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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Holds Rally Today In Florida Airplane Hangar; Pence: NATO Allies Must Pay Fair Share; Comey Briefs Senators In Closed Door Meeting; NYT: Budget Director Plans Major Program Cuts; Pence: U.S. Will Hold Russia Accountable; Russia's Lavrov: "Post-Cold War Order Is Over"; New Details On Plans For Obamacare Overhaul; Mark Cuban Uses Jersey To Send A Message To Trump. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired February 18, 2017 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is in Munich, Germany for a security summit. He's trying to reassure U.S. allies about the Trump administration's commitment to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's behavior has undermined the image of the United States among the broader European population.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee had briefing from FBI Director James Comey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This briefing was about Russia. Likely the most effective investigation into the Russian meddling into the 2016 election.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there are significant dysfunction in the national security apparatus.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: America's going to start winning again. Winning like never, ever before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Up and at them. We're waiting for you here. Good morning, everybody. I am Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I am Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: So let's talk about Vice President Mike Pence. He is playing top diplomat in Europe this morning, reassuring fellow NATO members that the U.S. will stand by the commitment to the transatlantic partnership and vowing that Russia will have to answer for its actions in Crimea. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And know this, the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which as you know President Trump believes can be found.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: But Russia appears to be pushing back on those comments arguing that it is the expansion of NATO that's creating tension. The country's foreign minister also rebuffed reporting that Russia meddled in the U.S. election saying he, quote, "Saw no facts that Russia played any part in any hack."

PAUL: In the meantime, state side, President Trump is returning to familiar stomping grounds, holding a rally later this afternoon in an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida. This is his first campaign rally four weeks into his presidency, a campaign rally is how the White House is characterizing this.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Donald J. Trump, the president is paying for it, and that's who is organizing the tickets. CNN's Ryan Nobles is covering the president's return to the podium this afternoon. So why is there a campaign rally after the inauguration? I think that's the central question here.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, it is a great point, and it is also a very good question. The president is only 29 days into his administration. Why is he already back on the campaign trail and as Christi mentioned, this is exactly how the White House is describing this event that will take place at this airport outside Melbourne.

But, you know, in many respects this could be a continuation of what we saw on Thursday, that 77 minute press conference where Trump tried to essentially talk past the filter of the media and talk directly to the American people and specifically those Americans who passionately still support him and his administration.

He is expected to tout that the fact he is keeping his promises at this rally today in Orlando, specifically the fact that he is attempting to create jobs. Listen to what he said yesterday at that airplane factory in South Carolina at the Boeing plant when he talked about job creation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: -- greatest people anywhere in the world, we have the greatest spirit and you just look at what's going on today in our country, you look at what's happening with the jobs, you look at what's happening with plants moving back into our country, all of a sudden they're coming back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: So what the president is hoping to show is that his support remains passionate, expect a big crowd at the rally this afternoon outside Orlando -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ryan, thank you.

PAUL: Let's talk about Vice President Mike Pence, he's on a reassurance tour of sorts in Europe, easing European allies' concerns or trying to regarding President Trump's foreign policy agenda. Earlier he spoke at the security conference in Munich where he reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to NATO.

CNN's global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott joining us now. What else did he say and what was the reaction, Elise?

ELISE LABOTT, GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, I think after that bitter campaign where Donald Trump basically called NATO obsolete, and put into question whether as president he would support the NATO alliance. It was really important for Vice President Pence to assure those allies that the U.S. was firm in their commitment to NATO.

And he did say that the U.S. would stand by NATO. He said their success is the U.S. success, but he also said it was really important for NATO members to pay their share. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: The promise to share the burden of our defense has gone unfulfilled for too many for too long and it erodes the very foundation of our alliance. When even one ally fails to do their part, it undermines our ability to come to each other's aid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[08:05:03]LABOTT: And I think, of course, he is talking about each member having to pay that cap of 2 percent at least of their defense budget. I think, you know, he also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, I think he went a long way to allaying concerns that the U.S. was supportive of NATO.

