tv Inside Politics CNN October 17, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
welcome to inside politics. i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump is embracing conservative talk radio. if you didn't know it, you would not be entire surely here is a republican. >> the budget is phase one and the vote is phase two. if the republicans don't do it, it would be disgraceful to them. >> to them, the president says. another perm set back. the president's choice for drugs
withdraws. they helped make it harder to fight opioid abuse. >> over my dead body would he be the drug czar. we want someone who is passionate to fight this thing. chris, i'm as outraged as you. how can this happen? >> and president trump calls it america first. senator john mccain calls it something very different. >> 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 spurruous nationalism -- >> to let you know, we are awaiting the arrival of the greek prime minister to the white house. we will take you there when it happens. the president and his public promise to work hand in hand with mitch mcconnell.
what better way to prove it than conservative talk radio. when plame is being assigned for the woes in washington. how you might ask and be unified that the president has their back when he makes clear he accepts no blame or responsibility if they fail. >> now we are there and i think rand will be there. let's see what happens. we have the votes coming up. budget is phase one and the vote is phase two. if the republicans don't do it, it would be disgraceful to them. >> going to keep hitting on that. them. not all of us, but them. >> what a difference a day makes. this portrait of happy partners. we are totally together is how mitch mcconnell put it. the president called their relationship outstanding. the big test is just ahead. the president referring to a big budget vote and heads to the senate floor thursday. he welcomes a bipartisan fix for
obamacare. both are potential land mines for the party and leadership. set aside the difference for now. the greek prime minister arriving and the president coming out there. take a look. wait for the cameras. the president heading back inside there. we hear from the leaders later, we will take you back here. the president hand on hand, shoulder to shoulder with mitch mcconnell a couple hours after praising the man who said mcconnell needs to be deposed. >> i know how he feels.
depends on who you are talking about. there are republicans frankly that should be ashamed of themselves. >> steve is doing what steve thinks is the right thing. some of the people he may be looking at i'm going to see if we can talk him out of that. they are great people. >> with us to sift all of that out, kimberly atkins and the "wall street journal" and phil matingly and eliana johnson from politico. help me square this circle. the president goes into talk radio and back into talking about them. the republicans. them. he is shoulder to shoulder with mitch connell saying this is a great relationship and we will get the budget and tax reform done. hours earlier he said i completely get it. i understand where he is coming from. yes in the rose garden they try to get steve bannon to back off a little bit. how do republicans get through the next few days and the rest of the year. a lot of them don't understand
quite where the president is and whether they can trust him. >> ignore it is probably the best. recognize he is somebody that the beauty of not having loyalty tow establishment or any one entity is he can play both sides as much as he wants. yesterday the press conference that i will tell you the senate majority leader did not know it was going to happen and we are not prepared for it. the first ten minutes of the press conference with the president talking about how close he was and backing steve bannon off and more importantly talking about the great judicial picks that the senate moved through. he was dedicated to an audience of 51. the other 51 in the conference. that was a very important moment. they were very happy to have happen. they are behind the scenes over the course of the last four or five weeks. many centered on what the heck is the president doing and how do we prepare ourselves and this
is not how it's supposed to work. uneasy senators. that was important. the idea that he is going to back track the next day and continue to talk about them, the reality when you talk about the senior aides, we need to put oured heads down and get things done. that's the way to back off the pressures. >> that's what mitch mcconnell tried to impress upon him. to say look, you need the conference to get the agenda passed and there is no way to do it without them. no matter what anybody said. he understands the pull for trump to try to throw red meat to his base and embrace him and that led to that this vasilation in a matter of an hour. i understand steve bannon and after talking to mitch mcconnell and i might get him to pull back a little bit. it's this pull that the president is in between and connell is trying to make him understand that you need it. >> he said it won't. >> i'm going to rain on this
parade. yesterday made zero difference because it was akin to the president going down to the campaign for luther strange where in alabama the establishment candidate there, nobody was convinced his heart was in this. i don't think there is one voter who believes he likes mitch mcconnell and i don't think it mattered that he went out and said he has a good relationship with mitch mcconnell in the same way that when rex tillerson went out, nobody believes he likes the president and thinks he is a smart guy. it's transparent theater and if the president told him to stop, the trump base is where the trump base is. it's anti-establishment. this is years in the making. we had the tea party whipping up the republican base and campaigning against mitch mcconnell. i don't think the one show of theater is going to set back or calm down a republican base that since 2009 has been whipped up
and made mitch mcconnell the whipping boy. >> i said it's a joke. if you listen to talk radio, it's hard. the democrats fare better than mitch mcconnell. >> trump won the campaign. it doesn't seem in a 45 minute press conference, he can undo that. they don't have to get along or see the world in the same way, but if he wants tax reform, the only way to get it is through a republican senate and house. you heard that in the mike gallagher show. he said i think we will get rand. he is worried it will be like obamacare. rand paul told reporters he is working with the white house on that. that's what scares connell because that happened in obamacare. whether it's the speaker or the majority leader, they may need to make a phone call, but let us
do the details. when you have this back channel and they don't have the votes, this could be obamacare deja vu. >> the things coming from trump are not necessarily in conflict. he see this is as in the moment and a way to use his bat to keep republicans in line. he praises bannon on one hand for his energy and willingness to fight for the trump agenda. he also shows his willingness to pick and choose that bannon is wrong in a few cases. but the problem here is the follow-through for trump. mitch mcconnell was asked about this. i thought it was kind of a bad look for mitch mcconnell. he said it's my job to keep the majority. i don't think that technically is his job.
