tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN March 3, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST
thanks for watching. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts right now. have a great weekend. president trump is at mar-a-lago, but his russia troubles have followed him there. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. michael flynn, jeff sessions, even jared kushner all meeting with the russian ambassador. what's that about? what's the connection between the kremlin and the white house? we'll investigate. and what does vladimir putin want from all of this? meanwhile, president trump responds to all this just as you'd expect, with a twitter war against chuck schumer and nancy pelosi. i want to get treat now to athena jones. she's live at mar-a-lago for us this evening. good evening to you, athena. president trump back on the offense as we continue to learn about meetings between the president's inner circle and russian officials. what's the latest?
>> reporter: that's right. he's counterpunching, going on the attack on twitter, his favorite social media platform, perhaps his favorite form of communication. midday he tweeted a photo of the minority leader in the senate, chuck schumer, with vladimir putin, the russian president back in 2003. they're drinking what looks like a hot beverage and eating what schumer later confirmed were krispy kreme doughnuts. and the president said, we should start an immediate investigation into @senator schumer and his ties to russia and putin. a total hypocrite. schumer took to twitter to respond, saying he would happily talk about his contact with mr. putin and his associates. took place in '03 in full view of press and public. under oath. would you and your team? so that is the very latest we have from the president who is clearly upset about all of the attention being paid to what he has repeatedly called a ruse and
a distraction and a way for democrats to make up for their big loss in november. >> this is interesting because this new homeland security report, it seems to undermine the president's travel ban, or at least, you know, the reason that they want to have this travel ban. this report found that after looking at 88 cases of terrorism, that most foreign-born violent extremists do not arrive in the u.s. radicaliz radicalized. how is the white house responding to that? >> reporter: well, the white house isn't responding specifically to that new report so far, don. but this is so interesting because even on that first weekend, you'll remember back at the end of january when the travel ban came out and created all this chaos at different airports across the country, the white house held a couple of background briefings, and officials argued that this ban was absolutely necessary to protect the country, to prevent attacks like 9/11, the san
bernardino shooting, and the boston bombing. we pointed out at the time that all of those attacks were committed by people who either weren't from these countries or who were u.s. citizens. the facts seem to keep getting in the way of the argument the administration is making. we're still waiting for this ban. we're expecting to see the revised travel ban, the ban the administration hopes will stand up better to legal challenges. we were expecting to see thats as soon as this week. it hasn't come this week, and the white house said there's no announcement on any timing on that and that when they're ready to roll it out, they'll let us know. it's proving to be quite complicated, the fact that they've now asked for these reports to help justify it and the reports are coming back and delivering information that doesn't actually justify their point. >> interesting. athea jones at mar-a-lago. i want to bring in emily jane fox, a staff writer for "vanity
fair," and matt lewis, senior columnist for "the daily beast." as athena was reading that twitter, who would have thought our president -- our president is in a twitter war. what's happening? >> he's always in twitter wars obviously, but this response is, you know, especially childish because the allegations against the trump administration right now are really serious. if i was donald trump, i would want to just clear my name and try to get everything out in the open so that we can understand what exactly is going on with his administration's relationship with russia. you know, so i think that for him to talk about something that chuck schumer did in 2003, i mean what does that have to do with anything? yeah. absolutely. that's why i said what is going on here? i want to play this because anderson just spoke with former trump adviser carter page just a short time ago.
i want to get your reaction to part of their exchange. >> so do you actually read policy papers and send them to the campaign? >> i don't like talking about specifics. >> you told "the new york times" you did on march 25th. >> that's fair enough, yeah. >> can you say who you sent policy papers to? >> you know, i don't talk about internal matters. >> but i mean they are talking about internal matters, saying you were not part of the campaign at all. >> well, i'm not surprised that he didn't know me because he was there until -- you know, he came over from ted cruz's campaign. >> nobody ever came out after jason miller said this and said actually that's not true. carter page has been an adviser to the campaign. >> the beauty of it, part of reason why i stepped back is i wanted to prevent continuing to be a distraction. i mean this news cycle -- >> they said you weren't part of it to begin with, which is just weird. >> you know, jason didn't know.
