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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 30, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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taking on our special coverage taking on state of the union right now. -- captions by vitac -- if you drink every time president trump says russia, you will have a very sober state of the union. president trump saying he wants america to see that secret republican memo alleging fbi abuses, but the president doesn't want you to see it until of a his be state of the union speech when he makes his case for bipartisanship first. also, breaking news. president trump expected to make eye opening comments on north korea this evening. will his remarks ratchet up tensions with that nuclear power? plus, democrats in search of direction. the party planning no fewer than five different responses to
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president trump's speech. have democrats lost the ability to speak with one voice? chuck schumer attacked president trump for extreme dereliction of duty. to implement the sanctions against russia the senate passed overwhelmingly for interfering in the u.s. election in 2016. the treasury secretary steven mnuchin insisted faye not having implemented the sanctions by today doesn't mean they won't ever be implemented but it does risk adding to the cloud hanging over the white house as president trump strolls into congress this evening to out the the growing economy and to try to sell his immigration framework amidst this barrage of questions from democrats and the media about russia.
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president trump's speech, we're told, will not mention the investigation headed by special counsel robert mueller lest it distracts from the optimism the president wants to portray tonight. they want to the ramp up the campaign against the justice department and the fbi's handling of that probe. also not to be mentioned, how to handle special counsel mueller's desire to interview president trump. the former head of his white house transition team, chris christie, the former governor of new jersey, says the president absolutely should not sit down with mueller. my panel joins me to talk about it. so the president sat down with tv anchors to preview the speech. he did it off the record but there were a couple parts we were loud to put on the record. one of them is there has been tremendous divisiveness for many years. i would consider it a great achievement if we could make our country united.
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if i could unite the country. the big question is, can the president unite the country while doing things such as attacking the justice department, the fbi, et cetera? >> i think this is an a la carte menu. it is possible co-unite the country in one or two issues and not in total which is probably the future of the american public. i'm not sure we get that cum buy i can't moment. >> what are you saying? >> i would like the see it in his actions more than in his words. i think the president continues to demonstrate he'll say one thing one day and another thing another day. we don't who know to believe. especially if tomorrow he goes on twitter and does his usual. so i think it will be difficult to unite the country when he has yet to do it. >> you work president trump i'm sure you feel he is sincere in his desire. would you acknowledge he does things are not in service to unite go the country? >> it is very much in his heart.
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if you look at what he said. he talk to about wanting to be a voice for the vast majority. d.c. is a different animal. he became too aggressive. he got caught up in the partisan fights. at the heart of president trump, he is agnostic on these partisan battles. he hasn't been having these battles 30 to 40 years. just three years ago he was a democrat. do i believe it inherently? yes. he wants to unify people sflflt so president trump is not the only president to be tunneled cloud of a special investigation. president clinton in 1999 made the decision to not mention it at all. president richard nixon made a very different addition many his state of the union address. take a listen. >> i believe the time has come the bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of watergate is enough.
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>> one year of watergate is enough getting a lot of applause. i'm sure the president would get a lot of applause for bringing up one year of russiagate is enough. >> i think it is wiser to be signaling a positive and on script speech. he did it last year successfully. there is an indication that does want to concentrate on by the fact he is waiting to release the memo until he has the moment. perhaps he is not trying to step on his own he message. what would you do? mention it? don't some. >> look at nixon who resigned and bill clinton didn't. i would look at that. >> look at the history of presidents. he obviously feels like the russia investigation has gone on far enough. he says it all the time. >> i think he said it from the very beginning. enough of this russia stuff. the reality is i would be
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interested to see if he can follow his impulses. maybe he will on prompter but i doubt it the next day on social media. brews, the white house fighting back on the nunes memo, detailing alleged abuses by the fbi. they're pushing back on the idea that the president wants this with sarah sanders saying contrary to a report, the president has not seen or been briefed on the memo or reviewed its contents. jim sciutto joins me to discuss it. >> at least no current plans. jeff zeleny report go that the president has not seen this memo. so what is it? it is composed by devin nunes, the cheryl of the house intelligence committee. although he had recused himself from the chairmanship, from the
