his request after white house counsel don mcgann refused the order and threatened to resign. >> these revelations could be a key piece of evidence for the special counsel robert mueller if, in fact, he is trying to build an obstruction of justice case against the president. we will discuss how important that is or is not. one thing that is crystal clear, if the reports are true, and we think they are, the president and white house aides have lied and lied repeatedly about whether the president ever discussed firing robert mueller. we want to begin our coverage live over where you're looking at right now in davos, switzerland, where the president is getting ready to speak. jeff zeleny is there. >> reporter: good morning, john, you're right. the allegations of obstruction of justice are the centerpiece of this potential investigation. as the president takes the stage there, just a short time ago this morning, he addressed the news reports overnight about his interest in firing robert mueller. this is what he said earlier this morning in davos.
>> mr. president, did you speak to fire robert mueller? >> fake news, folks, fake news. typical "new york times" fake stories. >> did you try to fire robert mueller? >> thank you. fake news. >> reporter: so we know that is what the president is thinking about in his mind as he begins to deliver this big address here shortly. i am told he's going to be wearing his american salesman's hat. he's going to be talking about bringing business to the u.s. we have just received a couple of excerpts of the speech we're about to hear. let's take a look at those very quickly here before the president speaks. the president we're told is going to say this. mayor is open for business and we're competitive once again. he'll say i believe in america. as president of the united states i will always put america first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first. america first does not mean america alone. of course, we have heard the
president give different themes like that, similar themes in his first year in office. he's also going to say this, we're told, from an excerpt we've just received. the president will say, to be sccessful, it is not enough to invest in our economy. we must invest in our people. when people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured. only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that's truly shared for all. again, those are just a couple of excerpts released from the white house. i'm told the president is going to take a case for how he has turned around the u.s. economy. he's going to openly call for businesses to increase their investments there. this is not going to be a finger in your eye short of speech, if you will. if you consider the setting here at davos, this is a place where the president would frequently go after and rail against globalization as he was campaigning, globalism, certainly on his populist agenda. i'm told he will not hear as much of that, that he will be talking about the u.s. and all
the positive aspects. >> jeff, thank you very much for that preview. let's bring in cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cillizza. you heard from jeff we have a few messages. when america gross, the world grows. he'll tout his tax cuts, booming stock market, low unemployment and his trade agenda. it doesn't sound like there will be any surprises. when it comes to president trump, anything is possible. >> reporter: you're right on that, alisyn. planned remarks versus what he says. sometimes the news comes from what he doesn't have on the teleprompter. i don't think he's going to address this in his speech at davos. i do think the fact that he is dealing with a plas sive controversy, no matter what he wants to dismiss as fake news,
that he fired or attempted to fire or ordered the firing of bob mueller and was only stopped when the general counsel don mcgann refused to carry that out order, besides all the assertions that that did not happen. this is a massive firestorm that he is very well aware of is happening and sort of is paralleling this speech. this is the trump white house. donald trump going to the globalist world economic forum to speak would be a massive story, typically still is a really big story, but there is another massive story that i don't think he gets to dismiss by just saying fake news, fake news. what is fake in it? what is wrong? these are deeply reported, deeply sourced stories. you can't just say it's fake news. i mean, you can, but we should not take that at face value. >> well, we're not, first of
all, chris. the president is being introduced by the founder of the world economic forum right now. so the president will speak any minute now. i want to note this is the third time that the president has been in a big overseas trip when some part of the russia investigation has reared its head right in the middle of it. chris, you have a piece that just came out this morning with things that you learned from this new development. what's number one? >> for all the talk, john, that he's sort of this political genius, he does not have a very well-at tuned political ear, i would say. let's remember, he ordered the firing of bob mueller in june of 2017. that was a month after he fired jim comey and weeks after mueller had been appointed as special counsel. and he was basically hanging that firing on the fact that there may or may not have been a
dispute over membership fees at trump national golf club in virginia when mueller left the club as a member in 2011. the fact that the white house counsel don mcgann had to say this is a really bad idea politically as well as for other reasons and donald trump -- he was eventually talked off. but the idea that he considered -- not just considered, i should say, ordered it done, i think is telling that this is not the political genius of our time. yes, did he tap into sentiments in the 2016 campaign? did he come from nowhere? did he beat real serious candidates? all true. but i do think that this should keep our expectation of donald trump's political abilities within check. >> we want to bring in christiane amanpour who joins us live from london. christiane, tell us, how is president trump being received at davos -- well, the president is walking to the podium.