I think an open question, though, is the U.S. relations with Russia, even though he did say that the U.S. would hold Russia to account. He was very vague on whether the U.S. would keep sanctions on Russia and he didn't really layout policies about what the U.S. would be doing.

A lot of specifics, but I think definitely set the right tone for going forward, and now of course, he travels to Brussels where he will be meeting NATO leaders there to discuss the alliance.

PAUL: All right. Elise Labott, good to see you this morning. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: On Friday, FBI Director James Comey had a closed door briefing with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Afterwards, one member, Senator Marco Rubio, tweeted this, "I am now very confident, Senate Intel Committee, I serve on, will conduct thorough bipartisan investigation of Putin interference and influence." To discuss, let's bring in senior political reporter and politics managing director, Amanda Terkel, along with CNN politics senior reporter, Stephen Collinson. Good morning.

So I want each of you to weigh in on this tweet. First, to you, Stephen, what do you glean from Senator Rubio tweeting this after a classified briefing, no other senator came out and said anything, tweeted anything but this from the Florida senator.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: It is very interesting, Victor. It is an amazing meeting because you don't often have a meeting of senators in a closed door session when they all come out and are all exactly on the same page. Nobody talked after that meeting.

There were a lot of reporters outside, none of the senators would say anything about what happened, and that sort of lends credence to the Marco Rubio tweet that this will be a bipartisan investigation into exactly what Russia, what influence Russia had on this election.

So I think that's the most sort of interesting take away from this. You know, the key person to watch on this I think is the ranking member of that committee, the Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia. Democrats have been warned that Republicans are trying to examine this issue in a committee in a way to whitewash it.

But Mark Warner has been working very hard to sort of allay those concerns. So I think at this point what we can say is that, you know -- and we can tell from Marco Rubio's tweet, looks like there's going to be a bipartisan investigation into exactly what happened.

BLACKWELL: Amanda, your reaction to the tweet in the context that there are still some on Capitol Hill who are very skeptical of this process moving forward of investigating potential connections between the Trump campaign, the Trump administration, and Russia.

AMANDA TERKEL, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER AND MANAGING EDITOR, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Right. They're very skeptical actually of James Comey himself because, you know, he sort of inserted himself into the election process by commenting on whether they were still investigating Hillary Clinton and her use of private e-mail server, even when it wasn't clear if the new e-mails they had that they said they were investigating were even related to the investigation.

But he did that just a few days before the election. Senators have been very frustrated, including senators on the intelligence committee that James Comey is not now more publicly commenting on what exactly he is looking into in terms of Russian interference in the election.

Whether Donald Trump and his associates had any contact with Russian intelligence analysts or other government officials, and so I think senators wanted him to be more forthcoming, were frustrated last time he testified on the Hill. Rubio's tweet seems to indicate that this time maybe they were more pleased with what they heard.

BLACKWELL: All right, Amanda, Stephen, stay with us. We have more to talk about.

PAUL: There was a close call for one woman. Put yourself in this position, a sinkhole swallows your car, and she yet had the wherewithal to talk to a reporter after firefighters rescued her. You'll see all of it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:12:26]

BLACKWELL: It's 12 minutes after the hour now. The White House Budget Office has drafted a list of programs that President Trump will potentially eliminate to cut spending according to a report this morning out of "New York Times."

But work on the budget was delayed pending the Senate confirmation of former Congressman Nick Mulvaney. Now that he is in place as the head of Office of Management and Budget, the office is ready to move ahead.

Back with me to talk, senior political reporter at "The Huffington Post," Amanda Terkel, and CNN senior political reporter, Stephen Collinson.

First to you. Let me read off a couple of the offices and programs that may be cut, Stephen, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Americorps, adding up to about $2.5 billion in saving of a $4 trillion. Typically on the list for Republicans, but how realistic is the plan these may go away.

