tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 19, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
ial strategy can give you confidence to take the next step. hi guys! aw yeah! see how access to j.p. morgan investment expertise can help you. chase. make more of what's yours. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. grief and confusion. while the families of four service members killed in that niger attack are just beginning to grasp the grief they must now face, some very tough questions are being asked about the confusion still over what actually happened in that village two weeks ago. this morning, defense secretary james mattis, he is demanding more information and so are lawmakers. >> if there's something that happened in niger, somebody who is left behind, then i agree that we should find out what
that is. i'm sure the pentagon will do so. if not, certainly congress will prod them to do so and that is appropriate. we should have those answers. >> i'm asking for a classified briefing about exactly what happened in niger. >> and right now, answers are hard to come by. the scene on the ground only described by multiple u.s. officials as confusion. at the same time, there are more and more questions over why the white house hesitated in even talking about these soldiers' deaths. kaitlan collins is at the white house and barbara starr has the latest from the pentagon. what are you hearing over there today? >> well, let's be clear, secretary mattis is not trying to rush the investigation, but he does want some answers and is going to begin to get them in the coming days about what exactly happened as they look into this in greater detail. they're trying to establish a timeline, hour by hour, about how this all unfolded. what we do know, according to initial reports, is the team led by green berets, the 12-man
team, had gone to an area where they had been before and ran into no trouble but this time ran into an isis ambush. there are isis affiliated groups in the area. they hadn't encountered them before. clearly the intelligence was not what it should have been. they had been told that it would be unlikely they would run into opposition. they did. the isis fighters armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenade, the u.s. troops only having the rifles they were carrying. when the gun fight broke out, they called for help and french fighter aircraft were able to come in and fly low over the battlefield trying to push the isis fighters out. but the government of niger does not allow offensive air strikes over its territory, so there were no bombs struck and it was, you know, close to an hour before it all calmed down enough that medical evacuation could come in. kate? >> so that is what -- that is what we know. the little that we know right
now. obviously, as barbara says, the pentagon defense secretary review investigation under way as we speak. now, caitlin, over to the white house aspect of this, the president, he has been talking about gains against isis. he was talking about that just this week. why hasn't the white house then talked about isis being behind this attack? >> that's really the question on everyone's mind here, kate, is exactly what happened and people are trying to piece together a timeline, especially given the questions about the white house's response to this. what we do know is that in hours after this ambush, an ns official drafted a condolence statement from him and the first lady that would have been published but the statement was never published and instead the next day, on october 5th, the press secretary, sarah sanders, came out here during the briefing and told reporters about the attack, said that thoughts and prayers of the administration were with these fallen service members, and she did not release the names of those soldiers, but said --
because the next of kin was still being notified. the next day at the briefing, that was after the body of sergeant la david johnson had been found, sara was asked why the president had not publicly commented himself on this. she said that she issued a statement the day before on his behalf and they were continuing to review what exactly had happened in this attack, but then effectively the white house went dark, kate. we did not hear from the president about that attack in niger for it ten days until colleague sara murray, asked him about it in the rose garden in the white house on monday. she asked why he had been uncharacteristically silent on this. this is a president that goes to twitter or often speaks to reporters about what's on his mind, and this wasn't something he had brought up. and he got defensive, he said that -- defended his silence and said he had written letters to these families and that's when all these questions about which families he had called, but then again, back to the raid actually at the briefing yesterday, sarah
sanders was asked if the president was satisfied with the knowledge that he had been provided about what exactly had happened and while she said she couldn't go into specifics, she said the president is never satisfied when there is loss of life. what's clear here, there are larger questions that remain about the white house's response to this ambush. >> absolutely. and those questions now being asked louder and louder. p confusion on the ground in niger, confusion now in washington in the aftermath, barbara, caitlin, thank you so much. joining me now to discuss this further, cnn military analyst retired air force colonel cedric lleyton, military and diplomatic analyst, retired rear admiral john kirby served as spokesman at the state department under president obama and former army commanding general for europe lieutenant general mark hertling. thank you for being here. barbara and caitlin, laying out both ends of this, but let's stick on what barbara was talking about general, in that there are so many questions around this attack and what
exactly happened. from what you see, from your perspective, what's your biggest question right now? >> there are going to be a bunch of things that come out in the investigation, kate. whenever you have an incident like this, the military goes through an extensive investigation, they're looking at a couple things, focused areas of intelligence, command and control, rehearsals, coordination, cooperation. what you're talking about in the area of africa and i know this from, you know, working in europe, we had 49 different countries i had soldiers in at any given time, they had 54 in africa, a huge land mass, the 12 person special forces teams are everywhere in africa. we had soldiers in 109 different countries throughout the world. they're all mostly operating in the small teams. so you have sergeants leading these teams who literally have to go through the planning, the execution, the coordination, the analysis, and it's extremely challenging.
