tv CNN Special Report CNN August 18, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
in for anderson cooper, and we have breaking news up and down the line. one of the most tornadic week in the trump presidency. and that, friends, is saying something, let's start with the country rubbed raw with the terror, murder and hate in charlottesville, virginia, the president stepped up and made it worse in just about everybody's opinion, except the white supremacists. and this week we see people backing away from the president and the idea that nazis and those protesting against them are equal in any way. corporate ceos, artists, tonight, members of his evangelical investment board, and carl icahn, many backing away from this president. we've seen republican lawmakers slowly by steadily increasing criticism. here is the latest tally on your screen of all the people who called out the president by
party, by name. mitt romney, scolding him, not a surprise perhaps, but military commanders rebuking the president. that is a major surprise. and today on top of it all and perhaps in a matter more of convenience than coincidence, the president fired his chief strategist, steve bannon. take a look at this picture, first it was michael flynn, then sean spicer, then reince priebus, then the meteoric rise and fall of anthony scaramucci, the mooch. then steve bannon gone and we hear that more heads could roll, sebastian gorka, dr. gorka, to you and me. and the flames fanned, bannon back at his old website,
breitbart, apparently trying to sever ties to his all-important base. and bannon tweeting the word, war, bannon telling the weekly standard the presidency that he and donald trump fought for and won is now over. think of that. all right, a lot to cover. and to talk about so let's bring in cnn's jim acosta joining us first with the very latest for the president's vacation spot in new jersey, jim, what are we finding out about the timing here, how this went down with bannon? >> well, chris tit was alt-righ, stage left for some. steve bannon was supposed to be fired a couple of weeks ago and that did not happen. he was given a chance to resign, which apparently he took the opportunity to do. but make no mistake he was forced out, fired, apprentice style by the president and chief
of staff john kelly. a couple of reasons why this was. this has been building for sometime. this is not the first time steve bannon had been rumored to be on the chopping block. the president had fallen out of love with him a while ago, concerned about him being on the cover of time magazine, and sucking up a lot of the oxygen in washington, but i think more critically, chris, the new chief of staff, john kelly, wanted to put in place a much more disciplined power structure in the white house. from what i understand, steve bannon was just not going to survive in that world. as we saw last week, he was granting interviews with journalists and sort of fr freelancing, putting his own agenda out there really in front of the president's. and we understand that was just not going to fly in john kelly's new world. and there could be other heads rolling on the horizon here, chris. >> so the article where steve
bannon said there is no military solution for north korea, that was seen as a little bit of a -- okay, one step too far. forgi forget about the timing, he has to go right now. this is significant because of what it is not about. that this is not about charlottesville, virginia, that what happened there and was said there by the president was all of his own. that was not bannon engineered and the reason for his exit, true? >> well, make no mistake, i mean, this certainly did change the news cycle today. when the president was called out essentially by the mother of heather heyer on morning television earlier today, when the mother of heather heyer said i will not speak to the president this was going to be a devastating news cycle for this white house today, in forcing steve bannon out. that certainly did change the narrative and news cycle. i mean, one of the things we're hearing is whether or not steve bannon and breitbart are going to go to war against this white
house. earlier today you saw one editor from breitbart, joe pollock, was tweeting that it would be hash tag war. and i talked to one source who said no, no, wait a minute, i'm going to be going to war for this white house. he doesn't want to see president trump fail, according to the source who spoke to bannon. if breitbart sees and steve bannon sees this white house moving in a more moderate direction you know you may see some of the hostilities resume. >> all right, jim acosta, thank you very much. we have josh green, author of "devil's bargain." steve bannon, and the storming of the presidency, with us, kirsten powers, many have been
buzzing about it. speaking out about what you're about to tell me, is bannon telling a writer for the weekly standard the presidency that i fought for with donald trump that we won is now over? is that what he was saying to you? >> basically, yeah, he told me that -- and take this with a grain of salt given the source, that this was not a firing. that it was in the works for a while, thinking about leaving two weeks ago delayed it because of the charlottesville uproar, something agreed to with both chief of staff john kelly discussed with the president and it was clear, bannon told me that he is leaving on friendly terms and going outside to wage war for trump. and not against trump. >> amicable terms, presidency is over, mutually agreed, war, which way do you see it? >> i am sort of interested in the take on what he means by that. it seemed to me when i read it
