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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 13, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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remember that bromance between president trump and vladimir putin? about the only thing they agree on now is that the relations between russia and u.s. are bad. >> russia is strong country. we're a very, very strong country. we'll see how that works out. >> carter page, he tells cnn he's not a foreign agent, but how did the fbi get a warrant to monitor his contacts. plus you're about to launch missiles towards syria, what do you do next? well, if you're a president you have a piece of cake, and not
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just a beautiful piece cake. >> what do we know about secretary tillerson's meeting where vladimir putin? >> we know it actually went on a little bit longer. what i've been saying and you've been saying in your show these are two men who went beyond hy, how are you. they shook hands, sat down, and went to work. we're not wedded to one personality, so he was able to give rex tillerson that message. and on the chemical attacks, i'm sure they were able to come -- and you heard this, that even donald trump said that, look, we don't have any information that russia knew about this chemical attack. that was an opening for them to actually sit down.
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don, the list of things they don't agree on, they agree on that. it's a long list. i know what you guys are talking about tonight is the unpredictability, the change in policy. when barack obama and hillary clinton came to this capital in terms of talking about their strategy, the russian administration kind of knew where they were going, the allies knew where they were going, now it's sort of unpredictable that i do therng it's great for strategic advantage. not so much for allies but in terms of adversaryies. and don, this is just starting in terms of seeing in the months to come if they can get to any cooperation on russia from syria. >> and the reaction to russia and the russian press on what's going on. >> oh, it's incredible. it went from literally applauding the win of donald trump to what you would likely
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see during the cold war. and again that unpredictability of president donald trump is coming thru the media here. and again, the country itself doing a 180, saying basically you're no better than the last administration, donald trump. you may even be worse for russia. it's really interesting that donald trump seemed very pleased that at the u.n. when that syrian invitation came. what drum is trying to do is put russia into somewhat of a corner and one of your friends and allies, we're trying to make headway with them. try to come to the table, and then fight in sear you and then move onto that regime. donald trump was very clear he thinks he's a busher and an animal. >> i want to bring in cnn
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analyst major general mark, general wesley clark, former natocommander. here's what secretary tillerson said to russia and discussed. >> i expressed the view that the current state of u.s. russians relation is at a low point. the world's two foremost nuclear powers cain have this kind of relationship. and here's what president putin said. >> this was very unexeced, but if you consider that it was just a bit before, we actually got to know about it. i think that the level of trust, the waking level particularly in the military has certainly not gotten any better. it's degraded.
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>> did you expect this relationship to sour so quickly? zblel, look i think you've got to look at this prom the broader perspective. the united states and russia have different interests. and you've got to maintain level emotion. so you don't want to get into the position of oh, it's never been so bad and the next day, oh, it's so great. because the truth is we have different interests. russia invaded ukraine, that was pretty bad. and i can tell identify the europeans are looking ought what came out of this meeting, and they're concerned. because if you put you can on the table with syria as two things you're going to discuss, does this mean the united states is going to tradeoff something in syria for giving up on sanctions and protecting ukraine? and so it raises some concerns,
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and maybe that wasn't the intent of the statement. but that's the way it will be interpreted by many in europe. >> does that concern you, especially when he says when he's especially at the military level. puttin' does. what does that mean? >> well, russia wants desperately to have some kind of military cooperation with the united states. in times of a very unlikely but potential fight, we have abilities they simply don't have. russia has a military presence in syria, a military port. they want to maintain that. we're going to have to find balance, areas we can kwaperate with syria. but it will always tie in our eu
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partners. but we can find an area where we can get along with the russians. >> what do you make of the president's flip-flop on nato? >> well, look, this is stagecraft, okay? and natohasn't changed. the united states needs its european partners. natois very important, and i'm glad that the president said it's not now obsolete. but there's already been damage done. because in eastern europe there are people in every one of those countries when he said nato is obsolete, there are people who undercut the ideals in moskow and undercut democracy and the
