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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 24, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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and my wish is for their dream to be fulfilled. >> we love hearing these stories. please vote for any of your favorite top ten heros right now. go to cnnheros.com. and i'm brooke baldwin here in atlanta today. thank you so, so much for being with me. hey have wonderful holiday weekends. jim sciutto sitting in for jake tapper. "the lead" starts right now. thank you, brooke. if michael flynn's lawyers won't talk to trump's lawyers then who are they talking to? "the lead" starts right now. as president trump tees off with tiger, breaking news in the russia probe. lawyers for his former national security adviser all of a sudden stop sharing info with the white house, which could be a sign that michael flynn could be cutting a deal. mosque massacre. the hunt is on right now for terrorists who killed hundreds of people in egypt. the president uses the tragedy to push his wall and his travel ban. plus, it's about the polar
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opposite of transparency. president trump's tax returns about to be locked down in an irs safe. what could it be that they don't want you to see? welcome to "the lead." i'm jim sciutto in today for jake tapper. and we begin today with the politics lead. president trump spending the day after thanksgiving on the phone with foreign leaders and on the golf course with tiger woods. and dustin johnson. but the president's holiday weekend also includes new developments in the russia investigation. michael flynn's lawyers say they are not sharing information with the president's lawyers anymore. a source tells cnn that could mean the fired national security adviser may be cooperating with the special counsel. we'll have more on that in a molt. but let's start with cnn's jeff zeleny. he's in west palm beach, florida, with the president. jeff, what are you learning about the president's calls today with foreign leaders? >> reporter: well, jim, we do know that president trump just a short time ago was set to speak with egyptian president el sisi to condemn that deadly terror
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attack in egypt that claimed more than 230 lives. earlier today, the president also spoke with turkish president erdogan to talk about syria. now, all of these together in addition to the call with russian president vladimir putin earlier this week makes the white house's case that this vacation is a working one. on a sun-splashed day in florida, president trump hitting the links with two of the biggest names in golf. >> mr. president? >> reporter: tiger woods and dustin johnson. the white house rarely confirms when the president is golfing, but he made the announcement himself on twitter, saying he would be heading over to trump national golf club, jupiter, to play golf quickly. he departed after more than four hours at the course. his visit marking the 80th day she's spent at one of his golf properties since taking office. and his 100th day at a trump-branded property. many americans and more than a few presidents play golf. it's only notable because of what mr. trump repeatedly said before winning the presidency.
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>> if i win, i may never see these pieces again because i'm going to be working for you. i'm not going to have time to go play golf. believe me. >> reporter: the president also talking by phone today with turkish president erdogan about the conflict in syria. the turkish foreign minister said mr. trump pledged to stop arming a kurdish militia, the ypg, that the government considers a terrorist organization. the president also condemning the attack today in egypt, killing more than 230 people and wounding more than 100 others in the deadliest terror strike on egyptian soil. he called the president of egypt to discuss the attack which he also seeszed upon to push his immigration agenda. tweeting we have to get tougher and parter than ever before and we will. need the wall, need the ban. god bless the people of egypt. the president is also turning his attention to the tax plan up for a vote next week in the senate. he offered a preview from a thanksgiving call from mar-a-lago with american service members around the world. >> now we're working on tax
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cuts. big, fat, beautiful tax cuts. and hopefully we'll get that and you're going to really see things happen. >> reporter: the president is set to meet with congressional leaders at the white house and attend a weekly lunch of senate republicans on tuesday. the senate republicans still don't have the votes to pass the sweeping tax overhaul amid the concerns of the effects on the deficit. >> congress is talking about tax cuts that will add trillions to our national debt and hurt our economy. >> reporter: senator ron johnson has announced his opposition with -- with others voicing concerns. senator rand paul will likely support the plan with senator john mccain as a wild card. as america marked black friday, the president's campaign joined in an the annual day after thanksgiving shopping rush with trump merchandise marked down 30%. now, jim, the president's response to the egyptian terror attack was particularly interesting because he did use it to promote his own immigration ban and building the
