tv Smerconish CNN September 30, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
i'm michael smerkonish is new york city. we welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. the president up early and attacking puerto rico's mayor for her complaints about storm response. saying she has shown quote poor leadership ability. meanwhile, turns out the russian meddle wasn't just about trump versus clinton. it pitted americans against each other. "the wall street journal" reporting that google is conducting broad investigation of russian influence in its ads before the election this after cnn reported fake social media accounts funded by russia were used to stoke racial tensions during the campaign.
cnn's dylan buyers wyers is her. and potus is now tackling nfl safety rules. >> they're ruining the game, right? they're ruining the game. hey, look, that's what they want to do. they want to hit. okay? they want to hit. but it is hurting the game. >> what about the hits like this one? he's also still attacking player protests during the national anthem. i'll discuss both with broadcast legend bob costas who is here. and the supreme court will hear a landmark case this week about whether redistricting along political lines is legal. but are americans self-sorting themselves? it's long bother immediate that discussion of russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election always devolves into partisan bickering. the level of most people's interests seems dependant on whether it helped or hurt their candidate. that's a sad departure from the
days when our partisan bickering was expected to stop at the water's edge. you remember when bush 41 made an issue of bill clinton's vietnam protest while he was a student at oxford? or when natalie maines and the dixie chicks were criticized for having protested george w. bush from a london stage? i'm wondering, hoping, actually, whether the russian meddling will be a uniter, not a divider, based on new reporting that shows the goal was not only to affect the election outcome, but also to foment racial unrest and harm the u.s. standing in the world. this new cnn reporting by dylan byers and donnie o'sullivan exposed a troublesome development in the russian meddling. namely social media manipulation. fake black activist accounts linked to russian government reveals that a social media campaign calling itself blactivists, on facebook and
twitter, apparently trying to amplify racial tensions. the bogus facebook account had 360,000 likes, more than the verified black lives matter facebook page. as an example, blactivist posted a video on facebook in august of this incident from san diego, in which a police dog was seen biting an african-american man in handcuffs and the caption read as follows -- watch another savage video of police brutality. we live under a system of racism and police are directly letting us know how they feel and where we stand. with this revelation, the story is no longer about donald trump and hillary clinton. it's about an effort to unravel the fabric that keeps the country together. and that should alarm all of us. regardless of who we voted for. joining me now is cnn's dylan byers. dylan, how did it work? >> well, look, there were, there's the internet research agency, which is a shadowy
russian troll farm. bought a number, used a number of fake accounts to effectively impersonate and promote issues that would basically push our button s as americans. it exploited racial tension, it exploited differing opinions over immigration. over refugees, over gun rights. over the lgbtq community. the russian who is bought these ads promoted these ads, took on these accounts, impersonated other people. clearly understood what our flash-points were as a society. they understood where they could drive wedgings, where they could amplify the political divisions that already exist and push those further. and michael, you're right. so often when we think about this, we think about this as did it hurt hillary clinton? did it help donald trump? it is so much bigger.