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principl principl principl principles nato was standing for. >> the president hasn't minced words when talking about assad, syria and russia. let's take a listen. >> a person that's truly an evil person. and i think it's very bad for russia. i think it's very bad for man kind, very bad for this world. but when you drop gas, or bombs wrer bearable bombs. they have these massive bombs of dydynamite and in all fairness you see the same kids, no arms, no legs, no face, this is an animal. >> so today tillerson made it clear that assad cannot stay in power. do you think that the u.s. is russia can find common ground to get assad out? >> well, an interesting thing is that white house official says
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today that trump actually sees an opportunity in this chaos, in laying out his position to russia, they made sure to leave russia a way out with the strikes last week. they've been careful in speaking to reporters not to say they're sure that russia there was sarin being dropped on that town. they said all they know at this point is that, yes, there were russian military forces colocated at the same base. but beyond that, secretary mattis was careful to say we're not sure. in other words, they're inviting them to look at this case together. they know that right now we've got international inspectors looking at it who might then combine with the u.n. just as they did back in 2013, and that led to u.s.-russia cooperation. so in other words despite all this tough talk, what they're trying to do behind the scenes is give mus cow room to maneuver
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to get on the same side as washington. and that's why while you had all these tough statements out of tillerson, out of lavrov, you don't have a two-hour meeting and not get anything done with the president of russia. this is in a sense to take your analogy of the bromance being over between russia and washington, d.c., this is -- >> listen, tillerson is in russia at the same time the russian investigating dominating the news here at home. just tonight the fbi director james comey said americans need to inoculate against russian attempts to undermine faith and democratic processes. when that is your backdrop, what can you really expect to accomplish here? >> i think you still have to represent the interests of your
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country. russia is going to represent the interests of its country. and our interests in some areas coincide, and others they don't. you have to understand we've pressed for democracy in eastern europe and throughout the world. we support democratic institutions. putin doesn't, and so he's striking back against us. there's a struggle going on underneath, but nations work through this. >> you have to understand this really is about russia. assad is on decline. putin knows that. i'm certain putin is tired of propping him up, and the united states understands that. so what we have is a situation where if you look at civil war in history, within the next few years we might expect to see
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assad gone. that might be in the best interest of the united states, probably not as quick as we prefer, but it might allow both the united states and russia to have an agreement and to see an instate that we can agree to. >> they already have the assad replacement picked out, but we don't know who that is. if he's somebody who's going to slant in a certain way. so there's a lot of wrinkles in this that have been be worked out. we just to be strong, consistent. >> can we tell who came out in today's meeting? >> i think the best thing about today's meeting is they agreed to setup a working group to keep talking between moscow and washington, d.c. this group had this relationship, had to go through a rough patch to get
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better. moskow had to be put back in its place. >> thank you, appreciate it. how does the fbi get a monitor to monitor his contacts? if you have medicare parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. medicare doesn't cover everything. and like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, these help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. so don't wait. call now to request your free decision guide. it could help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that works for you. these types of plans have no networks, so you get to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. rates are competitive, and they're the only plans
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president trump who campaigned on improving u.s. relations with russia saying today they're at an all-time low while there are new questions at home about just what kind of ties his team had with russia. so let's discuss. we have a former cia analyst, and even mcmullen is a former cia operate who was a 2016 presidential candidate. good afternoon, to both of you. even, you thought what we saw between the u.s. and russia was a political charade. why do you say that? >> i'm just not buying into what
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we saw twaen the putin administrati administration. what happens in ukraine isn't of interest to u.s. taxpayers. then he gets to moskow, has his press conference with lavrov, and in his prepared remarks he doesn't even mention russia's interference with u.s. elections. that should have been one of the prime issues he addressed, and he didn't. and then today he avoided criticizing putin once again. when he mentioned what nato's chief challenges are, he talked about migration but didn't mention -- >> so a strategy from the trump white house -- you're not saying the trump white house and russia
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is in on it, are you? >> no, just the signs here may be a bit more subtle. both the trump administration and the putin regime are very skilled at political theater, and i think that's what we're seeing here. the fundamentals are the same. >> anita, i want to turn now to you. now, according to the post the fbi was able to obtain the warrant after convincing a judge there was probable cause to believe page was acting as a foreign agent of russia. here's what he said. listen. >> this is -- it's just such a joke that it's beyond words.
