tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN February 28, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
i'm brianna keilar coming to you live from capitol hill before the president's first address to congress. president trump will have hours from now his biggest moment since his inauguration and lay it out in primetime and before a joint session of congress. will he succeed in restarting a turbulent committee. he admits he could do a better job communicating. >> all i can do is speak from the heart and say what i want to
do. we have a really terrific i believe health care coming out. we have to understand obamacare has been a sdradisaster, we hav health care plan that will be inclusive and do what people want it to do, i'll be talking about that, talking about the military and about the border, and remember, we're getting the bad ones out, gang members, drug lords in some cases murderers. >> do you think that's not been communicated effectively. >> no i don't think so, maybe it's my fault. >> let me turn to white house correspondent sara murray, the president's aides are telling that it's going to be an optimistic speech, what are you hearing? >> reporter: that's right, we know that he's been working on it. putting finishing touches to it
to craft this address, it's certainly a big moment for him not only to address the american public, this is a guy who firmly believes he's the best messenger, but also address members of the democratic party and lay out his agenda going forward, we know there's a national security component and know how he's going to create economic opportunity, but what has republicans on their toes is this question of how much detail he's going to serf up particularly when it comes to health care, this is going to be their first big ticket agenda item but haven't seen this president lay out how he wants this repeal and replace process to go. there are people who would like to see him come out and wrap it around the plan and to repeal and replace obamacare and give -- space on this, but it's still not clear and the same is
true on tax reform, we have seen the president say over an over again that health care reform has to come first before you move to taxes but there's still a big question of what a tax reform plan would look like, whether he's going to embrace the bored adjustment tax and we don't know if he's going to delve if it or give sort of that same 10,000 foot speech he has in the past. >> we're now hearing from sources when it comes to obamacare and republican leaders are trying to get on the same page but don't tell that to rank and file republicans in the house who say they are ready for a fight. phil mattingingly, what are you hearing about this discord? >> reporter: the idea that house republican leadership and the administration are on the same page are not a small thing, some
have none or limited experience in government, and so it was really steep and republicans were leading the way walking them through the process, an i'm told the relationship has evolved but that doesn't mean it's an easy pathway forward, there are very clear splits right now on the most conservative side. you have the two most conservative groups kind of incorporate almost 170 of 240 plus republican members of the house say they are opposed to the leaks of the draft that has been released up to this point. first they say the main tenants have shifted since the leak came out, their going to have refundable tax credits, repeal the mandate, rely heavily on
health savings accounts but they know they have got to get their members in line. if he and his team are as close to house republican leadership as they seem to think they are they need a robust endorsement. we haven't even started it yet and to see the splits is certainly worry some, what happens if president trump calls up the chairman of the republican study committee and says hey, i understand yourern cans b -- your concerns, but it's time to get behind the speaker. that's why they want the president to get behind the game now and go forward. >> thank you so much. i want to take a closer look now on this deep divide that we are seeing here, joining me now we have the political reporter for the "washington post," and wash
bureau chief for the dallas morning news, so todd, you're hearing about this divide between republicans when it comes to things like obamacare and getting started what are you expecting to hear from president trump that could maybe nudge nem in a direction toward consensus? >> i will be listening to whether he is trying to scare people or unify people and the way he got to where he is and where his comfort zone is to build up the base to put pressure on fellow republicans to come at it from a different angle and i don't think he's going to lay out detailed legislative proposals, but try to put pressure to republicans saying you better come on board with me, there's a lot of difference between trump and republicans on certain things, the trade, the wall, hearing a lot of discord, he's going to have to make them feel heat from
back home. >> governing is very difficult. it's so much harder than c campaigning. one of the ways that donald trump campaigned and something heard in his inaugural speech was one of the challenges facing the u.s., he cast that in somewhat negative terms and now we're hearing he's going to be more optimistic. >> that's going to be a bit of a whiplash, especially amid reports now they're considering slashing the budget at the state department, so there's opposition up here to that. >> he has said if you slash the state department budget as i see it's going to be discussed it's going to be dead on arrival. >> right, and for a republican to threaten they're going to hold that up, gives it certain -- so todd is right,
