tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 31, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
is enshrined in the constitution with just a stroke of the pen. before we go any further, we should point out he cannot. more on that in a second. he also said he may order as many as 15,000 active duty troops to the border with mexico. that's 1,000 more than are deployed in afghanistan. the reason, he says, is the threat from a group of poor central american migrants, now about 1,000 miles away and coming on foot to seek asylum. >> it's a dangerous group of people. they're not coming into our country. >> what the president said there on the south lawn, the fact that he said it on a way to a campaign appearance in florida is no accident. both the migrant caravan and citizenship question are hot button issues for his base. with just six days to midterm election, he's chosen to make them the twin pillars of his closing argument to voters, which of course he's entitled to do. he's even entitled to push hot buttons and he's even entitled i suppose to make stuff up.
keeping them honest, that's what he's doing. what he can't do is escape scrutiny over what he's doing. today, each as he raised the specter of a foreign invasion to the kind of level requiring more than a division's worth of military firepower, funerals were being held in pittsburgh for 3 of the 11 jewish americans slaughtered by a gunman who was driven by anti-semitism and hate and anger over those very same migrants the president has been focusing on. joyce fienberg was buried, her funeral today, this morning. irving younger and melvin wax this afternoon. the president did tweet about pittsburgh today, but not about those three individuals, just mentioning the other eight killed. but instead about how warmly he was received. melania and i were treated very nicely yesterday in pittsburgh. the office of the president was shown great respect on a very sad and solemn day. we were treated so warmly. small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. the fake news stories were just the opposite. disgraceful.
in a subsequent tweet he spoke highly of a local republican congressman and told people to vote for him. again, no mention of the victims by name or otherwise or even acknowledgement of their funerals. instead he made news by ratcheting up the caravan scare talk and the troop numbers he believes are needed to meet this alleged threat. >> we have about 5,000, we'll go up to 10,000 and 15,000 military personnel on top of border patrol, i.c.e. and everybody else at the border. nobody is coming in. we're not allowing people to come in. if you look at what happened in mexico two days ago with the roughness of these people in the second caravan that's been forming and also, frankly, in the first caravan, and now they have one forming in el salvador, and we are thinking very seriously immediately stopping aid to those countries because, frankly, they're doing nothing for the american people.
immigration is a very, very big and very dangerous -- a really dangerous topic. and we're not going to allow people to come into our country that don't have the well-being of our country in mind. >> now, keeping them honest, whatever you may think about immigration policy and border enforcement, there simply is no good evidence the caravan is a danger to this country, imminent or otherwise. the president, as you know, has claimed there are, quote, criminals and unknown middle easterners in the caravan. he's also suggested isis members could be in it. what he's never done is offer any specific evidence. when pressed last week, he said this. >> there's no proof of anything. there's no proof of anything. but they could very well be. >> no proof, but they could be. that was a week ago tuesday. today, still offering no evidence. the president said as many as 15,000 american troops could be needed immediately to meet the threat, as he paints it, which happens to be about 1,000 miles away from the nearest u.s. point of entry. we'll talk shortly about the deployment and how one retired
marine and homeland security official sees it. as a former trump administration official, we might add. we'll also talk about the president's claim which he restated today about citizenship. >> you don't need a constitutional amendment for birthright citizenship. i believe that you can have a simple vote in congress or it's even possible in my opinion this is after meeting with some very talented legal scholars that you can do it through an executive order. now, i'd rather do it through congress because that's permanent. but we can certainly do it through -- i really believe we can do it through executive order. >> well, keeping them honest, the president did not name those legal scholars nor did press secretary sarah sanders when asked about it today. >> there are a number of people that have commented on this. lindsey graham made comments on it yesterday and a number of others have spoken about it. >> no real answer there on who advised the president. but here's what the legal minds who drafted the 14th amendment had to say. all persons born or naturalized
in the united states and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the united states and of the state wherein they reside. now, we're going to take on both of the issues that he's raising separately, but we're going to start with jim acosta who's at a trump rally in florida. has the president been talking yet, i imagine he has or will be about the 14th amendment or the troops at the border? >> reporter: not yet on the 14th amendment, anderson. you did mention a few moments ago that as he was leaving the white house he did talk about that, stating once again that he thinks he could have an executive order that could alter or change the 14th amendment, birthright citizenship in the u.s. we should point out in the last several minutes he's been going off on, again, this caravan of migrants, many of them women and children heading to the u.s. border with mexico. even though there are hundreds, maybe even a thousand miles away, the president once again saying there are rough people in that caravan.
