Trump holds cabinet meeting at the White House

Trump spoke about the G-7 summit, impeachment and Syria, among other topics; U.S. may leave some troops in Syria; Major settlement reached ahead of planned federal trial in opioid crisis.
27:04 | 10/21/19

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Transcript for Trump holds cabinet meeting at the White House
Happy Monday welcome to the briefing room coming to you from the Washington bureau of ABC news I'm John sands Eugene we have a busy week in store. I'm very tired it's only Monday though still one hour an eleven minutes what would you do for one hour and eleven minutes while Donald Trump did a cabinet meeting and it went on. And on and on and that's were gonna start let's bring our senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega who is in that room for one hour. And eleven minutes Cecilia Guerrier you still able to stand after all that's funny. Why I had to spot my issues at a at a country without out of. The flats always make it different eye to let's died and he made a lot of news. In there with his cat and Cecilia your note afterwards too so for all that time. The president talking about a wide range of topics let's start with the G-7 the president announcing over the weekend that he's reversing his decision not to host the G-7 at his Terrelle complex. Here's what he said in the cap program. But the Democrats. Won praise even I would have done that Freddie. So if the country money that based on what you get from. You know I got an option I get more promotion. Than any human being totally. Is willing this afraid. And they would act it would have been the greatest she seven ever. I don't think you people as podium monuments laws and by the way. I would say that its cost anywhere from two to five billion dollars us so. This is one of the fastest reversals we have ever seen Donald Trump to use this up. Absolutely and I thought maybe we'd see a little bit of backtracking in the cabins for exhibit not now he's actually sticking to his guns on this one I'm. Under fire and end the president is spinning this as as this was a and it undoing. That he is blaming the Democrats he's blaming on the media but the reality is. The Republicans to really I think got his attention on that he face headlines this weekend the president did that's at the Republicans. Were not happy with Syria they were not happy with his decision to award himself essentially the contract after attitude to take the G-7 to his resort there in Florida. And that is just compounding one day on top of the next for him right now you you heard the headlines out of those statements that John he said. That day he doesn't need any self from bush and he's sticking to his guns that he says he won't make a profit. If the G-7 were to have gone to draft he's calling freaks me shocking the in my islands known monuments clause which essentially. Regulates conflicts of interest for government employees he's calling it phony and he says that he's losing money two to five billion dollars being president of the United States but. He's saying now that they it would have been the best G-7 ever had been held a drought but they are now looking at new please is potentially. Camp David but you also heard -- will say that she's a staff that press conference here last street John's say. Didn't that day Camp David would dessert was a disaster. During the last a summit that they had yourself mixed messages on France and he had bit definitely from that rough press conference that Bellini had last week initials the fact check the president. He can say he's losing money but as you and I both know his property just up the street this from hotels they're raking in millions and millions of dollars since he has taken the oath of office meantime the other headline in their Cecilia is obviously the news overnight first reported by the New York Times that he's considering changing course as it relates to Syria but he need an eyebrow raising comment during that cabinet meeting let's take a listen to a precedents that. So club president one drop of blood shed. There's hope hurt by an American ourselves. Nobody was killed. Nobody cut that figure. Is but nothing. Mean this yeah you wanna take that one. Not sure exactly what time frame he's talking about if he's talking about potentially sensed this so called cease fire happened but the reality is there have been. Seven deaths are count of US military in involved in Syria they're so not a drop of blood I think is an accurate statement looking at the big picture there. But they're seems to be also some question about what is happening with the troops in Syria. There were reports that you mentioned that there were potentially. Leave us a few hundred US troops in Syria despite the president saying that he's withdrawing. All of the troops there that came from the Defense Secretary today but the president just now in this habits break said that he didn't necessarily he didn't think it was necessary to leave some troops. They are in serious and again we're seeing some mixed messaging on that front. He also said that that he'd these troops would be coming home. But the reality is John we know that many of them if not almost all of them are being sent to Iraq so there's no. No plan to bring them home at least in the immediate future and his allegiance. For a let you go you know you were in the air force academy is part of the white house