now i would guess that this was one of two operations that were going on in africa at the time. something called the chad river basin initiative, something with five other countries, niger is one of them, and there's another one that's a bilateral with niger and mali with the united states, and some european partners. the coordination required in a difficult and complex operation with 12 u.s. soldiers on the ground, and probably anywhere from a company to a battalion of 800 africans on the ground with them, is quite confusing. the investigation will point out what happened, why it happened, and how we have to prevent it in the future. >> absolutely. and colonel, as the general is saying, the 12 man green beret team leaving a meeting with locals in an unarmed pick-up truck. come under attack by 50 isis fighters, four dead, two wounded. that's the bearest of facts we know right now at this moment. at its core, is this an intelligence failure, if the intel as reporting coming from
b barbara, the intel was quote/unquote unlikely to face opposition. >> absolutely, kate. this is a huge intel failure. with my experience back in the '90s, that was one of the things that was impressed upon me, special operations forces need to have exact detail, excruciating detail, when it comes to the intelligence they get. we need to know things like which way the door knob turns in a particular building. you know, that kind of detail. and, obviously, that detail was missing in this particular case. we should have had in essence persistent surveillance as the pentagon term for it over that particular area when that team was there. hard to do in practice, but that's certainly something that lessons learned that general hertling referred to will certainly point to. and that lack of persist the surveillance i'm sure contributed to this disaster. >> and admiral kirby, general
mattis, he wants answers, and that is what, of course, barbara is hearing over at the pentagon and that's no surprise at all. he lost four -- he lost four of his own, two others wounded in this attack. what does the investigation that we're hearing about, what does this look like? what does this investigation and review look like right now from the pentagon? on the most simplest level, are they sending folks back in to interview the locals? >> that's what we're hearing, they put some people back near the site to do exactly that, to conduct interviews and look at -- look at the area itself. i'm sure they're doing that safely. they're being careful, kate, not to call this an investigation. right now the pentagon referring to it as an inquery. that's appropriate given the fact that there's not a lot of detail right now. it may turn into a full blown investigation and accountability measures that have to be taken as a result. it appears to me they are doing prudent fact finding, going back, sort of retracing the steps, retracing the command and
control decisions that general hertling talked about and where the gaps in the seams were and what transpired and what happened. general hertling talked how many troops we have in africa and we are spread out. they are dispersed. s there resource -- there's resource allocation issues there. so i mean, it's -- while we talked about air support and they didn't have it and the french jets couldn't drop bombs or legal restrictions on them, but there's also resource restrictions on africa rit large because they're spread out and the counterterrorism type training missions are so widespread. again, we need to let these guys go through this, answer all the questions, and then move forward. i suspect that they'll find that miss takes were probably made at some level or multiple levels and what's great about the pentagon is they will be accountable to that, transparent about that and make remedies. >> and general -- >> if i can add something. >> absolutely. >> this is critically important what both cedric and john said.
