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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 17, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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the question the president just keeps dodging. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. anti-semitic attacks on the rise across the country. one reporter after another
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asking trump to address them. why doesn't he? also the president flying all over, are the taxpayers paying bigger bill than ever to protect the first family? plus the story you've got to see, wrestler becoming a superstar as trump fan in the ring. here is liz bernie and alan dershowitz. thanks for coming on. twice this week president asked about a rise of anti-semitism in this country. both times didn't answer the question. this was wednesday. >> since your election campaign and even after your victory, we've seen a sharp rise in
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anti-semitic incidents across the united states, and i wonder what do you say to those among the jewish community in the united states and israel and around the world who feel your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones? >> i just want to say we're very honored by the victory that we had. 306 electoral college votes. we were not supposed to crack 220. you know that right? there was no way to 221. there's tremendous enthusiasm out there. as far as people -- jewish people, so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law. and three beautiful grandchildren. i think you're going to see a lot different united states of america over the next three, four or eight years. >> and here was his answer
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yesterday. >> 48 bomb threats have been made against jewish centers across the country in the last couple of weeks and people committing anti-semitic threats and -- >> he said going to ask a simple easy question. it's not. not simple or fair question. number one, i am the least anti-semitic person you've ever seen in your entire life. number two, racism, the least racist person. he lied about, he was going to get up and ask a straight simple question. so welcome to the world of the media. but let me just tell you something that i hate the charge, i find it repulsive. >> so why can't he just give a better answer to what -- it's straightforward question i
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think. >> yeah. and he missed opportunity. there's increasing anti-semitism in the country from the old right and hard left on college campuses. this is a perfect opportunity for the president of the united states using bully pulpit to come out against anti-semitism on both extremes of the political spectrum. leaders of the democratic party also have responsibility to come out with condemning anti-semitism on the hard left. bernie sanders and others have to condemn that. president has accepted the support of the alt-right and some there are anti-semitic. both as president and somebody who accepted support of some with anti-semitic tendency. i take him at his word he's not anti-semiite but he has the obligation just like people on
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the democratic party -- >> and not the question. not whether he was, but what he thought about around the country. but that said liz, reporter told the "new york times" he spent an hour crafting that question and more than just the clip we showed you. specifically said didn't think he president was anti-semitic. and knows of the relatives. his rabbi said it was disheartening moment for us to watch him be berated. asking first ever question at white house briefing a liar. asked disrespectful question and barked at him to sit down. said shut up. how did you feel watching that? >> jake turks came on another network -- >> he understood the frustration. >> he understood that president trump feels very hurt by the
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question and may have been defensive because of that. because he's so for the jewish state. so many friends in the community and has jewish daughter. i go by what mr. turk said. >> and he did say that. but i wonder how you felt watching that. >> loves the president -- basely anti-semitism and jew hatred, manifestation of hatred of the jewish state is a stain on humanity. of course want every opportunity to be taken. but going on for last eight years. so many opportunities that president obama had. for instance when you had the san bernardino. >> i understand, but all due respect liz, president obama is no longer the president. asking you about this president and his response to a jewish reporter who asked first
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question. how did you feel as american watching that? president's behavior and response. >> of course i want him to take every opportunity to condemn anti-semitism. but it's going on for eight years in more extreme way in the obama administration. >> if it was bad in obama administration, you're saying two wrongs don't make a right. i'm not saying that president obama was -- >> just saying fundamental problem. >> we have to stop making this partisan issue. >> thank you alan. >> i'm not. >> you are. zionist organization ofmark supports donald trump. you have to look into camera and say he must condemn anti-semitism. just as i look into the camera and say democrats have to. >> we're not partisan organization and we honored professor dershowitz at last
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annual dinner. >> i'm sure appreciative but what of his response saying this is not partisan issue and president had opportunity to condemn anti-semitism. very simple answer. >> i agree every opportunity should be taken. but to focus on donald trump when this has been going -- where has everybody been for last eight years. where were you. >> you know where i've been. i've been condemning -- >> continually supporting obama every time he listed all the countries that have been victims of terrorism and left out israel, where were you then. >> can we stop? the reason -- and alan you were on this show and said similar things when president obama was in office. reason it's coming up is because donald trump is now the president. he is carrying the ball, leader of the free world. president barack obama is not
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the president anymore. no one is going to ask him and maybe people don't care what he has to say about this issue. jewish community centers in 27 states and one in canada received more than 60 bomb threats in january and other instances happening. that's why coming up now. >> fundamental crisis, not that he didn't say something this week, obviously he should. every opportunity to say something about it should be taken. however look at fundamental causes. keith ellison, end of the obama administration you had several events that were catalysts so t. >> so the answer is go back to old administration. if keith ellison was asked a question and responded like that, i would be asking him or surrogate of his the same
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questions. not asking about that but president donald trump and reporter and why this president has responded the way he has about the rise of anti-semitism in the country. can we stick to president donald trump. >> do you have any suspicion at all that donald trump may be afraid to include jews as victims of the holocaust and condemn anti-semitism because he doesn't want to lose the support of the people on the alt-right? >> absolutely not. in his inauguration address he stated would combat radical islam. not afraid to say what needs to be said. >> what about holocaust? >> one of his promises in his campaign is to start investigations of what is going on in college campuses. want to talk about fundamental problems and causes of anti-semitism. >> that's well and good.
