tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 12, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
there's more breaking news tonight from the president's conversation with loester holt. he revisits the idea. he seems more concerned that director comey exonerated her and in reconciling the opposing thoughts the president may have revealed something of how he sees his responsibilities as a candidate and a president to the truth. >> justification he shouldn't be doing that or you didn't like that the investigation didn't lead to indictment? >> when i'm a candidate that's a lot different from being president. i will tell you what he did, what comey did had good moments for me as a candidate.
i'm only talking as a candidate. not as president where i want to do what's right for the country necessarily. purely for me to get votes. when he came out with the scathing set of circumstances, the server, the illegal server, the e-mails -- 33,000 e-mails that you get subpoenaed and then you don't show and you erase those, delete them, get rid of them, acid-wash them. when he did that stuff it was disgraceful when he's covering everything point after point. >> this is only one of a string of new developments today including the president issuing what many saw as a thinly veiled threat against former director comey denying he tried to extract a loyalty pledge from him refusing to deny he records conversations in the oval office. details from sarah murray. >> reporter: president trump firing off an apparent threat to the ousted fbi director. trump tweeting, james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he
starts leaking to the press. trump's barbed warning comes as the president faces scrutiny for his private conversations with comey before he was fired. today the president is refusing to explain what tapes he was referring to and whether he's secretly recording conversations in the white house. >> i won't talk about that. all i want is for comey to be honest. i hope he will be. i'm sure he will be, i hope. >> reporter: as comey was overseeing the investigation into possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia trump said he asked comey repeatedly for reassurances he wasn't under investigation. >> did you ask am i under investigation? >> i asked him, yes. i said if possible would you let me know am i under investigation. he said you are not under investigation. >> reporter: those conversations which raised ethical red flags coming twice in phone calls and once over dinner. when trump said comey was vying to keep his job. >> the dinner was arranged. i think he asked for the dinner.
he wanted to stay on as the fbi head. i said, i will consider -- we'll see what happens. >> reporter: a source close to comey dispute that is account saying comey didn't request the dinner and had already been reassured by the president that he would keep his job. during that dinner a source says comey was taken aback when trump asked for a personal pledge of loyalty which comey refused to provide. this as the administration struggles to get the story straight about why the president ultimately decided to fire comey. after administration officials initially said it was at the prompting of department of justice officials now trump said it was his call. and says he was thinking about the russia investigation when he made the decision. >> in fact, when i decided to just do it i said to myself, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> reporter: trump took to twitter to explain the discrepancy saying as a very
active president with lots of things happening it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy. >> that tweet i find amazing, the idea he's so active that his surrogates can't catch up with him to find out what's true and what's not and actually speak the truth at the podium. what are you learning about morale at the white house at the end of this week? >> certainly for white house staffers it's been a demoralizing week. like you were saying about the president's pace some staffers refer to him as the hurry-up president. it comes with high risk and also high reward that he's able to pull the trigger and make decisions. this week they certainly saw the down side of taking those risks. i think we saw it over and over again as the white house struggled to figure out their narrative, their story around the president's decision to fire james comey. we are told the president tried to personally offer assurances to the staff and maybe people are more buoyed into the weekend
but a number of staffers acknowledge this was not the president's best week by far. >> he might make decisions quickly but reverses them when he says something different from what they have agreed on the day before. sarah murray, more on the state of the russia investigation which the president called a ruse, charade, fake news. also according to our sources he's mischaracterized it. today he tweeted when james clapper himself and virtually everyone else with knowledge says there is no collusion when does it end. is that what the former director of intelligence said? pamela brown has the answer. does the latest information on the russia investigation line up with the president's claim that this is a witch hunt? >> no, it doesn't. in fact, it indicates the exact opposite that this investigation is only moving forward and picking up pace. and james clapper, the former head of the dni today made clear that his previous comments he's made that he's seen no evidence of collusion doesn't mean there
isn't hard evidence that exists. he said that information would be closely held by the fbi. it wasn't shared with him by the fbi before he left his post on january 20. in fact, he said he didn't know this investigation existed. here is what he said on means today. -- msnbc today. >> it's not surprising or abnormal that i would not have known about the investigation or even more importantly the content of the investigation. so i don't know if there was collusion or not. i don't know if there was evidence of collusion or not. nor should i have in this particular context. >> you were not intending to clear -- convict or clear anyone of collusion. it was just outside of your scope. >> that's correct. >> previously former fbi director james comey said there is an ongoing investigation on the matter. several people with knowledge of the probe said there is information suggesting possible coordination. so it's something the fbi and committees on the hill will
