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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 3, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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hamburger chain thuggy d deleted his account. that's what we call the twitter beef on the "ridiculist." that does it for us. thanks for watching. "cnn tonight with don lemon" starts now. breaking news. donald trump promising to hold a news conference next week here in new york. his first in more than five months. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. meanwhile the president-elect battling his own party today and winning with the force of his own twitter account. after house republicans voted to gut the office of congressional ethics, which did not sit well with the president-elect, who after all, ran on his promise to drain the swamp. trump tweeted his displeasure and the house backed down. and working behind the scenes to
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hamstring his democratic predecessor, and it's not donald trump. lot to get to you. start with dana bash and david chalian and nicholas kristof, it is official that donald trump is going to hold his own press conference. so let's talk about it. what do you think he'll say to the press? what would the press want to know? >> notice he says having a general news conference. remember we were looking for -- initially he said he would hold a mid january news conference about the topic of how he's going to separate from his business and clear up any concerns about conflicts of interest with his business interests. i'm sure that will be a topic at this news conference, no doubt, but i think donald trump is indicating he's looking to have his first press conference since july. and i'm sure he's going to get a lot of questions about his views on u.s./russia relationships, relationship with putin, thoughts on the hacking, he'll get a lot of questions on the business relationships of trump organization and how he is separating himself from them.
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what kind of wall is going to be built between he and his two adult son children that are going to run the business while he's running the country. those will be dominant topics in that. along with his first hundred days' agenda. >> how astute you are to point out it's a general news conference. i didn't even catch that mids, and -- myself and i think i'm a smarty pants. but thus is the problem with 140 characters. don't have to answer back to maybe you would say at news conference what do you mean? weigh in, dana, what do you think? >> i think this is wonderful news. should applaud anytime we hear that somebody who we hope to ask questions of and hasn't had a press conference in many months is going to have one. this was initially scheduled for mid december and was delayed, we were told, because understandably, he had a lot to unpack and to kind of unravel
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with regard to his businesses and trying to figure out where that's going to go and how it's going to play out. hopefully even if he will take questions on general topics, he will at least present to the country how he plans to separate himself from his businesses and do so in a way that makes people feel comfortable there won't be a conflict of interest or more importantly, there won't be a potential -- potential legal issues down the road. >> i'm sure he's going to be asked about russia. nicholas, he's been casting doubt on whether russia is responsible for hacking the u.s. election. he's said he knows things that no one else knows and will be telling us what he knew today or tomorrow. then just a short while ago, he said this, the intelligence briefing on so-called russian hacking was delayed until friday. perhaps more time needed to build a case. very strange. the only issue with that is jim
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sciutto reporting that the intelligence briefing was never scheduled for today. trump is at odds with people in the intelligence community. raising questions. why is he going to the mat for vladimir putin? >> yeah. what we saw tonight was remarkable. you had the president-elect attacking his own intelligence community and the intelligence community, in turn, firing back, by leaking. when you have the president-elect and the intelligence community feuding with each other before he takes office, that's not good for anybody. and lot of questions lot of us want to ask is about ties to russia, not just plans but does -- but are there ways in which russia may have leverage over him, through debt, through his business ties, any other ways. i think a lot of us would like to press him on that. >> there are people sitting at
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home saying, too little, too late. you should have asked him about that before the election. do you think they're right? >> i absolutely think they're right. i do think it's a fair criticism that we in the media spent way too much time following what glittered and not what was substantive. and the idea that a foreign country was interfering with our election. i mean, you could hardly imagine anything more substantive. >> not that it would make a difference in him winning, but just feeling like you covered the gliter and the shiny objects, rather than the importance. that last press conference in july, that's when he said, go ahead, hack into our account, give us more information, correct, david? >> no. i was going to note the same thing. the last time we were able to pose questions to him in this environment, a news conference, he invitesed the russians to hack hillary clinton's e-mails.
