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tv   White House Not Aware of Taped Comey Conversations  CSPAN  May 12, 2017 8:00pm-8:54pm EDT

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theravel to cities across united states to explore their literary sites. you can watch more on >> tonight on c-span, today's white house reefing. jeff sessions announces a new policy of seeking tougher penalties on federal drug prosecutions. and michelle obama talks about nutrition and childhood obesity. national security adviser h.r. mcmaster led off today's white house briefing by answering questions about president trump's upcoming overseas trip. and then sean spicer took reported questions on the news of the day including fallout from the firing of james comey. this is 50 minutes.
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>> [indiscernible] full house today. good afternoon. it is good to be back with you. little biti was a missed. we are when we got from the president's first foreign trips i wanted to make sure as we prepare for the trip that i general at last her to give you a preview of what the team has been doing to prepare for the president's trip. our goal is to start that process now and next week, we bring the general back and give you a more detailed update as to what the president is going to be doing in each of the areas with highlights from the trip. and additionally we will have background briefings for you as well. do, generalurther a of master. cracks will you take questions after this? sean spicer: yes, i will be glad to take your questions. you can go first today.
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master: happy mother's day weekend. as you know, in one week, the president will embark on his first trip abroad since taking office. today would like to spend the president's objectives for his east andthe middle also preview a bit of the schedule. the trip has three core purposes. america'sreaffirm global leadership. building keyntinue relationships with leaders. and third, to broadcast a message of unity to america's friends and to the faithful of three of the world's greatest religions. the president prioritizes building strong relationships as you see here every day. with world leaders. as a way to strengthen our alliances and he has been successful. you can see that in his diplomacy with a range of leaders. from prime minister may to
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president xi. president trump understand that america first does not mean america alone. it means strengthening partnerships and improving the security of the american people. this trip is historic. visiteddent has ever the holy lands and sites of the jewish, christian and muslim faiths all on one trip. is what president trump seeking is to unite the peoples of all faiths from around the common vision of peace, progress and prosperity. he will bring a message of tolerance and hope to millions, including to millions of americans, who profess these fates. the president will focus on what unites us. the president's trip will begin in saudi arabia, home to the two holiest sites of islam.
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he will encourage our hour up muslim partners to take bold, new steps to promote peace and to confront those from isis to al qaeda to iran to the assad regime who perpetuate chaos and violence that has inflicted so much suffering throughout the muslim world and beyond. the first steps toward the stronger, more capable and more robust security partnership with our golf, arab and muslim partners. and he will develop a strong, respectful message that the united states and the entire civilized world expects our muslim allies to take a strong stance against radical islamist ideology and ideology that uses a perverted interpretation of religion to justify crimes against all humanity.
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he will call for muslim leaders to promote a peaceful vision of islam. the president will travel to israel. netanyahu and he will reaffirm america's unshakable bond to the jewish faith. with president abbas, he will express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the palestinians. so to the leaders and people alike across the entire trip, he will demonstrate his hopes for just and lasting peace. president will be honored to accept an audience with pope francis. he looks forward to paying his respects and to discussing religious freedom. ways to combat religious persecution. human trafficking and cooperating on humanitarian missions across the globe. he will also pay his respects to the italian people, by meeting with the president, the head of state and one of the most
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american -- most important american treaty allies. and we will also see the prime g7ister who is hosting the conference in sicily. the president will continue to brussels for the nato leaders meeting. there, he will reaffirm america's commitment to the alliance. while stressing the need for members to pay their fair share. to shoulder responsibility. and for thedens institution to continue on the path of strengthening the alliance. president trump will end his trip in sicily for the g7 meeting where he will promote american economic leadership and will address unfair trade practices. he will mind our friends and partners that we are eager to explore further ways to address threats to our security from north korea to afghanistan to the broader middle east, before leaving. the president will visit the
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naval air station where he will thank i were and courageous servicemen and women, allied personnel and family members for their sacrifices to keep us safe. and across the trip, he will meet our diplomats and the staff at our embassies who represent us so well across the world. words on how this came together. the impetus for this trip came from the president himself. and he has been fully engaged since the beginning. setting objectives. overseeing the planning. the president is receiving regular readings from our staff on the national security side of the economic side as well. the president has already met in person most of the leaders or by phone. the relationships are off to a strong start. and this trip is an opportunity to broaden and deepen those relationships. the administration continues to be in close contact and consultation with congress. and we are drawing on the expertise across the senate and
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the house in preparation for the trip. finally, this really is a team effort. the white house and national security council staffs, the national economic council -- the continue to work closely with our departments of state, treasury, defense and others to fulfill the president's objectives and to ensure smooth execution. on behalf of the president, i express the ministration thanks for the hard work it takes to organize a trip of this scope and importance. and all of us,t we are looking forward to the journey. i will take a couple of questions. hell is this president viewed among our arab allies? viewedis this president among our arab allies? : there is aster perception that america's largely disengaged from the middle east, in particular.
