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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  June 1, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast live with all the new developments tonight. president trump handing down a surprise pardon for conservative flame thrower dinesh d'souza,
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who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws. the president hinting that he might also pardon martha stewart, and consider commuting the 14-year federal prison term of former illinois governor rod blagojevich for public corruption. so what message is the president sending with all of this? is it part of an instinct to break all the rules? that's what we're going to talk about. i want to bring in cnn contributor frank bruni of the "new york times," and presidential historian douglas brinkley. gentlemen, good evening. so let's look at the big picture here, frank. you see a bigger story behind the president's pardons, behinds the way he deals with the race controversies, the mueller investigation, that this president has a reflex to see how much he can get away with. talk to me about that. >> i think he enjoys and looks for opportunities to thumb his law at conventions, thumb his law at established practice. and i think pardons do that for him in a very dramatic way. i think they do something else really crucial if we're talking about trump's personality. he hates it that as president
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he's not omnipotent. he hates he as a congress that checks his powers. he hates that he has to go to them for legislation. pardoning is the most god-like act he can do. he overturns anything that's come before. he feels super -- >> you said it's intoxicating for him. >> i think it's totally intoxicating. >> and proving people wrong. >> one of the themes if you look back through his whole political career, which isn't that long, of course, is he likes to see what he can get away with. we treat it as a random one off comment when he said it slightly wrong i can shoot someone on 5th avenue and my supporters would forgive me. i think that was actually a really telling remark. he has said privately to other lawmakers who have met with him and other people who he's talked to him, his presidency about i can't believe what i can get away with and my supporters still support me. >> there's so much the president has gotten away things that other people would never get
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away with. we can't even count them. what do you think about what frank is saying that he wants to test his limits? does he have any limits? >> well, he has unfettered power to pardon people, and frank just nailed it. it's a very god-like thing to say you're free, a get out of jail card. but who's he giving these pardons to? it's been a lot of the alt-right heroes, people who are kind of outlaws of radical right conservatism. sheriff arpaio, scooter libby, dinesh d'souza. this is all in a way i think, don, an attempt to kind of seed the playing field. just make pardons normal, like he used to say on "the apprentice," you're fired, you're pardoned. if it rains pardoned over the next few months when the mueller report comes out and someone like donald jr. is in trouble, he'll do a pardon and say it's all a witch-hunt that we're in, and i'm defending the right
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team, right wing team in america. >> but he is using it as a tool, but to what end specifically, frank? >> i think there are a number of events, but two that come to mind is he is under investigation. he has people around him who have been indicted or whatever. he's saying to the american public the criminal justice system is erratic. it's not to be trusted, it goes on selective prosecutions. in fact, what dinesh d'souza was saying is i was selectively prosecuted. he is saying i don't trust this system and he is sending message to you that you shouldn't trust this system and i also think it's interesting is he's someone who savagely went after president obama's father, president obama's mother, who has said many racist things on twitter and many racist things about president obama. and this is yet another opportunity that president trump has seized to sort of stick his finger in his predecessor's eye. >> let's see. a lot of things he said. in summary in his book he said
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the american slave was treated like property which was pretty well. was slavery a racist institution? no, slavery was practiced for a thousand year in many societies. thus slavery is not distinctly western, nor is it racist. at marjory stoneman douglas, basically saying the worst news that their parents could give them was telling them they could get summer jobs. he later apologized for that. >> don, what are we to make the fact that he is champing dinesh d'souza, on the exact same day the whole roseanne barr thing is happening. he is not denouncing her, but he has found someone else who said similarly horrible things and said here is a wrongly pros constituted acut -- prosecuted and persecuted man, and i'm going to restore his reputation. >> what's the big fuss about rosa parks not sitting in the back of the bus?
