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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  October 23, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump tweets a defiant response after the widow of the soldier killed in africa takes issue with the commander in chief's condolence call. >> yes, the president said he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts, anyway. it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. plus, remember when
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candidate trump said john mccain was not a war hero? the p.o.w. war hero turned senator seems to remember how the president avoided the draft. >> we drafted the lowest income level of america and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. and as the president preps for a big visit to capitol hill, the senate's top republican, mindful of the obamacare debacle, asked for clear and consistent white house guidance on tax cuts. >> i'm not certain yet what the president is looking for here, but i'll be happy to bring a bill to the floor if i know president trump would sign it. >> president trump refusing today to budge on account of his call with myeshia johnson, the widow of la david johnson, the soldier of four that was killed three weeks ago. the president essentially called the grieving widow a liar after
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she shared her story on abc about the call she received from the president after the death of her husband. >> he couldn't remember my husband's name. the only way he remembered my husband's name is because he told me he had my husband's report in front of him. that's when he actually said, "la david." i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name. and that's what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? and that's what made me upset and cry even more. >> emotional interview there. the president responding quickly on twitter, disputing mrs. johnson's account. quote, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow mrs. johnson and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation.
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i have my panel here. i watched this interview this morning. maybe the president and mrs. johnson have very different recollections of the conversation. that is entirely possible. i'm sure the president was nervous making this call, and here is a grieving widow who is on the way to the return of her husband's body at the time she takes the call. perhaps they have different recollections of the call. why would the president respond immediately on twitter? why not let it go? >> he can't help himself. it is pretty remarkable, because across the political spectrum you're hearing even republicans saying that we need to -- this is just an unseemly debate we're having about this phone call. the white house has its own version of events that not only does the congresswoman who was in the car disputes but now the widow also is disputing the white house's version of events. she said that she was hurt by the call. she said she was hurt by the president's tone on the call.
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maybe the president disagrees with that, but that is her interpretation and nobody could suggest by watching that interview today that she was nothing other than genuine in her feelings. so if you're president of the united states, perhaps you take the high road this time, particularly when you're dealing with a grieving widow for someone who served our country. >> i do believe president trump has spent a lot of time cultivating not only the generals we all know he respects grapt greatly, but also the rank and file. he's gone out of his way to talk about how he values the troops, people who give service, and their families are a big part of that. i think what's of concern here is the signal that it's sending to other family members and other members who are serving, and it's something that the president probably needs to keep an eye on. i would also say that when general kelly came out and gave his remarks to the press corps last week in which he obviously wanted to single out the fact that a lot of reporters maybe
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hadn't served in these conflicts and that he wanted to suggest we should be more sensitized to issues that we don't necessarily understand as well or that we haven't put ourselves on the line to understand as well, there is some lesson in that for everyone. if you have it yourself, it's real important to understand how to talk to the people who were directly affected by it. >> and also important. i think general kelly meant this. he got himself into a mess saying other things weren't true. we need to get back to these four dead heroes being called by the president of the united states. i don't see the need to return fire every time, especially when it's from a grieving widow who just buried a young man, a father, a hero, a serviceman. if he needs to respond, he
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should say, i'm so sorry we disagree on this matter. i very much respect your husband and his service. >> the words "i'm sorry" rarely come out of the president's mouth. when you hear him say he's a counterpuncher, that works very well when he's going against the nfl or other senators or members of congress even within his own party. that kind of fight is something you can expect in washington and happens regularly. but when you're attacking a grieving widow just days after she laid her husband to rest, you don't come off looking strong, you come off looking actually weak, being the president and punching down toward someone who is vulnerable and grieving. i think people within the white house are pretty clear that this is not the fight they want to be vag this week, and for them to prolong this fight against the grieving widow, gold star mother is not something that will help them in passing their agenda or even gig the moral high ground
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in a way. >> you mentioned the hill. i can tell you from my perch up there it's sending shock waves through the capitol, not because republicans are perplexed by the president in what they see as a disgraceful back and forth, but there's also a lot of questions the ambush has triggered. senators lindsey graham and john mccain want to know more about, was there an intelligence failure? what exactly happened that resulted in the deaths of these four americans. also, this could reignite a debate over the authorization of the use of the military force, which is sort of this congress ooifl third. this one was passed after 9/11, and i know there are democrats saying, we need to reexamine this issue right now. >> it's a derelict of duty that now the pressure is on again and we're like, what happened?
