tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN January 29, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
a lot of news going on. we have our eyes on the house of representatives to see what it chooses to do with this memo alleging abuses inside the russia investigation. that is all for me today. i'm john berman. "at this hour" starts now. >> i'm brianna keilar in for kate bolduan. the house intel committee could vote today to release a memo spearheaded by committee chairman devin nunes claiming the fbi abused the surveillance law as it sought a warrant for former trump campaign foreign policy adviser carter page. democrats say the memo is just an effort to undermine the special counsel investigation into russian election meddling and possible collusion with the
trump campaign. nunes having served on the trump transition team. now, while some republicans say the memo shows the fbi is biased against president trump and they want to see -- they want the public to see that, so does the president. the justice department does not. cnn's manu raju is on capitol hill with more on this. is there a sense that republicans are going to actually vote today to release this memo? >> it is a very likely possibility there could be a vote as soon as tonight. the republican chairman devin nunes is not saying one way or another what will happen. keeping members of his own committee and aides guessing about what will happen, he just ran into our colleague in the capital who asked whether or not there would be a vote tonight and his quote was this, i don't talk about committee business. really keeping members guessing ahead of a key meeting tonight at 5:00 p.m. this comes as there is a sharp divide between house republicans and senate republicans about whether or not to release this memo. a number of senator republicans
urging caution, siding with the justice department, saying this should not rebe lease e be rele. the house republicans on the other hand are pushing forward. there is a lot of support within the republican conference on the house side to move forward and release this memo. the speaker paul ryan, his office, in fact, is making it very clear, they also are supporting whatever devin nunes ultimately decides to do, a spokesperson for the -- for ryan's office just told me moments ago that they're deferring to nunes about this, not the first time they deferred to nunes in his ongoing dispute with the justice department. so, brianna, a lot of questions ahead of this key meeting tonight about whether or not a vote, but if there is one, very likely enough support to send it over to the white house, which makes the decision about whether to object to its release or allow its release. we know the president himself is inclined to allow it to be released. >> there say divide among democrats and republicans, and another divide among republicans within the party, right?
in has to do on the heels of learning last week that the president wanted to fire the special counsel robert mueller. tell us about this divide. >> two bills in the senate aimed to protect the special counsel from interference from political pressure within the white house. those bills deal with it in slightly different manners. growing push among some democrats and some republicans on the senate side to see this legislation through and to resolve those differences, even the judiciary committee chairman told me last week, he's open to considering if those two measures are reconciled. well, on the house side, different story, some resistance, including from some top republicans about moving forward on this, shows the difficulty ahead. here's what some republicans had to say. >> it probably wouldn't hurt for us to pass one of those bills. >> i think my job among others is to give him the space to do it. i intend to do that. i have legislation protecting mr. mueller. and i'll be glad to pass it
tomorrow. >> i don't think there is a need for legislation right now to protect mueller. right now there is not an issue. why create one when there isn't a place for it? >> and the other question, brianna, where does the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell stand on this? before he's thrown cold water on this legislation, we have not heard from him since the reports last week of mueller, the president seeking to fire -- wanting to fire mueller last june. we'll see what he has to say this week when he's asked about this legislation now going forward. >> manu raju on the hill, thank you. we're also learning that president trump might be itching to fire the man who oversees mueller. that would be deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. i want to go to cnn's kaitlan collins at the white house. what are you hearing? >> reporter: let me give you the state of play here. this memo according to new "new york times" reporting specifically names the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein as the person who signed off on the extension of surveillance for that former trump campaign aide and foreign policy adviser
carter page. now, this is noteworthy because rosenstein is also overseeing the russia investigation after the attorney general jeff sessions recused himself. now, critics say if this memo is released, that republicans are using it specifically to undermine the investigation as a whole. that is why they say some democrats say the republicans should not advocate for its release. as far as over at the white house, no one here at the white house has seen this memo, not even the president himself, according to some white house officials. but we are told by sources that the president would be okay with the releasing this memo if it is declassified. another twist to this is the president's attitude towards rosenstein in recent weeks. not only because he's trained his ire on him, saying he should be fired, we should let this guy go, he thinks of him as another government official who is out to get him, we have to point out here that rosenstein was nominated by the president last spring to be the deputy attorney general and he's a life long republican. so there are multiple twists, multiple caveats here as far as
