Skip to main content

tv   Wolf  CNN  March 7, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST

10:00 am
team going out there, pouring in a lot of money. it's going to be the third race he's gone out to campaign in that he's likely to lose. >> and midterm election year comes down to usually one thing, president's approval rating. thanks for joining us today. see you back here at this time tomorrow. wolf starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 12:00 noon in mexico city, 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 9:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. the chaos escalates. the president losing another key member of his inner circle as he admits he likes the conflict. the question is, who's running the white house? stormy sues. a porn star suing president trump over their alleged affair and raising new questions about whether the president's team broke the law. and man of mystery. a high-profile witness now cooperating with the special counsel robert mueller about secret meetings involving a foreign power and the trump
10:01 am
transition team. but we begin with breaking news. investigators now believe a nerve agent was used to poison a former russian double agent accused of betraying his own br intelligence. he and his daughter were found slumped on a bench in salisbury, england, sunday afternoon. now we have the first official word that they were, in fact, poisoned in a deliberate act. investigators led by scotland yard's counterterrorism command are now working to pin down who's behind this plot to kill these two individuals. let's go straight to cnn's nick paton walsh, joining us from scotland yard in london. police have security video they're studying. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. they're trying to piece together a timeline of exactly what happened between about 1:00 and
10:02 am
4:00 local time on sunday afternoon when he and his daughter visiting from russia were found slowly falling unconscious on a quiet bench near a shopping center, a mall, in the rural city of salisbury. but the bombshell, frankly, we've heard behind me takes that instance to a whole new international level. the top counterterrorism police officer for the united kingdom saying that they believe this is attempted murder through the administering of a nerve agent. they've gone on to say that they specifically know what that nerve agent was. they're not publicly identifying it. wolf, as you know, that narrows down enormously potentially who could have supplied a chemical like that. vx, sarin, two well-known ones. only a small number of countries own those. they went on to say here that those two individuals were deliberately targeted in this specific attack. they are putting together a closed circuit television timeline, appealing for information. they went on to say that one of a number of first responders who went to the scene there, a
10:03 am
police officer, is still seriously ill from that nerve agent. so we have three people still in hospital here, but there are a lot of questions not answered here, purposefully, given the ongoing investigation. we know an italian pizza restaurant and a pub, a bar nearby, are still sealed off by police, still being pored over. the area around there, of course. they're trying to work out exactly where it was they went and where this could have been administered. but step back and listen to exactly what we're dealing with here. a former russian foreign intelligence officer convicted in 2006 is given 13 years in a russian jail for working for britain's mi-6 intelligence agency. swapped in 2010 as part of an exchange for four russians held in jails. they were all thought to be foreign agents. swa swapped for russians held by the united states accused of being
10:04 am
spies. he then chose to live his life out in salisbury in that quiet town. his wife died sadly. his son died, sadly, too, in recent years. yulia came to visit. seems quite close, in fact, to the birthday of alexander, his son. at this stage, they're still trying to work out precisely who it was who delivered that particular poison and who they were working for. all fingers at this point, pointing toward moscow. >> and this russian double agent, his daughter yulia, how are they doing? are they still in hospital? >> reporter: yes, they are still in hospital. they are still critically ill. of course, their condition is paramount concern. any testimony they can provide -- they are, of course, the key witnesses here, if they're able to explain when they began to feel ill. they will of course be looking to see if there was any third party who may have administered the poison. this is not something you could necessarily leave lying in wait for somebody. that's a key part of the
10:05 am
situation here. wolf, remember, this is not the first time. remember back in 2006, former russian spy was killed, murdered by a poison. people will ts on this nerve agt so clearly left? why is it so obviously going to lead back to a small number of countries who could ultimately be responsible? in the british house of commons, there will be enormous pressure to respond authoritatively toward russia or whoever summit matly found to be to blame for this. >> nick paton walsh on the scene for us. we'll get back to you. very, very intriguing. very disturbing developments indeed. there are other important stories we're following now. turning to the irreconcilable differences at the white house and the resignation of a key adviser to president trump. top economic adviser gary cohn is out. the president ignoring cohn's advice on controversial trade tariffs, but don't call it chaos
