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tv   S.E. Cupp Unfiltered  CNN  December 29, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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party candidate for the senate had to proclaim. >> i'm not a witch. >> after having said she'd dabbled in witchcraft in high school. if there's one demographic hasn't put a spell on, it's witches. they'd rather put a spell on him. >> i'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too. >> jeanne moos, cnn. >> it is a witch hunt. >> new york. >> we'll be back at 7:00. "s.e. cupp unfiltered" starts right now. >> welcome to "unfiltered". tonight's headlines. gird your loins, the race for president is about to begin. if you thought 2019 would offer a respite from campaign politics, think again. with the sitting president inching towards a legal precipice, democrats and republicans are likely to spend the coming year gearing up for
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the 2020 presidential contest. for democrats, the already crowded field of likely candidates seems to get more crowded by the day. in all, more than a dozen democrats appear ready to vie for the top spot with some having already announced the formation of exploratory committees. look for that number to explode. from biden to beto, it's going to be a full house. and for president trump, incumbency is no guarantee of a primary brawl. several signal their intent to go for the gop nomination and most notably, john kasich who has made a number of trips to early primary states in recent months or will mitt romney be recruited to run on a so-called unity ticket? will a third party ticket emerge? anything could happen and it's going to be a bumpy ride, so buckle up. here's the deal. get ready to hear this a lot.
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democrats want to fall in love again. what it means is democrats have a long history of falling for their candidates. from jfk to obama and hillary, and as you can see, sometimes that works out but sometimes, they do better to think more practically with their heads instead of their hearts. this will be key next year. will they fall in love too early with someone like beto? the skateboarding progressive heartthrob who couldn't win his own state. ask lloyd benson how that worked out or think strategically about who can actually beat trump? someone who can speak to the middle of the country and not just the coasts? we'll know sooner than you think. let me bring in cnn political commentators, democratic strategist maria cardona and republican strategist doug high. let the games begin, my friends. >> welcome to thunder dome. >> they've already begun unfortunately. >> it's almost like we're late. nevertheless, maria, let's get
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the elephant in the room out of the way. is hillary going to run? >> no. she will not. >> my follow-up to that is i think the first democrat to say thank you to the clintons, please be on your way. i think that first person would actually get a huge boost. would that be someone like kerstin gillibrand sort of dipped her toe in the water criticizing the clintons? >> you know, s.e., i don't know and i don't know if that boost will be as high as some would think it is. i mean, hillary clinton, yes, you have a lot of people who want to say thank you and be on your way, but she still has a huge very dedicated following around the country. >> she's selling tickets at the tour for like half price to half filled stadiums. i don't think it's risky for democrats to just say the obvious which is, your time
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soeis over. please go away. >> i don't know if there's a necessity to say that, s.e. why would you want to say that and alienate? >> because i think a lot of democrats felt betrayed by the party who decided, who foisted hillary on them instead of listening to the electorates. i think that would go a long way to regaining some trust. >> i think the democrat that's going to emerge is someone who's going to be able to unite the party. >> and bring everybody together. i hear that. >> i don't think there's a necessity to do what you say with words. you can do it with deeds, by essentially focusing on the future. >> we'll see. >> all the new voters that we brought in to 2018 and focusing on the -- >> let me get doug in here. kirsten, if you are listening, this is what you need to do. what should the rnc fear on the other side? a beto, a biden, or a woman? >> i think the first thing is a republican who may come in and not win the nomination, i think
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donald trump is as close to a lock on this at this point given his approval with republican voters but if you can chip off a 10% or 20%, like he did against george h.w. bush, that's a real concern. from them, i look at fund raising and excitement on the base. we know democrats are more excited than republicans, at least right now. so i'm looking at a beto who not only just excites the base but pulls in new voters and talks to the country and look like a sherrod brown who excites people in the middle of the country as well. or kamala harris but to the clinton question, why i think it would be a mistake for democratic candidates who say, your time is over, move on, just like a lot of democrats privately feel that way about nancy pelosi, publicly, they don't get there because they can't and with the clintons, you might get a short sugar high with the media but a lot of financial donors. >> i totally agree. >> let's talk about some of the rules changes because that will
