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tv   New Day  CNN  January 11, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PST

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later as long as we get our liberal policies in place. that's got to stop and i hope it stops with donald trump. >> last question, do you expect an endorsement from president trump? >> you know, i've gotten so many amazing endorsements. i'm so proud to have senator rand paul on my team. i've also had endorsements from people like sean hannity and laura ingraham -- >> and steve bannon. >> steve bannon, i don't know that i actually really got a full endorsement from steve -- >> i think you were his candidate. >> no, actually, i think that my message resonated with the things that donald trump said on the campaign trail. the america first agenda that actually began way back in 2010 with the tea party movement. >> i'm only looking at your press release where you say ward has received national endorsements from rand paul, laura ingraham, sean hannity, dick morris and steve bannon. that's where i'm getting my
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information. >> yes, bullet t he was never pf my campaign, never an adviser. he's not somebody that i've reached out and talked to in any way, shape or form. so it's funny that you and especially the establishment would love to tie me to steve bannon -- >> your press release ties you to steve bannon. why are you distancing yourself now from steve bannon? >> i am distancing myself from steve bannon. he's made some significant mistakes, significant gaffes that are unacceptable to me. i support the president. i support the president's family, and i support the will of the american people and the people of arizona who want the america first policies to be put in place. that's what i'm running on and that's why the people of arizona are so excited to have a candidate like me. my campaign is strong. my team is amazing. my grassroots support across the state of arizona is second to none. that's why we're going to win this election in august, november and then get to
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washington and do the job. >> kelli ward, thank you very much. nice to have you on "new day". >> thanks, alisyn. okay, good morning, everyone. welcome to your new day. as the president would say, welcome back to the studio. >> except this actually is a studio and not a briefing room. >> is it? all right, it's thursday, january 11th, 8:00 in the east. president trump is airing his grievances on the russia investigation. the president is refusing now to commit to giving an interview to robert mueller. last june the president said he would be 100% willing to tell mueller under oath his reason for firing james comey. the president also repeating his no collusion defense 8 separate times yesterday. >> saying that it has been determined that there's no collusion. that's just not true. meantime, 14 months after the actielection, the president can't stop tweeting about
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hillary clinton. he brought her name up three times just yesterday and he's tweeting about her this morning. that said, a top white house aid is blaming us for forcing them to think and talk about hillary clinton. we have it all covered. let's begin with cnn's joe jones live at the white house. good morning, joe. >> reporter: good morning, chris. the president clearly frustrated this morning, making contradictory assertions, suggesting an interview with the special counsel and the russia investigation is an open question, while continuing to repeat his mantra that there was no collusion, raising questions of why he wouldn't want to sit down with the special counsel and answer questions if there's nothing there. president trump refusing to commit to a possible interview with special counsel robert mueller. >> we'll see what happens. i mean, certainly i'll see what happens, but when they have no collusion and nobody's found any collusion at any level, it seems
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unlikely that you would even have an interview. >> reporter: his remarks markedly different than this response last june after firing fbi director james comey. >> would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of events? >> 100%. >> reporter: the president again calling the russia investigation a democrat hoax and repeating this familiar defense 8 times. >> there has been no collusion. there's no collusion. i can only say this, there was absolutely no collusion. >> reporter: mueller and congressional investigators have not reached any conclusions in their russia probes, but mueller has obtained guilty pleas from two former trump campaign advisers for lying to the fbi about their conversations with russians and two others have been indicted. earlier in the day president trump encouraging the gop to take control of the investigation despite the fact that republicans already are in control of all three congressional probes and the justice department. >> i don't intend to have a discussion with the president on that point, and i hope he
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doesn't call me and tell me the same thing that you said he said. >> reporter: it comes after the president criticized senator dianne feinstein, calling her sneaky for releasing the transcript of the judiciary committee's interview with the head of fusion gps, the firm behind the now infamous russian dossier, without telling her republican counterpart. >> he tends to call people names very quickly, so i'm not alone. the one regret i have is that i should have spoken with senator grassley before. >> reporter: mr. trump responding to negative media coverage by vowing to make it easier for people to sue news organizations. >> we are going to take a strong look at our country's libel laws. our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace. >> reporter: the president also insisting there will be no deal on the d.r.e.a.m.ers without a wall after sending mixed messages the day before. >> it's got to include the wall. we need the wall for security.
