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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  February 13, 2020 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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welcome to prime time. just when it look itses like th president has slapped down, attorney general barr with a slap in trump's pile saying the tweets make it impossible for him to do his job. imagine that. and the senate slaps down the president's ability to use the military, eight republican senators joining the effort. we have key players tonight on what happens now. what do you say? let's get after it. attorney general bill barr is selling the story to the media that reducing the stone sentence all him. but, he became the first sitting cabinet many eb to take a whack at the boss in the process. >> to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases
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make it impossible for me to do my job and i will make those decision based on what i think is the right thing to do. and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody and i said it whether it's congress, the newspaper, editorial boards, or the president. >> really? what a smack. such defiance, such that i have to suspect that punch is a ploy. distract the media with the drama while ignoring the fact that the explanation for barr about how it happened here with stone, tough to believe. another clue to a potential kenard. trump let the disrespect go. the white house says it wasn't bothered by barr's comments at all. he has the right, mr. barr, just like any citizen to publicly offer his opinions. the president has full faith and confidence in attorney general barr to do his job and uphold the law. never heard him say that about anybody who said anything close
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to what barr just did. i wonder y. i also wonder, what's scarier, that is a part of our job tonight, to look at this question, trump telling barr what to do about this sentence or barr just having trump's interesting so far in front of anything else that he didn't need to be told even if it meant undoing a sentence recommendation that his guy's okay. so let's get perspective, let's bring in two justice department vets, former acting assistant mary mccord and former fbi deputy director, ap drew mccabe. good to have you both, mary, thank you for being with us. >> sure, my pleasure. >> mary, i start with you. you ever see this on your watch a sentencing recommendation got the okay. got signed off. then all of a sudden, no good. >> well, i mean, if there was a change in circumstances, the person started to cooperate or we had made some sort of mistake in our calculations, then maybe when i was produces scuittoed, we might have to correct or
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revise the sentencing memo. but not for reasons that appear to be politically influenced. this is the first time i've seen that? what concerns you, if anything? >> well, there is a whole lot of things that concern me. i mean, certainly, in fact, these prosecutors would not have put a recommendation into a sentencing memo without running that all the way up the flag pole. department of justice, internal guidance, the justice manual, you can look it up. google it. requires reporting up in significant manners and consultation with the deputy tomorrow's office and the attorney general's office before major developments and cases, including sentencing recommendation. so the fact that these four prosecutors made a recommendation in their sentencing memo, that then after the president tweeted his displeasure with that recommendation, that then department leadership and we now know it was barr, himself, because he admitted such today then changed that sentencing recommendation, there is no way you can look at that and think
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it was anything other than the political pressure from the president notwithstanding what barr is saying. >> now, to add to meary's point all you have to do is read the sentenceing memo. it's not that long. these people are mad at stone. they don't like how he lied, how he handled it, how he trashed the doj. it's all in the menu in the memo. they don't like that he took them to trial when they knew they were going to make the case. it's very clear here, so, andrew, that is the confusing part here. for the ag's story to hold up, he didn't know his guy signed off on it without apparently telling him and he saw this as crazy out of proportion to what should have been done. how does all that fit together? >> well, it doesn't fit together. as the ag said today that he had the conversation with timothy shay, who is the interim u.s. attorney in d.c. >> who signed the memo. >> that's wriechlt and they talked about it on monday. it's inconceivable to me they
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would have had a conversation about the guidelines calculation and that the attorney general would have walked away from that conversation without understanding what the calculation actually was. so it just doesn't make sense. as mary said, these things are calculated by the lying folks. they are pushed up the chain of command. they made it all the way to the u.s. attorney, himself, timothy shea. the u.s. attorney discussed it directly with the attorney general. so it's very hard to believe that the ag or anyone else was unaware of the recommendation as it stood. >> mary, let me employ your savvy for a second. a lot of the trump supporters accuse the media of what they call, tds, trump derangement syndrome. maybe i have it. because i see a conspiracy here. here's what i see this shot that ag barr just took at the president, the tweets make it impossible, basically telling him to shut up. nobody talks to this president and stays in the position for long. and white house says, he's okay