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also impact democrats navigating a tricky primary. talk about some of those important rules changes like moving california up for example. >> sure. and for the reasons of full disclosure, i am a dnc member and a member of the rules and bylaws committee, we came up with the rules and approved them. the focus of all of these rule changes, including primaries. states are still looking at what they want to come up with and the calendar has not been set up yet but the focus of all of that is to be as transparent as possible to inject trust which you kind of alluded to this but voters lost a lot of trust in the process during 2016 and so this is going to be, i think, the most transparent and the most open primary process we have had up until now and i think that's a good thing because it's going to make sure that all of the rules are clear,
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up front and that everybody is bound to them and bound by them, and everybody knows what it is that they're going to have to do in order to win the primary. >> and the tricky thing is moving california up, for example, makes it a little harder for a moderate to win the primary because they're going to have to go over far to the left early but you remember back to 2016, president trump didn't have to pivot ever in the general to win. he never will, but the map and the math are different for him. the primary challenge just peeling some voters off. what does he need to do? >> i think what he's going to do is just stay the course of where he's been on pushing his accomplishments that are very popular with the republican base, judges being first and foremost and then secondly, what we've seen this white house do so often and this will be a campaign tactic as well is essentially say whenever there's bad news like we've seen just over the past couple of months with so many indictments and
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guilty pleas and so forth to say, these are not the droids you're looking for. as we talk about things may take our eye off the ball, trump is very skilled with that and that plays very well with his base which is why he continues to do that. >> doug, is this the year for a third party candidate? >> there's a lot of talk about that but every year has been "the year" for a third party candidate. 1992, or a biden/romney unity ticket. that's one i may vote for but we talk about it a lot but the hurdles to getting there is all about ballot access. >> we found the biden/romney voter. it's doug high. maria cardona. thank you so much for joining me. >> happy holidays. >> you too. up next, gop senator about the intense political division in the trump era and whether it can be repaired and a former white supremacist about the rise of hate in america.
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it's been a busy year for the white house spin shop with falsehoods, fear amongeri erimo outright lies. trump's comments intended to
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scare and rally his base but if you go by the results of the midterms, that strategy could have backfired. this is bigger than politics though. the consequences reach far beyond the beltway. these types of comments inflame an already divided nation. we all seem obsessed on both sides with blaming trump, republicans or democrats, for why we are so angry and broken. senator ben sasts takes stock o a situation. them, why we hate each other and how to heal but he writes that our politics are broken because we're lonely. i sat down with senator sasse and explain what he means by that. take a look. >> there's a lot broken in american politics but i think most of the ramping tribalism we have in this moment is because politics is trying to fill a vacuum of the decline of the collapse of good tribes. so political tribalism is bad to be sure but to be tribal in a certain sense really means to
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have communities that you feel really invested in, that are thick, that are meaningful, lasting for you. most of the happiness literature shows there's about four things whether or not people are happy. do you have a nuclear family? do you have a couple of deep friendships that are going to last? do you have meaningful vocation? shared work, coworkers, part of a cause bigger than yourself and a framework to make sense of death and suffering? a local worshipping community? all four of those things, family, friendship, lasting work and coworkers and local worshipping communities all heavily tied to place, to rootedness and right now, i think we're living through a digital revolution creating the potential for constant rootlessness and so i think the tension of our moment is rootedness makes you happy and then our iphones are whispering, you can be rootless and people have a lot less durable relationships and statistically incredibly lonely and politics comes in and whispers, hey, if things are bad in your life or you feel lonely or don't feel like you have a thick community,
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let's at least have a common enemy. at least the other guys are a bunch of bastards and then on your side of a political fight to pretend that will give you community, that won't work. >> looking inward is the right prescription but can that message compete with our desire to point fingers? >> great question. so there's a new research study out about three weeks ago called hidden tribes. well worth your viewers looking it up. it divides america into about seven demographic segments and one of the most interesting insights is two politically addicted demographics of americans. about 8% on the far left addicted to politics all the time and now there's a growing segment, about 6% on the right that is increasingly addicted to politics all the time. 8% plus 6%. that's 14. that leaves 86% of americans that basically say, all you people are weirdos. why are you so addicted to politics? most people know local community where they're a member of a
