tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 5, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
providing zero evidence. the president telling conservative website news max, quote, this will be investigated. it will all come out. i will be proven right. his press secretary officially calling on congress to investigate saying in a statement, quote, reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. president donald j. trump is requesting as part of their investigation into russian activity, the congressional intelligence committee exercise their oversight committee to determine whether investigative powers were abused in 2016. neither the white house nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted. all of this amid reports that the president spent the weekend incredibly frustrated his staff had failed to contain reports about ties to russia. cnn's white house correspondent athena jones is live near the
presidents mar-a-lago estate. what are you hearing from the fbi that the justice department came forward -- asked the justice department to come forward and knock down the president's claims. >> probably has never happened before, pamela, as you know from covering this. it's a pretty extraordinary development. so sometime over the weekend, the fbi went to the department of justice and requested and asked them in conversations to refute basically president trump to say, hey, this did not happen. these allegations that he's made that president obama was involved in some sort of wiretapping of his phone. by extension, i think the director was concerned that the fbi would somehow be blamed for this. and quite frankly, by this request, the fbi is saying this did not happen. we did not wiretap his phones. yesterday we spoke with a former
senior law enforcement official who had direct knowledge of the investigation from the department of justice. they, too, confirmed this never happened. so today we're learning it's a pretty significant thing for the chief law enforcement officer to basically now ask for the department of justice to refute what the president is saying. >> right. so this is certainly not something that the president wants as a headline. it comes on the heels of the reporting that you have that there has been frustration between the president and his team. the president expressed that frustration regarding their handling of these russian reports. so what are you hearing? >> hi, pamela, you're right. this is another bad headline for the white house. i can tell you since yesterday we've been reporting that the president was angry on friday when he was preparing to leave the white house to come down here to florida. he was angry at his senior
staff, also with his communications team, his press team. he's described as showing increasing flashes of anger over their performance, particularly -- in particular he was angry about the handling of the story -- the reports around attorney general jeff sessions and his conversations with the russian ambassador and the fact he had to recuse himself from the investigation into all of this. he's concerned that those -- the focus on those stories overshadowed what he saw as very good reviews from his speech tuesday night before joint session of congress. the president was also mad about nonstop leaks that he feels are undermining his administration. one source describing the president on friday said, quote, nobody has seen him that upset. and now just today a few hours ago we learned through my colleague white house producer that the president's angry mood
followed him down here to mar-a-lago. this is according to people who spoke with him at his resort over the past 24 hours where he continued to express frustrations with his team and handling of russia -- these questions about russia ties. they said his anger was not directed at any particular aide but he did gripe that his staff had failed to contain the russia story. these sources also say that the president angrily raised the wiretapping issue unprompted in his conversations with friends and acquaintances. while he didn't say what the information he was basing these accusations, what that information was, he did tell these members, these friends that he expected an investigation to prove him wrong. so we're getting a little bit of information, a little bit of color about the president's mood over the last several days and it hasn't been good. >> it certainly has not. athena jones, thank you so much. this report no doubt helping his mood. i want to talk about this with
our panel, cnn david gergen, adviser to president ford, reagan, nixon, former fbi assistant director tom fuentes. tom, this request from the fbi to the department of justice to knock down this claim by the president, is this unprecedented? >> i can't remember another time when something like this happened. so i think yes, as far as i can tell it is unprecedented. i think that it's interesting that what seems to be a request of the department of justice has actually knocked down the story. it doesn't matter now that the department of justice concurs or not, and i'm not sure who would. if we have the attorney general sessions recusing himself on matters related to campaign investigations and all this related to the investigation, then who is the request going to go to in the department of justice. this is similar to what happened last july when attorney general
lynch said at the time she'll go with whatever recommendation fbi makes. yet again, we have a situation where we don't have a fully on board attorney general with regard to this case. >> and it's unlikely something like this would happen without the approval of the fbi director james comey. so what do you make of this remarkable rebuke, sectionally, david gergen, from the nation's top law enforcement official, basically questioning the truthfulness of the president? >> remarkable, historic, never seen any of this before. you know, we saw early in the week with his speech to congress that donald trump has the capacity to hit new highs in his presidency. but we're seeing at the end of the week he it sink to new lows. he made history at the end of the week with these tweets. we've never had in american history i can recall a sitting president accuse a former
president of a crime. and doing so without a shred of evidence being presented to the public. and then the president essentially sneaks off the stage and says he won't take any questions about it. he doesn't want to talk about it. he doesn't want his staff to talk about it. we're left hanging with this very bizarre story in which there seems to be no hard evidence so far that president obama or any -- tapped mr. trump's phones or there was taps on trump tower. instead brian stelter said in the last few minutes in your last report, pamela, what we have is a president who makes something up or reads it from breitbart and throws it out there without evidence and asks congress to investigate. we've never seen that either. >> so director comey, tom, has not shied away from basically going solo without the support of the justice department we
saw. a couple of examples of his handling of the hillary clinton e-mail probe. so in this case, why wouldn't he just come out and say this is simply not true. the fbi was not wiretapping his phone. >> well, in a way he has. i think that's the essence of what's coming out. >> he has because the media reported the request was made. why wouldn't the fbi put out a statement? why wouldn't james comey come out and say something? >> because of what happened last summer when he was chastised for single handedly saying he wouldn't recommend charges, when that's really the purview of the department of justice. technically he would normally confer with the attorney general. but as i mentioned, when the attorney general -- yet again we have an attorney general being removed by themselves from being in the decision making. so now who does he ask and where it go? there's no indication? he doesn't have a deputy attorney general to confer with or seek permission.
