tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 9, 2020 10:00am-11:00am PDT
revelations about president trump. a very harsh, brute many words from his inner circle, but the headline is about his handling of the coronavirus. and woodward addresses a question you may remember going back to watergate, what did the president know and when did he know it? according to woodward's reporting, trump withheld critical details about coronavirus from the american public, and as you mentioned in addition to the book, we have obtained some of the audiotapes from the woodward/trump interviews just to give it context. bob woodward did 18 wide-ranging interviews with the president. they were all recorded with his permission. so what i want to do is start with a piece of audio we have so you can hear the president in his own words. this goes back to february, early in february, the first week, and you hear that while
the president was playing it down publicly, he is telling woodward in striking detail how dangerous, deadly and airborne the virus is. here's the tape. >> and so what was president xi saying yesterday? >> we were talking mostly about the, the virus, and i think he's going to have it in good shape but you know it's a very tricky situation. inindeed. >> it goes through air, bob. that's always tougher than the touch. the touch you don't have to touch things, right? but the air. you just breathe the air. that's how it's passed. and so that's a very tricky one. that's a very delicate one. it's also more deadly than your, you know, even your strenuous flus. you know, people don't realize. we lose 25,000, 30,000 people a year here. who would ever think that, right? >> i know.
>> that's pretty amazing. then i say, well is that the same thing? this is more deadly. this is -- five per -- you know, this is 5% verse 1% and less than 1%. you know? so this is deadly stuff. >> it is striking to hear him say those details. that is just to underscore from february 7th. that back then, if you think about it, we just all thought, you know, where is were we the first week in february? that this was a problem in china. and then the second piece of audio from their interviews that i think is critical, brianna, is from march 19th. and there are two revelations here. the first is, as you know, the president has been playing down the danger to young people. so he addresses that with woodward and you hear a very different take on that, and then
he admits to woodward that he wants to play down the virus. here's the interview. >> now it's turning out it's not just old people, bob. which is today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. it's not just old, older -- >> yeah. exactly. >> plenty of young people. >> so give me a -- a moment of talking to somebody, going through this with fauci or somebody who kind of, it caused a pivot in your mind? because it's clear just from what's on the public record that you went through a pivot on this to, oh, my god, the gravity is almost inexplicable and unexplainable? >> well i think, bob, really, to be hon effort with you. >> sure. i want you to be. >> i wanted to -- i wanted to always play it down. i still like playing it down. >> yes, sir.
>> because i don't want to create a panic. >> but, you know, this wasn't just about panic. we know that the white house was very concerned about the economic fallout of closing down the country. and we know how the president has been so concerned about getting re-elected. >> so sorry to disrupt. we are going to move to the white house briefing and be right back with you, jamie. here's the white house briefing. >> -- important to express confidence and calm. >> play it down, playing it down. is that expressing calm? seems dishonest. >> read the rest of the quote can. >> how much they put in there. >> exclude the the last part. >> play the full thing on "60 minutes." >> please do. please -- of course i deny that. he makes clear he doesn't want to see chaos, second part of the quote you failed to read. the president just days after having this discussion with bob woodward said this, from this podium on march 30th. he said, i do want them to stay calm. we are doing a great job, if you look at the individual
statements, all true, stay calm. it will grow away but important to stay calm. this president does what lieders do, good leaders. it's stay calm and resolute at a time when you face an insurmountable challenge. what this president -- >> it appears the president lied to the american public about the threat poseed by covid? >> the president has never lied to the american public on covid. the president was expressing calm in his actions they reflect that. january 6th, to the consideredca wuhan travel notice. refer you to dr. fauci said this president has an impressive response. i can't imagine under any circumstance anyone could be do anything more. the record of thi president, that is. john? >> how do you square that the president's words to woodward when he said, this is a very delicate one. it's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. this is deadly stuff. and then just two weeks after he told woodward that, he said, thsis a flu.
