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Trump Hosts First Meeting with World Leader; White House Suggests 20% Tariff would Pay for Wall; May Praises "Great Victory" of Trump, GOP; Trump Calls for End to Sanctuary Cities; Miami-Dade Complies. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired January 27, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Tensions are rising with Mexico after its president cancelled a White House meeting. Just minutes ago, Trump tweeting this, "Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. long enough. Massive trade deficits and little help on the very week border must change, now!" And tomorrow, the president holds his first phone call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Trump says he is open to better relations with Russia, further raising the concerns of his critics. We're covering all the angles on this busy morning. Let's start with Sara Murray though. She's at the White House. Good morning.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Busy is exactly the way to put it. Donald Trump will host his first world leader at the White House today, that's Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister. They're expected to meet, but also to hold a press conference and take questions from reporters. We're also expecting him to head to the Pentagon later today. He may sign some Executive Orders while he's there. And he may also meet with his new Defense Secretary James Mattis, and lay out his objectives for defeating ISIS. He spoke a little bit about the difficulties, the challenges of fighting this enemy. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The people that we're going against, they don't wear uniforms. They're sneaky, dirty rats. And they blow people up in a shopping center. And they blow people up in a church. These are bad people. When you're fighting Germany and they had their uniforms, and Japan and they had their uniforms and they had their flags on the plane, and the whole thing. We are fighting sneaky rats right now that are sick and demented. And we're going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump is also expected to have a very busy weekend ahead. He's going to be speaking with a number of world leaders, leaders in France, in Germany, but also Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obviously this is someone who has not had a great relationship with U.S. leaders in the past. And it comes at a time that we're seeing a sort of rocky diplomatic debut from Donald Trump, tensions between the U.S. and Mexico are flaring, and the President of Mexico just said he is no longer going to come to the U.S. for a meeting with President Trump next week. Carol?
COSTELLO: All right. Sara Murray thanks so much.
All of this, as President Trump, as you heard Sara say, adds more fuel to the U.S. rift with Mexico. Mr. Trump tweeting out this morning, the country has been taking advantage of the United States for long enough. Attention now threatening American wallets as President Trump floats the idea of imposing a 20 percent tariff or tax on imports to pay for his wall. CNN's Leyla Santiago, live in Mexico City with reaction. Hi, Leyla.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, we're talking about a big meeting at the White House. We'll also be seeing a pretty big meeting here at Los Pinos. That is the equivalent of the White House, where the president has a mansion. And he's going to have -- the Mexican president, he's going to be meeting today with the delegation that was in Washington D.C. this week, reporting back on what they learned, what came out of those meetings with Trump's staff this week. So, we expect to get quite a bit of reaction, not only from the president, but also some of the senators, the business leaders in Mexico on exactly how they move forward with this new relationship today.
Also, today, quite a big player here, we're expecting for Carlos Slim to speak, one of the richest men in the world, a multibillionaire. He had a bit of a back and forth -- with Trump during the election. And then, he had a meeting with him. His son - son-in-law tweeted about that. Then, President Trump also tweeting about it, giving thumbs up, saying that things are going well between those two business leaders, but he is expected to speak out today, someone who typically doesn't speak publicly on a lot of diplomatic things. So, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. Also, speaking out, the foreign minister, here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS VIDEGARAY, MEXICAN FINANCE MINISTER: We simply cannot accept the concept of a neighbor paying for your wall. This is something we would not do, we'll never do because this is about -- this is about our dignity and our pride.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTIAGO: So, clearly strong stakes, people really applauding President Enrique Pena Nieto for sort of taking a stance and what they have told me, not being bullied. You know, this morning as we were out in one of the newspaper stands, I thought it was interesting, the vendor looked right over and say, he's picking a fight with everyone. So, we're certainly seeing this as quite the talker. But it seems that here in Mexico City there is a sense of pride, as if dignity has been restored in this cancellation of the meeting and how they will move forward in this new relationship. Carol?
[10:05:03] COSTELLO: All right, Leyla Santiago, reporting live from Mexico City. Thank you.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle here in the United States, they are not liking this tariff idea. CNN's Manu Raju, live in Philadelphia with more on that. Hi, Manu.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Hey, Carol. Yes, the idea now of how exactly to pay for the wall, this is something that is dividing both parties on Capitol Hill. The question is, now that Mexico is saying that they will not pay for the bill, will U.S. taxpayers now be stuck with paying for it? -- Democratic senators are telling me, and sources, say that they believe that whenever funding package the Trump administration sends to Capitol Hill will not get 60 votes in the United States Senate. Meaning that it will be very unlikely that Congress will approve a funding package because of opposition from Democrats, including conservative Democrats, over how this would be funded. Either through a 20 percent tax that the White House suggested was an option yesterday, or simply by adding upwards of $15 billion to the deficit.