the release of this memo. but right now, our sources are telling us the president is advocating for the release of it. >> kaitlca >> kaitlan, thank you for that. one person who wants to see the mim wrote emo released is r davis. he said i signed a litter with 63 of my colleagues to the chairman, nunes, calling to #releasethememo. congressman davis is joining me from capitol hill. thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me on. >> why do you want to see this released? >> i'm always for more transparency in government. let's let the american people decide what should and should not be done with the memo but give them a chance to see it. i signed it. a signed a nondisclosure act, agreement, so i can't discuss what was in the memo, but the american people need to see it
and need to know what is. >> the top democrat on the intel committee, who has been able to see the memo and also the underlying intelligence, he said the report is profoundly misleading. then the top democrat on the judiciary committee, jerry nadler, said this about it. >> suffice it to say, the document is extremely misledding as compared to the underlying documents and very dangerous for the republicans here to say, oh, we have got this document that is terrible, but we can't tell you what's behind it, can't show you the evidence, because that's secret. if you knew what we knew, you would know things were terrible. >> have you read the -- i see you shaking your head there. have you read the four-page memo as well as the underlying intelligence that backs it up, like -- you're saying you are in -- you want full transparency. democrats are making the case that's full transparency. have you read the underlying intelligence or just the
four-page memo? >> the only thing we're offered to read is the four-page memo. how many of their -- how many of our democratic colleagues have taken the time to go over in top secret setting, sign a nondisclosure agreement and read that four-page memo. i think it would be pretty telling if they're interested in putting this information out, or actually stopping it from getting out to the american public. and, remember, leader gowdy, chairman gowdy, said this weekend, this mim wrote is a compilation of thousands of pages submitted by the doj. i can't get into what is in that memo, but that's why i want you to see it. i want your viewers to see it. i want chairman nadler and chairman schiff to stop stopping us from doing that. >> if this is a memo extrapolated from the intelligence you're talking about, i mean, you can see how full transparency would be to release more than the full page memo and the complications of releasing all of that classified information. >> brianna, i'm for more
transparency. let's start with the four pages. let's stop chairman nadler and chairman schiff, and then talk about releasing more. there is a process you have to go through and what disturbs me is that some of the discussion of what may or may not be in that memo. there say limited amount of people that have seen that memo within the house of representatives and the nondisclosure agreement i signed, i believe it is a felony to release that information without going through this process and this process was put in place by previous administrations to protect the american people, to protect government officials and to have a better process in place for releasing top secret information rather than through media links. >> why are you comfortable releasing the four-page memo if you haven't seen the underlying intelligence that the memo purports to be based on. >> again, the doj has been submitting thousands upon thousands of pages of
intelligence and details to the department -- to the judiciary committee, to the intelligence committee, to the oversight and government reform committee. i think all of us would want to see something that was compiled from those documents. but, again, chairman schiff and chairman nadler want to create a distraction and this is taking us away from some of the good things that are happening right now. historic low employment. 4% sustained growth, economic activity in this country, more money going into the pockets of so many families. >> i do want to zero in on this memo. that's why we wanted to talk to you today. the fbi, the doj, they have not seen this classified memo. the doj says -- the trump justice department says it would be reckless to release it. should they get a chance to see it. >> if you told me they haven't seen it, how would they determine whether or not it is reckless. >> then so they would know,
right? you said they have sent in the information, so they're aware of what it could be from. you're saying it is based on thousands of documents. they could know what it would be, but they don't actually know unless they see it. my question is, should they be able to see it? >> absolutely they should. which is why -- which is why i hope there is a vote today in the intelligence committee to release it to not only the doj, let's release it to the american people. >> you know what i'm asking, congressman. should they be having a chance to see it before it is released wide? if they're saying it is reckless to release it, it can be reckless to release it broadly, isn't that what they do? >> certainly my judgment after seeing the memo is that it is not reckless to lease it. to every single american. that's what i'm for. >> okay. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, he's supposed to oversee all things russia since jeff sessions recused himself
from these issues. he, according to the new york times, is in the cross is hairs in this memo that you want released. i know you cannot comment on exactly what is in the memo, i wonder, though, do you have concerns that rosenstein has abused his power? >> i certainly wish i could discuss what was in the memo, why it is important to get it released. but i cannot do that. anyone who has and signed the same agreement that i did is committing a felony. and that is wrong. which is what leads to false speculation in many cases to where somehow now there is a distraction that the president wants it fire rod rosenstein. these distractions are keeping us from actually moving into some good bipartisan issues. >> not commenting on what's in the memo, do you worry that federal officials have abused their power? >> i worry that -- i worry that federal officials always abuse their power, which is why we have to have transparency. at all levels. not only at doj, we have to have
