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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  February 19, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST

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starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. >> we will continue to win, win, win. >> 30 days in. the unprecedented presidency. >> you've seen what we've accomplished in a very short period of time. >> critics call it chaos. >> obviously, there's an administration in significant disarray. >> but president trump -- >> this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. >> still playing to his base. and fighting back. >> we're not going to let the fake news tell us what to do. >> can trump answer persistent questions about ties to russia? and -- will those mounting protests across the country derail trump's agenda?
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tough questions ahead for trump's one-time rival, senator rand paul. and, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff. plus, former campaign managers robby mook and corey lewandowski go head to head. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. good morning. 31 days in. liberals are freaking out. trump diehards fired up. the one thing all of america can agree on. we have never seen anything like it. we're used to watching new presidents take office with choreographed policy plans. rolled out with careful words. this, a machine gun blast of big promises. the rhetoric loud, aggressive. chaotic. the question -- is this a fine-tuned machine delivering promise after promise at a record pace? or, an administration careening out of control? and if it is, how bad will the crash be?
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we're getting to all of that this hour. for the first time together since the election, trump's fiery defender and former campaign manager corey lewandowski, and hillary clinton's battle-scarred general, robby mook head to head. and in a moment, trump's former primary rival, senator rand paul. a year ago, he called candidate trump a disaster. what does he think of president trump now? and, we had hoped to have vice admiral bob harward who turned down the national security job just this week. harward had committed to appearing on this program. just an hour ago, he told us he was unable to join. we hope to have him in the near future. but, we begin with a reality check. and trump in his element. >> this is the state where we all had great victory together. >> reporter: a classic, high-energy show. >> we will make america great again.
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>> reporter: crowds, an instant anti-dote to the poisonous atmosphere back in washington. and they love him now more than ever. >> a star is born. a star is born. >> reporter: it was as if he never had to fire flynn or got smacked by the courts or lost a cabinet nominee. ran into waves of opposition in the streets and the deluge of damaging leaks. trump's search for his old winning ways started with the thursday throwback. >> i'm not ranting and raving. i love this, i'm having a good time doing it. >> reporter: the most remarkable moment? of that extraordinary event? a complete rejection of any suggestion that anything was going wrong. >> i turn on the tv, open the newspapers, i see stories of chaos. chaos. yet it is the exact opposite. this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. >> reporter: reality check. trump is making progress in some of his key promises. tougher immigration.
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reworking his travel ban. cutting regulations. picking a conservative supreme court nominee. but on many of the big ticket items, he's treading water. the wall. tax cuts. obamacare. the infrastructure plan. all still up in the air. and the main source of all of the chaos talk, the turmoil over national security. >> mike flynn is a fine person. and, i asked for his resignation. he respectfully gave it. >> reporter: in munich, germany, at the international security conference, vice president pence tried to reassure nato allies. but pence's efforts to calm european anxieties were overshadowed by the star of the chaos theory camp, senator john mccain. in a headline-grabbing speech, mccain asked a loaded question. can the west survive? he didn't mention trump. but he didn't have to. >> in recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism, not this year.
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if ever there was a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it's now. >> let's bring in republican senator rand paul of kentucky. senator paul, thank you for joining us. i want to start with what the president said. fine-tuned machine. over this first month. is that what you're seeing? >> well, you know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. and, from where i sit, we have done a lot of good things. you know, we repealed regulations for the first time in 20 years. using the congressional review act. three regulations that were going to cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs. that is big progress. we're on schedule to repeal obamacare, big progress. his cabinet picks, from a conservative point of view, have exceeded by expectations. i think scott pruitt will be great at epa. i think we'll do conservative things. supreme court justice, somebody i could have picked.
