tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 28, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
>> reporter: he once ran over a city counsellor, took her right out. >> why are you running? >> reporter: at least when you're rung, it's hard to run your mouth. [ bleep ] jeanne moos, in the envelope you're getting from the safe? >> reporter: -- new york. >> thank you for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. nearly one week after robert mueller delivered his much anticipated report, the justice department, a new battle in the front between democrats has burst open into spectacular public view. congressional republicans in tandem with the president are setting their sights on some of his most prominent critic, some by name, others by association. it's both political and personal, part of a "we told you so" washington victory lap. such long running an miss the president is levying of treason.
the committee's full slate of republicans lambasted schiff and formally sought his ouster as chairman. for his part the president wants schiff forced out of congress entirely. schiff responded, and his response was the most full-throated defense since the barr summary was rae leased, a summary that had the effect of knocking the democrats back on their heels, but today arguably was a day when the democrats started to find some footing. not only evidenced by congressman schiff's remarks, which we'll play for you in a second, but also because the democrats learned something, mainly that the mueller report is at least 300 pages long. 300. which is of course a far cry from the four-page barr summary that the president and his allies have used to claim victory. to be clear, democrats don't know what's in those 300 pages. we don't know either, nor do republicans. no one does save for people very close in the investigation. does it spell out more detail about the trump tower meeting, the cover story to lie about the meeting concocted on air force one? are there details about the
trump tower moscow project, about the oval office meeting with russian ambassador sergey kislyak? again, we don't know, but the revelation of the report's length only made the democrats that much more convinced should it be released and they seem to have had enough with the republicans framing this as complete victory for the president, which brings us back to intelligence chairman adam schiff. his committee met today for the first time since the reports were released, and congressman schiff's critic wasted no time in going after him. well want to take the unusual step of playing for you the extend and vigorous exchange because it underscores for both parties this is far from over. it's about fife minutes long, but we think it's worth watching, no matter what side of the political aisle you're sitting on. >> your action past and present are incompatible which alone in the house of representatives has the obligation and the authority to provide effective oversight of the u.s. intelligence committee. as such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional
responsibility and urge immediate resignation as chairman of the committee. mr. chairman, this letter is signed by all nine members of the republican side of the house, of the committee, and i asked that it be entered into the record of today's hearing. i yield back. >> without objection, i'm going to turn to our witnesses who are at the hearing today. but before i do, and as you have chosen instead of addressing the hearing to simply attack me consistent with the president's attacks, i do want to respond in this way. my colleagues may think it's okay that the russians offered dirt on a democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the russian government's effort to help the trump campaign. you might think that's okay. my colleagues might think it's okay that when that was offered to the son of the president who had a pivotal role in the campaign that the president's son did not call the fbi.
he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help. no, instead that son said that he would love the help of the russians. you might think it's okay that he took that meeting. you might think it's okay that paul manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience at running campaigns, also took that meeting. you might think it's okay that the president's son-in-law also took that meeting. you might think it's okay that they concealed it from the public. you might think it's okay that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on hillary clinton wasn't better. you might think that's okay. you might think it's okay that when it was discovered a year later that they lied about that meeting and said it was about adoptions, you might think it's okay that the president is reported to have helped dictate that lie. you might think that's okay. i don't.
you might think it's okay that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. you might think that's okay. i don't. you might think it's okay that that campaign chairman offered polling data, campaign polling data to someone linked to russian intelligence. i don't think that's okay. you might think it's okay that the president himself called on russia to hack his opponent's e-mails if they were listening. you might think it's okay that later that day in fact the russians attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. i don't think that's okay. you might think that it's okay that the president's son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communications with the russians through a russian diplomatic facility. i don't think that's okay.
you might think it's okay that an associate of the president made direct contact with the gru through guccifer 2 and wikileaks and that it's considered a hostile intelligence agency. you might think it's okay a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent. you might think it's okay that the national security adviser designate secretly conferred with the russian ambassador about undermining u.s. sanctions, and you might think it's okay he lied about it to the fbi. you might say that's all okay. you might say that's just what you need to do to win. but i don't think it's okay. i think it's immoral. i think it's unethical.
i think it's unpatriotic, and yes, i think it's corrupt. and evidence of collusion. now, i have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel, and i would accept his decision, and i do. he's a good and honorable man, and he is a good prosecutor, but i do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is okay. and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day america lost its way. >> joining me now are two key democratic members of congress, representative ro khanna of the oversight and reform committee, and representative mike quigley who sits on the house intelligence committee who was in that tense hearing today. congressman khanna, do you have any concerns that the president and his allies have essentially been able to define the mueller
report based on the four-page barr summary, and that by the time whatever is released of the mueller report, whether it's all 300 pages or 250 page, whatever may be, that people will essentially have already made up their minds and not care? >> anderson, i do. it's highly unfair, because they're attacking adam schiff's integrity without letting adam schiff or the american people read the report and read what mueller found. you know, when bill clinton was investigated and the ken starr report took place, that report and all the grand jury hearings were public. people got to decide. that's all we're asking for before casting aspersion, let the people at least read the report. >> obviously, that was a different -- an independent counsel. >> sure. >> a different kind of setup. congressman quigley, you were in the room today when congressman schiff responded for the calls to step down. he seemed clearly emotional toward the end. seems to take it certainly personally. what has it been like within the party? and what is the strategy going forward to push back on the president's narrative about the report?
