tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN November 12, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
next day, and we were hit again, and we'll keep going. and they did. they fought on. i don't know how many ultimately made it back and how many were hurt that day. i'll never forget what they showed me and what they did for me. i owe them, and i will do more. i promise you that. i promise you that. so to the troops, to the men and women who serve us, to the sacrifices of their families, thank you so much for what you do for all of us and what you did for me and my family. i will never forget. thank you for watching. thank you for thinking about it. i appreciate that. got cnn tonight with don lemon straight ahead. >> well stated, my friend. never forget. you know, i remember that. some people forget. i mean those were horrific, horrific times. they saw the images coming out of it, but you actually experienced it. i remember your colleague, bob woodruff -- >> they saved his life. >> saved his life. >> and he made one of the most miraculous recoveries that
medicine has ever seen. he's better-looking than me now, after the explosion, and he started the bob woodruff foundation. they do stand up for heroes. they change fallen and injured and recovering troops' lives. if people want to give money, if you have that, go to that foundation. they do god's work in that place. >> and what you said is all the more important, that we support our men and women in uniform, support our veterans when they come home, make sure they're taken care of, make sure they have the best hospitals, the best of the best because not everybody in this country makes those sacrifices. >> no. fewer and fewer all the time. and that's part of the problem, right? we don't have the same umbilical connection when it was -- you know, look, where you grew up a lot of people still going into the service. i have uncles who went in. my cousins, i have a couple baby cousins who got into it, but not like it used to be. and that makes it easier to see it as them. >> yeah.
>> and i'm angry at my own hypocrisy about it to be honest? >> why so? >> because i should do better. i got two shows every day. i could talk about this stuff. i could bring it up. if it doesn't rate, it doesn't rate. i do thinks that don't rate all the time. why wouldn't i do it? i'm not doing it, and it's got to change. >> it's the right thing to do. you're right. where i come from, strong, strong military support. my sister, god rest her soul, served proudly. my dad served proudly, my stepdad. my father served proudly. many members of my family and extended family served and continue. my niece is -- her fiance has served proudly and is still serving. and we should remember those folks as well. doing what many of us don't do. >> everybody should do it. if you're going to talk the talk, you should walk the walk. but for me, don, they saved my damn life. >> yeah. >> you know, my kids wouldn't be in the same situation if it weren't for those men and women. i'll never forget it. >> and something that our president should think about.
you've been talking about it. i'm going to talk about it and continue on now. thank you, my friend. i'll see you soon. so everyone who has served in this country, as we said, never forget. and thank you so much for your service. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. today is the federal holiday observing veterans day. but president trump opted not to mark the day in any official capacity. in any official capacity. he had no public schedule today, instead staying inside the white house. no trip to arlington national cemetery. no visit to the wounded in the military hospital. nothing having to do with veterans. this comes on the heels of the president's weekend trip to paris where many world leaders gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i. his visit to france was marked by some, shall we say, awkward moments? on saturday, the president canceled a planned visit to an
american military cemetery about 50 miles outside of paris. the white house blamed it on bad weather. they said that bad weather grounded his helicopter. but take note of this, okay? look at those pictures. that's the chief of staff john kelly, general joseph dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. they were able to make it to the cemetery. the world leaders as well, former defense secretary chuck haggle on cnn highly critical of the president's decision not to go. >> it was an embarrassment, and he let down, i think, our veterans. he let down our country. and i think he sent a very wrong message to the world. world war i was a horrific, terrible war that affected really everybody and certainly affected us. and not to make a little bit of an effort to get to a very important ceremony was wrong. and i'm disappointed, and i'm
sorry that he didn't do it. >> there were some other awkward moments as well. moments that beg the question, is president trump and the united states -- are we still -- is president trump still the leader of the free world? are we still the leader of the free world, meaning the united states? because as world leaders walked under umbrellas in the pouring rain to the arc de triomphe for the official ceremony in paris yesterday morning, president trump not among them. he and the first lady arrived separately. the white house citing what it called security protocols. then during his address, french president emmanuel macron, the host of the ceremony and in front of all the world leaders, publicly chided president trump for calling himself a nationalist. >> translator: patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.
