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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  October 30, 2017 8:28pm-8:53pm EDT

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the article also notes george papadopoulos a former foreign policy advisor, was reveal to have had pleaded guilty earlier this month lying to f.b.i. investigators over his contacts last year with two people with apparently close ties to the russian government. one was an unnamed professor identified by "the washington post" as joseph bisout who offered, quote, dirt, on hillary clinton. another was a woman who portrayed herself as putin's niece. at monday's white house brief, press secretary sarah sanders spoke about the president's timeline for tax legislation and took questions on the federal indictment of paul manafort and two others. this is just over 20 minutes.
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sarah: i would like to start the briefing today by addressing a topic i know all of you are preparing to ask me about, and that is tax reform. [laughter] couple of you got it. it will be introduced by the house ways and means committee, this is the product of months of open process in the house.
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the committee plans to mark the bill next week starting on monday. the house is likely to consider the bill the week of november 13. in order to stay on pace, we want to see a house bill passed by thanksgiving. this is a very aggressive timeline, but families and businesses can plan for 2018. we look forward to the details of the tax bill being released on wednesday. i want to take a step back and explain what we want to do. this story has been floating around the internet for a while. it is important to keep in mind that the numbers are not exact and also i'm not encouraging any drinking, so file that away. that's mostly for my parents. but i think you'll enjoy it. say 10 people go out for drinks every day, for our purposes, say they're reporters. the bill for all 10 comes to $100. if these 10 reporters pay their tap every night the way we pay our taxes, it will go something like this. the first would pay nothing very the fifth would pay one dollar, the sixth would pay three dollars, the seventh would pay seven dollars, the eighth would pay $12, and the ninth would pay
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$18, and the richest would pay $59. that is what they decided to do. the 10 reporters drink in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until one day, the bar owner threw them a curve ball. since you're all such good customers, i'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. drinks for the 10 reporters will cost just $80. the group wanted to stay -- still pay their bill the way we pay our taxes pay the first forward unaffected. -- the first four were unaffected. what about the other six? how could they divide the windfall so everyone would get their fair share? these are the reporters and they are concerned with parents -- fairness. if they subtracted that from everybody share, than the fifth reporter and the sixth reporter would each end up being paid to drink beer. so the bar owner suggested it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage, the poorer they
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were. by doing that, they continued following the principle of the tax system they have been using. so the fifth reporter now paid nothing. he got a 100% savings. the sixth now paid two dollars instead of three dollars, a 30 3% savings pay the seventh now paid five dollars instead of seven dollars, a 28% savings. the eight now paid nine dollars instead of 12, a 20% savings. the ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 which was a 22% savings. the 10th now paid $49 instead of $59, a 16% savings. each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free. once outside the bar, the reporters compared to her savings. i only got a dollar said the six reporter. she pointed to the 10th reporter and said he got 10. yes, that's right, exclaimed the fifth, i only save $1 too. it's unfair he ceyed 10 times more.
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that's true shouted the seventh, why should he get $10 back when i only got $2, why do the wealthy get all the breaks. wait a minute, yelled the first four in unison, we didn't get anything at all. this new tax system exploits the poor. the non-reporters yelled at the -- the nine reporters yelled at the tenth and made him feel bad. the next tonight, the 10th man didn't return for drinks. the nine had their beers without him. when it came time to pay the bill, they discover they no longer had enough money between them all to even cover half of the bill. that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works. the people who pay the highest taxes will benefit the most. tax them too much and attack them they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is friendlier. this is a silly story but it illustrates an important point. our tax cuts and reforms will create a fair system that works better for everyone. it will make our country the friendliest in the world for american families trying to build a better life for their
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selves and their families and american company seeking a competitive edge. i will be happy to get that story to everyone so you can get the numbers later. i know that may be an oversimplification, but i think it paints a very good picture of the tax system. with that i will take your questions. >> i would like to get white house reaction to the indictment of paul manafort and gates. specifically, we have heard a couple tweets from the president. if you can help me understand, when he says why aren't crooked hillary and dems the focus, is the president saying that special counsel mueller should be investigating hillary clinton and the democrats, and is he going to roll out firing robert mueller? if you can help me understand, sarah: i'll address the last question first, the president said, i said last week, there's no intention to make any changes
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regarding special counsel. today's announcement has nothing to do with the president, it has nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity. the real collusion scandal has everything to do with the clinton campaign, fusion g.p.s. and russia. there's clear evidence of the clinton campaign colluding with russian government to smear trump. we've been saying there's no collusion and nothing in the indictment today changes that. >> specifically about the campaign? sarah: it has nothing to do with the campaign, it is his failure to tell the truth. >> but it is the clearest evidence of ties between the russian officials an the campaign. sarah: the trump campaign was not engaged in these activities paid they took well before the campaign ever even existed. >> can you explain what george papadopoulos'role was.