just one moment. he's doing one of his handshakes. let's listen in. >> thank you very much. it's a privilege to be at this forum where leaders in business, art, diplomacy and world affairs have gathered for many, many years to discuss how we can advance prosperity, security and peace. i'm here today to represent the interests of the american people and to affirm america's friendship and partnership in building a better world. like all nations represented at this great forum, america hopes for a future in whichever one can prosper and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty and fear. over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the u.s. we're lifting up forgotten community, creating exciting new opportunities and helping every
american find their path to the american dream, the dream of a great job, a safe home and a better life for their children. after years of stagnation, the united states is once again experiencing strong economic growth. the stock market is smashing one record after another and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election. consumer confidence, business confidence and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have been in many decades. since my election, we've created 2.4 million jobs, and that number is going up very, very substantially. small business optimism is at an all-time high. new unemployment claims are near the lowest we've seen in almost half a century.
african-american unemployment has reached the lowest rate ever recorded in the united states and so has unemployment among hispanic americans. the world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous america. i'm here to deliver a simple message. there has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the united states. america is open for business, and we are competitive once again. the american economy is by far the largest in the world, and we've just enacted the most significant tax cuts and reform in american history. we've massively cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses to let working families keep more of their hard-earned money.
we lowered our corporate tax rate from 35% all the way down to 21%. as a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as $3,000. that tax cut bill is expected to raise the average american's household income by more than $4,000. the world's largest company, apple, announced it plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to america. their total investment into the united states economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years. now is the perfect time to bring your business, your job and your investments to the united states. this is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction
ever conceived. regulation is stealth taxation. the u.s., like many other countries, unelected bureaucrats -- believe me. we have them all over the place. and they've imposed crushing anti business and anti worker regulations on our sints with no vote, no legislation debate and no real accountability. in america those days are over. i pledge to eliminate two unnecessary regulations for every one new regulation. we have succeeded beyond our highest expectations. instead of two-for-one, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for every one new rule. we are freeing our businesses
and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before. we are creating an environment that attracts capital, invites investment and rewards production. america is the place to do business. so come to america where you can innovate, create and build. i believe in america. as president of the united states i will always put america first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first, also. but america first does not mean america alone. when the united states grows, so does the world. american prosperity has created countless jobs all around the globe and the drive for excellence, creative and innovation in the u.s. has led
to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and far healthier lives. as the united states pursuing domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly shared prosperity and rewards to those who play by the rules. we cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of othe others. we support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal. in the end, unfair trade undermines us all, the united states will no longer turn a blind eye, including massive
international property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive state-led economic planning. these and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers not just in the u.s. but around the global, just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests. as president of the united states, i will always protect the interest of our country, our companies and our workers. we will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to our trading system. only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the u.s., but for all nations. as i have said, the united states is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all
countries. this will include the countries in tpp which are very important. we have agreements with several of them already. we would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually or perhaps as a group if it is in the interest of all. my administration is also taking swic swift action in other ways to restore american confidence and independence. we are lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide affordable power to our citizens and businesses and to promote flrj security for our friends all around the world. no country should be held hostage to a single provider of energy. america is roaring back, and now is the time to invest in the future of america. we have dramatically cut taxes
to make america competitive. we are eliminating burdensome regulations at a record pace. we are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive and accountable, and we are ensuring our laws are enforced fairly. we have the best colleges and universities in the world and we have the best workers in the world. energy is abundant and affordable. there has never been a better time to do business in america. we are also making historic investments in the american military because we cannot have prosperity without security. to make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations. our common security requires
