Skip to main content

tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  August 18, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

11:00 am
world. >> we're going to stay on top of the breaking news. major breaking news, steve bannon, the chief strategist at the white house, fired. steve bannon, no longer the chief strategist at the white house. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." thanks very much for watching. our special coverage continues our special coverage continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- member another member of the president's inner circle is out. a source tells cnn bannon was given to option to resign but let's be real, he was forced out. since day one, bannon has been a lightning rod within the trump white house because of his alignment with the so-called alt-right movement. bannon's firing comes just days after he gave an extraordinary, yet quite candid interview that seemed to undermine the president's authority.
11:01 am
we'll get into that in a second. but moments ago, the editor of breitbart, this is steve bannon's former website, tweeted this in a single word. #war. let's begin with our senior white house correspondent jim acosta live in bridgewater, new jersey, where the president is having this working vacation. jim acosta, we won't beat around the bush. the man was fired. >> reporter: not much of a working vacation. yeah, not much of a working vacation for the president, and he had to deal with something that was really pressing, it seems, if you talk to multiple white house sources and that is the pyrifiring of steve bannon. my understanding from talking to white house sources is that this was going to happen a couple of weeks ago, that bannon was going to be fired a couple of weeks ago, that it didn't happen, and then that recently he was given the option to resign, which, you know, if you want to break through the white house speak there and you were just doing that a few moments ago, brooke, he was fired. he was forced out. so, steve bannon is no more, but
11:02 am
we should point out, i just talked to a white house source a few moments ago who spotted steve bannon getting lunch at the white house cafeteria. he was smiling and in good spirits so bannon has not left the building of of just yet. but what this reflects, brooke, is really a house cleaning that is going to be under way for sometime it seems, orchestrated by this new chief of staff, john kelly, who i'm told is insisting on a very precise power structure inside the west wing, that people can't just walk in and out of the oval office, talk to the president. people can't just call the president without john kelly being on the phone. for the most part. and so he is trying to control the message that is coming into this white house and the message that is getting to this president. the other thing -- and gloria borger and others were touching on this -- as we've been reporting this over the last hour or so, you know, steve bannon was freelancing, and that is just something that makes,
11:03 am
you know, can create a lot of headaches for a white house. when a top white house official is out there giving interviews, giving his opinion on things, and really sort of speaking on behalf of the white house, speaking on behalf of the president and doing it in ways that create more heat, not less heat, that is also going to create trouble from him and from talking to sources, we understand that was also irritating the president as well. and so, you know, i don't think this should also go unnoticed, brooke, and that is that this firing is happening, and the white house is saying that steve bannon and john kelly decided this would be his last day earlier today, but that this white house is firing just a few days after the president's very controversial remarks on the events in charlottesville on tuesday. you know, i think there are going to be some people inside the white house and i'm already starting to get an indication of this, is that the hope is, among some people inside the white house, is that bannon's firing might, and i underline might, obviously, you know, this may
11:04 am
not be a done deal, might be able to tamp down some of this controversy that is flaring up on all sides around this president right now. >> we'll see. we'll see. jim, thank you so much in new jersey for us. let's dive right into this conversation. cnn political commentator s.e. cupp, also here, tim naftali, cnn presidential historian, and a republican strategist. so, welcome, welcome to all of you on this breaking news friday. first, just s.e., to you, steve bannon gets the door. what does this mean for the presidency? >> so, obviously, there's two scenarios here. you alluded to one, maybe this starts some sort of a reset and maybe tamps down some of that controversy swirling around the president, what he said. the other is that steve bannon is still very much in touch with donald trump. john herman of the "new york times" tweeted a great tweet. steve bannon, relegated to
11:05 am
merely talking on the phone with the president every day. we don't really know. that tweet from breitbart, #war, makes it sound like this was not a friendly departure, but we'll have to see. steve bannon has always had trump's ear from the start of the campaign, and remember why he came over. he and reince priebus were to be this two-headed monster sort of in the oval office with donald trump. one represents that breitbart wing of trump's voter base, one, reince, representing and speaking to and for the establishment republicans. that was always going to be a very difficult power struggle to work out. i'm just surprised it took this long for them all to go. >> speaking of going, guys, throw the picture up on the screen where you see -- let's throw it up full screen. this is in the oval office. this is sometime ago. so sean spicer, steve bannon, general kelly, there's reince. so the last man standing, i should say two, is the president
11:06 am
and the vice president. so, just tim, putting that in perspective, they're almost all gone. >> it's ten little indians. >> could you imagine george w. bush getting rid of karl rove eight months into his first term. >> i think we left the can you imagine train a while ago. >> i think this was -- there are a lot of trains involved, but i think this has to do with national security policy. and it is -- it's incompatible to go to china and want to ask them to help us with north korea while you have a major strategist of the president who wants an economic war with china. and i have a feeling that the reason why bannon gave his letter, his resignation letter on august 6, was that that's the same time the president said mcmaster is my guy. and there was an issue whether general mcmaster would last. and mcmaster won.
