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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 10, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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aaron, thanks very much. if karl sanburg was writing a poem, it would be the city of the big shoulders. something along the lines of launching pad for a president and writer of history.
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tonight mccormick plays president obama and will look back on his time in the white house and his place in the pages of american history. the president and first family arriving at o'hare on air fore one and crowds have been lining up since early this morning. some were in grant park. not far from here for the victory rally eight years ago. tonight will be the book end to that moment and it is a big night in more than one respect with developments and even seismic developments involving his successor, donald trump. michelle kosinski joins us to start it off. what do we expect from president obama tonight? >> it sounds like he is going to take a page or several from his early speeches in chicago. he will try to impart optimism and inspire people. even coming off of this bruising election. with america realing for it. divisions laid pretty bare. this was a defeat for him too.
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his legacy is under fierce attack. he wants to leave on an optimistic note. from the few excerpts released, he wants to focus on american values. he wants to look at where he came from. how he got to where he is. what he still believes in. as he is going to put it tonight, he feels that the only way change happens is when ordinary americans get together and work together and demand it. >> do we know if he will be touching on race which he has been talking about more in the last few years of his presidency. >> that's a big question. throughout his time, his unprecedented push on the campaign trail for hillary clinton, he tried to say so many times that america is not as divided as some would say. towards the end as that race was razor close, he backed away a
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little bit and talked about trying to heal divisions. that's what we have been hearing. it sounds like he wants to talk about moving forward, healing the divisions and he wants to hit upon diversity. that will be a strong element of his speech. listening to eddie vetter and kirstin powers and senior political commentator and dana barb and gloria boringer and campaign secretary is joining the panel. jody kantor, author of the obamas. let's start off with you. this is not a campaign event.
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it's not a goodbye to the country because he is 55 years old and has a long career ahead of him. what do you expect? >> that's one of the most fascinating questions. this is a rare moment. three successive two-term presidents. relatively young men when they took the job and when they leave. what will he do next? they will fill in more about what they expect. he wants to step back and only step forward when he thinks it's necessary. he is talking to people coming into the hall. they don't like what's about to happen in the inauguration of donald trump. they prefer to celebrate the last eight years and not focus on that. what he does post presidency is largely an unanswered question. i'm not sure they know this. i'm not sure he knows the answer yet as to when he steps forward. >> how do you feel on this
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night? >> i said earlier it struck me when i picked up that credential that said farewell address of the president. i have a drawer full of credentials that go back when he was a key note speaker. the years in between the wednesday. that particular part of the story to me and i'm sure a lot of people here. >> you can see that and it's the obamas from behind looking out over -- >> i don't want to oversell this. i anticipate a speech that talks about the richness of our democracy and keeping it vibrant in the future. it is dating back to george washington and a review of where
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we have been. a focus on where we need to be. that's the interview that he did with the outgoing president. so fascinating to listen to. being a fly on the wall reminiscing in politics. the x files. that's one of the contexts. you talked about hope and change. that hopy changy thing. how is that going? he was kidding, but not. he did come in with that. and had reality smacked him in the face. the last reality is leaving and having snab domebody that disag
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with him coming in as his successor. he decided in the summer he wanted to do it here and not in washington. there is one thing i can tell you. this is not a policy speech. this is not a state of the union. this is not look at what we did. here are the 10 great things i achieved. this is in a way about hope and change. i think he wants to leave on the same note he came in on and that's not easy to do. particularly with these people here who don't feel very optimistic about the next
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president. >> this will be a farewell speech because it was not just about one person. it was about getting americans involved. the generation is younger. we have to stay engaged. that's the answer. this is not just about one person. it will take all of us organizing in our communities. organizing at a national level to fight for what we believe in. >> you think the president has a difficult choice to make in the next few months and years. that's to get in and fly away and be hands off. this is a really unusual moment and it's confusing to think about what happened.
