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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  January 15, 2017 10:30am-11:30am EST

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>> announcer: starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. >> i won. i mean, i became president. >> just five days until the inauguration and the transition of power. the president-elect not pulling punches. >> does anybody in this room really believe that? give me a break. >> feuding with a civil rights icon. >> i don't plan to attend the inauguration. >> clashing with the intelligence community. >> i think it was disgraceful. disgraceful. >> and sparring with the media. >> i'm not going to give you a question. i'm not going to give you a question. plus, as his cabinet picks get grilled on the hill. >> none of this is classified, mr. tillerson. >> trump out with his floon avoid potential conflicts of interest. >> don and eric are going to be running the company. >> does it go far enough? questions ahead for trump's incoming chief of staff, reince priebus.
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house oversight committee chair representative jason chaffetz. and what's the opposition's next move? we're one on one with senator bernie sanders. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning, just five days now before donald trump becomes president of the united states. after the most intense week yet of this transition. it began with an early monday morning tweet taking on meryl streep. by saturday morning, the target was civil rights legend john lewis. in between, the president-elect sparred with the press, said intelligence officials were acting like nazis. called hillary clinton guilty as hell. counterpunching just like in the campaign. on capitol hill, trump's cabinet nominees more conciliatory. soothing senators and smoothing their way to confirmation. by breaking with their boss on issue after issue. trump took it in stride. >> we want them to be themselves. i told them, be yourselves. say what you want to say. don't worry about me. >> what may worry trump, the
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latest gallup poll. it shows just 44% of americans approve of how he's handling the transition. almost 40 points below president obama where he was on his first inauguration. even george w. bush after the bitterly contested 2000 election was at 61%. congressman lewis gave voice to the hard feelings of many democrats. >> it's going to be very difficult. i don't see the president-elect as a legitimate president. i don't plan to attend the inauguration. >> drawing the saturday attack from trump. here's what he said, congressman john lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district. which is in horrible shape and falling apart. not to mention crime-infested. rather than falsely complaining about the election results. all talk, talk, talk. no actions or results. sad. with that, let me bring in senator bernie sanders. our first guest this morning. senator sanders, thank you for joining me this morning. you know, congressman lewis is
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now been join bid senator cory booker. who has also said anyone who attacks representative john lewis loses legitimacy in my eyes. especially someone who made a craven effort to delegitimize barack obama. are john lewis and cory booker right to say that donald trump won't be a legitimate president? >> cory booker and john lewis are right about talking about the racist past of donald trump. we all remember that trump was one of the leaders of the so-called "birther movement." trying to delegitimize the presidency of our first african-american president, barack obama, which is an outrage. so i think right now, the focus has got to be on how we hold trump accountable. what he's been doing the last week. attacking hollywood actresses for criticizing him. w, what my and the job of democrats and republicans is to protect the middle class and working families of this country for some devastating ideas that
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trump has proposed. you'll remember, george. >> do you think donald trump will be a legitimate president? >> well, i think he's going to be inaugurated this week. i have great concerns. and apparently, republicans do, as well. there will be an investigation about the role russian hacking played in getting him elected. do i think the russians supported him? tried to get him elected and it worked against clinton? i do. and that is something that has to be inves gated? >> does that make him illegitimate? >> pardon me? >> does that make him illegitimate? >> those are just words. my job right now, going beyond media conflicts and words is to say that donald trump, among other things, told the american people he would not cut social security, medicare, medicaid. right now, republicans in the house and senate are doing just that. i want trump to send out a tweet, saying that he's going to keep his campaign promises. he's not going to cut social security, medicare, medicaid. righ
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others to fight against the devastating impact of the repeal of the affordable care act. 20 million people thrown off of health insurance. prescription drug prices raising for seniors. privatization of medicare. devastation. we have to fight back against that. >> can you stop it, though? president obama told me last week that he thinks obamacare will survive. a repeal can pass simply with republican votes. >> i think what has to happen, look, nobody thinks that obamacare is perfect. it has its problems. but every american has got to recognize we're the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people. we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. because the pharmacy -- pharmaceutical industry is out of control. ripping us off. what sensible people have to do is not simply repeal the affordable care act without any alternatives. you have to sit down and say, okay, what are the problems? how do we address it?
