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tv   New Day Sunday  CNN  December 17, 2017 3:00am-4:00am PST

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this story just adds another layer on what has been a barrage of attacks on the special counsel. >> the cinch coming out of the justice department' phish is like that of a third world country. >> sometimes things might appear to be bad in the press have more innocent explanations. >> the integrity of this investigation has to be protected. >> i think the trump team is terrified as to what could happen. >> this is a circus, at this point. >> it just makes the meeting this week between donald trump's attorneys and robert mueller that much more significant.
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>> announcer: this is "new day weekend" with victor blackwell and christi paul. >> good morning to you. >> this morning, special counsel on the defensive republican leaders on the attack and a potential key week in the russia investigation on deck. >> robert mueller's team is preparing to interview president trump's private lawyers, but it's also been forced to defend itself against new attacks for members of the trump transition team. republican lawyers and the conservative media. >> at issue here is tens of thousands of emails sent by members of the transition team. the transition team lawyers say mueller got those emails illegally and argue the documents should have been protected. >> the special counsel office says it has followed the proper legal channels and the emails are fair game because sent from government attacks. here is more on the investigation moving forward. >> reporter: this story just
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adds another layer on what has been a barrage of attacks on the special counsel from republicans, some republicans who are making case of that robert mueller should resign after news broke several days ago that there had been messages exchanged between top fbi officials back in 2016 during the campaign that were critical of then candidate donald trump. republicans made the case that those two officials that had since been on the special counsel team had tainted the investigation, so to speak. one of those officials actually left the special counsel before the text messages were revealed. one of them rah reassigned shortly after those messages came to light. but, again, many republicans are making the case that messages reveal partisanship within the investigation and they have argued that robert mueller should resign. democrats, in response, have made the case that the special counsel is not partisan, that it
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remains politically independent. though, they are speculating that the president is now planning to fire robert mueller. two democrats, both on the house intelligence committee, made the case this weekend that that was the case. first, adam schiff, who was on twitter, saying that he believed that the firing of robert mueller would happen before the end of the year. the other, jackie spear, also made the case to a san francisco tv station that robert mueller's firing was eminent. cnn reached out to white house attorney ty cobb for a statement on these remarks and he gave us a statement writing, in part, quote. so you have the white house denying that there is any kind of plan to remove robert mueller as the head of the special counsel. you have some democrats that are saying that that is the case, that his firing is eminent and
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certain republicans saying the special counsel is tainted and that robert mueller should, indeed, resign. a complicated situation and one that likely will receive greater focus because, as early as this week, you have white house legal team meeting with robert mueller one-on-one, potentially to discuss the next steps in this investigation. here now is cnn political commentators errol louis and andre bauer and cnn political analyst julian zeleny as well. good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> good morning! >> so let's start here with the claim that these emails, tens of thousands of documents, were unlawfully produced by the gsa. julian, these are government accounts, right? >> yeah. it seems from the stories that the gsa voluntarily shared the information with the investigators, so at this
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moment, there is no reason to suspect anything wrong was done. i see this as part of a broader attack from the administration on the legitimacy of the investigation. >> so let me come to you, andre. i want to read for you a tweet from norm eyeson. he writes in this tweet the deputy counsel. he says the following. you've been part of a transition to the executive branch when you were the lieutenant governor under marc sanford in south carolina. you knew that your emails were government property, did you not? and if there was some investigations, they could be retrieved through a government agency, correct? >> i did. but i would say this, victor. what the american people want to have is they want to feel like this is a conflict of
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interest-free investigation and if people aren't going through the right channels to do that, then people say, well, there is already so much of a cloud over this. looks like most of the people investigated donated either president obama or secretary clinton -- >> hold on. i want to give you time to finish this answer but for the scope of this letter that went from the attorney for trump for america to these congressional committees, you acknowledge that these are -- these documents were not unlawfully obtained, correct? and that -- >> well, i don't -- i don't. because i don't know how -- i don't know the particulars of how they were obtained. i'm sure they can go through a legal channel to obtain them through the correct manner and that maybe what they should have done. >> are you suggesting that they didn't? if you say if that is what they should have done, you're suggesting maybe they did not? >> victor, i don't know the particulars of it. more of the big picture is, look. they are fair game. there may be a different channel