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with it. bill barr can say whatever he wants. the president has full faith in him. doesn't make sense. i tell you what it makes, a great headline and people will talk about whether barr is going to last in the shot he took at the president and ignore what is more intriguing to me where barr's story doesn't make sense, even if you assume the facts in his favor, the tweet. i didn't see the tweet. i didn't even know there was a 2003. i was thinking this before. his guy signed off on the memo, either in defiance of barr or without barr ever being told. has that ever happened? >> not in a mat of this kind of high profile nature and this kind of significance and you know i'm not about to try to psychoanalyze this president and why he might have put out the statement that he did. i think barr's contact here in trying to regain some credibility rings hollow, because this is sort of a piece of everything that he has been doing for the last year in terms
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of trying to create a narrative that serves the president's interests and doesn't duly serve the american people's interest and oftentimes undercuts prosecutors, undercuts the fbi, under cuts the department. now we're undercutting the courts, to be honest with you. so, you know, we don't have to look at this in a sigh low. we can put it together with what we have seen of the attorney general, which is very, very disappointing and i think will cause long lasting damage to the credibility and repetition of the department. >> except extenuating circumstances, where there was a change of condition. there was none here we know. i can't find any case of barr in his tenure, in his previous one under president bush where he did anything like this andrew the idea that oh we want this to be true because it looks bad for trump. i actually want it to not be true, not for the integrity of justice, i think it's more frightening if the ag knew once
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word of this sentence got out. maybe he was asleep on the job. for him to know inc. e instinctively, i got to fix this, that is more scary. >> it is more scary. let's face it. you got to look at this in the context of all the other things we have seen the attorney general do simply to protect the president over the last year or so. right. this is not the first time that he has weighed in on a matter on a doj matter to protect the president. and the fact is, this time, it really blew up on him. he ignited in a rebellion, a really kind of emotional response within his own work force. he cannot afford to lose that work force. so i see the statement that he made today as simply a self-serving attempt to somehow rescue this appearance of independence. >> right. >> in fact, the things that he has done have shown the fact opposite. he is not independent from this president. he is executing this president's
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will, every time he finds himself in trouble. >> the biggest factor that we focused on yesterday, but i haven't brought up yet. i haven't heard your take, mary, four people resigned over this. if it was just business as usual or the ag saying, you know, guy, i'm sorry, i slept on this one, it's way out of line or the boss doesn't like it. whatever it is, probably don't resign. you only resign from a case. it's very race, i was looking at cases for that today. you have to go back a long way to find one, let alone four. what message does that send to you? >> well, one total resignation from the department of justice. the other three who withdrew from the case. i think it shows that they felt very strongly about it. i think we probably felt very undercut by it. i will say, i've got andy here with us, you know, not that long ago when it was rumored that andy, himself, was going to be indicted by a grand jury, the
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two prosecutors, one left the department of justice. one withdrew from that case. i can't tell you, i haven't talked to those prosecutors. we have seen prosecutors in the same office. my old office. i spent 20 years there who i think are you know showing to stand up for some, themselves to stand up for some principles here. do i really fear for that office right now with jesse liu now having had her nomination after she was the u.s. attorney there. she was nominated for a high level position of treasury, then the nomination was withdrawn and now today she has resigned. so, you know, we've got an office that's now in turmoil and it's really unfortunate. because it's an important office for the department of justice and they investigate and prosecute important cases. >> now the explanation from the ag. who knows if it makes it better or worse. mary mccord, great to have you. great to have you back and soon, andrew, always a plus, thank you. the lawmakers who impeached
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the president warned that this was the kind of stuff that would happen if the senate let him off. and, guess what, they just got fresh proof that trump was not straight about rudy guiliani's role in ukraine. here's a provocative question. would they consider impeaching the president again? we have one of the seven house managers, one who prosecuted the case next. i'm happy to give you the tour, i love doing it. hey jay. jay? charlotte! oh hi. he helped me set up my watch lists. oh, he's terrific. excellent tennis player.
