tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 23, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
we put up a web address for those in the last segment who wanted to help survivors of the tornados in georgia. we want to show you the address again. it's unitedwayswga.org. they clearly need a lot of help there right now. that does it for us, thanks for watching. the president is getting down to business. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon, breaking news to tell you about, mike pompeo confirmed by the senate. the president signs executive orders on trade, abortion and a federal hiring freeze. meets with congressional leaders and ceo's at the white house. apparently turns a page on those so called alternative facts about the size of the crowd. our intention is never to lie to you.
meanwhile, the fbi is investigating preinaugural phone calls. spicer saying the president hasn't ordered intelligence agencies to hold an investigation. >> he's not made any indication that he would stop an investigation of any sort. cnn is it learning more about president trump's meeting with congressional leaders today, where he continues to make false claims about why he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election by almost three million, what's he saying? >> when you thought the white house had turned the page from alternative facts. it's not an ail turn fish fact it's just a falsehood. the new president said he would have won the popular vote had it
not been for these millions of what he calls illegal votes. and now this is something that he had said shortly after the november election, he said in a tweet that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for these illegal ballots which is a swipe at undocumented people in this country accusing them of voting, which is something they can't do. it's against the law. once again, just when you thought that they were turning the page, they had these photo opportunities all day long, showing the president looking very pren shool, meeting with advisers, business leaders and so on. they've gotten themselves into a controversy here, not only that, but steny hoyer who was at that reception said donald trump was talking about this inauguration crowd size issue. he can't move on from some of these petty grievances he has about the election. >> jim shud doe, i want to talk about something else, he also when he met with congress talked about 3 to 5 million illegals
voting, in his terms illegals voting during the election, that's why he lost the popular vote. that's just not true. >> no, it's not true. it's not the only untruth uttered by the administration today, in the last couple days, keep in mind he went to the yia and talking about crowd size there, let's set that aside massively unimportant. he talked about how the media supposedly manufactured the dispute with the intelligence community when in fact donald trump in many comments, which still exist out there, had undermined the intelligence community, questioned their loyalty really, questioned their lack of bias. that was one, and that was one that sean spicer had a chance to knock down, and did not knock down. so you have these lies really of import, right? these matter whether it's about the election and how it worked
and these falsified fake voters about his dispute with the intelligence community. these matter, these matter and the administration continues to propagate them. >> it's tough, as i was sitting here getting ready to report this story, it's -- you know, you want to -- you must respect the office of the presidency, it's hard to say that the president is lying so you say falsehood. when you say things that aren't true, they're just lies. jim sciutto, what about the people who are around him, the people who are advising him, why can't they just come out and say, mr. president you should not be saying these things, because they're flat out lies? >> the truth is we don't know, it's early in the administration, but if we could look at the campaign and the period between the election and the inauguration, you see some patterns here, i think to some degree there is a belief inside the administration, the
president, his advisers, that they're not getting a fair shake, right? and i think you see this in some of the public comments of the president himself. the people -- he's said this in so many words. the media, others, democrats is trying to delegitimize his victory. these issues, whether it's russian hacking of the election, election related hacking, or the popular vote, or crowd size at the inauguration they get in that space, what seems to be a sensitive space for trump and the administration. now, they can make an argument that they're not getting a fair shake or there's a bias against them. they can make that argument, on the facts they can't argue the facts, right? those just as journalists, as americans, citizens, members of congress, you can't let those hang out there unchallenged.
