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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 13, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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despite the president's battles with the nfl, the passion thatel millions of americans have for football still runs deep. this week's cnn hero is sharing that love of the game with kids who don't get to experience of the excitement firsthand. meet blake rock well. >> when you have a child who is dealing with a life-threatening illness, their treatment protocol might be two, three years, and their tanks start to go dry. >> are you a bou fan? >> i am. >> awesome. our experience provide an opportunity for a family to get out as a family, just being there together and days like this, they really motivate the kids to continue their fight. >> to see the full vip all access experience that blake gives to these children, go to cnn right now. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. flrn . >> good evening. we begin tonight with breaking news in the russia investigation potentially big news.
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the first current or former member of president trump's white house inner circle spoke today with special counsel robert mueller's team. reince priebus, former white house chief of staff. so what have you learned about this interview? >> reince priebus, senior most member of trump's inner circle to be interviewed so far, should say former, of course. he was fired, replaced by john kelly. we also know that the chief of staff at the national security counsel, keith kellogg, he has been interviewed as well. his lawyer, reince priebus's lawyer says that this was a voluntary interview. he was happy to cooperate. among the topics we know that mueller is looking into as they interview members of the trump white house staff are, one, michael flynn, his time in the white house. we know they are also interested in trump's decision to fire james comey. we also know that the special counsel is interested in talking to people who were with the president on air force one when they were crafting that initial
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explanation for that trump tower meeting in june 2016. all these questions related to potential charges, whether it be obstruction of justice, the possibility of cooperation between members of the trump inner circle and russia, unanswered questions at this point, but anderson, it shows the seriousness with which the special counsel is taking those questions as it does these interviews. >> jim, stay there. toipt bring in our panel. so, meg, how concerned do you think the white house is about this? this was a guy who was president for a lot of the things president trump did that, you know, factored spew the appointment of mueller? >> look, i think that the white house is aware and has been for some time that reince priebus was going to be a pretty crucial person for bob mueller to speak with. he was present obviously during transition. he was present when key things were decided about the firing of michael flynn. he was present when james comey was fired. he was, i think, by a stroke of
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good fortune of his own not present aboard air force one when a decision was being made about how to respond to a new york times story about a meeting that donald trump jr. had with a russian lawyer who had come offering quote, unquote, dirt on hillary clinton. but he offers a key window into a bunch of different issues that bob mueller is looking at. he's certainly the top official to be spoken to, but he will not be the last official spoken to. i think the white house is anxious about the mueller investigation generally. i don't think it centers specifically on priebus. i think that trump has done with priebus what he has done with several officials who have left the white house which is reach out to him periodically and just sort of offer warm words because the president has a very long history of trying to keep people in his good graces. >> jeff, to maggie's point, priebus was not only in the room but he went on the road to the president to an unusual degree for a chief of staff especially
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those early months. what kind of stuff would the investigators want to know from him? >> i think he's really a central witness particularly on fg related to obstruction of justice and the firing of james comey, which is sort of the central event in the obstruction of justice investigation. bopg is what's known as a specific intent crime. the issue is what's in the head of the person who is potentially charged with obstruction of justice. what did they intend to do? we know that the president fired james comey. why did he fire james comey? dy do it to try to stop the investigation? reince priebus was talking to the president all the time. the white house chief of staff is there, physically there, especially this chief of staff. so any conversations he had with the president about why james comey was fired and how that would be explained to the public was a false statement put out, all of that is going to be central to what muscle is going
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to be asking him. >> and jim, i mean, a former chief of staff to the president has been interviewed by the special counsel investigating the president of the united states. it's got to have some kind of effect on those still working in the west wing seking the president. >> one very immediate effect is they're all lawyered up, from top to bottom, they know they need that kind of representation. and we have some information about other people that we know that mueller wants to interview in the white house in his first group of interviews. they include sean spicer. of course, the fierld spokesperson. they include the current communications director hope hicks, done mcgahn, and that's pistol just the first group of people close to the president that robert mueller wants to talk to people about again about these topics of the many questions facing thechl. firing of james comey, that crucial air force one meeting. these are all important lines of inquiry for the special counsel. >> yeah. what kind of an impact do you see this having on the white house now in its current make up? >> certainly it does the get the