this is like a flu. and, of course, also said it was going to quickly go to zero. seems to be in direct contradiction of what he told woodward? >> the president was listening to his medical experts because also you have same time period dr. fauci who said this, asking, asked if the seasonal flu was a bigger concern he said this february 17th. right now at the same time people are worrying about going to a chinese restaurant, the threat we have in this country, we're having a pretty bad influenza season particularly dangerous for our children. reflecting that point. days later in a briefing he said the statements i made are this, i want to keep the country calm. that's what leaders do and what president trump does. >> and dr. fauci is not comparing the two. not saying coronavirus is like a r the flu? >> asked in a covid interview asked about seasonal flu, vis-a-vis -- taking action to address it. could be worse. once again context matters.
zero reported covid case, cdc implementing public health screenings, house dems preparing to file their first briefs in inpeachment. one reported case cdc, one reported case the cdc activating an emergency operation center while pelosi was releasing a statement criticizes mcconnell over impeachment. january 31, the president issued a travel ban on china. one that the former vice president called xenophobic. what democrats were doing while this president was acting and his actions reflect seriousness with which he took covid-19. yes? >> quoted dr. fauci. he is also on the record saying of president trump his attention span is like a minus number and his sole purpose to get re-elected. according to veteran journalist bob woodward. bottom line here is the president by his own admission in private on the record acknowledged the depth of this crisis yet told the american people something very different. how is that it at its core not an abject betrayal of public
trust? >> the presidents always clear with the american people about the lives he could lose. from this podium acknowledged it was serious bab in march, 100,000, 200,000 links could be lost. with regard to dr. fauci you're referring to a quote he allegedly told bob woodward. i can give you quotes played on loop saying his response was impressive and can't imagine anyone doing anything better. dr. fauci saying i can tell you the president, first and only time i said do mitigation strongly, responsibilities was, yes, we will do it it. and then bent e went with dr. birx, 15 days nor enough. go to 30 day. a lot of people with problems with that because of potential secondary effects. nonetheless, the president went with the health recommendationses. long list of praise. >> it's on tape. >> and i'm reading what dr. fauci said pub politically for all to see.
play the video clips and get them in your inbox. >> february 7th said it's deadly stuff about coronavirus. in private on the record. in public, february 28th says one day it's like a miracle. it will disappear. it's one thing as a public figure not to try to incite panic. a very different thin respectfully to lie and mislead the american people about a crisis that has claimed near ll 200,000 american lives. >> no one is lying to the american people. one day covid will go away. we hope for that day. we will have a vaccine because of this president tearing through bureaucracy. this president imposed calm from the podium, motivated private sector since world war ii, more tests than any country in the world on covid. a vaccine which by the way will be a record for a novel pathogen timing of this vaccine.
glet it by e get it by end of the year or three years timing of ebola. this president has done an unprecedented job dealing with covid one dr. fauci acknowledged and i'll get you that to your iran box. >> with all respect, an insurmountable pandemic. united states leads the world in deaths for covid-19. doesn't the president bear responsibility for that record as well as testing and vaccine you're talking about? >> look at the rest of the world and particular the case fatality rate in the united states is about 3%. the world is 3.3%. uk 11.9, france 8.8, belgium 11.2 and go through various western world countries dealing with covid. we've done a very good job. cdc notes that and the's attesting to therapeutics they're navigating. it case fatality rate the metric shows how well our response has
done with therapeutics and we are leading the world having lowest case fatality rate. important metric and attestment to a president who ripped through barriers getting u.s. through convalescent plasma and other good working therapeutics. >> and you mentioned the president is focused on a response then why does the president have thousands of people many not wearing masks at a rally last night, in a state that has limited outdoor gatherings to 50 people? nevada this weekend holding similar rallies. and gathering numbers of people in violation of the government's guidance and advice of local officials who you've said should have the last say in this? >> people have the right to make their own decisions.
