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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  December 31, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PST

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"this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> a wild 2017 comes to a close. >> a lot of good things are happening. >> president trump scoring a big political win. >> having an even bigger impact. >> shaking up the political landscape. >> if i didn't have social media i wouldn't be able to get the word out. >> and redefining our role in the world. >> with every decision and action, we're now putting america first. >> trump is touting his accomplishments. how much did he deliver? will breaking international agreements mean breaking bonds with our allies? former joint chiefs chair admiral mike mullen and the powerhouse "roundtable" look at those debates and more. plus, as we take stock of one year and look ahead to the
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next, we'll tackle the political fault lines here at home. >> believe me, one way or the other, we're going to get that s the globe. >> little rocket man. and the countdown begins. new york police department bracing for new year's eve. our inside look at the unprecedented security force in place. live from times square. from the white house to your house, the facts that matter this week. good morning on this new year's eve. an incredible roller coaster of a year. 2017. just hours from becoming history. the clock has already struck midnight in sydney, australia. as they ring in 2018. across the atlantic, the streets of london are preparing. for tonight's festivities. here in the u.s., more than 1 million people are expected to gather in a frigid times square for the annual ball drop. we'll have more on the security preparations for new york and
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much of the country later in the program. we begin by reflecting on the past year. and anticipating the the challenges ahead. there will be celebrations across the country. in this divided nation, what we celebrate will be decidedly different. many will cheer being one year closer to the end of president trump's term. others looking forward to another year of trump's unique no holds barred style. not much common ground among americans today. but it's fair to say, no one could have imagined what a wild year it's been. >> i'm president. can you believe it? right? >> reporter: the it's been a year like no other. >> it's a whole different attitude. a whole different way. ♪ >> reporter: things got off to a rough start. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. >> reporter: despite multiple white house staff shakeups. >> everyone on the president's team pictured here now gone
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except for the vice president. >> reporter: trump's influence on america is undeniable. his supreme court pick sitting on the bench. >> and i got it done in the first 100 days. that's even nice. >> reporter: the biggest tax overhaul in more than three decades signed into law. >> that's your bill. >> reporter: and major regulations reversed in a crusade trump has vowed to carry on. the president also waded into culture wars. >> get that son of a [ bleep ] off the field right now. out. he's fired. he's fired! >> reporter: often fanning the flames of division. >> i think there's blame on both sides. i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. >> reporter: he fell short on his major campaignro repeal and replace obamacare. >> we're not getting the job done. and i'm not going to blame myself, i'll be honest. >> reporter: an agenda often sidetracked by questions of
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russian influence and the shadow of the mueller investigation. >> how many times do i have to answer this question? >> can you just say yes or no on it. >> russia is a ruse. i have nothing to do with it. >> reporter: and he led the country to look inward. >> i'm not. and i don't want to be, the president of the world. i'm the president of the united states. and from now on, it's going to be america first. >> reporter: but the president will carry with him a number of global challenges in 2018. chief among them, north korea. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> reporter: trump's tough talk backed up last week by new u.n. sanctions. a move called an act of war by north korea. another test, china. will he continue to treat them as an ally to prevent war with north korea or an adversary on trade? on iran, trump must beside on whether to make good with his
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threat to end the nuclear deal. and a russian threat looms. reports out this week show russia will continue to target the 2018 and 2020 u.s. elections with online information warfare. while trump can claim some success in the fight against the islamic state -- >> we have dealt isis one devastating defeat after another. >> reporter: what's left of the insurgent force is pushing into parts of syria and outside the middle east. and of course isis continues to inspire those lone wolfs here at home and around the globe. how will trump handle those challenges both domestic and abroad in the new year? joining me now, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under presidents george w. bush and barack obama, admiral mike mullen. good morning, admiral mullen. let me ask you how you would
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characterize the trump presidency this year. >> it's been incredibly disruptive. certainly, unpredictable in many, many ways. what you talked about globally, martha, certainly from those who have been our friends for many years, ask questions about our commitments to them, the region. the leadership we have exhibited over the last seven years and the institutions we care about. and our enemies. those that would do us ill seem to be able to take advantage of the uncertainty as well. you mentioned russia and china. my expectations that will continue to be the case for them as well as iran and north korea. >> let me tell you what the white house says. h.r. mcmaster, the national security adviser, who you know well, says he has been moved out of his comfort zone, as well as others in the white house. yet his advisers, according to "the new york times" argue he's blown the cobwebs off decades of foreign policy doctrine. and as he approaches his first
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anniversary he's learned the realities of the world in which the united states must operate. do you see that happening at all? >> well, certainly, i would say he's -- he's been incredibly disruptive with respect to the institutions. the commitments. the leadership. where we have been for the last 70 years. i think a big question for us as the american people is whether we continue to support the institutions and all they represent in a world that is chaotic, as you pointed out in your opening. that becomes a fundamental question. clearly, the president has chosen to try to disrupt and break those up as much as possible. create a great uncertainty. and in my view, an incredibly dangerous climate exists out there. in that uncertainty. with how this all ends up in --