i think connell's job is to get the legislation through the senate to lead his party and yeah, the bannon approach has not been successful for republicans and the right wing, but the one thing the bannon approach has shown success for almost every cycle is fund-raising. and the party's fund-raising was down over the summer. it's come back a little bit, but these dynamics are going to keep and be promised over the next few weeks. any -- no consistence fre trump is going to contribute. >> number one, did he mean it? does he like mitch mcconnell or have a working partnership. you don't have to like each other have have a working partner. will he send a signal and say let's go easier on mitch. listen to him saying sorry, mr. president. that guy you were with in the
rose garden? gotta go. >> but for the conservative and tea party movements, there wouldn't be a majority in the senate today. he opposed rubio and he won. he opposed ted cruz, he won. he opposed rand paul and he run. he did nothing to help ron jons and he won. this is why mcconnell must go. the united states senate is not going to move. it is not going to embrace conservative principals and not going to embrace the constitution ordeal with the debt or the border. the united states senate is not going to move from its current position unless mitch mcconnell is thrown out. >> a lot of establishment republicans say that's some guy on the radio, but when you travel the country, talk to grass roots conservative trump voters, that's what they channel. why do we keep winning and getting nothing for it. when are we going to get something for winning?
>> let's stipulate that president trump and mitch mcconnell got along famously. would health care have gone through? i'm not sure. there are internal problems with the way the majority is governing in terms of a broken promise. i'm not sure how the process is tax reform is working. problems have nothing to do with trump and would john mccain have voted yes if mitch mcconnell and trump had gotten along? that's not clear to me and it's far from clear were the relationship to improve, a lot of legislation would be getting passed. >> when you have a two-seat majority, things are difficult. when you are working in the senate, things are difficult. this is not the first administration to be frustrated. it moves slowly and it's infuriating. it's frustrating. i don't think yesterday had anything to do with trump's base or the republican base or talk radio. in talking to senators, why it
mattered was two fold. they don't have to be best friends, but they need to be unified and laser focused on tax reform and that was for an audience of 51 senators. there is a lot of discomfort right now. they don't expect the president to always be behind them or be campaigning for them. what they want the president to do is lay off them to some degree as they head into 2018. that's why the majority leader did what he did and why people are pleased if they don't think it's game or base changing, at least it was better than sitting there attacking them for the entire afternoon. >> they realize the time frame for this could be short. the president is known for vacillating the one thing that yesterday showed, it gave credence to the theory that the president is most influenced by the last person he speaks to. when he was on full on steve bannon support and an hour long lunch with mitch mcconnell and he comes out with the senate
majority letter, i'm not sure how much credence was put into that. it didn't last the full 24-hour news cycle. >> what you are saying and that clip from mark levin, if conservatives turn him into the lightning rod, if steve bannon is looking for pledges to go after mitch mcconnell, it seems like this will get worse before it gets better. >> out of the trail. we will see what happens thursday. we will bring it up for the gateway to tax reform. an embarrassing personnel loss for the white house. the president choice for drug czar pulls out as the president is prepared to declare a national emergency to deal with the opioid crisis. ♪
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those. talking about obamacare. president trump's drug czar nominee is out after an investigation into his ties to the pharmaceutical industry. tom marino helped limit the dea's authority to oversee them and made it worse by making pain killers easier to obtain. he asked to withdraw his nomination. marino informed me withdrawing his name from consideration. he said tom is a fine main and a great congressman. in a radio interview, he said the post 60 minutes story raised too many questions. >> he told me if there is even a perception that he has a conflict of interest with insurance companies and each a perception of that, he doesn't want anything to do with it. >> well, there is a perception. there is more than a perception. embarrassing personnel failure
for the administration. they should have added this and figured this out. the congressman is in support of the president. you are right. we will get to that in a second. loyalty should matter. there is nothing wrong with rewarding loyal supporters. before i open it up to discussion, in this age of fake news. "the washington post" in 60 minutes being a thorough investigation that lays out not only a problem with john marino, but a problem with the law passed by the congress and signed by the previous administration that makes it a lot harder for the country's senior officials to do what they need to do to fight this. >> a victory for journalism and a joint effort for 60 minutes. the president i think puts a lot of snok what he sees on 60 minutes. he attacked "the washington post" rightly or wrongly. 60 minutes speaks directly to trump. that contributed to his decision
