tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 14, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
ties to russia come because deeply entangled with them financially and giving them money. >> and we don't know bhuch that. thanks to the panel. hand over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." we have breaking news. never before revealed information on president trump's taxes. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. white house says the president earned more than $150 million in income and played $38 million in taxes in 2005 and insist he had a responsibility to pay no more taxes than regularly required. in response to the leak of the 1040. who revealed the return and why is it coming out now? great questions.
jim acosta is standing by at white house. put out statement about the taxes. what can you tell us? >> reporter: put this out to get the jump on something happening on another network earlier this evening. former "new york times" tax reporter david k. johnson obtained 2005 tax return and shows that he made about $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $38 million in taxes. according to white house, we have not received that tax return over here at cnn, but have obtained a scathing statement from the white house. put it up on screen. go right after the people who published this report earlier. you know you're desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago before being elected president. mr. trump was one of the most
successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his pleaees to pay no more tax than legally required. this being said, mr. trump paid $38 million even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $2150 million -- and dishonest media can make this part of their agenda while the president focuses on his, including tax reform to benefit all americans. this just shows you again, situation the president has put himself in, refusing to release the tax returns. issue we talked about time and again in the 2016 skpan. in the later stages "new york times" obtained 1995 tax return that showed he lost 900,000,000
$ -- allowed to not pay taxes for several years. did have the sense not paying federal income taxes for a long time. as the president likes to say, talked about during the campaign and americans voted for him nachlt and continued to refuse to release the tax returns saying under audit. but end of the day, the president doesn't want to release the information to the public, despite it's tradition going back to richard nixon. but this president in particular is saying he will not do it. but talking about tax returns and -- >> not talking about russia. >> we're not talking about russia or health care, so on. >> and we'll talk about that this evening. that's part of the reason -- we'll discuss that. as you mentioned, there have been lots of stories about donald trump's tax returns and
president trump's -- then private citizen's tax returns on numerous news organizations. go back to the '80s, one in the "wall street journal." but indication president may have put this out himself. there's nothing bad for him. know something about his taxes, not a lot. does it fit what we already know? >> reporter: we should point out two page return released by another network this evening doesn't have all the attachments. when you and i file returns, don, every year, it's not just two pages, but multiple pages of documents and so on that are attached to that tax return. and perhaps yours is more complicated than mine, won't get into that. but what is really important is we did not learn any more about donald trump's finances,
perhaps, than we already did know. i think it is really the depth of those return thatz public would like to see. and the fact that the president is holding this so close to the vest magnifies this holy grail quality of his tax returns and going to make it more enticing for people to want to get their hands on tax returns in the future. makes you wonder why don't release to the public. unless, we talked about this before, there's something in there they just don't want the public to see. >> appreciate it jim. bring in mark preston, gloria borger, jeffrey toobin and author of "why wall street matters." this is a "wall street journal." talked about. what do you make of this whole thing? >> i think it's not much of a
story to be honest with you. we don't have a lot of details. we've got maybe the first couple of pages. again i can't independently verify this because i don't have it. stories say paid $5.3 million in taxes and another $33 million in alternative income tax which is for people who take excessive deductions on the tax returns. there is a tax you have to pay if you do that. on first glance, looks like he paid a decent amount of taxes. that's all you can see. is it a conspiracy too far to ask whether this was released to have us stop talking about wiretaps since the journalist david k. johnson says it came anon us inially in the mail. >> under the transom. >> that's how the "new york times" got it one page which was
