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tv   White House Not Worried About Potential Flynn Testimony  CSPAN  March 31, 2017 3:44pm-4:51pm EDT

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manufacturers, we are the innovators, and we are the ones coming up with new technologies to make sure that our air is cleaner and waters cleaner and the workplaces are safer. i will say that i'm pretty proud of the fact that there has been a tremendous decrease in output carbon from manufacturing facilities and a tremendous increase in output over the course of the last 10 years. because of energy efficiency -- >> we win. [laughter] mr. timmons: any other questions? thank you all so much. >> thank you. mr. timmons: what's that? >> thank you. >> thank you, guys. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> not long after president
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trump's meeting with manufacturing executives today, white house press secretary sean spicer briefed reporters. one of the main topics was former national security advisor michael flynn request for immunity to testify before congress about the truck campaign's ties to russia. mr. spicer: good afternoon. to catch, i want everyone up wasn't able to make the briefing last night on the theutive orders on -- executive orders the president is going to be signing this afternoon could the first direct the department of commerce and the office of u.s. trade representative to examine every form of trade of these in a nonreciprocal practice that are currently contributing to the united states' large and persistent trade deficits, the largest in a major nation in
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2016, at $500 billion. within 90 days, the department of commerce and the u.s. trade representative will submit a comprehensive report to the president on the causes of our unduly large trade deficit. it is the first time in modern history that an american president has called for such an investigation, and our findings will allow us to make smarter decisions on behalf of the american people about our trade policy of our country going forward. that is why the afl-cio, united steelworkers international, the international association of machinists, and the aerospace workers international all came out to applaud the order. the second executive order addresses the current lack of enforcement of one of our strongest tools in fighting unfair trade practices, countervailing duties. countervailing duties were put in place to address the problem of other countries dumping undervalued goods into american markets, making it impossible for american businesses to compete with artificially low
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prices. this is especially a problem in countries whose governments subsidize exports into our country. so to discourage this practice, u.s. customs and border protection agency has a mechanism for assessing these types of transactions and imposing financial penalties known as countervailing duties when it is determined that this kind of malicious dumping has occurred. since 2001, the u.s. customs and border protection agency has not collected over $2.8 billion in these duties. you think about income, we could do a lot by maximizing its enforcement power for our country. we need to do a better job on behalf of the american worker. often duegn company, to its feet partly or entirely government-run or subsidized and is able of blood american markets with a note -- is able to flood american markets with artificially cheap steel, for example, that price american companies out of the system. say you are a company in ohio. you cannot compete with these below-market prices, so you find
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other ways to meet the bottom line, like closing your factory or laying off workers or closing entirely. by not properly using this enforcement mechanism, we are crossing americans who work in so many industries -- not just to steal, but agriculture, chemical, missionary, other manufactured goods in particular. president trump was elected to do everything he can to support american workers and manufacturers. these executive orders are a significant step in accomplishing the promise to end unfair trade practices once and for all. also yesterday we were pleased to see that senators manchin and heitkamp announced their support of your postage, and senator claire mccaskill conceded at a private event that judge gorsuch was, according to her, "one of the better ones." we hope her praise leads to better support. it is hard to find any reason
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other than obstructionism that democrats in her caucus have not been able to join them. has been rated as well qualified by the american bar association and has demonstrated an unparalleled and unprecedented level of transparency come including the release of over 75,000 pages of documents, fielding nearly 300 questions from senate democrats on the committee, and 70 pages of written answers about his personal records. he has devastated and mainstream judicial record, with nearly all the decisions being joined by democrat-appointed judges. without clear justification, democrats have fudged the facts every history and try to mislead the american people about their and president of sarcasm, essentially claiming a nonexistent 60-vote standard. should it chuck schumer get his way, this would be the first successful filibuster of a nominee to join the supreme court. this would make history in a very bad way. they have also forgotten their own words -- i have cited
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previously this week the rhetoric of senator schumer democratic nominee hillary clinton, the regrets of invoking the filibuster fight president obama -- by president obama, then-senator obama, and the words of senate democrats like sen. mccaskill on white blocking the judge -- on white blocking the judge has no precedent and is irresponsible. current members of the senate seemed to also rejected the notion of a supreme court operating with 8, not nine justices. these include senator schumer, dick durbin, bernie sanders, jeanne shaheen, amy klobuchar, ben cardin and martin heinrich pit each of these senate democrats need to listen to me or the president, by their own words as recently as last year. the president told the american people in his weekly address that was launched earlier today why it is. and we call on senator chris to end is unnecessary -- senate democrats to end it is a necessary affection .
