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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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breaking news. president trump warns a major, major conflict with north korea is possible. this is "cnn tonight."
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that as michael flynn, the investigation, heats up. the pentagon warn eed general flynn in 2014 about accepting payments. now the department of defense is investigating. a top democrat on the house oversight committee charges the white house is covering up for flynn. let's get right to jason miller, david rhodes, julia kaianne, and colonel laden. listen first. >> well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with north korea. absolutely. >> so colonel, how do you interpret what the president is saying there? is he talking about u.s. military engagement? >> well, i think he is, don, but the issue here is, you know, what kind of a message is he trying to send.
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and i am somewhat puzzled that he would phrase it in that way because the minute that he talks about this possibility, the likelihood of it happening could potential increase. that's something that he wants to avoid. i don't think that was his intent, but the fact that he talked about it as if he is a dispassionate observer gives me a lot of concern. >> how do you suppose north korea will respond to the president's remarks? >> well, i think they might just ratchet it up on their side as well. they may in essence say, bring it in on, in their version of that. in th-- if they do that, tensio on the korean peninsula will get higher than they are. i don't think we want that. >> the president does say he would prefer a diplomatic outcome. does that make you feel any better about this? >> well, i guess in the sense we all would hope for a diplomatic
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outcome in any of these conflicts, but just picking up on what the colonel said, it is just these sort of random moments or statements that have real serious consequences in national security and foreign policy that are going to be interpreted by our allies as well as our enemies. let's just be honest here. no one knows how to interpret it. that's not good. the sort of -- we're trying to figure out the trump doctrine. it can't possibly be, you know, read my mind. that cannot be the trump doctri doctrine, and i think we're all just sort of honestly confused by the various opinions coming out of trump himself, let alone varying degrees of aggressi aggressiveness between his u.n. ambassador and his secretary of state. >> he says, he's 27 years old. his father dies, took over a regime. so say what you want, but that is not easy, especially at that age. i'm not giving him credit or giving him credit.
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that's a very hard thing to do. as to whether or not he's rational, i have no opinion on it. i hope he is rational or i hope he's rational. he has no opinion on what kim jong-un is rational? >> i'll respectfully disagree with the president on this one as i think kim jong-un is completely nuts. the president realizes he has to have china engaged on this issue, that diplomacy is going to be key. north korea is a completely different situation than what we had in syria or other area hot spots around the world. the fact is kim jong-un is nuts. we know seoul is only 30 miles south of the border. this is a very dangerous situation, so i think the president's right. we have to get china involved here. >> i think this is the first time i've heard you disagree with the president, so that's interesting to hear. >> this is for you, david. a poll shows before tonight's breaking news in north korea,
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37% of americans think north korea is an immediate threat to the u.s. what do you make of those numbers in light of what the president is saying tonight, david? >> i'm surprised the numbers aren't higher because i think tensions are way up. there's much more information about there about the missile technology they're developing and potentially reaching the u.s. maybe those numbers will go up as more news gets out there, but it's a very difficult situation. i agree with yjason. the president is playing the china card. in the same reuters interview he was praising president xi of china. this is a very different trump than candidate trump who talked about china being a currency manipulator. will china deliver? this appears where it's going to be going. he seems to believe in that relationship or is betting on it
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publicly and could work. let's give trump credit. maybe he has built this amazing new relationship with china. >> if you look at the poll, you talked about the immediate threat, but if you look at the overall threat of north korea, that number was at 86%. so americans definitely do realize that north korea is problematic and could impact our allies and set off something in the region that's very problematic. that's a pretty darn big number. >> moving on now, let's talk about russia, julia, because there was big news today on the investigation into president trump's former national security adviser, michael flynn. he didn't get permission to travel to moscow. he was paid by the kremlin backed news station rt and allegedly didn't disclose that. he was also warned about accepting payments from foreign governments. what do you make of flynn's actions? >> well, i mean, they were clearly in violation, if the letter is accurate. they were clearly in violation. we've all been saying flynn
