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Trump Says Disney/21st Century FOX Deal is "Good"; Trump Speaks on Economy, Taxes, Regulations; Marco Rubio a Problem on Republican Tax Plan; Omarosa Fights Back Against Reports of Her Firing. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired December 14, 2017 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: The government has blocked the deal. In the middle of suing AT&T to stop it from happening. That raises this question of whether there has been interference from Trump or from his White House against CNN, against Time Warner. That is something the government has denied. They said they are taking action against the deal because it violates anti-trust law. Well, if it violated anti-trust law, and Disney/FOX deal does not, that's going to be curious to Wall Street and experts outside government. So that is it open question. And when we hear Sanders praising this deal, it suggests a very friendly approach from the government towards this new deal in-house today. Makes you wonder if Rupert Murdoch and his friendship with the president is having affect.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Interesting. Huge difference you are pointing out it would be incorrect, creating jobs --


BALDWIN: -- horizontal versus vertical.

STELTER: Yes. So right now, six movie studios in the United States. As a result of this deal, there would be five. So going from six to five. There's other ways of cost efficiencies. Whenever we hear Wall Street talk about synergies, everyone knows that's code for cut backs.

BALDWIN: Brian Stelter, thank you.

Here's the president.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- regulations. That's a lot of regulations.

Thank you, Vice President Pence, Secretary Chao, Secretary Zinke and Chris Liddell. You have done an incredible job.

We are here today for one single reason, cut the red tape of regulation. For many decades, an ever-growing maze of regulation, rules, restrictions have cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries. But all that has changed the day I took the oath of office. And it's changed rapidly. You've seen what's happened. We have begun the most far reaching regulatory reform in American

history. We have approved long-stalled projects like the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines. Cutting years of wasted time and money out of the permitting process for vital infrastructure projects. We are scraping and really doing a job and getting rid of the job- killing regulations that threatened our auto workers and devastated the jobs over the years. But they are all moving back. They are moving back into our country. Those companies are coming back, and they are coming back fast.

We are lifting restrictions on American energy. And we have ended the war on coal. We have clean coal. Beautiful clean coal. Another source of energy.

One of the very first actions of my administration was to impose a Two for One rule on new federal regulations. We ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. The people in the media heard me say that during the campaign many, many times. As a result, the never-ending growth of red tape in America has come to a sudden screeching and beautiful halt.

Earlier this year, we set a target of adding zero new regulatory costs on to the American economy. Today, I'm proud to announce that we beat our goal by a lot. Instead of adding costs as so many others have done. And other countries, frankly, are doing in many cases, and it's hurting them, for the first time in decades we achieved regulatory savings. Hasn't happened in many decades. We blew our target out of the water. Within our first 11 months, we canceled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions, more than any previous president by far.

And you see the results when you look at the stock market, when you look at the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country.

And instead of eliminating two old regulations, for every one new regulation, we have eliminated 22, 22. That's a big difference. We aimed for Two for One, and in 2017, we hit 22 for one. And by the way, those regulations that are in place do the job better than all of the other regulations, and they allow us to build and create jobs and do what we have to do.

We are now reducing the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations for the first time in decades. And we are already seeing the incredible results. Because of our regulatory and another reform, the stock market is soaring to new record levels. 85, not including today, hopefully we'll set another one today, 85 since election day, creating $5 trillion of new wealth. And the $5 trillion was as. of about three weeks ago, so I assume we probably hit six, $6 trillion, almost. Unemployment is it at a 17-year low. Wages are rising. Economic growth has topped 3 percent. Two quarters in a row now, we've had that. And except for the hurricanes, we would have already hit 4 percent. And you remember how bad we were doing when I first took over. There was a big difference. And we were going down. This country was going economically down. Small business optimism is at its highest point in 34 years. And we are just getting started. We have decades of excess regulation to remove to help launch the next phase of growth, prosperity and freedom.

[14:35:57] I am challenging my cabinet to remove every unlawful excessive regulation currently on the books. I want every cabinet secretary, agency head and federal worker to push even harder to cut even more regulations in 2018. Tan that should just about do it. I don't know if we'll have any left to cut. But we'll always find them. We must liberate our economy from years of federal overreach and intrusion so that we can compete and win on the world stage.

And when you look at the stock market and what's happening, such a high level, and it has a long way to go, much of that is because of what we've done with regulation. For example, the current process for permitting infrastructure is unacceptably long. This chart -- I love this chart. I showed this chart two months ago.

Chris Liddell, hold that up, Chris.