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and one in particular that is -- top of the list is north korea. we're actually closer in my view to a nuclear war with north korea and in that region than we have ever been. i don't see how -- i don't see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point. >> i want to drill down on north korea in just a few minutes. i want to go back to a month ago when you were on the show. you said you had concerns with so many generals in the white house and elsewhere in the administration. but that they were seen as providing stability, calmness and reasoned views for the future. given what you have just said, as well, do you think president trump is stable? >> yeah, i don't question the stability. i think it's the view. i think i have watched -- secretary mattis and general mcmaster and general kelly on the national security issues over time i think get the
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president to appoint where he makes a decision that may be counter to his instincts. my concern is how long that actually lasts. and in particular, that the peninsula in north korea and will he follow through on his rhetoric? or will we actually be able to get to a situation where it could be solved peacefully? and i'm more inclined to see over time that the rhetoric seems to be where the president is. that will limit the constraining ability that both jim mattis and h.r. mcmaster and john kelly have. >> let me talk about iran. because that's in the news this morning. there are protesters out on the street. president trump is tweeting this morning about the protests in iran. big protests in iran. the people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. looks like they will not take it
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any longer. the usa is watching very closely for human rights violations. is that the right response from president trump? as far as you're concerned? >> well, i think the focus, there, is incredibly important. many of us have spoken for years about the oppression that occurs in the middle east. by many, many governments. certainly, we have great disagreements with iran. who still supports terrorism. they're struggling with the growth in their economy they were promised once the sanctions were lifted. so i think that is the real struggle. what is not clear is how much of a backlash this will create from those who really run that government. the supreme leader as well as the irgc. and how hard they'll come down on their people. we certainly should be on guard for human rights violations.
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and i think we should be supportive of more freedoms in that country. >> that didn't work in 2009. might it work this time? what would be different? >> i think that the 2009 time frame is very instructive. i think we chose to not be -- as -- supportive as we could have been then. and i hope we can be right now. so that iran can continue to evolve. they have an incredibly young population. they look to a future that they cannot see. they've been promised change. and a healthier economy. by the current government. and i think the protests represent the inability to deliver that so far. i think support of them and their people is absolutely the right thing to do. >> if the nuclear deal is scrapped, president trump faces another deadline this month. or next month, rather.
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>> well, i mean, i worry greatly about the fact that the iranians will bring forth a nuclear weapon capability in that part of the country. they were very close when the deal was struck. deal was struck. they can redevelop it. i think, very rapidly. and, if that -- if we get nuclear weapons proliferated in that region, not unlike the pacific region. if north korea is able to sustain its capability. the proliferation of those incredibly deadly weapons will not just endanger the region but the globe. >> i want to turn to north korea. i have been on some of the carriers over there. the show of force. that never seems to work with them. what is the point of the show of force? >> well, i think -- i think it is important to continue to remind the north that we're there. that we will support our allies
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in the region. south korea and japan. and that show of force demonstrates a -- a backdrop if you will of commitment to the region. and it's a very strong way to message the leadership in pyongyang. how much he'll respond, i'm not sure. at this particular point. but i wouldn't want to give him any room by not presenting that, martha. i think it's important to ensure that he knows we're out there and very committed to the stability in that region. and in fact committed to getting to a point where he -- where we denuclearize that peninsula. the key to that, and you mentioned it early -- the key is will china? will china actually really force the resolution of the issue on that peninsula? >> what i was going to ask you about. president trump tweeting about
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china. very disappointed that china is allowing oil to go into north korea. there will never be a friendly solution to the north korea problem if this continues to happen. does this tell you that china is not helping as much as they should? >> i think president trump has made china move more than they have in the past. whether they'll continue to do that to help resolve this is the open question. and i think a real measure of how this all comes out is whether china will commit to a peaceful resolution here. if they don't, i worry a great deal that it's much more likely there will be conflict than a peaceful resolution. >> okay. on that, we have to say good-bye and happy new year. thank you for joining us. >> thanks, martha. coming up, president trump managed to end the year delivering on a big campaign promise with his tax plan. now he's setting his sights on another major promise. building a wall on the u.s.-mexico border. when we come back, we're on the ground and in the air with texas
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governor greg abbott. over the border. we'll separate fact from fiction on this major 2018 priority next. and carmax will hold it for you up to seven days, for free. you come in when it's convenient i know this because i'm from seven days in the future. now don't be frightened, seven days in the future is a glorious place. after all you had two good hair days in a row... perfect. right out of bed. and this car you reserved on carmax.com is still being held for you, for free. pretty sweet. or as we like to say from seven days in the future... ah...we still say pretty sweet. it's basically the same. yep, and my teeth are yellow. i mean i knew they weren't perfect, but, ugh. oh well, all hope is lost! oh thanks! clearly my whitening toothpaste is not cutting it.
