Sean Spicer Says President Believes Voter Fraud Occurred in 2016 CSPAN January 24, 2017 1:56pm-2:29pm EST
>> -- the white house asking for a probe -- >> he won with 603 electoral votes. >> if he is bringing it up -- >> he is having a discussion with folks and mention something in passing which is a long-standing belief that maintained. this is not the first time you have heard -- >> it is worth clarifying whether illegal -- >> i think there is one studies that came out of poew in 2008. it is a belief he maintains. >> -- just that they were counted improperly as dick durbin says the president told him last night. >> i
think i have answsked and answered it. a concern he has of voter fraud that is based on information provided. >> thank you. following president trump's actions earlier today is he concerned about protest around
access in keystone pipeline like those around standing rock and how concerned is he about those plans? >> i think he is looking to working with all parties involved. that's part of steve's question. there is a way to continue to negotiate that. whether it is native american concerns they have on some of the lands in the dakota pipeline. you're 93% there. with dakota. i think the president has shown through his business life that he knows how to negotiate a great deal where parties come out ahead and he is willing to sit down with all of the individuals involved in the dakota pipeline to make sure it is a deal that benefits all of the parties of interest. or at least gets them something that they want. marta? >> martha. >> we will stick with the ms for now.
>> i think the president said some of the renegotiations are happening or would start happening. i'm wondering if you can clarify are are the mechanisms or those set or have the discussions already begun? >> he just signed executive order today. part of it, as he moves things forward, he wants to get the best deal are for the american taxpayer and works for parties involved to be sure that people with concerns have the opportunity to come back to the table and see if there is a way to -- >> so they are still flushed out. >> yes. >> and not started again p. >> correct. >> what i wanted to ask was could you make it official what is reported by u.s. officials all day long, can which is that president has asked and does society stay on and jim comey says if you do stay on, do they discuss the russian investigations and -- >> i don't ne what tknow what t is. i have to follow up with the president. >> just a question about hiring freeze yesterday. it doesn't exempt the v.a. and there are are 41,500 medical
jobs at v.a., which is an extremely large number. >> right. >> the v.a. is one of his top priorities. >> it is a freeze. and part of it is so ensure -- hold on, hold on. part of it is so get our v.a. secretary in there. and to figure out how we can best -- hiring people when you have a system that is not working, and then just going out and hiring additional people, doesn't seem to be the most efficient way of solving the problem. what we need to do, whether the v.a. or any other agency, is make sure we are hiring smartly and effectively and efficiently. the v.a. in particular, if you look at the problems that have plagued people, hiring more people isn't the answer. it is hiring the right people, putting procedures in place that ensure it is veterans. whether it is health care, mortgages, other services the v.a. provides to those who have served our nation, get the services they have earned. right now the system is broken. the freeze is meant to pause, allow an analysis of what can
make this better. it is not just the v.a., although that is high on the president's list, but making sure all services of government are, a, done with respect to the taxpayers, b, given the benefits they truly deserve. >> following up, if 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally that's a scandal of after tstrol p proportions. wouldn't he want an investigation of this? this is a huge scandal. >> as i noted several times now. he believed this for a long time. i think he won fairly overwhelmingly -- >> i'm asking you why not investigate something -- >> maybe we will. >> biggest scandal in american history. 3 million to 5 million voting illegally. we will see where we go from here. right now the focus the president has is on putting americans back to work. a comment he made on a long-standing belief. yeah? >> yes.
