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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  July 16, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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bacon, and fresh avocado. the hot buffalo chicken with frank's redhot wings sauce. and the tangy barbecue. the new hot chicken trio at togo's. how far would you go for a togo? top of the hour, good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. nice to be back next to popo in new york. >> it's been like weeks. >> this morning we have a lot of news. the president is digging in trying to flip the script on democrats after his own racist tweets sparked backlash. the strategy is clear, no walk backs and even launching new attack. today he's calling the four congresswomen pro-terrorist. there's no basis for that to be clear. saying they have spewed some of the most hateful, vile disgusting things ever said by a
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politician. >> all right, this is from a president who's publicly praised and elevated dictators, called african countries s-holes. publicly slammed and threatened u.s. allies. and lest we forget the president who's now criticizing democratic women for saying, quote, vile things is the same man who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals. >> yeah, we have the tape. but the president says it's the democrats who should be rebuked. today we could see a very public rebuke in the house of representatives. speaker pelosi announcing a vote to condemn his racist tweets. what will republicans do? cnn's congressional reporter lauren fox live on capitol hill. in the last 24 hours, lauren, we have see a number of republicans criticize the president's tweets, even call them racist as well. do you expect more of that today from the republican party? >> reporter: we're going to have tawatch for that vote later this evening when the house votes on
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that condemning the president's comments. but i want to get to something congresswoman ocasio-cortez tweeted just moments ago respond. she tweeted, hey, mr. president remember when you bragged about sesh wale assaulting women, talking about feeling their breasts and genitals because, quote, when you were a star they let you do it and then you imposed doe policies to make it harder for sexual assault survivors to report assault. she continued to tweet donald trump does not want to be president of the united states. he does not want to be president to those who disagree and he'd rather see most americans leave than handle our nation's insidelined tradition of dissent. but we don't leave the things we love. that's what she tweeted this morning, and again they'll be voting later this evening on that resolution condemning the president's tweets and comments in recent days. jim and poppy? >> okay, so before you go,
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lauren. we heard the house republican leadership kevin mccarthy yesterday say the president's nottest, i think this is coming down to a battle of ideology. is that the line he's maintaining this morning? >> that's right. kevin kevin mccarthy saying yesterday the president is not a racist. mitch mcconnell didn't comment on the president's tweets, saying he would address them at his press conference later today. and of course other top leaders in the gop saying if the president disagrees with the squad's policies then he should focus on that, not condemn their personal backgrounds or make the comments he's made which some democrats have called racist. poppy and jim? >> okay, lauren fox on the hill. thank you so much for bringing us this. it's surreal this is happening. >> the year 2019, it is amazing. let's go to the white house now. cnn's joe johns. clearly the president has calculated this is his issue,
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right even tweeted to that effect yesterday. are you hearing from anyone in the white house they disagree with the strategy or they're uncomfortable with the strategy or are folks there in lock step on this? >> reporter: well, the first thing everybody knows, quite frankly, if you go out and oppose the president and you work at the white house you've got a problem here. that's the first thing. the second thing is it's been difficult for some of the people here on the white house message team to explain themselves and to work with what the president has said. so they are in an awkward place, but especially when you have the president sort of turn the gaslight up on full blast as he has over the last 24 hours on twitter essentially accusing democrats especially those four women democrats of doing the very things donald trump has been involved with ever since he got in the race for president. so he is accusing them of using
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vile hateful language, saying the democratic party doesn't really want to stop those women democrats from talking because they're afraid of them. these are all things right out of the donald trump play book. but there's also the divisiveness. and one example is this tweet from this morning. our country is free, beautiful, and very successful. if you hate our country or if you are not happy here, you can leave. and that, perhaps, is the big thing. so as far as politics goes, the president does have a rally in greenville, north carolina, tomorrow. and so, yeah, politics is a lot of this, just one month after the president announces his re-election. back to you. >> it's going to be dirty, this campaign. joe johns, thank you very mup. >> it's shocking to hear. let's talk more about this with house intel chairman mike rogers. i just kept thinking to myself isn't one of the most beautiful things about america is that you have the protection of the first
