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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 8, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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at&t, no way. we offer 35 voice features and solutions that grow with your business. at&t, not so much. we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's comparable bundle, for less. call today. escalating threats, president trump warning china about new tariffs. >> no president wanted to go against china and we're going to do it. >> and china vowing to fight back. >> blame china not trump. >> global fears escalating of a trade war. will either side back down? president trump's brand-new chief economic advisor larry kudlow responds.
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plus on thin ice, president trump tweeting his support for his new epa chief. as even more questions are raised by scott pruitt's inappropriate spending of taxpayer dollars. can pruitt hold on to his job? susan collins weighs in. and a blue wave coming in gop leaders worry about losing seats in the house. >> we have to get republicans in office. >> can he stop a democratic sweep? hello, i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is horrified by news coming out of syria about an alleged chemical attack. the area of atrocity is in lockdown and is encircled by
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syrian army making it inact acceptable to the outside world. president putin and iran are responsible for backing assad. this comes just a week after president trump unexpectedly announced that the u.s. will withdraw from syria very soon. this is devastating news as the president is ramping up a battle on the economic front. the president tweeting saturday, quote, the united states hasn't had a trade surplus with china in 40 years. the u.s. is losing $500 billion a year and has been losing billions of dollars for decades, cannot continue. this morning trump tweeted that he and president xi will always be friends no matter what happens with trade. thursday, president trump threatened to bring $30 billion
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more on chinese imports, on top of $50 billion announced earlier in the week. one of the great frustrations of covering this trade deficit -- there's consensus we should put on the table that china has unfair economic barriers up right now, but it is false to say, as the president tweeted this morning, quote, the u.s. is losing $500 billion a year. as you know, the number america getting goods and services in exchange for that $375 billion. you sa do you think there's a danger here if the president keeps talking like this that americans are going to think that there's
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a zero -- >> the president expresses himself as the way the president expresses himself. i'm a big supporter of china. we have had to go in and fire a shot across the bow, china's behavior for 20 years now, it's more than unfair trading practices, it's illegal trading practices because they're stealing our intellectual property rights, they're forcing technology from our companies to be open so they can get it and they have tall trade barriers and president trump is to some extent right about the trade deficits. no president has had the backbone to take it up publicly before. i say to everybody on this, the problem here is china, it's not president trump, china's been getting away with this for decades, past american
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presidents refused to take him on, i think president trump's doing exactly the right thing and i think it's going to generate very positive results which will grow our american economy, it will grow china's economy, it will help grow the world's economy. >> you're right, president trump is doing something where previous presidents haven't. the question is whether this threat of hundreds of billions of dollars of tariffs. just before you took this job you said that tariffs were prosperity killers, you wrote an op-ed saying mr. president, tariffs are actually tax hikes. if the president pulls the trigger on this it would be a mistake? >> when we wrote that piece, we didn't like the blanket tariffs, which would hurt our allies much
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more than it would hurt our enemies. this one's different. >> you would support if the president pulled the trigger on the hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on china? >> no free market guy disagrees on this, the brotheren of the economic -- no tariffs have been implemented yet. there are important. this last round that was announced late last week, the president asked our trade diplomat to consider whether an additional round of tariffs would be necessary or useful. and part of that is that after we made the first round the chinese response was unsatisfy tr -- the process may include
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tariffs, i can't rule that out, it may rest eventually on negotiations, we will see how the president wants to do it, he's pretty good at negotiating, but he's also good at standing his ground. the american economy, what are we? we are driven by advances in technology, which are the backbone of our entrepreneur ship, they're the backbone of our ingenuity, it's the reason our american economy is number one in the world. because it's really flourishing under trump policy. china cannot be allowed to steal our technology because that's the bread and butter of our economy. >> you're saying one it's a negotiate, and the process is healthy, and ultimately if he had pulled the trigger, even though you have spent a life deploring tariffs, the relate trick has had a big economic
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impact. the dow fell 600 points under the threat of this trade war, the threat of retaliation is causing problems for farmers, costing farmers $1.7 billion in crop value, what do you say to farmers who say we don't like these tariffs, it's bad for the bottom line. >> you're right, there's been a bump down in farm commodity prices, i agree. i'm not at all sure that this is going to last. this process may turn out the very benign, you have to take certain risks as you go in, we're taking them, nothing's happened so far. we're looking at future actions.