nationalism is betrayal by saying, our interests first. who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what is the most important, its moral values. >> ouch. that hurt. well, but president trump seemed not to care. he's actually more focused on the election recount in florida, okay? three races, including for governor and senator. they're so close that automatic recounts are under way. take note of that word, automatic recounts are under way. automatic. because that's florida state law. but the president's ignoring that fact, instead tweeting, the florida election should be called in favor of rick scott and ron desantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. an honest vote count is no lodger possible. ballots massively infected.
must go with election night. wrong. he's just flat-out wrong. there is no evidence, zero evidence, nor did he even try to offer any that ballots are missing or forged. there is no evidence that ballots are massively infected, whatever that means. i don't know what that even means. but governor rick scott, who is leading the senate race by just over 12,000 votes, taking a page right out of the president's playbook, alleging his opponent, the incumbent, bill nelson, is trying to steal the election. >> no ragtime group of liberal activists or lawyers from d.c. will be allowed to steal this election from the voters in this great state. >> senator nelson is clearly trying to commit fraud to try to win this election. >> he's just a pure, sore loser trying to steal an election. >> no evidence at all.
just planting the seeds in people's minds that malfaesance is under way when state law demands that a recount takes place, okay? it is the law. and as for president trump's insistence of going with election night totals, the tally -- that tally is incomplete. ballots by members of the military, who are overseas, don't have to arrive until later this week, on november 16th. so the president who wraps himself in patriotism and the flag when it is convenient, like when he slams nfl players for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, get that son of a [ bleep ] off the field right now? out. he's fired. he's fired! >> this same president now wants to take away the right to vote
for florida military service men and women stationed overseas. that is not the type of message any commander in chief should ever send, especially on veterans day. a lot at stake in that florida recount and there's breaking news about the senate raise in arizona tonight. there is a winner. i'm going to talk with chris cillizza, ryan lizza, and laura coates right after this. your digestive system has billions of bacteria but life can throw them off balance. re-align yourself with align probiotic.
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kyrsten sinema is victorious, beating republican martha mcsally. let's discuss now. chris cillizza, ryan lizza, and laura coates. good evening, everyone. here we go. a week out almost, and we're still counting. i don't know. maybe this is like a slow blue wave. this has been a great wave to surf, right, because it's so slow. you can get up on the board and whatever. ryan, i'm going to start with you. democrats flipped a receipt senate seat tonight with kyrsten sinema's victory in arizona. do these blue waves continue to crash? >> yeah. look, election night, it's not over on election night anymore. i think we got to be careful now. you know, a good lesson for 2020 on election night. be careful in drawing too many firm conclusions because in america, we vote for, you know, not just one day but weeks afterward. >> and not just in this country. there are votes that come in from overseas. >> absolutely. and, look, this is so -- everything has been more and
more positive for the democrats over the last week. it looks like they will be closer to 40 seats in the house than 30. i think there are, what, 30, 31 right now, and there's ten more races to be called. so they're going to be closer to 40 on that metric. and in the senate, the republicans will have picked up one or two depending on what happens in florida. and then a huge boost that we don't talk about much at the state level. over 300 state legislative seats that were flipped. a number of governorships in the midwest. so i think that debate over whether this was a blue wave or not is sort of dead. this was obviously a -- this was obviously a wave if that term means anything. >> yeah. chris, so, listen, president trump with absolutely zero proof, making accusations of election fraud and theft. he's doing that, of course, on twitter as he often does. you write a piece for cnn.com about what the president's
fact-free claims about the florida and arizona elections tell us about 2020. what is the answer? what's the answer to that? >> well, i mean, i think it shows that this is not someone who if he does come up short in 2020 -- and obviously we're a long way from that. but if he does come up short in 2020, this is not someone who is going to go gently into that good night. >> you're going to have to evict him from 1600 pennsylvania avenue? >> think about his life, don. his life is largely him telling himself the stories of him winning, whether it's declaring bankruptcy, whether it's on "the apprentice" in ratings, whether it's the inauguration crowd. he has spent a lifetime refusing to accept that he is ever on the losing end of things, or even on -- it doesn't always have to be the losing end but the less celebratory end. if there's a close election -- and i think 2020 could be close. but if there's a close election, let's say it comes down to florida where he loses by a point or two. given what we know about him personally, about his approach
in business and politics, and about how he has handled just claiming there's fraud and they should stop the automatic recount by state law, why would we conclude that with his own personal political interests at stake, not rick scott's, not martha mcsally's, not ron desantis', that he would act in any way different. in fact, we wouldn't conclude that. >> a very good assess many. >> terrifying. >> let's talk about the law, okay? because it bears repeating, laura. the florida recount is mandated by law. it's automatically triggered when the margin falls below 0.5 percentage points. the president, even the governor, they both seem hellbent on ignoring that. >> they do, which is odd given the fact that those laws and the idea of being an automatic trigger came in large part after the 2000 bush v. gore fiasco. this was a rehabilitative measure to ensure you never have it repeated again.