>> the weird thing is, is that the media didn't bring up russia, it was the intelligence agency. the media didn't bring up the popular vote, that was donald trump. the crowd sizes was all the president's doing. that came out of the president's own mouth. you asked sean spicer about that today, and not getting a fair shake? >> i did, that's right. it was notable that during this press briefing today, they were real letter trying to move forward, and move past what was a pretty ugly episode that we saw on saturday, when sean spicer came out into that briefing room and went after the news media. during this briefing today, he was much more cool, calm and collected, answered a number of questions from various different reporters at one point said, to one reporter that he has no intention to lie in that briefing room, lie to the press, and then at one point, toward
the end of the briefing, i asked sean spicer, why is it that the president is focused on things, doesn't he have bigger fish to fry? here's what he had to say to that. >> isn't that just part of the conversation that happens in washington? >> no, it's not. >> being president of the united states and looking at the white house -- >> no, i've been doing this a long time, you've been doing this too. i've never seen it like this, it's a little demoralizing. you are sitting there and looking out, you're in awe at how many people are there, you go back and turn on the television, and you see shots of comparing this and that, it's frustrating for not just him, but so many of us that are trying to work to get this message out. >> jim, he says demoralizing, which is interesting, because this is washington, d.c.. this is the highest office in the land. there's a lot of scrutiny that goes along with it, this is only day in our, and this -- our
reporting does not happen in a vacuum has he forgotten how donald trump conducted himself on the campaign trail which warranted some tough coverage because of the words that came out of his own mouth? >>. >> i think that's right, don. there are going to be demoralizing days at this white house. and they're going to have to deal with much bigger issues than inauguration crowd size. they feel there's this automatic default setting for negative news coverage. and he does garner a lot of negative news coverage, as you said, primarily this is because of things that have come out of donald trump's mouth, when you take today forever, when he's signing these executive orders in the oval office. meeting with business leaders and so on, and he has the opportunity to turn the page, has a fairly successful news briefing, at the very end of the
day, when they could just tie a ribbon around the whole thing and go home and crack open a cold one when they go home. he has to go and ignite this controversy that seems to be pulled out of thin air. millions of people -- millions of undocumented voters did not cast ballots in this election. that's a false hood. full stop. i asked sean spicer, did the president force you to go out there and make these statements? he did not answer those questions. he didn't want to get into private conversations with the president. people were feeling very good after that press briefing. tomorrow's press briefing is going to be dominated by the claims he made tonight. >> i thought sean spicer conducted himself with dignity. much better press briefing than the one he held on the first day. i thought this is a pretty good day. and then at the end of the day, this happens. >> the president and his team are trying to get back on track.
you have new reporting for us on u.s. intelligence investigation into the president's national security adviser, what can you tell us? >> that's exactly right. law enforcement tell me and my colleague there's a continuing investigation of phone calls in late december between the national security adviser and the russian ambassador to the u.s. a couple key points about this, one still being investigated and two, it's not just that the phone calls themselves took place, apparently some of the content of those phone calls, some things that were said in those phone calls raised potential concerns which has led to this continuing investigation. i should make it clear that there has been no wrongdoing established by michael flynn in this investigation so far. i should make it clear these phone calls were monitored as part of the routine counter intelligence gathering of u.s. intelligence agencies targeting not michael flynn but foreign
officials, particularly those in the u.s. as foreign intelligence agencies would monitor the u.s. officials operating in those countries. it was in monitoring of those conversations they picked up these conversations with general michael flynn. and one final note here, don, the teaming of one of those calls is material, because it was december 29th, the same day the obama administration was still in charge, was imposing new sanctions on russia, and expelling 35 russian diplomats, so that timing has raised questions as well. when we come back, president trump delivering on a major campaign promise today. it's a great thing for american workers but also a great thing for china maybe? now has 30 brands in over 110 countries. so no matter where you go, you are here. join or link accounts today.
it's the very early days for the trump administration. he's already signaling some major changes in the world order. let's discuss now. fareed zakaria, thanks for joining us. let's talk about the trans pacific partnership and trade agreement. he promised to get us out of it, today he with drew. it's a great thing for the american worker, and i have to tell both bernie sanders and hillary clinton opposed tpp. i remember being in a debate, discussing it in flynn the. what is the bottom line, what does this mean for the american people and the american worker?
time significantly opened japan's markets. so for the american worker, whatever the rhetoric, this is actually a bad deal. the second point is, from a strategic point of view, today is the day that the united states essentially handed over a share on a platter to china, there was a battle for influence in asia, it was essentially around trade, the united states had told all these countries, ally with us and we'll band together to protect you against china about we backed away, and the chinese have already proposed an alternative, australia, which was part of our grouping initially, has already said it's going to join the chinese one now. we would prefer to sign up with ameri america, but if america is walking away, we'll sign up with china. >> mexico is going to do something else.
