tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN December 19, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
doesn't explain away the whole situation, though, because you still have the president who put that letter in michael cohen's mouth and said he signed it. he knows that he signed it himself. why did they say that? that goes to the p.r. campaign. you would never say things like that if you were worried about winding up in front of a judge or a prosecutor. you would do it if you're worried about how we process it and more importantly, the american people. >> and then michael cohen lied about it for well over a year, and the white house and donald trump let that lie sit out there. >> uh-huh. the lie is all that the matters. another good distraction was there a deal? is this a crime? those are distractions. let mueller deal with that. the lying is what matters. when you look at the american people as their president and you lie about what's going on with your business interests, that matters whether or not it's a crime. >> chris, look forward to hearing about that and much, much more on cuomo primetime. >> all right, appreciate it, j.b. let's do that right now. i am chris cuomo.
welcome to "prime time". as you heard, the president's lawyer tonight says he was wrong to suggest that potus never signed anything after our primetime exclusive that proved that potus signed a letter of intent on the russia deal. but how about the president? he looked you in the face and he said, listen to me, there was a deal, everybody knew about it, there was a letter, and it was signed by michael cohen. now, there's another wave in this story. mueller, it seems, does, in fact, have sights on roger stone, one-time key advisor to the president. wait until you hear what he told me. the spin offensive is in full effect. and a mistake of colossal proportions. that's what a senior administration official calls president trump's decision to pull troops out of the fight in syria. even senate republicans are lit, and we're going to go one on one with a key democratic senator about what this is all about. and potus promised a wall. now that promise is -- wait for it -- crumbling.
what happened? that's the great debate. hump day, everybody. let's get after it. ♪ all right. we're getting closer to the truth about the depth of the president's ties to russia. we showed you the letter of intent that trump signed to build a trump tower in moscow. lawyer rudy giuliani had said the president never signed it, but now he says, quote, i was wrong if i said it. i haven't seen the quote, but i probably meant to say there was never a deal, much less a signed one. that's the mayor's statement. i take him at his word. he's invited on this show to make the case whenever he wants. the question was never about having an actual business or a done deal. just be clear about this. it was about whether or not the president had any involvement with russians when he told you he didn't, and the answer is he did. so, we still have an outstanding question. will the president come clean about this?
>> we were thinking about building a building. i guess we had in a form, it was an option, i don't know what you'd call it. it was just reported very well by kathryn harris, who is a terrific reporter on fox. she talks about a letter that he signed. i don't even remember it. >> listen, again, i worked with kathryn harris. she is a good reporter. the president does not need fox to tell him what he signed. i want to bring in two former intel officials, phil mudd and mike rogers. welcome to you both. here's my theory of the case. they are not getting ready to be in front of a judge or prosecutor. they have never been preparing for that. rudy giuliani, the president, et cetera, are preparing to convince the american people he did nothing wrong, and they will spin and they will twist the facts to suit. >> i'm not going to disagree with you, chris. i think there's a lot of it there. here's the one thing that baffles me on this, however. so, if you think about all of the lying that's gone on that has resulted in either an indictment or a plea deal by any
of the folks surrounded by him -- flynn or papadopoulos, cohen -- there is a key element in all of it. they all lied about russia. and that's what -- you know, after awhile, i start thinking there's -- where there's smoke there's fire. the nutty thing is, it would not have been wrong for the president, who is in real estate business in new york city -- guess what? the russians are there. they're playing in that market. you're going to bump into russian businessmen in new york city. why create this elaborate story other than, hey, yes, we tried to go into business in russia, it just didn't work out, for whatever reason, i was president, i decided not to go ahead with the deal. but that's what bothers me and i'm with you on rudy giuliani. i do not believe he intended to mislead anyone. i think he is trying to create this narrative or they're trying to create the narrative about the fbi being bad, the justice department being bad because there is all of these folks who are now flipping who are going to be in front of judges and probably testify along the way as to what the trump
organization may have been doing that may or may not have been appropriate. >> all right. and, mike, like i said, the mayor is invited on here. let's get after it. you layout the case to the audience. you'll get more time than anywhere else. phil mudd, you have had a sour look on your face for much of mike rogers' statement. why? >> you look at rudy giuliani and whether he lied, the question is simpler. he's too lazy to do his homework. he said melania trump was comfortable with what the president did and the various payoffs to women. in a remarkable moment, the first lady's office comes out and says, the first lady has actually never had a conversation with giuliani about this. i don't think giuliani lied. i think he went out and said, i'm not sure i've done my homework on whether the president signed or not, but it sounds better to say he didn't sign and that's what i'm going to say. >> exactly, exactly. that's what they're doing here. let's shift to the next wave of it. the special counsel wants the congressional testimony from roger stone. now, when i hear that i feel like, this is pretty premature, then.
