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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 22, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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good evening. a senior u.s. counter intelligence official tells cnn there's no evidence isis or any other suny terrorist groups are trying to get across the southern border. no evidence. no evidence of terrorist infiltration in the migrant caravan now making its way through mexico. zero, none. now we're saying it at the top of the broadcast and we'll keep coming back to it because simple facts matter and the quiet truth bears repeating. with just two weeks to go until mid term elections president trump was in texas tonight has chosen to fill the public arena with the exact opposite of a
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quiet truth or simple facts and he's doing it in a way that seems designed to scare people. the president of the united states is intentionally, it appears, trying to scare you. he's been out there loudly repeatedly unabashedly spreading falsehoods, and that is not the same as painting the political opposition in the worst light possible which all modern presidents, republicans and democrats have done. in the past some have exaggerated, some twisted words, some bent truths and some told lies. when asked about his nickname given hell harry, harry truman said i tell the truth, and it's hell. this president has muttered proven falsehoods every single day seems to be making them his center piece for republicans next month. we'll start with this migrant caravan. we're only going to show this video sparingly because you can make the case to play wall to
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wall pictures of thousands of men and women making their way north only serves the president's purpose of making it appear more threatening than it actually is. and again just to be clear, here's more of what that senior counter terrorism official told cnn, and i'm quoting here. while we acknowledge there are vulnerabilities in our northern or southern border, we do not see any evidence that they're trying to infiltrate the southern border. also to be clear neither have the correspondents and producers who have been in the crowds for days. there are perfectly legitimate reasons why people might oppose these policies. there are perfect arguments to be made why current immigration policies don't work and can be strengthened. those points can be argued on their merits and good people can disagree, but they don't need to be argued with misinformation, and that is what the president is doing yet again. in fact, he had this to say about who's behind all of those people heading north. >> the democrats want caravans. they like the caravans.
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a lot of people say, i wonder who started that caravan? >> well, the president is echoing part of a conspiracy theory on the far right that says democrats possibly with the money of the billionaire george surros have been paying central americans to leave their countries and come north. he elaborated a bit at an earlier rally in the middle of montana. >> but a lot of money has been passing through. people to come up and try to get to the border by-election day, because they think that's a negative for us. number one, they're being stopped. number two, regardless, that's our issue. this is the problem with them. one thing, they stick together. they vote together. they're bad politicians. they have horrible policy. they hate i.c.e. they don't like our military. they don't like our vets. they're always fighting us on that. they have lousy policy. the one thing they stick together, but they wanted that
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caravan and there are those who say that caravan didn't just happen -- it didn't just happen. a lot of reasons that caravan, 4,000 people. >> now he is right, it didn't just happen. most of the people in that caravan have told reporters from multiple outlets including cnn that they left their home countries fleeing violence from drug gangs, the government, simple poverty. a congressman matt goetz posted video of what he claimed were migrants in honduras getting paid to be in the caravan. he later had to concede it wasn't shot where he said it was. and "the new york times" found out the money was a token amount from local merchants who were handing out food. which of course is as scary as paid invaders sent to wreck elections or democrats want to give illegal immigrants luxury cars. >> they want to open your borders, let people in illegally, then they want to pay for those people, for health care, for education.