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the justice department filed an appeal in the ninth circuit on the president's lawful and a necessary executive order protecting this country. moving on to the events this morning, the president met with former secretary of state condoleezza rice. they had an opportunity to talk about regional threats, current foreign-affairs hotspots in our attempt to defeat isis, and many more areas. it was a great meeting where they discussed many of the challenges facing our country, and the president sought the former secretary of state and national security advisor's advice on a variety of the subject did he sign house joint resolution 42, allowing states to drug test an appointment insurance cases, and 62, naming an outpatient clinic in american samoa. the president joined the president of the national association of manufacturers and some of its member ceos to unveil the manufacturers outlook
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survey. an incredible 93% of manufacturers surveyed by the national association of manufacturers have a positive outlook for the future. it is a 20-year record high that is more than 35 points higher than the same rating was last year. to quote from the survey itself, "the rising confidence stems from the belief that they woul -- that the new administration in washington, d.c., will bring much-needed regulatory relief as well as reforms to the tax code and a significant infrastructure package." the optimism is evident across a spectrum of indicators. the national association of home builders confidence index is at its highest level in 12 years. the gallup small business index shows that small business owners are the most optimistic they been since 2007. it is not surprising that american industry is reacting in this way. the president has taken immediate steps to make it easier to do business in this country, and we are at the beginning of this process.
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on top of these significant steps taken in the executive orders this morning, has withdrawn from the transpacific partnership trade agreement, cleared the way for keystone xl and dakota access pipeline's, began a much-needed government-white reform of our regular tory and permitting processes, and signed legislation preventing the burdensome production from causing further harm to the coal industry. the president was at to see this report describes see this report added to the list of optimism that his progrowth policies have created. this afternoon president will meet with the director of the national institutes of health before signing the aforementioned executive orders at 3:30, and he will meet with the director of the office of management and budget, mick mulvaney. in cabinet is today, secretary of state rex tillerson is in brussels attending the nato foreign ministers meeting could he reaffirmed the administration 's commitment to nato and stressed the need for all member countries to meet their defense
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spending commands as well need for nato to take a larger role in the fight against terrorism and isis. the president looks forward to meeting with his nato counterparts in brussels this major reaffirmed the united states commitment to nato and discuss ways to strengthen the alliance to cope with challenges in a national and international security. this morning the office of the united states trade representative released the 2017 national trade estimate. the annual report required by law, surveys the significant barriers faced by american tax court is fit its findings reinforce the need for the president's america-first trade agenda, with fireplaces enforcement of the trade laws to protect american workers and job creators. the president looks forward to having the investor in place so he can begin his important work in earnest to fulfill the mission of this report. ,ransportation secretary chao who yesterday celebrated the 50th birthday of the department of transportation, today directed the federal highway
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administration officials to direct funds to repairs of atlantis collapsed i-85 overpass . these funds will ensure that the bridges repaired safely and in a timely manner. the white house office of intergovernmental affairs is talking with georgia governor's team, and the secretary of spoken with the governor. looking forward, as promised today can we will be releasing financial records as filed by commissioned officers in the white house. right after i am done, we will have a background briefing with senior white house compliance and ethics officers to walk you through how that process is going to go in the public release of that information, which will occur later this evening. we will be sure to update you if there's anything further to add. this weekend the president will be here in the white house holding meetings and we will be sure to update you if there is anything further to add. on sunday, the white house will honor world autism awareness day by lighting the white house in a blue to join with autism awareness communities.
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further research into the causes and treatments for autism spectrum disorders is one of the president's priorities. as we like it blew on sunday, the white house be celebrating the individuals and families whose lives are affected by autism. i wouldn't know that it is a really interesting story, how this came to be. the head of autism speaks, was sent to him in his work with this, one of the cofounders, is a longtime friend of the president. his wife, suzanne, was struggling with parkinson's -- excuse me, pancreatic cancer last year. the president made a pledge to her -- "if i am elected president, in support of this cause, i will light the white house blue." it is in suzanne and bob wright's honor that this will occur for this great cause, and i hope bob knows that suzanne is looking down probably to see that the pledge is fulfilled. with that, i'm glad to take your questions.
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john roberts. nunes' visit to the white house -- fox news been told by officials that chairman unes is aware of who did the unmasking of individuals and who ordered the unmasking. is the white house aware of the information? mr. spicer: i don't know what he knows, and again, i tried to make it a comment not to get into specifics of that report. i will not -- it is not in our interest to talk about the process, what occurred between chairman nunes coming here was routine and proper. german nunes -- chairman nunes bothanking member schiff possess the appropriate credentials and clearances. we had invited democrats here and the material they see will shed light on the investigation.
