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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 15, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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he can certainly criticize past presidents. that's fine. i'm sure they're not losing sleep over it. but north korea is a pressing issue right now. china was an opportunity to make progress and i don't think there is evidence that that progress was made. >> just to be fair, jen, i don't think you'd expect that the discussions, private discussions held on north korea what the chinese are willing to do or not do is going to be blasted out on the chinese media or the front page of the "washington post." we'll wait and see how they play out. i think it's too early to say -- i think it's unfair to say they failed in dealing with north korea at this point. >> i think david, though, we've been hearing that for quite some time. there is a short window for a diplomatic opportunity. it's not clear -- >> the obama administration had eight years to deal with the north koreans, that's why we are where we are. >> trump is president now. the issue has escalated. >> i don't think it's gotten worse. i think it's got markedly
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better. the president has put a great deal of focus on this. this president doesn't have the luxury of time. this president was forced to deal with it, unlike his predecessors who were able to kick the can down the road, talk about sanctions and things that haven't worked. this president doesn't have that luxury. >> i don't think north korea is a partisan issue. >> i agree. i absolutely agree. >> it's something that everybody is concerned about and everybody is looking to president trump -- what you're seeing from world leaders is a concern that he is rushing to war and being erratic in his behavior. >> i don't think that's a fair analysis. >> this was an opportunity to do that on the trip. >> there is a concern, kristen. in some countries as you know, according to international polling, there is more respect for president trump and more faith in the united states' leadership. in russia, in israel, and in other countries but the world as a whole if you look at this according to pew, it's down. so up in ally israel, up in traditional -- i don't know what you call them, nemesis russia, but down in the world and, in fact, in asia, it's also a mixed
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bag. it is down at least in the last poll i saw in japan and south korea, two american allies but up in other asian countries. what do you make of all of that? >> well, thii think is it has at to do with president trump -- take the philippines for instance. the leader there is someone we have a lot of reasons to be gravely concerned and yet president trump has made what i frankly think i'm uncomfortable with very kind overtures to the leader of that nation. so i think it is on a country by country basis because president trump's foreign policy is not some kind of overarching clear, single unifying doctrine. i think it's a very country by country basis that he's choosing leaders that he likes and gets along with and leaders he's getting along with perhaps better than barack obama. but there are other countries that's not the case. >> what do you think, david? >> i think that's the way to approach it. you can't have a one size fits all diplomacy. every country is a give and
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take, specially dealing with north korea and the asian, you know, peninsula there on the korean peninsula, everybody's got a different take on this. you're right in terms of what happened in the philippines. there are definitely a lot of negatives about the president of the philippines. i'm not quite certain what happens behind the scenes in terms of them help with terrorism and other things, on the back channel what they may be doing or not doing, again, on the whole, i think this trip was a big success for the president and america. >> and jen, where you surprised that president trump obviously felt the need to come out and talk about the speech. he didn't take questions. obviously the political question of the day about roy moore and what president trump's position is on roy moore, the alabama senate candidate. he didn't answer a question about that. staying very disciplined. but are you surprised he felt the need to come out and give this mini address? >> the truth is i think it was smart. we didn't do that enough. most presidents don't do that enough. when you finish a foreign trip, it's not like the american public is watching every move you make. the time change is very
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difficult. no one knows really what you're doing or what big foreign deals mean for you. whether it's a success or not, we can debate that, but coming out and describing why you were in asia and what you were doing that is a smart tactic for any president. >> i want to bring in cnn's boris sanchez, he's at the white house. boris, you have some reporting. why does president trump feel the need to make the speech? you just heard jen psaki, former communications director in the obama white house say that was a good idea, we should have done more of that. why does president trump feel the need to do it? >> reporter: well, jake, for months now we've heard from this white house and other key republicans that this administration is not getting credit for the things that it has accomplished and with so much else going on in the political landscape, whether it be rob mueller's special investigation into alleged links between the trump campaign and russia or the special election in alabama and the allegations against roy moore, there is a feeling that some of their accomplishments could be overshadowed. in this speech, though, you saw the president go on a stop by
