tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 5, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
thanks for watching, anderson's next. good evening, thank you for joining us. tonight according to the president of the united states, the top national security official for the previous administration may have committed a crime. he made that allegation during an interview with the "new york times." mary hagerman was the one that spoke to him by phone. >> reporter: hi, anderson, thanks for having me to talk about this. the president began by talking about susan rice in an interview that we had previously scheduled with him to talk about his infrastructure plan which is
still in it's early stages, and i talked about the president and the possibly supreme court justice neil gorsuch and the president started talking about susan rice, about how this is a big story, it is going to become the biggest story, he intimated without powering any evidence, there are other people involved in this, and he was adamant that she had done something wrong and improper, suggested it was not getting the media attention that it deserved including the times and other papers. and when i went on to say do you think she may have committed a crime, he said do i think? he said yes i think. i said do you have any intelligence that relates to this? and this man has a habit of escalating and also when he has previously made claims that he will provide additional
information for, and he has not. so we'll see where this goes. >> he didn't offer any evidence to support the accusation? >> reporter: he did not, he said there were other people, we asked him how high up this might go, he wouldn't say, he said that he would talk about it at the right time. >> and there are a lot of things in this interview that are fascinati fascinating, just days after the -- came to the defense of fox news bill o'reilly, what did the president say? >> i asked if he thought that, because i know he has been -- he has liked bill o'reilly in the past, i asked if he thought he had been treated unfairly, he said that he did. i think bill didn't do anything wrong, i believe was the exact quote, he said that he didn't think that o'reilly should have settled. and then i said why not? he said you should go all the
way in terms of defending yourself. he said that he believed that bill o'reilly was a quote, unquote, good person, who's as you know very similar to the approach he took with roger ails, the former fox news ceo. >> by the way, when the president was saying this, were there aides and stuff around him? and did they have any reaction? >> i actually never had that many aides on hand when i interviewed him. there were at least six at one point, including the vice president who walked in and there was no flinch, there was no, you know, noticeable reaction, but i'm pretty confident it's not what they want to be talking about tonight. >> he also spoke about russia and it's involvement in syria, what did he say? >> you know, we asked if he had seen the images out of syria, he
used some of the similar language that he used at his press conference that he was very disturbed by it, that it was horrible to see these images of these children, which i think is pretty universal thought, seeing them. he also, we asked about how this makes him view russia, given the alliance between russia and syria. and all he would say is that it was a sad day for russia. we asked if this is something he would discuss with vladimir putin and he said he wouldn't get into that. he was careful in how he described that. >> more now on why the president and other republicans have found it so important to focus suspicion on susan rice, why she is as one observer said cat nip. >> thank you for being with us. >> reporter: the newest target of the trump administration, susan rice, president obama's former national security advisor.
she reportedly tried to learn the names of trump operatives incidentally caught on tape by intelligence forces listening to foreign targets. she says she just wanted context for those conversations. >> the allegation is that somehow obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes, that's absolutely false. >> reporter: the white house not buying it, tweeting, lying, leakin' susan rice stumbling through her intelligence committee hearing. rice was then the american representative to the united nations and she initially said the violence you spontaneously from a protest. >> and then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons. >> reporter: but when the attack
was found to be premeditated, critics howled that rice was shielding the obama administration from political fallout. then in 2014, the white house had just swapped five guantanamo bay detainees for a u.s. soldier held by the taliban in afghanistan. beau bergdahl is still facing charges of desertion, but now? >> he served the united states with honor and distinction. >> reporter: and gop suspicion has never faded. >> susan rice is the typhoid mary of the obama administration foreign policy. >> there's no allegation that susan rice broke any laws despite what president trump has suggested. but she is right in the middle of things and once again republicanin ings want her unde and answering questioning.
