tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 6, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
committees, they have said they would like to see these witnesses in open testimony. >> we know the senate judiciary committee, at least blumenthal dianne feinstein would like him to appear. >> they're called democrats. >> correct. thanks very much. that's it for me. thax thanks ff watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" next, breaking news. donald trump jr. questioned by lawmakers behind closed doors for more than eight hours today. just getting out and refusing to talk about conversations he had with his father. we're going to speak to a member of congress who was in that room questioning. plus, allegations that michael flynn tried to text with a business partner about a scheme to make a fortune working with russia. suggesting the trump msh would rip up russian sanctions. all of this allegedly on the day during trump's inauguration. and all eyes on senator al franken. is he about to step down? let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett.
tonight, the breaking news, donald trump jr. testifying before the house intelligence committee. questioned by investigators behind closed doors. it was a marathon session of more than eight hours. eight hours today. and it ended just moments ago. trump jr. refusing to reveal a conversation between himself and his father. a conversation that happened after news reports surfaced about that crucial meeting in june of 2016 at trump tower with a russian lawyer. you'll remember the meeting, right? trump jr. took it because he was promised dirt on hillary clinton. and official documents that would incriminate hillary. specifically. according the congressman adam schiff, who attended the hearing, president trump and trump jr. had a conversation after trump jr. produced the e-mails about the meeting at trump tower. they had a meet, then trump jr. didn't want to provide any further details of his conversation with his father, the president, envoinvoking atty
client privilege. he did reveal some, saying he talked with top white house aide hicks about how to respond about this trump tower meeting. remember flying home on air force one from a european summit last july, president trump in consultation with hicks, came up with a statement that trump jr. and the russian lawyer had quote, primarily discussed a program about the adoption of russian children. that statement turned out to be highly misleading and today when questioned about it, trump jr. said, oh, yeah, he spoke to hope hicks about it, but not to his father. which raises a lot of questions. of course we know hicks is also one of the president's closest confidants and is almost always by his side. manu is on capitol hill and you know what happened behind those closed doors today. what did trump jr. say about what is the heart of all this, his conversations with his father, what his father knew and
when? >> we know he spoke with his father after the initial reports came out in "the new york times" and after donald trump jr. revealed on twitter these e-mail exchanges that he had about why he took this meeting. that he was promised dirt from the russians on the clinton campaign and that he was told that the russian government wanted his father to win the presidency. now when he had this meeting, we are told that donald trump jr. testified today that he would not reveal any contents of this meeting with his father because of attorney client privilege. he cites attorneys who are in the room during that meeting, which was why he would not discuss exactly what these two men had discussed about the trump tower meeting and the response to this when it was revealed by "the new york times." now, he did reveal speaking to hope hicks, jay text message when he was initially
confronted, that these reports were going to come out in "the new york times" and as you mentioned, erin, those initial statements were misleading about why he took that meeting and it's significant, some legal experts say it's because there was a criminal investigation ongoing and perhaps the white house was involved in trying to mislead the public and why he took that meeting. now erin, republicans are, i said they were sats fied with donald trump jr.'s response, mike conway said he had answered all our questions, but democrats not satisfied. adam schiff wabts more answers about the meeting with his father and why he's not disclosing this information. >> thank you very much. going through these e-mails, just remembering obviously the predicate of this entire meeting. the premise was information that would incriminate hillary clinton to which don jr. said i love it. especially if it's laettner tte summer. jackie speier, she's on the
community there with donald trump jr. today. congresswoman, good to have you with me. i appreciate it. so donald trump jr. took questions from you, your committee, for about eight hours. what's your take away? >> he has a serious case of amnesia. and he was pretty nonrespontive on issues that frankly, you would have a recollection of considering it was just a year ago when donald trump was the candidate. he was by his father's side, he was campaigning with his father. and you get this impression in listening to him that he didn't spend much time talking with his father. >> you say serious case of amnesia. sounds like he said a lot of i don't recall or -- >> i don't know. yes. he did. >> so do you believe him or do you think he's hiding something? >> i think it's really easy to say i do not recall and not
