tv Inside Story ABC December 18, 2016 11:30am-12:00pm EST
>> the local democrat who was invited to trump tower on "inside story" now. ♪ good morning, everyone. i'm matt o'donnell. it is sunday, december 18, 2016. thanks for watching "inside story." and our guest this morning is senator chris coons from the state of delaware, the democrat. good morning, and thanks for being on the program. >> good morning, matt. thanks for having me. >> i want to talk about how you met with the president-elect, donald trump. but first, i want to get this out of the way -- you're a democrat in washington, okay. >> yep. >> so, we have an incoming republican administration. we have a republican senate and house. >> yep. >> we are likely going to have a more conservative supreme court. >> mm-hmm. >> how is it being boxed in, i guess, as a democrat in washington these days? >> it's going to be a very different next couple of years than the last six years. but frankly, i'll tell you that, in a senate where there was a republican majority the last
couple years, i was able to get a record number of bills through the senate and house and signed into law for someone of my seniority -- in no small part, 'cause i work across the aisle. and part of how i've built real relationships with republicans to push that legislation forward has been through the weekly prayer breakfasts that we have every wednesday morning. >> yeah, i was going to actually bring it up. this is proof that you do, you know, meet, at least, with republicans. you met with donald trump at the trump tower on wednesday. >> yep. >> you are the co-chair of the national prayer breakfast, which takes place early next year. and you invited him. >> mm-hmm. >> first of all, did he accept your invitation? and what'd you guys talk about? >> we really just focused on the prayer breakfast. it is a big national event. we have 3,500 people from over 70 countries. it's nonsectarian, nonpartisan, so we try to welcome people of all faiths. and this is a tradition that goes back to dwight eisenhower. every president has spoken. he was very positive and receptive. i delivered an official invitation from senator boozman and me. senator boozman's a conservative republican from arkansas.
he's my co-chair. and he said he's very excited and he's interested. last year's keynote speaker, mark burnett, with his wife, roma downey, is also the producer of "the apprentice," so he'd already heard from him. governor mike pence, who's the vice president-elect and is a big supporter of the prayer breakfast, was also present. so he seemed very positively inclined. but, you know, until he's actually officially sworn in, i don't think he's confirming appointments. but it's going to be just about two weeks after the election. excuse me -- after his inauguration. >> i know people have brought this up, but i think that we want to bring this up for you to respond. >> mm-hmm. >> not many people may know that you did have a couple of quotes about the president-elect during the campaign. i'm just going to quote from what you said that day. it was at a rally in delaware. >> right. >> "trump is a thin-skinned reality-tv star, a cheeto-faced, short-fingered vulgarian." you have since said you regret the comments. what would you like to say about that now? i mean, first of all, actually, did donald trump bring this up
when you met with him? >> no, he didn't bring that up. i didn't bring up a lot of things that he said in the course of the campaign that i think were concerning or alarming. and i've been interviewed on this. i have three teenagers. i try to be a good role model and not engage in that kind of name-calling. in the entire campaign, in months of campaigning across many states, i think that's the one time that i sank to that level, and i'm sorry i did, because i don't think that elevates our politics. i think the whole goal behind the prayer breakfast is to -- you know, engage in partisan politics. we are elected officials. ...but to rise above it and to find a better spirit. so i suspect i'm going to have to apologize a lot for that one day, one quote. but, you know, i think all of us would be better off if we didn't sink into that kind of level of personal attack. >> you are a religious man. you're a presbyterian. donald trump is a presbyterian, although doesn't necessarily practice it. in your meeting with him and seeing him in the past, do you believe he has somewhat of a
