tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 16, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
stroffe after the e what finally breaks me. jeanne moos, cnn. >> lyin'. >> reporter: new york. >> thank you for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening, thanks for joining us. a busy night tonight. the government is rushing towards a shutdown over immigration. today the white house put out a story completely at odds from both parties. and more coming in from norway. clearly someone is lying and we will have more on all of that shortly. we begin with breaking news that could be, could be significant in the russian investigation. steve bannon has just left the house intelligence hearing room.
mr. bannon who answered plenty of questions refusing to answer questions today to congress. that is according to the lawmaker who was in the room whom i will talk to in a moment. can steve bannon do that legally? we will find out when word of the development hit this afternoon, press secretary said -- his testimony uncooperative enough to earn him a subpoena from the panel. bannon also got subpoenaed from special counsel mueller making him the first known member of president's past or present inner circle to get a subpoena. we begin with what he is saying, what he is not saying, and manu raju joins us from the capital.
talk to me about what has been going on. >> reporter: well this has been a rather contentious affair, after about 90 minutes this morning in when he was talking about his role during the campaign, he was asked about the transition period after the president trump won the election last november. at that point his lawyer interjected and would not answer questions about what happened. he said he was not going to do that because of presumably this could interfere with executive privilege. he would not talk about his time as the chief strategist in the trump white house. this was enough to get push back from both republicans and democr democrats on the committee. he was hit with a subpoena after that on the spot to compel him to testimony.
mike conway spoke to us and said that subpoena is going to remain in effect. the committee is recessing and will revisit this issue at a later date to compel him to provide this information going forward. in addition he also down-played his comments to michael wolff and would not talk about his time in the white house. >> special counsel robert mueller has subpoenaed bannon as well to appear before a federal grand jury. >> reporter: confirmed that he was hit with a subpoena. he told the committee that mueller has asked him to testify before the grand jury. and that appears to be something
that he will likely to do. and the questions also who told him to insert executive privilege. the white house today not saying whether or not they are the ones to in fact not to disclose. >> thanks. i spoke with the member of intelligent committee, jim hines of connecticut. >> was he cooperative? >> well, steve bannon and his attorney asserted a remarkably broad definition of executive privilege. remember, the president who has the executive privilege and they went back and con fermed with the white house and the white house said anything that happened, any communication that happened during the white house were off limits. there were an awful lot of
questions we weren't able to answer based on this novel theory of executive privilege. >> first of all, can someone claim executive privilege for things that happened before president trump became president. >> again, i think this will probably keep the lawyers busy but i have never heard of an example where executive privilege claimed for a president elect. and between two people who don't include the president. and this raises issues whether we will get straight answers from anybody who is or was associated with the administration or is associated with the transition. >> so he is claiming executive privilege not for conversations just between him and the president but between him and jared kushner and ivanka trump or anybody in the white house. >> that is the claim.
between people who are not the president can be protected is something that is going to be disputed. past presidents have waived executive privilege whenever there was the possibility of criminal wrongdoing. here we see from a president who says there is absolutely nothing there, probably the most expansive claim of executive privilege what amounts essentially to a gag order than i think we have ever seen. >> did the committee serve bannon during the meeting? >> that is correct and it didn't make any difference in the end. witnesses appear voluntarily has given witnesses slack not to answer. so in an effort to remove that slack, if you will, a subpoena was served.
