tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 27, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
he's back. now what? john berman in for anderson. president trump returned from iraq to mixed reviews. good that he visited the troops, bad that he lied to them about their pay. he's back to the west wing dysfunction he presides over, back to the investigations encircling him, back on twitter. there are new development on all those fronts tonight, chief among them is this, a big chunk of the government is likely now closed till 2019. no hope to end the shut down before the new year. the breaking news is the house and senate recessed today.
the first lady left for florida, leaving the chief executive once again on his own facing the same challenges he left and the same demons that wherever he goes never seem to leave him. david gergen who has seen another president under similar pressure had this to say recently about the current one. the white house he says is closing down the adult daycare center. last adults are leaving. is the egomaniac doesn't want wise counsel around him. buckle up. these two years could be even more turbulent than the last two. david joins us shortly. so does maggie haberman and how the people around him are handling his state of mind. first the latest on the president's return and house he now sees the landscape he faces from abby phillip. the president has been all over twitter talking about the shut down, seeming combative. does the mood in the white house match the president's twitter feed? >> well, john, the white house
here has been rather dark the last few days. that's kind of an encapsulation of the broader mood here. this is a white house that is under siege by a number of different problems. the president is taking them on on his own on the social media feed. you don't see a lot of aides jumping in on that fight. president trump today, the topic du jour was is the government shut down still ongoing. he's on the defensive trying to paint democrats as the ones being obstructionists. he sent out a second tweet that is pretty telling of what's going on in his mind and in the building is behind me. he said that while democrats have ten senate votes he has the issue of the border wall. and border security in 2020. this is a president who is very much focused on his re-election prospects and he also knows that the next big thing that he has to contend with is the economy. these gyrations in the stock market have been something that has been on his mind pretty constantly.
yesterday, when there was the massive 1,000 point rally in the stock market, he was on the phone on air force one traveling back from iraq talking to aides according to our sources and the president was happy about that, but of course, the stock market has been going up and it's been going down the last few days. s in something that is close to the president's heart because he knows that it's in his view a reflection on him personally but also a key to his re-election prospects. he knows 2020 is going to be all about the fate of the economy and whether he can make the argument that he's the person keeping everything afloat. >> abby, what is the white house particularly is the white house aides, what are they doing to end the shut down? i ask this somewhat facetiously. has jared kushner been on the hill negotiating? >>. >> not at all. he's been out of washington. everybody pretty much left. we haven't seen any movement at all here at the white house. there is no sign that aides are bustling around trying to make this work and trying to come to a resolution to this shut down.
and in some ways it seems that everybody is just waiting till next week when nancy pelosi inevitably takes the gavel in the house of representatives creating a new political environment. until then, it's just president trump and his twitter feed making a public relations argument about who is to blame for the shut down but frankly we haven't seen anyone talking in real numbers and hard figures about what exactly they would accept in order to end this shut down and perhaps come to some kind you have compromise with the democrats on capitol hill. >> abby phillip for us at the white house, somewhat dark behind you as you say literally and figuratively. joining us david gergen author of the tweet we read at the top and maggie haberman is a cnn political analyst and "new york times" reporter and co-author with peter baker headlined "for trump a car every day waged increasingly alone." so maggie, the shut down thee
attics we've seen over the last two weeks, the president saying he would own it, and then basically shutting down the government and now the president more or less not negotiating, is this part of some grand strategy? >> no. that is the bottom line. this is -- people who have worked for the president over a very long period of time will always privately say that he is somebody who exists in ten-minute increments of time and focuses on exactly what's in front of him, not backwards, not forward. michael referred to it as the eterrible now. he did what he had to do in the oesk office meeting because he got something out of that meeting where he said he would happily own a shut down. what did not work. they were then going toward a deal. some members of his base got upset over that and other things about his presidency. he tore up the deal and said he would be adamant about the wall and now she's gotten himself into a box where it is true that he can hold out and it is i think true generally and david
can speak more to in that shut downs are not great for anybody especially when congress's numbers are not good. nancy pelosi is coming into this with a lot of leverage. i'm not sure why it would be in her best interests with a caucus that is very recritical of trump to make a deal they don't feel like they have to. they just won the midterm psych. >> if you gave the president truth serum and asked him how do you think you'll get out of this shut down, what would he say? >> i suspect and i can't climb into his brain, something to the effect of we'll get there one way or the other. i'm going to win in some sense because he's going to call whatever compromise they come up with a win. i don't think it's going to be the win he will characterized it before. >> dpafd gergen is, the president continues to blame dras for the shut down and refuses to accept any responsibility. that's a flip-flop because he said i will own this shut down. >> right. >> how effectively will he be able to after january 3u8 sell the blame the democrats message?
