tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN January 26, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
family, that entire community as those students return to school today. thank you, all, for being with me today. i'm poppy harlow. have a great weekend. "at this hour" starts right now. >> i'm brianna keilar in for kate bolduan. president trump is aboard air force one, wrapping up an international trip and saddled with new baggage from the russia investigation. the latest bombshell, president trump ordered the firing of special counsel robert mueller last june. according to one person familiar with the matter, the president backed off when white house lawyer don mcgahn, the chief counsel, refused, and threatened to resign instead of carry out his wishes. the president denies the reports. but the explosive claims raised new questions of possible obstruction of justice. a short time ago, the president sidestepped this latest cloud
over his presidency and turned instead to salesman in chief, addressing the world's power brokers at the economic forum in switzerland. the president made no apologies for his america first policies that have wrinkled allies and enemies alike. >> i believe in america. as president of the united states, i will always put america first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also. but america first does not mean america alone. >> let's go live to jeff zeleny, in davos. jeff, update us on what was a really significant speech. >> it was, brianna, good morning. president trump is flying back to washington as you said. he did deliver a speech here this morning in davos that was certainly one of the more interesting. largely because he was walking
into a den of global elitists, if you will, he's often railed against and he was retreated with respect, much more conciliatory nation than confrontation. certainly a moment where the president was indeed trying to sell america. he sounded almost like a chamber of commerce president, if you will, you know, talking about the plans of america, the economy of america, not talking as much about what america can do for the globe, but more what people can do for themselves. he was trying to urge business leaders to come invest in the u.s. so certainly a pro forma speech he's given other places, but not the harsh rhetoric we have heard from him on the campaign trail where he railed against globalization and capitalism and he certainly, you know, was -- seemed to be a welcome member of the new club here. but, brianna, no question about it, so much hanging over him here, particularly the developments in the russia investigation. the president was asked about
his reports that he wanted to fire bob mueller last june. this is what he had to say. >> faek nke news, folks. fake news. typical "new york times" fake stories. >> the president blasting that story in "the new york times," cnn and elsewhere that he wanted to fire the special counsel bob mueller last june as fake news. but the reality is this russia investigation has escalated. it is closing in on him and some of his advisers. the question here now as he flies back to washington, will he testify, if he does testify what will the ground rules surrounding that be here? that is certainly a central focus here as it appears to be more of an obstruction of justice case than a collusion case. brianna? >> jeff zeleny for us in davos, switzerland. thank you. a source told cnn that white house counsel don mcgahn refused to order the justice department to fire mueller because he disagrees with president trump's
reasoning. so why did the president want the special counsel fired? for that, let's go to manu raju live on capitol hill. what are you hearing about the president's rational for firing mueller? >> reporter: there were several reasons he had concerns with mueller, possible conflicts of interest, laid out in this "new york times" report. one of which was the fact that robert mueller, as fbi director, years ago, had a dispute over fees that donald trump's golf course in strolling, virginia. and that was one area of contradict of interest. another one that robert mueller has previous law firm he worked at was the same firm that represented the president's son-in-law jared kushner. and also, the president apparently had concerns about the fact that mueller was interviewed for the fbi post, immediately after james comey was fired for the fbi job, he did not get that fbi position, but the day after mueller was interviewed by the president, mueller became named special
counsel by rod rosin steis rose deputy attorney general. these are reasons that he took as part of an effort to initiate the firing of bob mueller. that is something that don mcgahn did not agree to, in fact he said no and threatened to resign if the president moved forward according to ours sou ss and one reason why the president backed off. that ration nat the president apparently laid out would not have gone over very well members of his own party, many of whom said he should not go that far, including last july, lindsey graham who told me at the beginning if he took steps to fire bob mueller, it would be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency. that rhetoric would escalate if he did take this action here. >> what about efforts on the hill, manu to protect mueller from being fired? where do those stand? >> competing bills introduced by two different sets of senators.
