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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  November 20, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. moments ago secretary of state mike pompeo showed he supports president trump's explosive and astonishing statement about the murder of u.s.-based journalist jamal khashoggi. the president's words signalled his administration would not take strong action against saudi arabia, even though the crown prince ordered the murder of the "washington post" columnist. let me just read for you a portion of the president's statement. "the crime against jamal khashoggi was a terrible one and one that our country does not condone.
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represent testifies rep of saudi arabia say jamal khashoggi was a member of the state and muslim brotherhood. but my decision is in no way based on that. this is a horrible crime. king salman and crown prince mohammed bin salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the crime. our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't." >> sam in abu dhabi for us, what is the message this white house
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is sending to leaders in the region where you are? >> reporter: well, let's take the iranians, since they were put at the top of mr. trump's interesting missive that was put out today earlier today with "america first" as its headline. the foreign minister has tweeted in response to this -- let me read it to you in full, brooke. i think it will sum up the view of that part of the middle east. he says "mr. trump bizarrely devotes the first paragraph of his shameful statement on saudi atrocities to accuse iran of every sort of malfeasance he can think of. perhaps we're also responsible for the california fires because we didn't help rake the forest, just like the finns do?
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nonetheless, i think that sums of the shi'a response. saudi arabia is seen as very much the center of the sunni world. at least that's what it's tried to position itself as, obviously in rivalry with neighboring turkey or nearby turkey. but at the same time, this is not a region that sets a great deal a store when it comes to government attitudes. the issue is as far as the sunni world is concerned with the united emirates, they are in lock step with what they per receive -- perceive heading off the threats. they will be delighted with donald trump's statement.
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he's made this appointment ahead of whatever assessment is published, if it is published eventually, from the cia as to whether or not mohammed bin salman, the crown prince of saudi arabia knew about it. and by saying so, maybe he did and maybe he didn't and ending that remark with an exclamation mark, he's almost delivering it as an irrelevant punch line in some kind of vaudevillian performance. but in the background here, it is real politics that come into play. it's not just about arms sales, brooke. it's about intensely close intelligence and relationship between the united states, the united kingdom and the saudis. especially the suddaudis have switched fire in the con kniniv in the backing of extremist groups that mr. trump tried to associate mr. khashoggi.
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>> and the way he dangled that in the middle of the statement, you know, was a dangerous move to make maybe americans feel frightened that he would look like this would-be terrorist, just dangling there from the president of the united states. sam kiley there from abu dhabi. back here at home we heard from the secretary of state, mike pompeo, a bit ago showing his support of the president's choice to side with saudi arabia. >> so it's a mean, nasty world out there. in the middle east in particular. there are important american interests to keep the american people safe. so as the president said today, the united states will continue to have a relationship with the kingdom of saudi arabia.
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the united states took a very strong response. we have sanctioned 17 individuals in connection with that investigation. we are at the same time committed to making sure that we place america's national security interests and all the actions that take place in the context of doing the right thing to make sure that america continues to thrive and grow. and when we do that, the world is better off for it, too. >> with me now cnn political analyst julie hirschfeld-davis and global affairs analyst aaron david miller, distinguished scholar at the woodrow wilson international center. julie, let's just cut through it. it seems like when you read his statement and hear from secretary pompeo, is what they're saying we don't really care what happened with khashoggi, we're side be with the saudis? >> essentially, yes. i think this was a preemptive
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statement. we're told that trump dictated the statement that, it came right from him. and with that phrase, you know, maybe he knew and maybe he didn't exclamation point, i think the president makes it pretty clear here and i think this is the objective of the statement that it doesn't matter to him whether the crown prince knew about this in advance, maybe even whether he directed it or whether he didn't. so if we ever do find out what the united states intelligence assessment is, we already know what the turkish authorities think about this episode, if we ever are to find out that the assessment is that mbs did order this killing, which we understand that that is the assessment that they have, if this ever becomes public, the president can point back to this statement and say i already said that it doesn't matter to me, that the relationship, the security considerations that go into that relationship are important enough that it outweighs any of that. by casting aspersions on jamal
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khashoggi, he also made it clear he's sort of buying the line that the saudi government has pushed about him in the past. in a way, as you suggested earlier, kind of giving himself a way of having an excuse for saying that this one killing is not worth flushing a relationship down the drain. >> aaron, let me just remind everyone because the president was ask about khashoggi on sunday with chris wallace over on fox. the question was had he listened to the tape that the turkish officials say they have of the gruesome murder of this journalist. this is what the president said. >> we have the tape, i don't want to hear the tape. no reason for me to hear the tape. >> why don't you want to hear it, sir? >> because it's a suffering tape. it's a terrible tape. i've been fully briefed on it. there's no reason for me to hear it. in fact i said to the people should i? they said you really shouldn't. there's no reason.