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we need the wall for safety. we need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in. >> reporter: and the president has spent some time this morning tweeting about the dossier and, in fact, on capitol hill the fact that the house of representatives is expected to vote on extending government surveillance powers in the fisa act. this is the president's tweets. this is the act that may have been used with the help of discredited and phony dossier to so badly surveil and abuse the trump campaign by the previous investigation and others. important because his administration supports passage of those fisa amendments today but the president sounds like he may be opposed, though it's not quite clear. a second tweet this morning also referring to the dossier. it reads, disproven and paid for by democrats, dossier used to spy on trump campaign. did fbi use intel tool to influence the election?
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did dems or clinton also pay russians? where are hidden and smashed dnc servers. where are crooked hillary e-mails. what a mess. with that, i'll throw it back to you. >> thanks for tossing that hot potato back in our lap, joe. that will take a half-an-hour for us to fact check but we'll start right now. let's bring in reporter chris aliz za and harry bacon. great to have both of you. let's dispense for a moment with the factual errors that were in those different presidential tweets and let's get to perry first. the president brought up hillary clinton three times yesterday and he is tweeting about her this morning so obviously he's staging a diversion. i guess the question is, is it working? >> just think about how many times president obama brought up mitt romney in 2013 or george w. bush brought up john kerry in
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2005. almost never. this is a very unusual thing. i think the broader issue is this is a distraction. he's trying to argue that trump is being investigated by mueller and by the media to some extent as well and i think he just wants to say hillary did it too, hillary should be investigated too. that's the whole strategy here is to really suggest there's two scandal, a hillary scandal and a trump scandal as opposed to one russia scandal. >> perry, appreciate it. let's get some context here, chris. >> okay. >> let's start with trump. here's president trump yesterday and what he decided to speak about unsolicited. >> hillary, my opponent, hillary clinton had an interview where she wasn't sworn in. hillary was not for a strong milita military. >> he was not asked about hillary clinton. why does that matter? because of what kellyanne conway says here. >> i was the campaign manager for the winning part of the campaign and the idea that we would have to look any further than hillary clinton to beat
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hillary clinton itself is a fantasy. i didn't need to talk to anybody in moscow. i was talking to people in north carolina and michigan. there's no reason to have gone anywhere outside of hillary clinton and how unattractive her policies were, how lacking in vision and connective tissue with the forgotten. we beat her fairly and squarely in this country through this democratic elective process. so many people still can't get over the election results. >> says my friend who can't keep hillary clinton's name out of her mouth. >> hold on. excuse me. i'll make you a deal, chris. i'll never talk about her again but then you can't talk about the 2016 election -- >> i'm not. >> she lost that election. >> i haven't mentioned the election once. >> the reason she's talking about it -- >> i haven't mentioned it once. you bring up hillary clinton. >> we don't care about her. nobody here talks about her.
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>> i agree with me. and then kellyanne tweeted this this morning just to put a finer point on it. hey, when we are forced to think or talk about hrc it's because you and your colleagues can't let go of an election she/you lost. sad. proven further by after a 30 minute interview about policy and accomplishments. hrc is all you and others can say. i never brought up hillary clinton. i never brought up the election. so the question is, where does it get them? >> look, they can abuse the truth all they want. i don't know how that helps them but how does this distraction help them? >> i don't think it does. again, i always return to this. i think our tendency, because other presidencies have operated under a strategic and narrative
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arc is to assume that this presidency is like those. i just don't see any evidence of it. why is he talking about hillary clinton today? because he is. i mean, i know that that's sort of obvious but i don't know that there's anything beyond what he thinks and says and tweets at that moment and the reaction within the white house as they try to justify it. the logical fallacy on display between the norwegian prime minister press conference, kellyanne's interview with a handsome italian man last night and then donald trump's tweets this morning, huh? huh? i mean, it doesn't -- it does not compute. >> i feel bad for people transcribing this. >> it just doesn't compute and that's the problem. i think our tendency always, always, always is to assume that there's a strategy here and i think there is a person at the
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center who says and does things and then the whole rest of that white house and us react to it. there is no good reason other than maybe firing up his base but i think they're already with him to talk about hillary clinton. >> perry, listen, what they want us to talk about and we know this from kellyanne's tweets, she wants us to talk about the tax cuts. obviously we've devoted hours and hours and hours to the republican tax plan. we talk about it all the time. she wants us to talk about -- >> the plan to fight opioids which we talked about last night. we talk about opioids often. >> okay, good. i think we should do a segment on that. let's do it tomorrow. >> sure. >> she wants us to talk about -- oh, the stock market. we have christine robins on all the time to talk about the stock market and the jobs reports and everything. but today in the news it's that president trump yesterday changed his course and no longer said that he would 100% be
