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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 6, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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she was battling depression and anxiety many years. she said there was no sign of this, and we were in shock. >> thanks for joining us. ac 360 with anderson joined tonight. tonight a mother and daughter reunited on this broadcast. alice marie johnson was released after 21 years in prison. sentenced for life for a first time nonviolent federal drug conviction. in the sixth act, president trump commuted her sentence. it came after kim kardashian west lobbied her release. her sentencing or the real joy that she and her family are obviously now feeling. so in a moment, we will talk
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about that about how this president is exercising his power to grant pardons. my conversation with alice marie johnson and her daughter. how do you feel? you just got out. >> it is so overwhelming. >> when did you first learn and how did you learn that you were going to get out? >> my case manager called me back. when the attorneys came on, i heard kim kardashian west. and kim gave me the news and i started screaming. it was just too much. >> did you know she was going to go to the white house and plead your case? >> yes, i knew she was going on my birthday. >> true tessa, this must be an
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incredible day for you. did you ever think after 21 years you would see your mom released from prison. >> i always had hope. but i didn't know when i woke up this morning that today was the day for sure. >> alice, did it feel strange to be out? >> yes. i have not been out in a car without handcuffs. >> did you talk with her? >> to true tessa? >> true tessa, if you want to use this opportunity if there is anything you want to say to your mom. >> hi, mom, i am so glad to see you out. i am looking at the video. i wish i would have been here. i imagined myself being there.
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but i am glad to see that you got out today. i am excited to see you. >> i tell you, that was the best sight i have ever seen in my life to see my family out here. i feel like i was flying, not running >> alice, you were saying that your daughter, though she wasn't there, she was there in spirit? >> yes, i saw her in the faces of my other relatives, she was right there with me in my heart. >> do you know what you are going to do now, alice? i know everybody said you were a model prisoner and worked incredibly hard to help others. what do you want to do now? >> well i meant to in terms of work, i already have a job secured. but i really want to work hard with changing things in our criminal justice system. and you probably already know, i love to write. i would love to get that started
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up there. >> did you lose hope at some point that this day might not come? >> well honestly, there were times that i felt like losing hope. and one of the times when i walked up with another person that received clemency. and i felt my name was on the list. that was a rough day for me. but my daughter tells me i remind her of a phoenix. and i had to rise from those ashes. and that was the worst day. >> you sure have risen today. is there anything you want to say to the president, to kim kardashian west and all the others that have been fighting for you. >> i would say to president trump, i am going to make you proud that you gave me this second chance in life. and i will not disappoint the
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american public or the world that has so much faith in me. all i can say is thank you president trump. and i love you president trump. thank you. and i want to tell kim, my angel, that you never gave up on me. you never gave up your fight. you were relentless. and it paid off for me and my family on this day. >> true tessa, what do you want people to know about your mom? >> she is a kind person and a generous person and i am thankful that people will get to know her outside of prison. and i want people it know that she is genuine. what you see is what you get. this isn't an act. >> well, i am so happy for both of you and alice, i wish you the best. and can't wait to see what you know moving forward. thank you so much for talking with us. >> thank you, anderson, thank you.
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i love you true tessa. >> love you too, mom, can't wait to see you. >> soon. we are back on the road. >> alice, thank you. and true tessa, thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> amazing to hear the joy in her voice. more now on the bigger debate this is part of. why the president chose to lean so heavily on the privilege of the white house. done the paperwork to pardon at least 30 people. joining me now is maggie haberman. great to hear the joy of her being reunited with the family and what that feel likes for the president of the united states to have this power. the pardon seems to fall in two categories. conservative political figures
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or people like ms. johnson who were flagged by well-known people, by celebrities. >> i think there is going to be a change in how this goes, or at least you can ainnticipate a change. when you think there is a hard and fast way he is going to go ahead with something, he takes a diversion. i think the celebrity aspect is a big piece of that. the component where people have political connections and a third bucket where people have cases that were involved with prosecutors or investigators who he wants to get back at. you saw a case involving a southern district prosecution where he talked about doing a pardon. mart martha stewart was a person he mouss mused about.
