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President Trump Attacked MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski; Trump and Putin Will Meet at G-20 Summit in Germany; States Snubbing the White House Over Trump's Election Fraud Commission; The President Targets Cable News. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 1, 2017 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:01] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is just about 7:00 p.m. And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Boris Sanchez in New York in for Ana Cabrera. Thank you so much for joining us.

This is week that could have been in Washington and inside the Donald Trump White House. A handful of successes, some policy victories that the President could have legitimately celebrated. Instead, he went on another personal attack and then did it again and again. And this morning the third straight name calling jab at two cable news hosts, calling MSNBC's Joe Scarborough crazy and describing his co-host Mika Brzezinski as dumb as a rock and slamming their program as low rated.

The President chose to do that even though the Supreme Court cited with him in part on his controversial travel. The House passed Kate's Law, part of his illegal immigration crack down and the oval office announced several energy policy initiatives.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is at the White House right now.

Ryan, the President really steering the national conversation the past few days with these name calling tweets. How is the administration explaining that?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, his aids often accused us of in the media of focusing too much on the President's tweets. And they don't really offer much context of what the President has to say on twitter other than to say that the tweets speak for themselves.

But there is no question, Boris, that this is making his agenda more difficult to push forward. All you have to do is spend a little bit a time on Capitol Hill this week as senators were furious in trying to come to an agreement on this health care bill. But yet, we are in a position where they had to respond to these very difficult and some would describe as mean tweets directed at the MSNBC hosts.

So when you have all these things on the agenda and this is what the President is focusing on and it is important to keep in mind, Boris, that we don't get that opportunity that often to ask the President too many questions. He doesn't appear in front of reporters all that often. So one of the only ways that we have to get a sense of what he's thinking about and what he is focused on is his twitter feed. And right now his twitter feed is talking about this feud and his distaste of the media -- Boris. SANCHEZ: All right. Ryan Nobles reporting from the White House.

Thank you.

Let's get straight to our panel right now. Joining us, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "Politico" Tara Palmeria and White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," Sarah Westwood.

Ladies, the President's most recent tweets include an accusation that the media quote "works hard to convince Republicans that he should not use social media." The President clearly watches a lot of TV. He certainly has plenty to say about CNN in the last hour. He may be actually watching right now. But not everyone in the President's own party agrees with his propensity for tweeting. Watch this.


REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It is damaging his presidency. It is -- the fact that we are talking about it right now, rather than talking about the merits and demerits of what might come next on health care goes to the heart at the way in which he is hurting himself with these different, you know, 140 character rants on twitter.


SANCHEZ: Tara, that is just one Republican voice criticizing his tweets. From your perspective, is the media convincing these Republicans to criticize him or do they have minds of their own in which they can come to a conclusion that somebody is (INAUDIBLE) presidential?

TARA PALMERI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: These Republicans certainly do not want to be criticizing the President, who is also the leader of their party. Their agenda right now is to pass a legislation that Republicans have been waiting eight years to pass.

They have a President who is Republican, the Congress and the Senate and the last thing they want to be talking about is the President's anger and firestorms over the legislation that they want to be passing.

If you think about it, you know, as many correspondents like myself have said, we are often lectured by the press team to saying you need to be focusing on the policies. You need to be focusing on the policies, not the internal squabbling of the staff and the President's reactions to things.

But the truth is those stories overtake anything they do in policy. If he didn't tweet about Mika, we would be talking about the Supreme Court win. We would be talking about Kate's law. But instead it drowns out other accomplishments, all other news. In one way, though, we are not talking about the Senate health care bill, which is back being reformed. But I think their argument that the President is a victim is a hard argument to make. At the end of the day, he is the most powerful person in our country and possibly in the world. It is difficult to understand the idea that the President is the victim of the media.

SANCHEZ: Sarah, what is your response to his latest tweet?

SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, look, I think Tara is right, Trump's tweets this week came in a very inopportune time for Republicans not to serve ever a good time for his president to be going after the looks and intelligence of a TV host.

But this is a week in which Republicans were trying to build support for their health care bill and they were looking to the White House to provide cover to push that legislation. And instead Republicans were put in this awkward position of having to distance themselves from an inflammatory comment from the President at the same time that they were trying to embrace and harness the President's support of the health care legislation. So the tweets really injected some chaos into a situation that was already very complex for Senate leadership.

