tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN October 21, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
brera. you're looking at live pictures from texas a&m where just a few minutes from now we'll witness a meeting of the most exclusive club in the world. any minute now, all five living former presidents will be on one stage to raise money for hurricane relief. you just saw barbara bush there in the video. president trump will be noticeably absent, but he did record a video message that will play during the concert. >> as we begin to rebuild, some of america's finest public servants are spearheading the one america appeal. through this effort all five living former presidents are playing a tremendous role in helping our fellow citizens recover. to presidents jimmy carter, george h.w. bush, bill clinton, george w. bush and barack obama, melania and i want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance. >> and while we wait, i want to
talk about this remarkable moment. joining us is cnn presidential historian douglas blinkly arink micha michael d'antonio. >> well, it very unusual to have five former presidents together. sometimes you see it at an inauguration or at a funeral, but jimmy carter has been very ill, fighting cancer. he said he's feeling better now and has it under control and bush 41 has been confined to a wheel chair and doesn't do many public appearances. so to see them all there and remind our country about the devastation of hurricanes but also the hero imof tism of the responders and volunteers and the fact we can all pitch in a little money and help puerto rico and help the u.s. virgin islands and texas rebound i think is a very heartening and
positive things. some were democrats, some republicans, but they all come together for what's best for america is a good effort after a bleak week like this. >> is it unusual that trump wouldn't attend an event like this? >> when you think of it, he could have gotten some boos. it otherwise would have been a big footing thing for him to be there. probably in the end the video message and let the five ex-presidents have that evening is for the best. >> hmm. and, michael, just two days ago, as you'll recall, former presidents george w. bush and barack obama delivered thinly veiled attacks on trump, politics under his
administration. is it normal for former presidents to speak out giips the curre -- against the current kma commanders in chief in. >> we know there are occasions when it happens, typically critiques of policy but it is most unusual, i think, to have a republican and a democrat sounding the same notes. and i think what they were talking about was civil society and their joint and shared commitment to a certain way of conducting the presidency. and i think they've both and really probably all the presidents in texas tonight recognize that we're in a different place, that we have a white house that -- go ahead. >> not to interrupt but i want to listen in on this significant moment of the five past living presidents on stage there.
♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner
yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪ you're watching life as the five former presidents join each other on strange, all there united as they raise money for hurricane victims. again, this is a very rare, unusual moment there. but they joined each other on stage in texas and i want to bring in our presidential historians again. as you watch that, douglas, what
went through your mind? >> i recall just how jimmy carter really started a lot of this. not only is he a nobel peace winning prize ex-president but he reached out to gerald ford many years back and here they were rivals against each other in 1976 and they became best friends. jimmy carter gave the eulogy at gerald ford's funeral and we saw when hurricane katrina had hit in 2005, bill clinton and george herbert walker bush, former wivawife -- rivals, went against each other in 1992. they've become very close since then and jokes that bill clinton has become a member of the bush family. there are at times moments that we have states people that can heal the country and these five gentlemen are heros to
americans. they withstood the presidency, they're all very -- public opinion polls have all five of them higher than the sitting president donald trump right now. it a special night in college station, texas, to say i was there when five presidents took the stage. >> yeah, i mean, no matter what your politics are, it's just an incredible moment. douglas, i want to ask you -- actually, we're going to listen in on this. >> please be seated. thank you so much. ♪ if tomorrow all the things were gone i worked for all my life ♪ in i hf i had to start again just my children and my wife ♪ i thank my lucky stars to be
living here today ♪ because the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away ♪ can't take that away, take that away ♪ and i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free ♪ and i won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me ♪ and i'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today ♪ because there ain't no doubt i love this land -- sing it -- god bless the usa ♪ ♪ yeah, oh, oh ♪ from the lakes of minnesota to the hills of tennessee
♪ across the plains of texas and sea to shining sea ♪ from detroit down to houston and new york to l.a. ♪ there's pride in every american heart and it's time we stand and say ♪ i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free ♪ and i won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me ♪ and i'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her till the day ♪ because there ain't no doubt i love this land ♪ god bless the usa