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a lot of folks want to talk about the process and other surveillance and the underlying issue could the substance, the unmasking and leaks, is what we should all be concerned about. it affects all americans can our liberties, freedoms, civil liberties it so let's talk about some of the substance, and i know that is not -- on march 2, the day before the president's t, comments by a senior foreign-policy official, dr. evelyn farkas, together with this reports raised concerns about whether there was a widespread effort by the obama administration to use and the highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes. she said this on television, saying "i was urging my former colleagues, telling people on the hill, get as much information come as much intelligence as you can. i had a fear that they were essentially watching the trump staff and he was worried about the trump administration." nbc news has just reported something very similar about information used by the obama white house to spread this
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information and is politically sensitive information. admissions alone are devastating. on march 4, the president, as you on the, raised serious concerns about the surveillance practices by the obama administration, including whether the president-elect and transition team members were being improperly monitored for political purposes under the obama administration. later in march, in the ordinary staff of their work, nsc discovered information that may support the questions raised by the president and dr. farkas' claim. these are serious issues. they raised serious concerns. and if true, the issues would be devastating. we are committed to working with the house and senate committees to get to the bottom of what happened here, white happened, and who was involved. for this reason, we are in the process of ensuring that the staffs that the nsc discovered in the normal course of business are made available to the committees investigating to ensure that all of the facts come to light, and if everyone was treating the president and
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administration fairly, you would ask a series of much different questions about substance of the materials. as we said before, when you talk about russia in particular, everyone who has been briefed on this subject, from republican to democrat to cia, former obama all of the people come back with the same conclusion. there has been no evidence of the president's campaign with russian officials. it was hillary clinton who was the architect of the last administration's failed recent policy. she said it was time to strengthen russia, that was their goal. she used her office to make concession after concession, of our country's uranium. getting personal calls from vladimir putin. if there is more to talk about a russian connection of substance that is where we should be looking. i was not expecting to tap
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such a deep well with that question. [laughter] intelligence officials also tell us the chairman nunez knew about the documents that he feared at the white house in january. looking at the them -- at them at the nfc skipped only because he could not get access to those same documents through other intelligence agencies. basically it was a last resort to come to the white house. do you know that? >> i don't. couple tweaks the other day where people were saying that the nsa was trying to document -- a narrative that an out there. we have tried to the very this andbout consistent about how we want this handled. whenthing he has said -- he came out initially and talked to the media. he came -- made it clear he had been looking into this.
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i think as we continue down this path, if you begin to focus on the substance, we see more and more a very troubling and devastating path. also being told by intelligence officials at the two individuals identified yesterday, michael ellis and when other were not the source of the information for the intelligence chairman. they played a role in terms of finding some extra evidence. the white house and helping sign him and so he could view the intelligence. -- if i start not commenting on everyone of these stories i can't -- that's not our practice. again part of it is if we confirmed something or not others we are on a slippery slope. i can say that we continue to say that -- i think the substance does matter, and what
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continues to come to light in terms of obama officials admitting either off or on the record, consistent with dr. farkas says, that there was clearly an attempt to do something politically motivated with intelligence. the question is why? who was ordered by? the substance that continues to come out on point tod continues to exactly what the president was talking about on march 5. john. >> we heard from the president this morning saying -- mike flynn should ask for immunity. we know the president has long-standing views and what community is -- means. in september he said, if you are guilty of a crime what do you need immunity for? does the president think he is guilty of a crime? >> he thinks michael flynn should go up there and testify, do what he has to do to get the story up. it's up to him and his lawyer to
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decide immunity. i will not give michael flynn or anyone else legal advice from the podium, but i will tell you the president's view is he should go up and testify. >> the president give legal advice from his twitter account. the onlyn the past reason he asked for community is a few -- immunity is -- if you sick or. >>, you're missing jonathan, respectfully, is go testify, do what you have to do, tell congress what we have been saying. i get your point, but the interesting thing is, if you stop for a second and relates what the president is doing, he is saying, do whatever you have to do to make it clear what happened. take whatever precaution you want, however your legal counsel advises you. i have heard in some legal circles that the president could have exerted legal authority over him, sally eight and others. it's quite the opposite. that compares to the narrative you hear from a lot of folks in this room all the time, is
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opposite. have a president who is telling michael flynn and others to go up there, we talked about the other day with members of the administration, that the president volunteered -- this administration is doing everything it can to -- get to the bottom of this. that is an important distinction that has been lost on a lot of you, that every action we have taken -- we got it. and talked about russia and the lack of a connection, we talked about the fact that every single person -- person briefed has said it does not exist. republican, democrat, obama appointee, etc. now we are going to the point where we actually encourage people to go talk to the house, senate intelligence committee, in appropriate investigators, so they can get to the bottom of this. i think that is quite the opposite of what you would normally think that somebody who would not try to get to the bottom would do. taxes, one on trade. on february 9, the president be presenting a
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phenomenal tax plan in the next 2-3 weeks. tomorrow is april 1. we have not seen the tax plan. can you tell us when this will be presented? >> as you noticed yesterday, secretary the notion and gary cohen and others on the team talked to the president about the process. we are working on engaging with key stakeholders. when we feel it is appropriate, we will start to put up the appropriate outline that we envision. of this time, that discussion is ongoing. being and health care right now. we are accelerating that, the president has his team working overtime. he has been giving them feedback as far as what he wants to see and how. this is a big task, will get to it. this going to be like the health care debate, where we thought we would see a proposal but in the end the president signed on paul ryan's...?
