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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 6, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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that's all the time we have, thanks for watching. time to hand it over to don lemon for cnn tonight. i'll see you tomorrow. it would be an absolutely stunning charge if it were true. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. president trump doubling down on his twitter charge that former president barack obama ordered a wiretap of his phones during the campaign. with absolutely no evidence. no evidence to back it up, a source saying james comey was incredulous over the president's allegations and had his staff reach out to the department of justice, asking them to knock down the whole thing. press secretary sean spicer tonight, ducking the question of whether the white house has confidence in comey. but is all this just a distraction from the real issues facing the administration, and
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the country? i want to do something i don't normally do, i want to say a few things before we get started tonight. what happened over the weekend from the president of the united states is not politics as usual. it is not normal. and none of us in the media or at home should pretend that it is. this is at best a clumsy attempt to dangle a shiny object, change the subject from russia and throw us off the track. it's at worse an angry president trying to make someone else a scapegoat for the problems of his administration. former president obama, not the obama administration, no one in the administration, but the former president wiretapped him. we have no evidence of that, zero, and no one in the administration has provided any. none. only spin, james clapper was the director of national intelligence when such alleged wiretaps would have happened.
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>> for the part of the national security apparatus that i oversaw there was no search wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign. >> and at this point you can't confirm or deny whether that exists? >> i can deny it. >> there is no fisa court order? >> not to my knowledge. >> of anything at trump tower? >> no. >> james comey incredulous the president would say such a thing. former nsa and cia director michael hayden gives this blunt explanation. >> the president of the united states put his own reputation, the reputation of his predecessor and the reputation of his nation at risk to get at least a draw out of the next 24 hours of news. >> if hayden got it right, if president trump risked all that to distract and deflect from the real story which is russia, by the way, we americans should not allow that to happen. we have to follow the truth,
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wherever that leads. now, let's get started. let's go to our political analysts, mark preston, jeffrey toobin, david rode and jeff zellny. jeff, i'll get to the news first, what's going on here, jeffrey toobin? >> i don't know. i don't agree with what you said, that this was somehow an attempt to distract. i think this is just the way donald trump is. i don't think he's playing some careful four dimensional chess, i think he sees things on breitbart, on right wing social media. >> i didn't say it was strategic. >> you said it was an attempt to distract. i think he's just angry, he's angry about how it's going in his administration, and he sees an explanation here on the internet, and he tweets about it. i don't think it's any more complicated than that. >> regardless of what the reason is, i think it's incredibly reckless. let's assume there was some validity to it. to have the president of the united states make that charge
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against his predecessor at 6:30, 7:00 in the morning on a saturday. his staff was caught off guard, they weren't able to answer the question. let's assume it's not true at all, doesn't it bring his credibility into question. and quite frankly, what does that do for the american people when they look at the president of the united states and wonder if they can trust him. >> i think it shows how bitterly divided we are. and this still works with his base politically. the cnn poll today said 71% of democrats are very concerned about reports between the contacts of the trump campaign and russia. 54% of republicans are not concerned at all about those contacts. so he's playing to his base, that may backfire in the long term. but i think he believes it, and people who are reading those right wing sites believes it. >> the person who should have access to the best intelligence out of anyone on the planet, believes it and there is no -- there's no credible evidence for it? >> you have steve bannon, the far right and far left blaming a deep state.