[19:05:24] SANCHEZ: Tara, shortly after the President took office, a long-time friend of his, Howard stern, made this prediction. Listen to this.


HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: I actually think this is something that it's going to be very detrimental to his mental health, too, because he wants to be liked. He wants to be loved. He wants people to cheer for him. And all this hatred and stuff directed towards him, it's not good for him. It's not good. And it's -- listen, there is a reason every President who leaves the office has gray hair.


SANCHEZ: Tara, is the President overly fixated with how the media views him?

PALMERI: I understand what Howard Stern is saying in the sense that it takes a certain level of mental fitness to be able to deal with criticism. But that's part of the job. And that is something that, you know, the American people are supposed to be evaluating when they choose their President.

The President is very fixated on criticism. Aids are very much aware of that, and that is sort of the reason why what my sources in the White House tell me is that you to sort to have start a conversation with the President by first flattering him and then moving towards any sort of criticism. He almost shuts down when he hears criticism and becomes angry.

I mean, for any executive, anyone who is a leader, they are going to take criticism because that is one just part of being a leader in general. If he is becoming too following the accident sated on the talking heads, Obama also had his detractors. Donald Trump was one of them. He spent a lot of time questioning where the President was born. How often did you see Obama lashing out on President -- on Donald Trump when he was a civilian? So this is sort of an issue he's going to have to deal with. And the

poll numbers show that only 30 percent of people really support him at this point. So he is really going to have grapple with the fact he needs to win people over instead of throw punches.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Sarah, Tara brings up a good point, the fact that the President spend years trying to prove that the first African-American President was born in Kenya. Did he -- I mean, does he have a certain view of the press having spent so many years as a real estate mogul and entertainer that he doesn't seem to understand that there is a different standard when you are in politics, especially in the White House?

WESTWOOD: Well, I think President Trump correctly assesses that attacks on the media are popular with his base and he is very loyal to his base whenever he delivers anything administratively. He immediately goes to a rally to tell people who would show up at those kinds of rallies that he is delivering on his promises for them. I think that he knows that his tweets at least about the fake news media are more harmless than when he is making controversial statements like Obama wiretapped Trump tower or when he is claiming he has tapes that may or may not exist with conversations with the FBI director he fired or any number of other controversial things he said.

The attacks on the media are relatively painless in that it rallies up his base and the rest of the world more or less tunes them out at this point. So I think it is more of a political calculation that he continues to bash the media when he's backed into a corner.

PALMERI: But does throwing red meat at the base really help you when you have a re-election in three years? And that base only makes up 30 percent of the American populations.

SANCHEZ: And it's a re-election that he is already raising funds for very, very early in the process.

Ladies, we have to leave it there. Tara Palmeri and Sarah Westwood, we thank you so much for joining us.

Coming up, Trump's TV habits. How much time does the President spend watching news coverage every day? And what does it say about the focus on his image?

Plus more states revolting, refusing to hand over information for Trump's voter fraud probe. What is behind it next?

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:13:43] SANCHEZ: President Trump clearly has something on his mind as he spends the July Fourth weekend with the first lady and their son at their New Jersey golf resort. Cable news and the last 90 minutes the President fired off a fresh twitter slam about CNN as part of the a three tweet anti-media series. It was not his first insult aimed at cable news television today. The President unleashed tweets early this morning around 6:00 a.m. eastern slamming the same female cable TV anchor that he targeted earlier this week.

CNN's Randi Kaye takes a closer look at President Trump's habits when it comes to watching news.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You could say President Donald Trump is always plugged in with flat screen TVs throughout the White House. TV comes first in the morning, notably FOX and Friends and it is one of the last things he does before bed.

TRUMP: I watched this morning a couple of the networks. I have to say "FOX and Friends" in the morning, they're very honorable people.

KAYE: Trump loves seeing himself on TV, too. He has been known to shush others so he could hear taped interviews he did and what's being said about him on TV. It is a television obsession like no other President before him.

TRUMP: You are all better than that.

KAYE: Nurtured by his own experience in television as a reality TV star on the apprentice.

[19:15:02] TRUMP: We have never had a team lose so badly. You are all fired. All four of you are fired.

KAYE: It's a useful tool for him, too. Early on during the campaign, he turned to TV to brush up on the military.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Who do you talk to for military advice right now?

TRUMP: Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great - you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals.

