tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 23, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
prairie were deployed to assist in the harvey disaster relief and we are grateful to be of help to our very gracious hosts. we r transnational sdiert, terrorism and cybersecurity. singapore has led early and consistent support to the defeat isis coalition. we were one of the first countries to participate and are still the only asian country to have contributed both military assets and personnel and as i told president trump when we met, singapore will extend our existing deployment to the operation into 2018 for an additional year. president trump and i naturally discussed the situation on the korean peninsula. we strongly oppose the nuclearization of the korean peninsula as it affects the peace and stability of the region, and like the u.s., we condemn the dpr case dangerous provocations. these pose a serious threat to
regional and international peace and stability. i shared with president trump what singapore has done to pressure and to isolate the dprk going beyond u.n. security council resolutions, but there's no quick and easy solution. pressure is necessary, but so is dialogue. the u.s. will need to work with others including china south korea, japan and russia to resolve the issue. president trump will be visiting china in a few weeks' time as part of his first visit to asia. singapore like many other countries, watch your relationship with china very closely. it's the most important bilateral relationship in the world. china is the u.s.' third garjest export market for goods and services and for agricultural exports it's the second largest for cotton as well as farming machinery, and i am quite sure as the incomes go up they will buy more and more good american
beef. i express my hope that the u.s. will be able to maintain a good and constructive relationship with china engaging each other at the highest levels and building trust and establishing institutional mechanisms. good u.s.-china relations will benefit the region and the world. it will enable countries in the asia pacific including america and china themselves to enjoy regional stability, peace and prosperity. finally, i look forward to seeing president trump again in vietnam and the philippines next month to attend the a.p.e.c. and asean and east asia summit meetings. his presence in asia will mean a lot to america -- to america's many friends and allies in the region and it will open doors and develop markets for u.s. exporters and investors. although the president is not visiting singapore this time around i have invited him to visit singapore at the earliest opportunity and i am very glad that he has accepted. singapore will be the asean's
chair next year and we hope it strengthen ties with the united states and further asean cooperation. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, everybody. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> thank you. >> can you tell the public what happened in niger? >> any questions on the ambush? well, you hear reporters shouting questions about niger. the president and the visiting prime minister of singapore walking back upstairs over towards the oval office. they're in the oval office right now, third time today, the president was shouted a question by some journalists and didn't want to speak about the situation in niger where four u.s. troops were killed a little bit more than two weeks ago. there were some strong words from the prime minister, prime minister lee of singapore towards the president urging him to make sure that the u.s.-china relationship remains strong. also urging the president to
continue dialogue to deal with the situation in north korea. the prime minister saying there's no quick and easy solution. there has to be a constructive relationship with china which could play a very significant role. gloria, let's start with you. the president clearly has had opportunities to clarify his position on niger, to explain to the american public what those u.s. troops were doing there where four u.s. troops were killed and the condolence call to the gold star widow of la david johnson. he has refused to do so so far. >> he has other than his tweet this morning and i think while the prime minister didn't want to take questions, i think that probably worked out pretty well for the president. i think congress led by john mccain is going to get some answers on what happened in niger. there will be a briefing, a closed-door briefing later this week so that members of the
armed services committee can hear from the defense department exactly what went down and perhaps then maybe myeshia johnson will get answers after that, but this is something, quite honestly, the president has wanot engaged on and the secretary of defense has said wait, wait, although he did meet with john mccain late last week in a closed-door meeting and we don't know what came of that. >> i want to go to jim acosta over there at the white house. what was your reaction, the president silent so far with three opportunities today to speak out, explain the u.s. policy towards niger and explain the condolence call, refusing at least so far today to do so? i think a pretty stark contrast between today where the white house and the president could not stop talking about what happened in niger and this back and forth with the congresswoman
fr freddericka wilson. the president responded via tweet after that and of course, was there a cascade of criticism that president the president should just let this go. perhaps, we are seeing the beginnings of that, but as you know, wolf, just as soon as this white house steers its message back on track, it veers off course again and it's only a matter of time. >> i want to bring in dana to this, as well. the president reacting to the interview of the gold star video. i had a very constructive conversation with the widow of la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation. he's getting into a public dispute with a 24-year-old widow with two little kids. she's pregnant now with a third child and all of a sudden he's getting into this back and forth with her. >> look, it's one thing for him to get into a political dispute with a politician which is what