>> i want to turn to a portion of what the president said to maggie haberman. here are the quotations, i think it's going to be the biggest story, it's such an important story for our country and the world. he wasn't talking about syria and the wholesale slaughter that took place yesterday, he was talking about susan rice. whatever you think that the former security advisor has done wrong, it's hard to -- the fact that at least 70 people were killed in a poison gas attack in syria. we did notice the term biggest is something mr. trump uses a lot. in fact he uses a number of superlatives in his remarks. >> one of the biggest political events anywhere in the world is happening right now in the republican party. >> it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. the biggest thing on the internet, one of the big things
on the internet was that trump was 100% right about brussels. we're going to have the biggest tax cut since ronald reagan. the biggest increase in murder in 45 years, you don't hear that, this is the biggest political scandal since watergate. we have the biggest crowds in the history of inaugural speeches. and we have by far the biggest rallies that people have seen. >> if someone is described as the biggest, the best or the most, the question for this panel, kirsten, it is interesting that the president always uses these terms and after a while, they start to kind of lose value. >> he's very hyper bollic, he exaggerates a lot, i think he builds things up a lot, but i do think the things he finds to be the biggest, are the things that
he cares the most about. i actually think that he does care more about the susan rice story than about what's happening in syria because it does impact him directly and he seems to place a much higher emphasis on things he thinks affects him. >> is it appropriate for the president of the united states to say that he believes susan rice has committed a crime when he's not presenting evidence and there is no evidence? >> if he has evidence, it's not wrong for him to say it. if he doesn't have evidence, it's not wrong for him to say it. and time will tell if there is this so-called evidence. let's review what we do know how, we do know two weeks ago, susan rice said to pbs i know nothing about that when asked about trump associates being swept into incidental surveillance. two weeks later, yesterday, she says, oh, wait, i did know something about that, in fact i was the one that was doing the unmasking, that wouldn't amount to a crime if there was a reason for the unmasking, it would be a
crime if it infringed on the rights of a u.s. citizen. and some of his congressional sources told him that the contempt of the communications was about trump's family, if that's in fact what devin nunes saw, he is questioning why were the names unmasked? >> president trump didn't say if he had personally reviewed intelligence to bolster his claim. he said he would offer evidence at the right time. >> sure, i think this is pretty straight forward, this is a shuck and jive. we have an accusation by the president, as he accused president obama, incorrectly as the fbi told us, that the american citizen has committed a crime with no evidence. meanwhile we have the fbi, the senate and the house investigating members of the trump team for potentially colluding with russia in troe s
relation to an election. we talk about an accusation with no background against an american citizen, who did what i believe donald trump officials are doing today, that is unmasking names. i have been there when senior officials request names to be unmasked. it happens all the time. i can explain to you why it happens, but i'm going to tell you right now if the president thinks that the national secure advisor unmasking names inappropriate, he better look at his staff. >> if susan right not only masked names but leaked them, then it is the biggest story, and it's basically -- >> the biggest story of our time? >> i mean it becomes a huge, huge watergatesque scandal. it would be a national security advisor spying on a political
campaign and leaking for political purposes. the leaking of it for political purposes i think it would be fair to say it's big. susan rice is a serial provery indicator, she says she didn't leak anything, there's no evidence that she did as of yet. i don't think we should dismiss this story, sometimes what donald trump does is, he says something's going to come out and then something comes out. i think we should wait and see, i do not think that we should convict her yet. >> yet? >> there's no evidence. but i also don't think we should be cavalierly dismissing this story and writing it off like there's nothing that can come of it. >> wie're on the edge of -- the
most person who advises the president on national security matters going about the business between herself and the nsa. two things, i have no brief for susan rice, but in that interview with judy woodruff, she was asked about kidisclosur, whether she knew anything about nunes talking about the disclosures of names. unmasking to the national security advisor is not disclosure. what she was talking about was leaking. >> leaking would be the problem and she did go on tv and say that bergdahl served with honor and distinction. and she did say that a video inadvertently caused the benghazi attack, which is bogus. >> let's say she's the worst national security advisor in u.s. history. even if you think that, why is she being smeared with no evidence? >> why is donald trump -- >> normally if the president of the united states, any president
of the united states said somebody -- they believe somebody committed a crime, they would actually have something to back it up or they would actually -- >> they might have it -- he might have it -- >> devin nunes who has look it at these documents has said there was nothing about russia and there was nothing illegal. >> we have spent weeks, talking about, speculating about the possibility that donald trump or his campaign might have been coordinating with russia and we know that the fbi is investigating that. >> maybe we should investigate this. >> let me bring in jeff, jeff i want to bring in something that general michael hayden. >> on its face, what i know about the susan rice unmasking story, what has gone on here was lawful, appropriate and here's the punch line, pretty routine. not exceptional.