10:06 am
in the west wing. the president says it's just the way he actually likes things to work with a very healthy dose of conflict. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. have we heard anything today from the white house? >> reporter: a little bit, yes, wolf. earlier this morning, sarah sanders, the white house press secretary, held a brief gaggle with reporters and essentially said, you know, look at the record of this administration. this is not chaos. of course, she was talking about policy and foreign policy issues, not exactly the staff turmoil that's going on inside the west wing, which we've seen unfold week after week after week. in this week's episode is the departure of gary cohn, the president's top economic adviser. essentially what the white house is trying to do at this point is minimize the magnitude of cohn's departure, even though there are some top republicans on capitol hill who are lamenting all of this. democrats are latching on to this as well, sensing an issue. here's what the senate minority leader chuck schumer had to say
10:07 am
about this earlier today. >> the problems here is the white house is getting hollowed out and the number of people capable of doing things, doing real things, whether you agree or disagree ideologically, is getting smaller and smaller, and they seem unable to recruit new people to take these jobs. so the kind of mess-ups we've seen this past week, i think, we're going to see over and over and over again. the president's erratic style -- i didn't vote for jeff sessions, but i think it's a symbol to everybody what he did to his best friend jeff sessions. don't go work there. i've heard story after story of capable people trying to be recruited by the white house and no one wants to go. >> now, speaking of people being recruited by the white house, the white house is acknowledging the fact that they are starting to consider some replacements for gary cohn. larry kudlow, the analyst on cnbc, is said to be among the top names on the president's
10:08 am
list. the president likes to watch people on tv. larry kudlow is somebody he likes to watch on tv. so that certainly means he's probably high on the president's list. but wolf, keep in mind over here at the white house, and i think we'll hear this, this afternoon, potentially at the briefing with sarah sanders at 2:30, they're trying to minimize the importance of gary cohn's departure. last night i talked to a source close to the white house who said west wing officials were essentially brushing off cohn's departure, saying he was a new york guy. going back to new york, sort of lumping him in with hope hicks, as new york people who go back to new york. wolf, west wing officials may have been neglecting to mention when they were saying that to this source outside the white house for us in their spinning, their attempt to spin all this, is that the president is from new york. i suppose new york people do go back to new york, but they probably don't want the president to go back that quickly. another sign of the chaos here at the white house. >> president trump certainly is a new york guy himself. originally from queens but lived in manhattan for most of his
10:09 am
life. all right. thanks very much for that, jim acosta. gary cohn is the most recent high-profile departure from the trump white house, but he's certainly not the first. i want to go to cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cillizza at the magic wall. walk us through this rather unusual amount ofunusual amount feuding. >> yeah, wolf. i think that's the most important thing to start with. this is not normal. you're talking about almost four dozen senior staffers throughout the administration. it's lucky the magic wall is big because we could barely fit them all. there's lots of people, some you've heard of, some you haven't. it's not just the number of departures, it's who. mike flynn, the national security adviser. reince priebus, chief of staff. anthony scaramucci, communications director. steve bannon, white house counselor. over and over. sean spicer, ooanother communications director. gary cohn, the national economic adviser. over and over again, people who
10:10 am
have left. you have james comey, who didn't leave of his own volition. over and over again, you see high-level, senior people leaving. reminder, as you look at this, donald trump has been in office for a little over 13 months. let's go to the next one. it's not just about the people who have left. okay. so these are active feuds the president is currently engaged in. you'll notice all these people are members of his administration that he's feuding with. these are active feuds. h.r. mcmaster, trump has run down in private. he's fought with rex tillerson, the secretary of state. rumors literally every week that tillerson might leave. jeff sessions, we know. what name hasn't he called jeff sessions? chris wray, who by the way was the replacement for jim comey that donald trump chose. rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. trump has made no secret of his dislike. let's go to one more slide. this one will really get you. this is just people who he may not be actively feuding with but that have issues of their own.
