tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN January 15, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
psychos. all right, thanks for being with me today, i'm fredericka whitfield, we have so much more ahead in the newsroom, it all starts right now. >> hi, everyone. top of the hour, 5:00 eastern, i'm pop ypy harlow in new york, and you're in the cnn newsroom. in just five days, people around the world will be paused and will be transfixed right here as president-elect trump takes the oath of office. but 23 democrats are saying they will not be there, they are boycotting president trump's inauguration. some are skipping because of the president-elect's tweets to their fellow congressman john lewis, trump accused lewis of being all talk and no action, this is after lewis said he did not consider trump as a
legitimate president. suzanne malveaux continues our coverage. >> reporter: trump's war of words with congressman lewis, especially coming during mlk weekend is deeply troubling to many families, but lewis is getting some strong push back from rnc staff reince priebus as well as mike pence. they're trying to give john lewis props because of his contribution, but they're also -- despite trump's own admission that russia had a role in hacking it. >> look, trump won this election fair and square. 30 out of 50 states, including georgia, more counties than any republican candidate since ronald reagan. and to hear john lewis, a man
that i served with, that i respect, to question is legitimacy of the election and to say that trump will not be a legitimate president was deeply disappointing to me and also to hear that he was not going to attend the inauguration this friday. i hope he reconsiders both statements. >> poppy, so far there's no indication that congressman lewis will reconsider, he's now joined 22 of his colleague who is say they're not going to be a attending the inaugural ceremonies. it comes amid some controversy that some a-list performers who will not attend. we're talking about jennifer holiday, announcing that she's no longer going to be singing at trump's preinaugural concert on thursday and to heal the country, but she's now
reconsidered and trump for his part, he has chosen not to respond directly to holiday, but instead he did tweet out this saying, for many years our country has been divided, an bring and untrusting, many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep, he goes on to say that it will change. >> and this list of democrats not attending has grown from about 13 48 hours ago to 23 now. is there a precedent for this many members of congress not attending? >> we have seen these protests before particularly members of the black caucus. poppy, the number of members protesting back then doesn't come anywhere near close to what we're seeing to about two dozen who are going to be sitting out
this one, and that number grew hour by hour today as people reacted to trump's criticism of lewis. >> thank you very much for that, there's obviously a lot to debate here. when trump fired back at lewis, he also took aim at the district that lewis represents. he called it crime infested. of course lewis's district includes atlanta. atlanta to trump, wrong. paula sandoval spoke to the pastor of lewis's church. >> reporter: ebenezer baptist church is not only a church -- he attended sunday's service, no sign of senator lewis, but there was plenty of politics discussed during today's sermon,
particularly the senior pastor of the church who called out the incoming president by name, he was criticizing his twitter tirade and his specific targeting of this civil rights icon. take a listen. >> rather than sending nasty tweets, he really ought to sit at john lewis's feet and learn what service, sacrifice and integrity look like. >> reporter: stepping up to defend not just lewis, but also his community as well. specifically after one tweet was posted by the incoming president donald trump saying that john lewis should spend more time on fixing his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infe infested. as a result, many people in the community now speaking out against the president-elect. in district is obviously more complicated than that. the world's busiest airport is in this district.
ebenezer baptist church sits in this district, and the people of this district deserve more than to be insulted by an incoming president. >> there was perhaps some mixed reaction among members of the c c congregation. polo, thank you very much. >> let's talk over all of this with our panel, clarencie in henderson is calling himself an unknown freedom fighter. and a democratic strategist and former communications strategist for hillary clinton's presidential campaign. obviously a lot to get to.
