Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Trump Live News Conference; President Trump's News Conference; Trump Defensive Over Media; Trump talks Travel Ban Rollout. Aired 2- 2:30p ET

Aired February 16, 2017 - 14:00   ET


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you a friendly reporter? Watch how friendly he is.


TRUMP: Wait, wait. Watch out how friendly he is. Go ahead.


TRUMP: Go ahead.

QUESTION: So, first of all, my name is Jake Turx from Ami Magazine.

[14:00:02] And I (INAUDIBLE) community have been reporting. I haven't seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or any of the -- any of your staff of being anti-Semitic.


TRUMP: Go ahead.

QUESTION: So first of all, my name is (Inaudible) from (Inaudible) Magazine. I (inaudible). I haven't seen anybody in my community, including yourself or any of the -- anyone on your staff of being (OFF-MIKE).

Because (OFF-MIKE). However, what we've already heard about and what we (OFF-MIKE) is (OFF-MIKE) so you're general forecast (ph) like 48 (OFF-MIKE). There are people who are everything (ph) happens through their packs (ph) is one of the (OFF-MIKE)...


TRUMP:...he said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it's not, its not, not -- not a simple question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question.

So here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican -- quiet, quiet, quiet. See, he lied about -- he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive.

I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard Ben Netanyahu (ph) yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I've known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said, forget it.

So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.


TRUMP: Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, I'm Lisa (ph) from the...


TRUMP: See, it just shows you about the press, but that's the way the press is.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Lisa Dejardown (ph) from the PBS News Hour. On national security and immigration, can you give us more details on the executive order you plan for next week? Even its broad outlines?

TRUMP: Yeah.

QUESTION: Will it be focused on specific...

TRUMP: It's a very fair question.

QUESTION: ...countries? And in addition, on the DACA program for immigration.

TRUMP: Right.

QUESTION: What is your plan, do you plan to continue that program or to end it?

TRUMP: We're gonna show great heart, DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it's one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.

In many cases, not in all cases. And some of the cases, having DACA and they're gang members and they're drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely, incredible kids, I would say mostly. They were brought here in such a way -- it's a very -- it's a very, very tough subject.

We're gonna deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don't forget and I have to convince them that what I'm saying is -- is right. And I appreciate your understanding on that. But the DACA situation is a very, very -- it's a very difficult thing for me because you know, I love these kids, I love kids, I have kids and grandkids. And I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do and you know, the law is rough.

I'm not talking about new laws, I'm talking the existing law, is very rough, it's very, very rough. As far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the what I consider to be a very bad decision.

But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways, more. But we're tailoring it now to the decision, we have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it.

And the new executive order, is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court. OK?

QUESTION: Mr. President...

(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: ...reopening of the White House Visitors Office?


QUESTION: And she does a lot of great work for the country as well (ph). Can you talk a little bit about what's first for (ph) Melania Trump does for the country and (inaudible) so opening White House Visitors Office, what does that mean...

TRUMP: Now, that's what I call a nice question. That is very -- who are you with?


TRUMP: Good, I'm gonna start watching, all right? Thank you very much. Melania's terrific, she was here last night, we had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife who is by the way, lovely.

And we had a really good discussion about Cuba because we have very similar views on Cuba. And Cuba was very good to me in the Florida election, as you know the Cuban Americans. And I think that Melania's gonna be outstanding, that's right, she just opened up the visitors center, in other words, touring of the White House.

She, like others that she's working with, feel very, very strongly about women's issue, women's difficulties. Very, very strongly, she's a very, very strong advocate. I think she's a great representative for this country.

And a funny thing happens, because she gets -- she gets so unfairly -- Melania, the things they say. I've known her for a long time, she was a very successful person, she was a very successful model. She did really well.

She would go home at night and didn't even want to go out with people. She was a very private person. She was always the highest quality that you'll ever find. And the things they say -- I've known her for a long time -- the things they say are so unfair. And actually, she's been apologized to, as you know, by various media because they said things that were lies.

