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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 16, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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you'll always be up to date. you can easily add premium channels, so you don't miss your favorite show. and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for - because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. good evening. thanks for joining us. a very busy night tonight. the government is rushing toward a shutdown over immigration and president trump's racist remarks on it remain front and center. today the white house put out a story completely with odds from lawmakers from both parties who heard him say in vulgar terms he wants more people from haiti and african countries and more from norway. clearly someone is lying and we'll have more on that shortly.
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breaking news that could be very significant in the russia investigation. steve bannon has just left the house intelligence committee hearing room and there's word emerging on his testimony or as it happens his nontestimony. mr. bannon, who answered plenty of questions as you know from michael wolff, refusing to answer questions to congress on legal instructions apparently from the white house. that's according to a lawmaker who was in the room who i'll talk to in a moment. the question is can steve bannon actually do that legally? we'll find out. that as well tonight when word of the development hit this afternoon, press secretary sarah sanders said, "we've been completely cooperative throughout this entire process. we're going to continue to be coopera cooperative." also claiming the legal right not to cooperate, as bannon did today. his testimony uncooperative enough to earn him a subpoena from the panel. that is only part of the picture. bannon also got subpoenaed by russia special counsel robert mueller, making him the first known member of president trump's past or present inner circle to receive a subpoena.
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we begin tonight with what he is saying, what he's not saying, and why he claims he does not have to talk. steve bannon, he's been in the house intelligence committee hearing now about ten hours. talk to me about what has been going on. >> this has been a rather contentious affair, anderson. after about 90 minutes this morning in which he was talking about his role during the campaign, he was asked about the transition period after president trump won the election last november, and he at that point, his lawyer interjected and he would not answer questions about exactly what happened. in fact, he said that he was not going to do that because of presumably this could interfere with executive privilege. now, not only would he not talk about the transition period, he would not talk about his time as the chief strategist in the trump white house. now, this was enough to get some pushback from both republicans and democrats on the committee. we are told that he was hit with a subpoena, issued a subpoena
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soon after that on the spot to compel him to testify. mike conway, the republican running the russia investigation, just spoke to us outside the hearing room and said that subpoena was going to remain in effect. the committee is essentially recessing and will revisit this issue at a later date to compel him to provide this information going forward. now, in addition to this, he also downplayed his comments to michael wolff, the author, where he said the trump tower meeting from june 2016 was treasonous, saying in effect that was history bowl, push back on that, but would not talk about his time in the transition and in the white house. >> we are going to talk to congressman himes in a moment. special counsel robert mueller subpoenaed bannon as well to appear before a federal grand jury. what do we know about that? >> reporter: well, we are now being told that bannon in fact confirmed behind closed doors that he was hit with a subpoena. he told the committee that he
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was -- that mueller has asked him to testify before the grand jury so that is something that he appears likely to do, it seems. and he's probably unlikely going to be able to exert that executive privilege that he did today when he would not disclose this information to the house, and the question is also who told him to assert executive privilege. the white house not saying whether or not they are the ones who in fact told him not to disclose key communications. >> manu, thanks. a short time ago i spoke with a member of the intelligence committee, democratic congressman jim himes of connecticut. congressman, what exactly happened in the hearing with steve bannon today? was he cooperative? >> well, steve bannon and his attorney asserted a remarkably broad definition of executive privilege. now, remember, it is the president who has the executive privilege, so they went back, conferred with the white house and the white house said that anything that happened, any communications that happened while steve bannon was in the white house or during the
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transition, any communications were off-limits. so while we were able to ask and answer a lot of different kind of questions, there were an awful lot of questions we weren't able to answer based on this very novel theory of executive privilege. >> yeah, first of all, can someone claim executive privilege for things that happened before president trump became president? >> well, i would answer that in two ways. again, i think this will probably keep the lawyers busy but i certainly have never heard of an example where either executive privilege is claimed for a president-elect, i have never heard of privilege being claimed for conversations between two people that don't include the president, which were precluded from being asked about today. this raises questions about whether we will get straight answers from anybody who is or was associated with the administration or is or was associated with the transition. >> wait a minute. so he's claiming executive privilege not for conversations between just between him and the president, but between him and
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jared kushner or ivanka trump or anybody in the white house? >> that was the claim. again, it's a pretty novel idea, this idea that conversations between people that are not the president, that they can be protected by executive privilege is one i think is pretty quickly going to be disputed by most of the legal profession. i would also point out that past presidents, if we want to look to precedent here, past presidents have waived executive privilege whenever there was the possibility of criminal wrongdoing. here, we see from a president who says there's absolutely nothing there, we see probably the most expansive claim of executive privilege, what amounts essentially to a gag order that i think we have ever seen. >> did the committee serve bannon with a subpoena during the meeting as it's being reported? >> well, that is correct. it didn't make any difference in the end because the committee has proceeded as long as witnesses appear voluntarily, has given witnesses slack not to answer. so in an effort to remove that
