Skip to main content

tv   Wolf  CNN  February 27, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST

10:00 am
hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 6:00 p.m. in london, 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem. whenever you're watching from around the world. once again, thanks very much for joining us. right now we're following several major developments, including this. take a look at the live pictures coming in from the white house briefing room. sean spicer, the press secretary, about to take questions from reporters this hour and there will be plenty of questions likely be asked about today's comments from president
10:01 am
trump, promising major increases in u.s. military spending, and questions about his own push to find the source of white house leaks. we're going to go there live as soon as the press secretary shows up. that should be later this hour. the white house, meanwhile, says the magic number in the upcoming budget is $54 billion. that's the amount for the proposed defense and security spending increase as well as proposed budget cuts. listen to this. >> my first budget will be submitted to the congress next month. this budget will be a public safety and national security budget. very much based on those too with plenty of other things, but very strong, and it will be including a short increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the united states of america at a time we most need it.
10:02 am
>>. >> our pentagon correspondent barbara star, and our chief national security correspondent jim schudo. a major increase in military spending. sarah, will that be the first topic presumably for sean spicer at the briefing today? $5 had billion. that's a 10% hike in defense spending. >> i certainly think that will be a big focus, wolf, and not just this increase in defense spending, but also how do you offset that? those are pretty severe cuts in discretionary spending. they've mentioned things like foreign aid. cuts to the e.p.a. these will be very significant cuts, and would you have to go much further to other agencies if you want to offset that spending. the other thing that people will be questioning sean spicer about and looking at tomorrow from the president is what he actually says about health care and the steps going forward to repeal and replace obama care. we've seen the president pay lip service to this issue. we haven't seen him go out with any specifics, even fully embrace republican plans and
10:03 am
they're pushing on the house right now. that's certainly something that republican leaders are going to be looking for trump to do when he speaks to the joint session of congress tomorrow. >> tomorrow night country p.m. eastern. i want to play, barbara star, you're over at the pentagon. something else that the president said today about the united states military. >> there are a lot of questions about what the president means. he said he was taking this from watching the military during his days back in high school and college in his words when perhaps it was a much more clear time for military victories. world war ii, korea. you know, you had major tank battles, major air battles, and the u.s. had overwhelming firepower. that is not the way the world exists today. the fight against isis, the
10:04 am
fight against al qaeda is a fight against a spreading ideology that, indeed, has spread across many countries, and, you know, the president has this new plan sitting on his desk today about options for defeating isis, and it includes diplomacy at the very time he is cutting the state department. it includes financial options. it does include some military options, but you're not going to bomb isis out of existence. i don't know a single u.s. military commander that thinks that's feasible. >> stand by for a moment because i want to bring jim schudo in. we heard from devin nunez, the chairman of the house intelligence committee in a lengthy briefing q and a with reporters. you were up there. he was answering questions about the pending russia investigation, contacts between russia and officials in the trump campaign, the trump administration. listen to what he said. >> since the election, we've broadened the scope of that
10:05 am
investigation to include any involvement in this -- in our elections here and, of course, any ties that there might be to any government officials at any level, so it's not just here in washington, but governors and others. if there's anything out there, any american citizens from political campaigns coordinating with the russian government, we clearly would want to know that, and we would want to investigate it. >> he also said there's no need at least yet for a special prosecutor. what stood out in your mind based on what you heard? >> well, two things. one, he effectively contradicted himself because as you heard him say there, they're broadening the investigation. part of that investigation will be contacts between americans and russians, but later, and we pressed him repeatedly, he said he has been told, in effect, there is no evidence of trump campaign contacts with the russians or at least he has been given -- he says he hasn't seen any, and then when we pressed him, he said, well, he seems to have gotten some message that there is no there there, which is a consistent talking point from republicans and the
10:06 am
administration, so the question is are they actually going to investigate that, or has he already made a conclusion? that, frankly, was a question that wasn't answered. the other thing that struck me, the first words out of his mouth were that major crimes had been committed, and we pressed him and said are you talking about russian interference in the election? no. he is talking about leaks, ek quoing the president's point, that they want a very aggressive look at who has been leaking what they said are classified -- is classified information about the investigation into these contacts and elsewhere. that appears to be if not the major, a major focus of his invests. at least from the gop leadership of the committee. you get a very different view from democrats on the committee as well as some republicans, such as senators graham and mccain in the senate. >> you also -- you and your colleagues, pressed them on these reports that the white house reached out to him, the chairman of the intelligence committee, to speak to reporters and shoot down, knock down, that report in the "new york times"
