tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN February 23, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
first our senior white house correspondent pamela brown in the east room of the white house, awaiting this joint news conference. pamela, gun control almost certainly will come up. >> it certainly will. these two leaders had a rocky start. you recall that contentious phone call they had about refugees. the two men have seemed to put that behind them and have warmer relations. you can imagine, wolf, gun control will be one of the key lines of questioning here when the president does take questions from reporters. really on both sides. australia is a country that has combatted gun violence as well. as you recall there was a mass shooting in the '90s where 35 people were killed. since then australia took very strong measures to cut down on gun violence. that will likely be brought up. and the president's suggestion that teachers who are highly adept should be armed and other proposals and specifics in
details and how he could turn these ideas into action will likely come up. a lot of topics on the domestic front beyond that, wolf, plea deal of a third person from his campaign in robert mueller's russia probe, that will likely come up. what the president has to say about that, if he is concerned and if he maintains that there was no collusion between his campaign and russia. also, jared kushner's security clearance is another topic top of mind here in this room since john kelly's new memo saying those with an interim clearance can no longer look at top secret information. jared kushner fits into that group. the question will be, will the president give him any special exceptions? that will come up as well. a lot of questions for these two world leaders, wolf. >> stand by for live coverage of that, this joint news conference, the president and prime minister of australia. pamela, thank you very much. we're getting word right now that former trump campaign aide rick gates could be about to
flip and offer up incriminating information in robert mueller's special investigation into russia's election meddling here in the united states, revealing in a letter to close family members and friends that he has had a, quote, change of heart and won't be fighting the criminal charges against him. we saw gates, by the way, walking into a federal court here, courtroom here in washington. he will be bleeding guilty to these charges. shimon prokupecz, i want to ask you, what does that mean? >> for the overall case is the that this puts pressure, in - perhaps, on paul manafort. we know that investigators have been wanting, really wanting manafort to cooperate. this could, perhaps, put pressure on him to do so. we have no indication that manafort would do so but there's
every indication partly why the special counsel is doing this. as to rick gates, he's pleading guilty to two counts. one of them has to do with the overall investigation, fraud charges, tax charges. you have that. the second one, i think, is the most interesting charge, the making of false statements to the special counsel and that has to do with when he appeared before the special counsel and during that time he was discussing potential cooperation agreement and what they call a proffer in where he has to tell them crimes he has committed perhaps other crimes and be an open book about everything he knows. according to the charging documents he's going to plead guilty to, it says he lied to the special counsel about his knowledge concerning a meeting that ball manafort had with a congre congressman in 2013 where there
has questions about ukraine. when asked about that 2013 meeting according to these documents, rick gates lied about it. it's not clear why he lied about it. that is one of the charges he is pleading guilty to. it's interesting that they have reached far back, the fbi, the special counsel has reached as far back as 2013 in this case. >> stand by. it looks like the doors are opening, senior delegations from the u.s. and australia. they're walking in. we see the vice president of the united states mike pence is there right now, secretary of state, secretary of commerce. they are seated. the president will be introduced, the prime minister will be introduced. we'll get opening statement prs both of these leaders. they will be followed by question questions you see the first lady there with the first lady of australia, with the prime minister's wife. they spent quality time together earlier in the day over at the
white house. glora the president's opening statement will be on u.s./australian relations and the prime minister will speak about the same. then the questions begin. a question from an american journalist, followed by a question from an australian journalist, then an american journalist, then an australian journalist. four questions. usually, we'll see if this happens, some of those questions, especially by the american reporters, are multi -- several questions in one. here is the president. >> thank you very much. thank you. this morning i'm honored to invite prime minister and mrs. turn bull. thank you very much. an outstanding man, you'll find that he is a great man. want to thank the prime minister for offering his condolences on
the horrible tragedy in parkland, florida. americans are grateful for the prayers and support of our australian friends, and friends they are, as our entire nation grieves the senseless loss of 17 precious lives and all the horribly injured. united states and australia are currently honoring 100 years of mateship, a term you used very beautifully, prime minister. a century has passed since brave americans and australians first fought together in world war i over the last 100 years, our partnership has thrived as a bullwart of freedom and democracy. the prime minister and i celebrated last spring the remarkable 100-year milestone during an extraordinary evening on the uss intrepid. my friend, greg norman and anthony pratt and some of the
others in the room today, they were -- hello, folks. stand up, greg. stand up, anthony. where is anthony? good. it was a great evening. thank you. this afternoon i'm pleased to announce that the uss cambura in honor of australian crews fighting alongside the u.s. navy fighting in world war ii. our secretary of the navy has chosen australian minister of defense maurice payne to be her sponsor. i know that the usscambrera will be a worthy successor to both her australian namesake and american predecessor, navy uss cambrera as she sails the open sea, the new uss cambrera will