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stop tour detailing every accomplishment that he perceived was made in places like japan and south korea, and china. specifically on japan, he said he convinced shinzo abe, the prime minister, to enact new sanctions against north korea and also to reinvest in the japanese military by buying u.s. arms. in south korea, he said that he convinced moon jae-in to expand definite from any possible aggression from north korea. in china, he said he had a frank conversation with xi jinping, saying that time was running out to deal with the north korean regime. he also said that he told him that trade -- the trade deficit had to be equalized between the two nations. the president specifically going out of his way to combine the message of security and trade in this speech. and in his conversations with
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asian leaders saying that the united states had established a new standard of trade and that the years of being taken advantage of, jake, were over. >> interesting. boris sanchez at the white house for us. i wanted to bring in democratic senator jeanne shaheen of new hampshire. she serves on the senate foreign relations and the senate armed services committee. senator, thanks so much for being here. what's your reaction, president trump saying that the u.s. standing in the world is stronger than ever before? >> well, i think it's important for the president to travel, to reassure our allies who have been very concerned about some of the positions of this administration. i think we need to continue to engage with our allies and with the world situation, both on trade. i'm concerned that by pulling out of tpp, while we all want fair and competitive trade, the fact is what we've done is left the playing field to the chinese to engage with those partners. so i think we need to do both. we need to strike better deals
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but we need to do it in a way that ensures that we are at the table on these deals. >> were there elements of the president's trip to asia that you think were successes for the united states? >> well, again, i think whenever the president is there representing america, especially with our allies, that's very important. i was disappointed. i thought this was a great opportunity to try to further engage russia in what's going on with north korea. one of the things we need to do with north korea, which is a rogue nation, is to get the international community in support of further sanctions, of keeping pressure on the north korean regime and russia is a key player there and he missed that opportunity to engage putin on that issue. >> the president said that in meetings with other world leaders they were united in applying even more pressure on north korea to give up that country's nuclear program. he blamed the predecessors of the president's for their
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failures to take on north korea. he didn't mention them by name but obama, bush, clinton. does he have a point? >> look, i think we need to keep steady pressure on north korea. as i said, we need to build an international coalition as president obama did on iran to get people united in working and keeping the pressure on north korea. what we don't need is inconsistent messages on twitter that leave -- are open to interpretation by kim jong-un, who is a very irrational and radical leader, so i think that's the kind of consistent, stable diplomacy that we need to continue and i think, unfortunately, this administration has fallen short in that score. >> well, let me ask you, to play devil's advocate here, president trump doing what he's doing on twitter. i understand it meets with a lot of criticism, especially when it
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involves kim jong-un, who is the leader of a rogue regime, subjects his people to horrific human rights abuses and obviously is pursuing nuclear weapons. is it not possible that what he's doing on twitter is having a desired effect in terms of, you know, the mad man theory? in convincing kim jong-un, wow, maybe i really better take this seriously because who knows what this president's going to do. president obama would never do anything like that. he was too rational, but who knows what this guy is going to do. is it not possible that that's working in a way? >> well, it's certainly creating uncertainty. the concern is that at some point it could be miss interpreted in a way that would cause a dramatic miscalculation on the part of the north koreans about what we're really willing to do in terms of responding to any of their actions. so is it creating uncertainty? is it making the leader of north korea think about what he's doing? sure.
