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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  December 26, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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it's not entirely over at all. jim. >> thank you very much. just a terrible shame, thanks so much, nick. i'm jim acosta. thank you so much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. holiday surprise, the president makes his first trip to a combat zone visiting u.s. troops in iraq. plus, the stock marketo roas back to life after the president may have sent it into a tail spin with a tweet. and the man who taught the president to tweet is my guest. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone, i'm kate baldwin. president trump's surprise visit to iraq, his first visit to a combat zone since taking office nearly two years ago. the president and first lady arriving at al assad air base around 7:00 p.m. local time
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outside baghdad. the president spending three hours on the ground meeting with some of the 5,200 troops that are currently serving in iraq. he also met with the u.s. ambassador to iraq as well as commanders on the ground. asked if he was concerned about flying into a war zone, the president said, absolutely. >> i had concerns for the institution of the presidency, not for myself personally. i have concerns for the first lady, i will tell you. but if you would have seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane with windows closed, no lights on whatsoever anywhere, pitch black, i've never seen italy. i've been in many airplanes, all types and shapes and sizes. i've never seen anything like it. we're coming in and i know all the things that were surrounding us for safety. >> defense secretary james mattis ordered to leave his post
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by january 1st two months earlier than planned after clashing with the president over his announcement last week to pull all u.s. troops out of syria. his resignation, of course, after that. jessica dean is live from the white house. how did this trip come about? >> reporter: good evening, kate. we are hearing bits and pieces. the president saying today in a iraq that three or four weeks ago they started planning trip. they had to cancel he said a couple for security reasons because people were finding out about them, he said. we do know that they left washington under the cover of darkness, flew overnight to iraq. you heard the president talking about some of those security measures. the first lady, of course, accompanying him on this trip. earlier today here at the white house people did start to notice it was very quiet here, also no tweeting from the president. that was another indication to some people that maybe there was something going on. once the president landed there in iraq, reporters who were
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traveling with him did ask him why come specifically here, and his answer was he had talked about the country as a private citizen before he became president and he really more than anything wanted to pay his respects to the men and women there who are serving our nation overseas, especially during this holiday season. so it was important for him, he said, to get there and to do that in person. now, also while he was there, he talked about iraq and our strategy there, someone asked him if he planned on pulling out the troops there, he said there were no plans for that. in fact, he said that iraq could act as a base because he has decided to withdraw all the troops from syria, that it could act as base if america needed to go back into syria. and then he went back and double downed on that decision saying people are going to come around to his way of thinking and that the u.s. cannot be the world's policeman, kate >> jessica, thank you so much. we're going to discuss this
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right now. david gergen, cory shocky who has known secretary mattis for a decade. great to see you all thank you so much for being here. david, the president faced a lot of criticism for not visiting troops until now in a combat zone, since becoming commander in chief, obviously. one part of that criticism was that he's making these policy decisions without seeing it firsthand. so does this trip quiet that criticism? >> i think it will quiet some of it, not all. some of the critics will carp that he only stayed on the ground three hours. but overall i think the president deserves credit for going. we've been hammering him almost every night on various things. when he does something right, we should say so. this is very much a tradition for presidents, it goes all the
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way back to lincoln who liked to visit the battlefield. especially since the vietnam war, kate, when american troops have been in action overseas, presidents dogo and it's expected of them to go. it's a good thing president trump did go. >> john, how important do you see this visit today? >> i think it is important. i agree with david it's important to go, especially at the holidays. it's not just for the troops, it's for their families back home who are missing them. i'm waiting to see what he said at al assad specifically to the troops because my worry is when he tends to get around military audiences, he tends to politicize his rhetoric in an inappropriate way. so i'm waiting to see what he actually said. but i was glad to see he went. i'm sorry he had to be goaded into it. i'm sorry he didn't talk to leaders. this was an opportunity to see it from their new perspective.