is extremely important. when you're talking about the continent of africa, you're talking 54 nations. >> right. >> if you put the united states over the top of africa, it would fit three times. when you're talking about a 12 man -- 12 person detachment from special forces, you can't have persistent intelligence overhead all the time. you just can't do it. and as john just said, you know, you've got the potential for resource challenges with casualty evacuation medevac air power, it's not like you're going into a conventional battle. they were in a foreign internal defense mission, which means they're training others to do things we can't do for them. so all of those things, this isn't a battlefield where you have to have all the things that you're talking about. and these guys are all over the continent. so i challenge anybody to have persistent intelligence every -- over every single a team and have jets flying in support for potential combat missions. it isn't going to happen. the investigation will show
exactly what shortcomings were there and why these kids went into this area. >> right. and in the end the reason why there's so much urgency here and -- but of course patience to let it play out, four of our heros died in this and that's, of course, why it's of paramount, on top of everyone's mind. colonel, to the point of the men that were lost, the fact that sergeant la david johnson's body was not picked up for 48 hours, they don't know why he was left behind and they don't actually know how or when he was killed. i mean, the sacred rule, of course, is leave no man behind. what is the conversation going on in the pentagon right now over this, do you think? >> well, i would say that the question people are asking would be how did this happen. why would la david johnson be left behind like this and why could he not be brought back. obviously, in a fire fight, it's a really intense environment, it is something that, you know, you
can't really -- you can play for it and train for it, but when it really happens, there's always something different that occurs in real life and this was real life. so i think the question is, you know, how did he potentially get separated from the rest of the team, you know, why were there no other protective measures around, were they deceived by the people on the ground, you know, all these types of things could be part of it and i think that that's going to be i think a large part of the inquiry and that is a key question going forward for our forces in niger. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. i really appreciate your perspective. coming up for us, deal or no deal. president trump, he supports a bipartisan health care plan and then he does not. so is the deal dead or not? what does stalled mean on capitol hill these days? break out the dictionary. all eyes on the university of florida where a state of emergency is in place ahead of a speech from white supremacist
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are you asking yourself today, what is the status of health care in america right now? no. okay. just keep going with me. according to one top republican it is stalled. why is it stalled? because president trump pulled his support for a bipartisan deal unveiled just this week. that's, of course, the same bipartisan deal that the president first supported also this week. are you confused? imagine how some senate republicans are feeling right now and does stalled mean dead? over to the capitol, sunlen serfaty is there right now. status report, please? >> well, kate, i wouldn't declare this deal officially dead, but i wouldn't exactly describe it as alive and vibrant either because the reality of the moment up here is as you said without the president's backing, with a lot of vocal
opposition from house conservatives and speaker of the house paul ryan himself saying he's opposed to this, the reality is that it's going nowhere fast. that's why you've heard in recent days and hours, after the bill was introduced, some rhetoric from republicans admitting clearly that writing is on the wall here. you heard from senator thune yesterday saying it stalled out and here's senator lindsey graham. >> don't want to pass something that has no chance in the house. here's the question for paul ryan, are you interested in continuing the payments, and more flexibility, if you're not tell us, then the payments stop, and then we'll all accept the consequences of that. >> lot of lawmakers hypup here talking about the deal, they're pushing forward, not ready to walk away from it yet and what
their focus is at the moment on capitol hill is educating members what's in the deal, what would happen without these cautionary reduction payments as you heard senator graham allude to right there. some lawmakers say that they could -- they are singh on to the deal. alexander's office say they could potentially reveal a list of co-sponsors both democrat and republican. that the theory being could breathe a little bit more life into this deal, but it would mean a lot more to gain any more traction up here, kate. the feeling is without the president's backing, it really doesn't have a lot of backing up here on the hill. >> after whatever monstrous effort would go -- would be required to get it through the hill, then you might hit a brick wall at the white house. who knows. sunlen, great to see you. thank you. >> thank you. now what? i guess is a good question. joining me former obama white house policy adviser dr. zika emanuel here, public policy director for mitt romney, lonny chen.