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how do we move to universal health care? how do we lower prescription drug costs? how do we make sure that people don't have outrageous deductibles? you just don't throw 20 million people off health insurance policy. you don't privatize medicare. >> if that repeal happens in the real world, if that repeal happens, will you and other democrats support piecemeal, step-by-step reforms than to put back some of the protections that were included in owe w oba? >> look, it goes without saying. by the way, george, the vast majority of the american people agree with me and many others. you don't repeal the affordable care act without a replacement. republicans have had six years to come up with a replacement. they got nothing. sensible people have to work today. to answer your question, do we do away with protecting the american people with pre -- to
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make sure that if you have an illness, you can get insurance? do we make sure that young people stay on their parents' health insurance? do we make sure that there are no caps if you're dealing with cancer? and you deal with pre-existing conditions? it goes without saying those patient protections have got to stay in place. >> let me go back to the russia issue. a lot of democrats are disturbed with the fbi director, james comey, especially after he briefed them this week, refused to answer questions about whether he's investigating possible contacts between the trump campaign and the russians. some think he should step down. do you? >> i think that -- comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign. and, you know, it's -- no one can say that this was decisive, and this was what elected trump. but clearly, his behavior occurring the campaign, his
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behavior in terms of what he said in the week or two before the election was unacceptable. it is interesting that he has not -- is not doing investigation about the possible, possible tie-ins between the trump campaign and the russians. >> should he step down? >> i think he should take a hard look at what he's done. i think it would not be a bad thing for the american people if he did step down. >> and finally, are you going to day tend the inauguration this week? >> pardon me? >> are you going to attend the inauguration this week? >> yeah, i will. yes. >> you're on your way to a rally. you're at the airport right now. thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. and now, we're joined by the incoming white house chief of staff, reince priebus. thank you for joining us again this morning. >> good morning, george. >> well, the president-elect has stirred up quite a fire storm with his latest tweet. was this the right fight to pick? >> well, look, here's the issue. i and we look up to john lewis
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and his historic contribution to civil rights. and voting rights. >> the president-elect said all talk and no action. >> well, let me answer. well, here's the problem. we need folks like john lewis and others who, i think, have been champions of voter rights, actually to recognize the fact that donald trump was duly elected. he's going to put his hand on the bible in five days. and i think it's incredibly disappointing. i think it's irresponsible for people like himself to question the legitimacy of the next united states president. i think putting the united states down across the world is not something that a responsible person does. so look, i think, in fact, i think president obama could step up. we have had a great relationship with the white house, george. we just had every cabinet person designee of ours meet with the
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cabinet members of the obama administration friday. i've met numerous times with dennis mcdonough. they've been nothing but helpful. i think the administration can do a lot of good by telling folks that are on their side of the aisle, look, we may have lost the election on the democrat side. it's time to come together. >> isn't it harder to do after a tweet like that from the president-elect? >> well, wait a sec. but george. hang on. john lewis stood up and said in an interview that donald trump was not a legitimate president. it's insanity. it's wrong. and dni director clapper said as much many, many times. there is no evidence that any outcome of the election was changed. president-elect trump won 30 of 50 states. more counties since ronald reagan. this man won in an electoral landslide. to question the legitimacy of the next united states president. and you're worried about a tweet
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that says, hey, why don't you get back to work instead of questioning my legitimacy? too bad. >> we just had senator sanders on the program. he did not question the legitimacy of the president-elect. he'll attend the inauguration. he said it was right to bring up questions like this because of donald trump's past and questioning the legitimacy of barack obama with the years and years of the questions of where he was born. >> donald trump made it clear that certainly over the last few years that president obama was born in hawaii. but the point is -- >> not until the end of the campaign. >> hang on a second. we're not questioning the legitimacy of the outcome of the election. you didn't have republicans questioning whether or not obama legitimately beat john mccain in 2008. for a person that is a champion of voter rights. to question whether or not
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donald trump legitimately won an election or not is an incredible position to take five days before an inauguration. and so -- >> some democrats have made that -- some democrats have made that -- some democrats including david axelrod have made that point. it's fact that donald trump was questioning whether president obama was eligible to serve as a president under the constitution. >> and many people were, george. that issue has been resolved for years now. for at least two years in donald trump's mind. to bring that up as justification for john lewis questioning the legitimacy of a democratic activity that is -- has been around since the beginning of our country is wrong. >> just a factual point. he didn't stop raising those questions -- didn't stop raising those questions until late in this campaign. not two years. >> but look, george. that's not the point. the point is not where barack obama was born. the point is is that we've got congressmen on the democratic
