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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 9, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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>> a reveal of manager's most famous family. >> enjoy your life. that's normal and mediocre. other people respond to challenges. that's who we are. >> american dynasties. the kennedys. sundays at 9:00 on cnn. "the lead" starts now. thanks. the week the president finally enacted his i alone can fix it doctrine. "the lead" starts now. it will be historic, it will be risky, it could alter the world. if it actually happens definitely the white house just pour cold water of president trump actually sitting down with kim jong-un? the news of the summit not weathering the stormy daniels scandal what could be new proof of the alleged affair, the payoff is that the potential legal trouble
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in trump organization e-mails. plus, minutes ago, florida's republican governor signed the first gun legislation since the shooting in parkland. will this open the door for more action across the u.s.? good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." we begin with the politics lead. an event that i never thought could happen or would happen in my lifetime and i'm definitely not alone. a united states president agreeing to meet with a north korean dictator. now the white house says the meeting will not take place unless north korea takes concrete actions toward dismantling its nuclear program. with white house press secretary sarah sanders repeating the word "concrete" eight times this afternoon. >> we won't have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of north korea. we've semied the invitation to
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talk based on them following through with concrete actions. this meeting won't take place without concrete actions. the president will not of the meeting without seeing concrete steps and we won't move forward until we see concrete and verified actions. we want to see concrete and verifiable action on that front. >> but the south korean official who delivered this message yesterday only said that kim is committed to denuclearization. not that he would take any concrete steps before the meeting. so let's try to figure this out with ryan nobles. it sounded like sarah sanders was throwing cold water on the meeting. was that her intent? >> if we were looking for clarity about the potential of this historic meeting between president trump and the north korean dictator, we certainly did not get that today. sarah sanders seemed to indicate that a lot of negotiation has to take place before this meeting
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even happens. as you point out, that was much different than tim pregs last night. but it seems in many ways that this confusion is standard operating procedure for this white house. even top advisers at the white house didn't see it coming. >> president trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet kim jong-un by may to achieve denuclearization. >> president trump agreeing to making history by accepting an invitation to meet kim jong-un. it is yet another example of the unpredictable and o chaotic nature of the trump administration. made within hours of the south korean delegation arriving at the white house. the president himself making a surprise visit to the white house press briefing room to tease the policy shift that they were unaware of before the decision was made.
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>> in terms of the decision to engage with president trump and kim jong-un. that's a decision the president took himself. >> the abrupt adjustment to american foreign policy offered a welcome distraction to a white house and a president under fire from accusations of an extra-marital affair with stormy daniels. daniels who was paid $130,000 by trump lawyer michael cohn before the election to keep quiet about her alleged affair with mr. trump is now suing the president, zg court the declare the nondisclosure agreement she signed invalid. the white house says the president denies the affair and knew nothing about the agreement with daniels. today it was revealed that cohn used a trump.org e-mail to communicate and negotiate. the white house refused to address the topic. >> the hasty decision with north korea mirrors the dwigs steel
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top igs. the president forged ahead and went public with his decision. sarah sanders said that donald trump in charge, anything is possible. >> the president is in a great mood. the president has been in a great mood. we've had not the just a successful couple of days. we have other a successful year. >> and back to north korea, and it is important to point out that there's so much we don't know about this potential meeting. we don't know when it could take place. we don't know the parameters of this potential meeting. we don't know what the united states is looking for in terms of concrete steps that north korea is taking before the meeting takes place or how they will be able to confirm the concrete steps were taken. once again, there's a lot we don't know and this could be one of the most important meetings donald trump has been a part of. >> and i think the issue is that we don't bunk they don't seem to know the answers. thanks to that report. and north korea's nuclear
