tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 22, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
this is cnn breaking news. >> here's a breaking news. president trump delivers an angry divisive speech in phoenix and explosive protesters erupt in the streets. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. in the midnight hour here on the east coast. the president after one of the worst weeks of his presidency surrounding himself with his supporters. blasting what he calls the fake media again and again and again. while defending his shocking charlottesville comments last week, but failing to mention his
references to many sides and failing to mention so many other things. a speech filled with so many lies and mistruths, falsities and omissions. meanwhile, the crowd of angry anti-trump demonstrator flood the streets tonight. we're back now with my panel and we're disseccing the speech. david chalian, april ryan, maria cardona, bakari, and rick wilson. thanks for staying with us here. i want to play what the president said tonight regarding his response to charlottesville and then i'm going to play what he initially said and show how he lied about it. here's tonight. >> just what i said on saturday. we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, virginia. this is me speaking. we condemn in the strongest possible terms of this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. that's me speaking on saturday.
right after the event. >> left out a big part of it. here's what he actually said. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. >> no mention on many sides tonight, david chalian. at all. >> don, what confounds me is that donald trump is pretty media savvy. what i don't understand is he knows we have the videotape. if he went in for this entire section tonight with the idea to read these grievances against the media and sort of vent and have the american people sort of take on the burden of his venting tonight, why? why? he knows we're going to pull the clip. he didn't tell the full story. he ignored his tuesday press conference entirely where he
created a moral equivalency between the kk and counter protesters. but to leave out the term many sides, many sides which if you go back and look at the coverage from ta saturday afternoon after those remarks, that's what set everything off course. >> those words. >> we never played those words. we never played his press conference or his comments. the media won't show you that. that was sarcasm. we played all of it. we ran it live. >> he wants to air this and he's not even providing the full context of his own words. >> yeah. >> i mean, maria. >> don, i have a couple of things to say. the first one is, i want to commend you for last night really stating under no uncertain terms how uncomfortable it was and i think offensive is what you might have said and i believe it was offensive when he talked about charlottesville and knowing the debacle of the way that he
handled it and trying to cloak it in the way that our armed services give us every single day their life and their work on the frontlines. by talking about how our armed servicemen and women who you know, with no regard to background, to race, to religion, how they come together with love and with unity when in reality we knew that he does not believe any of it. i found that incredibly offensive because he was using our armed services men and women and their honor in order to cloak how disgusting his charlottesville debacle was. the second thing i want to say about all of this is that there's another option than what we all believe we saw tonight which is his complete and total mental instability. and what that might mean for his future in this office. i don't think he wants to be
president anymore. we have heard reports that he is miserable in the white house. that he can't stand the kind of coverage that he is getting. that yes, he goes to these rallies and he's boosted for a couple of hours but then he sees koj like this because you know he's watching and he is absolutely down right miserable. i don't think he wants to be president anymore. i think he is trying to find a way to get out of it, trying to find a way to perhaps resign, trying to find a way for people to kick him out and then he's going to blame the swamp for not being able to keep the props that he made during his campaign. >> i don't know -- we don't know if he doesn't want to be president. i thought tonight was interesting. in his remarks you saw he was trying to break free of the handcuffs that his staff put on him, right? i said i wouldn't say their names. he's referring to john mccain or jeff flake. he went on when he was alluding to the fact that sheriff joe arpaio has a pardon coming his
way and everything's going to be all right but he wouldn't say because that would be controversial. you could almost hear john kelley and others around him trying to coach him tonight about how to handle this, and he breaking free of those constraints during the speech. >> and speaking of john kelley, you know, he's in a -- >> go ahead. >> you know john kelley is in a fetal position right now, right? >> one of the things i think we're seeing hearing is that donald trump knows that his base and his pet media outlets rely on this war with the media he's doing and his sort of, and the ways he is transgressive and breaks the rules, et cetera. because that's all they're about. this is a president who doesn't care about the country. he cares about his image and he cares about this war with the media ha is the central part of his brand now. and the fact of the matter is i think an awful lot of americans are looking at this, outside the