really perjure yourself. lots of people don't recall things. but i would say that there are elements of this where he was very clear and precisely what had happened and then other circumstances. i think the overriding issue here is why all the roads lead to russia. every business deal. every engagement. the engagement with wikileaks was all quite opaque in terms of how it all started. why he was able to direct message with him. so it's, still a lot of pieces to this puzzle we don't have the answers to. >> your colleague, peter king, has a different take on how things went in that room and you were both there today. he said don jr., in which it said the trump tower meeting with russians was about
adoption. we know it was sold as dirt from the russians. we know that to be b the case. what do you say to king having such a different take away from you. he answered all the questions. >> well, he did answer many of the questions. i give donald trump jr. credit for coming, being present. his legal counsel is there and for the most part, allow ed him to answer questions, but in answering the questions, he oftentimes said i do not know. now if he wanted dirt on hillary clinton and that's why he took the meeting, it was about try ing to find way through russian contacts to find an effort to undermine the election. >> so, did you learn, what would you say was the biggest thing you learned or did not? from don jr.? >> i think that we did not get clarification, particularly on the more recent conversations he
had with his father. about what took place back june 9th of last year. because it's unthinkable to me he never had a conversation about that meeting with his father when we know then candidate trump, won the indiana primary and he said during that speech, we're going to have a major speech and there's going to be dirt on hillary clinton on the 13th of june and then that never took place. i really believe personally that there was an expectation that they were going to do a dump of information that he could then use in a sweep. >> right, the 9th versus the 13th. before you go, i just want to ask you, two weeks ago, you and i were talking on the show. you said you make, might be ready to call for senator franken to resign. you were not quite there at that time. obviously today, more than 30 senate democrats have come out and made that call.
do you feel that you're there tonight or -- >> oh, without a doubt. i actually called for his resignation much earlier this week or late last week. i've gotten to the point where i recognize that there's typically one person comes forward, there's many more people and that's what we have seen over and over again. when there's a pattern, when you have either severe or pervasive conduct of sexually harassing, those are grounds for b i believe termination. >> all right, thank you very much, congresswoman. i appreciate your time and now former presidential adviser to four presidents, and former u.s. assistant u.s. attorney for the northern district of illinois. you heard the congresswoman. eight hours of testimony. she's glad he showed up. he did answer some questions. he had a serious case of amnesia. claiming attorney client privilege, not wanting to talk about his conversations with his
father. what's your take away? >> i think it's somewhat problematic. not necessarily the attorney client privilege. that can be gone through and determined if it's accurately represented or not, but now, it's on hope hicks. we don't think he's testified before mueller or been interviewed by mueller yet, but that's what matters. what conversation did chef with the president. the reason this is important, you indicated this before, is this meeting matters. the context matters and so what the president knew at the time is important and a building block in any investigation. >> the time is crucial and you heard what the congresswoman said. she want it hard to believe they didn't have the conversation and the dates. the dirt on clinton. didn't happen. she's saying i think he knew u there was this meeting and expected this information to
come out. >> of course she did. the way this operation works is through everything goes through central command. the president. at this point, the candidate, that sort of thing. i don't think there's any question that he knew. he was told by somebody, the question is who and what the conversation was. i do want to go back to something that's very important fundamentally. invoking attorney client privilege. if there was more than, if the president plus more than one other or more in the room, three people, four people in the room, you can't invoke attorney client privilege in that situation. i remember clearly in the clinton days when we went through whitewater, waiting for the attorneys to talk to president and mrs. clinton, they had to get rid of us because that could protect the attorney client privilege. >> so the question is can can you really claim that. jeff, what about this point? this is all resting on him saying we didn't talk about this. do you buy that or share the same skepticism david and the
