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Trump's First Speech at the Joint Session of Congress; Repealing and Replacing Obamacare Not Easy; Budget Cuts for Federal Government; Defense Budget Raise; Surprise Immigration Check Aired 10- 11p ET
Aired February 27, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Time to hand things over to Don Lemon and CNN Tonight. I'll see you tomorrow night.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You are looking live at Capitol Hill, that's where in less than 24 hours the president will address a joint session of Congress for the first time.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The president promising his speech will lay out details of his proposed budget. But already putting a big number out there, 54 billion that's how much he wants to cut from multiple federal agencies and shift to defense spending.
Meanwhile, President Trump says this about replacing Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll have a plan that's going to be -- I think, fantastic, it will be released fairly soon. We'll be talking about it tomorrow night during the speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Plus, the White House pushing back on calls for further investigation of whether President Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia's.
Plus, Secretary Sean Spicer insisting there is nothing there.
Let's get right to CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. Jim, good evening to you. The president preparing to speak to a joint session of Congress tomorrow. This comes as we're getting a preview of the president's budget plan today, what can we expect?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I can tell you that senior administration officials were briefing reporters over here at the White House earlier this evening, to lay out this preview of the president's speech with the joint session of Congress for tomorrow night.
And consider the theme that officials are telling us about in terms of what the president will be talking about tomorrow night. The president's theme will be renewal of the American spirit and optimistic vision for all Americans.
That word optimistic, Don, stands out, because obviously there was -- there was a lot of criticism of the president's inaugural address, when the president was talking about American carnage in this country.
And critics were saying it was just too dark a tone for the inaugural speech. So, perhaps the president trying to reset when it comes to the tone of a very big speech to the nation.
In the meantime, Don, you're right. Yes, the president is sharpening his budget axe, we heard from White House officials earlier today, that they're going to be steep cuts to non-defense spending in the president's budget, when he outlines that, in May we'll get a fuller look at the president's budgets in May.
But earlier today, the president was saying, yes, these cuts are coming. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to do more with less. We're going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, the only place in town that is not going to be cut it seems is the Pentagon, Don. Take a look at this. We can put this up on screen. The president is proposing, as he's proposing these other huge cuts at non-defense agencies, he's proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending.
And White House officials, the new OMB Director, Mick Mulvaney was in the White House briefing room today, insisting that $54 billion will be paid for with cuts in non-defense spending and foreign aid.
But, Don, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was saying earlier today, that she believes that the president really has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to these non-defense spending cuts, because when you get to a number that large, you're talking about deep painful cuts across the federal government.
LEMON: Yes, and how they're going to pay for it, that's what everyone is wondering and that's the simple question.
ACOSTA: That's right.
LEMON: But also tonight, the president to Fox news, repeating a claim, Jim, that former President Obama is behind the leaks coming out of his administration. Let's take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we talk about President Obama?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You personally get along with him. You guys were going at each other for three, four, maybe eight years. It turns out his organization seems to be doing a lot of the organizing, some of the protests that a lot of these republicans are seeing around the country and against you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe president Obama's behind it? And if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid president's code.
TRUMP: No, I think he is behind it, I also think it's politics, that's the way it is. And look, I have a very...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Bush was never -- but Bush wasn't going after Clinton, Clinton wasn't going after Bush?
TRUMP: Well, you never know what's exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you're probably right or possibly right, but you never know. No, I think that President Obama's behind it, and some of the leaks possibly come from that group. You know, some of the leaks, which are very serious leaks, they're very bad in terms of national security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TRUMP: But I also understand that's politics, and in terms of him being behind things that's politics. And it will probably continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, Jim, that's very interesting. But CNN has new reporting about the White House's mission to stop the leaks coming out of their administration, talk about that and would he just -- what he -- the claims he just made.
ACOSTA: I think it's pretty striking, it's pretty remarkable that the president would accuse former Obama administration officials of being behind these leaks, for a couple of reasons that we should point out. He did say roughly the same thing in that interview around the time of the Super Bowl.
[22:04:57] But one reason why, you know, we should probably view that with some suspicion is, consider what White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did last week.
We understand that he took the cell phones away from several White House staffers in the press office, to find out whether or not they were using non-White House aliases to communicate back and forth with reporters about what is going on inside this White House. And so, if President Trump believes that the leaks are coming from
Obama administration holdovers, then why is the White House press secretary seizing the phones in an impromptu basis of his own White House press staffers.
LEMON: If the leaks aren't real from -- yes, the leaks aren't real, then why is he trying to stop the leaks that are not real.
ACOSTA: Well, that's -- well, that goes back to what we're talking about a couple of weeks ago about how can the news be fake if the leaks are real. But that we'll put that conversation aside for another time, Don.
But you know, my colleague Jeff Zeleny was reporting today, that the president was aware of Sean Spicer's decision to go and take these phones away from his staffers to find out if they've been talking to reporters.
