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NY MAG: Trump Apologized to Hope Hicks When She Resigned; Trump Pushes Death Penalty for Some Drug Dealers. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 19, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


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[14:30:00] OLIVIA NUZZI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: And the president, although he says he's got the world's greatest memory, does not. Hope Hicks does. Her memory is nearly photographic. She keeps multiple black leather notebooks that say "Trump" in gold on the front because -- of course. I think things like that will be of serious interest to federal investigators.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: I was thinking she would be of such value to Bob Mueller.

I want to quote you. You talk about how, after Hope Hicks goes to Trump and says she wants to leave, you write, "Before she could finish resigning, Trump interrupted her. He told her he cared about her happiness, that he understood her decision, and that he would help her do anything she wanted to do in her life. He said he hoped she would go make a lot of money. And he said he hoped she would come back at some point. The president added something else, 'I'm sorry for everything you have been through.'"

Olivia, those little words -- I'm sorry -- not something we hear often from this man.

NUZZI: Right. I think to the extent that the president has the capacity to love, I think that he loves Hope Hicks in a completely paternal way, not in the way Michael Wolf or others have hinted at, not so subtly. It is a completely platonic, almost paternal thing. That was expressed there. When I was first learning about the incident, when she went into the Oval Office that morning and resigned, as I was hearing about it, I thought, well, this doesn't sound like a thing that really happened. This doesn't sound like President Donald Trump. When you get to the part where he said, I hope you go make a lot of money, then you say, oh, this is definitely a Donald Trump quote.

But I think he's deeply saddened by Hope Hick's decision. I think he knew it was coming. Because he does actually care about her, that's why he's OK with it. He seems to be in denial. I report later in the piece the day after she resigned, they had a conversation about something happening way out in advance. He said -- I'm paraphrasing -- oh, I don't need your opinion now because I think you'll still be here. He doesn't seem to grasp what it means for her to be leaving.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BALDWIN: All right. That was just the first piece of our conversation.

Next, more of my interview with Olivia Nuzzi, including Hope Hicks's complicated love life inside the White House, and what Olivia thinks, whether we'll ever see a Hope Hicks tell-all book. More on that.

And speaking of the president, moments from now, we'll see him in New Hampshire as his wife, Melania, is by his side, as he's expected to propose punishing drug dealers with the death penalty as part of this fight against opioids. So we will take that live in just a moment

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[14:36:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you to our first lady, Melania, who has been so incredible.

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TRUMP: And we are blessed to have you as our first lady. We really are.

It's great to be back in the beautiful state of New Hampshire.

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TRUMP: I don't know if you remember, but this is the first place I came for the primaries.

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TRUMP: And this is the room right here. So I like this room. This has been a good room.

We're honored to be joined by your wonderful and very talented Governor Chris Sununu.

Chris?

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TRUMP: Thank you, Chris.

Oh, and another talented governor.

Governor Sununu, stand up. (APPLAUSE)

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TRUMP: I have to tell you, there was nobody tougher on Trump at the beginning. It's true. Nobody on television tougher. Then we met each other, and we liked each other. And he went from the worst to the best.

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TRUMP: Governor, thank you. I mean it, too. Thank you.

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TRUMP: I want to thank also Attorney General Sessions and secretary -- thank you, Jeff.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: -- Secretary Azar, Secretary Nielsen and Surgeon General Adams for joining us at this very important event.

The first lady and I just visited the Manchester Fire Department Safe Station. Talking about it all over the country.

The fire chief, Dan Gunan (ph) and all the first responders with us today, thank you. You have been incredible. You're saving American lives.

We are also joined by a number of law enforcement officers, who we love. Our police, DEA, ICE., Border Patrol agents and Customs officers work night and day to keep drugs out of our communities and criminals off of our streets.

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TRUMP: So today, we thank you, we honor you, and we want you to know that we will always have your backs, 100 percent.

Thank you very much, law enforcement. Thank you.

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TRUMP: I especially want to acknowledge all of the families with us today who have endured terrible hardships because of the opioid crisis, and especially those who have lost precious loved ones. I have been saying this for a long time, and it all started right here in New Hampshire, because I see what you're going through. About as bad as there is anywhere in the country. And I said I'd be back and we are back. We're pouring a lot of money and into this horrible problem.

