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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  February 6, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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distinction. it's an important distinction. >> she doesn't really address the fact that she said she was american indian on this card. this controversy goes back to her first senate race in 2012. in october, she attempted to settle it, releasing dna test results, showing she likely has a native american ancestor. she's now apologized for creating any confusion, she says, by taking that test. the news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo. the mueller probe may wind up being the least of this president's concerns. democrats are asking new questions and they're not about russian interference. they are following the money. trump's money. and we have one of the main bloodhounds with us tonight. what is the goal of the head of the house judiciary committee? we'll talk to him about it tonight. and federal prosecutors are digging in deep. not the mueller team, old and new federal foes.
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what are they looking at? this president cannot claim ignorance of what they might find. and a story that we told about here, you know, a few months ago. it's now bigger than ever. the people that this president wants you to hate, he hires. why does the president have so many undocumented workers and what is he doing to them now? facts versus farce. what do you say? let's get after it! so last night the president first called for unity and then issued a warning to the new democratic majority. don't you come after me. their response? you see this look? this is their response in action. they are bringing the heat to the president. today, the chair of the house intel committee unveiled the most detailed look yet at how democrats plan to investigate president trump and the probes will go far beyond russia. it's all about the money.
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where did trump get his money? whom did he borrow from item why did he borrow from them? what did he do with it? where are those lenders now? these are serious questions. and the committee has just voted to give robert mueller a led of new evidence to sort through. all of the testimony from witnesses in their russia probe? who does that include? jared kushner, donald trump jr. why does this matter? because mueller can now determine whether others besides roger stone and michael cohen have lied to congress. now, here's a bigger question you're probably asking. why now? well, that's a question for the gop. why didn't they deliver the same information to mueller when they were in control? now, the first big event to watch for the democrats is going to be friday. that's when acting ag matthew whitaker is coming to answer questions, forewarned that he better not duck any of them. let's bring in the chairman of the house judiciary committee, congressman jerry nadler. it's good to have you on prime-time. >> good to be here. >> i want to put up the letter that you sent to whitaker.
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this was a couple of weeks ago. and you made it very clear, when i get it, i'll put it up. you said to him, i'm letting you know in advance, if you want to play with privilege or say that there are questions you can't answer or the white house doesn't want you to answer, tell me now. you did not hear back. you reminded him again. what do you expect when he comes in on friday and why are you so determined to ask the questions? >> well, there's a history of administration witnesses over the -- refusing to answer questions, ducking the questions, saying, i can't answer that question, because maybe the president will assert executive privilege. and that's not acceptable. because it frustrates congress constitutional duty of checks and balance and of oversight. so that's why i sent him this alert few weeks ago, telling him some of the key questions we're going to ask about, oversight of the mueller investigation, about oversight of the investigation of the southern district of new
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york, about his recusal or refusal to recuse himself. about whether the white house attempted to influence him over decisions about the mueller investigation or about the southern district investigation, about whether he told the white house things he shouldn't have. all of these questions, we need answers to. and what we said in that letter was, if you are going to claim -- if the president is going to assert executive privilege -- >> tell us now. >> tell us now so that we can contest that and know it. don't waste our time. >> and he hasn't respond, yes? >> he hasn't responded. we told him to respond. i sent him another letter. i said, respond within 48 hours. he did not do so. and that's why we're preparing a subpoena just in case. >> so congressman, how concerned are you with this new information that's out there. and we know very little about what the southern district and the eastern district are trying to do in new york. obviously, still federal offices. those aren't state investigations or state charges. they are federal. is your concern that something
