tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 27, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
congressman congressman elijah cummings will be my guest. the news continues right now. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. let's pick up where wolf left off. this brand-new headache as a new investigation is launched into president trump's investigation of national flynn. we learned today an investigation was opened this month to take a closer look into payments flynn accepted from russian interests. we are also learning about nully classified documents that show the dia warned general flynn not
to take payments from foreign governments three years ago. this is coming from the house democrat, elijah cummings who lashed out today. >> the white house refused to release even a single document, not a single document in response to the bipartisan document requests. not one syllable. i watched sean spicer say how hard it would be to respond to our request. come on, man. i do not understand why the white house is covering up for michael flynn. i don't get it. after the president fired him. for lying. so the president fired him for lying about his communications
with the russian ambassador. they should be bending over backwards to help us. it doesn't make sense and makes the american people think the white house has something to hide. >> so the white house press secretary sean spicer just now in the daily briefing hitting back on the vetting process in putting the blame on the previous administration on the obama administration and how spicer responded to this saying these trips in question, the finances in question, they are saying your report didn't happen after the obama administration had signed off. tell me more about that. >> brooke, one of the things that sean spicer said, which was very interesting, he said he was taken aback at the accusations by congressman elijah cummings of a coverup by the white house. he said it was a very big deal and pointing squarely at the
white house about the fact that he says they haven't given any disclosures to the committee about what they knew about michael flynn's financial dealings with foreign governments. so secretary -- press secretary sean spicer coming out a few minutes ago saying that he was taken aback and then pivoted and in the spring of 2016 indicating perhaps that the trump administration didn't exactly do the proper vetting or enough of the vetting when they brought michael flynn in as national security adviser and then press secretary sean spicer went on to say that he's reiterated this several times whenever questions about michael flynn has come up, he said that the president made the right decision at the right time. so continuing to defend and bring michael flynn in as national security adviser and really continuing to shift the blame, in this case, to the obama administration.
brooke. >> let's stay on this blame game. thank you, jessica. i have with me now michael allen who worked under george w. bush and now is managing director of beacon global strategies and steve hall, a retired cia chief of russia operations. great to have you all on. for people asking about questions about general flynn and the blame game, he, general flynn, was issued a security clearance under the obama administration in the spring of 2016. the trip and transactions that you're referring to occurred in december 2015. so passing the buck back to the obama administration. >> i think we're conflating a lot of different issues here. the inquiry of whether you should deserve a security clearance or not is basically
you have to fill out some forms and you're sort of a judged to be able to receive suitable information. what the reporters are trying to get at is notwithstanding whether he's eligible to receive national security intelligence, did you also do a political vet of general flynn to make a judgment about whether it's a good idea for someone who sat down with president putin, to hold a position such as national security adviser. so it's career professionals, not politicals, who do these type of security clearance checks. so i think we've done a lot of talking past each other. >> steve, you're nodding. >> yeah. the point i was agreeing with very strongly is these are security professional who is do these security checks. there's really no politics
involved at that level. there might be some sensitivity given that flynn is a senior guy and some of the time when some of the checks were being done is director of dia. that's always a little tricky if you're the investigator. there's a lot of conflation going on. what are the connections between a guy like flynn and the russians because if i were a russian intelligence officer, he's the guy i would want to be my spy. i'm not saying that he did that. we don't know that yet because of these ongoing discussions. but he'd be the right guy to do it. >> and there are at least three investigations into it. that's the crux of it. but there are all of these tentacles from this story orbiting around general flynn. let me just go back. you're right. i don't want to conflate. it's complicated. there's an issue whether the dia warned him about going into retirement, money you made from foreign entities, the bit about
the security clearance. but just coming back to you, would they not have vetted -- the "they" being the trump team, if spicer is passing it back to the obama administration on the vet, what about if he was integral in the transition and campaign and onto the white house? did they not revet? >> apparently not and here's what happened. flynn was a senior person on the campaign. as far as these people in the trump campaign were concerned, he was a former senior defense intelligence agency. >> uh-huh. >> official. one of the top intelligence agencies in our government. so i think they assumed, listen, if he were good enough for a top intelligence job, he's suitable for, as far as we're concerned, to be a national security adviser. i think what should have happened is we should have had additional looks, not just in