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i know everything that went on on the tape without having to hear it. >> what happened? >> it was very violent, very vicious and terrible. >> so he won't listen to the tape. it doesn some say it doesn't matter whether he listens to the tape, what matters is he listens to to the assessment and that he issues the statement before he even sees the full assessment from his own intelligence agencies. >> you don't listen to the turkish audio, you don't read and digest the agency's assessment. julie's right. you preemptively have a mindset that the u.s.-saudi relationship is too big to fail. i visited saudi arabia, the president would say it's might
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first trip abroad, which is unprecedented for any president, usually he go to mexico. and as a consequence this relationship has nothing to do with u.s. values. it's totally transactional and focused on what the saudis can do for us. the reality, brooke, is that would be -- that might be able to get by with that assessment if in fact the saudis were actually promoting u.s. interests. this isn't just a question of vaul use, which are extremely important. the murder of khashoggi was the most recent act in a series of reckless policies by mbs, kidnapping, boycotting, mbs's war in yemen, which is adding
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room for maneuver. is saudi arabia an ally of the united states? i would argue it's a security partner. it doesn't share common american values and, frankly, i'm not entirely persuaded that it shares a lot of american interests. >> but isn't it about -- i mean, the way pompeo talked about iran, that iran was mentioned in the second line of this entire statement, does this white house see iran as the boogeyman of the middle east and that saudi arabia can help them with their iran problem? >> yes, no question that iran is viewed as the fulcrum of the western civilization and the president was determined during his first year to basically reset the two relationships that he believed the obama administration has undermined,
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the relationship with benjamin netanyahu in israel and the relation with saudi arabia. no one is arguing that we ought to destroy or fundamentally change the nature of the relationship. saudi arabia is important. we got to reinject some balance, some leverage and some reciprocity into this relationship. so bottom line mbs is literally his most significant policy achievement, has been the bamboozling of donald trump. i think this statement reflects the fact that the president is determined no matter what the saudis do to maintain this relationship. >> so will congress be bamboozled. julie, if this president isn't going to do anything, will congress? >> i think there's good reason to think that they will. it was interesting in the last paragraph of the statement, he said something along the lines
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of if others disagree with me and he obviously means congress, well, they can go their own way. what that would look like is something that would stand in his way. he presents it as we'll agree to disagree on this. i think this is okay with me. if others disagree, they are free to have their own opinion. if the republicans on capitol hill, some of the republicans in the senate like lindsey graham, a close ally of president trump right now, continue to harbor the concerns that they do about this episode and think that, you know, stronger action is needed, more sanctions are needed, then they have the means to try to force that kind of action. you could see if can you get bipartisan support for an effort like that some legislation landing on the president's desk where he would have to choose whether or not he was whether to veto something like that and they could be in a veto override fight. congress could ratchet this up and i think there is ample evidence that there are republicans and democrats on capitol hill that want to do
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that. >> julie davis and aaron david miller, thank you very much for the conversation there. another controversy at the white house today, ivanka trump criticized for using a personal e-mail address for government business. sound familiar? this all came to light from a watch dog group. also ahead, breaking news, the cdc advising all americans shouldn't eat romain lettuce. oops, i just had a salad today, this just two days before thanksgiving. hear why. and the dow right now plunging more than 600 points. hear why amazon, apple, facebook are driving down the markets. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. the community doesn't just have small businesses, it is small businesses. and that's why american express founded small business saturday. so, this year let's all get up, get out and shop small on november 24th. i got croissant. small business saturday. a small way to make a big difference.
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the words white house and private e-mails in the same sentence again, not hillary clinton, this time ivanka trump. the president's daughter has committed this violation that her own father was fixated with as he ran for president. remember those chants at those rallies? >> she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with e-mails. she doesn't even remember whether or not she was instructed on how to use e-mails. were you instructed on how to use it? i can't remember. she deleted the e-mails. she has to go to jail!