COLLINSON: These programs have been on the chopping block for Republicans for years, if not decades since Newt Gingrich's Republican revolution in 1994. So this would be a very popular act for Donald Trump's base and would be a way to sort of gain support from wider conservative budget hawks on the Hill.

The question is about this is that these may be eye catching issues, but the wider issue of the budget is that Donald Trump and the White House are proposing to greatly increase military spending at the same time as they're going to introduce big tax cuts, which could hit revenues. So that's the really big budget issue. These things are eye catching.

The question is how can you cut revenues, increase spending on issues like the military, at the same time Donald Trump said he will protect entitlements like Medicare, something that's very important to core supporters in places like the industrial Midwest.

So that's the big budget issue. These things are eye catching and they'll probably get done because they're supporting Congress to do it, and there is a Republican majority, but maybe it is somewhat of a side show.

BLACKWELL: All right, Amanda, let me come to you and let's talk about Mick Mulvaney, many people maybe outside of his district do not know him. He is a budget hawk, wants to cut spending. I want you to listen to what he said a few years ago in defense of an amendment to Hurricane Sandy relief bill that required the spending be offset. Any dollars spent on supporting or offering relief had to be cut or saved somewhere else. Here is what he said then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[08:15:10]MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think we should be willing as a body to come together and say look, there are things that we do not need this year, things that we can do without this year so that the people in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and other states who so badly need the money can have it without us having to go hat in hand to other nations of this world and say would you please lend us money so that we can take care of our folks that need it so badly.

I hope the amendment passes. I hope the amendment passes so that I can vote for the bill. I want this money to go where it is so desperately needed, but the time has come and gone in this nation when we can walk in here one day and spend $9 billion or $17 billion or $60 billion and not think about who is paying for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So how does that, Amanda, that philosophy correspond with the president's trillion dollars for infrastructure, billions for the military, billions more for the wall on the border, and no plan that we've seen to recoup that money from Mexico?

TERKEL: Well, it is definitely not in synch. Mick Mulvaney has been farther to the right than some members of Congress. He certainly reflects that Tea Party view where you saw those members swept into Congress. So in the House, I think he is sort of more in the mainstream, but that's not necessarily true in the Senate.

You saw people like Senator John McCain express reservations about Mick Mulvaney saying, you know, I don't like the fact that, for example, he doesn't support more military spending, which is something that Donald Trump wanted to do.

Donald Trump has said he wants to balance the budget, but maybe there are more important things out there, like getting the economy going, spending money on infrastructure and more on the military. And so Mick Mulvaney could run into some issues where his conservative priorities don't necessarily line up with what the president himself wants to do.

BLACKWELL: Any expectation these programs will be listed off at the top of the conversation will indeed be cut?

TERKEL: I think there will be a lot of support in the House, but some things on the list like Americorps that has gotten bipartisan support in the past, including from people like George W. Bush, Senator Dan Coates, who is Donald Trump's pick to be head of the intelligence community voted against Americorps initially, but later wrote an op-ed why he was wrong on Americorps. So there are a few programs here that get bipartisan support, even if many conservatives have targeted them for a long time, and you will certainly see Democrats put up a big fight against these.

BLACKWELL: All right, Amanda Terkel, Stephen Collinson, thank you.

PAUL: A bold declaration from Vice President Mike Pence telling Russia that it will be held accountable. How he is hoping to calm fears about allegations of White House ties with Moscow.

(VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: You can hear there, screaming for help, this woman trapped after a giant sinkhole swallowed her car. You see the water around it. We'll show you the rescue next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:21:32]

BLACKWELL: At least two people are dead after California was hit by one of the worst storms in years.

PAUL: We are talking about really heavy rains that turned roads into rivers. Look at what they're dealing with there, rivers were flowing into nearby towns, the situation could get even worse today because there's more rain in the forecast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to continue to remind people, we're still operating under an emergency situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: The storms led to a really close call for one woman who became trapped after a car she was in was swallowed by a sinkhole last night. Reporter, Casey Montoya, from our affiliate, KTLA, was on the scene when the woman was rescued.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We called them right now. They should be here any second.

