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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  October 29, 2017 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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the special counsel files the first criminal charges in the russia election meddling investigation. plus, crunch time for tax cuts. the president's last hope for a big first-year legislative win. >> tax reform will help reignite the american dream. this budget that the house just passed brings us closer to making that dream a reality. and steve bannon calls it a season of war. senator jeff flake, a moment of conscience. >> we must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic
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norms and ideals. > "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, thank you for sharing your sunday. it's off to asia this week for president trump, an important trip as china president xi showcases his grip on power. the nuclear crisis is a major white house focus. >> make no mistake, any attack on the united states or our allies will be defeated. any use of nuclear weapons by the north will be met with a massive military response, effective and overwhelming. plus, a week of enormous consequence for the president and his republican party. there is some momentum for the gop tax cut promise. but secret weekend meetings to debate the details underscore the high stakes. tax reform will help reignite the american dream. it will help bring us back to a
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place of confidence, freedom, happiness. a stronger, healthier economy. >> we begin a busy hour with blockbuster news that has washington on edge. cnn has told the special counsel robert mueller has secured his first criminal charges in the russia election meddling investigation. the indictments were issued by a grand jury friday and are under seal. we have no details confirmed yet. but with the likelihood of someone being taken into custody as early as tomorrow, contrast the terse "no comment" from the trump white house now to the scorn the president has routinely heaped on this investigation. >> this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. the entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. >> there was no collusion between us and russia. >> there has been absolutely no collusion. it's been stated that they have no collusion. >> with us to share their reporting and their insights this sunday, julie pace of the associated press, karen demergian of "the washington
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post," perry baker of 538, and jennifer jacobs of bloomberg. perry bacon, i'm sorry, i'll wake up eventually. the president and his allies spent this past week trying to undermine the credibility of the russian meddling investigation, complaining about the costs, the length, skboand wondering if th resources would be better spent investigating hillary clinton. forget all of those efforts of distraction and exclusion. cnn has been told the first charges are now in the books, like will be to be made public tomorrow. the details are under seal, revealing whether these are charges against one person or more. the special counsel is investigating the russian mel meddling, whether there was any coordination with the trump campaign, and whether the president was trying to obstruct or restrict the investigation when he was fired james comey. he's also investigating paul manafort and former trump national security adviser, michael flynn. so we meet at an awkward moment. we know there is a giant moment
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of truth coming to washington, d.c., but we don't know the details. anticipation. >> and the question of how giant it is, really. because there's so many people that mueller is looking at. he's casting a very broad net in this investigation. is it going to be a major player or a minor player that's going to potentially open up questions about more. so it is a moment of trying to figure out, basically, at what stage mueller is at his game. if it's someone who's really very close to the president, that means he's done quite a lot. if it's somebody who's maybe a more minor player in this whole saga, that just suggests there's a lot more to come. >> typically these investigations, you start low and you move high. i think it's also important to note that mueller inherited other investigations that were already ongoing. paul manafort, for example, has been under investigation for quite some time for things unrelated to collusion with the russia campaign. that's a possible avenue to look at. one thing that is certain no matter what happens tomorrow, this undermines the message that
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the white house has been trying to push, which is essentially that the mueller investigation is turning up nothing and is close to ending. that is simply factually inaccurate. >> and it was really interesting in the sense that we don't know whether this is just coincidence or if they got a heads up, but we know the way it works, if bob mueller is going to bring charges, he has to tell rod rosenstein, the funumber two at the justice department, who oversees the investigation. but all week, the white house started throwing up everything, this is about hillary clinton, sarah huckabee sanders saying the only thing that has been proven is that hillary clinton colluded with the russians. that's a taxpayer-funded lie. that has not been proven, no such thing has been proven. but there was a lot of dust thrown up to confuse people and distract people. and a conspiracy theorist would say, he must have had a heads up. >> i don't think they did. i think they just threw up some uranium, the dossier news fit into what they wanted to talk about anyway. that was part of some stories