at one point he said just a few moments ago, quote, they aren't angels. but anderson, this is something the president has been teeing up to his voters over the last couple of weeks. but it seems in this final stretch in this last week before the midterm elections, he's really drilled down on what he really wants to do with the voters heading to the polls come next tuesday, and that is enrage them, fill them with rage about immigrants and these folks who are trying to head up to the border for a better life in this country. we should point out just as this rally was getting started, he also mentioned what happened in pittsburgh, his visit to pittsburgh. he defended his trip there but slammed the media's coverage and once again referred to the press as the enemy of the people. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. as i mentioned, we'll take on the troops to the border issue and the birthright citizenship issue separately. david la pen has worked for republican and democratic presidents, a retired marine and
author of a tweet a lot of people have been talking about. a military strained by 17 years of war and sequestration doesn't need this. service members who repeatedly spent long periods of time away from home don't need this. and the u.s. doesn't need its military to defend against a group of unarmed migrants, including many women and children. david, thanks very much for being with us. politics aside, just from a military standpoint, the president is now saying he could send up to 15,000 active duty personnel to the border to deal with this caravan. does that make sense to you from a military perspective? >> it doesn't on a couple of levels, anderson. one, this issue about very dangerous people, again, no evidence that that's the case. certainly many women and children involved. are there males involved? certainly. but if you're making the case that some of these people may be dangerous, well, one, the customs and border protection folks that work the border every
day are used to dealing with people who are potentially dangerous. two, the law doesn't allow for active duty military forces to even interact with these migrants. so what kind of security are active duty forces providing from these potentially so-called dangerous people? the other thing again, as i mentioned in the tweet, we've asked a lot of our service members, men and women and their families over the last 17 years. this is not a needed deployment where we need to pull them away from their homes, their families and their regular jobs and their training to send them down to something that's not really a national security threat. >> it seems the image the president is creating is one of potentially 15,000 active duty military personnel. we're not talking about national guard, we're talking about 15,000 active duty personnel, armed with bayonettes at the ready at the border to repel these, quote-unquote, invaders. is that how they would actually be used? or would they just be in support
positions, which is i think in the past how they have been used? >> yes and no. so let me -- it's an important point, anderson. the two previous times that large numbers of u.s. military forces have been sent to the border during the george bush administration and during the president obama administration, in both instances they were national guard troops, not active duty forces. there's a difference in the law in how active duty forces, again, are allowed to operate versus national guard troops. so by sending active duty forces, you are in effect because of the law not allowing them to conduct activities that would put them into contact with these migrants. so there is no security presence brought by those individuals, certainly no bayonettes. there will be some that are armed, mostly for purposes of self-defense. but again, it's certainly not how it's being portrayed. they will be there in support roles providing logistics, providing helicopter and vehicle
support, engineering and logistics type support. they are there completely in a support role to the border patrol. >> secretary mattis today when questioned about the decision to send troops to the border said, quote, we don't do stunts. i mean is this a political stunt by the president? you know, mattis is obviously in a tough spot. his job is to obey orders from the president. >> so, you know, my belief is that secretary mattis is looking at this as a lawful order from the commander in chief. as the secretary of defense, he and his department are going to carry out that order to the best of their abilities. i guess the point i would make is can the u.s. military undertake this mission and do it successfully? yes. should they do it? i would say no.