and a doubling standard. rob davidson said social distancing issues with regards to protests seen across country. however, this is a public crises. 23 you're allowed to march in aggregate in those protests yuri lewed to show up as a political rally. you have a first amendment right in this country. mario? >> and how can the president bear no responsibility for the 200, almost 200,000 lives lost when he downplayed the virus initially and he knew it was contagious and deadly it was? i don't understand how that can -- >> the president never downplayed the virus. once again, the president expressed calm. the president was serious about this when democrats were pursuing their sham impeachment. he was expressing calm and taking early action and his actions are reflective how seriously -- >> the attack he took, language he used? you said he used hopeful language. does he reglaret that given whe
we are 340uo n oare now? >> we face a challenge, crisis, pandemics we come together and can be optimistic. we can be serious about it, take it seriously with our actions, exactly what this president does. it's why we lead the world in testing. doing far more than the number two, which is india. he took this seriously, but still expressed calm. our food supply chains were at risk, we could not have masked runs on grocery stores. the markets also, the economy was in play here. we didn't want there to be a huge crash in 35panic. he expressioned calmness it's from this podium and a reflective response reflects that. >> and i wanted to ask about the astrazeneca trial. does that throw a -- >> all right. that was the press secretary at the white house lying saying the president never downplayed the
coronavirus. this is what the president said at the time. >> and, again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, nats a pr that's a pretty good job we've done. >> it's like a imiracle. one day it will disappear and maybe go away. see what happens. >> stay calm. it will go away. you know it is going away, and it will go away and we'll have a great victory. >> kayleigh mcenany lying proving how concerned the white house, how concerned the president is about these revelations from this upcoming book by bob woodward. i want to bring jamie gangel back in with me and also cnn chief political analyst gloria borger and chief correspondent brian stelter. jamie, to you, you obtained this book and recordings importantly. the receipts, right, of these
interviews bob woodward did. what did you think especially listening to what kayleigh mcenany said right there? >> look, every leader wants to be calm gawk through a crisis, but what woodwa wrward paints is book, and i want to tell you, these interviews are all quotes. these are not anonymous sources. you have dr. anthony fauci quoting saying that president trump's leadership is rutterless. that his sole purpose in doing things was to get re-elected. that his attention span was a minus. it is one thing to be calm. it's another thing to level with the american people. let them know what is going on to protect themselves. this is early in february, and he knows it's airborne. he knows it's highly contagious. you -- the portrait that bob
woodward lays out is a betrayal of trust and a failure of leadership. i would just add that you know, the american people are pretty good at rising to the occasion. look after 9/11. go back to pearl harbor, and fdr. trump failed to level with the american people, and you have to wonder looking at this how many tens of thousands of lives might have been saved if on february 7th he had said, shut it down. wearing a masks. socially distance. wash your hands. >> yeah. not squandered the time when they did roll things back a little bit as they needed to for tracesing and testing. brian stelter, you heard that part of the press briefing. what do you think?
