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Trump: My Sweden Comment Based on Fox News Report; Russell Simmons Leads Unity March; Russia Making Provocative Military Moves; Sweden Baffled by Trump's Remarks; Walmart in Focus after Trump Comments on Jobs; Trump Presidency Creates Betting Frenzy in U.K. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired February 19, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:00:02] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden they took in large numbers that are having problems like they never thought possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: So, this isn't the first time the administration has had to explain itself.
So, I want to bring in CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones live in West Palm Beach, Florida, near Mar-a-Lago, where the president is spending the weekend.
So, Athena, you were at the president's rally last night. Was it clear at the time he was referring to a FOX News report?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, it wasn't at all clear at the time. In fact, as soon as he said that comment about something happening last night in Sweden, a lot of us were scratching our heads. People around the world viewing this rally were scratching their heads. I got a lot of questions about it on social media. People were confused.
Let's play that report that the president says he saw that led to that comment and then we'll talk about it on the other side. That report from FOX.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps no nation on earth is more committed to accepting foreign migrants and refugees than Sweden. 2016 alone, loan the country accepted more than 160,000 asylum seekers despite of having a population of less than 10 million people. Only 500 of these migrants were able to get jobs in Sweden. But if these arrivals aren't able to work, they are at least able to commit crimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: That segment went on to have -- to include an interview with a filmmaker who accused the Swedish government of trying to cover up, or covering up a lot of violent crimes that were supposedly committed by refugees.
We don't have any evidence of that. But what's interesting here is that it's very clear that the president is an avid watcher of cable news and it's interesting to see that this is where he gets a lot of his news from. But that lack of precision from the president, the president simply repeating things that he hears and sees, this is something he's been doing since the very beginning of his campaign.
But it clearly is causing problems. It leaves people around the world wondering what he's talking about because he said last Friday night, or Friday night, last night, making it sound as though he was referring to a specific incident. You had the former Swedish prime minister, Carl Bildt, tweeting, "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."
Bottom line here: words matter. The president's words in particular matter and a lot of people are watching and listening very closely to every word the president says -- Pamela.
BROWN: Yes. I mean, people around the world watching, listening, trying to figure out what he meant.
And, Athena, we've also learned the Senate Intelligence Committee, rather, is asking the Trump administration to preserve documents related to Russia.
Do we know what this was based on? Is it based on a specific concern that documents would be destroyed or is it just -- they are taking this investigation seriously and they want to make sure they have all the documentation?
JONES: I think it's more the latter than the former. We did hear from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who spoke on the Senate floor on Thursday who raised concerns of his own saying he thought there was real concern that the administration could dry to cover up its ties to Russia by deleting e-mails or text or other records that should shine light on these connections.
But more than anything, this seems as though this is something that any investigating committee would do to make sure they can preserve all the documents they might need to look into this case. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus responded to a question about this on "Meet the Press" this morning. Let's play what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I'm aware of it and I think they're going to do their job. And they have to do that. Those are things that Richard Burr and that team have to do. And that doesn't mean there's anything there. It just means they need to do some things to satisfy their committee that they have looked into something and then they can have meetings behind closed doors that they always do in the intel committee and then they'll issue a report.
And as long as they do their job and we -- and we cooperate with them, they'll issue a report and the report will say there's nothing there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So, they're going to cooperate, but he's saying there might not be anything there. And just to be clear, we're talking about dozens of -- more than a dozen letters sent to agencies, organizations and individuals asking them to reserve records. And those letters were sent out on the same day that FBI Director James Comey briefed the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. That was Friday. That's according to my colleague, Manu Raju -- Pamela.
BROWN: All right. Athena Jones, thank you so much. We appreciate you bringing us the latest there from Mar-a-Lago.
Now, let's talk it over with our panel. We have CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson, a Republican and host of the Ben Ferguson Radio Show, Wajahat Ali, "New York Times" contributor and Muslim- American playwright, and Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".
Gentlemen, great to see you.
Brian, I'm going to start with you to get your reaction to President Trump's clarification on his Sweden comment that it referred to a story that he watched on FOX News the night before.