>> i think he's playing a losing hand, john. it all started backing with that meeting with nancy pelosi. my interpretation maggie, was that nancy pelosi outmaneuvered him in that will conversation there on national television. he basically backed himself into a corner under her pressure. and said i will proudly shut down the government and ever since then, people have been saying most recently in a major poll that came out today by 47-33, people blame the republicans in congress or blame trump for the shut down. they blame trump 47% blame trump. 33% blame the democrats. and another 8% blame republicans in congress. and so i think he's playing from a losing position. and there's something else here that and that is the public's reaction to the wall for a long time, robert frost captured this well in a poem that he wrote a long time ago. there was a line in there something there is that doesn't
love a wall. that's certainly been true of the american people. they will do not love this idea of a wall, only 33% in other polls say it's worth shutting down the government to try to get the wall. i think he's going to have to ultimately surrender. >> a strong move bringing out the robert frost on a thursday night. strong. >> i knew you would like that. >> i appreciate that, david. maggie, we learned tonight just a few minutes ago that the first lady melania trump has left for florida going back to mar-a-lago to be with her son who is there. do you think that ultimately means the president who has been in washington say for the iraq trip because of the shut down will end up in florida. >> my guess has been that he would likely end up in florida. he has said to a number of people he doesn't feel like he can doing that given the shut down. we'll see if he sticks to that. they've got the big new year's eve party every year that he likes going to. there's another event he wanted to go to. he was looking forward to this trip. i think he's been looking forward to it less in recent weeks because it is going to
meet a ton of interfacing and answering questions he doesn't necessarily have the answers to. but he does like having a break and he does like going down there. i will say that in all of the various venues i've seen him in mar-a-lago is where he's seemed the happiest and most contented. my money is still that he gets there at some point but who knows. >> david, is there any reason at this point not to go other than the perception? >> i don't think so. there's nothing going to happen that he can work out of there. i think coming especially coming out of the visit to iraq, he has some leeway to go there. there will be carping but i don't think it will matter much. i think his larger problem is what happens after january 3rd. the obvious play for nancy pelosi is to pass a bill in the democratic house calling for a continuing resolution that goes up to february 8th which is what the republicans in the senate have accepted is earlier. i think once she puts a proposal on the table it becomes very clear and he refuses to accept
it because it doesn't have money for a wall it, just deepens the sense that he's just holding out you know, out of stubbornness and ego. >> maggie on the subject of things weighing on president's mind, abby was reporting before about the stock market. he called from air force one because he was pleased when the market went up 1,000 points. however is, what i think it shows is an underlying anxiety over the huge market swings and particularly the market drop the last month or so. >> look we reported that he in his complaints about jerome powell that the fed chair, that he described him as turning him into hoover meaning herbert hoover who is associated with the great depression. other things, as well, but certainly a bad economy. he is very concerned and knows that a bad economy makes it much harder to keep his approval ratings where they are and they're not in a great place and make it harder to run for re-election which not everyone around him is convinced he does. it's hard to see him just walking away. the stock market has always been
