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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 2, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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staff may think his new job is tough. >> hey, i am the chief of staff! >> reporter: which is harder to survive, a sharknado or a trumpnado? jeanne moos, cnn -- >> god bless america. >> reporter: -- new york. okay. thanks so much for joining us. anderson's next. good evening, we begin tonight keeping them honest with yet another instance of the president making a claim that turns out not to be true then the white house not acknowled acknowledging the false claim, but basically pretending it never happened. actually, there are to claims the president recently made, who phone calls that the president said he took from people who wanted to praise him, phone calls it turns out that never actually happened. let's start with the phone call the president talked about monday. >> even the president of mexico called me, they said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get thaw o they aren't going to get through our border which is the ultimate compliment. >> that same day the office of the president of mexico issued this statement saying, "president enrique pena nieto
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has not been in recent dmun communication via telephone with president donald trump." today, sarah huckabee sanders said this. >> on mexico, he was referencing the conversation they had at the g20 summit where they specifically talked about the iro issues he referenced. >> you remember the president spoke at the boy scouts jamboree, he gave a speech that the boy scouts later apologized for in case anyone was offended by how political and partisan the speech got. the president gave an sbrinterv to the "wall street journal." at which point the president said there was a standing ovation from the time he walked out until five minutes after he'd already gone that he would be the first to admit fix mixed and there was no mix. he said, i quote "i got a call from the head of the boy scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them and they were very thankful." today an official with the boy scouts said they were not aware
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of phone calls between the group's leadership and the president. the white house press secretary was asked about that as well today and admitted the boy scout call, that didn't happen, either. >> multiple members of the boy scout loieadership following hi speech there that day congratulated him, paradraised and offered -- i'm looking for the word, quite powerful compliments following his speech, what those references were about. >> when she was pressed on this, sarah huckabee sanders insisted it was just a matter of semantics. >> they were actually -- they were direct conversations, not actually phone calls. >> so he lied, he didn't receive -- >> i wouldn't say it's a lie, it's a pretty bold accusation. the conversations took place, they just simply didn't take place over a phone call, he had them in person. >> whether it was a lie, embellishment, simple mistake, wouldn't it be refreshing in the white house acknowledged the president was wrong, saying,
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yeah, the president is mistakem, he's human, we all make mistakes? everyone working for this president nows never, ever admit the boss is wrong. mi might say these are minor things. and you would be right, these are minor things but that's sort of the point. if the president casually says things that aren't true about minor phone calls, if he makes up stuff so easily, stuff involving the president of another country, why should anyone believe him on the big stuff, the things that really do matter? these calls are the latest example. remember the extremely credible sources who told him president obama wasn't born in the united states. remember the investigators he supposedly sent is to hawaii who, quote, couldn't believe what they were finding. remember the bragging about the size of his inaugural crowd, remember the millions of people who supposedly voted illegally. ren his friend, jim, who won't go to paris because it's not paris anymore? there's no ef zens thvidence th that is actually real. none. there is evidence donald trump likes to make things up. he has in the past admitted to using a pseudonym to pose as his own publicist.
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a little over a year ago the "washington post" reported trump routinely called reporters in the 1970s, 1980s, into the 1990s under the name of john miller or john baron. talking to a "people" magazine reporter to trump in the early '90s around the time he's getting his first divorce. >> he's coming out of a marriage and starting to do tremendously well financially. he's probably doing as well as anybody there is. but he treated his wife well and he treated -- he will treat maria well. he's somebody who has a lot of options and, frankly, he gets called by everybody. he gets called by everybody in the book. in terms of women. >> he goes on to brag about madonna wanted to go out with him, excuse me, wanted to go out with donald trump. last may when confronted with the recordings, mr. trump told the "today" show he didn't think it sounded like that was him. it sounded like that was him. maybe his base doesn't believe
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he makes up things all the time. maybe they to and just don't care. at some point, there's going to be a real crisis involviing thi country as a lot of people pointed out and the president will have to look into the camera and speak to all americans. let's hope in that moment he chooses his words carefully so all of us can in that moment at least believe what's coming out of his mouth. joining me now here now on the phone, here in person, s.e. cupp, gloria borger, kristen powers, timothy o'brien, michael dantonio. i don't understand why the people, the podium at the white house can't just say, yeah, it was a missteak atake and move o? >> because the president would disafruf disapprove of that. the president doesn't admit mistakes. it would be easy and smart for somebody to come out and say the president misspoke, misremembered. these were conversations, these were not phone calls. it would be the end of the story. the president, himself, i believe, and you have biographers mere who will be able to tell you more, but the president, i believe, believes this after a while and that he