one thing to importantly keep in mind, that report doesn't get to her desk unless someone at ft. meade, at nsa already thinks it had significance to foreign intelligence. now trying to understand what we have already established is the job of foreign intelligence. >> the unmasking was routine, appropriate and lawful, obvious he is someone who would know. obviously if she leaked that information that would be a separate issue. >> anderson look, this is really very simple. if there are six people in the room and one is murdered, the other five become suspects, four of the five may have legit reasons to be in the room. but they're all suspects until they''re cleared. someone in that group unmasked to the press in violation of the
law and committed a federal crime. >> i you're talking about michael flynn, that's not -- the nunes stuff has nothing to do with russia, we're told. >> i zuchbt matter whether it has anything to do with russia or not. >> but was what released to the press? because it had nothing do with russia? >> that's why we have an investigation, that's why they should call all of these people, and the big payoff, payoff, in a in this political sense, this becomes a huge story, if in fact susan rice had this story and was sharing it with president obama, then it becomes a mammoth story. >> it would be a big story if we found out that ivanka donald trump was shoplifting at berg dorff's, yes, that would be a
huge story, but there's no evidence that that's happening. >> that's why we need an investigation. >> should we investigate whether eve ivanka trump was shoplifting? someone was unmasked, you guys have moved this into leaking. >> we know a felony was committed to jeff's point, a criminal penalty of up to ten years. >> the one thing we know about these documents, the only thing we know about these documents from devin nunes. >> devin nunes said it had nothing to do with russia. >> it has 234nothing to do with russia. up next, we're going to talk more about the president's defense of bill o'reilly. this is sexual assault awareness month as the president has
noted. and tonight's van jones town hall with governor arnold schwarzenegger. 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. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand.
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to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. we have been talking about maggie haberman's interview with president trump. she asked about the allegations against bill o'reilly. today, remember, this is national sexual assault awareness month, the president had this to say about his old friend. quote, i think he shouldn't have settled, personally i think he shouldn't have settled, because he should have taken it all the way, i don't think bill did anything wrong. back to the panel, does it surprise you that the president of the united states is
commenting in this kind of detail? >> i wish i could say that it surprises me but it doesn't. and the content of his comments was very much how he defended roger ailes when roger ailes was accused of sexual harassment. he said that roger is a good man, i know him, he wouldn't do it. that's not really how sexual harassment works. and he also talkses about roger had done so many good things for people. he just clearly doesn't understand it. and i said how would you like it if ivanka was treated this way? he said i hope she would find another job or career. it's a very much throw back way of thinking about sexual hara harassment is that your buddies can do whatever they want and you take them at face value. i don't know what happened, i
also know that he doesn't know that it didn't happen. it's just not appropriate for him to be declaring that these women are not telling the truth. >> it's interesting, traditionally a president of the united states would not kind of wade into this sort of a case. >> right. you know, i have no problem with him being a character witness for bill o'reilly, saying i have known him for a very long time, he's a very good man. i have met bill o'reilly a few times and he has treated me with nothing but respect. >> let me finish my point, as far as what happened in that room, none of us were there, we can't say he did do it, we can't say he didn't do it. i think weighing in on the specifics of the voracity of the claim wasn't the best. if he wants to be a character witness, i don't have a problem with that. >> but something happened on the phone and it seems like there was reporting on it because there were very specific transcripts that were released. >> but it presumes that somebody if i they're nice to you that they wouldn't do something bad and that's just not correct.
