tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 10, 2019 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
good evening. thanks for joining us. polls are closed, and the vote count is under way in north carolina, where the final race of the 2018 congressional midterms is finally being decided and could have a lot to say about 2020. we're going to bring you the latest on that as we learn more, as the votes are being counted, along with new cnn polling on whether voters think that president trump deserves to be re-elected. new numbers out tonight. we begin, though, keeping them honest, with the forced departure of the president's third national security adviser, john bolton, from a white house that a source close to the administration calls, quote, a real snake pit. the source, who spoke to the lead's jake tapper, goes on to say it is run by, quote, an erratic president who is hard to manage and who brings out the worst sensibilities in people, unquote. we also might add who fires people on twitter. i'm quoting now, i informed john bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the white house. i disagreed strongly with many
of his suggestions as did others in the administration, and therefore i asked john for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. which, by the way, ambassador bolton disputes that account. he says he offered his resignation last night and the president told him, quote, let's talk about it tomorrow. in any case, it seems no one told the white house press office, which had just announced bolton's presence at a joint press conference this afternoon. an hour later he was gone. again, he is the third national security adviser to be shown the door. as you well know, the first was michael flynn. he's now a convicted felon who is back in the headlines today. a judge setting his sentencing date for the 18th of december. as for the second, h.r. mcmaster, the president is said to be in touch with him, even reportedly telling mcmaster that he misses him. as for bolton, the president once had plenty of praise for him, his intelligence, and perhaps most important to this president, his tough guy image. >> i think he's, you know, a tough cookie. he knows what he's talking about. john is a terrific guy. we had some really good meetings
with him. knows a lot. has a good -- a good -- a good number of ideas that i must tell you i agree very much with. i think he's going to be a fantastic representative of our team. he's highly respected by everybody in this room. great john bolton. they think he's so nasty and so tough that i have to hold him back, okay? that's pretty great. and he's doing a great job. he has strong views on things, but that's okay. i actually temper john, which is pretty amazing, isn't it? i have different sides. i mean i have john bolton, and i have other people that are a little more dovish than him, and ultimately i make the decision. no, i get -- i like john. >> those feelings have apparently been cooling all year with the two clashing over iran, north korea, russia, and more recently the president's plan to invite the taliban to camp david. so was he fired for that, for daring to speak out against the idea of bringing the taliban to camp david on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11? we don't know for sure because we've actually yet to hear from bolton aside from one tweet saying he offered to resign.
as much as policy differences may have factored into this, the mode, the manner, the apparent chaos surrounding it, the sudden nature of it, all of it speaks to something else about the way this white house in particular operates. it underscores new reporting tonight on what jake tapper's source says, and i quote. an administration with dysfunctional processes and bureaucracy. one that attracts people who are willing to make the big compromise to work for trump, so they're especially cutthroat. it's a real snake pit. on the national security side, that includes people who have come and gone, like secretary of state rex tillerson, also fired by tweet, defense secretary james mattis, who quit reportedly in frustration over the president's snap decision to pull out of syria. kirstjen nielsen and john kelly at dhs. dni dan coats, nsa director mike rogers, u.n. ambassador nikki haley. not all directly clashed with the president before leaving or being shown the door, but whatever the motivation was, the amount of turnover in what used to be seen as critical positions is unprecedented. when many of them leave, they're being replaced essentially by
temps. these are the acting members of his cabinet now, including charles kupperman, the new acting national security adviser. the president has said, in his words, i like acting because he says it gives him more flexibility, and we might add it cuts down on dissenting points of view, which might be just fine for a president who considers himself his own best press secretary, his own best intelligence analyst, even his own best hurricane forecaster. as he himself said yesterday when asked why he called for and then canceled the taliban meetings, "i took my own advice." more now on all of this. our jim acosta is at the white house. he has some new reporting on it. jim, what have you learned from sources? >> reporter: anderson, we know that one of the reasons why the president decided to fire the national security adviser, john bolton, was because both he and the vice president were upset with this idea that john bolton and some on his team were spreading this story around that the vice president was joining up with john bolton in opposing this idea of peace talks at camp david with the taliban. but just this evening, anderson,
