tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 8, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
senator blumen that will said it was disheartening and demoralizing. the president referred to the judge out of washington state. interesting to note that the white house is not denying this. the white house spokesperson who was handling judge gorsuch's case. his movements up on capitol hill said no, those are the words that judge gorsuch used. consider this. chuck schumer and the minority leader also heard similar remarks. but senator schumer's office issued a statement for not going further in condemning the president for his remarks. you sort of get the outlines for the political dynamics that may be emerging during his confirmation hearing. he may be pressed further as to why he is not going further and
condemning the president for going after the judges handling the case. >> we are expected to talk to senator blumenthal any minute. we want to get a firsthand account about how the conversation transpired. jim, just be clear. you are saying them to confirm that the senator said this. when he was asked by cnn. did the judge say it was demoralizing and disheartening in this case in the way he has over the we are seeing chatter on the aligned groups wondering whether this is a tactic coming
from the white house you can understand why it might be advantageous to say this now. it helps the white house in terms of the confirmation for this judge. it can show to some democratic senators. they are willing to criticize the white house. >> i think at the same time it is stunning. you never really see a president supreme court nominee on capitol hill. he turns around within a number of days and criticized the president for comments he made about the ju dish year.
he said it was disgraceful to hear what he was saying in the oral arguments. those are scathing comments coming from the president aimed at the judiciary branch. this was the president in the private sector of business men. he is not in the equal branches of government. to hear the republicans and democrats and his pick saying that the comments are inappropriate. that is pretty stunning. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. senator, thanks so much for being with us. take us through how this judge went today. did you ask him about the president's comments or did he bring it up? >> i said to judge gorsuch about the tax on the judiciary
absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable. i asked him to express his criticism. to condemn these kinds of public attacks on an independent judiciary. at that point after back and forth, he did say that he found them to be disheartening and demoralizing. my view is it this combination has to be public, direct, explicit. he has to show the american people that he will be independent. he has to understand. for a president who has launched a series of it may occur if his side of the case was on the immigration. >> did the judge say he would make his views public? >> he was noncommittal and that's one reason why i remain
deeply concerned. this judge needs to show and stop the bullying. >> it was behind closed doors with me personally. not publicly. the american people deserve that he not only go further and be stronger and more explicit and direct, but that he do it publicly. >> were you surprised he went as far as he did.
less directly than he did to me. i feel very, very strongly as one who had been a supreme court and state attorney general and federal prosecutor and argued before this court. he has to come to the defense of the american judiciary strongly and explicitly and unequivocally. maybe he is moving in that direction.
he has to be pro life and very pro second amendment and a conservative. having set those tests, now this nominee has a very unusual and unique obligation to show independence and he has failed to do so so far. >> can i ask you a little bit about what you learned. does he believe there is a right to privacy in the constitution? >> he avoided explicit or direct answers to those as well. as important as the answers on the american judiciary and comes to the defense equally so are his amendment to privacy rights which he did not state. his commitment to row v wade
which is well establish and long accepted precedent. he said he has a respect for precedent. but he is unwilling to commit to adhering to row v wade. that's the consumer protection. >> did he say he wants to be like any justice and is there someone he would like to model after? >> i will let him talk about the details. he will be open minded and fair. we will be open minded and fair with him. i have yet to reach the conclusion. i can commit that if we find him out of the mainstream and oppose him, we will use every tool at our disposal and will insist on a 60-vote threshold. >> you just alluded to this and based on what you heard today, you say you will still keep an open mind to hear what he said
publicly? will you say at this point that you would not vote for his confirmation? >> i have serious and grave concerns and i am deeply troubled by his failure to commit to certain response. his lack of an explicit response to condemn these comments by donald trump publicly. we are not talking about generally disagreeing with the result of an opinion. we are talking about a very personal attack on the integrity of our system. i appreciate your time. we will continue this conversation with our panel after a quick break. also ahead, in his comments about the president. he is raising fear and deflecting blame for future