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that have come up now. i think stotomorrow it will be interesting to see, what's the reaction. we'll have a story on indict. sarah sanders, i assume, cannot say the investigation is ending tomorrow after an indict comes out. so i'll be curious to see what the tweets are like. if they back off. and the other thing is, i think corker is being interviewed today. what do the members say? there's always this idea out there that maybe trump will fire mueller. i'll be curious if the members sort of at this point say, you cannot, cannot do that or we will do something else. >> i don't have any inside intel on this, but i think the white house is pretty confident that whatever does come out with these indictments is not going to prove that there was any collusion between the president and russia. >> that's what -- that has been their story all along. and ty cobb telling the president has no concerns in terms of any impacts into terms of what happens to them, meaning people who work in the white house, close aides to him, on his campaign or on the white house. and you start this presumed innocent. but to julie's point, the special counsel inherited other
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investigations. you generally start with the lowest-hanging fruit. but this has been a congressional committees investigating. it will mueller investigation underway for six months. everybody with giant question marks. now at least we get the first building block of what has he been doing for six months. to point of, should you shut this down or fire him? is it money well spent. >> mueller actually has been quite tight lipped about what's going on. there are very few leaks from the mueller camp, which is it's actual action from the mueller campaign. i've said all along, this investigation is going to hang over the trump white house for months or potentially years. this is not something l -- you' lived through a couple of these before. this is not something that gets wrapped up quickly. no matter what the white house or republicans want. and you think the white house would be better served on trying to refocus on other agenda items, try to pull attention in a different direction and let this play out rather than continue to try to mix it up
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with mueller and the congressional investigators. >> and you've had the president's lawyers saying this past week that he has not been asked for an interview or a conversation. and a special counsel can interview a president if you get that high up under several different circumstances. it can be a formal interview, under oath, or just a formal conversation. i cannot imagine someone being as thorough as bob mueller, he wants to talk to people about all of the those conversations about james comey, i cannot imagine him closing the books on this without having a conversation with the president. so we are a long way from finished. >> he may be very close to done, but at this point, once there's an actually an indictment, people will start drawing conclusions. >> here in washington? >> exactly. it's happening as most of the congressional probes are breaking down along party lines, as republicans are drawing these new lines of inquiry against clinton, but democrats are threatening to go alone, even though they have no power. people are going to be using in as a justification or
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explanation for not only the probes they're running, but the campaign they're about to start competing in. because 2018 is now -- we're in that season now where people are very much looking at that actively. primaries start a few months from now. and there's pressure on those congressional investigators to put something out before those primaries start. they're going to be defining themselves against the backdrop of the mueller probe now, in ways that they consider to be politically advantageous. >> a fascinating question for me is how does the conservative media handle this in the sense at last been an echo chamber there. and you saw this in the past week. the president tweeting after watching "fox & friends," clinton and campaign lepaid for research that lead to the fake news dossier. the victim is the president. the trump campaign, stupidly, foolishly, would not acknowledge for months that they picked up research initially started by a conservative fund-raiser, they started it looking into trump's business dealings, and then
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didn't get into the russia stuff, the dozenier stuff. then the democrats pick it up, including the clinton campaign. this dossier, the now-infamous dossier. the fact the clinton campaign didn't reveal they paid for it is foolish. but it proves nothing. the president is stirring this up trying to take the conservative media, pay no attention to bob mueller, pay no attention to me, look at hillary clinton. >> i'll be curious to see tomorrow night if on fox, are they covering hillary clinton like they were last week, is hillary clinton -- like if she was president, or if they downplay the indictment. those are the two options. i think real coverage of the indictment is probably not going to happen. is it more of a defense of trump, or more of a, hillary is even worse. those are the two options. >> the news has shifted more towards hillary clinton and what did she know and how much did she know and when. so that has been, you know, i'm sure, very satisfying for the president. but the conservative media also has been focusing on what the fbi knew, you know, and it has come out that the fbi asked the writer of this dossier to
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continue with his research into it, just a few weeks before the election. and you know, paying him to do so. you know, which was, you know, democrats are upset about that revelation that, you know, the top law enforcement agency was paying to have more research done like this. but it is a win for the president, in that it shifts a little bit of the attention off of him and russia and the democrats lose a little bit of the moral high ground on this dossier front. >> certainly has this past week. we'll see now. we'll keep track of it. up next, the president made three big policy promises for his first year in office. this week, it's a big test of whether he can salvage bone. but the president says the darnedest things when he meets the press corps kids. >> i cannot believe the media produced such beautiful kids. how the media did this, i don't know. oh, you're going to grow up to be like your parents? don't answer. that can only get me in trouble, that question.