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slack, if you will, a subpoena was served but that didn't make any difference to the white house's assertion of executive privilege here through steve bannon and his attorney. >> and i just want to be clear. bannon's attorney, did he tell the committee the white house directed bannon not to answer questions about his time in the white house or the transition? >> no. he was clear about that. he said up front that any questions that pertain to those two 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 said the white house encouraged people to cooperate with the investigations. again, i don't understand how you square that with then the fact they reportedly tell bannon not to talk about his time even in the transition. >> yeah. you just don't. there is no squaring that. there is also no squaring the fact that the president has been adamant that these investigations should be wrapped up as soon as possible. he wants them over. we are now going to spend
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significant amounts of time, you know, litigating, discussing, arguing whether this claim of executive privilege makes any sense in a legal context. that will take time. yeah, it's a really puzzling thing. >> so obviously, the reporting, he's been subpoenaed by mueller but do you have any power to force him to come back and actually answer questions in front of the committee? >> sure we do. you know, ultimately if the chairman of the committee, of the investigative committee, mike conaway at this point, makes a determination that this expansive, this incredibly expansive claim of executive privilege doesn't apply, steve bannon, if he continues to refuse to answer questions, he puts himself at risk of being charged with contempt of congress. >> was there a bipartisan breakdown in terms of how republicans on the committee or democrats on the committee viewed his answers, or do you think it was bipartisan? >> yeah. i will tell you it's bipartisan.
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i don't want to get into the specifics of exactly who said what, but no, there was a great deal of consternation, very much on both sides of the aisle. look, every member there is a member of congress. we are very serious about asserting our prerogatives and our rights and of course, i'm glad to say that members of both parties really pushed back hard against this unprecedented claim, what looks an awful lot like a gag order. >> just finally, if steve bannon who has given lots of interviews on camera and certainly to michael wolff and others, to josh green, if he wasn't going to talk about anything in the transition and wasn't going to talk about any conversations with anyone in his time in the white house, what was he willing to talk about? >> well, you know, you raise a very good point there. 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 of course, in that book, steve bannon was expansive on things that happened and things he said and others said during
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those two periods of time, and yet there he was saying no, i won't answer those questions because i have been asked by the white house not to. >> congressman himes, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. >> so steve bannon won't answer certain questions and he's citing executive privilege even though some of the conversations he's refusing to testify about were not even with the chief executive present and some of them took place during the transition before trump was chief executive at all. the question is, is that legal? to do that, to claim that in those circumstances, and how could someone who had so much to say to author michael wolff, apparently have so little to say now? on top of that, he's now on two hot seats, one before congress and the other, if he doesn't cut some sort of deal before robert mueller's grand jury. joining us is someone who got to know him well, josh green, author of the great book "devil's bargain." steve bannon, donald trump, and the storming of the presidency. also georgetown law school's kerry cordero. legally, can he assert executive privilege for things that happened during the transition and things that happened between him and basically anyone who
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worked in the white house? >> he certainly can assert executive privilege or say the president has asserted executive privilege for his time in the white house but i agree with the congressman that it really is a novel articulation of executive privilege to assert it during the transition. there is only one executive at a time. the president is not the president until the inauguration and he assumes office. so it's a very novel and untested theory that they are putting forth here. >> what about between him and conversations with other people in the white house, with the chief executive not being there? >> well, that's a little more broad. they can make an argument that there are privileged executive branch communications that are deliberative that might involve giving advice to the president. it's a little more squishy than direct communications with the president but it's certainly -- it's sort of a middling claim. more legitimate than the claim there is privilege over the transition communications. >> josh, given how on the outs
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the president and bannon are now, does it surprise you bannon would cooperate with the white house's direction to not answer questions about his time in the transition or the white house? >> no, it doesn't. i think there's been a misperception that because bannon was publicly humiliated by trump, that therefore, he's looking to get some sort of revenge. according to people i have talked to around bannon, that's absolutely wrong. i spoke to two people today familiar with bannon's mindset going into this testimony who said to me that this claim of executive privilege was meant to demonstrate bannon's loyalty to president trump. >> so it was meant to demonstrate loyalty. so it's like an olive branch, essentially? >> exactly. yeah. i think bannon's larger goal here, sure, he would like to avoid getting charged with contempt of congress, getting in trouble with the special prosecutor but in the near term what he wants to do is get back into trump's good graces. one way i think he believes he can do that is by toeing the white house line when it comes to executive privilege and
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refusing to answer these questions. >> we will continue our conversation in a moment. we will also have michael wolff's book, how it's playing a part in all of this. also ahead in the hour, how team trump is reacting, how they are facing the government shutdown. the continuing smoke screen over the president's racist remarks and how a question from jim acosta was a conversation ender for the president today. also the white house doctor revealing the results of the president's medical exam. details when we continue. (singing) riblets, tenders! (singing) tenders, riblets! (singing) $12.99 (singing) all you can eat... (singing) at applebee's!