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says it because he believes it, so when you confront him with it, he'll say, oh, yeah, they did say that to me, maybe not in a phone call, but we said that. we don't know the second half of this. we don't know whether, in fact, any of these exchanges ever took place. >> right. >> that's the next part of the story that we have to -- >> has he always interviewed hi long time. >> drup dpronald trump is 71 ye, been on the public stage for 50 or so of those year, watched him closely at a new yorker for 25 of those years. flagrantly, frequently, pathologically fora good portion of that time. >> it's about such small and ridiculous time sometimes. >> his self-aggrandizement is who he is. i think, you know, gloria mentioned it before that he believes some of this is is true. i think that's spot-on. i think he lives in his own private idaho and has a constant
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narrative going on in his head about who he is, what he's accomplished and if reality or the world doesn't correspond with force it to be thus. >> i talked to a fellow, sandy mcsbosintocintosh. at 13, donald hits a bloop single, everybody comes home, donald fin ishs finishes the ga to sandy, i hit it out of the park, didn't i? he said, no, you didn't. he said, no, i hit it out of the park. way back then, he's 14 years old, not only lying reflexively and impulsively, he's forcing someone to swear to it. i think that's what he's doing with the staff in the white house now. he's lying because he can't help but lie and the reality in his head is more valuable and important to him than what is real factually and he's forcing all these people to sacrifice their credibility, their life's work, really, in building up their reputations in order to
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back up his lies. >> you think sean spicer coming out the first time as the spoke pem spokeperson of the white house blasting about the crowd size. >> the real question is to who you said, is it lying or a distorted reality? for me, it's always seemed it's been a distorted reality. >> which, by the way, i'm not sure which is worse. >> i find lots more troubling. my first experience was during the campaign when i'd interviewed him and he said to somebody else afterwards after i wrote my story, why did she say that i said x, y and z? i never said that. he wasn't angry. he was mystified. i had it on tape, a couple times, what i quoted him saying. he seemed to believe he hadn't said it. that was the first time i thought there's something going on here where he really doesn't believe that he said it but he did actually say it. >> yeah, there's a difference between the kim jong-il 13 holes in 1 story. >> right, kim jong-il has golfed the perfect golf game, according to -- >> hits a hole in 1 every time.
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and the sort of it's not a lie if you believe it. and there might be some of that going on with trump, but what strikes ma s me is it's an incre waste of time and talent and resources that the white house press shop probably on a daily basis has to go back and try to forensically put whatever he has said together so that it makes sense. you can imagine sarah huckabee sanders, people in her office today, saying, gosh, can we find a time where he would have been with pena nieto or with the boy scout leaders that we would pla plausibly make this true somehow and it's just this is not the whey to use your press shop. i mean, these are people who are meant to be staffing the president, prepping the president, spreading the president's message on policy. and instead, they're having to figure out how to make what he just said somehow sort of true. >> they have to do it on a daily basis.
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you know, yesterday in the middle of a routine white house meeting on entrepreneurialism and american economical growth, he drops in this little note that the ceo of foxconn committed $30 billion, not $10 billion to wisconsin. that was off the record. he says it in a public forum. it's now on the record. i have to believe it's probably not true. he's put it out there. i'm sure everyone in the white house had to get on the phone today with the ceo of foxconn to say can you support us? >> he used to do this all the time in business, right? tony schwartz when he wrote "the art of the deal" for, or with, for donald trump, invented the phrase, truthful hyperbole because he had to come up with a way to talk about how donald trump lies without saying he lies in business. and so he came up with this needingless phrase which how now admits is meaningless, presented it to donald trump and said, look, i have to come up with some way. trump looked at it, great idea, i love it, fabulous. >> one thing as a citizen, a
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businessperson, if you're tabloid fodder to be spinning a yarn -- >> exaggerating, right. >> it's another thing as president of the united states when all of this stuff is checkable. the president of mexico is going to come out and say -- >> refute this. >> right, yes. >> i think it's important that we determine whether the president of the united states is to be believed or not. and i think it's fair to say he is not to be believed. but if you're looking at his voters, his base, i'm just not sure this is the metric by which they are judging him. >> right. >> and, you know, we've learned a lot of lessons from thomas frank's "what's the matter with kansas" he basically told half the country voting based on their economic interests was stupid. i don't think we should judge his base for for maybe judging trump differently on some different set of values than whether he's -- >> or the thought that all politicians lie and, you know -- >> maybe they -- >> on the big issues, you know, they agree with him, people agree with him and that's fine.