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the president may now think he is unchecked, but you know what, he just forgot to check himself. now admitting what he once denied. here's what trump said back in november about whether he directed rudy guiliani's actions if y in ukraine. >> so you didn't direct him to go to ukraine or do anything? >> no, i didn't direct him. >> today he said this. >> was it strange to send rudy guiliani to ukraine, your personal lawyer, you sorry you did that? >> not at all. >> ah, not at all is the response as to was it strange to send him when a client tells their attorney to do something or agrees with the course of action that that attorney suggests, that's called giving
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direction. because in either instance, the client, trump here, is showing the lawyer which way to represent his interests, actively or passively. therefore, your president lied in november. the question is, so what? one of the democrats who made the case in the senate representative hakeem jeffries is here. congressman, always a pleasure, i don't mean to be a cynic. so what, he lied. >> well, listen, donald trump tried to cheat. he got caught. then he worked hard to cover it up. the house managers proved our case decisively before the senate and the american people with a mountain of evidence. donald trump's behavior was abusive. it was appalling. it was inappropriate, it was wrong. those are the words that republican senators have used. >> yes. >> but unfortunately a majority of the senate decided that they wanted to let donald trump off the hook. and so we see the behavior over the last few days that continues
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the outrageousness and the corruption, but it's in the hands of the american people and i've got full faith and confidence in the american people that they will conclude in november that this is not acceptable. >> so do you spend the time now and doing the people's work on a number of other issues that are obviously pressing and leave the investigations alone? >> well, we certainly are going to continue to do people's business and we have been work on that from the in a moment we reclaimed the majority under speaker pelosi. i guess you know, chris, we sent over more than 400 bills to the united states senate. 275 have been bipartisan, we passed lower healthcare costs, strengthened the affordable care act and confirmed the climate crisis, raised the minimum wage $15 per hour, create a pathway towards citizenship for millions of dreamers. countless bill after countless bill that has been sent over being buried in mr. mitch
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mcconnell's graveyard. that's not going to stop us to continue making progress on behalf of the american people, while at the same time defending our democracy through our oversight abilities. >> what can you do? you know it won't wind up going anywhere. the only thing you can do is impeach him again and the numbers in the senate or close to it, will you never remove him. so do you believe a better course of action might be if you can prove a case is to push for sense su s censure. not go through that whole process when you go through it in advance? >> i suspect we will go through an impeachment process at any point in this calendar year. i don't think we will go through the censure process. but there hasn't been a discussion about the house democratic caucus. i know we have to be guide by
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the constitution and present the truth to the american people. what we see now is from the bill barr, the department of justice is a wholly owned subsidiary of donald trump's petty, corrupt and abusive mind. >> that is consistent with who we are as americans. >> in terms of power to do anything. first, let me ask something else. i know it's hard to talk about things retrospectively, whether or not a better path would have been good. if it had played out where you would ask for censure and made a deal, congress all come together and censure his actions, say it was wrong, be on record you can't do this, do you think we would have wound up in a better place? >> absolutely not. first of all, there is no reason to believe that this republican party over in the senate would have done anything with a censure or a vote with donald trump. more importantly, the framers of the constitution as we have proved with overwhelming
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everyday their views about what was impeachable and what conduct violated the constitution and constituted a high crime and misdemeanor, related to an abuse of power, related to betrayial of one's oath of office by a president in exchange for something of value or some foreign solicitation and the corruption about free and fair elections. what we had in this particular instance is donald trump, essentially, hit the trinexta of impeachable conduct to vindicate the principle at least in the house and the american people no one is above the law. >> it's interesting what happened today with his changing the story since november is proof of why they wouldn't let him testify. it's hard for him to stick to a story to not embellish and lie. you could foresee dozens of
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those things happen. now you say you didn't direct him. now you say it's a mistake to direct him. that's why he didn't sit in the chair. congressman, i appreciate being with you tonight. it will be interesting. everybody is saying it's about the election now. image whan he wins and what mandate that will give him and what it will mean for your party. do you think about that? >> well, i think about making sure that we are continuing to articulate a vision for prosperity in every single zip code, for making sure nobody is left behind, not in urban america, rural america, small town america, you know, and to advance the causes that we are standing for as house democrats like driving down the high cost of life saving prescription drugs, reach an infrastructure agreement. and push the senate to enact some of these bills that we september over to make life better for every day americans. i think that's the most important thing that we can do.