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amendment, that you have this first amendment right to say what you believe to work toward what you think might be a better america? let me get your reaction this morning to the husband of the senior council to the president, kellyanne conway. george conway writes naivety, resentment, outright racism roiled in a toxic mix have given us a racist president. is he right? >> i don't -- i think we've entered this nee era of peewee herman name-calling i know you are but what am i politics. this dissent in making it personal the way it has i think is not good for the future of the united states. and everybody, both parties ought to stop doing it. and the problem here is i think the president is using his social media to engage others who have used pretty inflammatory language, and they both love it. and i think both sides of that
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conversation love it. >> but is chairman rogers, respectfully, is this really a both sides comparison, an equivalency to the president of united states who should be at the top when it comes to using this stuff, using these words, why don't they elected members of congress go back and fix the tolly crime infested broken places where they came from. three of four you know are from america, saying you can't leave fast enough. and then this morning calling them pro-terrorists. this is about brown and black elected members of congress, all women and i'm just wondering if that's not racist, what is it? >> listen i think his -- and i've been on these programs many times condemning the president's words and actions. i think it's wrong and divisive he uses that language. i'm an old-fashioned guy when it comes to the constitution. congress is separate but equal and the words of the members of congress also have consequences. i think the president was wrong,
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don't get me wrong. and he's done this before and i doubt this is the last time we'll hear this kind of language but now the house has engaged in this same kind of thing. i argue we should be discussing and debating policies. think of the oxygen we've wasted in the last few months talking about things that won't impact peoples lives versus what will. and i'll tell you, it's frustrating to me and people i know on both sides of the hooil. >> i hear that, and it's palpable your frustration and i understand that. but i also wonder, sir, if given this country's ugly and very real history with racism and slavery, not long ago, don't you think it's important to call out racism at face value for exactly what it is when you see it even, sir, if it is the president? >> listen, again, i think his comments were wrong. i think racism is wrong. i have to tell you nowadays, though, everybody and everything is racist. democrats are calling each other
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racist because they disagree with each other. i think we have to take a deep breath and everybody take a step back. because someone disagrees with your politics, white, black, i don't care what color you are where where you come from or what geographic region you come from, that doesn't mean the person is racist. we can't use these political infights to label all people racist in this country. it's gotten to a point where it's getting dangerous. and a, i think the president should stop it. i wish smkd would rip the twitter machine from his hand and he would get about the business of running the country. and same of members of congress who are trying to be important on twitter and social media versus actually doing committee work and other things that are important to get things done. and i tell you, if we don't get back to that you're going to see more of this in the election. >> i would note, for example,
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congresswoman ocasio-cortez has also asked some of the most important questions in her hearings on members of her committee of any of them. for example, last week larry kudlow praised the question she asked about the economy. so i would just say she's doing -- >> we should ask all members to ask great questions and it looks great. and we shouldn't condemn her for what her ethnic background is or just because she's a person and a member of color she asked great questions. that's what you're there to do. >> he said something really interesting, he said the math here is on the president's side. quote, his electoral college path is clear. even if he energizes minorities as much as whites trump still gains more overall votes. is it a winning strategy -- is this a wenning strategy for the president? >> i don't know even know. is it a strategy? sometimes i don't think it is. he comes right out and throws up on twitter sometimes and i don't
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think it's helpful. and if it is a strategy, we should condemn it. and if we have identity politics as a strategy from either democrats or republicans we should condemn it. because over time these wounds get deeper and you're teaching a whole generation of new folks showing up to the polls that racial division is a strategy at all. it should never be a strategy and we should condemn it on both sides. we've got really big important issues. think of this, the industrial revolution is meeting the digital revolution head on, and that is causing friction in peoples homes and lives and livelihoods, and we're not dealing with any of that. we're dealing with this kind of name-calling personal attack politics that i don't think helps anybody. >> you're completely right. chairman rogers, i appreciate your time this morning as always. thank you, sir. >> thanks. >> let's get some reaction now with david swerdlick.
