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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 15, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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try to tamp down the firestorm. stalled out? bipartisan hopes for an immigration deal hit a wallace the president faces another controversy of his own making and then tries to blame democrats. will it lead to a government shut down four days from now? willing to talk. steve bannon's highly-anticipated testimony in the russia probe is expected tomorrow. what do house investigators hope to learn from the president's fired chief strategist? duck and cover. new concerns tonight about the u.s. response to a nuclear attack after a false alarm in hawaii unleashed 38 minutes of sheer terror. if it had been a real nuclear strike by north korea, would the trump administration have been ready? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." ♪ this is "cnn breaking news." >> breaking tonight on a day dedicated to celebrating the
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dream of racial harmony, the president is on the attack against the democrat who publicly confirmed that mr. trump used vulgar language to insult african immigrants. before leaving florida for washington, mr. trump posted a tweet accusing the senate minority leader of misrepresenting his remarks. senator dick durbin, the number two democrat in the senate, is standing by his statement and he's challenging the vague and confusing denials by mr. trump and two republican senators' denials contradict by multiple sources. there's no denying that this controversy has helped derail efforts to protect young immigrants who came to the united states under the program known as daca. in his tweet tonight, mr. trump is blaming senator durbin and democrats even though the president personally shot down a proposed bipartisan deal. it is all adding more uncertainty to the latest efforts to avoid a government shutdown with the deadline just four days away. we're also following the fallout
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after a false nuclear missile alert that caused mass panic and chaos as hawaiians feared they were under attack. tonight, the state has suspended its nuclear warning siren system and the employee who triggered the false alarm has been reassigned. this hour, i'll talk about those stories and more with congressman who is a democrat on the services committee. our correspondent standing by. first to senior white house correspondent pamela brown. tonight the president is trying to blame democrats for the firestorm that forced him to declare he is not a racist. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. the president expected to land back here in washington within the hour, and after a few days of golfing he is back to tweeting, this time singling out democratic senator dick durbin saying in this tweet late today he totally "misrepresented what happened in the daca meeting and that deals can't be made if there is no trust." but while the president continues to go after democrats
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on daca, the threat of a government shutdown is becoming more of a reality with each passing day as democrats are now threatening to withhold their vote. >> i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. that i can tell you. >> reporter: tonight president trump is responding to charges he's a racist amid the fallout over his disparaging comments about african nations and haiti. two republican senators who attended the oval office last week, tom cotton and david purdue, say they didn't hear the president use the word s-hole. >> i didn't hear it and i was sitting no further away from donald trump than dick durbin was. >> i'm telling you he did not use that word. >> but illinois senator dick durbin says he did. >> i know what happened and i stand behind every word he said in terms of that meeting. >> reporter: senator lindsey graham also in the oval office meeting confirmed to a fellow senator trump used the term and told "the post" and "curier" my
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mem here hasn't evolved. i know what was said. instead of hearing the president say that word, some republicans actually heard the word s-house. >> i don't know that changing the word from hole to house changes the impact which this has. >> the discourse right now is pretty low, is pretty embarrassing when you have to take your children out of the room just to report the news snool t. >> reporter: the controversial comments cast a shadow over daca. they want a daca fix before friday's government funding deadline. >> it will get harder for us to come together and reach any sort of agreement on daca. we've got a federal government that shuts down this coming week, this friday, if we can't come to an agreement. it is just getting harder when we have a president who rather than tamping down or distances
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or disagreements fans and enflames them. >> senator graham said lawmakers need to do more to work together. >> mr. president, close the deal. 80% of americans want to give the daca kids a better life, and 80% of americans want to secure our border and change a broken immigration system. it is going to take you, mr. president, working with republicans and democrats to get this done. it is not going to be done on twitter by tweeting. it is going to be done by talking and understanding. >> reporter: the president is trying to blame democrats for standing in the way of a deal. >> i don't think the democrats want to make a deal. i think they talk about daca but they don't want to help the daca people. i think they have a lot of sticking points but they're all democrat sticking points because we are ready, willing and able to make a deal but they don't want to. >> reporter: even as house speaker paul ryan says there won't be a government shutdown, some democrats are insisting they will oppose a government funding vote if there's no deal
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on daca. >> well, i for one will not vote for government funding until we get a deal on daca. >> reporter: so this war over immigration has really turned into a war over government funding and who would be to blame if the government shuts down by week's end. i spoke to one white house official tonight who is already putting the blame on the democrats if that does happen, saying that it would be unfathomable for the democrats to withhold critical funding for national security over daca, but, wolf, when it comes down to it that may be a tough sell considering republicans control congress. >> good point. thank you, pamela. pamela brown over at the white house. to the russia investigation as a high-profile witness prepares to testify before congress. that would be the president's ousted chief strategist steve bannon who suggested the 2016 trump tower meeting in new york with the russians was treason us.