his pull. this is a person who likes to measure things through stats of some kind. it's hard to balance the trade twhaer wants with the stock market that he wants and he is always testing whatever market is in front of him to see what it will absorb. he's going to take the trade war as far as he can and it's going to take a comeback like today as evidence he can push it further. >> he has good reason to be watching the market and watching an the economy? >> yes, he has every reason because his major accomplishment in the eyes of most americans has been the quality of the economy. he's had good selling points for that for a long time even though he didn't play them well in the midterms. in the last two weeks, long time actually, he's broken two fundamental rules most presidents follow. never first, never tie is it your fortunes to the stock market. you don't have control over it and yes, you'll get ups but you get a lot of downs and volatility and confusion. tie your fortunes to much more
important things like unemployment, the rate of inflation and he for reasons unclear he's tied himself to the stock market. the-second rule is, the rule that some presidents have a hard time observing but is really important is don't challenge the independence of the federal reserve board. never challenge the fed chairman. once do you that, you put his manhood in question and he'll start doing things just account opposite of what you want as president just to show that he's independent. or she is when janet yellen, for example. but both those rules are really important. i do not understand how the president has gotten hemz imsel the wrong side of both. >> the president all alone or increasingly alone in the white house with his own opinions. in a way trusting himself more. >> yes. >> but more i think distrustful of others. >> it's both. he had the great quote to phil rucker and josh dusty where he said i have a gut better than most people's brains.
that has always been his guiding principle. when he was first on the job he was anxious enough and nervous enough that he would ever admit what he didn't know, that he was willing to listen to the judgment of others enough that others could slow him down. it's very hard to get him off of something but you could wait him out. then he started grinding down the guardrails an, gary cohn, jim mattis, he ground down john kelly. he believes in his own version of mewisdom and he also thinks that everybody else wants something from him or is trying to get something from him or is trying to undermine him or all of the above. his circle has contracted enormously in the second half of this second year and it will be interesting how that translates for the third year. >> happy new year. maggie, david it, thanks for being us. next, more on why the shut down showdown could stretch into next year and president trump's latest suggesting he's on the same page as former president obama on immigration. also tonight, it was a
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the final days of wish list are here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer. braving news tonight. democrats and republicans house and senate all agreed on one thing today, this want to be elsewhere. each chamber held brief pro formal sessions then bugged out leaving the government with little chance of reopening anytime soon. kong griz man mark meadows said we could be in for a long-term shut down. the president as we menses before the break is alone in the white house and tweeting up a storm about money for his border wall and tried to use his predecessor not to the mention nemesis to justify his position. i agree he wrote retweeting a 2011 tweet from president obama which reads "i strongly believe that we should take on once and for all the issue of illegal immigration." keeping them honest, that's a
passage from obama's 2011 state of the union address and then president obama certainly wasn't talking about a wall. the rest of the statement reads "and address the millions from undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. i know that debate will be difficult. i know it will take time. but tonight let's agree to make that effort and stop expelling talents responsible young people." so twitter misdirection aside, more now on the current bargaining over those young people, the wall and hin dreads of thousands of federal workers now struggling to pay the bills. phil mattingly joins with us that. phil is looking pretty empty behind you. they've left you in charge of everything and left town. still you're working your contacts. what are lawmakers saying about the status of negotiations if there are any. >> i'm wondering if i can walk on the floor and get unanimous c consent. what you see is what you get. what you see right now is nobody's here. congress is out.