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where was the intelligence failure? why did it take so long to find mr. johnson's body? a lot of americans probably don't know. there are americans in chad, in niger, in other places around the world. a lot of americans probably don't know that, and congress, that's your job. a bunch of debates are coming. you had john kelly who came into the briefing room. he essentially said the congresswoman, who the family allowed to be on the phone call. she's a friend of the family, she apparently helped this young man stay off the streets and gordonors. that was their decision, fox didn't tlik. listen to what explains how he and general kelly were so upset about that. >> ihe was so offended that
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someone would be listening to that call. he couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, "sir, this is not acceptable." i was so nice. i've called many people, and i would think that every one of them appreciated it. i was very surprised to see this, to be honest with you. >> i understand completely, and general kelly has experience of this from his days in mat reason corps. i understand his view, that this should be a private matter with the commander in chief and the county officer, however it is the family's call to be on the president. then they are so offended that a wedding would be. we're in the -- it's almost
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shocking how both the president and general kelly have come across the white house who have not been honest. general kelly making up the story about the congresswoman, the president saying other friends haven't called, and now we see the reporting white house was scrambling to try to get letters out to all the families that the president hadn't called, although he said and the widow of sergeant johnson have come out much more -- seemingly more honest in terms of explaining exactly what happened. i think the white house is losing credibility by the hour on this story, and it would help them if this story would move on to another thing. >> really, this was a predictable outcome last week. by going after the congresswoman, you knew the family eventually would confirm the congresswoman's account.
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she was in the car -- >> she was doing this because that's the way the family felt. >> he went on to say that at this dedication of the building to the fbi agents, that she was showboating, that she was talking about herself and how great she was. if you look at the tape, you see. we'll continue the conversation. if the leaders mis. >> she talked about how great it was in getting the funding. . she spent a couple minutes telling the liar moral. and now the congressional black caucus, especially the women in the caucus, are saying, you know, john, the one way to turn
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the volume down is to apologize. >> he needs to apologize. first of all, he was in error, he did not tell the truth. he knows now that he play the truth, even if he thought he had told it. so he owes them an apology. his behavior is simply unacceptable. >> the recount the county gave is not accurate. why won't they clean it up? >> if they're not going to apologize, the best thing would be to just stop talking about it completely. the president coming out tweeting before his interview this morning, he just revs up this is a. they could have an incredible back and forth going on right
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now. >> i would expect not to see it before we have keynotes on the. up next, jor skwhon mccain going after the president. is senator mccain worried? >> he said he would fight back. >> yeah. >> are you scared? hello, i'm an idaho potato farmer. you've probably seen me running all over the country in search of our big idaho potato truck. but not any more. i am done with that. ooh, ooh hot - just gonna stay home on the farm, eat a beautiful idaho potato, and watch tv with my dog... tv anncr: the big idaho potato truck pulled into town today
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and it's really a sight to see. oh man...let's go.... (distant) you comin', boy? sfx: (dog) gulp! woof.