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may be done to frustrate or compromise those probes? how serious do you think they're looking at? >> well, i don't know how serious that threat is, but that's been the threat from the beginning. we know that the president threatened to fire mueller twice. we know that he allegedly yelled at whitaker after the indictment of michael cohen, allegedly. so we're very concerned. we're very concerned in two respects. number one, that the probes continue as they should without interference. number two, that the public learn of the information and congress learn the information, because we may have to take action or not. and number three, we're not going to rely on those criminal investigations, because our responsibility is to do general oversight and get our own information and our own testimony. obviously, we would like to know what mueller found, what the southern district found. obviously, we want to give them what information we find. but we have the responsibility of making our own judgments and
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getting our own information. >> now, the republicans are saying, wrap it up, wrap it up! well, it would have gone faster if they would have handed over the testimony that you're now handing over to mueller. they made that decision not to. that will probably prolong the process. let me ask you this. in deference to what the president said last night, how much oversight is too much, to the point of harassment, in your opinion? >> i don't know the answer to that question, except the president sounded awfully like richard nixon saying, one year of watergate investigation is enough. the fact is, you have to do the oversight and follow the facts where they lead. there are a whole list of questions we don't know the answers to about foreign interference in the election, foreign influence over this administration. and garden variety corruption, interference with justice, obstruction of justice, abuse of power in many ways. and we're going to -- we have to track all of that down. and we can't allow the
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administration to stonewall us. we came in and we mean business. and we mean business on the promises we made to the american people. and we're going to carry them out. and one of the promises was, proper oversight of the administration. we also promise epromised, so w last week, we held a hearing on voting rights and ethics reform last week. today we held a hearing on gun legislation, which the republicans refuse to do in eight years. we will be reporting legislation on that to the floor soon. friday, we're having whitaker in for all of these other questions. next week, we're going to have a hearing on family separation at the border. >> so these are all the things that you guys campaigned on. and look, turnabout is fair play. these are the promises that you made to the people who voted for you across the country. now you have to keep them or you'll be in the hole. >> and it's our constitutional responsibility. >> but there's discretion in it. that's why i asked you pant what you're looking at and how much is too much? guns, you're not going to get that argument on me, in terms of
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what kind of legislation, are we a law away? what do we need to do? eight years, all the killings, no hearings. and then today you held one. now, a republican spoke up and tried to make a connection between guns to something else. matt gates from florida. i want to play it for context. >> in your debate with me, please don't demean or diminish the pain and suffering, the humanitarian consequences, the violence, the bloodshed that has occurred because we allow illegal aliens to come into our country, receive the veils of protection, benefit from policies of catch and release that my friends on the other side of the aisle have supported, and then come here and act like that is the great challenge of our day to deal with gun violence. >> i don't know what the hell he was talking about there. what was the point? if you care about something serious, talk about what's happening at the border, don't talk about gun violence?
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>> he was beyond terrible in what he was saying. we were sitting in a room full of parents, of children murdered at parkland high school and of other victims. and he tries to say that the president trump's border wall has something to do with this. it has obviously nothing to do with. we have to check reasonable background check legislation, other legislation that we know from other countries will cut down the gun violence -- >> like what? because people keep saying on the other side, you're not a law away. you already have all of these checks on sales. the other sales that aren't checked, there are not enough of them. this is about mental health. >> there are plenty of -- well, it's not about mental health. there are other countries do not exceed several hundred gun violence deaths a year. we have 35 to 40,000. it's a slander on the american people to say that our people are so much more mentally ill than people in europe or canada