it's been going on for so much longer. it is so much more pervasive than anyone at facebook or twitter or google or on capitol hill here or here, you and me, understands. at this point. and it really is not a story so much about the 2016 election. it is a story about a foreign government backing foreign nationals who are interfering in our politics and in our society and trying to weaken american democracy, to make american democracy weaker for us in the united states. also to make it appear weaker to pro democracy activists back home in russia. >> it transcends the outcome of the 2016 election. in so far as your reporting describes how they really wanted to pit us against one another, and potentially bring us to a violent state, i think it begs the question of what now will be the president's posture. he's been dismissive, he's
referred to repeatedly as a hoax. what about when it's not about hillary and donald, but about americans in ferguson, or americans in baltimore, maryland. because as you report, they were targeting specific communities, wanting to incite people to go after one another. >> we reported there was at least one and you have to imagine more, black lives matter ad that was targeted by russians, at those communities, at baltimore, at ferguson. so it goes to that level of strategy that level of sophistication in understanding our landscape. as for the president's response, look, the problem here is the president wants to deny it was any meddling in the election whatsoever. whether that was, it was through you know, media, social media, what have you. he's denied that outright. the russians, too, have denied it outright so it's really hard to see how he's going to take action. and then the other thing we should point out. there is speculation,
well-informed speculation i should say, that over the course of the 2016 campaign, the russians understood that one of the best ways to sokay us, would be to promote donald trump's candidacy. it's also true that vladimir putin has no good feelings towards hillary clinton. so when you look at the sampling of the ads we have so far, and it's a very small sampling. you do see a small percentage that did try to go after hillary clinton. that did try to boost donald trump so that was a piece of it. but again, we can't think about it that way. we have to think about it much bigger picture. it's an information war being waged through social media, and through media, to try and influence the american political system. >> dylan, final comment about this, and then i must quickly ask you about the president tweeting this morning. we were thinking this was all about the russian meddling. it was all about the dnc hack. it was all about whether debbie
wasserman-schultz had her finger on the scale in support of hillary not bernie and what was the risotto recipe for john podesta. it was much more sophisticated, much more multifaceted than what transpired at the dnc. google is taking a hard look and we know about facebook and twitter. it's a big-picture presentation that we're about to move to. quickly, action from you on that? >> big-picture presentation, that's going to be a public hearing on november 1st with all three companies you just mentioned. it's significant. because congress doesn't feel like they have enough answers from any of these three companies on what's going on here. just the big picture here really, if you feel as an american like you, things have been really chaotic in this country and things are just crazy, and i think a lot of us, no matter who you support and what side of the political spectrum you fall on, it's felt pretty chaotic in this country for a few years. i'm not saying that's because of
the russians, but it certainly encouraged and exacerbated by this russian social media effort. the president up early today. he never retreats, he never gives an inch, now setting his sights on the puerto rican mayor react to these tweets. the mayor of san juan, very complimentary only a few days ago has now been told by the democrats that you must be nasty to trump. react to that, dylan. >> i mean look, it's president trump is so defensive, he's so caught up in his own ego. how at a time like this, when there is so much suffering in puerto rico, and there's so much criticism, too, over your response, this is, a tragedy what's going on in puerto rico. you want to pick a fight with the mayor? you want to turn this into a political battle? you want to give your core supporters an excuse for why you're being criticized by the mayor? and then meanwhile you're going on stage and giving speeches
where you're saying the response to puerto rico is very strong and never seen a stronger response to a natural disaster like this? no, don't do that. now is an opportunity to lead. someone in the white house told the president get on the plane, with melania, go down to sites in florida, in the united states that have been hurt. he should be thinking the same way about puerto rico. back off the twitter account. put some effort into opening up the port. getting these people what they need and solving this problem. it's puerto rico, it's a problem of the united states. >> it raises interesting questions as to what the optics will be come tuesday. when he makes that trip. dylan, great job on that reporting. stay with it. >> thank you, michael. what are your thoughts? tweet me at smerkonish, or go to my facebook page. katherine, what do we have? >> bill says why is there only the sound of crickets coming from the white house over this
outrageous attack on this country? >> you're right of course. but why are there crickets from across the country? gang, do you get dylan's report? they were trying to foment racial unrest in the united states. forget hillary. forget donald, they wanted us at each other's throats and they were manipulating social media to bring that about. i think it's abhorrent, i think it's worse than anything we've been told about the election meddling thus far. time for one more. is it from facebook? did the russians crack the voting booths? if not, there's no story. the people i know that voted for trump would never have voted for hillary. joe, they didn't need facebook or twitter -- you're missing the point, my friend what you're essentially saying now is -- go ahead and meddle. go ahead and screw with our election. unless you're successful in determining the inconsequential analys
analysis, whether they aked the outcome of the election, it's the fact that they were doing so. this brutal hit. in thursday night's nfl came came just after the president said the nfl was hurting the game by trying to protect player safety. i'll talk to bob costas about the ongoing battle between the president and the nfl. ♪ it's your eyes. that's why there's ocuvite, from bausch + lomb. as you age your eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish those nutrients. ocuvite has lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3. nourish your eyes to help them be their healthy best. ocuvite eye vitamins. be good to your eyes. i love you, droolius caesar, but sometimes you stink. febreze car vent clip cleans away odors for up to 30 days. because the things you love can stink.
