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President Donald Trump Hosting an Event in the White House; Trump Will Not Release Tax Returns; Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Visit Washington Next Month; Russian President Vladimir Putin Will Call President Trump In Coming Days; Spicer's Five Lies in Five Minutes; Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 22, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:31] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: 7:00 p.m. Eastern. I'm Poppy Harlow live tonight in Washington. You are watching a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM this Sunday night. So glad you are with us.
We have a lot to get to this hour. And we are seeing a new face in a familiar setting. President Donald Trump hosting an event in his new home. That is the White House. He met with FBI director James Comey at an event honoring first responders earlier today. He spoke with the media as well in the east wing before he and vice president Mike Pence swore in White House staff.
And as Trump's administration is beginning to take shape, so are his priorities abroad. Here is what he told the reporters this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have set up meetings with the prime minister of the United Kingdom. And Prime Minister May will be coming over to the United States shortly. We are also meeting with the prime minister of Canada and we will be meeting with the president of Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: President Trump will also, we hear, receive a call from the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in the coming days, so says the Kremlin.
But first, his chief of staff says that Trump will continue following through on his pledge to reverse many of President Obama's executive orders by signing more of his own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think this week we are going to talk about trade. I think we are going to talk about that a little bit more tomorrow. I think we are going to talk about immigration this week. And we are going to have a time of national security, a conversation about that, obviously with general Mattis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will he undo some of the Obama executive orders?
PRIEBUS: I think you are going to see more of that coming perhaps this week, executive orders on those three topics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: One thing we likely will not see is Donald Trump's tax returns. A top aid to the president now saying that even after an audit is complete, the president will not share his tax returns with the public.
All of this ahead of a pivotal week for some of Trump's most controversial cabinet nominees, including his choice to head the CIA, some Democrats doubling down on their refusal to confirm some of those names. There are enough Republican votes. It's just a matter of how long this is all going to take.
Let's bring in CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
Jeff, good to have you. Did you see a distinct change in tone from the president over just the last four hours?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, so interesting today seeing Donald Trump in the White House, really for the first time in east room today when he was swearing in his senior advisors, the people that will enact his policies, the people he is relying on to enact his agenda. And he talked about how this is not a time of party ideology. He said that now is a time more for action. And he also said that we will be - we are going to be judged on this moment here. So it was night and day from what he was talking about yesterday, Poppy, when he was talking about grievances about that crowd count for his inaugural. And he was out at the CIA giving remarks that, you know, really did not fit the moment.
And I have talked to several advisors and people who are around this White House, who said that they believe that yesterday was a mistake. And that Donald Trump today, President Trump was making a pivot intentionally here.
And you could tell also, Poppy, he was reading from prepared remarks, something he did not do yesterday at the CIA. So it is one of the challenges as we saw in the campaign trail when he is off the cuff, not always on message. Today he was very much on the presidential message, Poppy.
HARLOW: And Jeff, when he was at the CIA, of course, he thanked the 400 CIA officers in the room for their service, et cetera. But, you know, it was controversial the way that he when on about the war with the media and talks about the crowd size at the inauguration for example. You know, in front of these, you know, intelligence officers, people who serve this country many saying this wasn't the appropriate place or time for that. And John Brennan, the former head of the CIA, says that through his spokesperson, the president should be ashamed of himself.
ZELENY: Indeed. And you know, you did hear applause in the room, you know, and those were rank and file members of the CIA, no question.
But, Poppy, I actually talked to somebody pretty late last night who was inside that room. And they said that senior leader at the CIA were not applauding at all. And they thought it was quite awkward, particularly when Donald Trump basically asked who voted for him in there and suggested that, you know, he has the support of the military.
Well, the CIA is a very different organization here. So we do not know who voted for him or who didn't vote for him. But again going forward here as we head into the first full week, a full, you know, action list here, the tone he struck today is one his aides hope he will continue to strike going forward here. The question is, will he? Will he be able to do that? So it's something that everyone who grows in this job. Will see if he continues that.
But they are watching for that confirmation. They hope tomorrow of Mike Pompeo to leave the CIA and it looks like that might happen tomorrow in the Senate. And the White House, if it does not, you can just be sure that they will be crying foul over here at the White House, Poppy.
