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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 2, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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all right so time to hand over to don lemon or "cnn tonight." see you tomorrow night. >> president trump's warning for iran. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. president planning on additional sanctions against tehran, refusing to rule out -- nothing is off the table. after firestorm with australia and complaint about that country's handling of what he called tough hombres.
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and trump's long time friend howard stern said this on his show. >> i personally wish that he had never run. i told him that. because i actually think this is something that -- it's going to be detrimental to his mental health too because he wants to be liked. he wants to be loved. >> we're going to talk a lot about that this hour. get to dana bash, david gergen, jim acosta and jim sciutto. after a welcome and a half of abrupt changes from the administration today moved closer to embracing positions long held by the obama administration on israeli settlements, sanctions towards iran and even towards russia. put it into perspective. >> temper that thought at least for now. yes the u.n. ambassador, nikki haley first comments criticizing
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russia for military aggression in eastern ukraine, it's news but balance against weeks and months of public statements by president trump. is it a real change? have to see. remains to be seen. on israeli policy yes, a mild statement of criticism against settlement building but in the midst of a promise still not yet realized on moving the u.s. embassy from teleavif to jerusalem. and we've seen president trump back off that promise over time. power centers in the administration might want to be more aggressive. seeing a move to the center or different power centers in the administration expressing themselves with the result of the battles uncertain?
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it's hard to say. some is genuine confusion in the message from the administration. >> but appears they're softening at least. different factions in the white house and at end of the day see how it plays out. speak doing that. secretary of state rex tillerson. and new secretary of defense mattis, first trip. do you think we're going to see some steadying of the -- especially if you. >> jim's point we do have to be careful about ascribing what -- some of what they're going to say to the president himself, which is kind of an unusual -- not completely usual thing. to say, go out and speak for and execute the policies of the president. in this case for example, i was told earlier tonight that nikki
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haley when she made the -- u.s. ambassador to the u.n., when she made the speech today at u.n., sounding like typical republican or hawkish democrat on russia, she did contact the white house, gave them a head's up but wasn't necessarily speaking for president trump. she was speaking as somebody who has had these long held positions, just as she told the white house and president privately before she was picked. and she told the committee that confirmed her she would stick with more aggressive stance on russia. >> she said we do want to better our relations with russia, however the dire situation in the eastern ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of russian actions. sounds prech like obama
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administration. >> like republicans in congress. reason why candidate trump was criticized so heavily for being too weak on russia. >> want to go outside and talk to jim acosta outside the white house. you have new reporting on the testy phone calls with world leaders. >> appear to be trying to get over this great barrier rift if you will between the u.s. and australia. australian ambassador was at white house earlier today and met with reince priebus and steve bannon who apparently passed along the president's admiration of the australiian people. after this dustup with a ally.
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after revealed that donald trump had some very tense moments with refugees into the u.s. heard the president earlier saying this is no big deal. this is what he had to say. >> the world is in trouble but we're going to straighten it out okay? that's what i do, i fix things. we're going to straighten it out. when you hear about the tough phone calls i'm having, don't worry about it. just don't worry about it. we have to be tough. it's time to be tough. we're taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. it's not going to happen anymore. >> contrast that comment don with what occurred at white house this afternoon where the australian ambassador came over and met with bannon and priebus and not the secretary of state
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or national security adviser. gives you indication how big a role steve bannon is playing at white house. >> you heard the reporting that faces of the staffers many turned white because of the language and tense moments in the phone call. why do you think so many leaks from staffers in the white house? trying to mitigate damage here? >> i'm not sure it's coming from staffers. don would know more. several days passed between the phone calls and leaks. transcripts do get sent around the government so likely intelligence community and state department and people who are career have seen this and there's a great deal of discontent with the foreign service officers and intelligence community and looking for ways to retaliate. feel downgraded and going to
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show you mr. president don't do too much. >> do you think it may be strategy to make him appear tough or tough on even our allies? >> it's possible. anything is possible here. but i think it's unlikely. it is true that some people from the white house are calling reporters. not reporters calling them. and leaking things. putting things out there. it's well understood around town isn't it? >> yes. in this particular case though that's a good house of cards ideal but maybe it's giving them a little too much credit to get this out there and want to look tough because in fairness to them, they're playing cleanup right now, not like entirely wanted it out. >> and leaks and phone calls, it's interesting to sit back and watch. i'm not even in washington and get the calls to watch the
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palace intrigue play out. talk more policy. iran vowed to continue missile tests despite trump administration putting them on notice, quote there. here's the president's response when asked about military action. >> nothing is off the table. >> so this is for jim sciutto, president said iran has been formally put on notice for firing ballistic missile. should have been thankful for the terrible deal the u.s. made with them. iran is responding. what are they saying? >> the question is will this work? with iran and nuclear program, what worked over time were economic sanctions with the world on board, even some countries not u.s. allies traditionally in policy moves like this, china and russia included. ballistic missile program was outside of the nuclear agreement, by design.