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they want to give them cars. they want to give them driver's licenses. i said last night, we did a great -- we did a great, great rally in arizona last night and i said -- i said last night, what kind of car will they supply them? will it be a rolls royce? >> the president of the united states addressing undocumented immigrant are going to be given not just cars but even rolls royces. do i even need to actually say no one is giving immigrants rolls royces? are we at that stage yet where i need to say that? the president also has been repeating the notion that the idea of so-called sanctuary cities that it's so unpopular that people riot. >> i don't think we like sanctuary cities up here. by the way, a lot of people in california don't want them either. they're rioting now. they want to get out of their sanctuary cities. >> now when the president of the united states says something, you check and people checked. and although they found
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disagreement over sanctuary cities, debates and dissents, sometimes heated debate, no one found any rioting. so late today the president was asked again about that. >> californians were rioting, where? >> take a look. they want to get out of sanctuary cities. many places in california want to get out of sanctuary cities. >> but you said rioting, right? >> it is rioting. >> the president was merely exaggerating. he had a chance to say so today he didn't leaving us to assume he meant real literal rioting in real literal cities. which isn't happening. he was asked about the caravan, because this morning he tweeted this about it. sadly it looks like mexico's police and military unable to stop the caravan heading to the southern border of the united states. criminals and unknown middle easterners are mixed in. again, we'll return to what a senior counter terrorism official told us, there simply is no evidence of that which of course is something the
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president ought to know for himself. of course he probably does. whatever the case, it didn't stop him from saying this as he headed to marine 1. >> take your cameras, go into the middle of the caravan and search. you're going to find ms-13, you're going to find middle easterners, you're going to find everything. >> cameras and others are there and we've yet to find middle easterners. press secretary sarah sanders didn't ask about it today. >> middle easterners are in this caravan? >> absolutely. we know this is a continuing problem. it's not just in this. >> she went on to say that a known terrorist tried to get into the country every day which joined somewhat with the information cnn got and an official telling us it's not too far. they didn't offer any specifics
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about at which border crossings those occurred or even if they were actually stopped at border crossings at all because they could have for example been prevented from boarding a flight from another country good and getting a visa and still be included in that ten a day figure. and the department of security could offer no evidence for claims that middle easterners were in that crowd, and that counter terrorism official says there's no evidence of terrorist infiltrators. >> we have another 1.6. it sounds like a lot of money. when you're going for almost 1,000 miles it's not mat much, but the wall is moving. >> in fact none of the president's new border wall that he campaigned on is under construction yet. parts of the existing wall are being worked on, and that's not
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the only hot button issue the president is spreading falsehoods about. here's what the president said at a rally recently about the opioid crisis. >> and i'll soon sign into law, the legislative effort in history to address the opioid crisis, rob and so many others held, very little democratic support. >> keeping them honest, if by very little democratic support he meant 100% democrat support, then he's absolutely right. the legislation passed the senate 98-1. the lone no vote by the way came from republican mike lee. the truth is most lawmakers and most americans want to do something about opioid addiction. by suggesting one party doesn't the president is doing good people in both parties a disservice along with the truth. and of course there's always more. the president also has been promising a big middle class tax cut by next month even though
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congress is out of session. today he was forced to admit he would propose one. keeping them honest the deal is not finalized, the dollar amount right now is closer to $14 million, and the job numbers are unfounded. when he began talking about this in march he put the number at 40,000, and then it became 450,000 and 500,000 and 600,000 saudi job investments in the country. the list goes on and on. it is a flood of misinformation, and perhaps that's the point in hopes that the voter just can't keep up with what is fact and what is fiction. with just 15 days to go to the mid-terms, the truth has a long way to go, and lies, they have a head start. with that in mind let's get a picture of the president's depiction of the caravan. they've crossed the mexico southern border. some plan on staying there. for the rest, they've got a
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1,500 mile walk ahead. them, and that's to get to the nearest entry point. let's go to cnn's bill weir. have you seen any evidence to support the president's claim there are middle easterners, members of this caravan? >> reporter: of course not, anderson. no, it's a charge that's ludicrous. and it would be funny if it wasn't so insulting to this human tragedy we're seeing. what we did see today was a man attempt suicide, unsuccessfully, thankfully. and then his honduran country talked him into giving life another chance. i saw a frightening woman pass out on the side of this frightening highway until they flagged down an ambulance to save her. i saw incredible sign of generosity from the mexican people like these folks who are just handing out clothing to passing migrants who might need it. and we see trucks full of