I'll just tell you this. I think she's going to be a fantastic first lady. She's going to be a tremendous representative of women and of the people. And helping her and working her will be Ivanka, who is a fabulous person and a fabulous, fabulous woman. And they're not doing this for money.

They're not doing this for pay, they're doing this because they feel it; both of them. And Melania goes back and forth and after Barron finishes school -- because it's hard to take a child out of school with a few months left -- she and Barron will be moving over to the White House. OK, thank you, that's a very nice question.


TRUMP: Go ahead. QUESTION: Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Yes, oh, this is going to be a bad question, but that's OK.

QUESTION: It doesn't(ph) have(ph) to be a bad question.

TRUMP: Good, because I enjoy watching you on television. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Well, thank you so much. Mr. President, I need to find out from you, you said something as it relates to inner cities. That was one of your platforms during your campaign. Now you're --

TRUMP: Fix the inner cities.

QUESTION: -- president. Fixing the inner cities.


QUESTION: What will be that fix and your urban agenda as well as your HBCU Executive Order that's coming out this afternoon? See, it wasn't bad, was it?

TRUMP: That was very professional and very good.

QUESTION: I'm very professional.

TRUMP: We'll be announcing the order in a little while and I'd rather let the order speak for itself. But it could be something that I think that will be very good for everybody concerned. But we'll talk to you about that after we do the announcement. As far as the inner cities, as you know, I was very strong on the inner cities during the campaign.

I think it's probably what got me a much higher percentage of the African American vote than a lot of people thought I was going to get. We did, you know, much higher than people thought I was going to get. And I was honored by that, including the Hispanic vote, which was also much higher. And by the way, if I might add, including the women's vote, which was much higher than people thought I was going to get. So, we are going to be working very hard on the inner cities, having to do with education, having to do with crime. We're going to try and fix as quickly as possible -- you know, it takes a long time.

It's taken more a hundred years and more for some of these places to evolve and they evolved, many of them, very badly. But we're going to be working very hard on health and healthcare, very, very hard on education, and also we're going to be working in a stringent way, in a very good way, on crime.

You go to some of these inner city places and it's so sad when you look at the crime. You have people -- and I've seen this, and I've sort of witnessed it -- in fact, in two cases I have actually witnessed it. They lock themselves into apartments, petrified to even leave, in the middle of the day.

They're living in hell. We can't let that happen. So, we're going to be very, very strong. That's a great question and -- and it's a -- it's a very difficult situation because it's been many, many years. It's been festering for many, many years. But we have places in this country that we have to fix.

We have to help African American people that, for the most part, are stuck there. Hispanic American people. We have Hispanic American people that are in the inner cities and their living in hell. I mean, you look at the numbers in Chicago. There are two Chicagos, as you know.

There's one Chicago that's incredible, luxurious and all -- and safe. There's another Chicago that's worse than almost any of the places in the Middle East that we talk, and that you talk about, every night on the newscasts. So, we're going to do a lot of work on the inner cities.

I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities. OK?

QUESTION: Well, when you say the inner cities, are you going -- are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your -- your urban agenda, your inner city agenda, as well as --

TRUMP: Am I going to include who?

QUESTION: Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional --

TRUMP: Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?

QUESTION: -- Hispanic Caucus --

TRUMP: Do you want to set up the meeting?

QUESTION: No -- no -- no. I'm not --

TRUMP: Are they friends of yours?

QUESTION: I'm just a reporter.

TRUMP: Well, then(ph) set up the meeting.

QUESTION: I know some of them, but I'm sure they're watching right now.

TRUMP: Let's go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it's great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it's great. I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings and he was all excited. And then he said, well, I can't move, it might be bad for me politically. I can't have that meeting.

I was all set to have the meeting. You know, we called him and called him. And he was all set. I spoke to him on the phone, very nice guy.

QUESTION: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.

TRUMP: He wanted it, but we called, called, called and can't make a meeting with him. Every day I walk and say I would like to meet with him because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight. He was probably told - he was probably told "don't meet with Trump. It's bad politics."

And that's part of the problem in this country. OK, one more.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

TRUMP: No, no, one question. Two we can't handle. This room can't handle two. Go ahead, give me the better of your two.

