tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 17, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
national correspondent jim sciutto joins us. >> this investigation is amusing beyond russian meddling in the election. sean spicer wasn't involved during the campaign. came on board after his election. so here's someone we know special counsel will be looking to ask can questions on the firing of the fbi director james comey, on meetings held in the oval office office and russian officials. we also know sean spicer took copious notes. that is a dream for lawyers and special counsel. those notes are not protected. that will certainly be part of the investigation. now, on the flip side, we should mention spicer not the closest to the president's advisers, not present in every meeting. would he have been there when key zrigsz always made? not necessarily. but someone involved in the
administration after the election. they are looking into it. >> they've issued a subpoena to cater page. >> he goes back to the campaign, not to the administration. the president identified him early in the campaign as a foreign policy adviser, but it was never clear how close he was has you noted. it's not even clear that cater page met with the president personally. he has been a very public face for some months of this investigation. he's binary willing to speak in open about it. we also know he did go to travel to russia. so he was definitely present there. not clear that he's a central focus of the investigation but we also know the senate intelligence committee often asks witnesses to come forward
voluntarily. if they refuse, they will use their subpoena power to require them to come forward. >> appreciate that. i want to bridge in our panel. paul, from a legal standpoint, the fact you have priebus and sean spicer, what does that tell you about the pace of this? >> i think it's moving along very quickly. these prosecutors are like birds of prey and they're circling the white house. much like birdsed of prey, they cut off the wounded animals, the ones who were fires, reince priebus and spicer who left because they have a lot of information and that information might be helpful as they move closer to the president. now, this does not mean that they've made a case by any means, but it does mean they are pushing to end this investigation and reach a final conclusion. >> in meetings like this, this meeting went on according to politico nearly all day long with spicer.
it's like a deposition, they have documents they want to present to a person? >> yes. he's known as a note taker. it's ironic because he's thought of as a comic figure. he took a lot of notes and would go back and talk to the presidentb. even if this is related to the russia investigation, there are a lot of questions pertaining to that investigation, he would have gone back to the president and asked for specifics. he may have written things down that prosecutors don't know about and will prove useful to them. >> the fact they kept notes is fascinating. >> the question is how much information does he have. he's somebody that came to the white house the president wasn't excited about that came with reince priebus because we worked with him at the rnc. but it does show that they are looking at obstruction of
justice. >> the notes part is interesting and the comey part is interesting. i'm surprised he was taking copious notes. but the question becomes that's gold for them, but what are the missing pieces because he may have may not have been in all those meetings. trump didn't want him there. >> first of all, i only was at trump tower during the campaign once and i saw sean spicer there in the conference room working. spicer was actively on the campaign heavily in the messaging. i don't know if you can read sboofrp meeting with him as proof positive that it's past the campaign. once we knew that nomination happened at the convention -- >> but he and reince priebus was working for the rnc until he was candidate. >> i would change the metaphor. i've said i think mueller is a zombie lawyer.
he's going to keep searching until he finds someone to devour. if it's not about russian collusion, then what's it about? and you can go forever and find something wrong, and i think this is a kind of witch-hunt in search of a witch and i think it's a disservice to the country. >> you've been in the white house where there was an ongoing investigation that went from one thing to another. >> yeah, and it's not fun. the problem with spicer being a note taker is not his problem. he's got time to review them. it's every single's problem. the hell about going through these things, about being interviewed, the asymmetrical information. they know more than you do, so whoever goes in next knows mr. mueller has spicer's notes and spicer's testimony. and you have no idea what's in there. i have friends in the clinton white house, someone else taking notes.