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so i'm actually very, very pleased with where we are. >> some of the chaos theory stems from the president's words. what he said. i want to play something he said last night at his rally. >> you look at what is happening last night in sweden. sweden. who would believe this? sweden. they took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible. >> now that was in a riff where he was talking about terror attacks. so we scrubbed the -- the records, scrubbed news reports out of sweden. do you have any idea what he was talking about? >> well, i think there have been some altercations. there was a new year's eve altercation, i think, a year ago where there was quite a few things that were happening that did involve the refugee populations. i believe that was in sweden. i think anybody that thinks it has been seamless and no bumps in the road in germany with
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allowing a million people to come in, i think there have been problems. i think there are legitimate concerns that get sloughed over here. for example, world war i, world war ii, immigration came to a grinding halt in our country during these wars. if someone wants to come from aleppo tomorrow, how do you know who they are? there is almost nothing left in aleppo. i don't know that there is paperwork. i don't know that you can ask people in syria, where there is a dysfunctional government, to give you legitimate paperwork on people. so i think it's very, very difficult to vet people from there, yemen, sudan. all the places engaged in war. those are legitimate concerns. >> but senator, i'm asking you about what the president said at his rally. he said, what is happening last night in sweden. we heard from the former prime minister of sweden who tweeted, after that. sweden? terror attack? what has he been smoking? questions abound. isn't there a point of credibility? i mean, we heard the president in the press conference say he
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had the biggest electoral win since reagan. it's not even close. isn't there a credibility question? >> you know, i think there are -- there are other people that have looked at this and they say there are two levels you can analyze this administration on. one, words and twitter. another on actions. and i tepid to -- tend to look at the actions. and like i say, i have my quibbles here and there with things that are said. and yet, i'm really pleased that we repealed a regulation that was going to be very, very damaging to my state. the regulation, i went to the white house this week to see him sign, the repeal would have cost 77,000 jobs in the coal industry. so i'm very, very happy. that would have never happened probably under half a dozen other republican nominees. so, i mean, not everyone is perfect. but i think there's a lot of good things. we shouldn't lose sight of the good things from the conservative point of view of what is happening in washington. >> no doubt.
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i want to play something you said a year ago january. now, obviously, at this point, you were running against donald trump. so you were in a different position. i want to play something you said on the nightly show with larry whitmore. >> what worries me most other than the crazy things is that i believe he wants power and i believe from my point of view that power corrupts. and that the whole purpose of our founding fathers and the country was to contain power. >> so when you listen to the press conference on thursday, and when you hear his attacks on the judiciary. and you hear his attacks on the press, do you still have any of those concerns? >> you know, i have a great deal of concern for any president and the amount of power they accumulate versus congress. i'm a stickler about the idea of separation of powers. when you go back to james madison, he said we would pit ambition against ambition to try to check and keep things in balance, i think that's incredibly important. i think all presidents have tried to gain too much power. this is more about the words and
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the personality of president trump. i was very, very concerned about president obama and how much executive order and power he tried to exert. i think i want to be, and i think congress will be a check on any executive, republican or democrat, that tries to grasp too much power. and really, a lot of the fault is not only presidents trying to take too much power. it's congress giving up too much power. we write only skeletons of bills, sort of outlines of bills. even obamacare was just sort of an outline. 2700-page outline. we sent it up there. the rest of it is written by bureaucrats. a permanent bureaucratic state. yes, there always has to be a pushback. and i think there needs to be a great deal more pushback from congress on any president. not just this president. probably 100 years' worth of presidents have been usurping too much power. >> i think you're second to none in the senate when fighting for civil liberties. let me ask you about what he's
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saying about the press. he's saying now that the news media is the enemy of the american people. do you agree with that? >> it's not something that i would say. i would say that there is bias. i think it's fair to point out that there is bias in the media. on both sides. both right and left. and that it's very hard to find objective news because we have gotten, particularly as you watch cable news, it's so dominated by opinion. and we are more polarized. some comes from the people and some from the media. but i would say that i don't see in his criticism, somehow, people think the separation of powers means that the president can't criticize the judiciary. it has nothing to do with that. that's more of sort of political sensibilities. it has nothing to do with the constitution or separation of powers. we don't like it when it sort of
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treads on things. the separation of powers is about legislative powers. not discussion or words. i would separate, once again, words from legislative action. if someone tries to put limits on the press, i'll be the first one standing up for the right of press left and right to continue saying and being part of the discussion and forwarding the discussion. >> what would you make of mccain's statement that we're creeping towards a situation where people are potentially supportive of dictatorship in this country? is that over the top? or is there a concern? >> i think senator mccain's perspective is colored by his disagreements with president trump on foreign policy. if i were to look at foreign policy, i would say john mccain's been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades. he advocated for the iraq war, which i think destabilized the middle east. if you look at the map, there's probably six countries where john mccain has advocated for having u.s. boots on the ground. his complaint is either we're not at war somewhere, or if we're at war, we leave too soon. we're not there soon enough, he
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wants us to stay forever. wherever we send troops. so that's a foreign policy that is at odds with president trump. and also the idea of engagement. the idea of foreign policy realism, i think, fits more neatly with president trump. with john mccain, the neo-conservative label of let's make the world safe for democracy and we're going to topple every regime hasn't worked. our intervention to destabilize the assad regime has made the chaos worse in syria. and if you were to get rid of assad today, i would actually worry about the 2 million christians protected by assad. i think it's more foreign policy debate. trump and mccain are on opposite sides. i tend to sympathize more with the president.