the criticism was really not of donald trump but of the republicans. that is sort of the way i was reading it and that he basically said the presidency is over because the republicans will not do what donald trump wants him to do. and because they're too moderate is that the correct reading? >> he didn't use that specific phrase with me but yes that is exactly the idea he pushed forward. that you know we have taken it this far, won the presidency, trump's agenda is not moving forward quite the way we like, so i'll go fight on his behalf. he specified who he would go to war against, the establishment politicians, republican leaders in congress, it was the opposition party in the media as ben likes to refer to us. and corporate america who trump and bannon feel have betrayed donald trump. >> here is part of the confusion, one of the problems with having an unknown political entity, because donald trump came into it with an unknown set
of cores. to you, when you hear about all of this, joseph, what does it mean to you and whether or not this administration is going to keep its connection to the populism that made it popular? >> well, i think there has always been this assumption that donald trump has been playing some type of wizardly three-dimensional chess. i think that that is probably incorrect at this point. i think that the reality that has kind of been thrust upon us is that we have been playing three dimensional chess upon donald trump. that you have these assumptions based on your leanings, that it is jared or ivanka who is going to pull him away from the agenda, although you have no evidence on that fact. then there are people who can draw a line on everything they hate about donald trump and connect it to steve bannon saying he is the reason why we
have all of these policies being shoved down our trehroat that w don't like. or on the other side, he is the reason about what we do like. so the curtain has been drawn back and we're forced to see in many ways in stark terms that as we said before there is literally nobody who can force the president to do anything he doesn't want to do. he is a force of nature on to himself, for better or worse. on some level he may have exposed himself with the firing of bannon, because at this point for the first time possibly in his entire life, the buck has to state trooper wi stop with him. there would be nobody to point to but him. >> he has fired most of the people who have served him in that purpose of well, whose fault is it if it is not your own? how do you see it in terms of the implications for the president? >> with regards to the populous national agenda and the economic
national agenda, look bannon and trump are arm in arm on this, and they will still push for the issues, such as immigration. >> why the confidence that the president on his own will motivate that agenda when we haven't seen that from him, unilaterally to this point? >> look where he stands on immigration. he is certainly strong on immigration, building the wall -- >> we don't know that it will raise wages for the working person -- >> clearly he tapped into something in the country. i think bannon lit the torch and carried the torch, the question is who will carry it forward? there is a lot of talk on the establishment republican, but some refer to it as the white house democrats, jared and iv ivanka and cohn, i think what
this departure means, two things, one man carries the spotlight in the white house, that is the president. and there is a new sheriff in town and that is john kelly. >> i asked about precisely that term. he wouldn't answer and take shots at gary cohn and jared or ivanka, but clearly this is something on his mind. i think he was trying to exit in a dignifieied fashion that woul not be seen as a food fight. >> now you have the big problem, the big problem has always been well, what happens if you put bannon on the outside? his connection to the base, having this mouth piece in breitbart. you know, having somebody who has heard countless conversat n conversations and intimate moments of the president. now you have him against you maybe. >> if you read the interview with the weekly standard by peter boyar, he is 100% clear
that his version of trumpism is dead. that the populous national agenda is stopped. he sort of personalized this whole thing and says very clearly he is going to breitbart to wage war against the people and institutions that stopped it in its tracks, very clear talking to journalists for months about the war inside the white house. i visited him a few months ago, he threw down the times, saying look at the front page, bannon versus gary cohn. he wanted me to see this is the war happening in the administration. now he will take that battle outside and viewed himself always as being surrounded by the enemy. they were the so-called glob globalists in the west wing. then the enemies in the media, us. then it was the republican establishment on capitol hill, and then it was the business community. he used to joke he didn't even
have time to fight the democrats because he was fighting so many people in the white house inside the larger structure. >> that was frustrating. that bothered people. now like we saw on the movie star wars, back in the day, you have struck him down but may come back stronger than you have seen. when we come back, we have david gergen, now he has seen his share of successful and unsuccessful presidents up close. what is the difference between this transition and making it a better time? and later we'll have a defender of the president on the west wing democracy situation they have going on, how big a deal is this? how strong can steve bannon be on the outside? all that ahead on "ac360." david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds!