congresswoman share? >> i'm a skeptical former prosecutor, so i think it's highly doubtful. there could be something that if they were represented by the same lawyers and there might be attorney client there, but u that's going to play itself out. either he was or he wasn't. but to say that donald jr. didn't have direct conversation with his father about this really essential item, but rather went through miss hope, that's doubtful. but again, mueller and his team are going to find that out when they talk to hope hicks. it's either yes or no. as hope hicks goes in there, i don't think it's any doubt that mr. mueller is willing to indict for lying to the fbi, so you proceed at your own risk. >> but hope hicks may know whether she had a conversation, but she doesn't know whether don jr. and donald trump had a conversation or not. she can't answer that di fentively. >> it's not just one conversation. it's a whole series. he wasn't going to run a
campaign all hands off. he was cleared right in the middle of everything. people were scared of him. of course they're going to talk to him. >> so jeffrey, what happens from here. eight hours of donald trump jr. what's next? >> it's a grilling, but now we move on. and mueller, his team, have certain individuals they want to proceed, so put the congress investigation to the side and just focus ond mueller and his building blocks. as you look at that, you look at the information that was revealed today regarding flynn and a whistleblower that came through earlier. that's a salient point going forward. there's a few more witnesses to talk to. then you come to the fork in the road, whether you have enough elements to charge something criminally, in other words, in a federal court or you issue a rorlt given to congress and see if there's a proceeding that might be appropriate. >> that's where you have some saying whether this would be impeachment. thank you both. breaking news on that. a whistleblower saying mike flynn suggested sanctions against russia would be ripped up after trump took office and
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business associate about getting rid of russian sanctions and profiting with russians. this is according to a whistleblower's account released by elijah cummings. according to this whiser blow e, general flynn texted a business associate that the russian nuclear deal was quote good to go moments after trump was sworn in on inaugural documentatition. so look at what you're seeing. you can zoom in and see at the time this text was allegedly sent. 12:11 p.m. flynn appears to be texting. let's go to jessa schneider now who has more on this breaking story and jessica, this whistleblower account could be the strongest evidence yet. the trump administration was doing something it should not be doing with russia. if this account is true. >> it could be, erin. so this whistleblower, he says michael flynn was texting his business partner from his seat on the stage and that flynn's message with was that u.s. sanctions against russia would
be quote, whipped up as one of the administration's first priorities. now this whistleblower says he talked to flynn's business partner moments after that message and that the business associate said it was the best day of his life because of flynn's expressed instructions that the middle east nuclear reactor deal was quote, good to go. now congressman cummings is calling on the chair of the oversight committee to issue subpoenas to get to the bottom of this. >> now this is a crucial whistleblower testimony, right? you know as he, this whistleblower spoke to elijah cummings. there is though some he said he said now between the company and the individual that is alleged to have had this conversation. with general flynn and congressman cummings, right? >> right so after congressman cummings came out this with this today, the lawyer for the company of the business partner, she's denying this and went so far to say in statement that no member of the company received
any communication in any form from general flynn during the campaign. during the transition, during the inauguration. but congressman cummings after the statement came out, he some huge doubt on that. he says that general flynn was actually an adviser to the company throughout the trump campaign and it would have been odd for him not to have communicated so that is the he said he said and of course, eastern, all this plall this pls into the fact that michael flynn did talk to the russian ambassador the same day president obama imposed the sanctions on russia in late december. >> thank you very much. and "outfront" now, the former director of national intelligence under president obama, general james clapper. who of course was involved in this investigation as it began. general clapper, let me just ask you about this latest reporting. congressman cummings says he was told that within minutes, literally, these are his words, of president trump taking the oath of office, 12:11 p.m., flynn was sitting there texting this business associate saying russian sanctions were going to
be ripped up, talking about a deal, planning with russia for nuclear reactors in the middle east saying it was quote good to go. what do you make of in. >> well, if it's true, it's pretty astounding. that i mean, at that point, at noon on the 20th of january, perfectly legitimate for the new administration to discuss sanctions. but obviously would cast a cloud on this. is if there was a business communication here and i would suspect that special counsel mueller is fully aware of this and of course, i think there are, would be a way to get to the bottom of this by recovering the texts from whoever the provider was. but if it's true, it's pretty astounding and i guess just kind