Chris is not tall enough for this chart. Neither is anybody else.

This is the process that you had to go through to get permits for a highway, for a roadway. You had to go through this process. And it would take many years.

Many, many years, right, Chris?

And you had to go through nine different agencies, make 16 different decisions, under 29 different laws. It would take from 10 to 20 years, in some cases longer than that. And by the time you finished, you probably gave up.

And I think -- I saw this chart and held it up three months ago and I said bring out that chart. That was a last-minute decision, but it really explains what a disaster it is.

We want to take that process down to maybe one year. We have it down to two. We maybe bring it down to one year. By the way, if the highway is not good, we'll reject it. We won't approve everything. We'll reject it. But for the most part, generally speaking, it's a good thing, not a bad thing.

Cutting through this maze is critical to restoring our nation's competitiveness. That is why under my administration, a highway that would have taken -- and we're looking at the numbers and trying to average them out -- and people have no idea. They think the number is, in many cases, over 20 years. And we are bringing that way down.

Beside this, you can see another really vivid illustration of the monumental task we face. In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the code of federal regulations. Today, there are over 185,000 pages. So you take a look at that -- and I assume that this is today. This is 1960. We are going to cut our ribbon because we are getting back down below the 1960 level, and we'll be there fairly quickly. We know some of the rules contained in these pages have been

beneficial to our nation. We'll keep them. We want to protect our workers, safety, health. We want to protect our water. We want to protect our air and our country's natural beauty. But every unnecessary page in these stacks represents hidden taxes and harmful burdens to American workers and to American businesses. And in many cases, means projects never get off the ground. That's probably the biggest problem.

According to a survey by the National Small Business Association, the average small business today spends $83,000 to comply with a single regulation in just its first year of existence. Small business manufacturers also bear an enormous ongoing burden spending an average of nearly $35,000 per employee each year. Incredible. This excessive regulation does not just threaten our economy, it threatens our entire constitutional system. And it does nothing other than delay and cost much more. It does nothing.

[14:40:19] Congress has abandoned much of its responsibility to legislate, and has instead given unelected regulators extraordinary power to control the lives of others. The courts have let this massive power grab go almost completely unchecked and have almost ruled in favor of big government with billions and billions of dollars wasted. Regulation is a stealth taxation. So many of these enormous regulatory burdens were imposed on our citizens with no vote, no debate, and no accountability. Now there is accountability.

By ending excessive regulation, we are defending democracy and draining the swamp. Truly, we are draining the swamp. Unchecked regulation undermines our freedoms and saps our spirit, destroys our companies. We have so many companies that are destroyed by regulations and destroys obviously jobs.

Today's call to action is about regaining our independence, reclaiming our heritage, and rediscovering what we can achieve when our citizens are free to follow their hearts and chase their dreams. When Americans are free to thrive, innovative and prosper, there is no task too large, and no goal beyond our reach. We are a nation of explorers and pioneers and innovators and inventors, and regulations have been hurting that and hurting it badly. We are a nation of people that work hard, dream big, and who never ever give up. We are Americans. And the future belongs to us.

So together, let's cut the red tape. Let's set free our dreams. And, yes, let's make America great again. And one of the ways we are going to do that is by getting rid of a lot of unnecessary regulation.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


TRUMP: Come on over here, Chris.

Why don't we all gather around. You can all be a part of this. Come on. So this is what we have now. This is where we were in 1960. And when

we are finished, which won't be in too long a period of time, we will be less than where we were in 1960, and we will have a great regulatory climate. OK.

Come on up here, Chris. You worked so hard on this.

Elaine, are you OK?


TRUMP: Are you OK?

CHAO: Yes, fine.

TRUMP: She has a lot to do with it. She has a thing called roads and bridges, right?

CHAO: Yes.


One, two, three.


TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.

Maybe this should go to Chris, right? You worked so hard.

BALDWIN: So the president knows a thing or two about ribbon cuttings, but this isn't about a new building. It's about regulations. The is killing all the regulations. You have visual. This is Two for One deregulation program. This was created an executive order that he signed just a couple of days after being in office.

Quickly, David Catanese, I get it, we understand the regulations but what is this really all about?

DAVID CATANESE, SENIOR POLITICS WRITER, U.S. TODAY & WORLD REPORT: It's sort of the unsung legacy of this first year of his administration.


BALDWIN: Actually, hold on, he's still talking. Hold on

TRUMP: It will be largest tax cut in the history of our country. And I'll say the Republican Senators in Congress, men and women, have been incredible. So I think we will get there. It will be in a very short period of time. It will be the greatest Christmas present that a lot of people have ever received. It will be something special.