CASEY MONTOYA, KTLA REPORTER (voice-over): Panicked screams for help coming from this sinkhole on Woodward Street just a few feet from Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City, just after 8:00 p.m., two brothers driving in this van saying they thought they hit something in the road so they stopped and got out. That's when they discovered this massive sinkhole and tried to stop another car from driving over it.

BOBBY THOMPSON, VAN FELL INTO SINKHOLE: I've seen another lady drive down the street. I'm trying to wave to her to stop. She ain't stop or hear me, didn't recognize me or see me. She drove right over the sinkhole. Her front tire got caught. She fell sideways in the sinkhole.

MONTOYA: The car fell in, landing upside down in this rushing water. Leaving a woman stuck frantic to get out. Firefighters arrived within minutes and using several ladders were able to pull Stephanie Scott out of this 20 foot sinkhole to solid ground.

STEPHANIE SCOTT, RESCUED FROM SINKHOLE: Thank you so much. My car kept turning and turning, I was like I have to stay calm, felt water coming up, I reached for the door, opened the door, climbed out. It is a total miracle, thank you, God.

MONTOYA: After her rescue, the van slipped further into the sinkhole, finally crashing on top of Stephanie's car.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: That was Casey Montoya from our affiliate, KTLA, thank you so much for that.

Next, Russia dismissing any claim that it hacked the U.S. election. The country's foreign minister blasting the accusation saying that he has not seen a single fact supporting the argument.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:27:26]

PAUL: Welcome to Saturday morning. So grateful for your company as always. I am Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good morning to you. I am Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: So talk about Vice President Mike Pence, attempting to relieve international fears about the ties between Washington and Moscow and what they really mean. The vice president told European leaders that the U.S. would hold Russia accountable for its actions, even as President Trump looks for areas to cooperate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Let's bring in CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, who is live for us in Munich. So we also as I understand it, Nic, are getting some reaction from the foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Help walk us through what happened this morning.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, well, this was what the European leaders were waiting to hear, waiting to hear from Vice President Mike Pence, why? Because they have been concerned about everything President Trump has been saying about NATO being obsolete, the potential there could be a deal between President Trump and Putin that goes over the heads and wishes of the European leaders.

So when they heard Mike Pence today saying I am bringing you a message from President Trump and that message is that the United States supports NATO, there was a strong round of applause. This is how it went.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: Today on behalf of President Trump, I bring you this assurance, the United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to this transatlantic alliance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: So the caveat involved in that, of course, the expectation that NATO partners will pay up more and spend more on their defense budget so that's certainly something that is expected here and there's a willingness to do that.

You know, he talked about the commonality of a vision, a future that we share, Europe and the United States share a lot of the same ideas, freedom of speech, justice, law, these things so that resonated to the audience.

For the Russians, however, for the first time for them reacting to what they just heard from Mike Pence, what they heard this week from Secretary Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson this week.

And they, the Russians, Moscow have been expecting a better relationship with President Trump and that's not what they heard here today, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, saying this is the end of post-cold war era, an indication there, strong indication that the United States, Russia, NATO, European Union moving further apart.

[08:30:03] This is not what Russia was hoping for and this was the first reaction today, Christi?

PAUL: No doubt about it. Yes, really interesting there. Nic Robertson, thank you so very much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: We are now learning more about the GOP's specific plans for overhauling Obamacare now. The house members, you know, Thursday, they huddled to listen to some ideas. The momentum we know also for healthcare reform stalled recently. But President Trump says congress will be ready or at least there will be a plan ready in early March. Joining us now for the latest on reform efforts, back with the CNN Politics Reporter, Eugene Scott. So, Eugene, there is no consensus around a single plan, but they have outlined some priorities, some headlines, and things they want to accomplish here.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That is true, there's no as -- cohesive plan, I guess, from the republican lawmakers who have been actively pushing back on Obamacare for what is seven years now, but they do have some ideas regarding what it is exactly that they are hoping to do. They do want to expand tax credits to more people and they're hoping to boost health savings accounts, and also, they want to slow down the expansion of repealing Medicare and having more federal funding into the program. And so, whether or not they're actually going to be able to do isn't unclear, considering where lawmakers presently are.

