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Trump Meets with Business Leaders; Trump's Speech at CIA; Spicer Talks Crowds; Interview with Rep. Adam Kinzinger; Netanyahu Calls for Patience; Falcons beat Green Bay; Patriots Beat the Steelers. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired January 23, 2017 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Massive tax decrease that we're giving for business, for everybody, but for business, or the cutting down of regulation. If I took a vote, I think I'd -- the regulation wins 100 percent.
Now, in one case it's hard dollars. In the other case it's regulation. You would think that the regulations would have no chance. It's -- it's -- I've never seen anything like it. Virtually everybody is happier with regulation than even cutting the taxes. So the regulations are going to be cut massively and the taxes are going to be cut way down. So you're going to have now incentive -- incentive to build.
The one thing I do have to warn you about, when you have a company here, you have a plant here, it's going to be in Indiana or it's in Ohio or it's in Michigan or it's in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, anywhere in this country, when it decides -- when you decide -- if you decide to close it and you no longer will have a real reason because your taxes are going to be lower. And, by the way, if you go to another state, that's it, that's great. If you can go from Ohio to Indiana or from Indiana to Ohio, that's fine. so you have 50 great, wonderful governors to negotiate with. So it's not like we're taking away competition.
But if you go to another country and you decide that you're going to close and get rid of 2,000 people or 5,000 people, I tell you, United Technologies was an example with Carrier and I got involved, you know, two years after they announced. So, in all fairness, that was tough. But United Technologies was terrific and they brought back many of those jobs.
But if that happens, we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product when it comes in, which I think is fair. Which is fair. So a company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States and build some factory someplace else and then thinks that that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States, that's not going to happen. They're going to have a tax to pay, a border tax, substantial border tax.
Now, some people would say that's not free trade, but we don't have free trade now because we're the only one that makes it easy to come into the country. If you look at China, if you look at many other countries, I don't have to name them, but many other countries, they can't believe what we do. So we take in things free and yet if you want to take a plant or you want to do something, you want to sell something into China and other countries, it's very, very hard. In some cases it's impossible. They won't even take your product. But when they do take your product, they charge a lot of tax.
So I don't call that free trade. What we want is fair trade. Fair trade. And we're going to treat countries fairly, but they have to treat us fairly. And if they're going to charge tax to our countries -- if, as an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan, and yet they sell cars into us and they come in like by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I've ever seen, we have to all talk about that. It's not fair. It's not fair. Never was. I just can't believe it took so long for somebody to come along. So that's the only thing I will tell you.
So essentially I'm talking about no tax because if you stay here, there's no tax. Somebody would say, oh, Trump is going to tax. I'm not going to tax. There is no tax. None whatsoever. And I just want to tell you, all you have to do is stay. Don't leave. Don't fire your people in the United States. We have the greatest people. And many other countries have great people. I mean we all have great people, OK. This isn't that kind of a competition. Everybody has great people. But if we're going to fire people and build a product outside, not going to happen.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) --
QUESTION: And so --
TRUMP: Thank you. So with that, we'll take some -- some questions.
Marillyn, you want to start? Gotten to know Marillyn very well. We had a deep negotiation with Marillyn.
QUESTION: Mr. President, I just thought I'd thank you for (INAUDIBLE).
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: OK, we can't -- we can't really hear. He was addressing that comment to Marillyn Hewson, who is the CEO of Lockheed Martin. Some of the people in that meeting, business leaders. We had people from Ford, from U.S. Steel, from Dell, from Lockheed Martin, and also from Dow Chemical. I'm sure there are a few more CEOs in the room.
Also in the room, Steve Bannon, an adviser to the president. Reince Priebus was in there. Also Sean Spicer was present for that meeting, as well as Jared Kushner, who, of course, is Mr. Trump's son-in-law.
So I want to bring in Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He's also an Iraq War veteran. He's a congressman from Illinois.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: Hey, thanks. Thanks for having me.
COSTELLO: So did you hear any of that?
KINZINGER: I did. Yes. Yes. It was interesting.
COSTELLO: What did you think?
[09:35:00] KINZINGER: So, you know, look, I'm -- as a -- as a free fair trader myself, a little disappointed in the TPP, you know, withdraw, which has come in --
COSTELLO: Because you voted in favor of TPP, right?
KINZINGER: Yes. Yes. And I'm supportive of it. But, look, you know, I knew this was dead -- dead in the water when you had both candidates that basically were campaigning against it. My hope is that, you know, the big kind of Trans-Pacific Partnership can be replaced by maybe some bilateral trade negotiations, which are important, and showing that we're protecting (ph) American manufacturing. The rest of, you know, what President Trump basically said, you know, as a Republican, you kind of get excited to hear. He says it in a very different way than what you're used to, but talking about the idea of reducing regulations, making it easier for business to create jobs, for factories to be built. That's pretty exciting. So let's see what that looks like in action and -- and we'll go from there.
