tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 15, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
>> i'm very disappointed with the attorney general. but we will see what happens. >> reporter: beware, your job could be eclipsed or, if you're lucky, you could get pardoned. >> we'll see what happens. let's see. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> and thanks for joining us. have a great weekend. "ac 360" begins now. we begin with keeping them honest, with the president leaving the possibility open pardoning the first person to be charged in the russian investigation, former national security adviser michael flynn, who plead guilty about lying with the fbi. today on the white house south lawn, the president was asked whether he would consider pardoning flynn. here's what he said. >> i don't want to talk about pardons with michael flynn yet. we'll see what happens. let's see. >> reporter: we'll see is among the president's favorite phrase. a vague cliffhanger he's used to talk about everything from the
fate of the paris climate accord to war with north korea. it's the first time the president has opened the door to the possibility of pardon, which of course set off a lot of alarm bells, attempting to tamp the whole thing down, the white house attorney said in a statement after the president's remarks. "there is no consideration being given to pardoning michael flynn at the white house." that's what we call a walk back, and it's in keeping what sarah sanders said whether a flynn pardon was on the table ten days ago. >> would he consider pardoning him? >> i'm not aware that has come up, or any process or decision on that front. >> so you haven't talked to him about it? >> no, i haven't asked the president whether or not he would do that. i think before we start discussing the pardons for individuals, we should see, you know, what happens in specific cases.
[ inaudible ] >> i said i haven't had the conversation with him, because i don't feel it's necessary until we get further down the road and determine whether or not that's something that's needed. >> as i said, that's pretty close to ty cobb's statement that that isn't something that is being considered. so even it's not true, or the president hasn't told his advisers about it. but none of those are great options, at least if you're one of those people interested in getting the facts. but the mixed messages on things like this from the white house is not anything new. let's go back to the firing of james comey. here's what the president said in april. >> is it too late to ask him to step down? >> no, it's not too late. i have confidence in him. we'll see what happens. >> less than a month later on they 9, press secretary sean spicer had this exchange in the press briefing. >> does the president still have confidence, full confidence in fbi director james comey? >> i have no reason to believe -- i haven't asked him
since the last time we spoke about this. >> the last time you spoke about it you said he did have confidence in him. >> in light of what you yo are telling me, i don't want to speak on behalf of the president. >> comey was fired hours later. then in august, the president was asked if he had confidence in bannon. >> i like mr. bannon, he's a friend of limine. i went through 17 senators, governo governors, and won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on later than that. i like him, he's a good man. he's not a racist, i can tell you that. he's a good person. he actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. but we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. >> we'll see what happens. bannon was out three days later, but his fingerprints remain.
a super pac aligned with him called great america alliance has been running an ad calling for members of robert mueller's team to be fired. the ad features a fox news commentator. a campaign that the president is on board with. here's a longer version of what the president said about flynn today. >> i don't want to talk about pardons for michael flynn yet. we'll see what happens. let's see. i can say this, when you look at what's going on with the fbi and the justice department, people are very, very angry. >> one can assume that the very, very angry people the people are talking about are himself, sean hannity and other fox news anchors who have been on a campaign against the mueller investigation, which is fine, the president can watch whatever tv programs he wants. but he should be getting intelligence briefings about russia or holding a cabinet meeting or two about the interference. "the washington post" says that doesn't happen, because if
someone tries to talk about that particular attack on american democracy, it upsets the president and takes the briefing off the rails. so just think about that for a moment. the daily briefings are structured to avoid upsetting a president who deems anything that he doesn't like fake news, and anything russia related an effort to delegitimize him. nothing, it seems, can break his feedback loop of fox news talking points. certainly not intelligence he refuses to hear. as to what's going on at the fbi, that's supposedly making people very angry, one dose of gasoline is when reports came out that two fbi officials texted each other about their personal opinions about then candidate trump. one was an fbi agent, a top russia expert at the bureau, who worked briefly on mueller's team. he was taken off after mueller learned about the text messages sent before the russia investigation. but officials tell cnn, this fbi agent's role in that investigation doesn't fit the way republicans and fox news are trying to paint it. officials say this fbi agent was