[18:05:05] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It confirms his voracious appetite for cable news, whether it's FOX News, CNN or other outlets. But this segment on FOX was out of context and I would argue pretty misleading. It suggested according to this conservative filmmaker, there's been a surge of violence in Sweden. There were scary images broadcast on the screen. It really created this portrait of a country in crisis.
Folks in Sweden, journalists, politicians and others, have refuted that idea, say it was exaggerated. So, we should consider where the president is getting his information from. His sources of information, his CIA, all these agencies work for him. But he's relying instead on a FOX News segment.
BROWN: Right. Ben, the president does have access to more information than pretty much anyone else in the United States.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure.
BROWN: Are you concerned that it our commander-in-chief made a confusing public comment about another country and cited cable news as his source when he could have just asked for clarification of any number of people within the intelligence community?
FERGUSON: I'm not because I don't think there's anything wrong with the president of the United States of America watching the news and making a comment about refugees coming to that country and some of the issues that they're having in Sweden. I'm also not surprised that Sweden has tried to downplay this story and this filmmaker because tourism is a large part of their country and they want to make it very clear that this is a very safe place.
BROWN: Hold on --
FERGUSON: So, again, for the president to look at this is no big deal.
BROWN: Let me play something, though -- top officials thought he was talking about a terrorist attack the night before in their country because it was -- because it was sort of confusing. And now, you know, it's clear that world leaders are watching and listening to what the president of the United States says. Should he be more careful with what he says and should he find other sources beyond just what he might see on, you know, cable news? Go ahead.
FERGUSON: I think there's two points here. One, he was making a comment and maybe he should have clarified that even more so about the refugee issue there. He was obviously trying to compare and contrast that to what he's trying to do in this country to vet and have extreme vetting to make sure that we don't make the same mistake that he's implying that Sweden has done.
Again, for Sweden to punch back hard, I'm not surprised by that. And the reason why is because they want to protect the image of their country. I get the reasoning why, but it doesn't mean what the president was implying is somehow not happening there. And that's what this filmmaker was talking about.
BROWN: Well, as Brian pointed out --
STELTER: According to the BBC, crime levels are relatively low in Sweden.
STELTER: But I think it gets to a broader pattern of misinformation. I don't want to lose our minds about one comment about Sweden. Everybody has slips of the tongue.
But President Trump in his first 30 days has had a pattern of misleading statements. He also said at the rally that it's no way to vet these thousands and thousands of people coming to the U.S. We all know there's a long vetting process. We have heard about it. I'm sure the president heard about it too.
So, I think the issue is when he's saying these things at rallies that might excite the audience but don't hold up, it does create problems all around the world, in this case in Sweden.
BROWN: Let me just ask you, bring you in, Wajahat, because critics like Ben is insinuating say that this is really the media making a mountain out of a mole hill. Do you agree?
WAJAHAT ALI, CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: No, never forget Sweden. Never forget the Bowling Green massacre. Never forget the 3 million immigrants who illegally voted for Clinton. All those are examples, by the way, of fake news, alternative facts and lies, which Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and Donald Trump and other people around him have repeated.
And the karmic irony of this is that on that press conference and that rally, he attacked the media. We, Pam, Brian, are the enemies of the American people. Why? For simply reporting facts.
And Donald Trump doesn't take his intelligence briefings. He takes his news from some offhand sources and on Thursday's press conference, remember, he again said something about the Electoral College victory, the largest since Reagan, which was again a lie that was brought out by a member of the press, the enemy of the people. And what did he say? Oh, I just heard that from someone.
If you're the president of the United States of America, words matter, tweets matter, why are you saying fake information? Why can't you take the time to read your intelligence briefings, stop watching FOX News or any other channel, and maybe watch CNN or read "The New York Times," which is not the enemy of the people but does its job in reporting. And also I think --
FERGUSON: Hold one second, though. Let's be clear about saying, you just said twice. And if we want to talk about fake news -- are you implying that the president is not taking his intelligence briefings? Because you just implied it twice, which is not accurate if you're all about being accurate. Or is that a cheap shot at the United States of America?