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ambitions have played four u.s. presidencies. the clinton administration tried stop with it a signed agreement which north korea promptly violated. the bush administration engaged with north korea through six-party talks. president obama tried to restart the talks. and all the while the rogue regime was advancing and testing its nuclear missile programs. now here we are on the cusp of pyongyang being able to launch a nuclear missile could hit the u.s. i bring in my panel. nice to see you all. you've been talking to your sources about this. let's talk about what we discussed with ryan. is there a sense of what the parameters are that they want to put down some what the concrete steps are before a meeting takes place. >> the short answer is no. we didn't know the meeting would happen. even before this all came about, when you saw the warming of relations, you would talk on officials and they would say,
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look. we really don't have a strategy for what this would look like. there's been a lot of rhetoric on both sides. a desire, i think, to talk on both sides bust no strategy. so now you have this meeting supposedly coming up in may. let's see if it really takes place in may. what kind of concrete steps are the administration looking for? it will be impossible for the north koreans to take demonstrable steps for denuclearization by then. you remember they blew up a cooling tower and that took months. if you're looking for a suspension of missile tests. we already have that. november 29, the last missile test. there has been a period of quiet. >> and you worked at the state department during the obama administration. i'm sure you're thinking, can you imagine what would have happened if president obama said i'm going to meet with kim jong-un? what the republicans would have said and maybe even some democrats? >> that's. true we can see by reaction to
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the iran deal that was successful and conclude that had there's partisanship that comes out in cases like this. in this case, i don't think democrats should be rooting for donald trump's failure. we should be rooting for his success. diplomacy is a positive thing west should want this to be successful. i think the skepticism, not just from democrats but those familiar with negotiations, you're kind of putting the cart before the horse here. and there are big components to make this successful including an interagency process, defining what success looks like, what you're going to give, having people who will be the point people. nonof those will happen and the challenge is it is playing out in public and that's never ideal. >> shirt not traditional. we cross that had bridge a long time ago. >> exactly. i wanted to you listen to what sarah sanders said a couple of hours ago at the white house
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briefing about the idea of this whole thing playing right into kim jong-un's hands. >> isn't the president giving kim jong-un exactly what he wants? respect and stature on the international stage? >> not at all. i think that the president is getting exactly what he wants. he is getting the opportunity to have the north koreans denuclearize. >> i am highly skeptical of the idea of meeting with the head of a gulag state and handing over legitimacy by way of doing that. >> you think it is a bad idea? >> i'm generally worried no matter what the administration is. you don't want to be climpging glasses and 20 years later, here we are. maybe you take promises you shouldn't take at face value. i worry that it is more about trump than bits, and his negotiating skills and he wants to be in the room that might be driving some of this.
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on the other hand, and this is classic trump, by the way, this is completely unpredictable. we don't know what the parameters are but that actually has a way to change the calculations with the wait looks to kim jong-un. the bad man competition. i don't feel great about how that's bhaupg it has the potential on mix things up. >> and talking on people today, they said yes. it was the maximum pressure campaign. yes, it was the south korean government there and is more favorable. it is really the idea of trump and his unpredictability and his tough rhetoric on military action. i spoke to one senior u.s. official who said, look. despite your criticism of the fire and fury, for the first time you have a north korean leader and a chinese leader that don't know what this president will do. i think this skepticism is, what comesself in how does this play snout it could just be a day and
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we could be back to fire and fury. >> it has lowered the temperature. this has the add benefit of being a very big story at a time when the stormy daniels story was really gaining steam. and also it gives justification for the argument that the trump team has been making about why he can't testify in the russia investigation as well. that he's busy with this foreign policy meetings and endeavours. so in terms of the public piece of this, this is overall, a good thing for trump and a good thing for the team. it is a real substantive thing to talk about. if nothing else, it gives them a couple months until this meeting happens or doesn't happen to wade away from other issues. it doesn't mean stormy daniels
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will go away. she is here to stay, apparently. and he is the master of creating his own mess. but this is a big thing, a big policy. people have different emotions and feelings about it but it certainly helps them with their p.r. >> as distractions go, it's a good one. >> everybody stick around, be sure to tune in tonight to cnn. stormy daniels' attorney will join anderson cooper at 8:00 p.m. eastern. what is the current state of noug's current nuclear program? we'll take a look at that, next. new family connections, every day.llion that's more ways to discover new relatives. people who share your dna. and maybe a whole lot more.