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interviewed by bob mueller. so this week the news is that bob mueller -- the president's lawyers are preparing for an interview for the president with bob mueller and then yesterday the president says something to the effect of, i'm not so sure that i'm going to do that. so that's what -- the news is that we are talking about it. >> this is big news because donald trump said i will talk to mueller back in july i think. that seems to be an indication that he had nothing to hide. now as we get closer to mueller actually wanting to talk to him, donald trump is like, no, no, no. that does not make him look particularly innocent. to think about this two ways, legally it makes a lot of sense not to want to talk to a special prosecutor who may be investigating you for a crime, but politically this kind of flip-flop is going to only heighten the russia investigation and make people think that trump has something to hide, isn't telling the
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truth, he doesn't want to be candid. i think this is a really challenging political moment for him on an issue that already has dogged his presidency. >> look, it's also him getting in his own way on a very important issue, chris. it is inherently by definition and intention divisive. when you attack the truth, when you try to say it's not about him, it's about hillary clinton, this is political, fusion gps, the dossier, mueller, the fbi, the doj, they're all set up against him, you are dividing this country. doesn't it defeat his ability to turn around or any of his supporters and counsellors and say he wants to unify when everything he seems to be doing on these issues is calculated to do the opposite? >> so look at that tuesday immigration meeting which i think he was rightly praised for at least doing a 55-minute open press conference. >> great move. >> there were some continue decisions in there but by and
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large, he presented himself as i think the best possible outcome for a donald trump presidency which is sort of a no non idealogical dealmaker. so yesterday he calls a u.s. senator sneaky and he doesn't answer the question about mueller and he talks about hillary clinton and in the course of one answer he uses the phrase "no collusion" seven times. again, day to day presidency, what he says today is not indicative of tomorrow. >> the irony, he is protected by the same standard he wants to protect, reckless disregard of the truth. >> thank you both very much for being here. >> thank you. in other news, the president is urging republicans to take control of the russia
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investigations. what does that mean? the gop already by definition does control all of the investigations, so what does he mean? we're going to ask a republican senator, next. y of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve. let's go to sumatra. the coffee here is amazing. because the volcanic soil is amazing. so we give farmers like win more plants. to grow more delicious coffee. which helps provide for win's family. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters.
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republicans to take control of the russia investigation most recently in a tweet. the single greatest witch hunt in american history continues. there was no collusion.
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everybody including the democrats knows there was no collusion, and yet on and on it goes. russia and the world is laughing at the stupidity they're witnessing. republicans should finally take control. just for the sake of fact, republicans are in control of every aspect of congress's russia investigation and the special counsel and the department of justice. let's discuss this and many other important issues. republican senator rob portman, he serves on the foreign relations committee. senator i haven't seen you since the new year. happy new year, blessings to you and your family. >> happy new year to you and congratulations on your show last night. i thought you did a great job in being objective talking about some of the issues. >> thank you, senator. you're dealing with some really big issues yourself, sex trafficking awareness day, integral to your agenda, opioids, the program with the president, big issues. we will discuss.
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help me check some of the politics boxes here for us as well. republicans should take control of the investigation, what does the president mean? >> you have to ask him. i do think we have a serious and bipartisan investigation here on the hill that's going to be successful to getting to the bottom of what happened. that's in the senate intelligence committee. i know less about the house intelligence committee investigation. i'm confident that chairman richard burr and ranking member mark warner are doing a good job. i've had an opportunity to speak with them about their ongoing work. and i think we got to let mueller get to the bottom of it. you mentioned i'm on the foreign relations committee for years. i've been concerned about russia's interference, particularly in democracies around the world and meddling in our own election. it's not new. they did it before donald trump and they'll do it after donald trump unless we make some changes. there was a report issued this
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week about some of the meddling in eastern european countries. it's trying to increase uncertainty and instability in these democracies and it needs to be addressed. >> are you concerned that the president thinks it's a witch hunt and now says he doesn't know if he'll sit down with bob mueller? >> i think he's focused more on the issue of his campaign and the issue of collusion. i don't think he disagrees with the fact that the russians have been meddling not just in our elections but in other elections as well. >> do you know that? he doesn't say it. that's why i asked you for clarification. >> i think the facts are pretty clear and i think they're very clear in fact, and i know that he and his team are concerned about what the russians are doing, again, not just in this country but in other countries. >> okay. let me ask you something else. immigration, very important issue. we need to see if there could be a compromise. both sides are digging in. the wall is a big issue. do you know what the president means by a wall? >> i think i do.
