tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 3, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
what a week it's been for the president. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. team trump was expecting to take a victory lap after the president's first address to congress. that victory lap turning into another political firestorm for the administration with revelations that multiple trump advisers, michael flynn, jeff sessions and jared kushner met privately with russian ambassador even before
inauguration. and with a new travel ban in the wings, reports that homeland security is considering a procedure to separate children from adults when they try to enter the country illegally at southern border. get to author of "the russian emerge" kirsten powers and david roed. separating children, you shaking your head. >> sounds like something stalin would do getting people ready to go to the ghoul ago. >> it's inhumane. supposed to discourage people but not going to be discouraged trying to flee a situation. idea of taking child and putting in detention away from the mother is un-american. >> i want to get to this but
still saw you -- >> russia is good place to look for extreme actions we see lurking in american politics. -- said russian civilization was created as experiment of the worst things, most extreme things that can happen to humanity. and sometimes get hints of it in extreme american policies taken to vast veem extremism. had friends separated because parents labeled enemies of the people. mothers sent to gulag and fathers shot behind kgb headquarters. that's my comparative framework. >> i want to talk about this.
democrats are on a political witch hunt according to some of the president saying that. learning about the meetings after minority leader nancy pelosi claimed she never met with russian ambassador president tweeted i demand a investigation after schumer of pelosi for her close ties to russia and lying about it. with a picture of the two meeting. pelosi responded by saying, president trump doesn't know the difference between official meeting photographed by press and closed secret meeting ag lied about under oath. >> this is school antics. >> like high school -- not even, grade school. >> this is serious considering what intelligence people have said about election and russia and then all these contacts now. this is serious but playing out -- >> the democrats shouldn't have
been claiming not to have meetings. unforced error. and i would say claire mccaskel's meeting four years ago. chuck schumer in 2003, not quite the same thing as jeff sessions forgetting a meeting he had a few months prior. slightly separate. and different context. he forgot in context in which the russians interfering with our election and pretty much all people were talking about in the news. >> how can you be american leader and claim you haven't met with russians? fallen apart in the 1990s, reconstituting itself in different way. to show you didn't meet with these people shows complete disregard for one of the most important things going on in the world. >> i would say though the context is unanimous agreement
among all the intelligence agencies that russia tried to influence our election. never know if they succeeded but this happened. obama appointees, talked to many people, careers who served. this happened. can't miss the context. it's very different with trump campaign officials chuck schumer at gas station many years ago. >> and one of which reported about is former trump campaign adviser carter page on with anderson cooper earlier tonight. he met with the russian ambassador during the campaign and play what he said about russia meddling in the elections. >> for that same reason, down that russia meddles in the internal affairs of other countries? >> i don't know anything about that. >> you don't know anything about that? >> based on the intel report it's all politics -- >> i have to jump in here, only
undergraduate degree, not as educated as you are. i studied russia and soviet union a fair amount of. you can honestly say you don't know anything about whether russia meddles in the internal affairs of other countries? >> in the context of my life, all this defamation approach by the clinton campaign -- >> yes or no. you can tell me i don't believe they do or i do believe it. >> listen. they may -- i think all countries, certainly the u.s., if you look at what happened in ukraine. >> again, u.s. -- of course. cia done this for decades. >> exactly. think it's embarrassing. >> i cannot think of a time when agents of the kremlin did not try and meddle in american elections. same time. if you remember the famous cover
