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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  November 22, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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that does it for us. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. donald trump changes his tune, that may not sit well with some of his supporters. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. one of the biggest things a during the president's off again/on again meeting with the "new york times," he said he's not going to press charges against hillary clinton. this from a man whose crowds featured crowds chanting lock her up. donald trump says he likes president barack obama and he may be considering offering mitt romney the secretary of state job. plus, is this america today? take a look at this, neo-nazis openly displaying their racism
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and anti-semitism blocks away from the white house. donald trump says he disavowed them. is that enough? we'll discuss that. let's get to the senior white house correspondent, mr. jim acosta. >> reporter: i talked to a source familiar with the discussions who says mitt romney, the 2012 nominee, is now seriously considering the prospect of joining donald trump's administration as secretary of state. i've been told we're not likely to get a decision on this until perhaps early next week and that romney will be talking about this with his family members over the thanksgiving holiday weekend. mitt romney's family is probably his closest advisers so it's not surprising he's doing that. >> jim, donald trump met with the "new york times" and softened a number of his hard line campaign promises. what can you tell us? >> it was striking he didn't have a press conference before
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leaving town in thanksgiving but he had a news conference with the "new york times," they peppered him back and forth for a good long while about basically all the questions we've had from his business interests overseas to whether he would lock up hillary clinton or urge prosecution of the former secretary of state. we put this up on screen there from the great maggie haberman at the "new york times." she tweeted "trump says no when he asked if he is taking investigations off the table for the clintons but adds he doesn't want to hurt the clintons." an indication he doesn't want to hurt it out but he's leaning against it. that's interesting because during the campaign we heard time and again the chant of "lock her up" and one of the presidential debates donald trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after hillary clinton if he's elected president. another surprising tweet came from maggie haberman. "trump says he is seriously
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considering mattis for department of defense. says he asked mattis about waterboarding, was surprised he didn't favor it. that is also interesting, it's an indication perhaps donald trump is having second thoughts about bringing back waterboarding which is something he said said we should go beyond waterboarding and engage in torture but senator john mccain said there's no way for that to happen. they would have to change u.s. laws and he would stop that for occurring. >> and hillary clinton, not just "lock her up" but he himself said a number of times she should be in jail. jim, he also faced questions about potential conflicts of interest. here's another tweet, this is from inside the meeting. "the law is totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest." he went on to say he was phasing out his control of his businesses, turning it over to his children but how does that
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solve question about conflict? >> it doesn't. there was another tweet from the "new york times" saying that trump said at one point that jared kushner, his son-in-law, could perhaps solve the crisis between the palestinians and the israelis and so he's obviously indicating his children will be heavily involved in his administration at the very least his son-in-law but at the same time trump is saying he's going to turn his business interests over to his children and so he's setting up the possibility that his children, his son-in-law will be involved in both his business interests and key decisions that are going to be facing his administration but, don, one thing we should point out to our viewers, it's true the president of the united states, the vice president are exempt from conflict of interest laws that apply to cabinet secretaries and so on who have to put assets in blind trusts and so forth. presidents don't have to do that as much but there is something in the constitution that says they can't accept gifts from foreign governments so there is a bright line here donald trump
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cannot cross and as we've been hearing, he has been engaged in business dealings and conversations with foreign interests since becoming president-elect. the question is whether or not all of that stops on january 20 and donald trump indicated in one of these other tweets from maggie haberman that some of this may live on and he said nothing like this has ever happened before. so he seems to be on the dark side of the moon and it's one of the aspects of the unprecedented presidency that hasn't been sorted out yet. >> we're not reaching for material when it comes to the news business. thank you very much, jim. i want to bring you now senior political analyst david gergen and "new york times" columnist frank bruni. sorry you have a cold. >> thank you. >> i could hear you coughing. that was david you heard coughing.