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>> if you don't have control in the senate, it will be really interesting to see what incentivizes this president and to do what, exactly? it was a pleasure having you on, making the case for your party. thank you. >> thanks, chris. >> all right. be well. all right, the president exacts impeachment revenge. he's also trying to take down a rising 2020 threat. michael bloomberg, is surging ahead of super tuesday. why is he surging? what does it mean for him and for other parts of the democratic party? some surprising insight from the wizard of oz next. allergies with sinus congestion and pressure? go to the pharmacy counter for powerful... claritin-d. while the leading allergy spray is indicated for 6 symptoms... claritin-d is indicated for 8... including sinus congestion and pressure. claritin-d. get more. the business of hard work... ...hustle... ...and high fives. modernized comfort inn's and suites have been refreshed because our business is you.
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. all right, democrats are split, period. but especially when you look at the money. one side you got bernie sanders looking strong after new hampshire and iowa. very clear on feelings about
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billionaires. meanwhile, here comes a billionaire strong and long. michael bloomberg's money is the defining feature of his campaign. he is dropping dough, to cater his rallies, building as big a staff as obama had at the end of 2008, complete with perks for campaign workers. and now he's dropping big dollars to make memes on social media. what does it all mean, wizard of oz is here for a look. what do you see? >> so you know let's just give you an idea of what is happening in this race? this is the national democratic polling average. november 2019, bloomberg gets in the race. he's at 3%. ten days ago, he's at 9%. he is all the way up to 15%. what's key here. >> on ads. on ads. who is he taking away from? that's the real question. look at biden at 27% before the iowa caucuses. he's dropped down to 18. sanders pretty steady. so the one getting the bump
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after iowa voted. new hampshire voted, is not necessarily sanders, it's michael bloomberg taking votes away from biden. >> buttigieg. >> some of that organic or could be this, what do you think? >> i think some is organic, it's difficult to know why, certainly the vice president dropping. a little is going to buttigieg. the vast majority is going to buttigieg. >> i give buttigieg more love. we saw how equal his appeal was in the exit polls. so quantify the money for us. >> i think that this, you know, i don't know, folks. this is a lot, a lot of money. look at this, in the super tuesday states. remember, bloomberg is skipping the first four. in the super tuesday states, how much ad money is he spending? $129 million. oh my govmtd how much of pop eyes can i get me? no one else is close. steyer mostly in california. sanders at 7 million.
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look at the rest, pretty much nada. >> his head even looks bigger than everybody else. how much of this is because, oh yeah, because this is all catch-up and money is not an issue for him. it's his own money. they aren't spending as much because they have all of this momentum coming n. you know what i mean? how much does it matter that he is doing this? >> i think it matters a lot. if you go back again with that first slide, he was only at 3%. he jumps up to 9. then to 15. the real reason why it is this ad money spending which gets the attention of the media. it's so important. we become to this cycle all of a sudden michael bloomberg's name is in the news over and over again. >> so he's in there. he is also, the difference between free advertising. coming on here, listen, let's be clear, we invite all of them on, on a leg rar basis. i've invited the mayor on. because he hasn't didn't these
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things, we give him more time. i'm opened to that. he doesn't get with advertising. pushback. >> that's right. >> so far it's a free pass. at that time starting to change. you see endorsements to go along with the popular poll. >> it's one thing you are buying the tom nachlths he has support in the party -- the nomination. he has support in the party. he is second to joe biden at 22 right here. look at this month, the momentum looks to be on bloomberg's side, he has nine endorsements. >> that is more than the rest of the field combined. so clearly something is going on there. and even though biden is leading overall, he only has one this month, which suggests to me those endorsement people are going in his direction. >> now the tough question is, what difference does bloomberg make? the operating assumption apart from him and his campaign is, we had questions about biden. we were going to stay out
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because of biden. biden is acceptable to us. but he is not going to get it done. so we're getting if. but what do the numbers of the early analysis support? he may be taking from biden? who may he be helping? >> he is certainly helping bernie sanders. the fact, if are you at 23% here, that's leading the field. if you add that 18 and that 15 together, that would beat the 23. right now the moderate to conservative party is really divided, allowing bernie sanders to jump in. >> you are getting in, you don't want bernie, you may be helping bern fibecause are you in now and hurting biden? >> exactly. >> appreciate it very well. all right, so those are the numbers. that's the analysis. the question, how are they processed by team bloomberg? you know the endorsements we were talking about? look at this guy, they got a big endorsement, congressional caucus member, congressman, new york, good to see you. we will take a break. when we come back, we will go
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through the pluses and minuses? why is makes with him? next.