>> kayleigh mcenany has no credibility on this subject. she said on fox business channel on february 25th, we will protect the american citizens. we will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here. when she said that, americans had already died of the coronavirus. but we didn't flow it because there were not tests. the testing failures, those other failures in the month of february, bob woodward's book brings all the failures back. when kayleigh mcenany talks about the chine 2345 travel ban, not a ban. trump often times acts like that's all he had to do. closed one window of the house. didn't close it. propped it half way closed. he left the front door wide open and we know thanks to the tapes from woodward he was aware how dangerous that action was or that inaction was. there's a reason, brianna, why the publisher simon schuster and ceo ed this book "rage" the most important that simon schuster
releases kniss ye s this year a every american reads it before this november. >> gloria, talk about the fact-checking kayleigh on the travel ban. first the president didn't ban all people coming from china. hi thousands and thundershower s . officials lost track when they were supposed to be monitored and it tame coup late. according to the cdc, the virus was already in europe, and called it the kung flu repeatedly. even kellyanne conway calling it highly offensive. what do you think, gloria? >> look, i think when the american public looks what jamie reported this morning and what is in bob woodward's book, we take a step back and say these are not anonymous sources. this is the president speaking on tape. it's the president's words and it's people's lives. and what the book shows is that
february was a lost month. completely lost month. you had a president of the united states who was insistent on saying to the american public, don't worry. we got it under control. it's going to be gone in a couple week. meanwhile, in an interview with bob woodward he is saying, by the way, think affects younger people. we know that. we know how difficult this is. this is airborne. so he's talking out of both sides of his mouth, and it makes you sort of scratch your head and say, why is he doing this? why is he lying to the american public like this? and i remember a time, i think end of the march, beginning of april, when the president actually said at one of his briefings i'm a cheerleader. i'm a cheerleader for country. what that means is, well, i'm going to cheerlead, but we didn't know the other half of the sentence, which is, i'm not going to tell you the truth. i'm not going to tell you how difficult this problem is, because i don't want to shut down the country. because i want to win
re-election and i don't want to hurt the economy. so as a result, i'm going to keep this from you. and i think it's just stunning even for donald trump and what's even more stunning and maybe mary trump can answer this question is, why was he telling this to bob woodward? >> hmm. >> yeah. >> and, jamie? >> can i get just out there, there is an exchange in the book where bob woodward asked president trump what he thinks his most important job is, as president. and trump says, it's to keep america safe and then he says and prosperous. and you just have to wonder listening to the president in his own words and we now know he was not keeping america safe, was he more concerned about the prosperous part of that?
was he more concern eed about t economy, and was that because he was afraid he wouldn't get re-elected? >> it's going to be hard, brian, for the president to claim fake news here. we heard -- look, in fairness, kayleigh mcenany trying to tell bob woodward -- this is on tape. on tape. >> a fog machine will ramp up. his fog machine create an alternative reality. president did the best job of anybody. better than joe biden would have done. the talking points on fox. but you know, i think most americans see through that fog machine. books bike woodward's are helping do that. the president said february 10th, in april supposedly it dies with the hotter weather imagine? i don't know if there's a more sad sentence i've ever said allowed. what ifs it wa troon? told t -- was true? always two or three step bees lined. the woodward book shows he was actually four, five steps behind
what was actually happening with the virus and he knew more about it than he was telling us. >> to brine's point about the fog machine, there were 18 interviews. and two were done in the oval office. one was done at mar-a-lago. i am assuming it were common practice at any white house to record interviews with journalists. i'm assuming those three were recorded. the other 15 were phone calls, and the president was sometimes calling woodward unexpectedly, late at night, from the residence. i wonder if the white house knows what's coming? i wonder if anyone recorded those? and -- you know -- there is more to come from these tapes. >> and trying to impress woodward, right? >> tell us also in this book what former officials said about the president? >> so these are brutal, scathing
