hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here, 9:00 p.m. in moscow. up first, a more presidential trump. he's getting high marks after his first major address to congress. he's meeting with republican leaders right now following last night's speech. here's some video just fed in of that meeting moments ago. watch this. >> so thank you very much, we're just here to start the process. it begins as of now, and we think we're going to have tremendous success. thank you very much. appreciate it. >> the reporters were asked to leave. his speech last night marked a
shift in tone to a more optimistic view of the country. the president also stayed on message outlining an ambitious agenda outlining cooperation. it's a message that seemed to connect with a lot of americans. in a cnn poll, 69% of speech watchers say the speech made them for more optimistic. just 28% said they felt more pessimistic. let's bring in jeff zeleny. is this a chance to take a victory lap after the president's speech last night or are they plotting strategy? >> wolf, i think it's more of an opening lap or victory lap. the reality is the speech is the easy part. the more difficult part is getting all the republicans in the house and senate to get on board with the agenda and figure out a way to go forward. that's the purpose of this lunch you saw a few minutes ago. they want to talk strategy, talk specifically how they will start
working on health care reform, on tax care reform, on every other piece of material the president talked about last evening. you know, it is one thing to get applause from republican leaders and the republican majorities in congress. but, wolf, as we talked to members last night. one question hanging over all of this, how will these programs, initiatives be paid for. that's part of the discussion happening right now. >> the white house press secretary as you also know, sean spicer spoke to reporters just a little while off camera. he was asked about the timing of the travel ban executive action, the new version, the first version did not work out very well thanks to the judiciary courts. what did he say? >> sean spicer said he does not have anything to announce in terms of the specific timing of this. he said it is coming but would not say when that would be. wolf, i think it's important to remember here going over the past few weeks or so, the president and his team talked
about the urgency of doing this. it was absolutely urgent to sign this right away to protect the country and for the national security of the country, but now several weeks have gone by without this being signed here. it speaks to the difficulty of trying to get this exactly right to withstand the legal challenge and they also know it's going be controversial. that's one of the reasons it was not signed this afternoon. they want to behalfing in the glow of the speech, if you will. we do still expect it this week. but, wolf, i would not be at all surprised if it was rescheduled again. we even seen that happen at least four times so sean spicer not giving a timetable when that travel ban order will come, wolf. >> thank you. the president promised action on a whole range offishes from immigration to repealing and replacing obamacare. let's talk with our panel.
retired air force analyst is with us and david gregory and another reporter is with us. you said you'd be watching for things like immigration reform in the president's address, how he is going to pay for the wall along the u.s./mexico border, other sensitive issues. did you get the specifics in that speech you were looking for? >> no. presumably that's what they're going to be talk about, today when he talks about the president having the meeting with all the leaders. those are the details to talk about. no, he didn't talk about obamacare. how do you expand access, expand choice, and lower the cost as he said he would be able to do. this wall, it's $20 billion. he called it the great, great wall in terms of it being built in the next couple of months, but how do you do that if you're going to raise defense spending by 10%. he also talked about defending education and funding vouchers and school choice.
how do you pay for that if you're cutting everywhere else. as a lot of democrats have said, the devil is in the details and as of yet, we don't have many. listen, that's what's going o be hashed out over the next several months. >> david, in a briefing that the president gave to journalists yesterday, including the -- he said this about comprehensive immigration reform. he said the time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides. he's opening -- he's open to new legislation on comprehensive legislation reform. this is how he phrased it in his speech last night. listen. >> i believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible as long as we focus on the following goals, to improve jobs and wages for americans, to strengthen our nation's
security, and to restore respelkt for our laws. if we are guided by the well being of american citizens, then i believe republicans and democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has alluded our country for decades. >> a senior administration official told us that the reference to decades goes back to the reagan administration. that was the last time in the mid-'80s there was comprehensive immigration reform, and the president would like to see if there's enough wiggle room compromised on the both sides to come up with that now. >> there's a lot of loopholes. s is he talking about u.s. jobs or high school workers coming in to work for tech companies which the companies would still like. or is there a feeling still that workers from mexico are going to be taking the u.s. jobs, blue collar jobs.