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and blit is up to him. there are processes that are supposed to take place. miss johnson's case had been the process by obama and denied. but i do think he is enjoying the ability to wave a waned an make it happen. >> you are not surprised that he is drawn to his pardon power and i am wondering how much it has to do with frustration with working with congress and just general frustration. >> there is the question of the fact that there is an open investigation that relates to him, that relates to his family. there are people who are pleading guilty who he certainly
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would want to make aware that a pardon could be in the offing and some sense by his supporters that that is what is happening here. i think that is an aspect of it in some cases and i mostly think that he has been stiymied by th limits. he didn't understand how the presidency works. and this is something that he can say boom, and it happens. >> and the fact the president has boasted he can pardon himself which constitutional law disagrees with it. you raised the point with some pardons he is sending a message to others that may be facing criminal charges or you know, thinking about flipping. >> right. it is hard to ignore that aspect of it. and my colleagues and i at the time have reported that his
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former lead lawyer had conversations with some of the people in this special counsel case about the possibility of a pardon down the road. and these are people who have not pleaded guilty. there have not been any resolution in terms of their cases and that was notable. and i don't think you can avoid that or ignore that. but i really do not think that is the only thing at play. >> appreciate it. thanks for coming in. breaking news as a third republican rips into his theory of the russian investigation. stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti joins us. one powerful guarantee. miracle-gro.
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5:14 pm can show dad where he's from ...and strengthen the bonds you share. give dad ancestrydna for just $69- our lowest father's day price ever. lieutenant colonel ralph peters joins me for his first on camera interview since his departure. that feedback loop which president trump has tapped into and used so effectively to discredit the russian investigation was broken today. the deep state, whom ever, planted one or more spies in his campaign, the cycle was broken. it was done first by two leading
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members in his own party and later by a third of the member of the committee. two of th a former fbi agents we spoke to have called to what happened routine. so top democrats on the house and senate intelligence committees who have seen the classified meeting described in those meetings. took the first gop cut of the president's conspiracy theory. >> i am more convinced that the fbi did exactly what my fellow citizens did. >> including over how the house side of the russian probe is conducted. avoided speaking out on this
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until today. >> you sat if a briefing with trey gowdy who came out afterwards and said he is more convinced that the fbi did exactly what my fellow citizen would want them to do. do you agree. >> let me say it this way, i think chairman gowdy's initial assessment is accurate. we have more digging to do. we are waiting for more document request. we still have someone answering questions but have seen no evidence to the contrary. but i want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get the final answers to the questions. >> more digging to do but sees no evidence the fbi did anything wrong. richard burr also spoke out to do saying i think trey gowdy's assessment is correct.
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what is the point of saying there is a spy in the campaign when there is none. devin nunes is seen as one of the president's enablers. earlier tonight i spoke with retired army ralph peters. he laid out the reasons in a piece for the washington post. reasons for leafing. today's fox prime-time line uch preaches paranoia attacking processes. i had no choice but to leave. my error was waiting so long to walk away. i spoke to him a short time ago. >> this so-called spy gate conspiracy theory. it wasn't just the president
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pushing his narrative, you believe the witch hunt is actually against robert mueller and being led by fox news. >> indeed i do. robert mueller is noble, and i use this word carefully, as noble a public servant as you would find. assaults on his character, practices, and investigations just betray our fundamental principles. the e-mail when you told them you wouldn't renew your contract. you said fox news is -- paranoia among viewers. how much damage do you believe they have done to this country and the institutions that uphold the law. >> i believe they have been doing a great deal of damage. anderson, for years, i was glad to be associated with fox.
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it was a legitimate conservative and libertarian outlet. but with the rise of donald trump, fox did a destructive propaganda machine and as a former military officer, i took an oath to defend the constitution of the united states. and in my view, fox, particularly the prime time host attacking rule of order. the rule of law. justice department, robert mueller. and they are doing it for ratings and profit. and doing a great grave disserve to our country. >> do you think some of the host in prime time, do you think they believe the stuff they are saying about the deep state, what they are saying about the department of justice. >> i suspect hannity really
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believes it. i wanted to cry out and say how can you do this? how can you lie to our country? how can you knowingly attack our constitution, the bedrock of our system of government. the bedrock of our country. and when you go after the constitution, you best be wear because you are doing a phenomenal indeed measurable damage. >> do you think we are heading to an crisis? >> either with impeachment or before the supreme court or before. but when you have a president who believes he is above the law, who does not understand our system of government, does not respect our system of government and willingly subverts our system of government, you have got a constitutional crisis. anderson, when the founding
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fathers in the declaration of independence wrote that all men are created equal. they meant, they were sons of the enlightenment, meant we are all equal before the law. our president seems to genuinely believe that he is above the law and this is a situation we haven't been faced with before with this administration. even senator joseph mccarthy never directly attacked the constitution. >> you referred to it as a cult of trump. >> yeah, i think a lot of trump supporters are so embarrassed by how it has turned out, that they just cling to him. they won't let facts penetrate their reality. i am startled by relatively educated people and military veterans who still insist that