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russia investigations. he went down a similar path of misuse and unmasking of names. this current memo is one where he alleges there's evidence that the fbi misused warrants to monitor, surveil people by u.s. intelligence. specifically carter page. someone who advised president trump during his campaign. you have democrats and republicans taking a very different view of this. many publics including devin nunes saying let's release this. let the american public make their own decision. if there are some concerning things, you have democrats saying this memo doesn't tell whole story. so tune it out for a moment and listen to what the justice department said in a her tow devin nunes last week. as reminder. the justice department run by president trump. i said said they consider it extraordinarily damaging to release the to the public
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because it gets to some classified issues. the justice department said to its knowledge, it is unaware of misuse or abuse of the fisa power. one report i would make, this is but not adam schiff, the ranking democrat, made to me earlier. that many of those who have read the memo, he believes that devin nunes had not seen the underlying intelligence behind these warrants that were sought for this surveillance. that's a point the justice department made in its letter as well. so as often with intelligence, specifically to the russia investigation, there are very different views coming from republicans and democrats. i would draw attention to what the justice department is saying. thank you for that news update. i think it is entirely possible there is a possible civil
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liberties issue with one fisa warrant, one surveillance warrant, that republicans and others know about. that it is isolated and not necessarily grounds to undermine the entire mule investigation. and what we have here is different people, different blindmen touching an element. receiving different conclusions to what it is. >> i think that's the case, where we've been for a year. this has been selective leaking that the politically motivated. we've been trying to put this story together so i don't mind information coming out. we know the motivations clearly. i wouldn't mind seeing the democratic version of it. will it get to the full truth of what's going on? no. it will give more idea from more perspectives. that doesn't bother me. and there are probably civil liberties problems with all the fisa program and how easy it is
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to get warrants and how they are used against american citizens. it should be noted that republican congress looked at this. >> the fbi and god bless the plenty and women who put their are lives on the line for this the. i don't want to go back to martin luther king but it happens. i've spoken with republicans to say there might be an issue. we don't know. some people are going crazy to protect the president and dmol tish entire mueller investigation. >> that's the bottom line. the conundrum anaheim as a very progress 85th person who was raised by an activist. be careful what you say, they're tapping the phones. sorry, dad. i'll in this position to defend the process. thinking about not only the
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folks who walk in and out of the buildings and do their jobs the right way. to the point, there are so many pieces tied russia. so many moving parts. so much confusion. just the idea of cast go a little doubt causes this huge disruption in the minds of the american people which tremendously undermines an already shaken democracy. i think that's the real problem. >> what do you make of sarah sanders' comment that president trump hasn't reviewed it, hasn't seen it. when previous reporting suggests that president trump wants there throughout and supporters of his have been calling for it and he agrees. >> i'm always skeptical of anonymous sources. all i can do is point to where sarah sanders says he hasn't reviewed it yet. i put my credibility with the president. >> i want to read what james
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comey fweetd andrew mccabe, the deputy director who resigned yesterday. >> quote, he stood tall over the last eight months when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. cnn reporting suggests that chris wray saw something he didn't like about mccabe in this inspector general report. different and separate from the nunes report. it looks at mccabe's behavior, not just during the trump probe but the hillary clinton probe as well. >> right. first i'm glad that comey wasn't quoting himself. we can look forward to that in the future. i think the inspector general report might be important. it might be the final arbiter of what people can trust.
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generally we do have trust in inspector general process and it is that as touched as these things should be. even the mueller investigation. i'm hoping that we'll get some clear word. and the part where wray put this out saying i did see something in there. there's no there, there. >> stick around. we have more to talk about. the former campaign visor chris christie saying the president should not sit down with robert mueller at all. did he forget about his years as u.s. attorney? why would anyone not want to talk to the man at the top?