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frank, i were nut meeting today. what was the tone? >> the tone was pretty cordial. i had read and heard donald trump a day earlier with television journalists berated them for their unflattering coverage. he began the meeting by saying he thought the "times" had been too tough on him but the tone beyond that was mostly cordial. >> in the meeting, did he talk about the conflict of interest? i would imagine he was asked about that? >> he was asked several times. he kept making sure we knew that he's under no legal obligation to put things in a blind trust or do anything like that but then he would pivot and say "no one will have to worry about it, my business is the least important thing, the country is the most important thing." that said, there was never "and thus i will do x, y, and z to reassure the american people that i am not using the presidency to enrich myself." and the other thing he never said and that i get the feeling he doesn't understand or won't acknowledge is that to have your
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children running your businesses and to have them interacting with you regularly in the political sphere, perhaps advisers, that destroys separation between donald trump in government and donald trump the plutocrat. and i can't -- it doesn't feel like he truly gets that. >> that doesn't satisfy, you know what he says about the "new york times." that doesn't satisfy reporters at the "new york times" but it also doesn't satisfy reporters at conservative news outlets because there is the potential of conflict of interest. david gergen? >> there's a serious conflict of interest and ways the presidents act are not entirely guided by laws but norms, expectations and standards and for him, i'm just -- i'm sorry but for him to sit there and have various kinds of conversations already as president-elect with foreign leaders that include conversations about his business dealings and they're clearly meant to advance his commercial interests violates the norm wes associate with the presidency so i think he's got a serious problem. he could get into a
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constitutional problem as frank suggested. there are clauses within the constitution. but already i think he's playing with fire now and his sewn supporters -- the "wall street journal," for example, has urged that he liquidate his holdings and put the assets that accrue to him, put those into a blind trust. that seems to me the cleanest solution of this. he cannot have his children running this, have them running around the white house on the phone with foreign leaders when he's on the phone. >> it appears he's monetizing the presidency if he does things like that. >> and he acknowledged in the meeting. he said "the presidency makes my brand more valuable." his answers were very odd because he suggested in that kind of bragging way he has he suggested no one in the presidency before him ever had his level of wealth so we were all on uncharted terrain including him, donald trump, and
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that his empire, being rooted in real estate, was such that when we talk about liquidating it's much harder than any of us could possibly realize. it kept coming back to "i don't care about my wealth, i don't care about my company, i only compare about my country." but if he really cares about the country he needs to do concrete things to reassure americans. >> normally in the situation what you would do is call in a team of lawyers who work closely in the ethics area and understand conflicts and get written opinions, get advice from counsel and he's shown he is willing to temper. i thought what was remarkable about this set of conversations was also the fact he's tempered on hillary clinton. >> he's tempered on waterboarding. >> tempered on climate change. >> tempered on climate change. >> he said he was open minded. >> and remember just when he saw president obama he said "i learned things about obamacare that i'm going to change my position on a couple. i'll keep a couple things in obamacare." his views are not deeply rooted on many of these. >> all of that overshadowed by
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this whole conflict of interest thing which you said he doesn't seem to understand or just won't acknowledge. i want to ask you, though, did he acknowledge the neo-nazis that were near the white house this weekend yelling things like "hail trump, hail our people, hail victory"? it's called the alt-right but they are neo-nazis, they're racists. >> that came up early in the meeting and he said several times and very, very specifically and emphatically "i disavow them, i don't want their support, i don't support them." here's the thing -- and that's important and we need to give him credit for that. he was saying that in a meeting with "new york times" journalists. i want to hear him saying that in settings where it's not as comfortable to say that and that's when i will believe he feels that way. saying in the a conference room with two dozen people from the "new york times" is different from saying it -- >> for many people of color, david gergen, this is similar to
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what happened with reverend wright and when president obama had to give a race speech. was is the difference in donald trump having to give a race speech of sorts coming out to denounce the kind of people who have supported him and who he has energized, whether he wants to believe it or his campaign wants you to know it or not, they won't say it publicly but they must know that, they're not stupid. is there a double standard here? should he have to do that? >> it's an interesting parallel. i'm sure trump supporters would reject it but there's some persuasive power to that idea that they are similar but i think his blind spot right now is he said yes, he's against racism, terrific, but he hasn't connected up the fact that one of the most important people he appointed in his administration who sits at his right hand now, mr. bannon, is directly linked to breitbart and to alt-right. he is the one who gave them voice, that gave them presence