i think that's interesting he would just go ahead with this and put the request in a way that, you know, ensured that it would come out publicly within a matter of a day or two, which it has done. >> of course the fbi would know if there was a wiretap, fisa warrant on then presidential candidate's phone. david gergen -- >> i can clarify that, pamela? >> yes. >> the fbi is the only federal agency to conduct fifa wiretaps. >> exactly, which is what i'm saying. they would absolutely know. that's what i'm saying. the fbi would know. so david gergen, why wouldn't the president do, perhaps, a little bit more investigating? why couldn't he see something like this happening where he makes an allegation like this and then, you know, his own agency, the fbi could knock it down. of course the fbi knows what the reality is? >> jay tapper has been reporting from his contacts at the white
house. they seem to be -- the aides of the president seem to be saying to him, listen, he picked this up from breitbart. what a conservative radio commentator said, he hasn't picked this up from official government sources. have you to wonder, pamela, to your very good question. my sense is this is only an interpretation, that he was so frustrated and so angry that he's been looking for a way to go back on offense in terms of pr. he wanted to move the focus away from jeff sessions. he wanted to get away from what he thought was a bad story. he was angry at his people. he came up with a way saturday morning to invent a whole news story. >> is this the kind of news story? i mean, if this is an intent to distract from the past headlines, is this any better? >> no. i think it's worse. i think it does no honor to him and does no honor to his office. i'm astonished that we're here.
we've never seen a situation like this. what i do think is we're going to now have -- we're going to have deeper investigations and intelligence committees. what's been interesting is the senate intelligence committee is out front in terms of conducting an examination ahead of the house. the senators saw no evidence about this. they want to inquire. like marco rubio says, i don't know what he's talking about. >> i have to ask you this, tom fuentes, as we've seen the president is not afraid to fire people. he fired sally yates, deputy attorney general after she basically went against his travel ban. it makes you wonder what's going to happen now in this relationship between the president and fbi director, james comey. do you think there will be any relationship left to salvage, tom? >> good question. again, this is uncharted territory. it's a good question what's
going to happen in the days ahead in terms of all of this. to david's point about the fact there are numerous investigations, if they are going to be investigating whether there was a fisa wiretap on president trump or his people, that's going to be a quick investigation if, in fact, there wasn't any and the director is about ready or has already stated there wasn't any. so quick investigation. >> is it possible there could have been anybody else that wiretapped without investigation? is that possible? >> everybody else under the sunil legally. private investigators. you have people that could have done it, but that's a serious felony to engage in a wiretap illegally. now, you know, it was alluded to by former director of national intelligence clapper this morning made a comment about you could have other agencies. what he means is criminal wiretaps don't go to fisa tap but each judge in a judicial district. those kind of wiretaps if it's
based on criminal probable cause can be conducted by the fbi, dea, several other federal agencies can conduct criminal wiretaps. but fisa is only exclusive do maybe of the fbi. >> and to be clear, we don't know if there's fisa warrants on any associates during the campaign or an investigation on someone living in trump tower. but what we do know is that the president claimed in his tweet that obama had ordered a wiretap of his phones. and now you have the former head of the dni, james clapper, saying he wasn't aware of this. now we have this new reporting from shimon that fbi asked dea to knock it down because it wasn't true. a fascinating development in this story that developed as of saturday morning with that tweet. david gergen, tom fuentes, thank you so much for your analysis. we do appreciate it. ahead this hour, breaking news.