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david, let me ask you a question here because poppy and mike roge rogers were on this topic whether this was a wise move. the president himself said democrats are, quote, forced to embrace progressive women he racially attacked. those statements there indicate whether you think it's a cohesive strategy or not, that they feel this is strategy that works for them. and you even hear from some democratic commentators, oh, wait, you're giving the president an opportunity here somehow. i just wonder what your view is of whether this is somehow a smart strategy by the president politically. >> yeah, good morning, jim. so i think speaker gingrich is half right. he's right a lot of republicans think the president is playing smart four-dimensional chess here by forcing democrats,
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forcing speaker pelosi to embrace members she was just sort of in a spat with just a couple of days ago and then allowing the president to say, see, it's either them or us and making the election about that. and i believe that a lot of republican voters like this kind of racial back and forth. i don't agree with congressman rogers in the last segment that this is sort of a both sides can't we all just get along issue? this was a dispute about policy that got a little personal, intermural among democrats. the president took it there on a sunday morning and said essentially to these congresswomen, go back to africa. it's that blunt, a racist series of tweets and that's how we got here. we're no longer in a situation where this is, you know, the politics of insult and this is about let's get back to policy. that was a really jarring statement by the president so
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now we have a situation where the democrats have a stark choice of their own. we were fighting about the budget supplementing, guess what? here's a real issue. there's president trump and what we're trying to do. so in a sense the president helped himself but he also helped democrats focus back to what the big picture is from their point of view. >> i wonder if anything is different this time? because for a third time texas congressman algreen, a democrat is going to push for impeachment of the president. this time he says, quote, because of the president's bigotry. this failed in the last two years. >> i hope people are waking up to what's going on here. to push for impeachment noon the grounds the president is simply unfit, not getting into the weeds of what's detailed in the mueller report. that will come out in hearing, but just sort of saying, look, this is somebody who's broken
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his covenant with the american people who's disgraced his office and not fit to leave. they have every right to are have that debate on dprsz and people like mogrogers who can't seem to grow a spine and figure out how to do anything except chuckle about it and say, gee, i wish the president would put down his iphone. then you have the al green alternative which is to fully air out all of what everybody has seen, what the whole nation has seen and embarrassed quite frankly and not to default to this foolish both sides argument and hold the president accountable. >> david, don't go anywhere. so stay with us. we have a lot ahead this hour. still to come reaction from 2020 presidential candidate tulsi gabbard to all of this and what she thinks the democratic party should do about it. that's ahead. plus, health care clash. presidential candidates coming out with their own plans this week. it latest senator kamala harris' plans this morning.
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less than one hour from now we're going to hear from top republicans in the house of representatives. they're expected to face questions on the president's racist tweets. what will they say? will they call him out as a small number of their members have? let's discuss now with david swerdlick. i want to ask you a question because i want to push back on this conventional wisdom that somehow, look, let's set aside for a moment whether these tweets are right. they are not, but let's look at the political effect of them, whether it's smart politics here. the president tried a very strong anti-imgrigz message going into the mid-terms and lost really virtually all of the battleground districts there. even the republicans own study
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of that election concluded it was not a good message for them publicly and when you look at independents we know the president owns the republican party but among independents he is very much under water here. so for 2020 does this benefit the president politically in your view? >> well, we'll find out whether it works. it may be the only path to victory that he can imagine. i mean, i think that's really the point of it, jim, that this is not necessarily a winning strategy but it is a strategy that the president could very well pursue. denigrating people of color, dividing the country every which way he can. we should always keep in mind things play out differently in the electoral college compared to district by district. so we have swing districts, there are not that many swing states. if you add up the powers of incumbency and a power that appears to be doing well and a divisive strategy, i think those are the three pillars of his
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strategy. >> listen to conservative commentator george will, he was on "the new york times" podcast, and he's talking about the damage he believes the president has done to the foundation of this democracy as compared to nixon. here he is. >> i believe what this president has done to our culture, to our civic diskrs, you cannot unring these bells and you cannot unsay what you said, and you cannot change he is now in a very short time made it seem normal for schoolboy taunts and obvious lies to be spun out in a constant stream. i think this will do more lasting damage than richard nixon's surreptitious burglaries did. >> his argument is what nixon did was supposed to be in secret and when it came out what he had done, then he was largely admonished by the public and