republican base and thinking dear god, where is this going to go next. you're right. david, the handlers he's chafing against the adult supervision and the handling of these people. he doesn't want to be hold how to behave even when his behavior is so far out of any presidential norm, and that's not a compliment. that's not praise. that's a warning. but i do think they want the story to be about the media tomorrow. they want to have their ability to beat their chest and say the war with the media is what's really important, not the security, safety, prosperity and unity of our country. >> he wants to change the narrative. listen, before, i'm going to get to you guys. he mocked john mccain a man who is suffering from brain cancer and didn't mention the 11, 10, 11 soldiers on the "uss john mccain." why not? why would he do something like that? >> why are we asking these
questions? >> why are we asking these questions? it's funny to me because we're asking why is the president oh petty. he's been petty since we've known him on scene. why is the president lying? because he's a liar. i mean, nothing about tonight was new. nothing about tonight shocks the conscience. donald trump is exactly who we thought he would be. i mean, i think there's some things here that we have to concern ourselves with that are even that much deeper. you know, we talk about charlottesville and then we talk about his condemnation of white supremacists and neo-nazis but later in that speech he literally channeled the same language that white supremacists use saying they're trying to take away our culture, our heritage. those are the things that i find to be more dangerous than the fact that donald trump has a pattern of lying and it's even pathological because he's giving a platform to something that you stated earlier to give this rise of hate, bigotry and i think
that's more dangerous than the psychopathy that we know to be donald trump. >> james clammer, former director of national intelligence. mr. clapper, thank you so much for joining us. what did you think of tonight's performance by president trump. >> well, don, it's hard to know where to start. it is so objectionable on so many levels. i toiled in one capacity or another for every president since and including john f. kennedy through president obama and i don't know when i've listened and watched something like this from a president that i found more disturbing. having somed youing of the levers of power that are available to a president if he chooses to exercise them, i found this down right scary and
disturbing. i think bakari is right on the money though that this is not a surprise. interesting to contrast last night's teleprompter trump performance versus tonight which is, of course, the real trump. just as it was in the unglued impromptu press conference at trump tower. i just find this extremely disturbing. >> are you questioning his fitness? >> yes, i do. i really question his ability to be, his fitness to be in this office and i also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. maybe he is looking for a way out. i do wonder, as well about the
people that attracted to this -- to this rally as others. you know, what are they thinking? or why am i so far off base? because i don't understand the adulation. that's why i think he gravitated to having this rally as ill timed as it is. he should have quit while he was ahead after last night, but again, i think the real trump came through and again, as bakari said shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone. >> what should we do? what should washington do at this point? you said you were questioning his fitness. there are many people who are saying it. they won't say publicly, they don't have the courage you do maybe after the speech they will now. it will become painfully obvious as it is to most americans. what should we do? >> well, i think you know, the key thing here is where is he
with republicans? and i was quite struck by senator corker's remarks, very thoughtful and very, very measured. and i've -- i know senator corker. i've dealt with him. and he is very thoughtful senator. and he wouldn't say that lightly and without forethought. and i'm hopeful that other similarly thoughtful republicans will reach the point where enough is enough. >> enough is enough. and what do you mean? explain for us. >> that this behavior and thisdy visiveness and the complete intellectual, moral and ethical void that the president of the
united states exhibits, and how much longer does the country have to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare. >> hmm. "the new york times" is reporting tonight about the falling out between the president and mitch mcconnell over the investigations of russia's interference in the 2016 election. there you see the headline up on the screen. the report says the president was furious that is mcconnell failed to protect him. you call the accusations of collusion between the trump campaign and russia worse than watergate. what do you think is going on with the president? why is this such a hot button for him? >> well, first, to be clear, don, i -- when i left certainly on the 20th of january, i had not seen any evidence of direct collusion between the trump campaign, the trump camp and russians. there may have been collusion, but i didn't have any evidence
of it. so i don't understand, frankly, the president's fascination and solicitation of solicit to usness of russia and putin particularly unless he feels he's a kindred soul perhaps. so it is very strange to me. and i don't have an explanation for it. i don't know if it's collusion or something else. >> you said you questioned his fitness. is he a threat to national security? the president? >> well, he certainly could be. again, having some understanding of the levers that a president can exercise, i worry about, frankly, you know, the access to the nuclear codes. in a fit of pique, he decides to do something about kim jong