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let's bring in manu raja. what do lawmakers want to learn from bannon? >> they want to know whether he knows about contacts that occurred between russian officials and trump associates during the campaign, what he knows about that when he was the chief executive during the campaign as well as anything that occurred during the transition and as a chief strategist to president trump before he was ousted last year. now, as you alluded to in that new book that came out by michael wolff, steve bannon called that meeting that occurred with donald trump jr., russian associates and the like tresson us. he said it was unpatriotic. that meeting also attended by paul manafort and jared kushner. bannon later said he was referred to manafort, not donald trump junior. in that book he also says there was a zero percent chance that then-candidate trump did not know about the meeting, did not meet with any of those russians afterwards and did not discuss
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that with donald trump junior. as we know, donald trump jr. testified under oath he did not inform his father about that meeting afterwards. now, bannon was not in the trump campaign at that time, so lawmakers are going to ask why did you make that assertion in michael wolff's book. he's not the only person, wolf, who we should look for to testify this week. another former campaign official, corey lowe endewendow expected to talk largely about contacts he had with the trump foreign policy advisor, george papadopolous, who we know pleaded guilty to the fbi after lying about his contacts with russians during the campaign season, wolf. >> interesting. the house intelligence committee moving forward with these interviews. paul manafort, the former trump campaign chairman, rick gates who worked with him, they're back in court tomorrow as well. what are you learning about that hearing? >> yeah, this is going to be a pretty significant hearing. we're going to learn a lot about the direction that the special council's team wants to take
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this case as well as what the defense -- how the defense is prepared to push back. we know that the special counsel wants to have a trial date set by the middle of may. the question is whether or not the judge in that case agrees to it, wolf. already thousands of pages of evidence have been turned over as part of the discovery process, and the special counsel has said roughly 2,200 pages of that are relevant to this case. so this could shine some new light into the direction of this -- that the special counsel is going to be move as they move towards the trial date as early as spring, wolf. >> they're moving quickly on that. manu, thanks very much. manu raju reporting for us. joining us in the situation room, congressman who is a democrat on the armed services committee. thank you for coming in. i will get to the russia probe in a few moments. let's discuss the president. he insists he is not a racist. what is your reaction? >> have to look at the past, way back the when he was running departments in new york city, he was charged with racial
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discrimination in housing programs. and when he opened up his campaign, first thing out of his mouth was to attack mexicans and then he attacked a gold star family and then a mexican judge and nfl football players, over and over always attacking minorities. you make your own judgment about this. my judgment is he is clearly a racist. >> some of your colleagues, democratic colleagues in the house want to introduce a resolution to formally sen sure the president for his most recent remarks. would you support that? >> absolutely. it is outrageous. my wife and i were peace corps volunteers in africa, and what he said about africa and about haiti is absolutely unconscionable and he needs to be held accountable. >> you think a resolution along those lines in the republican-controlled house would pass? >> of course not. the republicans are sitting there enabling all of this. not only the racial attitudes, but they're not calling him out on all of the other things that he has done that have been so outrageous. >> not all republicans.
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>> well, just name a few. i can't go through -- >> you just heard lindsey graham. he differs with the president. jeff flake, republican from arizona, he's pretty critical. >> i stand corrected. >> i just want to point out not all republicans. some of your colleagues go one step further and they say they're not going to show up when the president delivers his state of the union address on january 30th before a joint session of the house and the senate. where do you stand on that? >> i will attend. the constitution tells that the president has to annually report to congress. the history most recently is it is done in person, and i think it is a constitutional issue. i will be there but i will not be very happy about what this man has done in recent year. >> i'm curious where you stand on daca right now, the d.r.e.a.m.ers. the president, he's blaming the democrats for collapse of these bipartisan negotiations that he wants resolved. how far are you willing to go? will you vote agains a spending bill by the end of this week if it doesn't include a deal allowing 700,000 or 800,000
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d.r.e.a.m.ers to remain in the united states? >> my attitude right now is the daca kids have to be taken care of. 800,000 people have to be taken care of. we cannot use them as a ball to bat -- >> are you willing to shut down the government if they're not taken care of? >> let's take a look at that. there are 230-plus republicans. they control the house, they control the senate. they have the votes in the house of representatives without any democrats to pass a spending bill, a cr or any other spending bill. they can do it on their own. in the senate it is a little different situation, but nonetheless in the house they could do it. they don't need to come to us. frankly, they haven't. they didn't come to us on the tax bill, they didn't come to us on the health care repeals. they're doing it on their own. they can do this on their own if they have a mind to do it. >> the president in a series of tweets and statements blames the democrats if there's a collapse of a daca compromise allowing these d.r.e.a.m.ers to stay in the united states.
