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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  January 4, 2018 4:04am-4:28am EST

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ongoing -- policy discussion of the ongoing protests in iran. that is live at 12:30 p.m. eastern. white house press secretary sarah sanders was asked about new book "fire in fury," and president trump's statement criticizing steve bannon, who was discussed in the book. also discussed -- north korea, budget, and immigration policy. sec. sanders: good afternoon. light crowd.
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as we speak, several are on capitol hill producer pitting an ongoing budget negotiations with congressional leaders. the president urges democrats to adhere to the so-called schumer role and that holds the government hostage in an attempt to advance a radical, political agenda. we must fully fund our military and make sure our brave men and women in the uniform have what they need. they're always there for our country and we must not let partisan bickering getting in the way of taking care of them. the president wants a clean funding bill that takes care of our military and keeps our people safe. with that, i will take your questions. cecilia? cecilia: thank you. the president said when he not only lost his job, but steve bannon also lost his mind. does he regret hiring him? sec. sanders: i think the president's statement is pretty clear on what his opinion of steve bannon is, and i do not think there is anything to add. cecilia: they did have a long and close working relationship. is there a sense of betrayal? sec. sanders: once again, i think the president's statement
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fully addressed his position. april. did the president last bequest steve bannon, and this is a serious question, is the president now blocking c-span from calling his cell phone? sec. sanders: i'm am not aware they are calling his cell phone , but the last situation to place in the early part of december. april: what does this do for the president's base? sec. sanders: i don't think anything to the supported the president's base. -- to the president's base. the people supported the president and his agenda and those things have not changed. the president is exactly who he was yesterday as he was two years ago when he started out on the campaign trail. his agenda has not changed, and he is continuing to fight for input for that agenda. and i think the base is extremely happy. look at all that he has accomplished. i think they're pretty happy with where he is. >> steve bannon has a distinct right, andthe all
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some may not be for the other. what happens there? sec. sanders: that is in question you have to ask steve bannon. president's base is very solid, and has not changed because the president has not changed. we have continued to accomplish what we did last year and will do a lot more at the beginning of 2018. peter? you don't like i can handle the the hard ones? [laughter] peter: does the president think his son committed treason? sec. sanders: i think that is a ridiculous question. it is one we have made many times before. if that is a reference to the comments by mr. bannon, you can look back at when he called that a total farce. i think i would look back at
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that, if anyone has been been him, certainly not the inconsistent, it has been him, certainly not the president for -- peter: -- sec. sanders: no, he was not part or aware of that. >> the nuclear threats, should americans be concerned about the president's mental fitness that he appears to be taking lightly -- sec. sanders: i think the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of north korea. he has made repeated threats, he has tested missiles time and time again, and this is a president who will not cower down from the will not be week, and he will make sure he does what he promised to do, to stand up and protect the american people. i will keep moving. john? >> is it possible he could misinterpret that question mark you said he is unpredictable. sec. sanders: i didn't say that. i think it is extremely clear what the president's position is
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, and our position on north korea has not changed since the beginning. this is a president who is committed to protecting americans and protecting the people of this country, and he will not back down. john. john: it is a very harsh statement that the president put out today. it is not the first time steve bannon has been here at the white house -- he made reference to his interview on 60 minutes. during that press briefing on december 11, we were pretty much hands off in terms of going out after steve bannon. the president did not respond in any particular way to the "60 minutes" interview. what has changed? what has changed between then and now, after the interview he apparently did with michael wolff for his book? sec. sanders: once again, the president and his feelings
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toward mr. bannon are very clear in his statement. there is not much to add beyond that. there is not much gray area. francesca? francesca: picking up on that, this is a dramatic falling out between the president, and someone worked on his campaign and also who worked on the white house closely every day. i think everyone is wondering, what led to this dramatic falling out, was it the loss of roy moore in the senate race, is this a direct response, steve e to steve bannon calling the president's son unpatriotic? sanders: i think calling unpatriotict's son
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is outrageous. >> a notice planing how the book came to be said for 18 months, including many -- 200 people, many of the president -- sec. sanders: he never sat down with the president, just to be very clear. there was one brief conversation that had nothing to do originally what the book. it was around five to seven minutes in total since the president has taken office, and that is the only interaction has had. >> any phone calls? sec. sanders: that is the only interaction he had since he took office. >> can you reconcile the president's statement with the author's statement about how the book came to be? sec. sanders: i am not sure what the author's statement is. i know it has a lot of things. so far what we have seen that
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are completely untrue, you have many people who have quotes that are now coming out publicly and saying those things are not true. so i cannot speak to at the author's comments. i can only speak to the white house. >> does the white house have a copy of the book? sec. sanders: i believe some individuals do. >> very little influence in the white house but the president elevated him to the same level as chief of staff and put him on the national security council. how do you reconcile that? sec. sanders: i would not say he elevated him to the same level as chief of staff. the president was clear it did not have a lot of influence on him or decision-making process throughout his time at the white house. ?argaret margaret: many of us have seen michael wolff at the white house on multiple occasions. we know he was here. who gave him access to the white house, and what was he here for? can you explain any of that? sec. sanders: so far, from what i can tell of the roughly just over a dozen interactions with