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this is a defining week for a president and the republican party desperate to prove they can keep one of their big 2017
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promises. remember, obamacare repeal won't happen this year. the president never even bothered to submit the giant infrastructure program he promised in year one. so tax reform is the gop's last best hope. but after months of talking and debating, on wednesday, the house leadership is set to unveil the actual details. legislation that is being drafted in secrecy this weekend, because the policy choices are so difficult and the political stakes, so high. >> that means more jobs, fairer taxes, bigger paychecks for americans. too long the american people have been living under a broken system where they see too little of their own hard-earned dollars. >> as they misrepresent what they are doing to the middle class, what they are doing is looting the them. looting your homes. just, it's just a rip-off of the middle class. >> an introduction there to the political arguments set to intensify. we just talked in the last block about what a sequential week it is going to be in terms of the
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investigation. this is a giant week for the republican party. and you could argue for the democrats, as well, who's trying to block this or change this, anyway. but they have promised this forever. and if you came into the year thinking a new republican president, a larger senate majority, house republican majority, they're going to do all these big things. now they're down to the possibility of one. will they figure it out or will we have obamacare deja vu? >> i think it's going to be really difficult. tax reform hasn't been done in decades because it's really hard. and even though republicans generally agree on the idea of one politically needing to do this and two, from a policy perspective, believing that the tax code does need to be reformed, when you start getting into these details, you've seen these intraparty squabbles really break out into the open, because you have members, particularly on the house side, who represent just vastly different districts. this issue of state and local taxes in particular has become a real touchstone in this debate, because you have lawmakers who are in places like new york, california, virginia, states that tend to lean democrat, but you have republican house members there, who are facing
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the prospect of having to go back to their constituents and say, maybe i voted for a package that will raise your taxes, in some cases up to $10,000 a year. that's a really politically difficult situation for them to be in. >> that's a fun one. let's look at some of those questions. will there be a higher bracket for millionaires? will you keep your state and local tax deduction you get now? there are some that want to reduce the 401(k) benefits. you need to bring money into washington to help pay for some of these expanded tax cuts. expanded child tax credit, an issue pressed by the president's daughter. and then an impact to the deficit. we need to cut some spending somewhere. to your point about state and local taxes, there was one big compromise. brady said yesterday to bloomberg, at the urging of lawmakers, we are restoring an itemized property tax deduction to help taxpayers with local tax burdens. so your property taxes. but that's why this gets so complicated. you can break out your calculators at home.
