tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 24, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
and they're changing the way the airlines work. why? bottom up. when we dig in and do things like that, believe in yourself. believe you make a difference. we have a holocaust memorial with a line that says if you save one life, you perhaps have saved the world. why don't we do that? just one life at a time? how about that, anderson? >> thank you for your time and questions tonight. the book is called two paths amare acan divided or united. time to hand things over to don lemon. cnn tonight starts right now. thank you, anderson. if you think president trump has had it tough so far, you ain't seen nothing yet. it's a daunting list for any president as the clock ticks down to the first 100 days. keep the government from running
out of money and shutting down. roll out a promise announcement on tax reform and do it all with the lowest approval rating of any newly elected president in history. then the interesting timing of the return of the 44th president. >> so what's been going on while i've been gone? >> boy, we live in some strange times, don't we? and there's lots to discuss. good evening to all of you. i'm going to start with you. big week, 100 days. on saturday is looming. getting close. sean spicer reflecting on that today. here it is. >> i think when you look at the totalality of what we've accomplished on immigration, on trade, this is unbelievable what he has been able to do. and so it's not -- you can
cherry pick any couple of things and say what about this or that but when you look at it overall, in term oz of the drop inboarder crossings, consumer confidence in the relationships we've developed around the globe and accomplishments in bringing back jobs and starting. those have been unbelievably significa significant. >> spicer may think they're significant but historically low approval ratings. it's not as grim for the 96% who voted for him. they say they would do it again. has he done anything to expand his base? >> he hasn't. and i think that's the story of the first 100 days. you talk about now historic lows. he was at historic lows on the day of his inauguration. but he did nothing between then and now to expand that reach, to broaden his base.
it is a president that entered with no honeymoon, did nothing to broaden out and that's why the list of big legislative accomplishments is not very long. that's why you haven't been able to see him move on some of the biggest promises he made in the campaign. there's no doubt he has done some executive orders. some job numbers to tout. certainly put a conservative on the supreme court but did nothing to grow beyond his base, to bring the majority of americans along to where he wants to bring the country. >> and i think he was not very strategic. he went right out of the gate and tackled health care. they really had no plan in place. he didn't do something that was a uniting factor where he could try to grab perhaps some of these red state democrats to come to him and to david's
point, never reached out to try to build support because you need that support now to get the hard things done. >> first 100 days matter. he touted it on the campaign trail and all the sudden now they don't matter so much and in addition to this milestone, there's a government shut down looming and they signalled the president won't insist on funding for a border wall with mexico and a tweet that said eventually but at a later date. mexico will be paying in some form for the badly needed border wall. i don't think that's quite how he put it during the campaign, right. >> that was a big refrain at the rallies. he would ask the it audience who would pay for the wall, he would say mexico. mexico at some later date doesn't have quite the same ring to it. i 24i7k we're seeing that donald trump never had a great argument for the wall.
his base certainly believed there should be a wall. but he never really had anyone else in the party that believed there should be a wall and he talks bouts preventing drugs from coming across the border. that's not something that people who live on the border think helps with that. so he hasn't been able to bring peopling along, even the border state congress folks. the idea of kicking it down the road and saying we'll wait until september. it's not clear he'll have anymore leverage come september. he's not going to have any additional senators. he said he'd get 10 billion. i think this is how do you turn a campaign chant into actual governing? it's been the weak point, i think of his entire 95 days so far. >> and jim, of course, there's russia. you have new reporting about the
pace of the interference in the u.s. election. >> that's right. this relates to the senate intelligence committee. the senate was meant to be the leader on this. the very public issues of the house investigation. devin nunez and his recusal, etc. but now hearing frustration, unhappiness with the pace of getting access to the documents they need. calling witnesses to testify people like carter page, etc. they want to see that happen more quickly. the ranking democrat on the committee, senator mark warner. they say he is very unhappy. to be clear, i've spoken to republicans as well and independent angus king on the committee. they say it's still a bipartisan effort. but these frustrations now bubbling up in public and showing divisions in this committee where there weren't
before. is this a message to say let's pump the gas a little bit here? some quite strong words coming from mike warner, ron wyden and others. and if the senate intelligence committee doesn't have that bipartisan feel, less hope with the house intelligence committee. it's a real problem going forward. because you need a bipartisan effort to have credibility. >> is this like a vicious cycle? is anything being done to remedy this? >> right now -- we heard later today two more staffers are going to be added. that keeps it into double digits or so. staffers who are working on this. they say they're spending 9/1 h 9/10ths of they are time on this issue. the house benghazi committee had more staffers.
