tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 2, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST
. hello. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm aisha sesay. >> i'm john voss. 11:00 here on a thursday night. there is breaking news. u.s. 3ru6r7 p president donald trump defending jeff sessions saying he did nothing wrong during his confirmation hearings. but he added sessions' answers could have been more accurate. >> even so, attorney general sessions recused himself from any investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign. sessions failed to disclose meetings during his confirmation
hearings. >> i had not had any such meetings. i was not meeting with russian officials on a continuing basis to advance any campaign agenda. sometime before that, i had met in my office in an official way with the russian ambassador and so i -- that was the answer i gave and i think it was an honest answer, tucker. i thought i was responding exactly to that question and it really became a big brouhaha. >> meanwhile, a senior trump administration official said the president's son-in-law and former national security advisor mickael franklin also met with the russian ambassador at trump tower in december. >> california talk radio host and republican national committeeman. >> from san diego trump supporter gina loudoun. >> jeff session's fate is probably in the hands of the president it seems for now, and
for now donald trump is standing by his attorney general. listen to this. >> mr. president do you still have confidence? >> total. >> i don't think so at all. >> when did you first learn that sessions spoke to the russian ambassador? did you know during the campaign? when were you aware that he spoke to the russian ambassador? >> i wasn't aware at all. >> do you think he should have spoken truthfully? >> he probably did. >> after that less than enthusiastic statement from the president, the white house did issue a longer statement. this is what it read. jeff sessions is an honest man. he could have stated his response more accurately but it was clearly not intentional. the this is a way of saving face with democrats losing an election that everybody thought they were supposed to win. a total witch hunt. he said he had full confidence in michael flynn until he didn't.
is there a point donald trump will abandon jeff sessions like he did michael flynn? >> frankly, i'm a little insulted. i seem to be the only republican who hasn't met with a russian. i want to put that on the table right now. this russian ambassador who seems to be a roly-poly kind of political plaque met with senators. he gets around. he likes meeting a lot of people. it's not the end of the free world. nobody cares about it outside of washington, d.c. and a couple of newspaper journal i haves. >> the president standing by jeff sessions, does he risk driving a wedge between the white house and gop law enforcement -- lawmakers in doing so? >> i don't think yet. but if this goes any further in terms of perjury or something else, i think that's when it would reach that level. for now trump's big thing is loyalty. he's stuck by general flynn all
the way until the bitter end. that was ugly. >> in january vice president mike pence lied about conversations he had with the russian ambassador. this was the exchange between flynn and michael wallace. >> i'm asking a direct question. was there any contact in any way between trump or his associates and the kremlin or cutouts they had? >> i joined this campaign in the summer and i can tell you that all the contact by the trump campaign and associates was with the american people. we were fully engaged with taking his message to make america great again all across this country. >> have you ever -- >> that's the reason -- >> sir, i'm just trying to get an answer. >> there -- of course not. why would there be any contacts between the campaign? chris, the -- this is all a distraction. it's all part of a narrative to delegitimatize the election and to question the legitimacy of this presidency.
the american people see right through it. >> so that, to you, from the vice president, now it's not just michael flynn but it's the attorney general jeff sessions. it also turns out to be trump's son-in-law jared kushner as well as two other officials from the trump campaign who melt this russian ambassador who gets around hell of a lot. >> the amazing thing here is that donald trump could easily resolve this. he could say here's the people in my administration met with, here's when they met with them and put an end to all of this but he chooses not to. you've seen jeff sessions lies about meeting with the russian ambassador. why is all this happening? i think the american people want to know which is why a lot of people are calling for an independent commission. this is not going away. it's particlizing trump with congress. >> gina, why doesn't the white house do that? is it a case of they don't know or is it they're just choosing
not to do what matt suggested there? >> well, first of all, matt's assumption that there was any kind of a lie, there is absolutely zero evidence of that. there's zero evidence that there's any wrongdoing -- >> michael flynn told the truth? >> and to even be concerned about this, you have to first believe the lie that the russians had -- >> why would -- >> had any impact in our election in the first place but to publish some random list of who other people met with. it's the job of senator sessions in his position as a senator to meet with certain people. he had two staffers there. so if people really want to get upset about this. there was two staffers. this wasn't a campaign conversation. neither was the meeting after -- after sessions met with -- spoke to the heritage foundation, he was leaving his speech and he saw and shook hands with the ambassador. those are hardly campaign meetings. you can't qualify them as such.
