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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 15, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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i can imagine they're certainly talking in that direction. what that really means is their -- tehran's relationship with pa yang yayongyang if we t this economic isolation dome on top of north korea. >> jamie, first and last question next time. great to see you both. general always gets the last word. sorry. thanks for joining us at this hour. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. the president is at a most familiar setting. his trump tower in midtown manhattan. big protests outside and big turmoil inside as talk grows of another possible white house shake-up. this one centered on chief strategist stephen bannon. >> is he going to be gone in a week? >> that's up to the president whampl. what does the mooch thing?
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>> up to me, he would be gone. >> primary day in alabama. the seat once held by attorney general jeff sessions up for grabs and a bruising reminder that the gop even while in charge of just about everything is in the middle of an identity war. first, though, breaking news. the fourth resignation from a white house manufacturing council. that, fresh evidence the political fallout continues from charlottesville and from a presidential response pend at too little and very late. >> came out yesterday with a better response, but it looked a little forced and half-hearted. what's affecting the president here is the fact that his prior statements during the campaign were, you know, went after -- made attacks on mexicans, muslims, the indiana judge, and i think it makes the situations more treacherous for the president. >> with us to share reporting and insights, abby phillips, "washington post," and mary katharine ham of the federalist.
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president trump we noted home at trump tower today believes he's done all he needs to do in the wake of the hateful marches and deadly violence this past weekend. the white house says, for example, no plans for the president to visit charlottesville and in his view the president said all that needed to be said when after being pressed by senior advisers he spoke yesterday at the white house. >> racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as americans. >> those were welcome words from the president, but to many, too little. to even more, too late. a second, a third, and now a fourth ceo resigning from the president's manufacturing council bought they don't want their brand associated with his. kenneth frazier of merck pharmaceutical first followed by the ceo of under armour intel
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and moment gag, scott paul, president of the alines for american manufacturing. that announcement from paul came moments after president trump wrote this on twitter. for every ceo that drops out of the manufacturing council i have many to take their place. grandstanders should not have gone on. jobs. that's the president's reaction. remember, ceos track numbers and markets and president trump's already low stock in further decline. gallups daily tracking, 34% approval. disapproval, new high. 71 percen 61%. how big a deal? fourth ceo. likely more. even if people aren't dropping off the councils, less likely to come to events at the president at this moment to sit next to him, his brand, clearly tainted. >> yes. this is actually a moment in a series of moments similar to this, but one less meaningful, i
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think. think back six or seven months ago, a time when a single tweet by donald trump would provoke shutters through corporate board rooms. stocks would go down. now we're seeing almost the opposite. in part because people have, i think, made a calculation that it's too risky. you know, perhaps they don't know whether it's going to be a good or bad thing, but the level of risk is too great to associate themselves with trump. and it's not just in the corporate realm. you're seeing more and more republicans speaking out, being willing to push back hard against him including some unusual suspects like cory gardner over the weekend and seeing it in the military, with military leaders saying, we need to have a different process from the way that this president is typically wanting to operate. twitter is not going to be considered an order in the united states military service. that's a big deal and been happening for weeks now. >> look, i think the irony of the president's most recent tweet about grandstanding is the
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white house councils are all about grandstanding. i mean, they're ultimately about sort of that kind of political megging. in addition to the lack of fear that abby talked about that i don't think is there quite as much, there's also not, in the business community and in republican circle, not as much optimism that the president is the one that's going to help get through their other pieces of the agenda. infrastructure, so many manufacturing companies would have liked to see. the tax cuts that all of business wants to see. you know? if you're not scared and you also don't think that the president is bringing a lot to the table in terms of driving your agenda forward, then what advantage is there to be part of his sort of coalition? especially if the brand is a problem. >> and just raw math. if you're at 31% you can't afford to lose friends. right? >> yes. i mean, he -- he makes it extremely hard to ally with. right? and i think -- it's ironic, because i think he is a very transactional guy.
