tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 12, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i'm brooke baldwin, thank you so very much for being with me. we're going to washington, the lead with jake tapper starts right now. thanks brooke. chief of staff kelly describing a president trump that you might not be familiar with. the lead starts right now. it was a rare moment the white house chief of staff candid in front of the cameras, what he said about the charge that he was hired to control his boss. after five years as terror hostages an american woman and husband and three kids they had in captivity are finally safe, but what really happened during the critical mission that gave them back their freedom? plus, tax payer tap. cnn obtained documents that show you are paying top dollar for the president's trips to mar-a-lago and he might be making quite a profit.
good afternoon, everyone, welcome to the lead, i'm jake tapper, we're going to begin with the politics lead, a rare opportunity to hear from the white house chief of staff. retired marine general john kelly who faced reporters presumably to tell them he is not on his way out the door. he was asked about president trump's tweet this morning in which he told 39.5 million american citizens on puerto rico just three weeks after hit-and-run mia devastated the island that fema and first responders will not be there forever. why with the death toll continuing to rise. the president would announce such a thing. he made no such warning to hurricane victims in texas or in florida. tend to stay until the job's done. fema remained on the ground for years after katrina. how did kelly explain the tweet? cnn's jeff zelny starts the coverage off from the white house. >> i'm not quitting today -- i
don't think i'm being fired today. and i am not so frustrated in this job and i'm thinking of leaving. >> reporter: with those words today white house chief of staff john kelly trying to clear the air and calm the chaotic waters of president trump's tumultuous west wing. to make his point, he said it again. although this time with a slight caveat. >> unless things change, i'm not quitting, i'm not getting fired. and i don't think they'll fire anymore tomorrow. >> reporter: 11 weeks after coming on board -- the debut before the cameras. he made clear where at least some of the president's irritation lies. >> one of his frustrations is you. >> reporter: it was an unusual sight for the chief of staff upstaged the president were for a moment at least. >> i was not sent in to or brought in to control him, and you shall not measure my effectiveness as a chief of
staff by what you think i should be doing that simply the fact is i can guarantee to you that he is now presented with options, well thought out options. >> reporter: kelly said americans should be concerned about north korea's ability to reach the u.s. homeland with it's missiles. >> right now there's great concern about a lot of americans that live in guam. right now, we think the threat is manageable, but over time, if it grows beyond where it is today, well, let's hope diplomacy worked. >> reporter: kelly came to the west wing after serving as the secretary of homeland security. today the president nominated kearsen neilson to replace him. >> thank you very much, mr. president, thank you for the honor of this nomination and for your extraordinary leadership. >> reporter: earlier today, the president signed an executive order wit lg away obamacare. >> this will be great health care. congratulations to everybody.
>> reporter: yet it was hardly what he in mind. after the republican-controlled congress repeatedly failed to repeal and replace the affordable care act, the president acted alone. >> i just keep hearing, repeal, replace, well, we're starting that process. >> reporter: he and many blasted president obama again and again for using his pen to bypass congress. >> wouldn't it be nice if they could actually get congress together and, you know, do it the old fashioned way where people work and they this and that cajole and have drinks together they get along. >> reporter: there was none of that in the roosevelt room. >> today is only the beginning. in the coming months, we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom. >> reporter: all this as the president took any aim at puerto rico. in a tweet he said, question not keep fema, the military, and first responders who have been amazing under the most difficult circumstances in puerto rico
forever. so the white house chief of staff was asked specifically about that, it was exactly after it, he said the first responders in fema will not be there forever, john kelly also asked if the president believes the residents of puerto rico are americans, jake, he said they do, but he did not distinguish why the call was made for puerto rican rescuers to leave and not florida or texas. >> american citizens since 1917, jeff, thank you so much. president trump announced that there would be some very important news from a country that once quote totally disrespected the united states. we got that news this morning, but the story has taken an odd turn and that's the world lead today. pakistani forces recovered an american woman, her husband, and three children born in captivity five years after they were kidnapped in afghanistan, but now the canadian husband in that family has refused to board the american plane to the united states a government official tells cnn. he's concerned about potential
law enforcement action he might face here in the states. cnn's michelle kaczynski reports from the state department. >> it is too long. >> reporter: the extraordinary rescue of an american canadian family held captive by the taliban for five years appears to have happened without a prisoner exchange according to a senior u.s. official. american caitlin coleman and her canadian husband joshua boyle were kidnapped coleman was pregnant and since given birth to three children while being held by the terrorist network. branch of the taliban believed responsible for some of the terror groups most violent attacks. without at least a prisoner exchange. wednesday night, their long captivity abruptly changed. u.s. intelligence assets tracking the family alerted pakistan with the hostages were being moved there into the country's mountainous northwest