of "time" magazine from july 1996, americans to the rescue of yeltsin, we meddled in their elections. nobody is a purist here. not dealing with choir boys, this is russian/american stuff. this is the second cold war we're in. what do you inspect? >> doesn't make it right. >> no it doesn't. of course. >> hacking, thousands of embarrassing e-mails released to hurt one candidate. hillary clinton. she had many other flaws. i don't know if changed election. one official told me russians ran an op and beyond wildest dreams. >> we're running an op, think about the dynamic of the election, it's pretty clear donald trump won as fair and as square as american elections are. it was legitimate election. now talking about the actions gives great attention and
credence to the russian campaign to interfere in all kinds of democracies to weaken them. they started out trying to weaken hillary clinton for their own reasons that they didn't like what she represented. and they got this big surprise, they got the toy in the crackerjack box and that's donald trump. >> but should ignore they intervened and tried to hurt one candidate? trying to do it in europe now. >> did americans interfere in the 1996 election in russia trying to get boris yeltsin reelected? not saying any are good. >> me neither. >> gambling going on in the casino. >> criminal acts. wrong if we intervened in russia but shouldn't sit back. >> so should have a special committee to investigate and put people in jail who can be found guilty if there's enough. >> saying should be
investigation but shouldn't be surprised that russia tried to intervene? >> absolutely. >> trying to follow you. >> in the same article in which he coined the term cold war, george orwell said that history of civilization is the history of weaponry. the digital era gives all kinds of new weapons. before used communist party placards to no effect. it's different era and need to talk to them for rules of engagement about cyberwarfare. >> maybe be the reality but what we should expect from a president of the united states is to be offended by it. i don't think we've seen that from donald trump or the people around him. first of all keep denying it happened in the first place. claiming that intelligence community is out to get them and barack obama is behind it. versus condemning it. whether it's something that
happens or not, we should not be -- this is something that's not partisan issue. should go beyond that. >> but have you seen donald trump ever be offended by anything other than something he sees as slight on his own greatness and magnificentness? i haven't. >> if the russians interfered in the election and possibly tilted it towards him, wouldn't that be slight against him, that he didn't win fair and square? wouldn't he want that investigated? i won fair and square, let have investigation to show how big i am, and how big the win was. sounds like to me with that logic he should be saying that. >> also general flynn indicating to the russian, just hold on, we'll lift the sanctions that barack obama put on you for interfering in the election. >> that's a really interesting piece of business. >> i've got to get david. sitting by patiently. last word.
what happens? where do we go now? do you think will be independent investigation of this? >> i think the republicans hold tight and just want senate intelligence committee because less public hearings, bad visuals and that stuff. at reuters we're not done, following money and looking at business interactions, press will continue but think the republicans will sit tight and try to make it senate investigation. coming back, week of ups and downs for the trump white house. . but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line.
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president trump getting r & r this weekend in florida following a busy week in washington. bring in john fredericks and joe madison. good to have both of you on. start with you joe this time. talk about the highs and lows of the week. president widely praised for speech to congress on tuesday night. seemed like three or four nights ago but seemed like four years. what do you think? >> widely praised because he behaved himself. what i did and told audience to do was not look at optics which were great but to print out the speech. once i printed out the speech and read the text of it like any good political science student would, reality is, it was same old donald trump.
for his supporters like john and others, a great day. but this administration is amazing. it's like a yo-yo, it's up, it's down. you should have been able to ride this week out and been on a high. everybody expected a bump and bam, here we go with jeff sessions and it's now a low. >> john? >> well, this is the job as president. speech is about jobs, jobs, jobs. this is like the 1917 american workers revolution in reverse. has the speech, lays out jobs agenda, starts out by saying going to do increase in defense spending, $54 billion, going to make america great again by rebuilding military with american workers. then goes to newport ship yard in virginia, i was there.