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wall, but particularly let's take another look at that. the president talked about egypt. egypt is not one of the eight countries, as you know, that was included in the third version of the trump travel ban. it simply wasn't included. and we also don't know who was responsible for that deadly terror attack in egypt. nevertheless, jim, the president still using that to promote his own agenda in that tweet. >> no question that travel ban still working its way through the courts. jeff zeleny, thanks very much. now to the russia investigation and a new development into the investigation into michael flynn. what would make his lawyers inform other defense teams, including those working for the president that they will no longer share information? why now? cnn's shimon prokupecz joins me now. shimon, i know some of this is legal tea leaf reading, but why if they were stopping sharing information would that be a sign that flynn might be flipping? >> well, there are a couple of reasons here why that could be happening here, actually, jim. and, you know, flynn's lawyer perhaps believes, you know, this
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is no longer in his interests to cooperate here. now based on conversations with our sources, there seemed to be ongoing talks between flynn's camp and special counsel bob mueller. there are several reasons for this. for the nature of these talks. they could be negotiating a plea deal where michael flynn agrees to plead guilty to what the government says he did wrong and as a result he wants to distance himself from the president's team so that he doesn't do anything to jeopardize the plea deal. now, another possibility, and this is the more significant explanation for this, is that flynn is trying to work out an agreement to cooperate with mueller's investigators. in either case, flynn would want to cut off information sharing with the president's team, jim. >> you look at it now, we saw michael flynn jr. taking back on twitter after a bit of a respite, claiming -- telling everybody to calm down. not to overreact. you had donald trump jr. venting
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about the russia investigation as well. but the fact is you have the president's former campaign chairman, paul manafort, the deputy chairman in rick gates and now you have his national security adviser, at least seemingly more in the crosshairs. that's not a good series of developments for the white house. >> no, absolutely not. none of these are good developments from manafort to focus on don, flynn jr. we know there is some focus on him because of the meeting that occurred during the campaign with a russian lawyer who promised some dirt. eventually wound up promising dirt on hillary clinton. that is seemingly part of the investigation now. and all of this, really, you know, there may be some signals that perhaps this is coming to an end, but certainly the people we've been talking to, that doesn't appear to be the case and it continues to be drip, drip, drip and more developments that in the end really are not helpful to the white house. >> that's right. perhaps the prosecutor or the special counsel trying to put pressure on one so that he can get that one to provide more evidence for the next one and so on. shimon prokupecz, thanks very
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much, as always. joining me now is republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois. he serves on the foreign affairs committee. happy thanksgiving. thanks for taking the tile today. i'm not going to try to treat you as a lawyer here, but you've been following the details of the investigation closely. what do you make of this development that michael flynn jr. or his lawyers not sharing information with the legal team? is that an important development in this investigation? >> yeah, i don't really know what to make from it. what i've said from the very beginning is that america needs answers. we need everything out there. we need to figure it out. that process means the special counsel has to go through their work and this is one step and i think, you know, even a number of steps still to happen. we want to take our time, make sure we get this right because this is a pretty big deal. i don't know what to make of it. it might be minor, it may be big. i'm concerned about the leaks coming out of the special counsel. that doesn't mean this information isn't relevant, but at the same time i think americans need to sit back and say -- and trust that the special counsel is getting the information he needs and that
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we're going to find out it may just not be as quick as everybody wants. we all want to know the answers to everything tomorrow. this is a long process. >> we've seen the political divisions boil up inside the committees that are investigating this, separate from the special counsel. the house intel committee, the senate intel committee, perhaps a bit less so, but still divisions there. are you concerned about that, about politics getting in the way of the congressional committees completing their investigations? >> yeah. i'm concerned about politics getting in the way of thanksgiving dinner and everything in this country. and, you know, literally the intel committees, i don't serve on it. i have great respect for the people that do. up until recently, a very bipartisan committee. this has become very partisan. there is probably plenty to go on both sides i don't want i don't want to cast blame specifically anywhere. politics to some people has become their religion so like everything, it's put through that filter. so every piece of information we get is determined based on whether we consider ourselves a republican or democrat and not