spirituality about his personality? >> well, you know, i don't think it's my place to judge anybody's faith practices. what matters to me is that he's interested in developing a stronger relationship with the community of faith and that he's interested in and willing to come to the national prayer breakfast. i think the gravity of the job of the presidency weighs incredibly heavily on every president. abraham lincoln is famously quoted as having said that he was driven to his knees in prayer by the weight of the presidency during the civil war. >> you believe that leaders can rise to the occasion. >> absolutely. >> and you believe that about donald trump? >> i am praying for donald trump. i'll continue to pray for his success, because if he's not successful, our nation isn't successful. if our congress isn't successful, our nation isn't successful. i have a lot of people in delaware telling me they're praying for me. that doesn't always mean they agree with my position. sometimes it's said with a tone, "i'm praying for you." and sometimes it's, "i'm praying
for you." but i accept and appreciate everyone who lets me know that they're thinking and praying for my ability to be a successful senator, and i approach donald trump's presidency with the same spirit. >> two things you've been critical about -- you have concerns about the secretary of state nominee, rex tillerson, and you've also mentioned -- and it's something we haven't really heard about recently -- that donald trump never released his full tax reports. >> right. >> and there's this russia thing. >> right. >> does your gut tell you that trump's ties to russia are somewhat deeper than we know about now? >> well, this "russia thing" -- let's start with that -- is a very troubling direct attack on our democracy by russia. and i led a bipartisan delegation that included two republican congressmen from pennsylvania to central and eastern europe last august and was really struck at the concrete evidence of how broadly russia under putin has been involved in overtly and covertly undermining electoral politics,
undermining democracy in a dozen countries across europe. i think it's important for the american people to know that -- that the hacks, the invasion of the dnc and the spreading of all the e-mails, wasn't just an isolated incident. >> how about the president and his ties? >> yeah, i'm sorry. i do think donald trump has ties to oligarchs from russia who are investors in some of his projects that he hasn't revealed yet, because we haven't seen his taxes, so we don't know the full reach of his complications. if that isn't a problem, he ought to just release his taxes and let us know what his investment is. and he ought to distance himself, sever his ties to the trump organization. >> senator chris coons, thanks for joining us on "inside story." and good luck to you in the holidays in washington. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with our panel next. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact.
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>> back with our panel here on "inside story." let's meet them. sharmain matlock-turner, non-profit executive, joins us. >> good morning, matt. >> hello, sharmain. ed turzanski, foreign-policy analyst. >> thank you, matt. >> hello, ed. nelson diaz, attorney. >> ex-judge. >> hello. [ laughter ] >> judge diaz. and jeff jubelirer, communications executive... >> good morning, matt. >> ...who's wearing a similar-color suit as me. >> mm-hmm. >> duly noted. >> model. >> let's talk about donald trump. we were talking about that with
senator coons. he and vice president mike pence held a rally in hershey, pennsylvania, this week. it's part of his "thank you" tour. during a bitter cold night, trump went after the obama administration for its claims that trump knew that russia tried to hack the election, which we talked to senator coons about -- encouraged the country to do so. let's listen to also how he, i guess, is running re-election already. >> i just want to thank the incredible people of pennsylvania, okay? thank you. thank you very much. thank you. incredible people. unbelievable people. and in four years, we're gonna win it by even more, and that's asking something. all right? >> only won it by about 1%. duly noted there. >> 45,000 votes. >> yes. but anyway, so let's do potluck. ed, you want to talk about pennsylvania coming home, is what really swung the election in his favor? and also, as noted during the interview, "that russian thing"? >> right, well, let's start with this rally.
it's really extraordinary. 13,000 people showed up in the bitter cold the week before christmas for a "thank you" rally. two things pop into my mind. the first is -- how long will he continue to do this sort of thing and draw the kind of crowds that he does? and for those who think that, "well, the world has changed and trump has blown up the way we pursue the presidency and now there's a new model," i'd say, be careful, because there may not be trumpism without trump. so this may be a phenomenon that is very much restricted to this candidate. we don't know what the shelf life will be, but it will never be boring. >> you think that is the case, sharmain? do you agree with that? >> number one, i don't even agree with the numbers. so let me start with that. he said last night -- or the night before -- when this rally took place, that there were 8,000 people standing outside.
