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White House Press Briefing Concludes; White House: Sometimes The President Uses Tough Language; WH Doctor Says Trump's Overall Health Excellent; Sen. Booker Says DHS Chief Complicit In Trump's Comments. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 16:30   ET


NAVY REAR ADM. DR. RONNY JACKSON, THE PRESIDENT'S PHYSICIAN: But that is really not my call. I approach the president like I would any other patient. And he has gone above and beyond what I would consider a requirement to demonstrate his cognitive abilities.



JACKSON: Next question.

QUESTION: Thank you, Dr. Jackson. President playing golf a lot, almost every weekend. Is it helpful for his health?

JACKSON: Is it healthy for him?


JACKSON: I think so, be outside and it's a good way to relieve a little stress. So I think, you know, if that is what he enjoys doing, I think it's healthy for him to do it.

QUESTION: Dr. Jackson, thank you. You said he doesn't drink and he doesn't smoke, and other than the diet issue, did you address drug addiction?

JACKSON: Drug addiction?

QUESTION: Any other drugs?

JACKSON: Yes -- no, no. He has no drug addiction, absolutely not.

QUESTION: Thank you for your time, Dr. Jackson.



JACKSON: OK. Sarah is telling me to wrap it up. So I'm going to...

QUESTION: With the questions that you've asked...

JACKSON: I'm going to take one more question, but from somebody else because...


JACKSON: One more question. Back there.

QUESTION: So could you give us a sense of how involved the first family is, the first lady, his daughter, others in encouraging him to be -- step up on the exercise?

JACKSON: Sure, yes, they're involved in it. You know, his daughter, Ivanka, and Mrs. Trump are both proponents of eating healthier and exercising. So they will be partners of mine in working this out. So they are involved in it, absolutely.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, I'm just trying to spread the wealth. Yes.

QUESTION: I just -- my question was, with all the questions that have been asked, going back to that issue, everyone has asked about mental acuity, those questions have been in the public, and he told Sarah to tell you to stay up here until those questions are answered. Going forward, would you recommend that presidents undergo that type of testing?

JACKSON: No, I don't think so, because like I said, I think that I am comfortable with the algorithms that are out there. Most of the algorithms out there start with personal observation and -- you know, and observation, you know, the physician, you know, and the patient and, you know, the family and the patient. And then they go to screening questions after that.

And then after screening questions, they go to a screening assessment tool, like the one we used. And if that's, you know, abnormal then they go on to other types of more detailed cognitive testing.

So I think there's a healthy algorithm in place. And I think that, you know, in the future that should be a decision between, you know, the president and their physician. And I would have no problem in the future if, you know, someone comes in and takes my place and there's another president here with him following that particular algorithm.

I'm comfortable with that algorithm. I think we followed that algorithm. I think had I followed that algorithm to a T, we would not even have done this test. We did this test specifically because the president added it to his physical exam. So that's it, guys. That's all the questions I've taken. Thank you for your time, I appreciate it.


SANDERS: Well, that was informative. I think we covered just about everything that we could possibly think of when it comes to the president's health. Because it is late in the afternoon, and we've been in the room for an hour, and I know you all have probably stories to write and things to file, we're going to keep this last little bit pretty short. I'll take a few questions. But we're going to keep today pretty short. But we'll go ahead and dive right in. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Sarah, the president, is he still scheduled to release the "fake news" award tomorrow? And when and how is that going to (inaudible)?

SANDERS: We'll keep you posted on any details around that potential event and what that would look like.

John (ph).

QUESTION: Yes, thank you, Sarah. It was widely reported yesterday that in contrast to his past three predecessors, the president did not take any part in any memorials to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or appeared at any public functions on that. Any reason why?

SANDERS: The president participated in an event on Friday to honor the life of service of Martin Luther King Jr. And we would like to continue to do projects and events throughout the year and not just have one day. But certainly wanted to recognize that here at the White House through the event on Friday, and we'll continue to be involved in efforts and opportunities moving forward over the course of the year and over the course of the president's term.

Hallie (ph).

QUESTION: Sarah, Senator Graham said today on the immigration discussions that he thought that the president was on-track to come to a deal with him and Senator Durbin up to two hours before last week's immigration Oval Office meeting on Thursday. He said something happened between 10 and 12. He says the president got bad advice from his staff members, potentially including Stephen Miller, potentially including John Kelly.