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>> yes, there are key differences between hillary clinton and ivanka trump's e-mail use. as for ivanka trump's defense, "i don't know." sound familiar? only this time her father has not said a word. an oversight group sued for perfect records and now the first daughter's e-mails will be part of this probe into whether she violated the laws. with me austin evers. you tell me what you guys have found in these e-mails. >> what we discovered at american oversight is that ivanka trump used public e-mail in 2017. we learned that over a year ago. we're learning that the extent of her use was very large.
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she was, quote, the worst offender in the white house and she claimed to have no idea what the rules were with respect to personal e-mail. so what we're learning is that this is an administration and a family that acts like it's above the law, like the rules don't apply to it and i feel like we're on day one of a new investigation. >> let me read what ivanka trump's attorney is saying in part. "to address misinforming being peddled about miss trump's personal e-mail, she did not create a private searcher in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, no e-mails were deleted and the e-mail have been con it and in the official count in conformity with records preservation rules. aside from the hypocrisy of all this, if nothing is there in the ivanka trump e-mails, what
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should it matter? what is your group trying to achieve? >> i think there's two things. first and foremost, ivanka trump's personal lawyer does not work for the american people, he works for her. i think it's fair to ask a more neutral arbiter to determine what is true, not a paid criminal defense lawyer. number two, i think we need to let the facts decide whether there's a there there. her lawyer says there's no classified information. that is a dead ringer for what hillary clinton said. it turns out when you ask national security officials to review those under the glare of making those potentially public, they decided they were classified. i'm not sure ivanka trump's lawyer is in a position to make that call. one example, the executive order on classified information makes it clear that if information that would affect national security or foreign affairs can
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be classified, don't you think our friend and adversaries would like to know what ivanka trump thought of the japanese president or the head of china or any other foreign leader she may have encountered? those are personal opinions that may be shaved with white house officials that are likely classified. we don't know what's in them yet. i think congress is going to step in and vinvestigate it and we're going to go to court very soon to investigate ourselves. >> it's my understanding oversight did not exist in the era of hillary clinton's private e-mail server. if it had, would you have investigated her? >> our m. orchlts o. is to let documents speak for themselves. let's see where the investigation goes. i can commit that we will let the facts lead and we won't
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engage in campaign-style hysteria or hyperbole the way ivanka's father has. that doesn't mean that ivanka's out of the woods. it just means that the facts are going to lead. >> austin evers, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ivanka trump isn't the only white house official under scrutiny for using e-mail. tom foreman, who else is in the same position? >> a lot of people who arguably should not be. if you're in his white house, you have to know he just pounded hillary clinton over this very issue. last year a lot of them were talked about, jared kushner, her husband, steve bannon, the former chief strategist, no longer with them, reince priebus, former chief of staff, he's gone now, steve bannon,
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he's gone now, this a half dozen people who have been put untder the microscope for using private e-mails. this is a president who said you never should be doing that. they're fair arguments to make. if you're doing government business in the name of the government, many voters would say why don't up just use a government system for all of that and save your private e-mail for your conversation with people about private matters. >> tom, thank you very much. speaking of, we are just getting word the president is speaking with reporters before he takes off for his mar-a-lago thanksgiving holiday. we are told he talks about his astonishing statement on saudi arabia and he talks about his daughter ivanka trump's new
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[ neighing ] [ neighing ] [ sigh ] it's bring your own phone, not pony. so i could've taken the bus? yeah. bring your phone. switch your carrier. save hundreds a year with xfinity mobile. call, click or visit a store today. just in to cnn, an important health alert for all of us. the cdc is warning that romaineromain romaine lettuce in the suns not safe to eat. beth cohen is with us on the
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phone. do they mean all romaine lettuce? >> reporter: actually, they do. they are saying all romaine lettuce. people have become sick with e. coli 015817. it is a really vicious bacteria that can cause kidney failure. it appears they've traced it back to romaine lettuce but they don't know what brand of romaine lettuce. >> what do people need to know? >> if you've got it, throw it out. even if you've eaten it and you haven't got i don't knten sick, out. the mixed brands that may contain romaine lettuce, get rid of it. don't eat it.