of reenforces the legal challenges that confronting mike flynn. >> and obviously, they need to get to the bottom of it. right now, there is this sort of he said he said. but when you use the word astounding, if it happened, what could it mean for bob mueller's investigation? >> well, it probably i would guess, it's probably not new news to the special counsel because i'm pretty confident that they have a pretty full book on mike flynn and what he's done and some of his tra transgressions, so i would assume they would know about this. as i said, i think if it's true, of course it's just again, from an ethical standpoint, nothing else, just you just don't do that. >> you know -- >> here he is you know at that moment, he was essentially the
national security advise eer, president of the united states. >> it was moments after he was being sworn in. find a text about policy in the sense of you're not in transition official anymore. but as you point out, astounding for what he chose to say and for who he chose to say it if it happened. look, flynn is is now central to this. it brings this investigation into the oval office. wr you work eed with flynn for man years. you presided over his promotion ceremony to be a throw-star general. president obama chose to fire him. president trump has been sticking by general flynn. even after firing him. even through recent days. here he is. >> general flynn is a a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. this man has served for many years. he's a general. he's, in my opinion, a very good person. >> i feel badly for general
flynn. i feel very badly. he's led a very strong life and i feel very badly. >> do you agree with president trump and his characterization about general flynn? >> well, i think it's kind of a mixed bag. i think you have to recognize mike's 34 years of service in the army. as a soldier. and as an intelligence officer. he had a lot of deployed time in iraq and afghanistan. i know four or five years, something like that ft it's a lot. and so you have to acknowledge that. and when he i did, it was a cold fish promotion ceremony and he worked for me on my staff for about 11 months. did fine. moved to dia and things for lots of reasons didn't work out. and so we relieved him essentially. a year early. i think after that, he changed. i know i think general mark hardling had a good
characterization and anger. and i think what i observed, i didn't have any contact with him other than two telephone conversations during the transition period. but i do think he changed and i think mike was always kind of an envelope pusher, kind of pushed the rules to get the job done. certain amount of that is okay. but i think being propelled into the head di reaches of working for the president-elect and the president, serving as national security adviser and all that, i think may have given him license or felt he had license to push the envelope and he certainly did. >> and i want to ask you about don jr. as well today. donald trump jr. testifying. eight hours of testimony. i don't know if you heard jackie speier, she was just on saying he said i don't recall. i don't remember. she said he had a case of
amnesia. but he did answer. he was there for eight hours and did show up and take questions. he is refusing to tell house investigators what he and his father talked about when it comes to that meeting in trump tower. that crucial meeting. where he had been promised dirt on hillary clinton. she was bringing up the fact that days after that meeting, the president had scheduled that he was going to have this big speech detailing all of this dirt he had on hillary clinton. obviously, he didn't do that. she says it's because president of the united states now president, knew about this meeting, thought he was going to get dirt and have it for the speech. do you believe that? do you think he knew about this meeting an knew the russians were going to give this information? >> two comments here. first, there does seem to be pervasive case of amnesia that p pervades a lot of people in this administration. secondly, what i've observed of
president trump, he gets into the details and it's hard for me to believe that he wasn't fully aware of all these meetings and engagements. i don't know that for a fact, but i'm just as i analyze it or assess it from just watching, it's hard for me to believe that he wasn't fully cognizant of all these developments. and certainly and just to get back to mike flynn, i don't think mike is doing this or doing it on his own without elections in the campaign. >> all right, which obviously is a crucial point. see where this goes next. now of course it has come into the oval office. thank you so much. appreciate your time as always. next, dozens of al franken's colleagues, at least 30 now, democrats in the senate, pressuring him to quit immediately. another accuser has stepped
