tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN March 23, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
expected to be okay. first responders are amazing, they run towards danger, everything in you tells you to run away. but ordinary people can do extraordinary things, that's the good stuff. >> and it's nice of you to point it out. it's been a pleasure, thank you for having me. we have major breaking news out of the white house. there's a ton of stuff going on there with staff shake-ups, the russia investigation, you know, women coming forward with stories, but moments ago, the president did something that i don't anyone saw coming, which he threatened to veto this huge $1.3 trillion spending bill that was finally passed by the senate overnight. it had bipartisan support in both sides of congress thought it had presidential support until moments ago, where out of nowhere, the president said he
is considering a veto. let's get right to the white house. our abbey phillip is there. abb abbey? >> reporter: good morning, john, this is a really stunning development because as early as this morning, the white house has been preparing for a bill signing for the spending bill, and yesterday the president said he supported it and would sign it. but the president said on twitter that he doesn't support it and is considering vetoing it because it does not include any funding for daca and it also doesn't include significant funding for the border ball. it does include some funding, but nowhere near some $25 billion that trump had wanted for the border wall system. those negotiations broke down in the last week and just this morning, president trump was also tweeting about that, blaming democrats for failing to negotiate with him on the border wall. this situation is kind of 11th hour move by the president and
one that will surely come as a surprise to people on the hill who were expecting this bill to finally sail through to avert a government shutdown, the president now threatening, just hours before he's leaving for florida this afternoon, is threatening to veto this spending bill. yesterday he said he supported it, he intended to sign it. now he is saying something completely different. this coming at a time when frankly the white house is trying to get settled, there's a lot going on here, a lot of shake-ups happening and the president throwing a wrench in the plans pretty much everyone had for the white house today. >> let me read the president's statement just so you can hear his own words. this is what he wrote moments ago. i am considering a veto of the omnibus spending bill considering the fact that the 800,000 plus daca recipients have been totally abandoned by the democrats, not evening
mentioned in the bill, and the border wall, which is desperately needed for our national defense is not fully funded. dana bash, this i think will come to a shock to the people who thought the president would sign this spending bill. >> obviously as time goes on, we're going to get a sense of where the president's thinking was on this. just to take a step back, the fact that coming hngress had to through so many issues to pass something that was must pass, a basically funding of government. this isn't even the way they're supposed to do it. at the end of the day, they're not really doing their jobs properly by lumping all this spending together. but the fact that they got through all of the twists and turns of this spending bill, passed the house, passed the senate and it's goin passed thee
and all of a sudden he says we have got to take care of the daca recipients? if the president wanted to take care of daca recipients and i think both parties would applaud him for saying this. he missed the boat. you got to start at the beginning, because there were negotiations between republicans and democrats to try to get something into this bill. and republicans wanted to make it limited, democrats wanted to make it broad, to include a path to citizenship for daca recipients and they couldn't come to an agreement. you know who could have helped come to an agreement, the president of the united states. >> just yesterday his budget director mick mulvaney was asked if the president would sign it, the answer was yes. i think this is just bluster, he will sign this, because if he doesn't sign this, the
government will shut down. if the president doesn't sign this, the government shuts down at midnight. >> the government shuts down at mid night. and it's spring break, they've gone home and they're going to be home for a week for easter break. so, yes, it could be bluster, it could be him just trying to change the conversation, which he's doing as we speak. >> yes. >> but i think this is a class imtrump move. i can't imagine that his aides knew that he was going to send this tweet, or at least people who helped negotiate the budget director, who promised this was going to be a done deal that the president would sign the spending bill. but again, at the end of the day, if the president wanted to help these daca recipients, he would have called back members of congress, the key members who are negotiating how to deal with these dreamers, and figured it out. and said to his base in
