Skip to main content

tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 23, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

3:00 pm
refused request. exclusive new reporting from cnn says the white house asked the fbi to knock down reports about contacts during the election campaign between aides to donald trump and russians known to u.s. intelligence. long way to go. top mexican officials state their disagreement with president trump's immigration policies as they meet with secretaries of state, the secretaries of state and homeland security during a mission to ease strained relations. did president trump just make their job harder by calling deportations a military operation? flawless, the white house says the president's revised executive order on immigration is being delayed by efforts to make sure it won't result in the same chaos and legal challenges as his initial travel ban. will it meet the mark? and greater enforcement. the white house also says it expects law enforcement agencies to enforce federal laws on recreational marijuana even on states that have legalized its
3:01 pm
use. is the crackdown on weed in the works? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news exclusive new information coming into cnn about efforts by the trump white house to have agencies including the fbi refute stories about contacts during the presidential race between trump campaign officials and russians known to u.s. intelligence. we're also following the uproar the president sparked by calling the wave of deportations under his aggressive new policy "a military operation." the white house says the president did not misspeak by homeland secretary john kelly later clarified there will be no, repeat no use of military force in immigration missions. kelly was in mexico with rex
3:02 pm
tillerson trying to smooth relations that are fraying under the trump policies. there was open disagreements as they met with top mexican officials. the foreign minister there were, quote, negative feelings between the countries and a relations have a long way to go. we have our guests including congressman from indiana and a member of the intelligence community. and experts and analysts standing by. we begin with cnn's exclusive new reporting about white house efforts to respond to cnn and other reporting about russian contacts with high-level advisers of then-candidate donald trump last year. jim sciutto, evan perez they broke the story and others. evan and jim join us now. what did you find out. >> wolf, we're learning. cnn was told that the fbi rejected a recent white house request to publicly knock down
3:03 pm
media reports about communications during the 2016 campaign between donald trump's associates and russians known to u.s. intelligence. the white house south the help of the bureau and other agencies investigating the russian matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts these officials tell cnn. you will recall that cnn and the "new york times" first reported on this just over a week ago. and wolf, so far we've reached out to the white house but it has not yet commented on the record. >> evan, this typically is not a typical request. how did this start? >> u.s. officials tell us this began with the fbi director andrew mckab and reince priebus on the sidelines of a separate meeting. white house official disputes that account saying that mc-abe called priebus that morning stating that a report vastly
3:04 pm
misstated about the russian contacts. the white house later reached out to mckab and james comey to talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories. but a law enforcement official says mckab wouldn't discuss the details. and i should add, wolf, this is a highly unusual thing for someone high level at the fbi, deputy director of the fbi to be reaching out to the chief of staff to discussion ongoing investigation. >> the fbi has had no comment. >> no comment, correct. >> jim, the white house had reince priebus deny the story. he went on fox news what a week or so ago and said this. >> the "new york times" last week put out an article with no direct sources that said that the trump campaign had constant contacts with russian spies. basically, you know, treasonous type accusations, we have now all kinds of people looking into this.