QUESTION: (inaudible) ...not about your personality or your beliefs, talking about (inaudible), some of it by supporters in your name. What do you...

TRUMP: ...And some of it - can I be honest with you? And this has to do with racism and horrible things that are put up. Some of it written by our opponents. You do know that. Do you understand that? You don't think anybody would do a thing like that. Some of the signs you'll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump, they're put up by the other side and you think it's like playing it straight?

No. But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side. They'll do signs and they'll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won't be my people. It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you. OK.


TRUMP: Go ahead, go ahead.

QUESTION: You're the president now. What are you going to do about it?

TRUMP: Who is that? Where is that? QUESTION: What are you going to do about - what are you going to do about (inaudible).

TRUMP: Oh, I'm working on it. I'm working on it very - no, no, look. Hey, just so you understand, we had a totally divided country for eight years and long before that. In all fairness to President Obama, long before President Obama we have had a very divided - I didn't come along and divide this country. This country was seriously divided before I got here.

We're going to work on it very hard. One of the questions I was asked, I thought it was a very good question was about the inner cities. I mean, that's part of it. But we're going to work on education, we're going to work on - you know, we're going to stop - we're going to try and stop the crime. We have great law enforcement officials, we're going to try and stop crime.

We're not going to try and stop, we're going to stop crime. But it's very important to me - but this isn't Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama and we went many years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation. And I am going to try - I will do everything within my power to fix that. I want to thank everybody very much.

It's a great honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much, thanks.

[14:12:14] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But it's very important to me. But this isn't Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama and we went many years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation, and I am going to try, I will do everything within my power to fix that.

I want to thank everybody very much. It's a great honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, what an amazing hour and 15 minute appearance by the president of the United States, answering lots of questions from the mainstream news media. Pretty tough questions. It was really a remarkable, remarkable - I don't remember a time when a president of the United States has gone into a - what we could describe as a potentially hostile environment, he flatly denied any wrong doing when it comes to Russia.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go through the news first and then take on the whole press conference.

He made some news. He talked about how they're going to be offering an Obamacare alternative in early March. He said next week they're going to be offering a new executive order on travel and immigration to replace the old one that the courts held up. He said that he's asked the Justice Department to look into the leaks. And then when pressed by several reporters on whether anybody on his campaign reached out and had communications with Russia, he said, quote, "nobody I know of" talked to Russia during the campaign. Those seem to be the major bits of news relating to his agenda. BLITZER: He kept saying Russia is a ruse.

TAPPER: Well, it was a wild press conference. And I think that, first of all, purportedly the purpose of it was to introduce his new secretary of labor nominee, Alexander Acosta.


TAPPER: He talked about Jim Acosta more than he talked about Alexander Acosta. He talked about Hillary Clinton more than he talked about Alexander Acosta. He spent the first part of his remarks talking about accomplishments that he thought the media, the fake media, whatever he wants to call us, we're not paying enough attention too.

But then instead of focusing on these accomplishments and offering an optimistic, positive view of what he's doing for this country, it was an airing of grievance. It was festivous (ph). It was complaints about the media. At one point he said the leaks were real but the news is fake, which doesn't make any sense whatsoever. He said things that were not true. Peter Alexander from NBC pointed out one of them, when he said he had the biggest electoral victory win since Ronald Reagan. That's not true. Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama, George H.W. Bush all were bigger, but moving on - moving on to that.

[14:15:02] If you are a soldier in harm's way right now, if you are a hungry child in Appalachia or the inner city, if you are an unemployed worker in the hollow shell of a steel town, that's not a president who seemed rather focused on your particular needs and wants. That's a president focused on his bad press. It was unhinged. It was wild. And I can't believe that there are Republicans and - on Capitol Hill and in the White House who don't understand that might play well with the 44 percent for the population that voted for the president, but a lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and say, that guy is not focused on me. I don't even know what he's focused on.

BLITZER: And it was - as I said, it was an hour and 15 minutes. Almost a half an hour just opening statement that he made very little, as you point out, on the new secretary of labor nominee, Alexander Acosta.

