tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 20, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
while the white house says yesterday's statement from chief of staff john kelly should have been the end of the controversy over the president's call to a grieving widow the president keeps talking about it and he's continuing the administration's feud with representative frederica wilson who was there for the call. this is what the president said tonight in an interview with fox news regarding general kelly's speech. >> he was so offended because he was in the room when i made the call. so were other people. and the call was a very nice call. he was so offended that a woman would be -- that somebody would be listening to that call. he was -- he actually couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, sir, this is not acceptable.
this is really not. and he knew i -- i was so nice. look, i've called many people. and i would think that every one of them appreciated it. i was very surprised to see this to be honest with you. >> meantime, the white house is standing by a false claim that general kelly made about the congresswoman despite video coming out that 100% disproves it. general kelly on the attack with a false claim that two years ago congresswoman wilson took credit for getting funding for an fbi building. watch this. >> the congresswoman stood up and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and and in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. now, she took care of her constituents because she got the money. and she just called up president obama and on that phone call he gave the money, the $20 million to build a building. she sat down and we were stunned.
stunned that she had done it. even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned. >> the video of the congresswoman's speech came out today and it is really almost completely the opposite in fact and in spirit of what general kelly described. jeff zeleny joins us now with that. jeff, first of all, congresswoman wilson, what did she say two years ago? >> reporter: well, john, you heard those deep ly personal comments from the chief of staff in the white house. but we have a copy of that speech from 2015 from the south florida sun sentinel. it's clear he misrepresented her remarks. let's watch. >> everyone said that's impossible. it takes at least eight months to a year to complete the process to the house, the senate, and to the president's office. i said, i'm a school principal,
and i said, excuse my french, oh, hell no. we're going to get this done. [ applause ] immediately i went into attack mode. i went to the speaker, and i said mr. speaker, i need your help. the fai needs your help, and our country needs your help. and we have no money to waste. he went into attack mode and in two days, pulled it out of committee, brought it to the floor for a vote. another representative and i presented it. we all voted, and i dashed it over to the senate and put our senators on notice. put it on your radar, senator nelson and rubio, who i believe have representatives here today, they hot lined it to the senate floor
in just two days. and guess what? the president signed the bill into law this past tuesday, april 7th, 2015, with a bang, bang, bang. [ applause ] >> reporter: so right there, john, we heard the congresswoman recounting how she worked with republicans. john banner, speaker of the house at the time, worked with other republicans as well. she praised the fbi officers. and this is all about the naming of the building. she was not in congress at the time the building was funded, so the chief of staff was wrong about that. john, this sounds to me like most other speeches we hear, a touch of self-congratulation, of course. but it was not about the funding of the building, just simply calling up and bragging about that. >> in fact, there were more minutes spent about the fallen fbi agent than anything else. she asked first responders to stand up, give them applause and she talked about the themes of bravery and fidelity within the
fbi itself. jeff, when sarah sanders was asked today about general kelly's comments about the congresswoman, what did she say? >> she was very defensive about this. she said they stand by the comments that general kelly made. we don't know if he misremembers this. it was such a personal attack, it was so unusual. but when she was asked again and again about this, she was very defensive and said you should not question a general. she said it was deeply inappropriate to question a four-star general. well, after this played out for a few hours, we actually heard from sarah sanders this evening who walked that back somewhat, john. this is what she's telling us tonight in a statement to cnn. she said, of course, everyone can be questioned, but after witnessing general kelly's heart felt and somber account, we should all be able to agree that impugning his credibility on how to best honor fallen heroes is
not appropriate. so that is a response to her saying reporters shouldn't question the general. that created a new fire storm in all of this because generals, of course, are questioned all the time. but he, of course, now is white house chief of staff. that's a political job. >> and he was being questioned on the facts of what he said, about congresswoman wilson, not about how he believes fallen soldiers should be honored. jeff zeleny, thanks so much. lots to talk about with the panel. michael, let me start with you here. as we just heard from jeff zelleny, general kelly absolutely a retired marine four-star general. he's also a white house chief of staff, which is a political position. and in either position, even as a general, questions are fair game, correct? >> absolutely. look, there's a great tradition of questioning military officials, but you don't even have to go there because when you become -- when you take a position like white house chief of staff, that's a very highly political position. it's a charged position. you're representing yourself as