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oh, loose, you can't talk about the democrats and not talk about michael bloomberg. why? he is surging in polls. now sit about him? is it about indecision for the democrats? i think the obvious answer right now is it's both. but with the increase in attention he is getting negative attention as well. not as much as the other candidates. he is doing almost all this with advertising. but the big ticket on him was in 2015, he defended the stop and frisk policy and how it was being administered when he oversaw it and you know he's explaining what it is, people hated that policy. there were 2008 comments that he made where he blamed the end of red lining. now red lining is a horrible and discriminatory housing practice. okay. now, it was where people of color were being prejudiced by
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lenders. he blamed that for the housing crisis. he got smacked with that and stop and frisk is the top of the hate parade for him. all this is coming up. he is doing well especially with african-american voters it seems he is taking from joe biden. key endorsements from three members of the congressional black caucus, including congressman gregory meeks. it's good to see you, sir. >> thank you. >> first, why? you are supposed to be a joe biden person. i know you didn't officially endorse him. but that would have been the rational. the logical one. why not? >> there is two months at stake. we've got to go with the individual that is best equipped to beat donald trump. our democracy is at stake and so when you look at the whole record of michael bloomberg and what he represents and who could
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stand up against donald trump in a debate one-on-one and move forward and beat donald trump, i am thoroughly convinced that that is michael bloomberg. >> three checks on the argument. the first one is, how do you know when he hasn't been on the stage? he mate be on next week? we have to see what happens. he hasn't stood up, taking shots, let you see how he does against them, let alone against one of the most you know vicious campaigners we have seen in a generation. >> but i have seen how he has responded to and gets under the skin of donald trump. i do know that he knows donald trump better than all because they both come from new york, both business people and that mr. bloomberg knows all of the associates that were around him. so there is only one billionaire that's running, as he said. the other one is a con man. he's fake. the one that can expose that more so that the american people
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is clinging one and can deliver the votes to him to defeat this guy is mr. bloomberg. >> so, the second check is what harry was talking about over there, that you are taking from biden. why? because you kind of fill that moderate reasonable person lane with bloomberg as opposed to somebody who has radical progressive ideas for better or worse. so you are hurting biden, which is why he stayed out of the race originally. you may help get bernie sanders the nomination. are you concerned about that? >> no, let me tell you, i think that the number of individuals running the democratic party, as we get to super tuesday will really start to narrow, so there is a number of individuals who are moderates running now, who i believe at some point they will not be able to continue and mr. bloomberg will continue to build the momentum as we get into super tuesday and the big
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races that is going to take place in april and moving on. and so the momentum is all moving that way because individuals continue to look at how and who is the best person to beat donald trump and reasonable people can disagree. i think most democrats will then say, it's michael bloomberg. >> what if it's bernie sanders, though, you think he can beat donald trump? >>ly say whoever wins the democratic primary will be a much better president than donald trump and whoever wins, i will support. mr. bloomberg has said that no matter what, whether he is the nominee or not, the operation that he put in place will be still there for the winner. >> do you know what kind of brawl your convention is going to be, if it's bernie and bloomberg? you can't have more opposite people. you know, bernie sanders hates everything that michael bloomberg is about.