the black and white of has he disclosed everything or has he not but also, hey, is it a good idea that we have someone who did take a high-profile trip over to russia? is that an appearance issue or is there more to it? i think those questions should have been asked at some point. >> that's one piece of it. let me move on to the next piece. if the pentagon, if dia said that they warned flynn against taking foreign payments and that he still did it as these declassified documents apparently suggest, does that prove that he broke the law? >> it's unclear if that proves in a legal sense that he's broken the law. again, i would agree that you have this constant drip, drip with flynn. i think that's why you're getting a lot of the ongoing investigations that you have right now and dod has one going now in addition to the fbi
investigation and the congressional investigation. so, yeah, appearances is an important thing and then what you do is important as well and they have senior positions in a new administration and i'm looking at what are the counterintelligence downside? flynn doesn't pras the pass the test. >> let's talk about carter page, michael, former campaign adviser, one of the central figures in this investigations over alleged ties between russia and the trump campaign. he was on "new day" with chris cuomo. listen to these questions and how carter page keeps saying
never, never, never until one moment. watch. >> did you coordinate or communicate the details of your trip or that you were going with any member of the trump campaign or add administration? >> again, none of those details -- they new i was going but nothing was -- >> how did they know? >> again, i don't talk about internal discussions -- >> but it matters. it matters. because the suggestion is they knew you were going. if they had an interest in you going, destructive to american policy. >> absolutely not. >> michael, how big is this? >> i think it's big. i mean, listen, the key committee here is whether there was coordination between the
leaks that the russians orchestrated from hillary clinton. >> and it looks like carter page is stopping short of admitting that what he's saying is in contact with the trump campaign but obviously they may have given him some sort of charge or instructions or it could have been very innocent. as you go over there, tell them we want a better relationship with them if president trump were elected. that's the crux of the matter. that's what he's going to have to answer under oath and i expect there's a lot of documentation and eventually the fbi will get to it. >> michael and steve, thank you both very much. let me continue on. why won't the treasury secretary guarantee that the middle class will not pay more under the president's new tax cut plan? the white house just responded. stay tuned for that. i'm brooke baldwin and this is cnn's special live coverage.
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>> where do you want it? around his neck. >> kids on capitol hill. house speaker paul ryan welcoming these guys and gals on take your child to work day. not just on the hill. aww. but over at the white house. however, behind these fun moments, there is serious pressure and posturing and maneuvering as there is less than 48 hours to go before the 100-day benchmark. and it's happening just as house speaker ryan says he's setting no deadline on passing a replacement plan for repealing and replacing obamacare even though the conservative wing of the party just announced a version that they would support. >> we're making very good progress. we're going to go when we have the votes. but that's the decision we'll make when we have it and this puts more federal protections in on pre-existing conditions. why this amendment is a step in the right direction, we believe the smarter way to do on getting
premiums down and protecting people with pre-existing conditions has had federal and state support for people who are sick. >> now the focus is on whether the moderate republicans will support it. we are also getting word today of this threat from the democrats. party leaders say they will oppose the bill that's preventing a government shutdown if a health care vote actually happens before saturday, that 100-day mark. carol lee is all over this, a white house reporter for "the wall street journal." this threat from the democrats, they don't have the votes, how much oomph is behind the symbolism? >> reporter: it's not very clear but you've seen the president and republicans trying to set up a potential government shutdown to blame the democrats, which democrats aren't really in control so that's going to be a hard one to spin but if the
government shuts down, it's going to be the democrats' fault. they've set that narrative. we don't know exactly what is going to happen. and they will punt a lot of this, to give themselves more time to work something out. certainly a health care vote, obviously to democrats, is a poke in the eye and that's why when it first came up, they were going to renew this health care push with republican leaders on the hill thought it wasn't necessarily a good idea because they need democrats on board to get a spending bill to avoid a shutdown. >> what about this whole tax cut plan that we saw 24 hours ago unveiled in the briefing from secretary mnuchin and mr. cohn that has a lot of, you know, critics of the president running foul and they dropped all these proposals but a total dirth of specifics. where is that today? >> reporter: well, the white house feels like they have a little bit of mom mentum.
