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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 9, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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on 2 feet. i'm still able to get a job at this anal. i wi -- age. i'll go to my grave saying, can i come in and read for that tomorrow? >> is that not just the best thing? tonight make sure you watch the history of comedy. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. "the lead" starts now. >> thanks, brooke. so, when did the whouite house briefing room become qvc? "the lead" starts right now. pitch woman, top trump advisor, federal employee, kellyanne conway standing in the white house, the people's house, going on television and telling people to buy ivanka trump's stuff. the white house this afternoon saying conway has been counseled, but what does that mean? president trump unloading on twitter against a senator after the senator revealed trump supreme court nominee called attacks on judges disheartening . here's a question. will the judge's comments help
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him get confirmed? plus, cars skidding, tractor trailers jackknifing, flights canceled, thousands of travelers stranded as the winter storm dumbs nearly 2 feet of snow on the northeast. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're going to begin with our politics lead. white house counselor kellyanne conway was, quote, counseled after she promoted ivanka trump's shoe line from the briefing room. they were talking about the clothes line, of course, after the president criticized nordstrom from dropping his daughter's brand from what nordstrom said were declining sales. we're digging for more details on that story while the white house answers more questions about whether president trump's supreme court nominee disapproves of the president's tweets attacking federal judges. the president is angrily disagreeing with that allegation. as you might expect the president's disagreement quickly got personal.
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cnn white house correspondent jim accosta joins me now. jim, the white house says gorsuch was speaking only generally about attacks on the judiciary, not single out the president's tweets and comments. >> it is gorsuch a mess, jake. the white house appears to be just fine with supreme court nominee neil gorsuch after he expressed dismay with attacks on the judiciary in the wake of the president's comments on the judges handling the case of the administration's travel ban. instead, president trump and his top aides are directing their outrage at the senate democrat who first revealed gorsuch's remarks. for president trump's pick for the highest court in the land, it's a supreme turn of events. supreme court nominee neil gorsuch was asked in a private korverization by democratic senator richard blumenthal about president trump's attacks on federal judges. >> there is no question that judge gorsuch said to me that he found these attacks on the judiciary by the president to be disheartening and demoralizing.
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>> reporter: president's response, he didn't go after gorsuch. he ripped into blumenthal, resurrecting the senator's past false claims that when he was in the marine reserves in the vietnam era that he served in vietnam and accusing him of misrepresenting what gorsuch actually said. in a attack the they are facing reelection battles. >> his comments are misrepresented. what you should do is ask senator blumenthal about his vietnam record that didn't exist. >> reporter: the white house may be threading a needle claiming gorsuch was only speaking generally pushing back on the notion the judge was being specifically critical of the president >> the judge was very clear that he was not commenting on any specific matter, right? and then he was asked about his general philosophy. he literally went out of his way to say i'm not commenting on a specific instance. >> reporter: that may be a distinction without a difference. even if gorsuch was speaking broadly, the president's attacks on the judiciary would meet the standard of disheartening and
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demoralize asking add odds with what blumenthal claimed. there was no need to keep his feelings private. >> in fact, judge gorsuch specifically said, you should feel free to mention what i said about these attacks being disheartening and demoralizing. >> reporter: as well as what a federal republican said after he met with judge gorsuch. >> we talked about that and frankly he got pretty passionate about it. >> reporter: they are insisting the judge condemn the president publicly. >> to whisper to a senator, but to refuse to say anything public is not close to a good enough show on independence. so, for my view, not a good start for judge gorsuch. not a good start. >> reporter: senate republicans are offering a glimpse of their talking points, too. >> i think that what judge gorsuch is showing here is his independent character, the fact that as a judge he's going to call them as he sees them. >> reporter: either way the
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judge's comments are now a test for the white house where the president is still praising his pick. >> we respect and very much respect the constitution as written. and he will apply the law as written. he's a mainstream judge, very much mainstream, and i urge you all to confirm him. >> reporter: the white house also expressed frustration that president obama was not scrutinized in the media when he scrutinized the supreme court decision in the citizens united case. what president obama said was hardly the same kind of attack the president trump levelled against the judge handling the travel ban when he said they would be responsible or that judge and perhaps the appellate judges handling this case right now would be responsible if there is a terrorist attack. jake? >> jim accosta, thank you so much. let's go back to that developing story out of the white house, the administration is now responding to questions about counselor to the president kellyanne conway for a sales pitch of sorts that she made on fox and friends. here is what she said this
