tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 15, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PST
11:00 p.m. here on the east coast, and we're live with new developments tonight. the republican tax plan in limbo with the news today that senator marco rubio is no vote unless he gets the increase he wants in the planned child tax credit. it comes on the same day that house speaker pall ryan is doing some soul-searching and might think about leaving congress next year. the president expressing his displeasure in no uncertain tufrms. and don't forget the bruising defeat of the president's candidate in the sen lt race. all in all not such a great week for this white house. i want to bring in scott jennings and al stuart and also political strategist rick wilson. rick, i'm going to start with you. let's talk about this tax bill. senator bob corker, he is leaning no. we don't know if republicans can get senator marco rubio onboard. maybe he's trying to negotiate there. and both senators mccain and cochran, they're currently out
for medical issues. do republicans have the votes they need to get this bill through? >> it is a very narrow thing. and mike pence better not wander too far from the senate because the clock is running and the number of folks that are wavering on this thing is growing -- seemingly by the minute. and i think one thing you've seen about the tax bill is the sense of its fragility with members, you know, are harking back to the fact that the republican party used to be about fiscal discipline is not blowing up our deficit by a trillion dollars or so and not stacking the tax plan's debt. so i think there are some concerns. and obviously senator rubio's concern is he wants to do something to move some very percentages to try to help some middle class families in this bill with the same proportionality the folks in the up tier are being helped. and he's getting some push back on that. i think the illnesses of two key
members are very problematic. they're not going to get any democratic support on this bill. so it's on life support right now. >> well, i've got to say -- well, i'm going to bring in scott here. i've got to say republicans seem certain they've got to get something done and something passed. but i look at the landscape over the past week and i've got a funny feeling i'm not show sure about that. what do you think? >> well, i do think they need to get this done. they need to get this behind them. they need an accomplishment for the year, and look just to speak in raw terms here -- >> before you finish, do you think it's on life support as he just said? >> life support is term that means you're about to die. i don't think it's about to die. i think they're definitely on the operating room table right now and the best doctors the republican party has is putting it back together. so i think marco rubio is
negotiating. i think there has to be some tinkering, and i think they will get it done. but more than anything i think the republican party has to refocus the national political conversation on the economy. it is unheard of for the president to have such a low job approval while at the same time the american people have such a high opinion of how the economy is going. and so until the republicans can find a way to tie those two numbers together, which historically they are, we're going to have a real rough environment in the mid-term. so i just -- the tax bill, everything that's going on right now needs to be talked about in terms of the economy's going well and it's because of republican principles and enthusiasm in the economy over republican direction. >> i think scott has a very good point there, but i think maybe it's because this administration is doing things that are so unpopular. when you look at, you know, they wanted to repeal and replace obamacare or the affordable care act, most people didn't want to do what they thought. every time they presented it it was bad. this university poll finds only
32% of americans supports this tax bill. that is the lowest support for any bill they have seen for the last three decades. so the question is if you listen to what scott said, the economy's booming and what have crow, why move ahead with this legislation that people don't trust? >> what the administration is banking on and hoping on and what they've been pushing the last few days is the results of this tax reform will be immediate and swift and positive for the american people. and they hope that those results will help offset some of their concerns we're seeing right now in this period. the president was pretty clear yesterday to state that the irs was already making plans to implement this. speaker ryan did the same. and look, what they've been saying for quite some time that for the average american family this would be an extra $2,000 in their pocketbook at the end of year. they're in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two outs and members of congress realize
they've got to do something. they need to hit a home run on this tax reform plan because they need a legislative accomplishment. and so far they've had bicameral success with regard to this plan they've had on the table. both the house and senate have given to each side's plan. but they really need to work and get something done. they realize they need to get something done right now but it also has to be right. so i hope they get back to the table and work on a plan that is certify to everyone. >> you know sports more than i do. is that basketball references? i'm joking. that's baseball. they told speaker ryan today he is soul-searching and it is possible he could leave congress after the mid-terms next year if not sooner. but the white house says ryan told trump he is not leaving. take a litzen and i want you to answer. >> the president did speak to the speaker not too long ago and made sure that the speaker knew