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and that disengagement coincided with the humanitarian and political catastrophe in the region. so now there is a broad recognition among all of our partners in the region that american leadership is necessary, to help address this catastrophe and to begin to move the region toward the peace, security and stability that the people there deserve. so what you are seeing is a galvanizing effect of the president's leadership in --nging those leaders of those leaders together across the region. bringing them together for a positive agenda. who is against ending this catastrophe? who is confronting these enemies? cycle ofng iran in the violence? and to bring prosperity and peace to the region for the people who deserve it. >> it was crucial in the intelligence community -- and ask you, this week in particular there have been a lot of reports overour network including
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how james comey was fired. do you believe that is a threat to national security. ? i will pass all those questions to sean spicer. i would like to focus on the trip. i will come back next week more details on the trip. >> you said the idea for the trip came from the president himself. was it the president to decided to begin the trip in saudi arabia? the birthplace of islam? is there symbolic significance to that? how many of our muslim allies? belim majority allies will represented at the meetings in saudi arabia? -- generalestor: it is the president's initiative. this will bring together partners across the region.
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i can answer in more detail next week because we still have final attendees. most of these people he has met with here or by phone, certainly. the crown prince coming on monday. as well. reporter: at the beginning of this week, we heard that there could be thousands of more troops to afghanistan. when he goes to brussels, what is the message to nato partners on the commitment? general mcmaster: the key is that all of us have to be committed to achieving our fundamental objectives in afghanistan. americans know that better than anybody because the mass murder against our own country originated with a terrorist safe haven based in afghanistan. recently, we have been engaged
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-- with highly successful operations there. you will hear more about that in the press conference with the department of defense in the near future. but what has happened in afghanistan is the afghan army is taking the brunt of the fight against these transnational terrorists and the taliban. so we are working with our allies to see what more we can do. .o have an effective strategy what are options we can bring to the president to be more effective. what more can we ask our allies to do? is going to be consistent with the president's guidelines to us. reporter: thousands more troops? general mcmaster: the president has not made a decision yet on what will be done. we have done is that we have consulted across our government and with allies. the president wants to hear from our allies. this is a president who listens
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partners.ies and robin opportunity to do so at the nato summit. and the g7. so what we will have at the end of the next few weeks is an opportunity for a much more effective strategy for the problems in afghanistan and pakistan. could you talk first thet the evolution of president's campaign with a unilateral foreign policy to the multilateral trip that you are emphasizing and the way you roll up this trip to explain that? and could you talk about the decision to send a delegate to the one belt, one road for them in china and what you hope to get out of that? america firster: didn't mean america alone, ever. what we've done is advanced the president's agenda and national security by strengthening alliances and by burden sharing. americans don't have to do everything.