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>> first i would dispute that we signed onto someone's plan. we worked with the house. the president was on board. it was a work that both sides work together on. i think this plan, i would assume, that hopefully, we could come up with a plan we all agree on. the president will put up principles i am sure as we have already done in terms of his goals and how he wants to drive this as the process moves forward. i'm sure we will have a debate about that plan come certain provisions and other -- we will work with the house and senate. campaignent during the , he is now gearing up for this meeting with the chinese president mar-a-lago. during the campaign he suggested on day one he would declare china a currency manipulator. he is not done that. why hasn't the president followed through on that campaign promise? >> we need to have that meeting with the president of china.
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i'm sure there will be lots of discussions about our economic relationship. that, i do away from not want to pre-judge -- we are days away from it, a lot of issues need to come up. >> one on china, one on the middle east. plans to order interview into china status as...? >> to trade executive orders where we will look .- we have got a lot obviously that is an issue we probably hope to have come the trade representative confirmed. combined decision. in conversation with the department of commerce and treasury. let's see how we go first. >> can you clear when president -- if assadcharset
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is a legitimate syrian president? there is a political reality that we have to accept in terms of where we are right now. we lost a lot of opportunities the last administration with respect to assad. her statement that you and ambassador yesterday and secretary of state tillerson -- ofts the reality that the syrian people. we had an opportunity and we need to focus on now defeating isis. united states has profound priorities in syria and iraq. particularlyism, the to defeat devices is foremost among those. that's why the global coalition is partnering with local forces against isis and iraq and syria. there's a bit of political with respect to where we are now versus the last administration in terms of their cash there is -- there is not
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the opposition or opportunities that existed last time. >> you are saying whether or not he is legitimate, is anything we can do about that? >> carries reality that has to be addressed with respect to the opportunity and options that we have now. they had in the last administration -- there is a reality that does not exist in the same way. john christopher. endgame for mr. assad? when the president speaks to his allies, nato, partners, obviously assad is not going to hide somewhere in the south of france. what is the disposition, conversation in terms of assad? he would like to have a port in the mediterranean. >> we believe there is a need to violence and have a
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political process in which syrians will decide their own future can stash consistent with un security council resolution 2254. reality on theof ground in terms of what the options are. so. yeah. >> during the campaign the president said he was with the lawe of north carolina's many people from using certain restaurants. the democratic governor yesterday signed a deal to replace that loan with a measure that people still say it's commendatory. does the president support this? >> i've not asked him. i'd stay consistent with what he said during the campaign which is, he believes in states rights. >> what it but just as the presence personal view on -- >> the president has made it clear, this came up when caitlyn jenner can't trump tower and he said, he did not really care. it is a state and local issue,
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not when he believes need federal -- federal attention. given his financial -- it is financial disclosure day, why will the white house not offer private decision -- not be releasing the president's 2016 tax returns giving the conceivably -- that it can be under audit yet while the audit has been the reason for why he was not released them? >> the president has been very clear about his tax returns and his position on that. ethics requires every federal toloyee at a certain level file these financial disclosure forms that anyone in america can go on to -- it will be the first that it is oneve the white house website. we are making the more accessible than in history. is apples and oranges. these are required by law. these lists for everyone who is not familiar with them, the
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financial disclosure forms we asset youal every own, debt to you have, your spouse's income, employment, holdings you have, credit card debt. it is a fairly comprehensive undertaking of every assets that a person owns, every debt they have. that is a clear understanding of the assets people have, the value of those assets, in terms of whether they are worth something of the liabilities they are incurring. that's a transparent way of being able to understand someone's -- to equate the two is rather -- >> i'm using that as a jumping off point for tax returns. if the audit is not the reason -- >> but you are also -- >> but there cannot be an audit. >> you are where taxes are not due until the 15th of april. i have not gotten into -- i'm worried about getting my own done.
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[laughter] >> we release them? >> no. [laughter] respectfully, you look at what we are doing, and again this will be discussed after this was -- this is done, but there is an element of going above and beyond what has been done in the past. i think one of the interesting things that people will see today, and it is something that should be celebrated, the president has brought a lot of people into this administration, this white house in particular, who've been very blessed and successful by this country and have given up a lot to come into government by setting aside a lot of access. it speaks volumes to this desire for a lot of these people to fulfill the presidents vision and move his agenda forward, that they are willing to list all of their assets, undergoes public scrutiny, but also set aside a lot. they have often told
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to sell an asset or get rid of something to serve in the government. there's a lot of people that have done it a lot, to come into this administration and give back that up and inspired by the president's victory and agenda to move the country forward. jim. saidneral fund's attorneys the client -- general flynn's attorney said he has a story to tell. is the concern that he has damaging information about the president about what occurred during the campaign with respect to russia? >> nope. >> the other thing, you are just saying that some of this information that would be helpful to the committee your -- you are talking about evelyn corpus -- that seems to be thething that pertains to transition. the president tweeps top -- tweets about tapping his phones just prior to the election. i want to get something clear about the timeframe. does the white house have any
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information to these intelligence committees that would trouble these members to the conclusion that there was some kind of surveillance going on, or the election as the president are initially alleged? >> again i don't want to get into this -- if we are splitting hairs and what they on the calendar was, that's an interesting development. i think we have now come to a allegation -- if the is, well it was actually on the first of december 10 of december october,e 31st of where splitting serious hairs here. the idea that -- again, it is interesting that now we are arguing over the date, not the substance. the substance is why were people ,sing government resources violating civil liberties potentially, looking into people's backgrounds to surveilled them, to understand what they were doing, to unmask them, provide their names into sources, spread classified
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information, make it available to others, spread to places they hold on. supposed to -- i get your question, but if what we are really arguing is did it happen on a monday or tuesday or did it happen on the 31st versus the seventh or eighth, we have lost focus. now the dates are changing. >> i did not say they were changing, i'm just saying it is fascinating to me that we are now arguing over the date not the substance. i understand your point. if we get down to that end, and you want -- want to get into what date -- i think it is getting lost in the debate, american citizens who were not government employees at the time, who were not targets, potentially were surveilled, had their information unmask, made it available, was politically spread.