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in the american discourse so to have -- >> and when that came up in the meeting -- >> how does he square that circle? >> he said he's never seen that steve bannon and reince priebus chimed in and said he never had either and donald trump said if a steve bannon who was extolling those views was doing that now in his administration he said he would get rid of him but he said the steve bannon he has ed to him by people going by what steve bannon -- he basically said i don't recognize that person you're talking about. >> do you think the record supports that? >> what do you think? >> well -- >> i mean -- >> my question is do you think that is an honest answer or is that just the way of -- it sounds like a talking point to me, like a way to answer the question that's disingenuous. >> it does sound like a talking point but here's the thing, when we got into policy with donald trump and he was talking about tempered views, you got the sense that he's way less up to speed on things than you would
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expect a president-elect to be so when he said "i don't know about that side of this, i don't know about that side of the other thing" there is the possibility that he doesn't because he is not the kind of hoover for information and the kind of all aware person a lot of these politicians are. he's very cavalier and casual. >> it's been said of him for a long time that he reflects the last person he's talked to. and that was the impression you got. >> yeah. i put this in my column. >> so i think some of this is -- we ought to salute him. we've been asking for him to be more tempered in some of his views so in that sense, in not pursuing hillary clinton, that's a good thing. "wall street journal" for example on that said he shouldn't pursue this, conservatives said better to move on. >> he's taking heat for that already. >> you're saying you get the sense he's not as up to speed
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or -- what did you say, a wealth -- >> he's not the hoover for information a lot of politicians are. >> so do you think sometimes when he thinks -- when the media looks at him or reports on him with a critical eye and rightly so that he thinks it's negative because he really doesn't have the information that goes behind why we're criticizing him? >> that could be part of it. but the bigger part of it is he only likes to hear nice things about himself. so much of this meeting was him boasting about the way he had been victorious, about how no republican in so many years won pennsylvania or michigan. he went through the litany of republican senators whom he believes he carried across the finish line and the ones whom he believes weren't elected because they weren't on his team. >> we have to go but i'm interested -- i thought it was great that yours was on the. i think the one yesterday was off the record and i think many people didn't go, journalists, because they felt hamstrung because he got to shape the narrative about what the meeting was about and other people could
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not report on -- >> there was plenty of pushback. >> but just reporting on it, you could report on it because it was not off the record. did he walk in and say, listen, i know that we've had our differences, this is a reset, i'm walking into your house, how do we make this better? >> there was a bit of that. i think there was more let's just start afresh and interestingly the meeting ended with someone asking him what about your threats to curtail press freedoms? what about your talk about libel laws and all of that and he said "i think you'll all be very happy." >> did you leave more optimistic about his presidency? >> probably but i wasn't very optimistic to begin with. >> but that's a good sign. at least you have more optimism. >> he seemed in this interview to be -- to not -- to be a flexible person but, again, he sings a tune that's keyed to the audience. >> thank you. >> thank you. when we come back, donald trump has made it clear he is no
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the president-elect has a strained relationship with the media, calling out news organizations and specific reporters when he feels that coverage of him has been unfair. here to discuss is christopher rudd, the ceo of newsmax and newsmax tv and cnn contributor selena zito, a "new york post"
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columnist. good evening, chris, i want to start with you. you have known donald trump for 20 years, he called you after he won on election night. what can you share with us? >> well, i wouldn't share any of the private conversation but i did congratulate him and tell him i think he had an amazing opportunity to reshape america and the world and i think he's very excited about this opportunity and not completely surprised. i think many of us were surprised but i don't think he was about this win. >> he is a hostile relationship with the press, admitically in, he will admit it himself. he's met with news organizations. do you think that that relationship is going to continue the way it is or do you think there will be some -- an olive branch somewhere to be reached out to? >> why should he give an olive branch? i think if he was sitting there watching your show for the first 20 minutes he would be thinking