We pledge to honor the memory of those you lost with action and determination and resolve. We'll get it. We will not rest until the end. And I will tell you this scourge of drug addiction in America will stop. It will stop.

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TRUMP: Every day, 116 Americans die from an opioid related over dose. In New Hampshire, the death rate -- can you believe this? The death rate is double the national average. It's got difficulties like people wouldn't believe. Defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local and federal agency. Failure is not an option. Addiction is not our future. We will liberate our country from this crisis. Never been like this. Hundreds of years, never been like this. And we will raise a drug-free generation of American children.

[14:40:10] Last October, we declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Should have been done a long time before. Since then, we have worked with Congress to ensure at least six billion additional dollars going through right now in new funding in 2018 and 2019 to combat the opioid crisis and we will be spending the most money ever on the opioid crisis.

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TRUMP: On our most recent National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, people across the country turned in more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s.

Our Custom and Border Protection and these people, the job they do is incredible. Seized nearly 1,500 pounds of fentanyl last year, nearly three times the amount seized in 2016.

And I told China, don't send it. And I told Mexico, don't send it. Don't send it.

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TRUMP: In 2017, ICE arrested criminal aliens with 76,000 charges and convictions for dangerous drug crimes. Last year, the Department of Justice prosecuted more than 3,000 defendants in cases involving opioids. All of the trafficking and related crimes, 3,000 cases, including a pharmacist, a physician's assistant, and an opioid trafficker, each charged with committing serious drug crimes in New Hampshire.

Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable.

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TRUMP: Here in New Hampshire, I applaud all of the drug enforcement agents and law enforcement officers who recently coordinated Operation Granite Shield, an 18-hour enforcement action targeting drug traffickers that resulted in the arrest of 151 people. These are terrible people. We have to get tough on those people. Because we can have all the blue-ribbon committees we want, but if we don't get tough on the drug dealers, we are wasting our time. Just remember that. We're wasting our time. And that toughness includes the death penalty.

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TRUMP: You know, it's an amazing thing. Some of these drug dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime, thousands of people, and destroy many more lives than that. But they will kill thousands of people during their lifetime. And they'll get caught and they'll get 30 days in jail. Or they'll go away for a year or they'll be fined. Yet, if you kill one person, you get the death penalty or you go to jail for life. So if we are not going to get tough on the drug dealers who kill thousands of people and destroy so many people's lives, we are just doing the wrong thing. We have got to get tough.

This isn't about nice anymore. This isn't about committees. This isn't about let's get everybody and have dinners and let's have everybody go to a blue-ribbon committee and everybody gets a medal. Frankly, talking and doing nothing. This is about winning a very, very tough problem. And if we don't get very tough on these dealers, it's not going to happen, folks. It's not going to happen. I want to win this battle. I don't want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem. OK? I don't want that. Right?

(CHEERING)

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TRUMP: Thank you.

(CHEERING)

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TRUMP: Not going to happen. Thank you all.

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[14:45:00] TRUMP: A lot of voters in this room. I see that. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: No, we're going to solve this problem. We're going to solve it with brains, with resolve and with toughness. Because toughness is the thing that they most fear. That's what they most fear.

So to the brave agents and officers, thank you for protecting us all.

Last year, my commission on combatting the incredible crisis of opioids issued 56 recommendations. My administration agreed with all of the commission's goals and we have worked aggressively to put them into action.

Today, I'm here to announce additional steps that we are taking as part of our nationwide initiative to address the opioid crisis and, by the way, the drug crisis, the general drug crisis. First, we are taking action to reduce drug demand by preventing Americans from becoming addicted in the first place. So important. That includes increasing federal funding for the development of nonaddictive painkillers. We have to come up with a solution where we come up with a painkiller that's not so addictive. We can do it. We're not that far off. We can do it. These things are incredibly addictive. So we are going to find that answer also.