that is the loophole. i do think the emphasis on security perhaps creates space to create a broader path for a path to legal status if not citizenship for those 11 million undoumtsed immigrants who are in the united states right now. this could have been achieved back before 9/11 under president bush. he tried it again at the height of the iraq war. he did not have the political capital. that's important. political capital. he's got a lot of the agenda. a lot is around taxes, deregulation, obamacare, and about immigration enforcement. the idea of getting into a big comprehensive immigration bill to divide the party, e i'm not sure that's not going to be at the top of the list. >> another thing is the travel ban, version, take 2, let's call it, we're at least told by two reporters telling us secretary of state rex tillerson, secretary of state james mattis.
national security adviser general mcmaster among others including secretary-general james kelly -- john kelly, i should say, they're inclined to remove iraq from the list of banned countries. there are seven right now, for a variety of reasons, one of the reasons being that the u.s. has about 5,000 troops in iraq and has a relatively decent relationship with the iraqi government. do you think it would be a good idea to remove iraq from that list? >> i to, wolf. the reason we think that, we're, in effect, allies with iraq right now. and you don't treat your allies badly. now, there may be individuals within iraq that are obviously suspect and terrorists. they have to be dealt with in the way you always deal with suspect individuals, no matter where they come from. but you have to make sure that allies are treated like allies and it becomes very, very important for iraq to be off that list. >> can i say how poorly thought
out this entire executive order was. if, you know, there's not enough urgency that they can wait and keep on getting it done and they're open to arguments that come from defense secretaries and others who have allies there, people on the ground that fight in iraq, and are fighting isis. it shows you they really haven't thought through what the land scape was. >> they've got a final decision on whether iraq would be removed. >> they want to get it right. the way it was rolled out, it was a disaster. they want to get it right. they have a blueprint in some ways if you look at the court decision. they can sort of figure out what not to do in this one. it's smart to wave and try to get it right and also not roll
it out today and step on all this great coverage that he's getting from his speech. >> the argument that the president has made about the seven countries, there's very little government in those seven countries, yemen, somalia, syria. as far as iraq is concerned, maybe baghdad. but if you go to mosul, the next outside city, you see what's going on and you're concerned about the refugees streaming into the u.s. without extreme vetting because there is no government. >> that is partly true but the fact of the matter is when mosul was captured by isis, they canceled all passports in that area and canceled blanks that isis would have had access to. so what you see is actually the fact that the iraq system is far more sophisticated when it comes to passport control. >> a lot of these refugees, they escape without anything. they don't have passports. they try too get into syria,
turkey. can they seriously be vetted if they escape the turmoil? >> in many cases the answer is no. that's where you have to have individualualized ways of dealing with these refugees. the way you do that is find out as much as you possibly can about their background and anthony you from there. but there are going to be a lot of refugees in this area. >> a lot of women and children. you're talking experts in this area that the composite here is full of a lot of women and children. it's not, you know, single men who might be a particular security threat based on the kind of profile who might be carrying something out and there is still a wait period to gain access. >> yeah. it's almost a two-year process in terms of the vetting. >> in a new weeks we'll hear what it's all about. thank you. our news is continuing right now. take a look at this right now. wall street on a clear roll
after the president's speech to congress. for the first time ever the dow jones industrial has topped 21,000, the investors praising the president's message to america on the vow to increase infrastructure and military. right now 21,124. up more than 00 points on this day. one thing wall street is still waiting for, specifics on what the president says will be his historic tax reform proposals. and a reminder. cnn hosts a special town hall event later tonight with two republican senators who have been outspoken on some of the president's policies. john mccain, lindsey graham. our chief political correspondent dana bash will moderate. that's tonight at 9:00 p.m. on cnn. coming up, president trump calls on congress to save americans. >> obamacare is collapsing and
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the president's address before congress has been applauded for the tone and the optimism but also criticized for the lack of specifics. wyoming senator john barrasso is with us. a member of the senate republican relations and senate relations. thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> was there enough for you? >> there was. i felt it was very optimistic. the country will be 250 years old and what do we want that celebration to like in terms of our country, jobs, and nasal security. >> but he didn't give specifics in terms of how he wants to
repeal and change obamacare. he seems to be working toward what the house version is, but you tell me. were there any specifics there, enough specifics to get a sense of where he's moving? >> i think absolutely there were. he wants to milwaukee sure people with presifting conditions continue to be covered. >> he wants to continue to have the opportunity to be covered. it wasn't necessarily a firm guarantee. >> well, you want to make sure that people with presifting -- >> he said something about access to coverage. >> my wife is a breast cancer survivor and i know as a doctor as well as a husband how important it is with presifting conditions to continue to have coverage. i'm very committed to that. i know the president is as well. >> are you okay with the house version, basically what paul ryan is putting forward right now? because that seems to be something in play? >> there's only one person who can sign the law and the status quo has failed.