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some of it may be important, some of it may not. but each piece of this puzzle is tens of millions or billions of dollars and it messes with the math. >> and a lot of this work has been done in secret, but we found out yesterday that that property tax deduction is going to stay in, but the mortgage tax deduction does not sound like it's going to be in there. it sounds like the state and local tax deduction will still be repealed, at least in the house bill. the 401(k), it sounds like they're going to make some changes to that, probably a higher overall contribution limit, which could drive people to roth i.r.a.s and things like that. house ways and means republicans do meet today so i think more details will leak out this afternoon. >> more details will leak out this afternoon. so the president, you mentioned the 401(k) thing, this could be a test. during the obamacare debate, remember, there were times when the president said things about specific policy proposals, sometimes they helped, the speaker and majority leader would tell you more often they hurt as they were going through negotiations. the president made clear this week he does not want those changes to the 401(k) program. but the chairman of the committee, mr. brady says, well,
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i'm still thinking about it. >> 401(k)s, to me, are very important. and they're important because that's one of the great benefits to the middle class. >> kevin brady, the chairman of the house ways and means committee said this morning it could be on the table. >> well, maybe it is and maybe we'll use it as negotiating. >> a -- right, you're laughing, because you remember the past nine months. remember, the house speaker came to the president early on in the obamacare repeal and replace. he said, i have a bill, nobody likes it, i think i might be able to sneak it through by a vote or two and we can't just tweeted it. the president immediately said, great, negotiating season is open. so the president's role in this is enormous in the sense that if they are going to thread this needle, they need him to sell the idea of tax reform to the republican base, because there are going to be things that people don't like. but they don't want him doing the details like that. >> they seem the to want him to cheer on the bill and be very involved in it but not talk about the details of the bill. that's going to be hard for him
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to do. i would argue that would be hard for a lot of presidents to do, especially this president. he doesgaged in the process of getting this bill passed than he was health care. i think it's going to be hard for him to -- as this gets closer, a lot of people in new york's taxes are going to go up. and i wonder if he'll say, is that a mean thing to say. >> mean better be taken off the table. >> they had a vote for this budget process to start things off and they lost 20 votes in the initial votes. they only can lose 23. this is not a -- they're already divided. we don't have to guess. we already know there's a big divide in the party on this already. >> so there's a policy divide. and we saw some of this very similar to this in obamacare. some conservative members, more moderate members. so listen to lindsey graham who says, yes, that's all true, we
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have some policy zbreemdisagree but if the republican party doesn't understand the imperati imperative here, good-bye. >> i think all of us realize if we fail on taxes, that's the end of the republican party's governing majority. i don't imagine how he could be successful with nancy pelosi running the house. they would try to impeach him pretty quick. so it's important that we pass tax reform in a meaningful way. if we don't, that's probably the end of the republican party as we know it. >> does that argument sell with lawmakers that might have quibbles with the details that this is a political imperative and you might be a retired lawmaker if you don't pass this? >> sure, except a lot of lawmakers are voluntarily retiring because they don't like the environment. i don't know how much of a threat that is. and i don't know about how much of a threat that is to those who are trying to stay in office. is that going to make them tick as opposed to what's going to hit them where they live and what their bottom line might be
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in all of these debates. i think we've seen that it's not necessarily a party-first sort of attitude and philosophy. and you can't start to sell the tax reform is an emotional issue, because it's such a technical thing without actually getting into details, to get back to the earlier point. which means trump, if he's going to sell this or do what he does best, frankly, which is campaign on it, he has to find issues that hit people where they live. and, i mean, tax reform -- taxes in general. like the one place where the government can actually direct what they want to incentivize for behavior. it's the most direct line and he's got to sell that direct line. he can't do that if he's got to keep his hands free on the details and talk about the health of the gop. up next, the remarkable things that the republicans say about the republican president. yet the question on which there is zero doubt, who leads the gop? jimmy's gotten used to his whole room smelling like sweaty odors.