11:07 am
and kelly won. and the national security -- >> for now. >> for now, won. but i suspect -- i mean, i put it this way. north korea, the north korea crisis, it may have actually led to a little bit of regime change, but it didn't happen in pyongyang. it happened in washington. >> that's a great point, the fact that steve bannon had this conversation with this incredibly progressive outlet and totally contradicted the president on saying there is no military solution, which obviously ticked off the commander in chief. giano, to you. i also saw an incredibly powerful exchange with you earlier this week and that was part of the reason i wanted to talk to you today where you got very emotional in the wake of what happened in charlottesville and this conversation about monuments and a lot of folks i've had have said, brooke, if only steve bannon goes away, it will be better. do you feel that way? >> well, i tell you, this is the most boring white house in history. there's never anything to report. i tell you that much.
11:08 am
steve bannon is a very big distraction. he's been a very big distraction for quite a while. i could not tell you with certainty that him going away is going to be sufficient enough for people to take their mind off the race issue, for a couple different reasons. it's going to one, be dependent on why he was fired, what was the exact reason which i doubt anyone in the white house will say, well, he was adding fuel to the fire when it comes to race. i doubt that would happen. i also think when it comes to this white house and the resets, we continue to see day in and day out, every week there seems to be a new reset. i don't have as much confidence as i used to have that one particular person leaving or one scenario occurring will allow for this white house to be on track and focused. i am very happy to see general kelly in there making a lot of changes that are absolutely necessary, but i believe conservatives, republicans, independents and democrats have lost a lot of confidence in this
11:09 am
white house being on track and unless we see some consistency for a long time, not just two weeks or three weeks, which i think is the longest period we've seen president trump on track in any given period, i don't think there's going to be much confidence to have in this administration right now. rather the white house, not just the administration. >> sure. and let's go ahead and throw the breitbart's front page up. this is steve bannon's former workplace of which, you know, he was the head guy, and perhaps is heading back. and you can see report, bannon out of white house, submitted resignation august 7. and so now he's officially out as of today, which i believe is this sort of one-year mark of being with the trump train. and then the editor saying, #war. do you, s.e., think, and you alluded to this a second ago, how are we supposed to interpret this? how much -- i think it was "the new york times" reporter tweet saying, okay, no bigs, he's just going to be on the phone with him whispering in his ear or
11:10 am
might he be, to borrow a phrase, weaponized once he leaves trump. >> there was a report. reuters had a report that president trump was a little scared to fire steve bannon, because he is such a weapon. >> powerful. >> he knows a lot. he's been around donald trump probably privately quite a bit. and he has an ideological agenda. it is not just -- he was not just glomming on to donald trump like so many of those hangers on to be around the president. he really did have an ideological, you know, exercise in mind going into the white house. and i think he's been a little disappoi disappointed by donald trump at times. donald trump has been a little disappoint bid steve bannon at times, and so the question is does he go back to breitbart or somewhere else and try to weaponize and bring his agenda back to the forefront and even if that conflicts with where the president goes. >> let me add this other layer of possibility and one could
11:11 am
argue this is all strategy within the house or totally not. the notion that we aren't in this moment talking about charlottesville. we alluded to it a second ago but you have all these prominent republicans coming out, newt beg gingrich being the latest, but now we're really talking about or most people are saying, pat on the back, bannon's gone. >> i suspect that, look, the president knew he was going to get rid of bannon. this is a good day to get rid of bannon. >> kind of held it, waited. >> waited, found the right moment, and got rid of him. this is really -- bannon, who's a smart guy, didn't make a mistake with cutner. "the american prospect." people are making it sound as if he didn't know he was on the record. >> he totally knew he was on the record. >> that was, in my estimation, an exit interview. that was him laying the ground to come out of this a winner. because he can argue, donald trump didn't fire me, i fired donald trump. remember, bannon is the revolutionary. revolutions need disciplined
11:12 am
leaders. trump has not lived up, i think, to bannon's expectations. bannon has an agenda, which he will continue, and he laid the ground. you want to know what it is? you just read that interview. >> gianno, do you agree? do you feel like i don't know if it's a president or just the rest of anyone who read it got played by steve bannon? >> well, i mean, what's really bad about this situation is not even a steve bannon played anyone in particular, i don't think, in that sense. >> he said he wanted the change the narrative this week. >> and he absolutely changed -- no, he didn't change the narrative. he continued the narrative, which means confusion, consistency of confusion, always something being dumped on a friday. we don't know what's going to happen in this white house from week to week. that's where it becomes problematic and i'll tell you that the opposition party to president trump often talks about whether it be in his tweets or in interviews, isn't the democratic party at this point. it isn't paul ryan or mitch mcconnell. the opposition party to trump is donald trump.