assessments by his top national security. from former defense secretary james mattis. he is quoted as saying, the president is dangerous, unfit and has no moral compass. he also says in another part of the book that, the president took foreign policy actions that showed adversaries how to destroy america. former director of national intelligence dan coats is quoted saying, the president doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie, and as i mentioned earlier, dr. anthony fauci said, "trump's attention span is like a minus number," "his sole purpose is to get reelected." >> can i respond? >> of course. >> i think these are stasrtling
statements. they're on the record. the white house can respond disparaging everybody quoted on the record in the book as i assume the white house will do, and we have heard this over and over and over again. i'm not sure exactly what the impact of this will be, of those people, because, of course, we've heard it before. the covid stuff, to me, which is, affects our lives, our children's lives, our parents' lives, that is something that i think will take root with the american public, because they have been home for the last six months. they've lost their jobs. they've lost their security. and to learn that the president was lying to them about the seriousness of the situation, and in an effort to tamp it down, is what i really think will matter to people, and today kayleigh mcenany said the president has never lied to the
american public on covid. >> i mean, we know that's not true, and, brian, you know, you know covering the media, people are absorbing more of it. actually had more time to do it, because they have been home. and you know, i just wonder, coming on the heels of this "atlantic" story where the president disparaged service members and fallen heroes, this is a huge one-two punch especially considering there are tapes. these are on the record interviews. >> it's important for history. even if millions of voters minds aren't going to change and we know that this country is stuck in cement, it is important for history. in 20 years when my children read about the trump years, they need to know what james mattis was really thinking. as woodward says mattis went to the national cathedral and prayed for the state of the nation under a trump presidency. it's important what woodward and others are going in terms of
history and why did -- he wanted to impress woodward, came up earlier and the opposite's happened, obviously. >> can i just, to the point of speaking out, in another part of the book, then secretary, defense secretary mattis and coates talk about all of this together. and they say there may come a time when we have to collectively stand up and speak out. and after this covid reporting with everything else they know, you, again have to wonder whether that time may be finally now. >> yes. >> and my question would be -- if they all come out now, together, publicly, on television and do it, it would probably have a lot of impact, because the white house has been screaming about anonymous
sources so much from "the atlantic" reporting, but that, with the covid which is, i think, what's front and center on people's minds, is devastating, and what mattis is saying in a way is not surprising. the fact it's on the record is important. i think people have processed a lot of this, but on the covid stuff, it's learning that the president knew and understood so much more than he was telling the american public when people were trying to protect themselves and their families. that is what is so striking here. >> yeah. he knew and he was clearly lying. i'm grog haoing to have you sta. thank you for the conversation. may have more ahead on this. i mentioned, the president, this is coming as he's already under fire for the denigrating remarks reportedly made about american service members killed in war. while republican lawmakers have not jumped to the defense of the president following these
remarks they haven't reprimanded him either. the silence is prompting one man to speak out. james walter kaiser is a republican who voted for president trump. he lost his uncle walter for whom he is named in world war ii at the battle of the gulf. james is with us now. thank you, sir, for being with us. >> no problem. glad to be here. i have one correction. >> okay, please. >> one correction. i am a registered republican, but i did not vote for president trump. >> that is an important detail. okay. you did not vote for president trump. so you -- obviously, are not a fan. you live in idaho, and you wrote a letter to your republican senators. jim risch and mike crapo, and this letter, something that's important to hear. would you mind r50eading that f us? >> not at all. my letter. dear colleagues i am a registered republican and
resident of idaho nearly 70 years. my middle name is walter. that name came from my father's brother who served in the navy and was killed in the battle in world war ii. i now possess his purple heart, his navy jacket, the telegram from the navy informing nigh grandparents of his death and letter from idaho's then senator who is, was glen taylor at the time giving my grandparents condolences for their loss. do you consider my uncle who died in combat to be a loser? you support a president who believes my dead uncle was a loser because he died in combat. your support of this president is immoral, disrespectful and despicable. since you have no shame, i am ashamed for you.