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freshly cooked tortillas and incredibly christian gestures of welcoming a stranger. when you have thousands of really umpov really impoverished people streaming through your town. for the record i've confirmed these clothes were not provided by george sorros. >> you've been talking to people there about the president's comments. i'm wondering what they've been saying to you about it. >> reporter: well, i did. i've been asking everybody that, and the answer is always the same. how could he say these thing snz we're not terrorists. we just want to work. we're running away from a form of terrorism in honduras. the strong man president there, orlando hernandez, president orlando hernandez who donald trump congratulated and endorsed has cracked down in violent, but
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i met a young man there, and i put that question, the president is using you as an image to frighten people. and this is what he told me. >> translator: we are honorable people. we're workers. would you call a group of kids terrorists, a group of women who need help? we're asking for support but of course we know he has no conscious, he is crazy. >> reporter: there are some who believe you're being organized for political reasons, you're being paid to do this. >> translator: there's a lot of people, so there could be some with bad intentions, she says, but if you look around there are lots of mothers with young kids. why would they want to come here if they weren't so desperate? >> reporter: i hear that again and again. and there's also this idea out there that this is somehow timed to, you know, coincide with the
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mid-term elections, which again when you consider where they come from, they're not watching the news, they're not really reading the president's tweets. we're informing them of what he's saying, but almost to a person they're saying, look, we're putting our faith in god and we have no other choice. >> finally, for people who don't understand, why is that that there is this caravan, that there happen to be thousands of people all walking together in the same direction. i mean, it does sound like there's some level of organization of people figuring out, okay, this is the time we're all going to kind of go together. i assume it's for their safety, but can you just explain that? >> reporter: right. sure, great question. well, it starts with what i was mentioning about this hotly contested violent election recount they had in honduras led to a lot of discontent, a lot of the opposition saw violence in response to their opposition for the re-elected president there. the crime there has spiked in recent months, so that touched
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off a relatively compared to this size, a relatively small caravan. and then as they moved, people who are think about going might see this as, oh, here's my chance. it's literally like catching a passing train. i talked to people who sold everything they had within a few days because they heard it was coming. and now it's within mexico, even the mexican government is acknowledging hundreds if not thousands of mexicans will be joining this as it goes north. so now you have four or five different nationalities banding together so there is security in numbers. it's dark now. so you have to camp wherever you stop walking. and if there's only two or three of you with your children, that can be a scary thing, obviously. the price they pay for that are the optics with this huge group of people surging north. and it seems they will disperse when they get closer to the border. some might go to brownsville, some might go all the way up to
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tijuana. so the timing may seem suspicious, but i think it's just like people taking advantage of what is passing literally through their town. >> bill weir, appreciate it. former obama special advisor van jones, host of cnn's van jones show. first of all, does it make any sense to you the president's argument the democrats love these caravans or are behind these caravans? because it seems to me just from a political standpoint a caravan like this weeks before the presidential election seems to serve the president more than the democrats. >> this is the worst thing to be happening in a moment like this because what it does is gives another talking point to donald trump. look at these invading hoards, et cetera, et cetera. i do want to say one thing just because people are middle eastern, of course there are no middle easterners there, that
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doesn't mean they're bad or they're terrorists. most of the terrorists instances we've had in the united states are not being committed by middle eastern people, muslims, they're being committed by right wing extremists in our country. it's lie after lie and i appreciate you trying to fact check it but -- >> there are clearly people from other parts of the world who would try to come through the southern border. there is no evidence of terrorists or people with terrorist affiliations. >> according to the people who know, and i'm just saying that i don't want the world middle eastern to be continued to be used by the media as a synonym for terrorist. >> van, that's not what the president is saying when he references middle eastern. of course there are homegrown terrorists, but we can't exclude them from america because they're homegrown. they're americans. there are clearly countries in this world where terrorism is