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>> maybe they want him to do what he says is just less important. >> if all of this was revealed during the campaign, it's not as if it's new information. it's just interesting that it continues in the oval office. >> it is affecting him because if members of congress believe that you're not telling them the truth, if you say to a member of congress, you vote this way, i'll have your back, don't worry about it, i gotcha, then they don't believe him, they're not going to be with him. and i think it -- >> already starting to -- >> by the way, the whole don jr. thing, he wasn't involved in the don jr. press release that kept changing every day, well, now we know that he was, and so eventually, i think, you reach a -- >> you'll have fewer establishment going to bat for him. i don't know that this erodes his base. >> let's not forget, robert neweler has an active investigation going on around russian collusion, whatever form it might take. trump prevaricated around that issue. there are going to be consequences to his lying.
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iage robert mueller's sitting there each night with a little notebook just checking off boxes. whatever the white house press corps is doing, whatever the white house spokespeople are doing, the reality is he has misled investigators. >> we got to take a break. coming up, the white house backs a plan to cut back on legal immigration. a senior white house policy adviser went after cnn's jim acosta. a poem inscribed on the statue of liberty. we'll play that for withdrew. later, i'll speak with republican senator jeff blake who is so anti-trump in some regards he wrote a book about it. people spend less time lying awake with aches and pains with advil pm than with tylenol pm. advil pm combines the number one pain reliever with the number one sleep aid. gentle, non-habit forming advil pm. for a healing night's sleep. hundreds of dollars on youmy car insurance. saved me
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the president is pushing a plan aged at reducing legal immigration to the united states. giving priority to highly skilled immigrants who speak english. the president cease senior adviser stephen miller spoke about the plan today at the white house and got into it with cnn's jim accoosta who joins us now. first of all, jim, what is the new plan the president is endorsing? are. >> reporter: well, it's a very sweeping plan, anderson, it would totally remake the american immigration system in many ways and it would put in a merit-based or points-based system for people who are emigrating to the country legally which runs contrary to everything we've thought about when it comes to our immigration system in the country, what it means to be an american. basically what they would do is award points to people as
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they're applying to become a u.s. citizen and applying for legal immigration status into this country. a green card to get za tus stat this country. we can show you some of the things they're talking about in terms of the points system. for example, your age, education, your english ability. anderson, for example f you're ov over the age of 50, you get zero points whereas if you're in your 20s, you get anywhere between six and ten points. if your english proficiency is below 60% you get zero points. what they're essentially trying to do here is come up with a points system for people coming into this country. as you and i know, anderson, over the years people coming into the united states whether it was through ellis island or, you know, coming across the straits of florida from cuba or miami or across the southern border from mexico or latin america, not everybody obviously coming into the united states in those situations have that kind of, you knows, points system working to their advantage. there have been lots of people
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coming into this country who did not speak english very well. who may have been older or younger. and they have gone on to lead very productive lives in this country and have children who have been highly successful in this country. that's why this points system is something they're going to have a very tough time pushing through congress. >> you tried to push back with stephen miller, sort of had a back and forth. what happened? >> reporter: right. i essentially just asked, you know, what about the statue of liberty? and i read to him what is inscribed on the statue of liberty. essentially here's how it played out. you're proposing, what the president's proposing here does not sound like it's in keeping with american tradition when it comes to immigration. the statue of liberty says, "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." doesn't say anything about speaking english or being able to be a computer programmer. aren't you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if
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you're telling them you have to speak english? can't people learn how to speak english when they get here? >> well, first of all, right now it's a requirement to be naturalized, you have to speak english. the notion that speaking english wouldn't be part of the immigration systems would be very ahistorical. secondly, i don't want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the statue of liberty is a symbol of liberty and light in the world. it's a symbol of american liberty lighting the worlds. the poem that you're referring to was added later is not actual part of the original statue of liberty. more fundamentally, the history -- >> you're saying it does not represent -- >> i'm saying the notion -- i'm soying the notion -- >> i'm sorry. >> no. >> that sounds like -- >> let me ask you a question. >> that sounds like some national park revisionism. >> no, what i'm asking you -- >> the statue of liberty has always -- >> jim, let me ask you a question. >> hope to the world for people to send their people to this country. >> jim. >> and they're not always going to speak english, stephen. >> jim, do you believe -- >> not always going to be highly