what may be another missile test by north korea, the second in the past four weeks. another potential crisis for president trump. plus frustration firestorm, the president venting anger at his florida resort this weekend, after seeing russia story dominate the news cycle. later, leap of faith, cnn takes you on a curious journey into some of the world's most unorthodox religions. a sneak peek at "believer." you're live in "cnn newsroom." that ride share? you actually rode here on the cloud. did not feel like a cloud... that driverless car? i have seen it all. intel's driving...the future! traffic lights, street lamps. business runs on the cloud... and the cloud runs on intel. ♪ i wonder what the other 2% runs on...(car horn) the slopes like i used to.
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. we are back with cnn breaking news. north korea fired several projectiles into the sea of japan according to the military. this comes several weeks after they test add missile. that missile traveled some 300 miles before falling into the sea and can you see the range on this map right here. i want to bring in cnn's paula
hancock. she is joining us from seoul, south korea. paula, what more can you tell us about these projectiles. >> pamela, we are learning there are a number of projectiles. japan's prime minister shinzo abe commented on it saying there were four. four landed in japan's economic exclusive zone. these are waters controlled by japan. they say they are gravely concerned by this. they say north korea is pose agnew threat. we also know from the south korean military, the defense ministry official telling us they flew around 1,000 kilometers. what we don't know at this point is what the trajectory was. we don't know exactly what kind of missile this was but certainly military is looking into it and will update us shortly. the timing, of course, is crucial to north korea. nothing happens by accident. it's always highly choreographed. just last week we had u.s.-south korean military drills starting. they are every year.
they are lasting around two months. every single year they anger pyongyang. they see them as being a potential dress rehearsal for an invasion. u.s. and south korea said they were defensive in nature. this is in keeping with what you would expect this time of year. >> paula hancocks, the latest from seoul, south korea. coming up on a busy sunday on the offensive mexico opens immigration defense centers in the u.s. following president trump's immigration crackdown. live to mexico city up next. an unlimited data plan is only as good as the network it's on. and verizon has been ranked number one for the 7th time in a row by rootmetrics. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics? it's the nation's largest independent study and it ranked verizon #1 in call, text, data, speed and reliability. (woman) do they get a trophy? not that i know of. but you get unlimited done right. (man 2) why don't they get a trophy? (man 3) they should get something. (woman 2) how about a plaque? i have to drop this. my arm's getting really tired.
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centers inside mexico's embassy and consulates across all 50 u.s. states. cnn's layla santiago is in mexico city. how exactly would this work? >> you have to think about this as the mexican government rallying all its supporters and putting it in one exclusive spot for immigrants who may need legal aid, who may need support, need to know what to do in the event of a deportation or to look at their case in particular. this is something if you talk to the consulates, which i've talked to several of the really big ones in the united states, they say this is needed after president trump's election. they have seen an increase not only in the demand for the consular's services but also if you just take a look at the number of calls. many of them have set up call centers to be able to answer questions, the questions that are coming in are what do i do if i'm deported, do i need to come into the consulate, things of that nature.
they are seeing quite the rise in demand at those call centers and at the consulate themselves. this is sort of a response to what could be more deportations or the fear of more deportations in the immigrant community. they are going to have attorneys there to provide legal aid. if the mexican government saying, hey, we don't want any human rights violated for our people in the umbrellas. let me put this in perspective for you, pamela. just a few days ago the mexican foreign minister is at the u.n. and said if there's any violation of human rights for our immigrants in the united states, we will seek justice. this something that has been a priority for the mexican government not only the foreign minister but something that the president enrique pena nieto has talked about in speeches, very vocal, a priority for the mexican government given changes at the administration and white
house. >> all right. layla santiago in mexico city. thank you very much for that. democrats call it yet another president trump conspiracy. many republicans mean while skeptical over wiretapping claims. when marco rubio, one of the republican senators leading the investigation told our jay tapper. you're live with "cnn newsroom." oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's five. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style. it's truck month. get 0% financing for 60 months plus find your tag and get $5500 on select chevy silverado pick-ups when you finance with gm financial. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. as after a dvt blood clot,ital i sure had a lot to think about. what about the people i care about? ...including this little girl.