certainly if he were getting close to taking any action, he would have already looked at the testimony. be that as it may, roger stone is certainly going to be part of any p.r. campaign as there is in this situation. look at the statement he put out. vintage stoern and also a great window into how team trump is going to handle this. this is adam schiff's wet dream. where's the russian collusion? where's the wikileaks collaboration? where i allegedly hacked or stolen e-mails from wikileaks and passed them to donald trump or the trump campaign or anyone else? this is his thing. make your case. i'm going to fight. we don't believe you, mike. and that's what we're going to see at every iteration of this, but nobody knuckles up the way roger stone does. that's why the president kim him so close for so long. >> i have to tell you, i worked organized crime in the fbi in chicago. i met guys like this. they're pretty tough until the gavel falls and standing in front of the judge. i'm not buying it.
here's where i think he may -- may -- be in some legal problem, if he facilitated, knowingly facilitated the leak of stolen computer information or data -- wikileaks -- if he knowingly did that, he conspired to do that, he's in violation of a computer fraud and abuse act. and so that's a real crime that has real penalty to it. i cannot believe that the special counsel -- clearly to me looks like they're preparing at least a charge for lying to congress, and maybe even the fbi. but i'm going to bet, because he's not cooperating, that won't be the only charge. and that's where i think he has to worry about it. but i'm telling you, this guy dresses like a gangster, talks like a tough guy. again, i've seen a hundred of these guys. he'll fold eventually when those charges come up and he's looking at a lengthy prison term, four, five, six, seven years. that changes people -- >> he swore he would never testify against the president.
he's not new to the game. he's not italian. he's not a mob guy. >> half the guys weren't italian. i worked in chicago. they opened up their doors, the chicago mob had polish folks and jewish folks. here they had a whole collection -- >> plenty of desperates. they didn't have to all be italian. phil, what i think is most likely with roger stone -- not that it's a problem, but you have to look at the materiality of it. what was he lying about? it seems most logical what he was lying about is who he talked to and what he knew and whether or not he told the president the same. in terms of him helping distribute, mike's right about the legalities of it. i just haven't seen any proof of that. the changing stories part, listen to these sound bites. >> i actually have communicated with assange. i believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the clinton foundation --
>> what i actually said in my testimony was i had never communicated with, with assange. >> the hype, baby, the hype can get you, phil. if they find it to be material. if they find out, listen, you lied, man, you wanted to sound like you were the man. you weren't the man. we've got you. is that material? >> i think it is. there's two pieces here. one is the simple piece that we're seeing. that is as we saw in cases like manafort busted for lying, flynn busted for lying, if you stand in front of -- whether you're under oath or not to congress, you're going to get busted. i think the most fascinating part of this case, chris, easily is -- look, we had, as you just had on tape, roger stone talking about his communications with people connected with wikileaks. what does mueller have now? he has communications, including phone and e-mail. i presume text messages. he has a lot of interviews of people who are affiliated with stone. he has presumably things like travel records, did people affiliated with stone go to london? did they go to the embassy, the uruguay embassy?
i would wager whether roger stone had inappropriate contacts with wikileaks. meantime he's going to charge him, i suspect, with lying. that's going to be a hammer. if you want to do something about this charge, you better talk to us about wikileaks. >> i think it will be more than that. that's the only party disagree were phil tonight. i think there has to be more charge than that. if it's just lying, they don't have enough. they're going to have to put a case together that has more weight in it. that's my only concern with where phil is at tonight. and the sour look, by the way. >> the timing matters also in that they're just asking for that testimony now? you know, you'd think they have more ducks in a row the time they've been processing this. we always keep it simple on this show. i believe very much in go with the least assumptions. why did they lie? they keep lying about things related to russia. there must be a reason. i don't want to waste your guy's expertise on just mueller. it's important but it's not the only thing. mike, the theory of the president's quick move to withdraw troops from syria is,
it breaks my heart to write those letters home. and we said we'd go there, do the job. we did it, it's over, we're leaving. well, if that's his theory of the case, why isn't he pulling us out of afghanistan? why pull us out of the most recent theater? why not yemen, why not iraq? >> why not places in africa where we have u.s. personnel exposed, trying to push back -- >> why this way, mike, what's your take? >> this is so frustrating to me. this is exactly what barack obama did. the only difference is barack obama planned it out and had discussions with our allies when he announced we were pulling out of iraq. many of us, me included at the time, were screaming, hey, this will cause a huge problem, and guess what? it caused a huge problem. we are going to get ready to repeat that same very mistake, only now in syria. after the president did a great thing, he told the military g forth and kick some fanny in syria and get this thing done, and they did. all the shackles were taken off.