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dulcolax. designed for dependable relief. time and again in 2017, president trump changed the conversation with his twitter feed. a new analysis shows how much the president dominated the social media universe. president trump who is by far the most talked about political figure on twitter this year. with over 900 million mentions. more than five times former president obama. and the most discussed news stories of 2017 nearly all revolved around the president as well. the top news story on twitter? the russian investigation. followed by the health care debate. immigration. those devastating hurricanes. and james comey. the powerhouse "roundtable" will dive into the topics they think will dominate the 2018 conversation later in the program. but up next, our closer look at the president's border wall promise.
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♪ when congress heads back to washington after the new year, they're going to have to take up the thorny issue of immigration reform. president trump is drawing a line in the sand. tweeting this friday, the democrats have been told and fully understand that there can be no daca without the desperately needed wall at the southern border. translation, there will be no help for young people who were brought here illegally as children, the so called dreamers unless congress pays for the wall. in september, president trump said he would end the daca program that protected dreamers and gave congress to march 2018 to come up with a fix. his tweet this week highlights a big political battle coming in the new year. it underscores the president's
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failure so far to live up to that campaign promise to build a wall and make mexico pay for it. >> i would build a great wall. and nobody builds walls better than me, plooefr me. >> reporter: it's been a signature promise and a campaign hallmark. >> we are going to build the wall. >> reporter: back in 2016, he had this crowd in texas fired up. texas owns the longest stretch of the southwest border. it's where many make the crossing from mexico to the u.s. that's mexico right there? >> yes. >> reporter: so i traveled there earlier this year to get a first-hand look with texas governor greg abbott. getting a bird's eye view of the rio grande. >> look right here. you see how it snakes around here and keeps on going around. so it's one big constant "s"
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shape. >> reporter: the u.s. southern border stretches 1827 miles. broken up by rivers. deserts. mountains. canyons. looking out of the helicopter at the dizzying terrain, we could see some of the barriers already in place. >> you see the wall. there's a gate part of it straight down over here. >> reporter: but the wall trump is proposing could look very different. early on he seemed to waffle on what form it might take. >> the fence will be -- there could be some fencing. >> reporter: and more recently. >> you need to have a great wall but it has to be see-through. we're looking at different samples already of see-through walls. and i think also, to be honest with you, a see-through wall would look better. >> reporter: what does a see-through wall look like? maybe like this. >> it allows for the officer to have visibility as to what may be posed or situated on the southern -- on the mexican side of the border.
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>> reporter: customs and border protection is testing prototypes. looking at how easy it is to scale, breach, or tunnel under. >> there's a daily threat on the southwest border. illegal migration. narcotics. the potential importation of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction. there is a threat that exists here every day. >> reporter: in 2017, border apprehensions were at the lowest point in more than 40 years. the administration thinks tougher deportation may deter people. >> this president, like him or love him, is doing the right thing. a 45-year low on border crossings. that's not a coincidence. that is based on the president and letting the men and women of i.c.e. and border pra patrol do their jobs. >> reporter: back in january, days into his administration, trump signed executive orders for more i.c.e. officers and border patrol agents.