♪ i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free ♪ and i won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me ♪ and i'm happy to stand up next to you ♪ and defend her until the day because there ain't no doubt ♪ i love this land, god bless the usa ♪ [ cheers and applause ] good evening, everyone. we are coming to you live from texas a&m, college station, texas. let me first start by thanking the a&m sending cadets for that
wonderful performance with me. please. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you so very much, cadets. as we continue with our show, i'd officially like to welcome you to the deep from the heart one america concert, benefiting those recovering and rebuilding from the recent devastating storms. tonight is a very special night of hope and unity, one america, united, helping our fellow brothers and sisters. texas, the rest of the country, we are strong. to all those who have been devastated by the recent natural diasto disasters, we say we've got your back. >> five past living presidents there, all united to raise money for those victims. that is lee greenwood who was sending and now emceeing that event as we keep an eye on what is happening down there. you see former president bush,
his wife barbara bush there in the audience. really just a rare, unusual -- i'm sorry, laura bush, i should say, really a rare, significant moment for these five past presidents to come together. and i want to bring in our presidential historians again and just kind of sum up what we're seeing there tonight, the five members there of the most exclusive club of the world. all for a good cause to race money for these hurricane victims. michael. >> well, i was reflects on what douglas had to say about presidents ford and carter, who he's written about and knows their record and their stories very well. these are two men who contested an election fiercely. i actually covered it in new hampshire during the general election and the primaries and i recall how hard they fought. but the dignity and mutual respect that we're seeing here is really remarkable and inspiring. and i think this is something
that these former presidents can give the country. i think it's a dose of good medicine for all of us. and it really is the epitome of patriotism. >> it certainly is. douglas, i want to go to you and ask you about the interview that the "new york times" did with former president jimmy carter. it was really withone of the mo substantive interviews he's done in a long time, it was with him and the former first lady rosaline. in it he tells he wants to work for president trump to help de-escalate tensions with north korea. what do you make of that? >> carter has always been that way. since he's left the white house, he tells whoever is president or secretary of state, use me, i'm here. and they have. you're looking at '41, president bush there had jimmy carter help during his presidency to monitor elections in nicaragua and
panama. jimmy carter went into haiti during bill clinton's presidency to try to de-escalate tension there is. jimmy carter believes in public service. it's not just the carter center attacking guinea worm disease or river blindness or election monitoring. his work with habitat for humanity is just like this event tonight. it's about americans pulling to the in a public sphere to help people. and right now i'm in texas, i teach in houston. a lot of people need habitat for humanity like homes rebuilt. their insurance didn't cover the damage for the hurricanes and carter has become the cymbal s r grabbing a hammer and nail and getting out there. unfortunately president trump has never made that call to him. one would hope president trump would start reaching out to elder states people. in great britain we have house of lords. in the united states, they freelance, these ex-presidents.
but they are walking citadels of walking knowledge and was in of what it like to be president. >> as we all know, jimmy carter has battled cancer. now there he is at this concert joining the four other past living presidents. i'm not sure, michael, if you had a chance to read this interview he did with maureen dowd of the "new york times." what's truly fascinating and what caught my attention was when it came to president trump, he was actually pretty forgiving, pretty understanding. almost came to his defense in a way. and you contrast that with the other two speeches we've heard from the past presidents, bush and obama just in the last week where they had these sort of thinly veiled criticisms of president trump and really the politics under his administration. >> well, one of the remarkable things about president carter is his generosity of spirit. it's always been there. and i also think that he is so
deeply committed to his christian faith and has lived it so thoroughly that none of this surprises me. it's so consistent with his character, his ideals and his commitment to peace and to the world. when we talk about the great expertise that these presidents have, their experiences, 32 of the last 40 years, the presidency, that's a remarkable thing. and i think they each bring goodwill with them wherever they go in the world. ironically bill clinton i would say is second to president carter in the example he's set in his post-presidency and yet he came in for such a hard time during the campaign. the clinton foundation was somehow turned into this negative when really it's one of
the great forces for good in the world. so you have all this talent, you have all this expertise and all the goodwill that's stored up on both sides of the political divide and around the world. it's a considerable resource. and if president trump could bring himself to deploy it, imagine what he could accomplish. >> all right, michael d'antonio, douglas brinkley, thank you so. >> coming up, trump said he plans to release the last classified files on the j.f.k. assassination. what might be in there and will it put those kennedy conspiracy theories to rest? (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a swing set standoff.
