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U.S. Leadership Approval Plummets Worldwide; Trump & Obama Haven't Spoken in Nearly a Year; Apple Plans 20,000 New Jobs as Trump Touts Tax Cuts, Economy; Trump Touts Economy, Tax Cuts in Pennsylvania. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 18, 2018 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. All right.

SOLOMON JONES, COLUMNIST, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: Democrats are not in charge.

BALDWIN: Gentlemen, I appreciate you. Thank you.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: The Trump presidency, hitting a new low today as approval numbers for U.S. leadership plummets in countries around the world. Some are America's closest allies. We'll take you to Europe and South America, next.

And the world's most valuable company announcing 20,000 new jobs and bonuses for current employees. Another big win for the president's tax law. We need to talk about it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:34:50] BALDWIN: One year into Donald Trump's presidency and the world's approval of the U.S. leader has plummeted. Now standing at a new low. This is according to a new Gallop poll out today. This marks the single biggest drop in approval of U.S. leadership or of any country examined to date. Check out the map for yourself. Darker shades of red represent the sharpest decline. Places like Portugal, Belgium, Norway, Canada, where approval dropped 40 points or more in each of those countries. And the countries that experienced the smallest drop, growth in approval, represented there in green. You know your geography.

We have reporters in Europe and South America.

Let's start with Melissa Bell, in Paris -- Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, one of the most interesting parts of this poll is how the European continent has come to view American leadership. It's view of its decline is it's fallen 10 percent in many countries, up to 40 in others, including Portugal, Belgium and Norway. The reason is Europe had really considered itself as a natural longstanding ally with the United States, one who shared its vision of a world run along the idea of universal values rather than national sovereign interests. Donald Trump's arrival in the White House has, of course, changed all that. And from here in the European continent, the changes have been viewed with a great deal of alarm. Not least on specific issues like climate change. The withdrawal by the United States from the Paris Climate Accord was, of course, viewed with a great deal of alarm on the European continent.

As we approach that one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, it is, once again, a great deal of space being devoted in the international press to the idea, to the question of precisely what has changed and what lies ahead.

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, Venezuela is actually the only country in Latin America where approval rating of the U.S. leadership fell less than 10 points between 2016 and 2017. This could just mean that the U.S. were already deeply unpopular here in Caracas due to the sanctions from the Obama era. As a whole, across the region, from Mexico to Argentina, we have seen a deep low for President Trump's administration and his policies. What we see now is the removal, for example, of temporary protection status for Haitians and Salvadorians, could anger even more Latin-Americans in 2018 -- Brooke?

Stefano, in Caracas, thank you.

To put all of this in context, let's bring in Clarissa Ward, our CNN senior international correspondent.

When you look at number, this it is not a good look for America. These are big losses among key U.S. allies. What does that mean as we go forward?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the U.S. finds itself below China and only just above Russia. Below the ratings of George W. Bush, who was one of the most unpopular presidents internationally.

But I think what it tells us, broadly speaking, Brooke, is that America first comes at a price. And when you pull out of the Transpacific Partnership, when you pull out of the Paris climate agreement, when you call into question the future of NAFTA, you call into question the future of NATO, that scares a lot of countries. And there are many different people and global leaders across the world who are thinking to themselves, hold on a second, can we count on the U.S.? It doesn't necessarily mean that they have some personal issue with President Donald Trump or even a personal issue with some of his policies. But I think what you're seeing is a shift away from an understanding that the U.S. is the de facto leader of the free world, that it's a kind of beacon of stability in turbulent times and you're seeing all these countries now looking elsewhere for their trade agreements, for their security agreements.

Ultimately, Brooke, that can hurt the U.S. While we might say, oh, we don't need anybody, we're a great country, we can be autonomous, the reality is that we do rely on these partnerships, particularly when it comes to issues of trade and security. [14:39:00] BALDWIN: We do need them. It's incredible traveling

abroad and the questions you get as an American. We have to improve these numbers, Clarissa.

Thank you so much, Clarissa Ward, in London.

Next, the long good-bye. Was this send-off one of the very last moments of direct communications between President Trump and former President Obama? What is behind a full year of silence between these two men? Why it's so unusual when you look at presidents past? And what it signals about Presidents Obama and Trump. We'll discuss, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Zero, nothing, nada. President Trump and former President Obama have not spoken since Trump's inauguration a year ago this saturday. Their last words coming as they stood outside the U.S. capitol moments after President Trump took office.

Historically speaking, that is unusual. That's the first time in decades that two successive haven't communicated in the 12 months after handing off power. And while President Trump has not talked to Obama, he has certainly talked a lot about Obama, a lot about Obama, including those tweets back in March, accusing him of wiretapping Trump tower.

Let's talk this over with Douglas Brinkley, CNN presidential historian.