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necessarily on what is true or untrue. that worries me for the future of this country long term because you can look at things through different opinion lens, of course. we come from different political backgrounds and different backgrounds all over, but i think at the end of the day we have to consider ourselves americans before we consider ourselves republicans, democrats, conservative, liberal, anything else. >> preaching to the choir on that. stick with us. lots more to talk about, including on president trump's reaction to that deadly mosque attack in egypt. we'll be right back after this break. how do you chase what you love
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-oh! -very nice. now i'm turning into my dad. i text in full sentences. i refer to every child as chief. this hat was free. what am i supposed to do, not wear it? next thing you know, i'm telling strangers defense wins championships. -well, it does. -right? why is the door open? are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood? at least i bundled home and auto on an internet website, progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. i mean, why would i replace this? it's not broken. we're back with republican congressman adam kinzinger. he serves on the the foreign affairs committee, also fought in both iraq and afghanistan. congressman kinzinger, i want to turn to the war on terror in response to attack today in egypt. president trump tweeted the following, quote, we have to get tougher and smarter than ever before we and will need the wall, need the ban. egypt, of course, a key u.s. ally, but egypt not on the current list of president trump's travel ban for muslim
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majority countries. do you see the -- an attack like this in egypt as justification for the wall or the travel ban? are they connected? >> you know, i think the president, as i've always said, has the right to do a travel ban as the chief executive. i think this is part of the commander in chief thing. i think there are a difference between egypt and some of the other countries on the travel ban. the president pulled iraq off. egypt is a beautiful country. i was just there probably a year ago now, there are issues in the sinai, and that's where a lot of this isis and terrorist issues are. that's where today's attack is. egypt itself is an amaze, beautiful country and everybody should go visit it. so in terms of whether or not, you know, the president, the wall and everything else is justified, i support the president in border security, whether it's a wall or whether it's a, you know, virtual wall, technical law. i think it's important to protect ourselves. at the same time, we can't
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disengage from the world. it's important to understand we have a unique position in the world and the only way to defeat terrorism is not through missiles and bombs alone. it's an understanding that the 7 and 8-year-olds today are the ones that could be the terrorists tomorrow. >> i hear you on that larger point, but you're well aware any time there is a terror attack anywhere, even in the uk, which is certainly not on the list, the president will glom on to whatever the attack is and say, here you go, this is why we need to ban from these search or eight countries. it's a reason you need a wall on the southern border. why is that a relevant argument to that other debate? >> i don't necessarily think it is. there is not a lot of defending of the president's twitter. i think it's a good tool, but i think a lot of times he doesn't use it in the way that i would use dwirt. it's important in a time where you have a terrorist attack in egypt or england or anywhere to actually be bigger and to say, you know, we will stand with our ally. we will defeat this cancer where it exists. we will work together and i
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think maybe at a different time push the issue of travel ban and wall, what you're doing is injecting domestic politics. this is a very acidic time in domestic politics. into an issue where americans should be unified, which is defeating terror. >> no question. particularly as a veteran, president trump addressed veterans yesterday. i want to get your reaction to a particular comment he made about the fight in afghanistan. have a listen. >> we opened it up. we said, go ahead, we're going to fight to win. we're not fighting anymore to just walk around. >> you're a vet yourself of the war in afghanistan, did you during your time there believe you were fighting to just walk around? >> i don't think we're ever fighting to walk around, but i do think under the prior administration where were hamstrung in afghanistan. i'm not a guy that likes to look back and blame, but i think it's important to talk about when he announced a surge and a withdrawal date, he not only emboldened the enemy because
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they could outlast us, he took these alliances we were building in afghanistan and they were shattered. i think it is essential for the president to send the message that we're in afghanistan to win this because that breaks the morale of the enemy. look, there is never going to be a complete eradication of the taliban. it's going to take driving to the table for a negotiated solution. every war ends in a negotiation and i think sending the message that we're committed to win is how we get a negotiated solution on our terms. >> congressman kinzinger, thanks very much and happy thanksgiving. >> you, too. any time. is the state department snubbing ivanka trump? why there are new questions about a major global event the president's daughter will be attending. that's after this.