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our allies and partners are grateful for the president's leadership in asking them to do more. so this is an alliance in which each of the members are doing their fair share. stronger or weaker? it is stronger. the president has done a great deal to strengthen our alliances. america first mean america not leading. advance ours to interests, it requires american leadership. so the president's leadership has been welcomed in all the places that he will be visiting on this trip. and his agenda that he laid out in the campaign is being operationalized and implemented by his cabinet, primarily. and in the white house. reporter: two questions. trump maypresident try to get president netanyahu and -- in the same room while he is there? is that the case? and in the news yesterday, the generalt said that
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matters would be announcing something on isis next week. to that?alk is there an announcement coming next week? general mcmaster: whatever the president wants to do. so the security council tries to keep up with the president. the final plans are not set yet. you can learn more about them next week. it'll be up to the president and those leaders about how he wants to engage with them. but he really did. leaders there as part of the trip. the campaign against terrorist organizations and isis, in particular, the president has asked us to do everything we can to defeat isis and to ensure that we defeat isis in the caliphate and the terrain. that they are endeavoring to hold onto in syria and iraq and afghanistan and in other areas. and what the president has also told us to set he doesn't want to telegraph what he is doing.
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tactically, day-to-day. he wants military commanders to real to execute campaigns consistent with his guidance that he has approved. week, leslie will do if it'll be an opportunity for our military leadership to layout how they are executing the president's guidance. the products they have made in the campaign and what remains to be done. that is the emphasis of the press conference next week. can we hear about russia and the agreements that were made this week with russia's top diplomat? you're going to the region to speak with arab allies. how will you explain the deals you bid with russia saying it is now a priority point? general mcmaster: i characterize the engagements with russia with the secretary of state. the meeting that trump had with lavrov and the phone comes nations we have had with russian leadership has been engagements.
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engagements. but the president has made clear is that he will confront russian disruptive behavior, such as the support for the murderous president regime in syria. and the enabling of thailand and -- and the murder in iran. what it has continued to do in ukraine. he will confront the disruptive behavior. but the president requires cooperation. there are a lot of significant security problems across the world. all of them would get easier if russia were to come to the conclusion that it could best fit its interests through cooperating with united states and others to resolve those conflicts, rather than perpetuate them. reporter: are we party to those in syria? the president spoke in very
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positive terms. are you saying there were no agreement? general mcmaster: the president spoke in strong terms in his engagements with russian leaders. i will take one more. tell us more you about the america first policy, about how it has changed over time? it hasn't been clear on what that means. thatal mcmaster: what means is that the president is prioritizing the security and the american people. you can see that with what economic policy has done. looking for ways to advance the prosperity. every theme of this trip is consistent with the approach to people.ze the american american security. american jobs. american prosperity. so you will see that with a
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integration of what we're doing in terms of security partnerships, along with economic partnerships. and he did like engagement that the president has been engaged with since he has been president. and this'll be a tremendous weight to have been solidified. sean spicer: evidence of that happened in trade. the commitments that secretary ross announced yesterday are the initial response to the action plan of the united states and china comprehensive economic dialogue which began with trump
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and the chinese president meeting in mar-a-lago. secretary rock and secretary minh newton, the united states has negotiated to reach consensus in areas including our ultra trade and financial and investment in energy. one of the actions i want to point out sets the stage for china to allow imports of american beef beginning no later than july 16 of this year. 13 years since we have been locked out of the chinese market. china is the second-largest beef importer in the world. i $2.6 billion worth of beef every year. night, theent last national cattlemen's beef association, the largest association of cattle farmers said "it is impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for america's cattle producers and the trump administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved."
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thatcame on the same day -- visited a barge in the river and noticed that he will appoint the first ever undersecretary armed of at the u.s. agriculture. this is further proof of the seriousness of which the administration is approaching the promotion of the u.s. agriculture and products abroad. and that is just one part of the deal that was reached. here are other highlights. patentsnding biotech will be violated at a meeting of chinese national safety committee by the end of may. welcome china to receive imported, liquefied natural gas with companies negotiating contracts. armed servicesw firms to provide credit rating and credit investigations. china will issue further guidance to allow america owned suppliers electronic payment services to operate in china.