in many ways you're counting for the very first time. the term recount can be a misnomer here because in some of these areas you have the overseas ballots coming in. you have undercounting of blaults because of mismatched signatures. i think a lot of this comes in large respect from these blanket assertions, these bald assertions with no facts behind them. in fact the florida police have found no evidence of fraud. the state elections commissions have no evidence of fraud. judges have said -- looked at one of nine lawsuits and said there's no evidence here. you can't just make a bald assertion because it did not go your way. and it may be very nerve-racking for people but there's nothing nefarious about trying to count the ballots to ensure that everyone's ballot is counted. that's the way it's supposed to be. that's what everyone planned on following 2000. >> by the way, don, this is dumb for another reason, just to add to laura's point. look, the history of recounts suggests that the person who is ahead when all of the votes are
initially counted -- >> is going to win. >> usually winds up ahead. so the likeliest outcome is rick scott and ron desantis win. why do we need to throw this totally baseless claim of fraud in there? >> because maybe they know something we don't know. maybe it's like the -- who knows? it could be like the russia thing. maybe they know something we don't know. i don't know. >> maybe. >> maybe they're just really insecure about their ability to win. i'll give them the benefit of the doubt. maybe he was talking about in this particular election cycle. but i'm surprised no one called him when he was headed to marine one the other day, when he said, why does it always seem to go to the democrat? i was like, why don't you ask george w. bush about that because he was a republican. >> ask al gore. >> or al gore, right, during the recount in 2000? i got to move on because i want to talk about, speaking of the russia investigation, roger stone's associate -- in is for you, ryan -- says that he expects to be indicted by the special counsel. we didn't hear much about mueller leading up to the midterms, but now things are
really ramping up again. >> yeah. and, look, you know, stone and other people in this investigation who are not the most trustworthy characters who have made similar claims about how they're about to be indicted, so take it -- maybe take it with a grain of salt. but he is saying that -- he told a story today on youtube that, you know, his negotiations, his talks with the special counsel's office broke down and that he's now in the crosshairs. so, you know, i wish we knew a little bit more about what was -- you know, why they were looking into him so aggressively and how this relates to stone in the end. but, man, from everything we know, they have -- mueller just seems convinced that roger stone was the link between the trump campaign and some kind of knowledge of the wikileaks dump,
or at least -- maybe doesn't know that, but has strong, strong suspicions. >> yeah. >> so this will be one more piece in the puzzle if he is indicted and we get some more information. >> but we're operating on the assumption that what jerome coursey is saying is actually true, that he did hear from someone associated with mueller that he's going to be indicted or what have you. but i mean to his point, to ryan's point, laura, this latest development, what it might mean for roger stone or any other bigger fish here. >> well, number one, roger stone himself has not actually been the one talking to mueller's team. he's not been in front of the grand jury, which to me is the most telling thing of all. the fact that he himself has not been afforded the opportunity to try to defend himself or explain his own hubris in many ways or his bluster over the course of 18 to 24 months about his involvement and his connections with people like julian assange says to me that they have zero interest in hearing his explanation outside of an actual
courtroom. so that should be very foreboding to somebody like roger stone. that his associates are also being questioned and have their breaks, quote unquote, talks breaking down, says to me that mueller has a great deal of leverage. he need not negotiate if he has the upper hand and has -- of people's statements, documents, et cetera and the grand jury subpoena power. so i suspect that the noose is tightening because it is. >> chris, listen, at least eight mueller prosecutors worked today, which is a federal holiday, right? and then we saw video of michael cohen in d.c. today. do you get the sense that president trump is agitated considering his airing of grievances of twitter, his behavior lately? you know, he knows stuff. he gets the intelligence. he knows what's going on. >> yeah. i mean, look, i don't think it should be lost that on friday, "the wall street journal" sort of had a big piece corroborating what michael cohen said he told the special counsel regarding
donald trump making coordinating and directing hush payments made to stormy daniels and to karen mcdougal during the 2016 campaign, which i will note donald trump as president of the united states, on air force one, has directly denied. he said he didn't know where the money came from, didn't really know the situation. you have to ask michael cohen. so possibly, don, but the thing i wonder with donald trump is we wonder is he more agitated, more nervous? he is someone who on twitter and in public statements last week after the election, on twitter over the weekend talking about florida when he's in paris, the way in which he acted in paris -- this seems to me sort of how donald trump acts. i struggle sometimes to differentiate between is he more nervous or frantic or angry or acting less how we would expect a president to act because -- >> that's his thing all the time. >> it never correlates to anything.