drink ball region. pakistani intelligence and military units moved on that information with commandos stopping the vehicle. in a phone call with his parents, boyle said they were in a truck when gunfire broke out. coleman said she heard the kapters say, kill the prisoners. when they finally were retrieved, all five other kapters were dead, boyle slightly injured. >> it wasn't a special forces raid like you see in the movies it's more like an group of intelligence agents that have conducted this operation with some kind of perimeter with the pakistani military around it. >> reporter: when the time came for them to fly back to the u.s., an american official tells cnn, joshua boyle didn't want to leave pakistan. afraid he might be arrested, though there was no indication that would happen. boyle was previously married to the sister of omar cotter, a ka nad yan suspected of trying to kill a soldier who spent ten years in guantanamo bay prison until returned in 2012.
today, the president whose been vocally urging pakistan to cooperate more with the u.s. against terrorism and stop being a safe haven for some, commended their role in the family's safe release. >> i want to thank the pakistani government. i want to thank pakistan. they worked very hard on this. and i believe they're starting to respect the united states again. >> reporter: so the family is saying that in pakistan there, the family wanted to be taken to the canadian high commission and based on what they're saying, this was a violent operation. there was a gunfight, although that's not being confirmed by u.s. officials right now. the state department spokesperson told us she didn't have any information to that effect that the point. >> michelle kaczynski, thank you. president trump turning to senator rand paul during the signing for his health care executive order earlier today. >> when you get rand paul on your side, it has to be positive. >> the senator joins us live to explain why, next, stay with us. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can
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we're back with the politics lead now. president trump taking a small step today, a small step to dismantle obamacare that would allow small businesses to ban together and by association health plans among other things. critics say the plans may not provide comprehensive coverage. joining me now to discuss senator rand paul who worked with the president on the order and spoke at today's signing and he even got a pen, i think. senator paul both you and president trump hammered president obama for using executive orders while president. here's an example of you saying it in 2013. >> there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he's writing new law, that cannot happen. i'm afraid that president obama may have this king complex sort of developing and we're going to make sure that it doesn't happen. >> republicans didn't have the votes to repeal and replace obamacare legislatively, why should the president be allowed to do it with the stroke of a pen if it was wrong for the
previous president to do so. >> i think the courts were pretty clear that president obama in trying to rewrite the immigration law was overstepping his bounds and creating new legislation. you have to look at the specifics here. this is a law that was written in the 1970s, that allows companies to buy insurance across state lines and people who have a an nexus related to their employment. we've read the original law and we believe it's an interpretation of the original law and doesn't create new territory. the other thing is we're creating something that is freedom. he's not creating a new government plan. there's no government expense to this and under the first amendment, there is a clause that says we have the right to peaceably assemble, that has been taken over time to be the right of free association, and it's also been said by the supreme court to actually say that we can join together for economic purposes. so all we're doing today is legalizing the ability of individuals to join a group, to try to get better purchasing
power. i think it's sort of fundamentally american what we're advocating and it has the chance to allow millions of people to get insurance at a less expensive rate. >> the national association of insurance commissioners responded to today's order saying quote, expanding association health plans in a manner that reduces consumer protections or solvency requirements that promote safe and sound markets, we also have concerns about the impact of such a proposal on already fragile markets, unquote. are those concerns unfounded? . >> well i think you'd have to ask the employees that work for microsoft, pepsi, coca-cola, amazon, amgen, they get theirs across state lines. we already have dozen and dozens, in fact half of the people in the insurance market currently get their plan, but basically it's biassed for big corporations, what i'm simply trying to say is why don't we let the little individual, the plumber, the baker, the accountant, the small doctor or attorney, let them join together
in associations so they can have the same buying power that the big corporations have. but you know, really the people who are critics of this need to explain why large group plans that are allowed for big corporations seem to be pretty good insurance. in fact that's what most of us really are jealous of, we wish had the insurance of a big corporation. so no, i think there's nothing but good that could come of this. the individual market is really sick under bothcare. it was sick before obamacare and requires these subsidies, year after year after year and still the premium goes through the roof. this is an avenue or an exit for individuals to flee the individual market and get what everybody seems to want which is a good group insurance plan. >> it was an interesting moment today during the signing the order of the president's specifically referencing your support for his actions. take a listen. >> and i can say when you get rand paul on your side, it has to be positive. that i can tell you.