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and china will allow to american financial institutions to allow underwriting and government licenses no later than july 16. as we continue to make process tothe 100 a framework solidify action that will benefit both of the countries. moving on, attorney general sessions issued a memo that restores flex ability to prosecutors so that they can most effectively combat the illegal drug trafficking that is destroying our communities and families. this policy was formulated after thensive conversation with prosecutors that handle these cases each and every day around the country. with these additional options available to them, they have the leverage they need to get at the root of drug trafficking and the violent crime that surrounds it. as the attorney general said this morning, this will take the handcuffs off our nations prosecutors and it puts the handcuffs on the drug traffickers who threaten the safety of our families. the trump administration is
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singling -- is signaling to the worst of the worst that living these dangerous substances around our border and into the community is that the united states department of justice will no longer look the other way. this week, the ministration has been engaging with senators and staff, now that the american health care act and the relief and promises for the american people is in the senate's hands. sarah talked to yesterday about how aetna has pulled out of the obamacare exchanges completely. another report yesterday showed that the average premium for spike 39% plans could since 2014. in some cases, insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses have become a family's most significant expense. with each new report, it becomes clearer and clearer that we tonot wait any longer replace this system. american people will continue to suffer under the consequences.
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the president will deliver his first commencement address -- he is greatly looking forward to visiting with liberty students and faculty who gave him such a warm welcome last year. he can be expected to note to the graduates his own change in status since they were locked together. liberty is the largest christian school in the nation and has made many remarkable strides in academics, extra curricular and endeavors. the president will be congratulating them on their compliments and encourage them to be a force for good. he will be offering congratulations, thanks and praise and encouragement on a day of optimism and new beginnings. in terms of the rundown for next week, the president has a packed schedule before he departs on the first foreign trip. monday, thewes the crown prince of
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united arab emirates arab emirates. tuesday, the president of turkey. wednesday, he will travel to connecticut to deliver the commencement address at the united states coast guard academy. thursday, the president of colombia will be at the white house for a visit. and then they set off for the trip, saudi arabia. and on mother's day, the first lady will host a reception in honor of military mothers followed by performance by the marine band. beyond all of the activities here is the official reminder to everyone to get your flowers and cards before it is too late. and with that, jeff. >> thank you for that reminder. moving on to the news of the week and the day, does president trump record his conversations with the former fbi director james comey? i see you are referring to the tweet at the president has nothing further to add on that. reporter: why did he say that?
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what should we interpret from that? sean spicer: the president has nothing further to comment on that. for the third time, nothing further to comment on that? reporter: does he mean to threat james comey if he speaks? sean spicer: i'm moving on. john: reporter: he said "russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching the u.s. tear itself apart over the democratic excuse for losing the election." what did the president mean by that? sean spicer: i think the president's comments about russia and the collusion have been very clear. ithas been very clear that is one thing that he believes that the notion that there is collusion is a hoax, and that
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has been reaffirmed by several people. thate wants to make sure he is focused every day on doing what is best for the american people. reporter: how is the u.s. tearing itself apart? sean spicer: this is a subject that comes up over and over again when it has been stated on multiple occasions that there is no illusion -- there is no collusion that occurred and yet the narrative continues to be perpetuated. reporter: do you think this is what russia wanted all along? sean spicer: we have made it clear at this podium several times and the president made it clear what his feelings are on this. reporter: in the dinner that the president had with james comey did thein january, president in floor him to pledge his loyalty? sean spicer: no. itorter: how important is
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that he is loyal? sean spicer: the president wants loyalty to the country. reporter: a follow-up question -- what can the administration do better? today, the president tweeted out from behind the podium, it is not always possible to present the information with perfect accuracy. sean spicer: so, look. we cannot hear every day. we tried to do the best job he can to communicate what the president has done and it compliments he making with the american people. we get here early and we work beyond being here at the podium. we get here early and we work late. we do what we can but the president keeps a robust schedule. you are very well aware.