3:05 pm
i can assure you, and i've been approved to say this, that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that story is not only inaccurate, but it's grossly overstated and it was wrong. and there is nothing to it. >> but, jim, the investigation is still going on. >> the fact is this is still an open question. it's a matter of investigation. the fbi we know is still investigating these communications. several members of the house and senate intelligence committee tell cnn that congress as well still investigating those alleged contacts and, in fact, that investigation has begun. wolf, they've started to collect documents and records as they begin this congressional probe. >> why is this not a typical back and forth between the white house and the fbi? >> the communication between the white house and the fbi are unusual because of a decade-old restriction on such contacts. it is to limit communication with fbi on pending
3:06 pm
investigations and the trump administration's efforts to press comey contrary to the justice department's procedures that are contained in memos issued in 2007 and 2009 that are to limit these kinds of contacts on pending investigations between the white house and the fbi. we know that james comey rejected the requests according to the sources we've been talking to because of the alleged communications are the subject of ongoing investigation. and i underscore that indeed if the deputy director of the fbi reached out first thing in the morning to try to temp down the story and give the white house guidance that is highly unusual. >> evan and jim, thank you for that reporting, exclusive reporting. andre carson of indiana is joining us, a member of the intelligence committee. thank you for joining us. >> thank you wolf. >> you just heard the reporting
3:07 pm
that the fib refused a request from the white house to knock down recent stories reported by cnn and the "new york times" about contacts between the associates of donald trump during the campaign and russians. were you aware that the white house had made this request to the fbi? >> well, it's unfortunate. i mean, hearing the news. but it's not surprising. i think we have an administration that has constantly accused entities like cnn, the "new york times" of being fake news. and i think this is a masterful attempt to minimize and tariff lies the forth estate, the media, to hold people accountable. >> are you concerned about this request? >> i'm deeply concerned about it. i think provisions were established years ago over six or seven years ago so that this
3:08 pm
contact between the fbi and the white house regarding pending investigations would, in fact, be limited for good reason, and the fact that the administration is using its authority to impose on the fbi in a way that is unlawful and unethical, quite frankly, disturbs me. >> were you aware that the white house made this request to the fbi, congressman? >> no, i was not aware. so thank you for this remarkable reporting. >> the white house clearly may have violated longstanding policies as you point out of not discussing investigations with the justice department. do you think this is something that congress needs to investigate? >> without a question. i think it goes along the lines of other questionable acts not only the violation of the emolument clause and other violations and general flynn speaking to russian diplomats. but i think it exaser bates the
3:09 pm
administration's view too soon. >> have you been privy to trump officials to the campaign and russians known to the community. >> i'm not ad liberty to go too far into this, wolf. but my personal believe is there had been inappropriate contacts made by folks in the administration and i think it's congress's duty to investigate this contact and unearth the truth as it were so we can move forward with an agenda that b benefits the american people. >> you believe there should be a full-scale investigation now? >> absolutely. >> congressman, stand by. we'll have a lot more to discuss. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back.
3:10 pm
♪ the sun'll come out tomorrow... ♪ for people with heart failure, tomorrow is not a given. but entresto is a medicine that helps make more tomorrows possible. ♪ tomorrow, tomorrow... ♪ i love ya, tomorrow in the largest heart failure study ever. entresto helped more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby.
3:11 pm
don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure... ...kidney problems, or high potassium in your blood. ♪ tomorrow, tomorrow i love ya, tomorrow.♪ ask your heart doctor about entresto. and help make tomorrow possible. ♪ you're only a day away ♪ but they're different.d kind it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we've used real ingredients, whole nuts, and natural flavors from the very beginning. give kind a try.
3:12 pm
3:13 pm
3:14 pm
we're back with democratic congressman andre carson of indiana, member of intelligence committee. as we follow the breaking news, exclusive information coming into cnn about efforts by the white house to refute stories by the presidential race campaign officials and russians known to u.s. intelligence. congressman, you just said you believe the trump administration did have some contacts with the russians. are you referring to officials currently serving in the trump administration? >> well, my personal believe is that as was evidenced by general flynn and you had top campaign adviser paul manafort who had contact and which he had to resign because of it. i think the contacts have been suspicious and i think it's important and it's on congress to investigate these matters so
3:15 pm
we can move forward with an agenda that serves the american people, as i have said. >> we know the former national security -- national security adviser michael flynn is no longer serving in the administration. do you know if anyone else currently serving in the trump administration had contacts with russians known to u.s. intelligence? >> at this time, no. >> all right. stand by. i want to get some more information. we're getting additional information on other key issues right now. earlier today, president trump praised the increase of deportations under his aggressive new immigration policies. but his characterization of them raised some eyebrows. >> you see what's happening at the border. all of a sudden, for the first time we're getting gang members out, we're getting drug lords out. we're getting really bad dudes out of this country. and at a rate that nobody has ever seen before. and they're the bad ones. and it's a military operation
3:16 pm
because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you read about like never before and all of the things, much of that is people that are here illegally and they're rough and tough, but they're not tough like our people. so we're getting them out. >> let's bring in jeff zeleny. homeland secretary john kelly had a different message today in mexico. explain. >> wolf, he did indeed. he specifically was asked about those two words, military operation. of course, john kelly, a former military man, long time decorated military man had specific language and a sharp response to the president. >> there will be no, repeat, no mass deportations. everything we do in dhs will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the united states. and again, listen to this. no, repeat, no use of military
3:17 pm
force in immigration operations. none. yes. we'll approach this operation systemically and in an organized way, and in a results-oriented way, in an operation way, and a human dignity way. this is the way great militaries do business. the united states, mexico, and many others. >> and white house press secretary sean spicer was also asked about the military operation. he said the president was simply using that as an adjective, wolf. >> jeff, the president also gave an interview to the reuters news agency and spoke out about the u.s. nuclear arsenal. tell our viewers what he said. >> he did indeed, wolf. this is something that he's been talking about as he was running for president. he has been raising questions about the capacity of the u.s. nuclear system. in that interview this afternoon with reuters here at the white house, he talked about that as well as north korea.