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close to trump has spoken with the russian ambassador and not been forthcoming about it. the other person was michael flynn, national security adviser who had to resign as a result. why do you think senior officials in the trump administration keep failing to be forthcoming about the their communications with the russians? i don't know about the others you've mentioned, because i don't know about who they met with and talked to. i can tell you about senator sessions and ambassadors, that's what ambassadors do. i meet with dozens of ambassadors a year and i run into them all the time. that's what they do. they are out there trying to reach out to people and talk to them. it is not unusual for a member of the senate to meet with an ambassador. obviously he in a senate committee said he had not been in contact with anyone. that turned out to be inaccurate. that was what became problematic in terms of the way he answered that in committee. i don't believe it was intentional in any way. at the end of the day it was not the kind of thing jeff sessions does and not the kind of thing that would be easy to hide, nor
would there be any reason to. again, i think we've gotten to the point of hysteria here. ambassadors try to meet with people all the time. i literally meet with dozens of ambassadors and so do most senators, especially those on committees that touch on foreign affairs and foreign relations. >> as you point out the issue is not forthcoming not the actually meeting. have you ever met with the russian ambassador s? >> i haven't but i'm not the kind of person they reach out to but i've met with other ambassadors from other countries including countries from time to time we may have strong issues here. it happens. that's what they are here to do and that's what they try to do. often when a new ambassador is appointed or new senator is elected or appointed to a committee they try to reach out pro actively and meet with you. we haven't had a lot of connections with the russians. probably some of that is they probably think i'm a lost cause in terms of talking to on some of these issues but we meet with dozens of ambassadors every year. >> u.s. intelligence officials,
of course, say that he's not only an ambassador but spy and recruiter of spies. you're on the senate intelligence committee. is that your understanding? >> i'm not going to get into what the intelligence committee assesses on anything. suffice it to say it's not a mystery to anyone, not him but anybody in general, every industry has some intelligence associated with it. that's the nature of diplomatic facilities not just in washington but all over the world. again, i go to reiterate the point i made earlier and it's this. ambassadors try to meet with senators and congressmen and people on the hill all the time. it is what they spend a significant amount of their time doing. that is their job. it is not unusual that an ambassador would meet with a senator on both sides of the aisle as has been the case here by the way. >> republican senator marco rubio suggesting president trump may have information that is not yet available to members of the senate intelligence committee or to the public for that matter. but now we're getting this news
that the fbi says it's wrong and asks the justice department to knock it down. i want to bring in our national security analyst, also political commentators maria car do ndona lorde. cnn, fbi demanding reject the claim that his phones were ordered tapped last year by then president barack obama. how significant is this demand from the fbi? >> it's significant, and it's unique. obviously fbi director comey could do it himself, as he did last summer, and discuss whether an investigation is or isn't occurring. i think what you saw over the course of this weekend is a real concern by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that regardless of the substance or
veracity of what president trump said it's legally impossible for a president to direct wiretaps. it's just a falsity and we need to call it that. fbi director comey wants to make it clear that such a wiretap exists only with proof. i serve, i know that court, the rigorousness of that court. in some ways it was just a legal fact check. is quite disturbing for the fbi, for a president to think not that the previous president used it but also possibly maybe a little bit of a gut check to president trump that the fbi will not be used like that in this administration. >> but to be clear, beyond just the fact the last president couldn't order a wiretap, we are reporting the fbi wanted justice department to knock down the notion that then candidate trump's phone was wiretapped at all, beyond president obama. let me ask you this, jeffrey
lord. given the fact the fbi, which would know if president trump's phone was wiretapped and saying it's not true, does president trump owe president obama an apology for making this outlandish claim? >> no, i don't think it's outlandish, and i don't think he owes them an apology. what we need is an investigation. everybody is clamoring for an investigation i'm there. i'm looking at a "new york times" story. >> jeffrey you have the fbi saying it's not true. >> wait, wait. a "new york times" story, "new york times" that says intercepted russian communications part of inquiry into trump associates. well, now, why in the world is the obama government trump associates? those are their political opponents. how does that happen? i want to know. >> there is a big difference between the fbi investigating associates for reasons we're not -- we don't see everything behind the scenes of the fbi and