the senate and house adjourned. lawmakers are at home. most didn't come back today and the reality is there's not a lot going on behind the scenes either. usually in moments like this, there are negotiations behind the scenes. lawmakers shuffling back and forth, late night meetings, proposals passed back and forth. that is not happening right now. it seems to be the reality has set in, republicans, democrats, house and senate that nothing is going to happen in the near term. nothing is going to happen before the start of 2019 and nothing is likely to happen before democrats take the majority on january 3rd. the reason why is simple. there's no incentive for either side, democrats on one side and the president on the other to come to any kind of agreement. democrats are firm with their offers, their stance, they're firm their political base and rank and file are behind them and the president has made clear this is a fight he wants to have, this is a fight he's threatened to have repeatedly and this is a fight his base and talk radio and conservative pundits are behind him on. until that dynamic shifts
basically until one side is punished enough politically they give in or cry uncle this dynamic is not going to change and right now there's no sense fres anybody involved here on capitol hill that the change whenever it does come is coming anytime soon, john. >> there were dueling statements about who has done what on negotiations. what do your sources tell you is being put on the table if anything, so far. >> details are important. details are eventually going to dictate how this actually comes to an end. here's what's put on the table right now. the president's made know secret, his top line number for the wall was $5 billion. we do know last week vice president mike pence incoming chief of staff mick mulvaney put a different offer on the table, $2.5 billion for border security, 2.1 for border security, another 400 million priorities that the administration has. democrats have been clear. they're stick at $1.3 billion for border security including fencing, concrete reinforcement,
repairs and they are not budging. so the administration has come down but not anywhere near where democrats are. the reality is when you talk to democrats they're less concerned what the administration might offer in the near term and more concerned what they will do when nancy pelosi becomes about speaker january 3rd. what i'm being told is democrats are planning on lobbing over a series of bills to reopen the government. a short-term stopgap bill, a bill that would fund all the appropriations bills save for the one that would include the wall money. they're going to try and jam senate republicans and try and force the president's hand here. the big thing you need to keep in mind, senate republicans have been burned on a short-term measure before. they have made clear, they're not moving on anything till the president says what he's for and that more than anything else is why people think it will take longer than a few days. it might take a few weeks into phil, thanks very much for being with us. perspective now from opposing points of view, former trump white house director of legislative fairs mark short,
symone sanders who asked on did the at the busy presidential campaign. welcome to you both. mark, the president initially said he would own a shut down. now he is squarely blaming the democrats. that seems to defy the law of physics and politics. how can you at one time own and blame? >> i don't think he should have said he would own the shut down. i think the reality that the democrats face to phil's reporting a minute ago is they come back, pass their own bills but they will continue to put out these talking points they support border security but not a wall. but the evidence suggests otherwise. they voted against case law, against reforms to asylum, against expedited removal of ms-13, more funding for judges. so i think they risk, as well painting themselves into a corner of looking weak on border security. >> they did vote for the $1.3 in border security and would support the continuing
resolution. symone sanders, a subtle shift to that would be this. the president left the door open it seemed yesterday to $2 billion. he was asked three times, would you sign a bill that allowed for $2 billion in spending for border security. if that's the difference between the 1.3 the democrats would accept and $2 billion, did they rick looking like they're prolonging this just out of spite? >> no, because the president forced the shut down and he is the sole reason that the government is still shut down. republicans today on the house floor although democrats and republicans were at work today. the ranking member on rules committee mcgovern had a motion and wanted the motion to start debate to reopen the government. the republicans wouldn't hear it. the fact of the matter is the ball is in the president's court. and every day this this shut down drags on, it's hurting millions of americans. doesn't matter if they're democrats, republicans, independents. they work at the justice department, at the department of
homeland security. this is really about border security. i think the president should be willing to come to the table, compromise because he's the only person here not moving. and get this government reopened. >> mark had, symone brought up an interesting point. the president did write this on twitter today. he said most of the people out of work because of the shutdown they're democrats. i have no idea how the president knows or suspects that. but is that effective messaging saying that the majority of the 100,000 people who aren't getting paid are dras? >> no, the reality is it doesn't matter if they're republicans or democrats. they're serving our government and we should be helping to help get them back to work as fast as possible. when we talking about bills put on the floor today, the bill offered had zero funding for border security. and again, that's where i think democrats continue to paint themselves into the corner. >> i think it's important, john, that there are two things on the table. there are three separate options that democrats have put on the table for republicans and the
