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Trump Retweets Convicted Racist's Videos Bashing Muslims; President Trump Touts Tax Plan in Missouri. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired November 29, 2017 - 3:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Just before leaving here for Missouri, the president declined to explain his retweets.


QUESTION: Mr. President, why did you retweet anti-Muslim videos?


BALDWIN: So, let's go back to Missouri, where Abby Phillip is standing by live covering the president there, packed house.

We know he's just touched down, shaking some hands before he heads toward the venue where you are, Abby.

Obviously, like jovial, people getting pictures of him. But, you know, you think about this, and you think about the videos that we have seen, as we just described, how is the White House explaining this?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's yet another controversy, Brooke.

Today was supposed to be taxes, but instead we are talking about these really unvetted videos that no one frankly knows whether they are real or not. And it's unclear whether the White House even knows that.

Two White House officials today declining to answer questions about where these videos came from. Take a listen to a little bit of what Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters outside of the White House this morning just before the president left for Missouri.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think his goal is to promote strong borders and strong national security.

QUESTION: But is it important to verify those videos before he tweets them?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I think it's important to talk about national security and national security threats. Whether it's a real video, the threat is real. And that is what the president is talking about. That's what the president is focused on, is dealing with those real threats. And those are real, no matter how you look at it.

QUESTION: So it doesn't matter if the video is fake?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I'm not talking about the nature of the video. I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that's what the president is talking about.


PHILLIP: So, Brooke, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is really turning this debate around, making it about the media's fixation with the origins of the video, saying that the White House is talking about terrorism.

But a source close to the White House told CNN today that aides within that building are resigned to this type of behavior from the president. They do not believe that there is anything that they can do to stop him from tweeting at this point.

Another source close to the tax reform effort, which the president is here to talk about today, is expressing a little bit of frustration that this kind of behavior is distracting from an overall effort to get this bill passed.

Today is supposed to be a big day in which they are going forward with another procedural hurdle. But nobody is talking about that right now. And the president is coming here to Missouri to try to reset the narrative. Let's see if he will do that and if he will at all address the controversy that he stirred up with these retweets this morning, Brooke.

BALDWIN: It was a victory, the tax plan getting through committee yesterday. Why not tell that, instead of these retweets? I know a lot of people are scratching their heads over something that just is so entirely disturbing.

Abby Phillip, thank you in Missouri in there, the president still in the crowd shaking hands. We can stay on this for a bit longer.

But you know what? There are ramifications of the retweets in this country and there are ramifications of these retweets around the world. The outcry in Great Britain, for example, over what the president has done, it has been fast and furious.

And they include a response from the husband of a murdered member of Parliament. Jo Cox was shot and stabbed by a man who reportedly shouted "Put Britain first" as he attacked her.

And we've now heard from her husband in the wake of these retweets, saying this: "Trump has legitimized the far right in his country. Now he's trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences. And the president should be ashamed of himself."

With me now, Richard Quest.

Hearing from some of the M.P.s, hearing from the M.P.'s husband, but also now Theresa May jumping in as well. RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I covered Jo Cox's murder. I was

in Northern England at the time of it and saw the revulsion at the way this Britain First shriek was before she was very brutally attacked in such a fashion.

BALDWIN: Murdered.

QUEST: Now, the British formal response came from Theresa May, the prime minister.

And if you look at what Theresa May said, she basically says, it is wrong. "Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right."

So she's calling it wrong, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents, et cetera, et cetera, decency, tolerance, et cetera.

But what they will be is irritated and frustrated. There is nothing they can do about it. The president has chosen to make the unacceptable acceptable once against by doing this.


And they will be just scratching in King Charles Street, where the Foreign Office is, or Downing Street, and thinking, this is what Donald Trump does. We have to respond. We have to fight back. But there is it really nothing we can do, other than make the noises.

BALDWIN: It's incredible just hearing the reaction, not just in this country, right, but reading an M.P. at the end of one of his tweets, he said -- basically saying, I don't want him to come back to my country. I don't want him to come back to my city, president of the United States.

QUEST: Yes, but what are they going to do?

What's Angela Merkel, who is fighting for her own political life in Germany trying to put together a coalition, or indeed the prime minister of Spain, who has got Catalonia blowing up on his doorstep, or Theresa May, or -- what are they going to do?

BALDWIN: I know.

QUEST: They still need to keep the United States on their side. And whatever we -- whatever anybody may think, Donald Trump is the president and will be for the next three years.

BALDWIN: I know. I know. Thank you very much, Richard Quest.

More on this here.

Let's have a bigger conversation with two guests now, CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Andre Bauer, Andre Bauer, the former lieutenant governor of South Carolina.

Wow. Where to begin? Thank you both so much for being with me.