obamacare has failed. they're meeting with the house leadership later today. we're learning to find a best way of doing it. the problem is the cost is so high and obamacare has contributed to that. we want access for people. we want affordability. you ask people what the biggest problem with obamacare is, it costs too much. that's why young people aren't buying. even with the mandate, they're moving away from it. >> let's talk about it. i'll play the clip. this is how the president phrased his plan for a billion dollars to rebuild roads and highways and airports. listen to this. >> to launch our national rebuilding, i'll be asking congress for legislation that produces $1 trillion financed through private and public capital creating millions of new jobs. >> democrats like that. a lot of republicans are worried. a trillion dollars. where is that money coming from?
>> that's the exact question. where are you coming one the money. i'm the chairman of the public works committee. we held a meeting about infrastructure that included california, the situation the dam there and the situation we have in wyoming that shows one size doesn't fit all. so when the president talks about private partnerships with public, that works in many places, doesn't work necessarily in wyoming where we have, you know, so many square miles and so few people. >> where is the trillion dollars going to come from? >> that's still being worked out. we'll look at the president's suggestions. it will generate revenue that will work in some places, not others. the whole issue is one size doesn't fit all. we've had bipartisan support over the years for a transportation bill that passed a year ago, a major water renovation act ha passed last year.
we have republicans and democrats working together for infrastructure and we look forward to the 250-year birthday of the country. >> very quickly, he said it would be financed through both public, which is taxpayers, and private capital. what does that mean? are you going to be doing tax credits to private companies to build stadiums and other projects? >> there's a toll road that gets sold and that company who works that has the revenue that comes in to fund that. there's bonding. there's a number of different potential ways to do it. different people have different ideas and i know we need to do the work with the bipartisan group committed to that. we have to find a source of funding that works for everyone, and one size doesn't fit all. while it works in major cities, it opportunity work in all of america. >> i think people are anxious to
get that trillion-dollar program going. >> just getting rid of some of these regulations which have been oppressive under the obama administration. they were punishing. if we can get rid of those. >> the president believes that getting rudd of a lot of these regulations is even more than tax cuts and stimulating. >> it will do a lot. >> the stockmarket is doing great. thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. >> what goes up, as you know, can go down. >> it's a matter of optimism and opinion. >> thank you. coming up the president rides a wave of positive reviews. we'll take a closer look at the strategy and a lot more when we come back. she does. she does. help defend against those digestive issues. take phillips' colon health probiotic caps daily with three types of good bacteria. 400 likes? wow! try phillips' colon health. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car.