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did you ask him about the president's comments or did he bring this up on his own? >> i said to judge gorsuch that i find these attacks on the judiciary absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable and i asked him to express his criticism and to condemn these kinds of public attacks on an independent judiciary. at that point after back and forth, he did say he found them to be disheartening and demoralizing. my view is this condemn nation has to be public, direct, explicit. he has to show the american people that he will be independent and more than just a rubber stamp for a president who has launched a series of blistering and bullying attacks on the american courts. anticipating in fact to blame them for any terrorist incident that may occur if his side of
this case is on the immigration ban is not upheld. >> joining me is the senior legal analyst and the columnist kirstin powers. the former communications director for the gop congressman and senior commentator and president of the senate conservatives fund and former virginia attorney general. you heard what senator blumenthal said. the judge needs to go further and needs to say this publicly. is that likely to happen? >> i think judge gorsuch is nobody's fool. he walked a clever line here. he has demonstrated some independence from president trump, but he also is not really rubbed the president's nose in it. it's a good confirmation strategy for him, but that's what he thinks. that's a pretty good deal. >> do you believe there is a
reason for president trump or his allies to push back or does it help the judge get confirmed and therefore get what he wants? >> does it make sense to tango with this person or that person? the one person on earth that donald trump shouldn't be messing around with is judge gorsuch. in part because he is his own selection to be the next supreme court justice. judge gorsuch appropriately and in a dignified fashion if senators come in stated his beliefs. i agree with jeffrey tobin. i think he believes what he said. i also think that the use of phrases like calculated or clever really suggest that he is gaining this. this is a guy with a doctorate in philosophy from oxford. he is not going to come out and use flame thrower-type language
with anybody. you can read 10 years's worth of opinions. the wordword y he used are crit of the president, but demonstrates willingness to be independent. that should be of interest with respect to every judge no matter what president collects them or nominates them. that independence is critically important. >> for does help that democrats come around to the idea of voting for him. >> i guess so. i don't think that donald trump should be tweeting the things he tweeted about the judiciary and it's quite the crisis that senator blumenthal was casting and a way to harm judge gorsuch who has a good selection in terms of temperament and qualifications. he has issues on abortion and i don't think it's quite --
president obama you will remember, republicans were upset with him as the justices sat in the front row. that was from the republican standpoint akin to what's happening here. that was bad form, but it's not the crisis. senator blumenthal was using the top language. >> do you agree with that? he has to go further. >> there is no appetite with grass roots democrats. there is enormous pressure that see the judge who is qualified, but as a stolen seat. the fact that republicans stalled for over a year the nomination of the judge and to put someone highly qualified and conservative, i also think the way that the judge responded is
senators criticize the president. they can likewise criticize the job. they are insulate and he can criticize the judge who issued a ruling with no explanation on the legal standard. >> i don't think they are beyond reapproach. >> they are not. >> it's the way in which you do it. the fact that donald trump has used elementary school language and taunting language to talk about circuit court judges and federal judges in this way because he is not getting his way and was not happy with the way the hearing went the other day, that's the part that is concerning. what it does is undermines the institution. you can criticize the judge and say the -- the ruling has not happened. that's inappropriate to say a bad high school student can understand the statute, but he is not doing himself any good by
going after the judge in this way. >> a trump supporter who was on the show i guess last night. it all blends together. i said to him would you recommend donald trump go after the judges and he said absolutely. it plays to his base. >> as a conservative, he believes there are a lot of activists and federal judges and that's an issue they thought about for years. he is president of the united states now and it's irresponsible for him to go after the institution of the federal judiciary when it's a coequal branch. it makes him look like he has no respect for that. perhaps he needs to read the constitution again. >> that's not new. what is new is the exchange between the senator and the judge today. let's not fool ourselves. to extend out of the comment, blumenthal will never ever no
history of the united states and it makes it very, very difficult both to deny him a vote and the vote against me. in the nominee and year of a presidential election. >> justice kennedy the senate approved one of trump's cabinet nominees. jeff sessions will be the next attorney general. details on that and latest on nordstrom department store.