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we're back now with the politics lead. is secretary of state rex tillerson snubbing the president's daughter ivanka trump? she is scheduled to attend the global entrepreneurship summit next week in india, but despite her high profile, no high-ranking official from the state department with travel with her. i want to bring in cnn's senior diplomatic correspondent michelle kosinski. typically when the u.s. has attended these in the past, they've sent high-ranking delegations. why isn't ivanka trump getting the same treatment? >> right. it is a big deal generally. we're hearing from several sources within the state department as well as a source close to rex tillerson that they don't want to send senior level people even though this is put on by the state department. and ivanka trump, who is, of course, the first daughter and senior white house adviser, she was invited to attend by india's prime minister. but the reason these sources are giving is that they don't want to bolster this being her big
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event, that she's headlining this. this is a quote from a senior state department official, they, meaning tillerson and his staff won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster ivanka. it's another riff between the white house and state when rex tillerson doesn't need any more problems with the president. a close source to the white house, rex doesn't like the fact he's supposed to be our nation's top diplomat and jared and ivanka have stepped all over rex tillerson for a long time. now he's not sending senior people from the state department to support the issue. he's not supporting ivanka trump. several people see this as a snub. in the past when you look at this event, president obama attended more than once, secretary kerry did more than once. last year there was a huge delegation with an undersecretary and assistant secretaries but you can say, okay, this is an obama-era event, it was their creation, this is at a time when the state department is trying to slash its budget dramatically and there is no permanent assistant secretary for the region in place, but the response that
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we're getting back from these sources is, well, if you want to have a small delegation, then send somebody who is high-ranking and cut back in other ways. the state department has just now gone on the record saying they're committed to supporting women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship and this summit is a prime opportunity to showcase that. >> it doesn't help that tillerson's relationship with the white house has bubbled up in public. michelle kosinski, thanks very much. isis crushed in syria but regrouping and slaughtering elsewhere. as president trump tells troops we are winning like never before. we look at how the terror group may be morphing into a new kind of threat. obile and netflix. right now when you get an unlimited family plan, netflix is included. ho ho ho! t-mobile covers your netflix subscription... best christmas gift ever! ...so you can binge watch all year long. now you're thinking christmas! and now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's one samsung for you. and one to give.
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we're back now with breaking news in the world lead. what is now believed to be the deadliest terror attack in egypt ever. state media says that 235 people have been killed, more than 100 injured in an attack on a mosque in the north sinai region involving at least two explosions and multiple gunmen. cnn's ian lee has been following the story. ian, an intercaters, deadly, brutal attack. what are we learning about how it was carried out and who is behind it? >> reporter: that's right, jim. it's quite sophisticated when you look at how these militants carried it out. what we're being told by witnesses is that there were two explosions which drew people outside of the mosque. that's when gunmen opened fire shooting at them. then the gunmen moved inside the mosque, executing people. ambulances on their way to the scene, they were also ambushed by the gunmen firing at those ambulances.