they had different rules of engagement. they had different target sets they could do. they could engage in different training exercises with different factions within syria that i think were very, very helpful. and now, again, i don't think this was just about that. the turks were saying, hey, we're going to come down into turkey. that's a hard problem. you've got to face it. the russians have said, hey, we're going to continuing this. the syrians have been executing americans. they just executed a 26-year-old american who was participating in an n.g.o., the government of syria. so, to do that on the heels of that, boy, i tell you, it just gets my blood pressure up. it makes us look weak. it destabilizes our allies who are coalition forces, saying, we can't really leave. and our soldiers who are standing in the ditch right there pointing guns at bad people are thinking, what in the heck am i doing here? well, this was not the way -- twitter is not the way to conduct -- >> they put out a video also. i'll just say i hope the timing has nothing to do with a distraction from other stories.
i hope he wouldn't leverage the men and women in theater that way. mike, fim, let's leave it there. i'm short on time. fellas, i appreciate it. be well. if i don't speak to you before, merry christmas to both of you. >> merry christmas. >> here's what the president said on syria just so you know. >> we have won against isis. we've beaten them and we've beaten them badly, so our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back, and they're coming back now. we won, and that's the way we want it, and that's the way they want it. >> it's got a lot of republicans and lot of people in the military shaking their head. they're hearing echos of mission accomplished from president george w. bush. nobody knew this was coming. why not? why this move right now this way? next.
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tonight someone within trump's team, a senior administration official, says this will, quote, put american and allied lives in danger and that it is a mistake of colossal proportions. the announcement of american troops coming home traditionally has been greeted by scenes like this one, you know? the difference between this and the confusion you now see swirling around because in 1945, the work was really done. there was a plan for peace, and the vision was a way forward, explained to the american people. compare that to this. remember bush declaring, mission accomplished, in iraq? that's what this is sounding like to republican ears right now, and even those in military official capacity. 97% of the deaths in iraq happened after the so-called major combat end on may 1st, 2003, after mission accomplished. so, this isn't the first time that trump has tried to declare victory in syria.
that's an important piece of context here. he tweeted his own mission accomplished back in april. now, since then, the message from his own has been consistent. we're not done. forget about that mission accomplished. don't listen to him, listen to us. there's a lot of work to do. there is instability. we have to stay. don't be rash. here's trump's own chairman of the joint chiefs of staff talking about this. >> with regard to stabilization, we still have a long way to go. >> a long way to go. chairman of the joint chiefs. why? because it's not just about taking land. that's what isis wants. that's what the lavant is about, that area in syria and iraq they think is theirs and it isn't, and they got their as ss beaten off it, true. there is a major diplomatic effort underway to fix the problems that let to this mess in the first place. here's what's happening with trump's state department. just last week, okay. >> nobody is declaring a mission accomplished. >> i think it's fair to say
americans will remain on the ground after the physical dee fet of the cal fate to ensure that defeat is enduring. >> where's the coordination, chairman of the state, joint chiefs of staff. pompeo, mattis, this isn't just about winning battles on the ground. here's what he said in august. >> it really comes down to finding a way to solve this problem of assad's making. >> i mean, you know, when you look at it in this context, wait, who is telling him to do this or why is he doing this? that's why somewhat of sane cal -- cynical suggestion i had exiting the last segment. is this done for distraction? is this done to keep eyes off the mueller probe and him lying about a letter of intent in a russia deal? i hope not, because it's not going to work. more importantly, it could jeopardize all the work that was done on the ground. if the president isn't listening to his own administration, who is he listening to? to be honest, he told us. >> well, i watch the shows. i mean, i really see a lot of great, you know -- when you watch your show and all of the
other shows and you have the generals -- >> he knows more than the generals. he watches tv, watches fox, the same ones that tell him there's 30,000 isis fighters in syria and iraq. trump has an answer for that as well. >> i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me. >> just not true. the president's own party is doing something we have rarely seen. you hear me? call him out all the time. what's that? that's the sound of republicans letting the president get away with what is anathema to them. not this time. listen to this. >> obama had made this decision, republicans would be all over him. >> it's hard to imagine that any president would wake up and make this kind of decision. >> colossal, in my mind, mistake, a grave error. >> all right. the lack of planning, the rashness, not selling it to you, not selling it to congress -- you have the fact of all this going on in terms of miscommunication.