and he said roger ails has always been a gentleman with me. you're a man. because someone didn't sexually harass you, kaley, doesn't mean that the man doesn't sexually harass. it doesn't mean it didn't happen with somebody else. it doesn't mean that it did happen. >> you can know someone else, you can many times vouch for their character. >> how would he know what bill o'reilly or roger ailes would do in private with a woman? how could he possibly know that? >> someone who you work closely with you can vouch for their integrity and character. why can't he make that point? >> he's not making the point that he's just a man of integrity and character, he's making the point that it didn't happen and that these women lied. when you step up and say i'm vouching for this person, you are indirectly suggesting that
the women are lying, you just are. there's no other reason to do that. >> i you want to vouch for someone's character, just like you can vouch for the character of your father or somebody else. >> but the point is to say that they didn't do it. >> because if you're close to someone you can say he is not the kind of person that would act that way because i have witnessed him treating women with respect. >> i didn't want to bring up comments that donald trump made in the past, we all know the "access hollywood" tape. does he know enough about this issue to be vouching for their character when it comes to how they treat women? >> i think so, because they're talking about someone who has been completely vilified in the way he interacts with women. his has empowered him in the construction industry, and he's empowered his own daughter. he's a different person today than he was then.
>> so you think someone that empowers women, that's actually donald trump's argument about roger ailes, he helped gretchen carlson's career, therefore he could not have harassed her. >> he's treated me with respect. donald trump is someone who does have credibility, he's been falsely treated. just like you can't question nye the women's claims, you also can't deny the other side of the argument. >> i asked you, can a man help her woman in her career and also harass her? >> of course. >> but you're saying he empowers women, because he empowers his daughter or that he has other women . >> the way her acts with women on his staff, he treats them with nothing but respect. >> people on his staff have sued him and he has apparently
settled for large sums of money. >> when you settle, it doesn't mean that you're admitting that there's merit to the claim. just like when bill o'reilly settled, there was no merit to the claim. just the allegations out there can be damaging to someone's career. >> you think he gave up half his income for a year because he was afraid of some allegations against him? >> i'm saying i don't know what happened in that room. i'm saying it's not beyond the realm of possibility that on the heels of the roger ailes scandal that he wouldn't want accusations like this floating around about him. i think he would be willing to pay money to not have his character maligned if he didn't engage in this. al i know is that we can't falsely accuse someone. none of us was there. >> it does seem that there was a culture at fox that certainly allowed this, i mean, to happen? >> i can't speak for those interactions, maybe it happened,
there's certainly been payouts, roger ailes had to leave, so maybe it seems like there was something there, absolutely, but we can't vilify something and just lump bill o'reilly into this just because he's in a place where there has been accusations like this before. bill o'reilly treated me well in the times i met him. i just think we shouldn't lump him into this whole scandal that has happened in other areas of the network. >> he's the scandal right now. >> if i had paid out, say, $13 million over the course of several areas to a variety of employees and people that have come into my orbit, you wouldn't looks a s agaskance at me? >> it raises a question, no doubt about it. you just called bill o'reilly a scandal, so you're saying he did.
>> it i actually said i don't know what happened, i wasn't there, but he's not caught up in another scandal, there's a scandal around him right now. i don't think a lot of women understand, is when you come out and say it didn't happen to me in the way you're saying it, not just as a sort of aside. it sounds like you're saying it didn't happen to me and therefore that is meaningful in some way, and it's just not, it's not meaningful that bill o'reilly didn't proposition me, i'm saying that just to disclose it. but it didn't have any bearing on whether other people were. >> when you're putting together a case in court, you gather facts from people, character witnesses, so if donald trump wants to say i can attest to this man's character. >> you keep saying you were treated with respect, it implies that -- >> that's not what i'm implying at all. >> you think it's possible that you were treated with respect and these things happened? >> of course.