we talked one day last week and everything seems to have changed again in the course of health care and where we're going. the president has called these subsidies a payoff, a bailout, a gift to the insurance companies. are they? >> no. i think the president's confusing reinsurance with these subsidies. these cost-sharing subsidies go to insurance companies to compensate them because they are providing money for the deductibles and the co-pays to families earning $61,500 or less, to help them out with their co-pays and deductibles. that's not a bailout to the insurance companies. that is a transfer to the people making less than 250% of the poverty line. let me tell you, ending those cautionary subsidies mean the insurance companies have to get that money somewhere, and they will raise premiums 23% on average to pay for those
cost-sharing subsidies. not having the cost-sharing subsidies paid for by congress, we're raising rates on average americans. the people hit hardest are people who make over $98,000 because they pay the full rate. they get no federal subsidy. they will see that 23% increase and have to pay it all themselves or go without insurance and have to pay the mandate penalty. those are the people who are being hurt by this unwillingness to pass the cost-sharing subsidies. it's not the insurance companies at the end. >> but lonny, it's one thing for democrats and republicans to differ on health care policy, of course, but lamar alexander, republican, doesn't think this is a bailout, susan collins, republican, called the characterization that it is a payoff or bailout disturbing. how can republicans be so far apart on this? >> well, you know, kate, it comes back to the fact and we've known this all along if you look back at the failed efforts to repeal and replace obamacare,
what you saw were significant divisions between republicans on health care policy. the reality of this is, the affordable care act requires these insurers to offer these essentially breaks on cost-sharing to lower income americans so what president trump did is he said look, congress needs to actually appropriate this money, congress never appropriated money for the cost-sharing subsidies so it is congress' job which is why lamar alexander and patty murray deserve credit for engaging in these discussions. >> didn't the president take it further and say i don't support it even if congress moves that way that's why it's going nowhere now. >> the president initially said i like the idea of a bipartisan deal and then apparently he didn't. the reality is, the president is going to have to weigh in on this positively if it's going to get across the finish line with rirns republicans. his influence and measure of support for a bipartisan deal will be tremendously important to doing this. i think republicans should not squander this opportunity. if they're going to get the cost
sharing reductions appropriated they should look at fundamental reforms and push in that direction. >> the interesting -- >> listen -- >> the interesting thing about this doctor -- go ahead. >> just saying if president trump doesn't pass these cost sharing subsidies in this legislation he will be responsible. trump care will mean 20% increase in health insurance payments in the exchanges. and nobody in the country -- >> the president said, though, no matter what, he's not at fault for it. he is not personally responsible. this is all on congress. the president said that after you and i had that conversation last week. >> the president is wrong because he could support this legislation and bring premiums down and he keeps saying he's interested in affordability and yet when he has the opportunity to support affordability he seems to be walking away or at least speaking out of both sides of his mouth. i think he needs to get behind these bipartisan agreements. lonny and i agree these are essential reforms and, you know, i think that there are other things we can do to make sure
the exchange operate at their peak capacity. i would also encourage us to have reinsurance for the insurance companies because here's something your viewers don't know. 31% of the people who buy insurance in the exchange are new every year. that makes it very hard to make assessments of how much to charge year by year and that's where reassurance can come in and protect insurance companies from unknown numbers of people with unknown illnesses coming into the exchanges. >> lonny, go ahead. >> i was going to say fundamentally what this all comes back to, is the flawed design of obamacare. and that really is the problem here. the reason why we're having this discussion, the fact that you've got this rube goldberg of subsidies and payoffs and talking about this because of the design of the law. my point is this, republicans have an opportunity now if they're going to fund these subsidies they have an opportunity to say look what are some of the changes we can make.
i think alexander murray takes a step in the right direction saying let's get more state flexibility and republicans can push more on fundamental reform if they're going to pay these subsidies through 2019 which is what alexander murray proposes they should push for reform as part of that. this is the start of the discussion. not what people around washington want to hear. start of the discussion. we haven't begun to really talk about this yet. >> we're in health care 7.0 at this point. when you call it an opportunity, and i know you're a glass half full kind of guy, i don't know if the folks dealing with this right now on capitol hill are going to see this so much as an opportunity and no matter what, my friends, we don't know if the president would sign it. if they're going to ask for subsidies. final thought, doctor. >> let's be clear, i don't think there's a big appetite as much as lonny and i think we need more systemic reforms of the system, i don't think there's appetite on capitol hill for engaging in health care for much longer. it hasn't been good for the
republicans. and so i think they have to pass this bill and get the premiums down and i think the president needs to come out and speak quite clearly in support of bipartisanship and affordability, two things he keep saying he is for, and yet when given the opportunity, he seems to be blinking rather than seizing that opportunity and getting a quick victory in legislation. >> glass half full, kate. >> you know -- >> glass half full. >> at this hour. they called the president's bluff and send him a bill he says he can't get on board with. >> i agree. >> let's see. great to see you. doctor, great to see you, lonny, thanks, guys. >> thanks, kate. coming up one of the country's largest universities under a state of emergency. why? a speech. we're going to take you there live next. plus, president george w. bush speaking live on -- speaking live in new york city on the divisive nature of american politics right now.