among those who didn't see michael flynn's answers to the fbi about russia as false. as to the text messages that the fbi agent and a lawyer that they texted back and forth, a lot of trashing not only then candidate trump, but senator bernie sanders, chelsea clinton, how speaker paul ryan. again, not fitting the narrative. last night on this program, jeffrey toobin said delving into the personal political views of fbi agents is a meaningless exercise. >> we don't look into that. that is not part of our legal system, and here you have a situation where, you know, if the standard is what offends sean hannity, there's nothing that's going to satisfy him. and that's why we don't investigate the political views of the people who are enforcing the law. >> now, as you know, mueller's investigation isn't the only one looking into russia's attack on
american democracy and the electoral process, an attack u.s. intelligence agencies agree happen. as the president continue his attempt to undermine investigations, a warning came from house intelligence committee member adam schiff. he said he's worried republicans will shut down the intel investigation, refusing to contact outstanding witnesses and sitting on document requests. he tweeted this -- beyond our investigation, here's what has me really concerned. the attacks on mueller, doj and fbi this week make it clear they plan to go after mueller's investigation aggressively and soon. the white house can exert tremendous pressure to end or curtail mueller's investigation or cast doubt on it. we cannot let that happen. the question that comes more clearly into focus every day that the president ignores intelligence and lashes out at facts is a simple one -- does russia's unprecedented attack on the american electoral process matter, and does it matter they'll try to do it again?
to borrow a phrase from the president, we'll see. breaking news tonight about what's next for the mueller investigation. pamela brown joins us now with that. >> reporter: sources are telling us the president's lawyers are planning to meet with special counsel robert mueller and his team, and we're told this could happen as soon as next week. this is viewed as a key meeting for what the president's lawyers hope will be a chance to find out the next steps in the mueller investigation. the trump legal team is hoping that they can see signs that the end is near in mueller's investigation. they've had other meetings, but here's one that is viewed as significant. the white house says everyone who works there, and who mueller has asked to interview, has gone in for that interview. one of the last happened earlier this week when white house council don mcgahn sat down for his interview. the white house finished turning over the documents requested by the special counsel. there's been no request to interview the president or vice president yet, but mueller could still come back and ask for more
interviews and documents. it's important to note here there's no requirement for mule tore give them any information, but they're hoping, hoping that he's going to show his cards. of course, there's a chance that won't happen. the bottom line is the president and the republicans are getting impatient and want this investigation lifted. >> is there a sense of how quickly the investigation is moving? >> reporter: the mueller investigation is moving relatively quickly in comparison to typical white collar investigations that often stretch into years around years. he's only been on the job for seven months or so, and mueller has brought charges against four people, including two who have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the fbi. other lawyers representing people involved in the case don't see signs of this wrapping up soon. sources say the questions being asked by investigators deal with the firing of former fbi director james comey and the details of the white house handling oh of that 2016 trump tower meeting that donald trump,
jr. set up with russians offering dirt on hillary clinton. we know some members of mueller's team are assigned specifically on the issue of obstruction of justice. we don't know what else mueller is still digging into. >> pamela, thanks. i spoke with congressman jim heins, a democrat. this new reporting from cnn that the president's lawyers are meeting next week with robert mueller's investigation team, i wonder how significant that may be? >> it's hard to say, anderson. one of the positive attributes, of course, of the mueller investigation is there has not been leaks. he's done this investigation the way it should be done, without signaling a lot of where he is. i think it's fair to say the indictments and guilty pleas he secured in the last month were surprises to most of us. so it's a little hard to know what to make of this, but it shows progress, and presumably we'll hear from the president's