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if you look at his latest proposal he sent to congress a week or so ago, it included some additional fencing and wall. it also included more border security in terms of personnel and technology, all of which i think is appropriate and i think most democrats do as well. >> but there's confusion though because you hear so many democrats and some republicans saying, yes, that's what he means, what you just said. but then the president comes out and says, no, it's a wall. we have to build the wall. and that was obviously his signature promise. so do you think it is no longer this 30-foot-tall bricks and mortar border that he can build in one year for a certain budget of certain billions of dollars, or is it still unclear? >> i think it's what he talked about the other day when he brought the media in for a 45-minute discussion with republicans and democrats and he talked about the need to extend
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existing fences and walls. it's about 300 additional miles of wall mostly in suburban areas where you have a big issue. one of the issues i care a lot about is the drug issue. we have very little enforcement on the border in terms of stopping heroin and increasingly fentanyl which comes from china but then from mexico. >> everybody should know senator portman is as read in on anyone when it comes to opioids and what we're dealing with and why. you do know that we are not a wall away in any form from stopping the movement of drugs. most of it is coming through legitimate points of entry, through tunnels. this is high grade pharmaceuticals. it's coming by cargo carrier. we're not a wall away from stopping that problem. >> no, but it would help. it also actually would help in terms of the other issue we're going to talk about in a moment which is trafficking. this is something that we're focusing on this month. today is human trafficking
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awareness day. so it would help. i think that's where we're headed as a country, is a way to have a more secure border. if you just have a wall and don't have the personnel to respond when it's breached, it's not very effective. in some areas it's more effective to have technology. it's a combination of those things. the commitment the president made is you got to have a secure border. >> his commitment was an actual wall and mexico would pay for it and clearly he doesn't mean that anymore. hopefully it's not a reflection on credibility in general. let's take this opportunity on sex trafficking, i direct people to go online, hln, we did a documentary on sex trafficking in this country. it's a problem people don't tund understand. young women, girls, even from abroad, it's a foreign problem, but that's not the reality. >> sadly, chris, in this ? country, in this century, we see
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an increase in sex trafficking, substantial increase if you look at the data from some of the experts including the national center for missing and exploited children. the experts mostly relate it to one thing which is the growth of selling people online, women and children, through the internet. this is where the focus of our legislation is, is to take away a current immunity, unbelievably if you're an organization online, selling people online, knowingly selling girls under age as an example, you have immunity under a federal law. we want to change that. we did this in a narrow, targeted way to ensure freedom of the internet but to ensure that this horrific behavior wouldn't continue. we have 64 co-sponsors. we want to get it to the floor for a vote and begin to help change this incredible dynamic which is so tragic in my view which is an increase in human trafficking here in this country. >> senator, as i've said before, you have the number, you know how to get us.
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please keep us informed about what happens with the process of passage on this, what happens with the process of passage on opioid reforms. let us know who's standing in the way so we can hold them to account for why they are being resistant for these real problems. thank you, senator portman. appreciate you on the show as always. >> thanks, chris, take care. lawmakers as you know are working to try to find the solution for the fate of d.r.e.a.m.ers. so how will that federal judge's injunction impact these hundreds of thousands of people? we asked democratic whip about that and the interesting meeting with the president next. at t. rowe price we've helped our investors stay confident for over 80 years. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. kayak compares hundreds of travel and airline sites so you can be confident you're getting the right flight at the best price. cheers! kayak.
