tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 8, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
a beer. >> reporter: they're part of leaders that served in iraq and afghanistan but also the first millennials to run for president. the constitution settled the question of age, you must be 35 but voters will have the final say. >> jeff, thank you. the town halls are sunday night 7:00 eastern on cnn. anderson starts next. good evening, the suggestion that a public servant has loyalties to a foreign power or group is as old as it is offensive. john kennedy was accused of owing allegiance to the pope. over the years muslims, catholics, soeshlgists, free masons and others have been accused of having duel loyalty but no group has dealt with it more often than jewish americans, which is why tonight we're tackling the subject head on, which is what critics say is
more than democrats have done. they're trying to figure out how to handle ilhan omar's anti-semitic comments. prior to that responding to a tweet from journalist glen gr n greenwald he said the cost of free speech in this country, omar replied, it's all about the benjamins. she's since apologized and tried to change the subject saying at the same time i reaffirm the role of lobbyists in our politics, it's gone on too long and we must be willing to address it. yesterday the house passed a resolution on hate and intolerance, largely in response to the congresswoman's recent remarks, the resolution is taking heat on a number of
fronts, particularly it's so broad it's almost meaningless and the democrats are still taking heat because it's not a specific condemnation of anything. keeping them honest, all of this has allowed president trump to take a stand, it's allowed him to weigh in on the controversy. here's what he said about the vote this morning. >> i thought yesterday's vote by the house was disgraceful because it's become -- the democrats have become an anti-israel party, an anti-jewish party. and i thought that vote was a disgrace, and so does everybody else if you get an honest answer. if you get an honest answer from politicians they thought it was a disgrace. the democrats have become an an anti-israel party, an anti-jewish party. >> that's the slogan he repeated
twice. and tweeted it is shameful that house democrats won't take a stronger stand against anti-semitism in their conference, anti-semitism has fuelled atrocities throughout history. there's plenty to criticize about the democrats' response, but keeping them honest it's more than rich to hear the president criticize anyone for not condemning anti-semitism when he had such a hard time condemning this. white nationalists and ne-yo nazis in public, chanting jews will not replace us, in a weekend that ended with a protester running his car into
an anti-protester. >> you had people -- very fine people on both sides. excuse me, i saw the same pictures as you did. >> very fine people on both sides. which could mean he needs glasses. the other is maybe anti-semitism doesn't move the needle for him unless he's attacking political opponents. he's shown similar fp situations. he refused to say anything about steve king. he didn't say the republican party is the pro-white supremacists party which would be the equivalent of what he said today about the democrat party being anti-jewish. just like he didn't say anything condemning david duke. when pressed on it by jake tapper, he falsely denied even knowing the man.
>> just so you understand, i don't think anything about david duke, okay. i don't know what you're talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. so i don't know. i don't know, did he endorse me or what's going on because i know nothing about david duke. i know nothing about white supremacists. >>, in fact, he knew who duke was and had condemned him in the past. in addition to that, certain aspects of his twitter feed and official campaign material appeared to adopt, in some people's opinions, anti-semitic tropica trops. there was the six pointed star, and a pile of cash most corrupt candidate ever, an image that was posed to an anti-semitic message board. the star of david looking shape was called, quote, the sheriff's badge which he said fit with the theme of corrupt hillary. which must be why the
anti-semitic website posted it as well. right. the explanation does provide the veneer of deniable. associating a six pointed star with money for example or using images of money and powerful jewish americans, as the announcer talks about sinister global forces controlling american lives. >> for those who control the levers of power in washington and the global special interest, they partner with these people that don't have your good in mind. >> this is by the way -- this is a trump campaign commercial. it was the final ad of the campaign, the closing arguments, and it can be read two ways, which may or may not be intentional. it didn't end there. the president has continued to attack george soros connecting him to migrant caravans in mexicos, he's funding with his global billions a foreign invasion of this country which
has a ring to it, doesn't it? joins us is senator richard bloom bloomenthal, thank you for joining us. are you concerned the house hasn't reputeiated senator omar? >> first, anderson thank you for tackling this very, very important issue and a very sensitive one. the president's comments are plainly ludicrous. they are deeply wrong and regrettable. what he's doing is essentially trying to again divide us, seeking to distract from his own troubles, resorting to demagoguery about a resolution that was overwhelming supported by a bipartisan majority. and the majority of republicans supporting it, along with every
