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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  May 12, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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abc. 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 things are happening, don't count on white house aides to give out 100% accurate information.
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a lot to get to tonight. i want to get with cnn's white house correspondent sarah murray. first question. this has been an extraordinary week. what's the mood tonight at the white house? >> well, there certainly is a sense here that this is far from the president's best week since taking office. you know, we know in their struggles explain why the president decided to fire james comey and in just sort of his trigger decision where he kept so few people in the loop, there was sort of a sense of demoralization among some of the staffers here in the white house. they feel like in some ways it was a learning experience about the risks and rewards about a president who makes such snap decisions. we've also learned that the vice president is a little bit rattled even by the events that went down this week. now we know the president offered some private reassurances to some of his staffers today. that may have left them a little bit more buoyed going into the weekend but certainly a lot of people here were very happy to know it was friday, don. >> very happy it's friday, a lot of people are as a matter of fact.
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i mentioned a little bit at the top of the show, fill us in on what happened this morning. >> reporter: this is really a shocking and surprising morning, even for this president, don, because we saw the president take to twitter to offer this thinly veiled threat toward his newly ousted fbi director saying "james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press." of course, sean spicer was asked about this in the briefing. the president was asked about this in an interview. and he refused to say what tapes he was referring to or whether he was secretly taping in this white house, don. >> so what else did the president say in his twitter tirade beside that? >> reporter: well, don, when you know when he tweets once, there are usually more to come. and there certainly were this morning. he was trying to explain why we've seen these conflicting stories from white house officials and from the president about how he came to the decision to fire james comey. you remember a number of
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officials said he was taking the recommendation of department of justice officials and then trump came out and said, no, it was my decision, i knew i wanted to fire him and i did it. so trump said on twitter as a very active president with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy. maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future press briefings and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy and we know the president threatened to cancel the briefings altogether. >> a distraction. before i let you go, someone is being interviewed for the fbi director tomorrow. what do you know? >> reporter: we know the white house has started to turn to who they will replace james comey with. it's obviously going to be a very controversial decision whenever they do make it. the president is expected to meet with four different candidates. among them is andrew mccabe, who
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is now the acting director. we also see senator john cornyn, a texas republican. they may feel like he has a better chance to be confirmed because he is already a sitting senator. alice fisher, a lawyer, a partner at a law firm here and judge michael garcia. so this is sort of the first round of candidates that the president will be meeting with to consider for this job. like i said, don, you can bet that this is going to be a very controversial decision whenever the president does make it and certainly something democrats are going to have a lot of consternation about. >> thank you, sara, i appreciate it. >> i want to bring in fareed zakaria. the president is tweeting about possibly cancelling briefings. what do you think? >> he's not going to cancel briefings. he in some ways the president i think almost the metric by which he judges himself is is he dominating the airwaves? there is this constant search to dominate the airwaves. i think it was doug brinkley
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said on reality tv the person who wins, it is the guy or girl who has the camera on them all the time. the metric should be are you getting anything done? i would point out to all his supporters, how has this week been for you? got any jobs back in rural michigan, rural pennsylvania, how is that infrastructure investment going, where are the taxes going, where is the health care reform going? none of that happens but he does dominate the airwaves. >> imagine the press was to decide for one day we're not going to cover donald trump, i think he would have a mental breakdown. >> it's a distraction. is he trying to move us on to something else? >> it's a distraction but it's a fairly desperate effort to
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change the subject when -- but this is entirely of his own making. >> let talk about the president launching veiled threats at the former director of the fbi. can this now be an impartial investigation? how can it be? >> you know, by any normal standard this would be considered a total breach of political decorum, of constitutional decorum, the president of the united states not just threatening the director of the fbi but it seems as though from multiple versions he was asking the director of the fbi in private dinners to, "a," give him assurances that he, the president, was not a target of an investigation, "b," having a we're conversation about quid pro quo, staying on as fbi director for some assurances. one doesn't know where to begin detailing the impropriety. as far as the taping and the threat, as i've said for a long time, to people who think donald