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comprehensive. >> we're not talking about -- >> we are talking about comprehensive. >> if you want to go there it's okay because you're not that far away. >> that's president trump and house minority whip steny hoyer in an interesting exchange. lawmakers will meet again today to try to hash out a permanent solution for d.r.e.a.m.ers. joining us is the man in that video, steny hoyer. you saw him there next to
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president trump. good morning, congressman. >> good morning. >> it was really fascinating to watch that. what was it like inside the room? >> it was a little surreal. it was the first time i've participated in a meeting like that ever, and i've been meeting with many of his predecessors but this was unique. >> meaning televised or what made it so different? >> having it televised, all of us expected after five minutes the press to be asked as normally the practice, okay, you've got your spray, you've got the pictures of the meeting, now you're going to leave and we're going to get down to business. but that was not the plan apparently. >> right. so that moment that we just played, it seemed like you felt the need to have to explain comprehensive immigration reform to the president. >> what i was indicating was that we have to get to comprehensive immigration reform, but the positive part of
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the meeting was, first of all, that the president agreed that we needed to take care of the d.r.e.a.m.ers, that they need to be protected and they need to be protected in a way that he has suggested and that is passing legislation to do just that, which is what he said when he overturned the daca ruling of the obama administration. >> but is it your understanding that the upshot of that meeting was that you were going to get a clean bill for the d.r.e.a.m.ers or what came out of that meeting? what's the solution? >> what came out of that meeting was a suggestion by the majority leader of the house, mr. mccarthy, that there were a number of items that they wanted to discuss. obviously when you have a negotiation, each party, each side has items that they want to discuss and obviously that's going to be appropriate. so we'll do that, but we had a meeting yesterday with mr. mccarthy, senator durbin, senator cornyn and myself to try to get the process which we could discuss the issues that both sides want to discuss.
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we believe central to any action that we take is the protection of the d.r.e.a.m.ers, making sure that they stay here in this country, the only country that they really know, and a policy that is supported by the overwhelming majority of the american public and i would suggest apparently supported -- he was articulating his support of that with dianne feinstein. senator grassley said the same thing. at the end of the meeting the president said, is there anybody here in the room -- and there were 24 members, 17 senators, 7 house members. is there anybody in this room who disagrees with protecting the d.r.e.a.m.ers? he said daca, but the d.r.e.a.m.ers. and no one indicated any opposition to that. so i think there's a consensus. i think there's an overwhelming majority of the house, i think there's a majority of the senate who all, once a bill gets to the floor which protects
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d.r.e.a.m.ers, will vote for it. that's what we're discussing. >> i'm glad that you now have some clarity on it because i have to say there were some moments during the meeting that your facial expression belies that clarity. i know you don't have a monitor right now to see it but we're playing a montage of your facial expressions throughout the meeting which at times seemed bemused i would say. what was going through your head? >> i think that's accurate. i think that's an accurate interpretation. i was bemused because majority leader mccarthy jumped in on a number of occasions which i think you had shown as well to try to clarify what the president had responded to. when senator feinstein in particular and senator grassley indicated they were protecting d.r.e.a.m.ers, let's do that first and then let's move on to comprehensive immigration reform, the president agreed with senator feinstein and then the majority leader moved in and
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said, well no, what we really mean is -- and he expanded the president's answer. so i was bemused at that. this is complicated. this president is different than most, in my opinion, in terms of what he says and his flexibility in following up what he says. this is a very, very serious matter. it needs to be resolved. 86% of the american people think that there's no good policy sending these young people back to a country they don't know, a place that they haven't grown up in. they're americans in every sense of the word and they're extraordinary. those of us who have met d.r.e.a.m.ers are just so impressed with their commitment to this country and their commitment to positive value-added actions for our country and their communities. >> as you stand there today, do you understand if a wall is
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connected to the protection for d.r.e.a.m.ers, must the wall be built in order tofor the d.r.e.a.m.ers to stay? >> what i understand is the president is concerned about security at the border. we're concerned about the security at the border. i think there's an overwhelming opinion that we need to maintain security at the border. how you get there will have to be discussed. the president talks about a wall. we talk about other items that we think will be much more effective and that will have a much greater consensus. we think, frankly, the building of the wall, its cost is not justified either by its efficiency or effectiveness. but that will be -- >> but you think the president is open to rejecting -- ultimately working his way around to not having a physical wall? >> look, i think the president has talked about a wall through his campaign and continues to talk about a wall and he's going to continue to talk about a wall. we'll have to see. but what i took from the meeting was a consensus, not on that but a consensus on the fact that the
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d.r.e.a.m.ers had to be protected and the president was prepared to sign a bill to do just that. now, what other aspects will be part of the discussions, i think you saw that in the meeting, was covered, as you say, uniquely in terms of those discussions, but i am working very hard with leader pelosi, leader schumer, senat senator durbin and leader mccarthy to get us to an objective asap, as soon as possible. >> steny hoyer, thank you very much for sharing your impressions. we'll be very interested to see what happens today. >> thanks a lot. a louisiana teacher who spoke her mind at a school board meeting ends up in handcuffs. the reason is why. the ordeal is captured on video. did the marshal go too far? you judge.