What happened in those two hours? What changed? Is Stephen Miller running the show now? What's going on?

SANDERS: Hardly. So to be very clear, the president is running the show here at the White House. And, look, I was part of this process, and part of the conversations that went on, the president simply, as he looked at the deal, he wants a good deal. And he wants the right deal. He laid out what his priorities were, what needed to be included in any piece of legislation. And it simply failed to address the things that were laid out.

Specifically one of the areas that really, really fell short was the funding for border security. They only put in about one-tenth of what the Department of Homeland Security said they needed, not what they said they wanted, but what they said they needed. And this was simply a complete failure in terms of a good deal, based on what the president had laid out, and based on what he wanted to see in a piece of legislation.

Hopefully we get there. We're still going to continue working with members, both Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate members, to try to make a deal on DACA and make sure that we include those components that the president, very clearly, has laid out. Cecilia (ph).


QUESTION: (Inaudible) I'm going to hop around today since we're on short time (inaudible), just picking up on what you had just left off on. So does a good deal include then preferring white immigrants from Norway than black and brown immigrants from Haiti (inaudible)?


SANDERS: Not at all. In fact it's actually the opposite, because by definition a merit based system is color blind. It's not basing it on any of that criteria. It's not based on race. It's not based on religion. It's not based on country of origin. It's actually based on the merits of whether or not this person's going to be contributing to society. So actually it erases all of those things, and makes it a much more fair system instead of picking and choosing from -- trying to meet different quotas of different things. It's a merit=based system.

And, frankly, it's a system that most democrats supported and voted for just years ago, but now that this president is championing it, they are -- I think showing just absolute signs and definitions of what hypocrisy looks like.

Look, the bottom line is we want a deal on DACA, they -- they want a deal on DACA. We want a deal on border security. They want a deal on border security. They've said that they support these things. They've also said in the past that they support merit-based immigration.

I don't see what is complicated here. We all want the same things. Democrats need to quit playing politics and start doing what they were elected to do, and that is governing, and they need to come to the table with a real deal based on the parameters that were discussed in the meeting that most of you saw, and let's try to get something done for the American people.

QUESTION: But the president did mention -- but he did mention country of origin. And the fact of the matter is, the countries that he mentioned, one is very white, and the others are very not white. So that is about race, is it not?

SANDERS: No, it's not, and again, the president has laid out what he wants to see in an immigration process, and that is a merit-based system. You cannot argue with the priority that he has laid out and what that looks like and how it actually levels the playing field and is the opposite of what you're suggesting.

Blake (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, thanks.

Can I (ph) pick up from what Halley (ph) had asked. Something clearly had changed between Tuesday when the president said bring me any deal that you agreed to and (inaudible)... SANDERS: To be clear, he said -- he didn't say bring me any deal that two people agree to, he said the people at this table, I'm confident that you will come together and address the situation and the concerns that we have laid out, and that you will answer the call that has been made, and that simply didn't happen in this deal.

QUESTION: So is it (ph) simply if you say that they came to you with one-tenth of the border wall funding, that they give (ph) more -- if more money comes to the wall, you've got a DACA deal?

SANDERS: We also want to see an end to chain migration, want to see an end to the Visa lottery system, and we want to see merit-based immigration. So those are the components that we've laid out.

The president's view point on this has been consistent. It hasn't changed, but what was reflected in that deal isn't what the president laid out.

Jordan (ph).

QUESTION: Thanks Sarah, is the president concerned about what Steve Bannon might tell the Mueller grand jury?

SANDERS: No that I'm aware of, no.

Trey (ph).

QUESTION: Two questions for you, did the White House tell Steve Bannon not to answer certain questions before the House Intelligence Committee today?

SANDERS: There's a statement I'll read: "As with all congressional inquiries, touching upon the White House, Congress must consult with the White House prior to obtaining confidential material. This is part of a judicially recognized process that goes back decades. We've been cooperating fully with these ongoing investigations, and encourage the committees to work with us to find an appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains information necessary to its legitimate interests."


QUESTION: (Inaudible) the president said that he wants immigrants to come in from everywhere, and does everywhere include those six countries that were on the travel ban list?

SANDERS: Look, like the president said, he wants immigrants to come in from everywhere, but he wants to do that through a merit-based system.

