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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 27, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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context, a lot of context when it comes to what the president did, what he can do without congress, first of all, and where canada is in all this because nafta, of course, is in agreement with mexico and canada. >> that's right, those are the two major questions, what will congress do and will canada also sign on, which is also very important. look, this news conference or this conference, whatever it was, it was a lot of congratulations, light on details so far. the administration needed a win on a trade deal. essentially this administration and trump promised american workers that they would get better trade deals and so far the only thing the administration has done is impose tariffs, and that's done two things. one, created a lot of uncertainty for a lot of american businesses and workers and in the worst-case scenario some layoffs. two, american farmers have been dealing with retaliatory
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tariffs. so on those two fronts the tariffs are really tough. so the administration needed a win and this they can tout as a win. again, we don't have all the details, but i can tell you that lig lighthizer, essentially wanted to force more domestic car production. we still don't know if that's what they got at the end of the day. we know that this was a deal to modernize nafta. it's a 24-year-old trade agreement. i don't think anybody disagrees with the fact that it needed to be modernized, brought up to speed for the digital age. but what did the u.s. really get out of this? the president, i foundi it interesting, did focus on farmers and the fact that mexico will buy more agricultural product from the united states. but how much, will it offset all the pain that they're feeling from those other tariffs that they're feeling from other countries. >> christina, thanks. stephen, put this into context
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for us as well. what are your thoughts on what this really is and what the impact is. >> well, it's fairly extraordinary actually. you know, during the campaign, as you know, dana, trump used to say that nafta is the worst trade deal in the history of mankind and that we're going to have a new trade deal that benefits american workers and so on. it's very interesting to me, and it seems so improbable that we would be on the cusp of having a major trade agreement with mexico and not with canada. you would think our differences with canada would be much more minor than they are in mexico. americans have been concerned for years about losing jobs and factories to mexico. i don't think a lot of people are worried about losing factories to canada so i think that's an interesting dwoch development. second of all, trump has talked a lot about how trade deals are
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made. he does not like these big multi-lateral trade deals. he likes to have one-on-one bilateral deals as was just apparently negotiated with mexico. and i think that's a harbinger of things to come. it will be a one-on-one situation with japan, with china, with korea and now with canada. the other thing i think is sort of interesting about this, dana, is this does tighten the screws on canada, doesn't it? canada right now is kind of the country left out and we'll see whether there can be a deal done quickly with canada. i'd like to see that done. i think nafta has been a good thing. one other quick point. trump said in the speech this is sort of the end of nafta and this is a new trading regime that we're under and that nafta is gone now. and so we'll see how that all plays out. >> well, it could be wishful thinking because, of course, for nafta to end, i guess the president could do it
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unilaterally, but to have an actual new treaty, the congress would have to approve it. it's hard to imagine that would happen with a bilateral agreement not with canada as well. >> could i mention one other -- >> please. >> just one quick thing. it is true, the devil really is in the details, and the auto import tariffs is a big issue that i think is still unresolved. another issue is whether there will be a -- this will be like a five-year deal that could be -- could end after a certain length of time. that's something that has been a flash point in these negotiations both with mexico and canada. >> very good point, stephen. thank you so much for your insight. christina, your expertise as well. appreciate it. remembrances are rolling in around the country and the world remembering a life fully lived and the legacy of senator john
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mccain who died saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer. a legend in the senate, a force on the world stage, a champion of those oppressed and a proud enemy of their oppressors. on the senate laugh he could spar with someone and still laugh with them, often within five minutes. the void he leaves is immeasurab immeasurable. lawmakers are struggling to imagine the country without him but most of them are saying it was a privilege to know him, work with him and learn from him. nearly every significant political figure has highlighted the senator's public service, his status as a war hero, bipartisanship and his character. nearly everyone. let's get straight to cnn's athena jones at the white house where the american flag is flying right now at full staff. athena, explain what's going on there and what that means. >> reporter: well, we have asked the white house and have been asking since early this morning when we noticed that the flag had been raised, we asked why