it's a relatively small team. >> is this rearranging the deck chairs? >> i think riltser too early to say that. these are serious people. they want to get to the bottom of this but we're seeing the first fishers in that committee this is an eye opening interview the president gave to the a.p. he says it's massive and every agency is like bigger than any company so you know i really just see the bigness of it all and also the responsibility, the human responsibility. the human life that's involved in some of these decisions. and he talked about when you're president, heart is involved in every single decision. is he suddenly now realizing being president is a lot different than he thought, than being ceo of his own company? >> he's new to this. and governor kasich sort of
delirvled a message about how you have to have some heart in this job. he's never healld a position li this. but this is not the first time. this is a theme we've heard again and again. health care, who knew it was so comp lkted? i think we're seeing somebody actually learn the job while he's on the job. >> the president had dinners tonight with lindsey graham and senator john mccain. >> we're still waiting for a readout from the white house on this. wevent gotten one yet but these are two critics who haven't in some ways come around because of those serious strikes, they very much praise this president for acting decisively after the chemical weapons attack, those videos came out. you imagine that is part of this
discussion. also mccain and graham obviously n neoconservatives, very much so and looming obviously, not only the syria crisis but north korea. you imagine that probably came up in that discussion with the two senators. representing the hawkish wing of this party and so far seeing the trump they like, at least when it comes to syria. it's also -- tomorrow we'll see more senators go up to the white house and get briefings about north korea. so you mention those were part of conversations. this is donald trump trying to make good and reach out to people who had been against and more recently hadn't even met with him. >> it's going to be a great day
for the administration. in the sense he's going to do a rally, get agilation. but it's going to be short lived because it's 100 days that have been dictated by the powers. those powers are going to run out of gas and he's go having to to legislate. >> maybe 2hu00 days will be a marker this time. the relationship between president trump and cable news. is his relationship with cable tv. bp engineered a fleet of 32 brand new ships with advanced technology, so we can make sure oil and gas get where they need to go safely. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
president trump invited members of the conservative media to a reception at the white house. but just because the rest of us weren't there doesn't mean he stopped watching. and two people who were that white house tonight, former co chair for the trump campaign in virginia and katelyn collins, correspondent for it daily caller. i hope you guys got fed and good drinks and good information because we want to hear it. you were there with conservative media groups. what did he say? >> the breaking news is the party with nafta and the globalest elites are over. he announced ahead of time that he along with commerce secretary wilbur ross would put a 20% tax on soft lumber. a tariff coming out of canada.
they're underselling us by $5 billion. this is the first time we're going to have evidence of this president following through on the fact he said he would protect u.s. jobs by putting a tariff on materials and goods coming into the united states that are being undersold and he's going to start there and after that, they're going to look at the same thing for milk and dairy which are our farmers are not getting a fair deal on and so what this means is jobs for the timber industry, jobs for the dairy farmers. he's going to be following through on another promise and attempting to break up nafta, which is a big deal. >> what was your take away? >> i think the president took questions and a lot of reporters asked some really good questions. i think some asked questions the president wanted to hear.