it's an outline of the things that the president would like to see. it's very broad strokes and they feel it differs from the house republican plan and so -- but it wasn't outright rejected by house republicans so they feel good about that. but there's a long way to go because you need to, a, fill in the details and that's where all of these debates were going to happen and it's going to get difficult and then if they want to get democrats on board, particularly in the senate, that's going to be a whole other debate. and it's not clear how with the timing of any of that is, i don't think anyone expects it to move really quickly because these issues just don't do that here. but the president was very -- he was most clear he's been in terms of some of his legislative priorities, even though it was a very broad strokes outline of this plan. >> right. broad strokes, lacking in specific. before we let you go, do we have the picture from take your child
to work day? i was trolling your twitter page, looking very good in the front row center at the briefing today was little hudson, your little dude. >> yeah. >> i love it. >> at one point when sean spicer was talking and then he laid down with his blanket in the front which some reporters want to do sometimes, too. >> carol lee, thank you. see you in washington this week, my friend. thinking of sean spicer, white house spokesman sean spicer aims for major cuts in taxes but a few explanations as carol was outlining on the specifics about how to pay for all of this. and the white house didn't directly answer how it would benefit the president and his family and instead americans are likely applauding the president's proposals. so with me now, alexis glick, hello. >> hello. >> so taxes, taxes. we know the optics of this, two former goldman guys and the
critics are saying this is all great for the trumps of the world and wall street. >> i was on with anderson and then i saw gary cohn speak at a private event last night. one thing i'll tell you, go back and look at gary's story. he comes from an immigrant family, had displex yeah. grew up in cleveland. everyone is looking at him saying that he looks like a mr. goldman sachs but before anyone judges the decision making around this tax reform strategy, here's what i'll say to you. the headlines today scream this is the richest cabinet in history, they are worth $12 billion, the rich are getting richer. let's take it down to what you talked about, which is the person who voted him in office, the low to middle income earner. the estimates are that their taxes will actually rise because
of this talk around the removal of the deduction, the federal deduction on state and income taxes. >> yep. >> and that would really affect those in new york and california and stronger blue states. the reason they didn't come out with those level of income in those three brackets that they're proposing, they have to sit back and analyze how does that affect not only the long-term deficit but how will that affect the constituent, the every day person who is watching right now who put him in office. >> so on that secretary mnuchin was touting that this will be good for the middle class but stopped short of saying, yes, i can guarantee it. here he was with george stephanopoulos. >> can you guarantee no one in the middle class is going to pay more? >> that's our objective, absolutely. >> is it a guarantee? >> there's no guarantees until it's done and on the president's
desk but i can tell you that's our number one objective in this. >> i guess telling the truth and not overdelivering, you give him credit for that. but still -- >> and here's what i'll say to you, if you look at the corporate tax rate piece of going down from 35 to 15 and doing repatriation, let's take the trillion dollars parked overseas with huge american companies like apple, milike microsoft and others, let's bring it back to the united states, create capital spending and economic growth and take the company from 2 to 3% growth. >> that's what they are saying. >> that's the hope. but no one is really talking about -- search focused on, how are we going to pay for this? if you think about it, when they put out the border adjustment tax, when they put out free trade and china and are they playing with a currency, those are trial balloons and they've dialed them all back now. the one thing folks aren't
talking about is if we bring back all of this growth and we help support the economy, the other factor we haven't considered is will we start having to raise interest rates and how will that affect the consumer. >> right. everybody's been enjoying them. >> low interest rate, easy money. but you also haven't had a good return on your savings account. let's not rush to judgment. what i like is they put out some guide posts. it's going to take us through the end of the year but i would say to folks, let's take the time to think about, could dividends rise, could it be better for your retirement savings? might the implications for interest rates be something they have to factor in before they say these are the levels at which we're going to change the tax brackets? there's all kinds of things right now that they have to jockey and negotiate on. >> sure. >> and so i give them credit for putting out what they've put out thus far. >> right.
