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Trump Signs Memo on Aluminum Imports Citing National Security; Trump: NAFTA to be Renegotiated with Canada, Mexico; FOX's Jess Watters on "Vacation" After Ivanka Trump Remark. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired April 27, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's just a disaster. And we're going to start that chart going up the other way very soon.
Today, I'm calling on Secretary Ross to prioritize the investigation he initiated yesterday into whether foreign aluminum imports are jeopardizing our national and to submit a report setting forth his findings. Based on those findings, Secretary Ross will make formal recommendations to the White House as to what to do about the problem and whether or not we do taxes or something else to get our aluminum business going again. It's critical to our manufacturing and defense industry base. Its vital components mean everything from military aircraft and armored vehicles to naval ships at sea. We can't afford to become dependent on foreign nations for the aluminum that our military relies on. As you look at our ships, I went to see some of the ships last week, and so much of that is aluminum based, and most of that aluminum comes from foreign countries, which is absolutely insane.
Today, we're sending another clear signal to the world that we'll fight for American workers, for American jobs, and we will fight always for the American dream. We're bringing it back. We're bringing it back fast. Jobs are coming in. We've produced almost 600,000 jobs in the short time that I'm in office. And that number is going very much higher over the next few months. You can see what is happening in Michigan. Ford and others are building new plants and expanding all plants, and they are no longer talking about running away from our country. They're talking about building their cars and other products by other companies right here in the USA. So we're going to have a lot of things happening.
And I think the media, when they report it honestly -- some of you do report it honestly. But A lot of great things are happening. People don't want to leave. They want to come back and they want to create jobs in the United States.
With that, maybe I'll just have a few folks introduce themselves and the name of their company.
We can start with Alcoa, if we'd like.
ROY HARVEY (ph), CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ALCOA: My name is Roy Harvey (ph). I'm the chief executive officer for Alcoa. We've been smelting aluminum in the United States for over 130 years. We appreciate the support of the administration to try and make a level playing field.
TRUMP: And it's been very unlevel, right, for a long time?
HARVEY (ph): It's been an incredibly difficult decade, particularly with the growth of China.
TRUMP: Go ahead. Yes.
MICHELLE O'NEIL: Michelle O'Neil, with (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Thank you, Michelle.
STATE REP. LARRY BUCSHON, (R), INDIANA: Larry Bucshon, Congressman from the Eighth district of Indiana. Good to see you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you, Larry.
BUCSHON: You're welcome.
TRUMP: Thank you for your support, too.
BUCSHON: Thanks very much.
TRUMP: You're doing a good job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- Pennsylvania. Good to see you.
TRUMP: Mike, that's real support.
Come here, Mike.
You're doing OK there.
TRUMP: It was right from the beginning, right, Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You better believe it.
TRUMP: Thank you, Mike.
HEIDI BROCK, PRESIDENT & CEO, ALUMINUM ASSOCAITION: I'm Heidi Brock with the Aluminum Association. We represent the value chain in the industry and 160,000 jobs in the United States.
BROCK: Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
LEE CARTER, CEO, JW ALUMINUM: Lee Carter, CEO, JW Aluminum. Been in business since 1980, and we've gotten hammered over the last 10 or 15 years so. So we appreciate your support.
TRUMP: We'll change that around.
CARTER: Thank you.
TRUMP: I promise you that.
MARGARET HAVACHINA (ph): Margaret Havachina (ph) -- (INAUDIBLE). We manufacture highly engineered products for the aerospace, defense and automotive industry.
TRUMP: Thank you.
BARNEY SCOTT, CHAIR, ALUMINUM ASSOCIATION: Barney Scott, from - (INAUDIBLE). I'm also chair of the Aluminum Association. We appreciate this action and we're with you and we support you. Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you. Appreciate it.
MICHAEL BLESS, PRESIDENT & CEO, CENTURY ALUMINUM: Michael Bless, president and CEO of Century Aluminum. We own the plant that makes the high-purity aluminum that's so critical to the national defense. We had to separate a couple of hundred union employees very recently. And with your leadership and commitment, we'll be able to bring them back again. Thank you.