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side of the aisle questioning the legitimacy of president-elect trump who won in an electoral landslide. that's the issue. that's where the outrage should be. not old news. the fact that we're preparing for the transfer of power. we've been working with president obama, hand in glove, and i think that they -- including the president -- should step up and get his people in line and tell them to grow up and accept the fact that they lost the election. >> let's move on to the issue of russia. the president-elect in "the wall street journal" saying yesterday he would consider lifting the sanctions on russia in the future depending on how they deal with the threat against isis. that seems to be at odds with what his nominees were saying. james mattis wants to come up with a strategy to confront russia for what it did. mike pompeo, caa nominee saying russia is doing nothing to
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defeat isis. and rex tillerson saying now is not the time to talk about doing nothing. that seems to be quite a gulf between the president-elect and his team. >> right, but i think all three of those men that you just mentioned depending on what deal was struck with russia, depending on what terms the deal would have and what incremental steps we would have to take and measurements with potentially russia in a deal. some of those positions could change. and some of president-elect donald trump's positions could change depending on what deal could be struck. but overall, to your point, i can tell you just from working closely for the last year and half with president-elect and even over the course of the last six weeks, he has no problem with differing opinions in a room. in fact, i think he welcomes the fact that he's got people in the room that may not agree with each other on everything but he prefers to be presented opinions that are varying at the same time and making an informed decision based on everyone's
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input before making decisions. the last thing we want is a monolithic viewpoint where six people are standing before a president saying the same thing over and over again. you're not going to get the best decisions. that's what he prefers. a difference of opinion. put your best argument in front of me. okay, now let's go and decide how to move forward. >> i think most presidents would agree with that. it leads to questions about what will be done. including on the issue of iran. all through the campaign, the president-elect said scrapping the iran nuclear deal was his number one national security priority. yet this week, on capitol hill, here's what james mattis said, no, we should keep the deal. >> i think it is an imperfect arms control agreement. it's not a friendship treaty. but when america gives her word, we have to live up to it. and work with our allies. >> president-elect said he was going to follow james mattis' advice on torture.
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will he follow it on the iran deal? is the iran deal going to stand? >> it's yet to be seen. first of all, it's not even a -- it's not a signed contract. let's put that aside. what you'll get from president-elect trump is all of his folks together, rex tillerson, james mattis, john kelly, cia, homeland security, everyone that you would want in the room making decisions about that particular document. and treaties like that document. as to how we're going to move forward. so i think it's yet to be seen how that is going to shape up. we all know that president-elect trump doesn't like the iran deal. thinks it's a terrible document. thinks it will create a nuclear arms race in the middle east, which it is already beginning to do. moving forward, the best way is going to be something that is going to be a collective decision. made with president-elect trump
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having the primary say as to how to move forward. all those opinions in the room. i can assure all americans that the best decision will be made based on all of the information presented to the president. >> just to be clear, scrapping the iran deal is no longer a rock-solid promise? >> well, look, i think it's on life support. i'll put it that way. i'm not here to declare one way or the other ultimately where this is going to go. it's on life support. i know the president-elect does not like the iran deal. thinks it's really, really bad. that's sort of the starting point on that discussion. >> on china, the president-elect told "the wall street journal" the one china policy was also negotiable depending on what china does with other issues. including currency manipulation. rex tillerson said there are no plans to do away with the one china policy. the chinese have said it's not
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negotiable. so where does that stand right now? >> well, i think both gentlemen are correct. rex tillerson is correct. there are no plans to change the one china policy. that policy is on the table if china doesn't also come to the table and work with us on trade. work with us on the south china sea and what's happening there. there's a lot going on that is hurting this country. and there's a lot of businesses and a lot of people that put president-elect trump in office because they are counting on him to get our relationships with china straightened out. as part of that negotiation, as part of fulfilling that promise, all of the issues are on the table. at the same time, rex tillerson is correct. there's no predetermined path here. but it's something that is going to be discussed and decided down the road. >> bernie sanders says he thinks james comey should think about stepping down.