>> it's interesting to hear the president also earlier today talk about cutting off all aid to el salvador or other nations that many of these people are coming from. it really flies in the face -- i mean i've talked to officials who work on the front lines of this issue currently who have said what we need is almost a marshal plan for some of these countries. if we want to stop people from coming, we need to basically help the security situation in these countries so that they don't have to leave and make this journey. >> that's absolutely right. it's counterproductive to talk -- talk is one thing. it certainly would be counterproductive to cut off aid or to put these poor countries at further disadvantage. i mean that's part of the reason that individuals are leaving those countries. it's the poverty, it's the violence, it's those factors that if we're not able to support those countries and create conditions where the residents feel comfortable and
safe staying in their countries, they're going to continue to come north. so it is in our best interests to continue to support them. that's things -- that is something that we've done in the past. we did that actually when i was at homeland security. then secretary kelly convened a conference specifically to support the central american countries and look at both from a security standpoint and an economic standpoint how to best support them to hopefully stem the need for people to leave those countries and come to the u.s. >> david lapan, appreciate your expertise. thanks for being with us. on the birthright citizenship issue and mr. trump's notion of eliminating of what appears to be written in the constitutional bedrock that if your born in this country you are a citizen of this country, period. that's what it says in the text of the 14th amendment and what the president believes he can alter with legislation or executive order. something the republican speaker of the house, paul ryan, tried
to put on the kibosh just yesterday. >> you cannot end that with an executive order. we didn't like it when obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action. obviously as conservatives, we believe in the constitution. you know, as a conservative, i'm a believer in following the plain text of the constitution and i think in this case the 14th amendment is pretty clear. >> as you saw earlier, the president quoting unnamed legal scholars signalled he believes otherwise. earlier he tweeted that speaker ryan should mind his own business. paul ryan should be focusing on holding the majority rather than giving his opinions on birthright citizenship, something he knows nothing about. we have two legal views from kansas secretary of state and republican candidate for governor, kris kobach, and jeffrey toobin. i spoke to both of them earlier today. jeff, the president doubling down on this, saying that he can move this by executive order. can he? >> no, he can't. he can't do it by executive order and he can't even do it by legislation. conservatives have been talking for decades about the need to follow the text of the
constitution. justice scalia called him a texturlist. the text couldn't be more clear. if you're born in the united states, you're a citizen. regardless of who your parents are. it's a settled issue and it's not complicated. >> kris, text is all persons born or naturalized are subject to the jurisdictions thereof and are citizens in the state wherein they reside. where is that not correct? where does that not apply to aliens? >> the key is and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. as jeffrey knows, all words in the constitution have meaning. you can't read words out of the constitution. and so the question is what does and subject to the jurisdiction thereof mean? and if you look at the debates in 1866 and 1867 in the congress, which drafted the 14th amendment, if you look at the statements of howard jacobs and lyman trumbull, they said it means owing no allegiance to any foreign power. owing allegiance only to the united states.
that would mean that a person who is here temporarily or certainly a person here illegally does not have -- owes allegiance to another power. in other words, is not subject to the jurisdiction of the united states. those words have meaning. it was never intended to be if you're born here and no other criterion is met, you get to become a citizen. >> kris, your critics point out the fact that the voter law that you tried to pass in your state was actually ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, a george w. bush appointee, so your critics say are you really a legal scholar? i know you did go to yale law school and i certainly didn't. not that i applied. i couldn't get in if i had. but, you know, your critics say that you're not an expert on the constitution either. in fact you were ordered to go to like six hours of extra classes on the law by this federal judge.