i talked to a source close to the white house who said that the president has been complaining about john bolton wanting to, quote, start a war since the beginning of his tenure as national security adviser. the source also close to the white house shed some light on bolton's thinking in all of this, saying that bolton is very concerned about the president's desire to have a meeting with the iranian president, hassan rouhani. according to this source close to the white house, john bolton is worried that the president, quote, caves too much in his meetings with these dictators like kim jong-un, the dictator of north korea, and others that the president has met with over the last three years of this administration. >> bolton's exit -- i mean we talked about how sudden it seemed, that he was scheduled to be part of a white house press room briefing. secretary of state mike pompeo, and the treasury secretary steve mnuchin, until the president's tweet caught apparently even the white house press office by surprise. >> reporter: that's right, anderson. i talked to a secret administration official earlier today who said they were essentially running around
trying to figure out what was going on after the president's tweet about john bolton. but you're right. i mean in addition to john bolton being listed as participating in this briefing with reporters earlier today, he was spotted outside the west wing talking on the phone, seemingly unaware of what was about to happen, that he wasn't going to be involved with this administration any longer. but at that briefing with the secretary of state, mike pompeo, and the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin, i asked the treasury secretary whether or not this national security team is basically a mess right now in light of all of these departures and all this turnover you just laid out a few moments ago, and here's what he had to say. >> is this national security team a mess? >> absolutely not. that's the most ridiculous question i've ever heard of. let me just say the national security team, which is what you asked, consists of the national security adviser, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, myself, the chief of staff, and many others. >> reporter: anderson, i went on
to ask the treasury secretary whether or not it is hazardous to your future in the administration to disagree with the president. he said that's not true. but perhaps the most telling thing we saw during that briefing earlier today was not something that was said. it was the smiles on the faces of the secretary of state and the treasury secretary. typically when somebody like a national security adviser leaves an administration, not only are they not taking questions from reporters about all of this, they're certainly not smiling about it. but in the words of one administration official i spoke with earlier today about all of this, john bolton did not have a lot of defenders left in this administration. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. now an exclusive conversation with susan rice. she served first as u.n. ambassador and later as national security adviser for more than three years in the obama administration. she's author of a new book out next month called "tough love: my story of the things worth fighting for." i spoke to her just before air time. ambassador rice, when you heard the news about john bolton's departure, were you surprised at all given the turnover and the turmoil in the white house?
>> i was surprised by the timing of it because it came with little notice. but i wasn't surprised that we might come to this point because it seemed quite clear that in many respects, john bolton and his policy interests and his policy positions deviated quite dramatically from president trump's. and there have been a number of stories recently about how bolton had been excluded or attempted to have been excluded from very important meetings where any national security adviser would rightly be present. so the fact that the rift came to the fore and resulted in his departure itself was not such a surprise. i think the timing was. and recall we're not only just days after the afghan debacle, but we're on the eve now of the united nations general assembly, where foreign policy will again come to the fore.
so it's an awkward time to have no national security adviser or a brand-new national security adviser. >> as you know, cnn's reporting is that the schedule then canceled -- i don't know if it's a summit or a meeting at the taliban at camp david was the final straw between the president and bolton, combined with bolton criticizing to journalists in the past few days. do you agree with bolton on the substance of opposing that meeting, or what do you make of the idea of the meeting because it also gets to the point you made earlier, which is it shouldn't be surprising given that bolton's, you know, well-known positions from being on fox news if nothing else should have been known to the president before he was hired or would have been known to the president before he was hired. >> well, anderson, you know, should have been known, absolutely. whether they were known or whether the president cared at the time or only cared when it seemed to thwart his agenda is hard to judge.