10:07 am
about extensive contacts between trump officials and russian intelligence officials. he explained his position. go ahead and tell us what he said. so seemed to downplay that there was anything wrong with this. he said, listen, the white house might have given me a phone number of a reporter to talk to. i talk to reporters all the time. this is just normal back and forth, and he said, in fact, it's an example of greater transparency. let's put that through something of a smell test here. i mean, based on you are on own reporting, we know that this was coordinated from the white house, that the white house reached out to members of the intelligence committee in the senate, in the house, and it appears as well the cia who were friendlier to their point of view to go out and give a point of view to reporters when we know from our own reporting, wolf, that there are differences of point of view on the analysis as to how serious these communications were. we know that the fbi, we know that both the house and senate intel committees, at least they
10:08 am
say they are still investigating the significance of these communications, so to say that this is just a sort of normal back and forth with reporters doesn't really gel with what we know about how this was a white house very concerned about reporting of contacts between trump advisors and russians during the campaign and made an effort to push back, and we know that it was a significant enough effort that the fbi said, no, it's not going to do it. >> all right, jim, stand by. barbara star, sarah murray, we're going to get back to you. the president clearing laying out some budget priorities today, including increased military spending, law enforcement spending increases, big spending increases of infrastructure and substantial tax cuts. let's discuss with republican congressman adam kinsinger of illinois. he served in iraq and afghanistan. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet. >> who is going to pay for all the spending increases in defense, law enforcement, huge tax cuts? where is all this money coming from if you want to have a balanced budget? >> well, i think a couple of
10:09 am
things are going to have to happen, number one. obviously he is going to put out his budget within a couple of weeks, so we're going to see more details there. i think in his address to congress, there should be some details on that. in terms of an increase in spending, there are areas where we can cut on the domestic side that we should look at. obviously, a deposgovernment sh be able to operate with less money and do what it needs to do. i actually personally think we have to take a long-term look at the idea of entitlement spending and social security and medicare. >> he is not touching it. he is not touching it at all. he made that campaign commitment throughout the campaign, and he is sticking by it. no cuts in social security, medicaid, and medicare. >> i don't think he will for anybody that's nearing retirement, and i'm not sure if he has explored this yet. what i think is frankly for younger people like myself, you can make some changes to social security that can frankly solve and save that program for the future and current seniors. there's a lot of -- and in tax reform, you know, we're obviously working through that
10:10 am
process. that is not going to be easy, but i think through that we're going to see increased economic growth. >> he wants an increased defense spending $54 billion. 10% hike. as you know, the united states already spends more on defense than the next seven or eight countries combined, including russia, china, iran, britain, france. all these other countries. at a time when the u.s. has so dramatically reduced foreign military involvement, going down from a couple of hundred thousand troops in iraq and afghanistan to 5,000 right now, why does the u.s. need to dramatically increase defense spend sng. >> we dramatically cut military spending with sesequester. costs increase every year. as we give people pay raises and benefits and things like that. you have to uncap that and grow just to keep up with the investments. it is other thing i think to keep in mind, though, is dick cheney actually said after desert storm when we obviously it was a very one-sided victory, he actually thanked president
10:11 am
reagan for his investments then that led to the win now. these investments today are not just for the operations that we're doing today, which are very important, but it's also investing in the next generation of body armor or mraps or aircraft so we can fight and win the next war that comes inevitably. >> it's funny you say fight and win because you heard the president of the united states say the military no longer wins. >> yeah. >> in effect, what he is saying is they're a bunch of losers. you heard that clip, and i asked barbara star how that's going to play at the pentagon. you served in the u.s. military in iraq and afghanistan. when you went there, did you just want to sort of hang out, or did you want to win? >> as a military guy, i bristled at that, obviously. i think the military does fight to win. we do it very well. the nature of warfare is very different today. we're not fighting, you know, the nazis where you can take out their war machine and they have nothing left, so you surrender. you're fighting an ideology right now, and an ideology doesn't go away simply if you destroy fighters, you destroy equipment. they go away once the next
10:12 am
generation rejects their principles. we have the current war on terror, and what i call the next generational war on terror, which isn't about guns and airplanes. it's about winning that next generation over so they reject those principles. >> do you want the u.s. to dramatically increase troops on the ground in iraq and afghanistan to destroy isis? i raise the question because the president is getting a report now recommendations how to beat isis from his military advisors. >> i don't know about dramatically increase. i think we have to use whatever is necessary to win. it looks like we have some good progress right now in iraq. the areas where we're hurting is in afghanistan -- or i'm sorry, in syria. the question is how do you liberate racca? it you have the issue with the kurds and the turks that obviously don't like each other. if it takes some ground troops to do that, we ought to be willing to do whatever is necessary to win, but nobody is calling for another, you know, 250,000 troops or anything like that. you're not going to see that come out of this administration. >> the new national security advisor, general h.r. mcmaster, says, you know, he is not comfortable using a phrase the