up the middle. middle screen, adams, ooh, he got popped in the face. >> that was receiver davantae adams, being hit by danny tree vath vathen who was charged with a crushing blow. nfl rules intended to keep players safe are quote ruining the game. >> today, if you hit too hard, right, they hit too hard, 15 yards throw him out of the game. two guys, beautiful tackle last week, boom, 15 yards, the referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home. she's so proud of him. they're ruining the game. >> joining me now, veteran nbc
sports commentator bob costas. privilege to have you here. >> good to see you, michael. >> analyze that hit. >> it's a dirty hit even if it wasn't trevathan's intention. even if he got carried away. it's a classic helmet-to-helmet hit and it's kploetly unnecessary, because adams was wrapped up and stopped. it is the very thing that the new nfl rules are designed to, if not eliminate, reduce as much as possible. the officials missed it. he should have been ejected and the league is reviewing it. there's a possible suspension, the irony, although it's a footnote. since they were inside the 10, it was only half the distance to the goal line. that play cost them four yards. >> is the president right? >> no. >> he could not be more wrong. i remember just to make this clear for anybody that needs to have it made clear, my dad took me to the 1962 nfl title game at yankee stadium.
between the giants whom i adored and the green bay packers and i stnt i still haven't gotten over the giants' loss, some of the best people i have met, players, coaches, people around the game. best people i've met in sports are football people. i understand the drama, the excitement, the strategy, the generational connections, all of that is good. but evidence is evidence. this knuckleheaded idea that there's some kind of crazy left-wing conspiracy to undermine america's game, evidence is evidence. i wish it were not so. i wish i could push a button and the game could be rough and exciting, but not scramble people's brains. but it does. and when the nfl says there's more to learn, there's more evidence, guarantee you, the more evidence, the worse it's going to look for the game of football. and you wonder whether it's the president of the united states, or somebody in the upper deck who says they're ruining the game by not letting them just
bash each other to pieces. you wonder how many times they've been hit in the head. >> can the game be both exhilarating and attract the fan base that it has heretofore, while at the same time you protect player safety. >> there are millions of people who do not watch football out of some sense of blood lust. they're not watching it primarily because of the violence and the viciousness, if you stand on the sideline as opposed to watching on television or even from the press box, you stand on the sideline, you realize what a brutal game this is. and that may attract some people. many of us prefer the athleticism, the strategy, and would prefer a classic tackle rather than vicious hits. that just take guys down and people don't get hurt. except incidentally. is it possible for the game to be played anywhere near we know it at the top level of college and in the nfl for that to happen? i don't see how. but i'm open-minded about it.
i'd like to see it happen. because i don't want the game to disappear. >> surely this crop of players sees what has happened to their elders, those in their 60s and you spend lots of time in the locker room. how worried are they? >> they are worried. just this week the boston university people and the mckeon company who have been studying this very closely say they may have discovered a biomarker, which would allow you to detect cte in living humans. at present you can only detect it through an autopsy. and many of those autopsies reveal that there's an alarming extent of cte among former players. yes. they're very concerned about it. >> as an attorney, i look at the aaron hernandez case, we now know because of the post mortem analysis, that he was stage 3, 3 out of 4. >> and he was only 27. >> he was only 27. had we known that, had the legal system known that at a time he was going through the process, it could have impacted the outcome of that case. >> i guess, you're a lawyer and
each individual case has to be looked at individually. we can't generalize, at least what we're moving toward now is some kind of an informed consent. and if somebody says yes, i understand the risks, but it's worth the rewards, whether it's the exhilaration of competition or the money that can help me and my family. you respect that. if someone steps aside and says you know what, it isn't worth it to me, you have to respect that, too. >> final question on this issue. i want you to stick around and talk about more. i would love to you stay the whole hour, as a matter of fact. >> you want to switch seats? >> i would get higher ratings. moms, have moms now been empowered? do they control football's fate? >> i don't know if they control it, but they impact it. and it's not coincidental that a few years ago the nfl began running these little spots, these sepia-tone spots to try to put a norman rockwell patina,
around football. football is family to reassure primarily mom, that it's okay to let little johnny play football. and all the wonderful, let's pack a picnic lunch and go out and tailgate. all of which is true, except for the fact that some people who play it, an alarming percentage of those who play it, especially if they play it long enough, if they start early enough and play it long enough, through college and into the nfl, an alarming percentage of them will wind up at some point not knowing what day it is. >> if moms say no it will dramatically change who plays football in the future. it will be an escape path perhaps for those who play, but not much more broad appeal. among players. we'll all watch. >> with exceptions and it's going to take a long time if that ever happens. and if football can't figure out a way to make itself safer and yet still exciting and who knows what that path is, it will take a while. because there are places where football is such an ingrained part of the culture. we're not talking just about the nfl. high school football.