particular, you know what? we're not going to get what you want and to democrats, you're not going to get what you want. that's the art of the deal. >> it seems like he's playing games here, we'll wait and see what happens here. >> you also have to beyond, who was he talking to, what prompted this. >> if you hear from congressional leaders on this in moments. we have some other things we're covering. the new national security advisor with a strikingly different view of war, the potential for huge financial fallout as the united states already seems to be in a trade war. the president loses one lawyer, gains one woman, telling a story of an alleged affair that was covering up lies. the switch could mean drastic changes in foreign policy. john dowd is out, he's resigned over growing disagreements with
the president, and as i said, this is just the beginning, and our abbey phillips again from the white house. >> reporter: this is all in keeping with the president this morning, with the president making some snap decisions, yesterday his decision to oust his national security advise for h.r. mcmaster and bring in john bolton was something that happened in a matter of hours. the president said yesterday he woke up yesterday morning that this decision was coming down the pike. he came into the white house that afternoon for a meeting with the president and was offered the job. that was a matter of six hours or less and the president then goes and tweets the decision on social media before many in the white house even knew it was coming and i can tell you national security counsel people were completely unaware that this clahange was happening. we have been reporting dmor several weeks that the president was ready to move on from h.r. mcmaster, the president didn't
like the way he was briefednd wanted his own team. white house officials are saying he wanted these people in place before these sensitive leaders with kim jong-un were coming up. he wanted his team in place. but at the same time, john bolton is a character who is a little bit different from what we're used to when it comes to president trump and foreign policy. he advocated for the iraq war. he advocated for a preemptive strike on north korea. he also made it clear to the president according to our sources that he was going to go along with the president's foreign policy, not with his own past statements, he said the statements he made in the past are in the past and he's now going with what trump wants him to do. but we'll see what that means for trump's foreign policy. a lot of people are looking at this decision and wondering how a former hawk in john bolton will match up with this america first foreign policy. >> we'll let you get back to reporting, because lord knows
there's a lot to report on right n now. we know what stands on many issues and this stajds stands on a major hard line. >> john bolton to be the next national security advisor reflects the administration's move away from traditional sort of approaches to foreign policy and national security. this is not an approach that involves diplomacy, this is an approach that involves a much more hawkish and a much more war hungry approach to national policy and national security issues. as abbey pointed out in her report, he has been a big and
strong advocate of pyongyang, he was in support of the war in iraq and even after we knew that saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, he still thought it was the right thing to do. and on russia, he's also been one that's been very strong with regard to his language on russia. so we know absolutely where john bolton stands and we also know that the president is somewhat impulsive, i think it's a potential dangerous combination when we have someone with his views as well as the president's impulsive nature. >> all of this only matters if he listens to his new national security advisor, correct? >> correct. and so, john, i think we're actually between a rock and a hard place here. we either have a scenario whereby the president does not listen to the hard work that the national security counsel is doing, that's what happened under mcmaster, we saw that play out with the putin phone call earlier this week where he congratulated vladimir putin, even though know one wanted him
to, or we have a scenario where the president does listen to john bolton and we know where john bolton stands on the issue. and every national security advisor should have a view and does have a view. the rub here is whether they let the process unfold in an unbiassed way, and whether they allow -- john bolton may prefer war as an option, but is he going to let the secretary of state, the united nations and development agencies for example let their views be heart to the president? >> the national security advisor saying he or she is the filter by which the president receives national security information and in some cases the last stop before it reaches that information, correct, sam? >> exactly. the national security advisor can be a sensor for information that makes its way to the president's desk. he or she can stop what we call a package of information from making its way to the 0eoval.
