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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 27, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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like the time you twirled your daughter in a near wardrobe malfunction. jeanne moos cnn, new york. >> thanks for joining us, ac 360 starts now. we begin with breaking news. this is just unfolding now after a whole lot of mystery with what began as kim jong's train. what can you tell us about this surprise two-day trip? >> well, the big news of course that it is kim jong-un. that was the general feeling that it was kim given the level of security that it has been in beijing for the last couple of days. he arrived with his wife.
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we are just finding out now, it was at the instigation of the chinese. president xi jinping inviting him over. what i am just getting now, i will read it out to you. this is a quote from the state news agency here. saying if south korea and be the united states kindly respond to our effort, create an atmosphere of stability and peace, the issue of deneutralization on the peninsula can be resolved. and that is all we are getting at the moment. i think it is being confirmed now, because the train which is carrying kim has cleared the border. no publicity about this before. >> is it known at all who he is meeting with?
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and we believe this is a two-day meeting? >> he was here for four days. he arrived on sunday and the train got into beijing on monday. there were meetings, and we don't know what was discussed at those meetings. given the fact that we are now in late march and the first of two summits begins in april. and the meeting with donald trump is scheduled for may. this is a case where kim jong-un needs china in his corner. kim jong-un particularly now, he is facing a hawkish administrator with john bolton and pompeo added to the inner
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circle. president xi, they need, they feel they need to have a position at the top table in these negotiations. they want to have an influence in the way the talk moves forward and the denukelarization. >> now, keeping them honest, something we almost never report on, we begin with the president not saying something. not tweeting, not punching back. stormy daniels. the president, except for denials he has been uncharacteristically silent. >> mr. president, any comment on ms. mcdougal.
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>> will you watch 60 minutes, mr. president? >> well, that was the president saying nothing on friday. he said and tweeted nothing about stormy daniels over the weekend. now the washington post is reporting that the president did in fact watch. his attorney and his attorney's attorney have weighed in as well. but radio silence from the president notably so. >> you guys have called him a counter puncher many times, why is he not punching back on this one? >> if he punched back on every story, he would on every story you write every single day. >> he can choose to say nothing
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at all. this particular line of reasoning seems thin. to say the president doesn't counter punch on every critic, wait, crazy joe biden is trying to act like a tough guy. he doesn't know me, but he will go down fast and hard crying all the way remember what they were saying that donald trump is giving great speeches. well, not saying that anymore. he is also found the time to attack robert mueller, for the first time by name, james comey and mccabe. a woman i don't know and to the best of my knowledge is on the
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front page of the fake news washington post saying i kissed here for two minutes. the president wrote on twitter, never happened. now whatever you think of the president whether or not you believe the president right there, is characteristic for him, it is for better or worse the president we come to know which makes his silence on stormy daniels all the more puzzling. >> i don't know why the president's response has been so different. he says these claims are fabric kated. and the next day says i don't know -- why the silence, is someone advising him to be silent. >> i don't think it is silent when the president has addressed this. we have addressed this ex-ten ex-exsively, there is nothing to add. it doesn't mean we need to come up with news things to say.
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nothing new to add to this conversation. >> one quick piece, stormy daniels' attorney says a total of eight women have come forward. jim acosta joins us now from the white house. >> what are you learning about why the president is remaining silent? >> reporter: the president has discovered a new ability to hit the mute button. i am told by a source from the white house the plan is for the president to stick to this strategy. to avoid this topic of stormy daniels. one of the reason why is his poll numbers. they feel like the numbers are doing better and holding steady. his numbers among evangelicals
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and republicans. you have to wonder if they are setting the stage for a dramatic moment in washington when he finally does break his silence on this issue sort of like when bill clinton finely addressed monica lewinski. >> with us as well is cnn political commentator. this reporting that the president has been privately calling stormy daniels a hoax, are you surprised he is not saying those things publicly? >> you know, i think anderson, the greatest tell that we have seen so far is that donald trump is terrified of two people in this world, vladimir putin and
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stormy daniels. saying things like she is not my type, she is in fact demon stratively his type. again, he he is the guy who likes to shape his reality no matter what the actual facts on the ground are. and i think it is a major note that his silence on this is deafening. i don't think he has gotten any legal counsel to speak of right now outside of michael cohen about this. and i think the consistency of you know, more and more women coming out and telling this kind of story is something he is not looking forward to. >> paris? i am wondering what makes this
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different. why stay silent on stormy daniels. >> you just did a fantastic job in the binterview and there is nothing more to say. but in all seriousness, i think this comes down to the president denies the allegation and this is something that is embarrassing to the first lady. all of the speculation, all of stormy daniels trying to talk about the nitty-gritty detail is a move to embarrass mrs. trump as the first lady. and the other point is that it has nothing to do with him as a candidate. and lastly, i think he is listening to his attorney. he does have legal counsel. and i believe they are telling him, sir, if you look at the lawsuit that has been filed against michael cohen and the obscure way that they are