Maybe that whole wiretapping explains the incommunicado between the two presidents.

But what do you think? We know President Obama tucked a note in the Oval Office, as outgoing presidents do, but then nothing.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, you know, and President Obama warned him about North Korea --

(CROSSTALK)

BRINKLEY: -- that as bad as you think North Korea is, it's going to be worse.

BALDWIN: Climate change.

BRINKLEY: Climate change.

BALDWIN: Iran.

BRINKLEY: And, of course, our current president doesn't have any interest in the climate issue, even though today, again, is proving that 2017 was the warmest year on record.

But what's really going on there is sometimes presidents want to score points on bullying who came before them. It doesn't always happen. Ronald Reagan never reached out to Jimmy Carter at all. In fact, they unveiled the Carter portrait in the White House and didn't invite Carter.

[14:45:09] BALDWIN: What?

BRINKLEY: Yes. And, you know, FDR, the famous big public works accomplishment of Herbert Hoover was the Hoover Dam, and FDR came and changed the title to the Boulder Dam and stripped Hoover's name off of it. It's a little bit like that with Trump. What's made it worse, he's charged Obama with a felony of wiretapping. That's what he's saying.

BALDWIN: Speaking of the president, let's listen in real quickly.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You look at that and see what's happening -- and this is real America. Democrats want to see a shutdown to get off the subject. The subject is not working for them. The tax cuts and tax reform has not been working well for the Democrats. Now yesterday, you saw with Apple, $350 billion investment. Now they're also giving thousands of dollars to their employees. That's happening all over the country. And I'm really happy. People are doing well, better than they have in years. Tax cuts, not only have they worked but are working much bigger and much faster than we ever thought possible. We'll talk to you later.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

TRUMP: Rick Saccone said he was Trump before Trump. Rick is a great guy. I think he's going to do really well. He's a great guy. Loves this area. Loves this country. He just met me at the plane. He's here some place. Actually, this is about tax cuts today. This is about our economic reform. But Rick is a great guy and special, he's a special person.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You won had district by 20 points.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can he do as well as you?

TRUMP: I hope so. I said to him I hope you're going to do as well. But we'll be helping him. I'll be back for Rick and we're going to fill up the stadium and we're going to do something very special for Rick. I look forward to it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- possible shutdown?

TRUMP: We'll see what happens. No, it there's a shutdown -- again, I believe the Democrats want a shutdown to get off the subject of the tax cuts because they're working so well. Nobody thought, including the Democrats, they could work this well. They've been so good that the Democrats would like to see a shutdown in order to get off that subject. That is not a good subject for them, the tax cuts, because of the way they've worked. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, a lot of steelworkers looking

for help from your administration.

TRUMP: We're going to be helping them. We're going to be helping --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: -- the steelworkers just like we've helped a lot of the groups, including here. But I love it. I love the work you're doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.

TRUMP: And I understand this business, but you're probably a little bit surprised. But when I see that going into that -- that's a 1980 version. That's an amazing thing. It's brand new and has a brand-new life. That will be as good as if it were brand new.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: That's 1980. It looks like it just came out of a factory brand new.

Thank you all very much. No, Rick Saccone, good man. Great guy.

BALDWIN: So, quick peek at the president there in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh. We'll hear him speak next hour, just outside the 18th congressional district. A lot of this may be about shoring up some support for the Republican, special election in this district. Of course, he wants the Republican to win. The point being, he's talking a lot about that shutdown.

Doug Brinkley is here with me.

Let's talk about what we just heard there.

We heard the president, according to the pool on the plane heading there, he doesn't expect the government to shut down. He's going to talk to legislators on both sides, prevent a shutdown and see a clean C.R. The president in the past -- you heard him say Democrats will be to blame. In the past, this is a man who said a shutdown could be good for me.

BRINKLEY: That's right. First off, I thought President Trump was smart to get to Pennsylvania. You don't want a government shutdown and be holed up in the White House like you're a hostage in Washington. Movement is his best friend. That was a great photo-op for him.

BALDWIN: Yes.

BRINKLEY: Second, Brooke, he was there, setting up the blame game, meaning there very may well be a shutdown. Who is the public going to blame, Democrats or Trump, the Senate and the Congress, which are Republicans. So he's covering himself, and he's doing it in motion in a working-class environment, which is smart of him. BALDWIN: We've been talking about this looming shutdown. We even

have this countdown clock on the screen, making the point that it is tomorrow at 11:59:59. We go through this almost every year where playing chicken. How often does it actually shut down?

BRINKLEY: You may be getting a shutdown now. Usually, there's some kind of bipartisan vibe. On the issue of the DREAMers, Democrats have dug in their heels.

BALDWIN: Not feeling the vibe?