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>> okay. >> the cia is highly confident that the crown prince ordered the murder of u.s.-based journalist jamal khashoggi. the statement from president trump argues that sacrificing the economic relationship with the saudis quite simply outweighs the facts behind ka z khashoggi's killing. the president rights "the it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" and "the washington post" just released "president trump's response to the brutal murder of journalist jamal khashoggi is a betrayal of long-established american values of respect for human rights and the expectation of trust and honesty in our strategic relationships.
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an innocent man brutally slain deserves truth and deserves better, as does the cause of truth and justice and human rights. what did you make of the statement? >> the world is a dangerous place. i feel a lot less safe today working in the united states of america than i did a couple of hours ago. i think this is a horrible message to be sending to the world, really kind of condoning this murder, only in the interests of our commercial dealings with saudi arabia.
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>> the president tosses a grenade in the middle of it saying "representatives of saudi arabia say that jamal khashoggi was an enemy of the state and a member of the muslim brotherhood. but my decision in no way dangles on that." >> to me that smacks of him trying to discredit a very thoughtful, honest journalist who now has no opportunity to defend himself, to respond to such an egregious attack. i was in a similar situation when i was imprisoned in iran. i wasn't able to respond, but now i'm free and out in the world and able to talk again and able to write again. you know, it's just incredible to me that the president of the united states would do this and kind of create doubt around a person who's been murdered at the hands of a foreign state. >> the fact that you've mentioned now twice how you were
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imprisoned in tehran, for your reporting about iran and the iranian government, jason, what message does this send, this message from trump to the rest of the world, particularly those dictatorships? >> well, i think it sends the worst possible message, which is, you know, don't do bad things but if you're going to do them, you're going to get away with them. especially if you're an ally, especially if you're doing business with us. i think that's not consistent with our values as a country. it's not consistent with the values that we've had set out for over 240 years and this is a precedent that i don't think we should be following through with. >> lastly, the fact that the president dropped the statement, then went on to pardon the turkeys and is now heading to florida for his thanksgiving vacation, all happening before he himself, as we understand, saw the full assessment from intelligence agencies and just as your paper has been reporting and we have been reporting that
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the cia indeed believes that mbs had a hand in his murder. what do you make of the fact that the president didn't see that and dropped the statement? >> well, i think he's just trying to divert our attention to something else and opening that the world will get on from this. and give it up. but i, for one, am proud to say as i watch how my paper covers this know that we're not going to just let it stand. >> jason rezaian, thank you so much. we're told president trump addressed what we're discussing, his astonishing statement on siding with saudi arabia. we'll bring that for you. also, we're watching another turbulent day on wall street, the dow down 520 points. at one point more than 600. details on what is driving this. a migraine hope
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doesn't compare to zerowater's 5-stage. this meter shows how much stuff, or dissolved solids, gets left behind. our tap water is 220. brita? 110... seriously? but zerowater- let me guess. zero? yup, that's how i know it is the purest-tasting water. i need to find the receipt for that. oh yeah, you do. there lots of people who are confused about which medicare plan is right for them. hey, we're going now to the southern white house. we have a lot of work we're going to be doing in florida. we had great -- some really great election results, as you know. georgia just came in and that was a big success. florida was a tremendous success with both the governor, ron deisn'td desant desantis, he'll be a great
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governor, and the senator rick scott and ohio, we had a lot of great victories. so we're very happy about that. we put out a statement on saudi arabia, which i guess most of you have seen and we'll see how that all works out. it's a very complex situation, it's a shame but it is what it is. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]. >> because it's america first to me. it's all about america first. we're not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders and let russia, china and everybody else have them. it's all about for me very simple, it's america first. saudi arabia, if we broke with them, i think your oil prices would go through the roof. i've kept them down. they've helped me keep them down. right now we have low oil prices or relatively low. i'd like to see them go down even lower. it's a very simple equation for me, i'm about make america great
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again and america first. >> reporter: are you basically telling me that human rights are too expensive? >> that what? >> reporter: that human rights are too expensive? >> no, i'm not saying that at all. if you look at iran and look at what they're doing, they are a terrorist nation right now, although they're a lot better right now than they were when i took office. when i took office, they were heading in a very, very bad direction. and at some point things very positive frankly could happen with iran, but we also need a counterbalance and israel needs help also. if we abandoned saudi arabia it, would would be a terrible mistake. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]. >> i really can't understand what you're saying. sorry. >> reporter: "the washington post" in a statement put out a statement. they said that you're putting your personal interests, your