but that didn't make any difference. >> bannon's attorney, did he tell -- >> he said up front, that any questions that pertain to those periods of time transition or steve bannon's time in the white house would be off limits which again, led to as you might imagine all sorts of discussion and argument within the committee today. >> today the white house press secretary saying the white house encouraged people to cooperate with investigation. i don't understand how you square that when they reportedly tell bannon not to talk about his time even in the transition. >> you don't. also no squaring the fact that the president is adamant that these investigations be wrapped up as soon as possible. we are going to spend significant amounts of time litigating arguing whether this
executive privilege makes any sense at all in a legal context. it is a puzzling thing. >> the reporting that he has been subpoenaed by mueller, but do you have any power to force him to come back and answer questions in front of the committee? >> sure we do. ultimately if the chairman of the committee, of the investigative committee, conway makes a determination that this expansive claim of executive privilege doesn't apply, steve b bannon if he continues not to answer questions, puts himself at risk of con attemtempt of co. >> do you think it was bipartisan. >> no, there was a great deal of
c con sternation on both sides of the aisle. of course and i am glad to say that members of both parties really pushed back hard against this unprecedented claim. what looks like a gag order. >> and just finally, if steve bannon who has given lots of interviews on camera and certainly to michael wolf and others, what was he willing to talk about? >> you raise a good point there, it won't surprise you to hear the fun detail that there was more than one copy of the book in the room and in that steve bannon was expansive on things he said and other things he said during those periods of time. and there he was saying no i won't answer those questions
because i have been asked by the white house not to. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> even though some of the conversations he is refusing to testify were not even with the chief executive present and some of those took place before the transition. the question is, is that legal it do that to claim that in those circumstances and how could someone who had so much to say to michael wolff. the storming of the presidency also carrie cordero. can bannon. >> he certainly can assert executive privilege or say that the president has asserted executive privilege in his time
in the white house. but it is a novel articulation of executive privilege to assert it during the transition. there is only one executive at a time. and the president is not the president until the inauguration and he assumes office. so it is a novel and untested theory that they are putting forth here. >> and what about between him and conversations with other people in the white house with the chief executive not being there? >> that is a little more broad. they can make an argument that there are privilege executive branch communications that are deliberative that might involve giving advice to the president. squishy than direct conversations with the president. but it is more legitimate than the claim there is privilege over the transition communication. >> given how on the outs the president and bannon are right now, does it surprise you?
>> no it doesn't. and there is a misperception that because bannon was publicly humiliated by trump he is looking for some sort of revenge. i spoke with two people today familiar with bannon's mindset going into this testimony who said to me this claim of executive privilege was meant to demonstrate bannon's loyalty to president trump. >> so it was meant to demonstrate loyalty. so it is sort of like an olive branch essentially. >> exactly. bannon's larger goal, i am sure he would like to avoid getting charged with contempt of congress, but in the near term what he wants to do is get back into trump's good graces. one way i believe he go do that is by telling the white house the line of executive privilege. >> also ahead in the hour, how
team trump is reacting, facing the government shutdown and the continuing smoke screen. and how the questions by jim acosta was a conversation ender today. we will continue with fidelity wealth management you get straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management. to help you grow and protect your wealth. when this bell rings... ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time
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>> steve bannon's ten hours on the hot seat are over. he did confirm that he has been subpoenaed. you heard committee member himes describing the novel nature. >> it won't surprise you to hear the fun detail that there was more than one copy of the recent book "fire and fury" in the room. and in that steve bannon was expansive during what he said at the time and there he was i won't answer those questions because i was asked by the white house to not to. >> is it possible that mueller's subpoena was issue because of what he said in the book? >> i kind of doubt it, anderson,
i don't think the special counsel's team is chasing what they are reading. and they probably knew that they wanted to speak with a whole list of white house officials and former officials steve bannon being one of them. the timing of it may be tied to the book and the reaction of the book. the publication of the book, the subsequent reaction and the fact that steve bannon left the white house. and that might have changed the timing of it. the congressman just said the house committee was just looking at the book and deciding what to ask as far as questions. i don't think at all that is what the special counsel team is doing. >> he wasn't in the room for the