KAYE: According to the "Washington Post," the President is known to hate watch, tuning in to networks and shows that are anything but complimentary of him.

TRUMP: Every network you see hits me on every topic, made up stories like Russia.

KAYE: The President watches so much TV, reportedly hours a day, that some members of Congress have started using it to get his attention.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I know you're watching.

KAYE: Representative Elijah Cummings appealed directly to the President on "morning Joe." A day or so later, the "Washington Post" reports Trump called Cummings to talk about prescription drugs.

As his advisor, Kellyanne Conway, put it Donald Trump comes to the White House with a sophisticated understanding of how the power of television and the power of imagery, the power of message all work together.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: Randi, thank you for that.

Speaking of the President's TV habits, we obviously don't know if the President is watching us right now. But in the last hour, he has tweeted about CNN and specific topics that we were discussing on the show. So we reached out to President Trump's communications team and asked if he would like to come on to talk to us about some of the things we were discussing. No response yet.

We should know that he hasn't really given an interview to anyone but FOX News for quite some time. Let's talk about that with CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Brian, we had you on last hour talking about the President's social media habits. He tweeted out my use of social media is not Presidential. It is modern day Presidential. Make America great.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Modern day Presidential. I can see what he is getting at here. He has heard -- polls have are so not Americans, most Americans think he should cut back on twitter or change the way he use his twitter.

Imagine if you would reply to average Americans and their concerns. Imagine if he used these powerful social networking platforms to communicate on a one to one basis with people who were concern about their healthcare being taken away, for example. The President doesn't do that. What he does is blast the media again and again. Tells people they can't trust the nation's top news outlets. Instead, he implies they can only trust him and maybe the most hosts on FOX.

Really glad to made a point about interviews and I'm glad he reached out. I used to call in as a candidate quite often to television shows. He has stopped doing that. And a lot dates back to the James Comey firing.

Remember back in May when he made the decision to fire Comey, he had an interview on the books with Lester Holt. So he went through with that interview. But since then he has had no interviews except for a couple on FOX News.

It's coming up on two months now where he is not doing interviews on print or radio news for that matter. Nor has he had a press conference where reporters can ask him about issues like veterans care or wars across the world or immigration or health care. He has had one of those joint press conferences with foreign leaders where he only takes a couple of questions. But actually he has skipped that opportunity this week when he had the leader of South Korea in town and the head of India.

So we have seen this President kind of isolate himself or insulate himself, not taking questions from reporters. Frankly, not even engaging with individuals on twitter. Instead, he is using this powerful platform that could be used as a force for good mostly just to tear down news outlets he doesn't like.

SANCHEZ: Our colleague, the anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION" Jake Tapper actually pointed out this morning that about ten percent of the President's tweets are about media outlets and attacking media outlets.


SANCHEZ: He is very sparingly tweeted about the opium epidemic, the war in Afghanistan, Syria.

STELTER: Right, radio.

SANCHEZ: Things that ultimately matter.

STELTER: BuzzFeed made a great point about BuzzFeed news. They said, you know, the White House aides often say the press talks too much about the personality. You should focus more than policy. Eye for Kellyanne Conway said that many times. You also focus on what's actually going on? What our administration is doing?

But the President lately has been more focused on the media, according to his own messages, his own public messages. I thought the piece from Randi was really interesting about the television habits because a lot of this does come down to television habits.

You know, the average American watches four or five hours of TV a day. And in that respect, the President is a lot like an average American, watching a lot of news coverage. Seems like four or five hours a day. Don't take my word for it. "New York Times" Maggie Haberman, one of the very best beat reporters covering Trump tried to tally that from her head, he came up with a number of about five hours a day yesterday.

So he is influenced by what he is hearing and sometimes that can be a good thing. It can get ideas for policy. You know, yesterday he was watching FOX and friends and Ben Sasse was on and talking about maybe we should repeal health care and then replace it. A few minutes later the President tweeted about that idea. It created a lot of news care coverage. Of course, Republicans in the Capitol Hill have been saying we are not going to do that. But that idea kind of spurred by cable news.

Behind the scenes, Ben Sasse's aids have been talking to the White House about it and then they arranged the interview on FOX in order to get it up there in front of the President, to create a platform for it. So it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Could be a good thing. Might help him keep in touch what Americans really care about.