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when the president was testing a selfie and saying obama, that you can't take the boy out of the ghetto. and then he kept questioning president obama's place of birth. after the birther in chief donald trump dropped the issue and questioned it on twitter as recently as september. and there you go. that's who he pardons. douglas, what does this say about him? >> well, and d'souza, as you're pointing out -- >> let's put up some of the people while you say that. i promise, i'll let you finish. i just want to put up some of the people the president has either pardon order is thinking about pardoning. governor rod blagojevich and recently scooter libby. they share something in common. they were prosecuted by patrick fitzgerald. happens to be a close friend of james comey. and comey prosecuted martha stewart. he has only granted five pardons, but there you go. >> well, and these are celebrities. and in the history that he pardoned jack johnson, who was
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perhaps a legitimate great african american boxer, that was recommended to him by sylvester stallone to do the pardon. there's a celebrity theme going here. in our prisons, don, there are people sitting right now in jails for marijuana, charges for hashish and things. these people aren't getting pardoned. it's kind of a wacky celebrity game of pardoning here right now. it's a sad spectacle when you have kim kardashian in the oval office and he's defending roseanne barr's racist statements, and you have the original obama birther basher being pardoned and all. it's just part of the ugly, grim side of trump's america. >> there was an interesting assessment by his own party that john boehner said today and about his own party because this president has no check on his president and what he is doing. here is what he said. >> there is no republican party.
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there is a trump party. the republican party has kind of taken a nap somewhere. >> and john kasich says he doesn't know what this gop is doing right now. what's going on? >> i think boehner said the republican party is taking a nap, and i think kasich said it's gone dormant. i think both are selling it short. it's in a coma. that's the true state of affairs, it's in a coma. that's the true state of affairs. it's in a coma. but both of them to some extent romanticizing the republican party. the republican party could not have been corrupt and perverted by donald trump this way unless sort of seeds for that corruption and perversion were already there. the freedom caucus for example predates trump by a number of years. however, free trade, that's out the window. we've got a president who's instituting tariffs, who wants to close borders, who personifies the sort of vulgarity that's supposed to be the antithesis of the republican party. what those men are saying, boehner and kasich is to indulge
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all of that, to support all of that to go out of you way as paul ryan has to support that is to turn your back on what was once defined by these men as the republican party. >> do you remember when president-elect trump visited president obama in the white house and he seemed sort of overwhelmed? you remember that moment, right? and everyone was like what did they talk about? what wept on behind closed doors? and, doug, we're getting a prevent of the book, a former obama adviser ben rose who details the aftermath of the 2016 election. and this is what peter baker writes about it "the new york times" in the he says the day mr. obama hosted mr. trump in white house after the election seemed surreal. mr. trump kept steering the conversation back to the size of his rallies, noting that he and mr. obama could draw big clouds, but mrs. clinton could not. he writes, afterwards mr. obama calls a few aides to ruminate. you can see it right back to that character has always been
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part of the american story. you can see it right back to some of the characters in huckleberry finn. maybe, mr. obama answered, that's the best we can hope for. what's his place in history? >> well, i think barack obama was saying maybe the best he is just a confidence man, a con artist, this president. but it turns out the he is also a conspiracy theorist. donald trump makes up facts all the time. he doesn't go on empirical evidence, and it's kind of blowing up of any kind of integrity from the white house now. so barack obama's worst fears are come to fruition. and because trump doesn't know much history, he simply is anti-obama. anything that obama ever does or says, he criticizes. and hence his alley is d'souza who really became famous in the republican world hard right by just trashing obama as much as possible. >> he should be thanking him for the economy because that's one
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of the things that's keeping his poll numbers even, the local numbers as high as they are now. how big a part of the trump presidency is president obama, frank? >> huge, huge. i mean i was thinking about that today. president obama is like the first husband, and you're the second husband. and that person has to either not exist or be all things bad so you can relish your marriage to the extent you want to. i think that's trump's attitude. i think it's also interesting we're talking about him needing constantly to poke his finger in the eyes of his predecessors. one of his other pardons was scooter libby. that was sort of poking the eye of president bush. so he got another predecessor there. he's constantly talking about messed up situations that his predecessors bequeathed to him, especially president obama. but you said, wonderful point, credit for the economy we're in right now that credit goes to president obama. it takes a little while for policies to work. >> everyone knows that, and he knows that deep down. he knows that. >> just like president clinton owes some of his economy to
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george w. bush. >> absolutely. usually the second wife remodels. i'm surprised he didn't do a complete renovation, a gut. >> well, the state dinners -- >> i wonder why he disliked or talked so much and said such disparaging things about barack obama is because barack obama was a classy man and no matter how much money you have you cannot buy that. >> he is profoundly threatened by the example that barack obama set, absolutely. >> thank you both. when we come back, stunning audiotapes from president trump's fixer. michael cohen threatening a reporter. but we have learned that law enforcement has more tapes. what might be on those tapes. oh, sorry i'm late, sir. when you said you were at the doctor, but your shirt says you were at a steakhouse... that's when you know it's half-washed. add downy odor protect with 24-hour odor protection.