congresswoman fredericka wilson is. she's in the arena. the subject they're talking about is something of the utmost sensitivity and emotion and everything, the worst thing you can possibly imagine particularly for a pregnant woman with two small children, but so it's one thing for the president to do this with fredericka wilson and another thing with her, but if i may, i think rightly so mentioned that the president didn't take questions about this subject, but i think what we heard and saw in the rose garden is a great example of how the president responds to a gold star widow it overshadows something that was really, i think, a good message for trump in the rose garden. there he was, standing with the prime minister of singapore who was tripping over himself to push the sort of best trump buttons that he could, i thought, in a very deft way, on trade. look, the u.s. exports all of these wonderful things to
singapore and by the way, also to china. in a very, i thought, sort of clever way reminding the president that china isn't just some country that takes and consumes american goods. that is what the president ran on and giving the working-class voters. you see? here i am standing with the leader from asia and they're talking about how much they love our goods. this is trump's america and instead it trumps the discussion of this widow. >> i don't think the word lecturing would be appropriate, but telling the president in no uncertain terms in north korea and there is no quick and easy solution, you have to have dialogue. >> that's basically telling the president, you know what? i'm the prime minister of singapore. i live in that part of the world, you know? calm things down. do some diplomacy. >> we need america. we need the leader of the free
world at the table as you figure out what's going on with north korea, as you figure out the rise of china, and you can see him trying to thread that needle between china and the u.s. and obviously praising the u.s. and talking about iphones and new balance sneakers and talking about golf clubs and all of the things that singaporeans are interested in. you know, to dana's point, this idea of the president constantly overshadowing any message, right? at this point you would think the republican party would want to be focused on not only what happened today, but the budget. it was passed as well as tax reform, right? but this president is very undisciplined. he goes off on any number of tangents and he seems to get energy from fight, whether it's john mccain, nfl, frederica wilson and now this poor grieving widow who i think is 24 years old and just lost her
husband, buried him this weekend and frederica wilson was obviously at that service. it was such a horrible look, i think for the president and the president saying he was, in fact, empathetic in that call, but proving day by day that he has a problem being empathetic. >> mark? >> i think you can tie these threads together by just showing can you imagine the trump preceden presidency if every day was like this. we have a strong trading partner in singapore. we're talking about the stabilization of relations in that part of the country. you talk about president trump not being able to step back and say i'm sorry. imagine if he could do that. can you imagine if twitter was never invented and would we be in this situation with president trump day in and day out? i would suggest yes, but not nearly to the propensity that we've seen it so far. my hope is now as an person that he would take a step back and
not engage anymore. do not engage anymore. perhaps try to have a phone call privately, quietly with this widow as well as with the families of the three other soldiers who were killed over there who seem to be forgotten in all of this. i don't think he'll do that. >> yeah. okay. everybody stand by. there's a lot more going on. we'll switch gears. bill o'reilly's eye-popping multimillion settlement to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment. there are new details coming in and executives apparently knew about it and re-signed him at fox anyway. how could this impact the federal government and the justice department's investigation into fox news. the answers and more when our coverage continues.
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thank you so much for joining me. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke bolduan. a stunning rebuke from the commander in chief from the widow of a fallen soldier. myeshia johnson said they did not allow her to see her husband's body before she buried him and she doesn't even know if he was inside the casket and that president trump's words to her only made her cry more. she spoke for the first time publicly to "good morning america". >> dare tell me that he's in a severe wrap like i won't be able to see him. i wanted to see him so i know that was my husband. i won't know nothing. i know my husband's body from head to toe and they won't let me see anything. i don't know what's in that box. it could be empty, for all i know, but i need -- i need to see my husband. i haven't seen him since he came home. i heard him stumbling on trying
to remember my husband's name, and that will hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? and that is what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier. >> instead of any answers to what happened in the niger ambush earlier this month and why sergeant johnson's body was separated from the other troops and left behind for 48 hour, the president is continuing his feud
with this gold-star family tweeting shortly after mrs. johnson's interview aired, quote, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation. we have a lot to discuss here. joining me now is richard simeon. he's a former army casualty notification officer.
