tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 12, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
all right, don't forget you can watch "out front" any time anywhere, just watch cnn go. "a.c. 360" with anderson cooper starts right now. good evening, welcome to "a.c. 360" and donald trump 180 today president trump making a 1 180 on so many of the statements he made during the campaign. on nato, saying it was obsolete, then and now. >> nato is obsolete, it's over 67 years old, it is, many countries doesn't cover terrorism, it covers the soviet union, which is no long never existence and nato has to be either be rejiggered, rechanged for the party. >> the secretary general and i had a productive discussion about what more nato can do in the fight against terrorism. i complained about that a long
time aago and they made a chang, and now they do fight terrorism. i said it was obsolete, it's no longer obsolete. >> for the record, nato did -- china was a currency manipulator and he was going to call them out. tough talk to a lot of applause during rallies on the campaign trail. let's look then and now. >> reporter: china which has been ripping us off, the greatest abuser in the history of this country, china has been ripping us and i have many friends in china, they agree with me 100%. they can't imagine, they can't even believe that they can get away with what's happening. president xi wants to do the right thing, we had a very good bonding, i think we had a very good chemistry together. i think he wants to help us with north korea. we talked trade, we talked a lot
of things and i said the way you're going to make a good trade deal is to help us with north korea, otherwise we're just going to go it alone, and that will be all right too. but going it alone means going with lots of other nations. >> president trump urged no intervention in syria. in russia, donald trump said he had a relationship with vladimir putin and could work with russia to fight terror, today the relationship is at an all-time low. let's look at then and now. >> we're going to have a great relationship with russia and putin. we're not getting along now, we may be at an all-time low in the relationship with russia. >> the changes are literally global. now when things change, people expect a president to change with them. still it is rather breathtaking
and it extends to domestic strategy as well. we begin with foreign poll circumstances, cnn's jim acosta joins us now at the white house with the very latest. certainly different talk from the president today than we have heard for a -- well, than we have ever hear. >> reporter: absolutely, anderson, this was a pretty big departure from what we heard from president trump out on the campaign trail. he described relations between the united states and russia at an all-time low, he even suggested at one point during this press conference that russia might have had prior knowledge of that chemical weapons attacked carried out by syria that prompted those air strikes that were carried out by the president. but one thing the president declined to comment on, is president putin, here's what the president had to say about all
of that today. >> it would be wonderful, as we were discussing just a little while ago, if nato and our country could get along with russia. right now we're not getting along with russia at all. but we're going to see what happens. putin is the leader of russia, russia is a strong country, we're a very, very strong country. we're going to see how that all works out. >> reporter: and so anderson, you heard there, the president not really willing again to criticize vladimir putin, even though he was pressed on that a couple of times during that news conference, but the entire time i've covered donald trump both as a candidate and as president, i have never seen as many reversals either from a public policy stand point or foreign policy standpoint. this is a president who was doing a lot of 180s today. >> it's not that president trump said i was wrong about nato then, i realize that they are, you know, that they aren't obsolete, he's indicating that something major has changed when
in fact, you know, you can argue whether nato is doing enough on terrorism or had this inner structure to do enough, but nato responded to the 911 attacks as the secretary general of nato said today in front of the president. >> reporter: that's right. i think you heard the secretary general get at why president donald trump was changing his mind, changing his view on nato, you are hearing about nato partners contributing more of their money, they're supposed to meet that 2% of gdp, the secretary general said more nations are meeting that threshold, so that may be persuading president trump to change his mind somewhat and the president indicated at one point during the news conference that he sort of takes credit for that because he railed against that during the campaign. >> he certainly did and he's been consistent with that, we should say. it's interesting, regarding syria, time and time again, donald trump when he was a citizen, you know, was railing against the idea of intervening in syria.
today and in the past several days, not only has he intervened in syria, but he seems to be saying that the u.s. should have intervened militarily back when he was priorly saying that the u.s. should not be intervening militarily. >> during an interview today on fox business, he said if we had done this during the obama administration, we wouldn't be in this shape right now. but of course, president trump when he was citizen trump, was urging president obama to stay out of syria, i think there was a tweet that said the exact words stay out of syria, but what you heard the president say was a pretty big shift on al assad, today he called him a butcher. that's an indication that if al assad uses chemical weapons again, it will prompt a strike by the united states. they will tell you that going into syria is not their priority, and that was something
that the president said in that interview earlier today, they're not going into syria, but they're opening the door to cooperation with russia. >> there was high stakes drama in moscow where secretary of state tillerson was waiting, perhaps not to have a meeting with vladimir putin, a two-hour meeting did finally happen between the u.s. secretary of state and vladimir putin. so yesterday it was unclear if president putin would meet with secretary tillerson, they did in fact meet, do we know how it went? what was discussed? >> reporter: this was four hours in total of meeting, that's a lot of time to focus on the most urgent problems, mostly syria, some north korea, even the russian meddling in the u.s. election came up, but they were looking for any areas that they could find of common ground, i mean even just re-establishing some constructive dialogue would be a positive. here's tillerson on the relationship.