the fbi wiretapping a presidential candidate's phone, which is what he alleged. >> opponent period. >> that is not true. >> that's not what they did, jeffrey. >> can i just -- >> go ahead, juliette. >> i want to clarify with the intelligence act. i understand why jeffrey needs to say what he's saying, but i think it is very, very important that people understand the legal framework by which very important national security cases are investigated. and so to make an allegation that simply because trump associates who may have been -- may have been part or communicating as a course of a foreign intelligence surveillance wiretap is actually regardless of your politics, it actually would have had to have been approved by a court. either you believe jeffries or the republican theory, which is any republican doing anything, right, would never be allowed to
be investigated, which is, i think, the sort of logical conclusion. >> why does the -- >> this is where we'll agree, that there has to be a thorough investigation. if you want to throw in to this investigation this notion, like, you know, out of nowhere that somehow the president directed the foreign intelligence, let's go ahead. let us do it, because i have quite major confidence in the national security and intelligence process to know that trump will be the one sinking based on these allegation, not a question about the foreign intelligence court. i think there jeffrey and i would agree. jeffrey? i'll get to you in a second, maria, but i want jeffrey to respond, though. >> there has to be an investigation here. to say the president knew nothing here, this is published in the "new york times" and other stories as noted in the "washington post" that suggest
that the president of the united states and communication staff -- >> let me be clear, there's a big difference. we have to deal with facts. there's a big difference between the president being aware of something because it's in the "new york times" and the president ordering a wiretap of a presidential candidate's phone. >> i'm saying if the "new york times" and "washington post" are not dealing with facts. >> no, no, no. what "the washington post" and "new york times" reported is fundamentally different from the allegation that president trump made on twitter yesterday. he is alleging not only the former president ordered a wiretap of his phone but that his phone was wiretapped. >> investigation into a potential president, are you kidding me in this is what is arguably -- >> it's not true. the fbi now reporting saying it's not true. i just want to make sure. >> is that what you're saying. >> for the president's phone. i can't speak for anything else. our reporting is that on the
president's phone there was no fisa warrant. we can't speak to his associates. >> fisa request? yes or no. there were. >> our reporting is that all of this is not true, jeffrey lord. go ahead, maria, i want you to jump in and get a word in. he's saying president trump does not owe president obama an apology. what do you think about that? do you think president obama needs to personally speak out about this? >> i think president obama spokesperson has said very clearly that it is just simply false. i don't think president obama needs to get involved in this childish, ridiculous, reckless behavior that trump is now engaged in, which frankly goes to exactly why the majority of americans believe this is not a man that is fit for the presidency of the united states. and to jeffrey lord's point in the "new york times" january 19th story, that talked about
intercepts of phone calls between trump aides and russian officials. guess what, jeffrey, did you ever think that the united states was actually tapping russian officials because that's what they do in the intelligence community. so therefore -- and so therefore the conversation -- they picked up conversations between trump aides and russian intelligence officials. and so what this goes to, though, what this goes to, pam, clearly this is yet another in a long string of blatant outright lies that trump has got to say publicly when he feels squeezed, when he's feeling with his back against the wall, when everything russiagate is clearly bothering him. he didn't get a bump out of his so-called presidential speech tuesday, because just a day later he realized his own attorney general had lied under oath and was under scrutiny and
was going to have to recuse himself and perhaps resign. >> we say lied under oath, he says that's not -- we don't know that. >> we actually do. we have his words -- we have his words and we know that the words under oath -- >> campaign surrogate. >> we know that the words he uttered under oath aren't true, that's called lying. >> his testimony tomorrow. so let me just bring you back in, juliette, because we now have this extraordinary development in this story that began yesterday morning with president trump's tweet where the top law enforcement official is essentially asking the justice department to publicly knock down what the president is saying. what are other countries around the world thinking about this? >> so funny, i just got off of cnn international.
let's just say your allies at cnn, your international hosts are, i think, somewhat dumbfounded both by what's going on. cnn international, just to remind people, cnn international is leading actually with the north korea story. this for international, there are real things going on in the world. look, this is a crisis this weekend that was generated by tweets. this isn't a real crisis. it's a crisis in a sense who knows where this investigation goes. but most of us in national security and homeland security are sitting here saying, something will happen. it happens to every president. sometimes it's no one's fault, a hurricane even, a natural disaster, let alone a north korea event or terrorism event. so just to remind us, the world is looking at this -- i think the host object cnn international used the word incredulous to describe
global -- >> it is embarrassment what we should feel in the united states about how president trump is behaving in office. >> all right. wow, what a discussion with the three of you all. thank you as always, juliette, maria, jeffrey. we appreciate it, have a great rest of your sunday. coming up here in the newsroom, it and to be an increasingly cozy relationship, president trump and russian president vladimir putin. new signs indicate this honeymoon is over. we go live to the "cnn newsroom." grandpa! grandpa! thanks, mom.