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we have breaking news. president george w. bush, former president we have not seen or heard from much publicly since president trump took office speaking right now on the divisive state of american politics right now. >> impressing needs. the american dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened, party san conflicts. bigotry seems emboldened. our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. there are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the
galvanizing moral clarity of the cold war or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning. some have called this democratic deconsolidation. really it seems to be a combinati combination warness, frayed tempers and forgettableness. we've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. at times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. argument turns to easily into animosity, disagreement escalating into dehumanization. too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions. forgetting the image of god we should see in each other. we've seen nationalism distorted into nativism and forgotten the
dynamism that innovation has always brought to america. we see a fading competence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and poverty, follow in the wake of protectionism. we've seen the return of isolation sentiments, forgetting that america's security is threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places where terrorism and infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge. in all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity. americans have great advantage to renew our country, we only need to remember our values. it's part of the reason we meet here today. how do we begin to encourage a new 21st century american consensus on behalf of democratic freedom and free markets? that's the question i pose to scholars at the bush institute.
that's why pete and tom are with us today, have answered with the spirit of liberty at home and in the world, the call to action paper. recommendations come in broad categories. here they are. first, america must harden its own defenses. our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy. and that begins with confronting a new era of cyber threats. america's experience of sustained attempt by a hostile power to feed and exploit our country's divisions. according to our intelligence services the russian government has made a project of turning americans against each other. this effort is broad, systemic and stealthy. it's conducted across a range of social media platforms. ultimately, this assault won't succeed. but foreign aggressions,
including cyber attacks, disinformation, and financial influence, should never be downplayed or tolerated. it's a clear case where the strength over democracy begins at home. we must secure our electoral infrastructure and protect our electoral system from subversion. the second category recommendations concern the projectionion of american leadership, maintaining america's role in sustaining and defending an international order rooted in freedom and free markets. our security and prosperity are only found in wise, sustained global engagement. and the cultivation of new markets for american goods. in the confrontation of security challenges, before they fully materialize, and arrive on our shores, in the fostering of global health, and development as alternatives to suffering and resentment. in the attraction of talent,
energy and enterprise, from all over the world. in serving as a shining hope for refugees and a voice for dissidents, human rights defenders, and the oppressed. we should not be blind to the economic and social dislocations caused by globalization. people are hurting. they're angry and they're frustrated. wes must hear and help them, but we cannot wish globalization away any more than we can wish away the agricultural revolution or industrial revolution. one strength of free society is their ability to adapt to economic and social disruptions and that should be our goal. prepare american workers for new opportunities, to care and practical and empowering ways to those who feel left behind. the first steps to be to enact policies that encourage robust economic growth, by unlocking
the potential of the private sector. and for unleashing the creativity and compassion of this country. third focus of the document is strengthening democratic citizenship. and here we must put particular emphasis on the values and views of the young. our identity as a nation, unlike many other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity. by soil or blood. being an american involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. we've become the heirs of thomas jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the declaration of independence. we've become the heirs of james madison by understanding the genius and values of the u.s. constitution. we've become the heirs of martin luther king, jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
this means that people of every race, religion, ethnicity, can be fully and equally american. it means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american crede. [ applause ] and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation. we need a renewed emphasis on learning in schools and our young people need positive role models. bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children. the only ways to pass along civic values is to first live up
to them. finally, the call to action calls on major institutions of our democracy, public and private, to consciously and urgently attend to the problem of declining trust. for example, our democracy needs a media that is transparent, accurate, and fair. our democracy needs religious institutions that demonstrate integrity and champion civil discourse. our democracy needs institutions of higher learning that are examples of truth and free expression. in short, it is time for american institutions to step up and provide cultural and moral leadership for this nation. ten years ago, i attended a conference on democracy and security in prague. the goal was to put human rights and human freedom at the center of our relationships with repressive governments. the prague charter signed by champions of liberty, jose maria