10:13 am
president uses all the time, radical islamic terrorism. he has told his aides, i don't like that phrase. it's not helpful. where you do stand? >> i use it, and i have talked to people, and i have talked to presidents of the region and kings and they say it's actually not a big deal to them. it's not offensive. look, it is islamic terror. what you don't want to do and i respect the general for his thought on this, you don't want to make it look like you're labelling the entire religion as that because right now we're fighting a very small section of a broad religion. what you don't want to do is inherit more enemies than we have. >> because it will create a lot more enemies down the road if it's not handled in the right way. wednesday, the president is going to release, you know, his revised version of his travel ban, part two. first one got rejected by the judiciary, by the courts. seven countries, muslim majority countries, presumably will still be banned from sending people over here to the united states. you're opposed to that, right? >> well, i think the president has a lot of leverage. i didn't like his first executive order. we'll see what this one looks
10:14 am
like. what i am uncomfortable with is iraq being on that because iraq right now is our chief ally in fighting isis, and you have the iraqi translateors. frankly, their vetting standards are really good for who gets passports. when mosul fell, all those passports were cancel and put in a terror database. i'm uncomfortable with iraq being on it. >> what about the other six countries, syria, afghanistan, somalia, these countries -- >> i'm worried about the message, but i also think the president has a lot of leverage to do this, and i think any new administration ought to look at our vetting standards and make a decision. i want to see what this actual executive order says before i say yeah or nay, but i do give a lot of leverage to the president in these areas. >> you know there was a u.s. navy seal killed in an operation in yemen. the father of this navy seal did not really want to sit down and meet with the president of the united states when the body was returned at dover at the u.s. air base at dover. he wants a full scale
10:15 am
investigation right now. do you believe there should be a full scale investigation? what these navy seals were doing in yemen, why they're in yemen, why is the u.s. deploying troops there to begin with? >> well, i think there could be questions asked in terms of any military operation that's done. warfare is inherently very dangerous, and this operation had been on the books. the president came in. the military said we want to go ahead, and he gave the go ahead to do it, and we got some we think pretty good intelligence out of it. in a war obviously a plan never survives first contact with the enemy, and that's what we had an unfortunate situation where a navy seal was killed, and i never question the decision of the father to not meet with the president. i can't imagine what's going through his heart and so i just have a lot of sympathy for that. >> he probably has a lot of questions why his son was there. what were they doing? how important was this mission? did it achieve anything? the administration says they got a lot of good intelligence, but that's what they -- that's what they say. have you confirmed that will, that they really did get the intelligence that potentially
10:16 am
could save american lives down the road? >> i have heard people say in the administration that this was a treasure-trove of incomes that could lead to future action. in terms of a classified setting, i don't have enough. war is inherently dangerous. you are going to be going to places where people don't like you, and yemen especially is a very rough place. it's also where al qaeda and the arabian peninsula is right now and is planning threats against the united states and its allies. >> thank you for joining us. >> any time. >> just want to alert our viewers, it's your birthday today. >> it is. >> on behalf of all of us, happy birthday. >> thank you. >> coming up, president trump will deliver his first address to congress tomorrow night, and he will detail his agenda for the first year. what do we anticipate? stand by. we're also moments away from the white house press briefing. the press secretary sean spicer, they'll take lots of questions from reporters there. this will be the first time since excludeing some news outlets, including cnn from an off camera briefing he held on friday. we'll have live coverage of sean spicer's briefing.
10:17 am
that's coming up. you don't let anything keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
10:18 am
oh, how waso good!en house? did you apply? oh, i'll do it later today. your credit score must be amazing. my credit score? credit karma. it's free. that's great! um hm. just whip bam boom, it's done. that apartment is mine! credit karma. give yourself some credit. where's the car? it'll be here in three... uh four minutes. are you kidding me? no, looks like he took a wrong turn. don't worry, this guy's got like a four-star rating, we're good. his name is randy.
10:19 am
that's like one of the most trustworthy names! ordering a getaway car with an app? are you randy? randy: that's me! thief: awesome! surprising. what's not surprising? how much money erin saved by switching to geico. everybody comfortable with the air temp? i could go a little cooler. ok. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. they keep telling me "drink more water." "exercise more." i know that. "try laxatives..." i know. believe me. it's like i've. tried. everything! my chronic constipation keeps coming back. i know that. tell me something i don't know. (vo) linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation, or chronic constipation. it can help relieve your belly pain, and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements that are easier to pass. do not give linzess to children under 6 and it should not be given to children 6 to 17. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe.