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rotary club or coaching little league, knowing the people two doors down from them, the vast majority of americans want their politics to do a smaller number of things but do them with some urgency, do an infrastructure build that's actually cost effective and stop pretending to find the good and evil because normal people think all the people addicted to political identities are weirdos. >> to that end, you say social media which has connected us with infinitely more people has actually made us less connected. how so? >> so it turns out from 200 to 500 social media friends or 500 to 1,000 social media friends, you don't get any happier. if you know the person two doors down from you though, statistically, you're much more likely to be happy and guess what? if you're addicted to your iphone and the average american checks our phone every 4 minutes, you're statistically less likely to know the person two doors from you and knowing that person would make you
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happier. so this rootedness and rebuilding local associational neighborly america is highly correlated with what will make people happy and more political addiction which is what a lot of us use the echo chambers on our social media to do, that won't make you happier. >> as a parent of a young child, i was very interested in your thoughts on this, like, overscheduling of our kids and how all of their activities don't take place in their own communities anymore. talk about that for a little bit. >> we have 14 and 17 year old daughters in a 25,000 person farm town in omaha and one of the things about a real place where you plan and hope to stay for a while is you start to get to know people across different socioeconomic classes and you start to be engaged in local groups and little leagues where you're going to have these relationships over time and it turns out that is correlated with happiness and a lot of our achiever culture and i want to confess i've been guilty of
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trips across the landscape at times in the past as my wife and i pay taxes in a dozen states in the first decade of marriage, your kids, they're doing more and more achiever stuff far from your home with less relational thickness in your neighborhood produces a lot fewer of the benefits than people think they will and so in them, i spent about just almost half the book is constructive with what do we find are the habits that are connected to happiness and they tend to be connections that have to do with neighborly thickness over time. >> finally, so what's your message to republicans and democrats who want to make people afraid of their neighbors? whose premise, whose exercise is to make people afraid? >> it's the wrong way to think about what america needs. so in a free republic, you're always trying to build a shared sense of the future that says, washington isn't the center of the world. washington is supposed to be a community of servant leaders
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that exists to maintain a framework for ordered liberty so the actual communities of love and volunteerism and persuasion, not just joining your rotary club, but buying your mouse trap or joining your firm to build the better app, all of those things where people actually live, where they love and raising their kids, that's what makes you happy for the future and washington should want to be a bunch of servant leaders who serve for a time in public life, have washington do a limited number of big things and then get the heck out of the way and go back home to where you have neighbors again. we have this culture in both the republican and democratic party of people who go to washington, dc and never plan to go back home. they think washington is the center of the world and they'll retire as lobbyists. there's a reason five of the seven richest counties in america now are the suburbs of washington, dc where the lobbyists live. a river of money flows to that place and the american people are on to this. that's why there's collapsing distrust in our time in the types of people serving in politics but also in the sense we have less of the neighborly associational thickness that as
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we explore in them is what actually drives happiness. >> well, the book is "them: why we hate each other and how to heal ". i would say it's mandatory reading for folks, it's terrific. thank you so much for joining me, senator ben sasse. >> thank you for the invite, s.e. coming up, are members of congress underpaid? my next guest will make the case for a pay hike on capitol hill and later in the show, two years into it, what the media gets right and wrong about the trump era. gentle means everything,
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in the red file tonight, they represent you and yet, powerful and wealthy lawmakers on capitol hill, some of whom are millionaires may seem out of touch with the constituents they represent but with a newly elected congress on the horizon, first time lawmakers are facing the same difficulty many voters can relate to. they can't afford housing and their staff won't be getting pay raises. it's an issue that washington host columnist paul kane who's covered them for years said congress needs to figure out if it wants to govern and look more like the people it serves. in a recent column, kane writes, without any course correction,
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only the wealthy will be able to afford to run for congress and only the already well-off will be able to staff the house and senate. newly elected house representative cortes of new york recently told "the new york times" she can't afford dc housing until her $174,000 congressional salary kicks in. she said i have three months without a salary before i'm a member of congress. how do i get an apartment? those little things are very real. i'm sure you'll figure it out but more real for congressional staffers, according to data compiled by the non-partisan research company legis storm, on the hill, $50,000. that's a lot for a 20 something but not a 40 something mother of three. is free housing for lawmakers the answer? senior congressional correspondent columnist for the "washington post" paul kane joins me now.