i asked him the same question i asked sean spicer in the briefing today and all of my colleagues in the room. >> you're saying you asked hard questions that he may not have wanted? >> i think there were good questions out of that. we talked about north korea and dockau and how he's shifted his position. we may not have got the answers we wanted but we posed the questions. >> did you talk about legislative agenda and any of that or any of the polls that came out today? >> we didn't talk about the polls, shockingly enough, we did not. >> a lot of details about the president's obsession with cable news. reports are he uses it as a way to evaluate staff and a two-way conduit with law makers and aids. have you ever seen a president rely on tv like this? >> it's a cable news social
media presidency and now the president's saying the a.p. is not watching cnn, not watching msnbc. you might say it's a fox news presidency. i don't think a lot of folks believe him. and that would not be a healthy media diet. you want a bit of everything. you don't just want to eetd chocolate cake. you want to round out your plate with all sorts of media, just like food. you've got a lot of different websites represented, television stations as well. other presidents used to do this. but now it's really digital media. the daily caller that are represented. conservative media play as crucial role. i think katelyn's been doing that in the briefings. it's because he pays attention to the fox's and it daily callers that it's important for them to ask the hard questions and hold them accountable.
>> and if your tlr leader of the free world you should watch a number of different -- >> you think he's watching right now, don? >> i'm sure. maybe he dvr'd and get the readout. >> you've got all the tv sets with all the channels. you could make the case he cares too much what is said on television. >> he should care and i think that's one of the reasons he won is he used oo the media to his advanta advantage. republican strategist who is a long time nervl and they find the president's cable news habits bazar to the point of alarming. what do you think of that? >> who cares what rick wilson says or any of these other never trumpers who figured out how he got elected president.
john f kennedy read six daily papers a day and he was celebrated for that fl being in touch. we have a different medium. he attempted to start -- he attempted to start clinton tv. that was celebrated and applauded. all the president does is want to stay in touch with real people and everything that's going on. we have a different medium today. it's tv, social media. it's no different than clinton or jfk or anybody else. since they were liberals, they get celebrated. trump gets attacked for it. the hypocrisy beyond -- >> if you stuff your face full of the fatiest foods, it's got the for you or the family. if he's only watching media who tell him he's the best, it's got the for him or the country. >> and to that point i hear --
and it was quoted in the article that -- and i don't have the quote right here but they only provide him with mostly local news clips in the morning because they're more favorable of him. >> normally you get these clip el -- clipbings from local tv and newspaper. i think it's important to get a wide variety. but either pro trump or sympathetic to trump, they play a really vital role in trying to show the president and his supporters what's really going on. what are not promises delivered and what are works in progress. >> his pruvl rating is 42%. his approval rating among those who voted for him is in the 90s -- i think it's 96% -- it says 94% in that poll.
do you think conservative media is part of that? >> i actually think the negative coverage of donald trump's presidency is the reason his approval rating is so low. a lot of the media coverage is really negative. so when you poll a thousand people nation wide, they're going off what they read in the morning and see on the news at night and that's why they think he's had such a failed presidency. there's been a lot of shifts but he's made headway in certain campaign promises he made. >> and 94 was the it right number. 96 was the percentage of people that would vote for him again. it's all about ratings. what do you think when it comes to the ratings and the polls? he seems to want to cherry pick the good parts and bad parts are the fake news. >> he was back on twitter saying the most recent approval rating
polls are fake and he said there are positive silver linings. they know what he's doing. no different than folks in high school saying well, that girl won't date me but at least that one will. it's pretty basic human behavior. not that it ever happened to me in high school. >> why are you laughing? >> i love bryan's comments. >> well, you guys are great. it's always a pleasure. good to see you. thank you. when we come back, how james comey shakes the election. why he went public about clinton's emails but stayed quiet into the investigation on. ♪
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thank you. >> thanks so much. >> and erick, welcome to cnn, by the way. that's what i meant. you have incredible report nothing to the fbi director james comey's decision making to speak out on the clinton investigation but not the trump investigation. because he shaped the election based on how differently he treated these two investigations. >> sure. i think the real discrepancy was that he played the trump investigation by the book. the fbi doesn't typically confirm investigations and when asked repeatedly on capitol hill and others to confirm the existence, he said we're going to go by the book and not do that. and at every turn, he tossed the rule books out and when it came to hillary clinton. i think that's the big disparity and one of the factors we found