trump tower meeting. could he have second hand knowledge, i suppose he could based on conversations he had with other people. >> i had in my book, i mean he was still in the white house when comey was fire. i have a quote from bannon telling trump you can't fire the fbi. bannon certainly has knowledge that would pertain to some of the issues that mueller is looking at. what i am not sure he does is in what he told wolff. more of a bannon opinion than a legal diagnosis and also, he wasn't yet in the campaign at the time the meeting happened. so it is not clear to me, never clear to me whether this is bannon asserting what he believes to have happened or stating what he knows to have happened. >> carrie, i have seen some reports that one of the reason that mueller's team subpoenaed
bannon as an investigative ploy. to have him speak to staffers more privately. >> i think it might work differently than that. i have seen that suggestion that this is a negotiation to get him to talk voluntarily. it could be different. a couple of variations that are also plausible is that one they offered him to talk voluntarily and sometimes a witness, if they are concerned about reaction, in this case, he might want a subpoena because he might say, look, i am compelled. i have to testify. i am not saying necessarily that is the case but it is a possibility. another possibility is that bannon and his lawyer said he was going to assert privilege or the special counsel's office had reason to think that he was going to be asserting all different sorts of executive privileges in his interview and they use the subpoena to head it
off and make it a mandatory compulsory appearance. the third factor for the special counsel is that when he goes in the grand jury, he doesn't have his lawyer present. >> so talking to mueller, he cannot assert executive privilege, he has to answer the question you are saying. >> well he is in front of a grand jury, more compulsory. so he can play less games with it and the lawyers can play less games with it than they can with congress. thanks. the other drama, the looming government shutdown. immigration, someone is lying and we are keeping them honest, ahead. hold together. a little to the left. 1, 2, 3, push! easy! easy! easy! (horn honking) alright! alright!
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as we said at the top, the government is just days from a shutdown and the stand off is
over immigration. the controversy is what is said that the president had said. cnn jim acosta had tough questions for the president and his press secretary. what happened? >> reporter: well i was less concerned about these comments that the president made last week in which he described countries in africa as a shit hole. they don't recall it. and i was more interested today in asking about the remark that
the president made that he would prefer to see people come in from countries like norway. and here is what happened when i tried to ask the president that in the oval office today. >> reporter: mr. spread dpresid you say you wanted more people to come in from norway? >> everywhere. >> reporter: just caucasians or other parts of the world? >> jim, thank you. >> reporter: and i don't know if you saw that, the president of the united states in the oval office ordered me out, ordered the press out and eventually we will go. but to have the president point at you and say you are out goes beyond what the president should be doing in the oval office. the other thing that caught my eye as the day went on, is we
were escorted into the roosevelt room. and we tried to ask more questions about these remarks that the president made last week and on that occasion, it was startling because two press aides for the president stood right up in front of me and started shouting so loudly that i couldn't ask my question for the president. they blocked his view of me and blocked anything that i could be saying trying to shout me down. so it was another episode here at the white house that reminds you at times it doesn't feel like you are covering the president of the united states. you feel like you are covering the president of some other country that is less democratic than this one. sarah huckabee sanders said she -- i mean, are these people lying? because it seems like what
cotton and others came out this week, difference between the word house and hole. >> exactly. as if there is a
difference. i would remind people that there is plenty of indoor plumbing in africa. what sarra saying -- told senator tim scott that is exactly what happened. so the white house is choosing to rely on the word senator's cotton and purdue and not from graham or durbin. senators who were invited to the white house to try to craft a way out of this impasse. they can filibuster, they can move onto the next question, go around us.
at one point sarah sanders describing the remarks. that is not going against political correctness, that is being discriminatory against people coming from those countries. >> "the lead"'s jack tapper -- walking to a setup. >> we call him two days later and say they have done it. we met your criteria. we are ready to go. and then to be called into the president's office and find that we have been sandbagged. general kelly and steve miller invited five other members of congress who are no the in favor of immigration reform and they were there to refute any assertions we made that this was a good policy. so you ask me where we are
today, i will tell you where we are. more republicans are willing to step up distancing themselves from those outrageous comments by the president and really, i hope join us in a bipartisan effort to solve the problem. >> how open is the president to compromise remember how agreeable he was the last time he met with lawmakers. remember, also in the same meeting how some of his fellow republicans staged an intervention. republicans intervening immediately to bring the president back to a harder line. is that what happened this time, a white house intervention. joining me now two david's. da david gergen and david axle rod.