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okay, so president trump's attorney michael cohen, threatening a reporter released today. and what we're hearing on those tapes is really pretty stunning.
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i want to bring in now cnn political commentator joe lockhart, a former white house press secretary for bill clinton. also political consultant george arts who has crossed paths many times with rudy giuliani. we'll auch about that. and scott jennings. welcome to the program all of you, by the way. so, george, you say that president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen and his new lawyer -- not so new anymore, rudy giuliani, that they're cut from the same cloth? tell me than. >> i would say rudy is a pretty rambunctious guy who has threatened people, threatened me a couple of times. he once sent someone after me and said that rudy wants you to know he didn't like what you said last night on tv and you have a lot of business at city hall. i mean, rudy is -- rudy is like that. his favorite movie is "the
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godfather," and he likes to imitate mob figures. and he has done that on stage for the inner circle, the organization of political reporters. and he enjoys doing that. but he also likes to play the role. and so he and michael cohen, michael cohen also likes to play the role obviously from this tape. so they very much are alike. >> and it sounds like the kind of figures that donald trump, especially with his lawyers, that he surrounds himself with. there are some newly released audio recordings. and they reveal michael cohen made a series of vulgar threats to a reporter in order to protect donald trump. this audio is from a 2015 interview between cohen and a daily beast reporter who says that cohen was making threats over a piece he was writing about a trump biography. here's the exchange. >> you're talking about donald trump. you're talking about the front runner for the gop presidential
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candidate, as well as private individual, who never raped anybody and of course understand that the -- by the very definition you can't rape your spouse. if you write a story that has mr. trump's name in it with the word rape and i'll mess with your life and for the rest of your life, i'm warning you. tread very [ bleep ] because what i'm going to do is disgusting. do you understand me? don't think you're going to hide behind your paper. that's not going to happen. >> listen, every lawyer wants to protect their client, scott. what do you think of that, appropriate? >> well, it's not like how i would think lawyers back in kentucky speak to each other. but honestly if you're surprised after hearing everything we've heard about michael cohen, this
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is how he would speak to a reporter, i got some ocean front property back in louisville i would be willing to sell you. this seems like it's really in character for a guy who has made his entire career recently out of being donald trump's enforcement officer. i'm not surprised by it. >> that's his personal attorney. they were close for -- >> i think the president has made clear that he wants lawyers to be just like that. >> by the way, he's responding to this. this is what he said responding to this. as i said in a previous statement, i made an inarticulate statement based upon the horrific question posed by that reporter. feel free to look it up. so? >> by the way, though, i think he's wrong about the spousal rape issue. because i think in new york it is law that you can rape your spouse and has been for quite some time. so at least as a factual matter he got that wrong. >> so there are tapes, right, like this. there were tapes supposedly when they raided his office.
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so what does this all mean for michael cohen, you think? >> well, the tape is in character. it's in character for michael cohen. it's in character for donald trump who's run his business empire like an organized crime organization. now, some of this may be parody, that they're trying to be the tough guys. >> i was surprised, though, because i know michael cohen and i've spoken to him a lot. and i've never seen that side of him. but it's obvious it is him on tape. >> it's him, and they have made their reputations based on intimidation, and it's not just a new york city thing. this goes beyond the rough and tumble of new york city politics. and i think the importance of the tapes are not that one. it's what else do they have? what else are on the tapes particularly if he's talking to the president? because i have a feeling that if there are conversations back and forth about the business, we're going to hear things that the president absolutely doesn't want to get out.
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and if they exist mr. mueller will be listening to them. >> you think that is sort of the precursor to what's there, foreshadowing? >> yeah, i think that time in >> yeah, i think that tape in and of itself tells you a little about michael cohen. it doesn't tell you much about what the bigger case is. the fact there's that one means there's others. and the investigators will be listening to them. >> let's talk more about rudy giuliani, okay, george? because my colleague dana bash because he is on a media blitz, my colleague dana bash has some interesting analysis, an interesting analysis piece on giuliani titled "how giuliani wins by being the craziest guy in the room." and herr here's what she writes. it turns out he's doing exactly what the president, his own best strategist wanted him to do. chip away at public support for special counsel robert mueller's russia probe. giuliani is doing exactly what trump wants. be aggressive, shape public opinion, take harpoons.