democratic member of the united states house of representatives, and what it expressed was american values, denouncing, anti-semitism, anti-islam bigotry, racism. we ought to be trying to overcome the rising incidents of hate crimes rather than resorting to this deeply wrong and regrettable demagoguery. >> the back story on the resolution, initially it was going to be directed towards the comments that congressman omar had made using anti-semitic tops. and then other democrats didn't want that or wanted -- you can argue they didn't want to criticize, you know, another democrat in a resolution, and so they made it broader. they added in other groups, all of which is understandable. but in this particular instance, the argument is it essentially
made it so broad it was not really a rebuke of the comments made by congressman omar. congresswoman omar. what the house leadership chose to do was make it broader, and include racism, anti-semitism, rather than finger pointing. here's the important point anderson in my view, as a supporter of israel. we need to avoid politicizing support for israel. that support has always been bipartisan. i've helped to lead military support for israel through the armed services committee. the votes there have been unanimous on almost every occasion. the last time we authorized in the united states senate, it was done by unanimous consent. that's a powerfully necessary condition of our support for israel, bipartisanship unity, and what is happening here, unfortunately, is the president
is trying to politicize and weaponize this issue on a very partisan basis. >> republicans in the house, pulled congressman steve king's rhetoric. he's been spouting it for years but they finally did punishment. do you think what congresswoman omar said was anti-semitic. >> i think we can always be critical of our friends and sometimes our criticism is meant as very constructive? sometimes those remarks are unfortunate, words have consequences. but the effort here was to stop hate crimes, stop the rising trend of youth of the kind of terms that the president has done in saying that there are good people on both sides when he's referring to swastika carrying neo-nazi's using an add
that anti-semitic. it's very risky. >> plenty of people watching are going to say look, it's easy to blame the president when you're a democrat, it's harder to blame another democrat perhaps. but do you think what she said was anti-semitic? >> if it was used -- >> if it was using anti-semitic tropes. >> if the house leadership decided to blame individuals, donald trump might well have been on that list. and the effort to broaden it where, to make it about american values i think is very, very important to do, rather than in effect breaking that bipartisan support for israel and for the denunciation of anti-semitism in whatever form it may arise.
>> senator blummenthal thank yo very much. bakari, it seems like democrats are unwilling to criticize one of their own. they're willing to criticize president trump but if they're going to do that, shouldn't they hold someone who's a democrat accountable. >> yes, i disagree with everything the senator said. i love and respect him for everything he's done in the country. but this is an opportunity for democrats to show moral clarity. an opportunity for us to stand up and say anti-semitism is wrong in this country we don't support it, full stop. there's no trying to straddle the fence. when this vote happened, democrats said they're against anti-semitism, meatloaf, the cowboys and everything. we have to be a party who's willing to stand up and say
we're against anti-semitism. with that being said i wish this was handled in a closed door fashion, i wish they were able to go in a back room or maybe at the democratic club have a conversation about why words matter and language is important. that did not happen. but what we got was we lost some ground and we didn't show the country we could lead with moral clarity on this issue. that's unfortunate. this was a missed opportunity. >> michael, how damaging do you think this is for democrats? the fact is the president is now clearly using this line the democratic party is anti-israel and anti-semitic. you can say it's outrageous, you can say it's effective, but did the democrats by their own actions, hand him that opportunity? >> i think so. i think i agree with bakari wholeheartedly, i was shaking my head when even senator bloom
enthat will couldn't call her house. the resolution passed today was gutless, i thought. the house of representatives is rarely a profile in courage, whether it's the republicans in charge or the democrats. the one thing here i have to disagree with my friends on the republican side if we did a resolution on this regard, we wouldn't make it broad like that but we wouldn't call out the member by name. we never would do that, we wouldn't do that in the house of representatives. i served there i know. but the president has identified what is a rift in the democratic party. they have a real problem with this freshman class. representative omar is not the only one who speaks in these terms and makes wild comments. i think nancy pelosi is trying to get a handle on this. she is a very capable person, the speaker, but her answer to this thing is along the lines of she has a different experience in the use of words. this woman is 39.5 years old, representative omar she's been
in the united states for 25 years. the one thing i want to point out, anderson, before i hand it back, yesterday david duke was giving high fives to representative omar and how she's brave calling out the government because the tropes she was using are tropes david duke using. i know during the campaign everyone was saying president trump must disavow david duke. i'm going to take it on faith that representative omar is not in favor of david duke, but it cuts both ways. >> first of all, it's one of the things that i think president trump's -- one of his great skills is honing in on, you know, something that's in front of everybody but it doesn't actually have a name, whether it's low energy jeb or whatever, and i think this has allowed him the opportunity to hone in on this. you can say it's outrageous the way he's saying that the