people after that meeting about what the -- what the topic was. >> adam schiff, congressman schiff, a ranking democratic member of your committee, says he fears republicans will try to shut down the committee's investigation at the end of this month. i'm wondering if you share that concern. >> yeah, i really do, anderson. look, we have at least a two-track effort to make these investigations go away, to make them irrelevant, to make them marginal. what i mean is adam schiff is right. on monday, we will have three different depositions, three witnesses come in. we're a small committee. there's no way we can cover three different depositions in one day effectively. we've had witnesses come in before we have gotten a chance to hook at the documents that they submitted. we've had requests for witnesses that have not moved. and so there is a very real risk that i think adam schiff shared with you, that this gets shut down early. on the flipside, i don't need to tell you, the truly awful effort
being conducted by the president himself and his allies like sean hannity and janeane piro, to throw mud on the fbi, all in the service of creating some question about whether robert mueller is capable of producing an impartial report. it is a profoundly damaging thing, not just today, but to the confidence that americans should have in their presidency and in their government. >> is that something you think is being orchestrated by the white house? >> well, you know, is it being orchestrated in the sense that there's direct lines from the oval office to fox news? i don't think so. but i did hear the president say that this investigation, he hates it and wants it to go away. if i recall correctly, he said "do something" when people hear that, they are doing something. in the congress, i think, there is effort, marly on the house side, as we just discussed, to make this go away. the president said something, and i'm pretty fired up about
it, anderson. i provide oversight as a member of the intelligence committee. i'm never afraid of saying i think you overstepped here. but the president would call this an organization in tatters, that he would throw mud on an institution comprised only sof -- some of the best young men and women in the country, it's hard to say this about the president, but he's way beyond the pale in his criticism of the fbi and doj. >> what does congress do about it? democrats are far outnumbered in the house. would you look to the senate to keep the white house in check? >> with respect to our own investigation, if the republicans seek to end this by the end of the year, let's say, because that's sort of what it feels like, we're going to tell the american people exactly the witnesses we asked to see we weren't able to interview. we'll tell them the documents that have not been received so the american people can see we
have not finished our work. if mueller comes out with new indictments, with new information, and the house is clueless on that stuff, how is that going to look? with respect to the mueller investigation, look, people need to understand that you don't have a democracy unless you have an impartial, de-politicized department of justice and fbi. and fbi agents having political opinions is not politicizing the fbi. there is nobody in the fbi or in the marine corps or in the congress or in the army or air force that doesn't have political opinions. and when these agents, when it was shown that they shared their political opinions with each other, robert mueller did exactly the right thing and took them off the case. and so the american people need to be prepared to respond to the firing of mueller or to further attacks on the doj and the fbi. and the way you would respond to a hostile act against our democracy, because that's exactly what that would be. >> you heard the president heave the door open today to pardoning
michael flynn. his legal team said there's no such plan in the works. do you think the president could resist using the pardoning power for whoever gets tangled up in this? >> who knows? i've long since given up trying to predict what this president will or won't do. he obviously pardoned joe arpaio. i have no idea what he had in his mind. one thing i do know is that it looks like michael flynn is cooperating with robert mueller, and the president just injected sort of a get out -- a potential get out of jail free card to michael flynn. stop talking, because whatever it is that mueller does to you, whatever indictments are issued, whatever jeopardy you were in, i will fix that for you. that is not either helpful to the investigation or, anderson, you know, as parents, you get used to innocent and guilty behavior.
that is not the behavior of somebody who knows that they are innocent. >> congressman, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. coming up, more on what the president said today about the possibility of pardoning michael flynn and his attacks on the investigation. also ahead, the long awaited details of the republican tax plan. we'll take a look at what's in it and the chances of it passing, coming up.