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iran wanted it and obama administration accommodated that. now you have them launching those missiles, rattling those sabers again. will lone u.s. sanctions against iran change that behavior? it's a question. u.s. doesn't have a lot of business with iran. does it make a difference? open question going forward. >> i think a lot of caution is needed to figure out what they're going to do and wait for sanctions or whatever they do. but bigger question is whether the trump administration really wants to keep the iranian nuclear deal or get rid of it. were signals coming out maybe they would try to learn to live with it, yet the president tweets out it's terrible deal, basically saying we ought to get rid of it. that would be big stuff if they tear that up. big international -- >> looks like may keep it.
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>> even the president might have had a twitter moment and it is always possible they do end up tearing it up, but even general mattis, about as hawkish as they come on iran, said during his confirmation hearings to be secretary of defense, he thinks you can't do that. deal is done. >> jim acosta, before we get to the break, promised major voter fraud investigation, debunked claim that more than three to five million people voted illegally. was going to sign executive order. what more can you you tell us? >> not on the front burner nifrmt our sources say this is no longer top priority for the president. having said that perhaps tweet overnight tonight it's back on per your conversation with dana and david there.
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but looks like he's moved on to other things and as you were discussing with the iran sanctions and potential impact on the nuclear deal, i was sitting in on briefing yesterday and top national security official said that iran deal stands for now. doesn't stay forever, didn't say that but for now. as for voter fraud last week sounded eminent and no longer the case. >> interesting how he tweets response to stories on network he says he never watches right after we discuss it. he's clairvoyant or something. hi. when we come back, heartbreaking story on immigration ban. baby in desperate need of life-saving surgery barred from entering the country. . your insurance company
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tonight there are signs that donald trump's white house may be moving towards some policies of the obama administration. bring in now fareed. after promising a radical break with the foreign policy of barack obama, embracing key pillulars of the strategy. warning israel about settlements, demanding russia
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withdraw and iran with sanctions. do you agree with this? >> there's been a shift. something going on with the foreign policy making that's interesting. adults are moving in to some level. mattis and tillerson, the process becoming more institutionalized. now when these things are happening, national security advisor maybe sends a message to state department, tillerson, how should we respond to israeli settlements, looks at it, for 50 years responded we're against it. maybe that's factored into the process. nikki haley comments at u.n. where she condemned russian aggression and talked about how sanctions wouldn't be lifted until russia got out of ukraine, all feels very much like foreign
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policy continuity. we shouldn't even -- jinx this by calling it embraces pillars of obama's laws because he'll say i can't do that. but particularly with foreign policy, rest of the world depends on the united states for some consistency. >> iran, nothing is off the table that's what the president said. others in the administration said the same thing. nothing is off the table. used same language. what does this mean for the president? what's the next step? >> again i don't want to jinx it but obama administration often said, pointed out he was never ruling out use of force and additional sanctions in place, the obama administration did put in some additional sanctions when they would see this kind of behavior. but it's important to understand that iran nuclear deal was about freezing iran's nuclear program
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and relaxing international sanctions against iran. that worked. iran's program is frozen by every independent analysis, 98% of his fissionable material was destroyed. that's great thing. want to preserve that. this is about the defense and foreign policy. they do develop missiles. allowed to in a sense like any country can do what they want. u.s. is punishing them or trying to deter them from doing it. part of a policy president obama was following. i don't know why flynn drew a line in the sand. >> said iran was on notice. >> professor in graduate school had this line that's right, in international affairs two things are very expensive, threats when they fail and promises when they succeed. when you make a threat be willing to be called on it.
