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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 18, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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they kill more black people than any gang because of sugar and diabetes. i said if we are selling cola then let them produce it. >> it is on trigger warning on netflix. love you killer mike. >> the lead with jake tapper starts now. >> three words we have heard a lot today, if it's true. the lead starts right now. did he do it? that's the question everyone is asking after buzz feed says president trump directed cohen to lie to congress. it has a few people dropping the i word. lies and alleged leaks pelosi droching a big accusation without any evidence only to be countered by a white house response that is flat out false.
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by the way, the government is still closed with no deal in sight. and plus one secretary of state joins him on a recent middle east trip and raises eyebrows with what she did and who she did not meet with. democrats vowing to get the bottom. democrat of texas going so far to declare if the buzz feed story is true president trump must resign or be impeached. the buzz feed story sites two law enforcement sources told special council robert mueller that president trump personally directed him to lie to congress by claiming negotiations to build a trump tower in moscow and did months earlier than they actually ened. if the president actually did that that could be warning
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perjury. it could be a federal crime. neat neither has been able to verify the buzz feed report. chairman of the house intelligence committee seems skeptical saying these allegations may prove unfounded but are they determined to get to the bottom of this and follow the everyday where ever it may lead? moments ago the white house denied the story whole heartedly saying any suggestion from any source that the president counseled michael cohen to lie is cat gegorically false. >> tonight the president labeling buzz feed's report as categorically false and that michael cohen is a convicted
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criminal and a liar. >> look, that's absolutely ridiculous. i think the president's outside counsel addressed this best and said in a statement earlier today it is categorically false. >> buzz feed with explosive claims that he drerkted to lie to congress about how long talks over the project lasted, which if true could mean the president obstructed justice. buzz feed sites two law enforcement officials that say mueller has evidence that the president personally instructed cohen to lie. buzz feed says special council's office first learned through interviews with multiple witnesses through the trump organization plus text messages and a cash of other documents. the buzz feed reporting goes further than court documents from michael cohen's plea deal in mueller's sentencing it resleeled how cohen described the circumstances of preparing
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and circulating his response to congressional inquiries while continuing to seaccept responsibilities. it repeatedly pinned him as a liar. >> he is lying to get a reduced sentence. >> if buzz feed report is true the president's pick told senators tuesday a situation like that could be a felony, obstruction of justice. >> there was some reason to believe that the president tried to coach somebody not to testify or testify falsely that could be obstruction of justice? >> yes. under an obstruction, yes. >> it is prompting to renew calls for impeachment. >> it this is is obstruction of justice. if it is true it is supporting perjury. no question it is an impeachable defense. >> and going further r a step further saying it is clear
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obstruction of justice and an indictment of the president should not be off the table. it is worth recalling that robert mueller drew a line asserting that false statements made to the public could be seen as obstruction of justice and attempt to limit the investigation saying when cohen lied about the project cohen deliberately shifted the time line in limiting into possible russian interference into the presidential election. they say cohen did that no front of congress not just the public at the direction of president trump. the washington post like cnn has tot confirmed. we do not know for ourselves
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that this is true. assuming it is true a very big deal. >> incredibly a big deal. you are directing someone to commit perjury which is a crime. again, i do think while we have seen statements about the report i do think it's notable they are still exercising caution. first of all, caveating for the fact that we'll wait and see if the buzz feed report is true and using this to stress again that the mueller investigation has to be lead to its conclusion and that the report has to be made public which we know was a major focus point and democrats came away from that hearing. they had problems with the fact he wouldn't because of his previous comments but also that he did seem to kind of signal that the mueller report may not see the light of day. that is particularly concerning for democrats in congress who want all of this out there as much as possible so the public
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can learn what the special counsel found out. >> i will say also it seems democratic lawmakers are saying if it is true. the democratic grass roots, based on what i read, they want this to be -- >> can't believe everything you read. >> yes. they are on twitter, facebook, they want this to be true. does it bother that people in the democratic grass roots are like calm down. let's see. >> absolutely. i think it does. for folks that are not one could argue that you seen lots of things that this president has done and engaged in. my sister sitting at home like what does he have to do to get impeached? i think the temperament is very important. if this is true this is very damming evidence. not even evidence. this is obstruction.