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that's probably true. but is that the best way to approach this situation? i think that's the real question. >> so i know you're in favor of the pacific trade deal that was scrapped by the house even before president trump scrapped it. he said that the u.s. is prepared to negotiate fair bilateral trade agreements with any country that believes in free and fair trade because the days of the u.s. being taken advantage of are, quote, over. given the fact that the republican congress wasn't going to support this anyway, is this not a possible decent route for the president to want to negotiate these bilateral trade agreements with asian countries so as to make up for the lack of u.s. participation in the tpp, in the pacific trade deal? >> well, we'll see. so far we haven't negotiated any of those bilateral trade deals. so if we can do that successfully, that will be great, but so far we haven't seen any proof of that. >> i want to ask you before you go about alabama's republican
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senate candidate roy moore, who has been accused of inappropriate, frankly sexual abuse by one 16-year-old girl and one 14-year-old girl, now grown women. several republicans, including many of your republican colleagues, are calling on him to drop out of the race. i believe you're on the senate ethics committee and this might come in front of you so you can't talk about shut, but do you think in general that this is an issue that president trump should weigh in on, given the fact that he is the leader of the republican party as well as the president of the united states? >> listen, i hope this is an issue that people everywhere will weigh in on. because we should be having a national conversation about what's appropriate, what's acceptable and what is not. and we're seeing that in terms of other allegations around sexual assault and sexual harassment. this is a conversation that's long overdue in this country. i hope everyone will stand up, whether it's our civic leaders,
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our religious leaders, our entertainment industry, whoever it is, and say this is not acceptable behavior and we are not going to tolerate it any longer. >> well, while we're on the subject of that, as long as you said that, i do want to ask you, it's come to light because of the hearings in the house yesterday on sexual harassment and assault that congress has a problem of its own. congresswoman jackie speier said that there are two current house members currently right now in the house, one democrat, one republican, she didn't name them, who are sexual harassers and what women have to do to lodge a complaint is an incredibly byzantine process. it looks, frankly, designed as if it is set up to protect sexual harassers. what kind of changes need to happen so that congress does not avoid this wave sweeping the
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country of awareness and action when it comes to people who commit these acts? >> well, absolutely. congress needs to abide by its own rules in so many areas. and this is one where i'm pleased to see that speaker ryan and also that the senate is talking about mandatory training for all employees, for members to understand what sexual harassment is, how you should respond to it. i hope that we will make filing a complaint easier for those victims so that they have an opportunity to be heard in any process. and we need to deal with this issue in the same way that the rest of our society does. >> senator jeanne shaheen, democrat of the great state of new hampshire. thanks so much. always good to have you on, senator. >> thank you. >> i want to bling my panel back in. there was a lighter moment from this rather substantive speech. the president, as happens when one speaks for a long time. you both have water in front of you, i have water in front of me. the president got a little
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dry-mouthed. let's show that clip. >> -- and jobs. thank you. they don't have water? that's okay. what? that's okay. oh. japanese manufactures, toyota and mazda -- >> the only reason i bring that up is because president trump when he was candidate trump made a lot of hay during the campaign of another famous incident of dry mouth featuring senator marco rubio. >> frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. the choice isn't just between big government or big business, what we need -- >> i'm not going to run -- i'm not going to roll all of the clips of president trump -- candidate trump making fun of marco rubio with his dry mouth but it happens. >> sure. and to marco rubio's credit, he tweeted at trump giving him some
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tips on how to do it better next time, including to keep his eyes straight on the camera, which was one of the weirdest parts of the marco rubio water incident. >> i thought trump's was a little bit smoother because he was like where is the water. >> that's true. marco rubio handled it pretty well. >> when rubio did it, it was almost like he tried to pretend he wasn't doing it. >> right. like no one would see it. >> more substantively, david, let me ask you, president trump avoided a question about roy moore shouted at him. i understand that. he wanted to focus on the speech. that was discipline and i totally get it, but at some point isn't he going to have to come out and say something about roy moore? >> i don't think so. look, jake, i think the roy moore issue is easily dealt with and best dealt with by the folks in alabama. the governor of alabama pushed up the election, she has the ability to delay the election. she can postpone this election, take everyone out of this misery, have a new election and roy moore is no longer the candidate. we don't have to deal with the issues of unseating him if he
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wins, all of those things that you said that senator shaheen will have to deal with. i think it's squarely the ball is in her court. i think there is maybe a little political pressure in alabama not to do that, right? perhaps from the alabama republicans. i think the best course would be for her to postpone that and allow him to get out and allow republicans in alabama to remove him, the party not to endorse him. kind of correct the record on this whole incident. >> although we're just learning some breaking news right now. the alabama republican party's governing body has called an emergency meeting at 5:00 p.m. eastern at state party headquarters. we don't know the topic but one can assume pressure is mounting on roy moore. separately, an attorney for the roy moore campaign is also planning to hold a news conference at 5:00 p.m. eastern-at-eastern as well. kristen, do you think that president trump can and should avoid talking about this? >> interestingly, remember, president trump endorsed the other candidate.