it's an opening bid. >> it is an opening bid. >> alexis, thank you as always. alexis glick. coming up next, more on our breaking news from washington. the white house blaming the obama administration for approving a security clearance for fired national security adviser michael flynn. also just in, flynn's lawyer responded to that. stay tuned for that. you pull out the tube and you spit in it, which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple.
this concerns the aluminum industry in this country and i want to thank everybody for being here and welcome all of the representatives of the aluminum industry, including gabe, the ceo of alumasource. we had a great time seeing the workers. they've been under tremendous, tremendous pressure he a strain by outside sources and we're going to end that so they can go back and grow and hire wonderful american workers.
also, i want to thank secretary ross for being here. he's quickly demonstrating to the entire world that we're serious about protecting our jobs, like aluminum in terms of our country and workers and it will be again. the aluminum industry has been unfairly damaged by foreign imports, destroyed thousands of great american jobs, jobs that are no longer. eight u.s. smelters have either closed or reduced production since 2015. only two remain fully operational in our country. the united states now produces less aluminum than we did in 1952. can you imagine that?
1952. we're doing less. and that's not going to happen. just a disaster. and we're going to start that chart going up the other way very soon. and secretary ross initiated yesterday, to submit a report setting forth his findings. based on those findings, secretary ross will make formal recommendations to the white house as to what to do about the problem and whether or not we do taxes or something else to get our aluminum business going again. it's critical to our manufacturing and defense industry base. its vital components mean everything from military aircraft and armored vehicles to naval ships at sea. we can't afford to become dependent on foreign nations for the aluminum that our military
relies on. as you look at our ships, i went to see some of the ships last week and so much of that is aluminum base which is absolutely insane and we're sending another clear signal to the world that we'll fight for american workers, for american jobs and we will fight always for the american dreamer. we're bringing it back. we're bringing it back fast. jobs are coming in. we've produced almost 600,000 jobs in the short time that i'm in office and that number is going very much higher over the next few months. you can see what is happening in michigan and ford and others are building new plants and expanding all plants and they are no longer talking about running away from our country. they're talking about building their cars and other products by other companies right here in the usa. so we're going to have a lot of things happening and i think the media, when they report it honestly, some of you do report
it honestly. a lot of great things are happening. people don't want to leave. they want to come back and create jobs in the united states. with that, maybe i'll just have a few folks introduce themselves. we can start with alcoa if we'd like. >> i'm the chief executive officer for alcoa. we've been smelting aluminum for 130 years. >> and it's been very unlevel for a long time? >> it's been an incredibly difficult decade particularly with the growth of china. >> go ahead. yes. >> michelle o'neil. >> thank you, michelle. >> larry, congressman from indiana. good to see you, mr. president. >> thank you, larry. thank you for your support, too. you're doing a good job. >> pennsylvania. good to see you. >> mike, that's real support. come here, mike.
you're doing okay there. >> heidi with the aluminum association and have 1 of 0,000 jobs in the united states. thank you, mr. president. >> lee carter, been in business since 1980 and we've gotten hammered over the last 10 or 15 years so i appreciate your support. >> we'll change that around. i promise you that. >> margaret, we manufacture products for the aerospace defense and automotive industry. >> barney scott, chair of the aluminum association. we appreciate this action and we're with you. we support you. >> thank you. appreciate it. yes, sir? >> ceo of century aluminum. we make high-purity aluminum so critical to the national defense. we had to separate from union employees there recently and with your leadership we'll be able to bring them back.
>> you'll bring them back soon, believe me. yes, ma'am? >> i'm president of alumisource. last june 28th, the president came to our facility and we shot the first cannonball over to the blue wall and it was an aluminum cannonball. >> that's right. that was a great visit. >> yes, it was. >> jason smith, congressman southeast missouri and we were one of those smelters that closed last year losing 900 jobs. >> you're doing a great job. thank you. >> jackie, indiana's second district. mr. president, thank you so much. we have a lot of aluminum in our district for the defense industry. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. wilbur, everybody knows, right? thank you very much. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. thank you. >> miss sanders? who is going to get the pen? that's the big question.