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>> we should do a drinking game. every time somebody says if it's true, drink. >> he is basically saying michael cohen is lying and while i'm saying that, here is a little like harassment and intimidation of a witness by suggesting that his father in law be prosecuted. >> this is why the president should have his phone taken by him by his lawyers. rudy giuliani does not do that. look. i think it's proper to continue saying if it's true because it's only from one news organization. >> it's not because i think the reporters are bad reporters it's because i think bob mueller is a professional.
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he has been running an operation that has been leak free. it is sort of implying that something that has leaked out of mueller's world which seems unusual to me. my sense was that bob mueller was going to be a leak free operation. when he was ready he would tell the american public. the reason i take this with a grain of salt is not because i think president trump is this incredibly innocent guy but rather that i think he is a professional. i would be surprised if all of a sudden his ship was a leaky ship. >> i think there are a number of members in the senate and house of representatives that are saying okay. we want them -- we need to protect the mueller investigation. if this is -- if this is true we need to know what is going on.
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it is because of investigation on a house side was not up to par if you will. >> i think some members are feeling like they really want to do their oversite. they don't have all of the information. >> and we heard lindsey graham, is that something that the president should be impeached for. hasn't decided yesterday and also asked a similar question. >> you wrote on page one a president persuading a would be obstruction. is that right? >> yes. or any -- you know, any person who persuades another. >> okay. you also said that a president or any person convincing a witness to change testimony would be obstruction. is that right?
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>> yes. >> he seemed that she is asking the question. >> he is asking questions to basic legal principles. in the context of everything it is remarkable what the attorney general nominee is saying. going back remember, he is already supposed to testify before the house in early february that was going to be on must see tv. republicans in the senate, the chamber they still control is going to come under more pressure to testify. we were speaking with the intel committee chairman earlier this week. so it is about his plans to subpoena cohen possibly before his committee. while he doesn't want to be specific yet he makes a point that it is difficult to talk to somebody when they in jail. we would like for him to get
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here as soon as possible. >> sooner rather than later. >> speaking of barr, interesting story, cnn telling that president trump was startled to learn during the barr hearing that he and mueller are good friends. barr was asked about this. in 2017 he talked to president trump. trump was talking about maybe having him join the legal team. he did disclose this. take a listen. >> the president wanted to know. he said bob mueller, how well do you know bob mueller? i told him how, you know, the barrs and muellers are good friends and would be when this is all over. he wanted to know, you know, what i thought about mueller's integrity. i said bob is a straight shooter and should be dealt with as such. >> that was 2017. in 2019 president trump was
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surprised. zblp it wouldn't surprise me to discover that president trump, he showed this pattern with sessions. he starts thinking of it as a department that is supposed to be working for him and therefore why is the justice department making my life more challenging? i think barr gave the right answers there. doesn't surprise me he would now when confronted with it would be a little more startled. >> this is a strong obstruction accusation. what may not add up next. and homeland security secretary, the fbi called onto prove it. stay with us. do your asthma symptoms ever hold you back? about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma.