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they said they couldn't get to that mosque until security forces were able to finally secure the area. those militants then slipping away into the desert. now, no one has claimed responsibility for this, jim, but it does bear all the hallmarks of an isis attack. egypt's president has come out forcefully saying that he's going to use brute force hunting them down. we're being told that egypt's military has mobilized along with the air force, combing the desert, looking for anyone responsible. but this is the deadliest terrorist attack to take place in egypt, 235 people killed, over 100 people injured. the country is in mourning and in shock tonight, jim. >> it's incredible that the gunmen got away. why this particular mosque? why would militants attack this kind of mosque? >> reporter: that might strike people odd, why would militants attack a mosque? and that's because this mosque is one of the hearts of sufi
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islam in the northern part of sinai. now, the fundamentalists, the ult ultra puritanical believers that make up isis they have called sufis nonbelievers, they call them sinners, they call them infidels. they do not believe they're muslims and they have threatened them before in egypt. this appears to be an attack by isis carried out going after these sufi muslims. >> i have to think somewhat embarrassing or disappointing for egypt's military, it has claimed to have the upper hand against isis. how much of a defeat is that for their counterterror efforts? >> reporter: you bring up a good point, jim, because after every attack like this, and egypt has had a number of deadly mass casualty attacks, the government comes out and says we're going to be very strong on this. they issue states of emergency for different regions. they say the military, the security forces are going to crack down hard, but we still
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continue to see attacks like this carry out, even though they do say, as you pointed out, that they have the upper hand. one thing that egypt's president has also expressed concern about is that as isis loses territory in iraq and syria, egyptian authorities fear that those militants, other militants could try to go to egypt to help bolster their forces there, jim. >> ian lee, thanks very much. in response to today's attack, president trump vowed to defeat islamic extremism militarily and said that the u.s. needs to get, quote, tougher and smarter, but as terror groups like isis and al qaeda lose ground on the battlefield, they are rebranding, morphing across the globe. let's get right to cnn's barbara starr at the pentagon. barbara, u.s. and counterterror officials are worried isis may try to conduct more external attacks, are they not, particularly after they lost their ground in iraq and syria, their headquarters on the ground there, their self-proclaimed
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caliphate? >> that's right, jim. we talked to u.s. and military intelligence officials and they are very worried that isis may be trying to get some sort of attack going this holiday season, even as the u.s. is trying to attack isis in dozens of locations. >> reporter: london went on high alert seconds after citizen reports of shots fired in one of the busiest shopping areas. it wasn't terrorism. no evidence shots were fired but nerves are running high. president trump chose a strong thanksgiving day message to the troops about winning against terror. >> we know how to win. but we have to let you win. they weren't letting you win before. they were letting you play even. we're letting you win. >> reporter: but there is good reason to worry this holiday season. u.s. intelligence officials remain alarmed that isis will again strike. the state department warning u.s. travellers that isis and al
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qaeda have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in europe. german intelligence already believes it's facing a plot to attack holiday markets. last year in berlin, a person drove a tractor trailer into a christmas market, killing at least a dozen people. isis remains motivated. >> isis has always looked to conduct external operations. they have long tried to conduct terror attacks outside of their declared caliphate. >> reporter: this year, isis may be more desperate. with the loss of their strongholds in iraq and syria, isis is strengthening its affiliates in yemen, libya, niger and especially somalia, looking for new bases of operation. in somalia alone, the u.s. conducted seven air strikes in six days against al shabaab, the al qaeda affiliate, and isis.