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steve bannon's ten hours on the house intelligence hot seat are over. he did confirm to the committee he's been subpoenaed by special counsel mueller and earned one as well from the panel for his non-answer and claim of executive privilege. you heard committee member jim himes describing the novel nature of that claim as well as this. the book that he says is playing such a big role in the committee's effort to get answers. >> 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 of course, in that book, steve bannon was expansive on things that happened and things he said and others said during those two periods of time, and yet there he was saying no, i won't answer those questions because i have been asked by the white house not to. >> back now with josh green and carrie cordero. is it possible the subpoena from mueller's team was issued because of what bannon said in the wolff book, specifically calling that meeting in trump
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tower treasonous, pointing to potential money laundering? >> i kind of doubt it. i don't really think the special counsel's team is chasing what they are reading in a for public consumption book. i think they have the evidence that they have been gathering through investigative techniques and they probably knew 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 to the book. in other words, the publication of the book, the subsequent reaction and then the fact steve bannon left the white house, now he's a former official versus a current official, and that might have changed the timing of it. but i don't think as the congressman just said, the house committee was looking at the book and then deciding what to ask as far as questions, that to me indicates a not very rigorous investigation if they are relying on this book and i don't think that's at all what the special counsel's team is doing. >> josh, bannon wasn't in the room when the president decided to fire comey. he wasn't in the room for the trump tower meeting or the drafting of the statement about that meeting, but could he have
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second-hand knowledge of those? i suppose he could have second-hand knowledge of those incidents based on conversations he had with other people in the president's inner circle. >> yeah, i had in my book -- he was still in the white house when comey was fired. i have a quote from bannon saying, telling trump you can't fire the fbi. of course, trump went ahead and tried to do that by firing comey anyway. bannon certainly has knowledge that would pertain to some of the issues that mueller is presumably looking at. where i'm not sure he does, though, is in what he told wolff, the idea the meeting was treasonous is more of a bannon opinion than a legal diagnosis and also, he wasn't yet in the campaign at the time that that meeting happened. so it's not clear to me, it's never really been 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 reasons that mueller's team subpoenaed bannon is basically a negotiating ploy, that they would offer him to not have to testify in front of a grand jury
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but to have him speak to staffers of mueller more privately. >> i actually think it might work a little bit differently than that. i have seen that suggestion that this is a negotiation to get him to talk voluntarily. it could be a little different. a couple variations i think are also plausible theories is that one, they offered him to talk voluntarily and sometimes a witness, particularly if they are concerned about reaction of outside, for example, in this case, the white house, he might actually want a subpoena because then he can say look, i'm compelled, i have to go. >> gives him cover in a way. >> gives some cover. i'm not saying that's necessarily the case but i think it's 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 sorts of different executive privileges in his interview and they used the subpoena instead to head that off and just make
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it a mandatory appearance. the third factor from the special counsel is that when he goes in the grand jury, he doesn't have his lawyer present with him. >> so talking to mueller, he cannot exert executive privilege, he has to answer the questions? >> well, he can assert it, but he's in front of a grand jury, it's more compulsory, you have enforcement powers of the grand jury and the court. he can play less games with it and the lawyers can play less games with it than they can with congress. >> thanks, both of you. the other drama playing out tonight, the looming government shutdown and the cloud of dishonesty surrounding the president's racist remarks on the sticking point, immigration. someone is lying and we are keeping them honest ahead. turn up your swagger game with one a day men's. ♪ get ready for the wild life a complete multivitamin with key nutrients, plus b vitamins for heart health. your one a day is showing.