not so benign. >> showed him taking large deductions for decades to come. we don't know the answer. we know he paid millions in taxes and don't know anything else. which we all presumed he probably paid millions in taxes. maybe. i think it's a little bit of a diversion. whether planned or unplanned. >> i appreciate your honesty. we don't know where the leak originated. how it got under the transom for johnson, who will be on the show in a little bit. >> no. we don't know. i'll take diversion and go right to distraction. which is basically the same word. bottom line is donald trump, his administration under incredible pressure right now. wiretapping issue is starting to come to a head. supposed to get answers on monday but manu raju is saying
planning to tell whether or not the white house is investigating alleged ties between donald trump and russia, supposed to happen tomorrow. and health care bill on life support at best at this point. >> no pun intended. >> it just worked. go to the idea of the distraction. unsolicited long time democratic activist worked on lot of presidential campaigns sends e-mail that said trump had it leaked because it showed he paid taxes and public will believe trump pays taxes and a lot. brilliant tactic i've seen over the decades. >> give me a break. >> not a washington, d.c., type of player. >> we always think donald trump is playing four dimensional chess. he's sitting in bathroom tweeting to distract from thursday's story on saturday. odds that donald trump said
let's give two pages of my tax return to david k. johnson, someone very tough on him in the past, strikes me as improbable. i'm a believer in the random nature of the universe. >> absolutely not. i think you have to be open to the idea that wasn't donald trump that came up with idea but one of the advisers, steve bannon, somebody who strategically realizes if put this out and goes on msnbc and they try to trash donald trump, only bolsters the case for him. >> glad you're getting the wrath of jeffrey toobin tonight and not me. come on, don. but i've got to ask you this william. i got one of the notes that you got that said would make sense, 2005, before the u.s. lenders cut him off and dependence on russia deepened.
>> they are stamped with client copy on them. client in this case i think refers to donald j. trump. >> the year he married his current wife. >> nevertheless he is the client. that's one possible indication, not to get conspiratorial about it. >> you're on my team. >> think would be a smart move by donald trump to release these now because of all the reasons you're talking about. diversion and diverting tactic. on the other hand, i don't understand, he's supposed to be wealthy guy, only 25% tax rate. in new york city you pay 50% plus, where is the other 25%? >> he made $150 million, i would call that pretty wealthy guy. not as rich as don but -- >> he owes us another 25%, percentage points in tax payments. lives in new york, in trump
tower, 5th avenue, should be paying another $36 million. >> former president in the 19%. >> don't live in new york. >> tell me about it. if were true, skyping from a beach rather than sitting here. >> by tomorrow when comey testifies and -- this is -- doesn't have legs as they say. we know what we're going to know. >> story five or six tomorrow. >> two pages long. file it away and keep asking for tax returns which he should release. period. >> when the "new york times" got them last fall, also two pages long. >> little bit of a different story. >> $950 million loss which he could carry forward into 2005 and beyond. >> what was going on in 2005? >> donald trump did suffer some trouble in the casino business. it was being restructured at the time these tax returns would have been filed, just the year
before that. but what is interesting here, possibly most interesting headline, obvious one, alternative minimum tax does work. it's a tax designed to really capture any of the benefits that wealthy and upper middle class people get by taking deductions, such as state and city taxes, and making sure that they do pay a minimum. and that's what happened in this case. we got donald trump, according to this document, paid $5.3 million in regular income tax, $31 million in the amt tax. now, don, a lot of discussion is going to happen around tax policy and what donald trump is going to push for. he has said on the campaign trail he wants to get rid of the alternative minimum tax. that's going to be a subject discussed going forward and area
of particular focus in this case. but bottom line is headline is pretty positive for trump. looks like made a decent amount of money, putting aside rumors he's not successful businessman. and he paid taxes in 200 fiechlt seems like positive outcome for him. >> thank you everyone. thank you all. even the conspiracy -- >> meet jeffrey outside. >> boston guy going to set me straight. >> you said -- i think the thing is who said nothing further? >> i think that was gloria. >> but i still say release your taxes. tip of the iceberg. >> also 2005. long time ago. decade. >> and not covered by irs audit. there is no reason. >> thank you all. be back with more on president trump's taxes.