On the other hand, he is not a businessman anymore. He is the President and he told us on the campaign trail he was going to be working so hard. So heard, he wouldn't have time for golfing. He would be working so hard. And his television habits seem to contradict that. [19:20:54] SANCHEZ: Yes. It's interesting he says modern day


Jim Acosta, another one of our colleagues on twitter also pointed out it is also modern day Presidential to have a cameras on during press briefings.

STELTER: During briefings, right.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And is there any indication they might actually let us film these briefings more consistently?

STELTER: yes. For the past 25 years going back to the Clinton administration, both Republicans and Democrats have had on camera briefings pretty much every weekday unless the President was traveling. We have seen that rolled back in the last couple of months in June, clearly mostly in June, a dramatic decrease in on camera briefings. Doesn't seem like that's going to change any time soon.

SANCHEZ: We would love to ask the President questions not just about these tweets but about things that matter to the American people.

Brian Stelter, thank you so much for taking time to chat with us.

STELTER: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: And don't forget to watch Brian tomorrow on his show "RELIABLE SOURCES" tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up, it is the tabloid at the center of the flap with two TV hosts who they say were threatened with a hit piece. We take a look back at the nation Enquirer's track record when it comes to the stories and scandals that they spotlight.


[19:26:13] SANCHEZ: This week, the stories coming out of the White House have read more like tabloid headlines. It began with President Trump tweeting a torrid attack on MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

The cable TV hosts fired back Friday accusing the White House of using the possibly of a hit piece in the "National Enquirer" to threaten them to change the tone of their coverage. The White House denies those charges. But the "National Enquirer" is no stranger to controversial political stories.

Our Sara Gamin takes a closer look at the track record of the tabloid.


SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despite the tabloid headlines, there are times when the "National Enquirer" has been spot on with big political stories. Its most well-known scoop during the run-up to the 2008 election when it accused Democratic front runner John Edwards of cheating on his cancer stricken wife with his campaign videographer, Neil Hunter. Even fathering a secret love child with her.

Back then, an inquirer reporter showed CNN how he tracked it all down.

ALEX HITCHEN, REPORTER, NATIONAL ENQUIRER: I say to him, Mr. Edwards, I'm from the "National Enquirer." we know that you have been with Mrs. Hunter. Do you think it is about time to actually tell everyone that you are actually the father of this child?

GANIM: Still Edwards denied it for years.

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have responded to it consistently to these tabloid allegations by saying I don't respond to these lies.

GANIM: Most media stayed away even the Enquirer published a photograph purportedly of Edwards visiting Hunter and their little girl. Edwards called the photo fake.

But eventually the lie unraveled. The "Enquirer" did a victory lap taking credit for Edwards' fall from grace. The Pulitzer Prize board reportedly even considered the publication for journalism's top prize, something candidate Donald Trump supported.

TRUMP: I have also said, why didn't the "National Enquirer" get the Pulitzer Prize for Edwards?

GANIM: The Enquirer declares it is the only publication with guts to tell it like it is and that it's been proven correct about other scandalous affairs like in 1987 when Democratic presidential nominee Gary Hart had been forced to suspend his campaign after news reports revealed the relationship with model Donna Rice. The Enquirer provided the visual proof publishing this memorable photograph of Rice sitting on Hart's lap on a yacht. That expectedly stole the end of his political career.

And in 2001 Jesse Jackson admitted to having a love child with a top aide as the "National Enquirer" prepared to uncover his affair in a story.

Then in 2003 Rush Limbaugh was forced to admit he had a painkiller addiction after the "National Enquirer" paid his housekeeper to reveal that she has been supplying the conservative talk show host with prescription pain kills. Law enforcement confirmed it and Limbaugh went to rehab.

Not to say they always get it right. They don't. Week after week, farfetched stories accompanied by eyebrow raising headlines give it a questionable reputation. The "Enquirer" was just plain wrong when it published that Congressman Gary Condit's wife attacked his missing intern Chandra Levy in 2001 before her disappearance. The "Enquirer" settled a million dollar liable suit over the story.

And during the contentious 2016 primary campaign, stories about Ted Cruz, about alleged affairs and about his father were widely criticized and never proven to be true.


SANCHEZ: That was Sara Ganim reporting. Thank you, Sara.

Coming up the growing list of states snubbing the White House over Trump's election fraud commission and the sensitive voter information that's at the center of it.