>> we have been both in the room as you mentioned. last week, literally one week ago the president was in a room with cameras talking about a bill of love, that is what he called the immigration bill that he hoped to sign. and urged for a bipartisan bill, but there is a group within the white house that doesn't want to see that done and they staged an intervention before senators graham and durbin got in there. this president doesn't have a lot of grounding in any of this. and i have said before, the hat during the campaign said make america great again. the hat now should say rent this space. he doesn't seem to have firm morings. what he has said in that room,
and i know senator durbin for 40 years. what he said in the room was disturbing. another piece of the story that is also disturbing he don't know what he wants and where he stands. >> david gergen, he saw that clearly on camera in that daca meeting when he agreed with senator feinstein, that is what we will go for, daca first and then comprehensive immigration reform using a phrase that i am not sure he understands how it is used. and then congressman mccarthy jumped in. >> this is all peculiar. anderson, listen, typically, you will in any white house factions. and usually there is a moderate versus a more hard line or more
extreme group in the white house and they pit off against each other and they try to bring in different people representing their views to influence the president. what was unique about this in my experience is that the president himself said i would like to talk to these two guys. he seemed to be in, you know, durbin had a conversation with him, president called durbin around 10:00 in the morning and durbin called graham and said i have had the best call i have ever had with the president. i am optimistic. and it was the white house staff, which then apparently invited then five hard line conservative opponents of the plan that was emerging to as david said to sandbag it. or as we heard from durbin to sandbag it and what it did was
sabotage prospects. and manipulated him by rounding up these hard liners. so that is extremely unusual. i think it supports david's point on this. the president can be buffered by the various points in politics. >> influence by whoever the last person in the room is. david axle rod if you were advising the president, would you even say, a whiff of apology, or is that anti thetcal to who the president is, it wouldn't be worth suggesting. >> first of all, they need to decide what it is they want to accomplish. this bill presented was a compromise. there were things that democrats won't like and republicans wouldn't like. that is the nature of
compromise. and he has to decide how much he is willing to match his words that he wants an agreement with his actions or how much he is going to get jerked back by this group in the white house and his you know, activist base which really believes giving these any sort of status to these daca young people as amnesty which is, you know, betrayal on their part. but i must say this, anderson, i believe they are going to get something done and it would be a political calamity for the republican party at the end of the day. i watched this moving video of this gentleman being shipped out yesterday after 30 years here. and back to mexico and it tore you apart. they don't want that multiplied
by a million on television going into 2018. >> yeah, we saw him being separated from his family. david, david, thank you very much. coming up white house press secretary saying her boss is not a racist. we will talk to author cornel west about that and a lot more. there are two types of people in the world. those who fear the future... and those who embrace it. the future is for the unafraid. ♪ all because of you ♪ ♪
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the white house press secretary today again said her boss, the president of the united states is not a racist. >> look, i think that is an outrageous claim. and frankly, i think if the critics of the president were who he said it was, why did nbc give him a show for a decade on tv. >> remarkable for that question to come up. harvard professor cornel west believes the nation is in a spiritual blackout. thanks for joining us. . what do you make of everything that is going on regarding the president's reference to s-hole countries? >> not just a matter of words. it has to do with the collapse of the integrity honesty and does sensy.
that is even less important than the possibilities of a fascism in the making in which you scapegoat black people, brown people, immigrants, gays, lesbian, trans. big military with the expansion of the military, and at the same time under cut rule of law. so amazing to see bannon going in big and bad and emerging like a kitten. so clearer they are running for something. this is driven by both a fear, a contempt and a hate. and this is martin luther king jr. week, and love of truth, love of beauty and a christian like myself, love of god.