immediately after when he went to the floor and gave his farewell speech. as they listen to jeff sessions, a big farewell he served for two decades. the only democrat to actually vote for the nomination. it was unusual as they embrace one of their. think john kerry as they were nominated. that vote was not the case here. 52-47 along party lines. it shows how divided both parties are to even one of their own. >> last night, liz warren was on the senate floor. what did she say about his confirmation? >> she was very concerned and made those comments yesterday and that prompted such an unusual move for the republican who is enforce the rule of decor um saying she was out of line
saying she was impugning a fellow senator. i asked why she carried on and she said she was trying to present the facts and criticize his past record that correta scott king, martin luther king's widow raised when sessions himself was nominated for a federal judge in 1986. i asked do you agree with what mrs. king said in the letter from 1986 and he could potentially dis enfranchise blak voters and she said yes. those words were too strong for some and nled it was out of line. this shows how polarizing the debate is. >> president trump is not only attacking judges verbally and the pick calls disheartening and demoralizing.
>> president trump is making his case to the court of public opinion. judges is holding up the executive order imposing a travel ban on seven majority nations will be to blame. >> i think it's a sad day and i think our security is at risk today. i listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. the courts seemed to be so political. it would be so great for our justice system if they could read a statement and do what's right. >> he said there was a big increase while people were far more vulnerable. they didn't offer proof of his claims. >> a bad high school student
would understand this. >> what seemed like a response to the chaos and images, they tried to argue he never wanted his travel ban implemented. >> i said the law enforcement said to me, you can't give a notice. you will be tough a month from now or a week from now. i suggested a month and i said what about a week? they said you can't do that because people will pour in before the toughness goes in. >> here never mentioned a entire to wait. he said if the ban were announced with a one-week notice the bad would rush in. the sentiment echoed by sean spicer. >> we don't know when the bomb will go off. the last thing they want to do is we could have done this saturday and we wanted to roll it out differently. >> democrats say the white house is missing the point. >> none of the terrorist attacks
that occurred since 9/11 have been undertaken from the seven countries named in the executive order. >> the president maintained he is right about that because of the intelligence he received as stander in chief. >> far greater than people in our country understand. believe me. i have learned a lot in the last two weeks. and terrorism is a far greater threat than the people of our country understand. >> shortly after the scheduled start of his daily briefing at 10:30 a.m., the president was tweeting that his daughter had been treated unfairly by nordstrom. the white house said he was free at the time. they decided to stop selling ivanka trump's products for lack of performance. >> this was less about a family business and more of an attack
on his daughter. for someone to take out concern about his policies on a family member of his is not acceptable. >> jim joins us again. before we get to nordstrom, they highlighted those who came from the seven banned countries. they were later arrested. can you do a dive on that. >> the white house produced that list earlier this evening. it features 24 people who came from the countries that are mentioned in the president's travel ban. we should point out that these are individual who is were arrested on terrorism-related charges and not the mass casualty events and not those that happened since 9/11. it's worth pointing out that the press secretary sean spicer was asked whether or not the country is facing imminent threat to back up the president's tough talk on terrorism. sean spicer said no. we are not facing a threat right now. >> did he present evidence that
nordstrom is attacking ivanka trump? they said it is a business decision. the brand is not selling well and we won't be selling it. >> that's right. nordstrom did put out the statement and no, sean spicer did not say anything to that effect. he said that the president reserves the right to defend his daughter when she is attacked and the white house obviously feels that she was attacked in this case. we should point out that not only did the president tweet that, but the white house official account that is usually reserved for government business retweeted the president's personal account when he tweeted that earlier. the white house was not only using the president's personal account to get it out there, but using that official@potus account which is a huge departure from the previous president who did not do that from the oval office.