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welcome back. the president this afternoon said to honor a medic who saved a remarkable 60 lives in a top
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secret mission in laos. the vietnam veteran once dishonored by the president returning the favor. >> one as pepect of the conflic by the way, that i would never countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of america, and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. if we're going to ask every american to serve, every american should serve. >> if you had any doubt that senator mccain there was talking about the president of the united states, well, this morning he erased it. >> people thought you were talking about mr. trump because he had a doctor's note that said he had bone spurs. >> i think more than once, yes. >> "i think more than once,
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yes." why? we know they don't like each other. we know on policy matters the president has been mad at senator mccain for having a thumbs down on the obamacare vote. that has long been his view of the draft and the unfairness of the draft. but he worked on the bone spur on purpose. >> he did. a lot of it is because the two men have fundamentally different world views in addition to all the personal disagreements, and mccain tried to push the republican party toward his view of the world, more aggressive role foreign policywise, and as mccain laid out rather starkly in his speech last week, saying that he's concerned about this growth of spurious nationalism, a real shot at the president. he didn't mention the president there, but it was very clear he was talking about the president and people close to the
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president. mccain aligns himself more with james mattis, people in the administration that may be more in line with that. he's making these points because, look, i know more, the generals who serve with the president know more. he should listen to the people who have served and they know more than perhaps the president who spouts off from time to time. >> is it just senator mccain can be a prickly guy? sometimes that's a compliment, sometimes a criticism. is it just this peak that he doesn't like trump? donald trump's brand is strength, his brand is "i'm strong" and mccain is essentially saying, you're a spoiled rich kid who dodged the draft. >> you always hear the president talking about how he built an amazing company, in part, i believe, because he was born wealthy, his father was wealthy and helped him get his start in business, and this idea that he's a tough guy, he tries to project this type of strength. and the idea of thoughts of the draft kind of undercuts that.
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i believe senator mccain is making those points because of basically the similar reason we're hearing bob corker speak out and former president george w. bush and susan collins and several speak out against the president because what we've seen over the last few months have caused a number of republicans to take a gut check and ask, do they want to be seen in the history book as being complicit as their party drifted toward, as mccain said, spuriosm and nationalism. >> john mccain not only wore the uniform, he spent five years in a vietnamese prison as a prisoner of war where he was beaten and toured, and he refused an early release offer because his dad was an admiral. to the point you said earlier, should we be talking about, should the president be responding on twitter to the widow of a grieving soldier who
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thinks the president was not quite sensitive enough in a phone call? senator mccain says no. >> we are in very challenging times, and i hate to go over what you just covered, but my friends, we should not be fighting about a brave american who lost his life serving his country. that should not be the topic of discussion in america today. >> i think if you had him in a private room and they knew there were no recordings, every republican and member of congress would agree with that statement. but not everybody says it publicly. john mccain has brain cancer, he's not sure how much longer he's here. so you had mccain out, corker out, george w. bush the other day. it's a pretty small list. >> but a growing list, right? i would say bob corker was once considered president trump's allies in the senate republican conference. yeah, privately you talk to republicans on the hill and a lot of them are frustrated with
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the president about going back and forth, the fighting between lawmakers and they're really concerned. they want him to be focusing on the agenda, and i think that's why you're seeing more people come out. my question on mccain's comment is, you know, is this sort of just going to be three or four senators that start speaking out, or are we going to see a whole influx of house republicans start to push back against trump? because a lot of them are worried. >> i think they're conflicted, too, a lot of these members. their own supporters are furious, big trump supporters, what their base is. they also have to get an agenda through congress, so you don't hear mitch mcconnell speaking out against the president, and you really don't hear paul ryan speaking out against the president, because at the end of the day, they have calculated not only to get their agenda through, you don't want to be at war with the president. that's not going to help what they want to accomplish on the hill. if they don't accomplish tax reform, their majority could be done. >> they've said in the past