10:11 am
i think these are the two really to pay the most attention to. jared kushner and ivanka trump are two of the people closest to donald trump in his orbit. obviously his son-in-law and daughter. jared kushner, any number of issues, most notably on security clearances. dealing with only a secret, not top secret, security clearance. down here, these are cabinet officials. scott pruitt at epa, shulkin at veterans, zinke at interior, ben carson at hud. ben carson spends $13,000 on a dining set for his office at hud. must be a nice dining set. they canceled that. shulkin, spending money on a trip to europe with his wife. misuse of taxpayer funds. inspector general's report pending. don mcgahn in the middle of all the russia stuff as white house counsel. so it's not just the departures. it's not just the feuds with his administration. it's also -- this is a who's who
10:12 am
of about half of donald trump's most relied upon allies. they are struggling on their own. so it's not a staff issue. it's a can you get things done amid all this controversy. and i know donald trump like to hear the word, but all this chaos. >> certainly is chaotic over there. thanks very much, chris cillizza, with that report. joining us now, cnn political analyst molly ball, and senior writer juana summers. what do you make of gary cohn's departure and what it means for the chaos inside the white house? >> sure. just the latest chapter as chris was noting of this rapid string of departures. there sure is corn on wall street about what gary cohn's departure means. he was seen particularly among republicans as somebody who was a steady force in the white house in this very important economic position. someone whoi could keep the president from the brink of starting a trade war, something he said in a tweet last week that might actually be a good thing. i think there is a lot of
10:13 am
concern as to what could come next and what this could mean for economic futures. we saw the markets respond to that. >> markets were not very happy about that. peter navarro, he's rumored to be in line potentially to take over that position. he's more like the president, a protectionist, as opposed to a free trader. >> that's right. unlike a lot of the dispute. this is about different ideological factions. the president has always had protectionist impulses. it was really the centerpiece of his campaign. it differentiated him from all the other republican candidates in the primary and then from hillary clinton in the general election that he was adamant about enacting tariffs to make america stronger in the world market and to combat the influence of china as he perceived it. he brought in some very unorthodox -- people with unorthodox economic views, notably peter navarro and robert lighthizer and wilbur ross, the secretary of commerce. they have been held at baby
10:14 am
peop -- bay by people like gary cohn, who really don't want protectionism and believe in free trade and free markets. now gary cohn appears to be signaling he's lost that fight. even though the paperwork hasn't yet been signed objen the tarif there's still a pressure campaign to get the president not to go through with it. >> here's what the president said about all the infighting that's going on right now. listen to this. >> i like conflict. i like having two people with different points of view. i certainly have that. then i make a decision. i like watching it. i like seeing it. i think it's the best way to go. i like different points of view. >> how's that working out? >> not very well, clearly. i think, you know, the president doesn't like to call it chaos, but the fact of the matter is that people have been departing either by their own volition or being pushed out by the president and his top aides at an unprecedented pace. we simply can't ignore that from a policy standpoint, as molly
10:15 am
notes, with gary cohn's departure, and from a political standpoint because the president is pushing away from people who fundamentally disagree with him. the president wants people close who agree with him, who support him. i think that's why these departures are so important. >> hope hicks, long-time aide to the president, announces he's gone last week. now gary cohn. more are on the way. there's no doubt about that. >> probably. i mean, there does seem to be an expiration date for anybody working in this wlohite house, part because it's a stressful place to work. it's a high-pressure place to work. the kind of conflict trump is talking about can be productive if you think of the idea of a team of rivals like abraham lincoln famously had. but it wears on people when it's so acrimonious. when the president seems to pit people against each other and enjoy it almost as if he's sort of watching a cage match. people get tired of that. or the president gets tired of them. and they eventually decide the grass is greener on the other side of those white house doors. >> let's see what happens to
10:16 am
general h.r. mcmaster, the national security adviser, in the coming days, and john kelly, the white house chief of staff, among others. everyone is watching, guys. thanks very, very much. a porn star suing the president of the united states. why a missing signature on a hush agreement may be what exposes the alleged affair. plus, fresh off security clearance downgrade, jared kushner is abroad, meeting with mexico's president as tensions escalate. and he's a middle east specialist with deep ties to the president's inner circle. now he's cooperating with the special counsel robert mueller. an explosive development. we have details. stay with us. joint pain. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain,
10:17 am
stop further joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number #1 prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. want more proof? ask your rheumatologist about humira. humira. what's your body of proof?