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attention of everybody who is there. i think what's yet again exceptional about this time, i think of it as sort of a piano player where you have on the right hand there's new scandals. we've the health care and daca this week and meanwhile over the left hand there is this steady base beat of whatever mr. mueller is doing with his investigation and every single day -- or every week or so we have another sign of how dramatic it's going to be. i think people in the white house and the rescue of us in politics are trying to balance the frenzy of what's going minute by minute with the increasing pace of this investigation. >> the purpose wasn't part of trump's team from the beginning. the two haven't always been that friendly. would there be concern from anyone within the administration about how loyal priebus might be to the president. >> i think there's concern about how anybody is loyal to the
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president. he's a harsh and sometimes punishing boss. reince priebus was on the receiving end of his ire. so was sean spicer. i think those are two people they would have to be concerned about. it doesn't mean that either of them would do something that would threaten the president. look, the president has always demanded a lot of loyalty of the he has not always shown it in return to people he demands it from. i think it is too soon to say we don't dwret know what priebus actually said to mueller. we don't yet know what the investigate organization asked. we don't know if he's going to be asked to be spoken to again. but i do think that there needs to be a concern for the president in general about the fact that he's got a lot of aides and former aides who are facing a pretty tough choice of the go in, potentially don't tell the truth and be seen as loyal or go in and tell the truth and be seen as disloyal. it again does not mean that there's criminality hoor, but people are going to have to take
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their own lifes into account. and i think that's what you're going to see most people do. >> one thing that all these lawyers are going to tell their clients ask u better tell the truth. >> i'm aware. that's not lost on me, jeffrey. >> these are not statements under oath. fbi interviews are not under oath. >> correct. >> but it is a federal crime, section sl, united states code, section 1001 to make a false statement to an fi agent and that is a crime that is prosecuted fairly often. so for those people who probably have no exposure on their own, their only exposure is if they make a false statement. >> that's true in the case of some of these congressional investigations as well. lying to congress is a crime. even when these interviews were not under oath, the same thing applies. >> can you draw any conclusions about where mueller is in his investigation with the fact that priebus has now been
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interviewed? >> well i i will defer to jeff our legal guy on that. the point about divided loyalties is quite interesting because this isn't the first time that i white house chief of staff has been under some kind of outside scrutiny. in all those cases you assumed that the chief of staff would do everything he could to protect the president at that time because there wasn't a question of their divided loyalties now as all the other panelists have said. that priebus needs to watch out for his own legal exposure and you don't feel as if he's a real life with donald trump. >> yeah. >> just in terms of timing, if there's a silver lining for the trump white house in all of this is mueller's team would not investigate, would not interview reince priebus unless they were at least somewhat far along. most of what interviews involve are showing the witness documents, showing them e-mails, showing them things that they can't lie about.
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and this means that the mueller team has assembled enough documents that they feel like they can do an purview, a meaningful interview with reince priebus. it doesn't mean they won't interview him pen. doesn't mean they won't get more documents. but it does suggest if it's not the beginning of the end it might be the end of the beginning. >> there was that attack on u.s. service members in niger last week, four, i believe killed. and has the president said anything about that attack to date. >> short answer is no, not via twitter, not by any official from the president at the white house. it was nine days ago. four american soldiers were killed. and as my colleagues noted in a piece tonight, that on october 7th when the body of one of those victims sergeant la david johnson came home to dover air force base, the president was golfing that day. i asked a senior member of the white house team just a couple
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days ago the president comment on this and why he hasn't commented on the loss of these soldiers. and i don't have an answer yet, anderson. >> all right. thank you all. appreciate it. big news as the president traversed some of the signature achievements of the last president. with billions of lives and billions of dollars of america's foreign policy is at stake. with the president tweeting hot and cold about puerto rico. a closer look tonight and the help they badly still need. state-of-the-art drone testing facility in central new york and the mohawk valley, which marks the start of our nation's first 50-mile unmanned flight corridor. and allows us to attract the world's top drone talent. all across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state, visit
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tonight something we simply have not seen before. every president going back to the beginning comes into offense with his own ideas, never though have we seen a president so seemingly bent on rersing, negating his predecessor's signature accomplishments. today president trump stroke a body blow to obamacare. the president has reversed or tried to rers president obama's actions on immigration, undaumtd immigrants, paris climate accord, keeping the clean power plan. in all fairness none of this should be a surprise.