he's got a lot of work do bringing his own party together set aside democrats who are going to try to be dramatic, we have not seen this side of donald trump yet. this is his speech, not necessarily a sales pitch to his party. but he has a big challenge ahead of him on obamacare, tax reform, and we haven't seen whether or not he's capable of that or not yet. >> this is a huge opportunity for president trump. do you get the sense that he an his aids close to him are really focused on that and are trying to seize this? >> i think so. i think he has been well prepped to stay on script to the extent he possibly can. they have scrubbed this, sanitized it. he's going to try to stay on message. he understands this is a huge audience, probably his biggest one yet and if he can present a vision of presidency that is
maybe a little more serious and has some gravitas that could turn around some skepticism. >> how dare you disdispupute it be his largest audience, there's no question. >> i just want to fact check that. i want to listen to donald trump. he spoke earlier today being a little bit in perspective and grading himself on how he's performed so far. let's listen. >> now in terms of achievement i think i would give myself an a because i think i have done great things but i don't think i and my people, i don't think we've explained it well enough to the american public. i think i get an a in terms of what i've done but in terms of messaging maybe a c or c plus. >> how are you going to change that? >> maybe during the speech. >> that sentiment gives me so much deja vu about president
obama said about not communicating things effectively. >> especially when it came to obamacare. mark the date and time that's probably the most humble he's been. >> it's presidential. to say if only people understood me better they would like me better. >> this is an area that characteristically where they thought they could improve on they would loathe to share that publicly. >> right. and if he's talking about promises he's certainly done that, his shaken up immigration, working on a tax reform plan on obamacare, and he pleased his base and infuriated everyone else, but i think everyone will agree the messaging has been a little bit tricky. >> his budget, obamacare and all these things he's running into
difficulties with his own party right off the bat maybe not completely surprising. i remember covering here the passage of obamacare and it was quite a tedious process, but what are the prospects of actually pushing through on these three different fronts? >> it turns out that governing is not as simplistic as it sounds like for somebody who has never been in politics before. he has come into washington with this very aggressive agenda, and just the bureaucracy and the amount of time it takes to get through congress -- let's look at border security, a good example. the republican base loved his message of more secure border but turns out texas republicans we heard all the time a wall makes no sense. this is a waste of blillions of dollars, so on the substance and
politics on it trump has had some tough lessons. >> thanks to both of you and breaking news coming in from jeff zeleny at the white house, donald trump during his address tonight is going to be addressing threats to jewish sites all over the country, recently he has come under fire for not being vociferous enough about it and that he is going to be addressing that. we will be looking for other objectives for this evening, and we will speak to some live who say no to his plan from his own party. and the president says he knows who is to blame to the leaks, president obama. >> and a father of a navy s.e.a.l. killed in yemen, called
president trump today blaming his predecessor for two major disruptions during his first month in office. wild protests at town halls across the country and leaks exposing what's happening behind the scenes, here is what the president said about former president obama. >> it turns out his organization seems to be a lot of organizing from a lot of the protest around the country and you, do you believe president obama is behind and do you think it's a violation of the code. >> i think his people are certainly behind it and some to have leaks possibly come from that group, which are really
very serious leaks because they're very bad in terms of national security. >> former trump campaign strategist is with me, welcome. >> and bill, to you first, what do you make of that accusation, the question was his organization is behind this, which is actually not true, but the president felt that president obama's people are behind this. >> i think it's hilarious, i really do, first of all for donald trump to be blaming the leaks coming from the white house on president obama or his organization or left over people. here is my theory, david can respond. you look at these leaks, who
have they hurt? reince priebus, sean spicer, kellyanne conway, not steve bannon. maybe steve bannon is the source of the leaks. >> no, i think bill is conflating two issues, what the president said earlier about the protests about the town hall meetings were organized by ofa, two groups directly tied to the president. and talking about leaks -- >> can i just ask? do you think he is instructing people to do this? >> no, i think folks directly tied to president obama have a great obviously have a great incentive to disrupt this current administration. they lost. they're not happy about it. they lost, so they're showing up at town hall meeting and being disruptive. the second issue is on the leaks, people leaked classified
information and whether that's people directly tied to the obama administration whether that's clapper or somebody else, it's to be determined and those things were definitely hurt. >> why sean spicer collected cell phones from everybody in his unit is because he think it is leaks are coming from the white house. these people are organic, not happy with the trump agenda and of course i think it's very rich, by the way, that the republicans with all the tea party protests in 2009 organized by the koch brothers are organizing town halls. >> i covered those town halls back in 2009. i was there on the ground in 2009 and while there might be a lot of sign aage provided by ko administrations, it was real. >> it is very real.
