John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
April 27th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

Trump: 'I have done a great service'

(CNN) – Despite the long form birth certificate released by the White House Wednesday, real estate mogul Donald Trump said "I don't make up anything" when asked about his recent claim that the president's birth certificate was missing. Still, he is undecided about paying for the sleuths he sent to Hawaii.

In an interview airing Wednesday on CNN's "John King, USA," Trump said he can now recall investigators he'd sent to Hawaii to look into President Obama's birth.

"Would I pay them? I don't know," he said. "I can say this, let me just tell you, I don't make up anything…I have done a great service to the American people."

When pressed on his role in stirring up birther controversy by CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, Trump downplayed his actions saying, "Excuse me, every time I sit down with the press all they want to talk about is the birth certificate and I got him to do something that nobody else could get him to do and I take great credit for that."

And though the possible presidential candidate, currently in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire for several appearances, says he hasn't seen the long form birth certificate, Trump now hopes "a lot of experts will analyze it."

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February 3rd, 2011
06:52 PM ET

McCain: 'I'm not a starry-eyed idealist'

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Washington (CNN)-Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain said he's no "starry-eyed idealist" when asked about his opinion on the conflict in Egypt and the role of the United States in the region by CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King.

On CNN's "John King USA," airing Thursday at 7 p.m. EST, he said "I'm not a starry-eyed idealist. I know the nature of war. I think I understand these issues and I understand the criticality, but for us to be on the side of governments that are oppressive and repressive in the long run can never benefit us and help us achieve our goals."

And according to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, history proves that he was right about the troop surge in Iraq, despite what former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may have written in his new book "Known and Unknown."

"I was over in Iraq to know that we were losing and American lives were being lost. There's nothing more important than that and I came back and we had literally pitch battles on the issue of a surge and he steadfastly opposed it.

"He didn't believe we needed additional troops. That was a huge bone of contention between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld and fortunately after the election of 2006 the president decided to replace him. We had the surge and we've achieved a significant degree of success in Iraq which we wouldn't have under Secretary Rumsfeld."

Of his campaign rival, President Obama, McCain revealed that they now have a "common interest" and "common values" that will help them work together. Specifically, McCain believes the two could cooperate on "enhanced rescission" and "once we get the border secure…immigration reform," along with "several other issues."

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January 5th, 2011
09:08 PM ET

Father and son in Congress

(CNN) – The 112th Congress is a family affair for GOP Congressman Ron Paul and his son, Republican Senator Rand Paul. But that doesn't mean they always agree.

Speaking with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, the two Pauls diverge on whether the House Republican pledge to cut $100 billion dollars from the federal budget in the first year is realistic.

In an interview for CNN's "John King, USA," Congressman Paul commented on an apparent backtrack from the original GOP promise. The elder took a conservative tack, explaining that instead of a failure, Republicans are now "facing up to reality."

"I mean they don't have the votes, they don't have the support, I predict the budget this year will be bigger than last year. I don't think the budgets are gonna shrink because just the cost of living increase and other things, there's so much momentum, I don't have high expectations that we're gonna be cutting much of anything."

Senator Paul, the freshman, had a more hopeful point-of-view: "I'm a little more optimistic than that actually and I think actually we're introducing a bill that will be $500 billion dollars in cuts…We will push the leadership…the tea party does want spending cuts, we do want to reduce the deficit, and I'm more optimistic. I think we will get some concessions.

And when asked how Americans should respond if Republicans cannot keep their promises, the father-son team traded places on perspective.

Rand Paul responded "[Americans] should kick them all out and send us all home."

Ron Paul countered "Well I think they should kick the people out who voted incorrectly. If we've been voting the right way, why would you get kicked out for that?

Hopefully they can settle any disagreements before the sun goes down; Sen.-and-Congressman Paul will be sharing a residence in DC during the congressional term.

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December 16th, 2010
09:46 PM ET

Sen. McCain discusses 'don't ask'

(CNN) – Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain sounded off on issues being debated in the lame duck Congressional session during an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Thursday night.

Appearing on CNN's John King, USA Thursday night, McCain had choice words for fellow members of his party that plan to vote in favor of the spending bill that contains Republican earmarks. Calling the bill a "monstrosity and atrocity" Mccain stated, "It is a bipartisan plague, and we have Republican senators who may vote in favor of this atrocity.

"And we Republicans had better understand, we've got a second chance because of our excesses of the Bush administration, and I'm not sure they'll forgive us another time."

Following the interview, Sen. Harry Reid pulled the spending bill from the floor of the Senate, saying that Republicans who'd previously said they would vote for the bill now tell him they will have to vote against it.

McCain expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), saying "I don't believe that another START treaty would have any beneficial effect on other rogue nations that are attempting to acquire or have developed nuclear weapons, such as North Korea or Iran … I don't think it would embolden them either.

"I don't think that whether we ratify the START Treaty or not is going to affect Iranian or North Korean or other rogue nations' behavior in the slightest."

The nuclear arms reduction treaty is a bilateral agreement between Russia and the United States to mutually reduce their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

When asked about the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and previous remarks that label the proposal as a "liberal wish list," McCain acknowledged that he continues to believe that children who come into the United States illegally are "God's children" but stood firm on his convictions regarding safety of the U.S. border.

"We've got to get our borders secured so that 10 years from now…we are not faced with another human suffering situation of children who have been brought to this country illegally. We can address the whole immigration issue comprehensively once we get the border secured, and we can get the border secured."

The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for some children who came into the country illegally and later served two years in the U.S. military or completed two years toward a bachelor's degree.

The McCain household is a house divided when it comes to "don't ask, don't tell," the military policy that prevents gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military. Though McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, spoke out against the measure, and claimed that it is the civil rights issue of her generation, McCain revealed that his son, a former member of the Marine Corps, is also against the repeal of the military policy.

"His words to me … as so many thousands of others' words have been to me, if it isn't broke, don't fix it."

Of his relationship with President Barack Obama, McCain – the Republican presidential candidate who lost the 2008 election to Obama – indicated that it is on the mend. Two years after the contentious presidential election, he said, "I did have a conversation with the president about the issue of START and how to go about it … And it was a very cordial conversation, I think."

"I look forward to working with the president and his national security adviser … I'm a great – admirer of the secretary of defense (Republican Robert Gates). So we have, certainly, good grounds for cooperation in a very dangerous world."

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