10:20 am
if it's severe stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms proactively with linzess. what if we could bring you by having better values? at blue apron, we work directly with more than a hundred family farms. so instead of spending on costly middlemen and supermarkets, we can invest in the things that matter most: making farmland healthier. cutting down on food waste. and bringing you higher quality, fresher ingredients for less than you pay at the store. because food is better when you start from scratch. get $30 off at
10:21 am
>> we're standing by for the white house press briefing. taking a look at pictures coming from inside the briefing room. the press secretary sean spicer will be taking reporters' questions shortly. there will be many questions. we'll have live coverage coming up. stand by. this is day 39 of the trump administration. it marks the beginning of a very important week for the president. today he outlined elements of his upcoming budget proposal. tomorrow he will address joint session of congress. wednesday he is expected to release an updated travel ban. let's discuss this and more with our panel. greg, chief economics commentator for the "wall street journal." susan paige, washington bureau chief for usa today, jeff mason, white house krbt for reuters, and cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. gloria, give us a sense of how crucial potentially this week alone could be for the president. >> i think we've said that about every week so far, but this is
10:22 am
important because, of course, a president's state of the union speech really provides a blueprint for what they want to do for the country. lays out your priorities and says this is my wish list effectively, and i think that it's an opportunity for president trump to look forward as opposed to looking to the past and how large his victory was, how large the crowds were at the inauguration, and talk about the media. i think it's a moment -- it's a presidential moment for him he willing talking to the congress of the yates. it's a chance for him to say i want to work with both sides and unite the country. it really is a time when a president says this is what i promised, and this is what we can do for you. >> budget officials in the trump
10:23 am
administration already saying one element of his new proposed budget will be a $54 billion increase in defense and law enforcement, national security spending. listen to how the president said he would pay for that when he met with the nation's governors. >> we're going to do more with less. i get involved in an airplane contract. i got involved in some other contracts, and we cut the hell out of the prices. i mean, we saved a lot much money. >> it's about a 10% increase in defense related spending. no cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid. president wants to have massive tax cuts, significant tax cuts. not just for the middle class, but for the wealthy as well. so far they are saying, well, there will be some cuts in the e.p.a., the environmental protection agency, and the state
10:24 am
department. some foreign aid. does that add up to $54 billion? >> it's very hard to accomplish these types of numbers, wolf. look at the e.p.a. and foreign aid, if we zeroed out those things, that would give you your $54 billion. >> then there would be no e.p.a. or -- >> yes. the fact of the matter is he says we're going to do more with less. we've been doing that for a number of years. that part of the budget, which we call discretionary that congress appropriateates every year, exclusd defense, is on current trends. current law headed for the lowest since the eisenhower era. it is already being squeezed. in spite of that, we have the deficit going from $600 billion to $1 trillion a year ten years from now mostly because of social security and medicare, which alone will grow by almost $1 trillion a year. those are the two areas that the president has declared off limits. i think the bottom line is not only is there a big question about how does he pay for the military spending, but how does he pay for his much more am bishsz plans with respect to health care, tax cuts, infrastructure, and the wall? >> what are you hearing, jeff? you have covered the white house
10:25 am
over there. the numbers it at least so far don't add up. >> we just haven't got many specifics about the numbers. that's something we'll all be looking for tomorrow night, in addition to seeing what kind of a tone he decides to use. i mean, he has been in office, like you said, for about 39 days. nearly every public address that he has done has included an attack on the media. will he do that in the halls of congress? will he reach out to both sides, which i think would be welcomed by both sides? will he set a tone of unity? those are all things that people will be looking for closely in addition to some specifics about what he wants to do on health care, what he wants to do on taxes, what he wants to do on infrastructure. >> on obama care, susan, and health care, listen to what he is saying now about the future of obama care. listen to this. >> sit back for a period of two years because 17 is going to be a disaster, a disaster for obama care, if we don't do something. let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the dems that
10:26 am
are in our room, and we can blame that on the democrats and president obama. let it implode.come begging for us to do something. that's not the fair thing to do for the people. >> he still insists he is going to -- despite the political advantages of simply waiting and in his words obama care destroyed itself, he wants to do something right away because that's in the national interest. >> he also said in just a few minutes after this, nobody knew how complicated health care would be, which is true except for everyone who has ever tried to deal with a big health care bill. you know, and i think he is politically incorrect in saying wait two years and let the system collapse. he is now in charge of the federal government. he is this in charge of a health care plan that has had some problems, but has covered 20 million people, and he is going to be responsible for this. you know, one thing that he is going to discover, i think, after the speech tomorrow night is the limits to what he can do by executive order because if
10:27 am
you want to repeal the affordable care act and put something in that place, if you want to reform overhaul the tax code, all those things are going to require getting congress to go along with you, and generally getting 60 senators to go along with you, which means you need at least some democrats. >> he has also made a lot of promises to the american people about how their health care will improve, and their benefits will improve under their new plan, and there are republicans that i have talked to who are very nervous about this because that may not be the case. what they are talking about are tax credits, medicaid cutbacks. these are things that will not make people happy who are under the affordable care act, and that's why you see so much activity at the town halls, and so i think the rubber is going to meet the road here. i mean, we know that the president is meeting with speaker ryan and leader mcconnell later today, and they have to make sure that they're on the same page here, and it's not really clear to everybody at
10:28 am