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or switzerland. yes, we should deal with mental health, but the real issue is, when you control the number of guns available to people who shouldn't have them, you reduce gun violence, as was proven in australia, as we know from various states in the united states, and they don't want to -- they don't want to recognize this. and to bring up, in a room full of parents, of kids killed, trump's border wall, which has nothing to do with this, is frankly insulting. >> well, it's like people are picking their victims. they keep talking about the crisis on the border. they never mentioned all the people who are desperately waiting trying to get in, living in abject poverty and living in terror. >> not one of these major mass shootings -- >> was done by an illegal whatever -- >> exactly. >> an undocumented person. >> an undocumented person. >> so that's understood. and i'll ask congressman gates to come on and defend his premise. i do that on the show. but what do you think the hope
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is here, congressman? because we have lived this ugly tale so many times over in this country. and there is never an apparent legislative fix. do you believe there is one? and do you believe there will be one? >> i believe there are legislative fixes. and you need the political will to pass it, and i think the american -- after eight years of the republicans doing nothing and mass murder after -- mass shooting after mass shooting, i think the politics of this country has changed. i think the election results last year showed that. we will pass -- i would venture to predict that we will pass possibly into law this year universal background checks, maybe the charleston loophole, and maybe we will develop the political pressure to pass assault weapons bans and other things in the next few years. >> well, i'll make you this pledge. this is always a debate and it's often shied away from. it will never be on this show. wherever you have a proposal and there's controversy and it needs
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to be debated, congressman, you'll be on anyway, but let me know, we will make time for that debate. >> thank you. >> be well, congressman jerry nadler. we'll be watching you friday. all right, now, as you know, i often ask you, like i just was there, to temper expectations for the outcome of the mueller probe. of course, i don't know anything than what we've been reporting publicly. but russia is only one concern for this president. ideali ty criminality is only one concern. there are federal prosecutions that have popped up from multiple offices. their pursuits could bring the greatest peril. why? i'll lay it out for you as fact, next. ♪ ♪
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and what is bad for the country certainly is allowing ethical or legal issues to be ignored. and promising unity and then attacking anyone who doesn't want what you want is also detrimental to the cause of this country. but the president is right to be jumpy. he has a world of worry coming his way. democrats are in power of oversight and they are casting a wide net and their standard will be things that are worth political scrutiny, not necessarily crimes. then there's also still mueller. his orders are quite specific, as we know by now. looking for links and coordination between russians and the campaign. in other words, possible wrongdoing, crimes if he sees them, but not necessarily. and then there is now this third front, okay? and it hits closer to home for trump than any other. and it would concern me the most. federal prosecutors, specifically in the southern and eastern districts of new york. and what are they doing?
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the list of stuff that they're looking at from mueller's domain is nothing compared to the breadth of what they're looking at here. and the attorneys general of different states also. those are state charges, not even federal. you can see good reason for those close to trump to be worried. >> the southern district is the one that if i were him, would be the one having me staring at the ceiling at night. >> now, that prediction from chris christie rings more true after this subpoena was filed this week by the sdny, the southern district of new york. the litany of possible crimes surrounding the inaugural committee is staggering. conspiracy against the u.s., false statements, wire frauding with money laundering, disclosure violations, contributions by foreign nations and so-called straw donors. what is that? an american given money that was given to him by a foreign entity. that's why you'll notice a distinct change in sarah sanders' typical, nothing to see here. listen to this. >> look, i'm reading the same reports you are. this doesn't have anything to do with the white house.
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>> has nothing to do with the white house? not nothing to do with the president. notice the change? keep in mind, whether it's the inaugural money, the payments to women, the trump organization's bu business practices or his now shuttered charity, who are the guys with the information? michael cohen, david pecker. remember him from aei, the enquirer deal. rick gates. allen weisselberg, they are all cooperating to different degrees with prosecutors. and the big concern for the president in terms of how to spin this, very hard to claim ignorance the way he is in the mueller probe of things that happened at his own businesses and charities for decades. so, how bad can it get? well, as i've said for a while, the mueller probe and this idea that it will end the presidency. i know it's being sold on it have all the time, probably right now, there could be a raft of major indictments coming.