but they also control what meetings are held and what topics are discussed. for instance, john bolton did not want to have a discussion on north korea, he could not schedule a meeting, he could just decide that foreign visit fors, foreign delegates would not make their way into the oval office. he has complete control. >> i want to get your take on this, the president is as assembling a wartime cabinet, with mike pompeo moving to the state department, and people coming in, and people like mcmaster going out and bolton coming in. >> if we look at what rex til r tillerson represented over at the white house. he and general mattis were that last front standing in the way of more aggressive military action in pardon to pyongyang
and other situations we are facing. by moving over to the state department, we know he's been big on taking action to hold russia responsible. and then by moving john bolton in and as i said before, we know absolutely where he stands, he actually is putting together a cabinet that is really focused on a much more aggressive approach to foreign policy and national security issues. and as we saw with this tweet that the president just sent regarding the funding bill, we know that the president can be impulsive, we know that his mind can change in a moment, and so when you've got a war footing sort of cabinet and you've got a president who's impulsive, that's a dangerous combination. >> we also know that he says things that just flat out are untrue. and we know that's the case in regard to specifically the national security advisor, a week ago, when he put out, well,
sarah sanders put out a statement on behalf of the president, that h.r. mcmaster and the president have a good working relationship, and there are no changes at the nsc. people look at how this has all been handled from around the world and they're thinking what? >> i think they're thinking we have a white house in chaos, we have musical chairs happening every second of every day, which really undermines the credibility of our national security counsel system. and plays to putin's advantage. he's not playing around with his national is security counsel, he's not pushing people out. from one national security advisor to another, you're more vulnerable because you just have more work to do. so none of this plays to a message of stability in the national security space. >> this is a conversation that will go on for some time, a
revolving door at the white house, just hours after his lead lawyer on the russia investigation resigns, what this r legal shake-up means and the strategy for the special counsel. and a former playboy play mate says that donald trump told her he loved her and also this. >> after we had been intimate, he tried to pay me. and i actually didn't know how to take that. ♪ keep your insights from prying eyes, so they won't be used by anyone but you. the ibm cloud. the cloud for smarter business.
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if he's is one who's leaving, what does that tell you? >> it is not unrelated to the mcmaster departure, the john bolton arrival. you know, president trump has clearly decided he is going to be the donald trump that he wants to be. he is going to be as confrontational as he wants. the so-called grown-ups in the room, that approach to the presidency is ending in several different areas, and john dowd, ty cobb who is part of the white arguing, give mueller the documents, let's negotiate a time for you to talk -- for the two of you to talk. they're being marginalized for people like joe degenova, the new arrival. >> the timing here is fascinating. it was one week ago cnn reported that the president's legal team
was give on these broad areas the special county sesel waned k the president about. that spurred, we believe the president to go on the attack. mentioned robert mueller by name. all in statements mentioned by the president over the weekend, so you have that, you have him getting rid of his personal attorney here, it seems to suggest the president doesn't like where this case is going. >> it seems that he has been told that this investigation was winding down, if you look at how mueller is behaving, he doesn't look like he's winding down, another factor which i think is relevant here, is the subpoena to the trump organization, to the business, another more confrontational tactic by mueller which seems to have increased the president's irritation, anxiety, anger and leading to, you know, him wanting to take a more confrontational approach. >> if john dowd was the point of
special counsel -- doesn't that slow things down in this? >> it does seem clear to me, i follow this very closely, degenova is really -- ty cobb is not the president's personal lawyer, he works in the white house. so the president's legal team i think the very much up in the air at this point, and you're right. without someone for the mueller to negotiate with, that certainly is going to slow things down, but also i think the odds are, it's becoming more likely that the president won't talk to mueller at all and i think the chance that the president fires mueller has certainly gone up. i'm not saying it's going to happen, but the chances have increased with dowd's departure. is. >> let's game out the not talking, the way that works is
that the mueller team tries to set up an interview. the president says no. the special counsel has the chance to subpoena if he wants to appear before the grand jury >> and then there are two choices, one is that the president fights it in court on constitutional grounds. because the president is not like any witness. however, he is not so unlike any other witness that he will probably get out of testifying all together. >> he loses that. he could just like any other witness, he could do so while attacking the special prosecutor, on the other hand, the spectacle of the president of the united states saying i refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me, is something that's without precedent in american history, but a lot of things donald trump -- >> it would come in theory a huge political cost, but maybe
that's why he's trying to muddle the waters. minutes away from the opening bell, after a heck of a thursday, stocks were rocked by the president's announcement of new tariffs with china. this morning china is fighting back, what will happen today? minutes away. yes. thanks to the dedicated technicians at the american red cross... who worked with vmware... to develop technologies to help redirect the flow of blood to the areas and people needing it most. helping them recover... and refilling everyone with life-affirming hope. magic can't make digital transformation happen... but we can. that's the power of vmware, part of dell technologies.