And, you know, Ana Navarro, first to you. We talk about the U.K., but let's talk about this country. This is a week where just I'm losing track of time, was it yesterday, two days ago, Pocahontas happened? He's tweeting about still trying to pick a fight with the NFL, and now these retweets from this right-wing extremist showing -- one of the videos is of a boy being dropped off of a roof and beaten.

Are you concerned with the competency of the president of the United States?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm concerned with the character, or lack thereof, of the president of the United States.

And I think the most important thing for Americans, for all of us is not to get numb about all of this. It's easy to get numb, because there has been now so many instances, right? The Muslim ban. The transgender ban. The Charlottesville response. The NFL. The kneeling. The anthem. The this. The that. The Arpaio pardon.

There have been so many instances where what Donald Trump does is divide and try to conquer. Divide and placate and pander to his base, but forget the rest of America and frankly the rest of the world. And it's easy to get numb to it.

We have now had a year of it. But we cannot. We cannot let these things go. We cannot look the other way. We can't shrug our shoulders and say, there he goes again. We have got to be outraged and reject each and every one of them, and this one in particular because it's an international incident.

It's not only in our country. It's now beyond our borders.

BALDWIN: No, you heard the statement from the British M.P.

Andre, I know you oftentimes, we bring you on, you defend the president. Can you defend him in this situation?

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. I agree with Ana. We have gotten numb.

We have gotten numb to the continual victimization of American people by people that come over to this country to cause us harm. This is a war of hate against American values. And the president ran on this. He continues to talk about it. He continues to remind us about it. And it is a war.

And we have continued to let too many people in this country unvetted. And at one time when you came to this country, you had to work hard, you had to show that you wanted to demonstrate to be a part of this country, and now we have let just the opposite in.

We have let people come into this country that have done terrible things to us, and it's happened in the U.K. too. They have places, neighborhoods where the police won't even go anymore.

So to not address this situation I think would be a detriment to what the president of the United States needs to be working on. And, furthermore, to continue this kumbaya feeling that everybody wants to do wonderful things is not true.

There is a narrative here that needs to be addressed. The truth ain't pretty. And the president is continuing to stay on what he got elected on. And that was that we do need to restrict certain people and we do need travel bans and we do need to have many things to try to stop what is coming into this country that is not intended to make us a better place to live.

BALDWIN: I don't know about -- I'm not feeling kumbaya. I don't know if Ana is feeling kumbaya.

And I'm with you on the truth and I'm with you holding bad people accountable. I think the issue is the fact that this is the president of the United States choosing to retweet this person in this group. This person has been convicted of a hate crime in England.

And this is the president espousing that rhetoric from that kind of person. Why is that OK?

NAVARRO: It's not OK.


NAVARRO: It's simply not OK.

And as long as people defend him when he's doing something indefensible, he's going to continue doing it. If we want this sort of behavior to stop, if we want him to start behaving like a president, people have to stop defending the defensible. It's enough already.


BALDWIN: I mean, Andre, I just have to -- I need to challenge you a little bit more, because also adding to all of this the reporting from "The New York Times" where the president is still behind closed doors maybe believing in some of these conspiracy theories, number one, this "Access Hollywood" tape, which we've all seen the president saying that was him, acknowledging it and apologizing for it.

Apparently, he's still saying maybe not so much anymore that that was his voice. He's still talking about how he lost the popular vote in the election because of this widespread voter fraud which, P.S., is not factual. And then, lastly, he is back on this bandwagon of questioning the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.

I come back to this question, Andre. Is there something wrong with him?

BAUER: Well, for example, the birth certificate...


BALDWIN: How do you explain that?

BAUER: I hear this, but how do we know that?

BALDWIN: How do we know what?

BAUER: There is always the rumor mill going. How do we know that he's back on the birth certificate issue? I have heard that reported today.

BALDWIN: But it's been reported.

BAUER: But I don't know that he's back on that. I haven't heard him talk about it. I'm not debating it, but I haven't heard him talk about it.

The president is a different type of president. He's going to focus on what he thinks is important, regardless of the political implications and regardless of what the media says about him.

BALDWIN: But don't facts matter? Don't facts matter?

BAUER: Absolutely, facts do matter. But we do know there is disproportionate amount of folks coming to not only this country, but other countries, that want to do harm to us, and this president is focused on addressing it.

And we had a president before that didn't even want to call them out by name. And so it's a different way to govern. It's not one that makes everyone feel comfortable.


BALDWIN: Andre, you are not answering my question. You are not answering my question with regards to lies about the "Access Hollywood" tape and the popular vote and this last bit of reporting from "The Times."

NAVARRO: Can I answer your question?

BALDWIN: Go ahead, Ana.

NAVARRO: I hear your point about competency.

