tv Inside Politics CNN March 2, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
we offer 35 voice features and solutions that grow with your business. at&t, not so much. get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call 1-800-501-6000. welcome to "inside politics." i'm nia-malika henderson. john king is off. you're watching the funeral of reverend billy graham. the president and first lady are there paying their respects. in the stock markets, while president trump defends his tariffs, the president even
found time to weigh in on who does the better impression of him. >> donald j. trump. [ applause ] >> this is our first private meeting as a family. here's what's going to happen for the rest of the evening. we're going to play some games. more specifically, the game of jenga. >> merry christmas. merry christmas. that's a phrase i just came up with. >> yes, we've said it before but we really, really do mean it this time. chaos at the white house has spiralled more out of control than ever. because even by the standards of a very traditional administration, this has been a rough, rough week. one of my colleagues calls it the great unraveling. you've got feuds plaguing the west wing, a confusing free-wheeling policy on gun
reform, the resignation of a key aide and the effectual demotion of another. also a surprise trade announcement that sent global stocks tumbling. despite all this, sarah sanders says, no, no, things couldn't be better. >> if this is chaos, i'm surprised. the economy is strong, we have a lot of positive things happening in this country and that's happening under the direction and leadership of president trump. >> here with me to share their reporting and their insights, jonathan martin of the "new york times," cnn's caitlyn collins, kerry bacon and rachel bade with
politico. we have a list of all the things that have gone on. i can't read them all because that would take the entire show. ivanka trump business deal. h.r. mcmaster could leave by the end of the month. hope hicks resigned. kelly fights with jared and ivanka. carrie, i want to start with you. from a scale of 0 drama, where is the white house on this scale? >> sarah sanders says there is no chaos, a well-oiled machine. there are staffers that work in that white house alongside sarah sanders that would not agree with that. it's actually the lowest of morale in the west wing. even though it was bad the last days of summer with reince priebus running the west wing, things right now are at an all-time low. staffers are ex asper ated by
these stories. a lot of them are problems they bring on themselves, like the one about jared kushner yesterday. the white house downplayed the story of him meeting with executives and the family getting millions of dollars in loans. the white house wouldn't comment on that, but white house staffers were reaching out to me to tell me just how bad that story looked. it's fair to say things are very chaotic. you never know from one day to the next who is going to be there. we saw that with the departure of hope hicks. people were stunned by that. >> some of the president's advisers and folks from your paper, jay mart, this was john kelly in the white house. i always said that it was going to take a while for donald trump to adjust as president. in business, mr. ruddy said, mr. trump relied on a small circle of colleagues and a management style that amounted to trial and
error, the strongest survived, the weak died. mr. ruddy insisted that mr. trump was finding his groove in the oval office. but his subordinates are faring less well. >> if you judge him by the standards of which he sort of sees the world, which is am i getting attention in ratings, it's going pretty well, right? if you judge it by the prism of the american presidency, it's spinning out of control. it just depends how you view it. the issue is the folks that work for trump, most of them are pretty conventional political operators, so that's why they're talking to folks like caitlyn and my colleagues and saying, oh, my gosh, what is going on here? to them this is not a good thing when a president will go on one day and flout his subordinate from the nra and come out with gun control, and the next day announce sweeping news to his
staff. in the end, i don't know if trump himself is unhappy about it. this is the way he's always lived his life. >> beyond not being fun for staffers in the white house, it's also not fun for republicans on capitol hill. we've seen twice this week totally upending gop orthodoxy. i'm talking about first guns, second amendment. republicans in the room walked away totally slapping their head with their hands saying, what in the world did he say and why did he say it? then the next day talking about tariffs. again, capitalism 101. this is not something that republicans support and they're concerned about blowback on this. >> and what do you think, carrie, this means about government? seen chaos in the w house for months and months. what does this mean for them in terms of what they want to do? >> isis, tax cuts. if you're a republican and you
want to see republican policies, that's happening to some extent. could it happen more with a more dissident president? the answer is yes. i don't think trump has much of an agenda. he talked about infrastructure, the hill doesn't like it. he's talking about guns, the hill doesn't like that. i don't think there's much where trump can govern that the party agrees. there is nothing really moving in legislation. >> that's the great untold story, is that there is nothing happening substantively on capitol hill. we get wrapped up in what the president says because it's the president of the united states and his words con gregressionalo matter. as far as the gun reform bill, he can float whatever he wants, the president can, it's not going to matter. i think the tariffs are a different story, however, because the president can move on that. >> i think it depends who is up or down in the west wing, but it
really does matter, especially in the white house because that's how policy gets made in the white house. the president can create these ideas no matter who has his ear this week. jerry cohn, the president's economic adviser -- >> threatening maybe to leave because of these tariffs. >> he thought yesterday morning he talked the president into not doing anything. then president trump announces these tariffs and throws everyone off. >> i want to focus a bit more on staffing. i probably mentioned jerry cohn and jared, ivanka and john kelly, there's a battle going on there. fascinating quote in your paper, jay mart. this is what the quote is from, this article. privately some aides have expressed frustration that mr.