u.p., there's actually very little to stop him. the whole system's built to insure rapid response if necessary. so there's very little in the way of controls over you know, exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary. >> do you see this as a crisis mr. clapper? >> i'm not sure what the definition of a crisis is. if it is, we've been in it for quite awhile. certainly since the election. i have to say, don, i couldn't help but think in the course of the charlottesville, his staps about charlottesville when he was so quick to characterize the intelligence community as nazis, likening us to nazis on the 10th of january but seemed very reluctant to call out the nan na
benazis in this case. maybe i'm being a little parochial here and defensive about the intelligence community but that's one thought i had. i think if it is a christmas, we've been in it for quite awhile. >> what do you think other intelligence officialsnous and people who have some way in washington, what are the conversations they're having tonight and what will they be having tomorrow, do you think after the speech? >> i think many people in the intelligence community certainly in rank and file are worried are concerned about this. they in their -- and it's a tradition in the interrogation community to carry on with the mission and provide the intelligence that our decisionmakers so desperately need and they'll continue to do that, but i think in moments of personal reflection, i suspect they regreatly concerned about
the diadviciveness that is taking hold of this country. >> james clapper the former director of national intelligence. we thank you for your service to the country. we thank you for coming on this even. we want to get back now to what's happening in phoenix outside the convention center. there's still some disturbances going on. you saw gary tuchman and miguel marquez both there earlier this evening. being overcome with gas that the police were throwing to try to disperse the protesters. you see some on the streets. i'm not sure if we have our correspondents with us now. but we'll just. >> you do. >> show you what's happening with the pictures. cnn's miguel marquez in the middle of this all evening. what are you seeing on the streets of phoenix right now in. >> all right. what you're looking at now is this car that got caught in this. you can see the police down at the end of the street. they have pushed the protesters back one block away from the
convention center. they are using pepper spray, gas, and flash bang grenades and shooting though over the heads of the protesters. they make a very loud sound basically scaring people and getting them to disperse. we are between van buren and polk. there are protest ares scattering on first street and police are trying to move them back and make them disperse. most have gone home. what set this off is right in front of the north doors to the convention center, there were a couple of water bottles thrown at police. they then used pepper stray. that enranged the crowd. they started to pull back. things started to be thrown at police and police moved in in very, very heavy force. within about two or three minutes, police had half riot gear on but had full riot gear on. they were using pepper spray pretty much at will. in some cases they seemed to be using pepper bullets which they would shoot certain people in
the legs. we saw people limping away, people throwing up. would he saw protesters are extraordinarily angry at the use of police force. there were old and young people out there today protesting. they were waiting i think for the trump supporters to start to leave. and they wanted to sort of mix it up with them and shout at them. you can see some protesters flouting the police. we have the helicopter for phoenix police overhead. they are saying disperse or you're subject to arrest. police trying to get in control of this the situation. but clearly, they came at protesters with great force into miguel, keep safe. we'll get back to miguel marquez on streets of phoenix, arizona, where the president held a -- i don't even know how to describe the speech this evening. david chalian. >> a rant. >> thank you very much. the former director of national
interrogation james clapper, dire words saying he is concerned about his fitness for office. he do the believe he's fit for office. concerned that such a person who exhibits that behavior has access to the nuclear codes and is you know, possibly going to have some sort of retaliation against kim jong-un. >> it's one thing when we hear politicians you know, democrats obviously have a lot of knee jerk opposition to the president. we've seen more and more republicans coming out politically and making argues of and ments and concern against the president. if that doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when the former director of national why is saying his assessment of the president of the united states is one of concern because of his access to the nuclear codes and how his behavior matched with that responsibility, raises concern in him, i sort of stood back listening to clapper. >> i looked at you. >> i know director clapper has