i mean he was -- i mean it's an honest mistake. he was on a few months before ted cruz's campaign and moving on to someone else right now. >> so when sean spicer, january 11th, just two months ago said carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign, what were you put on notice for? >> i don't know. i haven't met mr. spicer either. >> because there was a report, as you probably know in the daily caller that the trump campaign had sent you cease and desist letters after your relationship with the campaign ended. is that true? >> i don't know anything about that, yeah. >> so you did not, to your knowledge, receive any cease and desist letters, your attorneys or anything? >> you know, i -- nothing -- you know, nothing specific that -- there's nothing that really came up in that regard, yeah.
>> i know you all -- i actually but then he voluntarily accepted that interview as emilyane fox pointed out. i mean it made no sense. he seemed not to want to answer many or any of anderson's questions or get specific about anything. what did you think of that? >> well, that's only like a teaser. i mean it was a long interview. i mean i don't even know. and i couldn't tell like -- i feel sorry for him, but also it's like the car wreck you can't not look at it. >> right. >> that's how i felt. it was intriguing. i found myself like wanting to keep watching it. obviously he's not being truthful. obviously he's not being forthcoming about everything. we don't know. it's like unclear if it was jason million jas jason miller misleading. obviously it doesn't add up. it's intriguing television but sk
very weird that he went on. he decided to go on a prime time tv show but not talk about a lot of things he was going to be asked, which is a weird decision. >> he's been on this show. nice enough guy, but in that interview, boy, emily, what did you think? >> well, i think he has every right to, as he said, not talk about internal matters. but that right kind of goes off -- you know, out the window when you decide to do an interview on cable news live. but, look, we're in a time where there are very many head-scratching things going on, things that happen in interviews, things that happen on live television that are probably way more important than this interview where we have a lot more questions at the end of them. >> i think he's overstating his role in the trump campaign. it was very clear to me in the interview, and i actually texted somebody who was on the trump transition team who said this person never, ever advised donald trump. i think he was a hanger-on who was exaggerating his role, and why he went on with anderson and wouldn't just answer these direct questions, i think, just
made him seem even less credible. >> emily, let's move on now because that's going to continue. you know that interview is going to be everywhere. i think he's going to have some explaining to do, probably to the trump folks as well. let's talk about jared kushner now. i understand, emily, you have some new reporting onared kushner's meetingh the russian ambassador back in dis. the white house has disclosed it i think yesterday. what do you know? >> i talked to a white house official today who just reiterated how short this meeting actually was between himself and the russian ambassador. it was very quick. you know, kushner had met with dozens and dozens of foreign officials. i think the number that the white house official gave me today was 100 leading up to them taking office in january. so they just reiterated this is business as usual for kushner. the thing that is not business as usual is that there is a very small number of people in the innermost circle in the white house, within the west wing, and
seemingly they can't keep track of who is meeting with one person. the white house official told me today that sean spicer did not know about this meeting as late as the end of january. it's really unbelievable that in such a small number of people they really can't seem to keep track of one guy. >> why can't they seem to get ahead of this? why this drip, drip, drip? do they just not have their acts together? maybe they just don't and maybe nothing happened in all of these meetings. but it makes them look like they're hiding something. do you disagree with that? >> i think that is the issue here. this meeting was not nefarious. this is the whole that jared kushner has carved out for himself, however unprecedented that role may be. but this is his be job. but the fact that sean spicer didn't know about this meeting and they knew that this -- or they should have known this would be a controversial meeting, that is problematic. what that does not do is create a sense of confidence in the white house. what it does do is it makes
people think, you know, worse. we're sitting there watching them create mess after mess and they can't get to their policy agenda if they're just going to create messes and have to clean them up all the time. >> are they doing this on purpose because these are all self-inflicted wounds and they're very easy to clear up. i mean all jeff sessions had to do after the flynn thing is say, i need to go back considering what happened and i need to amend what i said. you know, you guys need to know this. that didn't happen. they could have released a lot of this information. again, matt, we're not talking about one meeting or one person. all of these top aides had meetings with the russian ambassador. i mean aren't you curious about what russia wanted or what these meetings wereabout? >> yes. look, i think that this is such a complicated thing. first of all, i do agree. i think that incompetence, like the simplest explanation, incompetence is probably most likely the right explanation. i think it's probably, you know, jeff sessions probably was
nothing nefarious. jared probably not nefarious. probably just normal course of business. jeff sessions, if you go back -- actually "vanity fair" had a piece at the hive that was quite good that actually diagnosed the question that al franken asked and the answer that jeff sessions gave. if you actually very closely read it, it's understandable that sessions thought he was answering a very specific question about talking to them. i know you're laughing at me. i'm telling if you actually read it -- >> i'm laughing. i understand where you're going with this. but anytime you're having to explain something about how you answered or explain a joke or explain your strategy or your policy, what does that say, kirsten? >> well, i mean you have a problem. right? because you don't -- the thing is i'm having a hard time following this. i heard jack kingston kind of making a similar argument earli earlier. he offered up the information.