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i have covered that deep state. i have a leak myself that's under investigation for a story i wrote. i think these are generally public servants, they're concerned and that's why they're leaking the information. a huge segment of the american public believes -- >> let's say it's true. which most people, with any knowledge of it, would say it's not. as the president of the united states, wouldn't you say here's my evidence? here's how the obama administration, or the president wiretapping? i'm showing you this. the american people, i've gotten this information, this is what happened? none of that has happened. >> in the real world it wouldn't be the president of the united states who would come out and make this accusation. it would be the press secretary, perhaps the attorney general, it would be his lawyer, the legal council that would come out and do it. you wouldn't see the president of the united states come out and make a charge in any other world than the trump world we're living in. >> let's talk about the fbi director saying this was incredulous. and now seems like the people closest to the president are
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scrambling to back up the president's baseless claims. what's the latest from the white house? >> the president was far more definitive about these statements and claims on saturday than his aids have been. if this happened, or maybe this happened, we should look into it, his aides were absolutely defending him, and saying that there should be a congressional investigation. but, don, i was struck by one thing today at the white house, we did not see the president or have an opportunity to ask him a question or anything. the first weekday in his seventh week in office, where he did not have a public press event, he generally signs executive orders with the press there. he signed a very important executive order today, i think the white house does not want him talking about this. tomorrow he may be talking about this. but look, sean spicer, the white house press secretary also had a press briefing off camera, and
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he did talk to our sara murray later in the afternoon, he did talk about the fbi director. there are deep divisions there, there's frustration there. james comey trying to defend his bureau, but this is what sean spicer said about the fbi. >> we've only heard unsubstantiated anonymous sources make those claims. i don't think director comey has commented on anything he's allegedly said. so i'm not going to comment on what people say he might have said. i think the director is more than capable of speaking for himself. >> what about the fbi director? >> i've asked him that, i think he's focused today first and foremost on this effort to keep the country safe. >> just a bit of context there, sara murray was asking sean spicer if the president stands by or has confidence in his fbi director. and the white house press secretary you could hear him say right there, he hasn't talked to him about that yet. so, we don't know that he does not have confidence in him there. it did not sound like a huge vote of confidence right there, don. >> i want to bring you in, nia
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malik. the white house officials can try their best to back up the president. the bottom line is, there is no proof what the president dashed out on twitter. an extremely serious allegation, about the former president, saying the former president was wiretapping him, had wiretapped him. >> yeah, and this of course came in a series of tweets early in the morning, 6:00 or 7:00 tweets, making these bombshell allegations, i mean, this would be one of the biggest stories in the last 50, 60 years of american history, if this were true. you would imagine if you were donald trump and you had this evidence as he suggested he did, you would want to hold a press conference. i know mark said it won the be the president who would do that. a man who's so concerned about ratings, this would be a very highly rated press conference, if he were to come out and lay out all the evidence. the fact is, at least at this point there doesn't seem to be any evidence to this, so you
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s have his aides so far going out and trying to defend this. and donald trump essentially hiding behind twitter. i mean, remember, when he tweeted that out in the morning, six or seven tweets about this, his final tweet was about arnold anythinger's ratings in "the apprentice." that in some ways suggests the level of seriousness in terms of his approach to this, on the seriousness of the evidence behind this is very much lacking, and i -- again, i think we had the conspiracy theorists candidate and now we have a conspiracy theorist president in many ways, someone who gets some of his information from breitbart, from conservative talk radio, and doesn't use the power of the white house, where he can summon any and everyone to ask questions, he doesn't do that. he just reads and he tweets stuff. >> we're laughing, it's not funny, it's laughable. i can say it is laughable. i have to -- >> interesting distinction. not funny, but laughable. >> yeah.