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ath officials that he had the white house, i think close to 95% were done so at the request of mr. bannon. margaret: so you would say they came from steve bannon. other white house officials were not working with him in helping him to gain information. sec. sanders: any who did as far as we can tell was at the request of mr. bannon. -- monday at 5:00 p.m., can we get details on that, will it will be televised, will there be any -- >> will there be an audience? sec. sanders: i do not want to spoil anything, but my guess is there are quite a few individuals who will be up for those awards. beyond that, we will have to see what happens monday. >> will the press corps be in the room for that? sec. sanders: we will certainly keep you posted. it might be hard for him to
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present trophies if you are not there, but we will have to wait and see what happens monday. justin. justin: i have two questions. one on policy. a letter from the department of transportation, just so the administration -- the framework for the gateway rail tunnel in new jersey, this infrastructure, i wonder if the president -- [laughter] justin: in principle supports the 50/50 split and if not, what has changed from the bipartisan delegation last year? sec. sanders: we have not made any policy announcements on that front at this point, but as we get further into the year and further into conversations on infrastructure, we will roll out details on what we want to do, what we want to accomplish, and what the plan is to do that. we had questions yesterday about the shorter list of demands on immigration. i am wondering if that is something that mick mulvaney brought up today. sec. sanders: it is possible
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that it comes up. we are certainly open to having questions on that. the primary focus today is on the budget. once again, we would like a clean budget bill. that is not what our focus is going into today's meeting. our priorities are on what we hope to have on any immigration deal or daca deal have not changed. they would include funding the border wall, ending chain migration. justin: with respect to steve bannon, you said the president spoke with him in the early part of december. with that before or the special election in alabama? sec. sanders: i would have to look at the exact date. justin: the drafting of the statement from the president today is rather lengthy. did he write it with his own hands, did he dictate it? sec. sanders: i think the
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president's words are very clear and there is not much to add beyond that. kevin. kevin: it was reported he was furious. is that an accurate depiction? sec. sanders: i think furious, disgusted is understandable when you make completely false claims against the president and his administration and his family. >> sarah, thanks. i know you speak on behalf of the president, on behalf of the american people. how surprised were you with what you read, those excerpts, some of the things attribute it to mr. bannon? did that surprise you in any way and if so, how? sec. sanders: surprising. i believed the president could or would win, otherwise i would not have dedicated so much time to it. i worked in the white house since the very first day, and a lot of characterization of -- that i saw that he was pushing
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out was the opposite of what i saw today place every day i had been here. >> very quickly on north korea, some folks in town say listen, it doesn't help, despite the idea being that we will be forceful and push back, some say it does not help lengthy tweets when the tweets come out the way they do. we know the president made clear -- i am who i am and i will tweet the way i want to. has there been a consideration that tweets like the one on north korea actually do not advance the agenda, meaning working with other partners in the region? sec. sanders: what did not help is the complacency and the silence of the previous administration. this is a president who leads through strength, and he will do that and focus on everything he can do in order to keep americans safe, and he will not be pushed around by the leader of north korea. our policy with north korea has not changed. we are fully committed to
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continuing to apply maximum pressure and working with all of our partners in the region , including south korea, whom we have a better relationship with now than ever before. we will keep working with them and keep wor pushing forward. hopefully north korea will start making better decisions. >> should people question the mental fitness of kim jong-un? isn't it dangerous for the president to be taunting him on twitter? sec. sanders: i do not think it is taunting to stand up for the people in this country. i think what is dangerous is to ignore the continued threat here . if the previous administration had done anything and doubt with dealt with north korea and iran instead of sitting by doing nothing, we would not be in this mess now. mary, sorry, i did call on her. >> it is a taunting tweet to say he has a larger button. what does it say about the president's priorities that he unleashed a four-paragraph statement about steve bannon one tweet about north korea? sec. sanders: the president has
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issued a number of statements, has theave i, as administration, jim mattis, secretary of defense, they have all talked extensively about north korea and to try to limit it down to one tweet is disingenuous. >> saying it is actually bigger, but the reality -- sec. sanders: the president is well aware of how the process works and what the capacity of the united states is and it is greater than that of north korea. >> to foreign-policy questions. one, yesterday you said it would be more detailed in the next 24 to 48 hours. seems to report administration plans to announce wednesday and thursday that it will cut off -- sec. sanders: we will keep you posted as decisions are finalized. >> regarding jerusalem and israel, the president tweeted last night that we have taken jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off of the
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table, but israel for that would have to pay more. first, taking it off the table, when the president announced jerusalem was the capital of israel, the administration policy stated that the borders were not been decided and it does not affect negotiations. the tweets seem to contradict that. sec. sanders: i do not think so. it does not affect the negotiations. we still want to continue conversations and continue the peace process. we are committed to that and we hope to push forward on that point. >> what is the pay more thing? sec. sanders: i am sorry. >> he says israel has to pay more. sec. sanders: i will have to check on the details of that. >> will the white house reconsider a position to block public release of the visitor logs? will you release visitor logs to the public? sec. sanders: i do not foresee
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any changes to the policy at this point, but if this happens i will make you aware. ,john? john: thank you, sarah. two questions. first, during the campaign, the president said repeatedly that entitlements were off the table , and he would preserve social security, medicare, medicaid, medicare part d, as they were. now, with the passage of tax reform legislation and the recent statements of house speaker paul ryan that entitlements should be considered in the budget, has the president changed his decision from the campaign? sec. sanders: the president has not changed his decision at this point. again, as conversations does change, we will let you know. john: is it safe to say steve bannon is off social invitations for the white house? [laughter] sec. sanders: probably so.