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we need to change. we don't need to continue to have regime change throughout the world. nation-building. it's expensive. we don't have enough money to rebuild our own country if we're rebuilding everyone else's. >> he said dictators get started by limiting freedom of the press. i imagine you agree with that. >> well, the thing is i don't agree with his analysis and applying that to the president. i haven't seen any legislation coming forward that wants to limit the press. i see president trump expressing his opinion rather forceful in his own distinct way. but i see no evidence that anybody is putting forward any kind of legislation to limit the press. i think people, you know, this is colored by john mccain's disagreement with president trump. it all is. everything he says about the president is colored by his own personal dispute he's got running with president trump. and it should be taken with a grain of salt. john mccain has advocated for war everywhere. he would bankrupt the nation. and actually, we're very lucky john mccain is not in charge. i think we would be in perpetual war. >> he certainly did talk about
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changing the liabbel laws durin the campaign. i want to turn to the firing of michael flynn. one of the candidates that the white house is now talking about as a possible replacement is john bolton. now, you adamantly opposed him when he was up for confirmation for another position. would you have concerns about john bolton as national security adviser? >> yeah, i think the problem with john bolton is he disagrees with president trump's foreign policy. he would be closer to john mccain's foreign policy. john bolton still believes the iraq war was a good idea. he still believes that regime change is a good idea. he believes that nation-building is a good idea. i think john bolton would be much closer to mccain than trump. and i think that his history of sort of acting on his own, my fear is that -- secret wars would be developing around the globe. so no, i think he would be a bad choice. >> let's turn to obamacare. you tweeted in january that the president quote fully supports
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my plan to replace obamacare the same day we repeal it. we have heard some mixed signals out of the white house. are you still confident that that's the case, that he still fully supports your plan? >> yes, i have discussed this with the vice president. congressman price. now secretary price. i think we need to do repeal and replace on the same day. i think we need to do complete repeal. many people are talking about a partial repeal. if you only repeal part of it and you leave in some sort of obamacare light, my fear is the situation gets worse. right now, in the insurance markets, we have sort of a disaster unfolding. a downward spiral. adverse selection ps. premiums in the individual market going through the roof. people can't afford insurance. insurance companies are losing hundreds of millions of dollars. if you repeal part of obamacare, if you get rid of the individual
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mandate, but you keep some of the ideas, people can still buy insurance after they're sick. the situation gets extraordinarily worse. what we're seeing now could be tenfold greater if you only repeal part of obamacare. about a year ago, we voted to repeal the whole thing. my advocacy and most of the conservatives i'm talking to in the house say we have to at least do what we did in 2015. we're not into like replacing it with some federal programs. we want to repeal the whole thing and have a replacement that helps to lower insurance costs for everybody. >> are you convinced that the white house would be on board with that? the president said it would be a plan in march but he's also talked about maybe this would take more than a year to unfold. >> well, the thing is, is, yes, all of it takes awhile to unfold. legislatively, we'll repeal obamacare within the next one or two months, i think. i'm pretty sure of that. there's a debate to repeal the whole thing or whether or not some of the big government republicans want to keep obamacare light. the conservatives, we're ready
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for a fight. the house freedom caucus said they'll not vote for partial repeal. i'm in the same camp. i'm not voting for partial repeal. it has to be the same thing or better than what we voted on in 2015. and so there is going to be a discussion over how much we repeal. i do believe it's repealed in the next one to two months. the replacement part requires the democrats to help. i don't see help coming from democrats. we should offer the american public less expensive insurance. and that does require a replacement bill. >> we're almost out of time. i want to ask you about something else the president said last night. about his plan for infrastructure. an infrastructure bill. listen to this. >> we need members of both parties to join hands and work with us to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to build new roads and bridges and airports and tunnels and highways. and railways. all across our great nation. >> now i know you have a plan
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that would bring back through repatriation from money that's held overseas, that would fund road repair. what is your take on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan? would you stand up and stop that? >> i think we have to debate the amount. but i'm for rebuilding our infrastructure. and i have a bill that would encourage the american profit overseas to come home. there's about $2 trillion overseas. i have a bipartisan bill i would try to present to the president that i think will held inspect this method. we have to pay for it. i'm not for borrowing the money. i'm open to listening to what he has planned. i'm wanting to offer ideas i have for taking the repatriation money and putting it into the road fund. >> you're not on board with $1 trillion borrowed? >> we have to see how we're going to pay for it. it sounds like a number that is so large that would incur more borrowing. i'm not for that.