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examine the batch of e-mails found on anthony weiner's computer in the latter parts of the 2016 campaign. it led to speculation over why he may have left early. now back to the russia investigation. earlier today after chris christie commented and said that he didn't think that president trump should agree to talk to robert mueller in person, you called him out saying maybe he forgot about his days as u.s. attorney. explain what you meant. >> chris christie was a u.s. attorney for a number of years in new jersey like i was in the southern district of new york and he knows in question, an overt investigation where everyone who knows the participant are, who the people with knowledge are. as you get close to the edge, you interview the person at the
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top of the food chain. sometimes it is to let that person tell his side of the story and sometimes it is to find out information from other people and sometimes it is to find out what that person play done. chris christie himself in addition to having been the u.s. attorney in new jersey was at the center of what people called the bridgegate scandal. and he himself was asked for an interview with the fbi and he sat down voluntarily even though he was the governor of the state. it would almost be malpractice not to request and not to receive a sit dwoun the president of the united states. given how many issues end at his desk and how many things he has knowledge of. >> so christie's comments seem to be that there's no knowledge what president trump may have done. that seemed to be his argument. why should the president grant
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an interview when there aren't any charges against him? >> that sail argument, chris christie was governor and commentator. one thing he blikd being the u.s. attorney was that only he knew what he knew. so it seems odd on the one hands to say only mueller knows what muell mueller knows and on the other hand to say he shouldn't sit down for an interview. i think mueller knows nothing about what mueller knows just like you don't and i don't. if there is a request, it seems in interests of finding the truth, for the president to sit down for an interview. and the issue of whether or not the presidency is different, people like to say no one is above the law and the president isn't either. it happens to be the case that the president already does get a lot of special protections. there's an office of legal counsel opinion that a lot of
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people are that and agree that stay president can't be legally indicted while he is in office. the president has a lot of protection. it is an important office. and it seems the me as an outsider. the mere sitting down of an interview. that it doesn't seem to affect his ability to do his job. >> let's assume there's evidence of potential obstruction of justice. could mueller charge the president with obstruction of justice? what would be the next steps in any process? >> as i mentioned, the office legal counsel opinion. it interprets the law on behalf of the justice department. that has said for a number of years now that because it is different. that the interference would be caused by a criminal trial, an
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elongated trial with the commander in chief of the country, that such a process has to be done. there are some who make the argument that maybe that's not the case and the constitution allows the indictment of a president. knowing that there's controversy, although there is a consensus on the one side, but some question over whether a sit go president can be indicted. i would not expect even if there's evidence that president trump obstructed justice, that the special counsel mueller, it is also the case in his mandate that he has to make report to the person who is overseeing him. in this case, the acting attorney general for purposes of the russia investigation rob rosenstein. if there is any action taken against the president himself, it will be through some act of
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congress and impeachment proceeding but not through direct indictment. >> sources are telling cnn that sources could release the den nunes memo, although it is unclear when it will happen. but we've been told that the floim the house intelligence committee, the republican chairman which the democrats disagree with, could be released. house speaker paul ryan said he supports the release of this memo. he raises questions the actions of the fbi. >> there are legitimate questions. there may have been malfeesance at the fbi by certain individuals. so it is our job in conducting the oversight of the executive branch to get to the bottom of that. >> what's your response? >> i haven't seen the memo. i don't know what's in the memo. my understanding is it was based on other written information the
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author of the memo has also not seen. what i will say from my perspective as a former united states attorney, when the fbi or some intel agency says in a strong way, we have concerns about classified information being made public, whatever the reasons may be, we take it very seriously. sometimes the officers themselves wanted information to come out so you could try a terrorist or someone accused of espionage in the court. and you have to work that out in the court. the executive branch will be constantly making assertions because they're concerned about national security issues. it is very extraordinary for a congressional committee to look like it is basically ignoring an admonition from the fbi about classification in order to make a political point. >> all right. thank you for your time. a startling statement. why won't the president follow through on threatening vladimir
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now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. unites. welcome back to "the lead." the trump administration has said no to new sanctions against russia that were overwhelmingly passed by congress. the deadline came is that went yesterday. a serious warning about meddling. what did the director have to say? >> the timing is so interesting just as the sanctions are being deferred. the cia direct or speaking in london made clear that he is now quite concerned that russia may embark on a new round of election meddling in 2018. >> do you have concerns that they might try interfere in the
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u.s. mid terms coming up? >> of course, i have every expectation they will document. i'm confident america will have a free and fair election. >> this has been a longstanding view by direct or pompeo for several months, that he believes the russians will try to interfere in the mid-term elections. that they haven't given up since 2016. no public direct evidence that they were doing it but his view is that they are continuing to try to have some effect on american elections. >> do know put out a list of top russian business people and politicians who could be targeted with sanctions in the future. where did they come one this list of names? >> well, the implication is that they came up with it in part from the forbes list of those most wealthy in russia. the indications from the treasury department are their
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criteria for this list of so-called oligarchs. close to 100 of them. that each would have $1 billion in wealth. they are being looked at very closely by the treasury department. four possible future sanctions for their relationships. it might be involved in election interference in the u.s. no sanctions yet against these oligarchs but the treasury department is promising it could happen. we have lots more to discuss including five different responses to one speech. did the democrats have a union issue here? that's next. stay with us. if you've been diagnosed with cancer, searching for answers may feel overwhelming. so start your search with our teams of specialists