press pool that is a rotating cast of White House reporters it go in one representing print one we're presenting. Television broadcast outlets that's obviously was your role. Today just as we continue to follow the president and he's ever evolving mood. As he's dealing with his growing impeachment inquiry what stood out from you. From that one hour eleven minute rant. You know I think it was really telling what we saw happen in that that period time inside that cabinet room today we are talking about a president who is right now. Facing impeachment inquiry. Who is facing criticism among the ranks of his own party for his troop withdrawal in Syria for his two Rowell decision of the G-7 decision in two Rolf. Hey he's under fire and we are seeing him kind of been this this breaks big backed into a quarter. I think the quote that sums it up for me today what John was when the president said quote the president of the United States should be allowed to run the country not have to focus on this kind of crap. He's only he's ticked off he spoke for twenty minutes without any interruptions twenty minutes straight basically a monologue starting with everything from. Hillary Clinton to crowd sizes so he's trying to spin this as its pay attention to my economy take pay attention to the good things and doing. Andy he's very frustrated that those things are not getting very much attention in the middle all of these controversies are or hanging over this White House right now. Cecilia Vega at the White House thank you Cecilia we appreciated as a silly imagine there's a lot of controversies. Hanging over the White House right now obviously it is the growing impeachment inquiry here the three things that we think you need to pay attention to this week as we see another. Busy week happening in Washington number one key depositions up on Capitol Hill we are about to enter our third week of closed door depositions led. By house Democrats looking into the growing impeachment inquiry into president trough. Number two subpoenas we have seen a growing number of subpoenas being handed out to members of the trump administration other agencies close allies of the president so far all of those subpoenas have been rebuffed we need to see if that changes we'd known expect it will. But will keep an eye on lastly the president's team there's been an ongoing internal battle for control of the impeachment probe who's in command of it. Who's not the battle over make Moby any vs the White House counsel paths that belong. Vs Jared Kushner the president's senior advisor. Who just happens to be his son Walt let's talk more about impeachment right now all of my colleague Catherine folders of Catherine but let's go back through that graphic is one means retirement are the depositions Zeum there have been so so many that have happened already we are nearing up to two dozen officials and either already gone up or been called to go up. They key one though from this week is tomorrow. A -- this is Bill Taylor. He's a former head diplomat to ukrainians really involved in this text messages that we solve revealed where. There are about three diplomats and communicating saying they were worried. About the main thing we've really been talking about here the quid pro quo there was. Something brought up in the text messages you know their coming brought up in the text messages that said. That he would be worried if if the administration were to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigation so I think what we would. Here a lot from him tomorrow is going to specifically that was on that aid the timeline on that what exactly really happened and then. Accorsi involvement of the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and we might learn more of his involvement in. And we mentioned also about the role the White House right now that that the changing dynamics of who's. In command at this point in time. He does feel like they are trying to get things under way they had a failure last week in trying to bring on former South Carolina congressman tray Goudie. To join their legal team what do we know right now but efforts to expand the team has to deal in his impeachment. Europe ES is dead tree Goudie thing is you and I reported on obviously fell through for various reasons but I think a little bit of a debate internally about. Who they need what they needed any more people on the inside more lawyers on the inside name more layers. On the outside think you and I'm does know that there is an acknowledgment that they probably do need more legal advisors or or lawyers. Working internally but look I think there's still a little bit of at press and between as you mentioned the White House Counsel's Office and it will be some are frustrated that. The lawyers in the White House are looking at this purely from a legal. Respected and on a political perspective so I think. It will see some more movement on that in the next week or two they're meeting on it today associated even comes from my. Catherine folders keeping all thank you Catherine we appreciate it we're gonna switch gears let's go overseas and we mentioned president trump talking in the cabinet meeting about Syria the growing crisis there now reversing course going to leave some troops on the ground their final numbers. Still being figured out I want to go to my colleague ABC's chain's long man who's on the ground. Well I think. There's been some confusion