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north korea's leader says he is ready to talk about denuclearization when he meets with president trump this spring. but is he really willing to give up his nuclear ambitions? barbara, what are you hearing from your sources over there at the pentagon about what military leaders think the answer to that is? >> well, look, the talks seriously are welcomed as potentially very good news. for now u.s. military officials will tell that you north korea remains very much a threat. the critical question is why president trump agreed to meet with the world's most isolated leader. kim jong-un is feeling the bite of sanctions. >> north korean leaders' slush fund is running out of money. people are saying the country will run out of foreign exchange reserves by october. >> but it comes to the table in the strongest military position
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north korea has ever had. >> one of the factors that affected this decision on kim jong-un's part was that they have reached a level of confidence in their nuclear capabilities. >> kim jong-un has always wanted to be acknowledged as a world power. and now he has a recently improved arsenal in hand before he sits down with donald trump. >> he has instituted a rapid missile development and flight testing program has over the last two years brought north korea closer to its goals. north korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in september of last year clflt generated a much larger signature handle the previous tests. >> the most immediate threat? the intelligence assessment is kim sthim year could put a warhead on a missile capable of attacking the u.s. >> north korea is ever closer to being able to hold america at risk. i had said the same thing
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several months before that. >> in 2017 north korea fired 23 missiles, perfecting its technology with each launch. the most recent and worrisome. in november, launching the ballistic missile that flew higher and farther than any previous tests. since then, u.s. intelligence believes the regime has made further progress on missiles and warheads u.s. defense officials say. and experts say kim may have enough nuclear material to potentially build 30 to 60 nuclear warheads. >> 60 nuclear warheads. would kim ever give up any of that? the answer is there will have to be international inspections and verification to determine that he is complying with any future agreement. and that is a very big if. >> a very big if. thank you so much for that report. so if this happens, where do you actually have a meeting between president of the united states
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welcome back. president trump has agreed to an unprecedented meeting with the infamously reclusive leader of the most closed off country in the world. in fact, kim jong-un has not even set foot outside north korea since he became the leader there six years ago. cnn's will ripley joins me from seoul, south korea. will the white house push back on the idea that the president would sit down with him and give him a victory? push back on the notion that it is a victory for the supreme leader, as he calls himself? how do they feel in pyongyang? >> reporter: it is obviously a 56th for the north koreans. a meeting with a sitting u.s. president is something that kim
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jong- jong-il couldn't make happen. his strategy with korean officials confirm. this he wanted to build up his force and come to the negotiating table with a position of strength and respect. and now he gets to sit face to face with the leader of the free world. for the leader of north korea, that's a huge deal. yes, there are crippling sanctions and looming action by the united states. now you have these historic talks and north korea hasn't really will to give up anything other than continuing the freeze that they they say already started in november. >> and you've been to north korea 17 times. more than any other american television journalist. based on your experience there, your conversations even today with officials there. do you really think that kim will be willing to agree to denuclearization as the president hopes? >> reporter: it's tough to
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imagine how and here's why. number one. they have it written into their constitution that north korea will be a nuclear power. two, tim jong has built up his entire image around nuclear weapons. this is what gives him legitimacy as the nuclear force he's assembled. perhaps this will give him new legitimacy that he's been able to make something happen with the united states. if it goes well. we don't want to think about what happens if it goes badly. it doesn't get any higher than this. and number three, it is a real challenge because they've been telling people for more than a year that they should hate president trump. ift interviewed people on the streets pyongyang if they want him to meet with president trump and they've said absolutely not. so they haven'ted their own people yet. >> i assume that would be an issue if it were a place where
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public opinion mattered. vis-a-vis who the leader is, maybe not so much. thank you. i want to turn now to republican senator jim risch of idaho. he just returned if south korea where he met with that country's president. thank you for being with me. i want to start by playing for our viewers what you said at the munich security conference a few weeks ago about the potential for war on the korean pence. >> if this thing starts, it is going to be probably one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization. but it is going to be very, very brief. the end of it is going to see mass casualties, the likes which of the planet has never seen.