continue to pursue, anderson. >> the "wall street journal" just posted a story that a treasury department unit focused on money laundering will share financial records with the senate intelligence community to aid into the ties between the trump campaign and russia. how would this be significant in moving the senate investigation forward? >> a couple of ways. this is in response to the senate intelligence committee requests earlier this week. now we are learning the treasury department will share the financial records that the committee has asked for to help with the senate probe into the russia and possible ties with president trump and his associates according to the "wall street journal." this is coming from a unit in the treasury department that specializes at combatting money laundering. we have heard on capitol hill they have made clear they are particularly interested in that issue -- money laundering, shell companies, and whether russia used money to gain leverage over trump or his associates. the records may shed light on that. they may not. we should mention today donald trump's lawyers released a letter to senators on capitol
hill stating their review of the last ten years of his tax returns do not reflect, quote, any income of any tape from russian sources. >> pam, thanks. more on the question of recordings in the white house and questions about the president's behavior. joining us now david axelrod, current host of "the ax files." i want to ask about the recordings. first, this notion that donald trump tweeted out that because he's so fast-moving and so busy that his surrogates -- sean spicer, his spokes people -- can't accurately speak from the podium because he's so improvisational that they can't keep up. does that make sense? doesn't everybody sit down in a room and say, here was my thinking on this, go forth and
explain it to reporters. >> generally there is an agreement on what it is you are trying to communicate. that agreement is in concert with what the president believes and what the president is going to say subsequently. that's not the case in the trump white house. he is an improvisational figure. he makes stuff up. he's sent people out there this week including the vice president of the united states with a cover story for his decision on why he got rid of the fbi director. then he cut them all off at the knees. that's not a problem with his spokespeople or him being an active president. it's a problem with telling the truth, sticking with a story and coordinating properly with people so you are not exposing them the way he's exposed them. >> seems if you are telling the truth that's the easiest thing to do. it's the truth and everybody
repeats the truth as opposed to what we have been seeing this week. here's this story, it's rosenstein, lo and behold it's not. >> yes. no question about it. i have sympathy for the people who go out and speak for him. this is a difficult job. you don't know if the story will stick. secondly, you're constantly called upon to react to things you didn't expect. what's clear about what happened this week is the president in an apparent fit fired the fbi director and fired off a series of tweets. his people were spinning madly trying to explain all of it. if donald trump wants to deal with the communication problem he should look in the mirror. that's where it begins. >> the clip we heard of the
president making a distinction between what's good as a candidate to get votes and what's good for the country, seemingly comfortable toggling between those worlds relating to the comey firing. obviously many candidates say something on the campaign trail and reverse it in the office with the seriousness and the responsibility weighing on their shoulders. he seems to just embrace it and say, look, i was doing things which were good to get votes and now i'm doing things which are good for the country. >> you're right. that wouldn't be unique to donald trump among office holders or presidents. but the fact is in his presidency and through the first hundred days it's been now. he's still seems highly political in how he reacts to things. he judges it through the narrow prism of how it affects him. this was a good case this week. he has no compunction though
he's the trustee of our institutions of democracy, he has no compunction about going after anyone or any institution -- the fbi, the cia -- you know, the intelligence community, the media, the courts. and so, you know, i know he wants to claim the mantel of responsible president looking out for the country. he ought to start by looking out for the institutions of our democracy that are essential to the functioning of the country. >> whether or not there are -- would it be -- you worked in the white house. was everything recorded in the obama administration? would it be normal to have taped recorded conversations. not just conversations with world leaders on the phone but like nixon had of voice activated conversations in the oval office.
>> yeah. to tape conversations between the president and the news media. for example if they came into the oval office to tape an interview, an author who came to tape -- >> you would usually see an aide take a recorder and put it down. if i have an interview with somebody often they record it to make sure i'm not going to misquote them. >> exactly. i was not aware of a taping system and certainly -- first of all, let's start with the fact that it would be very unusual. i could not see a set of circumstance where is the president would invite the fbi over -- fbi director over for dinner and certainly not one where he'd invite him to ask whether he was under investigation. so let's stipulate that. i knew of no such taping system when i was there. i don't know whether donald trump was actually taping or whether he was just trying to
menace mr. comey. i don't know if anyone on the planet would be more delighted to have tapes of the dinner disseminated than jim comey. i suspect he feels that would support his version of what happened there. i'm sure people will be challenging the president to produce such tapes if he has them. >> thank you very much, david axelrod. "the ax files" tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. looking forward to that. up next, breaking news on what the justice department thinks of calls for a special prosecutor on russia and what gop lawmakers are saying. we'll update you on the state of the investigations. a half dozen and counting when we continue. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts.