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several times, we wish you wouldn't tweet, we wish you wouldn't tweet. they realize they're losing that argument. >> if you keep doing the same thing a thousand times, it's the definition of insanity. i think you can't uncouple what senator mccain is doing in the context of it, which is, in this case the president's sort of public treatment in the case of these four soldiers of this issue. so i think part of senator mccain's response has to do with that, and part of it has to do with the fact that there's so much more exposure on senator mccain lately because of his illness and because he is being honored in these many venues. a lot of these responses are things he would say to you in a hallway for sure if you were walking past the ohio clock. il it's just they're on a stage now, they're in front of a microphone. he knows he has the ability at this minute, more than he ever has, potentially to reach millions of people and get his message across. it seems like he's trying one of
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president trump's favorite plays and try to weaken their strength. >> that's interesting. they're having a meeting at the oval office. let's listen in here. >> we have prime minister lee, a highly respected man in singapore doing well, continues to do well. you never even see a downturn in singapore. i guess you don't agree with that, but looking from the outside, you never see a downturn. i just want to congratulate you on having done a fantastic job. the relationship that we've had over the years has been very good but it's never been closer than now, and we'll be spending a lot of time. one of the things we'll be doing in a short period of time is signing together a very large contract where singapore is buying billions of dollars worth of aeroplanes from boeing that will be made in our country. so that's jobs, and you're also buying the best plane, by the way sor
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way, so that's very good. i just to want thank prime minister lee. >> thank you very much. i'm very happy to be here and be here at a tom wheime where our relations have crossed and we can spring them forward and skbrojoin administrations. >> very well, i don't think it's been stronger. i will be there in two weeks stopping in china, vietnam and probably the philippines also. >> very important trip. we look forward to meeting you and hearing your message. >> very good. thank you. thank you very much. thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you very much. >> in the oval office, the president ignoring those questions. a couple of those questions were
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about his confrontation on twitter this morning, his reaction after the widow of la david johnson went on the air and said she didn't appreciate some of the things the president said, and she said he couldn't remember her husband's name. he refused to answer questions in the oval office, but he is supposed to deliver press statements in the rose garden this afternoon. a, it's unseemly, b, it's unnecessary, and c, a president could have been asked about tax reform, he could have been asked about his upcoming asia trip. instead he's being asked about the twitter war with a widow of an american hero. >> you see this story time and time again in this administration. whenever there is a debate that's uncomfortable, he digs in. that's what he did in charlottesville. he kept the story alive for days and days and days when it could have been laid to rest a long
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time ago. the president doesn't feel he can let any slight go and this is what he does. >> i get the politics of the nfl, for example. from the president's perspective, i completely get the politics from his base. is this just who he is, he cannot accept a slight, he can't say i'm sorry, he can't even just back down. he can't say, just turn it off and walk away, this isn't a fight worth fighting. does he see something to be gained here? >> i think he might understand instin instinctively in its boiled-down form, it's difficult to have press on a subject, and the topic everyone wants to talk about is his treatment or his interactions with the families of the fallen, it's less time to talk about the nuances and the details of, apparently, a very complicated issue that involves a lot of covert issues and
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details that haven't been answered. >> although he hasn't tweeted back to senator mccain. that's probably one he can't win on because of the draft and mccain being a war hero, et cetera, et cetera, so maybe he's made a political calculus on that. >> he didn't go after president george w. bush who came up. he's been silent on that one, too. coming up next, can the republican party somehow find a way to work with the president to get things done? you do all this research
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trying to get members of his own party to get on the same
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page of tax reform and health care. a public source telling cnn the president told house members on a call yesterday, quote, we are on the verge of doing something very, very historic. the president also tells the fox business channel he thinks he has the votes for both tax reform and health care. >> but i do believe we have the votes for health care at the appropriate time, and i think that we're going to have the votes for taxes, and i will say the fact that health care is so difficult, i think, makes the taxes easier. >> now, the president's visiting the capitol tomorrow to pressure republican senators in person. many of them, trust me, many of them dispute the president's optimistic health care math, and they want to hear directly how he will deal with his friend and former chief strategist bannon and incumbent balance. >> in 2010 and 2012, they nominated people who couldn't win in november.