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morning. >> using the most prominent woman in donald trump's, you know -- she's his daughter. and using her, she's been a champion for empowerment of women in the workplace to get to him. people can see through that. go buy ivanka's stuff is what i would say. i'm going to get some myself today. >> it's a wonderful line. i own some of it. i'm going to give a free commercial here. go buy it today, everybody, you can find it online. >> not a surprise. that's today's installment of conflict of interest watching cnn money correspondent christina a. the white house didn't clear up a whole lot saying that she had been counseled. >> no, it didn't. and we probably shouldn't expect the white house to clear much up because the administration as we've been reporting all along, jake, doesn't seem to care about very blatant violation of ethical standards, norms, and in this case the law. here's spicer's response at the press briefing just a few hours
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ago. >> kellyanne has been counseled and that's all we're going to go with. she's been counseled on that subject and that's it. >> now, critics are already saying his response was tepid in the face of public outrage that trump still shows that, you know, it still shows that the white house is taking kellyanne's comments seriously, but perhaps they went too far. look, even congressman chaffetz who defended the president for attacking nordstrom's just yesterday on our air, he said at the time that trump was being a coating father and said that conway -- today he said conway's comments were wrong. look, people don't like the idea that the president and his aides are using the office of the president to defend and promote ivanka's brand. they just don't like it. phone lines at the office of government ethics are flooded. their website crashed today and my legal and ethics sources can't believe what happened.
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but the blow back at the end of the day may not amount to much because enforcement falls within the white house and the most serious punishment for this kind of thing is dismissal. it's not a criminal offense, jake. that said, i have been reporting on how little separation there is between the president and trump ward. now does that imply -- apply to the entire white house staff? >> interesting. and conway suggested and so did spicer yesterday, sean spicer the press secretary, that nordstrom's decision was politically motivated to drop her line, ivanka trump's line. was did? >> well, nordstrom says it was a purely business decision. sales of the brand had been declining to where it made good business sense to discontinue the line. now, look, i spoke to people at ivanka's company a month ago. they said the brand was targeting millennial women in urban areas. guess who isn't a fan of ivanka's brand right now? millennial women in urban areas.
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so, it's not hard to see why nordstrom and now other retailers are backing away from their previous relationship here, jake. and we can expect to see this play out over the next weeks and months because that online petition to boycott ivanka's brand that started with a millennial woman seems to be gaining some steam here. >> interesting. christina, thank you so much. let's bring in democratic new jersey senator corey booker. thanks for joining me. i know you want to talk about russia and we'll get to that. i want to talk about the two stories we covered. kellyanne conway, do you think she was breaking the law when she encouraged people to buy ivanka's cloelthing and are you satisfied hearing the white house counseled her? >> i pulled the law to see what the rule was. it says very explicitly that you cannot use your position to endorse merchandise or try to sell merchandise. it's clearly what she did. she clearly broke the law. but i think that there are, again, this is not a felony offense, and i think it's
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serious, but i think it speaks to a much larger issue which i think most americans should be very, very concerned about. it's the fact that we still are now two, three weeks ed into the presidency and donald trump has not removed himself from his businesses. there are serious conflicts of interest between him and the businesses now being run by his family members. and he clearly does not respect any line nor does he respect the gravity and the seriousness of those conflicts. and now they're involved in international businesses and donald trump is our representative, the people's representative along the international stage and there are clearly conflicts there. this is a clear and serious problem. this is just one small example of that, but this is unacceptable and i believe it in violation of the emoluments clause of the united states constitution. >> senator, let me also ask you, there is a debate right now about whether when judge gorsuch referred to attacks on the judiciary as disheartening and demoralizing whether he was specifically referring to what president trump did or was he
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speaking more broadly, either way, does the fact that he would say this make you more inclined to support his nomination to the supreme court possibly? >> well, it doesn't make me more inclined to support him because of his judicial record. but i tell you what, it makes me respect him because i think that like many of my republican colleagues, we clearly understand that many of the things that donald trump is doing in a short-term presidency is undermining the basic institutions of our democracy. whether it's one day he's insulting the judiciary as a whole or another day he's insulting the sanctity of our electoral process by making an outright lie and claiming that there is broad scale millions of people voting fraudulently, donald trump is not just whacking in a blit cal way, he is whacking at the roots of what makes us strong, the judiciary, the electoral process, and his attacks on john mccain. we are an article 1 branch of the government. we are put first for a reason. we provide checks and balances with the administration every
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time the united states senator takes issue with a policy, be it a foreign policy or domestic policy, and donald trump wants to turn that into an ad hominem attack and come back in a pech atlanta way. again, to me, that is insulting. so, here is somebody, not just insulting, it's wrong. it undermines the way our democracy is set up. donald trump seems to have no respect for our traditions but seems to be dedicate today attacking the very institutions that make us a great and free country. >> senator booker, don't go anywhere. we're going to take a quick break. the snalt just held a hearing on the relationship with russia. several lawmakers went after president trump. stick ruined. we're going to discuss that next. i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but..