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. welcome back. it is no secret republicans are deeply divided over their president. some of it's policy on issues like trade and america's place in the world or refusing to acknowledge russia's attack on our elections. a lot of it, though, is personal, or character-based. memories of that "access hollywood" tape, an aversion to slashing attack tweets, or a belief that constantly undermining trust in vital institutions or habitually saying things that are not true are character traits the beneath the presidency. >> reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is" when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified. >> i think the basing of our
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nation, the constant non-truth-telling. the -- just the name-calling, the debasement of our nation will be what he'll be remembered most for. >> remarkably strong criticism there this past week from two respected conservatives. but the virtual silence that followed spoke volumes. the conservative "weekly standard" put it this way, everyone's talking about the civil war in the republican party, it seems more like a surrender to us, the great bulk of elected republicans have surrendered to the force of donald j. trump and they didn't even put up much of a fight. true statement. wherever you stand on this. if you're a democrat, with you find it interesting theater. if you're a republican, you probably have chosen your camp by now. but it is a pretty true statement that you did have remarkably blunt, forceful statements by senator flake this past week, senator corker again this past week. but most of the other republicans were like, i don't want to talk about this, with we should keep this in the family, we should keep this quiet. this is donald trump's republican party, clearly. >> absolutely it is.
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flake got up there and essentially his speech was a call to arms for his fellow republicans and no one stood up and followed him. it was pretty amazing. you do hear, as echoed by "the weekly standard," you do hear from people who view themselves as traditional conservatives, this traditional mold of the republican party, this frustration that people like flake and like corker are choosing to walk away as opposed to stay in and fight, even if it means that they would lose their election. the reality is, most of those people that are saying the that don't actually have to make that decision. they have the luxury of not being on the ballot right now. but you see it over and over again. people are saying that there's a fight for the soul of the republican party, but that fight is not particularly active right now. trump runs this party. >> -- have told me that there are republican members of congress who very much agree with corker and flake. they're just letting them be the spokespeople right now and they're just saying it privately. >> which is why it's not really -- the call to arms isn't working. the true profile in courage, would be to say, i'm running anyway. you can run whoever you want against me in a primary.
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if i lose, i'll even endorse the democrat. but nobody is going to do that, because this is washington and it's not how it works. it's self-preservation, and only at a point you have decided, that is not the primary objective, can you speak out this bluntly. except in some cases like -- basically, the republican women, susan collins and lisa murkowski had the guts to buck that trend in the past. but usually not a blanket statement like we heard from flake and corker. >> and the steve bannon page is saying, establishment republicans fall like dominos. luther strange, bob corker, jeff flake, gone. and this is the reason a lot of them are reluctant privately. it is stunning the things that republicans say about the republican president knock your head back. some of the things they say. but they say it privately. they say it privately. and this is why. they fear going home. look at these numbers from the nbc "wall street journal." whose party is this? among republican voters, if you are a republican, a supporter of
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trump? 58%. a supporter more broadly of the gop, 38%. to your point about survival, the but if you look at policy, that's the mitch mcconnell/paul ryan agenda. donald trump has basically given up a lot of his sort of populist ideas to take a policy that marco rubio or ted cruz would have done, too. so i'm not sure this is trump's party yet in terms of actual governing. >> it is a great point. and you had at the beginning, a lot of the people around
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mcconnell and ryan saying, there's a lot of things about this president we don't like, but we're going to pass stuff and he's going to sign it and that's going to be okay -- >> they're not passing anything so far. >> they're not passing -- but not pushing much, either. >> the whole argument you heard from republicans in the transition and during the early months of the administration was, look, of course we don't want this guy to be president. he wasn't our preferred choice, but he will sign our agenda. we'll pass an obamacare repeal and he will sign it, we will pass tax reform and he will sign it. at the end of the year, if they are heading into a midterm and donald trump is president and they haven't withbeen able to g him any legislation to sign, that's when this potentially gets really interesting. >> one of the great pieces of theater this past week, and this president gives us a lot of them, but listen to the president here. he knew what senator flake had said, knew what senator corker had said. pay no attention, all is great. >> we have great unity. i called it a lovefest. it was almost a lovefest. maybe it was a lovefest. but we -- standing ovations.
