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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 22, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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presidential fact and fiction. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. wiretapping. vladimir putin, size of the crowd at inauguration. president trump seems to be operating from his own set of facts.
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but will that thinking that made him business succession and won him the white house undermine the public's faith in the presidency? and ivanka trump moving into the west wing. will the first daughter's role raise red flags? get to my guests. karine jean-pierre, kevin madden and andre bauer. good evening to all of you. thank you so much for coming on. >> good evening, don. >> kevin, i'm going to start with you. white house not backing down from the wiretapping claims even he though the fbi director told the american people, no evidence. listen to this from today's briefing. >> administration and president have repeatedly said over the next few weeks present evidence he was wiretapped. last week he said coming this week and will speak on it. will he this week present evidence he was wiretapped by barack obama or will he speak
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about it? he didn't mention anything about it last night at the rally. >> we'll see how the week goes. >> will the white house finally say there is no information. solved matter but he says coming in the next few weeks. will they have to admit something? >> an admission for the white house is concession and it's not in donald trump's dna to back off or ever back off or ever concede. imprinted on him as businessman and politician. they feel their strategic goal has to be on offense. constantly be pushing forward and not admit any defeat. i don't see it coming anytime soon. >> so when are the claims going to come? it's like we're going to invest
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the 3 million people who voted illegally, inauguration crowd size, the wiretapping thing, which got him into the predicament yesterday with the fbi director and head of the nsa. when an end or admission that i lied? >> that's a good question. i don't think we'll see one. if you look at strategically the way they manage their way through some of these crises is to create more of a distraction. just by the sheer volume of some of the untruths they promote do create a bit -- desensitize people to it and manage their way through it. >> andre? >> i think he keeps throwing the stick and media is chasing it. credibility in the eye of the beholder. i think you -- shouldn't say you, media takes him seriously and not literally and his voters
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take him seriously and not literally. there is a vast difference. they want somebody fighting for him. some of the things we are talking about in the media they're not interested, doesn't affect their life. >> what does that have to do -- >> don't understand the trump phenomenon. >> what does that have to do with the things we're talking about? >> you all keep saying he's not coming up with this, he's lying about that. >> you don't think he's lying? you think trump power was wiretapped by president obama even though the head of every single intelligence agency pretty much said no, there's no evidence? do you believe it? >> i don't know how you would do surveillance on all the people supposedly associated with he and russia without some form of surveillance. maybe not wiretapping, some type of surveillance. they're not using carrier pigeons or spoke signals. >> and you think the former
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president ordered this surveillance, there's no evidence of any surveillance either but certain people, minority by the way, believe that something -- something that is not true we should not cover it? >> no. absolutely not. i will say i don't think he should have used president in his tweet. i wish he had not. but other than that, i think he probably knows more than we think. but another fact. rasmussen said several percent of people think the country is moving in the right direction when was 20%. they're still looking at the big picture. >> his approval rating is at 37%, andre. fact is a fact. every single response to something that is not favorable to donald trump is his voters don't care about it. that means nothing talking about facts.
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lot of people don't care about a lot of things. when people say they didn't want this or that, lot didn't believe that same sex should get married or black and white people get married or go to school together or integration. but guess what, wasn't the right thing to do or truth about what america is. does that mean we should ignore facts and ignore what most of the american people care about because a small number of people, trump supporters, not living in reality? >> not talking about what most americans care about. health care, jobs and pay. >> don't care about the truth? >> sure they care about the truth. but the narrative has been about spying on russia. but there's no facts. no facts proven. narrative pushed for weeks -- >> same thing. not proven that anyone wiretapped anyone and
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administration is still lying and saying it has been or proof coming down the road. head of the department who would be investigating it said there's no proof. so president and his spokesperson lying to the american people. that means nothing to you? >> dangerous for people on your show to say this is like watergate. there's no proof whatsoever. to start tieing this to watergate, this russia investigation, is irresponsible. >> these people lived through watergate. person who broke the story is on the air. you'll have to talk to carl bernstein about that. but i think people involved, john dean and carl bernstein would know more about watergate than any of us sitting here, who read about it in a book. wouldn't they know? >> trying the president in the court of public opinion. i hope the folks who say this will apologize to the president when there are no facts found. but to continue to push the narrative when there are no facts, nothing presented through
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any government agency that anything was done, keep pushing this confusing people and they say why comparing to watergate when no facts whatsoever. >> i need the nixon sound bite. there are comparisons in the way -- and i think carl bernstein and john dean were saying this, the way this particular administration treats press, very much like the nixon administration, especially in the weeks before something was found with watergate. bernstein will tell you, it's not just a smoking gun. it's a drip, drip, drip. listen to richard nixon in 1973. >> i have never heard or seen such outrageous, vicious sort of reporting in 27 years of public life. don't get the impression that you rouse my anger.