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they're accusing me of being a neo-nazi or in with neo-nazis, they're accusing steve bannon of being -- you've known donald trump, cnn has done investigations of him, of steve bannon. they have never said anything racist, nothing in their past would suggest they're racist, they've never associated with neo-nazis and yet you guys just spent 15 minutes hammering away somehow -- you know how many whackos on the left supported barack obama? we at newsmax didn't go around and saying he's supported by communist leftists crazies. i think you guys are giving a bad picture. david gergen keeps talking about the record on steve bannon. what record? i've known steve for a long time. steve might have strong views on things, i don't agree with him on everything, but he's a patriotic american. he's never sided with anybody that's a neo-nazi. why would cnn put something like that on for 15 minutes. >> i think the question would be why would breitbart do the
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things they do and be admittedly the platform for the alt-right. how is that okay? >> tell me some of the racist things that breitbart -- >> i will leave it up to you to go to breitbart and read the articles, i don't have time in this format but we have given example after example on this show and also on the other thing -- >> hang on -- >> let me finish. you made a point which i think is a good point about spending 15 or 20 minutes on this. the same argument was made about president obama and the left said the same thing, why is it a big deal about -- why does the president have to give a race speech, why does she to denounce his pastor? the media's job is to look at the person running for the highest office in the land with a critical eye. that's not always positive and if there is some question about them in relationship to a group that is seen as fringe or dangerous it is our jobs to explore it whether or not the person in the office likes it or
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not. that's our job and if donald trump doesn't understand that perhaps he doesn't understand the media and the presidency. >> i think for your viewers' sake it's a great comparison, the reverend that was his pastor in chicago married him and his wife michelle and they both said they were each members of each other's families. this is a lot different than some group of whackos having a meeting and doing nazi salutes that donald trump has never had anything -- >> but it's different if he had appointed the reverend wright as his senior adviser, you don't think that would be different? >> yeah, but steve bannon has never said anything that's racist or improper. do you know how many thousands of articles goes up on newsmax or breitbart or huffington post? so many bloggers, commentators. it's a bit of a wild west out there on the internet. if i went into the cnn comments section i would find racist
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terrible neo-nazi things and all sorts of stuff -- >> we don't have comment sections. >> well, there's a lot of people out there making comments -- >> those are readers, if you do find comments, those are readers making comments, not people who work for cnn making comments and we don't put racist headlines on our web site or our stories. >> i think we can both agree that donald trump and steve bannon have never setth set -- >> we've never been a platform for the alt-right or any racist group. >> i'm not here to defend alt-right or racists but i think we both agree that steve bannon and donald trump have never said anything racist themselves or engaged in a manner that was indicative of being racist so to me those are the two important things. >> i don't know if the american people would agree with that when you hear someone saying -- some people may take it as at least bigoted or maybe they don't understand the culture or that they're tone deaf to say "what else do you have to lose
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when you're leaving your house you have to worry about being shot." that may be seen as racist or bigoted so there are degrees. but go on. >> look, there's a lot of things you can say about donald trump, i've known him for a long time. the last thing i would ever say was racist or bigoted. this is a guy that's been all his life very inclusive, promoting minorities, women, trying to bring in people. i think we went through a very difficult campaign. i think you'll see a donald trump that is going to be building bridges. he's already starting to do that in a very positive way. when obama got elected i said to conservatives, give him a chance, don't tear him down. >> i said to someone on television that we should give the president-elect a chance. i would like to hear from selena. selena, what's your take on this? i'll let you go. what do you think? >> look i think it was important today when mr. trump met with
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the "new york times" to condemn the alt-right because this continues to build and build. i suspect we're going to see him in some other fashion whether he speaks publicly or does a press conference to do that outside of the confines of the editorial room of a newspaper, i think that's important and it is our job to hold his feet to the fire just as it is with any president in any elected official and sometimes presidents don't like that. i would suggest all the time they don't like that but that's what comes with the job. >> and president obama didn't like it. >> not at all. >> president bush didn't like it. president reagan didn't like it. >> they never like it. >> but at least when they are -- if they call out the media, usually they do it in a different way than donald trump has so you know there is an unusual nature to the way he's doing it, selena.