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skilled. >> jim, jim, jim, i appreciate your speech. jim, i appreciate your speech, so let's talk about this. jim, let's talk about this. in 1970 when we let in 300,000 people a year, was that violating or not violating the statue of liberty law of the land? in the 1990s when it was half a million a year, was it violating or not violating the statue of liberty law of the land? >> was it violating -- >> when it was 700,000 a year -- no, tell me what year -- tell me what years -- tell me what years -- tell me what years meet jim acosta's definition of the statue of liberty poem "law of the land"? you're saying a million a year is the statue of liberty number. 900,000 violates it, 800,000 violates it. >> you're bringing a -- english philosophy to immigration, that's never been what the united states is about. >> your statement is also shockingly ahistorical in another respect, if you look at the history of immigration, it's actually ebbed and flowed. we've had periods of very large waves followed by periods of
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less immigration and more imgraei immigration and -- >> the period of immigration right now, he wants to build a wall. bring about a sweeping change -- >> surely, jim, you don't actually think a wall affects green card policy, you couldn't possibly believe that, do you? actually, the notion that you actually think immigration is at a historic low, the foreign -- jim, jim -- >> on monday, talking about how border crossings -- >> i want to be serious, jim, to you really at cnn not know the difference between green card policy and illegal immigration? >> he came to this country in 1962 right before the cuban missile crisis and obtained a green card. yes, people who emigrate to this country t-- >> jim. >> -- not through ellis island. >> jim, as a factual question -- >> other ways do obtain a green card at some point, they do it through a lot of hard work and, yes, they may learn english as a second language later on in life but this whole notion of, well,
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they could learn -- you know, y they have to learn english before they get to the united states, are we just going to bring in people from great britain and australia? >> jim, i have to honestly say, i am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from great britain and australia would know english. it's actually -- it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind -- no, this is an amazing -- this is an amazing moment. this is an amazing moment that you think only people from great britain or australia would speak english is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak english from all over the world -- jim, have you honestly, jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks english out of great britain and australia? is that your personal experience. >> there's -- >> that's you said. shows your cosmopolitan -- >> you're trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country. >> jim, that's one of the most
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outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said and for you that's still a really -- the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong -- >> i didn't say -- >> reporter: just a point of clarification, anderson, we should point out i'm on the government's immigration page on my smartphone right now, it says that you do take an english and civics test but there are exemptions for people, they don't have to pass that english test. there are certain situations where people don't have to pass that test. they can learn english later on. but, anderson, obviously as you could tell from that exchange, the white house still has more explaining to do on this issue. >> appreciate it. with me, charles blow, jeffrey lord, ana navarro, matthew whittaker. charles, stephen miller said this bill is designed to help african-american workers, hispanic workers, unemployed workers of all backgrounds. do you buy that? >> that part is a problematic part for me. just because, you know, they
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pitched barack obama as a racial divider and, in fact, what trump has done again and again has tried to pit one minority group against the other. he told lgbt people i'm going to keep you safe because i'm going to keep the muslims out. kept telling african-americans you're going to get more employment because i'm going to keep the hispanic immigrants out. that is really pob mroblematic me. what you should be saying is not necessarily that we're pitting one against the other but we're growing the pie rather than trying to kind of narrow it and divide it. that part of it is problematic. i do believe, i'm a big proponent of kind of highly skilled immigration to this country. i do believe for us to be competitive, we have to increase that. but what this bill -- what this proposal does does not increase it at all. there's no talk that i saw about increasing the pool of highly skilled people. so i want to see more people