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claiming defamation, if the president is to say something that they were fined, they could in turn sue him of defamation of character which could open up to discover and more embarrassment from the first lady. >> it is interesting, it makes sense from a legal standpoint not to talk, but there has been plenty of times in the past where from a legal standpoint it would make sense for him not to tweet. and that speaks to the risk factor he knows is involved in this. and that speaks to the level in which she and others can expose him on his behavior. and i take issue with something that paris just said. it is rizable to say that donald trump is worried about embarrassing melania. his behavior is the source of all of this embarrassment. if you don't want to embarrass your wife, don't sleep with porn
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stars. don't date playboy bunnies. if you don't want to embarrass your wife, don't be a hound. and make it part of your image that you are a skirt chaser. if he is worried about embarrassing melania trump, the source of the embarrassment is only donald trump. >> do you believe michael cohen paid this money 11 days before the election and it had nothing to to do with buying her silence before the election. >> listen, i have not talked to michael compa michael cohen about this particular issue. so i don't know the rationale. but what i was talking about, it doesn't have anything to do with the candidacy or his presidency.
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it is him personally. >> but it is him personally. these are actions they took. >> let paris finish. >> michael cohen did these actions. he paid her out of personal funds. this is not something that the president or the candidate donald trump did. he is not talking about this because it has nothing to do with him as a candidate or as a president. >> i know you are a steadfast defender of this president, but most people don't just wack out $130,000 from a home equity loan to protect donald trump. this is not something that happened in a random fashion. and michael cohen was engaged in a last minute thing in the campaign to cover up something that was going to be
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embarrassing to the president and embarrassing to his candida candidacy because he is a guy that chased down anything that was susceptible to his limited charms. not a guy who, michael cohen is not a guy doing this because of a random set of circumstances. he was doing this to protect donald trump. and he was doing this in a way -- to be set up to protect donald trump and his reputation. and it is laughable to propose that michael cohen did this randomly. and laughable to think that donald trump hasn't been doing this for decades with other women. >> michael cohen did something because he is a loyal friend to the president. >> do you believe that he did that just because a random porn star called him and said hey, i
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am going to tell. he knows that donald trump slept with a porn star. this is a guy who did this. and i know you want to deny it, i get t it is a sign of how loyal you are to donald trump. this is not something that is deniable in long-term. this is a pattern of behavior that he has expressed over decades. >> paris, does it make sense that michael cohen, i get your point, he is loyal. donald trump is his client. but a, for an attorney to pay $130,000 for his client is unheard of. but for him to have to take out a home equity line of credit for $130,000 for a billionaire does that not strike you as odd. and not pay him back or know about it? >> michael cohen is an astute
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and smart attorney. he knew very well if he talked to the president or then candidate trump about this or ask him for money for this, that would have opened up a host of issues for the candidate now president. he is smart not to do. that he acted on his own volition which is what a smart attorney does. i hope to have friends like that. he knows in the long run, he will be okay, he will be fine because he did something that he felt was the right thing to do outside of the fact that donald trump is a billionaire. >> i appreciate it. thank you. next, the man stormy daniels attorney called a thug. later, his murder became a right wing conspiracy theory. how seth rich's brother is
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chief political analyst gloria borger has more. >> reporter: there has got to be a guy who gets it done. >> where is michael compahen. where is this guy? >> reporter: where he has been since 2007. standing close to donald trump. >> he took care of what had to be taken care. i don't know what had to be taken care of. he is the guy who you call 3:00 in the morning when you have a problem. donald trump has called him at all hours of night. every dinner i have been at with michael, the boss has called. >> reporter: when he decided to
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pay stormy daniels $130,000 out of his pocket 11 days out of his pocket. >> i think it is ludicrous. >> there is not a meeting that takes place or an expenditure that takes place that he doesn't know about it. >> reporter: friends say it is all part of his job in trump world. giving the boss deniability. >> he took care of a lot of things for mr. trump without mr. trump knowing about it. that is part of the overall structure, is that michael had great latitude to take care of matters. >> reporter: in michael cohen, trump hired a version of his lifetime mentor, a controversial pit bull and aggressive defender of all things trump, no
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questions asked. after finishing his book, he got the cohen treatment. >> he got mad. you just bought yourself an effing lawsuit buddy, i will see you in court. >> reporter: describing his job this way. >> i protect mr. trump. if there is an issue that relates to mr. trump that is of concern to him, it is of course concern to me. i will use my legal skills to protect mr. trump to the best of my ability. >> reporter: cohen came to trump's attention after buying apartments. >> trump loved him for it. and that was the beginning for it. and after that, they became close. it was much more than an
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attorney/client relationship. almost father and son kind of thing. and always hot and cold. donald trump could be yelling at him one second and saying he is the greatest person in the world the next second. donald trump knew that michael always had his back. >> reporter: for trump, it wasn't about pedigree. cohen who is 51 got his degree from western michigan cooley law school. >> if you looked wore micha-- w michael company hen came from, he came from a hard nose york trial firm. trump has an eye for talent. >> reporter: he has done a bit of everything.