list tone this tidbit. republican bob corker, he's a player. he goes to the white house for a meeting with the president. he's sitting there waiting. he gets sent packing without ever getting to talk to the president. why? why diss your own? key democrats on the other hand say this move is overdue. one of them is connecticut senator chris murphy who joins me now. i wonder, it would be nice to know, senator, that the reason the president is doing this is because he met with you all, believed you, and decided to just act. but i don't think that's the case. do you? >> no. who knows why the president is making this decision today? as much as i think it's been a mistake to have 2000 american troops there who, frankly, aren't close to enough to tip the balance of power the way that he did it is totally handed. it makes the country weaker. he pulled the rug from under our diplomats on the ground in the middle east. >> and your allies. >> he did it right on the precipice of a turkish offensive against the kurds after
promising the kurds the last year and a half we would protect them. listen, i think we have vastly overstated what 2000 american troops can do inside a country that has hundreds of thousands of fighters on all of the other various sides. but the way in which he did this is just a head scratcher to both people that support the troops being there and me who oppose them. >> you can argue you don't have enough people there. as long as you're going to add more people, don't call it advise and assist missions because that's dishonest to the families of the men and women who have to go shed their blood on those battle fields. like thing move, i don't understand. as you said turkey has an offensive coming. you know assad is running wild. they just killed an american. as we heard from mike rogers. the place is unstable. if you leave, there's every indication the same things will happen that when you left iraq too soon. you will undo the work and create even worse challenges. >> well, listen, these are not apples and apples, right?
in iraq, you had at the time a fairly stable centralized government that eventually got overrun by isis. >> yeah. >> nothing like that exists in syria. and there is frankly no evidence, chris, to suggest our troops, having been there for the last year, have relieved any of the humanitarian suffering or the brutal offensive campaign that has continued under the bashar al-assad. i don't think it's fair to say everything that happened in syria is going to happen in iraq. what is happening in syria as we are there is totally unacceptable. the strategy of putting 2000 troops has frankly not worked. it has not stopped the carnage. and frankly those 2000 troops were not going to be able to stop the turks from going and attacking the kurds. >> true. >> we have always had this belief that we can sort of do just a little to be able to sleep at night without ever doing enough to actually change the reality on the ground. >> to motivate others, the virtue of advise and assist is to help people fight their own battles so that you don't have
to do it for them as a proxy everywhere in the world, fair enough. we do believe the numbers of isis fighters have been greatly diminished, land has been taken back. i'm saying if you don't want americans overseas, that's fine. but start with afghanistan. you have 15,000 men and women there. again, with these advise and assist, dishonest missions. they're dying over there. and why wouldn't they be taken out first? >> well, listen, it's important to recognize that the afghanistan mission is authorized by congress. what is also happening in syria is as we have had success in pushing back isis, the administration has admitted that the troops there are now focusing more on iran, focusing more on protecting the kurds. none of that has been debated or authorized by congress. and so the difference between afghanistan and syria is, in part, one is authorized and one isn't. that really should make a difference. i don't think that's why the president pulled the troops out, but a lot of us wanted to debate this, in a bipartisan way before we have people in harms way in syria. >> senator murphy, i appreciate
it, i know you have to get to a vote. thank you for providing perspective on both sides. >> thank you. >> be well. the president's signature promise seems to be going the way of the dodo. is this going to be the president's read my lips moment? remember the wall? we have a great debate on our hands. next. and just like you, the further into winter we go, the heavier i get. and while your pants struggle to support the heavier you,
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it was the president's signature issue. now, he made his campaign around immigration. let's be fair. specifically, keeping people out. but his signature pledge was the wall. >> i will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and i will have mexico pay for that wall. mark my words. we're going to build a wall. it's going to be built. it's not even, believe it or not, it's not even a difficult thing to do. >> but to his supporters, today that promise for the wall is sounding a lot more like these failed promises of presidents past. >> i intend to keep this promise. if you like your doctor, you'll be able to keep your doctor.