a spokesman for the president of the united states and especially coming out as he did, behind the white house podium, you put yourself out there and you expect questions. so that whole controversy today about whether or not he should be questioned seems so silly and petty given everything else that's going on this week. >> martin, i want to get bring you in here, because i want to get perspective from a supporter of donald trump. general kelly said deeply meaningful words about honoring the service of fallen soldiers and gold star families here, but he made stuff up about the member of congress there, correct? >> listen, i agree with the previous commentator when he said this is all petty. look, this congresswoman has shown herself exactly why the united states voters are -- any chance they get they are rejecting the politics of the swamp. she took a sacred moment, and
she took -- and she was happy to call herself a rock star. she called herself a rock star. she was happy to say i'm a rock star now. she looked for a way to politicize the death. honestly you're chasing a story when at the center of this is something very sacred. if kelly misspoke -- >> we'll talk about whether or not it was appropriate to listen to the phone call or not. >> when? >> right now. but general kelly said something about her that was not true. why was that necessary? >> look, john, if what you want to talk about is how he spoke about her being an empty barrel, he was addressing the fact that she politicized it. let's go back to saying why do we have to have this congresswoman politicize a sacred moment? let's go back to the heart of the matter instead of the extraneous stuff. i think, okay, look he might have misspoke about that speech but let's get to why is this congresswoman
not called by everyone despicable? she's not an empty barrel. she's a hateful demagogue of the worst kind. that's what she is. >> bakari? i'm not even going to respond to ed. i will say the heart of the matter is not that frederica wilson. the heart of the moment is the fact that four soldiers in niger has been murdered. we need to get to the reason why that was the case. they were ambushed and killed. we need to get to the reason why. while he's calling her a democrat zbog while people on the right are lam basting her character, the fact is that donald trump, the president of the united states has lied about her. john kelly, the chief of staff to the president of the united states, has lied about her. the only person who has actually said the truth about this conversation has been frederica wilson. if we want to have a conversation about why she was listening in, i mean, ed, what we're going to do is have respect for each other and i'm
going to finish this comment. >> i haven't interrupted you. >> if you want to have a conversation about why she was listening in, then we need to talk about her identity. her identity is not that of a democratic congresswoman. her identity is that of a family friend. she actually knew this sergeant. she was his mentor. she actually sponsored programs he was a part of. if you've ever been a part of these conversations, like representative wilson has been, she was on the phone with his commanding officer who let her listen in. so this was not something in which she demagogued. she was actually a part of this young man's life. if you want to bastardize her -- if you want to -- i'm not done with my thought. if you want to bastardize her, if you want to call her a demagogue, then what we need to do is realize the only person who was telling the truth in this entire scenario was representative frederica wilson, and you need to call her as such. >> hang on one second, guys.
i want bianna to weigh in on this. nice to see you, friend. isn't it completely possible that president trump called this widow with the best of intentions, tried to say something soothing and reassuring, but that this woman took it to be offensive? he can be trying to be nice and she could be offended. both things can happen at the same time, correct? >> absolutely. general kelly said president trump said he signed up for this or he knew what he was getting into. i don't know why the president denied saying that. as soon as i heard those comments, i gave the president the benefit of the doubt. i thought he made the call with the best of intentions. saying something along the lines of your husband, knowing how dangerous this would be did it for love of country. that was my takeaway. the issue is the only people that matter are the families of those who lost their lives and if for whatever reason, they did not walk away from that conversation feeling better, feeling that the president cares
about them and their loved one, then that's all that matters. and the president could have fixed all of this by either picking up the phone and calling her and explaining and apologizing or saying nothing. instead we see once again it's the reaction that gets us in a tough position whereas we would have not been talking about this right now, we would have been talking about those four brave men who lost their lives and talk about why that happened instead of blaming each other and bringing politics back into the fray. we spend so much time talking about russia promulgating fake news and propaganda, and i'm sitting here watching this. we're not the only ones talking about this. the entire world is watching us make political gain from either the right or left over those who serve our country, the top 1% as general kelly said. they don't need to make up fake news about what we do. they can go back to their own people and say this is the land
of the free, the home of the brave. this is how they treat their soldiers, those that are willing to sacrifice their lives. it's really upsetting. >> it's an important conversation and we're going to continue it right after a quick break. breaking news tonight on the russia investigation related to the meeting donald trump jr. had and the latest from capitol hill coming up. i am totally blind. and non-24 can throw my days and nights out of sync, keeping me from the things i love to do. talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424.