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as we said at the top, the government is just days from a shutdown.
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the standoff is over immigration and the controversy not to mention the dishonesty is what the president said about certain countries. vulgar, racist, confirmed by people who heard it. now what the administration is at best blowing smoke about. cnn's jim acosta had tough questions today for the president and his press secretary. he joins us now. so you were in the white house today, you asked the president about his comments last week, about immigration. what happened? >> reporter: right. well, i was less concerned about these comments that the president made last week in which he described countries in africa as a shithole mainly because we have been through that over and over again. the white house is really denying it and hanging that on senators perdue and cotton, who say they didn't hear that, they don't recall it. i was more interested today in following up and asking about this remark the president made that he would prefer to see people come into the united states from countries like norway, which is obviously predominantly white. so here's what happened when i tried to ask the president that in the oval office earlier today. >> mr. president, did you say you want more people to come in from norway? did you say you wanted more people to come in from norway?
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is that true, mr. president? >> i want them to come in from everywhere. everywhere. thank you very much, everybody. >> just caucasian or white countries, sir, or people from other parts of the world, where there are people of color? >> jim, thank you. >> reporter: i don't know if you saw that at the end there, but the president of the united states in the oval office, in the white house, ordered me out, essentially ordered the press out. typically that is not something the president does. the wranglers as you hear will say thank you, please go. eventually we will go. but to have the president point at you and say you're out i think goes beyond what the president really should be doing in the oval office in my view in terms of dealing with the press. the other thing that i think caught my eye as the day went on is just a few moments later we were escorted into the roosevelt room, where he gave some remarks with the president of kazahkstan and at the end of those remarks we tried to ask more questions about these remarks the president made last week. on that occasion, it was pretty startling because two press aides for the president basically stood right up in
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front of me, right in front of my face and started shouting so loudly that i couldn't ask my question of the president. they essentially blocked his view of me and blocked anything that i could be saying, trying to shout me down. so it was just another episode here at the white house that reminds you that at times here, it just doesn't feel like you are covering the president of the united states. you feel like you are covering the president of just some other country that is less democratic than this one. >> jim, sarah sanders was pressed today about whether the president made those racist remarks. her answer was complicated. she didn't deny it. instead she said that she chooses to rely on those who have denied it, shifting explanation of what happened there. are these people just lying? it seems like what cotton and others came out this weekend sort of quibbling about what was said, it's the difference between the word house and hole. >> reporter: exactly. as if there's a difference. i would remind people there's plenty of indoor plumbing in africa. but getting back to what sarah
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sanders was saying in the briefing room, she was saying she would side with people who were in the room. well, senator dick durbin was in the room. he said he heard that remark. senator lindsey graham was also in the room. he's not denied the remark was made. as a matter of fact, he told senator tim scott that's exactly what happened. so the white house is choosing to rely on the word of senators cotton and perdue, not from graham and durbin, bipartisan senators who were invited over to the white house to try to craft some way out of this immigration impasse. they just haven't been able to do that at this point. but anderson, it just goes to show you when we try to ask for straight answers over here, it is just extremely difficult. they can filibuster, they can move on to the next question, they can go around us. at one point, sarah sanders described the president's remarks as strong language and not always politically correct. to go after countries, to talk about countries in that fashion, that's not going against political correctness. that is really just being discriminatory towards people coming in from those countries. >> jim acosta, thanks. earlier today, jake tapper spoke
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with democratic senator dick durbin of illinois. he was in the room with the president. remember, senator durbin says he heard the president utter racist remarks. he also told jake that walking into the oval office seemed to him like walking into a setup. >> we call him two days later, senator graham and i and say we have done it, we met your criteria, we have a bipartisan bill, we are ready to go, then to be called into the president's office to explain it to him and find that we have been sandbagged. general kelly, steve miller as i understand it invited five other members of congress who were not in favor of immigration reform or in a very harsh sense, and they were there to refute any assertions we made that this was a good policy. so you asked me where we are today, i will tell you where we are. we are finding that more republicans are willing to step up now, distancing themselves from those outrageous comments by the president, and really i hope join us in a bipartisan effort to solve this problem. >> so given that the question is