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romans, claire sebastian is at the new york stock exchange. claire first to you, you've been talking to investors, what are they saying as the market gets ready to open? >> reporter: john, i think investors are -- slightly exaggerated, they're taking part in one -- 50 or even 60 that we had from president trump yesterday, they're also taking heart from the fact that the previous tariff that the president announced has now been exemptions, temporary exemptions granted to the eu and other trading partners, so i think the feeling that this may have been a negotiating position from president trump and it's slightly watered down. but there's still jitters out there, there's been a number of factors hitting the market this week, in terms of face book, the federal reserve with slightly --
many perhaps expected and now with trade as well. so certainly we expect that we could see some volatility as the markets continue to trade today. >> christine romans, the market down more than 700 points yesterday on the announcement of these tariffs. what do those tariffs do and what did china announce and what does that do? >> china said those tariffs are arrogant and reckless and that china will fight to the end. those are fighting words, no question. here's what china said they're prepared to do, 25% duty on pork, and recycled aluminum and also on 25 different products likes fruits and nuts and wines. many of these hit right into trump voter land so you can see a strategic reaction there from the chinese. there's a big huge category of stuff and the biggest losers on
the dow yesterday were big companies like bowing, like caterpill caterpillar, like 3m that do a lot of business with china. so this is the big concern here, you're at a very contentious global trade situation, was it an overreaction? i think there's a lot of risk here for investors because every day you could see things very, very tense between these big trading partners. >> what are the offramps for the u.s. and china here if these countries want to avoid a trade war, short of capitulating to the other side's demands. >> a couple of important things that happened yesterday, the repetitivity that china came back is -- one of the things that worked in the past, is not just the u.s. going after china one to one, but if the u.s. could somehow form a coalition
of sorts and have china therefore be left on their own. what was odd then about the exemptions that the administration added in, all of which were good news stories with canada and mexico and the eu, is that at least as of now, it excludes japan. so that seems to be a disconnect if you truly wanted to have this allied base coalition, but beyond that, you know, i don't think any of us have any great sense of what the next steps are going to be from the trump administration. especially with the moving parts of people involved in this discussion. >> not when he keeps changing staff, not when he keeps changing his own positions on things like the $1.3 trillion spending bill which he's been on three sides of the issue in the last 24 hours. the market up 134 points, so investors may not see this as a trade war. so what sectors in the u.s. have the most reason to be concerned?
>>ing a clur is number one. agriculture is where i'm most concerned here, because we are a huge exporter and we export a lot to china and that's a political message, if you're another country, and you want to punish trump you punish his voters and youing punish that part of the country. but wilbur ross is the architect for this direction for the president. they say it's a false narrative that american consumers are going to pay more and that american agriculture is going to be crippled. and the so called globalists and the elites have been wrong all along here, this is not going to cause a big trade war, this is only going to right some wrongs that china has done, that we have complained about for years about the chinese. president trump was wanting to rock the boat but there's
concern that he sinks the boat. coming up, the cnn exclusive, the playboy play mate who says he had an affair with donald trump decades ago, and says she has a message for mel r -- melania trump. >> i'm sorry, i wouldn't want it done to me. i'm sorry. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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for the first time, former playmate karen mcdougal is speaking out about what she says was a sexual affair what president trump before he was president. she says she met president trump in 2006 for an event for the show the apprentice. mcdougal began by describing her first date with mr. trump, this is what she said. >> we were driving over to the beverly hills hotel, and keith
drove around to the back and said we have to get out here because we don't want to walk through the hotel. so i'm thinking to myself, are we going to a room? because i thought we were going to have dinner at the hotel. >> in the central restaurant? >> we did have dinner at the hotel, but in his bungalow. we had a great time, we're getting to know each other, we're talking about his birthday. and as the night ended, we were intimate. after we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and i actually didn't know how to take that. >> did he actually try to hand you money? >> he did, and i said, i just had this look of, i don't know, just -- i don't even know how to describe it. the look on my face must have been so sad because i had never been offered money like that, but number two, i thought does he think i'm here for money? is this a normal thing? but i looked at him and said,
that's not me, i'm not that kind of girl. and he said, oh, you're really special. and i said thank you. so i left, i actually got into the car for keith to take me home and i actually started crying, i was really sad. it really hurt me, but i went back. >> did you have any text messages, photographs, videos anything that would dispute the hope hicks statement that this never happened? >> let me ask you this. if you're in a love relationship, do you try and collect evidence? >> when you allege inappropriate touching, inappropriate behavior, i'm wondering what you thought? >> again i was kind of mortified, i was like wow, is he capable of that? because i didn't see that. >> and what was the thought of selling the story in your mind?