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>> you know, i'm glad -- you don't think that it was him changing -- i do, i think it was so much negativity, so much negative press coming out about russia, he's just, oh, my gosh, what am i going to do. how am i going to handle this? to nia mallika's point. the conspirator in chief, he fueled birtherism, he implied ted cruz' father was involved in jfk's assassination. he claims millions of illegal votes were cast against him. the inaugural crowd size, and the list goes on. so, if it's not to change the narrative, or if it's not something that many people may be afraid to say, then what is it? >> well, i think -- you have to keep in mind, he said all these false things. he was found -- >> admitted -- you know, admitted assaulting women, what happened to him? he got elected president of the united states. some of this stuff is working well for him. i think he feels like he's an
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authentic personality, he doesn't have a sensor, he's not politically correct. a phrase he loves to mock. and i think this is just who he is. also, it's worth keeping in mind, he's 70 years old. i don't know a lot of 70 year olds who change their personalities when they get a new job. >> he's never going to change. i'm 27 and i'm never going to change. that's an alternative fact. that's a really alternative fact. we sat here before the campaign and talked about birtherism. that was completely not true. we gave credence to many people believe. just because there are false reports that are written and poorly sourced reports, does not make it so. >> to david's point, he has his base and he's playing to his base. we're seeing an erosion with independents and what have you. that's just the beginning, though. for donald trump, so far, he's been successful, i've said this
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time and time again. he's been able to govern through executive order. doesn't mean he has to go to congress to get anything done. it's basically, he says i want this done, signs a piece of paper, it happens. those executive orders run out. you have to govern, this is where i think he runs into trouble. he's not going to get away with this type of stuff that he did on saturday when he's not able to deliver on the campaign promises that he said he would for his supporters, and then i think that's when you're going to see the erosion from republicans. >> hold that thought. we're going to talk about that, and the travel ban, and there's also other news. the repeal and replacement of obamacare. and russia. and russia, we're staying focused on that. we'll be right back. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪
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>> i don't know anything about it, other than when i was sitting here in the studio at cnn. if the president of the united states said that, he has some convincing evidence that that took place. >> what could that convincing evidence be? >> i don't pretend to guess as to what the motivation may have been to do something like that. >> david? >> my news agency, we spent all day trying to get something clear about this. it appears to be based on the breitbart news report and the other right wing news reports, that's all we have at this point. it's back to people's personal belief and the president himself, and whether he would say something that's false and reckless. >> they want to investigate this, are they going to get around to investigating the 3 million people who voted illegally?
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where are the investigations going to take place? >> and when are we going to keep up the heat? that's the question. we get all outraged, he said there were 3 million people who voted illegally, we're all outraged for a night. and the circus moves on. and we're on to another story. this one may be big enough that people stick around for a while. and it is related to the russia issue, which clearly is not going away. i think we're responsible for allowing this stuff to go on without accountability. the shiny object, right? we get distracted by the shiny object. and many times we don't follow where the story leads. we move on to the next thing. >> can i say one thing about the shiny object? the difference between him thinking 3 million people were at his inauguration. or him accusing the former president of spying on him, this shiny be object he put out there saturday is very sharp. >> very sharp. and it cuts.
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>> in terms of the shiny object, i mean, if you talk to pam brown, jim sciutto, our fabulous reporters here, they aren't distracted by the shiny object. people at "the washington post," people at "the new york times," greg miller at "the washington post," i don't think is distracted by the shiny object, he's breaking all sorts of stories as reporters are at cnn as well. >> so many things that are coming down, it's like an avalanche. fair point. i understand what you're saying. i want to ask you this, let's move on and talk about the revised travel ban, shall we? it's down to six muslim majority countries. it no longer includes iraq. it took away language that banned syrian refugees. and this one exempts permanent residents.
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it was signed behind closed doors, without the press. just a photo handout. what's happening. that is a first usually if you come back on camera, it is this with a bunch of people behind him and he goes -- right with the thing. and he reads it, this is -- it's not a muslim ban, we have to keep the bad dudes out. what's going on here? >> i think he did not want to have to answer questions today about his tweets. and about his bombshell allegations against the former president. i mean, that is why we have not seen him on camera today with any reporters near him. that's plane and simple why spicer didn't give an on camera briefing, it was off camera. the president is in hiding. and we will see how long this lasts. >> to be fair, i think this executive order is a far more professional, far more fair document than the first one. it's much more likely to be upheld by the courts, the argument that this is a muslim ban is going to be tougher to
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make. the professionals got involved. this wasn't a white house production in the middle of the night. you had quite a show of force the president wasn't there, but you had the attorney general, the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security, all throwing their weight behind this. >> this was a long way to go and -- >> yes, but this is not going to make the country safer. it will make muslims less likely to want to allow themselves in the united states. it doesn't change that basic dynamic, it's better legally. but again, studies, you know they found 3% of the people involved with terrorism were refugees. so, it's a lot of politics here. this isn't going to make the country safer, according to statistics i've looked at. >> to my point. and this proves me right.