Now, just moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, issuing this statement, "The cost for everything from groceries, to cars, to office supplies would go up 20 percent, making it harder for middle-class families to pay for things they need every day." Some Republicans joining that sentiment as well, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweeting yesterday that he's, "Mucho Sad" about the idea, perhaps, that cost of margaritas and Coronas could increase by 20 percent.
But Republicans who do support this idea say that's a misguided notion, that it's all part of a larger effort to reduce corporate taxes. Not to increase by 20 percent. But suffice to say, opposition and concern about the approach that the Trump administration is taking to get Congress to foot the bill initially. And major questions about whether they can even get the package out of Congress, because Senate Democrats could block it in the United States Senate, and just in a matter of months. Carol?
COSTELLO: All right, Manu Raju, reporting live from Philadelphia.
So, if President Trump's relations with Mexico can be described as frosty, and consider the warm and glowing praise from British Prime Minister Theresa May. She attended yesterday's retreat of Republican lawmakers and fond over the party and its new leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: President Trump's victory, achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls, and rooted, not in the corridors of Washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land. Because of that great victory you have won, America can be stronger, greater, and more confident in the years ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins me now with more from Washington. So, will it be a friendly meeting between the two world leaders this morning, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, that speech by Theresa May yesterday may well, have looked like it leapt off the pages of how to make friends and influence people and certainly had something about it. But what she's very clearly saying is, you know, Britain wants to align itself with the United States. This long history together of helping win wars together, have shared sacrifices together. Her visit to Arlington National Cemetery earlier today speaks to that, you know that Britain and the United States -- have lost many lives in sort of building the world in their own model, in their own way, if you will. But what she wants to do and what she's saying now is that the future is a shared vision too, that Britain is turning away from this international or liberal interventionism. This is how she put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So, that "influence people" part of the list, we've seen the "making friends," the influencing part, yes, she would like the United States to remain a strong supporter of NATO, to have a stronger view of the importance of the unity of Europe and be a little bit more cautious about the relationship with Russia and President Putin. So, yes, she wants to try and influence President Trump, how strongly will she go in that language behind the closed doors of the Oval Office, not clear.
COSTELLO: All right, Nic Robertson reporting for us. Thanks so much. So, let's talk about all of this. With me now is David Gergen, former presidential adviser to Ford, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton. Rebecca Berg is here. She's the national political reporter for "Real Clear Politics." And David Rohde joins me. He's a national security investigations editor for "Reuters."
All right, David, since you've advised so many presidents, you have a strong American ally saying that the President of the United States is, you know, trying to take away its dignity and its pride. You have Theresa May reaching out and apparently maybe a warm conversation. And you have this phone call with Vladimir Putin that we assume will be friendly because Mr. Trump has been so supportive of Vladimir Putin in the past. So, put this into perspective for us.
[10:10:12] DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST AND FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TO FORD, NIXON, REAGAN AND CLINTON: Well, Donald Trump is off to a whirlwind start, isn't he? He's going through Executive Orders and phone calls and one thing and another. What Franklin Roosevelt did in his first hundred days and that is a tremendous number of changes, hard to put it all into one package, you know if you're on the outside. But there's no question that in his relationship with Mexico, he sent a message to one of our closest friends and our third largest trading partner after Canada and China. That he was going to force changes. They see this as bullying. And I think that sent a message not only through Mexico but through much of Latin America that -- this may be a very difficult period in the relationship with the United States.
On the other hand, Theresa May has got a very, very different set of agenda. She's come in just after Brexit or the separation out from the UK from the European Union, and she's the one who is executing that. And she's trying to approve to Britain, to Europe, and to the world that Brexit is not going to lead to a British disaster. It is in fact going to allow her to strengthen the relationship with the United States. She wants more access to markets here. She wants to have a trading relationship. She sees that as being part of a global power.
And from Donald Trump's point of view, he is going to welcome her because he wants to prove that Brexit worked, and there's a great fear in the continent of Europe. President Hollande of France has just been meeting with Chancellor Merkel of Germany. That the combination of May and Trump may help to unravel the European Union and may help to bring these other populist movements to power on the continent and it's causing real heartburn in France and Germany.
COSTELLO: David, when Mr. Trump was running for office, you know, he was this great deal maker, right? He was adept at negotiation. Is he showing that right now, David?
Well, you can find two sides on that, almost every issue with Donald Trump. And that is his supporters think he's doing exactly the right thing, it's time to stand up to Mexico, they've been screwing us, all the rest. It's the traditional, more conventional view, and one that you would find in the State Department, for example, going back decades, is that yes, we have our differences. But they ought to be settled quietly around the negotiating table because we are friends.
