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tv   The Nineties  CNN  January 21, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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. tonight -- >> i looked at him and i said, no, it's not presidential. >> he's a president unlike any other. >> that's exactly right. if it was presidential, then i wouldn't be president. >> he was a bully. >> i'm not finished, i'm not finished fake news. >> he said i was going to destroy the republican party, he was going to blame me. >> cruelly insults. >> they call her pocahontas. >> and the most horrific of imagery. >> they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> some of his governing choices even puzzle republicans. >> what's going on at the state department? >> not enough. >> and his tweets drive his opponents crazy, helping to drive down his approval ratings. but his supporters love it. >> they wanted him to come and send a message, break some china. >> and he's doing it? >> this man reigns and manages by chaos. >> trump's first year, reign of chaos.
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>> i, donald john trump do solemn by swear. >> i was thinking, this has to be a dream. it was an amazing moment. >> i will faithfully execute -- >> when that hand goes on the bible. >> the united states. >> the government changes, the global views change, the nuclear codes change. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> when donald j. trump was sworn in as 45th president of the united states, nearly everything americans had come to expect of the presidency chan d changed. shunned by political leaders from both parties, trump sought to disrupt the way things were traditionally done. >> we will follow two simple rules, buy american and high american. . >> he was the business man who thrived on disorder. .
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>> this man reigns and manages by chaos. >> a man with no particular allegiance to anyone but himself and his supporters. >> we will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action. >> donald trump promised disruption. it's why many supporters voted for him and why many of his opponents dreaded his presidency. neither group had to wait long. the type of president donald trump would be became very clear before his inaugural week was even over. and the first clues came right here. >> mothers and children trapped in poverty, rusted out factories, scattered like tombstones, this american carnage stops right here and stops right now. >> even in his inauguration address, traditionally upbeat
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and unifying, president trump kept the tone of candidate trump. >> i thought what a wasted opportunity. >> for senator jeff flake, a trump critic was watching. >> that would have been a great time to pivot, to give a hopeful, hospitoptimistic this we are instead of talking about our fears. >> kellyanne conway is now counselor to the president. >> when he makes a promise, he's making that promise to all americans, even though who will criticize him and attack him and try to deny his presidency for an entire year. >> the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. >> he really wanted that particular address to be dedicated to the forgotten man and the forgotten woman. they're always outside the
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system looking in. >> god bless you and god bless america. >> after the inaugural parade, a signing ceremony signaled this president would keep his promises. it was an executive order telling government agencies to begin to prepare for the dismantling of president obama's signature legislation, the affordable care act, or obamacare. >> he went right from the start to rip at the affordable care act on this idea of repeal and replace when there wasn't even a plan to replace it with. >> he campaigned on obama being terrible, the republican party base is of the opinion that everything obama did is wrong and so he was playing to this crowd. the fthing that the president hs been singularly obsessed with is losing his base. >> so at the inaugural ball, there was a nod to the base, it would become a theme, and there
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would be more nods the next week, he put the nail in the coffin on a trade deal he said was bad for the american workers. >> great thing for the american worker. >> he approved two oil pipelines previously delayed by environmental concerns and he promised to built a wall along the southern border. he also continued his attacks on the press, even when standing in front of the memorial wall at the cia. >> i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. >> those attacks on the fourth estate would become another theme. >> i get up this morning and i turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. i said wait a minute, i looked out, the field was -- it looked like a million, million and a half people. they showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.
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>> untrue. president trump's inauguration is in the picture on the right, president obama's 2009 ceremony on the left. obama's crowds are clearly bigger. >> sean spicer, our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. >> we have to have shared facts that we operate on. that's, i think, fundamental to any democracy and he's certainly challenging that. >> "todatoday conway says that e was a mistake. >> your job is not to say ridiculous. >> i talked for 36 minutes to three r different anchors and they took two words that i said. alternative facts is partly cloudy, partly sunny. those are alternative facts. >> here's a fact, seven days after being sworn in, 13 months after calling for a total and
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complete shutdown on muslims entering the united states, the president signed this. >> i'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical islamic terrorists out of the united states of america. >> it was an executive order that turned around residents from seven muslim majority countries. >> it was not vetted carefully. it was very in your face. it infoura -- infuriated democrats as well as republicans. >> it really caused me a lot of heartburn. >> why? >> i got a text message from my son, he said they're not letting him in the country. >> at the philadelphia airport and airports across the country, chaos. >> their visas apparently were revoked while they were in
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midair and it took the next ten days to get the family back in and we did get them back in. >> by then a tone had been set, a president refusing to be con trained by presidential protocol. >> you said on friday you would have a press conference. >> that's delighted millions of his supporters who wanted him to disrupt, while millions of other americans were horrified. >> i like real news, not fake news, you're fake news. the media is fake. >> the president insisted on attacking facts not fiction. >> all i can say is it's totally fake news, it's fake. >> and not afraid to say untrue things. >> obamacare covers very few people. it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. >> and tweets bogus information. this one from his first week alleged at least 3 million votes were illegal. there is zero proof of that.