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>> i have that impression. >> one can only be angry with those he respects. >> doesn't ring of familiarity? >> not really, don. again, if there were facts here that had been presented and said x, y and z happened and is the president tied to that. don't have anything so far. continue to go down this road and put crowd over our president without any facts of collusion or -- >> should it continue to be investigated? >> yes. people should know. there's finality in this. if there's something out there they think should be investigated. fine. as american i want them to make sure there isn't anything. but continue to beat it in the media with no facts i think is wrong. >> what do you think -- we should not talk about until they
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find proof. until it is all concluded. is that what you're saying? >> i'm not saying that. he's being tried in the court of the news media without any facts whatsoever. speculation, speculation. without any x, y, z, here's what was done to change the outcome, how the election was swayed, hillary lost because of what the russians did. don't have any of that. >> i don't know if what you're saying is true, if hillary lost because of what the russians did. not what the intelligence shows. they made no conclusion about that. fact is yesterday we found out, confirmed by the head of the fbi there was indeed investigation going on with the trump campaign and its possible connections with russia. clear the air, bring in the other panelists, be right back.
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all right. back now with my panel. so thanks for joining. listen, i understand that it is upsetting to compare this president to nixon. but one of the reasons we did it, not to pick on you, andre, is the president in his tweet compared the former president to richard nixon. said this is nixon/watergate stuff. bad or sick guy. you're saying we shouldn't compare to watergate or nixon but the president made that
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comparison himself. bring in the other members of the panel. michael, what do you think? >> i think donald trump's stock in trade for his whole life has been allusion and deception. this is a guy who has promoted himself as more powerful than he's ever been, richer than he's ever been. now he's president, the credibility is a big problem. never dealt with that before. destruction of the presidency and public trust, the american public has the right to believe that the president is telling them the truth and speaking credibly. >> here is what is frustrating to me. people think when you hold someone's feet to the fire. president trump or campaign or surrogate. something to do with ideology. it has not. this is to do with what the administration is doing and competency and hypocrisy of many people. i don't think andre is a
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hypocrite. but to say why are people comparing nixon to this president when the president did it himself, i think it's a bit hypocritical. >> and see poor sean spicer wriggling like a worm on a hook trying to get off it. just like ron nessen in the nixon white house, standing up there trying to justify something that's been said that's not true. so there's this stream of distortion. until the guy at top says now it's time to tell the truth, they're trapped in this lie. it's a terrible circumstance for every one of trump's supporters. >> karine? you've been listening. what do you think? >> i think the problem is the president didn't understand what it means to be president. when you use twitter to say your predecessor essentially committed a felony, that is serious.
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that is potential for constitutional crisis. that's what he doesn't understand. and so -- but here's the thing. the president started his political foray by lying about president obama, saying he wasn't born here. and continued to lie was president with the crowd size and wiretap, and what it's doing is eroding his credibility. not just as president but also the office that he holds. so it's one thing to lie as tv star. it's a whole other thing to lie as president. and don't forget the international aspect of this, too. his lying is hurting, damaging our relationships with the u.k., with germany, two of our best allies. so it is disconcerting. >> and that was part -- yesterday found out u.k. said -- fbi director, nsa, department of justice, no evidence as well that president obama used u.k. and their intelligence department to spy on trump
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tower. this whole odd web of really just lies that comes out of the administration. kevin during director comey's testimony, official potus tweeted this, the nsa and fbi tell congress that russia didn't influence electoral process. director comey asked if that was true. said not his intention to say that today. and sean spicer asked about that moment. take a listen. >> is there concern on the part of the white house about the president's credibility that his own director is correcting his tweets and what he's saying in real-time? >> let's be clear, answering questions. not like he was out there. direct quote, i have no hard evidence of collusion. end quote. director clapper. quote. not to my knowledge. end quote. senator tom cotton. not to my knowledge.