boy. rand. [ applause ] >> president trump spends a lot of time looking at you trying to win over your votes. it's not zreet the white house is seeking your support on the tax reform, tell us where you are on that. >> well, it's foot in i don't support them, i just have questions and i think the best way is before they've become finalized. on the tax cut, i'm all in for the tax cut, i'm in for reducing the tax burden. i just to want make sure that there is a tax cut for the middle class. and so, as it's been presented so far, there is some concern, i brought those to the president and he told me without any pulling any punches and he told his staff gathered there that he won't sign it if it's not a tax cut for the middle class. that is heartening to me, but the devil's still in the details, they've shown and openness no to working with me on this. the middle income, those that make between 75,000 and 300,000, middle and upper middle income, the rate is 25%, but we're going
to get rid of two big deductions. if you get rid of two big deductions and keep the rate the same, most people conclude that it sounds like people's taxes are going to go up. >> absolutely. >> that has to be looked at, they are looking at it and this deal is not set in stone yet, my goal is that i do to want vote for a significant reduction in the burden of taxes on businesses, and individuals, but it needs to include a significant cut for the middle income and it can't raise their taxes. i think they're aware of that though. and i think it's not really an adversarial process, it's that the president and i are on the same side, we're trying to make shower that those number crunchers that are putting it together don't mess it up. >> we'll have you back to talk more when we see more details, rand paul, kentucky, thanks for your time. over 400 people missing in one county alone as the california wild fires continue to rage. and firefighters fear the winds might pick up and feed the flames. at any moment we're going to go live to the fire line next. stay with us.
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and we're back with the national lead now. wild fires continue to rage out of control in california. 26 people are dead and that number could rise. sonoma county, california, has received in total 900 missing persons reports about half of those people have been found safe, but there are fears that others may turn up dead as crews begin sifting through charred remains of homes. miguel marquez is in calistoga. you made it to the fireline, what's the situation there now? >> reporter: it's interesting to see firsthand, this is literally the fire line. this is route 29 just north of calistoga. they're trying to hold the fire to this side of the road nap is part of the main fire. and firefighters are happy to allow it to burn like this because essentially, all it's doing is burning fire line. the air, where we're standing right now is actually pretty good because the wind is blowing in the direction.
those vehicles you see down at that end there was a spot fire, a fire that threw and ember over the road and they are trying to contain that right now. rather than try to turn out these fires, they let them burn at a very slow rate as long as the winds works with them so that they can burn out all of that fuel under there and hopefully create a stronger line at the end of the day. this is a massive fire complex. the fire is literally just north of san francisco all the way to the oregon border. this area in mendocino, napa, sonoma county, just fire after fire, and they are all now at the mercy of the wind. it is a red flag warning tonight and it could be in the days ahead. jake. >> all right, miguel marquez, thank you so much. president trump telling the devastated thirsty and hungry residents of the island of puerto rico that the federal government may not be there much longer. i don't remember hearing the same warning for florida and texas. that's 67 electoral votes, of course. stick around. listen up, heart disease.
