tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN May 16, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
"game of thrones." she and gazillions of people will be watching sunday night. thanks for being with me. having a little fun at the end of the show. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. does president trump think one offing his own advisers is going too far? "the lead" starts now. >> make deals, not war. the commander in chief himself tries to cool down the situation with iran, but are some inside the white house ready for war even if the president is not? 23 now for 2020. another democrat jumping into the presidential race as some new york city boobird comes out. can the mayor and former hillary clinton senate campaign manager go the distance? and if the trade war is driving you to drink, well, i've got some bad news for you. why everything from kentucky bourbon to bargain basement walmart prices are now taking a
hit. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the world lead. president trump delivering a message to iran. let's talk. in a meet with the swiss president, mr. trump tried to tamp down the escalating rhetoric today. >> mr. president, are we going to war with iran? >> i hope not. >> right now congressional leadership and the heads of the house and senate intelligence committees known as the gang of eight are all being briefed on the latest intelligence that prompted the trump administration, they say, to claim an increased threat from iran. according to "the new york times." new images obtained by the trump administration so iranian forces loading missiles onto boats, raising white house fears of attacks on u.s. forces, interests and allies in the region. it comes as sources say the president is growing irritated at the perception the national security adviser john bolton is drawing the united states into war with tehran as pamela brown
now reports. the president isn't the only one concerned about bolton's hawkish views. >> mr. president, are we going to war with iran? >> i hope not. >> reporter: president trump today taking a new approach to deal with the iranian regime. meet with the swiss president today in hopes of creating a diplomatic back channel with iran to defuse escalating tensions. >> he'd like to see some behavioral change come from them. we're going to continue the maximum pressure. and that as the president has said, if they take action, they're not going to like what he does in response. they're not going to be happy. >> a top european security official says u.s. allies are closely watching the trump administration's next move adding national security adviser john bolton's hawkish reputation on iran, including regime change, is a concern. sources tell cnn the president has grown irritated with the
perception that bolton and others are leading him into a war with iran. expressing it on twitter today saying, i make a decisive and final decision. a message echoed by his press secretary. >> the president is the ultimate decisionmaker, and he's going to take all of the information and intelligence that's given to him, and he'll make the decision that he thinks is best to keep americans safe. it's that simple. >> reporter: people familiar also say trump is privately complaining that if bolton had it his way, the u.s. would be at war on multiple fronts while publicly saying -- >> john is very good. john is -- he has strong views on things, but that's okay. i actually temper john, which is pretty amazing. >> reporter: the president has expressed frustrigss with the lack of direct dialogue with the iranian regime. according to people familiar with the matter, last week the white house even gave the swiss a special phone number to give to iran for direct negotiations with the u.s. but publicly iran says it isn't
interested. the ayatollah said iran doesn't want war and that negotiate with the u.s. is poisonous. trump retorting on twitter, i'm sure that iran will want to talk soon. and even allies of the president on capitol hill like senator lindsey graham are expressing frustration about the administration's lack of information sharing about iran saying, graham, saying there are a lot of senators who feel they're in the dark. that frustration may be appeased next week when all senators are briefed by national security officials which follows this afternoon's briefing of the gang of eight. jake? >> pamela brown, thanks so much. let's dive into this with my experts. karen, the president shifting from i'm ready to deploy troops to counter iran to saying let's hit the pause button and see if we can negotiate. take a listen to house speaker nancy pelosi. >> i like what i hear from the president that he has no appetite for this. even though some of his
supporters are rattling sabers. >> do you like what you're hearing from president trump? >> i do, although it's hard to know what to trust from this president and his press secretary given their penchant for lying. trump underestimated how strong the pushback would be given, not just john bolton's penchant for regime change or that known desire, but this is john bolton, we know, was part of leading us into war in iraq. there are a lot of people in the national security community, a lot of democrats who do not trust john bolton. so we've all been pleased to see ironically both the president and, frankly, the message coming from iran that the goal is to avoid this. here's the other thing, jake. the president probably realized this would be detrimental to his hopes in 2020. getting us into a war with iran would be devastating because i don't think there's anybody in america who believes at this moment that it probably couldn't be avoided with some form of negotiation which is not trump's strong suit. >> david urban, take a look at
this tweet from democratic senator and presidential candidate amy klobuchar.