the terrorist says we should fire comey, you have no idea whether that's accurate. it's awful. the other problem spicer has that every one of these witnesses will have is the penalty of perjury. he will catch them because he has so much more information than they do. spicer distinguished himself at press secretary for his extravagant and aggressive lying. that disgraced him professionally. this is now legal. it's over now, he's already testified. but he better not have lied. >> he met them. >> the code says if you mislead or lie to them in any context -- >> he may have made statements, whatever, testifying -- >> he lied to the fbi, it's a crime. >> or lie to the house or senate committee. it's a crime. people need to know this. i think it's a pernicious lie. but if you're talking to the fbi
and you say anything -- >> they can lie to you, but you can't lie to them. >> i will agree it's a witch-hunt. >> i don't think it's a witch-hunt. >> this is exactly why -- this is donald trump's worst nightmare. he was so upset with jeff sessions for stepping down leading to the comey firing and mueller abecause of how wide th investigation can go. now we're looking at obstruction of justice. we knew the obstruction of justice aspect would creep in just because of the way he handled poorly the comey firing. and then he changed his story about why he did it. any investigator is going to look into why because the behavior was not one of a man who was completely innocent. >> except that we're supposed to be governed by an election and the rule of law. when you say we'll keep
expanding until we can find some way to tie up the president, if it's about the russian collusion, it ought to be about that. after that, leave this white house. >> if the rule of law was subverted, firing james comey, which is what donald trump told nbc news. >> that's a good case for obstruction of justice. >> donald trump has himself to thank for this investigation being wider than it was. >> others in the inner circle have to talk to mueller's team because, i remember the day comey was fired. they all came out on television and said oh, it's because of -- he was mean to hillary clinton. and then the president gives -- so there must be e-mail traffic and plenty of memos back and forth and meetings that took place where this was being discussed. >> yeah. >> go ahead. >> from the beginning this was problematic for the trump white house even if there was no there
there because let's take the lying of the table, just precise. the president is not precise in his language. if you don't want to misstate something, you have to be precise. and i think that's going to be a real problem for them regardless of what the real -- what we find is the there there. >> there's always a question of who knew what because i think some people were just told to say things. it doesn't mean they necessarily knew what they were saying wasn't true. and then there's some people who probably did know it wasn't true and were going out there and saying that. >> we also know nothing about from the time the white house was informed about michael flynn by law enforcement to what he was let go because the "washington post" had the story. i can't remember how many weeks it was, but there was a length of time and we knew very little about the inner discussions that were going on during that time. >> we will know because flynn's
temporary replacement has apparently already spoken to prosecutors. the white house counsel -- she said it oath to congress they needed to act on this. and then i think it was a good two or three weeks before they did act on it and you're right, that interim, who was said then is going to be going to matter a lot. beyond the allegation of president obama and the gold star families. now john kelly is brought into it. later, how the president might react to a new and much lower assessment of his net worth. details on that printed in forbes magazine when we continue. you nervous? ♪ ♪
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. the white house said president trump has called the families of all four u.s. troops who were killed in niger. this comes nearly two weeks after the fact. it follows the uprohr over his remarks yesterday. he said falsely that president obama had not called gold star families during his presidency. >> i mean, you could ask general kelly did he get a call from obama. you could ask other people. i don't know what obama's policy was. >> keeping him honest, president obama didn't call the kaelz. he did, however, stwriet them to a breakfast at the white house for gold star families. not clear if they actually attended.
general kelly himself only rarely mentioned the loss of his son publicly and never settle ed the beef with the press. joining us is josh greene, author of devil's bar"barng" -- bargain. general kelly went out of his way to publicly not talk about his son, even giving a speech in front of a semper fi organization in st. louis when he asked the marine not to mention his son. >> there's a striking piece in "the washington post" that sort of ticks through his history of really making an effort not to personalize it by bringing his son's death into the public debate, but i think it's so jarring to see trump go to a radio talk show and using it assist a rationale to criticize president obama.