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so he's the aggressor that president trump wanted. >> it's exactly -- he's doing exactly what his client wants. and he's eroding public trust in the mueller investigation. and he's eroding it now because of the mid-term elections. and he wants the republicans to remain in control of both houses as well as get rid of a trump investigation, the russian investigation if he can, or damage it severely. >> scott, dana opponents out that his mission, the mission is transparent. but is it working? >> i think it is working because giuliani is out there speaking and throwing out these bombs, and the special counsel office says nothing. now that's probably by protocol what they're supposed to do. but as a purely public opinion matter if you have somebody lobbing attack after attack at your operation, whatever that operators is, some of the stuff is going to stick.
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again,as a purely political and pr matter, in less than one calendar year, there is a really high chance they could be facing impeachment. there's a 50/50 democrats could be taking the house. if you're trying to shape the political conversation around what is a purely political activity as joe knows, then this is precisely what you'll be doing. and i think they're having some success. >> the polls indicate that. the polls indicate that the president's ratings on russian issues are improving. >> but he's doing it at the expense of his own reputation, which i think now is irredeemable. he's doing it at the expense of the truth. he's making things up, and doing it at the expense of institutions that this country needs, the justice department. the irony is he was the law and order mayor, and he is now eroding law and order in this country. >> do you not see the
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similarities in the play book being run now? >> you know what? i'm glad you bring that up, because i don't. ultimately here's the similarity. which is the clinton white house knew we needed to make sure the democrats stayed with us. and trump knows he needs to keep the republicans with us. that's where it ends. president clinton never fired the fbi director, never publicly shamed the attorney general, president clinton never by name went after fbi agents by name. he may have personally believed that ken starr was after him for partisan reasons or moral reasons. he may have believed that janet reno didn't do enough to protect, but he kept the focus on the country and the people, and that was right politically. trump is the victim in chief. it's all about what are you doing to me. and he just doesn't care about what's going on in the country. >> thank you. appreciate it. when we come back samantha
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bee apologizing for a crude remark about ivanka trump. roseanne barr losing her job after a racist tweet. are comedians being held to a higher standard than the president? mother...nature! sure smells amazing... even in accounts receivable. gain botanicals laundry detergent. bring the smell of nature wherever you are. oh, look... another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®. see what's possible.
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comedian samantha bee is apologizing after a making a crude and offensive comment about ivanka trump on her show. >> ivanka trump, who works at the white house, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we've seen this week. you know, ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices you [ bleep ]. he listens to you. put on something tight and low cut, and tell your father to [ bleep ] stop it. tell him it was an obama thing and see how it goes. >> every time i see that, it makes me cringe. bee released a statement saying in part, quote, it was inappropriate and inexcusable. i crossed a line and i deeply regret it.
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let's discuss this now. opinion contributor, nationally syndicated radio host stacey washington and cnn political commentator angela rye. hello, everyone. angela, did samantha bee's comment just epitomize what we're seeing in the country right now? >> don, that is the best way you could have answered your question. absolutely. i think the challenge that we have right now is just yesterday, you know, we were -- or the last couple of days even, we've been hearing people go back and forth about roseanne and there was an intense debate they heard with simone and another commentator where the guy is just justifying all of roseanne barr's actions and how she should have free speech and blah, blah, blah. but when it comes to this side, right, all of a sudden this is the most egregious harm ever. and i'm trying to understand when truth became so subjective.