chris canes of delaware, thom tillis of north carolina, republican and democrat, and cory booker, new jersey democrat, lindsey graham, south carolina republican, they have competing approaches that they introduced last summer. they have not been able to reconcile their approaches before going forward. one proposal would ensure the special counsel would have an opportunity to appeal his firing if it did happen before judicial review. another one would say that the attorney general would have to go to a three panel judge before the firing would happen. the members have tried to reconcile the differences, they have not been able to do that and they also have not -- they don't have the support to move to the senate yet. we'll see if which changes in light of the new reports. >> manu raju, thank you. a lot to discuss here. we have reporter and editor at large for cnn politics, chris cillizza, and jen sake for president obama and jason miller, former senior xhin
communications adviser for the trump campaign. jason, you know donald trump very well. he had already fired comey in may. not only did that not go well just in the court of public opinion, but it ended up bringing us to the -- to mueller, to the special counsel. it was a bit of out of the frying pan and into the fire. why would he want to fire mueller in june, especially considering it wouldn't have ended the investigation? >> well, i think there are a couple of things with the story i would take issue with. i don't think we necessarily know he want fod fire mueller. he is saying that's not the case. he's taken issue with the reporting. but, again, here is -- >> you're saying the report may not be accurate. even though there is sources stunned by -- >> hold on. cnn confirmed it. fox news confirmed it. >> four people said they were briefed on this supposed conversation. does not say there were four people in the room. >> that's who you're going with
supposed conversations. >> yes, the president is saying that this did not happen. and you look back, we had this michael wolff book pop. and so this is something that supposedly happened seven months ago, had this gossip book that came out with hundreds of pages of things that were somewhat true, maybe not true and you tell me this detail didn't even make it into that book, that this is something that no one ever heard about and just now, while the president is in davos, giving this momentous speech, this is when it pops? i don't know. it seems suspect to me. the whole thing, we're treating it like the president actually went and fired mueller. he didn't. even if he did, we have seen legal experts from robert ray to alan dershowitz to other people who say he can fire anyone he wants anytime he wants. >> i'm surprised you take issue with the story. even anthony scaramucci does not take issue with the story. the pros for tblem for the whit is it makes liar of the president and many of his top aides. take a listen.
>> while the president has a right to, he has no intention to do so. >> the president has not even discussed that. the president is not discussing firing bob mueller. >> will he commit to not fire -- >> he's not even discussing not firing -- he's not discussed firing bob mueller. >> i haven't given it any thought. i've been reading about it from you people, saying i'm going to dismiss him. i'm not going to dismiss anybody. >> are you considering firing robert mueller? >> not at all. >> is there any chance at all the president will try to fire robert mueller? >> no, i saw a couple of people talking about that this morning, and the answer to that is no. >> do you feel -- >> no, i'm not. no. >> so, chris, is this -- is it willful deception by white house aides, and president trump and the answer may be different for different players. willful ignorance or a case of top aides just not knowing what was happening? >> right. i think it is different for different players.
donald trump either knew or didn't know if he told don mcgahn the white house counsel to fire bob mueller. for everybody else, kellyanne conway, john dowd, ty cobb, i think the best case scenario for them is that they just didn't know. whatever concentric circumstancele that information live e lived in, they weren't a part of. the worst case scenario is they did know and willfully misrepresented it. so i'm going to go on the they just didn't know. i do think that that explanation does not work for the president of the united states. but i would remind you, brianna, i probably don't have to, this is a president, who akrd cording to the washington post said 2,000 plus things that were totally false or partially or mostly false in the first year of his presidency. this idea that maybe donald trump didn't say something that was entirely accurate, i don't
know we should be terribly surprised if that winds up being the case. >> jen, you were white house communications director under president obama. i wonder what you would have done if you told reporters if you told the american people something and i -- this happened in prior administrations, and then found out what you said was totally false. how would you handle that, just as an individual, in that situation. >> well, look, there are times that are certainly not as significant as this where you don't share as much information as you should have known or where you get things slightly off. my approach was always to let people know as soon as possible that the information you shared was unintentionally inaccurate. this was a different category. if i was in this white house, i would be completely outraged with don mcgahn. he's being canonized now. but in my experience, the white house counsel is somebody who is central to deciding what is said publicly about any legal issue.