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and we covered it, july first, twenty-fifteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ and as white house chief of staff kelly prepares, we're told to keep swinging the axe. what will that mean? what kind of discipline does he want to bring to the white house? there is no shortage of drama and the question is does it leave any room, any space at all
for governing, any agenda that supposedly puts the president there. joining us, our senior political analyst david gergen. it is a blessing to have you tonight. >> thank you, chris, it's a blessing to have you here, thank you. >> let me engage one curiosity here, the timing just seems too convenient to be a coincidence. we've heard all of these competing narratives. i am sure you have heard as many or more than i have. but what do you think the timing of this is, what are your suspicions? >> well, it's obvious they're trying to veer away from the charlottesville story to a new story and get us off the whole question of racial hatred and the division that tuesday was such a disaster for the president. and they do want to change this.
i find it strange, bizarre, we have not heard a single word from donald trump today. how can a president who has had someone at his side who helped him win election, upset victory the way he did. he has been with him for a year, not even have the graciousness to thank him. with a perfunctory written note. i find it strange. it suggests there is real animosity. we don't know the whole story yet. i also think that very important to this with the role that steve bannon is choosing for himself could make him more powerful on the outside and could cause enormous problems for the president. because he could begin to split the republican party apart. the old question is, if you
can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat. he is going to go after cnn, we know, and that could be very destructive. if he goes after the conservative establishment and the republican party as he is vowing to do, going after mitch mcconnell, it's going to be much harder for the president to keep his base intact and to round up all the republican votes he is going to need. >> what is the calculus here needed, what kind of leverage he could get over jared and ivanka and making some enemies in house or now being uncontrollable on the outside? >> well, that is a good question. i think the calculus actually came down to, do i keep kelly or bannon, it's very clear kelly would not have stayed long if he
had not gotten bannon out of there. he had a mandate and agreement with the president that he could clean house. i'm sure kelly would have gone to the president and said it's either him or me, you can't have us both because it's not working. so i think that was the main calculus, so the question is, is bannon out there to discredit in a more serious way, the mueller team. he is going to have money coming in as we know from mr. mercer, who put in at least $10 million to breitbart in the past. >> and has a lot of his own money. this is a man of needs, other people have to go take care of their families and get a job that makes money. he can really do whatever he wants. i wouldn't question for you -- i will question for you, david,
before you leave. we see the president has not abated an iota in terms of the behaviors that are counterproductive. what do you make for the prospect of fixing at this point? >> the prospect of fixing donald trump is extraordinarily low, somewhere between about 5% and zero. look, he is who he is who he is who he is. and he made it very clear he was not programmed by steve bannon when he went out there tuesday. that was pure donald trump. and i think the issue becomes as with all presidents as you know so well, chris, the -- everybody takes their cues off the president and -- what does the president really believe and they take their cues off that. and we know that donald trump -- i thought senator corker raised the right kind of question yesterday, asking about his emotional and mental stability. >> all right, david, appreciate it. thank you very much. let's turn your thoughts to the panel. all right, so when we hear david
gergen there, he knows how it goes and what the challenges are. between 5% and zero, so if you're kelly, you're saying i got a chance. that prospect looms, you can fire whomever you need to. >> clearly general cancel has been instrumental in righting the ship, plugging leaks, making changes he feels will supply security in the white house. but the elephant in the room will be donald trump and the twitter and inability to stay on message. that is the key moving forward. we do have some, kellyanne conway will be strong on keeping him on the conservative message and fighting for things that a lot of the base does stand by the trump administration with when it comes to life and family
