tv Smerconish CNN December 23, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> jeannie moos, cnn, new york. i'm pamela brown, i'll see you an hour from now, "smerkonish" is next. ♪ ♪ i'm michael smerkonish in philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we know what the president wants for christmas -- credit from all the media for all of his achievements. he tweeted -- sadly, the fake mainstream media will never talk about our accomplishments. in their end of year reviews. we're compiling a long and beautiful list. well, mr. president, stick around, i'm about to talk about your impact. plus, with 750 million packages delivered by u.p.s. this holiday season, a growing number are being stole bin so-called porch pirates.
>> i'ming about to talk to a man had has figured out how to fight back with a bang. plus did you ever talk about something on your phone and suddenly start seeing ads for it? is it a coincidence? or are our smartphones spying on us? and a look back at some memorable moments on both sides from 2017, including everybody's favorite blooper by yours truly. george pappadopolous. >> i'm a dope, i'm a dope. but first, we're almost one year into a trump administration. and the end of any year is a time for assessing especially this one. mike allen had an interesting observation this week in his axios newsletter. he pointed out how little president trump and perceptions of him have changed in the last year. roughly the same number of people support him today as did
at the beginning of his administration. the russia probe has remained constant. the elected republicans remain compliant. the elected democrats still don't like him. the war with the media has never subsided and neither have his twitter fingers. all true. but there's a temptation in those observations to conclude that his administration, the passage of the tax bill notwithstanding, is static, gridlocked. that nothing is getting done in a polarized climate. that would be a mistake. in fact, if the pace of change continues for the duration of trump's presidency, however long that might be, i think he could become the most consequential president in the modern era. s could convention meaning most important and significant. having the biggest overall impact. as with the criteria that "time" magazine uses when determining its person of the year. this is not necessarily a good thing. think about it. a supreme court position that
was by rights a democratic pick, instead went to trump. and his influence on shaping the federal judiciary is far greater than just neil gorsuch on the nation's highest court. he broke a senate record by confirming a dozen new u.s. circuit court judges, the most during a president's first year in office in more than a century. at the rate he's going, by next year, more than 12% of federal cases heard will be by trump-appointed judges. those picks will be his longest-lasting legacy. the tax bill that he's just signed is the first major overhaul of policy since the reagan era. whatever the effect, that won't be undone any time soon. and by ending the individual mandate, president trump has felled a major domino that will upset the economic viability of the affordable care act. how can you provide coverage for those with preexisting conditions if you don't have everybody in the insurance pool? trump has made cutting federal regulations a priority.
he's revoked 67, he's delayed or derailed more than 1500 others. he's pulled out of the paris climate accord. ok'd the keystone pipeline. recognized jerusalem as the capital of israel and refused to recertify the iranian nuclear deal. on his watch, the iraq prime minister just declared victory over isis. "the new york times" ross dothet called it a war trump won. immigration enforcement, i.c.e. has arrested more than 100,000 people who entered the u.s. illegally. 70% of whom were already convicted criminals. his state department has undergone shrinking. for better or for worse. and don't forget about the influence that ideologically driven members of his cabinet are having out of the spotlight. betsy devos in education, scott pruitt at the epa. jeff sessions at justice. now, "time" magazine got it wrong. when not naming the president
its person of the year in 2017. by their own definition the person who most affected the news and our lives for good or ill and embodied what was important about the year, was absolutely donald trump. joining me now to discuss, douglas brinkley, a presidential historian and history professor at rice university and larry sabato director of the center for politics at the university of virginia. larry, he's getting lots done, but without popular support. can that continue? >> i doubt it. look how difficult it was to get that tax bill passed. and he never could get obamacare repealed. i know about the individual mandate being abolished, but that's not the same thing as abolishing obamacare. this is with a new presidency usually coming with some kind of honeymoon. republican majority in both houses, i grant you thin
majority in the senate. but still most majority, gate a great deal done. while certainly trump has accomplished some things, i agree with you on the judiciary, he could have accomplished a great deal more if he were a different kind of president i don't know about being the most consequential. but i'll tell you this, he's the most different president in the modern era. >> i think everybody could agree on that including the president. douglas brinkley, there's a lot to be said for that which takes place through inaction. differentiate between action and inaction and what it means for this presidency. >> just take a look at what he said pulling out of the paris accord. yes, he did that. what does that mean in the end? it means that donald trump has turned his back completely on climate change what history may show is the overridingly important issue of our time. i mean we've had unusual wildfires, hurricanes, glaciers