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the new prime minister is not convinced that isis is defeated as his predecessor was. they are conducting about a strike or two per week on isis targets in iraq. so there was a lot of ground that he could have covered with iraqi leaders and i'm sorry that didn't happen. >> i want to ask you more about that but just a second. cory, while the president was on the ground he said this. this is sticking out to a lot of people. jessica dean was noting it earlier. he said the united states can't continue to be the policeman of the world. we are spread all over the world, we're in countries most people haven't even heard of. frankly, it's ridiculous. if you're serving in the military, your stationed anywhere in the world and you hear that from the commander in chief, what does that do? >> well, it suggests how little the president understands about the importance of working with allies far distance from our own shores in order to protect our
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security. at school makes clear how little he understands about the experience of the men and women in harm's way and their families and how they think about these problems. i agree with john and i agree with david that it's important that the president went, but a lot of what he said when he was there was problematic. you wouldn't realize any country but the united states was fighting isis to hear the president. there's 74 countries involved in the coalition to defeat isis, and the president didn't have a single thing to say about anybody else whose young men and women are in harm's way. >> yeah, and i know in conversations you had -- i was in afghanistan last week and all the conversations i had about any of the fight was about with our afghan partners and nato partners. john, about the meeting, not meeting that was scheduled between trump and the iraqi prime minister, it's canceled not -- we don't entirely know
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why. it turned into something of a phone call. but the reason offered according to the iraqis was that it was due to -- here's what the statement said. a variation of views. why wasn't this ironed out ahead of time and how big of a deal is this? >> i worked for two years at the state department, i can't figure that diplo speak out. i do think it was a missed opportunity for the two to get together and talk because iraq very much still is in this fight. cory is right. it isn't just about iraq, there are 74 countries involved in this coalition and his decision to pull out really caught everybody off guard. remember, kate, that there was just parliamentary elections in iraq about a third of the parliament now are aligned with the shiia minority and are not in favor of american-continued presence in iraq. so the new prime minister has
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his hands full and it would have been good for both men to sit down and work out how they're going to go forward with iraq's now changing perspective in the war. >> david, president trump criticized president obama for withdrawing troops too quickly from iraq. that concept led to now a very famous line, let me play it for you. >> isis is honoring president obama. he's the founder of isis. he's the founder of isis. he's the founder. >> you hear that today in this kind of new perspective of -- is it called irony but goes to iraq has he's announcing that he's pulling out troops? >> it's a huge irony this trip is taking place when he's engulfed in controversy to
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withdraw troops over the objections of his highest commanders that led to the mattis resignation. i mean, the bigger irony in some ways is that we have a president in trump who lauds the troops but can't get along with the generals. he's appointed four generals to major positions in his administration in the inner circle. all four have left you should very difficult circumstances with him criticizing and diminishing them, whether it's mattis or kelly or mcmaster or flynn. those people won lava glory when they were in uniform, came to serve the president, boom, they got hit by him. now he's going to salute the troops. somehow those two things don't fit together very well. >> cory, i was struck. he likes people falling in line.
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the alternative, clearly not so much. i was struck in talking about mattis' resignation and the defense secretary was working at the pentagon during christmas. a lot of people say that's what mattis does, this even after the president decided to push him out two months earlier than he planned with his resignation. you've known him for more than a decade. what do you think of his leaving like this? >> well, i think it was principled both in outlining his disagreements with the president's worldview about the value of america's alliances and the importance of america's alliances for our security. i also think it was important that secretary mattis and his resignation letter emphasized that the president has a right to a cabinet that supports his views and wants to carry out his policies. that kind of discipline is such a striking contrast to the reckless indiscipline of
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president trump. for example, today in iraq making really partisan political statements in front of serving troops deployed overseas, blaming the democrats for the formative shutdown, claiming that troops hadn't gotten a pay raise in ten years, which is not true, and several other mischaracterizations. it's bad for the president to do stuff like that. >> another mischaracterization is when he said we've knocked out isis and knocked them out silly. you can talk to a lot of journeys on the ground who will tell you the contrary right now. thank you very much. next, reaction to trump's iraq visit. what is the pentagon say tonight. the stock market way, way up today as government shutdown drags on. plus, how does an eight-year-old migrant boy diagnosed with a cold and a fever die in u.s. custody? their demands for an investigation tonight. with all that usaa offers