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trump is actually taping, that tweet is like so much of what he does. it's nonsense. it's what i've called bullshit. does anyone really think that donald trump is actually taping? no. this is not richard nixon. there's a great line in history, karl marx who says history repeats itself. the first is tragedy, the second time is farce. this is the farcical version of watergate where the guy says "i've got a tape" and he's got nothing in his hands. >> when i first saw it i was like, oh, come on. i can't believe that people take that seriously. but some of them do. we shall see. strangers things have happened with this president. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein says he doesn't think there should be a need for a special prosecutor. is that correct? >> i'm not a fan of a special prosecutor because they do kind of take on a life of their own. but if there ever were a circumstance where the
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department of justice is unable to pursue the investigation impartially, this is it. here you have an attorney general who essentially lied under oath to the senate, you have a senate who has now fired three department of justice officials, apparently for investigating him. in that circumstance it seems to me if you don't have some kind of special prosecutor or an independent bipartisan commission, i can't imagine that the public would feel that this was an independent inquiry and the public would be right. >> i have so much to talk to you about. usually it's like what are you going to fareed about? one or two things. but life comes at you first. >> my favorite one this week was small and unnoticed but priceless. in an interview with the "economist," the president said he had invented the term priming the pump. he look at the journalist and says have you ever heard this term because i just came up with it. two days ago. this is to my point of how we
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should approach donald trump. if he just came one it two days ago, how would they have heard it have? of course, the term was invented in 1916. and it been around forever and if he just invented it two days ago, how could he have been using it during the campaign? >> this goes to the truth and the respect of the truth. there are so many things happening, i think people don't know what to believe. obviously there's not respect for the truth. >> that's what i mean when i say sometimes the filters through which you have to understand him, the filter that goes through this mind when he's saying this frankly nonsense is not true or untrue, it's performance art. it's sort of -- he's just saying stuff. so he -- at that moment he thought it makes sense for him to say "i invented the term priming the pump" and he then moves on. >> there's conflicting reports
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about who inviting whom to the white house. even the former director of national intelligence believes it was the white house who invited -- >> let me put it this way. in all the times i have looked at these issues, i've never heard of anybody being able to invite himself to dinner at the white house. the president invites you to the white house. you don't get to invite yourself to the white house. >> you have a piece entitled "the comey firing reminds us of a bigger danger." you write, there's just one real check on the impeachment and it's political not legal. so far it appears that the one might have hoped for more and we might see it. the republican party is losing any resemblance to a traditional western party. instead turning into something more commonly found in the developing world, a platform to support the ego, appetites and interests of one man and his family." what do you want the republicans to do? >> i think it's quite sad.
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the party has surrendered itself to a person who is not really a republican. he's not a person who believes in the republican party ideas, who has supported the republican party historically. instead of really drawing some lines and saying, look of course, you won the primary, that's the system that works, you get to be president but on issues of this kind of violations of constitutional tradition, on things like, you know, his business practices, i think more republicans should criticize him. they should say, no, it's not okay to say i can do whatever i want because i'm president. the presidency has always been somewhat above the law, that's how it's designed because we have these three branches of government, but ever since george washington, there has been a very strong sense that because of that, the president has to self-police. so the president voluntarily either as candidate or president does a lot of things you don't
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have to do legally. and i would like to see the republican party hold its president to the standards that they would hold any other president. >> that's interesting because an informed electorate should know that, right? >> right now the saddest thing about where the country is is that trump is at about 40% at approval ratings but that masks the fact that among republicans he remains at about 80%. in fact, he has the second highest ratings for any republican at this point in the presidency. among democrats he's at 8%, among independents at 33. so you see that polarization in the country, which means that, you know, 30% of republicans thought he should fire comey one month ago, 60% now think it was the right thing. so when their team does it, it's right. >> fareed, thank you. appreciate it. make sure you watch fareed sunday. . the president suggesting he
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recorded his conversations with ousting fbi director james comey and now lawmakers are demanding those tapes if they exist. thanks you for joining us, congressman. you released a statement requesting copies of all recordings in possession of the white house.