>> and, james, did you receive any response from senators ritsch or crcrapo? >> i just sent the letter september 4th. >> okay. >> so they probably haven't had time, but i have writ tten to tm before. what i get from both of them is nonsince. political gibberish. so i'm not happy with them. but i want to make a comment about your last discussion, where everybody was yiking back and forth who was telling the truth, who wasn't telling the truth. in america, we have a fantastic system of justice to figure out who's lying and who's not. it's simple. we have a trial. we put people on the witness stand. more importantly, we put them under oath. we cross-examine them, and the truth comes out. the reason i will never vote for
senator crapo or senator risch is during the impeachment the whole purpose of the impeachment at the senate was to hold a trial. crapo and ritsch completely abrogated their constitutional responsibility to have a trial. had we had a trial, we put witnesses on, cross-examine them, put them under oath and we establish what the truth is, but during the impeachment, i don't care if we'd had a full trial, and ritsch and crapo would have voted to acquit. that's their right, but they have a constitutional duty to have a trial, to put everybody under oath on the witness stand and cross-examine everybody, and they simply didn't do it. they're supporting this president -- supporting this president no matter what. >> i know you have a lot of
frustrations, very clearly, with leadership of senators in your state. >> yes. >> this letter that you addressed to them about your uncle, i was hoping maybe you could tell us what happened to your uncle, if you can maybe tell us about his service, and about what happened in the battle of leyte gulf? >> i can. give awe two cents worth of background. my grandparents came to i'd lowe in 1904. they homesteaded. in 1909, the government gave them the deeds to their homestead property because they properly worked for a and paid for it under the homestead act. my grandbe parents then had four children. my father, and they boys, one daughter. my father became a lawyer and was a lawyer in boise for 40 years. i've been a lawyer in boise for 40 years but now am retired. my uncle walter was the one to serve. he went to the navy in january
of 1944. and he trained first at farragut, in northern idaho. then in march he was shipped out to the philippines. he served on an lci, which is a landing craft infantry ship. he was a cook. and then sometime, they don't even know the date, he was killed in the battle of leyte gulf. i have in my possession -- his purple heart. his purple heart on the back says, "he was given this for military merit." it's addressed -- i mean engraved on the back walter g.kiser, seaman first class u.s. navy reserves. they gave him a purple heart, because he was served with merit. and now trump implies and says
to other people that he's a loser. or a sucker. i take great humbrage with that. >> james, thank you so much. you have so much, and you know this, to be proud of for the legacy of service in your family with your uncle walter for whom you have your middle name, james walter kiser. thank you so much for being with us. >> you bet. glad to be here. and moments from now, joe biden will speak live as we learn these damning revelations from bob woodward's book. he's expected to address the book. we're going to be taking that live. plus. what did president trump mean when he said kamala harris becoming the first female president would be an insult to the country? this is cnn's special live coverage. you truly transformative sleep. so, no more tossing and turning-
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moments from now joe biden will speak live as we learn the first revelations from bob woodward's new bhooking on the trump presidency including the president in his own words knowing how dangerous and deadly the coronavirus was in early february. even as he was continuing to downplay the virus publicly. already today we heard plemps fr pledges of the national institutes of health, nih and the surgeon general protecting the vaccine process. a direct response to the president's repeated comments a vaccine could be ready before election day in november. their vows, joining a pledge by nine pharmaceutical companies to not rush the process. >> certainly to try to predict
whether it happens on a particular week before or after a particular date in early november is well beyond anything that any scientist right now could tell you and be confident they know what they're saying. so, yes. science and science alone will be the way in which this decision is made. otherwise i'll have no part of it. >> there will be no sportcuts. this vaccine will be safe, effective or it won't get moved along. >> what a heartbreak that would be. we go through all of this, we come up with vaccine that is safer are and effective. already lost 190,000 people we could prevent many more deaths and yet people are afraid to use it. we can't let that happen. >> dr. francis collins of the nih responded to a specific development in the search for a vaccine. astrazeneca is pausing its clinical trial in phase three after a volunteer fell ill. dr. collins revealed it has to do with the person's spinal cord. >> with an abundance of caution at a time like this you put a
clinical hold, investigate carefully to see if anybody else who received that vaccine or any of the other vaccines might have will a similar finding of a spinal cord problem. this ought to be reassuring to everybody listening when we say we are going to focus first on safety and make no compromises here is exhibit a. >> surgeon general jerome adams revealing when a vaccine is available farm 1i689s will be allowed to administer it to patients who are 3 years old and above. two new studies about young people and the virus and how seif you are inside a hospital. plus, any moment, joe biden will address the damning revelations on the president in bob woodward's newbook. stand by. you can take a personal assessment