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( ♪ ) myth
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back with our breaking news. president trump's first visit to a combat zone. the president and first lady visiting troops in iraq today just days after facing bipartisan criticism for announcing orders to pull all u.s. troops out of syria. the president faced questions about this today while he was on the ground. listen. >> do you have any plans to pull forces out of iraq as well? >> no plans at all, no. in fact, we could use this as a base if we wanted to do something in syria. >> is that true? barbara starr is "outfront" at the pentagon. how do you expect pentagon officials are going to react to that idea? >> at least it gives them some ability to try and still
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prosecute isis targets inside syria, but it will be difficult because think of it this way. back in 2014, 2015, the u.s. was conducting some air strikes from iraq into syria. but at that time isis was a major force understood they were convoys on the ground, they were moving into areas where they could readily be targeted. isis is hunkered down, mixed with civilian population, very tough to find the targets and prosecute them. not impossible, but tough. you need to be able to go after those very limited targets is intelligence on the ground, realtime intelligence on the ground to do an air strike or ground combat mission, and that's what will be missing. there will not be u.s. troops on the ground under the president's orders. i think the military will want to have the capability to be in iraq and strike into syria, but it's going to be something that's going to be very tough
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for them to do. >> losing those precise capabilities very quickly after they pull out. democratic senator from maryland, ben car done, he sits on the foreign relations committee. >> kate, good to be with you. >> president trump is taking a lot of heat for not visiting troops since becoming commander in chief. he now is. what's your reaction. >> we'll wait to see exactly what he said over there because there may be concern that he may have politicized his visit. thanking our troops for serving our country is something a president should do. >> you've been highly critical along with a lot of people about trump's announcement to pull all u.s. troops out of syria. you're definitely not alone. you've got -- even putting aside democrats and republicans, you've got defense secretary mattis, secretary of state mike pompeo, and national security adviser john bolton who also weren't on board with that.
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but president trump is not changing his mind and he even went as far as to say this today. listen to this >> i think that a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. it's not fair when we when the burden is all on us. it's time for us to start using our head. we don't want to be taken advantage anymore. >> he seems they don't think you'll be coming around on this. what are the chances of that happening, senator? >> kate, there's two major problems with the what the president did on his announcement of withdrawing from syria. our military, our leadership believes it's not wise in our fight against the terrorists against isis, we need a physical presence in order to know where they are, to make sure they don't reemerge. he's going to against the advice of our military. second, we have a coalition and we did this without consultation and working with the partners we have in fighting terrorism.
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there's other concerns as well as to the the kurdish fighters and their safety. there's many concerns with the way he went about making this decision and i think it's only going to get more challenging as we go forward. >> one of those additional challenges could be looking into afghanistan. cnn's reported that the u.s. military's been ordered to draw plans to withdraw about half of the u.s. troops in afghanistan. senator lindsey graham told me that he fears more than anything that a draw down too big could lead to a second 9/11 coming our way, those are his words. do you agree? >> i am concerned with the way the president conducts foreign policy including decisions on where our military should be. i agree there's not a military solution to these problems. we're going to have to find other ways to deal with them, but the way the president is going about it is not in our best national security interests. what he's suggesting now in after the accident once again,
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we have a coalition, partners. there's a lot of complications in the u.s. not being there. america's reliability is on the line. for all those reasons it challenges our national security the way the president is doing it. he's putting america at risk. >> i want to ask you. you're heading back to work. you're on the finance committee. president trump talked about the government shutdown while he was on the ground in iraq. he was asked if he would be okay with $2 billion for the border wall instead of $5 billion that he's demanding. just to listen what happened. >> down $5 billion? >> as you know, we've already built a lot more. >> it's a matter of negotiation, sir, would you come down from the $5 billion $2 billion? >> here's the problem. we have a promise with the democrats because nancy pelosi is calling the shots, not chuck.