kushner and his wife, the president's daughter ivanka trump, have remained at the white house, despite mr. trump at times saying they never should have come to the white house and should leave. yet airds also noted that mr. trump has told the couple that they should keep serving in their roles, even as he has privately asked mr. kelly for his help in moving them out. do you want jared and ivanka to stay? i'm not sure. it seems like he wants people to leave, he doesn't want to push them out. he doesn't want anybody getting too much power besides the president himself? a lot of this is sort of a feature of mr. trump and his governing style. he has several campaign managers. obama had five in from 2015.
it may be distracting to us, and i'm sure if you work in the west wing, it's not very reassuring, but it seems to be how trump likes to govern. >> caleb mcmaster, again, talks about him leaving. there were a number of them leaving and the presidents are upset. >> the people he wants to stay in the white house, like hope hicks, take off. mack master, we have long reported, that he is essentially on his way out. it's never been a question of if, it's a question of when. now it seems like it is more imminent than it ever has been because these two men have never gotten along. they brought mcmaster into the west wing because mike flynn obviously had to leave. trump doesn't like mcmaster and the feeling is very much
reciprocated. even when mcmaster is briefing the president on something, the president doesn't like the way he briefs him. it chafes him, he thinks he sounds demeaning. he would much prefer someone like the defense secretary, james mattis, because he's more patient with the president and he'll explain something without giving off this kind of air, like why did you ask that question? this isn't a surprise, but it does seem mcmaster is on his way out. they are trying to figure out an exit for him. but if you -- the president won't push him out. >> he's essentially daring the president to fire him. >> we're going to wrap this up. as you said, perry, "you're fired" doesn't really like to follow through. up next, president trump said he wants to fight a trade
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stock market. they say tariffs will punish wall street, divide his political coalition at home, anger allies abroad and undermine his tax and regular la to her reforms. >> tariffs have come and gone for 20 years giving away our wealth. the ones coming out to criticize the president are the same ones who criticized him during the election. he's just fulfilling a candidate promise. >> he's exactly right. this was president trump, campaigner trump's promise, right? this whole idea that america was being ripped off by other countries, and he was going to right the ship. >> i'm surprised because i know
he campaigned on this, you're right. but most of his agenda in governing has been very pro wall street. the tax cuts, rolling back regulation. he's been really praised by the washingt "washington post." it's also very disruptive to the economy, and he talks about how high the dow is and now he's risking the one thing that's central to his success over a policy he could have probably avoided and avoided the fight here. >> he's pushing back on the notion this will hurt the economy. wilbur ross, a big proponent of this plan, saying this in terms of expectations this would change prices. we'll get to that in a minute. this is a look at where the price increases could come. beer, we all love our beer. plane tickets, new cars, candy, electronic devices and kitchen
appliances. so how does the white house deal with this blowback, a lot of which has come from republicans in business friendly places as well. >> the president himself doesn't seem to mind the blowback at all. he's not backing off, he's doubling down on it. but i notice they couldn't give us details of what this would look like because the white house wasn't prepared to announce this and the president just did it himself. the west wing is very divided over this, because the president is siding with peter navarro and his commerce secretary wilbur ross on these tariffs. he is going against gary cohen. this is a president who often touts himself by saying, look how high the stock is. gary cohen said if you impose these tariffs, it's going to ruin the stock market. the stock market was rattled yesterday. so when the stock market is down, does he also see that as an indication of where that's
going? it certainly has divided the west wing. i can't overstate how much chaos was surrounding this decision yesterday and how it was going back and forth and nobody knew what was going to happen until the president called them into the room. >> it's the first time he really substantively challenged conservative orthodoxy in the year of being president. >> except the day before when he was talking about guns. >> substantively orthodoxy. him floating ideas with diane feinstein about guns. trump became a republican, right? trump governed, really, as any of the other candidates would have governed, except his twitter feed. the substance of what he did, how many other candidates wouldn't have signed that tax bill that congress put on his desk? this is actually him saying, i do believe in something that's not party orthodoxy.
by the way, he's believed in them for 33 years. the one through line of president trump's views are on protectionism. america is getting ripped off. it was japan and korea for a while, now it's china. not surprising in that sense but surprising he hasn't acted on it. people are horrified, but they can't be surprised by it. >> i'm going to play ben sass to your point about how he's upsetting republicans. >> this is leftist economic policy and we tried it a whole bunch of times over the last two summers, and every time people suffered. i get that the president ran on this, but there are a whole lot of issues that he started listening to advisers and he got what was good for the country long term.