to do so -- >> jeff sessions -- pardon me -- but jeff sessions doesn't -- >> the left used during the campaign and they're not working. >> right now jeff sessions does not know if it was about the campaign. he says he cannot recall. >> why would he have talked about the campaign on his way out of the -- >> he doesn't know. >> speech he gave -- >> he doesn't know. >> i didn't hear that john and that my good try. on if it is true he doesn't remember every single detail he knows he didn't meet on the terms of the campaign. he met with them as a senator. he was clear about that. there is no accusation of wrongdoing. there's no "there" there. it's a nonstory. >> he's a surrogate of the campaign. he was one of the first people to get on the trump train and was campaigning for then candidate donald trump. so that whole argument that gina
just said is completely irrelevant. he lied because he said something that was factual by untrue. at the senate judiciary committee hearings twice from two different senators and now like john was pointing out, he said he doesn't recall if it was about the campaign in perfect lawyer speak. >> this is just as important as asking jeff sessions what he had for breakfast three weeks ago. >> you're kidding me. >> it's silly. >> it's not a side for russia and the united states of america who ended up meeting with all these other people, other than you, of course. >> but the democrats -- >> the point is he accepted them -- >> he said two things that were untrue under oath. >> we're going to the get to vice president mike pence, the star reporting that he was using his own private e-mail address as governor. it's not illegal but there's concerns it may have been hacked. and shown to you. mike pence was one of the biggest critics of hillary
clinton for the use of her frooift e-mail server. how do you explain this one? >> what hillary clinton did was illegal. she should have been prosecuted for it. >> she wasn't. >> she should have been. the good news is mike pence, what he did is perfectly legal in indiana state law. he didn't have a private server. we're talking about the nice color of apples and grape fruits over here. they have nothing to do with each other. but they're struggling to find some dirt, some mud. it's crying wolf once again. every time they do this they try to create a temporary new story that two newspapers in america thinks is important. it gets less credible each time. don't let your children grow up to be journalists, please. >> we weren't consulted. to bring you in there to respond that the democrats are just being mischievous? >> let me go back to jeff sessions. he's not on the senate foreign relations committee.
when people meet with the russian ambassador, jeff sessions was frump's number one advocate in congress, so why do you think the russian ambassador wanted to meet with jeff sessions, number one, and to gina's point earlier, mike flynn was fired for lying so we both -- we see what's happening here with this russia situation. we need an independent commission to look into this. donald trump's legislative agenda is paralyzed. he's not even pushing for anything in congress right now because of all these scandals. >> ok. it's now a situation where more than 100 congressional democrats demand jeff sessions step down. this is how nancy pelosi, the minority leashed leader of the house said it. >> an investigation will take us to the next place but an investigation of those charges -- of those actions is definitely warranted. definitely warranted. i remind you that this congress impeached a president for
something so far less having nothing to do with his duties as president of the united states. >> ethan, is pelosi right here. is there a dirchls between clinton lying under oath and sessions lying under oath? >> there are differences in terms of the court that they are under oath in. she makes a solid point. big clinton was impeached over lying under oath. he also lost his license to practice law. that would be my concern here with attorney general sessions. he should be subject to the same scrutiny for lying under oath. >> gina, to bring you in, you heard what nancy pelosi said that there should be an investigation, many looking to gop lawmakers on capitol hill to see what stand they'll take in the days to comeaged to see whether they're going to put country over party. what are you -- how do you respond to that? >> i hope nancy will keep talking just like that all the way to the mid terms and all the
way to 2020, because what's going to happen is that the country is so tired of the divisiveness and the fake stories that they are going to hand trump a massive majority if they keep being this way, if the democrats keep being this way. it is good, i have to say, to see this obsession with russia amongst the left at all when they weren't worried about it all when he promised he would be more flexible in the altitude about the things russia wants. they didn't seem that concerned when it was discovered that hillary had maded the uranium deal with russia. so i'm gratified to see that russia has become such an obsession with the democrats. i hope they take it all the way to 2020. it ensures that donald trump will win president again and get even more done. >> good time to take a break.