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i'm not going to talk about it now but i will say this. we have been building a lot of wall. >> i was struck by that, senator, because he dodged the question three times and he had a very firm position on the $5 billion for a long time now. do you see that as an opening? do you think he's caving? >> kate, no one knows what the president's thinking. he's changed his mind so many different times. we had an agreement to continue government operations and continue our negotiations into the new year. the president signed off on that. then he changed his mind after he heard the reaction on certain networks. i'm not clear what the president's trying to achieve. i don't think the republican leadership in congress is clear as to what the president is trying to achieve. one thing is clear. we all want border security. we're prepared and have provided funds for border security. a wall doesn't make a great deal of sense. we know that. and the republican leadership knows that. we can work with the president on border security, but come
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january 3rd we're going to have much better oversight with the house of representatives under democratic control. we'll get more answers. >> on that exact point on the reality of this moment, you guys don't get back into session until tomorrow afternoon. at this point do you think it's a guarantee that nothing is going to happen in terms of funding and the shutdown until the new congress is worn in and democrats take control of the house? >> the commitment made by leader mcconnell is that there will be no further votes until we have a signoff from both the democratic leader and the speaker as well as the democratic leader and the majority leader in the senate with the president out front in support of that. i think that's not likely to happen until january 3rd with the new congress in session. it's possible, but unlikely >> buckle up, everybody. senator, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. "outfront" for us next, as president trump quieted some criticism with his iraq visit
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today, he still faces questions at home about the stock market. big questions about that. also, this continued issue with staffing. looking for answers, exactly how and why did a second child die while in u.s. custody after crossing the border? you've had quite the career. i like working. what if my retirement plan is i don't want to retire? then let's not create a retirement plan. let's create a plan for what's next. i like that. get a plan that's right for you. td ameritrade. ♪
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♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ president trump making a surprise visit to troops in iraq, his first, and it comes after a chaotic home alone, if you will, christmas over the holidays. one source telling cnn the president was growing increasingly frustrated with treasury secretary steve mnuchin over the volatile stock market
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and saying his job could be in serious jeopardy. "outfront" now, former clinton white house aide keith boykin. too scared to be in the studio with us, i see. my goodness. not fair. so rob, the president is angry at mnuchin. he's asked the approximate he's allowed to pyre the fed chairman, j. powell. that seems to me the definition of uncertainty, something that you might have been told once or twice. markets do not like. how is anything he is doing right now helping? >> the market's rebounded tremendously today, bigly, a thousand points. there's always a correct correction in the market and selloffs towards the end of the year as people try to get their tax writeoffs. >> nothing like the worst christmas eve trading day ever. >> but i don't think mnuchin is going anywhere. he is very well received by the trump family and he's trusted. by the way, the biggest
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signature item of the presidency so far was ushered in by steve mnuchin. tax cuts was the biggest thing and that could be the thing that gets him a second term. >> keith, how do you respond to that? as rob said, the market rebounded huge today. roaring back, biggest daily point gain ever. so i guess forget the chaos talk altogether? >> what the market is in right now is a stage of volatility. markets don't like uncertainty and the trump administration is giving them all of that and the trade policy, the comments about the fed, the government shutdown. it's chaos with people leaving and resigning. we don't know whapping and the market doesn't know what's happening. on top of the the president ruins christmas with his comments yesterday. and the markets have not been happy about everything that happened before christmas, by the way. just one comment ant steve mnuchin. he's a movie producer, not a treasury secretary. he went to cabo san lucas in
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mexico during the government shutdown, has a meeting with the plunge protection team which sends of bells and whistles and alarms on wall street worried about where the banks have liquidity because he's out there telling people they do and nobody was questioning that as a fact. i just don't think this is a team that downtown know how to shoot straight. these are clearly not the best people. >> i think we would all aspire to be someone who can do their job while in cabo san lucas. >> not during a government shutdown, though. his wife down on the beach while the president is shutting down the government. >> what's he going to do about it, though? >> come back to washington and do your job? >> to do what? ptsd doing his job. he's the leader. he's the chief executive and he's the one. nothing is going to get done anyway because all the senators are out of town >> not when the market is in