>> he talked a lot about banning muslims and extreme vetting. when can we expect action on this? >> i think when rex tillerson gets confirmed, and some of the other tedepartments, homeland security. but i think the interesting thing about the question that you're asking is that we are sitting here today with two confirmed or three cabinet, with mike pompeo last night, sitting here asking whether the president's agenda is moving forward at a time when senate democrats are holding up a massive amount of this cabinet. >> you think they are doing it -- >> absolutely. no question about it. when you look at -- let's walk back a second and remember that chuck schumer put out a statement saying they had an issue with eight or nine of them. that leaves 12 of them, 13 they didn't have a problem with. consensus candidates. while i think every one of the people that the president
nominated to serve in his cabinet is unbelievably qualified, even democrats admitted that 12 to 13 of them were, what they called, consensus candidates and they wouldn't oppose them. >> do you have a message to those democrats? >> let's get it done. our country's economy and safety is at stake. we have a continuity of government in place to be sure we can continue to protect and preserve the country and move business forward. the reason you have a confirmed sector director or min straighter is to make sure that you enact the agenda the president campaigned on. i think every minute that we stall is a moment the democrats should have to answer for. yeah? >> israel leaders are concerned about the misuse of u.s. tax dollars going to u.n. schools that are inciting kids to violence against the jews. what do you think president
trump, how would he respond to israel leaders. mk leads, sharon haskell and dr. liza lavie, recently had interviews with them, they would want to know how president trump would respond to the misuse of -- >> i think i would go back to what i said to john a few minutes ago. he has tremendous respect for how tax dollars are spent. but again we need a u.n. ambassador, a secretary of state. a lot of things that can happen under the direction of the new leadership that is held up right now. dwra tara? >> is the president open to the idea of choosing mainstream candidate like some of the democratic congressional leaders are urging him to do? >> for what? >> for supreme court nominee. >> i think that defines, he has been very clear about his priorities. he has put out a list during the campaign of individuals that he would consider. but i mean, i think it is
mainstream to support the constitution. pretty mainstream to respect, to follow the law and not to create laws from the bench. that's what i think the majority of americans would agree. when it comes to candidate he has put up for his cabinet, look at quality and caliber of these individuals. that's what he will look for. people of high quality, high caliber, that fit the if i lossity he campaigned on. april? >> i will ask you a couple of questions. one systems that delay in a vote primarily because of concerns about issues of civil rights with sessions as well as voting rights. yesterday you talked about issues of race. dealing with john lewis and his statements and also the bust. what do you say when people are once again bringing up theish you've race and voter fraud? when it comes to jeff sessions and demanding that president trump has so much faith into leading the justice department? >> i think senator sessions record on voting and civil
rights is exemplary. he fought hard both as attorney general in alabama and u.s. attorney and as senator. for voting rights, for civil rights, on areas of minority rights he pushed forward. and so when you look at his entire record, the people he prosecuted, as both the u.s. attorney and alabama attorney general, he has been very forceful when it comes to making sure that voting rights and civil rights are enforced and protected. not just that but advanced. when the voting rights came up for renewal, he was a huge champion of it. it is not just our record as an attorney but as a united states senator he is a very very forceful advocate for the continuation of the voting rights acts. >> yes? >> couple questions. >> oh, sorry. >> yes, i know, we're new to this. so on the issue of race, going back, you talked a long time yesterday on the issue of race.
and i wanted to ask you a couple of things. i talked to -- excuse me, current head of naacp who is accusing this administration of something called stereotyping by omission saying that the president has met with athletes and entertainers but yet has not met with civil rights leaders. and during his inauguration speech, he talked about inner cities, urban areas riddled with gangs, violence and drugs. what is the agenda? what are you planning when it comes to -- >> just the other day he sat down with martin luther king, jr. i would call him a civil rights leader. >> his dad was. >> i think that he has done a -- i think he has done a lot for that. there are a lot of pastors he met with. he met with a lot of individuals on that issue throughout the campaign. they have come up and down the tower. during the campaign and transition. he is with evada king during the prayer service.
there are a ton of individuals he met with to talk about this issue. i don't think it is something that he takes lightly. he has talked about it tremendously because it importance to him both both in terms of where they country moves forward and some issues that face minorities. with jobs, hiring health care and small business lending. those are all areas he is very concerned with. and talked about the need to address. >> what about -- >> we're on day two. >> he made this statement during inauguration. >> i understand it. we are on day two. when you look at the jobs programs, the dakota pipeline, keystone pipeline, things that will bring jobs back and good paying jobs with benefits. those benefit every american regardless of the color of your skin. i think he talked to the labor leaders today about apprenticeships and how to grow the economy, bring back training centers. those benefit every american.