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you say these white house tapes could accelerate current investigations as previous tapes have aided past inquiries. explain that. >> well, as you all saw this morning on those tweets, the president referred to some tapes of conversations. so we have been asking for documents and evidence related to any number of subjects in the oversight committee investigation of the trump white house's ties to russia, including anything related to the hiring and firing of general flynn. and now we want to know if the tapes exist to hand them over. we want to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. >> i just want to say, that if the recordings, if they do exist, they would be suggebject the presidential recording act. it's required that any recorded conversations at the white house be archived, unless the president gets special permission to not submit them to the archives. president trump wouldn't be the
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first to do this, bill clinton did it, it's not out of the ordinary but you just want to know if they exist because it wouldn't be unprecedented. >> it wouldn't be unprecedented and if they do exist, we're asking them to be turned over. you know, at the press conference today mr. spicer was asked point blank do these tapes exist and he refused to deny it. so, i have to believe we need to pursue this and get to the bottom of exactly what information is out there regarding the various questions in this whole russia controversy. >> you have repeatedly called for a special but the acting director, fbi director andrew mccabe said they have adequate resources in the russia investigation. do you have a lack of confidence in their work? >> it's not that we have a lack of confidence but i think we should take this whole thing out of the political process. i've called for a 9/11-style
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independent commission to investigate this whole controversy. i think we have to put country over party and make sure partisan politics does not infect the process by which we investigate this particular matter. if that doesn't happen, we have to do our job on the oversight committee. that's why i'm pressing as quickly as possible to continue with this investigation, get to the bottom of what's going on, figure out most of all have any of our national security secrets been compromised and how do we protect ourselves because we know that the russians have been hacking elections, trying to destabilize democracies around the world but we have to protect ourselves right now. >> can't the president clean up this mess by appointing a strong, independent nominee to lead the fbi? >> i think that would be a start. we need somebody who can restore dignity, trust and integrity to that particular position and confidence that the fbi remains independent. what really was disturbing -- a
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number of things were disturbing across the last 72 hours in connection with the jim comey firing. but as you might have heard, he was administered some kind of loyalty oath, a personal loyalty oath to donald trump. you know, we need the next fbi director to, first of all, pledge loyalty to the constitution and the laws of this country, not to any individual and not to the president because we're a nation of laws after all, not of men. >> congressman, thank you for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i'm going to bring in former congresswoman elizabeth holtzman who served in the house judiciary committee during watergate and former nixon counsel, john dean, the author of "conservatives without conscience." good evening to both of you. john, do you first. the president insinuated he has recordings of these conversations with comey but when asked about it later, he said he can't talk about it. senator dianne feinstein is
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calling on the white house to preserve any taped conversations between the president and james comey. do you think the president is taping dinner conversations? >> well, i don't know. nobody knows for certain. mr. trump's word is hard to rely on. what i first flashed in my mind when i saw his tweet was he had somehow used his smartphone and laid it on the table and maybe had the recording device working. and that would capture the conversation. i don't think they've installed formal equipment. that white house leaks so badly that something like that probably would already be on the street. >> i want to ask you, elizabeth, let's put aside whether these tapes do exist or not because the president tweeted this. he said, "he better hope there are no tapes." many see this as a threat. is the president trying to intimidate potential witnesses? >> it's hard to know what this president is doing. the fact of the matter is that i would be very surprised if
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mr. comey walking into this situation might not have thought that there were tapes and so was extremely careful about what he said. i'm sure he was extremely careful. >> the reporting says if there are tapes, he's not concerned about it. he doesn't believe there's a tape but if there are tapes, he not concerned about it. >> why would the president talk about if there are tapes? he knows if there are tapes. why is he playing a game? playing a game with comey, with media, with congress, the american people? he can say, mr. comey, you're lying but he's not doing that. either he's lying or -- he's either lying or he has the tape. >> i was there. >> that was a different time. why aren't people standing up? >> let's put it this way. during watergate, and john dean
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will remember this, too, some of the republicans started out as partisan strongly for nixon. howard baker is a good example. he was the leading republican on the senate watergate committee, special select committee. he started out saying i want to know what the president knew and when he knew it and he was doing that as a challenge to the witnesses because he said president didn't know it and he wasn't involved. but when the facts came out, howard baker saw the truth and changed his position. that was the difference because in the end many republicans put the country above party and above the president. >> john, what do you say to that? >> i certainly agree with the congresswoman. what happened on her committee, for example, is there was a solid republican vote against that slowly eroded. by the time the last tape came out, all of the members who had not voted for a bill of impeachment joined and said they would have or did do so. it never got to the house floor so it never was tested fully by
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the party but certainly at the committee level it was bipartisan. >> obviously saying this is nixonian, right? >> well, a lot of similarities. >> now because of the recordings. i don't even realize if the president realized that people were going to compare that to nixon because of the recordings. you say recordings are a double edge sword. why to you say that? >> double edge? i think recordings -- the president will know if there are recordings and he should just have said i have a recording and he proves comey's lying. he didn't say that. >> did the president obstruct justice by asking for more money to carry out this investigation related to him? >> i don't believe technically he's done so. it could be part of a bill of impeachment, as was nixon's interference with the fbi. the obstruction statutes really folks on court proceedings and only if the fbi is working in relationship of a grand jury can
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there really be an obstruction. i think you have a technical issue here if they ever get to impeachment, they would say he interfered with the investigation. >> stick with me. how comey's dismissal could affect the russian investigation. [fbi agent] you're a brave man, mr. stevens. your testimony will save lives. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv. you must become invisible. [hero] i'll take my chances. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker.