very clearly and no uncertain terms if that news was true he was very unhappy with it. the speaker assured the president that those were not accurate reports and that they look forward to working together for a long time to come. >> i spoke to someone in ryan's inner circle today who said to me that while the soul-searching aspect of this is true, this is sort of like pall ryan's mount everest. he's going to climb it, he think he's going to get to the top, but after you've got to assess what you're going to do next. there was no plan in ryan's head to leave after the mid-terms. this seems like a story that got some legs underneath it. i think there was a little bit of capital politics involved -- >> no way. that would never happen, right? so what kind of message is the
white house sending with the language like that, do you think, scott? >> well, look, i think as a republican who believes that the party needs to be cohesive going into a mid-term, i'm encouraged to hear the president would be upset about a pall ryan leaving. because we need to pall ryan republican wheres, the trump republicans everybody needs to be on the same page. and to be upset paul ryan is leaving, they are on the same page. there's a lot of people right now that do want to push a story line about a republican civil war and the president doesn't get along with the legislative branch. i actually think a lot of this is bunk. if you look at what's happened in the last quarter donald trump, mitch mcconnell and ryan have teamed up on various things. the tax bill, trump and mcconnell doing judges. they've also had a couple of successful months here. that kind of momentum could
carry them into the new year. >> i haven't heard that word since the '80s, bunk. what do you think this development between the president and the house speaker, now he loves him? isn't it more to love or hate? >> i think they need each other. they realize they have to work together. and i didn't take what sarah said today as the president threatening ryan anyway. i think he generally would be upset if he left because now they've kind of gotten momentum with regard to tax reform. hopefully they'll hit the ball out of the park in the few few weeks or so. but i think they realize they have to work together. but from ryan's standpoint, he was made for this moment. he loves these geeky numbers. he loves this tax talk. and from his standpoint if this is able to be accomplished and we're able to have monumental
tax reform, which is something he's wanted for many, many years, if he were to decide to go, this would be a perfect time for him. but i for one would hate to see him go. but if he was even thinking about it, this would be an opportune time. >> i remember when he was on the ticket, and even before that when he carried this binder around and that's all he talked about. rick, can we get to your piece now on the daily beast? i wonder what you mean by that? as you say, yes, donald trump's gets the base riled up with, his rock bottom approval ratings means he activates these groups that doesn't fit into his f fantasy of what america looks and feels like. so does this mean that the bannon-trump play the base
strategy has backfired and they're going to stop using it maybe? >> oh, i doubt they'll stop using it because there's a certain yulish stupidity. ed you a petri dish where bannonism should have absolutely overcome anything. but the fact of the matter is a lot of what we're seeing in these down ballot races, the action may activate the republican base but the reaction is now almost disproportionate in what he accomplishes in getting the base fired up and getting the narrow spectrum of issues that really turn on the trump-bannon base. things like immigration and trump sort of racially inflected attacks on things like nfl
athletes. and he's managed to activate entire segments of the population where even if you bring home the entire base in most places of the country that aren't alabama, that aren't, you know, deep, deep red states you end up in a situation where the folks on the other side of this equation are so angry ask so motivated that he becomes a touchstone. and of course bannonism is even ugler in a lot of ways than what trump does. so you end up in this situation steve bannon would love to replace the republican party with whatever is in his head with some sort of new nationalist populist party but folks are rejecting that. my friends and clients, they're scared to death you're going to get a lunatic bannonite primary challenger that pushes not just out to the right but out to the orbit of pluto in the crazy spectrum of things. i think a lot of people are calling it as bannon has been
the skunk of the garden party. >> i'd be such a wallflower and never say exactly how he feels -- >> he writes what he feels. we talked about the strategy that this administration especially president trump and bannon i'm sure realizes the base, right, they hate hillary clinton more than they love donald trump. is the problem for the gop that democrats hate trump more than republicans love him? >> well, the republicans have to come to grips with the fact that in the president's first mid-term historically speaking the party is out of pow, it's reed really mad they just lost the election and they all get together to try to win. and when you're in that position as it democrats are now, they just have to be for something. and what they're against today is the presidency of donald trump. he's got low approval rating. they're against the policies put forward by the republican party.