And I think you are making a very good point. It's a very good question, because, listen, what we have seen with this president is that he comes time and time again to the same theme, whether it is a lie, whether it is an exaggeration, whether it is a complete imaginary conversation or fabrication, whether it's numbers and his inaugural crowd, whether it's the NFL fight.

This guy is a broken record. And so you ask yourself the question, is he mentally competent? Why is he repeating himself over and over again? I really don't know what he is going to do with his extra time when the NFL season is over. What's he going to do, start picking on the NBA?

You really have to wonder about his competency when he becomes a broken record, repeating the same thing over and over again. It didn't make sense the first time. It doesn't make sense the thousandth time he does it.

BALDWIN: Andre, I just want to hear from you lastly, because it's like, if have a president now is basically saying black is white and up is down, and there are serious crises that this nation is addressing, most notably North Korea and their capability, what's the message to Americans from him? Why should Americans listen to him?


BAUER: Well, because most of the time he turns out being right. You all laughed at him when he said, look, my building was wiretapped. It went on for months of pounding on him. And guess what? He was right.

You laughed at him when he said he was going to win a primary. Guess what? He was right. You laughed at him when he said he was going to be president of the United States. He continued to be laughed at in these tweets, but so often he's right.

And from an American citizen who is concerned about our safety, I'm glad he has not forgotten about his promise to try to make America safer. This is an issue that is going to come up before the courts. It continues to come up before the courts. And he's going to do all he can, whether it be travel bans or any way to restrict people he thinks are a detriment to our communities, our societies, our way of life.

And I commend him for that. It may not be political popular, but I'm glad he has the backbone to not bow down and to continue to fight what I think is a serious, serious issue and probably the most issue for the president of the United States and that is safety for the American people.

BALDWIN: You got the last word.

Andre Bauer, I appreciate you and your conversation.

BAUER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, I'm not quite finished with you yet. I want to have you play in this next conversation about Matt Lauer, the forever "Today Show" host, the shocking revelation first thing this morning that he's now been fired from NBC News for inappropriate sexual behavior at work.

What we know about the accusations and how his co-anchors responded to this.

Also ahead, breaking news involving a major U.S. airline, why thousands of flights scheduled around the Christmas holiday are without pilots to fly those planes -- that story ahead. And we are live in Missouri, watching and waiting for the president to

give a speech on the Republican tax plan. That happens moments from now.

You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.



BALDWIN: Some breaking news now that could actually affect your holiday travel plans.

Listen to this. American Airlines says a computer glitch has left them without any pilots over Christmas. This glitch allowed all of American's pilots to take vacation the week of Christmas.


Jason Carroll is with me now.

Jason Carroll, that's not going to work out.


I mean, one of the headlines I think had it best, Brooke. It said that they are calling it the glitch that stole Christmas. And that pretty much says it all.


BALDWIN: That's a good one.

CARROLL: And, basically, what happened here, it was a computer glitch that, by mistake, obviously, gave too many of these pilots the day off.

And so now American Airlines really has itself in a bit of a glitch here. They released a statement saying: "We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season. We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate."


That's what they are going to be paying them.

"As much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract. We will work with the APA" -- that's the pilots association -- "to take care of our pilots and to ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays."

Part of the problem with that is we are hearing, Brooke, that the pilots union is urging crews not to take some of these assignments because it might violate union rules, the union contract. So at the end of the day here, you have got American Airlines saying

everything is going to be all right. We are going to get these pilots back to work. Not so sure that's the case with what the pilots union is saying about this. We will have to stay tuned -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: You can imagine, if you are being handed Christmas and all of a sudden they want to take it back and you made plans, I think I would fight that one. I would fight that one.

Jason Carroll, thank you so much very much.

And, oh, wow, look, he's early, President Trump talking taxes in just a second there in Saint Charles, Missouri. Let's dip in.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told you that we would be saying merry Christmas again, right?


TRUMP: And it's great to be back in Missouri, a sign of a lot of good things, because you're doing really well.

And I want to Governor Greitens and Attorney General Hawley, who, by the way, Josh -- where is Josh? Josh, our next senator, where is he?


TRUMP: He's going to be a great senator. And he wants to see a major tax cut. I think I can speak for him, right?


TRUMP: And your current senator does not want to see a tax cut. That's not good. That's not good. He wants your taxes to go up.

Secretary Mnuchin, who is doing such a fantastic job, thank you. And Linda McMahon, everyone knows, administrator, Small Business, became a big business under Linda. She's helping a lot of people.

Thank you very much, Linda.


TRUMP: I especially also want to thank Missouri's incredible congressional delegation.

Sam Graves, where is Sam? You all here? Yes. They all flew in with me. They wouldn't miss that flight.

Vicky Hartzler. Vicky, thank you. Thank you, Vicky.