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welcome back. continuing with our national lead today, president trump alarmed my puerto ricans this morning by tweeting in part quote, we cannot keep fema, the military, and first responders who have been amazing under the most difficult circumstances in puerto rico forever. he later ignored a reporter's question about the tweet. >> what did you mean by your puerto rico comment this morning? >> today's tweets are in stark contrast to the president's words just 15 days ago when he pledged to the people of puerto rico this -- >> we are with you now, i tell them, and we will be there every step of the way until this job is done. >> earlier this week, the president tweeted a video touting his success in puerto rico saying that the fake news
wasn't showing all the vast improvement. today the house approved a $36.5 billion disaster aid package to help victims of the string of hurricanes that hit puerto rico and the continental u.s. we asked cnn's leila santiago who joins us live from san juan to tell us about the facts on the ground about the relief effort, leila. >> reporter: well jake the fact is hospitals have had to evacuate because generators are failing. the fact is that people are leaving this island because of conditions. so as the president takes to twitter to self-congratulate a job well done, jake, the fact is, many have yet to receive help from fema. the destruction, a constant reminder, maria's eye was here just 24 hours, three weeks later, puerto rico is unrecognizable. but for us, this is familiar. we were here just four days after hurricane maria struck.
when we arrived, a woman, a complete stranger embraced me in a way i will never forget. desperate, she explained no one else had been to her town since the storm. no one else had come to see if that mountaintop community had even survived. her name is brenda. we wanted to find her again to find out how she's doing. >> that's her right there. >> reporter: she recognizes us immediately. the mayor she tells us brought a box of emergency food. the neighbors all shared it. there's nothing left now. the president has said that he's doing an a-plus job in recovery efforts, how would you grade. >> no. no, no way. >> reporter: what grade would you give him? >> i'll give it a d. we have not seen anything. >> reporter: it's hard for them to give the u.s. government a good grade when they still don't
have power or water. more than 80% of puerto rico, no electricity. maria left these mountains scarred, mudslides are closing off entire communities across the island. so this is as far as we can get in this part. there's a whole community back there. you can see that there's water that's taken over the road, there's mud. trees down, making it difficult to reach this community, so we're going to have to go by foot in order to get to them. along the way, we meet david. he's a veteran. an orange farmer from the neighboring town who just wants to help. he hiked in with a full crate of water and ice. so right now, you're having to walk through all of this, why? >> for the people. >> reporter: the people. that's what makes it so hard for him. at 70 years old, he's one of the few reaching the people in this community that he loves. a half hour hike through an area
once slush now stripped of leaves and color, we learn one helicopter landed here since the storm. the bottled water is running out along with the food and water five months old, completely unaware of the reality surrounding him. she's worried about the milk and water for him. she only has two gallons left. mom tells me, it's only enough for another week and a half. she needs more. she needs more power. she needs another helicopter to land here soon. a third of the island doesn't have clean water. as we move to another part of the island, we spot help. >> what are you guys doing down there? >> we're headed up this road right here. >> reporter: are you bringing supplies? >> yeah, we're bringing some stuff to them. >> reporter: the interior, the director of emergency management tells us they've been able to reach everyone here, his challenge, communication. this is what they've been given out here. okay. it's got a number, it's got a
website. but in an area where there's no cell service and there's no internet, that's a problem. he insists help is flowing. but it's not what we found when we talked to her up the road. her home battered by maria, the floors still wet. no power here either. i notice she doesn't have a roof, but i also notice that flag she's flying. the reason, she says -- she says that's their salvation. among the devastation, the desperation, she says she flies this flag with pride. waiting for help to arrive. and jake, when you talk to people like we did out in the remote areas, when you talk to first responders, when you talk to fema off camera, they will tell you, this isn't a matter of weeks or months, this is a
matter of years in recovery efforts to get puerto rico back to some sense of normalcy. >> powerful piece from leila santiago, thank you so much. appreciate it. turns out all those trips president trump takes to mar-a-lago are not only expensive, the president might be profiting from them. we'll explain next in our conflict of interest lead. stay with us. before movantik, i tried to treat it myself. no go. but i didn't back down. i talked to my doctor. she said: one, movantik was specifically designed for opioid-induced constipation... oic. number two? my movantik savings card can save me big time over the other things i tried. don't take movantik if you have or had a bowel blockage. serious side effects include opioid withdrawal, severe stomach pain, severe diarrhea, and stomach or intestinal tears. tell your doctor about side effects and medicines you take. movantik may interact with them causing side effects. don't back down from oic. talk to your doctor about mo-van-tik.