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cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress. the question is whether he was directed do so. as of now neither cnn or any other had been able to independently verify the buzz feed story which states that special council's office about the through interviews from the trump organization and internal company e-mails, text messages and a cashover oth of other doc. ma do you make of it? do you believe it? >> good to be with you. for people like phil and i, we don't deal in the realm of what is add van teenage uadvantageou. i think there are more questions than we have answers right now. we keep saying if it is true it
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would cause a huge problem one think that's interesting is when you look at the legal strategy and you compared it to these allegations, what he has found himself boxed into a corner, it wasn't illegal that is not going to fly here. people don't normally direct others to congress. it is something that the president is not supposed to do. if this does pan out it is highly troubling for the president of the united states. i don't think it will work here. >> what did you make of it? >> pretty simple. i want more. i want more. this is why being on the inside is interesting. we are seeing one square on a
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rubix cube. we don't know what happened with roger stone and whether other people discussed that don junior meeting, whether others can confirm there was a conspiracy to hide that meeting. we don't know whether there were people who were aware of wikileaks and whether they released information before i happened. >> when asked he said he was a businessman. he didn't know whether or not he was going to win the election so he continued to push ahead with growing the trump organization. it has been mentioned in their
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investigation. why is that key to special council? what's the importance of it? >> it is key because if you go back to the original mandate to determine whether there was a collusion between the trump campaign and russian government it was obviously an important part of it. perhaps the president didn't think he was going to win. he was doing it and once he got elected now what do we do? it goes down to the fact that did the president lie? did he direct someone else to lie about this entire operation. this is what we don't know right now. we have long said this is the guy that knows where all of the bodies are buried. so we flow thknow that he is a liability because of what he
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knows. it will be interesting to know what he says in that hearing. if you were engaged in anything we may have seen now is the time to be picking up the phone. now is the time to be reporting that. >> good psa there. >> one of the problems with this story is that there are like 30 players and they are all liars. according to mueller's sentencing memo the information in these is consistent with other information obtained in the course of the special council's investigation. cohen obviously has a credibility program and lied to the special council's team. my question is does it rely on anything cohen says if they don't have other evidence? >> that would be really leery of
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doing that not because you don't sit across the table and think he provided information in the past but because somebody will tear him to shreds. he is attacking cohen's credibility. the mistake the president is making is saying that cohen is lying now. he brought a hammer down on him. if cohen lies now and i suspect mueller could figure it out cohen is not going to get off the hook he is going to get on the hook. last thing, remember those famous raids, the hotel room, they are getting all of the information, not just financial information but stuff like texts. they are putting that together and they can figure out with some degree of reliability whether he is lying or not. >> you keep mentioning rubix cubes. i hope the kids understand what we are talking about. >> i don't know how relevant pop
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culture reference is. >> i rb it. i used to do it. phil, thank you so much. appreciate it. the president and speaker going toe to toe getting personal and a very long way off from any apparent deal from ending the government shutdown. stay with us. ♪ (woman) one year ago today mom started searching for her words.
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he violated security protocols by announcing such a trip had been scheduled into a war zone. he told pelosi she was welcomed to fly commercially but she started sharing information about that trip thus putting the entire delegation in danger. >> we had per ogtive to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration leaked that and it endoingers it. >> it comes after the president cancelled the military plane originally. rebuking her accusation today telling cnn when that he decide to book their own commercial flights the world is going find outs unquote. now as cnn reports amid all of this washington fighting little to put 800,000 americans back to
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work has been made. >> shutdown negotiations to unfounded accusations between president trump and nancy pelosi. pelosi accusing the white house without any proof of leaking lawmakers plans to travel to afghanistan on a commercial flight after trump yanked authorization forcing them to cancel. >> we weren't going to go because we had a report from afghanistan that the president had made it much more dangerous. it is a signal to the bad sock tos. >> calling claims of a leak a flat out lie. trump calling pelosi's trip an excursion tweeting why would pelosi leave the country with other democrats on a seven day
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excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid? one called it to cancel retaliation to postpone the state of the union address pelosi levering it open to interpretation. >> do you view this as retaliation? >> i don't think so. i don't he would be that petty, do you? >> asking to donate money to send bricks for the border wall. the president also tweeting without evidence that prayer rugs have been found at the border and resurrecting his claim that yet another caravan is heading to the u.s. southern border. >> what do we want? >> as this draw pla unfolds the shut down continues with negotiations pushed to the back burner. >> i think the mistake is that nobody is talking.
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>> the whousz says it is likely to happen towards the end of february at an undisclosed location. there is some negotiation happening just not with democrats. >> okay. thanks so much. you know as well as i do that these trips to war zones are kept under such tight wraps. you don't know about them until he is back in the united states. >> it is jarring the rules they have to abide by on one of these trips, right? a lot of journalists have to promise not to report on it. there is a cloud of security and reporters in this town, it's hammered into their heads,
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right? when you go on these trips security is the most important thing. we sacrifice some information because of that. to have the leader of the country not understand that or know that or abide by just the basics of the security protocols is, you know, i guess it is sort of predictable at this point but it is jarring. >> it is stunning. i have been to afghan stistan a iraq. i cant imagine when you announce to the world or then, you know, adds minute strags officials tell reporters you really are putting people at risk. >> he is not wrong for saying democrats, you should stay in washington and we should open it up. >> yeah.