11:13 am
so, there's no discipline here, and this is where it becomes frustrating for people like me to go on national television weekly who have defended this administration where i believe appropriate, because you can't -- he does something good, and then the next day he's talking about mika on twitter and she had a facelift or whatever else. this is where it's a very big distraction and if there's no discipline in this white house, i'm sure somebody in d.c. is going to have some thoughts about how to get him out. i don't know what that's going to be but that's what it feels like. let me hit pause on this conversation because we're getting more breaking news because we're learning more organizations have pulled out, massive organizations have pulled out of these events at mar-a-lago, the president's florida resort. we'll have that for you. more of the discussion. stay with me on this crazy, crazy friday afternoon. this is joanne.
11:14 am
her long day as a hair stylist starts with shoulder pain when... hey joanne, want to trade the all day relief of 2 aleve with 6 tylenol? give up my 2 aleve for 6 tylenol? no thanks. for me... it's aleve. pulled out of these events at (boy) and these are the lungs. (class) ewwww! (boy) sorry. (dad) don't worry about it. (mom) honey, honey, honey, honey! (vo) at our house, we need things that are built to last.
11:15 am
that's why we got a subaru. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get 0% apr financing for 63 months on all new 2017 legacys. ends august 31st. whuuuuuat?rtgage offer from the bank today. you never just get one offer. go to and shop multiple loan offers for free! free? yeah. could save thousands. you should probably buy me dinner. no. go to for a new home loan or refinance. receive up to five free offers and choose the loan that's right for you. our average customer could lower their monthly bills by over three hundred dollars. go to right now. copdso to breathe better,athe. i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪go your own way once-daily anoro contains
11:16 am
two medicines called bronchodilators, that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night. anoro is not for asthma . it contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. the risk is unknown in copd. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, glaucoma, prostate, bladder, or urinary problems. these may worsen with anoro. call your doctor if you have worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain while taking anoro. ask your doctor about anoro. ♪go your own way get your first prescription free at
11:17 am
hi..and i know that we have phonaccident, so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight- four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
11:18 am
these make cleaning between myi love gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. welcome back. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. back with our breaking news. steve bannon has been fired. it has been a chaotic four, even by these white house standards, so let's just all take a moment just to remind you what has happened, incredibly significant events, one after the other. so in no particular order, president trump in the last four has -- fires his chief strategist, fires his chief of staff, hires a new one, hires a new communications director, fires him, hires a new one, his fourth in seven months, publicly shames his attorney general multiple times, loses a health care bill, publicly shames the three republicans who voted against it multiple times, bans
11:19 am
transgender individuals from the military without telling the military, ticks off the boy scouts, makes up a phone call with said scouts, makes up another phone call with the president of mexico, thanks vladimir putin for expelling americans, hundreds of them, takes days to sign a bipartisan sanctions bill and then blasts congress for making him sign it, condemns leaks but then says he likes the leaks because it shows people love him. hold on a second. sorry. this is long. encourages people -- encourages police officers to be rough with suspects during arrests, publicly shames the republican leader he needs to get anything done, multiple times, embraces an unpassable immigration plan that sparks a debate about the statue of liberty and the definition of cosmopolitan. he threatens north korea with nuclear war, tells guam it will help tourism, then his own chief
11:20 am
strategist calls his bluff and says, no, there's no military option in north korea, threatens venezuela with a military option, after a nazi rally in which someone was murdered, the president blames both sides. after backlash, cleans it up, denounces those white supremacists, then hours later erases all of it and makes everything worse by again blaming both sides, saying there were fine people there. no, they weren't. they were nazis. suggests there's no difference between george washington and robert e. lee, publicly shames ceos who abandon him, then loses two of his entire jobs councils after execs jump ship, considers a pardon for, of all people, sheriff joe arpaio, all the way facing accusations of racism, by the way, plugs his winery in virginia, tells the world to study a lie during a terror attack, and gets condemnations from democrats, republicans,
11:21 am
former presidents, world leaders, allies, his own staff, and the pope. and still, still has no regrets. someone else condemning the president? the mother of heather heyer, the woman killed in charlottesville. >> i have not and now i will not. at first, i just missed his calls. the call actually -- the first call, it looked like, actually came during the funeral. i didn't even see that message. there were three more frantic messages from press secretaries throughout the day, and i didn't know why that would have been on wednesday. and i was home recovering from the exhaustion of the funeral, and so i thought, well, i'll get to them later, and then i had more meetings to establish her foundation, so i hadn't really watched the news until last