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it has to be paid for. i do have a pay for. which is lowering the tax to bring american profit home. i would put that into the road fund. >> one final question. i know it's early. forgive me. the president did have a campaign rally. a reelection campaign rally last night. a headline in "the lexington herald leader" one of the top papers in your state caught my attention. rand paul in 2020. he's showing that independent streak again. so tell me, senator paul, do you rule out running against donald trump in the republican primary in 2020? >> yeah, i have no intention of doing that. my goal right now is to help him. he's the republican president. he's doing a lot of things that conservatives are for. i'm for. my goal is to help kentucky by repealing regulations that are killing our coal industry. and i think on that, we're very much aligned. >> all right, senator rand paul. we'll ask you that question in a little while. coming up, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee weighs in on michael flynn's resignation.
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plus, after a tumultuous first month, president trump is already running for re-election. we'll dissect his first few weeks in office. with a blockbuster debate. corey lewandowski and robby mook just ahead. ♪ like a human fingerprint, no two whale flukes are the same. because your needs are unique, pacific life has been delivering flexible retirement and life insurance solutions for more than 145 years. ask a financial advisor how you can tailor solutions from pacific life to help you reach your financial goals.
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excuse me. coming this way. >> director comey, were you here to discuss general flynn? >> there's fbi director james comey leaving the capital friday, after spending more than two hours briefing the senate intelligence committee behind closed doors. ignoring a question on if he was there to brief the senators on michael flynn. we're joined by congressman adam schiff, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee. congressman schiff, thank you for joining us. >> you bet. >> i want to get to the intelligence committee's
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investigation into the russian interference into the elections. but first, a more immediate issue. the president has denounced ongoing leaks. he thinks they're coming from the intelligence community. but i want to ask you, doesn't he have a point? i mean, we have a situation now where the president holds calls with foreign leaders and not long after, the details of those calls are there to be read by everybody in the newspapers. aren't you concerned about these leaks? >> oh, i am concerned about leaks. whether it's on the phone calls or leaks pertaining to any investigation into any russian activities in the united states or the flynn investigation. so, yes, there is a point. at the same time, two things concern me. the first is, that he turned these leaks, this problem with leaks, into an attack on his enemies. he's now describing the press in terms that we have never heard, not since nixon and probably not even in terms that nixon would subscribe to. that is deeply concerning that
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he's essentially using this to go after his enemies. but more broadly than that, we cannot lose sight of what is at stake here. russia is leading a movement around the world to spread autocracy and authoritarianism. they're interfering, obviously in our elections, and in the elections here in europe. there's deep concern about russia's new bell kos -- bellicosity. they need a strong america to push back. they need to be reassured of that. when the president focuses on a fight with the press or investigating leaks, but doesn't seem committed to standing up to what russia is doing at home and around the world, that is a profound concern. >> is it your sense that there are elements of the intelligence community that are out to get the president? i mean, he clearly thinks so. >> no, i don't have that understanding at all. the intelligence community is
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very professional. they do their jobs well. they're the best intelligence gatherers in the world. they're dedicated, patriotic americans. they'll work with any president. they want to have a good relationship with every president. and i think these broadsides against the intelligence community are deeply counterproductive. they hurt morale and make it difficult for our -- frankly, our agents to do their jobs, our offices to do their jobs to get out and recruit people around the world because they're asking people to put their lives on the line and how can they do that if they don't believe the president of the united states is going to value the work product that comes out of those risks? >> you have called for general flynn to testify before congress. what do you want to ask him? >> well, i would like to ask whether the conversation he had with the russian ambassador was a one-off conversation or were their others? who instructed him to have those conversations? whether he debriefed people in the administration after those conversations? essentially, who was aware he had reported falsely to the vice
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president and the vice president in turn had misled the american people? i think central to the president's calling for leak investigation is the president didn't want to fire mike flynn. but when the press exposed that falsehood, he felt compelled to do so. because the president knew weeks ago and weeks before flynn was let go that he had misled the vice president and misled the country in turn. the president was okay with that. it was only when it was disclosed that he had a problem. that's what he's upset about. that makes this different in kind than some of the other leak investigations we have had where we have investigated people who leaked secrets that undermined our country. because they gave up valuable sources of information. this is not in that category. this is the category of wrong doing that was exposed. >> you're in munich. you're there for senator mccain's remarkable speech where he suggested that the west, itself, may be at risk.