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>> luther strange, yeah. >> he wasn't his choice in the primary so he has the ability to distance himself but i think what is making this challenging is a lot of the reason why roy moore is appealing is the same reason voters found trump appealing. this sentence, well, i may not like the guy and some of the things he's done, but you know what, i'd rather have him in there than someone from the other party. i want to send a message. that's the exact same message you would hear folks say why they supported trump. i may not like the "access hollywood" tapes but i'm going to vote for him to send a message. you hear a lot of that from voters in alabama about roy moore. i think it would be very important for president trump to come out because so many voters who put their trust in trump would be responsive to him if he and other major conservative leaders of his wing of the party were to come out and be unequivocal. >> although, jen, i have to say that jeff zeleny's sources are telling him that president trump would prefer that moore leaves the race but he's concerned he comes out and opens the obvious
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door to people saying, well, why should these women be believed but these women, trump's accusers should not be believed? is it smarter as a matter of politics for him to not say anything about this? >> as a matter of politics, probably. >> i'm not getting into morality here. just as a matter of political advice. >> he has his own awkward and unfortunate history of being a bit of a misogynist so that makes it awkward for him to be the moral authority or the moral come pass compass. all that being said, the support among evangelicals and other people in alabama has only increased. these are people that donald trump wants. politically if you're advising him on that front, he maybe shouldn't come out. there is a separate moral question as to whether the president of the united states should welcome pedophiles into the senate. i think the answer is no and they should be outspoken of them. >> we're going to take a very quick break. lots more uh on our breaking news. concerning u.s. senate roy moore
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welcome back. we're back with the breaking news. president trump just wrapped up a speech on his asia trip and ignored shouted questions about his views on senate candidate roy moore. here at "the lead," we've been trying to figure out how president trump might respond to all of this roy moore news. for help, we looked at what president trump has said in the past about sexual scandals of other individuals. we think we have found a pattern. here is president trump on harvey weinstein just last month. >> i'm not at all surprised to see it. >> how about anthony weiner or elliot spitzer? well, there is a tweet for both of them. quote, with the two wacko perverts spitzer is weiner, nyc politics has become a joke all around the world, unquote. that's his view on high-profile
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democrats. let's turn to conservatives, republicans and friends such as the late fox news ceo roger ailes. >> it's very sad because he's a very good person. i've always found him to be a very, very good person. >> a good person. that's how the president described fox host bill o'reilly. the pattern we've been able to discern, if you're an opponent, he believes the charges and if you're a friend, he stands by you. nowhere is this more apparent than with mr. trump's opinion of bill clinton. in the midst of the lewinsky scandal in 1998, clinton's then friend donald trump said this. >> paula jones is a loser. he's had such bad advice. it's been so badly handled. >> but then after bill clinton and his wife hillary became enemies number one and two on president trump's road to the white house last year, well trump then brought three of the former president's accusers, paula jones, kathleen willie is juanita broaddrick to the second presidential debate to highlight
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their charges. it would seem the only relevant factor for president trump is whether you're a friend or a foe, not the credibility of the charges. and just as an observation, if the only thing you care about when it comes to sexual harassment or abuse charges is whether the person accused is your friend or whether you can use the charge against your enemies, well then you don't actually care about the crime of sexual harassment and abuse. and just in to cnn, at the top of the hour the alabama republican party plans to hold an emergency hearing. and senate candidate roy moore's attorney is planning to hold a press conference. this as the political walls appear to be closing in on judge moore after allegations that he sexually abused girls 14 and 16 years old when he was a grown man in his 30s. president trump ignored a question on moore this afternoon, meanwhile other republican leaders in washington are giving serious thought to drafting another popular alabama republican on the ballot, that would be attorney general jeff sessions. he held the seat moore wants for two decades.