aznar called for the isolation and au stra sism of regimes that suppress. little did we know a decade later a crisis of confidence would be developing within the core democracies, making the message of freedom more inhibited and wavering. little did we know that repressive governments would be undertaking a major effort to encourage division in western societies and undermine the legitimacy of elections. repressive rivals and skeptics at home misunderstand something important, it's the great advantage of free societies that we creatively adapt to challenges, without the direction of some central authority. self-correction is a secret strength of freedom. we are a nation with a history of resilience and a genius for
renewal. right now one of our worst national problems is the deficit of confidence, but the cause of freedom justifies all our faith and effort. it still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world, it will inspire a rising generation. the american spirit does not say we shall manage or we shall make the best of it. it says we shall overcome. and that is exactly what we're going to do. with god's help. thank you. [ applause ] >> wow. president george w. bush, a man we have not heard from publicly very much, since president trump took office, making a very strong speech, just now. let me bring in mark preston for a little more on this. mark, just for our viewers to highlight some of the comments, some of his words, the former president saying we've seen
nativism -- i'm sorry, nationalism distorted into nativism. bigotry seems emboldened, our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication, our discourse degraded by casual cruelty, remarkable speech. >> yeah. not only for the words but for the person who's delivering the words. as you said we don't often hear from president george wfrmts bush. he's kept a low profile as past presidents have. he's allowed president obama to have his eight years with very little, if any, interference from him. he often would not speak. we are at this unique time right now in our country's history where the words that he just spoke right now are being felt minute by minute, not only by the institutions that are under attack, whether it is washington or the media or other institutions, but it's also everybody at this point. what i thought was really telling, is a couple things he said. one, he talked about the need for the united states to
continue to be the leader -- the world leader in democracy. he talked about how presidents for 70 years, this wasn't a partisan or political issue this was what the destiny was for the united states. the free religion, right to express one'sself freely, a fair and transparent media, some strong words right now coming from president bush. >> also, i mean, not mentionsing names as far as i heard anything in what we took of the speech but the message seems very clear. this coming -- his comments coming on the heels of john mccain, offering a very similar call. it's really striking. >> it really is. we heard senator mccain make those comments a couple nights ago in philadelphia where he received a very prestigious award. look, you know, john mccain and george w. bush aren't necessarily friends and didn't necessarily always agree on policy issues when president bush was in office, but it does say something, though, when you
hear these two gentlemen, who are talking about the need for the united states to look inward at itself and say what are we doing right now, what do we need to get the train back on the track. he didn't use president trump's name at all. i'm not surprised by that. but the message is very clear, it was directed at president trump, also directed at the leaders here in congress. the partisanship in washington seems to be at an all-time high. when that happens, nothing happens. >> yeah. and it goes without saying, of course, we all remember what happened in this election. donald trump ran on in large part against the world view of george w. bush. he -- and won that. so on some level not a surprise that clearly these two men see differently on -- have a different world view, but it's a fascinating to see this. >> yeah. no doubt. you know, when you look back at the 2016 election, there's a lot of reasons why president -- now president trump won. a lot of that was anger, though, at washington and understandable
anger where people felt left behind. when that happens and you see other countries look like they're benefiting from the united states while they themselves personally are not, you are going to get this nativism kind of feeling. it is something i think that can be turned around. think president bush right there telling all of us we might want to take a pause, think about it for a little bit and try to go back to what the united states did best, and that was spread democracy around the world. >> yeah. mark, stick with me and bring in kaitlan collins at the white house listening into this with us as well. caitlin, as i mentioned, you know, donald trump ran on and won on largely against in part at least against the world view of president george w. bush. >> yeah. that's right. we haven't heard a lot from george w. bush during these few months of the trump presidency, but one thing that really stuck out to me from that speech was, him saying that you must reject bigotry and denounce white supremacy, the thing about
nationalism being distorted into nativism as you pointed out earlier and reminded me of the statement that both bushes, both former presidents, put out after those deadly clashes in charlottesville that left one woman dead and after president trump had been criticized for saying there was violence on all sides in charlottesville, both of those former presidents both bushes, put out a joint statement and they didn't directly criticize the president, let me be clear there, but they did say they reject bigotry, anti-semitism, saying the country must come together. we really heard him echo that again right there with some people will, obviously, draw the conclusion ween that and the president's remarks to charlottesville. leaders of our nations must pass on the civic values they want to see. people must not be bullies. a lot of those topics people have criticized our current president for being guilty of, they say. so we see bush, that could be an indirect remark to the
