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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  June 18, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump ready to officially launch his re-election campaign. so far it sounds like a 2016 sequel. new tweets promising a roundup of millions of illegal immigrants, bashing europe and exaggerating the crowd size. plus 1,000 additional u.s. troops headed to the middle east as tensions with iran escalate. russia and china urge calm. the top democrat echos the dim white house review of the iranian regime but warns the president don't be reckless or rash. the president says he had a good conversation with china's
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president about trade and the two will meet later this month. the china trade tensions have investors worried about a possible 2020 recession. >> i think the market is saying better that they are talking than not talking. no results are guaranteed. i think people know that. i think a lot of market investors think it's a good thing that talk is better than no talk. china trade is a key topic, so it's alive. and i guess folks want to keep hope alive. we begin the hour with president trump's big ask. he wants you to give him four more years. the official trump 2020 launch is tonight at a rally in orlando. that's no accident. florida and its 29 electoral votes very important in 2016, a must in the trump re-election map. orlando chosen for the rally not just because it has an arena that can fit 20,000 trump supporters. look, hillary clinton carried orange county but orlando right here in the center of what in florida they call the i-4
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corridor. you look through here. let's go back through a little history. look at the western part of the i-4 corridor. pinellas county over here in st. petersburg. go back and forth. see the red? blue. obama carried that in 2012. he also did in 2008 when he carried the state twice. this state is absolutely critical for president trump. as he looks to recreate this 2016 map, there are some booming echos of his 2016 message. some morning tweets today accusing europe of manipulating its economic policies to hurt american workers. the president promising overnight that starting next week the government will begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens. last night saying thousands were already outside orlando's amway center. it was a few hundred. kaitlin collins is live in orlando anticipating this big rally. we see the crowd lined up behind you. give us a flavor of what the president hopes to accomplish. this is officially the launch. >> reporter: that's right. the president has already held
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several rallies in states he's hoping to win in 2020 but the campaign says this is going to be the official launch of his re-election bid here tonight. as you just laid out, all of the important reaches why the president needs florida to win in 2020. the question happening now inside the white house is whether or not those tweets overnight about immigration have something to do with tonight's rally. the president made that vague threat they were going to deport millions of undocumented immigrants starting next week by ice and customs enforcement but the president didn't offer a lot of details in his tweets. we haven't gotten a lot of details from the white house either, who is referring us to i. i.c.e. which is referring us back to the white house. one i.c.e. official said they were not aware the president was going to tweet that out, foreshadowing that plan that is going to start next week. we should note that typically they would not announce some kind of measure like that for fear of tipping their hand. this also comes as we know i.c.e. has been strained. all of their resources have
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largely been deployed to the southern border where the president and his administration allies have noted it's become a real issue for them. so deporting millions of people would require vast resources. we're still waiting to hear more on that front. but you know the president ran on immigration in 2016 and republicans are hoping he would focus more on that, less on health care for the 2020 race. you could likely expect the president, to hear him talk about that here on stage at the amway center behind me tonight. there are hundreds of people waiting up to see the president launch his re-election bid. >> the president said in a tweet earlier today it's going to be great, it's going to be wild. i can't wait to see what he says and what he stresses in that speech. appreciate kaitlin collins reporting. margaret from bloomberg, olivia, and rachel. it is always what makes him an interested candidate, a surprisingly successful candidate and sometimes a befuddling candidate is the element of surprise, tweeting
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out a policy that his government says at least at the moment doesn't exist. but we're going to round up immigrants and throw them out. we're bashing europe. we've seen this movie before. the question is can the sequel succeed? >> yeah. i mean he's going back to florida. he's trying to sort of lay out those red meat policies that get his base ginned up. people have been lined up in florida to get in that event since, what, yesterday morning? so florida is a key state. he's going to need to carry it again if he's going to be victorious in 2020 and he knows that. so he's ginning up the base. >> florida is a defensive posture for him to come out of the gate in. if donald trump loses florida, he's got a lot bigger problems with re-election. why didn't he choose pennsylvania or michigan or wisconsin. why didn't he choose a place he wants to pick up? why didn't he go to nevada, something like that? but typically you see the instinct to go to your home state. for donald trump, he has two home states.