>> i expressed the view that the current state of u.s.-russia relations is at a low point. there's a low level of trust between two our two countries. the world's foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship. >> reporter: what came out of this was about as much as was likely to. an agreement to keep on talking at the highest levels, a working group to focus on the most critical issues and reopening the lines of communications that keeps u.s. and russian planes from getting in each other's way over syria, all of those are pluses, but even in the statements today where they're trying to show, you know, a hope of cooperation, what keeps breaking through are evidence of the deep divisions that are very much still there, it's not clear that those can be resolved or even how much time that would take. >> and tillerson also addressed russia's interference in the
u.s. elections. how did his counterpart respond? >> reporter: it was clear that tillerson didn't want to hit this too hard, but he wanted to make his point, he said the fact that russia meddled in the u.s. election is fairly well established in the u.s., he did call it a serious issue that could lead to more sanctions, but that immediately caused the russian foreign minister to go defensive, saying tillerson never threatened new sanctions and he never brought up any hard evidence, launching into this speech about how there isn't evidence, show us the evidence and calling accusations slanderous attacks, anderson? >> all right, michelle ckosinsk. >> today trump openly admitted doing a 180. and like so much else today, it's a far cry from what he said before. >> do you think the united
states needs to rethink u.s. involvement in nato? >> yes, because it's costing us too much money. number one nato is obsolete, number two, the countries in nato are not paying their fair sha share. it's obsolete and we pay too much money. it's obsolete. in my opinion, nato is obsolete. here's the problem with nato, it's obsolete. it's 67 years, or over of 0 years old, what i said to wolf blitzer that nato was obsolete, i got attacked. people that study nato said trump is right. >> today's a different story, just before air time i spoke about it to our professionals. christian, i got to say it's hard not to have kind of a whiplash with all of this, obviously politicians say one thing when they're running for office, and something else entirely when they're actually president of the united states, but so many 180s in just a matter of days. >> yes, and i actually described his epiphany on syria as a
complete 108 and that was exactly a week ago today. but this was a man who had no foreign policy experience and he is in office with all the major issues coming at him almost all at once, so of course he is grappling with the reality of what's in front of him. he has very good advisors v good national security advisor, very good secretary of state, the secretary of state doesn't have that much experience in that regard. but a strategy, whether it's over syria, or whether it's with russia or is it knee jerk reactions and responses to what's needed at the moment. >> i can't help but think of even the other republican candidates during the primary who were listening to then-citizen donald trump talking about china being a currency manipulator and all of these things that he's going do
and things they wouldn't say helped get him elected and now that he's president he basically reverses himself on them. i has to be a little bit painful for them. i think christiane is right. anybody to be fair, confronts reality in office that they didn't have to deal with while they were trying to get elected. but this now puts a premium on three things that he's not been shall we say interested in.