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president has been true to his word, but now that word may be changing a bit from tough to at least flexible. last night the president signaled the desire for a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform. >> i believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible. if we are guyed by the well being of american citizens, then i believe republicans and democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades. >> here with us is a congressman, the democrat from arizona. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome. >> are you ready to come up with a compromise to work with the president, to find a path firefighter comprehensive immigration reform? it's been since the '80s with president reagan that such legislation was passed. >> president obama tried and it was resisted in the house and
never got anywhere. obviously president bush, george bush got it. tried it as well. got it in the house, but it never got anywhere. i think there is really good faith on the part of president to do something. i think many people, including myselfing would be more than willing, but you've got to accept the premise, otherwise we're still talking about a very limited approach with enforcement being the only caveat that he's been talking about since he got elected prior to and during the campaign. i don't know how that rhetoric that's set up the tone and the feeling out there at this point, how you pull away from that. >> this is what a bunch of journalists, a few journalists were told yesterday by a senior white house official, that the president is open to comprehensive immigration reform, not necessarily leading to a pathway to citizenship but
a pathway for millions of undocumented immigrants to legal status here in the united states. they would be able to work, pay taxes, raise their families, and not fear deportation legal status. the legislation failed the last time around, had a pathway to citizen ship. would you be open to that? >> i think there has to be a path to legalization, but we can't create in this country that is made up and grown and nurtured by the democrats in our country, that you can set up this barrier, work here, live here, pay taxes here, but there would never be an opportunity for you beyond the status of making it legal to becoming the full breadth of becoming a legal citizen. >> the children, the dreamers, we were told wouldn't have to worry. they would have a potential path to citizen ship.
>> exactly. >> there's millions, you and i know, of undocumented immigrants, at least that they wouldn't have to wake up and worry. >> the good faith i talked about and closing the door on potentially 11 million people in the country, that they can stay here if they follow the rules and work hard and that they meet all of the criteria of a good hard-working person and citizen in this country. that they would have some protection. okay. the problem i have with that is that we cannot create a situation and we have two classes of residents in this country. one without the opportunity to ever have the status permanent, legal, and have citizenship and one that is in constant limbo of lee ball status and nothing beyond that. i think that is going against every value we have ever established. >> politically speaking if you could get something that's better than nothing --
>> i agree. >> if they were to call you and say let's see if we can come up with something, work together as democra democrats and republicans, would you be open to that? >> i would be old to discussion. but for president obama, working on his campaign and supporting him for president, as we told him, i and others included. during the height of the immigration deportation issues, he needs to stop and look in the direction of comprehensive reform. to me the definition of comprehensive reform is something that fits a broke system, that goes beyond enforcement, and if the white house is willing to listen to and get off the rhetoric they've been using up to this point to demonize the immigrants in this country, then i think people would be willing to. but there's an essential good faith step and there has been harsh rhetoric used by this president and the system attic upgrading of deportation
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markets here in the united states seem to react positively to president trump's address to congress. at the start of the session today the dow has soared more than 300 points topping 21,000 for the first time, but those numbers can be a bit misleading as we talk about the numbers by the way, let's discuss one number that caught our
attention. talking about a number involved the labor market. let's listen. >> tonight as i outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honest hi acknowledge the circumstances we inherited. 94 million americans are out of it. >> does that number add up? christine romans breaks it down for us. christine? >> hi, wolf. the latest figures from the atlanta federal reserve show 95 million adults are out of the labor market. president trump's statement is true but misleading. those in the labor market don't want a job. 44 million are retired, more than 15 million are in college or job training. another 15 million are disabled. more than 13 million are taking