we didn't have an issue where the president obama was being investigated so certainly wasn't comparable in that sense. but anything like the travel ban, anything like if someone was going to be fired, even campaign events, this is language that is always edited, reviewed by the white house counsel and they have really failed the staff in this case. >> what do you think, jason? >> i think don mcgahn is one of the best in the business. it is also very plausible there is a civil conversation at this early stage when the counsel is together about are there conflicts of interest, for example, on the director's side. >> why would you have that conversation unless you were thinking about firing mueller? >> i think any lawyer worth their salt would go to raise the different things that are going on as you're analyzing what is going into this. i think with this is supposed to be about, at least i thought, was about some investigation into supposed collusion between the campaign and foreign entity. so far at this point, practically two years into or at least a year and a half, two
years into this investigation and there is still nothing. >> seems like it could be taking a turn towards obstruction. for what? that's the whole thing. there hasn't been -- >> getting in way of the investigation. >> but he hasn't done anything to get in the way. he didn't go and fire mueller. perfectly within his presidential power to fire comey. >> chris? >> jason is right. donald trump can fire comey. he can fire bob mueller. it is not illegal for him to do either of those things. i think -- i think the comey firing politically speaking was a gigantic mistake because i think it opened up the conversation about obstruction of justice. i think the consideration of the mueller firing a month later is more fuel to that. but he has the right to do these things, the question for me is why do we keep on a lot of different fronts as it relates to the russia story, getting versions of events later on that
either direct or in part or mostly contradict things that we have already known. again, i try to always say, just because there is a lot of smoke does not mean there is a fire, right. the mike flynn plea deal, the george papadopoulos plea deal, the charges against manafort, and gates. those things, you would not want those things to be in your white house, democrat, republican, whatever. they do not add up to the fact that, yes, there was willful collusion bit president or his senior aides in this. i think the fact that the story keeps getting fuller in a way that in this -- i think this is another big piece of that, that fire comey in may, ordering the firing of mueller but not go through with it the next month, that makes you wonder, it is more smoke. but jason is not wrong when he says there isn't fire. there isn't yet. >> i want to give you the final word here. >> for any investigation that is ongoing, no one has been given a
clean bill of health here. we won't know until mueller is done with his investigation. this talking point that nobody has been found guilty of collusion, the process is still ongoing. the context here is hugely important. it is the whole point. if you covered up, if you obstructed justice of the investigation into whether a foreign power intervenes in our election, that is a crime. how it is handled is a separate question for later on. >> thank you so much, jason, jen and chris. really appreciate it. that is the political side. how does this change any legal exposure the president is facing? that could be different. we're going to examine if this bolsters a case for obstruction of justice. plus, the white house framework for immigration reform is meeting resistance from both sides of the aisle on capitol hill. can they reach a compromise on daca? and border security? the wall. before the next government funding deadline.