11:22 am
night. and i'm not talking to the president now. i'm sorry. after what he said about my child and it's not that i saw somebody else's tweets about him. i saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like miss heyer with the kkk and the white supremacists. you can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying i'm sorry. >> is there something, though that you -- >> i'm not forgive him for that. >> is there something that you would want to say to the president? >> think before you speak. >> think before you speak. my panel is back with me. gianno, to you. hearing those words from heather heyer's mother, do you think that is more damning, the way she speaks about the president of the united states, than any of these politicians? >> oh, absolutely. having someone who just lost
11:23 am
their daughter who -- in a rally that he said there were some good people there is significant. it's very damaging. in addition to the fact that president trump said that the press conference that he had on tuesday was okay, he was comfortable with it. and that's why you saw that very emotional interview with me the very next day, because this has become way too much. i'm usually on television spinning so much different stuff and i'm completely out of spin where i think appropriate. this president doesn't get it and that's why i think republicans everywhere must get together and say, look, president trump obviously doesn't see a need to change, so we all must speak up, and i'm speaking up. i have no choice. i absolutely have no choice. this is where we are right now in this country, and there's no discipline right now with this president and until that changes, i mean, there's nothing more to say. >> i appreciate your candor and that emotion you showed earlier this week. >> it's so much more than a
11:24 am
discipline problem. this is a president who essentially blamed heather heyer in saying both sides were the blame, he's blaming her. to be clear, an american who died on american soil at the hands of a nazi in 2017. this is not a discipline problem. this is a crisis of moral conscience. and as passionate and emotional as her mother was, i think voices like bob corker questioning his stability -- i think we're at a very precarious place in our republic. >> this week feels different. >> it does feel different and i understand the raw emotion. i think we've all been sort of grappling with where we are. when mitt romney wrote that facebook post. >> i've got it. he said, "he should address the american people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize, state forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in charlottesville." >> well, and he also said, you
11:25 am
know, he makes racists rejoice and minorities weep. i'd go a step further. you don't have to be a minority to be offended and deeply, deeply troubled by what president trump said. i'm a white woman. i'm not jewish. what i saw those people chanting in charlottesville was disgusting. it made me sad and sick to my stomach. >> amen. >> only worsened by the president drawing totally indefensible moral equivalencies about those people just a few days later. we're at a turning point. >> on the turning point, it's also, listen, at the end of the day, it's also affecting a bottom line. david has been writing up all these different organizations, american cancer society and so many others who are pulling out. here's the list on the screen. cleveland clinic, american red cross, these are all major, major organizations who hold these events at mar-a-lago, and so tim, how big of a hit is this on the president that now you
11:26 am
have, in addition to just heather heyer's mother and the bob corkers and the newt gingrichs and the mitt romneys, now you have susan g. komen coming out. >> well, the very fact that you have to ask that or anyone has to ask that question shows the moral vacuum in the white house. the very fact that we would even be talking about how lucrative the presidency is for the trump organization is a sign of what has gone -- how we've gone off the rails. i just want to remind everybody, and this is not partisan. go and look at ronald reagan's speech after the challenger blew up. go and look at president clinton's speech after oklahoma. go and look at what george w. bush said after 9/11 and the fact that he went to a mosque. great -- the presidency requires you to be better than who you are. because no one is everything in
11:27 am
every presidency. no one's perfect. presidents are at their best when they make us heal and they bring us together. everything the president has done, with the exception of the one statement he didn't apparently want to make, has been pitting one side against another. making politics out of what is a moment of tragedy. you know, heather heyer's death is horrific, but can you imagine -- can you imagine how many americans were pained to see those kids with tiki torches and were pained to see what was yelled at the african-americans who were standing up for equality for the 14th, 15th amendments, the civil rights act, and the voting rights act. can you imagine the psychic pain, let alone the pain that heather heyer's family feels. that's what presidents are supposed to respond to and help us get through and help us process. they're not supposed to use it
11:28 am
for political gain. and that's what we saw. and that's why we're in pain. >> i want to end on your words and let that resonate with everyone else. tim, thank you, and s.e. and gianno, thank you for the conversation. coming up, we have more on our breaking news that steve bannon is out. next, i'll talk to a journalist that interviewed him during the campaign, calling out the platform he created for the so-called alt-right. you're watching cnn. we'll be right back. for your heart...