>> do you think it's appropriate? >> actually, anderson, that speech he mentioned was in through us where i'm in front. few of the marines i know were there. he didn't mention his son to be mentioned. it was factually true what the president said. i can't imagine the weight of a president to call all these families. >> what he said in the rose garden was not factually correct. what he said on the radio show about president obama not calling president kelly was. >> he dragged in obama. the fact is obama -- i don't blame him. whatever the time line would be for decisions about calling families of people whose children are killed or spouses, ought to be sort of something we don't understand. we haven't had that respondent. >> it was true. >> why does he just make stuff
up? he made something up. and then when he was called on it he back tracked. and he said that's what i was told, maybe they did or didn't, that's what i heard. >> at the heart of it was obama didn't call every one of them at the same schedule anyone else did. i don't know. i think that seems pretty reasonable. i don't really know what the problem is. >> he's lying about the problem. >> about what? >> he made something up. >> what was the lie? >> he didn't like the question being asked of him. he interpreted it as a hostile question so he pivoted on blaming predecessors. he's saying something which is incorrect. >> i don't understand what it is? >> he said past presidents never called and when a reporter fact checked him on the spot. >> he proved it. >> never called? that's absolutely not true.
let's stop this. this is an asinine argument right now. you're arguing about whether the president of the united states, who clearly lied, we all heard it, back tracked and in a way that was completely inappropriate, still blaming another president instead of taking the high road and being a statesman and simply just saying that i will be contacting the families. we've already sent out letters and how difficult this is and we send our condolences. that's what a statesman should have done. instead he has this desire to constantly blame everybody else. >> when he's confronted with a lie, he's like maybe i'm right. >> the question is whether we honor the people that died. >> you can't ever say approximate president was wrong, can you? >> i think the president was trying to answer hard question. >> you can't say what he said was true. >> i think what he said was trying to answer the question. it's a hard question. it is true obama didn't call
kelly's family. >> that's just a sleazy answer. that's not what he said. >> it's true they didn't call on a schedule. that's a hard question. >> you're right. the point here is to honor the troops, not to attack barack obama or defend donald trump. i got a little bit of time today, i posted looking what's in the public record, from where these men lived. ladavid johnson, one of the men who was killed from miami gardens, florida, he's got a wife who's expecting a baby and a two-year-old and a six-year-old, so devoted to his wife he tattooed her name on his chest. this is an american hero. the president needs to -- there's only 1% who defend us, including your brother, god bless him. we need to hear their stories. that's what's so sinful about
what this president did. he had the obligation to tell the country about these men. >> i think he called them today. whatever the time line you guys decided they should have on calling someone who died, he called them today. i think he showed honor. we're making a mountain out of a mole hill. >> tell that to the families who lost them. >> president obama never called kelly. >> that has nothing to do with that. stop politicizing general kelly's son. >> you're making death about the president. >> you're using this as a talking point the way the president did disgracefully this morning. you need to take a page out of dana peer reno's book where president bush went to walter reed where he shed tears. >> anyone who agrees with you is
politicizing it? >> the president needs to learn class in this. >> i'm fairly certain that general kelly wants to talk to obama about this that he would get in touch with him. that's where that conversation could happen. there's a question as to why suddenly that specific time line of this things is a story. i'm not sure, it varies from president to president. that's okay. different combats and family situations you have to deal with. and the president felt attacked. and what he did when he felt attacked is counterpunch on this most solemn of subjects. and there's not an excuse for it. i work with these gold star families and they don't want to be brought into it and you can talk about these heroes without turning it into this. you can say, look, there's different time lines for different areas, this is how we're dealing with the sacrifice these families made. end of story. >> i agree with all that except
for the fact -- he thinks he was under attack but he was just being asked a question and he could have answered in an entirely different way. he didn't need to start talking about barack obama. he could have just said i'm going to call them. these are heroes. rather than doing that, he immediately starts debasing himself and his predecessors. >> and it's easy not to. >> that's what he did at the cia as well his first full day as president. instead of honoring them he talked about himself and his crowds at the inaugural. in just a moment, a different song, similar lyrics. the senator's reaction and what it says about a president who's doing that to an 81-year-old cancer patient.