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and as you can tell by the activities of next week alone. and sometimes we don't have an opportunity to get his full thinking. in those cases, we do our best to follow up with you. youthere are times when read a story when someone is trying to pull apart a word or sentence and say "a-ha." we work hard to give you the most up-to-date information through the day but we don't always have the opportunity to see the president. in those cases, we do a pretty good job of following up and getting to the information after the briefing or in a subsequent time. so that is exactly what he meant. reporter: he is considering canceling the daily press briefing? he is dismayed that we come out here and try to do everything we can to provide you at the american people with what he is doing on their behalf and keep the nation safe and what he's doing to grow jobs and yet, we see time and time again an attempt to parse every single word and make it a game of
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gotcha. as opposed to figuring out why the policies are what they are. there is a lot of dismay and i don't think it is something that just the president feels. on the original question about james comey. the president wasn't clear in the interview about who invited the fbi director to the white house at the time. how many invitations did the white house sent to james comey after january 20 him before he was fired? sean spicer: i don't know. i will try to find out. reporter: he recently called president erdogan -- president -- he says he is the mediator between the israelis. what is the response to that? sean spicer: i think what you
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have seen with the presidents meeting with these leaders is he engages privately in a lot of these things and to a large degree, he has achieved great success. whether in that case, working behind the scenes, the progress he has made with china. behind thent's scenes diplomacy has helped, and as general mcmaster noted, it is that diplomacy that is reasserting our position in the world and that trust is being rebuilt. again, i think there is a difference. here, what theut president believes is that behind-the-scenes diplomacy pays dividends in terms of behavior and outcomes in furthering the goals of the united states. my other question is, is the discussion about the refugee crisis being a problem in europe and the united states,
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--rorists hiding -- refugees terrorists hiding as refugees, when we talk about that with arab leaders specifically when visiting saudi arabia, or will he not bring it up? sean spicer: he talked about safe stones. he is brought it up -- safe zones. he has brought it up in phone calls. the president has been very publicly clear that there is a lot of desire to address the situation. in a lot of the readouts, that is part of it. he believes that has to be part of the situation. john? reporter: in the president's interview with nbc, he confirmed that on three separate occasions , the director of the fbi assured him that he was not under investigation by the fbi.
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why was the president consumed with this issue? i think because the narrative continues to be saturated, and he wanted clarity. i have not spoken with him, but i think he articulated it clearly. reporter: i would appreciate you getting back to me. question,asking that did the president asked the white house counsel whether it would be appropriate to ask such a question, given that it was generally against justice department guidelines to indicate whether an investigation is ongoing against any individual, let alone one at the white house? know, butr: i don't several legal scholars have said there was nothing inappropriate about it. reporter: how about the white house counsel? sean spicer: i don't know. trip, theon the
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president will mention religious persecution. i wanted to ask about a case in indonesia where a christian governor in the state of jakarta was imprisoned for two years for blaspheming the koran. does the president find that case troubling? sean spicer: did john give you this question? reporter: i'm sorry. sean spicer: i do not have any updates on that particular case. to go with jeff's is the president currently recording conversations taking place in the oval office? sean spicer: i think the point i've made is that the president has no further comment on that. you -- why did you come out with information that was later contradicted by the president?
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can you explain when you were brought in, who else was involved, why the american people were given incorrect information that night? sean spicer: i do not believe that was true. it was a decision-making process. the directorne is of the fbi serves at the pleasure of the president. the president made the decision to replace him, as he has stated very clearly. he is now focused on making sure he finds a replacement that has the leadership qualities to lead the fbi. that is it. he said tuesday -- can you walk through why the discrepancy in terms of his decision? sean spicer: it is always the president's decision. that's it, final. ultimately -- always going to be the presidents decision.
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it will be his decision to hire or fire someone. he made the decision in part based on a recommendation, and now he is making sure they have a replacement to instill the proper leadership they need. --orter: this is related where does the process stand right now? how many people have been interviewed? the timing, as soon as he finds the candidate that has the qualities he feels are necessary to lead the fbi, that is the timeline on that. i know the department of justice has begun to create that list, and if they have not already, they will start the process of interviewing people either today or through the weekend. obviously, the president wants to make sure we have the right person, and that process is being headed by the department of justice. if somebody has been a
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member of congress, passed or present, does that count as an automatic disqualifier? askedpicer: i have not the president, but i do not -- the he has stated justice department is screening candidates, and if they have a a list ofle and us -- finalists, they will share it with us. asked if theeone president has the confidence of andrew mccabe after the testimony on the hill. is that still the case? sean spicer: i have not asked him. i have not asked him -- generally i do not go through the list of government employees and ask him. i have not asked him specifically about that. president expects ationbi into -- investig will be wrapped up with integrity. today, he called it a witch hunt. how does that help it wrapup
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with integrity? sean spicer: no one wants this know, thereants to are two pieces to this. he is very concerned about any entities influencing the u.s. election. the second is this false narrative that we continue to fight every day that has been by intelligence individuals, members of congress who have been briefed over and over again. that is where i think he is growing concerned, as well as the american people, that there is a perpetuated pulse narrative out there. that is the nut of this. reporter: i talked to a former fbi official today who said that the president's tweet implicit says that the president is out of control. i would like to give you a response to it. sean spicer: that is offensive. reporter: thank you, sean.