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donald trump that spoke on the campaign trail. >> i'm going to instruct my treasury secretary to label china, a currency manipulator, the biggest in the world. china is a grand master at current manipulation, no one has ever manipulated currency like china. label china a currency manipulator, they are the currency manipulators ever. >> today president trump said he would not do that at all. what he said on the campaign, i asked mike rogers about it and how he explains the president's change of views, here's part two of our panel conversation. president trump said yesterday after explaining the history of china and north korea for about ten minutes, he, quote, realized it's not so easy. i mean, is that -- i'm -- i
don't know why i'm reacting like this. >> you said the same thing about health care. >> it's exactly what he said about health care, that health care could be so complicated. in fact pretty much everybody knew it was really, really complicated. i guess as somebody, as a republican, do you worry, though, that he has no real positions, that basically he bends one way or the other, depending on who the last person who gave him a ten-minute lecture on the history of some country is, i mean the nato guy is here today, now nato is indispensable, but when the nato guy leaves s that still going to be the position? >> obviously i cannot speak for the trump administration, because it was frustrating for those of us who are national security players who had different positions than president trump. looking at where we are today --
>> you said to him you can't take the oil, you recall -- i said to him in an interview, what do you mean take the oil? he would say that you're an idiot that you don't understand, or you do understand but you're just pretending you don't. but you know what? you can't take the oil, and he now knows that, and he probably knew it then. >> i'll tell you where i'm concerned going forward, obviously the election happened, he was masterful in touching the frustrations with a lot of americans got washington, d.c. and how broken it is and all of that, and i think he was masterful at that. now i worry about this, because he did come in and he was untrusting of the state department, but they haven't staffed it up in a way that around the country, somewhere know where is to call in a crisis, so yeah, we're worried about russia and there's a lot of other issues out there for a lot of other heads of state who say i don't know who to call. >> i think it was really
important the 180 about the secretary general of nato. but it's massively important today as they're trying to challenge and facedown vladimir putin that he stands with the secretary general of nato, who actually he's been sort of compromising in his support. so vladimir putin can see that we cannot drive a wedge between the united states and his nato allies. that's very important. >> he said that about nato after vice president pence went over and also backed up nato, but on the campaign trail, it was a different story. >> can i tell you what happened in china? this is important too in this week before, and i think it may have led to the currency manipulation about face that came out. china turned around the coal ships from north korea. and that's a big deal. and it's not getting atv of play. and they didn't do it unilate l unilaterally, you know there's lots of conversations behind
something like that happening, that really hurts north korea, they don't have a whole lot of exports they can get cash for. turning those ships around and having the president this week say, well, we'll do it alone if we have to, but we would like to have you as a part of a coalition to deal with this. i think all of that showed a sense of, hey, you're growing up in this diplomacy department and it's really important. >> tony also in fairness to the president, that during the campaign and he has been consistent got this, about nato countries paying their fair share and that's something the nato secretary general talked about today and that's been a clear line and he continues to focus on that. so i don't want to make it sound like everything's been a 180. it's certainly been a fascinating day. >> you noticed anderson, that the president said that basically he's fixed nato, in the last couple of months since he's been in office so now it's indispensable.
>> you also pointed out today, that it's not just about now paying their fair share, he wants the back money too, which the nato secretary general seems a little offput by that one. >> and to be fair to the observers, everybody what's a serious observer of foreign policy was saying, when the president actually becomes president and is inaugurated, if he wants help from the china with north korea, he's not going to be able to threaten a trade war or call them a currency m manipulator, he's couping to a greater sense of reality. coming up, is steve bannon the latest persona no nonkbrat that. th claritin-d.
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so many words, steve who? more now from cnn's brianna keeler. >> reporter: president trump's chief strategist steve bannon, publicly dressed down by the boss. i like steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late, i had already beaten all the senators and all the governors and i didn't know steve, trump told the "new york post," i was my own strategist, and it wasn't like i was going to change strategies because of crooked hillary. trump said steve is a good guy, but i told them to straighten it out or i will. >> i think the president was sending a very strong message, which knowing him i suspect he's also said in private, which is i don't like this bickering and enough already and get your act together. >> reporter: this come s just a week after bannon was dumped from the national security county sill. >> i happen to believe and i
think many others do, he's probably the greatest public speaker since williams jennings banner. >> reporter: bannon interviewed trump back in 2015, when he was heading up the far right media conglomerate. >> we have to keep our talented people in this country, i think you agree with that, do you agree with that? >> with two thirds or three-quarters of the ceos from silicon valley are in southeast asia, a country is more than an economy, we're a civic society. >> less than a year later, bannon was heading up trump's campaign, like this photo op just before a presidential debate with women who had accused bill clinton of assault, bannon looking on. in the white house, he was instrumental in president trump's travel ban of several majority muslim countries.