forward, but he has not done so. at this hour. and anger among african-american voters in alabama. could they actually give doug jones the win over roy moore? >> i think that he's not a white supremacist, he's a racist. it's a lot easier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira, we make sure you're in the loop at every step from the moment you decide to move your money to the instant your new retirement account is funded. ♪ oh and at fidelity, you'll see how all your investments are working together. because when you know where you stand, things are just clearer. ♪ just remember what i said about a little bit o' soul ♪
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senator al franken facing new and growing calls to resign amid sexual misconduct accusations, just hours from now, the democrat is holding a news conference about his future as today, more than 30 fellow democratic senator ts, including chuck schumer, came out calling for frankening to resign. there had been a giant wall of silence, then today -- unlike the other accusers. kristen gillibrand says that is enough. >> there were in allegations today and enough is enough. we need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is is okay, acceptable, to a higher
standard, not a lower, i do not feel that he should continue to serve. >> on this very quickly developing story, this would be a huge thing. a sitting senator residing over this, al franken listened to his leagues and resign? >> at this point, it's difficult to imagine franken doing anything. the dam has clearly broken about the majority believe it is time for him to go, so it's very tough to imagine him going against his party. to say this evening that a decision has not yet been made. closer to senator franken's twitter account this evening. he is talking with his family at this time and plans to make an announcement in d.c. tomorrow and he reports on the final decision are inaccurate. just to give you a quick take of what has been going on behind
the scenes, i am told today that a number of female democratic senators have been talking amongst themselves about what to do -- and decided to make this announcement -- and the democrats and the answer to that tomorrow. and former senior adviser to the campaign. maria, he doesn't have a choice at this point. i think we know that. the tide has turned. by he has not yet brought himself to do it. denying he's there yet, delaying doing it. i think that is what brought these democratic women to the action we saw today, erin. i've got to say, aim so proud of them and the democrats that they
came to this decision. it was high time that this happened. and it wasn't an easy one as you can imagine. al franken is their dear friend, their colleague they have worked so hard with on so many issues to help frerk's working families, so this was an incredibly difficult decision for them to come to. but as mj was reporting, there were also extremely frustrated as woman after woman kept coming out and they saw a completely unacceptable pattern. they tried to give him the time and space to do the right thing on his own, but as jarratt jise gillibrand said, enough was enough. i'm so glad democrats are finally cleaning their own house. they are again, drawing a line until the sand going into the 2018 midterm elections with this issue on their side so it can be a very stark contrast with what we are seeing today in the republican party. >> let's talk about what we're seeing today in the republican party. some grim things here going on in alabama.
look. if al franken goes and he's going to go, all right, go out there on the limb here. he's going to go. and say the democrats are being straenlgic here, say they say you know what, we can't risk roy moore winning and say to the gop, got to kick roy moore out. so al, you got to go. is it possible that's the thought here? >> absolutely. if i was the democrat party, i would do the same thing. i would say we've got a democrat governor in minnesota. we've got a state that led leads democrat anyhow. we have a lieutenant governor, tina smith, who actually doesn't want to run for the senate. she can hold the seat until special election then would have a level playing field for a bunch of democrats. frankly, i don't think the democrats are going out on a limb and i don't know even know what they found out on the ethics committee. we know publicly three women have come out and three have come out without disclosing their names, so there could be ten more out there. so i have to say to marie, i think it's a good strategy, but
i don't think it's any big brave going out on a limb move. i think it's very political. >> here's what's happened. >> it's a good one. >> let's square the circle. you have democrats now coming out and saying al franken who groped women, grabbed their behinds, at these photo opportunities, that he's fgot t go and you have roy moore, who some leaders in your party said had to go because he allegedly abused teenage girls including one who was underage, ped fill arnd yet people in your party ae saying it's fine. let me play it. >> i'm going to let the people of alabama make the call. the election has been going on a long time. there have been a lot of discussion about it. they're going to make the decision a week from tuesday. >> the voters don't want to be told from washington who to vote for. i've made my position clear on mr. moore, but again, it's not up to me or the president. it's up to the people of