Shannon (ph)?

QUESTION: Does that merit-based system mean ending the TPS program, so the U.S. would no longer provide a safe haven to countries having a natural disaster, a civil unrest?

SANDERS: I -- I think that's a different part of the conversation. And I think one of the things to remind people of, the TPS program, again, look at the name of the program. It's temporary, it's not meant to be permanent. We are looking to find permanent solutions. We're not just trying to put a Band-Aid on the situation.

We want to actually fix the problem. And that's why simply doing one piece of this immigration reform isn't enough. It has to be responsible immigration reform, and that's what this administration's gonna continue to...


SANDERS: ... push for.



QUESTION: A follow-up.

QUESTION: Can you explain? Because I think this is still an open question. How did Senators Cotton and Perdue get here to the White House on Thursday? Who invited them?

SANDERS: The president.


SANDERS: Doesn't seem like an open question to me.

QUESTION: Well, so why did he invite them? I mean, Senators Durbin and Graham wanted to come and present their proposal. Why did the president feel he needed other people in the room?

SANDERS: As the president did, I guess, what, a few days prior, when he had a large group of people here, the president wanted to have multiple people that had been part of this conversation, that had been part of the foundation that they had worked on, the days prior to that, in the room as part of the discussion.

It was a decision he made, and I -- I don't -- I guess I'm lost on why the president having two Republican senators, who have been in the midst of this entire discussion, continue to be part of the discussion.

If anything, I think he should be celebrated for including more voices instead of limiting it to two. He broadened the field, and brought additional people into the room. Not just those two members, but several others as well.


SANDERS: Kristen (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, thanks.

The president again, today, called for (inaudible). So why not encourage Steve Bannon to be completely transparent today, on Capitol Hill, to help...


SANDERS: No one encouraged him to be anything but transparent. But there is a process of what that looks like and what that process should -- should go through...


QUESTION: Withholding (ph) and (inaudible) not answering some questions, right?

SANDERS: Look, I can't speak to that. That's something that I would refer to attorneys on that matter, and, specifically, Steve Bannon's attorneys. Look, we've been completely cooperative throughout this entire process.

We're gonna continue to be cooperative, but we're also gonna maintain some of the executive privileges here, at the White House, that have been practiced for decades, andthat need to be maintained.



QUESTION: And is there any reaction to Steve Bannon being subpoenaed by the (inaudible) Mueller...


QUESTION: In -- in that meeting, the president reportedly used a vulgarity. The White House has said he did not use that specific word. The president has said that as well. But a number of people in the administration said he used tough language, rough language, strong language. Can you clear up, once and for all, what the president did say?

SANDERS: Look, I wasn't in that room. So I can go only off of what the individuals who were. They said that term wasn't used, but that tough language was. Look, no one here is gonna pretend like the president is always politically correct. He isn't.

I think that's one of the reasons the American people love him. One of the reasons that he won, and is sitting in the Oval Office today, is because he isn't a scripted robot. He's somebody who tells things like they are, sometimes. And sometimes he does use tough language.

The point that he's trying to make, the point that the entire conversation, frankly, should be focused on, is the issue at hand. We've wasted five days fighting over one word, when we should be fighting over the -- the people that are involved in the DACA program.

If Democrats really want to protect these individuals, that's who they should be fighting for and that's what they should be fighting about, is figuring out a permanent solution to DACA, not a quick fix. Figuring out how to secure our border and increase border security. Figuring out how to end chain migration. Figuring out how to end the visa lottery system.

They're wasting time, yet complaining about the fact that this president isn't doing enough, when he's the only one that's really engaging in this process. And, hopefully, they'll get on board, get out of the way and start actually doing their job.



SANDERS: Nader (ph)?

QUESTION: I have two quick questions. One, since a deal does not look like it's in sight. Now we're three days until the federal government doesn't have any more money. Is the president....

SANDERS: Sorry, a deal (ph) on (ph) what (ph), I just want to be clear.

QUESTION: A deal on...

SANDERS: We're talking about the budget or DACA?


QUESTION: ... immigration (ph).


QUESTION: So right now, there's no deal. Does the president support a short-term C.R. to get us through the next few weeks?



QUESTION: ... the government?

SANDERS: We certainly don't want the government to shut down, but we'd still like to see a budget deal that is a two-year budget deal, that is a clean budget deal. We haven't given up on that.