richard, this is a heartbreaking claim by mrs. johnson especially, you can lend us your insight to this as someone whose job it was to notify family. she didn't get to see her husband's body. can you give us an idea of the protocol, why she would have been told she couldn't? >> yes, ma'am, when it comes to that it depends on what area of the nation you're in because when they get the notifications if someone was close to dover where it takes place, it's called a dignified transfer, they have the opportunity to go out there in the military pays for it for someone else to come out with them to see a dignified transfer. from there i can't speak about what happens because it's situation pending. it depends on -- the situation dictates what they end up doing because it might be a closed casket situation or it might end up being something where people could see the body, but it
really depends on what kind of casualty you're talking about. >> so it depends on the casualty. it also depends on the point of the process. so for instance, if she was at dover versus welcoming the body home in miami, then there would be a different protocol perhaps for where she would be able to see which is arguably a very important thing to see her husband's remains. >> i understand. and i do know in some cases, too, especially when it's situations and there are head wraps on them and people do want to see their loved ones and as far as i know when people have had that request they've been fulfilled and it's heartbreaking to see it's not being fulfilled in this case, but as far as i know when people want to see it they get to see it even though they probably don't want to see it. >> we don't know the reason, but clearly this is something that weighs so much on her mind. okay. the calls from the president and
from senior military officials, i imagine that these are always very difficult, but when you look at this back and forth that's going on and at one point it was between president trump and the congresswoman who is a longtime family friend of the johnson family who witnessed the call and now it's the widow, now it's myeshia johnson that he's going toe to toe with taking her on in twitter. what is your take on this? >> i'm not familiar of what's going on in twitter right now. of course sm as a matter of fact, when it xhz comes to the presidents responding to families of soldiers i have to go back to lincoln and the sullivan brothers with fdr, i don't know how the president responded before so this is new to me, and i haven't read anything on twitter so i don't know about that either. >> can you speak, though, i think it is so important and i was looking at just an old manual that is give know to
casualty officers and just some of the things that it stresses which i think would apply if you're a casualty officer and it would apply if you were talking to a gold star family in any regard. it stresses care, compassion, commitment and concern. when you were talking to these family, what was on your mind about how best to treat them? >> well, it comes down to empathy. i thought about how i'd want someone to treat my family if it was me or how would someone treat me if it was my brother or future son or future daughter. it comes down to that, and it was very important to stick to the descript that they gave you and there was a chaplain there with me every time and they're supposed to be there for comfort. i also wanted to send a message and it was really hard not to show emotion and a lot of times i didn't -- stums i did show
emotion, and the chaplain was there to treat people with empathy, respect and dignity. >> because you were trying in that situation, richard, to give them as much information as you could, but also within limitations which is something that we see myeshia struggling with. >> every time a soldier passed away, whether it's overseas in garrison or on the weekend because it happens not just overseas, there's an investigation, and you have to be very careful about what you say before the investigation's complete because you want to have all of the facts straight and sometimes you need some time to sort those facts out. so you have to be very careful what you say. >> richard simeon, thank you very much. really unique insight and we do appreciate it as we have this discussion. thank you. >> no problem. happy to help. so another big headline that we are following is former president jimmy carter offering to go on a peace mission to north korea. carter raised this idea in a recent interview.