thank you all of you. >> thank you, thank you. >> thank you all. when we return, u.s. attorney general jeff sessions fighting back, insisting he did not lie about his connections with russian officials. >> the ambassador who is said to have met with jeff sessions is said to be a spy. >> we'll speak an actor and an actress about speaking out in today's divided legal climate. i realize that ah, that $100k is not exactly a fortune. well, a 103 yeah, 103. well, let me ask you guys. how long did it take you two to save that? a long time. then it's a fortune. well, i'm sure you talk to people all the time who think $100k is just pocket change. right now we're just talking to you. i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment goals starts with a conversation. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today.
cutting down on food waste. and bringing you higher quality, fresher ingredients for less than you pay at the store. because food is better when you start from scratch. get $30 off at blueapron.com/cook ♪ (music pla♪ throughout) announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪ ♪ (crowd cheers) ♪
. breaking news. here's attorney general jeff sessions glifs in and recuses himself from any investigations into the trump campaign and its kablgts with russia. >> that decision came after he admitted he did not disclose two meetings he had with russia's ambassador to the u.s. during the presidential campaign. now session ss giving more details about the discussions which he says were completely appropriate. >> i don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way. it was in no way some sort of coordinating effort of doing anything improper and i don't believe anybody that was in that meeting would have seen or
believed i said one thing that was improper or unwise. it was really a sad thing to be attacked like that, but i had -- i think we've explained it and we intend to move forward. >> top democrats say sessions should resign for his actions, even be charged with perjury. let's bring in the former assistant chief deputy with the u.s. justice department. >> also cnn analyst and attorney and criminal defense attorney. welcome, everyone. >> hello. >> the question is is the recusal from the investigations linked to the election campaign, is that as far as this goes for jeff sessions or will it go further, make to a perjury charge? for our viewers, the definition of perjury is the willful intent to provide false testimony. sara, first to you on that issue. how does that willful intent,
how do you prove that part of perjury? >> that's what makes this charge very difficult to prosecute and prove. often, the witness, the person that's alleged to have made that statement will find an explanation for it that will cast some doubt. so you know, prosecutor can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt guilty on perjury. it's very, very difficult. in this case jeff sessions is already laying the groundwork for his explanation. what he's going to be putting in a letter to the senator sfranken. essentially he's saying that these visits that i did not disclose had to do with my senatorial obligations, had nothing to do with the sort of russian connection to the election. arched to the extent i met with the ambassador of russia it's because of what i do. i oversee the military operations and that's my job on the senate floor and i had to go and meet with this barf. well the issue is that apparently that is not something that a senator does urch
laterally, to set up this meeting and certainly not in july and september right in the middle of the campaign. so it's very suspect, but he does have this explanation that essentially he was a trump surrogates and he was a senator at the same time and that these advises, these communications were limited to his senate toerl hat, if you will. >> we're talking about will he or will he be charged, can they or can they not prove personally. is there a forgone conclusion that there will be an investigation? >> unfortunately, we don't know. there are reports coming out that sessions may have had communications with the fbi before he recused himself. and we're also hearing that some congressional investigators are having difficulties getting information from the fbi about this entire trump-russian connection. we don't know if the fbi is going to move forward with the investigation. we don't know what that investigation even will look like. i want to comment on one thing