Here with us today are Jim and Jeanne Moser. They lost their beautiful son, Adam, to a fentanyl overdose. His addiction began with prescription pills he found in their kitchen cabinet. They have since begun the Zero Left Initiative to help families get rid of excess painkillers.

Jim and Jeanne, we are sorry for your loss. A great boy. He was a great boy. We applaud your strength and leadership.

And where are you? Where are you? Come on up.

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TRUMP: Tell us about your boy.

JEANNE MOSER, CO-FOUNDER, ZERO LEFT CAMPAIGN: Adam was our oldest son. He was a great kid. He was a smart kid. Grew up out in East Kingston, New Hampshire. He had a degree in actuarial science, which, as many of you know, that's the science of forecasting risk. He was the kind of kid that made you feel really good about yourself. You give him five minutes, you really liked him. You know, he just made a bad choice one night, as smart as he was. He found his way into our kitchen cabinet and, sadly, the rest is history. He got hooked on it. He had to go to the street eventually. He found fentanyl. He's been gone for two and a half years. And we miss him every day. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you, darling. Thank you.

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TRUMP: Take care of yourself, OK? Thank you very much.

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TRUMP: So many cases like that.

We are also taking action to prevent addiction by addressing the problem of overprescribing.

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TRUMP: And our Department of Justice is looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against some of these drug companies.

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TRUMP: We'll bring it at a federal level.

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TRUMP: Some states are already bringing it, but we are thinking about bringing it at a very high federal level. And we'll do a job.

We are going to cut nationwide opioid prescriptions by one-third over the next three years. We are also going to make sure virtually all prescriptions reimbursed by the federal government follow best practices for prescribing. We'll ensure that opioid addiction is not subsidized by the American taxpayer. The best way --

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TRUMP: So important. And the best way to beat the drug crisis is to keep people from getting hooked on drugs to begin with. As part of that effort --

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TRUMP: So important. This is something that I have been very strongly in favor of, spending a lot of money on great commercials showing how so that kids seeing those commercials during the right shows on television or wherever, the Internet. When they see these commercials, they say, I don't want any part of it. That's the least expensive thing we can do, where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials. And we'll make them very, very bad commercials. We'll make them pretty unsavory situations. You've seen it before, and it's had an impact on smoking and cigarettes. You see what happens to the body, you see what happens to the mind.

[14:50:39] So we're announcing a new Web site, crisnextdoor.gov, where Americans can share their stories about the danger of the opioid addiction and addictions. We're thinking about doing really a large- scale rollout of commercials that show how bad it is for the kids. And when they see those commercials, hopefully, they're not going to be going to drugs of any kind, drugs of any kind. And we'll save a lot of lives and we'll make their life a lot easier. This epidemic can affect anyone, and that's why we want to educate everyone.

The second part of our initiative is to reduce the supply of illicit drugs. Ninety percent of the heroin in America comes from our southern border, where eventually the Democrats will agree with us and we will build the wall to keep the damn drugs out.

(CHEERING)

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TRUMP: It's pretty amazing. They don't want to go with DACA because they don't care about DACA, but they're trying to tie the wall to DACA and DACA to the wall. They want to keep DACA for the campaign, instead of getting it approved, which we could do very easily. The Republicans are totally in favor of doing something substantial for DACA, but the Democrats like it as a campaign issue, so they don't get it approved. And they want to tie it to the wall, which is OK with me, but both should get approved. They don't want it to be approved. Remember what I said, they don't want it to be approved. They want to make it part of the campaign. Well, we'll make it part of the campaign also, and we'll win because we're going to win on those issues.

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TRUMP: My administration is also confronting things called sanctuary cities that shield dangerous criminals.

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TRUMP: And every day, sanctuary cities release illegal immigrants and drug dealers, traffickers and gang members back into our communities. They're protected by these cities. And you say, what are they doing? They're safe havens for just some terrible people, some terrible people. And they're making it very dangerous for our law enforcement officers. You see it all the time. As the people of New Hampshire have learned firsthand, ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis. And your governor, who is great, the numbers are going down in New Hampshire. I don't know if you've seen it, but the numbers are going down.

Chris, we were just -- stand up, Chris.