>> look, i taught constitutional law at the university of missouri to 15 years. it is often the case, in cases like this that are very controversial and where there is some gray area in the law that a judge will have an opinion and that judge will be overruled and then the supreme court will rule as well. i think jeffrey would agree that just because you have a district judge who doesn't agree with you on a case doesn't mean that you've not going to see a different decision come out of the court of appeals. that case is being appealed. and the position that the judge took that a state cannot require voters to prove citizenship when they register, that argument was rejected by the ninth circuit about ten years ago. >> kris, just the notion -- kris has devoted his career to stopping black people and poor people from voting. i mean that's been your goal for decades. >> that's an outrageous accusation. >> completely true. >> an absolutely outrageous accusation. so if you like photo i.d., you're trying to stop people of color from voting? that is outrageous. >> absolutely. >> by the way, when this question is polled, the vast majority of african-americans
approve of photo i.d., so apparently they're trying to do what you're saying i'm trying to do. that is outrageous and a horrible accusation. >> it is a completely true accusation because, kris, your whole career -- that's why you had this phony voter suppression commission that was such a preposterous joke established by the president that it disbanded because it couldn't prove your claim that voter fraud is a problem in this country. your problem is that some people vote for democrats and you want to stop that by establishing voter requirements. >> let's not go down this -- >> glad we're having a respectful argument here. this is so good for the viewers to have this. >> kris, let me ask you, when president obama signed that executive order issuing daca, many republicans, conservatives, including you, were up in arms about it. i certainly understood that position. why would you be up in arms about president obama doing things by executive fiat but the idea that president trump can do
this by executive order is fine? >> because when president obama did it he was going directly contrary to federal statute at 8 usc 1225. he was ordering i.c.e. agents to let go into the country individuals that the federal statute said they had to place into removal proceedings. so you can't use executive power in a way that contravenes and is against federal statute. in contrast, what president trump is talking about doing is something that is not directly contrary to any federal statute. it would be an interpretation of a federal statute, but there's nothing in the federal code that directly refutes or contradicts such a regulation. >> wouldn't it be altering the 14th amendment? isn't that something -- i understand you can agree or disagree with what the meaning of the words of the 14th amendment are, but isn't it something that congress are the ones that have to change? it can't be done by executive order? >> and that is why i said it will undoubtedly go to court.
when a president passes a regulation or congress passes a statute and you argue that maybe this isn't consistent with the 14th amendment, you might read it the way jeffrey does. i read it the way i believe the drafters of the 14th amendment intend it. then you go to court and the courts will tell us what the actual meaning of the phrase subject to the jurisdiction thereof means. so it will certainly go to court no matter what. >> we agree on that. >> jeff, if the president, though, were serious about changing this, and i have no reason to believe he's not, isn't the way to do it to get congress involved and legislate this change? i mean how much of this is about politics in six days, seven days before an election? >> the one argument that kris, i think, has a legitimate point is the reason president obama did what he could about the dreamers is that he couldn't get a law through congress. president trump can't get a law through congress outlawing birthright citizenship so he's trying to go around congress here. he's not just going around congress, he's going around the constitution.
and i don't think there is any way any court, democrat, republican, conservative, liberal, would give the president the time of day that he could do this on his own. >> kris kobach, i appreciate your time. >> and that is your opinion. >> jeffrey toobin, thank you as well. appreciate it. a lot more ahead tonight, including the question you can't help but ask about the president's red meat diet for voters. namely, do his supporters care if what he's saying isn't true? that's next. later, what we're learning about a smear against robert mueller. whatever it is, it's now the subject of a criminal investigation. before nexium 24hr mark could only imagine... a peaceful night sleep without frequent heartburn waking him up. now that dream is a reality. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection.
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days all about one issue in particular, immigration. he's been making things up, saying things that are demonstrably false but knows that immigration is the reddest of red meat for his supporters. polls show that. so the question is do his supporters care if what he says isn't accurate. we sent randi kaye to find out. >> reporter: in ft. myers, florida, thousands lined up for donald trump's rally, and for so many here, immigration is their top issue. >> when you watch that caravan and you see them carrying the flag from their country, that is called an invasion. >> reporter: that so-called invasion isn't one at all. in fact the caravan of migrants is nearly 1,000 miles away from the u.s. border, and mexican officials say they expect many of them to stay in mexico. so the president's announcement of sending troops has been met with deep skepticism, but not here. >> hey, why wait until the last minute? >> so not a campaign stunt in
your opinion? >> oh, god, no. >> if they're weeks away from arriving, why announce this troop deployment now just before the midterm election? >> would you rather be safe than sorry? would you not rather have warning to get out of a hurricane's way if they know it's coming? >> so you don't think the timing is suspect at all? >> no, no. >> you don't think it's a campaign stunt? >> not at all. not at all. >> adding another 5,200 troops to protect the border when the caravan is like 800 miles away. why now? >> why not now? >> we're just days away from the election. you don't think it has anything to do with that? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: and it's not just the caravan of migrants that has these supporters fired up. it's also the president's false claim that he can end birthright citizenship, the 14th amendment, through executive order. >> do you believe donald trump when he says that he can change the 14th amendment with just an executive order? >> i think he can. i think it will go to the
supreme court, though. but i think he has the right to. >> even though his own speaker of the house, paul ryan, says that he can't do it with just an executive order? it has to be a constitutional amendment and be voted on by congress and the states? >> i think ryan is absolutely wrong. >> reporter: neither he nor anyone else we interviewed thought the president's play on birthrights was a campaign ploy. >> he's making it sound like he alone can just get rid of it. doesn't that sound like a stunt to you, just so close to the election? >> i'm not going to say it's a stunt. this whole thing -- the whole politics today is what it is. so the rules have changed. i think he's read the rule book. >> there are legal authorities on both sides of this question who are researching this in depth before the president does this. while this idea has been floated by the president, and i think it's a wonderful idea, i do think that he's not going to go off and do something on his own. he's going to have legal authorities on both sides.