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president-elect trump was tough on the fbi director. during the campaign. saying he disagreed with his final decision on hillary clinton. repeated again this week he thinks hillary clinton is guilty as hell. does he have confidence in fbi director comey? >> yes, he has confidence in director comey. we have had a great relationship with him over the last several weeks. he's extremely competent. but look. his term extends for some time yet. there's no plans at the moment in changing that term. and we've enjoyed our relationship with him. we find him to be extraordinarily competent. >> first steps towards repealing obamacare taken in the house and senate this week. we just heard from senator sanders saying he wants to see a tweet, believer it -- believe it or not, from the president-elect. wants it to be a tweet saying he stands by what he said during the campaign, no cuts in medicaid, medicare, social security. is that still the position of the president-elect?
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>> that's his position. that's the position he's going to be taking. so, there are no plans in president-elect trump's policies moving forward to touch medicare and social security. >> what about medicaid? repealing obamacare would cut medicaid? >> well, look. those are things we'll be discussing over the next several weeks. certainly, obamacare is something that is not very popular around the country. in fact, it's an 80-20 issue for republicans. it's not working. people are not choosing their doctor. they're not keeping their health care. premiums are not going down. they're going up. all of the promises of obamacare. all of those shiny objects sold in christmas in 2009 didn't come true. people voted for donald trump. they want to repeal and replace obamacare. and we will. and we'll cover those folks that are on obamacare that need to be covered. but at the same time, we're going to find ways to lower
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prices. allow people to choose better doctors. and have a lot more freedom when it comes to health care. >> a pretty contentious press conference this week. a report out overnight saying you all are considering moving the press corps out of the west wing and into the old executive office building. is that true? >> let me tell you where this is coming from. and i know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this and i understand. what we're -- the only thing that's been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press room. for the people listening to this that don't know this. the press room that people see on tv is very, very tiny. 49 people fit in that press room. the one thing we discussed was whether or not we want to move the initial press conferences in the eob, which, by the way, is the white house. that's the white house. no one is moving out of the white house. where you can fit four times the amount of people in the press
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conference. allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country. to have those press conferences. gnat that's what we're talking about. some of this, i think, is getting way out of whack. i think people should be encouraged that so many people in the press want to participate. we had 500 or 600 folks at the press conference last week. we started thinking, man alive. if we can have more people involved instead of less, wouldn't that be a good thing? that's what this is about, george. >> will the president-elect be taking further steps to deal with his possible business conflicts? we saw what he announced this week. the head of the office of government ethics said he considered this meaningless. from a conflict of interest perspective. >> right. and the head of the government ethics ought to be careful. that person is becoming extremely political. apparently may have publicly supported hillary clinton. and is calling out the president with information on twitter about our detangling of the business over a month ago. so i'm not so sure what this
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person at government ethics, what sort of standing he has anymore. in giving these opinions. i think jason chaffetz was correct to call for an investigation into the government ethics department for the positions they have taken in the campaign. >> we'll talk about that with him coming up. thank you very much for joining us this morning. >> you bet. thank you. coming up, we're going to take the deep dive into the steps trump is taking to handle his conflicts of ethics. and our "roundtable" takes on the week's politics including the first encounter between the president-elect and the press. >> can you give us a question -- >> don't be rude. >> can you give us a question? >> don't be rude. i'm not going to give you a question. you are fake news. ah...still sick, huh? i'll take it from here. i'm good. i just took new mucinex clear and cool. ah! what's this sudden cooling thing happening?
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so give your body mega support with megared advanced 4in1. stepping back from running his positions is meaningless from a conflicts of interest perspective. the presidency is a full-time job and he would have had to step back any way. it's important to understand that the president is now entering a world of public service. he's going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. he's going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. so, no, i don't think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the president of the united states of america. >> that is walter shaub. you saw him draw fire from the incoming white house chief of staff. let's talk to richard parent,
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the ethics lawyer for george w. bush. and norm eisen, who was the chief ethics lawyer for president obama. let's talk to norm eisen and richard painter. >> well, george, i think that is terrible. walt shaub is a dedicated public servant, come up through the ranks under both republicans and democrats. >> he did give a contribution to president obama. >> he did, before he was a director. his predecessor had also done the same. mr. cusick, who i worked with beautifully at this time. walt shaub is a true hero for speaking out. and george, he's cleared more than 50% of the nominations, republican nominations provided to him so far. versus 20% at this point in the obama transition, which i worked on. >> you have heard from the incoming trump administration. they say that the conflicts of interest laws do not apply to the president. that's correct on the central conflict of interest law. and they've said he's gone above and beyond what is called for by putting his
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assets into a trust, putting his sons in charge of it. no new foreign deals. no information. limited information on what is happening with the business and putting the hotel profits from foreign countries into -- donating that to the treasury. why isn't that good enough? >> some of the conflict of interest laws do apply to the president. particularly the emoluments clause of the constitution. which prohibits any type of benefit from a foreign government. and merely taking the profits from the hotels and putting those aside is not enough. they need to look at bank loans. foreign banks leasing space in the trump tower. a broad range of issues that need to be dealt with. we have the president's name up on buildings in places where there could be a terrorist attack. it's a very precarious situation. the government department of ethics is taking the right position. one consistent with republicans and democrats. oge and walt shaub were very, very helpful moving the bush nominees through. it's not a partisan organization at all.