3:18 pm
>> well, i think john has tremendous control over north korea. whether they say so or not, it's up to them. but they have tremendous control over north korea. they could solve the problem easily if they want to. look, under the circumstances there is always i would never say no. it may be very late. very late. it's very late in the picture right now. >> what do you mean? >> well, it's very late. we're very angry at what he's done, and frankly, this should have been taken care of during the obama administration. missile defense is one of the things is one of the things that can be done. there is talks of more than that. >> like what? >> well, there is talks about a lot more than that. we'll see about what happens. i think they're grand champions at manipulation of currency. so i haven't held back.
3:19 pm
they -- we'll see what happens. it would be wonderful -- it would be wonderful a dream that no country will have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack. >> so those words there, we're going to be at the top of the pack. the white house again press secretary sean spicer was asked exactly what the president meant by that and he said, look, he was simply saying that the u.s. should have the best capability, not suggesting any type of immediate built-up. that interview with steve holland, a veteran correspondent for reuters, it was a bit all over the board there with north korea and ending with the nukds. this is one of the first foreign policy interview the president has given in his first month in office. >> very important. jeff zeleny over at the white house. following the visit of secretary of state rex tillerson and john kelly to mexico today. this on a mission to ease the
3:20 pm
tensions sparked by president trump's rhetoric about the country and his immigration policies. mexican officials said they disagree with the united states right now, but tillerson called the talks productive. >> in our meetings, we jointly acknowledged that in a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries from time to time will have differences. we listened closely and carefully to each other as we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns. >> let's bring in our cnn global affairs correspondent elise bab at. what are you finding out about this. >> it's the mexicans caught off guard. i'm hearing what the mexicans are saying. in public secretary tillerson went down with secretary kelly with a conciliatory message that struck the right notes. secretary tillerson made nods of
3:21 pm
the problems affecting mexico. president trump expelling bad immigrants, bad dudes. and he did so until tillerson and kelly were in the air down there. so clearly mexicans were expecting this to be an agenda but it made for a chilly reception for secretary of state tillerson andel -- and kelly. >> translator: we do not agree on the recent measures that were stated by the government of the united states that affect mexico. we have expressed our concern about the increase of deportations. >> and the mexicans do seem to be caught off guard. normally you have the white house rolling out a policy several days before the visit. there is time for dust to clear and the aides to set the meetings. but today you had secretary kelly walking back the comments by donald trump that this was a
3:22 pm
military operation. secretary tillerson said that the ra realizes mexico is a sovereign country. this is similar to when the president talked about the border wall and mexico paying for it. and which really blindsided him and forced the president to cancel the meeting. he told tillerson and there were a lot of hurt feelings. >> it was the mexican president who canceled his visit to washington because of those comments. elise, thank you for that report. andre carson of indiana, who is a member of the intelligence committee. congressman, in that interview with reuters, president trump said he wants to expand the u.s. nuclear arsenal and wants the u.s. to be the quote, top of the pack. are you worried that the u.s. could be hearded towar-- headed towards an arms race with
3:23 pm
russia? >> i'm always concerned about the u.s. becoming overly miltized but we're living in a time where we must be armed and ready for battle. the reality is the world is a place and many countries have hostile views towards the united states of america. the question is how do we leverage our partnerships nationally to make sure we don't carry the weight and become the police officers for the entire world. but in a real sense it's important for us to stay armed. >> so you agree with the president the u.s. should further develop its nuclear weapons, nuclear arsenal? >> i think we have to be ready for warfare at any given time. i think the arsenal that we have right now as we speak is sufficient. that's not to say we should not make greater investments in newer technologies to stay competitive. but we have to deal primarily with issues of joblessness.