>> there's certainly some organizing but most of the people there are there of their own volition. >> i've had folks reaching out to me, sending all the materials sent to them by indivisible, telling them what to do, where to sit. >> hold on, there's nothing wrongmoveon.org. >> they're all tied to the obama administration. >>hallprojecttownhallproject.co people are coming because they are hurt by obamacare. >> but the president said groups tied to president obama are helping organize it. i don't think anythingoutlandi anythingout -- anything out landi outlandish about that at all. >> you have had leaders both sides of the aisle say look, you
need to be respect. behave yourselves, what do you make of that in. >> it's the chamber, traditionally a very solemn occasion. i hope people respect that. if maxine waters doesn't want to participate, just don't show up. >> i would echo that, i would hope the joe wilson days are behind us that happened once in history is disgusting and i think everyone should have respect and listen to what the president has to say. if you look at it half of the audience don't like him, the other half don't trust him. >> that's not fair, bill. come on. that's not fair. >> not even mentioning the democrats. >> tune in. i think you're going to see a great speech filled with optimism and a vision for america that the american people
bought. we're going to see reduced government intervention, the stock market loves this president. this is a vision of optimism. >> we're going to see another campaign speech tonight. that's all president trump can do, he'll brag about how big his electoral vote was and we are the enemy to have people. >> you two are so fun to have on. thanks so much to both of you. >> thank you. >> wolf blitzer just got out of a meeting at the white house, we're going to talk about it next.
>> three big headlines emerging that we have, the first involves what would be a comprehensive immigration bill. we're now told that the president is seriously thinking of introducing legislation, this would be the first time in about 30 years since the reagan administration, he thinks that comprehensive immigration bill might be able to get through the congress. he says it would require a softening on all sides of this administration official says. it would not necessarily lead to any immediate pathway to citizenship but would potentially lead to legal status for undocumented immigrants here in the united states, they would be able to work, have a job, pay taxes and not worry about being kicked out of the united states, no path to zicitizenship right away, but also suggested that
the dreamers, children who were brought here as young kids raised le raised here in the united states they will be allowed. it's a sad situation, this official says, they will be just fine. we're told by this official that the president is thinking of even including a reference to this new immigration bill before his speech tonight though that has not yet been firmly decided but it may be time for a new immigration bill to come forward and work together, republicans and democrats to see if something can be done. the last time as you remember briana, the gang of eight failed but maybe there's an opportunity this official says this time. a second thing is obamacare, saying it's very complex finding
a replacement but also says it's very soluble. this official says the obamacare act is a disaster, and says it will be repealed an replaced. it's going to take some time. the secretary of health and human services tom price got a lot of opportunity to come up with something, so they're pretty confident that some of the disagreements emerging among republicans in the house and senate can be resolved. it quote will be so wonderful i think we can do it. it will be great if everyone can work together and hope is that democrats will join in this process as well. third headline i want to get to involves north korea right now, the senior administration official saying north korea right now represents probably the greatest national security
threat to the united states referring to kim jong-un, he may be crazy, very strategic, still unclear but this official says he can't have a nuclear capability, we got to do something, now what is that something? one of the options is working with china which has a great deal of leverage over north korea to see if they can do something, this official says the chinese do have power over north korea, and oalso confirme that kung jung w-- kim jong-un responsible for the death of his half brother kim jong-nam. three big headlines emerging from this background briefing in advance of the president's address before a joint session of congress later tonight. >> wolf, just to revisit, you
said that his comprehensive immigration bill that he wants would include a path to legal status, not citizenship though, right? >> that's correct. it's still a work in progress, would not necessarily lead to a pathway of immediate citizenship, but a lot of the undocumented immigrants in the united states would have a path so some sort of legal status where they wouldn't have to worry about working in the united states, paying taxes but not necessarily becoming citizens. he thinks there's an opportunity this official says the president believes according to this official that he might be able to get democrats and republicans to consider this. once again just to reiterate it's not necessarily going to be in his speech tonight but the president we're told is thinking about even including a reference to some sort of new legislation
