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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 12, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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been a day of foreign policies 180s for president trump. compared to what he said as a candidate or before that as just another guy with a twitter account on nato, china, syria and russia, 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. >> reporter: four hours of crucial, contentious talks with russian officials, including an
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unscheduled meeting with president vladimir putin himself. secretary of state rex tillerson and russian foreign minister sergey lavrov finally faced the press. >> the current straight state of u.s.-russia relations is at a low point. there is a low level of trust between our two countries. the world's two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship. >> translator: the many hours we spent with rex tillerson together and with the president of the russian federation were not spent in vein. we understand each other better. >> reporter: the most that was likely to come from this, an agreement to keep on talking. a working group to tackle the most critical issues. president trump also weighed in today from the white house. >> right now we're not getting along with russia at all. we may be at an all time low in terms of relationship with russia. >> reporter: dark shades of the deep divisions still seep
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through all the attempts at common ground. russia still won't accept syrian president assad's responsibility for the chemical attack, repeatedly insisting on a full investigation. the u.s.'s view -- >> the facts that we have are conclusive that the recent chemical weapons attack carried out in syria was planned and it was directed and executed by syrian regime forces. >> reporter: tillerson says assad's days are numbered. russia explained at length why ousting him could be disaster on the delicate issue of russia's interference in the u.s. election? >> as to the question of the interference with the election, it's well established in the united states. it's one that we know is serious enough to attract additional sanctions. >> reporter: lavrov called for more information. >> translator: not a single fact has been confirmed who saw those facts.
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we don't know. nobody has shown us anything. >> reporter: the rhetoric from both sides has been stark and relentless. and still yet to meet, president putin and trump who laid out the problems here most bluntly here today. >> putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person. and i think it's very bad for russia. i think it's very bad for mankind. it's very bad for this world. but when you drop gas or bombs, this is an animal. >> reporter: defending the missile strikes on syria that russia considers illegal. >> that's a butcher. so i felt we had to do something about it. i have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing. >> reporter: michelle kosinski joins us from moscow. does anybody think russia will change its stance on supporting assad? or that doesn't seem to be on the table at all. >> we are not hearing optimism. you are right, russia has given
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no indication of that. even today, the russian foreign minister launched into this long explanation of the dangers of regime change. one state department official told me today that they see the chances of russia backing away from assad in the near term as less than zero. putin is just too afraid of creating a power vacuum, that terrorists would take advantage of. russia isn't necessarily blind to assad being a terrible choice. but at this point, they see assad as the best if not the only choice. what the u.s. wants russia to do is convince syria to get on board, first, with the cease-fire. then a political process. it's just not clear to anyone how long that would take or to what extent russia would even be on board. anderson. >> michelle kosinski in moscow. now from for the president
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shifting views from dayna bash in washington. >> reporter: april 2012, five years ago. then exxon ceo sipping champagne with vladimir putin who bestowed him with the order of friendship award. that cozy relationship was a problem for tillerson when president trump nominated him for secretary of state. >> let me ask you this question. is vladimir putin a war criminal? >> i would not use that term. >> reporter: now, no one would describe this as cozy. >> there is a low level of trust between our two countries. >> finally this week we saw reali realism from the trump administration. it's welcome. >> reporter: blunt talk from the new secretary of state about russia while in russia on his first official trip there. would have been note worthy for any merge diplomat but more so since president trump has been so constick wsiously reluctant o
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criticize the russian dictator. during his campaign -- >> putin said great things about me. he said, trump is a genius. his candidates wanted me to disavow the statement. why would i disavow that statement? i agree with it. >> reporter: after after he became president. >> putin is a killer. >> a lot of killers. you think our country is so innocent? >> reporter: even today despite his administration's tough talk about russia's actions in syria, trump refused to condemn putin personally. >> 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: by way of comparison, this is how the senate's top republican sees putin. >> putin is a former kgb agent. he is a thug. >> reporter: veteran diplomats say president trump's reluctance to call-out putin is alarming. >> we're seeing in statements that the administration has seen the light and is prepared to call a spade a spade in the case of russia. but we do need to hear from the president he is our leader and his silence is i think
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disturbing people and it's something that needs to end. >> reporter: though he did echo tillerson, admitting relations are at an all time low. >> right now we're not getting along with russia at all. >> reporter: privately administration officials argue the president has now proven he can defy russia ordering strikes against syria which putin opposed and top aides even suggesting that russia is trying to help cover up syria's chemical weapons attacks. it's a very different narrative than the one overshadowing trump's young administration, allegations that the trump campaign had inappropriate ties with raugs that fbi and congress are investigating. again, while his secretary of state in russia threatens additional sanctions for meddling in the 2016 election, back home the president is still trying to smother putin with kindness. >> i will also see about putin over a period of time, be a fantastic thing if we got along with putin and if we got along with russia. >> reporter: dana bash, cnn, washington. >> let's bring in the panel.