COSTELLO: OK, so let's talk about some of Mr. Trump's ideas, because he looked at the CEOs of those companies and he said, look, we're going to cut regulations by 75 percent.
COSTELLO: If you build new factories in the United States, we're going to give you massive tax breaks. So of course businesses would be happy. Who wouldn't?
KINZINGER: Right. Right. Well, I mean, again, the devil's going to be in the details there. The 75 percent number, that's probably kind of, you know, Trump just -- just making a large number. I don't know if it's actually 75 percent. But the idea, too, is, we want to have protection of our environment, we went to have protection of workers. That's all extremely important.
But a lot of the cases -- and I've talked to, you know, folks in my district that own businesses that say, but sometimes it's so burdensome that we can go through all the iterations of what we need to do, but it will still be two years till something gets approved. And -- so that kind of thing, I think fixing that and just reinvigorating that free market and having just new blood no matter which party I think can be pretty good.
COSTELLO: Well, here's the thing. If you give massive tax breaks to companies, right --
COSTELLO: Somebody's got to pick up the slack, and that's going to be the U.S. taxpayer. And that's probably going to be within the upper income level taxpayer. So Mr. Trump says he wants to cut taxes for everyone. How would that be possible if you're going to give humongous tax breaks to these businesses to build new factories or to continue doing business within the United States? Somebody is going to have to pick up the slack?
KINZINGER: Yes, well, we're talking about getting rid of a lot of deductions and lowering overall rates. And how that looks again in the final numbers, that's where Republicans, Democrats, the president and Congress are going to be in negotiations. But, for instance, you know, companies that make money overseas, let's say they make a product in Germany, they pay the German corporate taxes on it. Well, we're the only country where then if they want to bring their profits back and reinvest it in the United States, on top of that they have to pay American corporate taxes. So what happens is, they don't bring that money back at all. They reinvest it back in that country. If we go to how every other country does it, which says, you can bring your profits back at a very reduced rate, we actually make money on that because they're bringing money they never would have back and we're -- we're increasing the amount of capital back in the United States. Republican and Democrats both agree that that's something that needs to be done. That will be a tax break for these corporations and small businesses, but it also will lead to more money to the American taxpayer.
COSTELLO: OK. The other thing that Mr. Trump mentioned was this border tax. This idea, if you move your -- if you move -- if you build your products, you know, over the Mexican border, we're going to put a big fat tariff on it and it's going to cost you money. Would Congress support something like that?
KINZINGER: That's hard to tell. I don't -- I don't know what the numbers are in Congress. I'm a little nervous about that idea because, again, that's when you start to mess with the idea of being able to have free flow of goods and trade. The United States wins when we actually enter into free trade negotiations with other countries. You see a trade surplus for the United States in almost every case. Unfortunately, that message isn't out there.
So I'm nervous about that idea. I want to look at the details. We're going to give the president a little room to kind of breathe and show his vision here. In essence they call it, the first hundred day, the honeymoon period. But that doesn't mean that Congress is going to roll over. We'll continue to represent our people, our constituents the best we can.
COSTELLO: OK, so, wait a minute, you think Mr. Trump does have the honeymoon period because some people say the honeymoon's already over.
KINZINGER: I don't know. It doesn't feel like it right now. But, you know, look, that will be up to Democrats and some Republicans in the media to see if we allow him to articulate his vision and then go from there. But it doesn't really feel very honeymoony right now that's for sure.
COSTELLO: NO, and it's because of phrases thrown around, you know, like "alternate facts" and, you know, his complaints around crowd size. And if he focused on stuff like this, right --
COSTELLO: Without like, you know, muddying the waters with that kind of stuff, wouldn't it be better?
KINZINGER: I think so. And if you look at -- so I think this, what you just showed, is a very kind of impressive side of Trump. I think when he was signing the executive orders right after the inauguration and you could kind of see him getting along with, you know, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and kind of this back and forth, that was a high moment. The CIA speech, I didn't understand, and the Sean Spicer briefing I didn't quite understand at all. So I think, you know, hopefully folks within his team, from what I understand --
COSTELLO: So tell us -- tell us why you didn't quite understand the Trump speech before the CIA and Sean Spicer's performance in his very first press briefing.
KINZINGER: Because it's taking the message you want as a new president and it's derailing it, right? You're in front of the CIA, this hallowed ground where it's honoring people that have died on behalf of their country, and you barely mention it. I was disappointed in that.