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he just pleaded this afternoon senator dicky durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the daca meeting. deals can't get made when there is no trust. durbin blew daca and he's hurting the military. he says they don't want a strong border or strong military. >> he refuses the take responsibility for his own actions. you look at what he has done in the past. he always blames somebody else. when he does something, he immediately denies he did it even though it is there on the record, film and tape. there's no way. and he is on one side of the issue one day, on the other side of the issue the other day. you look at fisa, at daca, i'm for it, i'm against it, where do you stand? it is almost kboimpossible to negotiate with this person because there's no consistent policy let's get to what manu raju was just reporting on steve bannon. he is going to appear before the house intelligence committee. corey lewendowski, former campaign manager, will appear. steve bannon was fired, corey lewendowski was fired.
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what could they bring, what kind of expertise or knowledge could they bring to the russia probe investigation? >> a whole lot. the real question is whether the intelligence committee is willing to stand up to this entire issue and gather the information that we desperately need to protect ourselves. bannon was very, very close to the president, not flu tthrough entire campaign but certainly through the last half and into the presidency itself. lewendowski was at the meetings. let's see what he has to say. >> he was at trump tower. >> absolutely. >> he was there earlier on when he was campaign manager, then he was fired and bannon was brought in. but you say they have inside information? . >> i'm sure they do. they were very close to this campaign. get the information out there. there's two things here. one is how do we write laws to protect our democracy, to protect our election? thus far the committee in the house has done very, very little if anything along that score. the other is do the investigation, find out what kind of collusion there was, what kind of laws were broken.
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fortunately, we have a special counsel. that special counsel i think is going down a path that's going to be very, very important. we'll see where it goes. >> you think robert mueller, the special counsel, will actually sit down and interview the president of the united states? >> he should. there's something to be learned there, and he should do so. >> are you getting any indication that's going to happen any time soon? >> well, other than from his lawyers who seem to be saying it is not going to happen and the president, of course, says there's no collusion, no collusions, says it about ten times in a row. it gives me an indication he is worried. >> stand by. congressman, we have more to discuss. we will take a quick break and we will be right back. your insurance company
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today is your day. crush it. angie's boom chicka pop whole grain popcorn. boom! cure cur we're back with congressman john garamendi. we're following the breaking news on the president in attack and deny mode with critics discussing whether he is a racist president of the united states. i want you to stand by. let's get the latest on u.s. readiness for a nuclear attack after a panic-inducing false alarm in hawaii. the state's warning systems are turned off now and the employee who made the mistake is reassigned. let's go to barbara starr, correspondent in washington. barbara, people in hawaii feared a missile was headed at them. what if it had been real? >> reporter: for u.s. troops defending the country it is about being ready for whatever comes. they like to say about fighting in korea, ready to fight tonight. now u.s. commanders want to make sure that is absolutely true.