clarence, welcome to the program. for those who participated in the sit in back in the 60s, as a member who's also a conservative who supported and voted for donald trump in this election, do you support the president-elect's response to congressman lewis on twitter? >> yes, i support his response in reference to what john lewis's job is as far as being a congressman and the fact that john lewis -- on january 20th we will see that to be different. >> so you're okay with him punching back at the congressman and saying he's a man of all talk and no action because as you well know as someone who fought for civil rights, many take issue with that and they see that as an attack on someone who did so much, not only for african-americans in this country, but for this country as
a whole, someone who risked his life, beaten bloodily in selma. >> we're talking about a time when john lewis did what he did just as i did. and john lewis initiated this by saying he didn't see president-elect trump to be a legitimate president. donald trump didn't say anything to him about his being a civil rights leader, he just side look anoth at your district and see what needs to be done there. i think if you can't stand the hate, you ought to get out of the kitchen. >> tomorrow being martin luther king day, what do you want to see from him? do you think he should punch back at the president-elect? should he say anything? should he not? should he move on?
>> i don't think he will focus on donald trump, john lewis's life reflects that, i expect him to talk about that tomorrow, but the realty is that donald trump was wrong when he put that tweet out yesterday. he put this tweet out saying that john lewis's district is crime infested. i walked through john lewis's district today, it's not a crime infested neighborhood, donald trump has a tendency to equate race with pathology, that's the reason he picks people like ben carson and steve harvey to lead his councils, but . >> but you notice he didn't bring up race at all in any of these tweets. >> he did not specifically bring up race in any of these tweets. he only mentions urban issues when he's talking about
african-americans. john lewis represents a majority black district. a district where 80% of the people are high school graduates and 41% also have college degrees, so trump has this troubling notion that somehow black people are only associated with pathology and that needs to be challenged as much as possible. he's trying to elevate black people like steve harvey and kanye west, but to deescalate people like john lewis and barack obama and he doesn't get to pick who our leaders are. >> i also want you to respond to this, what the president-elect just tweeted this afternoon, for years our country has been divided, angry and untrusting, many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep, it will change. he's saying we won't be as divisive a nation under his presidency. his response to the congressman
john lewis was divisive, is there a hypocrisy here? >> you know, what all due respect to congressman john lewis who is a civil rights icon, someone who is highly respected on both sides of the aisle, i think he was wrong in calling donald trump's presidency and candidacy illegitimate. you don't have to take my word for it. you can take a look at democratic senator doug manchin who said that was uncalled for. >> what about the president's response now saying we won't be divided. his tweet and many of his other tweets are divisive, are they not? >> and poppy, with all due respect to congressman lewis, his tweet was divisive, and his comments saying that he wouldn't even invite president-elect trump when he's the president to selma is divisive. what we need to do is follow in the footsteps of someone like
dr. martin luther king who didn't say i don't line president kennedy, i'm not going to the white house. he would work with whomever he was in the white house to get the job done because at the end of the day, we have to accept the fact that the president of the united states is the president, legitimate, and we have to work with him to get the agenda that we want to have done. . >> what about accepting the presidency of president obama instead of -- he's the most divisive political figure in my lifetime. that's a shocking error on his part to even think that he could bring us together considering what he did to president obama. >> if you want the country to come together, these democrat congress people should say for the good of the people, for healing, for moving forward, we're going to support not only
the president of the united states but the presidency. >> these 23 house democrats who have said they won't attend, here's what the president, the sitting president barack obama had to say about this issue of helping the next president. >> most of all, i want to emphasize to you, mr. president-elect that we now are going to want to do everything we can help you succeed, because if you succeed, then the country succeeds. >> that's the sitting president, adrian, how does it benefit the american people for democrats to carry on the division? >> well, look, i think if you're talking about deciding whether or not to attend the inauguration, that is a personal decision, i'm certainly not going to judge what 23 democrats and counting deciding what they