3:24 pm
we have to invest in infrastructure, we have to talk about rebuilding our broken educational system. i think those priorities should take precedence over investments in nuclear armament. >> for a long time democratic and republican administerings since the collapse of the soviet union, they've been trying to reduce those nuclear arsenals. this would be a significant shift if we see this new administration try to expand the nuclear arsenal. >> absolutely. well, i think we'll certainly have a growth in the military industrial complex, without question. but as i said before, i think the greater investment should go toward our infrastructure, educational system, and putting americans back to work. >> president trump also described the deportations now underway in the united states. he called it a military operation. the white house later clarified that he was using that phrase as an adjective to describe the
3:25 pm
precision of the operation and the homeland secretary john kelly had to reassure the mexican government that the u.s. military will not be involved in any deportations. what's your response to the president's choice of words? >> well, i think his choice of words was unfortunate like so many of his choices of words. i'm concerned. because this looks and feels like a mass deportation. i think i agree as a former police officer we need to get rid of violent criminals and those mass murderers and the like and those who are committing heinous crimes. but to break up family, hard working families, to cause uncertainty and anxiety with these immigrants and americans to me -- i just read a report, if these continue over the next ten years, we're going to lose up to $5 trillion in terms of dollars to the.
3:26 pm
look, immigration reform should be at the forefront of the trump administration's agenda. he should be working with congress, the members of the senate, to pass comprehensive immigration reform. optically i think he's trying to get away from his faux pass and have a heavy law enforcement operation, but we're strange law enforcement agencies with these direct tiffs. to break up families is not the way to go. >> andre, thank you very much. it was fascinating to hear the mexican foreign minister that mexico is concerned about human rights in the united states. right now u.s. officials are complaining about human rights elsewhere around the world and the mexican foreign minister was standing right next to the secretary of state rex tillerson. congressman, thanks once again. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead steve bannon makes a rare public appearance talking about the white house war with the news media and the president's agenda and a whole
3:27 pm
lot more. plus, the president plans for the country's nuclear arsenal. is a new arms race looming?
3:28 pm
3:29 pm
what do you get when you combine an h&r block tax pro, with the deduction finding superpower of ibm watson? ah! you get more money. that's what you could get. h&r block with watson. get your taxes won. their competitors' rates alongside their direct rate to save you money. but what's really going on? when played backwards at 1/8th speed
3:30 pm
you can clearly hear... what could that mean? woman: tom? tom! they're just commercials. or are they? you're waking the neighbors. well, mom, maybe the neighbors need to be woke. i think it's actually "awoken." no, that doesn't even seem right. no, it's "awoken." revealing the truth to help you save.
3:31 pm
tonight a new warning from the president's chief political adviser steve bannon says president trump's war with the media will get worse.