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should have been kno should have known better. i want to separate that and having to do with flynn, which will be an internal pentagon issue, which it should be. he violated basically his oath to the pentagon essentially and to the united states. there's a separate issue which is of course is the defense by the white house, saying, well, he got security clearance through obama. i want to state what the law is and why sean spicer was factually incorrect. when you leave government service, as many as i have, three different times in my career, you have to restart your security clearance because the belief is that i've done things in between those two services that might be something that should be disclosed. i might have worked for a foreign government. i might have done something. because there was a disruption in service, obama fires him, he gets rehired, that's why this new security clearance is relevant. so the sean spicer thing, everyone was jaw dropped because
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in national security law that is basically known. it's a restart. you don't hold onto your security clearance for life. >> jason, are you buying what sean spicer said? do you understand what juliet is saying there? basically they're saying it was the obama administration's fault, they vetted michael flynn, and this white house didn't have to vet him, for these matters at least. >> i want profess to be an expert on the top secret security clearance forms you fill out. if the obama administration reauthorized michael flynn's security clearance after going to russia -- i'm not sure if julia is off there, but the previous administration did reauthorize that. >> julia, do you want to explain? do you want to respond? >> so you have to do a review every five years regardless. so there will be different reviews depending. if you stay in government service, even after five years,
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you have to ratchet up. not all security reviews are the same. i will have different classifications basically depending on how close my proximity to the white house. a national security adviser also will have an increased review than, say, an assistant secretary who is further down the pecking order. once you get it and it is reauthorized that it would etend into a national security adviser role is just not true. he ended his service. i don't want people to be confused you have it for life. none of us do. >> julia, did the obama administration not reauthorize general flynn's top secret clearance after he made that trip to russia? >> not in the summer right before the election, no. >> i want colonel laten to weigh in. go ahead, colonel, because you would know about these matters. >> sure, don. the big problem is this. traditionally, generals like
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general flynn have had security clearances and they keep them after their service, but there's a huge backlog in security clearances. even for general officers, it becomes a pencil whipping exercise. you just go through the motions and you give it to them just because they've had that position. that is not a good way to handle it, but that is in fact the way a lot of things happen within the department of defense. the whole idea that there was no other vetting done or at least that's what appears to have happened, that is the real problem here. these types of issues with security clearances and with vetting for positions, that should be something that is handled for each particular position. and if you're going to be the national security adviser, you must go through all kinds of vetting procedures that are in addition to the security clearance procedures on the sf-86. >> i want to get this in really quickly because i think it is really important. we have new poll numbers out on russia.
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57% of americans see russia as unfriendly or an enemy. when you break it down by party, 74% of democrats, 82% of republicans considered russia unfriendly. fast-forward to today, for republicans, that number drops to 41%. what do you attribute that to? >> largely donald trump. he repeated over and over again that russia could be a partner. >> half of republicans changed their mind because of donald trump's stance on russia? >> i'm not sure. i'm no expert here. i think it was a driving factor. he has this very loud voice in that period. >> i think there's no other explanation for it. we'll just see if that holds, don and david, if the administration's opinion about russia changed policy-wise.
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through all this trump/russia stuff, there's been no significant change in policy vis-a-vis russia in the last 100 days. >> colonel, why didn't the democrats change? >> you know, that's very interesting. i think part of the explanation, don, is that in fact the republicans were swayed by their nominee. the fact of the matter is the democrats have continued to look at russia as a threat, which is kind of the opposite of what it was during some periods like the immediate post-vietnam era. it's very interesting to see the parties reverse themselves in this case. >> all right. thank you all. when we come back, more on our breaking news. i'm going to ask a democratic congressman how he thinks president trump is handling the rising tensions with north korea. thithink york ? this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state.