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breaking news tonight. the president's private lawyers are scheduled to meet with robert mueller as soon as next week. today, the president left open the possibility of pardoning his former national security adviser who pled guilty to lying to the fbi and is cooperating with the investigation. joining me now is john dean and cnn legal analyst michael zeldon. john, what do you think the president leaving the door open to pardoning michael flynn? >> i think he's suggesting big trouble if he's actually seriously thinking about it. obviously, a president has unique powers. one of his almost uncontestable powers is his pardon power. but if he did it in a way that obstructed justice, the congress could certainly impeach him for it. and it would be very conspicuous if he interrupted this
investigation with a pardon. >> john, do you think the idea of leaving the door open, is that potentially a message to flynn or flynn's attorneys that look, you know, doesn't matter what you say to mueller or -- you don't have to cooperate because you can be pardoned. >> given the messages that have been sent out about flynn, i think that's a clear reversal of where they've been, sort of distancing themself. he certain hi did nsimplcertais today. so yeah, it's message. >> i was talking with congressman heins. he raised the idea if this was president trump sending that signal to michael flynn. is there no need for flynn to cooperate with mueller if the president decided to pardon him? >> no, actually to the contrary. the fact that he would be pardoned and it would depend on what the scope of the pardon is, but let's see he was being pard
onned just for his criminal plea of one count of lying to the fbi. he's still under an obligation to testify if he's subpoenaed to testify. and he's under an obligation to testify truthfully or be charged with perjury. so a pardon of flynn in this case does not foreclose flynn from testifying if mueller calls him. and mueller knows everything that flynn already has proffered to him, so he knows that if he's going to lie he's going to be charged with that lie. then the president is in this position legally and politically of having to pardon him again for lies. so i just don't see it as a viable strategy for the president. >> that's interesting. john, if you're donald trump, jr. or jared kushner and you know that your father-in-law has the power to absolve you from legal exposure, doesn't that sort of loom over whatever you're telling or not telling investigators, or does it? >> well, it could.
again, the president could be confronted with impeachment for misuse of the pardon power if he deliberately disrupted an investigation and let these people lie and what have you. it would be not only unseemly politically, but as i say, congress would declare it impeachable. >> michael, when you see the president's allies in congress, right wing media attacking the mueller investigation, do you think they're laying the ground work for the president to fire mueller? >> so i think that politically, it's impossible for the president to fire mueller without implicating the types of abuse of office, impeachable offense that john has been speaking about. but i do think what they're trying to do with mueller and with the fbi generally, and maybe even the justice department generally, is to damage their credibility. so that if there are indictments or if there's a report that is sent forward to the justice department and on to the hill
that says that the president has abused his office, they'll have laid the ground work for discrediting that. i just -- i've written about this, and i think about it a lot. i just think that the firing of mueller is so tragically terrible for the president legally and politically, that it's impossible for me to believe that wise counsel in the white house would allow that to happen. but as john and congressman heinz said, it's hard to predict what is going to happen in this white house. >> john, your perspective is unique. the watergate counsel wanted to talk to you, but president nixon fired him in the so-called saturday night massacre. how bad would it be if the president did try to get rid of mueller? >> i was in a similar situation that flynn was in. i actually had pled and talked to the prosecutors. they knew my testimony well, because i testified on capitol hill for five days, for
eight-hour days. so they knew what i would testify about. and i pled knowing there was a high likelihood that he would be removed. i calculated that nixon could not get away with it. i think the same thing is true here. i don't think that he can make a special prosecutor disappear. if he gets rid of mueller, someone else is going to step in. it's just not going to go away, anderson. >> in your case, john, after they fired cox, you got jaworski and everything went forward. it's not as if these cases end when a particular named individual, mueller or cox or whomever, is fired. the cases go on, and perhaps with some renewed vigor, because they now have the additional mandate of determining whether there was abuse of power, impeachable offense, or further evidence of obstruction of justice. >> thank you very much. coming up, more breaking news. republicans revealing their
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breaking news from capitol hill. republicans have released the final version of their tax plan. they have locked in two key yes votes, but is it enough to get the bhil ill to the president'sk by christmas? let's talk about what is in this bill first of all. >> reporter: it's a $1.5 trillion proposal, 503 pages. it will impact every stage of american life, business or individual. so it's extremely important to state the obvious here. but let's start on the individual taxes. republicans pledged that they would simplify things and cut rates. on a, not quite. in the current law, there's seven rates. in the new law, if it gets signed into law, there are also seven. lowest rates at 10%.