she wrote, the authorization for the use of military force that congress passed in 2001 against al qaeda does not authorize a war against iran. saber rattling and risking the lives of our men and women while eshewing diplomacy is not leadership. >> >> perhaps she didn't see the president standing there with the swiss president. that looks like dip loameracy. i hear what karen is saying about the national security adviser and the president self-acknowledges that frequently ambassador bolton is a little more hawkish than he is in his positions. and the president knows it and balances it out. i think talking to the swiss president, it clearly indicates this president wants to talk. he said i hope we'll not go to war. unfortunately, the same is not echoed back by the ayatollah saying it's poisonous to enter into talks with the americans. so it's somewhat troubling.
but this president doesn't seem to be rushing headlong into any type of conflict
whatsoever. >> sara murray, listen to sarah sanders discussing the decision-making process in the white house. >> and the president wants to hear all viewpoints but ultimately, it's going to come down, there's only one person that was elected to make those decisions. and that was the president. he'll be the one that decides. there's only one agenda here, and it's the president's. >> you covered this white house. do you have a sense of how decisions get made? >> look, there are some days i think when pundits stand around and they are horrified because president trump is not listening to the advisers around him, and i think there are other days, and today may be one themp, where people are pleased he's not listening to the advisers around him. we knew that john bolton was hawkish when he went into the white house. that freaked people out when he got this job. so, no, it's not a surprise that the president does, you know, hear advice from some advisers and say, well, i've already decided this is how i feel about this issue. or i don't think you're making a good enough argument. or he could have looked at john
bolton and saying, are you kidding me? are you trying to sink my 2020 prospects? there's no way we're going to go to war with iran. this is indicative of how decisions can be made. there are sometimes advisers can shift the president's thinking but we've seen the president get advice and say i'm not going to do that. >> nia, of course, the president's mind seems to change often based on what he sees on cable television. >> i think that's right. his mind changes based on cable television, based on maybe something he hears from putin, for instance, as we saw in the case of what happened with venezuela. one of the things that will be interesting to see is john bolton's fate here. we've seen a number of advisers get too big for their britches in terms of this administration. and their days aren't long for the world. it might take a little while. we'll see. when you think about what happened here with iran and john bolton seeming to be the face of american policy in terms of iran
and also what happened with venezuela, a bit of a mess there, too. overestimating the kind of coup that was no coup in the end. it will be interesting to see how long john bolton lasts, if he is in any danger of leaving this white house and being expelled in the way we've seen other foreign policy folks like tillerson end up souring on this administration and the president souring on them. so we'll see how that ends. >> it's a long list. tillerson, mcmaster. mattis. david? >> i think bolton lasts longer than maduro does. that's my prediction. >> we'll see. karen finney, take a listen to the top democrat, senator bob menend menendez, speaking with jim sciutto. >> this is the most opaque administration i've ever dealt with over four presidencies. right now we're being asked to make foreign policy and national security decisions while flying blindly.
>> your reaction? >> well, look. i think the meeting with the gang of eight is critically important. making sure that both democrats and republicans in congress have all of the information that they need. and again, this point about war powers that klobuchar was talking about is critically important. any time we are anywhere near going up to this line it is really important. this is when these separation of powers. we've been talking about these issues with regard to the mueller report and tax records. but this is a fundamental task of congress. and the american people are going to stand firmly behind their ability to rein this president in and make sure that if we, god forbid, go to war or have any aggressive action that everyone is confident in the intelligence and again, john bolton is not someone to be trusted in that environment. >> everyone stick around. we'll keep talking. republicans say president trump is exonerated by the special counsel. democrats say they need to see more of the report.