will or will not attend the inauguration. but donald trump has a history and a pattern of powerful democratic figures, in this case john lewis criticizing him. he cannot handle it. and what i would also say to donald trump is you've got five days until you're going to become president of the united states, please come together, try to unify our country because we need that yoouunity right no. >> so my question to you is about democrats, my team and all of that, should democrats play more of a hand in that, should these democrats be going to the inauguration, and saying, mr. president-elect, we disagree wholeheart heartedly with thi l. >> this is a personal decision that many members of congress will be making and have decided to make in terms of what they
will do for the inauguration. there's a lot of criticism for african-americans, latinos in the presidency of trump. that's a personal decision and it's certainly not my place to make that kind of judgment. >> i want you all to listen to what senator rand paul, republican senator said today on state of the union. >> i do appreciate what him being a civil rights icon, but i would also say that doesn't make us immune from criticism or debate. so john lewis isn't in a position where there can't be a healthy debate back and forth because he's a civil rights icon, shouldn't make him immune. >> clarence, final thoughts on all that, do you agree that his status of a civil rights icon shouldn't make him immune to this kind of criticism? >> no one should be immune, this
party is being divisive by not coming together, they're doing exactly what they're accusing donald trump of. they need to stand and go to the table with him and sit down and negotiate and get us through this because we're talking about our country as a whole, not one individual. as i said before, john lewis is a tremendous icon as far as civil rights is concerned and he should do the same thing that he did back then, is to come to the table and go ahead and see what donald trump has to say. >> clarence, please tell donald trump to stop tweeting and attacking each other and to come together. it's not very presidential. >> you're talking about politics, this is about people. >> if secretary clinton can come to the inauguration for the good of the country, the 23, including congressman lewis
should come to the inauguration. . >> keith, clarence, paris, adrian, thank you all. we have a lot to get to this hour, republican reaction as we just said, nearly two dozen democrats skipping the inauguration. congressman marsha blackburn for her response. also final shot, democrats rallying around the country today trying to make the case to save obama care, we will take you live to warren, michigan where bernie sanders made a passionate plea. and later transition of power, in just days, the obama move out, the trump family moves in, so what is that going to look like behind the scenes? we will be joined by the former chief of staff for the former first lady laura bush who was there to see that transition. you're live in the cnn news room. ♪ ♪
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that blackburn, thank you for being with us. >> let's address that issue first, some of the people on this list are boycotting the inauguration because of the pay the president-elect responded on twitter to congressman john lewis who said that he does not think that president-elect trump is a legitimate president. trump tweeted that congressman lewis's district is crime ridden. >> i wish congressman lewis had not made the comments that he made and i would have preferred that the president not respond in that manner, but i think we all know that donald trump had an amazing victory, he won 30 of 50 states. he won more counties than have been won since any -- since ronald reagan. he certainly had the majority
and the electoral votes, 306 votes. and we all know that, and i think there are so many issues that we have to deal with, our nation's security, dealing with the health care issues, tax reform. i would love to see everyone come together and support president -- >> i think everyone wants to see that unity and i think everyone wants to see those issues that affect main street america dealt with. and the reason i ask you that is you're a powerful voice in his ear in this transition and this comes at a time when the president-elect is writing an inaugural address that's focused on unity, according to his own team. so how do his tweets reflect that? how do they unify our country? how can we tweet like that, congresswoman, in five days? >> i don't know how he's going to handle -- i think that you
will probably see him continue talking directly with the american people on twitter and continuing to get his message out, kind of going over the media if you will. >> okay, but lashing back at something that obviously really got to him and hurt him, right, and saying that he's not legitimate, look, this is, even a president, president obama, hillary clinton, they say this is the president-elect, right, she will be, for example, clinton at the inauguration. but the question becomes, can he react like that, going after everyone who insults him or questions him? >> well, yes, and utilization of social media, i think will continue. i think that possibly you may see a change in approach or tone or tenor a little bit and i certainly hope so. today is sunday and it is the day that many of our congregations have celebrated
mlk day, and i think that's such a good reminder to us about europeanity. -unity. many congregations including our own has developed unity. i hope it has turned our attention away from things that divide. john brennan was -- it was pretty strong words for the president-elect, when it comes to what the president-elect has said about the intelligence community, tweeting about them, tweeting intelligence in quotes, really questioning the voracity of their findings, here's what brennan said. >> if he doesn't have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and our adversaries, so i think mr.