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coming in because actually we need it. i mean, to be competitive in the world. >> jeff, it's interesting because the president gave an interview to the "economist" in may and he was asked, do you want to curb legal immigration? he said, "oh, sure, you know, i want to stop illegal immigration." he was then asked -- clearly he didn't understand, what about legal immigration? do you want to cut the number of immigrants to which he replied, "oh, legal, no, no, no, i want people to come to the country legally. legally, no. i want people to come in legally. i want to two on a merit-based system." this seems to be a merit-based system but seems to be cutting the number of people coming in. >> i think what this is doing, anderson, is opening an overdue debate on legal immigration. one of the things that i worry in listening to that conversation with jim acosta and stephen miller, we mooufd from a country, we're assimilating to a country that is almost the fulfillment of george wallace's old thing about segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever and you get people that come in here and
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immediately decide to self-segregate and it's more tribalism than folks that want to -- >> what do you base that on? where yare you seeing that? immigrants traditionally in the united states -- >> you listened to jorge ramos. he makes a -- i've read some of his stuff. he makes it abundantly blaine, he wa pla he wants a quote/unquote -- >> i'm always curious about this when people say assimilate. assimilate to what? american culture. there's a lot of different american cultures. i'm always curious when people say assimilate. if you want to asim late sisim set of beliefs and ideals. when people say assimilate, it always rings to me as if people are saying you need to abandon your ethnicity and become more like, you know, the kind of the white america that i'm envision -- just explain to me
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what it is. i'm very confused by that always. >> what does white america mean? america, period. >> if someone -- >> charles, charles, let's talk music for a second. >> i don't want to. >> is motown about just black music or is it about america? >> let me just say this. i'm not opposed to, you know, the idea that people will enjoy their own cultures in america and i think that actually makes america strong. so i'm trying to figure out if people want to enjoy a culture that is native to wherever they're from, and they bring that to america, that makes america more dynamic and diverse, to me, so when people say i need you to be willing to assimilate, the word, assimilate, is really problematic for me. i don't know what it means. >> i want to bring in ana. what do you make aftof this proposal and discussion about assimilati assimilation? >> i think this is yet one more wedge issue that's being fabricated by the trump administration for the purpose of keeping his base happy.
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it is absolutely racist to award a point system. i'd like to award points to people that don't lie. i'd like to award points to people that don't wedge and pit americans against each other. and, you know, i live in a community which is full of people who came here without speaking english. including myself. including marco rubio's parents and grandparents. including people like emilio and gloria stephen. this is a community that has been built by people that came here, many seeking political asylum, seeking refuge, seeking freedom, seeking a better opportunity for their children. they now own businesses. they own banks. they contribute. they are university presidents. they are brilliant doctors and surgeons in our hospitals. so this idea that you give a point system, that this white house would be giving a points system and giving -- you know, not allowing folks in who don't speak english and giving them the opportunity to learn english is absolutely racist and more than racist, it is un-american.
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it is not what we have done for 241 years. and it is unrealistic because i can think of at least three u.s. senators who have parents that didn't speak english. two of them being republicans. ted cruz and marco rubio. i know that there is no way in the world this proposal will see the light of day in the u.s. senate. it will not pass. it is nothing but another red herring by the trump administration. >> matt, you said the devil's in the details on this. >> yeah. as someone that's enforced the immigration laws, i know how difficult these choices are. we elect our politicians in the folks in the house and the senate and the president to make these difficult choices. there's no doubt in my mind having enforced these laws both for illegal and lisle egal incl going after people that commit marriage fraud that these rules need to be updated, these laws need to be updated and somebody has to make these choices as to who does or doesn't come in our country. that's what we elect these folks to do. i'll agree with ana on one regard, that is immigrants,
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recent immigrants and long-term immigrants have made this country gate. >> everybody, we're going to continue this discussion. up next, what president trump said today about this new immigration plan and i'll get everyone's take on it. i will never never wash my hair again now, i fuel it pantene is the first shampoo and conditioner system with active pro-v nutrient blends that fuel 100% stronger hair. because strong is beautiful. twith choices like the classicr. crab lover's dream and new favorites like dueling crab legs with dungeness and snow crab. it's happening right now right here at crabfest. red lobster. now this is seafood. somewhere along of self-discovery: a breakthrough.