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more on white house press secretary sarah sanders defending chief of staff john kelly's false claims about a congresswoman. he said kelly should be off limits. >> if you want to go after general kelly, that's up to you, but i think if you want to get into a debate with a four-star marine general, i think that's something highly inappropriate. >> speaking of generals being off limits, president trump criticized generals repeatedly on twitter in the past on bianna, we'll start with you, you were born in russia, a place where questioning authority could get you in trouble. now a suggestion that it shouldn't be done here in the united states. of course, questioning generals, questioning anybody is what american society is all about. >> that's absolutely right.
it was an unfortunate thing for sarah huckabee sanders to say. having said that, it doesn't come across as a talking point. a lot of times she goes up to the podium and reads from something that's clearly scripted and discussed prior to coming out. it looked like that was sort of stream of consciousness. it just came out of her mouth and you see she's already responded and walked it back. while it was highly inappropriate and clearly that's not what this country is about, i wouldn't read too much into it because in the past, as you know, this administration typically doubles down on statements that they make and %-p. they don't walk a lot back. the fact they walked this back tells you something. michael sheer, on the subject of saying things that were unnecessary, perhaps, today you have a byline on an article where you guys
interviewed frederica wilson, and she says, quote, the white house itself is full of white supremacists. this after she suggested the phrase empty barrel was somehow racist. we called her to see if she stood by this comment about the white house being full of white supremacists, they didn't get back to us yet. she is suggesting race is a factor in this dispute? >> she is. as are several other folks that we talked to for that story. look, i think one of the things that is sort of so sad about this tale is that it's a story that has compounded itself from the beginning over and over again. there were moments that everybody could have stopped this, right? after the president was assailed for his initial comments not -- in the call, he went to the cabinet room, made comments where he attacked and denied that he had said it. at that moment had he decided to say let's put this aside, all of america grieves with this family, that might have been the end of it. congresswoman wilson later could
have said i'm not going to go on television and keep pushing this, but she chose to and kelly came out and he could have chosen not to be as angry, in attack mode as he was. each time there was an opportunity for this to end, and i think what you see tonight, with some of these comments about this being a race issue, i mean, it seems like it's determined to keep all of this going. and i talked to somebody at the white house just before coming on tonight who said, look, i'm just speechless to understand how this all got to this point from a moment when a family was really grieving over the loss of a loved one. >> that's a fair question. bakari, could the congresswoman take this as an opportunity to maybe de-escalate? >> i think that all of us need to take this as a moment to deescalate to be honest with you. i think the focus needs to be on these four families, but we can't forget how we got here. i think that the president of
the united states, for 12 days, did not call these families. he was asked about it. and the first person he drug into this discussion was that of the name of barack obama. frederica wilson heard a conversation and relayed the exact fact of that conversation, the president of the united states and chief of staff lied. to this conversation about race, this is a conversation which most of the panelists are going to have some chagrin because it's a fact our country has yet to deal with. she's actually correct. the fact is the president of the united states finds these individuals which are for him low-hanging fruit and he attacks them, jamele hill, for example, congresswoman wilson, for example. what you don't see is the president of the united states attacking at the forefront. collin kaepernick is someone else. you don't see the president of
the united states attack ing figures that look like him with the same voracity. the president of the united states has attacked this congresswoman, jamele hill and colin kaepernick with more voracity and more vigor than white supremacists. >> i'm having a hard time handling this conversation. this congresswoman jumped the shark. >> i'm not surprised. >> she went way past -- donald trump has taken on people that look just like him. carly fiorina, megyn kelly. 16 guys in a republican primary. to make this a racial issue, the whole country is looking up and they're saying what is happening that people like us on this panel are talking about this. because here's the thing, the president tried to say something from his heart. inartfully. it must be impossible to do. and then kelly, who lost his son said, guys this is what we tried to do. we have the congresswoman running around with a hat on calling herself a rock star saying it's white supremacy. it's completely out of hand. could it have been done better?