But Sean Spicer did reach out to CNN this evening and say that that is not the case, the president was not aware of this, and that Sean Spicer did this on his own. But it just goes to show you that it's not just the Obama administration holdovers they're suspicious of over here at the White House, Don.
LEMON: Jim Acosta, at the White House. Jim, thank you so much. I appreciate that. I want to bring in now, CNN's David Chalian, Nia- Malika Henderson, and David Gergen. Good evening to all of you. Happy Monday.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hi, Don.
LEMON: First, David, let's talk about the president's speech at Congress tomorrow. What will you be looking for?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Which David?
LEMON: That was a good one. That was a good one. David Gergen, sorry. The one who spoke up. The smarty pants.
GERGEN: Well, the other David is so shy, of course.
CHALIAN: So shy.
GERGEN: So look, Don, I think we'll be looking partly for tone. Is it going to be the kind of angry speech that we saw in the inaugural? Or is it going to be this more optimistic speech that Jim Sciutto just reported on, that's going to be important.
But I think very important to this speech is, the president is moving into a new stage of his presidency, away from his capacity to make all the changes unilaterally through executive orders. And for the - now for the first time, he really has to look to Congress. And the institutions of government to get approval to do big things. Whether it be tax reform or infrastructure Obamacare, all these big things. So, I think we're now starting to look for, OK, what are you really
going to do, what's your game plan, what's your strategy. How is it going to work? You're laying out $54 billion in increase spending for defense. Who's going to get mauled in the process, who's going to have their budget leveled?
Are we going to cut down the State Department at the very time you got -- you know, you got these heavyweights you put in defense. Are you going to draw down heavily on state, I would think Tillerson, for example, the Secretary would wage one hell of a war, if that were the case.
LEMON: Nia, the only Nia in the panel, Nia-Malika, so you got $54 billion for defense and security. You have a border wall that could cost upwards of $20 billion. The president wants to cut taxes, he wants more infrastructure spending. How does all this get paid for? That's the big question.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Nobody knows. Yes, that's the big question, that's the $3 trillion question, which is about the size of the federal budget in any given year. This document, you know, they call it a skinny budget, it's essentially his proposal. It's really a political unicorn.
I mean, here he is republican president not wanting to touch entitlements at all. Not wanting to bend the cost curve there or block grant any of these entitlement programs, so that is very odd. And I think it's going to land on Capitol Hill in a very strange way. And maybe split some alliances there.
And you know, I think if you're a democrat you like that he doesn't want to touch, that you -- that he doesn't seem to want to touch some of those entitlement programs, and if you're a republican, you obviously like the fact that he wants to grow the Defense Department.
But it doesn't seem to be a budget that's really serious about the cost. Because he's not going where the money is, all of the money, I mean, much of the money, two thirds of the money in the budget expenditures is about the Pentagon, defense spending and entitlement reform.
So, him, you know, kind of tinkering around the edges, around foreign aid which is that 1 percent of the federal budget and all of these other programs. He just doesn't seem to be serious about costs, and about all the things that conservatives have been concerned about, the deficit and the debt and spending, out of control costs.
So, you know, I mean, it's like a Santa Claus budget. You can have everything you want, tax cuts, you can have a big, you know, Defense Department, you can have all the social security and Medicare and Medicaid you want, but it's not a really realistic document, and we'll get scoring from the CBO at some point, and we'll get -- you know, we'll get from the agencies what they can do. LEMON: A couple questions, David Chalian, because I want to get to
health care, I want to ask you about health care, but I want to ask you specifically to respond to what Nia said.
Where are the, to be fair, where are the other presidents at this point or where were they with their budgets and were these skinny budgets on target? Did they get the same sort of criticism that this White House was getting as well?
[22:10:04] CHALIAN: Well, this is process we've seen with other presidents.
CHALIAN: This idea of putting out sort of policy priorities in budget form in this skinny budget initially. And then later on down the road, deeper into the year, deeper into the year quite frankly, than you'll see in any subsequent year forward because he didn't start as president till January 20th, and he didn't have the team in place. So, this is not sort of...
LEMON: So this process is taking longer than other presidents.
CHALIAN: Well, not the first year, though.
LEMON: Not in the first year.
CHALIAN: Every president has the first with the budget process is a little bit delayed. Because every president gets up to speed late in January. But, Don, because I don't think we're seeing anything all that different here. I think that...
LEMON: Well, that's why I asked you, because, you know, everyone's -- well, not everyone, a lot of people say, you guys are so critical.
CHALIAN: Well, in terms of timing.
LEMON: I just want to know in terms of other presidents where this particular issue stands. That's it.
CHALIAN: Yes, in terms of timing, I think we're not seeing that. In terms of what Nia was talking about that you can't have all those things and also not have a ballooning deficit. That is a reality that once numbers are attached to this and the Congressional Budget Office scores it, that we're going to learn from President Trump whether or not having the deficit explode is a priority for him or not.