president's response to those charlottesville comments there. kate. ? >> and mark, that was one of the applause lines we heard when listening when president bush said bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american creed. that isn't a shocking thought, but it is noteworthy in the context that caitlin very well laid out there because of the controversy about what the president said after the charlottesville violence. what does this all mean, do you think? why now? why does george w. bush feel the need -- why does he want to enter this conversation do you think? >> that's a really good question. he's been very quiet up to this point. you know, look, it's not as if the bushes and president trump are very close. they're not at all. but at some point, you know, i think that he probably thought it was time for him to speak up about the ideals that he espoused when he was president eight years and the four years that his father spent as the
president and the eight years his father spent as the vice president. i think, though, what he's saying there, is that we all don't have to fall in line behind one idea. in a democracy the idea that you can agree to disagree, but you do so in a civil manner is what really makes a democracy rich and a democracy civil. when you look inward, when you talk about not trying to engage on the world, you know, around the world globally, then what you're doing is setting yourself up for failure and doing your citizens a big disservice. >> caitlin, remind our viewers, it's not like we've heard anything from the white house in responding to what george w. bush's message was there, but after john mccain gave a very similar speech, very similar message, that is what kind of sparked the latest attacks back, the latest back and forth between president trump and john mccain. >> yeah. that's right. there has been a lot of back and
forth between them to say the least. the president still frustrated over mccain's no vote on that health care bill over the summer. and just this week, when the president was here right next door to the white house, in the executive office building, doing a slew of radio interview, he was asked about john mccain's criticism of him and he was saying that he fights on those things, so we've seen him be incredibly critical him so far. not likely that will end anytime soon. he regularly brings up his frustration with him, but really a fascinating speech here by george w. bush, someone who has not been overtly critical of the president. but right there, he said the only way to live up to display sitting values and to instill them in people is to live up to them and he very strongly denounced white supremacy in that speech. >> thank you so much. mark, thanks for joining. really pree
appreciate it. fascinating speech from president bush in new york city. up next, we're talking about white supremacy. the state of emergency at the university of florida ahead of the speech from a white supremacist. how are they preparing? why is he there? we'll go there. that's next. their experience is coveted. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of - researchers of technologies that one day, you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team.
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part of florida under a state of emergency but not because of a pending hurricane or natural disaster, but because of a speech. in just a few hours, richard spencer is set to speak at the university of florida in gainesville. spencer helped organize the violent protest that broke out in charlottesville, virginivirg.
so now there are fears something like that could happen in gainesville. the university and city are trying to make sure that's exactly what does not happen though. rosa is in gainesville with the lead up to this. what are you seeing? are they prepared? >> they are. all you have to do is look behind me. you can see the presence of law enforcement here on this campus. i can tell you, from the moment we arrived in this city, you could feel the presence, the sense that there was preparation, that there was a lot of law enforcement here. and one of the other important things they've done that we've noticed, especially because this has been one to have big lessons from other protests we've seen around the country we've covered is the fact that a lot of times, the protesters converge. both sides are protesting in the same area. that's not the case here. the plan is to have two separate pins here. this pin to my left, that is for one set of protesters. then you have this buffer zone where you see these officers.
it's about 50 yards long and the section for the other set of protesters is on the other side. so there's this jai gagigantic that officers have secured and only officers are allow ed here and that is deliberate. that is to give everyone the opportunity to express their first amendment right, but also to do it safely. to make sure they have a safe space to do so. >> all right. the peach is coming up. the university say iing they've spent more than $600,000 on security. le let's see what happens. soon, president trump will be sitting down with the governor of puerto rico. it comes as puerto rico marks one month that hurricane maria devastated the island. the island is still mostly without power. millions of americans still struggling for basic necessary s.
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imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. imagine what we can do for you. welcome to inside politics. i'm jon king. puerto rico's governor at the white house. he's been careful not to criticize president trump, but he's at the white house with an urgent appeal. just 22% of the island's electrical grid is up and running after maria hit. >> recognizing that we're in this together. u.s. citizens in texas, in florida, u.s. citizens in puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands, we need equal treatment. >> plus, votes this hour in the is that the they lous for the presid