TRUMP: I like Omarosa. (CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Omarosa is a good person.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.


BALDWIN: All right. I'm glad we paused. We wanted to get that little bit on tax. He wants that. He wants that from Christmas. And Omarosa is a good person, so says the president.

Go ahead on all these regulations, what's this about?

CATANESE: I would say this is the unsung story of the first year of this administration, the dismantling of the administrative state. He said 22 to one getting rid of, compared to creating. I think we'll see in the coming days watchdog groups from the environment and financial services with complaints about the impact of peeling back these regulations. A lot of them, we don't know the specifics. Once we dive into them, we'll know more about it. But it's a quiet thing that doesn't get the bulk of the headlines, given all the drama surrounding this administration. But I think it will have impact in years to come on transportation projects, on the environment, how we patrol our waterways, lots of stuff from A to Z.

[14:45:40] BALDWIN: All right. David, thank you so much for that.

CATANESE: Thank you.

BALDWIN: And just over to Brian Stelter for one more note.

We were talking about Disney buying 21st Century FOX. And he was asked while talking about FOX, sexual harassment, the wave that we covered over there, and the mess from some months ago. And he was asked how harmful have the whole sexual harassment claims have been for the business, and he said it's all nonsense.

STELTER: I think it plays into figures like President Trump. And shocking to see the quote. He said it's all nonsense, including Bill O'Reilly and others. He said there was a problem with the chief executive, as soon as we investigated, he was taken out. I think he forgot about Bill O'Reilly lost his jobs. Before, Ailes, earlier this year. But he went on to say that was largely political because we are conservative. Now of course, all the liberals are going down the drain. Again, I think this is similar to President Trump. Murdock and his friend, the president, see it in a similar way. Then, in the end, Murdoch says bad cases, people should be moved a side. Then others might have been a bit of flirting, a bit of flirting. I think Rupert should tell that to the women whose careers were derailed.

BALDWIN: Brian Stelter, thank you for that.

Let's pivot back to Capitol Hill. We have breaking news coming in, of course, from our Manu Raju. We heard the president a second ago, Manu, talking about the tax plan,

wants to sign it, wants it a Christmas gift for Americans, for the middle class. But there is a hiccup by the name of Senator Marco Rubio, who you have spoken to. What's the news?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I just spoke to him after he met with Senator Republicans for lunch. And he says I'm a no on current tax bill unless changes to the refundable portions of the children tax credit that had been agreed to by House and Senate negotiators.

What's in this tax bill is $1100 refundable portion of the child tax credit. Rubio says this is much too small. He says, precisely this, just moments ago, when I asked him about it, he said, "I'm been very consistent on communications. I want to see the refundable portion of the children tax credit increased from current number. If it stays at $1100, I'm a no. Let's hope it doesn't."

Now when I asked him, has leadership given you any assurances they'll change this number in order to get your vote, he says they have not done that yet.

And this is significant, Brooke, because if he actually stands by this, and doesn't vote no, they don't change the bill, Bob Corker, who voted no on the initial Senate bill decides to vote against then, then they can't lose any more votes. And we know John McCain has been out with treatment for cancer diagnosis. So that would be more than enough votes to scuttle this bill.

But the White House says they are trying to work to accommodate Marco Rubio concerns, working with him. Rubio seems up for negotiation. Something higher than $1100 level. Didn't put firm number. But, Brooke, this is not satisfactory to him and he wants changes before he votes yes, a key vote in the Senate up for grabs -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: We saw not too long ago, Ron Johnson, he was a no, came around to yes. We shall see what happens with the Senator.

Thanks, Manu for being on.

We'll have more breaking news on that when we come back.

But first, for many people, this time of year is for giving back. But the 11th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute salute 10 amazing people who put others first all year long. The star-studded gala airs live Sunday, 8:00 eastern on CNN. Take a look.



ANNOUNCER: These are every day heroes. They inspire and change lives every day.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: We want to make sure they make better choices when it comes to violence. UNIDENTIFEID CNN HERO: When you lose your child, the love doesn't go

away and has to find a place. So lucky I found a place to put that love.


[14:50:05] ANNOUNCER: They are truly what it means to be a hero.

UNIDENTIFEID CNN HERO: It is people helping people the best way we know how.

UNIDENTIFEID CNN HERO: When they see me, they always feel happy.

UNIDENTIFEID CNN HERO: Give them a chance, they can do anything you ask them to do.

ANNOUNCER: This Sunday night, CNN presents a very special live event.