>> back from the panel. for a white house which there are all sorts of concerns, doesn't this revive that on a day in which he was focussing on other things to tweet about nordstrom, doesn't it revise the whole conflict of interest. nordstrom stopped selling ivanka trump products. >> this was not about business for trump. this was about him defending his daughter. her product from being released for political reasons. >> they said they are not selling. >> that's what they are selling. the white house and i believe otherwise. today when the executive order was released, nordstrom put out a letter saying we are confessing our faith in immigrants and those affected by the executive order. at the same time they are letting go of her products. coincidently right after he
became president. they can cite low sales, but they choose to believe otherwise. >> there was a boycott trump going around. i think there could be a political element to it, but i don't think the president should be getting involved in it. don't you think if you look at what anderson is talking about, this conflict of interest, the idea that the president should be pressuring a public company whose stock dropped. the idea that he can affect it. >> if we are concerned, we should pass a law who said the public is subject to conflict of interest laws because he is not subject now. we need to change the law. >> i think you guys should be really happy that there is not a law already or else donald trump would not be president today. this is completely out of bounds for the president to be defending his grown daughter who is successful in her own right
and being subject to capitalism and the free market. there is a boycott going on and there are several companies that if they decide is politically motivated or not, they are free to do that. we as consumers are free to decide whether to buy the products or not. for the president to think where he forgets that this is a free and open society and that markets should be determining what goes on. as republicans we should be okay with the fact that if people want to have the freedom to boycott and don't want to spend their dollars in an open and free society, they should do that. it's nordstrom, niemann marcus, hsn, jet.com, t.j. maxx and marshalls. they said the demand is down and we reserve the right to remove the products. if it's a boycott, god bless them. >> perhaps you misread the tweet. just like nordstrom is free to do that, he can talk about it.
>> whether it's appropriate or not, it is not. >> he is attacking donald trump's daughter. there is no evidence that the department store is a being taita i attacking ivanka trump. she was informed about this in january. >> sean spicer works for the american people. he had a rough go of it and seriously, i feel for him, but it is the presidency here. for him to weigh in on that is two prong. it's appalling for him to as you the power of the most powerful position on earth to try to bludgeon the corporation. almost worse as a political guy, it didn't work. it went up 4% today. it could be that mr. trump is a paper tiger. now corporations and certainly politicians are thinking maybe he is not so bad after all.
>> the president is above the majority of approval rating. the american people -- reuters. 51% approval rating. >> hold. >> the media gets enraged with the conflict of interest. the american people voted in him because they believed in his policies despite the fact that he had a multimillion-dollar empire. >> and the american people decided they don't want to buy her products anymore. why can't you accept that? he is free to say whatever he wants and we are free to criticize it. >> isn't this beneath the office of the president of the united states? it's the most powerful job in the world and has tons of responsibilities. there are briefing books to read and stuff to do. to focus on nordstrom department store, i don't know the stock history, but most department
stores are actually kind of suffering and doing badly for a guy who wants to promote american businesses, i'm not sure about this. >> it's about a father defending his daughter. >> he is president of the united states first. as much as people don't want to accept the fact that the presidency comes before everything else, he chose to put himself in that responsibility. not to defend his daughter in a free and open market and capitalist decision. >> when he made that comment and said a lot about terrorists, i have seen presidents briefed on terrorism. it is right. this should be affecting that way. for a minute i thought maybe he is growing into the job and acosta told us that 21 minutes into that briefing he was tweeting out about nordstrom. come on, mr. president. you care about the american people first and your daughter
second. >> the reuters methodology is not something that we generally follow. this is 42% approval. there are other polls with other methodologies. you can judge what you will. just ahead, more breaking news. more retailers distancing themselves from the ivanka trump brand and how melania trump is fighting for her personal brand. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine.