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and when asked a direct question about the rise of anti-semitism in this country, why won't he give a direct answer? >> i think he missed opportunity and as the reporter said, the president -- >> trump. >> trump was very hurt by the question because he is so pro-israel and so pro-jewish. >> alan, last word. >> i really think you have to ask yourself is this liz and organization she represents really nonpartisan or here to make the case for donald trump? i'm trying to be nonpartisan on this issue. i will condemn and criticize both parties if they refuse to stand up and condemn anti-semitism. and i think the zionist organization of america ought to do the same thing. >> we're nonpartisan. >> you don't sound it, sorry. >> on the holocaust situation we
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put out a news line on that saying he should have been discussing the 6 million jews murdered in the holocaust. >> you don't think it was deliberate? >> absolutely not. >> i've got to go. this is a very touchy subject and very passionate. appreciate you coming here liz and alan as always. this conversation will continue. thank you both. president trump is back on the campaign trail but what is he campaigning for and what do independent voters think of his first month in office? can i keep the walnuts? yes. but i get to pick your movie. can i pick the genre? nope. with the blue cash everyday card you get cash back on purchases with no annual fee. backed by the service and security of american express. you get cash back on purchases with no annual fee. you're gonna love birds eye steamwait for it.bles. in about five minutes you get delicious, premium veggies, steamed to perfection. now! ♪ ahhhhhhhhhhh... mmmm heavenly, right? birds eye steamfresh. so veggie good.
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president trump capping off first full month in office what is is being billed at working weekend at mar-a-largo and campaign style rally tomorrow. bring in -- by the way this is one of my favorite segments on the show. don't tell anybody. you guys are out there talking to the people. you have your ear to the ground. joe, president trump in the white house for a month. tumultuous. what are listeners saying so far? >> seems like three years. being somewhat facetious, but this morning we talked about the fact that he was absolutely wrong about elijah cummings trying to avoid him.
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two, i played the tape of the interview i did with cedric richmond, the chairman of the congressional black caucus who by the way requested meeting and trump people didn't get back with them. number two, i had a caller who called in and said who talks about being the least racist? if i ask any of you right now are you or are you not a racist, i don't think any one of you would say i'm the least racist. you are or you aren't, you don't judge racism by degrees. that's pretty much what was going on. this has been a terrible week for the trump people, and you had monday, i think it was labor secretary withdrawal, flynn on tuesday, wednesday was the whole campaign staffer, russia fiasco, and thursday that off the hinge
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news conference that he loved. >> which john loved i'm sure. >> whatever. and the reality. that's what my listeners are talking about. but to be quite candid, you know -- and don't let me leave out asking a reporter, a 20 year veteran, april ryan. >> to set up a meeting. >> first of all, she doesn't work for him -- >> okay. >> finally why didn't you ask alma rosa? she's the one who works -- >> that was shade there joe. let's play the clip. >> when you say the inner cities are the going to include the cbc in your conversations with your urban agenda as well as -- >> who? >> congressional black caucus and hispanic caucus. >> i will, do you want to set up the meeting? are they friends of yours? set up the meeting.