people disagree with that. others count that there were 7,000 people inside the rally. so, yes, i think there's a group of people who are really excited about this. but i think there's thousands and thousands of other people who are trying to figure out what in the heck happened. i mean, 44,000 -- whether it's 45,000 or 44,000 -- is not a lot of difference between the two campaigns. and i think what i'm hearing a lot of people ask is, "what happened with the clinton campaign?" there is still not enough analysis yet to try to figure out, what was it that made her not be able to win pennsylvania and not find those 44,000 votes? >> you know what i hear from trump supporters when i try and, you know, ask people that question? "let's move on." >> [ chuckles ] >> well, yeah, if you were a trump supporter, of course you want to say, let's move on. but i think the democrats can't move on until they take some time to, number one, do a little healing, but really to dig into
to try to figure out what really happened. i mean, there are anecdotal -- all kind of anecdotal stories, but i think there really does require some real analysis here. >> there was a divided america. there are two americas. 2.7 million voters voted for the other candidate. so that, on the public side, you see he didn't get the majority vote, even though he got the electoral college votes. 45,000 isn't a lot. we blame a lot of it because it was a low-turnout in the african-american community. but i really think that someone needs to look into the hacking situation. somebody needs to look into what really happened. i think the russian influence has got to be looked at. we respect it. but i think both parties are willing to look at it. it's only trump that doesn't want to see it. >> jeff, what do you think? >> sure. two things -- and the number i can think of is 61,000. that is more pennsyl-- but more -- no, no, no, not that. 45,000, you're correct. 61,000 more people voted for donald trump than did mitt romney four years ago. 25,000 people... >> in this state, right? >> yes.
obama got more than hillary clinton. so, let's talk. and i think the big thing, and i know it sounds cliché, is change vs. current status quo. i know that's generalizing things, but i think if we put the theme in. even though a lot of people didn't like trump, they held their nose and they voted for him because they didn't want the same, if you will. >> but this is still only 100,000 votes. 100,000 votes less made a difference in 3 states to change. so, i agree with the divided, but i'm still not sure that we understand enough about what the process was. >> you have a fork in the road. and is it bernie sanders who's going to lead the democrats? i mean, it's a real fork in the road. >> let me throw in a quick thing about russia. many questions about this. do you really think that russia tried to influence the election? do you think it's sort of like the dog that chased its tail and all of a sudden realized, "oh, my gosh, i just caught it? and why did they really want donald trump to win? >> the answer is yes. there has been a very cold
relationship with obama. hillary would have maintained the same kind of relationship. and the russians are really tired of the increasing cold war relationship that is beginning, as you saw in syria. >> so it's more who they didn't like rather than donald trump. >> i agree. more who they didn't like. >> so, hillary is the midwife of the russia reset. wouldn't of happened if the president had not agreed to it. the president worked out a deal with assad -- or, i'm sorry, with putin, to keep assad in syria. and now we're told that the russians really don't like hillary because of whatever, so they want trump instead. and it's taken as an article of faith, that indeed they did not just try, but actually achieved a process by which they overturned the election and won it for donald trump.