what if both parties are fundamentally wrong about the mueller report? millions of u.s. taxpayers dollars meant to help farmers ending up in the hands of foreigners who are allegedly corrupt. that's ahead. stay with us. music: [ 'watch me walk' by spencer ludwig ] ♪ can't take no class about this ♪ ♪ i'm on my way i'm on my way ♪ like this! ♪ hey! to start your investment plan, find an advisor at massmutual.com sfx: [ mnemonic ] who used expedia to book the hotel that led to the ride ♪ which took them to the place where they discovered that sometimes
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the politics lead. the house judiciary chair is still trying to negotiate to get robert mueller to testify. the attorney general claims he's not the reason for the hold-up. bill barr telling the "wall street journal," it's bob's call whether he wants to testify. i want to bring in walter dellinger. he was solicitor general and head of the office of legal counsel for the justice department in the clinton raerks. he now argues democrats and republicans are going at the mueller report all wrong. walter, thanks for joining us. in addition to mueller's testimony, democrats want his unredacted report. they've issued a subpoena to hold it. you argue they focus too much on process.
democrats obsession with redaction is obscuring the obvious. the president committed high crime and violated his oath and committed the most serious high crimes and misdemeanors. what high crimes and misdemeanors? >> i think his interference with the investigation, his attempted interference, his direction to the white house counsel to have mueller fired. his direction to the white house counsel to do a false memo to the file denying that the president ordered him to do that. his effort to have sessions unrecuse himself and prohibit them from investigating the 2016 election leaving mueller to look to the future. all of those are really well substantiated. this is the testimony of the president's white house counsel, the deputy white house counsel, the white house chief of staff, the white house counsel chief of staff. this is all established, and it's shocking when you read the report. just to give you one example,
jake, attorney general barr says, well, maybe he wanted him fired because of conflicts of interest rather than for the corrupt motive of interfere with an investigation. if you look at page 80 of volume 2 of the mueller report, you'll see that the alleged conflicts are just laughable. they're laughable. there's nothing to them. it was a straight up case of obstruction, of which all of that is just one example. it's overpowering when you read the report.the problem with the democrats' response is seeing the redactions indicates there's something more we need to learn. looked like most of the redactions are initially appropriate redactions of various kinds. we have 93% of everything. and that should have been enough for them to say, these are crimes most serious. >> but mueller did not reach the conclusion. you did. or at least he didn't state that he did. >> well, i think, if you -- when
you read the report, i think mueller reached the conclusion that i did. he is very careful to say because it is departmental policy not to indict a president while he's sitting and the president cannot be indicted until he leaves office, we're preserving all of the evidence when memories are fresh and documents are available for that time. the president can be prosecuted at that time. he assembled all the evidence and says because we can't indict him and he can't defend himself for another two years where he could then go on trial if he loses, we think it's inappropriate to announce a conclusion. but the conclusion is obvious from the report. so i do think that is the misreading, the notion that we need something more to reach a conclusion about the president's actions. and, remember, even if there was some reason why a president did not technically violate parts of section 512, this interference
with the administration of justice is grounds for the most serious response instead of waiting around and talking about process and redactions. >> let me ask you also because in your op-ed you also fault president trump for what you call, quote, a failure to defend the country's electoral system from foreign attack, unquote. now president trump administration officials tell me and argue that the pentagon, the national counterterrorism center, they are all working hard to defend the country from attack, regardless of what president trump says. and trump himself often notes that this devastating attack in 2016 took place during the obama presidency. was he negligent as well? >> yes, no question, i think, that president obama -- one of the many things that happened because everybody in the world, including, i think, donald trump and hillary clinton, thought hillary clinton was going to win and obama did not want to appear to be interfering, but in retrospect, he clearly failed to
respond sufficiently. but it was the presidential campaign of donald trump that was clearly welcoming actions by the russians. what the special counsel says that they did not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that there was an actual agreement between the trump campaign and the russians. so they found copious evidence of how the trump campaign had welcomed it, and the president meeting with vladimir putin and not raising this right after the mueller report comes out. and details what mueller calls a substantial, sustained, massive interference in our election. when the president meets with vladimir putin and doesn't raise it -- >> he was talking on the phone with him. >> right. that -- right. when he talked with him on the phone and doesn't raise it. that is really a green light to the russians to interfere in the 2020 election. >> all right. walter, thank you for your time. appreciate it, sir.