And we hope that Democrats will not hold our government hostage, and will not stop military spending, and will not stop allowing our country and our nation to be protected because they failed to stop using political ploys and they started actually governing. And that's what we're hoping for.



SANDERS: Jonathan (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, I said I had a second question...

SANDERS: Sorry. I -- we're tight on time, so I'm gonna hop.

Jonathan (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, can you clarify exactly what has been denied here? Because the day that -- of that meeting, Thursday night, the White House put out a statement that did not deny the president had said what was widely reported.

You now have said, we've been spending five days talking about one word. Is that the only thing that's being disputed here, in this denial? Is what -- which profanity the president had used? Do you deny the general characterization? Do you deny that he said that...


SANDERS: I certainly deny the general characterization. Again, I go back to the fact that sometimes the president does use tough language. I wasn't in the room, so I can only rely off of the individuals that were. And those that have come out and publicly spoken about, said they didn't recall those specific phrases being used.

Look, the bottom line is, the president wants to see a deal done. He wants to protect DACA. He wants to make sure we have increased border security. He wants to see an end to chain migration, and end to the visa lottery system. Those are the priorities, that's our focus and that's what we're talking about, whether you guys are talking about that or not.


SANDERS: I'm gonna take one more question.

Jill (ph)?

QUESTION: I wanted to follow up on Shannon (ph)'s question there, first, and then I have another one. Did the president -- did he agree to some type of deal that treated the diversity lottery for making permanent the TPS protections?

SANDERS: I'm not aware of that specific agreement. I'd have to check.

QUESTION: Would he be open, though, to that kind of trade-off?

SANDERS: I -- I'd have to check. I know we've laid out what our priorities look like, and I think it would depend on the entire piece of legislation. I can't speak to just one piece of something that may or may not exist.

QUESTION: And then Secretary Nielsen, today, was testifying on the Hill. And at one point, she said that she was -- she was in that meeting. She said she was surprised by the fact that the folks in that meeting were using such profane language. Is that something that -- that bothers the president at all, and how often does he use that kind of language that we're all talking about?

SANDERS: I -- you'd have to be more specific, in terms of, I guess... QUESTION: Profanity. How often does he use...

SANDERS: I mean, has he ever used a word? Probably so, yes. But I -- I don't think, again, that that is the basis of what the focus of the meeting was. And, certainly, not what the focus of the White House has been.

I'm gonna take one last one because Ayesha's (ph) been patient.

QUESTION: Thank you. So...

SANDERS: Welcome back.

QUESTION: Thank you. I just want to kind of pinpoint. I know this has been talked about, but when you say that the president, he's not politically correct. So, would the White House, then, consider if there was some type of derogatory language used to describe Haiti or Africa, or -- or the countries of Africa, to say that these are not good countries to come from, that that's the issue of being politically correct?


SANDERS: I certainly can speak to my experience. I've never heard him say anything like that, or similar to that specifically. I'm talking more generally, that sometimes the president can be politically incorrect. I think, sometimes, you guys have heard him.

I wasn't speaking to that moment exactly, I was talking more generally. But I've never heard him make a reference like that, and so, certainly, can't speak to anything beyond that at this point.

Thanks so much, guys. Have a good day.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. That was Press Secretary Sarah Sanders briefing reporters from the podium for the first time since the reports of the President's vulgar language in reference to African nations and immigrants from Haiti. And while hopes for a bipartisan immigration deal seem to be dwindling, Sanders said that the President simply wants a merit-based system. She said he wants one that is color blind. She dodged questions about the specific language that the President used during the immigration meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday. She said the President is not always politically correct and that's one of the reasons he was elected.

We also heard from White House Physician Dr. Ronny Jackson -- Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson who performed the President's Physical on Friday. He called the President's health overall excellent. He also revealed that he performed a cognitive assessment during this exam at the President's request. Dr. Jackson said the President scored 30 out of 30. He gave the President generally a good clean bill of health although he acknowledged that the President needs exercise and improve his diet because his cholesterol and his weight are too high. My panel is here with me. Let's start with the immigration issue. Margaret, I'll start with you. Sarah Sanders not denying that President Trump used that term but said we that have now spent five days talking about that word instead of discussing the merits of an immigration bill.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The White House never denied that he used the word. There was --

TAPPER: They're still not denying it.