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how open is the president to compromise, remember how agreeable he was the last time he met with lawmakers, saying he would go with whatever the lawmakers in the room came up with because he respects them. remember also in the same meeting how some of his fellow republicans staged a kind of in the moment intervention after the president seemed to be backing the position of the democrats on daca and comprehensive immigration reform. republicans intervening immediately to bring the president back to a harder line. so is that what happened this time, a white house intervention? joining us, two davids who have been in the room when deals are made. david axelrod and david gergen. you hear senator durbin. is that any way for a president republican or democrat to operate in a negotiation on something as fraught with tension as daca? >> no. look, david gergen and i have both been in the room as you mention, but generally with presidents who have some sense of what they want to do. last week, literally one week ago, the president was in a room with cameras talking about a bill of love. that's what he called this
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immigration bill that he hoped to sign and urged for a bipartisan bill, but there clearly is a group within the white house that doesn't want to see that done, and they staged an intervention before senator graham and senator durbin got over there. what it really speaks to is that this president doesn't really have a lot of grounding in any of this, and you know, i have said before the hat during the campaign said make america great again. the hat should now say rent this space, because he just doesn't seem to have firm moorings. that is concerning. what he said in that room, and i have known senator durbin for 40 years so i have great faith in his veracity. what he said in that room was deeply disturbing. but this is another piece of the story that's also disturbing which is he doesn't seem to know exactly what he wants or where he stands and therefore, he's
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being buffeted between various factions. >> david gergen, we saw that clearly on camera on the daca meeting when he agreed with senator feinstein saying that's what we will go with, daca first, then other stuff afterward, comprehensive immigration reform, using a phrase that i'm not even sure he understood how that's commonly used, then you had mccarthy, senator mccarthy jump in and say actually, mr. president, i think what you mean is this. congressman mccarthy, i should point out. >> yeah. this is all very peculiar and it is unprecedented at least in my experience going back some time. anderson, listen, typically, you will have in any white house factions and usually there's a moderate versus hardline or more extreme group in the white house and they pit off against each other and try to bring in different people representing their views to the president. what was unique about this, in my experience, was that the president himself said i would like to talk to these two guys.
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he seemed to be -- you know, dur bib had a conversation with him, the president called durbin around 10:00 in the morning and durbin called lindsey graham and said i had the best conversation i've had with the president in a long, long time, i'm really optimistic we're going to get this done, he wanted us to come down to the white house right away. it was the white house staff, not a faction within the white house, but the white house staff which then apparently invited five hardline conservative opponents of this plan that was emerging to, as david said, to sandbag it or as we heard from durbin, to sandbag it and in effect, what the white house staff did was sabotage prospects of getting this bill done and persuade the president by sort of in effect manipulating him, by rounding up all these hardliners. that is extremely unusual. i have not been aware of that. i think it does support david axelrod's valid point that on
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many issues like this, the president is not anchored and can be buffeted by the various forces in politics. >> which is what the knock has always been, he's influenced by whoever the last person in the room is. if you were advising the president, would you say to him look, sir, maybe if you offered even a whiff of apology or regret about your words in the oval office meeting, that might help get this daca deal back on track, or is that just so antithetical to who the president is it wouldn't be worth suggesting? >> i think first of all, they need to decide what it is they want to accomplish. this bill that was presented to them really was a compromise. there were things in there democrats wouldn't like, things that republicans wouldn't like. that's the nature of compromise. so he has to decide how much he's willing to match his words that he wants an agreement, you know, with his actions or how much he's going to get jerked back by this group in the white
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house and his activist base, which really believes that giving 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 do believe that they are going to get something done and the reason i believe it is because it would be a political calamity for the republican party at the end of the day not to do something. i watched this really moving video of this gentleman being shipped out yesterday after 30 years here, and back to mexico, and it just 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 at the airport, saying good-bye to them. thank you very much. just ahead, white house press secretary sarah sanders again says her boss is not a racist.