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get in a room with him, have a conversation as a ceo. sounds like a great idea. let's move on that, but he does so many other things that make it hard to be in that situation. and for politicians as well. you don't know if he's going to spout off on you the second you leave the room or the second you pass some legislation really hard to pass and three days later he's trashing it. >> mitch mcconnell. >> right. or going after a ceo who leaves the board instead of going after naming white nationalists. what are the priorities here, that's fire say. >> and what he tweets tells us what is most important to him, driving his own internal statement. yes, read a statement yesterday from a teleprompter three days after charlottesville. sources say the same of yours, mr. president, clean it up. do a better job. took three days for an american president to say neo-nazis are bad. shocking in its own right. then the pure trump in the twitter feed, mad at these guys
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for, in his view, abandoning him. he has tweeted about them, first ken frazier of merck. now these other grandstanders, he calls them. he has not tweeted once about the kkk or neo-nazis or white spr supremacists. >> the donald trump we've always known someone who himself call as counterpuncher and others call him that. if it's good for him, he likes it. bad for him, he doesn't like it. people are increasingly seeing this isn't a calculation about what's good for america. s they is a calculation about who has said nice or mean things about donald trump, and that is the sole basis on which he makes his judgments about who to attack, who to praise, and why he is so bedrudgrudging when it coming to people he doesn't feel attacked by. >> important points. three of the ceos. again, the president's poll numbers, at theirs worst now but bad from the beginning. lost the popular vote. tough on issues. business meetings at the white
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house, very important for the president to send a message. i'm going to bring back jobs. the stock market is going to do better. the economy will start to boom. they have been important character witnesses for the president trying to get started. >> i think he's highly passionate. he definitely -- you know, to have such a pro-business president is something that's a real asset for this country. >> it's really in support of tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward. that really make it advantageous to do manufacturing in the u.s. >> it's an honor to be here at the white house, and i'm grateful for the administration's continued support for american innovation. >> now, those three, plus a fourth now, have walked away from this council, which denies the president either the testimony on television or those photo ops at the white house. >> one thing i want to highli t highlight. kevin plank, ceo of underarmaire has taken a lot of flak for being involved in the trump
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administration. at the white house, one of the first ceos to show up at the white house. and he had some of his, his sort of celebrity faces of his brand basically pull out and say we can't be associated with you, because you're associated with trump. he stayed in it up until now. that kind of tells you that, i think a lot of ceos had given it a good, old try, and they've really are feeling like this is the end of the line. they cannot go further. important moment. not people passively going forward. many took a lot of flak for many, many months. this the final straw. >> and charlottesville, final straw. we know and will know more in two weeks two months than today in terms of the political fallout. whether the president can reset it after by what most accounts unless you're a total trump loyalist was a disappointing reaction on sabtd saturday. is trump a person you admire? 67% of american people say, no. they don't admire the president of the united states.
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can trump unite the country, not divide it? 61%, no. part of the calculation out in the country before an event like charlottesville. i'll make a, what's probably a contrarian argument. attacking these guys as grandstanders saying i can replace you, not that that's a presidential thing to do, but puts the president attacking all of them. yesterday out of the box attacked mr. frazier, and african-american in the wake of charlottesville. african-american ceo takes what he describes as a position of principle. i can't be around this guy if he's not going to be more forceful. the president attacked him. there's congressman charlie dent saying that, in his view, an especially bad call. >> i was a bit miffed yesterday when he attacked ken frazier. i know ken. he's from philadelphia. his father a janitor. a cheap shot. other ceos stepped user the council, too. he didn't attack them. they weren't african-american either.