been making comments in opposition to the president or concern. but when in the totality he took what we witnessed tonight as part of the pattern of behavior we've seen from the president and put it into the context that really clapper understands better than anyone about what that power is, the nuclear codes, what that means and how quickly a president can move on that, that -- that's an alarm bell that is going to be heard by many people in washington. that is not just going to be dismissed as some punditry on cable news which can be easily dismissed. you are going to hear republican senators, republican members of congress talk to each other about what they heard clapper say. >> he said i'm not sure that he wants the job after listening to the speech. did i get that wrong? he said i'm not sure that the president of the united states wants the job that have or is looking for a way out of this. >> yeah, i mean, that is what i heard clapper say, as well. i think that it's hard to
separate out wanting the job and what that means. what is clear is that president trump does not want to be a unifier in the country. if that's what you believe being president of the united states is about and representing this country on the world stage and trying to bring people to common understanding and solutions to big problems here at home, that is clear that president trump is not interested in doing that part of the job. >> you know, scott talked earlier about strategy. i respect that he talked because it's a very smart point. pilly, this is what is he's trying to do and his advisers are trying to do. the question, april ryan is, at what cost do you strategize, do you continue to divide people? do you continue to say things that are flat out ridiculous and appears to be lune natcy? at what cost politically, if you love the country, then you bring
the country together. it's not just a oneupsmanship. this is about america. him saying that he said that the media doesn't care about america. me as an american. he's talking about me, he's talking about you and everybody else here that we don't care about america, which is insulting because, of course, we care about america. we don't do this you know, we wouldn't be doing this otherwise. >> well, don, you and i have to put this in context because we are part of that group of the enemies of the president in that campaign ad. we put that in context. we're the scapegoat yet again. but i listened to mr. clapper. i listened to him keenly. and he was concerned about the division, as well. and i was hoping that you would ask if there is a continual back and forth with different groups in different cities, would that be a national security issue. and that really it could be a problem. anytime you have communities
like that unrest in cities and people divided not being able to tolerate each other, there is a problem. and the question is, what was the president trying to do tonight? i'm wondering, was this supposed to be his race speech or to bring it together? you know, i think about bill clinton when he had his race initiative 20 years ago. second term when he was talking about you know, the nation is browning. you know, the majority of america will be minority at a certain time period and it was time for people to understand tolerance is needed. i think about george w. bush when he had to go out and deal with issues of katrina. and how he stood in that square in new orleans and made a statement after his faux pass he came back and tried to work it out even after the brownie issue, good jorks brownie. >> heck of a job. >> yeah, heck of a job brownie.
i think about africa with george w. bush how he was the president who did the most for africa than any other president. i think about then president barack hussein obama who, had to deal with issues of tray on, ferguson. i remember watching you in tear gas how the president tried to set the tone to heal the nation. and then i look at this, 44 minutes of omission, lie, it is a real issue. this nation is divided. you can say what it looked like with barack obama and what it looked like -- you can go all the way back 0 lincoln. you can say whatever you want but you are in charge right now. and the onus is on you. so the question is, what is it going to be in how will he heal? he needs it to be more than this rhetoric. it needs to be a serious something. i don't know what it is, but watching history, this is not what it was. and seeing what's happening in arizona right now, this is not
what it was. >> and scott jennings, my initial question is, you know, at what cost at is what cost? this is the quote from i wanted to look it up as to what the former director of national intelligence said. he told me tonight that he found the president's rally down right scary and disturbing. this is a quote from him. he said i really question his ability to be his fitness to be in this office. and i also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. maybe is he looking for a way out. he also is worried about the president's access to the nuclear codes, scott. what did you think of what the director -- we don't have scott. i'll ask that to bakari. >> well, i'm scared. listen, if james clapper, somebody who we all admire, adore, for just the way that he serves his country, the aptitude and the courage in which he has has those type of feelings, which mirror most of america's
feelings about the current president of the united states, you can't help but to have a little trepidation. and so i think that -- and i think chalian was correct. republicans tomorrow will have real serious conversations and the words that you heard tonight on your show from clapper are going to be resoundingly heard throughout the halls of congress. the question though remains, what happens next. and that's where i think the rubber meets the road because for me, listen, i want to know what that conversation is like with ben carson, alveda king and donald trump after this speech. what are they telling him on air force one or in the ride back? i mean, is it a pat on the back and say well done, 45, well done, mr. president or do they have aptitude and ability and the courage to say that mr. president, you did a disservice to our country. we needed you to bring us together. that is what we set the stage