everyone to contribute their fair share. my administration is proud to have led historic efforts at the united nations security counsel and all around the world to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to denuke the korean peninsula. we continue to call on partners to confront iran's support for terrorists and block iran's path to a nuclear weapon. we're also working with allies and partners to destroy jihad into terrorist organizations such as isis, and very successfully so. the united states is leading a very broad coalition to deny terrorists control of their territory and populations, to cut off their funding and to discredit their weeked ideology. i am pleased to report that the coalition to defeat isis has retaken almost 100% of the
territory once held by these killers in iraq and syria. there is still more fighting and work to be done and to consolidate our gains. we are committed to ensuring that afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who want to commit mass murder to our civilian populations. i want to thank those nations represented here today that have joined in these crucial efforts. you're not just securing your own citizens, but saving lives and restoring hope for millions and millions of people. when it comes to terrorism, we will do whatever is necessary to protect our nation. we will defend our citizens and our borders. we are also securing our immigration system as a matter of both national and economic
security. america is a cutting edge economy. our immigration system is stuck in the past. we must replace our current system of extended family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially and to strengthen our country. in rebuilding america, we are also fully committed to developing our workforce. we are lifting people from dependence to independence because we know the single best anti poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful payche paycheck. to be successful, it is not enough to invest in our economy. we must invest in our people. when people are forgotten, the
world becomes fractured. only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten, can we create a bright future shared by all. the nation's greatness is more than the sum of its production. a nation's greatness is the sum of its citizens, the values, pride, love, devotion and character of the people who call that nation home. from my first enter flash g7 summit to the g20 to the u.n. general assembly to apec, to the world trade organization and today at the world economic forum, my administration has not only been present, but has driven our message that we are all stronger when free, sovereign nations cooperate toward shared goals and cooperate toward shared dreams.
represented in this room are some of the remarkable citizens from all over the world. you are national leaders, business titans, industry giants and many of the brightest minds in many fields. each of you has the power to change hearts, transform lives and shape your countries' destinies. with this power comes an obligation, however, a duty of loyalty to the people, workers, customers who have made you who you are. together let us resolve to use our power, our resources not just for ourselves but for our peop people, to raise their hopes and empower their dreams, to protect their families, communities, histories and futures. that's what we're doing in america and the results are
totally unmistakable. it's why new businesses and investment are flooding in. it's why our unemployment rate is the lowest its been in so many decades. it's kai america's future has never been brighter. today i'm inviting all of you to become part of this incredible future we or billing together. thank you to our hosts, to the leaders and innovators in the audience, but thank you to all the men and women who do their duty every day making this a better world for everyone. together let us send our love and gratitude to make them, because they really make our countries run. they make our countries great. thank you and god bless you all.
thank you very much. [ applause ] >> okay. you've been listenng to president trump speaking in davos, switzerland at the world economic forum. he, as expected, gave his america first speech. he touted his own economic success as he sees it. he gave all sorts of benchmarks for what he thinks has happened on his watch. we'll fact check those momentarily. we have cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cilliz cillizza, cnn business correspondent christine romans and christian am plan pour. kr >> let's taken to first. a completely different tone than exactly this time last year when at davos president trump was making his inaugural speech about america first -- >> christiane, i'm so sorry to
interrupt. let's listen in. >> none of whom i knew but had read about for years. it was truly an incredible group. but i think i have 15 new friends. this has been really great in what you've done, putting it together, the economic forum. are the tax reform was a dream of a lot of people over many years but they were able to get it done. many people tried. ronald reagan was really the last to make a meaningful cut and reform. ours is cutting and reforming. we emphasize cut, but the reform is probably almost as important. weave wanted to do it. it is very tough politically to do it. hard to believe that would be, but it's very tough. that's why it hasn't been done in close to 40 years. once we got it going, it was going and i wouldn't say a total surprise, but one of the big things that happened and took place is at&t and some others
came out very early and they said they were going to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to people that work for their companies. you have 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 people working for these companies, and all of a sudden it became a big beautiful waterfall where so many companies are doing it. even today they just announced many more. every day they announce more and more. know it's a fight for who is going to give the most i. started at 1,000. now we have them up to 3,000. this is something we didn't anticipate. oftentimes in business things happen that you don't anticipate. usually that's a bad thing. but this was a good thing. this came out of nowhere. nobody ever thought of this as a possibility even. it wasn't in the equation. we waited, we said wait until february 1st when the checks start coming in, and people, claus, have a lot more money in their pay collect.