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i talk to diplomats all the time, based in new york. you're always meeting with foreign diplomats. and the reality is whenever you talk to foreign representativeative, the assumption is that on some level it's going to go back to the government in question. again, i never gave him any information which is material or classified or in any way improper, and the assumption is that it would go back, so it's quite an irrelevant question in my view. >> he thought it was a joke, but leerily the fbi or the department of justice didn't think it was a joke or run of the mill meetings, as page said, right? >> right. he has actually according to "the washington post" under a fisa warrant at the time. so that is completely separate
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from just talking to a foreign diplomat devising information. he would knowingly be engaged in working with a foreign power to clandestinely gather intelligence and information. so it's not just something that is part of a casual conversation that he would have been swept up in. >> i have to ask you as a former cia operative, even, because last night the former chief of operations steve hall thought he was involved in a russian foreign intelligence operation. do you agree with that. >> well, if you read "washington post" reporting on this, they say that they agreed that carter page was knowingly cooperating clandestinely with a foreign power. so steven hall is right in that
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regard. that's what was described. >> he said what was described in the post article was similar to a russian intelligence operation. >> yeah, well that's what it is. when you say that somebody is knowingly cooperating clandestinely with a foreign power, you're talking about that's an operation. that is a russian intelligence operation. all countries run them but, you know, they take local cooperation with an operative from a foreign power. that's what an intelligence operation is. that's what's being described in these -- apparently "the washington post" in the fisa application. >> let me ask you. when he was brought into the campaign as a foreign policy advisor, what did you think? was he known as an expert? >> no, he wasn't known.
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it struck most of us as a surprise. but, yeah, i had a number of conversations actually with people about that list of foreign policy advisers, and one of the people who we discussed most was carter page and how we had never heard of this guy and how it didn't make any sense. but now sort of in retrospect when we see there's so many connections between the trump campaign and russia and we learn about carterer page's own connections to russia, now all of a sudden it makes more sense. but i think the question we need to get answered is how exactly did carter page get onto that list of advisers? who brought him in? carter page wouldn't answer that question today. >> paul manafort's, trump's campaign manager last year is expected to answer questions
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about his involvement with ukraine. what do you think -- what other questions do you have about manafort and about people like carter page who had been associated with this administration or at least with the campaign? >> well, certainly from an intel gathering perspective i would wan to know what manafort's involvement was with ukraine. we saw today from a router article that he's involved with payments from the ukraine government. so at this point i think it's fair to say that the fbi would want to sit done and clear up some of this stuff that it's true as carter page says today on the show, he wasn't involved in any kind of clandestine activity. well, some of these actions need to be slained. and i think in addition to some of the travel they took to russia in addition to those that they. many of us have not been part of
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a fisa warrant application. thank you even, thank you, anita. i appreciate it. >> thank you. i'm going to speak to two of his former employees. pain used to shut me down during pick-up games.
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is president trump appearing to cut chief strategist steve bannon loose from his inner circle? let's discuss this now. two men who worked for breitbart news. earlier today the president told the news he's a guy who just works for me. you have to remember he was not involved enmy camane until very late. i had already beaten all the centers and governors, and i didn't know steve. what's the connection between the president and steve bannon? >> well, it's certainly not as distinct as president trump is
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trying to make it look like it does. donald trump was a frequent guest of that show. and in fact during the campaign, it's really a lot of where reporters went to get an ideas of where trump's policy issues were because that's what came up in these frequent discussions. not only was donald on that show a lot, you had ivanka on there, jared on there. it was a very trump-centric platform. to say he didn't know him before he officially came on the campaign, is just wrong. >> is this like oh, steve banp, i didn't know him that well, i'm just starting to know him. is that what you think is happening here? >> it's just absurd. it bothered donald trump that steve bannon was being parried
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on "saturday night live". >> why did you say he's setting himself up, kurt? >> when use inviting a spotlight that takes away from your boss, and that's flying too close to sun, and that's why he's getting burned. >> you say it's not about steve bannon but the agenda he ran, right? explain that. >> people who supported donald trump, the donald trump base whether they were registered republicans in texas or democrats in washington, they were dispodes to steve bannon. jed bush was donald trump's primary and first target.