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reports that he called for special counsel robert mueller to be fired last june. reports confirmed by multiple news outlets initiated by the new york times with several sources. but he backed off according to the reports after white house counsel don mcgahn threatened to resign over it. this is the latest bombshell in an arsenal of bombshells that could influence mueller's investigation. so here is a few examples. few other examples of what the president has done or tried to do over the last ten months. he urged his intel chiefs to publicly push back against the fbi's russia collusion probe. he ordered mcgahn to stop attorney general jeff sessions from recusing himself in the investigation. you'll recall he fired the fbi director james comey after asking him for loyalty, he tried to fire mueller, we have now learned, and he urged sessions to get the deputy fbi director andrew mccabe fired. joining me now, we have robert mueller's former special
assistant at the justice department michael zeldin and we have retired fbi supervisory special agent james galliano. michael, when you add president trump trying to fire mueller to everything else that we already know, what does this do if mueller's team is pursuing an obstruction of justice case? >> so it gives you a bit of a window into the president's thinking. because in order to prove obstruction of justice, you have to prove the president did what he did with the intent to obstruct. and it is hard to define the intent of a person unless you can read into their soul somehow. this is a sense allowance for mueller to get a sense of what it was the president is thinking. it is important to note if we look at that timeline, those things that he did pushing out against the investigation, having his chiefs push against the media, occurred before this june meeting. so one thing we have to look at is after he was warned by mcgahn, you can't do this. did he still do obstructionist
behavior? that may fact near null lmuelle thinking about how to proceed in this case? >> what do you think? especially with knowing that legally intent is important but it is something that can be really difficult to prove. >> sure, provable intent is central to this. we're dealing with an unconventional politician. donald trump was the first president ever to be elected that wasn't a politician, a former cabinet member or retired general. and i understand that ignorance of the law is no excuse. but in this instance, i heard many legal scholars make pressing cases that the things that donald trump has done, the things that he said, his interactions with the fired former fbi director james comey are indicia of absolute obstruction. but you got to look at it from this perspective too. he's also been given an unbeatable hand in the sense that there have been some missteps at the department of justice. there have been missteps in the
previous administration, and missteps in the fbi itself, which pains me to say, but when you look at some of the texts released between strzok and page, some of the decisions that were made in the verbiage used, he has been given essentially an unbeatable hand, meaning he can say i'm pushing back on what is clearly a witch-hunt. so i hate to say this is a jump ball, could i see obstruction of justice charges being brought, certainly, but a sitting president cannot be indicted, so it would turn to a political process and basically turn to impeachment, but i could also see him getting by and not being touched in this thing. >> you're shaking your head, sir. >> well, you know, it is -- there are a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of unanswerable questions, can a sitting president be indicted, can the president be charged with obstruction for do something he has the constitutional right to do. if, however, when he interviews with mueller, he is not fully honest, then all of these other
things, these mosaic pieces that we're talking about will be added to the false statement, and in that case you have a clear violation of law, and you have probably an abuse of his office. so for the president, that which is going to be in my estimation dispositive of his liberty in some sense is how does he perform when mueller asks him questions under oath. >> james, i wonder what you think about the president ultimately deciding not to -- deciding ultimately not to fire mueller. what does that tell you about don mcgahn, about white house counsel, what does that tell you about him that you may not have already known? >> i think every president is entitled to privacy, is entitled to being allowed to have a privileged conversation with his attorney. i'm sure there are things discussed with presidential counsel that shouldn't be heard
on the outside. they're going to be talking about the best way to proceed. >> what does it tell you about mcgahn he would resign if the president went down this path? >> well, i can only use this for my own experience. i certainly butted heads with a number of attorneys from the department of justice over case matters. granted, the difference was i wasn't being investigated. this was investigations of other people. but there can be differences of opinions. sometimes attorneys feel if i give you the best legal advice, and you discount it and ignore it, i can't continue to represent you and i think that's what happened here. >> except in this case, what we understand from the reporting is the president told mcgahn, you go tell rosenstein to fire mueller on conflict of interest charges that were bogus. >> trumped up. >> and mcgahn said that would not be lawful. it would violate the regulations underwhich mueller was appointed. if you do that, not only will i
resign, but i expect that rosenstein will resign, and that rachel brand behind him will resign, and you will have a saturday night massacre on your hand. make a choice. and the president made the right choice, and we'll see what happens there after. >> michael zeldin, james galliano, thank you so much to both of you. still ahead, could the new white house immigration proposal be dead on arrival in congress? we're going to examine how what the president wants would dramatically shift u.s. immigration policy. i was wondering if an electric toothbrush really cleans better than a manual. and my hygienist says it does but they're not all the same. who knew? i had no idea. so she said, look for one that's shaped like a dental tool with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's rounded brush head surrounds each tooth to gently remove more plaque. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the only electric toothbrush brand accepted by the american dental association for its effectiveness and safety. my mouth feels so clean. i'll only use an oral-b. oral-b. brush like a pro.