melting. the planet is alarmed right now and donald trump decides it doesn't exist, i don't want to believe and listen to the scientists. so by that very inaction this year, we're losing momentum. we're not educating the society on what to do to make the changes on climate change. i just pick that one. you can go all over and see you know, he's gutting the environmental protection agency by 33%. you could save money right now and you could make money mining and leasing the public lands. what does that mean long-term? what does that mean 100 years from now when we start willy nilly desecrating public lands for quick gain profits? conservation is always about our children's children. there's a lot that went on this year that won't shine well on history. he'll be remember fod charlottesville, pocahontas, nfl. issues that divide race and
identity. >> you know what occurs to me, laory, is that everything that douglas brinkley the historian says might be true and yet it will be seen differently in different parts of the country. the laundry list of the negatives will be embraced by the 46% who put him in office. >> you're probably right about that. at least most of the 46%. he has dropped somewhat. maybe you could exaggerate it up to 40, based on the fact that the polls often underestimate his support. he has lost support. why is that? because as doug was suggesting, he is terribly divisive. instead of trying to bring people together, and this is not an era when you can bring people together. but he could have won a few percent more, he could have won over some people who are kind of in the middle about him to begin with. instead, because of what he has done and because of the way he does it, michael, he has divided people, i think more than any time since perhaps the last year of richard nixon's presidency.
that is not a good thing. it is not good thing that we are now truly the divided states of america. red states over here, blue states over there. and oddly enough, those purple competitive states? they're also choosing up sides. >> gentlemen, is it possible to put this in some historical perspective? i want it show you what the president said yesterday and then douglas, i'll ask you to respond first. roll the tape. >> legislative approvals, for which i've given no credit in the mainstream media. if harry truman had more legislative approvals than any other president. we beat him on legislative approvals. for which i get no credit. >> historian douglas brinkley. he references harry truman, who comes to your mind, if anyone? >> well just harry truman created the c.i.a. the joint chiefs of staff. the national security council. the pentagon, the department of air force.
the secretary of defenseship. i could go on and on. what did donald trump create this year? what is he going to be remembered for? i mean john f. kennedy in his first year in office, michael, did some bold things, he said we're going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and he started getting money put into states like huntsville, alabama and houston, texas. infrastructure money on technology that worked with the space program. kennedy created his first year, the peace corps, alliance for progress. what's trump known for? all over the world he's seens a bully. that's the net take-away at the end of the year. and perhaps a bigot. and so it's very hard to see why history is going to be shining a great flashlight on a president with a 35% approval rating, the lowest since polls have been taken. whose big home run was the tax bill. that doesn't really excite people. it is a success at the end of the year and he did get gorsuch in. but it's been a very rocky first
year. >> dr. sabato, i think he's achieved is that what he said he was going to do. which is largely for better or worse, to reverse obama-era policies. >> you're correct on that, too, michael. let's talk about what that means, though. when you base your presidency around your base, your party base, and you are unable or incapable of bringing some people from the other party in, in the long run that means the same thing is going to happen to donald trump. what karma. that's happening to barack obama. obama's presidency is being deconstructed, piece by piece. trump and his appointees are pulling out by the roots, obamacare's policies and regulations and programs. look, at some point, i don't know when, is it 2020, 2024, can't tell you. at some point you will have a democratic president, a democratic senate and a
democratic house again and i can almost guarantee you, i can almost guarantee you that the democratic base will insist that the democratic president and congress do the very same thing to whatever is left of trump's legacy. >> can i just say as a final word to both douglas brinkley and larry sabato, i worry most about a crisis, knock on wood, we've really not had one in the first year of his watch. i worry about what happens in a very polarized setting. in one of those moments when in another time we would most certainly rally around the flag. happy holidays to both of you, i appreciate your expertise. perfect guests for today. thank you. >> thank you, michael. what are your thoughts? tweet me @smerkonish. i will read responses. can you give the trump-bashing a break? why not point out the positive facts versus negative opinions, smerkonish. trisha, are you blanking me? that was the most -- i wrote
every word of it myself. that was the most even presentation of what this year has been that you will find anywhere. that's not an msnbc view. that's not a fox view, that's a straight down the middle assessment of for better or worse, here is what has just transpired. and it gets frustrating for me for people who hear what they want to hear, hear what they think they hear and don't listen clearly. one more if we've got time for it. your paean of trump was disgusting. rajiv can you get together with the last tweet centre and maybe the two of you can work it out. it's remarkable how people hear the same thing and take away from it different conclusions. up next, its peak package delivery season which means porch pirates are in full fevery mode but one man hopes to thwart them in an explosive new style.