ALI: Well, there's leaks that are happening in D.C. And as we all know, that apparently he does not sit there and read his intelligence briefings. He himself remember praised the fact that he's a very smart person. I'm not saying that he doesn't.
ALI: Ben, nice try to pivot.
[18:10:00] BROWN: It is not -- it's not fair to paint with a broad brush that he is not reading his --
ALI: No one is saying that. No one is saying that. But I'm saying I'm recommending --
FERGUSON: It's exactly what you're implying.
ALI: I'm recommending that he spends more time -- he spends more time, Ben --
FERGUSON: Hold on. It's what you said, the perfect example of exactly why Donald Trump attacks people just like you because you just implied to the American people watching right now that Donald Trump is not sitting down for his intelligence briefings or not reading them, which is not true. You don't -- you cannot it back that up, but you say it twice.
ALI: I'm not saying that. Ben -- BROWN: Let me just jump in here. We don't know his consumption
stacks up to, you know, how much time he's spending on the intelligence briefs and with officials.
STELTER: That's true.
BROWN: But let me just pose this to you, Ben, because it was just yesterday -- because it was just yesterday that the president tweeted out that the media as a whole is the enemy of the American people. That the media is fake news and yet, then he goes on to his rally and cites something he watched in the media and then caused alarm, of course, in another country, as we know. I mean, how does that square?
FERGUSON: I think you should have add the word some in there. It's pretty clear there are some people in the media that are directly -- their job now is to attack the president of the United States of America and to undermine him at any way they can to make him look back bad. If you have watched some of the coverage, it's abundantly clear there are some reporters out there who are going to make their M.O. as the guy or gal that attacked the president of the United States of America.
Now, I don't think everybody in the media is doing that. And sometimes the media is right. And sometimes, Donald Trump is wrong. And when he's wrong, I've been very clear about that. The Electoral College is a perfect example of that.
But there are many people in the media now that when they wake up in the morning, they go to work or to the White House to report, it is to attack the president of the United States of America and I think that was his point. There's a lot of Americans --
BROWN: Brian, is that fair?
STELTER: I was asking who. I wish there was specific examples that you could cite, Ben.
FERGUSON: I think if you look at the demeanor of some of the people that have been in the press briefing room and just the connotation, the way they attack and the way that they write and the way that they report the news, it is very clear that they have a major disdain for the president of the United States of America. And you have not seen this when it was towards Barack Obama for example, whining and complaining that they're not being called on for example because they should be called on.
ALI: Respectfully, Ben, as a patriot, aren't you offended that Donald Trump is calling the press, the fourth estate, the enemy of the American people for simply doing reporting? He said the Russia story, fake news.
ALI: Is Russia fake news? We're simply doing our job and he's saying we're the enemy of the American people. As a patriot, I want you to stand up for the fourth estate and the First Amendment.
FERGUSON: Here's what I'll say as a patriot. I am a guy who gives my opinion for a living. I know I'm not a, quote, "genuine, true journalist." But when journalists do the same thing that I do for a living, which is give their commentary and their opinion and act as if somehow they are non-biased, it's pretty pathetic. And there are some people in the media that act as if somehow they're are non-biased when in fact they're not. I am biased.
BROWN: But who specifically, Ben? You said people -- I mean, as Brian asked, if you're going to make an allegation like that, what are you talking about? Who exactly are you talking about?
FERGUSON: I'll give you a generic example. You look at how many reporters have complained or have done those subtle one-liners about how they are not being called on at the White House and how he's going to, quote, "nontraditional journalists". This happened last week. Multiple people were saying this.
BROWN: Go ahead, Brian. .
STELTER: He was pointing out the press strategy, right, which was call on more conservative outlets. Trump can call on whoever he wants, but the biggest news outlets in America --
BROWN: And then in the next day, he did call on CNN and others.
STELTER: CNNs, ABCs, and NBCs, CBS's, those are the ones being called the enemies of the American people. He is singling out five of us, CNN, "New York Times," ABC, NBC, and CBS. He's trying to drive a wedge between those outlets and other outlets. And, by the way, I don't think it will work.