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he can go to new york for the launch or go to florida. in that context, florida makes more sense even though there's not at least that escalator to come down. maybe there will be an escalator on stage tonight. i guess we'll have to wait and see. but he always gets huge crowds. like part of that initial rollout rally, the official relaunch, is that you want the crowd with you. and i've been to trump rallies in a lot of states. florida has a kind of crowd you just couldn't recreate somewhere else. >> to that point, yes, you gave a very smart approach of how a traditional orthodox campaign might look at we have this state, let's go to a target of opportunity. this is clearly an effort. they want that big crowd, they want him in a good mood. they want him to think my campaign organization is working. >> he's got that wave of reporting saying their internal polling shows he's lagging. he's officially been a candidate for re-election since about five hours since he took office.
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we're going to be watching the message but the organization. can they get the turnout they want? can they get the amp fiction on social media? this is a much, much more organized machine than it was in 2016. >> to that point, i want to show you somewhat dated numbers. we'll get new numbers at the end of this quarter which ends june 30th. to go back, we know already the president's campaign has raised more than $35 million this year, spent more than $65 million and had $40 million on hand. these numbers are likely to go up as we get the latest quarter. it just shows you in the 2016 campaign, there were people begging him to cut a check to keep his campaign running. this is now amazon or walmart. this is a giant campaign with a huge organization and no question of money. they have also been very aggressive. my question is can he expanding his base a little bit? there's no question he'll get 20,000 people plus in that arena. can he get new people? they're trying to do it in a place like florida just on the
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margins with digital advertising. look how much more he's spent on digital advertising. what are they trying to do? they're not going to win the african-american vote. can they get a small percentage more by saying the unemployment rate is good. they're not going to win the latino vote. can they say in florida, the economy is pretty good. it's a much more professional organization this time. >> they kind of have this interesting approach going on. as rachel said, they're trying to gin up the base heading into this florida rally with those tweets that he sent out last night, but also a big piece of their florida focus is latinos. they're saying latinos aren't a monolith so by targeting democrats and socialists, they can pull away venezuelana, cubans and nicaraguans, so they're going to target latino rou outreach. >> it's a fascinating case in
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florida with the latino population. so he's the incumbent asking for four more years. ronald reagan put it are you better off than you were four years ago. the president can make that argument to much of the country. that's a case he could make and incumbents are judged by their promises from the first time around. >> we are going to build a great border wall. we will build a great, great wall. we're going to build a wall, don't worry about it. oh, we'll build a wall. i promise, we will build the wall. a trump administration will renegotiate nafta. and if we don't get the deal we want, we will terminate nafta and get a much better deal for our workers. repeal and replace. repeal and replace. obamacare, we're going to repeal it, we're going to replace it, we're going to get something good. repeal it, replace it, get something great. >> so let's take a look. build a wall? nope. hasn't happened.