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free fall. we had the worst christmas eve ever in market history. >> but it went up 1,000 points a day later? >> we're still on track for the worst december since the great depression. >> you have such a different tone today. >> thank you, thank you. >> this was not -- this was not a good couple of days when it comes to trading. but let's stay on mnuchin for a second. if trump would fire mnuchin because his job is in jeopardy, i will look down at my notes. trump is working with an acting attorney general, an acting epa administrator. and he needs a new interior secretary and a new ambassador
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to the united nations. how is that functioning? >> there's people in charge. >> then why do we have secretaries? >> it's not like there's a void. should there be more stability, it's up to the president of the united states. someone who is not loyal but whom he trusts. turnover always happens, but as far as mnuchin goes, i don't think mnuchin is going anywhere. i think he's important to this administration. >> go ahead. >> you just mentioned matthew whitaker. there was a story that he lied on his resume and on government documents about his own academic credentials. this is the attorney general, the acting unconfirmed attorney general who has never been vetted and he's lying and he's the chief law enforcement officer of the country. what kind of statement does that say about our government and law enforcement? at the same time trump is attacking the fbi and robert
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mueller and other institutions that are porn for preserving law enforcement >> through it all there is one thing that should be easy to get this time of year. friends, that is santa clause. even here, president trump just can't. in case you all missed it, here's the president taking calls from children on christmas eve speaking with a seven-year-old girl. >> you just have a good time. you still believe in santa? >> yes. >> seven is marginal, right? you just enjoy yourself. >> i mean you are a father of, what, three kids? my nine-year-old was happy that santa clause came yesterday >> thank god the santa clause didn't listen to president trump because obviously santa clause came. lots of gifts were given out. >> but a seven-year-old doesn't
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know what marginal means. >> is that the only christmas miracle from president trump on this one, not only the market bouncing back, but with a seven-year-old doesn't know what marginal means. >> i haven't seen the girl's reaction until now. trump continued to talk about it anyway as if santa didn't exist. and he said he's going to make christmas great again and everybody is going to say make christmas great again. he's ruined santa clause >> next year we're going to talk about elf on the shelf. >> that stays on for next year because i have a lot of thoughts on that. guys, great to see you. we've saved christmas together. "outfront" next, a second migrant child dies in u.s. custody. tonight, calls for an investigation into how it happened and what are they going to the about it now. plus, he taught trump how to tweet. is he regretting that now?
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the president's former twitter guru is my guest. ♪ ♪ ♪ the greatest wish of all is one that brings us together. the final days of wish list are here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer.
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tonight, democrats are demanding an investigation after an eight-year-old boy from guatemala died on christmas eve in the custody of u.s. customs and border protection. felipe alonzo gomez is now the second child to die in u.s. custody this month. dan simon is out front. >> felipe alonzo-gomez' final
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days were spent 2,000 miles from his home in guatemala, shuffled from u.s. border patrol custody to the emergency room. the second guatemalan child to die in the agency's custody this month, the tragedy is raising new concerns about whether federal authorities are equipped to deal with families with young children. incoming representative veronica escobar is concerned. >> congress and the administration have not provided the resource in personnel and infrastructure to adequately take these folks in. >> reporter: here's the time line from customs and border patrol. on december 18th, felipe and his father were taken into custody about three miles from the official border entry in el paso, texas. on december 23rd, due to overcrowding, felipe and his father were transferred to a center in new mexico about 80 miles away. on the morning before christmas, a processing agent noticed
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felipe was coughing and had glossy eyes. he was transported to the jeerld champion region medical center at 9:00 a.m. the hospital diagnosis, the common cold. hospital staff gave felipe tylenol. but things hardly got better. by 1:20 p.m., felipe had 103 degree fever. at 2:50, he was released with prescriptions for ibuprofen. father and son were transferred to a temporary holding facility and agents gave felipe a dose of the prescribed medication two hours later. but at 7:00 p.m., felipe vomited, and the agency says his father declined hardware medical assistance. at 10:00, felipe was nauseous and lethargic again. so they were sent back to the hospital. on the trip felipe started vomiting again and lost consciousness. felipe arrived at the hospital
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but doctors were unable to revive him. felipe is the second child to die in border patrol custody in the past month. seven-year-old jack linen died s well. it will cutting secondary medical checks on all children in its custody with a focus on those under 10. the agency also says it will work with i.c.e. to improve transportation and work with nongovernmental agencies and nonprofits for temporary housing. facing a fresh new crisis, homeland security kristen nielsen said all the children will be looked at by medical officials including whether or not their parents asked for it.