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assassination of john f. kennedy has haunted americans. president trump intends to allow the release of more than 3,000 classified documents related to the kennedy assassination. this decision comes just days before a deadline set by congress back in 1992 in the wake of oliver stone's film "j.f.k." >> there are hundreds of documents being held by the government. all these documents are yours, the people's documents, you paid for it. but because the government thinks you might be too disturbed to face the reality or you might lynch those involved, you cannot see these documents for another 75 years. >> and back with me now, presidential historian douglas brinkley, author of "j.f.k., a
vision for america," published in celebration of the centennial of j.f.k.'s birth. do you believe these documents will reveal any new information in j.f.k.'s death? >> i don't think they're going to reveal any big news, look there was a second or third gun's man, but there are serious academic scholars and this is a trove of new material from the fbi and cia. when we talk about 3,000 files, each file is going to be very large and we're going to have cia profiling done for the first time of lee harvey oswald, we're going to find out perhaps what he was doing in mexico city at the time. and we're also going to see how the agencies, fbi and cia handled the kennedy assassination. so it is going to be very rich for scholars. but i don't think it's going to
change the main narrative of the assassination. >> and do you have any sort of contacts in regards to why -- context as to why there was this deadline set, why they've been so tightly held up until now? >> well, because the warren commission itself was done quite quickly. lyndon johnson got earl warren to head it and had an ace panel determine what happened and now ever since the warren commission report has come out, it's just fed conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. but oliver stone's movie was a big deal when it came out and congress thought, you know what, let's just kick it down the road 25 years, we don't have to worry about it. well, lo and behold, dronald trump said before the deadline that's looming, we are going to get to see all these documents.
i think he did the right thing. i'm very interested in looking at these documents this week. >> he did have a caveat, doug. he said he'll release them subject to the receipt of further information. what should we make of that? >> that a lot of these documents have parts that may be redacted or excised out for security reasons. it's hard for me to imagine what those could be this many decades later, but there may be a couple of spots where it's blanked out and it will just conspiracy theories, what are they covering up on that page? >> do you think donald trump is releasing these files as a play to his base? >> i do think so. you know, he floated the conspiracy in the campaign that ted cruz, senator of texas -- >> or his father.
>> yeah, the father. it was the cruz family. so he's dabbled in these conspiracy theories. but, look, he had a deadline looming, he had to make a yes or no decision and i think he went with transparency, did the right thing and certainly it appeals to that alex jones, info war kind of people who don't trust the federal government and want everything released thinking that there's smoking guns everywhere. >> one thing is for sure, there is this enduring fascination with his life and his death and the circumstances surrounding it. douglas brinkley, thank you given. >> thanks. >> and as we go to break, let's listen in as singer songwriter robert earl keen performs at the hurricane relief concert.
that was la david johnson's wife you saw kissing his casket, now widow, six months pregnant with two little children we see in the video. it is the burial ceremony and final resting place for the army sergeant. he was 25 years old when his unit was ambushed by ice yes, sir -- isis in niger. he wasn't the only one, there were three other service members. here's pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> sergeant ladavid johnson was find nearly a mile away. they all caution this is the early picture and the investigation continues. the pentagon is still looking at
the exact circumstances of how he became separated from his unit. the entire team, led by green berets, has been interviewed about when they last saw johnson. the u.s. team had stopped in a town on the niger/mali border to pick up supplies, including food and water and then they met with village elders. investigators believe the ambush may have begun when the u.s. soldiers were back in their vehicles, possibly even driving. as those killed are laid to rest, defense secretary james mattis on capitol hill briefed senator john mccain one day after he threatened subpoenas if the pentagon doesn't start telling congress what it knows. >> i felt that we were not getting a sufficient amount of information, and we are clearing a lot of that up now.