10:18 am
a hilton getaway means you get more because you get a break on breakfast get an extra day by the pool get to spend more time together get more from your spring break getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at
10:19 am
introducing lumi glotion. glow. l'oreal's first glow-enhancing lotion. use it all over like moisturizer. in four natural shades. say "bonjour" bonjour to an effortless glow. new lumi glotion. from l'oreal paris.
10:20 am
a porn star who claims to have had an affair with president trump before he ran for office and accepted $130,000 for her to stay quiet about it is now suing the president of the united states. in the lawsuit, stormy daniels
10:21 am
claims the hush agreement, as it's called s invalid because president trump himself never signed it. the suit also claims the agreement is invalid because president trump's personal attorney, michael cohen, admitted it existed. here's daniels' attorney. >> her lawsuit states that she had an intimate relationship wi delicate. did she have a sexual relationship with the president? >> yes. >> okay. she also says, according to this document, that there were tangible items, photos, images, that she had them and according to this agreement, she won't turn them over. she'll never release them publicly. does she still have photos, images, text messages, documents that verify this claim? >> that's a question that miss daniels will have to ultimately answer. >> all right. let's discuss this with cnn white house reporter kate bennett and criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor mark o'meara. does she have a case?
10:22 am
you've read the entire affidavit, the entire document. >> what she's doing is asking the court to determine whether or not that contract exists or not. i will tell you that from a pure contract perspective, she's gotten consideration. she took the money. you don't have to have everybody's signature on a contract for it to be enforceable. in effect, donald trump or the "dd" in the contract is the beneficiary of that contract. but i'm not certain that it's fatal because he didn't sign it. cohen signed it. of course she signed it, got the money, and acted in furtherance of that contract. i don't believe it's fatal simply because donald trump didn't sign it. >> the other argument they make in this superior court of the state of california document is that since michael cohen spoke publicly about the $130,000, he in effect was violating the nondisclosure agreement. as a result, the agreement is over. what about that argument? >> probably a stronger argument. the idea that an agreement is
10:23 am
out there, to say we'll say nothing, then one party does, can now allow her to counter it. if we're looking at it like a law school exam question, it's cohen and trump getting the benefit of the silence. the fact they violate the benefit they were given doesn't necessarily open the door wide open for her. i got to tell you, a court is going to look at this and say, wait a minute, if you're buying silence, you can't argue against it. >> do people normally get involved in drafting what are called these hush agreements over bogus claims? >> generally speaking, absolutely not. you know, the suggestion that cohen said it is even false advice or false information can be detrimental. my greatest concern in looking at this whole thing is how any attorney, cohen or anybody else, sort of acting in that role is going to do something as intense
10:24 am
as this, as significant as this without ever talking to his client. you can't do that. the client, even with giving any kind of informed consent, has got to know what's going on. we as lawyers cannot take on business occurrences on behalf of a client. i think that's the greatest concern here. >> kate, this is a very lengthy document. i've gone through the whole thing. it's official confirmation, at least on the part of stormy daniels and her attorney, that there was an affair years earlier between then private-citizen donald trump and her. how is the first lady going to react when she goes through this? >> probably the same way that she's reacted, which is to be quiet and not make a statement. we've tried to reach out to her office. we have not heard back. i mean, this is a first lady who remains sort of stoic in the face of these headlines that keep coming up. we've watched her separate herself in some pretty obvious ways, whether it's taking a separate motorcade to meet him