symbolize to all who cross her path the enduring friendship between the united states and australia. there is no closer friendship. today, strengthened by our common values and history we're working together to promote our mutual interests. i want to thank the prime minister for serving as a strong voice for peace and stability across the entire endo pacific region. australia is one of our closest partners and our campaign of maximum pressure to denuclearize the korean peninsula. today, we put the strongest sanctions on korea that we have ever put on a country. we must stand together to prevent the brutal dictatorship from threatening the world with nuclear devastation. nations, likewise, share a commitment to keeping our people safe. alongside americans and partners
in afghanistan and the coalition to defeat isis. we're denying terrorists' safe haven and discrediting their wicked ideology. isis land has been largely recaptured almost 100%. i'm very honored to say. australia remains the key market. we make the greatest product in the world so you have very good taste in choosing our product. a model for other countries as we seek bilateral agreements. news that america is open for business has also reached australian shores. in may, australian entrepreneur
anthony pratt announced a new $2 million investment across the united states. he only did that if trump won the election, i think. is that a correct statement, anthony? thank you. boy, that was a close one. i was worried. these people would have had a field day if you gave the wrong answer. thank you. no, but anthony did call and said if he wins the election we're going to spend billions of dollars in the united states and i appreciate your giving me a very, very correct comment. thank you, anthony. i'll never do that again. almost 100,000 american jobs taking place and already support bid as yustralian companies. i'm glad to share that the united states is also, by far, the largest investor in australia. in the room today are dozens of american and australian business leaders and great athletes.
working together to identify further opportunities for bilateral investment and cooperation. i want to take the opportunity to congratulate you on your immigration reforms and on australia's commitment to merit-based immigration. are my friends from congress listening to that? merit based. we want to do merit-based immigration also. and we will. that really protects the interest of australia and its people. it's the way to go. you've been very successful with it. here, we're working very hard to do the same. in that sense we'll hopefully follow in your footprints. prime minister turnbull, it's been a pleasure to host you today. great lunch with your representatives. lot was discussed and lot of deals were made for the purchase of additional military equipment and other things. for a century now the people of the united states and australia
have inspired the world with their determination, their bravery and their generosity. i know our close friendship and enduring alliance and our personal friendship will grow even stronger in the century to come. our relationship with australia will always be a very powerful and successful relationship. it's been incredible and it's only getting better. thank you very much. thank you. >> mr. president, thank you so much. we want to thank you and first lady melania trump for your very warm welcome, your general arouse hospitality and your friendship. our meeting today was a great opportunity to strengthen and
deepen our engagement with the united states. you are our most important strategic and economic partner. and to lay the groundwork for a new phase of intensified cooperation, the next hundred years of mateship. i'm here, as you noted, mr. president, with the most substantial australian delegation ever to travel to washington, d.c. in addition to the ceos, several of whom you have identified here today, who are busy creating jobs. we spent much of our time today talking about jobs. they are creating jobs in australia and in the united states demonstrating that our two great nations committed to competition, to freedom, to economic innovation, science and technology working together.
complement each other. that's why we're seeing strong jobs growth in both countries. we've had 403,000 jobs created in australia last year, the largest number in our country's history. 16 months of continued jobs growth. we have been inspired, i have to say, by your success in securing the passage of the tax reforms through the congress. we have secured some tax reforms in terms of reducing company tax but not as much as we need to do. we've got more work to do. and the stimulus, the economic stimulus that your reforms have delivered here in the united states is one of the most powerful arguments we are deploying to persuade our legislature to support reducing business tax because, as you were demonstrating and as we all know, when you cut company tax most of the benefit goes to workers. it produces more investment and
you get more investment, you get more jobs. of course, i'm also joined on this visit with six of our states and territories. the only that are not here are those fighting elections. as you can imagine that's always a top priority. we're meeting at the national governor's association again, broadening and deepening the relationship. our relationship, as you said, has been forged over a century through times of war and peace, securing both our nation's freedom and security in the world. but it is based not only on history, we have the same values. we share a deep well of trust and spirit based on those enduring values, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, enterprise, ingenuity, the spirit of having a go and if it
doesn't work out, dust yourself off and have another go. that is a core american and australian value. that spirit of enterprise is what leads us on. and, of course, our relationship is under pinned by millions of people-to-people and family links and, of course, extensive economic cooperation we've spoken about. our security alliance is as close as it possibly could be, yet keeps getting closer. the cooperation is more intense than it has ever been, whether worry standing up for freedom's cause in the middle east in our region, around the world, combating terrorism. the cooperation in a connected world that we need to have is greater than ever. that trust between the thousands of brave service men and women working together right now, that trust underpins our security.