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>> people have to be careful because at some point i fight back. i'm being very nice. i'm being very, very nice. but at some point i fight back and it won't be pretty. >> senator mccain says he's faced far greater challenges than that. >> really, the president fights back sometimes. that's really news worthy. d it's not even fighting back, it's attacking people. i do think that this is not something that's going to be intimidating. he's at a point where i don't think he is going to have any problem standing up to the president. >> mccain was sharp in the critique. does this go beyond a political argument, mary catherine? >> you're right that mccain doesn't care and, frankly, once
someone calls you an unsatisfactory pow, you can say whatever you want after that. there's a part of the speech where he talked about it being unpatriotic to scribe to this half-baked nationalism. there's a whole part of this country including democrats that crossed over to vote for trump who are on board with that because of the intervention of the past. there's a political dynamic he shouldn't be aware of. he's an "n" arizona running again anyway, but this is a dynamic that he is ignoring. >> rec sit comment, war hero and sorry he's sick, but then mccain is why the republican party was fading until trump. his brand of the interventionist, grow the amnesty for illegals, trade deals, everything.
he lost the election because he wasn't a great candidate on the issues. cohesive a good man, he grand stands and pound away on the president and the movement, and the president is sick of it. so are people like me. this guy is a seasoned pro. when he ran for re-election in arizona, he said over and over i'll vote to repeal obamacare. he ran to the right, you guys all covered it. he wins re-election and drops his thumb. he's grand standing for effect. it may be personal, that's fair. but when it's on the president you don't get a pass when it's personal for you. >> that's not personal. it's about policy. >> he's a liar when you -- >> he was re-elected by 14 points on the same day. >> look what he ran on. >> john mccain is not afraid of donald trump. >> nobody said he was. >> personally or politically.
they both ran on the same day and mccain ran by a landslide in arizona. president trump has attacked senator mccain personally. it's fine to have this argument about interventionism, but he said senator mccain wasn't a hero because he got captured. >> we're talking about the speech last night and the response to it. >> he attacked a gold star family, the khan family of virginia. he attacked the pope, he attacks everyone. >> can you know represents the pope now? >> there's a constellation of people attacked by donald trump. >> the mccain party is dead, and that's what he's upset about. >> if you look at the history of trump attacking mccain, it has been after he said something negative about him in a policy sense. last night was a policy speech. trump is attacking him because trump views everything through
the lens of personal loyalty, whereas john mccain is loyal to the american ideal. that was the thrust of his speech and why he's criticizing what he called the half-baked spurious nationalism. >> donald trump is a straight fighting politician. he would fight to try to win. his policies have been rejected soundly by the republican party and he stands up on the floor of the senate and lectures half of america that he said they don't want what you want, mccain and suddenly we're -- >> doesn't mean everyone in his party has to fall down and bow before him. trump does, obviously. that's why he's offended. his >> he'll counterpunch on the policies. >> but he doesn't. he counterpunches with ad
hominem juvenile attacks. it starred with the comments about him not being a hero. we can argue all day about where cabin is on the republican spectrum and he's done things republicans don't like, and that's fine from a policy perspective. but john mccain is a hero, right? and john mccain served his country in a way that donald trump could never, the level of self-sacrifice he gave to this country is something that makes donald trump look very small when he attacks john mccain personally. he'll never measure up. and i think he realizes that, so he tries to fight back against a man who is an american hero, who has self-sacrifice in ways donald trump could. >> every mccain stands up and bad mouths half the party and the country, and all trump is saying people can attack me over and over, same with flake. he says terrible things about
the president. you know what? the president has a right to fight back, that's all he's saying. in america we're glad we have a president who doesn't sit there and take it from people who lecture us. >> what about common decency? calling him not a hero, that's okay for you? >> we're going back to that. >> you don't take responsibility for donald trump's own behavior. >> is it appropriate for the president to say he's not a war hero? >> i prefer he didn't say that, but i also think he was in a campaign and he was making a point. i think the president proved something about mccain as a politician by beating the people that scriubscribe to his positi rubio and others. he was making a signal he was separating from mccain, it's
politics. >> it's politics by attacking him for being a prisoner of war for six years and tortured? >> it's politics by competing on -- who was doing that interview? >> in love a fake forum. >> we could all disagree and do not make those kind of statements against each other no matter how much you and i disagree of. and we disagree on a lot of things. dwlobz those kinds of things to each other of the so why is it okay for the president of the united states? why can't he have a disagreement with somebody without having to hit below the belt? >> his statement today is i'm going to counterpunch. mccain gives a speech and he says be careful. when i counterpunch. >> he's going to give him a nickname like everybody else? you think john mccain cares about that. it's ridiculous. >> the senator's critique was just that.