>> we looked at the patterns but -- >> what if all the dots don't connect? i mean we're always trying -- we're always trying to look at the various data points, right, and draw a through line. and i always wonder what if there is no through line? what if every day it's just a blank slate that he starts over, you know, and that it's not predictive? i can't imagine if i was in a situation like donald trump, i would not be anxious, but he kind of does his trumpy thing every day, circumstances somewhat be damned. >> yeah, it is groundhog day. so should we be reading anything? is it just acoincidence. lauer what, what do you think? is it just a coincidence that michael cohen is in d.c. after we get -- >> i don't know his vacation plans, but of course it's not co-ince dental that he is meeting with mueller or actually in washington, d.c. perhaps when his sentencing has been put off till december.
remember, although he pled guilty several weeks ago -- several months ago at this point in time in new york, talking about the statements where he actually directly implicated the president of the united states being involved in a campaign finance violation, he talked about that directly. now, he still is on the hook until he is actually sentenced, which means if you think that mueller has leverage in other areas, well, there is quite an incentive for people like michael flynn, who had not been sentenced, george papadopoulos until he was sentenced, the list goes on including michael cohen. until they are sentenced, it is no coincidence that they remain helpful and trying to get ahead of that thing called the allocution, where the government will say, your honor, before you sentence somebody to a guilty plea, consider how kind they've been to us, how gent male they' been in their demeanor and how helpful. he's in that realm right now. coincidence, i think not. >> he was with his criminal defense attorney. i don't think anyone goes on
vacation with -- >> nobody brings their lawyer for fun. >> i would bet on it that it's -- i think it's fair to say that, yes, he was there meeting. listen, i have to run. but i got to ask you one more legal question because what is in it for michael cohen? he has no cooperation agreement. everything that's happening to him is happening in the southern district of new york. it's really not mueller's case. >> that's true. however, he does have incentive to still cooperate in the sense of having his sentencing recommendation by the federal prosecutors even in sdny be more favorable to him if he's cooperating in an overall government investigation. it doesn't have to be mueller for him to cooperate with the federal government. he's trying to do just that. and he's trying this person who is persona non grata, wants to be in the good graces of a prosecutor before he's sentenced. >> can you imagine, though, being the person who -- listen, you're following orders from your boss and all of a sudden you're going to face jail time or prison time, and your boss isn't? maybe not?
>> yeah, look, he's been desperate for weeks if not months. >> wow. >> to prove to mueller that he has something for him. >> right. >> and so whether today is more about that or not, we do know that that's the case, that he's just been desperate to, you know, get in the good graces of the mueller team. >> yeah. thank you all. appreciate it. >> thanks, don. my next guest really doesn't know why president trump even bothered going to france this weekend. i'm going to speak with james clapper. i'm going to ask him, did president trump's trip do more harm than good? when a nasty cold won't let you sleep, try new nyquil severe with vicks vapocool and vaporize it. ahhhhh! shhhhh! new nyquil severe with vicks vapocool. the vaporizing, nightime coughing, aching, stuffy head, best sleep with a cold, medicine.