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he didn't handle that well at all. >> now charlie dent a critic of the president from the beginning. a more moderate republican. but ceo is leading the council. more and more openly coming occupant with no hesitation not sugar coating words in any way. is this a breaking point for the president? >> i think it is indicative of a lot of problems on the horizon when after labor day everybody comes back and they'll try to pull together as a party to try to get something salvaged, something, out of this first year of the president's term. and, look, i think trump, trump's problem is that he's measured -- we know him. we've seen him over the last couple years. i thought about this the other day. when you watched his passion on the campaign trail about the people who, in this country, killed by, in his words, illegal immigrants, came to the country, murdered -- that case he talks
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about. he would sit in the podium, grip the podium and speak in emotional, powerful terms about his anger and frustration with that, those cases, and could go on for 10, 15, 20 minutes at these rallies. and then you watched what he did even on -- over the weekend. and it just wasn't filled with any of that. right? reading words off a page. even if he read the right words you didn't see, people didn't see, none of his allies on capitol hill saw any of that passion and that's what they're reacting to, i think. >> and one thing, john, fw he was intentionally as a category going after big business. right? the attacks on ceos were part of a larger message saying, i'm on the side of the people. i'm not on the side of these, these you know, fat cat ceos, because a lot of what was attractive to so many voter not traditional republican primary voter or republican general election voters, trump seemed independent from the republican donor class and the economic agenda of the sort of 1
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percenters and so -- but this was obviously done as a sort of petty personal retaliation. it wasn't part of trump really coming up with a coherent message of saying that he was going to fight for the little guy, and you know, the ceos on that council obviously felt they weren't getting anything out of the president in terms of the trade agenda or bringing manufacturing jobs back. >> and he is on the record on all of them. at those meetings, singling them out saying nice things. now they've done something he doesn't like, they're grandstanders. >> and a couple things. because of credibility numbers and lack of admiration, a lot was built into in, that's what people voted for. >> my question, how -- charlottesville was an opportunity to start to make -- strong out of the gate. >> my point, when making that calculation, that's the guy you're voting for, you will lose the guy who has the moral clarity at the podium at that moment. if we're going to have a national conversation about
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political violence, by the way, should not be limited to one kind of political violence, you need a guy who's careful, clear and knows what he speaks trying to do it responsibly. this is not who was voted for. >> no. everybody sit tight. nine republicans bailing out the ballot box with an eye on jeff sessions old senate seat. only one has the backing of both the president and -- his often nemesis, mitch mcconnell. broke into a house owned by three bears. she ate some porridge, broke the baby bear's chair, and stole some jewelry, a flat-screen tv, and a laptop. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped the bears with homeowners insurance. they were able to replace all their items... ...including a new chair from crate and barrel. call geico and see how easy it is to switch and save on homeowners insurance.
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this is president donald trump and i lurch the people of alabama and i hope you go out and vote for luther strange for sflat. senate. it's so important that you do. he's helping me in the senate. he's going get the tax cuts for us doing a lot for the people of alabama and for the people of the united states. >> hearing the voice of the president there backing luther strange. that's a surprises to some, because president trump makes to secret of displeasure with
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senate majority leader mcconnell, but those two on the same page as alabama picks a senate seat once held by attorney general sessions. a deep contest and luther strange has backing of both the president and majority leader. some trump allies are mad at the president. they see strange as being too cozy already with washington insiders like mcconnell, and view other republican candidates, congressman mel brooks, supreme court justice among them, anti-establishment disrupters much more in the 20916 mold. 2016 mold. and the president remains popular among lovelock republicans and senator strange hopes that means a lot today. >> i've done everything you could possibly do to support's president's agenda and believe me, that's what the people of alabama want to see done. >> molly ball, down covering the strange race. molly strange -- down coving the
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race and write in "the atlantic" strange himself was surprised. nearly drove off the road when trump called him tuesday afternoon, he said. why is he so surprises? >> it's actually a surprising thing for a president to call. strange is the incumbent there six months but a lot of people around the president and luther strange were surprised trump, the first time the president weighed in in a contested republican primary. expected to stay out of it. mitch mcconnell did lobby him hard to endorse strange some months ago, but when trump declined to do that back then it was thought it wasn't going to happen. so even the strange campaign didn't know this was coming and the way luther strange himself tells the story, he was driving down the highway in alabama tuesday when he got a call saying, please hold for the president. that's when he nearly drove off the road. >> we'll see. only drove off the road. he didn't. see what happens. what a rebuke for the president if he did this rare, unusual