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david gergen, david blinken, and nato's retired general leslie clark. general clark, nato is no longer obsolete says donald trump. he said it was obsolete a lot on the campaign trail. has anything really changed in the structure of nato that suddenly makes it not obsolete? donald trump said they had conversations about it focusing on terrorism more than it never did that in the past. but it did do that in the past. >> we carried that back 20 years ago as one of our focuses. osama bin laden struck u.s. embassies. it's been a long focus on terrorism. i don't think nato changed. i think it's important if nato -- all nato nations will spend more on their own defense, follow through on more robust plans. nato is working together to put together unmanned aerial vehicles, improve its cyber defenses, improve its strategic intelligence collection and sharing.
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these are all good things. they have all been in the mill for some time. it's good to see nato doing it. >> and david, gergen we should give president trump credit. during the campaign he has been consistent on calling calling for nato countries to pay their fair share, 2% of their gdp. that's something he -- that's a through line from the campaign to now. this idea that nato is no longer obsolete, the only thing that's changed is donald trump has now become president as opposed to a candidate when he could say whatever he wanted. >> absolutely. a number of changes in policy. he has been announcing over the last few days is head snapping. if you add in changes he just has made in the last 24 hours on domestic policy, reported by "the wall street journal," if you add those in with the foreign policy that you have been discussing tonight, you are up to eight or nine changes in policy over the last 48 hours, 72 hours. he changes policies more often than he changes clothes.
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in domestic policy, it doesn't make that much difference. but in international affairs, it's not only confusing but it can be very dangerous. other countries -- it may make assumptions about what you are going to do and not be certain and do things threatening to you or take chances that they wouldn't otherwise take if there were a steady hond on the tiller. >> tony, it's within thing -- donald trump argued with great passion and vigor during the campaign his positions and seemed to hold firm positions. then to so completely reverse them with equal vigor without ever acknowledging that it is, in fact, a change in position, it does raise questions of a certain amount of hypocrisy. i mean everybody as president learns things they didn't know as a candidate. when you are arguing them with equal vigor and pretending it's not a change, that you are not the one who changed, that just is false.
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>> it's kind of impressive to see the enthusiasm with which he espouses diametrically opposed positions. i think he's counting a little bit on some kind of collective amnesia among the american people. it's useful to keep reminding people that he said one thing, not only during campaign, before the campaign, and now he is in a totally different place. look, if part of this is simply what happens to any candidate who becomes president, which is their ideology or their campaign views suddenly confront reality and they adapt and they adjust, that can be a good thing. i think some of the positions we have seen him take over the last few days are much improved over where he was. but at the same time, there is this sense of tremendous whiplash that everyone has. i come back to something else that's really important. right now, we are trying to rally the world to deal the chemical weapons problem in syria and in particular to push back against this misinformation campaign that the russians have been running and assad has been running to disclaim any responsibility for the use of chemical weapons.