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>> nick has he damaged or hurt his relationships with the intelligence commute? -- community? him firing back, and saying we don't know and them firing back, saying, wait a minute? >> think he has. not irreparable, intelligence community are professionals, lot of them out in the field risking their lives and in some cases, they're bewildered by the president-elect attacking them. and raising all kinds of aspersions. as tonight with apparently false intelligence, saying that the briefing had been rescheduled when in fact as far as we can tell it was always scheduled for friday. i think they're willing to give him a chance, i don't think they're particularly political but certainly getting off to a really bad foot. >> quickly, dana. speaking of getting off to a bad start, i want to ask you about congress, but go on. >> most people in the intelligence community are not
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political but as someone who is very familiar with people in all of these agencies reminded me today, they know how to do things like leak if they want to. and it is dangerous for a president-elect, even a president, to be in public spat with the intelligence community, especially when they don't have a relationship to begin with. >> so nick said he's getting off to a rocky start with the intelligence community. congress said the same thing. passed a proposal to gut the office of congressional ethics and blew up in their faces after donald trump weighed in. many people calling their offices. this tweet by donald trump didn't help. with all that congress has to work on did they have to make the weakening of the ethics washington, as fair as it may be, their number one act and priority? focus on tax reform and health care and other things of far
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greater importance. hash tag dts, drain the swamp. you have to ask yourself, what were they thinking? >> i have -- i have no idea. covered congress for a long time and seen a lot of "what are they thinking" moments. this tops them. really does. you think was there something in the water, were they drinking something? what was happening to make them -- and when i say them, i'm not talking about the leadership, because they made clear inside this closed door meeting, this was a terrible idea, but the kind of old, old bulls, who were the heads of some of the key committees, who thought this was a good idea, what made them think that? clearly had not been under a rock over the past year and a half. >> do you think overplaying their hands? we've got a republican house, the white house, you know what i mean? >> maybe. or it's the age of trump and kind of doesn't matter. we can do what we want. except you forget that -- and
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ask the 16 people who ran against donald trump and lost, donald trump is a unique individual in politics and he, fortunately or unfortunately, can do things that voters forgive him for, not regular members of congress. >> and before he spoke up, ordinary citizens were speaking up. >> that's the thing. >> i think they thought they could control the message and they couldn't. >> i didn't want to overplay the donald trump tweet, because that came after people were upset. >> absolutely. people were bombarding the offices of their representatives. and a credit to journalism, it was reported that they were getting it. >> speaker ryan and others against it but vote would stand until donald trump tweeted that. does he deserve to take the credit for that? >> i think he deserves some credit. journalists calling them out late last night, constituent
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phone calls this morning, media maelstrom that continued and donald trump weighing in, clearly had some weight. in fact, it got brought up in the closed conference when they scripted. somebody made clear all the members understood -- >> was it a bone-headed idea? >> of course it was a bone-headed idea. it simply -- even if there's some validity to some arguments for reforms to the ethics process, this is no way to do it, out of the gate, trying to start a new congress, in the dead of night, as a surprise, no debate around it, no discussion, that's no way to make changes to how you're going to police yourself to guard against corruption. not the way to do it. >> lots more to discuss. stick around. when we come back, top democrat chuck schumer's message for donald trump, and the mistake he says his party made in the last congress. with directv and at&t,
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a changing of the guard on capitol hill as 115th congress was sworn in today with republican majorities in the house and senate but one top democrat has tough talk for the republicans and president-elect specifically. dave, dana and nicholas back with me now. david, i'm struggling, hope i don't lose my voice in this broadcast. 17 days until donald trump is sworn in, and today the new minority leader, senator chuck schumer took the helm as minority leader and threw down the gauntlet. listen to this. >> so mr. president-elect, if there's one part of my speech that i hope you listen to and take to heart, it's this one.
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and i mean it with the best of intentions. if you abandon change and simply embrace the shop-worn hard right pro-corporate, pro- elite policies, diametrically opposed to the many campaign themes to helped you win working class votes and get you elected, your presidency will not succeed. making america great again requires more than 140 characters per issue. with all due respect, america cannot afford a twitter presidency. >> so david, honestly trump and schumer both new yorkers and known each other for a long time. some said they believed donald trump was a democrat. what do you make of schumer's tone? epic battle for the next four years, opening gambit or throwing down the gauntlet or coming in every time there's new president?