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that's two of the unifying figures left. the president has begun to indicate that he does want to rebuild the party. he will have that choice to make whether to remove himself more or engage more. he not only became the president-elect, but his career began as a community organizer with the belief that you can organize at the community oerlginizer and including in that and walk the same path. his part is done personal in politics. they want to take up the work of
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where his foundation will go. >> i saw him last week talking about knowing what it feels like to lose hope. this was an interesting choice. he talks about this is where he found himself when he came into his. this is an opportunity to come into our. not to lose hope. he will be a hope and change ambassador, but to lean into what america is supposed to be about. he has a great opportunity to do that tonight. >> he didn't have to be here in chicago. he could have made the speech anywhere, but he wanted to be in chicago. >> right. i think what a lot of the people here are looking for is a path forward. they don't know how to respond to donald trump. this is not what people are envisioning. they were imagining a celebration with hillary clinton. now they have to sort of mourn
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the president leaving and understand how to move forward with hope. i suspect he is probably going to be able to figure out how to give people that path forward. >> the question of what he does next about organizing and investing in the future of the party, the challenge is so enormous because when he burst on the scene, he leapfrogged democrats. john kerry was the nominee and hillary clinton was in waiting. joe biden was in waiting. we could talk about the democrat who is thought they were the star of the party. now who is it? the party is led by nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. no disrespect to them, but as the president noted, one of the problems with the party is in middle america. mostly republican leadership. who is the next generation? who is that state senator barack obama who will come on to the scene? the party now has been wiped out
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in the obama years. >> 4 1/2 years before he was president, almost nobody knew who he was. we don't know where the next leadership will come from. on the path forward, it strikes me. george washington made the first farewell address and his message was that our greatest enemy is division. it's disunity. we need to come together with various sections. country. this president has the same task. we have a deeply divided country. we can be political opponents, but at the end of the day, we are all americans.
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>> where you quote hamilton, teach you how to say goodbye. >> it's easier to give a speech like this than it will be for the president and the ex-president and the former president to figure out how he navigates that role. bush stayed out of things and didn't go on the campaign trail and second-guess him all the time. there were issues that he disagrees with donald trump on. for example, if there is a muslim ban and health care, how does he navigate that role and when does he speak out? >> we have to take a quick break. a lot of news in this hour as we await president obama. we will have more on his farewell speech and legacy.
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a cnn exclusive. allegations that russians have compromising material on the next president of the united states, donald trump. it's a story we won't find anywhere else. listen to eddie vetter and the choir. you are watching president obama's farewell address. (vo) the holidays may be over but if you hurry, you can still get the best deals on the best network. like verizon's best smartphones for only $10 per month. like the samsung galaxy s7. the pixel, phone by google. or the motoz droid. for only $10 per month. plus, hurry in and switch to verizon now
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>> and that time it changed me. it changed us. talking to the crowd, the chicago children's crowd behind
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us. we will get back to president obama's farewell speech. i will bring that to you live. we want to turn to a story involving the next president, donald trump. jake tapper joining me for that. >> thanks, anderson. i want to bring you an exclusive. the nation's top intelligence officials presented information to president-elect donald trump on friday and president barack obama on thursday about claims of russian efforts to compromise president-elect trump. the information was provided as part of last week's classified briefings regarding the russian efforts to undermine and interfere in the 2016 presidential elections. i worked on this story with evan perez and carl bernstein. we have been working sources for several days. i will start with my colleague and walk us through the basic outline of what we learned.