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we have commentary for the next few months on our proposalpropo maybe china will come around and want to talk. the american economy is so resilient, we're growing at a 3% annual rate in the last three-quarters, business investment is bombing right now. >> you're threatening to under mine all of that. >> and the narcotstock market il up 23% since the election. profits are coming in like gangbusters, i'm not going to predict the stock market. we're going to do fine with these earnings. >> as a business guy, i also want to talk to you about president trump calling on amazon to -- it is true that they pay a lower rate in postage as do all bulk users.
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while under attack from president trump, amazon stock, and this is -- they employ more than half a million people has fallen 11% in the last two weeks. you're a believer in free markets, i can't imagine that you support any president of the united states singling out an american company and bad mouthing it for weeks as it's stock goes down. >> the issue here is having a level playing field with regard to the tax issue. they're doing more in states now than they were, although they have not been collecting local tax. >> so you support the president bad mouthing a company? >> it's not so much bad mouthing a company, it's lets have a level playing field for all the new internet companies starting up. you should pay taxes in whatever
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jurisdiction you're operating in, that was the original beef that the president had with amazon. amazon is a strong company, it's going to remain a strong economy, lots and lots of retailers are going to become internet retailers. >> they pay the taxes they're required to pay. i want to ask you one last question, cnn, the associated press, "new york times," lots of media outlets reporting it seems that chief of staff john kelly's influence has been waning in the west wing, kelley threatening to quit multiple times during his tenure, it doesn't seem like a great relationship between the president and his chief of staff. >> i've been in the white house for five days, and john kelly has been -- i don't personally
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think this is a real story, that president tweeted about it and it didn't sound like he's pushing kelly out. kelly's been great to me. all i can tell you five days, i have to do five more days to beat anthony scaramucci's record on it. today's day five, i think i can do it. >> larry kudlow, thank you so much. president trump this morning reacting to the horrific chemical attack in syria, blaming president putin, russia and iran for backing president assad, will the president pursue military action as he said a year ago. hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you.
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welcome back to "state of the union," i'm jake tapper, a horrific scene out of syria saturday, and i must warn you, this video contains very graphic images that might be difficult to watch. it includes multiple people including children who were victims of this chemical attack. you can see these women, children and men now lifeless,
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the foam on their lips appears to be a telltale sign of a chemical attack. cnn cannot independently verify this video taken by anti government activists. president trump responding directly to the attack this morning tweeting, quote, many dead, including women and children in mindless chemical attack in syria, area of atrocity is in lockdown by syrian army making it completely inaccessible to the outside world. big price to pay, open area immediately for help and verification, another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever, sick. senator collins, always good to see you, the white house homeland security advisor says nothing is off the table, including a potential military response to this chemical
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weapons attack in syria. would you support a military response to this? >> this attack with chemical weapons which are banned by international conventions is absolutely horrific and as your video indicates was aimed at civilians in syria. last time this happened, the president did a targeted attack to take out some of the facilities that may be an option that we should consider now. but it is further reason why it is so important that the president ramp up the pressure and the sanctions on the russian government, because without the support of russia, i do not believe that assad would still be in office. >> president trump of course announced about a week and a half ago that he plans to withdraw u.s. troops fighting
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isis in syria very soon. only the perpetrators of this attack are responsible for violence, but a syrian human rights activist said this is what happens when trump announced to withdraw. do you think that trump's announce to withdraw prompted some bad actors here. >> no, i don't, but i think the president's going to have to reconsider his plan for an early withdrawal in light of what has happened. >> you just heard white house chief economist larry kudlow defending these new potential tariffs against china. farmers are worried that retaliatory tariffs on s or s w >> i think we need a more
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nuanced approach. but i give the president credit for levying these tariffs against the chinese with whom we have talked for a decade about their unfair trade practices and theft of intellectual property from american firms. this is costing us jobs in this country and we do need to get tough with china. but we need to do so in a way that we do not spark a trade war and retaliation that will end up with our european and asian competitors getting business that otherwise would have come to american farmers and american manufacturers. so it is a very delicate balancing act that we have to undertake. but we cannot ignore the looming trade deficit with china, and the fact that china does not
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abide by the labor and environmental laws that protect our workers and thus subsidizes major industries in a way to under cut american producers. >> the president excused a number of controversies, some of the controversies include that pruitt rented a room from an energy lobbyist for $50 a night, he charted a plane costing $100,000 a month. he wanted to buy a bulletproof desk which would cost $70,000, he requested sirens because he was late for dinner. this is of course in addition to what we heard from the epa, that it spent 80 -- do you think he should resign or being fired?