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a night-time para trooper jump by the 82nd airborne division over the skies of nevada, practicing dropping into enemy territory. >> operation panther blade. >> reporter: at ft. bragg, north carolina, one of the largest-ever live fire exercises. both are part of the pentagon ensuring troops are ready if there is a war against north korea. for now president trump suggesting it is not likely. >> i think we're going to have a long period of peace. i hope we do. >> reporter: but defense secretary james mattis has made clear for months that being ready to fight just in case is job number one for the pentagon. >> this is the reality that faces our department of defense and our like-minded allies, and we must have militaries fit for their purpose. >> reporter: with a drawdown in iraq and syria, more troops at home can practice vital combat skills. >> readiness for war, readiness
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for the intense combat of ground operations of any type, anywhere in the world. that is our task, and i can tell you that it has never been more important than it is today. >> reporter: hawaii's missile attack false alarm underscores the hair trigger alert the military would be up against in a real war with kim jong un. but president trump recently has changed his tone on the crisis from bellicose -- >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> reporter: to optimistic. >> we have certainly problems with north korea, but a lot of good talks are going on right now. a lot of good energy. >> reporter: the changing rhetoric has some worried the u.s. could lose leverage to force north korea to give up its weapons and add to confusion in the region. >> this really complicates the
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mission of u.s. military commanders on the korean peninsula and in east asia because they've been for the last 60 years, they've been poised to conduct offensive operations against north korea. >> reporter: might even get more confusing in the coming weeks. the pentagon is about to release a report on its nuclear weapons, and it may call for the development of a new small nuclear weapon, low-yield, less explosive power, and many critics worry that could pave the way for any president of the united states to feel more comfortable about launching a nuclear attack. wolf. >> barbara starr at the pentagon. thank very much. back to congressman john garamendi. how high, congressman -- and you are a member of the armed services committee -- is the risk of miscalculation leading to war? >> ordinarily high. there's always been every year, often two or three times a year, some incident in the korean peninsula, somebody tries to escape or run away from north
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korea, there's shootings, all of these things take place. a misunderstanding is extremely possible, and you can get a small situation blossoming into a huge military confrontation. >> by the way, walking down the stairs of air force one, he is just back at joint base andrews outside washington, d.c. from a few days down in mar-a-lago, his resort in palm beach, walking with his wife and youngest ton down the stairs and then they'll head to the white house. this hawaii disaster, and i say disaster. fortunately it was a false alarm, but for 38 minutes people were terrified. >> well, they certainly were. my daughter-in-law is from hawaii. all of her friends were terrified. they were prepared to die. they thought there would be a nuclear bomb dropped on honolulu, and it was terrible mistake and the rest of the story is there was no follow-up for 30 minutes, even more. that system was broken and it wasn't -- hadn't yet been repaired. we need to be very, very
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careful. >> did you have any idea the system was broken over there in hawaii, hawaii and california, could be in other states, too. i assume the armed services committee, your committee, will be investigating trying to learn lessons to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> there are different roles here. the department of homeland security has the responsibility for civilian defense systems. each state has its own system. hawaii obviously failed miserably in the operation of their system. i would hope that other states, my state, california, is pretty good. we have all kinds of disasters occurring, most recently the mudslides. so we've been operating in california with multiple disasters and many different kinds of alerts. obviously hawaii wasn't up to snuff. >> so what needs to be done now? >> well, what needs to be done is great -- a very robust communication system from the military to the state. the state offices of emergency services. apparently that wasn't even part of this thing. there was some mistake made within the hawaiian emergency
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services department. the military would normally be alerting the state. that didn't even happen. that wasn't even part of this thing. >> so maybe there should just be a federal alert system for all of the states as opposed to giving that authority to individual states. if you are talking about a nuclear ballistic missile endangering the united states. >> well, that is -- if that is the case, then if there is a launch of a ballistic missile anywhere in the world towards the united states, yes, the military would know about it. they would alert the states. that's already in play. but to turnover all of the emergency alert system to the states -- >> i'm only talking about nuclear -- a nuclear threat to a state. i assume the federal government would have better capabilities of anticipating that than hawaii or california or new york or some other state. >> the states wouldn't have any idea if there was an attack. >> of course not. >> it comes from the military down to the states. that needs to be exercised just as you saw the military
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exercising there, that system needs to be exercised. in fact, it is. this was, hopefully, a unique mistake made in hawaii. >> hopefully it was, and hopefully they will learn the lessons and not happen again. i can only imagine how terrified those people were. >> they were. >> congressman, thanks as usual for joining us. >> my pleasure. just ahead, we are just getting in some breaking news on the russia investigation and an interview with a member of the president's inner circle, and the president goes to new lengths to push back against charges of racism. what do his words and his actions tell us on this martin luther king jr. day? >> i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. so you can break away from everyone else. the bold lexus is. experience amazing.