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>> that's quite a meeting. are you confident that maybe it is the only way to avoid it? >> well, i don't know if about confidence. certainly it is a very, very positive move. there isn't anyone dancing and saying, oh, this is going to end well. we've had such a bad experience with it. i'm watching a lot of negativity about this. and i would plead with the networks and the american people. this president needs to be wished success in this. this is not a democrat or a partisan or hate trump problem. this is an american problem that needs to be reserved. be resolved it is and a world problem that needs to be resolved. we all need to pray for the president's success in this. >> we have a former obama official right here on the show who said the same thing. i want to continue on the substance of what we're talking about. should guaranteed denuclearization and the release
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of americans held by north koreans be a pre condition? >> i don't know that a pre condition. the only way this is started is kim jong-un is willing to denuclearize the peninsula. he has said that. does that mean it will happen? of course not. the direct talks between he and the president are a very, very good sign. i've heard the negativity that it shouldn't be done. it is hard to find negativity in this. for 70 years, people have been trying to resolve this. they've tried other method. it hasn't worked. what's wrong with trying this in. >> it is not about negativity or positivity. it is about getting into the nuts and bolts of how it will work and how it should work to be successful. what is a pre condition that must be adhered to to have this meeting? because they made it pretty
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clear at the white house that it is not guaranteed. there are some conditions before it happens. >> sure. the way i read the statement that came out of the white house today was that kim jong-un has said he's ready to talk. he wants to talk. and dole some things in the meantime. not the least of which is to quit testing. that's a big deal. and i think he is going to have to be held to that as a pre condition. i think he knows that or he wouldn't have said it. >> i want to you listen to something else that sarah sanders said at the white house today. >> for the first time in a long time, the united states is actually having conversations from a position of strength. not a position of weakness like the one that north korea finds itself in due to the maximum pressure campaign. >> the craft director has said that north korea is months away from being able to hit theuous the nuclear weapon. that sounds like position of strength. not america's right now.
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>> well, we have to remember that you're dealing with a country that, although it has the nuclear weapons, its abilities compared to the united states' abilities is like happenster facing an 800-pound gorilla. it is a huge difference. do they have more strength handle the they've ever had? yes. so does united states of america. >> but you're talking about that in the context of war. i just mean in the context of negotiations and diplomacy. >> sure. well, in that context, i think that what you need, the most important element here is that both parties agree on an objective. and right now, you have the president and america and the world who has had denuclearization of the peninsula as goal and you have now heard kim jong-un say that's his goal. the statement that came out of the last night. that came out of the ambassador
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to the united nations was crystal clear in that regard. and it would behoove everyone to read that. not necessarily believe it. it stated that our goals are the same. we don't to have start with what are our goals. but we need on work toward, how do we reach those goals? >> yes or no question, i'm out of time. do you trust the north koreans in these or any negotiations that they will do what they say? >> of course not. and they're not going to trust us. each side needs to verify just like we do when we deal with the russians. >> senator jim risch, republican of idaho. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. and president trump's personal lawyer says donald trump and his organization had nothing 22nd the payoff of stormy daniels. but newly obtained e-mails suggest a different story. stick around. thank you. how many kids? my two. his three.
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new evidence involving the long time personal lawyer that $130,000 payment to adult films actress stormy daniels now suggests that attorney michael cohen didn't tell the truth or not the whole truth when he said he acted alone to pay off stormy daniels. the e-mails show cohen used a trump organization october to help facilitate. but three weeks ago he insist that had the trump organization and the trump campaign had nothing to do with the payoff. straight to drew griffin. i want you to explain to our viewers why it matters.