out is that like a lot of us the fbi and jim comey thought hillary clinton was going to win and was concerned about what the fallout would be if it looked like the fbi was helping her secure that victory. >> let's talk more about that, erick. you say in the case of mrs. clinton, he rewrote the script partly basised on the fbi's expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would look like it was helping her. is it fair to say that so many of the decisions made were because they assumed clinton would win? >> i think that was the subtext for many if not all of the decisions. it was never stated explicitly but in our reporting, certainly that was the undercurrent. that, like the rest of the country, k comey and the fbi
thought hillary clinton was going to win and fed into the narrative inside the building and the different treatments that we found in the hillary email investigation that was done in an unusual -- >> he decides to publicly announce. >> there is evidence they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information. as a result, although the department of justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we're expressing our view no chargers are appropriate in this case. >> so, matt, what is the real reason comey spoke out because it was more than loretta lynch's meeting. it went to how comey felt the
justice department was treating the investigation. >> there were a number of instances right from the very beginning when the first story came out there was a criminal referral into hillary clinton's private email server and the justice department said no, it was a security referral and that was really distinction without a difference. there was an ongoing criminal investigation underway and that was read as people that justice department keeping talking points and space to hillary clinton. there was concern that there had been this bazar document that had been hacked by russian hackers and obtained by american intelligence officials that -- in which oo democratic operative seemed to express confidence that loretta lynch would keep
the clinton case from going too far and read one way, that's typical washington bs, baloney. read another way, well, if we let the justice department close this case out, then if russia leaks this document ourt, it could undercut the independence of the investigation. so there was this growing sense at the fbi that only jim comey could be the one with the credibility and the gravatas of learned investigation. and comey has always succeeded at center stage in these big moments. >> just weeks after comey announces a comey investigation is closed, they open to possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia but says nothing about it. >> back to back. what you've got to remember is that the fbi in the 2016 election was more deeply
involved in the presidential campaign than really any time since water gate. no sooner had comey thought he had pretty much closed the door on the hillary investigation in that july press conference that you played and here he has all these new accusations surfacing over trump and russia and he's back in the middle of things. and then of course he'd reinsert himself back to hillary. so, try as they might to get themselves out of the politics business, they were deep into it. >> do you think hillary clinton also thought there was a double standard as she was treat would trump and what people thought about her verses donald trump? >> of course she thought that. and folks in her campaign think that to this day. and i understand that.
i think that -- i think if i were hillary clinton i would wonder why the play book was tossed out when it came to her case but not with donald trump. >> do you think we'll ever find out? >> i think we have a good sense but the truth is he was acutely aware of the d.c. politics. the idea that if hillary wins and the republicans are promising years of hearings and oversight and it looks like the fbi covered up for her or protected her or didn't tell the public about these new email, that the fbi would be dragged in front of congress, this would be crippling to the fbi and so while we didn't find any evidence of outright partis partisansh partisanship, they were aware of the politics and what this could
mean for the fbi. >> this is your reporting. you think comey would ever admit that was his thinking all along, that's the question. >> i think at some point he'll have to sit for an interview and explain it. >> what do you think it means, erick, for the trump collusion/russia investigation moving forward? >> well, i think what we've seen through this story and others is that the fbi was a bit slow off the mark on this investigation. yes, they quietly began this investigation in july but the cia and other agencies seem to be out ahead of them and the fact that hillary was sump a public investigation and russia was the exact opposite is more indication, at least feeds into sinnism is some on the left that the fbi was not as aggressive as it should have been and it may still be a while before we come
to the truth and know is there there? was there in fact collusion by anyone associated with trump? we don't know the answer to that even now. >> when we come back. >> so, what's been going on while i've been gone? >> president obama speaking publicly for the first time since leaving office and some of what he said may surprise you. whoa, this thing is crazy. i just had to push one button to join. it's like i'm in the office with you, even though i'm here. it's almost like the virtual reality of business communications. no, it's reality. intuitive one touch video conferencing is a reality. and now it's included at no additional cost with vonage business. call now and see why 3,000 companies a month are switching to vonage. business grade. people friendly.