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more breaking news. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein said he doesn't see a need for a special probe. that said many top democratic lawmakers and the former director of national intelligence believe otherwise. >> in light of the events of the last day or so, i am moving toward that, swinging toward an independent effort. whether it's a commission or prosecutor. >> what must happen now is that mr. rosen stein appoints a special prosecutor. >> an independent prosecutor should be appointed. >> there needs to be a special prosecutor. >> house democrats called for an
independent investigation. >> the necessity of an independent investigation is increasingly being recognized. >> this president cannot oversee an investigation into his own associates. >> that should be clear to everyone regardless of political affiliation, where you are in the justice department. >> it is not a partisan issue. it is an issue of patriotism. >> this is in the best interest of the president, the best interest of the republicans or democrats. i don't care what the stripe is. >> democrats calling for a special prosecutor which gives the question what about the gop? here's the latest on that tonight. >> what are republicans saying about the controversies created by the white house? >> well, anderson, republican leaders are tired of president trump's tweets. paul ryan earlier today was asked about the tweets, the threats to james comey from the one tweet. he didn't want to comment. i won't get into the president's tweets. mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader has said he thinks these are a distraction
from the agenda on capitol hill. a lot of democrats, republicans feel the same way. they want to focus on things they are trying to achieve here, health care rerm to, tax reform. when the president says things like this, the tweets, controversy over james comey, it distracts from what they are trying to do on capitol hill. but one thing the white house does have going for it right now is that there is really not a ground swell of support on the republican side for a special council, special prosecutor in light of the james comey firing. really only a handful of republicans even calling for a special committee and nobody embracing the idea of a special prosecutor as democrats want. so right now that's what the white house has going for it. if the controversy continues that sentiment could change. >> the justice department doesn't name a special prosecutor in the russia investigation. things just continue on as they have been? >> perhaps. yeah. democrats say they are actually going to put up a fight if there
is no special prosecutor named. tonight i spoke with mark warner, the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee who said they are going to use leverage. that means trying to block the fbi director nominee, the new fbi director nominee if there is no special prosecutor named. this is what he said. >> if he doesn't do that, i think it will be very difficult to solicit a lot of support from democrats. and support for democrats in terms of whoever the president picks to be a permanent fbi director. >> now, in that same interview mark would not say he has confidence in the deputy attorney general. would not even go that far saying he wants to see the special prosecutor named. but to block an fbi director nominee they need three republicans to vote against him. there is no indication that will happen et y. we have to see who that person is. clearly you are seeing the controversy building, continuing to build in light of the james
comey firing. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> there are at least five other investigations now under way in addition to the fbi probe. it is a lot to keep up with. tom foreman, what can you tell us? >> when you look at the russia connection and all of the investigation into whether or not somebody was involved or the trump administration was involved there are many different agencies that are involved in investigating it now. from the department of justice and the fbi to congressional committees, to the department of defense and the defense intelligence community out there. a lot of ways this could be looked at. fbi over here. the fbi around the clock is collecting evidence, questioning people on the record and they are analyzing data. if they find evidence of something being done wrong here with the department of justice they can pull together a grand jury and actually press criminal charges. is this aimed specifically at donald trump's team?