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i think people will hear that and say, free housing, welfare for members of congress? but they work for me. tell me why you think it might be a good idea though. >> i know that's the initial public reaction. these guys already get so many benefits. why would we give them anything more? well, look, one thing that gets lost in all of this is there's about 100 lawmakers right now sleeping in their office who convert their own offices into essentially one bedroom apartments. we're already subsidizing those people. they're the ones who aren't paying 1500 or 2 grand a month for an apartment in dc because they're doing it on the taxpayer dime. so this is already happening in an indirect way but we've got to try to get people from all walks of life, whether that means some incredible marine who just returned from a couple of tours in iraq and afghanistan. if he wants to serve or she wants to serve but doesn't have a whole lot of money to do so,
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we need to be able to sort of widen the pool here of talent. >> let's talk about how expensive washington is. you live there, i lived there. i mean, there is more wealth in a five mile radius in dc and the maryland and virginia suburbs than there is in most states. isn't it a sign that government has maybe grown too big and powerful when some lawmakers can't even afford to live there? >> you know, this has been the long tale of the post 9/11 military and technological expansion that has really burst all throughout dc, northern virginia and parts of maryland. 20 years ago, i was living with five other guys in a townhouse on capitol hill, half a block from the house office building. next door, there were five women, one of whom was future white house press secretary porino at fox news.
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we were all paying probably about $354 a month for that. those two houses are now worth $1.5 million to $2 million. you know what they don't do? they don't rent to 20-somethings. now you've got the financial pressures of trying to come up with $2,000 a month. if you're a member, you're making $174,000. that's true. but what if you live in new york and you've got to maintain a residence there? all of the sudden, you're at 2,000, 3,000 there. and all of the sunday, yodden, housing costs are destroying your budget and that's another incentive for lawmakers to leave heading down to k. street where they can make more money. >> let's talk about that because that affects staffers as well. this growing trend, congressional staffers are, you know, bailing for more lucrative private sector jobs. that's always been a thing. staffers reach a certain age and say i really like to start making money now but what's the
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advantage? because i know you covered this. you know a lot of staffers. what's the advantage of having staffers on the hill who know how the system works and have been there for a long time instead of a revolving door of 20 somethings coming in and out? >> it empowers all of us, it empowers the taxpayers, the constituents for that member. that member of congress has somebody who's worked on the hill for ten or 15 years as opposed to somebody who's only there two or three years, then they can talk to the lobbyists who comes in and have a real back and forth on the issues of policy and where and how their members should vote on specific issues but if you don't pay them enough to keep around the 35-year-old who just got engaged and is looking to have a family, if he has to run to downtown, she has to run downtown to k. street, then you're left with the 23-year-old or 24-year-old who is just getting sort of pushed over by the lobbyist community and it just becomes the revolving door that becomes
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to own washington. >> what we're talking about is public service, right? so on the flip side, how do we encourage people to get into politics without financially incentivizing it? it should not be a place to get rich. you're talking about a place to be able to afford to do your job. >> yeah. you know, there's, on the living front, there is an old dorm for pages which no longer, they don't have pages anymore on the house side. it's two blocks away from the house office buildings. they could, for a pretty modest sum, renovate that and probably create anywhere from 50 to 100 small studio apartments, charge the members, $500 a month or something of a small stipend so they could keep up with the cost of security and stuff like that. just give them an incentive to be able to serve with some sort of dignity without having to sleep in their office or to just