friday night lights. college football. huge swaths of the country. it's not going to happen tomorrow or the next decade. where people turn their back on football. >> stick around. here's some of what's coming in via my social media. maybe could you take a piece of some of this. football less harmful now, kids don't practice like they did five or ten years ago, no hitting during the week. just game day, not your dad's football. >> that's true. it may not be enough, but it's true. >> i know the data says most injuries happen during practice. but you're practicing five days and you're playing only one. >> in the nfl they cut down substantially on the amount of practice hitting in the last collective bargaining agreement. >> another tweet for mr. costas. i love that he's here, football also causes bad knees and types of orthopedic issues, so what? there is risk in everything. >> yes. that's fine. and you'll have to decide whether you want your son to play football and whether that risk is acceptable. a generation or two ago, people
knew when they were 45, 50 years old, they might have arthritic knees, or have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. they didn't think they wouldn't recognize their children. >> today everybody's got notice is i think what you're saying. we're all on notice of where this is heading. bob costas, i want to talk to you about the nfl's controversy over kneeling during the national anthem and whether the president getting those thursday night to stand, has had a win. hey, man. oh!
nacho? [ train whistle blows ] what?! -stop it! -mm-hmm. we've been saving a lot of money ever since we switched to progressive. this bar is legit. and now we get an even bigger discount from bundling home and auto. i can get used to this. it might take a minute. -swing and a miss! -slam dunk! touchdown! together: sports!
last weekend president trump called nflers who took a knee s.o.b.s and then many more did exactly that. then came thursday night, the bears and the packers joined arms instead. last night, the nba sent a memo to all 30 basketball teams, reminding players of its rule to stand for the anthem so what comes next? joining me again, america's premiere sportscaster, bob costas of nbc sports. you pointed out in a conversation previously that the nba has this rule and you told me they're the more progressive
of the different leagues. >> generally speaking the nfl and its owners are the most conservative of the four leagues and the nba would be, generalization, the most progressive. but they had a rule that says you must stand respectfully, they allowed mahmoud raul some 20 years ago to stand in a prayerful position like this you could also stay in the locker room. but they eliminated that controversy. >> are you surprised by the reinforcement, the memo that went out last night? >> no, because the atmosphere calls for a reminder. here's a thought. first offered by hines ward and anderson cooper's town hall the other night here on cnn. every league now has its own network. mlb network, nba network, nfl network. they could make, i think it would be a wise move, they go 24/7, 365. lots of highlights, lots of shows, they could make a weekly show, each network could, an hour long. have a responsible moderator.