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very modest construction of the wall. repeal and replace obamacare? no. the president has, keeping his promise, cut taxes, withdrawn from the iran nuclear deal. there's been job creation and lower unemployment. there's a u.s./mexico trade deal on the table. impose tariffs on china and mexico. yes, he has imposed tariffs on china and mexico. has he gotten what he wanted? >> definitely not on china yet. yet, because he's going to be meeting with the chinese president on the sidelines at the group of 20 summit late this month in osaka, japan. and do you want to look at the ones he used as leverage to get an immigration deal or are you talking about aluminum and those kinds of things. >> the question is does he have to show voters that he has succeeded or does he have to show voters that he is trying. because when you poll or do focus groups with at least the
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base who voted for trump, some of them want to actually see those results. many of them at least are satisfied to know -- to see demonstrations that he's trying. so that's why you keep seeing all of these steps that he's taking. and i think one of the big ones, his decision to try to tie defense spending, reassign funding to build the wall, that test is going to play out like this week and in the next few weeks as the senate and the housework through the national defense authorization act passages. there are something like 500 or 600 amendments attached to this legislation. so the president has made a calculation that it is at least as important to show that you are trying as it is to actually get it done. >> and when you're not succeeding, to find someone to blame, which is what he does repeatedly. let's just come back to the scene for a second in the case of florida. obama won it twice narrowly. trump won it narrowly. republicans think it's trending
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their way and they look at 2018, but the republican wins a governor's race. the democrats say we got so close, still lost. republican wins the senate race knocking off a democratic incumbent there. the front page of the orlando sentinel has this, the mother of all rallies. this is a newspaper that has except for lyndon johnson endorsed republicans. they said after two and a half years we've seen enough. enough of the chaos, the division, the school yard insults, the self agrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies. the nation must endure another one and a half years of trump. but it need ntd suffer another 4 beyond that. we can do better. we have to do better. the question is the way he conducts himself in office gets him in trouble. that was a big thing for the republicans in 2018. which trump do we get in 2020? >> it seems like voters have a choice between what kind of
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america do they want in the next four years. do they want more of what trump is putting out there in terms of partisan tensions or are they going to try to go for something that will push back and look a lot different. i think that that's where the president right now, he is very much sticking to his base again, like we talked about. but did he bring that to washington or were americans feeling like that and that's why they sent him to washington and that's what the election i think will largely tell us. >> has he delivered the change he promised enough to keep his base. you could argue depending on whether it's third-party candidates, who the democrats nominate, does he need a little more, can he get by with a little less? up next for us, joe biden makes a somewhat farfetched prediction about the map in the 2020 election. n: i' n diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, which could lead to vision loss. so today i made a plan with my doctor, which includes preservision. because it's my vision, my love of the game, my open road, my little artist. vo: only preservision areds 2
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former vice president joe biden working the cash circuit today. the democratic front-runner attending three fund-raisers in new york. this comes after he teased a second quarter fund-raising haul. he has 360,000 individual donors with an average contribution of $55. that adds up to $19.8 million. that's impressive. earlier today the former vice president raising some eyebrows with a remarkably optimistic view of the 2020 electoral map. >> first of all, i plan on campaigning in the south. i plan if i'm your nominee winning georgia, north carolina, south carolina, believe it or not. i believe we can win texas and
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florida if you look at the polling data now. it's a marathon, it's a long way off. i spent a long time campaigning in north carolina and texas and around the country. i have no intention of walking away if i'm the nominee. >> on the one hand, you want a candidate who's optimistic and aspirational. on the other hand, you want a candidate who's realistic. does that matter? i'm sorry, the map is interesting. donald trump has changed american politics. barack obama won north carolina in 2008 against john mccain, lost it in 2012. south carolina, anybody at the table think south carolina is in play in 2020 for the democrats? >> no, not really. i think by any stretch that's very ambitious that biden thinks that he can win states like south carolina or georgia or texas. o'rourke did come close, but that was also about the fact that he was against ted cruz, who was a very unpopular candidate. but this also is biden's strategy, right? he is saying i am the one -- i am running a solo primary and i