[19:05:47] HARLOW: Absolutely. Just before I let you go, we did learn today from Kellyanne Conway some pretty important news regarding the president's tax returns?
ZELENY: Indeed. She said that the public does not care about these tax returns. That President Trump won the election without releasing them. And she said that he has no plans of releasing his tax returns.
Now, we do believe that he is still under audit. That was always the reason he gave during the campaign. But it seems like audit or not, they -- he has no plan of releasing that. We will see if that actually is what happens or if he will change course on this. But don't expect the criticism of this to stop.
But they may be right. Even though our surveys show that people care about it. It is not one of their top concerns here. But it certainly is not going to go away because it's a change of precedent. You know, the first president since Jimmy Carter to not return his full returns and Jerald Ford even released a summary.
HARLOW: Yes. And you know, they may not care, it may not be the number one pressing issue for folks at home. But 74 percent of people polled by CNN in the last week said they do think he should release them.
Jeff Zeleny, thank you.
ZELENY: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Several fast moving developments in the relationship between the U.S. president and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today announcing that Donald Trump invited him to Washington next month. This invitation came during the phone call the two leaders had this afternoon. This as the White House says it is in the beginning stages of discussion on one of Trump's campaign promises, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And this is a whole lot more than just moving cities. There is a lot behind this.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott and CNN correspondent Orrin Liebermann is in Jerusalem.
Orrin, let me begin with you. What do we know about this phone call between Benjamin Netanyahu and the president today in terms of what exactly they did talk about?
ORRIN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the main issue that both mentioned in their radar, of the description of the phone call was the Iran deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that would be his priority. The number one issue he wanted to talk about in finding some way of changing the Iran deal or improving it from his perspective. To this day he calls it a bad deal. Although, he has gone quiet on his criticism of the deal in the final months of the Obama administration.
He now sees a new window here with President Donald Trump to either repeal it, roll it back, change it in some way that he views as more favorable for Israel, especially will the Senate and Congress, also Republicans as well. So Netanyahu making it clear that was the primary reason for the call and that's something he will pursue when he visits the White House, visits President Trump. The White House indicating that will happen in early February.
As for what else they talked about, the Israeli -Palestinian issue. President Trump said he would like to take a crack at that, even suggesting his religious Jewish son in-law Jared Kushner could be the one to give it a shot there saying that if anyone can do it, he can do it. They also talk about Syria, Israel's concerns there with Russia and empowered Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
So these are all part of the conversation. The White House also saying they discussed President Trump's efforts against ISIL, against terrorism in the region and saying that there will be no daylight between these two countries, between Israel and the U.S.
Notably, the embassy didn't come up, or at least it wasn't mentioned either of the readout here. It has not been a major priority, although Netanyahu has lauded the idea of moving it at has the Jerusalem mayor and many other Israeli politicians. It simply wasn't high on the list for this first conversation and this first meeting. Both of these leaders are very much aware of how sensitive it is especially on this day, when Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was meeting with the Jordanian king and trying to rally essentially an international force against it. Trying to lobby enough people to convince Trump to at least delay moving the embassy or at apply some sort of caution here. It wasn't that long ago, just a few weeks ago, that Abbas reached out to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president to try to something here.
And although you pointed out, yes, logistically, it is theoretically easy to call the embassy I Jerusalem and make the consulate in Tel Aviv. But it carries so much more weight with it, the first time the U.S. would ever recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And if it's not done carefully, delicately with a tremendous amount of thought going into it, it could very much set off a powder keg in the region.
[19:10:09] HARLOW: Orrin, thank you very much.
Elise Labott now with us, our global affairs correspondent. You're incredibly well sourced, especially on this issue, what are your sources telling you when it comes to moving the embassy?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, look. Obviously, it is something that Donald Trump said that he wanted to do. The president now in office, eventually it is going to take plans to do it. But I think, you know, there's so much focus on when the announcement is coming, when is he going to do it this week? I think they're going to slow it down. I think they are going to take baby steps. I don't think we are going to have that kind of symbolic changing of the signs.