transparency in the house. i led a reform effort a year and a half ago that actually now every single dollar that is spent by the house of representatives is searchable and sortable. that information, that transparency is not in the u.s. senate, it is not in the executive branch at doj, it is frankly not even at the supreme court level and it should be. that's why transparency matters rather than distractions that chairman nadler and chairman schiff are trying to throw out there right now. >> do you think the president needs to address the russia investigation when he gives his state of the union address tomorrow night? >> i think the american people want the president to address bipartisanship. we were talking before i got on the air, the last time you and i were together was here at st statuary hall, and i stand by what i said there that day. we have got to have more bipartisanship. we have got to have less of these partisan bickering, distractions, that try and stop
transparency. let's let republicans and democrats in middle america decide what is best because they get a chance to see it rather than politicians here in washington, d.c. that's going to lead to more bipartisan solutions and that's what i want the president to address tomorrow night. >> i will tell you that did stick with me that day, congressman, davis, when you said that. that's probably one of the things that stuck with me the most of that incredible day after that softball practice. thank you so much. it is so great to see you again. thank you. >> great to see you too. thanks for having me on. >> of course. coming up, hillary clinton under fire for letting a former campaign aide keep his job after he was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young woman. we're going to talk to hillary clinton's former campaign manager from that time who actually called for this aide's firing. she's going to join us next. president trump taking aim at jay-z after he criticized his s-hole countries comment and more. trump bragging about the black unemployment rate in response.
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hillary clinton is under fire for protecting a man accused of sexual harassment during her 2008 presidential bid. clinton's faith and values adviser bern strider with a accused of repeatedly harassing a young woman with whom he shared an office. the woman complained of inappropriate kisses and suggestive e-mails among other things according to this reporting. and instead of being fired, strider was sent to counseling. he was told he had to go to counseling. he never actually completed that counseling according to these reports. and his accuser was moved, reassigned. clinton addressed these reports via twitter saying she was dismayed when the harassment occurred but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard and had her concerns taken
seriously and addressed. she's joining me for her first live tv interview on this issue. thank you for talking to us about this. >> thank you for having me. >> you recommended to then candidate clinton, senator clinton, that she fire bern strider. tell us about how this information came to you about what had happened, and the case you made for him to go and ultimately what clinton decided. >> sure. so a young woman made a complaint to our head of operations about sexual harassment against bern strider. against bern strider, who she reported to. the incident was brought to my attention and, you know, i did my due diligence, interviewed
all the parties involved, looked at the evidence, e-mails he sent, looked at other documents, and came to the conclusion that there was sexual harassment involved, that the young woman was very credible, and my recommendation to the senator was to fire him. and i was overruled. >> you weren't the only one who recommended -- who believed this was the right avenue to take. >> correct. well, you know, there were a few people involved in the investigation, so to speak, but people involved in it believed he should not be working with our campaign. >> she overruled you personally. >> i was overruled, yes. >> what was the reasoning behind not taking your recommendation on that? i really don't want to divulge my private conversations or my private counsel to hillary clinton, suffice it to say i believe in a zero tolerance sexual harassment
in the workplace, i believe it now and i believed it then. but i also want to say, you know, it wasn't an easy call. none of these calls are easy. and especially in a presidential campaign, we were just a few months away from voting beginning to start with the caucuses and the primaries, firing a high profile person on the campaign would have certainly made news and caused a distraction, so it wasn't an easy call. but, you know, as a campaign manager, when this was brought to my attention, when you run an organization, you really -- your first instinct is to protect people, you know. i wanted to protect my team, i wanted to protect this young woman, i wanted to send a message that this kind of behavior is not okay. i wanted to make sure that other women and men for that matter could feel comfortable and free to speak up if something were to happen to them, if there were
another incident. and it certainly wasn't lost on me that i was the first hispanic female campaign manager for presidential campaign. and that i was working for who i thought was going to be the first woman president of the united states. and i didn't want to just be good on this issue. i wanted to be better than anybody else. >> to be clear, few weeks later, after the iowa caucuses, you were pushed out as campaign manager. strider didn't even go to the counseling that had been a part of his docked pay, pay commensurate with the demotion, has to go to counseling. in the end, he didn't go to counseling. you didn't have to do with that because you were gone at this point in time. but who made the decision on what, instead of him going, that these things were going to happen. that he was going to have face these consequences of counseling and -- >> you know, i said we -- i wanted our campaign to be