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could sessions win? moore is putting up a fight. quote, we believe in god, the constitution, the sanctity of life and marriage, we are everything the washington elite hate. they will do whatever it takes to stop us. we will not quit, unquote. nick valencia joins me live from gadsden, alabama. nick, do we have any idea what he's going to talk about? >> reporter: that's the outstanding question at this hour, jake, but if it's any indication what he said in the past he'll say later this afternoon, defending the character and integrity of his client, perhaps even going after the media. since this story was broken by the "washington post" last thursday, roy moore has been defiant. he continued to be so yesterday at a campaign rally, saying he's the one who is actually a victim in all of this. roy moore digging in. the republican senate candidate in alabama defiant, even while sexual assault allegations swirl around him. >> i'm now facing allegations
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and that's all the press wants to talk about. >> reporter: moore maintaining his innocence as his attorneys threaten to sue the alabama media group and the "washington post," the first to report the claims. moore's lawyer indicating the mounting pressure for his client to step aside is not likely to persuade him. >> i do not think he's going to drop out and if in satisfactory these things are not true, the most appropriate thing for him to do would be to push fort forward. >> reporter: senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has now talked to president trump. earlier he called on moore to withdraw. >> i'd like to save the seat and it's one heck of a dilemma when you've got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing the name of your party within a month of the election. >> how was your trip, mr. president? >> reporter: president trump just back from his asia trip has so far been silent on the issue but the white house is saying mr. trump is monitoring the situation and they're weighing their options. mcconnell floated jeff sessions to replace moore, but conceded it might be pull off.
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>> he fits the mold of someone who might be able to pull off a write-in. >> reporter: and the number two in the senate john cornyn said he would support a jeff sessions write-in. moore may even be losing the support of sean hannity. >> for me the judge has 24 hours. you must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistency. >> moore still has been advocate, former trump chief strategist steve bannon. a source close to him says he's, quote, still with him and there are no signs of him withdrawing his support. the suggestion that attorney general jeff sessions could be a write-in in this vote on december 12th, well that could complicate things. even if moore withdraws, his name will not be removed from the ballot so republicans run the risk of splitting the vote between the write-in and moore, therefore handing a victory over to the democratic challenger. >> what about that sessions scenario? could the attorney general reclaim his old senate seat? what would that process look
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like? tom foreman is at the magic wall to break that all down for us. stay with us. ♪ ♪ you nervous? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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we're back with some breaking news just in. we've just learned that roy moore plans to go nowhere. he going to stay in the race and fight despite an attorney holding a news conference in minutes. there are scenarios of how to get moore out of the least. i want to bring in tom foreman. if moore does not step aside as indicated by this source and toerpg jeff sessions is presented as the next best republican option and tries to mount a write-in campaign, how
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messy would this process be? >> it could get very messy. look, jeff sessions could reclaim his title as an alabama senator again in two ways. he could run as a write-in candidate against roy moore and democrat doug jones, counting on his immense popularity as a 20-year senator from that state to knock them both out in the december special election, or if he waits and moore wins, two-thirds of the u.s. senate could appoint moore unfit and then sessions could be appointed by alabama republican governor kay ivy. either way, it could be a win for president trump. here's why. remember, president trump made it clear he wanted sessions as attorney general to oversee the russia investigation by special counsel robert mueller. because he's -- he wanted somebody who was engaged politically and friendly here who could in that position if they wanted to warn the white
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house about any serious issues coming up over here, steer the investigation and potentially smother any final report making the whole matter a lot less threatening to the president, jake. but sessions recused himself. leading the supervision to his deputy rod rosenstein. if sessions leave, rosen stein could be promoted to the stop job. he has no reason to recuse himself. he said he doesn't want the russian probe to be a fishing expedition into everything that the president does. that could -- which would be a big win for the white house. >> interesting. a win fors white house. they don't have to have it. so jeff sessions as attorney general anymore. maybe a win for sessions because he gets a -- a nicer boss. the people of alabama as opposed to president trump. republicans also have some other pretty good reasons, republicans in the senate, they might want