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by which they need to obtain these but, overall -- certainly not everybody. but a lot of people feel like this is a one-side investigation. why isn't hillary being investigated to her ties as rusch as well? >> okay. >> you just don't -- in nascar, for example, you don't just -- >> this isn't nascar! andre, this isn't nascar! this is a federal investigation and you have a prosecutor here going through a government service agency that office or administration rather to get the documents. >> victor, you don't think that hillary clinton should be investigated with her ties to russia? >> andre -- >> she got hundreds of millions of -- russians and now she gets nothing? >> you knew the exact topic we invited you here to discuss was this letter from trump for america to the congressional committees, and every time you're on, you transition it back to hillary clinton. hillary clinton is not the president of the united states. and right now she is not under federal investigation. that is what we are talking with this morning! errol, let me come to you. >> -- the investigation and i tell you that a conflict of
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interest of this investigation includes everything on the table. not just one-sided investigation. >> so, errol, this is what we are hearing from conservative medium and have this conversation with brian stelter later. this ek echo chamber from the studios of fox news in new york back and forth and back and forth and conservative media broadly trying to continue to discredit the mueller investigation by trying to discredit the investigators, but also to shut is all down together. >> well, that's right. part of what seems to be a transparent effort to sort of undermine the investigation by making it seem as if, well, there is some sort of conflict. something wasn't done right. >> a bunch of -- >> may have given up political donation in their life and on and on and on. in this particular case, it's important to keep in mind that what is being offered here is that perhaps the transition materials were improperly given to the mueller investigation and
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they are saying it's protected by attorney/client privilege. one thing to keep in mind, and it's very rare to hear the special counsel actually explain any of this, but they said, look. we did everything pursuant to the permission of the writers of the emails or pursuant to criminal process, which to my ear sounds like what they are saying is you don't have -- you can't assert attorney-client privilege to do something unlawful and that defeats the privilege. if you say -- if i were to say to you, victor, you're my lawyer. i plan to do something illegal, why don't you help me figure out how to do it, you can't run back later and say, this is all protected by attorney-client privilege. at some point we should talk about the truth, not the politics of the situation, not whether or not hillary clinton got a pass two years ago or anything like that. we should really talk about the fact of the matter and that is what we should all be waiting for the special counsel to reveal to us. >> julian --
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>> this investigation is -- >> hold on, andre. we are going in order near. julian, a response from the spokesman for the special counsel which is very rare to hear from him. he has not responded to any of the criticism thus far. let's put up on the screen what he said. they are defending how they got these emails. give us some context here on the rarity of hearing from a spokesman for a special counsel mueller. >> we haven't heard much from him at all. he has have been very careful to remain quiet and not have his spokesman out front. in part, this is because mueller is extraordinarily cautious in how he conducts an investigation and the opposite of what administration spokes people tend to be saying right now. but i think the special counsel
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feels that his office, right now, is under systemic attack, which it is. and so my guess is this is an effort in a very important week, probably, in terms of how the administration is going to handle this investigation to explain clearly that nothing wrong was done on their part. they don't believe that this is protected material and they went through the proper channels to obtain the material. as errol said, this is a very transparent effort. that is why all of a sudden we are talking about hillary clinton right now in the panel. so i think the special counsel feels that they have to be a little political right now, meaning not political for one side or the other, but to protect the integrity of the investigation from the president of the united states and his allies. >> andre, do you think special counsel mueller should be fired? >> no. but i do think that it is more than fair to raise questions about people who are on his team
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that have only donated to one side, that have been involved in fusion gps and paid for and all of those are conflicts of interest and all of those of important to built the trust of the american people. the whole reason you have special counsel is make sure there are no conflicts of interest and they are all over the place in this investigation. >> andre bauer and julian zeleny and errol louis, thank you all. >> thank you. >> do not miss "state of the union" with jake tapper. 9:00 a.m. herein on cnn. he has steven munchin and senator-elect doug jones. >> thousands of evacuating in california because of the wildfires. we will have an update from the front lines. hundreds of passengers aboard a caribbean royal cruise get sick and what happened and what the cruise line is doing about it. also, a new children's book out this christmas. takes us inside santa's wedding. we meet santa's husband david.