sara said about proving willful intend. i agree with her. the standard sd very high for perjury, but the circumstances of this miss statement of this false statement have to be investigated. the integrity of the department of justice is at stake here. when are we -- what are we going to say to our kids, to other members who may come before a senate jishy or house committee about telling the truth? this is really about this blanket false statement that jeff sessions made. we can't let this be swept under the rug. this is something very serious and we have to take it very seriously. >> since he works at the justice department do you think the integrity of the department is at stake? >>, not at all. >> why? >> there was no false statement. the statement was given in response to a question about whether or not the campaign had contacts with the russians. it would be like this. if the senate was investigating my son sam who's 9 years old and
they said have you ever threatened to kill somebody? he said no. they said your brother has threatened to be killed many times. >> respectfully, your son -- >> are you interrupting or is that somebody tsh. >> that's sara -- >> that's -- >> the point being is the context matters. the context was clear. he was asked a question about the russian's contact with the campaign. he said no as a surrogate of the k578 pain i had no contact with the us ares. there's nothing false or misleading or close to perjury. jai know sara had to get something in. i have to correct the record. he did not say i did not have contact with the russians as a surrogate for campaign. you added a gazillion words to his statement. he said "i did not have communications with the russians." go ahead. >> in response to that question -- >> and to the point that jeff session is a lawyer, i mean,
that -- >> yeah, exactly. >> so -- >> first of all, he's not -- >> right. >> he's not nine year old and he has a career in education and law. he's been a u.s. attorney. he's been on the senate floor for decades and he knows exactly what was asked of him and he knows exactly what the truth was that he should have delivered to this committee and he didn't do it. had he done it there would have been a whole slough of other questions asked of him and he didn't want to go there. >> and he also knows how serious perjury is, especially when it comes to president clinton, because this is what he said almost 20 years ago. listen to 24. >> i am concerned about a president under oath being alleged to have committed perjury in america, in supreme court and the american people believe no one is above the law. >> so you say obviously he knows
that this is serious. he knows the seriousness that -- he has to choose his words very, very carefully. there is a context with the russian involvement in the election campaign and the questions being asked why wasn't he ready for this question. >> whether he was ready or not, first of all, the question came from senator franken on a breaking news report from buzz feed which has broouchb to be false. as al franken is reading it he's saying it's just coming out and i don't know the details. >> you're saying -- >> the premise -- how could he be prepared for a false story that was going to be released by a webpage. he was prepared for a russian question. the question was does the campaign have any contact with the lugs? he said no. that's a direct answer to the question. the reason why you'll never get to mergery or close is because you'll never prove any intent. you don't prove it based on the guy being a lawyer or not.
you prove it based onthe question. the question wasn't clear enough. >> this is why people hate lawyers. >> what's troubling about this, this is the top cop of the united states of america. we've spent 18 hours today pretty much on every network today talking about whether he committed personalry, whether he made a misleading statement under oath while being confirmed as the u.s. attorney general. this is a serious issue. we can't parse where we thought he was talking in his senator's or surrogate's hat. the truth of the matter is he had an obligation to come and give truthful answers and he didn't. >> thank you, it's been a long night. >> thank you, though. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> will sessions face pressure to recuse himself from almost every corner of washington but the most powerful man there has stayed firmly in his corner. morton that in a moment. >> plus trump officials being
. welcome back, everybody. welcome to cnn news room live from los angeles. it is 11:30. >> our breaking news this hour. u.s. attorney general jeff sessions is recusing himself from all investigations into the trump campaign and its ties to russia. >> he failed to mention two meetings with the russian ambassador when asked about any contact with the country's officials during his confirmation hearing. northwesterlies the president is still with him. sara murray has details.