I was with President Clinton during the NAFTA fight when NAFTA was being negotiated, the ending part of NAFTA, and then getting it passed. I can just tell you, every day there were tons of phone calls between the U.S. and the Mexican sides trying to see if we could reach out - hammer out an agreement on little details that would mean a difference on votes. And it worked out very successfully.
I mean, you can argue about whether NAFTA has been good for American workers or not, that's a controversial question. But there's no question that the negotiation itself was an amicable one that really, I think strengthened ties between not only the United States and Mexico but across North America. We began to move to a single free market here in North America, a vision that Ronald Reagan and many others have had over the years.
COSTELLO: So, David Rohde, this - you know, all of this matters when it comes to national security too. When -- you heard what Mr. Trump said about ISIS, this is just a different kind of enemy, which I think all Americans understand. So, how does that fit into what's happening now?
DAVID ROHDE, NATIONAL SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR "REUTERS": Well, to be frank, there's a disconnect I mean, there has been no single terrorist attack call - you know, carried out in the United States that involved anyone crossing the border from Mexico. Illegal immigration is actually flat, if you look at it in terms of the last few decades. And so, that's what's unclear.
This call with Putin on the weekend is crucial. There's talk of an alliance in terms of terrorism. But at the same time, you know, he may be signing Executive Orders today that are going to ban issuance of all visas to seven predominantly Muslim countries. To win the war on terror, to defeat ISIS, we don't need Russia as an ally. We need Arabs and Muslims. The Iraqis on the ground that are fighting today, you know, ISIS in Mosul and dying to retake that city. You know, Afghans, Syrians, we need those allies on the ground. So, this talk of a ban on immigration from these seven prominently Muslim countries will help ISIS recruitment. It plays into a narrative that the United States is biased against Islam.
COSTELLO: OK. So, the American people are sitting back and watching. Rebecca, there's a new Quinnipiac Poll out today and it says that Mr. Trump has a 36 percent approval rating. So, what does that say about his actions to date?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER "REAL CLEAR POLITICS": Well, Carol, it says quite simply that he has a lot of work to do. And part of this, he can use these discussions with foreign leaders, I think, to begin to reassure a lot of Americans who feel that he has been a little bit trigger-happy in his first few days as president.
[10:15:04] But also during the transition, and who worry about his temperament as president, who aren't sure how he will act in these situations, either with foreign leaders or dealing with Congress or signing Executive Orders.
And so, really his discussions with Theresa May, his discussions by phone with Vladimir Putin upcoming, these can be some real opportunities for Donald Trump to show that he is going to be a serious player on the world stage, to show that he will be a good steward of the United States foreign policy abroad. But it's also a very risky situation for him, because it can go in completely the opposite direction. We know that Donald Trump operates in a way that the foreign leaders, that diplomatic communities, not necessarily familiar with. It's very different from what they're used to. And so, it's a risk as well as an opportunity. But he does have a lot of work to do.
And, you know, I would point, Carol, to his inaugural address. Donald Trump had an opportunity to reach out to Americans who are still skeptical of him, to pledge to unite the country, and he didn't. His message played directly to his base. It was really just a campaign speech rejiggered for the inauguration. And so, he still does need to take that opportunity at some point, I would argue, to speak to those Americans who are still very skeptical of him.
COSTELLO: All right. I have to leave it there. David Gergen, Rebecca Berg, David Rohde, thank you so much. Is he disciplined, is he keeping his promises, or divisive and preoccupied with being popular? A CNN special, the first week of President Trump, that's live tonight 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time on CNN.
Up next in the NEWSROOM, Donald Trump calls for an end to sanctuary cities and Miami-Dade says, OK. I'll talk to the mayor, next.
[10:20:55] COSTELLO: President Trump says he's cutting off federal funds to sanctuary cities and counties. And it looks like Miami-Dade is the first to comply. The reason? Money. The President is notching this is a window tweeting that the Miami-Dade mayor made the right decision. "Strong," he tweeted. I'll get the mayor on the phone in just a minute. But first, I want to back up and talk about exactly how we got here. There are about 300 cities and towns that have policies protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation. On Wednesday, President Trump signed an Executive Order that aims to strip away federal money from those sanctuary cities and counties. Some mayors, though, are holding the line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, (D) CHICAGO: I want to be clear. We're going to stay as sanctuary city.
MAYOR MATY WALSH, (D) BOSTON: If necessary we'll use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who is targeted unjustly.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI, (D) LOS ANGELES: I'm talking to all mayors in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are the mayors going to unite to draw a line in the sand?