2500 workers going to get better hours and jobs. he's for that. then he lays out immigration reform plan and says for legal immigration i'm going to look to restrict legal immigration coming into the united states so i can increase job opportunities for americans and i can increase wages. this is -- and then he says, i'm going to have a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to rebuild the united states and get americans back to work. this is the jobs president. that's the speech. >> those are the proposals, what he would like to. hasn't come to fruition yet but what did happen and taken over the news cycle not only on this network but every other network and front pages are the russian
connections. as joe madison said, thought it was in rear-view mirror. then you have jeff sessions. why can't they seem to get this behind them? >> and as you properly noted, john laid out what were really headlines. devil is in the details. question is where do you get $1 trillion from? those details weren't there. to be honest, you don't expect details in that kind of speech. and i've been around long enough to understand that. but notice what john just did. he didn't even touch the jeff sessions thing. and this is what they do. they sit there and talk about all the good things but then everybody and their grandmother knows they screwed up big time at end of the week. and quite candidly, i think republicans right now are very nervous because they have to decide do we have an independent
counsel, does jeff sessions stay, does he recuse himself. let me tell you, it's very serious when an attorney general has to stand up there and has selective memory. can remember christians going into moscow but can't remember what ambassador said in reference to a very serious issue? >> john, how do you respond? >> attorney general jeff sessions gave a very narrow teens a very narrow question that technically, if you analyze it through lawyers' eyes, it was technically correct question. but he was not forthcoming with the entire truth. and i think he said that by saying loor saying look, i need to correct the record. because three words of the statement were missing. three words were as a surrogate i didn't meet with anybody. he did meet with them in job as
u.s. senator on the armed services committee. and he should have been more efusive in the confirmation hearing. i think he did the right thing recusing himself without a doubt. >> you're joking john. stumbling on your own -- >> got to be more efusive. this is not going to go away. >> one of the meetings when he went to convention, using campaign funds to go, acting as adviser and surrogate of the trump campaign at convention when he met with russian ambassador, yet that meeting with as as senator and not as trump adviser? >> in all fairness -- >> and keep in mind, they asked oral question and there was written question and responded similarly in both with his answers. >> don, in all fairness, meeting
at rnc as we understand it, made a speech and they came up to him. not a scheduled meeting. no doubt that the scheduled meeting in his office, although he had aides there, should have been within his response to al franken in the meeting and look, he lawyered up. very narrow answer to narrow question. >> if he answered truthfully, why recuse himself? >> i think he's recusing himself now because he was part of the campaign, surrogate in the campaign. if you're investigating the campaign and you were part of it, i don't think that makes any sense. i think that jeff sessions should have recused himself even if this hadn't come up. didn't make any sense to me. only way you're going to get to the bottom of this is if you have an independent commission, independent prosecutor looking at this just like in the 9/11
commission. i had congressmen, conservative from north carolina, walter jones on my show today who said that's what they ought to do. only way to get to the bottom of it. i don't think they did anything wrong. >> do you agree with that joe? >> mark this as moment of agreement. he is absolutely 100% correct. and basically, it's good for the country. this has to go beyond partisan politics. you know, this is interesting and i heard somebody say it is like the second cold war. i have never seen an incoming administration spend so much time with so many freaking russians in my political life. and man, something going on that we need to get to the bottom of
this and quit thinking that russia is an ally. it is not an ally. they're adversarial government and we need to understand that and this administration needs to come clean. >> the trump campaign and president himself trying to get back on message. we'll play video they released after the break. you know...diarrhea? abdominal pain? but we said we'd be there... woap, who makes the decisions around here? it's me. don't think i'll make it. stomach again...send! if you're living with frequent, unpredictable diarrhea and abdominal pain, you may have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or ibs-d - a condition that can be really frustrating. talk to your doctor about viberzi. a different way to treat ibs-d. viberzi is a prescription medication you take every day that helps proactively manage both diarrhea and abdominal pain at the same time. so you stay ahead of your symptoms. viberzi can cause new or worsening abdominal pain. do not take viberzi if you have or may have had pancreas