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>> absolutely, we can go back to john adams and thomas jefferson, they had their own newspapers. >> go ahead, chris. >> it's a big difference, we had a very diverse and free press. now you have a number of media conglomerate that own a significant portion of the major media and i think we have to admit there's been a constant drum beat for the past three or four months against trump and conservatives react to that. a lot of middle americans, this is why he won in places like wisconsin and ohio saying he's so hated by washington, so hated by the media, maybe there's something more to this guy. look, again, you can't agree with everything donald trump says. he's been a celebrity, he likes to talk his mind and there's a certain authenticity that people are connecting with even if they disagree with some of his view points and i don't think those view points are racist, bigoted or mean spirited? >> thank you, chris, thank you, selena, appreciate it. >> thanks. up next, the nypd going all
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out to protect the macy's thanksgiving day parade from potential terror attacks. we'll talk to one of the men in charge. "why are you checking your credit score?"
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security will be extra tight on thursday for the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade right here in new york city. let's discuss with john miller, the new york police department's deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism. thank you for coming in. i know it's very busy. so i have to ask you about this. the nypd authorities arrested a suspected isis supporter in brooklyn. what can you tell us about that? >> that's mohammed rafik imagine this case goes back quite a while, starting with the intelligence bureau of the nypd then bringing together the joint terrorism task force of the fbi 6 with a number of agencies and quite an extensive investigation. what you have there as is alleged in the complaint an individual who tried five or six
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times coming from turkey, coming from yemen to get into syria to become a fighter for isis and having failed to do that he was offering materiel support in other ways back here in the united states, including discussions of other potential plots and one of which included musing about the idea of doing a nice-style type attack in times square with a truck so this was an individual who was -- had already committed a federal crime but was becoming of increasing concern to us. >> so you think you avoided a crisis? >> i don't know that. but, don, i would say this, if you look at the boston marathon bombing case, this was a personal that came on the radar, federal investigators, the joint terrorism task force touched on tamerlan tsarnaev but there was no crime to arrest him on and later he became a bomber. if you look at the orlando shooter, omar mateen, same scenario. they touched on him, he hadn't committed a crime but he went on to wreak carnage. or the chelsea bomber.
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when we look at an individual like this, we're assessing a number of things -- what's his intent? what's his capability and what crimes have been committed that he can be gotten off the street with. >> let's talk about the thanksgiving day parade. we see the increased police presence. we see the bleachers, everythi in the restaurant that overlooks columbus circle, they were scoping out the area. what precautions are being taken to protect people and the parade route. >> so we're using the fulmen you. that is actually not because of any particular threat, that's because of the -- basically the human condition of the world right now which is we live in a high threat environment so we're talking about radiation detectors, very sophisticated bomb sniffing dogs who can pick up the vapor from an explosive
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even on a person's body. observation teams, heavy weapons teams but with all that -- and this is because of a specific threat in the isil magazine -- we always have blocker cars on the route. we don't want to run away a vehicle penetrating the route either by accident or on purpose. because of the latest threat we increased the size and weight oh of what we're using. >> those are the things you can't tell us. the isis propaganda magazine called the parade route an excellent target because the event is televised, like 3.5 million people are expected to show up at the parade. how do you secure that? >> well, with the mull fen you i just went through and a number of things you won't see that are employed there but the isil magazine that came out the weekend before last was specific to the idea that they were
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calling on anybody who was willing to step up to do a nice-style attack, ram a truck through a public event and they showed a photograph of the parade as an example of an excellent target. it's actually not an excellent target. we're going to have over 80 sand trucks blocking the route. traffic will be shut at all the intersection bus including intersection wes used to have open so it will be a secure event. kids will be there, i'll be there, we'll have a great time. everybody should come. >> so you got the parade, the rockets, the store windows, you've got the christmas tree and on top of this you got the security around trump tower on fifth avenue. >> what could possibly go wrong? >> what impact is that having on the city besides you said you go down 5th avenue, traffic is always a nightmare, what impact is this having on the city? >> for perspective, traffic was a nightmare before. people are feeling it more now because there's constriction