that will stay the same. as it stands currently, 15% is the next rate. the proposal brings that to 12%. the republican rates are 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and the one we've been paying a lot of attention to, 37%, down from the current law of 39.6%. a lot of democrats have attacked that. why are you giving the highest earnings a tax cut? the republicaning sayi is sayin for people that have businesses that pay on the individual side. there are other elements here that are important. take a look at the corporate tax cut. going from 35% down to 21%. there's no question, anderson, in plan is tilted toward the corporate side that. is by design. republicans believe that will boost wages and growth. it's a gamble that they're making, that their economic theory will pay off and they believe it will. the obamacare individual mandate, a key component of the
accordable care act will be repe repealed. the standard deduction is doubled. there are a series of key proposals here that republicans have seized on, trying to sell the bill. and then a lot of the things democrats have attacked. like the estate tax, while that won't be repealed, the exemption will be doubled. in all, as we continue to plow through the pages of this bill, one thing is very clear. republicans feel like this will do something that democrats absolutely do not, but at this point in time, republicans feel like passing this will be the win that they need, anderson. >> do they feel like they have the votes? >> reporter: it's been the big open question for weeks. 24 hours ago, republican leaders were scrambling. they feel like they are in a very good place right now. senator marco rubio, coming around today, saying he's a yes. speaking by phone with president trump, according to a white house official, as he got to that place, his change, the child tax credit increased from $1,000 up to $2,000.
but senator rubio wanted the rebu rebundability piece boosted. that did occur, from $1100 up to $1400. senator mike lee was working with marco rubio on that. he said he's very pleased by that. i would also point out, senator susan collins voted yes the first time around. it looks like she's on her way to that this time around. and the big surprise here, senator bob corker. he was a no the first time around because of concerns about the deficit. anderson, this conference report, this compromise, doesn't do anything to address the concerns that he had the first time around. he flipped to yes today. this gives republican leaders a lot of cushion as they go into next week. and there are still two ill senators right now, thad cochran and senator john mccain. there are questions whether or not they will be back. republican leaders, when you talk to their top advisers, they say we want them to get better. right now we feel we have the
votes to do this on our own. >> phil mattingly, thank you very much. up next, president trump says he hires the best people, but some aren't quite so sure when it comes to some folks he's nominated for federal judgeships. >> ever tried a jury trialsome >> i have not. >> civil? >> no. >> criminal? >> no. >> bench? >> no. >> state or federal court? >> i have not.
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borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no hidden fees. find your rate in just two minutes, and take on your debt at sofi.com. president trump's efforts to remake the federal courts are off to a quick start. the senate has confirmed 12 judges, a modern record. some have come under fire for lack of basic legal knowledge. the latest example is peter anderson. here is part of a jaw-dropping exchange with republican senator
john saenkennedy for a hearing the nomination. >> have you ever try adjure trial? >> i have not. >> civil? >> no. >> criminal? >> no. >> bench? >> no. >> state or federal court? >> i have not. >> okay. have you ever taken a deposition? >> i was involved in taking depositions when i was an associate, when i first came out of law school. but that was -- >> ever -- how many depositions? >> i would be struggling to remember. >> less than ten? >> yes. >> less than five? >> probably somewhere in that range. >> ever taken a deposition by yourself? >> i believe no. >> okay. have you ever argued a motion in state court? >> i have not. >> have you ever argued a motion in federal court? >> no.
>> when is the last time you read the federal rules of civil procedure? >> the federal rules of civil procedure, i have -- in my current position, i obviously don't need to stay as, you know, invested in those on a day-to-day basis, but i do try to keep up to speed. >> i'm sorry to interrupt you, but we're only given five minutes for five of you. >> sure. >> when is the last time you read the federal rules of evidence? >> the federal rules of evidence all the way through? well, comprehensively would have been in law school. >> do you know what a motion in limine is? >> i would not be able to give you a good definition right here at the table. >> do you know what the abstention doctrine is? >> i have heard of it. but again --
>> aunt the pullman extension doctrine? you're going to see that a lot in federal court. >> well, if confirmed, matthew peterson would be a federal judge on the u.s. district court of washington, d.c. for a life term. joining me now to discuss it is walter schwab from the government of ethics, and jeffrey toobin, former federal prosecutor. so walter, these were incredibly basic questions for this nominee. how does somebody like this get this far in >> this is a testment to the poor vetting process at the white house. i saw much of the same thing when i was processing their nonjudicial nominations for the executive branch. these were just basic questions. just about every attorney in america had their jaw drop to the floor when we saw this video. >> jeff, i mean, i want to remind people, this gentleman is nominated for a lifetime appointment. i'm wondering what your reaction was to his testimony?