HOOVER: They're still not denying it. So again, it wasn't just the word. It was the sentiment and frankly the racial and racist undertones or explicit overtones of what that comment meant and what it -- what it actually undermined and revealed about what the President believed in terms of the American creed which is not a partisan issue. I mean, if you're a Republican or Democrat, you subscribe equally to the American creed. The idea that any American or any individual can come here to this country. And when they come, they can apply their talents, God-given talents equally to the rule of law and equal opportunity in which we have here and we protect here and we hold dearly here. And he seems to undermine that entire concept and suggest that he doesn't believe in it. That's what this was all became about regardless of whether it was this word or that word, and frankly, a racial sentiment on top of that.

TAPPER: And then, of course, Joan Walsh, one of the issues is the President's proposal is one of merit-based, increasing merit-based immigration and decreasing people for chain migration as opponents call it, or a family reunification as supporters call it. And as supporters such as Sarah Sanders or Rick Santorum on my Sunday show talk about the proposal, and -- but they can't defend the language.

JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They talk about the proposal as color blind, Jake, but then they ignore the fact or try to push it under the rug that the president used explicitly racial example, that he talked about black countries and El Salvador, and that he praised Norway. So no matter what they want to say, his understanding of it made explicit a kind of racial division. And you know, I also think we need more information and you got to it to some extent with Senator Durbin. What the compromises were it also seems like he was amenable to compromise that Senator Durbin himself was going to compromise.

There would be less chain migration, there would be a couple of other things that they -- that they would do less of. They want -- they were going to put money in for a wall and other border security measures. So something happened. And you know, I found Senator Durbin convincing in that it was a compromise. I gave -- I gave up stuff. I've got people -- I mean, there are people saying we want a clean DACA bill. We don't want any funding for the wall. Democrats might have problems with their left but at least Durbin went in there willing to compromise. And now the President has taken a lot of that off the table.

TAPPER: And Caitlin, let me play a little sound from the interview and get your response. This is Durbin set number one. Durbin talking about how he went into the White House and he felt sandbag. Let's play that sound.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: We called him two days later, Senator Graham and I and say we've done it. We met your criteria, we have a bipartisan bill, we're ready to go. And then to be called into the President's office to explain it to him and find that we've been sandbagged. General Kelly and Steve Miller as I understand it invited five other members of Congress who were not in favor of immigration reform or in a very harsh sense and they were there to refute any assertions we made that this was a good policy. So you ask me where we are today. I'll tell you where we are. We are finding that more Republicans are willing to step up now, distancing themselves from those outrageous comments by the President and really I hope join us in a bipartisan effort to solve this problem.


TAPPER: Caitlin?

CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, this is why Senator Graham's focus on the timeline is so important here. He talked about that during hearing and then afterwards went as far to say that the President's staff essentially derailed this effort. And our understanding of kind of how this all played out is that, as Durbin described, you know, Senator Graham has been working this for years now. He was central to that 2013 immigration bill that passed the Senate. It did not even make it to the House. Senator Graham knows that Republicans by and large really don't have much of an appetite for immigration reforms.

And so having the buy-in from the President was going to be critical here. That's why he said that the President can take this -- can close there deal. And a lot of people took the President at his word when he said just a week ago, which is hard to believe in that bipartisan meeting that he would take the heat for anything on this, that he would sign anything here. So there are a lot of questions now about what the President could possibly want and do going forward.

TAPPER: So, Margaret, what's interesting is Senator Durbin told me today that he thinks the gang of six, that's his new group of three Democrats, three Republicans coming up with this plan, that they went into the White House and to propose to President Trump and as they felt sandbagged by conservatives saying that. He thinks that there are enough votes to pass it in the Senate, mostly Democrats, some Republicans. But imperially, is there anything wrong with Conservatives like Tom Cotton and David Perdue coming in and saying, Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate, why are we going to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic support with most Republicans voting against it? Because that's been the pattern with immigration reform in the past. You get like 50 Democrats and ten Republicans. That's bipartisan but if Republicans control everything --

HOOVER: Hey, look, of course, there's nothing wrong it. It's perfectly constitutional. And frankly, would be the very great fear of David Perdue and Tom Cotton if that happened because they have a very strong stance. Frankly, they have supported the President very strong immigration stance, and they're trying to hold the President consistent to his word and his voters. They actually -- they think they're doing the President a favor keeping him sort of inline when actually the President is just potentially not ideologically driven at all, simply an opportunist wanting to get something done. But they have become restrictionist because they are of Donald Trump. I didn't know Tom Cotton before he was a Senator to be a severe immigration restrictionist but some of these voices have actually become more austere in their positioning because of the Trump Presidency and because of the way Donald Trump ran. And I think they were trying to hold him to his line.