better. and i believe we were. there was an axios item today where campaign staffers are being interviewed and they laughed at the idea there was an -- there is an hr process. but in our campaign, you know, i went to the lawyers, we had -- >> this was lawyers who were looking at -- >> lawyers and operations people and me, senior management, we came up with the process. and we did everything i believe but fire him. >> all right. i want to ask you about how hillary clinton has responded to this. because it is something that really sticks out to me. she says a story appeared today, about something that happened in 2008. i was dismayed when it occurred but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed. she doesn't admit that she messed up. she doesn't admit that especially in light of the fact that at the time you were
recommending he go. not like no one was saying he shouldn't go and we're now in an era where people look back and say, duh, he should have gone. >> right. >> why doesn't she just look back and say, this was the wrong call? >> you know, i don't know. i was disappointed by that tweet, that response. it was a wrong call. i wish she had said it was a wrong call. i wish she had said, you know, having to do it over, i would have fired him. i think that's actually true. i believe that she thinks that if i had to do it over again, i would fire him. >> but she doesn't say it, right? and the reason i think it seems reasonable that she would think that is because strider publicly suffers nothing from this incident, right? this is all kept internainterna. then he goes on and ahead of
hillary clinton's 2016 campaign and i know as a reporter who covered hillary clinton for i think it was over a year and a half before she ran, he goes on as the guy in charge of something called correct the record. this is key because this was essentially the response effort prior to her campaign launching, if you needed information, you went to correct the record as a reporter. they set themselves up as this was the pro hillary clinton pac on messaging and this was a key position. so he then goes on, he's in charge of correct the record. and he ends up being fired for workplace issues, according to buzzfeed and the new york times, for harassing at least two other women. when you look back on that, does it strike you that allowing him to stay in the campaign gave him a platform to then go on and harass other women? >> yes. i mean, i feel a great deal of
regret that i didn't fight harder, didn't push harder for him to be fired. i read the buzzfeed report and what the young women said, one particular statement of a young woman who said she felt she needed to quit because she felt she wasn't strong enough or tough enough to work in politics because she couldn't endure sexual harassment and the idea that bern strider made her feel like she was the one that something was wrong with, like she was inadequate is just really infuriating. but having said that, brianna, i want to say this about hillary. look, people are complicated. and hillary is no exception. and she definitely made a wrong call here. but i worked for her for 17 years. and i feel like i know the totality of her as a person, as a politician, as a public servant. and this is a woman who allowed me to put a crib in my office, in the white house, and bring my 3-month-old baby to work every
day because she knew i was struggling with balancing my early motherhood with a rising career, this is a woman who hires women at the highest levels in her orbit, promotes women, gives them raises, who is dogged in her advocacy for the issues that she cares about, and i believe then and i believe now still that she would have all those characteristic s would he made her a great president. would she have made mistakes? yes. >> was bern strider her faith adviser, faith very important to hillary clinton, was he a confident? what is the blind spot with bern strider that she couldn't say, you need to go? >> i don't know. i think that's a question for her. >> her husband bill clinton obviously accuse of sexual misconduct on various occasions, he pushed back on those
occasions, do you think that was a blind spot for her, did that make her more skeptical of how you might accept an accusation or respond fully to an accusation like this? >> i've spoken about this before, she love her husband. there is a real mutual respect and admiration and a lot of love in that marriage. and i think in that instance this was about a wife wanting to keep her marriage together. and that -- >> you don't see a connection with this? >> again, i have seen them both together up close and they love each other. and -- >> you don't see a connection with how she relates to that and how this bern strider event? you wouldn't extrapolate anything from that, that she has a blind spot on how to adequately deal with some of these issues? >> no. >> strider right now is the president of the american values network. a group that organizes americans of faith toward progressive
causes. does he need to go? >> he does. he needs to go. >> do you think he'll go? >> i hope so. if i could do anything to help him go, i'm more than happy to do that. >> do you think looking at how he responded to these reports buzzfeed report, great report by ruby cramer, great report in "the new york times," do you think looking special, he did speak to ruby in that report, do you think he gets it? >> not at all. he attributed his behavior to him being religious and to him being from the south. that is just, as i tweeted, out freaking rageous. it is enraging to me. i know plenty of religious people and plenty of people from the south and they don't treat women that way. >> thank you for talking to us. we appreciate it. we're keeping an eye right now on the white house. president trump is expected to join the swearing in ceremony for his new hhs secretary at any moment. stay with us.