about this because what was said was that the idea was to keep a couple of hundred troops. In the region in order to kind of keep and -- On the oil. Now in this part of Syria that we're talking about the majority view she is much further south side. What is the suggestion here that that US troops would remain president wolf it was actually on territory which is Syrian regime would pain. I'm having. Essentially abandoned because that's how the cuts would see it would DC at the moment all the Americans that pulled announcing the cuts to come with them south to protect oil fields. Suggestion was that. Diesel fields arsenals of income and revenue for extremist groups like ice it's about the legitimate reasons want to protect them. But what authority with the Americans have to be able to continue doing that if they weren't continuing to support because. Further north. Ask to this cease fire well I think it's been a cease fire really in Maine Monday it's that the fighting really has continued over the last few days. Although there have been signs of some success because the SEF. Decided to withdraw the announcer say they all with jewel its horrible how withdrawn from ross' Elaine strategically important towns I think back in Washington will be read. Six sets of sorts but don't let heading for a month's big issue here because that US Turkey brokered agreement. That was made over seventy Mike Pence in the team and president don't want. It stipulated that the cuts would we drool. From these this area of northern Syria but exactly when they would be mature and from. There was a big difference to what Turkey expects among the cuts expected because c'mon at told us Saudi inventory from Russell made him a couple of other strategic places. They know could withdraw from this 200 plus mile stretch across northern Syria. A because of we're seeing real concern the cease fire chief and tomorrow civilians are on the move because they know that this hostilities could pick up again. James lawmen thank you sir let's bring in our senior pentagon reporter Louis Martinez for the quick check on what's happening right now. On the ground Lou we happy Monday thanks for coming in with us so. Obviously that New York Times report over nine that the president is considering leaving some troops on the ground Defense Secretary Marc Casper confirming. That is well one of the ideas currently on the table what do we know right now Lillie. Well we know right now John is that there is no proposal it has been presented to president trap right now about this. This is something that's being talked about internally here at the Pentagon the idea of keeping may be several hundred US troops in those oil fields that James is talking about. That are along the eastern area there of Syria actually wait out of them middle Euphrates River valley not even close to the border area that we're talking about. A moment comes to the Turkish and that Syrian Kurds fighting a way up to the north. But just an idea that's being put into greased up they're but it sounds like it's an ideas we've heard just now from Cecilia and for James it. Something that president trump supports because he's been tweeting about any thought about it at this. Cabinet meeting and so as possible that this could be something that. He puts forward another thing to think about is that he's also decided to keep last week he announced he's keeping. Maybe 200 troops or sell down along in this one isolated base down along the border with Jordan in Iraq. In this is because it sits along a mean. A roadway between east and west where Iran has been known to traffic weapons. Towards extremists. In in southern Syria that could target Israel and that's why the president announced today that. He is talking of them to Syria this unique to Israel anti Jordan and that there requests he's keeping those forces are so he looks like he's open the possibility keeping true to. Let's talk about the thriller the how many he gonna keep because. If the idea was to get rid of a thousand US troops from inside Syria if we do this piecemeal were exploding adding up to close to 400 now. Louis the other thing I want to ask you about is the comments he need in the cabinet meeting earlier that I spoke with Sicilian out. To see that no American soldiers on the have died or adding the line was cut a finger. Hole over in Syria obviously Cecilia is right we do have to know we don't know what time frame he's exactly speaking of but on a hole that is since. We not true. That's correct this is helium mention there have been seven US military fatalities. Harris into the US began military operations in October 2015 inside Syria. The largest daily event occurred earlier this year in mid January when he had four Americans that died. Two civilians. This was a bomb attack launched by crisis inside a cafe inside managed. Demanding to be again in the news this week because this is the place where US troops pulled out and the Russians and the Syrians moved in. But they they as far as ago that we need to know the context and as far as this ongoing operation right now. It appears that then we may be right we we went over and asked spokesman hear what he had heard about this he said he referred into the White House which is an ex Baghdad. But we would have heard if there'd been some incidents we seen some video you're seeing out right now these American troops are relieving this northern panic Khamese leave there