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there but there is the season where we get busy. we run from the marathon to to thanksgiving day parade to the christmas tree lighting to new year's eve where we have counterterrorism overlays. adding in the president-elect for three months living at the center of manhattan offers an additional challenge, some additional man power is required. it's an additional strain on the budget but we're a big police department and we're used to doing more than one thing at a time. >> have fun, but if you see something say something. >> that's what i was going to say. >> thank you for your service and keeping us safe. appreciate it. coming up, donald trump condemns and disavows neo-nazis but should he do more? if you're searching other travel sites to find a better price... ...stop clicking around... the lowest prices on our hotels are always at so pay less and get more only at
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donald trump in the "new york times" disavows neo-nazi supporters but is that enough? here to discuss, alan dershowitz, johnny appelbaum is a washington bureau chief for the "atlantic" and matt louis, senior contributor to the daily caller. matt, you got out of town. you were here last night and you left us. because of that, i'll start with
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yanni. yanni, donald trump said he disavows the white supremacist group that met over the week end in washington. it was your colleagues that captured the anti-semitic hate speech inside that meeting. let's look and we'll discuss. >> america was until this past generation a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity. it is our creation. it is our inheritance and it belongs to us. hail trump! hail our people! hail victory. [ cheers and applause ] so yanni, do you think donald trump's statements today at a
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meeting at the "new york times" with a handful of reporters, is that enough to counteract that? >> well, you know, for an american politician getting asked to condemn nazi rhetoric is sort of a big fat pitch over the center of the plate and i'd rate his response thus far more like a bloop single. he took a swing, he disavowed, he made it clear that these people in their views are not his own but the white nationalists clearly see trump's rise as giving them a green light for their hate. >> matt, you were the first person to discuss this group on the air. who is this group? you have been targeted by them. >> i'm sure others have had it worse but i started noticing this a few years ago that they -- the name alt-right back then really wasn't that widely known but they view me as, like, a race traitor as somebody -- there's sort of a special hatred
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reserved for people like me because i'm a white christian conservative and so i ought to be in their camp. and so in a way they hate me worse than they hate even other people on the panel sometimes. it's a weird amalgam. it's certainly obviously the people we just saw are white nationalists and are racists, there are other people who were gamers who go to these message boards like reddit and 4 chan. a lot of them are involved in, like, the men's rights movement. so it's a weird amalgam. they've branded themselves alt-right. they have some similarities to what we used to call the old right or the paleoconservatives. but this is definitely a fringe thing. luckily only a couple hundred people at that meeting but, again, not something that we want to, like, encourage and i think obviously needs to be condemned.
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>> i want to get alan dershowitz in. alan, before you comment, wolf blitzer pressed you on whether donald trump should give a speech denouncing this neo-nazi group who supports trump. spicer said it's been asked and answered. what do you think? >> one thing we know about donald trump, he knows how to show outrage. he knows how to yell and scream at the people at "hamilton" because somebody got up and made a polite reference to the vice president so considering who he is and what he said about other people, including in his own party, this statement that i disavow just is nothing. it's almost as if he's saying, you know, i'm going to disavow this, let me tell you who i really don't like. it was worse than nothing in some ways and not only should he be showing horrible outrage but so should bannon and so should breitbart. all of them have an obligation to not only dissociate themselves and disavow but show the same kind of outrage that breitbart has shown toward women and toward muslims and that
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bannon has shown. you know, you have to judge people by what they've said about other people and judge by what trump, breitbart, and bannon have said about other people. this is not even a condemnation. >> his people said he disavowed, he's condemned. what more would you have the man do. >> do what he's done to others. say what he's said about romney, about cruz. he's much crueller, much tougher on people who've run against him who have upset him, who have insulted him. he knows how to be outraged. we haven't seen that kind of outrage and he has to say it not to the "new york times," he has to say it to his own people. he has to say it to his constituents and he has to say to his constituents don't you dare glorify them or join them because if you go near them, you're not on my side. he can do it. >> will he do that to the people who i think he probably realizes he needs in order to win the
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presidency again or the people who supported him? >> if he needs that to be elected president next time, we're in deeper trouble than we think. >> we'll discuss right after we come back. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me.