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essentially forced to resign. what's different he says is that the president is doing this in full public view and retains a 97% rating within his party. >> he's doing it within full view and basically with full support of somewhere between of 30% to 40% of the country. i still many tain there are a lot of trump supporters who don't just tolerate the president's antics, if you will, they enjoy it. i don't always agree with george will. i think implied in what he's saying is also that president trump has done damage to george well's notion of conservatism, right, but whatever was left and crushed and squelched by president trump now. the one thing i think i still don't quite agree with george will there on is that this is now on sunday but probably before that more than just
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vulgarity or insults. what the president tweeted the other day was racist. i'm willing to have a conversation with anybody about whether the president himself is a racist, period, capital "r" in his hearts. but the sentiments he expressed on twitter on sunday it's not up for debate. and i think that's what we can get past before we have an additional conversation. >> and the other point is the question whether the president is racist, we can't get inside his head, but you can say independently that the comments, telling people to leave the country themselves are racist, nationalist, et cetera. >> that's a good and important distinction. thank you very much. so ahead 2020 presidential candidate tulsi gabbard is going to join us. how does she think democrats should handle this? next.
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trump's racist tweets is really two things. first of all that he is using his platform of the presidency to foment racism and religious bigotry and to try to further divide our country and number two that he's using that platform to try to shut people down who don't agree with him. to essentially say, look, if you don't agree with me you should quote-unquote go home, undermining the very principles and freedoms each of us have enshrined in our declaration of independence, in our constitution. all of these things that really make us who we are, so trump's anti-american tweets, comments, the things that he's doing really undermine our democracy and undermine the rights and freedom so many of my brothers and sisters in uniform have served and sacrificed to defend.
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>> as you know, the tweets, the comments were praised by white nationalists. when asked if that concerned the president, concerned him, he said not at all. you have some experience with this because david duke, he repeatedly endorsed you for president which you rejected. i wonder to your credit i wonder in your view the president not rejecting that support of his message? is that in effect, you know, accepting it? is a failure to reject an acceptance of that support? >> i think it is. and again i want to reiterate what trump is doing here is so dangerous. that he's stoking these racist sentiments in a dangerous way in this country, further dividing us at a time we need a president and commander in chief who will reunite our country, bring people together, recognize you can disagree without being disagreeable and the freedom of speech we have in this country
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needs to be celebrated or protected whether you agree or disagree with the speech people are delivering. moving us closer to that more perfect, you know, and standing up for up holding those principles saying all men are created equal, each of us, these are things we need to celebrate and protect at all costs and this is why i'm running for president to do just that. >> as you know house democrats today, speaker pelosi to introduce and bring up a resolution condemning trump's tweets, his comments here. i wonder, besides the symbolism, though, and the symbolism can be important whch what can that accomplish? >> i think it's important to make a statement and make a stand about what are these american ideals we stand for, whether you're americans or democrats or independents, it's these ideals that truly make our
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country great. trump talks a lot about making our country great, but his actions are directly undermining what makes our country truly great. these ideals and principles that we are founded upon, the freedoms that we cherish. so i think it's important congress does take action, that we stand up for these freedoms, we stand up against this kind of racism. >> question on a different topic, if i can. as i'm sure you know north korea is now threatening to renege on its denuclearization, of course discussion. they've taken no steps to do so. you've praised president trump's decision to meet with the north korean leader. we were there just earlier this month. but north korea is taking no concrete steps to do anything to curtail its nuclear program. i wonder if you think at this point the president's outreach to north korea has failed. >> it's clearly failed. but first i want to say it's important for us to have leaders
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who have the courage to meet with both adversaries or potential adversaries in a pursuit of the safety and security of the american people and peace. so you've got to be able to have those negotiations and those conversations. the problem with the approach trump has taken he's undermined those attempts to negotiate a nuclear deal to denuclearize the korean peninsula just look at what he's doing with iran. why would north korea be interested ipmaking a deal with trump and the united states when they've seen how he's completely torn up the iran nuclear deal, enacted crippling sanctions even when iran was complying with the terms of that agreement, and he's continuing to deploy more and more u.s. troops, stoking the fires of war and threatening regime change against iran. so he's sending one message to north korea, but undermining that very attempt towards denuclearization because of his failed foreign policy in places like iran.