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he campaigned on much of it and if nothing else he's keeping his promises now. what may be surprising, though, or being widely debated is how much of this is permanent. what also stands out in both actions today is how each one shifts responsibility and accountant from the white house and on to congress and health care. >> one by one it's going to come down and we're going to have great health care in our country. we're going to have great health care in our country. we're taking a little bit different route than we had hoped because getting congress, they forgot what their pledges were. so we're going a little different roult. but you know what? in the end it's going to be just as if he can the active and maybe it will even be better. >> that was the president today after announcing late last night he was immediately sending cost sharing subsidies for insurers for reducing deductibles and
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co-pays for low income americans. the president put their fate in the hands of congress. so congress could have done something to guarantee these payments at any time. will the president's actions actually spur them to do something now? >> it's certainly on the top. it's want just because democrats have made clear that they don't plan to leaving congress this year without something done. but it's also republicans and republicans have always been the issue here because, anderson, aus popt out, congress always could have solved this problem. in fact, a u.s. court said congress is supposed to have solved this problem. it was um to coming. but the discrete here is that wasn't so secret is republican lawmakers pickle as they were purg every pursuing the repeal and replace effort they wanted them to keep paying these. now law, now that repeal and replace had failed, they didn't
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make any type of concerns raised about them being paid. they understood that this needed to happen. but the problem remains can republicans actually pass something, ornd son. there are deep divisions inside the party while there are republicans that vk worning on legislation to try and address thisish for months now. there are other republicans who have made very clear to leadership, this is part of obamacare. we pledge not to fix obamacare. we plenld to repeal pk. until leaders can figure out how to bridge that divide, as of now they have no answers. >> their legislative schedule is pangd with must pack items. are they frustrated that this has now been put on their plate? >> the short answer is yes. the statements we've seen from the speaker, from the majority leader were complimenting the president. when this news came out last night, republican leader hadn't even been told, sources tell me. nobody called from the white house. nobody told them this was coming and hairs a recollect flags, as you know, that there is a packet
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legislative schedule and this only essentially rolls a grand dren aid into what's going on. i had one aide tell me earlier, there's no question about it. this complicate our life. we wish we would have known this in vaps. it is a bargaining chip, period, that is how he's always viewed it. that's why he had them being kind of paid out on a month to month paces and that's why he's stieded to pull the prug now. in doing so he has certainly made life for complicated for republican leaders. >> thanks. before moving on, a case of the president not only elm lating president obama but overpassing him. more than any president in the last 50 years. can't trump you'll remember railed against them before and during the campaign. he's resorting to executive action as president obama did because of congressional inaction. here to talk about it is former michigan democratic governor and
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rick santorum. >> is it hypocritical for the president to use more executive orders when he was so critical of president obama for them? >> the answer is i would say yes. if you're going to go out is there and criticize someone for using executive orders and you use them yourself, then you should shufr the consequences of your previous statements. i think both president obama and president trump as you just mentioned, very fraugs thatd that congress didn't act. both of them did. >> you support the ideas behind this executive order. i do. no. i think what the president did with respect to suspending obamacare, csr payments, cost sharing reduction payment was the right thing to do. look, the district court was very clear. i think if they had appealed it up, it would have been confirmed by upper courts. that irs no authority that the president had to spend this money, and they old off, i think, as long as they felt they could with a credible pace that
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they're pursuing the litigation to the point where they said beer not going to do this anymore and coming, you need to fix this. you want the money, you need to fix it. and i think plut realizesed that the democrats are not interested in fixing it because why buy the cow if you can get the milk for tree. they didn't have top give up anything to continue the payments coming. now the milk is not free anymore and we'll see whether they want to buy the cow. >> you said hey at real donald trump killing health care for millions of average folks. isn't dismantling obamacare, however, exactly what he promised to do and what people elected him to do. >> well, dismantling obamacare and replacing it with something. so they haven't been able to replace it and so what the effect of these two executive orders that he's issued in the past couple of days has been is to put real people with real pre-existing onz or health
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concerns, their interests are completely sub sushd by his rapid desire to dismantle whatever obamacare has touched. to me what he's engaged in is active measures to vajds eyes the health care of millions of people. so if it's supposed to go back to congress, fine. we've got republicans and democrats are willing to work on fixing whatever he's done but whatever before existed that needed to be fixed in obamacare. let's get it fixed. there was such a poll that was issued by the kaiser family foundation, and even republicans by a 5 point majority do not want him to dismantle the affordable care act. they want him to fix it. >> senator. >> well, here is what i would say that we're going to see a test coming up here in the next few weeks because these cost share payments are stopping. if u a bronze plan or a gold mab