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our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ welcome back. our world lead now. vladimir putin may have an easier path to reelection or whatever passes for the electoral process in russia. russia's most prominent opposition leader was convicted of embezzlement this week, surprise, surprise, a conviction that likely bars him from running against putin in 2018. some say it was fabricated.
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cory booker is still with us, he sits on the foreign relations committee which just had a hearing on russia. senator, i don't know your reaction to this news out of russia about putin's potential opponent being convicted of embezzlement or if you have a broader look at putin and the electoral system. >> well, vladimir putin has proven himself to be someone who has no respect for democratic traditions and we see what happens to opposition leaders in his country. they are poisoned, they are killed, or they have trumped up charges like this one appears to be. we had a hearing today which was probably one of the best notes of bipartisanship i've seen in these days since trump's inauguration where senator corker, a republican from tennessee, spoke with some conviction about the need to get to the bottom of the influences that putin has had in this country in terms of our electoral process which won republican senator likened to the cuban missile crisis in term
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of the potential of the gravity of the threat, but also trying to understand how we could have a president that makes a moral equivalency between the united states of america and vladimir putin -- >> in fact, senator, let me interrupt you for a second. we have some of the sound there. let's play that and get your reaction to it. >> i see no moral equivalence, none, between ourselves and the actions that russia has taken and i agree with you, those comments to me do not reflect certainly most members of the united states senate, i would say all, but i think at least most. >> so, we're going to try to cut a deal with a guy who thinks he's win rgs ha no internal pressure and wants us to give up everything in exchange for him doing what he claims to be doing anyway. it may sound harsh but i think it's a stupid deal. >> were you surprise today hear such strong condemnations of the president's comments and the president's plans from your republican colleagues? >> no, i wasn't surprised at all. having lots of conversations with everybody from john mccain
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and lindsey graham to many of the senators that are sitting on the committee. we understand the united states of america was attacked in a very serious way. they went after undermining our elections, spreading fake news, injecting propaganda into our internal systems. in addition to that, within these hot spots where we're trying to bring about peace, you have russia acting in egregious ways in areas like syria, or attacking ukraine and encroaching on their borders in grieve us ways. sat down with ambassadors from ball tick countries, estonia, latvia, lithuania yesterday to see the fear that their country has because they are experiencing serious russian interventions, trying to undermine their democracies. this is one of the worst actors on the global stage that is doing very serious things. now not just globally where in the european parliament is taking action, but also here in the united states. and we need to treat it that way. i do not understand, i have no
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explanation why our president seems to be cozying up to someone who is causing so much global chaos, terror, violence, and crimes. i do not understand. there is no explanation possible for why we should be doing this. what we should be doing right now is stepping up our actions against russia, whether it be added sanctions or more continued support for those trying to literally defend themselves from russian encroachments like the ukraine. >> senator cory booker of new jersey, thank you so much for your time. we always appreciate it. don't be a stranger, sir. >> thank you very much. >> the white house is demanding an apology from senator john mccain after he criticized the raid in yemen where a navy seal was killed. what about all the times mr. trump attacked military operations and raids? stay with us. trust safelite. with safelite's exclusive "on my way text"... you'll know exactly when we'll be there. giving you more time for what matters most. (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace.