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live to the white house where president trump has just entered the room for the swearing in ceremony for his new health and human services secretary alex azar. let's listen in as he greets some of the guests there and makes remarks. >> always finish the job, right? how are you? thank you very much. >> very special day for me because we have been looking for this day for a long time. i'm thrilled to be here to administer the oath of office to america's new secretary of health and human services, mr. alex azar. come here, alex.
he's going to get those prescription drug prices way down as a little bit of an extra, right? come rocketing down. alex is joined today by his father, alex, thank you, congratulations. of course, i'll only say congratulations if he does a great job, right? which i know he will. which i know he will. we have no doubt. you're right. i don't either. his wife jennifer, his daughter claire, his son alex, his sister stacy, and her family, and his sister-in-law beth and her husband and numerous friends, thank you all for being here. we appreciate it. and alex appreciates it. upon taking his oath of office, alex will take the helm of the department he has already served with tremendous distinction. first as general counsel and later as deputy secretary. in both those roles, alex was outstanding and an incredible public servant. people talk about him to this day, he was instrumental in
improving the department's plagues and advancing the emergency response capabilities. alex knows inside and out the impact of government policy on patients, health care and prices. as the former president of lilly, usa, big company, great company, he did an incredible job, alex brings invaluable private sector experience to complement his years of public service. the department of health and human services has already achieved a great deal rolling back regulations that drive up health care costs, but we have a long way to go. a lot of people are very happy with the amount we have done already, but alex is going to bring that to a big brand new level. he will continue to implement the administrative and regulatory changes needed to ensure that our citizens get the affordable high quality care they deserve. he will help lead our efforts to confront the national emergency of addiction, and death due to
opioids. and i think we're going to be very tough on the drug companies in that regard and very tough on doctors in that regard because what is going on is pretty incredible. and finally, put an end to this plague on the lives of families and communities, people going for minor operation into a hospital, they come out, they're addicted to opioids. they're addicted to drugs. after a short period of time. we have to get the prices of prescription drugs way down and unravel the tangled web of special interests that are driving prices up for medicine and for really hurting patients. and we're going to get that done. that's going to be so important. you look at other countries, they pay a fraction for the exact same drug. the exact same pill, in an identical box from the same factory costs us much more, many times more, than it does in other countries.
and nobody knows that process better than alex and we're going to get it done because it is very unfair to our country. neighboring countries pay a tiny fraction of what we pay for the same exact pill made in the same location. and alex, i know there is no one more capable, qualified, and committed than you to overcoming these incredible challenges, so important. and i will say this, prescription drug prices is going to be one of the big things and whenever i speak to alex, i speak to him about that, i think prior to anything else. and i know you can do it. you know the system and you can do it. because it is wrong. so now i'll ask vice president pence to formally administer the oath and, again, i just want to congratulate alex and his family and god bless you all. he's got a very important job to do. so thank you. thank you for giving him to us and we'll give him the chance, but you gave him to us and we appreciate it very much.
thank you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. [ applause ] >> left hand on the bible, raise your right hand, repeat after me. i, alex michael azar ii do solemnly swear. >> i alex michael azar ii do solemnly swear. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> against all unknowns, foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> i will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same. >> i will bear truth, faith and allegiance to the same. >> without any mental reservation. >> without any mental reservation. >> or purpose of evasion. >> or purpose of evasion. >> and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties. >> i will well and faithfully discharge the duties. >> of the office upon which i'm
about to enter. >> of the office upon which i'm about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. [ applause ] >> what an honor it is today to become the 24th secretary of health and human services here in the united states. only in america the grandchild and great grandchild of immigrants from lebanon, the ukraine, england, switzerland, gets to have that opportunity. mr. president, thank you so much for the confidence that you have bestowed upon me and the incredible department you have entrusted me with. mr. vice president, thank you for your many years of friendship and for administration the oath today. and to my family, to jennifer, the rest of my family, thank you for all of the many years of support and for the years of support coming. it is going to be tough. but we'll do well with it.