>> thanks, jake. mutiny or just some friendly help? up next, the reason senator kirsten gillibrand is getting help from people working for her presidential opponents. it turns out, they want me to start next month. she can stay with you to finish her senior year. things will be tight but, we can make this work. ♪ now... grandpa, what about your dream car? this is my dream now. principal we can help you plan for that .
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inside and immediately felt sick. the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms saying this was not the usual suspicious package. a hazardous materials team will head to the building soon. we'll bring you more information on the story as it develops. in politics, a less than warm greeting for new york city mayor bill de blasio today. greeted by protesters outside the tv studio where he announced his bid for president today. the 23rd democrat in the presidential race. and those protests coming from the police officers in his own city with the police benevolent association adding this message. he can't run the city. he can't run the country. let's talk about this with the panel. karen finney, we should note this group has been against de blasio for years. these protests are nothing new. in a recent poll, 76% of new
york city voters said they did not want de blasio to run for president. how does he convince a national audience it's a good idea? >> yeah, good question. i can't spin this one, i'm sorry. let me do my best to try. i did work with bill de blasio on hillary's senate campaign where he was the campaign manager. look, i think he's going to have to -- i've always been of the mind that bill needs to shore up his record in new york if he were going to try to run for president because mayor pete, part of his argument about why he can be the executive of this country is his record as mayor. that is the argument you'd expect a mayor to be able to make. obviously, having had such a rough start, he is going to have to find ways to get around that and figure out what is it that he can offer this country? what policy arguments can he make? and then show directly what results he's been able to deliver for new york. and as the data points out, that's going to be a tough road for him. >> nia, he is attempting that.
listen to him making his pitch this morning to working voters. >> i've actually done it. i've proven it can be done. we're doing things like guaranteed health care for all new yorkers, including mental health care. the issue that charlene is focused on. these are things making working lives better. >> a lot of the items on the progressive agenda -- health care, higher minimum wage, child care, these are already things he's accomplished. >> and those are the issues that really made him a progressive star as we was entering the mayor's office. the idea was new york city was going to be all these issues around income inequality around criminal justice, but you see after years in office, his second term now, new yorkers aren't really sold on him. partly it is the infrastructure in new york, the subway in new york, but if you are bill de blasio, you see this huge field.
you also see in joe biden somebody that some people think is a bit of a weak front-runner, right? and so the idea is, and a lot of these candidates feel this way, that if joe biden stumbles, then there is going to be somebody that democratic voters look to. joe biden who people think can appeal to all sorts of different voters and the polling shows that. he polls well among african-americans, among white folks of all socio economic backgrounds. so the idea if you're bill de blasio, maybe you have a shot as well. and certainly if you look at somebody like pete buttigieg at 7% or 8% in early polls, if this guy who is the mayor of a town that's, 100,000 folks, if he can get a look from democratic voters and you're mayor bill de blasio, mayor of 8 million people y not give it a shot?