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i don't know what he means. iran has continued to test missiles, what are we going -- >> they responded saying going to vigorously test more missiles. question is what you said, how quickly can this escalate? it could. >> partly because unknown entities particularly in donald trump. how does he react when -- it's highly unlikely the iranians will back down because mike flynn said they were on notice. been developing missiles for a while. they're a serious country and want a serious defense foreign policy and they live in dangerous neighborhood. in that circumstance, what is he going to do? really go to war with iran because of this? have attack? and complicate this further, which is why you want carefully throughout through coherent policy, iran is probably the principle force outside of the united states and iraq that's
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battling isis. iranian militias go into syria and fight isis. iran is much more than russians fighting isis. so do you really want to pick a fight with them when trump says number one objective is to destroy isis. >> that's the interesting thing, say things on the campaign trail and then sit on the seat, it's different story. speaking of russia, there's news they might start easing sanctions. >> we don't know for sure. frankly as with israel, the administration has sent somewhat contradictory signals. initially on israel seemed so encouragin encouraging, netanyahu announced
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new settlements. but now it's possible -- and nikki haley -- >> there's been fierce fighting between the russian separatists and white house has said nothing about it. >> i must condemn the aggressive actions of russia. it is unfortunate because it's replay of far too many instances over many years in which united states representatives -- do that. it should be -- the dire situation in eastern ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of russian actions. >> what's your reaction and what message will that send to vladimir putin? >> this is a message of real continuity. nikki haley's statement was excellent and entirely in keeping with american foreign policy for the past years and western foreign policy.
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we've helped organize a coalition of countries, european union, that helped impose sanctions on russia. one of the fears that came about with trump's flirtations with putin, eastern europe was going crazy, worried be sacrificed on the altar of a trup/putin deal and united front against russia, if america weakened, lot of europeans would say want to do business with russia and be first to the exits. western policy toward russia, the structure had been eroding. could bring it back on line if stay consistent. >> feel like talking about obama policy. just within the past couple of hours today. ask about the immigration ban.