this point, and it's kind of late in the game, to be honest about it, whether they are actually on the same page. >> it doesn't look like they are. at least not yet. one of the things that the president said, greg, is that you really can't deal with massive tax cuts, which he ran on. middle class tax cuts, tax cuts for the wealthy, doing away with the estate tax. he has all sorts of ideas. he really can't deal with that until he first deals with health care and something to repeal and replace obama care. you understand his logic here? >> yeah. essentially because there are so many tax interactions between the health care law and the rest of the tax act, have you to get that one piece of business out of the way. last week steve manuchin, his new treasury secretary, said he is hopeful they can get a corporate tax change bill before the congress by august. most people think that is incredibly ambitious, and because at this point they -- the house -- excuse me. the congress and the president are not on the same page of what the most basic structures of that tax reform is going to look like, and here's the deal. the thing that the congress,
10:29 am
republicans in congress, and their business allies want more than anything else is tax reform. e.i.e., a lower corporate tax rate. that is by far more important than health care, than the wall, than infrastructure. all that other stuff. if he can't deliver on that, that is a real problem. >> he wants that corporate rate to go down to, what, 20%? >> he has talked about 20%. you know, in congress they've talked about 15% and so on. yeah, i think 20% is a number that people are talking about. the problem is unless you find a pay for, that blows up the deficit big-time. >> the deficit? i mean, we're talking about $54 billion more in defense spending. as you were saying before, everybody knows that when you look at the budget, two-thirds of the budget is entitlement programs, which he is not going to touch, defense spending, and there's very little left to get your pay fors out of. >> paying the interest on the national debt. that's a huge part of the budget as well. >> you bet. >> it's a lot more complicated than it looks. everybody, stick around. we've got a lot more coming up. remember, the press secretary
10:30 am
sean spicer getting ready to take some questions. likely being asked about a whole range of issues. we'll have live coverage coming up. [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette and her new mobile wedding business. at first, getting paid was tough... until she got quickbooks. now she sends invoices, sees when they've been viewed and-ta-dah-paid twice as fast for free. visit quickbooks-dot-com. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount,
10:31 am
saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. best not to spend your entireife bank account.ent like this. find a lower price and we'll match it. plus 50 bucks off your next trip. travelocity® wander wisely™ sugar, we're letting you go. what? who's replacing me? splenda naturals? look, she's sweet, she's got natural stevia,
10:32 am
no bitter aftertaste and she's calorie-free. so that's it? we made you a cake. with sugar? oh, no. (laughing) so that's it? we made you a cake. this is judy. judy is 63 years old. her mortgage payment is $728 a month. that's almost 9 thousand dollars a year. now judy doesn't think that she'll be able to retire until her mortgage is fully paid off. this is mike. mike is also 63 years old. his mortgage payment was $728 a month. mike thought he would have to work for another 12 years until his mortgage was paid off... and then mike heard about a reverse mortgage and how that might help him. he called one reverse mortgage to get the details. mike retired immediately after getting his one reverse mortgage loan. maybe you too can benefit from a reverse mortgage. call one reverse mortgage now and find out if you qualify.
10:33 am
they'll send you an information kit that includes all the details and the stories of mike and others. a reverse mortgage... is a mortgage with no required monthly payments. it was created for homeowners 62 or older so they can continue to afford and own the home they love. many one reverse mortgage clients find they can retire sooner, do more the things they love, or simply put more money in the bank. a reverse mortgage could change your retirement, and your life. i examined my finances and i said, there is no reason why i shouldn't retire today. 10, 12 years earlier than i had anticipated. in the first year, mike's cash flow savings totaled $8,736. after 5 years, it will be over $40,000. it really is worth a call to find out if a reverse mortgage can help you too.
10:34 am
call one reverse mortgage now and ask for your free information kit. today's white house press briefing set to begin any moment now. we're going to have live coverage of that. once it begins. sean spicer will go to the microphone on the lecturn and answer reporters' questions. i'm sure he will have some opening statements as well. we'll have live coverage. meantime, let's bring back our panel. speaking of sean spicer, gloria, as you know, he had a meeting with his staff, and he asked to see with the white house counsel there, their cell phones to see if there were encrypted apps that they could be leaking
10:35 am
information. they all had to submit their cell phones, personal cell phones, government cell phones, because emhe wanted to plug up leaks. how unusual is that? >> incredibly unusual. i'm sure my colleagues here feel the same way. >> i have never heard of that. >> the idea that there been a leak about it is investigation into leaks -- >> a few hours. >> they know -- >> he is taking this extraordinary step. >> the president has said that the leaks are coming from outside the white house. he has accused the fbi and intelligence community of leaking. what this shows is that sean spicer and perhaps he is acting at the behest of the president, they understand there are leaks coming from inside the white house. just imagine if you were somebody who worked at the white house. what kind of an affect would that have on you?
10:36 am
if you are on an app where it disappears of you communicate, that's against the federal records act. that actually your communications cannot be on those, and i think that's fine to let people know that in advance. when you go in and brief people about what is expected of you in terms of your communications, but taking away your telephone zpz your -- is basically saying to the people who work for you that we don't trust you. >> have you ever seen -- i was a white house correspondent for seven years. i've never seen it where there is advertised a press briefing. no cameras but an open press briefing where at the last
10:37 am
minute they start telling various mainstream accredited white house correspondents you are not invited. >> very unusual. >> we say very unusual. has it ever happened, based on anything you have hashed? >> i guess i just want to make clear to viewers that it is not unusual to occasionally have briefings with smaller groups. >> that's correct. you don't advertise that there's going to be what they call a gaggle, and then at the last minute you tell, like, sarah murray, who was waiting in line to go inside to this briefing, you're not on the list. >> that's right. >> the "new york times" correspondent, you're not on the les. i have neverered that of that. >> we made that will point to sean spicer and his team. there's a difference between having a gaggle or a small group briefing about a specific subject or replacing the daily briefing with a gaggle.