no. it's at the russian investigation overall. but as the departed director has said already, yeah. they are considering whether or not somebody on team trump might have been involved. >> that's the criminal part of this. what's congress up to? >> this is the political part in the middle. look at the committees right there. they can pull the committees out and put people on the spot. summoning witnesses to appear on tv and on the record telling them what they know, establishing timelines, pecking away at the story and keeping the story front and center in terms of the politics and the news cycle. you can expect that with republicans in charge of the house and the senate they might want to be somewhat protective of a republican administration. as they get bombshells coming out of this that they can't avoid or the fbi produces such a thing you might see then this is producing a special commission or committee to look further. if you get close enough to the midterm elections you could see
the democrats hanging on saying, hey, maybe we get more advantage here and they can press more. >> if the special commission or select committee is empanelled, who has oversight? >> it is an oversight committee in a sense. they really don't have oversight normally. here's what i can tell you. it could be a bipartisan group. but most likely it would reflect the majority. the republicans would shape it so even this special group would have a majority of republicans on it. they would have more of an independent feel generally in terms of the fact-finding. i say it is what it is. there aren't rules that stand up for all of the committees. they basically come up with them from time to time. that means if you get a committee working with strong members to it, it could be something that had real teeth or you could wind up with people out there who would shuffle paper, ask questions and let the issue die away. anderson? >> tom, thank you very much. coming up, white house said several time this is week james comey had lost the confidence of
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sean spicer today said the president is dismayed the press parses words from the white house. that's in the job description. we want to pull a thread from the sweater of disinformation. it is an idea put forth that james comey lost the confidence of the rank and file in the fbi. listen to what sarah huckabee sanders said. >> the president over the last several months lost confidence in director comey. the doj lost confidence in director comey. bipartisan members of congress made it clear they had lost confidence in director comey. most importantly, the rank and file of the fbi had lost confidence in their director. >> that was wednesday. yesterday acting fbi director andrew mccabe was asked about it at a senate hearing. >> you have been there 21 years. in your opinion is it accurate the rank and file no longer
supported deputy ocomey? >> no, sir. that's not accurate. i have the highest respect for it has been the greatest ty. privilege and honor of my professional life to work with him. i can tell you also that director comey enjoyed broad support within the fbi. and still does to this day. >> so that contradicts what sarah huckabee sanders said the day before. let's see what she said when she was pressed to say what led her to believe he lost confidence. >> i heard from countless member of the fbi that are thankful for the president's decision. i think we may have to agree to disagree. i'm sure there are some people that are disappointed but i have certainly heard from a large number of individuals. that's just myself. and i don't know that many people in the fbi. between e-mail, text messages, absolutely.
>> 50? >> yes. >> 60, 70? >> we are not getting into a numbers game. i have heard from a large number of individuals that work at the fbi that said they are happy with the president's decision. >> joining us now two people with experience working for the fbi, philip mudd and james galiano. i know you are no longer in the fbi but talked to rank and file agents since comey was fired. what are they saying? >> listening to the white house spokeswoman speak, you know, i don't know who she's spoken to. i have spoken to a number of agents in the hundreds. the fbi is not a monolithic group. it represents america. folks came down on the side that said director comey made missteps, they disagreed with his calculation. folks on the other side who said they supported what he did. the only thing that united fbi agents is the misstreemt at the hands of the president to jim comey. >> the way it was done. >> absolutely.
decent people can come down on the two sides of this and say he should have gone, submitted a resignation and the president has the right to let him go. he does. if he had done something wrong, had been accused of high crimes and misdemeanors i understand treason, bribery. the president was going in a different direction. i will submit to you that the moment he made the decision had nothing do with the russian investigation or rank and file fbi members. you know, disagreeing with him. it was the day when the president was inaugurated and invited jim comey forward, the press cameras were there and he said here's jim and he's almost as famous as i am. i think he made a mental note this wouldn't be a long marriage. >> because the president doesn't like that sort of competition? >> you heard the conversation today. what struck me, the grandstanding and showboating struck me as so much hypocrisy. what i'm offended by and a number of agents felt the same
way. when the president had a conversation with lester holt, you played that clip. he never referred to him as director comey. or former director comey. he referred to him as comey. in washington where titles are important and we teach our children no matter what you think of the president you refer to them by the title. to refer to him as comey in a dismissive way, a lot of folks in the bureau were offended. >> it doesn't necessarily mean he had broad support in the fbi from the way he handled the clinton investigation though. >> that's right. jim nailed it. there is a difference between saying i agree or disagree with how he handled the clinton investigation. this investigation particularly violating the basic principle, speaking publically about cases. but i can't find anybody who agrees with the president's handling of this. anybody. let me be blunt, money walks, bul
bull -- talks. he disagreed with the handles of the cases. he was united as every fbi official i have including sitting in former officials and saying it is completely inappropriate for the target of the investigation to eliminate the person who led the investigation. every college student who comes to washington is told one thing. speak truth to power and the message of this in the fbi is when you speak truth to power you get your head cut off. the word isn't morale but anger today. the man who led the investigation lost his job. that some are getting, if you e- speak truth to power you are handed your head, what does it do to the ongoing russia investigation? >> that's a good question. i think a lot of people, i have heard a lot of this. there is going to be a chilling effect on the fbi. the fbi has been around since 1908. the fbi agents, the folks that do the jobs. their supervisors, gs-15s, job won't be frightened by g the
someone tweeting 140 words in a veiled threat. they will follow the fbi's motto, fidelity, bravery, integrity. fidelity isn't to a president, a politician. it is to the constitution and protecting the american people. >> phil, i assume you agree that this goes on -- you made the point the other night that in watergate it was a high level official to the fbi who ended up being deep throat was of what was going on. >> this is simple, anderson. when you get out of college or join an organization you join an accounting firm, a bank, become a teacher. at the fbi you chase a terrorist, chase somebody from the chinese embassy trying to steal american defense secrets, chase political corruption or someone interfering with an american election. imagine the motivation of an individual told to find out if there are american citizens who violated the principles of american democracy that you can vote for a president? they don't care what the president says.