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and adi the goat's family too. because his kids eat a lot. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters. packed with goodness. southern california's mudslides. 17 people are dead including children. check out this survivor video. the driver and her brother are lucky to be alive. their car was pushed by mudslides as they rushed to evacuate. oh, my gosh. that storm caused -- the mud slides are on the move. chad myers is here with our forecast. what are you seeing? >> that video is hard to watch.
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the storm has moved into arkansas and oklahoma and will make a rain event for the northeast and a snow event for the midwest. this weather is brought to you by green mountain coffee roasters, packed with goodness. the storm is on the move and so are the temperatures. we have warmed things up in the east, made a rain event, even flash flooding in the east possible. the ice and snow is going to melt and the rain is going to come down. from about cincinnati through columbus, ohio into buffalo, there will be ice and snow mixing in behind it, but the majority of the storm for all the big cities is a rain event. the humidity is back. you can feel it in the air. the snow though from upstate new york right on through erie and down into columbus, ohio, that's our forecast. we do cool down a little bit but at least, chris, this reprieve in the weather has allowed cvs to restock the chapstick because we were completely sold out down here. everybody's lips were chapped. >> you go through a lot of lip baum, do you? >> i do. >> and what is your type of
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choice? >> i use the car max in the little blue can. >> good to know, for giving season. see you later. new this morning, the nation's biggest employer is giving some workers a raise. walmart is increasing the starting hourly wage for all workers to $11. eligible employees will also get a one-time bonus worth up to $1,000. walmart ceo crediting the new tax law for allowing the company to provide the new benefits. so there's this rally today in support of a louisiana teacher who was arrested at a school board meeting. this is deyshia hargrave. she was questioning why the school's superintendent was going to get a big raise while teachers like her were struggling. that's when she was asked to leave the room, and after a while she did. well, she was escorted. and then this happened. >> what are you doing!
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are you kidding me! >> stop resisting. >> i am not. you just pushed me to the floor! >> it is not clear if that deputy city marshal acted on his own or under the direction of a board member. cnn has reached out to the city's marshal's office for comment. as for the teacher, hargrave, she is not facing charges. as she says, she is waiting for an apology. your thoughts, counsellor? >> well, the issues will be obvious. it will be about use of force. you have every right to address the government. you have a right to peacefully assemble, but if you become a distraction in those kinds of events, you can be asked to leave. the amount of force that is used to help you leave or to make you leave winds up becoming the consideration. >> i think that she was within her rights to ask the school board why aren't teachers getting a raise and the superintendent is getting a big raise. >> that's a legitimate issue. >> she seemed measured. >> we only see this. >> i did read the report on it and it sounded like she was
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measured and reasonable but they didn't like what she was asking and told her to get out. >> did she continue asking and not allow any other conversation to take place? >> that i don't know. >> if so, did she become a distraction? there are going to be issues about it. you hear the officer saying don't resist. we don't know what happened. >> you heard her say, i'm not. >> certainly no clear answer from that video. meanwhile, two political scientists say that president trump fits the description of an authoritarian. how did that come to that conclusion? we discuss with "the new york times" reporter who spoke with them. first, if you have an out of control sweet tooth, it might be time for detox. lisa dreher shows you how to cut back. >> with a doctor's approval, a sugar detox can help you drop unwanted pounds and feel better in just a few weeks. here's one plan you might want to try. for the first three days, cut out all sugar. that means no fruit, starchy
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two harvard professors are compiling a list of four warning signs to determine if a political leader is an authoritarian. the signs go from denying a legitimacy of political opponents to poll rating violence. they say, quote, with the exception of richard nixon, no major party presidential candidate met even one of these criteria over the last four century. donald trump, four for four.