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>> first of all, let me say that the actions taken by scott pruitt in the environmental arena, whether it's trying to undermine the clean power plant plan or weaken the restrictions on lead or undermine the methane rules are reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation. this daily drip of accusations of excessive spending and ethical violations serve to further distract the agency from accomplishing it's very important mission. i think congress needs to do some oversight, after all we don't know the extent of the recommendations made by mr. pruitt's security team. but on policy grounds alone, i think scott pruitt is the wrong person to head the epa.
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>> so should he resign or be fired? >> well, that is a position that only the president can take at this point. the congress has no role as -- now that he's been confirmed. i voted against confirming him but i believe my position was the correction and has been validated by his actions. >> you voted for the republican tax reform plan in december for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons was that you had been assured by the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell that fixes to obama care would pass before the end of the year, in your statement you pointed directly to those fixes you supported the tax plan. having supported -- to help lower health insurance premiums i will cast my vote in favor of the senate tax reform bill. it's april now, you haven't
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gotten the health care reform you wanted. do you think that you were lied to in order to get your vote. >> no, i don't. i had a number of concerns about the tax bill, but i support lowering taxes. we have doubled the standard deduction that's going to help some 72% of american taxpayers, we have made the child care tax credit refundable for the first time. that's going to help that single mom that's making $35,000 actually get money back from the federal government instead of owing taxes. so there's a lot in the tax bill that's good. >> you did say on the senate floor that repealing the individual mandate which was in the bill would almost certainly lead to higher premiums and a study shows premiums are expected to climb 52% in maine this year, this is exactly what
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you were warned about. haven't these leaders who promised relief for these premiums, haven't they failed your constituents? >> let me say i had the opportunity just two weeks ago to bring a package to the senate for with senator lamar alexander. much to my surprise, because this was an opportunity to not only prevent those egregious premium increases but actually to lower insurance rates by some 40% over the next two years and expand coverage to 3.2 million people. and much to my surprise, it was blocked actually by senators on the other side of the aisle, that was something that i never anticipated. i think it's very unfortunate. i don't support the individual mandate, i have never. i don't think however it should
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have been included without offsetting changes. the reason i don't support it, it is highly regressive. the family -- 80% of the families who paid the penalty for not buying unaffordable insurance make less than $50,000 a year. so the individual mandate is not the answer. lowering the cost of insurance is the answer. that's what our package would have done. we tried to bring it to the senate floor and attach it to the spending bill and regrettably we were blocked. >> senator susan collins of maine, thanks so much, always good to see you. republicans concerned about a democratic wave in the midterm election. is there anything president trump can do to stop it? well, he's sure trying and that's next. then at your next meeting,
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literally throwing out the script on electing republicans in 2018, since he made those remarks in west virginia, he has tweeted about tax and hillary clinton and what does the department of justice have to hide? not looking good, among his many, many tweets. let me start with my panel here. linda, there are those who think that president trump appealing to his base in the various ways he's been doing so in the past couple of weeks saying outrageous things is a strategy to rally his base to get to the polls. >> the problem is he's not in the ballot. so rallying his base may not translate to support for republican candidates and frankly the base is not enough to win in the general election, so i think it's actually a bad
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strategy. i his being off script, not talking about his policy accomplishments, the tax cut, some of the other accomplishments, delregulation, that's bad for republican candidates, that's what they have to run on. this is not the general election, it's a midterm election. >> what do you think? you're in deep red arizona, what is your take, is this the right strategy for the president? >> i think he is rallying the base to a point, but he also is delivering on so many problems he made on the campaign trail, the america first agenda, he's working to secure the border, and he'she's -- the tax cuts, t was amazing, and the brand of
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republicanism, voting for the huge omnibus spending bill was the wrong way to go. i think the president is telling voters to look for -- >> congresswoman mcsally, you now have an invitation to be on our panel. >> i think how a republican primary is being run in a very red state is not a trend line that's happening across the country, but it's a troubling trend line for republicans across the board. it's always tough for sitting incumbents. it was for obama. and only three times in the last 90 years has the sitting president not lost seats. but we can also, democrats can also thank president trump for reinvigorating and energizing the base and really unifying the party in a way that it wasn't in