>> there's nothing they can do to stop this. the white house can do this unilaterally. sass called this a job killer. orrin hatcher in the senate says it's no tax reform. they said, look, we're trying to help you, bottom line, voter. if anything goes up on. how can they not campaign on the economy when there will be these prices? >> it could in the short term help republican candidate. up next, president trump has a friendly chat with the nra. will it change his tough policies on guns? most pills don't finish the job
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life is like a box of chocolates. you never know which president you're going to get. republicans are hoping they'll get the guy they elected, not the guy from wednesday. that guy sounds like a mental liberal that wants to grab all the guns. to conservatives, wednesday was their nightmare, the man who they fear trump really is emerging again. the president, however, listens to the last person he talks to. in the latest audio of the president, and this was revealed in a tweet, great meeting in the oval office with the nra. rachel, i'm going to go to you on this. senator murphy responded to the news that president trump had a meeting with the nra. he says fascinating since i assume the president told him about the support for universal
background checks, raising age for rifle purchases and protective orders he announced on tv yesterday. how do we know what the president believes and what he'll push for in terms of gun control? >> not a whole lot because he keeps changing his position. you can't have both. clearly the president that was in that meeting on wednesday is different than what we were seeing today in terms of sayi saying -- the nra saying he respects due process. the republicans will be ov overjoyed after last night's meeting with the nra. i was talking to senator murphy who said he was getting angry texts from constituents. something had to be taken out of context. he asked for the clip of the entire conference, watched it and said he was totally floored. so republicans were hoping he would not keep this position on guns, and they're seeing him walk it back right now. they're going to be overjoyed. >> how can they be floored, though? i think there is some play-acting on the part --
>> from the republicans, the president or both? >> i think the president does this because it's what he does and he responds to whoever he's talking to in the moment. in the house especially, if the warren davidsons of the world, which by the way has boehner's old seat, i think this is them living in a world they want to pretend exists. they know the president does tend to reflect whatever the mood at the moment is. but i think because their voters like him so much, folks like lauren have to do this schtick where they want to make him more conserve thative than he is, bee if you don't live in that parallel world, you're slighting the voters who love him, right? it gets awkward when they go on tv and do the whole gun control thing, because it's not fake news, it's him saying, i'm on tv, right?
>> we talked to other republicans on the hill who were not condemning what he said outright. roy blount told us, that was yesterday, today is today. they said something along the lines of, president trump didn't mean what he said yesterday. >> you do have sarah sanders and folks in the white house having to go on cleanup duty. here is what she had to say in terms of where the president is on guns. >> i don't think the nra has had concerns with this president. he's been very committed to supporting the second amendment but also looking for ways that we can promote school safety and reduce gun violence. the president has already expressed support for senator cornyn's legislation. he's also supported the stock gun violence act, and he is looking for ways that we can improve the mental health systems. these are all the types of things he's looking for and hope are reflected in legislation that congress puts forward. >> and one of the things we've
seen is some companies saying they're going to raise the age limit. why isn't that something the president sort of embraces and takes credit for? >> he probably should because that would be a way -- he's not going to sign a bill, i don't think, on gun control because i don't think he'll ever get one. exact exactly, right. i think we should emphasize that republicans mitch mcconnell and paul ryan are not going to do it. to me he's trying to say things politically appealing knowing he won't have to act on them. a lot of big companies are moving. if you're the president, the public sentiment is clear where it's going. why not go there knowing you'll never take the base because you will never actually get a bill on your desk. >> we were told the president would roll something out in terms of where we are on guns. the bipartisan meeting ended
that because he was all over the place. when can we expect something from this white house, or are they just waiting on, i don't know, congress to act? >> the white house doesn't even know because they were going to roll out these proposals by the end of the week. it's friday. they're not rolling out anything because they don't know where they stand. sarah sanders says she doesn't think they worry about where they are with guns. the president said he doesn't even think there should be due process in some ways, that we should take the guns now and worry about due process later. i'm from alabama. i live way lot of conservatives. i can't get over how striking it is that the president made a public statement like that about background checks -- a lot of concerns is how is this going to affect midterms. there are a lot of conservatives who voted for the president and they will side with him on
certain things. guns is not one of them. they will never side with him saying he wants to raise the age limit to 21. they would never side with him saying you need to take the guns first. if barack obama had made a comment like that, it would light the world on fire. we're going to have to wrap there. up next, hurricane-like conditions, coastal flooding and heavy snow. we'll have the latest on that powerful winter storm that's slamming the northeast. so i adda yogurt to my day. with its billions of live and active probiotics, activia may help support my digestive health, so i can take on my day. activia. now in probiotic dailies.