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when we're trying to bring the world together on that, our credibility matters. the president's credibility matters. to the extent he continues with his tweets to put out fake information, false news, simply wrong facts, which unfortunately occurs on a daily basis, it undermines his credibility and undermines our ability as a country to rally the world on something as important as syria's chemical weapons. >> general, what kind of a message do the think these 180s send to our allies? >> the allies are concerned. what they see in their own country is people preparing to make accommodations with russia. when you discredit nato and discredit the european union and your allies, i may come back and flip-flop later on, but your view don't have any consistency, you don't sound reliable. anyway, this process has been underway for months now. what you find in the domestic politics in the countries is the
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people who had the best relationships with the putin money, they are feeling stronger. the people who had rested their careers and their lives on the reliable commitment of the united states, their shaking. as this plays out in the internal security services, in business, in parliament, inside the military services, in these countries, we're undercutting what we stand for. we're under cutting the western alliance, our values, and all that we tried to achieve since the end of the cold war in bringing democracy and stability and freedom to eastern europe. >> david, some supporters of donald trump say, he says one thing as a negotiating tactic but situations change and he is pivoting and that's a good thing, being flexible is good. you don't want somebody so tied to their position that they're not flexible. to that you say what? >> yeah, well i think that's
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true in some instances, anderson. facts do change. the environment changes. take the issue of currency manipulation by china. he went after china during campaign because he thought they were holding down the value of their currency and hurting america. when he said that, the first few times there was a lot of proof or a lot of evidence to support that. since then, they have been propping up their currency, getting it higher. now he is no longer accusing them -- he is not going after them about currency manipulation. that is perfectly fair. to be respected in international affairs. too often, the changes come almost on a whim. let's take what he said here in the last 24 hours in talking to president xi, he went in and said basically, i need your help and i assume you can take care of north korea. he said after listening for ten minutes, he decided, it's a lot more complicated than i thought. >> he said xi basically gave him a ten-minute kind of course
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or lecture in the history of china and korea and north korea. after that, the president realized, it's more difficult than he had thought. >> yeah. i mean, that's stunning. serious candidates during the campaigns get briefings from people like general clark. they sit down and go through the books and get a very clear understanding. they come with policies. that's what they follow through on. you make changes on the edges as you discover harsh reality. nonetheless, there's a certain responsibility that goes with running for president of being on top of things. >> we have to leave it there. david, tony, general clark, thank you for being with us. the former trump adviser who is resurfacing in connection with the russia investigation. see what he is saying about a report that he was the target of a top secret surveillance warrant. and later steve bannon's journey from central stage white house the talk that he could be about to exit stage right. details ahead. are you done yet?
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new developments in a story that first broke last night. a report in the washington post that the fbi saw and received a secret fice fisa warrant to conduct surveillance on carter page. he was one of five individuals that candidate trump said advised him on foreign policy. it's not easy to determine what his role was. he may not have had much of a role at all. carter page has been cryptic or unclear in some of his public
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statements. now the administration is down-playing the relationship entirely. the latest on it all from jessica snyder. >> reporter: carter page denied he acted as a foreign agent for russia. >> it's a joke that it's beyond words. >> reporter: according to the washington post, the fbi obtained a foreign intelligence surveillance court order to monitor page during campaign last summer. something that would have required a showing of probable cause that page was conducting clandestine activities on behalf of the russian government. page acknowledged he communicated with a russian man he believed to to be working at the moskow's u.n. office in 2013. >> i never gave him any information which is material or classified or in any way improper. the assumption is that it would go back. >> reporter: this complaint detailed how russian spies worked to recruit page as an intelligence source. carter page has described
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himself as a junior member on the policy team during the trump campaign. president trump's team tried to distance itself from page. candidate trump acknowledged he was joining the team in this march 2016 interview. >> we heard you might be announcing your foreign policy advisory team. >> we are. carter page. >> reporter: fbi director james comey has confirmed that the feds are investigating possible ties between the trump campaign and russia. comey has declined to discuss details. >> it's a pain in the neck to get permission to conduct electronic surveillance in the united states. a pain in the neck. and that's great. >> reporter: carter page has offered to testify before the senate and house intelligence committees. >> i can't comment on the fisa warrant. if it has been issued, it's very, very serious. >> reporter: the intelligence committees plan to talk to former trump campaign manager paul manafort, who sources say is expected to register as a
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foreign agent for work he did on behalf of ukraine between 2012 and 2014. and manafort's spokesman says past consulting work he did for the pro-russia political party in 2007 and 2009 was completely transparent. mr. manafort's work was totally open and appropriate and wire transfers for international work are perfectly legal. >> jessica joins us. do we have any idea when carter page, paul manafort, any of the other associates with ties to russia might actually testify before congress? >> anderson, all of them have offered including trump's senior advisor and son-in-law jared kushner. for the time, it's in limbo. lawmakers have stressed they want to get all the necessary documents and information before they bring witnesses in. also they can be fully prepared to ask the exact right questions. as we saw, it's evident carter page is ready to talk and both jared kushner and paul manafort have made the same offer to intelligence committees. >> jessica, thanks very much.