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welcome back to "the lead." we're going to stick with our politics lead because there have been new developments on capitol hill after president trump tweeted a shout at republican senator john mccain for calling the recent yemen raid a failure. the operation was president trump's first crack at being commander in chief and resulted in the death of navy seal ryan owens and at least 20 civilians according to the yemenee government. al-qaeda terrorists were also killed and intelligence was gathered. president trump tweeted, quote, senator mccain should not be talking about the successor failure of a mission to the media, only emboldens the enemy he's been losing so long he doesn't know how to win any more. just look at the mess our country is in. bogged down in conflict all over the place. our hero ryan died on a winning mission according to general mattis. not a failure. time for the u.s. to get smart and start winning again.
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the notion that the chairman of the senate armed services committee, senator john mccain, not to mention navy veteran and former p.o.w., and a war hero, the notion that he should not be talking about the success or failure of a military mission, that's an interesting line especially for a president who spe spent many of the last few years criticizing military missions. cnn fill on the hill. what do you have to say? >> reporter: exactly right. as the president was clearly moving to escalate the situation round about 17 of the back and forth between senator mccain and president trump over the last 15 or 16 months, senator mccain took a different tact. the first when i caught up to him he declined to comments on camera about the tweets at all. then i caught up to him and he made, jake, a similar point to what you're making. he's the senate arms chairman. he's going to continue to do his job. take a listen. >> that's what i have to work, it's my responsibilities as chairman of the senate armed services committee and that's what i'm about.
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nothing more. nothing more to answer. >> reporter: so, not willing to engage in the tit-for-tat, jake. it wasn't just republicans defending him or attacking donald trump. we saw it from both parties including close ally lindsey graham. made a very important point. >> one thing i would advise the trump administration is don't oversell success. it's a never a failure when you engage the enemy. and when you lay down your life in the homeland, you're a hero in every sense of the word. and i don't think anybody in the body has been more supportive of our troops than senator mccain. >> reporter: now, jake, advice to the trump administration, but also that key point about senator mccain, and you noted, senate armed services committee chairman, he is a key piece of any plan moving forward on national security policy. he is a key senator on any issue that the trump administration would like to move forward on when it comes to defense issues. he's better inside the tent than outside the tent, a valuable
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ally and one that president trump just continues to attack. we've seen it for the last, i don't know, 15, 16 months, jake. >> it started with him saying senator mccain wasn't a war hero, a vietnamese p.o.w. camp 5 1/2 years. i'm not sure what president trump was doing at that time. let's turn to his cabinet nominees. many democrats today came out strong against a couple of the president's nominees. >> reporter: that's exactly right. the interesting issue here, and this is particularly pertaining to andy pudzner for labor secretary t' not just democrats who feel they have an opening with this nomination. it's republican who behind the scenes are telling me several senate gopss they recognize this is the most problematic nomination they've had. the reasons are multiple. there have been former workers for him who have come out and complained about his tenure, running a restaurant group. but there has also been the admission that he employed an undocumented immigrant for several years. that has been the type of thing that has sunk other nominations in the past. it is important to note senate
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majority leader mitch mcconnell behind the scenes has been telling his members this is a nomination they have to get through. senate leadership, jake, saying they believe they will get the requisite 51 votes to get him through the senate. but as i said, senate democrats think they have an opening here. they think this is their best chance to sink a trump cabinet nominee, but for them to be able to do that, they need senate republicans to come over. why they have confidence right now, at least four have said they are withholding their support from andy. his confirmation hearing, jake, has been delayed three times up to this point, it is now finally on the books. it will happen next week. it will be one we should all keep a close eye on. >> phil mattingly on capitol hill for us. thank you so much. the heaviest snow moving in, millions bracing for more than a foot of snow. a look at the storm creating a travel nightmare up and down the east coast. stay with us. na love birds eye steamfresh vegetables. wait for it. in about five minutes you get delicious, premium veggies, steamed to perfection. now! ♪ ahhhhhhhhhhh... mmmm heavenly, right?