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look at 4-year-old fatemah, iranian baby in desperate need of heart surgery. family trying to get a top pediatric hospital in oregon, get there where she has relatives that are u.s. citizens. set to begin trip on saturday before shut down. what message is u.s. sending to world when deny this to 4-year-old baby. >> to the world and our own citizens. she has many relatives in america who are citizens. this is one of the things to understand about blanket bans when you ban entire nationality or religion or whatever it is, iranian-americans for example, iranians here who are american citizens are amazing people. wonderful community, deeply pro-american, for the most part
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despise the regime or at least neutral toward it. here because they love america, love freedom. so one of them, three american citizens i think who tried to get this baby, i think it's grand child, to be able to save her life. what message are we sending to them? to americans who happen to have come from a foreign country. because they fled a tyrannical regime, there's a double standard. any other american could have flown in relative to save life. >> i can't take eyes off her. how beautiful she is. we wish her and family luck. thank you so much. thoughts with them. thank you so much. ahead, radio shock jock
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president trump getting into
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a war of words today with of all people arnold schwarzenegger. fareed is with me and dana bash, zito and brinkley. author of "rightful heritage: franklin d. roosevelt and the land of america." president spoke at national prayer breakfast. introduced by mark burnett, producer of "the apprentice" and began talking about his replacement on that show. >> hired a big, big movie star, arnold schwarzenegger to take my place and we know how that turned out. ratings down the tubes. total disaster and mark will never, ever bet against trump again, and i want to just pray for arnold if we can for those ratings. okay? >> then arnold schwarzenegger
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hit twitter with this response. >> hey donald, i have a great idea. why don't we switch jobs, you take over tv because you're such an expert in ratings, and i take over your job and then people can finally sleep comfortably again. >> wow. everyone's laughing. it is funny. good zinger. that happened. you've been at prayer breakfasts was this a first? >> yes. >> okay we'll be right back. no. >> no question. that was obviously meant in jest. let's just, it was meant as a joke. but it is definitely traditionally more of a sacred kind of event where you don't make jokes like that. it was in part because the executive producer who is a very religious man mark burnett
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introduced him. other part i thought was maybe more jaw dropping is when again he was joking, telling the chaplain he wanted to give him another year, ah, the hell with it. talking to the chaplain. he probably wanted earth to open up himself, not what you usually say to chaplain but that's donald trump. >> and the day before he had the sort of odd statement about frederick douglass. just for the record talking about ratings here, for season one, "the apprentice" never number one. never as big as he said. season 5 number 51, 6, number 75, 10, number 113. >> next going to point out that his book "the art of the deal" was not in fact the number one best seller of all time and
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buildings in fact not tallest in the world. >> why at prayer breakfast? >> he's a fab u lift. this is not something he can change at this point. i have pointed this out during the campaign and it was distressing because running for president and people tell us shouldn't take him literally but now he is president and when he institutes a ban against seven countries it's a literal ban, not a figure of speech. not something you can take -- but it is who he is. at least with the lighter moments just give up. trump has his pathological problems, we shouldn't have pathological responses to trump's pathologies. >> you're the literal versus serious, you coined that. is his brash style translating
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to the oval office? worked on the campaign trail. >> i thought today was funny. been to plenty of prayer breakfasts. actually felt like arnold was in on the joke whenever he responded to it. does it translate -- we're just -- he's just combusted how we think of the white house and how you behave there. and it's not like people didn't understand that's what they were voting for. knew he was going to be different. bringing something different. that is a large part of why they voted for him. >> and by the way, part of it is pulling the curtain back, don't you think? >> absolutely. >> richard nixon, hell would have been a low level word for nixon. used four letter words all the time. >> harry truman. >> but not to chaplain or in public. he's behaving publicly the way a lot of other presidents behave
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privately. >> uses inside voice. >> outside voice inside. douglas brinkley, will democrats need to change strategy, dealing with someone with charismatic personality and having trouble galvanizing the opposition. nancy pelosi. >> the public outcry towards the president's dangerous ban over the weekend was massive and president is clearly eager to shift attention away. every time something gets hot he changes the subject. he's an illusionist. now you see it, now you don't. >> so do they need a charismatic personality to go up against trump now? and she has said, he's a disrupter. everyone has said, even he has. you never know what is coming. can he sustain that for four or eight years. first do they need a big