TRUMP: You'll bring them back soon, believe me.
GABRIEL HUDOCK, PRESIDENT, ALUMISOURCE: I'm Gab Hudock, president of Alumisource. Last June 28th, the president came to our facility and we shot the first cannonball over to the blue wall, and it was an aluminum cannonball.
TRUMP: That's right. That was a great visit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was.
REP. JASON SMITH, (R), MISSOURI: Jason Smith, Congressman, southeast Missouri. And we were one of those smelters that closed last year losing 900 jobs.
TRUMP: You're doing a great job. Thank you.
REP. JACKIE WALORSKI, (R), INDIAN: Jackie Walorski, Indian, Indiana's second district. Mr. President, thank you so much. We have a lot of aluminum in our district for the defense industry. Thank you very much for what you're doing.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
WALORSKI: Appreciate it. Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much.
And Wilbur, everybody knows, right?
Thank you very much. Thank you very much, everybody. Appreciate it. Thank you.
Who is going to get the pen? That's the big question. Who's going to get the pen?
Maybe we'll give it to Wilbur so
Right? You think? Maybe we should do it --
WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: (INAUDIBLE)
[14:35:06] TRUMP: OK, Wilbur?
ROSS: Thank you, sir.
TRUMP: Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any regrets about Michael Flynn?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump there declining to answer a question on his fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after big developments over whether he broke the law. We have more on that. Also, did the president bluff with his threat to withdraw from NAFTA?
And did it work? Details ahead.
[14:40:15] BALDWIN: It's a trillion-dollar game of risk, and President Trump is holding the dice. A short time ago, while meeting with the Argentine president, Trump reiterated his decision to renegotiate NAFTA rather than withdraw from the trade deal altogether as he's threatened time and time again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They asked me to renegotiate. I will. And I think we'll be successful in the renegotiation, which frankly would be good because it would be simpler. But we have to make a deal that's fair for the United States. They understand that. And so I've decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate. Now, if I'm unable to make a fair deal, if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: This, after a pair of phone calls with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, conversations that the White House called, quote, "pleasant and productive."
With me now, CNN politics reporter and CNN editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza; and Gwenda Blair, the author of "The Trumps, Three Generations that Built an Empire."
Good to see both of you.
Chris, let me begin with you.
We're 48 hours into this big 100-day mark and his team has been working off these promises made on the campaign. Was this trillion dollar risk worth it?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Look, we don't know that yet but this goes to the power that Donald Trump invests in talking to people. We saw this with China. China's not a currency manipulator anymore because the president sat down with the Chinese president in Mar-a-Lago and got along with him. NAFTA was going to be canceled, but then phone calls with the Canadian and Mexican presidents, now we're going to renegotiate it. You know, it's either strategy or he just kind of does what comes to mind at the moment, that this is a fundamental question of the first 100 days. This is not different than health care or the wall funding. Remember, he wasn't going to demand the wall funding and then he was. It's how he does business. I don't know yet is we can say it's good politics or good for business.
BALDWIN: So how he does business and how -- you've worked with him before. You wrote the book on the man. Can you just -- how much is this Trump strategy saying, withdraw, withdraw, hang on, we just got off the phone and we're cool, we're just going to fix this a little bit.
GWENDA BLAIR, AUTHOR: Performer, hold on to the spotlight, always keep doing something unexpected, keep pivoting, and frame everything as successful. So China's no longer a currency manipulator because he spoke to the president. The fact that it wasn't right before the election doesn't matter. It's because he spoke to him and had he that fudge cake. Everything
BALDWIN: The fudge cake, right.
BLAIR: It's because he took steps. So he keeps reframing. The wall. Remember how we were going to have the wall? Suddenly, pivot, we're looking at Canada. He didn't say that the wall didn't work. Just now we're looking at Canada. The wall is fine if it's next year.