i also would like to thank the 79,000 men and women of hhs who is now my great honor to lead. i know these -- these people, i know this team, and the deep commitment that they have to the mission of hhs to enhance and protect the well-being and health of all americans. that is a solemn charge. it is a charge that i am committed to. and as you heard from the president today, it is a charge that includes his personal direction to me that we have to tackle the scourge of the opiate crisis and bring down prescription drug prices. i look forward to that mission, to the work ahead and now it is time to get to work. thank you, all, very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, everybody.
it is going to be good. we worked on it hard. covered a lot of territory including the success with the markets and the tax cut. and it is a big speech, important speech, we cover immigration and for many years, to many, many years they have been talking immigration and never got anything done. we're going to get something done. we hope. it has got to be bipartisan. the republicans really don't have the votes to get it done in any other way. it has to be bipartisan. but hopefully the democrats will join us or enough of them will join us so we can really do something great for daca and immigration in general. but it is going to be a very important speech on trade, the world has taken advantage of us on trade for many years. and as you probably noticed we're stopping that. we're stopping it cold and we have to. we have to have reciprocal trade. not a one way deal anymore. so we have a lot of things to discuss and we'll be discussing them and i hope you enjoy it. thank you, all, very much. see you tomorrow night.
>> all right, we're getting a little preview from the president himself on what he's going to say tomorrow night in his state of the union address. maybe not terribly surprising, right, but he just talked about clearly he's going to be touting the economy, he'll be talking about immigration and bipartisanship on immigration. we'll see how that message manifests itself tomorrow night and he'll be talking about trade. all right, so just days ahead now, just ahead of this first state of the union address, president trump took some time to target an african-american entertainer over unemployment numbers. on the debut of cnn's "the van jones show," rapper jay-z was on and he discussed personal and political issues. this included whether the drop in the african-american unemployment rate makes president trump a good leader. >> no. because it is not about money at
the end of the day. money is not -- doesn't equate to, like, happiness. it doesn't. that's not -- you're missing the whole point. you treat people like human beings. it goes back to the whole thing, treat me really bad and pay me well. it is not going to lead to happiness. it is going to lead to, like, again, same thing, everyone is going to be sick. >> the next day the president tweeted somebody please inform jay-z that because of my policies, black unemployment has just been reported to be at the lowest rate ever recorded. and joining me now to discuss this, cnn political analyst and chief white house correspondent for urban radio network's april ryan with us, and also republican strategist and political commentator sher michael singleton with us as well. thank you for joining me to talk about this. april, i think what i sort of noticed about this tweet is that jay-z wasn't denying low unemployment among black americans. that was the premise of the
question and the answer to van jones. he was saying that number doesn't tell the whole story. >> it doesn't. that number doesn't tell the whole story. and, you know, jay-z talked about it, it is like spraying perfume on a trash can. and some of his comments. i find it interesting that the president touts these numbers, and i have been at the white house for 21 years now, that's one of the stories i've been first and foremost just pushing and you know that. and the issue is the black unemployment rate is much higher. a lot of times two times that of white america. the december unemployment rate for black america, i believe, 6.8%, for white america it is 3.7, for hispanics, 4.9, for asians, 2.5. so and then during the obama years, when he received -- when president obama received the recession and tried to work on it, the numbers went as high as 16%. started coming down then. so, you know, if you want to say
that you brought it down, where is your -- i want to know where the targeting approach was, the targeted approach was to bring it down, and also, you know, jane sperling said you're coasting on a trend. they have been talking about it when they talk about this america first message, but there has not been a targeted aapproach. if you tout the fact that it came down, still twice that of white america. there is still a historic and traditional problem with black unemployment. so i don't think that is really something to jump for joy about, and it goes to jay-z's point. so i don't know. the devil is in the details. but you have to figure out will this president, because it is front and center in 2018, he's talking about economics, will this be part of his state of the union address tomorrow. will he start a targeted approach with black unemployment? >> what did you think about what jay-z said and how the president responded? >> i think jay-z had a fair point.