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all of this -- it should be very concerning to people that an administration, people in an administration serving in government who are providing classified information, given clearance in the trust of the united states government misused, mishandled, potentially did some very very bad things with classified information. that astonishes me that that is not the subject of this. all of this is happening in our country, and yet the subject -- again we talked about what date it happened -- there is a concern that people misused, mishandled, misdirected classified information, leaked it, spread it, violated civil liberties, and the potential that that happened should concern every single american. >> to follow-up on that, we are concerned about it, but the details matter. i want to mature clearly, it
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seems that you are going further than what we've heard in previous meetings. it sounds like you are as the president is alleging that the obama administration conducted unlawful surveillance on the trump campaign manager position team. you have evidence of that? >> i don't. i know what is been provided. as i stood in the statement -- as a said in the statement, what has been and will be provided to members of both committees should further their investigation. of evelyn farkas, who has played a role in the obama administration going on the record to talk about how they politically used classified information is troubling. i believe the reports coming out -- by day, nbc just reported day by day more and more we are seeing that the substance of what we have been talking about continued to move -- continues to move in the direction that the president spoke about in
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terms of surveillance. that should be troubling. that should be something that everyone looks at and says, what is going on, why did it happen? that concerns. steve holland. >> puts move to china. the president yesterday said meeting next week with china will be difficult. he referred to massive trade deficits. what tone is he hoping to set for this? why will it be so difficult? >> there's big issues. indoesn't surprise anybody terms of, we have not -- national security issues in terms of our political posture towards north korea, the threat of a missile that extends further and further, the tests they are using, nuclear capabilities. this should all the concerning. on the trade front we have serious concerns with what they are doing, or trade practices with them, some of the things mentioned in the past.
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there's a lot of areas we need to be concerned about with trade. this isn't a set of and play patty cake situation. the president is making it very ear for decades frankly, the challenges we face. i think he wants to have a good respectful and healthy relationship, but he also wants to make sure he tackles the challenges and problems facing american workers, manufacturers. morris goodman from ww d bam and philly. shout out to how we fill stations. >> in philadelphia. is, president trump signed executive order that will fund -- takeaway funding from cities that are sanctuary cities. attorney general sessions recently suggested that cities
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can not only remove future funds but that the federal government requires them to pay back gramps -- grants. will there be -- when will this t moneyace, and will tha be reallocated to other departments, like the department of education or hbcu? the president finds it unacceptable that some localities and counties, potentially states have prioritized a political agenda over the safety of their people flatter -- becoming so-called, sanctuary cities. the failure to follow federal law can have tragic consequences for all of our citizens and all of our country. it is particularly concerning oedipus at chicago and philadelphia where there has violence.ased
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immigrants both legal and illegal are not safe from criminals who have committed egregious acts who are free to roam the streets. the attorney general has cited a for all cities and states to comply with federal laws. with respect to the budget, think we have an ongoing budget process and we will have to see how many states comply, and where if any potential savings are there that halley we reallocate them. and as ifent's budget i-17 continuously budget for funding -- beyond the continue your solution on april 28 in fy a resubmittedas will reflect key priorities in terms of homeland security and national defense. will see where we would reallocate that money. the priority is clear, to get cities into compliance to make sure that we understand it is not just a financial impact, but also a clear security aspects.