he was asked by "the new york times" whether he would consider a diplomatic mission to the regime on behalf of the trump administration and you know what president carter responded? he said i would go, yes. he went on to somewhat defend president trump's feud with the dictator saying well, he might be escalating, but that precedes trump. the united states has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we're not anymore and we're not going to be. russia is coming back and india and china are coming forward. joining us is errol lewis and doug hyde. doug, to you first, can you imagine a situation now that we have heard perhaps there is an opening here on the part of the white house for this, that president carter could help in some sort of role? >> you know, my whole life i've heard that only nixon can go to china. maybe only jimmy carter is the ex-president who can work with donald trump, but it's not just because he said he was interested in doing this, but obviously he's been open in the past and what jimmy carter said that speaks to why he might work
with donald trump and he thinks the media is too tough on donald trump and we know flattering or criticizing how the media criticizes donald trump is music to trump's ears and that's why he's willing to work with jimmy carter. i can imagine if it were a marco rubio or jeb bush saying i'm going to work with jimmy carter, heads would not be turning, they'd be exploding. >> even president trump has been critical of jimmy carter. >> that's right. jimmy carter, actually comes under a lot of criticism even from some of his fellow democrats. the politics of making use of a former statesman like this i think, though, should not be underestimated. everything else aside, and i know that averting war is front and center right now with north korea, but you've got to keep in mind, there's a ton of human rights abuses and there are 80,000 to 100,000 people
languishing in countries according to the united nations. they can change the conversation, can change the dialogue, it is well worth considering. he has done it before. if they structure it right, there's an element of deniablity where the white house can say he was just an envoy and he wasn't speaking for our policy. there's good that could come of it and i am somewhat hopeful here. >> i wonder what you think about the possibility of president trump going to the dmz and you look at the president and all, but one u.s. president recently george h.w. bush and that would be since ronald reagan has visited the dmz. so it's sort of the standard, in a way, we saw president obama do this. we saw president george w. bush do this. the president has seemed open to it and at the same time the white house is saying this, they say, quote, it's not set in stone. it is not at all concerned about the message that trump would be sending if he chose not to
visit. what do you think, doug? should the white house be concerned about him visiting or are things so trick we north korea that maybe he shouldn't go? >> i think going to the dmz is the right message. the problem is what is the message he sends while he's at the dmz or what does he tweet after going to the dmz. as we saw earlier, the event with the prime minister of singapore was fantastic and what happened today? donald trump tweeted something. if he goes to the dmz and presents himself seriously and remains that for the day that's a good and important thing for them to do. >> gentlemen, stick around. we'll have you right back. coming up, president trump to honor a vietnam war medic with the medal of honor. we are going to bring that to you live. the timing of this event is notable because it comes as senator john mccain appears to mock president trump over his military draft deferments during the vietnam war. we'll be discussing that next.
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was diagnosed with bone spurs in his foot according to a doctor. mccain never mentions trump by name in the c-span interview about the vietnam war, but mccain talked about wealthy sons getting deferments and he used the term for a bone spur, while low-income americans were shipped off to war, were drafted. in an interview today mccain tried to clarify his remarks, sort of. >> drafted the lowest income level of america and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. if we're going to ask every american to serve, every american should serve. >> people thought you were talking about -- >> trump. >> mr. trump, because he had a doctor's note that said he had bone spurs. >> i think more than once, yes. >> more than once. chronic bone spurs. >> do you consider him a draft
dodger. >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger as i feel that the system was so wrong that certain americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country. >> errol lewis, doug hyde back with us now. fact check, errol. there was one deferment for the bone spurs, as we understand it. both fetal though at one point on the campaign trail trump could not remember which foot it was and it turns out it was four, and deferments because he was going to school. what do you make of his points? >> very well taken. i am old enough to remember who could serve and who wouldn't serve and who could get an educational deferment. think about who in the 1960s and '70s was likely to able to pay tuition and get deferment and things were not fair.
the burden was not borne equally and listen, we also know there is a lot of political payback here that was more than owed to donald trump after his caustic and insulting comments about john mccain on the campaign trail. whatever has transpired in the past, we know that donald trump appears to be in good health and can play golf every weekend while john mccain can't lift his arms above shoulder level and that says all you need to know. >> doug, what do you think? >> think donald trump is learning, john mccain can be a pain in the you know what. he's earned that. if you go back to the obamacare vote for a few weeks ago, because john mccain voted no he was a hero. john mccain is not a hero because he votes yes on something. he's not a hero because he votes no on something. he's a hero because of the years he spent fighting for our country, being shot down, and spends time in a squalid in