BLACKWELL: And we know there is some pushback from conservatives on that element of the tax credits.

SCOTT: There is. I mean, that we've seen quite a bit of division among lawmakers in terms of what is the best way to go ahead and figure out what -- how to help more Americans get coverage, and it's not clear that everyone is on the same page. Some people think expanding tax credits could actually be more harmful for the federal budget than it is helpful for Americans needing coverage.

BLACKWELL: So, the president said on Thursday that this plan will be ready in early march. We're easing into latter half of February, so we're talking a matter of weeks, how realistic from your reporting does that timeline seem?

SCOTT: Well, as of right now, it doesn't look very realistic, but I mean this next week could be very key for the lawmakers, the week, I mean, after they come back from recess, if they come back unified and aggressive with ideas that they think would unify them and get them all on the same page, perhaps some changes could happen. But the rate of that happening isn't really clear. What is clear right now is that when they head back to their districts, they're going to be facing town halls probably packed with citizens who are dissatisfied with the way the transition has done right now in terms of repealing Obamacare and they're going to be pushing back quite a bit.

BLACKWELL: Are we saying that this town halls -- because they are great spectacles when you watch them on television, but are they having the intended impact, are they influential, are they influencing these members of congress?

SCOTT: Well, that's what's going to be clear in terms of what is presented as a replacement. One thought is that perhaps there's such division within republican lawmakers regarding how to replace this because they are coming back saying, "My constituents are saying this", "We have funders and donors saying that." I don't know if what - I say it before, and what we were looking to do before is in the best interest of the American people.

BLACKWELL: Eugene Scott, thanks so much.

SCOTT: (INAUDIBLE) thank you.

PAUL: Well, President Trump is certainly not the first president to spar with the press. He might be the first to publicly call the media, "the enemy of the American people". How does the press barely cover this administration? There's a team of reporters who have a lot to say about this, and they're joining us next. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:35:00] PAUL: Well, President Trump, of course, they're going to hold back when it comes to his dislike of the media. On the campaign trail, even since taking office seems to be one of his main talking points. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: He's a sleaze in my book.

You're a sleaze. Sit down. Sit down. Sit down. Oh, you're ready, do you have your pad?

They do whatever they can to make you look bad. Discuss this, disgusting, totally dishonest, dishonest, the most dishonest people, scum. They're worse than lying Ted Cruz, horrible press, horrible people. Some are nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Well -- and just yesterday, he tweeted this, "The fake news media, and then, here we have, failing New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, is not my enemy, it's the enemy of the American people. Despite the hostility, members of the press have a responsibility, you know, to fairly report on the president and his actions. So, how does that happen? Let's talk about it with Alex Weprin, the deputy editor of POLITICO media; Amanda Terkel, Senior Political Reporter and Politics Managing Editor at The Huffington Post; and Nick Adams, the founder of The Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness. Thank you all so much. We appreciate it.

Amanda, I wanted to start with you. And look at what's happening even today, the president in the past had said that NATO was obsolete. Today, we have the vice president at the Munich conference here, saying on behalf of President Trump, I bring you this assurance, the United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to our Transatlantic Alliance. When you have two pieces of verbiage that contradict each other, where do you go to clarify it?

AMANDA TERKEL, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER AND POLITICS MANAGING EDITOR AT THE HUFFINGTON POST: I mean, you try to give the reader as much information as possible. It's hard these days to trust what one Trump administration official says versus another versus what the president says. And I think that's the problem, you know, for example, with the vice president going abroad, a lot of American allies are saying, "OK. He's saying this, but then we hear from Donald Trump in a press conference and he's saying something quite different.