What I'm hearing is that in consultations over the last few weeks, not only with the Israelis but with the Arabs, there is the desire to kind of to do this in a thoughtful way. I think what we are hearing is that initially maybe the ambassador David Friedman, once confirmed, that's a very controversial nomination, as you know, maybe he'll start working in Jerusalem, working and living in Jerusalem, and maybe in a designated office, there and then they can consult with the allies. They can build plans to move the embassy. They are not going to change their mind. I think this is something that the president is really wants to do. But I think it needs to be done. And I think they recognize that it needs to be done in a more of a bigger context of Mideast peace plan. And you know, that is something that this president says he wants to do.
It's going to be a very controversial move that's going to cause a lot of uproar in the Arab world and they need to lay the ground work for that.
HARLOW: That's the bigger question, that the path to peace in the Middle East, something that so many presidents and secretaries of state have tried. So hard to do and failed. We know that Jared Kushner, his son in-law, one of his top advisors, maybe instrumental and that's the president has said.
Take a look at these protests. We just have them up on the screen of Palestinians protesting this presidency. What do you think will change with BB Netanyahu coming to Washington perhaps the next month? What changes because clearly he and President Obama were not the best of friends? However, the United States still give - you know, gave Israel a ton of military support, a ton of defense support. As we talk about in the last hour, $38 billion MOU was signed from the U.S. in support of Israel. What actually changes now between the relationship between the U.S. and Israel?
LABOTT: Look. In terms of Israeli security, in providing Israel aid, weapons, that's (INAUDIBLE). It consecutive administrations. That doesn't change - yes, the Obama administration did give Israel those monumental MOU package but so of other, you know, administration, even though this one was much bigger.
I think what you're going to see is much more of a kind of consultation working together, working in concert of what Israel feels is good for them. You know, Israel has explained that President Obama knew what was good for Israel and, you know, was a little bit of tough love and we're going to crack down on these settlements because we think that's important. We're going to go for this Iran deal because that makes Israel secure.
That was more in a context of not only what was good for Israel, but what was good for the region, and what other countries wanted. I think that you are going to see a lot more of an Israel friendly administration.
Does that bode well for the Palestinians? We don't know. Perhaps this administration, this president could be closer to Prime Minister Netanyahu. They could with a little bit more trust, maybe he could get some more concessions. We really don't know whether he is going to give Israel a kind of cart blanch to do whatever it wants or if he is going to lay the groundwork for a more trusting relationship where he can say listen, I've got your back, now you need to make some of the concessions. And that's what Arab diplomats hope will happen.
But this embassy move, it is where to happen kind of on day one without kind of laying the ground or for those consultations without taking in to consideration what the Arabs think. I think that would cause an uproar in the Arab world and there is a lot of anxiety among the Palestinians about how this is going to affect them, not just an embassy move. But there is a lot of talk about this administration being more relax about Israeli settlement that this is a lot of nerves in the Palestinian territories right now about what is to come, Poppy.
HARLOW: Elise, thank you so much. I appreciate the reporting. And Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thank you.
Meantime, the Kremlin announced that Russian president Vladimir Putin will call President Donald Trump in the coming days. Our Clarissa Ward reports that a spokesman for the Kremlin, call this is phone call a quote "diplomatic necessity."
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, I think there's a lot of anticipation as to when this phone calls is going to take place between President Putin and President Trump. We have heard from the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, that the phone call should take place sometime in the coming days. That president Putin will call President Trump to offer him congratulations. And I guess then the question becomes what are they likely to talk about?
Well, one issue that President Trump has mentioned in the past that the U.S. and Russia could cooperate is the issue of dealing with ISIS, of facing down against radical Islamic terrorism. So that's one potential thing they might be discussing together. But there are also some really sticky issues that the U.S. and Russia
will have to resolve, if there is going to be this rack rush mall. I'm thinking specifically of Russian aggression in Ukraine and also in Syria. And for the Russian part, of course, there's a lot of anger about the U.S. sanctions against Russia, which have really debilitated the Russian economy especially in conjunction with even heavier European sanctions against Russia,
And just today, we heard the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev saying hold on a second. Don't expect those sanctions to be repealed any time soon. He was actually saying he thinks they could last for quite a bit longer and that Russia should not rely on any new world leader to fulfill that promise.
So we are definitely hearing a note of caution that is reflected in what we are hearing from Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov as well. He has said that the two world leaders will meet. That President Putin is ready to meet President Trump. But that will take place in the coming months, not the coming weeks.
There is definitely some cautious optimism. But with the emphasis, Poppy, on cautious.