>> i don't think that anyone is saying that. >> no, many people are saying that. >> i'm not hearing that. >> well, then you're not listening because many people are saying that. but here's the interesting thing this week -- the house oversight committee on intelligence said, "we've heard the cia --" and by the way, they leaked this. this is bad. they leaked information saying it's the consensus view of the intelligence community -- russia tried to influence and did. then we hear other elements say, "no, we're not quite sure." so the house oversight committee said, "bring the five principals in. we want to hear from you directly. they refused to come. >> okay, you want to get the last word on this, sharmain? >> yeah, i mean, i think the issue here is that, what seems to be an agreement is that, yes, they were able to hack into the dnc and rnc and gather information. the question is -- and we know that pretty much only the dnc information was leaked. the questions seems like to me that people are really asking -- "was the trump campaign in any
way duplicitous in this process?" because i think everyone knew by october that this had happened. we're starting to see the information come out. the question is, "was anyone associated with him involved in this?" and that's where i think you're going to get a lot of questions. >> but even if not associated, there is an obvious problem we have in terms of them getting into our system. >> but maybe russia is taking credit for the sun rising. >> yeah, that's right. >> okay. all right, let's move on to the next topic here. a federal judge rejects the green party's request on behalf of jill stein to order a recount in pennsylvania. speaking of moving on, right? judge paul diamond said, "suspicion of a hacked election in the state borders on the irrational." which is the complete opposite of what we were just discussing here right now. so, i mean, questions here -- did stein truly believe there was fraud? was she acting as a surrogate for hillary clinton with this? or was she just trying to gain publicity? >> ed and i have been on this
topic before. and, i mean, we all obviously agree that it's an opportunity for jill -- because she couldn't raise any money when she ran for office -- opportunity for her to raise some money. but the reason she's raised the money is because people have a public concern as to what occurred with regard to the machinery, if it was hacked in any way. it has absolutely nothing to do in changing the outcome of the election. >> well, it's hypothetical. they said, "show us the proof. show us the evidence. we would be glad --" she's had more hearings and more appeals than anyone perhaps in a long time. election law. so, she says, "no, but it could happen." >> so, it's a fishing expedition. >> but it sounds like what donald trump said about the election, that it was going to be fixed unless he ultimately won. so i do think that something happened in sort of allowing some of the recount, bringing this issue to the fore... >> wisconsin changed by 25 votes after a recount. >> exactly. but it ultimately showed that, no, there wasn't any kind of
evidence whatsoever that the machines in pennsylvania, wisconsin, or michigan were in any way hampered. >> you want to wrap this up, ed? >> jeh johnson, secretary of homeland security, said, "there's no proof that any kind of tampering led to meaningful change in the election." and jill stein didn't have standing. jeh said it a week ago, and he was absolutely right. >> yeah, i think the biggest impact in the election was really the fbi. >> that's a whole nother thing. [ laughter ] mayor jim kenney. let's talk about mayor kenney. it's his first year almost coming to a close. kenney was preparing his administration this time last year, acting as a low-key politician. and guess what -- he's still a low-key politician, really, and we're not used to that as mayor here in philadelphia. major success -- sugary drinks tax -- unquestioned. first big city to enact one in the country. big specter of his mayorship is the whole investigation of electrician's union chief john dougherty. he was one of kenney's biggest supporters, along with city council majority leader
bobby henon. go ahead and throw some stuff out here. rank his first year and talk about maybe talk about these two things, sharmain. >> well, i think certainly the sugary drink tax being tied to pre-k -- and i just want to go on record to say that i'm working with the city, specifically around helping to implement the pre-k program -- but i think really making it something that politicians and the community could support was really smart. also, the rebuild philadelphia, which is talking about, how do you repair playgrounds and schools in communities, is also going to be a plus for him. and the fact that he has good relationships with city council. even rob wonderling, the president of the chamber of commerce said, he was glad to see that there was a breath of fresh air, that we weren't sort of having old fights between the mayor's office and city council anymore. >> jeff, what do you think? >> i'll echo that and just say former-governor rendell said on friday -- we saw on the news that, you know, "hey, he should lighten up a little bit," you
know. "let's smile. let's be wa--" and that's not necessarily his personality. >> he doesn't like it when people notice him. >> yeah, except when he's buddy the elf, when he goes around on christmas. >> sure. >> but even his comments. you know, he's been very -- and we can have a policy difference on this issue of sanctuary cities -- but i think you want to find a way to work with the incoming administration to the best of one's ability, instead of -- it seems like when you stand up and you get more abrasive and more abrasive, it's only gonna bode ill for philadelphia. so i think we need to find a way to watch moving into -- and just, you know, i'd like to see him smile. >> right and -- i'm sorry. >> ed? >> no, go ahead. >> oh, i was just going to say, also the issue of stop-and-frisk. there are questions, specifically with the black lives matter movement and some of the activists in the community, that he made a commitment to end stop-and-frisk and that they seem to have a disagreement on exactly how to define that. >> it's foggy as to where the administration is. >> i think that issue will still come to fore and needs to