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in our money lead today, president trump often spends his weekends at what he calls the southern white house, better known as the mar-a-lago resort in palm beach, florida. ethics experts warn that the president's visits to his glitzy private resort alone constitute a conflict of interest because it gives the property and the private club free publicity.
they may financially benefit president trump. the tax payers foot the bill for him and his family and his staff and the secret service. all staying at the resort. which many ethics experts believe could be unconstitutional. cnn's kristina leshy joins me. >> when he goes to mar-a-lago, he obviously has a secret service detail with him. that secret service detail, some members of that detail stay with him at the club, incur other costs at this very high end club. the question is, how much is -- how much tax payer money is going into his private club? we've been pressing for answer on this and here's what we found so far. >> we've had a lot of success in florida, and i love it, it's my second home. i'm here all the time. >> reporter: during the winter, president trump spends most weekends at his private club in south florida. mar-a-lago. aka, the winter white house. >> we get a lot of work done. there's not rest at the southern white house, it's all work. >> reporter: his trips cost tax
payers, and the visits may benefit him financially. government travel expension forms and receipts that offer a window into how the president could profit from his weekend getaways. a review of those documents show the secret service paid mar-a-lago at least $63,000 between february and early april. the invoices on mar-a-lago letterhead include charges that range from 1300 to a little over $11,000. >> all of this, you know, comes at a cost, but the cost is justified to the security output and the security posture that's necessary to protect the president of the united states. >> reporter: the secret service redacted important details before making the documents available, but experts say the money probably covered hotel rooms and work space for agents who have to stay close to the president. >> the detail leader can't be sleeping in the haul, he does need a room. >> reporter: at the time of the expenses, the president's press secretary defended his frequent
trips to mar-a-lago. and the resources it required. >> the president wherever he goes, he carries the apparatus of the white house with us, that is just something that happens. >> reporter: trump has spent 42 full or partial days at his mar-a-lago resort since elected. 25 of them since president. ethics hawks argue that the flow of money to trump is inappropriate. in fact the former director of the chief's ethics agency says the president should stop visiting his properties altogether. >> i'm telling you right now, stop going to your properties. tell the white house officials not to go to those properties. >> reporter: so jake, the problem from an ethical standpoint is does this situation create a perverse incentive for the president to go to his properties separately, does this activity violate an anti-corruption or self-dealing clause in the constitution and the answer to that question may rest in how much mar-a-lago is charging the secret service. now a washington post report
indicate a couple weeks ago that mar-a-lago is charging the federal government what's calling a rack rate, which is a non-discounted rate. and there's no reason to do that to the federal government. >> to make as much money as the possible to the government. thanks so much. my political panel joins me now. bill, let me start with you, i want to get your thoughts on white house chief of staff john kelly. he gave this rare press conference where he explained what he's been trying to do since he came on board and also wanted to assure everyone he wasn't being fired or wasn't leaving, take a listen. >> i was not sent into or brought into control him, and you should not measure my effectiveness as a chief of staff by what you think i should be doing, but simply the fact is i can guarantee to you that he is now presented with options, well thought out options. >> what'd you make of chief of staff kelly's performance today. >> well, he was -- big fan of john kelly.
you can see why people respect him so much. he was calm, dry sense of humor. i think he did because of the vanity fair article saying donald trump was losing his temper, and john kelly was sort of keeping things together and trump wanted kelly to reassure everyone that a, kelly wasn't leaving, and b, this was the importance sentence you just played that kelly -- john kelly's job is not to control donald trump. i trust that john kelly's job is to control donald trump and that john kelly was saying what he had to say to keep donald trump happy. >> what do you think? >> i don't really agree with that. i think that john kelly's in an interesting position that many white house staffers under this administration have found themselves in which is trying to apiece the boss and still trying to ensure that in some way, some aspect of his accomplishments will -- some aspect and what he's hoping to accomplish will get done. that is a really tenuous
balance. i can't imagine what they're going through when every single day, perhaps moment by moment they can be distracted and completely thrown off by tweets. so that you also responded to, jake. >> so, one of the things that chief of staff kelly said, he said he wasn't frustrated in his job, at least not enough to leave. and he also said that the president's tweets including his attacks on fellow republican senator bob corker rather. that that does not make his job harder. did you find that convincing? >> no. obviously made everyone's job harder in terms of passing legislation and more broadly in terms of convincing the republican party that donald trump is trying to help them get things done. this is the steve bannon announcement earlier this week, a lot of this stuff happened in the trump presidency. >> a year and a day. >> that he was going after the entire establishment.