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tonight is the first state of the union address from a republican president in a decade. you might think tonight and the trump era in general might be a time for democrats on capitol hill to come together and craft
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a unified response. instead no, fewer than five separate responses to be seen everywhere from facebook to the b.e.t. network or the official response from joe kennedy, the liberal are grandson of robert kennedy. in time to distract from his men foergs a options. bernie sanders plans to broadcast his version exclusively on social media. today, sanders implored his followers to tune in to facebook live after the speech tweeting this video preview. >> so i think his speech is going to need a strong response and i hope you'll join me tonight for that response. >> then there's the official spanish language response. that will come from virginia delegate elizabeth guzman. then on behalf of working families, donna he had waedward
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issue a statement and then finally, a boycott of the speech. on one level, a progressive might argue, this is the democratic party attempt go to be more diverse. one might argue that this is the sign of a party experiencing some disunity. they are having some issues. jessica o'connell has just stepped down mere months after taking on the task of improving the organization in a statement to cnn, she said rebuilding the party will take time. while it is not an easy task, we developed a strategy. that sounds great but there's their seems to be little evidence of that. democrats have won some key elections as well as statewide races but the national democratic party is having some issues from election day through
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last year. national republicans raised roughly $70 million more than their democratic counter parts, capping off one of the worst fundraising efforts on record. it seems the state of the democratic party is a mixed bag. joining me, ben cardin. so the worst fundraising in record. can you concerned? >> well, it is good to be with you. look at the results of elections we've seen thus far in the senate race and alabama, or take a look at virginia and my own state of maryland. and frederick and annapolis where democrats took out incumbent republicans. i think there are so many responses is that democrat brings out a lot of opposition and a lot of concern. >> we might hear about infrastructure in the state of the union speech tonight. senator schumer wrote an op ed saying, on tuesday, if president trump chooses a real direct
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federal investment, he will have a chance to pass an effective, bipartisan bill. >> i think it is an area where could you bring democrats and republicans together but you'll have to be straightforward. it has to provide more ability, more revenues, more opportunity for to us rebuild our roads, our bridges, our infrastructure, our transit systems. that requires public investment. so it will have to increase -- more money. we can leverage private sector involvement. we can look for ways to finance it. >> you're the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee. i want to ask you, the russian sanctions, we now know the trump administration is not going to be enforcing these sanctions. i want you to listen to this. >> why so soft on russia? >> he's not soft on russia.
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that's not right. he's been very tough about energy. about soisis. we're trying to work together with russia on a nuclearized north korea. >> so she seems to be saying they're not imposing these sanctions because they need he cooperation isis and north korea. >> well, russia has attacked our country. they attacked our elections. they're still actively engaged. we saw in the czech republic, the russia was very much engaged. >> he will do anything he can get away with. if we don't stand strong against him and the united states leadership is not there. he will continue in the democratic system and interfere in our 2018 elections. so it is critically important that there is a clear message to putin that there's a price to pay. >> any sanctions against russia with legislation that would pass with over 99% of the congress
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behind. that's just wrong. that's the wrong message to mr. putin. >> as a result of this work -- >> they're not implemented yet. >> that sounds like delay. >> that's not a delay. >> what it was, i think as you know, our sanctions are based upon an enormous amount of intel work. now we will take basis of that report and look at kind of, as we do in the normal course, where it is the appropriate to put sanctions. >> do you buy it? >> no. it has been six months. the sanctions not the just against the military and intelligence sector. there are sanctions authorized for cyber activities. russia has been very active in cyber. arms embargo violations. all that russia has been engaged with. he talks to mr. putin andes
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plibl putin when he says he didn't interfere in the elections. if the president of the united states is not convinced russia is involved, it is understandable that he is soft on these issues. >> but you saw the cia director said he is not only concerned that russia will interfere but they'll do it again. >> he said of course, will they be engaged. obviously they're actively engaged. they're actively engaged right now. the president of the united states has always downplayed what russia is doing which is a signal to mr. putin, he can do more. >> the congress needs to do more. you've passed the sanctions. what more can you do? the president's team says this is day one. you just heard mr. mnuchin say they're imposing the possibility of sanctions.
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i think congress needs to hold oversight hearings west need to make it clear. these are mandatory sanctions. and congress needs to continue to put a spotlight on this so the administration takes action. >> do you think that the failure to impose these sanctions has anything to do with any of the conversations that we know the trump team had with russians that are all part of this investigation? >> we don't know that. i'm assuming to be part of investigation being done by mr. moore, by our intelligence communities. it is something that will be investigated and hopefully to get answer. i won't guess as to whether there are any connections here. >> thank you. we're just hours away from president trump's first state of the union address and sources saying, the president's comments perhaps the most challenging international crisis pirkts will be eye opening. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪
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with just hours until what the white house calls must-watch tv, we're getting a better idea of some of what the president will say. a source familiar with the speech says we should expect, quote, eye opening remarks on north korea? >> reporter: that's right. this is something that hasn't been talked about extensively with regard to the stoounl address. our college is hearing from a source exactly as you said that not only will these remarks be eye opening but the prediction is the way these issues will be framed, it will be the headline for the day tomorrow.