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>> quickly before we go, if you were president, would you rejoin the iran nuclear deal, make the u.s. rejoin that deal? >> i would. i think it's critical that we do that. obviously making sure that iran gets back into complying with the terms of that agreement. we've got to reenter the deal as it is to be able to prevent war with iran and then look simultaneously and separately how can we work out the differences? how do we improve the situation and challenges we're continuing to see with iran separately? >> congresswoman, tulsi gabbard, thanks very much. we'll find out which democratic candidates will face-off on each night of the next debates in a special live tv event. watch "the draw" for the cnn democratic debates. thursday night 8:00 eastern time. that'll be exciting. today space nerds listen up. this is such an exciting day as
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breaking news just into cnn, there will be no federal charges for to the new york city police officer who was accused of fatally choking eric garner. tomorrow is the five-year anniversary of his death. >> our crime and justice report shimon prokupecz joins us right now in lower manhattan. there was that settlement with the city with the family in 2014. this was new, at a federal level and still nothing. >> reporter: right, and tease are the federal civil rights investigation, is whether or not the department of justice was going to bring charges, that this officer violated the civil rights of eric garner and now we have a decision from the department of justice from multiple sources who say they are not. the department of justice is not going to bring any charges against the officer who has been
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under investigation. his name is daniel, and he's been on death duty since this happened. as you said, poppy, he was investigated by the state. a grand jury in staten island which was convened by the incident in 2014. they decided not to bring charges and now the department of juls s has decided not to bring charges against the officer as well. so important context here this has been kind of a hot potato for the last five years. tomorrow would have been the deadline for the department of justice to bring charges against the officer and the statute of limitations was going to run out tomorrow. there were fbi agents who did not feel there was enough. they were investigating this and they felt there wasn't enough to bring charges against the officer. also the u.s. attorney's office, they here in brooklyn at one point about a year or two ago during this investigation, they
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too did not see any need for charges but people at the department of justice, the attorneys and civil rights division at the department of justice did want to bring charges, but then what happened is we had a change in the administration, the trump administration came in and this administration just languished and now we have a decision from the department of justice after all these years, they say they're not going to bring charges. there's going to be a press conference here behind me at the attorneys office at 11:00 a.m. >> and just to remind folks watching this, eric garner, he was arrested at the time for illegally selling cigarettes and the words he said in this moment we're seeing here now captured on camera were i can't breathe, i can't breathe and those words became a powerful kind of rallying cry. shimon, quickly. oftentimes you'll have federal civil rights charges or attempted charges follow when
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local authorities do not charge, and of course the doj has decided not to pursue here. is this the end of legal jeopardy then for the officer involved here? >> reporter: yes, it is. this is over. this investigation is over. no more charges, criminal charges can be brought against the officer because the grand jury in staten island decided not to bring charges. and now you have the department of justice deciding not to bring charges. the officer, however, his job is still in jeopardy. he's been on desk duty since this happened and the nypd, their department, internal investigation, there was a trial. that decision, their internal department trial, that decision is still pending. they just wrapped up that trial. the judge in that trial, the department judge is yet to decide on what is going to happen, what the officer's space is in terms of his employment.