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>> this was a team reporting effort and multiple officials with direct knowledge of those briefings. classified documents on russian interference in the 2016 election. they were presented last week to president obama and president-elect trump and included allegations th s thas russian operatives seemed to have information about mr. trump. they were part of a synopsis based on memos whose passwords are considered credible. they are investigating the credibility and accuracy based on information from russian sources, but the fbi has not confirmed many essential details about mr. trump. the briefings last week were presented by four of the senior most u.s. intelligence chiefs, director of national intelligence and fbi's james comey. john brennan and nsa director
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mike rogers. the two-page synopsis included these allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. this according to two national security officials. cnn confirmed that the synopsis was included in the documents presented to mr. trump. we cannot confirm if it was discussed in the meeting with the intelligence chiefs as well. the transition team has not commented on this as have not the director of the national intelligence and the fbi. >> for several hours we told the transition team about the story and they said they would have a statement for us. they have yet to provide it. when they do, we will provide it to you. just to underline, this information was an addendum, ann ex. it was not part of the report in
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itself. >> the phoning us of the briefings was the intelligence and analysis behind the assessment that it was russia that did the hack of the election and russia's intent was to help mr. trump. this synopsis included in this briefing that shows the experience was not part of that overall assessment. >> what we have here are allegations being made by russians that they have potentially compromising information financial and personal about donald trump and information and allegations that there were exchanges of information between the trump campaign and the russian government. so far the intelligence community has yet to corroborate these allegations. why even bring it up to president-elect trump and president obama? >> a couple of reasons why we were told they decided to do this. the senior intelligence officials included the synopsis in part to make them aware that they are circulating with senior
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members of congress and officials in washington. the officials said that they included it in part to demonstrate that russia compiled information that was harmful to both parties and only released information damaging to hillary clinton and the democrats. this synopsis was not part of an official intelligence report about the russian hacks. it underscores the evidence that moscow intended to harm clinton's candidacy and help donald trump. several officials acknowledged in the briefings to cnn. >> a fascinating story. let me bring in carl bernstein because when we are working together, you brought this to us. this information, the underlying memos upon which the synopsis that was included as an annex did not start with u.s. intelligence and the fbi or law
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enforcement. where did they come from? >> the underlying memos were produced by a former british mi 6 intelligence operative with great experience in russia and the former soviet union. he had been hired by a washington political research firm. for donald trump for republicans and democrats opposed to the trump presidency. as his firm in washington started to look at businesses in russia and his trips to russia and his business ties to russians. those of others in his family. they then took their information to this mi 6 person in london, the former mi 6 person to see where he would further develop the information. over the course of the months, he began producing reports. by august of 2016, he was
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sufficiently concerned by the substance of the reports to go to rome, turn them over to an fbi colleague in rome from the fbi and it was then forwarded to the fbi in washington. subskwept to that, a former british ambassador contacted john mccain and said there is this information floating around and produced by this mi 6 guy and a meeting was arranged between mccain and mi 6 the former ambassador and mccain and he got the underlying memos. he then turned them over. memos subscent to the ones turned over to the fbi in august. they go through december and mccain turned those over to fbi director comey personally on december 9th and now people are
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awaiting to see what the fbi and other investigators produced now that they have this underlying information. >> what's interesting, we obviously as we said earlier reached out to the trump transition team to get a response to the fact that these intelligence officials provided this information in a briefing to president-elect trump and president obama as well as senior congressional leaders. they suggested that russians were making the claims. we have been trying to get a response for several hours now. i'm told that president-elect donald trump issued a response that is about our inquiry. he wrote fake news, a total political witch hunt. okay. i'm not sure what that specifically addresses. the news that we are bringing you is that these intelligence officials provided this information to president-elect
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trump. if he believes it's a witch hunt, that's certainly his perspective. one of the things that is interesting is a lot of allegations have been out there before. we haven't reported on them or discussed them, but what changed is of course the fact that the intelligence officials, the senior officials brought them to this level of saying hey, president-elect trump, you should know about this for the reasons that evan enumerated. who else knows about the charges and allegations. >> let's be clear. you have intelligence agencies that have not corroborated this and they are not dismissing the allegations. they are not treating them as fake news. you have the fbi that has not corroborated this and not dismissing this. you have to be clear, democratic and republican lawmakers who are pursuing this and both to look at alleged communications between the trump surrogates and