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personality? >> to connect to the previous conversation, when you heard trump about schwarzenegger, reminds me of ronald reagan conflating things like star wars defense initiative and quote from movie as if they were policy issues because spent year in hollywood. donald trump does reality tv. world wrestling federation. first rule is never be boring. we're hyper energized public, need distractions all the time. hence he does that. at cia ceremony and national prayer service. when he does it, it's startling but in reality tv world it's don't be boring for an hour. throw something in so guys like us are talking about it. as for pelosi, democrats have to start building bench quickly. 2018 isn't as far away as we think and going to have to have
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somebody that beats donald trump. what trump is doing cleverly is meeting today with the united steelworkers union, trying to steel the democratic party base, the unions, from the democrats. if he can pull that off, don't have somebody from the heartland to step up to the plate and it's only hard anti-trump voices. it could be like nixon winning in '72 against george mcgovern. can't just be the far left right now. got to find moderate democrats willing to start going after trump. >> can he keep up being a disrupter at this pace the next four years? >> i don't know. we can't predict. but i think he wants to own every single media day and make sure he has tweet or outrageous sound bite to make people laugh or shake their heads. he's master of keeping spotlight
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on himself every day. reminded that john adams said the greatness of washington is he knew the power of silence, when to be silence. trump doesn't know silence. he's going to babble and babble and babble for the next four years. question is whether the routine goes badly and ratings go down like on "the apprentice" or keep it as popular storyline in america. >> chance of becoming chicken little, the sky is falling. >> and john adams didn't have twitter. >> if he suddenly became silent everyone would say what is going on. freak everybody out. we'll discuss more. don't go anywhere. as we knon
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months ago, donald trump and howard stern go way back but shock jock is speak out on trump's presidency. fare fareed zakaria and brinkley and
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zito. trump appeared on stern's radio show many times and stern expressed concerns about donald trump. >> i personally wish he had never run. i told him that. because i actually think this is something that -- it's going to be detrimental to his mental health too because he wants to be liked. he wants to be loved. he wants people to cheer for him. >> do you think this could take him down had sp. >> yeah. >> i'm a howard stern super fan. one of the best interviewers in the business. >> amen. >> and i think he's pretty much right on. what do you think douglas. >> why didn't say it in the middle of the campaign when the stakes matter. now it's fait accompli, he is american icon of radio and he's touching on the problem we're
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all dealing with with donald trump. there are seeds of destruction looming in him. see it happening incrementally every day and he may implode, he may not but playing with fire with this presidency right now. >> i think he feeds off this. this is like breathing. he needs this. like oxygen. loves attention and i think it helps him. question is do you think his desire to be loved or liked will help him back off and moderate himself? >> interesting question. i think douglas's analysis was right. if that were true, should have reached out to the public and sent signals. this is what every president does. why you get honeymoon and approval ratings go up into the 50s, trump did none of that. he continued on campaign mode,
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thanking his voters, making fun of hillary clinton. he's done that ever since. he's really purr sued a strategy that's somewhat unusual, targeting his base, ridiculing the opposition and ferociously attacking the media. that piece is really to delegitimize and preemptively insulate himself from negative coverage and investigation. it's surprising to me for someone who clearly wants to be liked and at center of things why he hasn't moved even in tonal ways to the center. i wonder whether -- either he's just being who he is or whether steve bannon and people like that have told him your path in is to remain this angry person who represented this frustrated angry american out there in michigan and pennsylvania. >> but that strategy only works
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so long. any strategy only works for so long then you have to evolve or you become a one-trick pony. he has fixations about the size of his electoral win, get them in here. size of crowds at inauguration, anger at press about the ratings. and goes back to those over and over and not necessarily at appropriate time or place as we've witnessed here. do you think these fixations as howard stern says, that ties into it? >> i think we're getting into psychiatry which can be dangerous but might as well. we're all trying to figure out how this is going to go -- >> it's also about strategy. >> totally. but on that. i think fareed is exactly right. he definitely has people around him saying you got to keep going and keep delivering for the people who brought you here and those are the people who want you to be the disrupter, want
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you to not do business as usual, want you to do things that are different. that's why they were so excited about the notion of you being in the white house. having said that, this is also a 70-year-old man who as you were saying earlier has been this way as we've seen him on the newspaper and in the living room for decades. he has this kind of -- these two personality traits that seem to be contradictory, one is what howard stern talked about, really wants to be liked. but other is he also wants to win and many times to win you can't be liked. >> and that's going to have to be the last word. your contribution will have to be this and -- thank you everyone. appreciate it. coming back, the movie the "new york times" calls life altering, may make you rethink race in america. do it again. there you go...