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overall this year, fewer border patrol agents on the job. and hiring for trump's executive orders won't fully kick in until at least next year. trump seems to be ramping up his border wall push. >> we're calling on congress to fund the border wall, which we're getting very close to. >> reporter: how close are we really? trump needs to get congress on board. likely a tough sell with democrats. >> i made it so, so clear to the president there is not going to be a wall in appropriations process or in others. at one point he said, go easy on the wall. i said no. >> so, can president trump and congress find a way to make the deal? will the wall be trump's signature move in 2018 or another campaign promise shot down by congress? let's bring in our powerhouse "roundtable." abc news political analyst matthew dowd. "usa today" washington bureau chief susan page.
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fivethirtyeight senior political writer perry bacon jr. and "the washington post" pulitzer-winning writer, mary jordan. matt, is it going to be a happy new year for the president? the border wall was one of his biggest campaign promises. as we heard. can he get bipartisan support? you heard chuck schumer talking tough. >> i'm going to go with what the admiral said. he's been very disruptive and unpredictable. that is likely to be the case in 2018. i have a hard time predicting. in an unpredictable world. here's a couple of problems that he has. first, as you noted, the democrats. there's no incentive for them to make a deal. they're in a midterm election deal. the base can't stand donald trump. they want to fight him at every point in the way. the other problem is the republicans. >> but then there's no deal on the dreamers. >> i don't think so if it means give up the walls. the republicans have busted the budget with the tax bill. the ability to find the extra funds to do that. and they would have to compromise on daca. very much against what their base wants.
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i think it's hard to cut the deal. >> susan, do you agree with matt, or the admiral, let's say. >> you know, definitely president trump faces a lot of pressure to deliver on the the wall. he's been talking about it for 2-1/2 years. democrats face pressure to do something about the dreamers. president obama, in his first election, promised to do something on immigration reform. he was never able to deliver. on that legislatively. a lot of hispanic leaders were upset when this year ended without any long-term action to protect the dreamers. the one way in which you might find a deal is if those two imperatives come together. >> mary, you have been doing wonderful pieces talking to trump voters. trump supporters. do you think they expect the wall to be built? or really care about the wall? >> i think it's very interesting that many of the people that voted for donald trump. i was at the rallies. they would be energized when he would say build that beautiful wall. you talked to them and they
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said, it's not a real wall. it's not a physical wall. it's a figurative wall. he's already delivered for them. i was recently back down to texas. they were saying, look, he's accelerating deportations. he stopped refugees. we actually sort of have a wall around the united states. people don't want to come here. so he's kind of already delivered. he doesn't have to deliver a very impractical, very expensive physical wall. >> let's go around the table. i think i know your answer. will he have a wall at the end of his term? >> not as he defines it. if he defines it as a fence, yes. >> if a wall is a wall, no. >> what matthew said. something that is wall-like. not the wall he campaigned on. something more fencing and border security. >> he'll build something. there is no way you're going to build something through that. >> that is really, really -- >> he'll claim victory. >> they'll move on. speaking of victory.
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we got the tax reform. we got the tax cuts. you look ahead, perry, to 2018, their legislative agenda is incredible. immigration and daca. government funding. obamacare fix. children's health insurance. disaster relief. how much harder will it be to get an agreement on any of those? we talked about daca. given what he did with tax reform? >> these are all really hard. the republicans on the hill really wanted to get taxes done. look at the ideas. the idea of an obamacare fix. how many house republicans came to congress to fix obamacare in in way possible? the issues that are hard for the party. hard to get done in an election year. >> susan, in addition to all that, abc news has learned they're going to have a big infrastructure package. president trump said that is the easiest thing of all. will it be easy? >> no. it won't.
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no agreement about how to fund it across party lines. we have much more "roundtable" coming up. breaking down the biggest moments of 2017. and looking ahead to the new year. we'll be right back. that cough doesn't sound so good. well i think you sound great. move over. easy booger man. take mucinex dm. it'll take care of your cough. fine! i'll text you in 4 hours when your cough returns. one pill lasts 12 hours, so... looks like i'm good all night. ah! david, please, listen. still not coughing. not fair you guys! waffles are my favorite! ah! why take 4-hour cough medicine? just one mucinex lasts 12 hours. start the relief. ditch the misery. let's end this. take guinea pigs. they're not pigs at all, nor are they from guinea.
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spicer, reince priebus. tom price, and omarosa. steve bannon. the brookings institution said as least one-third of the president's senior staff has resigned, been fired, or were reassigned since inauguration day. abc news has learned another west wing staff restructuring is planned for the coming weeks. the powerhouse "roundtable" takes on the year that was and looks ahead to 2018 when we come back. to on the year that was when we come back. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered...