this is not just a little money. this is a lot of money for people making a living doing whatever they are doing. we thought february 1st was going to kick in and everybody was going to be -- we haven't gotten there yet and it's kicked in. it's had an incredible impact on the stock market. we've set 84 elections since my election. record stock market prices, meaning we hit new highs 84 different times out of a one-year period. and that's a great thing. in all fairness, that was done before we passed the tax cuts and tax reform. so what happened is really something special. as i said, apple came in with $350 billion. i spoke with tim cook, and i said i will never consider this whole great run that we've made complete until you start
building plants in the u.s. i will tell you this moved up substantially. when i heard 350, i thought they were talking $350 million. by the way, that's a nice size plant. not the greatest, but not bad. they said, no, sir. they said it's $350 billion. i said that is something. we have tremendous amounts of money, including my new-found friends from last night, great companies. they're all investing. when one of the gentleman said he's putting in $2 billion because of the dax cuts, i said to myself, wow, he's the cheap one in the group. they're putting in massive numbers of billions of dollars. i think you have a brand new united states. you have a united states where people from all over the world are looking to come in and invest, and there's just nothing like what's happening. i have a group of people that
have been -- i have a whole lot of them, so i won't introduce because then i'll insult at least half of them. i've had a group of people that have worked so hard on this and other things. we had a great first year, so successful in so many different ways, and there's a tremendous spirit when you look at all of the different charts and polls and you see as an example, african-american unemployment at the historic low. it's never had a period of time like this, same with liss phisp. women at a 17-year low. it's very heartwarming to see. there's a tremendous spirits in the united states. i would say it's a spirit like i have never witnessed before. i've been here for a while. i have never witnessed a spirit that our country has right now. i just want to thank you all and all of those that are pouring billions of dollars into our country or $10 into our country.
we thank you very much. >> mr. president, i will ask you maybe a personal question, but before doing so -- >> sounds very interesting. i didn't know about this one. >> i would like to acknowledge the strong presence of the people that tremendously contributed to the discussions. >> i would like to do that. steven, wilbur, gary, robert, even my general and my various other generals, you know. we're making our military protection a little better for us, too. so thank you very much. does everybody understand? i think so. >> my maybe personal question would be what experience from your past have been most useful
in preparing you for the presidency? >> well, being a businessman has been a great experience for me. i've always loved business. i've always been good at building things. i've always been very successful at making money. i'd buy things that would fair and turn them around and get them for the right praise, turn around and make them successful. i've been good at it. that takes a certain ability. historically i guess there's never really been a businessman or business mern elected president. throughout history you lad to be a general, but mostly it was politicians. never had a businessman. in all fairness, i was saying o klaus last night, had the opposing party to me have won, who some of you backed, instead of being up almost 50%, the stock market is up since my
election almost 50%. rather than that, i believe the stock market from that level, the initial level would have been down close to 50%. i really believe that. they were going to put on massive new regulations. you couldn't breathe. it was choking our country to death. i was able to see that, klaus as a business person. the other thing is i've always been able to get a disproportionate amount of press or media. throughout my whole life -- somebody one day will explain why. as a business person i was treated well by the press. the numbers speak and things happen. i've always lad a good press. it wasn't until i became a politician that i realized how nasty, how mean, how i have slous and how fake the press can be, as the cameras start going off in the background. overall, the bottom line,
somebody said they can't be that bad because here we are. i think we're doing a great job with my treatmeeam. i have a team of tremendous people, and i think we're doing a very special job. i think it was time and it was time to do that job. i don't think the united states would have done very well if it went through four or eight more years of regulation and really a very anti business group of people. we have a very pro business gro group. we have regulations cut to a level -- in the history of our country, this was reported recently, in one year we've cut more regulations in my administration than any other administration in four, eight or 16 years in the one case. we've cut more regulations. we have a ways to go. we're probably 50% done. there's nothing wrong with rules and regulations. you need them.
weave cut more than any administration ever in the history of our country and we still have a ways to go. i think between that and the tremendous tax cuts, we've done something. i saw it last night with some of the leaders and the business people, i think i've been a cheerleader for our country. everybody representing a company or a country has to be a cheerleader, or no matter what you do, it's just note going to work. the reason i'm a cheerleader is because it's easy. i love our country and i think we're just doing really well, and we look forward to seeing you in america, special place, and where you are is a special place, also. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. president, for being with us.