and bring thoughtful people on to express whatever viewpoint concerns them. because eventually it only stands to reason, that they're going to be people with differing viewpoints, conservative viewpoints, somebody who is upset about this or that policy. they, too, deserve a voice, allow players a platform not just to protest, but to articulate the reasons for their protest on anderson's show doug baldwin of the seattle seahawks struck me as so thoughtful and so well informed.nuanced, that' step beyond colin kaepernick. as we talked about, colin kaepernick's intentions were good. when you say i do not vote because the oppressor will never allow you to vote your way out of your oppression, i guess it doesn't matter to him that people, mostly black but some white, died for his predecessor's rights to vote or were beaten or mistreated in their efforts. it maybe it doesn't matter to him that when he first took a
knee, barack obama was president. and now donald trump is president. he later shows up at practice wearing socks that depict cops as pigs, he praises fidel castro when in miami, maybe that's why he's not the quarterback of the dolphins now and jay cutler is. there may be other reasons. you need to move beyond colin kaepernick, whose intentions were good and donated and raised thousands of dollars, but sounds very politically naive and people like doug baldwin and give them a voice. >> the president when running, as a candidate, donald trump said we're going to get tired of winning. did he just win thursday night in so far as they didn't protest during the anthem at that game, they linked arms. now here comes the nba saying we don't want our guys taking a knee during the anthem? >> president trump seems able to spin almost any circumstance as a win. >> is he right in this case? >> i don't think so. i think this is evolving.
players and people around all the leagues are evolves in their understanding. this is a humble suggestion on my part. because who am i, a very fortunate white man, to tell primarily african-american citizens what they should do. but this is my suggestion. the idea of linking protests, no matter how legitimate the issue you are protesting directly to the national anthem is not just offensive to the love it or leave it crowd. it actually causes ambivalent feelings at best among many people sympathetic to the issue. but see the anthem as representing a lot of different things, including the country's ideals and aspirations. to me perhaps the most effective thing to do, would be to stand for the national anthem, but the second the last note is struck, take a knee. because now we're in a time, i don't know how long it will last, where the networks are going to cover the national anthem, they're going to show
it. most of the times they're in commercial during the anthem. now you're going to see it you'll have the same audience, the same set of eyeballs, it will be a powerful statement. if these players, most of whom will emphasize they love the country. it isn't anything against america, it's about this issue. stand for the anthem, take it knee. then what is mr. love it or leave it going to say. to me, humble suggestion, that's the best thing to do. >> were the coaches or owners who linked arms with their players last weekend being hypocritical. as i look at them without your trained eye i said wait they're the same individuals, say what you will about caller knick politically. he deserves a shot. aren't they the same people not giving him that opportunity? >> some of them have legitimate reasons not to give him the opportunity. they're set with their back-up or whatever. or they might say look, it's almost the same thing as a tim tebow. were able to be a back-up quarterback at this stage in the
nfl. is it worth it because the focus is so much on tim tebow and we know that football people don't like distractions, so that could be the excuse. is that a valid excuse, 32 out of 32 times? we'll see what happens as the season goes along. and back-ups step up and some will fail and kaepernick is in shape and ready to go. i think it would be great if he found himself on some team and he's already said that he plans to stand for the anthem if he's able to make an nfl team. these owners almost had no choice. when trump or anybody else may have said something that offended the sensibilities of some americans. those owners didn't say anything and i'm not saying they should have. but when their own players were directly attacked, when they were called s.o.b.s, they had no choice but to stand with their players. not just because they are their bread and butter to a certain extent. but because they know them and they know that most of them are decent people. >> final comment, kneeling
versus sitting. i think i've got an image of marshawn lynch that i want to put up on a gatorade cooler. react what you're seeing. >> what marshawn lynch, who an unusual character is doing there, seems to me to be completely counterproductive. it's contemptuous, it has no redeeming aspect to it. it has a screw you aspect to it. those who took a knee, sometimes taking a knee in various contexts is actually an act of grace. whether one agrees it should be directly connected to the national anthem or not, taking a knee is entirely different than sitting like that almost smirking at the nfl and at the national anthem, sitting on the gatorade bucket. >> here's some social media reaction. smerkonish, the players have a right to kneel, also a veteran i have a right to take it as a sign of disrespect. all true. >> correct. >> another one quickly.
i believe the kneeling going on now is more a protest of trump than -- >> you know i agree with that. it's no longer about racial injustice or the shooting of unarmed african-american men the way kaepernick envisioned it it's become a referendum on the president. >> he changed the narrative. but understand he called these players, blanket statement, almost all of whom were african-american, sons of bitches. he also comes off entering politics, with a completely ridiculous, already-disproven, easily interpreted as racist dog whistle thing about the president's american citizenship. you contrast the fervor with which he criticizes meryl streep with how long it took him to sort out the charlottesville situation. he thinks frederick douglass was still alive. okay. so this is not disconnected from race. you want to give the president of the united states the benefit of the doubt. but there's a whole lot of doubt to give the benefit of.