who's going to get the pen. >> thank you. [ applause ] thank you, everybody. >> any regrets about michael flynn? >> thank you very much. >> president trump there declining to answer a question about his fired national security adviser michael flynn after big developments over whether he broke the law. more on that. also, did the president
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ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you. it's a trillion dollar game of risk and president trump is holding the dice. while meeting with the argentine president, he talked about renegotiating nafta rather than withdraw from the trade deal altogether as he's threatened time and time again. >> they asked me to renegotiate. i will and i think we'll be successful in the renegotiation, which frankly would be good because it would be simpler. but we have to make a deal fair for the united states. they understand that. and so i've decided rather than
terminating nafta, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate. if i'm unable to make a fair deal for the united states, meaning a fair deal for our workers and companies, i will terminate nafta. >> this after a pair of phone calls with the leaders of canada and mexico conversations that the white house called, quote, pleasant and productive. with me now, politics reporter and cnn editor at large chris cillizza and glenda blair. chris, let me begin with you. we're 48 hours into this big 100-day mark and his team has been working off these promises made on the campaign. was this trillion dollar risk worth it? >> look, we don't know that yet but this goes to the power that
donald trump invests in talking to people. we saw this with china. china's not a currency manipulator anymore because the president sat down with the chinese president in mar-a-lago and got along with him. nafta was going to be canceled but then phone calls with the canadian and mexican presidents, now we're going to renegotiate it. you know, it's either strategy or he just kind of does what comes to mind at the moment, that this is a fundamental question of the first 100 days. this is not different than health ca health care or the wall funding. remember, he wasn't going to demand the wall funding and then he was. it's how he does business. i don't know yet how -- >> you wrote the book on the man. can you just -- how much is this trump strategy saying withdraw, withdraw, hang on, we just got
off the phone and we're cool. >> performer, hold on to the spotlight, always keep doing something unexpected, keep pivoting and frame everything as successful. so china's no longer a currency manipulator because he spoke to the president. the fact that it wasn't right before the election doesn't matter. it's because he spoke to him and had he that fudge cake. it's because he took a step. so he keeps reframing remember how we were going to have the wall? he didn't say that the wall didn't work. the wall is fine if it's next year. >> this is consistent with businessman trump and oval office trump. >> it's always a success and to me goes back to the power of positive thinking which was a big best seller in the mid-50s. his parents went to the church that was headed by the author of
that book, donald was married as well as his two sisters in that church, the parents' funeral was in that church and the positive power thinking, rule number one, create an image of yourself as successful, stamp it on your mind. >> believe it, believe it, believe it. >> and that's what we've seen again and again and again. >> chris, you wanted to jump in? >> i think that's so right on and the image i have taken, i watch a lot of cartoons with my kids and there's always the guy driving the train who's like putting down the track as the train drives. >> right. >> that's kind of what i think donald trump does. you put it down a track that's going to the right and then he moves to to the left. i always return to that metaphor at the beginning of "the art of the deal." he walks into his office every morning, he sits down, he doesn't have a plan, he let's it come to him and makes decisions
on the fly. to me, that's what you're seeing as it relates to policy. we have a tendency to look at the 100 days. we have a tendency to say what does this mean? what's the arc of the presidency? it's unpredictability and then declaring victory no matter what. donald trump's level of activity is off the charts. his level of accomplishment is lower but his level of activity makes it feel like this is the 1,000th day, not 100. it's only been 100 days. >> i've got you. chris, thank you. gwenda, thank you. coming up next in the bill o'reilly's ouster, now another fox news personality in trouble for some comments he made about ivanka trump and how she's holding a microphone.
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as if you needed proof of the culture over at fox just days after bill o'reilly's firing, another primetime host making a crude remark about a woman. and not just any woman but the daughter of the president of the united states. the president, who this primetime host just interviewed, none the l nonetheless, i saw this and i thought, you have got to be kidding me. >> it's funny, you know, the left says they really respect women and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that, they boo and hiss. i really like the way she was speaking into that microphone. >> so that was jesse waters. he just so happened to have gone on vacation after that remark. he offered up this explanation and i quote on air, i was referring to ivanka's voice and how it resonates like a smooth jazz radio deejay. this was in no way a joke about anything else.