he'll billion running -- he won't be running, but he'll be trying to help support trumpy primary candidates and other open seats where they're challenging. and so i think, you know, that, that's pretty startling. i mean, it's bannon's title to do it. he is doing what trump said he wanted to do. which is fundamentally change the republican party, but you've got a republican party that exists in congress and has a majority in the senate and the house. and i do think john kelly was -- it's very hard now i think to keep these guys feel like gee, i should really work hard with donald trump if they're just going to get attacked by trump's surrogates in any case. >> it's weird, normally someone would think somebody like steve books leaves the white house to try to build on the republican party, make their majority bigger so that they have even like a veto-proof majority in the senate or whatever, a bigger, a majority in the house, but instead he's actually focussing mainly at least right now on republicans. >> yeah. and i think there is for good reason. you started, you said john, and
john mccain was one of the first people attacked by donald trump and even after his tumor was announced. donald trump is still attacking him. what is so interesting to me, having worked on the hill when president obama was in office and there was -- we had democratic house and democratic senate and of course the administration. there were a number of things that got done. so it's been fascinating to me to watch donald trump sabotage his own agenda by attacking people who may not agree with him all the time. one of the old adages that the congressional black caucus re relies upon is no permanent friends or enemies, just interests. that adage completely missed him. >> his permanent interest is himself. his ratings, i thought about this, i don't think he cares about his -- we're not at war, the stock market is fine. he feels he can be successful by fighting the nfl, culture war fights, by being involved in celebrity sort of reality tv kind of thing, and i don't know
how much -- he wants to win, so he can't just lose everything, but the core thing is amazing, he's going to announce tomorrow, president trump, that he wants to decertify -- >> the iran deal. >> bob corker was key in the iran deal. he's chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, i think there were plans, they've been working with corker to try to get in sync on this. to try to get the republican party and this is a moment of delicacy. it's a moment to be nice to bob corker if you care about successfully moving ahead on iran without the iran deal, which i'm for too, which is trump made a big deal of. . pst crazy. if you care about the substance, he shouldn't be doing it. he cares more about attacking the republican establish m the than the substance. >> or attacking anyone really and angela, i wanted your thoughts on this because yesterday, at the top of the show, i held up the constitution because the president was talking about going after with the apparatus of the federal government, nbc news and other
media organizations, he tweeted network news has become so partisan, distorted, and fake that licenses must be challenged and if appropriate, revoked. not fair to public, now beyond the technical fact that all of that is just incorrect, it's not thousand works, and you don't need licenses and whatever, he's actually talking about getting the government to go after media organizations for reporting things. he doesn't like, it is, it just boggles the mind, if president obama had said that about fox or breitbart or whatever, i mean, the reaction -- there would be people with torches in the street. >> unfortunately there are folks with torches in the street for other discourse that he has sewn. this is another example of the fundamentals of government he doesn't understand. makes you wonder how much he knows about the fcc and whether or not he's engaged the folks there that really understands that this is not accurate. this is not thousand works and why are you threatening people? that is not an aauthoritarian
regime no matter how bad he wants it to be one. >> thank you for being here. new film about a pillar of the people are court and pioneer for racial justice. the actor and director behind the new movie about thurgood marshall will join us next. >> thurgood marshal with the nacc. yes you can ♪ ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone it can transform a frogng. into a prince. but it can't transform your business. for that you need dell technologies. we are transforming jet engines into turbo powered safety inspectors. dairy cows into living, breathing, data centers.