>> you said please don't introduce me like that. but i'm going to embarrass you before you leave me. 12 olympics. seven super bowls. seven world series, ten nba finals and 28 emmys. awesome. and deservedly so. >> thank you. >> i really appreciate it. >> one more tweet while mr. costas is in the house. smerkonish, i always and still believe bob costas should moderate presidential debates. hey, that is a hell of a suggestion. have you ever been asked? >> no. >> if asked, would you serve? >>, no, no, no. >> why? >> despite what some people who don't want to make valid distinctions think, i talk about certain political issues when they have obviously intersected with sports and i think in that respect i stay in my lane. >> thank you, bob. >> you're welcome, michael. >> privileged to have you here. still to come, the supreme court hears a case about
supreme court justice ruth bader ginsberg says it might be the most important case of the upcoming term this tuesday the supreme court will hear oral arguments about partisan gerrymandering, it's called gill versus witnessford, a challenge to the redistricting plan passed by the wisconsin's republican-controlled lemg slate tur in 2011. what if americans have begun to self-gerrymander. you've heard me speak here about gerrymandering with people like governor arnold schwarzenegger, i'm referring to the process of redrawing legislative districts to advantage one party or the
other. it's made congressional districts less competitive in the past two decades. this is what a gerrymandered district looks like outside of philadelphia. in 1992, a quarter of congressional districts were considered competitive. now it's just 37 seats out of 435. look at the decline as you go from 1992, in yellow to 2016. in the last election, 98% of elections, 98% were won by incumbents and most were would be by more than ten percentage points. but redrawing maps are not the sole explanation for what's going on. it's also true in counties whose boundaries don't change. from 1992 to 2016, more and more counties became blow-out. the color on these maps signifies counties where the presidential vote was won by more than 20 points. that's not a result of politicians manipulating districts. it suggests that people are
choosing to live with the like-minded. that's good news for my next guest, paul chabeau who started a business called conservative move and specializes in relocating families from liberal enclaves like southern california to conservative areas like texas. his slogan, helping families move right. how did you know there was a market for this, paul? >> we fell into this by accident. my wife and i have four young children. we moved from california in january to texas and we moved here, we realized that so many families had made the move long before we did. but for the same reasons. that we left california. we thought it would be a great idea to create a business that markets exactly to what you skrust described and the business model has blown up across this country. we simply can't keep up with demand. i think it goes to the point that you said. that voters, human beings really are looking to live in areas where they feel represented.
>> if you're moving folks from orange county, california because it's become now blue where it used to be red and they move to texas, i'm mindful of the fact that the texas demographics are changing. texas ultimately may itself be blue. what are you going to do, move them all back? >> that's a really good point. i think what conservative move wants to do is not just help families sell their homes in blue states and buy in red states. we want to have a greater conversation about conservative values, we talk about the three things that research shows families really want. they want good-paying jobs, good schools and safe streets. and so by the very nature of our business, we help families leave areas that are lacking those areas. and moving to areas that consist of those. so we hope that this actually strengthens the conversation and builds more resilient communities in america. based on those principles. >> okay. but you're in the end a business man. so maybe we live among the like-minded of liberals, do you
move folks from certain areas to other areas because they say i want to live among my own on the left side of the spectrum? >> sure. so we'll help anybody any time, anywhere, regardless of anyone's political affiliation, we're not seeing the concern from the left. we're seeing the concern from the right. from conservatives. and they're mostly parents with young children. they are, for example, from california, where we used to have the best schools now some of the worst. some safety streets now it's gone the opposite. and many corporations leaving california to texas or other red states for good-paying jobs, these are ordinary average middle class americans who are leaving these liberal coastal elite or working poor inland areas of many states. to red states, just to simply live a better life and have a better life for their children. >> i don't begrudge your business model. but it depresses me that people would go to the length of actually wanting to leave an area unless they can rub shoulders with the like-minded.