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easy booger man. take mucinex dm. it'll take care of your cough. fine! i'll text you in 4 hours when your cough returns. one pill lasts 12 hours, so... looks like i'm good all night. ah! david, please, listen. still not coughing. not fair you guys! waffles are my favorite! ah! why take 4-hour cough medicine? just one mucinex lasts 12 hours. start the relief. ditch the misery. let's end this. we're back now with "the roundtable." we're going to get reflective. going to look back. look forward. i want to go around the table. and ask you, as you look back on the last year, matthew, what was the most pivotal moment in the trump presidency, if your mind? >> we reflect on a lot. i thought charlottesville was important. all of the moments along the way. i have to say that i think the most -- the moment that defined the year was the inauguration of
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the president. after a crazy 2016 presidential race, many people thought that the presidency would be different. it could change donald trump. he would be a different kind of person. we learned on that day and in that speech, he wasn't going to be. from that point on, everything has flown from that and how he's acted in the oval office and the world as the world reflects him. 2017 is defined by january 20th. >> january 20th, a pivotal day. january 21st, a pivotal day, as well. january 21st, 500,000 people showed up for the women's march on washington. that's signalled a new kind of political activism and engagement on the part of women. we have seen in the special elections. women as candidates. emily's list says in the previous two years, 900 women contacted them expressing interest in running for office. since donald trump was elected, 25,000 women have contacted
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emily's list and expressed interest in running for political office. they won't all run. a fair number will. and that's going to change things. >> perry? >> the comey firing. one, that trump would violate norms that others would not. he made it look like it has something to hide. it defined the year. >> i would say the 48 hours in january that the inauguration address, where he signaled to the world, america first. and, the whole world, it was a reverberation. talking about buy american. hire american. people said, wow, it will be a different presidency. he defeated the woman supposed to be the first woman president. and the next morning you had the amazing women's march. there you had a whole year of women running for office. who knew that that 48 hours in washington would set the agenda? both for the trump presidency and women's rising voice and
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sexual harassment in the workplace. >> i was going to say, the me, too. >> the me, too. >> the me too also reverberated around the country. when we look, it was such an incredible year of trying to cover the news. just every day was snapping to someone else. what do you think was undercovered this year? >> to me, i found -- broadly categorize it. the moral authority of the united states. and specifically defined in the religious right, which i think has lost much of the moral authority. our moral authority in the world. and even our ability with the protests in the last 24, 48 hours in iran. >> what admiral mullen was trying to say. >> we're right. our ability to engage in the conversation with how we have acted as a country and as the president has acted. we don't talk about what goes on in saudi arabia. russia. turkey. all the places of human rights violations. and the way we act in the united states.
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and i think that moral authority is tied to the president's actions. enabled by religious right that has always felt it has a moral authority. has the no longer a moral authority in the united states. >> and really torn right now. susan? >> president trump has been so transfixing. he's demanded so much attention and so much of our resources. i worry we're not covering what is happening in all the federal agencies. especially in terms of regulations repealed and new rules set that will have huge consequences in education and the environment. and agriculture. >> and who is staffing them? >> i think journalism has had trouble staffing the things we covered routinely because the white house commands so much attention. >> the decline of isis is a big story. three years ago isis was on the front pages. we had the killings on tv a lot. now you, have they have lost a lot of their territory. the idea of a caliphate is not
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what it was. i'm not saying isis is evaporated or done. certainly, a victory for obama and trump that they had a strategy that worked to shrink isis' territory in syria and iraq. >> and in afghanistan, they have moved on to areas outside of the middle east. t you have the yemen crisis. i would say, that, to me is one of the most undercovered stories. the catastrophic humanitarian conditions. mary? >> i think the shrinking middle class. the rich are getting uber rich. and the income divide in this country that used to be the characteristic of developing countries is coming fast to america. and you talk to people all around the country. the same feeling that my parents had when they came from ireland in the late 1950s, that there was economic and social mobility is not there in the way it was in the '50s. this is huge consequences for the hollowing out of the middle class. >> i want to add to something mary said. which i totally agree with. what happened to the middle class from the growth of world war ii to the 1970s.