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we're back with breaking news at the national lead. that nasty winter storm is now to blame for at least one death as it causes dangerous conditions throughout the northeast. new york police say a door man was killed after shoveling snow. he somehow slipped and fell through a glass window. in connecticut crews had to dig the snow from under a semi, that jackknifed on interstate 95 in the new haven area. another tractor-trailer flipped on i-87 in upstate new york. this fast moving storm is heading north now, dropping 4 inches of snow an hour in some spots, more than 1800 flights have been canceled. at one point jfk airport in new york city had to stop all air traffic and wapt for conditions to improve. on top of the snow, some parts of the coast are under blizzard warnings with wind gusts nearing 45 miles an hour. we have teams covering the impact of this storm. cnn meteorologist chad meyers is in new york where the storm shut down the city, but let's start
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with cnn's alison in boston. alison, you've watched conditions go from bad to worse today. >> bad to worse is exactly right. you know, we've seen, jake, the storm really come to kind of a lull during the afternoon, but it's really intensified and the snow has accumulated quite a bit over the past several hours. i want you to look out here. it's like a picture postcard, but this storm means business. boston area, the boston area where i am right now, is under a blizzard warning. the good news is it looks like a lot of people are heeding official warnings to stay off the streets, they're staying home. they're not driving on the streets. we are seeing a lot of plows clearing the roads, but it's really tough work because as soon as they clear those roads, the snow blows right back on for them to do their work all over again. those who are venturing out, many are taking public transportation, in fact, there's one commuter rail actually outfitted dozens of trains with snow plows to clear the snow to make it easier to travel on those trains. kids are certainly having a good
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time today, boston public schools are closed today. they will be closed for a second day tomorrow. and you said it, jake, the snow has been falling at a pretty strong clip all day. 2 to 3 inches per hour so you see the accumulation. it's a little deceiving. i'm going to take a walk here so you can see just how deep it is. 7 to 8 inches, i'd say at least, and we're not done yet. this snow is expected to finally taper off around 8:00 or 9:00 tonight. no relief then, though, because after the snow finishes, then come those brutal temperatures, sub-zero temperatures, expected tonight. jake? >> all right, alison kozik, thank you so much. stay warm. let's go do meteorologist chad meyers in new york. chad, once the snow stops as alison just said, bitter cold is going to be the story. how long is that going to be the case? >> and bitter wind. coming down the hudson, it will be here a few more days. this is a mess, too. at 3:00 when i woke up it was just raining then it turned to all snow, but some of that stuck
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to the ice windows and the pillars around the buildings and now some of that ice is falling from those buildings as it always does here in new york city. here's what the radar looks like right now. there is blizzard still going on in the cape, parts of boston, parts of nantucket, all the way into rhode island and even eastern parts of long island. now, the snow has been about 9 inches deep right here in central park, but in other parts [ inaudible ] >> sounds like we lost the audio for chad meyers. let's thank him for his work and move on. is iran taunting the united states with its latest missile test? the white house's reaction and what it could mean for the iran deal. then what's so funny? a look at why cursing has been making people laugh fofr decades. will and grace actor sean hayes joins me. if you're searching other travel sites to find a better price...
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welcome back to "the lead." turning to our world lead now, u.s. officials confirming to cnn iran test fired an air missile defense yesterday. a day after they launched a ballistic missile which could be outfitted with a nuclear war head. the trump administration said iran is officially, quote, ons notice. president trump has declared all options on the table. let's bring in former u.s. senator vice-presidential candidate joe lieberman. united against nuclear iran, the group has received funding from supporters of israel including billionaire sheldon adelson. we appreciate you being here. your deep and abiding friendship with senator john mccain, i want to get your thoughts on president trump's slamming him for his criticism of the yemen raid. he said planning commission kaine should not say whether a mission is a successor a failure, and that he is emboldening the enemy by doing
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so. >> yeah. so, i must by full disclosure as you suggested, say that if any fight between mccain and anybody else, i'm going to be with mccain. but beyond that -- >> in fact, you endorsed him over then senator obama. >> i did. he's really a dear friend and i think a great public servant. second thing i want to say is take me back to the old days when a president who disagreed with a senator would pickup the poen and say, john, come on down here, let's have a drink, let's have a cup of coffee and maybe they'd yell at each other, but it wouldn't be a tweet to 40 million people because sometime before long, president trump is going to have to call senator mccain for support on something in the armed services committee or tax reform or whatever it is. on the merits, look, war is hell and there is always disappointments and failed operations in war. in this case, the administration says it gained some intelligence, it gained some
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other movement forward. so, okay, it wasn't a total failure, but you can't call it a success either because we lost a soldier, others were wounded and some bystanders, innocent civilians were killed. so, again, i wish more people around here were talking to each other rather than speaking through tweets or through cable news. >> let's talk about iran. you took a little shot at cable news there. let's talk about iran. the trump administration has introduced additional sanctions against the country and they have not rolled out the use of force. do you think military action could ever be a correct course of action when it comes to iran? >> it could be, but, boy, that really would be the last alternative. you know, as we all know, three weeks into the trump administration, a lot has changed in washington. one of the things that's changed, i think people haven't noted enough is an american policy toward iran.