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there is great unity. i mean, if you look at the democrats with bernie sanders and hillary clinton, that's a mess. there's great unity in the republican party. >> he's right, the democrats are equally divided if not more so divided, it's different ways, but the democrats are fractured into pieces too, it's just fascinating to see this play out. you don't normally see this play out when you have a president. number one, when you have a president, he runs the party. but number two, to your point about people speaking out, usually when you have a president, people mute it. president bush passed medicare part "d" and most were horrified but they kept quiet. >> what he's saying may not be true right now, but may be true in another year and two months. the people keep leaving the party, there will be more unity in the party behind him that's leftover. and the president is pretty good at spinning these moments in a way to be like, not me, not me. this is a reliable axiom of
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d.c., you can always find something more screwed up in congress. you can, because they're so dysfuncti dysfunction dysfunctional, right? >> #sad. >> #sad. the president can always point a finger this weekend. i found one of these tweets really hilarious. everyone is saying you're so undignified. he says, it's not undignified, i just said i didn't like michael moore's movie. he's spinning this to be a weird affable thing. >> one thing we know about the president, he always cares what people think. if people are criticizing him, it does bother him and polls do bother him. and i'm sure he's aware his approval rating right now is about 36, 37%. at this same point -- >> congress is worse. >> -- in obama's -- when obama was about 182 days, he was at 52%. jimmy carter was 54%. jfk was 77%. george w. bush was 86%. and trump is aware of this. >> jeff flake, mccain, bob
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corker, now you have three senators. really, you have 49 and three in some ways. this is a big one. even if these guys are gone by 2019, they really matter this next year and a half. >> and a big test. you'll have the 2018 midterms. we'll see if someone challenges the president within the primaries in 2020. in the short-term, you have an election in virginia coming up next week. and this is a direct mailer from the democrats. you can see the republican candidate, ed gueillespie and t president of the united states linked together. more of a traditional establishment republican. but listen here, in this campaign, he needs trump voters to come out, so ed gillespie, more of an economic fiscal conservative has become a culture warrior. >> ralph northam will take our statue down. ed gillespie will preserve them. >> i'm for leaving them up and he's for taking them down and that's a big difference in november. >> there's the trump effect, right there. >> absolutely. especially in a state like virginia. we're talking about a state that
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has gone democrat in the last couple of presidential elections, as well. so to see the republican having to say, i can only win this if i can rally the trump base and risk turning off the moderates who could swing back and forth is really fascinating. >> that's interesting to watch and we'll do more of this next week, the ads running in the rural conservative area versus the ads running in the northern virginia suburbs. a little bit of a play going on there. up next, a big asia trip for the president and a big question about north korea. , like paperless, multi-car, and safe driver, that help them save on their car insurance. any questions? -yeah. -how do you go to the bathroom? great. any insurance-related questions? -mm-hmm. -do you have a girlfriend? uh, i'm actually focusing on my career right now, saving people nearly $600 when they switch, so... where's your belly button? [ sighs ] i've got to start booking better gigs. [ sighs ] nahelps protect eyesin blue from damaging blue light, filtering it out to help you continue enjoying your screens. or... you could just put your phones down
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well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. look how much coffee's in here? fresh coffee. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me? do you wear this every day? everyday. i'd never take it off. are you ready to say goodbye to it? go! go! ta da! a terrarium. that's it. we brewed the love, right guys? (all) yes. north korea best not make anymore threats. they will be met with fire and furr fury like the world has never seen. >> we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself. >> now we know, north korea will be a major focus when the president heads to asia later this week. let's take a look, first at the
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trip, five countries over 12 days, economic issues to talk about, trade, national security issues, some allies, some countries where relations aren't so great as the president talks, but we do know, an up close look at the north korea crisis and what will the president be thinking about? go back through the history of just in administration. all of these north korean missile launches. the president will be talking to the leaders in south korea, in japan, in china. one interesting thing to note. look at all of this. april, may and june, march, march, may, and july, august, september. here's an interesting footnote. we now are in the longest period of time in the donald trump presidency where there has not been a north korean missile launch. the previous record was about a month. we're at six weeks and counting now since the last launch. is the private diplomacy working? is kim jong-un waiting for the president to be in the neighborhood? we don't know the answer. but they sent the defense secretary in advance to the president's trip from the demilitarized zone, from the south looking into the north, this from jim mattis.