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we're going to talk about the repealing and replacing of obamacare. they just made it public, they want to repeal the individual mandate, maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions, allows children to stay on their parents plans, and allows state medicaid expansion through 2020. everyone's been wondering, this is obamacare light, no? >> it is. we've already seen some republican or more conservative republican opposition to it saying it doesn't go far enough. one thing we didn't see today. while they did release this bill. and we've seen some details of what they're going to try to do. we didn't see how they're going to pay for it, they're going to roll back, you know, when you take away the mandate, you take away the money that went along with the mandate. so, that's out a door. and they're going to roll back the taxes on many programs, the medical device tax, the prescription medicine tax. we don't know how much it's going to cost. >> thank you all.
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i enjoyed this conversation. just ahead, president trump telling a close friend he is confident he will be proven right about his wiretapping claim. we'll talk to that friend next. . but shouldn't it be about firsts? and seconds? how about adding a third? we think there's a bajillion ways to measure success. like making your toddler giggle like this. yep that's a success! can teaching kids in another country how to say "pony" make you a success? the correct answer is yeah. what about taking pride in everything you do? finding the courage to do something you've never done? or doing something no one's ever done? we sure think so. this is what we call... the new success story and while success isn't just about money, no matter how much you have, we think you deserve the financial freedom to sleep like this at night.
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president trump accusing former president barack obama of wiretapping his phones during the campaign. i want to bring in a man that knows president trump well. the ceo of news max and news max tv. i'm happy to have you here because you know the president well. you saw him twice this weekend. >> i did. >> so, what did he say about the wiretap story? >> well, i saw him a few hours after he did those tweets. he had just come in off the grsgolf he went through the process on
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the fisa report. he detailed some of that to me. >> what did he say? >> he said the first judge rejected it. they wind back the other time. >> did he have evidence of that? that's a news report that's not been substantiated. >> i wouldn't say he got it from that news report. he was pretty confident about it. he did not disclose to me. >> you think he has intelligence? >> i think he's aware. i believe -- and i'm talked to a number of people of the trump campaign through the whole election campaign and after, there's almost 100% consensus of people at the highest levels they were surveilled at one point or another. whether that was done at trump tower or associates of the campaign of whatty a peer tt ta were. >> the president said, the former president wiretapped him at trump tower.
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>> let's be clear. i'm not here representing the president. >> i know. >> i'm not speaking on behalf. >> i want to be clear for the audience. >> right. i say let's give him the benefit of the doubt. he said to me later that night on saturday, i said, there's a lot of denials coming out. and he said, look, they're going to investigate this. when they do, they will find out it's true and i will be proven right. he's very confident about it. obama does not do wiretaps under the legal process. we know when he said obama ordered it, this may have been done behind the scenes. this is the same administration that targeted conservative groups through the irs. the woman was at the white house. >> was that proven true? >> they never appointed a
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special prosecutor in the case. the obama administration had politicized the irs. the media doesn't want to talk about it. >> don't you think we need a special prosecutor for now then? >> the president had a phone call with the heads of state. they were leaked to "the washington post," undermining the credibility of the united states. you don't talk about the leaks. >> what are you talking about? >> the leaks of the transcripts of the conversations that the president had. >> between him and who? >> him and the prime minister of mexico and the prime minister of australia. you're picking and choosing the stories. >> from wiretaps, those are recorded. you're in the oval office and
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talking to leaders, there's people there and there's transcripts of those things. and they're not giving top secret information. they're not giving classified information. >> there's nothing more secret than the president and a conversation with head of state. >> investigate the leaks but not the possibility of bad behavior? >> my point is, this president has been under siege from the minute he walks into that office. the bureaucracy of the obama holdovers were leaking classified discussions that the president had, almost within hours, to embarrass the president. and nobody is talk about this. >> christopher ruddy, you know i love you. i think you're a good man. but i think every president who goes into office is under siege. every president is under a spotlight. there's no difference between this president and any other president. >> i would disagree. >> you don't think barack obama was under a spotlight? >> there were no special prosecutors. >> perhaps he didn't do anything