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it will be one of those two options but the idea this officer is ever going to put on a uniform again and walk the streets again is probably over. and also it's important to note there's been a lot of changes at the nypd and in policing in general since this incident happened. a lot has changed. of course this was one of the rallying cries for change. you also had the ferguson shooting of michael brown. we saw what happened there. so a lot of what went on here, there was change as a result of this. and i think that's not important to forget as well. >> okay, shimon, thank you. it's really important breaking news. we appreciate you getting it for us. we're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. at visionworks, we guarantee you'll see great and look great. "guarantee". we say that too.
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harris has rolled out her plan to try too keep the cost of prescription drugs lower. she's stepping into what can only be described as a major disagreement among democrats running for president on how to handle the issue of health care. >> yeah, breaking out right in the middle of the democratic party, senator bernie sanders and former vice president biden already facing off over the oordable care act versus medicare for all. joining us now with details, correspondent jessica dean. this is the prime voting issue by both polls in this election, health care. tell us where she stands. >> what she came out with today, we've been talking about medicare for all and the affordable care act. this is really focused on big pharma and keeping the cost of prescription drugs down. it's a very niche policy. so let me walk you through what
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she says. so her plan right now is to set a price limit on prescriptions. then she wants to -- and have what she calls a fair price. and then tax at 100% all the profits that companies earn for overcharging beyond that. additionally, she's for importing lower cost drug alternatives and also giving the doj more oversight of price gouging by the pharmaceutical companies. so then the question kind of becomes, well, how does that compare to what former vice president joe biden rolled out yesterday? so when we break it down that way, again really focusing on this more narrow topic of prescription drugs and keeping that cost down for a lot of people, that eats into their budget every single month. when it comes to the harris plan, again, she's having the government set the prices. and the difference here is she's going to tax at 100% beyond whatever they set that -- whatever the drug company charges, and then that money from that tax would go back to consumers, either through the pharmacy right there when they're checking out or through a rebate. as for biden, the government is
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going to negotiate a price for medicare, public option. if you want to have your drug involved in either of those plans, he's going to want to negotiate that price and then there is a tax penalty on anything above an inflation rate. >> to be in the big pharma board rooms, when week, they've got to be screaming. they're going to call it anti-capitalist. these not saying we set the price, that's it. but comparable to similar economies. we don't think it's fair to charge americans more. and it's hard on its face to argue against that. i'm interested in why she has put out sort of a more narrow, limited plan here. is there more to come from her. >> i think we can expect her to drill down on details. we've heard a number of things from her campaign on where she stands on medicare for all. i think we're going to hear much more from her. obviously people are going to want to know is she for medicare for all on its face?
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where is she on private insurance? she's answered some of those questions, but in items of getting that full policy, like we've had from some of the other candidates, i think that's still to come. >> now we have this very public battle between biden and sanders on their competing plans. it's part of the debates. they put the positions out there and then you, the voters, decide. >> so watch the cnn debate. >> the pentagon has not had a permanent leader in 197 days, this with two ongoing wars in iraq and afghanistan. but that could all change this week. a senate confirmation hearing is under way for mark esper. he is president trump's nominee for defense secretary. >> his confirmation would end an historic upheaval where there have been three acting secretaries of defense this year along. he would have a long list of challenges that collides iran and north korea. >> president trump is now escalating his fight with a
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so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. very good morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm poppy harlow. this morning congresswoman alexandria ocascio-cortez is pushing back hard at the president after he accused her
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and her colleagues of saying, quote, some of the most vile and disgusting things ever said by a politician. well, in tweets of her own, ocascio-cortez reminded the president of the time that he bragged about sexual assault. and in responses to his, quote, love it or leave it order, she said we don't leave the things we love. >> we should also be clear, many of the things the president accuses these congresswomen of saying are just flat-out untrue. we're going to be fact checking that throughout the hour. speaker pelosi says the house about vote on condemning the tweets and comments. how will house republicans respond in you'll know. they're going to speak from the podium in just a few minutes. lawyer enfox is live on capitol hill. over the last 24, 48 hours we've seen the president double and quadruple down on these statements and accusations. to this point the republican leader has been in lock-step with him. do we expect them to continue that in this news conference shortly? >> the questionur


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