those are the kinds of things that he is committed to. how do we look at the educational piece as people transfer out of one job to another and we prepare people who might have add blue collar job to transfer into a technology based job. there are a lot of things we can do with training and retraining, areas of our society that help people advance. whether that's their background or not. i think that's the stuff that will help move them up. yes, sir? >> a ceo came out with a report that said if the current spending levels stay as they the government will spend another -- put the country in another $10 trillion of debt over the next ten years. does that reinforce for the president the need to cut spending? >> absolutely. >> and where in the government can he cut enough to make a dent? >> i think the american people elected the right guy at the right time. this is someone who understands how to cut a good deal, negotiate a good deal and how to
manage a budget. you look at how he managed himself and his projects. under project and on time or ahead of time. that's the kind of philosophy he is bringing into this government and this white house. is making sure that not only do we respect taxpayers and figure out whether we're talking about the hiring freeze or how we do business or how much money we send in aid to make sure the money we send is being used well. programs are done in a way that are done in the most efficiently and effective ways. it is a whole government process. trying to make sure -- look what he did with boeing and lockheed on the planes. it is going in and saying we can lower that price more and negotiate further. when steve asked about the two pipe lines he wanted to make sure he inserted pieces to say we can negotiate further. if we can get a better deal of the taxpayers, if someone can build something they will profit for, can we find a way that
american taxpayers received a benefit. that goes to the president he. there are a lot of ways to continue to look at this. money coming in or going out. how do we get a handle on it this. i think we have the right guy leading the country when deficit are addressed. one last piece. when it comes to energy exploration, it is not just about energy or finding new ways to bring in energy to this country. it is about new ways of creating economic growth. looking at ways that are natural resources. continue just benefit us to become more energy independents. but to bring money in to reduce the deficit, create jobs. but there is a lot of things going on to empower his team and to create jobs, grow the economy and bring the deficit down. yes, sir? >> two questions. i know you love us. but if there are protests again, if this pipeline goes through, last time during the protest,
there were journalists arrested and detained. same question i asked the obama administration. will this administration at least support reporters to gathering facts? >> god knows i love you. got that on the record. and jimmy out of maryland said he will sponsor legislation for a national shield law. your vice president in the past supported a shield law for reporters. would this administration support national shield law for reporters? >> great question. i know congressman pence liked that when he was in the house. i don't know the answer. i would follow up with you on that. >> keystone, the initial process took up to ten years. how fast does the president want this -- >> quick as possible. that's why this is done the day it was signed. he want to make sure he gets this process back on track and get it moving. it is too important for the jobs and economy of the country.
>> did they talk about keystone -- >> they talked about setting up agenda that would include glana. i'm sure when they sit down and meet and teams meet, that will be on the agenda. yes, sir. >> last promise. there is a tradition, very first trip outside the country for the president, new president, is mexico/canada. which will this tradition be maintained? >> i have further updates. we are excited to have treea may this friday. president of canada and prime minister of mexico. netanyahu is coming. when we have presidents of first foreign trips we will let you know. >> a couple follow-ups to yesterday. first you said phone call.
and secondly, you ask about heal it meal coronation -- [ inaudible ] >> i believe the pentagon fully read that out. come on, that was two. >> what we describe as vicious, viciously attacked. for legislation to russia. because i'm from russia. please explain us to why, what is his logic. why he doing this. on wanting to improve, we are
happy he stands firm on that. but please explain to my audience his reasoning for believing we can do it together. >> because i think he is a great deal maker. he will do what he can to fight on be half of this country. and if a deal can be found, whether it is fighting for american taxpayers or working for another country to protect our taggal security interested or economic interests, he will make a deal in the best interest of this country. thank you. jeff? >> you said the president believes there is voter fraud. i wonder if you believe that. reaso reince priebus was chairman at the time. how he can be comfortable with his win -- >> he is very comfortable with his win. >> maybe he didn't win -- >> no, he is very comfortable with his win. i think, look, jeff, i've asked and answered this question twice. he believes what he believes based on the information he is provided. yes ma'am?