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that would draw the attention of people like having people in his campaign have conversations with russian -- people known to russia intelligence. >> let's peel the unyonion on t. it's deny, deny. who is denying there's surveillance on the trump campaign. every denial has been that obama did not order it. okay. it's a technicality, he does not order those type of things. and clapper came on. but clapper doesn't run the fbi. there were fbi quotes. but comey never said anything officially on this. and was he talking about a fisa warrant to t"the new york times or his group there? this is an fbi -- let's not forget. the fbi has wiretapped campaigns. some people say it's unprecedented. in 1968, lyndon johnson ordered the fub and they wibi and theyp
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nixon campaign. >> it's no secret that kislyak, who is a russian ambassador, they're phone calls are monitored. that's how flynn got caught. that's some of the information that's being reported. to twist it to say the obama administration was monitoring flynn? no. they were monitoring kislyak, who is an agent of the russian government. it's not the obama administration, or the fbi, or the nsa or the cia, monitoring donald trump. he got caught from the person who works for russia. that's the twist that these groups or media or whatever you want. that's how they're twisting it. but that's not necessarily true. that's not the truth. >> i think donald trump has a low threshold to being proven right here. i think there's a lot of people that believe among his group -- >> that the former president of the united states -- >> there was surveillance of the
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campaign. now, president obama will deny any knowledge of it, if it did take place. we had clapper out yesterday, right? this is the same man that testified under oath before congress that the nsa and the government was not collecting data on mexican-americans. i would say give the men fit of the doubt to the president. let's wait before we keep saying that he is wrong. all i'm saying is -- >> i'm not saying he is wrong. i'm saying he has shown no evidence, that the former president, which is what he said, in no uncertain terms. he didn't say the obama administration. he didn't say the fbi. didn't say the cia. he said the former president. an he said he was sad and i forget what the quote was. he called it said and a bad guy and said it was like watergate. that's a horrible assertion.
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a serious assertion to make about anyone. do you see at least -- at the very least, how the president of the united states should be a bit more careful about who or what organizations he makes accusations about? >> i think he should be serious about it. and he told me there will be an investigation or he wants an investigation. i'm not here to say the allegation is true. imhere to say look at what it is. you look at what the obama people keep saying. the president didn't order the surveillance. >> that's what he said. >> you've been around -- >> if he had said the fbi -- >> don, let me ask you this. >> hold on, christopher. he said the fbi wiretapped trump tower, no one would say anything about the former president.
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we would be asking if the fub and what proof did they have and what judge gave them a fisa warrant to monitor? >> we know there was a fisa warrant, the deputy general would have had to sign that. either way, do you can really believe that they -- if an agency surveilled the trump campaign they would not have informed the white house or the president about it? not that they need eed approvalo it? do you really believe he would not have been knowledgeable about it? >> it's not what i believe. it's what the evidence shows. there's no evidence that shows any of it. and every person, even the person who had knowledge of those warrants, of any type of wiretapping has come out and said plainly, at least any agencies he has run --
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>> i'm on the same page with you. >> i know you're friends with the president. >> i'm friend with you, too. >> you're the president of the united states, your word hold power. instead of going off on twitter and making accusation and giving no evidence for that, he should not do that, back up his information, once he has it -- because it puts our country in jeopardy. it undermines our democracy. >> the jury is out on that. >> that's my point. why say he did it and not show evidence? and you're saying the jury is still out. >> i can tell you, he was confident in the allegation he made. let's give him time. he should readjust the twitter, there should be a process for this. it is really important. he only in there a little over
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30 days. >> 45 days. >> he does adjust, he improves. >> we're waiting. >> we have seen a big improvement in the messaging. he had a great week last week. that speech before congress was amazing. >> there's a lot of things -- you said let's give him the benefit of the doubt. but when you read the list of things, from ted cruz's father, the birtherism, millions of illegal votes, the size of the inauguration crowds, and on and on, these are conspiracy theories. >> i wouldn't say conspiracy theory. >> they are divorced from reality, though. >> he overstates his position as a negotiation position. he likes to do that. when he says the press is the enemy of the people, he really thinks the press is out of line and wants to negotiate with you
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guys. he has a long history of being in show business and he has a great success with twitter. there needs to be an adjustment on it it and you need to be more fair. if you're more fair -- >> i think we're extremely fair. >> he keeps telling me why am i going on cnn. >> because we can have a conversation like this. he can welcome to come here and prove out of us wrong. we're not out to get him. >> no i'm not. why leaks of the president's >> you're not? conversation, you don't cover that. that's a nonstory. >> we don't have investigative powers, right. >> you can see he broke the law by releasing his confidential -- >> i don't know if there's laws that's been broken. and that's been many whistleblowers.