and those issues. but the key will always be keeping donald trump on message and off twitter, which general kelly is great, but he is not a magici magician. >> he has now fired likes momos inner circle. what does it mean, we are six months into the administration and he has already gotten rid of the bulk of people advising him. >> like a well oiled machine. >> the parts -- supposed to be the reason he was elected. a great businessman with the eye for talent. >> to be clear, there are people in t-- who are supporters of th president, saying well, shake-ups happen. no, not like this -- >> you don't get this much
firing in a season of the apprentice, he has gone through most of the senior staff. >> what does that affect in terms of confidence and the ability of the president to get the job done? >> i think you see the slow, emphasis on slow chipping away at the republican base as far as support. i think one of the most striking things we had this week, the vice media piece with the individual saying i wanted to vote for something like donald trump but more racist. once you get past that striking part he said i think it actually applies to the majority of the people who went into the ballot booth and voted for donald trump. >> there is no question there are people you want to call the hate, the alt-right, or the hate parade who attached themselves to trump for good and bad reasons. but there are a lot of working class people who think that he is a ticket to something because they have given up on the
system. my question is, who is the conservative connection to that base. >> speaking with a lot of conservatives that i have spoken with today and a lot of conservatives, look, bannon helped to energize the disaffected republicans, a lot of obama voters, they wanted somebody to go in and drain the swamp and bannon helped do that. a lot of conservatives are looking at kellyanne conway to be the gateway to the president and she is ready and willing and able to step up and do just that. so whether we're talking social conservatives, she is somebody -- >> but if kellyanne conway had it the way bannon has it then you wouldn't have needed bannon, because there was a lot of baggage to come in with him? right, there was a lot of baggage to come in with him. so the connection to the base is not to be rivalled with the remaining people there, i don't think, right? >> i think his tie to the conservative base will still be steve bannon. trump is famous for firing people and then still calling
them up and soliciting their opinion. he did it with corey lewandow i lewandowski, and other people who left the white house. >> why would -- >> because of the statement. because of the interview i had with bannon, because of the fact he said look, i'm going to war for trump not against him. >> if you wanted to -- >> not coming out as david pointed out. not saying anything at all -- >> the president is clearly unhappy but bannon has a project here to institute his nationalist policies. whether trump is the guy who does it or not i'm not sure that bannon knows, but i don't know if you will have a president that is as willing to listen to steve bannon as this one was. >> for better or worse, whatever you think of bannon he had very strong ideological views, in a way that donald trump had. he had very well thought out
views on china, and intervention abroad, very opposed to the strike on syria. he has very serious views on trade. on immigration. and there doesn't seem to me, even kellyanne conway who is probably the most conservative around donald trump now but was a pollster and message person and not as much as an ideologue, and not as much -- >> you're for ggetting about on person, mike pence. >> remember, what is the greatest evidence of bannon's impact? this is not who donald trump was before. he did not hold these views when he was here in new york as a big real estate developer. they are all new found for him.
we'll dig deeper into this question of the base that we have been touching on here. steve bannon's claim is that look, i know these people. i brought the ideas to donald trump. i made him president and now that is over. what is over? we're going to ask a trump supporting conservative what is over? what is still ahead, next. no splashing! wait so you got rid of verizon, just like that? uh-huh. i switched to t-mobile, kept my phone-everything on it- -oh, they even paid it off! wow! yeah. it's nice that every bad decision doesn't have to be permenant! ditch verizon. keep your phone. we'll even pay it off when you switch to america's best unlimited network. going somewhere? whoooo. here's some advice. tripadvisor now searches more... ...than 200 booking sites - to find the hotel you want and save you up to 30%.