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russian operatives and into the more salacious details. there are multiple outlets in washington from both parties that are taking this seriously on the face of it. they haven't confirmed it. in addition we know on the hill the eighth senior most congressional leaders plus the four majority and ranking members of the committees have seen this. this is the so-called gang of eight. we can see that based on the questions coming out in the hearing for attorney general nominee sessions. they have not dismissed this out of hand either. >> some of this information was floated last year. harry reid sent a blistering letter in october to the fbi director saying he possessed explosive information about communications between the trump campaign and the russian government. today now retired senator harry
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reid said the statements speak for themselves. what changed? why is this elevated? >> we know that harry reid is saying this is exactly what he was talking about. the fbi has been looking at the allegations that there have been surrogates of the donald trump campaign who were in touch with the russian government. none of this has gone anywhere in part because of the election. they had to put a lot of this on hold and on simmer until after the election. now there is a renewed interest. i began looking at the allegations. we haven't confirmed them and it is being taken seriously and we will have to get to the bottom
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of it. >> let me ask you the idea at the level of the cia, the director of the agency that these individuals would bring this to president-elect trump and president obama. why would they do that? >> they want to see that it's done about whatever is there or not there. there is concern as a new administration comes in with new officials that perhaps there might be a disinclination to do the proper investigating. they have taken it to the outgoing president and the incoming president of the united states and saying here it is. we are going to make sure this matter is investigated. it's not going to go away. i think it's very significant and it also does not say that they have expectations of what
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their findings will be, but rather that they will run it down and determine what the findings are. >> already. thank you so much. back to you in chicago. >> we will continue to follow this and bring you updates as we wait for president obama to begin his farewell address and a look at what he said eight years ago after he made history and the legacy he leaves behind. we'll be right back. did you know 98% of the cloud runs on intel? that ride share? you actually rode here on the cloud. did not feel like a cloud... that driverless car? i have seen it all. intel's driving...the future! traffic lights, street lamps. business runs on the cloud... and the cloud runs on intel. i wonder what the other 2% runs on...
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about 25 minutes from now, president obama will give his farewell address to the country. over eight years ago in grant park not far from where we are tonight, obama made history with his victory speech. >> if there is anyone out there who still doubts that america is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is
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alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. it's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, democrat and republican, black, white, hispan hispanic, asian, native american, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. we are and always will be the united states of america. >> joining us now to talk more about the legacy president obama leaves, the example he set and the mark he made on law and justice. elijah cummings. tonight when you hear that clip from president obama's speech, the promise in his voice about
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an america where all things are possible, do you still think he has as much hope now as then? >> i certainly do think he has as much hope. i have to tell you, anderson, that having sat as the top democrat in an oversight committee to see the opposition he had over the past many years, i'm sure he knows without a doubt, something he said many times, change is hard. i'm sure he has hope, but i am expecting tonight for him to have a very upbeat speech and i'm expecting him and one of the things i always admired about the president, he has a keen sensitivity of the audience and the american people. he knows that right now the american people are very concerned. some of them are scared. some of them are not sure.
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one of the things he will be trying to do is create a bridge to that future and give them a way to look at life so that they can be a part of the continuous change he tried to do. basically he had handing off the baton so they can run forward. >> we obviously are seeing efforts now by the new administration and the republicans in congress to repeal obamacare. as you see president obama's legacy and obviously it can take decades for history to assess what a president's legacy is and how history will view him, but what stands out to you as the legacy of president obama? >> i think one of the things that will stand out will be obamacare and the affordable care act. it has been beaten up by many, but so many lives have been saved and touched. the other thing that i think
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will be significant is as many efforts with regard to civil rights. one of the things that the president said to me often is that, you know, he doesn't want people like african-americans and hispanics and others to be fighting the same fights over and over and over again. he wants diversity to be known as our promise and not our problem. again, he is going out with a 56% favorability rating. it will only go up. at times people will look back and i said it on many shows, they will miss president obama. they are going to miss michelle obama and they will miss the obama family. i am very, very proud of the president. very proud of his family. >> as the first african-american president, some who felt that president obama didn't focus enough on issues particularly affecting african-american
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communities or speak about race relations as much as they wanted. what do you say to that? >> i have to remind people that when he came in, he was losing 800,000 jobs. he had to get the recession under control. he had to deal with the ebola crisis and i can go on and on. many of the things have been forgotten, but he had a lot to deal with. he put forth a package that i know he wished could have been more. he had all kinds of opposition going against him. he had to be president for the entire nation. the fact that he brought down the unemployment rate substantially in the general population and throughout the country, the fact that he has made a difference with regard to health care now with the affordable care act. some 20 plus million people now able to get the treatment they need to stay well.