are. But troops are escorting a semi trucks carrying equipment out of the Syria and Iraq common area and they were receiving. Potatoes ever thrown at them being lined up thrown at them by. Kurdish. The people who are upset that the US man has abandon them as as a term that we've heard over the last week or so. Comment so courses dissatisfaction there but then at the same time you're also seeing this other images eleven documents showed the it's. Deliberate withdrawal of the the large numbers of US forces from a large military base. Inside Syria and that is pretty proceeding according to plan in a phased withdrawal most of them from the west leaving first. You're by plane or by ground convoy and then others. You see them packing their and other materials others will be moving about in the eastern part we had anticipated ever are gonna move. Hop from the key eastern part into Iraq but right now it seems like they're just going to. Maybe stay a little longer the president decides that that's actually was gonna happen is particularly when it comes to those oil field. We'll keep on eye on an ABC's Louis Martinez over the Pentagon thank you Louis you can keep track of Louis in the teens all they're great reporting up online right now at abcnews.com. There was something else that is supposed to happen today one of the first. Open you're trials was supposed to get started. Out in Ohio it did not and that is because the parties on both sides reached a settlement 200 million dollars settle. That is not a small amount of money and now what happens to other cases that are pending I want to bring in doctor Kathleen Brady she is the vice president of research at the University of South Carolina doctor great to have you with us on this Monday we appreciate it. Obviously. That this would have been a historic case had a gone forward but. You we're not dead about now that we saw this settlement from this 200 million dollars what do you hope that money making it used for. Well my hope is that I liked it took that historic tobacco settlement act in 1998. Hummer that this money is Henry Lee is she's support. Treatments and to support research about a new treatments now. We've given the money really doesn't need any vote is on. On audio yet again and unfortunately. Wit the historic. Settlement. Much of that money wait to just covering the state budget deficits and not your pet projects only 3%. Is in ways we're directly impacting. On tobacco use in prevention. So I got restrictions and fishing restrictions can be art is money so that there really is daddy Katie. To both. Treating on people. Anger and Bradbury and compensating people have been and in the it IPO in. Hopes on research into new treatment I mean we treat archery is can be bearish and we haven't treatment system that's really somewhat broken. Addiction services are often say inmates and taking. General medical care and we know that shouldn't be addictions. Mental and physical problems so we really need integrated air arms and he's really need to be used reshape reform art treatment systems and to researching treatments. All kinds of exciting developments in our science these new pathways an important reason dated that might. Help in treating addictions and treating chronic riches. And main ways these academics. Started in so again. Re search and evidence based treatments. And I hope we can really see some restriction ease these are so that they are directed. I'm towards solving the problem. And doctor ready before I let you go you as you were speaking we're putting up some of the shocking numbers. On screen for our audience obviously where Ohio where this case was set to begin. Today they have the second highest number of deaths is reported in 2017. Related two OP Lloyd's. But give us the number they keeps you up at night in your research that you think are. Idea where about. There are so many numbers really just yet through it that we it is a 130. People a day GOP operatives. So we're 315130. Depending on which you're looking that we lost 400000. Lines. You do eat and dad actually. Over jet is yet overtook tracking. The number one can't acts and acts last year. The kind of numbers that really keep up at night. Its members that we two shouldn't have to talk about doctor Brady thank you very much for your time today we appreciate it. Okay thank you. Switching gears here in the briefing room so tomorrow on Capitol Hill in addition to everything else they've got going on CB members of congress talking about growing support for a new act it's called. The pregnant workers fairness. This is obviously something that would affect many Americans and it deals with rights regarding pregnant women at the workplace. And job security and and how that relates to everybody's individual needs I want to bring in a woman's going to be up. On Capitol Hill testifying tomorrow Michelle Durham. You've. Thank you for coming and I'll never meet but you know your your story here which until the audience about. On you had your dream job yes and and you they've gotten pregnant at 22 you're hoping to keep that job yes she tells will that the what happen to you. I was working in the empty and at sixteen weeks of I was pregnant and had my first appointment and the doctor put me on a regular weight restriction of fifty pounds. Standard across the board. No big deal. Well our stretchers went under pounds with a patient so I contacted my supervisor and told moments