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from then on, the middle class has been diminished is that there is no longer -- the way the public views the economy is no longer the factors we all talk about. the growth of the gdp. the unemployment rate. the inflation rate. no perception of those or the factors they use. this year, we have had this tremendous stock market rise. a better gdp than people expected. unemployment at the lowest level in years. the president is viewed lower than any other president viewed after a first year. and two-thirds of the country think we're on the wrong track. we need a new way and metrics of how to cover the economy. it's no longer the way the public views it. >> susan, i want to expand to the first amendment. i don't like to talk about the media and it's all about us. but there was an take on the media. the first amendment.
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that we have not seen before in this country. the profound effect that can have. this is a president, as you know well, likes attention from the media. but on the other hand, he calls us fake news. what is the lasting effect? >> i'm very concerned as a citizen that a lot of americans no longer trust the main stream news media to be telling them the truth. we can disagree on policies. we need to agree on what we think is happening. something to watch in 2018 are justice department investigations into leaks. whether that goes further than rhetoric in terms of having a chilling effect on journalism's ability to hold accountable people in power. >> you is -- you have spent a lot of time traveling like i have. the rest of the world viewing fake news? i think the global effect of the president of the united
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states calling it fake news when there are stories he doesn't like is dangerous. there are 262 journalists in jail around the world. by despots and authoritarian figures. the crime for some, fake news. so, when -- in egypt, china, myanmar. other countries, leaders don't like stories about corruption and killings, they jail them. we used to be the moral authority. the first amendment. democracy rests on a free press. he's just made it easy now to damp down one of the pillars of democracy. >> the people you talk to, they don't trust us, correct? >> i would sarks i want to stay with you. listen to you. tell your point of view. they would say, "the washington post "? the president says run. don't talk to you. is that really what we want to do when everybody is silo'd. that we're all supposed to be
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trying to learn what is on the minds of other people. >> he's attacked the fbi. the doj. attacked lots of other institutions. our country is not just run by two parties. they're run by institutions. abc news. "the new york times." those things do matter over time. also, you have seen foreign leaders now, when they don't like a story in their own papers, they say, it's fake news. >> and they cite donald trump. >> he's setting a new norm. i covered the governor of kentucky. he's been saying that every story is fake news that he doesn't like, too. trump is changing the way people view his teachings in very worrisome ways. >> it may be obvious. why is he doing this? >> he's doing it because he doesn't want the truth is his enemy in all of this. why he confronts it as fake news. i think the recovery from this donald trump hangover, that he's instigated, makes our democracy in serious peril. democracies depend on the common good. and the common good depends on
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the ability to all share a common set of facts. we can agree on a dispute if we all agree on a common set of facts. from this day forward, from the inauguration forward, the ability to get together and settle on a common set of facts to get to the common good is in serious jeopardy. that's what i worry about in the hangover and aftermath of this. >> this leads to the russia investigation. fake news. he said no collusion. all fake. you saw the story in "the new york times" over night with papadopoulos meeting in a london bar. just your take on that story and -- what that means. it's clearly how this all got started. >> if "the new york times" article is correct, it's consequential. it means the investigation was sparked not by a dossier created with democratic and other funding. it was created by the boasting of someone on team trump. to australian diplomats who reported it back to the united states. so that's hugely consequential. we don't know if there was
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collusion or obstruction. a year from today, we'll know. we'll have much more information about what actually happened to our democracy in 2016. that will be the big story. the defining story of the year to come. >> and perry, i want to talk a little bit about the midterms. what do you see happening? what is the effect on the midterms? the tax cuts? >> his approval ratings are so low right now. that's a good predictor for who wins the midterms. it looks like the democrats have great chance of winning the house. we may see a wave like we saw in 2014 and 2010 and 2006, based on just how unpopular trump is. it's hard to see him getting more popular. because his official rule is not based on policy. it's based on they don't like him and doesn't lead the country. they can pass more bills. the tax bill passed. his numbers have not moved. that should worry republicans. >> and the tax bill was the least popular tax bill ever
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pasdsed by a congress. pushed by an unpopular president, passed through an unpopular congress. enabled by unpopular leaders. it's not going to be an asset next year. >> and who knew tax cuts would be unpopular? >> what do republicans have to do to beat back the democrats? >> they won't follow this advice. but i'll say it. they have to take on the president in a more concerted, strong way. they have to define themselves differently. on certain republican principles they have walked away from. they won't do it. because they've enabled this president all year long. if they want to save themselves in any way in these elections, they have to take the president on. >> we have one minute. if any of you had any influence over donald trump, what would you tell him his new year's resolution should be? mary? >> keep your eye on the big stuff. too many big issue wes face for this reckless distraction. that we've been seeing.