more breaking news. two more retailers. t.j. maxx and marshalls chose not to highlight trump merchandise after nordstrom's decision to drop the brand and a twitter attack from president trump. more from kate bennett. >> attack president trump and he hits back. >> we have this guy lying ted cruz. we know lying ted. >> attack the brand and he hits back harder. >> don't jump on macy's. >> attack the trump family and the brand, he takes to twitter. in a tweet this morning,
president trump lashed out at nordstrom, the chain that announced it would not be carrying ivanka trump's brand this season as it has in the past, citing less than stellar sales. >> i'm excited because i want to share my favorite styles. >> a spokes woman challenged nordstrom's decision saying it's not sales that matter, but integrity and principles. nordstrom is pushing back against reports the move was politically motivated, telling cnn we made this decision based on performance. over the past year and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand has steadily declined to the point where it didn't make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now. for her part, ivanka trump remained silent, keeping her feeds occupied with images of her family. the most recent yesterday evening posing with 10-month-old son theodore in the white
house's east wing. ivanka defense comes on the heels that the first lady melania is also fighting back in defense of her own brand. lawyers for mrs. trump refiled against the daily mail seeking $150 million in damages. trump's lawyers charge that the first lady's past is inaccurate and it potentially harmed her earnings potential as a spokes woman. for her future, selling everything from jewelry lines and beauty products and put in peril her unique once in a lifetime opportunity to make millions off of business relationships. many question whether she might attempt to profit from status as the first lady, a spokes woman told cnn the implications in the court filing were not meant to imply she would benefit saying the first lady has no intention of using her position for profit and will not do so.
any statements to the contrary are being misinterpreted. kate bennett, cnn, washington. >> we will have to discuss. joining me now is the trump biographer with the truth about trump. the art of being the donald and bloomberg review and is being sued for defamation and was worth more than he claimed. >> for sean spicer saying that this was a direct attack on his policy, i just don't understand how nordstrom is viewed by the white house as attacking ivanka trump. >> there is two problems with this. one is they got rid of her merchandise because it was not selling. sean spicer in the white house is lying. he is fabricating a reason for why nordstrom dissolved the relationship. secondly ivanka said she distanced herself from the
company and has distanced herself from the trump organization. presumably she has nothing to do with any of this. you wouldn't think the president would have to rise to her defense if she detached, which i don't think she has. >> it shows how involved it would appear and gives the appearance that donald trump, president of the united states is still involved with the economic outfit of these companies. >> first of all, everything is personal with him. everything is about money. it's strange. it's as if the only value he has is cash. if you attack his -- >> and crowd size. >> things that can be measured. not leadership and public service. where is the idea that donald trump has been elected president. he is there to serve the united states of america. his daughter has accepted a position advising him. >> you are essentially saying
sean spicer views it as an attack on donald trump and ivanka. the president may see it as an attack because if he is valuing money and values crowd size or poll numbers or ratings or market share or whatever -- >> maybe he should try being president. that would be thrilling for those of us who want his leadership rather than to see him dwelling on the mundane matters. i talked to a brand consultant about nordstrom and he said it's a consumer-friendly service oriented company. they knew what they were doing. they were doing something oriented to their shoppers. it was a strategic decision on their part. >> you would think someone who has business savvy like donald trump or as he appears to be would understand the idea of failing sales whether it's politically motivated because of a boycott or whatever it is.
business is business. >> i don't think he knew that>>e knew that. i don't think he had the information at hand. they started dissolving the relationship before. and that's why it resurfaced. he was addressing an old issue. and, again, you know, people are constantly looking for this notion of strategy in donald trump's tweeting or strategy in his day to day operations. and the reality is, he's very emotionally driven. he makes decision, operates by the seat of his pants. and this white house has been plagued by this. and this is the latest example of that. >> we've also never seen into the heart or mind of a president or the insecurities of or the whatever it is, the personality of a president in such real time as we have with donald trump. nobody has tweeted like this. presidents are usually somewhat cut off or at least circumspect in what they say publicly. >> he's authentic.