>> kirsten gillibrand is protesting the new abortion law. she's not seen her campaign take off yet. could this be an issue that sees her rise from where she is in the polls? >> it's certainly possible. she's been the lgd voice in the field since there's been a small time frame, but since we've been reckoning with this bill that they passed out of alabama. and she's sort of been pressing others in the field to come along with her. for the most part, they have. but she's been a strong voice on this issue. and she's been a strong voice on this issue, not just now in the wake of the alabama bill, but she's been talking about this in congress as well. so this could be an opportunity for voters to give her if not a second look, a first look. she is certainly someone who has been nestled in this field and hasn't been one of the people able to rise to the top. for a bill that passed through the state legislature with senators saying we don't even want this to become law in our state, we don't believe this is
going to become law in our state, it has created a national conversation. and i think we've seen her capitalize on that. >> david urban, as somebody who does not want big democratic turnout in 2020, are you worried at all -- >> that's an understatement. >> but are you worried at all about laws like these bills being passed in ohio, georgia, alabama, set cetera, missouri, that are strict anti-abortion bans, getting democratic voters to the polls? >> i do think this law is going to be struck down pretty quickly. i don't think that anybody thinks it's going to withstand any type of scrutiny. it's incredibly broad. it's not going to get to the supreme court. i do think it does, obviously, to state the obvious there, it motivates the base. it energizes lots of democrats in suburban philadelphia and other places to turn out. so at some point, it is concerning. but the flip side of that is, the argument goes that you heard
christine quinn on the cuomo show the other night and you heard the mayor -- the governor of virginia make extremely inflammatory comments which republicans kind of hear and want to run to the polls. so it's something that will be, you know -- it will be hotly contested issue. >> here's the thing, jake. this is also an issue -- it's not just democrats and republicans. i mean, what these bills are saying, if you cannot trust a woman to make her own decision about her health care, how can you trust her to run a country or run a company? that's how women feel about this legislation. it's a fundamental assault on our basic freedom, and so i think it's going to be very mobilizing. 7 in 10 americans believe that roe v. wade should remain law. it should not be overturned. that's going to be very mobilizing for the middle, not just for the far ends of the scope. >> this was in alabama. this isn't a national -- >> but these bills are being
passed -- bills like this are being passed all across the country. today a similar one in missouri. >> federal system. >> and the more these rights are being eroded at the state level, the more aware people are becoming of how in danger we really are. >> it's not going to be eroded. it's going to be struck down. >> we have got more to talk about. right now mayor pete buttigieg campaigning in chicago this afternoon just miles away from one of the places he served as a naval reserve officer. as jeff zeleny reports, buttigieg often invokes his service in afghanistan to try to defend his agent and experience in the democratic primary. and he uses it to attack president trump. >> reporter: there's one chapter of his life that pete buttigieg often turns to. >> somebody who served in afghanistan. when i went overseas. when i was packing my bags for afghanistan -- >> reporter: the 37-year-old mayor of south bend, indiana, deploys his military service as a sword and a shield. whether taking questions about his experience or quieting anti-gay protesters, afghanistan is often his answer.
>> it's one more reason why it might not be a bad idea to have someone in the white house who actually served. >> reporter: his time as an intelligence officer in the naval reserves and six-month deployment to afghanistan makes his gold plated resume shine even brighter. yet he rarely talks about why he joined the service. it was 2008 and he was volunteering for the barack obama campaign in iowa where he saw many young people signing up for the army or national guard. >> i wanted to drag my feet on it forever if i hadn't had that experience in iowa and realizing some communities were almost emptying out their youth into the military. and some were barely serving at all. now he's one of three presidential candidates who served in america's longest wars in iraq and afghanistan. joining congresswoman tulsi gabbard and congressman seth moeltson. he deployed to afghanistan in 2014 just as president obama was announcing a troop withdrawal. military records reviewed by cnn so buttigieg was part of a unit
assigned to identify and disrupt terrorist finance networks. it was largely a desk job at the bagram air base but he was also a driver and armed escort. >> it's not like i killed bin laden. i don't want to understate what my role was, but it certainly was something that was dangerous. people that i knew, unfortunately, were attacked. >> do you think you'd be able to make this run as credibly without this military service? >> well, i think at a moment when, obviously, people are looking for contrasts, it helps me demonstrate the difference between how i'm oriented and how the current president is. >> reporter: jason mccray still remembers the day he met buttigieg at their training in south carolina. he didn't know the man assigned to be his battle body was also an indiana mayor. >> he had an ear bud in and was learning a language. i think it was dari. i don't remember other folks picking up a language. >> he was interested in afghanistan and was studying and consuming everything about it?