BROWN: All right. Brian Stelter, Ben Ferguson, Wajahat Ali, I've got to jump in and wrap it up there, unfortunately, because that was a very good lively, important discussion to have.
Thank you, gentlemen. Do appreciate it.
And coming up on this Sunday, marching with a message. Hundreds take to the streets of Times Square to protest the travel ban and right at the front of the pack is my next guest. The pop mogul, Russell Simmons, he joins me live on why this event is so important and what he'd like to tell the president.
[18:17:45] BROWN: A show of solidarity today in Times Square. Hundreds gathered for a rally organizers called "Today, I Am A Muslim Too". It was co-organized by music mogul Russell Simmons in response to Trump's controversial travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations. Planners decided to carry on with the demonstration even after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Trump's executive order.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA SARSOUR, SPEAKER AT "TODAY, I AM A MUSLIM TOO" RALLY: While you are saying, "I am Muslim too", I say to you -- I am unapologetically Muslim, all day, every day.
I am not afraid because fear is a choice. It is not a fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Def Jams Records cofounder Russell Simmons joins me now.
Thank you so much for coming on. We do appreciate it, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
As a hip hop pioneer, your career has always been at the crossroads of business and culture. Why was it so important for you to help organize today's protest rally at the crossroads of the world, in Times Square?
RUSSELL SIMMONS, CHAIRMAN, RUSH COMMUNICATIONS: First, we have organized this rally before this, I am a mogul, I mean, I am a Muslim too too. We did it last time about four or five years ago and Congress shut down. It was very effective during those McCarthy-esque inquiries into the Muslim -- innocent Muslims. So, it shut the Congress down. So, now, we're back again, but now, hopefully, not hopefully -- I mean, it's evident that we were able to organize more people, thousands, not hundreds.
And more than that, social media, hundreds of millions of impressions, so that's really where the work was done. I think through social media. But the point is, it's important where we have so much diversity and so many people from so many different faiths to bring them together, to show America this love fest that we created. Everyone standing up for the other, there were many Christians. Obviously, I organized with a rabbi who I worked with the foundation for ethnic standing.
But not only that rabbi, they were Buddhists and Buddhists are groups that participated. And there were people from all faiths, all ethnicities and frankly, there were white men.
[18:20:01] I've read that -- in CNN's report that there were not. Of course, there were all kinds of people standing up to help the Muslim communities. And I'm proud of what they did.
So, I'm sorry. Next question.
BROWN: No, no, that's fine. I hadn't seen the CNN reporting on that, but you have known as we know, President Trump personally for a very long time. Do his words and actions as a politician differ from the Donald Trump that you have known for nearly 30 years now?
SIMMONS: Well, we didn't talk a lot of politics, but I obviously have read some of his statements and they were not all great. And when he ran for election, I love the country when I loved our friendship. People say that it's -- I'm walking away from a friend, but I love this country. And I love the Constitution. And I love the kind of tolerance that we're promoting and what America is becoming.
There's a little bit of a halt in that growth, but I think we'll continue on our path. And I'm very excited that he helped to organize people. I have been fighting Islamophobia for the last ten years probably. I have been the chairman of the foundation for ethnic understanding for close to 20. But for the last 10, years, we have seen Islamophobia grow and grown so much that we were -- in the middle of promoting Muslims are speaking out because people like Donald Trump don't recognize that our great allies in the fight against terror are Muslims.
And that they are 97, I don't know what the number is, someone said 97 percent of the victims of ISIS and other Muslim terrorists. Those people who are attacking these people are just terrorist terrorists. Just like the KKK and not Christians. They are not acting by the Christian faith. The Koran says love all men of good faith, of books equally, and that's what most Muslims believe. Love people.
BROWN: And we should note that the Trump administration says that the travel ban was not a Muslim ban and that, in fact, a majority of Muslims aren't impacted by it. But, clearly, you felt a need to come out here and rally and be a part of this movement, if you will.
I'm curious. Have you tried to reach out to President Trump? When's the last time you spoke to him?
SIMMONS: The minute he announced and I made a statement, I'm sure was off color. He called my office. We didn't speak then and haven't spoken since.