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i don't know. but we haven't seen those yet. and if the report is, in fact, a tale of bad acts, poor ethnics -- ethics, and maybe the president knowing about some of the activities, not a crime. and probably not a crisis for the presidency and probably not impeachable. because that's about votes. and did you see the devotion from his party? would they really go against their president for their party for something short of a felony? however, politicians play no role with the southern district and state actions. the trump organization, the inaugural, those investigations can dig a whole lot deeper into trump world. as with all of this, we're going to have to wait and see what they find. right now, they are just allegations and reasons for investigation. but it's worth remembering, very early on, the president said, don't mess with my money. that's a red line. well, that line has now been
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erased and the democrats are coming for the president's taxes. we don't know where it's going to lead, but we do know that cuomo's court is here to mull over if what i just said is true, next. only fidelity offers four zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. and now we have zero account fees for brokerage accounts. at fidelity, those zeros really add up. ♪ so maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪
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follow the money. follow the money. it's one of the basic principles of investigation. well, looking into whether the president is financially compromised by foreign governments or others or whether his business practices have evidenced problems, that means that the past can come back to haunt the current presidency. and should it? cuomo's court is in session. asha rangappa and jim schultz. let's deal with the last question first. asha, this is too far back. it's before he was president. unless you have clear proof of somecontagion, this is huff and puff. what do you say? >> well, it is relevant to the broader picture, which is that we have someone sitting in the oval office who has immense power, particularly to shape
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foreign policy. so if that person might be beholden or have things in their past that could be used by foreign actors to coerce or persuade them to behave in certain ways, then that individual, the president of the united states, is actually unable to uphold their oath of office. so even if it's not criminal, it is from a national security perspective a legitimate concern and i think that is what the white house intelligence committee is looking to uncover. >> jim, young it's worth looking, because of the plaguing two questions we have? one, why do people around the president, including the president keep lying about russia? and two, why is he so nice to putin? >> well, there have been a lot of promises and a lot of democrats that got elected hadct this president needed to be impeached. and to a certain extent, the leadership needs to placate those folks and this may be a way to do it. there's nothing new according to
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the reports coming out of congress that's different from what the mueller investigation is looking at. so this is really duplicative in many ways and is going to be a political show at the end of the day. >> asha is shaking her head "no". >> we have to wait to see what the mueller report shows. >> we do. we do. >> we have to see what that counterintelligence investigation shows -- >> chris? >> and we need to let mueller do his job and not step on the toes of mueller while he's trying to do it. >> it's good to hear that last part, because certainly the president hasn't been following your advice. asha, what do you say? >> yeah, these are two different branches. so mueller is investigating out of the department of justice. congress is exercising its constitutional prerogative of oversight as a check on another branch. this is a part of our history. this happened in watergate, in iran contra, the tower commission investigated while lawrence walsh, the special prosecutor investigated. you know, the 9/11 commission
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investigated 9/11 while the fbi was conducting its criminal and counterintelligence investigati investigation. in particular, congress is accountable to the public, unlike mueller. mueller may not actually be able to release a public report, whereas congress is actually investigating this on behalf of the american people -- >> that better not true. >> so they can understand what russia did. >> did you just say that mueller is not -- the department of justice and mueller is not accountable to the public? certainly, he's accountable to the public. >> how so? >> certainly he has a -- >> he's accountable to the public because he's a public servant. >> so you agree he should produce a public report? >> let him make the point. you know why asha's saying it. we just had senator dick durbin on. hold on, just for context. just in case people weren't watching alas inin ining "a.c.