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think of it as a five to six year job before you. >> i think you've got a future, pk, in real estate flipping. you've worked out all the details. before i leave you, talk about the fact that there haven't been pay increases for staffers over time. why has that gotten stuck? >> okay, so about ten years ago, the economy implodes. the great recession hits. there's bailouts for wall street. there's bailouts for the auto industry and basically, everybody, the lawmakers on capitol hill looked at one another and thought, we can't give ourselves a pay raise. we're so unpopular now, so they basically froze member pay at that $174,000 level. and under sort of rules and precedents, staffers cannot make more than a member. they make about, the top ones make about $5,000 less, so that
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has just created and it has stayed that way now for almost ten years. so it's just created an overall flat line in the staff pay. so you're paying $50,000 is the median salary now. ten years ago, it was $47,000 and change. that's been almost no increase in staff pay as the cost of living here has probably doubled. so how are you? what are you going to do? what you end up seeing, they've got stats now, these legistorms show the percentage of 20 and 30 somethings on the hill is going down and 20 somethings are going up. >> it's counterintuitive to think of members of congress and staffers as the little guy but sometimes, you know, you need to think out of the box to make this work better for us for voters and constituents. pk, i appreciate your column and
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point of view. thank you. >> anytime. coming up, two years into his presidency by the media still isn't quite sure how to cover trump. will that change in 2019? i'll try to find out after the break. the zip code you're born into can determine your future. your school. your job. your dreams. your problems. (indistinct shouting) but at the y, we create opportunities for everyone, no matter who you are or where you're from.
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in just two years, president trump has redefined the relationship between the white house and the press. what is traditionally been a respectful, if at times, tense relationship is now fully adversarial. for trump, the media is the enemy. for the media, trump is often the enemy of the truth. between his constant antagonism of reporters and the never ending stream of lies that flow from his mouth and his twitter account, covering the trump administration has been challenging. so should coverage of this president and his administration evolve as we head into a new year and shortly following, a new election? joining me for more on this is
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cnn chief media correspondent and host of "reliable sources" brian stelter and washington correspondent for the toronto star, daniel dale. let me start with you, daniel. you fact check president trump's every statement whether it be at a rally or impromptu prezss aval or tweets. what do you think that attention to fact checking has? >> at the most basic level, i think it results in more people getting accurate information. i think the the problem iproble trust anything that comes from the mouth of the president and some people around him and so, you know, even if they generally know he's a liar, generally distrustful, they may not know how he's misleading on a certain trade or investigation or
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whatever, so i think there's a role for me and other journalists at every available opportunity correct misinformation with accurate information. >> so daniel, that is a noble cause and obviously, in this business, i think that's the right approach, but do you worry that readers and in my case viewers are getting inundated with this constant fact checking and it kind of becomes noise? >> i think there is some of that problem. i think of it as an avalanche problem. you know, trump creates this avalanche of misinformation and so when we try to push back with an avalanche of information, sometimes people accuse us of being obsessed with misstatements so there are issues here, but i just don't think that we really have a choice. if he is going to average nine false claims a day as he is in 2018, we have to do nine corrections a day, in my view.