>> read my lips, no new taxes. >> is president trump going to be added to that litany of losing propositions? how bad is this for the president? debatable, so let's have a great debate. anna navarro and steve cortez. steve, this was the big promise. this is what he said he was going to do. people like me never believed it would get done, but you did. how do you feel today? >> ha, i sure did, and i still do, by the way. but listen, i will absolutely concede, you're right dpchlt this wall doesn't get built, that will join that unfortunate pantheon of presidential lies that you showed from president h.w. bush examine from president obama. so, he can't let that happen. number one, it's bad policy. we need the wall built. our southern border has been porous and for the most part open for far too long. so it's good policy. but it's also good politics. i'll tell you as someone who has pledged to work for his
reelection, i can't fathom going into that campaign saying we came up short on the wall. >> ann a what do you think of the state of play? do you think he's going to wind up taking a deal of short term c.r. that doesn't have anything like this in it and the democrats take control and they won't let it happen? >> honestly, chris, i'm going to have to do a marco rubio. and drink some water because -- >> that was way smoother than marco rubio. >> i'm about to do some -- say some good things about donald trump, and i may have to sit, you know, lay down and take two aspirin after this. look, at some point you've got to be less political and you've got to do what is right. you've got to govern for the people of america. forcing a government shutdown is going to put a lot of people in pain, a lot of government workers, a lot of federal worksers are going to be in pain. is that what we want over the christmas holiday? we are right now heading towards the worst december in stock market history, in dow jones history, since 1931, which was the great depression.
the last thing this country needs right now is a government shutdown and all the economic, emotional, and family circumstances that that means. and so if it means disappointing some of his supporters, listen, they'll get over it. if they got over him cheating on his wife who had just given birth with a play boy bunny and cheating on the play boy bunny with a stripper, believe me, they will get over him doing a stopgap bill on a border wall instead of a government shutdown. it is the right thing to do. and every now and then, he's got to do the right thing. >> feel better, steve? >> no. anna, a couple things. first, the border -- this isn't just my opinion or donald trump's opinion that we need a border wall. it's the opinion of the customs and border protection union. they polled their own officers. 89% of them say that they need a border wall. those are the front line cops at the border.
and i believe them and i think we should give them the tools they need to do their job properly. but more importantly, too, you talk about the government shutdown, that it would inflict some pain. i believe that's true. it would on some people near term. but, you know what? there's long-term pain that is permanent pain because we have an open border and i'm talking specifically about the people american citizens, many of them hispanic, who have been injured or killed by dangerous illegal aliens because we have tolerated for decades in this country lawlessness on our southern border and combined with sanctuary cities unfortunately -- >> one thing at a time. one thing at a time. i thought i was going to put up -- hold on. i thought i was going to put up a number that showed support for the wall. but it wound up being the same kind of thing. who supports a shutdown over this wall as context, and the gop support is 67-19. people in your party resonate off this issue. anna, here's what i never understood about this.
i'm not a rue about politics. don't get me wrong. you heard what the president said. it's going to have slats in it. do you know why he said that? i'm not a mind reader, but i know the answer do this question. that's what's there now. that's what was always going to be there. he was never going to build a brand-new wall. the cbp union that you're talking about, steve, i've talked to those men and women. they didn't want a brand-new wall. they want to fix what's there, add to what's there, give them the technology they need. i get that's not as sexy as saying give us a brand-new wall like the wall of china and a big door and all that stuff. that wasn't going to happen anyway, anna. couldn't he say give us more money to make us safer on the border than we've ever been before? they'll have what they need, the border will be safer than ever. would that be enough? >> look, it certainly would be enough for a lot of people, including me, who understand that the border is mountains and rivers and the geography and
topography is such that a border wall like a great wall of china does not work. i'm not sure if it's enough for some of his supporters who voted for him, precisely because of this. but they also voted for him saying that mexico was going to pay or this wall. and they have moved from that, right? now they are okay with the american taxpayer paying for this wall because they know mexico is not going to pay for this wall. and they're willing to go to a government shutdown. listen, sitting here in an air conditioned tv studio, i am not willing to dismiss the pain and suffering of federal workers, some of whom, a lot of whom live paycheck to paycheck, who have to pay rent, who have to pay kids' tuitions, who have to pay clothes, christmas gifts, people who have to keep national parks open, families, all sorts of american families who are planning to go visit the capital or visit national parks. i am not willing to dismiss the pain of those people because i'm not going to be affected. i think some people may.
that's not me. >> let's look, the reality of furlough, steve, you know, it creates cash flow issues for people who don't have huge savings. they wind up getting paid at some point. >> right. >> time, value and money matters when you're living paycheck to paycheck and a lot of working people are. >> sure. >> the reason i said one at a time to you, put up the president's tweet when he talked about winning on this issue. so many money has been poured down the drain. when it comes to border security and military, people fight to the death. we want a military completely rebuilt. not really true. one way or the other, we're going to win on the wall. look, winning, not winning, that's politics. you're not going to stop that game. but i'm telling you, you are never going to have a brand-new wall built. any who works down on the border who is in a command position knows that. and by the way, the last thing they want is a wall they can't see through, because for surveillance issues, that's why they designed what they have down there. >> clearly you have -- >> wasn't the original plan. wasn't his original plan. >> that's why -- but he's changed that clearly. >> i know.