hanoi. >> providing to other prisoners there, providing amazing leadership as they struggled to get through unimaginable conditions. you mentioned golf, errol and the president spent another weekend at one of his golf courses and he's spent more than 75 days of his presidency at one of his golf properties. the administration won't discuss if he golfs and it's hard on a large, expansive golf course to not occasionally be able to see someone. why so secretive? >> well, i mean, thank god the bone spurs didn't stop him from playing, first of all. look, the reality is it is a terrible sort of graphic that you can show americans engaged in real sacrifice, people doing all kinds of different things to try and advance this country, and the president of the united states in between sending out caustic, irrelevant and sometimes very petty personal tweets is off playing golf, and
you know, his critics, of course, have found all of his old tweets in which donald trump who was at the time in the private sector constantly criticized president obama who wasn't much of a golfer, by the way, for the times he did go to the golf course. >> doug, there were times where president obama might each, i remember once he made a sensitive announcement about jim foley, i believe, on martha's vineyard and he went and played golf. >> yeah. >> but the white house said he was doing it. they were very clear about the activity. so at least if you disagreed with that, you had the facts before you. >> brianna, if we go back to 2010 i was at the republican national committee about once a week sending you e-mails and press releases about how president obama was more likely to pick up a phone for a tee time than calling the ceo of bp which was a disaster, but they
admitted it. they didn't try and hide it, and also, this hasn't happened with the same frequency. literally donald trump is playing golf almost every four days of his presidency, and i don't deny any president should have his time off and time to recharge. there is a lot of recharging happening with this president. there's no doubt about that. >> doug hyeye, errol lewis. >> ivanka trump who also serves as a close adviser to her father is the road and pitching the president's
tax cut plan. take a listen. >> america has the greatest workers, we've got the greatest skills. we've got the greatest spirit, but we need to be able to compete in an increasingly global world and we can't do that if our corporate tax rates are some of the highest and the highest in the developed world. so that is a major disadvantage to our american businesses, and on many levels is something that we all need to be considering as we of the to maintain and regain
our competitiveness in the global marketplace. >> ivanka's
town hall is coming as president trump pushes republicans on the hill to get a budget deal passed by the end of the year so that they can move on to tax reform. trump is warning house republicans you have to pass these tax cuts or lose in 2018. one of the tax cut ideas that the gop is floating would be changing limits on 401(k) tax deferments. not clear how serious of an idea this is, but as you can imagine, it's getting huge blowback. the president weighing in this morning tweeting, there will be no change to your 401(k). this has always been a great and popular middle-class tax break that works and it stays. let's get insight with maya mcginnis, she is the president of the committee for a responsible federal budget. so, maya, 401(k)s should they be on the table and should the president keep his promise on this? >> well, if we want to have tax reform as the president's
daughter was talking about, lower corporate tax rates enhance the competitiveness or have a larger child tax credit, something she's been talking about we need to find ways to pay for that and let me take a step back and remind folks we came out with the newest deficit, it's $666 billion, our debt is at near record levels and if you want to cut some taxes the way you don't add further to the debt is you either tax some things more or get rid of a lot of the loopholes which is what the state and local deduction is, and what the 401(k) break is. we want to tackle those if we want to offset the costs or you cut spending and right now it seems that any time we make the hard choices for how you would pay for tax reform so it doesn't massively add to the debt, either the president or someone else comes out and says, no, we're not going to do that. so right now we don't have much of a plan to pay for this tax reform or tax cut is what it's looking like and that is a really bad idea at the time our debt is so high because it would
undermine our growth if we add to the debt further. >> what can republicans, can congress do if they're not going -- well, this is really my question. if you touch 401(k)s, if you touch the mortgage tax break, how do you do that without totally destabilizing how americans, many americans, millions of them run their households? >> well, one of the things is that we have 1.5 trillion-plus tax breaks a year. you mentioned popular ones and the charitable donations and health care exclusion and just because we like them doesn't mean they're so effective at doing what we try to do. the home mortgage interest deduction makes it morence pensive and not so great if you're a renter or someone who wants to buy a house. much of the profit goes to the realtors or the builders and likewise, the healthcare exclusion drives up healthcare costs. having our political leaders
talk a little bit more honestly about these tax breaks and what they do and if we're willing to reduce some of them or i would like to see just a general tax cap so nobody can claim more of these tax breaks from a certain share of their income to limit how much they are. then we can do real fundamental tax reform which would help grow the economy, but if they're not willing to make hard choices and it seems like nobody is these days, this tax reform bill is going to be a bust and it's really going to hurt the finances of the country. >> maya, thank you so much. coming up, bill o'reilly's $32 million settlement secret exposed by "the new york times," fox executives knew about this and they gave o'reilly a new multi-year contract right after it. how it could impact the current justice department investigation into fox news.
