen, if i can, shift gears to another controversy from the president's press
conference, want to ask you about it, you have served in so many administration, i think we have the sound of the president responding, asked why he had not reached out to the families of the four soldiers killed in niger, four days ago. listen to what he said. >> if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls. >> earlier you said that president obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. how can you make that claim? >> i don't know if he did. no, no. i was told he didn't often. a lot of presidents don't. president obama, i think probably did sometimes, maybe sometimes he didn't, i don't know. that's what i was told. >> sort of a weak attempt at cleaning it up there, david gergen, after confronted with the truth there. but what was your response to his initial deflection and blame on president obama for something something for really making something up about president obama? >> well, there he goes again. listen, i don't know why he has
a compulsion when he's under fire as he was for not being responsive to these soldiers killed in niger, i don't know why he always, the first response always is, blame somebody else, and whatever i did, i'm better than my predecessor. and i'm better than other predecessors. it's a total unwillingness to deal with the facts straightforwardly and instead to put out the lie and then if he's pressed on the lie, he might back offp pit he's planted the seeds and made the case, and he's slammed somebody else. i think the obama people were right, listen, obama called people, he went to dover how many times has trump been to dover? >> once after the yemen raid. >> right. but not for these -- it's a fair -- >> he's been there once. >> yeah. >> it's a fair point. he lashed out, molly ball, how many times over benghazi, right, and there's four americans as well, we know that the president, president obama, went
to andrews after that, as they were being brought home. this is about four americans. if we have those photos let's show people. their names, these young men that served this country, are getting lost in all of this. that's what this is about. how can this then turn into a i did better than my predecessor? >> the striking thing, it still hasn't been explained. we don't understand why the president hasn't addressed this and if anything, his deflection and his lying in the press conference has only called further attention to the fact that there are four fallen soldiers and the president has not addressed it and he continued to not -- he said it was a letter going out, handling privately. he has declined to address it publicly and to give any kind of accounting to the public of this tragedy and so i think that is, as you were right to keep the focus on these four lost lives, and that's something that white house has not made central to their presentation. >> you know, jack reed, the ranking member in the senate armed services committee told us that the administration has
been -- not been forthcoming with answers right now on what happened there. it will be interesting to see how this develops. molly, david, josh, thanks for being with us. other major news this morning, breaking news out of raqqah, the self-proclaimed capital or was of the isis caliphate. u.s. backed forces say they have liberated the city. we have a live report next. plus, new questions, 13 days after the deadliest attack on u.s. soldiers since president trump took office, what we're learning from the pentagon today. >> long before president trump ran for the highest office, he called up sir richard branson for lunch. branson accepted. the details of that lunch and branson's brand new book, ahead. one, two, here we go ♪ i'm alive, i'm alive ♪ ♪ i'm alive, i'm alive ♪ ♪ i'm alive, i'm alive ♪ alive! gives you more vitamins and minerals than leading brands. because when you start with more, you own the morning. alive!