to let marino go. you saw yesterday that this was on his mind and he was already thinking about a way out for marino. >> don't under estimate the issue of what this was about. >> right. >> in terms of if you cover the campaign, the opioid epidemic once you got to new hampshire and when you started traveling around to ohio and we were realizing with the candidates where you recognized holy cow, this is horrific. 500,000 deaths in the last 10 years and the vast majority of them opioid related. this hit home with the candidates and the campaigns and the trump base. while the president speaks about this a lot and claimed he is going to announce this is a national emergency next week, his white house kellyanne conway and his daughter focused on this
and talked about this. tom price. this issue they recognize is very important and potent when it comes to their base, the voters and frankly how serious it is around the country and how widespread it is. you combine a damning story with an issue that is very important and this is a result. >> apologize for the yo-yo, but we have comments from the president. >> at best you can say it's in its final legs. the premiums and deductibles are so high people don't get to use it. obamacare is a disgrace to our nation and we are solving the problem of obamacare. okay? thank you all very much. thank you. >> that's the president during a photo opportunity with the prime minister of greece. once again, not a lot of news there. the president doesn't like obamacare. that doesn't qualify. sorry to tell you that, but there we go. if you with want to a town hall
in 2016 during the campaign, voters asked a question, it's often about health care or maybe about getting veterans or social security benefits or are you going to cut my taxes or raise my taxes. it was stunning how many people got up and it shocked the candidates the questions asked about shn in their family dealing with some of these problems or a nurse or care giver saying how are you going to help me. drug overdose surge. pennsylvania deaths up 37%. ohio up 33% the indiana up 28. west virginia up 15%. new hampshire. pick a state. we just picked these to show statistics. if it's up 2%, but these states are high. again, the result of good journalism. rod rosenstein promising the administration will do a lot more, but look at this report and go back to that law and say what did congress get wrong. what do we need to fix?
>> i'm very concerned about it. i learned about that as many of you did over the weekend. we will review it and i'm not prepared to ask that right now. we will look into the issues as mr. patterson mentioned. what tools the dea has available and if they don't have the appropriate tools, we will seek more tools. >> amen. amen to that. the president said yesterday and this was the hard part. you lose the nominee for drug czar and you have the vacancy. when you are about to declare a national emergency. that's something the president did spend a lot of time on. they said where are you? let's get to it? the president said there are bureaucratic reasons to build it up. he is going to announce next week, how much harder is it to get the job done when you don't have a drug czar? >> can i dodge your question? this story goes so far beyond this one nominee for the dea. it shed so much light on how
broken the law making process is without getting too much into the details of it. i was somewhat confused by it. the law in question curtailed the enforcement of the agency and yet the story stated that nobody at the dea complained about the law. the white house then signed it into law and after both houses of congress passed it without objection and this goes so far beyond one member of congress who supported this law. it is the entire law making system of the u.s. government that leads me to believe there is something more to this story that we don't know yet. i wonder what that is. it seems like more good journalism to be done or something very, very wrong with the way that laws get made and the larger federal bureaucracy. >> there is the big problem of lobbying. this was the result of the pharmaceutical lobby getting in and getting what they wanted and
it worked. that's shocking that most members of congress didn't realize what this law was going to do when they approved it. that leads to the question of obamacare now that congress is taking it on and to what extent legislation comes out of that. how much power does the pharmaceutical industry have. that's something that is shocking to a lot of people. are how did this happen. why did this happen? >> seeing the comments of every agency and the obama white house officials passing the buck to every other agency was shocking. >> this is why people don't like washington and we live in a democracy and it's free speech. these companies spend their money and we should follow the lonely voice when is they stand up more. >> when we come back, another sell em story. a tribute to green berets
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president trump is now drawing one of america's highest profile gold star parents, the white house chief of staff john kelly about how presidents deal with the families of the fallen. a debate he decided when asked yesterday about a military operation that left soldiers dead. >> i have written them personal letters. they have been sent or are going out tonight, but it was over the weekend. i will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families. i have done that traditionally. for me that's by far the toughest. the traditional way if you look