but when you gather every piece of evidence, let's talk to all of those people, bill o'reilly said in one of statements he put out, in all of hiss 20 years at the network, not one person put in a complaint at the anonymous phone line. >> i worked at fox for 20 years and this is the first i heard about an mon nice phone line. >> roger ails is doing what he accused of doing, for which he actually left the company, do you really think calling into anonymous hot line within the company -- i wouldn't call into some hot line if the head of the company is doing what he's accused of doing. >> it sounds again like you're defending him. i just want to go back to the fact that what we were on originally talking about is donald trump being involved in this. what i am passing judgment on is
the president of the united states weighing in and suggesting it didn't happen. that's a problem. >> that he shouldn't have done. but if he wants to say this is one i can vouch for, he's a good person, i don't have a problem with him doing that. it's our little differences, that can make a world of difference. expedia, everything in one place, so you can travel the world better. it has long been called storm of tiny bubbles, the champagne of beers. ♪ if you've got the time welcome to the high life. ♪ we've got the beer ♪ miller beer
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more breaking news tonight, president trump with a very different response on the syrian chemical attack yesterday at dawn. the crisis is arguably the trump administration's first major foreign policy test, it's unfolding as president trump meets today with three leaders, jordan's king abdullah, u.s. lawmakers from both parties are demanding action against bashar al assad. with the u.n. calling an emergency meeting, president trump toughened his tony. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> reporter: president trump strongly condemning the deadly chemical attacks in syria, and
the regime of bashar als a sat. >> the attack in syria yesterday had a big -- >> >> reporter: how he would -- >> my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. >> reporter: facing threats from north korea and a war torn middle east, the trump doctrine is still unclear. and for that the president didn't apologize. >> i'm not saying i'm doing anything one way or the other, but i'm certainly not going to be telling you. >> reporter: today the president was criticizing the obama administration for failing to act in syria, after al assad used chemical weapons. >> when you're killing babies, innocent babies, that crosses many reds lines. >> reporter: but the president
also offered a rare acknowledgement, the burden is now his. >> i now have that responsibility and i will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly, i'll tell you that, it's my responsibility. it was a great opportunity missed. >> reporter: he left the tough talk on russia to u.n. ambassador nikki haley. >> if russia has the influence in syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it. >> reporter: foreign policy is taking center stage in the biggest way yesterday in the trump presidency. he's host chinese xi jinping in russia. the president also making adjustments to his team, removing steve bannon from the national security council, general mcmaster who stepped in after the firing of michael
flynn -- the restores a structure to the national security council, with dan coats director of national intelligence and general joseph dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs back at the table. all this . >> whether it's the middle east, whether it's north korea, whether it's so many other things, whether it's in our country, horrible trade deals, i inherited a mess, we're going to fix it. >> as you just heard, president trump's tone, no question was tougher, his words, though, were less clear, his attitude toward syria and assad has changed, very much, he said. the question is what that means, it's not clear, before he was president and even before he was a candidate, he was pretty clear on where he stood on syria. the only reason president obama wants to attack syria is to safe face over his very dumb line statement, do not attack syria,
fix usa. president obama do not attack syria, say your power for another and more important day. again to our very foolish leader, do not attack syria and if you do many bad things will happen. and another tweet, what i am saying is stay out of syria. are we actually seeing a policy shift now? keep in mind, secretary of state rex tillerson said that bashar al assad -- mr. donald trump says the mess that is syria is his responsibility. joining us now the fareed zakaria, gloria borger and mark hurtling. i guess it's unclear whether there's a change in policy in the trump administration, but it is certainly a major test for this president. >> at some level, you could file this under that very long developing file called the education of donald trump. he said when confronting health
care, who knew health care was this complicated. while who knew syria was this complicated and maybe next time it will be health care or infrastructure. syria is very, very complicated and the problem has always been there's no good side to be on. so if you hate assad, assad's big enemy is isis, you hate isis as well. and al qaeda, you hate al qaeda as well. we keep hoping to find somebody in the middle. what's odd about donald trump's statement is that assad has been killing his people for five years now, there are 5 million people who have fled syria u what about this last thing? i understand the emotional impact. but how did it change things in syria, it would have been fascinating to understand what s the principle going forward. >> it makes you ask the
question, what was his opinion of assad before if this changes his opinion of assad? >> going back to 2014, we saw a chemical attack, we saw these same kinds of pictures day in and day out, so suddenly it's affecting him in a different way, maybe because he's president of the united states. but i think today we need to take him literally. and he said this crossed many, many lines. so we're going to have to see how he handles this, vis-a-vis russia, because while nick ly haley was out there saying how many more have to die before russia cares and the president did not mention russia, he did a little bit in his interview with maggie haberman in the "new york times," as you spoke about earlier. but he did not in this press conference take the opportunity as nikki haley did to talk about russia's role in all of this.