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there is another sexual harassment bombshell concerning former fox news host bill o'reilly. the new york times reports he secretly settled with an accuser for $32 million just before renewing his contract for $25 million a year. the report claims the settlement was with longtime fox news colleague lis wiehl and she threatened to sue o'reilly for repeated sexual misconduct that included a non-consensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography. the news prompted megyn kelly who alleged sexual harassment by former fox news chief roger ailes to speak out. >> o'reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. i know because i complained.
this must stop! the abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact, it has to stop. >> kelly also interviewed a previous o'reilly accuser and former fox news colleague juliette huddy speaking publicly about it for the first time, huddy says she settled her harassment claim with o'reilly last year. >> i know that you signed a non-disclosure agreement in connection with the settlement. >> as a lawyer, you know i can't talk about anything. >> do you regret signing that? let me ask you that? >> i -- many women go into the settlement agreement because they just don't want to face what potentially could be coming at them. again, it's -- you're dealing with a corporation filled with people who are going to do everything that they possibly can to make sure that they win and you don't. >> are you scared today? >> i'm terrified. i'm actually terrified and i don't know why i'm about to cry,
but -- it's just -- it's -- it's difficult -- it's difficult. i think people have regrets. i think people have regrets when they sign non-disclosure agreements. i would imagine that they do. >> clearly talking about herself, it seems. o'reilly has denied wrongdoing. joining me now sarah ellison. she's a special correspondent for "vanity fair" who wrote an expose on fox news and she's also an auth are on of woet war at the wall street journal," cnn politics, media and business reporter. okay, sarah. so when you hear this and we learn $32 million payout in january, what does that tell you? >> well, $32 million is an enormous amount of money, it's a stunning figure and people have pointed out that o.j. simpson paid more than that in a civil suit for two lives. so something really terrible had to happen. you were also paying for in this
suit, the destruction of documents because as we learned in the times story and from the affidavit that they were going to destroy the terms and settlement were to destroy all sort of tapes or other supporting material, and so i think that the question now that faces the company and bill o'reilly is that this was something -- that was happening when the company was supposed to be cleaning itself up and to me the big question with this investigation that you talked about in your introduction is were they trying to destroy evidence? this clearly it seems look a settlement to make the truth go away. knowing that, why would fox renew o'reilly's contract thereafter knowing that there was a brand-new settlement. >> well, in the story we can see that bill o'reilly claims that this was -- or told fox this was a personal matter that he was settling himself. he didn't notify fox of the
amount of money that he was paying and they were at this time when this was all happening they were in sort of an interesting position because megyn kelly now at nbc had left the company. she was a big prime time star and bill o'reilly's contract was up for renewal and they wanted to keep him any perhaps that played into being willing to take this into account and in his new contract there was a provision that if there was more sexual harassment, they acknowledged that it existed and they were able to fire him and leave him out of the contract. >> we were talking about the justice department investigation into fox news. what do you think that this revelation does with that? >> well, i think it makes it -- again, i don't know the details of what they know and i don't know, in fact, the details of that investigation, but it is my
understanding from that reporting that they're looking into what spurred their investigation was partly the notion that roger ailes was using company funds to settle sexual harassment claims and so i think that what this does is if they didn't know about this, it would lead them to ask what else they don't know about and how truthful the company is being with them. there is a big $11 billion deal that 21st century fox is trying to get through aside from this other investigation, they are trying to get past regulators in the uk to make a very important business decision or business move for the company, and i think that this will not be something that regulators in the uk look kindly upon either. >> and hadas, she's talking about the approval process when it comes to sky news. >> the experts i've spoken in the uk all day today said that while this wouldn't necessarily sink the entire deal it's another weight in the negative balance of what they're looking at and actually tomorrow, fittingly enough, is the deadline for when people can
make comments to the competition market's authority in the uk to let them know information that might be important for this deal. so it's really fitting that this story came out just this weekend, just before that deadline in the uk. >> sarah ellison, hadas gold, thank you so much to both of you. next, the escalating feud between mitch mcconnell and steve bannon. bannon only backs republican candidates who lose elections. bannon has thrown his support behind roy moore in the alabama sena senate race and it shows roy moore tied with his challenger in a very conservative state. doug jones is joining me next. ♪