BRINKLEY: They may feel -- and they may feel it's worth a weekend shutdown and try to blame Trump. We started out conversation with Barack Obama. Obama did an executive order for the DREAMers, meaning the problem had been solved and it's Trump who demolished Obama's --

BALDWIN: OK, Congress, it's up to you?

BRINKLEY: Yes, and created it as this public issue. It's unclear who will get the blame, the Democrats or the Trump administration, Republicans. It could go either way. Everybody will be in high spin mode the next 24 and beyond.

[14:50:23] BALDWIN: Talking points are already flying. So are the fingers in both directions.

Douglas Brinkley, a pleasure as always. Thank you so much for swinging by.

BRINKLEY: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Next here on CNN, the world's most valuable company announcing 20,000 new jobs and bonuses for current employee, something I'm sure the president will mention as he's there in Pennsylvania. How much credit can he take for this great news from Apple? We'll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Another big win for the president's new tax law. Apple now promising to add 20,000 new jobs right here in the United States and spend billions on its American-based facilities. This is happening after Apple announced it would pay $38 billion in taxes and profits it's been holding overseas.

Here is CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans -- Christine?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, no surprise. Tax cuts, corporate tax cuts are a big gift for the world's most valuable company, Apple. Apple now saying it will ramp up its investment in the United States with some of those proceeds.

Here's what the big numbers look like, Brooke. Apple has to bring in some of its foreign profits home, about $215 billion, we think. It will pay a $38 billion tax on this, money that goes to the United States Treasury. Then it will take, with all that money it brings back, it will create 20,000 U.S. jobs with some of it, investing $30 billion in U.S. facilities, including some new data centers and a new corporate campus. And it will pass out $2,500 bonuses to its employees, not the highly compensated employees, but its rank and file.

Here's what Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said about his announcement: "We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible."

It is no question the American people have helped make the success of Apple possible. It makes its products overseas and sells them into the U.S. market. It is a business model that has enriched this company to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Now with a lower tax rate, those profits that are stashed overseas can come back to the U.S. And Apple says it's going to double down and reinvest more in American manufacturers and American part sourcing.

Here's what Donald Trump, the president, said, taking credit for it, "I promised my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of tax cuts. Huge win for American workers and the USA" -- Brooke?

[14:55:47] BALDWIN: Christine, thank you.

We'll hear more, I'm sure, from the president as we hear from him in Pennsylvania next hour.

Moments from now, the president will be speaking just outside the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The backdrop of this speech, touting his tax policy is the government shutdown. You see the countdown clock, 33 hours.

Here is the president.

(SINGING)

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: What a great place. What a great place.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: I met the workers and the people who make America great. They're incredible people.

Thank you and thank you for being here.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: You know, I'm very familiar with this setting, as you found out. This is something special. I am thrilled to be back in Pennsylvania with the hardworking men and women of H&K Equipment.

Good job you do. (CHEERING)

TRUMP: Good job.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: Good job you do.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We're honored to be joined by the Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. Director --

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Look at that, Steve. They must know you. There's about 5 percent of this group.

(LAUGHTER)

Director of National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, our tax guy. Our tax man.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: Where is Gary?

Gary, did a good job on those taxes. Everybody being helped by those taxes, huh? Big tax cuts.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: As well as a number of outstanding members of Congress. Representative Lou Barletta.

(CHEERING)

(BOOING)

(CROSSTALK)

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: He has been a friend of mine for a long time.

Here is another one, Mike Kelly.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: Mike. I won't have you go through and over those gates.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Pat Meehan.

Pat. Thank you, Pat. Great job you do, Pat. (APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: These are like real friends of mine for a long time.

Representative Keith Rothfus. Does everybody know him? Keith Rothfus.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: Thank you, Keith. Thanks for being here, Keith.

A man that everybody in Washington knows and so respects, Bill Schuster.

Bill?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Thank you, Bill.

Representative G.T. Thompson.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: And you know this, G.T., a person people are hearing more and more about, a real friend and spectacular man, Rick Saccone.

(CHEERING)

(APPLAUE)

TRUMP: And Mrs. Saccone.

Thank you for being here. Thank you.

Special people.

My daughter, Ivanka, is also with us here today.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: She worked so hard on the child tax credit.

Ivanka, come up here, come up here, will you?

(CHEERIG)

TRUMP: Come on up.

And a very special thank you to George Cook for hosting us.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: Done a great job.

Really a great job. Thank you. Thank you. What an incredible company.

Ivanka, are you going to say a couple of words about the child tax credit? Boy, did you work hard on that. Come on.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: Hi, everyone.

It is always amazing to be here in Pennsylvania and to be here with all of you. We worked so hard on tax cuts and tax reform. And the president, my father, was very specific about what he wanted to accomplish. It was so core to him to support hardworking middle- income families, and the child tax credit is key to doing that. So it's going to be a big win for everyone in this room --