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all right, for all the unknowns about steve bannon being out of the white house, let there be no mystery of what he will do next. he is going right back to what he knows best, breitbart, the website he once described as a platform for the alt-right. after being fired, bannon told the weekly standard, quote, now i'm free. i have my hands back on my weapons. somebody said it's bannon the barbari barbarian, and i'm definitely going to crush the weapon. joining me now is gop chairman ed martin, author of "the conservative case for trump." ed, thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you, chris, thank you. >> so mr. bannon says as the president calls him, the presidency that he won with trump is over. what does that mean to you? does that mean that the ability
to motivate the agenda for the working man and woman dies with bannon's exit? >> you know, i saw that quote. i don't know what that really means, but i do know that steve is a really provacateur, he exited stage left and is getting a lot of attention. i don't know what he means, but let me say something if you don't mind on trump and what bannon did. remember you guys are talking about staff. general sessions is the most conservative guy that we've known for the base, guys like me, steven miller is a fierce conservative guy. the people still in this administration, scott pruett, neil gorsuch, if you think about those guys trump and bannon did that. now that bannon is on the outside, you will see the agenda that bannon cares about going forward but i think it's the
trump agenda, i don't think that it is anything that shifted. >> the problem with the theory is this is not who trump was before, before this incarnation as a presidential candidate and now president of the united states, these were not policies that he hammered on when he had plenty of opportunity to the way that steve bannon did. so where does your confidence come from that he will continue to be do things that he has not been able to do yet? >> well, bannon emerged on the conservative what i think the populous conservative scene ten years ago. i disagree with that a little bit. trump has talked about immigration and trade and america being broken in terms of competitiveness. but let me say something, chris, politicians change stripes, it's really what you have done for us in office? and again, gorsuch, judges, china, on a different relationship. pruett cutting regulations on the epa, he delivered on the
conservative agenda, where he was 30 years ago, in politics that doesn't matter so much as where you are today. >> where does the confidence go? the base can't be satisfied. i know if you put it to them in a poll question, i grew up reading and writing them. and i get the finesse, obviously in a binary situation, for or against trump many people in the party are going to go, for trump. in terms of why he got in there, the only thing that has been disrupted is the president himself. it has not benefitted him. then there is the working man and woman's jobs, jobs coming back, manufacturing, coal, our wages will rise, and we're not seeing just no proof of it we're not seeing any sign of a plan for it. >> well, but chris, i'm out in missouri, and we do a little work across the country with my organization. my america first agenda is a lot about the psychology of
believing in america again. and i really do see that. standing up to china and north korea, i'm not saying it's all perfect or doesn't feel odd to people that watch it and how it works out. it's not all linear, the other thing i would say, chris, nobody is paying attention to. trump is the most accessible president. accessible to the people, they hear and see what he is about. it's not always perfect. >> except for the media. >> but in the media, he is doing presses, statements about charlottesville. >> being tested on your principles and positions so the american people can make an informed decision about you is something very different. >> okay, i'll leave that to you, but when it comes to results, again look at neil gorsuchs, the judges, the number of judges appointed. the america first, immigration, way down. and for lots of us that is the biggest transformation of both
parties to have people running against -- the guy running for president, delaney, saying he is against people running for jobs -- >> little bit of a talking point bogeyman, the idea that illegal immigrants are what are keeping back the american men and women. you know that those are not the problem for working class america. >> no, chris, it's not only the jobs they take. it's the amount of cost of them being in the welfare system and transformation system. cuomo family, they a simulated. this is a different set of ways we're living when 20, 30 million people are coming in faster. that is not a bogeyman -- >> large part they're coming here because they're desperate for a better way of life for their families and they are not taking the jobs that the working men and women need.