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>> north korean provocations continue to threaten regional and world peace, and despite the unanimous condemnation by the united nations security council, they still proceed. our goal is not war. but rather the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula. >> i was hesitant to even talk about this. but i am fascinated by the fact that we are in the longest stretch of the trump presidency without a north korean missile launch. and it comes at a time where we know the secretary of state says there are some conversations with the north. the president has mocked him for that on twitter, saying diplomacy is not going to work. now it's the most secretive regime on earth. we can't see inside that secret diplomacy, but is it significant that heading into this period, we are now six weeks and counting since the last launch? >> it's at least notable. for the last couple of months, there's been this gap between the rhetoric we've heard publicly from donald trump about north korea and the rhetoric we hear privately from administration officials, particularly at the pentagon and the state department.
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every time the president says something that indicates that he wants to move toward military action or sees that as the only option on the table, you immediately get this pushback privately from folks in those departments who say, really, we're focused on diplomacy. there are back-channel communications that have been happening between north korea and the u.s., which is notable. there is a lot of discussion happening between the u.s. and china. so whether this holds is deeply uncertain, because we know north korea is a really uncertain regime, but i think it is worth noting that you have had one month without a missile strike. >> i think you have to make sure that you take into account that there were other things happening in china as well during this six-week period. they had a major political conference -- once every decade, i believe that happens. so it makes sense that north korea might have actually taken a step back at that moment to see what the lay of the land was going to be heading into it. and now that we have trump heading to asia, it's potentially more incentive to wait and see or do something that may mark the moment.
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and we don't fknow which way they're going to do. >> and you heard about the developments this china, the emergence or the reemergence of the acceleration of president xi's grip on power. laid out the new leadership team. no heir apparent in there. clearly, a dominant political presence. and listen to the president of the united states here, who has asked for president xi's help repeatedly on north korea, remember donald trump, as a candidate, promised to label china a currency manipulator, was going to be tough on chinese trade. has not done those things. listen to the president here and how he describes president xi. >> he's a powerful man. i happen to think he's a very good person. now, with that being said, he represents china pip represent the usa, so you know, there's going to always be conflict. but we have a very guide relationship. people say we have the best relationship of any president/president, because he's co-president also. now, some people might call him the king of china, but he's called president. >> it's just a fascinating -- how this relationship is not
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what we thought we were going to get. >> he has been so critical and his administration has been so critical of china and yet you can see how much he really respects xi jinping as a person and admires the fact that he's almost a king. but on this asia trip, on the first -- on the leg to china, there are all sorts of tensions right now. he has criticized the trade deficit between the u.s. and china. he has ---io iohas, you know, s china should be acting more forcefully on north korea. he okayed this investigation into the theft of intellectual property. there are pending authorities for importing aluminum from chooun. there are numerous areas he'll have to address privately with xi. but they also have all of these deals they're planning on brokering over there. so expect a big show of unity between him and xi over billions of dollars of investment in the united states. >> it is the most complicated, and many would argue, i think rightly so, the most
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consequential relationship in the world. our reporters share from their notebooks next, including a look ahead to the first obamacare open enrollment without who? president obama. by listening to an thiaudiobook on audible.ame and this guy is just trying to get through the day. this guy feels like he can take on anything. this guy isn't sure he can take it anymore. unwavering self-confidence. stuck in a 4-door sedan of sadness. upgrade your commute. ride with audible. dial star star audible on your smartphone to start listening today. ♪ tired of wrestling with seemingly impossible cleaning tasks?