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i understand that we are, obviously we have our own experiences and we can see things through different lenses. but at some point wrong and just wrong and right is right. and i think samantha bee did the right thing by apologizing for this. it was tasteless, it was very harmful. and yes ivanka does have a lot of persuasion powers with her father, and i think calling her out of name with a word that doesn't offend me but offends other people and was horrible, she needed to apologize. she had the platform that's too important to do otherwise. >> and the message was lost in all of that. she had a very good point about immigration and she lost it. she apologized. tbs is owned by cnn's parent company. they said it should never have aired. that enough? >> no, it's not. first of all, i'm on the record on my radio show and all over twitter as saying that i found roseanne barr's comments to be ridiculous. they were awful, disgusting, demeaning. any comparisons between black
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people and monkeys, that's a no go in my book. and i'm always at the ready, guns blazing to shoot that commentary down. now that i've said that, if we're going to talk to about civility or lack thereof why does bill maher still have a show? if just tweeting something out is the standard then a lot of people in hollywood should not be on the air, should not be on television if that's the standard. i think, you know, abc and the production people, the management there, they have every right to fire or not fire. do what you're going to do. but then samantha bee says what she said about ivanka trump, and it's the see you next tuesday, yeah, don, but it's also put on something low cut and racy and seduce your father like they have a incestuous relationship. that's disgusting and vile and demeaning and hateful towards women. hey, and so he said that ridiculous comment. so we justify adding on to it?
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not for me. that's not okay for me. so i think what we have to do if we really want to be honest and have our experiences validated is admit there's a double standard. so roseanne lost her job. i'm not defending roseanne. i'm asking how does samantha bee have a job? >> okay, all right. dean, you want to? >> sure. there's a vast difference between what samantha bee said, which was vulgar and provocative and wrong and a racist comment by roseanne barr. stacey criticized roseanne, didn't use the word racist there. donald trump will not use the word racist to talk about her. >> it was racist. i said on the radio. i already said it was racist. don't go anywhere with me. >> the reality is they're far different. >> i'm not donald trump. >> and roseanne barr has a history, i wrote last month saying you're going to have problems with her. you're going to have problems with her from a corporate point of view and you do.
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right now samantha bee lost two sponsors. it could result in her losing her show. i hope not. she apologized and she is an important voice. one thing, don [ overlapping dialog ] >> let him finish, stacey, stacey, let him finish. >> i would like to see to the bigotry and racism of donald trump against black, muslims, latinos defending rob porter who beat his wife. how about half of that kind of anger? i would love that i would embrace it. it would bring us all together. let's do it. >> but 12 rights -- 12 wrongs don't make a right. 14 wrongs don't make a right. >> when have i never defended -- >> hold on. i don't think he is attacking you personally. don't take it personally, stacey. >> he called me out personally. he just called my name, don. >> i said your name. >> but do you criticize him for his comments? do you criticize the president? >> i have thousands of hours of radio out there on the podcast where i have definitely
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criticized the president as well as praising him. >> then that is fair. >> i'm not a sycophant. but it's not fair for dean or anyone else who calls themselves an opinion writer or anyone in the media or the fourth estate where you're supposed to be reporting, not emoting. for you to equate statements made by someone else -- >> i've got to go. >> unless you've researched it and listened to what i've said. >> we'll be right back. ♪ oh, look... another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®. see what's possible.
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back now with dean, stacey and angela. so my question is does context matter here? because comedians have always been vulgar. is it different, angela, if they're vulgar versus racist? >> yes, from my vantage point certainly. i think right now comedians and anyone with a platform really, don, has a different type of responsibility. you asked the question leading into the first segment about whether or not comedians were held to a higher standard than the president. and i think all of us are. i don't know what it is, we called him teflon don during the
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campaign and it still applies now. no matter what he does, no matter how egregious the action, his followers, his base doesn't shift. we know his approval rating has never gone higher than 50%. it certainly stayed in the 40s, and for whatever reason his base is very loyal. he stokes their worst fears and pumps and prods their anger, and it really, really works for him. the frustration is all of us have this great responsibility to try to bring everybody together, to try to get rid of some of the most egregious and ugliest things of america's past. and this president doesn't do anything except lead into them, furthering the division we see. and i think it's unfortunate all the rest of us have a deeper broader responsibility between platforms. >> the reason i asked this question is you guys all know this, i'm a huge proponent of free speech, and that means speech you don't like. but that doesn't mean you have to deal with hate speech.