for and you missed that mark. we need to do better. i want to know what those conversations are like with some of the people that are around him. where are -- and i know i'm getting a little off script. where are the ray lewiss and jim browns and steve harveys and all of these people who he used to cloak himself in some type of respectability? where are they now? where are their voices now when it person is continually dividing our country at the very heart what have our number one issue is which is race. so i'm looking for some of these voices. i heard j.c. watt the other day, the congressman who our politics are different but i love and admire his courage and dignity and how he's speaking up and speaking out. we need more voices like that. so i'm just -- i am kind of intrigued by the legacy of dr. king on that stage and i'm really instriged by ben carson who growing up in the south as a
black man on your ball you h-- n your wall you had a book "gifted hands" that everybody read. i'm trying to figure out where somebody is who can tell him he's lead ourg country astray. >> april, quickly. i want to get rick in, as well. >> bakari is right. i'm thinking about what paul ryan said last night to jake tapper. he said in the initial statements president trump messed up. now, what does paul ryan have to say about tonight? and bakari is absolutely right. the question is, what's going to happen. and black republicans are very upset. there's the j.c. watts and the tim scotts versus the only rosa and the diamond and silk crew. so it's -- it's unfortunate but
that's what you're looking at. >> sorry. >> stakes are so high. >> i mean, but it's the truth. >> it is laughable. in other words, i think it was "the new york times" today about black republicans and how they're responding and teetering and i read a very good article. rick, i've got to ask you, diamond and silk. this is where we are right now. i got to ask you about. >> it is, it's true. >> what happens with republicans? listen, james clapper this is not someone who is partisan. he served under obama and george w. bush and george h.w. bush under democratic and republican administrations. what do republicans do right now? >> listen, i know how terrified these members are. i talk to a lot of republican house and senate members who in public are the biggest donald trump cheerleaders in the world and in private are on the edge of their seats. they're just about to have a nervous breakdown. one of the things that i think needs to happen is that mitch mcconnell and paul ryan in their
role as constitutionally sworn members of a coequal branch of government need to go down to the white house and sit in a room with donald trump, yawn kelly and nobody else and lay it out for him. just say, mr. president unless you conform your behavior, unless you stop had this insane ranting about you know, that is setting this country on fire racially and in other ways, it's all going to stop. you're not going to get what you want. we're going to have to step in here and uphold our responsibilities as members of a coequal branch. i'm afraid that won't happen. and i am afraid we're going to do this passive aggressive thing where paul ryan says i was disappointed with this but i love you, i hate you. we'll end up with that. friends of mitch mcconnell say, i think these guys on my side of the equation not only for their long-term political violeviabil moral and constitutional
responsibilities they all have need to step up and say this president is out of control and need to outline to the adults around the president, the world can come to a swift halt for this man and nothing is going to happen that he wants or dreams of unless he conforms his behavior because look, one u.s. senator can train wreck the entire appointment process forever. if john mccain or lindsey graham or anybody else decides they want to stop every single trump appointee, they can do it. if mcconnell decides one day, there will be no wall, you get nothing, they can do it in a hot second and there's nothing the president can do about it. there's only so many executive orders you can sign and so many ranty speeches you can give when the power of congress and the senate is deployed against you. he's begging for that to happen at this point. >> they have to be at a point where they can put country before party which they haven't been able to do that yet. maybe tonight is that breaking point because one of the things that really stuck out at me and
we've kind of been talking about this but i want to be very clear for your audience is that this president was not just divisive because of his horrendous debacle on charlottesville and how he handled that which really went to the heart of our core american values, he also stood on that stage to say he was going to pardon joe arpaio. he wasn't going to do it tonight but that he's going to pardon a criminal sheriff who would deliberately and on purpose profile latinos, throw them in jail simply because of the color of their skin because of their accent or because they had a last name that sounded like mine. when it comes to the extreme vetting he talked about islamic terror, that was a focus on muslim americans. this president did nothing tonight but spew hatred, xenophobia, spew racism and continue to divide this country.