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prevalent and those countries don't cooperate with us. and those countries, it is fair to take a look at everyone whether they want to visit here or become american citizens. >> steve, do you say what the president is saying is true, that there are midden eastern terrorists or middle eastern people with these notions in this caravan? >> we know this is true. we don't know who's in the caravan, first of all. >> what does that mean? >> i'm saying what is true is we don't know who's in the caravan. we know they haven't been vetted. and what we also know is true is the border patrol -- >> but why would you say middle eastern. there could be swedish people in there or -- >> we have seen a massive spike at the mexican border of bangladeshis entering the united states illegally from mexico. there are 8,600 already this
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year. and reason i bring up bangladesh is because we're anti-bangladeshi but a country with a serious problem with terrorists at home. and they're coming via the mexican border, which of course doesn't make any geographic sense. >> but the point is, steve, you have no evidence there are middle-easterners with evil intensions in this caravan. this is happening -- >> he's saying they're there, and we have -- >> what i'm saying is woo do know there's a massive spike in bangladeshis. in other words, people who want to come to the united states are using our southern border, wherever they're from in the world are using it as an entry point. that i think should be very worrisome. >> honest question here, duds it bother you, if he said there were swedish people there, would you say perhaps, we don't know. he's making an affirmative
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claim, this is group. >> because sweden is not a country with a terrorism problem. >> stay with me. you're not following me now. >> by the way, i'm not talking about terrorism or not terrorism. i'm talking about a factual assertion of any kind being made by the president of the united states. don't you think that the president of the united states making a factual assertion should actually be referencing facts? >> of course he should. and the most important fact is this, even if this group is 10,000 latin-american mother theresas, that still doesn't mean it is okay and right for them to demand entry, to break and enter into our country and demand of us entry into our country. that is wrong. it's an abuse of the united states. and here's why borders are important. okay, i lock my doors at night not because i hate those on the outside but because i love those on the inside. the same is true for a country. we control our borders because
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we love americans. we cannot accept all of them unless we want to share in their poverty, and that would be an absolute abuse of american citizens and their security. >> why doesn't the president just stick to facts? he's got a lot of positive stuff to run on. why is he lying repeatedly about middle easterners in this column, you know, going to be coming up and that democrats are paying them and they want them here, and i mean just claim after claim the middle east -- the mid-term middle class tax cut, and mean all the things we just went through, he's got a lot of positive stuff to run on. why is he trying to scare people or lie to people? >> well, look, i don't know he's lying about middle-easterners. perhaps he has information we don't have. regardless, i agree with you he shouldn't major in the minors. i think that's a mistake. let's focus on what is known to
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everyone with eyes who sees the visuals. what's known is they're waving honduran flags, demanding that america accept them in -- >> you know, what's major? there are -- when your neighbor is in trouble, you're talking about sick kids, you're talking about pregnant women. they're not demanding they're being -- they're asking for help, applying for asylum. you know why they feel comfortable applying for asylum? because we fought as americans all around the world to say after world war ii if someone is fleeing persecution or violence every country in the world should give them a chance to make their case. we led the world in that, and they are now taking us up on that. if they don't belong here, they'll be turned away. but the idea you're going to participate in this smear campaign against these sick, hungry people it's not fair, not right. and i'm sad to hear you do it. >> steve, quick comment if you want. >> for you to say they're all sick and tired i mean and
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hungry -- >> do you see the pictures? >> they're economic migrants. i don't begrudge them wanting to be americans -- >> that's like you don't believe many of them are scared to live in neighborhoods with gun violence -- >> -- to have filters for how to determine who will best -- >> middle easterners -- it's not racist or zeno phobic to say middle-easterners in this column which therefore implies terrorist? norway killed a bunch of kids on an island and setoff a bomb, if there was a bunch of norwegians -- >> that was one, it's not a problem. norway doesn't have a systemic problem. they had one absolutely evil crazy person. >> the president actually launched more people from countries like norway here, which is what he said. he just doesn't want people of
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color from countries which as we go -- >> anderson, that's a lie. he never said anything about color. >> he said -- he said he doesn't want shit hp hole countries, and more people from norway. >> he never acknowledged he said that, first of all. >> we reported by numerous -- >> we want people with the skills and hustle to be great americans who accept our values. and america is not a race. >> okay, so people from honduras and stuff, they don't have the skill, they don't have the hustle? because it seems like it takes a lot of hustle to walk thousands of miles. >> no, they may very well, and that's why they should apply as legal immigrants to america. look, legal hispanic american citizens are a treasure to this country, 60 million of them strong. >> unless they're judges. if they're judges, they can't really be fair, right?