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trump can do no wrong. that he is some sort of messiah. and i part company with their views. >> you have first hand experience with how russian intelligence operates, do you believe that vladimir putin has some grip on trump. >> i am convinced that vladimir putin has some grip on trump. when i first learned of the steel dossier, it rang true to me. that is how the russians do things. and before he became a candidate for president, donald trump was the perfect target for russian intelligence. here is someone who has no self-control. a sense of sexual entitlement and intermittent financial crisis. made to order for seduction of russian intelligence. i hope i am wrong. we are going to look back at the
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christopher steele who stook that dissier ossier. when you look at trump's behavior patterns his unwillingness to create problems with russia even as he attacks nato how can he not draw the conclusions that president trump, the president of the united states is frightened of vladimir putin and his grip. >> so for you, the mueller investigation is critical. it moving forward and it being allowed time to complete. >> without exaggeration, the mueller investigation is the most important of my lifetime and i am 66-years old. i live through watergate. anderson, it is about a fundamental assault on the
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constitution by the president of the united states and his palatines. it. >> i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you, anderson. up next, filing a new lawsuit this time her former attorney general and michael cohen saying they colluded to manipulate the president. or get pumped up for your grand entrance. only t-mobile lets you watch your favorite movies and shows in more places, without paying more. get an unlimited family plan with netflix on us. and right now at t-mobile, buy one samsung galaxy s9 and get one free. ♪ ♪
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stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti filed a new
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lawsuit. the lawsuit alleges the president knew about it. from between january of march of this year. this is from michael cohen trying to get miss daniels to get on television and deny. quote, i have her tentatively scheduled for hannity tonight. call me after your trial. >> she cannot. i am trying to get her to commit for tomorrow. with me now, michael avenatti. i want to read one other exchange. michael cohen writes to davidson quote, let's forget tonight, they would rather tomorrow so they can promote the heck out of the story. don't think it is smart for her
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to to do any interviews. >> you say they were essentially working together. but don't lawyers often communicate even if they are on opposite sides. >> you are right. but they are not supposed to be working together when they are supposed to be representing adverse clients and at this point the matter was the settlement was supposed to be executed back in 2016. no reason for scatkeith davidso be communicating with michael cohen. these were two individuals who had a chummy inappropriate relationship. >> in that last text, they talk about the wise men. you believe they include fox. and the wise men included
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president trump. it doesn't seem to be any more details in the complaint. >> we have evidence that the term "wise men" included to be mr. trump and to be clear, i am not calling mr. trump wise man. you would have to conclude that michael cohen is making a decision unilateral to put stormy daniels on shaean hannit. it doesn't make sense. >> it is interesting that davidson is trying to get, it seems in this text is basically agreeing with michael cohen to try to get his client on sean hannity, is there any evidence
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he had asked her whether she wanted to. from the text that was released. it seems like for some reason he is agreeing with michael cohen that she should go on. >> correct and no evidence that he consulted with her at any point in time or asked her whether she would want to go on sean hannity for the purposes outlined by michael cohen and if you look at the text message, you see michael cohen is desperate for her to go on hannity to disavow this relationship. during this time period, january, february, and march, this is a time period that michael cohen and others are claiming that my client is a liar. they have had no further involvement with her, after the date the nda was supposed to be signed. david schwartz was on your show around the same period in march
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disavowing all knowledge of stormy daniels. so the whole thing doesn't make sense. and the text messages show these are complete lies. >> this opens up attorney/client privilege. this is great for keith davidson so he can reveal whatever he wants to reveal. and comment on what rudy giuliani, the president's attorney said today who is in israel and i want to play what he said about your client and i will allow you to respond. >> very credible source. stormy the porn star, but i would say that that is about the same credibility as her lawyer who basically got thrown out of the case. i don't believe stormy daniels. >> we can often -- >> i don't believe her. >> so stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross examine you.
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because the business you were in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight. and secondly, explain to me how she could be damaged? she has no reputation. if you are going to sell your body for money, you don't have a reputation. maybe i'm old fashion, i don't kow. >> i want you to respond to that. >> keith davidson is wrong on the law. we sent a three page letter to his lawyers explaining what the law in california is. so hopefully that will put a bullet in that argument. mr. jerusal rudy giuliani is a pig for making those comments. he is saying women who indulge in the adult industry, they don't reputations and are not
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entitles entitled to respect. i hope that rudy giuliani is going to be the police to decide who should be respected. he should be fired immediately by the president. and if the president doesn't fire him as his personal attorney and condones this behavior, it is disgusting and an outrageous. >> michael avenatti, appreciate your time. mr. trump shows up at a fema meeting. no estimate of the survey of the death toll of puerto rico. i will speak with the mayor of san juan. ok. nasty nighttime heartburn? try new alka-seltzer pm gummies. the only fast, powerful heartburn relief plus melatonin so you can fall asleep quickly. ♪ oh, what a relief it is!