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in reference to russia connections. to fact check the president for quoting them -- question should be directed at them. not us. >> and that was yesterday, my bad. do you think the white house is in denial? >> first of all you have to remember the role that a white house staffer has. first and foremost fierce and passionate advocates for the president. and prejudice to the president's position. that's their job. but to darlene's point and hallie jackson's question, credibility is at stake. and i think one of the big challenges that this white house has is being able to make some of the arguments in a credible way so supporters on capitol hill will rally to their defense. and at the same time maintaining that credibility because -- >> how do you do that, kevin? >> it's very hard right now. challenge is they're making it harder on themselves.
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so many unforced errors. and because the white house is put in the position of defending indefensible statements by the president. but bigger risk is the credibility of the president is going to be very important during times of crisis. we haven't faced a huge crisis yet. keep pushing ourselves towards self-made crises but credibility to bring the country together or communicate directly to the american people so they have faith in the process or in their government, that's where this could come under assault down the line. >> new piece in "new york times" today about why president trump can't let the false claim go. write this. first, aides say that mr. trump who often says i'm a really smart person in public is driven by a need to prove his legitimacy as president to the many critics who deem him an unworthy victor forever undercut by hillary clinton's 3 million vote win in the popular vote.
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secondly claim about phone taps is false is important part of the president's self-image. sound like the trump you have studied? >> it does. he's all about delegitimizing others and worrying about his own legitimacy. that's the game he plays. if you always trying to diminish everyone who do you respect, and fear is no one respects me. always casting for feedback from staff saying yes you're right when he's not and immune to information. things come in that contradict him and he really does ignore it. there was a guest earlier today said the president takes in his counsel and processes it. i think what he does is ignore it if it doesn't comport with what he's hearing on fox news or
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other shows, he's not going to buy it. >> our discussion continues right after this. my lineage was the vecchios and zuccolis. through ancestry, through dna i found out that i was only 16% italian. he was 34% eastern european. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors we thought was italian was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. he looks a little bit like me, yes. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at today, unlimited gets the network it deserves. verizon. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty. five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have.
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breaking news, failed attempt by north korea to launch a missile. south korea's minister of defense saying, quote, south korea and u.s. aware of the missile launch and to their knowledge not successfully launched. breaking news. back, now, with my panel. when you consider how high the stakes are now. just reporting on failed launch of a missile by north korea. if we're unfortunately in a position where we have go to war or get into a standoff with a foreign adversary, credibility matters andre, what the president says matters and shouldn't the americans be in position to believe just about everything that comes out of the president's mouth? >> i agree with you on that. i think the military trusts this president more than the former president. they know if donald trump gets ready to engage the military,
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going to use them. trying to bump up the funding for them right now. this is a guy as proud of the country as any president we've ever had. he believes in the military and supports them utterly. i think other countries are concerned as well if he says going to doing? he'll do something. see it in policy, with building wall. taking on the economy, getting jobs back in the country. seen these things happening in short time. less than 100 days. >> lot to unpack but get the other panel members in. karine, when the president says on my orders we've done this, sending troops to here, are we to believe him? >> i don't know how we can, don. this is a president who has had more things to say about crowd size, which was a lie, obama wiretapping which was a lie and
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to talk about russia and putin who undermined the democracy and got involved in the election, hasn't said much about that. so, his -- he isn't focusing much on the international affairs. went after china and they stole one of our missiles once he did that before he even became president. there's nothing he has shown to give us any comfort that god forbid there is international crisis where we have to go into war that we would believe him. you see that in his approval numbers. historic low. because of his lying. >> kevin, republicans are standing by the president instead of questioning directors comey and rogers yesterday about the investigation into foreign adversary interfering with the election, focusing on leaks.