they don't want to be so reliant on imports from from the united states. are we shrinking instead of expanding? >> yes, we're building walls while the chinese are going out and doing deals that benefit them. >> mexico's part of the tpp as canada. it's countries bordering the pacific. mexico, because it borders the pacific. canada also. there are a lot of things that people have wished we could do with nafta, renegotiate nafta. there were some problems in nafta, the tpp actually fixed those problems, it got the mexicans to make concessions on labor standards on environmental issues, that we had always wanted ever since nafta. but they're gone now, because we walked away from the tpp. maybe the mexicans will make those same concessions in a bilateral negotiation with
trump. they kind of made them in the context of access to 12 countries, 40% of the world's gdp. it's not clear to me we'll get them, the irony is, we had them. we already had the concession, we had the renegotiation of nafta that trump is talking about, all he had to do was sign it. >> bernie sanders and hillary clinton were opposed as well. >> hillary was part of the negotiation of this, called it the gold standard of trade agreements. she was right there, in the campaign she flip-flopped, she thought she would lose union votes. don't flip-flop on principle, it's the wrong thing to do, and you never get those votes anyway. >> also on this one, there are many campaign promises that happen that people don't keep. or you evolve or sort of renegotiate, is this one that donald trump should have done that? should he have done that? >> i think so. if he had read the details of the -- if he had been briefed on
it, he would have understood mexico makes all those concessions he wants. this is seeding ground to china in a big way. it's the other countries making these concessions, we already have an open market. tariffs in the united states are about 3%. >> how would you have advised him? >> go to these countries and say to them, guys, i need a couple concessions sao i can go back and say we have a better deal. get those concessions and say, tpp was bad, i got these three very important changes and guess what, now we can sign it. we're going to sign it so china doesn't dwom nature the world economy. and you can sell your goods into japan, and you can sell your goods into vietnam. >> the white house press secretary, he talked about china's claims over islands in the south china sea, here's what he said about. >> i think areas in the south china sea that are part of
international waters and international activities, the u.s. is going to make sure we protect our interests there. it's a question of, if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of change in a proper, we want to make sure we defend international territories from being taken over by one country. >> when he said defend, does that mean military action. >> presumably it does. >> the u.s. has always said it will protect freedom of navigation around the world. i don't have a problem with that at all. we should be protecting the freedom of navigation as we have done. the issue is, however, in asia, trade is the game. china is not going to be so stupid as to try to go around invading countries. what china's willing to do is dominate them economically. look at what china did in latin america. the president of china, while trump is talking about protectionism and tariffs and literally walling ourselves off from our southern neighbors.
the president of china went to latin america, promised $250 billion of investment, signed 40 deals in a five-day trip. what he's saying is, you can't rely on the u.s., they're closing down. they're turning inward, rely on us, we will be your engine of growth and investment, that's the game. talking about islands in the south china sea, fine. you defend them, while china's dominating the world economy. >> there's russia and a syrian piece i want to get in. the trump administration may be willing to work with russia to fight isis. also saying he didn't rule out working with bashar al assad in syria as well. is this dangerous? >> what is dangerous is the illusion. if you can get the russians to do it, fine. the truth is, russia has done almost nothing against isis, it's very important to understand this. russia has mainly been
supporting the assad government against a rag tag bunch of free syrian armies, it's note really attacked isis. that's been part of assad's strategy, to let isis flourish. you either pick me or isis. the idea that russia's going to change that strategy and go after isis, when it hasn't for five years. i think it will do something cosmetic, it will be a win for trump and show a certain amount of cooperation. it seems very unlikely, if we want to go after isis, the people fighting isis are iran, that's the irony here. the trump administration doesn't seem to understand who is really fighting isis. it's the united states, iraq and iran. >> i'm always smarter after you leave the room. >> when we come back, a lawsuit filed against president trump