3:32 pm
bannon making a rare speaking appearance. phil mattingly was at the event. he's still there outside wa washington. we saw members of the trump team showing unity with conservatives and one another. >> that's right. a clear movement to teach with the conservative movement and any dissense you've seen with the white house is not true. president trump agenda was laid out during the campaign and he plans on following through on everything he said. >> he's laid out an agenda with those speeches with the promises he made and our job is to execute all of that. mainstream media, understand something all of those are will be executed. >> reporter: steve bannon on stage with white house chief of staff reince priebus dismissing
3:33 pm
any reports of division, fighting for all the agendas laid out in the trump campaign. >> he's going to continue to press his agenda and as economic issues get better, as jobs get better, they'll continue the fight. if you think they'll give you the country back without a fight, you're sadly mistaken. >> reporter: bannon appearance with priebus in a public display to try to taper down words of dissent. bannon and briefus united in the belief that the press had been unfair to president trump. >> just like they were wrong on the cast of the campaign and the transition, they're absolutely wrong on what's going on today. >> reporter: adding fuel to the fire at a time that is engulfed in media attacks. the trump agenda now dominating
3:34 pm
the conservative meeting he skipped last year. where the conservative political action conference has become the trump political action conference. >> by tomorrow it will be tpac. >> reporter: with trump the face of the party and the conservative movement. trump team continuing to push back on the obama rules and transgender bathrooms. >> this issue was a huge example of the obama administration's overreach to suggest a one size fits all federal government approach. >> reporter: even as questions remain were trump far from a traditional ideological conservative can keep his party together. >> can this trump movement be combined with what's been happening with cpac and other conservative movements over the years. >> it has to and we have to stick together as a team. the truth of the matter is
3:35 pm
donald trump, president trump brought together the party and the conservative movement. and i've got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together similar to steve and i, it can't be stopped. >> reporter: and wolf, you've been hearing that message repeatedly from administration officials throughout the day, a recognition that here at the cpac these are the activists these are the grassroots and the people that need to be motivated at a moment that we're seeing town halls across the country with people raising concerns about issues. vice-president mike pence will try to convey to this crowd for an effort that they will be believe good for the conservatives and entire republican party. >> out side of washington, d.c. let's bring in our political team. manu raju. we see kellyanne conway, the
3:36 pm
vice-president, tomorrow the president will be there at that cpac conference, secretaries tillerson and kelly in mexico is the administration trying to reset the agenda a bit? >> it sound that way. donald trump didn't tweet. half an hour ago he tweeted about how the stock market is doing well but has not taken his administration off message. i will say that the trump administration is doing that is causing some concerns among his fellow republicans. there are a lot of republicans who wonder why they pick this fight against the transgender bathroom line. and it's interesting to hear steve bannon talking about withdrawing from tpp as well as immigration enforcement and building that wall along the border of mexico, the deportation as well those things don't necessarily unite the
3:37 pm
party but bannon ses it as central. >> we don't see, david, steve bannon publicly out there speaking publicly. today repeatedly referring to the news media as the opposition party. he's got his own message he's trying to convey. >> he's got his own message and this works out well for all concerned. cpac needs the team to maintain, the trump team needs cpac to seem more important. it works well for steve bannon who is a good communicator who goes out there, to get that trump message out. >> jackie you wanted to weigh in. >> i wanted to add something to what manu said. the transgender might not be popular with some republicans, in that room, that cpac what trump did is very popular. when kelly mac-ernie mentioned it that the guides had been
3:38 pm
rescinded, the crowd cheered. and the social conservatives are very supportive of rescinding those guidelines. so in terms of your looking at what audience he's playing into, it's right there. >> abbey, those reports of infighting in the white house, clearly by steve bannon, reince priebus showing up together today, they wanted to dispel those reports. >> and this has been a project for the two of them for quite some time. they've been slowing up in interviews together, talking on the phone together, talking about how they work as a team. and you saw reince priebus represent it that the establishment gop represented by reince priebus, the two of them together is suppose the to create harmony in the white house and outside of it. describing bannon as a conservative movement is a papering over what's going on here. a few years ago steve bannon was
3:39 pm
not not vieted to cpac because he was so far out of the even the activist stream. he represents something more combative and more aggressive and their unity is more important for the white house functioning and as an institution but it remains an open question how long can this last and continue to work. >> it's interesting that at the start of the conversation that reince priebus had and steve bannon and matt schlapp was the chairman. we heard him joke about he used to be the uninvited. meaning he was never invited to these kinds of events and he is there and donald trump wasn't there last year as a presidential candidate and he's going to be well-received tomorrow. >> they've taken over. the establishment doesn't have a big presence. >> i think there is one senator
3:40 pm
speaking and it's senator ted cruz so it really is a very different event than we've seen over the last i'd say decade. >> paul ryan was the featured speaker and the people lined up to see paul ryan. and he isn't there because of scheduling conflicts. >> hold on. there is more news we're following. let's give our viewers a quick update to a story we brought you to the top the hour. the exclusive effort by the white house to russian high-level advisers and evan perez is back with you. there is an update since you and jim sciutto broke the story at the top of the hour. share with our viewers. >> we want to update something about the story we just reported. the white house has just clarified the version of events, saying that the initial
3:41 pm
discussions between the fbi director mccabe and reince priebus occurred on the sidelines on the day after the stories was published it was not as the white house originally said in a phone call initiated by mccabe to priebus. that matches to what the u.s. officials told us. mccabe essentially disputed the "new york times" story in his discussion with priebus and the white house official said that priebus reached out to mccabe and the fbi director comey, asking for the fbi to at least talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories that were reported by cnn and other outlets. the white house officials said that mccabe wouldn't discuss the aspects of the case and wouldn't tell us exactly what mccabe told priebus and the white house has no comment on the story. >> mccabe, the deputy director of the fbi. evan perez, thank you for for the update.