>> he's already stated it as fact that he can can get rid of it. >> has he signed it yet? no. he has not signed it yet. he has floated the idea, which is well supported in middle america. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, ft. myers, florida. >> let's continue the discussion. two views joining us. rick santorum and kirsten powers. kirsten, you hear the supporters of the president and very clearly see why the president is quadrupling down on immigration issues six days before the midterms. >> right. well, so these are issues that correspond with what donald trump believes and his base believes. you know, you certainly can say he is doing some of these things to gin up support in the midterms which in itself isn't a problem, it's something presidents do. the thing that i'd say is different is when you utilize
troops and send them somewhere, versus just rhetoric of making promises that will make your base happy. then there's the separate issue that just a lot of what he's saying about this caravan is just actually false. >> senator santorum, is it appropriate to use troops in this capacity at this stage? >> well, look, you have a large group of people heading to the border and the president has an obligation to make sure that the border is secure. what he's doing -- you know, if he wait -- people say, well, he should wait to see what happens. well, you know, if you're going to deploy troops, you've got to prepare and put a plan together and have people on the ground for a while in advance of anything that's going to happen. so, look, the number, i don't know. i think you would work with i.c.e. -- excuse me with customs and border patrol and figure out what the right number is. but the reality is using troops
on the border is something that's been done before. i think it's a responsible action. >> national guard troops, though, twice before. >> right. >> and in support positions. >> right. >> but not active duty military personnel. do you view this as an invasion, senator? >> well, look, i view it as someone trying to come into the country illegally. i don't know if i'd use the term "invasion" but it's certainly people who some of them have been very clear they're going to do what they can to get over this border. >> many will probably apply for asylum. >> they crossed into mexico illegally. why would they not cross into the united states illegally. >> kirsten, many will apply for asylum and many will be rejected as the administration has changed the parameters under which asylum can be granted. >> invasion implies something very hostile. this is not a hostile act to seek asylum. it's not a hostile act to try to flee a country where you're not safe.
so, you know, the way that these people are being cast as villains when in fact they're people that are in a very bad situation and trying to get to a better situation. and so i think that the way the president has been describing it and the way some republicans have been describing it is despicable, frankly. we've seen this before. i remember this very same argument about the diseases, which we've been hearing, was made about the unaccompanied children, and we were all going to be disease ridden because these children came into the country. of course that didn't happen. and so every time it's the same arguments, and there's no basis for them. >> senator santorum -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> no, go ahead. >> there have been some republicans who have sort of expressed concern that this is -- that the whole birthright citizenship issue has sort of taken them off in some races from what they want to focus on. do you think it's actually -- i mean certainly the people randi kaye talked to certainly support the president in this notion. do you believe that it's
appropriate to alter the 14th amendment or override it with an executive order? >> look, i think unlike your previous guest, mr. toobin, who said -- called a candidate for governor of kansas, basically called him a racist on national television, which was one of the most outrageous things that i've seen on any television network, it was just ridiculous what jeffrey just said, this man is a harvard graduate, yale law school, taught constitutional law, and has, as many people do, have a different opinion than him of whether there's a legitimacy with respect to birthright citizenship. look, there are a lot of people in this country who have concerns about it. you know, whether it's birther tourism where people literally come to this country and stay a few weeks just to have a child and then go back or whether it's people that come here illegally and have a child, these are all legitimate questions the court has not ruled on. to suggest that someone who might have a different opinion