>> reporter: tonight a defiant trump is standing by attorney general jeff sessions. >> do you still have confidence? >> total. >> mr. do you still -- >> he probably did. >> the president sayingbelieves his attorney general testified truthfully during confirmation hearings even though sessions failed to disclose two meetings with the ambassador. kworgt a senior administration official. >> when were you aware that he spoke to the russian ambassador? >> i wasn't aware at all the. >> while trump said it wasn't necessary for sessions to recuse himself into inquiries into ties between trump and russia, sessions did just that. >> i should not be involved in investigating a campaign i had a role in. >> for trump and sessions the well of affection runs deep. sessions was the first to endorse the long shot candidate
in 2016. >> i am pleased to endorse donald trump for the presidency of the united states. >> at a time when many in the gop still yiefd trump wearily, he became one of the biggest boosters on the trump campaign trail. >> there is one man with the strength, the determination, the guts to challenge the things going wrong in this country and put us on the rights track and that's donald j. trump. >> he appeared to be a close advisory, even flying to indiana to huddle with trump over choosing his running made. trump repaying that will loyalty soon after winning the erection, appointing hoim to attorney general. >> he understands the job is to serve and protect the people of the united states. and that is exactly what he will do and do better than anybody else can. >> now just three weeks after leaving the senate and being
sworn in as attorney general, one of trump's top officials is already facing calls from some to resign. >> and in retro suspect, i should have slowed down and said but i did meet one russian official a couple of times. that would be the ambassador. >> more revelations about people in donald trump's circle. we're learning that there was an in-face meeting between jared kushner, donald trump's son-in-law and now his senior advisor at the white house, former national security advisor michael flynn and the russian ambassador in 2ru6r7 tower. this was first reported by the new york times but was not disclosed during this transition process when they were laying out contacts between michael flynn and russian officials. just an indication that this story is not going to end with jeff sessions recusal. cnn, the white house. >> the russian ambassador is seen as a top russian spy by
u.s. intelligence. russia's been pushing back. here's what an foreign minist s ministers -- >> mr. kislyak is a well known i mean, world class diplomat who was a deputy minister of foreign affairs in russia, who was communicating with his american colleagues for decades on different fields and cnn accused him on being a russian spy, recruiting -- >> it was u.s. officials. >> come on. stop spreading lie and false news. >> nick robinson is live this hour in moscow. clearly the russians are unhappy that their top man in washington has been falsely labeled as a spy or has been exposed. >> they push back on the allegation that he is is a spy
is that this is internal fighting in the united states. kislyak said he feels he's collateral damage to these sort of party application in washington and his name in dealing with him dealing we will him in washington is becoming more and more toxic. that is not in the interests of russia. it's not in their interest to have him ex postsed to allegations of being a spy. media vandalism is another term. talking the matthew chance is the way she's described the allegations against him. the key issue here is this is a diplomat that russia trusts to have in washington to look after their interestsaged develop the kind of relationship with the new administration, one that it's very clear that the kremlin here had expectations and hopes could deliver a change in fortunes in the bigger relationship between the united states and russia. that's not happening.
so from russia's perspective, this is, as the spokesman for the president has said, president putin, dmitri pescoff who said this is an emotionally charged atmosphere in washington and tle need to wait until that calms down. it's a waiting period from their perspective but at the same time it's deeply frustrating as we heard from the foreign ministry spokeswoman. there's a lot of anger about it, too. john. >> is there also now maybe concern in moscow that this trump administration which, for as far as the russians were concerned, started -- started out with so much promise, so much hope, optimism, that now president donald trump will have to take a harder line with the russians, that sanctions will not be lifted, at least not straight away? >> this is something that russia
is keenly aware of, because they want to deal with the united states on big issues that are important for them. like syria, like ukraine, like sanctions, like libya. you had the foreign minister here meeting with the prime minister of libya. these are issues where russia is -- if you will, is sort of stuck to a degree waiting for the united states to decide its position. so yes. when the ambassador in washington is in this sort of a position, therefore the expectation in moscow is that things cannot really progress. moscow's not closing the window here. if you listen to the language that's being used by the president's spokesman, it is still leaving the opportunity, you know, his words were we need to wait for a time until this situation in washington to normalize. they're not shutting the door on some kind of improved relationship. there's clearly was a huge hope
for it. if they do close the door on it then that's the door closed for four years. i think the real sense here is wait and see. but the atmosphere is polluted, it's toxic and of course there are other issues that may come to the surface yet that can pollute it further for them. >> they're waiting 40s situation to narmallize, they could be waiting for quite a while. thank you, nick robinson in moscow. a break when we return, the president says it's all about the deal. now he's touting his plan to spend billions more on the military. we will speak to an army general about how realistic all this is.