[19:16:31] HARLOW: Clarissa Ward for us in Moscow tonight. Thank you so much, Clarissa.
Coming up, alternative facts, it was trending very high on twitter today, why? We will discuss the fallout after reporters called into the question some quote-unquote "facts" made and stated by the White House press secretary.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:19:28] HARLOW: Alternative facts. That is one of the number one trending topics earlier today on twitter. Why? Because one of President Trump's top aides said that the White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave quote "alternative facts about the crowd size at Friday's inaugural." CNN fact checkers determines, Spicer said five things that were not factual in the span of five minutes when he addressed the press yesterday.
Let's talk about all of it with Brian Stelter, our senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."
And I think - team, let me know if we have that Kellyanne Conway sound because we should play it so that people can listen.
He was talking about crowd size. Something that's pretty immaterial, I mean frankly it doesn't matter how many people were at the inauguration or weren't at the inauguration compared to four years ago. Where do you fall on Kellyanne Conway saying there are alternative facts?
[19:20:19] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Alternative facts. That's a new phrase of the weekend. One of the things that the second full day of the Trump administration is going to remember for. Because he is saying that Spicer was simply providing alternative facts.
HARLOW: And let's listen to her on her owned words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I don't think ultimately presidents are judged by crowd sizes at their inauguration. I think they're judged for their accomplishments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why put him out there for the first time in front of that podium to alter a provable falsehood.
CONWAY: Chuck, I mean, if we are going to keep referring to our press secretary in these types of terms, I think that we are going to have to rethink our relationship here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did not answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office on day one.
CONWAY: No. Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You're saying it's a falsehood and they're giving, Sean Spicer, our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. But the point --.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you meant? Alternative facts?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I mean, you know, some people might laugh a little bit about, you know, the back and forth, but it's really not funny when you are talking about the fact that this man is the conduit of information from the president to the press of the American public.
STELTER: A lot of people are comparing this to George Urwell's (ph) 1984 that war is peace and famine is feast and all of the rest of it.
There are no alternative facts. Alternative facts are actually fiction, especially with something as cut and dried as crowd size. Another example from the weekend, Donald Trump yesterday at the CIA referred to the sun coming out after his inaugural speech, when in fact it was cloudy and raining. Those are the kinds of very simple falsehoods that are easy to fact check. They are not complicated. They are not about healthcare or about war. They are very simple falsehoods.
And I think that's why it's getting so much attention this weekend. But I know what Jeff Zeleny told you a few minutes ago is always significant. That the president is on message today that we have seen a change today, versus yesterday. And that makes me wonder on Monday, Sean Spicer's first actual briefing, actually taking questions from reporters, what version of Spicer we are going to see. HARLOW: He said, Sean Spicer said a few weeks ago in Chicago, you
know, you don't have - is I'm paraphrasing, trust with the media from the press corps, you don't have anything. Do you think Sean Spicer comes outs and correct some of the falsehoods tomorrow? Is there any chance of that? How does he move forward in his relationship with the White House press core?
STELTER: Well, the reporters have say, they have got to repair the relationship. I think he would say he has been furious at the unfair treatment of his president, of the new president of the U.S. This is the real tension that has kind of exploded here only on the first weekend of the presidency. I think there's a broader issue at play. Will we be able to trust the data, the statistics, the facts that are provided by this administration?
HARLOW: Will we?
STELTER: Obviously all governments, all administrations spin and try to present the best possible narrative. But this is different Wesaw this weekend. This data about the metro that was untrue, data about the crowd size that was untrue, sort of basic facts, it makes you wonder what will happen when Trump sees his approval ratings that they decline. Will he believe the polls? Will his aides present alternate data?
These are questions, not answers because we are only the second full day of his term. But certainly I think that's one of the reasons why there's anxiety among journalists.
HARLOW: Well, as you know, Ari Fleisher, the spokesman and who held his job, you know, for Bush 43 said this is called a statement you are told to make by the president and you know the president is watching.
STELTER: By the way, Sean Spicer has one of the hardest jobs in America. So certainly, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt here, but he has a challenge tomorrow in that briefing room.
HARLOW: Thank you, Brian Stelter. We appreciate it. So good to have you here.