sure. but at this point, let's put it all aside. every time you say let's focus on the four guys that died, then you go on to attack that everyone is racist and wrong. it could have been done better, it wasn't, and let's move on. cut it out with frederica wilson. she's just not relative to this moment. >> the fact that you can form late your mouth to have such disdain for someone who is an elected official in this country who happens to be an african-american woman -- >> that's america. >> it underscores the premise of what i'm talking about. the fact you have no respect for this woman -- >> the president was elected and you don't respect him. so what. i mean, we're supposed to question people in authority. >> no, no, no. no, listen. the fact of the matter is, the president of the united states, donald trump, no, he has a lot to earn from many of us who don't look like him. but i do respect the office and i will always uplift the office of the president of the united states, never forget that. >> okay, i uplift the office of a congresswoman but when she's
acting like someone who's not respectful, i call her on it. she doesn't look like me, so i don't understand how she can act so disrespectful -- >> tell me her lie, ed. >> it's much worse than lying. can i finish? it's much worse than lying. it's taking a part of the speech, part of a conversation and going out in public and demagoguing it. it's much worse than lying. it's called exploiting a family that is suffering. >> please tell me why the president of the united states can lie and why the chief of staff of the united states of america can lie? >> he didn't lie. >> he did lie, ed. what are we talking about? >> you're talking about -- >> he said that he did not -- the president of the united states said simply, the fact is he said he did not say that that young man knew when he was getting into. that's what he said. >> no, what he said -- >> that is a lie. the chief of staff of the united
states of america said simply that this woman went down and took credit for $20 million and was lambasted him and was talking about herself. >> you can hang your hat on things like that and pretend that's what the truth is. the truth is the president tried to do something nice and it was misconstrued and kelly tried to clarify it and now you call it racist and offensive and you're dividing america instead of bringing us together. you're the problem, and frederica wilson. that's what's going on. >> with all due respect, i will go to my death being the problem of this country if i continue to speak the truth. you can say i'm the problem, but i will continue to speak the truth. you know who else spoke the truth? frederica wilson. >> i did. so did i. >> you know who else spoke the truth? these four individuals who died and gave their lives so we have the freedom -- >> go back to them and segue to attacking people. >> what's crazy about this, i'm not attacking you, ed, but i'm
calling you out for what you are, which is an artist who does not tell the truth. and what we have are four people who died and we need to know why they died. >> i agree. how is this furthering that? >> six months ago you were out here wearing benghazi t-shirt. >> how is grand standing helping that. >> how is she grand standing by telling the truth, ed? >> how is this making us make progress? the four, the deaths aren't related to what you think about somebody being racist. >> we will continue -- >> you know what's the most amazing thing. ed, i love you with all my heart and i will continue to tell the truth. >> we'll leave with the the love and also the promise that we will continue to seek answers on what did happen to these four soldiers who died in niger. thank you so much everyone. i do appreciate it. we do have breaking news on the ambush at the center of this controversy. you will recall, four u.s.
soldiers were killed in the attack in niger, including la david johnson. four officials familiar with the investigation tell cnn johnson's remains were found a mile from the central location of the ambush. the pentagon is looking at how and when johnson got separated from the 12-member team. his body was found 48 hours after they discovered he was missing, after the attack. up next, breaking news on the russia investigation. it involves that meeting that donald trump jr. had at trump tower during the campaign, the details in just a moment. when only the best will do... one of a kind tempur-pedic delivers. only tempur material precisely conforms to your weight, shape and temperature. it provides up to twice as much pressure relieving power, so you won't toss and turn. and tempur-pedic is the best at minimizing motion transfer from your partner, so you won't be disturbed during the night. you'll wake up, feeling like a champion. only the best carry tempur-pedic. find an exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com finding the best hotel price is whoooo.
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break bread, share our day and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. a busy friday night. let's go to the latest in the russia investigation. new reporting related to the trump tower meeting that donald trump jr. had with russians. manu raju on capitol hill.