>> what does that mean for democracy? >> it means that i've answered your question. >> have you? >> the president has been meeting with business leaders. are there any plans to target u.s. multinationals with significant role with more faithful tax regions? >> i think a lot of these countries you saw yesterday and even the automotive industry has presence overseas, if that's what you mean. first pry that he has is on u.s.-based companies that are trying to bring more jobs back or grow here. but most of these companies, johnson and johnson is clearly a multinational company. you go down the list of individuals that he met with yesterday and then you take the auto industry here today, ford, chrysler, gm. they all -- they all have massive overseas investments and i think part of the problem that he was talking about is greater market access for them. ability to get into marks that the we might not want that may have trouble with.
yes? yeah? >> has president issued his invitation to prime minister of ireland to come for st. patrick's day. >> no, but i will put that on the list. write that one down. >> to piggyback off that -- >> the irish. >> no, not the irish. president met with ceo's pr broad-based, today significantly with auto makers, why is that the first industry to meet with? and taking it broader from that, what's the criteria or policy that president has that might develop or determine which leaders are brought here to the white house to meet with the president? >> look. i appreciate the question. again, we're on day two. we can only have so many meetings in a day. i think when you look, just stop and remember what you just said for a second. yesterday, union leaders,
business leaders, executive orders action. his day one, is pretty darn robust. i'm not going to try -- i've gotten out of the quantifying game. i think when you compare that to the past i bet you we put that up there. the amount of thaks we took and number of folks, that's what you see a lot more of. today he wanted to sit down with the auto industry in particular. he thinks that's vital to our manufacturing base. but he will have a lot of meetings. and meet with a lot of folks from a lot of backgrounds. who he thinks have an interest in working with him to enact an agenda that grows jobs in the economy. that's basically, to your point on the criteria, that's what it is. >> does the president have any plans to change and in the last administration any executive orders as it relates to u.s.-cuba relations? >> we have nothing we are ready to announce at this point. >> one more question, if i may.
p picking up on what april said, there are any plans in the near future for the president to meet with leaders of the congressional black caucus or congressional hispanic office? >> yes. it might have even been april who asked yesterday, but i think the president started with the leadership be a as we had should. you start with them. today the group he is meeting with part of the advice and consent role in the constitution with respect to appointing a supreme court justice. he is going you too the motions. but you are going to see a lot of meetings he with a lot of individuals. he welcomes the input, ideas and advice that these people are coming in with about moving the agenda forward. this is something he enjoyed, not just during transition but the last few days of his administration of hearing feedback. one of the things that's interesting about meetings is with the exception of the pool spray that opens them up, the president largely sat and
listened. asked questions. tried to illicit their ideas about what barriers they are facing to hire more people. what the regulatory or tax increase is. or to keep manufacturing here in the united states. you will see a lot more of that. when a want to do is further expand whether it is governors or members of different groups within the house or senate to come down and get their advice and ideas on how to work together or move an agenda. yeah? >> jonathan associated press. can you just tell us who exactly is involved in that review and how long is it going to taken a what are options being considered? >> i don't want to get too much in detail. there is a lot of key individuals. not to get back on my high horse here but a lot of the individuals that are part of the process have senior staff on that process now. but obviously secretary of state. cia director. u.n. ambassador. there are a lot of folks that, you know, have not been
consulted yet because they haven't been confirmed. they have if private but they need to get together, get confirmed, get in their respective department agencies and get with their staff and provide a few -- halle jackson. >> not to belabor a point here, but you said the president believes there is widespread voter fraud but only four days did he get the president stoi do something about it. why not definitively say that will investigate, if he believes, there was massive voter fraud. >> he said 3 to 5 million people could have voted illegally. based on the studies he has seen. but he is very clear he won the election based on the 306 electoral votes he got. we are here on day two. let's not prejudge what we may or may not do in the future. >> if he lost, would he be upset? >> of course. who wouldn't be?