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>> think we're seeing chuck schumer assuming the mantle of being the top democrat in government. and now giving voice to what it is to be the opposition party. and so i think he was sort of waving the party flag and sort of setting the boundaries for donald trump that he could understand where schumer was coming from broadly. but as you noted, these two know each other over time. donald trump was a chuck schumer donor, and chuck schumer is going to seek ways where he can to make deals with donald trump. so while i have no doubt that he will spend most his time leading the democrats in opposition to trump is doing, i don't think what you saw there was an opening for a four-year epic battle. >> think about it when how long they've known each other and how weird for chuck schumer to have donald trump once a donor as opposition and president of the united states.
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it's gotta be a strange world for him. he probably knows a lot of secrets about donald trump, because they've known each other for a long time. >> strange for schumer and trump and for trump and lot of republicans. i think the democrats and schumer will find ways to cooperate on issues like infrastructure and try like the devil to block a lot of other areas. one of the lessons one absorbed from the last eight years, senate obstructionism really works. and merrick garland is a case in point. >> dana bash with the big scoop sat down with him today. we'll listen and then discuss. >> we'd be derelict in our responsibility to the american people if we just let -- let's do all of these in a week and not ask them any tough questions. >> but your hands are tied. because in the last congress, your democratic leadership, you
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were a part of it, changed the rules, so that you only need 51 votes to confirm a nominee, not 60. therefore you're living by your rules. was that a mistake? >> i argued against it at the time. i said, both for supreme court and in cabinet, should be 60. because in such important positions, there should be some degree of bipartisanship. i won on supreme court, lost on cabinet, but it's what we have to live with now. >> not greatest situation when you're minority. >> wish it hadn't happened. >> a regret there. listen, you're talking about donald trump's cabinet nominees. realistically, republicans have all the cards. what can democrats do, if anything, to stop them? >> slow the trains. threatening to do that, use the tools they have to elongate the debate in committee and more importantly on the senate floor, especially if they don't get the background information that democrats want to prove nominees don't have conflicts of interest.
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but you just heard chuck schumer, very regretful there and pretty blunt in the fact that the main tool, which is the vote, which is really what's most important when it comes to the united states congress, they don't have it. and that's because they themselves, democrats in the majority, when they had a democrat in the white house, they changed the rules to help themselves. and now as i said earlier, shoe, meet other foot. [ laughter ] >> david, that should be a lesson, especially when you're talking about, i would think, when you're talking about hacking into systems, whether it's for the election or not. when you're the party in favor and you have the majority, you may think differently, but you should always think about these things as if the shoe were on the other foot, david. >> and that argument was made at the time. i remember not just republicans saying you guys are going to live to regret this but some democrats, there was internal debate. you heard chuck schumer
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discussing it there. there was internal debate about whether they were thinking long-term because no party is going to be in the majority forever. and so now they have to -- they made the bed, have to lie in it. >> and talk about when they had more power, democrats, because there's a showdown, nick kristof looming in washington on obamacare. we know the republicans want to repeal and replace it. 20 million people stand to lose their health insurance. do republicans want to own that at the beginning of donald trump's term? >> not so much that the republicans want to repeal and replace but it seems what they want to do is repeal and delay. so act now to repeal obamacare and have that be effective in 2019, 2020. and that breaks down the very intricate architecture that depends on all these pieces being together.
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22 million people have gained health care. health insurance. health insurance prolongs lives. if you have health insurance your mortality rate drops 20 to 40%. and the idea that you're going to down the roof today and replace it with some unknown thing in a few years, even republican policy wonks are just horrified at this. >> because what do they say, obamacare which was romney care before that which was hillary clinton care before that. >> that's right. clearly a lot of elements of ob cair that are deeply unpopular. but there are also areas that are popular. and the parts that are popular are only possible because of the unpopular parts like the mandate. >> donald trump has said he likes key parts of obamacare, keeping coverage for people with preexisting conditions. keeping children on their parent's plan until they're 26.