>> i think you have to keep in mind what the trump administration wants to do with the federal courts. they believe this is a very important area to move in a conservative direction. judicial appointments have been a priority for the republicans. remember, mitch mcconnell shut down judicial nominations virtually during 2016, so president obama couldn't fill antonin scalia's supreme court seat with garland, and the republicans have nominated people whose qualifications that are often very good, but always very, very conservative. like mr. peterson. and that's really the priority here, is idealology over competence, at least in this case. >> but jeff, in terms of his knowledge base, were you shocked? >> yeah, i mean, you know -- >> or lack of knowledge. >> lawyers can be obnoxious, but to know that the motions in limine are about restricting
evidence in a trial, i mean, that stuff i think you only have to watch "law and order," you know, the little sound it makes. but it was deeply bizarre. and kennedy, you could tell, was appalled. because he had a questionnaire there from peterson, which answered all those questions about have you ever tried a case? so he knew the answers to those questions, and he was intentionally trying to embarrass peterson, because kennedy, who is a very serious person, was so appalled that such an unqualified nominee was put up by the president. >> this is the president who ran as a candidate on he picks the best people. he knows as always is surrounded by the best people. it's hard to imagine that this guy is, you know, the best candidate. >> well, this was him on his best day, because he hasn't been practicing in this area. he knew he had a senate confirmation hearing coming up.
and if you were going to study three things, you would study civil procedure, criminal procedure, and the rules of evidence. and the man didn't even do the most basic homework. so we're looking at him on his best day when he had advanced time to practice for the test. imagine what his courtroom would be like if he had to make decisions on the fly in the rough and tumble world of litigation. >> also, jeffrey, he didn't just say no, i don't. he sort of went into these painful explanations like, reminding me of somebody in a class who was trying to figure out a way to not look like a complete, i don't know what the word would be, i'm trying to be polite. [ laughter ] >> not an "a" student. yes, look, it was excruciating to watch. because peterson knew how badly he was doing. under that questioning. but really, you have to ask who thought he would be a federal judge. you know, he was a republican
political appointee to the federal election commission. he's a fred of the white house counsel. and it is certainly true that historically being a friend of a senator is a very good way to become a federal judge. but it is also true that federal judges, and this is just my own opinion, republicans and democrats alike, are one of the glories of our federal government. these people, by and large, are terrific. and to see someone so unqualified nominated is painful and it really has the potential to embarrass and disgrace really one of the best parts of our government in a bipartisan way. >> yeah. jeffrey, walter, thank you. >> thanks. coming up, controversial senior staffer omarosa manigault newman is out at the white house. she resigned from her job of improving african-american outreach while she was there. the question is, did she help or hurt the effort. our randi kaye digs in next.
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omarosa manigault newman, former reality show contestant and author of "the bitch switch" is stepping up her post white house press tour since her departure as the top ranking african-american in the west wing. the latest in an appearance on "nightline" yesterday where she said this. >> donald trump is racial, she's not a racist. yes, i will acknowledge many of the exchanges, particularly in the last six months, have been racially charged. do we then just stop and label him as a racist? no. >> her discussion of race is hitting a nerve among many in the african-american community, where some people say she did not represent people very well. cnn's randi kaye tonight has more. >> reporter: at the white house, omarosa manigault newman's job was to reach out to african-americans. improve relations, and get their support for the president's
agen agenda. but if you listen to the reaction of her work and her, you might think she did more farm than good. >> she's really a pariah in the african-american community. she's been the villain, and her job as a director of outreach in the african-american community was almost a slap in the face to the african-american community. >> reporter: on "the view" whoopi goldberg piled on. >> i hope you find your people, because maybe they're looking for you. he's just been so nasty to so many women, and so many women of color. >> reporter: women like radio and talk show host wendy williams. >> did you get a nose job? >> it looks like you have a nose job. i just looked at it before -- before and half. >> the only thing i've had done to my face is some botox.