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in the meantime, the focus remains on this terminal, this greyhound bus terminal in el paso where hundreds of migrants were released in the past few days really in the freezing cold with nowhere to go. that created its own pr problem. apparently that practice has stopped for the time being. we're told more than 500 additional migrants will be released into the el paso area tonight, but in a much more coordinated way with area shelters. >> maybe giving people a heads up. thank you so much. "outfront" next, secrets of the president's social media habits revealed. the man who taught trump to tweet is "outfront." lindsey graham hoping to convince president trump that afghanistan is worth fighting for 17 years later. but it is mission impossible now? >> if we pull out, if we go to zero, this place will fall apart very, very quickly and we'll regret that decision at home.
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why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. we're the tenney's and we're usaa members for life. call usaa to start saving on insurance today.
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. more breaking news just n. president trump has just now arriving at ram stein air base in germany after his surprise visit to iraq. today's busy schedule giving little time to tweet in stark contrast to his typical day, especially his christmas eve tweet storm of 13 messages many one day, including this one. i'm all alone, poor me. and another tweet comparing the fed to a powerful golfer who can't putt. where did this love affair with twitter begin? with me is justin mcconney. thank you for coming in >> thanks for having me on this show. now people are going to recognize me as someone who
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taught trump how to tweet. i'll need security. >> i'll be your muscle. you can definitely argue depending on your perspective, he's either the most famous or most infamous twitter user in the world in the president. he loves it, but he didn't always love it. how did this love affair come about? >> it's interesting. they started his account in 2009 to promote a book. he wasn't involved at that point. i edited a video for the company and i noticed there was no social media president for the president or his company. they had no youtube channel, social media and twitter was very bland for someone with such a colorful personality. he enjoyed this video i cut together for him. i quickly pitched him on the idea of getting on social media. he knew what facebook and twitter was. helping them the concept but he didn't know how to maximize it. here's a guy who doesn't use a
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computer, how do i explain this. i got it, tv. let's create content that will earn media. so we started doing video blogs from his desk. and the first one that was a hit was him answering why i use a fork and knife to eat pizza. the next morning he says this is unbelievable. i used to have to call 20 reporters. you're telling me i can put out 20-second video clip? >> his concern and interest all the time about his pr and how it's handled. >> he is a pr master mind. he was very analog back then, so i would have to print out his mentioned, he would take a sharpy and mark the ones he wanted me to respond to. >> he didn't get it, but he got it? >> yeah. >> and he dictated tweets to you for the longest time.
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what was your reaction when he realized he could do this himself? >> he asked me, i had the iphone and he said what's better, the iphone or the android. he said the android has a bigger screen. i said there's no way he's going to do this. i heard he's playing with twitter in his office. one night a tweet goes out and it was an innocent tweet but the time it went out, like, i don't remember approving this. i start checking with people with access to the account. and i found out trump did it. my first reaction was similar to dr. grant in jurassic park when he learned that raptors can open doors >> what do you think of his twitter feed these days? >> i think it can be better. i think he should be connecting more with people. back then he was replying to people. that doesn't seem to be happening anymore. could be less angry. i don't think the christmas eve tweets, i wasn't impressed by
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them. too much anger. he has a great sense of humor and i don't think it's come across a lot in the past two years. earned go back to showing his sense of humor, connecting with people, appearing on camera more. there's not a lot of instagram there's a lot of changes. >> can you tell difference between when it is his tweet and when people are tweeting for him? i've seen all these that people tweet for him and tweet with misspellings to make it look like him. >> i can tell the difference. if there's a photo or video attached, there is no way he did it. if it is early in the morning, it is definitely him. once he was in office, we took care of it. time of day. >> so now infamous mastermind of president trump's twitter and twitter habits. thanks for coming in. next, a trump ally admonishes the president to make an overseas troop visit to those
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in afghanistan. and coming up on new years day, a sneak peek of the cnn film love gilda. >> hi, i'm gilda radner. >> people want to know, what made you funny? >> from the time i was a kid, i loved to pretend. >> she was the very first performer chosen for the cast of saturday night live. >> they just loved her. >> i basically stole all of my characters from gilda. >> i can governor do almost anything if people are laughing. >> gilda was just not quite herself. >> one morning she said, i don't know what's wrong with me. >> the comedienne gets the most unfunny thing in the world. >> she felt she could be of help and that's exactly what she did. >> how often do we get to know exactly how brave we are?