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this one in march, accused the former president obama of a felony. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower, he typed. the intelligence community has said that's untrue. >> i have no information that supports those tweets. >> he name called. many people found his tweets sometimes sexist. such as this one from june attacking nbc anchor mika brzenzinski, he was bleeding badly from a facelift. or this one from september, showing he knocked over his former opponent hillary clinton. in november, he retweeted this video from a far right wing video. these tweets caused tension with america's closest ally, britain. >> i'm very clear that retweeting from britain first was the wrong thing to do.
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>> there is a problem with impulse control, i mean i think we all know that. >> at the end of his first year in office, following a very public discussion of his mental stability, the president tweeted, quote, throughout my life, my two greatest aspects have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. i went from very successful businessman to tv star to the president of the united states on my first try. i think that would qualify as not smart, but genius. >> everyone here in washington, they light a match and set their hair on fire when he tweets out. but guys that really know him, we see a tweet like that and we laugh out loud and we know the point he's trying to make and he's trying to shake everybody
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up. >> they also say this presidency is about more than his tweets. pointing to a new supreme court justice. >> so help me god. >> military victories against isis, and a record high stock market. >> assuming important facts are never covered. why not cover more. >> there are of course accomplishments, and we'll look at them ahead. but there's also this. >> how hard is it to condemn nazis or the kkk? it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned, or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through february 28th. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer.
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donald trump came to washington with three big goals for congress in his first year as president. to repeal and replace obamacare. >> obamacare is a disaster. >> to overhaul the tax code. >> we want lower taxes, bigger
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paychecks. >> and to overhaul u.s. infrastructure. >> we're going to get infrastructure built quickly. >> to do all that, he needed help from congress and a priority list. >> one thing that was important to him was tax reform. he didn't push that one first. he went with what he was urged to do by his chief of staff, reince priebus and some others in the white house wanted to do health care first. >> repeal and replace obamacare. he pointed to americans who felt burdened by the imperfect program. >> real people have come to the white house and told us their story, they had jobs, wages benefits they have lost or had them slimmed down. >> we are cattle ranchers. we can't afford our equipment if we're paying these rates year after year after year. >> we're on it for five months, our pediatrician for our
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children wouldn't take it. >> the problem with repealing obamacare is that once a government program has been initiated, it's almost impossible to take it away. which meant that even some republicans were going to have a hard time buying into repeal and replace. >> i had two meetings with the president on health care. basically told them three times i couldn't support the bill. >> what did he say? >> he said if i didn't support the bill, i was going to destroy the republican party, he was going to blame me. >> you personally. >> and he was going to take down tax reform. he said if we don't pass this bill in its current form we won't be able to get tax reform. i said that's right, when you lose, you lose. >> in march of 2017, when the house of representatives first planned to vote to repeal and replace obamacare, the republican party had too many charlie dents. >> we did not have quite the votes to replace this law.
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>> during the next effort to repeal and replace in may, there was 14 million americans who were going to lose their medicaid coverage because the president expanded medicaid. it passed the house. >> this is a real plan, this is a great plan. >> but it hit a snag in the senate. president trump tried to muscle the bill through, with some trademark arm twisting, such as this public teasing of nevada senator dean heller. he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? >> as well as his typical twitter taunts. so important republican senators under leadership of senator majority leader mcconnell get halth care plan approved. after seven years of o-care
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disaster, must happen. it didn't. >> measure not agreed to. >> with the ultimate bill on the table, it failed. with this dramatic thumbs down from republican senators john mccain. the repeal and replace of obamacare that president trump promised would happen on day one was dead for the year. his supporters blamed congress. >> it seems to me that the congress failed the president on that one in terms of not having a package ready to go and yet they expected him to kind of push it and use the bully pulpit to get it delivered. >> so the president who doesn't like to lose tried to make a win. >> congratulations to everybody. >> signing an executive order cutting funds paid directly to insurance companies to help stabilize the market. and making it easier for people to buy outside the obamacare exchanges. >> obamacare is virtually dead.