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2016 and it hasn't been in some time. and we have seen that in special elections, we have seen that in elections that democrats had no business winning. look, it's not over until it's over, and there's a lot of work left to do and republicans who are thinking they're going to win back the house have never been through a tough election before. >> koreen, what do you think? is president trump, all the things the president's doing to rally his base, are they rallying your base? >> look at wisconsin, we were able to win a supreme court seat there, the democrat that won there, she ran against the civil rights and the values of donald trump and it helped her and her opponent was backed by nra, so i think the data points are there for democrats who show this enthusiasm and it is a base
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election in the midterms and now our base is excited and the republican base is not. the interesting thing about rural p.a., the republican there, three-fourths of his plan was about the dtax plan. we have a message that we can run on and the tax plan, guess what, it's not working for republicans. >> the president is running on his tougher immigration measures, tweeting over the weekend, quote, we're sealing up our southern border, the people of our country want safety and secure, the dems have been a disaster on this issue. you're concerned it's going to hurt republicans in the general election. >> illegal immigration is down to a 46-year low. so the idea that we have this invasion of people coming into the united states, illegal immigration has not been this
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low since the early 1970s, some of us on the panel were not even born at that time. i just think it's a bad issue and it turns off hispanics and hispanics have trending republican for years, what has turned them around has been this hard line immigration and particularly those people who oppose legal immigration. we can fix illegal immigration quite quickly, we need to give the chance to people to come and do work that americans won't take to come in legally. >> what we're seeing on the ground, and corrin, you're right, because in pennsylvania, the democrat kind of run on a trump platform and he was more energized and energetic and what the republican electorate is looking for is someone that's inspiring, that's motivating and is going to go to washington, d.c. and do something different than what the insiders in washington, d.c. have been
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doing. when people like chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell try to meddle in our state elections, that's when we get upset. i was down on the border on a ranch that is on 25 miles of the border. we're supposed to believe that the four flimsy strands of barbed-wire there are supposed to protect our country from invasion. he says before it was immigrants, it was people coming that wanted to do work. but now he's seeing a problem with what he calls the druggers, that's the drug cartel who are bringing dangerous drugs, illegal weapons, human trafficking, they're smuggling people, and what the people have to go through, the women and children in particular who are trafficked across that border is unthinkable. that's why we have got to secure the border, that's why we've got to build the wall. at the time it was a joke, a
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i think you have to adapt. and i think he is adapting to the president's style. the president wants to call the shots and he wants people to know he's calling the shots. and if something gets between that, it becomes a problem. >> that was president trump's first chief of staff reince priebus giving general kelly some -- in less than two weeks ago, kelly grew so frustrated the day that trump fired
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veterans affairs secretary david shulkin. i'm back with my panel, you worked in the obama house, you saw a number of chiefs of staff, some very successful, like denn dennis mcdonough, working well in the primary, what do you think when you hear these stories about kelly's power waning, making decisions about personnel? >> you have two values when you're the president's chief of staff, your value to the country, and you have your influence with the president. and for kelly, just from the outside, it's clear that both are waning, credibility you can blame in part on things he has done to himself, which include obviously backing rob porter and being his biggest advocate publicly. but influence internally, all of the reporting suggests that he's just not as influential with
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trump as people thought he might be as trump said he might be. and if you don't have those two things, you basically just have a nice office. see that's the tough part for him at this point. >> you worked in the -- >> frankly i believe kelly and trump were never a good match, i think a lot of people hoped kelly could bring order and discipline. you've got the most indisciplined person in the white house right now. they just grate against each other, it's a tough job, and i think trump wants to be his own chief of stave aff. >> you're a leader and you know it's important to have people around you who can tell you when you're medsing up, when you're going too far, i know i feel that way here at cnn in terms of
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having people around me telling me to cut it out. >> i think that general kelly has done a great job, he's a great patriot, he's got years of military leadership experience, my husband is a military man himself, serving 33 years in our armed forces. so i understand what he brought to the table and i think president trump likes to have people who provide a dissenting opinion so i think having that around is good and i think he's doing a great job, it remains to be seen whether he'll stay or go, you need to have someone who will pull you back and give advice. >> generation kelly is not the solution, he is the problem, not just with rob porter, but let's not forget, he lied about an african-american congresswoman, fredericka wilson, so he sk constantly finds himself in the press for bad reasons.