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international correspondent arwa damian on the iraq/syria border. what are you hearing? >> well, at this stage, the u.s.-led coalition is not quite saying that it has been fully liberated. the syrian democratic forces, that is the kurdish-led force that is being backed by the u.s. and its allies, is saying that they now have full control over the city. they're focusing on trying to root out any potential remaining pockets of isis sleeper cells, fighters that might be hiding out in the rubble and, of course, trying to clear the city of various different explosive devices that isis has buried in the roads, alleyways and within the buildings itself. the vast majority of civilians have fled the city and when you look at the images, the destruction is absolutely breathtaking. it is as if every single building has been completely decimated by this war. the refugee camps that civilians have been fleeing to over the
course of the last few months are bursting at this stage. remember, raqqah was the first major city that isis ever even took over. later on declaring it the capital of its so-called caliphate as you mentioned. there's also the city where we saw the first horrifying images of public beheadings, excuses, crucifixions, where women, yazidi women, were being sold on the streets in open air slave markets and to sexual slavery quite often. it's with ahere a lot of wester hostages were held and other hostages as well and also the main epicenter from which key isis leaders, various different operatives, would issue their orders for various different operations. either to be taken out within syria, within the region, or even overseas. the loss of raqqah at this stage is definitely a very significant blow to the physical territory that isis controlled, but let's not think that this is the end of isis as an entity in and
of itself. the isis ideology is very much alive. isis still has a significant presence on-line. it still has as we have been seeing in recent weeks the capability to either issue direct orders or at least inspire attacks overseas. >> arwa damian for us on the border, thank you for the reporting. we appreciate it. this morning, many questions, patience is waning, now nearly two weeks after four american soldiers were left dead in niger. here is what we do know. these are the four soldiers killed, two of them special forces or green berets, two of them support personnel. they died on october 4th, when they were ambushed by 50 isis affiliated fighters. >> joining us now, cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr and military analyst lieutenant colonel frank. everything we know about this comes from your reporting. thank you for that. remind us what we know about
this ambush and as importantly right now what questions remain. >> let's leave as much as we can the pictures of those four army soldiers up because these are men with names and families and hometowns across this country. so important to know who they are. what we have now is the u.s. africa command has begun an in depth review of exactly what happened. one of the key questions, look at the picture of that young soldier on your far right. sergeant la david johnson. he is the one. the other three were killed, their bodies recovered fairly quickly if you will. but la david johnson's body was out there for 48 hours. they did not find him right away. he was not recovered. they even thought there was a possibility he might be alive out there. one of the key questions of this military review will be, how did la david johnson get left behind? that is an answer his family
certainly is owed. they will look at that question. they will look now at the intelligence. how did they not know going into this commission that this 12-man team led by african troops with them, not know there were isis fighters there. they walked into an ambush of 50 isis fighters. where was the intelligence lacking? two weeks later there is still a good deal of confusion about exactly what happened, what help was available, to come to these men. the pentagon is happy to tell you that french forces arrived overhead, french aircraft were overhead in 30 minutes, but that would mean that this team was on the ground in a fire fight for 30 minutes with almost no help until that overhead -- those overhead planes did arrive. isis, they had machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. this american team had their rifles. >> barbara, a follow-up on that for you, this was an isis
attack, right? the president has been very quick through the campaign and as president, to denounce, condemn, call out, extremism, isis, et cetera. he didn't in this case. he actually didn't say anything publicly, didn't tweet about this, for almost two weeks. until he was asked about it yesterday at the news conference. now i understand needing to get to the bottom of the facts, but the president has not proved that that is important to him in the past when calling out isis, for example. do you know why the disparity this time? >> i don't. i have a couple of, perhaps, fact-based theories but i want to emphasize they're theories based on reporting. i'll let the lieutenant francona weigh in. they mounted a secret -- we've reported this, they mounted a secret operation to see if they could rescue la david johnson. they thought for a period of time he might be out there alive. that's the kind of operation that gets briefed directly to a
president of the united states. so you might ask yourself, if there had been a favorable outcome for the johnson family, would the president be out there publicly talking about it. quite tragically there was not a favorable outcome so he's not talking about it. you can come to your own conclusions. i have no idea why he isn't. but the isis question is what is so important as well. isis is an organization that is metastasizing around the world. raqqah may be liberated as arwa reported, but isis is out there, inspiring attacks and proving that it can get to americans. >> colonel francona, we got new audio just in, and so i do want to play it for you, the first time we're hearing it. the president pressed again this morning on the fact that he had not yet called the family members of these four u.s. servicemen killed in africa. listen to what he said on the radio. >> now, as far as other
representatives, i don't know. you could ask general kelly, did he get a call from obama. you could ask other people. i don't know what obama's policy was. i write letters and i also call. now sometimes, you know, if you had a tragic event, it's very difficult to be able to do that, but i have called i believe everybody, but certainly i'll use the word virtually everybody, where during the last nine months, something has happened to a soldier, i've called virtually everybody. i've gone to dover, i've seen what takes place at dover. it's an incredible scene and sad, one of the saddest things you'll ever see. i'm not speaking for other people. i don't know what bush did, what obama did. you could find out easily what president obama did. all you have to do is ask the military people. but i believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy. i can tell you my policy is, i've called every one of them. >> two things, one he hasn't called every one of them yet.