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step and luther strange somehow didn't make the runoff. some people seem to think he'll make runoff. you never know in in low turnout primaries. luther strange has support of president trump and mitch mcconnell. strange bedfellows, at war lately. and a talk show radio host, fox newsradio host on "hannity," chuck norris. what does this tell us? we've watched -- you know, trump won in 2016 after a hostile takeover through the republican primaries. the republicans control the senate. they control the house. they control most of the governorships. republicans run just about everything and yet as they do, still a civil war within the party. what will we learn from this? >> i keep saying, sorry, broken record. the gop won the presidency while probably going through a very ugly divorce and they continue to go through that divorce. that's what we're seeing. the thing about this race that's
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interesting, is because mcconnell and trump are aligned and represent two very different forces in this battle, it will be very hard to sdifer deciphe special primary and raining in alabama what forces matter here's. hard to decipher. baseline, leading on a democratic primary, robert kennedy jr., no relation. just because his name is robert kennedy jr. >> sometimes a name like that helps. forgive me for being unobjective, but the republicans will win this race. this is mark levin, talk radio fame, generally a big supporter, despises mitch mcconnell. thinks he's the problem in washington. and mark levin and others blame washington insiders dealmakers like mitch mcconnell. listen to his disappointment with the president. >> and the president of the united states didn't have to do that. he could have stayed out of it. but he didn't. but he put his finger on the, on
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the scale. luther strange is mcconnell's god. he's a hack. he's an insider. he's got all of the problems that you and i rail against day in and day out. and donald trump just endorsed him. >> is this a one-shot, isolated frustration by slices of the party and the base that support the president or back to the conversation we just had. a guy at 31% can't afford to lose people, business ceos quitting your manufacturing council or allies in talk radio in the grass roots base saying you're stabbing us in the back, words mark levin has used? >> not isolated and not just connected to the conversation we had but are going to have, about steve bannon, his future and ultimately an ideological war going on inside that building at 1600 pennsylvania going on in the party long before donald trump came. when donald trump came and really kind of tried to fuse the
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sort of businessman trump with all the corporate interests we've been talking about, with the bannon breitbart, kind of right wing of the party, and we've seen in the past how hard that's been in congress. and how that's played out. now it's playing out in the white house and in sort of the vying back and forth. this is another one of those moments. >> count the votes tonight. talk more about this tomorrow and continue the conversations. it is all connected, michael notes. steve bannon, and no chamber of commerce. the president went with mitch mcconnell not steve bannon. is that yet another sign, if you believe the rumors, steve bannon is on the outs? perhaps headed for the door, or too soon to say. that's next. so there are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives in any of the food we sell. we believe in real food. whole foods market.
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staff wars: trump white house edition." bannon's days may be numbered they say, his allies at breitbart making clear how they see this very latest west wing power struggle. take a look. murdoch and white house dems urging trump to dump bannon. among those recommending to the president that bannon be shown the door. the dems reference, of course to president's son-in-law jared kushner in his manhattan white house allies. known for some time kushner and bannon are at odds. and liberals, tossing away on immigration. in others, the drama continues, reminded last night, former white house communications anthony scaramucci wishes he was on the job long enough, just a week to get bannon canned. >> it seve bannon a white spr
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supremacist. >> i don't think these a white supremacist. i've never asked. i don't like the toleration of it. should be completely and totally intolerated. >> not sure that's a word, intolerated but senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is outside the white house. >> reporter: john, good afternoon. steve bannon, white house chief strategist is not here in trump tower. of course, spent so much time last year, the end of the fall campaign, helping donald trump. helping him win the white house. he is not here in trump tower today and, of course, in donald trump's orbit, proximity to power is very important. so steve bannon, still white house chief strategist, that title still operative is keep aglow profile we're told. still back in washington working out a temporary office in the executive office building next
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to the white house complex facing ren ohations. renovations. white house treasury secretary steve mnuchin is here. others coming and going throughout the morning. steve bannon is not among them. so many people are urging the president to remove him. so many important voices the president listens to and also voices i'm told urging the president to keep him onboard. chief among those, conservative members of congress. mark meadow of north carolina repeatedly urged the president to leave steve bannon in place to be wary of remooving him because he is a link to the president's base. a decision the president is wrestling with. we do not believe he will make this anytime soon in the coming hours or perhaps coming days here, but steve bannon knows he's on shaky ground, if you will. john, we've seen in this white house again and again, it auv takes the president a long time