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for our farmers and their families. ♪ president trump, first lady and members of his cabinet showed up at a fema meeting. this was the first lady's first public opinion in 26 days. the president had nothing but praise for fema. >> we witnessed the resilience of the american people, the professionalism, talent and devotion of the men and women of fema. a great group of paeople. administrator, i want to thank
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you for the incredible job and unbelievable teams of men and women that you lead to take care of that he is probleese problem >> researchers estimate nearly 4600 people may have perished. i spoke with the mayor just before the broadcast. when you hear the president praising response from fema. and not mentioning this survey which says the death could be 4600 as opposed to the official death toll of 56 people. >> the trump administration has shown terrible neglect towards the people of puerto rico.
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the president given himself a ten out of a ten. so neglect, inefficiency and bureaucracy really deepened the humanitarian crisis brought upon by the climate situation. >> according to this survey, many of the deaths that occurred, the official toll is 60 to 65 people. according to this harvard study, they are estimating 4600. that is an extraordinary difference, and they say one-third of these deaths occurred after the storm because of the lack of electricity. >> the lack of good and robust
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supply chain of aid. and the other thing was the silence and complacency of the local government of puerto rico. after the harvard study came out last wednesday, on friday the death toll was set to 1,297 which was 20 times more than what they had said. >> according to the harvard researchers and others that did this survey, and again, not a totally comprehensive survey, but they did go on the ground and interviewing people going to a number of towns to find out a sampling of what they believe the death toll is, they say the local government in puerto rico did not cooperate with them, and did not give them mortality statistics or any documentation that would help them in their study, the governor has talked about transparent and saying he signed an executive order that
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that information would go out and the research said he didn't. >> then the governor puerto rico said he didn't know that the researchers were asking for information. now that you know, what are you prepared to do about it. the truth is we need to know. we are on the fifth day of hurricane season. we don't know how many people died. the president of the united states today on a parade of accolades as if our lives did not matter. it is appalling. and unbecoming of the true value and the true heart of the american people that have done nothing but come to our aid and rescue. >> i appreciate your time, thank you. >> you're welcome. up next, senator john mccain
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white house -- might find another job in the administration. kelly saddler has been told that there are other jobs that fit with her experience. again, quoting here, he is dying here. the arizona republican is battling brain cancer. all of which brings me to mark salter an associate of senator
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mccain. mark, thanks for being with us. i am wondering what you make of the fact that despite this horrible comment that she made about senator mccain that she is still welcome in the administration. >> i will leave the administration to explain it. she wouldn't be welcome in any administration of mine but i am not the president. >> does stuff like this bother him? >> no, not really, just like when then candidate trump made that crack about his pow time, it didn't bother him. it upset him a little for other p o pows. but it doesn't -- he is a tough guy and has been around a long time. >> i have heard you say that not personal attacks bother him but what did bother him are moral equivalencies that the president
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draws. >> when the president sort of, in that line of his where he said well, you think we are so innocent and compared us to putin's russia, he was offended by that. >> you have known senator mccain for decades, the restless wave is your seventh book together. for you personally, what is it that sets him apart. what is it that drew you to him. >> as he would be the first to admit, he is imperfect but tries very hard to serve a cause greater than himself. and for him, that is the dignity that every human being has. he served it himself very well. >> do you know what his feelings are now on the state of the republican party? >> well, i think he is concerned, and pre dates president trump, i think he has
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been he's been concerned about growing protectionism and withdrawal from the world. that concerns him. the sort of maximalism that some members of congress bring to our deliberations, where they want 100% of their way and there's never any compromise contemplated, i think those things bother him, but on the whole, i think he goes through these batches and i'm hopeful that we'll work our way back out of it. >> he's hopeful that the institutions of democracy are strong? >> he thinks they are. episodically, they get a little creek creaky. there's a lot of gridlock in congress. he's spoken to that directly. he thinks in a country of 125 million opinuaionated people, there's no other way to govern. >> mark salter, i appreciate
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your time tonight. >> thanks so much. >> chris cuomo joins me for a quick peek on what he and his team have coming up in store for us. >> big night, came down here to the nation's capital, anderson. we have sarah sanders, the press secretary, of course, who really is right in the middle of a maelstrom right now with the media. we are digging in on this story about what happened with the explanation of the president's role in that trump tower meeting and the response there, too. sanders, the white house, refusing to give an inch. why? we're going to try to use tonight as a positive pivot point on that. we also have senate democratic leader, chuck schumer, spicey interview, anderson, about the state and fate of the democratic party. >> one of the things sarah sanders was saying in her briefing is that she doesn't want to get in back and forth or answer questions that basically are referred to the outside counsel. >> and? >> and, so, your job tonight will be to try to get her to do
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that, i assume. >> you got it, my brother. you got it. we are here to ask the questions that need to be answered and they must be answered. she'll get that opportunity tonight. and we're going to talk about the 500 days and the president's case for why america is in much better shape than when he took over. >> chris, we'll be watching. 9:00, just eight minutes from now. just ahead, epa chief scott pruitt loses two of his closest aides at the agency, including the one who tried to get him an old hotel mattress. the question, though, why would he want an old hotel mattress? it's a question for tonight's ridiculist, next. hijacking earth's geothermal energy supply. phase 1. choosing the right drill bit. as long as evil villains reveal their plans, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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time now for the ridiculist. and i just have one question. what in the world is in the water at the epa? there's been no shortage of scandal at the agency. the $40,000 soundproof booth for epa's chief, scott pruitt's office. his predilection for first class travel, renting rooms from lobbyists. a set of 12 pens that cost more than $1,500. the list goes on and on, as to multiple ethics inquiries from congress and federal auditors.