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what was the reaction of the european allies? to what mccain had to say? >> i read his speech. we were in flight at the time he gave it. it was very powerful. but i can tell you the reaction to the vice president's speech because i was there for that. i have to say it was very subdued. there's a lot of concern here about just who speaks for the administration. and certainly, even when things -- when the vice president or others say the right things, they wonder, does the president stand behind this? i wish the vice president had given the kind of speech that john mccain gave. because i think that would have done a lot to reassure all of the nato members, european allies, and others that are here today. >> wait a minute. vice president pence said quite clearly in that speech that the united states stands with nato. you're saying that people didn't buy it? >> and nikki haley said we don't recognize russia's annexation of crimea. but that begs the question, is the vice president or nikki haley really speaking for the president?
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i think certainly here at the conference, when mike sense said, we want nato members to pay up, they knew in that case he was speaking for the president. but when he talked about american commitment to nato, the commitment to europe, i think there is still profound questions about whether in those cases he's speaking for the president or himself. >> i want to ask you the reaction to the president calling the news media, quote, the enemies of the american people. >> well, i didn't think i could be shocked anymore by this president. i have to say, of all the things he has said since he became president, or since the election, this, to me, was the most devastating. and the most alarming. that he essentially views the first amendment, as an enemy of the people. this is something that you hear tin pot dictators say when they want to control all of the
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information. it's not something you have ever heard a president of the united states say. not even nixon went there. it is deeply concerning. i hope it is repudiated by people from both parties. because this not america. >> well, as you know, senator mccain said that, warned there's this flirting with authoritarianism in the united states. said that dictators, quote, get started by suppressing free press. i gather you don't think that is hyperbolic. you think there is a risk of that actually here in the united states? >> i do think there is a risk of that. i think john mccain is exactly right. i think what we're confronting now is a new war of ideas. it's not communism versus capitalism. that's a threat that here in europe they feel acutely. they have seen countries interfered with, bombarded by cyberattacks. but russian propaganda. indeed, by russian troops. the united states, the admiration for putin, for the architect of that has many subscribers.
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in part, the president admires that. so there is a risk. john mccain is exactly right and the message he delivered here is exactly the message america needs to send to europe. because it's the right one. >> quite an assessment, congressman schiff, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up -- just one month in, president trump hits the campaign trail. what's up with his weekend rally? we'll be back with 2016 campaign managers corey lewandowski and robby mook. this car is traveling over 200 miles per hour. to win, every millisecond matters. both on the track and thousands of miles away. with the help of at&t, red bull racing can share critical information about every inch of the car from virtually anywhere. brakes are getting warm. confirmed, daniel you need to cool your brakes. understood, brake bias back 2 clicks. giving them the agility to have speed & precision.
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here are eerie. i have to say. this is about donald trump, his campaign, what he knew, when he knew it, and whether they were actually coordinating with the russians. >> down but not out. hillary clinton's former campaign manager robby mook still at it. he's here, ready to square off with corey lewandowski. both former campaign managers, head to head, here, coming up live. k. i'm doing all i can to keep from having another one. and i'm taking brilinta. for people who've been hospitalized for a heart attack. i take brilinta with a baby aspirin. no more than one hundred milligrams as it affects how well it works. brilinta helps keep my platelets from sticking together and forming a clot. brilinta reduced the chance of another heart attack. or dying from one. it worked better than plavix. don't stop taking brilinta without talking to your doctor since stopping it too soon increases your risk of clots in your stent, heart attack, stroke, and even death. brilinta may cause bruising
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most allergy pills only block one. and six is greater than one. break through your allergies. new flonase sensimist. ♪ we are here today to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. i hear your demands. i hear your voices. and i promise you i will deliver. i promise that. >> the president last night speaking directly to his base, trying to tune out the negativity. despite the headlines describing a presidency in crisis, trump told the crowd he's doing great. and the crowd there clearly believed him. is it possible that donald trump knows something about the commitment and power of his core voters that washington still doesn't get? mary bruce was at the rally and with those voters. here's her report. >> this is a state where we all had great victory together.