democratic party is anti-israel and anti-semitic. but the other side, without the president have more credibility if he condemned congressman steve king's white nationalist, kevin mcarthur stood up to king -- >> i understand that. i have the same feeling about that as i do about being screamed at for you must disavow and she must disavow david duke. we know she doesn't like david duke. i know the president doesn't like white nationalism. i know the president isn't fond of what steve king said. here's the thing i want to say. i'll recognize the reality here. republicans have been trying to get support among the jewish community for many, many years and we failed at doing that. still the majority of jews in america support the democratic party. i think the president sees an opportunity here and while speaker pelosi is having an
issue trying to control her freshman class, i think the president and others in the leadership of the republican party see a way to peel some of that back. >> bakari, do you think congresswoman omar should keep her assignments, the criticism of a double stander is not going to go away certainly. >> should she keep her committee assignments? i think first we need to have a conversation, and that conversation with chairman engel and representative omar needs to be having behind closed doors and we need to caution how words matter and how they're important. i know my colleague says she's old enough to discern that, but she needs to be told that. i think if we were stripping individuals of committee assignments based on rhetoric, i'm not sure any republican up there or a vast majority of them would have committee assignments in the first place. that's also missing the point. the point is you can be critical
of israel, critical size benjamin netanyahu for corruption, criticize the fact you have instances of police brutality against immigrants, you can talk about those type of things but you can't delve into anti-semitism because you make a kn nuanced conversation difficult to have. that's my issue with representative omar we cannot delve into these anti-semitic trops. whether she keeps her assignment or not, that's beyond the point. i want democrats to say we are against all forms of anti-semitism full stop. the president of the united states does not have any high ground on the issue because he's somebody who believes on both sides when it depends on him. i just wish the democrats would have seized the moment. we missed the ball on this. >> thank you both. coming up next, why the president's latest chief of
communications is leaving. maybe nobody can do the job. later the actor that conjured a hoax learned the charges against him, jusse smollett, his attorney joins us ahead. if you feel like you spend too much time in the bathroom with recurring constipation and belly pain talk to your doctor and say yesss! to linzess. ♪ ♪ yesss! linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. linzess can help relieve your belly pain and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements. linzess is not a laxative. it works differently to help you get ahead of your recurring constipation and belly pain. do not give linzess to children less than 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to less than 18, it may harm them. do not take linzess if you have a bowel blockage.
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time, the warping of the space time continueup that makes it hard to know whether something happened two years ago or last tuesday. i don't know if you have that but many of us in the news business have that. that's why today in addition to learning bill shine is leaving for chief of communication, we were staggered to learn he's been on the job for eight months. it feels like last tuesday we were saying hello to this guy. >> i'll meet with him, but i don't want to waste his time and sit in the oval office unnecessarily. thank you. >> he lasted a week and a half. by comparison, bill shine, the former top guy at fox news, lasted an eternity. reportedly he's leaving for a
job in the campaign because the president was upset at the headlines lately. also in the wake of the new yorker story in ties between fox news and the white house. the president is said to be concerned about perceptions, the relationship appears too koez superintenden cozy. the president blaming bill shine for his bad headlines. the president who finds himself his own best publicist. the same man that called up tabloids, pretending to be his own publicist. it's somewhat harder now if you want to get good headlines, you need to have good things, do good things. it's simple. to the extent the president can, as with the economy, he gets the credit. to the extent on the other hand that the news is about former associates on trial or testifying to congress or a summit going poorly, the headlines will be bad and they
have been. as far as the reported concerns about perceptions at the white house being too cozy with fox, it's tough for bill shine to do anything about that when the president tweets just this morning, thank you "fox & friends." great shows. jim acosta has been doing reporting on this what are you hearing? >> reporter: the headlines write themselves over here, bill shine or no bill shine. why he left, we're hearing the president felt like he wasn't getting good press coverage out of his communications director and he had been questioning bill shine over the last few months, how they handled the communications on the government shutdown or the midterms. and a lot of that, as you were mentioning a few moments ago, that responsibility lies with the president. so it's a head scratcher how he can place blame on bill shine for this, but they have to place it on somebody.