>> reporter: mattis refusing to publicly comment why the fbi is now involved in gathering intelligence on the suspected isis militant that ambushed the u.s. forces. >> the fbi would have jurisdiction to investigate and bring back the perpetrators tos u.s. if it can be done. >> reporter: the pressure is mounting for a public explanation. what did happen to sergeant johnson? >> he was abandoned for two days, for 48 hours. why? why didn't they pick him up and put him on their shoulders like they did the other fallen comrades and put him on a helicopter and take him to safety? he could have still been alive. >> reporter: but mattis is fiercely adamant the troops on the ground did everything they could. >> having seen some of the news reports, the u.s. military does not leave its troops behind and i would just ask you that you not question the action of the troops caught in the firefight
and question whether or not they did everything they could in order to bring everyone out at once. >> reporter: and taking pains to point out all troops face risk. top brass pushing back hard. >> i'll tell you categorically that from the moment of contact no one is left behind, either u.s., our partner nigerian forces and french forces were on the ground actively searching for the soldier. >> in the first 48 hours when johnson was still missing, cnn was one of the news organizations that agreed not to report an active search was under way for him because no news organization that is responsible would interfere with an active operation in it was even possible a soldier was still alive out there. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> our thanks to barbara starr. we will be right back. hey, it's me, your dry skin. i'm craving something we're missing.
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cnn has learned that former fox news host bill o'reilly made a whopping $32 million dollar sexual harassment settlement in january. the "new york times" also reporting fox re-signed o'reilly to a $25 million a year contract just one month after that confidential settlement. o'reilly released a statement today through a spokesman saying, quote, in its latest diatribe against bill o'reilly, the "times" printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false and to keep him from competing in the marketplace. brian stelter has the very latest. >> reporter: $32 million. it is a staggering sum of money. the amount of money that bill o'reilly paid to a long-time legal analyst on fox news when
weal came forward of allegations of sexual harassment and or misconduct. now, she agreed to the $32 million payout and disavowed the claims she made against o'reilly. all of this happened privately back in january, but the timeline here is remarkable because just a couple of weeks after the settlement, the $32 million settlement, fox news went ahead and renewed bill o'reilly's contract. he was making about $1 $25 million a year at fox. back in april "the new york times" reported on other settlements by o'reilly to other women accusing him of harassment. now those settlements were smaller sums of money but the revelations about them caused advertisers to flee from his show and caused fox news to cancel his show, all of that happening a few weeks back in april. but now in the wake of the
harvey weinstein scandal, the "new york times" has published this new story about this $32 million settle money and that price tag is astonishing to a lot of people. harvey weinstein reportedly paid accusers $50,000, $100,000, bill o'reilly had paid small sums of money to other accusers, but the idea he was willing to pay $32 million to asingle single accus shocking and causes people to wonder why they would have re-signed him. they say they didn't know. it knew that the sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him but was informed he had settled the matter personally and the terms were confidential and not
disclosed to the company. two big questions moving forward for docfox -- will this affect ongoing u.s. department of justice investigation going on against fox news. roger ales had his own investigation. that's one issue for the murdochs. the other big issue is involving the sky deal, this ongoing attempt to buy up the rest of the british satellite network sky the murdochs have had a hard time getting the deal through because of scandals back in the united states. and it would seem this latest revelation about bill o'reilly will only complicate matters even more for the sky deal. brian stelter cnn news.
>> and coming up, the second lady? and let listen in to the gatlin brothers as they perform at the natural disaster benefit. ♪ ♪ and checking your score won't hurt your credit. oh! i'm so proud of you. well thank you. free at at discover.com/creditscorecard, even if you're not a customer. the unpredictability of a flaree may weigh on your mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go,
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. will the real first lady first please stand up? melania trump making an appearance to donate her inaugural gown after a bizarre conspiracy theory that had the internet abuzz. have you heard about this? it's alleged on occasion that the first lady we think we see is actually a body double. here to clear this all up for us is white house reporter kate bennett. kate, how did this all start? where did this come from? >> it's like one of those classic conspiracy theories that takes off on the internet. there's a gentleman who had several thousand dollars who put two pictures up and said this isn't the same person, it can't be. it is the same person. eventually all these conspiracy theories came up. the white house completely denied it.