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and then of course donald trump was very upset about hillary clinton and her connection to the establishment. and by the way, trump also went after hillary for connection to golden sacs. he went after ted cruz for his connection to goldman sachs. and even though bannon was a former goldman sachs guy, he had a different view of this. he didn't like sort of the the '90s golden era greed. bannon brought about 1,000 hours of radio. so brightbart new who he was.
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he's someone anteglobalist is another way to put it. his ideology matches with millions of bright bart leaders. >> if he leaves the president's side, what happens to the base then? >> first of all, i don't know if i'd use far right. i think that the base right now is confused by a few policy moves the trump administration has made in the past few days. and they're particularly confused by a growth and power of ivanka trump, jared kushner, and two people they brought in, don. that's gary cole and dina
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powell. they have gained a lot of power. dina powal has become a deputy national security advisor. >> why is that concerning and confusing to them? you said it's concerning, and why so? >> for one thing it is concerning because they're both registered democrats. they're current democrats right now with a clear record of supporting the establishment. in the case of someone like dina powal, for instance, one of her friends is valery jared who's currently living with the -- it's very concerning. and it's an ideological concern as much as anything. >> well, then, kurt, you remember during the campaign
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when conservatives were saying he's actually a democrat and running on this ticket because he thinks he can win. are the -- >> i think what you're seeing now is symptom of failure. he would be able to deliver conservatives when he needed them, and when steve kind of cleared out the gaunt lnt during obamacare repeal are lawmakers, he rebuffed that and didn't respond to that, i think trump in his mind first saw well, steve, apparently can't deliver these things. why do i really need him at this point if i can't use him to speak to the conservatives and the alt-right to get this stuff done. i think for a lot of republicans
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right now, it reminds me very much of when arnold shwarzenegger became governor of california. they infuriated all the republicans who voted for davis and put arnold in. >> fascinating conversation. i'll have you both back. thank you so much, gentleman. >> thank you, don. we have news tonight on another member of president trump's inner circle. he spent the day making appall aelg after apaelg that hitler didn't use chemical weapons. telling a town haul audience tonight that's what he thinks should happen. >> spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday, and he
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admitted it. if you're not familiar with what he did is that he -- he needs to go. when we come back, president trump not letting facts get in the way of any story he wants to tell. we're going to break down the bluster and get to the truth. lots of wrinkle creams believe the more mysterious they sound, the more... powerful you'll think they are. it's time to see what power really looks like. new neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair with accelerated retinol sa. clinically proven to reduce wrinkles in just one week. wrinkles? your time is up! rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots. rapid tone repair. neutrogena® see what's possible.
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president trump has had a rocky relationship with the truth in the first months of his presidency. let's discuss now. and cnn political contributor hillary rossen. hello, everyone. let's see, hillary, you first. i want to play a quick clip of president trump's clip on fox this morning. he continues on the statement that he was wiretapped. >> when you look at susan rice and what's going on, so many people are coming up to me and apologizing now. you were right when you said that. perhaps i didn't know how right i was. >> that what you were referring
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to with susan rice? she said she didn't do it for political reasons. >> does anybody really believe that? nobody believes that. even the people that try to protect her in the news media, it's such a big story, and i'm sure it will continue forward. but what they did was horrible. >> i didn't have a better phrase than doubling down, because it's more than that. but members of both parties say there's no evidence, people who have seen the papers that susan rice was spying on the trump campaign and she did nothing unusual or illegal, but it doesn't stop thepress from perpetuating a false story, and still, again, it has nothing to do with his original tweets. >> unfortunately my old friend didn't actually know the facts here. because if she did,shield have
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been able to push back on his that the original story wasn't about susan rice, that it wasn't wiretaps susan rice had called for and the like. but what we do know over the last couple of days a bipartisan panel in the house has said there actually was no evidence that either seussen rice did anything as national security advisor, and that there is still no evidence that the obama administration wiretapped president trump or his associates in trump towers. you know, the fact he is so memorized by his own crap and his own bull is just astounding. and i think it's exhausting for yearnalists who interview him to constantly hark back to no, that's not true. you literally would spend you entire interview contradicting him with facts. >> what the fact is we don't know what is true in this case. >> in this case, we do.