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am the one that is going to take on trump and he's pretty much ignoring the rest of the democratic field. >> again, you don't want a candidate to say i can just barely maybe get to 270 if i get lucky here, here and here. you want a candidate who thinks they can expand the map and do well. one of the knocks on joe biden historically is that he sort of tells big tales. does he need to be more careful or is that just my age? >> this is not fundamentally different from his promise that republicans are going to suddenly decide to work with him and compromise. which was, by the way, the obama message in 2012 is that his re-election would break the fever, pop the blister. this is not that different. this is i'm the guy who can achieve this unachievable goal. come with me, we're going to do this crazy thing no one thinks we can do. >> joe biden has found himself as the status quo candidate. part of his messaging needs to be to say that he's not just promising to take people back to a past way, he's promising to
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blaze a trail toward change. so if he's making the point that actually by choosing a status quo candidate, you can win states that you might not be able to win otherwise, i think that's part of the strategy also. >> that's a good point. if you're democrats and going to be competitive in south carolina, north carolina, you have to turn out african-americans. if you're going to be competitive in texas, you have to turn out latinos. if it's i'm not going to forget you, that's not quite the way he put it. $19.8 million is an impressive haul. elizabeth warren taking some issue with how the vice president is raising a lot of that money. let's listen. >> i've been to a lot of places around this country. i've taken more than 2,000 unfiltered questions from folks. shoot, i'm over 30,000 selfies now. so i'm in this. but here's the deal. ask yourself why i've got the time to do that and most other candidates don't. the reason is because i'm not spending my time behind closed
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doors with a bunch of millionaires. >> can you sell that in a democratic primary where there is a lot of concern about the influence of bigger money? she has been coming up, trajectory is good for her. >> democrats are sort informof pickle about that. there's a movement about don't appeal to the wealthy. raise money from small dollars, show that you're building this grassroots movement and democrats welcome that. at the same time they need to show that they can raise the money and build that campaign structure. to do that, a lot of them need wall street. that's why you have biden there. pete buttigieg as well, kamala harris as well. so democrats are having to choose which path do they want to take. if you go elizabeth warren's path, perhaps you don't raise as much money as you could otherwise. >> and some of them are feeling an even greater time crunch given the threshold for the debates, which a lot of them have put out campaign emails saying we have to reach 130,000 donors now for the second debate, so they're worried about
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that. >> raising money, preparing for debates, who knew, it's complicated. president trump downplayers iranian escalation in the middle east, contradicting his own administration. moving is hard. no kidding. but moving your internet and tv? that's easy. easy?! easy? easy. because now xfinity lets you transfer
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welcome back. live pictures we can show you. that's a hangar, tampa, florida. we expect to hear from the secretary of state any moment. he is there in part to deliver a
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message to iran. central command is responsible for u.s. deployments in the middle east. the pentagon now adding a thousand american troops as tensions with iran fray. with the troop deployment also comes some mixed messaging. in an interview president trump called the attacks on oil tankers in the gulf of oman, quote, very minor. now, the pentagon does not consider the attacks minor. it says these images show iranians removing it from the tanker. president rouhani telling iran state-run media the war between us and our enemies is the war of hopes and wills. through their plots and dastardly plans, they plan to sow the seeds of hopelessness in the iranian nation. but we are determined to show its hopefulness and vitality and defeat the enemy's plots.
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admiral john kirby and kiley atwood. let's start with the president saying this is very minor. to attach mines to oil tankers in the gulf at a time of already rising tensions, is that very minor? i don't think the secretary of state thinks that. we know the pentagon doesn't think that. but the president seems to. >> just last week secretary pompeo came out referencing these attacks and other offensive attacks by the iranians and iranian-backed forces in the region and he said that they present a clear threat to international peace and security. they are a blatant assault on the international flow of oil that goes through the region and he was very, very sure to say that this is no small thing. so there is mixed messaging coming out here. but it's also important to note that when secretary pompeo was asked over the weekend if these attacks, if the u.s. is considering military action as a reaction to those attacks he