i will say, though, anderson, i talked to a source close to the white house, talked to the president from time to time earlier today, the source said the fox news concern is real. the new yorker article that came out this week really detailing and delving into the relationship between the white house and fox news, that is starting to make people nervous inside the white house, whether or not it makings the president nervous remains to be seen. he just tweeted about "fox & friends" this morning. but bill shine changed the way the white house delivers information to the american people. the press briefings have been shut down, we've had one press briefing in the last 79 or 80 days. instead of those briefings top white house officials would come out to the fox news position here on the white house lawn, and we have to catch them going in. that's the shine effect and it's helpful to fox news but it's not
generated better press coverage for the president. >> when you talk about the lack of white house briefings -- >> reporter: it's incredible. >> how can it be just now people in the white house are waking up that there's this relationship with fox news and there's been a lot of hires from fox news to the white house? not just in communications positions. in actual staffing positions. >> reporter: anderson i think they've gotten so use to the sim bee yours truly you can relationship and they feel like it's worked well for them because they can watch one channel of cable news and feel everything is going swimmingly here. when they look outside the window and there are officials who still look outside the window and look at the real world, they understand things are not going well, when the president's former personal attorney is testifying on capitol hill accusing the president of crimes, and the jobs report comes out showing
20,000 jobs created in the last month. and it's obvious to people inside the white house, even though reality is sometimes a challenge here, that things are not going in the right direction. when things don't go in the right direction, people sometimes lose their job. the question is whether or not the person who's really the communications director here, the president of the united states, will see that. and there are doubts inside the white house and people close to him who wonder if he'll grasp that reality. >> jim acosta, thank you. now to the president's thinking by someone who covers it more than most, maggie habermann. what's your understanding of why bill shine is actually leaving the white house? >> so bill shine when he announced he was leaving to his colleagues, knowing it was about to be made public soon, he said there were two reasons he was leaving one he was leading a life of solitude in washington, he missed his family, he ate alone every night, spent most of
his time alone, i think that is true. he complained about that for a while. but he also said he had become a distraction for the president and he was going to continue to be a distraction. it's not clear whether he was talking about his tenure at fox news or there are future stories coming out. my understanding this has been coming for several days, a small group of people who knew about it, the president did not seem particularly worked up about it, i don't think they had a great deal of chemistry. ironically bill shine lasted the longest in this job of six people who have had it. >> it's incredible when you think six people have had the j job. it says a lot about -- i don't know what it says a lot about, but the president and the job itself. >> it says a lot about the job itself for this president, who does not believe in a cohesive messaging strategy the way we've come to think of it with other presidents. this is someone who likes to run
with his own message and serve as his own spokesman. it is true, if you think about it there are no more press briefings, there are gaggles some of his aides do and the stops that the president does or interviews he does. there's only one person pushing the message and it's the president. there's not a lot bill shine or anyone else can do with that. >> the president trump know bill shine well before he was offered the job? i would assume he didn't if once he's there he realizes he doesn't have much feeling for him one way or the other? >> in fairness to shine, i think the president has grand ideas of what people are going to be able to do in order to change his media coverage and it can't come to pass because some of these are not great fact sets. they didn't have a huge relationship beforehand. bill shine is close with sean hannity, who the president is close with.