but they're not really advocating anything new or exciting. they're just coalescing their anger after having lost the last election. you've got the historic tide running against you, you have a president with a low job approval, and you have a lot of factors that are pointing towards a very tough mid-term, what can you control? here's what you can control. candidate quality. in alabama we saw terrible candidate quality. you cannot afford to go down the same road in all these senate races like we're looking at in arizona, nevada -- >> all right, we've got to run. >> that would be a recipe for disaster if the democrats get control of either chamber, it will be functional end of this presidency. >> we haven't seen the last of bannon that's for sure. >> i've got to thank you guys. >> thanks, don. when we come back, presidential lie. shocking stats on just how often president trump says things that are simply not true, and how he compares to president obama.
times" magazine. or about who benefits from his tax plan. and every time we talk about this the president's supporters insist that president obama lied, too. well, here are the facts. the "the new york times" compared president trump's false statements to president obama's. they used a conservative standard, a demonstratively false claim, not a fudge, not a misstatement. and they applied the same standard to both presidents. they found that in the first ten months of his administration president trump made 103 statements that were just not true. in his entire eight-year presidency, president obama made 18. those are the facts. here to discuss, cnn contributor michael deantonio, just happens to be author of "the truth about trump." michael, listen, why does this
president lie so much? >> i think in some ways it's just salesmanship. he came up as a fellow selling hard. first it was real estate and then it was casinos and then it was golf courses and hotels. and, you know, there are some old-fashioned sales people who think that you say whatever it takes to make the sale. and you compare this with most other presidents who have been attorneys or in jimmy carter's case, a nuclear physicist. and they often deal with facts. and there's two ways of looking at the world. and i think president trump is very committed to closing the deal, and he'll cleanup the mess later or have someone else do it. but in the moment it doesn't matter. i think he wants us to get us to go along with him. here's an example of one of 18 lies that president obama told. >> the vast majority of the money i got was from small
donors across the country. >> so obamaca did not have a lo of small donors, but i should say he did have -- i don't want to tell a lie here. he did have a lot of small donors, but definitely not the majority. so i want to play now, this is lie from president trump. all right, it's a tweet. sorry. it says, terrible. just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before my victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism. that was was a false claim. absolutely no evidence there. i heard him in campaign stops just at the alabama, florida border saying oh, it turns out i was right about that, no he wasn't right about that. it was an absolute lie. how significant is it that this president lies? >> well, you just put your finger on one of the other elements of what he does.
and that's where he goes back and insists that the distortion that he offered months before actually is true, even though the world has moved on and determined that it isn't true. he's not really focused on the reality that we inhabit. he's focused on the thing that he wants to accomplish for himself. so in this case he's very competitive with barack obama. he's very resentful of those who bring up these instances of misleading statements and outright lies. so when he's before a friendly audience and he's sure that none of them are going to fact check him, he'll go back to it. you know, we've seen that in other cases where he regrets, apologizing or regrets correcting himself because he feels he's somehow weaker in the eyes of the audience. and really he's playing to an audience not so much the electorate by admitting he made
a mistake. >> but he often tries to discredit people telling the truth. because we all remember president obama, if you like your doctor, you can keep it line. but he didn't continue with that false claim, but president trump is different. when he's caught saying something untrue, he doubles down and gets personal. and again discredits the person telling the lie -- telling the truth. why is that? >> well, he told me -- president trump he thought obama, he had made a mistake when he said you can keep your doctor. he thought obama should have stuck with his original story because of the appearance of correct himself suggesting there's something wrong. and, you know, i think this goes back a long way with him, where he's talked his way out of trouble many, many times. in fact, who else could have gone bankrupt spectacularly once
and gotten people to give him money again and done it again and then people give him money again. and he goes on for four big bankruptcies when anyone else would have been told to go away. and yet he does sell his point of view effectively. he is charming in a way. as much as you might be exacerbated by him, there are lots of people who are entertained by him. >> new yorkers knew. they knew, but there are many people around the country who didn't know and are buying into a lot of the lies that this person told. i mean he was elected president of the united states because of what you said. >> well, we went through this -- well, during the election we were told to not take him seriously, but then we were told we should consider him a serious candidate. right, seriously but not
literally. and, you know, he does get away with things that other people don't get away with. but before i go too far with that, i have to remind myself and we have to understand his ratings in the polls are very low. the party may be turning away from him and the steve bannon way of doing things. so the percentages aren't going to be with him forever. and we may see in 2018 that this catches up with him at last. >> yeah, and when we're talking about how he's sort of hurtful to people, he talks about people he's feuding with. has he always been this way? >> he has always been this way. and actually even the broader way that he attacks the press is something that goes back a long way with him. he's talked about how he considers the media dishonest for more than 20 years.