11:29 am
your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
11:30 am
11:31 am
11:32 am
that's why at comcast we're continuing to make4/7. our services more reliable than ever. like technology that can update itself. an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back. we continue with the breaking news in case you are just tuning
11:33 am
in on this friday afternoon, let me bring you up to speed. controversial white house chief strategist steve bannon is out. he's been fired by president trump. bannon has been making headlines and waves in recent days giving a candid interview to of all places this progressive reporter and in the process contradicting some of the president's major policies. bannon's interview caught a lot of people by surprise because this is someone who rarely gives interviews. in fact, one of the times bannon gave public remarks was way back in february at the conservative political action conference. here he was. >> i think if you look at, you know, the opposition party and how they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and now they're portraying the administration, it's always wrong. on the very first day that kelleyanne and i started, we reached out to reince, sean spicer, katie, it's same team that every day was grinding away on the campaign, the same team that did the transition and if you remember, you know, the campaign was the most chaotic, you know, by the media's description, most chaotic, most
11:34 am
disorganized, most unprofessional, had no earthly idea what they were doing and then you saw them all crying and weeping that night on the 8th when -- and the reason it worked, the reason it worked is president trump. i mean, trump had those ideas, had that energy, had that vision that could galvanize a team around him of disparate -- look, we're a coalition. you know, a lot of people think, you know, have strong beliefs about different things but we understand that you can come together to win and we understood that from august 15th and we never had a doubt, and donald trump never had a doubt that he was going to win. >> joining me now, one of those few reporters who interviewed steve bannon on the record, a reporter for the investigative fund at the nation institute. she interviewed and wrote an article about bannon for "mother jones." so sara, welcome to you. and your thoughts on the firing news. >> well, i don't think that
11:35 am
firing bannon is going to change donald trump. donald trump is who he is. he was who he was before he brought bannon on to his campaign last august. and he showed us who he was this week with his comments about what happened in charlottesville. having bannon in or out of the white house isn't going to change that. >> all right. you don't -- okay. i'm hearing all these different perspectives on that. that's interesting. at t we now, though, have this tweet from the editor of breitbart writing, #war. you've done reporting on the conservative website, breitbart. you know what they are capable of. what do you think this war means? >> well, i think that they're going to continue to portray this battle between what they call globalists, which is their kind of anti-semitic code for their enemies in the white house, and the, quote, unquote, nationalists that they think that bannon represented.
11:36 am
>> but do you think he goes after the white house? >> yes, i think that they're going to go after the people they perceive to have been the people who forced bannon out or who -- >> including the president? >> possibly including the president. and it remains to be seen how the president would react to that, but it's -- i wouldn't doubt that they go after -- continue do go after mcmaster, go after jared and ivanka, go after gary cohn, anybody that they perceive as getting in the way of their messaging and their agenda. >> so it doesn't matter within the white house or on the outside. that war will rage on. so says sarah. thank you for coming on as we're all handling this breaking news. much more on the story. steve bannon has been fired. what this means for the rest of the west wing. and in the wake of the week that was, the violence and unrest in charlottesville, and the president's response, vandals have hit confederate statues and monuments across the country and not just in the
11:37 am
south. we'll talk to a member of the north carolina sons of confederate veterans, get his perspective on all of this next. it's time for the biggest sale of the year with the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses and automatically adjusts on both sides. the new 360 smart bed is part of our biggest sale of the year where all beds are on sale. and right now save 50% on the labor day limited edition bed. when this bell rings... starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected.