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stark words from president trump tonight on the growing crisis with north korea, telling reuters he hopes the tense situation can be solved diplomatically, but also issuing this warning. >> well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with north korea. absolutely. >> joining me now is congressman tim ryan, a democrat from ohio. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. before we get started on domestic matters, i want to get your reaction to president trump telling reuters in an interview
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that there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with north korea, but we'd like to solve things diplomatically. what's your reaction to hearing that? >> i guess a worry a little bit about how he speaks so hyperbole. i don't think that plays very well when you're dealing with international diplomacy. there's always a chance of things happening. there's always a chance of something bad happening, but i think this is an issue that we can resolve. we have a lot of artillery and a lot of strength and a carrier strike force in that region, and we're prepared, but we're also talking. and i don't think it's in anyone's interests, whether it is china, north korea, south korea, the united states, to overblow this thing. it's something we need to be concerned about and work on, but it's like a quarterback in a football game. you want the quarterback that
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keeps a cool head. i hope he can do that. >> this comes one day after you guys were taken over by bus to the white house to be briefed on it. does this stand in opposition to what you heeard or does it go along with it? >> in the house, we have a br f briefing at the house of representatives. there are things to be concerned about, but i have a tlot of trut with general mattis and the national security team. and i think they'll keep things in perspective, but i think it is all important for the president to keep things in perspective for the people of the united states and not to overblow things, not to overstate things, not to incite any more anxiety into our global diplomacy than is already there, and i hope he can kind of tone things down. people don't need to worry about this. it's not to the point where the average american needs to worry about it. it needs to be dealt with diplomatically. and i think the secretary of
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state and the secretary of defense have things moving in the right direction and we'll continue to monitor it, but there's no need to overblow things. >> i want to talk about the president's tax proposal. do you see any democrats supporting the president? his argument is if the business tax rates are cut by 15%, it would make u.s. corporations more competitive. could that be a good thing? >> yeah, it could be a good thing. i think simplifying the tax code is something we really need to work on. it is very frustrating for most americans to try to deal with the tax code under its current standards and make up, so we have to move past that. i think corporate tax rates are too high, but the way that trump's proposal, president trump's proposal, is right now is it is going to be a real boondoggle for the wealthiest multinational corporations who have enough lawyers to be able to figure things out. it's not necessarily going to benefit the small business person or the start-up business
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person. i think in the meantime it's going to put trillions of dollars on the national debt, so it is basically a tax cut for the wealthiest people in the country. and they're borrowing the money that we're going to have to pay interest on for years to come. so if you take both of these issues back to back, they're trying to pass a health care bill that's going to throw people off of health care, 24 million with the last one. it's going to jack up premiums, cost more, eliminate preexisting condition protections, and at the same time there's going to be a huge tax cut for the we wealthiest multinational corporations, that's not what the blue collar billionaire campaigned on in ohio. this is the complete opposite. >> speaking of ohio, a lot of people in your home state of ohio, they voted for president trump. they're sticking with him despite the rocky first 100 days. do you think your party is doing enough to speak to those voters?
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>> i don't think so at this point. i mean, we have been very focused. i think our party has been focused on pushing back on donald trump. i don't think that gets us home, don. we need an affirmative message. i was back home over easter break, and i had a lot of meetings. and the level of anxiety for working class people is at a level i haven't seen in my 17 years in public life or really in my lifetime. people are so concerned about what the future looks like for them. and they bet on donald trump to try to fix this, and he has no plan to do that right now dealing with automation, driverless cars, driverless trucks. automation is eliminating millions and millions of jobs. trump has no plan, but democrats just can't sit around and say trump doesn't have a plan. democrats need to have a plan on how we're going to say to the american worker, you're hired.
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we're going to hire you to lay broadband cables all over -- fiber all over the united states, every corner of the country. we're going to redo our energy grid to make sure it is secure and efficient and able to handle a lot of the new technologies that are coming on for green manufacturing jobs. windmills and solar panels. you're hired now, we ne. we need to say that to the american people. we can't rely that trump is going to screw up or the republicans are going to screw up. we have to have a realistic agenda that's going to put people back to work. we have to figure out how to talk about these things better and let the american people really know we're for them and we have a plan and agenda to move forward. not rely on republicans to screw things up. >> i appreciate you joining us. >> always good to be with you, don. thanks. when we come back, why protecting president trump is a bigger challenge than usual for the secret service and how his twitter habits are making things even tougher.