Jim Acosta, no relation to Alexander Acosta, you managed to ask a few questions, important questions, of the president of the United States and for the first time in a while he started to take questions from the mainstream news media like yourself.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. I think the dam finally broke here at this news conference today. And you heard the president, he is as scrappy and feisty as ever. He is just as determined that the news coming from the mainstream news media is fake news. But I think there was news made during this news conference.

He finally said, in his own words, what his problem was with his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, that he did not inform the vice president properly, he said in not so many words, and that was the reason why he had to go. And it took a few tries, as Jake mentioned, but President Trump finally said that, no, not that he's aware of in terms of whether or not any of his campaign associates or aids or advisor were in touch with the Russians during the course of the - of the previous election. It did take some prodding, and I wonder if there's really more to dig there in the long run because it took two or three different questions for him to finally acknowledge that.

And then I think there was also this whole back and forth over what is fake news and real leaks. At one point during this news conference, Wolf, as Jake just said, he called these reports about the contacts with the Russians fake news, but he called the leaks real. And so I pressed him on that. I asked if the leaks are real, then how can the information be fake? How can the news be fake? I'm not sure he had a very convincing answer on that, but I think at the same time he was taking on the tough questions.

One of my other colleagues asked about this spy ship, this Russian spy ship, that has been heading up the Atlantic coast. He said that is not good. But when pressed on what he's going to do about it, he did not offer any specifics. And he went back to what we heard during the campaign, which is, I'm not going to telegraph what I do to our adversaries. And he recycled that during this news conference.

He recycled a lot of the talking points that we heard out on the campaign trail. He, once again, for whatever reason, talked about Hillary Clinton getting answers to - or questions to debates that were held during the course of the campaign, what that has to do with anything is not all together clear. But the president was in a defensive mode. You could tell when he came out and delivered those remarks at the beginning of this news conference, that he was clearly frustrated. He was frustrated with that "Time" magazine cover that portrayed his White House being in chaos and he talked about his administration being a well-oiled machine in not so many words.

And so this was a defensive President Trump, a frustrated President Trump. But as you heard in that back and forth that I had with him, you know, he is just as determined as ever to go after the news media when there are stories that he doesn't like. But as I try to remind him, Wolf, we are not fake news, we are real news.

BLITZER: We certainly are. Stand by

John King, anxious to get your thoughts.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The closest thing I can ever remember to this in almost 30 years in this town was Bill Clinton after the 1994 Republican route (ph) giving a news conference in which he had to express his relevance. That the president of the United States is relevant. That was two years plus into his administration after a significant defeat. This is day 28 of the Trump presidency. He has 1,433 more days in his first term. And he was coming into the press conference essentially to say, you all think my White House is a mess. You all think I don't have political support. I'm here to tell you that I'm fine and that this is a fine-tuned machine.

And he talked about how critical he was of the media, the fake news media, for suggesting there is something wrong in his White House. Well, he needs to have a conversation with his senior staff, of people who are paid by him, people - not people in the intelligence agencies. We know he's at war with them. Not hold overs from other administrations. This information about trouble in the West Wing, infighting in the West Wing, comes from his own people.

If you're a Trump supporter, you probably love this. He was fighting with the news media. He was attacking fake news. He was coming after CNN. He was going after other critics. However, this is a president who's around 40 percent in the polls. How do you govern in that environment? How to you reach out to other people?

[14:20:05] Plus, Trump supporters will love this. The fact-checkers will have another sleepless night. Including from where he started, where he walked in and said, I inherited a mess. He inherited a lot of problems, there's no doubt about that, and he has every right to have a different answer to those problems than the previous Democratic administration.

However, he inherited a mess? When President Obama came in office, the economy was bleeding more than 600,000 jobs a month. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, on its way to 10 percent. Donald Trump came into office, in the last month of the Obama administration, the economy added 227,000 jobs and the unemployment rate is 4.7 or 4.8 percent. So he has every right to say there are problems he wants to deal with, but the idea that he came into this swirling cesspool is just not a fact.

BLITZER: Yes. And that's an excellent point as well.