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glenn. follow-up on something you said before, that hillary clinton had personal contact with vladimir putin. this gesture was that was not appropriate. can you elaborate? >> thing the contact in and of itself is not appropriate. >> as a private citizen or? >> when you talk about connections to russia, the only one anyone has made with president trump is multiple years ago, he hosted a pageant he owns condos around the world, some of them are sold to russians. think he sold houston won several years back. that's his connection. when you talk about the other side, with the obama administration says, the secretary of state who was selling if this is our countries uranium, you have the clinton foundation concern with some of the two nations they got, you have her husband former president getting paid speeches, a personal call from vladimir putin, you have a stadium full of that --
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administration, secretary clinton, to have a reset to quote, strengthen russia. when you compare the two sides in terms of who is actually engaging with russia trying to strengthen and act with them, it is nice and day between our actions interactions. yet no one questioned what she was doing or how she was handling it. >> saw her behaviors are more suspicious than president trump? >> when you compare the two it's definitely -- when you talk about the things that went to their foundations, selling 1/5 of the country's uranium, the paid speeches, personal calls from vladimir putin, when you want to look at a connection to russia there is a clear when there and much less of one that ever existed on this side. hold on. >> shone in terms of the nuñez chronology, when we are asking are nots about -- we trying to ascertain the
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geography of the executive progress. , for good thes technical questions. mr. nuñez was on the campus to say we do not know who let them in the gat apparently it is -- and you describe that as a normal process. tell me if it is normal the way i am describing. thisuñez the head of committee is allowed to remove around the executive complex, we do not know who let him in, to speak to two deputy level members of the national security council. he is then allowed to see information. he then obtains an appointment with the president of the united states to the scorched that information. he then goes public with that information, then seven or so days later, you say it would be appropriate for everybody to come down here and click at it. is that a normal process? a, i would take the issue with a number of things in your chronology. number one what you are forgetting is initially, he is the one that said publicly
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before any of us came to light in terms of the presidents march tweet, that he was looking into this. accordinto john roberts, he said that neither of those individuals is describing -- is accurate. i would have used several pieces of that -- as far as him roaming around the white house. jumped to a ton of conclusions about -- again, i love watching some of these shows with egypt to conclusions. >> prejudging the investigation is clearing the white house, he said it -- you said it on the podium. >> i'm focusing on substance. where has any of the reporting been in your paper about --her revelation that this is what they sought to do? where has been the reporting in your paper that nbc news covered, others -- you seem to be really focused on who should up where, what are they went in and how it happened. to answer your question yes it is appropriate for a number of
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congress to contact someone who has contacted him according to some of these reports. i do not know the answer, but if you are asking is appropriate, as chairman nuñez has said, he was not hiding roaming. he was asked come -- to come over, he came over what happens daily. he was asked to go somewhere he went there. --hing that is inappropriate exactly the opposite. what he did inside who he met with was 100% proper. >> did the chief of staff who is an eeptionally attentive gatekeeper, did the chief of staff know he was on the campus did you prove it? >> you are playing cute there, you are doing two things. one you were talking but the oval office, the other is the campus. so no, the chief of staff does not know every single person on the 18 acres at any given time. people who are appropriately cleared or escorted on in some
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way shape or form, no. we do not trek everson the person on the acres. do we know generally speaking who was in the oval office? at all the time his people can go in. if there is a meeting in that case he made the announcement. you are leaving at a key part; he briefed the press before he out,anyone -- we all found you may everyone else, that he was coming down here after he held a press conference with your colleagues to say he was coming down here based on stuff he found that did not have to do with russia, been another source had given him. the other -- the sources you describe in your paper are not accurate. while i will not comment on either, there is an assumption that everything and the chronology that we went over his accurate which i do not believe from for the reporting that it is. i also believe some of the comments that have come out publicly in terms of the obama administration are conveniently left out of that discussion. that is interesting how no one seems to really cover the fact that a senior obama administration with high-level clearances talked about the
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spreading of classified information for political purposes and no one seems to care. >> just to be clear, mr. primus, mr. kushner, bannon does not have knowledge of his being on the campus? >> i don't know. again you of two questions and you melded them together. no one knew he was coming to speak to the president, he announced that on television during a press conference. understanding is that dr. harkins left administration in 2015? so why is what she said in 2017 relevant to something that allegedly happened in 2015? >> the question i was have to you exactly come -- is exactly, why is it? it is odd that the presumption of these two is, why is it interesting? have you asked her. ? >> know, but you're the one who -- >> she has been on television talking about what she has done -- >> i would assume that as a
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reporter interested in this story, a senior obama administration official that -- all obamaa administration officials generally are -- thank you i appreciate the timeline, i'm well aware of when it was. if you see me rushing to her camese, at some point she on, went on television and talked about actions that she enter college took disparate classified information. instead of defending her it might be worth asking her what she is talking about, who she spread it to come why she did it, was it appropriate, who cleared her to do it? peter voser questions, instead of asking me to defend what a former obama administration official revealed things that shld be concerning. question, are you more concerned about that or russian interference in the presidential election? >> as an american citizen i am
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concerned about the fact that people potentially were sharin informationbout other americans for political purposes, using classified information to do so, leaking it. that should be concerning to everybody. that's not what i said, please stuff tried to -- the answer is, if someone is interfering with our election tt is not good. someone leaking classified information is not good either. i don't think you should have to choose. you can have outrage and concern for both. i do not thinke should have to pick as an american which freedom we want to have underlined. we should accept both. the idea that we should have t choose whether or not we want -- interfere with our election or protect civil liberties is not one we should want or have questions. follow-ups.ic