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has he boxed in republicans, david? >> he's not the only republican that has said positive things about those aspects. but as nick was just getting at, don, it is the second question. so you have to get to the mandate. because when you say you want to cover preexisting conditions how do you get insurance companies to agree to that if you're not also guaranteeing the massive customer base that individual mandate of everybody forced to get insurance? that was buy-in for insurance companies to have reason or incentive to cover preexisting conditions. or allow a young person to stay on their parents' policy until they're 26. it all went together. so that's what's tricky about cherry-picking the popular items. >> except -- not sure how far want to get into substance of it, but it's true it was part of the patchwork of obamacare, the problem that republicans rightly
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so say that the system has, is that because the penalty for not getting obamacare isn't that high, a lot of healthy people say, i'll just pay the penalty and therefore they're not involved in the insurance system, which is why democrats, even hillary clinton said that she wanted to come into office and try to fix it. the question s how do you get in between repealing it and fixing it and making sure all those people keep their coverage -- >> is there political consequence at polls for republicans if people lose their health insurance? >> no question there is. and you can bet that this meeting that democrats are going to have led by outgoing president obama whose name is on this legislation, his legacy, they're going to find every way they can rhetorically, because they can't do anything with the votes, to make clear to americans that republicans are going to potentially hurt them
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with their insurance, by doing the repeal without, as nick said, immediately doing the replace, but doing repeal, delay, and then eventually replace. >> that's got to be the last word. thank you. appreciate it. happy new year. when we come back, incoming republican president works to obstruct his democratic predecessor, and surprise, it's not donald trump. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road.
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president-elect trump weighing in on international relations from china to israel, old idea of one president at a time really taking a beating. but not the first time a
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presidential contender was accused of playing politics with foreign policy. let's discuss this. douglas brinkley will know all about this, presidential historian. david brinkley, former director of richard nixon presidential library and author of "richard nixon: the life" you'll know as well. thank you for joining us and good evening. douglas, this idea of one president at a time is taking a beating. sean spicer is saying that terrorism is someone who donald trump is not going to sit back and wait for january 20th. there's no surprise there. he won the election. why wouldn't he jump in at this point in the game? >> look at mess that donald trump is in because of the russian hacking. could have said i'm going to wait until sworn in as president. this is president obama's intelligence reports, i'll look at them but give the president the courtesy of waiting a couple of weeks -- the fact that he hasn't done that, puts them in that -- >> stop right there.
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put your mike back on. i think it fell off. it's right there in your lap. >> we'll just be transparent here. what were you saying? did you finish your thought? >> i think donald trump would have been wise to stick with the one president at the time policy instead of being found in the middle of this hacking situation every minute that he's in right now. >> let's go to john now while your mike is fixed. you discovered evidence of another situation where a presidential contender seemed to interfere in foreign policy. october of 1968, lyndon johnson was close to a breakthrough in the peace talks between north and south vietnam but found -- you found evidence that richard nixon intervened to mess up the negotiations. you uncovered from his chief aide that says, including this note, any other way to monkey wrench it?