a lot of people talked up bill shine to the president. the president believed he was going to be, in donald trump's words, a killer. somebody who was going to be able to strongly impact the media coverage around the president and it became clear after a couple months that nothing much was changing. bill shine was really well liked by his colleagues but over time many would say the same thing over and over again, he didn't have grand ideas. what he was willing to do was absorb a lot of the heat from the president that flows downhill towards the staff. he was willing to take some of the bruises in these fights and that meant a lot to his colleagues. at a certain point that stops being useful to donald trump. >> obviously the president and fox news have close relationships. one would think would else but a former fox executive would be equipped to build on that and to fill this role. again, as you said, it's -- the president is the communications director and seems more than
happy to be that. >> if anything, i don't know how much of a value add you need with fox news. right, the president has his own relationships with a lot of the anchors there. he has his own relationship with rupert murdoch. he has a fair number of other relationships. i think bill shine was helpful -- a number of officials have said to me over time -- with discreetly helping out in certain situations, reaching out to producers of certain shows and trying to get interviews with people that the white house didn't want on killed or pushing for a change. that in the president's mind has a value add. it's not typically what a communications director does and it isn't much more on top of the relationships the president has himself. >> do you think the president is going to fill the job again? >> i do, i don't know it will be the way it was. bill shine's title wasn't quite communications director, it was deputy chief of staff for something or other. there are a lot of people who have some communications title.
there i suspect will be someone else who gets that title or a title of that nature. i think he's in a bit of a wait and see mode right now. >> the interesting thing about this white house, it would be possible his title was deputy chief of something or other. can you imagine how amazing that would be. you're just the deputy chief of something or other. >> this just in in the next two years, we'll see. >> maggie haberman, thanks very much. ahead paul manafort awaits another sentencing next week as as you probably enjoy, as the court of public opinion is still wrestling with the surprising light one he got yesterday. is there equal justice in this country? you heard that debate today. plus more breaking news, jusse smollett's legal problems multiplied tonight, brand new developments on his alleged hoax coming up. cribe to a car the way they subscribe to movies. we don't follow the naysayers.
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to throw the book at a central figure of his russia investigation. last night a judge threw what some considered a giant pass to paul manafort. it's ignited some outrage particularly those who have spent a lot of time fighting for equal justice like presidential candidate kamala harris. >> we are looking at further evidence in america's judicial system of absolute unfairness where white collar versus other types of crimes does not -- people commit white collar crimes they should be prepared
to bring their toothbrush and spend as much time behind bars as anyone else. >> i want to bring in ken cutch nellie and van jones. van, do you agree with senator harris? >> look, quite obviously. you've seen people like meek mill, served more time, been on probation for years and years. he got a two-year return to prison sentence for popping a wheelie. for lifting his motorcycle's wheel off the ground, he got two years for that. when you have that kind of stuff going on in communities across america, it's very, very difficult for us who are used to seeing big sentences come down for small stuff to see something this big go down. the other thing i wanted to say, usually if you wind up lying to the feds, play silly games with the feds, you get a house dropped on you. forget it, nobody is going to
come to your aid ands are kus. the idea he not only did the underlying crimes but he's not been honest with the feds, he's getting away with that. hopefully next week there will be an adjustment. but those who know how justice is meted out, especially in poor communities, is shocked by that sentence. ken, what do you think of that? if you're a white man with money, can afford a great defense attorney you can get off with a far lighter sentence or a very light sentence? >> i think maybe anybody with money. oj simpson trial was run while i was in law school. and if the glove don't fit you must acquit kind of thing, and it worked. that was interesting. one of my law professors pointed out why that case was interesting. it wasn't because oj simpson was black, it was because the defense could match the
prosecution's resources, that almost never happens. i can tell you as a former attorney general, that almost never happens. so people with money can afford to do things that people without money can't afford to do. now having said that, i do not think that a politically charged case like this is a good data point for the broader discussion about fairness in critical sentencing. look, van and i work together on the same side on that criminal justice reform that passed last year. i think we have many similar feelings about the system in total, but when it comes to taking a case like this and drawing broader generalizations, i think that's a big mistake. to van's point about people who lie to the feds get the house dropped on them, that's next week's case. none of that was really involved in the sentencing this week. all of those issues arise next week. >> van, is it just a question of
money? getting -- means better lawyers and -- >> well, anderson, don't overstate it. i think that's the biggest factor. >> you said that's the biggest factor. >> the statistics just don't lie here. it's unfortunate. at every stage of our critical justice system, if you are a person of color you get worse treatment even when you control for income, for neighborhood, for educational attainment. african-american and white americans use drugs, illegal drugs at exactly the same rate, study after study shows that. and yet african-americans are six times more likely to go to prison for illegal drug use. you can come up with a lot of explanatio explanations, if it's 20% more, 50% times more, 12% times more, that shows there's systemic bias
we have to deal with. but it's all too often the case that people who have all kinds of privilege, whether it's money, race, education, background, they wind up getting a better break. brian stephenson has become almost like the martin luther king of our time working on these issues says it is actually better to be poor -- it's better to be rich and guilty than poor and innocent. that's how badly we've gotten off with the system. i think it's fair to talk about it. the other thing i want to say, i know for sure next week -- i hope, we'll see some more justice. but i don't understand why this judge went above and beyond just giving this, i think, insulting sentence, to praise the guy, to say he's otherwise blameless. i don't think paul manafort has a high opinion of himself as this judge did. it's just a bizarre case. and i think it does send the message of a double standard.