10:38 am
what happened friday, we protested it. we were involved in negotiating with them ahead of time and said, look, move the gaggle into the briefing room. it doesn't have to be on camera. not every briefing has to be on camera. that's okay. there's no legitimate reason for putting it in a place for not everyone in the press corps can answer questions. >> there are two things that made this different from what we've seen before. the bhous often has people they favor and will call in for briefings. two things make a difference. it replaced the daily briefing that day, and some reporters excluded seemed to be excluded because the white house wasn't happy with the stories their news organizations had written. ing that not something i have seen. >> on a day before president trump had started off his day at cpac talking about the media being the enemy of the american people. it was really the first time since the president has come in office is that perhaps the press office is implementing a policy related to that rhetoric, which up until now had not happened. the access has actually been
10:39 am
very good. that's something that i pointed out to sean as well. >> former president george w. bush was on the "today" show and nbc this morning, and he responded to this notion that the news media, the media or what the president calls the fake media, the mainstream media, is the enemy of the american people. listen to the former president. >> i consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power. whether it be here or elsewhere. >> greg, you have been a journalist for a long time. it sounds like he is directly responding to president donald trump. >> i think that, yes, a lot of people in the media right now are taken aback by how adversarial this has become. i think most people have been covering a lot of presidencies
10:40 am
know that this isn't so unusual in the first six to 1 months of an administration. i think every president comes in with a sense if they can control things, it's always going to be different. i know the obama folks came in and discovered after six to 12 months after a lot of head butting that it can't be different. what sets this administration apart is the explicitness with which they've framed this us versus them. i would say that it would be better to sort of think about a year from now how is it going to look? we have an administration that is still stumbling a lot. a lot of that is clearly a case of them just being very new at this. >> they have called the press the enemy of the american people, and that's -- george bush was trying to say that absolute power krupts absolutely, and you can't allow that to happen in this country,
10:41 am
and, by the way, i don't think any of us have ever met a president what really lod the press and really loved the way he was being covered. they don't. i think this takes to take different level, and what i worry about is the cherry-picking of the media. you did a bad story today so i'm not going to allow you into a briefing that should be available to every single member of the free press. >> president nixon spoke of the media as the enemy. his enemy during watergate. that was in a private meeting. we only learned years later of that conversation. >> one thing that struck me, number one, of course, he is a republican. in fact, from the nation's leading republican family probably. i guess maybe the trumps have replaced that now, but certainly a big republican family. the second thing is he has since he left the white house,
10:42 am
generally kept his mouth shut about public affairs. he has refused even though he has had many opportunities to comment on the developments, political developments, and he chose with the publication of his new book to take these questions on nbc and to answer them. >> were you given advanced notice? you're the president of the white house correspondents association that the president decided he would not attend the annual dinner at the end of april. >> we were not given advanced notice, no. that came as a sproo iz where. >> when you say a surprise, were you anticipating he would be there? >> yeah. i was. i mean, we hadn't -- we actually hadn't talked about it very much. i know that they have a date. that's one of the things we talked about in one of our first meetings with sean. we've had so many things and challenges to tackle over the last month that the dinner has really been lower on the priority list. we would have liked to have had him there. i would have liked to have shown what we've been trying to show for the first month that we can have a constructive relationship between the press and the white house team. we've worked really hard to establish that relationship. we would like to focus and
10:43 am
showcased that at the dinner. the dinner will go on, whether the president decides to come or wendt, we'll focus on the first amendment and the good work our members have done, and we'll give out scholarships to the next generation of our professi profession. >> did they give you an smangs? i saw his tweet. i'm not going. i wish them to have a great time. whatever he said. did he -- did they privately give you an explanation of his decision? >> they haven't been in touch with me about it, no. >> at all? >> no. >> what's been the reaction of the fellow members of the white house correspondents association. >> i think the reaction has been mixed. >> there are some people who are concerned about how the dinner would look. >> i want to introduce -- to talk to you about the president's budget. wh when director mulvaney is finished, we will resume the briefing and all the fun that goes with. without any further ado,
10:44 am
director mulvaney. >> i want to talk for a few minutes about the budget blueprint. the president started speaking about it this morning with the governors. i want to talk a little bit about what it is and what it sent and then talk about where we are in the budget process and what it looks leak from here. first of all, what this isn't. this is not a full manufacture blown budget. that will not come until may. you are not going to see anything in here that has to do with mandatory spending, entitlement reforms, tax policies, revenue projections or the infrastructure plan. this blueprint was never going to be that, as i made clear during my senate confirmation. it is a top line number only. as for what it is these are the president's policies. that is a true america first budget. the president is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran for office.
10:45 am
tation care of vets and increasing school choice. it is all of that without adding to the currently projected fy 2018 deficit. the top line defense discretionary number is $ -- a $54 billion increase. it's also the number that allows the president to keep his promise to undo the military sequester. the top line nondefense number will be $462 billion. the president is keeping his promise. he has been doing exactly what he said he was going to do. it reduces money that we give to other nations. it reduces duplicative programs and eliminates programs that simply don't work. the bottom line is this. the president will protect the country and do so exactly -- in exactly the same that every american family will do over the last couple of years, and that's compromise spending. the schedule from here.