melania's spokesperson said it was a ridiculous story. we find ourselves consumed with a ridiculous nonstory when we could be talking about the work the first lady is doing to help the train backing to the station. and helping to fuel the story is she happens to have a secret service age ant who looks a lot like her. >> her face does look like her. so as the conspiracy theory grew, people were finding pictures of this agent in the background and saying okay, that's the double. the secret service does not use body double. the agent was not chosen because she looks like her. the secret service doesn't do that. so this is again another sort of component to this conspiracy theory. milania trump has a little
bit -- maybe not to blame for this -- but people don't know her that well, even nine months into her husband had's presidency. she's a little more mysterious than past first ladies of recent history. so probably becomes a little bit easier for the conspiracy theories to take off. >> and on friday she took part in the century-old frudition of donating her inaugural gown to the smithsonian. but people were refusing to dress her because of her husband's policy. has that relationship with the fashion world changed because it shows she's experienced a surge in popularity over that last several months. >> there are designers who say they won't dress her. this week victoria beckham came forward and said she would happily dress her. he designed her inaugural dress
and helps her with styling. she buy as lot of her clothes off the rack. so designers saying i won't dress her isn't as applicable as it was with michelle obumau or laura bush who had had custom-made clothes. it's an nrinteresting fact. michael kors campaigns for hillary clinton. but she buys it out the store. >> off the rack. that's interesting. thanks for clearing up the conspiracy theory. coming up we're traveling to an ancient egyptian city lost for years beneath the mediterranean sea. brand new the wonder lists up next. that's right. netflix on us.
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side highway. a poignant back drop for relic hunters like erick. >> sometimes you come to the surface on a calm day and you can see the people riding bikes and hear their voices and see all those buildings, 6 million peepl and yet here on the bottom is another city. same city that disappeared. and it makes you wonder do they think about it ever? do they wonder? welcome to thonas nocleon. if not for the murk, looters would have picked it clean long ago.
fisherman have been dropping nets here for years, clueless to the columns, crackry and bones and ghosts just 20 feet below. we float in the belly of a ship that sailed the nile centuries before cleopatra took her own life. >> that is just fascinating. we see the people and the buildings and then to think that existed and now it's under the ocean. >> when you hold a plate that hasn't been touched since a woman set the table 1300 years ago and the family thought their city was forever. it was a huge -- the second largest city after cairo and alexander the great built alexandria to replace this city. >> my god. and it is an eery reminder of how vulnerable our cities are. >> exactly. so there's a lot going on on
that coast of egypt. the political unrest but what's happening to nature. the nile delta is getting saltier as the sea levels creep up and that's farmland that feeds 40 million people. it's the bread basket and it threatens these precious antiquities. cat combs full of priceless artifacts flooding more frequently. but if we don't study history, we're doomed to repeat it. so you got to prepare. >> and just to be down there touching those old artifacts. >> really cool. >> insane. you were also covering the breaking news up in puerto rico. we know president trump has said his administration's efforts are a 10 out of 10. >> right. >> but when you go talk to people on the ground there it
seems as though perhaps they don't agree with the president. there's a wide range of opinions given the reality of what's going on on the ground. >> our president came up as a real estate salesman. and it would be tough. you wouldn't rate that building as a 10 out of 10. but the good news is within the last few days the government has finally understood the need. so the last week everybody down there trying to hook up power lines and cell towers saying we're finally seeing more guardsman, more air. >> one month after the hurricane hit. and a new episode of "the wonder list" airs next here on cnn. that does it for me. i'm pamela brown and we leave you performing soulman at a hurricane relief contest.
♪ soul man soul man soul man oh no soul man ♪ ♪ ♪ it was the envy of the world, a shimmering city of gods and pharaohs. teaming with life, energy and grand human plans right until the day the earth moved and it was swallowed by the sea. silky waves held its secrets for over a thousand years until the arrival of a renegade. and what once was lost has