care of a family member. so to say 95 million are jobless exaggerated the labor market. president trump campaigned fabulously and he holds on to that theme as president. there are the number of people who want a job and can't find one. nearly 5 1/2 million people have looked in the last year. they're not part of the labor force and another 1.6 million americans searched for the a job in the last month. those are the unemployed and they're considered part of the labor force. tens of millions of baby boomers will be dropping out of the work force in the coming years and ironically they'll say more immigration is necessary to fill that gap and keep the economy growing. at the same time the president exaggerates how weak the labor market is, he magnifies how me jobs he's responsible for creating. >> since my election, ford, fiat
advicely, general motors, sprint, softbank, lougheed, intel, walmart, and many others have announced they'll invest billions and billions of dollars in the united states and will create tens of thousands of new american jobs. >> no question. ceos have credited trump for pro business policies. he promises to cut their tax bills. he promises to kill regulations. but in many cases the jobs he takes credit for were part of previously announced plans. what's new here, companies are going out of their way to promote the jobs being created here. "cnn money" has a running tally, wolf. you can check out all of the claims and facts, wolf. >> wonderful fact-check. my next guest stephen moore. he's also a former senior economic adviser on the trump campaign, a distinguished visiting fellow of the heritage
foundation here in washington. you can't dispute anything she just reported. >> i'm going to take ir. a couple of things. it is true there are 94 million americans above the age of 18 out of the work force and it is true it's a record. >> most of those people are retired or they're ill or raising a family. there's a tiny percentage of that 95 million or actually as she pointed out accurately -- >> i'd take issue with that too. it is true baby boomers are retiring by the amount of 10,000 a day. i'm a baby boomer. u was born in 1960. the labor force participation rate. people in peak earning years from 18 to 65, people who could be in the work force, he's come to an all-time low. in fact, the decline is actually most severe with younger people, not older people. older people are more likely to
be working today. >> the 95 million figure he put out last night is misleading. you'd agree with that. >> no. look. it's 95 mill yub -- >> 40 million of them have retired. >> let me give you another example. the number of people who are disabled, that has increased by 4 million people since 2007. now, do you really actually think there are four million more people disabled? we know the answer to that is no. he should have been more specific. after he said that, he said peek working years but there's no question there are a lot more people who could be working or
not and there are a lot of people who simply dropped out. now, people mentioned that. the other thing is there are millions of people in the labor force technically employed but they can't find a jochblt it's closer to 10%, not 5% because it doesn't include discouraged workers and temporary workers. >> you agree. you agree the dow jones since november 8, since the election is at least in part optimism because of it. is that correct? >> no question. i was laughing when you said the markets seemed to react positively. i mean, my goodness, we have a -- >> you give president obama enormous credit because when he took office during the great recession, the dow jones was under 7,000. when he left office, 18,000, 19,000. you give obama enormous credit
for what he did in revitalizing the u.s. economy. >> he was there when it happened so you have to give him credit. i think the reason why americans were frustrated was not because of the stockmarket. you're exactly right. the stockmarket did well. it was that the increase in the stockmarket didn't translate into great gains for the middle class. let me make this case. >> it went from 9% to 5%. >> but rehn those numbers are a little bit misleading. i want to make this comment about trump though. if he's going to be successful with voters, it's not going to be because of what happened with stock, although rising stockmarkets is a great thing. it can it turn into jobs. half of us own stocks. >> and that's very positive. but a caution, as i always say. what goes up can go down. >> we've learned that less son over the years. >> steven more, thanks for joining us. what you didn't hear in the
president's speech is russia or vladimir putin. was there a subtle nod if you read between the lines. >> we want peace wherever peace can be found. america is friends today with former enemies. i'm only in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80%
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faith in the possibilities for a better world. >> president trump assumingly alluding to the relationship with russia. using broad brush strokes to talk about foreign policy, foreign relations, choosing not to mention some of the greatest challenges facing the administration. let's discuss all of this and more with our senior diplomat joining us from moscow and clarissa ward who's in london. guys, thanks very much for joining us. nic, he didn't speak of north korea's nuclear ambitions which i know he sees as the greatest threat to information national security right now. right now, syria, russia's hacking during the elections. what was your analysis, what was the reaction when you were in moscow to what the president said? >> you know, well, the russian