you mentioned, mr. president, our economic relationship and trade. do you know since the australia/u.s. free trade agreement came into force in 2005, two-way trade has grown by over 50%. the united states does have a trade surplus with australia of $25 billion. it's your third largest trade surplus with us. we know it works for both of us. the two-way investment has more than doubled in the past decade worth around $1.1 trillion. again boosting jobs and growth in both our nations, both our economies. and today we've agreed on some new initiatives that will deepen this relationship further. where it's seeking to expand transparent and global energy markets, cooperating on high-quality infrastructure and investment in the united states and in the region.
we've spent a lot of time talking about infrastructure, including urban infrastructure. mr. president, of course, you have a lifetime of experience in. and the leadership you're showing on infrastructure in the united states is being admired around the world and australian companies and australian experience is there to help, as you know and is already operating here, a number of our infrastructure players are already active in the u.s. we're working to intensify our cooperation on trade. my trade minister who is here today have made terrific progress in that regard. we turn to security. yesterday, lucy and i were with swren dunford at the arlington national cemetery and we honored america's war dead. we honored an australian airman
who had died in combat in new guinea and we were reminded all the freedoms we enjoy, whether our parliament in cambra, here in washington or the white house or congress, all those freedoms had to be secured generation after generation by courageous men and women defending freedom's cause. our freedoms have depended on them. and americans know, as australian knows, we're working together, as you said, to address the greatest threat to our region right now, north korea's illegal nuclear weapons program.
i want to welcome and support the president with enforcing the u.n. security councilmandated sanctions. we're working to combat terrorism around the world, helping the iraqis and the afghans build up the resilliance to hold their countries secure in the face of terrorists and, of course, we both recognize that the prosperity of our region and, indeed, the world, has been under pinned and, in fact, built on a foundation of a rules-based order, which has been secured by the leadership of the united states ever since the second world war. that leadership has been critical and the commitment you showed was so important, it spoke volumes for america's
continued commitment to our region, to our part of the world, to the endo-pacific. so vital. the energy room, if you like, of the fastest economic growth, most rapid economic growth we've seen in our times. now mr. president i want to thank you, as i have earlier in our meetings. i want to thank you for the very rare honor you have shown to australia by naming one of your furlt literal combat ships the uss cambra. what a great symbol of our alliance and our shared security endeavors. what an extraordinary statement of commitment and it's worth observing that that ship will be built in mobile, alabama. so you have an australian company with american workers working, operating in the united
states, building ships for the u.s. navy. and when you grieve, as you noted at the outset, so do we. we send our love, our prayers, condolences to all the victims and their families of the shocking school shooting in florida. we are mates. we stand by each other and when we are hurt, we are hurt as well. thank you for your warm welcome. 100 years of mateship 100 years ago on july 4, leading troops into battle and we've been side by side ever since. 100 years of mateship celebrated and 100 more years to look
forward to, closer than ever. thank you very much. >> well, thank you very much, malcolm. that's very beautiful words and we appreciate it. on behalf of the first lady, who is right here and our great vice president, mike, thank you very much. it's an honor to have you. we'll answer a few questions. is that okay? okay. how about one american? trey, where are you? go ahead. >> thank you, mr. president. >> yes. >> i have a couple of questions for you. >> how about one? >> we'll compromise at two. following mass shootings there's often a lot of talk and little action. i ask you today what specific pieces of legislation or
legislative framework will you propose to lawmakers following the parkland shooting? >> we'll do a lot but we'll be very strong on background checks. i've spoken to many of our people in congress, our senators, our congressmen and women. there's a movement on to get something done. we want to be very powerful on background checks. when we are dealing with the mentally ill, as we were in this last case, he was a very sick person and somebody that should have been nabbed. i guess they had 39 different occasions where they were able to see him or potentially see him. we want to be very powerful, very strong on background checks and especially as it pertains to the mentally ill. we're going to get rid of the bump stocks and we're going to do certain other things. but one of the feelings that i have -- and you probably heard me in a speech this morning -- very, very important that we have offensive capability as well as defensive capability