TAPPER: And Joan, another argument -- I'm being the devil's advocate tonight. I hope that's OK. Another argument you hear from President Trump is, Senator Durbin, he's the one who sandbagged everything because he's the one that left this Oval Office meeting and told the press what happened in the privacy of the Oval Office. I asked Senator Durbin about that. Set number two from the Durbin interview, if you would play that.


DURBIN: Listen, I didn't take an oath of secrecy when I walked into the White House at all. No one did. And there came a moment when the President denied the next morning that he said these things that I felt duty bound to speak. What the President said was outrageous. I don't believe it represents the views of America. I don't believe it represents abuse of either political party.


TAPPER: Can a deal -- can a deal still be done?

WALSH: Conceivably. But it's not the President -- it's not that the President was ready to call everybody back the next day and get back to the deal that the gang of six had cut. He used those words. They were outrageous. And I think -- I think those Senators who went in there thinking it might be just the two of them did feel sandbagged, did feel betrayed. And when the language leaked, they chose to confirm it. I don't really see anything wrong that especially since the language you know, as I said before, really was racial and confirmed a schism in the Senate and the House over how explicitly racial, how explicitly white a country that we should be.

TAPPER: I've heard Republicans who's support a merit-based system voice concern and even frustration with President Trump for casting the merit-based system, for casting wanting a more conservative immigration policy, in these starkly racial if not racist terms.

HOOVER: Well, the interesting thing is that the White House has been trying to have it a kind of a couple of different ways here, right? First not denying the language then going after Durbin for leaking that language. Then today Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying a couple of times that yes, the President did use tough language in her words because that's kind of what he believes and that's what he campaigned on and that's the kind of the stake that he claimed. And so their positioning on this is really puzzling to me because you could come out and say look, this is what campaigned on, this is what he wants to do. Durbin is making the point that they got a different idea last week of where the President wanted to go on this.

TAPPER: And the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Nielsen, she testified before the -- I think it was the Senate Judiciary Committee today. And Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a Democrat who was -- possibly going to run for President in 2020. He's new on the Committee, he had a very tough confrontation with her because she would not confirm the words used. She said she did not remember him using that word. I want to play that sound of Senator Booker with Secretary Nielsen.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: When ignorance and bigotry is alive with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity. When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears over rage when I heard about this experience in that meeting. And for you not feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues saying I've already answer that had line of questions when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now because of what they're worried about happened in the White House. That's unacceptable to me.


TAPPER: Strong words from Senator Cory Booker, Margaret, although I know some conservatives were criticizing him for being overly dramatic.

HOOVER: Well, Cory Booker is an impassioned speaker, he's a convincing speaker. He's also you know, the most prominent African- American in the Senate on the Democratic side. He's going to be running President, you just said most likely. So this is a most need for T.V. for him. But he makes a good point in the sense that anybody who hears something that is explicitly racist in the presence of anybody else, whether you're black or you're white, should speak up. You should say something. And what I would have liked to see from Tom Cotton or from David Perdue or anyone on those Senators that I didn't hear him say that, to say but if somebody did say that, that would be totally inappropriate and here's why. And so rather than try to sort of split the difference or equivocate, just make it very clear that this is unacceptable behavior instead of making it about the word or this word or you know.

WALSH: I think the secretary's performance today was creditable. But there was that remarkable moment when she refused to acknowledge that Norway is a white country where she --

TAPPER: She said she didn't -- wasn't sure that --

WALSH: She wasn't sure which I just -- she seems like a very smart woman. I can't believe that. TAPPER: Thanks one and all for being here. I really appreciate it. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @JAKETAPPER or you can tweet the show @THELEADCNN. That's it for THE LEAD. I trun you over to Wolf Blitzer, he's in "THE SITUATION ROOM". Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news, tale of two Trumps.