TRUMP: Billy Long, who I think was first endorser in the entire country practically, Billy, right? Thank you, Billy.


TRUMP: Blaine Luetkemeyer. Blaine. Thank you, Blaine. And he was great on television today. I watched him. I got up early and I watched you on television. That was a good interview. Thank you. He's very much in favor of tax cuts.

Jason Smith and Ann Wagner. Thank you, Jason. Thank you, Ann.


TRUMP: And I have two others. I have a lot of faith in faith, Sally Faith. Where is Sally? Your mayor. Hi, Sally. Thanks, Sally.


TRUMP: And Eric Schmitt, Missouri state treasurer.


TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you, Eric. Doing a great job.

Just three months ago, we came to this state to launch our plan to bring back Main Street by cutting taxes for American families and small businesses. Today, I have come back to this incredible state to spend an afternoon with its amazing citizens.

You are amazing.

To help push our plan for historic tax cuts right across that finish line. We are going to do that. With your help, we can usher in a thrilling new era of opportunity and growth for this nation that we love so much. Tax cuts have already passed the House of Representatives.


TRUMP: Big ones. Big ones.

The eyes of the world now turn to the United States Senate. A successful vote in the Senate this week will bring us one giant step closer to delivering an incredible victory for the American people, massive tax cuts and reform.

I don't even mention the word reform, because people don't know exactly what we're talking about. For years, they have not been able to get tax cuts, many, many years, since Reagan. And the problem was, they talked about tax reform, not tax cuts. I said, don't call it reform. Call it tax cuts and reform.

So, every once in a while, we will add the name reform. But it's tax cuts. We cannot sit -- right?


TRUMP: That's the governor. We cannot sit idly by and watch ourselves losing in competition to our countries, as they continue to take away our jobs because their tax codes are more competitive and less burdensome than ours.


That's why we must cut our taxes, reduce economic burdens and restore America's competitive edge. We're going to do that, too, and it's already happening. Look what's happening with our markets. People get it.


TRUMP: If we do this, then America will win again like never, ever before.


TRUMP: A vote to cut taxes is a vote to put America first again. We want to do that. We want to put America first again.


TRUMP: It's time to take care of our workers, to protect our communities and to rebuild our great country.

You know, we have spent -- we have spent almost $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 16 years, $7 trillion. Now, I'm taking care of it. We're doing numbers like ISIS has never seen before. We're wiping them out, terrorists. They're bad.


TRUMP: And all of that. But we have spent almost $7 trillion. We could have rebuilt our country four times over. And we're going to start spending here. We're going to start spending here.


TRUMP: And, with that being said, we're going to protect our country, whether it's North Korea or any -- we're going to protect our country like never before. We're going to build up our military, and make our product here, and make our planes and our boats and our everything here. But we're going to build up our military.


TRUMP: But we have got to start focusing on our country.

That's why I'm saying America first. Make America great again. You have never heard that expression. All those hats. All those -- they have never heard that expression before.


TRUMP: Ah, that was a good expression, and it's a true expression. It's already happening, and long ahead of schedule.

And, in fact, today some numbers came out that people haven't seen in many, many years. This beautiful city of Saint Charles is the perfect place to deliver the message that I want to deliver. It's the place where America's past and future come to life on its historic bricked- lined Main Street. Nice street. Do you agree?


TRUMP: It was along these very streets that, in 1804, the great American explorers Lewis and Clark gathered their final supplies before setting out on their very historic expedition of discovery.

I have to say, I didn't really know that until two days ago.


TRUMP: See? See, now the world is watching. Look at all the fake news back there. They're all -- they're all watching.


TRUMP: Today, more than two centuries later, a new generation of American pioneers begins its own adventure, gathering inside the start-ups and the storefronts of main streets across the country, blazing new trails into totally uncharted territory of business and technology, and once again leading our nation into a future of limitless potential.

That's what we have in this country. We have the greatest people. It's the greatest country. I love this country so much.


TRUMP: Our country was not treated properly for a long time. We're treating it properly. We're treating it with love and with this.

We have got to treat with this. And today, just as it's always been, Main Street is the heart of our economy, the soul of our community and the birthplace of American dreams.

But over the years, crippling taxes, massive regulation and totally disastrous trade deals -- oh, the trade deals. Oh, I get a headache thinking about who made these deals, one after another, WTO, NAFTA, the wonderful deal with South Korea. Remember? They said it's going to produce 200,000 jobs, and it did -- for South Korea.


TRUMP: It didn't produce -- we lost 200,000 jobs.

It turned some of our businesses' Main Streets into empty ghost towns. You see what's happened. Now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore American prosperity, and reclaim America's great destiny. We have already made tremendous progress, far greater than I would have thought.