within the schools. when you have a gun-free zone, you're really inviting people to come in and do whatever you have to do and often times get out. i was the one that brought up the fact that these shootings, on average, last three minutes and it takes anywhere from six to ten minutes for the police to get to the site. and i want to have people in the building and, in many cases you have ex-marines, ex-army, navy, air force, coast guard -- they're in the building and can have concealed weapons and still be teachers or be in the building in a different capacity. we need to take these people out rapidly before they can do this kind of danl. we'll put in strong language having to do with the background checks and that will take place very quickly. i spoke with paul ryan this morning, with mitch mcconnell. people are looking to really energize. i know this has been going on
for a long time. many, many years. and you've had people in my position and they would mention things, but not a lot of things got done, obviously. we take it very seriously. we want to put an end to it. by the way, the bad guy thinks that somebody is in this room with a weapon that's going to be pointed at him with live bullets, he's not even fgoing into the school. that's how you're going to solve it. you're not going to solve it with gun-free spaces because they'll get in there and be the only one with a gun. we are going to have offensive capability. >> mr. president, amid talk s o arming teachers and mental health, what commitments can you make to american students that these policies will make them safer? >> i think it's going to make it safer. the problem that's been happening over the last 20 years, people have talked. you said it, it's all talk, no
action. we're going to take action. the fact that you have some capability within a school, they're not going to go into that school. they're not going to do it. look at what's happening with airplanes. we put marshalls marshals on pl guns. nothing has happened in a long period of time where it was getting to the point of being routine. when you have somebody with a gun staring you down, it's going to be a lot different for them to walk into those schools. right now they look at the sign outside, this is a gun-free environment. that means they're the only one with a gun. the damage this lunatic did in that school for such a long period of time. frankly, you had a gun and he was outside as a guard and he decided not to go in. that was not his finest moment. that, i can tell you. he waited and he didn't want to go into the school. i just heard this. and it's a terrible situation.
we need people that can take care of our children. the way it's not going to happen again -- they're basically cowards. innateely, they're cowards. if they know bad things will happen to them once they get into that school by people who love the children -- a security guard doesn't know the children, doesn't love the children. this man standing outside of the school the other day doesn't love the children, probably doesn't know the children. the teachers love their children. they love their pupils. they love their students. they're doing it also for love. now they have to be very adept. i'm not talking about every teacher. i'm talking about a mall percentage. people that have great ability with weaponry, with guns, those are the only people i'm talking about. but they'll protect the student. for the prime minister? >> thank you, mr. prime minister, for downing us here today in washington. australia is known for helping
the syrian people and syrian refugees. as the world watches, what steps can australia take with the help of president trump and the united states to ensure that civilians are protected in eastern gupta? >> well, the australian armed forces have been working with the coalition to defeat dash for some time now. that's the principle concentration of our efforts is in iraq as opposed to syria, where we are train iing both thr elite special service unit, counterterrorism service and their regular army and police. we have trained over 30,000 personnel at our task force, which is based at the air field near baghdad. in terms of refugees, australia has a very substantial
humanitarian program. we are currently taking about 18,000 refugees a year, 12,000 in addition to that from the syrian conflict zone. but we determined which -- we are very careful about security, of course, in terms of our humanitarian program. i think it would be fair to say the president has, of course, the most insight into this area here. but it would be fair to say that ultimately the resolution in syria has to be a political settlement. i'm sure that's what secretary tillerson is working towards. >> if i could briefly follow up specifically in syria as two of the most powerful men in the entire world, is there anything that you can do to stop the bloodshed? >> well, ultimately, there has to be a political settlement.