than mr. toobin a racist is, again, we're -- this is where we go off the rails here. you've got to say, okay, you might be wrong. i think the court will rule against you. make the legal arguments but you don't have to call people racists and bigots because they hold a point a view. >> it's not something i do condone, but several conservatives were very upset with president obama when he used executive orders particularly on daca. and i understand that concern, i understand that argument. if you argued that and you're concerned about what obama did, wouldn't the same just from an intellectual standpoint, wouldn't you be concerned about what the president is suggesting? >> yeah, as a matter of fact i do think they're different issues. i think the daca one is clear that congress had -- was very clear in the legislation. i think the 14th amendment is not as clear as the legislation was. either way, i think when -- executive orders are supposed to supplement what there's general
agreement between the congress and the president in interpreting the law consistent with what the congress or in this case the constitution believes. if there is controversy, you shouldn't use executive orders. that's why i opposed daca and i would not support the president's attempt to change this using an executive order. but again, i'm being consistent. i think we see a lot of people who are being inconsistent when it comes to the use of executive power in this particular case. >> senator santorum, kirsten powers, i appreciate it. thank you. you've seen president trump's 11th hour campaign swing began in earnest in florida. coming up i'll talk to john king about where the president is going in the days ahead and where he's not and what that may mean as well. (nicki palmer) being a verizon engineer is about doing things right. and there's no shortcut to the right way. so when we roll out the nation's first 5g ultra wideband network,
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six days and counting until the midterms and president trump has a jam-packed campaign schedule in front of him. here's a look at the map of planned rallies. there's 11 of them planned in eight states. john king has his finger on the pulse of what's perceived to be the motives of the president and where he's going to be going, what's important for the president and the republicans and what may not be.
john. >> anderson, starting in florida tonight, the president putting his overwhelming focus in the final days on senate races. republicans say, guess what, that's smart. we currently have the republicans favored to hold control. 49 seats now to 45 for the democrats. the yellow you see here are the toss-up states. toss-ups include florida. this is a highly contested race. bill nelson, the democratic incumbent, rick scott the current governor running for senate. they're a little queasy about the president coming in the final days but he wanted to come to florida and he is going. a big test tonight, can the president sway the vote in florida. let's look at a couple of other stops for the president. he's going back to missouri. republicans say if we can take this state there's no way democrats can capture control of the senate if we take away claire mccaskill. this one personal to the president as well.
it's a state he won big. he thinks it should have a republican senator. one more in the midwest, indiana, the home state of the vice president. the president going back here again and then again. this is, again, a very close race. the incumbent donnelly, republicans they think they have donnelly on the ropes. point of pride for the vice president if they can get over the top. if a democratic incumbent is losing, forget any odds of retaking the senate. the president is going back to montana. he's been there three times. this one is personal because of, remember, the white house doctor the president wanted to make head of veteran affairs, the democrat jon tester blocked it. as of now, republicans think tester will eke this one out. can the president make the difference in this state? that's a big one to watch. just one more, tennessee. the president will be going back to tennessee. phil bredesen running against a congresswoman. there's new polling in this race. you can see it here. marsha blackburn's status improving in recent days. a dead heat with bredesen on top in september. republicans think that red state coming back to its roots. keep an eye on that one as well.