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sessions back in the chamber. explain those. >> sure. republicans hold 52 seats out of 100 in the senate and their slim majority will get even slimmer if they lose one of those to the democratic side over here and the independents who caucus with them. so majority leader mitch mcconnell was the first to start floating sessions' name as saying maybe he's a possible solution to the roy moore problem, someone who with two decades of experience in that very job, someone who could be relied upon to maintain the status quo. here is one thing we really don't have answered at all yet, though, how does jeff sessions feel about all of this? after all the abuse he's taken from president trump, is he interested in his old job? jake? >> that's the big question, of course. tom foreman, thank you so much. also in politics today, we could be just hours away from a critical moment for your bottom line and for republicans in washington who desperately need a win in this trump era. with house republicans getting ready to vote on what could be a historic plan for taxes and tax reform on the senate side,
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markups are moving along right now with a rollback of obamacare's individual mandate shoe horned into the senate version of the bill. phil mattingly is on capitol hill for us. phil, the house is not including this repeal of the obamacare individual mandate in their bill. we're already hearing there is some republican opposition to the senate tax reform bill into yeah, jake, believe it or not, it's not related to the individual mandate. senator ron johnson, a republican, who has made really clear the passthrough rate with s corporates pay on the individual side has been his primary issue. he said what the senate and house bills do is not enough. he says he's a no. whether it's the individual mandate, various rates or individual cuts altogether. there is no shortage of issues even has the house prepares to pass their first bill. >> reporter: tonight, house republicans are just 24 hours away from a major legislative victory, the passage of the gop tax plan. >> we have more even today. we have more meetings with the
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member who's are looking to get to yes. we're going to pass the bill. >> reporter: but it's in the senate where a pitched battle has broken out between democrats and republicans over late-night changes to the republican proposal. >> it addresses problems noted by members on both sides and it will give americans bigger paychecks, more opportunities and a moore prosperous economy. >> there a summary anywhere? i mean, we got 100-page document and a table, but surely somebody on the majority side has a list -- has an aabbreviated list that you made. what is making you do this do us? >> reporter: at the heart of the fight, whether middle class taxpayers will actually see relief in the bill. republicans now relying on the repeal of obamacare's individual mandate to finance just that, $338 billion to target things like an increase in the child tax credit and reduction in the plan's rates for middle income
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taxpayers. >> in short, the goal is to repeal an unpopular tax from an unworkable law in order to provide more tax relief to middle class families. >> reporter: but with it comes clear policy and political dangers for republicans. the cbo says the repeal would lead to 13 million fewer people with health insurance over ten years. premiums on average would go up by 10% each year and democrats now seizing on another potentially damaging element, the plan sets every tax cut for individuals to expire at the end of 2025. meaning without congressional action, every single taxpayer, including those in the middle class, would see a tax increase. all as the corporate tax cuts slashed from 35% to 20% remained permanent. >> taking money away from the middle class and working people's health care so they can do tax cuts for the rich. >> reporter: gop lawmakers who say they are still on track to
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pass the bill by christmas have brushed off those attacks, saying a future congress would never allow those increases to actually occur and focussing instead on what sources in both chambers say has been the driving force behind the whole process thus far. >> i have high confidence the senate is going to pass this bill. i know the house is going to pass this bill. i'm one of those people who believes failure is not an option. >> before the end of the yearier. >> yeah, before the end of the year. >> reporter: and, jake, that political imperative has really been the driving force. there is no shortage of potential thorny issues. the house is on the precipice of passing this. look over to the senate, whether it's ron johnson, susan collins, perhaps lisa muir cuss ki, jeff flake on deficit issues. the big question now is does the political imperative or the -- right now gop leaders think it will be the former. >> all right. phil mattingly on capitol hill for us. thanks so much. lots of breaking news to talk about with the panel.