COOPER: Join us live on CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute.

ANNOUNCER: CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute, live Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.



BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Outgoing White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, is fighting back against reports she was fired from the White House following a dramatic confrontation with the chief of staff, General John Kelly.

This is what she told ABC's "Good Morning, America."


[14:55:11] OMAROSA MANIGUALT NEWMAN, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF PUBLIC LIASON: I resigned and I didn't do that in the residence as being reported. John Kelly and I sat down in The Situation Room, which is a very secure, very quiet room in the White House. And we had a very candid conversation. And I wanted to make the one-year mark, that was one of the goals that I set out to, and then get back to my life.


BALDWIN: A source tells CNN that Omarosa did not resign, as you just heard her say. And that once she made it known she was going to appeal her case to the president himself, she was escorted out.

Omarosa, of course, developed her professional relationship with Donald Trump while she was contestant on his reality show "The Apprentice" and her loyalty has been unwavering to him ever since.


OMAROSA: I'm not going anywhere, son.

I'm here because Mr. Trump invited me.


OMAROSA: And if you keep saying that to him, you'll be questioning his judgment. And I trust his judgment.

TRUMP: Omarosa, go out to sell your paintings or whatever you're doing.

Omarosa, you are fired.

Omarosa, you not only lost, you got creamed.

I've always been a big Omarosa fan, but, Omarosa, you are fired.

OMAROSA: Every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump.

It is ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.

I've known him for over a decade. And I've had the opportunity to work with him and be on shows with him but to visit his different properties and his business interests. And women on those properties are paid higher than the men in most cases. They perform well because it's environment conducive for them to grow.

I now work for this country. And I take my job very seriously.



BALDWIN: With me now, two people who appeared on "The Apprentice," Kwame Jackson and Claudio Jordan. Kwame was runner-up on the very first season on "The Apprentice." And also with us, Jonathan Wackrow, CNN law enforcement analyst and former Secret Service Agent, so we can talk about how she was escorted off, or not.


But, Claudia, just to you first, can you tell me a little bit about your interactions with Omarosa, what was she like to you?

CLAUDIA JORDAN, FORMER CONTESTANT, THE APPRENTICE: Well, we were friends. I never watched her when she did the show. And I got to know a lot more about her personality when we actually did "Celebrity Apprentice" together. She is someone that wants to do self- preservation. First, she wants to proud to be the villain. Then, she's a minister. She's a Democrat. Then, she's a Republican. She's your friend. Then, she's not your friend.


BALDWIN: What is that about? What is that about, do you think?

JORDAN: I think when you lack integrity you go with what serves yourself. So I used to be her friend. Soy saw her change. She's been loyal to Trump. But today she talks about I have a story to tell. And if you are so happy about your departure, can't wait to go back tour regular life, but then making threats that you are going to snitch, basically. So what is it? Are you happy you are leaving? Are you not happy? I tend to believe the story about her being dragged out kicking and screaming. Because that was her life goal to work in the White House with Donald Trump. And she got that job. No way she voluntarily left after one year. One year, absolutely not.

BALDWIN: Kwame, what are you thinking?

KWAME JACKSON, FORMER CONTESTANT, THE APPRENTICE: You know, this situation right now is not about Omarosa. Omarosa is the bright shiny object. She is the strobe light that distracts us all. I think this situation right now about where we are is about focusing on the 97percent of black women who turned out to vote against Roy Moore in Alabama. It's about the people who are trying to make change in our communities. And actually, who are advocating on behalf of the black community. I know I spoke out early and often almost two years ago with Donald Trump running and not many people came to that leadership position. Obviously Omarosa is on different tangent. I don't have anything personally against her. But the fact that he nominated her ahead of black engagement. That's like putting Benedict Arnold ahead of the Revolutionary Army. I think there is African-American community feeling she's been disavowed, no love lost for her. But we're really focused on moving forward as a community and immediate issues in in front of us.

BALDWIN: Yes, there was a moment yesterday, Angela Rye, a bit after, "bye, girl, bye," from Angela.

JACKSON: Yes, there was. I saw that.

BALDWIN: From Ms. Angela.

JACKSON: From Angela.

BALDWIN: So there you go.

Even in the White House daily briefing, where one of the reporters was asking Sarah Huckabee Sanders, well, can you name one individual of color on the senior staff, and they couldn't.

JACKSON: I never saw any individual of color in his organization when I was on "The Apprentice." Obviously, on the senior staff, you don't see that in the White House. And to put Omarosa in as your kind of, you know, minority whisperer --