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immigration reforms. cnn congressional correspondent phil mattingly is on capitol hill for us. aside from the dreamers, and the wall, the plan would really reshape immigration policy. how are lawmakers dealing with this. >> reporter: so i think if you want to take it on the topline, is this plan something that can pass the united states senate or the u.s. house? the short answer is no, it absolutely cannot. that's not how it works. the president doesn't send something to the hill as you know and immediately have it on the floor and have it passed. i think the reasons why are important to dig into here because this will be some of the parameters in terms of the debate and we don't have a timeline to have that debate. you make a good point. look at the pathway to citizenship. that is a major issue for a lot of conservative republicans. particularly over here in the house. what they were willing to accept, most wanted legal status, not citizenship, but just keep it to the 690,000 or so people who are under daca protection. that's what the white house is talking about with 1.8 million
people. you talk about the wall, what is interesting is that the wall isn't necessarily a huge issue for democrats. it is a shiny object, something they're opposed to, but the bigger issue is when you go deeper. you talk about a dramatic shift in the the u.s. legal immigration system, you look at the white house proposal. you talk about family migration, limiting that to just spouses and children. that is a major shift. talk about ending the diversity visa lottery program, which is currently 50,000 visas and shifting it elsewhere. those are major changes and red lines now for democrats. i think that's why you see while some republicans are opposed, some like that idea, that's why you see this proposal on its face doesn't have a lot of future on the hill, but it is an interesting look at how the breakdown will end up in the coming days. >> phil mattingly on capitol hill, thank you so much. joining me is republican congressman jason lewis of minnesota, also on the house budget committee. you just heard this proposal, you're ware of it. i wonder what you think about it. is it something you can support?
>> it is a starting point. that's all it is. whether it is the house or the senate. there will be changes to this. look, my litmus test is simple, we have to make certain we put in place in the plan something that won't have another daca crisis two years, four years, ten years, 30 years down the road. and so you have to have provisions in any plan that make certain we don't go through this again and again and again and that's going to be the starting point, i think, for all the negotiations. >> so what needs -- what parts need to change? what parts you say it is a starting point. what don't you like? >> the pathway to citizenship, without limits on chain migration, then you have a whole host of people that can then sponsor their relatives to come in and you got to a de facto amnesty plan there. you got to limit one or the other. a plan to go to 650, 690,000 daca recipients. maybe give them a pathway to citizenship. but now you got to 1.8 million,
if they get -- they can sponsor somebody and give them a green card and then you've got the same problem we had. >> but this would overhaul family reunification or chain migration, depending what side of the debate you're on this. this would overhaul that. and. >> and that has to happen. that's what some on the left don't like about this plan. that's something that though i think those of us in the house are look at this, absolutely has to happen. you've got to make certain that we quit subsidizing unskilled illegal immigrants coming into the country and making it very difficult for skilled immigrants. limiting the visa lottery would give us more visas to give to skilled immigrants. >> what about people on the right who agree with you on that and i don't know your family background, but i mean genealogists looked at this and folks arguing against what they call chain migration are here because of it, because if you look back, generations, that is how people in their family came to the u.s. they didn't come based on a
meritocracy program. >> that's a little too clover. prior to 1965 and the kennedy quote/unquote reforms, there were members coming from other parts of the world. immigration restrictions were much greater than they have been. but above and beyond that, right now we're talking about illegal immigration plus legal immigration and trying to come up with a comprehensive plan that can satisfy all corners. i don't think i would be going back to earlier in the 20th century to put forth a plan. it was much more restrictive in many ways. >> even though family reunification or chain migration was used then, you think it is not actually apples to apples, even if it was more restrictive? >> i don't think so. i don't think so. here is the problem, when you have illegal immigrants coming and you grant them de facto amnesty and the ability then to sponsor someone for a green card, that is amnesty. it is not like you're saying someone came here, went through
the process legally and then sponsored their parent or a spouse or something like that, we're talking about granting some form of undocumented legal status to 1.8 million people and the president's proposal, far fewer than representative goodlatte's proposal. >> i want to ask you about this new york times story reporting. s cnn confirmed this, that the president ordered bob mueller fired but backed off of it when the white house counsel threatened to resign over it. what do you make of it? >> well, i think the president had a pretty good discussion with his advisers and came to the right decision. that's a good thing. i think the mueller investigation ought to go forward. i also think we ought to get to the bottom of what could be corruption in the department of justice and the fbi. we do not want the federal government spying on american citizens with warrantless wiretaps. so both issues have to be addressed. but i think the president came to the right decision on that. >> so you believe the story?