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built for speed. built for business. and we're back now. john fredericks and joe madison. president trump tweeted a video today with the words "make america great again" let's watch part of this video. >> a new chapter of american greatness is now beginning. a new national pride is sweeping across our nation. and a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp. what we are witnessing today is the renewal of the american spirit. >> so now president but private citizen trump has always been
about branding. what did you make of the video john? >> it's like i said at beginning of the show, it's about renewing, revival of jobs in america. as i've said over and over, jobs, growing economy, economic prosperity makes everybody happy and it is the great equalizer, that's really what i needs to be focusing on is bringing job back to the united states, getting people back to work, keeping them working, raising wages, creating opportunity, expanding economy for everybody. if he can do that he's going to get reelected in 2020 by bigger margin than you can believe. this other stuff is for distraction. that's why for independent prosecutor to get the truth out. they didn't do anything. put the whole thing to bed. stop the constant drip and go back to getting people back to
work. >> real quick, you can't disagree with the goal of what john just laid out. who would do that. of course that's what everybody wants. question is how do you get there? don't get there when you don't invest in public education, when student loans are more than credit card loans. you don't get there when you allow flint, michigan, to die because haven't dealt with the lead in water yet cry about the importance of urban cities. you don't get there demeaning people who happen to look different than you. if you're going to get there, get there with everybody. and you have to deal with the issues that all of us are dealing with. so i don't disagree with what john says, but we've got to quit this demonizing of people because they look different. because when i hear again that term make america great gerngs
i've got to say where do you go back to? the reality is this -- the proof is going to be in the budget. don't get there when 20 million people need health insurance and you take it away from them. good health means you can go to work with the jobs he's supposed to create. >> got to let you respond because your reaction is priceless. >> joe. i love you man, i really do. but nobody is taken 20 million off insurance. president trump has said over and over -- >> yeah they are. >> he's said not going to go with repeal of obamacare until there is a legitimate replacement, and he said, whatever the number is, people that have insurance day that didn't before obamacare won't be simply tossed of the rolls. going to have to find a way in order to keep those people
covered in some period of time. he hasn't said that. we don't have plan. not a consensus that's come out. until the president gets behind a plan and says this is the plan to replace obamacare that i'm in favor of, it's all conjecture. he's said over and over he's not in favor ever kicking off people who have insurance today -- >> he better tell his colleagues in the republican congress that because they obviously haven't gotten the memo. >> okay. >> joe, we have president trump because of the ineffectiveness of the republican congress. if they had been effective, he wouldn't have been the nominee. he doesn't care what they say. >> he better care. they're going to be looking at his budget real soon. are you kidding me? this is america, we have a three tiered government. >> president trump is going to drive this plan joe.
not paul ryan, not mcconnell. president trump is going to drive the plan. and then we'll see what happens. but right now isn't consensus plan. we have to wait and see. >> i'll put this up, also drawing controversy. photo circulating among the right-wing outlets when trump tweeted this, already on the home page of the drudge report. president also praised info wars, french website by alt-right conspiracy theorist who claims that sandy hook was a hoax. what do you think of his getting news from these sites? >> i wouldn't dignify it with a an answer. alex jones is a fraud. shouldn't by in the business. the controversy in the video is they're eating krispy kreme
doughnuts. that's about it. >> joe, i think you're being way too kind to alex jones. that stuff is so ridiculous. 50% of the stuff on that show they just make up. i don't have time for that. i want real news and real information. it's absolute nonsense, anybody going to the sites -- >> question is are you concerned that president is using that as a source. >> that's the point. >> i think anything that has to do with the ridiculous fake news sites that make up stuff to gain advertisers and sell something, ridiculous and complete waste of time. >> tell the president that. >> thank you gentlemen. >> if i see him i will. >> tell him now. he might watch. >> he listens. >> president trump if you're listening to me, half the stuff on alex jones is made up. ridiculous. who has time for that.