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running a mixed marshal arts. >> watching him is like a reality show. he has got three phones, the hard line, two lines he is texting, and on the computer. >> you can almost say this is donald trump's mini me. for a guy who started really in the middle class on long island to now be quite wealthy himself, known internationally and yes, he is in a bit of a jam with the russia scandal. >> reporter: in the eye of not only stormy, but also in the interest of bob mueller and congress. during the campaign when trump said he had no contact with russia, cohen was privately trying to cut a deal for a trump
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tower moscow. it never happened but mueller has asked about it. >> michael pursuing the deal in september is another factor that goes into the russia narrative. >> reporter: his name was also in the infamous dossier. he is suing buzz feed which published it. >> it is immeasurable the damage it has caused him and his family. >> reporter: do you think he wanted to be in the white house, be white house counsel? >> there must have been a hard of him that was dreaming of a great job at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, he is also a guy who not only knows where the bodies are buried and he has buried them himself. >> they say i am mr. trump's pit
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bull, his right hand man, i mean, i have been called many different things around here. >> reporter: now he may be called to testify with the stormy daniels in court. >> i know, that he will not rest. he will not sleep, he doesn't sleep anyway until he recovers every single penny from stormy that is do you the llc. >> i have seen a lot of attorneys use intimidation tactics, and be the problem is if that is your speed, and when all of a sudden you run up against somebody that double downs, then you are lost. >> reporter: cohen flew to mar-a-lago to design wiine with president the night before stormy daniels appears on
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60 minutes. >> the words you should be using to describe mr. trump are generous and passionate, kind, humble, honest. >> reporter: loyal to you. anderson, we are going to have to wait and see whether michael cohen's faith in the president is actually going to be returned. you know, this is a difficult case now with stormy daniels. and there are lots of people who say they wouldn't be surprised if the president turned on michael cohen if things don't go well. but i can tell you, he doesn't believe that would happen. >> thank you. appreciate it very much. rejecting the opportunity to work for president trump as the russia investigation continues. termites.
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two more attorneys are saying no thanks to offers from president trump to join his legal team to help defend him in the ongoing russia investigation. this makes the fifth major law firm we know of to receive an invitation. press secretary sarah sanders speaks about that today. >> dan web took a pass recently. ted olson took a pass, and
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others have as well. i wonder why the president has had so much trouble finding an experienced lawyer. >> the president has highly qualified team with several individuals that have been part of the process for specific details on any search process outside of the white house, i would refer you to his outside counsel. >> who is his lead counsel now? >> i would refer you to outside of the white house, jay could address any detailed questions. >> the president has been relatively quiet. but on sunday he tweeted many lawyers in top firms want to represent me. don't believe the fake news narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. fame and fortune will never be turned down by a lawyer. i am happy with my existing
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team. besides there was no collusion with russia except by crooked hillary and the dems. john, how do you reconcile the president's claim that many big time lawyers want to represent him. and how perilous is that for the president. >> i don't think there is an easy way to reconcile it. trump is way off base. there are a couple of problems. there are legitimate conflicts with firms in washington. and another problem, and that is the reputation the potential client has. he is a difficult client. he doesn't follow advice of his attorneys and he also doesn't pay. and i think that last item may be a dominant item. >> is there any reason to
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believe that robert mueller would delay his desire to speak to president trump if the president doesn't have a team in place? >> i don't think so. if he has an attorney there, mueller is going to move forward with his plan. i mean, he has been efficient so far. and you know, one thing to keep in mind is that mueller has an excellent legal team. these are lawyers who went to the best law schools, and this is a complicated federal investigation. it is going to test the bounds of the constitution. so trump is going to need to get not just an experienced attorney but also a legal scholar and if he doesn't get somebody who is top-notched on both of those fronts, he is going to get crushed. >> do you buy the argument that firms are saying they have a conflict. big firms represent many different people, is it true that they can't represent, if it