>> i don't know. there have been so many stories on this particular quote/unquote russia investigation, i don't know what to believe anymore. we'll see. >> will this story in particular has sources, cnn confirmed it, fox news confirmed it, does that give you some confidence it may be true? >> well, perhaps. i mean, i'm inclined to believe those sources, but by the same token, a number of corrections brought forth by member of the mainstream media on the russian story already, every network, every newspaper had to issue corrections and we can go through them. i don't think it is necessary. >> any correction on any story to you makes you doubt the totality of everything and all of the storys? >> no, i just think that there is a zelalousness out there people want to be the first to get a story out or drive the nail home and they don't use sometimes good journalism to get
that done. there are a lot of people out there that have problems with anonymous sources. i understand the journalistic view of it, you need the sources to get the breaks. we can use more discretion in covering this, you bet. >> all right, congressman lewis, thank you so much for joining us on this friday from minneapolis. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> have a wonderful weekend. coming up, riding a wave of strong economic numbers, president trump tells world leaders that america is open for business. how is the president's america first message being received abroad? i take pictures of sunrises, but with my back pain i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am.
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leaders during his speech at an economic summit in switzerland. he says america is open for business. the economy is healthy, the stock market is booming. and he's ready to make new trade deals on one condition. >> we support free trade but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all. the united states will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices. the united states is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries. this will include the countries in tpp which are very important. >> and i'll bring in samantha vinograd, she served on president obama's national security counsel, and bill winch
with us as well, senior adviser and sole chair in international business at csis. bill, you watched this speech, when you watched the president's -- the entirety of his trip to davos, he had this strong america first message, less dark than his inauguration speech a year ago for sure. what was the reception at this global forum? >> well, i think as somebody who was there said, when expectations are low, it is an easy bar to get over. i think that he probably got over the bar, i don't think that he reassured them, i don't think they expected to be reassured, but neither did he panic them. >> what did you think of the speech, sam? >> i thought it was tone deaf and i think it was a very big missed opportunity. i think tone deaf in the sense that the president ran through all of these accomplishments of his own, of america. and from an audience that is focused on integration and interconnectedness, this is like a bad sales pitch to the wrong
product team. and, you know, the president said when he first got to davos he was acting as america's cheerleader. the fact is, america used to act using his metaphor as the team captain for the international order. he used his platform to talk about america first. and this diminished u.s. credibility again. there is aren't polling out from gallop that shows the president's approval ratings are at an unprecedented low around the world, but need president putin and instead of trying to repair that image, the president used talking points that are not resonating. >> bill, when you look at this, sounds like i wonder do you agree there was a mismatch between the audience and the message which maybe we expected. >> sure. he was going to the lions den. it is the very group of people that he spent the campaign attacking. so favorable reception wouldn't be expected. and i'm inclined to agree in one respect that it was a missed opportunity because with --
on -- with respect to unfair trade practices and particularly on china, those are best dealt with multilaterally. this was an attempt to rally everybody else. he didn't do that. in that sense, it is a missed opportunity. i kind of give him some credit for be willing to go and talk to these people after all he said about them, though. >> that is a good point. when you look at the economy, and look at economic indicators, new gdp numbers strong today. the economy grew 2.3% last year. democrats will say, and they may be right in some regards, look, we saw this with president obama, they'll say those are from the obama year policies and he can just claim credit because he's president. that's how it works. obama got to do that on certain things. he's president. he's been in for a year.