okay. a week after the network's biggest host was fired over sexual harassment allegations and a year after the ceo resigned over sexual harassment allegations and this is not the first time that jesse watters has been in trouble. with me now, ana navaro and margaret hoover. >> i worked with jesse watters has spent about a decade of his career at fox news. he really represents the culture of what's acceptable at fox news and jesse, i want to be clear, he's a great guy. i like him. he's a professional. at least he was when i worked with him. >> can we just react to what he did? i mean, come on. >> this statement reflects the kind of bravado and if you
really want to go there -- >> let's go there. >> remember the locker room talk that we discussed on the campaign trail in reference to the incredibly vulgar comments of the now president of the united states? there's men that talk like this and they think it's okay. and i can see a group of guys having this conversation and -- >> but he was going on air. >> on national television. >> it's reflective of the kind of what you feel in the soup when you're over there. >> well, let's see. i'm obviously not blond enough or skinny enough to work over at fox news so i can only talk about it from a subjective and objective way. i hate talking about people but this is much more than talking
about sexual harassment and sexual innuendo and a story about constant inappropriateness coming out of fox news in particular. and it blows the mind that at a moment that there's so much scrutiny, that in that particular network, someone would think it's okay to make a joke. it sounded to me like i was talking to her voice like she was a jazz deejay, it sounded like trump said she had blood coming out of somewhere and then it ended up being her ears. we all know that's not the case and in the same way, many people on the right called congressman cedric, for example, when he made that crude comment of kellyanne conway. i think we have to take a vow of consistency no matter what side
of the political spectrum we're on or what network we're on. we're going to call it out. >> i wonder about women over at fox and if this trickles over to live television tv, it makes me think what happens when the camera is not there. >> i was there for four years. i am very happy to be at cnn now. bei i had a very mixed set of experiences. i've been candid about it. i had an extraordinary experience being on air with bill o'reilly seeing how he's so effective but also having uncomfortable moments over there and in many places where you see this in the workplace, the culture has to change. >> how? >> the culture isn't going to change until a lot of the folks who were there that worked for roger, who were his lieutenants, still in place, frankly, leave. there's no reporting out saying some of the leadership there would ask the murdoch boys for
support and didn't get it recently because he's been attacked a lot in the press. look, i am not -- that is not my media empire. it's up to them to decide. as somebody who is there, it's endemic on the culture to change and the leadership has to do that. >> the culture is going to change when people start paying the consequences for inappropriate behavior. >> yeah. >> and we have seen that happen in the last several months, whether it's roger ailes, whether it's bill o'reilly, whether it's this vacation with jesse watters. the culture also changes when more women realize that staying quiet is not the option. people need to speak up because now there are the perpetrators. let me just say, i'm not accusing him of sexual harassment but he was inappropriate. and the more that women speak out, the more that people in america speak out against it, i think the more folks realize, you pay a price for that kind of
behavior and if you want to stay and have an upward going career, you don't do it. >> i love you ladies. >> thanks. >> thank you very much. appreciate both of you. coming up next, the white house is blaming the obama administration for approving the security clearance for the fired national security adviser michael flynn. more on that, what his attorney is now saying, coming up. ♪ fun in art class.
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what led me to health coaching was my son having multiple surgeries, economy crashed, my mom had health issues. the anxiety seems to hit me when i'm trying to sleep in the middle of the night. i'd just wake up. >> what are some things that you could do on a daily basis that would be part of that self-care? >> wellness coaching is really about the whole person. >> get on the bicycle. >> helping them see a vision for themselves. >> i was so stressed out and so busy, it just led me to become unhealthy. >> thank you. >> here's how i'd like to eat but i'm not. >> what are those things that
are going to happen or open up from losing the weight other than that number on the scale? >> shifting that perspective, how can i do the things that bring me joy and recharge me? >> i'm trying to figure out foods that are satisfying and make me feel good. we drew a circle and she said what's in the circle of your life? she said, i don't notice you in there. and i thought, wow, she's right. there's not a debbie wedge. it makes me feel like i will get there. i feel optimistic and hopeful. thank you for being with me. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we've got breaking news here that the president's former national security adviser michael flynn may have broken the law by accepting payments by russian interests. the white house distancing itself from general flynn. the