but clearly john bolton had some very strong views on a number of issues, most of which i disagree with him on. for example, venezuela, his approach to iran. but on afghanistan, i think he had a very valid point. it was an appalling judgment to invite the taliban, responsible for the deaths of thousands of americans, to camp david when they hadn't agreed to end the conflict with the afghan government, much less talk to the afghan government. >> so what happens now? i mean the president is obviously fine with having people fill jobs in an acting capacity. he's fine not having a press secretary doing, you know, daily briefings with the press corps. he's happy just kind of handling it himself on the way to and from the helicopter. it seems like he's happy not necessarily having a lot of close advisers. he seems to feel he can negotiate with kim jong-un on his own and vladimir putin on
his own. so what happens next? i mean how does the next national security adviser do his or her job? >> these are two different things. so the broader problem we have is that the national security process has completely broken down. john bolton did not convene the national security principles. the cabinet-level officials, who are supposed to weigh in and collectively make recommendations to the president on anything like a regular basis. he arrogated so much authority to himself to the exclusion of his counterparts, and decisions were not worked through with the rigor and the care that they normally are and that they need to be. add to that that we have a president who could care less it seems about history, about analysis, about the rigor of going through various options
and weighing their prospective risks and benefits. he's making policy on the fly, often changing his mind in midstream. it's an extremely dangerous situation. >> you're saying the system has really broken down. >> it has broken down, and what president trump is proving is that even if we had a system that was performing as it should, he could care less, and he would throw the results out the window. so we've got two problems. we've got a dysfunctional national security process and a president who himself, by virtue of the way he governs and plays his role as commander in chief, is putting our interests at grave risk in many different contexts. >> just lastly, i want to get your reaction to today's new cnn reporting that president trump has privately and repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of foreign intelligence from covert sources overseas according to multiple senior officials who served under the president. he reportedly fears those
assets, those covert assets will damage his relationships with foreign leaders, and essentially he doesn't trust the intelligence. i mean that's -- it is -- assuming that is true, that seems to be a remarkable breach from -- i mean that's what -- you know, that's what overseas operatives for the cia do. >> it's crazy. anderson, call it what it is. it's crazy. >> yes. >> okay? our adversaries are using espionage, including human intelligence assets against us every day. for the united states to unilaterally disarm and say we're going to renounce one of the most useful forms of intelligence collection against our most committed adversaries is foolish to put it mildly. and so, you know, for the president to put his own self-interest, it seems, above the national interest of the united states, above the national security of the united states, which in so many instances, this just being the
latest, seems to be his pattern is extraordinarily dangerous and detrimental to our security, to our standing in the world, and to our ability to protect ourselves, which is what intelligence is about. intelligence is about protecting the american people from our adversaries. >> ambassador rice, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. coming up, two more takes on this and the breaking news. max boot and fareed zakaria join us for that. and later and the numbers and expert insight as results are just now starting to come in from north carolina's ninth where the president was campaigning just yesterday. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid and the 12-hour pain-relieving strength of aleve. that dares to last into the morning. so you feel refreshed. aleve pm. there's a better choice. i'm craving something we're! missing. the ceramides in cerave. they help restore my natural barrier, so i can lock in moisture.
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this fall, book two, separate qualifying stays at choicehotels.com... ...and earn a free night. because when your business is rewarding yourself, our business is you. book direct at choicehotels.com before the break, you heard former national security adviser susan rice's take on john bolton's firing, essentially that it reflects the dysfunctionality of what is supposed to be a carefully structured system for ensuring that a president, any president, gets the best possible advice, especially when getting good advice is a matter of life and death. now, the national security
process, she says, has completely broken down in this white house. there's also the question of policy differences including jim acosta's reporting and ambassador bolton, according to a source close to the white house, had been concerned the president is too generous with dictators. in the words of this source, trump caves. he gives them way too much. fareed zakaria and cnn global affairs analyst max boot join us. how big, fareed, how big of a deal is bolton's departure? >> it's a big deal because it's systematic really of a breakdown in a policy process. sometimes you do have situations where presidents come into office. they often haven't thought a lot about foreign policy. they develop a foreign policy view as they go through crises, and then they notice that some of their advisers are actually not in sync with them. that's a normal process. ronald reagan went through six national security advisers. here's it's puzzling because trump's views on foreign policy are well known. i mean he basically wants to end those wars. he wants to negotiate. bolton's views are very well known.