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with president trump's 100th day in office just around the corner, i want to talk about the huge task of protecting him and the first family. here to discuss douglas smith, a
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former assistant secretary of homeland security, and jonathan, a former secret service agent for president obama. gentlemen, thank you both. nearly 100 days of protecting president trump and the administration. what do you think tof the security challenges the white house poses for the secret service? >> first of all, the president is not an introvert. he's out there. any time you have a protectee who constantly puts himself out there's greater risk.self, - secret service has to respond to that risk through different means. concurrent to that, there's a change in the global landscape of risk. so social media has allowed for directed and inspired attacks around the world. messaging has gone out on how to execute, on different types of
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attacks, so the global landscape is changing as we have this dynamic president who is changing the paradigm of the secret service. >> you mean physically like at rallies or in crowds or do you mean through social media? >> social media. he's drawing attention to himself. any time a protectee draws attention to themselves, they go out to a wider aggregate. you bring in people who are now focusing on this individual. people who have mental health problems are focusing in and keying in on him. >> the more you stir it up, the more they're going to come. >> absolutely. >> do you think it would be wise for the president to stop tweeting at least on the way he tweets instead of just about policy? >> listen, from a secret service standpoint, you can't direct the actions of a protectee. if it was up to me, i wish our protectees could be in a big d
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metal box and never move. >> like the popemobile. >> that's not reality. >> douglas, do you agree with what jonathan said here? do you think it would behoove the secret service and the president to stop tweeting? >> well, i think there are a couple of things. i remember when i was a young guy. i went to go work for president clinton. there's a gigantic learning curve. when these people come into the white house, it's a big difference from being on the campaign trail to actually being the president. when they begin to learn and see the challenges that the secret service has to go through, there are two ways they can go. they can either adapt and work with them or they can challenge the protocols that the secret service has out there. i don't think donald trump is doing his detail any favors by tweeting away at odd hours. first of all, it draws attention to where his location is, which is something that secret service doesn't want. second of all, what i'd like to know is what the device he's actually tweeting on.
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is it a device that can be blocked or is it a device that any country that wanted to hack in could do ill will to? the staff needs to learn how to talk to their boss. boss, there are boundaries you need to work with in here. these men and women have a very difficult job to do. by you drawing in more attention, bringing in more crazies, creating more threats for them to investigate spreads them that much more thin. on the one hand, he has traveled a lot less than president obama did at this point, than george bush did attitu this point, president clinton. the downside is he's very predictab predictable. florida, new jersey, both big open spaces making it far more challenging for the secret service to protect him. the last thing i would say is about planning. one of the challenges the secret service is going through right now is they are down on numbers. they are stretched thin. they've been living this
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never-ending campaign. the white house will say the president is going to x. then the secret service begins planning, sends officers. then all of a sudden they say, forget it, he's just going to stay home and watch "weekend at berni bernie's" at the white house. >> you said he's traveled more. he's traveled less. you're talking about overseas trips, not to his homes. >> correct. >> he's traveled more than other presidents. with the vice president, he has 22 family members to protect. it seems this family is const t constantly on the go. he mentioned the numbers are down when it comes to the secret service. that's a lot of people to protect. >> it's a lot of people. >> it is a bit unprecedented, isn't it? >> 22 family protectees is unprecedented for the secret service. the secret service, what they do great is they have a protective methodology. they'll follow that protective
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methodology around every single one of these protectees. there's a strain. there's a strain on manpower, equipment, everything across the board. the secret service will have to overcome that. the new director that was just appointed, that is his biggest challenge, to understand what these pressure points are and how to bring relief to an agency that's been under battle for the last yoear. >> well, let's talk about the budget because you mentioned that he frequently goes on weekends. he's at mar-a-lago, back and forth to his clubs. his wife, the first lady, and his son, they live in new york city. that puts a strain on new york city and new jersey because he has a home in new jersey as well. how much of a bill are they footing here? how much are they expected to pay for this? >> the american peoptaxpayer? >> yes. >> the american taxpayer is paying an astronomical amount.
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then you start adding in the family who are running an industry and going all around the world. there are significant costs, but what should the cost be? remember we're protecting the president of the united states, so is there a budget for that? is there a budget that is acceptable that we shouldn't cross to protect the sanctity of the office of the presidency? i say no. >> douglas? >> i think i'd agree with that. whether you're a fan of the president or not, the safety of the first family is paramount and the number one thing we have to worry about. that said, they are stretched thin. they have just gone over the hill and asked for 60 million-plus of emergency funding to fill this gap. they're under tremendous strain. they're having to protect the
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white house here in washington as well as his apartment up in new york, which stretches them thin. >> his sons travel around the world a lot with business. yes, the first family should be protected, but how -- should taxpayers be footing the bill for his sons doing personal business all over the globe? >> specipersonally, i think the should maintain secret service protection, but the boys should be reimbursing the federal government for that cost. we're going through a very tough time at the secret service. they're short on manpower. they're definitely short on budget. to strain them from opening golf courses in dubai to vancouver -- when the president travels, he gets the full might of the u.s. government protecting him.