[09:40:09] Sean Spicer comes out and argues about crowd size. Look, the fact is, you had a huge amount of people that were there and watching it on TV, even if they couldn't make the trip from Tennessee or Illinois. But to get into the battle of, no, you're not right about crowd size, has nothing to do with the legacy of President Trump or the things he's going to do.
So my hope is -- and I -- from what I understand, Trump likes to be pushed back against. He likes kind of people in his inner circle to fight back. He may need a little more of that when, you know, his reaction may be, I'm going to go give a speech at the CIA wall about crowd size. He needs somebody to push back and say, Mr. President, I don't think you should do that, and maybe we can get kind of back on track here. But I think there's a lot of good potential (ph) there.
COSTELLO: But do you think -- do you think that's what Sean Spicer should have done because --
KINZINGER: i do.
COSTELLO: Clearly somebody --
KINZINGER: Yes, I do.
COSTELLO: So what --
KINZINGER: But, you know, I don't understand where he came from on that. You know, I don't know if he had marching orders, if he came out in emotion. I'm sure he knew the boss was watching. And -- but I wish he'd push back. And he very well may end up kind of getting his sea legs under him as he and the president get to know each other better. Let's see how this week transpires. Obviously it was a rough start, but let's see how this week transpires. I'm pretty excited about the stuff we have to do, but I think from a messaging perspective, they're going to have to get themselves way more disciplined.
COSTELLO: OK, so just a final question to you. And, you know, Republicans have control of both houses of Congress. Mr. Trump is banking on that. If he continues down this road of muddying the waters, the same-- of getting into fights perhaps that he should not, is there a danger he may lose support even though both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans?
KINZINGER: I think there's a big danger because, you know, it's one thing to push back against perceived media bias. I think -- you know, as Republicans we like to see that. It's another thing to come out and say, though, that a fact is only a fact if it fits within your world view. And this is what I've been concerned with on both sides of the aisle, frankly, is that people only read stories and they only accept facts if it comports with what their preconceived confirmation bias is of the world. We need to get back to where we can hear the other side of the argument, we can -- we can say that sometimes a fact may not be exactly what we want to hear. And so I think in the long run, again, that campaign way of doing things can get very old if, in fact, this becomes what the new president's team is. So I would definitely discourage them from ever using the term alternative facts again, is my opinion.
COSTELLO: We'll see what happens. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, thanks so much for being with me.
KINZINGER: Any time. Thank you.
COSTELLO: Always a pleasure.
KINZINGER: You bet.
COSTELLO: Thank you.
[09:46:41] COSTELLO: President Trump is making his first foreign policy moves, inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House early next month. The invitation comes as Trump's team works to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move critics say could unleash violence, undermine the peace process and even endanger Americans in the region.
So let's talk about this. With me now is Edward Walker. He's the former U.S. ambassador to Egypt and Israel.
EDWARD WALKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT & ISRAEL: Thank you.
COSTELLO: Do you agree that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would endanger even Americans in Israel?
WALKER: Well, it's going to cause a lot of upset people, yes, and it's going to be a recruiting poster for ISIS, which is the primary reason I think it's a bad idea right now. But you've got to keep in mind, when I was ambassador to Israel in 1998, I tried to move the embassy. I didn't get very far with Washington. But there was no fundamental reason at the time why we shouldn't have moved it.
Now there is. Now it is a question of inflaming the Arab world, ruining Israel's relations with a burgeoning race relations with the Arab world and doing exactly the opposite thing we want to do with ISIS, which is to eliminate them. And it will just simply be a recruiting poster.
COSTELLO: So help -- help -- help people understand. We're not just talking about the Palestinians and their anger at moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We're talking about our Arab allies who are supposedly helping us defeat ISIS, right?
WALKER: Right. Well, listen, you've got King Hussein of Jordan. You've got the king of Morocco. Both have long historic family ties all the way back to the prophet. And both are very deeply committed to Jerusalem. We're going to be undercutting them very seriously by this. There will be riots. There will be blood. And it just doesn't seem to me at this particular time that it's worth doing. I don't think there's anybody that if you asked the question, what's the capital of Israel, wouldn't say Jerusalem. I would say it. But what's that have to do with a piece of brick and stone?
COSTELLO: So why do you suppose that that's one of the first orders of business for the Trump team?
WALKER: Well, you know, it's -- it's been the first order of business for every new president coming in. And I don't think that he's way out of line in trying to tell people, yes, I recognize Israel's position in Jerusalem, maybe not the way they want it. But we have other things to worry about right now. And President Trump has made it clear he wants to fight ISIS. You don't fight ISIS by increasing the number of volunteers going to ISIS to fight in their ranks.