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and jack kingston. good teeng aevening to all of y. van, start with you. $150 million, $36 million in taxes. >> if this were leaking to hurt donald trump, i don't think this is the right form to release. for ordinary people going to say, guy says he's rich business dude, made $150 million, and paying taxes. it's weird. because trying to hurt donald trump, this is not devastating thing to release. >> brian, you wanted this information in the campaign. do you think it makes a difference now? nothing in there bad for the president. >> i agree. never predicted coming on the show and throwing cold water on a report about donald trump's tax returns, but i don't think
we learned anything at all interesting tonight. two pages from one year. turns out paid $38 million woshlg of taxes. i think owes the public all the tax returns to get to the bottom of the financial holdings and connections to russia. this would be a mistake for democrats to be distracted by. i think pivot right back to talk about the health care repeal measure in the house and talk about the jump people will see in the premiums under the bill. 24 million people uninsured under that proposal. i think would be a distraction, a gift -- paul ryan is probably praying that democrats will talk about this report all the time and i think a mistake. >> you should come on the show because we talk about the truth all the time. and something you probably never thought see too, president's son praising rachel maddow.
thanks for proving to your trump hating followers how successful he is and paid $40 million in taxes. ja jack, to you. >> it was a good -- i agree on some points. but seeing someone's tax returns is like seeing somebody naked, might satisfy your curiosity but really doesn't change your life. >> what? wait. >> something about it. you know -- i mean it really doesn't. find the tax returns and get interested but next day you have to go to work, pay mortgage, get good health care. really the tax returns is an obsession of the democrat party. >> why won't he put the rest out there and put it to rest. just say you know --
>> he's made a statement about that. had to do with audit. i don't know what the status of that is. >> come on, congressman, we just spoken about this show and that is the truth. even the president says he doesn't watch, but he watches, he realizes we speak the truth, not against him, just reporting truth. don't give me line about being under audit. ones reported tonight not under audit. number of years aren't. irs says you can release them under audit. why do you think he won't release them? >> let me get back to my statement, i believe the normal person out there doesn't worry about the president's tax returns. i don't think presidents starting showing them until 1960s, prior to them -- >> not worrying about them but polls do show most people want to know. >> ratings tonight are going to
show that people are interested in this. >> go ahead. >> don. they don't care. campaign rally after rally that i participated in during the eight months of the campaign, nobody clamored to see the president's tax returns. this is a nonstory just like russia will be. peel back the onion and not be anything there. democrats care, that's the only one that cares. >> david's point is at trump rallies people weren't concerned about president trump's tax returns. >> exactly. people who care are sitting around this table. >> they want jobs, health care and education. >> go ahead jason. >> i hope that the president wakes up tomorrow morning and looks at situation and goes some of my tax returns came out, i seem to have survived it and decides to show the rest. >> nobody cares don. >> here's what we know is not true, people do care, look at
ratings. somebody announces they have his returns, ratings are through the roof tonight. twitter is alit. idea that nobody cares is beside the point. let me finish. i think it's in fact -- it is a source of endless distraction and lack of confidence on the part of lot of people. reality is trump supporters don't care. you're right. but a lot people are not trump supporters and they're americans too. when you lead a country you do some things for people who didn't vote for you. >> and some trump supporters do care. >> i dismiss the premise that people -- people care about health care. >> those things too. >> not the tax returns. >> care about russia? >> health bill on the floor. >> it's like the environment. i found this with democrats and republicans. people say do people care about the environment? answer is yes. but do a poll and name the top
ten issues, environment not in there, it's always jobs, education, health care, safety. national security. but if you ask them, do like clean air? of course. that's what the tax returns are about. i'll take them but not a top priority. >> hold on. jack, tax returns, if put it in as category but something to show whether the president had conflicts of interest might be in a higher category. just say tax returns, what does that show but explain what they could show, may be higher priority for them. >> but tax returns -- >> curious whether jack or david thinks could be something that would be problematic. is there a line they could cross? >> tax returns were interest and needed to see them because of conflict of interest and white house getting set up.