the issues of the african-american community do not exist within a vacuum. you cannot address or target one issue and ignore the others. you can now say i'm going to continue this downward trend of trying to figure out ways to employ more african-americans to create economic mobility, while ignoring the other issues that african-americans face such as criminal justice reform issues, et cetera, racial issues within the workplace, et cetera. if you're an african-american man, you may be college educated, but still have to deal with racism. despite the progress we made, what do you say in spite of the isms you have to face throughout the country. >> what did you think about his point of just, you know, clearly jay-z speaking to how he believes the president addresses black america, and how he makes many black americans feel with the things he says. >> those feelings are legitimate, back to my point, you cannot address one issue or talk about one issue while ignoring all the others.
so, sure, you may talk about employment or african-americans, sure, you may talk about other ways to create pathways of success for african-americans, but if you talk down on me, if you make me feel marginalized, how do you expect me to respect you, how do you expect me to want to be a part of the conversation to move things forward for my community. >> april, i want you to listen to something that van asked jay-z about, about the president calling african countries shitholes. here is the exchange. >> it is disappointing and it is hurtful. it really is hurtful more so. everyone feels anger. but after the anger is really hurtful because, like, you look down on a whole population of people. and you're so misinformed because these places have beautiful people and have beautiful everything. and it is just, like, this is the leader of the free world speaking like this. >> jay-z, he's tapping into something here. i wonder if it is that the emotions that trump's comments
evoke overshadow whether it is donald trump highlighting certain economic indicators, which you say are nothing to revel in anyways. but is he missing that -- these emotions really penetrate more with people than, you know, an economic . >> you know, brianna, you hit something squarely. before we even go there, we had mnm a couple weeks ago who went in on the president. he bakefr basically drew a line fan and said if you go there, don't even talk to me. and he never really responded to mnm. but with jay-z, another rapper who happens to be black. mnm is white, jay-z is black. jay-z touched on humanity more than anything else. he said they're beautiful people
with beautiful everything. when you think about the black and brown populations -- and let's go to the continent of africa. a lot of people go by their feelings and what they think. they talk about tarzan movies and swinging from trees. that's not africa. that's the bush. that's sub-saharan africa. that goes to what jay-z was talking about beautiful everything and beautiful people. let's go to the center for american progress and is their report saying that brown -- well, that black immigrants are much more educated than any other immigrant population that comes here. >> april? >> so that speaks to it. i'd like to give shermichael another quick word because i'm out of time. >> i'm sorry. >> that's not your fault at all. to april's point, why did he respond to jay-z and not mnm? >> it leads to a lot of people questioning president trump's
standing on racial issues, people of different ethnicities. i can understand why people may say maybe he does have an issue with people who are not white. look, as an african-american, i am proud of our community. we are the product of slaves. people who were brought here from an unfamiliar place, and in spite of all those things, look at the progress we've made. so in spite of donald trump's hateful rhetoric, we will continue to make progress in the right direction. and for those listening to his words, screw donald trump. we'll continue to make things better. >> shermichael singleton and april, thank you for your time. we have to talk about some breaking news just in. we're learning a russian military jet performed an unsafe intercept of a u.s. plane. we'll have more after the quick
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cnn is learning that a russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a u.s. navy plane. what happened here? >> defense officials telling me this u.s. navy p-3 surveillance plane was entintercepted by a russian military jet and they are deeming this to be unsafe partly within the proximity. it flew within five feet. but also the jet rush and interactions this plane caused which forced the navy to end its mission prematurely. this is where u.s. and russia both maintain active military presence. that's where a lot of these int intercepts tend to take place. the last one happening in december. back to you. still ahead, it is a controversial memo putting the white house at odds with its own justice department. who it names, when it could be released to the public, next.
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should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. welcome to "inside politics." i'm dana bash. john king is off today. a key house committee could release today a memo that abused its power in the russia investigation. that as president trump prepares for tomorrow night's state of the union address. we expect to hear from him this hour. and the grammys get political. from what instantly became an anthem for the me too movement to a surprise cameo from the