CHALIAN: That might he want to just deficit spent his way through his administration, or is he going to look to reign into deficit.
CHALIAN: This budget indicates that there is a lot of spending going on.
LEMON: David Gergen, hold on, hold that thought. I have to get to a break. When we come back we'll let you respond to that.
LEMON: And we're also going to talk about the President's -- President Trump's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, is it on target? Can it happen? We'll discuss that.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The president is expected to lay out details tomorrow night of his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Back with me now, David Chalian, Nia-Malika Henderson, and David Gergen. David Gergen who want to get to and you were talking about a ballooning budget, and a budget where you sort of get everything in, the CBO to approve?
LEMON: Go on.
GERGEN: Don, I wanted to go back to the question of timing.
GERGEN: When you compare this president to notable presidents of the past. He's behind. And it's taken more time and is costing him, I think political capital to have so many delays. President Reagan one of the first thing he did almost immediately after the election was to appoint his first budget director, David Stockman. And by this time he had a budget basically that he could present to Congress.
In President Obama's case, when he went before the Congress on July or on February 24th of his first year, I think, he had 164-page document that he issued simultaneously with that speech outlining his overall plans for governing. Just a few weeks later he had his budget up.
This president for a variety of reasons some of his own making, some just because he has an inexperienced team and he doesn't have a lot of people confirmed yet. He's behind on that, and I think that the longer this is drifted the more problematic it has made is Obamacare passage.
It's narrow late in the game for many republicans, and has given time to the opposition to mount all this resistance efforts in town halls. And it's changing the politics on political dynamics, whether you can get Obamacare done, much less go on and get his tax cuts done.
LEMON: Yes, and you see all these town halls around the country. David Chalian, that was my original question for you before I talk to you about timing. Can we talk about it -- because the president met today with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, he met governors, health care providers. All talk -- all the talk about his plans for Obamacare.
Let's listen to the president and then I'll get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have come up with a solution that's really, really -- I think very good. Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. David, nobody knew that health care could be so complicated? I mean.
CHALIAN: Everybody knew that health care was complicated, including Donald Trump, so I'm sure he would like to have that back.
What I think he probably meant to say is, perhaps folks didn't realize that repealing and replacing this was not going to be as simple as sort of a day one promise. Or where the campaign trail rhetoric sort of meets up.
But the reality of governing here, and this gets to David Gergen's earlier point, which is what tomorrow is really about. And you could see today listening to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell emerge from their meeting in the White House.
The Congress is craving now to hear some real presidential leadership in terms of pointing a way of how he wants to accomplish this major goal of repealing and replacing Obama care.
They know that they're all on the same page with the goal, and now republicans in Congress really want the president to be able to weigh- in on some specifics. The problem, Don, is every time that we've looked to Donald Trump giving a big speech in the campaign or a moment where he was rolling out a new policy, if you look -- if you're looking for a big white paper and specifics, and exactly how he wants to accomplish it, you are going to be disappointed.
That's not been his way of doing things. But he eventually wants to get something on his desk to sign into law, repealing and replacing this health care law. And so specifics will be needed.
And what Paul Ryan and other republicans desperately want to hear from him, is sort of are you embracing the house plan here? Is that what we're going to start lobbying against?
CHALIAN: Because you can see some conservative house republicans are starting to get nervous about what plans are out there.
LEMON: Even he said, once we touch it, no matter what we do with it, we own it, and then if we screw that up, they're going to -- you know, it's going to be looked upon as republicans screwed up health care, rather than Obamacare was a bad deal in the beginning. Nia, am I wrong?
HENDERSON: No, that's right. And that certainly what democrats are arguing too. This idea that it becomes Trump care and whatever is wrong with it, the republicans will have to suffer the consequences.
LEMON: But Nia, doesn't it amazing to you, that he said, no one knew -- even if he meant to phrase it in a different way. I think everyone, listen, your opponents aren't always lying to your health care. And if you saw what it took to do it, you know, back in 2008, 2009, 2010, it was tough.
LEMON: Getting a health care law is not an easy thing to get done.
HENDERSON: Right, this has been going on for decades, in terms of trying to get some sort of health care reform. We obviously saw it fail with Clinton back in the '90s, and Obama finally did it. It took months and months of wrangling, it took months and months of arm twisting and figuring out what the plan would be. And we have it here now health care.
LEMON: Because they want it, originally they wanted single payer and then and this is exactly...
[22:19:56] HENDERSON: Yes. Exactly, exactly. And I mean, republicans at one point liked the idea of a mandate, because it was about personal responsibility. They don't like that now.
You know, I think the challenge is going to be for republicans, to figure out what they want to do. I mean, John Boehner said it best, he had said that he had never known republicans to be in agreement in terms of what their approach to health care should be.