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had the flag raised? it had been lowered to half staff after the death of senator mccain and we know it was raised just a couple of minutes after midnight, 12:02 early this morning that flag was raised, even though the flag at the u.s. capitol remains at half staff. we've asked the white house and are still waiting on an answer as to why they made that decision. and this comes after we're also learning from a source familiar that white house aides had prepared what is being described as a fulsome statement for president trump on the death of senator mccain that mentioned his accomplishments and service. several staffers believed that it would be released on saturday after mccain's death was announced. that's not what happened. "the washington post" says chief of staff john kelly, white house press secretary sarah sanders and others urged the president to put out a statement calling mccain a hero and praising his extensive service. the president said instead he wanted to put out a brief tweet. that tweet offering condolences
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for the mccain family, offering his deepest sympathies and respect saying our hearts and prayers are with you. he issued the same statement on his instagram page with a picture of himself. others in and around the white house, first lady melania trump, ivanka trump, mike pompeo, has issued full statements praising mccain's service. one more thing i want to note here, dana, at the end of the pool spray we call it when the reporters were allowed into the oval office to hear the president's announcement about this preliminary agreement with mexico, he was asked several times by abc reporter jonathan karl to remark on mccain. he asked any thoughts on the leg as of john mccain? these were shouted questions, clearly within earshot of the president. he declined to use that opportunity to talk about mccain and his service. dana. >> athena, thank you. look, i wanted to get this news in because it's important. he is the commander in chief, he is the president, the flag issue
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could be fixed with the stroke of a pen, a presidential proclamation, which is standard operating procedure when a sitting u.s. senator, never mind somebody with the patriotic and heroic background of john mccain, and he hasn't done it, so we'll see how that plays out. but i also want to note that from now on we're going to talk about john mccain and his legacy and not about this pettiness frankly that we're seeing from the white house. on that note, we're going to go more -- learn more about the funeral memorial services planned for senator mccain. an aide for mccain tells cnn that former vice president joe biden will speak at the funeral service on thursday. the two were very close friends for almost half a century. biden's son, beau, suffered from the same type of brain cancer as mccain. i want to go straight to stephanie elam in phoenix. what else do we know about plans to honor and mourn the senator?
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>> reporter: dana, you've spoken so much about how senator mccain really believed that at the end of the day all of the politicians, they're all americans and that they should reach across the aisle more so. we know that he planned what he wanted to have happen for his funeral, for how he is memorialized. you can see that playing out in what's going to happen the next five days, starting here in phoenix in the state capitol where he will lie in state beginning on wednesday, which would have been the senator's 82nd birthday. on thursday what you're talking about how he will be memorialized at the north phoenix baptist church where former vice president joe biden is expected to speak. on friday the senator's body will make its way to d.c. where he will lie in state at the u.s. capitol followed up by saturday where he will have a funeral at the national cathedral. this is where we expect to hear from former presidents george w. bush and former president barack obama where they are expected to eulogize the senator there
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before there is a private memorial at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis. that's where the family -- that's where he will be laid to rest. >> stephanie, thank you so much and thank you for all of your amazing reporting out there literally around the clock, appreciate it. joining me here at the table to share their insights, cnn's phil mattingly, molly ball, taluse and michael shear from "the new york times." it has been a long few days. first of all, thank you one and all for coming here. i want to start with a really great interview that our colleague, john berman, did this morning with patrick kennedy, former member of congress, of course son of ted kennedy. he talked really eloquently about the relationship but also about what john mccain and his late father symbolized when it
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comes to what's right and what should be done in the u.s. senate. >> my father genuinely loved and respected john mccain. it's an example of what we need today, again, and that is that even though they disagreed, they were always searching for ways to put their country ahead of their party. it sounds so trite, but no, not at all. in these days that we're living in, we really need people to have that as their goal. >> it's not trite, it's reality and you see it in the halls every single day, phil. >> i think it's really interesting. as you watch the old guard or the old bulls leave the united states senate, as we've seen too frequently over the course of the last 10 or 15 years, it's this reality of it's different now than it used to be. obviously nostalgia is a wonderful drug and we can all say it is better back when, but now when you look at the legislative priorities or
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schedule, it's about scoring points. it's about making sure your party is going to do better in the midterms. it's about making sure the president's agenda is going to make it through. i'm not saying that wasn't all the case. but you can attribute it to campaigning or fund-raising or anything we've talked about ad nauseam, but there's a difference in the way senators interact with one another, a difference in the way they have relations with one another and a difference in the way in which they take up legislation and work with one another. it's a top down approach. it's the committee chairs aren't working behind the scenes to figure out the path forward. what's interesting is mccain was very complex. your documentary laid this out. he was not a perfect man, he acknowledged that. he was infuriating to people on the opposite party and his own party. you were at the hbo showing where mcconnell once told his wife about mccain, that he believed that his captors in vietnam were still going through