[19:34:09] SANCHEZ: Tonight we are seeing state after state defy the White House over President Trump's voter fraud commission, 27 states and counting. The administration is investigating Trump's unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud and they want mountains of personal information on every voter in every state.

Today, the President tweeted out quote "numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished voter fraud panel. What are they trying to hide?"

CNN's Tom Foreman has more.


TRUMP: So many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is very, very common.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a quest to rule out allegedly rampant voter fraud, the President's commission wants an ocean of sensitive information about every voter, including the person's full name, address, date of birth, political affiliation, voting, military and criminal records, part of his or her Social Security number and more.

States, particularly some Democratic blue ones, are pushing back hard. California is flat out refusing to hand over the info.

[19:35:14] ALEX PADILLA, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: The President's allegation of massive voter fraud is simply not true.

FOREMAN: So is New York. We will not comply and Virginia too. There is no evidence of significant voter fraud.

But amid privacy concerns, some states that went Republican red for Trump are also balking including Utah, Alabama, Iowa and Wisconsin. They will hand over only some data and still others are dismissing the whole idea of voter fraud run amok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might find some illegal activity, but not to the scale described.

TRUMP: People that have died ten years ago are skill voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

FOREMAN: As a candidate, Donald Trump insisted fraud was a real problem. And even after he won the Electoral College, he lashed out as news more people voted for Hillary Clinton, tweeting I won the popular vote. If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegal.

TRUMP: So many things are going on.

FOREMAN: FOREMAN: To help steer his commission, he chose Kansas secretary of Kris Kobach who calls the state's complaints complete nonsense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at all forms of election error, irregularities, voter fraud, registration fraud, voter intimidation, suppression.

FOREMAN: Kobach has zealously hunted vote cheaters back home for months yet he has found less than a dozen provable cases out of more than a million and a half registered voters. What's more, he is a champion for voter ID laws, which many skeptics consider a way to suppress minority votes. And he was fined by a federal judge in Kansas just last week for his conduct in a lawsuit involving voter rights.

Connecticut takes, given the Secretary Kobach's history, we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission.

Tom Foreman, CNN Washington.


SANCHEZ: And Tom, thank you for that.

I want to bring in our political analysts, Ellis Henican. He is the writer of "Trump's America" column for "Metro" papers. And joining us again, Julian Zelizer. He is a historian and professor at Princeton University.

Ellis, to you first. It is not just Democratic states that are against this thing. Some really red states are also not giving up information. I want to point out the secretary of the state of Mississippi actually had this response for the voter fraud panel.

Quote "they can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from."

Is the President risking anything here, potentially alienating people in red states with his voter fraud?

ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Well, yes. But, you know, he is playing to a base that wants to believe this. It is a great cover for voter suppression. You can say the reason that we have all these tough new rules and demanding identification from 75-year-old women is because of this rampant voter fraud. It turns out not to be true. But you know, it has a political tool to it.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Julian, this commission came about in part because of the President's claim that there is some three million illegitimate illegal votes or so. It could be more than that. I want to play some sound where he talks about rampant fraud. Listen.


TRUMP: I said it and I said it strongly because what's going on with voter fraud is horrible. And we are going to do an investigation on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But three to five million illegal votes?

TRUMP: We are going to find out. But it could very well be that much.


SANCHEZ: This has been refuted by so many experts and officials. Is this just a waste of time and money? Or is it, as Ellis said, potentially a tactic to force voter suppression to keep people from voting?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the latter. I think it is very clear from every respected that study there is not some massive problem with voter fraud. There is no evidence to support that in this election or other elections. But for many decades now, there has been an effort to use this argument to actually reverse the legacy of the voting rights act of 1965 and to make voting harder, not easier. And we have seen that in many states. And the fear right now is that this becomes the basis for national efforts to make it more difficult for Americans to vote.

It is still 2017, and I cannot believe I am asking you this, but the President held a fundraiser this week for his re-election in 2020.

Ellis, is it too soon or meant to send a message? How do we read this re-election event in 2017?

HENICAN: You know, sadly, it's not too soon. Honestly, it isn't really something that worries me much. We are in permanent campaign mode here and I think we just need to get used to it.

I would be more worried about the other stuff you are talking about which is this, you know, using these excuses. First, we have an issue of hacking right now. Russia we focused on, right. We know that they have been trying to get into the system. Partly what's protected our system is its decentralization, right. The fact that every state and locality does things differently. If you dump all that into a national database, doesn't that make it easier for the next round of hacking?