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we're back now. the original reason given for james comey's firing the way he handled the clinton scandal. i want to talk about the watergate comparison. the trump surrogates are beside themselves saying, wait a minute. there's a comparison to watergate? that's too much. you say it is fair, elizabeth. >> no question about it. the two things that strike me right away, watergate involved this break-in to democratic national committee headquarters. that was covered up. what was the purpose of the burglary? to interfere with the presidential election taking place in 1972. here we're talking about possible collusion with the russians over what?
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breaking in to hillary clinton's campaign internet and dnc information, her campaign staff. so to interfere with the election, presidential election 2016. so we have break-ins related to a presidential election in watergate and now. >> you have firings. >> and then you have the firings, in watergate, special prosecutor archibald cox wanted white house tapes that was going to prove about whether nixon knew about the coverup, what john dean said was true or not, the tapes would prove it. and nixon said he can't investigate me, i'm the president, i'm above the law. he fired cox and it started the impeachment process. >> is there another comparison? >> that's enough. stopping the fbi investigation, thinking if he fires comey the investigation will stop. it will not stop. >> john, what do you think about
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that? >> she left out a couple. we might also have an inoperable press room with the people left hanging out to dry after the president had his lester holt interview. that's another one. i think that the broad comparisons are certainly there. there's been a certain nixonian style about the way he's done things. they're kind of crude and authoritarian. so there are some similarities. it's not a -- history never repeats itself exactly and, you know, i just wake up everything morning and think we gone into another universe. i mean, i really don't understand washington under donald trump. it is just a very, very baffling place because every day is new chaos. >> can i talk to about -- i want to know about the timing of this sally yates told the white house council michael flynn had been
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interviewed by the fbi and president trump asked comey allegedly for a loyalty test the very next day, invited him to dinner. what do you think about the conversation and about the timing? >> timing is very suspect but, you know, asking somebody to pledge loyalty to you, i was district attorney in brooklyn, new york, the d.a., and that's the kind of thing the mafia asked people to do is pledge loyalty. it's not the kind of thing the president of the united states does to the fbi director. the fbi director can't be loyal to the president. the fbi director has to be loyal to the constitution and the american people, as john dean said. >> john, how concerned are you that the president will demand loyalty from the next fbi director? >> well, there's a real possibility. i'm told this is one of his business operating procedures, where he asks people if they could be loyal and indeed extract nondisclosure agreements out of them as well.
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he didn't go that far with comey. but i think it will be very telling his selection for the fbi director. that agency just does not need to be ruffled further and it will demoralize it if indeed he doesn't give them a really stellar appointee. >> "the wall street journal" is reporting the treasury department unit is focusing on money laundering and will share financial record with the senate intelligence committee to aid into the investigation into possible ties between the trump campaign and russia. a former trump adviser paul manafort's bank records are being sought in the probe. what do you think of this, john? >> well, it's unusual. indeed they have the right and the power to do that. it a committee, this is their area of expertise. certainly the minority members are expressing concerns about some of trump's business dealings and this is a way to get at it. he's refusing to turn over his tax returns so this is sort of a
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back door in to some of his businesses. i think they're going to fight their best fight to get this information. >> go ahead, elizabeth. >> look, if there was nothing there, president trump has said there's nothing there, it's all a hoax, no collusion with russia. if there were nothing there, why doesn't he make a clean breast of it right now, give open his tax returns to public scrutiny, tell everybody who works with him to turn over the information and cooperate fully and help the fbi instead of obstructing it. then we could get the truth, it would be over, done with. if he's right there's no collusion, great. if he's wrong then we need to know it because we can't have a president who is colluding with a foreign government to undermine our democracy. that would be the most dangerous thing of all. >> speaking of handing over everything, taxes, people were concerned that he hasn't released his taxes. president trump's lawyers released a letter saying his taxes don't show any income from
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russian sources except 12.2 million made in the miss universe pageant in moscow in 2013 you, 95 million because of a house sold to a russian billionaire. >> i think of watergate and president nixon saying i've turned over everything you to. a lawyer's letter saying what's in the tax returns is really worthless. you need to see the tax return. so it's a joke. it's a perpetuation of obfuscation and cover up. if he's got nothing to hide, make it open to the american people. why are we playing these games now? >> john dean, you've said on the show many times follow the money. >> indeed. that's a line that came out of "all the president's men," it was never in the book but the screenwriter came up with a very appropriate investigative guideline and i think with mr. trump and, as elizabeth says, if he had nothing to hide,
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he's certainly throwing every wrong signal since the very outset of all these issues. he's done nothing but obfuscate and try to distract us. >> thank you both. have a good weekend. i appreciate you both coming on. when we come back, what is the president's definition of the truth? because lately it just seems like we're just getting alternative facts. briathe customer app willw if be live monday. can we at least analyze customer traffic? can we push the offer online? brian, i just had a quick question. brian? brian... legacy technology can handcuff any company. but "yes" is here. you're saying the new app will go live monday?! yeah. with help from hpe, we can finally work the way we want to. with the right mix of hybrid it, everything computes. only t-mobile one gives you 2 lines of unlimited data for 100 dollars. all in. taxes and fees included. that'll save you hundreds. plus, right now get a samsung galaxy s8 when you buy one.