hasn't called the families of those killed in niger, not yet at least. the second on president obama he talked about general kelly his chief of staff right now, general kelly lost his son, serving in afghanistan. the president, i would imagine, knows whether or not president obama called general kelly here. i guess colonel, i don't want to put you on the spot and get your take overall on this whole discussion and debate right now about what these commanders in chief do in circumstances like this? >> yeah. and i think the president's right that every commander in chief handles it differently, but i think we're getting distracted on what his predecessors did. i think it's more important what his doing and what is he doing to help these families get through this difficult time. he owes it to these families to not only contact them but to tell them what happened and to barbara's point well, don't know all of the facts yet, but they deserve at least something, a call that, you know, we're going to get to the bottom of this. i suspect that we're not hearing much of what's going on from the pentagon because they're still
trying to figure it out. i think there's a lot more going on that barbara alluded to and i don't want to get into, but i think probably more things going on at the pentagon and this is not over. so i think the president's being very cautious with what he says. i will give him the benefit of the doubt on that. >> do you feel like there are legitimate questions about the quality of the intelligence that the soldiers had, the military had on the ground? are there questions about their preparations? they were in unarmed vehicles. are those legitimate questions that need answers? >> absolutely. and, of course, there will be a postmortem that goes on to find out what we knew, when we knew it, how we knew it and why didn't they have better support. in the future you may see a change in tactics like that. you know, these missions are supposed to be, you know, training, advise and assist, sorts of missions, and they very quickly turn into combat situations. >> yeah. >> but how do 50 isis fighters get to surround basically what's a special forces a-team out working with the nigerians.
that's a big question. we'll have to find out what the intelligence is. you will see an immediate change in how africa command conducts these operations now. >> important questions that these family, all americans deserve answers to. thank you very much, colonel. barbara starr, thank you for your reporting on this from the start. president trump's pick for drug czar is out after a bombshell investigation. a reporter who worked on this team breaking the story, on tom marino who will not be the next drug czar that reporter will join us next. you wouldn't do only half
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the man in line to be potentially the next drug czar of this country is out. congressman tom marino drops out off a bombshell report by "the washington post" and "60 minutes" that revealed marino helped steer legislation and the chief architecture that restricts the dea's ability to keep prescription drugs, opioids, off the streets. president trump spoke about marino's withdraw a little earl w yer on the radio. >> he told me look, if there is a perception he has a conflict of interest with insurance companies essentially, but a perception he has a conflict of interest he doesn't want anything to do with it. whether we have insurance companies or drug companies, and there was a couple of articles having to do with him and drug companies and i will tell you, he felt compelled, feels very strong about the opioid problem and drug problem which is a worldwide problem, but a problem
that we have, and tom marino said look i will take a pass, i have no choice, i really will take a pass, i want to do it. >> joining us now scott hymn, the investigate shiv reportive "the washington post" who helped write the report. thank you for your journalism here. fascinating to read this and watch the "60 minutes" piece. i think it's important to lay out exactly what is at the crux of this was that congressman marino, not to mention a number of other members of congress, helped push legislation which limits the dea's ability to fight the opioid crisis. explain that. >> yes. good morning, guys. well, the dea for years had been launching a very aggressive crackdown on the drug industry, trying to stop the flow of drugs that were coming downstream from manufacturers to distributors down to the local pharmacies and doctors. and they were being very successful. they hit these companies with lots of immediate suspension orders which means that it halts
all of their drugs, it lox up their drugs, it costss these companies a lot of money and these companies started getting really upset by this very aggressive crackdown and they began to fight back and they fought back with lobbyists and campaign contributions and they fought back by taking some of the best and brightest dea attorneys and investigators, recruiting them to their side, and then one of those attorneys from the dea helped to write a piece of legislation that tom marino introduced that basically eviscerated the dea's enforcementles. >> to be clear, not a single member of the senate or house objected to this legislation. it passed in both chambers by unanimous consent. president obama signed it. you know, no fanfare -- i don't think most americans knew about it, i didn't know about it. why is why did it fall through so many cracks if it had this big of an impact sh. >> a lot of people were not paying attention.