alabama. >> so if roy moore wins, doesn't is gop have to expel him? if you look at what the president set here by democrats? >> i think him staying in the race is a gift to the democratic party. if he wins, it's a double gift because they'll be able the make him an issue over and over again. i have to commend the democratic party right now. this is a good chess move for them to make. i think the argument for roy moore which i understand people might not agree with, the argument for him is the sins that he committed were a long time ago. they're not recent, so if i as a person can say i forgive him for that. he's changed, he's been under voter scrutiny for decades. i think he's a different person, but i also believe that the values he represents for me, he's pro-choice, progun. pro conservatives on the support. necessarily like him, but he still gets me where i want to go
in my government. that's a philosophical discussion. but i think the democratic party is being pragmatic and i commend them for it. >> you know what else we're doing, jack, aside from being pragmatic or as like you say, strategic? we're doing the right thing. the gop should try it sometime. >> i remember how well y'all did with barny frank. >> especially these days when the person of the year for time magazine are the silence breakers, let me finish, jack. who are coming out against their abusers, against a culture that hopefully we are at a tipping point, but that will all depend on what republicans do with their roy moors and frankly, with their donald trumps, who is a self-professed sexual abuser and you guys look the other way and you -- are about to look the other way to allege roy moore. the women of america are speaking and you guys are in a
bad point on this. >> it's my turn, please. i just want to say, you've changed since barney frank and anthony weiner and bill clinton himself. p i'm glad to see this born again attitude of the democratic party. maybe there will be some other issues. >> where's the republican party and the family values? the evangelicals are support in roy moore will scream holy hell because they have to bake a cake for a gay couple? >> we have shown with people like duke cunningham and mark foley and john inson, that we will discipline our own and we are going to do that. i think we are in a dilemma on roy moore. it's a very difficult decision for the voters of alabama. i have counted the outline of the case for roy moore, but i actually would i'm going say this, maria. not just to struck the pot on the way out the door.
if not for roy moore, i believe al franken would not be having the problems, he would not be having these problems for resignation. hits him streenlgically. >> you're about to welcome a child pedophile to the senate. >> that's an interesting point. >> is it a one for one? of course look to many watching -- >> democrats are -- >> thank you all both very much. and next, roy moore's challenger fighting for his political life. can he win? there's one group that could put him over the top. will they go to the polls? african-american voters. the inside story and president trump taking heat for his gamble. recognizing jerusalem as the israeli capital and white house officials tonight admitting the move has derailed the peace process. bread...breadstick? a matchstick! a lamppost! coin slot! no? uhhh... 10 seconds. a stick! a walking stick! eiffel tower, mount kilimanjaro!
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roy moore's opponent in the alabama senate race is fighting for his political life tonight. doug jones is holding a rally at this hour. we are just a few days away from this crucial election that the whole world is watching. roy moore, the opponent, facing multiple allegations as you know of sexual misconduct including with underage girls.
allegations which moore denies. now the group that could decide who wins though is african-american voters in alabama and it's all going to come down to turner. alex is "outfront." >> atten smith and laura oliver volunteer going door to door for doug jones in this african-american suburb of birmingham. at the first house, oliver meets wrennada thomas. gl that's who i'm voting for. >> if jones is to stand a chance of winning, he needs every vote he can get. particularly among african-americans. a monumental task requiring black voters to make up a share of the electorate along the lines of their turnout in barack obama's last election. 28%. but this is a special election. in an off year in mid december. randal woodfin was just sworn in as mayor of birmingham. >> it's a challenge. it's a worthy fight. there are six days before this
election. you can't discount the last six days. there's work to be done. there's work already being done. and miracles happen. >> do you think it would take a miracle for jones to win? >> i think miracle would work. i think there's a balance here. >> what more does doug jones need to do to galvanize this support. >> keep no, ma'knocking on door. >> back vaeters are around a quarter of the total electorate, but a majority of democratic voters. roy moore's base is overwhelmingly white. many african-americans accuse him of being a racist. moore said he doesn't believe obama was born in america and that representative keith ellison, a muslim, shouldn't be allowed to serve in congress. >> then this. >> then it started to create new whites in 1965. and today, we've got a problem. >> 1965 was the year the voting rights act was passed.