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>> okay, well you keep trying to hop around. >> no, i'm quoting you the president. the president has raised questions about the loyalty of a judge of mexican descent, so i'm just pointing out things your president said. >> okay, and i think that was a mistake during the campaign. what isn't a mistake, though, is protecting our borders for all americans for whatever color they happen to be. american first, we all bleed red, white, and blue, and we salute one flag and it's not an american flag. >> this is like a list of the greatest hits. >> they bleed red, we all bleed red. a reminder don't miss the van jones show this weekend. you can catch it saturday 7:00 p.m. eastern time right here on cnn. just ahead, breaking news. a report on the fiscal education involving the president's chief of staff and president's campaign chief.
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parts of me i didn't even know. results revealed i find out i'm 19% native american specifically from the chihuahua people. what?! that's - i find that crazy. it traces their journey from the mid-1800s from central mexico to texas. learning about the risks they took for a better life it gives me so much respect and gratitude. it just shed so much light in my past that i never even would've known was there. connecting 20 million members to a deeper family story. order your kit at new evidence tonight that killing of jamal khashoggi was
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no accident. a turkish source saying it takes a saudi operative, part of the alleged kill team wearing the journalist's clothing picked up an surveillance footage in locations around istanbul. the saudis say khashoggi left the consul alive and well. this may have been an effort to sell that lie. then they said he died during a fistfight. and today the president said he spoke to the crown prince mohammed bin salman about the investigation. he said more details will become apparent tonight or tomorrow morning. and earlier van jones spoke to jared kushner about the investigation. >> with regard to the situation in saudi arabia, i'd say that right now as an administration we're more in the fact finding phase, and we're obviously getting as many facts as we can from the different places and that will determine which facts are credible. and after that the president and the secretary of state will make a determination as to what we, you know, deem to be credible
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and what actions we think we should take. >> what kind of advice do you think you'd give mbs in this situation? >> just to be transparent. to be fully transparent. the world is watching. this is very, very serious accusation and a very serious situation and to make sure you're transparent, and to take this very seriously. >> how do you respond to that? how do you respond to that counsel? >> we'll see. i know the secretary of state had some good meetings over there, and we'll see. >> for more perspective joining us now is chris murphy. thank you for being with us. jared kushner advising the crown prince to be, quote, fully transparent. i'm not sure why he's advising the crown prince, frankly, what to do in the first place on this? but is the any expectation they expects team to be transparent here given the stories they've seem to have concocted during
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the past weeks? >> well, the jury's still not really out on this question. i love the response, we'll see if they're going to be transparent. they lied. they lied for two weeks. they let the secretary of state mike pompeo go over to saudi arabia, stand next to the crown prince as they told him, the president of the united states and the world that jamal khashoggi was still alive, that he walked out of that consulate alive, when they knew the entire time that he was dead. now, listen, they killed him, they lured him there. it was purposeful, intentional. this whole thing is a cover-up, i think that's what the facts will eventually be. but we know one fact for sure. and that was for two weeks the saudis lied and tried to get away with it when they knew he was dead. and the fact is the administration is still wondering whether or not the saudis are going to be transparent shows you how naive they are and how weak we are,
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sort of willingly in the pocket of the saudis this administration is for mysterious reasons. >> do you think it is just naivety on the part of the administration, or do you think they are in fact part of the cover-up, if in fact there's a cover-up on the part of the saudis? >> listen, i don't know. but i think that we've got to start asking some real questions as to why the trump family seems to be so eager to let the saudis control this relationship. i mean, this idea that we can't really upset the saudis because they buy weapons from the united states or they sell us oil is ridiculous. the saudis are much more dependent on the united states than we are of them. and it's a sign of immeasurable weakness to the world. yes, there are these reports the trump family has deep financial connection tuesday the saudis. of course we already know that the saudis buy a lot of real estate and rent a lot of property from the trump family. maybe that alone is enough for them to have an overly cozy relationship with the regime and
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with the family. but i think we're going to have to ask some deeper question about why we have become so pliant to the saudis when we already have all the evidence we needs to know they have been lying to the world and the american public. >> some have made this an either or either we continue the relationship as it is or do something so damaging to the regime the regime falls and a hostile takes over in saudi arabia. to me that seems like a false choice. that notion is dependent on the idea that mohammed bin salman is the only person who is capable of filling this role in saudi arabia. do you believe there are others who -- who could take his place and continue a relationship with the u.s.? >> there are absolutely others. this is not the only substantial figure in the family who could lead that country moving forward. and i think that the whole world is seeing now what many people