i would suggest to you -- [ applause ] >> i would suggest a wig that doesn't sit off my head three inches. >> reporter: after she took the white house job, spike lee had a strong reaction, slamming her on instagram, posting this picture of her wearing a clown nose. and despite all hercommunity -- >> i will forget the people who turned their backs on me and all i was trying to do was help the black community. it's been so incredibly hard. >> omarosa manigault-newman was also known for hostile exchanges with the community, including one at a gathering for the national association of black journalists earlier this year. >> ask your question, but don't lecture me. >> adds for h-- i have seen thi
that affected me deeply and emotionally that has affected my community and my people. >> when she says her people, does she mean reality show stars? because she was not fighting for black people in the white house. my people. slow down, omarosa parks. you can't come back to the neighborhood and be like, that was really weird, right? anybody notice that? and "f" you're wondering whether black people were buying it, just ask robin roberts. >> randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> joining me is a former white house director for black outreach. angel, this role that omarosa had, we had people talking about
it last night. they considered it a slap in the face to the african-american community that she would serve in some type of outreach role and in some ways she may have kept people out of the white house or made it more difficult for outreach. how do you see it? >> i think that she's ill-equipped in any outreach kps. you saw her reaching out to wendy williams. this is someone who exercises a strategy of burning bridges she has to cross later, much like the president. no surprise here. i think really the issue for me at this point is, i'm kind of over this. i don't know why omarosa's getting this much attention at this point. we know she's not going to tell any honest reflection of herself in the administration.
the reality is whether it's omarosa or it's bruce that goes on don's show sometimes or it's paris, or pastor burns or whomever, any black person serving in the trump administration to reach out to black people to latino people, any community that's been marginalized my donald trump's politics is going to have a tremendous issue. it is not just the person in the job. it's also the person sitting in the office as commander in chief. >> paris. i'm wondering how you see it and did her sitting in the job make outreach more difficult? >> i think that, number one, omarosa's job was not the director of black outreach. unfortunately, what she decided to do was take on that roll because she felt she was the assistant to the president in the highest ranking african-american official in the white house. but that was not what she was hired to do. she decided not to have someone
else come in that role as i had and actually do sustained, strategic outreach to the african-american community on both sides of the aisle. point two that we all know that omarosa was and is a reality tv star. if you watch "the apprentice," you know who she was. there are people coming out stating she was abusive to staff, berating people, her colleagues, and there are many people coming out now saying, listen, we were blocked from getting access to the white house because we wanted to be a part of the president's agenda. we wanted to have a seat at the table and we wanted to do good things for the community as black republicans, and omarosa was not a republican. she said he was a trump republican, and she said at one point she might have change her
registration, but she spent the majority of her life as a democrat. for people who were not in the administration like me, had a seat at the table because of other people in the we asked wing and other people in the white house who gave me those opportunities. i talked about hbcus and raised that issue because that's important to me and the thurgood marshall fund. that was brought to the table. but i was surprised to see the lack of actual black republicans who have long been in the trenches, long been fighting for our people, but just on the republican side of the aisle. what i don't want people to think is that omarosa was black republican. she was the only person that could do and that was concerned about the community. there are many people out there, myself included, who are on the republican side who wanted to have access and who wanted to use this opportunity to do more for our community.
>> it is difficult for me to imagine anybody who has worked in the white house who has this extraordinary opportunity, and the day after is pitching a book hinting you're going to have some big revelations you were concerned about while you were in your past job. why would anybody else hire you if that is the kind of person you are? >> well, anderson, i think we all know two paris' last point, she's a reality tv star who operated in this same vein on the reality shows in which she was a part of. we shouldn't be surprised by this behavior. birds of a feather flock together. she acts very much line the commander in chief. i don't know she's worried about getting her next job. i think she's worried about, you said it now a few times since yesterday, perhaps getting a book deal. maybe she wants to be a cnn
contributor. i don't know if there's space for her given she said disparaging things about don lemon. >> usually we would want a capital punishme contributor with a knowledge base. >> i think she's struggling to figure out what she did. the bottom line is the republicans have been pushing for this tax reform bill. omarosa was at a football game on sunday. this is the time where the rubber should have been meeting the road in communities all over the country to talk about whatever this tax reform bill is supposed to be to them. i think it's trash, but she should have been selling that bill. that's where we are. coming up, the gop reveals the final tax bill. the details impact nearly every american. the question now, will it pass and what's in it. the latest from capitol hill.
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