>> he's not a wall architect, he's a builder of many great structures all over the world. there has to be an actual wall. not a virtual wall, not a metaphor. there has to be a wall. >> in some places it does have to be virtual. that's what they want. some places they want sensors. they want different things in different places. >> here's the thing. walls work. one thing i'm tired of seeing constantly in media, people say this is some sort of medieval idea. all we need to do is look around the world, places like israel, hungary -- >> san ysidro. go to san ysidro. they were able to control the flow there with new phenomenon of mascara vans because of the physical barriers in place. you can put all media together, but that's not fair. no question more and better. here's the original problem. the original sin was what the president said. he lied. he said he was going to build a big brand-new wall and mexico was going to pay for it and it was b.s. it was never going to
happen. now he's in a hole. period. now he's in a hole of his own making. he's a great builder. he dug a big hole. now he's in it. >> i believe this is still going to happen. he has to make it happen, by the way. the congress has abdicated its responsibility to secure our american border. however, that doesn't absolve the president of his responsibility. >> you're going to give more money, anna, you're going to give more money for security? >> i think the best way is to trade daca for the wall. >> it's not going to happen because you guys didn't let that bill happen. that's when all the old white men came to the president and said -- >> that's a clean -- >> chain migration, right, family reunification, they wouldn't give it to him. >> right. anna, go ahead. >> for almost a year we heard -- and even after being elected president -- we heard donald trump go to rallies and fan the flames of his supporters saying, we need a wall and who is going to pay for it? >> build that wall. >> mexico will.
>> who is going to pay, mexico will. >> exactly. and that in itself was a lie. and i think we've now accepted that. and even his supporters have accepted that that was a big fat lie. mexico is not going to pay for the wall. american taxpayers are going to pay for the wall. and my question is, well, what do you do with the almost half undocumented immigrants who come here by plane? who come here by other means other than crossing through the mexican border? you know, it is a -- >> nothing. >> -- complex issue. the wall is not going to solve this issue. >> the answer is nothing. >> that would seriously and comprehensively -- >> no, no, no, i'm saying nothing is the answer. >> do a government shutdown and make people suffer. >> right. >> and pay? no. >> he knows there is pain connected to the shutdown. that's why he pulled back from it. steve, i'm not saying do nothing. i'm saying nothing has been done. look at these two god forbids we just dealt with. the 7-year-old girl, the 5 month old.
now in the hospital. people want to say they did something wrong to the kids. i see no proof of that, but there is a culprit. you know who the culprit is? congress. and you know why? because that system is busted. and the rules don't match the resources. they are overwhelmed. i've been there i've been down there many times, by the way. not just this last trip. i've never seen care vans that size. nobody has. the wall matters. physical barrier matters, it's not a panacea. you play this game with the wall as if it's one and done. >> don't put words in my mouth, chris. >> i'm not talking about you, i'm talking about the president. >> the wall solves the problem at the border. the border is not the entire problem. if you had cancer in one part of your body and not in another -- >> it exacerbates it. if you had a wall like you want everywhere you know what happens? more flow through the ports of entry, anna, they're overwhelmed. they don't have places to put these people. they don't have ways to take care of them.