11:38 am
that's the power of and.
11:39 am
so we sent that sample i doff to ancestry. i was from ethnically. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned.
11:40 am
discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at we asked people to write down the things they love to do most on these balloons. travel with my daughter. roller derby. ♪ now give up half of 'em. do i have to? this is a tough financial choice we could face when we retire. but, if we start saving even just 1% more of our annual income... we could keep doing all the things we love. prudential. bring your challenges. when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at
11:41 am
welcome back. we have much more on the firing, the breaking news of the firing of the white house chief strategist steve bannon. turning now to the fire storm ungulfing the president since his controversial remarks after who was the blame for the violence in charlottesville. so, the deadly violence happened now nearly a week ago, and since then, vandals have hit confederate statues and monuments all across the country. this is not just in the south. one of the latest happened at duke university chapel in durham, north carolina. someone damaged the statue bearing the likeness of a confederate general robert e. lee at the entrance. now, remember, racists say they were there protesting the removal of the statue of lee when they rallied in
11:42 am
charlottesville and the president renewed his support of confederate monuments this week. this is what he tweeted. "sad to see the history and culture of our great culture being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. you can't change history, but you can learn from it. robert e. lee, stonewall jackson, who's next, washington, jefferson? so foolish." so joining me now, a member of the north carolina chapter of the sons of confederate veterans. he is a commander of the blue ridge brigade. his name is bill starnes. thank you so much for being with me. listen, i want to hear all perspectives of this, this week, including from yourself. i understand you agree with the president that these statues represent history and culture. tell me why you want to keep them up. >> it's very simple and i do want to make clear i'm not speaking for the sons of confederate veterans, although i'm a member. i'm speaking for myself here. i believe those statues represent the honor and courage and bravery of the confederate
11:43 am
soldier. those soldiers, based on 17 years of historic research that i've done, those soldiers were not fighting to perpetuate the institution of slavery. >> if you really want to talk about the history of this chapter of our country, the consensus among historians and i've got one we'll talk to in a second is that the civil war wasn't about state's rights and secession. this was about upholding the economic system of slavery. this is a harvard university president and historian. "historians are pretty united on the cause of the civil war being slavery and the cause they have undertaken especially in the year since the centennial where there has been this interest. that research has shown pretty decisively that when the various states announced their plans, they uniformly said the main motivating factor was to defend slavery." i mean, i know as a proud southerner, you don't want to hear that, but you can't rewrite
11:44 am
history. >> i'm not trying to rewrite history. the professor there needs to actually study some history before he opens his mouth and says something that stupid. number one, if you go back to 1850, all the way up to 1861 and find for me one bill, one law in the united states congress that they were working on to end the institution of slavery nationwide, then i might say he has a point. there was no such bill in the 1850s or the early 1860s to end slavery in the united states. in fact, the only constitutional amendment or bill i could find in congress was in 1861 that pertained to slavery, and that was what came to be known as the corwyn amendment which clearly state that had congress shall never have the authority to interfere with the institutions within the states, including those institutions pertaining to service and holding people to service and labor. >> i know you've studied all this and i can't sit -- yes, sir, and i can't check you on
11:45 am
bills written in the 1850s off the top of my head, but here -- >> i would go look at them before i did an interview on them. i mean, the bottom line is -- >> hang on, sir. hang on, sir. with all due respect, as a fellow southerner, with all due respect, i did do my homework and i did cite this so please sir don't tell me to do homework. secondly, let's move that aside and talk about the pain in this country. you know, when you look at a place like germany where they don't force jewish children to attend a school named after adolf hitler, it is the same for a lot of african-americans in this country, you know, attending a school named after robert e. lee. what do you say to the -- let's not -- facts is one thing. feelings is another. do you acknowledge those feelings of those americans? >> well, facts are one thing, and feelings are another, and the truth on this, the pure fact is, abraham lincoln and adolf hitler have a lot more in common
11:46 am
than robert e. lee and adolf hitler. robert e. lee did not kill civilians. abraham lincoln did. the union arm came into the south and killed over 70,000 southern civilians, men, women, and children, black and white, slave and free. so, yeah, they did that. you can study some history and find that out. it's very easy to look at. as far as comparing robert e. lee -- >> abraham lincoln, anti-slavery, as a result of that, states wanted to secede. i don't think we want to compare adolf hitler and abraham lincoln. bill, thank you so much. thank you. we got to go. historian, i just got to bring you right in. >> well, i mean, i was ready to talk to this gentleman about the pain of eras where people are -- fight for the losing side and the lost cause and the fact that we don't hold every foot soldier responsible for the actions of their commanders, but then he compared abraham lincoln to adolf hitler. >> you can't compare abraham