>> right. >> and jack kingston was arguing he wasn't asked about this. so somehow the fact that he offered up this information doesn't matter. but that's not true. he was under oath. he said this. i think it's totally plausible that what he said was true, that he was thinking one way when he got the question. but then why not correct the record after the fact? what about the staffers that were in the meeting? i also would love to know basically is this is a regular thing for him? if so, did he meet with the ambassador in the preceding year? just some basic information. >> but then also, too, it has been reported that he used campaign funds to go to the convention. does that undercut what he said because then he's working -- >> pretty much everybody does that, though. all members of congress when they go to the conventions use campaign money. but i think it also underscores the fact that he was doing political work, not in his official capacity. >> one thing we do know, panel, is that this is a mess. it's a mess. politics are messy. thank you. when we come right back,
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the president is taking a break from the white house, spending the weekend in florida. but he can't get away from the lingering questions about russia, including why so many of his top aides met with russia's ambassador before his inauguration. let's discuss now. nicholas christophe is here. he's a columnist for "the new york times" and a frequent -- you could say contributor here on our show, frequent guest. thank you so much for coming on. >> good to be with you. >> let's talk about this because cnn is reporting about ambassador kids lslyak and at l three other campaign advisers during the rnc in cleveland. additionally he met with jared kushner, the former national security adviser michael flynn met with the ambassador at trump tower in december. what is happening here?
>> well, i mean, a, i don't know. i wish i did know. but i do think that the connections at the republican national convention are a little bit overdone. that was a -- there were a bunch of ambassadors there. sessions, for example, apparently met with a group. i don't think there was any collusion going on there. >> do you think he misremembered? >> sessions? that would be a really charitable explanation. i mean i think he didn't tell the whole truth. you know, what the reason for that is, i don't know. i must say that every other liberal is calling for him to be ousted. >> it's a little much at this point. >> it seems to me -- i didn't call for bill clinton to resign when he lied under oath, and it seems to me, you know, we need to investigate this. but in any case, that's a diversion. >> when i saw all of the democrats rushing up to the mike, i know they think they have something in putting out these statements. the inclination would be to wait and see what happens. in the end, the president said
they're overplaying their hand. that was my exact thought. >> the big problem all along is we in the media, we chase the latest bright thing and shiny thing. that's it right now. the really important issue is this larger question of getting an independent investigation of what the connections are with russia. >> i cut you off. you said additionally, cleveland you thought was a little overblown. then you said additionally -- >> that's right. i think the sessions meeting with the russian ambassador in cleveland probably doesn't matter too much. the meeting in washington, i mean that's a good thing. senators should meet the russian ambassador. they also then shouldn't deny it later on both in their testimony and in a written questionnaire. but what's weird is any individual meeting, whether it's with kushner, whether it's with sessions, can be explained. about you have this broad pattern of person after person in the trump campaign that has been meeting with russians. paul manafort maybe is the most
important and a server that was communicating with a server in russia. we don't know what is going on there, but there is a cloud hanging over this, and it's not going to be dispelled by a senate committee investigation. there's got to be an independent investigation. >> everyone is saying, well, you had this whole thing while the former president is dealing with sanctions. then you have the meetings. so it's not -- if it was flynn by himself, if it was sessions by himself, if it was kushner by himself, do you understand where i'm going with this in. >> absolutely. it's a pattern. >> if it was manafort by himself. >> you need to ask, who did not meet with the russian ambassador? it's also the white house saying repeatedly that they had not had communications with russia. vice president pence said in january that there had been no communications with russia, and he said why would there be? well, that's an excellent question. >> how can they get past this because in the panel before you,