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that cannot be extinguished. it rages on to give us a glimmer of what we can do, and of who we can become. because hope fuels opportunity. university of phoenix is awarding up to one million dollars in new scholarships through this month. yes, hope is alive and well. see what scholarship you qualify for at phoenix.edu. we have more now on breaking news. the president in his own words deliberately downplaying the coronavirus early on even though he knew how deadly and dangerous it was. i bring in dana bash. tell us what you have? >> that it wasn't just the american people who apparently
were kept in the dark. many people on the president's own campaign. a source familiar with the trump campaign tells me that many are shocked by the president's comments so early about how deadly the coronavirus was. that the president kept that information from his own campaign. we are still just beginning to do reporting on what people knew. not just about what the president said, about, but more importantly about the content of what he said at the time and from this source i'm told that the campaign didn't know. >> because there's a question, dana, about, you know, did the president, certainly he had all the information available to him, but was he sort of cherry picking what it was that he believe and then projecting that erroneously to the american people? we're learning from the book, he seemed to have a very good handle privately on just how dangerous that-of-this was and that is not at all awhat he was
talking about. that it would go abate. patients in the single digits and then it going away. >> about that and how it's not unlike the flu. we've heard with our own ears because bob woodward taped these conversations the president saying it's much more deadly than the flu, and so you had a, a government that was clearly not preparing the way it should have. that's the most important takeaway from this, given the fact that the president himself understood how dire it was, but then just on the politics of this, you had his campaign chugging along, you know, continuing to plan rallies and do other things that maybe shouldn't have been done, you know, early on, given the fact that the guy at the top of the ticket understood that this was an airborne virus that was incredibly deadly. >> yeah. i think you said, like, five
times more deadly, as he understood it. >> five times more deadly than the flu. >> wow. dana bash, thank you. and awaiting remarks by joe biden who a's expected to address think book. stand by. phone, online, or face to face, we're here to help- utilizing our resources as one of the nation's largest banks and a local approach with a focus on customized insights. so you're ready for today. start your day with secret.
-- distanced i'm. put it back on, gov. ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. i like the sound of that. where are you? thank you, paul. thanks for the welcome. it's great to be here in michigan and with the united autoworkers. you know, i -- as they say in parts of my state, i got brung up on general motors. my father ran a general motors agency. he didn't own it, but he ran it. i -- you know, cars are cars are cars. and, by the way, i still have my '67 corvette. it's new. it stayed new. i'm keeping it. i want that new electric one that goes 200 miles an hour. that's a different story.
look. earlier this week and the reason we're a little bit late, we found as i was getting off the plane i was asked a question that i did not have the background because i was on the plane. earlier in the week we celebrated labor day weekend. here in the heart of automobile industry we never forget the unions. unions as we've said many times built this country. they built the economy. the engine moneying, dynamism, and literally in the case of the autoworkers, you did it. i want to thank you again uaw region 1 for hosting me today, and it's great to see senator stabenow, my good friend debbie stabenow. i got a chance to spend a little time with the governor, but senator stabenow and i have had a chance to work on a lot of matters over the year. she was a great partner to me when i was vice president and we worked in lockstep to get the
people in michigan back on their feet. we're joined by one of the best and brightest and hardest working governors around, my friend, gretchen whitmer, and if you're wondering what responsible strong executive leadership looks like during covid-19, just look at this executive right here. governor, you've done an incredible job steering the people of michigan through a turbulent time. much of it is brought on by donald trump's lack of leadership. you've been rock solid, governor, you've listened to the experts, and you've led with science, and you put the needs of the people who are hurting first, helping them get through this crisis. meanwhile on the day that we hit 190,000 dead new state because of covid 19, we just learned from the "washington post" come ummist bob woodward the president of the united states admitted on tape in february he knew about covid-19 that had
passed through the air. he knew how deadly it was. it was much more deadly than the flu. he knew and purposely played it down. worse, he lied to the american people. he knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. he had the information. he knew how dangerous it was. and while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed do his job on purpose. it was a life-and-death portrayal on the american people. experts say if he acted one week sooner, 36,000 people would have been saved. if he acted two weeks sooner back in march, 54,000 lives would have been spared in march and april alone. you know, his failure has not only cost lives, it sent our economy in a tailspin. it cost millions more in american livelihoods.