soil after spending the weekend in france. he was there to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i with some of america's closest allies. this comes after the president proudly declared himself a nationalist at a campaign rally last month, something europe knows a little bit about. joining me now is cnn national security analyst james clapper, the former director of national intelligence. good evening, director. thank you for coming on. i have to ask you first about your assessment of the president's trip to france to commemorate the fallen of world war i. what did you think? >> well, don, i thought it was largely a lost weekend for him from both the standpoint of domestic impact and foreign impact. just to take the latter, i think a lot of his body language frankly, it was pretty evident that it didn't seem to me his heart was in it. you know, he showed up separately for the ceremony, and
then his berating -- continued berating of the nato members for those who fail to continue 2% of their gdp, which to me is not a very meaningful measure. not to get off on this, but just take greece, for example, which spends 60% of -- it makes the 2%, but a good part of that, over half is for pay and pensions. then you look at a country like norway, which is a staunch ally of the united states, who doesn't make the 2% but is buying, you know, significant weapons systems like f-35s, and p-8s just to name a couple things. so having as a common denominator the 2% thing, to me, is pretty silly. in a domestic context, i thought his failure to go to the -- you know, because of the rain was an insult not only to world war i veterans but, for that matter,
to all veterans, which was kind of compounded by the fact that neither the president nor the vice president, who was on a trip in fairness -- but the president was here in town, showed up at arlington national cemetery, which is a tradition that, you know, presidents and vice presidents show up for those ceremonies. >> and it just rained for other previous presidents, and they made it. >> exactly. and the white house, you know, i hung around it long enough in the last administration, always has or will have a plan b for, in this case, ground transportation. understandably those people responsible for his transportation, whether on the ground or in the air, are going to be very conservative, particularly marine one or air force one, about weather. so there's always going to be a plan b when there's bad weather. it was only, as i understand it, about a 50-mile drive. so i thought from both dimensions, both foreign impact and domestic impact, he would
have been better served to have stayed home. >> let me ask you because you heard what emmanuel macron said there, you know, talking about patriotism versus nationalism and how nationalism was the opposite of patriotism. have america's allies lost patience with trying to deal with this president? >> well, i think they have come around to the conclusion that our president's not going to change. he is what he is, and he has his attitudes. and i think the allies are just going to kind of march on. >> are they holding it against us? i hope not. meaning the american people. >> oh, no. absolutely not. i've recently done some overseas travel, spent a good bit of time in australia as you know, and it's not about the american people or america as a country. there is strong concern, strong aversion, i would say, to our president, though.
>> so, listen, in paris, vladimir putin made a show of shaking president trump's hand and giving him a thumbs up. is president trump more at ease with putin than with america's true allies, with america's allies? >> well, it would seem so. i mean this is a pretty brief vignette. >> can we roll that back? look at the faces on the other world leaders. sorry, director. go on. >> well, i think you're right. and it's not just putin. he seems to gravitate towards -- or he finds more comfort in associating with autocrats, putin most especially. and you can tell by the body language there that others aren't too pleased about that. and there's a reason for that, you know. putin is a direct threat. russia represents a direct threat to those countries. and it's also, i think, as you indicated in your opening take, they have some experience with people who professed strong
nationalist instincts. and that makes them very nervous, and i'm really not surprised that macron, on behalf of, i think, many of the european allies, felt the need to speak up in public about that, although i think his main audience was our president. >> mm-hmm. i want to ask you this because i think it's important and because of the headlines. this has been pushed down and suppressed and submerged. so this is important because "the new york times" is reporting, director, tonight that after journalist jamal khashoggi was killed in october, it says a member of the saudi kill squad called his superior and told him to, quote, tell your boss that the mission has been completed. three times sources familiar with the recording say they believe the boss in question is the saudi crown prince, mohammed bin salman. do you think that mbs gave the order for khashoggi to be killed? >> i do. i don't see any -- i don't see
any way that such an operation could have taken place without certainly his acquiescence, and i think more likely his direction. and that phone call, which apparently has been validated or corroborated by more than one source, that's about as close as you're going to come to a smoking gun, i think. but to me, there's no doubt about who was in charge of this operation. we have this, you know, very elastic evidentiary bar that this administration has applied to determining what happened, who is responsible, and they're waiting for, i guess, the saudis to investigate themselves. >> mm-hmm. >> so mto me, you know, it's pretty clear what happened here. you know, it's kind of an insult to people's intelligence to think that there's some other explanation. >> director, thank you for your time. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. so the former first lady, michelle obama, telling all in her new book.
i'm going to speak with someone who was there for most of it. valerie jarrett is next. et mopping robot from irobot. its precision jet spray and vibrating cleaning head loosen and scrub stains. all while navigating kitchens, bathrooms and those hard to reach places. you and braava jet from irobot. better together. vof hundreds of families, he'se hmost proud of the one the heads he's kept over his own. brand vo: get paid twice as fast with quickbooks smart invoicing. quickbooks. backing you.
we are learning more gripping details about former first lady michelle obama's life in the spotlight and her opinion of the current occupant of the white house. in her new book entitled "becoming" out on tuesday, she describes her experience watching donald trump get sworn in. she writes this. someone from barack's administration might have said that the optics there were bad, that what the public saw didn't reflect the president's reality or ideals. but in this case, maybe it did. realizing it, i made my own optic adjustment. i stopped even trying to smile. she had even more to say about the president in an interview on abc's "20/20".