HARLOW: It is a campaign promise that President Trump repeated often on the trail. But how would repealing Obamacare impact the millions, 20 million Americans who depend on it right now, what will the replacement look like? Coming up, a new report that breaks down the effects of repealing Obamacare without a replacement.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:27:08] HARLOW: Repeal Obamacare, a common reframe from President Trump during the election. He promised to do it and now he has taken some of those first steps signing that executive order directing federal agencies to minimize the financial burden caused by the affordable care act. But this week, a new report from the congressional budget office found that repealing major parts of it without a replacement, will pretty quickly strip 18 million Americans of their insurance, and it will cause premiums to skyrocket. It actually estimated that premiums would double by 2026.
Now, I should note the specific bill that the CBO studied is no longer being considered. But this is important because it outlines the monumental task at hand for Republicans as they work towards a replacement.
Also, the bipartisan committee for a responsible federal budget found a full repeal of Obamacare. That would cost $350 million over the next decade.
Lanhee Chen is with me. He is the former public policy director for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid. Thanks for being here.
LANHEE CHEN, FORMER MITT ROMNEY PUBLIC POLICY OFFICER: Sure.
HARLOW: Let's take through what this would really mean because we talk about so many issues, and Obamacare is a big one, this is one that hits home for so many Americans that rely on it, that didn't have insurance before, or that couldn't afford insurance, or Americans that save, look my premiums have gone through the roof and I can't afford this care.
This executive order and what he has promised to do, also has to be looked at in the context of the fact that he said this week, insurance for all.
HARLOW: Which has a lot of other Republicans scratching their heads.
CHEN: Yes. There are a lot of different dynamics at play here. First of all, this executive order, could be very far reaching or if could be completely symbolic. It largely depends on how the Trump administration goes forward with it.
CHEN: If they decide that they are going to use sweeping executive action in the same way that President Obama did, by the way, to implement the law, this could be big news, otherwise it could just be sort of be symbolism, right. But at the end of the day, it is important for Republicans to realize that to repeal the law without a replacement that would come in very soon behind it is very traitorous (ph) water to be in.
And so, I do think it is important for congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to work together to find that replacement as soon as possible.
HARLOW: Do you get a sense that they are on the same page? I mean, Paul Ryan said in the CNN town hall basically, you know, no we wouldn't repeal it without a replacement. And then Trump said something about, you know, he told "the Washington Post" in this interview, insurance for all, which by the way is completely counter to the plan that was put forward by his HHS secretary nominee.
CHEN: I think that tradition public into talking about universal access and Trump statements would suggest he is looking at universal coverage. Now, there is a bridge between the two. There are policies that will get them from a to b. The big question is what leadership position is a leadership position going to be taken by Trump and his administration?
Ultimately, it is their responsibility. Look, congressional Republicans, they have got lots of ideas on healthcare. They have been talking about healthcare reform for a long time. Paul Ryan has got a plan, right. But it is going to be up to the president to say this is what I want to do and lead the way forward.
[19:30:06] HARLOW: And you also say -- one of the big questions now for Republicans as a whole is they considered themselves whether they will be comfortable with, you know, the president. President Trump using and exercising this executive authority to strike down the law as broadly as President Obama did to enact so many things and they criticize President Obama for doing just that.
CHEN: Yes. I mean, there is some potential irony here. I mean, I think for Republicans who have been looking to get rid of the affordable care act, who have been looking to replace it with something else, now they have this moment, this interesting time. But it's going to require them, if they want to use executive action, they are going to have to be aggressive about it. Otherwise, they are going to have to go to the Congress which I would personally prefer impassive replacement.
HARLOW: And there are parts of it that the president has said that he wants to keep.
CHEN: Yes. Well, there are things he wants to keep. He wants to keep some protection for people that have preexisting conditions. He wants to make sure that premiums are affordable. Those are things that we are going to have to see how that gets --.
HARLOW: Yes. And people staying on their parents' plan under they are 26.
HARLOW: The architects of Obamacare say, guess what, one part is reliant on the next is reliant on the next. You can't just keep what you like and throw out the rest. So we will see.
CHEN: Yes. I don't know that I buy that argument. But we'll see. I mean, it is going to be up to President Trump to work with a Republican Congress.
HARLOW: Yes. Look. If we - everyone, no matter what political side you are on, want this done and want it done, right just so that all Americans, you know, so that you don't have a 18 million people without what they need.