10:46 am
these numbers will go out to the agencies today in a process that we describe as pass back. review from agencies due back to omb over the course of the next several days, and we'll spend the next week or so working on a final budget blueprint. we expect to have that number to congress by march 16th. that puts us on schedule for a full budget, including all the things i mentioned this one does not include, with all the larger policy issues in the first part of may. with that he'll take a kwchl questions. yes, sir. >> in order to get to your top line on the rest of the nondiscretion -- rest of the discretionary budget, if you're not going to touch veterans' benefits, you need to slice about 12% off of the rest of government. can you do that without affecting the services that government provides for the american people? >> that's part of what this process is this week. okay? the numbers go out, and the numbers -- each agency will get its top line number along with recommendations from omb as to how we think they can hit that number. they may come back and say, yeah, we think that's a good way to reach that number, and then
10:47 am
they came back to us with other suggestions. that's what this process is. i think it's fairly unusual for us to be coming to you this early in the process, but we want to let everybody know exactly where we were. snoo we're not talking about a 2% or 3%. we're talking about double digits. that's a lot. >> there's going to be a lot of programs. again, you can expect to see exactly what the president said he was going to do. foreign aid. the president said we're going to spend less money overseas and more of it here. that's going to be reflected in the number we send to the state department. >> thank you very much. one quick follow-up. that accounts for less than 1% of overall spending, and i just spoke with an analyst who said even if you zeroed that out, it wouldn't pay for one year. why not tackle entitlements? especially when a lot of republicans over the years have said that they need to be tackled. >> on your foreign aid, it's the same answer i just gave, which is, yes, it's a fairly small part of the discretionary budget, but it still is consistent with what the president said. when you see these reductions, you'll be able to tie it back to
10:48 am
a speech the president gave or something the president has said previously. he simply will -- we are taking his words and turning them in to policies and dollars. we will be spending less overseas, and spending more back home. i forgot your second question. >> entitlements. >> entitlements. >> why not address entitlements, which is the biggest driver -- >> this is a budget blueprint, but some folks used to call it a skinny budget, and it would not be at all unusual for larger policy decisions, including tax refo reform, revenue projections -- >> down the line could we see some type of -- >> full budget would contain the entire spectrum of the president's proposed policy changes. >> on rebuilding the mill military, can you talk more about the breakdown of that? can you go into a little bit more -- >> no, i can't. where we are in the process is that the number is going to the d.o.d. today, and over the course of the next ten days to two weeks, we'll be coming up with those types of details. i have time for one more.
10:49 am
yes, sir. >>. >> you are going to at least ask the people in the defense department to take a look at their budget and say, hey, where can we at least cut or look and make sure that we're spending the right amount of money? >> that's part of what secretary mattis and i have already talked. he is interesting in driving more efficiencies into the defense department. omb is also going to be involved with him on the precurement process. all of that will be incorporated in our larger budget in may. >> so it's not just a blanket here. we're going to throw money at. >> no, sir. last one. >> does this account for spending for the president's wall either in the $30 million or if you are going to ask for this year or the $54 billion increase? is that including money for the wall? how to pay for the wall? >> it would be more than likely a little bit of both. we will -- we do expect to include some money in a future supplemental for 2017 for the wall. thank you
10:50 am
thank you director. let me get back to -- there in a second, april. this morning, the president dropped by the national governors association meeting where 49 govern prosecutors from both states and territories joined cabinet member and senior white house staff to discuss where we can work together to rebuild the country and restart the economy. while there, he issued a statement on the upcoming budget proposal. the budge will first and foremost keep americans safe, that means investing in physical and testimony security. we will rebuild the nation's military and increase defense spending including increased spending for veterans and our border. will be matched by equal kmengs buy non-defense programs. the savings will come from removing outdated and duplicative programs. the spending will be sensible, rational and will be tough. with our deb spiraling out of control we simply must look at
10:51 am
the way we are spending taxpayers dollars. families are being forced to make difficultis chos because for too long the federal government hasn't treated their money with the respect they deserve. the national debt exploded from $10.6 billion to $19.9 trillion -- sorry, those are both trillions, the day before president trump's inaugural. every child born in america this year will inherit an average of over $60,000 in deb. too much. our budget will restore respect for taxpayers dollars, and fund all the measures necessary the kept our country safe and prosp prospering. this was a weekend of discussion between the governors and the administration. the president and first lady welcomed the good afternoonors to the white house last night for the annual governor's ball. and last night the president had a productive meeting with several governors. the administration is proud to be working with the good afternoonors on rebuilding
10:52 am
infrastructure, reforming our and putting americans back to work. we are committed to consulting and including governors on this and so many other subjects as we solve the nation's biggest issues together of later this morning the president had a listening session with. sof our country's leading health care insurance companies. interestingly on yesterday's abc this week, minority leader pelosi laid out an outline how to judge obamacare's success. she said it had three goals, one to lower the cost, expand benefits and the third to improve and increase access. let's go through her criteria. lowering costs. this year, all four tiers of obamacare insurance plans are facing double digit increases in average premiums. just to take a look at one set of premiums for standard silver plans in the state, 63% in the ten, 69% increase in oklahoma and a staggering 116% increase in arizona. on expanding benefits, in
10:53 am