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after a week of lies and contradictions coming from the white house, an important question -- does this president care about the truth? he's been lying to the american people since before he became president. on november 27th he tweeted "in addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide, i won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people illegally." there's no truth to that. then this on march 4th. "terrible. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory." nothing found. this is mccarthyism. no evidence to back that up. on march 20th, president trump tweeted, the nsa director and
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fbi tell congress that russia did not influence electoral process. that's not true. and here are more lies. >> we got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before. that's the way it goes. i guess it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. and all across europe, you see what happened in paris and niece. it's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. it's gotten to the point where it not even reported. i made a speech, i looked out. the field looked like it was a million, million and a half people. it went all the way back to the washington monument. >> here to discuss, presidential historian douglas brinkley, michael higginbotham.
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after what we have seen this week, have you ever seen a president with such disregard for the truth? >> no, i haven't seen any human beings with such disregard for the truth. the sign of insanity is when you believe your own b.s. he may believe he's telling the truth and that's the part that has everybody confused all the time. he must feel there's an advantage with this sort of -- we used to call it the fog of war. it's the fog of truth. it forces everybody to wake up and try to say you said this wrong, this wrong and it kind of start becoming a collective insanity. >> is this a kind of flood the zone with lies or misinformation, propaganda campaign? >> when you're a hyper salesperson the car is the shiniest, the biggest, the best. he spent decade after decade doing it and it gets him to the
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white house. and there's no need to reform himself because he doesn't understand that his words matter now now that he's president. >> there is no this is the best condo, it's the best view, you can see all the way to staten island when there's a building in front of you. >> yeah, i know. >> like michael, president trump said yesterday that he invented the phrase priming the pump. merriam webster stays "priming the pump" has been around since the '30s. does this president think he can get away with telling his own version and if we all believe it, we just fell off the turnip truck? >> unfortunately, he does. it's like the boy who cries wolf. he keeps saying these things and people keep accepting it. at least trump supporters keep
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accepting it. i think he'll keep doing it as long as some americans continue to accept it. but he doesn't seem to value the truth. he doesn't seem to value veracity and it's trickling down to his spokepersons and press secretaries. they're doing the same thing. every time up see them on, they're misleading, mischaracterizing, talking about alternative facts and they're lies. the american people deserve more. it doesn't have to be perfect but they deserve better. >> since you brought up spokespersons, i want to go back to douglas. you said no one is considering how history is going to record them. do you think they think history will be kind to them? >> i think they don't care about history, the trump crowd. if they do, it can be their alternative history. if you're able to make up that
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andrew jackson could have kept us out of the civil war and you forget that about slavery, you feel you can write your own history. this is the sort of thing the alternative right has been doing. in that history joe mccarthy is a hero, even though he pulled out names of communists that didn't exist and smeared the state department, the alternative right loves mccarthy. this nativist, hard right, bigoted view of america. >> he's so joe mccarthy. who would want to have that sort of history? michael d'antonio, you say the truth has never been profitable for donald trump. what do you mean by that? >> well, he's never dealt in facts or truth in his business life or his salesmans life. that's really what his existence
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has been about since the 1970s. if you're not holding yourself to a fact-based narrative as you're selling a piece of real estate or a stake or trump university, if you're willing to call it trump university, you're demonstrating that fact is not your realm. and it's very hard for a person at age 70 to now say i'm going to hue closely to the facts. actually i've observed over the years what seems to have guided donald trump and now it seems to be president trump is what is legal. the criminality is what he's trying to avoid and what can i get away with. when you're not president, there's not hundreds of thousands of people checking every word and it becomes very
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uncomfortable for him. >> this is new reporting from the "new york times" and maggie haberman. the piece is called in part "mr. trump's four decade career in real estate casinos and entertainment has given him a sense associates say that a tacit agreement exists between him and the people who work for him in exchange for the wealth, fame and power he conveys to them, they agree to absorb incoming fire directed at him but, mr. trump, it's pretty simple, once he makes up his mind on something, that's it, said a former trump political adviser who remains close to the president. you either work for him or you quit. this is just coming in to cnn. does this sound like the donald trump that you have studied? >> very much so. he wants people around him to are loyal to him and to his personality and to his endeavors.