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since those are controlled by the first lady, and her statement is clear as well. >> how would you describe steve bannon's role in the white house when he was serving the administration? sec. sanders: the president addressed what he feels it was, and that is the most important voice in the process, and he has spoken clearly on that front. >> is the president looking for an apology from steve bannon ? what is he looking for in the future? sec. sanders: i don't think anything. >> discussing earlier the idea that kim jong-un would be the one who is mentally ill, is the president concerned that tweeting about nuclear war could cause someone like kim jong-un to act with military force? sec. sanders: again, i have addressed this. i think the president is concerned about threats that the individual has made toward the united states and others and he will not allow him to continue to do that without saying something and standing up for the people of the country.
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>> three former u.s. secretaries have said the deadline for daca is really this month and there is not enough time to put a new program in place by march if it is not done this month. do you all agree with that? does that make you feel like you have to get it done sooner? i know there have been talks here about not worrying about it until march. sec. sanders: we would like to get something done, but we want to make sure we have complete and responsible immigration reform and we are not dealing with just a piece of it here we . we have laid out what our priorities are. we look forward to having conversations and getting that done. >> does it have to be done this month, as they are saying? sec. sanders: i do not know that it has to be necessarily done this month. look we would like to make a , deal on securing funding for the border wall, ending the chain migration, ending the visa lottery program, interior enforcements, we would like to do that right away. if democrats are willing to make the deal, we would be happy to get it done by the end of the
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month. ok, we will do a quick one here. >> i just don't understand the timing of something. steve bannon left in the summer, the late summer. if the president said he lost his mind when he left, why did he continue to talk to him for so many months? sec. sanders: the president continued to have conversations with him, also often asked for by mr. bannon. the president spoke to him, but that is not mean he cannot hold that position. >> your comments about kim jong-un's mental stability, is that based on the u.s. government's psychological assessment or was that your opinion? sec. sanders: i will not get into any further details on that front. i will come back. andrew, go ahead. >> president enjoyed a slight bump in popularity when golfing.
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i am sure you saw this. is it possible americans like him more when he is out and not tweeting? sec. sanders: i think americans like the fact that he got the largest tax cut in history done and the fact that they will see a lot more of their paycheck and the fact that american companies are investing in this country . they like the fact that american companies are giving out massive bonuses across the board. everyday we are seeing more and more companies and decisions like that. i think that is what most americans are certainly very happy about, particularly as they went into the holiday season and had a little more money to consider spending as they celebrated christmas with their families. one last question. >> in the last day or so, we have seen the president attack the press and the justice department and now steve bannon. is this a president engaging in authoritarian behavior? sec. sanders: not at all. the president is responding often to news of the day. if the president cannot respond aggressively to an individual like the leader of north korea
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, who continues to threaten americans, then that is a dangerous place we do not want to go down. go ahead. >> the president called for him to be fired from his job. that is not the president of north korea. sec. sanders: i did not hear the first part of your question. >> we have seen you and the president to call for people to be fired from their jobs. sec. sanders: i cannot think it is necessarily critics. we are happy for people to have different opinions, but there is a difference between a different opinion and different facts. people are entitled to an opinion but not their own facts. we have a big problem with people putting a misleading information. those are different. thanks so much. >> does the president think steve bannon is crazy? >> coming up on "washington journal," we will talk with , reporter and
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infrastructure topics. then we will talk with the of american association of state highway and transportation officials, frederick right. -- wright. then rand corporation's debra knopman. be sure to watch "washington journal," and joined the discussion. >> new york governor andrew cuomo spoke about his administration's 2017 accomplishments and criticize the textile that became federal law at the end of 2017. [applause] >> so now the moment you have all been waiting for. the 2018 state of the state address. ladies and


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