they are not keeping wages down for the working men and women in america, it's just not true economically. you can disagree, i'm just saying the data doesn't support your disagreement. >> well, i think the data on the wage is down, i don't think anyone would say introducing a large number of workers into the work force doesn't change the levels. >> you have to see where they're going. picking apples and tomatoes is not the same as wanting to be a factory worker. there are different price points -- >> right, but straining the system and transforming our living is what americans voted for an american first agenda. again, you're talking about conservative principles we're arguing for. we did that the immigration is going down. we're having no conversation about amnesty, you notice that some of the guys objecting with charlottesville, graham, that is a guy that is his number one
issue. my point is that trump's agenda, his agenda america first is working. whether you like it or not he is more competent than everybody admits and steve bannon was a big part of that. but so will sessions and miller and carson and pruett and the next two or three supreme court justices will all be part of that agenda. >> well, we'll see who can keep the president or message or help him keep himself on message and get these things that he promised the american people. ed martin, thank you for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. all right, coming up, it's getting to the point where jared kushner and ivanka trump are the last ones standing with the president in their family. and the question is where are they right now? oscar mayer deli fresh ham has no added nitrates,
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steve bannon is out. is that a surprise? yes, you know what is an even bigger surprise that we didn't hear about it right away. the fact it may have been kept secret whether it's one day or a few days is amazing given what a s sieve is. we know that bannon was not getting along with jared kushner and he was going after mcmaster. if these people were at odds in the white house, what does it mean when they get out and bannon has to have a relationship with them? bannon's ouster has kushner's fingerprints all over it. that is something that steve bannon would probably know. let's bring back the panel and
talk about he and his wife, ivanka, they have been absent during this horrible week, given the understanding that they are jews, they laid lows, but if it's true, kirsten, that jared was against them the whole time because bannon was trying to put a move on him from early on and trying to have more leverage what does it mean about who this war is against? if that war tweeted by one of bannon's people, war and the presidency being over is not about how he feels about the president. it can't be good for jared kushner. >> i don't think so, i don't think so it's good for jared or ivanka or dina powell or any of the people viewed by steve bannon and the breitbart crew as being the barrier to donald trump -- being the person that -- >> what can he do? >> well, he has been in the white house, and he was on the campaign, i assume he has a lot
of information about these people, right? and he is now in a position to go after them. the question is does that alienate trump? you know it better because you know bannon better but it doesn't seem that he wants to alienate trump. >> that was his position, i'm not going against trump, i'm going to war against people who can inhibit trump from pursuing a nationalist agenda. it was clear that was one of the people he was talking about. >> steve bannon hates jared kushner and ivanka, he hates gary cohn. he has enemies. his entire life has been finding an opponent and going after them as hard as he could. he did it at breitbart -- >> put some meat on the bones, about this animas. >> his view since election day he believes all of these people
started rushing into the trump orbit, ceos, advisers that had democratic backgrounds, establishment republicans. all of a sudden, steve bannon was running this tiny little campaign, against all odds had a well defined ideology, there was a hostile take over by all of these other forces. his job was to keep them at bay, they have now won that war, he will continue that war. >> it depends on what the issue is. clearly we have steve bannon, an economic nationalist, and views others at the white house as globalists, he wants to reduce america's footprints. >> that doesn't make you hate somebody. >> but it shows in terms of his influence, as bannon said his weapon is back in his hand being in the media. from a communications standpoint one thing you always learn is never give somebody ammunition who has a gun pointed at your
head. so i believe it's smart for the president and those at the administration not to do anything to provoke him, because they know breitbart has a lot of power. >> i don't think it's going to train his focus on the administration, i really don't. i honestly believe bannon wants what he wants, which is a nationalist agenda. and i think as long as donald trump doesn't turn on that agenda, nobody in that media orbit, particularly his family, will feel his wrath. one thing we know about donald trump he is again almost constitutionally lally incapab saying he made a mistake. so as much as he may not have a philosophical allegiance to a nationalist agenda, i think he has a personal vested interest in never actually saying i'm going to do something different. so anyone waiting for some type of triangulation in the form of
bill clinton, will be sadly -- >> don't criticize him, you can go after his family, you can do whatever you want but don't go after him directly or you're done twice. all right, we'll take a quick break and get more of the panel's take in some of the relevant questions popping up. but first it was the businesses, now charities. groups like red cross, and others impactingmar-a-lago,
so what the president did say and didn't say about what happened in charlottesville caused a major rift in some allegiances. first it was the ceos of the business councils heading for the hills and the president retaliated by closing down those councils. tonight we lenders that a pastor on his evangelical advisory board has also stepped down.