the fascism in the making is one of the most dangerous moments in the country. let us not be deceived. >> i think it was james baldwin, the great american writer who said, and i am paraphrasing but essentially, it is ignorance and power combined which is the greatest threat to justice in the world. and i thought of that when the president made those comments because they are certainly racist comments but deeply i ignorant. they show a lack of understanding of the continent of africa. he made statements saying everybody from knnigeria lives huts and everybody in haiti has aids. >> the important thing is keep focus of the fight back. you have the women's movement,
concerned with corporate feminism but poor women here around the world. young people of all colors concerned about police brutality. there is an awakening taking place given the kind of racism, sexism and homophobia. wall street remaining silent. not just a matter of the president's words, it is what is behind him and how his poll sees are reinforcing the wealth and equality. where is the love of truth, love of beauty, and for religious folks the love of god. that is what we have to focus in given these bleak moments in
which we find ourselves. >> you are optimistic. you sound optimistic. >> not, i am not an optimism, i am a blues man. blues producers prisoners of hope. when bb king says nobody loves me but my momma. he says it with a while, with style. a blues man is focused on the love. what love feels like in private. how do we preserve whatever traditions of love and beauty we have left. so much of our democracy is completely shattered given this present situation. >> i was reading your book, and one of your quotes is you can't love the people if you don't -- how do you apply this to this president at this time.
>> it is true. i say brother donald trump because he is made in the image of god like you and i am he chooses to be a homophobe and a fascist in the making. and therefore, when you are talking about the fact that he has a certain love for himself and a love for people who are behind him, it is a minority but a minority that is now in power. right wing base that is now in power, dangerous as can be. and he has a certain love for them relative to how he is manipulating them because so many of them are poor. so many of them marginalized. so complicated and simple at the time. we need a fight back across the board. where is the solidarity across
race as this nation continues to undergo the kind of spiritual bankruptcy that we are experiencing. but a bounceback is always possible. >> i am going to listen to a little dr. b.b. king after the show tonight. >> b.b. and coal train. dr. sanjay gupta was there for the white house briefing. he joins me next. ♪
the president's doctor is giving him an overall clean bill of health absent the desire for president trump to lose some weight, perhaps get some exercise. but the president insisted on something not customary for a routine physical, something the white house physician described. >> i was not going to do a cognitive exam. i had no intention of doing one. the reason we did the cognitive assessment is plain and simple because the president asked me to do it. he came to me and said, is there something we can do, a test or some type of screen we can do to assess my cognitive ability? >> joining me now from the white house is cnn's dr. sanjay gupta. you were in the briefing room today when the results were shared. dr. jackson said the president scored well on his cognitive test and is in excellent health. i'm wondering what your assessment was. >> it was interesting with that cognitive exam, i would think of that more like a screening tool, if you will, to try and find
early signs of dementia or some other cognitive problem. it's about a ten-minute exam. it's not very extensive. they describe you name, you identify animals. you draw a cube and a clock, and you recite as many words as you can in a minute. so, you know, again, the doctor said he scored a perfect score on that, 30 out of 30. that's a good sign, but it's a screening tool, anderson, it's not a diagnostic tool if you will for dementia. >> the doctor also reported that the president's cholesterol numbers have gone up over the past year. should that be cause for concern? >> well, yeah. i think so. keep in miends first of all he is on a cholesterol lowering medication. he has been on that medscation. his cholesterol numbers have gone up and pretty significantly. total cholesterol, 169 i believe is what it was a year ago. now it's 223. you get an idea despite the medications, it's gone up. we talk a lot about his diet and lack of exercise.