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if you ask carl bernstein, he has a lot of stories to tell you. you ever hear about watergate? >> yes, i heard a lot about it. >> he is welcome here any time. >> invite him. he will surprise you. >> he loved this before. once the heat turned up, then he is like, wait a minute, you're not fair because he doesn't like the heat. you cannot do that with the president -- >> he's able to take the heat. he's taken a hell of a lot of heat. >> they are yelling, i have to go. i appreciate it. president trump compares alleged tapping to watergate. i'm going to talk to the man who saw that scandal from inside the nixon white house. john deans joins us. internet dial up sound hi, i'm the internet. you've got mail! what did you think i'd look like? i'm wire-y. uh, i love stuff. give me more stuff. (singing) we're no strangers to love i love that! hey, i know a bunch of people who'd like that.
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wiretapping, white house leaks. all this night sound familiar to my next guest. he is john dean. also, douglas franklin. i'm sure it sounds familiar to you, as well. john, to you first.
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president trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama, really rocked the world. here's what he said. how low has president obama gone to ftap my phones during the vey sacred election propcesprocess. this is nixon/watergate. what do you think of the charge? >> he is conflicting the wiretapping that never happened. it was a bungled effort that try to repair a bungled bug. and nixon really had nothing to do with that. he's confusing that with the cover-up, which he seems to have a little more understanding of. and maybe he is projects himself into that very situation. it's a curious way he does. when hillary recused him of being a putin puppet, he turned around and accused her of being
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a putin puppet. he labels whatever fits him. >> you mentioned the cover-up. you are saying he doesn't understand watergate. do you think he doesn't understand how wiretaps work and fisa warrants and that sort of thing? >> i'm not sure he does. and nixon did authorize a number of wiretaps. >> but they changed that in the '70s, right? >> that's when the law changed shortly before the watergate buggings or attempted buggings. and nixon had called for surv surveillance of some 17 people. newsmen, a number of people on the nsc staff. and one of his own speech writers. nixon did issue directions to the fbi to wiretap. >> douglas, is the cover-up worse than the crime? >> definitely.
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h.r. haldeman used to talk about the drip, drip, drip coming on. >> you think there's a cover-up going on, though? >> there's not clarity at the white house about trump's relationship with russia. everybody is confused. there's puzzle pieces that are connected. it seems ease yy enough to get the bottom of it. it might take a private commissioner to find out what's going on. jeff sessions had to recuse himself. there's a lot of story gone here. and what donald trump is, is nixonian using the media to lash out them, blame them and derail the attacks by putting it on the opposition. >> that makes the story bigger about russia because it puts the focus right back on russia, right, douglas? >> yeah. but it puts it back on barack
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obama. i think trump screwed this one up badly. he accused former president of a felony. it's libelous what trump said about him. i heard in your interyinterview with crister ruddy, it wasn't barack obama that did the wiretapping, somebody in the administration. that's a smearing of barack obama that trump did. and obama left with a pretty good record. he has to live off of his integrity and being accused of a felony by the sitting president of the united states. it's pretty extreme. and president trump needs to get an apology towards barack obama quickly. >> it is libelous, right? >> it is libelous. a president has remarkable civil immunity. he could not be sued for libel while president. and the statute of limitations would run before any
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postpresidency action would be brought. he can't be criminally prosecuted, don. the only remedy is impeachment and removal. after removal, a president can be criminally prosecuted. he has remarkable immunity in that office. it's unfair. he can pick up the telephone and get the answers to these questions as to whether it did or did not happen. he went to his tweeter section of his phone rather than call somebody that could give him the answer, which is right there for him. one of the few people who can answer this question. >> and not have to take the public through an investigation, if that does happen. and also, the money that it's going to cost for alleged investigation if that happens. the republicans, at least the supporters seem adverse to leakers. they think it's illegal.