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said all options are on the table. he said he wouldn't consider going to war, there would be a question mark whether the u.s. would use military action when it comes to defending against the use of international waterways for the movement of oil. >> and that's what those around the president are saying. by saying very minor, he's trying to send the signal that he's not interested in a military conflict in the middle east so he's trying to downgrade the offense, if you will. i want to read you a little bit more. he said he might take military action to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon but cast doubt on going to war to protect international oil supplies. i would certainly go over nuclear weapons, the president said, and keep the other a question mark. now, you don't want the president to play all his cards so keeping a question mark is traditional policy. but the president of the united states is saying a very minor thing. is that a problem? >> it is a problem. it sends a terrible message to not just iran, who now thinks they do have a bit of an upper
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hand here, he's going give them some wiggle room. the revolutionary guard is not completely attached to the rouhani government. number two, it sends a horrible message to our allies and partners, and particularly those who are more dependent on middle eastern oil than we are right now. he also said in that interview that we don't import that much oil from there like others do so why should i worry about it. good luck getting allies and partners to go along with you diplomatically or militarily when you message that you don't care about their interaction in the region. >> russia and china saying, calm down, we think this is a provocation. but chancellor merkel says she doesn't doubt the u.s. evidence but she wants everyone to step back from confrontation. obviously the president annoyed the european allies by withdrawing. how much of that, the mistrust
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of trump if you will, the dismay of trump over his policies are affecting now the reaction. let's say you blame president trump pulling out of the iran nuclear deal, escalating tensions. that still doesn't give anybody the right to blow up tankers. so the response, how much is the trump hangover affecting the international response? >> i think it's a fair question because we've seen time and time again the president come out and say things that aren't necessarily true on the world stage. even though there are many u.s. allies who say, yes, the evidence does point to iran being behind these attacks, there are also some allies that say we'd like to see some more evidence here. secretary pompeo came out less than 24 hours after the attacks on the tankers last week and pointed the finger squarely at iran. that's not a whole lot of time to do an in-depth investigation. >> it is not every day we see a secretary of state show up at a u.s. military command. number one, they say this was planned before the tanker explosions, the state department
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says so so i want to be fair to secretary pompeo. a, what does that tell you? b, you lived through the negotiations. where's the circuit breaker here? where's the off-ramp? >> the first question, very, very unusual. this is not the secretary of state's job to go visit and confer with military commanders, that's the defense secretary's job and our acting defense secretary is not going there. i was with john kerry for two years. the only military base he visited was norfolk to look at climate change effects on the nae. this is untoward. it flies in the face of his messaging on sunday about how he's focusing on diplomatic and economic pressure. he's going to talk to generals. clearly they're doing some messaging here. but i think -- the second question -- >> is there an off-ramp? >> yeah. i don't see one. that's the thing, john. all this rhetoric, all this mismessaging, bolton is regime change, trump is get them back to the table and get a deal. there's no cohesive foreign policy.
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therefore, it's hard to imagine that they have constructed or are thinking about realistic off-ramps to decrease the temperature and to give iran a way out of this that doesn't result in confrontation. the other thing is it doesn't appear to me that they are doing anything other than closing down their decision space rather than opening that up. >> interesting point. we'll hear from the secretary of state any moment. we'll bring you that live. coming up for us, senate republicans caught off guard by the president's announcement of a big planned roundup of undocumented immigration. an operation that one expert says would be impossible. ♪
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the purpose of my visit was to come down here and make sure that the state department and department of defense were deeply coordinated across a whole broad range of issues. we certainly discussed the ongoing tension in the gulf, but we talked about a much broader range of issues. if we're to deliver at the state department on the president's diplomatic objectives, we have to be tightly woven with our military, and i appreciate general mckenzie, general clark and their teams spending time with me and my team today to make sure we were doing just that. we had extensive conversations about tactical operational strategic levels of work between our two organizations, to make sure that when we present options, alternatives, policy recommendations to president trump we're doing so in a way that is coherent and consistent and leads the president to a fuller understanding of the challenges and opportunities connected to decisions that he makes. we certainly, as i said, spoke about the challenges in iran.