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grief therapy. but at the same time, mccain, unlike a lot of lawmakers now, was still able to make deals, still negotiate, still talk to the people that he could frustrate and enrage at times. that has many something we haven't seen as much of in recent years. >> that's what's so important about the example of mccain and what we don't see in the senate now. it's not just about bipartisanship. you don't have to cross party lines if it's not what you believe in, but when you talk about mccain or kennedy being a lion, it's a sense of bigness. a sense that being only one of 100 senators you have a real job to do, you can accomplish major things. if you're joe biden, you can actually create and pass big pieces of legislation that change the way the country functions. instead a lot of the senators now seem like drones that just vote the way the party leadership tells them and don't feel like it's their job to start stuff and have ideas of their own and be independent. and you see this with a lot of
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them seem to be looking around, putting their finger in the political wind or just waiting for someone else to start the ball rolling instead of really taking that upon themselves. >> right. and putting their finger in the political wind because, look, to be fair to the people who are in office now, kennedy and mccain in particular, they were giants and they had a lot of running room because they had a lot of support back home. just look at what happened to the junior senator from arizona, jeff flake. it's not that he is not a conservative, but the big reason why he decided not to run again is because he was probably going to lose a republican primary because he didn't have that running room and he had the same sensibilities as mccain. so that begs the question, can there be -- there will never be a john mccain. but can the people who he took under his wing, chris coons of delaware, amy klobuchar of minnesota, and others, and this
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is on the democratic side not the republican side, can they live up to that standard? >> it's going to be incredibly difficult to live up to that standard because we do live in this tribalized moment in history where people realize if you go against a member of your own party or speak out against the president, then you're likely to get a tweet attacking you or have a primary opponent who could end your career. >> and mccain had tweets and attacks all the time. >> and he stood up to that and he put out some of the most clear statements when the president did something that he was against, whereas you hear from other members of congress i didn't see that tweet or i'm not sure, i don't have a comment yet and you see them looking for political cover and looking for someone else to step out and speak out first. but mccain was always willing to put his stake in the groundi an say this is what i believe for. >> we covered the 2008 campaign for. the mother of a service member
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killed in iraq, matthew stanley. you heard mccain talk about him over and over again. lynn savage was on cnn today and i want you all to listen to what she said about mccain. >> he called me in the morning and he said that -- good morning, lynn, this is senator john mccain and i'm just calling to see how you're doing today. that was it. plain, simple. we chatted for a couple of minutes and that was it. how thoughtful. a man with a busy schedule taking a few minutes out to speak to me. >> and we remember that senator mccain wore matthew stanley's bracelet and he talked -- it was one of the lines that -- we can make a joke out of it because i think mccain would want us to because we all memorized that part of his stump speech, but it was a real moment for him when he met lynn savage and learned about her son's sacrifice. >> right. this was a politician and he was
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a politician, but who sort of had something inside his core that a lot of politicians now seem to be missing, which is a real sense of duty and honor to something greater than just the next ballot. i will say just as a little bit of a connote that politics around john mccain changed too. later in his career when he did get primaried in 2010 and when it did look like some of the forces around the party that were more conservative on issues like immigration were threatening to oust him, he did change. and there were lots of people who had known him over the years who sort of raised an eyebrow at some of the positions that he took to try to get through that election cycle. now, you know, you can say he sort of returned to prime mccain form afterwards, but to me it was a testimony less about something that changed in him and more about what changed in the party around him. and of course that was years
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ago. now it's even gotten more intense and so the politicians today are dealing with a very different environment that john mccain didn't largely have to deal with. >> it's such an important point. i want to go to break. as we go to break, i want to pull up an exchange that i had with john mccain's speechwriter, long-time collaborator, mark salter, on the idea of the words that he wrote for john mccain and what the words that he's written, and he's written probably millions over the past however many years, had the most meaning. let's listen. >> you've written a lot of words for and with john mccain. what do you think the most important are? >> we were born to live and we were born to have the courage for it. so be brave. the rest is easy. i thought that was the most mccainesque thing he ever said.