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had dick durbin say barr thinks the law may be tying his hands and may not allow him to release as much as he would like to. the mueller probe is not directly accountable to the american people, it is directly accountable to rosenstein or anyone who is overseeing him. that's what the mandate says. >> no, no, no. the department of justice is doing the work for the people of the united states in defending -- >> but we don't definitely get the report. >> but there are going to be portions of that report -- >> portions? >> without a doubt that are going to be confidential. >> you want portions? >> and there are going to be things that the house intelligence committee gathers that need to be confidential because of national security interests. so to say that everything that the congress finds is going to be transparent and distributed to the american people is just absolutely false. and remember, you have to think about the reasoning behind all of this to begin with was the fact that they're trying to placate the folks that got elected, that want to impeach
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this president without even seeing the mueller report. >> no, no, russia interfered and there was an ungodly amount of contact between the campaign and people who were up to no good and we want to know why and what. >> and republicans agreed, chris, republicans agreed that russians interfered with this election. republican members of congress and members of the senate agreed that premise. >> no, they didn't! the house intelligence committee concluded -- >> and they're looking at something new. it's just ridiculous. >> asha, rebut the point. >> yes. i mean, this half-hearted attempt by the house intelligence committee under republican control to -- they weren't actually even investigating russian interference. they were trying to investigate the fbi and reveal its sources. you cannot possibly say that that was, you know, any kind of serious investigation. i do think the senate intelligence committee has engaged in this investigation in a bipartisan manner, but i think the question we need to ask, as you've pointed out, chris, is that this is an attack on our
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country by a foreign adversary. this really should not be a partisan issue. and it's actually, i think, an abomination that we haven't had a bipartisan commission that was appointed from the very get-go, like there was in iran contra, for example. >> maybe that would have been a better way to go. maybe that would have been a better way to go, frankly, and just take it out of the sphere of influence at all. i think rosenstein's calculus was, everyone's going to love bob mueller. bob mueller is one of us. he's a republican. he's rock-ribbed guy. they're going to love him. but it's not compelling policy to hear we've got to be careful about classified information when jim jordan and all the brothers on the right were happy to blow up every fisa application and let go of all kinds of sources to reveal what they wanted to about the fbi. but let me ask you something else, chris christie says, if i'm with trump, i'm more worried about what they're doing at the southern district and eastern district than mueller. why? >> well, i think chris
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christie's absolutely right about that. because, look, that, again, chris, you said it earlier. that's not a political process at the end of the day. those are prosecutors in the southern district of new york and the eastern district of new york that are looking at the conduct of the trump organization and certainly the president and the folks at the trump organization who are being interviewed have to be concerned about that. anytime there's subpoenas served upon an entity, there has to be concern. that doesn't mean that there's guilt. that doesn't mean -- that doesn't mean that we should jump to conclusions. but certainly, there has to be concern there. >> asha, the idea -- >> can i add on to that, chris? >> please. please, do. >> yes, because it's so rare that jim and i agree. and i agree with everything that he just said. and i just want to add, the other reason that trump needs to be afraid is that mueller is essentially confined by the regulations that he's appointed under. he has a specific scope. he can be fired.
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these things are not true for the southern district. they can actually investigate any violation of federal law that they uncover. there are no red lines. they can't be fired. and this can go as far back or in any direction that they want to go. so that is a huge problem for the president, because that's not something that he can fire and make go away, which i don't think he can do it for mueller, either, but he can't even entertain that possibility. >> once again, you two have proven why i depend on you so audience. even if you don't agree, you make the audience more aware and do better than i ever could by myself. so, thank you. asha and jimmy, appreciate it. so the president was ranting big-time about illegal immigration last night, and we expected that. but while he was ranting about the brown menace and how you have to be careful about the migrants coming up -- i call it the brown menace, that's what i think he's building with this farcical crisis -- two people were watching him in the gallery.
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on social divides. listen to this, because it's relevant. >> wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders, while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. meanwhile, working class americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration. >> now, obviously, the president is the best protected person in the country. and he's certainly very wealthy. that's all fine. that's not the hypocrisy. the hypocrisy comes in here. he's part of the problem when it comes to immigration, as he sees it, because he hires illegal workers. not once, for years. not one place, many. at least the golf clubs, at least five of them have hired undocumented workers. now, many of them are being purged from his properties because of the reports that have surfaced and trump officials have had a hand in their hiring. that's a key component.