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alabama possibly going blue in the upcoming senate special election. can you even imagine that? democrats are hoping that's going to happen. they are looking to fill the seat that was left by attorney general jeff sessions with the democrat, obviously, and they're optimistic because of the controversial record of the republican candidate, roy moore. they're pinning their hopes at this point on doug jones. he is a former prosecutor who convicted two former klansmen of the bombing of the birmingham church that killed four black girls in 1963 and there is a recent poll that shows these two candidates are in a virtual dead heat. doug jones thought to be the democratic long shot is now tied with former judge moore. both candidates have 42% support among registered voters in alabama. let's discuss this race with doug jones, joining us now the
democratic candidate for the u.s. senate race in alabama. doug, thank you for joining me. when you look at that poll what have you thoughts been when you see that number and also maybe the mood leading up to this? do you feel that you are really tied with roy moore? >> i think we're better than tied. we have been seeing such an energy out throughout alabama from one end of the state to the other. people won't change. people are sensing change. they don't want any more chaos. they see a dysfunctional washington, d.c. and they want someone who can reach across the aisles and have dialogue with people and talk to people and that's the only way we can get things done and they understand that roy moore is not that kind of figure and he is nothing, but a divisive and polarizing figure. so we're very encouraged with what we're seeing regardless of poll numbers and we are encouraged with what we're seeing and hearing with folks throughout the state. >> you said you believe you're better than tied. do you have polling that shows that or is that just the feeling
that you're getting while you campaign? >> it's just the sense. i mean, we have such large crowds that we're seeing everywhere we go, there's such an enthusiasm. we're seeing not just the traditional democratic voters and we're seeing independents and republicans that understand how important this election is and they don't want the face of alabama being something that is so divisive and we're seeing and hearing that from all people of all walks of life and all background. it is very exciting. >> roy moore is backed by steve bannon, former strategist of the president and it's very interesting to hear what mitch mcconnell has said about bannon's candidates. let's listen. >> this is not about personalities. this is about achievement, and in order to make policy you have to actually win the election. the kind of people that are supported by the element that
you have just been referring to are specialists in defeating republican candidates in november. >> what do you think about what mcconnell is saying there and also you are tied with roy moore, but there is a very real possibility that he is the next senator from alabama. >> well, i think mr. bannon was just an opportunist in this race. roy moore has been a divisive figure like steve bannon has been for a long, long time. i think the big issue right now is whether or not people are going to vote for that. i don't think that they will. i think people are looking for a unifying voice and the fact of the matter is we will stay in our lane on issues that are important to alabama. i'll let the republicans squabble within their ranks all that they want to squabble over who is good and who is not good. we are going to stay and be focused on issues and that's what people are responding to. they're not responding to the personalities. >> so you want to be a unifying voice. i want to show you about divisive things going on right now. we have democratic congresswoman
frederica wilson who is calling niger trump's benghazi. what do you think? >> i wasn't party to any of those conversations. what i understand and know is that we need to be focused on the issues. we're getting lost too much on twitter feeds -- >> no, but this is the issue of the niger ambush being a failure that would haunt the president like benghazi haunted president obama and hillary clinton. what do you think? >> i think that we need to look into what happened out there. no one knows at this point. we had hearings in benghazi. i think i'm sure that there will be congressional hearings. we need to find out what happened and whether it is held or not. i think folks need to be looking into that issue obviously, people don't like to see our troops killed especially in some type of ambush and you don't have an opinion when it comes to the controversy over president trump disagreeing with the widow myeshia johnson?
>> i have an opinion. i wish they would dial it back and focus on issues. it's one of those things that we get lost -- >> but should he have tweeted disagreeing with her tomorrow? should he be going head-to-head with a gold star widow? >> i'm not going to tell the president what to tweet or not to tweet. i think those issues are getting us side tracked on the real issues of the day. no one wants to attack a gold-star widow. no one wants to attack a gold-star president, and i just wish we could dial all of that back and quit talking at each other and start talking to each other a little bit and let's resolve those differences in a non-public way rather than just fighting constantly. >> doug jones, thank you so much. we are going to be watching this senate race with a considerable amount of interest, and i do want to let our viewers know, we invited roy moore to appear on cnn and we continue to open that invitation and we would love to have him on, as well. thank you, sir. >> thank you.
we are waiting for a medal of honor ceremony to begin at the white house any minute now. president trump is going to be awarding the nation's highest military honor to a retired army medic who risked his life several times in vietnam and laos to provide medical care to his wounded comrades while he was wounded himself. retired army captain gary rose is being honored while serving as a green beret medic with the special forces group during combat operations in september 1970. rose is credited with saving the lives of 60 wounded soldiers during four days of a brutal combat during a secret mission in laos. that is why it has taken so long to get to this point. i want to bring in cnn's jim acosta to talk about this. he is there at the white house. this is the second medal of honor that the president will have awarded, jim? >> reporter: that's rig,