Thank you, Lanhee.
CHEN: Yes. Sure. Thank you.
HARLOW: We have to leave it there. We appreciate it.
Coming up for us, another busy week on tap of Capitol Hill, as hearings for President Trump's cabinet picks continue. We will tell you who is in the hot seat, as you are watching a special live edition of CNN NEWSROOM from Washington.
[19:34:52] HARLOW: Welcome back. President Trump has two cabinet members that have been confirmed and are ready to get to work tomorrow morning. The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on CIA director nominee Mike Pompeo. Republicans claiming the Democrats are slow walking these nominees. Democrats say that Trump's picks have some of them are slow to disclose their financial and ethics paper work. And now the Senate's most powerful Democrat is signaling signs of resistance. Here is what minority leader Chuck Schumer had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: But I'm worried he is using populist rhetoric to cover up a hard right agenda. If you look at his cabinet appointments, so many of them are not populist but hard right. You know, Dr. Price, he wants to ends Medicare as we know it. Mulvany wants to cut even research into healthcare. DeVos cut public education. Puzder go against protections of labor. So his cabinet is very troubling and that is actually what I discussed with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:35:57] HARLOW: Let's talk it over with CNN political analyst Josh Rogin, also "Washington Post" columnist and CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier, the "Daily Beast" senior national security correspondent. Thank you guys both for being here, very much.
When you look at Pompeo and Kimberly wrote a long piece about this recently. One of the concerns that some have about Pompeo is sort of the difference between what he said about enhanced interrogation and waterboarding in his confirmation hearings and his position on it before.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, also, he has written answers to the senate intelligence committee that were posted during the inauguration. So a lot of people missed them. In it, he said that he would consider what CIA officers tell him regarding both the current interrogation techniques that they have, available to them and also how much data they collect on Americans.
HARLOW: Right. Here is what he said on data. He said Congress should pass a low re-establishing the collection of metadata combining it with publicly available, financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive searchable data base.
The word database scares a lot of people because they think registry, Muslim registry, what exactly does this mean? Do we know?
DOZIER: Well, he said that in an op-ed before he went for this job. So he has said during the testimony that he will follow the law. But he said since then in his written answers if CIA officers tell him that either there are limits on what they can collect or there are limits on their techniques of interrogation are keeping them from getting the intelligence they need, he will possibly make recommendations. So it's very fuzzy, but it's not the denial that the senators heard in testimony before them.
HARLOW: Right. And saying the commander in-chief would never ask me to do that.
Josh Rogin, two points here, general Mattis told Trump, basically, I have actually found from experience is enhanced interrogation doesn't work.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
HARLOW: Also that 2014 Senate report on the CIA and enhanced interrogation showed that it didn't work.
ROGIN: Right. So you know, Pompeo is going to get confirmed, OK. The senators who are objecting to these things want to have a data talk about it. I don't really think there is a national security risk there. Although, it gives the Trump administration on talking point that they are delaying the appointment if national security figures, you know.
Overall, it would be a hug problem, MR. Trump administration's side to go back to the policy of out interrogation techniques. What we are seeing here is the difference from what Pompeo things which he said when he was at his hearing and what the administration is reserving as their right, OK. Because those written questions, they don't actually get written by the nominees. They get written by a team of people back in an administration who want to make sure that they have covered themselves. So they are leaving the door open to go back on interrogation techniques that they want to. Doesn't mean they are going do it, but it really does unnerve a lot of people and it should.
HARLOW: Can we - go ahead.
DOZIER: I was going to say I spoke to one of the interrogators for the CIA water board KSM, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. And he said, look. This debate needs to happen. In some cases, a ticking time bomb situation, you are asking junior people to make the call as to how far they should go beyond the army field manual. And whether or not, you know, they have to consider, well, this is illegal what I'm about to do but I'm saving lives. He was saying to me why don't we have this debate and figure it out behind closed doors so that junior person doesn't happen.
ROGIN: I have a feeling this debate already happened. We just went through that whole thing with the senate report and Feinstein and all of the abuses and what happens when they side behind closed doors, everything goes crazy, you know. They are reopening this wound.
HARLOW: This is also in the context of General Flynn who as going to have a role when it comes to advising the president on all of this. And the president saying he wants the director of national intelligence to have all the established power. How does it play out for the rank and file CIA workers and intelligence workers who the president spoke to, 400 some of them yesterday.