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we're back now talking about the president's tax returns. one from 2005, part of it released tonight. jason ask you, show what the documents say. show that president trump and wife melania paying $31 million in so-called alternative minimum tax. president called for elimination of that tax. relevant to you? >> because it's bad policy. bulk of what the president had to pay in taxes 12 years ago, sure. but to me talking about getting rid of the alternative tax, talking about tax cuts for wealthy folks which by the way seems to be the entire point for the bill to repeal obamacare. i think it's relevant because
it's bad poms, not good for the country and makes it hard to fund important programs. >> david? >> point to roll back the aca is not to fund tax cuts. i don't know what he's -- unclear what he's talking about there. amt will see there's going to be a long debate on tax reform. long way go on health care first. >> weigh in before i move on? >> i think the alternative minimum tax started under ronald reagan, not 100% sure but idea is make sure wealthier people pay taxes. i think though -- say this about -- >> calling for elimination of it. >> if anything, tax returns show how complicated the system is and need tax simplification. >> it's two pages. i mean that's true but --
>> i still can't. >> start something for jackisms on this show. anyone on this show think that the white house was involved in the release of the tax return? brian? do you think? >> i have no idea. but i do certainly think they probably want to change the topic from looming announcement that seems to be coming from director comey of the fbi where according to cnn's own reporting, imminently going to divulge any investigation into the president and his connections to russia. on the other hand, disaster of the republican effort to repeal obamacare, had report from nonpartisan congressman price -- >> is this a yes or no? >> congressman, think they have all the incentive in the world to want to change the subject. >> go on. >> i think they have all the
incentive in the world to want to change the subject but i do agree with those that people too often give donald trump credit for being machiavellian and playing four dimensional chess. >> there are low levels of trust for people who did not vote for trump. president continues to do things -- never misses opportunity to miss an opportunity to build more trust. would be -- to release this. somebody who liked donald trump released this because makes him look great. donald trump should take the opportunities presented to him to build more trust with the american people. fact he won't do it, makes people worry. every single republican who says move on, they wouldn't move on off the birth certificate issue. way more evidence that donald trump was doing something weird
with the russians than that obama wasn't born here. >> you're saying there's no evidence -- >> not saying -- van is like there's way more evident. >> yes way more. >> trump administration colluded with the russians to throw the election. >> he said there's way more information in the tax return than there was -- >> also about the russians. >> i thought he said the taxes were paid in hawaii? >> jack we're going to kick you out of here if you don't stop. come on. >> but respond to my point sir. it is in fact the case there was zero evidence that donald trump was not american citizen, tons of evidence that he was and spent years, donald trump led the charge. what we have now, when it comes -- >> you said donald trump, you meant. >> president obama. what we have now is weird series
of things where over and over again turns out people close to donald trump have a relationship with the russians. listen -- >> let david respond quickly. got to get to break. >> folks who had any contact with the russians aren't very close to the campaign. minimal. >> not now because booted them out. >> go back. >> security adviser. >> original "new york times" story and no there there. continues continues to grow. >> paul manafort? >> we know manafort and flynn talked to russian ambassador but. >> sessions. >> national security adviser. i mean. >> james clapper said there was no evidence of collusion. >> so far. >> and he's not biggest fan of donald trump. >> maybe there's nothing but want to be precise in the language. no evidence thus far.
and maybe there is not. >> be precise. if you look at each individual or contact you already knew about. knew that general flynn had spoken to the russian ambassador and manafort had worked for president of the ukraine, not new things in the "new york times" story. >> honest question. if there were a democratic president that had this pattern with china or kenya, you would be fine with it? >> of course i would. there's no -- laugh if you will. there is nothing there. way more important things to do. >> then should be no problem releasing the tax returns. >> deentd need to take democrats' word for it there's reason to be worried about connections to russian. just had saying not going to proceed with the hearing until
gets confirmation from the fbi. and republican said would be open to subpoenaing the tax returns. republicans raising concerns at this point. >> senate and house have the ability to look into it. do it. getting briefings. completely deal with the issue and move on. it's a distraction. the russians hacked into the dnc and rnc systems in 2015. long before donald trump was a candidate. >> and the president -- >> president now knew about it? >> president obama knew about it, brought it up at g-20. did he make a big deal? he said cut that out. >> exact words. >> and said people would say he had his finger on the scale had he done more during the presidential election and jack you would have been on here, and you know it.