look at the title of the bill, reassuring patient access and effective drug enforcement act. who would be against that. i just think a lot of members were not paying attention and relied on the word of tom marino and a handful of other allies of the drug industry who said this was going to increase access to legitimate patients and was going to enhance law enforcement when it did neither. and so i think a lot of the members of congress, you know, in senator manchin's words were basically hoodwinked and they didn't -- there was no recorded vote, there was no debate. this was passed through a parliamentary procedure known as unanimous consent. and so it just sailed through congress without any debate or vote. >> so you could make the case it's their job not to be hoodwinked in that the dea -- >> and read it. >> supposed to have its own team analyzing this to make sure it doesn't happen. what just happened today, tom
marino, in line to be the drug czar, will now not be the drug czar. but what message, scott, did his nomination send? the champion of this legislation which you write would have weakened drug enforcement, would have weakened the battle against the opioid crisis, what message did his nomination send? >> well, i think, you know, if his nomination with would have gone forward, the message would have been, one that would have been very, very difficult for a lot of people to hear, particularly families of sons and daughters and husbands and wives who have lost their lives. it would have been i think ultimately a devastating blow to them. and so i think that mr. marino probably did the only thing he could do in the face of mounting opposition on capitol hill and i think he realized this nomination was pretty much dead in the water and i think the president realized that too. >> hopefully it's a wake-up call to every single one of the folks that we put in charge of reading through this stuff carefully and
knowing all of the impacts of it. it wouldn't be if it wasn't for your reporting. thank you very much for what you did. >> well thank you very much, guys. i appreciate it. >> north korea has put the trump administration on notice, i suppose you could say they said diplomacy is off the table for now, until they have a missile that can reach the east coast of the united states, as the president meets with his defense secretary at any moment. what then? stay with us. if you have medicare
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at any moment president trump is set to meet with defense secretary james mattis. likely at the top of the agenda the ongoing threat from north korea. >> a good subject to discuss given that north korea says it will not even think about engaging in diplomacy until it develops an icbm capable of reaching the east coast of the united states. kim jong-un until then has no interest in deescalating tensions with the united states. cnn international correspondent will ripley joins us live.
you've done so much work inside north korea right now, explain this new threat? >> well, this is essentially north korea saying what officials were telling me in pyongyang a few weeks ago, what north korea's foreign minister said at the united nations and told russian media in the last couple weeks that north korea doesn't feel that diplomacy with the united states would get them anywhere right now. so they have said that the time for talking is over and what they want to do, according to an official spoke with yesterday, demonstrate to the united states their nuclear deterrent capability to show the u.s. that they have a long-range missile, intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the east coast of the u.s. with a nuclear tipped warhead and to show that, to prove that to the u.s., the official says two more steps need to happen. one, they need to launch a missile and let it travel the full distance which would be highly provocative the most provocative north korean missile launch ever, depending on which direction they point it. last week north korean state media was reviving that threat
to launch a salvo of missiles towards the u.s. territory of guam and then the official said north korea needs to detonate a nuclear device above the surface. we haven't seen an above ground nuclear test since 1980 when china was the last country to do that. that was 37 years ago. and north korea talking very seriously about doing that. it will, obviously, be at the top of the agenda when president trump and defense secretary james mattis meet scheduled to meet any moment now. back to you. >> will ripley we're watching that closely, thanks so much for your reporting. moving on, he has had lunch with president trump, hung out on his private island, hung out with former president barack obama, next, richard branson talks about both in his new book provocatively titled "finding my virginity". >> did he find it? >> stay tuned. okay folks! let's get the lady of the house back on her feet. and help her feel more strength and energy in just two weeks. yaaay! the complete balanced nutrition of ensure with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals.