David Chalian, I want to get your analysis on what we just heard.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I agree, what John just said about Trump supporters, people who were with him throughout that whole campaign season. I think this is sort of vintage Trump from the campaign season in many ways, especially the primary season. It reminded me a lot of his endless phoner interviews that he would do and just talk endlessly until he can sweep away the stuff that he didn't like and have other stuff in the mix for the news media to discuss.

But as Jake said, Wolf, there was something untethered about him from the job at hand. He was some - he was a president who seemed far more consumed by his reviews than by the business of the nation. And if indeed, as I said going into this press conference, I thought maybe this was going to be an attempt to try to reset, but it seems more that it was a frustration expression because he couldn't deal with the swirl of bad headlines anymore and he just wanted to fix this. I can't wait to find out two things, how Republicans on The Hill observed this press conference today, separate from his own base of support in the country, because I think that will tell us a lot about how challenging it may be for him to govern.

And I can't - I can't wait to learn the back story, Wolf, of how this emerged. Was - this does not seem to me a well-thought out strategy. This seems to me a president who wanted to grab the microphone, do what he thinks worked for him best during the campaign just by dominating the conversation, even if the takeaway message was, as he predicted it would be, and I can see on my phone that many news organizations including friendly ones like "The New York Post" are using the word "rant" in their headline, as he predicted. It will be interesting to see if indeed Donald Trump thinks he did successfully reset today because it seemed to me somebody who was really untethered from the job at hand.

BLITZER: Let me get Jake to weigh in on that as well because, Jake, you know, I think all of us were pretty much stunned by the course of this hour and 15 minute appearance.

TAPPER: Well, look, everybody at home just needs to ask themselves, how would you react if that were your boss coming in and giving a speech to the employees where you work? How would you - how would you react if that was somebody in your family that you were trying to have a conversation with? You would think this is very difficult to assess in a positive way. The person is not dealing with the world in which we live. He said things that weren't true. He was called out by one reporter. You said you had the biggest electoral victory since Reagan. That's not true. And he said, well, somebody gave me that information. Somebody gave me that information. The buck stops there. Is that where we are with this presidency? You've said it, own the words, you were wrong.

But it's not just about electoral votes. It's about the fact that he's still fixated on whether or not he legitimately won the presidency. President Trump, if you're watching, you're the president. You legitimately won the presidency. Now get to work and stop whining about it.


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there was a Rodney Dangerfield quality to this. This whole idea of Rodney Dangerfield, of course, never thought he got respect. That was his routine. And this is what it seems like is going on with Donald Trump. He wants to berate the press. He spent more time talking about CNN than he talked about Obamacare, than he talked about any of his campaign promises, the wall. And I think those are the things that people on The Hill want to hear. And I - I expect that even his supporters want to hear more about those things. They want to hear more about jobs. They want to hear more about the things he's actually going to do in these communities.

At times he sounds like he isn't even the president. I mean he talks about what he's going to do in the inner cities. And it's very vague. We're going to fix it. We're going to stop crime. We're going to fix the education system. How? What are the details? I mean he's got all sorts of details in terms of what is going on in the press, what's on Don Lemon's show, what people are saying on Don Lemon's show, but on all these major issues. I mean he is saying that he has inherited a mess. Well, Mr. President, how are you going to fix it -

[14:25:14] TAPPER: Right.

HENDERSON: In very specific ways. TAPPER: Look, there are - there are four reasons - four main issues, I think, that led to the election of President Trump, just to simplify. He said - and there's - and all of these are perfectly legitimate premises. Your government is not doing enough to protect you on trade.


TAPPER: Your government is not doing enough to protect you from undocumented immigrants and at the border. Your government is not doing enough to protect you from terrorists. Washington is broken. It's a swamp. I'm going to drain the swamp. Where was that message at this press conference?


TAPPER: Fulfill those four things. That's why you got elected. Nobody cares about the ratings of CNN. I mean we do.

HENDERSON: And - and he dos.

KING: And he went through - he did go through the list.


KING: At the very beginning he went through the long list of -

TAPPER: Absolutely.

KING: And he - he -

TAPPER: But that's not where his passion was.

KING: Right. And he - exactly.