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at best you could say it's in its final legs. >> hardly true. around 8.8 million americans signed up for 2018 coverage, about 400,000 fewer than the year before. another domestic issue the president put in his crosshairs, illegal immigration. the president had promised his base a crackdown. and he has delivered. i.c.e. arrests are up 43% since 2016. >> you say power. >> power! >> immigrant! >> power! >> and the president has struggled with daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals, the plan that allows some 800,000 so called d.r.e.a.m.ers brought here as children to work and study without fear of
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arrest. >> we're going to deal with daca with heart. >> the president was seemingly torn between his heart and his base. in september, the base won. >> it was unlawful and contrary to the laws passed by this institution. >> mr. trump's attorney general announced daca would die in march unless congress could find a compromise. a few days later -- >> we're working on a plan for daca. the wall will come later. >> that is no longer his position. >> i really believe they're going to come up with a solution to the daca problem, but any solution has to include the wall. >> negotiations to save the program were under way in january in the oval office when president trump made what's being called racial slurs. >> when you started to describe the immigration from african, that's what he used his vile and ville gar comments, calling the
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nations they come from shitholes. >> president trump disparaged haitian immigrants as well. >> he said haitians? do we need more haitians? >> were the comments racist, do you think? >> i think they were, yes. i think that they were unfortunate. we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. >> i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. >> the president and two republican senators in the room denied the accusations. but it was hardly the first time in president trump's first year when he had been accused of racism. in august, there had been the white supremacist march in charlottesville, virginia where
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a protester was run over and killed by a white supremacist. but before heather heyer had been killed--stunningly president trump condemned both sides. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. >> the president's failure to single out nazis, skin heads and clansmen for specific condemnation, shocked the world, including republicans. >> how hard is it to condemn nazis or the kkk? >> so, two days later, a change. >> 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. >> but then the next day,
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another step backwards. >> but you also had people there were very fine people, on both sides. you had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me, i saw the same pictures as you did. >> don't blame both sides, they came to this city to spread their hate. >> the thought that if you cannot come down hard on them because you might alienate someone in the base, i think you've got to get a new base. >> do you think that was what was motivating him? >> i think there was an element of that, he didn't want to offend some people that he had, i think, given quarter to at least. >> he's the most nonracist person i have ever known, and anybody who's been with him over time can tell you that. >> soon after charlottesville came huntsville, alabama. where president trump denounced football players, most of them african-american who had taken a knee during the national anthem
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at nfl games to protest police brutality. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out! he's fired! >> this has nothing to do with race, i have never said anything about race. >> the presidents tweets and comments had nothing to do with the flag and everything to do with race. when the president refers to colin kaepernick in alabama as a son of the b-word is racial code for the n-word across america and in alabama. >> i would not even attempt to explain what he's thinking or why he does it. but if you take a sport that's making billions off of american viewership and saying it's the heart of americans, should there be some base standard? i don't have the answer, but i
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think the fact that your viewers are thinking about it is a good thing. >> coming up, a victory on capitol hill, squeezed in just under the wire. and later -- >> i told steve kolber, i thought i would last longer than a carton of milk. ates our world and connects us to each other. with transitions® adaptive lenses® you'll live the good light. they block uv rays. plus they help protect from harmful blue light. both indoors... and out. enjoy life more comfortably. enjoy life more richly. live the good light. find an eyecare professional at
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if you have read president trump's twitter feed, you know that he thinks that the main stream media won't talk about his accomplishments in their end of year reviews, he says, it wasn't true then, and it's not true now. here we go, mr. president. by fall, with any major legislative victory having proved elusive, the president turned his attention to tax cuts, determined to get a deal by the end of 2017. >> i can think of no better christmas present for the american people than giving you a massive tax cut. that's what's happening. >> i just got the tax bill 25 minutes ago. this is the tax bill. see how thick it is? >> democrats balked, claiming
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republicans were rushing through a half baked bill to meet the president's artificial deadline. >> can you tell me what that word is? >> there's been a lot of criticism about last minute additions and handwritten notes in the margin. >> this bill, let's add in a special provision here or there. there's a reason that tax policy is hard. because it takes transparency. the last time it was done in a meaningful way, ronald reagan and a democratic congress took months with months of hearings and lots of exploosure of all t warts, that's not what has happened here. >> but democrats could not stop the trump train, the first major tax overall in more than 30 years -- >> without objection, the motion is laid upon the table. >> passed the house and senate. >> the tax cut act is passed. >> in late december. >> mitch? how about you start?