president. the fact of the matter is the president is dead set in his ways about wanting this wall, this wall that well over 57% of americans do not want, a wall over 52% of americans in a pb susan lisovicz/npr bloel poll said they did not want the government to be shut down over, a wall he said mexico would pay for. democrats are fine with funding border security. we want the border to be secure. funding the department of homeland security is something that has been done in the past that folks will continue to do. what democrats will not budge on is this unnecessary wall again that the president told us mem cole would pay for. it's time donald trump stops with this is temper tantrum. >> i money says the democrats support border security without saying what are the issues they will support. lots of votes to change immigration laws. none of them are democrat supported. they continue to say they will support border security but give
nothing to help secure our boarder. >> what is the $1.3 billion that the senate passed? that's a continuing resolution that would in fact go to border security, yes? >> it is part of the overall bill. you're right about that, but any single measure we've put forward they've continued to backtrack. we'll see if democrats continue to support the 1.3 when they take control of the house. >> i suspect that's the first thing they'll do. my next question is that i don't think thatting this was the plan. nancy pelosi would have preferred that will this be taken care you have so she col focus on other priorities the minute she takes that gabl as speaker on january 3rd. does this gum up the, would for the way that the democrats want to portray their new time in power in the house. >> you know what, john, this is unfortunate because the american people sent a mess and loud and clear in the midterm elections. and their closing argument for the republican party including the closing argument for donald trump was this scary immigration policy, build the wall, we need
the wall. it the -- these migrants are invading our country. american people rejected that message. they sent democrats to control could the house of representative and to get to work. i really think that again the government could be reopened at any time if the president would get on board with the rest of america. >> the government will not be reopened before january 3rd. that seems evident. mark med doze big ally of the president said he's hungering down for a long shut down. how long do you think we're looking at now? >> john, i think this likely could go on for many weeks. i think there's little incentive for either side to come to a compromise. i think i said a few weeks ago, if they reach the point of a shut down, it's likely to go on for some sometime. >> if you said it on my morning show, it must be true. thanks for being with us. i appreciate it. >> president trump's tv lawyer rudy giuliani seems to be moving the goal posts when it comes to whether anyone in the trump
campaign received advance warning of damaging e-mails on democrats from wikileaks. just ahead we have the very latest. your home improvement "to-do list" still isn't "to-done". but hey, at least you still have time to get the ford vehicle you've always wanted. just get to the final days of our holiday sales event. see you sometime between now and january 2nd. so you can end your year on a high note. ford. built for the holidays. it's time to get our best offers of the season.
with the hill, he says president trump had no contact with wikileaks but he claims even if he someone inside or associated with the campaign got material directly or indirectly as long as they weren't involved in hacking, giuliani says there's know problem. >> i don't know if other people contacted wikileaks, but it's hard to understand what the crime would be if they did. >> here to help me sort this out, jeffrey toobin. >> so jeff if i, giuliani left open the possibility that other people besides the president may have been in contact with wikileaks but he says he's not sure what the crime would be even if they were. >> i think we're in the end game of preparing for the mueller report and i think what giuliani is doing is he's preparing to make arguments based on the facts that mule ter finds. one of them it appears may be that contrary to what they have said earlier, there were
contacts between people affiliated with the trump campaign perhaps roger stone and wikileaks and the question will be is there anything improper or illegal about that. giuliani is asserting no. it may it be somewhat more complicated than that. >> right. there's an interesting legal question here which has to do with what is wikileaks, correct? >> absolutely. if you know, someone tells you know, the trump campaign that cnn is going to report x, y and z, and they get that advance knowledge, there's certainly nothing improper about him receiving that information. wikileaks is or is not a journalistic organization. when pompeo was director of the cia, he made very clear his view that it was not a journalist organization. it was as arm essentially of the russian government which creates a different set of legal questions. in any case, it's also true that