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leaks are important. but how long do you think this can last? >> well, look, right now they're interested in supporting the president. partisan tribal instincts driving support towards the president. not new to this president. happened with other presidents. main challenge is these members of congress did not run for office to become chief litigators for the president's tweets or latest statement he makes. they're going to grow tired of that. if you look at agenda this white house has and many congressional republicans have, it's an ambitious one. it's hard enough to pass tax reform, repeal a major law like obamacare and secure the borders without all these distractions. as these distractions continue to get in the way of an agenda, members of congress are going to become more and more reluctant to really become the chief defenders of the president.
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going to focus on their own provincial interests. >> and interesting, michael. mentioned wall. mexico will pay for it. so far not. no legislation on the wall. jobs, no difference. jobs report. last one out, can't be attributed to this president. great they have jobs but probably past administration. coming months new jobs can be attributed to this president. some of the companies that donald trump has taken credit for, under works with president obama. health care, having a hell of a time. nothing -- there's been a lot of slight of hand and movement and talk but nothing on the issues that andre is talking about. you wrote president is cherry picking hearing highlights. trump can't resist attempting to shape reality through the media and level of confidence bordering on delusional. has he always acted like this?
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how did it impact his business career? >> he has always acted like this the way it's affected his business career is he's had four major bankruptcies. he doesn't learn the lesson of the first and goes on to have three more. i also think the difference between a president trump and -- >> let's let andre address one point. you said it's not true. go ahead. >> in 2000, when he had the downturn and did poorly in business, 2008 came and everybody was tanking, he made a lot of money. he did learn. was no education in the second but when he did have tough time in business, next time the market went down, capitalized on it. made a lot of money on it. >> i'll let him respond. >> four major bankruptcies, two minor ones, can't be trusted with other people's money.
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and i think the american public will start to wonder can he be trusted with our nation? difference between nixon and donald trump is nixon was competent. understood foreign affairs. didn't alienate two allies, australia and great britain in the first 100 days of office. at some point allies stop sharing information with us and volunteering for missions when we want a coalition. this is very dangerous. >> if you don't want to be compared to nixon, don't compare your predecessor in nixon. up next, a surprising trump adviser. wait until you hear who has been giving the president advice on his travel ban.
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long day of questioning for president trump's supreme court nominee, judge neil gorsuch at his confirmation hearing today. here to discuss, alan dershowitz. good to have you on. i want to start by ask you about the hearings, how is he doing? >> very well. but made three serious unforced
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errors. he should never have tried to justify his dissenting opinion in this truck driver case. should have admitted he made a mistake, he was wrong and human. no way of interpreting that statute the way he did. >> can i explain to the viewers? exchange between senator al franken and judge gorsuch. senator franken took the judge to task for a ruling against a truck driver who claims to have been unrightfully fired. tires froze. reported to company and waited for repair truck to arrive. waiting allegedly started to suffer from hypothermia. and fearing for his life, he unhitched the truck and left the trailer unattended.
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he was fired for abandoning the trailer. now, let's listen. >> two safety issues here. one, possibility of freezing to death, or driving with that rig in very dangerous way. which would you have done, judge? >> senator, i don't know what i would have done in his shoes and don't blame him at all for doing what he did do. i empathize with him entirely. >> talking about this case. haven't thought about what you would have done? thought about for a second? >> i thought a lot about this case. >> what would you have done? >> i empathize. >> i'm asking a question. please answer. >> i wasn't in the man's shoes. >> you don't know what you would have done. i tell you, i would have done exactly what he did. i think everybody here would have done exactly what he did. and i think that's easy answer.