BALDWIN: This is consistent with businessman Trump and Oval Office Trump.
GWENDA BLAIR, AUTHOR: It's always a success, and to me goes back to the power of positive thinking, which was a big best seller in the mid-50s. His parents went to the church that was headed by the author of that book, Norman Vincent Peele. Donald was married as well as his two sisters in that church, the parents' funeral was in that church, and the positive power thinking, rule number one, create an image of yourself as successful, stamp it indelible on your mind, never let it go.
BALDWIN: Believe it, believe it, believe it.
BLAIR: And that's what we've seen again and again and again.
BALDWIN: Chris, you wanted to jump in?
CILLIZZA: I think that's so right on. And the image I have taken -- I watch a lot of cartoons with my kids, and there's always the guy driving the train who's like putting down the track as the train drives.
CILLIZZA: That's kind of what I think Donald Trump does. You put it down a track that's going to the right, and then he moves to the left. He's kind of just going. I always return to that metaphor he talks about at the beginning -- not metaphor - story that he talks about at the beginning of "The Art of the Deal." He walks into his office every morning, he sits down, he doesn't have a plan. He lets it come to him and makes decisions on the fly. To me, that's what you're seeing as it relates to policy. We have a tendency to look at the 100 days. We have a tendency to say, what does this mean? What's the arc of the presidency? It's unpredictability, and then declaring victory no matter what.
BALDWIN: Isn't it sometimes in the cartoons, like the guy runs out of track and --
BALDWIN: -- and tracks it over a cliff and it's like --
[14:45:12] CILLIZZA: And that's a question. Usually -- I think what's hard is Donald Trump's level of activity is off the charts. His level of accomplishment is lower, but his level of activity makes it feel like this is the 1,000th day, not 100. It's hard to judge him. It's only been 100 days.
BALDWIN: I've got you. I've got you.
Chris, thank you.
Gwenda, thank you. Nice to meet you.
CILLIZZA: Thank you.
BLAIR: Thank you.
Coming up next, in the wake of Bill O'Reilly's ouster, FOX News has been under fire for sexual harassment complaints. And now another FOX News personality in trouble for some comments he made about Ivanka Trump and how she was holding a microphone.
[14:49:50] BALDWIN: As if you needed proof of the culture over at FOX, just days after Bill O'Reilly's firing, another primetime host making a crude remark about a woman. And not just any woman, but the daughter of the president of the United States. The president, who this primetime host just interviewed, nonetheless.
I saw this and I thought, you have got to be kidding me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: It's funny, you know, the left says they really respect women, and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that, they boo and hiss.
I don't really like what's going on here but I like the way she was speaking into that microphone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So that was Jesse Watters. He just so happened to have gone on vacation after that remark. He offered up this explanation, and I quote, "On air, I was referring to Ivanka's voice and how it resonates like a smooth jazz radio deejay. This was in no way a joke about anything else."
OK. A week after the network's biggest host was fired over sexual harassment allegations, and nearly a year after the CEO resigned over sexual harassment allegations. And, by the way, this is not the first time that Jesse Watters has been in trouble. A segment he did last year on how New York's Chinatown was racist.
With me now, CNN political commentators, Ana Navarro and Margaret Hoover.
Margaret has done some work over at FOX.
Jesse Watters --
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Jesse Watters is not just talent at FOX News. He worked on Bill O'Reilly's show when I was on O'Reilly's show four or five years ago. He spent about a decade of his career at FOX News. So he really represents the culture of what's acceptable at FOX News. And Jesse, I want to be clear, he's a great guy. I like him. He's a professional. At least he was when I worked with him.
BALDWIN: Can we just react to what he did? I mean, come on.
HOOVER: This statement reflects the kind of bravado, and if you really want to go there --
BALDWIN: Let's go there.
HOOVER: -- remember the locker-room talk that we discussed on the campaign trail in reference to the incredibly vulgar comments of the now president of the United States? There's a cohort of men that hang out in political circles that talk like this, and they think it's OK. And I can see a group of guys having this conversation and --
BALDWIN: But he was going on air.