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>> i always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right. >> love gilda. new years day at 9:00 p.m. hi.i just wanted to tell you that chevy won a j.d.power dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award across cars, trucks and suvs-three years in a row. phew. third time's the charm...
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♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ breaking news, president trump just touching down at ramstein air base in germany. tonight after a surprise visit to iraq where he responded when he was there to critics who say he's making a mistake pulling all u.s. troops from the fight
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against isis in syria. >> what do you make of people like lindsey graham who say you're making a mistake? >> aid good debate with lindsey graham in front of a lot of people the other day. i think even he would say aid big impact on him. lindsey gral is somebody that i like. we agreed on justin kavanaugh, on justice gorsuch. i think a lot of people will come around to my way of thinking. >> he was visiting troops in afghanistan. here's my exclusive. senator lindsey graham is on a mission to connect with the troops but also to convince a president that after 17 years, afghanistan is still a fight worth fighting. you've been here so many times. why come back this time? what is this about?
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>> i always come back as much as i can. if you're sending people here the fight for your country, at least you owe it to them to check in on them. >> we had exclusive access to follow how many a whirlwind tour. he's been to the region more than 40 times but this marks his first trip back to afghanistan without his closest friend and confidante. >> this is the first trip without john mccain. this is a tough one. just thinking a minute ago how many times i've been here. just almost all the time with john. the president is going to make some decisions about afghanistan soon. i hope he makes good ones. >> from kabul to cannkandahar. graham doesn't seem so sure president trump feels the same way. >> i would hope the president would come over here. i know he loves the military. i would advise him to come here and say thank you.
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i understand afghanistan, being in afghanistan is a completely different experience than talking about it in washington. >> and by being in afghanistan this time, the president said he received critical updates. >> it is important to the united states. >> and also the top american commander of u.s. and nato forces there both saying isis is on the rise. >> isis threat many afghanistan is far greater than i thought it was. if you get a peace agreement tomorrow between the afghan government and the taliban, that will not solve the problems in our homeland. >> yet, president trump has made little secrets he has little interest. look no further than his announcement last week. >> now we've won. it is time to come back. >> even before that announcement, this was graham's greatest gear afghanistan. >> the bad news, if we leave
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this place, it will go to shit in a year. you'll fight this war whether you want to or not. the question is, in whose backya backyard? i choose the terrorists' backyard versus america's backyard. i choose to do with it partners. the afghans gfb partners. these soldiers that you see around here, they're a virtual wall against radicals coming. i know what you're being told about afghanistan. here's the difference. this is the center of gravity. this is the place where it all started. if we're driven out of afghanistan, if america is beaten after having spent all these years in this much blood and treasure, every jihadist throughout the world will be on steroids. >> reporter: what would happen if president trump decides to pull everyone out tomorrow? >> we could, if we make the same decision we did in iraq, heave
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too soon, set in motion, chaos that would make iraq look like a walk in the park. and one of the most likely would be a second 9/11 coming our way. >> that decision by the president coming very soon. thank you for joining us. "ac360" starts right now. good evening to you. i hope you had a very good christmas holiday. president trump and the first lady have just landed at ramstein air base in germany on their way diploma a surprise visit to the troops in iraq. it is an important trip. the kind of visit he had been criticized for not doing yet in his administration. that said, he is returning to a largely chaotic situation in washington. much of it in his own making. especially in reason days. since just last week he's let large chunks of the government shut down over funding for his demanded border wall. he mentioned it today while