they will hunt if somebody did something wrong. >> phil mudd, james gagliano. good to see you again. attorney general jeff sessions recused himself because of his failure to disclose a meeting with the russian ambassador. why does he have any part of firing the man much less choosing the replacement? we'll look at that ahead. you we. to progress. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology to help you find the next amazing version of yourself. it's time to unleash your secret weapon. it's there, right under your nose. get to your best smile up to 50% faster. visit invisalign.com to get started today. how if guests book direct ater, choicehotels.com and stay twice they'll get a $50 gift card? summertime. badda book. badda boom. got you a shirt! ...i kept the receipt...
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president trump admitted when he decided to fire james comey he said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story which raises questions not only about the president firing the man leading the investigation into russia but also jeff sessions' involvement in the firing and the search for a new person. here's more. >> i have decided to recuse myself from any matter we lated to the campaigns for president of the united states. >> reporter: attorney general receive sessions recusing himself from the investigation into the trump campaign's alleged ties to russia and its meddling in the presidential election. that was march 2. after sessions failed to
disclose his meeting with russian ambassador sergei kislyak during his confirmation hearing. during the thick of it many are questioning if sessions violated his his recuse sal by advising president trump on the decision to fire james comey. the fact is sessions promised to recuse himself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related to the campaign. so why was he in the oval office on monday counseling the president about comey who was heading up the russia investigation. >> he asked them to put the recommendation in writing. they came to him on his own. >> reporter: the white house say it is president reviewed written recommendations and made his decision the following day.
still, let's remember the white house initially said comey was fired because of how he handled the hillary clinton e-mail scandal. we now know according to the president himself that's not accurate. he says the russia investigation played a role in his decision to cut comey loose. >> reporter: which brings us back to jeff sessions and his so-called recusal. >> he violated that public commitment when he made a recommendation to donald trump -- to president trump to fire comey. there's strong evidence that the firing of comey was related to the investigation of russia and the trump campaign. >> reporter: democratic senator al franken slammed sessions in a slamt saying he was deeply troubled. franken called it a betrayal of his commitment to the ub lick that he wouldn't be involved in the investigation. we have learned sessions is also interviewing candidates to replace comey, meaning jeff sessions will have a key role in
picking who will be in charge of the russia investigation. >> based on his commitment from march, attorney general sessions needs to recuse from participating in the vetting of those candidates as well. attorney general sessions shouldn't be involved in selecting the next director of the fbi. >> reporter: the white house sees it very differently. >> look, the fbi is doing a lot more than the russia investigation. he should absolutely have a role in seeing who runs that agency and that department. >> reporter: randy kay, cnn, new york. >> well, paul butler worked with rod rosenstein at the justice department and is now a law professor at georgetown. he joins me along with laura coates, cnn legal an-. professor, we hear senator franken saying basically senator sessions said he would recuse himself he should not be part of this, that it is inappropriate
to be part of looking for a replacement. do you agree? >> the senator is wrong. the attorney general recused himself in the investigation of the presidential campaign of 2016. he remains the boss of the fbi director. he has a responsibility to evaluate him and to say something when the director exceeds his authority, when he acts unethically in the way director comey did. >> the white house is saying essentially it is a personnel issue and you seem to agree. >> yes. the problem with the focus on recusal is where do you draw the line? do we think he should have no role in evaluating the next director? he will be the boss of that person as well. should we say he shouldn't have conversations with the president of the united states because the president may be under investigation as well? recusal is supposed to be narrow, about a limited conflict of interest. the united states attorney genre mains the nation's chief law
enforcement officer. >> what about that point, laura? you heard not only a professor here but sarah sanders say the fbi has a lot going on. it is inappropriate that sessions should have to recuse himself from any oversight of it. >> that's certainly true they are saying it is a personnel issue. if all points indicated it was a personnel issue we may have an agreement. me and paul. however, you have a slippery slope not just in terms of the limitations of the attorney general. you have a slippery slope when it comes to figuring out whether or not jeff sessions was aware of any of the political motivation that there may have been by president trump to fire james comey in order to impede or somehow stall the russia investigation. if he was aware that there was even the slightest basis that he was going on then his issue was not about personnel. it is a foundation for his reason for thinking he had no longer had the confidence of the fbi agents or was no longer to