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to act on staffing decisions and sometimes doesn't act at all. down now, maybe up in the future. steve bannon is certainly on that list. >> jeff zeleny, keep in touch as the day continues. bring the conversation to the room with the point jeff just made. a lot of conservatives use steve bannon as their conduit and suspicious of the washington crowd. sean spice deputy, gone. will the president -- you hear this all the time and we've heard it before. is the president ready to do this? >> i -- no. if he were ready to do it he would have done it. there's clearly -- the president is clearly, two or maybe more minds on this going to the conflict we've talk about within the white house, we have never seen trump go full bannon in policy. and we also haven't seen him choose the other side. the wild card is now that john kelly is chief of staff, will he be fully empowered to turn the
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trump administration into what he sees it as. we have not, almost never seen trump directly confront and fire people. the question is, what has he empowered john kelly to do? if you kick out steve bannon, then what do you do? >> you raise a great question. the new chief of staff. this man will bring order and military discipline to the white house. obviously a lot of disappointment in the president himself. last week tweeting things that people thought weren't exactly military discipline, to be kind. if you're john kelly, if you look at his record, homeland security, he and steve bannon are probably on the same page on tougher immigration and immigration enforcement. if you're john kelly, you have bannon fighting jared, you can't fire the president's family. is that part of the choice here? >> this is kind of like whack a mole. if you're john kelly -- >> the president's administration, still playing "whack a mole." >> replacing one drama with
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another drama. seems unclear whether, whatever problem needs solved will be solved by excommunicating steve bannon from the white house. and, you know, i think bannon in general, you're right, might have some policy alignment with kelly on certain issues, but the biggest problem, organizationally, is that he's seen as a force behind a lot of the factions that are ripping the white house apart. and john kelly wants to get a handle on that, but it's really not clear to me, and clearly to trump, that getting rid of bannon will do that. the idea that the base is going to go into uproar, if bannon is -- is nixed is, i think -- i can kind of see that. i think there's a certain online element of the base that will go into uproar but an argument, go and talk to trump voters around the country, most have no idea who steve bannon is and probably never will. so that might be a little
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overblown by his echo chamber of the breitbart world on the internet. >> does the charlottesville impact this? hearing this well mr. charlottesville and now people who don't like steve bannon, he's sympathetic to the alt right, to the white supremacists. he is the guy who delayed the president coming out? we don't know those answers. people are stepping into this political opportunity. among them, republican congressman from florida saying he didn't like steve bannon to begin with and especially now he should probably go. >> steve bannon is the most prominent. i think a lot of these ideas that you see coming from stephen miller are also associated with these groups, and that's unfortunate. look, i'm not saying these people are racists. i'm not saying that they want to advance a racist agenda, but it is pretty clear that they believe that these groups should be accommodated. >> so does that dynamic -- is
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that the last straw? or we've seen the president in the past. he deals with these things slowly. to your point, doesn't like to fire people in his own circle. reluctant to do and that also doesn't like being told what to do. is this going to help steve bannon? >> i in it does. we don't know and could fire steve bannon in an hour and -- but i think more likely is the situation that he gets his back up, he says to himself, i don't want to be told by a bunch of liberals or a bunch of establishment republicans who i can and can't have around me. >> including he just dismissed summarily. >> exactly. the great eer possibility, solidifies bannon's position and doesn't resolve the ideological fight we already talked about, and in theory, president trump has to get re-elected. got to figure how to build a coalition that brings back, that holds on to that base and then expands it beyond the 38, 36, whatever it is, to 50, and how
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you do that in a white house that's so divided between these ideas -- >> so divided. before you jump in, i want to go back to something on "meet the press" on sunday with chuck todd. remarkable. we know steve bannon has been at odds with the national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster. seven months into the administration. abby's way of putting it, playing staff whack a mole. listen to this. >> can you and steve bannon still work together in this white house or not? >> i get to work together with a broad range of talented people, and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team. >> you didn't answer. can you and steve bannon work in that same white house? >> i am ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president's agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the american people. >> do you believe that steve bannon does that? >> i believe that everyone who works in the white house, who has the privilege, the great privilege every day, of serving their nation should be motivated by that goal. >> nice try, chuck. strike up the band.