at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. >> that are last part, just not true. the president was called on it. >> i don't know if he did. no, no, no. i was told that he didn't. a lot of presidents don't. >> aides to former president obama and bush added outrage. the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. potus 43 and 44, bush and barack obama and cared ladies worked tirelessly for the serving and the fallen and the families. not politics, sacred trust. in a radio interview, president trump invoked the name of his chief of staff whose son was killed in african began. -- afghanistan. >> as far as others, you can ask general kelly did he get a call
from obama. i don't know what obama's policy was. i write letters and i also call during the last nine months. something happened to us all. i called virtually everybody. i got to dover and i have seen what takes place at dover. it's an incredible scene and very, very sad. i speak for myself. i'm not speak for other people. i don't know what bush did and i don't know what obama did. >> if you don't know what bush did and obama did, why did you speak as if you knew what bush did and knew what obama did. number two, john kelly is a hero and his son is a hero. john kelly did attend the 2011 white house gold star family breakfast organized by the obama. john kelly at michelle obama's table. i wish maybe we didn't have to talk about this, but if we have
to, we were paying tribute to the four heroes and the details of it. why are we here? why can't the president talk about what he does. how he handles these things. why does he have to draw a factually incorrect comparison. >> 'does he have to talk about how he handles it. who cares more about fallen soldiers and their families. he painted himself as a transformation figure that would shake-up washington. this is an achilles heel in the news conference. almost every question resulted in an answer that was about the president and not about the issue at hand. now he created this controversy that is not going to help tax reform. it's not going to help the budget or elect more republicans and now he is doing something with john kelly's son that john
kelly was not willing to do. it has been reported that he gave a speech four days after his son died in afghanistan. gave a veteran's day speech about the call of duty and the sacrifices that families make without mentioning his own son. this hasn't been reported that much, but it was out a couple of weeks ago because he has a golf outing to raise money in his son's name. he is not talking about it. but yet the president feels the need to do it and it creates another mess for his aides to have to clean up. >> he was asked why had he not commented on the fact that this happened, but he himself took it there and felt the need to praise himself somehow. that's the impulse we see with him a lot. it doesn't matter when he is talking about tax reform or something else. i do military deaths better than
previous presidents. there is no good place to go from there. >> in terms of general general . perhaps it would give instant reality on the world. this is a solemn issue and there is a reason why past presidents have. they have been wartime presidents don't talk about it a lot. you don't hear what they were doing and when they are going to waller reed or dover or what they have done with parents. that's by design. they don't want the attention because they recognize it's not about the attention. the president was right when he said this is the toughest thing i have to do. that's what president trump said and every president in a similar position. what they don't do is talk about how and why and their methods and who did it before them. it is a solemn obligation to the person who sends these
individuals to combat and to their deaths. what is unsettling about it, you are not used to hearing about it. this is what every wartime president deals with and deals with it in their roan way. george w. bush would sit there and families would yell at him and he would listen. you never heard about it from him or his staff. you heard from the families afterwards. similar stories about president obama. it's unclear to a lot of people why this was something that needed to come up yesterday. >> to get back to your question about what are the president's motivations, they are a misunderstanding in washington. i think that many things that we reporters think about substance and tax reform and health care. some of the things are distractions to the president. we think they are substance. in a lot of ways the nfl
controversy or the gold star families. they are substantive for trump and his base. the president has a good way of thinking about a lot of things. everything in his mind is comparative. i think his executive orders speak to this. any way he can stick it to his predecessor and the friendship during the transition, he likes to do it and it's something that many members of the base sort of rejoice in seeing him do it. >> i would hope that patriotic trump voters draw a line at families of the fallen. they handle families of the fallen in a way that is not factual. >> there is a feeling among trump voters that obama lacked patriotism in certain ways and trump has an instinct. trump's nationalism sopoke to
that as well. >> i'm sorry we have to talk about this in a political context. these are four of american heroes. i don't know if they are republicans or democrats or who their families voted for. i don't care. they died in a dangerous mission and we wish the best to them and their families. president trump calls america first and john mccain calls it something very different. whole. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. you wof your daily routine, so why treat your mouth any differently? complete the job with listerine® help prevent plaque, early gum disease, bad breath and kill up to 99.9% of germs. listerine® bring out the bold™ won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan.