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the trump administration is a sea change from where the obama administration was. >> oh, sure. >> obama administration negotiated this agreement, we, my organization united against nuclear iran, feel it was a bad agreement in many ways. president trump said the same. he said that he would tear up the agreement when he became president. now it sounds like he won't do that, and that's okay with me. i think the important thing is what he's done. general flynn, national security advisor, warned the iranians not to take risks here, assuming that there would be no response from president trump as there was in some cases to provocative action by iran via president obama. and then they tested the missiles and the trump administration slammed economic sanctions on them. i think what we've got to do now, and i'm really encouraged that the trump administration will do it, is aggressively monitor this existing agreement, push quickly if there are
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violations of it, which there will be by the iranians. sanction them under the continuing sanctions for all the rest of their behavior which hasn't changed since the nuclear agreement. i think people in the obama administration felt if we negotiate this agreement on nuclear weapons, which incidentally didn't stop their nuclear weapons program. >> put it on hold. >> just delayed it. they'll become better actors, become more civilized. >> you don't see any evidence of that? >> no, they're still the number one state sponsor of terrorism. they still brutally suppress the human rights of their citizens. and they are spreading their influence all over the region, bringing death. so, we ought to keep the pressure on them. and if the occasion comes where we feel that there is no hope, then we have to pull out of that agreement and hope that we can convince our allies, certainly in europe, to dot same. >> what do you think of president trump's travel ban, the halt of the refugee program, the halt perhaps indefinitely to taking in syrian refugees, and
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then the suspension of any travel from seven majority muslim countries that the obama administration has designated countries of concern for national security reasons? obviously this is being used against the u.s. by our enemies, by american enemies trying to jen up the idea that the united states is antimuslim. and i believe the ayatollah said that president trump has revealed the true face of america. >> yeah. so, let me say first that i would never judge an american action by its popularity elsewhere in the world. it's a factor, but if we're doing something that we feel we need to do to protect our security, then sometimes you have to make people elsewhere unhappy. in this case i wish the trump administration had done this in a more focused way. what do i mean? instead of banning everybody from this series of countries, closing off the country to refugees, which is not our
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history, i wish president trump had said to general kelly at homeland security or whoever else he wanted to involve, give me a program that i can put into action as quickly as possible that will do what the president has called extreme vetting. >> right. >> make sure that wherever you're coming from in the world to the united states, if there's any evidence at all that you want to do us harm, that you're a terrorist, you're a radical islamist terrorist, then you're going to be kept out of here. incidentally, one of the things that we've always worried -- i've been active in this field for a long time -- is that the terrorists would begin to come in from other countries, even from our european allies. >> right. >> and they wouldn't all be muslims, if you'll forgive me, they wouldn't all be from arab countries. they might be europeans who might have become muslims, maybe even not. maybe they're just sympathizeers with the radical push. so, i think this was -- i think
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it costs america more than it saved us in security. >> senator joe lieberman, always god to see you. don't be a stranger. thanks for stopping by. all the best. he broke for barriers while making you laugh on will and grace. now dropping f bombs for comedy. he's joining us next. but now is a good time to get the ball rolling. keep in mind, medicare only covers about eighty percent of part b medical costs. the rest is up to you. that's where aarp medicare supplement insurance plans insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company come in. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, they could help pay some of what medicare doesn't, saving you in out-of-pocket medical costs.