>> for sure. >> reporter: a dozen people who served alongside him who spoke to cnn described him as mature and, yes, ambitious. but several said he was hardly alone on that front. >> to go through a deployment in afghanistan is -- there's probably less dangerous ways to check the box. >> reporter: mcrae and his wife sue are watching their friend's campaign from afar with interest. >> when i just met pete it was a wife going to say good-bye to my husband and we just happened to meet a battle buddy. >> reporter: so mayor buttigieg talks about afghanistan pretty much every stop he makes, including here in chicago, talking to the chicago city club earlier today. he said it's time for a new afghanistan policy in the u.s., noting that people enlisting now were not even born on 9/11. but as for his own service, as i sat down with him today to talk about what led him to sign up back in 2009, he said he did not have public service in mind at that time. of course, he ran shortly after
that but noted this. military service is not always popular. you must serve if it is or if it isn't. jake? >> jeff zeleny, thanks for that. tens of millions of dollars meant to help struggling american farmers are instead reportedly went to brazilian brothers being investigated by the department of justice. and that's the least of their legal problems. stay with us. ♪ the house, kids, they're living the dream ♪ ♪ and here comes the wacky new maid ♪ -maid? uh, i'm not the... -♪ is she an alien, is she a spy? ♪ ♪ she's always here, someone tell us why ♪ -♪ why, oh, why -♪ she's not the maid we wanted ♪ -because i'm not the maid! -♪ but she's the maid we got -again, i'm not the maid. i protect your home and auto. -hey, campbells. who's your new maid? i protect your home and auto. oh, sir. that was my grandma's. don't worry, ma'am. all of your stuff is in ok hands. just ok? they don't give two and a half stars to just anybody.
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in the new york daily news, the trump administration gave $62 million to a meat-packing company in colorado. its parent company is in brazil and its owners, two wealthy brothers who spent time in jail who have confessed to bribing top officials in their country. i want to bring in the reporter who broke this store. chris, thanks for joining us. the money is supposed to go to american farmers. how does it end up in brazil? >> well, essentially you have a pot of money that the trump administration has designated towards helping out farmers hurt by the administration's trade war. now as you said, the subsidiary in colorado has been given this money in order to then forward the money to american farmers. now there's actually no proof showing what this colorado subsidiary has done once they've handed it over, and considering who the owners are of this colorado subsidiary, two brothers who have confessed to
massive corruption schemes in their home country. can we take the administration at their word when they're saying this money is coming to american farmers? >> right. and the trump administration's department of agriculture wrote a dhoek the bautista brothers' company for $22.3 million. and even after the justice department, in this country, began investigating their company for possible violations of the foreign corrupt practices act in an unrelated matter, the agriculture department issued two more multimillion-dollar checks to this company? >> correct. in february and again earlier this month. now what the agriculture department is telling me is that this money from their vetting is ending up in american farmers' hands but we've seen no proof that is the case and considering the corrupt history of jbs, there seems like we need -- it warrants some scrutiny as to where this money is going. the president said this time around he may give an additional
$15 billion to american farmers. this money for farmers hurt by the tariffs is not by law just for americans. it theoretically can go to foreign-owned companies that aren't hurting for money at all? >> if you look back what happened in november last year, there was a virginia company, smithfield foods owned by a chinese company. several members of congress were outraged at this, including senator chuck grassley. and the payment ended up being reversed because of the foreign connection. with jbs, the same outrage has not happened and that's still an outstanding question i'm trying to figure out in my reporting as to why this payment to jbs, which is way bigger than the smith field food payments is being largely ignored by members of congress. >> you got a response from the trump administration on your story. what's their explanation? >> their explanation is that they are given this money to
jbs, which they say are complying with their standards of funneling that money back into the american farm industry. they are saying that they are complying with the standards they've set out. they're saying that from operating with them over months, they are doing a good job. but again, that's the administration's word. all we know is that $62 million has ended up in the hands of a brazilian-owned company that's being run by two brothers who have confessed to corruption. >> and no evidence that any of that money went to american farmers? chris summerfeld, thank you. congrats on the scoop. >> thank you. attention walmart shoppers. you're about to pay more. that's next. how do you gauge the greatness of an suv? is it to carry cargo... or to carry on a legacy? its show of strength... or its sign of intelligence? in crossing harsh terrain... or breaking new ground?