now some major charities are also say no thanks to the trump brand. the american red cross, the american cancer society, the salvation army, they have all decided not to host fund-raisers at mar-a-lago. in a statement the american red cross says the venue had increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for its volunteers, employees and supporters. so let's take this to the panel. ryan, what is the resonance of this? is this people just sprespondin to political zeitgeist? >> no, this is people and institutions that are outraged and deeply dismayed by the president making a moral ekwifl ans between the kkk and nazis and people that showed up to protest them and the president saying that they were very fine people who marched at a rally organized by the kkk and nazis.
there's genuine outrage and dismay about that. i mean the fact that carl icahn, one of his, i suppose, close friends that he talked about on the campaign all the time has now felt it necessary to disassociate himself from trump, and i think once we get over this story that we've been concentrating on tonight and this important story about steve bannon leaving the white house, this story of trump's comments earlier this week is not going away. democrats in congress will make sure of that. i think we in the media will continue to shine a pretty bright light on it. there are a lot of republicans who want him to repudiate those comments. >> well, one of the most bizarre developments -- >> this is the beginning of the fallout, i think. >> one of the most bizarre developments about the bannon situation is what the president seemed to be saying and doing this week could only be tailored to the most specific and virulent part of his base. they could be the only people open to this suggestion that antifa is just as bad as the
kkk, because you'd have to be someone so invested in the idea that there is this toxic thing called the alt-left and they are violent anarchists. so i figured it had bannon written all over him. then to hear, no, it wasn't him. he didn't engineer any of this. that was more surprising than bannon being out to me. >> you know, it wasn't to me. trump clearly believes in his contention that both sides are equally at fault, that there are two sides to blame for charlottesville. as appalling as that is for a lot of us to hear, it was clear from trump's press conference, especially his second one where he just kind of went awol from his talking points and started basically shouting at the media, that this is what he really believed. that is not the sign of a president who is reading talking points or is trying to spin the media. to me that was clear it was emotional, it was visceral, and it reflected what trump himself
believed. >> but i talked to a lot of conservatives who have said what you just said, that they do think antifa is the same thing. some of them think black lives matter are the same thing. these aren't alt-right people. this is, unfortunately, a much more mainstream republican view than maybe a lot of people realize. i think -- think back to what you just read in this intro, that one person on his evangelical council has resigned. one person? >> a bunch of ceos, a bunch of lawmakers. >> so what does that tell you? >> is it mike pence? they're loyal to mike pence? >> they're loyal to this president and i think they don't have -- they obviously don't have a serious enough problem with this, if they even have a problem with it because we're not hearing from them. we're actually hearing from some of them like jerry falwell jr. who are defending the president. >> they're listening when the president said i denounce naziism, white supremacy and racism, that's all they hear.
they don't hear the moral equivalency, they hear him denying it. they're going to support him many times regardless of what happens outside of what they hear, but they hear what they want to hear and they heard him denounce it. >> thank you for helping us understand some major developments going on in our society today. i hope you all have a great weekend. thanks to you for watching. stick with cnn. we'll be right back. that schwab billboard. oh, not so fast, carl. ♪ oh no. schwab, again? index investing for that low? that's three times less than fidelity... ...and four times less than vanguard. what's next, no minimums? ...no minimums. schwab has lowered the cost of investing again. introducing the lowest cost index funds in the industry with no minimums. i bet they're calling about the schwab news. schwab. a modern approach to wealth management. need a hair smoother? get super fruit moroccan argan oil with sleek & shine leave-in cream
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