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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 he was, why did nbc give him a show for a decade on tv? >> remarkable as it is for that kind of question to even come up in public discussion, harvard professor cornel west believes the nation is in what he calls a spiritual blackout, the kind of atmosphere the question reflects.
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he joins us now. dr. west, always good to have you on. >> always a pleasure being with you, my dear brother. >> what do you make of everything that's been going on over the past several days regarding the president's reference to s-hole countries? >> well, i think it's not just a matter of words, though it has to do with the spiritual bankruptcy, the collapse of integrity, honesty and decency. it's not just a matter of being a racist, not just a matter of being a sexist and a home phone. i think he's all three. that's less important than the possibilities of fascism in the making in which you scapegoat black people, brown people, immigrants, gays, lesbians, trans. you scapegoat the weak and vulnerable, you link it to the rule of big money. wall street has been breaking records, big military, with the expansion of the military, then at the same time, you undercut rule of law. that's what we have seen i think today with steve bannon. it's amazing to see steve bannon going in so big and bad, then
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emerging as a kind of kitten, deferential to his boss and not one to tell the truth. i thought he was a truth teller in all contexts. it's very clear they are running from something. this is driven by both a fear, a contempt, a hate and this is martin luther king jr. week, my brother. the only thing that breaks the back of fear is love. love of truth, love of goodness, love of beauty and a christian like myself, love of god, love of the holy. but will that kind of love be strong enough because the fascism that's in the making is one of the most dangerous moments in the history of this nation, my brother. let's be clear about it. let us not be deceived. >> you know, i think it was james baldwin, the great american writer, who said, i'm paraphrasing, but essentially, it's ignorance and power combined which is the greatest threat to justice in the world. i thought of that when the president made those comments, because there are certainly racist comments but they are deeply ignorant, they show a lack of understanding of the
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continent of africa. three weeks ago, according to the "new york times" he made statements saying everyone in nigeria lives in huts and everybody from haiti has aids. >> no, i mean that's just part of both the fusion of the ignorance, the arrogance, but also the contempt that's too often manifest toward people of color. but the important thing, though, is to keep track of the fight back. this is martin luther king week. we have william barber out there with the poor people's campaign. you have the women's movement, not just the women's movement concerned with corporate feminism but poor women here and around the world. you got the labor movement trying to bounce back. you got young people of all colors concerned about police brutality. you got lives, the movement for black lives at the center. there is an awakening taking place given the kind of racism, sexism, homophobia and fascism in the making with wall street remaining relatively silent as
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they breakdance to the bank, and for big military. we have to keep track of the social forces behind the president. it's just not a matter of the president's words. it's also what's behind him and how his policies are reinforcing the wealth inequality, reinforcing the polarization. where is the love of truth, love of goodness, love of beauty and for religious folks, a love of god concerned with the least of these? that's the legacy of martin luther king jr. that's the one we have to focus on given these very bleak moments in which we find ourselves in the history of this empire. >> you are optimistic. you sound optimistic despite what you say is a very bleak time. >> no. i'm not an optimist at all. i'm a blues man. the blues has nothing to do with optimism, nothing to do with pessimism. the blues produces prisoners of hope. prisoners of hope. when b.b. king said nobody loves me but my mama, she might be jiving too, that's not optimistic. he says it with a smile, with style. i'm a blues man. a blues man is focused on the love. just as we see what love feels
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like in public, kearns is what loves looks like in private. how do we preserve whatever traditions a love of truth, goodness and beauty that we have left, because so much of our democracy is being completely shattered given this present situation. >> you know, i was reading "hope on a tight rope" and you said you can't lead the people if you don't love the people. you can't save the people if you don't serve the people. i'm wondering how you apply that to this presidency, to this time. >> well, it's true that i say brother donald trump because he's made in the image of god just like you and i but he chooses to be a gangster, he chooses to be a racist, a homophobe and fascist in the making. doesn't mean he can't change. i'm not making a program on change. it's very important that especially myself as a christian, we understand what it means for people to be made in the image of god across political and ideological lines. when you talk about the fact he has a certain love for himself and a love for people who are behind him, it's a minority but
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it's a minority that is now in power. he's got a right wing base that is now in power, dangerous as can be, and he has a certain love for them relative to how he's manipulating them because so many of them are poor, so many of them will be marginalized and his interest for the most part is tied to the 1%. it's a very complicated and simple at the same time, where is the love for working and poor people. we need a fight back across the board. where's the solidarity across race as this nation continues to undergo the kind of spiritual bankruptcy that we are experiencing. but a bounce-back is always possible. >> dr. west, i will go listen to a little dr. b.b. king after the show tonight. appreciate it. >> little b.b. little john coltrane. >> nothing wrong with that. can't do any best. dr. west, thank you. appreciate it. more breaking news. the president's doctor says he could stand to lose some weight but otherwise is in great shape. dr. sanjay gupta asked some questions and joins me next. [ police sirens ] cameras.