reality the new law's mandates have led to mass cancellations of coverage, soaring out of pocket costs and declining enroll member figures. millions are choosing to pay a tax over buying the government mandated insurance. increased access. with floorns fleeing the marketplace, americans are facing a number -- a dwindling number of insurance choices. with 17% of americans left with only one option in their exchange. insuresers will be indispensable partners in the transition out of obamacare to the plan put in its place. the president's plan will encourage innovation, modernize our health care system and provide relief and access to quality truly affordable care. he is having lunch with pence and haley. afterwards, he is going to be meeting with mcconnell, following that, meeting with tillerson. the seth is coming off a successful trip to mexico where
10:54 am
he was join by secretary of homeland securiticaly. i'm sure the president is looking forward to discussing that trip with the secretary. also this afternoon the vice president will be speaking to a group of black presidents of historically black colleges and universities. we can expect a meeting of the president with them as well. this evening the president will have dinner with regional press affiliates that are in town for the joint session of congress. while it's traditional for the presidents of the networks to meet with the president before his address, this is the first time that the tune has been expanded to include representation of 18 regional outlets from around the country. tomorrow, he will have lunch with april corps. we have invied the big five, and many others. tonight the president looks forward to seeing his nominee for the secretary of commerce wilber ross confirmed by the
10:55 am
senate. the secretary designate has been a champion for struggling industries in the private sethors. he will now do on behalf of the american people what he has done in the private sector. according everything goes as planned in the senate tonight we expect to have him sworn in tomorrow at the white house. also tomorrow, the president will deliver his address to both houses of congress. he will lay out hess on theistic plan for the country. as i said before, the theme will be the renewal of the american spirit. he will invite americans of all backgrounds to come together in the service of a stronger and brighter future for our nation. in addition to laying out the concrete steps the president has already taken to make the american dream possible for all of our people he will talk about the bold agenda he wants to work with congress. this includes tax and regulatory reform to provide relief to hard working americans and their wysss, making the workplace better for working parents, ensuring the families who have
10:56 am
suffered under obamacare's skyrocketing rates see it replaced with a patient centered alternative, making sure every child in maesh has second quarter's to a good education. rebuilding of our military and fulfilling our obligation to veterans. you can expect to see a speech grounded firmly in solving real problems for every american. how can we make sure every american who needs a better job gets one. how we get children trapped in bad schools into better ones. the president will address the americans who have been waiting for help from their leaders for too long and let them know that help is finally on the way. we will be having a brack ground briefing sometime this evening in the briefing room. additional details will be provided later in the afternoon. as you might already know, the department of defense presented its preliminary plan to the white house today to defeat isis. this plan has been delivered by secretary mattis who is currently briefing the principles on the option presented today and seeking their input and feedback.
10:57 am
finally, the president continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned into i the reports of further vandalism at jewish cemeteries. the cowardly destruct in philadelphia this weekend comes on top of similar accounts from missouri and threats made to jewish community centers a rn the country. the president continues to condeem these and other forms of answerset semitic and hateful acts. from our country's founding we have been devoted to allowing our citizens rights to worship. the president is dedicated to preserving the originating rational of our nation. i was asked about the shooting in kansas. while the story is evolving early reports are equally disturbing. with that i'll be glad to take your questions. john. >> sean, there is a report this morning that you reached out directly to the cia director
10:58 am
pompeo. did you directly contact director pompeo and ask him to knock down the "new york times" story on the russia connection? >> thanks john. let me if i may walk through the entire time line. i think it's important. amentioned i think a week ago the "new york times" published a story about what they call contacts between members of the trump campaign and russian officials testimony fbi deputy director was at a meeting here at the white house that morning. after the meeting concluded he asked the chief of staff to stand back a second. he wanted to tell him that the report in the "new york times" was, quote, b.s. for viewers at home i think you can figure out what that means. i'll leave it at that. at that time the chief of staff said thank you for sharing that with me. can we let other people know that the story is not accurate? threat throughout the day they went back and forth to see what they thought was appropriate. finally came to the conclusion that they didn't want to get in the process of knocking down every story they had issues with. we then were informed that other
10:59 am
people had come to the same conclusions including chairman devin nunes had been knocking this down, telling reporters -- we shared a number with him of a reporter that had contacted. when the reporters contacted us and we said no to the best of our knowledge that's not true. they were asking can you point to anybody else who can substantiate this. i think we did a good job of saying sure we will share with reporters other people who have come to the same conclusion. i won't go into the specifics. i will say i think we did our job effectively by making sure that reporters who had questions about the accuracy and the claim made in the nooms that we were pointing them to subject matter experts who understood whether or not that story was accurate or not. i think just to be very, very clear on this, it was about an accuracy of the reporting and the claims that were made in there. plain and simple. about whether or not a story that appeared in the "new york times" was accurate. individual after individual continued to say that they -- as
11:00 am
far as they knew, they weren't. i think most of you probably saw chairman nunes's comments this morning. he was very clear, number one, that he reached out to us to say i've been telling people, reporters, that these allegations and descriptions in the "new york times" are not accurate. and then we shared that information with him. but he came to us to share that he equally had that issue brought up to him. he was briefed and saw, quote, no evidence that the story was accurate. so the answer is, you know, we have continued to give reporters information and sources that went to the accuracy or lack thereof of a report that was in a newspaper. and you know, i think chairman nunes also said it's interesting how we literally were engaging with the press saying if office question about the sourcing on this. wasly when brought to our attention we said it is a not accurate as far as we know. but then most of you and your colleague