the campaign to destroy dash or isil has been largely completed. the so-called caliphate has been reduced down to, you know, a few pockets. it has been smashed. and that has been -- americans and australians have worked bravely, effectively with our allies, partners in the region to do that. it's very important, by the way, to keep australians and americans safe at home. because the image of isil's invisible caliphate sweeping across syria and iraq. all of that was a big recruiting tool. this is part of our global effort. ultimately the settlement in that region has to come from a political settlement among the people who live there. >> i will say what russia and
what iran and what syria have done recently is a humanitarian disgrace. i will tell you that. we're there for one reason, to get isis, get rid of isis and go home. we're not there for any other reason and largely we've accomplished our goal. but what those three countries have done to those people is a disgrace. would you like to ask a question? >> yes. >> mr. trump, mr. turnbull, to you, mr. trump, on the region and china, associated issues. freedom of navigation through the disputed areas. would you like to see the australian navy participate
directly in those operations alongside u.s. allies and whilst on the region can i ask you what your latest thinking is on the transpacific partnership in are you softening your position on that or remain as strict as ever? >> i think the transpacific partnership was not a good deal for us. i like bilateral deals much more than multilateral. i like to be able to negotiate with one country. right after the termination notice, they call and say feks the deal. let's fix the deal. with multipartnerships we can't do that. there's a possibility we would go in but they will be offering us a much better deal. we would love to have australia involved. and i think australia wants us to stay involved.
we have developed a great relationship with china other than the fact that they've been killing us on trade for the last long period of time. killing us. absolutely killing the united states on trade. my personal relationship, as malcolm can tell you, with president xi is quite extraordinary. he is somebody that i like. i think he likes me. with that being said, he likes china and i like the united states. a lot of things are happening. as much as i like and respect president xi, we have to straighten out the trade imbalance. it's too much. >> sky news, australia. general mattis has called china a revisionist power and there are growing threats from china,
yet you're very positive about your relationship with xi. can you tell us, is it a friend or a foe? and on north korea, the sanctions, if they don't work, are all options still on the table? can i get your answer and also the prime minister's thoughts? >> the second, we'll have to see. i don't think i'm going to exactly play that card. but we'll have to see. if the sanctions don't work we'll have to go phase two. phase two may be a very rough thing. may be very, very unfortunate for the world. but hopefully the sanctions will work. we have tremendous support all around the world for what they're doing. it really is a rogue nation. if they can make a deal it will be a great thing. if we can't, something will have to happen. so we'll see. as far as general mattis is concerned, we have that view. a lot of people have that view. china is tough. they're getting stronger.
to a large extent with a lot of the money they've made from having poor leadership in the united states because united states leadership has allowed them to get away with murder. with that being said, we can have a truly great relationship with china and hopefully the relationship with president xi will make that happen. only time can tell. thank you. >> i can confirm that president trump and president xi see eye to eye in every respect. and they have -- it is very clear the meetings i've been at, which we've attended in the region at the summit and so forth, apec. the respect that they have with each other. and i think it's the single most important relationship between china and the united states.
it's clearly very respectful, very frank, very clear eyed. for our own part, we see china's rise as being overwhelmingly a positive for the region and for the world. the critical thing, of course, is the rule of law is maintained. you know, that is -- there are people to want to try to paint the united states and its allies like australia, as being against china in some sort of rerun of the cold war. that is not appropriate. it's not accurate. what we need to ensure is that the rules of the road, the rule of law, the rules based system where, you know, big countries can't push around little countries where you don't have a world where the big world eat the little fish and the little fish eat the shrimps. where you have that rule of law that protects everybody, that is
what has enabled the great growth in our region. that's what's enable ed hundred of millions of people in our region, including china to be lifted out of poverty. maintaining that rules-based order is what we are committed to. and we all have a vested interest in doing so. and i just want to say, again, to the president, that his presence, his own personal presence in our region at the end of last year was sent such a powerful message, the regular visits by secretary tillerson, secretary mattis and, of course, the presence of the united states navy and so many other manifestations of american commitment to the region is so important to maintaining that rules based order. believe me, that has been the foundation of the success, the prosperity and the security these last 40 or more years.