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frankly, i don't know why you had difficulty answering that. so you decide to write a thing in dissent. if you read your dissent, you don't say it was subzero but say it was cold out. the facts that you describe in your dissent are minimal but here's the law that -- and you go to the language of the law. you talk about that. i go to the law. a person may not discharge an employee who refuses to operate a vehicle because the employee has reasonable apprehension of serious injury to the employee or the public because of the vehicle's hazardous safety or security condition. that's the law. and you decided they had the right to fire him, even though the law says may not discharge employee who refuses
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to operate a vehicle because he did operate the vehicle. is that right? how you decided right? >> gist of it. >> no. is that how you decided? >> senator, a lot more words in the opinions, majority of my colleagues and dissent but happy to agree with you that's the gist of it. >> that's what you've said. and look, i'm not a lawyer. but i've been on this committee for about eight years. and i paid some attention. so i know that what you're talking about here is the plain meaning rule. here's what the rule means. when the meaning of the statute is clear on its face, meaning is obvious, courts have no business looking beyond the meaning to the statute's purpose. and that's what you used, right? >> argued to us by both sides.
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>> but that's what you used. >> both sides argued that plain meaning supported their -- >> and you used it to come to your conclusion. but the plain meaning rule has an exception. when using the plain meaning rule would create an absurd result, courts should depart from the plain meaning. it is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice, possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving an unsafe vehicle.
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that's absurd. now, i had a career in identifying absurdity. and i know it when i see it. and it makes me, you know -- it makes me question your judgment. >> so you were discussing. do you think that franken was too harsh? >> no. i think he got the better of the argument. statute says vehicle. there were two vehicles. one was the cab of the truck. other was trailer. refused to drive the trailer. plain meaning of the statute didn't allow him to be fired and franken is right when he said there was absurdity. judge gorsuch would have been so much better off if he said i made a mistake. i'm human. no way to defend that by law,
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morality, interpretation, it's absurd and should have just admitted it. >> you said three things. what other two things? >> he said no difference between the rules regarding precedent and circuit court judge and supreme court justice, just plain wrong. and third he looked us in the eye and said he would have walked into the room if the president had asked him to reverse roe versus wade. wouldn't have walked out of the room but would have said to the president, that's inappropriate question and if you insist on that, wouldn't accept this position. he wouldn't have walked out of the room. that's hyperbole. other than that, he did very, very well. he really did better than most of the senators other than al franken who asked hard questions. >> switch gears. talk about your conversation in mar-a-largo, president struck up the conversation. that's what you said. give us the details.
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what did you talk about? >> he came over and started schmoozing. we talked about the travel ban, wiretapping, leaks, gorsuch, ninth circuit, range of issues. then he left and went and have dinner and came back to say goodbye and stayed another ten minutes and kept schmoozing and talking to me, values my opinion. i told him i didn't vote for him. oh, you're one of the very view who didn't vote for me. then he said if i can get this guy to vote for me in 2020 be accomplishment. never voted republican. i said you're right. it's very uphill. i have open mind. he knows i'm not voting for him. >> any chance you would vote for him? >> i have open mind. as patriotic american, i said day after the election, root for success whoever is president. i'm skeptical.
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at moment wouldn't vote for him. i hope he changes. i want to see him be a good president. he has a do a lot away from what he's doing to be a good president. but i'm american first. s as american, i want to see him be successful president. >> but he's got to make some -- >> oh, yeah. >> alterations, course corrections. you said you discussed the travel ban. you've made it clear in the past while you don't agree with the ban you do think it's constitutional. what advice did you give the president that you can share? >> only advice i gave him was on your show. withdraw the first ban and do better one that might be constitutional. we talked about my prediction that the court would find it constitutional. vindicated a day later by five judges of the ninth circuit who said the stay orders were absurd.
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kaczynski used very, very strong language. brilliant judge, made it clear he thought the supreme court would vacate the stays and uphold the statute. i think they will uphold the major parts of the rule. >> you gave him no advice in mar-a-largo? >> i just told him i predicted would be upheld. he said something about maybe going back to the first order. i didn't suggest that because i said earlier, i thought the second order had better chance of surviving. >> are you official adviser now? >> may be last time i see him in person. no idea. invited to have dinner with my wife, thought a quiet dinner. vice president came over. first lady. >> having dinner with chris -- at mar-a-largo, come on? you know the president is coming over. >> didn't know the president was going to be there. week he was supposed to go, wasn't there.