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the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. "i am not your negro" i am not your negro tlt. test. "i am not your negro". test. the east and the west are mine. t wonbest treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding.
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you're going to really enjoy this conversation, so sit back and watch this. it's black history month and this country is grappling as never before with race and how to think about it like never before. one of the most profound writers
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and thinkers was james baldwin. subject of a new movie called "i am not your negro" and director joins me now. i watched this today. it's great. this is one of my heroes. why did you make this documentary and we'll talk about what it's about. why did you do this? >> i felt i had no choice than to make this film. i felt that it was time that we hear again this rich voice of james baldwin, we have started somehow to forget him, the role he plays in the life of many people in this country and throughout the world. personally he changed my life. i read -- first book i read from him was "the fire next time" and i never left him since then. >> that was my second. first was "giovanni's room" and then "the fire next time" and
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then "another country" and on and on. he got me interested in writing and also at least awakened the learning part of me about race and issues in america. >> and he saw beyond race. never saw race as reduced agenda. he taught us to see the whole world and to see each other as human beings and not be reduced by the color of your skin. >> watching your film today, he said, they say i'm a racist. i'm not a racist. malcolm x is a racist, at least that's what they say. that's interesting. in his own words, these are notes that he had before he died, and only got about 30 pages in and you took that and ran with it. >> he wanted to write that book about three of his friends all
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assassinated. medgar evans -- and malcolm x. supposed to be about america, the definitive baldwin book. and he never wrote it. when i discovered those notes, i thought this is a film. knowing baldwin, somewhere this book was around somewhere buried in his body of work. so the film for me was finding that book. and the film is only with baldwin's words that i got throughout his whole body of work thanks to the estate who gave me total access to everything, published, unpublished. >> it's great. >> unprecedented. never happens. >> this is a clip from the movie about dr. martin luther king jr.'s funeral. >> the church was packed and in
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the pew before me sat marlon brando, sammy davis, eartha kit. harry belafonte sitting next to loretta king. i have thing about not weeping in product and i was concentrating and holding myself together. i did not want to weep for martin. tears seemed futile. but i may also have been afraid. and i could not have been the only one. that if i began to weep, i would not be able to stop. i started to cry and i stumbled. sammy grabbed my arm. the story of the negro in america is the story of america. it is not a pretty story.
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>> it's unbelievable. do you think -- he witnessed so much. the death of malcolm x and dr. martin luther king jr. and medgar egers, alive in the civil rights movement and witnessed in his writing. he was a -- took a lot of risks. even his own life. >> absolutely. and he was prescient, felt the fundamentals of those issues. imagine he wrote all those words 50 years ago and you feel as if he sat down this morning and wrote about them. it's incredible that you can use any type of image between the time of the civil rights to today. it will fit those words. >> i was watching in the film with the interview with dick cavett and yale professor came in and said why do you keep
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dividing people by race and he read the guy and explained it to him. i feel like still having those same conversations today. >> absolutely. a big part of the population is in denial. refuse to acknowledge this common history. until we're able to do that, we will continue to have the same conversation again and again. >> yeah. part of my favorite quote when i go out and speak to students usually, i read the quote from the book "the letter to my nephew" and at end he says, it will be hard, james -- his nephew is james. he wants to explain the world and to have strength and things to overcome. will be hard james but come from sturdy peasant stock. achieved unassailable and monumental dignity. from a long line of poets. one said at very time i thought
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i was lost my dungeon shook and my -- you know we're celebrating 100 years too soon. meaning emancipation proclamation. the thing that awakened me and i try to read it every time i speak to students. your film is fascinating. >> thank you. >> thank you for doing it and recommend that all people watch it, not just african-americans. congratulations on your work. thank you so much. coming back is president trump drawing a line in the sand with iran and what does he mean when he says tehran is on notice?
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