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that caused me one of my only absences -- see, it's live tv. from the only day i took off this year was for our daughter's wedding. >> there were several who worried or maybe hoped that i had been fired. to whom i say, not yet. mine was an excused absence. our daughter was being married. for once i didn't sit in the middle. i sat on the bride's side. boogying to "scarlet begonias." merry christmas and happy new year to everybody and i will see you i hope in 2018. still to come, your final tweets and facebook comments of the year. like this one -- smerkonish your pappadopolous moments are some of my favorites. >> hey, diane, wait until you see what mistakes i will make next year. businesses are thinking.
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now what? well, after your first reaction, consider your choices. go it alone, against the irs and its massive resources. hire a law firm, where you're not a priority. call your cpa, who can be required to testify against you. or, call the tax law firm of moskowitz, llp. i went from being a cpa to a tax attorney because our clients needed more. call us, and let us put our 30 years of tax experience to work for you.
hey. please remember to follow me on facebook and twitter. here's some of what's coming during the course of this program. smerconish, lay off the eggnog. trump is the most damaging president to usa. debbie, i knew when i wrote that opening commentary where i argued that he is the most consequential president of modern era. that some would interpret the term, consequential, in a favorable light. i went to great strides to say that i'm using the same that time magazine uses, but
respectfully, i say you're kidding yourself if you think that this is not a, avery impactful presidency. i laid out all the reasons why. but i think you're misinterpreting the way i delivered it. hit me with another one. by your assessment, osama bin laden should at one point have been b time's person of the year. vaughn, absolutely. absolutely. and the year was 2001. and ru drk y wurdy was the time the year and i understood that and had tremendous respect for rudy giuliani's impact. but would you really argue that in 2001, osama bin laden wasn't the person who had the greatest impact on world events? of course he was. and in this instance, time took the easy way out because i'm
sure there would have been norm blowback if they pinned that on bin laden. many people regard it as an honor when it isn't. what's next? my neighborhood has at least 20 packages stolen every day. one person has been packing up cat pop in hers. i like it. i like the cat poop. if you combine the cat poop with the blank box that gentleman was here sell, come on, let's watch it again. yeah. little cat poop in there, then the explosion would be terrific. give me another. here's the issue. who eats lemon pie in the first place? very suspicious. that was one of my radio listeners. then there's guy who needs an oil change and he says so then the next thing that happens is that ads pop up for an oil
change. my son came home from school sporting a growth now being hit with beard ads. i said did you google beard produc products? no, dad, i didn't. what's next? peter piper picked a peck of picked papadopoulos. on radio, i never struggle with it. it's only on television. time for one more. better be a good one. this is the final tweet of the year. what have you got? now that mr. trump has given me permission, may i wish you a merry christmas and happy new year? wait a minute, did mr. trump give me permission to wish you a happy new year? greg, i don't know. so i'm wishing everybody happy holidays, merry christmas, happy kwanza. new year, whatever you're celebrating. i hope you're safe, happy, you're with friends and family and you'll come back to us in
you are live in the cnn news room. i'm pamela brown. two major stories unfolding this hour. president trump attacking deputy fdirector following news mccabe will retire in the coming months. trump not mincing words about him on twitter. more on that, but first, the white house denying a report in "the new york times" that claims that during an oval office meet ng june, the president became so enranged by the number of people receiving visas, he began to unleash on