>> being the commander in chief is a hard job. you need to have discipline, and you need to read. you need to be knowledgeable. you need to know history. you need to be careful with your words. but voters make those decisions, and once the voters have spoken, you know, we live with what we live with. >> valerie jarrett is here. she is a former senior adviser to president obama. valerie, thank you so much for joining us. can i just get your reaction to what michelle obama said there? are you surprised at how pointed her words are, her candor there? >> no, not at all. i think the whole reason why she decided to write her memoir, the story of her life and how she has continued to become, is to be honest and candid and transparent. and i think she was making observations that she, who was the first lady of the united states for eight years, can uniquely make. >> so let's talk about -- because a lot of people noticed at the inauguration just how stoic mrs. obama seemed at the inauguration of president trump. and in the book she talks about
it. she said that she stopped even trying to smile. what was it like behind the scenes leading up to that moment, valerie? >> well, it was a hard day. i was with them on that last day as they said good-bye to the people who had been so good to them over eight years, as they packed up and their daughters said good-bye and they left the white house. so it was a hard moment. i think it was hard on everybody. and she was really honest that day. and yet, though, when you hear her talk now over the last couple of years, her enthusiasm and her desire to be this incredible positive force, a role model for so many people, not just women but certainly women and girls, hopefully men and boys too, who can see somebody who comports herself with grace, but who also is authentic and real and isn't afraid to tell her full story. >> it's interesting you said that she's a role model to so many people. she's a role model to me because i knew her when i was in chicago.
and every time she'd see me, she'd say, don, are you staying out of trouble? and i would say, well, i'm not sure, mrs. obama. sometimes i do. sometimes i do. also, valerie, when i came out, and i would see her at the white house, like maybe at a christmas party, you know, you go through the receiving line and take the picture. she would always say -- she and the former president, don, you made the right decision. you made a good decision. we're proud of you. and i know that sometimes it may have been because i'm in the news business, i have to criticize the president, which was i'm sure difficult on their part. but they were always very cordial, very professional, and very supportive. and you don't always see that happening in a white house now. that says a lot about them, doesn't it? >> it says a lot about their character, their values, their ability to feel empathy, to understand you're in a business where you're doing your job, but that doesn't lessen their compassion and their sense of wanting to be in your corner and root for you and to -- in a sense what you did by coming out is just what she's trying to get
people to do in this book, which is to be honest with themselves, to share their stories, all of their stories. >> again, another role model. she's a role model to mothers, and she is fiercely protective of her children during her years at the white house, right? and in the book she said that she would never forgive president trump for spreading this birther lie because it put her family in danger. so for donald trump, it was all about politics. for her, this was very personal. this was about her family and their safety. >> well, don, look, words matter. words have consequences. the birther movement unleashed a level of hostility and anger that questioned the very legitimacy of president obama. >> how frustrating was that for you and for the president when you guys were in office? >> well, for all of us, look, he made history, and he -- you know, last time i checked, hawaii was in the united states. and to fuel this birther
movement that was designed to delegitimize him was extraordinarily painful and also distracting. but the point that she's making is that more than painful and distracting, the words could have incited violence. they could have threatened her husband and herself and her children. so, yes, you're right, don. as a mother, there's nothing she cared more than protecting her children. so i think it's perfectly understandable that that would be something that would sit with her and that would leave her unwilling to forgive for that, unnecessary, gratuitous act of harshness and distortion of the truth. >> first lady obama is part of a very small group of women who served as first ladies. i want you to listen to what she said about offering her help to the current first lady. >> i know that laura bush reached out to you. >> mm-hmm. >> and said, if you need any help, i'm a phone call away. >> yeah. yeah. >> you wrote about and have talked about how you extended that same courtesy to melania trump. has she reached out to you and