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>> so bottom line, if we've seen what we're going to see from president-elect trump in terms of dealing with his conflicts of interest, do you believe he'll be in violation of the constitution when he takes the oath on friday? >> i believe yes, if he does not make sure that all foreign government payments, including banks and other organizations, owned by foreign governments and sovereign wealth funds, if all of that money is is not out of the trump organization by friday when he takes the oath, he'll be in violation of the constitution. the founders knew that foreign governments would try to meddle in our elections, politics. they didn't want foreign government money coming to any holding a position of trust in our government. >> i see you nodding your head in agreement? >> why is congressman chaffetz investigating walter shaub for doing his job for speaking so kraj lousily? it was one of the most extraordinary acts of courage i have seen from a career public official. instead of investigating the
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fact that the president-elect will be violating the constitution. with this frozen flow of funds. they admit they have a problem. his lawyers say, we won't take the profits in the hotel. what about the golf courses? the huge foreign bank loans? what about the condos and the apartments that they sell? the permitting? the trademarks? mr. chaffetz should be investigating the president-elect's pending violation of the constitution, not this poor official that has tried to do his job. and mr. chaffetz has endorsed that unconstitutional plan. >> let's take that question to him. thank you both very much. congressman chaffetz joins us. what is the answer to the question? >> the president-elect has a duty and obligation to abide by the law. and he's exempt from most all of these laws. he has done a financial disclosure, which has gone through the office of government ethics. i think he's done that twice. that is his duty under the law. i hear no complaints about that. my question is about the head of the office of government ethics.
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is he acting ethically when he sent out nine tweets praising donald trump, saying that his plan was brilliant, how did he come to that conclusion? and how does he come to his current conclusions having never done an investigation and never look at the paperwork in the point where he can actually come to a reasonable conclusion? i think that is unethical. i really do. >> he was sending the tweets to the idea that he had heard. you are right. he was premature that he heard donald trump would divest. let's get to the other questions. you heard both mr. painter and mr. eisen say the president-elect will be in violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution on day one. have you asked for documents from the president-elect? >> no, that's speculative. donald trump hasn't been sworn in yet. i do believe he's set up a plan where the revenue or the profits coming to the hotel will be given directly to the treasury. i'm not going on a fishing
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expedition that the democrats want me to. the president has a duty and obligation to come -- comply with the law. he's exempt from almost all of these things. he'll have to look at the emoluments clause. we'll see how that rolls out. >> 21 committees have petitioned the speaker to request documents detailing the president-elect's business dealings around the world. to get at this question. including possible loans and information from russia. will you request that? >> no. i have no plans to do that at this point. you need to look at what is required by law. i think donald trump has complied with that. i have heard no complaints about this. the financial disclosures. that's what's required by law. >> isn't the emoluments clause the law of the land? >> yeah. it's in the constitution. the president-elect hasn't been sworn in yet. all this flailing about how he's done everything wrong is a little premature at best.