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like me who are regular saudi watchers have seen for years, that this is very unstable leader, that he has been making a number of decisions in the region, which are inexplicable. whether it be the kidnapping of the lebanese prime minister or this ongoing war in yemen that's getting worse not better. ultimately the relationship is complex, and as someone who has been calling for reset in this relationship for years, i acknowledge that the saudis are often an important counter terrorism pattern, that they have been responsible for creating a detaunt between the suni states and israel. but increasingly they're doing things that hurt. and we've got to have a nuanced relationtion than we have today, and that might involve mohammed bin salman stepping aside. there are certainly others that could step up. >> senator murphy, i appreciate
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your time. chris murphy, thank you. coming up next, new reporting on john kelly and cory lewandowski physically squaring off. [woman 1] this... [woman 2] ..this... [man 1] ...this is my body of proof. [man 2] proof of less joint pain... [woman 3] ...and clearer skin. [man 3] proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... [woman 4] ...with humira. [woman 5] humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. [avo] humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
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well, as breaking news goes this is certainly something. and "the new york times" maggie haberman and katey holmes has tonight they're reporting on an argument between chief of staff john kelly and former campaign official cory lewandowski turned physical. so much so the secret service had to step in.
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we have maggie haberman on the phones. what exactly happened here? >> sure, and thank you for having me, anderson. this came to light after the reports of john kelly and john bolton getting into a fight last week outside of the oval office. we heard there are have been other occasions and one took place in february on the same day that the families of the victims of the shooting at the high school in parkland, florida, were showing up for an event in the east room with the president february 21st. cory lewandowski was at the white house apparently for some previously scheduled meeting. he and john kelly ended up arguing in front of the president in the oval office. again, this scene has become familiar with the oval office aides. the two ended up outside the oval office, and john kelly wanted lewandowski escorted out of the building. john kelly went and grabbed his collar and pushing him toward
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the wall, secret service intervened. from my understanding is, and i'm heard conflicting things, but i've heard from more people lewandowski didn't -- they ended up working this out among themselves behind closed doors soon after and then went back into the oval office. but it really does speak to the plef level of two things. one the level of chaos the president gets when people get angry when also speaks to john kelly's temper. i mean wiz around the time john kelly was under fire for how he had handled the crisis surrounding the staff secretary rob porter who left after previous allegations of domestic violence against him became public. lewandowski had been critical of john kelly's handling of that on television. that was one of the things they were arguing about. this is unusual. we have heard of lots of fights
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in the west wing. it is heard we've heard of the secret service getting involved. >> is it known what this particular fight was over? >> it was over a couple of things, but again i think the main one was that cory lewandowski had been on television criticizing john kelly over the rob porter situation, and kelly was very sensitive to that. that whole period opened up a pretty dark chapter of kelly's tenure as chief of staff in the white house where there are some questions about the durability for him in that role and how much control he actually has over the staff, and he seemed to have just lost his temper. >> and white houses are obviously stressful places to work. i'm not sure i've heard, though, of these kind of fights happening in other administrations, have you? >> no, we have certainly heard of fights. is it possible these kind of fights happened and we didn't hear about them? sure, but i find that unlikely. this white house certainly leaks
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more than other white houses. but i don't know of a white house where secret service intercension has been a theme let alone a norm. >> i want to bring in the two david. david axelrod and david gergen. david axelrod, did you ever grab somebody by the collar in the white house and have to have secret service step in? >> no, and i'm not sure any other person from the white house would answer that question yes. but you're right, anderson, white houses are terribly precerable places. people feel passionate. chill as i am, i had arguments with people, but the idea of mere fistfights outside the oval office, which apparently is not -- not an uncommon event there, we now know about two of them, is really i think as maggie suggests a consequence of
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the leadership style of this president. he is his own chief of staff. he encourages conflict among his people, and this is the result of that. and, you know, one wonders what impact that has on the day to day operations of the government. >> david gergen, chief of staff kelly obviously a redesired four star general, and cory lewandowski i don't believe if memory serves me, he has any time served in the military. should -- does it surprise -- yes, i believe state police. yeah, does this surprise you? i mean how do you see this? >> yeah, certainly surprises me. as always maggie's reporting is just so illuminating. i think this speaks to john kelly's frustration as well as his temper. this is man who has proven himself time and again to be able to act well under pressure.