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that was -- >> what was that? >> it wasn't clear about, where he stood on bannon -- specifically. >> not by name. look, i think, so hard to tell, because there's been 1,000 rumors about 1,000 people getting fired and have not gotten fired but an element i think the building buzz sort of reaches a crescendo and trump either decides he's done with this person, not doing him much good, in his view, or gets his back up and decides to go the other way. we might be at that deciding point right about now, because there has been a little more noise about it. i wonder if it was accelerated by the fact jared and ivanka tweeted quickly and clearly after the charlottesville incident and bannon might have been on the opposite side how that statement went down, and then there's an element, too, sessions -- a mean -- about getting rid of sessions,
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conservatives and a different section than would be supporting bannon said, hey, like, back off on this. >> no way. >> he's doing the work. he listened to that. that story changed. so we'll see. >> you know, donald trump likes to test people. he likes to torture them, hang people out to dry. there's a hot seat in the white house. somebody's always in it. jeff sessions had his turn in it, despite all of his loyalty. this may just be bannon's turn in-of-in the hot seat. >> next week, only been a week. president trump's talk on north korea seems a little dated. . i switched to t-mobile, kept my phone-everything on it- -oh, they even paid it off! wow! yeah. it's nice that every bad decision doesn't have to be permenant! ditch verizon. keep your phone. we'll even pay it off when you switch to america's best unlimited network.
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welcome back. tough trump administration talk at china and north korea is, well, so last week. remember fire and fury? locked and loaded? america's top generals in the region now sound far more diplomatic than their boss, the commander in chief. >> the focus today son peacefully resolving this crisis through diplomatic and economic means. that is the focus, and i
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wouldn't xpek laspeculate on wht happened otherwise. >> the president staged an event yesterday sold on keeping his campaign practice to crack down on chinese unfair trade practices. >> we will protect forgotten americans left behind by a global trade system that has failed to look, and i mean, look out for their interests. they have not been looking out at all. this is what i promised to do as a candidate for this office, and this is what i am doing right now as president. >> but listen to the president himself explain what he's actually doing. his talk may be tough, yes, but the order he signed does nothing but ask for yet another government study and report. >> -- washington will turn a blind eye no longer. today i'm directing the united states trade representative to examine china's policies,
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practices and actions with regard to the forced transfers of american technology and the theft of american intellectual property. >> candidate trump didn't say he was going to study this. didn't say they would ask another government agency to look into it. this is a pupt. punt. right? >> in support of trump, his is a parties say his rhetoric is strategic, that by engaging in this kind of bluster particularly in north korea that gives space to his diplomats to do the things, to conduct diplomacy like the whole richard nixon madman thierry say, look, we don't know what this guy's going to do. come to the table and give us something and it's worked as well. we point out, kim jong-un did back down, did say he is not going to hit guam. so you can make an argument this is working. it's interesting to me that you don't have trump out there taking credit for that. >> right. >> but -- i would just say
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that's the case for the kind of things -- and on the north korean side i see it more. didn't he promise currency manipulator day one, come out of the box on china? >> the story of the entire administration to this point. there was a lot of talk in the campaign, and there are been a lot of executive orders kind of like this signed that basically create a study to look at something at a future date and report back in 60, 90, 120 days. that's reflective of the limited nature of some of his powers as the executive. i've talked to republicans recently saying, okay. we feel like congress needs to get its act together, but we're kind of concerned that he's falling into the same obama-like trap of trying to use the executive branch to do all the things that should really be done by, by the congress, or done more fully, and done with more force. so it's limited. allows him to go out and make a big statement. i think a lot of people received
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that as trump doing something to fulfill his promise, but in reality it's actually a reflection of a certain kind of weakness. >> it's the opposite, talk softly carry a big stick. it's talk bigley and carry a small stick. >> sit tight. when e were come back, the first part of the trump administration going to give inmates pink under way? calls himself america's toughest sheriff. agency help you with homeowners insurance and protect yourself from things like fire, theft, or in this case, water damage. cannonball! now if i had to guess, i'd say somewhere upstairs there's a broken pipe. let the geico insurance agency help you with homeowners insurance. call today to see how much you could save.