>> i don't think we've ever had a better relationship with china than we do right now. the only thing that can get in its way is trade. it's so one sided, it's so lopsided. and the people that stood here so many years in this position, right where i am right now should never have allowed that to happen. it's very unfair to the united states. and it's very unfair to the workers of the united states. very, very unfair. and even today it's extremely hard on companies that want to do business in china because the barriers are incredible. whereas the barriers coming into our country are foolishly not. foolishly. i believe in reciprocal trade. if they do something to us, we do something to them. well, that never happened. and it's gotten worse and worse
over the years. that will be the only thing that could get in the way of a truly long-term great relationship. because we have all the ingredients for friendship. from the washington examiner, gabby? >> thank you, mr. president. your chief of staff, swren ange kelly, has granted interim security clearances to the administration. if that proceeds, would you be willing to grant a waiver to jared kushner, one of your senior advisers? >> he has done an outstanding job. i think he has been treated unfairly. he is a high quality person. he works for nothing. nobody ever reports that. he gets zero. he doesn't get a salary, nor does ivanka, who is now in south korea. long trip. representing her country. and we cannot get a better representative. in fact, the first lady,
melania, was telling me what a great impression she made this morning when she landed in south korea. jared is truly outstanding. he was very successful when he was in the private sector. he is working on peace in the middle east and some other small and very easy deals. they've always said peace in the middle east, peace between palestinians and israel is the toughest deal of any deal there s malcolm i've heard this all my life. as a former deal maker, though now you could say i'm more of a deal maker than ever before. you have no choice as president than to do it right. but the hardest deal to make of any kind is between the israelis and palestinians. we're actually making great head way. jerusalem was the right thing to do. we took that off the table. jared kushner is right in the middle of that. he is an extraordinary deal maker. if he does that, that will be an incredible accomplishment and a
very important thing for our country. so general kelly, who is doing a terrific job, by the way, is right in the middle of that. we inherited a system that's broken. it's a system where many people have just -- it's taken months and months and months to get many people that do not have the complex financial -- complicated financials, they don't have that. it's still taken months. it's a broken system. it shouldn't take this long. you know how many people are on that list. people with not a problem in the world. that will be up to general kelly. general kelly respects jared a lot. and general kelly will make that call. i won't make that call. i will let the general, who is right here, make that call. but jared is doing some very important things for our country. he gets paid zero. ivanka, by the way, gets paid zero. she gave up a very good, very strong, solid big business in order to come to washington because she wanted to help
families and she wanted to help women. she said dad, i want to go to washington. i want to help women. and i said, you know, washington is a mean place. she said i don't care. i want to help women. i want to help families. she was very much involved, as you know, in the child tax credit. now she's working very much on family leave, things that i don't think would be in the agreement if it weren't for ivanka and some of our great senators, et cetera. but she was very much in the forefront of that. i will let general kelly make that decision. and he's going to do what's right for the country. and i have no doubt he will make the right decision. okay? thank you very much. >> prime minister? >> yes. >> your country conducted a buyback program of semi automatic weapons in the mid '90 s and hasn't had a mass shooting ever since. is this something you discussed with president trump and did you, at all, urge him to
reconsider his current recommendations to combat mass shootings in the united states? >> well, our history with gun control and regulation is obviously very different to the united states. and you're right, there was a mass shooting in tasmania in 1996. and my predecessor, john howard, very well known here in the united states, prime minister for nearly 12 years, john undertook some very big reforms and basically semi automatic and let alone automatic weapons are essentially not available. indeed, there are many classes. the range of firearms that are available to people that don't have a specific professional need, like people who are involved in pest control and so forth, are very, very limited. it's a completely different context historically, legally
and so forth. we are very satisfied with our laws. we maintain them. they're there. they're well known. you've referred to them. but we certainly don't presume to provide, you know, policy or political advice on that matter here. you have an amendment to your constitution. which deals with gun ownership. you have a very, very different history. and we'll focus on our own political arguments and debates and wish you wise deliberation in your own. >> and i have to add to that, they're very different countries with very different sets of problems. but i think we're well on the way to solving that horrible problem that happens far too often in the united states. thank you very much, everybody. we appreciate it. thank you. mr. prime minister, thank you