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how do i know? anibal ramiro, he represents over two dozen of the undocumented workers who have recently been pushed out. you saw him here before and he's back. to remind, they come to you and say, look, i'm undocumented. but they knew that. they hired me. they hired a lot of us. they helped me get papers. they pointed me in the right direction. when i got uncomfortable, i wanted to do something else, they said, you leave, you lose. is that all true? >> that is what they are saying. when victorino morales spoke back in december, i started receiviing anonymous calls for people bwho claimed to work for the trump organization in various states. i am now up to 30. they're telling me the group is much larger. the golf season ends in november and many of them left for the year. probably they won't be hired, because many of them, and my clients are saying that at least
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half of his staff at each golf club was undocumented, and that's the situation right now. >> so let's say they're completely off-base, all right? have you been able to vet at least those 25 to see if, they are, in fact undocumented, although that would be a weird thing to lie about, and that they do have some form of proof that they worked at a trump-owned or controlled business? >> yes. i have seen pay stubs for all 25 clients. and what's interesting is, all of my clients were not paid health benefits. and according to them, other workers were paid health benefits, retirement plans. my question is, why weren't the undocumented immigrants paid health benefits? because you're not entitled. you're not -- right. >> so the only explanation is that they knew. >> you're using it as not, give them health care, that's a different argument for another day, you're saying it's proof that they were aware. >> yes. >> so then they start to find out. the reports start to come out. what has happened to the workers that you represent? >> well, during the government shutdown, the trump organization, according to what
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my clients are saying, conducted an audit of businesses and the permanent employees -- remember, the temporary ones all left. the permanent employees were fired. they were brought into an office and they were asked, are you legal? in some cases, they were just informally asked on the golf club, are you legal? well, you have to leave. and what's interesting is, when the bedminster golf club story came out, one of my clients who works in hudson valley, apparently his manager said to him, don't worry about it, this is limited to the bedminster, no one's going to talk about this. well, now this happened in five different golf clubs. we don't know of others, but we are talking about a large number of people who lost their job. and again, that's why we've been asking for a complete and thorough investigation, a review of business records will show that they have hired numerous undocumented immigrants throughout the years. >> and right now, we're just talking golf clubs. obviously, there are a lot of
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buildings with trump's name on them, there are hotels, et cetera, some he has control of, many he does not, but you haven't even looked there yet. it's just the golf clubs, because that's the community tha that knows you. and also, let's be careful of the concern. this ain't knew. this is what happens all over the country in all kinds of industries, especially the service industry, which is where the golf club falls under. so that's not your beef, that people are hiring undocumented workers, that's part of the economic reality in this country. it's that the president is demonizing these people, he's telling people, beware the brown menace, he doesn't call it that, that's my characterization of what he's saying, and yet he's hiring at the same time. is there any way he could not know in your opinion? >> i don't know if he personally knew, but what my clients are telling me, supervisors knew, managers knew, general managers knew. and here's the difference, it isn't illegal to work in the united states. and we know they're working, there are 11 million people here. many of them have jobs, most of them have jobs. >> they believe 8 of 11 million
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undocumented workers are in the workforce. >> what were happening in these golf clubs, the managers were physically assaulting certain clients. i have one client who said he was struck with a metal object. he filed a police report. i have victorino morales who complained of years of threats of deportation. and what she is saying is this changed dramatically when he became president and these supervisors would listen to him on tv talk about immigrants. >> and now they have a new problem. the smart thing to do, forgive the cynicism, would be to deport these people and get them out of here. but it's complicated now. they could have done that before all of this, but now that there are some early investigations of some of these matters, yes, so what happens if you deport them? >> well, first of all, at this point, they are all material witnesses of a major federal crime. a multi-state conspiracy. and any attempt to remove them
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from the united states is obstruction of justice. and that's why we travel to washington, we spoke to members of the senate -- >> you were at the state of the union with a couple of these people? >> yes, we were there last night, but we also traveled last week to washington. i believe that members of the house are circulating a letter. i believe senator menendez from new jersey is also asking for protection for these workers. >> is there any official investigation yet? >> i'm not going to discuss that, that you would have to ask. but what i will say is that i've sat down with the fbi to discuss this. i've had contact with new jersey attorney generals' office. and new york state authorities are contacting me to discuss these matters. >> and you've done your due diligence, because you know it's like professionally the death sentence for you if these people aren't who they say they are. >> absolutely. 25 of them with pay stubs and i've seen documents and we've handed these documents over to authorities. >> and none have been deported yet. >> no, and there's no reason to deport them. >> well, that will be a case to be made. we'll see what happens.