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>> pelosi was asked do you think it was petty? she said no. i don't know that she really believes it isn't petty. it is all petty. these people are being children instead of trying to get together and open the government. >> let me just say that the idea that we are going to both sides this thing until donald trump's presidency is over, i cannot stomach. it is not a both sides situation. the president shut the government down. he appended a deal. mcconnell is refusing to put it on the floor. democrats have been in good faith trying to open the government. the house has voted nine times on a bill to reopen the government. nancy pelosi opened the state of the union. folks are not getting paid.
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three, donald trump left the country since the shutdown. he went to iraq. congress nol -- he went to afghanistan and/or is it the other way around? >> yeah. >> two people -- the president left the country. >> and republican delegation. >> yes. for the president to cancel the trip because he can't get the state of the union i can't anymore. it is not a both sides situation. >> released a memo releasing from using any taxpayer funds during the shutdown. it so the broaden the impact of the shutdown. i think all what happened this
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week, the most important thing to remember is that it got worse. we got -- they already missed their paychecks last week. they would be on the vergeov of missing another paycheck if there's no resolution. look, the senate is not going to vote on anything unless there's a deal. the house has kind of exhausted all of the options by putting forward all of the options they can pass but the senate can't pass. the flight issue underscores how little are being had. the only way is to sign onto a letter that the president has already squashed at the point. >> and there are lots of people that are legitimately hurting. there are countless tral contractors and this is the federal government inflicting pain on its own citizens. zb and look, i think the one
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person who is missing is the leader of the senate, mitch mcconnell. he had the key to unlock them. i don't know what his strategy is here. you had republicans who had to sort of use a shutdown as a release valve. it is others on the far end. they are saying we'll have to do a shutdown and we are draw them back in. this time it is so unusual because we have the president who is interested in the shutdown pushed it. at what point is mcconnell going to say it has gone on long enough. it is not the wisest strategy. it is hurting the country and hurting the economy. let's strike a deal. >> the reality will be that conversation happens when enough is being felt by folks in the
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senate. i think i said it that there's a loft pain being felt as a result of the shutdown. it's not political pain in enough of an amount to make anyone move. neither of them are feeling enough political pain to move. this weekend there may be media polls coming out. it hasn't tanked yet. it hasn't tanked in a way republican numbers tanked in the 2013 shut down. >> take a look at this week's cover of the new yorker. it is trump building a wall around hipmself. they can donate money to send faux bricks to pelosi. >> it is concerning to me that donald trump and his campaign
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advisers, if you will. in one breath donald trump tells us mexico has paid for the wall. if you believe that why is the government still shutdown because you won't get $5 billion for your wall? i do believe that the political pressure for republicans will begin to be so amis i'm wondering how long they break with the president. how far are they willing to go out on a limb for? that's the question i think they are being faced with. guess what? they ain't shutting down the government. not this time. >> he posted a picture of himself delivering a pizza. he wrote this. thousands working without a paycheck. it is time for leaders on both
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sides to put politics aside and come together and end the shut down. we don't hear from him very often when it comes to anything in politics. >> he is making the point that look, there are so many of the 800,000 federal employees, so many of them are working right now with no paychecks coming. tsa agents, coast guard personnel, there are efforts to at least try to pay those employees that have been considered essential and are working right now. i think at the end of the day what people want to do is -- what democrats want to do is reopen the government. everyone stick around. we haven't even talked about muslims are dropping their prayer rugs and even more that's
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calling on the dprks bi to launch a perjury investigation. it prove that is she lied to congress about the agency's policy on separating migrant families at the border. policy options to report to the bortder surge. number two on this list separate family units and announced that
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they are considering separating family units. administration called it a lie. neilson tweeted we do not have a policy of separating families at the border. the memo does show that it was policy action. >> she wasn't telling the full truth. it is think tanks and restrictions when it comes to immigration. i had a lot of sympathy among miller and top white house adviser and was implemented at some point in some way. it's in the like people are making it up that they wanted to separate people to deter it was
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saying they are trying to prevent the exact humanitarian crisis. they do not seriously examine the border. >> okay. that statement said a lot. really i think she knows she lied. from the white house press podium they talked about what they did have of separating children. there is a humanitarian crisis. it is that the trump administration created. our immigration policy is still broke. >> you used to work -- >> yes. >> you're familiar with their work? >> yes. >> i guess the idea is that