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welcome back. politics is filled with characters and sometimes crooks. arizona sheriff joe arpaio fits both bills. self-dubbed toughest sheriff in america faces time behind bars after violating a court order and continually targeting illegal immigrants. the president is considering sparing the arizona lawman from going to jail. here it is. i am seriously considering a pardon for sheriff joe arpaio.
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told fox news he's a great american and i hate to see what's happened to him. the president said a pardon could come, "right away. maybe early this week." i'm happy he understands the case and would accept the pardon because i am 100% not guilty, sheriff arpaio telling fox news. the first pardon of the trump presidency if he does it quickly. is this catnip to the base from the president? >> which do you think it is? [ laughter ] pretty sure it wasn't that. i think the latter would be my guess. i mean, the other thing -- >> if you ask, are you considering x, he almost will say he's considering it, and it doesn't necessarily mean it's something he's going to do. >> usually, i mean, there is a process for some of these things, because you want to avoid pardoning someone who -- >> someone whose going to end up causing you problems down the road. i think this is literally a pardon for that reason.
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like, because it would help him politically with a certain segment of his base, and to hell with all the other people who are upset about it. it doesn't really matter. that's kind of the point. who knows. but it's entirely possible that he's seriously considering, but, no, i don't think it's going through any sort of process. >> if you're unfamiliar with sheriff joe over the years, i visited with him. outdoor county prison. give most prisoners, most illegal immigrants. some say, no, targets all latinos. >> here he is defending his behavior. >> they want to monitor, to control my activities, my policies and how i operate, including tents, pink underwear and everything else. i'm the elected sheriff. i report directly to the people, and i'm not going to be subservient to the federal government when they have come up with no proof. >> we are more concerned with
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the rights of illegal aliens and criminals than we are with protecting our own country. that must change. >> now, that's donald trump's convention, the last bite. you understand the affinity with the president between the two men? agreeing on certain issues. uk aclu said, undo a conviction secured by his own career attorneys at justice department. make no mistake, an official presidential endorsement of racism. >> what donald trump likes about the idea, i'm certain, is the idea of poking the liberal establishment and the -- what he considers to be the kind of aclu view of the world, and poking them in the eye. that's what this would be. i mean, as we've said, probably doesn't have any substantive impact on policy. he's not the sheriff anymore. the idea of making a statement
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probably appeals to trump. the question, as we've talked the entire show, whether the people around him who might think better of it can talk him out of it. >> it makes, have a substantive impact on the idea of rule of law in this country. the president has absolute power to pardon people, but this is a man who federal courts repeatedly told to do one thing and he repeatedly defied them. what he's now convicted of, refusing to follow the constitutional processes of the courts in this country and by pardoning him you're saying that doesn't matter. that that conviction doesn't matter as long as you're friends with donald trump. >> and ironically also an avatar of toughness and of rule of law, and of straight talk about immigration. he's also a symbol of when that goes too far and becomes not lawful anymore. >> and -- lost the last election. >> lost his last election. important. keep an eye on the president tweeting today and talks about the interview with fox news saying he might do this.
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thanks for joining us on "inside politics." wolf blitzer takes over after a quick break. about people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. 1:00 p.m. in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. wherever you're watching from around the world thanks for joining us. president trump facing more fallout over his response to the deadly violence in charlottesville, virginia. within the past hour, another business executive, scott paul, president of the alliance for american manufacturing, resigned saying it is the right thing to do.


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