3:42 pm
the white house signals another crackdown may be in the works. why marijuana users should be aware. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
3:43 pm
3:44 pm
i realize that ah, that $100k is notwell, a 103fortune. yeah, 103. well, let me ask you guys. how long did it take you two to save that? a long time.
3:45 pm
then it's a fortune. well, i'm sure you talk to people all the time who think $100k is just pocket change. right now we're just talking to you. i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment goals starts with a conversation. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today.
3:46 pm
tonight new remarks by president trump may stir fears of a renewed nuclear arms race. we're become with our political team. manu, in this interview with reuters, important interview, he said he wants to expand the u.s. nuclear arsenal to be at the top
3:47 pm
of the pack. his words. this is at a time decades after the u.s. wanted to reduce the arsenal not only the u.s. but russia. ed it be a new nuk laeclear arm race. >> what was interesting to see in those remarks to reuters is the criticism of the new star treaty that was signed under obama approved by the senate. he does not think it was a good deal and a quote, one-sided deal and he can negotiate a better deal. what does that mean in terms of the u.s./russia deal and nuclear deal. will he try to get a new agreement are russia and negotiate with senate. he's been criticizing all sorts of trade deals including treaties. >> since 1991 and the collapse of the soviet union. they're tried to reduce the
3:48 pm
arsenals. jackie, the president complained about russia and its cruise missiles. i haven't seen him do that in public. >> it's a step in the right direction in terms of the traditional adversarial relationship that the united states has had with russia. but the nuclear arms race i think was more concerning. restarting that kind of paled. that seemed like a larger issue and then he also said something peculiar, saying if i talk to putin. he has a number, he can probably give him a call if he wants. >> go ahead, abbey. >> it confirms some reporting earlier that he had criticized that the deals of the u.s. had with russia and that had to be tapped down by his aides. i suspect it will be cleanup on aisle four, with folks coming in after the fact, trying to get
3:49 pm
the temperature down, and get back in line with longstanding u.s. policy. but it's not unusual and for trump to go on the road. especially with the new star treaty and fixated on the need for the united states to win and when traditionally winning is not more u.s. nuclear weapons. >> sean spicer was asked, i want to be specific, whether the administration will be directed to enforce federal marijuana laws. he said yes, there will be a effort. is there a policy emerging on recreational use of marijuana. >> i don't know if there is a new policy. i think what's interesting on spicer's answer on the day that the administration pushing the line that they want the states to decide the rights of transgender rights and they want the federal government to take a
3:50 pm
role on marijuana rules, although several states have legalized. >> you go to colorado and a bunch of other states, for recreational purposes and not just medicinal purposes. you can use marijuana. >> it's a huge business. >> growing too. >> and it could be squashed if they enforce the federal laws here. >> do you think they will? >> you never know with the trump administration. >> seems an odd battle to wage at this point in time. you would end up having to fight them with some governors across the country who are going to basically stand up for the rules they negotiated themselves with their legislatures as part of bargains to raise money for state coffers. i think the administration will say it because it's been longstanding ideology that loosening drug laws is not something they're interested in. i would be surprised to see it.