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TRUMP: It's really one of the few bright spots where the numbers actually are going down, and that's a tremendous achievement.

Thank you, Chris.

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TRUMP: According to a recent Dartmouth study, the sanctuary city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties. ICE recently arrested M.S.-13 gang members. These are not good people, folks, OK? These are bad, bad people. They don't use guns. They'd rather use knives because it's more painful and it takes longer. These are bad people, in Boston, Massachusetts, which is a place where you have sanctuary cities. I'm repeating my call on Congress to block funds for sanctuary cities and to close the deadly loopholes that allow criminals back into our country --

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TRUMP: -- and into our country in the first place.

(APPLAUSE) [14:55:01] TRUMP: You know, some things are very understandable. We have lots of issues where we're on both sides of an issue, and you can understand the other side, even though you don't agree. Sanctuary cities are hard to understand for people because they don't get it. They don't get it. You see what's going on in California, how terrible it is, how dangerous it is. And they're all trying to protect sanctuary cities. And whether it's Kate Steinle or so many others, they'd be around today if those people weren't allowed back into our country, though, in this case, the southern border, at least five times. And look at the damage, and then look at this verdict. Look at the verdict. Can you believe the verdict? So we have to get a lot smarter. We have to get a lot tougher.

And speaking of tough, because here with us today is ICE Agent Derrick Dunn. Derrick worked with state police to uncover a major drug smuggling operation in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

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TRUMP: Where's Derrick?

Derrick?

Where's Derrick?

Come on, Derrick.

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TRUMP: I love tough guys. We need tough guys.

Come here, Derrick.

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TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE)

DERRICK DUNN, ICE AGENT: Just want to say thanks to everyone being here. It's been a battle, an absolute battle here for our counterparts here at DEA and FBI, and everybody, all the law enforcement, state police and local police, it's been an absolute battle. We all worked together and we're going to get this solved.

TRUMP: Thank you, Derrick.

(CHEERING)

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TRUMP: He didn't know he was going to do that.

And you didn't know you were going to do that.

(LAUGHTER)

And you didn't know you were going to do that. But that's in honor of your boy, right? He made a big impact.

I also want to mention ICE Agent Ron Moren (ph) and Manchester Police Detective Patrick McGuire. They helped lead the team that arrested a terrible human trafficker who used opioids to harm, in a very violent way, his victims.

Thank you both for bringing the trafficker to a very strong and swift justice.

Where are you guys? Thank you.

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TRUMP: Stand up.

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TRUMP: Thank you.

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TRUMP: We're also shutting down illegal online marketplaces and preventing drugs that come from China and other countries from bypassing our borders. We're getting very tough on it. It's not that we have a choice. We don't have a choice. We can be nice, and we can be soft and weak, and you're not going to have a country left. So we have to strengthen up and strengthen up our laws so that we can do what we have to do. We have to stop this from happening.

Drug traffickers kill so many thousands of our citizens every year, and that's why my Department of Justice will be seeking so many much tougher penalties than we've ever had. We will be focusing on the penalty that I talked about previously for the big pushers, the ones that are really killing so many people, and that penalty is going to be the death penalty. If you look at -- if you look at -

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TRUMP: If you look at other countries -- I've gotten to know the leaders of many countries. And I won't mention names, but you know the countries I'm talking about. I go around, how's your drug problem? We don't have much of a drug problem. What do you mean you don't have a drug problem? Well, we don't have. I say, how come? We have zero tolerance for drug dealers. I say, what does that mean? That means we have the death penalty for drug dealers. We don't have a drug problem. Take a look at some of these countries where they don't play games, they don't have a drug problem.

We have court cases that last 10 years and then they get out at the end. We've got to be tough. We have to be smart. We have to change the laws. And we're working on that right now. The Department of Justice is working very, very hard on that. But the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty.

Now, maybe our country is not ready for that. It's possible. It's possible that our country is not ready for that. And I can understand it, maybe. Although, personally, I can't understand that.

(LAUGHTER)

But there are people that are good people that are strong, smart people, and they would differ with most of us. But I think, unless you do that, unless you have really, really powerful penalties led by --