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>> yes. but five days from now, he will be -- he will be the president of the united states. at that point, will you be requesting this information? >> no, not necessarily. look. i'm not going to go on the fishing expeditions. i didn't do that with -- president obama. we didn't go through this with president obama. the world and the voters understand that donald trump has mass holdings. he's worth billions of dollars. he's been very successful in business. i think the american voters understood that when they voted him in. >> i think a lot of democrats might disagree with your characterization of president obama and the investigations of hillary clinton and her e-mail server and benghazi as well. but on this particular issue, there is another issue with -- >> those were about specific policies and actions once they were in office. i didn't investigate hillary clinton before she was in office. i started investigating hillary clinton's actions after the inspector general said there was
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classified information housed in a nonclassified setting. that's when we began our investigation. >> i took your point on that. i asked you if you were going to be looking at these issues once president-elect is actually president of the united states. >> if people have questions about this, the white house will be the one that has to answer those questions. until we see something that is actually wrongdoing, we're probably not going to go on a fishing trip to go see look at -- we're not going to do that. that's not what we do. >> another possibility. you have oversight of the general services administration, which holds the lease for the trump hotel. which the president will still own. ep even though it goes into the trust. page 103 of the lease agreement says that no elected official of the government of the united states or the government of the district of columbia shall be admitted to any share of part of this lease or the to any benefit that may arise there from. it seems to preclude ownership by any government official like the president, doesn't it? >> i signed a letter with elijah
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cummings a number of weeks ago and asked for a copy of that contract. i don't know that we have received it. >> that is something you'll be looking at? >> i started it a few weeks ago. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. we'll be right back with our "roundtable." . we'll be right back with our "roundtable." like a human fingerprint, no two whale flukes are the same. because your needs are unique, pacific life has been delivering flexible retirement and life insurance solutions for more than 145 years. ask a financial advisor how you can tailor solutions from pacific life to help you reach your financial goals. and you're talking to youro doctor about your medication... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage.
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introducing fios instant internet. internet the way it should be. in the wake of the john lewis controversy, president-elect trump back on twitter this morning that the democrats are most angry that so many obama democrats voted for me with all the jobs i'm bringing back to our nation, that number will only get higher. we'll be right back with our "roundtable."
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my fellow americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. i won't stop. in fact, i'll be right there with you as a citizen, all my remaining days. but for now, whether you are young or whether you're young at heart, i do have one final ask of you as your president. the same thing i asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. i'm asking you to believe not in my ability to bring about change but in yours. >> unusual farewell address for president obama for 20,000 people in chicago. breaking a tradition right there. he'll have a press conference this week. in his final days. let's talk about the politics with jon karl, republican strategist sara fagen. democratic pollster cornell belcher. author of the new book, "black
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man in the white house." bill kristol. of the weekly standard. katrina vanden heuvel. of the nation. we have to begin with the fire storm yesterday. john lewis questions the legitimacy of president-elect trump. you saw the tweet back. it's sort of engulfed this transition in the last 24 hours. >> incredible how unnecessary it was. john lewis was articulating something most democrats are not. calling trump illegitimate. saying he wouldn't go -- >> and most of them won't. >> and they won't. the former presidents will be there. the clintons. jimmy carter. if donald trump needs a lesson in john lewis and what he's done beyond talk, he could ask his own vice president. mike pence went to selma in 2010 with john lewis. was there on the pettis bridge. talked about him being someone with the moral authority and courage to continue to inspire americans. >> doesn't seem like anyone around him can stop the early morning tweets. you heard reince priebus say john lewis is being
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irresponsible. he should grow up. democrats should tell him to stop. >> they're not handling this the right way, clearly. john lewis is a hero. a civil rights hero. they're right in saying, donald trump is a legitimate president. he won fair and square. he didn't win the election because of russian interference. they do have a responsibility to stand up for that. it's just the way they do it that is the wrong approach. >> he's someone who with less than a plurality of the vote. it doesn't make sense the way things unfolded. >> he has a plurality. not the majority. >> he has the plurality. >> excuse me. excuse me. take it back. >> with less than a plurality of the vote. he is the president. the electoral college said he's the president. he's the president. as a president, you also have to build. if i'm sitting there and part of his team and i go, look, we're probably not going to win the next election with 46% of the vote. so people like john lewis and the other groups, you have to
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start building bridges towards. this week was a disaster because he's burning bridges, not building them. >> and he has to think about the poll numbers. 44% approval on gallup. >> yeah, it was unnecessary. this week, i would say until saturday, and taking aside a few of his other tweets, it was a good week for the trump administration. a lot of people won't agree with all the cabinet picks. if you saw general kelly, general mattis, congressman pompeo testifying, this is more than a reasonable cabinet. >> you saw so many issues where they didn't agree with the president-elect. >> that's good. that's healthy. if you're uncertain. if you're a trump skeptic, you think, this administration is going to be better than i expected. watch, the net of this week for me is the administration could be better than expected. decent policies conducted confidently by people. but -- but, the white house and the president himself remain -- the president remains worrisome.