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>> no we don't because if you read the same story on down they said othergressional groups said there were questions raised. none of us have seen the documents, so to speak with authority, you're speaking on absolutely no first-hand knowledge and no first-hand basis. >> that's not true, kaley. >> you've seen the documents. >> look, kaley, we can clear this up real quick. the white house can declassify the documents so the american people can know for a fact that nothing is a miss or nothing is a flip or wrong. and i think tray gowdy, when he first took over he noticed susan rice did nothing wrong. i think the bigger story here is donald trump has a disregard for the administration and a zrard
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for the facts and the truth. and what does this say when his entire administration is so hell bent on twisting thins. like we are in deep doo doo here, you know. >> well, the story has gone to whether the president had a right to mask or unmask, and so far there is been no evidence of it. most of it has been proven false, so one wonders with the disposalal of every single agency and asset would continue to go with this? obviously there is none, because he doesn't do it. >> i think we have to be careful in our dialogue to the american people about what's going on and using large terms and phrases like the entire administration, and this president, and things of that nature, talking about
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them using or saying things that are false. i mean that's just not true. what we do know is that the president believes that what secretary -- or ambassador rice did was not appropriate. now, whether or not it was legal -- >> to say that's legal is not the same thing, though -- >> the language is appropriate as -- to say it's inappropriate as well is also not true. >> the president believes that if -- >> the president is believing something that's not true. >> right. and you have to go -- >> if the president believes that ambassador -- >> the president believes frogs can fly, that's not exactly so. >> that's exactly right. the president can actually show the truth at any moment. but i don't even think you have to go to national security issues, which tend to be a little more opaque than other
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issues to just look at this sort of constant stream of falsehoods that come out of his mouth. whether it's about xm bank or jobs being cretted and how the republicans and damns, and how off margin was extremely narrow. there's just this constant stream from the president. >> hillary, there's a constant treme of you talking and not letting people speak. like ricky bobby said in the movie -- >> he doesn't say that. >> ricky bobby said either your first or your last you have -- >> going to ricky bobby now. >> for us for the president to tout this win when everybody was against is a totally -- >> let's put this tweet out.
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what we're talking about is -- can you guys let me get it in here so we can discuss it please. so this is what he said. he said great win in kansas last night for ron easily winning the race against demes. there were several lies in that tweet. in 2016 republicans won that slot by 31%. that was not an easy win. donald trump won the district by 21%, that's actually a big drop in support. they spent almost nothing knowing how red the district was. democrats never expected to win the seat. they definitely did not predict victory. yes a win is a win, but his tweet, what he said, paris, is not true so why even say it. >> because when you're the
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president of the united states, you're also the president of a party. making sure people -- >> so you say they lie to get people behind you? >> i don't think it's fair to call it allie. >> he talks a lot about the value for him, and he talks about this for years, the value of hyperbole. republicans across the country looking at that drop from 27% margin down to 20% margin. >> it's a win. >> we will be right back. >> victory is victory. >> we'll be right back. hey allergy muddlers are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one
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all right, and we're back. we don't have much time. my pam is back. all right, everyone in the same fox interview that the president gave when he decided to pull a trigger on syria while eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake with the chinese president in mar-a-lago. look. >> we have now finished and now
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having desert. and we have the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever seen and president xi was enjoying it. and i was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do? and we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were underway. and i said, mr. president, let me explain something to you -- this is during desert. we've just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable from hundreds of miles away. so what happen is i said we just launched 59 missiles headed to iraq. >> heading towards syria. >> yes, heading towards syria. but he said an amazing piece of chocolate cake. and i loved it.
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the second most powerful man finally exhibiting power on the world stage. >> i thought it was a commercial for his lovely chocolate cake and his lovely private establishment and again how we have donald trump's business all mixed up in our national security. >> the problem is we missed the mark. we didn't focus on the fact that the president had a brill i want strategy. >> the president thought he was hitting iraq. >> there we go. that cake must have been good. all right, good night.
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a series of significant policy shifts. reversals. 180s. u-turns. big changes including russia, nato, china. the president's new out look. welcome to early start i'm christine romans >> and i'm dave briggs. my body clock has flip flopped and so too has the president on virtually everything. >> good to be back. a stunning display of


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