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if you have a moral code or a commitment to the facts and it somehow differs with what he's presenting, you have to go with the trump line or you're out. now, i think people when they go to work for him understand that this is the condition. you know, you accept higher pay than you normally would get elsewhere, more responsibility, a little bit of glamour, but you have to subsume whatever values you may have acquired along the way in life and give it up for this organization. and i think that's the problem people in the white house have. they've got some commitment, i imagine, to the american people and to getting things right, but at the same time they're working for a person who is very demanding, very domineering and shifts positions on an hourly basis. >> if we can put that article, just put the beginning of that article back up. i want to put the title up.
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the title online is "looking like a liar or a fool, what it means to work for trump." we'll be right back with our conversation. you plan to capture every moment. ♪ ♪ but what you really can't plan for, is when the moment captures you. ♪ experience moe as a member. the marriott portfolo has 30 brands in over 110 countries, so no matter where you go, you are here. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months.
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back with my panel. the president tweeted today he may get rid of press briefs. and then, he said to fox news. >> are you moving so quickly that your communications department cannot keep up with you? >> that's true. >> what do we do about that? >> don't have press conferences. unless i have them every two weeks and i do it myself. we don't have them. you have a level of hostility that's incredible. and it's very unfair. sarah huckabee is a lovely, young woman. you know sean spicer. he is a wonderful human being. he's a nice man. >> is he your press secretary today and tomorrow? will he be tomorrow? >> ease doing a zbood jgood jobe gets beat up. he's been there from the beginning. >> that wasn't a ringing endorsement of sean spicer.
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i know a lot of really nice people, who i like. but they may not be good at their jobs. what does that have to do with spinning or not telling the truth? douglas brinkley? >> everybody knows that spicer has been horrible as a press secretary. his first day, he had to lie about the size of the crowd and brought out a phony photoshopped deal. he just can't get any traction. so, i think donald trump's pretty frustrated with what's going on because he can't answer questions. he seems out of his league. look at josh earnest, the press secretary for obama. things went cool. with spicer, something goes off the rails. he may feel he needs to become his own press person. in the end, he might run the white house by himself because i think people don't want to be -- anybody that gets too close to
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trump seems to shrink. >> michael, do you think that people believe what they're saying or just in the bunker? >> i don't think they believe what they're saying. they're taking their direction from the president and they're going to say whatever the president wants them to say. to me, it's a problem. limiting the press is not good. we have, at our core, american democracy is a robust press. eliminating the daily press briefings or having a lack of credibility on the part of your spokespersons and press secretaries, is really detrimental to our american democracy. i think we need to do a better job. >> real quickly. this is in the report. the campaign manager prowsed to
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friends that he was forced to absorb all the criticisms. mr. trump, he told two people close to him, had ordered him to do it. but placed the blame on mr mr. lewandowski when people complained about it. he's been loyal to this president. what does that tell you? >> it tells me he's been beat up in the process of promoting the candidate and backing the president. and the loyalty doesn't run both ways. he likes to say that it will but it runs towards you in the form of your paycheck. but he's going to throw you under the bus if that's convenient. that's what lewandowski is speaking to. >> thank you. when we come back, the russia investigation moving forward, despite comey's dismissal. we'll tell you what's ahead. , mr. stevens. your testimony will save lives. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house.
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president trump making a veiled threat to former fbi director james comey. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. president trump tweeting, mr. comey better hope there's no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. did trump's firing of comey tampen the investigation into the meddling of the election? and it's not a bird or a


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