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sarah: it was extremely limited. it was a volunteer position. o activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign. >> what about the outreach acing the campaign officials trying to put together -- sarah: the outreach that was repeatedly denied? and we are not going to take any action on that? >> can you explain what happened with the outreach? sarah: he reached out and nothing happened beyond that. that shows his importance to the campaign and what little role he had in coordinating anything officially for the campaign. >> i wanted to ask about mr. mueller's investigation. the president has called it a hoax and a witchhunt. ast week, you indicated that you believe that mr. mueller is wrapping up his investigation.
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i have heard similar things coming from administration officials. do you still believe mr. mueller is in the process of wrapping up his investigation? sarah: we still expected to conclude soon. >> paul manafort was high ranking in the campaign at one time. i would like to know what the presidents rerelationship with them is now, do they still talk? when is the last time they had contact? sarah: they haven't spoken in several months. the last known conversation was back in february. as far as anything beyond that with paul i'm not sure. >> i -- was there a call? sarah: i know there was initial contact after the president was sworn in here at the white house but nothing directly with the president. >> thank you, sarah. on march 31, according to the affidavit by mr. papadopoulos, he attended a foreign policy
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meeting. the president was there. he said that he talked about how he -- the russians wanted to talk to the president. what did the president think when he said he wanted to arrange a meeting between trump and putin and how did other people in the campaign react to that? sarah: i'm not sure the president recalls specific details of the meeting. again, it was a brief meeting that took place quite some time ago. that's the one time that group ever meet. beyond that i don't know anything. >> as you mentioned, mr. manafort and mr. gates were named in this for things not having anything to do with the campaign but with alleged money laundering regarding other business. now under those circumstances, would the president consider or rule out pardoning either of them? sarah: i haven't had any conversations with him about that. i think we should let the process play through before we start looking at that.
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>> papadopoulos was referring to jeff sessions at the time who was overseeing trump's foreign policy advisory committee. what does this mean for jeff sessions? sarah: again, somebody on a volunteer committee i'm not shower how that would impact the attorney general directly. >> fwiven what we have learned over the last few hours, can you say when the president was first aware that russia was behind the hacking and was in possession of emails, what they considered to be damaging emails about the clinton campaign they were trying to get to the trump campaign? when was he first aware of that? sarah: i'm not sure of the specific date when that took place. i would have to look into that. >> does the president regret having hired paul manafort to be his campaign manager? and is he and the rest of the white house concerned that this issue will distract from tax reformed on other domestic policy and foreign policy?