the uss gerald ford. he linked the building of shipts to a boom in u.s. manufacturing. >> i'm calling for one of the largest defense spending increases in history and by eliminating the sequester and the uncertainty it creates, we will make it easier for the navy to plan for the future and thus to control costs and get the best deals for the taxpayer which, of course, is very important. right? got to get a good deal. >> joining us for more, retired major general in the u.s. army. it's been a few days since the president had this budget blueprint where he talked about this 10% increase in military expenditure. this is what he said. other people are looking closer at the numbers. people like john mccain and lindsay graham. they're saying it's maybe closer to a 3% increase over what
president obama had proposed for the 2017 budgets. from your perspective, 3%, 10%, where does it lie? and is that enough for what the military needs? >> well, the quick answer to the most important question that you gave is it enough? no. if you believe that one of the most important functions of our government, our national government is national security and indeed to move one step further, global security, then that type of budget is insufficient. we're really talking about not $54 billion. it's about $18 billion per year and that amounts almost precisely to that 3% figure. is it a positive? absolutely it's a positive. we have huge requirements to provide that type of military capability that allows us to maintain peace around the world. we've got recapitalization which means we have to buy new
equipment. we have operational and maintenance requirements with our navy, with our army, with our air force, our marine corps. all these things, they are challenges that have to be satisfied. 18 billion is a step forward. it's not enough. if you're talking about moving out and projecting u.s. power for the benefit of the entire world, you've got to put more money on the table. >> does it strike you as contradictory that the president is talking about a massive increase in the military budget, yet at the same time is positing putting out there an isolationist foreign policy? >> for those of us -- some of us -- i can only speak for myself -- when you talk about force projection and address the subject of protecting the interests of not only the united states but maintain peace around the world, that is absolutely inconsistent with what we talk about when you say isolationism. you cannot do both.
they are inconsistent. you don't keep afternoon army at garrison, meaning back at home, doing absolutely nothing but conducting parade ground maneuvers. an army and air force, marine corps, navy has a purpose and i believe that purpose is to maintain stability and security globally. >> this situation in yemen, u.s. officials are saying the intelligence they gain from computers as well as cell phones during that raid which cost the life of navy s.e.a.l. ryan owens, they got a list of contacts for members of al qaeda not just in yemen but around the world. given the controversy surrounding the death of ryan owens in this raid, should that information be viewed with some suspicion? >> the best way to answer this question is twofold. first of all, all americans have to show reverence for the ultimate sacrifice made by senior chief owens. and he did this in further rance of his east of office just like
every single one of us, veterans, veterans of past wars and conflicts, today's soldiers and marines and members of the armed forces and that is to support and defend the constitution and to obey the orders of the president and the officers point above him. he did exactly what he was supposed to do. whether there was or wasn't actionable intelligence, frankly, we will never know. i think this might be a discussion that will be heard whether behind closed doors or maybe at the house armed services committee or maybe it will be a subof some written treatise in the year 2040 when he talk about it, but this should not become a political sized event because one man was doing his duty in furtherance of his obligations to his nation. i don't see the political dimension to this. it's inappropriate. >> we'll leave it at that. >> thank you so much. >> after the break we'll talk to two actor victor val ma ramma
doesn't seem to be improving. >> just a small samplt from star trek actor george tack ie. hbo series west world posted i can't wait to hear sessions head to the prison >> treason is the reason. #trump russia. the biggest names in hollywood led a unity rally. in a rare public appearance, two time academy award winner jody foster made a call to action. >> no matter where you're born and no matter who you voted for, red or blue, whether you're white, black or brown and all the colors of the identity rainbow, this is our time to resist. [cheering and applauding] >> the most heart felt speech