a lawsuit filed in new york today, claims that president trump is violating the constitution by accepting money from foreign governments through his family's businesses. one of the lawyers bringinged lawsuit joins me. crew the nonprofit watchdog group behind the case. and a former state department legal adviser. i can't wait to hear what you have to say about this. donald trump is violating the constitution. here's how president trump responded to your lawsuit. >> mr. president, reaction to the lawsuit today. >> thank you. walk out the side door, please. thank you, please. >> without merit. totally without merit. >> we think it has tremendous
merit. the lawsuit, we're represented in this lawsuit by the top ethics adviser for president obama and president bush. by some of the taupe legal scholars in the country. these people wouldn't have brought the lawsuit if we didn't think it had significant merit. you have a president who hadden aopportunity to sell his businesses, separate himself from his businesses, he wouldn't have these problems if he didn't. he didn't. and now he's accepting payments from foreign countries which the constitution prohibits which puts you in danger of having him make decisions that are -- that benefit his business interests. that benefit these foreign countries. earn stead of being made in the best interest of the american people. >> senator bernie sanders spoke about the lawsuit on cnn earlier tonight. listen to this. >> we want a president who is
going to make decisions based on the needs of the american people. not based on foreign investments and the people who own his debt. i think this is an issue that has to be looked at very thoroughly, and i do have serious concerns. >> do you share his concerns or do you agree with president trump that the suit has no merit. >> well, let's talk about the suit, the complaint has no merit, the interpretation of the clause that the complaint serves up has -- there's no -- there's not a single court decision or opinion of the office of legal council of the justice department that supports their int interpretati interpretation. another thing, it's interesting, brief comments, introductory comments you made, and that noah book binder made, the complaint con natures the question of the
monuments clause and senator sanders comments reflect this too. and the issue of the conflict of interest laws of the u.s. there is a very specific conflict of interest law. and it very specifically excludes the president and vice president from its coverage. so i think as we go through this discussion we need to keep in mind which it is that we're talking about. again, if you want to talk about alternative facts, noah book binder's comment that trump could have disposed of his assets are not true. his assets are tremendously complicated. and he couldn't have done it. >> what he should have done is to turn over his companies to a trustee, and give the difficult job of figuring out how to dispose of them to that trustee, that kind of thing has been done. it's been done for other officials, it's a kind of thing
that is doable. it would have been difficult. it wouldn't have been his problem, it would have been the trustee's problem, respectfully, while there are separate laws for conflicts and for these foreign payments that are addressed in the constitution, the principle is the same, the principle is that you want the president of the united states or any american official making decisions based on what is in the best interest of the american people and of the country, not based on personal or financial interests. the principle is the same. >> richard, you sat by patiently. i want you to get in. we're talking about the amoluments clause. earlier this month, donald trump's lawyer said the clause doesn't apply here, watch this, and then we'll discuss. >> no one would have thought when the constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was an amolument.
it would have been thought of as a value for value exchange 37. >> correct me if i'm wrong. she's making a similar claim as ed here. is she right, is ed right? >> no. that's not right. and the oldest conflict of interest laws in the united states are in the constitution, and they're focused on foreign governments, the founders are very worried about foreign governments. so worried they insisted the president be a natural born citizen. we certainly heard a lot about that from mr. trump over many years. this provision is far more important. it's the requirement that nobody holding a position of trust with the united states government can be receiving president ends or emoluments. it refers to benefits from foreign governments. and if someone is buying and
selling merchandise or leasing hotel rooms to foreign governments, that's fine. but that person cannot hold a position of trust with the united states government. that's what the founders intended. and mr. trump knew this when he was running for president. now he's president trump. he cannot be making profits and other benefits from business transactions with foreign governments. and many of these transactions we don't even know about. it's not just hotel rooms, it's financing, bank loans from the bank of china. loans that may be coming into all of his businesses. we don't know what the debt is on his businesses? it's not disclosed in his financial disclosure form. it could have be from all over the world. that's the type of thing the founders did not want happening, they knew that european powers, other powers would want to interfere in our political system. great britain, france, austria, hungary and russia, and that's what's going on right now, we're not going to put up with it.