that would deal with comprehensive immigration reform. >> all right. wolf blitzer with some big headlines from the white house. congressman mark sanford, congressman thanks so much for joining me? >> thank you for having me. >> president trump would like a comprehensive immigration plan that would not include a pathway to citizenship but a pathway to legal status. what do you and some of the members of the house freedom congress think about that? >> well, this is breaking news so i haven't had a chance to discuss that. >> some republicans say that is -- to amnesty. >> it's a long way from what we talked about in the campaign, he talked about you got to leave
and can come back, two i think the devil will be in the details, is this a work permit program where we're talking about you have legal status because of a work permit? i think that's one debate. if it's seen as amnesty of people who broke the law, i think there will be problems in congress. >> one of the things he weighs maybe mentioning a plan or desire for this plan tonight during his address to the joint session is to assure dreamers, young people who are brought to the u.s. are undocumented im grants but brought to the u.s. at a young age, really know no other home that they're okay, they shouldn't worry, what do you think about that? >> i think the white house has telegraphed that's their position. i think there's a consensus in the house and senate in holding the same position. i think that's sort of a non-debate.
it may be discussed in his speech tonight but i don't think there's going to be change in the way of politics as it relates to dreamers. >> it's the pathway to status that would be of much more concern the you and republicans. >> correct. >> you have proposed to over haul obamacare, and one of the things you said, is maybe we will repeal obamacare but maybe not in its entirety, maybe repeal but not replace. it's essential we do both. you are already seeing a schism between republicans from what they consider a very difficult challenge. >> no question. and the president telegraphed when he said this is a lot more difficult than i thought. it indeed is complex and creates
the political energy we saw in town halls last week, people feel passionately about their health care and what comes next. for instance in south carolina premiums went up. went from three carriers down to one and something has to change, and something has to be done and senator paul and i introduce add bill moving us more toward a free market system and if you hold the bull down that's what it does. it does have bells and whistles, but some awfully different changes as well. >> so the bells and whistles are that kids can stay on their parents plans until 26. >> and how is this with house speaker paul ryan's proposal that you would like to see and do you support that? >> i think many conservatives have a problem with thus for
what leadership is proposing and the new entitlement. but that involves about 25 million people. what we're talking about here is a new entitlement that would entail somewhere between 40 and 50 million people in america an one that is not means tested so i think there are some legitimate questions from the conservative end on what this new program would look like, are there new taxes? apparently there are. an expansion to medicaid that hurts states that chose not to expand their programs? i think there are a number of big questions out there on that plan. >> what about the crux of the obamacare which is a tax credit for people who cannot afford health care and based on income they would be getting assistance based on health insurance? >> part of that is premised on continues to provide employment and health care. >> so you want to do away basically with the entire
employer-provided health insurance system. you know there's going to be major opposition to that. is that even realistic? >> you think about your auto insurance, your home insurance, they're not link toded to your employment. >> what do you say to a family who says that's nice, i don't really care about 1947 and this whole idea you're talking about different kind of insurance. i want my insurance. >> and you would get it and we would want your insurance to follow you. >> and people are saying i hate my boss, but i got to stay there because my benefits are tied to my employment. >> one more question, when you're talking about how really the kind of insurance plans you would provide, you're saying young people they don't have that many ailments they don't need a plan that is required to
have all of these provisions but isn't that how you offset the cost of older less healthy individuals how do you do this? >> it would be the case if young people signed up, but what we've seen to the tune of young people is i don't need all that stuff. so we say the quote essential benefits numerated by government why don't people decide what's essential to them. let them come up with a simpler plan that they pick to the buffet and as they get older they can add to it but you for the first time create an affordable insurance, it's not the case now we sesith with essl benefits. >> i'm having all kind of deja vu about this.