>> i said we would get the criminals out, the drug lords, we would get them out. >> it wasn't just the infighting that was frustrating trump. it was also the frequent suggestion featured here on "saturday night live" that bannon was trump's puppet master. >> reporter: donald trump spoke to the wall street journal calling reports of infighting overblown. that said he also described bannon as a guy who works for me and reiterated that donald trump is his own strategist. >> david gregory joins us, matt lewis, kirsten powers. it's pretty strong and see bannon playing the critical role for donald trump, i think, it's fair to say, getting him into the white house, as was kelly
anne conway and others. it's stunning. >> it's stunning because if you put blood in the water. -- >> i mean to do it publicly. look, i think any time as an advisor in the white house, if you get too big, bigger than the principal, bigger than the president, you get into trouble, especially if you're the one that's manipulating what's going on, like the darth vader, like chi cheney was called. i think it's even more true with president trump who doesn't like to be upstaged at all, and doesn't like to be per received as being managed. but he does get managed. to this case i think he's kept bannon around as kind of the keeper of the flame, of the
fringe, in his conservative movement and unfortunately, i think bannon has made him look bad in some areas and now it's catching up. >> bannon has a movement of his own from breitbart and followers of -- >> which is why i don't think donald trump with jettison him. you don't -- you want steve bannon inside the tent. not outside. i think that we have seen that steve bannon has been put in his place, i think that his importance has been minimized. he may, steve bannon may choose to leave on his own as he has threatened to do on his own already reportedly, but i don't think you cut him loose. i think you keep him somewhere, even if you curtail his role. >> it is interesting, kirsten, because we heard so much during the campaign got how loyalty was so important to donald trump. but it does seem like this white
house distances themselves. paul manafort was just a guy who seemed to be around for a couple of days, according to the white house, but he was the guy who managed the campaign. >> according to lthe loyalty wip flows one way, and it's you need to be loyal to donald trump, but it doesn't seem that he feels he needs to be loyal the other direction, the family seems to play that role for him. he's very tight with his family, and anybody outside of his family, he's willing to dispense with when things don't go the way he wants them to. i thank you you're right, it seems that steve bannon got too big and trump seemed too small. but maybe there is a little bit of an ideological shift because things that steve bannon told him didn't really work out. >> jeff, do you agree with that,
that it seems like, i mean bannon seemed to have been behind the executive order on the travel ban -- >> welcome to the world of the white house staff, mr. bannon. i mean, look, a couple of things, let me just address if i can kirsten's point about loyalty, we were on the air during this summer when we learned that melania's speech had been plagerized to some degree. i said something mild like i thought whoever did it should have been taken out to the public square and drawn and quartered. it turned out it was a woman by the name of meredith mccgiver, she went into him, apologized to him, offered her resignation, he refused to take it and he said well all make mistake, i do
think he has loyalty down as well as expecting loyalty up. but when you do get in the white house, as david was just talking about was correct, and it's a death blow, i well remember that time cover of kirsten in the clinton era of president powers, and i remember the one for jed. you don't go there and if the press wants to put you there, back away. >> like a beaver in the back of the limo on the phone. >> he called and said you made a mistake. >> i think the other dynamic here is the rise of the trump family, and what's going to be challenging, even if bannon doesn't leigh, and i agree he's not going to fire him. you never want to hire someone you can't fire. and jared kushner and ivanka are taking on more and more
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advisor carter page is speak out about "the washington post" alert that the fisa court issued a wash rantd -- warrant by convincing the judge there was probable cause to believe page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, namely russia. jake tapper asked mr. page about it earlier today. >> "the washington post" as you know has reported that last year the fbi went to a fisa judge and argued successfully that there was probable cause to believe that you were acting as an agent for a foreign government. so my question is, were you? >> of course i wasn't, jake. it's just such a joke that it's beyond words. >> have you ever conveyed to anyone in russia that you think president trump might have been more willing to get rid of the sanctions that were imposed against russia after they invaded and seized crimea, which i know are sanctions you oppose
and think are ineffective. did you ever talk to anyone there about candidate trump soon to be president trump getting rid of the sanctions. >> not direct conversations. >> what does that mean, direct conversations? >> that was never said, no. >> you never said that to anybody, that if donald trump won, he might be willing to get rid of the sanctions against russia. >> no. >> page, you may recall, has offered to testify in front of the house intelligence committee about its russia investigation. in march of 2016, candidate trump named mr. page as one of his foreign policy advisors. it's untrue exact ly how much o an advisor he was because according to him he never actually met donald trump or never was in a meeting with him. >> reporter: you speak russian? >> i get by, i understand what's happening in meetings. >> reporter: some of these
meetings may be exactly why the fbi and the justice department are so interested in communications between carter page and russia, page is a former policy advisor for donald trump's campaign. >> i was a junior member of the campaign's foreign policy advisory group. >> reporter: that's what he says. but for months now, president trump's team has been struggling to define his role. even going so far as to deny he was part of their circle. >> he's not part of our national security or foreign policy briefings that we do now at all. >> carter page is a person that the president-elect does not know. >> i don't think i have ever smoke to him or met him. >> reporter: carter page agrees he never met trump personally but it turns out he was part of the campaign and he was part of the investigation of whether russia had ties to carter page before the election.