>> there are no good answers here, and president trump continues to give details about what he says he will do or might do or might not do, refusing to saying we wouldn't telegraph military moves. could he outline military moves without giving anything away to the enemy? >> let's go do what was said about russia, he's changed his opinion on assad because of some very emotional and devastating unfortunate pictures of some chemical deaths. but assad has been doing this for years, he's been using barrel bombs, he's been striking hospitals in multiple war crimes and within the last year, russia has been the supporting agency for all of this. assad was on the ropes about a area ago, and it wasn't until russia and mr. putin specifically stepped in and helped him out. so if he's changed his opinion on assad, he better start
looking and changing his opinion on russia. and i think it was about 60 days ago, anderson, you and i were having a conversation as mr. trump was signing executive orders saying that one of these days he's going to be facing multiple international crises. it could be north korea, it could be china, it could be ukraine, it could be nato and we can go down the list and we still have military in massive combat. >> assad also opened up the prisons early on, early on this was peaceful demonstrations by people in dhara, assad opened up the prisons to kind of have a self-fulfilling prophecy. >> assad's entire strategy from the start has been to tell his people and the world, it's me or
isis. and by presenting that stark contrast, he's achieved what he wants. the danger here, is trump is sort of suggesting that he's going to change now, and he's going to get tougher, maybe he's now no longer going to support ass assad. but what does that mean? i think the difference here is that trump is used to the idea of, you know, trying out some words, flexing his muscles, maybe, you know, trying to see if there's leverage. but in this situation, the whole world is watching. is he now saying that the government of the united states is going to take on assad? if it's going to take ones a a it needs to win, it needs to defeat assad. what does he mean i've changed my mind. it's not just us, every country in the arab world is watching trying to understand, what is is the united states going to do and therefore what do we need to
do? it's one thing to not telegraph your military moves, but if you're not telegraphing your actual strategy, what are you telekbrafing? >> no point in determining what our strategy s bannen was on this council, given a seat as a principal and he's a political guy, and he was taken off that today. my sources tell me that this is clearly a demotion for steve bannon and that this is general mcmaster who said i don't want him there. and i'm told that mcmaster went to donald trump about this and that donald trump did not push back on it, that he and mcmaster clash very often, i'm told, but they didn't clash over this. and i think that you now see the national security council taking
a more sort of normal role here and that by putting the cia director back on it, et cetera, et cetera, it's going to be like a security council used to be in former administrations and removing the politics from it for good reason. >> and if i could, anderson, what we have too is h.r. mcmaster is working unbelievably, he's challenged right now, because he's about three months behind where the national security council should be right now. they should have come into office with some strategy, some national security policy. h.r. is actually building a plane while it's in flight, that's an old expression, but it certainly is true in this case and it's going to be stutter stepping until he gets the principles in, the state department gets their underlings in, and starts putting together a plan for national security. the chaos of the trump in
transition and how it may be shaping the presidency. and van jones is hosting another town hall, with arnold schwarzenegger as one of his guests, illegal immigration will be part of the conversation i'm thomas and i quit smoking with chantix. i was very grateful to have chantix. at times when i would normally go smoke, i just didn't. it's kind of like "wait a minute, i would normally be running out the door to go grab a cigarette." along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some reported seizures or sleepwalking with chantix. if you have any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you have these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening.