10:25 am
at air force one and not walk on the south lawn, driving separately to state of the union. just certain moments that feel as though something is happening inside the white house in the wake of this. of course, we have seen her recently, this week, the other day by the president's side to greet the netanyahus. we heard her speak last month for the fist time publicly, making public remarks at a luncheon. as she tries to make these steps forward, cagain, sort of sucking the oxygen out of anything she tries to do. it must be difficult. however, she is remaining silent. she's not made a comment so far. >> unfortunately for her, and for the president, the story is not going away because there are legal issues now, potentially criminal issues that could be put forward as well. kate, thanks very much. mark, thanks to you as well. other news, he's been off the radar until now. why george nater, a middle east specialist with ties to president trump, emerges as a critical piece in the russia
10:26 am
investigation, and what happened when robert mueller's team approached him inside an airport as he was landing from overseas. surprise! hold up. we got a laggy video call here. hey, try the new samsung galaxy s9 on verizon unlimited. the best network for streaming. okay, let's take it back from "surpri--" (avo) unlimited is only as good as the network it's on. switch and get up to $500 off the samsung galaxy s9. ♪ jen, i've got questions. boots or flip-flops? boot! great. smokey or natural eye? ugh, natural. good choice. how about calling or texting? definitely calling. puppies or kitties? sorry, cats. dry eyes or artificial tears? wait, that's a trick question. because they can both get in your way. that's why it is super-important to chat with your eye doctor if you're using artificial tears a lot and your eyes still feel dry.
10:27 am
next question. guys, it's time for some eyelove! today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice. a place for mom is a free service that pairs you with a local advisor to help you sort through your options and find a perfect place. a place for mom. you know your family we know senior living. together we'll make the right choice.
10:28 am
♪ do you want clean, stain free dentures? try polident. the four in one cleaning system kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria, cleans where brushing may miss. helps remove stains and prevent stain build up. use polident daily.
10:29 am
internet providers promise business owners a lot. let's see who delivers more. comcast business offers fast gig-speeds across our network. at&t doesn't. we offer more complete reliability with up to 8 hours of 4g wireless network backup. at&t, no way. we offer 35 voice features and solutions that grow with your business. at&t, not so much. we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's
10:30 am
comparable bundle, for less. call today. he's described as a man of mystery, but a low-profile middle east expert is becoming a critical piece in robert mueller's investigation. now sources say he's cooperating with mueller. so who is he? he's a lebanese-american said to have prominent ties in lebanon, syria, israel, and iran. he was present at a december 2016 meeting in new york between officials from the united arab emirates and members of the trump team, including jared kushner, michael flynn, and steve bannon. nader also attended a january 2017 meeting in the seychelles meetings between the emirates and trump officials.