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and the idea is that not only will he talk about some of the things we haven't heard before with regard to north korea, but he will also give himself some credit for the way that he has changed the diplomatic rhetoric. and that has forced the north and south to come to the table in recent weeks and months. in addition to that, we'll hear the president talk about immigration which is as hot as it gets. the deadline for a deal looming on february 8. but also, you and i have heard this from multiple sources that the whole tone of the speech, the white house insists will be more optimistic than before. and will call for unity. it will be very interesting to see how that falls in such an incredibly divided congress. >> you helped lead to communications team during the campaign. the president's communications
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team. give us insight into how, with his speeches, does he have broad themes? >> all of it. he is very involve in the messaging of the campaign. he is coming up with themes. he's probably tweeted them on his friends. i'm sure he's given steven millter direction he wants to go. that's who the president wants to be to the american people. i think last year you had american carnage. i think you'll look at this year and say this is american bipartisan ship and hopefully post partisan as we start to address these issues. >> at least 13 democrats. mefbs congress say they'll boycott the speech. in order to stare hate in the face, you work for the congressional black caucus. do you think boycotting is the best way to deal with the president whose policy these oppose? >> i absolutely believe in a
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boycott. i think there's nothing better than facing bigotry hold with resistance. i also respect that there are members who feel like they need to sit in the audience. i don't agree that strategy but at least they'll be sitting there with the reese taylor. she is a woman who passed away last year in alabama who was raped by six white men in the 19 zpris was never really believed. so this is a moment is in the vein of me too and time's up. and it is someone who has been accused of sexual assault and staring they will in the face. >> the white house approved this part of this to be on the record. he was asked what he has learned if his year in office. he responded in part, i've really learned a lot. when you're a business person, you don't have to worry about the heart. do you what's best for you for almost purely monetary reasons. i'm telling you, the immigration issue is so easy to solve.
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if it is purely a business matter but it's not. you have to add much more heart and soul into your decisions than you would ever have thought of before. >> i'm not sure his critics would agree with that. i think the immigration part of the speech for that reason, we're in this pressure cooker situation. they want to get something done. it will be very interesting. i would boycott all the state of the unions. thomas jefferson wrote a letter. you can write a letter too. >> i would agree except tens of millions of americans watch it. if it weren't for that, what did you think of it? it is more introspective than usually we hear. >> it is who he is. you have d.c., this conflict
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base that takes place no mat here is there at the white house or who is there in congress. i tell people. whether it is democrat, liberal, conservative. he wants something to piece together. that's his process. his heart has been in it for the right people. he talked about immigration and the victims of illegal immigrants. are that's the president he that i know. you see the street fighter. this guy is not afraid to rumble with anybody. and i think that's a good thing from a standpoint of, we've grown stale in washington and he's come in and added new energy. it can be debated whether it is a good or a bad thing. but we've been able to dislodge issues. >> i want to give angela an opportunity because i'm pretty sure she doesn't think the president is speaking from the
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heart. >> i am dying to meet this person you're describing. who is that that shows up on twitter? who shows up -- >> that's the street fighter donald trump. >> he also street fights april ryan who is a comment 8 or and a staple in the press room. >> she is a lovely woman that you she has a political bias. ? and then i would appointment to, before he was elected. the central park five issue. >> do i point to the organizations -- >> thanks to donations. that doesn't speak to character. >> agree to disagree. having trouble with the ex. ♪ ♪ohhhhhh, ou! guess what i just got? uh! ♪i used to be spellbound hello again. ♪i used to be spellbound hi. ♪i used to be spellbound that's a big phone. ♪in your arms. [screams] ah, my phone. ♪you built the flame
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♪that warms my heart, ♪but lying and cheating ♪has torn us apart ♪and i'm moving on.
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1:59 pm me. mayhem is everywhere. are you in good hands? hey, siri, how is the new iphone 10 doing? maybe not so great. spam cutting production of the new $1,000 phone. instead of the original 40 million iphone 10s, apple will make half that. the apple earnings will be out thursday and it expected to boast record sales and profits. they could see a hit in sales later this year. apple did not respond for a request to comment. and i should point out i'm still using my iphone here. that's it for "the lead" today.
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i will see you later for the state of the union. we'll see you in a bit. thanks for watching. -- captions by vitac -- happening now, state of frustration. president trump heads into the state of the union address. >> the president is eager to release the controversial gop memo with alleged fbi abuses as quickly as possible but only after his state of the union speech. >> and looming battles. the president's speech comes just ahead of major battles over immigration and the threat of yet another government shutdown. with major foreign policy challenges including north korea looming ominously. >> i want to welcome our viewers. >> you're in "the situation room