he had reportedly become interested in the region as a young boy and later enrolled in the u.s. naval academy. he moved on to investment banking, landing a job at merrill lynch in london, later he was tapped to open the office in moscow. there he was advised by executives from the russian controlled energy giant now run by a former associate of russian president vladimir putin. even though carter moved back to the u.s. a few years later to start his own global investment firm, he never served ties with russia. he praised vladimir putin at this policy meeting in washington, d.c., even suggesting a trump presidency would be good for u.s.-russia relations. a month later, during a trip to moscow to give a speech, page allegedly met with russian nationals who had been sanctioned by the u.s. >> did you have any meetings last year with russian officials
inside russia, outside russia, sir? ? >> i had no meets. >> what about a putin ally and the head of the oil company owned mostly the russian government and sanctioned by the u.s. carter denies meeting him. but -- but page secretly met with him in moscow and said that trump would lift sanctions if elected and in exchange, page would get shares of the oil giant, in effect getting paid for being the go between. >> was there ever any offer that you would get anything out of the deal? >> no hint of an offer, no pathway to anything resembling an offer or even a discussion on this range of issues. >> and nothing about getting the sanctions lifted. >> not even something worth a
dollar, let alone something worth billions of dollars. >> any accusation that you colluded with russia during the campaign that you deny it? >> it's just so false, it's completely, it's a joke. >> reporter: in fact despite the intelligence community's finding that russia did try to influence the u.s. election, carter page said no one in russia ever spoke to him about hacking or deal making, he called the allegations a political stunt and wrote a letter to the department of justice, alleging the clinton campaign took part in hate crimes and human rights abuses against him during the election season. randy kaye, cnn, new york. coming up, a breaking development of the united airlines dragging story, we'll tell you about a new gesture on the part of the airline, and further video that contradict the ceo's claims that the passenger was belligerent.
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he- [gas pouring] [slurps loudly] [engine starting] [loud slurping continues] the ceo of united airlines says cops will no longer pull passengers off their planes. it took a viral video to get him to say it. all the passengers on the flight will be reimbursed for their tickets. two passengers tell cnn united called them to apologize and tell them they would get their money back.
new developments, rene marsh has details. >> reporter: day due of the united airlines fallout. after one of its passengers is dragged off of an oversold flight. the ceo is facing the camera. >> the first thing i think is important to say is to apologize to the doctor, his family, the passengers on that flight. >> reporter: he said he felt shameful when he saw the viral video of 69-year-old david dow being pulled down the aisle of flight 3411. activists say the apology is too little too late. >> it took him three days to finally get religion and realize that this person had been mishandled. >> reporter: he pledged the airline would never call law enforcement to remove a customer who is already seated ever again. when asked if the passenger was at fault -- >> no. he can't be.
he was a paying passenger sitting on our seat in our aircraft. and no one should be treated that way. period. >> reporter: am major shift in tone. on monday he described the passenger as belligerent and and disruptive. new video contradicts that. >> i am not going. i am not going. i'm not going. i'm staying right there. >> reporter: he was defiant but did not appear disruptive. his attorney signal led a potential lawsuit asking the airline and police to preserve what they call cruciale iine ii boarding the flight and personnel records. it sparked a bipartisan call for action. >> be seated and then dragged off the plane physically by law enforcement officers at the
direction of united? it's outrageous. that's why i have asked the administration -- the trump administration to say stop overbooking until we set more different rules about how the airlines can conduct themselves. >> reporter: members of congress sent letters with questions to both the airline and chicago airport police about the policy and procedures. senator menendez, who signed one of the letters says, congress is prepared to kt a. . >> if we allow them to overbook, it seems to me that we have to reign in how they deal with the consequences of overbooking. >> reporter: the senate commerce committee tells cnn, it's considering a hearing on the issue. >> remay marne marsh joins us. >> we heard from the chicago department of aviation. they announced two additional officers linked to the incident, they have been placed on administrative leave. bringing the total officers on
administrative tleave to three. the airline ceo in his mea culpa, he blamed himself for not providing the staff with the, quote, proper tools, policies and procedures that would allow them to use their comment sense. >> thanks very much. coming up, another hour of 360. president trump does a 180 on his stance on nato. rex tillerson says relations with moscow are at a low point. we will look at some big reversals happening tonight at the white house. ancestrydna and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of, this is where my ancestors came from. and i absolutely want to know more about my native american heritage. it's opened up a whole new world for me. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
welcome to 360 and what has been a day of foreign policies 180s for president trump. on nato, china, syria and perhaps most vividly on russia, which has not been a quick 180 but a certain, well -- seems a complete 180. on nato donald trump said it was obsolete. president trump said it no longer is. donald trump said china was a currency manipulator. today he said it's not a currency manipulator at all. he urged against intervention in syria. today, of course, president trump called assad a butcher and holds out the possibility of more strikes. it's rather striking and it has been playing out in moscow as well as in washington. we begin this hour with michelle kosinski in moscow.