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the two be on the rocks? here's cnn's nic robertson. >> reporter: around the u.s. election donald trump fever hit moscow. matryoshka dolls on sale at the kremlin and plenty of time on russian media. >> he ordered the tone of the state-controlled media, particularly television in russia to be more friendly toward the trump administration. >> reporter: veteran commentator says trump's pop lairity in moscow was overdone. >> i think there was a lot of hype in the u.s. media about the relationship and about the bromance. i don't know where people got that from. >> reporter: if there was a bromance, the last 40 days have alled the ardor. >> i love to negotiate things. do i it really well and all that stuff, but it's possible i won't be able to get along with putin. >> reporter: then came the tumult over who in the trump camp met the russian ambassador
and why media vandalism say officials in moscow. >> stop spreading false news. >> and some hard-line comments by u.s. officials on russia's seizure of crimea and its meddling in ukraine. >> i must condemn the aggressive actions of russia. >> reporter: a quick scan of the newspapers here reveals a lot less trump and a lot more putin and reflects frustrations at the kremlin of what officials describe as an emotionally charged atmosphere in washington and mixed signals from the new administration, but also full of questions. the increase president trump wants in u.s. defense spending $54 billion, that's as much as the entire russian defense budget. moscow also wants an understanding over syria, but doesn't know what it's going to get. some expect old rivalries to win
out. >> the difference is the invested interest between moscow and washington are too important especially with the military industrial complexes on both sides. >> reporter: maybe expectations were too high. >> what the russians wanted from the u.s. ideally would have amounted to a foreign approximately see revolution in the u.s., something not to be had. the history of the relationship has always been one of twists and turns, but the view from moscow looks less than euphoric. nic robertson, cnn, moscow. surprising moments. they're everywhere. and as a marriot rewards member, i can embrace them all. the new marriott portfolio of hotels now has 30 brands in over 110 countries. so no matter where you go, you are here.
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change india into a caste-free society. >> he is a second-generation a gury and a doctor at this clinic. >> before we see patients they were untouchables and they were a condemned lot. people think they are not curable and they were abandoned by the family members and ultimately die so when baba came by treating those patients and giving them self-respect and they're a human being and leprosy is not untouchable, by just touching a leper patient you cannot contaminate the patient. >> it's not just the fear of infection. it's the fear of pollution, as well. they were seen as unclean and unpure and there's so such thing as unclean and unpure. >> in the agour system there is
nothing unit upable. >> the philosophy can actually change indian society. >> i sincerely believe because here everybody is equal. we are trying to convert the society into a caste-free society. >> it's funny. everybody talks about putting their faith into practice, that religion is supposed to be not just the things that you believe, but the things that you do. you want to know what putting your faith into practice looks like? this is what it looks like. and the host of cnn's "believer" raisa aslan joins me now. what was the most striking thing you learned about india's caste system about working on this? >> the most striking thing is that hindus, devout hindus on both sides of the aisle are using their religion to prop up the caste system or to tear it down. that tells you a lot about
religion in general. there are so many misconceptions about religions these days and a lot of demonization of people of different kinds of religious traditions based on the actions of a few to extremes and beyond that external stuff there is a lot about our faiths that we have in common and the aghori which may seem scary have at the heart of their faith they think anybody, regardless of whether you're religious or not can latch on to which is the equality of all human beings. >> and what do you hope this will -- this series will teach viewers? >> i think each one of these episodes will introduce you to a religious community that may at first seem a little bit frighten, a little bit scary, maybe a little bit exotic, but through my immersion into these community, through my journey as i get to know more about them, you're going to suddenly discover that you probably have a lot more in common with these people that you thought were so
different from you than you actually thought, and i think especially nowadays that's not such a bad lesson to learn. if you can do it for a 44-minute tv show maybe you can do it in your life and communities. >> that is certainly a fair point. reza aslan, thank you for that. cnn's original series "believer" airs tonight. the next hour of "newsroom" starts now. ♪ ♪ top of the hour now. you are live in the cnn "newsroom." i'm pamela brown in washington. great to have you along with us on this very busy sunday. the breaking news tonight, a request by the fbi to the justice department to publicly refute allegations by president trump that he was wiretapped by his predecessor barack obama during the campaign. this as the president remains steadfast in that assertion despite presenting no evidence. he told a conservative website "newsmax," quote, this will b