the world economic community assembled here will be certainly -- i quote you from the last piece of your remarks, would be among the hard working men and women who do their duty each and every day making this world a better place for everyone. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you very much everybody. thank you. [ applause ] >> so that was an interesting surprise. we weren't expecting a q&a session there. that was vintage donald trump, the salesman, the showman talking about -- touting all of what he sees as his successes over the past year. quite different in tone to the more measured, sedated, some people say, when he's on prompter. >> i think the crowd was eating up. they booed, when he brought up
the issue of fake news, we heard boos. >> it's hard to tell were they booing the press or booing him calling it fake news. so we have luckily, all sorts of experts to weigh in. cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cillizza, cnn senior commission analyst stephen moore, cnn chief business correspondent christine romans. and cnn international correspondent christiane amanpour who i've now cut off twice. we think we're in the clear to analyze what we heard. tell us what you heard in both of those moments. >> obviously it was a much more subdued president trump. he wasn't chest bumping in a way that was to the denegration of other countries as sometimes he has done. of course he was cheerleading the united states. everyone expected that. in his scripted speech he talked about the world partnership with the world. that has not really been a key part of his foreign policy and his vocabulary in speeches
before. he thanked other countries for their help, whether it's in afghanistan or the fight against isis and all the others. he did bring up the issue of, as he called predatory trade and theft of intellectual and other properties. he raised that whole protectionism and potentially more tariffs and trade, trade war. he raised that possibility. he did try to reach out. you can see davos also laid out the red carpet like president xi did in beijing who had the full red carpet, full state welcome for the president. we have never, ever, ever seen -- and we've been covering davos for years -- a trumpet orchestra, a trumpet ovation opening the speech of any leader, even the president of the united states. obviously president trump is the first since clinton back in 2000. nonetheless, that never happened before. that very, very soft questioning by claus schwab, the founder of
dav davos, elicited more trump ability to blow his own trumpet, so to speak. there's no doubt that the davos crowd loves the corporate tax cuts, loves the stock market, loves the fact that the economy is doing well. most will say ha the u.s. economy is building on the obama years, building out of where it was going since the financial crunch. none the lurks they love the economy and the facts and figures. what they don't love and what he did not address is the idea of pulling out of multilateralism, the paris climate accord and all those other big things that the world needs america to act together with in order to solve. >> we're getting brand new economic figures in which we'll get to in a moment. first, let's go to the room. our jim acosta was inside that hall during the speech. we saw it from our end and heard it from our end. what was it like to be inside? >> reporter: it was fascinating to be inside. i think perhaps the most fascinating moment came at the
end where the president went off script and took a shot at the press and said how fake the press can be in the u.s. that's obviously some kind of reaction to this story in "the new york times" that he referred to as fake news earlier this morning, the story that he tried to fire robert mueller in june of last year and his white house counsel don mcgann almost resigned as a result of that. obviously the president feels like he's had a pretty good reception in davos, for somebody who railed against globalism as a candidate for president, he has been mixing and mingling with these fat cats and bigwigs since he's been on the ground in gaf voes and he's had a pretty friendly reception. i will say it was remarkable to hear the founder of this world economic forum also take jabs at the press and say that the president is the victim of biased interpretations and misconceptions. all in all, that was a fairly pitiful display i think to have so many business and global
leaders here have those kinds of statements made with the president by his side and nobody really take exception to that. that is sort of what we're living in. that's the environment we live in with president trump. getting back to the substance of this speech, and i think christian was touching on this a few moments ago, he was taking credit for the booing u.s. economy over the last year. obviously the president can take credit for that. he's the president of the united states. as christiane was saying, some of this is building on what was happening during the obama years. as the president was acknowledging during his remarks, you still have to find out what happens in the coming months as to whether or not these massive tax cuts that predominantly went to corporations and wealthy individuals will actually trickle down to everybody across society in the united states. that is obviously one of the big questions. that may be a driving factor as we head toward the midterm elections. if people give him such high marks on how well the economy is doing, but that hasn't translated to helping his poll numbers a great deal, i think that will be one of the determining factors heading into
the midterms this year. all in all, it was fascinating to for the president to get this reception. he's certainly tailored his message to this crowd here and they seem to enjoy it. >> enter christine romans who was furiously taking notes during all of this. is there anything that needs to be fact checked. >> a lot of the numbers about the stock market and the economy are right. the stock market is up really big over the past year. job creation has been very good. it is a 17-year low in unemployment. many of these numbers he didn't believe during the obama administration, and he believes and takes credit for. he even goes one step further. the president says he knows what the stock market would have done if hillary clinton were elected president. it would be down 50%. that's a crystal ball i don't think anybody has. it's vintage president trump. he goes further than the numbers in front of him to try to sort of exaggerate how well things are doing here.