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he's back. former president barack obama speaking out for the first time since leaving the white house. sally cone is here, former policy director for hillary clinton. host of "the messy truth." and vow to say it like that every time you say it "the messy truth." >> extramessy. >> former president is back in the spotlight. this is sally cohen saying the president -- former president should have taken the opportunity to challenge president trump.
why? >> i mean what i say is i want him to. i understand why he didn't and that's not who he is. what was interesting is what he said as much as what he didn't say. he made it clear he's not going to save us from trump. if there are people who don't like what he's doing don't liking the trumpification of our politics, barack obama's message is i'm not the superhero coming to save you. y'all have to save yourselves. he meant flat all of us that we have to be the change we see in the world. i wanted him to deliver punches and kicks emotionally but it's not who he is. >> i never thought he was going to do that nor did i think he should do it. >> cathartically. >> well, he didn't save us the first time. it's not like he forgot to say
trump is unqualified. he says it more time than he brushes his teeth. that was his whole thing for a whole year. so it's up to us in a democracy and it would be unwelcome and wise for him to use that bully pull pit incris niminately. he did speak out when president trump did attack muslims around the world with the muslim ban. when trump does more shameful things, i'm sure president obama will say something. but i was just happy to see the brother. i got my popcorn out, like thank you, lord. >> what do you mean, thank you lord? for what? is. >> he looked tan, he looked happy. he had a bounce in his step. talking more chicago. it was like watching a rerun of your favorite show. i'm like thank you, lord. i was just happy.
>> paris is the only person on the panel who is not smiling. >> no, listen. president obama was unable to deliver secretary clinton into the white house and so he wasn't able to do anything about president trump but at the end of the day it was appropriate for him not to try to attack president trump. it would have been distasteful. we're still within the 100 days and i believe fundamentally he understands president george w. bush was so gracious to him through the transition and the vast majority if not all eight years of his presidency never speaking out. and so i think he's remembering that and trying to show deference to president trump when he's so moved to talk against him. i think he will but this was not the venue, the time and the place to do that. >> you think he should show
deference when the president in office is not showing deference to him? >> when he looked at how president george w. bush treated him, somebody has to be the senior statesman and as the out going president, i think that's what he's trying to do. he should not wade into the swamp and talk about every little thing he does not like about president trump. allow president trump to lead and be his own person. >> if you will just indulge me. the current and the former. they disagree on immigration. here's the former president talking about immigration today. >> it's important for those who support, as i do, immigration reform and pathways to citizenship for folks are who are here not to assume everybody who has trouble with the current immigration system is
automatically racist. that's an example of us being able to listen. i always used to say sometimes in crowds where folks didn't want to hear it, that it's not like everybody in ellis island had all their papers straight. the truth is the history of our immigration system has always been a little bit haphazard. >> there's no mention of president trump and he's sticking up for the trump voters who voted for him because of immigration and now being branded as a racist as a result. do you think thaltser going too far for some democrats? >> i think president obama showed a great graciousness today. i think a lot of progressives and people around the country see that his approvals are getting higher and higher and i
think part of that is people kind of yearn for, an adult, a person who treats voters, the opposite side with respect instead of someone who just attacked them. >> i have to say though there's a washington post abc news poll, 67% say democrats are out of touch and if you look at the president's time in office, right? let's see, democrats lost 960 seats during the obamaed administration and at the start of president obama's term, democrats controlled 50% of state legislatures. now they only control 31%. they held 29 governors offices. now they only have 16. so? >> i think that's exactly why president obama is spending his time talking today as he will in the months ahead about how we
can rebuild, how people need to get involved, how young people need to get involved, how the chal mpg lenges we're see are o new leaders have to do. and get people more engaged in politics. a lot of people did turn away over the last couple of years and donald trump succeeded because a lot of people were repulsed by politics. one thing that has been positive over the last several weeks and months, frankly is a level of activism and engagement. people are marching, people are going to town halls. i think donald trump haz inspired a new generation of activists and engagement -- >> that's on both sides though, don. that is on both sides. >> there are very few people coming out for trump.