asked for any help? >> no. no, she hasn't. >> okay. and this is in her response. the office of the first lady says, mrs. trump is a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as first lady in her own way. when she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the white house. there is really quite a disconnect between the trumps and the ex-presidents and first ladies, don't you think? >> well, you know, i think that's certainly the first lady's choice. >> why is that? >> that i couldn't speak to. i think the point that we always make is that president bush and laura bush could not have been more gracious and open and supportive of our. we were thirsty for information from them. they understood it was their job to make sure we hit the ground running. so we wanted to learn everything we could from them. the next president and first lady, they get to choose whether they're interested in having that ongoing relationship or
not. i think for everybody former president, what i've noticed from all the former presidents who i've gotten to know is they're here to serve. they're willing to step up to the plate just like president bush and president clinton did after the haiti earthquake. they both showed up to the white house on, you know, two seconds flat to work on a relief fund. that's what former presidents do. so all i can speak to is what i've observed from former presidents, and each president gets to choose their own course as does the first lady. >> there's a story that i remember the first time that i can remember having any interaction with mrs. obama. this was when barack obama was a state senator, was running for u.s. senate, and there was an event at navy pier. people had been waiting all day and it was hot. there was a woman in the crowd who got a little -- she passed out, right? got a little overheated. and mrs. obama -- i don't think that the senator then realized that the woman had passed out. and mrs. obama stopped everything. she said, wait a minute, barack.
stop. let's make sure she's okay. everybody. and she called the first aid people up, and it was just such a real moment. and that's just who she is. >> she's real. she's authentic. we were joking recently about a story of when she was in iowa, and she was campaigning in someone's home. you know iowa, small crowds, and it was at the end of the day. and she kicked off her shoes. and the room fell in love with her. what woman does not want to take those high heeled shoes and kick them to the corner? and the fact that she felt comfortable in her own skin and in their home spoke volumes to who she really is. >> valerie jarrett, thank you so much. come back anytime. >> you're welcome. i would love to. thank you for all you do, don. dozens of student from a high school in wisconsin, they give the nazi salute in a photo. this is america? we'll talk about it next. fact is, there have been twenty-six in the last decade.
so it is not every day that a prom photo becomes a cause for outrage and alarm. but this is 2018 in america. and the photo in question is this. which we didn't have to blur their faces. that was not my choice. but there you go. it shows that stants from varibu high school in wisconsin dressed up for junior prom appearing to be a nazi salute. take a good look at that. these are young men. america's future. what would possess a group of students to raise an arm in a salute that has such hateful horrifying connotations? well, we tried to find out. we contacted the school principal and the superintendent
of the school district as well. they told us that they are investigating. and here's what they say. they say if the gesture is what it appears to be the district will pursue any and all available and appropriate actions including legal to address the issue. and we noticed this student, see the one up there on the right, at the top right corner of the photo. not participating in the nazi salute. good on him. his name is jordan blue. by the way, we have been in touch with his parents and with him. he confirmed to us this statement which he first gave to a reporter for vice. and it says, "i clearly am uncomfortable with what was happening. i couldn't leave the photo as it was taken within five seconds. the photographer took the photos telling us to make the sign. i knew what my morals were, and it was not to salute something i firmly didn't believe in." those are his words. and again, good on him. we tried to talk to the photo agency that took this picture. we did. they couldn't be reached for
comment. the phone was disconnected. they didn't respond to our e-mails. the photo has been taken down from the page and replaced with this bizarre statement. see if you can follow along with me. okay? and it reads this. it says, "it is too bad that there are those in society who can and do take the time to be jerks, knowingly and willingly to be jerks. the internet can be a wonderful tool but some there is an overwhelming -- for some there is an overwhelming urge to destroy. the destruction may not be physical but instead it can be bullying that is intellectual or emotional. to anyone that was hurt i sincerely apologize. if we hear more from the photographer on what that means or if we hear from the school district or any of the other students in the photo we're certainly going to let you know. but in baraboo, wisconsin
residents gathered on the very spot where the offensive photo was taken. they brought messages of tolerance, kindness and compassion. this is how one resident explained why she went. >> that instead of somebody opening up their social media and seeing that picture and being filled with hate and rage they can open up their social media, see this picture and smile and maybe feel a little love and positivity. >> need more like her. we'll be right back.
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