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going over the rice of neonazis and white nationalists during with me. back with me alan dershowitz and yoni. matt, i want to ask you this. this is from dan rather. he said, when i see neo-nazis race their hands in terrifying salute in public in our nagts's capitol, i shoulder in horror. when i see that action mild lerebuksed from the president-elect the anger in me grows. i hope that the president-elect can learn to rides above this and see the dangers that are brewing. if he does and speaks forcibly and with action, why should -- we should be ready to welcome his voice. but, of course, i am deeply woerld that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggest otherwise. so, matt, if he gave a speech, how do you think it would be
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received? >> i think it could be received well. >> do you think he would do it? >> obviously the devil is in the details? it depends on what he says and how he says it. i don't even know that there needs to be a speech, speech -- it is not a bad idea. but i do think that, you know, what is it barack obama say, don't tell me words don't matter. i think words matter. presidential rhetoric matters. going back to bill buckley, one of the most important missions of the conservative cause was policing the right. bill buckley wrote out the iranders and the fringe elements that would have tarnished what it means to be a conservative. he saw how dangerous it was to associate racism and fringe elements in with conservatives. i think it is incumbent on donald trump to be very clear and somewhat of a moral leader. part of being a president is being a moral leader. that includes calling out your
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side. we saw barack obama do this recently at that rally, there was a from tester there. i guess he was getting flack from people in the audience, and president obama sort of stood up for that positive tester and said, hey, he has the right to be here. he's not hurting anybody. we need to see more of that, that leadership. >> president obama hasn't done enough. he hasn't done enough in calling out black lives matter when they included an argument about general owe si genocide. he hasn't done enough on keith ellison who for years was associated with farrakhan, and says he didn't know he was anti-semite. i don't believe he is dumb, i don't think he is telling us the truth. i think we on the liberal side have to call out the bigotry on the left as strongly as people on the right have to call out the bigotry of the far right. >> the southern poverty law
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center which tracks hate groups counted more than 700 cases of hateful harassment. here is what donald trump told "60 minutes" when he was told people are committing acts of violence in his name. >> i hate the hear that. >> but you do hear. >> i don't hear it. >> you didn't see it on social media? >> i think it is a very small amount. >> do you want the say anything to those people? >> i would say don't do it. that's terrible. because i'm going to bring this country together. >> they're harassing latinos, muslims. >> i am so saddened to hear that, and i say stop it. if it -- if it helps, i will say this and i will say it right to the cameras, stop it. >> so according to leslie staul he had to be told about the violent acts, he wasn't aware of them according to her. he is aware now and he says he stands against racism and wants to be the president for all people. yoni, what do you think of that? >> maybe this is the real news out of the alt-right conference
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here in d.c., is the extent to which extremists feel empowered by donald trump's election, and the risk that the splc is pointing to is as with other kinds of extremist movements, disaffected, alienated yuj men in particular may become radicalized, take matters into their own hands. that's a challenge for any american president but an opportunity for donald trump. if he decides to stand up and to break with his habit and to tell people for once something they don't want to hear, then it is a chance for him to actually put those words into action, to take measures to unite the country. most americans don't stand for this sort of thing and would be delighted to see a president stand up and condemn it. to date he has had to be pressed in interviews, mostly through media outlets to step forward and give a strong statement. it is surprising. it is a chance for him to step forward and make a difference. >> the neo-nazis themselves said, all, look, he condemned
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us, he had to do it but he is really on our side. the neo-nazis themselves aren't upset. they have to get upset. he has to upset them. he has to outrage them. he has to make them, the neo-nazi, attack him. he has to show the world that they are enemies, no that they're secret friends. >> hold that. he told the "new york times," alan, it is not a group i want to energize. if they are energized, i want to look at it and find out why. do you think he is sincere in that? >> that's analytic. we don't need to analyze -- >> we don't need to know about neo-nazis. >> you just condemn unequivocally. this should not be difficult issue. >> thank you. when we come back, the world leader who may out trump donald trump and what we can learn from his years in power. ♪
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in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. the man who might out trump trump, this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. a billionaire real estate mogul, a huge success in television, tough talking political outsider promising to take down the system and make us rich, multiple wives, multiple scandals. no, sir donald trump. it is italy. from broadway to "snl," celebrities bashing donald trump, but are they adding fuel to the fire for his supporters? let's discuss now with cnn senior white house correspondent mr. jim acosta and cnn senior correspondent brian stelter. how does it feel to be inside? >> it feels


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