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kellyanne conway has been under fire for controversial oval office picture but some people may be taking it so far. discuss with my panel. good evening to all of you. charmaine start with you. representative cedric richmond made a cringeworthy joke about this picture of kellyanne conway kneeling on the oval office couch and said in part i really just want to know what was going on there because i won't tell anybody and you can just explain it to me that circumstance because she really looked familiar in that position there
but don't understand i don't want you to refer back to the '90s. >> that's appalling and no excuse for that. and troubling there's so little commentary coming from the left. where is nancy pelosi condemning this? he should have come out with apology and instead dancing around saying it sourj expression. i'm from the south and that dog won't hunt. this is appalling undermining of woman in power that should be condemned across the board. i saw that hillary condemned it before we came on air. appreciate that. but should see more of that from the left. >> stupid thing to say. shocking from congressman but i don't think it's -- i thought the whole picture story got a little bit too much attention anyway. kellyanne conway kneeling on the couch was internet meme for two
days. really it was more interesting that the hbcu college presidents who met with president trump were kind of unsatisfied with the results of the meeting and disappointed at his lack of support for the education. that to me was the story. instead everyone talked about kellyanne kneeling on the couch. i thought it was stupid and congressman was obnoxious make the joke about it. >> didn't do the story here. picture there was taken out of context. trying to get a picture of the people. maybe sitting back down looking at camera, we didn't think it was story. there she is taking picture. what has become the story is the response to the picture. bakari a few minutes before the comment and at same event senator tim scott jokingly said, anybody seen the controversy.
come on people, you remember the '90s, that couch has had a lot worse things. come on now. you say both men crossed line from comedy to -- >> regard ms of what you think of kellyanne conway or or lack of affinity for the truth or propensity to tell falsehoods, i think disrespectful and crossed line for both. i will say to their faces, i'm friends with them and think both will tell you in hindsight, shouldn't have said. conversation that shouldn't have been said. i'm not any better than them. i've made the same mistakes and goal is to make sure my daughter and wife look at me proudly every time i come in. this is the time you say sexism
against anyone -- >> i don't think that comment would have been made about a man. >> had that been steve bannon or jared kushner or anybody else in the administration, no one making comment about that. inappropriate for both of them frankly to make such a thing. this is not late night shtick comedy. "snl" can have their way with kellyanne, that's part of being in government. members of congress are not comedians and shouldn't be making sexual innuendos about a woman in highest levels of government and rightfully one of the most successful women of our generation. >> at the time i said the "saturday night live" skit was out of bounds as well and sexist. >> i was going to say exactly the same thing. "snl" really started this hypersexualization of critiquing
kellyanne in such a misogynistic way. fact she's a conservative prolife woman in a position of power made her a real target with unprecedented hostilitity. >> that's not rue either. >> i don't know about that. >> that's not true. what we didn't hear you coming to the rescue of michelle obama when republicans were criticizing her arms out. >> you don't know what i said about michelle obama. >> for the -- just point it out and prove me wrong. for the former first lady. fact is this is not a partisan issue at all. you have me and joe, only thing we like politically in common is style of new york pizza. we're sitting here telling you it's sexist and misogynistic but don't make it something it's not. if you came to rescue of michelle obama during attacks when people called her butt fat, called her looking like gorilla,
went up and down chastising the way she looked because her arms were out, correct me if i'm wrong. i would like to be corrected. >> i -- >> i agree with you. >> those kind of comments were out of bounds but i'm saying that kellyanne conway has been attacked. >> when did you come to her rescue when it was going on? can't be hypocritical, now kellyanne conway is some feminist hero because criticized but didn't come to the rescue of michelle obama. what is good for goose is gander. >> you're doing a straw man bring you record with nothing to do with the current situation. the way that kellyanne is under attack right now is so out of bounds and over the top, "snl" opened the door but this thing from sitting congressman to attack a woman of power in the white house, it's really -- it
should have been condemned really strongly. >> okay. >> i feel like you bringing that back around is really a complete straw man. >> got to get to break but we'll discuss on the other side. be right back. so how old do you want uhh, i was thinking around 70. alright, and before that? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? oh yeah sure... ok, like what? but i thought we were supposed to be talking about investing for retirement? we're absolutely doing that. but there's no law you can't make the most of today. what do you want to do? i'd really like to run with the bulls.