3:51 pm
>> states rights is supposed to be republican -- >> very important. stand by. we'll have more ob the mixed messages from the trump administration about the possibility of a militarized deportation, when the going gets tough in town halls, some lawmakers are deciding to avoid angry constituents and simply stay home. america's favorite potatoes, and donating to local charities along the way. but now it's finally back home where it belongs. aw man. hey, wait up. where you goin'? here we go again.
3:52 pm
i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs.
3:53 pm
to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and virtually no referrals needed. so don't wait. call now and request this free decision guide to help you better understand medicare... and which aarp medicare supplement plan might be best for you. there's a wide range to choose from. we love to travel - and there's so much more to see. so we found a plan that can travel with us. anywhere in the country. [ male announcer ] join the millions of people who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans
3:54 pm
help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now - and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is.
3:55 pm
>> boo! >> tonight there's new fuel for the fury that many republican lawmakers have been facing across the country. some members of congress are dodging planned meetings with
3:56 pm
constituents rather than face those angry crowds. let's bring back our senior congressional reporter manu raju, some lawmakers thinking twice about having these town halls. >> that's right. some members have made it perfectly clear they don't believe holding these raucous town halls will be a use of their time, hoping to hold smaller meetings with constituents. hoping all this tension won't lead to a bigger problem which would be more than 20 gop defections in the house and two in the senate. that would derail their efforts to repeal obamacare. >> republicans getting an earful worried about president trump's plans to repeal obamacare. but some republicans are keeping a low profile and skipping town hall meetings altogether. >> are you going to host a town hall? >> reporter: senator marco rubio was confronted by one of his constituents in miami on thursday morning, asked why he
3:57 pm
isn't holding town halls for his constituents. in eye hoe eye, in allentown protesters held their own events demanding senator pat toomey show up. congressman darrell issa was confronted by protesters gathered outside his district office. >> my hope is this morning we'll find a way to bridge these two groups. >> reporter: he later decided to skip a town hall meeting organized by some of his critics. >> i'm sending staff there. they'll be there while i'm here. >> reporter: in carson city, nevada, senator dean heller planned to have a friendly meeting with a local chamber of commerce, the meeting used press to have a town hall. the senator who is up for re-election said he'd have a town hall on this condition, no booing from the audience. >> i'll do a town hall meeting if you promise one thing, that
3:58 pm
you won't applaud. no applauding, all right? i'll tell you what? no booing. >> reporter: some republicans like florida congressman carlos crebello don't want something to go viral and be used by their opponents. he said he will not be part of any planned chaos events. on capitol hill, republicans are hoping to move a bill to repeal obamacare as soon as march. but they are stuck on some major issues including how to deal with the expansion of medicaid, providing coverage to 11 million low income americans. they're not expecting democratic support. >> given how partisan the environment is as illustrated by my friends outside, we're not expecting any democratic help on either of these major issues. >> reporter: as work takes shape behind closed doors, voters are growing anxious. >> we're going to use all our
3:59 pm
time and be unable to speak. >> in 2020 you're gone! >> wolf, a republican aid said rubio was traveling for part of the week in europe on official business while an aide to pat teaberry says those were organized bipartisan strips which is why he skipped it. lee gohmert in texas, in both the 2011 shooting of congressman gabby giffords, raising public safety concerns, saying that's why he's not holding town hall meetings. giffords said have some courage, face your constituents, hold town halls. >> basically worried about his safety? >> that's why giffords pushed back. >> a very important statement if he is legitimately concerned about security. >> the leadership urged folks to
4:00 pm
worry about public safety. >> manu raju reporting. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> up next, cnn reporting the white house asked the fbi to knock down media reports. what was the fbi's response? plus senator bernie sanders ready to launch more than 100 rallies across the nation. he talks president trump and the gop town hall outrage. he's my guest tonight. trump's right-hand man steve bannon making a rather public appearance. he breaks his silence. let's go"out front." good evening. i'm erin burnett. out front, we have exclusive reporting tonight that the white house asked the fbi to knock down media reports


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on