>> it's so fascinating in montana how personal animus or, you know, affects the political race. where the president is not going is also part of the story. >> it is part of the story. number one, he's not heading into any big house districts up in the northeast in any suburbs. also some senate races where the president has been where he's not going back in the final days. he's not going back to nevada. he was out there just a week or so ago helping dean heller. the senator said he appreciates it. the president was up here in the northwest part of the state. the republicans don't want him anywhere near las vegas. the president not going back to arizona, even though this is a dead heat. let's look quickly at the new numbers in these states because if you walk through them, you might ask why not bring the president back? mcsally down 7 in september. it's closer now. she's down 4. republicans think this race could go their way. they don't want the president or they're afraid if he comes in and does birthright citizenship or border wall, it could
anat antagonize the latino population. nevada, this one has been consistently one of the closest races in the country. senator heller grateful that the president was out there but this is so close they don't want the president coming in to disrupt the race there. i do want to say this. even where the president is not going, let's just look at this. in these three key races, in arizona, the president's approval rating is up 8 points since september. in nevada it's up 4 points. in tennessee it's up 9 points. even though the president might not be welcome here and here in the final days, his improving standing is helping those candidates. republicans are now favored to keep the senate, maybe even add one, two, as many as three seats in part because the president's standing is up. that's why he'll focus on the senate in the final days. >> john king, thanks. with me now, cnn political director david chalian and cnn political analyst gloria borger. gloria, you hear john lay out where the president is and is not going. the question is does he have enough time and the right issues in the right states. >> look, he's going to the places that he won and that he
feels comfortable. and he's going back to the culture wars, which are really good for him. issues like birthright citizenship, which you've been talking about earlier in the show. and so what i think they have done, anderson, is basically given up on the house because, you know, moderate suburban districts, republican suburban districts don't like all this talk of birthright citizenship and so he -- you know, he's given up on it. and what he's doing is he's focusing on the senate, on the places that john pointed out. you were talking about montana. he'll be there four times. and he's -- and arizona and nevada, they don't want him because he could hurt them with independent voters, he could drive up latino turnout. they don't want him. where's he going? he's going to florida, which is close, and he thinks he can help. he won that state. missouri, a state he won by 20 points. he's going to go. so, you know, it makes sense for them, but the key tell here is, he's not thinking about the house.
>> david, what do you think the current thinking in republican circles is about how the president has handled this campaign? just today he's at odds with speaker ryan on birthright citizenship. >> it all depends if you're a republican working on senate races or a republican working on house races. as gloria is describing, it's two totally different universes. >> why are those so different universes? >> because the terrain where the battle for senate control is taking place, anderson, is in trump country. you have five democratic incumbent senators in states running for re-election that donald trump won by double digits. john pointed some of them out. missouri, indiana, montana, north dakota, west virginia. this is trump country. and so that's where you see the president going to try to have the best possible effect, drive up that base turnout. so in those races the republicans are fine with his messaging here around birthright
citizenship or even picking a fight with the establishment, the outgoing speaker, paul ryan. but in the battle for the house, which you've got to remember, democrats need 23 seats. 25 republican-held districts right now are ones that hillary clinton won in 2016. you've got suburban college educated independent voters that are going to make up the decision about which party controls the house, and those are exactly the voters that have been trending away from trump. so this kind of messaging at the end here is not at all welcome news for them. neither was it a week-long conversation about his tone and rhetoric with the pipe bombs and the synagogue massacre. >> gloria, it's understandable people would be, and certainly i'm skeptical of any polls given what we saw in 2016. >> yep. >> people don't necessarily say who they're going to vote for or don't admit who they're voting for. if they say they're voting for one person they might vote for somebody else. why should the democrats be so confident?
>> nancy pelosi last night said, yeah, we're going to win. i think the numbers in the house, if you look at what they need to take, 23, you look at the number of districts hillary clinton won, you look at moderate suburban republican districts, where women are a very big issue here. you know, women -- these women in these suburban districts, even republican districts, disapprove of trump by a large margin. you can see why democrats are optimistic. what they're not saying, anderson, is they're saying we're going to win. nancy pelosi said we're going to win. okay. that's dangerous. but they didn't say by how much. is it going to be a wave? is it just going to be a small victory? you know, i think at this point donald trump would say that a small victory in the house is -- would be okay because he kept it from becoming a tsunami. i think he would take credit for that.
what he wants to do is take credit for adding to his seats in the senate and the way he is doing it is with his tried and true culture war issues, including today announcing it's not going to be 5,200 troops at the border, it's going to be 15,000 troops at the border. what appears to be an attempt to take down robert mueller has failed. we'll sort out what we know about this strange story, next. alexa, play weekend mix. the new lincoln mkc. connecting the world inside, with the world outside. so you can move through both a little easier. introducing the well-connected 2019 lincoln mkc.