they don't have -- the resources. they can't process them. >> i think the only way -- >> a that's the point. >> the only way that we'll ever get comprehensive immigration reform is if american people trust that their border is secure. border security doesn't necessarily call for a wall that extends the entire extension of the border. and, you know what? go read up on el chapo and the tunnels that he dug from mexico -- >> i've been in them. i did a documentary. >> if you think you can't traffic people through tunnels, you are grossly -- >> the overwhelming majority of drugs come through this country in containers through -- >> the israelis have shown us -- >> right now today as we sit here this week -- >> go ahead. >> as we sit here this week, the president is a republican. the senate is majority republican. and the house is majority republican. this is right now, mabl not after january 3rd, but today on december 19th, this is an
entirely a republican problem. and it's republicans who don't want to go along with the wall. he can't get a majority vote -- >> i agree with that, anna. >> we can't blame democrats. it's republicans who don't want to spend the $5 billion -- >> i'm blaming republicans, absolutely. >> it is republicans who don't want to go along with an unnecessary wall. they will go along with other measures -- >> this is impossible. that congress has run up a $20 trillion debt in this country, and now they're going to worry about a $5 billion expenditure? >> the party is co-opted by trump and trump doesn't echo your fiscal conservatism. he passed a tax cut that doesn't pay for itself that was anathema to you guys an administration ago. >> maybe after losing -- >> the hill republicans, what they want to do is the easy route here. they want to pass a continuing resolution so they can go home for christmas and say, we'll deal with this in february when, by the way, they don't have the gavel any more in the house. >> they don't want to vote for the wall. nancy pelosi was right, steve. when nancy pelosi --
>> let me say this -- >> let anna go. go ahead. >> i'm not criticizing republicans. i am saying republicans own this. i'm actually very happy to see that republicans are finally standing up to president loco and telling him when something is loco. that they are standing up to him on syria, because i don't know what he's getting melania for christmas, but i know what he gave vladimir putin for christmas. lifting sanctions on that russian company and leaving syria. that is a gift to vladimir putin. and i am glad they are finding those spines they donated to science and saying to him, enough is enough, and we are not going to go along with this. >> i find it fascinating that globalists like you want to defend borders in the middle east, but not our own border here. that is exactly backwards. and the president has it right, saying we have no compelling american interest to be involved in a syrian civil war, and we are rightly getting out.
but we have an absolute interest in defending our own border. that's america first. that was the crux of the 2016 movement. was we are not going to be any more -- we have our policy dictated by globalist interventionists who want to defend people all over the world, but won't defend american citizens from an onslaught of illegal immigration. it doesn't -- make sense. >> if you think -- listen, you love to come after me personally. so let me tell you this. i am old enough to remember when republicans were globalists and they gave a dam what was going on in the world. they stood up against human rights abuses in russia and central america and angola and all over the world because we are not one single country in this planet. we are part of a global nation and what happens in those countries affects what happens here. if -- >> i am not part of a global nation, i'm american. >> look at the people in the caravan. >> i am not a global nation. i'm an american citizen. >> i'm going to give you a mirror so you can look at what
you are. >> let's leave it there. >> an american citizen. >> i am an american citizen, too, but i don't forget where i came from who or who i am. and most americans, most americans come from immigrants, including you. >> anna, steve, thank you very much. >> love legal immigration. >> not that much. you want to cut it down. we'll talk about it another: thank you. >> don't put words in my mouth, chris. >> just to be fair. i don't want to ut palomino words in steve's mouth. that's not what we do on this show. the president doesn't want to cut illegal immigration. he wants to cut legal immigration. look at the court battle changing asylum laws. a federal judge said you can't deny people an asylum request because they say they're coming from gangs. you have to have to find a showing of fact. the president doesn't like it. that's about legal immigration, not illegal immigration. that's a distinction with a difference. one of the greatest movies of all time is getting a modern remake. the question, can mccauley culkin recapture the magic? social media says yes. we're going to show you why next.
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28 years later he's reprizing his role as kevin mcallister and he's got a new toy. take a look. >> you have one event called house to yourself. >> oh, yeah. google, add after shave to my shopping list. you. >> remind me to clooen the sheets later. >> okay, i will remind you. >> someone is of the front door. >> what do i owe you? >> keep the change, you filthy animal? >> that is pretty good. what do you say? you like that? that was -- when i was single, that was every night. >> you are tryinging to evade men that are trying to hurt you in life? >> listen too us. we are like wheezing old men. >> should you know of all
people. i know, right? >> so funny. you remember the cameo the president in one of those. do we have that? >> was he in the macy's -- >> donald trump. he a cameo there. amazing how long ago and now, he is showing that some things stay the same. >> i like it too. and when they redo, the scrooge movie you know what i'm talking about? i never really liked that. i don't like it when they redo songs. there's a reason that a song is a classic, and i don't think people -- there are very few people who can redo them and do them justice. >> it's true. >> i actually think in that one, google and macaulay culkin did "home alone" justice. >> it looked good. we have the trump cameo. >> can we watch it? >> yeah. >> excuse me. where's the lobby? >> down the hall and to the left.