KING: He seemed almost despondent.

HENDERSON: It was a list (ph).

KING: He seemed almost despondent in going through that list, like, why am I not getting credit for this.

And to his credit, he has spent a lot of time focusing on his promises in these early executive actions.

TAPPER: Absolutely.

KING: But signing a piece of paper does not make these things happen.


KING: Not make these things happen. And working with Congress will make these things happen and he - clearly there's a patience question here. And I got a - I got a text from a couple of Democrats during the thing who, of course, were inside (INAUDIBLE). But I got a text from a Republican senator who said - who said in this text he should do this with a therapist not on live television.

BLITZER: Wow. You know -

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: And to that point - go ahead.

BLITZER: Pamela Brown, in the midst of all of this, your getting some more information. He - he really went after the court of appeals decision, insisting, what, 80 percent of their decisions are overturned. And he said that they are working now on a new travel ban that will fit in more appropriately with the complaints.

BROWN: Right. So on that first point, we double checked with SCOTUS blog, a reputable blog, and, in fact, he was right, that 79 percent of the Ninth Circuit's decisions have been overturned by the Supreme Court from 2010-2015.

TAPPER: Well, wait, hold on, let me just - 79 percent of the ones that the Supreme Court heard.

BROWN: Right. Let me - hold on.

TAPPER: They made 1,200 decisions.

BROWN: You haven't let me get to my next point.

TAPPER: All right, well -

BROWN: You haven't let me get to my next point. Seventy percent of all the decisions that went to the Supreme Court were rejected. OK. So it is higher than average. But when you look at the bigger picture, 70 percent - 79 percent for the Ninth Circuit, which, by the way, there are two other circuits that have a higher reversal rate. So when you look at it within that context.

But what I found really interesting is he clearly put the blame on the Ninth Circuit court, not the rollout of his ban. He said it went very smoothly. It did not go smoothly.


BROWN: Green card holders would not have been detained at the airports. I was speaking to people in charge of the implementation who had no idea what was going on and was trying to figure it out real time. And, frankly, people I've spoken to within the government say the secretary of homeland security fell on the sword by taking the blamed that he should have notified Congress. It was not a smooth rollout and the Ninth Circuit decision - the Ninth Circuit court made its decision and now we have learned today that the government put in a filing saying we're not going to further litigate this, we're going to roll out a new executive order, but the Ninth Circuit decision was not something what we agree with.

TAPPER: Let me ask you a question, John. Every leader needs people around him who can say this is not going well, this is bad, that was a bad decision, the remark you made was just incorrect, et cetera. You need those people around them. People rise to levels where they remove those people from their orbit and that's how you end up with scandals and that's how you end up with disastrous presidencies and companies being run into the ground. Does President Trump have somebody around him who can say the rollout was not smooth. It went really, really poorly. It's still the right thing to do, et cetera, et cetera, but we need to do this better next time? Does he have those people?

KING: Of the people we know who are now currently within the White House staff, his daughter Ivanka is the one that we know during the campaign did that from time to time. Has she done that in the White House? I don't have that information.

I will tell you, you make an interesting point because the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, you spoke to him on Sunday on your program, he came and had lunch with the president the other day and then he left. And I'm told there's no plan to bring Governor Christie in at the moment. But Governor Christie's people say that that was part of his message to the president is to don't get caught in this bubble, don't get caught in the pop rally from your own people. You are going to make mistakes. Every chief executive does. Take a breath and readjust when you make them. And then what happened, Governor Christie was trashed by people inside the Trump White House. Again, not fake news, not career bureaucrats spread out somewhere in the government, by people who have recently taken up residence in the West Wing trashing Governor Christie, who says, through his people, I did not speak to him directly, from - through his people, that he came to have lunch with his friend and give him some advice.

BLITZER: I wanted to bring in our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, the host of "Reliable Sources," and Jeff Mason, the White House correspondent for Reuters. He's also the president of the White House Correspondents Association.

Brian, tell us what surprised you the most about the president's attacks on the - what he calls the fake news media.

[14:30:10] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is certainly a campaign trail press conference and Trump seemed to be enjoying it.