that's not going to bridge our partisan divide. thank you, paul. >> thank you for your time. coming up, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments and what happened the other day when yours trurly was on the treadmill, watching cnn and the emergency broadcast system signal came on? i'll tell you. with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. ready for a new chapter? talk to your rheumatologist about humira. this is humira at work. -ahh. -the new guy. -whoa, he looks -- -he looks exactly like me. -no. -separated at birth much? we should switch name tags, and no one would know who was who. jamie, you seriously think you look like him? uh, i'm pretty good with comparisons. like how progressive helps people save money by comparing rates, even if we're not the lowest. even if we're not the lowest. whoa! wow. i mean, the outfit helps, but pretty great. look at us.
only in this instance, as i tweeted, for the first time in my life, i wondered if it was real. after all, two days prior north korea threatened to shoot down american warplanes even if they were not in the country's air space. north korea's foreign minister said that president trump's comments suggesting he would eradicate north korea and its leaders was a declaration of war. that followed president trump's tweets last weekend in which he said the north korean leadership may not be around much longer, if it continues its threats. president trump has taken to calling north korean leader kim jong-un rocket man, or little rocket man. even in his first address to the united nations. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself, and for his regime. >> in so doing, the president is treating kim like he's a campaign opponent. and that seems ill advised for a commander in chief. as a candidate, mr. trump often was branding his opponents.
low-energy jeb, and crooked hillary. the high school-like ranking worked for candidate trump. now he's using a similar approach with a foreign leader, and one with nukes. there's a difference between using this approach in a campaign versus as the leader of the free world. in the campaign it was designed to reach an audience of voters. the goal was to brand them in the eyes of the voting public, those who would pass judgment on trump and the other candidates. in the case of north korea, president trump is now playing to an audience of one. kim. perhaps his motivation is in thinking that years of sanctions, and the international equivalent of double secret probation, have been unsuccessful. but the emass ku lags approach is risky as a proposition. if trump miscalculates, he might goad kim into a mission strike that could lead to war. here's my question, is the
president operating based on intelligence that includes psychologic profiling of kim, or is he just spitballing it here? there's reason to suspect the latter. north korean government officials, they've been quietly trying to arrange talks with republican-linked analysts in washington, in an apparent attempt to make sense of president trump and his confusing messages to kim jong-un's regime. i'm not the only one concerned. a "washington post" survey said 42% of americans don't trust the president at all to handle north korea versus 37% who trust him a great deal or good amount. you have to wonder what the three generals around the president, mattis at defense, mcmaster as national security adviser, what are they thinking. if this is some part of well thoughtout plan relying on the advice of those most read in on north korea, that's one thing. i just worry that instead it's trump treating kim like this is the iowa caucus. or that there are a pair of
14-year-olds on a queen's playground. hey, if you ever miss any of the program, you can catch us anytime at cnn go online. follow me on twitter and facebook. here's some more of what came in during the course of this program. smerconish, we decided to move to the villages in florida. then we saw it was 80% for trump. we'll stay in jersey with snow and taxes. no, the point is, if you want to change minds at the villages in florida, then you ought to go move there. i don't like the trend of liberals wanting to live with liberals or conservatives wanting to live with conservatives. hit me with another one. i watch politics all week on tv. game day is my escape from the politics. just play. i say the same thing about rock musicians. how many times i've gone to a concert and i'm there to hear the music and steady get a political message. i feel the same way as you do. gang, we're out of time. i'll see you next week.
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com one of the secrets i think of ronald reagan's political success is that he was consistently underestimated. >> and speaking out about the protests by star athletes. >> i think it's outrageous. there are plenty of ways that you can call into question some of the disgraces in this country. but that's the wrong way to do it. >> welcome to the axe files.