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nick christoph interviewed both of the harvard professors behind this book. what do you make of their suggestion? >> i think it's ominous when -- there's been talk about authoritarianism and whether president trump meets that standard. these are scholars who have looked at other countries in europe and latin america and what they argue is that we tend to think of authoritarianism arriving with revelations. they argue that these days it comes through somebody taking elected office, typically a populist, and then gradually whittling away at the morays, the values that underpin our political system with things like condoning violence or delegitimizing opponents or, say, talking about changing libel laws. >> we're seeing this today, this morning, just this morning these things came up. let me put up the graphic for everybody at home who's following along. they have these four warning
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signs. you talked about a leader who shows weak commitment to rules, denies legitimacy of opponents, a leader to tolerates violence, a leader who shows some willingness to curb civil liberties or the media. there's the quad-fecta for you. >> that's right. i don't think that the end result is that we're going to end up as nazi germany or hugo chavez's venezuela but i think there's a coarsening of our political system and a real reduction in the effectiveness of our political system. it does matter when a person who becomes president is urging followers to beat the crap out of rivals and saying he's going to front their legal expenses. all that matters. their point is that we have -- as a society we have to robustly
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challenge this by standing by these institutions and these rights that are the underpinning of a democratic system. >> the pushback is, for whatever categories they came up with, this is an exaggeration of trump because the reason he gets a laugh so often when he says ugly things is that people don't really believe him. they believe it's just yap coming out of him, just part of the show, the act. >> i think there's something to it. i think a lot of what he has said is bombast and indeed he's said a lot of things that he has not followed up on. but at the end of the day, it matters not only whether we change laws but also whether we change the democratic norms that govern how we operate. he isn't necessarily changing laws, he is sure helping to change those norms. it was a process that began before him but i think he accelerated it. >> so many people, democrats primarily, are worried about what they saw last year. they considered 2017 to be a
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very dire year. i've heard some liken it to the apocalypse. and yet you are here and you've written a great column that we need a fresh perspective on all of this. 2017, you say, was the best year in human history. so give everybody your evidence. >> so in journalism, we tend to focus on the bad news. we cover the planes that crash, not the planes that take off. and all that's important and there are a lot of threats, but it seems to me that the most important thing happening in our time is essentially the defeat of global poverty, illiteracy. so last year, we think of 2017 as a terrible year. everybody day now 217,000 people worldwide are lifted out of extreme poverty. another 300,000 people get electricity for the first time. >> how did that happen? why was 2017 such a year of that kind of -- >> this is an ongoing process.
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it wasn't just 2017. until the 1960s a majority of human beings had always been illiterate, had always lived in extreme poverty. now fewer than 15% are illiterate, fewer than 10% live in extreme poverty. we are privileged in our lifetimes to see this extraordinary change in the essence of what humanity is like. >> you're asking for perspective, but both are true, right? things are getting better on one level but things are still worse than they should be, even here at home. you look at the poverty rate, the literacy rate in this country, none is where it should be. >> absolutely. but if we only focus on the problems, then i think that pessimism actually leaves us feeling helpless and perhaps empowers the forces of make america great again which i think aims for nostalgia for a time that never really existed. ideally, that recognition of
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that backdrop of progress should galvanize us to challenge those injustices and threats that remain before us. >> it's such a good perspective. diseases are down globally. childhood mortality. it's great to keep that in mind and you always do a great job of giving us perspective. thanks so much. >> good to be with you. a quick programming note, what would senator bernie sanders say tonight about all the good things that are going on because of the president? we're going to put him to the test on primetime at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and newsroom with john berman starts after this break. we'll see you tomorrow.
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in order for that whiteness to last. i would definitely recommend pronamel strong and bright to keep enamel strong, keep stains away. they're going to get whiter, brighter teeth. ♪ good morning, everyone. john berman here. a mind-bending morning at the white house where up is down, black is white and there are serious questions about whether president donald trump knows the positions of president donald trump. in the span of a few minutes the president seemed to come out against a bill the white house supports. he used words a key aid claims he doesn't say, hillary clinton, and this is on top of pronouncing he might not answer questions that he 100% said he would. the breaking news is that the president seemed to suggest he opposes reauthorization of a key surveillance act. he wrote, house votes on


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