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those are the things that mean something to people. those are the personal things. the fact that graduation rates have gone up substantially from high school. that is significant and i think history will be very favorable to this great president. >> congressman cummings, i appreciate your time. we are back with panels about 20 minutes from president obama's speech. you heard congressman cummings talk about what he thinks his legacy is going to be. >> i'm not going to uphold one of my bosses, but i agree with what he said. i worked for the cbc when we were dealing with the core issue. we were hem ranling jobs not just in this country, but african-american population here. the unemployment rate was double the national average. people were frustrated and angry. they launched a jobs initiative that we asked the white house to participate in. the president decline and i
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remember feeling hurt. there was no other way for us to solve this. the president went on to do things his own way and we had a partnership for the americans job act to push that forward. it was yet another example of republican obstruction. they wouldn't consider the bill. >> it's interesting that democrats are facing the question do they try to do to this administration they criticized what was done to the obama administration. >> there is so much anger about the way this president was treat and particularly people point to senator mcconnell sat on the nomination for a full year or almost a full year and is now rushing through nominations for this president and presumably will do so with the supreme court nominee. democrats have to decide do we do to them that we did to us. it's a dangerous thing. i personally understand that sentiment and on matters of
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principal, democrats had to fight this administration, but if democrats take a position that we are not going to cooperate on anything, we are in this mad cycle of mutual destruction. >> i don't think they are there. i don't think that's what they're going to do. if for no other reason, it's not how democrats operate and to be honest -- because they don't tend to see it as well as republicans on the politics of it. i remember eight years ago being on capitol hill and obama came in not just with a hugely popular approval rating, but also a super majority in congress. the trump administration, donald trump himself is in a very different position right now. he doesn't have that popularity. never mind the super majority. he has a razor thin majority and he has republican who is will go
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up against him. never mind the democrats. a lot of people will look at the comparison and they really are. >> we have been told president obama entered mccormick place and he is in the building about 17 minutes away. >> it calls for humility if you are the president. you did not win the popular vote and narrowly won the electoral college by the margin of 70,000 votes in three states. it does call for a spirit of compromise. i'm not sure we are going to get that. >> the question is, will he compromise with his own republicans and deal with his own republicans and to talk about the person who is going to speak here this evening, he has a 57% approval rating. barack obama can find a way to use that with democrats in the country. taking on an agenda without
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directly challenging donald trump personally. i bet he will do that. he may find a way and i think democrats will look to him. as you were talking about earlier, who else do they have right now? they don't have anybody else. >> do you see the former president obama speak out in the way that george w. bush did not? >> i don't think it will be a day to day thing on cnn, but i'm sure there are contract negotiations going on from the network. i think what we will hear is asking for the next generation to get involved. there are more than 30 statehouses on the ballot in two years f. president-elect trump doesn't listen to public opinion, he will pay a massive price at the polls in two years. they have been building up in the states. political wins can change quickly and i think president obama will be an outside advocate mobilizing his allies to take on the fights. >> if i may, i want to push back on the idea a little bit of the
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ghost of the democrats. there are a number of young leaders rising and haven't had the popularity. the fact that nobody knew who barack obama was 4.5 years before his run. the congressional black caucus chair and jeffreys is a new member in the house. cory booker is testifying against jeff sessions. there are a number of younger leaders who are rising. >> we have to take another quick break. more with the panel ahead. 15 minutes away from the president. the farewell address scheduled to start in about 15 minutes. we'll be right back. mone hundredts thousand times a day, sending oxygen to my muscles. again! so i can lift even the most demanding weight. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. now verified non gmo and gluten free. a heart attack doesn't or how healthy you look.