BALDWIN: On national television.
HOOVER: -- is reflective of the kind of what you feel in the soup when you're over there.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let's see. I'm obviously not blond enough or skinny enough to work over at FOX News, so I can only talk about it from a subjective and objective way. I hate talking about people, but this is much more than talking about sexual harassment and sexual innuendo and a story about constant inappropriateness coming out of FOX News in particular. And it blows the mind that at a moment that there's so much scrutiny, that in that particular network, someone would think it's OK to make a joke. It sounded to me like I was talking to her voice like she was a jazz deejay, it sounded like Trump said she had blood coming out of somewhere, and then it ended up being her ears. We all know that's not the case. And in the same way, many people on the right called Congressman Cedric (ph), for example, when he made that crude comment about Kellyanne Conway on the sofa of the Oval Office.
So I think we have to take a vow of consistency, no matter what side of the political spectrum we're on --
NAVARRO: -- or what network we're on. When we see something like this, we're going to call it out.
BALDWIN: I wonder about women over at FOX. This is something that trickles over to live television. It makes me think what happens in offices, what happens when the cameras aren't rolling. How are they being treated?
HOOVER: I was there for four years. I am very happy to be at CNN now. Look, I had a very mixed set of experiences. I've been candid about it. I talk about it on air here. I had an extraordinary experience being on air with Bill O'Reilly, seeing how he's so effective, but also having uncomfortable moments over there. What has to happen there, and in many places where you see this in the workplace, the culture has to change.
HOOVER: The culture isn't going to change until a lot of the folks who were there, that worked for Roger, who were his lieutenants, still in place, frankly, leave. There's new reporting out saying some of the leadership there would ask the Murdoch boys for support and didn't get it recently, because he's been attacked a lot in the press. Look, I am not -- that is not my media empire. It's up to them to decide. As somebody who is there, it's endemic on the culture to change and the leadership has to do that.
NAVARRO: -- the culture is going to change when people start paying the consequences for inappropriate behavior.
[14:55:11] NAVARRO: And we have seen that happen in the last several months, whether it's Roger Ailes, whether it's Bill O'Reilly, whether it's this vacation with Jesse Watters. The culture also changes when more women realize that staying quiet is not an option. People need to speak up, because now there are the perpetrators and people who behave inappropriate. Let me just say, I'm not accusing him of sexual harassment but he was inappropriate. And the more that women speak out, the more that people in America speak out against it, I think the more folks realize, you pay a price for that kind of behavior, and if you want to stay and have an upward-going career, you don't do it.
BALDWIN: I love you, ladies.
BALDWIN: Thank you very much. Appreciate both of you.
Coming up next, more of our breaking news out the White House. They're blaming the Obama administration for approving the security clearance for the fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn. More on that, what his attorney is now saying, coming up.
UNIDENTIFIED WELLNESS COACH: What led me to health coaching was my son having multiple surgeries, economy crashed, my mom had health issues.
Do you want our usual table?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The anxiety seems to hit me when I'm trying to sleep in the middle of the night. I'd just wake up.
UNIDENTIFIED WELLNESS COACH: What are some things that you could do on a daily basis that would be part of that self-care?
Wellness coaching is really about the whole person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get on the bicycle.
UNIDENTIFIED WELLNESS COACH: Helping them see a vision for themselves.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: I was so stressed out and so busy, it just led me to become unhealthy.
Here's how I'd like to eat but I'm not.
All right, have a good day.
UNIDENTIFIED WELLNESS COACH: What are those things that are going to happen or open up from losing the weight other than that number on the scale?
Shifting that perspective, how can I do the things that bring me joy and recharge me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to figure out foods that are satisfying and make me feel good.
We drew a circle and she said, OK, what's in the circle of your life. And she said, what I notice is I don't see you in there. And I thought, wow, she's right, there's not a Debbie wedge --