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back now with my own panel of advisers. you know, it's amazing all these new developments with the kind of -- again, there's smoke around the trump campaign. not a lot of details. carter page for one is such an ambiguous figure. it's not even clear he was ever really -- i mean he claims he was in meetings with donald trump. then it turns out what his definition of meetings were, he claims he was using the russian term of meetings, meaning rallies. he went to a rally, i think it was bismarck, north dakota. >> he is an interesting figure to say the least. there's a lot of what he -- a lot of what he has said about his connections that would even be on the up and up, business connections, turn out to not have existed. also i think sort of the original with the trump campaign is that they couldn't find anyone to be foreign policy advisors for the campaign. the first time donald trump mentioned this to the washington post, carter page, it was with five people who were equally undistinguished and people
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didn't know who he was. >> at that time candidate trump was under pressure to name a foreign policy team. >> that's how he came to be part of the trump campaign. he wasn't on the campaign. he wasn't paid. so it's not clear really how strong of a connection he had. it seems like he was benefitting from the trump connections. i'm not sure the campaign really was. >> matt, if all of this boils down to carter page, that's a very -- a, his actual connection to the trump campaign seems tenuous at best. and his actual -- whatever he did in russia is unclear. if he is the linchpin -- if that's all there is, i'm not sure what that says about where the investigation is -- >> i think part of the story, too, may be that this -- as donald trump becomes more
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hostile towards russia, as we saw today, there may be less of an appetite, at least in the media to cover the story of the alleged correspondence between the trump campaign and russia. it doesn't fit the narrative now. donald trump is not going to be putin's toy or whatever. this carter page guy, it does seem like he is a bit of a phony. i wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't sort of misrepresented himself to the trump campaign as well as some of his business dealings. i still think if there is any scandal that may actually be legitimate, i think it's much more likely to be paul manafort. i think that's where the story probably goes. >> david, gergen, it's -- what do you think? >> i think that right now, we're trying to read from the margins in. see how much meat is there. we simply don't know. the media may lose interest. it's the fbi's interest and the senate committee, maybe the house committee will get its act together, but the senate intelligence committee digging in on this.
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i think it's more interesting to look at people who are definitely closer to the president, kushner, manafort, people who have those contacts with the russians as distinct from maybe sloppiness within the campaign. you saw incredible sloppiness from candidate trump talking about russia, inviting putin to hack hillary clinton's e-mails when the hacking was done on the dnc. a complete unwillingness to believe they could be manipulated. that sloppiness compared to what the investigation will find -- >> the nefarious part of this would be if donald trump was working in league with vladimir putin and was his puppet and was being manipulated. that is clearly not happening. >> we should point out that donald trump still does not say anything critical of vladimir putin. there may be very good political reasons for doing that. it may be the president of the united states need to be calling out the president of russia and escalating tensions all the more.
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certainly, you can also point to that as he has gone out of his way -- bill o'reilly says putin is a killer and president trump says, well, there are many killers. >> that's true. i also think that tests cannot be whether or not donald trump is manipulated in the first 100 he's in office. the question should be whether there is information they have, financial information, other information, ties between campaign aides that make him vulnerable, that make them vulnerable. so i think this focus on the syria strike as proof. and donald trump's son said this in a recent interview, proof he is not a puppet of putin is really overreaching on their part. >> two things. number one, i heard from carter page personally late this afternoon. he has written a short statement for the american spectator. he is quite emphatic here that he thinks this is a joke, and he wants to testify.