and his opponents are always bad people, and those who agree with him are always the good guys. and this is way, i think, of establishing the rules of the game. and here again is a key to understanding how the president views the world. his game is succeeding in promoting himself and his own interests. and he defines that by winning the argument in this moment. not tomorrow and not for history's sake but in this moment. and for him it means deny any responsibility, then turn and attack your opponent. and so if it's the fact checkers, and those are mostly found in the press, he'll attack the press. if it's his opponents, he'll attack them. either way he's right, we're wrong and really it's because he says so. >> thank you, michael. i appreciate it. when we come back, why sources say senator john mccain's senate colleagues
find your awesome, and change the way you wifi. new concerns tonight about the health of senator john mccain who is battling brain cancer. sources telling cnn the arizona republican is looking increasingly frail. mccain's office releasing this statement yesterday. senator john mccain is currently receiving treatment for normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy. as ever he remains grateful to his physicians for their excellent care and friends and supporters for their encouragement and good wishes. i want to bring in now cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay ga sanjay gupta. while we don't know the specifics for senator mccain, what could those side effects be? >> well, you know, it's been
five months now since his diagnosis, don. and there's a few things that come to mind. when someone starts to have a problem it's either the tumor, his brain cancer has progressed. it could be the treatment itself, the radiation and chemotherapy is causing the side effects as in the statements you just read or some combination of both. and typically when it comes to side effects with this sort of thing, it could be headaches, weakness on one side of the body, significant fatigue or the kind of things people think of with chemotherapy. nausea, even needs to come into the hospital to be treated. so it's probably in that category of things because either of the side effects or the tumor itself, don. >> and listen, last couple of times i saw him on camera giving sound bites he was in a wheelchair, so we know he is dealing with that and those side effects. >> there's no question, the
wheelchair itself, it's interesting. he has significant stairioids th that he has to take as part of his therapy. my understanding was some of those steroids had weakened the tendons and people develop pain. these are the side effects associated with the therapy even more so than the cancer itself. but, you know, for the patient it's all part of the same thing. i mean you feel perhaps one day and then you feel miserable to the point you need hospitalization. >> you were the first journalist i believe to break the news that senator mccain had brain cancer. you were the only doctor given permission to speak with his doctors at the time of his diagnosis. what can you tell about his prognosis when it comes to his diagnosis? >> don, this is one of those tough things. you make projections and predictions based on that, but as you know, don, because we've talked about this sort of thing
before, every patient is a stustitsst statistic themselves. so everybody's going to be a little different. if you look across the board average survival with this kind of tumor is 14 months. you may remember senator ted kennedy had the same tumor. he lived for about 14 months. that is the type of prognosis. the prognosis of 14 months is almost exactly the same as it was when i finished medical school 24 years ago now. so it's a tough one. but mccain has even after his initial therapy which was an operation that he had back in july, i remember his doctors said, look, you need to stay put for a couple of weeks and a few days later he's back in washington. so he's john mccain. he certainly defies probabilities and statistics, so we'll have to wait and see. >> i remember during the health
care vote, we were all like wait a minute he was just in the hospital. he's back and i mean just as feisty as ever which is the way everyone loves him. senate republicans are hoping he's going to make it back to the floor by early next week, because they have this stuff to take care of before the end of the year. tax reform is one of the em. what's the likelihood that will happen? >> what i will tell you is typically when someone is dealing with this, it is a roller coaster ride. it is ups and downs. so you described that people have said that he looks frail, and you can understand why. he's in the hospital obviously now. but if you can treat again what they're describing as the side effects of his therapy, he could rally. i mean you could decrease the swelling that occurs in the brain. don, what happens is you give radiation to the brain to kill the remaining cancer cells.