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the president's doctors giving him an overall clean bill of health ann absent the desire for president trump to lose some weight, perhaps begin 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 he 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. so scan jaye, you were in the briefing room today when the results were shared. dr. jackson says the president scored well on his cognitive test and is in excellent health. i'm wondering what your assessment was. >> it's interesting with that cognitive exam i would think of that more like a screening tool
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if you will to try and find early signs of dementia or some other sort of cognitive problem. and you know, it's about a ten-minute exam. it's not very extensive. they described 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 a cause for concern? >> well, yeah, i think so. keep in mind, first of all, he is on a cholesterol-lowering medication. he has been on that medication. his cholesterol numbers have gone up. and pretty significantly. total cholesterol, i know you pay attention to these numbers, anderson, but 169 i believe is what it was back about a year ago and now it's 223. so you get an idea, despite the medications, it's gone up. and you know, we talk a lot about his diet and his lack of
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exercise. that's a little bit of a picture of the impact of that. so you do have a situation now where you have a president who has high cholesterol despite cholesterol-lowering medication, who has evidence of heart disease based on a previous cat scan, a coronary calcium cat 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 despite those things. >> i mean, something in terms of cholesterol, you can -- i take two cholesterol medications. you can, depending on what they are, you can do that. so i assume that's something the president could take, either switch medications or add something to it. >> they're going to increase the dose. they're going into crease the dose. and they certainly can do that. it's a good option, it's what he needs as dr. jackson pointed out. but again, 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
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year to see his cholesterol level go up nearly 50 points. >> sanjay, thanks very much. appreciate it. coming up we're going to try to sum up the inordinately strange days in which we now found ourselves in a way to hopefully make you smile at the end of another long day. the "riduculist" is next. crohn's disease.
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time now for the "riduculist." the state of the union speech is two weeks from tonight, but we're getting a jump on things tonight with the sate of the "riduculist." "riduculist" it's flat out ft - 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 an atar with and washington is buried under a debate about which word the president used to
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disparage people from africa. >> some republicans actually heard the president say sh tachlt house instead of shit hole. >> this is such a silly discussion whether it was shit house or shit hole. what matters is not the second syllable. it's the first syllable. >> either way trump is being a complete ass house. [ cheers and applause ] maybe. maybe, just maybe doesn't belong in the white hole. >> we are currently sitting on air discussing whether he said shit hole or shit house. >> now everyone in africa is walking around going, oh, that changes everything. we live in a shit house, not a shit hole. >> as the majority of the people who were in that oval office meeting twist themselves into plausible denieblt, pretzels made up of manti ikds and selective amnesia, here's what white house press secretary sarah sanders said this morning. >> look, the president hasn't said he didn't use strong
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language. and this is an important issue. 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 xld k38d tape. it wasn't about the word, it was about how the president thinks about women, just like how this is about the president's racist thinking, not some vague concept of strong language. francis tarngs here's some strong language a multimedia artist projected onto the main entrance of the trump international hotel in washington. now, as you know, the president gave an example of norway as a country he wants immigrants to come from. we all know what that is. the homeland security secretary was asked about that today. >> norway is a predominantly white country, right? >> i actually do not know that, sir, but i imagine that is the case. >> kirsten nielsen doesn't know for sure is norway is predominantly white. norway. let me just repeat that. the secretary for homeland security claims she doesn't know
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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 and 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'm showing you scenes right now from 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
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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 "riduculist." thanks for watching "360." time to hand it over to my buddy chris cuomo for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> anderson, you look good with imaginary glasses on, by the way. no surprise there. don't drive with them, though. all right. so 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. and wait until you hear what he's willing to do about it. i'm chris cuomo. welcome to prime time. we're