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marie callender starts her tuturkey breast to perfection. so that you can spend time on what really matters. marie callender's welcome back. the pop culture lead now, 50 years ago this month, thur good marshall was sworn in as the first african american justice of the u.s. supreme court. long before that history or before he argued the famous school segregation case, marshall was a young naacp lawyer fighting for justice. kind of like a superhero according to to the people
behind the movie "nationwide." marshall, about the making of a pioneer. >> i only represent innocent people. people accused because of their race. that's my mission. >> i never touched that woman. >> joining me now, chadwick who plays the young thurgood marshall in the new movie and the director of the film. thank you so much for being here. it's an honor. fan of both of you have been for a long time. >> thank you. >> reginald, when i heard there was this movie, i assumed it was going to be a traditional biopick telling the story of his life. it's not that at all, it's a courtroom drama about one case. >> yes, i mean, thurgood's life is too big far single movie. that's a mini series. but i was intrigued by this kies because you don't know about it. you know, you learn about brown versus board of education in grade school. oh, i know what that is. and you're used to seeing him on the supreme court. but to see young thurgood, swagger, you know great sense of
humor, going from town to town like a marshall delivering justice. dealing with a case that is sex and violence, tabloid worthy. this is a thurgood we haven't seen. >> you have played a lot of icons. people may not recognize because you're so different in all of them. you play james brown, jackie robinson, thurgood marshall, all completely different. you really inhabit the characters in such a fascinating way. how did you become the young thurgood marshall? did you go back and study films, listen to tapes, what did you do? >> i had in those other two films we mentioned, there was hall of fame footage of jackie robinson playing football, there was concert footage of james brown and lots of other footage of james brown as well, interviews. with thurgood marshall, you're looking at court cases. you're looking at biographies
and autobiographies. and you're sort of extracting his personality from that and the situations that he's in. you're talking about a man who lived with friends, you know, he lived in the harlem renaissance. his friends were the greatest artists of that time, and he left that to travel around the country and fight justice in places where his life was in danger, so what is -- who is that man that has that courage and arrogance and selflessness to go do that? and so i sort of pulled, you know, his swagger and his vibe from that experience. a man who loved life, but was willing to put it all on the line. >> and sadly, the issues from this film about whether in the 1940s a black man could get justice in america still resinate today in 2017. >> uh-huh. >> the jury's still out. i mean, thurgood marshall is an american hero for many reasons,
one of them is that he took the promise of the constitution, all men are created equal, and did more than anyone else try to make that a reality. so he didn't just break the laws on behalf of justice, he made laws. both as an attorney and then later in the supreme court. but, the challenges for each generation to have to fight that fight all over again is tragic, but it's the reality of our situation. >> it's so fascinating that both of you in different ways are exploring one of the great black superheroes of decades ago, black panther. you wrote a bunch of black comic books, and my producer and i were talking about this. it's interesting because thurgood marshall is almost a superhero too and his superstrength is his courtroom ability and how good he is in a courtroom. and he walks and you talked about how arrogant he is or how arrogant he was. and his confidence on how good he is compared to everyone else. >> you want to go first? >> no, you go. >> he was the, in some cases,
the naacp didn't have a lot of money during this time period we're dealing with this. and this is, you know, the year before the u.s. enters world war ii, they didn't have a lot of money. he was literal lit only attorney running around dealing with these cases. so if he couldn't take this case in alabama because he had to be in oklahoma or bridgeport, whatever, this person suffered. so it's the superhero quality. it's like, can black panther be in the same place at the same time? >> and really this movie is sort of an origin story if nung superhero terms. this is the making of thurgood marshall. where, you know, he goes through an evolution in terms of seeing how thousand wage the war he's fighting. and you know, you see him, you know, creating a new strategy and he transforms the lives of everyone he encounters in the course of the film.
you know, both on the defense and even the people that he's fighting against. no one is the same by the end of the film. >> it's a great film. the movie's marshall, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you, man. be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter, @jake tapper. that is it. turning you over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, chief frustration. a big surprise this afternoon at the white house. president trump's chief of staff retired general john kelly unexpectedly stepped into the spotlight. he talked with reporters about his job as well as president trump's biggest frustrations, why is general kelly going public now? can't stay forever. president trump touches off a fire storm of criticism with a series of tweets that first responders, including fema and the u.s. military can't stay in puerto rico forever. in a disaster zone where 83% of the island's residents still don't have electrical pow