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let's head one last time around the "inside politics" table and ask our great reporters to share a little something from their notebooks and help you get ahead of the political news just around the corner. >> a big news on capitol hill for tech giants, facebook, twitter, and google. representatives from these companies will be appearing before lawmakers and grilled on two fronts that are related. one, how russia tried to use th these platforms to influence the
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presidential election and two the questions about the overall lack of transparency that these platforms have for their advertising for some of their users. you've seen facebook and twitter try to get ahead of these hearings by announcing some new steps, facebook in particular related to being more transparent about who's behind advertising. it's a way to try to get ahead of some of this grilling, but most importantly for these tech companies, to try to stave off what has really been a growing climate here of discussion around congress stepping in to regulate these industries in a more aggressive way. >> can't wait. these companies don't talk in public much. looking forward to it. >> secretary tillerson and defense secretary mattis are heading to capitol hill to talk about an aumf. this is an interesting juncture, because we've been talking about niger and the ambush that happened there for several days. and congress has not been pleased about how quickly they were read into what happened. there were concerns about the pentagon changing its counterterrorism strategy to expand the rules of engagement. that may kick some lawmakers into higher gear in terms of
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trying to regulate what the administration is trying to do in its military engagement. this is going to be an interesting and touchstone moment to basically take the temperature if congress is ready at this point in ways they haven't been for the last few years to say, no, these are trulies of how you'll be operating and alerting us. >> long overdue for congress to do its job in this area. perry perry? >> wednesday, the start of something new. obamacare enrollment without obama. so we'll see how trump handles these six weeks of obamacare. do they encourage people, not encourage people, or something in between there. and we'll see states like california and new york, states that are very liberal, how will they handle this? will they ramp up obamacare enrollment on their own to make up the fact that the feds don't do it. or how will they handle this and can the numbers reach what they did last year if the feds are not involved. >> the issue that will not go away. jennifer? >> federal reserve chair. it's not necessarily the sexiest of issues. trump stoked the sense of drama
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this past week by tweeting a ve video saying he's going to announce the fed chair next week. a white house official said he realizes how consequential this is. this is one of the most important decisions of his first year. janet yellen, of course, is the current federal reserve chairwoman. she was the first woman appointed to that job. this is a really important to have -- to women in the financial world, to have her there, breaking the grass ceiling. it doesn't look like he's leaning towards her, which would break three decades of tradition. usually presidents will keep the fed chair that they inherit when they become president. it does not look like he's leaning towards yellen. >> it doesn't get much attention, but it has huge, as the president might say. i'll close with this. the republican tax cut ever already juicing the economy with a multi-million dollar lobbying frenzy here in washington. there are several key battlegrounds a as the proposal begins in the house ways and means committee and then makes its way to votes in the full house and if it passes on to the senate. but up wione particular fight i especially fierce over the next 72 hours. the debate over whether to
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include a new millionaire's tax in the initial proposal. a host of groups call it bad policy, but it has great political appeal as a buffer to democratic arguments that republicans talk about the middle class but are really only out to help the rich. those who oppose the new tax are lobbying furiously over this weekend and as the drafting continues over the next few days. knowing that if the official bill due out wednesday includes that millionaire's tax, finding the votes to strip it out once this debate goes from behind closed doors to the public will become near impossible. that's it for "inside politics." we're here weekdays too at noon eastern. more on the russia investigations and the president's new opioid investigations next with senator angus king and governor chris christie join "state of the union" with jake tapper. have a great sunday. everyone's got to listen to mom. when it comes to reducing the sugar in your family's diet
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yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it.
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charges filed. the first charges have been approved in mueller's russia investigation, the same day president trump said it's agreed that there was no collusion. >> the president thinks that he has an ability and a right to interfere and meddle. zp >> former u.s. attorney preet bharara reacts, next. and under fire. new republican calls for special counsel mueller to resign. >> someone with bob mueller's integrity will step aside and should. >> why take aim at robert mueller now? governor chris christie is here to pl

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