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one strike killing 100 militants, according to the pentagon. al qaeda and its affiliates are also ramming up efforts. the reliance on special operations forces has expanded under president trump. there are now approximately 2,000 u.s. troops fighting isis inside syria. but military experts say it's not enough to stop the threat. >> military power is not enough to defeat isis or to defeat terrorism. we cannot shoot our way out of this problem, we cannot kill our way out of this problem. >> there are now 19 countries where u.s. troops are deployed and ready for combat if comes to that, but u.s. military officials continue to caution that it's going to take a lot more than firepower. it will take diplomacy. it will take economic and financial help in so many countries to defeat terrorism. jim? >> 19 countries with u.s. soldiers deployed. i'm not sure many people realize
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that. barbara starr at the pentagon, many thanks. it may be the most wanted set of documents in washington, d.c., president trump's tax returns. now the irs is doing something it has never done before to make sure they stay in safe keeping. stay with us. i have been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. when i met my team at ctca, they put together a comprehensive plan, that gave me an opportunity to accomplish my goals, and my dreams. learn more at cancercenter.com (avo) but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes
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we're back now with our politics lead on the day after thanksgiving. and my panel joins me now. the first family, of course, in florida for the holiday, back at mar-a-lago. familiar spot for the president. golfing again. here's how the president tweeted his day's activity. i will be heading over to the trump national golf club jupiter
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to play golf with tiger woods and dustin hoffman. and talk on bringing more jobs back to the usa. you get a sense that these are some visitors to the golf club who posted videos. as you know know, the press pool often not allowed to go there but sometimes fellow golfers send those videos out for us. the president in that tweet, chris cillizza, seemed to be somewhat conscious of spending too much time on the gomp course during the holiday. >> yes, the reason why is simple. you played the clip earlier. he made a huge deal during the campaign of the fact that barack obama played too much golf. he would never play golf. leave trump alone, let him relax. he should relax. i'd play more golf than i currently do. it's fine. you can't say if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. you can't say barack obama wouldn't doing his job because he was on the golf course and then be on the golf course. they very rarely acknowledge he's playing golf, they only
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usually do it when he's playing with someone famous or professionals. one in virginia, one in new jersey and obviously one in florida. he goes there for meetings and he's gone for five hours, roughly the time it takes to play 18 holes of golf, and then he's back. you can't have it both ways. >> the numbers -- so it's 308 days into the trump presidency. this is the 80th day trump has spent at a trump-branded golf course. 100 days at trump properties. do any of his supporters do that math? do any of the republican -- i mean, let's forget about the base for a moment. does anybody do this math and care? >> i'm not sure that if you dislike the president this is your number one reason for disliking the president, and if you like the president, this is not going to change your mind about it, right? i think especially golfing around the holidays in particular is not going to be viewed as something that is off-putting. it's when you go golfing in the middle of a crisis or a big legislative push. it's when you go golfing at a
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time when the optics look bad, when you really ought to be focused on something else, that i think there is more of a threat than at a time when lots of people are relaxing and taking time off. >> say north korea is developing a nuclear weapon or -- >> or tax reform. >> maybe we shouldn't be on the golf course. i think the problem with donald trump is, not only did he criticize then president obama and he's golfing. donald trump has gone golfing way more than president obama has gone golfing. he uses this as a outlet to say he can get a weekend pass. the president gets to take the weekend off and go golfing as though we're not dealing with very pressing issues. that's part of the issue. it seems extremely hypocritical. >> he did criticize obama for the amount of golf. he said he would only play golf as a way of doing business, right? that was the theory, that he would play with world leaders and it could work in his favor. >> to make peace. >> this is not that. >> juana, before we get off golf, i'm going to give you a chance to pipe in.