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because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. right now we're getting breaking news the russia investigation. i want to bring back our senior congressional correspondent manu raju. it involves hope hicks. >> we're hearing she is going to talk to the house intelligence committee as part of the russia investigation as soon as this week. we were hearing it could happen as soon as friday. now, this is very significant because hope hicks is one of the president's most trusted advisers. she's long been by his side during the campaign trail, she attended virtually every campaign rally. now she's communications director, one of his closest confidantes. it is rare a sitting white house official would agree to sit down
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with the house intelligence committee. in fact, as far as we know this will only be the second time it has happened, the other being jared kushner, the president's son-in-law. presumably she has a wide range of knowledge about russia contacts that occurred during the campaign, or they want the see whether she has a wide range of knowledge, what she knows about any of the contacts that occurred between russian officials, trump associates as well as the response to the trump tower meeting that occurred after it was revealed in "the new york times" last year. you'll recall that initial statement that came out was misleading. it did not explain the reason for donald trump jr. taking these meetings with the russians, but we now know hope hicks was involved in crafting that response on air force one. and donald trump jr. we are told separately, when he testified before the house intelligence committee said he had communicated with hope hicks as part of that response to those reports, not his father initially. so she's going to be asked about that as well. so it is a significant development, a very significant
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witness. we will see what she eventually says but we are expecting it to happen soon, as soon as this week. my sources telling me, dana bash and our colleague. >> do we know if hope hicks has granted interviews to robert mueller? >> she spoke with robert mueller last month, we are told it happened over two years. mueller had interest in hearing about that, presumably what she knew about the firing of james comey, about obstruction of justice. we have not heard she has tone to the senate intelligence committee. >> she clearly knows a lot about the initial statement released following the trump tower meeting, the revelation of the trump tower meeting that they put out a statement saying, well, it was about adoptions, americans being able to have adoptions of kids from russia. >> of course, it wasn't about that. >> it was really about getting dirt on hillary clinton. >> which was clearly stated in an e-mail of the meeting. >> and she knows all about that? >> she certainly knows about crafting of the response, which i imagine is what they are most
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interested in talking to her about. as manu points out, i can't think of somebody probably who spent more time around the president than hope hicks over the last nearly three years. so there's a lot to ask her about, not just that response. but in terms of that response, there's very little -- when donald trump jr. says, oh, i was communicating with hope hicks, there's very little hope hicks is doing in crafting a statement that is not at the direction of the president. i think that is going to be the key piece of information that investigators are going to want to unfold and look at, as sort of what were the actual directions, if any, from the president. maybe hope hicks can give light to that. >> it follows, rebecca, the testimony, the appearances by steve bannon and corey lewendowski this week, her appearance later in the week before the house intelligence committee. looks like the house intelligence committee is moving forward with a lot of special guests. >> right. and even after donald trump tweeted just a few days ago he wanted republicans on the hill
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to be stronger, to wrest back control of these investigations, clearly they are still taking these very seriously. the house intelligence committee, as you mentioned, wof wolf, has been criticized by both parties for not being bipartisan, as serious as the senate intelligence committee investigation. it is significant. it shows they're still working on this, they're not simply giving into partisan urges and not giving in also to pressure from the president. >> one thing, wolf, i would be interested to see too is whether or not she invokes any sort of privilege or says -- >> because she is still working in the white house. >> exactly. >> as opposed to a former official. >> perhaps she is not going to discuss private conversations with the president because we've seen other officials say similar things, like attorney general jeff sessions most notably. we will see if she does the same. >> they will appear before the committee, behind closed doors. will they release the transcriptions of those sessions? >> we're not getting an indication of that. it only happened for carter page