>> but he was able to go to those people who felt forgotten, that they felt president obama for whatever reason wasn't talking to them and president trump was talking to them. >> i know you want to jump in. but this president, the former president doesn't talk about the former president a lot. but he talks about the former president a lot, almost to the point of maybe obsession. we'll talk about that as well. d. i didn't think there was anything else to talk about. but then i realized there was. so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems,
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fmy doctor recommended ibgard. abdominal pain and bloating. now i'm in control of my ibs. nonprescription ibgard-calms the angry gut. and we are back with my panel now. so he did where he mentioned president barack obama several times. at one point saying you've got to understand i have only been here 93 days, 92 days. i have been here 92 days but i have only been working on the health care. you know, i had to get a little bit of grounding, right? whags your response? >> it's hard to respond to that grammar, but if we are being fair barack obama did a little bit of blaming of george w. b h
bush. i happen to think factually it was legitimate. the economy crashed under george w. bush because of the wars and his economic policy. so it was appropriate for him to do that. you know, trump is doing it for a different reason. he is doing it to distract from his complete failure in office and inability to deliver on any of his promises and because his base would notice he is completely failing them. >> i know you want to respond. guy head. >> he has been in there for 93 days and president obama had a little more time to enact obamacare. it will tiake a little more tim to get rid of it. it is okay for president obama to critique. >> you have to remember there were seven years of repeal and
replace. >> yes. you would think he would have it together. he promised to put something up there. >> hey, listen, if what trump had said i will go to d.c. it will be very hard. he would have delivered. he said i'm going to do it. it will be easy. it turns out it's not easy. that's the problem. he mislead his supporters into thinking it is something incredibly difficult and hard to do would be easily done. i think he will pay some price at some point for all of this he brought to the campaign trail. >> i am not sick of winning yet. >> his supporters, it doesn't seem to matter. >> look, it's been 90 days. i don't expect his supporters to say it's all a disaster. i mean he is the most unpopular president at this point in history. and so at this point in his
presidency. as it goes this is the time he is supposed to be his most popular, his most powerful. we learned even tonight even though he threatened members of congress yesterday about a wall he is already given up on that. he has very little leverage. so i think the reality of that is it's hard to govern. >> this is middle east. trump has more success in eight weeks than obama had in eight years. we have had tremendous success but we don't talk about it. okay. so he is comparing himself there. he also spoke about the election saying the electoral election is c skewed. he still is talk about his predecessor and about the election. what is going on here that he has to focus on his predecess predecessor -- why is he looking in the rear-view mirror so much?
>> i think he wants to set is record straight because there's always this undercutting of his presidency, of his candidacy. >> what's -- >> can i -- >> what's undercutting? >> a lot of people saying he didn't deliver on his campaign promises, the legislation he hasn't signed. you do it in comparison to others. we have j.f.k. -- >> there's republicans on day one that said they weren't going to cooperate with barack obama on anything. for eight years nothing but obstruct -- >> and you had -- >> i want to stick to now. >> right. >> and you have -- >> we just talked about the wall. we talked about obamacare. he said he would do these things very early on in the presidency.
he himself put out a list of accomplishments he wanted in the first 100 days. how is that -- what's -- i don't understand what we are getting wrong or the media. >> it's not my goal post. it's a goal post he put up during the campaign, a few weeks ago. it's not really like we are indicting him. he said he would deliver on his first 100 days. the reason is because he set that deadline. the congress couldn't pass it because of what his pressure is. >> i'm over time now. thank you guys. we'll see you next time. we'll be right back.