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commercial interests -- >> i have nothing to do with -- just so you understand, i don't make deals with saudi arabia. i don't have money from saudi arabia. have i nothi i have nothing to do with saudi arabia. i couldn't care less. as most of you know, being president has cost me a fortune and that's okay with me. i knew that a long time ago. but being president has cost me a fortune, a tremendous fortune like you've never seen before, but someday i'll tell you what that is. and i knew that a long time ago because i don't do deals. all i do is focus on this country and making great deals for this country. i don't focus on making great deals for myself because i don't care anymore. so saudi arabia has nothing to do with me. what does have to do with me is putting america first. wait, wait, wait, wait. they're buying hundreds of billions of dollars worth of things from this country. if i say we don't want to take
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your business, if i say we don't want to cut it off, they'll get the military equipment and other things from russia and china. russia and china would be very, very happy because right now we're doing very well against china, we're doing very well against everybody, including russia, and i'm going to keep it it that way. and i'm not going to tell a country that's spending hundreds of billions of dollars and has helped me do one thing very importantly, keep oil prices down so they're not going to 100, $150 a barrel. right now we have oil prices in great shape. i'm not going to destroy the world economy or destroy the economy of our country by being foolish by saudi arabia. wait a minute. i think the statement was pretty obvious what i said. it's about america first. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]. >> say it again. >> reporter: why was it
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appropriate for your daughter's personal e-mail -- >> just so you understand, early on and for a little period of time, ivanka did some e-mails. they weren't classified like hillary clinton, they weren't deleted like hillary clinton, who deleted -- she wasn't doing anything to hide her e-mails. i looked at it just very briefly today and the presidential records, they're all in presidential records. there was no hiding. there was no deleting like hillary clinton did, there was no service in the basement like hillary clinton had. you're talking about a whole different -- you're talking about all fake news. so what ivanka did, it's all in the presidential records, everything is there. there was no deletion, there was no nothing. what it is is a false story. hillary clinton deleted 33,000 e-mails. she had a server in the basement. that's the real story. >> reporter: sir, sir!
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>> the which policy? >> reporter: your asylum policy has been put on hold. >> you go to the ninth circuit and it's a disgrace. i'm going to put in a major complaint. can you not win a case if you're news the ninth circuit. it's a disgrace when every case gets filed in the ninth circuit. that's not law. every case in the ninth circuit we get beaten and then we end up having to go to the supreme court like the travel ban and we won. every case, no matter where it is, they file is practically, for all intents and purposes, they file it in what's called the ninth circuit. this was an obama judge. i'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore. everybody that wants to sue the united states, they file their case in almost, in the ninth
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circuit and it means an automatic loss. no matter what you do, no matter how good your case is and the ninth circuit is really something we have to take a look at because it's not fair. people should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case. and you people know better than anybody what's happening. it's a disgrace. in my opinion, it's a disgrace what happens with the ninth circuit. we will win that case in the supreme court of the united states. >> reporter: is he a hero? and when will you visit the troops? >> i can't hear you. your voice is not -- i don't know admiral mcraven. >> reporter: did you turn in the written interrogatories? >> the written answers are finished. >> reporter: you have turned them in? >> i don't know.
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the lawyers have them. they will, they will. the written answers to the witch hunt that's been going on forever, no collusion, no nothing. they've been finished. finished them yesterday. the lawyers have them. i assume they'll turn them in today or soon. >> reporter: are you afraid to go to a war zone? >> no, i'm going to a war zone. >> reporter: are you happy with the sanctions on iran? >> yeah, the sanctions on iran are very strong, very powerful. they're sanctions i think that have had a tremendous impact. more sanctions are going on. we have a lot of tremendous support and iran is not the same country it was when i became president. it's a much different country. and hopefully at some point we'll be able to make a fair deal and help iran and help the people of iran. >> reporter: mr. president, do you really believe the dems --
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>> reporter: i know that his daughter works for facebook. if you look at what facebook has been doing, they have some explaining to do, how they're so democrat oriented. i hear schumer's daughter works for facebook. i was surprised and disappointed to learn that because nobody knew that. >> reporter: should julian assange go free? >> i don't know much about him. >> reporter: what do you want pakistan to do in the fight against terrorism? >> i want pakistan to help us. we're no longer paying $1.3 billion to pakistan. we're paying them nothing because that's what they've done to help us, nothing. i cut those payments off. we're not paying pakistan any money because they're not helping us at all. i hope to have a good relationship with pakistan but right now we're paying pakistan nothing. i cut them off.