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i think most republicans want to see us win elections because i always remind people that the people who win elections make policy and the others just go into another line of work. >> he won't even say steve bannon's name, he just says, they've tried this before. the president said publicly he understands steve bannon but he disagrees with him targeting specific incumbents. when the support behind closed doors in that private meeting tomorrow, of course they want to plot health care strategy. they definitely want to talk tax reform. how many of these republican senators want the eyeball from the president? can we be sure you have our back, or if we do something that disappoints you, will you run back to steve bannon's camp? >> the president tends to be pretty civil. he tends to tell them what they want to hear and then he may change his mind publicly later. he criticized the american
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health care bill after he went to a rose garden ceremony. after the bill passed the house, though it didn't pass the senate and wasn't going to become law, he called it heartless. so who knows what he's going to say later after the fact. i do think what you heard him say last week, saying he doesn't think steve bannon should go after certain senators, i think he probably will reaffirm his support for people like roger whitaker, deb fisher who are up with overwhelming support for the agenda. maybe he'll say something about jeff flake. i doubt he'll say anything nice about jeff flake. overall, it will be positive. it will be interesting, though, to see if he gets any clarity at all about the moore alexander health care deal they have cut, because yesterday senator mcconnell made it very clear he would only bring it to the floor if the president makes it clear he supports it, which the white house certainly has not done yet. >> i would be willing to bet that americans press him on how much is he going to back this
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tax reform bill that we could see as soon as next week, according to republicans on the hill. privately there is a lot of concern on the hill that the president, once this tax bill is out, could pull another chuck and nancy chinese dinner and strike a deal with democrats. on the phone call last night, they say he talked about how he wanted to get more democrats to vote for the tax bill, but then tried to quickly reassure them that, i'm a republican inside-out and backwards, i think was the quote. i don't think that's going to assure them. i think a lot of people are worried about him doing a 180 on this. >> we talk about the chuck and nancy chinese dinner. it tells you a lot about the state of washington today. to that point, the president tweeted this morning about the 401(k). the republicans are going to cut taxes. a lot of them are worried about the deficit, trying to find some way to bring in revenue. some have said get rid of our limit to our 401(k). the president said, there will
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be no changes to your 401(k). that's a great tax break. we'll leave it as it is. to your point we get back to the obamacare issue where either they cast a vote, he says it's great or he says it's mean, or they're about to cast a vote and he does something on twitter that says negotiations are still open and they keep it going. how much of that will be behind closed doors tomorrow? get the president to plot this together and stay together. >> one of the concerns of the health care fight has been that the congressional republicans can think they're on the same page of the president and then feel like the plan got flipped at the last minute without warning, that nobody knew about it. the problem about that is i'm not sure how much can get worked out. a lot of this goes to the distinctive issue of trust. let's say you get the eye contact in the room you're looking for. what does that actually mean? the problem for the president or the test for the president will be whether he gets that sort of leap of faith or that buy-in that he needs. the problem for the republican
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incumbents when add all of these up between now and the end of the year is does it hurt the president worse or does it hurt them worse when things don't get done? if it hurts them worse, they do have major problems in terms of the primary challenges that they face, and that is the concern. >> think about all the different parts of tax reform that have not been ironed out yet. the 401(k) issue that the president has finalized. there is the millionaire tax should rates go up for people who are the top earners. there are a number of otherothe issues that are thorny and will be difficult for the president to work out. i'm sure americans are unsure where the president stands on different components of the tax care plan, and if we can't iron that out, we only have 24 or 25
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days left. >> there will be outcry over that and does the president change his mind then and cut this bill they've been carefully crafting? that remains to be seen, too. >> if you think it should be easy to cut taxes, go back to the obama debate. as we go to break, secretary of state rex tillerson has just landed in baghdad earlier today. he made an unannounced visit as well to afghanistan. they're not surprise visits, they just don't announce them to us because of security concerns. now he's in iraq discussing counterterrorism efforts as well as other issues. we'll keep you up to date on that trip. dozens of death threats, millions of dollars for bodyguards. why so much angst and anger surrounding one of the president's cabinet members?