11:47 am
lincoln -- >> let me say. we are in a very, very emotional moment. >> we are. and that's why i wanted to have him on, by the way. it was my idea. i wanted to have the sons of the confederate -- >> and i'm not here to lecture because, by the way, i'm not a civil war expert. i have colleagues who are. i had to learn about it, of course. but this is the most important thing. the reason why those statues matter is not that anybody wants to erase the fact of the confederate states of america. it's part of american history. it's that those statues were put up, many of them, in the era of jim crow when there were bitter enders. there were southerners who didn't want african-americans to enjoy all of the rights of citizenship, and these people put those statues up so that african-americans would be put in their place. that's what this is about. our country has evolved, and shannon is going to tell you a
11:48 am
great story. >> forgive my rudeness as i just jumped in. this is shannon, and you are the -- how many greats. >> sixth great grandson of thomas jefferson and sally hemmings. >> you listened to all of this. what do you think. >> yes, and your last guest, if he did need some form of documentation, he can look at the original draft of declaration of independence that did include freeing slaves but that was one of the largest debates during that time, whether it was going to stay in or stay out. of course, it was taken out of the declaration of independence, but if he needed some documentation, he has it. and i agree with you that this is an opportunity for the country to step forward and get rid of some of those sites and those statues. i don't think they should be destroyed. i think they should be put in historical places like a human where you can add context to who they are and the whole story instead of just them being praised and held for the horrible acts that they did. >> you know, i learned and i was in charlottesville when this debate over sally hemmings reached a point where the thomas
11:49 am
jefferson foundation changed its approach to it. for decades, they denied the possibility that sally hemming and thomas jefferson had children. but thanks to dna evidence, they couldn't deny it any longer. now they could have been bitter enders. they could have said, i don't have 100% certainty, but they decided and they understood that history evolves. so, they changed not just their public statements but they're exhibits, and they welcomed shannon's family. what i'm adding today -- what we need today is more of that. >> that's what i wanted -- yes. you're reading my mind. >> it's about educating people and i think that's what's being a missed component. people aren't being educated about the full history of this story. it's a complicated history that this country has come through, and we need to start educating people about all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly. >> i feel like this reunion at
11:50 am
monticello, it's a special place, the good and the ugly and everything in between, and this reunion of descendants of martha and thomas jefferson and sally hemming came together in the wake of the dna and it was -- i mean, i've heard you speak about it. it was like a family. it was people weren't at each other's throats over history. can you just tell me about that moment and how we can learn from that. >> i think that first meeting, it was, in some aspects, divisive because people wanted it to be, but there were so many great stories where people were meeting each other for the first time and saying how they're more alike than they are different, seeing each other as family and if this family can come together and stand as one, then other people in this country can put their differences aside, regardless of how many years they were separate bd by slaver and come together, standing for what america now should represent, not what it did years and years ago. we have evolved and it's time for change. >> shannon, thank you so much
11:51 am
for saying that. sorry to put you on the spot on your civil war history there, but needed to. thank you both so much. and i thank bill as well for coming on here. coming up, much more, though, on the breaking news. steve bannon is out at the white house. we are right back.
11:52 am
11:53 am
we will have more on our breaking news on the firing of steve bannon today, but let's just first get to the developments on the controversial white supremacist march in charlottesville. one of the public faces of that protest, this neo-nazi filmed espousing violence and ethnic cleansing has been brought to tears. christopher cantwell was the central figure in that chilling vice documentary, the new hampshire man was heard denigrating blacks, jewish people, showing off his arsenal of weapons, and declaring the death of heather heyer as
11:54 am
justified. >> what do you think this means for the next alt-right protest? >> i say it's going to be really tough to top, but we're up to the challenge. >> wait, why? tough to top? i mean, someone died. >> i think that a lot more people are going to die before we're done here, frankly. >> well, in a youtube video shortly loaded after the march, cantwell isn't nearly as brash or tough-talking, a tearful cantwell claiming he and his group did everything they could to prevent violence. >> we have done everything in our power to keep this peaceful, you know? i know we talk a lot of [ bleep ] on the internet, right? but like literally, jason kessler applied for a permit like months ago for this, okay? when they yanked our permit, we went to the aclu and we went to court and we won. we've been coordinated with law enforcement the entire time, every step of the way. we've tried to do the right thing. and they just won't stop.