>> ken, do you think this judge kind of went beyond just, you know, giving this sentence as van said? >> i think -- i think judge ellis as we were talking about last night, anderson, kind of projected his view of how the case was being conducted. we may never know for sure, but i think that clearly played a role in him giving a sentence well below what the prosecutors were asking for here. and -- but i think he projected it. in the same way judge jackson, who's going to sentence this coming week has also projected her displeasure with the three of the five alleged incidents of lying with the special counsel after entering a plea deal, she found three of them to be legitimate claims by the special
prosecutor. so odds are you're going to see that reflected in the sentence. >> ken and van, thank you. don't miss the van jones show saturday night, he's one on one with the new democrats making waves in washington. new trouble for "empire" star jusse smollett tonight, the sweeping indictment that could send the actor to prison. his defense attorney is going to join us to talk about it. we'll be right back. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
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breaking news in the jusse smollett case. the "empire" star tonight faces 16 new felony counts of making false statements to investigators after claiming to be the victim of a racial and homophobic attack in chicago in january. in a moment we'll be joined by his defense attorney, mark geragos. jusse smollett has been out on bail since being charged last month with a single count. he claimed his supposed attackers threw chemicals at him, put a noose around his neck and shouted this is maga country. but now police say he paid two brothers for this. surveillance video shows them buying a ski mask and red hat amongst other items.
how did he go from facing one count to facing 16? >> what it appears prosecutors are doing here is every crime jusse smollett claimed he was a victim of that is one count against him because they're saying that is one lie he told to authorities. they say, in fact, he told his story twice, first to a police officer, then to a detective. so that doubles it up. that takes it up to 16 counts. even if he's found guilty of all 16 counts, the sentencing guidelines are 2.5 years in prison or 1 to 3 years probation. remember as you said, jusse smollett claimed he was attacked in the early morning hours of january 29th in chicago by two men who put a noose around his neck, shouted racist and homophobic epithets at him. two men were arrested and they told the police and grand jury that jusse smollett had cut him a check for $3,500, he organize
strakted the entire thing and they were going along with his plan. now jusse smollett is out on bond. the superintendent of police said he believes smollett did this because he wasn't getting enough money to appear on the "empire" tv show and that's why he did it, and he's since been suspended from the show. but they're claiming jusse smollett sent a letter, a hate mail to himself, and there's no mention of that letter anywhere in these 16 counts. basically what they're saying here is jusse smollett lied to police and he knew he was lying when he was telling them that story. anderson? >> he's still saying he's completely innocent? >> reporter: absolutely. he maintained his innocence throughout. and his lawyers have also said they believed that the investigation was flawed and
they point to a number of leaks they say both true and false that came out of the investigation. interestingly enough the chicago police did tell us yesterday they've launched an internal investigation into those leaks. so he is fully maintaining his innocence we heard from the lawyers saying this is prosecutorial overkill. and that jusse adamantly maintains his innocence. >> nic, appreciate it very much. let's talk to his defense attorney, mark geragos. thank you for being with us. what's your response to the 16 felony counts he's now facing? is this right that it's basically one count for each alleged lie that he told? >>, you kno you know, anderson, he were supposedly the one who orchestrated this, this is an outrage. the fact that he maintains his innocence makes it more outrageous. 16 counts? i defy anybody to find any
indictment anywhere where somebody has brought 16 counts for being a victim of a -- of a hate crime, basically. the problem with this case, and it started with i think -- >> but they're not bringing -- >> hold on for one second, anderson. they're bringing 16 counts because they parsed out two statements. he was not suspended. they have not talked to one person at fox who has said he was dissatisfied with his money. they have not interviewed one person connected with the show empire that says he was dissatisfied with his money. they're the ones that started the internal investigation about the leaks because all of the information that was being leaked was false and i wasn't at northwestern hospital. northwestern hospital was supposedly, if you believe the reporting, let go of 50 people