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the topic of the day. >> i think one of the bigger issues here we see is that this is the president, down in florida. a lot of the so-called grown-ups in the room. somebody needs to keep him off twitter or else we wouldn't be having this conversation. this president is there, he's very unrestrained. appears to have some time on his hands to be sending out the messages, again, when we could be talking about tax reform and big issues, instead we're talking about how the president is spending his spare relaxation time. >> maybe we should dispense with the idea that somebody should keep the president off twitter. >> on the bright side, no lavar ball tweets for him today. so that's an accomplishment. in serious news, of course, we have sexual harassment issues not just in the private sector but certainly on the hill. we had senator al franken today apologizing after recent accusations. here's what he said. i've met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. i'm a warm person. in some of those encountered a crossed a line for some women and i know that any number is
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too many. kristen, i want your reactions, but that's -- it's sort of a non-apology, right? to some degree, right? >> yeah, it's not an apologizy. if we're going to have a standard, the standard is not does the guy think he's done something wrong but does the woman feel like she's been violated? if that's the standard and i think that's a right standard, that is not at an apology. that's a complete insufficient statement he's made. >> is there an issue with the way that congress handles these? the very protocol. if you look for instance at the conyers incident. run through the office. a nondisclosure agreement attached. a secret payment. it's hard to got get a whiff of hush money. congress needs to find a better way to handle these accusations. >> absolutely. we need reform on the hill to deal wig allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual microaggressions. i'm wondering if congress is willing to come up with that on their own and they don't need some outside assistance because
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it's clearly not working. we also need some reform in the political sphere about how we deal with these issues. charlie rose literally lost his show who have had to reckon and answer for their -- these allegations and their transgressions but folks in politics, a lot of people have yet to have their day of reckoning. >> moves a lot slower in politics than we've seen in the private sector. >> one thing, i was watching cnn, you know, because i always do in the morning. on "new day," kathleen rice, a congresswoman of new york, who has called for john conyers to resign. >> resign entirely from congress. >> you rarely hear this level of honesty. she said, look, you know, i know this has been referred to the house ethics committee, but anyone who has covered the hill knows these ethics committees, it's a way to buy yourself time. you know, franken self-referred -- i'd like the ethics committee to look it up. it's better than nothing, but you have to make those -- to symone's point, you have to make
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that a real body for adjudicating these things if you're going to do it because otherwise it looks like, well, we're going to put it over here. both parties do this. we're going to put it over here until the heat gets off of it and then figure something out eight months from now when no one talks about it. >> juana, the other candidate, of course, facing this is roy moore, gop senate candidate in alabama. we're not talking about the same zip code adds an apology here. he's defiant. what he said today, actually, we have a video of his response to this. let's have a listen. >> i'm roy moore and i approve this message. >> roy moore is a man of character. he knows what it means to serve. >> i definitely believe the establishment is trying to stop roy moore. >> judge roy moore will bring a flashlight of accountability to washington, d.c. >> flashlight of accountability, juana. >> that's really stunning. i find it fascinating that you have these very serious allegations of women who have come out on the record and say this man sexual assaulted me and
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she was as young as 14 years old and his response is to bring up testimonials of women. that doesn't change it. like you said, it's completely insufficient and i think we're going to see when voters go to the polls whether or not they feel comfortable with a man who has these charges against him. women saying he has assaulted them or touched them inappropriately. if roy moore is elected to the senate -- we are going to ask them, are you comfortable standing shoulder-to-shoulder with this man? is it worth it to get tax reform done and that one more vote? i think it becomes a huge liability of the standard -- >> the answer to that question appears to be absolutely yes, right? >> from the white house. >> not just the white house. you've heard that from other members of congress saying, you know, let's get this vote and then let's talk about, you know sheppered himming shep herding him on his way. >> this is how parties die. when you lose a principle, like this is something that we should not condone as a party --
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>> they lost it already. they elected -- >> what do you stand for to win? >> donald trump sits at the standard bearer if you will for the republican party as the president of the united states. 12 women have credibly come out and accused him of sexual assault, yet we have republicans who come on our network on a regular basis who say, well, what about -- we have to hold roy moore accountable and they don't talk about donald trump. >> this is why i think these accusations in the political sphere get handled and the public opinion around them is so different than a harvey weinstein or someone in the media like a charlie rose because there are not millions upon millions of americans who are in the charlie rose party or the harvey weinstein party. >> right. >> what's the incentive for a woman to come out and make false accusations? people aren't thinking that way. in politics the instinct is -- >> everything is tribal. >> so i want to defend the person in my corner. >> thanks so much. happy holidays to all of you and your families. president trump released the secret jfk files so what could be so secret inside
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his tax returns that the irs is now putting them, yes, in a special safe. remember how the economic crash was supposed to be a wake up call for our government? people all across the country lost their savings, their pensions and their jobs. i'm tom steyer and it turned out that the system that had benefited people like me who are well off, was, in fact, stacked against everyone else. it's why i left my investment firm and resolved to use my savings for the public good. but here we are nine years later and this president and the republican congress are making a bad situation even worse. they won't tell you that their so called "tax reform" plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations, while hurting the middle class. it blows up the deficit and that means fewer investments in education,
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health care and job creation. it's up to all of us to stand up to this president. not just for impeachable offenses, but also to demand a country where everyone has a real chance to succeed. join us. your voice matters.