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we talked about the centcom decision to move a thousand more americans into theater to make sure that we're in a position to do the right thing, which is to continue to work to convince the islamic government of iran that we are serious and to deter them from further aggression in the region. it's been our mission since the beginning of this administration to convince the iranian regime not to move forward with their nuclear program and not to continue to engage in development of missiles and all of the other malign activities that they have been endwgaged around the would recall. that's why we put in place the pressure campaign that's been ongoing for a year and a couple of months. it's been very effective. now we need to make sure we continue to do that so we ultimately get the opportunity to convince iran that it's not in their best interests to behave in this way. we all have to remember this isn't just two and a half years or five years, this is 40 years
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of iranian activity that has led us to this point. and to re-establish deterrents is a challenge but one i know the trump administration is up to. we're working hard each and every day, both in the state department and the department of defense and all the elements of the united states government to achieve that. with that i'm happy to take a couple questions. yes, ma'am. >> either directly or through third parties through eiran to try to deflate the situation in the gulf? >> president trump sent president abe to take a message of his to the leadership in iran. you have to remember these are messages for the leadership. i think the iranian people are being woefully misserve ed by tt leadership. we have been engaged in many messages. even this moment right here, communicating to iran that we are there to deter aggression. president trump does not want war. we will continue to communicate that message while doing the
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things that are necessary to protect american interests in the region. >> japan and germany have asked for additional proof of the attack on the tankers and you said sunday that you were going to provide that. when are we expected to see that? >> we'll continue to provide additional information about those attacks. we shouldn't focus on just those two attacks. since the beginning of may there are now over a half dozen different instances of iranian attacks in the region. some thwarted and some not and they had an impact. but i saw as i walked in here chancellor merkel say that she thought there was strong evidence that iran had engaged in this activity. we'll continue to work with partners all around the world. it's worth reminding everyone here, you have china that depends enormously on energy transiting the strait of hormuz, south korea, indonesia, japan, all of whom have an enormous interest in ensuring there's
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freedom of navigation throughout this waterway. the united states is prepared to do its part but every nation that has a deep interest in protecting that shipping lane so energy can move around the world and support their economies needs to make sure they understand the real threat, the real threat to their interests in the region and the real threat to their countries' economies. >> this obviously falls within the operating theater of u.s. central command. what do you say to the families of the men and women who work within those commands about how they should prepare themselves for what may come over the next year or two? >> the first thing i'd do is say thank you to them for their service to the nation. i know many of these young men and women, they are talented, capable, aggressive. they have put us in the place where we have this opportunity to deter iran. what i'd say to them is what i'd say to everyone who is engaged in this kind of service. america is deeply appreciative.
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we are providing them with the resources they need to be successful, to continue to engage in activities that will deliver good outcomes and to thank them for taking this ultimate risk that every service member faces. i remind my diplomats all around the world, they too face threats to themselves and to their families. when i get a chance to talk to those officers at the state department, those diplomats, i tell the same thing i'd like to share with the families, thank them for their amazing professionalism, work and their willingness to serve america at these challenging times. >> mr. secretary, you said many times that the u.s. is not seeking war with iran. president trump said this week that he would consider going to war over iran obtaining nuclear weapons. is that something that was discussed here today at centcom and can you give us any more details? on sunday you said military options were being considered. can you give us any more details? >> one of the purposes of my visit today was to make sure
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that we were coordinated. the responsibility for diplomacy, achieving the strategic outcomes that president trump has sent forth falls on all of us, but the state department has the first oar in the water on that. we can't do that without making sure that we have the capability to responsible if iran makes a bad decision. if it makes a decision to go after an american or an american interest or to continue to proliferate its nuclear weapons program. so we talked about a broad range of issues here today across all of that spectrum. i know that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are ready to respond to any threat that is presented to the united states. we talked about each of those and how we were in sync and how we would prepare those options for the president of the united states. >> mr. secretary, what's the advantage of coming here to tampa to talk with generals rather than talk with generals at the pentagon? and should your trip here be a message to iran? >> so i talk with generals at the pentagon all the time too, so these are not mutually
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exclusive options. it was important for me to get here into the headquarters and made sure we didn't have to sending a whole bunch of folks up to meet me in washington. i got a chance to meet not only with those two leaders but their teams and they got a chance to learn how the state department is thinking about the problems and how we're delivering deterrents in the region and reinforce the strategic objectives of the united states of america. so it was important and valuable to me to get here so i could talk to a broader range of leaders and hear at a more granular level all of the great work they have been engaged in. >> i'll take one more. >> anything to say about that? >> i don't have anything to add to that. i'll say only this. it is the case that in may we had over 140,000 illegal immigrants enter this nation unlawfully. it is an important undertaking to ensure that we have sovereignty and security at our southern border. so every action this administration is taking is designed to do just that.