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>> the republicans were efusionive of their praise of the president. >> this has been an extraordinary year of accomplishment for this president. >> something this profound could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership. you're one heck of a leader. >> the bill cuts taxes for the middle class, but those tax cuts are set to expire in 2025. the corporate tax rate has been slashed from 35% to 21%, and that's permanent and a priority for the president, who has insisted that cut will grow the economy. >> ultimately what does it mean? it means jobs, jobs, jobs. >> maybe, as of now, the tax cut is unpopular. largely perceived as disproportionately favoring the wealthy. >> what we got is a tax give away at rates that frankly none of my former business colleagues actually ever believed were necessary. you may see a short-term sugar high, but i believe this policy
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has been done so quickly behind so many closed doors, that it will take a decade for us to unravel some of these policies. >> among the policies inside the bill, a measure that kills the individual mandate in obama care, that's the fine on those uninsured, designed to keep everyone enrolled and premiums lower. >> this is something i'm very proud of, great for our country, great for the american people. thank you all. >> the president who likes to boast he keep s his promises signed the bill three days before christmas and his senior counselor kellyanne conway insists the american people will grow to love it. >> as time went on, more americans had questions about obamacare, had questions about the individual mandate, wondered why the premiums were increasing, why are my choices
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fewer? why are my prices higher? with a tax cut, the more people learn of i, tt, the better they like it. >> another success the white house touts from this year. the administration says it has scrapped hundreds of regulations. >> in 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages. >> if you're one of his supporters, you consider this an accomplishment. >> and when we're finished, we will be less than where we are in 1960. >> if you were to really ask businessmen or women today who are running companies -- >> one, two, three. >> i think they would tell you what they feel is the beginning of the unbundling of rules and regulations that provided no benefit to general society, but severely restricted the ability of those companies to grow and go. >> ecologist joe clemons has a
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different view, he worked at the department of interior when trump took office and noticed some early roll backs implemented by the new secretary of the interior, ryan zinke. >> secretary zinke even cancelled a health study that was taking place at the national academy of sciences that was affecting the mountain top coal removal in appalachian. >> mountain top removal lops the peaks off to get to the coal inside. researchers say the practice contaminated ground waters with toxic minerals resulting in higher lung cancer rates and other illnesses. in august, the interior said that the decision was part of an agency wide budget review, environmentalists have expressed alarm at several recent changes and regulatory roll backs that they say will jeopardize clean air and clean water. >> there are people out there in the environmental community and also the president's critics who
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are suspicious. they think that every time a regulation is rolled back, that is air quality or water quality made less safe, as opposed to an onerous regulation that will help create jobs. >> as you said, it's tomato, tomato, somebody looks at a role as being a burden, and somebody looks at a role as being protective. there's a balance between that obviously, and i think president trump is moving in that direction. >> the expansion of this -- >> unemployment is at a seven year low, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. think about it. >> all true. and on top of that, the stock market hit more than 85 new highs between the election and the end of 2017. >> and by the way, how are your 401(k)s doing?
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not too bad, right. >> with the dow peaking at a record breaking high, 24,838. it's a success for which he likes to take full credit. >> the stock market is at an all-time high. since a very, very special day, it's called election day, november 8. >> though obviously it was not all him. >> it was doing well, i think we would have had a good year, but let's give him some good credit, he was there, the economy has done well, the stock market has done well. >> another success? >> the judge story is an untold story nobody wants to talk about. >> president trump's talking about his nominations to the federal bench. if you're a supporter of his, they amount to an enormous accomplishment. >> today i am keeping another promise to the american people. by nominating judge neil
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gorsuch. >> supreme court justice neil gorsuch is the best known federal court nomination president trump made this past year. >> i neil m. gorsuch do solemnly swear -- >> but he's not the only one. dozens of nominations for scores of federal judgeships have been made. >> mr. president, thanks to your nominees, we have put 12 circuit judges in place, the most since the circuit court system was established in 1891. >> mr. president. >> it's a modern record for a first year with a major assist from the u.s. senate. and it's significant because these are mainly conservative judges, being placed on federal appeals courts. often the last stop for controversial rulings. it. >> these judges are going to come down one way or another on a lot of hot button social issues of the day, it could be abortion, it could be various aspects of gay rights, it could
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be freedom of religion. >> and these aren't lifetime appointments, meaning these judges will be affecting laws for 40 or 50 years into the future. if you're a trump supporter or a conservative, that's thrilling. if you're not, it's not. up next, palace intrigue trump style. e is amazing. because the volcanic soil is amazing. so we give farmers like win more plants. to grow more delicious coffee. which helps provide for win's family. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters. you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo!