10:31 am
joining us now, democratic congressman of arizona. congressman, thanks for joining us. what is the special counsel's interest in george nader? >> well, it tells me that mueller is doing his job. he's trying to go deep to see how -- why the corruption potentially is within the trump administration as well as what occurred during the trump transition and trump campaign. so he's running a professional operation, and we hope in the process we'll get to the truth. >> a source tells cnn that president trump's personal lawyer, michael cohen, was provided with secret information about testimony of another witness before the house intelligence committee. the testimony was supposedly related to the steele dossier that republicans, as you know, have tried to discredit. what do you make of that and the problems plaguing the house
10:32 am
panel's russia investigation right now? >> it points out paul ryan has been irresponsible in the fact he hasn't replaced and removed congressman nunes. congressman nunes has been involved in a very intricate, structured cover-up that has essentially stalled this potentially independent investigation and that speaker ryan should actually take leadership and please remove nunes because it's stalling what we think is a very important job for congress to actually have oversight about what occurred. >> on the russia probe, nunes supposedly was removed, removed himself. congressman conaway took charge. adam schiff is the top democrat. not good enough for you? >> no, because clearly that's not the case. we've seen nunes reinsert himself many times into this investigation, whether he's openly lied to the president,
10:33 am
fabricating documents or situations to help out the case of the president. he's not at all been forthright, and he essentially is the head of, i would say, the head of a cover-up, at least occurring here in congress. >> cover-up is a strong word, but let me get to other issues while i have you. last hour, president trump addressed the latino coalition summit here in washington. he said he's ready for a deal on the so-called dreamers under daca, the deferred action he sa. >> we're trying to have a dac ark victory for everybody, by the way. the democrats are nowhere to be found. they're nowhere to be found. really terrible. we're ready. you know the expression, ready, willing, and able. we're ready, willing, and able. they're nowhere to be found. they don't care about the immigration system or reform, and they don't want to solve the problem. they would rather use it to get elected.
10:34 am
>> all right. what's your reaction to that, congressman? >> just lunacy. this president had many opportunities to deal with us. there were many deals given to him, even funding his stupid border wall, which i was against, but it was part of a deal. at the end of the day, he just did not know how to deal. he has no control over his own staff. chief of staff john kelly has zero -- and steve miller is an outright xenophobe. the president needs to figure out what he wants then make a deal. the biggest problem we have is trump. >> he says he is willing to allow 1.8 million dreamers, including a million who never registered as daca recipients, to eventually get legal status here in the united states and potentially have a pathway to citizenship in exchange for border security. you say you're ready to make that deal with the president? >> wolf, we've actually had this
10:35 am
conversation. democrats have had this conversation. bipartisan groups have had this conversation with the president. it's not border security. it's not the wall. what he wants to do is have wholesale change to immigration policy that's been part of our standard for 70 years. if that's going to happen, then we have to have a different type of deal. the president understands this. john kelly understands this. steve miller understands this. the problem is that in his mind, a deal means he gets everything and everyone else basically gets nothing. that's not how this is going to work. >> president trump, as you know, insists that there is no chaos in his administration despite a string of very high-profile departures, including his chief economic adviser gary cohn, who just announced he's leaving the white house yesterday. the president says he's constantly searching for the best people, that conflict results in the best ideas. how do you respond to him on those points? >> if that's the case, then he's really going to have the best people because that type of turnover is amazing. had this been the obama
10:36 am
administration, the word dysfunction would have been thrown out by everybody. the reason he can't keep the best people or attract the best people is because the president is not a good president. he has no concept of what he's doing. he's slowly deteriorating the strength of this country. if you are a staffer or somebody who wants to serve in government, you do not want to be associated with this administration. >> congressman gallego, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. right now jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, is in mexico meeting with mexico's president enrique pena nieto as tensions escalate between the two countries. we have new details. we'll be right back. puts me at greater risk for heart attack or stroke. can one medicine help treat both blood sugar and cardiovascular risk? i asked my doctor. he told me about non-insulin victoza®. victoza® is not only proven to lower a1c and blood sugar,
10:37 am
but for people with type 2 diabetes treating their cardiovascular disease, victoza® is also approved to lower the risk of major cv events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. and while not for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (announcer) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and get medical help rck or symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, or swallowing. serious side effects may happen, including pancreatitis. so stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area. tell your doctor your medical history. gallbladder problems have happened in some people. tell your doctor right away if you get symptoms. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, indigestion, and constipation. side effects can lead to dehydration,
10:38 am
which may cause kidney problems. change the course of your treatment. ask your doctor about victoza®.