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and prince when they agreed. initially going in they cut a deal with the committee, said we will only do it if you release a transcript. we're not getting an indication that's going to happen here. >> does it look like the house intelligence committee is getting more bipartisan? as you know, adam shift among other democrats on the committee were deeply worried. >> well, i don't think it is getting bipartisan. i think that would probably be going a bit too far, but the dire warning of adam schiff that somehow the moment the calendar turned to 2018 that the republicans were trying to shut it down, and then proving not quite to be true. there are more interviews happening. we'll see how long this lasts. we know, manu better than anybody, the republicans aren't eager to bring it to a close on the house side. they do see this as a wrapping up investigation, but clearly even though adam schiff was quite concerned about it, you remember, in december, interviews continue. >> yeah, they certainly are. they will be busy this week as well. let's talk a little bit about the president saying, "i am not a racist." pretty blunt to hear a president of the united states utter those
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words. >> right. certainly he was responding to a direct question as to why he used that word, but not the sort of thing that the president wants to be talking about or republicans want the president to be talking about at this critical juncture in the daca debate, in the immigration reform date and as they have a spending deadline looming. manu knows this better than anyone, this is a very fragile negotiation they've been going through. they've been trying to strike a bipartisan deal in a hyper-partisan environment. the president is not making it any easier. >> deal or no deal as far as keeping the government open rating as of friday midnight? >> i don't think we know that yet. the big question will be whether or not democrats will agree for a short-term spending bill that does nothing on immigration. what we expect is the immigration talks to happen, continue to happen. they occur through next month, before that march deadline where they presumably have to deal with the daca issue. the question will democrats be okay with a two or three-week short-term continuing resolution until mid-february to allow the
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immigration talks to take place. the house side democrats have already said no. the senate democrats have been split on that. what do people like the house freedom caucus do, the conservative on the house side who don't like short-term spending bills? it could be difficult to get it through at the end of the week. >> wolf, it is important to remember they just went through this in december where democrats did, indeed, deal with sort of a kicking the can down the road, but the blowback that democrats got from the base of the party about how important dealing with this daca issue is was extreme in december. so in talking to democrats they aren't -- it is not at all yet clear that they are not going to sort of put a stake in the ground now and say, "this is the only leverage that we've got and we are going to demand a daca solution before we agree to fund the government," which, of course, deals with the fallout potentially of the blame game and who would get blamed for that with a lot of democrats -- >> the republicans, the majority in the house of representatives could pass it on their own,
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right, without any democrats? >> presumably they could, but there are a lot of republicans who do not like doing short-term crs and fundamentally vote against all of these. at least on the senate side, you're probably going to need some democratic support to get this through. the house side, we'll see. if there's a revolt among the ride and the republican conference you need democratic support. so far democrats are not willing to do that without assurances they can get a deal on daca. >> is that what you're hearing as well, rebecca? >> absolutely, wolf. you could see the political upside potentially for democrats to try to block this and send the government into a shutdown because they would be able to make the case the president didn't want to work with them and they would stop nothing short of protecting daca recipients in the united states. i mean for democrats that could be a very potent political message, especially going into 2018. >> well, but for all democrats? is it a potent message for joe manchin in west virginia, for eyedy camp.
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yes, but those are deep red states donald trump won by double digits. this is the problem they're grappling with this week, the politic goes of thi politics of this. some democrats may not want to make the case and shut down the government over this issue because they have to win over independents and republicans in their state to get elected. >> that put chuck schumer in a difficult position. he has to understand where those members are coming from before he does the same thing. >> we are getting more reaction into "the situation room" on the president declaring he's not a racist. much more on this when we come back. there are two types of people in the world. those who fear the future... and those who embrace it. the future is for the unafraid. ♪ all because of you ♪ ♪
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we're back with breaking news. the "wall street journal" in a newly published story reporting that u.s. counterintelligence officials in early 2017 warned jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser that wendy murdock, the ex-wife of rupert murdock, could be using her close friendship with mr. kushner and his wife ivanka trump to further the interest of the chinese government. you know, pretty explosive story in the "wall street journal." she was married to rupert murdock in 1999, got divorced in 2013. she still uses the name ms. murdock. apparently she has a very close relationship with jared kushner and his wife ivanka trump.