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>> stop insulting people on twitter. he won't do that. but, stop insulting people on twitter would be a good place. >> so you just say it any way. >> i think think long term. not short term. >> matt, you get to wax poetic. >> i would say the same advice i gave my 5-year-old on every new year's eve. grow up. start respecting other people. act in a dignified manner. >> okay, now let's just say, how many of you think he would follow any advice next year? >> zero chance. >> zero chance. >> history says he follows his own advice. >> he's a 71-year-old man. >> next year, he'll be 72. >> with his name on buildings all over the place. >> with his name on buildings all over the place. will next year be different, mary? do you think? >> he is a competitor. there is an election. he's shown to be a good campaigner. think he pulls out more trick next year. >> no candidate who is a republican in a close race should have him come to campaign. he's unpopular. >> thank you all. happy new year. a reminder. you can get the latest on politics and president trump by downloading the abc news app and signing up for breaking news alerts.
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we'll be right back with a live report from times square on the security preparations as we ring in the new year.
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catch "this week" online all week. at abcnews.com. on facebook. and twitter. ♪ that's the scene in times square this morning. over 1 million revelers are expected to brave sub freezing temperatures to celebrate the new year tonight. after two terror attacks in new york city in recent months, officials are taking no chances. ramping up security preparations for the evening's festivities. abc news' marcus moore is live in times square with the details. good morning, marcus. >> reporter: martha, good morning to you. this is what times square looks like this morning. very little foot traffic.
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the security perimeter here continues to expand. the barricades are set up. as far as the eye can see. there are barricades. as officials try to secure times square ahead of tonight's event here for new year's eve. this is really an unprecedented security effort. one that includes thousands of police officers in the subways, on the streets of new york, and also in the air. and for the very first time, martha, the police will be screening guests at the various hotels and restaurants all as they work to secure the area ahead of the event tonight. they'll block off 22 city blocks. they have never had a perimeter that large. for new year's eve here. certainly, massive effort under way. more than 1 million people are expected to pack times square tonight. martha? >> thank you, marcus. for more, let's bring in former fbi agent and abc news contributor brad garrett. and former new york city police commissioner and abc news contributor ray kelly.
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commissioner kelly, i want to start with you. we have seen those two terrorist incidents in new york. there were no credible threats at the time. law enforcement says no credible threats right now. but there will be that greater security presence. what should people celebrating in times square and other public places expect tonight? >> as marcus just said this is unprecedented. the police department has done more preparation, more planning for this event than any that i can remember perhaps since the republican national convention some 14 years ago. you're going to see a lot of uniformed police officers. as has been said. the countersniper teams have been increased. they have response teams in each of the hotels along the corridor. you know there are many, many hotels. they have the ability to control elevators. to make certain resources get into the hotel as quickly as possible. you see the department has its hands full. i think they're very capable of handling it.
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let me ask you, brad, on a larger scale, nationwide. brad, after this last year, and las vegas, what lessons have we learned? >> that you have to target-harden every location. for example, las vegas. our placing snipers on the roofs of hotels and other locations. you have to drive away anybody that could potentially hurt someone. you're dealing with lone actors. people not connected to organizations. they decided today, i'm going to go hurt somebody. you have to make it just too difficult for them to do that. >> commissioner, what advice would you give to people celebrating this evening? >> listen to the direction of police officers. something untoward does happen, those officers have been trained to focus on life safety. each officer assigned to those pens will have megaphones. they're able to clip the wires of those pens, so people can get
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out quickly. listen to those directions. thetraining has been going on all week. they're well-positioned to handle an emergency. >> a final word. what advice would you give to people heading into 2018. we don't want to unduly scare people. >> of course not. people should live their lives. go to new year's. go to football games. just be vigilant. >> thank you both. happy new year to you both. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. before we go, a big thank you to everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to bring you "this week" every week. we leave you now with a performance from the kennedy center's millennium stage from the u.s. army blues. have a healthy and happy new year. ♪
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the preparations under way right now to bring in 2018 in san francisco. the new year will bring new laws. one of them may affect your paycheck. happy new year, almost, anyway, from our camera. no delays at sfo if you're headed out of town. we're looking at a hazy day today. spare the air
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