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when the sons travel, their safety is just as important. the agencies have far less to work b work, so they're stretching them very thin. when we come back, we'll go to the heart of the deep blue states where president trump lost to hillary clinton. how do voters in these states feel about trump nearly 100 days into his presidency.
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donald trump's 100th day in office is saturday, so what do the bluest of blue states think of his presidency so far? ♪ >> reporter: across california's fields -- >> i'm nervous. >> reporter: -- and it's cities -- >> 100 days of i can't believe this is happening. >> reporter: -- to the east coast states of maryland and massachusetts -- >> at this point, us staying out of world war iii seems to be the number one priority. >> reporter: -- the blue states
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where donald trump overwhelmingly lost, 100 days into his presidency, fear that they're losing their country, but promising a fight. the state of california, the largest, bluest state in the union leading the fiercest opposition. >> i don't think he can be impeached soon enough. >> reporter: at milly's coffee shop in the heart of liberal l.a., i meet this woman. for the first time in this millennial's life, she's afraid the president will hurt her. she is on obamacare. >> with type 1 diabetes, i cannot physically survive without insulin. without health insurance, this device is almost $4,000. it is almost embarrassing to be an american. >> reporter: i head 400 miles
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north to california's central valley. trump's immigration policies sowing fear in the fields that feed america. how many people have their papers? >> nobody. they're scared to go out. scared to go to the store because they think immigration is rolling around. >> reporter: this farmer, a son of mexican migrants, couldn't get enough workers this year. problems that escalated after the election. >> when he talks about mass deportations, that makes me nervous. putting a wall on the border, that makes me nervous. >> that affects your bottom line? >> it does because we can grow the crops, but we can't pick them. >> reporter: 3,000 miles away lies baltimore, maryland, a majority black city where only 12% voted for trump. on a stormy morning, i meet melissa, baltimore born and raised. do you think the president has any insight into your life?
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>> absolutely not. and i don't think that he cares to. >> reporter: baltimore's challenges -- unemployment, crime, and budget shortfalls. bagley has lived through all of them. >> the fact that young black boys are falling like flies and i've given birth to five of them, my city is screaming out for help. he spoke about being a president for all. i said, wow, but he's failed. he's failed according to what he promised. he has failed at this point. >> reporter: on the other side of baltimore, a neuropsychiatrist at john hopkins university, an economic world away, but she, too, feels shut out. >> from what i hear and what i see, i don't think i'm represented at the table. >> you don't see yourself at the table. what happens to you in four years? >> i think that's where the anxiety comes from is because we don't know.
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>> reporter: anxiety felt from urban baltimore to idyllic massachusetts. every single congressional district in this state voted for hillary clinton, a liberal un uy awakening activism. greenfield. it's sunday and this reverend is calling on his progressive christians to be this country's conscious. >> the truth is out there. >> do you see the church as a force of resistance? >> yeah, i do. i do. he may be underestimating the power in the people and in the sense of resistance against what he's been doing. >> reporter: after the service, as church members share pastries and coffee, i met kendra davis, age 21, a music student whose personal crisis collided with trump's election. >> i actually had an abortion in jnuary this year.
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i don't want that to be taken away from other women in the future throughout his presidency. >> reporter: just days after her abortion, she joined the women's march in her town's square to defend choice. did he factor into this thinking? >> he factored in definitely because i was scared once he became president he would make abortions illegal. >> reporter: gloria started this grassroots opposition group in hadley. >> i don't know if it's because we have this moment where we almost had our first woman president and so now we're kind of pissed off. >> reporter: angry, but also realizing she had become complacent, even on her most personal issue -- gay marriage. >> the supreme court decision came out and that was really
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special. >> reporte >> how are you today different before november 8th? >> i'm way more involved. i'm not falling asleep again. >> reporter: a repeated refrain of determination across three blue states to derail a presidency. cnn in california, maryland, and massachusetts. >> thank you. two people who are fighting the president's agenda, the resistance, and the first 100 days next. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv. you must become invisible. [hero] i'll take my chances.