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>> reporter: after a bruising week in washington, president trump escaped into the welcoming arms of thousands of supporters in melbourne, florida. back in campaign mode, trump was back in his element. >> we will continue to win, win, win. >> reporter: loyal supporters waited for hours. >> we're all here for trump. we love him. he's doing a great job. >> yes. >> yay trump. >> trump's the man. president trump is my president. i love him. >> he's coming in, straight up. giving what the people want. i think he's doing a great job. >> he's doing great job. >> great job. great job. >> everything is going very well. >> reporter: what is your message to him? >> that we stand behind him. >> reporter: is there anything you want him to be doing differently now that we're a month in? >> no. >> no. >> reporter: in a line that stretched as far as the eye could see, many say they blamed the media for misrepresenting the president's record. >> down with the mainstream media. boo. >> you guys give donald trump a hard time. you dissect what he said.
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he's not a politician. he doesn't have the perfect thing to say. but we love the fact that he goes straight to us and we can decipher it. >> reporter: much of the praise goes beyond the president's specific actions to something else intangible. do you feel real difference in the last month? >> absolutely. >> reporter: what is the difference? >> hope. hope again. he's brought hope to our country. he's brought respect already back to our country. he has -- he's brought smiles to our faces. >> reporter: the few complaints we heard were not about the substance but the president's style. >> we don't need to hear about how good he's doing. we can see. just do it. he doesn't need to tell us. >> reporter: if you had one message for him today, it would be -- >> stop arguing with people and do your job. >> reporter: stop arguing with people and do your job. >> yeah. because i would get fired if i was doing that at work, so -- >> reporter: if you thought campaign rallies were off the
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radar for a few years, think again. trump filed notice he was running in 2020 on the day he was inaugurated. >> 2020, we're ready for next time. >> reporter: saturday's campaign rally strongly reminiscent of one just five short months ago in the same spot. perfectly timed entrance. this one was a little different. more impressive. now with air force one. so, sit too soon to be campaigning? the president says life is a campaign. for "this week." mary bruce, abc news, melbourne, florida. >> let's bring in two men who know what the never ending campaign is like. donald trump's first campaign manager, corey lewandowski and hillary clinton's campaign manager, robby mook. so before we get to our discussion, i want to start with a few very specific questions to you, corey, on the russian contacts between the trump campaign and russia. you were his campaign manager for a time. did you ever have contacts with any russians? >> never. >> never. >> never.
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>> i want to play for you the way donald trump answered that question when i asked him at the press conference. i want to get you to clarify. it's a very important point. can you say definitively nobody on your campaign had contacts with the russians during the campaign? >> well, i had nothing to do with it. i have nothing to do with russia. i told you. i have no deals there. i don't know anything. >> he didn't quite answer my question. you -- i asked you a different one about you specifically. what about others? were others on the campaign associated with the campaign at any time in contact with the russians? >> i don't know of any person working on the campaign that ever had a contact with a russian agent or a russian affiliate or anybody that has to do with russia. none whatsoever. >> you didn't know of any. is it possible that somebody you didn't know of, or maybe the president didn't know of? >> i have spent enormous amounts of time with candidate trump during that campaign. never ever during my time with
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him did i ever hear him, instruct him, see him ever ask anybody to reach out to a foreign country. >> trump. >> that's right. i was the campaign manager for 18 months. >> you can't speak for paul manafort. others? >> i don't know what people are doing in their private time. i can tell you unequivocally, i have never seen anybody i have directed or the president has directed ever reach out to someone from the russian government. never been instructed to do so. >> i believe corey that he never reached out. he's not one of the names listed. paul manafort's connections to the russians is clear. they paid him a lot of money to get candidates they wanted el t elected in the ukraine. it's not surprising they might be trying the same thing here in the united states. what is particularly frightening to me is that these phone calls that trump associates had with russian agents were picked up because the nsa taps these russian agents regularly. this is not speculation. they're phone calls that were