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what would it mean is this and what does it mean that trump used this trump organization e-mail account? >> it is more circumstantial evidence that stormy daniels' lawyer says proves michael cohen was on behalf of donald trump's trump and therefore donald trump when he tried on buy the silence of daniels. what the e-mails show, and here they are. a bank sending michael cohen this note saying the funds have been deposited into your checking account and michael cohen forwarding that message to stormy daniels' attorney. this shows michael cohen using his trump company e-mail to conduct all this business. did the president know 11 days before his mexico his personal faithful attorney, and at the time, employee, was conducting this on his behalf to secure the election and does that violate election law if true? >> and tell me about the law firm that is involved now and
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was involved in the trump campaign? >> yeah. so the law firm, it is a small new york firm. they were paid with $114,000 from the trump campaign over the last two years. most of it was in 2016. then another check in late 2017. larry rosen is a partner in that firm. he is representing michael cohen in this stormy daniels dispute. he is telling cnn, the money from the trump campaign has nothing 22to do with stormy daniels. and here's a quote. nor have we ever represented the trump campaign in any way related to ms. clifford, using stormy daniels' legal name, miss clifford. >> drew griffin, thank you for that report. i want to bring back our panel. it is probably not a big surprise that michael cohen goes to a lawyer he knows. he's done a lot of work with him
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in the past. for him to go to a stranger at this point is not expected. >> what i'm watching, stormy daniels is playing a trump game. revisiting the story over and over again. using the media. going to court with him and that is what will not allow to it rest. so i think it will continue to be a problem for them. the question is, is it enough of a problem? i don't think the affair is enough of a problem to make his voters who understood his voters that mad and i'm not sure the violation is enough to bring him down. >> it's using the tools that she has of the legal system to get there are in the ether and he's doing it. >> and she's being helped by the fact michael cohen is a bad lawyer. i'm not a lawyer but i wouldn't want him to be my lawyer.
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not only did he take some sloppy steps recently. but also when he opened the shell company, he signed his own name on it. so there are steps that leave this long trail of evidence. circumstantial evidence at a minimum tie it back to trump. and opportunity ralphing of that is making this pop back into the news. >> and i want to read to you what michael cohen said. neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the trans wax ms. clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment. dlikt or indirectly. the payment was lawful and not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone. asfrid the morality issue, or maybe even the ethical issue. as lawyer whether that's okay to do it without telling your client. isn't this another potential conflict of interest? >> of course it is. so the use of the trump e-mail
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gives more credence that this could be an fec violation. it is not murder but it is unethical to not follow the ruse. a lot of this was built in. >> when you say it is an aalleged affair. pre payoff. >> right. >> an alleged affair pre payoff. that could have been built in. the cover-up might be worse than the actual accusation. >> it has brought down a lot of important dudes. >> good point. you mentioned cover-up. i want to you listen to what stormy daniels' lawyer told cnn about the notion of president trump actually knowing about this payment. >> why do the american people
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need to hear from stormy daniels? >> because cover-ups matter. you have attorney cohen claiming that donald trump never knew anything about this. you have the white house claiming that donald trump never knew anything about this. that will be shown to be patently false. >> communicate here. that's your job. >> one of the big challenges to state the obvious is that donald trump has a very weak relationship with the truthful he has a long history of lying about all sorts of things. the story as you hear it isn't believable to the average person. if you put aside fec questions waurgs the affair good or bad, of course it was terrible. but the fact donald trump's personal lawyer used his own money to pay off a porn star and donald trump didn't know about it. fundamental will doesn't sit right. and that's where the rubber meets the road here. >> what he is saying, he is suggesting he has evidence that the president did know. so let's go with that and assume
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that evidence comes out at some point. is it going to matter? >> that's the question. the question is how far it gets legally. i'm not sure that politically in this environment, it actually makes a difference. and i would add to the evidence that the president i would likely say but this this. that throughout the trump administration and the campaign. the people under him have not been great at protecting the principal from knowing about things. you've had these sloppy interactions where people have told him. that he's been closer to the action than he should have been. >> here's where it could matter. it could matter in the mid-term elections. voters who are sick of the drawl. they want to it get done. members of congress, senators who don't want to talk about this anymore. that's where voters who are kind of on the fence, over it, could say enough already. that's where it could. i'm saying this is totally hypothetical if there is evidence. that may be a line that could be
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crossed. >> i would love people to run on boring. >> it's funny. i'm saying as you say that, about some of the key races coming up in november. and some of the areas, one of the big fights will be in the suburbs across the country. and women, female voters tend to help people win or lose the suburbs. i remember going to philadelphia. the suburbs there. right after the access hollywood time broke. it is a question of whether or not that translates now, two years hence. but also, other candidates who they're thinking about him. we need somebody nelson there to balance out the drawl. >> and this may be the right or the wrong strategy. but democrats, including in special elections are not running on trump's issues on the personal side. they're running on other issues which tells you something about what their polling says that people care about.