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politically sensitive information, the others classified information when you are talking about with the president believes. because he said yesterday that seen theelf have not information and that's my understanding today, others terms interchangeable are different in terms of what you know from the podium was released? >> there's a classification level. certain sensitive information on individuals. classified is considered stuff the government protects. then there is top secret, without getting into it there is a lot higher. there are differences in classification levels. all you may not reveal it piece of classified information, pii information is sensitive according to the government's standards. they are different. >> you have been told that the material that thpresident is sharing with the committee
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includes classified information as well as lyrically sensitive information? that's your understanding? >> yes. >> he said congressman schiff is coming today? >> he has made contact and is trying to arrange a time. whoan y share with us will be responsible for escorting him to the proper place, showing him materials, walking through it? is he bringing staff? >> i don't know. i know they were reaching a time etc. -- i do notwill be know the nature of -- i know the request was made, one that there's follow-up with the staff level determine all those things. >> materials of the president has wanted to share with the house and senate committee, has authority been shared with the fbi, or do they haven't already/
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>> i don't know. nsc pulls materials from various agencies. when it all came from, is it single source, a combination -- i do not know the swer. i can ask. again, part of it is -- there is a question of whether or not we have the ability, the right to release it. as much or as -- as i appreciate where it came from, again, does it really matter? does it matter if it came from the cia or nsa or another agency? is the issue of alexis, whether or not as i said before, there is a concern about what that information is doing, who used improperly, what could've happened? it is where it came from. the executive branch, fbi, separate investigations. i am asking u, does the president believe he has a stricter, has
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described? investigation pertains specifically to promote the dictor said an open to estimate -- testimony, to russia. this is not what i believe that -- with therapist getting. alsothought the fbi brought the investigation beyond russ. >> i'm not aware of that. fbi.an call the i'm not going to call the fbi and ask them what their investigation is. i'm asking you a separate question. does the president believe it is important for the fbi to have the information that he finds to be so egregiously offensive that -- politically insensitive information was shared by the previous ministration? >> you think it is simple but the reality is it depends. where came from, who can share it -- you are acng as though it is a very simple process. it depends on the level of
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classification, who it came from , whether they have the authority to share it. there's a lot of things that go into it. it sounds easy, it is not. justw a lot of times that because it can get leaked out does not mean it is being handled appropriately. there is a desire to make sure this is done correctly and within the proper guidance of who has the authority to see the right things. all of the procedures are followed. that does not mean we get to willy-nelly send stuff to whoever. there is a re-concern information is handled the way it is. to protect the methods and processes with the -- for the intelligence community. >> this morning the republican chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee from utah took issue wh the president's feet -- tweet. he said his note believe the russian and took -- in is a witch hunt
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why does the president believe it is a witchhunt? he does not -- think it is proper for the et out or to twe comment on ongoing investigations. can you answer that as well? >> part of it comes down to who has access to what information? i do not know what he has seen or not seen. reason we havehe asked the house and senate intelligenceommunity -- committees to look into this is so we can get to the ttom of it in the appropriate proper manner. >> ongoing investigation is proper by the president commenting on it? ongoing investigation by the fbi, the senate intelligence committee which commentary referred to? >> the witchhunt. said to alexis, there's a difference between the
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investigations that have been discussed about russia that we have been clear about, and a discussion about something, as devon nuñez said publicly, the information he had with respect to surveillance during the 2016 election cycle had nothing to do with russia. what is an assumption that the president is talking about is very clear. pattern,an ongoing more and more revelations that something seen is potentially was very very bad happening. people were using classified information. witnotrespect to russia, but to surveillance people during that cycle. that's different. as far as i know, we have asked the house and senate intelligence committee to look into this -- there is no investigation. j fits -- issue with >> i will let them speak for its -- himself. i believe chairman nuñez and others who have looked into this information are in a better
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position to discuss the situation at hand and understand what is happening. i will go to edward marshall in chicago. it's actually derek. >>2 for 2. receives $12 million a year of law enforcement assistance from the federal government. president trump cut out our sanctuary city status even though it -- the funding has helped against street violence, something president has repeatedly said trouesome? >> it is interesting, you talk about street violence, but then you put -- cut off the funding for century cities. it would be interesting to send more money to a city that is allowing people to come into the country who are breaking the law , who in many cases are committing crimes, members of gangs. andcannot be a century city at the same time seemed to pretend or express concern about
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law enforcement are asked for more money, but a number of the fund is you are using in the first place going to law enforcement to handle the situation you have created for yourself. belief onent's century citi is one shared by upwards of 80% of the american people that we should be using american -- not be using american tax dollars to fund cities potentially states, that are seeking to allow people w are not legally in this country who potentially can do us harm to get funding. there is no question -- it's no a question of what he will do, he's been clear from the beginning. this is vastly supported by the vast majority of the american people. to suggest that they are not an extra complete linked as a failure to appreciate the scenario. them. me follow up as the president more concerned with deporting illegal immigrants than he is with shooter -- putting shooters and killers in jail? >> no.