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they were getting $1. 3 billion -- $1.3 billion a owe. >> don't worry about thanksgiving. these are tough people. they know what they're doing and they're great. you're so worried about the thanksgiving holiday for them. they are so proud to be representing our country on the border where if you look at what's happening, mexico, the people from tijuana are saying, wow, these are tough people. they're fighting us. they're in fist fights all over the place. these are tough people that are coming in. now i understand they have 500 people that have been designated as -- let's put it in a nice word -- criminals. and these are the people that are coming in, no. you don't have people coming in. the order today is not we can get around that very easily. what i do say, ninth circuit is -- it's very unfair when everybody files their case in the ninth circuit.
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they file it for a reason. as far as the troops, they are proud to be on the border. they are proud to be defending our nation. and we're not letting people in. it's called catch and detain. it's not called catch and release like it has been for many years. for many years, they called it catch and release. they don't call it that any more. and our soldiers are doing an incredible job. and if you look at the walls they're building, and if you look at all the barricades they're putting up, they have done a great job. >> do you have any reaction to michael avenatti being arrested for domestic violence? >> no, i wish him the best of luck. >> what about the market? do you agree with larry kudlow we're not headed to a recession? >> no, i think we're doing great. as a country are are we're doing great. our unemployment is at a record low. you look at all of the different statistics. i think your tech stocks have some problems. but that will come back. but no, i think we're going to do very well.
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i would like to see the fed with a lower interest rate. i think the rate is too high. we have much more of a fed problem than a problem with anyone else. we're doing very well with china. china wants to make a deal very badly. they might not say that to you. but they want to make it very badly. i have another $250 billion worth of tariffs to put on if we don't make a deal. and believe me, i'll be putting them on. because china has been ripping off our country for many, many years, and they don't rip us off with me. we made a great deal with canada, we made a great deal with mexico. i appreciate the help that mexico is giving us at the border. you see that people are not coming through. all of the fist fights and the fighting that you see are done on the mexico side. they're not coming in here. but i appreciate what mexico is doing. they can do more, but i appreciate what they're doing. >> mr. president, how can you say for sure all of ivanka's e-mails were preserved. >> the lawyer told me they're
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all preserved. historically, they're preserved. >> what about the cia assessment -- [ inaudible ] >> they didn't make a determination. and it's just like i said. i think it was great. maybe he did, maybe he didn't. they did not make that assessment. the cia has looked at it, studied it a lot. they have nothing definitive. and the fact is, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. if you look at iran what they have done, they have been a bad actor. you look at what's happening in syria with assad, with hundreds of thousands of people killed, we are with saudi arabia. we're staying with saudi arabia. and by the way, just so everybody knows, i have no business whatsoever with saudi arabia. couldn't care less. >> are you letting the saudis get away with murder? >> no, no. this is about america first. they're paying us $400 billion-plus to purchase and invest in our country.
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that's probably the biggest amount ever paid to the united states. this is over a long period of time. it means hundreds of thousands of jobs. billions of dollars of investment and product. and if you think i'm going to let russia have that money, or those things, if you think i'm going to let china make the military equipment -- hey, china and russia would love to make $100 billion worth of military equipment from saudi arabia. we have the contracts, they wanted those contracts. that would be a big, fat beautiful gift to russia and to china. they're not going to get that gift. just so you understand. it's about make america great again. it's about america first. we're going to stay with saudi arabia. the other thing. saudi arabia's probably the second biggest oil producer. they've worked with us very well. we've kept oil prices down. if you want to see oil prices go to $150 a barrel, like -- by the
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way, russia would love to see that. all you have to do is break up our relationship with saudi arabia. >> will you meet with the saudi crown prince next weekend? >> i don't know that he's going to be there. >> cindy hyde smith. >> she is a spectacular senator. she came in, did a fantastic job in a short period of time. she made a statement which i know that she feels very badly about it. and it was just sort of said in jest. as she said. and she's a tremendous woman. and it's a shame that she has to go through this. i think she's going to do very well. i really believe she's going to do very well. i've gotten to know her well. she's a person that loves the people of mississippi. she loves the people of this country. she's going to be a great senator. i'm going to do two events in
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mississippi on monday. i'm doing one near -- let's see. i'm doing one near jackson. i'm doing one in the gulf coast. and we're going to do one in tupelo. so we might even do three. but we're going to do two. i think tupelo probably is definite. and i think gulfport is definite. cindy hyde smith is a tremendous woman who truly loves the people of mississippi and our country. and i think she's going to win. very big. >> why won't you let ivanka be interviewed about the e-mails? >> ivanka can handle herself. ivanka can handle herself. these were all in the historical records. there was no deletion whatsoever, unlike hillary clinton who deleted 30,000 e-mails, unlike hillary clinton who had a server in the basement, ivanka didn't. these calls were not classified, unlike hillary clinton's calls which were classified and it's
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all fake news. >> holiday pardons. any holiday pardons? >> i love the pardons for the turkey. >> are you going to pardon any people? >> i haven't thought of it. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i think what assad has done is horrible. really horrible. >> a question about the recent "time" magazine online poll. [ inaudible ] >> it's called person of the year, right? >> yes. >> it's no longer man of the year, right? i don't know. that's up to "time" magazine. i've been there before. i can't imagine anybody else other than trump. can you imagine anybody other than trump? huh? have a good time, everybody. thank you.