>> he was talking to putin. should have said putin, you need to back out of our election, do it completely. >> exactly. >> lot more forcefully. >> pull the thread. great point. 2015. >> i would love to have you all back. great panel. thank you all. see you soon. coming back, promises made, broken. can president trump deliver on all his promises from the campaign trail? going to talk about health care. and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade
millions more people would be uninsured under the gop health care bill but at least one group could come out ahead. we have panel. glad you could make it here. >> blizzard. >> heroic. >> wear heels, people slipping and sliding out there. talking about taxes but turn to health care. where does the republican plan stand? >> at stand still in the sense
that conservative wing of the republican party continue to build up opposition to the bill. at the same time you have more centrist wing in the united states senate not going to go along with any changes that donald trump and paul ryan, if they were to agree to on the conservative side. if you were to look at it today, bill we're say seeing, not going to be the bill that will emerge. it is skeleton bill of what could potentially come out. >> talk about what is in the bill. $883 billion in tax cut, most to businesses and wealthiest americans. is it a tax cut for the rich disguised as health care plan? >> i think it's political suicide from the house republicans. if they want go this route deny -- betsy won't like this but deny 24 million americans who have coverage now, have them lose it and provide $800 billion
of additional value to the wealthy in the country who certainly don't need it, political suicide. >> promised tax cuts. >> steve mnuchin keeps saying tax cuts for middle class. and that sounds like for the rich. that's fine if they want to pass this and sign into law, 2018 will be here soon enough. >> doing your homework there. one democrat described as reverse robin hood, taking from the poor and giving to the wealthy. >> it isn't. it's jobs bill. repealing employer mandate, boost your chance of getting job or if you're demoted to part-time status because of the employer mandate as hundreds of thousands of employers have -- which i have a list -- >> explain how it's a jobs bill? >> the employer mandate, key
part of the obamacare bill forced employers to provide a one size fits all benefit package that cost more than they had before. >> gave them better health care. >> let me explain, many employers in low margin areas stopped covering. >> be able to hire more people because don't pay for health care. >> won't pay the penalty anymore. in addition many others pushed workers to part-time status. 29ers. shortest work week in history because full-time workers pushed to part-time status so employers wouldn't have to provide health care. >> trying to pin a rose on a big pile. i'm going to tell you, part of the problem you have right now with the republicans, there are two kind. not traditional moderates and
conservatives but populists, including donald trump on the campaign trail saying take care of everybody and nobody left out. and people believed that. and stuck up for planned parenthood on the campaign trail and people believed that as well. people are shocked to see the profile n poefl coming out will hurt trump supporters more than clinton supporters. >> saying lose that many, that's statistical shell game. assumes contrary to fact that the 19 states that haven't expand medicaid will expand by 2020 and saying they'll lose coverage. >> it's all a projection. >> implausible one. second one is they assume that employers will cover fewer people without the mandate. in fact cover millions more.