this trump tower meeting, what have you learned? >> reporter: that's right. the senate intelligence committee interviewed several of the russians who attended the june 26th meeting with donald trump jr., paul manafort and jared kushner. that has come into focus largely because what we know about that meeting, ahead of time donald trump jr. was promised dirt on the clinton campaign from the russians, and he was told that the russian government wanted his father to win the presidency. now, we've learned for the first time that several of the russians at that meeting have spoken to investigators on capitol hill. the chairman of the committee, richard burr has confirmed, in fact, that they've spoken to several of them. he would not disclose to us who these people were he met with, but we know there were four russians at this meeting, including natalia veselnitskaya, a russia lawyer. a
russian-american lobbyist, as well as a russian translator, as well as a russian who was tied to an oligarch in that country. john, that is key area of focus for this investigation because they're trying to figure out whether or not there's any improper coordination, improper context, collusion between anyone in the trump campaign world as well as the russians. that's something they do not have an agreement on quite yet but a sign they're moving closer to getting the information they want by having these key interviews. >> from what i understand, donald trump jr. has yet be interviewed by this committee, correct? >> that is correct, and the question is which -- they're burr made it clear they wanted to bring in everyone else in the room before bringing in donald trump jr. they're closer to bringing trump junior in. in the same committee there's an effort to bring him in publicly. i'm told that could happen as soon as this month, even though
that is not yet been settled yet the republican chairman of the committee, chuck grassley told me, bringing in donald trump jr. publically may be unavoidable at this point. so donald trump jr.'s time under the spotlight on capitol hill far from over. >> fascinating if it happens. thanks so much. joining me is a congressman from california. a this news that we're reporting that the senate intel committee has spoken to several russians who were in the meeting with donald trump jr. how significant is that? has your committee been in touch with any of these folks? >> good evening, john. it's highly significant to the question of whether any u.s. persons worked with the russians. it's not disputed. there's been no evidence to counter the proposition that russia attacked our elections. that's settled. the key question now is who on the campaign worked with the russians. this meeting as you know, john, shows an eagerness and willingness to work with
russians. after all, the title of the e-mail chain with jared kushner and paul manafort was dirt on clinton. we are seeking to interview every person who was in that meeting. we have not been able to with the exception of jared kushner just yet. >> if you did have a chance to ask these russians any questions, what would those questions be? >> sure. i would want to know what their relationship was to vladimir putin, what their relationship was or continued to be with the fsb and the svr and the gru. the russian intelligence services. also, john, if you take a step back and think about the context of this meeting, it's during june of a presidential election. how did they secure a meeting with a presidential campaign. they said it was about russian adoptions. no one buys that the meeting was about russia adoptions or that a presidential campaign would be willing to work with them. you're going to be comparing stories to look for inconsistencies. what was the prologue before
this meeting and the epilogue after? what set up the meeting and what was the follow-up because it's hard to imagine this was just a one off. >> chairman richard burr says they're sequencing the timing of the interviews with everyone else before they get to donald trump jr. help us understand what that means. >> that's a classic bottom-up investigation. i wish we were doing that in the house investigation. you want to start with the outside, they call them satellite witnesses, and get closer and closer to the center, so that way when you confront the individual in the center of the investigation, you have the facts from everyone on the outside. you're looking for inconsistencies, you're looking to see if the stories match up. you don't want to go early at a witness without all the document production. we did that with jared kushner. we brought him in early. he didn't turn over almost any documents to us, and he decided on his own that he wanted to end the interview two hours into it. that is not how you would conduct an investigation. what the senate is doing is
encouraging. because we do need a serious investigation into this. how important is president trump's involvement in it? we're talking about the the meeting in june 2016. he allegedly didn't know about the meeting beforehand, but now there are questions about did he help craft the statement after the "new york times" was reporting about it? >> the key is understanding then candidate donald trump. if you believe donald trump dictated what the statement would be after the meeting -- it's hard to believe that he didn't know about the meeting just a few floors below that occurred at the time. that is something that we want to seek to understand because, again, it shows and puts it in context. it's also the same year donald trump is seeking to do business in russia where felix sater is saying we can engineer this to elect our boy, donald trump.
so understanding his knowledge and their ip tent is essentially. >> thanks so much for being with us. >> my pleasure, john. up next, it's been a week full of half truths from the white house, but questions about the president's relationship with facts stretch back long before he moved to 1600 pennsylvania avenue. kyle: mom! mom! kyle, we talked about this. there's no monsters. but you said they'd be watching us all the time. no, no. no, honey, we meant that progressive would be protecting us 24/7. we just bundled home and auto and saved money. that's nothing to be afraid of. -but -- -good night, kyle. [ switch clicks, door closes ] ♪ i told you i was just checking the wiring in here, kyle. he's never like this. i think something's going on at school. -[ sighs ] -he's not engaging. i think something's going on at school. if yand constipation,ling and you're overwhelmed by everything you've tried-- all those laxatives, daily probiotics, endless fiber-- it could be wearing on you. tell your doctor what you've tried, and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives.