And so, you have this a lot with the issue of Michael Flynn. You had Vice President Pence out there saying that, you know, Flynn never discussed sanctions with Russian officials, and then it ends up, he did. And you have the White House getting mad at reporters, saying they never contacted us for these stories, and reporters say, "We actually contacted you many times before, you didn't answer us." So, as a reporter, you have to give readers as much information as possible and present the whole story of what Trump administration have said over time and what they all have said.

[08:34:52] PAUL: Alex, this is very different - a very different time, too, because social media is coming into play so strongly here. In fact, I want to read the latest tweet from President Trump just a few minutes ago. He said, "Don't believe the mainstream 'fake news media'. The White House is running very well. I inherited a mess and am in the process of fixing it." Now, Twitter isn't going to hold anybody accountable. Reporters tried to do so, but how do you get answers from a president whom when you ask him a question, he goes off on something else.

ALEX WEPRIN, POLITICO MEDIA DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, you know, look, this is an unprecedented time. Technology has given the president and it's given everyone the ability to talk directly to everyone else. So, in that respect, you know, it's kind of unprecedented for the president to just kind of speak directly to the American people through social networks like this. Now, in terms of getting that information, it's -- as a reporter, your job doesn't change, you still have to do the work, you have to do the reportings, still have to reach out to try and get a comment, but there's no question that the power that reporters have has been diluted somewhat from technology and has changed the game. You know, the president, he could send these tweets out, he can respond directly to reporters. The world is a very different place now than it was just 5 or 10 years ago.

PAUL: So, Nick, I understand that you are a Donald Trump supporter. How do you view what we see happening with this relationship between the leader of the U.S. and people who are supposed to be reporting?

NICK ADAMS, THE FOUNDATION FOR LIBERTY AND AMERICAN GREATNESS FOUNDER: Well, I think it's very clear that we have never had a candidate and now a President that has been as mocked, as derided, as scorned, as traduced, as defamed, as libelled, as slandered as Donald Trump. And unfortunately, that's the reality that we live in right now. I do believe that there is a gulf, a chasm between mainstream media and Middle America. I think that the mainstream media are out of touch. I think that they are elites that see Donald Trump as a vulgarian, that -- or hoping that he fails. And the truth is that Donald Trump has been a winner all of his life, and I don't think that that's going to change, and I really hope to see a mainstream media that begins to get in synch with the issues and the concerns of the average American person.

PAUL: Well, Nick, I mean, I can't speak for everybody by any means, but it behooves nobody to have the president of our country fail. I mean, you would hope that everybody would wish for him to succeed because when he succeeds, all of us succeed, and it's better for our country and it's better for democracy, but how do we, as reporters, report on what the president is doing when he is giving us one piece of information, yet somebody from his administration is giving us another, where do we go, Nick, to get the correct information, to get that clarity?

ADAMS: Look, I think that the media has to give President Trump an opportunity, we've never seen a candidate like him before, never seen a president like him before, we're all in uncharted territory, but I do think it's clear that President Trump's heart is in the right place. I do think that he has America's best interest at heart, and I've been very discouraged and disheartened, Christi, at the tone and the tenor with which several news organizations have been covering Donald Trump and his administration. I think that a lot has been accomplished in just a short period of time, and yet, none of those things have been covered favourably. And I really think it's time for the media to listen to the American people who spoke with a booming voice last November that they wanted change, that they didn't like the status quo, and I think that the media has got to respect that, and I really don't see any evidence of that at the moment.

PAUL: Well, we -- there's no doubt about it that the people of this country voted Donald Trump into the presidency. There are a lot of people that many of us have talked to that believe in his policies but think that his - that he is disrespectful, not just to the media but to many different categories and classes of people. So, how do you - how do you validate that in this president?

ADAMS: Well, Christi -

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: Do you see - do you see that -- do you see that disrespect, first of all?