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people have remarked on how leaky this white house is. speak to us as someone who is part of a white house that has been under siege. where do leaks come from and why do they happen? >> i predicted there would be untold leaks in this presidency, long before he arrived in this oval office. it's evident. he was picking a fight with the intelligence community in the later stages of the campaign and during the transition, as to whether or not russia had been involved in helping hillary -- or hurting hillary and helping him. he was just -- he is also insulting a lot of the entrepreneur bureaucracy. he was the target of leaks, people that didn't agree with his policy. this happened to every president. one of the reasons that watergate happened, is because of nixon's effort to deal with leaks. earlier in your program, you
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addressed this partially. but it was nixon's effort to plug leaks that led to watt jeren gate. this is a dangerous game that trump is playing. >> our time is short. and i said to christopher ruddy, every white house feels under siege. this is nothing new. thank you so much. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪ ♪
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do unanswered questions about russia fuel conspiracy theories? gentlemen, good to have both of you on. you said the fact that we still don't have a sufficient investigation into russia's efforts to influence our election, and the trump administration's ties to russia, it makes it easier for the president to spread unfounded theories. what questions do you want answered, specifically? >> there's so many questions. i'm focused on the structure of the structure. they're housed in the intel committees in the senate and the house.
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some of this needs to be done in a classified setting. but we need staffing and resources dedicating to investigating russia's influence in the election. and then any trump campaign ties to the russians that may be relevant. >> if there are are any legitimate ties, no one is saying there's a legitimate -- that they know for sure, but they should be investigated? >> i think there's plenty of -- there are plenty of facts that indicate there are plenty of ties over time. >> there's a lot of smoke? >> it's the question of complicity. that's an important thing, too, it's an important clarification, because i think when people think of complicity, they're looking for some smoking gun that says for sure there was an exchange of planning and intentions related to the election.
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that's not necessarily what you would find even if there is complicity. it's more just an understanding that russia was influencing our elections and encouragement through friendly contacts and maybe a little bit more than that. >> steve, you want to weigh-in on that? >> yeah, evan's absolutely right on all of that. what i would add is, although there's no smoking gun yet, and of course we will not know until there is some sort of investigation, preferably an independent one. what i can tell you from my experience, we know the russians did try to tip the scales during the presidential election, the intelligence community has said that. i can tell you the russians no doubt would take it as far as they absolutely could, were they pried the opportunity, and if somebody or some group of people inside the trump camp were interested in having that cooperation or that collusion. we don't know this.
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but i can tell you for sure, the russians would have been looking for that, they would have been pushing for that, right now in the kremlin, this is the gift that keeps on giving. >> i was thinking that today, this is exactly what he wants, right? americans are fighting, the presidential candidate. two former presidents are at odds and one. because the other president is not going at it, he's laying low, and kitesurfing and being cool and tan. so -- this is what -- here's what general michael hayden, he's the former director of the nsa and cia had to say about this. >> let me go very, very dark. the president of the united states put his own reputation, the reputation of his predecessor and the reputation of his nation at risk to get at least a draw out of the next 24 hours of news. >> he wanted to take the focus off of russia, don't you agree? >> i do. >> that's a huge statement for him to say. >> it's a huge statement, but it's patently clear at this point. president trump as a candidate,
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as president-elect, and now as president, has proven himself to be skilled at shifting the focus of the media, especially in moments where the story line, the narrative is very damaging politically or even worse legally to him. that's exactly what i think he's doing, and there may be a motion involved, there may be rage, he may be upset. that may be true too, but i do think there is a method to his madness. >> steve, i'll give you the last ten seconds if you will. >> the only way we're going to stop going around and around and around about this, is if we get an independent investigation. it's been said a lot. that's really the only way to get to it. >> thank you, we'll be right back. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track.
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