be trusted as the chief investigator under the umbrella organization of the justice department. if that was even based on an iota, based on the russia investigation it is not a personnel issue. it swings the pendulum back into the area of perhaps the attorney general himself being involved in the obstruction of justice in our country. >> i see you shaking your head. >> i disagree with my friend laura. look, the president asked rod rosenstein for his opinion about director comey. rosenstein said what every federal prosecutor i know says that when comey inserted himself into the election and made all of the spurious allegations against hillary clinton without giving her a chance to prove herself in court, to defend herself in court, comey violated every rule in the ethical investigator's playbook. he had to go. was the timing wrong? yes. if your boss asked for your
evaluation of someone you have to give that evaluation. do you think -- would he know there is a possibility that trump would use it in a political way? yes. that shouldn't stop him from rendering his ethical opinion. the problem i have with folks going ballistic when comey -- when the attorney general makes any move that undermines their credibility. let me keep it a hundred. i'm not a big fan of sessions. when he does something that's concerning i don't want the credibility to be undermined when folks complain about it. >> laura, i want to give you the final thought. >> let's be clear. i'm not questioning rod rosenstein's ethics in the case. i'm questioning the ethics of someone trying to parse words on a highly ethical issue about whether or not he is limited to personnel issues or whether or not he had some part and was aware that his recommendation was going to form the basis of the president's decision to terminate based on the russia
investigation. it's neither ballistic and certainly 100 to say that when you have the attorney general of the united states who certainly has oversight over various departments within the fbi he still has a responsibility to not obstruct or enable somebody to try to do so. the law says even to endeavor to impede or halt is enough. >> i should have gone to law school. laura, i appreciate you educating me. paul butler as well. thank you so much. just ahead a world away from the drama rocking washington, anthony bourdain tells me what drew him back to laos for his new est "parts unknown." the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly and win at business. so i wanted you to have the ring to match.you, at jared, we only sell one piece of jewelry... ...the engagement ring of her dreams
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rosenstein. it has really been an eventful week to say the least. this weekend you can count on anthony bourdain to deliver a new episode of "parts unknown." this toime he goes to laos. >> from the first time i heard of laos, i was hooked and wanted to see the place. a mysterious, land-locked nation boarded by thailand, china,
>> i talk to anthony about his trip over a beer here in new york. so this episode is about laos, which i went to 20 years ago and i'm dying to go back. you went to a city that's a beautiful city. >> it's beautiful, spirit you'll, we were there where all the local villagers and temples spend weeks of building these elaborate boats filled with candles that they silently push out into the river. it's the second time i've done a show in laos and focused on the unexploded ordinance in the country. most people are and yunaware of gigantic war that took place in
1955 and that more bombs were dropped on this tiny, little, low-population agrarian country than all of world war ii combined, germany and japan. and a lot of those munitions are unexploded and blowing people up who weren't even alive during that time. so that's a story worth looking at always. and it's just an incredibly beautiful country. it looks unlike any other place on earth. >> as you said you had focused on unexploded ordinance before and the white house had seen the show and hadn't realized the extent to which there were unexploded ordinance in laos. >> i don't feel like an activist. it was an unanticipated thing. most of the people stepping on these millions the bomblets weren't even alive during the conflict. they were not on one side or
another. to see that again and again and again, it changed my life the first time i went and i think it will change the point of view or the outlook of i think anyone with a heart who sees it now. it's a beautiful, very gentle country. it's a government i don't have any particular love for and a system i don't like, but the people and the country and the cuisine and the landscape, it's really enchanting. >> i look forward to seeing it. >> makes me want to go. tune in for a new episode this sunday night at 9:00 eastern here on cnn. we'll be right back. ...or nothing. coors banquet. that's how it's done.
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that's it for us. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" start right now. have a great weekend. did the president of the united states threaten the ousted head of the fbi? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the white house insists president trump's tweet is not a threat but judge for yourself. here it is. "james comey, better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press." democrats on capitol hill demanding any copies of recordings, if in fact they exist. the president also saying because he's so active a lot of