DOZIER: I have got to say, CIA officers I have spoken to - Josh, I'm sure you have the same experience -- believe that the director of national intelligence apparatus has grown too large and that they can do the job. Just find themselves over it, their office (ph). So they wouldn't mind seeing the DNI shrink some.
What I have heard from different folks is they are used to this sort of back and forth at the top, they think it's going to settle, and they're going to be not only allowed to do their jobs, but possibly with President Trump's backing, have more freedom to do what they think they need to do. Remember that under the Obama administration, some of the people that carried out the interrogation measures that were deemed legal under the Bush administration, were then investigated by the department of justice.
[19:40:37] HARLOW: Yes, that's true. Some are still facing those investigations. I got to leave it there.
ROGIN: It's just tough to see that in the context of the CIA in a battle with the president over their investigation into the Russian hacking, into his ties to Russian figures. That's the big picture. And this reshuffling of the deck chairs between the DNI and the CIA is not the most important thing.
HARLOW: Guys, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Nice to have you both on.
Coming up for us, jobs, jobs, jobs, it's the economy, stupid, right. We have heard that for many years, jobs. Donald Trump's number one priority during the campaign. And now that he is president, he has got an eye popping goal, 25 million new jobs for Americans. It has never been done before by a single president, can he do it? We will talk about that next.
[19:44:32] HARLOW: President Trump ran in a platform of jobs. He promised the American people he would bring back jobs lost from overseas, the global trade and automation. In fact, President Trump promised to create 25 million jobs, through his American first doctrine of buy American and hire American. It is a pretty tall order.
Twenty-five million jobs would be the most ever created under any single president. How could he accomplish it? Our CNN Money Heather Long is with me from New York tonight. Heather, thank you so much for being here. I know you dig into these
numbers daily. This would top the nearly 23 million jobs that were added under President Bill Clinton's terms and that was during the boom of the 90s. Could Trump reach 25 million?
[19:45:16] HEATHER LONG, CNN MONEY SENIOR WRITER: This is going to be very, very hard to do. No doubt about it. As you mentioned, it would be the most of any president. It would be more than double beyond 11, just over 11 million jobs added under President Obama. So in my mind, Trump is really drawing an economic red line here to say this is what he wants to deliver for America and his supporters, as a great economic legacy.
So how in the world can he do this? He has three key policy plans on the economy. The first that we talk a lot about is cutting taxes, cutting taxes for you and I, for individuals, and cutting taxes for corporations. So that Reaganesque approach that if we cut taxes businesses will want to invest more here and they will hopefully hire more and create a lot more jobs here.
The second thing, we are starting to see it happen already this week is trade. He wants to renegotiate trade deals including the North American free trade agreement, NAFTA that we have with Mexico and with Canada. So that's a little bit more questionable how that will play out on the jobs front because some of our jobs do depend on our exports and our trade with those countries. So will that help is a bit of a question mark.
The final part that a lot of people do think could help grow jobs is if he wants to do a lot of spending. He even talked about it in his inaugural address, to spend a lot of money to repair roads and bridges, help that that infrastructure and that could create some jobs.
HARLOW: He has upwards of a trillion dollar infrastructure spending plan, which by the way some Democrats are absolutely in support of, but he's got road blocks. What are the biggest challenges, road blocks, it's going to be tough to get around to reach 25 million.
LONG: There's a lot of road blocks. I mean, obviously Congress has to go along with a lot of these plans. But I think the bigger one from an economic perspective is that a lot of jobs aren't just being lost to people, a lot of American jobs aren't just going overseas to Mexico or China, which he focuses on a lot.
A lot of these jobs are being lost to technology and robots. I spent last weekend in Lords Town, Ohio in a big GM auto factory there. That factory used to employ 15,000 people in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now it employs just over 3,000. They are still producing a ton of cars, but those cars are being made by robots. As one worker said to me, you know, he works on the trunks of the cars and he said there used to be a human when I started working here a couple of years ago who physically put a spare tire in the trunk. That job is now done by a robot. So, you know, Trump has to fight against this big push towards automation. HARLOW: And I think it is important for us to remember, the market
rally that we have seen in the stock market post-election is not correlated necessarily directly to a job's rally that we may see.