he is the real donald trump. right. you know, it's fascinating to see this pour out of him. we've always thought, do we know what the president is thinking? i think we know what this president is thinking. >> we also saw, on "saturday night live" this weekend, melissa mccarthy did the impression of sean spicer. politico reports it wasn't the content of the skit that bothered trump but the fact that a woman was playing sean spicer. does that, i was stunned when i heard that. i don't know, again, it's politico reporting. did that surprise you? >> no, he's a man of the 1950s, not of the 2000s. this is a man like many men in the past is appalled that a woman could imitate a man. throughout time, it's been okay for a man to go in drag and imitate a woman. but women are worthy of a man's derision, they're worthy of
making fun of. a man? how could a woman mock him by pretending to be an exaggeration of masculinity? this cuts someone like donald trump to the quick. >> that sounds like a deep psychoanalysis. >> all the -- >> they made him look weak. you had a skit that made sean spicer look weak. and during a week when they've been made to look weak in other ways. >> and female equals weak. up next, hugs and happiness. syrian refugees land in the u.s. it happens while an appeals court decide the whether or not it should be reinstated. details ahead. time, but i really need a... ...sick day tomorrow. moms don't take sick days. moms take nyquil severe: the... ...nighttime sniffling,sneezing, coughing, aching, fever best... ...sleep with a cold, medicine.
the u.s. fearing the door could close on them again. tonight one such flight to a new life and one young girl's dream come true. here's the story from randi kaye. >> reporter: this 12 year old lives in erie, pennsylvania. she came to the united states eight years ago with her parents as refugees. she has for years prayed that her grandparents would be able to join them from syria. after the travel ban was announced she uploaded this video to facebook, her personal plea to ask the president to reconsider. >> so i ask, mr. president, please do not stop refugee resettlement and not destroy my dream and my brothers' and sisters' dream, because we love america. thank you. >> reporter: her grandparents and her father's side fled damascus syria and have been living in jordan. after years of vetting, they were finally supposed to arrive february 1st. but just days earlier, syrian refugees were banned indefinitely. when you hear people talk about
refugees and what the white house is saying, how does that make you feel? >> that hurts me very much. and like i know that donald trump is trying to make a point, but it's not a very good one. and it's not true at all. the terrorists are not coming from those countries. >> reporter: after the travel ban was temporarily suspended by the courts, her grandparents rushed to set a new arrival date. late tuesday night, we waited for them at erie's airport. how much do you want to see your grandparents here in this country? >> out of 100, 1 million. >> reporter: you love them so much. >> i love them so much. i can't wait till i hug them to death. >> reporter: just before 10:00 p.m., lubna had her chance. what did you say to her? >> i said -- it means, i miss
you so much and welcome back. >> reporter: when lubna's father came from syria to the u.s., he waited five years to get his citizenship. he's been working to get his parents here for two years now. so once they cleared customs in chicago you could breathe easy? >> yes, now i'm very happy, very excited. i want to hug them. >> reporter: the family celebrated into the early morning hours then settled in at basam's home. >> i wish for mr. president to see what our family are human beings. doesn't matter. i have children or i'm american. we're still human. it is very important to let him know that we're, we have feeling. they are victims of the war. we are not terrorists. >> reporter: do you consider are
your self lucky that you have your family here now? >> very lucky, very lucky. >> reporter: and what is the first very american thing you want to do with your parents? >> i want to take them to one of the buffet as in like try american food. >> reporter: big portions? >> yes. >> reporter: that is very american. >> what are the next steps for the family? >> reporter: well, first of all, anderson, they're going to need a bigger house. so they're going to move so everyone can live together now that the grand parents are here. they'll also get their green card and in five years they'll be able to apply for citizenship. the grandfather is retired, was an accountant in syria. the grandmother owned a clothing store and wants to do something. they need to learn english. the child there learned spanish and english and hopes to teach
her grandparents as well. up next, startling findings from a year-long cnn investigation. how one country could actually be selling passports to the highest bidder in the middle east. you'll want to see this. next. oh ecial edition. this is one gorgeous truck. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's 5. aaaahh!! ooohh!! uh! holy mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style. which one's your favorite? come home with me! it's truck month! find your tag for an average total value over $11,000 on chevy silverado all star editions when you finance through gm financial. find new roads at your local chevy dealer.