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is getting slammed right now with a late winter storm that is not playing around and is very serious business. 80 million people are in the path of this nor'easter and it's going to make this weekend very dangerous. at worst and certainly inconvenient for millions of people. cnn's jen brass is in south massachusetts and we have meteorologist jennifer gray. she's in your cnn's weather center. bryn, please tell me people in the path of this storm are taking it seriously and preparing for it to get much uglier in the next couple hours. >> reporter: we were actually here in early january with the storm that had high winds, snow and some rain. it was nothing like this. we're getting serious wind gusts, as you can see, and at some point those winds exceeding to hurricane levels. this storm is going all the way into tomorrow night. take a look at these waves.
we're on some higher ground so it may not be that impressive to you, but i assure you we're in different areas of the coastline on the south shore of massachusetts where the waves came crashing over walls and have continued to flood streets. we have many street closures around here, many people have evacuated their homes and their businesses. schools are closed, and there are shelters open. we know emergency officials are holding a news conference right now updating everyone about power outages that are happening. that's a big concern. flooding, again, that is also a big concern. and letting us know if any rescues have had to happen, so we'll continue to update you. but this storm is not letting up any time soon as the high tides will continue tonight as well as tomorro tomorro tomorrow, nia. >> give us, please, a timeline. when will we see the worst of
it? >> this is expected to intensify throughout the day. it's getting stronger. it's bringing rain and snow across new england. it has several different components to it. you have the rain component, you also have very strong winds. we've had gusts 60 to 7 miles per hour already recorded. that's going to continue today and tonight. we also have the flood component and i think that is going to be the most serious of the three. we're going to have serious flooding around eastern massachusetts as well as rhode island, and especially during those high tides. we're having one in a lot of areas as we speak, or it has already passed. we're going to have another one late this evening, and that could set a record in boston harb harbor. now, the one this morning is the third all-time high tide ever recorded at 14.67 feet. now, the next high tide is expected to be 15.4 and you can see that record at 15.16. that was with that january storm. so we could set a record high
tide, and on top of that, when you have winds pushing in from the the east, it pushes all of that water inland. so that's where we see the coastal flooding, we've seen homes that have been in jeopardy, and it is very, very dangerous. so that high wind threat continues all the way from the mid-atlantic to the northeast with wind gusts of 70 miles per hour. those winds are expected to roar throughout the rest of the evening, and then the storm will finally pull away by tomorrow afternoon. >> jennifer, thanks for that. we certainly hope the people take this seriously. and in charlotte, north carolina, the reverend billy graham is being laid to rest. president trump and the first lady both attending the services there on the grounds of the billy graham library. the man known as america's preacher died last week at his home. he was 99 years old. reverend graham's sister spoke a few minutes ago. >> and i was reminded when i heard that my brother died on
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welcome back. it's not just jared. cnn is now reporting that u.s. counterintelligence officials have turned their attention to ivanka trump, the first daughter and white house adviser, in her role in securing a deal for the trump international hotel and tower in vancouver. cnn's shimon prokupecz joins me now. shimon, why are investigators interested in this particular deal? >> as part of their
counter-intelligence overlook or perhaps investigation into some of the contacts that folks associated with the president, his family, trump's orbit, the fbi has spent some time looking at the various foreign contacts. one of the contacts and one of the dealings and financial dealings they have come across has to do with ivanka trump, this deal in vancouver that she was part of. it was hotel and residential property that opened in february of 2017, but she had spent some time there, she had spent some time meeting with people about this property. and something there has caught the interests of the fbi, some of which caught the attention of jared kushner, her husband, in china which has caused concern for the fbi. this counter-intelligence world sort of felt like for them there was some concern, so they started looking into it. that's still ongoing, and this all really could affect her security clearance.