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we're back now. we're talking about the first 100 days of the trump presidency, which also means the first 100 days of what's become known as the resistance. joining me now two people active in the trump's resistance movement. thank you both so much for coming. rick, you work at patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, which is threatening to sue the white house over the president's executive order that will review national monuments that have been designated by the last two presidents, both democrat and
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republican. why does patagonia resist this move so strongly? >> we're going to do everything in our power to resist this executive order, or what protect the environment. we're doing everything we can to double down on that now. we will resist with everything we've got to protect these treasured landscapes, the national monlts, the national parks, national wildlife refuges. >> your ceo said we're prepared tatake every necessary step. on what grounds would you sue? >> well, we have to see what the
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secretary and the president come up with this review. but the national monuments were created by the antiquities act established by president roosevelt in 1906. and that act allows the president to create monlts, but it does allow him it reswricind them. so we're going to do everything we can to support the existing laws. and as i said everything in our power to protect our national monuments and park. >> i want to go to the panel now because during the president's first 100 days in office, the people ton the left and progressives, have galvanized to
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oppose him in impressive ways. and you in many of the women's marches. so why do you say specific duty to strengthen the resistance. >> i mean it's pretty simple. this commander in chief, is illegitimate. he cannot hold himself to the most basic standards of transparency. we've we've been inundated with proof. >> steve bannon you said he's not what you say he is. but also you say he's an ilujetimate president. many people say he is the legitimate president. so i'm going to play delve's
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advocate here and say president obama's when he was alecked everyone said we're going to do everything to make sure he's a one time president. >>, you know, at the end of the day this president has called this action himself by not releasing his tax returns, you know, by not conducting himself with the utmost standards and accountability and transparency, he's shown he's not beholding to the people. he's beholden to the himself. through not having no regard for our checks and balances in this con. he's un-american, pretty frankly. so this is business as normal, and we should treat it as such. and this country has never seen crisis like we are now. >> list whereinen, and i want to
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get your response. >> i just start kissing them it's like a magnet. and when you start, they let you do it. you can do anything. grab them by the pussy. you can do anything. we're all a little chubby, but rosy's just worse. >> you take particularly issue with those comments. >> how can we not? as a woman of color, latina who served in our military, one that he said we should expect sexual predators, how can we not take civil action against someone who just really hasn't held themself to the standard we deserve, as an american as a country? >> rick, are you concerned since you represent such a large
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company and you depend on people liking your product and buying your product, that they may be turned off by your company holding such a staunch opinion, position against the president of the united states? >> no, not at all, don. recent polls including most recent just in the last few weeks have shown that up to 80% of the people polled support the protection of our national monuments in protected areas. sole we're on the winning side here. and we're not worried about that at all. even then, we're in busy to protect our environment, as i said before. so every effort we've made to protect the environment in the past has been spored by our customer. and we're absolutely confident it's going to be the same this time. and we're also on the right side of the economic return for this. and mean if you just look at the
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value these protected areas give back to the nation, we're on the winning side there, too. you know our outdoor industrial loan is responsible for $887 billion, so that we contribute to the national economy. our industry creates 7.6 million jobs. way more than the fossil fuel industry. >> i'm out of time, guys. guy,s how long can you resist? >> we're organizing around the cluck. i mean the president has released the victim of the office, the victims of -- >> as long as he's in office -- >> we will keep fighting at the core. >> thanks for watching. we'll see you back here tomorrow. unlike pills that don't treat congestion, clarispray covers 100 percent of your nasal allergy symptoms. clarispray. from the makers of claritin.
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i have no idea what's going on but our world will never be the same. >> i put a fireman's helmet on the piano. if i didn't have that, i might have just lost it. >> didn't matter what color you were, what religion, you were all the same that day. >> the music that came out of 9/11 is bifurcated as the politics as the country


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