the relationship between the trump campaign and wikileaks may have gone beyond simply receiving information from wikilea wikileaks. there may have been coordination, collusion to use the famous word. and those facts are actually going to be more important than any sort of advance spin on the legalities. >> threw certainly might be a legal issue but there will definitely be political ramifications if that contact took place. >> especially since the president himself and the trump campaign and all of its surrogates have been saying for literally years now there were no contacts between wikileaks and the trump campaign into to go back to your first answer is why it's so interesting that rudy giuliani perhaps in the weeks before a mueller report comes out is opening the door to the possibility that maybe in fact there were those contacts. i want to get your take since we're talking about rudy giuliani on two sort of contradicting statements he gave about whether or not the president would answer more
questions from the special counsel. he said this in an interview with the hill. listen. >> not answering any more questions from these people. their outrageous activity. we did enough. >> so that's what he said out loud. we have the audio there. he spoke to the "daily beast" and said and i'll give a reading. negotiations haven't formally ended yet because it's not just my opinion that matters. there are other lawyers involved and the president of the united states of course, my opinion is i don't trust them. so we hear him out loud saying there's no way he's going to answer more questions and then we read that statement saying you know we're still talking about it. >> i believe the former more than the latter. i don't believe that the president is going to make any more statements. i think he wants to give the impression as he has from the beginning that donald trump feels he has nothing to hide. he wants to answer all the questions, but the lawyers are saying this thing needs to come to an end. the short version is, he ain't talking to them in print, you
know in, writing, orally, not at all. >> i suspect you're right. i think what we're also seeing is rudy giuliani acting more as a flack than a lawyer. he's just filling airtime with the hill giving interviews and print interviews. if he contradicts himself, who cares. >> that's been the job since day one. he has been a public releases advocate for the president. sometimes more effectively than others. mostly it seems for providing talking points to fox news so that they can continue offering the defense of the day, but you know, on the legalities, did the former mayor has had some problems along the way. >> jeffrey toobin, stick around if you will. went your inon another controversy bubbling for the white house. this goes back to have a start of the administration. the inauguration brought galas and glamour and a record shattering price tag. did donors expect more than just a good time? according to reports, federal investigators are on the money
trail and looking at that question. details next. if you have psoriasis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla,75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop.
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trail is yet another area of the president's universe reportedly under investigation. randi kaye continues her special series to show us how the swearing in may be creating more legal headaches as the administration heads into year three. >> starting right here and right now. >> reporter: $107 million. that's how much donald trump's inaugural committee raised in donations for the event. now, federal prosecutors want to know if any of that money was misspent. and perhaps more importantly, did top donors pay big money in exchange for access and influence in the trump white house? "the wall street journal" first broke the story. >> part of this is certainly looking at what these donors gave and what they expect order what they received but it's also partly about what happened with the inaugural committee's expenditures. >> this all apparently stems from the raid on former trump attorney michael cohen's office. according to "the wall street
journal," investigators seized a recording of a conversation between cohen and a woman named stephanie winston wokoff former advisor to melania trump and one of the key planners for donald trump's 2017 inauguration. she reported expressed concern during that conversation about how the inaugural committee was spending money. >> this is a wow. >> real estate developer tom barrack who ran at nag ral committee denied there was a new investigation adding he had been questioned about it in 017. the white house is distancing itself from the probe. >> that doesn't have anything to do with the president or the first lady. the biggest thing the president did in his engagement in the inauguration was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office. >> reporter: meanwhile an investigation by pro publica found the inauguration paid the trump organization for rooms, meals and event space at trump's washington hotel and that ivanka
trump, the president's daughter and then senior executive at the trump organization was involved in negotiating the prices at above market value for rentals by the inaugural committee. a spokesman for her lawyer told pro publica ivanka said discussions should be at a fair market rate. and it isn't just about the money. the west reports that certain attendees at the inauguration also reported caught the attention of could you teller intelligence officials at the fbi. though it's unclear which attendees. the paper reported that victor van exelburg a tycoon closely aligned with putin's government attended events along with natalia veselnitskaya the russian lawyer whose meeting with don junior is now under scrutiny. it's all part of why federal prosecutors are zero in on the day donald trump officially became the 45th president of the united states.
randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> abso the second half of president trump's term, one in which he vowed to drain the swamp will begin with new questions about the prooit priciest inauguration in u.s. history. joining me is greg jenkins who wan george w. bush's second inaugural committee and back with us jeffrey toobin. greg, ran dil mentioned this but it bears repeating. $107 million which is about double what then president george w. bush raised for his second inauguration. he had a smaller staff. hull more events. what do you make about the trump amount? >> i can't figure it out. they actually raised more than twice the amount that we raised. i think adjusted for current dollars, the amount we raised comes out to be about $54 million which is still quite a bit less than what the trump organization raised. we had the two biggest cost centers are the events and the
staff. we had three times as many staff and we put on four times as many events. so where that money went, i couldn't tell you. >> it has to go somewhere though. doesn't it? >> it ought to. if i were a donor, since they put on so many -- they put on fewer events than we did, the two ways you raise money in an inaugural are by ticket sales and by donors. since they did you know, four times fewer events than we did, that's proportionally a lot less money they're raising from ticket sales than donors. most of their money came from donors. if i were a donor, i'd like to know where that money went. i cabinet explain n't explain i >> jeffrey toobin, what's the biggest legal issue as you see, the accounting of the money or the idea there was some pay to play? >> well, i think the first quell is did someone steal the money? you know, if the money didn't go to salaries, if the money didn't
go to events, did someone put it in their pocket? that's a very straightforward factual issue that in audits should be able to determine. then you get into the other subsidiary questions which are was there some sort off improper motive, improperly connection between donors and what they got. i mean, it is worth remembering that our whole political system at some level is based on pay to play. people give money to the inaugural for mixed motives at best. so i think that is very much a subsidiary question unlikely to be proven improper. but if somebody stole the money they stole the money and that's obviously a crime. >> and greg, randi kaye, we heard from sarah sanders in her piece. she beak said president trump's only role in the inauguration was to take the oath of office. does that seem plausible to you that he had no idea what was going on underneath him? >> that seems implausible to me. what is i would imagine for then
president-elect trump a three or four-day global little televise the reality television shows starring one person it seems unlikely to me that he wouldn't pay any attention to it at all. >> hmm. especially a guy who we know is deeply involved in his businesses. >> yes, and the role of the trump international hotel is particularly interesting and important here. several of the events were held at the hotel run by the trump organization. ivanka trump apparently was involved in setting the prices which may have been unduly high. i mean, certainly the question of how much money went to the trump family is one of the questions account investigators will want to know the answer to. >> is that illegal necessarily though? >> it depends. if it's simply high prices paid for a fancy hotel, there's nothing illegal about that. if there was outright graft or
theft of money, that certainly is illegal, but i certainly wouldn't want to suggest on the part of the trumps, but certainly the administrators of this hundred plus million that's just a very basic question that presumably should have a fairly straightforward answer. >> so, greg, you ran the show for the second inauguration of george w. bush, after his re-election. you had the advantage of having seen one inauguration before, and frankly, the whole bush crew had the advantage of having seen the inauguration of george h.w. bush and before that reagan. a lot of the same people. so, in theory, all know, or knew, how it was supposed to go. in the trump team uses the excuse, hey, we don't know what inaugurations were supposed to be, is that plausible to you? >> no, it really isn't. things don't change that much from one inauguration to another. it's roughly the same vendors in d.c. it's roughly the same venues.