to j.p. morgan investment expertise can help you. chase. make more of what's yours. this morning sir richard branson founder of the virgin empire out with a book with the title "finding my virginity" and dedicates an entire chapter to president trump and details his ten days with former president obama and the first lady on his private island after they left the white house. it is a fascinating read of his 50 years in business and what is to come. sir richard branson joins us now. congratulations on the book. >> thank you for having me. >> "finding your virginity." i won't ask you if you found us. you write you can only lose your virginity once but in every aspect of my life i try to do that every day in my life. no ghost writer. >> i think everybody should
write a book. i think you write a book for your children and grandchildren, everybody has fascinating experiences in their life. i've had the last 20 years have been very full on, whether it's a space program or anyway just tons has happened and i think i love reading autobiographies. people learn from autobiographies. i try to make ate gripping read rather than just a whole lot of, you know, year by year factual. and losing my virginenity my first book sold millions so hopefully people will enjoy the next book. >> do a prequel to finding my virginity. >> i will find it in the end. >> going to go down this road? we will move on. everyone should write about their experiences yours are at a slightly different scale including an intimate experience with the former president, president obama and current president trump. you write about having lunch with him at his apartment and
intrigued by the invitation. how did the lunch go? >> well, i mean i was slightly shocked and slightly surprised because, you know, normally when you meet somebody you talk about a ton of interesting things and he, for some reason, either wants to tell me about his latest bankruptcy and how the people had had rung up to get financial help from refused him and how he would spend the rest of his life trying to destroy those people. and he talked about it this will be my life's mission. and it just seemed like a, you know, just was strange. and i told him so. i just said, i thought you're wasting your own efforts and energy and you're wasting their energy, they haven't done anything overtly wrong to you. if you contrast that, obviously, with discussions with president obama or michele obama, you know, you're talking about, you know, gun control, talking about death penalty, talking about drug reform, you're talking about iraq, iran, what's going
on in the world, and it is very interesting seeing the different personalities. >> you did, before we get to the obamas being on the island, you did go into that lunch with things you care about, criminal justice reform, climate change. if you were invited to the white house, i assume you haven't spoken to the president since about those things, what would your argument be? >> oh, for instance, in america you've got a massive heroin epidemic. i as a businessman look at which companies are doing things differently, portugal, they had a heroin epidemic in the year 2000. they -- theo to prison for taking heroin ever again. in fact, we're going to set up places throughout portugal they can come and get clean needles, we will supply the heroin, and then after a few months when they were ready to get off we'll help them get off.
they got rid of the problem completely in portugal and become a nonevent and everybody is useful members of society again. so, i'm part of something called the global drug commission and we are trying to get governments to treat drugs as a help problem, not a criminal problem, and work with people who have alcohol problems, who have drug problems. >> the president says he has a major announcement on that next week. we will wait to see what the plans are there. as poppy was saying you had the obamas to your private island for ten days. there hasn't been a lot of insight into their life post-presidency. >> until now. tell us what's on their mind? what was that like? >> it was the day after the -- they had stepped down and they wanted to relax. and they did relax. we had a friendly competition with president obama, kite surfing competition, which he won, and, you know, he's -- and, you know, he hadn't been surfing
for eight years since he had been president. he was glad to be back battling the water and obviously we had some wonderful conversations about life in general, but the main thing was, you know, this was rest time. they weren't going to get distracted what was going on at the white house. >> finally, you end this book with the letters to your children and wife that you write before you go on a hot air balloon mission whe message for sir richard branson the risk taker to his children? >> my kids are now, i'm afraid, have taken on my zest for adventure, so we now have to either watch them, you know, climb the matter horn or, you know, do great adventures or i go on them with them, i prepare to go on with them, so my poor wife has to watch the three of us go on the adventures. >> you reap what you sow. your turn to worry. great to have you here. congratulations. >> thanks so much. >> president trump's pick to be
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if we can do that, imagine what we can do for asthma. and if we can stop seizures in epilepsy patients with a small pacemaker for the brain, imagine what we can do for multiple sclerosis, even migraines. if we can use patients' genes to predict heart disease in their families, imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. imagine what we can do for you. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. president trump is getting set to face reporters once again today. this after his impromptu press conference yesterday left more questions than answers. the questions today, why did his nominee for drug czar who trump calls a great guy what did he drop out and what does that mean for the ongoing ooi