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16 minutes past the hour. new evacuations this morning for thousands of people in southern california. firefighters there are battling the third largest wildfire in the state's history right now. >> yes. the thomas fire that has burned nearly 300,000 acres and led to the death of one firefighter. >> miguel marquez is there and has this report from santa barbara late last night. >> reporter: the winds have been just completely sporadic, blowing almost not at all like they are right now but up in the hills they are blowing much more intensely. we are in winds as high as 40 miles per hour and they are expecting this is the last stand to this fire. if they keep it down tonight they hope to get on top of it
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and put it out. turn off the light so you can see how it looks in the fig foothills of santa barbara. the entire hillside is just fire. when the winds pick up that fire is pushed directly toward santa barbara and that is the concern they have right now. it burned near carpentecarpente. the towns of monisoto is in the line of the fire that will not quit. the wind-driven and dry, dry brush. the humidity levels in the brush here has been below 10%. firefighters hope that if they can get on it tonight, though, if they can survive those winds tonight, and they have some 400 vehicles up in the area here fighting the fire, that's why they have called for these new evacuations because they didn't want to do it in haste and in a crisis situation where you have
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all of those fire vehicles in there and then people are trying to get out at the same time. so if they can survive the winds tonight and they can get past this one evening, then tomorrow, in the days ahead look much better to finally get this fire out. victor, christi? >> we hope for all of those folks there. our meteorologist allison chinchar is with us now. >> the wind, the dry brush, the heat. is there really any relief in sight? >> what they need right now most is rain. and it's just simply not in the forecast. so anything else is just going to prolong the fires that are already there. as you talked about the winds and the low humidity. here is a look at the main fire, the thomas fire, the third largest in california history and only 5500 acres to go before it reaches the number one spot. 5,500 acres seems like a lot we lost 10,000 acres to that fire
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in the last hour. taking 5,500 is not out of the question for today. orange area being an elevated fire threat and red areas being critical. it's not just limited to southern california but also northern california as well. look at these wind gusts we had yesterday. almost 60 miles per hour in this county and fresno 60 miles per hour and burbank wind over 40 miles per hour. that can take those fires that already exist and spread them multiple miles very quickly. really before people can get a good grip on where what direction the fires are even going in. the fire weather pattern is going to improve in the next 24 hours. we have got this low and this high. in between them, you get what is called a big pressure gradient and can increase your winds but that low is going to separate further out. that is going to make those winds and much more decreased level and good but going to take some time to get there. here is a look at what we have for this morning. we still expect those winds 40,
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50 miles per hour this morning. but once we get to tonight, once we get to tomorrow, victor and christi, that is where you're going to see the improvements. but the one thing we need most is rain and, unfortunately, when you look at the next seven days, there is, unfortunately, not only is there not a chance, there is not much hope even in the next seven days for any rain and the last thing the firefighters really want to hear. >> certainly. allison, thank you so much for watching it for us. meanwhile, hundreds of passengers doling with a stomach virus and it started when they were on a royal caribbean cruise. the ship did return to florida yesterday. but more than 300 people came ill on this cruise. passengers aboard the ship described it terrifying and ghastly. >> the royal caribbean is taking steps like intensive sanitary procedures. the cause is still unknown of these illnesses. trump transition team
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legal channels. but now doubling down. the fox news host who said earlier this month, members of the fbi should be, quote, taken out in handcuffs. >> she now says the bureau is a crime family trying to take down the president. joining us now to talk about this, bryant stelter, cnn media senior correspondent and host of "reliable sources." there has been a march here but in the last probably five or six days, it's really hit a peak. >> i agree with you. you can't understand fully how the mueller probe is being perceived, how the public is understanding it, without understanding how conservative media is trying to discredit mueller and discredit the fbi and discredit the doj. there is a concerted effort from fox news and radio hosts and right wing bloggers and
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commentators and social media stars to tear down mueller, to demand his firing, and as you said in some cases, even demand his arrest. it is like watching an alternate universe. you mentioned the woman who called for them to be let out in handcuffs this time last week, jeannine pirro. here is how she is framing this for her audience, which includes president trump. >> i doubt an american presidential election history that there has been as great a crime or as large a stain on our democracy than that committed by a criminal coball in our fbi and the department of justice who think they know better than we, who our president should be. >> she is an informal adviser to president trump. she was said to be in consideration for a job in the trump administration, and we know that president trump loves to watch her show and other very supportive shows on fox news.