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you don't get cost share payment. so only a sliver -- >> of the middle class. >> again, it depends on what do i understand of plane you have. it kwoob lower nrk people have less expensive plans. but the bottom line is we're going to see whether the democrats are serious about actually trying to do something, because if their answer is give us the money but we're not willing to make any changes to make middle class, to use your term. >> let him finish. >> they've rejected any type of flexibility that actually is going to lower rates for people who are out there on their markets right now who don't get subsidies from the federal government. you're taking about small business people or people who work for small businesses. you're talking about middle income americans who have seen the rates go up by double in the last couple of yers. you're talking huge increases and nothing is being done, and democrats are resistant in making any structural changes to obamacare. >> you are not listening. i don't know what's in your ears, but you have not been listening to what democrats have
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saying. they have been saying fix it, mend it, don't end it. >> what do they protoes? what do they protoes? >> there has been a bipartisan proposeel. you know senator alexander and senator murray -- >> i've looked at that proposal in great detail. >> democrats -- >> whoa. one wait. let the governor finish. go ahead. >> including allowing the government to negotiate for the reduction in the cost of prescription drugs, including making sure that there are carrots and sticks to get more insurers into the market. including making sthur that you provide incentives for more people to sign up. what the president has done has gone in the exact opposite direction. this so-called freedom you described that was tried in a half a dozen states in the nienlts and all of those plans failed miserably. they were under capitalized and they were also used by nar do wells to try to put these scam
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subprime insurance policies on the market. and you're going to see after this you're going to see attorneys general across the country bra lawsuits. why can't we get a fix? and rick, you cannot say that democrats don't want to fix it. >> thaft, i can say it because i've looked at the alexander and murray proposal. >> i'm telling you, i am telling you, they want to fix it. >> yeah. >> they want to fix it. >> the facts are that the proposal that has been put forward by the democrats have been almost zbler oh reform. you've mentioned several things you mentioned are basically more money to be pumped into the snl to bring more people in. but as far as structural changes to the insurance markets so the people who don't get the subsidies are actually going to have lower cost, nothing is being done because that requires a change in the fundamental structure of obamacare. ron johnson and mark meadows, two folks who have been working very, very hard on trying to put together a republican proposal along with others in the house
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and senate, i think are going to be sprucing a plan next week that has common sense reforms in there. things like -- that we're going to have prices for services and products being push lishd. those are the kinds of common sense things they're going to put forward that can lower rates and we'll see whether democrats come to the table or whether they come up with phoney reforms -- >> have the democrats come in. let them do it because they were willing to negotiate. >> i appreciate it both of you. thank you. coming up next, the president dismantling the iran nuclear deal. accusing the president of his words cast rating the secretary of state this
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. >> the president's top critic expressed concern that he was creating binary situations. the problem senator bob corker told the post is that the president has new terd his secretary of state. you cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state, he says, without giving your that binary choice. it's very irresponsible but it's the first part, the castration of tillerson that i'm most exercised about. his remarks came to light at the end of the day that saw
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president trump taking action on the iran nuclear deal. >> today i am announcing our strategy along with several major steps we're taking to confront the reining regime's hostile actions and to ensure that iran never, and i mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon. >> what did he was decertify the agreement and raise the possibility of pull out of it entirely. the move allows congress to impose new sanctions on iran with a simple majority vote. as to why he said that take ran is not living up to the spirit of the accord. keep in mind meblds of his national security team are on record striking a different note. >> iran is not in material breach of the agreement. and i do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by iran. >> my view on the nuclear deal is they are in technical compliance of the nuclear arrangement. >> do you believe it's in our national security interest at the present time to remain in the jcpoa?
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that's a yes-or-no question. >> yes, senator, i do. >> his secretaries of defense state and the joint chiefs chairman, the u.n. nmt ors monitoring the deal says iran is in compliance. the nuclear deal wasn't drawn up to address any of that. there's lawsuits every lots to talk about tonight. joining us is fareed zakaria. fareed, first of all, from bob corker himself saying you cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state, are you as concerned about that as the senator? >> well, i think it's very clear now that we essentially have no diplomacy going on in the united states. and the way in which the president has treated his secretary of state is the most dramatic example of it.