trump must have had the -- you know, the recorder on mute during the fox news broadcast that john bolton was on because bolton is a superhawk, very aggressive, wants to bomb every country, doesn't want to do any of the peace deals. what was trump thinking when he hired him? so, you know, it's the dysfunction at the heart of the trump white house, which is why are these people being hired? they don't seem to agree with the president. he doesn't seem to respect them. really there is the kind of weird what is going on here? >> max, you wrote a piece today basically saying that john bolton -- i want to get the headline right. john bolton was bad. his departure may be worse? >> right. i'm no fan of john bolton, and i think he did a lot of bad things especially in destroying the nsc, destroying the interagency process, not being a good steward of the process and representing different viewpoints, but i do think he was in some ways a useful check on trump. you might actually say they were a useful check on each other because they're both men with
very peculiar ideas but kind of contrasting peculiar ideas because, you know, trump basically wants to make deals with everybody, and he doesn't really care about the content of the deal. he really just wants a nobel peace prize whereas bolton wants to go out and bomb all these countries, iran and north korea and others. so trump served as a check on bolton, preventing him from actually starting wars with iran and north korea. but bolton also served as a check on trump, preventing him from giving away the house to north korea or the taliban and making these horrible concessions that would have resulted in very bad deals. so i mean i think overall, bolton's legacy is not a good one. he didn't really achieve a lot. but there was sort of a silver lining to the dark cloud. >> fareed, how difficult is it going to be for this white house to find another national security adviser who is, you know, somebody of weight? >> you've already been through more turnover in these 2 1/2 years in this white house than any -- this is history-making in
terms of the number of people who have left. they also are dismissed in an incredibly curt, dismissive fashion. if you just look at the way trump gets rid of people, he never gives them any dignity. he never allows them to say that they resigned. then you have the puzzle of his views, which change all the time. so the people who are left, i think, are for the most part second-tier people who could never have gotten these jobs, who will contort themselves ideologically to accept whatever, you know, whatever his position of the week is, and that's not a very good, you know, mechanism to ensure that you have the best and the brightest people. there are a few exceptions to that, but by and large what you see are people who are essentially willing to do anything to hold those jobs. and these are the most important jobs in the country. surely that's not how we want to fill the administration. >> in terms of what they actually have to do, anderson, you know, trump expects everybody to basically be a yes
man or woman, but that's very hard because his views change all the time. i mean you saw that just in the last week where he suddenly got a brainstorm. let's invite the taliban to camp david. then he decided let's not invite the taliban to camp david. then he was sore with bolton for disagreeing him. so he basically wants somebody like mike pence who will agree with him if he invites the taliban and agree with him if he disinvites the taliban. so you have to be prepared to stay in trump's good graces. you have to be able to take both sides of any position at any time. >> which pompeo certainly seems to be willing to go along with whatever the president wants. >> i think pompeo is playing a very -- his own longer-term game. it seems that he has political ambitions of his own. he understands this is an extraordinary platform, and he understands that the way you keep your good graces with donald trump is you constantly praise donald trump. all the reporting about the internal meetings between pompeo and trump are, you know, pompeo is almost slavish in his praise
of trump. i think max is exactly right. you just have to make sure that you never disagree so sharply that you couldn't be caught on the wrong side because you really have an extraordinary situation where -- think about this. john bolton has been fired because he wanted -- he didn't want to make a deal with the taliban, the position that donald trump now holds. he was fired for taking the position that trump eventually came too. >> thank you. still ahead tonight, as votes are counted in that special congressional election in north carolina, there's a new cnn poll out showing the latest on president trump's approval rating. for the president the news is not good. all the details on that poll ahead.