11:55 am
>> one rapper activist contends these riots could be the best thing to happen to black america, and he'd rather see, quote, the ugly truth than a beautiful lie. david banner tweeting, "why do you wish someone else was in office? is it so the snake could go back into the grass? no. let it show its head so we can deal with it." david banner joins me now. david, welcome to you, sir. >> hi, how are you doing. >> i'm -- it's been a week. >> yeah. well, it's been about 400 or 500 years for black folks. >> let's talk about you. let's talk about what your message this week that you said you are glad this is happening, the mask has been ripped off. >> i didn't say that i was glad that this has happened. my comments were about trump. >> but let's talk about that. >> it wasn't about charlottesville. so, let's be clear. the thing is this. let's be honest. when mike brown got killed and i
11:56 am
was in the same exact room talking to you all, i would say the same exact thing that i've said then that i said before, that malcolm, that martin said. the funny thing is when it comes to black people, america acts like it's something new every time, whether it's a cop killing an innocent black man or it's alt-right running their -- the alt-right running their cars through a group of innocent people, it's the same thing for us. so, i don't understand why america acts so surprised. you know? so, for me, one thing that trump was able to do was to show the world that this post-racial america that liberal white people were trying to talk about, it doesn't exist, and black people have been saying this. >> i'm listening to you. and by the way, let me just go on the record and say, of course i wouldn't infer that you thought the death of heather heyer was a good thing. i just think the fact that the
11:57 am
mask has been ripped off, to your point, that we're having this conversation out loud, you know, and i don't know if you were listening to my conversation a second ago with the guy from the north carolina sons of the confederacy, and trying to hear all the perspectives on these confederate statues and monuments. how do you see it? abu because you have nancy pelosi and corey booker saying, take them all down. and you have chuck schumer saying, hang on a second, this is a distraction and not deliver ago a full-throated condemnation of these white supremacists. >> the amazing thing to me is this. the confederate army lost. they literally lost. so, for me, you actually said it. germany is a great example of what you do if you -- if you are really sorry for what happened. if they lost, you shouldn't care, because really, their
11:58 am
symbols not only make black people feel that way, it should make you feel that way, but since america won, it doesn't have the same feeling as slavery and the things that black people still go through in the south. because the 2010 census said the largest conglomerate or the largest synthesis of black peoples are in the south. so, we have to deal with what people say is an opinion or it's not that bad. it's similar to me arguing with you about pregnancy. what can anybody from the alt-right tell me -- can tell me about how the confederate flag makes me feel or those statues make me feel. >> which was the point i was trying to make earlier with the gentleman from north carolina about the feelings. i understand there are the facts, but it's the feelings, and i can't crawl into your skin, david, and know how you feel. do you feel, though, with the firing of steve bannon, do you feel that -- do you feel better?
11:59 am
>> no, i -- listen. let me tell you. i didn't feel better when obama was elected president. because it doesn't change for black people in the hood. it does not change. it doesn't matter whether it's the alt-right or, like i said, black men and women, whether it's mike brown, freddie gray, doesn't matter whether it's tamir rice, and white supremacy is affecting us regardless of who it comes from. so what i'm saying is what i think should happen is this. it's what you all do as supposed good white people. you see what germany did. why do you even care what the people from the confederate feel? they lost the war. it should come down. because if you really care about history, what about the native american history? what about the african history? everywhere that white men have conquered some -- anybody on this earth, they have literally almost totally decimated their
12:00 pm
culture. so why all of a sudden, because it's other white men, they care about the history. when you think about it, think about public flags. public flags are supposed to be a conglomerate effort of everybody in that state. so, as a mississippian and knowing how many black people stay in mississippi, that is -- that does not represent me or my culture. that means death and slavery to me, and just like most things in america, if it's something that's important to a white man, it will be considered. >> david, i appreciate your passion and to the point that has been made before, this is about where america is today, not about where america was back then. david banner. >> can i ask you one question before you leave? isn't it sad that as a black man, we are still arguing about the same things that my grandparents were complaining about. if something happened to a dog