in my weight restriction and we both agreed of course second mark on the truck. When me healthy from it'd be lifting twice the weight restriction without anybody even on the stretcher. And signed discussed with him about moving to the light duty positions that they offered for either. But for the workmen workmen's comp or moving to dispatch position right. And he's he's only you would talked HR and get back to me and I was told that I was allowed to admit to dispatch it would there's training involved that apparently. Would take too long according to them and everything going on. And that. The lady positions were only for those on Martin's comp that have been injured on the job you know you. You try to to work with the system obviously works against you. And when. You end up taking leave that was unpaid. Food and minor scene means that you tried to find a position during that time. Actually I hadn't taken only that although we didn't intend is this was before I didn't they sent me the paperwork later saying that I was actually. Only allowed to take a ninety day unpaid medical leave a crash which would only actually put me through how for the period that. I would be on this restriction any glass away six months left to go rather. And they actually in the paperwork said that not only was I not eligible to try and apply for. Unemployment benefits or look for another job during this time. But at the end of the ninety days they got two issues whether or not I came back to work may then. Obviously being pregnant is something that you know. He's in of itself or my wife's pregnant right now I'm finding she's going through oh a lot of changes herself. But to have to worry about your job in the process there are that had to be overwhelming daunted. There was it was very overwhelming it was a very upsetting time it's hard to actually look back in my pregnancy and see the happy moments because I spent so long fighting this. I mean when I when I wouldn't talk to Heather the whole idea was that this was a misunderstanding she even says this is got to be a misunderstanding. Let's just send them a letter very and that's where we started we sent a letter just to see if we could. Work something out and just get my job back. Now your keys and caught the attention of these you who's been working with you. You're gonna looks more as they said to speak to members of congress yes what do you want them to hear from. Welcome to hear how hard it is to have to prove that their positions. That she could of worked. Because with a pregnancy workers fairness act actually puts it on the employer to prove that it's an undue. Burdens to give them a pregnant worker jobs rather pregnant. I mean these are the people around these Portman can't workmen's -- jobs hadn't weight restrictions at my level or lower some of them can only lift point five pounds. But I wasn't allowed to take that position and the hardest thing for many people as it. Obviously you want to keep your job it's hard to speak out like you're doing now for women that are in this position they find themselves at this moment yes. I don't I don't emails to go through every. That's been my whole stand on this. I don't want anybody to have to deal with this because it was a nightmare at the moment I realized that I didn't have a job. That I was pregnant and I was gonna have to find a way to not only pay the bills at a home like everybody else. But severely get stuff for my son to get clothes and bed and and yelled happy things that you guys think about you know picking out her stuff for your nursery. I liking in the fact that my family and my friends are really supportive and I panel on hand me downs and gifts and things like that to help out with it. But they're women through how that support systems they definitely don't you sons of Obama oh yes he's amazing he's very anxious and if it. All of energy all the time on the show wishing the locked Mari be up there on Capitol Hill Britain Ireland yes an article giving them thanks much for your time. Before we leave you today there is out one other case that we've been paying attention to you and then involves Roger Stone might remember him he was a long ally of the president. Well in part of a one of the key depositions that Klein friends of his key. They talked about a scene from the godfather part cheerio. Take a look at this. Did you center on the cap. DeVito fully owned also. As the guy. Yeah he would. You're contradicting sworn saving you previously made any inside. I ask you again. Here another. Were you at any time. A member of a crime organization. Headed by Michael. It is in the problem. This is violent. But that. OK so wide a movie clips important right now while lawyers the Department of Justice actually wanted to show. That clip in the trial because that was something cone stone talked about lying to congress. Fortunately for mr. stone one little victory for him. The judge denied that request by the Department of Justice so they can not show anything from the godfather part two in his trial which is set to begin. Later this fall and is gonna say it godfather part one much better but that's my thing. Anyway that's gonna do for us on this Monday make sure to download BBC news that for any news any time thanks much for joining us I'm John Santee gene Washington. You are watching the ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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