banning racial discrimination. >> this is a man who said the country was better off when black people weren't allowed to vote. >> richard dickerson says jones could be doing more to energize black voters, but says moore's past will help galvanize them. >> he's a racist and i think he has shown that on time and time again. by both word and deed and his actions. >> jones is best known for his case as a u.s. attorney against two members of the ku klux klan convicted of the 1963 bombing of the 16th street baptist church, that left four young black girls dead. john knight, the head of alabama's black caucus, says that isn't necessarily registering with african-american voters. >> a lot of the young voters are not familiar with that. many are asking what are you going to do for me today. that's the kind of thing i pick up across the state as we go around. >> and go around, they are. now with less than a week to go. >> we're going to the churches, the places that we know the
voters are located. we got to have everybody in place to do what's necessary to get him elected in this seat. >> and erin, doug jones is speaking right now at an even geared towards women. of course another crucial voting block. part of what the campaign is calling women's wednesday. the campaign clearly trying to capitalize on these allegations of sexual assault against roy moore. something we have also seen in the ads. as the mayor of birmingham told me, get in front of as many people as possible, shake as many hands, 24 hours a day until this election next tuesday. >> thank you very much and allegation tonight, two senior white house officials admitting to cnn that trump has temporarily derailed the middle east peace process. this as trump has been met with condemnation as the united states will now recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel and he plans to move the american embassy there. others promised to do, but
failed to do and only he was the one who had the courage to tste up to the plate ch. >> while previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. today i am delivering. today we finally acknowledge the obvious. that jerusalem is israel's capital. this is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. it is also the right thing to do. it's something that has to be done. >> "outfront" now, the israeli ambassador to the united states. good to have you back. the day you have wanted for a very long time and i know it matters a lot to you. so that is important. but of course, the situation that we're seeing now is crucial. the state department warning of violence because of the move. leaders from countries throughout the region, across
europe, warning of sliviolence. a crucial question for you tonight, are you willing to accept violence and the b possible death of israelis in exchange for >> obviously we never want violence and our security forces do what's necessary in order to control the situation on the ground. we understand the risks in any move that you have and that's why we're prepared to deal with them. obviously the president understands those risks as well. he thought that this decision was in the interests of the united states and also in the interests of advancing peace. i know that before you showed the segment you said that there were senior white house officials that said this derails the peace process. i want to just read you very briefly a statement from the israeli prime minister. in israel we all agree on one issue, the wholeness of jerusalem. the continuation of its existence as capital of the state of israel. there are no two jerusalems, there is only one jerusalem. for us jerusalem is not subject to compromise and there is no
peace without jerusalem. now, the prime minister of israel who made those comments, that's not the statement of prime minister netanyahu, that was rabin two days after the jerusalem embassy act was passed 22 years ago. so those who do not think this does not advance peace are wrong. i think the president was right. he did a historic thing today, something i think will echo for generations to come. >> let's just get to that point, though. two senior white house officials are telling cnn that this decision has temporarily derailed the peace process. as you know, ambassador, the mahmoud abbas saying trump's announcement means the united states has completely withdrawn, completely withdrawn its role in mediating the middle east peace process. >> look, i think the only one who's withdrawn from the peace process has been the palestinians who have avoided negotiations for years with israel because they expected israel to be delivered by the
international community on a silver platter. i think what the president has done today in this important historic recognition of jerusalem as israel's capital has said, listen, you guys just can't wait on the outside and hope that israel is going to be delivered to you. you have to recognize realities. israel exists. jerusalem is our capital. the united states recognized it. anyone who thinks, erin, that this actually undermines peace would have to say that they somehow think there will be peace in the future where jerusalem would not be israel's capital. now, that's not going to happen. so i think he has -- >> well, it's also a matter of what comes first. i mean i was actually with you once in jerusalem, with prime minister netanyahu, right? jerusalem, you have treated it as your capital. it has in so many ways been a reality. but as you know, words, pomp, circumstance, matter. they matter a lot. three top administration officials tell cnn not only did secretary tillerson and secretary mattis think this was a bad move but his favorite