>> i don't know where to start. i would ask richard, where in the complaint is there a court decision or an olc opinion cited that supports that interpretation, to the contrary, i think if you look at the white paper that the trump lawyers put together, they cite several. in addition, if you do things such as look at the federalist papers which alexander hamilton and james madison wrote to explain the constitution to the people. they make a dozen or so references to emoluments. and it's used a couple times in the constitution, no interpretation that they give comes close to what richard just outlined. it's essentially a payment in respect of service performed in an office. >> so listen, this has never been litigated before, am i --
>> it has not. >> that's true. >> that's not the limit of emolument. that's the type of an emolument. holding an office in the united states at the same time as holding an office in a foreign country is not what they were talking about. they're talking about benefits earned from foreign governments. >> richard, let me ask you this, let me say that i stay at trump international in d.c. and i pay $491 for a room. the person in the next room is a diplomat from bahrain. why is my hotel bill a business transaction and hers a violation? >> both are business transactions, a person holding a position of trust with the united states government should not be making money on business transactions with foreign governments. there's too much of a potential for corruption there. the founders were very worried
about that, they weren't going to say you can't take bribes from foreign governments, they can't prove that. they wanted to have a proffer active provision in the constitution that you don't receive benefits, the latin term. >> you're saying not a certain kind of emoluments. all kinds. i have to get a break in. could this lawsuit force the president to release his tax returns?
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what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. kellyanne conway say people don't care if trump ever releases his tax returns. that's not the case. noah, you know, you plan to use this lawsuit to force president trump to release his tax returns. is that what this case is really all about? >> it's not. this case is real when i about ensuring that he complies with the constitution, and ensuring he makes decisions for the right reasons. however, if we're going to be
successful, if we're going to establish what foreign payments he is taking and if a court is going to be able to make a decision and tell him he needs to stop taking those illegal payments, we're going to have to know what they are. and right now, we don't have a comprehensive account of what donald trump's business interests are. a very good way to get a much more comprehensive account? is going to be to look at his taxes. that will be one of the things we're going to be asking for, otherwise, we can't get where we need to go in this case. i did want to mention that richard painter and his counterpart have written up a comprehensive account of the emoluments clause examining the law, and found tremendous legal support for the position we're taking. it's never been resolved by a court, because we've never had a president who has put us in this
position. but we're eager -- >> what will the taxes show? >> well, among other things, the taxes will give us a lot more information about what precisely his business interests are, and where they are, and how they work. we know about some of the foreign payments that he's getting. we certainly have no way of knowing whether we know about all of them or even a substantial portion of them. and his taxes can give us more information about. >> kellyanne conway said people don't care if he releases his tax s taxes. we know that's not true. 74% say he should release his tax returns. including 49% of his own supporters. >> kellyanne conway has been talking about a lot of
alternative facts recently. and i think the white house better get the message quickly, that alternative facts are not going to fly with the american people. and donald trump promised to release the tax returns, many, many times he promised to release the tax returns as soon as this audit was done. and i think the american people are going to hold him accountable for that promise. that's not what this lawsuit is about, this lawsuit is about the emoluments, the unconstitutional payments to the president, the tax returns may very well tell us what those payments are. there are other ways to get that information. but the real facts are the american people were promised those tax returns and they're entitled to them, and he ought to live up to his promises. >> if the irs is auditing president trump's practices, as he and his people continue to claim, they have shown no evidence to that effect. and president trump is in charge of the u.s. now, is that a conflict? >> sure, i would think that that would be a specific party,
particular matter for trump to weigh-in on the irs with respect to an audit, and he should recuse himself from anything like that. >> you know, i -- i'm not sure i understand exactly the position. noah says this suit is about the tax returns, richard says it isn't. i'd like to -- if i could go back to one provision. >> i have 30 seconds, if you can do it then i would appreciate it. >> they make a claim that the trump is in violation of what's referred to as the domestic emoluments clause, the president can't be compensated by a federal government or a state government, in excess of his set salary. and if their interpretation is correct. president obama was in violation of it for receiving interest on treasury securities he owned. that's an example of the quality of this complaint. >> no, we're not claiming that at all.