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two questions about the selection process. you said the names were coming from the justice department right now. is the president consulting with democratic congressional leaders as well, or republican congressional leaders on this? or is he getting names out of doj? sean spicer: that is a good question. he will take input from them, i do not know what specific conversations he had, so i would be happy to check on who he has spoken to. reporter: follow-up question. sean spicer: sorry, i got confused. reporter: i know you said you were not disqualifying anyone on this. there has been considerable mention in the last 24 hours from mike rogers -- of mike rogers as the next fbi director. does the president have a meeting scheduled with him? sean spicer: i am not aware of
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anything like that on his schedule. there isll put out if a meeting. right now, there is nothing i am aware of on the schedule, but normally we put out the next day's schedule out. i had a couple questions about his remarks about general flynn. he said he did not think it was an emergency, and that is why the dismissal did not happen right away. it was an not think emergency, and was it because of the messenger? because the information came from sally yates, who has been called a political opponent of the president? can you explain what he meant by that? sean spicer: i cannot specifically say what he meant by that, but i can tell you -- look at the timeline that happen. we went over this the other day,
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and it has been asked and answered several times. the acting attorney general said he wanted to give a heads up on something. they asked for the documents or materials that he had referred to, they had five or six days to get them, they reviewed them and he was asked to resign shortly after. there was a difference. that was the review process in this case. as the president noted yesterday during his interview, he had been thinking about this for a long time. i am not really sure in both cases -- justice, though. is that what you're talking about? sean spicer: you are asking why it wasn't an emergency. but it was the time to do due process. --someone comes with you someone comes to you with an allegation, you give it due process. the president made the right
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decision, and continues to stand by it. reporter: and a follow-up. it is unclear, why did it take so long for the white house to get those documents? sean spicer: i don't know. that makes it sound -- with all do respect, that is not how it works. once the documents are in their possession, they asked for them. i believe it took a while -- some of these things do not happen as easy -- i don't know the answer, but i think in the course of action in the intervening days, that is a question you should ask the department of justice. reporter: i have a follow-up. explain to us a little bit when you compare these two situations with general flynn and director comey. the aim out came one day, and he was fired that day. that was 18 days. that is a huge difference.
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one -- why was one so fast and one was 18 days? sean spicer: they both had a review. the president looked at the reviews and he made the decision. that is his job, he is the decider. he had the authority to act, and he did. tweet about a director comey, the president says that he had better be careful. news, theon nbc president called him a showboat and a grand standard. der. -- grand stander. sean spicer: everyone in this country has a first amendment right. he isg information that not authorized to put in the public domain is concerning. the president has been very with of his concern
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respect to information that gets put in the public domain when it is not supposed to be. but i do not think -- everyone in this country has every right to speak their mind and express themselves in accordance with the constitution. concerned that this could jeopardize the fbi instead of correcting a problem that he observed? sean spicer: i think one of the reasons he wants to go through the process of finding an individual who can lead the fbi and the men and women who serve their so bravely and a bully is to make -- and ably is to make sure that there is a leader who can do that. it is the crown jewel of law enforcement. the reason that he wants to go through this process and choose can restore leadership and inshore morale , that is whyt is
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he is conducting the process that he has. jessica. [inaudible] sean spicer: what's that? reporter: you called on her first, so i wanted to give her the chance. when president trump tweeted this morning that there was no collusion. james clapper himself told andrea mitchell, i don't know if there was collusion or not. i do not know if there's evidence of collusion or not, nor should i. when the president was asked a similar question, he said not to my knowledge. think that is a great question that you should ask director clapper. reporter: why is he leaning on
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clapper when he said i have no knowledge? sean spicer: i think clapper has said he has no knowledge of collusion. that is it. reporter: he said he would not know because he is not been briefed. sean spicer: he would not have been until january 20. reporter: he made the case that investigation. on occasions prior to today, he made it clear that there was no evidence of collusion. reporter: the point is that he wouldn't know. there has no been -- been no final conclusion. sean spicer: the question i would ask is why he said what he did before? testimony and comments on multiple occasions prior to today was a month i have no evidence that there was any collusion.