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i would love to meet with the black caucus, i think they're great. >> what did you think of that moment john? i'll address that in a moment. overall the press conference probably the best in the history of presidential press conferences ever. >> was interesting, give you that. >> for trump supporters. 70 minutes entertaining. if you're a trump supporter right now you're ecstatic. it's christmas every day. get up, new present under the tree. doing exactly what he said he was going to do. came there to be rain maker, disrupter, wave maker. taken a sledge hammer to washington and putting it to the cabal and elites. >> lots of great stuff. now get to the critical part of it. i don't mean negative when i say critical. but go on. >> let me get to that exchange. all right? first of all, everything that
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happens and we talk about doesn't have to revert back to racism or sexism. donald trump is a business executive. he finds solutions. when somebody comes to him with a problem, anybody ever been a senior executive like me in media, they say what's your solution. >> so that was the solution? if it is that -- >> his solution is go set a meeting. >> so should we ignore the obvious or pretend it is not happening? >> i don't know what the obvious is don. if he asked me if -- if i asked a question about let's say virginia and he said look you're friends with governor mccullough, he's a democrat. >> because she's black and it's congressional black caucus she should know them and be able to set up a meeting with them because she's black and they're
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black. >> i don't think it has anything to do with black. she brought up the congressional black caucus. >> first of all -- >> how is this racist or sexist? >> what if brought up a question about russia. do you want to set up a meeting with putin, do you know putin? same reaction. >> if she did, set it up. that's fine. >> holier than thou aspect of the media. >> i think ignoring the obvious and not being honest. if you don't understand that. >> you guys want to turn everything into racism. >> the answer to joe's question -- when joe asked the question, are you racist, i think better answer is i don't think i'm racist but there's always room to check and always room to check myself and try to figure it out. >> ask john straight up. as one talk show host to another
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in the media, are you a racist? >> no. that's a >> that's all he had to say. that's exactly what the president of the united states should have said. not i'm the least racist. we do not judge racism by degrees. that's number one but put race aside, april ryan is a 20 year veteran of white house correspondents. you do not ask a journalist to set up a meeting with an equal partner of the united states government. you have your liaisons do that like every single administration has done. put people on your staff to contact the chairman -- >> let him respond. >> set up official way. >> we don't mean to beat up on you. but i think you have a blind spot and you're ignoring the obvious. >> what is the obvious? 20 year veteran and -- by the
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way. >> john i mean. >> when you said joe. >> i got the name wrong. >> i love you to death don. you're one of the first people who took the trump campaign seriously when nobody else did in national media. that's why i come on your show and have respect for you. what donald trump said in the press conference was not racist at all. simply said if you can help me solve this problem. >> nobody said it was racist. >> saying it's tone deaf and insensitive. >> that's huh opened the conversation with. >> i opened with the fact he lied on cummings, had a terrible week. and delineated everything. what i said was, don't ask a 20 year senior journalist, legitimate journalist to set up a freaking meeting with the
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congressional black caucus or anybody. she does not work for donald trump. >> hold on joe. let john respond. >> i respect what you're saying. i don't think it was racist. >> i didn't say it -- who said it was racist? >> every comment that's made is not racism or sexism. >> who said it was? >> you get off it. >> you're the only one saying it's racist. >> no one has said it. >> i said the only connection between april ryan and -- only connection that is obvious between april ryan and congressional black caucus is their skin color. is that racist or not? no one said that. maybe a faux pa in some way, maybe insensitive, doesn't know what he doesn't know. maybe snun around him should tell him. maybe doesn't know etiquette or
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protocol, doesn't have a director of black outreach to make the phone calls. would be an issue. maybe doesn't raemz as president of the united states he can pick up phone and call anyone. why ask a veteran reporter to set up a meeting? doesn't make sense to most people in the world. >> but i bet wouldn't ask barbara walters to set up a meeting with putin. >> he was trying to solve the problem. he's a senior level executive that's built a company. when people come to him with a problem, go solve it. what's the solution. back to me. john can you set up a meeting with governor of virginia, a friend of yours i want to talk to about something. only thing i would say is i want to be there. i'm a journalist. i think blowing it way out of proportion. >> you are.
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we just asked a question. >> you're saying racist or whatever. >> no because -- >> i got to go. but i thank you for compliment that you gave me. and i take it seriously if someone is running for president. i see myself as always fair and telling the truth. i think the president has a blind spot with those issues and i think donald trump had a good chance of winning and that's why i had you on. people may think i'm wrong but -- >> just ahead a pro wrestler in character as trump supporter in ring in mexico and he's one the fans love to hate and like the president he knows how to put on a good show. ♪ ♪
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so come in today.
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president trump is not a popular man in mexico, a country that loves the sport of professional wrestling, one pro wrestler that happens to be american has created a character for the ring that wrestling fans love to hate.
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reporting from mexico city. >> reporter: in today's mexico it's hard to dream up a more despised character for the lucha libre ring, a donald trump loving gringo who goes head-to-head with the country's national heroes. pro wrestler from pittsburgh dreamed up the idea. >> you need the ultimate villain for people to buy into it and really believe. right now there's no more ultimate villain than donald trump. >> reporter: so sam, the ladies bad guy was born. he says if he voted, probably for trump. >> not the biggest fan of hillary clinton. >> reporter: but his character is just for show.