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the big announcement from one of the biggest retailers, walmart. caught in the middle of the trade war with china. today walmart said it will raise prices. not saying on exactly which products but executives did blame the tariffs imposed by president trump on chinese goods. and we're hearing story after story of suffering in middle america from the tariffs, including one man who tells miguel marquez that these tariffs could put him out of business. >> maybe i could sell you a car. >> steve gates sells cars. nine dealerships, three states, nearly 700 employees. his family closing deals for three generations. >> i would love to grow. i would love to add rooftops and
people. i'm too scared right now. >> reporter: scared because the president's trade fight with china and the world taking a bite out of the automotive industry, slowing sales, crimping growth, creating uncertainty. >> it just seems so unfair. i mean, i work so hard every day. and for the -- for politicians to dictate to me what my future is, it just seems wrong. >> reporter: nationwide, a firm that tracks job losses found that nearly 20,000 jobs in the automotive sector gone. with the threat of an additional 25% tariff on finished products hanging out there, many more jobs on the line. the u.s. auto industry hit by tariffs and price increases for over a year now. first due to steel and aluminum tariffs in march 2018. then tariffs on chinese-made car parts in july and again in
september last year. then last week, even higher tariffs imposed again on chinese auto parts among other materials. here in kentucky, it's not just car production and sales feeling the tariff pinch. >> nobody wins in a trade war. there's only consequences and casualties. right now we're collateral damage. >> reporter: since 1999, kentucky has seen exponential growth in exports of its most famous beverage -- bourbon. not anymore. the eu and countries like china fighting back. aiming their own tariffs directly at the home state of trump loyalist and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> i am not a fan of tariffs. >> we just got numbers today for the first quarter of this year. and they are down 10%. american whiskey and 20% to the eu. just in the first quarter. >> 20%? >> uh-huh. that hurts. >> reporter: now there are some winners here, jake. there are aluminum smelters in
kentucky. they've add someday capacity and jobs. the question for kentuckians is all the pain they're suffering right now worth the gain? back to you. >> miguel marquez in lexington, thank you. the trick to getting a pardon from president trump. a helpful tip. that's next. ed. with peak season berries, creamy avocado. and a dressing fit for a goddess. come taste what a salad should be. and with panera catering, there's more to go around. panera. food as it should be.
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about writing a glowing book about president trump. or writing an op-ed in which you call robert mueller a few bad names. in the past 24 hours, president trump has issued two more presidential pardons to two more obvious political allies. one, former media mogul conrad black who served 42 months in prison for defrauding his own company and its shareholders of $60 million. but who also wrote this book entitled "donald j. trump, a president like no other." the other pardon recipient, patrick nolan, former california state legislator who served time for corruption and who last year slammed the mueller probe saying investigators, quote, decide who they're going to prosecute and then hunt for a crime. just the latest examples of president trump passing out "get out of jail free" cards to those who say nice things about him. such as trump supporter and former sheriff joe arpaio convicted of attempt of court in a case related to racial profiling. or di nesh d' souza but once
compared trump to abraham lincoln. a purpose, of pardon power is to temper justice with mercy. in appropriate cases. and to do justice if new or mitigating evidence comes to bear on a person who may have been wrongfully convicted. another purpose, according to the heritage foundizatiation is ensure peace and tranquillity in the land. that would not seem to be how the pardon power is being exercised here. some past presidents have issued questionable pardons. george h.w. bush pardoning six reagan department officials. or president bill clinton pardoning his half-brother and fugitive financier marc rich. those were issued with a certain sense of shame during the final days, if not final hours of the bush and clinton
administrations. but with this president, there is no apparent sense of shame. and no blowback from his fellow republicans. perhaps president trump is laying bare the privilege that previous presidents have occasionally, arguably abused for political reasons. or perhaps that sense of shame that bush and clinton felt was at least important. and now it's gone. like so many other standards. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, breaking news. likely doom. president trump reveals a new immigration proposal that would require would-be immigrants to learn english and pass a civics exam and would give preference to those young, skilled and educated but with little support on capitol hill is the plan doomed? secret briefing. as top congressional leaders and heads of the intelligence committees gather for a secret briefing on iran, cnn learns the u.s. has images showing iranian