And I think we're finding that. I think we're also seeing that Obamacare is a stubborn thing. It's very much embedded into...
LEMON: Interwoven into -- yes.
HENDERSON: ... interwoven into what people are expecting, and so this idea that they could just wipe it away with a slogan and a single bill at a stroke of a pen that they're finding is really hard.
LEMON: But this is going to be an interesting one to watch, especially as these town halls around the country. Because republican lawmakers are concerned that maybe we shouldn't be so hasty about this. But David, I want to move on. Because found this moment very
interesting today. When I was watching the Today, that the former President George Bush who really sat out, you know, he did not criticize President Obama the entire eight years in office. He was on, and he was asked what he thought about Trump in connection to Russia. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Well, first of all, I think we all need answers. Whether or not the special prosecutor is the right way to go tonight, you're talking to the wrong guy. And I've never been a lawyer, I'm not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure though that that question needs to be answered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That question needs to be answered. The former president says questions still need to be answered. What's your reaction?
GERGEN: Well, you know, all the restraints that George W. Bush showed toward Barack Obama and I thought it was admirable strength. I think the gloves are more off when it comes to Donald Trump. And the Bush family of course has no love for Donald Trump. That includes his brother, as well as his father.
You know, so I think partly he was putting it out there. But it also comes at an interesting moment, Don. Just when republicans, like the house intelligence committee chair is saying there's nothing here folks, there's nothing to investigate, the White House is already saying, we don't need to go anywhere with this, you know, there's nothing to investigate.
Here comes the former president saying, wait a minute, guys, we do need to investigate, I don't know what's a special prosecutor, but we definitely need answers. I thought that was as a political statement a striking one. One that really reflects, I think a lot of the frustration, and the resemblance that the Bush family bears toward the current president.
LEMON: Thank you, David, David, and Nia. I appreciate that. See you guys soon.
GERGEN: OK. Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, President Trump addressing Congress for the first time in a matter of hours. We'll tell you what to watch for. That's next.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump will make history in a matter of hours with his first address at the joint Congress, session of Congress.
Here to discuss it now, CNN political contributor Hilary Rose, and Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. And they're right here with me. Good evening.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, there.
LEMON: Good to have you. Good to have you as well. Let's talk about the address tomorrow. The joint session of Congress for the first time. The theme he says is going to be renewal of the American spirit and optimistic vision for all Americans. Do you expect the president to be uplifting? Because he did get criticism about his inaugural speech and other speech has been sort of doom gloom in America. Do you think that he's going to be uplifting.
BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD EDITOR: Well, now that he's been president for five weeks, five and a half weeks, there's no more carnage in America. America is on the road to greatness. I don't know. He should be, I supposed.
But honestly these pictures to Congress, I mean, he actually has to lay out his legislative agenda, and that's what strikes me. You know, it's been sort of a phony war for the first five weeks, he's fighting the media, he's tweeting, he's doing these couple of executive orders.
At the end of the day if he's going to be a successful president, you know, that's what president do they pass legislation. And I think you've seen just in the last week, the notion that the republicans in Congress are going to automatically go along with his tax bill with Obamacare repeal and replace.
It's become more problematic. So, I think -- I talked to republicans on the Hill today, they're a little anxious. And they want to see, OK, what are we -- what are we supposed to be doing here.
LEMON: Yes. Where is the actual meat in all of this, where's the substance.
Senior White House officials say that he is working with speechwriters on this address. He's talking into account. His feedback he said has met with various round tables on health care. He's met with industry leaders, he's met with coal miners. He is -- he's going to have a wide audience. He is seen by most, by most people as his own best spokesperson. Do you think he'll be persuasive?
ROSEN: You know, details have not been his thing so far. But these legislators they actually want to do things. The republicans feel like they finally have a majority after, you know, so many years, in many cases a working majority and they want the president to tell them what he wants.
Because every time they go off on their own, he ends up pushing back. They failed in repealing Obamacare, because he then announced that he wanted a replacement, and so that totally slowed it down.
You know, I think the democrats can really just sit back and see this kind of clash among republicans as good for us. Because they are having trouble getting it together. And unless the president gets really specific tomorrow night -- he has two choices. He can get really specific about he wants or he can tell them send me something and let's work together.
KRISTOL: And I don't...
ROSEN: I don't think either one of those are going to happen.
KRISTOL: And no, look, what is the heart of the republican agenda for the last five, six years, especially to Paul Ryan in the House. And it's something that I admire Paul Ryan for doing this. It's not easy for him to credit part of issue, which is to curb the growth of entitlements, right. Entitlement reforms.
We can debate it, but it's something it took courage for the Republican Party to walk out and say, we need to slow down this popular, the rate of growth of these popular programs.
That's one thing Donald Trump is taking off the table. I think people are underestimating if you're not -- you're not a republican in a way that you think, I'm kind of proud of my party for trying to do this and be responsible on the debt and the deficit.