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we're back. cell phone video captures a disturbing scene. customer in a texas walmart goes on a racist tirade. back with me now the panel. play this shocking video originally posted on the facebook. showing man at texas walmart berating employee he believes to be immigrant. says the man couldn't see well with the glasses he just picked up at vision center and when she referred him to doctor, she says he requested to see a white employee instead and began filming after called for supervisor to come over. >> two minutes. >> look at that. who do you think pays for her hospital bills? >> i don't know. >> i do. >> you are -- >> i'm paying for hospital bills. she's a foreigner comes over here to get sick and fat and obese. can't do anything, can't work
but i have to pay her bills. do you see what i mean? am i fat and obese? i go to work every day. i pay taxes. >> me too. >> all these foreigners are living off us good working white people. >> oh, yeah? >> yes, just telling you the truth. it's all right. i know you ain't leaving. i know you're here to stay. you all should go to your own countries and fix up try to get your own country. >> i don't want to hear that anymore. that's it. she is going to help you. okay? >> cnn reached out to the person we think is the man in the video and have not heard back. what's your reaction? >> well, honestly my reaction is, you know, finally this guy has a president who understands
him. we have seen it time and time again across this country where more people are feeling engaged and privileged enough to speak out in that way. i find it nauseating. the constant incidence whether anti-semitism or racism or the high school principal this week who had to apologize for his basketball team screaming trump, trump, trump at an opposing school with african-american kids on their team. it's enough. we have a divider in chief as president here. >> in fairness, in the part of the video -- >> he never said the president's name. i understand that. >> not only does he insult the wal-mart employee but verbally
attacks a black woman in a wheelchair. what do you think? >> don, the man we saw in that video is vile. he is a racist. that in no way means that everyone who supports donald trump is somehow of the same skin. this is the problem that democrats are having. >> i didn't say that. >> you are implying that. >> no. >> people who support donald trump and may have different opinions. >> i said that donald trump encourages that behavior. >> so how does donald trump encourage the behavior when the leftists are doing the acts of violence against the people on the right for having different opinions. he is offensive, but you have other right wing speaker who is can't speak because they are the victims of assault. the supporters get assault and they get assaulted. it's wrong to blame this on president trump. it's wrong to assume this only happens from people on the right attacking those on the left.
this is a dangerous road the democrats are going down and may lose moderate voters as a result. >> i kind of want to piggy back on what joe said. donald trump didn't cause the divide we have in our country. he preyed upon the divide and enhanced it as if it was on steroids, but he didn't cause the divide. i'm glad people see this cell phone video because people thought racism didn't exist because we didn't have colored water fountains. that's what african-americans and gays have been going through for a long period of time. i am glad donald trump is president so the scab is pulled off and people get to see it. now maybe we can have a conversation. i would chastise joe to not make this a partisan issue. college campuses have to have free speech, but people have to understand they are african immigrants and hispanics and gay
people who feel as if they are persecuted by the president of the united states. this is a discussion that has to be had on both sides. donald trump has an opportunity to be a leader, but the problem is donald trump is afraid of his own greatness. >> i have a minute. can you give a response? >> one of the big moments from the speech with the president's speech to congress is he started out by celebrating black history month and condemn racism and i think that was a high moment. that was important. it started showing leadership of trying to bring everybody together. i'm going to predict we will see more of that. this is a president who is married to an immigrant. i think they will build on that. that will be an opportunity to show leadership and start bringing people together. i'm sorry that that guy got 15 seconds of fame from this. what he said was despicable. >> thank you all. before we leave you tonight, i want to say goodbye to our executive producer jonathan
wall. anybody who worked for jonathan, where is he? come in here. there he is. he never runs out of great ideas. he is embarrass and often comes in the studio at this hour. he inspired us to make the show the best it can be night after night. now he is moving on. every one of us will miss you, jonathan. we are better for knowing you. so for our entire cnn staff, the cnn staff with don lemon which you helped rename, we say good night and good luck jonathan wald. what do you have to say? >> thank you, don lemon. >> see how he bosses me around. don't they have your id? >> i have two minutes. >> come here, jonathan. i'm going to miss you, buddy.
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