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welcome back to "the lead." we're starting here with our pop culture lead. let me ask you this. if you have to pick your seven favorite dirty words, what would they be? i won't tell you mine, but in 2017 in the era of premium cable and netflix and hugh lieu, it's hard to believe there was a time when comedians got in serious trouble for using foul language on television or radio. those risky andery kay comics in the 60s and 70s paved the way such as lucy kay, chris rock and aim amy schumer. you can learn about them in an
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eight part series how comedy has impacted the history. joining me to talk about it is the executive producer, award winning actor producer sean hay. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me, jake. i never felt more comfortable between joe lieberman and awaiting the verdict on the travel ban. kind of where i sit most comfortably. >> that's your sweet spot. >> oh, yeah. >> first episode is about bad words and breaking boundaries. obviously a comedy george car lin unintentionally created, the seven words you can't say on tv. he faced backlash. here is a clip from the history of comedy. >> wbai played a cut from an album. they cut it called filthy words. it is a follow-up to an earlier album piece i did, the 7 words you can never say on television. wbai played it in the context of a program they were doing in the mid afternoon. about contemporary language and attitudes towards language. the fcc took issue with wbai
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based on a complaint by a listener who was in his automobile at the time with his son and he claimed that it was indecent. claimed that it was an invasion of his privacy and his son shouldn't be subjected to that. >> it's obviously that's not the bit, it's an explanation of the bit. we couldn't run the bit. although guess theoretically we could, but -- >> look at the state we're, in why not? throw it all out there. sea it is remarkable to think how much times have changed. >> yeah, you know, it's so funny, you started with those seven words george car lin. i had that album, class clown. ways a hurj george car lin fan. those 7 words he created. not the broadcast network said you can't use. he created those and the things he created ended up being used against him. it's so ironic. i think comedy will always be changing and will always find 7 words or 20 words. it will just keep growing into
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the things that need to be censored for, you know, for reasons that are sometimes important, like the n word, the f word. those are good things we can't say those words. so, there is positivity in some censorship of certain words that otherwise intelligent people wouldn't know the difference if they're good or bad. >> i'm not judging here, but i think president trump during his campaign might have said in one way or another at least three of the seven. >> by the way, nothing would surprise me. i'm sure he did. i'm sure he's proud of that. >> so, "will and grace" like george carlin broke barriers. he was fearless and honest, especially about his sexual orientation. here's one of our favorite clips of you playing jack on will and grace. >> a clip show. great. >> i do a better share than you. [ laughter ] >> you think so?
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>> actually, it's you think so, ho? [ laughter ] >> are you kidding me with this? okay, your hand is perfect but it's more -- >> are you kidding me with this? ho. ♪ [ laughter ] ♪ [ laughter ] >> so, cher aside, when it came to playing jack and that role, who was really groundbreaking in terms of i don't know that the country had ever really seen an lgbt character like that. did you feel any sense of responsibility? >> it was interesting. this is a nine-hour interview question, but i did. i was conflicted at that time.
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there was a lot going on, much longer than i can get into right now personally about being gay and at that age. i didn't -- i don't have the dna to be the spokesperson of any group of people. it's just not who i am. i deliver my message, hopefully by leading -- leading by example hopefully. i do those silly facebook videos with my husband. you know, trying to normalize and show people that, you know, that there's no difference between a gay relationship and a straight relationship at all. so, at that time i was too young to know how to handle any of the pressure and anxiety that was thrust upon me. i was just an actor happy to get a job. but now that i'm a little older and hopefully knock on wood a little wiser, i can more communicate my feelings. >> so, the show is coming back, will and grace. tell us more about the revival. >> i always say we left looking like the cast of saved by the bell and return looking like the cast of cocoon.
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but yeah, i think -- >> you have a little wilfred brimly in you, i'll say that. >> you should tell wilfred that. yeah, i think we start shooting in august. it's for the fall of this year. so, i think we start shooting in august ten episodes, and it's really been great reconnecting with the cast and we have all the same crew, the same writers, the same director, everybody is the same. so, it's going to be like no time has passed, as was the case when we shot that election video back in october. >> so, just a very, very quick question. we asked twitter for questions and here's one. who is your favorite comedian? >> gosh, donald trump. >> no, give us a real answer. >> okay. my favorite comedian, gosh, that's so hard. it's like saying what's your favorite song, there are so many. >> you're here to pro mmote the history of comedy. it's not that -- >> i thought it was my own opinion. wow. >> chris rock.
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louie c.k. >> i love sara silverman. it's too overwhelming, i can't. jorn car lin w george car lin was one of my all-time favorite. >> history of comedy a hearing here on cnn. thanks to sean hayes. i'm jake tapper. "the lead" with jake tapper is our twitter handle. that's it for the show. i turn it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. >> happening now, breaking news, alternative reality, president trump denies his supreme court nominee criticized the president's attacks on judges and the white house chastises reporters for pressing the issue. will the president's high court pick go public with his remarks? counselor counsel, a day after the president calls nordstrom unfair for dropping his daughter's clothing line, top advisor kellyanne conway urges people to buy ivanka trump's merchandise during a live tv interview from the white us