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theorists, a fake company and phone number that belonged to someone's mom. cnn senior national correspondent alex marquart reports. >> reporter: it was first teased in a tweet, an apparent hoax being sold as a supposedly scandalous story about to break about special counsel robert mueller. the person behind the tweet, jacob wall, is a 20-year-old far-right online personality who in the past has been accused of fraud. the alleged report then appearing on the right wing website gateway pundit known to peddle conspiracy theories. it was claiming sexual assault against mueller from an unidentified women. gleeful readers saying, we believe the victim, l.o.l., time to rub it in. the site took the tweet down saying it was investigating and the allegations. wall. >> trying to smear the media, ourselves, robert mueller and
maybe the me too movement. >> reporter: what has emerged is a dark and sloppy operation. now just a few days before the midterm elections. wall, it seems, linked to a group calling itself sure fire intelligence, which was trying to get the dirt on mueller. some like the new yorkers jane mayor, noted photo of the intelligence manager on linked in bore a striking resemblance to wall himself. when the phone is dialed it reroutes to his mother. the reporter started receiving e-mails from lorraine parsons who said she worked with mueller in the 70s. the law firm said it had no record of her being employed there. it claimed she was offered tens of thousands of dollars to make up a sexual allegation against mueller. it is unclear whether par sons even exists. but mueller referred the it to the fbi alleging offers to various women for bogus stories. like law professor jennifer taub who said she received this
from sure fire intelligence. >> it was creepy. addressing me as dear professor taub, we understand you had some encounters with robert mueller and it went on to offer me money to have a phone call with this stranger about those encounters. >> reporter: reporters and self-appointed internet sleuths also started investigating including brian cresson stein a vocal critic from president trump who received a text message and a call. >> an angry tone. brian, drop this, you're in over your head. don't follow the leads. don't talk to lorraine parsons. >> reporter: when asked about his ties to sure fire, wall told cnn it sounds like a kooky russia gate conspiracy theory. >> alex marquart joins us now. i understand there is a press conference tomorrow where there is some dined of evidence against mueller will be presented? >> reporter: that's right, anderson. there is another name in all of this saga. jacob wall and sure fire intelligence have been linked to
a republican lobbyist named jack berk man and it's burkman who will be holding that press conference in arlington, virginia, during which he claims he will reveal a woman who he says has been sexually assaulted by robert mueller. now, anderson, this is not the first time burkman has pulled a stunt like this. he helped perpetuate conspiracy theories after the murder of democratic staffer seth rich. back then earlier this year, he organized a press conference where a supposed witness not only didn't show up, but then called in, only to not give any real information. so that might be a preview of what we could expect tomorrow. >> all right. alex marquart, thanks very much. want to check in with chris to see what he's working on with primetime. >> boy oh, boy, did you see the video the president put out? this is i willie horton redux. no irony they use this footage in the ad from fox, which of course is the place that roger ailes created. he's the guy who came up with the willie horton ad. and it paints the people who are
coming across the border as the worst of the worst, literally a marauding hoard directly from the president of the united states. i haven't seen anything like it in a long time. we're going to take people through the video, we're going to ask people to give their take on it who are running for office as republicans right now, and i'm going to ask the head of the dnc, the head of the democratic party, tom perez. did they hand trump this immigration issue? have they said enough about what he's doing on this that's where we are tonight, friend. happy halloween, by the way. i love the mask. handsome, intelligent anchor. good choice, good choice. >> yes, it's my did dr. drew look. >> he wishes. >> chris, thanks very much. coming up the latest on a somber day in pittsburgh. we'll take you there. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement
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was a greeter at tree of life synagogue. also 87-year-old melvin wax. like irving younger, dedicated fan of pittsburgh pirates. more funerals, of course, are set for later this week. the news continues. want to hand it over to chris cuomo. prime starts right now. >> thank you. welcome to "prime time". did you see the video the president of the united states released? this is no halloween spoof. this is a willie horton redux. it started at the place by the man who started the willie horton ad, roger ailes. both were distorted, bigoted, but also effective. it leads us to our next question. are democrats too quiet on this ugly activity? we're going to talk to the head of the party about how democrats can counter before election day. from ugly images to twisted logic. if obama went around congress to protect dreamers, i can change the constitution to punish the same people.