i said, maybe all of these meetings are innocent. we don't know. maybe knonothing transpired in these meetings, but the way they're handling it makes it seem like they're hiding something. >> it's always the cover of up. president reagan when he was faced with a similar challenge with iran-contra, he called in an independent outside commission with people led by john tower. they in three months issued a report. and i think that kind of outside commission, independent people with subpoena power, is going to be the only way to clear the air. i don't thunk a senaink a senate is going to be sufficient. >> we put up a timeline last night and someone said to me -- again, this may just be coincidence because i think the republican platform was already making changes when it came to ukraine. someone said, carter page, jd gordon met with the ambassador at the republican convention. after they softened the support
of ukraine in its fight against the russian backed rebels. a few days later, the first batch of hacked dnc e-mails was released by wikileaks. do you think that's more co-e e coincidence or maybe not? >> there are a lot of dots there, and i don't know which dots we can connect. that's something a committee has to investigate. on that issue, it's also notable that president trump was asked by george stephanopoulos at one point about the weakening of the convention platform language. he said he had no idea where that came from. it wasn't anything to do with him. now it turns out in fact that j.d. gordon played a role in weakening that language. his aide. so there are all these dots, all these connections, and it fundamentally goes back to the same question when i was in high school of back to watergate. what did the president know, and when did he know it? we don't know the answer to that. i don't want to pre-judge it, but only an independent
commission is going to resolve that. >> i usually get ready for my show in my office, and i'm watching my colleague anderson cooper do interviews. tonight i watched and wanted to go into the studio during the break and say, what just happened? >> with the carter page? >> what did you think of that interview? >> i don't know what to make of it. i guess i don't think that carter page was some kind of a major secret liaison. i don't think jeff sessions was a secret liaison. if there was collusion as the dossier said, then i think it was other people. you know, paul manafort is somebody who is, i think, everybody has got to focus on. there has to be research on him. >> one more on another note before i let you go. >> can i also say there is a real question about whether the russians had leverage over the trump family through investments that they had made. you can't resolve that unless we see the trump taxes.
>> well, mark sanford is now calling for the president to release his taxes because to show that there is or isn't a connection to russia. you think you'll start to see more republicans do that? >> i think so. it's not just a question of finance. it also raises a national security question of whether the russians had leverage over him. >> do you see the hypocrisy regarding the pence e-mail, him using a personal e-mail to do state business and then his heavy criticism of hillary clinton doing a similar version of that but also having -- she also had a personal server as well? >> absolutely. i mean it was astonishing to see that, you know, pence was denouncing her all along for having this private server. >> for private e-mail. >> we don't know whether she was hacked. i gather that he was. >> he was, yeah. there's no indication that she was. >> right. >> at this point. thank you. >> good to be with you. just ahead, what were vladimir putin's motives for
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democrats in congress calling for a special prosecutor to investigate any connections between the trump campaign and russia. i want to bring in now jonathan sanders, associate professor at the stony brook school of journalism. jill dougherty of the evans school at the university of washington, who is a former cnn moscow bureau chief. jonathan, you first. we keep learning new details about the meetings between russia's ambassador to top aides for president trump. he has denied there was contact between any of these people with the russians. don't people want to know why so many contacts and what were these contacts and meetings about? >> don, weren't you intrigued about who this donald trump guy was? didn't you want to know whether he could win? the russians wanted to know he was just as much a puzzle to them. i can't tell you how many russians up until the election would ask me, is he for real?