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consider the effect of this kind of rhetoric on a daily basis, every single day, every single day being heard by the president and his aides. that is one of the reasons why there is such a growing concern that trump may try to fire mueller is because he is being advised to do so by his favorite host on tv. >> right. but there are an awful a lot of people who will question that firing, one, if it happens. >> right. >> brian, when we talk about who president trump is talking to, let's face it. president trump is talking to fox, himself. >> and listening to them. >> right. exactly. now look. . he also watches other cable news channels including this one so he does hear a wide range of opinion. i am really struck by the language, the rhetoric, in some cases, framing that we are seeing from hosts like shanahun
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hannity. hannity calls mueller the head of the snake saying he is disgraceful. this kind of language repeated over and over again i think of it as a feedback loop. i was speaking about this to nicole hammer who says a feedback that the president wants to hear and the president says things that reembolden the pro trump hosts and something to pay attention to as we hear this drum beat about mueller. the polls show they are in support of the mueller probe and they want to know what happened with russia meddling in the election last year but hosts like hannity are skeptical of mueller. a reap example of the divide in the country and how conservative media is fueling that divide right now. >> it's also to point out the president is not alone. we heard testimony, at least the questioning by some of the house
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members when the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein on the hill this week quoting some of these reports and some of these fox hosts and their stories about mueller and his probe. >> it's one thing to wonder about certain members of the mueller team. look. there are members of the mueller team that gave donations to democrats and that does not mean that they are so biased that they are incapable of being involved. but it's fair to ask those questions and reporters from cnn and fox and lots of outlets have asked those questions. i think it's another thing for jeannine pirro to talk about a criminal conspiracy and for hannity say this is entirely corrupt. it's a big leap to go from questions about the credibility and those asked and so far the public supports the probe, versus kind of prokpaganda day-to-day drum beat we hear from the fox news hosts and i think it's important to know this is what is being told to president trump on a daily
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basis. >> the same week we hear the president saying he is going to rebuild the fbi. brian, we will talk about this more next hour. thank you for being with us. president trump wants to campaign during the midterm. not unusual for a sitting president to do that. but are gop candidates really looking for his endorsement? do they want to share the stage with him? we will ask our political experts next. and i'd really appreciate a ride to the stadium. yes! ...but, no, i have to stay here and wait for a package. i thought anybody who rooted for me would have fedex delivery manager. that way you can sign for your packages remotely and even customize your delivery time. (car alarm beeps) excuse me sir, could you take me to the stadium? sure! hop in. - thank you.- hope you like jazz fusion. (neighbor starts singing) sorry. customize your deliveries with fedex delivery manager. ♪ this time of year is all about family. and we'd like you to be part of ours. so our chevy employee discount is now available to everyone.