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i remember james baker telling me once the most important quality you need in a secretary of state is not knowledge of the world, not smarts. it is that he have the trust and confidence of the president, because when you go around the world and you're trying to make deals and you're trying to do diplomacy, the only thing anyone around the world is wondering, do you speak for the president? do you have the trust and confidence? are you speaking for the entire government of the united states? and it's absolutely clear that rex tillerson is not. and in that circumstance he's sort of a dead man walking whether he's in his job or not because there's no diplomacy going on. nobody believes he speaks for the boft. the president publicly points out that he disagrees with his own secretary of state. so it's sort of odd to imagine how this man could go around the world trying to negotiate. who is going to make a deal with him?
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who is going to give him an assurance when they know his own president doesn't agree with him. >> niek, i know you were no fan of the deal, but does it concern you at all that outside observers, european allies simply do not back up what he contends? >> yes and no. i don't think the president made this decision to decertify on the basis of technical compliance with the deal. i think the administration would say that they're not in the breaches that the iranians have carried out are not -- they're not the problem. the problem is that the deal has strengd end iran around the region and we don't have a strategy for dealing with the totality of the threat that iran represents. >> president trump talked about a number of major issues that the u.s. has with iran that they finance terror, foment violence in iraq, imprison americans. he's not wrong about any of that. do any of those things have
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anything to do with this deal? >> anderson, imagine if vladimir putin had announced the day after the iraq war that because the united states was destabilizing the middle east, he was going to an row gate and pull out of all the arms control agreements that the united states had signed with russia. it's not only completely illogical, it would be the up ending of any kind of international order or framework of the if other countries were to do what the united states just did, we would have chaos in the world. of course iran is doing things we disagree with. of course saudi arabia is doing things we disagree with. but international agroemts are signed for a specific purpose and as long as you are maintaining that piece of the -- that part of the puzzle, is it has to be upheld. the president himself said in his speech that iran was in technical compliance with the deal. he himself said they are not violating the letter of the deal
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because by saying they're violating the spirit of the deal, well, everybody has their own interpretation of what a spirit of the deal is. but if every country in the world decided that they're going to start linking all these issues like this and an row gating deals willy nily, an row gating promises they have made you would have no international order. this goes far beyond the iran deal. this is a question of whether the united states is going to keep its word on a deal that it admits the other party has not broke ep. >> mike, what do you make of fareed's perspective? >> first of all, president obama made this deal against the will of the american people and against the majority opinion in congress. so this deal wasn't something that was ratified by congress and is the pillar of an -- it wasn't -- it was never even signed by anyone. the iranians insist that this is not any kind of binding agreement themselves. so let's not turn this into a pillar of international order.
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and then secondly, let's talk about -- >> if i may, the majority of america didn't vote for donald trump. but we follow the rules we have. the rules are that the president is allowed to make agreements like this. if you want to talk about, you know, whether or not the majority of the country was behind it, well, the majority of the country wasn't behind donald trump. i stel accept him as president. >> donald trump won the presidency by the rules of our election system, electoral system. and he has the right, just as barak obama has the right to make deals with iran without running it through congress, donald trump has the right to change it. what trump has done here has offered congress and offered our allies the ability to come together on a strategy to take care of the totality of the iranian threat. that's an opportunity. that's not a problem. >> is it an opportunity, fareed? >> look, what he has done is
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essentially create complete incoheerngs because on the one hand he attacks the policy bitterly and then he says, well, i'm going to stay in it. i'm going to punt this to congress to a deeply divided congress and force them to cleanup. it's an abrogation of responsibility. it is entirely irresponsible act. if the president wants to walk away from the deal, i agree with mike that he has the technical right totsds. i'm simply saying it's a terrible idea and it undermines u.s. credibility, but he does have the legal right to do it. but he won't even do that. it was an act of strange cow ard he is. >> no. >> kientd of incoherent foreign policy while on the one hand he says the deal is the worst in the world on the other he says but i'm going to stay in it. congress can decide what to do. >> give him some credit for flexibility and for opening up negotiations with the europeans and with congress. now, he didn't just go out -- >> negotiation with the europeans -- the europeans have said they will not renegotiate the deal.