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counselor, thank you. we'll stay in the loop on this. "the washington post" and "new york times" reporting. we had you early on, we'll stay on it. it matters. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. now, we all know how much the president loves measurements of his success, polls. well, he's got a new one for you and he wants you to be honest. he asks, please, be honest. wait until you see what the president did the next day after calling for unity, next. ♪ ♪ glad you're back how you feeling? ♪ ♪
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so just a day after the president's state of the union address where he said, we must all choose to be better and to unify for the country, he sent me a note, asking what i thought about his speech. here's the official poll. now, perhaps you thought it was good. maybe even great or better yet, historic. well, i hope it's one of those, because those are your only choices. if you thought it was anything else, you're out of luck. because that's all the president wants to know, as you can see here in question one. let's bring in d. lemon. good, great, or historic? >> hang on, i'm marking my ballot here, so i can send it in. um -- >> i love that this got sent to
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me. chris, we need your help! and then he says, do you believe democrats only say they don't want a wall to harass our great president? yes, no, no opinion? do you believe democrats should celebrate our great success instead of obstructing it? yes, no, no opinion. >> it's multiple choice. it's how i got through college! >> the day after he says no more petty politics, no more poisonous, you know, personal politics, let's unify, that's what they send out. >> well, it's interesting, "how do you think i did, an honest assessment." it should be an honest assessment, it's not. none of those things is ever honest. >> no, it's propaganda. >> and the next day, there will be a fund-raising thing that will come out. i have one like that that i got from the first lady and i keep it. i'm like, look, i got a letter from the first lady, but i don't even know what's inside of it. >> you know, kellyanne said a
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clever thing, i really hope people listen to the message and not just the messenger. and i was like, i wonder why she said that. he has 80 something percent of independents, even more of republicans, they liked what was in the speech. yeah! but that message is only good as the man or woman giving it. and he's completely inauthentic, asking for unity, when right in the same speech, he attacks the democrats and then this comes out the next day. >> you know what she's basically saying, right? is what i always say, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. it's exactly -- this is wizard of oz stuff here. so, yeah, that's a little weird. but i don't know about the message, either. i watched it, i actually fell asleep and then woke back up. i don't know, the whole thing about a socialist country and all of that, that was a little odd.
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>> a great label. >> and him with the -- >> well, he was forecasting right there. that's what he's going to do for 2020. do you want your country to be -- >> and they showed bernie, they show ed aoc. she's got three letters now. that means she's believe it or not, i do. >> she certainly wants it. whether she's ready for it, we'll see. >> well, she's young. she hasn't done anything yet. but we'll see. she's young. give her a chance. usually you can tell when someone has the oomph, the gum shun, the stamina. we'll see how that all plays out. speaking of a divided nation, the state of the union is supposed to bring us all together. >> mm-hmm. >> someone who has covered this and has forgotten more than we will ever know is going to join me on this program. >> who? >> do you know who it is? >> no. >> you know him. you worked with him. the great sam donaldson? >> oh, is he? >> yes. got a lot of questions for that guy. >> i had a show with him. >> i got a question for him,
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including how the hell did you survivor for so long. >> me? >> no. me. this is killing me. not you, me. >> he's the best. awesome booking. >> yeah. what was your show? >> it was called abc news now, and we had a segment called stump sam where people would ask him questions from political history, and he never got them wrong. he used to say to me, chris, that's the worst thing you've ever said. and he'd say that every day. >> that's a good sam donaldson. >> i heard a lot of it. he's the best. >> he would go round and round with presidents, right? he'll tell you about that. i can't wait to talk to him. i'm glad you told me that. i'll see you soon. >> i'll see you. all right. d. lemon. sam donaldson. so the president told you last night our economy, what's going on here is miraculous. no, it isn't. it's a function of choices and fundamentals, and he made some choices that made a divine difference, but for whom? facts first. a truth you must know, next.