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billions of problems. morning breath? garlic breath? stinky breath? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath fresh breath oral rinse instantly fights all types of bad breath and works for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy. there's therabreath at walmart. welcome back. our youngest viewers may be familiar with the word bipartisan, but unless you're of a certain age, there's a chance you've never actually seen politicians act in such a way for the national interest. we mentioned a few moments ago how senator john mccain embraced it, knowing how crucial it is to getting important bills through congress, whether it was working with john kerry on restoring diplomatic relations with vietnam, russ feingold on campaign finance reform, ted kennedy on immigration, mccain knew the importance of bipartisan consensus. after he lost the 2000 presidential gop primary, part
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of that drive was from his frustration with many in his own party. in fact a little known story is that mccain even talked to then democratic senate leader tom daschle about leaving the gop. here's part of my discussion with senator daschle. >> when did you first have a conversation with john mccain about potentially switching sides? >> it was early in 2001. it was after the election. of course we went through a very tumultuous period when we weren't sure just how all this was going to sort out. if you recall, it was the first 50-50 senate. and so we were trying to figure out how you govern with a 50-50 senate. and almost immediately there were overtures on both sides, trent lott was reaching out to republicans -- i mean to democrats and i was reaching out to republicans. and we had picked up that there was a lot of frustration that
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john was feeling. and so it was early on, i would say february or march, that the conversation started. >> did you invite him into your office? did you talk on the floor? how did it happen? >> no, we primarily talked on the floor. the office would be too transpetran transparent. >> so you were hiding in plain sight? >> exactly, yeah, having those initial conversations. >> and i guess the fact that he didn't say are you kidding me, are you crazy -- >> right. >> -- made it clear there was an opening there? >> that's right. there was an opening and we began talking about the possibility that -- not that he would switch parties but that as an independent he would caucus with us. and we even got to a point where we had conversations about committee assignments and committee roles and then really couldn't resolve that initially because it was -- had to do with
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chairmanships and everything else. an then jim jeffords made the jump. when that happened, john decided that there was really little value in his coming as well, because we were then in the majority. >> it's like remember that movie "sliding doors" where things happen and it changes a person's future, never mind in this case the future of many other people, never mind american history. imagine if john mccain left the republican party. he wouldn't have been able to run for president, to be the nominee in 2008. but not just that, it really is a reminder of the very turbulent relationship that john mccain has had historically with his own party. >> no question about it. if you look at some of his biggest foils, if you will, it was mitch mcconnell on campaign finance. they loathed each other for years.