that's a good thing, but it causes impact to the surrounding brain. the brain starts to swell, they have headaches and don't feel well. you can decrease the swelling, and if that swelling decreases, he could feel a lot better. so it is possible he will improve. may may go down again, improve again. that will likely be the course of what's going to happen for the next several months for him. and when we come back, more and more accusations of sexual misconduct against men in power. we're going to tell you who is being accused now and what the repercussions are now so far.
misconduct and now stepping down from his production company. variety reporting tonight that three more women have come forward accusing actor dustin hoffman of assault. and then there's a long list of the politicians facing a list of accusations including president trump, former president h.w. bush, senator al franken, blake farenthold of texas, john conyers of michigan has resigned, alabama senate candidate roy moore lost his bid election this week, cec state representative dan johnson committed suicide after sexual assault allegations. so there's a lot there, and there are more we can discuss. i want to talk about this with a research psychologist and an op-ed writer and editor at "the new york times." thanks for joining us.
it's an important conversation. that's a long list. >> can't even keep track. >> as i was reading it, it struck me all of these men this is just over the recent months. >> and this is just in a very limited number of industries, right? i mean this is really so far and frankly pretty high class industries. it's in hollywood, politics, the media. and we haven't even touched sort of blue collar industries where i can't even imagine how rampant this must be. >> you see stories come out in the restaurant business. women are coming out and suing companies. i guess it's been inspired now for people to come out and outside of industries that we've seen. the music industry, russell simmons is in some serious trouble now. it's been reported tonight that the nypd is opening up an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him. pretty vicious violent ones. it's -- it's sad to see that we
are still facing this kind of culture, and it's so widespread. but the upside of it is that women now can finally i think feel safe in coming out and telling their stories. >> i agree. >> you said it's because women are now realizing that their stories have worth or their stories are worth talking about. >> and they can have a voice. i think what has been going on in the more glamorous industries is that men have a higher level of tetosterone. and i think what happens is they use -- they act on their desires rather than their intelligence. and i think that's going on for a long, long time. i think that there's no reason for a woman to have to modify her behavior or what she wears in order so that she wouldn't be
attractive. and this is the ohio representative marcy captor who said women should think about how they dress. i don't know if can any of you remember the liola memo where the legal interns were told that they shouldn't wear short dresses and low cut blouses and nothing with scent to the men. it's endemic in our culture, and it's sad and it's a good thing that women are talking. >> i want to play something because there's so much to talk about. this is congressman blake farenthold who's accused of abusing staffers and using sexually demeaning language. >> i never served in public office before and as a result i allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly
unprofessional. it accommodated destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that in generally was less than professional. i understand that this issue has become a political distraction and i would be forced to gauge in a month long campaign for personal vindication. therefore i'm announcing my decision not to run for re-election. >> is that enough? >> i think that's one of the worst apologies that i've seen. i mean he's blaming it on the fact he's a political rookie. everyone knows what's right and wrong behavior. i think in the case of louie ck's he's admitting he had a compilation. he knew he had done sort of terrible things in the past and he got out of ahead of any accusations that were going to dog him. but what's interesting ability his apology is that in a way it's sort of representative of
the lumping together. he characterized it that the women experienced it asidate rape and apologized for verbal harassment. those are all sort of very, very different universes. >> he talked about an instance where, you know, the woman left and she had had to say that she was going to tell other people if she didn't get money. now, that's not an apology. is he sorry or is he sore? >> well, he didn't name her. i think, well, maybe if i preempt this which is what most crisis management professionals will tell you to do, and maybe he thought this would temper his -- >> when you mentioned louie ck, i forgot. >> you forget that happened? >> louie ck, kevin spacey,