I don't you'll appreciate how much of a blow this is to have the first republican president in eight years saying, you know, forget about that, Medicare reform, social security reform.
ROSEN: But we saw Paul Ryan today already come out of the White House and say, well, I consider Obamacare an entitlement. And as long as we curb Obamacare, well, let's make progress.
LEMON: That's -- OK. And you just took the words out of my mouth.
ROSEN: So, they are so afraid of him in so many ways.
LEMON: Because they keep saying, they keep saying, you know, the president and the republicans keep saying we're going to repeal and replace Obama care. And then you talk about entitlements. But that's their base, right. Their base is on -- a lot of their basis on entitlement, a lot of old Americans, middle Americans, entitlement, Obamacare.
[22:30:01] Now people are realizing that Obamacare is actually, you know, the Affordable Care Act and the Obamacare are the same thing. The people who say I like the Affordable Care Act but I don't like Obamacare. That's very interesting to me.
So, don't you think the rubber meets the road when it comes to Obamacare and people are going to be listening especialy his base Obamacare, where is he, what is he going to do about health care? What is he going to do about health care? He's got to spell that out tomorrow night, you don't think?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know...
BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD EDITOR: Governing is hard. And I think there are good Obamacare reforms, there are some tax credits but some of the conservatives don't like the idea of that because that's allegedly an entitlement.
You got to make choices, you got to persuade parts of your party to go along. And the one thing I think the Trump people just haven't understood is these republicans were elected on their own, you know they were elected before Trump, they had more republicans in the House and Senate ahead of Trump than behind Trump.
They don't think they owe that much to him. They want a republican president to succeed. Because the worst case is, republican president, republican Congress, nothing happens.
But the idea that they're just going to sort of accept what he says without being persuaded, without being brought in, without having a lot of work. And I don't think the White House has done the hard work of actual legislating.
LEMON: Do you think these that town halls -- you can get that whatever you want to say. And do you think these town halls have sort of scared a lot of republicans, or at least made them think twice about -- about especially health care?
ROSEN: I think twofold. I think the republicans on the Hill are afraid of Donald Trump. But they're also afraid of too radical an agenda. And we've seen them, it's time. Let's give the democrats some credit, let's give the resistance movement some credit.
We have made it clear that the consequences of repealing Obamacare are significant. The people actually like their health care, they like the provisions of Obamacare, and getting rid of it, you know, get rids of it at your own peril.
I think we're going to go down the road and see that in some other places.
LEMON: Did they back themselves into the corner?
ROSEN: They plan to get rid of Planned Parenthood, I think they're going to find the same thing there, and not going to do this as easily as they thought they would.
LEMON: But do you think they backed themselves into a corner with this language of repeal and replace? Because there are -- there are some bad things about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, there are some good things about it. Why not improve what's there?
KRISTOL: They may end up doing that, obviously. I mean, no one is for -- elements of it are philosophical, elements of it we retained. I think the pre-existing conditions and so forth. But again, legislating is hard, governing is hard. The rubber hits the road, not really tomorrow night, but after that.
I guess -- I'm struck how much we've all been so caught understandably in the drama of the Trump presidency, but this is really the test, I mean, does he -- do you -- he wants to change America. We're going in the wrong direction. To change America, you have to pass legislation.
LEMON: Let me ask -- let me ask you about this. Fifty four percent approval rating for Obamacare, that's the highest, right? Yet, I'm sure they're worried about the backlash you said but also this is an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. It was the president's approval rating is at 44 percent, a record low for a new commander in chief. Is there anything he can do tomorrow to improve that or say tomorrow to improve that?
KRISTOL: I'm surprised, it could be lower honestly.
LEMON: You are surprised it's that high?
KRISTOL: Yes, and he got 46 percent of the vote, you said 44 percent. I think he's had a pretty poor transition in the first month in terms of reaching out to people. But he's held almost everyone to vote for him if you would think it that way. He has to get, you know, it's not hard to get some democratic votes in some of these pieces of legislation.
LEMON: But do you think he believes that because you can...
KRISTOL: In my view, you can't govern if it you are just appealing to your base all the time.
LEMON: Well, he keeps reaching out to the people who voted for him, which is -- which is maybe a shrinking number of people. Because there are going to be people who are dismayed to him. If he's reaching to that number and that's not helping him -- maybe he thinks because he goes and he gets those big crowds, and they all that his approval rating is higher than it is.
ROSEN: Well, I don't, I think that they're under the missed impression that it does not matter whether they grow their base, because they have a majority, they think. But they don't...
LEMON: You want them to keep thinking that, though?
ROSEN: Keep going there, because what you have today is a stymied Congress, and what you're going to have going-forward is a stymied Congress. They're not going to be able to get things done at this stage if they keep being as divisive as they are.
LEMON: Quickly, I had to go.
ROSEN: And the republicans are not going to save him among the Hill.