I do believe he should talk to more people. I do believe those people who are his friends should wrap their arms around him and give him different perspectives on many subjects. It is a Muslim ban. He promised he would do a Muslim ban in advance. And it's only Muslim countries.
You're talking about countries that have not produced a murder -- a terrorist, a terrorist who committed a murder since 1975. If you want to stop the --
BROWN: You're quoting the Cato Institute Study. Go ahead.
SIMMONS: That's true, 1975. Is that correct?
BROWN: Yes, 1975 to 2015, I believe, there was no evidence that anyone from one of those countries killed an American. Now, there were attempted -- there were attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
SIMMONS: But let me say this. How many children -- how many children, how many toddlers have killed adults because there's no lock on their gun? Thousands? How many? And we have not put a lock on our guns. We have locks on aspirins.
So, there's many things he should focus on. Promoting ignorance ask creating a negative relationship between Muslims who may feel disaffected in America is not one of them. Creating a negative environment when people of good faith is not good because some of those people just like some Christians, just like some Jews and every other people already unstable and don't need to be pushed and to create negativity.
And so, this vibe that we're creating with the Muslim world is not good. It's not serving us.
BROWN: I'm curious.
SIMMONS: This is not how we fight terrorism.
BROWN: I'm curious because last week, of course, there was the Grammys and you saw entertainers get more political on both sides. How influential are these entertainers?
SIMMONS: I wouldn't say both sides.
BROWN: Well --
SIMMONS: I think they're pretty influential.
BROWN: There was one -- Joy Villa declared support Trump with passion. We actually have that right here. So, it is both sides.
SIMMONS: Well, if 95 to or 97 to 3 is both sides, then that I guess is true. Artists are more likely to choose compassion, love and progressive ideas because they operate from the inside. The world can go terribly wrong, but always the artists. Whether it's in Croatia and Syria, or if it's in Nazi Germany or if it's -- what's the African? Rwanda -- all those cases are the first ones to speak out against it because they are operating from a different place.
The fact is the world and the collective can go crazy. They do. And they do things that are unimaginable as a group. And this choice America is making to create such a negative relationship between beautiful people who should be working together like we saw today is not a good one.
[18:25:05] BROWN: All right. Russell Simmons, thank you very much for coming on our show, making your voice heard. We do appreciate it.
SIMMONS: Thank you.
BROWN: And coming up right here in the NEWSROOM on this Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham declares 2017 the year of hitting back at Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: And 2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BROWN: A panel of U.S. senators looking into Russia's election meddling is telling a long list of agencies and people to not throw anything away that might be helpful in the investigation. It's part of the probe to find out just who in president Trump's circle might have had contact with Russians during the campaign and how high that contact reached. A senior Democrat said on the Senate floor a few days ago that he's afraid someone in the Trump White House will delete emails or destroy documents.
I'm going to bring in retired Brigadier General Anthony Tata. He is a former deputy commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He's also written a series of novels, the latest is called "Besieged".
General, thank you very much for coming on.
I want you to listen to this with me. It's Senator Lindsey Graham speaking to European leaders in Germany this weekend, hoping that the president is serious about holding Russia accountable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:30:00] GRAHAM: I hope he will embrace the idea that as a leader of the free world, he should be working with us to punish Russia. To our German friends, you're next. To our friends in France, they're coming after you.
And to my friend, Mr. Lavrov, I hope you finally suffer some consequences of what you and your regime have been doing to democracies in 2017. It's going to be a year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, General, you were a Cold War era army officer. The President's on record saying, only stupid people reject the idea of better ties with Russia. Senator Graham is saying, Moscow is going to get its butt kicked this year. What's your take with the, if you want to say, differing messages, different approach to Russia?
BRIG. GEN. ANTHONY TATA (RET.), UNITED STATES ARMY: Well, Pamela, I think the whole conversation needs to start with the fact that Russia is a greatest threat to U.S. vital interests in the world. They have 7,000 nuclear warheads, and they geopolitical positioning all around Europe, southwest Asia, and Asia. So we need to make sure that we're taking them very seriously.