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there is the capitol as we look ahead this week, tuesday, the big tax bill is going to be
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on the books and, of course, republicans have said plan to get it passed and get it to the president's desk by wednesday. we, of course, will be following that for the next several days and keep you in the loop as to the progress of that. let's talk about poll numbers right now for the president. they are down. alabama just lost a senate seat to a democrat, first time in 25 years. despite gop candidate roy moore getting a full-throat endorsement from the president, "the washington post" reports he plans on campaigning for republicans in next year's midterm elections and not particularly unusual. errol louis is a cnn political commentator and with spectrum news is bus and andre bauer and former lieutenant governor of south carolina. gentlemen, thank you so much for sticking around. first of all, let's talk about a report "the washington post" this morning. when we look at who the president has already campaigned for. luther strange. roy moore. ed gillespie and let's listen to
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the president in his own words here. >> you understand. just look at the polls. luther will definitely win. so get out and vote for roy moore. >> both of those candidates lost, andre. and it's not unusual, the president isn't going to pick a winner every time, obviously. however, do gop candidates want president trump out there campaigning for them? >> absolutely. think about congressional candidate -- representative candidate karen handle who won that seat in georgia that the democrats went all in and lost. what about ron estes in kansas. milk muscle vanny in home state who the seat was held by a democrat. mulvaney upset the democrat and ralph norman was able to keep the seat so the president
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involved in aun bunch of other seats that he won a long time. the luther strange thing, the best endorsement is what happened when you don't get your sitting republican senator to come and support you. the nail in the coffin for him and that really, i thought, ended the election and not indicative of the president's overall broad support. >> errol, we have -- the "usa today" -- i want to go back to this from 2014. talking about president obama. said the president wants his fellow democrats to keep the senate, would love to see them retake the house and has made it clear he is willing to help but in some cases the best thing he can do for democratic candidates is to stay away. questions of political liability have escaped very few presidents. have they happened one year in before, to your knowledge? >> well, there are some warning signs on the horizon that republican have to be nervous about in some of these suburban districts. here in new york, certainly in
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virginia, where democrats are making inroads and where they have no business doing well. you know? the results in alabama are startling in a lot of respects. so if the president is going to sort of go out and campaign and expect every candidate up and down the line, the benefit from his presence, i think, they are going to have a really serious problem. on the other hand, if he can pick and choose and be very careful and judicious about where he might be able to make a positive difference, then he would certainly be an asset to any lower level candidate who is running next year. >> so you bring to point something that i wanted to bring up from "the washington post" this morning. they are reporting the white house is planning to send these surveys to candidates across the country as, quote, an audition of sorts for trump's endorsement is what they said. according to "the washington post" looking for fund-raising numbers and secure petition's
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signatures. andre, they don't say anything about them asking the candidates to illustrate their stance on particular issues on what their core message is going to be. they are looking at numbers, according to this report. does the president just want to pick a winner? i mean, explain to us that strategy. >> well, i don't think that is the case because originally in the alabama senate race, you know, he picked someone that was already there. he picked someone he felt he could work with. so what i hope we will do as a republican party is get people in who will push to do the things that all republicans agree on like less taxes and we have to fight our own to get a common sense bill passed and it becomes difficult, so he has to vet the candidates to make sure they are going to fight for what he thinks is important. >> they are asking for internal poll numbers and fund-raising numbers and petitions. >> agreed. and that is why i was making the point i think he needs to make
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sure that he asks, that he gets candidates that are going to push his agenda. that is an important part of making sure. if you get people in republican in name only that does you very little good. >> errol, last word? >> well, i mean, the problem, of course, that this doesn't really work. that strategy won't work in swing districts. you got a lot of districts where folks have given him a chance or given him a try and things like demeanor, tone, the tweets, the vulgarity, the obscenity. in a lot of cases is turning off the suburban voters. to the extend you start to lose some of those, donald trump himself may be able to prevail in 2020 but we have seen considerable evidence they will bear the political cost of some of his action. >> we appreciate so much you sticking around, both of you. thank you. >> thank you. >> sure. don't forget to watch "state of the union" this morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern. jake tapper is talking to
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so i've got some people from michigan staying at my house right now watching the detroit lions last night. they were pretty happy loudly as i was trying to sleep.
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>> were they dancing too? >> i don't know. whatever it was, it was loud. >> christina fitzpatrick has more. >> it's crunch time for a lot of nfl teams when it comes to the playoff picture. some saturday nfl to talk about here on this sunday. after six losses in seven games, definitely was doubt about the chiefs season. but they have now won two straight against divisional opponents to move into first place in the afc west. the offense was firing on all cylinders against the los angeles chargers on saturday. alex finds tyreek hill for a touchdown and 10-0 lead. the chiefs defense was rolling. forcing four second half turnovers that earned them the 30-13 win! meanwhile, the detroit lions have a lot to dance about. they are still in the playoff picture. thanks to a 20-10 win over the chicago bears. matthew stafford threw two touched passes including one to t.j. jones. he got the guys going in the end zone with this rockettes-inspired celebration. perfect for the holiday season
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and i might add it was done very well, if i have to say. lebron james is making a statement that age is just a number. check out this ridiculous one-handed alley-oop. he finishes against the jazz. not many 33-year-olds getting up like that these days you could say. he now has 60 triple-doubles in his career which puts him ahead of larry bird for sixth all time. the cavs putting up all-star number of days in his 15th nba season. how about some outdoor hockey to make you feel all warm and cozy this morning? the senators and canadiens commemorated the nhl's 100% year anniversary playing in ottawa saturday. the temperature was a cool 12 degrees at puck drop! a wild crowd looked every minute of the celebrateing in that bitter cold. a windchill felt like 13 below, you guys, and 34,000 people out there to celebrate. >> at least if you're playing, you're moving around. >> right. >> otherwise, you're sitting in the stands. >> if your team is woipinning,
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you're moving around. >> a true sports fan to sit out there in that cold. >> happy hundred years, nhl. >> thank you, christina. >> thank you. still ahead, a holiday children's book tells the story of santa claus with a fresh new twist. there are some families, though, not so happy about the book, maybe not so hidden agenda. >> we have the author and illustrator here with us live to talk about their new book" santa's husband." ♪ when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum tums chewy bites.