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the trump administration is halfway through its 11th week with a good chunk behind it. a messy transition led to a chaotic presidency. the paper has been tracking more than 500 administration positions that require confirmation. 21 nominees have been confirmed and 20 others nominated. the upshot of the article is that the trump administration is anything but a finally tuned machine. the white house does not see it that way. they point to executive action on the keystone pipeline, defense spending and improving consumer confidence. more now from dan balls who wrote the piece on the trump translation. you hear sean spicer to what he argues is a productive first 11
weeks for president trump. it's fascinating compared to your peach whiiece which lays o things went off the rails quickly. a lot seemed to be about donald trump's management style. >> i think that's right. the interesting thing is that there was a transition process that was operating. according to outsiders, pretty effectively until the week of the election. the curiosity is that donald trump i think for --'s put it, bad karma reasons did not want to engage at all with the transition team prior to the election. he thought it was -- he thought it would jinx him. so he didn't have any involvement. members of his family and senior staff certainly did. >> jeffrey, do you -- i know -- i'm sure you read dan's piece t. seems like the white house is set up in many ways like the transition was and in many ways like the trump organization itself was. it worked certainly during the
campaign, donald trump had a very small core group as he did in the trump organization when he was in business. but does it work for the white house? do there need to be some more experienced hands and clear lines of responsibility? >> every president stamps their own personality on the presidency. this is the donald trump presidency. he is going to run it in a fashion that he became accustom to in the private sector. he does have a tendency, which historically is like -- reminds me of franklin roosevelt, of having competing camps at odds with each other. ronald reagan did a bit of this, too. i think he feels it brings out the best in people when they compete with each other. so he is going to this his own fashion. no question. >> ryan, to jeff's point, to say that this is how the private sector runs -- it's how the trump organization was run. but that -- that's not like many other large companies are run. the trump organization, for all
that varied businesses they had and however many people they employed, the organization was small. it does seem like it was a very top down, from the personality of donald trump. >> one of the things that dan's piece points out that i think is unique about the trump white house is he has ditched the model that presidents have used really since carter, which is a very strong chief of staff and nobody -- few people on the same level as that chief of staff and not a super top heavy white house. trump is very top heavy. he has about six people who have close to the same authority as the chief of star. that creates the factions. each one of the people has a little bit of a power center. back in the '70s, ford tried this model. carter tried this model.
it even had a name. it was spokes of the wheel. each person was a spoke going in to the president. everyone since then has abandoned it because it created a factionalized white house that was more like lord of the flies. >> dan, i talked to a number of former chiefs of staffs, republicans and democrats, from recent administrations who have all said, you need to kind of -- everybody needs to know what their leans aanes are, what the portfolios are. you can't have various people who have the president's ear. everybody needs to stay in their lane. >> certainly there are management techniques of having conflicting groups around you so that you are getting different kinds of advice so that everything isn't hom oj niezed. there is value in that. one of the things that some of the people who were preparing the transition saw was that donald trump as a candidate and as a businessman has a particular style.
and one of the things we know about that is that he has a relatively short attention span and can easily get distracted with things. i think one of the reasons they felt there was a need for a very strong chief of staff and pretty clear lines of authority was in a sense to help bring some discipline to the president. >> jeff, when you look at the number of positions which have not been filled, according to the washington post, you have 553 key administration officials requiring senate confirmation. only 21 nominees have actually been confirmed. republicans control the senate. it's pretty stunning at this point. >> you know, i think i actually heard the president say that he was holding back on appointing some of these positions because he instinctively feels it's too top heavy in the government. one of his ways of dealing with this was simply not filling the job. you know, lots of people have talked about in the past.