came from actor wilbur val drama, who came from venezuela to make a better life in the united states. >> you see, my story is not my story. it's the story of millions that for generations have come to this land and brick by brick made it a country. [cheering and applauding] because of them, we look out the window and we see that american flag, and we know that at any minute anything can happen. that at any minute we will all wake up to our own personal american dream. see, that's the immigrant story. >> and earlier we spoke with wilbur about his concerns of president trump's antiimmigration policies. >> i think it's very dangerous to not understand who you are
talking about when you create a conversation that sounds more like a statistic, like a percentage, like a group. when you forget about the actual immigrants story and the people this conversation is affecting and the many versions of the conversation, which is the mother that got here and she overstayed her visa, and kids that were brought here at 3 years old and all of a sudden they're 20 something years old and all they know is america, they're being threaten to be sent to a country they don't know the language of. it is so complicated. i think it's important to stop for a second and take a deep breath and say, hold on a second. this is not a percentage. these are people we're talking about. these are families we're tearing apart. these are families that are contributing to america. just like any other american here, and most importantly in the virtues of the most american way which is the immigrant story that comes out here. not to quote myself, but we come here and lay bricks.
>> it struck as i watched your speech how hopeful you still sounded, and, you know, you talk about this country is great. you said that. has it been difficult for you to hold onto that sense of hopefulness with president trump in the white house? >> no, you know, i don't think so. i don't think so. i stay very hopeful because as soon as -- very soon after the election, we saw a level of excitement from the people to unite and to speak louder than they've ever done before. i think it became inspirational again to stand up for the people that can't speak. it became exciting to go out there and say the things that most people are not addressing. and i think that that brought me a pride and brought me joy to be part of a country that we have the right to be able to stand outside and to call our senators and congressmen and say, hold on one second. at least we have a number to get to them. how many countries in our world don't have the ability to do that. >> last year before the election
you made a funny satirical for the huffington post, what would happen if donald trump became the president. >> americans are fleeing in record numbers to mexico. leaving behind hopefuls, pielle and piles of unclaimed tests. if trump was elected, to for some mexico was the place. tequila, endless beaches and taco trucks on every corner. come here. this is incredible. there's rich americans to the border. the shift of society is unbelievable. >> all a bit of a laugh at the time. now that donald trump has been elected and the impact he is having on this country, is that what you expected? >> i mean, we all kind of
predicted the conversation to go in different ways. i think that everyone didn't know exactly how they were going to react if such a situation actually became a reality. but i think that the most important thing at this moment is to know that we have more things in common with one another than we thought. that all these conversations are really part of an eco system. that we are all affected directly and indirectly by the consequences of possible loss, possible, you know, conversations. not being fragmented in a way that could cater to the many categories of each conversation because they're not broad conversations. they're complicated conversations. and they take time to understand and i hope the government actually takes the time to understand the people that it really is affecting. >> it has been good to speak with you. thank you for coming in. >> thank you for having me, guys. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> great conversation. >> really nice guy. >> you're watching the newsroom live from los angeles.
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> and hello, we're coming to you live from atlanta. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm steven. we are following breaking news out of washington. new reports of contacts between donald trump's campaign advisors and the russian ambassador to the u.s. >> attorney general jeff sessions will not be investigating any of those allegations. he recused himself thursday, acknowledging he met with the russian envoy twice last year. sessions failed to disclose those meetings during his senate confirmation hearings. a growing number of democrats in congress say sessions didn't go far enough. they want him to resign. >> president trump is standing by his attorney general, calling the controversy a witch hunt. he released a statement on thursday saying, jeff sessions is an honest man. he did not say anything wrong. he could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. this whole narrative is a way of saving face