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philadelphia, but this was for president trump. >> the fear of the world we organized and led for three quarters of a century to abandon the ideals we advanced around the globe and refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half baked spurruous nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma in the past that americans consigned to history. 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. >> it's no secret the senator and the president don't like each other. this is beyond personal.
the fut is part of a giant debate over foreign policy and how hard the establishment should push against president trump and his ideas that they will do this herressy. the president suggests he will have a response. >> you heard what he said yesterday. >> yeah, well, i hear it and people have to be careful because at some point i fight back. i'm being very, very nice. at some point i fight back and it won't be pretty. >> it won't be pretty, but the president is a counter puncher. for a year plus now. he does fight back. let's set aside the personal for a minute. senator mccain has brain cancer and he is not sure how long he will be on the national stage. he is trying to lay down markers and make points as he goes through many more days whether you are for or against senator
mccain, that's his mind set. i will try to make the most of them. this is a debate in the republican party. it's not just john mccain against donald trump. this is a trump policy that withdraws from the world and it's a big debate on capitol hill. >> i think what was most interesting was a lot of things. this is the most important thing. you are watching a senator whose every move is being defined by thinking about what he wants to be remembered for. we will give him what he's going through right now. that does not include in terms of rank and file most republicans with the perspective that resides in the white house. that's what makes senator bob corker and he told one of the colleagues that the speech was great and he was happy to see it.
that is not the feeling on idea logically how it should be viewed in the white house. with the most powerful people in the white house. there is a dispute that i don't know how it gets resolved. what i find most challenging is who matters and who makes policy when you have an executive branch that is so opposed to the things that congress is focused on and wants to do? right now it seems like lager heads are on a regular basis and enormous challenges throughout the world and does it resolve itself? >> it's debate not only between the president, but within the president's cabinet. >> the foreign policy perspective or stance in the trump white house is murky. when he gave his remarks on the new approach to afghanistan that he had one view on the campaign
trail which was that the u.s. should pull out completely from afghanistan and then he said candidly that the world looks different from behind the desk in the oval office. he said it to donors in new york city that what generals tell you and what they show you will scare the hell out of you. it's not clear whether trump has been brought around to the view of internationalists like john mccain that america's role is kind of the policeman of the world or the leader of the post world war ii order is right and we assume a special burden in the world as the leading globe power. i'm not sure if trump has come around to that or got one foot in one and one camp in another. the confrontations with north korea and iran. he called it principaled realism, but it's unclear to me.
he thinks that donald trump gives them more in the party. that's half baked nationalism. that's tougher than that. i think you do have an issue with this and it's unclear what he will do in terms of foreign policy. see a lot of ways giving himself and out. he is giving himself space to speak that nationalism while knowing that congress at the end of the day will protect him from
going too far. >> of the things mccain is doing is speaking trump's language. trump will hear that and understand, but to trump's point, he likes to tease like to the next commercial break on what he doll next. we know what he is capable of. they provide the same dynamics in the senate. they will be coming up and asking what they think about the fallen soldiers. what do you think like mccain that these are half baked ideas on the subject. >> that's my job now. the president's daughter held a dinner and invited democrats. the topic -- tax reform. does it matter?
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be swayed. they are in tough fights. good luck getting those votes, but it's gi add effort to try as they come up there. it's not the first bipartisan dinner. the real is she republican votes. they have to get the budget passed. is this helpful? is it a distraction? what? >> i don't think it hurts. and speaking to all three of the lawmakers, they don't mind it. they like the ability to converse and they think they are on friendly ground. it brings by partisan senators together. that's never a bad thing. is it going to clinch anything or help them out? joe man chin and clair mccaskill has framework that has already come out. idea logically they are not in line with what's going to happen. it might not hurt, but the
relationships as they lost them can turn into something. probably not on tax reform. >> that's probably not helpful that kushner and ivanka efforts bring them in and they are creating relationships with people that are going to see whether or not they can get there. i think with the ceos, that was a one-sided thing. the ceos in the meetings, they got off the leverage and ended up burning trump. it's a more traditional approach and they had almost a half dozen of these meetings so far. it's better than nothing. >> is there evidence that i if ivanka said if you do this, this, this we can get the democrats? >> no. hard for her had to to sway her father on major issues. >> one child care piece of the tax reform that is important to her. she is working with senator rubio. also fun to watch that.
hope to see you back here at the same time trmt. president trump will hold a news conference with the prime minister of greece. have a good day. ♪ (cheering) a triangle solo? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money sam and yohanna saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
>> round two moments from now. another news conference and this time standing next to a man who once called him evil. stop the damn lying. that is from president obama's former attorney general after president trump claims he didn't call the families of those killed in action. now as backlash erupts, president trump raises eyebrows with a new comment about his chief of staff. north korea said nuclear war may break out any moment. you will hear what prompted this very disturbing new warning. up first, what will the president say next?we