>> zero evidence for what you're saying. >> thirdly, say that 14 million people in the individual market will not have coverage because won't choose to have it any more. even though have the subsidies, not penalty. that's not losing but choosing. about 5 million people will lose. >> so many things wrong with what you said won't get to all of them. but most importantly this, as political matter republicans are learning that opposition is easy and proposition is very hard. irreconcilable conflict in the congress now. people think they want more conservative bill. believe what you're saying so much, throw all the regulations out and let the business do what it will. and others saying that donald trump promised he would do better by people and got to make
sure. what you're going to see going forward is republican party can't govern on basis -- >> hold on. >> william, your book is called "why wall street matters", what does it think of this? >> it's taking the view -- look in total. not only health care plan, tax cuts, infrastructure project, repatriation of corporate profits from overseas, all the things that donald promised have great appeal in the abstract. why the dow gone up. still in abstract period of time. what you're finding now unfortunately for wall street or maybe not, as van was saying, hit the reality, it's not going to be what people expected him to do. he's not been coming through on his promises and once that starts happening and can't get the bills through and get the tax cuts through, going to see
the dow falling and lose the money class. maybe that's okay with him. >> i see mark preston mouthing infrastructure. >> to cue off what van said and talk about what wall street is looking for. talking about, saw this from republican leadership, they themselves said they have to learn to govern, no longer the opposition party and many don't know how. don't know how to compromise. lot of democrats also refusing to compromise. at some point in fortd health care disaster to get -- because there are problems with obamacare, even obama says there were. democrats obstructionist, not answering of the republicans as absolutist, not the answer. but i don't think will get the aenszs before the midterm election. heading into 2018 where democrats see a ray of hope
politically that republicans are putting themselves down an alley that there's no way out. >> let me point out. >> do we have time? go ahead. >> president trump met with the conservatives today and i predict forging a compromise that substantially lowers premiums in lieu of subsidies. >> thank you all. don't miss "the messy truth" with my man van jones. kareem abdul-jabbar is the guest thursday night at 9:00 eastern. we'll be right back. what if we could bring you better value
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fbi director james comey has promised to confirm tomorrow the existence and scope of the russian/trump investigation. that's what white house told manu raju tonight. let's discuss the wiretapping claims. good evening evan and jack. welcome back. evan according to reporting james comey is going to disclose what he knows about the investigation into president trump and russia. what do you want to hear? >> just the truth. like many americans i think needs to be more transparence, american people need to understand to the degree they can, nopt compromising any
investigation, what is happening and what isn't, what is being looked into it. that describes what the justice department is doing through the fbi. i also think needs to be select committees in congress to investigate what russia did during the election and potential trump connections. what doj and fbi do is more an criminal and potential criminal activity. that's important but congressional investigation is far more expansive and could address things that need to be looked at but may not be criminal in nature. that's why both are important. >> jack? >> i think what comey is going to say, there is an investigation going on. i don't think will outline all the particulars because i don't think in the interest of the investigation for him to tell too much. washington as we all know is leaking like a seive these days
and not getting better. evan and i probably agree, you have a committee -- greater than a slelkt committee. if you created a select committee, staff it up, find people with security clearances, right representation from democrat and republican, all scrubbed thoroughly. really want to get to the bottom of this, don't want a select committee or special prosecutor. want a standing committee which is bipartisan and as you know, nunez and schiff disagree on lots of issues but good people and will come to the right conclusions. >> let him respond. >> wasn't trying to filibuster. >> that's okay. >> never. >> jack is right that we disagree on the issue but points out something important. staffing. you need staff to conduct an
investigation. right now the intel committees have their staff from prior to this investigation and they've got plenty on their plate. when you look at benghazi select committee, it's staffed up. about 40 staffers all doing the investigation. right now you have the regular order committees, intel in the house and in the senate. haven't stafd up or received more resources. because of that with everything else on their plates, a lot, it's unreasonable to expect them to do a serious investigation into a matter this serious. >> i want -- >> well, what is the matter? i'm not being flippant. what is the matter evan? >> well, jack, i'm surprised you would ask. first and foremost, our greatest strategic foreign adversary interseeded in our election in multifacetted campaign to
disrupt and influence the election -- >> but we know that and being investigated and 17 intel committees know that and reported to congress and say there's no collusion -- >> they reported. >> the matter is anti-trumpers aren't satisfied with -- >> jack you're answering your own question. >> why so opposed if there's nothing there? intel agencies came out and said that russia did this in limited document, limited in scope in what they said and looked at. and said it was issue. why would you not want to investigate that. in addition numerous ties between the trump campaign and russia and inexplicable. >> i understand a lot of never trumpers want to -- but reality is. >> why not want more information for the american people? it's unbelievable. >> intel committee will give it
breaking news, new information on president trump's taxes. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. white house said president earned more than $150 million in income and paid $38 million in taxes in 2005, in response to the leak on the president's 1040. but while distracted by this and wiretappi wiretapping