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haldeman. anything rn, richard nixon, can do? what did he do to monkey wrench within the negotiations? >> he had envoy, woman named anna chennault, connected to the south vietnamese government in saigon, and she sent a message, several messages through the south vietnamese embassy in washington, telling them that the nixon administration would play a much nicer role, a much more lenient role on the south vietnamese government than a humphrey administration would. and they found it compelling. the missing factor that i chanced upon doing research doing research in yor ba linda, were notes from haldeman that show that nixon not only countenanced it, but directed it. something he and his supporters denied for 50 years. >> talk about haldeman but
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first, you wrote nixon insisted he hadn't sabotaged the peace initiative to bring the war in vietnam to early conclusion, my god, i would never do anything to encourage south vietnam not to come to the table. nixon told president johnson. now we know that nixon lied. what was the impact of the nixon lie? how might history have been different if there was a peace treat ne 1968? >> that is excellent question, now that we know nixon was involved personally, that's the $100,000 question. and there's debate on both sides. i believe it had some effect but we have to remember that south vietnamese and north vietnamese don't act in vacuums. they have their own political pressures in hanoi and saigon. and could be that negotiations
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would have failed anyway and breakthrough that johnson thought he had was not really there. >> timothy you say that nixon's interference in the peace talks set the tone for his administration. have donald trump's set tone for his? >> we'll see about donald trump. but i'm convinced that only way to understand watergate is understand that richard nixon took the kind of tools that the cia would do and use oversea in doing covert action and applied them at home. and the chenault matter, the 1968 case that jack ferrell gave us the key missing piece too, that was covert action done at home and nixon would continue to do that in his presidency. and he also knows that our intelligence community knew he had done it. so he was very wary of getting caught. think increased the secretiveness of his administration. >> here's what john dee in the nixon white house said. tweeted about the new discovery. he said, this new info shows nixon was more than a serially
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liar. he was evil. his actions may have cost some 30,000 lives. is that fair to say? >> we can't make that claim. don't know how important it is. but there is an argument to be made. jack's book, i've read it and wrote a blurb for it. it's incredible. the amazing life of nixon. but don't know if could have been a peace there. william bundy working for the johnson administration for negotiations said we're not sure whether that matters that much. but there is an argument to be made it's criminal activity what nixon did. really is. >> add something to that. i believe that the south vietnamese government blackmailed richard nixon in 1972, and the reason why we did not have the peace that would have happened in october of '72, was that richard nixon knew the south vietnamese would blow the secret of what he'd done in '68. so the peace that could have happened in october of '72 doesn't happen until after he's re-elected in january of '73.
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so the war lasted three months longer and american p.o.w.s were in jail three months longer because of the chenault affair. hold on a second. i got to ask this up. the logan act forbids private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the u.s. when donald trump spoke to leaders around the world, did he violate the law? >> it is a law that's on the books. it resulted in one indictment that was dropped. so it's more of a warning sign than actually a law in which guys are hauled into court and sent to jail. my reading of what happened in the chennault case is nixon came very close if not positively violated that law. i think it's going to take us years, maybe another -- hopefully not 50 years, to know exactly what trump did and
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whether it would apply to the logan act. >> stick around. guess who is coming to the inauguration? hillary clinton and her husband bill will be there when donald trump takes the oath of office. a moment for the history books, but what does it say about our democracy? you don't let anything keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. enjoy your phone! you too. all right, be cool. you got the amazing new iphone 7 on the house by switching to at&t... what??.... aand you got unlimited data because you have directv?? (laughs to self in disbelief) okay, just a few more steps... door! it's cool! get the iphone 7 on us and unlimited data when you switch to at&t and have directv.
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president-elect still raising questions about russian hacking, but it's not the first
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time there's been election interference. back with me now, douglas brinkley, timothy neftali and douglas otero. watergate brought nixon down. ordered team to get files breaking into democratic files. in the russian hack, it was a digital hack. how does it compare to watergate? can you compare the two? >> i think there's absolute comparison. "new york times" a couple of weeks ago had wonderful photograph from the basement. of the democratic national committee, where they had the server that was broken into electronically sitting next to one of the file cabinets from the watergate days. so in both cases, it was the same kind of attack. scaled up 50 years later for differences in technology. but with the same purpose, to get embarrassing information that could be spread and harm
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the opposition candidate. >> timothy and doug, i have to ask you both about donald trump taking on the intelligence community saying this is a quote, they delayed briefing him on the so-called russian hacking to have time to build a case. while the agency insists it was always scheduled for later in the week. so have we seen this before? why would he do that? >> it's a bad idea. shouldn't do this. intelligence community has information about him that i'm sure he would like not to be released. i'm not saying that there is a great secret out there, but it doesn't make sense for donald trump to be making adversaries in the intelligence community. it's a community that serves presidents regardless of party, right now. why not stay silent? look at the material later on and come to his own conclusion. >> does he realize that intelligence community has information about him? >> he should. at the very least it has