the tax cuts were really important. for everyone in those rooms, they love those tax cuts. there are some who worry privately and publicly it will exacerbate income inequality, most of those tax cuts will go to the top 1% and to companies, but at least public relations-wise, you're seeing all these companies saying they're going to give bonuses. that's something the president is taking credit for. we just got gdp numbers. 2.6% is what fourth quarter gdp was. that's weaker than expected. that's not in line with the robust expectations that president trump and his team would like to see. we'll continue to watch to see if the numbers go in the right direction. >> job creation where it was in the obama years, in some cases a little less. >> a little less. you can argue at this stage in economic recovery it's hard to create 200,000 jobs. we need workers in this country. that's going to hold back job
creation. >> stephen moore, the stock market is booming, the president likes to emphasize that. he didn't talk about many things that would be controversial to that audience. when he talked about trade, as a president who removed the country from a lot of trade negotiations, he emphasized he'd like to get back into tpp under the right circumstances. that was interesting to hear. >> that was music to my ears. i was in davos last year. i think there's a perception that these global financiers are trump's people. when i was there last year, truly these people thought the united states had just elected adolf hitler. they believed he was going to destroy the world economy. what a difference a world makes. just to do fact checking. the american economy wasn't accelerating at the end of the obama administration. it was decelerating, grew at 1.5% gdp which is barely out of
recession. now we've seen this incredible doubling of the economy to 3% over the last three-quarters which is a great performance. every signal on the economy is very positive right now. trump took a victory lap here. he basically said do what we're doing in the united states and you will prosper, too. the one thing that does concern me about the trump agenda is trade, and whether we're going to see a new wave of protectionism which is the way i like the speech. it was not a protectionism speech. it said i am for free trade, but it has to be fair trade. i think that's a good line. i hope he sticks with that message. if you continue with free trade with the tax cut deregulation, we'll see a lot of prosperity here and around the world. >> chris cillizza, what did you hear? >> sort of a very traditional presidential speech on the global stage, candidly. that is a speech -- obviously tone and what he focused on may
not have been the speech barack obama would have given, but not fundamentally different. america is growing, america is great, we want your business, we need your business, come give us your business. very tonally more measured. a message tailored to that audience. these are things we expect a more traditional president to do. i don't want to say the speech was boring, but it was sort of very, very traditional in a way we don't expect of donald trump. >> the q&a was different. that was more the vintage trump. >> yes. he's that is more -- the q&a is more who he really is. but even in that, he talked about -- he used the words fake news. yes there was some booing.