>> to get my truth out there. i wasn't looking for money, clearly, but when he said it's worth many millions, i'm like, you know -- >> that was something that was hard to pass up? >> sure, of course. but if you fast forward, i ended up not wanting to do that deal so we were going to go to abc and tell the story just to get the story out there and for nothing, there was no pay. i just backed out, i just brackbrack -- backed out. then he won the republican nomination, and everyone was interested in the story again. >> once donald trump won the republican nomination, you're saying ami suddenly came back to you? >> to keith, yes, to us, for the story. >> why do you think it was that it was after donald trump became the republican nominee they came
back. >> they wanted to squash the story. >> you're saying they wanted to protect donald trump? >> i'm assuming so, yes. why did i file a lawsuit? i want my rights back. >> you want the life rights to your story? >> i want my life rights back. you know, it's been -- yeah, i want my life rights back, i feel like the contract is illegal, i feel like i wasn't presented correctly, i was lied to and everybody involved in this deal. i want the rights back and i want to share my truth because everyone else is talking about my truth, which i need to share my story. >> if melania trump is watching this, what would you want her to know? >> that's a tough one. >> or say to her? >> what can you say except i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i wouldn't want it done to me. i'm sorry.
>> all right, there is a lot in here to dissect and we'll talk about the political implications, which might be greater than the legal implications over the next hour. first i'm joined by chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin and there are some legal questions here, jeffrey. number one, if you listen to what she's saying, she's suggesting that the fact of her relationship, you know, there was an attempt to cover it up, with a payment from this organization that was close to the president. >> oh, absolutely. and david pecker, who was the head of ami, which owns "the national enquirer," i did a profile of him for the new yorker, and i asked about this whole situation. about the payments to karen mcdougal, and he said very explicitly, i paid that money because i wanted to get donald trump elected president and i paid her and didn't run the story. i did that as a service to my friend donald trump so this was clearly, you know, you can call it conspiracy, not a criminal conspiracy, but an agreement to
help donald trump by burying the story. >> it looks likes an in kind contribution, by the way, if you're doing something to help someone get elected, that involves other than $100,000, that sounds like a contribution. >> that money also went to pay for certain articles she would write about fitness and whatnot. but there's no question the primary motivation for getting her that money was to help donald trump win. >> keith davison who was also trying to get this agreement. he was also the attorney for stormy daniels. it's a small world. >> there does seem to be some sort of a system in place, to try to keep these women quiet. now the money came from different sources, american media paid karen mcdougal, michael cohen, which i still find unbelievable, says his own
money, donald trump's lawyer went to pay stormy daniels. but the fact is in the lead up to the campaign, there were multiple payments to these women to keep them question. and that is an amazing news story. >> and there was an allegation of contact between michael cohen and keith davidson in the payment of karen mcdougal. would she be able to say, look, this lawyer is involved with a whole bunch of different things here, there's a pattern. >> and one of the great unanswered questions about the 2016 campaign is how many women were paid off for their silence an what affect that had on the campaign. i don't think paying these women for their silence is illegal in any way, i don't want to suggest that, there's no crime here, but it is certainly as we are evaluating the history of the 2016 campaign and evaluating the
conduct of donald trump and the character of donald trump it is certainly relevant that all of these women got paid off. >> do voters have a right to know that one, two, maybe more women were paid off in certain ways to maintain their silences about relationships? >> and certainly, karen mcdou l mcdougal's description of that relationship last night, she sure didn't sound like she was lying to me. >> jeffrey toobin, thank you very much. happening now, lawmakers and shooting survivors on the steps of the capitol. all this part of the the major rally tomorrow the march for our lives. (vo) dogs have evolved,