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sarah: we're not worried about it distracting because it has nothing to do with us. it is action that took place outside of the campaign or campaign activity. >> as far as if he regrets hiring him? sarah: i didn't ask him that specifically. >> how can you describe mr. papadopoulos as having a limited role when there's a photograph of mr. papadopoulos sitting at a table with the president. sarah the president has thes of photographs with millions of people. >> and he the president sfoke about him. how is it not collusion when george papadopoulos who is in contact with various people who are promising dirt on hillary clinton, a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the president's own son. russians in pursuit of information damaging about the clintons, how is that not collusion? sarah: this individual was a member of a volunteer advisory
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council that met one time over the course of a year. and he was part of a list that was read out in "the washington post," i'd hardly call that some sort of regular advisor or as you want to, you know, push, that he's like a senior member of the staff. he was not paid by the campaign. he was a volunteer on a, again a council that met once. >> he was pursuing information from the russians. >> he was a volunteer. that's something you'd need to ask him. i'm not here to speak on behalf of the thousands of people who may have volunteered on the campaign. >> believe it or not, i have a question on this but also on tax reform. the president called on congress to investigate hillary clinton is he confident they'll do that? sarah: that's a question you have to ask congress. there are enough reports an information out there that seems to suggest it might not be a bad idea. >> has he spoken to
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congressional lead her sarah: i don't know if he has had a member of congress say anything. >> where does the president stand on the idea of phasing in the corporate tax cut society would reach 20% sometime around 2022? sarah: the president has made it clear it's his priority to make sure that's where we start with the tax plan currently he laid out what his principles are. as of right now that hasn't changed and we don't anticipate it will. >> when you say george papadopoulos had no official capacity what do you mean by that? sarah: i mean he was a volunteer on the campaign and a volunteer member of an advisory council that met one time. >> his activities were entirely of his invention, no one asked him to do these things? is that what you're telling the american public? sarah: he was a volunteer member of a council that met one time. >> now there are two episodes in which people associated with the campaign, george papadopoulos is
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a member of a foreign policy or military advisory committee, sought dirt on hillary clinton from people representing themselves as either linked to or associated with the russian government. is that a coincidence? sarah: the only interaction i'm aware of that deals with this individual was him reaching out and being repeatedly denied. that's all i can tell you he asked to do things. he was basically pushed back or not resmonded to in any way. so any actions that he took would have been on his own and you'd have to ask him about those. i can't answer. >> that same kind of meeting at trump tower. what explaining the campaign's later involvement with those associated with the russian government or said they were to get dirt on hillary clinton later in the campaign. sarah: we addressed that they took one meeting. nothing came of it. >> does that indicate a pattern of trying to obtain information? sarah: a patter -- a pat herb of trying to obtain information about your opponent?
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you have a meeting that took place versus millions of dollars being spent to create fake information. compare those two, apples and oranges. what the complinton campaign did, what the d.n.c. did was exchange money. they took a meeting. those are far different and one, is pretty common practice to take a meeting. the other is actually paying money for false information. that's a big difference. >> i have two questions for you, but first if i can follow up on your comment about the dossier,s than issue many senior level administration officials have pointed to during these questions about the special counsel. has the white house asked the department of justice to look into this? sarah: not that i'm aware of 78 >> have you spoke within the president? sarah: yes, i have. >> can you give us information about his reaction to the news, how did the president respond to the news about two people who did work for his campaign? was he disappointing that paul manafort received this news today? that he was being charged on
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these 12 counts? sarah: he responded the way the rest of us in the white house have, without a lot of reaction cause it -- because it doesn't have anything to do with us. >> we are now talking about two of the most senior member os they have campaign at a pivotal time through and incruding the r.n.c. last year who are under federal indictment. sarah: for something outside of the campaign. >> they allegedly did not conduct in the campaign. doesn't it speak to the president's judgment that he would have these people having allegedly committed these crimes in the years leading up to their role? sarah: you make it sound like they were regular offenders that have been in maximum -- in massive amounts of trouble. they were seasoned operatives, worked on a numb of campaigns, paul manafort was brought in to lead the dell galt process. >> the president has no regrets? sarah: i didn't ask him that. >> what leads you believe the