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that might be slightly horrifying. but it tells that you this may not break through. >> i'm not saying this will be the one thing that people cast their votes for democrats versus republicans. i think it is the cumulative drama. >> i think what we have to worry about is these exurban college education women. >> happy friday. appreciate it. and be sure to tune in to cnn tonight. michael will join anderson cooper at 8:00 p.m. eastern. what florida's republican governor just did that could be a game changer in congress on gun legislation. gives you access to discounts on thousands of hotels, cars and things to do. like level furnished living suites for 45% off. everything you need to go. expedia
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we're back with breaking news. minutes ago the florida governor signed a gun reform bill of less than a month after the parkland shooting. a remarkable political feat for a republican governor in a swing state, considering all the pressure he has gotten from the nra. the bill raises the age to 21 to buy all firearms and adds a three-day waiting period. it also bans the sale and ownership of bump stocks. it also allows some teachers to be armed in excuse if the local sheriff's department and the school district approve it. joining me now, athena jones, you were there in tallahassee. the governor made it clear, he's not totally on board with it but he is signing it. >> hi, that's absolutely right. the governor has been vocal for several weeks now. he's been vocal about his
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opposition of the idea of arming teachers and staff. he's said repeatedly that teachers should teach. he said it again today. he also talked about the compromise that's were necessary to get this bill to his desk. listen. >> there are things in this bill that i oppose and i've been pretty open about that. i think a law enforcement officer should be the one to protect our schools. i've heard all the arguments for teachers to be armed. while this bill was significantly changed on this topic, i am still not persuaded. i am glad, however, that the plan in this bill is not mandatory. >> reporter: so through you heard him expressing his concern. but this is certainly the most controversial part of the bill. in fact, the florida education association, which represents some wound 40,000 teachers and other school staff across the state, had urged the governor to veto. use his line item veto power. $67 million that had been set
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aside for this program called the guard yandle program. the governor argued what he wanted to do was talk with the legislature about using the extra money. he wanted to make sure some of the money could be redirected. he didn't want to veto the funding because then it wouldn't be available. >> just a political question. governor scott has a high rating with the nra. what are they saying about this new law he signed? >> reporter: well, the nra is not happy about this law because the gun law restrictions including resfwrikss what you just speaks out raising the sgag the three-day waiting period. but two of the fathers of the victims spoke and said this is an important first step in making people safer and they are
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urging other states to follow florida's lead to prevent another strategy. >> thank you for that report. up next, something really puts a smile on the president's face. plus, a special look at the most powerful man in history.
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a 17-year low. as more people entered the labor force, 2.6%, not as strong as expected. be sure to tune in for state of the union on sunday. that's sunday morning at 9:00 that's sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now, new conditions. a day after the president's shocking announcement promising to meet kim jong-un. you've got mail. he said he was acting on his own but there's new proof the president's personal lawyer used trump organization e-mail to negotiate the payoff aimed at silencing the porn star stormy daniels.

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