ultimately be resolved. >> all right, let's get governor christie's book deal here. you hear about this? the republican want to actually write it in office, but to do so, he needs a bill passed that would loosen a state ethics law and allow him to profit from the book's release. oh, but by the way, the bill would also give sizeable raises to the governor's cabinets, state judges, and other legislative aides, and the legislature seems okay with this. is that a surprise to you, jeff? >> no, democrats -- let me see -- democrats control the assembly and the senate in new jersey. and it has been a long time -- i'm not defending the book deal -- but it has been a long time since staffers, who do a lot of the -- as we all know at this table, do a lot of work, and judges and those have had a raise. the only way to pass is they clicked it in with the book. it sounds about the only thing he's going to cash out on given that he's not going anything in the trump administration. >> bismarck said, "there are two things you don't want to see made -- laws and sausages." [ laughter ] there's a reason. it's ugly. it doesn't make sense. and it's the sort of thing -- it erodes public confidence
in government. but maybe that these raises should happen, but it's all so tone-deaf. it just strikes the wrong posture, and it may explain in part why trump gave him the heisman and wanted him far away. he's not comfortable with that kind of thing. >> it's going to be a long year for the governor. >> i think the democrats think they're going to win the governorship next time and so they might as well set it up in a way in which they take care of their staffs. >> without having to do it when they have the governorship, right? so it's a smart move on their part. >> but there are also rumors that, you know, even though they're going in this direction, some people are talking about, maybe there's an impeachment conversation to be had for his last year in office. >> for a crime. >> so i mean, i think it's very interesting to see what finally happens right around the final bridgegate question. >> remember bill clinton. the republicans couldn't wait to impeach him. they wound up paying a price for it. >> mm-hmm. they did. >> got to be careful. >> inside stories of the week, coming up.
>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact. >> inside stories of the week. we start with sharmain. >> hi. i want to sort of end on a good note. marcus allen, who is the president and c.e.o. of big brothers big sisters, was just appointed to the state's advisory committee for the u.s. commission on civil rights. so issues of diversity and discrimination. we're going to have a great voice from philadelphia helping to look at those issues. >> thanks, sharmain. ed? >> matt, last week, the union league of philadelphia, the number-one city club in the country, once more elected a president. this time its 70th president. jim dunigan is the man. jim, to you, jeff mcfadden, the general manager, everyone at the union league, congratulations. love of country leads. >> okay, thank you, ed. nelson. >> well, as you know, temple is
going to a bowl, and i hope everybody's there. i'm going on the 27th of december. we lost our coach. surprise! they got a new coach, jeff collins. surprise! hopefully he won't leave us again. let's hope that all of us will have a winner for a change in philadelphia. we'll support temple. and, you know, i'm wearing my tie. and merry christmas to all of you. >> thank you, nelson. jeff. >> 62,000 in 1997, 124,000 in 2015. what are my numbers? the rise of independent voters in the city of philadelphia. holly otterbein from philadelphia magazine did a terrific analysis this past week about the implications of the rise of independent voters. by the way, it's microcosm of what's going on across the country in the number of folks who don't want to affiliate with republicans or democrats. what will it mean in philadelphia? watch the next race for city council. watch the next race perhaps even still for district attorney. the republicans better watch out. any city race.
watch out. there's always seats for another party. so, independents are perhaps the future is going. >> i have an important announcement to make, an unfortunate one. unfortunate one. "inside story" is not being broadcast next week. can you make it like a week without "inside story"? >> no. >> no. >> you're all looking at me like, "what?! what?!" we're being preempted, but we'll be back next week with more political discussions. and i'll be back monday morning on action news at 4:30 a.m., so that's not bad. grl i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> storm tracker 6 live is watching changes on the way here up and down the east coast. a house fire in trenton, new jersey leaves one person dead. the eagles try to get a win on the road with a team looking for a playoff spot. those stories and chris sowers next on "action news." afternoon it is sunday,good
december 18. i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> here's some of the stories we're following on "action news," the holiday travel week gets off to a rough start across the u.s. with hundreds of flights delayed. >> and two disabled residents of a philadelphia apartment building were stranded after two elevators bro