he may mabe right but talks president is not about ideas. that's his problem here. he was forif war in iraq, now he's against it. politics is not about policy and ideas for him and you project that onto him. it's about his own narcissism. >> he did use the word unpatriotic to describe it and that's a heavy word. that's not just a policy word. i hate the way donald trump counterpunches on record. i don't think we should ignore that was a pretty harsh criticism and branched out into the actual voters. >> mccain could have said he's just a basket of deplorables. >> even though i wish a lot of more people in the republican party hated the way donald trump counterpunches, the fact is that
many of them are madder at mccain about telling them he was going to get rid of obamacare and then being like, nah. >> trump may have a problem is going after people like mccain and corker because these guys have nothing to lose, and trump does. he needs every republican senator to get behind him. we've seen what happens when they don't. >> very strategic man. >> corker lost his seat because he didn't go with trump. >> what are you talking about? >> he's not running because he knew what was coming. >> you know that's true. >> that's fake news. >> that's an alternative fact. "forbes" richest americans list saying his net worth plummeted this year.
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$600 million in one year. he has yet to comment but few things have upset him over the years more than having his net worth questioned. dan, the drop, what's behind it? >> the biggest thing is people think donald trump has this global real estate business that's all over the world. and the reality is the majority of his net worth still lies in new york city real estate. right now new york city real estate, particularly retail is struggling, and that's pushing the president's net worth down a significant amount. and everybody else on the list is way up. >> he jacked up prices at mar-a-lago, but the golf courses where he did win are doing well. >> what's tricky is most of his assets are now in places where the majority of people don't like him. with his golf courses, you can see a lot of different areas.
up in the northeast, those golf courses aren't doing particularly well. but if you look in different places like down in florida, those groursz doing extremely well. same with his tower in las vegas. that's doing very well and that's a part of the country that generally has a more positive view of him. >> is estimating the president's net worth a difficult thing to do? >> you know, it's something we've been at for a long time, so we've got a long history with it. he likes to make it seem like it's really, really complicated to figure out all the details of it. the truth is we do this for over 2,000 people around the world, and he's just one of them. yes, he has assets and yes, they're complicated assets, but you take the time and look through them, you can pin it down. >> of all the people who have ever been independent on the list, nobody cares more than donald trump, is that true? >> that's absolutely true. we started this list in 1982.
donald trump was on the very first list. at that time he was with his father and he's been on it for most of the years since. of people have come and gone, overall there have been about 1,600 people on the list. of those, no one has cared about where he ranks than the current president of the united states. >> i think you'll be getting a phone call perhaps or a tweet. dan, thanks very much. joining us also the michael deantonio. michael, is he sitting in the white house reading this somewhere or seeing this and upset? >> absolutely. he's not the only billionaire who does this. i happened to be in the home of one of trump's neighbors in palm beach when the list came out and he was eager to see where he stood. there are many of the members of mar-a-lago who have now jumped ahead of time the president, and
that's going to irritate him immensely. where donald trump has in the past been able to gain the system, he comes out on top. you were discussing john mccain recently. mccain actually won elections. he's won most of the things he's gone after because they've been campaigns where they measured the votes. donald trump in the case of his wealth has insisted it's been five times what other people say it is. what you get down to the numbers, it's close to what "forbes" says. >> we'll have more from the panel when we come back. get 4 unlimited lines for just $40 bucks each. taxes and fees included. and now netflix included. so go ahead. binge on us.
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thanks mom. here we are. look, right up to here. principal. we can help you plan for that. our recent online sales success seems a little... strange?nk na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground. but he's got work to do. with a sore back. so he took aleve this morning. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that.