i do want to show you tape of president signing an order about water regulation as. take a look. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. we love west virginia. thank you. this was just handed to me. make counties great again. hole that for me. well, thank you everybody, i appreciate you being here. first of all i want to congratulate scott pruitt. [ applause ] >> it's going to be done in a very environmental and positive environmental way i will tell you that, but create millions of jobs, so many jobs are delayed so many years it's unfair to everybody, so i want to congratulate scott. thank everyone here today, we have a great group of farmers, home builders and county
commissioners all representing standing along side of me, also jim inhofe who's been so terrific in so many yways, and great friend of mine john baraso -- one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our lands, prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they're supposed to be doing. it's been a disaster. the clean waters act says that the epa is regulate navigatable waters that affect interstate commerce but a few years ago the epa decided that can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a
farmer's land ta they decide, right? >> yes, sir. >> the epa regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands. and regulations and permits started treating our wonderful small farmers and small businesses as if they were a major industrial polluter. they treated them horribly, horribly. if you want to build a new home for example you have to worry about getting hit with a huge fine if you fill in as much as a puddle just a puddle on your lot. i've seen it. in fact when it was first shown to me i said you're kidding around you? but they weren't kidding, in wyoming a rancher was fined $37,000 a day for digging a small watering hole for his cattle. these abuses were an why such incredible opposition to this
rule. from the hundreds of organizations took place in all 50 states. it's a horrible, horrible rule. has sort of nice name but everything else is bad. i've been hearing about it for years and years, i didn't know i would necessarily be in this position to do something about it but have been hearing about it for years. with today's executive order i'm directing epa to take action to pave action for elimination for this very destructive horrible rule. so i want to thank everybody for being here and i will sign wherever i'm supposed to sign, thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. president. [ applause ] >> so how important is this?
>> huge. huge. big league. >> the farmers, the ranchers, the rural land. >> putting people back to work for a strong and healthy economy. >> and i tell you you have the right man in scott pruitt. >> thank you. i appreciate. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> president trump there signing an order to review water regulations set by the obama administration to make sure they are more economically friendly, just hours before tonight's big address to a joint session of congress. he also signed two bills aimed at promoting women's careers. let's watch. >> today i'm signing two bills that promote women entering and leading the stem field. science, technology, engineering and math. currently only one in four women who get a stem degree is working
in a stem job which is not fair and not even smart for the people that aren't taking advantage of it. it's unacceptable we have so many american women who have these degrees but yet not being employed in these fields, so that's going to change rapidly protecting women with stem degrees, very important but also means you have to crack down on offshoring, because the offshoring is a tremendous problem that displaces many of our best american workers, and brains, the brain power so i want to thank you all for being here. vice president pence always felt very strongly about this issue and i appreciate that very much. and i'm going to sign this right now and i want to congratulate everybody in the room and we have to sign it today. i know we have a lot of things coming on, but if we don't sign this one and the next one today we have to start the process all
over again, right? so that's why we're here. >> okay. well thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. >> we look forward to it. we look forward to it. >> okay. okay, i think we all know what this is even though somebody took my notes. but, this is the second bill that we're signing. and that's the hr 321, the inspire women act. and ensures that the existing
nasa programs recruit women to stem related jobs and aero space careers, we're going to go heavy into the situation, so women will be a big big part of it. hr 255 enables the science foundation to support women and mentors of which there are many researchers and sicientists bringing their discoveries to the world and creating new ways to improve people's lives. so important. we need policies that help support women in the work force and that's really very much going to be addressed by my administration over the years and to get more and more of these bills coming out and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and those in stem fields. we want american women who
graduate from college with stem degrees to get stem jobs to support their families and these american women live out the american dream which they are so qualified to live out, so again, i want to thank you all for being here. fantastic, this is so important. thank you all is for being here very much. >> thank you, folks. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. [ applause ] >> thank you very much,
everybody. >> done gra >> congratulations. >> and you are looking at tape there of president trump who just signed two bills related to women's careers promoting female entrepreneurships surrounded by his wife melania trump and other officials and caught a glimpse of kevin mccarthy there supporting him as he signed those two bills. we also have new tape in of president trump signing an executive order that has to do with historically black colleges and universities. let's watch. >> okay? so this is historically black colleges and universities executive order. very important to all of us. this group has been fantastic, many of which we were with yesterday and really developed something very special so thank you, thank you all for being here.