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>> he did not simply go out and an row gate the deal. so he took a position between those who are saying walk and those are saying fix the deal. >> all right. >> i want to hear what you think we can do to make this deal actually better and what we can do about the iranian aggression in the region. complaining about donald trump isn't going to take care of those problems. >> isolating the united states and making iran the vehicle -- victim won't help. >> turning our backs -- turning our backs on our allies -- >> victim -- >> turning our backs on our allies in the middle east, the rallies, sawed i didn't see, turks and others was what isolated the united states. >> all right. we've got to leave it there. thank you. when we come back, the president plays to his base at a gathering of social conservatives. today he claims nobody used the word christmas anymore. we'll get into that next. oh really? thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them
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president trump became the firs sitting president to address the valued voter segment. >> you know, we're getting near that beautiful christmas season that people don't talk about anymore. they don't used the word christmas because it's not politically correct. you go to department stores and they'll say happy new year or other things and it will be red. they'll have it painted but they don't say -- well, guess what?
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we're saying merry christmas again. >> got a standing ovation for that. joining me tonight is charlie sikes, the talk radio host and author of how the right lost its mind. charlie, the themes that the president hit on today, stopping what he called the tax on ju dayo christian values, returning more clarity to our view of the world. whether or not you believer that the president is actually doing that, are these the kind of topics that are going to help him keep the support of his base? >> well, obviously so far it has. i mean, the christian right which allid around donald trump seems to be among the strongest support for him. you know, despite his personal conduct and character, et cetera. so i think he does understand what he needs to say on those particular issues. so, yes. >> and scott, i mean, the president when he spoke at the value voters summit back in 2015, he got booed at one point when he made fun of mark row rubio. today he got multiple standing
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ovations. has there been a dramatic change in how he's being perceived, do you think, or is it that he's the president and its his agenda and that's what they're standing for? >> well, i think that politics is comparative, anderson. and back in 2015 he was being compared to other republican politicians who had demonstrated a closer allegiance to christian values in their own personal lives. now he's being compared to the alternative, which was a hillary clinton presidency and of course, the values voters summit attendees far prefer what trump is doing than what hillary clinton would be doing. >> charlie, does it surprise you the extent to which evangelical voters and leaders have rallied around president trump and continued to? >> yeah. it is stunning and it continues to be remarkable. of course, the binary choice is not between donald trump and hillary clinton. it's between donald trump and i don't know a person of good character. one of the most extraordinary things that has happened,
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though, is the fact that here is a guy who was asked a little while ago do you ever ask to do for forgiveness and he couldn't say that. one of the things that has changed is this attitude. i'm old enough to remember when christians believed that character mattered and the private character of an individual was relevant to their public persona. now in the era of donald trump, evangelical christians according to one of the polls are one of the groups who is least likely to think that private character matters. again, it's not a choice between hillary clinton and donald trump. and this is what is so remarkable. it's between, you know, what would jesus do and what is donald trump doing. and i would submit they're not the same thing. >> it is interesting, scott, i mean, to charlie's point that in the past, i mean, during the election you had a lot of evangelical leaders coming forward and saying, look, we're not electing a past or in chief.
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but i feel like in past decades they would not have been saying that. i mean, you know, there was talk of the moral majority. people wanted certain attributes in their leadership. does it surprise you, scott, to the degree which evangelical leaders continue to speak up and rally around the president? >> well, no, it doesn't surprise me, because he's largely doing the things that they want him to do. and, yes, i agree with charlie that i think his personal conduct at times is not what you would find in, un, most christian leaders. but again, they didn't elected him to be the christian leader. they elected him to be the president. and i think they're thinking about the last eight years in which they got nothing that they wanted. naf, they think the country went so drasly to the left that we don't even recognize america anymore. and now they see a president, again, who may have personal flaws that they don't like but is trying to drag the country culture really back to the right which is something they desperately want. >> does it seem hipt critical to
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you to a certain degree. >> yes, it's stunning hypocritical. and it's going to do a great deal of damage. leaving aside the policy issues, you know, tax reform, health care and everything, i do think that the real damage that donald trump is doing is to the culture. and including the fact that he may not be, you know, past yor in chief, but he is a role model and the challenge of raising children in the era of trump. look, we tell our children, tell the truth, don't be a bully. don't act like that kid on the playground who says he started it. and here you have donald trump, who, you know, like it or not is a role model in chief, and he's living out really the opposite of all the things that we teach our kids to be and to do. so the argument that somehow that we support donald trump because he's pulling the culture back to the right, this is the damage, the culture is meaner. it is cruder. it is coarser because of donald trump. and i wish the christian leaders would stand up and mack a distinction between the policies they like and what donald trump
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is doing as a role model in this society. >> charlie sikes, scott jennings. appreciate it boat of you. thank you very much. coming up next, a reality check on puerto rico. president trump claims they're doing a great job there even though 9d 1% of the island is still in the dark. more ahead. wemost familiar companies,'s but we make more than our name suggests. we're an organic tea company. a premium juice company. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days. for birthdays. for turning over new leaves. and we make them for every moment in every corner of the country. we are the coca-cola company, and we're proud to offer so much more.