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actually picked up. what is also scary is that you saw the president deflect the question. he won't answer it. more we learn about this, the closer and closer it gets to president trump. >> your allegation is that what the intelligence community says was clear evidence that russia was behind the dnc hack? you believe that the trump campaign was coordinating with the russians? >> that's what we don't know. >> there's no evidence of that. yes, that we have seen. >> there's none yet. but president trump won't deny it. we don't know the facts. we haven't seen the transcripts of the phone calls. we need to get all the information out there. we need a 9/11-style bipartisan independent commission to sort through this because this can never happen again. >> there is no evidence that the russians had anything to do with the outcome of the election. was very clear. let me read to you what president obama said in october, the u.s. election system is too big to hack. a senior administration official, echoing the comments of obama, said it is so
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large, diffuse, and antiquated that altering the november election would be near impossible. >> that's about the voting machines. you don't doubt the hacking by the russians? >> i have no idea who it's done from. >> the intelligence community said -- >> i have no idea who did it. >> do you think they're lying? >> i have no idea what their information is. the campaign had nothing to do wit. the information hacked from wikileaks was proven to be 100% accurate. all the po december that e-mails that have come forward have -- >> does the president believe it? he said he believed it in the transition press conference. he seems to be talking a lot about the fake news. >> the president said the e-mails from john podesta have been authenticated. or have never been refused to be authentic. that's the truth. >> this is the problem, jonathan. blame the victim. the russians stole the podesta e-mails. they put them out to hurt hillary clinton. that's absolutely correct. my point is, and i think the point of the national intelligence community and everybody else is, that's wrong.
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we cannot have foreign governments interceding in our elections. >> let's get to the larger issue of russia relations. i want to play something else from the press conference. >> does anybody really think that hillary clinton would be tougher on russia than donald trump? does anybody in the room really believe that? okay? >> you weren't in the room. i imagine you think that. >> i absolutely think that. the reason putin did this is because hillary clinton spoke out against him. she spoke out against frankly the same kind of behavior we're starting to hear donald trump hint at. when donald trump is asked about putin, he's praised him. called him a strong leader. gave him an "a" rating. when he was asked on "the o'reilly show" of putin's tactics of killing journalists, intimidating journalists, of locking up and killing his opponents, he said that, you know, he compared that to america. he said we're not that innocent either. >> the intelligence community said it was the russians. >> why, as the world's greatest superpower that we are, don't we want to work with another
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superpower to eradicate isis and isil? in places where we have a common goal. if we can have a country that works with russia for the same goal, to devastate, destroy, and kill isis in their place as opposed to them coming here, why isn't that a good thing? i'm missing it. >> the problem is, putin devastates and destroys his enemies. he's been devastating and destroying the syrian people. hillary clinton spoke out against that. she had the courage to do that. she paid a price because vladimir putin interceded in the election. >> hillary clinton did not lose this election because of vladimir putin. she lost it because she couldn't connect with females. she lost it because the african-american vote was down. and because she was a terrible campaigner. and they ran a terrible campaign. they lost in states that the democrats hadn't lost in 30 years. that's a fact. >> why is the president still obsessed with the election results? he's president. >> he's not obsessed. >> he brings it up all the time. >> you have to understand the main stream media. the people that usually host this show laughed that he would
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ever run or be successful. you know what he's done? he's proved the pundits wrong. >> i interviewed him very early on. >> i was there. i was there that day. >> i interviewed him very early on. took him seriously as a candidate. and certainly now as the president. but let's get to the first 100 -- the first month. may feel like 100 days. the first month in office. the president says this is a fine-tuned machine. first to you, corey, do you think that's right? do you think reince priebus is doing a great job? >> what i think is the president is implementing the promises he made on the campaign trail. 24 executive orders already signed into law. four visits from foreign leaders. 14 cabinet members done. he's put out significant policy already. he's nominated a supreme court justice to fill the vacancy. if you look at what he's accomplished in 24 days -- >> who is in charge? >> president of the united states is in charge. >> in terms of the staff. priebus, kushner? bannon? >> this is a narrative that the only washington, d.c., community cares about.