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>> brian, obviously, other presidents have lied. obama had the lie of the year once. bush lied. clinton lied. is it just the volume that maybe makes trump unique in terms of our coverage? >> it is the volume and that is why we need more daniel dales, more fact checkers who are constantly poring over the president's words. the volume is part of trump's strategy. tries to overwhelm folks with so much noise that you don't know what the truth is but it's notable in polling, we see most americans recognize the president frequently misleads them. most americans see through the strategy. it is a form of pollution though, a form of information pollution. lots and lots of pollution in the atmosphere, makes all of us sick and the only thing we can do as journalists is to try to share pack chul informatifactua. we just try to do our jobs and what that is most important is a year from now, three years, five years, ten years from now, we
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keep doing this no matter who's in charge. whether it's democratic or republican. we have to be actively fact checking, if any politician in the future produces as many of these misleading or false statements as trump does. >> i want to get in particular the next two years in a second. you talk about adversarial, some people would say that it's right, actually, that the press have an adversarial relationship with people in power and in particular, the most powerful person on the planet, the president of the united states. and that the media has not been adversarial enough here to date. >> hearing that from international journalists and other countries who in general have had a more adversarial relationship with their governments. you look at how british prime ministers are questioned and how it works in australia and other countries. the more free the press is, the better. and in some ways, the trump administration has been a good thing for the press because encouraged more adversarial relationship not just be trump but other politicians. an improvement in some ways. >> i talked about that from time
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to time and he would agree that trump has made us better. we've got a ways to go in the polling, but i'll get to that in a second. dan, we're already beginning our coverage of 2020 and with trump's rallies, we basically already know what to expect from him. should the press do anything different in covering this election than it did in 2016 in your opinion? >> yeah, there are a few things. one, i think, clearly, the rallies should not be televised live unless there's some exceptional circumstances like he's responding to a tragedy of some sort. just erring this presideairing unfiltered is an untruth because they're so dishonest. independent of that, the media during the substantive part of the presidency and the campaigning needs to do a better job of challenging the false claims. too often, still relegated to
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people like me and glen at "the washington post". rather than in the headline, at the heart of the news show and to treat this as a central story of the trump campaign rather than a side show. so in your story on the rally, you know, if he makes 20 or 25 false claims in the speech, to me, that's a big part of the story of that speech, soy thi ik whenever he or the democratic candidate is being dishonest, it should be an emphasis. >> brian, you and i talked about this a lot. these hacks to kovcovering trum. not taking the rallies live. and some use the word "lie" to describe what president trump was saying. have we really though figured out how to cover him or these sort of tweaks? >> there has been a big evolution of using the word "lie" because of the volume. think back to inauguration day.
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the trump fibs he said it was sunny when it was rainy on inauguration day. i don't think that's horrific. some of the lies about voter fraud are horrific and those are the ones we have to focus on. not all lies are created equally but with trump, it does come back to the lying. that is the story sometimes. not just what she's sayihe's sae have to continue to zoom in on that and recognize some of the half truths, there's a truth in the half. what i mean is trump's story telling skills. the reason why he tells these elaborate stories that are fictions. there's reasons to that and i think we have to bring on literary critics or tv critics to understand sometimes why he's telling these stories and why the stories he tells are so appealing to a portion of the population because even if we don't show the rallies live or msnbc doesn't, there's always fok ne fox news and other outlets going to share his every word and the fans continue to hear these misleading stories over and over
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again. >> let me just finish by asking you about democrats and democratic candidates who were anticipating a lot of them will run against trump in 2019 and 2020. i think, personally, the press is going to be and should be under a huge microscope in the way it covers the democratic candidates and i think it's going to be crucial that the press is as curious and critical and scrutinous of democrats if they're going to build a trust. >> but not a false equivalency. if one candidate says one wrong thing and another says ten wrong things, we shouldn't treat those as unequal and say it but we have to scrutinize all the candidates that come forward. we have to make sure that they are held accountable, both for what they say and also for their histories, so that we know who we are voting for and shouldn't
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just assume anything. that's a lesson of 2016. don't assume anything. my mom told me, it makes an as of you and me. don't assume anything we know what's going to happen in the upcoming primary season. >> like the democratic party itself, the press should let these candidates run and campaign instead of predetermining who the winner is going to be or the outcome is going to be. >> exactly. >> good advice, brian and daniel. thank you so much for joining me. great conversation. >> thank you. next, i'll speak to a reformed neonazi about the rising tide of hate in america. you won't want to miss it. (woman) candace, two minutes.
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just two months ago in
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pittsburgh, we witnessed the worst instance of anti-semitic violence in u.s. history. and that type of violence has become tragically more frequent in recent years. anti-semitic hate crimes have seen a steady increase since 2015. according to the antidefamation league, there were 1,986 reported anti-semitic incidents in the u.s. in 2017. a 57% increase from 2016, which itself had seen a 35% uptick. it's hard to separate those numbers from the increasingly rancorous tone. what can we do to stop the rising tide of hate in this country? for more insight into this troubling trend, i spoke to founder of the free radicals project, reformed white supremacist, he's the author of "white american youth."