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been looking at the numbers. john? >> at the moment, anderson, the early numbers quite interesting. the democrat dan mccready winning the race so far. about 22% of the vote counted. that's a pretty healthy lead for the democrat in a district the republicans have held since 1963, in a district the president in 2016 carried by 12 points. so this is a big deal. the biggest county is mecklenburg county over here. this is the charlotte area here. charlotte's not in the district, but the suburbs here, dan mccready is ahead. back in 2016, president trump carried this part of the district. so that's a big deal. this is about 30% of the vote. move over to union county, the second biggest county in the district. bishop is winning but not by the size of the margin president trump did. you come to the other end of the district over here in the fayetteville suburbs, cumberland county, mccready up again. this is a test. president trump underperformed in the suburbs in 2016. republicans got crushed in the suburbs in 2018. that's why nancy pelosi is speaker. if this holds up -- and it's early, just 23% of the vote -- you'll see more republican
retirements and you'll have the trump campaign saying, wow, we went there. the president went there. the vice president went there. why didn't our voters turn out. >> we're going to check back with you very shortly. obviously watching that very closely. there's also brand-new polling, a cnn poll out tonight with results that are troubling for president trump. according to the poll, six in ten americans do not believe president trump deserves to be re-elected. only 36% of those polled believe the president should deserve a second term. as far as overall approval ratings, almost as bad. only 39% approve of the way the president is handling the job. 55% do not. interestingly, the poll also shows the president's approval rating on the economy has dipped below 50% for the first time since early this year. i want to talk about it with david axelrod, obviously a key political adviser of president obama, and kirsten powers, a cnn political analyst. david, i mean the economy has obviously been the president's biggest asset for re-election. for some people, his only asset. i'm wondering what you make of the new numbers.
>> yeah. well, i mean there's plenty of bad news in this poll. there's very little good news in this poll for him. the economy is particularly important because this was going to be the bulwark. this was going to be the thing that was going to carry him to victory. and historically if you have a good economy, the incumbent president generally wins. and so he was counting on this. the economy has been flagging lately, showing some signs of distress, and so are his numbers here. in april he had a 15-point positive margin in his ratings, 56% on the economy. now he's down, i think, 48, 49, but he's significantly below where he was. this has to be a concern. but there are all kinds of other numbers. he carried independent voters by two points in 2016. only 29% of independent voters say that he deserves re-election here.
and you look throughout the numbers. only one number would give him some encouragement, and that is voters who say they are most enthusiastic give him a slightly higher rating but still underwater. so if you're sitting over there in trump headquarters and you're looking at numbers like these, you realize you've got a very tough row to hoe ahead of you. >> kirsten, voters don't know who the president is going to be running against at this point. i'm wondering how, you know, meaningful a poll like this is at this stage. >> right. i mean i think that's probably the most important point is that elections are -- it's a zero-sum game. it's between two people. so it's not just about how you feel about the incumbent. it's also about how you feel about the person who's running against him. so it will depend a lot on who the democrats choose. it will depend on how the republicans define that person. if they are able to, for example, define that person as being a socialist, you know, how does that play with voters? and so that changes the dynamic. that said, you know, as david
said, these are not numbers that the white house is excited about. there's no way they can be excited about this. you look at this poll, and trump has done absolutely nothing to change the opinion of people in a positive direction from the day he came into office. the trajectory is not good. and, you know, he has obviously doubled down on this base strategy, but independents matter, and you look at this poll, and you can see that he's not moving them into his camp. >> yeah. i mean, david, i'm wondering if on the democratic side, if they look at this poll and if that has any message for the democratic party about what sort of a candidate -- i mean the fact that the number among independents is so low, does that make democrats start to think, you know, we need to pick somebody who is going to be able to pick up those independents? >> you know, it's an interesting question. i don't know that voters make those kinds of strategic decisions. there is a focus on who can beat trump. i don't know if they get drilled