ADAMS: Look, respectfully, I disagree with the premise of the question. I don't see the disrespect. I can appreciate and acknowledge that President Trump communicates in a way that is different to what we have experienced in previous presidents, but I don't think that this is a president that doesn't care about all Americans. I think this is a -

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: There's a difference between not caring about Americans and about disrespecting people. I'm not - I'm not saying he doesn't care about Americans by any means. I agree with you on that, but when you're - when you're going to bring up respect of the media, you also have to expect some respect from the president, not just for the media but for the people who live in this country.

[08:44:59] ADAMS: Well, look, Christi, again, I don't think that President Trump is disrespectful. I think that President Trump is a straight talker, he's a straight shooter, and I think that that brings a level of discomfort to the media who have been accustomed to people that tend to be more pussy cat in the way that they approach things. This is an alpha male, this is a president that's going to say what he thinks, and I think that the media have got to learn to live with that and really not create this caricature of him. This is a man I think that is far more reasoned, far more intellectual even than what people give him credit for and the way that the media portrays him. So, it's really important that the media shows him the respect that he deserves. He's the President of the United States, he had a resounding victory last November, and there is a new man, boss in town.

PAUL: OK. Amanda, I want to get your reaction.

TERKEL: I mean, it seems like Donald Trump wants nothing more than the media to walk in lockstep behind him and just basically say that he does great things. I think a good example is during his recent press conference when a Jewish reporter stood up and actually said, you know, we are not accusing you of anti-Semitism, but we want to know how you will react and how you will sort of help solve this rise in anti-Semitic attacks around the United States, and instead of giving a reasoned answer with a plan about how Donald Trump is concerned about these attacks, how it is a problem, and how he wants to address them, he took it as an attack on himself, because this -- Donald Trump has really made the relationship with the media all about him. You know, he feels bad for himself that the media is not saying nice things about him, and I find this all a little funny quite honestly, because Donald Trump for years, was going after President Barack Obama and saying he wasn't a legitimate president, he wasn't born in the United States, and was going after the media for not going after Obama harder, but now Donald Trump expects a different treatment for himself.

PAUL: OK. 10 seconds, Alex, I'm sorry. Go ahead but quickly.

WEPRIN: Well, look, it's pretty clear that President Trump has made attacking the media a central part of his presidency so far, and I don't think that's going to change.

PAUL: All right. Nick Adams, Alex Weprin, Amanda Terkel, appreciate having your voices with us this morning. Thank you so much.

TERKEL: Thank you.

ADAMS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Question. Did Mark Cuban troll President Trump with a basketball jersey? Check out the number here. Andy Scholes got an answer right from the Mavericks owner himself.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, that's right, Victor. Mark Cuban rocking number 46 during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (INAUDIBLE) does that mean he's considering a run for president next time around? We got the answer from Cuban. That's coming up in this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:50:00] PAUL: That were the big headlines from last night's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. It wasn't on a court, it was on Maverick's owner, Mark Cuban's jersey.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Andy Scholes has more on the number 46. And I understand that this was not chosen at random, but his explanation of why and how he chose that number, some people are questioning.

SCHOLES: Yes, you can talk - kind of talk in circles for a little bit, guys. And - but, you know, Mark Cuban did support Hillary Clinton during the election. He and President Trump have been in somewhat of a Twitter war, recently. President Trump actually tweeted earlier this week that Mark Cuban is not smart enough to be president, and Cuban responded yesterday with a series of tweets, criticizing President Trump. And then last night, he wore the number 46 during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and many were wondering, "Well, is this Mark Cuban coming out and saying he plans on running for president next time around?" Well, I caught up with Cuban on the court. And I asked him why, "Why are you wearing number 46?" (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK CUBAN, MAVERICKS OWNER: Someone said - I was like, "Can I get 23?" No. "Can I get 2?" No. So, why you picked 46? I'm like, "2 x 23". I'm like, "That's beautiful, I'll take 46. No one ever wears 46.

SCHOLES: So, is it - what are the chances of you jumping into the political arena, you know, three years from now?

CUBAN: About as much chance I have dunking in this game. Probably closer to me to have chance of dunking with my elbows.