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he went on to some other things. the essence of it is, yeah, he really does feel that this is quite wrong. second -- >> he also -- i should just -- give a sense of he also believes the hillary clinton campaign was persecuting him because he is catholic and a man. just in the realm of things -- >> those are -- >> one other thing that politically i think we have not talked about here, rush limbaugh spent a considerable amount of time on this today. saying this whole fisa story proves there was no collusion. the big problem here is, i can see jen rolling her eyes, is the obama administration and the leaks. so this is not going to go away at least for that reason. >> i'm not sure rush is the arbiter of this news. they reviewed the documents that devin nunes had reviewed and
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provided and had found no wrongdoing by the obama administration. i think it's pretty clear we need to take our focus to the investigation. everybody -- the trump administration now that they are -- think russia is an adversary should lead the charge. much more ahead including trump's vow to pass a healthcare bill in an interview interview with the wall street journal he signalled what threats he might use to bring democrats to the negotiating table. we will talk about that. a development in the united
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everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to light on what the government knew about last week's chemical attack in syria and when they knew it. barbara starr has details. she joins us now by phone. barbara, what have you learned? >> good evening. what we have learned from a senior u.s. official is that they have the communication intercepts of the syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for that sarin attack. what officials are emphasizing is, the u.s. had no knowledge ahead of time. but they scooped up a lot of intercepts.
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once the attack happened, they started going through all the intelligence they had and were able to isolate knowing the time, date and place of where the attack happened, then were able to isolate the intercepts they had on hand, look at them and get the evidence that, yes, the syrians had been communicating amongst themselves about planning and preparation for the attack. really, defense secretary james mattis hinted at that yesterday when he talked about so-called iron clad evidence, if you will, that the syrians had planned and executed the attack. the big unknown still remains, will they come up with similar intercepts or information indicating that the russians were involved? they don't have intercepts on that at this point. one of the things they are looking very hard at is if there was a russian drone flying over the hospital that got bombed about five hours after that
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drone flew. the theory is at this point the drone flew, saw the people there being treated for their injuries, and then an additional air strike was called in on that hospital. president trump talking about this today saying he wanted the pentagon to look into it and find out exactly went on, how complicit the russians may have been in this. it does look like they're further able now, several days later to put the pieces together. the u.s. didn't know about it ahead of time. but as they went back and looked through what they had, they were able to get some of this additional intelligence. >> barbara, just to be clear on the russian drone. you're saying that was after the chemical aback but before there was a second bombing, conventional bombing after the chemical attack, is that correct? >> yeah. to be clear, officials have
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talked about this over the last several days. you had the initial dropping of a chemical bomb. people were injured. they try and go to a hospital, clinic area to get treatment. some of the video and pictures that the world has seen over the last several days. that hospital, medical clinic, there was a russian drone flying over it collecting intelligence. about five hours later, an unidentified aircraft comes in, drops a conventional bomb right in that area. the theory is the drone was photographing, collecting evidence, the pictures of the people being there being treated. whoever called in that second unidentified aircraft wanted the evidence destroyed of injured people being there. that drone that collected that evidence, u.s. officials say was a russian drone. >> barbara starr, thanks very much. >> back now with the panel. the timeliness of this is very interesting. rex tillerson in moscow was saying the u.s. is confident
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syria is behind this, there's indisputable proof on it. his russian counterpart was saying, show us the evidence. there needs to be a full investigation. now this information has been released. >> yeah, it's kind of ironic that russia is stone walling the trump administration saying, sorry, guys, fake news, there's nothing to see here. the evidence i think is clear. the administration has asserted that. they're going to keep hammering russia on this. because it goes to a larger point, which is the obama administration and russia thought they had a deal to get chemical weapons out of syria. aapparently, they didn't. why not? when it comes to keeping russia accountable on this, they did know, they should have known. as secretary of state says, they are either incompetent on in on the deal. they have been propping assad up. now you have the president saying that we're at a low point. i will be interested to see how the president negotiating this new relationship with russia.