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welcome back. let's turn now to an important story first reported right here on cnn. the security detail for the head of the environmental protection agency is growing, and so is the price tag. the epa inspector general's
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office called a level of security for scott pruitt inprecedented. we're joined now live. the epa administrator, clean air, clean water. why do they say, renee, that all this protection is necessary? >> well, john, first off the agency refused to comment on this story, but the independent inspector general did tell cnn that pruitt has received four to five times more death threats than usual. pruitt, as you know, has been very controversial. he led several lawsuits against the agency before he got there, and since becoming epa administrator he's been working to roll back those environmental regulations wholesale and it's clearly angered a segment of the population, john. >> so take us through. what measures are being put in place to protect the administrator, and if there are such threats, he obviously deserves some security. but how much is all of this going to cost? >> he currently gets 24/7 security. we do know that they are in the process of hiring 12 more agents, they're installing new
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security equipment surrounding his office, special key card access, even an alarm system being set up or has been set up to go off in his security team's office if there's any issue. a source also told cnn that they have considered a biometric security system that would check fingerprints, palm prints, but it's unclear if that's been installed at this point. as far as cost, salary alone, the security could cost at least $2 million a year, but that doesn't include equipment, training or even travel with the secretary. it's worth pointing out i spoke with christine todd whitman. she served under president george w. bush after 9/11. she said she only had security when she was traveling, but clearly different times here, john. >> different times but we'll keep an eye on very important reporting. the headline this morning, the latest for an agency with some new notoriety under a new president. the government is inspecting
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pruitt's use of security over tax rights. and they're worried the agenda is driving certain issues. may the shift of toxic chemicals be growing to an insider who runs the agency team that regulates them. this agency over the past eight or nine months more proof about how government elections have consequences. when you put a republican president in after a democratic president, they have every right to change policy. but pruitt has gained a lot of attention because he simply golt busted cutting and pasting letters from the oil and gas industry onto official state stationary, so he's gotten extra scrutiny. more than an interesting fellow, shall we say. >> there are other elements like the soundproofing around his office and that sort of thing. i read a report about the cleaning service needing to be
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let in manually other than being able to get in on their own. just making it harder to get information. when you take all of those together in conjunction with some of these other things and then you see an agency that looks different than it did since the last administration. we're talking about a report with dozens and dozens of death threats, and the kind of security detail coverage that's completely unprecedented. >> unprecedented. the question is, will they have the transparency to let us see whether they're being done right? if there are threats across the secretary. the question is will they go overboard and are they letting us see that. what are you spending, why are you spending that? if they could justify the cross. reports about their code of silence, the soundproof booth
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being set up. why does he need that? the challenge becomes questions by the administration. >> i've also seen stories saying that they have been flying in epa agents who work on environmental investigations in to d.c. to work on security when they should be looking at environmental issues or problems that are occurring around the country. and this, again, going back to elections, it just speaks to the huge change in the agency right now. this is an agency that could be going to protect the environment. a lot of green advocates have been aligned with the agency and working with the agency, and now we're seeing this total 180 right now. people are upset. >> you know, this is one of those issues that really just firmly cuts across party lines. it shows an idealogical divide, i should say, between the two parties. probably more so than almost any other issue. it's industry versus the environmentalists. if you have a republican in charge, it's going to be more of
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an industry-friendly agency. it was during the bush years, and then when it became -- president obama became president, it was an environmentalist friendly agency. this is one that generates an enormous amount of passion. we don't know whatif that's wha causing these threats to pruitt, but if it is, it just highlights how passionate people feel about this issue, and especially when they're on polar opposite views. >> again, you see in the "new york times" today, a headline, epa talks about climate change. epa scientists were supposed to present on the amagansett bay. they said they'll be there but it's not our conference, we're not presenting. and they say it's not happening. >> they're trying to roll back what the last eight years represented when it comes to climate change, when it comes to the epa which a lot of republicans and members of trump
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administration believe were overpowering the industry and making it harder to do business, mking it harder for the coal miners to survive. so you have on one hand sort of the deregulation. but on the other hand, you have the president saying, you know, we should drain the swamp. and that's sort of standing in contrast with the idea that all these industry people are taking government positions and sort of handing out favors and benefits and policies that benefit mostly wealthy corporations. then you have the epa administrator flying around in a private jet. >> john, if you go to a republican rally, very few things will get more of an applause line attacking the epa. republican bases don't like the epa so they're trying to cut regulations. >> transparency is keathithe ke issue. you might remember the owner of "shark tank."