it is not like he just started yesterday. doesn't he get some credit? >> sure he gets some credit. look, going back to the world economic forum, they agree the global economy is seeing a recovery and, of course, any u.s. economic growth is good for that global economy. but the world economic forum, the forum that president trump just left, issued a report, i don't know if the president bothered to read it, that shows that there are still major downside risks including widening inequality, particularly in advanced economies. it is very positive that economic growth is picking up. but we need to drill further down into the numbers. >> and, bill, it really comes down to what do americans feel. so what should we be focused on economically when we think of what americans are going to actually be feeling day to day in the pocketbook? >> well, it is always jobs and growth. and it is income, but i think jobs and i think the last comment was right, there is a growing inequality problem globally. but particularly here in the
united states. and the president is -- spoke to that during the campaign, in some respects, but i don't think he's articulated or presented policies that really address it. i think it is very hard to make the case that the tax bill is going to decrease inequality. and, frankly, very hard to make the case that trade policy will decrease inequality. >> bill, thank you so much. coming up, breaking news on the deadly flu outbreak gripping the country. dozens of children have died. entire school districts are closed and the cdc is warning that flu season is nowhere near over. we have dr. sanjay gupta with a lack look at how bad this has gotten and how to protect yourself next. ♪
now, this just in. nearly every state in the nation is now reporting widespread flu activity and the cdc warns that the virus will likely be around for several more weeks. 12,000 new cases confirmed just last week. already 37 kids have died. some hospitals in california are overwhelmed with flu cases, and an entire school district in florida is closed today because of a spike in the flu. i want to bring in cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. people are looking at this, sanjay, and they're wondering why is it so bad this year? >> expect it to go until at least the beginning of april. it really has to do with the type of flu strain. there is all these different types of flu that are out there. the one that's moving around a lot this year, as you pointed out most of the country, is h3n2. the last time that was
circulating pretty widely was back in 2014-15 and that was a pretty bad flu season as well. you may remember, we've been lucky the past couple flu seasons, so this one seems much worse compared to recent years, but not that different to when this particular strain circulates. >> so what can you do to protect yourself? and also, at what point if you have the flu, or you think you may have the flu do you say, okay, i need to go in and get some medical help? >> for the first question, i would still say the flu shot is important. i know people are sometimes skeptical of the flu shot. this year they say it's about 30% effective, which is not great. in previous years it's been 60, 70% effective. but it's still better than nothing. not only can it help reduce your chance of getting the flu but also decrease how sick you get if you do get the flu. when you should go in? most people don't need to go into the emergency room or hospital. in fact, that could be the way you get additionally sick or get exposed to other people.
if your breathing is getting worse, if you're starting to develop some sort of chest pain or something like that, if your fever continues to spike, those are all signs. here's another one, especially for kids, breanna. if a child gets better, they seem to recover from the flu and they're getting better, and then a few days better they suddenly get worse again, that's a red flag to pay attention to. that could mean they now have a bacterial infection on top of the viral infection. those are clues to keep track of speeshl form especially for yourself and your children. >> so a secondary infection for kids, and if you're an adult it really has to do with breathing and chest pain. >> those are the red flags for adults. for kids, that's a good thing to keep in your back pocket. kids getting better and is they get worse, that's a concern. >> that's so good to point out. thank you, sanjay, we appreciate it. coming up, president trump's trip to davos overshadowed by
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