And Putin hates America. There's no question about that. He's on the record. And so it's not helpful, I don't think, for Senator Graham to do saber rattling, with all due respect to the Senator, but we do need to investigate.
And we need to investigate so we know what happened because if Russia did cyber attack the United States, that's an act of war. And so we need to take a step back from the abyss here and actually do a full investigation because there's a couple of things that have taken place. First and foremost, the intelligence agencies in the United States
were very politicized during the Obama administration. And we need no further evidence than the J.V. ISIS narrative that was put out, and then CentCom being told not to provide products of record that showed ISIS being stronger than the President's narrative.
So we know they have the ability to provide misinformation within our own government. So we don't know if what -- in the joint analysis report that President Obama had done on the cyber attacks, has been widely panned by cyber security experts around the country and around the world for that matter. And there are several that said, well, it could have been expert Chinese hacking units that are in their military that made it look like Russia.
And so we need to step back and actually find out what happened before we say we're going to kick some Russian butt. And so to me --
BROWN: But, of course --
TATA: Yes, go on. Please go ahead, Pamela.
BROWN: But, of course, the administration said, well, look, we can't put the classified information in this public report. We have a lot more that we're not sharing publicly. But when you look at what Russia has done recently, it has made some curious military moves, some would say provocative --
BROWN: -- launching a cruise missile, fighter jets buzzing a U.S. Navy ship, parking that spy ship off the East Coast. How do you see this old school style of posturing at the same time the White House, President Trump in particular, is calling for better relations?
TATA: Well, I think, Pamela, you make a very good point there.
And what I think all the American people need to understand is that whether it's at a Platoon 30 soldier-level in Afghanistan or Iraq, and you're doing a change of command or transfer of authority, as we call it, all the way up to the President in our inauguration and our change of Commander-in-Chief, enemies attack when you have a change in power because they want to test the responses of the new leader. Whether that's a lieutenant in the army at the tactical level in Baghdad or the President of the United States. So that's what's happening now.
Putin is our enemy. There's no question about that. And his country is imploding. The sanctions that we put on them for the Crimea annexation and meddling in Ukraine, so they could get more natural resources down there and have one more rapport, have absolutely crushed the Ruble by 50 percent. And GDP from 2014 to 2016 is 50 percent down in Russia as well.
So what Putin is doing is diverting attention from a domestic crisis that he can't manage by doing all these international things for lots of different reasons, but first and foremost, he's probing the wire of the United States to see how we'll react. BROWN: I want to ask you, General, before we let you go, about this
tweet tonight from President Trump clarifying what he meant when he seemingly referred to an incident in Sweden, a nonexistent incident in Sweden. He said, "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on Fox News concerning immigrants and Sweden."
Just curious, as a former Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, does it concern you at all that the Commander-in-Chief would use cable news as a source versus more traditional intelligence?
[18:35:04] TATA: Well, you know, I think, Pamela, as a commander in the field, we have a chain of command, and we respond to that chain of command. And, you know, there's the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that's probably concerned about that and the national security adviser, General Kellogg, is probably talking to him about that.
But as a commander in the field, you're managing your lane and working your lane. And I think our combat troops that are in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, are out there doing, you know, great work that they do. And I'm very proud to have served with them, and they will continue to drive on despite whatever comes out of the administration, or from, you know, either side of the aisle in the Senate, you know.
This whole thing about kicking Russia in the butt, it might feel good to say that, but at the end of the day, we've got soldiers, sailors, Army, and the Marines on the ground fighting the good fight to secure vital interests for us. And that's what everybody needs to be putting first in their mind.
BROWN: All right. General Anthony Tata, thank you very much.
And coming up, on this Sunday, President Trump ramps up his rhetoric when it comes to combating terrorism, even mentioning something that happened in Sweden. But did anything actually happen? Sweden seems mighty confused.
That story up next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
BROWN: "#LastNightInSweden" is a popular Twitter hashtag right now. It appeared shorty after President Trump said this during his Florida rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: In response, the Swedish embassy is tweeting, "Unclear to us what President Trump was referring to. Have asked U.S. officials for explanation."