COSTELLO: I just -- we just got word from Benjamin Netanyahu and I'm just reading it really quickly so I can get your quick reaction to it. So Netanyahu is calling for patience in working with the new U.S. administration. He called for a thoughtful diplomacy. He's urging his government not to shoot from the hip. What do you suppose he means by that?
WALKER: Well, the same thing he means -- he means -- what he meant back in '98 to 2000 when I was working with him. He has very important issues on his plate at every juncture. He doesn't need something that we do that's going to make his life more difficult. Taking steps at this point will make his life more difficult. It is not a question of settlements. It's not a question of where the -- who recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It's a question of how you go about it and when you go about it. And I have no doubts that at some point it's going to make sense to make the move, but right now --
[09:50:27] COSTELLO: OK, last question. Mr. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump had said that he -- he will be able to come up with some Middle East peace plan that will bring the two sides together and all will be well. Do you think that that's in Jared Kushner's power?
WALKER: Look, I have no idea. I don't know the man. I have great respect for him, his wife, and the president's family. And more power to him if he can do something about this. But I don't think the timing is particularly good to make a big issue out of it. We made a mistake with President Obama by taking on the issue of the settlements right from the get-go. He lost a lot of ground that way. We don't need to make the same mistake again.
COSTELLO: All right, Ambassador Edward Walker, thank you so much for being with me this morning.
Still to come --
WALKER: You bet. It's a pleasure.
COSTELLO: You're welcome.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, he's just days into his presidency and already Donald Trump faces a legal fight. An ethics group accusing the president of violating the Constitution.
[09:55:36] COSTELLO: Oh, the matchup for Super Bowl LI is set. What happened to the Steelers? What happened to Green Bay? Former Falcon Cory Wire is happy, though. I don't even know if I want to talk to you.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, you are wearing red today, by the way.
COSTELLO: I know, it was a mistake!
WIRE: No, it was a great mistake. Now, if the Super Bowl is anything like yesterday's conference championships, we are in for a barrage of points in the quarterback battle for the ages. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, leading offense in the league, against the Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady, who is going to go to more Super Bowls than any player in history, seven of them. Now, let's not forget, he's already one four. He's 39 years old. And he picked the Steeler's defense apart. Made them look like a JV team out there, torching the Steeler's, 384 yards, three touchdowns. But get this, Carol, two of them to Chris Hogan. Who? Chris Hogan. He only played one year of college football. Now he's out there shining in the AFC championship game. Patriots crushed the Steelers 36-17. And Hines Ward caught up with the unlikely hero after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HOGAN, PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER: Everybody buys in. You know, this locker room, you know, defense, offense, special teams, you know, we just -- we just want to win. You know, we want to win so bad. And, you know, we do everything that we can throughout the week and, you know, throughout the whole season just to, you know, just to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: The Patriots will face the Falcons, who earlier in the day would rise up and beat Green Bay down. Matt Ryan showing why he's a frontrunner for league MVP. Four touchdown passes and even ran for one too. Special day for the city because this was the final game ever to be played in the Georgia Dome. It's the only facility in the world to have hosted an Olympics, a final four, and a Super Bowl. Well, it ends with an NFC championship and a Super Bowl berth for the Falcons.
I caught up with some of my former teammates after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RYAN, FALCONS QUARTERBACK: It's a good way to send it out for sure. You know, I think we need to make our statement next week, or two weeks from now, and that's where our mindset's at.
DEVONTA FREEMAN, FALCONS RUNNING BACK: We smashed the playoffs. We're going to the Super Bowl. And we -- man, whoever, man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: All right, now the Falcons have never won a Super Bowl. They've been to one, but they'll get their first shot at actually winning one in 18 years. That's something worth dancing. That's 74-year-old owner Arthur Blank getting down. "Dancing with the Stars," call him up, he'll be on next season, I know it.
Now, Carol, I'm asking you, your Lions aren't in it anymore. Come on, join us. Rise up, Carol, come on and jump on the bandwagon. We're going to the Super Bowl and taking on the Patriots. You in?
COSTELLO: Oh, you know what, my E.P. Michelle, my executive producer, she's a Steelers fan. She just said during your -- during your little thing, she wanted to die. That's how I feel.
WIRE: Yes. Well, you tell her, she can wipe those Steelers tears and she can -- along with Hines Ward. I'm going to get at him tomorrow.
COSTELLO: Oh, yes.
WIRE: But congrats to the Falcons and the Patriots. Super Bowl LI in Houston will be outstanding.
COSTELLO: I am -- I am happy with hotlanta -- for hotlanta.
WIRE: There you go.
COSTELLO: Thank you very much, Coy. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.