>> you are. >> with respect to foreign government bonds. not at all, this is about business deals. this season the about securities you buy on an open market. >> look at paragraph -- >> i have to go. >> this is about business transactions. when we come right back, a wealthy businessman, reality tv star runs for office, does that sound familiar? a breakthrough medicine that can help make more tomorrows possible. tomorrow, i want to see teddy bait his first hook. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven to help more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto. the most serious side effects are angioedema,
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you probably know my next guest as a rich business tycoon. he's kevin o'leary from shark tank. he just made a big announcement. >> i'm an international business investor. nowhere does it say i have to settle for mediocrity and stupidi stupidity. we need a leader that can deal with trump, we need a leader that can beat trudeau, and that means i have to expand the base of the conservative party. >> kevin o'leary, thanks for joining me. >> thank you. >> after much speculation, last
week you formally announced your candidacy for the conservative leader in canada. you're known as a reality tv star. you have little political experience. are you the trump of canada? >> there's been that analogy. obviously, trump and i have gotten some notoriety on reality television. here's where this is all different. i'm half lebanese, half irish. if canada was building walls i wouldn't exist. canada is a very inclusive country. it's a unique country, it has two languages, it's different from the united states. but we're the largest trading partner of the u.s., we've had a relationship with the u.s. for over 100 years. 38 states represent the largest trading partner that they have as canada, so we have a really interesting dynamic together. we share the large pest border,
we've been friends forever, in every way, militarily, society. at the same time everything changed. what happened in canada, which happened in a lot of other countries, is everybody got trump wrong. up in canada, the current prime minister has been raising taxes, adding regulations, adding a national carbon tax. promising to plunge the country into $1.5 billion of debt, which was the final straw for me. and all of a sudden, trump gets elected and he is way out of sync with our number one trading partner. and canadians are very concerned now. and i'm one of them. >> you're talking about the current prime minister, since you mentioned trading, let's talk about nafta. are you concerned about the impact dismantling nafta would have on your country?
>> very concerned. specifical specifically, i listened to all of the data coming out of the white house today. nafta is a big deal for me. what i heard the president say was i'm willing to negotiate within the confines of the agreement with canada and mexico, if i don't like that outcome, i'm tearing up that agreement to. energy independence as you know, canada is one of the richest countries on earth in natural resources. the xl pipeline we tried to build with obama cost shareholders $3.2 billion of failed initiatives for 8 years. i'm not happy about that. i would be happy to sit down with trump and renegotiate, i know he wants ownership and royalties, that pipeline should allow the energy that's going to flow through it, which gives security to every american, and we're in partners on this thing, we don't want to pay taxes on
that. it's a natural interest to supply north america with energy. that's the kind of ordeal i'm worried about. lumber, another big deal for us. military procurement, we spend billions of dollars buying weaponry. we need to keep our relationship open, and we're good for 9 million american jobs. in 38 states. >> is this why you said we -- we meaning canada need a leader who can actually deal with trump? >> i think globally, not just in the u.s. or canada, but look at britain and colombia and south america. the body politic has decided they would like people to have some executional excellence as it were. business leaders that make goals, set goals, get things done. and that's what you do in business. that's how you define success. all of a sudden, the traditional politician is not the favorite outcome in many situations. i think that's going to happen in canada too. i can't believe my country in
canada, with the bountless resources it has, to plunge itself into 1 $1/2 trillion of debt. i have two kids. one's 20, one's 23. there's not a chance in hell i'm going to let justin trudeau do that. there are millions of canadians looking at me saying, yeah, we can't let that happen. >> he's very popular, do you think you can beat him in 2019. >> the first year is euphoria, then reality strikes. i don't know if you've been watching lately, probably not. the canadian polls for justin trudeau are falling like a rock. all of a sudden, many people are starting to realize he's not getting stuff done he promised. he promised a $10 billion deficit, he would clear it up in 2019, we're now over 38 billion, we're getting nervous, we're not happy with the performance metrics, and that's the same thing that happened state side, all of a sudden, americans said i want somebody in here, all the flaws he's got, that can get
stuff done and wow! in this 24 hour cycle, you have to admit, trump has really gotten into his agenda. i've never seen this kind of speed. >> he's had a rocky start in his first full day, he's gotten into his agenda and gotten to a lot. quickly, how is he doing? >> you have to leave the whole style thing alone, and measure the performance. trump is an unusual candidate, there's no doubt about it. i think you have to give him his 100 days and see what happens. i think he's going to perform well which makes me nervous for canada, we need to sit down. i understand we're going to start negotiating with him next week. >> that's good for the u.s. listen, if you do win, or when you run, during the 2019, come back to us and if you win, make us your first stop. thank you. >> thank you. >> all right. when we come right back, millions of people around the world marched against president