down into the numbers that way, but one thing is absolutely for certain. kirsten touched on it. if you're in the trump camp, you realize you have to annihilate the democratic nominee in order to win this election. you're not going to win this election -- most incumbents have to make it a comparative process. but in this case, you know, the notion that he is going to, having languished in the near 40% level for his whole presidency, the only president in history to do that, his strategy is going to be to destroy the democratic nominee. and, you know, democrats need to think, at least those in sort of policymaking positions, endorsing positions, are you going to choose a nominee who makes it easier for trump to do that or not? >> david axelrod, kirsten powers, thanks very much. coming up, we're going to go back to john king with new developments in the north carolina race. stay tuned. [ music: "i am" by club yoko plays ] ♪ boom goes the dynamite,
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see if the suburban retreat, the suburban revolt against president trump continues. let's move over here. first in mecklenburg county, charlotte is not in the district, but a good chunk of the charlotte suburbs and exurbs are. you see this blue. that's for dan mccready. 60%, 39%. that is a healthy lead. i want to tell you why that's so important. again, the suburbs have been moving away from the republican party during the trump years. this is now tonight -- let's go back to the presidential race. president trump, it was close, but president trump carried this part of mecklenburg county, the part of the county that is in the ninth district. president trump held on three years ago. as of tonight as we watch the votes, dan mccready winning there by a pretty healthy margin at the moment. we're still counting at the margins. union county, the second biggest county in this district. dan bishop's winning in a district the republican needs to carry. that's good news for him. that's about 16 points. it's good news for him but go back to the presidential race. that's 30 points. president trump won the second largest county in this district big-time. dan bishop fighting for it tonight.
another warning sign for republicans as we watch. let me come to the other end of the district. the third largest county in the district is here, robeson county. you see president trump won it by about four or five points. when you go back to 2016. it's blue tonight for dan mccready in the early returns. that makes the democrats happen. one more, the charlotte suburbs on the western end, the fayetteville suburbs on the eastern end. dan mccready with a pretty healthy lead right there. on this end of the district again, is the suburban revolt continuing? president trump just barely, but he carried this part of the district three years ago. if you're a democrat and you're looking at this map, you're starting to feel a little better, optimistic about tonight. if dan mccready can hold on, anderson, the democrats will be much more optimistic looking forward into 2020, thinking what happened in 2018, the suburban revolt that made nancy pelosi speaker. the question is, is it growing? is it continuing? if this goes blue tonight, the answer will be yes. >> yeah. we're going to check back in with you, john, because obviously we want to watch this very closely. here with me now, david chalian and dana bash.
obviously, david, too early at this point. 24%, 25% of the vote in. but certainly democrats are watching. >> yeah. no, there's no doubt about it. we should just start by saying democrats should not be playing in this district. the reality is the dna of this district that donald trump won by 12 points is that it is a reliably republican district. there are two things at play, right? 4 there are the demographic trends overall as john was just talking about. the suburbs had started trending democratic to begin with, and donald trump is the other factor which put that on a turbo charge because of the revolt that you just heard john talking about. they are watching closely. they do like some of the numbers combined with the early vote that they were really happy with before this election. but i will also just note one other thing as we look at this. dan mccready is also a very specific kind of candidate for this district, a veteran, a moderate, not running against donald trump. running on health care and other issues. so i do also wonder if the democrats win, not only will it
say, hey, that 2018 trump backlash continues, but in terms of impact on the 2020 presidential race, will democrats start to have a conversation about, well, what is the kind of democrat that can actually -- >> obviously, dana, this has been going on for quite a while in the democratic party. >> it has been. you know, so far in the primaries or, you know, even just in discussions about the positions that a lot of the presidential candidates have, they're being fueled for the most part, not entirely, but for the most part by the progressive wing, saying we have to stand up for what we believe in. but i just want to echo what david was saying. we've heard some spin from republicans today, senior republicans in washington who run the house saying this is a swing district. this is not a swing district. this should not be a competitive district at all. the fact that the president of the united states went down there, that his campaign is pushing to win for a random republican -- >> trump was there just yesterday.