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it ends where it began, the president farewell address begins. he has weathered challenging time, it was the deadliest year. president obama has spoken of violence in chicago, including just last week. >> it has been heartbreaking. you see what happens in chicago and these are communities that i know and love and there's so many good people there and there's people that i know have
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been personal ly effected by levels of violence. have i assigned people to work with the people to deal with what is going and what we need to do to fix it. i don't think there's one single thing to fix it. but clearly a we need to come together and i look forward to being part of the conversation. >> since 1968, he the senior pastor, of the community. father, good to see you. you know president obama well. did you hope he would do well to counter the violence that increased since he took office? >> well, i guess i hope more
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could have been done, he tried to push it more than he did. i hope more resources could have come. it would have been easy to say that the south side and west side were failed by president obama, but it has been failed by america. it's bigger than the president. he has brought a different tone to america and made a lot of big changes. but unfortunately, there's segments of chicago and the rest of the country that stand abandoned. >> there were more shooting deaths in 2016 in chicago than at any time since the early 90s. what is behind that rise, do you think? obviously, it's a complex issue. you and i have talked about it before, but, can you make sense of it? >> right. well, i think with a couple of things we are seeing, anderson, number one is the double digit unemployment.
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under funded, under performing schools. people are coming back from prison, with no help, $20 and a bus card, a lack of economic development. we have neighborhoods that look like third world countries and then there's social media that people are angry andpeople are mad and hopeless and as that that projects and rises it to a new level and a amp it to a new level. the if you put two lions in a cage and don't feed them, they will kill each other. >> what do you want to hear from president obama tonight? what do you hope to hear from him? >> well, i hope to hear, first of all that he will bring us back together again as a country and keeping us focused. right now, and remember, the majority of this country is
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angry, mad, disappointed and there's enormous amounts of the country that are afraid and i'm hoping that the president obama will charge, particularly the millennials and the young adults of the country and young people, it's time to rise up, it's time to stop waiting on a congress and waiting on a federal government, it's time to wait, i will work with you, i will support you, and it's time for the young people to stand up strong. i will appreciate you, back with the panel. we have not heard from you this evening. are you hopeful tonight?
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you are a democrat, you wanted to hillary clinton to be the next president. >> i hope tonight i will drink from the spring againment i hope that a lot of the -- to people using the n-word as local elected officials, i have seen this man rise up time and time again, and he is -- he is leaving the country better than what he found it. it shows that we can be a part of the change that we want to
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see. i think of the young child that wanted to come in and see what the president's hair felt like. he went in and he was dressed to kill and he was able to touch the president's hair with that, i will go out and have a feeling of what the country can be. >> obviously tonight, not just president obama will be here, michelle obama will be here. we expect to see her you cannot talk about president obama without talking with his family and the impact that his family
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has been on the white house and the family at large. >> no matter what you think of the obama's politics, you look at the family and the way they have conducted themselves while in office and you have to admire it. they define role model for american families. and his relationship has become a role model. >> to the point of the family, if you go back eight years and to the race that will affect the 2008 election. there were people that could not fathom the possibility, some
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people say race relations were set back. whatever the, i am not smart enough to tell you the pulse of the race relations, was it better or worse than eight years ago. michelle obama is a young, well, will be about the exfirst lady, she will be in her 50s when they leave the white house -- she often had to defer to his
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political priorities. he will never run for anything fwen. she will be freer and the demand for her voice, here she is. she once said to me. i interviewed her about their marriage and i asked them, have you had an equal marriage when one person is president and she said, you really can't but the equality of a marriage is measured over a long time and we are going to be married for a long time to come. he has been able to stay so centered and calm through all the tumult that is politics, never mind a presidency. and his answer was sometimes you're just born that way, but also because of his wife. she is the rock. she is someone who keeps him centered, who keeps him grounded. and that's something we have seen, certainly, throughout the
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history of the presidency, but i think it is the most stark with this particular couple and this president. >> and, you know, we watch these children. we remember them when they were little. and they came into the white house. now they're eight years older, young women, going to college. and it's as if they've grown-up before our eyes, because they have. >> you also think about michelle obama speaking at the democratic convention this summer, talking about seeing her daughters on, playing on the white house lawn, a house that was built by slaves. >> right. >> one of the most profound moments she had, actually, and i just can't emphasize this enough, that when you think about how so many black kids are raised with the standard. >> i want to point out, the national anthem is about to start at president obama's farewell address, from singer song writer bj the kid. let's listen. ♪ oh, say, can you see