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almost 7,000 announced closures in 2017. 620 stores filed for bankruptcy this year and an estimated 9,000 retailers are expected to shut their doors in 2018. now to the politics lead, president trump bucked tradition when he decided not to release his tax returns to the public and now the irs is going through the unprecedented lengths to make sure they don't end up in the wrong hands and in the public eye. cnn's cristina alesci has the story. cristina, there has been security issues here but the irs beefing them up even more. >> reporter: that's right, jim. the former head of the irs told me the agency added protection to the electronic versions of president trump's tax returns in the summer of 2016. so only employees with special permission got access to them. and then the agency decided to take security one step further. ♪ >> reporter: in the heart of washington, d.c., a government agency is closely guarding a document in such high demand
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that bounties have been placed on the file. >> well, itthey're very big tax returns. i guarantee you this, the history in ever of what we're doing. >> reporter: more than a year ago, then candidate donald trump said his tax returns would be released, gaining just a glimpse of them has become mission impossible, and now the internal revenue service is increasing security. >> we've always referred to the president's returns being in a safe. turns out it was safe-like in a sense it was a locked cabinet in a locked room. one of the things we decided, we should actually turn it into a safe in a locked room. so we'll do that. >> reporter: and who has access to that room? >> i don't know. i don't have access. >> reporter: retired as commissioner of the irs this month. he says the agency locked down trump's digital returns in 2016 and is now focussing on the physical documents. >> there's almost no other taxpayer where i can think of there has been this much focus
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on. isn't there some way we could get a hold of those returns. >> reporter: one hacking magazine has offered $10,000 to anyone who can get a copy of the president's paperwork. last year, even wikileaks tweeted a request. >> what i have here are a copy . >> referee: donald trump's tax returns. >> reporter: in march, msnbc got a few of them from a journalist who said he got them in his mailbox. >> you didn't ask anybody for it? >> correct. >> reporter: still, there is so much to uncover when it comes to these presidential records. is there more information on file at irs than the president's actually make available historically? >> yes, often times they're much more voluminous exhibits that don't get printed and shared with the public. so that entire package is what's kept secure. >> reporter: and security at the irs is no easy task. most are not successful. but it's not for lack of trying. one private investigator is currently facing federal charges after allegedly guessing a social security number and attempting to use it to access
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the president's tax information. in 2015, a so-called cyber mafia used stolen information to pose as taxpayers and access millions of documents on the irs website. affecting some 720,000 people. as for rogue employees inside the irs, he says he's not worried. >> we basically have a handful of people who have the keys to the kingdom as it were in our i.t. department and we have great confidence in those people and they take that responsibility seriously. >> reporter: so who could finally make the president's tax returns public? well, there is one guy. now, koskinen says the internal system at irs detects anyone not authorized to look at returns and employees who are caught doing that even if it's to help a friend or family member are disciplined or fired. now, the biggest deterrent, of course, is the threat of jail time. it's a crime to access someone's tax returns without appropriate authority or a need to know.
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jim? >> cristina alesci, thanks very much. be sure to tune in this sunday morning for cnn's "state of the union," guests include senators dick durbin and lindsey graham. it all starts 9:00 eastern -- 12:00 eastern this sunday on cnn. follow me on facebook and twitter @jimsciutto. i turnio over now to jim acosta in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. de deadly manhunt. bombs explode, gunmen open fire as victims try to flee. tonight, as 235 people are dead, why is president trump renewing his call for the wall and the ban, ea ban, even though they have nothing to do with today's attack. striking a deal. sources say fired national security adviser michael flynn's attorneys have stopped communicating with president trump's legal team. could flynn be preparing t