>> and vice president pence also. >> and donald trump jr. was there last week. this -- it's all about stopping the bleeding. if they win, it's for them a nothing burger. if they lose, it is a huge, huge problem. >> david, the president has tried to continue to paint democrats obviously as socialists, communists, which might work for the base. but clearly among moderate voters in the suburbs, here that doesn't seem to be working. >> well, especially against this candidate in particular, right. whether or not that may work on a national level in the presidential race, we'll see. you just heard david axelrod talking about the trump campaign mission is going to have to be to annihilate the democratic opponent in 2020. certainly the socialism piece will be a part of that. but you're right, anderson. he was saying last night in north carolina, this is the anti-american left. i just think what you see in our poll out today, what you see in some of these returns right now -- and we'll see as the results continue to come in --
independent voters, suburban voters, this is a group that the president has pushed away from the republican party. and there is nothing in that argument yet that has brought them back into the fold. >> one other thing is we have been so focused on the suburban part of this district because it has been such a telltale of what happened in the house, and it was clearly a revolt against the president and independents moving away as david was saying. but the other part that john was showing, the other part of the district is rural. so it's a bit of a mix. now, the trump people will say -- and they're not wrong -- that if you're trying to get republican rural voters out, not only when donald trump isn't on the ticket but during a special election at a random time kind of at the end of the summer, beginning of the fall, of the school year, it's not the same. but it is going to be interesting to see if those rural voters are going to be animated by a president trump visit because that's the whole reason he went down there, to
get those voters out, just as he is trying to get them out in the suburbs. >> david, is it a sign of confidence that president trump goes to north carolina the day before, or is it a sign of concern? >> well, it is a sign of concern. if it was a lost cause they wouldn't put him there, right? although the president would be champing at the bit to try to go because we know he thinks he can actually deliver these results. but, anderson, what is a more precious resource than the president's time? and so -- >> well, really? >> fair point. executive time. the president and the vice president, though, both going down there on the eve of the election? that is not willy-nilly. that is because they want to put their chips in. they understand how important it is psychologically to the political environment to keep this in republican hands. >> maybe a better way to say it is not time, but capital, presidential capital. >> dana bash, thank you very much. david chalian, thank you. we're going to get another quick update from john king next. this is the family who wanted to connect...