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now, that changed over the last decade. but whether it was the base of the party which senator mccain was battling with, you mentioned the primary issues that he had, but senior republicans, top republican minds, he would often run headlong against them. but he did the same with democrats. if you look through the obama era, i don't know that there was a republican lawmaker, particularly on national security issues, that fought with them with more vigor than senator mccain throughout the process. >> but we saw it in 2008. there was -- there were the pre-sarah palin rallies and the post-sarah palin rallies. prep pre-palin were fine but lacked energy because of his complicated relationship with the base. post-palin -- >> and the size was different. i don't think a mccain rally ever got more than 1,000 or 2,000 people. when sarah palin came on, there were regularly over 10,000 to
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20,000. but you also go back to a year before that, the summer of 2007 when mccain had come in as the front-runner and his campaign completely imploded. people think it imploded over the iraq war because he was one of the supporters, but it really imploded over the issue of immigration. at town hall after town hall after up to hall that we were both at, we would get assailed by this party of the republican party that was really upset that he was more moderate and working with ted kennedy and george w. bush on immigration. you know, that really was kind of an example of the kind of tension between him and a certain part of the party that never went away. >> and then later when he was -- he had the toughest re-election battle in the senate, he had moderate. he did act like a regular politician in order to do what he needed to do to win that primary and of course later in his senate primary. he certainly had that in him. >> he had the ability to moderate himself, but i think he
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saw the senate as this grand place where you had to work across the aisle. there's a number of arcane rules that require you to have more than a 51-vote majority. mccain saw the senate as this grand place where you had to sometimes buck your own party, find a coalition, bring together people that normally wouldn't be together and get things done. he had this in this very well regarded speech on the senate floor where he said we are getting nothing done, my friends, because everyone wanted to win with a 50-vote majority. sometimes you have to go across the party, across the line and pick up votes on the other side of the line if you wanted to get something done. before we go to break, the other senator from arizona, jeff flake, opens up about the legacy senator mccain leaves behind. >> it was tough. i'm going to miss him.
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welcome back. john mccain counted despots and tyrants as his enemies, and also an untold number of people in far-flung places around the world saw mccain as a friend, a champion for freedom and an
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interventionist for decency. mark salter, mccain's long-time collaborator, describes mccain as a romantic about his causes and a cynic about the world. mccain's life had shown him the ease with which the powerful can punish and the cruelty with which they can do it. so he made it his purpose to give the afflicted hope and to use american power to try to tear down oppression. that commitment made him a hero, salter says, all over the world. >> there's a story we talk about in the book where he goes to berma and meets with three guys who had been political prisoners for 20 years, had just been released from prison. he walked into the room, they were already there, and he starr started to speak and one of them just started to cry because they had heard his voice on radio free asia so many times defending them by name. >> joining me now is cnn national security analyst and admiral john kirby. thank you so much for joining
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us. when you hear mark salter talk about that, about the fact that people who, you know, you wouldn't even think that they would know who john mccain is, never mind have that kind of -- that he had that kind of impact on them while they were in prison just because he mentioned their name, what does that say to you? >> well, it speaks right to the credibility that he had on issues of human rights, having been a prisoner of war himself, having known what that feels like. it gave him so much greater weight. and the other thing, when you look back at the legislation he sponsored, the foreign policy impact that he had, it all really does come back to basic human rights. he was one of the staunchest defenders of basic human rights and values around the world. and oftentimes that led him and he would be the first to admit, it led him to a maybe more aggressive interventionist style but it was because at the root of what he believed is sometimes we defend american national
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security best when we defend the national security and values of people overseas. >> he certainly was criticized by the more pacifist wing of american culture and the u.s. senate for taking interventionism too far and being too much of a hawk, but you're right, it was the fundamental belief that he had that america has a responsibility -- >> that's right. >> -- to stand up for the people who are being oppressed. >> that's right. for him, american leadership mattered. one of my favorite john mccain speeches was just given last october when he got the liberty award. and he talked about the special responsibility that we have. he said, yes, our intervention around the world has come at a cost, but we have grown richer, not just from a prosperity perspective but as a culture perspective from having been involved overseas. >> i wanted to talk to you especially because you are an admiral in the united states navy. you just mentioned in the break and i didn't know this about you, you taught naval history.