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students, all kinds of people arriving in washington ahead of saturday's march for our lives. hundreds of thousands of people expected at this anti-gun violence rally at the capitol and hundreds of thousands of others all around the country. parkland school shooting survivor lizzie eaton joins me now, terrific to see you again. thank you very much for being with us. nearly a million people expected to be there in washington, you know, i don't even know how many around the country. there are going to be a lot of people marching tomorrow. what does that mean to you? >> i think it is great to see the unity from all over the country and all over the world, just for our school. i never imagined this would happen. i'm excited to see the turnout tomorrow. >> what are you expecting? >> i'm expecting us to have our voices heard and for them to start making small steps to ban assault weapons and to make us feel safe again. >> last time i spoke to you, you were down in tallahassee when
the florida legislature had just begun discussing measures. you told me you didn't think lawmakers were listening to you. that was before they actually voted. that was before they passed some laws created a system to petition someone to remove guns and put more money toward school safety, do you consider that to be a victory? >> i definitely do, you know. there is still changes to be made, but this is one small step through a big journey, so i definitely think that was a great first step and i'm excited to see what's to come. >> why do you think you had some effect in florida, florida legislature moved on it, while comparatively little movement in washington, d.c. where you're standing right now? >> because this tragedy happened in florida and when we all traveled up there, they really saw how passionate we were about this and that we wanted to make a change. i think, you know, florida, since it happened, that's the
first step and now that we're all here in washington, hopefully the same reaction will happen. >> do you consider the white house to be an ally of yours on this issue? >> some things. like i know president trump was talking about universal background checks, but, you know, there is some people who are, some people who aren't, those that's why we're talk to them and get them to hear our stories. >> are you back at school? have you been able to go back to class and get any kind of normalcy back in your life? >> yeah, i've been going back to school. it is a bit hard, you know, seeing the building where it happened and knowing that it could have been anyone. and i had some classes in there, so for them to be, you know, displaced and to be in different classrooms, it is a little weird. i'm getting back to it. we have a great school system, support system every day there. so it has been good. >> what do you think we'll be talking about one year from now when it comes to this issue?
>> hopefully there will be more changes. we don't know what's going to come for the future, but hopefully that will feel more safer again and that will have some legislation put into place. >> lizzie eaton, a pleasure to see you again. thanks so much for being with us. good luck tomorrow and good luck on the rest of the school year. >> thank you so much. >> we should note cnn will have coverage of these marches, these demonstrations all day tomorrow, it should be something to see. a familiar theme at the white house this morning, shake-ups and chaos, frankly. minutes ago, the president throwing congress a curveball on the $1.3 trillion spending bill, suggesting maybe he will veto it. is this some kind of bizarre bluff. stay with us.
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. good morning, everyone. john berman here. we have breaking news out of the white house. president trump is now threatening to veto the $1.3 trillion spending bill that congress passed overnight. this is a move that will cause the government shutdown in 14 hours. but we should warn you, this likely means nothing. he's almost definitely just saying things. an official statement the president wrote, i am considering a veto of the omnibus spending bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus daca recipients have been abandoned by the democrats, not even mentioned in the bill, and the border wall, which is