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psychologist joe clement believes he's been burned by president trump's burning desire to roll back regulations. >> they want to get rid of scientists, like muzzling the scientists and the experts you take out the number one voices that are standing up for the good of the american people not industry. we're in the way, essentially, of their agenda. >> when president trump entered office, clemmons was director of the policy office at the interior department. a main focus was helping to save alaskan villages from melting into the sea. scientists blame client change. >> they're essentially land that was locked into place by perma frost. but that's owl changing now. >> as many as 50 senior
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executives received letters from the associate deputy secretary saying you've been reassigned. >> clemmons new gig was in auditing. >> i had no auditing experience, to take the climate change guy and put him in the office that collects oil and gas and mining revenue, was a very explicit signal that they wanted me to quit. >> ryan zinke wants to cut at least 4,000 jobs from his department. one way he wanted to do it was through reassignments. >> reassignments don't trim the workforce. >> reassignments don't trim the workforce, only if people quit can you trim the workforce. >> by october, clemon did what he said the administration wanted him to do. he quit. the interior department is investigating, but calls the allegations baseless.
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similar stories are coming from the state department, where secretary of state rex tillerson has been working on plans to cut his budget by 30%. >> my redesign for the state department i think is the most important thing i can do for the state department. how do we become more effective, more capable, more nimble to use the intellectual capacity of the people in the department. >> while he's been working on that, state department employees have been quitting and they haven't been replaced. our leadership ranks are being depleted at a dizzying speed, writes barbara ferguson, the president of the american services association. >> what's going on there? >> not enough. and i have the africa subcommittee. i'm going to have a hearing on
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zimbabwe, and i can't get an administration witness, there's no undersecretary for africa, for instance. a lot of ambassador posts are vacant. there just has been a lot of neglect, frankly. >> i still don't have a clue as to why that's taking place, but every person who's been involved in diplomacy over the last decades views it as being incredibly dangerous. >> over 150 spots at the state department filled by presidential appointment, around half have been nominated, roughly a third have been confirmed. president trump has brushed aside any concerns about the vacancy when asked about them on fox news. >> let me tell you, the one that matters is me, i'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it, that's what the policy is going to be. >> when the president says he doesn't need some of these departments filled, because he's the one that makes the difference. when you have 200 plus countries out there that we have diplomats in, there is a tremendous need
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for skilled diplomacy and experience. we need people there. >> one department was in better staffing shape than the rest. >> health and human services, hhs, they were actually in the scale of things very fast at bringing in their leadership team but they lost their secretary. >> tom price left in september, after it was learned he liked to travel on private planes. >> you're fired. >> among those leaving last summer, chief strategist steve bannon and chief of staff reince priebus. >> i resigned and he accepted my regular nation. >> priebus was replaced by admiral john kelly, he was brought in to bring stability and structure to a schaotic wes
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wing. lost leaving, press secretary sean spicer, who left immediately after anthony scaramucci came in. he was brought in by mr. trump to calm the chaos by rival thief co thiefdoms left over by the trump administration. >> there was a lot of infighting, i was pushing to get people they thought were bad actors out of the house. scaramucci's battle with one another over leaks from the press. zbl >> leaks, leaks, leaks. >> scar moochie's plan--that was my mistake.
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>> he used expletives in that conversation to describe reince priebus and steve bannon. two men he believed were bad actors and responsible for many of the leaks. he was asked on cnn in july. >> i won't get into it. >> scaramucci's language got him fired after just ten days on the job. >> i was told by general kelly maybe at 9:30 in the morning on that monday, july 31st, that he needed to let me go. >> but scaramucci says he left proud of his accomplishments during his brief tenure. >> for me when i look back on it i knocked two really bad players possibly three out of the white house. >> spicer and priebus out and
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then also maybe bannon? >> i think i deserve credit for him. >> how? >> i exposed the tremendous amount of leaking he was doing. i explained to the president how he was leaking, what journalists he was using to leak for a man who was calling himself a man of the people and a populist and a man who was deriding the swamp, it was a combination of a swamp creature and cesspool operator. >> up next, perhaps the president's least favorite part of his presidency, the russia investigation. >> do you think president trump told general flynn to lie to the fbi about his contacts with the russians? we're pretty sure no one's everg asked howsaid microwaved. eggs, you deserve a breakfast made with respect. try the new bacon, egg, and cheese on brioche. panera. food as it should be. what's critical thinking like?