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but back to what linda was saying, donald trump wants to be his own chief of staff, he wants to be his own communications director, he can do the job better than anybody else. we have a president who likes to lead with chaos, and infighting with your own administration is not the way to do this. >> one of the most interesting stories that we're looking at right now is that the "boston globe" had a fake issue, let's put it on camera, joking about what it would be like for president to be president. deportations set to resume. u.s. soldiers refuse orders to kill isis families. but a lot of the issues in terms of the trade war looming are actually in the news today. >> that's true and supporters will probably say these are things he talked got on the
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campaign trail. i remember the day of the election and had a lot of staff in my office crying because of the impact this would have on them. and so it's not surprising i think to people who were shocked and dismayed by his election, it's probably not surprising for people who were his strong supporters, there are some in the middle and some that democrats will hope to steal back in the next election. >> you're probably looking at those headlines and say, good, we need those deportations. >> those headlines go a bit far, i think we need to stop sanctuary cities, we need to secure our boarder. we need to build the wall, making sure we have a symbol of a right and wrong way to come into the country.
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>> thanks one and all for being here. really who can keep track of all the "star wars" prequells and sequels. so, that goal you've been saving for,
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because fast should be fast. ♪ now at t-mobile, buy one samsung galaxy s9 and get one free. ♪ welcome back. a phantom menace to the east leads to a struggle of galactic proportions. it almost sounds like president trump's battle with china over trade. that's the subject of this
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week's "state of the cartoonian." in a galaxy not so far away, a rebellion launches a different saga, trade wars, the force was strong in trump, but it needed to be honed, through talks with trade master wilbur ross. finally trump was ready to correct the trade imbalance. all right, i'll give it a try. >> do or do not, do not try. >> trump's adversary, a trade gang to the south. >> this is your last chance, free us or die. >> but the rebellion faced it's most for midable foe in chinese president xi, the darth trader.
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>> it's your choice, but i warn you not to underestimate my power. >> the new tariffs bring the rebellion in what may now have the upper hand and now the rebellion retreats to plan its next move. >> master luke, is it something i did? >> all those aboard millennium falcon 1 can do is hope the trade wars end in galactic harmony. >> my apologies to george lucas. tick or tick is happening right now in relation to a meeting between president trump and kim jong-un?
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hotel, car and activity all in one place. ♪ that you don't think about is very much. counties it's really not very important. i was in the stone ages as much as technology wise. and i would say i had nothing. you become a school teacher for one reason, you love kids. and so you don't have the same tools, you don't always believe you have the same... outcomes achievable for yourself. when we got the tablets, it changed everything. by giving them that technology and then marrying it with a curriculum that's designed to have technology at the heart of it, we are really changing the way that students learn.
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and i can't wait for ten years from now when i get to talk to them again and see, like, who they are. ♪ and sometimes, i don't eat the way i should. so, i drink boost. boost high protein nutritional drink has 15 grams of protein to help maintain muscle and 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d. look for savings on boost in your sunday paper. what's going on? oh hey! including calcium and vitamin d. ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ we know that when you're spending time with the grandkids
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every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why we show you exactly when we'll be there. saving you time, so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ peopbut they're different.nd. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate. find your favorite and give kind® a try.
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this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. today on the show, the tussle over trade. >> we have a problem with china. >> will the tit for tat with china devolve into a trade war? and what to expect from john bolton, the president's new national security advisor who reports for duty on monday. i'll talk about it

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