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information about paul manafort and others. >> all of us? >> not necessarily. >> go ahead. >> one of the things with nixon, he was part of the establishment. he was eisenhower's vp. he knew foreign affairs, knew the intelligence community. he would never do this. donald trump is island on his own. using twitter as his bully pulpit. and it's the first time i know a president who has unilaterally disagreed with the entire intelligence apparatus. but i think the failures of george w. bush's iraq war and the weapons of mass destruction allowed donald trump to say they were wrong about that war. so they're probably wrong about this. that's the excuse he's using. >> but he's going to have to, at some point, he's going to have to use intelligence. now he's discredited all of it. >> there's interesting parallel in that president obama and president lyndon johnson in 1968 had the same sort of dilemma. in which case, they had
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information, perhaps incomplete information, about the candidate he was running against, the candidate they hoped would be their successor, and they had to decide how to use it in the volatile last weeks, or in the johnson's case, in the last days of the campaign. johnson decided he couldn't use it even though some advisers urged him he should because they didn't know that nixon was personally involved. so we don't know exactly what obama knows about donald trump's knowledge of the russian hacking. but it's quite possible he faced the same kind of decision that johnson did, and made the decision for the same reason, to let the election go ahead. >> one point. 1980, ronald reagan taking on jimmy carter and october surprise, meaning keeping the hostages in iran, william casey and people with the reagan administration were interfering in foreign policy then, saying keep the hostages in until after the election. it's happened before.
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not just nixon here or donald trump. >> lbj did use the material with nixon. he told nixon he knew what he had done and he used that to push nixon to talk to the south vietnamese to get them back to the table. >> i'm realizing how old i am. i remember the reagan stuff, but -- this went out as alert. main victim of the hacking, hillary clinton is going to attend the inauguration with her husband. all of the former living presidents are going to be there, except for george h.w. bush, who is infirm. i'm wondering what it says about your democracy. but they have to for history's sake. wasn't a big deal to me. were you shocked by this? >> they all needed to be there. there are times when some won't. andrew johnson wouldn't go to ulysses s. grant but i knew they would rally and come, because we're one nation, we've got to stay united. they've just gotta be there, so
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all of the ex-presidents are doing the right thing by being there. >> there's going to be a huge shift in policy between barack obama and president-elect. historically have we ever seen such an abrupt switch between administrations? >> sure. harry truman and eisenhower hardly spoke to one another when they rode in the car for that inauguration. it's the old hbo series that showed john adams got in the horse carriage and rode away from the white house and didn't attend thomas jefferson's administration. so big changes happen. the presidential candidates, or the president-elects, handle them as best they can. i think one less to learn from the nixon administration is that, when he came into office, he was very much feared and opposed by the democratic establishment and pat moynihan who was later to become a u.s. senator, was one of his advisers
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and said that nixon tried very hard in his first nine months in office, to be a good president, tried to reach out to everybody, and got no credit for it. by not getting that credit he was hurt and bruised and turned him down towards his darker impulses. so that's maybe something we might want to remember as new president comes in, that yes if you have philosophical and partisan differences with him, you should oppose him, but that constant wearing down may cause donald trump to decide what's he got to lose. >> i should have phrased the question differently. this is different than a shift in policy. we've seen a shift between conservative and liberal presidents before, but this is a president-elect like none other that we've seen, so there's an added factor on top of that. >> there is, indeed. as doug mentioned, this is a man who comes to office who is breaking the norms. he knows he's doing it and happy to do it. these are the rituals, i don't
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like them. the modern presidency doesn't need them, which is everybody is expecting the unexpected with trump. and it's added layer of stress and it's not only happening here, it's around the world. leaders around the world don't know what to expect from this man except it's not going to be the way it was with george w. bush or obama. >> let's talk about the man currently in office. president obama will make his farewell address in chicago next tuesday. what do you think we'll get from that speech? >> well, i think cyber security issues. might be like dwight eisenhower, warning people about grave dangers to come. our colleague just did a book on george washington's farewell address. what's unique about what president obama is doing, at the mccormick center in chicago, there's going to be an audience. eisenhower would do it in front of the camera and just read a teleprompter. and he'll also want to claim
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what he accomplished in his presidency and why we have to go on offering affordable health care to people and not repeal that. i think it's a defense of his administration. >> what are we going to hear from his speech and the celebrations? >> i got from trump that he would write it himself. it would not be long-winded. conscious of january, people in the cold. said would write it himself. he's a best selling author he threw in there. and that he was going to do it. obviously there will be some speech writers there, but i think it's going to be very much like the unity speech he gave when he won the election and he got pretty high praise from people for that. >> and like most celebrity books, will be a ghost writer -- let's not forget about that. [ all speak at once ] >> might be pulling sayings from all the speeches and piecing them together. >> thank you, gentlemen.