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we're now in the immigration plan getting support from the president, backing a bill by two gop senators that proposes cutting illegal immigration to the united states by half in ten years. here's what president trump said about it this morning. >> the act ends chain migration and replaces our low-skilled system with a new points-based system for receiving a green card. this competitive application
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process will favor applicants who can speak english, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy. >> back now with the panel. jeffrey, i just want you to be able to respond to ana who said this is un-american, that there are plenty of people who come to this country not speakingly dis. one of the things -- my friend, charles, here, on what is assimilation. my mother is irish on her side of the family. so, you know, what, on st. patrick's day, i have corn beef and cabbage and maybe a green beer. trust me, i'm not irish. i'm an american. that's the point. there is no one in america who's an american citizen. donald trump -- >> right, but the irish came here, they weren't viewed as american. in fact, the racism against irish people was overwhelming. >> i understand which sp wis wh have to move past this and not
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do a thing where we're in essence resegregating the country. that's a country. >> you know, jeff, it must be so nice to be a white male. >> what does that have to do -- >> in america -- i think you just completely missed the point of what makes us wonderful here in america is that i can go celebrate st. patrick's day and that you can celebrate cinco de mayo. >> yes. >> you can celebrate the 15th of september. and that does not define being american. >> agree. >> go to the vauietnam wall. go to any of the memorials. go to arlington and take a look at all of the polish, italians, hispanic -- >> correct. >> -- names you will see on those. they bled and they died. >> right. >> for this country. but many of them are the children or they, themselves, came here without speaking english and became american. so there is no such -- you know what's beautiful about america? that there is not one single label of americanism. america means loving your country. america means sacrificing for your country. america means putting your country first. it does not mean what language
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you came here speaking. it does not mean what holiday you celebrate. it means patriotism, love of country, and shared values. it has nothing to do with culture. >> well, i more or less 100 agree with everything you just said. i'm not disagreeing with that. my concern is, with all this business of identifying communities, you know, this community, that community, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, with all the emphasis on that that it keeps people from assimilating into the larger american culture. >> nobody does more -- nobody does more identity politics than donald trump. the guy who came down, admounsed he was running for president and called mexicans rapists. nobody does more identity politics than guy who called for the muslim ban. nobody does more identity politics than the guy who tweets out against transgenders. so if you want there to be no identity politics -- >> i do. >> -- my request to you is to start by telling the president you support regardless of what
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he does to stop doing it, himself. >> charles? >> i just -- i love the convenience of the flip-flopping, the historical flip-flopping, not the contemporaneous flip-flopping. the, you know, white people literally invented racial -- in this country. look at the american abo antropological association. literally invented it to advantage themselves and disadvantage others. >> they all became democrats. >> you can go with that if you want to, but i'm going to finish this point. right? it succeeded so well that people were isolated and were forced to create -- to enjoy and luxuriate in their own cultures, right? now all of a sudden as america browns and there's more brown babies born in america than there are white babies, all of a sudden then it becomes, you know, we now need to look at discrimination against white kids in college, now we need to
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have everybody assimilating when they -- now we need everybody to speak english. you know, jason miller stood at that stand today and kind of talked down the poem that's on the statue of liberty because it's added later which is not a white nationalist talking point. the idea it's added later and all that. but when it was actually -- when it was more white faces showing up on these shores -- >> so, in other words. >> -- huddled masses, we were embracing that. the historical flip-flopping is really fascinating to me. you know, when crack was ravaging the ghettos as they put it, we couldn't wait to have stronger laws and lock them up and they're making bad decision and they're horrible people and now that it's a bunch of white kids in the suburbs, you know, hung out on painkillers, they're all sick. and we need to put billions of dollars into budgets in order to fix their sickness because they're not bad people, they're just sick. do you not see this kind of historical flip-flopping and how problematic it is?
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>> i do see the historical flip-flopping. what i see is when dr. king said that he wanted america where his children were judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. we now have liberals saying, in essence, that's racist and that's wrong. >> we have liberals saying what? >> that that is racist. that that sentiment to judge people in a colorblind society that that is now racist. we all have to identify by race. that's wrong. >> i don't think that's what people are saying. what i think people are actually saying is the structures of racism were in place for so many -- so long, so many -- >> i agree. >> one second. so many centuries that the benefit of that system, that oppression, redounded to people today, and once you get stuck in one part of society whether you're wealthy or poor or whatever, it's so sticky and how do we fix the system that we created? we create -- you know, this -- the system is a designed system. it is not a fluke.
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we create this system. how do we fix it? what are our best mechanisms to try to undo the doing? >> the law has to be colorblind. >> no -- it's cute now that you're saying it can be colorblind but it wasn't colorblind when it was helping people to oppress other people. i'm just saying what people are trying to do is figure out is there something we can do to rectify a historical imbalance? i think the idea of asking that question, attempting to answer it, is actually a noble thing to do. >> well, i agree with that, so -- >> none of it is going to be resolved by this bill. these issues you're all talking about have been through decades of american history and fundamentally, this immigration bill is -- is just changing who can legally get in our country and on what basis. it's not going to solve any of these challenges. >> it opens the debate. >> it is a drastic reduction of the number of people, i mean, correctmy me if i'm wrong, the number of people who can come in
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legally. >> last year, not from the '90s, not from the -- at some point in time, somebody has to be deciding how to balance the needs of our economy together with, you know, what we have available. we just can't keep forcing people into the workforce if there aren't jobs and if the economy is not, you know, traumaticalltram dramatically improved and chugging along at 3%-plus gdp. >> ana, you think this thing is not going to go anywhere? you think it's more about dividing people at this point, creating wejs e ining wedges to base. >> if donald trump wants to start cutting down on legal immigration and having a points system, he could start by setting the example, himself. maybe he stops employing foreign workers for his resorts because they are cheaper than american workers. >> right. stephen miller was asked about today. >> the example. right. look, he's right, we need to revamp the immigration system. the immigration system should be revamped every now and then because it needs to be
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modernized. it needs to meet the requirements of america's modern economy today. but you don't do it in a piecemeal system where all you do is address cutting down legal immigration, putting in all those other requirements and you don't address things like the dream act children who are making incredible contributions to america. you don't address things like family immigration. that's just never going to fly in congress. and i am telling you, my senator, marco rubio, his father was a bartender who came here without speaking english. his mother was a maid, a housekeeper, who came here without speaking english. his grandfather was a reader in a cigar company, a tobacco company in cuba who spoke no english. so there's just no way that marco rubio among others in the republican party can look at themselves in the mirror and vote for something like this. it is going nowhere and it's nothing but another propaganda wedge issue by the trump administration. >> we spr to leave it there.
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when we come back, i'm going to speak to republican senator jeff flake about his book parts of which criticize president trump and hear how the white house responds. your social security number on any one of thousands of risky sites, so you'll be in the know. ooh. sushi. ugh. being in the know is a good thing. sign up online for free. discover social security alerts. it seems like dwayne johnson can't possibly take on any more. the rock: oh, that sounds like a challenge. [crash] ♪ hey siri, get me a lyft ride to lax. [siri tone] [crash] [tires squeal] [jet engine] [siri tone[ painting, painting, painting... siri: mr. nakamura can discuss your fashion line. i'm out. ♪ rock. hey siri, take a selfie. [siri tone] ♪ [siri tone] mikboth served in the navy.s, i do outrank my husband, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010.
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with a growing number of gop senators breaking ranks with president trump on policy issues such as health care and the transgender service member ban, one senator is kicking off his re-election campaign with a book that includes criticism of the president. senator flake, author of "conscience of a conservative:
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rejection of destructive politics and return to principles." when asked about the book at the press briefing, sarah huckabee sanders said this. >> i think senator flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president and passing legislation. >> senator flake joins me now. first of all, just those comments from the white house, just wanted to give you a chance to respond to that because it's a -- i mean, it's a tough thing you've done to write this book before a re-election. >> well, yeah. you know, senator goldwater in his time in 1960 felt that the republican party had been compromised by the new deal, and i think today we have different things that are of concern to republicans and conservatives. populism and nationalism, protectionism. those things, i think, are a danger to the party and really i think don't bode well for the future if we stick to them. >> yeah, you write in the book, you said that -- excuse me. let me find this.
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you talk about the sugar high of populism and that the crash is going to be severe. >> right, you know, this didn't start with this administration. most the book is about the time period before. i was in the congress and the house, 2001 to 2012, and around 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, we republicans didn't comport ourselves very well. we spent far too much and i think because we couldn't brag about being the party of limited government anymore, we started to talk about things like flag burning and got off our message and we were drummed out of the majority in 2006 in the house and the senate and then lost the white house in 2008. i have similar concerns now. populism is just not a governing philosophy. it is popular. you can win a few elections here or there, but it's not a governing philosophy. >> you've got some tough words for president trump in the book. you call his tweeting all noise, no signal. you talk about his embrace of
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fake news, which you criticize, you condemn what you call his simple answers to complex issues. are you the only republican in congress who believes this? because it does seem like you're just about the only one who's speaking out >> i do think there are two parts of being a conservative, one to believe in limited government, economic freedom, free trade, those kind of policies, but the other part is in your demeanor. a conservative is nothing if not -- particularly with foreign policy if not measured and sober and deliberate and predictable. i think our allies need that, certainly our adversaries need to hear that, and i'm concerned that we don't have that out of the white house right now. >> predictable and incredible. how big do you think the credibility problem in this white house is? >> i am concerned. i have a whole chapter on the book on information and fake news and how we deal with it. it is a big problem.
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it's been exacerbated by social media and just 24-hour news out there. it's tough to believe some of what we see. it used to be that there were truths that were self-evident that we all believed in, and now that seems to be fleeting, and that's dangerous in a democracy. >> i'm wondering with the white house's immigration plan they announced today, what you think about it. i remember going back to the convention, i think it was in '96, republicans would walk around with things that said big tent. you talked about how the party needs to appeal to non-white voters. do you think this immigration policy expands the tent? >> no. i do believe that we can do a merit-based system somewhat. the sb-744, the last bipartisan immigration bill that i was a part of, we moved on legal immigration partly to a
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merit-based system. there was still a family-based side but there was a merit-based system. we didn't cut the number of immigrants in half. i don't think that we should do that. i think we need to look out for the needs of the economy and i don't think the economy will be well served by cutting the number of immigrants in half. >> senator lindsey graham spoke about president trump and his reaction to the russia sanctions bill. i just want to play that. >> it makes one wonder why the trump administration is so different than everybody else on russia. >> i'm wondering what you make of the president's statements on the russia sanctions. you wrote in your book that any president will grab any authority they're given, but it's congress' job to push back. do you think the president understands the separation of powers? >> well, i was glad to see the president sign the russia bill today. i think he was kind of pushed into it but i was glad to see him sign it. for those of us who were raised during the cold war where the soviet union was the existential threat and now the successor,
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russia, i think it is a little jarring sometimes to see the attitude toward russia. so it is tough to understand. i'm glad that the president signed the bill. >> what about the -- any bipartisan effort in the senate to work on health care. the plan is to hold hearings and how to repair the individual market. in theory, is this something that you could support as a conservative? >> you bet, you bet. i think that we've reached the limits of what we can do as republicans. we tried. we obviously need to reform and repeal whatever obamacare. it's not working in arizona on the exchange, i can tell you that. 200,000 arizonans will wake up tomorrow without insurance. it's too expensive. they're paying the fine, but they don't have insurance. so it desperately needs reform. i would have liked to have kept that reform alive. but now we're going to move in the committee process and do a bipartisan bill. that's the choice that we have now. >> i asked you about this a
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little bit before, but you are going to be running for re-election. this was a book you could have written -- i mean you could have won and then written this book and not taken the heat from the white house, but you chose not to do that. >> yeah, it probably would have been politically safer to wait. but, you know, once you wait, then you find an excuse not to. for me, i think it means more because i have something at risk. i think this book needed to be written. i think we are facing a crisis of conservatism. we've got to get back to the principles of limited government, economic freedom, free trade, if we want to be a governing party. i think i just felt compelled to do it. i didn't tell my staff, i didn't tell my political advisers, i didn't want to be talked out of it. but i felt it was important. >> i talked to general michael hayden a while back and he talked about the thin veneer of civilization and we all think that it's thicker than it actually is. do you worry about that, given the assault on truth, the
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assault on facts, the lack of credibility that we talked about coming out of the white house? >> i'm concerned overall about that. and the information that people are exposed to, and you hear some of the things that people believe, you know. during the campaign -- well, going back eight years, this absurd theory that barack obama wasn't born in the country. the currency that that received and the people who believed it for that long. >> and donald trump was a big proponent of that, obviously. >> yeah. that was just -- just wrong and just hurtful and terrible. but people still clung to it. and so i -- yeah, i am concerned. that's just one conspiracy theory out there. there are many. and i talk about it in the book. i hope that there's a marked response. we certainly don't want to move in and try to censor what is
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printed or what is broadcast, that's not who we are, but i hope we can be more discerning. i think it's our responsibility as elected officials when we see things that are simply erroneous to call it out and not to let it go simply because it might benefit us politically. >> senator flake, i appreciate your time. thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. up next, more questions about the credibility of the white house. the president talks about two calls that he received, one from the president of the mexico and the other from the boy scouts, calls that the white house now admits never happened. (hard exhalation) honey? can we do this tomorrow? (grunts of effort) can we do this tomorrow? if you have heart failure symptoms, your risk of hospitalization could increase, making tomorrow uncertain. but entresto is a medicine that was proven, in the largest heart failure study ever, to help more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto.
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the president of the united states has reached new lows in approval and credibility. on credibility today the white house admitted two phone calls the president said he took accepting glowing praise from the president of mexico and the head of the boy scouts never happened. the white house today said it was just a matter of semantics. whether that's true, we have no idea. but the majority of american trouble believing him on much of anything according to the latest quinnipiac poll which found only 34% think the president is honest. 62% do not believe that. president's approval rating also hit a new low, just 33%. jim acosta joins us now from the white house. did they give any explanation why the president was citing phone calls that never happened? >>