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president trump has been unambiguous, very clear. we work -- i worked personally on an arrangement with mexico now a week and a few days ago. i am confident that we will get that under control and it is important. it's important for american national security that we do in fact achieve that. thank you, all. >> you've been listening to the secretary of state, mike pompeo. he's at u.s. central command headquarters in tampa, florida. central command responsible for u.s. troop deployments to the middle east. a statement from the secretary of state about why he was there and then took a handful of questions. notably he said president trump does not want war. he said part of his statement was to send iran a message number one that the president does not want war but the united states will not tolerate what he called malign activities by the iranian regime. let's start with rear admiral john kirby, our cnn diplomatic analyst. we were talking about how unusual it is for a secretary of state to go to a military installation. he said he was there to compare notes with the generals so they
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have coherent and consistent recommendations to the president about what to do. what was your biggest takeaway from what he just heard. >> that it was nothing more than a photo op. he didn't need to be down in tampa to have that kind of discussion. he said it was important for them to talk about being deeply coordinated. you can do that in washington, d.c. this was clearly about messaging iran about american readiness and posturing in the region. it was really nothing more than that. i founding it very interesting bragged about their pressure campaign and he said since may we've seen half a dozen other attacks in addition to the ones we've been talking about the last couple of days. it's not clear to me how effective this pressure campaign has actually been. >> appreciate the insights, admiral kirby. let's bring it into the room. he did clearly say president trump does not want war. which if you are watching in tehran, that's the u.s. top diplomat standing at a military installation saying that. he also said that they wanted to re-establish deterrents and re-establishing deterrents was going to take a while.
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obviously his counterparts around the world, a lot of them thought the jcpoa, the iran nuclear deal negotiated during the paobama administration was deterre deterrent. they believed at least it did crimp the nuclear program. >> right. if you're watching mike pompeo today it's interesting. it is really unusual to see a secretary of state make a solo visit to an installation like that. later today he'll meet with the top foreign policy official from the european union. i don't know if we'll get a different message then. i thought that was interesting. i thought when he invoked china and the other countries that have interest in the freedom of navigati navigation, that was clearly international legitimacy for what the united states was doing in the gulf. he didn't get asked some of the most basic questions. the president just said these attack on tankers were minor. >> very minor. >> you've been talking them up as very serious. where is patrick shanahan? if we're talking about
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coordination, it might not be a terrible idea to have at least a senior deputy to shanahan present. and the third one, is there any military action for which you do not believe you do not have legal authority. in other words, you would need to go to congress to get the authority. >> also at issue is trump's credibility, the u.s.' credibility at large, right? so trump has continually sewn mistrust of the intelligence community. now he's relying on the intelligence community saying this was accusing iran of these attacks on the oil tankers. it so far seems there hasn't been a lot of u.s. allies willing to go there. if the administration is trying to take an aggressive tack, then it doesn't look like there are that many allies willing to go along that path with them. at least not yet. >> the u.s. has a bit of mixed messaging on this. on the one hand, president trump certainly contributed to the contentious environment with the decision to pull the u.s. out
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and shake the jcpoa and force europe to force iran to do something different. all that escalating tension has helped bring us to this moment. but now the president who walked away from the first deal is asking all of the allies and partners in that first deal to come to his side now because of what iran did with those tankers. it's a complicated argument because i think most allies and partners do feel that you can't encourage iran to continue aggressive acts. but on the other hand trump is a really unreliable partner on this stuff so that's one of the messaging challenges. and the talk to us, talk to us, but we're going to be really tough. what does talking to you get if you make a deal and then pull the rug out from under the deal. >> let me close with admiral kir kirby. close your eyes and put yourself back at the podium at the state department. the secretary of state said was so the generals and diplomats give coherent and consistent