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happy new year to you. when we come back, top democrat dhuk schumer's tough talk for the president-elect. why he says he's like to make a deal with trump, but don't count on it.
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president-elect takes oath of office in just 17 days as a new congress convenes today with republican majorities in the house and senate. but new senate minority leader chuck schumer has a message for the gop and trump. dana bash sat down with him. >> chuck schumer arriving for first day at senate democratic leader. new large suite still strewn with unpacked boxes. >> reporter: you guys have some decorating to do here. >> a lot. it's not my forte. >> schumer was hoping to be majority leader working with hillary clinton in the white house. instead he's leading the trump opposition. he proudly described a recent conversation with trump. >> i said mr. president-elect, you went after both democratic and republican establishments when you ran. you were anti-establishment change candidate but by cabinet picks seem to be embracing time-worn, shop-worn hard right.
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>> you said that to him. >> i did. >> what did he say? >> nothing but i said if you do that, your presidency won't come close to being a success. >> for schumer, will be complicated. fine line when to work with trump and when not to. >> if he moves in our direction and abandons his republican colleagues. 95% of the time be holding his feet to the fire but we're democrats, not going to oppose things just to oppose them. >> reporter: i've known you for a long time. you love a deal, not unlike the president-elect. i find it hard that you don't want to make a deal. >> here's the problem. the republicans in the senate and house have been run by a far right group, almost a tea party group. >> but now a deal maker in the white house like you. >> going to look at specifics.
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of course like to make a deal. >> that makes progressives in schumer's own party nervous. >> said democratic leaders from chuck schumer down need to stop playing footsie with trump and need to -- >> not doing that. my views same as bernie sanders. and elizabeth warren. both said same thing. if can work with him and be true to principles, not going to reject. but overall sticking to principles. >> two new yorkers have history. schumer doesn't know trump well he said but one of the early donors. schumer confirmed the president-elect told him he liked him better than some republican leaders. >> he said something close to it. >> republican president tell a democratic leader he likes you more than republicans? >> when you get to be in my position, people want to flatter you. grain of salt.
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>> trump is hardly schumer's only concern, fixing defeated democratic party. prescription? >> a sharp edged economic message that talks about helping middle class and people who want to get to the middle class get there more easily. we didn't have that in this election. >> reporter: just the task for the man in the 1980s who put himself on the map by being the most media savvy. >> said by bob dole after mad i passed the brady law which i'm glad i did. >> now you pretend to be on cell phone. which you know you do. so that has changed a lot. >> in the ermy days, the press was a very good way to bring out things that needed to be nefixe. you can say a lot of things
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about chuck schumer, inaccess. >> is not one of them. >> there's a balcony. try to find out if we can have barbecues. >> sounds fun. >> leader or not, refined, never be. >> put a fire escape and be like brooklyn. >> that's right. >> coming back, president obama is heading -- hoping to save his legacy. donald trump heading to the oval office. only at&t offers you all your live channels and dvr on your devices, data-free. it's entertainment. your way.
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president barack obama making a rare trip to capitol hill tomorrow, trying to save obamacare. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon, donald trump promises to repeal and replace the affordable care act but how much of the rest of the obama legacy will survive? plus, what's wrong with this picture? who is that? joseph cinque, known by colorful name joey "no socks," a convicted felon linked with john gotti, what is he doing sharing the stage with president-elect. we'll discuss that. get to michelle kosinski with the latest on the long-awaited news conference. good

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