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we're back with our politics lead and my panel. let's talk about tax reform. and kristen, you just heard phil mattingly say that republican leaders are hoping that the political imperative of republicans needing a win and a win of delivering tax cuts to millions of americans that they hope that outweighs whatever policy concerns some republicans might have whether it comes to deficit spending or eliminating the individual mandate which could cause premiums to go up for other people, et cetera. where do you see this shaking out? >> well, let's just talk about the political imperative for a moment. you have this hunger from
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republican voters who said, we sent you to washington, reexpect results. let's look at the political imperative on the other side. i looked at the cook political report's rates of all the house members. there are 37 house members in toss-up races or lean republican races and 17 of them are in california, new york and new jersey. places that would be hit by these state and local tax deduction changes. >> getting rid of allowing deductions if you have high local taxes. >> right. it's hard to separate out the policy and political implications here because not everyone will be affected by any tax reform bill in the same way. different states, different constituencies are going to get helped or harmed in different ways, which makes the politics of this so incredibly trick. >>y. >> i had heard republicans in california talking about how much they hate this bill. conservatives, trump supporters not liking this bill because they have done the math and think their taxes are going to go up because of the elimination of this one deduction. >> they are but the party writ
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large needs a win, right? the house, the senate, the party needs a win on taxes. they need to cut taxes, they need to free up capital, people can invest, companies can invest. they need to continue the pro-growth strategy that has been thus far under this president that one thing jen would agree with me on, the stock market, $5 trillion increased in the stock market and overall value since the president came in. cutting all of these regulations has really done a lot to generate a great deal of economic growth in this country. this tax cut will do more. >> ron johnson, conservative republican senator from wisconsin, coming out against the bill today. how significant do you think that is? >> pretty significant. because sometimes it has a domino effect and other republicans may feel they have license to say, oh, i've been concerned about this one piece in here and i can't support it. there are some interesting political dynamics here because many republicans, as david said, feel we have to have a win, our
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party needs a win. and many democrats are licking their chops at some of the things in this bill that they want to run against next year. who is rate? we may not know until 2018. >> i want to interrupt with some breaking news just into cnn. new developments in the russia investigation and that controversial dossier, some of which has been corroborated by u.s. intelligence officials, other parts have been debunked, a lot of other parts still up in the air. let's get right to cnn's manu raju. manu, this dossier was compiled by a former british spy named christopher steele. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right. the company behind that dossier is called fusion gps and the co-founder is glenn simpson. he testified behind closed doors yesterday before the house intelligence committee for nearly seven hours, and, jake, we're getting some new details about what glenn simpson told the house committee about the dossier. now he said -- he told the house investigators that he -- that christopher steele, that british agent, did not pay for his
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sources who are the basis of that dossier. that included those allegations of trump and russia connections. now in addition to that, he defended the dossier, simpson said behind closed doors that nothing in there has been disproven. he also said some of it has been corroborated. he also said, jake, he's still in touch with christopher steele, the british agent, and that's also interesting to congressional investigators because they have had a hard time getting in touch with steele, who has not cooperated with their own investigation. so he provided some new insight to this committee as part of this -- their own investigation over trump and russia connections. even though some people who have been named in that dossier, jake, have disputed some of the things that are said in there. trump, of course, himself has called the entire dossier a hoax. steele tried to make the case a lot of this has not been disproven, a lot of this has been corroborated and also saying interestingly that some
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of those sources, all of these sources cooperated with steele voluntarily. they were not paid for giving steele information, jake. >> all right. manu raju on capitol hill. jen psaki, steele it turns out when fusion gps originally paid by a conservative publication, "the washington free beacon." then they continued the opposition research project and then they hired christopher steele after the beacon dropped out and funded by lawyers for hillary clinton and the dnc. how much do you think this dossier was funded essentially by democrats undermines its credibility? >> i mean, i'm a little bias but i frankly think we shouldn't care. more of this dossier has been proven than disproven since it came out this year. >> not the lurid parts. >> but certain meetings and pieces that have been denied, those they haven't been entirely disproven. that might be hard to do. of course that's a good talking point for the right and for trump supporters, but ultimately the facts here are they keep