SCHOLES: So, there's not going to be a Mark Cuban for president?

CUBAN: Unless you see a three-foot basket around here somewhere.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHOLES: Well, there you go, Cuban added, saying I never say never, President Trump, of course is president 45. Cuban, if he were to win next time, it would be 46. But again, he says not in his plans. One of the big storylines for tomorrow's game is of course Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant being on the same team for the first time since Durant left the Thunder this past off season to go to the Warriors. Westbrook and Durant don't get along anymore, they don't even speak. They've had a couple of heated exchanges already this season. And I asked Russell Westbrook yesterday, "Is it going to be awkward when you take the floor with Durant and the rest of his Warriors teammate?" and this is the answer he gave me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSSELL WESTBROOK, OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER POINT GUARD: Man, you know what, fashion week has been great. You've seen fashion week? The many things in the fashion week.

SCHOLES: A little bit.

WESTBROOK: Man, there's a lot of great looking things at fashion week, man, looking forward to new collections. It's been good, man.

SCHOLES: If I ask a fashion question, will you talk about Durant?

WESTBROOK: Well, you got to -- you ask a question and I'll give an answer.

SCHOLES: What's your favorite shoe brand?

WESTBROOK: Shoe brand? Jordan, obviously.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHOLES: I asked about Durant and the Warriors, Westbrook talked fashion, I tried reverse psychology to ask about fashion to see if he'd talk about Durant, as you see, it did not work. Now, the All- Star festivities are going to continue later on tonight. On TNT, you can catch the Slam Dunk Contest and the 3-Point competition, that gets going at 8:00 Eastern, and the NBA All-Star game, of course, tomorrow night. Tipoff on TNT at 8:30 Eastern. Guys, you know, you can't come to New Orleans - actually, if you want to watch 2:30 today on CNN as well for the NBA all access special with Fredricka Whitfield and Steve Smith, that gets going this afternoon. Great way to get prepared for the All-Star game. I was just about to say, you know, I've been touring New Orleans, and I - you know, guys, you can't come here without grabbing a beignets for breakfast. I just went down over. Fresh out of the fryer. Oh, these are amazing. It's so good.

BLACKWELL: I thought he was going to pick up a hand grenade. I thought he was going to pick up a drink. But beignets work.

PAUL: Oh, a drink. Thank you for clarifying the drink.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the drink.

SCHOLES: It's also something you've got to pick up, huh, so Victor.

PAUL: I'm sure you'll get to that. Andy, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: It's almost 9:00.

PAUL: Oh, yes.

BLACKWELL: All right. When we come back, winter is in South Dakota, really we know can be brutally cold. Look at this one man took it upon himself to help keep warm those that need it most. We've got his story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:55:00] PAUL: This week's "IMPACT YOUR WORLD" looks at the brutal winters in South Dakota, and how there's an organization now that's helping families survive the cold on American Indian Reservations. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAMM BREWER, ONE SPIRIT REPRESENTATIVE: Winters here can be life- threatening. One Spirit is a non-profit that helps out the Lakota people here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. We have homes that are below standard or people struggle with poverty and no jobs. So many people here have wood stoves because it's the cheapest way to heat your home.

RONALD ROBERT RED CLOUD, PINE RIDGE RESERVATION RESIDENT: We would probably have to just burn anything, just burn the clothes, or burn shoes, something just to keep warm.

BREWER: We're kind of in open country, so sometimes the wood is farther to get. The people just struggle to be able to get out, to get the wood because of the poverty. There's no gas money to get out there, no vehicle. We go out and cut the wood, you know, carry the wood in the house where it's needed. RED CLOUD: Before, it's just really cold, there's hardly any wood for us. I have to put plastics outside and inside just to keep warm. They brought wood over and that's really helpful for us.

BREWER: There's part of our culture to help one another.

Here we go. Next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And for more information on One Spirit at the Pine Ridge Reservation, go to cnn.com/impact. And that's it for us. We'll see you back here.