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believe the question should be asked to him. he was the director of national intelligence. multiple times, including in testimony in front of congress, that there was no collusion. that is a question for him. there is an ongoing investigation. he is not making that argument. sean spicer: my point is that all we are able to do at this point is the people who are aware of the former director of headnal intelligence, the of the nation's intelligence talking about the involvement, making it clear that there was none. we took them at their word then, and we continue to believe -- reporter: [inaudible] you move on,before why did he make the statements he did when he did? to say months later's, even though i made those statements on multiple occasions, i was in
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briefed? is it not surprising or abnormal that i wouldn't know about the investigation, or the context of the investigation. think in this case, it is interesting how the story has changed. he made those comments several times, and to say the director of national security -- national intelligence who has stated hetiple times is now saying isn't sure about it, the burden seems to be on him, not us. reporter: moving on. i'm not a clapper spokesman. reporter: no, but i'd think there is a discrepancy. treatms of the accuracy -- tweet, should we take that to mean that you don't have the full picture when you stand at the podium?
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sean spicer: as i said, we are here first thing in the morning to late at night every day answering your questions every day. ismost of you can attest, it -- we worked day and night to make sure you have the most up-to-date accurate information at all times. he is an activist president. he keeps a busy and robust schedule. there are times we give you the information we have at the time, and we seek an update, and i believe you and others will attest to, if we don't have the information, we will update you after-the-fact or get you the facts we did not have at the time. but we work hard really day -- we work hard every day to make sure we do that. thatoint president made is there are times when we are asked the question, we do our best to give you an answer, and every word is picked apart to figure out how to make an issue out of it, instead of allowing us to get the president's
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current thinking if we had not had the opportunity at the time. jennifer. i'm sorry, jessica. reporter: asking about the one belt, one of road summit in china. out to sayoss went that you are sending a delegation to that summit. how did you come to that conclusion, that it is important for the u.s. to be represented at a major trade initiative by a foreign country? sean spicer: there are a lot of ports and infrastructure, and through those discussions that secretaries ross and the nation that is at mar-a-lago, something they have done. we will continue to work with them. trade is a major issue for us, and what they are looking to do is of great importance to our economic and national security. they have asked us to send people to that, and we have them
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attend things we are doing as well. i think as the president has shown with the relationship he has built with president xi, those relationships are clearly paying dividends pulled on the national security front and the economic front. jennifer. reporter: will the president participate? sean spicer: we will have a readout. that is all we have on one belt, one road. this president does value loyalty. when you were hired, was there any request or hint that you pledge personal loyalty to him at all? no. spicer: i pledged my loyalty to the constitution and the american people, as does everyone who serves in this administration. we stand by that. reporter: it was warned that he may not be well received at the fbi headquarters. sean spicer: not that i'm aware of. have a great weekend.
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thank you. [reporters shouting] did you ask the president about devices in the white house? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> tomorrow president trump is in lynchburg, virginia to deliver the commencement address at liberty university. coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. c-span's "washington journal," live every day with policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, foreign policy magazine discusses the latest in the
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federal investigation into potential ties between the trump campaign and the russian government. then, the executive director for the national congress of american indians discusses the interior department's management of native american lined -- land. be sure to watch "washington journal," join the discussion. journal just -- attorney general jeff sessions announced a new policy directing federal prosecutors to seek stricter sentences for drug crimes. he made the announcement while accepting a reward. -- an award. >> good morning, everyone. my name is ed mullins. the attorney general is a distinct privilege for us to be with you today.


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