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adding up to corroborating pieces in the dossier, and the truth is the investigation and the whole discussion has moved past the dossier, given the steps that donald trump himself has taken since he took office. >> and david, what do you make of the fact glenn simpson of this opposition research firm testifying behind closed doors to the intelligence committee that christopher steele, the british agent, did not pay any of his sources for information? >> i don't put a whole lot of credibility in anything these individuals say. i mean, it will all come out in the wash. it will come out in director mueller's investigation. think the fact you had to ask jen the question, you know, is it biased that it was paid for by democrats? of course it does. of course it's bias. your client wants a certain you know, you're going to pay them to provide that outcome. it's incredibly biased. by asking that question you almost prove the point. >> although i have to say in terms of opposition research, usually people want, you know, charges that will hold up in a tv ad or you don't want, like,
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made-up stuff. you want stuff that is effective that the person has no response to. >> right. what we're seeing right now how much of that is true behind closed doors, in front of closed doors. a lot of it has fallen away like tissue paper to put it mildly. lots of these things are not true. we'll see. director mueller is going to do a great job. all of these house and senate investigato investigators, at the end of the day if you're looking for some giant collusion, i think the democrats are going to be sadly -- waiting and waiting. >> we're moments away from a press conference with prroy moore's attorney. that's next. stay with us. ecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies, and data without insights. and fragmented care, stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. at optum, we're partnering across the health system
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we are awaiting a press conference just moments from now from the roy moore campaign as the alabama republican party convenes an emergency meeting at the exact same time my panel's back with me as we await this press conference. christian, what do you think president trump should do in terms of taking a specific position on -- even if he's not saying it publicly, in term office conveying whether or not moore should drop out. can the republican party survive roy moore running and even winning? >> well, people ask can the republican party survive donald trump running and winning? and it did, although in a very different form. it had sort of permanent scarring, changing effects on the party. so i think roy moore in the senate cousin become a headache for his colleagues. i think roy moore in the senate is a headache for trump and his movement. it's certainly a headache for someone like steve bannon who said this is going to be my guy, i'm going to show you that
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bannonism can come sweep america and we can elect all of your candidates. to be the first horse in the race accused of pursuing underage women is not a good look. so i think it would be good for donald trump to come out and say, look, i'ming about making sure we have public servants who are fighting for the little guy, who want to make america great again. i think roy moore is a distraction. that would be a smart thing to do. it might risk him some backlash in alabama, for sure, but i don't know it puts alabama at risk of becoming a blue state in a presidential election, first of all. and i don't think in the end a bunch of trump voters will abandon trump because he says this guys is a bridge too far. >> i don't think it hurts trump. david, what do you think about to have senator roy moore walking around the u.s. senate? >> bad. >> it's bad? >> it's bad. i think it's a message -- i think if he does win, i think there will be a move, as you heard, not to seat him and then to remove him. alternatively, i think if doug
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jones wins, the democrat wins the seat, he will vote -- there will be a lot of pressure with doug jones to vote with mitch mcconnell on all the votes. it's not a state that is not likely to re-elect him again. if he wants to get re-elected, he may switch parties. if you see doug jones get elected, there will be plenty of republican votes coming from doug jones. >> really? that's interesting. what do you think about roy moore, senator roy moore? because i think it's entirely credible he stays to the race until the very end. that's in keeping with his character. he's a fighter. he was kicked off the supreme court in alabama twice. and i think it's entirely possible he wins. >> he could. i think if you're donald trump and you're mitch mcconnell, you want to avoid that, right? because you don't want to be faced with the question of are you going to kick this guy, a pedophile, whatever you want to call him, out of the senate? so if i were donald trump, surprisingly, he's not asking for my advice, i would because he doesn't -- he's not afraid to cross boundaries, call for the governor to call a special election because -- >> that's what i said earlier. the governor has the ability to
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move this. hopefully after this meeting of the state committee -- alabama state committee they'll call for that to happen. the governor can move it. you solve the problem. >> all right. let's see what happened. david, jen, kristen. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. this is cnn breaking news. hello. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're standing by. we're following breaking news. a news conference by the attorney for the campaign of roy moore, the el battled republican senate candidate from alabama, has been accused of sexual abuse and assault by multiple women. the committee of the alabama republican party is also meeting this hour. we're standing by for live coverage. while be hearing from the attorney momentarily. but i want to quickly go to tower senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny. jeff