reaction here, the president's spokesman here, he has a daily phone call with journalists and cnn asked precisely that question. russia wasn't mentioned. what's your reaction to that. he said, well, look, this is president trump dealing with american issues, what's on the american agenda, foreign policy agenda. so there's an understanding here. he said, look, if it was president putin, he would have been talking about things that are important to russia. so there's an except tans and understanding there. at the same time there's this frustration. we heard president trump talk about the possibility of working with allies and friends in the future and the spokesman for putin said, well, that could include us in the future. we could cooperate on counterterrorism, but there's a sense here that that window of opportunity to cooperate is closing. it's not closed. but pass kof's view on all of this, they're still waiting to
have that strong communication with washington, with president trump, to understand what his views really are with russia. >> clarissa, despite pushback from his national security adviser the president did warn and he specifically used the words radical islamic terrorism. how is that perceived internationally? >> well, wolf, i would say actually internationally people are not quite as concerned about the symantec debate that has taken on such prominence domestically. they're more concerned about actions. so they're less concerned whether he calls it radical islamic terrorism and more concerned about the previous incarnation ban which many saw as being somehow islamphobic. what they wouldlooking very closely at with last night's speech is some glimpse with what president trump's foreign policy is actually going to look at. even though he spent little time looking at it, i do think you
got some kind of a glimmer of what it was going to be like. he said america is going to be ready to lead. he referred to alliances to nato. but he made it clear america was not going to use the mechanisms we used. whether that's projecting foreign aid, projecting u.s. values on the rest of the world or footing the bulk of the bill of aliepss like nato. there is going to be a shift. there is a sense that it's every man for himself and there's two sides to that as well. they're saying, listen, i don't care how you run your country or what you do. as long as it is not a threat to the u.s. or world peace. >> nic, you're in moscow. there are reports that the former 2012 presidential candidate jon huntsman is in discussions with the president to become the u.s. ambassador to
russia. what kind of environmental would huntsman face if he were to become a u.n. ambassador there? >> there are no great deals to be done with washington. it is back to essentially the same policies as the obama administration. that window that i was talking about before that you hear analysts here describe where there's a possibility to do something with the united states, that's still open. but you have the generals here in russia, for example, looking very closely at the announcement just in the past 48 hours that president trump is looking for a $54 billion increase in the defense budget. 10% of increase in the defense spending. that is equivalent to russia's entire defense budget. so you have the generals here who are going through their own massive military spend who are in their own fight with their own finance ministry here to get more money for that spend,
looking at what the united states is doing and saying, okay, we need to spend more money too. not a match for match if you will, but that sense that there is a slow move to -- back to the status quo, back to a slow arms race if you will. not as we saw during the cold war, but that sort of mentality. that's the environmental that jon huntsman could find himself entering here, wolf. >> clarissa, you mentioned the scaling back of us foreign aid h is under serious consideration by the administration right now. what kind of message would that send to various countries out there that would see a significant drop in u.s. economic and military assistance? >> i think there's a lot of frustration, wolf, and i think primarily because president trump has placed so much emphasis of defeats isis or distinguishing isis as he used last night, but there seems to be a look of understanding this
a military track solution only can't work in isolation of other -- you know, you have to look at the other facts that contributed to the rise. whether they're geopolitical, social, economic. so there will be some frustration that the u.s. won't put its walkt behind solutions that the broader themes will. >> nic robertson, clarissa ward, thank you very much. how they managed to spark an $8 billion bidding war. we'll be right back. younger looking skin can start today. absolutely ageless® from aveeno®. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount,
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a major bidding war is over in the book industry. random house made a deed with former president barack obama and former first lady michelle obama. according to the "financial times," the deals are worth a combined, get this, $65 million. a significant portion of which, we're told, will be donated to
charity. both books could be released in 2018. $65 million. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern "the situation room." for our international viewers, amanpour is next. for those here, brianna keilar starts right now. hi, there. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldw baldwin. one day after president trump's best previewed speech ever, the market is riding high and republicans are riding high. one question is on the nation's mind. was it a performance or a true pivot. even some democrats praised his address and why wouldn't they, some observers noted when some of his policies were democratic. all are likely to lead to some epic