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luc lucha libre is all about the bad guys. mexicans love to hate them. the more vicious, the better. thousands of fans pile into the arena in mexico, looking for an escape. whether it's a good guy or bad guy he says, you can shout and get everything off your chest. i come to release the stress of week of work says this man. and this is great character to have fun with he says, totally worth with. wild acrobatics as good guys battle evil. over-the-top characters like snake-toting baddy. when you're this close you can see the sweat flying through the air. sam gets into character before
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each show with bleached locks and rollion tan fuelling the the anti-trump fury at least in the arena. >> i leave, people screaming at me want autograph. >> reporter: but still love to see him take a beating in the ring. [ speaking spanish ]. >> reporter: shasta darlington, cnn, mexico city. i'd like to see that. sam polinski is here now. also known as sam adonis. thanks for coming on. >> glad to be here. >> you have a lot in common with president trump. you both know it's about putting on a great show. how does it feel in the ring? >> love it. been doing it nine years and energy in mexico right now is hotter than i've seen it.
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it's cool to represent the united states, even though right now it's negative light. it's good to give a good show to the mexican people. >> i'm sure you're popular. it's all about putting on a character that people love or love to hate. i think it was brilliant for you to do it by the way. tell us how you came up with it? >> been pretty much a ladies' man entire character, rick flaer or jesse ventura. seemed natural. history of pro wrestling, the villains have been strong and want a bad foreign villain. like batman or superman or something like that. stronger the villain, happier you are when the good guy vanquishes the villain. sitting there thinking. when he finally won the presidency, you know what, come out with american flag with his face on it.
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from the very first day the reaction was outrageous. the people grabbed to it, love it, love to scream and be angry about it but most people really appreciate it is in the value of professional wrestling. they appreciate the value of a good bad guy. >> and we all know about build that wall and mexico don't send their best but rapists and criminals and whatever. as american who makes a living working in mexico, how do you feel about some of the things that president trump has said about mexicans? >> some of the things he said, that's his personal opinion and whether he said it for himself or people he's representing, notice my cross to bear. i lived in mexico, learned a ton about the culture and people and love it. so many racial stereotypes not true about mexico and it's not necessarily just donald trump but america as a whole. way we paint the picture whether
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in cartoons or movies, the mexican people are just like you and i. and mexico city is a lot different than what we see in day-to-day lives in america. >> so character is not necessarily political just because donald trump. putting on a character that's caught on and people want to come out and see and be entertained by. >> i've been a purist of pro wrestling entire life. good wrestling can be appreciated by the whole world. right now not cool like the '80s but remember the iron sheikh, the foreign bad guys are a staple of what pro wrestling is. >> maybe you can make wrestling great again. if you haven't said that, do that. say you're making wrestling great again. you know the current president donald trump is no stranger to professional wrestling.
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he has his own bio page on wwe.com and in 2013 inducted in the hall of fame. let's listen a little bit. >> this is a major honor. i've been honored by having the number one show on television, i've been honored by having many number one best sellers, true. and i recently got a star on the hollywood walk of fame. and i consider this to be my greatest honor of all. i do. i really do. >> was that just the other day? no. he never changes. that was less than one presidential election cycle ago by the way. what do you think about president trump and his connection to wrestling? >> i have the utmost respect for his connection to professional wrestling. i sympathize for it.