because 50 people illegally accessed his records. what is happening here is frankly a media gang bang of this guy of unprecedented proportions. that's the reason i got into this. i've never seen a medium pe pendulum swing more quickly and viciously and rob somebody of their presumption of innocence. it's startling the way people assume he's guilty. he hasn't been given one stitch of discovery. there isn't one police report. your package just said he paid $3,500. i have the texts. those texts and they conceded that the check and the texts were for training. so i don't understand how it comes from. he supposedly paid for it or was dis dissatisfied. >> so no one talked about the theory he wanted more money and
wasn't happy. you're saying they haven't talked to anybody associated with their production at all. >> right. >> but does it make sense to you -- >> wouldn't you expect, if a police chief -- if a chief police is going to come out and say and give a press conference and is going to say he was dissatisfied and is going to basically taint the jury pool, wouldn't you expect there would be some basis upon which you would do that? wouldn't you expect one person would have been interviewed that actually knew something about this? was negotiating his salary? his agent, somebody on the set, his producer, anybody? >> so why did -- if your version of events, your sticking by the version of events he has given, why would these two brothers who i guess he knows and were paying training services or was using as a trainer and there's checks
between them or at least a check between them, why did they attack jussie smollett using trump language and a noose and all of these things and a liquid, why are you alleging that they did that? >> i haven't interviewed them but i will ask you this, why is it that if they did this and they were in cahoots, why weren't they indicted number one. number two, the police chief is the one that says they waited until the 47th hour before all of a sudden they were visited and they changed their story. and they haven't been given an immunity. why is that? and by the way, if these two witnesses were -- if they believed these two witnesses, why didn't they go through the preliminary hearing and put the witnesses on and let them tell their story? there are media requests pending. as soon as the media requested to be able to do the preliminary
hearing yesterday, they ran in and did a grand jury indictment. as soon as i sent him back to answer questions on an airplane, they didn't do the grand jury anymore and they filed a criminal complaint. anybody who is in the criminal justice system, i defy you to find one commentator that hasn't been caught up in this kind of -- this media lynching. find one legal commentator that tries cases that says i'm familiar with a prosecutor that comes out and gives a closing argument at the bond hearing. >> but doesn't it just seem weird to you that you get allegedly attacked by two people who you know and you don't claim to recognize them even you fought back and they ran away and i believe he said one of them were white. isn't it just weird.
people you actually know that have been on empire that you have worked out with and you don't recognize them? >> yes. guess what, i don't know. he refused to sign the complaint because he could not believe it. if he thought they were in on it, wouldn't he have signed the complaint? he didn't believe it. if you're asking me what their motivation is, i suppose i could speculate but motivation of jussie is not an element of the crime. their motivation, i have my theories on it but i haven't seen one piece of evidence. what they do have is a whale of a case. they have a great case against the two brothers.
they have lyft receipts. they have atm receipts. they have a surveillance video. take a look at it and tell me if there's anything that looks peculiar on it to you. but this is my question. what do they have that corroborates the story. these are the two people that did it. what do they have besides their word that says he was in on this. >> i don't know the answer to that question. it does seem odd -- it just seems weird that a letter is sent with pieces cut out from a magazine, which frankly, as somebody that gets hate mail and threatening letters, i've only seen that in movies. it seems like something someone from hollywood was think that's what a threatening letter looks like and then he happens to get attacked. the whole thing doesn't make much sense, does it?
>> you're in los angeles today. come down to my office. i have taped up on my wall some of my hate mail. maybe you have a more elevated sense of haters. but number one, they're taped in my office. number two, this idea that he had something to do with this and it wasn't mentioned, the reason for that is the chief came out and he said that they had something to do with the letter. that's a federal investigation and if i remember correctly, i would ask your reporter to go back and look because the fbi or the feds, because i think it's postal inspector pushed back on that idea and said they don't have any evidence of that and i'll tell you he has cooperated with that investigation as well. >> all right. appreciate it. thank you very much, mark. the white house locked in a fierce struggle with democrats over their demands for documents but what will democrats do if
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