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with the christmas holiday right around the corner, millions of people are getting really into the spirit with the thought of family and gifts and santa claus, of course. >> so do us a favor here. victor had a very good idea. >> close your eyes. close your eyes with me and think of santa and his spouse. now open them. this is the cover of the new book, is this the image ma popped in your head? this is the cover of "sooanta's husband, a new children's book that hit stores nationwide this season. joining us is the author daniel and illustrator ashley. good morning to both of you. >> hey, good morning. thanks for having us. >> certainly. thank you for coming in. this is new. daniel, first to you. what inspired "santa's husband"? >> well, it was sort of inspired by the annual tradition we have in this country of pretending
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there is a giant war on christmas and that traditional christmas is under attack. so among other things, we were reading all of the news about the mall of america hiring a black santa claus last year and me and my now wife made a joke on twitter that if we ever had a child, they would only know about black santa claus and if they saw a white santa claus at the mall, we would plain that is his husband. and then ashley and i knew each other from the internet and from her illustration already and she jumped into my twitter mentions and said, boom. new book. >> yeah. and it's out now. available everywhere, actually. so let me read a couple of pages here. it says like any married couple, they have their disagreements but they always manage to kiss and make up. usually over a plate of milk and cookies. every one of the online responses to i'm african-american and my family collects black santa figures but never grew up seeing black santas on the mall or on tv.
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now my nephew is understanding the idea of santa and this book lets him know the black santa is cool for him to see. the importance for children to see themselves. >> oh, absolutely. gosh. one of my favorite things about this book and especially as it's come out are our friends that have children that have families that have not seen themselves yet represented whether these are families of color or whether these are gay families with children. and i just love seeing the children interact with the book. they really do seem to get it. >> you know this is a lot for some parents. some people may not agree with it. let me read one of the criticisms here. i'm gay man and honestly the book is pretty patronizing and the love between two adults and use it as a tool to express a political opinion in a
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polarizing way in the guise of a children's book and i'm disgusted that the authors, obviously, use homosexuality as a political weapon to make a political statement under the cover of chirp. listen, the elves have health care coverage and settle label disputes and you address climate change. are you using a children's book to push a political ideology? >> it's i think a legitimate criticism. i'm literally on the news anchor scene right now. that's the world we come from. i'm a political satire writer. when i have the opportunity to write a book, these are the things that i care about and that i'm interested in. my only real response to that, i think, is that we are trying to put a net positive into the world and contribute to a vacuum of representation, but these are, obviously, our reviews. they are not everybody's views.
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and we are just very flattered that the response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. >> daniel kibble-smith and ashleyly quad, thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you for having us. next hour starts right now. being with us this morning. >> thank you for having us. next hour starts right now.g with us this morning. >> thank you for having us. next hour starts right now. this story just adds another layer on what has been a barrage of attacks on the special counsel. >> the cinch coming out of the justice department. the fbi is like that of a third world country! >> sometimes, things might appear to be bad in the press have more innocent explanations. >> the integrity of this investigation has to be protected. >> i think the trump team is terrified as to what could happen. >> this is a circus, at this point. >> it just makes the meeting this week between donald trump's attorneys and robert mueller that much more significant. >> announcer

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