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i accept they are both members of the same faith. other than that, will you have a war at your convention. >> i think at some point there will be a winner. once there is a winner, the party will come together. >> using been benefit's people and the progressives will come with somebody spending $125 million just on one set of primaries? >> i would hope the bernie sanders people will see and they know who donald trump is. and that will, if nothing else, cause him to say, we cannot take another four years of donald trump. >> i hear the rational. i can't rebut it. i'm not seeing huge proof yet. we will know equity month. we will see a lot more about where this party is and why. now, the hard thing for you as such an honored member of the congressional black caucus and obviously a leader in all communities, let alone, you can't stop this guy. he was wrong on stop and frisk and for too long.
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listen to this. >> what we did was we focused on fighting the fra. we focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system where they just came out worse than they went in. kids who walked around looking like they had a gun, we moved the gun from their pockets to stop it. and the result of that was over the years the murder rate in new york city went from 650 a year down to 300 a year when i left. >> now, that is the favorable version of this you know, he has said things like hey we had to get the weapons out of the black kids committing the crimes. the way you did it, you throw them against the wall and you get the gun. you and i talked about this in the context of the crime bill. but he has apologized and said, i misapplied it. but why should african men people have confidence that bloomberg gets what matters to them when it matters? not after you have made the mistake. not after you have made a mistake of red lining.
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you go back. i am sure he will clean that up somehow? why give the person a chance? >> you look at the whole body of work. that's what i did. when he was running for mayor all three times, i did not support him. i was a big protester against stop and frisk. so what i did in looking at that time seriousness of what we have going right now as well as who will beat donald trump and look at the whole body of work. what i saw was, if you look at his philanthropy and for example what he was doing with younger people, the harlem children zone or with the eagle academy with david banks and looked at and talked about the young kids now successful as a result of what he was doing, well look at and listen to his plan what he talked about in tulsa, oklahoma about making sure we shrink the wealth gap with african-american, give a million homeowners.
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that's where you campaign, get equity, when i look and listen to that, it started about where the jobs are going to be created in the future. he's done a fantastic job in predicting that all of those things. >> trump comes at him like he did today, says i did criminal justice reform, this guy was trying to go after you people with stop and frisk, you should vote for me, not him. >> grump u donald trumdonald trd is a phony, a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot. i didn't say that, that was said by lindsey graham. >> that was then. >> you've never seen anybody have power. >> i'm pointing out when he was running, they knew who he was then and they know who he is now and if you listen or read the book by madeleine albright on fascism when she says we are living that now. >> that tells you the serious times in which we live in.
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it's when fascism is when you can fire anybody, anybody that disobeys you, you control the justice system. you control the state department. that's what we are living. this is where our democracy is at stake so this is bigger than anything we have ever come across with this individual. we cannot have a -- this guy be the president of the united states for four more years. it will give us a damaging effect to our leadership, almost forever. that's why it's so important. >> you know, the campaign is reaching critical mass. he obviously has to get in and start making his case to people. you are welcome here, always. my respect for you is complete to make the case for mayor bloomberg, mayor bloomberg is welcome on the show. i will give him more time than anyone else. he has to make his case to the people. not just the commercials. he has to be tested for people who are respected. >> thank you very much, congressman, a brave decision by you. we will see how it plays in the
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papers the next few days. congressman, gregory meeks. so, it's also diemplt not always. something very unusual happened today. it was a good thing. i will make an architect about it next. -- i will make an argument about it next. an for retirement to help cover the essentials, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you have a retirement partner who gives you clarity at every step, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. who gives you clarity at every step, ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ wherever we want to go, we just have to start. autosave your way there with chase. chase. make more of what's yours.
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if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, little things can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats 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. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. othroughout the country for the past twelve years, mr. michael bloomberg is here. vo: leadership in action. mayor bloomberg and president obama worked together in the fight for gun safety laws, to improve education, and to develop innovative ways to help
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teens gain the skills needed to find good jobs. obama: at a time when washington is divided in old ideological battles he shows us what can be achieved when we bring people together to seek pragmatic solutions. bloomberg: i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message.