[19:40:17] SANCHEZ: Sure. What we are hearing from some people who support this commission though is that much of this information is already public. What do you think, Julian?

ZELIZER: Well, no. That's not really a reason to do this. And the reason you have red states that are upset about this is a natural reaction about that fear about centralizing this kind of data and then blue states are very cognizant that this could be used as a political tool in this endless campaign. And, so, I think there is a lot of red flags that are up because of this commission and that's why you're hearing the blow back. There is not a lot of support that this should be a big issue right now. If he's concerned about elections I think many people agree the President should focus on the Russian intervention into the election, which we actually know happened.

HENICAN: We know they're doing it, right?

ZELIZER: Right, right.

SANCHEZ: Again, I can't believe we're talking about future elections if we just recently got over this past one, got over in relative terms, right?

But Ellis, to you, does the President have pressure on him right now to get something done, a legislative win? Because he promised on his first day repeal and replace Obamacare. We are now talking about potentially skipping the August recess altogether to try to get something done.

HENICAN: Yes. You are absolutely right. He does have a lot of pressure. But the House and the Senate has even more pressure because many of them have to run in a year and a half, not nearly as long and leeway as Trump has. So, yes, they got to get something done, some kind of something that they can point to really sometime in the next few months and say look at what we did.

SANCHEZ: Very quickly, Julian, before all this fiasco with the tweets and this whole week unfolded, you gave it a 30 percent, 40 percent chance of passing. What is the percentage now?

ZELIZER: Well, I still hold it there because I keep thinking the problem with the bill. And the structural problems that the Republicans face over putting something together that pleases the right and pleases the center is still not there. And at the same time you have a President that keeps making things more difficult for his own party. So I am not going to improve the odds at this point. But we'll see what the Republicans come up with over recess.

SANCHEZ: All right, Julian Zelizer, Ellis Henican. Gentlemen, we thank you so much for joining us.

Coming up, what are women around President Trump have to say or not say about his twitter attack on a female morning show host.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:46:58] SANCHEZ: With his tweets attacking the appearance and intelligence of a female TV anchor, the way the President talks about women is, again, in the spotlight. One thing that first lady Melania Trump and first daughter Ivanka seem to be shying away from.

Here's CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While the administration looks toward trying to turn the page on the debate over the President and his comments about women, three women close to the President have stood by him -- the First Lady, senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway and his daughter, Ivanka.

IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties. They should be the norm.

CARROLL: Ivanka Trump perhaps the most vocal member of the administration promoting and empowering women. Noticeably silent on her father's latest tweet about the MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, a tweet lawmakers on both sides of the aisle viewed as sexist.

This silence from a woman who is twitter bio reads in part wife, mother, sister, daughter, entrepreneur and advocate for the education and empowerment of women and girls. Ivanka Trump in the past has stridently defended her father's treatment of women. This past April, Trump was met with boos when she explained her reasoning to a women's panel in Berlin.

I. TRUMP: He has been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive in the new reality of --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You hear the reaction from the audience, so I need to address one more point. Some attitudes towards women your father has publically displayed in former times might leave one questioning whether he is such empower for women. What is your comment on that?

I. TRUMP: I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women.

CARROLL: White house advisor Kellyanne Conway, on the other hand, publically defended the President's latest tweets.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Large parts of the media are covering personal insults about the President (INAUDIBLE) and really denying America's women their rightful knowledge on what he's doing for them on --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the President hasn't come out with a foreign plan. But that's besides the point right now.

CONWAY: He will not be talking about jobs. You keep interrupting me, George. And fairly to the American people, particularly women who tune into these shows to get information about what's going on for them.

CARROLL: And then there is the first lady, who through a spokeswomen defended her husband as the first lady has stated publically in the past when her husband gets attacked he will punch back ten times harder. That reaction surprised critics who expected a different response from someone who made cyber bullying a signature priority. And one who says she calls out their president for tweeting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he does something that you think crossed a line, will you tell?

[19:50:03] MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. I tell him all the time?


M. TRUMP: All the time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he hears me, but he will do what he wants to do in the end.

CARROLL: For Ivanka Trump, her observation about the viciousness is politics.

It is hard, and atlas level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I was not expecting the intensity of this experience.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: Jason, thank you.