trump has to be very disciplined in terms of what he says publicly. he is going to be in a few days time, the most powerful person in the world sitting on top of the united states government. i think he needs to recognize that his words do have impact. they can have positive impact and they can have undercutting of our national security. >> would you like to see the president-elect stop disparaging the intelligence community? >> i have a lot of trust in mike pompeo who's going to be the cia director. >> that was not my question, my question was would you like to see the president-elect stop disparaging the intelligence community. >> he is going to have his team in place that will be advising him and i certainly think that you're going to see a more yuan fired approach to the intelligence gathering and the briefings and the components that are presented to the
president. i watched that interview with mr. brennan after i got in from church today. i think, poppy, what we have to realize is that the entire conversation, when you look at it in total dealt with the dossier, with the information that was there on the gathering from fusion, gps. and it was something that research, and it goes into the hands of the intelligence community and somehow it ends up in the press. so there's a lot of back and forth on that. >> you know the director of national intelligence james clapper in a public memo saying this was not coming from the intelligence community. let's listen to what donald trump said this week in his press conference about the intelligence community. play it. >> i think it's a disgrace and i say that. and that's something that nazi
germany would have done and did do. >> is that language appropriate? >> you can talk a lot about if language is appropriate or not and utilization of words and approaches to things, but what we have seen via the intel community, the conduct of jim comey, then senator schumer's words this week, when donald trump -- let me finish this. >> does it matter especially -- >> yes, they do because -- >> does it really matter when they're coming from the president-elect. are those words comparing our intelligence community to someone operating within nazi germany, are they appropriate? >> poppy, senator is schumer's comment that he challenged the intel community -- >> we can actually talk about senator schumer's comment when you address my question which was about the president-elect -- >> i'm trying ing ting to answ
question, i'm saying what senator schumer said about the intel community having the ability to come back at you, six ways from sunday, the inappropriate nature of the fact that our government would use our agencies to get back at people, the inappropriate nature of that, the handling of information via the fbi. the leaking of an opo research memo and dossier, and whomever did this, it is the clouding and the confusion around that and, yes, it needs to be cleaned up. is it going to require leadership? absolutely, it is going to require leadership. i think that when you see the president-elect sworn in on friday, and his people move into the positions that are there,
individuals that he knows, he has trust in, he has confidence in, and you see that these agencies are not going to be politicized agencies, yes, i think at that point, you're going to see a different approach. >> do you believe, are you inferring that you believe for example that director comey of the fbi should be fired? >> no, i think that right now, you leave that until we have our attorney general in place, we have our new team in place, allow them to -- >> but i'm asking you what do you think because you're clearly questioning the intelligence community. do you think he should be replace. >> i think it is inappropriate at this point in time, we are five days away from having a new president sworn in. and there is amount of confusion about the cleanup that needs to be done, let's allow them the opportunity to have those
conversations and to make those changes or movements or decisions or whatever they feel that they need to do. there has been some right and wrong that has been done by different agencies, there has been right and wrong that has been said by different individuals, and poppy, i have to tell you, i think at this time, at this point in time, as we are in, we are entering into inaugural week. what we all need to do is allow this transition of government to take place. >> does that mean we should not talk about what is happening and what the president-elect is saying? is that what you're inferring? >> no, not at all. >> that because it's inauguration week that we should not address these issues? >> not at all. at least not what i said. in my position as an elected official, i think it is inappropriate to say, well, i think they need to be doing this, that or the other, today, tomorrow or the next day.