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is a huge firm and there are different attorneys, they can't represent trump and somebody else. >> there may be conflicts but this is the kind of job that most lawyers have dreamed of. it makes a legal career. the fact that it is a difficult case is a badge of honor. but as john said, he is a bad client. he doesn't treat his lawyers particularly well. and he may not pay him. wes sitting on the edge of our seats wondering if trump is going to fire mueller. as the attorney, you might get sucked into the vortex also and be questioned by mueller and no attorney wants to go down that road. >> we make the caveat that we want to be careful to make
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watergate comparisons. the notion that a president trusts his own instincts more than anybody else, does that ring familiar to you? >> it does. with nixon, he refused after he left office to get a highly competent criminal lawyer. he needed somebody early. he delays it and never did have good counsel. you asked the question if mueller would go forward if he didn't have good counsel. the watergate special prosecutor knew they did not have good representation. i have asked these guy, was there lawyer nixon had that gave you any concern that he would be a tough cookie to deal with and they said absolutely none. >> what did nixon say to you that he was advising early on? >> did not want to hear it and
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did not bring anybody in with that experience. >> it is baffling that there is no iconic washington defense attorney eager to take on mueller on behalf of the president of the united states. it is not a town short of attorneys. >> one of the real issues is they won't get paid. that is the rumbling i have been picking up. i think he will probably find somebody that will step forward. you know, he has got the word out there now. so i think some republican lawyer will come forward. >> thanks very much. coming up, first his parents sued and the brother of seth rich has filed a lawsuit. we will have the background. case and i will speak with an attorney representing seth richard's brother next.
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the brother murdered dnc staffer seth rich is suing. an unsolved murder. that didn't stop some on the right from promoting unfound claims trying to connect seth rich to the dnc hacking. his lawsuit comes weeks after his parents filed a separate lawsuit against fox news and
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others for their role in pushing the conspiracy theory. garry tutman reports. >> explosive developments in the mysterious murder. >> reporter: shaun hannity of fox news hyping a conspiracy theory. >> this is so big that the entire russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread. >> reporter: the conspiracy theory is this, that he leaked e-mails. as a retaliatory action. never mind there was and is no evidence of that. shaun hannity was happy to make it all part of his tv and radio shows. >> is there any evidence that he might have been disgruntled of
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the treatment of bernie sanders and the fix was in to put hillary in that position? >> reporter: again, there wasn't any evidence at all. it was made up. seth rich was murder but evidence pointed towards a botched robbery. despite, that hannity continued to fan the flames. fox finally took action releasing the statement. also now being sued by seth rich's parents. the article was not initially subjected to the high degree of scrutiny we require for all reporting. upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. >> i am not or fox
5:44 pm >> reporter: seth rich's family released a statement. the amount of pain and ang witch this has caused us is unbe unbearable. shaun hannity later declared. >> out of respect for the family's wishes for now, i am not discussing this matter at this time. >> reporter: but in case hannity's fan thought he never would mention this again, he threw them a bone. >> >>. >> the lawsuit filed by seth rich's brother, aaron is against the washington times. the deft named in today's lawsuit, can you explain how
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they were dragging your client, seth's brother into this. >> thanks for having me. the introduction that you showed the viewers at the start of this piece was about the prelude of the suit which is the story that existed about the seth rich conspiracy. after that, these defendants that are named in the lawsuit today decided to make seth's brother the target of the conspiracy theory and also somebody who took money from wikileaks into his personal bank account and the allegations grew more grotesque from there. they made up a meeting that reportedly occurred at the dnc where aaron through a chair at donna brazil and all of this is made up. it began on a peri scope.