it's fairly the same. pretty much the same. if this were a -- if you're looking at this from a business perspective, to spend, to raise $107 million without a budget, or if they had a budget, to ignore the budget, is one of the worst business moves i can think of. >> well, and also, just to -- to emphasize the point that greg made, you're talking about events in hotels. you have to pay the hotel, you have to pay for entertainment, you have to pay for security. it's not the world's most complicated transaction. it's not like building a car from scratch. so, the idea that it is somehow wildly different in 2017 as opposed to 2013 or 2009 or 2005 is just ridiculous. >> just to make one other point that greg made there, it wasn't many events, it was far fewer, which makes it all the more confounding that all the money was raised. go ahead, greg. >> i would make another point that they weren't coming into this blind. after senator obama was elected
to the presidency, i spoke with his incoming executive director of his inaugural to give him a download of my earnings. i did the same thing with president-elect trump's executive director. so, they did know what to expect. >> you warned him. greg, jeffrey, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. ahead, a new look at a "saturday night live" legend that brought laughs and change. gill day radner. anderson talks to one of her good friends, as comedic giants come together for the new cnn special, "love, gilda." that's next. to people answer that question, is how we find out what matters most to them. for a business, it's the power to grow. for an entrepreneur, it's the power to innovate. and for a family, it's the power to own a home.
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she was the first cast member hired for "saturday night live." gilda radner left behind unforgettable characters, includi including roseanne anna danna. >> she showed courage and wisdom while battling ovarian cancer. some of the biggest names in comedy are coming together to share their memories and some of her own words in the cnn films
premiere, "love, gilda." anderson recently spoke with one of radradner's close friends fr "saturday night live." >> you and her created some of the most iconic characters, i mean rosanna rosannadanna. >> that's one we did together. there was another one that was created by a lot of people. emily loutella. but she and i ultimately refined it and made it what it was, but there was a lot of hands in that one. >> i remember as a kid, rosanna rosannadanna did something -- you did something on my mom. >> it was, what we did every time we did rosanna rosanna dan that we would pick a celebrity that she would see in some either compromising position or some embarrassing situation, and i think your mom had toilet paper on her shoe. >> yes, that i remember. >> but there was an incident that happened with the sensor. what happened was, i had written
a line where gilda would name your mom and identify her, you know, that fancy lady that's the heiress and a socialite who took her family's good name, this is when she came out with a line of jeans. took her family's good name and put it on every ass in america. well, this is 1977, and the sensor comes out and he says, you can't do ass. >> really? >> it sounds a little crazy now, doesn't it? and he's going, can you do tush, butt, no, no. it's got to be ass. he was a good guy, bill, he said, okay. why don't you do this? say put it on every ass, but then tag it instead of saying in america, say, every ass who would buy them. so, the word ass now changed from being your butt to being you being stupid enough to buy them. that he let on. >> that was all right? >> that he let on.
the audience laughed when they heard the word ass. they never heard what she said offwa afterwards. it was fine. >> what i love about this film, it's introducing to people that don't know much about the original "saturday night live." i mean, you were just there, it was just incredible. >> boy did i get lucky. it was gilda and chevy and -- yeah. >> i used to have, i had a book which was, like, scripts from the original "saturday night live." i don't know why they published it. but there was something, i can't remember what it was, some takeoff on hamburger helper. >> placenta helper? >> i can't believe you remember that. >> it's unbelievable. i'll watch an old show, i can footnote it, who wrote what, who came in and threw in that joke. >> right. >> placenta helper was something that the first day, when i met al and he had a partner, tom davis, it was franken and davis, they didn't shut up about
placenta helper. let them do it, we don't want to hear about this anymore. >> it's such an honor to talk to you. >> thank you for having me. >> cnn films premieres "love, gilda," on tuesday, that is new year's night at 9:00 p.m., right here on cnn. and a reminder, don't miss "full circle," our daily interactive news cast on facebook, where you get to vote on the carstories w cover. it's facebook.com/andersoncooperfull circle. right now, the cnn special report, "battle in the briefing room: the president versus the press," hosted by randi kaye. >> announcer: the following is a cnn special report. welcome to the white house briefing room. >> i know it's hard for you to understand. >> what are you? okay, this is silly. >> when briefings happen, it can feel like a war room. >> my colleagues refer to it as "beat the press." >> you said something from the