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Trump says Notre Dame burning is a "terrible sight to behold"

Trump: Notre Dame fire a "terrible sight"
Trump calls Notre Dame fire a "terrible sight to behold" 01:49

President Trump began an event in Minnesota on tax reform on a somber note, describing the scene of the Notre Dame Cathedral burning as a "terrible sight to behold." Images of the the iconic spire at the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris collapsing captured the internet Monday after a major fire broke out.

"They are having a terrible, terrible fire," the president said. "You probably saw some of you have heard. Some of you have not because you have been here. But I will tell you the fire that they are having at the Notre Dame Cathedral is something that few people have witnessed. When we left we had a whole group of you great representatives, when we left the plane it was burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn. It is one of the great treasures of the world, the greatest artists in the world."

Video showed part of the roof of the cathedral collapsing into itself as the fire rages on. A Notre Dame spokesperson, according to The Associated Press, told French media, "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

Mr. Trump held a single, roundtable event at Nuss Truck and Equipment in Burnsville, Minnesota, on Tax Day as he declines to release his own tax returns.

"We promised that these tax cuts would be rocket fuel for the American economy, and we were right," Mr. Trump said Monday afternoon as he continues to promote his signature tax bill, one of the key agenda accomplishments Mr. Trump hopes will propel him to reelection. The Trump campaign announced Sunday night they've raised $30 million in the first quarter of 2019. 

The president's attorneys reiterated their resistance to the release of Mr. Trump's tax returns Monday. The president's lawyers claim it's unconstitutional for the Treasury Department to release the president's returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. 

"We have once again reiterated our objections to the unconstitutional demand for the president's tax returns," Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement to CBS News. 

Also in his introductory remarks, the president announced U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza will take over the Small Business Administration as its administrator, replacing the outgoing Linda McMahon. 

The president touched on a number of topics Monday morning, including the denuclearization of North Korea. Mr. Trump said it's a good thing he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are talking, and "I don't want it to move fast, it doesn't have to move fast." 

Meanwhile, Washington waits for Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report. The Justice Department announced Monday that the report will be released, with redactions, Thursday morning.

The Mueller Report: A Turning Point 43:37

Barr had previously released a four-page summary of the report, which said the special counsel "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." However, the report also states that it does not exonerate Mr. Trump, despite the president's assertions to contrary. 

"Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!" Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning. 

The president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid he is "feeling very confident" ahead of the release of the redacted report. 

But that isn't all that's preoccupying the president this week. He's also honed in on comments made by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is being criticized for remarks she made about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Omar claims death threats leveled against her have increased since the president directed a weekend tweet at her. Mr. Trump doubled down on his remarks Monday morning.

"Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made. She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!" the president tweeted Monday morning.

Omar's supporters say they will protest outside of Mr. Trump's Minnesota rally Monday.

In a break with tradition, Mr. Trump is also refusing to release his own tax returns as he touts the effects of the tax cut passed by the Republican-controlled congress in 2017.

Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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