april asked this question. what was his intent. his intent was complete and total narcissism based on the fact that he felt bad because he was getting horrible coverage. >> settling the score. >> had to go to a rally to make him feel better. >> settling a score. i've got to get to the break let me say this to all of you and the viewers and to be very plain about this. i think the question and the moral question for both politicians especially republicans and for journalists is not to pretend there's some sort of fake objectivity. history is watching right now. history will wear witness to this. do you pretend that what's in front of your eyes is not happening? do you enable someone like you enable and a addict by pretending it's not happening? we all see what's happening in front of our very eyes. we all hear it with our ears. it's time to stop pretending that something's not exactly
right. and that's not a fake objectivity, we've got to be fair. you cannot pretend something is not happening. you cannot pretend there is sanity where there is none. we'll be right back. at whole foods market, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful, fresh and nutritious. so there are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives in any of the food we sell. we believe in real food. whole foods market. it can seem like triggers pop up everywhere. luckily there's powerful, 24-hour, non-drowsy claritin. it provides relief of symptoms that can be triggered by over 200 different allergens. live claritin clear. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean
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here's our breaking news tonight. president trump's angry out of control speech in phoenix, divisive and unrepentant. back with me, and joining us now cnn political commentator mike shields and former breitbart spokesperson mike bardella. mike, i just want to get your take on the speech you heard tonight. what did you think? >> you know, i tend to agree with what scott said earlier that you know, this was a speech to the base. and to be honest with you, it's not the speech i would have advised the president 0 give. i think the speech he gave last night was one i would advise him to give. don, you know we have these conversations on your show about media coverage. i think a piece of advice i would give everybody is the president's spent a tremendous amount of time tonight critic e
criticizing the media. it's right to hold him accountable and right to fact check him but immediately after that when the conversation shifts into he's insane and he's unfit for office and he's lost his mind and we're doing psychoanalysis on television of the president, you're doing his work for him. this is almost what he wants to see happen is that he criticizes the media and the media themselves are unhinged and start calling the president insane. that's a huge mistake. i think it's a mistake not to call the protesters left wing protesters that are in arizona right now fighting the police, i think that's a mistake, as well. if you could do those things, not call the president insane and fact check him and call the protesters out for who you are, you gain the credibility to push back on the president when he gives a speech like this. you're almost doing his work for him when we start calling him insane. that's the first comment i have to make about that. >> you thought it was a rational speech? >> i thought it sounded exactly
like a speech he gave in the campaign and no one was calling him, let's have a whole panel discussion about how he sane is he during the campaign. >> should we have been? >> look, i think that it is correct to criticize the president's handling of how he's communicated to the american people about race and about the charlottesville incident. that's a legitimate conversation. we have been having that. i think it's good he's talking about it. should keep talking about. i understand the criticism tonight of how he talked about it. he was trying to point out there are parts of what he said that weren't covered. we can argue whether or not that's appropriate for him to do or not. veering off into he's insane sort of ends our credibility to criticize him because people think we're the ones losing it over his speech. >> what people? >> possibly what a lot of his supporters want us to do. >> let me jump in. >> go ahead, rick. >> go ahead. >> let me jump in here.