what is it going to mean? what is he going to do? is this guy crazy? is he a caricature? how do i understand his cartoons? he isn't a normal american politician. then they'd want me to explain to them the same thing in russian just so they could get confirmation. i think some of this was going on. were they getting secret instructions? i doubt it. >> that explains the russian side of it, but it doesn't explain the other side as well. just because they want to learn about it doesn't mean that they must meet with him. it doesn't explain why the folks on the trump side wanted to meet with the russians as well. >> this is the black box. we still have not had a serious explanation from donald trump about his intrigue with russia. what does he want to do? why does he want to do it? does he just like russian souls? does he like it because it's so contrarry. does he like putin because everyone in the american establishment can't stand him? did he get a lot of money from
russians. did he see sputnik when he was a little boy and always wanted to see the other side of the world? does he find new russians just like him, crass and crude and liking to do things in exaggerated fashion? >> part of it you're saying, it sounds like you're saying part of it is serious and part of it is not. do you think there should be an investigation into this? >> oh, yes. i think we need a long, deep investigation which also needs to include how america interfered in 1996. it didn't have much impact except maybe they taught the people there they could invade our elections. >> matthew, what do you think in. >> i think one motive for russian representatives, especially for diplomats to be meeting with either presidential campaign, especially later in the election, so after the primaries were over when we now know from u.s. intelligence sources that a russian information operation of some kind was already well under way, they may have wanted to see how
were the potential future leaders of the united states reacting to those revelations? were they going to punish the united states? whatever the purpose of the intervention was, whatever the outcome of it was, was there likelihood that the next government of the united states was going to impose further sanctions or continue the sanctions that it then turned out in december the obama administration at the 11th hour imposed? you know, i'd want to know that if i was vladimir putin. what's going to be the reaction of the next u.s. government? beyond that, i think there was real curiosity. what were their policies going to be? this is basically the work of diplomats reporting on the perspectives of americans, whether they're in power, out of power. by the way, the russian ambassador has been doing that for years. i've watched him do that. he does that very well. >> jill, listen, these meetings again -- and i keep saying it could be very innocent, but there seems to be a lot of them. the more conventional wisdom, i
think, from people, from average folk, is that follow the money. follow the money. there's a potential financial connection here, ties to moscow at least. do you think that's a possibility? >> i do not know, of course, because i'm not with the fbi. but i do think that when you -- you know, when you look at the history of donald trump, the first thing we know other than, you know, being impressed by sputnik was seriously when he went to moscow and wanted to do deals in moscow, building a hotel in moscow. so a lot of his early connections, it appears, with russians were based on business and money. and so many of the people that he met from that world are business people, money people. and when you get into that part of the world, former soviet union, there is a lot of murky activity. everybody knows that. so you're going to bump into a
few shady characters along the way. so all i'm saying is that it's entirely possible that those -- that's the beginning of the nexus. whether you take it to theth degree and s there was collusion or blackmail, i can't say that. but the so-called mystery about why donald trump is interested in russia, there are many different reasons why he is, and they're not all that unclear. you know, money. he likes power. he likes powerful men. he thinks of himself as a powerful man. he really disdains old forms of government. that's very much like putin would go along with that. there are many different cross currents going on in this. >> stand by because anderson had someone on, a trump adviser, a former adviser on earlier. i want to play part of that interview. it's an interesting interview, and i want to get your response. we'll be right back. here's to the wildcats 'til we die...
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meetings with russia's ambassador prior to the election. back with me now my russian experts. the former trump adviser carter page just spoke to anderson cooper and anderson asked him if he has met president trump. here's what he said. >> i never shook his head. i've been in, you know, many rallies with him from arizona to north dakota to many in new york. >> rallies? >> rallies, which is meetings, you know. >> let me ask you about that because you have said repeatedly that you were in meetings with the president. >> that's it. >> you were in moscow in december of 2016. you held a press conference at the sputnik headquarters, and apparently to reporters you denied claims that you had never met donald trump during your time as an adviser. you said i've certainly been in a number of meetings with him. that implies i'm in a meeting, in a conference room, around a table. you're now saying that those meetings were actually rallies.