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he acted very closely when leon was defense secretary. leon speaks very highly of him. but in this white house there's so much to be angry over. listen, it's the same issue we have when we go on the air at night to talk about what we've learned. i mean, we've ricochetted around tonight from lying about central american immigrants -- migrants trying to come here to all this other stuff. and it is i think symptomatic of a real problem, and it's a degrading one within the white house. and the president according to maggie's reporting shows, quote, reverence, reverence for verbal fi fisticuffs in the oval office. he likes the idea of people shouting at each other, he enjoys it. i guess it goes back to his wrestling days. but i first started roaming the halls of the west wing back in
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the early '70s. that was almost five decades ago, and i've been aware of tensions and, you know, hatreds and all the rest. but never, ever have had heard of any physical altercation there. and white houses, as david axelrod will tell you, reverence traditionally has not been for verbal fisticuffs but for the white house to be the symbol of a country to be a well led inspired group of people who are trying to do their best for the country, and never, ever would they deign to get into an argument in the halls of had west wing and starting shouting and shoving each other up against the wall. >> david's makes an interesting point which is the white house is a symbol for the country, and politicians and their wives are yelled at in restaurants by
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people whether it's on the left or right who are so consumed with their own sense of self-righteousness they think it's appropriate in a personal moment with a family attack somebody or verbally abuse somebody in a restaurant just because of the political positions they hold. and we've seen that kind of stuff happen on the campaign trail, the president encouraging people to knock out somebody who's, you know, protesting. in some ways maybe this is reflection of where the country is moving. >> well, certainly the country -- every organization in the country itself takes cues from the person at the top. and the if the president sends a cue that decorum doesn't matter and uses the kinds of inflammatory language that he does, it has -- it makes a difference. but one thing i want to point out just before we go, the fact that this story leaks aikt months after it happened is another problem in this white house, which is somebody leaked
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this story to embarrass john kelly, and this happens persistently in this white house, and it's another symptom of a dysfunctional place. >> yeah, david axelrod, david gergen, thank you very much. and the president campaigning hard. new numbers on what voters are thinking, perhaps more importantly which voters are fired up and ready to go.