he pivots. so pretty mess youred i think overall for him. i would assume his advisers would be happy with that speech, stuck to the teleprompter, gave the speech they wanted him to give and i think was -- i'm not in the room, but seemed to be relatively well received. >> it was directed at the people in the room, but also at the people in the united states. one of the first sentences he spoke was, i'm here to represent the interests of the american people which i think was a clear message to his voters. he veered into politics more when he made claims about what would have happened if a democrat had won. listen to this. >> had the opposing party to me won, some of you backed, some of the people in the room, instead of being up almost 50%, the stock market is up since my election almost 50%. rather than that, i believe the
stock market from that level, the unnishl level would have been down close to 50%. i really believe that. >> he may believe it, jim acosta. i don't think there's any economic reason to think that would be true. jim, you've been to a lot of these speeches. while he went after the democrats, he did it with pulled punches. normally he'd mention hillary clinton left, right and center. there he didn't mention her name out loud. >> it is sort of a rhetorical crutch and a political crutch for this president. you have to wonder at what point during his presidency, we're now more than a year in. at what point during his presidency does he give up on hillary clinton. he keeps coming back to her and makes the claim, if hillary clinton were in charge of the u.s. economy, things would be going down the tubes. i don't know where he's getting that from, where that economic data comes from. obviously the democrats are going to disagree with that, and i think there's probably a case to be made and you'd have to find a group of exists to weigh
in on this, that obviously if hillary clinton had continued some of the economic policies that president obama had put in place, that perhaps things wouldn't be roaring along where they are right now, but that the stock market would continue to do well and the economy would do well. president trump was seeing economic gains on the same level as president trump during this last year in terms of job growth and so on. so it seems the president is hanging his hat a lot on the stock market. remember, during the campaign, john, you follow this very closely, the president at many times during the campaign would call the stock market a bubble. he would say it was in the middle of a bubble when he was running for president. that was his way of denigrating the economic recovery under president obama. now he's touting the roaring stock market now that he's president of the united states. the other thing, when he gave a shout-out to his cabinet secretaries, we haven't seen a lot of american generals circling around here. we know john kelly stayed behind
to work on the immigration debate back in washington. all in all, we talked to a senior administration official, he said they feel very good about this trip and claim this cloud of the robert mueller story, the investigation is not hanging over there as they depart davos. >> christiane, what will change as a result? he said the united states is open for business. as you said, the crowd seemed to be receptive to this. in terms of policy and relationships, do you think this changes the president's image on the world stage and relationships? >> i don't know about image. i think what the world has done is factored in president trump. we're talking about all the sort of people who are in the room there. but remember, i've been speaking to african leaders and others who were horrified by the comments he allegedly made during the whole immigration debate and said we need to be respected, we need president trump to look at us and engage with us as a respected
partnership as we've always had with the united states. it's not all kumbaya out there. i think what's important, president trump threw out a little dig saying a lot of you lope my opponent had won. the thing is, the president betted on the opponent of president macron, the extremist, racist, right wing maureen lap pen who thank goodness lost. now we have macron back. europe's message this week at davos is we're back, and we want a respectful partnership with the united states, with the populist wave we believe is potentially on the way out, our economy is growing well as well, and we want an engagement, not a take it or leave it relationship with the united states, not a dictatorship from the united states. yeah, the economy is great. but we also need to talk about climate change and how to really
solve, as president trump said, denuke the korean peninsula, how to really get that organized. they don't like it when president stirs up the iran nuclear deal and at the same time says we have to make sure iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. well, that's what the nuclear deal is all ab. there's a lot of issues out there that have to be finessed. >> stephen moore, 20 seconds left. you wanted to respond. >> i think one of the reasons trump said that about the stock market, when i was there last year, to emphasize this point, everyone believed trump was going to crash the world economy and crash the stock market and just the opposite is happening. i think he was putting a finger in the eye of the people who said my agenda won't work. >> it's different from saying the stock market would be down 50% -- >> who knows? >> it wouldn't be up 50%. >> he has not started a trade war like he threatened. >> that's true. thank goodness. on that point, hollywood
squares, thank you all very much. we'll have much more of president trump's speech in davos amid reports that he wanted to fire special counsel robert mueller and, in fact, tried to. we'll have democratic senator jeff murphy with us next. oursel. be more. tough to make time for it all. but we can always find time to listen. to great thinkers, and fearless explorers. whose stories fuel our minds... and imaginations. stories that take us places our hamstrings alone can't. all we have to do is listen. open your ears to the largest selection of audiobooks from the world's most inspiring voices. download audible today. they always refer to me as master sergeant. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on
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president trump touting american economic policy in davos just moments ago, amid reports back at home that president trump wanted, in fact tried to fire special counsel robert mueller in june. joining us is democratic senator jeff mercury on the budget and appropriations committee. >> great to be with you. >> the highlights, particularly in the q&a session he wanted to get out what he thinks are major accomplishments. tax reform has president been done in four years. he touted the bonuses that at&t and other companies are giving out to employees because of tax reform. he said 84 record stock market highs on his watch. these are indisputable points. yes? >> he said he was fighting for the forgotten people. nothing could be further from
the truth. he spent the first half fighting to wipe out health care for 30 million player cans, working americans, struggling americans, and then did a tax bill that wasn't tax reform, a rip-off of the federal treasury for the wealthiest americans. the stock market, how many ordinary people have anything in the stock market? not much. this is a huge increase in income inequality and wealth inequality. >> he would say unemployment is down, job creation is up and look at all these companies giving thousand dollar bonuses to your employees? >> if you add those up, a few bonuses as a public relations gesture. nice thing. a big coordination to sell this tax bill to america. the middle class isn't going to be fooled by it. >> are you sure? $1,000 in a bonus is a big deal. >> it is a big deal. >> maybe when somebody ghifs you that, you say things are looking up? >> at&t gave $1,000.