harvey weinstein. i want to quickly about blake farenthold, the decision to finish his term, is that going to damage the win? >> of course. my question is paul ryan, where are you speaker of the house? this guy just admitted he was too incompetent to run his congressional office and he behaved like some kind of out of control frat boy. so that means he's qualified to remain a member of congress? that's insane. and so i think that blake farenthold should absolutely step down just like others did because his behavior was completely unacceptable as well. and even in blake, his congressional office, you actually had a male staffer come out and corroborate some of the stories of the female staffers and tell stories of his own he was the recipient of sexually inappropriate comments coming from the congressman which is different case in a lot of these
other instances where you have a male colleague admitting it was inappropriate. >> stick around. i think the me too movement is great, but i also think that men need to -- i think we should start a we too movement. because it shouldn't be about just women saying this happened to me. it should be a we too movement because men, we're like cavemen and we don't get it. we're going to talk about that next. and what the me too movement, has it -- some people are worried that it's going to go too far. people won't hire women and that these incidents are not going to be believed. we're going to have that conversation when we come back. my name is jeff sheldon,
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and one that i celebrate. we've gone from a reality where women were sort of disbelieved, written off as liars, being paid off, floozies. i can go on and on, but we shift pretty radically in the other direction to the point where certain men are falling, their careers are being ruined based on one or two anonymous allegations. and my fear is that this movement could sort of tip from one that is about justice to one that's about vendetta. and that concerns me. it's not that i don't think we should believe women. i think we should. we should listen to women. but i think all claims need to be investigated. and what concerns me is we're not having due process in all these situations. >> we first had the conversation a couple weeks ago with the george h.w. bush allegations, i said we need to be careful the pendulum doesn't swing the other
way because there are different degrees there. sexual assault, we don't want to muddy the waters there or dilute these occurrences with people who may have felt inappropriate in the workplace or inappropriate comments made. that's not the same as someone assaulting you. i don't want to see an overcorrection or the danger of people weaponizing this and using it as a vendetta to get back. >> what i do think you might not be assaulted, but a man -- two out of three men done in a study thought it was all right to keep asking women to go out with them, to get involved. that if they say no it doesn't mean no. and that -- that's part of our culture. it's deeply ingrained. >> can i ask you something? >> yes, police. >> i was having dinner last
night, four or five men sitting around, and they were saying in our society they're taught men have to make the first move, women don't. and something may be there, they're not sure if they ask someone out or try to kiss someone or try to whatever, that they're going to end up in hr, end up on a police report when all they were doing may be a bad flirt job or whatever, they were just attracted to someone. >> sorry, go ahead. >> i was just going to say one kiss or asking out a person once, this is not equivalent to that. >> but isn't it how the other person receives it, though? >> no, no, no. i think that's minimizing it. i really do. these are men who are stalking, in many ways don't think the rules apply to them. >> we're talking about extreme cases where people are assaulted, but then there are cases where people -- >> but that isn't even assault.
that's harassment. >> it's degree. there are men right now my age after they hook up with a woman or have sex with a woman, they make sure to have written documentation the next day. they'll send an e-mail or text saying i had a great time last night, how about you. and the reason they're doing that is they're terrified that god forbed someone interprets something the wrong way. and i'm looking back at past experiences i've had with an elevated different self-awareness and consciousness about them. i think that's great. i think it's great people are now sort of looking back at their histories in a new way. but that could lead to instances where you're looking at it is that okay -- >> i can't. i'm out of time. i'm sorry, i feed to clarify something we said earlier in the show when we said there were three women in president trump's cabinet. there are three female cabinet
www.vitac.com the public is planning to unveil their final tax bill. one key senator on the fence. could trump's big tax cut go down in defeat? >> omarosa is a good person. >> out at the white house and wasting no time to tell hstory. why she says she felt uncomfortable. >> president trump making a call to the kremlin just hours after putin said the press is quote dreaming up reports of conta