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very alarming almost. the fact that he can't -- don't you think? it could be a decent administration. >> donald trump is alarming. he's a bully who thrives on division. martin luther king weekend and he takes on john lewis? john lewis did more in one day on the edmund pettis bridge than donald trump will ever do to make america great again. anyone who has i don't want to call it audacity. it's too good a term to appoint jefferson beauregard sessions to where he did -- i'm surprised he didn't invoke the suppression of voting rights. i think it's one of the most underreported stories. we're seeing in the last three weeks, republican governors trying to suppress the vote. >> no evidence. >> to the outcome. >> he did invoke russia. we saw other steps on that. jon karl, the president-elect said for the first time he accepted the conclusion, though he seemed to take it back a few sentences later. >> yeah. russia and others. >> and now you have the senate
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investigation. comey wouldn't confirm that he's investigating. this issue is not going away. >> the senate intelligence committee is looking into this. after senator burr said they wouldn't go in this direction. they are investigating this. specifically whether or not there were contacts between the russian officials during the campaign. there's no evidence that they were. the extraordinary thing we saw here is the incoming national security adviser, michael flynn, basically having a text messages back and forth with the russian ambassador to the united states. they're exchanging christmas greetings on christmas day. and then, of course, having a phone conversation just as president obama was imposing the sanctions. >> i do believe there needs to be an investigation of the intelligence community's findings, classified findings to ensure the electoral integrity of our country going forward. this country needs to take a deep breath. we're a strong, resilient
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nation. the idea that the russians hacked our election -- there is little evidence at the moment except for the dnc servers. the larger point is it is social realism. not pro trump or pro putin, an authoritarian leader to argue that it is in the united states' security interest to have a working relationship to russia. to deescalate the arms race. william perry -- i agree we need a working relationship with russia to deescalate a nuclear arms race. to resolve the crisis in syria. i think it is a good thing that the united states will be a party to the talks on a metastasizing situation in syria which will destabilize europe. >> being able to communicate is one thing. two presidents have tried this. the current president and my former boss, george w. bush, tried to have a relationship with russia. putin has grown more aggressive. and -- you know, with so much coverage of donald trump's tweets and john lewis, poland right now is celebrating the
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arrival of nato troops led by americans. donald trump is getting set up for a potential very challenging first year of his administration with respect to russia. because you have americans leading nato troops in one baltic state in poland. and this is -- what does he do now? given what's happened with this faultily report. given his bromance with putin. given what is going on with syria. what does he do when there's an altercation with a russian soldier? >> some talk of an early summit with vladimir putin. it put me in mind of the early summit between john f. kennedy and nikita khrushchev. early in his administration, which kind of shocked president kennedy. is donald trump ready for this? >> well, just hadn't thought of that analogy, but what happened? the lesson that khruschev took
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from that summit was that kennedy was weak. it led to the cuban missile crisis. i think it's genuinely alarming. the only person donald trump treats with respect. not the party. not the constitution. not the media. who is the one guy he never criticizes? the one guy he seems to defer to? vladimir putin. that is alarming. >> ronald reagan's meeting with gorbachev. >> when was that? when was that? >> 1985. >> 1986, i think. five years into his term. >> i'm concerned that donald trump walks into the white house a walking conflict of interest. in violation of the emoluments clause. the constitution. the stock act. it is important to investigate whether there are financial levers. not just russia. china. the emirates. he will never make america great again, i don't believe he ever will, but he will not do so if he's beholden to foreign powers.
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>> we heard congressman chaffetz. he didn't seem all that eager to dive into this. >> no, he didn't. one thing i think americans will learn a lot about is this emoluments clause. other than us around the table, most americans are going, what the heck is that? >> i was going what the heck is that. >> it's the constitution. >> you're better educated on this than i am. >> i was listening to the interview. but there's conflict after conflict. certainly, look, as taking my partisan hat off. this is certainly not a way you want to sort of enter or start your presidency. this emoluments stuff is not going away. it was interesting the congressman said he hasn't even been sworn in. so we should wait for him to get sworn in and break the law before we do anything about it? it doesn't make any sense. this is -- this is -- this is something that will be brewing. our congress is going to be swept up in this. democrats won't let this go away. >> i don't think the hotel rooms are the issue here. donald trump is going to donate
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the money back to the treasury. the bigger issue is, are there big investments by sovereign wealth funds in the trump properties and trump business? foreign governments. >> and we've come full circumstance. you don't know if you don't see the tax returns. >> and so that's why this isn't going away. but as we sit here and talk about this today, most americans are focused on the ringling brothers circus going out of business. donald trump will get a lot of leeway in with respect to -- until there is something that is discovered that is -- absolutely a silver bullet. he's going to get a lot of leeway. >> impeachment. >> what the experts you talked to wanted him to do was to divest all his holdings. and george, i mean, frankly, doesn't that seem like it would have been impractical for a guy that has the holdings between november 8th and january 20th to sell everything? wouldn't that have raised issues?