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today we had a remarkable citing of a political animal thought to be, at best, on the critically endangered species list. the species known as republican otous nontrumpicus. gop senators who acted in the right interest. they crossed the aisle and this president on something that matters. a.g. peters voted to raen in trump's ability to use action against iran without congression congressional approval. three signed on as co-sponsors.
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the final vote 55-45. now, that is not a veto-proof majority and a veto is definitely coming their way, but still they did this even after president subtlety said this. very important for our country's security that the united states senate not vote for the iran war powers resolution. we're doing very well with iran, and this is not the time to show weakness. if my hands were tied, iran would have a field day. sends a very bad signal. the democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the republican party. don't let it happen. his argument is flawed in the extreme. if someone god forbid, attacks anyone or any part of this country, the president can respond. but as we just saw, for him to use military power and not be able to explain the threat, general soleimani was a bad guy. he was a terrorist. there's no doubt about it. but for trump's strike to be on solid legal ground -- and that's what matters -- constitution, war powers act, he needed to
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articulate an imminent threat. his explanations zig zagged all over the map. listen january 3rd. >> soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on american diplomats and military personnel. >> he was reading there and still didn't sound good. three days later. >> well, this should have been done for the last 15 to 20 years. he was designated a terrorist by president obama, and then obama did nothing about it. >> that sound like imminency? and here's the very next day. >> in our case it was retaliation. they were there first. look, i don't have to talk about him for 18 to 20 years. he was a monster. >> now it's retaliation. look, he was making it up as he went along. he eventually settled on an explanation, even his own people couldn't support.
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>> i can reveal that i believe it would have been four embassies, could have been military bases, could have been a lot of other things, too. but it was imminent. >> none of them would back up any proof of what he just said. and 55 senators today said the same thing. and, by the way, the founders wanted it the way it went today. they wanted debate, careful reasoning, the minds of many with you in mind, the people they represent, regardless of whom the president may be. and that duty loomed large for even the gop senators today who voted yea. listen to this. >> we as a congress need to reclaim the power to declare war. over the course of many decades, we've seen congress essentially forfeiting its authority to declare war and waiting for presidents to act. >> i keep asking mike lee to come on the show. senator, come on. you're so right. let's talk about the aumf, authorization for use of military force. it's a bigger issue.
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come on and let's talk about it. it doesn't have to be partisan. it shouldn't. two good signs. the senator is right, senator lee. they've been passing on this for president after president. trump may have helped this pass by being such a flagrant example of abuse of power with his strike. second, this is a cause for hope. ever cour of course, one move doesn't erase every republican senator falling in line in impeachment. psychologists say the best way to change behavior is reinforcing when one gets it right. they got it right today. senators alexander, young, lee, murkowski, paul, cassidy and moran, you did the right thing today. you did right by your constituents. you did right by the constitution and most importantly, you did right by our men and women in uniform. is there going to be blowback? maybe. but if so, hold your heads high. that's the argument. now, the senate majority leader not doing the right thing, all right. we call balls and strikes. you've got to hear what he's saying now based on what he's
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bolo, be on the look out. listen to senator mcconnell now. >> if you're asking me a hypothetical about whether this republican senate would confirm a member of the supreme court to a vacancy created this year -- >> before november -- >> we would fill it. >> four years ago, much broader standard. >> that's justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the supreme court and have a profound impact on our country. so, of course -- of course, the american people should have a say. give the people a voice in filling this vacancy. >> now, when justice descrisk s
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passed, rest his soul, they didn't pass merrick garland. today a shift in logic. it was always about the senate and the presidency being of the same party. listen. this man is all about the game. be on the look out for his next play. it's another reason this election matters so much. thank you for watching. cnn tonight, d. lemon now. >> a shift in logic, can you call that logic or a shift in political play? >> you can call it that. >> i don't know if i would call it logic because it doesn't make any sense. >> well, it makes sense if you stay consistent. if he had said originally, here's the rule, it's fine. he's just playing to advantage. >> yeah. >> and he is a master at doing that. so you've got to check his game and realize what's going to happen and realize what's at stake in the election because as long as he's in control of the senate, who knows how much he'

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