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it is an explosive story potentially, although the "wall street journal" and others are pointing out it is common, relatively common for counter intelligence officials to warn incoming senior officials of a new administration to be careful about interactions with individuals who may have ties with foreign sources. >> in fact, that was the white house's response in this story, right. they weren't denying that it happened, which was really interesting to see that clearly jared kushner did get this information. they just said it was part of, you know, national security briefings for senior staff of the new administration and that counterintelligence officials do this routinely according to the report to warn people with, you know, warn new members of administration about people that they may associate with that have connections to foreign governments. we should make clear, nobody in this story is accused of any wrong doing. i think that's an important thing to say. it is just simply beyond interesting that you would get a counterintelligence briefing
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where you're told somebody you are friendly with may actually have designs on helping the chinese government get represented in u.s. policy. >> manu, the representative for jared kushner and for ivanka trump described mr. kushner's interaction with officials in the "wall street journal" article as warning him about ms. murdock and routine senior staff security briefings. he added mr. kushner has complied with all ethics and disclosure recommendations and played a helpful role in strengthening the u.s./china relationship to bring out better outcomes. a spokesman for ms. murdock said she has no knowledge of any fbi concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations. the spokesman also added that she has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the chinese government. ms. murdock's spokesman said she occasionally traveled to china
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with rupert murdock but played down her role in any business dealings there. >> yeah. clearly downplaying the significance of this. they don't want to make it sound like it is a whole lot, the white house is sensitive particularly to any perception jared kushner may have acted inappropriately. he has gotten a lot of scrutiny, of course, his role in the russia investigation and the like. to me this also raises the questions about jared kushner's security clearance form. this has been a constant problem for him in the first year of his presidency after failing to disclose key foreign contacts through the course of the security clearance application. he was briefed on this as a matter of national security. perhaps you don't need to be cleared in to get this kind of briefing if they're warning you not to do this, but it raises questions again for jared kushner, something that continues to haunt him in this first year of the trump white house. >> rebecca, how do you see it? it is very awkward. >> it is awkward, wolf, but you also have to wonder if it was a
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major security concern for the united states, for intelligence agencies, why wouldn't they have raised it sooner with jared and ivanka trump? because they've been friends with ms. murdock for many, many years. they hung out with her during the course of the campaign on a vacation in croatia. if this was a threat during the campaign you would imagine they probably would have raised this a lot sooner, but also i this really does illustrate this tangled web of trump associates, of potential conflicts of interest for them not only when you're talking about close friends but also business interest and people they have business ties with in other countries and around the world. just certainly something this administration uniquely has needed to be aware of. >> it's very interesting. i'll just point it out. rupert murdoch publishes the wall street. this story about his ex-wife, a
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couple other stories include that interview that donald trump gave to the wall street journal in which he made those comments. a little discrepancy about what he said. i wonder who's going on because nay a they are very good friends. >> this is not the first time we have seen this sort of trump, wall street journal split. back in the campaign the editorial page is not who is aligned with donald trump. we still see some divergence there like we do with the republican party and the establishment wing and the trump wing. you've right to note in the last week there's been three stories, the interview, the story with stormy daniel, the porn star who got hush payment and now this.
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wall street journal seems to be fully reporting out the things they can on the trump administration. >> wall street journal pretty aggressive reporting now. >> it was interesting in that interview which the president disputes one word, i probably have good relationship with tim jong-un versus i'd. >> contraction. >> all of us spent a lot of the weekend listening so closely to the audio tape by the white house and the wall street journal to see did we hear i or i'd. >> trump seemed to be enjoying that interview when you look through that transcript. >> he probably felt secure to an extent sitting down with the wall street journal because they're previous interview, this friend slitting for him. he might have been surprised by some of the coverage he's seen especially given his owned by
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his friend rupert murdoch. >> if that was the case, it didn't work. >> let me play reaction to the president's comments about africans coming to the united states, haitians. >> i think one of the things we need do is get people like me in the room. there's so many people that i want to make sure that everyone knows that i don't know if those comments would have been made if i were in the room. >> were the comments racist, do you think? >> well, i think they were. yes. i still think he should apologize. i think there's people looking for an apology. i think that would show real leadership. >> she's the first haitian american serving in the united states congress. you don't believe the president
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will apologize. >> i don't. look at what's happened. in the days since, he has tried to come up with a story about what he actually said and have republican senators go out there and david purdue and tom cotton to serve as surrogates and muddy the waters on what was said. all that to me is beside the point. there are facts that everyone agrees on. he said, he used tough words. they were disparaging words about the countries of origin for people coming to the united states and the words were damaging enough to cause concern that a daca deal is in danger. >> everybody stand by. much more news right after this. james r. and associates. anna speaking... ♪ james r. and associates. anna. ♪
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tonight as we remember the legacy of martin luther king jr., listen to the words of dr. king's children and look at the events honoring his legacy. >> one of my favorite quotes of my father's that we should all think about employing because he said the ultimate measure of a human being is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. my dad said men hate each other because they fear each other.
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they fear each other because they don't each other. they don't know each other because they are not communicating with each other. >> he went onto say that sometimes we must take positions that are neither safe nor popular nor politics but we must take those positions because our consciences tell us they are right. >> the reverend dr. martin luther king truly a great man. that's it for me. thanks for watching. out front, next, donald trump playing defense tonight in the s poll scandal. is he in denial. did president trump really say s-hole? his defenders are spinning a new theory. call it is s-house defense. the incredible shrinking wall coming maybe to a border near you. let's go out front.


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