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but the epa's bizarre bar has officially, raised in just the past couple of days, with including the news that pruitt had han epa staff member trying to set up a meeting with the ceo of chick-fil-a to get a franchise for his wife, possibly violating ethics rules. and now we've learned that two of pruitt's closest aides have resigned. it recently came out that one of them did various non-epa errands for pruitt, including house hunting and trying to get him an old mattress from the trump international hotel in washington. today, the "atlantic" magazine broke the story of her resignation. and when a reporter reached out to the epa for comment, a spokesman said to the reporter, and i quote, you have a great day, you're a piece of trash. which, of course, is absurd, but it's kind of nice to see the environmental protection agency expressing interest in the general idea of littering, which is at least something sort of in their purview. but here's what's been bothering me for two full days. why did scott pruitt want an old motel mattress? the newly resigned aide testified to this about members of the house oversight committee, and i quote, as i
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remember, the administrator had spoken with someone at the trump hotel, who had indicated that there could be a mattress that he could purchase, an old mattress that he could purchase, but that's the extent of the conversation that i can, that i can remember. question, do you know why he would want to purchase an old mattress from the trump hotel? answer, i do not. i also do not. who in their right mind and/or not living in a dorm wants an old mattress from a hotel? one that's obviously been used a lot? clearly, scott pruitt hasn't learned a thing from the queer eye reboot. >> so, tom, have you ever shopped for a mattress before? >> no. >> what?! >> my last mattress i bought -- >> you just said you didn't ever shop for a [ bleep ] mattress. >> after my last divorce, i bought mine from an individual offline. online. >> so let's never do that again. mattresses aren't the best thing to buy used. >> again, i repeat, why would anyone want an old mattress, much less an old mattress from a hotel. has scott pruitt not seen any of those blacklight investigations.
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for a while, you couldn't turn on television without seeing one of those. even gordon ramsay did one, for goodness sake. >> how much is this room? >> $250 a night fridays and saturdays, $180 the rest of the week. >> let me shows you what $250 gets you at the monticello. turn the lights out. you see that? this black light shows up bodily fluids. that's exactly what you see -- >> that's disgusting. >> where do these mattresses come from, phillip? >> a house in arizona. >> your house? >> yes. >> those two holes there, that's cigarette holes. >> uh-oh. >> burns. >> what did scott pruitt want with an old hotel mattress? why are his aides resigning when he's the one who flew first class on the taxpayer's dime? if you bite into a chick-fil-a sandwich in a soundproof booth, does it still make a sound? these are mysteries that may never be solved. for now, i guess, we'll just have to sleep on it, on the ridiculist. yes, we shall. thanks for watching "360."
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that's all the time we have. time to hand it over to my friend, chris cuomo. "q cuo"cuomo prime time" starts no. >> i am chris question moe. we're in washington, d.c. the white house, stories keep changing on material facts, pressure keeps mounting from the mueller probe. in the thick of it all, press secretary sarah sanders. we'll go one on one with her in just moments. but also tonight, a spicey sit down with senate democratic leader with senate democratic leader, chuck schumer, testing the notion that democrats deserve to be in the majority. and outrage erupts after the attorney general argues that it is necessary to separate kids as young as infants from their parents at the border. what do you say? let's get after it. got to say it, the relationship between the press and the white house sucks. sorry, but that is the truth. here is a moment that really captures the state of play. >>