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the president's signature economic achievement belies a dangerous reality and betrays a fundamental disservice to the people who voted for him. here is the president's boast. >> the u.s. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when i took office, and we are
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considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. >> the second line first. clever but a connivance. we're considered the hottest. by whom? him? we're certainly not the fastest growing. that's a fact. the first line, however, has a kernel of truth but demands context and concern. the economy was growing at one .8% when he took office. latest estimates, 3.4. almost twice. true. true. but why is it up? two main reasons for consideration. we're still recovering from the great recession that fell during the last gop administration. hence many of the labor participation and wage stats that the presidents like, growth, highs, they're often still below where we were pre-recession. the second reason is the big concern. the president juiced the economy with a tax cut that fed the fat.
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not only was it not paid for such that we have deficits that make conservatives do what they do best these days, hide. but eventually 83 cents of every dollar will go to the top, not to the middle class that the president promised relief. the numbers bear that out. some companies gave bonuses with tax savings. most did not. what they did was take care of their investors, buying back their shares. $1 trillion in stock buybacks by big businesses. the latest evidence of this makes my argument obvious. banks, one of the main ingredients of the recession we're still recovering from. what did they do with their tax savings? bloomberg is reporting that the biggest u.s. banks saved $21 billion thanks to the trump tax cuts. that's four times more than he's asking for his farcical wall. it's also more than nasa asked for for the year for context. headline, where did the bulk of
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the savings go? shareholders. the banks reportedly increased dividends and stock buybacks 23%. that's an extra $28 billion, all a reward to shareholders and investors. wait a minute. what about the average joe? what about the stocks in their 401(k)s? 84% of all stocks are owned by americans belonging to the richest 10% of households, okay? now, did they take care of workers at all? yes, says bank of america. $1,000 bonuses. also cut nearly 5,000 workers. wells fargo boosted its minimum wage to $15 an hour, pointing to the tax savings, then cut 4,000 jobs. now to be fair, other banks did hire, but there's still a net loss of thousands of jobs across the industry for 2018. wages did go up for workers still on the job.
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but, again, context. they did not go up in proportion to the extra savings from the tax cut. they're actually getting a smaller slice of the pie than before. let's pick another measure, lending. did you get more money from the banks? did you help those in need? yes. bloomberg reports they increased their loans by 2.3%. but that's slower than the year before. be clear of my criticism. it's not about what businesses and banks did or what the wealthy did. they can do what they want. self-serving interest is one of the purer forms of capitalism. i'm not criticizing the decisions. i'm calling out the catalyst. the president took tax revenue that he clearly needed and gave it back in the name of helping those who helped put him in office, giving them a leg up on the 1%. that was the promise. he betrayed that promise. he gave a short-term jolt to the economy by feeding the well-fed,
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not lifting those who are truly hungry. so if he's going to brag about his economy, fine. but he better own the winners and losers because they go on his account as well. facts first. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight with don lemon" starts right now. >> i can get into everyone says, you know, the tax cuts juiced the economy, and they're worried about inflation and all that. but i don't want to get into a bernie sanders/lloyd blankfein twitter fight on the air. >> which one am i on that? i want to be blankfein by the way. >> i want to be lloyd too, by the way. >> no. no. i already took him. >> well, i won't say anything. >> look, everybody wants a tax cut. i remember i said that on "new day" once. obviously i was with alitionsyn camerota. she said, i don't want a tax cut. i don't think i need one. nobody says that. everybody wants a tax


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