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we couldn't make it. secretary of commerce came over. i was probably only democrat in the restaurant. >> on inauguration night i went to the trump hotel in washington, d.c., interesting time to be had by all. >> i had fascinating time. >> you can pretty much guarantee every weekend he's at mar-a-largo except for one or two. >> well, i enjoyed it. >> thank you. coming back, ivanka trump moving to west wing. what role will the first daughter have in the white house?
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first daughter ivanka trump will be working out of the west wing. am amanda, good to see you on. alice, you were on last night, weren't you? >> i was. good to be back. >> amanda, i want to start with you. you wrote a pretty tough column for you said ivanka trump sits with dignitaries during important meetings, is setting up an
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office at the white house and seeking national security clearance. what qualifier s her? apparently being the president's daughter. there's a word for this. and makes everything ivanka trump what she's done, to position herself as an example of working women a farce. wow. why nepotism? >> yeah. the only reason she's getting west wing space and security clearance is because she is the president's daughter. a direct bloodline to the president. no one else has the privilege she was in this position, which doesn't have a title. we don't know what she's going to be doing other than this vague description of being eyes and ears for the president, which is a little creepy. what is most worrisome to me is a fact that she says is a way of smoothing over concerns of this, is that she will, quote, volunteer to abide by ethics laws. no one else gets to volunteer to
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abide by ethics laws. you're expected to comply with them. will she volunteer to go to jail if she does not comply with them? i don't think so. everything about this arrangement signifies privilege and a special position for a presidential daughter that is nothing other than nepotism. >> so, alice, she's not going to receive a salary or a title. does that make a difference to you? >> not really. i think amanda's piece is excellent. it brings out some really good, solid points. i don't think the white house is a place for on-the-job training, with regard to national security matters. we knew this was going to happen. she's been an integral part of his business for many years. certainly with the campaign. and i'm actually quite, frankly, surprise it's taken this long for her to set up shop there. she has been a strong advocate for working moms. she was crucial in the human traffic discussion that's being discussed. she will give him the piece of
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mind and effort that he wants. looking back to 1993, hillary clinton set up shop in the white house to work on hillarycare. and didi myers asked why? the president wants her to be there to work. president trump wants her to be there. and she will be there, like it or not. >> is there a difference between a first daughter and a first lady? >> i think the national security clearance is a big difference. this is a bait and switch by the president, who told people that it was fake news that he was seeking any kind of security clearance for any of his sons or daughters. that is not the case. that's a huge game-changer. ivanka trump, in my mind -- this sunt help. she is no advocate from for working women. she is taking a job from someone who has more national security experience than ivanka trump. i don't know why ivanka trump is
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at that table, for critical decisionmaking that will impact our homeland security. someone needs to explain that because there's more qualified men and women who should have that spot in the white house over ivanka trump. >> do you agree with that, alice? >> i think that only -- >> she has her own interest. her own fashion line. her own jewelry brand. and she stepped down from daily management of the company. but is that enough to eliminate conflicts of interest? >> she has recently seized control of the fashion industry. she is, as amanda says, voluntarily going to comply with ethics rules and laws and regulations. who knows how that will be followed up on. the bottom line is, we knew she was going to be part of this campaign -- this administration. she's doing so. i think the fact she doesn't have a title and has a loose portfolio, that gives her more power. she can walk in and out of anyone's office. >> got to go. david axelrod said the most
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important thing she can do is say let me told your coell phon. >> no more tweeting. >> thank you. i appreciate it. see you here tomorrow. uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty. five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have. (vo) unlimited on verizon. 4 lines, just $45 per line.
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♪ happening now -- the white house looking to rangel the votes it needs to pass the republican health care bill but with just one day before the house vote account president seal the deal? and the president's nominee for the supreme court says he is his own judge, he will not be forced into any ruling by this president normy other. what else did neil gorsuch say during 12 hours. >> 12 hours. >> i'm christine romans. >> and i'm dave briggs.


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