i'm going to show them the respect of getting sworn in, getting their team in place, and then we in the house will move forward with our agenda, the senate will move forward with their agenda. we will exercise our article one powers, we will turn to the administration with their article 2 powers and we will look for opportunities to work with them and we'll celebrate the fact that it is the judiciary, the third branch of government that actually swears in the president and the vice president and we will look forward to having that peaceful transition on friday. >> congresswoman, thank you for your time. >> absolutely, good to be with you, thank you. coming up, president-elect donald trump at odds with mexico
senator paul ryan said that the affordable health care act was in its death throes. >> let me say this, i believe we should and can have a system in this country where everybody can have access to affordable health care even if they have preexisting conditions no matter how much money they make. >> democrats are trying to save obama care, or the most popular parts of the law as they see it. in warren, michigan, people were out braving some pretty cold temperatures, they were there to siebee see bernie sanders speak. >> reporter: poppy, senator sanders told me that these rallies that are happening here and all throughout the country thinks they will make a difference to republicans who are trying to repeal the
affordsable -- also tens of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country. many people got up on stage in addition to the politicians and lawmakers, those people sharing their stories about how the affordable care act saved their lives in many cases and death in their words a lot of money in health care costs, i did talk to senator sanders about why he chose to come here to michigan, and of course this is a state that democrats haven't lost since 1988, this is a state that went to donald trump. i asked senator sanders why come here to michigan. why did he come to this state when he could have been at a rally there in his home state. >> mr. trump when he ran for president, promised the people of michigan and the people of america that he was a different type of republican. he was not going to cut social security, medicare, or medicaid. so part of what today is about
is reminding mr. trump that he better keep his promises because we're watching. >> reporter: and michigan just one of the places around the country that democrats believe they need to regain their footing and reconnect with working class voters of course places like michigan and why wisconsin and pennsylvania, the democrats expected to win, and they typically have won, so that reconnection in process. i also asked senator sanders if he has specifically spoken to hillary clinton and he says he does plan to meet with her very soon. >> and senate meinority leader chuck schumer was also at that rally, what does he believe democrats can do at this point about what republicans are planning? >> reporter: just one of the many fiery and passionate
speakers here and all throughout the country, senator schumer said that the affordable care act has done wonderful things that the health care system was a mess before the affordable care act. he said that the republicans should absolutely not go forward with a repeal when they have nothing to replace it with. >> we're willing to look at making it better, but we sure as hell ain't going to repeal it. and we're certainly not going to repeal it when our friends there don't even have a plan to replace it with. >> reporter: after the rally, i did speak with one of michigan's senators here, she says that this rally in michigan and throughout the country could be just the givening, we saw those rallies throughout the campaign season, but this could be just the beginning of rallies
throughout the trump administration as democrats look to rally their base and get back in their messaging to those working class voters. >> of course chuck schumer said they don't have a replacement. rand paul put forth some elements of a plan that he would like to see through. jessica snyder in michigan, thank you. still to come, president-elect donald trump taking his message to britain through germany. (burke) and we covered it, february third, twenty-sixteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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says he is making big mistakes, who does he trust more, the leader of germany or the leader of russia. nic robertson is with us, the times magazine releasing their interview that they did with the president-elect. let's take a listen of what the president said when he was asked who he trusts more, angela merkel or vladimir putin. >> we'll trust both of them at first and then see what happens. we may not trust either of them at all. >> reporter: he talked as well about the possibility of doing a deal with vladimir putin, that
he was open to try to get a deal done that, he believed that the number of nuclear weapons should be reduced, and he said let's see if that's possible. and perhaps that was the caveat there between the angela merkel, do you trust merkel or putin, and the indication there, one would assume is that if putin doesn't come good on making deals, and he talked about how important it is for the united states and russia to get along and the united states is suffering under sanctions and the outcome of those meetings and that will perhaps change his mind about who he can trust more merkel or putin. >> he didn't seem to support russia's actions in syria. >> reporter: no, he didn't, he said he thought that was a big mistake, and that's something that general mattis has said that's not his view and something that vladimir putin hopes is correct. there was another thing here