GARCETTI: We have. We want the federal government to protect those folks who have gotten temporary legal status and we want the overall system to be fixed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And as I told you, the Miami-Dade mayor is instructing his county jails to crack down. Mayor Carlos Gimenez joins me now by phone, good morning, sir.
MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ, (R) MIAMI-DADE (via telephone): Good morning, how are you?
COSTELLO: I'm good. So, is this a complete break with the other mayors who govern sanctuary cities?
GIMENEZ: Absolutely not, because we never considered ourselves to be a sanctuary city. Simply the directive that I gave yesterday is that the county commission had, in 2014, put out a resolution that stated that if we did not get verification of reimbursement for those inmates that we had currently under our jurisdiction that the federal government requested. That we would let them go whenever their time was served, whenever they had to go.
Before that time, we would honor the request of the federal government to detain inmates that they wanted without regard to the compensation to the county, because it had cost us about half a million dollars over a number of years in costs that had not been reimbursed by the federal government. All I did yesterday was say that we don't need the documentation saying that they will reimburse us for the cost in order for us to honor the request to detain somebody who has been arrested in Miami-Dade County.
COSTELLO: OK. So, in other words, and I'm just going to try to shorten this because it's a very complicated issue. --
COSTELLO: When police arrest an undocumented immigrant, and that person goes to jail and is accused of a crime, and I.C.E., for example, the feds ask you to hold that person for whatever reason, right?
GIMENEZ: Right, yes.
COSTELLO: You are paying the cost of housing that prisoner. So, you wanted reimbursement from the federal government. It gave that to you. And now you're no longer requesting that reimbursement. OK, we've cleared that up.
GIMENEZ: We will continue to -
COSTELLO: Let me ask you this, mayor. --
GIMENEZ: No, hold -
COSTELLO: -- Because I think people don't understand sanctuary city. How are you different than Los Angeles or New York or other cities that say they're a sanctuary city?
GIMENEZ: Well, some of those cities don't actually give information to -- when somebody is arrested, some information is actually withheld from the federal government. Miami-Dade County has never withheld any information from the federal government. When somebody is arrested here, we provide the information to the federal government of the people that have been arrested. We do not arrest people for immigration issues here in Miami-Dade County. Whenever somebody is arrested for crimes that normally are committed here, some of them may be illegal immigrants and so -- or undocumented aliens. And so, the federal government then would have that information that that individual is under our custody. They've had that information all along.
The one thing that may have put us as a sanctuary city was a report issued in May of 2016 by the Obama administration and the Justice Department that said because of that resolution and that change that we made in 2014 that we could be considered a sanctuary city, and we may be in jeopardy of losing federal funds. So, the threat of actually losing federal funds goes back to May of 2016. And we have been trying to rectify that with the administration since that time.
[10:25:13] Now, we have a new administration who is obviously a lot tougher, really in terms of costs to Miami-Dade County. It's really not worth the risk of losing millions of dollars to the residents of Miami-Dade County in discretionary funds from the feds. So, in a case where it really - it doesn't really amount to much here in Miami-Dade, I made the decision to no longer require the federal government to give us a document indicating that they will pay the cost for that inmate. We will - fight that battle a little bit later on.
COSTELLO: -- Let me ask you this, sir. OK. Just for clarity, so if police stop an undocumented immigrant for a traffic violation, and they have to go into the county jail for whatever reason, would you then turn that information about that undocumented immigrant over to federal authorities?
GIMENEZ: We turn any citizen, resident, immigrant, whatever, that is arrested, not stopped, arrested in Miami-Dade County that information goes to the federal government and the state government. Because we don't know what that individual may be wanted for in any other jurisdiction in the country. That just makes sense, that's just standard procedure. We don't protect that information from anybody, for anybody. And so, the federal government then knows that a certain individual is under our custody.
And if they're wanted for some reason, either there's a warrant or that individual is wanted by immigration, then the federal government has that information. They then request for us to hold that individual until they can come and get them. And so in the past, we used to, for immigration purposes and other purposes, we would hold that individual until immigration would come. But that ended up costing us a lot of money. That's where that resolution came forward. And that's basically -- we just went back to 2014, two years ago, before that resolution.
So, our procedures are the same as they were two years ago. And then that procedure that was instituted two years ago is what caused the Obama administration to label us as a potential sanctuary city.
COSTELLO: Got you, I understood now. Mayor Carlos Gimenez, thank you so much for your time.
GIMENEZ: Thank you ma'am, appreciate it.
COSTELLO: You're welcome. Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the White House is energizing the antiabortion movement as demonstrators get ready to rally in Washington.