>> that is -- listen, if you look at the definition of meeting in russian, in a russian context, 90% of the students from the university and other media people that came to that meeting, that briefing or the presentation i gave were russians. and so when they -- you know, when they have demonstrations and gatherings in the square or other places, the term for that is "meeting." >> so, jonathan -- [ laughter ] i'm glad i'm not the only one here. matthew, go ahead. >> i think we're all kind of laughing because technically that's true. technically the translation that the russians use the term "meeting" to describe things that we might call sort of rallies or kind of bigger gatherings. that's kind of a funny point. but, yeah, that's pretty
strangely evasive. you know, i was just in moscow myself last week, and what's amazing to me about this whole story is, you know, you hear carter page kind of conveying his efforts to clarify things to the russian press. the russians are also kind of befuddled by what's going on. maybe someone at the very, very top knows what the whole story is. but most of the russians i talk to don't really have a clue. and i think most worrisome of all, if there was a plot to intervene in the u.s. election, what they're worried about is it's totally exploded in their faces now, and president trump is more hemmed in on russia policy than you could ever have imagined. there is no opening for him to do engagement, to roll back sanctions. this stuff's not going to happen. he's got as russia hawkish a policy has hillary clinton would have had. >> i want to talk more about that. but just quick reaction to that interview. jonathan first. you spent time in russia as
well. what did you think of his explanation there? >> i thought it was absurd, bordering on satire. i don't know whether he should be on a news program or on a children's morning cartoon program. maybe with homer simpson. >> jill? >> i think it's ridiculous. in fact, i'm surprised he even knows the word "meeting" which really is a word which we know from mattme. i saw carter page in moscow over the summer. i guess it was last summer, giving a speech at a university. it was interesting because even at that point, people were very interested. here is a man from the campaign from trump. we will find out about trump. he refused to answer any questions about the trump campaign, even there in moscow. he did a very good job of dissing american foreign policy in central asia, but he wouldn't answer any questions about the trump campaign. so that to me was a little odd
as well. >> hey, jill, i don't know if it was last night. the days are all running together, or the night before. let's talk about the russia reaction becse matthew brought it up. the russian people's reaction to what's going on over here about these meetings and so forth. >> you know, i totally agree with matt that it's very difficult. you know, i would say in the kremlin, people are not naive, and i think that they understand -- they understood even from the beginning that donald trump was unpredictable, kind of a wild card with a lot of ego and that this all would play into the way that russia would eventually play with him. so you saw the early comment by president putin, which was stroking the ego of donald trump. you saw other comments but never really any complete commitment. so, yes, they didn't want hillary clinton to win, but i'm not too sure they knew what they whether going to get with donald trump.
and right now they certainly do not know where all of this is going, and it is backfiring because any chance of having any type of deal, as we said on sanctions, et cetera, is out the window at this point. >> i've got to get this in quickly, jonathan. i want you to weigh in on the reports that seven russian officials were murdered or found dead since the u.s. election. >> if i had a dollar for every russian official who has been killed, jill and i probably have 30 acquaintances, russian journalists who have been killed. that's something that putin and trump share. they do not like the press except putin can really do something evil about it. >> wow. you're not saying -- i mean, you know, the president would never murder anyone. we want to make that clear. >> only in his dreams. and you might be one of them. >> all right. i doubt it. i think he actually likes me, but you know. >> let's invite him on and see.
>> thank you, everyone. i appreciate it. when we come back, president trump expected to sign a new travel ban any day. the last one caused worldwide chaos. what will happen this time? i can stay. i'm good. i won't be late hey mom. yeah. no kissing on the first date, alright? life doesn't always stick to a plan, but with our investment expertise we'll help you handle what's next. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly and win at business.