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who is buying? what are the prices? i don't know if there was a good solution. this is something that will dog him for the rest of his time in office. but there is a point that, you know, the american people knew exactly who they were voting for. this was a guy with vast international holdings. he was a guy with vast interests. business interests. >> yes, and no. they didn't have the information in the tax returns. >> which is unprecedented. the first time in u.s. history a presidential candidate has not revealed his tax returns. or a president. i think that the poll ratings are in the gutter right now, right? the donald trump's, before he's been inaugurated. those go south, i think you have a republican party ready to begin different kinds of hearings that mr. chaffetz is unwilling to have. they may be happy with michael pence as president. >> it may take time for that. i do have a question on obamacare. they got the first votes. basically saying, let's move the debate. you have a fair amount of nervousness among republicans on capitol hill about what to do going forward. and some fears that if they
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repeal without having a full replacement in place, they could own what would be a difficult issue. >> the repealing and replacing of obamacare is complicated. it's what a white house and congressional leadership. a serious white house and serious congressional leadership should meet on and work on. i think that's what -- one of the things that is alarming to me. trump, and i think trump supporters seem to believe, he won, huge upset, full credit to him. has the wind at his back. republicans on the hill want him to succeed. obviously. they're deferring to him more than they deep down in private want to. they'll defer to him publicly for awhile. i think that will run out faster than people think. >> i'm going to predict this. health care is going to be again the central fight in a midterm election. because the moment they -- and priebus said the majority of people want repeal of health care.
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the poll out a week ago said 47% don't want it repealed. there's not a broad swath of americans fighting for the health care repeal. you're taking health care away from 20 million people, 8 million children. this is working in red states as well as blue. look at kentucky. how well obamacare is working in kentucky. the moment they repeal this and don't have a way to insure -- >> obamacare is benefiting trump supporters. there are rallies -- >> texas credits. this is the question. this is the question. he has a competent person. congressman tom price. >> who wants to privatize medicare. >> i'm sorry. who has the best proposal to replace with tax credits. governing is hard. >> we have a few seconds left. isn't the lesson of health care whoever passes something, whether it's good or bad, benefits or not, whoever passes
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something then owns all the problems in the health care system. >> here's the thing, george. they're talking about not repealing all of obamacare. i don't know if the conservatives understand this yet. they're talking about repealing the mandate that says you must have health insurance. and repealing the taxes that helped to finance it. they are not doing away with the exchanges. not doing away with the -- >> the question is, is that enough? i know you have an important question. i'm afraid we're out of time. i'm sure we'll be able to discuss again. thank you all. we'll be right back. ack.
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"the roundtable" didn't want to leave. they'r s
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packed week of politics today. abc news will be here for all of it. president obama's final press conference. the "20/20" special thursday night. i'll be in washington with our entire team friday for the inauguration of president trump. starting with gm, straight through the oath, the parade. his first acts as president. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." art of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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>> donald trump and the republicans are already on the road to repealing and replacing obamacare. do they have something that's going to shape up to be a win or not in our area? let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning. i'm tamala edwards. welcome to "inside story." less than a week out from inauguration day. let's introduce you to our panel. first, nonprofit exec sharmain matlock-turner. good morning. >> good morning. >> gop state official val digiorgio. >> good morning. >> good morning. f&m pollster terry madonna. >> good morning, tam. >> good morning. >> and documentarian sam katz. >> hey, there. >> so, there's a lot of news made by donald trump this past week, and in there, he said he wants republicans to not just repeal, but repeal and replace obamacare pretty much at the same time. this is a law that affects 700,000 people in our area. we are hearing anecdotally that women are rushing to get certa

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