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are we going to get to a point where nobody can say anything and everyone's going to be in fear of losing their jobs and we can't be honest? i do think context matters. if roseanne had had something similar in a club that she was performing, would it be different? if she had put it in the context of her show and did an episode about it, there would be context. but she did it on twitter and there was no context behind it. do you understand what i'm saying? >> i know what you're saying, yes. it could be different, here is the thing. donald trump praised roseanne so she became part of a hyper partisan world where if she says something we don't like, it's built in on the left. and vice versa. samantha bee, people on the right looking to go after liberal comedians, we might have never known about it. comedians are held to a higher standard the more famous you are. when you have advertisers involved. that's why samantha bee no
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matter what felt compelled to apologize. the progressive base does not want her to apologize, but i think the network does. >> stacey, i was speaking to someone today, a woman, and we were talking about that. and she made a point to me i hadn't really thought about. that word, the cu next tuesday word, is personal to her. and i said you know what, i understand it was vulgar and terrible before i had that conversation with her, but also, as a person of color, what roseanne did was personal to me. >> and to me. i condemned it immediately. >> okay. that's not where i'm going with this. perhaps it's a way that people can sort of understand each other. maybe it doesn't affect you so you don't think it's awful and terrible. but when it does affect you, then maybe you should be more empathetic about listening to what other people say about it. because the president certainly seems to think that only what samantha bee said matters, not
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what roseanne said. go ahead, stacey. >> i can't speak for the president, don. i have no idea what he thinks -- >> and some people are defending him, but you're not one of them. but go on. >> i do think there's a huge dichotomy here. you're talking about something roseanne tweeted out as offensive as it was, it was on twitter, the show's on hiatus. they racked the last episode. they don't come back to start taping for weeks. she's on her personal account, tweets out something offensive, she's gone. samantha bee pre-taped that program. they actually had writers write that for her, went through the whole editorial process and was brought before a live studio audience, filmed, wrapped, edited, sent over for production and then released. that's a huge difference. >> sent out on social media. >> so you're saying because it happened on network television it's not as egregious, and if we're talking about things that are offensive, see you next tuesday, how many times has bill
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maher called sarah palin see you next tuesday and other women on the right? i can tell you, don, i'm really wondering do the people on your panel care that i'm called that all the time, that i get those kinds of threats. >> sure. of course. i think everyone here care, stacey. >> i know, angela. i've seen your twitter feed. it's rough. but i'm talking about either we care about all of it or we don't care about any of it. so when people like joy behar compared hearing from god, praying to god to mental illness, she kept her job. she was forced to apologize by the head of disney. >> that's a whole -- context is everything. yes, it is. okay, so this is where -- hold on, hold on, hold on, please. because i'm out of time. but that's what i mean about we're going to get to a place where nobody can say anything. i saw that episode live with joy behar. and i thought it's a joke. i didn't think she was comparing
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christians, but that's how it has evolved. she was making a joke about one thing -- she said it's one thing to talk to god, it's another thing to have to hear voices or god talk to you. okay, but that is not on the same level as comparing somebody to -- >> no, racism is racism. racism is racism. >> it's a textbook example of a false -- i'm a christian, too, stacey. hold on. [ overlapping dialog ] >> one at a time. >> i'm on christian radio and i can tell you that was offensive. millions of people woke up that morning. >> let angela talk. she's talked the least. >> you were mad at dean earlier for the same thing. i actually spoke at the potter's house last mouth, so before you get too far let me help you reel it on back. >> oh, i'm not too far. >> go ahead, angela. >> let her talk, stacey. she's talked the least on the panel. >> i'm sorry you're upset today. i understand this is frustrating topic, but i'm very frustrated, too, about the ways in which
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folks in the sunken place who look like me and you can start creating false equivalencies like what you just did which is to say this person saying something asinine on daytime tv is the same thing as you calling somebody black a monkey who's beautiful intelligent and the president's right-hand. come on, sis, we got to do better than that. >> okay, with egot to go. we'll be right back. >> i am doing better. thanks, don. tide pods child-guard pac. helps keep your laundry pacs safe, and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging.
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president trump still failing to denounce roseanne barr's racist tweet and doubling down making it about himself. tweeting, iger, where is my call of apology? you and abc have offended millions of people and they demand a response. how is ross doing? he tanked the market yet no apology. double standard. let's discuss now. w. kamau bell. he is the host of cnn's "united shades of america." that panel is trying to take all your time up. i read the tweet. he wants an apology, he's tweeted a couple times, both times he's turned it into a story about himself and what he wants and himself. why won't he condemn roseanne's completely racist tweet?