[18:40:04] By way of explanation, Trump responded with this tweet, "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on Fox News concerning immigrants and Sweden."
Here's a bit of that Fox report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMI HOROWITZ, FILMMAKER: There was an absolute surge in both gun violence and rape in Sweden once they began this open-door policy, so they know that this crime is happening. They can feel it.
The statistics are clear, but they would refer to what is the root cause behind it and say, oh, it's just more -- happening more violence. It's men who are raping people, not the refugees. They'll make excuses for it.
The majority of the population in Sweden still want to have an open- door policy. It's really -- it's confounding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And to be clear, CNN has not confirmed that there is a link between a rise in crime and refugees, but I want to bring in Betsy Woodruff. She is the politics reporter for "The Daily Beast."
And, Betsy, during the campaign, Trump said that he got his military advice from watching the Sunday news shows. Now this. Is the President's tweet about referencing Fox an acceptable explanation?
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICS REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: It's one that doesn't necessarily make sense. Of course, the reality is that, last night, the way that Trump talked about this attack, the way he talked about it at his rally in Melbourne, Florida, suggested that he thought it was an incident that recently happened. His verbiage, his cadence, his rhetoric was enough to confuse the actual Swedish embassy.
For him to say that he wasn't under the impression that there was a terror attack in Sweden last night, that may be correct. But we have to separate what he was thinking from what he's actually communicating. This is why, over the course of American history, American presidents bend over backwards, most presidents, to be really, really careful and really, really specific and detailed when they talk about these foreign policy issues of major consequence.
In Trump's case, however, we aren't seeing him approach these really significant important issues like terrorism, like security in Europe with the kind of gravitas that Americans have come to expect from their presidents. That's a marked change. And of course, we'll have to see if it's something that persists.
BROWN: Well, it's interesting because those who support him say, look, they're taking him too literally, that you're making a mountain out of a molehill. But, your point is, look, if you're the President of the United States, anything he says can have ramifications because people around the world, leaders around the world, are watching. Right?
WOODRUFF: Right, exactly. The President sets the tone for how we, as a nation, talk about ourselves. And many diplomats from foreign countries don't necessarily follow every tick of Donald Trump's Twitter, don't necessarily have a super close read of, you know, his approach to rhetoric, the way he talks, the way that perhaps campaign reporters who spent a specific amount of time following him would.
They see headlines, they see phrases, they don't know how to make sense of it. And that's exactly what we saw happen with this comment that he made in Melbourne, Florida.
Of course, one thing that stood out to me, a little while back, was when he made comments about our policy towards Taiwan that seemed to be a dramatic deviation from the One China policy. There was one Chinese foreign official who told media over there that they decided to focus on what Trump does rather than on what he says because they had so much trouble making sense of the things that he said.
Of course, one of the major roles of a President is to say things that make sense. And it's certainly newsy that he's confusing so many foreign government officials.
BROWN: Well, and he made clear, look, I got this information from Fox. But how unusual is it for a President to go out and reiterate something that he saw on television or saw in the media?
WOODRUFF: You know, of course, there's nothing wrong with presidents watching cable news. But it's certainly unusual for him to make comments about an entire country, to suggest that an entire country is under attack or in danger, and then to cite a report that wasn't even saying that.
It's based on what he said at the campaign rally that he held. It seemed like it's possible that he was miscommunicating the contents of that report. That's strange.
Of course, this isn't the first time that Trump has since appeared to take really quick reactions to a report that aired on Fox News. A couple weeks ago, he talked about the possibility of banning flag burning, that there should be some sort criminal sanctions for people who burn flags. It's a tweet that he sent out shortly after "Fox and Friends" aired a segment on flag burning.
Of course, the general consensus was that he watched that segment. He was disturbed by it, and he made a comment advocating for a policy that is patently unconstitutional, based on something, by all counts, that happened on cable news.
So it's interesting because it suggests that cable news reporters might have more power that they've ever had, given that the President is watching so closely.
BROWN: And at the same time, he tweeted just yesterday that the media, including CNN, is the American public's enemy.