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>> i did. >> so that basically means teaching about the mccain family. >> absolutely. i was not smart enough to get into the naval academy but they let me go back and teach when i was a young lieutenant. >> he did graduate fifth from the bottom of his class. >> he did, but at least he got there. i didn't even get into the school. but you honestly cannot teach about the 20th century navy, certainly the last half of the 20th century, without teaching the mccain family. his grandfather won the navy cross, the second highest award to the medal of honor for his command of carrier strike forces in the pacific, including the air campaign over guadal canal. his father and him -- his father was the commander of all the pacific forces in vietnam and became a staunch defender of the vietnamization of that war. and of course you have senator mccain himself who was a naval aviator in combat, shot down, of
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course, became a p.o.w. >> i want you to tell me about the letter you have in front of you. >> so my son is now a naval officer. back in january i asked senator mccain for a little advice, just to give my son some advice as he ventured out on his own as an ensign. i'll just read part of it to you. as you may know, my father and grandfather served in the navy, both were men of great courage and dignity, both were tough acts to follow, but they also inspired me to serve a greater cause than my own self interest. from the naval academy to government service, it was their leadership and inspiration that encouraged me to work for others. god blessed me with the company of heroes and it has made all the difference in my life. he ended up with this, which i think is just superb. be proud of your accomplishments and never stop believing in yourself. and most importantly, you will find the most happiness in serving a cause greater than
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yourself. >> that is so beautiful. >> it says it all right there. >> thank you for sharing that. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. now t-mobile has unlimited for the rest of us. unlimited ways to be you. unlimited ways share with others. unlimited ways to live for the moment. all for as low as 30 bucks a line. unlimited for you. for them. for all. get unlimited for as low at 30 bucks per line for four lines at t-mobile.
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topping our political radar, president trump welcomes kenya's president to the white house in the next hour. they'll talk trade and security issues. he's the second african leader to meet with president trump this year following nigeria's president. the markets are reacting positively as the u.s. and mexico reach a preliminary agreement resolving key bilateral trade issues. the nasdaq climbed to an all-time high breaking 8,000 for
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the first time, while the dow jones industrial is back above 26,000 for the first time since february. as the president continued his attacks on his own attorney general over the weekend, lawmakers seem divided on the issue. republican senator lindsey graham, who once said he was 100% behind jeff sessions now seems open to the idea if it happens after the midterm elections. the two men have sparred on immigration and criminal justice reform of late. others are warning that firing sessions would be political suicide and a major mistake. >> you have two prominent gop senators say, well, if he wants to get rid of the a.g., we'll help him get a new one, but let's wait until after the midterms. that is not something you would have ever heard john mccain say. >> there may be a few isolated voices saying that the president ought to fire him now. i can tell you as a body we're saying please don't.
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he serves at the pleasure of the president, we all know that, but i think it would be a big mistake for the president to fire him now. up next, north korea says the u.s. is getting set to unleash a war while pursuing dialogue with a smile. why the regime is lashing out, when we come back. balanced nutr. for strength and energy! whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein and twenty-six vitamins and minerals. ensure. now up to 30 grams of protein for strength and energy!
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itthat's why i lovel the daily fiber wfiber choice,ood alone. with the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables. fiber choice. the number one ge recommended chewable prebiotic fiber. north korea is lobbing some fiery new allegations at the united states. it says the u.s. is preparing for an invasion, pointing to what the north says are u.s. troop movements in the region. the country's main newspaper says they amount to a criminal plot to unleash war and says it's happening as the u.s. negotiates, quote, with a smile on its face. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr is barbara, first of all, what are these maneuvers the north is referring to and what is the
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pentagon saying? >> right now the pentagon is not sure what the north koreans are talking about. a u.s. military spokesman says as far as u.s. operations out of japan go, this spokesman says in general u.s. aircraft and ships operate from japan every day in support of our commitments to our allies and partners in the region and in the interests of regional peace and security. so standard u.s. military operations in the area. there is no indication that the u.s. is planning to invade pyongyang, invade north korea, that simply is not happening. of course the deeper question would be why kim jong-un is having this new round of fiery rhetoric. it comes days after president trump cancelled the planned visit by secretary of state mike pompeo to north korea. not a lot of progress on denuclearization and that is what everybody is still looking for. dana. >> me thinks you just answered your own question, right? it's because the negotiations
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were cancelled. maybe there's a little bit of frustration on both sides, but particularly north korea. thank you so much, barbara, for that report. up next, senator john mccain was many things. he was a war hero, a patriot, a maverick. but i bet you didn't know he was a really big fan of the '70s swedish pop group, abba. ♪ take a chance on me ♪ take a chance on me from the very beginning ...