KRISTOL: President Obama had a huge majority and he lost the house two years later, they should remember that there's a real risk of backlash.
LEMON: It's so early on.
ROSEN: And republicans on the Hill will do well to ignore him a little bit, and try to do their own thing.
LEMON: We'll all be watching tomorrow night, thank you. I appreciate it.
Up next, President Trump's budget plan increases military spending by $54 million. But how will he pay for it?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President set to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. He promises his budget plan will be a big part of the speech.
I want to bring in now CNN senior economic analyst Steven Moore, distinguished fellow and visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation who was a former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign. And Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama.
Good evening to both of you, so glad to have you all, Steve.
STEVE MOORE, HERITAGE FOUNDATION CHIEF ECONOMIST: Hi, Don.
LEMON: Both of you. I'm going to start with you, Steve. The White House officials are saying that the president's upcoming budget is going to include $54 billion in defense spending. Here's President Trump describe it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This budget will be a public safety and national security budget, very much based on those two, with plenty of other things but very strong. And it will include an historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America, at a time we most need it.
We're going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Steven, you know the question coming out of this, $54 billion, that's a 10 percent increase, the question is, how does he pay for it?
MOORE: Well, that is the $64 billion question, and look, you have to get the economy growing, that's for sure. We've been growing at less than 2 percent, so you're not seeing a lot of the revenue growth that we need. And if Donald Trump can get gross at three and a half to 4 percent you'll get a lot more revenue. And that will help pay for this.
I agree with the general premise of what Donald Trump said that the fundamental priority of the federal government above all else is to keep us safe, and to protect our national security.
[22:39:58] But you know, when he said, getting more for less, I think that they, you know, the Pentagon is capable of doing that as well. But then you have to look at other areas of the budget. You have to look at some of the domestic programs.
One other thing, Don, I was listening to your previous conversations about entitlement spending, and some of your commentators were saying, look, all the money is in entitlements. It's true that a lot of the budget, about two-thirds of it is these big entitlement programs, but you know, it is true also that Donald Trump is tackling a big one in Obamacare.
And you're going to see a lot of resistance from democrats on that, so if we can't even get rid of -- you know, get some of the excesses of Obamacare out of the way, how are we going to deal with Medicare and social security.
LEMON: I see Austan wants to get in. Austan, the White House officials say that the increase in defense spending is it going to be offset by massive cuts and non-defense program and foreign aid. You heard what Steven just said, do you think that this plan is realistic?
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER BARACK OBAMA CHIEF ECONOMIST: No, of course not. All we're missing is a call to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse, and then he will pay for his programs with that. I would note that this budget is not a real budget and that they're just putting magic asterisks is in for the tax plan for the repealing of Obamacare. They're not even trying to get the numbers to add up.
I think this is more of a political document. And that's OK. Look, as you know the budget comes out of Congress. So the presidential budgets are always more of a messaging document than they are an actual budget document. But that is the most extreme it's ever been most likely from what Donald Trump's about to outline.
LEMON: So, Steve, Steve, let's drill down on this. Let's drill down and then you can respond to what he said.
LEMON: But I think this question will help you with it.
LEMON: The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin says the president's budget won't touch entitlement programs as we just discussed like social security and Medicare. White House officials say they're going to target the EPA and the State Department. If you cut the entire EPA, which they're saying they're not because they hired a new EPA person. Right? They appoint a new EPA person. That would only be $8 billion. Can this work without going after big entitlement programs?
MOORE: Well, probably you're going to need to, you know, start reforming these plans. Again, look at how difficult it's been to find any consensus on rolling back, you know, the Obamacare plan. Now, it's interesting, Don, you know, I was on a CNN program earlier today. And one of the more liberal panelists said what we really need to do is expand Medicare.
And by the way that wasn't just the liberal panelist on CNN, that was the position of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, they wanted more social security spending. So you know, show me -- I would ask Austan and you, Don, show me one democrat, one that will cut social security or Medicare?
So, you know, Trump is -- what is he supposed to do? Do this without a single democratic vote? I just think it's the whole point.
GOOLSBEE: Now, hold on.
LEMON: Austan, go ahead.
GOOLSBEE: Hold on, Steve.
GOOLSBEE: There's only one person I can think of in the Republican Party who has been the leader of the charge, let us never cut social security and not cut Medicare, and that person is now the president of the United States.
So if the republicans in Congress - that Steve is a big fan of...
(CROSSTALK) MOORE: Because...
GOOLSBEE: ... want to reform entitlements, they better start talking to the president, because as I say, the president's budget is not in any way going to add up, it's not even intending to add up, he's just going to say I want to spend more on the military.
And when they ask him how he's going to pay for it, he's going to abolish this spending the Public Broadcasting System, he's going to cancel the funding for Planned Parenthood and there will be a waste fraud and abuse that will fill the magic gas tricks and that's how they are going to say they'll pay for it.