wells fargo said we're taking the money and firing people. what did kimberly clark do? we're taking the money and firing people. other companies are saying stock buy-backs, that means they'll make the management wealthy. not going to help ordinary american. >> live pictures of marine one getting ready to depart davos. the president is done there after giving the speech. the trip in some ways, i don't know if it was overshadowed, but mired by the new reports that came out overnight that the president said he wanted to fire special counsel robert mueller. tried i guess to fire him. but don mcgann, the white house counsel said, i will quit if you do that. is this a good news story, the president didn't do it, the staff stopped him? >> it reflects the fact that the president has been ob strulkting justice all through out his first year in office. he took on manipulation of three fbi directors. now we find out he ordered his special counsel to fire the special prosecutor. what we see is on every piece of
information the president is absolutely panicked about the truth coming out over his team's collaboration with the russians. >> how can you say that definitively. we've had our legal experts on that say it's about intent. we can't be in the president's mind. it's his prerogative if he wants to fire special counsel robert mueller. >> if he had nothing to high, he wouldn't be up at night worried about what was going to come out and plotting to how he can control this investigation. he would be focused on other things. he's clearly spending so much time worried, panicked over the information that has come out. it shows a pattern of contact. we'll have to wait for the special prosecutor to say does this meet the standard of criminal obstruction. we don't know that. but certainly what we're seeing is the president is obsessed with suppressing this investigation. >> so not firing robert mueller
can't be obstruction. something you don't do can't be used as evidence of obstruction. what you're saying is the mindset, if this comes out in the testimony before robert mueller, the mindset he had when he wanted to do that, it sheds light on other moments of the last year? >> yes. you mentioned intent. when you order your white house counsel to fire someone, clearly that goes to intent, whether it was accomplished or not. >> so you believe -- i mean i'm assuming -- that because we now hear that the special counsel is going to be -- is interested in interviewing president trump soon, and that the people closest to him, the highest up have already been interviewed or on the document to be interviewed. do you think we'll have an answer? >> it never seems to progress as fast as we expect. for these very deliberate type of investigations, there's going to be a lot of followup to whatever comes out of those interviews. and certainly depending on how the president responds an his
team responds, there might be an additional follow up. i wouldn't hold my breath at any one moment it's going to be wrapped up. i know all this year, the counselors in the white house say it's almost done, almost done. i think we're seeing the highest level of professional investigation. i think it's probably a couple months out yet. >> do you feel there needs to be some kind of legislative protection for the special counsel's office. there were bipartisan proposals months ago. those seem to have disappeared. >> my republican colleagues are concerned that this president is trying to obstruct justice. that's why they were supportive of this. i'd like to see that on the floor. i don't think mitch mcconnell, the majority leader of the senate, will allow that to happen. i do think the special prosecutor needs protection. we should all recognize. this is the man with the best credentials to be found to fill this role. >> senator jeff merkley, thanks so much for being here in studio with us. our coverage continues with
cnn "newsroom" with poppy harlow. have a great day. >> good friday morning everyone. i'm poppy harlow in new york. no shortage of news this morning. the president just delivered a major economic speech on the world stage. he's leaving davos, switzerland, heading for air force one. here at home a firestorm over new headlines on the russia investigation. earlier this morning the president worked hard to discredit new reporting that last june he tried to have special counsel bob mueller fired by his own white house attorney. a source tells cnn that white house lawyer, don mcgann, refused to fire mueller and threatened to quit. the president for his part denies it all. listen. >> did you seek to fire robert mueller? >> fake news, folks, typical "new york times" fake story. >> keep in mind firing mueller is a