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the chief of staff. that is the person who runs the white house. no question about that. the people in the white house have very different functions. reince's job is to make sure that the white house is running effectively and efficiently. and that the president's legislative agenda is moving forward. when you look at the executive orders, reince is intimately involved in making sure they're done properly. >> robby? >> i have deep concerns on two levels. to corey's point, there's a lot of stuff that people in d.c. care about. what really matters and what donald trump promised was that he was going to mobilize the country to create jobs. what have we seen in the first 30 days? he put goldman sachs in charge of the treasury department, the economy. all he did on the campaign trail was attack goldman sachs. he spent the taxpayers' money shutting his kids around the world to pitch their businesses. already a member of his staff has been criticized for ethics breach for marketing his products. he's having foreign leaders spend their money and our government spend money or his properties. this is not the president of the united states helping
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create jobs for regular americans. >> he did withdraw from tpp. he has brought in the ceos and labor leaders. >> sure. he's brought in ceos. he's divided the country. we don't see the congress mobilized around passing any jobs bill. the first thing he's talking about is tax reforming what is he going to do? cut tax rates for millionaires? >>s for the first time since october 2009, the right track wrong track in the country is a positive. people think we're going in the right direction. since 2009 it is not believed to be that way. you saw it on the video. the american people have faith in donald trump. he's moving the country in the right direction. >> those were his core supporters. i want to ask about something from this program a week ago. listen to this. >> i have actually having worked before on a campaign in new hampshire, i can tell you that this issue of busing voters in to new hampshire is widely known by anybody that has worked in new hampshire politics. it's very real. it's very serious. >> we have two guys from new hampshire, worked in new hampshire politics. have you ever heard of voters being fraudulently brought in to
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vote fraudulently? >> absolutely not. >> look, jonathan, of course you have. >> really? really? >> we saw yesterday a story from the associated press that we have voter fraud in texas. no question about that. 800 people. in new hampshire, the way the law is written, it's very clear. it's state of mind. if you choose on election day, if you can -- >> i thought new hampshire had a clean -- >> joe biden's daughter, eight years ago, said she became a new hampshire resident, worked on the campaign for three minutes, walked up there. she was living in a state senator's house and decided to vote. that is wrong. >> former gop chair said this wasn't true. secretary of state said this wasn't true. again. i thought we were supposed to be talking about jobs. we're talking about an invented scandal that doesn't exist. the voter fraud doesn't exist. >> anybody can vote on election day. that's voter fraud. >> all right. corey lewandowski. robby mook. much more to talk about. we'll get you guys back on. >> let's talk about jobs. we'll be right back. jobs. we'll be right back.
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we'll be right back af
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there's been no shortage of outrage over the president's statements on the press. but i would like to close with a little perspective. there is nothing new about a president of the united states criticizing or even vilifying the press. even thomas jefferson, the same thomas jefferson who wrote the declaration of independence and who ten years after that wrote, our liberty depends on free drom
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of the press. even thomas jefferson, when he was a few years into his own presidency was so upset about what was being written about his administration that he flatly declared nothing can now be believed that is seen in a newspaper. teddy roosevelt, who now is next to jefferson on mt. rushmore, once wrote, to announce there must be no criticism of the president or that we are to stand with the president right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally trnable to the american public. i couldn't agree more. he wrote that nearly a decade after he wrote office. when he was still in the white house, he coined the term muckrakers to denounce investigative journalists that he felt were so obsessed with the negative that they were missing the good in the world. including the good he was doing as president. such negativity in the press, roosevelt said, is one of the most potent forms of evil. that brings me to president donald trump.
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who has taken presidential criticism of the news media to yet another level. in a way it surprised me. the donald trump i knew as a young reporter in new york was nothing if not media friendly. for most of the past republican primary, he was the most accessible major candidate. no one else was even close. at thursday's press conference we saw flashes of that. 17 reporters called on. many that he knew would ask tough questions. but now, the president has declared the press the enemy of the american people. i've reported in countries where leaders not only complain about a critical press but also try to shut it down. throwing reporters in prison or worse. i've seen my colleagues risk their lives and with increasing frequency, lose their lives, in the pursuit of the truth. we're not about to stop doing our jobs because yet another president is unhappy with what he reads or hears or sees on tv news. there is a reason the founders
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put freedom of the press in the very first amendment to the constitution. as long as american democracy remains healthy, there will be reporters willing to pursue the truth, even if that means incurring the wrath of the most powerful person in the world. a free press is not the enemy of america. it's a big part of what makes america great. that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight." and have a good day.
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