LEMON: Go ahead, Steve.
MOORE: OK. Let me, Austan, let take that on for a minute, if I could. I mean, first of all, neither of you mention one democrat who wants to cut these programs, I don't see how you can do that without a single democratic vote. But on this issue of waste, fraud and abuse, I mean, there was a
study, as you know, Austan, that came out just about year ago, under President Obama that showed these were the federal auditors, that found $160 billion a year in fraudulent and erroneous payments, Medicare, social security, Medicaid, food stamps, these other programs and nobody in Washington ever does anything about it.
So, yes there are massive savings in getting rid of fraud and abuse in the federal programs. And by the way, most Americans know that, Don. I mean, if you ask the average American how much waste is there in federal agency spending. Most people will tell you, 25 or 30 cents out of every dollar. And you know what, I've been in the federal government and I think they're right. There is a massive amount of fraud and waste and abuse, and duplication.
GOOLSBEE: Look, if they're talking about cutting Medicare by 25 percent, because they allege there's 25 percent waste, fraud and abuse, I would like to see them try it, what do you think is going to happen. I guarantee you there will be...
LEMON: But Austan, the White House Office of Management and Budget.
GOOLSBEE: There will be bigger demonstrations that the ones so far.
LEMON: The White House Office of Management Budget said that the budget outline doesn't take into account revenue projections from promised tax cuts or added spending on infrastructure, does in a make a difference?
[22:45:03] GOOLSBEE: Yes, because those are both things that are going to lose tremendous amounts of funding. So that's exactly my point, that they're using magic asterisks. That they're saying, we're going to wave our hands and tell you that the budget will add up, and we're not even counting how much we're going to cut revenue for massive tax cuts that we're pushing.
LEMON: Yes, OK. Thank you, Steve. Thank you, Austan. To be continued. And we'll be watching tomorrow night. We'll see what happens. I appreciate it.
And Steven, sorry to hear about the loss of your family. Thank you for coming on this evening.
MOORE: Thanks you very much, Don.
LEMON: And we respect your dad and we thank you for his service.
Steven lost his father in Chicago, and he was kind enough to come on this evening. But again, we thank you and thank him for his service. We'll see you soon. When we come right back, he's the son of an old American hero, so why
was Muhammad Ali, Jr. detained at the Florida airport when he was returning to the U.S.? He's here with the story, that's next.
LEMON: This is a story we've been following this weekend. President Trump's revised travel ban is expected any day now. The first version led to chaos across the country. And travelers are still facing unexpected problems.
[22:49:56] One of the travelers is Muhammad Ali, Jr., the son of the legendary boxer who was detained at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. He joins me now along with his mother Khalilah Camacho. Ali who was traveling with him, and his attorney Chris Mancini.
And you said just call you Mama Ali.
KHALILAH CAMACHO, MUHAMMAD ALI, JR.'S MOTHER: Mama Ali is good.
LEMON: Everyone calls you Mama. Thank you all for joining us. You know, of course they're saying this is not part of the travel plan, you believe it I part of the travel plan. So explain to me, you just landed in Florida from Jamaica, where you spoke to, at a black history event. You were there to retrieve your bags at baggage claim, and then what happened, Muhammad?
MUHAMMAD ALI, JR., MUHAMMAD ALI'S SON: Well, what happened was I got off the plane. Before we got our baggage the immigration guy came over to me and he was like, can I see you for a minute? I said, yes, sure, no problem. So he asked me, what is your name? Which I didn't think nothing of that.
I told him Muhammad Ali, he said, so who gave you -- how did you get that name? I was like my mother and father named me. And then I was named after my father. So he said, OK, now, what is your religion? And I said, Muslim, I'm a Muslim. And I thought to myself, that's kind of odd. He asked about my religion and I'm traveling back into the country from where I came from?
LEMON: Yes, did they take you -- did they take you away?
ALI : Yes. They actually the press in -- then what happened was, they took me in a room, and it was like they didn't believe me, because they asked me the same questions all over again.
LEMON: And they asked you what your religion was?
LEMON: What did you think when they -- because you were traveling together they split you up.
CAMACHO: They split us up and I said, where is he going, we're traveling together? And they said, you'll meet him on the other side. I said, OK. And then they started asking me questions, and -- but I was really, really upset and petrified that they would split us up like that. That was not normal.
LEMON: You were questioned as well?
CAMACHO: Yes, sir.
LEMON: What did they ask you?
CAMACHO: I was detained as well, in a different room.
LEMON: What did they ask you?
CAMACHO: They ask me where was I born and what my religion was, and where did I get the name from.
LEMON: And then when you showed a photo of yourself and then your ex- husband which is Muhammad Ali.
CAMACHO: Yes. It was a group of people like recognized me, and he was getting autographs from me. So at that time, I figured maybe if I show I'm really Muhammad Ali's ex-wife, they would believe me and make it less problem. Because I never usually have a problem like that. And the guy -- it was almost like he didn't believe me, still.