10:39 am
10:40 am
10:41 am
he just lost his top secret security clearance, but that's not keeping jared kushner from dealing in some very, very sensitive foreign policy matters. the president's son-in-law and senior adviser visiting m right now, where he's been tasked to try to improve cooperation after a rather tense phone call between president trump and mexico's president over a border wall funding, among other issues. kushner, whose security clearance is right now only secret. that's lowers top-secret securi clearance. led a delegation focused on major economic issues, namely the president's controversial tariff plan on steel and aluminum imports into the united states. the president has said mexico would be exempt only if they see to his demands for renegotiating nafta. joining us now is max baucus, former u.s. ambassador to china under president obama and a former u.s. senator for montana as well.
10:42 am
ambassador, thanks so much for joining us. >> you bet. >> what's your reaction to jared kushner making this high-profile visit to mexico just days after being stripped of his interim top-secret sci security clearance? can you really go into a major meeting with a foreign leader like this without that kind of top-notch security clearance? >> this comes across to me as like the consolation round that is the president of mexico is not going to visit the united states to see president trump because of a spat, so the president's son-in-law is now going to mexico. i think because he's the son-in-law, not secretary tillerson, not masterson, that jared kushner will not be taken as seriously as he should be. it's unfortunate. >> i assume you had top-secret sci security clearances as u.s.
10:43 am
ambassador to china. is it at all realistic that you could negotiate with middle eastern countries, whether the israelis or palestinians or the saudis, the qataris or the mexicans or chinese without that security clearance? >> it's very difficult. very, very difficult. he will not be taken seriously because he does not have top security clearance. he'll be treated as the president's son-in-law, not as a top diplomat who has full security clearance. it's not a good position for the united states to be in. it demeans the united states, i think, and causes other countries, mexico, uae, other countries to kind of not take us as seriously as they otherwise would. >> you go into those meetings with those leaders, your aides who come along to help out, whether career diplomats or national security officials, they all have top-secret security clearance. but the person in charge doesn't. it could get very awkward, as you know. let's get to another sensitive issue.
10:44 am
gary cohn, who was the top economic adviser to the president, is now leaving the white house. he's very upset over the president's tariff plan and talk of a potential trade war. a source close to president called cohn the only good guy left, saying of all things -- of all the things, this will cause the most trauma. how worry are you about cohn's exit? >> i'm very concerned. this is not the departure of another staffer. h this is the departure of gary cohn, a man i know. he's got gravitas, very highly regarded in wall street, the business community, by europeans, our allies, people around the world. he's been the adult in the room. when the adult leaves, you know, the playground gets a little chaotic. i'm very, very concerned that his departure is going to undermine business and world confidence in the white house and in america. >> as a former ambassador to china, i want to get your reaction to this tweet that the
10:45 am
president posted earlier in the day. china has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a $1 billion reduction in their massive trade deficit with the united states. our relationship with china has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. we must act soon. that's the president's tweet. at the same time, one of the names floated to replace gary cohn is a fierce china critic, peter navarro, who wrote the book china," among others. as i say, you're a former ambassador. what do you think about all this? >> i think we're in a difficult spot. many of us in the west think maybe we've lost china. that is, we assume china more like us. china is not going to be more like us. china has got bounce in their step. they got the wind at their back. president xi jinping is getting even more power. they kind of think they've got
10:46 am
us where they want us, frankly. and we've been giving big gifts to china. our departure from the transpacific partnership has hurt the united states a lot. china is filling the void. they love that. this trump tariff of 25% on steel and aluminum is going to hurt our allies much more than it's going to hurt china. in fact, that's a gift to china in itself. why? because it enables china to work with the european allies, divide and conquer. we're not standing up for the world. america first is becoming more and more america alone. that's going to isolate us and hurt us worldwide. china is not going to deal with us out of weakness. they're going to deal with us out of strength. they're becoming more and more powerful. >> well, it's a huge issue indeed. ambassador, thanks for joining us. >> you bet. we're getting breaking news. indictments have been handed down for nikolas cruz, the shooter who killed 17 people in
10:47 am
parkland, florida, last month. we'll share the details with you right after this. get an extra day by the pool get to spend more time together get more moments to remember there are some things you can only get when you book with us. get more from your spring break getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at
10:48 am
10:49 am
this this this is my body of proof. proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can take on psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the #1 prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. want more proof? ask your rheumatologist about humira. what's your body of proof?