that he talked about the brexit vote for britain, he said this would be great for britain in the future. he talked about a trade deal with britain, that was important, meaning the british prime minister was important. but this was a very friendly interview for the times newspaper paper. >> he was fired from the teresa may cabinet, a pro brexit former cabinet minister. >> reporter: he was one of the leaders of the brexit campaign, which teresa may was opposed to. rather than a journalist working at the times newspaper, they brought in a politician who a pro brexit figure and if you will, affable with donald trump. >> amou coming up next, the touching letter from the first daughters
first daughters sasha and malia are getting advice from the republican leader their father succeeded. jenna bush hagger and jennifer bush told the obama daughters they have joined the former first daughters club. anita mcbride is with me, she's the former chief of staff for first lady laura bush. so nice to have you on. >> thank you so much, poppy. >> you were there in 2009 during the transition, and you saw barbara and jenna bush along with sasha and malia, what a great picture here that you have sent us. what was that moment like for the children? >> i think that it was really --
they were excited, they were nervous, of course they came in through the diplomatic reception room door, it was late evening, so it was dark, their grand mother was with them and their mother, of course they had the comfort of family with them and it was a really wonderful gesture that laura bush had invited the girls to come and for mrs. obama to she knew that it would mean a lot to them and make them feel more comfortable if they could see it through the eyes of barbara and jenna, her own girls who were sasha's age when they first saw the white house with their it grandfather. >> in a sense, i feel like the first children are more sort of protected not just by security, but from us, from the media, from the paparazzi when they are in the white house. when they are out of the white house, they are much more in the limelight, aren't they? >> of course. they are more protected when they are young. and sasha and malia were young girls coming into the white
house, 8 and 11 years old. so there is a protection and a respect for privacy that i think the press and the media and everyone has. although americans are fascinated with first families. they want to know what the children are doing ask what life is like in the white house. . i think that's what barbara and jenna tried to tell them. you can have a great time here. all the things that would be their life now for the past eight years. >> as we see the trump family come into the white house, what are your thoughts on how melania trump will redefine the role of first lady? >> well, i think this is the wonderful thing about the role of first lady. every occupant gets to do what they want to do with the job. they get something that's a reflection of them. we start from that basis because there are no statutory responsibilities and
obligations. i think she's is already made a a very bold decision to decide not to come down to washington immediately. obviously, she will be here for the inauguration, i'm assuming a few days after that. but then we'll go back and let her son finish school. that sets the tone early on that she is going to be focused on family first. which is something mrs. obama said right at the beginning too. >> she did and mrs. obama said before she became first lady i don't know what it will be like until i get there. this fall melania trump stated publicly what one of her big missions would be as first lady. that is to take on cyber bullying. let's listen. >> we have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. we must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social immediamed.
>> obviously, a lot of people talked about that given the president-elect's twuter habits. what do you think? is it going to be hard for her to take that on, or have we seen in the past first ladies going their own way despite perhaps what their it spouse is focused on? >> i think what we have always seen with first ladies is the recognition that it or the acceptance that they have an automatic powerful platform to do what they want to do. they can pick and choose issues. they don't have to deal with every problem that comes to the desk of the american president. but what they will pick and choose and pull the resources together to work on things they care about. and if this is what she chooses to do, is serious about it, puts the right people around her, she can make a difference. i wouldn't see it as necessarily separate from what the administration is trying to do, but it's going to be a
reflection of what had she personally cares about. >> it certainly something that's needed for all americans. >> particularly for young people. i think she's speak to it as a mother of a young son. >> no question. thank you so much. nice to have you on. thank you for sharing that picture with us. >> absolutely. bye-bye. >> cnn explores first lady michelle obama's journey from chicago to the world stage. the special report. it airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. back in a moment. ♪ ♪ after becoming one of the largest broadband companies in the country. after expanding our fiber network coast to coast. these are the places we call home. we are centurylink. we believe in the power of the digital world. the power to connect. and that's what drives us everyday.
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the controversial leader of one of the nation's largest mega churches has died. he prided over the baptist church in atlanta. he was a a national figure who led a march against same-sex marriage. he denounced homosexuality. he settled a lawsuit by four men who said he pressured them in a sexual relationship. despite the settlement he long died after a the baattle with cancer. he was 63 years old. we'll be right back. (vo) maybe it was here,
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