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advice to the president of the united states. when the president is quoted as saying it's very minor that iran attached some mines to tankers and disrupted oil traffic in the incredibly important strait of hormuz, is that consistent? >> no, it's not consistent messaging from the administration. but i can see where the state department and the military actually are on the same page with respect to how to move forward and provide off-ramps to better solutions. as margaret pointed out, there's no cohesive policy with respect to iran coming out of the administration. there's dissidence between the white house and the pentagon and bolton and the president. bolton much more bullish on iran than the president appears to be. the president appears to be tap dancing all over this to try to, what he thinks, i think, is to calm the tensions down. what he's actually doing is making our allies and partners more worried because they don't know where the hell we're going. >> admiral, appreciate your insights. when we come back, the president tweets that millions
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the president appears to have caught his own administration and his fellow republicans on capitol hill off guard with a twoet laeet last n. next we are i.c.e. will begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens who illicitly
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found their way into the united states. they will be removed as fast as they come in. the acting secretary of homeland security was asked about this this morning and he said no comment. i.c.e. just issued a statement which doesn't directly address what the president means but it does say the border crisis doesn't start and stop at the border which is why i.c.e. will continue interior enforcement. it goes on to talk about targeted law enforcement. >> that actually in no way addresses at all -- >> it doesn't address -- essentially i.c.e. is saying we will continue doing what we were doing the day before and the day before and planning to do the next day and the next month. the president says on the day he's officially launching his campaign. >> coincidence. >> a total coincidence. millions will be thrown out starting next week. >> he should have definitely have taken a signal from i.c.e. and not talked about it. from my reporting, this is something that was scheduled to happen next week. but the thing about i.c.e. and enforcement, they don't
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publicize their plans because that tips off people and undercuts the operation. what the president did is he got ahead of his skis and clearly wanted something to tout perhaps before this campaign rally. in doing so, he's undercut himself and the operation. >> not only the secrecy of the operation but overstating dramatically ridiculously the math. the former i.c.e. director saying maximum 400,000 in a year. the president says millions. we can have a debate about the administration's immigration policies, but if i.c.e. was going to do this within its legal rights, they might do hundreds here, thousands there. the numbers add up, not millions. >> the obama administration targeted deportations of central americans but it was in the hundreds. it's unclear if i.c.e. has the resources to carry something like this out. >> i think the initial feedback on the hill from republicans has always been, uh, we don't actually know what he's talking about. >> john thune telling phil mattingly he has no idea.
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roy blount, a senior republican asked about it. do you know anything about it? he said nope. >> i think there's also a concern to flip the script on this a little bit that if there are policy initiatives or action initiatives being rolled out, are they being rolled out in a way that is timed to major domestic political events? i was joking earlier when i was it was a coincidence. why is this being initiated the same week as the re-election launch? >> and why is the president announcing something on twitter that his government is not prepared to explain. i guess i've asked that question before. >> deja vu. >> it's not the first time. >> thanks for joining us "inside politics." we'll continue to try to get answers about this. sometimes we fake fun about it but it's not fun, it's a big deal. it's your government sometimes at work. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great afternoon.
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i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. under way right now, the season premiere of the president's re-election launch goes fear factor. why he's threatening to deport millions of people. and he was going to one of america's most notorious jails but the trump administration stepped in and now it appears he'll be spared. the inmate, the president's former campaign chairman. plus a debate erupts over harvard's decision to take away its acceptance of a parkland shooting survivor for racist remarks he made in the past. a man approaches a federal build armed for war, dressed to kill. what we know about his past and what his online profile tells us. president trump is heading to florida today for what he says will be a wild rally. this is the official kickoff of the 2020 trump re-election campaign in orlando, florida. and it may


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