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it has been a truth challenged ten days for the white house. just a few examples of the mistruths coming from the walls, the president incorrectly said once again that the united states is the highest taxed nation in the world. it is not. he suggested a link between what he called radical islamic terror
and incorrectly said a fema director gave him an a plus for his hurricane relief efforts but in realities he made those comments before maria struck puerto rico. so the president's loose relationship with the facts started well before he moved into the white house. here's cnn's gloria borger. >> reporter: from crowd sizes on day one. >> we had a massive amount of people. it went all the way back to the washington monument. >> reporter: to his party just this week. >> the republican party is very, very unified. >> reporter: but trump's problems with accuracy go back decades to the building and selling of trump tower where barbara reyes managed the construction. >> he planted that princess di was looking for an apartment in trump tower. >> that didn't happen? >> no. but it made the papers.
>> so veracity didn't matter? it was just about getting the buzz out there? did you guys laugh at it? >> yeah, because there was nothing so terrible about it. it was kind of like puffing, exaggerating. >> coauthor of trump's art of the deal has a name of this. >> i came up with this phrase, truthful hyperbole. i can say something i sold for $2 million i can say i sold it for 10 million dollar. the problem is that there is no such thing. the truth is the truth. they don't go together. >> reporter: and they didn't go together during the troubled opening of trump's taj mahal casino in 1990 when some of the slots didn't work. >> when the casino control commission went down there on opening day to check out that all the things had been done,
many things hadn't been done. they shut down a third of the slots. >> slots that were critical to the casino's success. >> the slots are the prime revenue of the casino. to shut down a third on opening day was humiliating and financially disastrous and it was only done because he doesn't have an organization in-depth. >> but that wasn't the story trump told. >> something could go bad like the opening of the taj, and he would say it's because we had so much business here that this happened, not that the systems broke down, not that we didn't know what we were doing. we had so much business it broke down. truly he would lie about. >> and he did. >> what about the slot machine thing where they went down for a while? >> the slots were so hot. again, nobody's seen people play the hard and that fast. >> it blew out the slots? >> they were virtually on fire. >> donald is so wrapped up in
hyperbole that it's almost constant lies. weather whether it's the littlest things. if you had 2,000 people at an event, he would say there were 5,000 people at an event. >> and he got away with it. >> there's no belief system. if it will work, i will say it. if it stops working, i'll say its opposite and i will not feel any compunction about saying it's opposite because i don't believe anything in the first place. seeing it from his perspective doesn't make a distinction between what's true and what's false. his only distinction is what will work and what will not work. >> what happens when he's challenged with facts? what does he do? >> he has a genius perverse genius for turning any situation into something that is evidence of his brilliance. even if it's not true. >> gloria borger joins me now. along with michael de-antonio,
the author of "the truth the about trump". gloria, let me start with you it's one thing to use hyperbole about a casino, it's another thing to do it when you're president of the united states. and yet, it seems that people around the president and a lot of the president's supporters are willing to accept it. the question is, why? >> we've been trying to find the answer to that for a long time. i think we learned during the campaign the kind of catch phrase became don't take him lit ra literally. that his supporters didn't take him literally but they took him seriously. so they were willing to overlook a lot of the untruths, a lot of the exaggerations because they thought it was in service of a greater goal which was to get donald trump elected or to get his agenda through as is the case now during the presidency. and they believe that it's part of his showmanship which will serve a greater purpose.
>> you know, michael, you know him as well as any biographer. does the president think he's lying when he does this? >> i don't think he believes he is lying. i think he believes he's making his best case. he'll draw from something that is halfway true, something that's completely true, and then something that's a lie, and it all gets kind of mixed up. the problem here, as everyone is pointing out, is that he's now president of the united states. he is held accountable in other wa ways, ways other than he's accustomed, and he's dragging people into this. he's very seductive. what gloria was getting at is this president will pull people in, and then all of a sudden they are part of something they didn't quite understand and way out on a limb where somebody might saw it off. >> it's a great question, gloria. is this contagious?