>> i mean about the -- >> the election is held in our country with electoral votes. he won overwhelmingly with 306 electoral votes. the most since raeg grab. regular /* reagan. he is very, very pleased with that.he is very, very pleased w that. just quickly, the pipelines. on keystone. when you look at dakota as well. given the president's last business ties, disclosure shows he did have some stake in energy prance fer partners. he sold most of it, but there is still thousands of dollars that he has. can he just reassure the american people -- >> thousands of dollars for a guy who is a multibillionaire, i don't know -- >> to those concerned about potential conflict.
>> by law he can't have conflicts. he has gone above and beyond to make sure his focus is on the american people, bringing back jobs and growing the economy. >> does he share the view of secretary of defense, who said yesterday washington has quote an unshakeable commitment to appliance. >> i think i addressed this before. as in terms of the output of nato, he doesn't feel it is doing what it was set up to do. i think that secretary mattis and others have some ideas about how to reform or make organizations like nato more effective and benefit the amount of money the united states puts into nato or the u.n. or other organizations like that. but he is not pleased with what he sees in terms of contribution. yes, sir? >> for legislation from senator
ka cassidy, would the president support the type of legislation that would allow those that want to to opt in. and would that go back on having a full repeal? >> i think first and foremost, let's get back to the goal. we are working with congress. some of the conversations started last night. staff has been working on a plan to repeal and replace. his goal first and foremost is to make sure we give the per can people a health care system that's affordable, more accessible, more doctors were more plans. how a state chooses to implement that, but right now with the mandates to require things to get things, it has driven out competition and driven up cost is not a health care system he is pleased with and want it support the repeal with. >> thank you. i want to be clear about this investigation. seems like you have opened a door for one. have you discussed with the president -- >> which investigation? >> possibly investigating voter fraud. >> no, i did not.
>> you said it is possible. >> anything is possible. >> look, i was asked a question. there is no investigation. i said it is possible. it was a hypothetical question. my point to you is to ask us on day two. he made a comment last night on something he has believed and said for a long, long time. the question asked to me is whether or not, it's been asked and answered. >> foreign policy. >> sure. >> israel approved the support of -- >> i think he asked his team to get together. he will meet with -- israel continues to be a huge ally of the united states. he wapt wants to grow closer with israel to make sure it gets the full respect it deserves in the middle east. as i mentioned yesterday, we will have a meeting with president netanyahu.middle east. as i mentioned yesterday, we will have a meeting with president netanyahu. >> thank you.
jordan from the hill. during the campaign, president jump says he wanted to follow up the guantanamo bay prison with bad dudes. i wonder if the white house is formulating a plan to do that. has the president directed armed forces to start arresting terrorists overseas and start bringing them to the prison? >> we have nothing on that right now. >> thanks. two questions related to supreme court and senate leadership. can you tell us about the goal of the meeting? sound like he is closing in on a position, will he share with them a short list of final choices? >> one quick correction. i mentioned two individuals at the beginning. only attendees are senator mcconnells, schumer, snodgrass and feinstein. i mentioned the whips and they won't be attending. the idea is to hear input on what they want. how far he wants to extend himself on where he is on his thought process. he want to hear what they are looking for on a judge.
>> when senate democrats change filibuster rules in 2013 they exempted the presupreme court nominationes from that. would the president encourage senate republicans to consider lowering -- >> i think he will appoint a quality associate justice that hopefully will achieve overwhelming support. his goal is to choose someone who hopefully i think everybody recognizes is a jurorist that will adhere the constitution and not legislate from the bench and achieve b achieve bipartisan support. i think we are early enough in the process and well hear from them tonight. thank you. have a good one.
up on c-span's home page, scroll down to the section that says watch congress, white house and courts. we will take you live now over to the confirmation hearing room for president trump's nominee to head office of management and budget. mick mulvaney appeared earlier today and he will now be before senate