mike, your point would be absolutely correct if donald trump were a rational actor and if donald trump were anywhere inside the boundary layers of where we deal with a president's behavior. you know, if i just declared barack obama insane because i disagreed with his politics, it would be off kilter. and it would give him credibility to say that guy's just a hater. in donald trump's case, his behavior is erratic, it is unstable, it is demon strablly the responsibility i think of people observing this political process to call this out and not to give him a safe haven to go back. >> you mean his speech or behavior? his behavior are the positions he's putting forward. >> the speech tonight was marked by a whole variety of asides and bizarre assertions and a constant sense of. >> that's a leths thing you can criticize his speech and what he said. >> and lying and those things reflect i believe something much
deeper about the president than simply a political set of choices or a strategic set of choices. i believe they reflect a degree to which he is not in touch with reality and a degree to which he is willing to go out and let his id run around the stage and i'm sorry, i don't think we're being disrespectful or putting ourselves at risk when we say this behavior is real and demonstrate be and we see it every time he goes on stage unless he's got a teleprompter and a shock collar on. >> look, the other part of this, so where this is sort of leading is and i heard you guys saying this, the congress has to do thing about this. the american people elected the president. the media didn't elect him. commentators didn't elect him. the congress didn't elect him either. before the congress is going to do something like this, this is why we're jumping so far ahead in this conversation i just think it does a disservice to
say let's start talking impeachment. that's like the protesters outside the arena as opposed to a conversation about should we fact check the president and is he handling the charlottesville thing properly. how should we handle that topic with dignity if we don't think he handled it with dignity. >> so mike, are you saying there's never any nothing is out of bound with the president? you know, richard nixon was driven from office. he resigned. so the president is always right, is always sane, is always accurate and can do no wrong? >> that's not what i'm saying at all, don. that's my point. my point is that the media does exist to hold elected officials accountable and has to have credibility with the public when they do that. we lose our own credibility, i'm saying we because i'm on cnn. we lose credibility when we will immediately say let's have a ten-minute conversation with multiple people all chiming in we think the president is insane. >> you do realize. >> he's being heard by millions
of people. >> i think -- hang on. i will let you get in. i think by saying that something is insanity is not necessarily say what is happening right now is insanity, not saying that the president is insane. people are questioning his fitness for office and for me to say, for people to say oh, my gosh, this is insane doesn't mean the person is insane. it means the situation we're in is insane or not the norm. but to question the former director of national intelligence also his members of his own party are questioning his fitness for office. and we are talking about that, and if you cannot assess someone's behavior and figure out whether they're okay or fit for something, then who are we? what have we become where we have to have this fake objectivity and employee tepret
is not happening. when i hear someone yelling on the streets howling at the moon and sky, am i supposed to say i'm going to lose my credibility because i don't assess that person as someone who has something wrong with them or who needs help. we can't sit here and pretend that that is not happening. that what happened on this stage tonight in phoenix, arizona, is normal. is rational. is worthy of the highest office in the land, is worthy of someone who has the nuclear codes for someone to sit there and have these -- and present these fake enemies we're not the enemy of the state or of the people or the president of the united states. this man has a nuclear codes and can blast us to smithereens at any moment if he wants to. so says the former director of national intelligence who just appeared on cnn who said now he is worried and scared about this person. >> yeah, look, i just think there's a difference between what you just said. i'm not asking for fake
objectivity. i'm asking for a little bit of sort of credibility how we're talking about these things. secondly, whether or not he's worthy to hold office and whether or not he's fit and insane to hold office, woerths to hold office is a partisan thing lots of democrats never thought he was and never will accept he is. he's not fit for office takes veers us into a place where it allows people that want to criticize media, when you want to push back on them and say the president shouldn't criticize us and that's crazy, when we say he's actually insane, you're doing the work of the president and the people that want to criticize the media. >> mike, members of your own party are saying that they believe that this president has not demonstrated the stability to hold this office. so it's not just the partisan thing. and i would agree with you except for two things. the audience with which you're saying we're losing credibility are trump's core supporters which we never had credibility to begin with.