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welcome back. we are watching numbers on what could be a leading indicator in the 2020 election the race in north carolina's ninth congressional district. things are shifting a bit again. let's go to john king for an update. >> a little close, anderson. 28% reporting in the ninth district of north carolina. the democrats still ahead 2 1/2 points there. as we watch the votes come in, early votes favored the democrats. now as votes are coming in, republicans got a little bit closer. still, if you're a democrat, and you're watching the map right now you're, happy with what you see. number one, move to mecklenburg county. about a third of the vote. only 2% of the vote and the democrat leading by a large margin. if that margin for dan mccready, it will probably hold up. he is probably on his way the a victory. we'll see. we're early in the night. close rate uniting now. union county, county number two in terms of population in this district, the republican is winning by nowhere near the
margin president trump carried this county when he won it by 12 points in 2016. move on to the other end of the district. here's where your population is, county number three, the democrat ahead by a pretty good margin. just a little context here. president trump won this in the presidential race. it was close in robeson county, but dan mccready at the moment putting up a healthy lead. watch this as more of the vote comes in. last but not least, the fourth largest county. includes the fayetteville suburb, the charlottesville suburbs. if they stays blue, the democrats will be in good tonight. but we've got some counting to do. >> and let's go to chris cuomo. >> we'll be following the election. it is our best look at the actual state of play heading into the next set of elections, and they should win. republicans should win in this district. what we saw that makes it an interesting race is what happened in the midterms. you saw this kind of 12-point margin that could be closed because of feelings about this president that will play into our coverage of the new cnn poll
that echos the abc poll that came out about this president having flagging support, especially surrounding concerns about the economy. and his mouth. we're going to go from that to alyssa milano who is here tonight, fresh off of her meeting with senator ted cruz, a meeting that i thought wouldn't happen, happened on facebook live, and we'll talk to her about what she thinks it did to advance the ball to access to weapons. >> all right. spice are practiced in the art of deception. so how does anyone ever learn to trust them? author malcolm gladwell talks that next in a clip from my upcoming interview with malcolm about his latest book, "talking to strangers," out today. [dogs barking and whimpering] [dogs whimpering] ♪
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strangers." did anyone ever realize that bernie madoff was running a ponzi scheme? or italians arrested amanda knox, even though there was no real evidence against her. there are intriguing answers in malcolm's new book, if you think can you tell if someone is lying when you talk to them or you think you can judge a person based on a face-to-face encounter with them, how they act or speak in a conversation, you'll quickly learn that you can't. according to gladwell, we misunderstand people we interact with all the time and that has big ramifications for how we get along with people as well as ramifications for judges and juries and police and world leaders who have to make important decisions based on false assumptions. gladwell also wrote about some fascinating real life spy stories in his book and how those spies were able to fool so many people for so long, especially trained people. i started by asking him about the story that cnn broke about the extraction of a top russian asset back in 2017. >> you're a big spy be fan. i don't know if you've been following this source who was exfiltrated. as a spy fan, that is gold. >> all spy stories are alike.
many of them are alike in one significant way, which is that everyone is always in the dark about the spy, right? so this one's perfect. first of all, he's been there for years and the russians -- >> as much as ten years or more? >> the russians haven't found him out yet, or maybe they just did. basically, he went a decade without being detected. we try to bring him out early and he doesn't want to go so we start to think he's a double agent. no one knows who the guy is. he's a complete mystery. it's extraordinary that i tell in my book two spy stories but literally i pick them at random because they all have this basic -- and the other thing that's the best thing about it is in spy novels, spy novels are all about how brilliant the spy is, right?
the spy is a mastermind, an evil genius, a master of disguise and this and that and the other thing. it's the james bond idea. >> and you read a lot of spy novels? >> all of them. if it has the word "spy" i read them. but in real life the spy's success is not due to the spy's genius, it's due to everyone else's blindness. the spy novels all have it backwards. most spies are really lame. the reason i tell these spies story is i'm really interested in this notion is why is it so easy for human beings to be deceived. >> as a reporter you like to think when you're talking to somebody you can get a sense of if they're honest or not, but i got say after reading your book, i sort of feel like do we really know who we're talking to? >> i don't think we do. >> it's a fascinating conversation. you can see the full one-hour interview with malcolm gladwell in the coming weeks. we'll bring that to you.
the book "talking to strangers" is out now. news continues right now. i want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> it is an exciting time and tonight matters, my friend. we should get our best look by for the state of play for the 202010 election by seeing what happens in north carolina's special elections for congress tonight. you have to look at these elections in light of the two polls that just came out, abc and cnn, both out today showing that the president has slipped in support, the economy a concern. confidence in him flagging. so the vote that is being counted right now will show what does that translate into in a district that should be a layup for republicans, north carolina's 9th district. we got all the big shots here. john king working the magic wall, our top team here to make look smarter and tell us what is at stake in this tally. plus tonight alyssa milano is here to talk about her face-to-face meeting with ted