very much. there's the president and prime minister of australia, wrapping up their joint news conference. the president making news on several fronts, including on guns and safety in american schools as well as on his son-in-law, senior vizer jared kushner, saying a decision on whether he will be allowed to access sensitive classified information will be left up to general kelly, the white house chief of staff. gloria, let's start off with that. we've got a great panel to assess what we just heard. he's doing an amazing job, the president said of jared kushner on the middle east peace effort. that's the hardest negotiation ever but jared kushner is working to try to bring peace between the israeli and palestinians. clearly he will need full
security clearance if he's going to continue to do so not just this interim arrangement. >> he made a point that swrard is working unfairly, is working for no money and has a big job to do. he talked about inheriting a system that is broken. didn't seem to be broken for other administrations. sometimes security clearances do take a while but not this long. and then he kind of punted it, which surprised me, quite honestly. he said, you know, he's going to let swren kelly make that call. in speaking today he made it very clear that he believes swrard is really important and doing important work. he kind of hinted to swren kelly about where he would like him to come down on that. >> he said general kelly will do what's right for the country. >> and what he thinks is right for the country is jared kushner continues to do the work he's doing. >> the reason jared kushner doesn't have a final security clearance is because of the
mueller investigation. it's implicit dig at the mueller investigation, saying that's what's holding up peace in the middle east, essentially and, therefore, kelly will recognize that and move forward and call the mueller investigation what it is. >> it is something of a win for swren ankkelly not to have the president totally publicly undermine him in a forum where he totally could have done it. leaving this up to kelly as a chief of staff is important. he's trying to put in a process here and nominally has the ability to say no more for jared kushner on this particular issue. less his foreign policy portfolio and the fact that he's regularly seeing the presidential daily briefing. probably no more significantly classified together that the president sees than that thing and jared kushner apparently sees it all the time. no one in the white house has an
answer to how that happens when he tonight have security clearance and how that might continue to happen. >> non guns in the united state, the president said he wants background checks especially for the mentally ill and wants to get rid of bump stocks. there are certain other things he wants to do. he didn't spell those out but was very firm that the u.s. would make great progress in this area and we won't see these mass shootings down the road. >> what he didn't say or reiterate is what he supported just yesterday, raising the age limit for those buying semi automatic rifle. he also didn't mention that this morning when he was on the south lawn. as you know, the nra has come out and opposed that measure, saying it is not in favor of it. the president seems to be more focused on strengthening the
background checks and banning the bump stocks. he said the difference with arming highly adept teachers is that they would have love for the children and, therefore, would be more compelled to act. now the australian prime minister was asked about gun violence because the last mass shooting where five or more people were killed in australia was back in 1996 where 35 people were killed. since then, australia enacted sweeping gun control measures and there has not been a mass shooting there since. australian prime minister said he is satisfied with australia's laws but doesn't want to make any policy recommendations on gun violence, basically saying these are two different countries with two different sets of problems, different context. the president weighed in as well after he said that, to make a very similar point. the other highlight, as you were discussing, was his response on
jared kushner, who has an interim security clearance and under john kelly's new m mechem would no longer have action toes top security information. is he going to answer this question because he continued to talk about what a wonderful guy he is and what great work he has been doing and so forth. but then he did say he's going to leave it up to general kelly, to his chief of staff, to determine what will happen on that front. and so we will have to see what does happen there, wolf. >> he also said something that will be controversial. he was talking about the security guards, armed security guards at school. saying that's simply not enough. saying 10 or 20% of the staff should be trained because a security guard doesn't know the children, doesn't love the children. i suspect a lot of those security guard also disagree
with the president on that. >> the president made a point to say that the deputy -- >> unfortunately we just lost pamela brown over at the white house. we'll get back to her. more breaking news. we've just confirmed that rick gates, former senior adviser to the trump campaign and president trump has just pled guilty, pled guilty to two criminal charges in federal court. he has agreed to go ahead and to cooperate in the investigation that robert mueller, special counsel, has put forward. he will cooperate, plead guilty, presumably get a reduced sentence, put pressure on the former campaign chair paul manafort to do the same thing. he has still refused to go ahead and plead guilty. supervisory agent is with us. give us a sense from your experience at the fbi what this means now that rick gates has formally gone ahead and done what the prosecutors want. he has pled guilty. >> well, it's another arrow in