president trump's new executive order on immigration is expected any day now. the first one created chaos for travelers all around the world. let's discuss that and more with the man who has traveled the world himself with his new cnn series, believer. reza aslan joins me now. good to see you. let's watch the president. this is the original signing, the original travel ban on january 27. >> and this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the united states. we all know what that means. protection of the nation from
foreign terrorists' entry into the united states. that's big stuff. >> does it pain you so much you have to laugh? why are you laughing? >> because it's clearly the first time he has ever read that. he's like, this is the -- what is it again? what is it? foreign -- i mean what are we doing here? what are we dealing with? i'm sorry. i know it's late at night and i've been doing a lot of interviews, but i can't stand it anymore. when you're on at 11:00, this is what happens. i can't stand it anymore. >> he's going to redo it. but then after the speech he gave earlier in the week, they wanted the good publicity from that so they delayed it. >> that's how urgent it was. >> exactly. is it that urgent because some really bad dudes, as he said, are getting in? >> the argument of the white house, to be fair, is these countries were chosen specifically through an objective analysis of the threat
that therefore nationals pose to american citizens, an urgent threat. unfortunately, every part of that argument is crumbling. first the fact that zero americans have been killed on u.s. soil by foreign nationals from any one of these countries. second, by reports now that we are going to be removing iraq from that list. that's a good idea to remove iraq from that list. we are, after all, fighting shoulder to shoulder with iraqi military personnel against a common enemy. so maybe it's a bad idea to talk about their banning their citizens from coming into the united states. but nevertheless, that further erodes the notion that this is about an objective analysis of threat. now we have a department of homeland security report stating quite clearly that the real fear from foreign-born terrorists, if you will, is that they get radicalized long after they are into the united states. so any kind of extreme vetting that this represents is going to
be useless anyway. >> this report shows they don't arrive here radicalized. they become radicalized after that. do you agree with that, and how can we prevent that if you agree with that? >> i mean i don't know what polls or statistics dhs is using, but in my academic work on radicalization, yes, it is true that radicalization happens through a long, long period of disaffection, through a crisis of identity within, you know, the individuals themselves. that's how it's happened in europe. that's how it's happened in the united states. >> what i find fascinating is you broach these issues in your new series, "believer." it airs at 10:00 p.m. on sunday. but you examine smaller religions so that you can find out about how people become radicalized, how they help extremism, and they promote it. what did you find out? >> well, look, i think if you start with the notion that religion is first and foremost a matter of identity and only after that a matter of beliefs and practices, that when someone says, i'm hindu or buddhist or
muslim or jewish, they're making a statement about who they are as human being. who they are as human beings is defined by their politics, their social views, their economic positions. all of those things are included in it. so what are the things that i'm trying to do with a show like this is to educate people about the varieties of ways in which a single faith can be expressed. so in this first episode, you see aghori mystics who take part in the most really scary rituals, you know, eating corpses, things like that. >> there's one man -- you talk with a man. he believes that he's from india's untouchable population and believes his karma led him to a lifetime of disposing india's deceased. >> yeah, he's an untouchable. >> let's watch. >> how long have you been working on the gats?
nothing is more polluting than a dead body. you have to figure out how to get rid of those, so an entire untouchab untouchab untouchable caste is responsible. not only are they outcast from society, but according to traditional hindu theology, when they die, they will be reborn back into this untouchable class. so it's an eternity of this kind of suffering in social positions. but this is, i think, a perfect example of what we were talking about, is that just as there are many hindus who will say if you're an untouchable, it's because you did something in a previous life to deserve it. it's part of our religion. there are just as many hindus who would say our religion is about liberation and freedom and justice, and the caste system is against that. that's the thing is that a religion is whatever a religious person says it is.
>> it's fascinating. >> it's a dream job. i can't believe you guys pay me for it. >> i don't want to jinx you. it's not you guys. you're one of us now. welcome. thank you so much. don't miss cnn's new original series, "believer" with reza aslan. premieres sunday night, 10:00 p.m. here on cnn. we will be right back. hold more. for fully loaded lashes. big shot volume. see it. believe it. maybelline's big shot. make it happen. ♪ maybelline new york say goodbye to extra taxes and fees on your wireless bill and hello to t-mobile one. right now, get 2 lines of unlimited data for $100 bucks taxes and fees included. 2 lines, $100 dollars. all in, all unlimited. switch today. my belly pain i could build a small city with all the over-the-counter products i've used. enough! i've tried enough laxatives to cover the eastern seaboard.
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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, including michael flynn, jeff sessions, even jared kushner met privately with russia's ambassador before president trump's inauguration. plus with a new travel ban waiting in the wings, reports that homeland security is considering a proposal tom adul when they try to enter the country illegally at the southern border. let's get right to jonathan sanders from stony brook university school of journalism. also cnn political