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>> welcome to "the lead," i'm jim sciutto in for jake again today. you've been listening to president trump on his way to spend the holiday at mar-a-lago, addressing many questions there. and i think you heard there, you could say, a distillation of foreign policy under president trump, placing the prospect of business and trade with saudi arabia, oil prices above any mention of u.s. values, human rights or indeed the findings of the u.s. intelligence community. it's confident assessment that the murder of jamal khashoggi was ordered by the saudi crown prince. the president claiming that assessment is not definitive. cnn's reporting contradicts that. the president saying he does not want oil prices to rise and does not want to lose arms deals to the saudis. the president on near key issue of the day, defending his daughter, ivanka trump, her use of private e-mails, saying she's different from hillary clinton in that she did not delete them and that those e-mails remain preserved as government records.
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certainly, a lot to break down here. we're joined by our panel now for reactions to this. and phil mudd, i want to go to you first as a remembformer cia official there, to hear the president summarily on the same day he was supposed to receive what we are told is quite a confident assessment from the cia that the saudi crown prince ordered the murder and dismemberment of the journalist, jamal khashoggi. for the president then to come out and say, well, it's not definitive, he ma i have done it, may not have done it. how does the u.s. intelligence community receive that reaction? >> it doesn't have to be definitive and you're never going to get definitive. does a court of law in the united states say if you don't have a definitive verdict you say guilty or not guilty? the president is making a false distinction between whether or not he's got a phone call, for example, the crown prince, the assassination team and whether you can draw a conclusion that a reasonable person would say the
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crown prince was involved in authorizing the assassination. look, you can have your cake and eat it too and the president has chosen not to. you can say i think the saudis are guilty. i think we should sanction them. i think we should limit weapon sales. and i also think we should maintain a relationship. what you cannot do is to say, i'd like to ignore the facts and guarantee that we maintain a relationship with the saudis, ignoring that they just assassinated a private citizen. he could have said something else. he could have said we want to have a relationship and also sanction them. he chose not to. >> scott jennings, what vision of america did you hear there from the u.s. president? quite remarkable. and as phil is saying, creating a false choice there. why can't the u.s. president hold an ally accountable for a brutal murder while at the same time noting and maintaining the shared interests they have? did you see the president there defend u.s. values or human rights in any way?
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>> well, it's a difficult issue, because what i have assumed is that the president and his administration, along with israel, believe that saudi arabia is critical to whatever peace plan they are about to roll out. we know from press accounts that jared kushner is about to roll out their vision for middle east peace, and they believe they have to have the strongest possible relationship with saudi arabia to do that, and they believe, i guess, that by sanctioning or holding them to account over this horrific issue, they put all of that in jeopardy. and so -- >> why -- >> the president has decided -- >> what's the limit? >> we have a larger peace process in jeopardy and it's a terrible choice. and i'm still sorting out my feelings on it. what they did to this journalist is horrific. and it makes me wonder how could you trust a partner in the peace process if they so willingly lie to the world about something like this. >> fair question. angela rye, your reaction. >> numerous. any time i hear the president open his mouth, i think about the fact that this