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so. it seems to be important to him to impress, i think he thinks it impresses other people. >> it stems back to his father being a really tough guy and him always having to prove himself. obviously he's continuing to do that. it screams insecurity, the three wives and he cashes one out for a new one that's prettier, bragging about it. he's always been like that, so it's not surprising. what's interesting too is he just lies about this as well. he would overinflate the values of his properties and he was
notorious for doing that. he claimed that the trump west chester golf course was worth $50 million and it's only 1.4 when it came to tax time and had to pay taxes, they assessed the value at $1.4 million. it was he was notorious for doing this. and that's why when he says he's worth $10 billion, and forbs is like, no, it's closer to 3 or $4, he over inflates. >> he keeps score. his is referee, so he pays attention to score. i just came back from australia. does anybody at this table believe donald trump hasn't secured his brand as one of the greatest brands in the histraphy of all the world. roosevelt will be a brand. doesn't mean everybody will like
it, but all over the world the brand is way up. >> that is not true. you want to go down the list of all his failed properties right now internationally? >> what we've talked about on the show is other people is up because the market is booming and his is not because of the real estate. but his brand, which is he cares about, whether it's inapprentice licensing is gold plated. >> he's lost $6 million since he became president, but you know somewhere he's going i should are had a prenup. i always felt with mit, he was always kind of sheepish about how rich he was. by the way, $3 billion is a ton of money.
instead of recognizing that, you're projecting whatever your issues are that he's somehow bummed out. he's doing great. he's taking something -- >> he sued tim o'brien about this. and he wrote in his book that -- wait a minute, these are actual facts. when he sued tim o'brien in his dep association in 2007 and specifically asked about his net wurkts, trump said this is legal record so you can't dispute this, he said it fluctuates with my mood. if it feels as though i'm worth more, then that's what i'm worth. >> that's actually pretty standard. >> his net worth, are you kidding me? and there you have it, america, right there. >> it's not standard in business. >> what standard is when you're a guy that's a brand like he is, that's a leader like he is, he's changed his net worth -- >> baron hilton who's in the
same business didn't do it, milten hershey didn't do it. their names were bigger than trump's at the time. it was the advertising age. lipton and hershey. at one point lipton was the most photographed man in the world, they never had to do this. donald trump is massively concerned about how we perceive him. it's not even so much does he have the money -- >> have we ever had a president that's -- >> i don't think any president has been as needy. >> how do you know? >> because every time i interview him and you give thim a compliment, you see it wash over him like a bomb. and then you can ask him some tough questions, like your crowd size was a big one, it literally washes over him --
>> what is it about clinton that makes him needy, hillary -- the top level politicians are people that are needy for the attention. that's how they get there and succeed. >> donald trump medicates by self-gratification. this is how he does it. it's obnoxious and petty and unnecessary. and we all see through it. >> i think branding is important to him. i think the branding is important to him more than the actual money. here's an easy win for the president, which he won't take it. we're on that list. anybody else on that list in america? >> we'll be right back. more ahead. 7 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like banging their head on a low ceiling. drinking spoiled milk. camping in poison ivy. getting a papercut. and having their arm trapped in a vending machine.
dustin was lovable, would give his last dime to help anyone in need. he was 29 years old. staff sergeant bryan black was a husband, soldier in 2009. staff sergeant injure mia johnson was a chemical and nuclear specialist. he was from springs borough, ohio, where the flags flew at half staff today. he was all about country, all about family, all about moral fiber. this month marked his tenth year in the army. and sergeant la david johnson was a beloved church-goer, he was nicknamed wheelie king for
his cycling stunts. he was the father of two children, ages 2 and 6. he had a third child on the way. tonight we remember these decorated service members, their service, their legacy and all who loved them. time to hand things over to don lemon on "cnn tonight." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news tonight, the russian investigation moving deeper into president trump's inner circle. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. here's what we're learning tonight. sean spicer has been questioned by the special counsel investigators. just the latest of team trump members going face-to-face with investigators including reince priebus and keith cellof. and sources telling cnn carter page has been subpoenaed by the senate intelligence committee. he told the senate last week he woul