is his attitude towards the truth contagious? you see general kelly just over the last few days saying things that turned out not to be true over congresswoman wilson. >> i don't think it's contagious so much as people find themselves twisted into knots trying to explain him and rationalize him and making what's untrue seem true. and i think they do that when the president tweets every day or when he comes out and says something that they then have to kind of figure out a way to make it work. and so it strains credulity. and it hurts their own credibility while they're doing it, but they are serving the president. and i think that's one way they can -- they can do it. and i think it's difficult. >> one of the things, the skills, michael, and i think it's a skill in some ways the
president has as a businessman is taking credit for success but not taking the blame for failure. we've seen politicians, michael, try to do this with various levels of success before. is this something president trump is particularly adept? >> i think he's very adept. he's actually often pointed at politicians and called them liars and the worst people on earth. he was doing this before the press became the worst people on earth. he's great at it because he knows how to reinterpret something, a defeat as a victory, or reinterpret a distortion as something accurate. and he's actually succeeded at various times by saying something that ultimately at some point turns out to be true. so i think people around him think maybe this is a game we can win, but i think he's probably more gifted at it than anybody on earth. >> look what he did with the slot machines in atlantic city,
which was a big failure, a disaster, a financial failure. he goes on larry king and says no, it was because we were a success that those machines blew up. so he takes something that's a loss and he figures out a way to turn it into a win for him. >> at a certain point, facts are facts. >> i agree. >> michael, gloria, great to have you with us. thanks so much for your time. >> thanks. >> thank you. a rare look behind the scenes of the white house. intimate, unplanned moments with former first lady michelle obama from the lens of a former white house photographer. anderson speaks to that photographer next. hi. when you clock out, i'll clock in... sensing and automatically adjusting to your every move. there. i can also help with this. does your bed do that? i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store.
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months of the trump administration and nine months to the day since first lady melania trump wore this dress to her husband's inauguration. this morning, she donated it to the smithsonian. she told the audience to her the dress marks one of the many new beginnings for her history in washington. michelle obama is also in the news. her white house photographer is releasing a book of rare photos of the former first lady called
"chasing life." anderson sat down with the photographer and here is that conversation. >> can you describe what a day in the life of a white house photographer is like? >> uh-huh. there's no real typical day. there could be slow days and days that think are going to be slow, but you should be ready to know that things change quickly. >> i imagine it's on the lie. you have to figure out where to be and where security implications for everything. there's got to be a dynamic environment. >> yeah, i learned it's a pretty steep learning curve and i think my time as a photo journalist prepared me for polishing my skillset. >> there are so many intimate moments that you captured in the book. on the back of the book there's a photograph that i understand you didn't love. it's a very intimate photo of
the president and first lady. >> i'm such a perfectionist. i'm very thoughtful and come posed and sometimes i find the scene and wait for something to happen in it and sometimes i wait for something tha real emotional shop. we were setting up for a taping, an outside company was taping a segment. i was just -- they were resetting our camera. so i was there to just document what was happening and i looked at my camera. i had enough to get two graemes and the moment was over. >> ever any moments you didn't take pictures because you felt it was too private? >> there were times when you know that you're in a really special moment and that's when you need to be decisive and you take a breath. if you'-- you're documenting history. >> are there particular photographs that are your favorite? >> yeah, one where she's
surprising a bunch of students in a math room. and they had just performed for her. they did a poem and dance and they thought they were going to be taken out of the white house and she's like, i want to go see them. so i slipped in the room before her because i wanted to get the reaction. and then i walked in and she just said something like, hey, what are you guys doing in here? and everybody just erupted with joy. just like i like seeing all the different emotions of everyone's faces just so raw. >> do you see yourself in the pictures? >> i personally am drawn to the pictures that make you feel something. what that's joy or laughter or love, you know, those are the images that speak so i guess i see myself in that, because that's also an important part of the but those are the images i like to make. i like to see people's reactions. i like to look at the edges of the frame. i like to show people something
they haven't seen before. sometimes that's a step behind. like a picture of mrs. obama waving to the audience at the kennedy center. i shot from the presidential box and i had just about enough time to get two frames before they closed the door. like i said, all of my photo journalism training helped prepare me to be ready for that to capture the moment. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. your time. >> again, the book is called "chasing life, michelle obama," it is available now. stead of pu. you get up to twice as much pressure relieving power, so you won't toss and turn. and tempur-pedic is the best at minimizing motion transfer from your partner. so you won't be disturbed during the night. you'll sleep deeply... and wake up, feeling powerful. only the best carry tempur-pedic. find an exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com
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time now to hand it over to don lemon, cnn tonight sta now. this is cnn tonight. lemon. it's been a week that's felt like a year. you know what? lies will do that to you. the trump administration again engulfed in a controversy entirely of its own making and once again lying about it. turning a call into a gold star family into a spat with that family and a congresswoman. the president's chief of staff laid down a blistering attack of that congresswoman. it sounded really good to a lot of people. and that was the whole point. too bad we learned today with video proof it was video proof it was facts mae