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they have about 200,000 twitter followers and they get tens of thousands of viewers. one of the defendants appeared as a guest and said there is money in aaron rich's account and he needs to come out and admit what he did. it is a complete fabrication. >> you are saying this was premeditated coordinated effort. >> definitely coordination between them to take this notion or this theory about aaron rich's involvement and to spread it as far and wide as they could and to profit off of it. and they now have a team of investigators roaming around in d.c. using that funding. >> how is that lawsuit different
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than the lawsuit that the parents filed? >> the parents filed a lawsuit that relates to the allegations of the prelude of fox news. >> and the, i mean for the parents not only to lose a son but to have their other son be accused of this. >> devastating for aaron who is patriotic american who has worked at the same defense contractor, who has served his country. he has assisted law enforcement in every available effort including providing them with all information he has had and testifying in front of the grand jury. >> has the rich family received an apology from anyone involved in spreading these lies? >> the parents have received
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certain apologies. fox news retracted the story. aaron rich hasn't received apologies from anyone. he reached out praiftly, and he asked them to stop spreading lies about them. they spread them far and wide and worked to place them in an op-ed in the washington times. coming up, president trump said over and over again that mexico would foot the bill. now perhaps he has another source of funding. we'll tell you ahead. your snapping pics all day, all night thing.
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president trump is now wondering if someone else should help pay for the border wall,
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behinding the pentagon might chip in. over the weekend he tweeted, quote, because of the $716 billion gotten to rebuild our military, many jobs are created and our military is again rich, building a great border wall with drugs, poison, and enemy combat ants is all about national defense. the border wall became a call and response catch phrase that someone else would pay for the wall. here's a stroll down that memory lane. >> we are going to build a great border wall. and who's going to pay for the wa wall? >> mexico. >> who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> who? >> mexico! >> it will be a great wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. mex is going to pay for the wall. and mexico is going to pay for the wall, and they understand that. mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me.
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100%. >> now perhaps there's a very different method of payment. joining me about more, boris sanchez. the president is asking about the pentagon funding the wall now, is that right? >> that's right, anderson. it appears he's poised to do that. two sources telling cnn the president floated that idea with some advisers, even presenting it to house speaker paul ryan during discussions about the omnibus spending bill that he signed into law last week. we didn't really get a clear read of what the speaker's reaction was nor if this is really a serious path forward for border wall funding. keep in mind congress would have to go back and approve any changes to 2018 funding for the budget. obviously it didn't really have a whole lot of support last week. it only got about 1.6 billion out of $1.3 trillion bill. press secretary sarah sanders was asked about this during the briefing today. she didn't really appear to commit to this idea. listen. >> on the wall, i wanted to ask about the president's tweet over the weekend about the military
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building the wall. i'm wondering if the president believes he can reprogram funds from defense department for wall construction without a vote of congress or if he's asking the white house to examine that. and what military programs that were included in the omnibus that he would -- he could see cutting in order to pay for what he says is a -- >> i can't get into the specifics of that at this point, but i can tell you that the continuation of building the wall is ongoing, and we're going to continue moving forward in that process. >> reporter: now, a note about vice president mike pence. he's in north dakota speaking to supporters tonight, and he brought up the idea of the wall, making a promise to these supporters saying we will build the wall completely. we will build it all, anderson. >> do we have any idea where this idea about the pentagon footing the bill came from? >> reporter: you get the sense that it is born out of frustration because the president didn't get what he wanted out of that omnibus
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spending bill. he threatened to veto it that same morning. we did hear from a source that the president has had some musings about exactly how to pay for the border wall. one other idea according to a source was having people who are coming into the united states legally pay more for entry. obviously this contradicts what you just heard the president say going back to 2015, that mexico would pay for the wall whether through reconfiguration of nafta or possibly through a refund. the whole thing has caused a lot of friction between president trump and the mexican president. of course, anderson, they're still that unlikely possibility that we may see a check in the mailbox here at the white house at some point soon. we'll keep an eye out for it. coming up, the quiet after the storm. why is the president, a self-avowed proponent of punching back ten times harder keeping quite. i'll speak with our panel next to see if anyone has any ideas.
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♪ i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease. then i realized something was missing... me. my symptoms were keeping me from being there. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira
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saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. we're on the move.
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hey rick, all good? oh yeah, we're good. we're good. terminix. defenders of home. has been a problem for me. mouth i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day
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and then i use the spray throughout the day. it actually saved my career in a way. biotene really did make a difference. [heartbeat] heel never be mistaken for silent cal coolidge except for when it comes to a subject that coolidge could never have imagined nor spoken out loud. on the table tonight, trump's notable silence on stormy daniels, who we just learned tonight a source close to the white house says he will maintain. also the trouble president trump seems to be having filling out his legal team or keeping it up to strength. and later, who is going to pay for the wall. the president promising mexico would. then he tried to get taxpayers t to. >> i still don't know that i understand why the president' response has been so different in this case. on object 13th, 2016, he said these claims were all fabricated. the next day, he