thank you mr. vice president for being here. it's a very important moment and a moment that means a great deal to me. this month has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate african-american history and to begin working together to create a better future for african-americans and universities and colleges and everything that is african-american today we're taking action to help make that future happen and that future better. historically black colleges and universities are incredibly important institutions woven into the fabric of our history just about like no other. church is very important, right? >> that's right. >> colleges and universities. come here. my defender. >> education has the power to uplift. it has the power to transform and perhaps most important education has the power to create greater equality and
justice in our lives. that's why today i'm thrilled to be signing an executive order to recognize the importance of historically black college and universities. very important. they play such an important role in achieving progress for african-americans and our nation's march for justice. hbcus have been pillars of the african-american community more than 150 years. and a grand and enduring symbol of america at its absolute best and i congratulate you all to say that. >> thank you so much. >> with this executive order we will make hbcus an absolute -- in the white house. a lot of groups will be angry they're not a priority, and we
will support our shared vision and education and opportunity to all of our people and so i just want to congratulate, these are very, very special people surrounding me. you have done an amazing job. it's not easy, nothing is easy. >> no, it isn't. >> and i just want to congratulate you on behalf of our country and i'm going to sign this. >> thank you, sir. >> this is really fantastic. >> there it is. [ applause ] >> congratulations. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you all. i want to bring in walter
kim bbro now, one of the university presidents invited to the white house. you were inside of the room as cameras started flashing and you had this photo op with president trump. i want to talk about that but first the executive order. is it something that is substantive or symbolic? >> i think this is really the first step largely symbolic, so the main purpose was to take the white house initiative on hcbus so it raises the profiles to better align some of the resources of the federal government, so good first step but there's still a lot that has to be done. >> and to a point you had a chance to talk about what has to be done. you were invited with forei14 o
presidents, there's one photo causing a stir, with kellyanne conway, you look at it and your beef is something entirely different. tell us, because you had the photo op but in the end it didn't really mean that you got to exchange ideas? >> right. we had a marvelous idea to have a listening session where about 15 of us would have a chance to talk with new secretary of education, and agencies including omb to talk about the needs, my focus was to talk about the pel grant, we talked about more resources for scholarships and for title three programs so lots of things to talk about but then it was all a sudden we have the opportunity to go to the oval office and i really wanted to spend time
about educating about the hbcus and so we kind of got rushed. >> you wrote something on medium so that you could voice what you want today ta wanted to talk about. you said you were talking about raising the maximum pell grant because the purchasing power has hit a low over decade. you want it indexed for inflation. >> right. >> so this is your chance to talk about why the pel grant in your view is so important to students at dillard university and also historically black colleges and universities? >> so we're at the anniversary of president reagan, it was shifted that education is not a private funding but a -- we're at the 40 year low for the purchasing power of the federal
pell grant at the same time we're seeing historic growth, black college graduates have 31% more debt. >> and most students need pell grants. >> i'm 80% pell grant. so when that doesn't keep up students go into debt and everyone talks about this debt crisis which i agree but we defunded education so much that we have to have the government say let's invest in pell grants so they don't have to be paid back so these students can get out an move on with their careers. >> thank you so much for being with us. >> three big headlines on immigration, obamacare and also what he thinks is the greatest threat to america right now. this is cnn's special live coverage.
we are live from capitol hill where lawmakers are getting ready to see the president in person and primetime the president will give his address to a joint session of congress. the president believes north korea is the greatest national security threat. this is what a senior administration official is telling us. also saying that the president would like to see a compromised immigration bill and this official also revealing that an agreement on a plan to replace obamacare is close. we will get into all of this.
i want to turn you to cnn sara murray at the white house. his aides say it will be optimistic, rally toward a hopeful future and many of things i just talked about the break headlines. >> reporter: we certainly knew in some way the president would talk about immigration, but also expecting to focus on national security and creating economic opportunity, but sort of the big question is how far he is going to go on repealing and replacing obamacare, a senior administration official says they are close to having a workable plan, but there are a lot of republicans on the hill anxiously wondering what is the workable plan, is it the plan that house rep leadership has been working on, is the president going to embrace that, is he going to give specifics what he wants to see, you have seen in images inow