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i feel like he's almost embracing the role of a professional wrestling villain. he is who he wants to be. whether you like it or not he's not going to change. >> i don't mean to talk over you but show this. him beating up ceo of wwe. but in real life called himself a counterpuncher and you like that? >> he's probably learned a lot about theet at ricks and presentation of his political campaign based on what he learned about professional wrestling. >> sam adonis. ladies' man, never would have known from adonis. >> i have a man bun. >> i see that. no comment. thanks for coming on. coming up, president and his family traveling around the country and world. what is the price of protecting the first family? per roll
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president trump in mar-a-largo tonight. third weekend there in a row. first lady joining him. she of course is living in
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new york with young son until the end of the school year. special challenges to protecting the first family. tom foreman with more. >> for a number of years now presidents have been moving around a good bit going from one event to the next and providing security has grown more complex. this president is no exception. the cost of the protecting the jet-setting first family can be epic. president, vice president, wives, confidants, children and grand kids, over 20 people from the get-go. >> it's unprecedented. not unattainable but unprecedented. >> says the equation is complicated by the trump family working out of so many places. white house, mar-a-largo club in florida, several residences in and out of d.c. and trump tower in new york cht first lady calls
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home. >> i go into trump tower the restaurants are full and starbucks full. challenges to allow them to continue to operate in a secure manner. >> in the works, hiring out a whole floor for security operations. that would be 13,000 square feet of prime new york real estate at four year market value of $6 million, although the president could give his team a deal. another worry, most of trump's children are grown and involved in business, meaning lots of travel. "washington post" put the secret service hotel bill for son's trip to south america at $102,000. and both sons opening a golf course in dubai this waekd. >> most challenging are the foreign trips. >> every time the president takes off over 300 people go
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along. teams for personal security, counterassault, intelligence, emergency response, surveillance, staffing and more. three day trip by president obama in 2013 cost taxpayers $3.6 million so will the total security bill be tens of millions, hundreds? >> it's hard to forecast what the cost will be. >> other presidents raised problems with the travel. vacations in martha's vineyard, obama's holidays in hawaii and just protecting vice president biden's family took nearly 50 agents. >> so not like president trump is doing anything wrong, just his jet-setting lifestyle does involve an awful lot of security out there, maybe more than barack obama's did. security forces say they're up to it, but could cost a pretty
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protecting the first family. the senior adviser at moveon.org and andre bauer. welcome back. you heard tom foreman laid out between the first lady living in new york to weekends in mar a lago, the cost could be epic. that has always been the responsibility of the secret service. is there anything different now? >> there is a couple of things different here, don. hypocrisy is nothing new when it comes to the trump administration. he is full of that day in and day out. he talked about president obama every time he went on a trip saying it was taxpayer money and how shameful it is that he doesn't spend enough time at the weekend. he gave an interview to the hill where he said if he became president he would rarely leave washington. rarely leave the white house.
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that is absolutely not true. the second thing that is a big issue especially for trump and his family is the fact that he has four adult children that also need protection when they travel. that's fine. that is something that happens and it is what it is. we have to protect the first family including the adult children, but when they are out on business trips making deals and closing deals and making themselves rich while taxpayers are paying for it? that is a completely different thing. >> let me bring the other panelists in. "the washington post" reports the air bill for eric trump's trip to south america was $100,000 and both president trump's grown children heading a golf course opening in dubai. >> you know i'm a fiscal conservative and yes, a minute
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ago the story that 300 people travel with the president, no matter if it's a republican or democrat, that is excessive. they ought to look into ways to save money. they need to be protected no matter who it is. bill clinton bills the u.s. government to have secret service on his property that seems crazy, but it's legal. you can go through all of the trips they took and maybe they shouldn't have taken, but at the end of the day, we want the most powerful leader in the world protected. can we do it in a more prudent and responsible way? hopefully someone will look at it and say here's where we can save money because at the end of the day, the taxpayers are footing a large bill. >> this is hypocrisy? >> i do. i think it's complete hypocrisy like maria was saying. he chastised president obama for golfing. president obama had less vacation days than president
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bush. the thing that bothers me the most about this is the profiting off of the presidency. mar a lago, they doubled their initiation fee to $200,000. also he actually never let go of ownership of his businesses. his adult children are traveling, making money for the organization. he is profiting off of this. >> this is short, but i want to get it all in. what do you think? >> this is fake news. this is not a news story. >> me what about it is fake. the president is not breaking any laws and not doing anything. >> do you know what the definition of fake news is? >> what we are doing right now. >> this is the story. you are part of the fake news. fake news is -- let me explain
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to people out there. when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know it's wrong. i don't know of anyone who put out a story in the mainstream media that i can think of to intentionally deceive anyone. people get things wrong. sources sometimes come up empty, but no one i know put out anything to intentionally deceive someone. this story we are doing is not to intentionally deceive anyone. we are talking about the cost to keep a president safe. the secret service cost. the pros and the cons. as andre said, ways we may be able to work on that to make it fiscally better for the american people. there is nothing fake about that. stop it with the stupid talking point that it is a fake news story. if you don't want to participate in the stories on this network, don't come on. don't call them fake because you don't agree with them.
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go on. >> don, this is a fake news story in my opinion. >> thank you very much, everyone. thanks for watching. have a great weekend. good night, all.
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remember when comedy meant males doing jokes about females like wives and mothers in law? the tables have turned. >> the idea that chicks are not funny, it's still very much the same. >> some people can't get their heads around what they don't know. >> i wanted to be a comeetian and she said it's better if you just die. >> they thought of women as a different species. >> very few are capable of being funny. here's someone who thinks she can do it. >> this is a great argument that women are doing better work than men. >> you're welcome.

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