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a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley thisreally passionate about- i really want to help. i was on my way out of this life. there are patients out there that don't have a lot of time. finally, it was like the sun rose again and i was going to start fighting back now. when those patients come to me and say, "you saved my life...." my life was saved by a two week old targeted therapy drug. that's what really drives me to- to save lives.
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it is impossible to fully report on president trump's first year in office without discussing the russia investigation, which has been hovering over the white house like a dark cloud since inauguration day. >> the next president of the united states right here. >> just three weeks after entering office, retired general mike flynn, the president's national security adviser, resigned. >> mike flynn is a fine person. and i asked for his resignation. he respectfully gave it. >> the explanation? flynn lied to the vice president about his contacts with the
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russian ambassador. what the white house suspected at the time and the public was not told was that flynn also misled the fbi. and then in may, fbi director james comey, who was leading an investigation into russia's meddling, was fired by president trump. >> it just doesn't make any sense. this is an fbi director being fired in the middle of an investigation of the people who fired him. >> an act only done once before in american history. >> everything about it shocked me, which is not to say that i was surprised in the sense that i'm -- people have to start to realize that there's no bottom with this president. >> what was your response when you heard that the fbi director had been fired? >> why? i thought that there is no good reason certainly for the timing. you could make a case that he didn't handle the situation well during the campaign. >> with hillary clinton.
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>> hillary clinton. you could make a strong case there, but the timing and the explanations that were given and then the explanations that conflicted with the last explanation. >> the first official explanation, comey was fired for mishandling the hillary clinton e-mails investigation, which was laughable on its face since trump had stated many times that comey was not tough enough on hillary clinton. then the president offered this explanation. >> when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election. russia story was made up. >> president trump has been denying and/or deflecting the russia collusion story as long as it's been public. >> i call it the russian hoax. that's the thing that the democrats did best. they lost the election and they
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didn't know what happened. and they needed an excuse so they said russia. >> in february, he tweeted it was nonsense. quote, merely an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made in hillary clinton's losing campaign. he called it a witchhunt on twitter over and over and over again. president trump has also refused to unequivocally acknowledge russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. >> the wild thing is donald trump may be the only person in government who still rejects the fact that the russians massively intervened in our elections. every one of his appointments in terms of the intelligence community all accept this. >> i rise today concerned about the threats. >> mark warner is the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee which is
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also investigating russian interference in the u.s. election. james comey testified before the committee in june after he'd been fired. in written testimony provided to the committee, comey claimed that president trump told him at a dinner in january, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. >> i was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so i thought it really important to document. >> so, comey says, he began making memos about meetings with the president. that raises red flags for some trump supporters. >> all director comey had to say, mr. president, this is a conversation you and i can't have because i'm the chief law enforcement officer and it will come to my desk and i don't feel comfortable having that conversation. i guarantee the president would have said, oh, i'm sorry. i didn't mean it that way. instead he went out to his car wrote notes down on a moleskin and went back in again and again. >> after president trump tweeted that, quote, james comey had
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better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press, the former fbi director said he then decided to leak to the press. >> i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. >> and it did. robert mueller was appointed to be special counsel in may after the content of comey's document was leaked. so far the mueller investigation has resulted in indictments against trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort and his business partner rick gates including conspiracy against the united states and money laundering. those charges stem from lobbying and consulting work that the two men did for a russia-friendly political party in the ukraine. they have pleaded not guilty. also, a former trump campaign staffer named george papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about contacts with russians. he is now cooperating with the
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special counsel. and former national security adviser mike flynn has also pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi also about contacts with the russians and is also cooperating. despite all of that, as the end of 2017 neared, calls for the president to fire mueller got louder. >> we are at risk of a coup d'etat in this country if we allow an unaccountable person with no oversight to undermine the duly elected president of the united states. i join my colleague, the gentleman from arizona, in calling for mr. mueller's resignation or his firing. >> those making the requests insist mueller wants to bring down president trump. >> any attempt by this president to remove special counselor mueller from his position or to pardon key witnesses in


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