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putin can play at different levels. he will try to explain to trump the realities of the middle east. >> it's not just russia that was casting doubt on whether or not assad was behind this gas attack. it was a democratic congresswoman who was publicly very skeptical of whether or not -- there are people on the alt right, holocaust deniers, denying that assad was behind this. >> there were people in the freedom caucus doing it as well. >> was there really? that's sad. the one thing i will say is -- i know there's the controversy people say, tonight, donald trump became president. i do think this touched him. the moral clarity that i have seen come out of president trump in the last week i think is commendable. and i do think it impacted him. >> we have to leave it there. thanks, everybody. the intrigue gets more intriguing with what president trump is saying about steve bannon. that's next. dale.
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wn of the new york post. he said i like steve, but he was not involved in my campaign until late. i had already beaten all the centers and the governors. i didn't know steve. on the reported power struggle going on, the president said bannon is a good guy but i told him to straighten it out or i will. joining me now paul begalla and back with us trump supporter jeffrey lord. paul, you thought sean spicer would be gone bit 100 day mark. do you believe steve bannon's days are numbered as well? >> i don't know. trump is not loyal to anybody except trump. here's the difference. spicer, kellyanne conway, most of the people are there because of their relationship to donald trump. if that relationship sours, they're expendable and they're out the door. bannon is there not only because he played a critical role in getting the president elected, but he represents a constituency
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that alt-right nationalist breitbart kind of crowd which is the heart of the trump base. you have to be very careful who you hire in the white house but you have to be careful who you fire. i understand the puppet often resents the puppeteer. i get that. but you've got to be careful about running bannon off. he doesn't need trump to be wealthy and influential. he could fight an action from the outside against those guys. i think lewis was quoting this before. lbj was pondering whether to fire j. edgar hoover. he said i would rather have him inside the tent peeing out than outside in. >> the shift the way the president is describing bannon. we have seen it with how the white house describes paul manafort. he was chairman and was there for five months in different positions. also they talked about michael flynn in different ways as well. is the writing on the wall for bannon?
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>> not necessarily. i mean, i know him a little bit. i like him a lot. i think he is a smart guy. i have known a couple of these people not well but i have met them. they are smart people. donald trump said it exactly right. they have to get their act together in essence or he will do it for them. the comparison here i use, of course, is to president reagan who hated firing people. he hated these kind of things, which were endemic to any white house. he basically would leave it to others. it fell to mrs. reagan to play this role. not so in the trump administration. the president is donald trump. and he will have no hesitation to get in here if he feels he is being badly served and serving the president is job one of all the these folks. >> paul, is this just the normal state of affairs and what happens in any new administration and what houses in the house? >> no is the short answer. i have never is seen it like this. there's always turbulence. i understand. but nothing like this. president obama said he wanted a team of rivals. well, this is even worse
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thanival teams. this is the red wedding from game of thrones. it's a blood bath. they're only 80 days into this thing. we have never seen this level of acrimony within the white house this early on. the president does have to get his arms around this. if it means firing people or changing jobs or bringing new people in, that's fine. but this is unsustainable. >> i want to read what congressman steve king tweeted. he said steve bannon is the linchpin to your energized base. conservatives are endangered in your white house. that's clearly -- >> there's no question he brings to this the breitbart constituency, if you will and conservatives. >> nationalist perspective. >> decidedly not white supremacy. that's just bs. sure, he does, in fact, bring that constituency here. in that sense, he is valuable. he is a smart guy. he's extremely valuable. that's why i think that he will of his own volition figure it
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out and figure out how to work. because this is at the end of the day about ideas. and again, i have seen this before. lots of administrations go through this. >> it's about getting things done and some of the things he clearly has backed didn't work out. >> the longer a president is there, some of these people, not for political reasons but for personal reasons, just burn out after a couple of years of doing this. there will be replacements down the road. >> thank you both very much. the ceo of united airlines changing his tune after the public relations nightmare.
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so, any interesting guys here tonight? no, not tonight. maybe they were here and you missed them? boom.