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if you've been reading and watching the tributes over the last few days, you may feel like you know what there is to know about senator john mccain. well, here's something you may not know unless you spend a lot of time with him on the campaign trail as some of us around the table have. john mccain was a huge fan of abba. >> why abba? take a chance? >> because my cultural progress came to an abrupt halt on october 26, 1960. i just like abba. i'm one of those people who is willing to admit that i like abba. absolutely, absolutely i would. >> i'm willing to admit it too. and remember when we were -- he invited some of us in the press corps to his cabin in arizona. it's the only thing that was playing was abba. >> that's right. >> what is your memory, maybe something that people don't know about him?
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>> my memory watching that clip of him on the back of his straight talk express bus which is where so many of us spent so many hours, my memory was the first day that he relaunched his campaign in 2007, he had the big straight talk express bus. a bunch of us were on the back of it. but he had promised tv networks that they would each get an interview on the bus. but the place that the bus was going was only ten minutes away. so in order to accommodate all of the networks, the bus just went in a circle around and around downtown des moines, back and forth. finally he looked out the window and looked at all of us and said you jerks are going to right that our campaign is already going in circles, right? yes, of course we did! that was his way of interacting with us and eventually then the bus moved on. >> what about you? >> mine actually comes from earlier in 2017. there was a hearing on afghanistan. the theater commander just announced they believed russia was providing support for the taliban. i wanted to talk to senator
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mccain, the chairman of the committee after the hearing. he wanted to talk about it. after about 20 seconds his gaze went elsewhere and i was a little confused and he just walked away from me. i turned around and he had spotted a group of young marines that had just entered the russell office building and he went and went to say hello to them. it looked like they had just seen the biggest select in the world. he sat there and talked to them for 25 minutes. eventually i had to go to a vote. he looked at me and said hey, you, which is better than jerks, what do you want? and he said no offense, but they're more important to me than you guys are. >> that's a great story. very telling. >> well, i had personal experiences with john mccain, but the story that i wanted to share today is kind of a silly one. i was at my sunday morning yoga class yesterday and the instructor decided to make the theme of the class inspired by john mccain and the theme for us all to meditate on in yoga was sacrifice. i thought i wish i could go back and tell the john mccain of 1960
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that one day he would be the inspiration for a suburban yoga moms practice in arlington, virginia, and he would have rolled his eyes and he would have laughed -- >> and he would have said what's yoga? >> as i talk to people who knew him better than i did and campaign staffers, volunteers, people who were peripheral to his existence, the common theme was i didn't matter to him but he mattered to me. he had an effect on so many people that he may have known glancingly but still did a good deed for or he still had significance for their lives. >> as a white house reporter, i did not have an opportunity to sort of chase john mccain down the halls of the senate or work with him in the capitol. i heard a lot of the stories. but one of the most important things we wait for is responses from senators to what the president is doing, the latest outrage or the latest tweet or policy change from the president. often we would hear from senators, we'd get statements
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that we couldn't use in stories because they were so vague. john mccain always had a direct, clear statement and always said where he stood and it was very key and useful for us as white house reporters. >> well said. thank you all so much. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." "wolf" starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. today we are remembering the life and legacy of senator john mccain. the reaction to his death continuing to pour in from all around the globe. this hour i'll speak with several of his very close friends and colleagues. all that coming up. but let's begin right now with some major breaking news here in washington. what could be the end of the north american free trade agreement, nafta. president trump now says negotiators have worked out a separate new trade deal with mexico, a deal that excludes canada.

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