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president trump keeps shifting his message on hurricane-ravaged puerto rico after hot and cold messages on twitter. this afternoon he returned to the blame game and pledged his support when he spoke to our gym acosta. >> we did a great job in puerto rico. puerto rico has to get the infrastructure going. we're helping them with their infrastructure. most important in puerto rico is their electric plants are essentially gone. now they were gone before the hurricane. they were in bankruptcy. they owed 9 billion dollar. i think it was $9 billion. we have to help them. but i love the people of puerto rico.
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we're going to help them. >> help is needed three weeks after the hurricane, 91% of the island is dark tonight, 91%, another 36% has no access to clean water or sewage service. with the reality check on the ground, there is our cnn's ed lavandara. >> reporter: along a winding road high in the mountain south of san juan the stream of water is a lifeline, a pit stop in the daily routine for thousands of people. beverly and her husband pull up under the make-shift waterspouts. pvc pipes dipped into the stream overhead to avert the water into massive tanks. >> every day. he wakes up at 4:00 in the morning. he comes here, he fills up and he takes it to our neighbors. >> the water isn't safe to drink, but people use it to wash clothes and take showers and cleaning. and for some that lost their jobs since the storm, delivery
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this water to residents is a way of making extra money. santiago delivers the water to nelson vasquez who lives several miles away, he keeps two large 55-gallon barrel drums in his garage next to a generator to power the basic anecessities in his home. he says, living in the storm's after math is like traveling back in time. >> our great grandmothers used to carry cans of water on their hip from the lake to wash clothes. >> reporter: the roadway into this neighborhood was washed away by the storm. there are about 40 families that live on the other side, essentially cut off from the rest of the town, they're having to figure out ways to get in and out. this is one of those make-shift ways, a path so people can walk in and out of their own neighborhood. on the other side of the road collapse is where we found elizabeth diaz caring for her newborn baby boy.
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she gave birth two days before hurricane maria struck, when she left the hospital, she walked out into the ruins left by the storm. her only focus now is caring for her baby, who was born prematurely. her house where she normally lives is unlivable right now because of the hurricane damage so she is living here, no place to take a newborn baby. >> here in the mountains of central puerto rico, many residents say they're settling into the reality that a normal day isn't even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel yet. one man put it this way. we're prepared for a dark christmas. there will be no holiday lights decorating the island this year. and, anderson, the sense i got today in some of the places we visited in that town is that people really are settling into this new routine, anything that is far from normal, people
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getting their hands on generators, creating some sort of system that will kind of keep them going for the next six-to-seven months and when you ask them, what is a typical day like, they kind of give you the rundown of all of the things that would probably drive most of us crazy after some time of all the things you have to do, just struggling and fighting for these basic needs, it's really taking over everybody's day-to-day life. anderson. >> ed lavandara, appreciate it. up next, we will tell you about the breaking news in the russia probe involving one of the president's former close advisers. that help them save on their car insurance. any questions? -yeah. -how do you go to the bathroom? great. any insurance-related questions? -mm-hmm. -do you have a girlfriend? uh, i'm actually focusing on my career right now, saving people nearly $600 when they switch, so...
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well, it was a very big night even before the breaking news. president trump taking two more shots at president obama's legacy, undoing a vital piece of the affordable care act and turning thumbs down on the nuclear accord with iran. more on both in the hour ahead, but first there's breaking news at this hour. reince priebus, former white house chief of staff, talking to special counsel robert mueller's team. our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto joins us now with details. so what do we know about this meeting? >> it shows that mueller's probe now is extending to the senior most advisors to the president. we know this meeting took place today. priebus's lawyer tells cnn that this was voluntary, that he was happy to cooperate.