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neilson says that's not the policy. the hair she is splitting is the policy is full prosecution of everyone and then that requires the separation and the argument would be that having this forced policy, they were discussing it but they weren't necessarily doing it. >> it is a lot of hair splitting here to be fair. what they announced earlier was a zero tolerance policy. you send every border crosser to the justice department. this will lead to children being separated from their parents and basically saying don't bring your country illegally. the secretary is splitting hairs here. >> i want to ask you about the prayer rugs. today he seemed to equate it with terrorism. he tweeted border rancher. it is unreal people coming across the southern border, some
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of which would be a big surprise. so first of all i would like to see the evidence. i don't doubt necessarily people from all over the world are coming across the border. i find it interesting the idea you would bring a prayer rug and lever it in the middle of the desert. he is clearly insinuating muslims are terrorists. >> i think it's ridiculous. i think this is the sort of thing where let's go back to one of the first policies. the ban on travel from muslim majority countries which was argued this is not a muslim ban. legally they had to make that. it is tweets like this that undercut the president's credibility to say this isn't about discriminating. it is about security. people praying is a problem? i think it is a ridiculous
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tweet. >> to equate it with a threat to the united states is ignorant. in our money lead right now consumer sentiments hit. it is down nearly 8% since december. the government shutdown tariffs and market instability are among the key issues to blame. half of all consumers believing they will have a negative impact on the ability to focus on growth. back after a middle east trip that made state department staffers angry for something his wife did. what was it? stay with us. you've had quite the career. yeah, i've had some pretty prestigious jobs over the years. news producer, executive transport manager, and a beverage distribution supervisor. now i'm a director at a security software firm. wow, you've been at it a long time.
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the white house banning congressional delegations. but days ago also during the shutdown was not only traveling abroad using taxpayer funded aircraft he brought his wife along. she required her own staffing and security same time they were being furloughed or forced to work without pay. >> secretary of state pompeo traveled through the middle east. eight countries reassuring about the role. it's the role of someone else who went on that trip. po po pompeo's wife that raised questions among many democrats. according to one this you don't
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when embassy employees are working without being paid. eyebrows were raised from the start. why was this necessary? it wasn't a matter of national security. pompeo described the trip as a working one from his wife as well. >> she meets with medical officers. she will write up her thoughts and comments after that. i wish i had time to do each of those things myself. >> pompeo dedicate today tending to her schedule. she had her own state official to travel with her to meetings. she also required that staffing insecurity to shop at a local market which sources say made
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her late for the next flight keeping the secretary and his team on the next half hour. a crowd of officials waiting an the next stop. another issue raised is what kind of notes pompeo will prepare. >> he takes his wife and gives her responsibility, gives her support in taking that away from the same men and women during the shut down and during the time when they are particularly suffering. it sends a terrible message about a double standard. one set applies to me another set of rules applies to the working men and women of that department. >> while it is not that common to join them on these trips it has happened. >> it is important that when they do they have an ie ten rare that they are having engagements of their own. they are providing meaningful
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context. >> normally it wouldn't draw anger or much notice but this is a government shutdown. people were called in and worked for free. for days they have not responded. at the beginning they said she would be reimbursed where appropriate. also remember she drew scrutiny when her husband because of the amount of time she spent there. she trafveled with him there to. >> all right. thank you so much. finally today we know the nap names of three of the four killed on wednesday.
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a rock star with infectious determination according to command egg officers. jonathan farmer was a 37-year-old married father of four who had done six combat tours in the army. he was from florida. 42-year-old was a before joining the intelligence agency. the st. louis native was a patriot. the fourth american killed was civilian contractor. democrat senator kirst kirsten gillibrand and tul
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tulsi gabbard. we read them. our coverage continues right now. have a great weekend. i'll see you sunday morning. happening now breaking news, directing to live. the white house denies a bomb shell report that president trump directed his tllawyer to e to congress about a trump business project. lawmakers warn if true the buzz feed allegations would amount to obstruction and clear case for impeachment. second summit after the president talks to north korea's nuke lawyer negotiator he will meet next month. is the timing to coincidence and is there enough progress to warrant the second summit? endangering the speak after trump bars her use to visit the afghan war zone.
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