LEMON: Yes. So Chris, I mean, to you now, you're his attorney.
CHRIS MANCINI, MUHAMMAD ALI'S ATTORNEY: Yes. Both of them.
LEMON: So he was coming from Jamaica?
MANCINI: Yes, Montego bay.
LEMON: So, Montego Bay, that's not one of the countries.
MANCINI: No, it's not.
LEMON: This is when the travel ban is on hold. So, how can you claim it's part of the travel ban?
MANCINI: Well, I think clearly when they're asking two separate travelers, right?
MANCINI: Where did you get your name from?
LEMON: And he's an American citizen, he's born in Philadelphia.
MANCINI: yes. Well, they both had valid passports. His has just been reissued. But you got to understand. They're not being questioned together, they're being questioned by separate officers. So if you got two separate officers working the same flight, and asking those same kind of questions, that's part of a pattern, that's part of a program, there's no question about it, that isn't random, that's deliberate. And now we're getting all these e-mails, I got 50 e-mails the other
day from Muslim organizations and individuals. First they're asking, do I admit that I'm a Muslim or should I deny it when I come into the country? That's outrageous.
LEMON: How long were they held?
MANCINI: About an hour and a half two hours full.
CAMACHO: About two hours, that's you know, near to two hours by the time I got him back.
ALI: I was detained for an hour and 45 minutes.
CAMACHO: Yes. And you know what, I honestly feel something was really in place when we showed up, I think something -- I don't know whether the ban was here or there, I wasn't thinking about a ban, because you know, I'm not a foreigner, so it really doesn't matter.
LEMON: And you're...
CAMACHO: But something was in place.
LEMON: You're not on any do-not-fly lists or nothing like that?
LEMON: And is it, it's not procedural or typical to be held that long?
MANCINI: Well, when you get into secondary, they can keep you for hours. You're basically theirs to do what they want.
LEMON: But how often does that happen?
MANCINI: No, it's usually with narcotics. You know, Miami is a huge transportation, but not for Muslims.
LEMON: But again, born in Philly, no criminal record
MANCINI: No criminal record.
LEMON: Born in Philadelphia.
MANCINI: paperwork perfectly in order. Additional information, his driver's license, social security card. His mother is asking where is he, he's saying he's Muhammad Ali's son.
LEMON: So, to ask about religion, are you supposed to do that?
MANCINI: We have the establishment clause, you know, equal protection, the Religious Freedom Protection Act, all these things talk about that's not proper.
[22:54:56] LEMON: Have you received any kind of explanation as to why this happened?
CAMACHO: No. I've travelled all over the world...
ALI: Well, they...
LEMON: Go on.
CAMACHO: ... from Saudi Arabia to Jeddah, I mean, I never been confronted like this before, I was on -- I was unsafe in my own country.
The only thing said was, they were doing their job, so if they were doing their job, then you check everybody that gets off that plane. And ask them questions. Not just random people.
LEMON: Yes. Here's what they -- an ICE official said that you, Muhammad, that you were detained so they could identify you and your passport could be verified. They declined to provide any additional details, but said you were not detained Muslim or you had an Arabic name. Do you believe that?
ALI: No, because they didn't ask me anything about my passport, they asked me, what religion was I. That's nothing to do with the passport.
MANCINI: He just had his passport reissued. It's brand new passport.
ALI: It's right there plain as day, my picture is it on it, my name is on it, birthdate, where I was born. Everything is on there.
ALI: What's there to clarify.
LEMON: Again, this Muslim ban -- or this ban as they call it is on hold now, not even part of the seven countries, but do you believe there is a ban on Muslims?
LEMON: There is something in place?
CAMACHO: I believe something's in place, whether they want to admit it or not.
MANCINI: I think what they're doing is, they're profiling every Muslim that comes in, and they're putting the information into the commuters, they want to run embassies, they want to see who's connected to who and that's what we're getting.
A lot of questions aimed at, what mosque do you pray at, has anybody advocated any radical positions? What do you read, and do you read the Koran, what else do you read? These are the things that we're being told, and I think these two just walked into that unknowingly.
LEMON: Are you planning legal action? What do you want?
CAMACHO: Well, what I want, what I really want, I want the people to -- at least the media to take Muslim and Islam off the terrorist act. Because terrorism has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. Our religion means peace. All religions mean peace. No religion teaches you to hate and kill people. When you go beyond that, that's a criminal act.
LEMON: Well, guys, if you hear anything, let us know. Keep us updated on the story.
CAMACHO: I will keep you updated.
ALI: Yes. Thanks a lot.
CAMACHO: Thank you so much.
LEMON: Thank you. Pleasure to meet you.
MANCINI: Great to meet you.
LEMON: Thank you.
MANCINI: All right. No problem.
LEMON: We'll be right back.