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mueller investigation will conclude soon? do you believe there could be more indictments? and on another subject, welfare reform, the president talked about this a couple of weeks ago, i've been trying to find out what is the focus, how do you plan to implement welfare reform? sarah: we haven't made any specific announcements when it comes to welfare reform. those are ongoing conversations and we're looking at ways to improve the system but nothing specific to roll out at this time. what was the first part? >> what leads you to believe that this will conclude the mueller investigation? have you been given a heads up? what? sarah: those are indications we have at this time. i can't go any further than that. >> indications from who or where? sarah: i can't go any further. >> you don't believe there'll be nor indictments at all? sarah: you'd have to ask robert mueller. >> you're saying it's going to conclude soon? sarah: we do believe it will be concluded soon. i don't have anything else to
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add on a specific time frame. >> in march, the president called george papadopoulos an excellent guy. does he still believe papadopoulos is an excellent guy? sarah: he was -- he was referring to the council, going through the list of name, complimentary of the people vol teering on behalf of the ampaign. >> a campaign supervisor told him i would encourage you to make the trip to russia. how does that the that not constitute the campaign encouraging him to make contact -- sarah: i'm not aware of that conversation, i can't speak to that. >> is there any concern at all from this administration, trying to drill down on what was asked earlier that two people who worked for the president are now under indictment. one has pleaded guilty he promised to hire only the best people. is this an example of the best
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people? sarah: this goes back to, these were activities that took place outside of the scope of the campaign. i can't comment on anything. >> but are these the best people to hire? sarah: the president hired paul manafort to hand they will delegate process which he did. he was dismissed not too long after that. > last week the administration opposed a judge's position to allow an undocumented immigrant to have an abortion. what's the white house are action to that decision to allow her to have an abortion. sarah: i can't speak on that at the moment. i didn't ask him. >> i'd like to ask about a different topic. for the briefing, the court banned the president from banning transgender people in the military. what's the plan moving forward? sarah: this is something just announced. the department of justice has it, i refer you to them for
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specific questions. >> congressman gowdy this weekend suggested there should be an investigation into the threesks grand jury investigation or robert mueller's investigation. do you think there should be an investigation or are all you asking for an investigation? sarah: we haven't asked her it. -- asked for it. i think any time there is leaking of sensitive information it should be looked into but beyond that we don't have any comment. >> does the president hold himself personally response frble hiring manafort? saffer ra: not that i'm aware of. >> on the point of hiring the best people, does this not at at least bring questions about president trump's vetting process and judgment when it comes to bringing on people? >> i don't believe so. i think i've answered that quite a few times today. >> the president, you said back in july the president believed the investigation for the special counsel stays within the con nivense russian election
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meddling. does the president believe bob mueller overstepped the bounds? sarah: i haven't spoken to him. >> and regarding the plea agreement with george papadopoulos. you indicated the president doesn't remember me meeting or photograph. sarah: i didn't say he didn't remember the meet, he didn't remember the comments. >> did he reremember anything? sarah: he remembers the meeting taking place but we didn't go beyond that. >> did he remember papadopoulos' presence? did they have interaction? sarah: not that i'm aware of. 33% approval, for the president, what's your reaction? is this peth aware of that? is there a plan to change anything? sarah: we're focused on pushing forward a very bold agenda, specific to tax reform, tax cuts. i think that the economy continuing to grow and strengthen is something that
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will change those numbers. but at the same time i think these are some of the same polls that said this president would never be president so i don't have a lot of confidence in them. >> could you clarify your answer that the stock market is moving downwards on the news that possibly the corporate rate could be phased in over several years. i wasn't sure if you were trying to make the point that the president would be for it phase in or against it? sarah: the president laid out his principles, it doesn't include the phasing in. we're still committed to that moving forward. i don't have any reason to believe we have changed that. >> so the 20% corporate -- sarah: i'm not drawing a red line. those are the principle we was laid out. we haven't changed that since this process started. thanks so much guys, have a good day.
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>> senate democratic leader chuck schumer and florida senator bill nelson spoke about the paul manafort indictment during remarks on the senate floor. this morning the former chairman of the trump campaign for president and a close associate turned themselves in to federal authorities on a dozen charges, including acting as unregistered agents of a foreign power and conspiracy against the united states. the indictments of mr. manafort and mr. gates show that the special counsel's probe is progressing in a very serious way. mueller is moving forward. what we know now is that an alleged unregistered foreign agent who was charged with launng

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