he is doing this to some degree. the other thing that i think is important to note, this is a great piece by dan. but it is, i would say, however, a washington story. out here, people are not paying attention to this kind of thing. what will happen is at the end of the trump presidency, whenever that may be, history will judge him on his accomplishments as they do with every other president. not necessarily and really at all on how he got there. >> to say that people aren't paying attention to it doesn't mean that it doesn't play a role in what ends up being the accomplishment. >> i understand. history will judge that. >> appreciate it. thank you very much. fascinating article in the washington post. >> thank you. in a few minutes the truth with van jones begins. one guest is arnold schwarzenegger. how enforcement efforts are being felt in california. van traveled there and spoke to people dealing with the changes and filed this report.
>> reporter: california farmers call this place flyover country. it's only a few hours from san francisco. but you will likely never see it. you are going to travel above it on your way to the coast. but while you may never even look down on these fields, make no mistake, you probably eat what's produced here every single day. take a look in your refrigerator. chances are the food you are putting on your table tonight -- you got vegetables, fruits, nuts, chances are they came from here in the central valley in california. come here, spend a little time and this is what you see. day in, day out, undocumented immigrants working these fields. farmers call them the backbone of their business, the same farmers who say that donald trump was the guy they wanted to see in the white house. >> we're here to find out what
trump's policies are going do to make farming better or worse. >> reporter: how could farmers like this man who lives in a blue state support a man who is threatening to deport the very people they rely on to keep their businesses running? your entire business requires immigrant labor. >> donald trump says, get them out of here. you vote for donald trump. why did you vote for donald trump? >> you are going to make me -- this is the first time i've confessed publically that i voted for him. i have dodged the question for a few months. the alternative was unthinkable. continued pressure from the federal government with squeezing us out. the big issue here is water. we got no help from washington on water during the drought. you know, the regulatory burden continues to increase. continuation of what we had was unthinkable. >> reporter: trump, if he takes
regulations away, he is going to take your work areas way. how do you deal with that? >> this is where i disagreed with him. the idea that we're going to send 11 million people out and walk them back in, it's not going to happen. we need a solution for the whole country where we can bring people out of the shadows so we don't have this problem. >> reporter: now you sound like a democrat. you are confusing me. >> this is messy. the farmers are not in lockstep. you get three farmers together, you get five different opinions. i have no problem voting for the president and disagreeing with him on trade and immigration because i think he's wrong on those issues. >> reporter: a farmer supports president trump but he says if the work force goes, so will the farms. >> we like to say, your food is going to be on your table tonight is probably picked by immigrant hands. the real question is, picked by immigrant hands in the united states and for us in california or in another country? >> reporter: does this part of the state exist without these workers? >> no.
no, they wouldn't. you can create a big problem because the whole economy can collapse. you need the workers here. >> reporter: this farm worker advocate says the nation's food supply relies on undocumented labor and deporting them is not just bad for business, it also threatens to break up families. a lot of people we saw today, you know, the good people, the hard working people, you said they're afraid. what are they afraid of? >> they're afraid to go to the store. they're afraid to go to the restaurants. they're afraid to go out, because they might get deported. and then who is going to take care of the kids? >> reporter: what's the answer? the farmers may be free of regulations, but will the president listen to them when it comes to their work force? >> my hope for a trump presidency is, what's his real reputation? he is the deal maker, negotiator. i'm hoping we can get past the
rhetoric, past the tweets and he can bring people around the table. we can start coming up with real solutions and get away from that polarization. >> van jones out in the field. time to hand things over to van jones in california. the messy truth starts right now. [ applause ] welcome to the messy truth. i'm van jones. thank you for being here. the one and only arnold schwarzenegger is in the house tonight. we will have him. we have a live audience here to ask him questions. it's going to be fantastic. i've been working on that. before we bring limb out, i want to talk about a couple other names in the news. donald trump, susan rice and jared kushner. with his usual zero facts and no evidence, p