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crossed paths with dave? he was here? how did you do this? i didn't do it. match did it! check out new missed connections on match. start for free today! two more chicago aviation officers have been put on leave after a passenger was violently dragged off that united airlines flight. we also learned today that everyone who was on the flight would be reimbursed for their cost of their ticket. the passenger's attorney and family scheduled a news conference for tomorrow. they filed a petition to preserve all the evidence in the case. the video first came out, united ceo said a letter to employees that the passenger was disruptive and belligerent and employees followed established procedures. yesterday the ceo changed course and apologized. today he was on "gma" and said
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this will never happen again and they won't use officers to drag people off planes. >> we're not going to put a law enforcement official to take them off -- >> a law enforcement official will never come on one of your planes again? >> to remove a booked, paid, seating passenger, we can't do that. >> joining me, cnn aviation analyst and attorney, justin green. cnn aviation correspondent, richard quest. richard, as you just saw, united still trying to quell the storm over this. it's going to take a lot more than an apology on a morning show to fix this, though. this continues. >> it does at one level, but i think the heat, to some extent, dissipates. a strong apology, albeit late, remember, oscar munoz says it's never too late to do the right thing. this is a full-throated mea culpa, promising to get to the bottom of it, sort out what is wrong and this could never happen again. >> how real is the apology? in that internal statement to
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employees he was essentially blaming the victim. i mean, he was blaming this guy who got dragged off the plane. >> yes. and he defended himself by saying what he was doing there was, of course, he was still waiting to get more facts. well, the reality, of course, when in doubt, do not, as my father used to say. in other words, he should have said nothing. he should have simply said -- but, you know, if he'd said i'm gathering facts, i'm finding out what happened, i'll get back to you tomorrow, we'd have all been jumping over him for that as well. >> justin, the new video showing the passenger was actually not being belligerent as the united ceo first indicated, you can see some of it on the screen, does that change things that all legally? >> well, i think it's important to note that what he initially said that the passenger was being belligerent or the pass
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your was acting up, i forget the exact words he used, that would be a great defense for united because under the contract of carriage, under federal law, the airline can forcibly eject a passenger who is being belligerent. who is causing a ruckus. the video shows quite the opposite does change the legal picture and does indicate that they didn't have either a contractual or legal right to do what they did. >> richard, i mean, united is also saying they're not going to lose law enforcement to remove passengers in the future. that doesn't actually -- i mean, it doesn't mean people won't still be bumped off flights, correct? >> no, of course not. look, there are two things. i think we've really -- with the reflection of a couple of days, you have to divide this into two very distinct periods of time. leading up to the moment of the incident, and the incident, itself. now, the incident, itself, dragging him off the plane falls squarely to the chicago authorities who dragged the man off the plane. to some extent, you know, united created the problem but they really, you know, it was the
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chicago authorities that actually made it much worse. what they are saying now is we will review every aspect that leads up to that moment. but here's the problem, anderson, it's fine for everybody like governor chris christie today on "new day" to start talking about wanting to redo the overbooking rules and change the laws and rules on that, but if you do that, we'll all pay more for airline tickets, straightforward economic fact. the airlines will not sell as many tickets, therefore, fares will go up. >> justin, the lawyer for the passenger filing an emergency petition today looking for all evidence to be preserved. it's not a surprise that his representatives are starting to build a case already and clearly that, you know, it seems like they're going to sue. >> i -- you know, whether they sue or i think what we would be probably better for united and maybe for the plaintiff, the doctor, would be that they sit down and they hammer, you know, an arrangement out, a settlement out before they bring a lawsuit. you know, what richard just said, you know, the airline may
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say we didn't pull him off, police pulled him off, and we're not responsible for what the police did. but united created the situation and the police were acting on reports that united provided to them. >> just from a, i mean, public relations standpoint, alone, try to get it settled without this actually getting into a courtroom? >> i think the legal case is much smaller than the political and the public relations case. >> yeah. justin green, appreciate your time. richard quest as well. thank you. we'll be right back. we're out ink,nk! not ink. printing doesn't have to be painful. now, during "hp savings month" at staples, get up to $180 off hp printers.
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that's all the time we have. thanks for watching. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news. president trump does a 180 on foreign policy. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. for those keeping score at home, we're now on the outs with russia, china is no longer a currency manipulator and nato isn't obsolete after all. what's behind the president's about-face on all of this? plus the man who said this to kellyanne conway. >> when they say democracy dies in darkness, you're the darkness. and are steve bannon's days in the white house numbered? it's just day 83, by way. going up against the