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mark cuban 2020. as a republican? be right back.
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he played the president in "sharknado 3." umpl th you remember that, right? but is mark cuban ready to make a run in 2020? he spent a lot of time insulting president trump. now he's in a primary challenge with president trump. >> are you a democrat or republican? >> i'm fiercely republican. >> but if you run, you'll have to run one way or another. >> maybe. >> if you had to choose, which would you choose? >> probably republican. i think there is a place for somebody who is socially a centrist, but i'm very fiscally conservative. >> now, maybe you take cuban seriously, maybe you don't, but that exchange is actually pretty interesting, because cuban has spent some of his own money
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examining access laws. remember, donald trump wasn't exactly a lifetime member of the gop, but his hostile takeover of the party just last year worked out pretty well for him. and on the democratic side, too, bernie sanders came pretty close to winning the democratic nomination. you would think that experience would persuade sanders to drop the i for a d. >> i am independent and i have always run as an independent while i caucus with the democrats in the united states senate. that's what i've been doing for a long time and that's what i'll continue to do. >> so you'll run in 2018 as an independent? >> yeah. >> the voice of the former cnn paul steinhauser there asking him questions. it just reminds me, donald trump's experience running up against experienced republicans, and he's president of the united
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states. the parties don't matter as much anymore to voters. your party identification doesn't matter as much to voters, but the infrastructure matters if you're trying to run for the presidency. >> that's exactly right. there are a couple things to keep in mind. number one, president obama's personality is what attracted so many folks to his side in 2008, even across party lines. a little harder in 2012. i think you're right to point out that donald trump, even now, is not exactly wrapping himself in the gop mantel except when it suits him. the other thing is it's not even quite a year since the election. >> it only seems like 20. >> in dog years, right? but i think people were seriously starting to think about how they would do it, what their strategy would be, who else is playing, what the goal is. look, if steve bannon is looking to change the heart and soul of the republican party, why
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shouldn't mark cuban, who is also a reality tv star. if he were serious about this, he would be able to go head to head. >> the mark cuban thing, trump is still lovrd ed by the base. he will be hard to beat as a republican. but i think in the elections we're going to see an enormous amount of candidates, republicans -- it's not going to be like obama or bush who didn't have a primary challenger, george w. bush, but i think there will be a significant amount of democrats running. they'll have a centrist party themselves. >> and if you're actually a centrist, which party would rather see you? >> i hope mark cuban doesn't run, because i love "shark tank." >> if you put john kasich in one of those really tight batman
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t-shirts, i would vote for him. >> i can't go on. we'll be back at this time tomorrow. president trump in the rose garden about a half hour from now. we'll be here to bring you that. he's up after a quick break. have a great day. if you have medicare parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. thanks so much for joining us. breaking the silence. the widow in the ugly feud surrounding the white house talks about her condolence call with the president and his insult of the military. a policy that kept donald trump from serving in the vietnam war. mccain's blistering words, coming up. what jimmy carter thinks he could do face to face with kim jong-un. lots of news going on this hour, but let's start with the president of the


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