and the second thing is. >> that's actually not true. >> one more thing, mike. if you were right, then his approval ratings both nationally and in key states that he won in november would not be plummeting. they are plummeting. this president is in crisis and his actions and his words are a reen for that. >> but can we just be relatively blunt? if the president of the united states comes out and misquotes himself intentionally, to take pressure off of what we all know to be an enart full, insensitive and lack of cultured statement after charlottesville, then i call that a lie. if the president has made omissions and lies repeatedly, there ever i call him a liar. i don't think anything's wrong with that and then if you think someone's lying intentionally to you repeatedly and does it time after time after time after time
again knowing that we can roll back the tape, they be i think it's also fair to say that exhibits examples of being pathological. i don't think there's anything wrong with those criticisms. i don't think those are out of bounds or out of line. i mean, but i do think that we have to call it as we see it. and listen, i've said this pore the past and i agree with you on this point, mike. there's been absolutely nothing new about donald trump today than it was donald trump 18 months ago. i mean, i thought he was unfit now. i think he's unfit now. you call me partisan, you call me a hack, whatever you want to call, but i do believe it's the same person and i do believe he still maintains those same characteristics. however, my question to you and any other republican who wants to say that we're out of bounds in questioning his fitness and character to serve as president of the united states, on what realm of the sanity bar or meter is it okay or is it placed for
you to criticize a united states senator who is a war hero who has brain cancer in his hope state? like, how does anybody think that that is sane? how does anybody think that that displays anything other than being unfit? normal people do not do things like that. and i think it's fair for don or myself or maria i think it is fair for me or you or anyone else to call it out for what it is. because to me that's just not normal. i'm trying to figure out why that's the new normal. >> we'll respond on the other side. this is live pictures from phoenix, arizona, protesters are out battling with police following the president's rant this evening in phoenix, arizona. we'll continue to dissect the speech and discuss the fitness for this president for office. we'll be right back. ing people y
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allergytry new xyzal®.ou have symptoms like these for relief is as effective at hour 24 as hour one. so be wise all take new xyzal®. breaking news tonight live pictures from arizona, police officers are still trying to disperse the protesters from the phoenix convention center many they're moving them back block by block.
you saw earlier on cnn police throwing tear gas into the crowd trying to get them to disperse. we'll keep an eye on that situation outside of the convention center. i want to get back to rick wilson. jennings, shields and -- simone sanders with us now. listen. i want want to hear from kurt. you newly joined the panel what was your reaction to this discussion we're having here on cnn? >> you know, first of all i think we should point out that there are right now this second reporters, in the media, who are putting them selves in front of this confrontation to chronicle what's happening to inform the american people and that's a very brave and courageous thing to do. we have men and women this
moment in history willing to put them selves in harm's way in volatile situations to show the truth, and let the american people make the decision for themselves. secondly we have a president who believes it is okay to give a shout out to a man who believes it is okay to racially profile hispanics who committed a crime. if you are a trans gender who served in the military, if you're an immigrant, if you're a female who doesn't want to be sexually a harassed, that american doesn't apply to you. you have a president going on a 20 minute riff to attack the major pillars of our democracy, free press, that which keeps us different from other countries that have dictatorships, shows he doesn't care about the fabric of the country and is not
mentally stable enough to be the leader of the free world. longer republicans go without calling this out, just standing passively by and just occasionally showing disgust, the longest they accomplicit in are allowing it to happen are directly responsible for whatever damage donald trump does to this kunicountry. >> simone t what did you think? >> i think the speaker of the house last night was all talk. teleprompter trump cannot be trusted because that's not the real trump we saw yet again the real trump. i'm wondering what else ask it going to take? when will republicans in congress decide to hold donald trump accountable. this has gone far past partisan bickering, you have the current
president of the united states standing up there literally backing a known racist in this country after white supreme assist killed someone in america using isis tactics. two you have the president of the united states literally misquoting himself as if we can't pull the tapes, as if we weren't watching in realtime. >> i got to get to a break. don't go anywhere.