From Trump and women to Trump and Vladimir Putin. It's the political show down that everyone has been waiting for. In just a few days, the President and the Russian leader will be face to face at the G-20 summit in Germany.

CNN's Victor Blackwell has a preview.

TRUMP: We have a preview.

It's a claim President Donald Trump made many times during the campaign.

TRUMP: I never met Putin.

I don't think I've ever met him. I don't think I've ever met him.

You would know it if you did.

CARROLL: The White House says next week's G-20 summit will offer President Trump to meet Vladimir Putin face to face. However, all the denials cricket what candidate Trump said in a radio interview.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you met Vladimir Putin?



TRUMP: One time, yes, a long time ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump didn't say during the interview when or under what circumstances the two men met. Days before their meeting in Hamburg, there are several opposing claims about their history. The White House says Trump and Putin have spoken by phone at least three times since the 2016 election, but on conversations before the election, more contradictions. In July 2016, candidate Trump said this.

TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Putin. I have never spoken to him. I don't know anything about him other than he will respect me.

BLACKWELL: Well, that contradict what he said two years earlier.

TRUMP: I was in Moscow recently. And I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin who couldn't have been nicer.

BLACKWELL: During the campaign, candidate Trump denied any relationship with Putin.

TRUMP: I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius.

BLACKWELL: But when asked about their relationship in 2013 MSNBC interview, another contradiction.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, AC 360: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, a conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?

TRUMP: I do have a relationship.

BLACKWELL: The G-20 summit begins on Friday.

Victory Blackwell, CNN, Atlanta.


SANCHEZ: Victor, thank you for that.

Coming up, President Trump's love of two-week time lines. Jeanne Moos is on the case.


[19:56:55] SANCHEZ: On tomorrow's episode of the "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell heads to Chinatown, san Francisco to see how people are honoring their heritage.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right in here in Chinatown. And I have not BELL: Rent controlled?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure. I wouldn't say the guru of Chinatown.

BELL: One of the hearts of Chinatown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being Chinese is the coolest thing in the world. Our New Year's celebrations are lit.

BELL: Besides firecrackers, when it comes to celebrating Chinese New Year, the most recognizable ay o t celebration are literally lot They're literally lit.

Today, I'm heading to lion dance me to meet Norman Lao who teach about the 100 of teens every year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing?

BELL: I'm good man. I figure if he can teach all these kids in the course of years, he can probably teach me, right?


SANCHEZ: "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tomorrow 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

And finally tonight, Jeanne Moos has a closer look at President Trump and fake deadlines.


JEANIE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Waiting for something coming out of the White House, just give it two weeks. If it something mythical about wiretaps.

TRUMP: To the forefront turnover next two weeks.

MOOS: A decision on the Paris climate accords.

TRUMP: Over the next two weeks.

MOOS: A plan for cutting taxes.

TRUMP: Two or three weeks that will be phenomenal.

MOOS: Except it ended up being 11 weeks before a one page outline of attacks plan came out. The President sounds like a contractor in the money pit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do you think all that will take?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long lit take to put this place together?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sound like a parakeet there. Two weeks. Two weeks.

MOOS: It was Bloomberg news that first noticed the President parroting two weeks.

TRUMP: Sometimes turnover next two weeks as to NAFTA.

MOOS: Want to know how well the U.S. is doing against ISIS? '

TRUMP: We are going to be having a news conference in about two weeks.

MOOS: Three weeks later, still no ISIS press conference. So what did the president do? He said it again.

TRUMP: We are going to be having a news conference in two weeks on that fight and you will see numbers that you would have not believe.

MOOS: The number not to believe is it two weeks. And to think Donald Trump once made a cameo in a movie called "Two Weeks' Notice" in which Hue Grant who are ties so long, he looked like a Trump caricature.

TRUMP: I hear (INAUDIBLE) finally dumped you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not exactly, no.

MOOS: The President may have trouble sticking to a calendar, but that doesn't prevent his face from being plastered on a few.

From the out of office count down calendar showing how long the Trump administration has to go, to Donald Trump's greatest quotes calendar.

TRUMP: of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich.

MOOS: Very rich but not very punctual.

Jeanne Moos, CNN

TRUMP: Next two weeks.

MOOS: New York.


SANCHEZ: The CNN film Oren Nixon.

Thank you so much for joining me tonight.

Have a good night.