cabinet members, the cia director, mike pompeo, also said this was the wrong move. >> i don't know if that's true. >> does any of this give you true? >> i know the senior member of president truman's cabinet, secretary of state george marshall, a world war 2 heii he he was against the decision of president truman to recognize the newly established state of israel. he was vehemently opposed to it. so if president trump went against the recommendation of some of his senior officials, that just makes it more impressive and more of an act of courage from my point of view that he has stood up alone against virtually all of the leaders of the world and he has made the decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. we are deeply grateful. the prime minister of israel said both the jewish state and the jewish people will be eternally grateful. and from truman to trump, we haven't had a decision that is quite this significant. >> so let me ask you, because
you're talking about the president having the courage to make this move. a lot of it depends on how well he really understands this problem then personally to go against the advice of so many. i want to play a clip for you, ambassador, that no doubt you are very familiar with. some of our viewers may not be. from what president trump visited israel earlier this year. you were in the room with him and i just want to play it. >> we just got back from the middle east. we just got back from saudi arabia. we were treated incredibly well. we just got back from the middle east. we just got back from saudi arabia. and we were treated incredibly well. >> that is you, ambassador, on the right-hand side. you know this, obviously, appearing to cover your eyes as trump says while he is in israel, right in the heart of the middle east, that he just got back from the middle east. look, i'm making a serious point here. do you have confidence that president trump is making this historic and consequential
decision with a true understanding of what he's doing? >> absolutely, and the clip that you just played, erin, the funny thing about it is that a helicopter had landed a few minutes before, blew dust in my hair and that's all i was doing. but that was ultimate fake news. i have confidence in the president of the united states because what the president has done has just put a dagger in fake history, that the jews have no claim to jerusalem, no history in jerusalem. unesco says the jews have no history in jerusalem. the u.n. security council met and i remember all the people around the table applauding a decision that essentially says that the western wall, the western wall which has stood for over 2,000 years, that the western wall's occupied palestinian territory. that's a blow to peace. what president trump said by recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital, that actually lays a foundation of peace because it is based on truth and fact, and we appreciate greatly what the president has done. >> all right.
of course obviously not the view of the palestinians today, but we will see what happens from here. ambassador, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. next on a much lighter note, jeanne moos on the president's speech today. it wasn't just what he said about jerusalem, it is how he said it. (avo) when you have type 2 diabetes, you manage your a1c, 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 treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (avo) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer,
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nose for news to sniff out this story. >> the status quo, both sides, acceptable, a lasting peace agreement. >> reporter: we're all in agreement this was a case of deja vu sniffing. >> does that work? >> reporter: president trump has done it before, most notably during a debate with hillary that inspired compilations -- it was dubbed the sniffening, complete with a mock-up make sniffs great again hat that snl mockery. >> i was picking up somebody sniffing here. >> reporter: back then theories ranged from allergies to chro c sinusitis. he has anxiety suggested a psychologist. but now snifflegate has given way to slur gate, because about
11 minutes into his jerusalem speech, the president blew a blessing. >> and god bless the united states. >> reporter: twitter chattered, trump's dentures are trying to escape his mouth. but he's not known to wear dentures. it sure reminded us of the dry mouth he experienced also 11 minutes into another speech. >> the core principles of fairness -- >> reporter: that time he had to reach for a bottle of water. a white house official would say only the president is perfectly healthy. the slurring gave the "daily show" a memorable ending for trump's best words of 2017 video. >> and god bless the united states. i have the best words but there's no better word than stupid. >> reporter: a little dry humor, make that dry mouth, is nothing to stiff at. jeanne moos, cnn. >> human soul. >> reporter: new york. >> thanks for joining us. don't forget, you can watch
"outfront" any time anywhere on cnn go. you always have to find humor in something. enjoy the evening. "ac 360" with anderson begins right now. good evening, we begin tonight with breaking news on the russia investigation and the president's son. donald trump jr. testified before house investigators today but refused to tell the committee what he and his father, the president, discussed when the story over the meeting with russians in trump tower first broke. multiple sources also tell cnn that trump junior testified that he spoke with white house aide hope hicks about how to respond when the story broke. hicks was on air force one with the president at the time. if you remember, trump junior's story about the meeting changed multiple times. the statement in question which the president took part in crafting read in part, quote, we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of russian children that was active and popular with american families years ago and was since ended by the russian government but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up. that statement was