Betsy Woodruff, thank you so much for breaking it down for us. We do appreciate it.
[18:44:52] And we'll be right back, live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stick around.
BROWN: Welcome back live to the CNN NEWSROOM. CNNMoney correspondent Cristina Alesci has everything you need to know before the bell. Market's closed tomorrow, opening up on Tuesday.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNNMONEY TELEVISION AND DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pamela. It's a short week on Wall Street. Markets are closed tomorrow for President's Day, but in general, last week's stocks were on a tear with the major indexes notching their longest record run in 25 years.
Now, looking ahead on Tuesday, Walmart will release its quarterly report card. The world's largest retailer is facing some stiff competition from online retailers like Amazon. Last month, if you remember, the company announced it would add 10,000 U.S. jobs this year, something President Trump took credit for at his Thursday news conference.
Now, when Walmart made the made the announcement, just two days before the inauguration, it did not mention the President. So it's unclear whether President Trump or his policies actually impacted the decision. Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, does serve on the President's economic advisory council.
And we'll be listening to the earnings call on Tuesday to see whether Mr. Trump's name comes up -- Pamela.
BROWN: Cristina Alesci, thank you. We obviously have a little bit of a technical issue there with the sound from President Trump.
[18:49:48] And coming up right here in the NEWSROOM on this Sunday, gambling on Trump from the future of the travel ban to how long he'll be in office. The new President sparks a frenzy at betting houses in the U.K., so what are you order odds? We're breaking them down next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
BROWN: Welcome back live with the CNN NEWSROOM.
So how much money would you be willing to bet on President Donald Trump? In the U.K., the Trump presidency has business booming at betting houses, and people can wager on everything from sales of Ivanka's clothing line to whether or not the President gets impeached.
CNNMoney's Europe editor Nina dos Santos breaks down the odds.
TRUMP: I don't know. I was just kidding. We had a very, very big march.
It's all fake news. It's all fake news.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): Each time Donald Trump talks, he makes news. And across the Atlantic, he's also talk of the town.
TRUMP: I do get good ratings, you have to admit that.
DOS SANTOS: As U.K. lawmakers prepare to debate whether Donald Trump's state visit to the country should go ahead, bookmakers are seeing a veritable flurry in activity of any bets related to Donald Trump's name. One of the biggest in the country is Ladbrokes and Alex Donohue works there.
How significant is Trump as a bet these days?
ALEX DONOHUE, P.R. MANAGER AND HEAD, LADBROKES NEWS: Business is absolutely booming. It's remarkable to think, but in total now, including the election, we've actually taken more money on things with Donald Trump than we have on Brexit, which is absolutely remarkable really.
[18:55:02] And I just think it's because we're thousands of miles way over here, but you cannot escape Donald Trump, whether you look at social media or the newspapers. And it's that unpredictability which is driving everyone to come and have a bet because people are all questioning what he's going to do next.
DOS SANTOS: So what are people betting on?
DONOHUE: So I think we should start, seeing as we're outside the Palace of Westminster, the bet at the moment is the state visit to the council this year. That's five to two. That means you'd have to place $2, you'd win $5.
But the bet that we think is the most likely top of them all is for Donald Trump to be impeached or to resign within his first term. Some people think the replacement might come even quicker, three to one for him to be replaced in 2017.
One of the most popular bets that people place at the moment, very short odds for a reason, Donald Trump to visit Russia this year, five to four. You'd bet $4, you win $5.
DOS SANTOS: Might you still four to one to serve two full terms, which doesn't look that bad, does it?
DONOHUE: No, not at all. So that's the longest odds on my board, but four to one means about 25 percent chance, so, by no means, are the British bookmakers dismissing the prospect of Donald Trump serving two terms.
DOS SANTOS: Of course, U.S. voters has placed the biggest bet of all on Donald Trump by electing him as President. One month into his term here in Britain, bookmakers are seeing their Trump related takings soar.
Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.
BROWN: And coming up on this Sunday, President Trump's immigration crack down. The top new guidance that gives federal agents more power to arrest undocumented immigrants not on their target lists. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM