tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 16, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
day ♪ ♪ oh deep in my heart, i do believe that we shall walk hand in hand some day ♪ handing things over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." live pictures now, hundreds, possibly thousands of people gathering for a peaceful vigil tonight in charlottesville, virginia. holding candles and singing songs of love and fellowship. a rally for peace and togetherness in a city that saw so much violence over the weekend. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. if president trump wants to see a gathering of fine people, he'd do well to take a good look at charlottesville tonight. ♪ lean on me when you're not
strong and i'll be your friend ♪ ♪ i'll help you carry on >> instead, the president is defiant. sources telling cnn he has no regrets for saying that counterprotesters share the blame with neo-nazis and white supremacists for the deadly violence in charlottesville. you'll remember in remarks already infamous, he said yesterday that there was some very fine people amongst the white supremacists who gathered there. i want you to hear from those, quote, fine people, in their own words. thanks to vice media. words that has fueled their new commitment to white supremacy. >> when did you get into, as you said, the racial stuff? >> when trayvon martin case happened, you know, michael brown and tamir rice, every single case, it's a little black
[ bleep ] aking likecting like . whatever problems i have with my white people, they are generally not inclined to such behavior and you have to take that into consideration when you're figuring out how to organize your society. >> they told vice news they don't see themselves as violent. they blamed it on some one else. >> that is because this city is run by jewish communist and criminal natives. that's exactly what it is. >> so you're the true nonviolent protests? >> we did not initiate force against anyone. we are not violent. we'll [ bleep ] kill these people if we have to. >> not violent but willing to kill. and they came armed to the tee. >> right now we have people on the ground at the statue with equipment and they're being told they're not allowed to have a vehicle come through and pick them up or anybody pick them up. i'm about to send at least 200 people with guns to go get them
out if you guys do not get our people out. >> i came very well prepared for this thing today. 380 acp, glock 19, .9 millimeter, ruger, also .9 millimeter. and there's a knife. i actually have another one in that bag over there. lose [ bleep ] track of your guns, huh? >> why did they do it? >> we're showing to this white vermin that this is our country, sustained by us and it's going to remain our country. i'll believe, as you can see, we are stepping off the internet in a big way. for instance, last night at the torch walk, there were hundreds and hundreds of us, people
realize they are part of a larger whole because we've been spreading our names, organizing on the internet and so now they're coming out and now, as you can see today, we greatly outnumbered the anti-white, anti-american fi anti-american filth and at some point we'll clear them from the streets forever. that which is degenerate from white countries will be removed. >> so you say showing up in physical space let's people know that, like, they are more like them? >> we are starting to slowly unveil a little bit of our power level. you ain't seen nothing yet. >> and as these fine people, as the president calls them, have no regrets over heather's murder and take responsibility and to them as disgusting and infuriating as it is, it's collateral damage. >> i'd say it was worth it. we knew that we were going to meet a lot of resistance. the fact that nobody on our side died, i'd go ahead and call that
points for us. the fact that none of our people killed anybody unjustly, i think is a plus for us, and i think that we showed -- we showed our rivals that we won't be cowed. >> but the car that struck a protester, that's unprovoked? >> that's not true. and you know it's not true. you've seen the video. >> i don't know much about it. can you describe what the video appears to show? >> so, the video appears to show someone striking that vehicle when these animals attacked him again and he saw no way to get away from them except to hit the gas. and sadly, because our rivals are a bunch of stupid animals who don't pay attention, they couldn't just get out of the way of his car and some people got hurt and that's unfortunate. >> so you think it was justified? >> i think it was more than justified. i can't believe -- the amount of restraint that our people showed out there, i think was
astounding. i think a lot more people could have died before we're done here, frankly. >> why? >> because people die every day, right? i mean, do you -- >> i mean a violent death. >> people die violent deaths all the time, right? this is part of the reason why we want an ethno people. the blacks are killing each other coast to coast. we don't want to have a part of that anymore. the fact that they resist us when we say we want a homeland is not shocking to me. all right? these people want violence and the right is just meeting market demand. >> there's much more of that. we'll hear from one of the producers who was there in charlottesville and in the room with these fine people. that's a little later on in the show. plus, we'll speak with a were roer who got a surprise one-on-one with the person who gave rise to this. steve bannon. we'll get his take on charlottesville.
right now, i want to bring in gloria borger, robert and political commentators amanda carpenter and doug hyde. gloria, despite all of the fallout -- and there's a lot of fallout -- despite the image of a car mowing people down, white supremacists beating up a black man, despite the anti-semitic chants, president trump says he has no regrets. he's defiant. >> well, this is a president who lives without regret and the reason he lives without regret is because he cannot ever admit that he's made a mistake or done anything wrong. so there is no way he regrets anything. he didn't regret judge curiel and he's not going to regret this. what he's done in all of this over the last bunch of days and, again, that video is just --
every time i see parts of it, it just makes my heart just sink. what the president has done, though, is recorrected the very idea of the moral leadership from the bully bull pit. they are not just two competing interests. one of them is evil and for a president not to be able to come out and say, not that they are very fine people on both sides, but actually that there are evil people on one side is remarkable because one of his jobs, and it's one of the most important part of his jobs, is to provide moral leadership. and there is none of that. none at all. >> doug, if you're a fine person and show up at this rally and see these guys, wouldn't you
just leave? >> i sure would leave. wherever they go, we know that violence ensues. i'd want to be nowhere near them. that doesn't excuse the appalling actions that we saw in charlottesville and certainly doesn't excuse the appalling reaction we've seen from donald trump. and what's so troubling about this, one of the many things that's troubling about this, this was very easy for donald trump to get right and very difficult for him to get wrong and he sure got it wrong and it's part of why i think so many republicans like myself have been speaking out. of course, i've been speaking out about donald trump just like amanda for a long, long time now. but it's different now. we've seen so many different times where we've seen inflection points and say this is the one that's going to change things. i don't know if this one is but it sure reach as new low from what we've seen from this administration and it sends a very troubling sign. and for me, it's somebody who worked at the rn krmt, i know when i talked to an african-american or gay and lesbian friends, i can't talk to them why republican policies are
better and why they should vote republicans because all they hear is republicans don't like them. >> this rise from the alt-right group, the platform for the alt-right group was breitbart. the person who ran that white house is a senior adviser to the president and so robert, i have to ask you, because you landed an interview with steve bannon -- first of all, how did that come about? >> well, i was quietly minding my own business on vacation and had written an article about the china policy and now we need the chinese to help us out with korea and they are just as happy to have let the united states go to the brink with korea because that gives them leverage for us to take a hard line on trade and bannon read the column. this was tuesday, middle of the
day. i guess he might have been looking for some distraction from his troubles in charlottesville. and i said, look, i'm on vacation but i'm happy to talk to him by phone. so he called me. and weirdly, he never said that we were off the record. so, you know, when a president's chief strategist initiates a call with a reporter, you assume you're on the record. and he proceeded to say a bump of very uncautious things. i don't want to try to psychoanalyze him but you get a sense of the arrogance and the lack of self-knowledge that somebody like bannon, who in many ways is responsible for what we saw in charlottesville and for the whole alt-right being a big part of the trump hard core base. bannon thinking that because his views and my views happened to
converge on china, that we're somehow soul mates and we're going to spend a friendly ta minut 25 minutes on the phone talking strategy. it was jaw dropping. >> a source close to steve bannon said he didn't believe he was being interviewed when he spoke to you. did you make any sort of agreements with him? did you ask him -- >> i took the precaution of recording it and, as you know very well, when you're talking to -- when a political figure is talking to a journalist, and the political figure doesn't say we're on back ground or this is off the record, the default setting when you're talking to a journalist is you're on the record. that's how it works. and this is not bambi. this is one of the most media savvy people in the universe. and for bannon to say that, well, he made a rookie error by assuming that we were on background, that's not believable. >> listen, you talked to him after the president's news
conference yesterday. that's right? >> no. the odd thing was, it was about 2:00. it was right around the time of the news conference. i think the news conference hadn't quite happened yet. >> what was his mood like? >> but he knew from everything that had been percolating those 48 hours that this was going to be a doozy. >> let me read a little bit of it, okay? and amanda, i want you to respond to this. >> yeah, please. >> i asked bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the ugly racism in charlottesville and trump's reluctance to condemn it. bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using bright part to heat up white nationalism and rely on the radical right for trump's base. he sidestepped his own role in cultivating ethno nationalism. it's losers. a french element. i think the media plays it up too much and we've got to help crush it, you know.
help crush it more. they are a collection of clowns, he added, from his lips to trump's ears, the democrats, he said, the longer they talk about identity politics, i've got them. i want to them to talk about racism every day. if the left is focused on race and identity and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the democrats. what do you think when you hear bannon and you hear that, that he calls these hate groups and clowns, amanda? is he forgetting that he once called his former website breitbart, the platform for the alt-right? >> maybe he thinks he's the grand wizard of oz but steve bannon and a lot of people in the republican party sitting in capitol hill have tried to turn a blind eye to the worst elements within our culture in the names of political opportunism and winning. i don't think this is what winning feels like. it feels pretty terrible. so i'm sick of looking for donald trump to say the right
thing or republicans to have a nice statement that finally puts him in his place. we need action and i think every elected republican should draw a clear line in the sand and say donald trump i will not appear in public for you and go to the white house to have meetings with you until you clearly denounce this hatred that you are bringing out and trying to exploit within our society. because, listen, if donald trump cannot denounce nazis, the republican party should denounce him. what more do we need to see? i saw it from the beginning, as did doug, as he mentioned earlier, when he was talking about a"access hollywood" and h said, republicans how can you defend this? maybe he'll pivot. we need to win. this isn't what winning looks like. do you have to see that the nazis are marching in your backyard with guns and showing up in your districts with loaded guns for you to see the lights?
you can go to work, send bills to the white house. he can sign them. but this is dysfunctional relationship and someone has to start drawing a line in the sand. >> i want to bring in scott jennings who is joining me here on the set. scott, we've got him when we do that. is this a mistake on the republicans' part or does he have a point there? >> i think he's keying on something that they used to their advantage in 2016, which is that a lot of people in the midwestern united states didn't feel like the democrats had an economic solution for what was ailing that part of the country and we saw that manifest itself in the electoral college and i think he's hoping that that continues. but here's the thing. americans look to the president to do a couple of things. number one, national security. defend the nation. number two, the health of the economy and, number three, are you helping us morally lead the world? do we feel fulfilled as americans that the rest of the world is looking up to us? and so it's more than just, are
we feeling good in our pocketbooks? we have to feel good about our national security internally and externally and we have to feel good about our place in the world. one thing, don, that nobody is talking about right now, there are going to be more rallies. these white supremacists and nazis are talking about. >> he said it in the video, that this is just the beginning. >> they are coming. i've read news clips where white supremacists say, well, it doesn't have to be like charlottesville but it could be. here's what i want to know. what's the next step here for the trump administration? we cannot let the next one get out of hand. >> gloria, bannon is calling these groups a french element. do you think the president is getting that message and if he continues to do this, because of what everyone has said, members of both sides of the aisle, that
he's emboldened and his comments are fueling these groups. do you think that he gets this? >> you know, he is fueling these groups. he got an atta boy from david duke in a tweet yesterday praising the president's courage, for heaven's sakes. this is the president of the united states being praised by david duke. think about that for a minute. and i think in an odd way that the president thinks somehow that some of these people are his supporters. you know, i would wager that a large majority of donald trump's supporters, if not all of them, think these people are nuts. but that, you know, donald trump believes, well, if you like me, i'm not going to be so bad to you and, you know, these people have said that they do support donald trump, that he's their guy and they have taken comfort
in this false equivalency, that he gave -- >> gloria, do you think he should give it another shot to -- >> i hope so. maybe third time is a charm. maybe third time's a charm. >> we talked about why do these white nationalists feel so comfortable with trump. it's because he sent them signals throughout the campaign. his son would retweet nationalists throughout the campaign. kellyanne conway said, wow, look at that, everyone should watch the whole thing. ratin ratings bonaza. that's why people need to walk away from it and say i won't have a relationship with the white house as long as it continues and we're not going to confirm your birther nominees that you sent to the confirmation. there are tools that republicans can use. there needs to be pressure on them to start using them. >> who's going to lead that?
that's my question. >> that's my question, gloria. >> i'm looking. >> well, right now i think the media is the only tool. i hate to say it, the republican party has been spineless, gutless. i hope paul ryan will step up and fill this leadership vacuum. >> he won't even mention the president in his response about charlottesville. >> when ted cruz went to the convention and tried to blow it up and it's sad in my heart that he endorsed donald trump and people like mike lee, ted cruz who went to him and said can we please reconsider making donald trump our nominee and the leadership in the party said, nope -- >> everybody wants to get in on this and doug, i know and scott as well. let's listen to ted cruz tonight, your former boss. here's how he responded. >> you know, the president speaks for himself. the clan is evil. they are racist bigots. nazis are the very face of evil.
their hatred, anti-semitism is completely unacceptable. and i think we should speak unequivocally condemning their hatred, condemning their racism. >> okay. two things, amanda. he says all of the right things but he's not the president. he wanted to be the president but he didn't mention the president and the person who was supposed to bring the nation together and give us moral clarity didn't do it. he didn't mention the president. what good is that? >> what good is it? i think everyone knew who he was talking about. i would encourage ted cruz to get a contingent republican senator to go down to the senate floor and send a clear message to donald trump. we've done it with mitch mcconnell and we can do it to donald trump certainly as something as substantive as this. if we can fight the debt ceiling and speak clearly to republican leadership on things like that, certainly we can find it in our hearts to do it for donald trump. >> doug, i know you wanted to jump in. >> yeah.
about what we can do, you know, for me i e-mailed the white house and rnc press offices yesterday and i said, don't send me anymore e-mails or talking points. i'm not interested. and i'm subscribinging from an e-mail list is not big news. that used to be my rnc e-mail list when i was communications director in 2010 and '11. so it's personal. it's one small step. ultimately, nothing's going to change as long as donald trump's popularity with republican voters remains at a super high level and i spent a lot of time in my home town of north carolina and the one thing i heard consistently about trump is what i call, yeah, but. yeah, we know the tweets aren't helpful. we know the comments -- >> and what about this? but what about this? >> we're going to have this conversation for a long time. >> go ahead, scott. listen, no one is talking about -- well, go on. >> we're talking about internal party politics. how are the republicans going to treat trump and how are we going
to do things as an internal party. there's something else going on. americans are looking to the republican party not just to see how they're going to treat each other but govern the nation. remember, before charlottesville, a lot of the conversation was about gridlock in washington. they can't get things done. >> nothing is getting done because this president, they don't want to work with them or be associated with them and won't say it publicly but then privately there's no health care and the wall is being paid for by americans if it's going to be built. there's no legislative achievement. nothing is being done and republicans don't want to be associated with this president. again, they won't say it publicly. >> you beat me to it. that is, the alternative to what's been happening here, the gridlock, the not getting things done is to see if the republican party can find a way to come together and get a few things done and give people confidence that they can actually govern the nation. >> in spite of -- >> they control everything and they are going to control everything until next november. so if the choices are, gridlock
and nothing happens until next november or they find a way forward here to do something, i want that. but it's more than just policy. i'm telling you, they've got to find a way to give people confidence that the next rally, the next terroristic attack by the white supremacists will be handled properly. >> gloria, hold your thought. stay with me, everyone into when we come back, president trump's staff stunned by his off the rails press conference. one even described it as enraged and considered quitting. we'll see if there's a mass exodus from the white house. we'll be right back. . they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people that actually have a genuine need. we're the webber family and we are usaa members for life.
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neo-nazis with counterprotesters. one official said that john kelly urged staffers to stay focused on their work. back with my panel now. gloria borger, i cut you off mid-sentence. what did you want to say? >> i was going to say to scott, it's great to say republicans have to get back to work and they've got to pass the agenda, but, you know, the point is the president's isolated right now and i want to suggest something i know would be shocking to most people. but maybe one way to get something done is to actually talk to people on the other side of the aisle and go around the president. and there may not be a lot they can agree on but maybe they can agree on something on infrastructure or -- and give him something that he has to sign. i mean, if you can't work with him, perhaps you work around him. >> what's interesting to me is that steve bannon gave a very interesting insight into all of the chaos and what's happening
behind the scenes at the white house. did he do that with the new communications director? he called you out of the blue being correct? >> ye >> yeah. he's tried to build a left-right coalition on getting tough with china and the american prospect is a very well-known magazine and i've written critically on america's trade policy so all of a sudden we're soulmates. so in the course of letting his hair down and talking strat skrgee, i got a real picture of the infighting that he's in the middle of. he's got the state department and defense department who don't want to upset the apple cart in terms of getting china to help us with korea. he's got the treasury and national economic council, gary cohn, not wanting to have a get tough trade policy. he views himself as this kind of figure who's going to save the
trump administration by delivering the kind of economic nationalism that will play to the base and he's got all of these enemies inside the administration. so you get a window on why he is kind of isolated and kind of on thin ice and i think he was also willing to blow off the president's own views on handle north korea. one of the things he said to me in the conversation was there's no military option because if we had any kind of an attack on north korea, 10 million people 35 miles away in greater seoul would be killed. so that's not an option at all. and this comes a few days after his boss, the president, you know, is talking about -- you know, the rhetoric, what's going to happen to them if they launch the -- >> he's contradicting the man he's supposed to be advising the commander in chief. did this seem disloyal in any way to you?
>> well, let's say it seemed incautious and reckless and also emblematic of the chaos that kelly was brought in to straighten out. you have a lot of people freelancing and to distract himself -- i'm imagining this, right? you've got all of this mess in charlottesville. bannon is being held responsible for it, i think quite fairly. and so i think i'll call bob kuttner. he's a liberal. maybe he'll support my view on trade. it's really bizarre. >> is it fair that bannon is being held responsible for this? >> sure it's fair. bannon takes over breitbart and if you read josh green's book on bannon and trump, he realizes that there is this group of people out there who have been previously consigned to the
fringes who can be mobilized into an army and there's a slippery slope between the alt-right and the neo-nazi right and the kkk right and some people say, no, he's on the left. bannon's view is no enemy is on the right. we saw that from -- >> doug, what's your responsible to this bannon rebuke? do you think it's fair to blame him for what's happening with the alt right? >> i don't blame steve bannon or anybody in the white house for what is going on except for one person. i'll tell you, i talked to reince priebus about six weeks ago at the congressional baseball game and he asked me what i was hearing. i told him it's not good. i said there's only one problem in this white house and as long as donald trump is the president, sometimes we focus on cohn or bannon or mcmaster or kellyanne conway. >> scott, i want to talk to you
about all of the people who work for this president in the white house. what's the breaking point for them by standing by this president are they supporting racism? >> you know, when you go to work at a senior level in the white house, you actually get sworn in just like the president. you take an oath of office but don't take an oath of office to the president. you take it to the country. everyone i know, good people, believe in public service, they want to be there for all the right reasons. somebody asked today, you know, should we see mass resignations? should people walk out if -- i don't believe our government works well like that. i'm a conservative. i don't want to see people treat our government the way you may see it in another country. that's not the american way. >> scott, the whole government's not going to resign. >> people have suggested mass resignations. that's crazy. >> i think it's a bit of a hyperbole. but if you work for somebody and
don't believe in what they're saying and it doesn't go along with your principles or morals, why do you stay there and continue to support that person? >> the advice i got on this from andy card was, when you come to work at the white house, if you're not amazed and in awe of working through the doors every day, then that's the day you should resign and he sort of put it that way. you're putting it a little different way about your interpersonal feelings about the man who is the president. there is a time for every adviser when it may be time to leave. when you get sworn in, when you take the oath -- i did this. the concept of laying that down because you believe you're there for the greater piece of public service, it's hard to get over the concept of resigning when you've taken that oath. >> but if the greater piece of public service is not being served or upheld, do you think they should resign or stay and try and fix it? do you think that they are supporting racism or racist
policies by staying there? >> i think everyone has a different line and there's a big difference between someone working for rick perry and the department of energy and somebody personally assisting donald trump and getting his message out. i'm a communications person. i could not defend someone i know would not defend me. i would not go to work for somebody who is not upholding the ideals of this country. i think there's a laser focus in particular on people who choose to work with donald trump on message. like a sarah huckabee sanders, like the women at the rnc right now who i haven't seen out today. funny how they're not out there today. the people who sign up to defend trump, i want to see them on tv right now. i want to see how you do this. right now they're hiding out and your job is to get his message out. let's see it. i think they're afraid and if you're afraid to do your job, that's the time to walk out. >> gloria, both of us have been on television a lot today and i
have not seen very many republicans sitting next to me or in these satellite boxes on television. >> that's what i was going to say. if you look at the ceos today, they resigned and donald trump may believe, i'm just going to dissolve this but it collapsed and then he tweeted, well, these groups are going to get dissolved. they it requequit. they left. they have a constituency to their boards, their customers, to their businesses and you show them up there and they said, okay, we're not doing it anymore. the question is, will the ceos lead the way for -- and i'm talking about elected officials now who also have constituents -- republicans to come out and say i need to talk to this president. i need to take him on and tell him how i feel publicly because i'm in a position of leadership as well as an elected official.
some of them may be afraid because their constituents are loyal to donald trump. i get that. i understand that. but leadership sometimes requires that you go against the grain. >> yeah. >> and we haven't seen that yet, as amanda points out. and maybe it's because they're out of town. but when they come back, i'm wondering whether this is just going to pass and they'll move on to something else. >> yeah, but everybody has one of these. and they can write something -- >> oh, yeah. >> we can hear from them. we can send a satellite truck to them, wherever they are. thank you, all. thank you very much. when we come back, what the u.s. military and the u.s. closest allies have to say about the president's comments on charlottesville. fareed zakaria and john kirby will join me next.
president trump's chief strategist steve bannon with choice words tonight for white nationalists. i want to bring in fareed zakaria, host of "fareed zakaria gps" and rear admiral john kirby. gentlemen, good evening to you. this is a fascinating interview about steve bannon. he did it with the american prospect. he called white nationalists a collection of clowns. if he didn't think he was on the
record, then he was leaking. >> this whole situation is bizarre. it tells you the degree of internal chaos that's probably now consumed the trump white house because often what happens in these situations is, i've been in them, somebody calls you and it begins often as a sort of proper interview and they're trying to spin you but after a while, you know, you become the therapist because they are venting and they are trying to shape the way the public sees them. everybody in government often feels at a high level that they are deeply misunderstood and clearly part of what was going on was that with bannon. as always with steve bannon, what is striking is how intelligent he is, how coherent his world view is, if you listened to what he was saying about china, it's a very striking coherent view and he's intelligent about laying out exactly what the prize is, which is an economic war really with china. all the rest of it is a
sideshow. we're not going to get bathed into a war in korea. but what is striking on the political side is bannon seems to recognize that this was a very convenient vehicle to get him to where he wanted to get to but as he put it, these guys are losers. >> they are clowns. >> and we have to crush them. now, i wonder whether how much trouble this will get him into with the breitbart crowd. they have proudly used this banner and now you have steve bannon describing this group as a bunch of clowns and losers. >> he seems to contradict the president last week after his tough talk on north korea. he said there's no military solution to north korea's nuclear threats. forget it. until somebody solves the equation that 10 million people in seoul don't die within the first 30 minutes, don't know what you're talking about. there's no military solution here. they've got us. that is rebuttal of the firing
fury thing. >> he's refuting it frontally. he's essentially arguing that the president's rhetoric didn't make sense. that already happened with the remarkable op-ed that james mattis and rex tillerson wrote in "the wall street journal." the way i read the op-ed was, don't pay any attention to what our president is saying. here's america's policy on north korea. we want to negotiate with them. we do not contemplate any type of military action. so bannon is reflecting that. what you realize is everybody is serious at the white house thinks trump went off on some kind of an unscripted dangerous rant about north korea. i think that what one wonders about is how is trump going to be able to conduct muslim diplomacy when his credibility with international partners has been absolutely destroyed, not by his enemies but rex
tillerson, james mattis, steve bannon are now essentially saying pay no attention to what that guy in the oval office says. it's not credible, feasible, viable. >> they're the men behind the curtain. i want you to listen. five u.s. joint chiefs have issued public condemnations of white supremacist groups all through twitter. and here they are right now. admiral richardson tweeted, events in charlottesville, unacceptable. must not be tolerated. u.s. navy forever stands against intolerance and hatred. and then tuesday, the u.s. marine corps tweeted that there's no place for racial hatred or extremism in usmc. our core values of honor, courage, commitment frame the way marines live and act. so after finding out the head of the white supremacy group was a
marine for several years and then you have all of these folks in the military responding, what do you think of that? we can put them up as you speak. >> i think these men -- and i know them all. i've actually served with all of them in staff capacities over the last several years, they are speaking for the core values of the united states military. and it's important for them to do that. they were reacting to charlottesville and the way they felt their own troops and their troop's families might be reacting to charlottesville as well as, don, america's sons and daughters who have yet to recruit and parents who may be thinking about a young son or daughter signing up for boot camp and what do they think they are doing and what values does the military represent to them. i had a chance to talk to admiral richardson and he told me what really motivated him. he was the first one out with a statement. in fact, he was out before president trump's first statement. he was in the gym down in norfolk, virginia, working out with a bunch of young sailors.
they didn't really even know that he was with them. and all of this was unfolding on tv and he noticed as he was working out how the sailors themselves, of all different sizes, shapes, colors, creeds, the very diverse group of sailors working out in the gym were stopping what they were doing and watching and shaking their heads and talking to one another. clearly the mood was somber and he asked himself, what am i going to say to them? how am i going to communicate to them that this is not who we are and what the navy stands for. i think it was reflected -- >> this is rare. can you explain to us how rare this is and these men felt compelled to send these statements but it's very rare for this to happen. >> it's very rare for them -- it's not rare for them to stand up for core values and to demonstrate that publicly. what's rare for them is to get involved in or discuss a domestic issue like this what happened in charlottesville. they are typically, as you want them to be, outwardly focused in terms of the world and what's going on in terms of the national security threats but i
think they look at this as a real threat to their ability to conduct their missions. these guys, the service chiefs are responsible for manning and equipping all of the services. they are the face and the voice of each military services and so the diversity of america, the diversity of our population inside, the ranks, all of that is very much critical to mission readiness and accomplishment. so for them this also got to the bottom line for their jobs and what their responsible for doing for the country, which is bringing in talent for the united states military, training it and retaining it and deploying. >> fareed, we know the president respects the military and wealthy business men and he's lost both, it appears. >> well, i think what's really interesting about the military response is that it also speaks as john kirby was saying that something extraordinary success story in america, the single most successful institution at integrating the races over the last 30 years has been the united states military. i remember when colin powell
became chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. what people were stunned by is how super competent colin powell was and then they began to realize there were people under him and people under him and made you realize that this institution had taken people from all walks of life, all races, all socioeconomic backgrounds and found a way to integrate them in a way that the private sector had not been able to do. so i think the military is really standing up for one of its absolute core values and also great success stories. i'm a little less impressed by the business elite, to be honest. i think they've been more followers than leaders. it's surprising how long it took many of them to act as they did. if the merck ceo had not done what he did, i don't know how many would have fallen suit. the johnson & johnson ceo is a perfect example of a profile and cowar cowardice, after confronting everything that happened, issued a statement saying, well, i wish
trump had not said that but we're still going to stick with him and after trump disbanded the council, 15 minutes later, the ceo of johnson & johnson announces that he was going to quit the council which no loun g longer existed. sos that was brave of him to resign off the council once there was no council. one of the reasons we have the kind of populist resentment that we have is that business leaders don't recognize they hve enormous power. they have enormous credibility and respect in this country and they have been using it very badly for the last 20 years. think about the financial crisis. think about these kinds of things. they have to be broader society leaders and not just look at the bottom line. >> thank you, admiral, fareed. i appreciate it. when we come back, sources telling cnn that president trump has no regrets about his press conference. two men who have covered trump extensively over the years, they will join me next and we'll break that down.
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many people speak out against donald trump for his charlottesville comments. quoting maya angelou when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them. and "the artd of being the donald." hello to both of you. i just want to play something. this is a clip from donald trump. it was way back in 2000 and he was speaking about why he didn't want to be associated with david duke. >> what do you see as the biggest problem with the reform party right now some. >> you got dave duke just joined. a bigot, a racist, a problem. this is not exactly the people you want in your party. >> so he was considering a run for president as a member of the reform party and he decided not to do it because he didn't want to be associate would the likes of david duke. he told my colleague i don't
know david duke. so how do you reconcile these two versions of donald trump? the 2000 version and the 2016 to 2017 version? >> he's completely self interested. this is a man whose priority is donald trump. now that he's the president of the united states, everyone hoped he would change, hoped that somehow he had rised to the occasion. the office might make him presidential. but it's the same fella who in 1972 screamed reverse discrimination when he was asked to obey the fair housing laws, the same guy who in the '90s took out the ad about the central park five. he's consistent with this self agrandizing appeal to racism when he wants to and retreat from it when he thinks that will serve him. >> but he denounced racism for that, but when it's politically
expedeiant -- >> he built his whole political identity, fprior to the 2016 election, on the birther campaign. he stuck with it. and he was told point blank it was racist and he was good with it. >> his connection to the alt-right, is it a political move or does he share their beli believes? because he sounded very passionate yesterday. >> the reason he can't put any moral authority behind the strength of the alt-right is because he's played race baiting throughout his entire career as a public figure, as a businessman and now as president. as michael mentioned earlier in the 1970s the justice department sues trump and his father. it was then trump management for not allowing people of culler to rent trump housing. in 1989 he takes out full page
ads. in new york newspapers going after latino and black teenagers who had allegedly raped and assaulted a jogger. they were kbaexonerated througha testing and trump still doubted their guilt. and as michael also pointed out. he used birtherism to hound barack obama during his entire presidency. in each of these events trump had no reason, particularly in the central park 5 case and obama, to insert himself into these moments other than to create publicity for himself or to take advantage of sensationalism and race baiting. and i think the matt lauer interview is an anomaly. i think what trump did this weekend with shcharlottesville very consistent where he's been throughout his whole career. and that's why he couldn't
denounce people more forcefully. >> the first one he did was in 1988 or 1989 when he said if you're a young black man you're advantaged over everyone else. he hasn't studied history and does ntd understand it and cursing us because we have to relive it. we're going backing to the long-hot summers of racial conflict and he's dragging us there because i think this is what is in his soul. this is a reflex. this is where he resides. this is an archie bunker kind of queens 1971 resentment and it's natural for him. >> again he was one of the leading voices in the birther conspiracy and carried the ball longer than anyone else. and promoted -- had the biggest mega phone when it came to that and would argue people down about it and said you would believe what my people are finding. i'm sending investigators.
nothing ever came of it. how has that played into the trump of today? >> it's consistent. this is the trump of today. he's willing to exploit racial differences and an nosty to make political hay. >> and look at how he's paralyzed the republican party. we now have one republican after another denouncing them. but they still have their agenda they'd like to pursue. but he has no commitment to them. he ran as a republican. was elected by the republican machine, their apparatus. they've been as loyal as they can be and where do they stand now? completely outside of the mainstream republican ideal. >> maggie hanz is reporting that trump felt liberated after his rant yesterday. what does that tell you about our president that he felt liberated after that embarrassing -- >> because first he said nothing
when charlottesville happened. then he came out and said everyone's at fault and taken to task for that and then he came out and gave a statement and said of course the kkk and neo-nazis were horrible people and then he came out and had to get back to where he was most comfortable, saying he didn't think they were the only ones at fault. he felt liberated because he was able it say what he truly believes. >> he is like kid who was sent to his room for being bad and he got out and when he got out went right back to being bad again because this is satisfying to him. >> everyone knew. as you're watching, i could hear and i happened to be watching with a group of people. and everyone was saying oh, my gosh i can't believe he's saying this and my thought does he know the television cameras are rolling? and i kept thinking someone was going to say last question. >> remember judge curial, when
he went after him? >> he also bragged as much as possible about his business acuman and success. >> i did a very good job but i will say this and people are very, very impressed with what the business has done. >> i have the best business leaders and they all want to do it. i make good deals. it's a talent. it's a talent. >> i have the greatest businessman in the world. im >> i will tell you this what i am is a great businessman. >> men and women, we have the best. we have the best. >> so he admires business people more and you saw the ceo's today, the people he most admire, turning htheir backs on him. he just got rid of -- >> they were starting to leave before he got rid of him. he made a public gesture but i
think they were leaving because they finally realized trump wasn't going to be useful for them. they want hard core business friendly policies driven out of the white house and they have someone in there who is not a great businessman during his own career. >> let's be honest. he started in third base. >> he was born comfortably wealthy. he did build a family business long before his family did. and the trump who's emerged from that debacle is a branding machine but he's not a fortune 500 executive. he's never eexsectively run a big organization. >> there are people who don't actually believe he's a bi billionai billionaire. >> he doesn't know what these businessman do or businesswoman. when he talks about shutting down these advisory groups, he doesn't understand