now, an attorney for ivanka gave us a statement denying that this has anything to do with her security clearance application. let me go ahead and read that to you. the spokesman says, quote, cnn is wrong that any obstacle, concern, red flag or problem has been raised with respect to ms. trump or her clearance application. nothing in the new white house policy has changed ms. trump's ability to do the same work she has been doing since she joined the administration. so whether this has any further effect on ivanka trump, that remains to be seen. we don't believe she is a target of any of this investigation. >> thanks, shimon, for that. what do we know about ivanka trump? is she in limbo, is she in jared territory at this point? >> we really don't know. the white house says they are not confirming what her status is, but if she is operating off
a top secret security clearance, as was reported she was in november, it could become a permanent security clearance, that she would be downgraded as jared was to a secret security clearance since john kelly wanted to overhaul this process. she obviously is married to jared who has had all these issues getting a clearance and whatnot, but she certainly has a lot of access to highly classified information. she did go to north korea recently -- >> south korea, right. >> excuse me, south korea. that would be breaking some news. she went to south korea for the closing ceremony of the olympics, but while she was there, they announced those sanctions on north korea. so she certainly is in the know of a lot of highly class filed thin -- classified things in the last 13 months, but not to the level jared was. somebody who requested more top secret information than anyone
else in the west wing and also read the daily briefing, that document which often the president doesn't even read. >> perry, what about what this does to ivanka's brand? both she and jared have been masters at cultivating themselves, the kinds of adults in the room. what is your sense of this news that she's in the spotlight here? >> she's not been involved as much. there's not as much reporting of her in the russian investigation until now. this was a surprise to me. beyond security clearance, it's not clear to me that she was injecting foreign policy the way jared was. jared does some things that seem illegal, very problematic but has been involved in middle east negotiations. ivanka doesn't seem to really need a top secret clearance where she's not doing that type
of political work. >> i do. >> have you been interviewed by the special counsel yet? >> i have not. >> jay mart, has she not? is that sort of not yet? what's your sense? >> it might. it wouldn't surprise me if she had a date with the counsel at some point before long. you guys had this week in one of your stories about some -- somebody in the white house who said ivanka is a play-acting government? >> yeah, john kelly made that remark about ivanka trump himself. >> john kelly! the president's sechief of staf made those comments. >> he tried to downgrade jared's
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>> you went against me on the daca thing and you wouldn't fire james comey when i asked you to. >> i was a very bad boy. very bad, very bad. please, don't tweet on me. >> those tweets are so powerful, aren't they? you fear the tweets. >> president trump hits back against comedian alec baldwin who says it's like agony impersonating the commander in chief on "saturday night live." baldwin's comment to the hollywood reporter clearly getting under the president's skin. around 5:00 a.m. this morning, most of you were sleeping, i'm sure, president trump tweeted,
alex baldwin -- yes, alex baldwin -- whose dying mediocre career was saved by his impersonation of me on "snl," now says playing djt was agony for him. alex, it was also agony for those who were forced to watch. you were terrible. bring back darrell hammond, much funnyer and a far greater talent. it was later tweeted back without those typos. here's his version of donald trump. >> jeb, you're a very nice man, but you're basically a little girl. folks, this is true. i got hold of jeb's birth certificate, and full disclosure, his real name is jebra. >> that is not true. >> that is true, yes, it is. jebra, jebra! >> that's not my name. >> so who does it better,
rachel? now that you've seen hammond. >> i think i need to see more hammond. i think baldwin is hilarious. i think the president is probably feeling threatened by what he said about the president, and obviously there's been multiple reports he's got a big ego. he's going to call him alex instead of alec. >> maybe it was auto correct. >> and perry, you've got a favorite. i'm going to play anthony from comedy central. here's his donald trump. >> mr. president, how do you respond to the judges rejecting yet another travel ban? >> i vereject their rejection. it's totally fake news. >> but sir, people are calling it the biggest public failure. you're the biggest public failure. >> why do you like him? >> his jabs aren't hard to miss. i wonder if the president has seen him.
i think alec baldwin he doesn't like in terms of his rhetoric. >> he tweeted back, baldwin did, saying, agony as it may be, i would like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the designation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to mar-a-lago. you know, the good stuff that we've all been waiting for. >> this is who trump is. he wants to be the star of the show, sort of the cast. i don't think he likes being mocked, but the fact that baldwin is talking about him, talking about the impression, trump eats that stuff up. >> quickly, caitlan, your favorite? hammond or whoever. >> i don't think i have a favorite. the president is very difficult to impersonate, but i do agree he's given alec baldwin a little boost.
i think that's accurate. >> he's right on that. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." john king is back here on sunday. wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. white house turmoil goes global as allies of president trump tell cnn they're worried about him. he's now doubling down on his threat to launch trade wars. and he's going it alone. plus, the west wing chaos takes a twist. why the president reportedly asked his chief of staff to push out his daughter ivanka and his son-in-law jared kushner. despite all this,