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>> because it would be hypocritical for him to do that because of the racism he's put out over his lifetime. so there's no percentage in it. we can talk about his base and how his base likes it when he's racist and bigoted. but there's no way to condemn someone else's racism without condemning his own. i don't think there is any point on us waiting for it. all day on cnn's i've seen these chirons and why won't president trump condemn the racism, because he is regularly a racist. right now in puerto rico, 4,000 people are declared dead because of hurricane maria. trump doesn't care about them. we can talk all day about trump's racism. >> all day people saying this is equivocating here and saying this is just as bad as that one. did you understand where i was i was trying to get to in the last segment about where is the line, you know, what is free speech? i mean, is being a racist the same as being a vulgar comedian? as far as i know, comedians have
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always been vulgar. it didn't make what they say right. i don't know. what is the difference? is there a difference? >> and i think the thing with samantha bee -- and i respect her. it's a great show. you don't want to give your enemies an easy lay-up. by calling ivanka trump a see you next tuesday, which i didn't know that was a thing, by calling her that that was an easy layup. you're saying there's a more clever joke than just saying that word. as a comedian, i thought you were feeding your enemies red meat when you do that, which there is no reason to do that. she is a better comedian than that. >> let's talk about your show. you have a new episode this sunday where you visit some of the country's top black colleges and universities. watch this. >> the main talk when every hbcs come up, there is that talking point why do we still have hbcs?
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how come we don't have white colleges? i had a white college, that would be racist. >> it's a place that black people can access that white people can't. wait a minute, there is something you can do that we can't? but the truth is white people can go to hc u.s. us. but the truth is, white people can go to hbcs. white people have access and they don't want to go to places marked as black. that's okay. but it's okay for us to want those places. >> you wrote an article that the popularity of hbcs was on the decline. >> there's a conversation to be had about what it means to choose an hbc now versus 50 years ago. post civil rights, you now have a choice to go somewhere else. so the decline for hbcs, essentially the landscape is changed. there is more choices. i believe in black people. i believe there will be hbcus as long as there are black people in the america. >> that was mark, one of our contributors here.
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why do you think they're playing an important role? >> america is not really a safe place for america. it makes sense that black people would create and have safe spaces to educate ourselves. to me, you think of the black woman at the ivy league school who got harass by police for sleeping in an common area that wouldn't have happened in an hbcu. a and the students say the thing about going to an hbcu, if you're a black person, you can just be yourself. you don't feel like every time you walk in your house you're being measured against every other black action in the world. you can actually be yourself. >> w. kamau bell, thank you, sir. see you next time. >> make sure you tune in to an all new episode sunday night at 10:00 only on cnn. and before we leave you tonight, i just want to share a story and pictures that everyone can see. pay attention. this is brit harris holding her 2 1/2-month-old daughter christian. saluting behind her mother and
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daughter, the members of the 2nd battalion 1st brigade combat team. brit is a widow, and christian will never meet her father. but thieve through these soldiers and her mother, she will know the measure of the man. specialist christopher m. harris was killed in action in afghanistan on august 2nd of last year when his convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber. it happened just one week after christopher learn head would become a dad. brit said being a father was his top goal in life. and since losing her husband, well, she has had the support of the soldiers who worked along side him. when they finally met baby christian this week. her father's brothers and sisters in arms took her in theirs. this is the best of america, coming together, lifting each other. real men and women becoming heroes, a part of something much greater than themselves. we still got that baby christian
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brit special christopher m. harris and the soldiers of the 82nd airborne division tonight, we salute you. good night. well, here's to first dates! you look amazing. and you look amazingly comfortable. when your v-neck looks more like a u-neck... that's when you know, it's half-washed. add downy to keep your collars from stretching. unlike detergent alone, downy conditions to smooth and strengthen fibers. so, next time don't half-wash it. downy and it's done. . . .
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the president's controversial pardon of a fire brand. could this be a signal for aides caught up in the russia investigation? fierce pull back from allies and the president's party over new tariffs from the trump administration. perhaps as many as 2.5 million american jobs could be on the line. do something about your dad's immigration practices you feckless [ bleep ]. >> samantha bee apologizing for the


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