this is a recession created by donald trump's negligence, and he's unfit for this job as a consequence of it. how many schools aren't open right now? how many kids are starting a new school year the same way they ended the last one, at home? how many parents feel abandoned and overwhelmed? how many frontline workers are exhausted and pushed to their limits? and how many families are missing loved ones at their dinner table tonight because of his failures? it's beyond despicable. it's a dereliction of duties and disgrace. we're going to hear a lot more about this, i'm sure, not just from me but from the news media and a lot of others, but i want to ask you one simple question. what's the value of a promise? what's it worth? what's the worth of a woman or
man's word? of a president's word if it's not matched with action? in 2016 then candidate trump came here to warren just a few days before the election. here's what he said. he said, if i'm elected, you won't lose one plant. you'll have plants coming into this country. you're going to have jobs again. you won't lose one plant, i promise you, i promise you. that's what he said. donald trump makes a lot of promises. he promised that he alone could stop the offshoring of jobs. he promised he'd bring back jobs, stop companies from leaving. he could do what, quote, nobody else could do but him. he promised that his administration would enforce every last buy-in provision on behalf of the american people
and what makes his wild claims and hopes is that he hopes we don't remember and what he does follow through or doesn't follow through, the exact opposite. he's hoping we just have poor memories. doesn't give us much credit. but the american people are smart, honest, decent, and they're hard-working. and we expect our president to be straight with us do, what he or she says they're going to do. so let's look at the reality of donald trump's economy and what exactly his promise to the american people and workers are worth. he's on track to be the first president since herbert hoover and the great depression to see the number of jobs in our economy go down, not up, while being president. our economy's down 4.7 million jobs since he took office.
4.7. even before president trump's failed response to covid-19 crashed our economy, his reckless and chaotic trade policy ahad thrown the american manufacturing into a recession. it was already contracting in 2019. even when covid-19 hit, before it hit, trump was creating an average of 500,000 fewer jobs a year than the last three years president obama and i were in office, and when the gm transmission plant here in warren closed last year, i bet the workers around weren't all that comforted by trump's empty promises. under donald trump, michigan lost auto jobs even before covid hit. and what about offshoring? has trump delivered on stopping companies from shipping jobs overseas? american jobs? you already know the answer.
of course, not. the rate of offshoring by federal contractors, their people that get federal dollars from the federal government to do things, the offshoring, big companies being paid by u.s. taxpayers, has doubled, doubled under trump. those contracts, federal contracts with your tax dollars, they've doubled the number that have been offshored. he invited companies to the white house to make what he called the pledge to american workers. he couldn't even keep those firms from outsourcing. many were given lucrative federal contracts, but then some of them turned around and shipped 7,000 jobs overseas. under president trump's u.s. trade deficit has grown, it's hit an all-time high. let me say that again. u.s. trade deficit is at an
all-time high under trump in the last three years. president trump's answer to all of this is the same answer as everything. corporate tax giveaways that actually offshoring. you heard me right. he slashes taxes on companies that send production and jobs overseas. those corporations then make huge profits by shipping these foreign-made products back to the united states to sell to american consumers, and no industry has taken a greater advantage of trump's offshoring traction loopholes than the pharmaceutical industry. big pharma lobbied trump for a handout. that's exactly what they got from him. u.s. pharma is building manufacturing overseas instead of the united states, skipping
out on having to pay u.s. taxes and then sending those same foreign-made drugs back to american consumers, all while raszi i raising their prices on prescription drugs that union families and working people have to rely on. and in the process, by the way, he's trying to do away with all health care in america. throughout the pandemic, we're seeing not only the inequity of this policy but the enormous vulnerability that this creates for our own health security, and our security requires us to have supply chains of the necessary drugs based here, not overseas, not overseas, in times of crisis. and what about trump's commitment to buy american? like the rest of president trump's promise, it has nothing to do with
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