10:50 am
10:51 am
breaking news. indictments are being handed down, relating to the shooting massacre at the stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. ni kochlt nikolas cruz facing charges in the killing of 17 people, 14 of them students. rosa flores is in ft. lauderdale for us. tell us what you're learning. >> reporter: wolf, the grand jury met for two days and they just returned a 34-count indictment. 17 counts of premeditated murder
10:52 am
in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder. now, as you know, wolf, nikolas cruz had confessed to arming himself with an ar-15 rifle and gunning down 17 people. we had heard that he had injured 16 others. but now from this indictment we're learning that, indeed, it's a 17-count indictment related to the attempted murder charges. as you know, the grand jury is a very secretive process. for the past few days, witnesses have been going in and out of this courthouse through back doors. we have seen very few people actually go inside the courtroom, wolf. today we did speak to jim lewis, the family of the snead family, who allowed nikolas cruz inside their home after his mother died. but, wolf, again, breaking news from ft. lauderdale a 34-count
10:53 am
indictment for nikolas cruz. 17 counts of premeditated murder. 17 counts of attempted murder. wolf? >> rosa, thank you. rosa flores in ft. lauderdale with the latest. we'll continue to follow that story, of course, as well. we're awaiting the white house press briefing as the west wing faces multiple headwinds, including economic adviser's resignation and porn star's lawsuit. in your mouth and throat. try cool mint zantac. zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. try cool mint zantac. no pill relieves heartburn faster.
10:54 am
10:55 am
10:56 am
if you'd have told me three years ago that we'd be downloading in seconds what used to take minutes. that guests would compliment our wifi. that we could video conference and do it like that (snaps). if you'd have told me that i could afford a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have.
10:57 am
i'd of said... i'd of said you're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. this just coming in. president trump's approval rating has dipped. patrick mcmurray is joining us. new numbers, we'll put them up on the screen. do you approve, disapprove the way the president is handling his job. 54% disapprove. 8%, no opinion.
10:58 am
>> this is a consistent trend we've been seeing. his numbers went up about six weeks ago. everybody was looking at the tax plan. but now that stalled and i think that's why his numbers are going back down. people are not seeing any more benefit from that tax plan. that's a big part of it. 55% say kushner should resign. 33% say you should continue working. 12% don't know. >> this all coming out of that brouhaha of him losing his top secret clearance. 24% say that's just a bad idea to have jared kushner, family member snierk the white houseworking for him. >> whether the president's personal interests are tied to russia. do trump or his family's financial interests or ties in russia influence decisions? 29%, definitely.
10:59 am
28% probably. 19% probably not. 17% say definitely not. >> there's no question that the public feels that trump's family is having a significant impact, particularly around russia, where most people believe there's a lot of election meddling still going on. >> and whether the president take this is whole threat of russian meddling seriously. look at this. is he taking the threat of russian interference in 2018 election seriously? only 28% say yes. 62% say no. >> he said he was in a press conference yesterday but the public decided no, he is not. >> your latest takeaway is what? >> the blip we saw on the tax plan, that seems to have faded away. the public is looking at a lot of things that are scandals around the president's family,
11:00 am
the whole russia thing is percolating up again. these are things that are now taking the public's eye away from the tax plan and on to the president. >> clearly the president should be worried about these latest numbers and your poll. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room. meantime the news continues right now. here we go. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being here. the revolving door at the white house isn't just turning. it is spinning and spinning. moments from now, you will experience the first white house briefing since the departure of the president's top economic adviser, gary cohn is the third departure in the last month. hope hicks one week ago today. four weeks ago, staff secretary rob por


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on