that's a little bit of a picture of the impact of that. so you do have a situation now you have a president who has high cholesterol despite cholesterol lowering medication, who has evidence of heart disease based on a previous ct scan, a coronary calcium ct scan of his heart, and he has this borderline obesity in terms of his weight. so you sort of balance that with the fact that the doctor says he's still in excellent health, that the function of his heart is fine. so he still says he's in excellent health december despite those things. >> something in terms of cholesterol, i take two cholesterol medications. you can, you know, depending on what they r you can do that. i assume that's something the president could either switch medications or add something to it. >> they're going to increase the dose. they certainly can do that. it's a good option. it's what he certainly needs as dr. jackson pointed out. again, you know, when we talk a lot about the diet and the lack of exercise, you get a little bit of a picture here just over
a year to see his cholesterol level go up nearly 50 points. >> yeah. sanjay, thanks very much. coming up, we're going to try to sum up the strange days we now find ourselves. "the ridiculist" is next. we took legendary and made it liberating. we took safe and made it daring. we took intelligent, and made it utterly irresistible. we took the most advanced e-class ever and made the most exciting e-class ever. the 2018 e-class coupe and sedan. lease the e300 sedan for $569 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
time now for "the ridiculist." the state of the union speech is two weeks from tonight, but we're getting a jump on things tonight with the state of the riddick list. it's flat out bonkers. we're not even three weeks into the new year and there have been two false alarms about north korean missile launches, reports the president of the united states paying hush money to a porn star he may have had a an affair with and which word the
president used to disparage people from africa. >> some republicans actually heard the president say shit house instead of shithole. >> this is such a silly discussion whether it was shit house or shut hoel. what matters is not the second syllable. it's the first sal balance. >> either way, trump is being a complete ass-house, who maybe, maybe, just maybe doesn't belong in the white-hole. >> we are currently sitting on air discussing whether he said shithole or shithouse. >> now everyone in africa is walking around like, ah, that changes everything. we live in a shit house, not a shithole. >> as the majority of the people who were in that oval office meeting twist themselves into plausible deniability pretzels, here's what white house press secretary sanders said this morning. >> look, the president hasn't said he didn't use strong language, and this is an important issue. he's passionate about it. he's not going to apologize for
trying to fix our immigration system. >> of course he's not going to apologize. this is the same as the supposed locker room talk defense after the access hollywood tape. it wasn't about the word. it was about how the president thinks about women, just like this is about the president's racist thinking, not some vague concept of strong language. for instance, here's some strong language multimedia artists projected on to the hotel in washington. as you know, the president gave norway as an example of where he wants immigrants to come from. we all know what that means. the homeland security secretary was asked about it today. >> norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it? >> i'm -- i -- i actually do not know that, sir, but i imagine that is the case. >> kirstjen nielsen doesn't know for sure if norway is predominantly white. norway. let me just repeat that. the secretary for homeland security claims she doesn't know for sure if norway is
predominantly white. norway. this is notable not only because her first name has a j after another consonant like the word fjord, but her last name is danish and norwegian according to ancestry.com. in fact, nielsen is one of the most common names in denmark. about 5% of the population if my studies are correct. and also she's homeland security secretary. and, yes, all available statistics bear out the fact that there are mostly white people in norway. you can also use the trusted journal of having eyes in your head. i will show you scenes right now from visitnorway.com. you don't even need your glasses to figure out this one, which i suppose is why senator orrin hatch took his off before it was his turn to question the homeland security secretary. take a look. >> i'd like to begin with -- >> it was pretty quick, so let me just show you that again because i want to make sure you
got this. the senator took off glasses that he actually wasn't wearing. i repeat the senator took off glasses that he was not wearing. imaginary glasses. invisible glasses. however you want to conceptualize it, he was not wearing any glasses, but that didn't stop him from removing them. and somehow that's the perfect way to frame the times in which we live and the state of "the ridiculist." thanks for watching 360. time to hand it over to chris cuomo for "cuomo prime time." >> anderson, you look good with imagine ari glasses. don't driver with them though. senator cory booker says there is a conspiracy of lies coming out of the white house, and he's coming on to make that case. wait until you hear what he is willing to do about it. i'm chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." we're following breaking news tonight. the top democrat