LONG: That's definitely true. President Obama was great for the stock market. The stock market nearly tripled under President Obama. Now, we did see some jobs growth towards the end of his presidency. But the market was going up a long time before we started to see that jobs growth. So just because the market is optimistic, it doesn't mean main street is going to benefit.
HARLOW: Yes. Although, this give businesses confidence and they confident. They spend. They hire, so. You can see that correlation.
Heather Long, so nice to have you. Thank you.
HARLOW: Yes. Thank you very much. We have to leave it there.
On that note, President Trump today announced that he will begin renegotiating NAFTA, when he meets with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be meeting with the president of Mexico, who I know, and we are going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA. Anybody ever hear of NAFTA? I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA. But we are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: That was another big campaign promise that he hit hard in his inaugural address, put America first. That is music to the ears of many, many people who lost their good paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Let's talk about all of this with Scott Paul, he is president of the alliance of American manufacturing.
Nice to have you with us.
SCOTT PAUL, PRESIDENT, ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING: Poppy, great to be with you.
HARLOW: So just diving into NAFTA, he said he is going to meet with Justin Trudeau and President Pena Nieto of Mexico and renegotiate it. The U.S. chamber of commerce says six million U.S. jobs right now are dependent on trade with Mexico. It matters for you as jobs if you just scrap it.
PAUL: It does. And I think that if you just repealed NAFTA, there would be a big down side to it, just like repealing the affordable care act would have devastating consequences. There needs to be a thoughtful replacement to NAFTA. And I think all three countries agree that it could be modernize. I mean, it was negotiated more than 20 years ago in an era where we didn't have smart phones or digital technology or anything like that. And also in an era where these countries weren't facing as much competition from Asia and from China in particular. So there may be opportunities. But you are right. I mean, I think in the heartland in particular, you know, NAFTA is a can do a curse word, people do not like it. They respond viscerally to it and they expect some action.
[19:50:34] HARLOW: And you can understand why. If my job got replaced by a robot, I would be pretty ticked off too. But it's not just NAFTA. It is automation. And that is not going to change. And one thing that I, you know, I think is very important to note is that Andy Podzer, the guy that Trump has tap to run labor, be the labor secretary, to see over fast food restaurant, he said about automation, how much he likes automation in his restaurants. They are always polite. They always upsell. They never take a vacation. They never show up late. There is never a slip and fall or an age or sex or race discrimination case. He said that to "Business Insider" this year. How is that going to shake out when it comes to these jobs?
PAUL: It is - I mean, technology, automation, they are facts of life. We do not want to turn back the clock on that. That would be a huge mistake. At the same time --.
HARLOW: That would set America back, no?
PAUL: It would set America back, absolutely. At the same time, I think that there can be a future where you have the robots and you also have manufacturing jobs. Let's take a look at Elon Musk and his investments in Tesla, solar city - that's right. And the new battery plants, 6,000 people working with robots. So if we get policy right, if we get tax code right, if we get some of the trade policy right, there will be an opportunity for new manufacturing jobs. They will looking a lot different than those manufacturing jobs of the 50s.
HARLOW: But they will be better paying jobs too because they are going to take a higher skills. And said for the president to do what he wants to do he has to be what you call a dynamic thinker. And he needs to focus on a macroeconomic policy, not just tweeting a carrier, tweeting at Ford, tweeting at GM. It's great to see any jobs coming back or staying here, but what macroeconomic policy does he need?
PAUL: We are in fierce global completion is. So every government decision impacts a manufacturing firm or any other firm that's in that kind of global competition. So tax policy matters, how low the rate s what are the incentives to invest in America. Trade policy matters. Are you -- and this is where I do agree somewhat with Donald Trump and the criticism. I think we have negotiated some terrible deals for the United States. We need to reconfigure those deals with China and Mexico. And in particular, we also need workforce training. And we need infrastructure investment because when we spur that demand, it makes our economy more efficient. People love getting to their jobs quicker. But it moves our goods to the ports faster, it makes a more efficient economy and bipartisan support.
HARLOW: -- you are going to see probably happen on the hill. We will see how big it is.
Thank you, Scott. It so nice to have you on.
HARLOW: We are going to take a quick break. We will be back live from the nation's capital after this.