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if a shooter killer is here illegally fan i think, again, -linkingully, you are de the issues. if you of people that are a part of the gang, or committing a crime, that funding that activitynd allowing that to fester is a problem. by not routing that out in the first place it is allowing the program to continue and not exactly showing or attempt to solve it in the first place. >> let me ask you about the executive orders that are about to be signed. the have nothing to do with china trip next week. is it purely coincidence that when the president to set to meet with his counterpart in china next week, or is it setting the table for what might come? they're both broad. countervailing duties is not something targeted at any specific country. i do not think that you could
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some kind of indication of any one country. we were given a $2.8 billion a reporters all across. the other one specifically talks about every form of trade abuse and nonreciprocal practice they are -- that is currently contributed to our deficit. there's a lot of countries contributing to that. a lot of times the trade agreements we made in some cases have not been looked at or revisedn a very long time. one of them would be suggested that any country would be investment -- misread a favor one. executive orders -- keystone, cpb, others. the second order coming today talks about a 90 day review. one that is still standing as nasa and what the president might do with that. does that move potentially sack 90 days -- do he want to see
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the 90 day review first before nasa? get robert my heizer's confirmed as the next u.s. trade representative to shepherd the trade agenda and help with priorities comes to peter and secretary russell read here yterday, secretary ross admonition and others have been -- we need someone at the front of the ship to guide. that review is part of that. us to frequently tell ts atthe presidents twee face value. when he says the microphone should get immunity as he's that congress? >> michael flynn and his legal counsel should do it is appropriate. >> they cannot obtain immunity it must be granted. the president recommending the fbi or to congress, for him to grant immunity? >> he did not say congress should grant -- >> what is he mean by that?
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>> michael flynn's attempts to go up to congress and be clear with what they ask and want. have just said testify, he said he should get immunity. i'm asking you, it's important. every lawyer who works on this finds it important to seek and tain it. there's only way -- one where you can seek it, by either being granted by the fbi or congress. for the president of the united states to even slight -- likely indicate he is in favor of that seems to be a significant development. i'm trying to figure out what the president is -- >> untried to answer the question, and i've not talked to the president about this -- the president is clear that he wants mike flynn to go and be completely open and transparent with the committee. what ever it takes to do that he is supportive of. >> even if he does not obtain a mcneilly -- immunity? >> he wants them to do what is necessary to go up there and talk to the committees to get this matter behind us.
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>> he was not trying to suggest to the fbi or justice department that a grant immunity to michael flynn? >> i'm not entirely sure the process of whether congress or doj or both does it. he's not extracting the justice permit -- >> he's instructing michael flynn to do everything he can. >> one more thing. you said cumbersome shift is coming over here. let me be clear, cumbersome and shift has communicated. >> i want to read to you this. communities ask the white house to direct the agencies that only intelligence documents in question to immediately provide them directly to the committee. >> we are looking into that. we would have hoped that they
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had come and see news documents. i know the counsel's office has been in contact with with them with respect to that. respectively, the counsel's office is working with them, i do not want to get in front of how they go back and forth and make a decision. she's asking the same thing. i'm trying to figure this out. >> i don't know -- obviously the goal would be -- again, the white house counsel's office sent that letter, they're the ones who those individuals have been in contact with. we like them to see that information which is what we think would help further their situation. is, it'stelling you not my decision. this is a discussion occurring 20 both of those committees and the white house counsel's office. is happening in real time. f piece of it is
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happening in real time, so i don't have an answer for us on that. the white house counsel's office isn't indication with the committee and congress and shifts office about arranging how that would go down. i don't know what further discussions they have had since we've been out here. the u.s. is giving out money to live -- there is 16 year. helping you -- i will have to ask peter. >> you have made allegations that civil liberties and classified information -- why would not the white house- handed over to the federal agencies tasked with investigating crimes? , first of all i do not know what we will a will not do going forward.
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what we do know is the house and senate intelligence agency committees of both the committees that will the president asked and a few weeks ago to look into this. who -- asked to look into it is appropriate. i'm not aware of the process. >> earlier you said we do not track every person on the 18 acres. >> no jury she asked whether or not the chief of staff knew everyone on the 18 acres, that's what he asked. that, doen it comes to you have any new information about how the chairman to get on the campus? records?o have the >> all of that will happen as soon as there is a discussion in the briefing that will talk about financial disclosure forms as me -- as this concludes. with that thank you this very much. we'll get on to the next briefing.
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>> debate on the nomination of judge neil gorsuch to the supreme court continues next week. the senate judiciary committee will vote on monday, april 3 traded senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has announced he points to hold a final confirmation vote on friday, april 7. watch live coverage of the senate on c-span2. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, today at eastern, the author of a history of hawaii talks about the last queen of the kingdom of hawaii. working on a new constitution secretly that would restore royal powers. from this procession we went back and announced a new constitution. at was the beginning of the overthrow. >>

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