>> thanks. >> there he is. then he looked back, and he said, "are you illegal?" >> that was about the time -- no, he didn't. >> no, he didn't. that was "home alone 2". >> no, he didn't. you're going to get me in trouble. that was around the time that he told larry king that nobody knew about campaign finance better than he does, right? >> well, look, that is a very interesting dynamic. we had reported last week, all of us, that he knew about john edwards back at the time, and he had been interviewed about it. now there's more meat on the bones of that. i forget who came out with it tonight. i know you have it on the show. look, there is very little reason to believe that the president of the united states didn't know what was going on or that it was wrong. every fact and piece of context about the situation with cohen and the payments suggests they knew exactly what they were doing. they did it to hide it because it was wrong. >> yeah. okay. so i just told you that we're
going to talk about that. we're going to play the clip. so this was me watching ana and steve at the end just moments ago. >> yes. yes. well done. well done. >> that was -- oof. >> i don't know why he makes it personal with ana navarro. it is a mistake ten times out of ten. and this new stick that trump folks try to use with this globalist thing. do they really want us to be completely isolated in america? do you really believe that's the way the world works? look what's happening in syria. is why were we there, right? why are people in afghanistan? why do we do trade deals? you need other people in the world. you always have. i don't understand that reckoning. >> they may want it. i think they -- i would hate to believe -- this is similar to our conversation last night. i would hate to believe that they don't believe in what they say, right? i think they want it, but it's a fait accompli. never going to happen. we've gone too far. >> well, we'll see.
look, you can have both. america first does not have to be in isolation from the rest of the world. >> america alone, right. >> that's all. america alone, exactly. d. lemon, i'll see you in a second. >> see you in a couple minutes. all right. president trump defines his agenda in four simple words, right? make america great again. and supporters of his often rationalize their tolerance for the many offensive things that he says and does with two simple words -- promises kept. but what is the truth behind trump's promises? closing, next. ♪ not long ago, ronda started here. and then, more jobs began to appear. these techs in a lab. this builder in a hardhat... ...the welders and electricians who do all of that. the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here.
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damn drugs out. more than ever we need the wall. don't worry, you're getting the wall. don't worry, okay? >> not big cheers tonight. that was then. the reality now, the president seems to be abandoning his pledge to shut down the government if he doesn't get funding for the wall. and if they do a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government until they come back after the holiday, democrats take control. they don't want the wall in earnest. they believe it's a farce, and many republicans may agree with them. so the wall may never come to be. instead, the president is talking about artistically designed steel slats. see the tweet? you know, the same kind that exist right now thanks to previous administrations. the sad reality is the new wall was always a farce. building more of the barriers, you know, what they call a fence, it's not a fence. the pilings are this big, 35 feet high. sometimes they put masonite on top of it. it is a wall for all intents and
purposes, but nobody wants a wall they can't see through. they want to be able to do surveillance. it never made any sense. it was a pipe dream. he played people for a sucker, and that's the truth. so you're going to build more of what's there. you're going to add tech solutions. it's always been the right course. the president just sold you something he could never deliver. number two, defeating isis. take a listen. >> we have won against isis. we've beaten them, and we've beaten them badly. >> do a quick google search and try to find members of his own administration that say that's the case. the pentagon estimates that 30,000 isis fighters remain. we've seen this movie. it has a horrible ending. it was called iraq. remember what happened when we left too soon there. mission accomplished. over 90% of our deaths we suffered happened after that point. number three, a soaring stock market. the president had been bragging about the stock market as being up massively, hitting all-time highs, as a bellwether for the success of his economy and his presidency. take a look at it now. the dow is currently on track
for the worst december since the great depression. and just as important as what is the why, the gains have been erased, but the reasons, his talk on trade and tariffs rattled markets. so it wasn't just indexes and realities. it was his mouth. it introduced uncertainty, and uncertainty is toxic to traders. there are other fundamentals in play, but he put that into the system, and it's had a negative impact for him. number four, i have nothing to do with russia. you remember this? >> i have nothing to do with putin. i have nothing to do with russia. i have nothing to do with russia. we have nothing to do with russia. >> now we have his signature on a letter of intent for a trump tower in moscow. it's not like the president hasn't had successes. he did cut taxes. you can argue about how they're paid for, but he cut them. people like that. bipartisan criminal justice reform that passed last night. low unemployment, historically so. deregulation. two conservative justices on the
supreme court and a slew of other federal judges that could change the culture of this country. but remember why that doesn't get the attention that the negativity does. it's not on me. it's not on the media. it's on the president. he doesn't highlight his wins. they don't matter to him the way the fight does. his mountain-sized minus is his mouth. and as long as the president insists on lying to you and saying divisive things instead of talking up his accomplishments, they're always going to live in the shadows of the darkness that he too often brings to his presidency. thank you for watching tonight. "cnn tonight with don lemon" starts right now. >> what was the term you said? you said played you like a fiddle or -- >> played you for a sucker. >> yes. yes. >> not you. i'm saying the people he made that promise to. >> the people he made that