mueller's quiver. if you look at this instance, this is a big deal, you know. some people have been asking why mueller is playing such hard ball. when you go into an fbi interview, the bureau will ask you questions that they already know the answer to. they're trying to determine is this person telling us the truth before they get to information that they may actually genuinely have questions about. what we saw in this case, from conducting interviews myself and doing interrogations, when you're confronting someone and they don't provide you accurate information, you ask yourself maybe is this person scared? do they not really realize what's going on? this isn't that. the way we know that is the date on the court documents for lying to the fbi was from february 1st. this was very recent. so for mueller's team, why are they playing such hard ball, they're coming across a guy who is kind of a wise guy, thinks
he's smarter than the investigators and that isn't the case. >> as josh points out this is a big deal. >> it is, for gates and his family. he's going to plead guilty and cooperate. and he's most likely going to do jail time. he's going to give up -- there are tons of documents that are already assembled against him, computer errors and the like. now an insider is going to take the jury, whoever has to find the facts through all of that. and there's not much of a defense case that can be built in opposition to documents and gates. so manafort will have to make the decision, which i think is at the heart of where mueller is. he wants manafort's testimony. he believes there are aspects of
the counterintelligence investigation that he can't get at without manafort's cooperation or collusion investigation that he can't get at without manafort's testimony. >> shimon prokupecz, what are you learning? >> manafort does not intend to change his position. evan perez just got a statement, not withstanding that rick gates pled today i continue to maintain my innocence. i had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence. for reasons yet to surface, he chose to do otherwise. this does not alter my commitment to defend myself against untrue, piled-up charges contained in the indictments against me. that's from paul manafort, statement we just received from him. clearly all this talk about whether or not this guilty plea and cooperation by rick gates is
going to put any pressure on paul manafort. he claims he will continue to defend himself and is sorry that his friend, his business partner, rick gates, has now chosen to cooperate. >> we'll see how long that lasts. the pressure clearly is going to mount on paul manafort. we saw rick gates and his lawyers get in that vehicle and drive away from the federal building in washington, d.c. gloria, big picture right now, an important moment in the robert mueller investigation, russia investigation. what happens just happened is sending powerful messages across the board. >> first of all, you can't lie to the special counsel, number one. do not do that. that is a bad idea. you will be prosecuted for it. that is one of the things that rick gates pled to today, that he lied in his proffer. when he was interviewed. >> and that's true of
papadopoulos of well. >> it was true of papadopoulos as well. despite what manafort is saying today, this puts huge amount of pressure on him. they've operated with certain bravado, that they want to take this to trial, et cetera. when you look at what bob mueller has, that will be very lengthy, very difficult, very expensive. manafort was interesting in his statement saying for reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise. speaking of rick gates. i'm wondering what he is talking about there. rick gates sent a letter, as we know, to his friends and family saying that he chose this course because it was going to be difficult on his family. manafort is clearly furious with his former partner here. he is not a young man, facing
spending the rest of his life in prison. clearly something that you were saying the special counsel believes manasm fofort has and he needs. >> and that only manafort can offer. >> i got a statement from ty cobb last night, he represents the president internally in these manners and says we don't comment on these things. >> you cover the white house for us. how much of a toll is this russia investigation playing on officials over there? >> it is a slow burn for this white house. it has been for over a year now. and beyond that, it is less of a slow burn for the president. it's constantly front of mind for him. he is constantly stewing about this. often derails anything they're trying to do outside of that. i think the other issue here is how for this white house is how methodical mueller has been in this, how quiet he has been, as
he has proceeded along step by step by step. that's in direct contrast to how the trump campaign was operated, which was a total free wheeling entity. and so that alone has to concern them. the trump campaign was so wild and so -- it was like the wild, wild west. they would readily admit this. and you know, they don't know what they are -- what is down the road for them. and i think the smart folks in the white house understand that. i think gloria's statement is what we've been hearing from them all along. they want, for as long as possible, to say this has nothing to do with us. we don't know how much longer that will go on. >> he is indicating, robert mueller, there's no end in sight. >> and there's so many momentum to his work product, right? he's getting a lot busier publicly and starting to put forth these cases, these indictments, charges, plea agreement now. we are piecing together the
larger story. but i think abby is right. this white house is consumed with a lot of known unknowns right now. >> don't forget, they are in the middle of negotiations with the special counsel over the question of whether the president testifies. and so all of this plays into that. >> it's also worth noting, wolf, the president was not asked about this today at a press conference. he hasn't had a real press conference in over a year. so, the opportunities to ask him about this stuff -- >> in the oval office when he was there with the prime minister of australia. they shot questions about rick gates at the president and he was escorted out of the room. we'll continue our special coverage right now. brooke baldwin picks it up. brooke? >> thank you so much. we'll continue with breaking news. former trump campaign aide rick gates has pled guilty