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at one time, christian held beliefs similar to those held by the man who attacked pittsburgh's tree of life congregation. i asked him what infects someone with that kind of hatred. watch. >> you know, s.e., i really think that the radicalization of people happens from the day that they're born. the ideology is really just the final permission slip, the driver's license, so to speak, for them to go out and finally be able to act out on their frustrations, their marginalization or whatever else is broken inside of them. but i can tell you that when somebody with power gives them words that back up what they believe, spreads conspiracy theories and gives them some sort of agency, there's a certain sub segment of these extremist groups that will act. now, most extremists, you know, may just be extremists vocally and in ideological terms but there's also a group of people
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within every extremist movement who will take action based on the words that they hear and now that hate is becoming normalized, they feel very empowered. >> so, i mean, specifically, president trump's words, is that motivating people in white supremacist circles? do they care what the president of the united states says or doesn't say? >> well, i think the optics are that, you know, they probably don't want to support somebody who's in government, but everything that he's saying is in line with their policies, with their beliefs, and we see white supremacists like david duke who openly support donald trump's policies, so you know, all i have to do is point to the people who are the white supremacists to show you that they actually support and believe what he says. >> yeah. i want you to listen to something that president trump said in the run-up to these midterms. take a listen. >> you know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. it's called a nationalist. and i say, really, we're not supposed to use that word. you know what i am? i'm a nationalist, okay?
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i'm a nationalist. nationalist. use that word. use that word. >> what did you think when you heard that? >> i mean, it was loud like a bull horn to me. i didn't hear a dog whistle, and what i heard was his call to white nationalists saying that i'm behind you and actually since then, we've seen now four tragedies occur. we've had the pipe bombings, the tragedy in pittsburgh at the synagogue, in louisville -- in kentucky, we saw two african-americans killed by a white supremacist and there are reports today that the shooting in florida was actually committed by somebody who was far right leaning with white supremacist ideals who's part of the involuntary celibate movement. >> it seems like there's been a
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significant uptick not only in hate crime attacks but also just the overt racism we've seen go viral lately, white people calling the police on minorities for living their lives, for having barbecues, going to stores, i did a story on a guy who was called for baby sitting kids. just going to vote. what do you attribute all of that to? surely, that's been going on since before president trump came into power. >> absolutely. we've, you know, had an issue with white supremacy since our nation's founding. i think what's happening now is not only is there a resurgence in new people becoming involved in this movement, but it's also emboldening the people who always had those beliefs to now be able to say them out loud. they're not hiding behind hoods anymore. they've gone from what i used to be, wearing boots, to now suits, and the conversation and the dialogue in our country has become so extreme that now these people who had hateful ideologies who were embarrassed of them maybe just a few years
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ago are not embarrassed to say them anymore. >> right. right. so how do you reform people with this kind of hate-filled in their hearts and minds? what do you do? >> you know, there are two things that haters love and that's silence and violence. if we're silent, they grow, and if we're violent against them, they use that as a victim narrative so what i do is i approach people with compassion and with cautious vulnerability and i can tell you that for me, 23 years ago, the most powerful transformative thing was receiving compassion from the people i least deserved it from when i least deserved it. so that's how i approach people who are in these groups and i will introduce them to the people they think they hate. >> that's really powerful, christian. i'm really glad you joined me today to talk about this. >> thank you, s.e. >> that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i hope you've had a wonderful holiday. have a happy new year.
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you are live in the "cnn newsroom," i'm ryan nobles in for ana cabrera. president trump out of sight so far this weekend. he's not at his resort in florida. he's not taking part in new year's celebrations, and he's certainly not visiting or hosting any federal employees. any of the roughly 2 million american men and women who work for the united states government, especially anyone attached to the nine cabinet departments that are shut down for more than a week now. people working without pay or told to stay home because the president and congressional democrats can't settle on a dollar amount to earmark for a wall on the mexican border. and now this. quite outf


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