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with 15 days until the november midterms, the intensity on both sides is getting pretty close to 100%. the latest polling by "the wall street journal" and nbc news shows democrats holding a nine-point advantage among likely voters when it comes to control of the congress. president trump's approval rating is given a boost, now at 44%. the president, as we reported tonight, is giving a full-throated endorsement to his former rival, texas senator ted cruz, this after a series of campaign speeches across the country which have been chockful of misinformation, sometimes
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outright lies. with me is max boot, author of "the corrosion of conservatism, why i left the new right." what do you think is behind the president's approval rating in the new polls? >> i think he's firing up the base. >> i think it's appeals to prejudice and bigotry, but i think republicans -- some republicans are probably coming home ahead of the election. >> in your book you talk about why you left the right. obviously it fills a book so i can't just ask you why you left the right, but you were a lifelong republican. you were a foreign policy advisor to three republican presidential candidates. >> right. >> how -- to you what is the republican party today that it wasn't when you were part of it? >> it's utterly transformed from what it was when i was growing up in the 1980s, anderson, in the days of ronald reagan. i can't recognize this republican party, which is why i can't be a part of it. it's in many ways become a cult
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of personality built around donald trump and his appeal. beyond the cult of personality is essentially to white nationalism. it's to racism, it's the xenophobia. you see why he's trying to say this small number of impoverished refugees are going to invade america. most republicans approve of that. this is the farthest thing you can imagine from the days of ronald reagan. in 1980 ronald reagan actually gave a speech in which he talked about making america great again, a familiar slogan, but when he was talking about that, he was celebrating the achievements of immigrants. he was not demonizing immigrants. it's just a vastly different party from the one i joined. i can't be part of it. >> so you left the right, so where are you now? what are you? >> i'm confused, anderson. i'm in the middle. i'm a centrist. i don't feel like either party really speaks to me because i think they're both getting polarized. >> sometimes being a centrist is the most dangerous place to be, even in revolutionary times,
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it's the centrists who they attack first. >> absolutely. about 42% of the american public is undecided, they're not democrats or republicans, they're undeclared voters but not really being spoken to by either of the extremes. that said, even though i'm not a democrat, i urge everybody to vote for democrats just because i think it's imperative to have a check and balance on donald trump. this republican congress has not shown any willingness to do that. they will not request his tax returns. they will not look into his potential conflicts of interest. they will not hold him to account. in fact they're helping him to obstruct justice. i'm just disgusted with the state of the republican party today. >> after donald trump, whether it's one term or two terms, what happens to the republicans? >> that's a great question. >> does it remain the trump party with all the values and the strategies of trump? >> that's a great question. i think that's going to be decided in the next few elections. if republicans see that they can win with this trumpian approach of dividing us, pandering to fear and bigotry, they're going
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to do more and more of it. only if they suffer shattering and irreversible political defeats will they realize appealing to fear and prejudice is not the way to win votes. i think the future of the republican party i think it's up for grabs in the next couple of elections. >> the book is getting a huge amount of attention, "the corrosion of conservatism, why i left the right." max boot, thanks for coming on. i want to quickly correct something. the question whether or not corey lewandowski was a state police officer. david gergen said he was part of the state police. he was not actually. quoting from the "new york times". he was a part-time state marine patrol officer trainee from 2006 to 2010. i want to check in with chris cuomo and see what he's working on for the top of the hour. chris? >> lies is what we're working on. i mean -- >> which ones? >> i mean that's the problem. we are like in a watershed moment. in truth, the president is flooding the zone right now. he is clearly in campaign mode.
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this caravan is a gift for him in stoking fears. but the truth isn't good enough. even though the truth of that situation plays into his politics on immigration, he's still lying about it. he's still lying about it every way he can. so tonight there's no dancing around and trying to figure out what does he mean, is he trying to say this. he's lying. we're going to call it out. we're going to show you how we know. we're going to have people in who -- we have a journalist tonight who tracks him in realtime. that's what he does for a living. think about that as your job. and we're going to take him on. we also have former secretary of defense ash carter is here to talk about whether or not we really need saudi arabia, and if so how, and to break through a lot of what's being sold to the american people. >> sounds good. three minutes from now. chris, thanks very much. i'll see you then. we'll be right back. delicious pasta marinara. but birds eye made it from zucchini. mmm... mashed potatoes...and rice! but made from cauliflower. looks like i need a fork!
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oh no. (giggles) birds eye veggie made. so veggie good.
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it has been a very busy night. we've run out of time.
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don't miss full circle, our newscast on facebook. you can pick some of the stories we cover. it's weeknights at circle. 6:25 p.m. i want to hand it over to chris. for "prime time". >> thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo and welcome to "primetime." you've got lies, damn lies and fake statistics. that's the mark twain line with my little twist. it's never been more relevant. the upcoming elections have our president in lie mode. he's hit the apex on a mountain of mendacity and we are at a critical moment, so we're going to spend our time tonight calling out the lies in the hopes of giving people out there somewhat of a more clear path to making choices in the midterms. and do not be misled about the truth on critical issues that are coming to a head right now. he's been so busy, we needed the whiteboard. yes, i had somebody else write it so you can read it. the biggie is the caravan. trump sees this as his big