>> i think the first thing is to point out that it would be funny if not tragically ironic that mr. nunes led this argument today. when the russians attacked our democratic process, chairman nunes leaped into action and attacked the intelligence community and the independence of the justice department with his memo and his now infamous ride to the white house. and the rest of the republicans have just equal blame involved here. during the middle of this investigation, they dumped it and they shut it down. they refused to call key witnesses, to subpoena key documents. they went along with a white house gag order so people didn't have to answer questions. again, it's very cold comfort to the american public that the prosecutor investigating this couldn't couldn't find a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. there is obvious evidence in
plain sight and in previous court filings of collusion and obstruction. >> congressman khanna, i had steve bannon, i talked to him last night from white house chief of strategist. he says he thinks the president is going to go what he described as, quote, full animal on his opponents now. he also said he thinks this next year is going to be the most politically divisive year in american history since the civil war, including the vietnam war. i want to play something that the president said tonight about adam schiff. >> little pencil neck adam schiff. he's got the smallest, thinnest neck i've ever seen. he is not a long ball hitter. but i saw him today. well, we don't really know. there could still have been some
russia collusion. sick, sick! these are sick people. and there has to be accountability, because it's all lies, and they know it's lies. they know it. >> congressman khanna? he is saying what adam schiff said today are all lies. >> i had lunch with adam yesterday. he was a bit amused that the president was insulting his golf game and insulting his drive. but the serious issue here is why is the president attacking separation of powers. and for steve bannon, who believes the president should be tough and negotiating with gigi ping, and this president can't take the heat of divided government and separation of powers and tough press? that's american democracy. president harry truman said if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. he should respect the process. >> without the full facts, how do you fill in the blanks here? you say there is still evidence
of collusion. obviously it wasn't enough for mueller. the president hasn't seen the report, doesn't have the answers. he is already filling in the blanks anyway. how does a message of wait and see sell better than what the president is saying? >> i don't know what else to do but to file the necessary subpoena next week when they don't comply with this. clearly, one of the things that we would get from this paper is the fact that there are gaps. we absolutely have no idea where the special counsel went on moneylaundering, for example. knowing what we know about the fact that deutsche bank did most of the financing for trump world leading up to his presidency, and that they were also fined $600 million for illegally laundering money with the russians. what do we know what's left to do? what's still in those gaps? and i think the answers will come with the report, and a frank discussion with mr. mueller himself. >> congressman quigley,
appreciate it. congressman khanna, as well. thank you very much. one thing that is certain tonight, if and when the full mueller report is released, the president's critics and supporters will seek to ban what is a tremendous level of detail, how much detail the public is prepared to decipher and digest remains to be seen. joining me presidential historian and former nixon presidential library director tim naftali and cnn contributor frank bruni. i was struck by something, frank. something you wrote in "the times" yesterday, you said we americans excel at many things, but we're terrible at nuance. in reaction to robert mueller's report, rather to the maddingly vague and succinct and vague summary of it, we've been vaugh vieded are the latest and some of the most proof. exploiting that lack of detail or nuance or making the most of it? >> i don't think we know how successful they've been.
they're certainly speaking to his base, and i think his base is feeling more fired up and confident about hiss righteousness than ever. but do we really know whether they've been successful with those people, the very few of them who are in the middle? but what distresses me and the reason i wrote that, two things can be true at the same time, and we seem unable in america to hold two thoughts at the same time. it is certainly the case that four pages from over 300 is ridiculous. but it can also be the case that there are some hurdles and concerns to releasing the whole report. it can be the case that someone like adam schiff maybe engaged in overbait language and got too far out on the limb. it is not the case that he should be reprimanded and censored the way his colleagues are suggesting he should be. i just want to say one thing because i'm so outraged and embarrassed by the president and his pencil neck thing or whatever that is. he said it's all lies. actually, everything adam schiff said is a proven fact. >> right. >> the debate is whether those add up to this word collusion, which is so vaguely defined. but adam schiff gave a litany of
proven facts that explained why people were so concerned about what was going on. and for donald trump to stand there and tell people it was all lies is shameful. >> not surprising, though. he has been -- >> not surprising, but we need to keep being -- i don't know if shocked is the word, but we can't be so unsurprised that we let it roll off of our shoulders. >> tim, has there been a ton of nuance in american politics ever, really? we all think this is the roughest things have ever been. obviously you go far back. it was pretty rough. >> well, two different things. one, the decibel level is high. but as steve bannon said to you, there have been periods in our history where the decibel level has been high. i'm shocked and dismayed that he would say that we reached the pitch of the debate before the civil war. my god, i hope he didn't say that with glee. but there is also the question of nuance. >> he actually thinks, he was saying that he thinks democracy is stronger than ever, that
people are energized, people are involved. >> well, i don't think that the 1850s is a model for what we want -- for what our democracy should be. but the other thing i wanted to talk is about the issue of nuance was a beautiful piece today, but we've never been very good at nuance. after all, how many times in the cold war have we asked presidents to have a doctrine? what's your doctrine? and a doctrine is not nuanced. >> no. >> it's a very direct form of policy. you do this, we'll do that. we tend to want very straight forward responses. we also like contests. we like winners and losers. you don't get a participation medal in american politics. and so i think this bleeds over into the way in which we talk about things like the mueller report. the white house got a lot out of a four-page summary, because that four-page summary said just what the president needed it to say, no collusion. the president had defined this
entire investigation about collusion and not corruption. there is lots of corruption. it's just there wasn't direct collusion with the russian government. notice it's the russian government, not with russians. so i think when we get the details, we will see lots of unethical misconduct with russians that should raise our hackles. >> and hopefully americans won't be so over this that they'll pay attention to those details and nuances. what's different on the nuance front, anderson, we're more polarized than we were a decade ago, two decades ago. there is fascinating research showing if you're on the other side of the political aisle from me, i don't just think you're wrong, i think you're evil. that is informing people's language, the pitch of it. i think steve bannon is exaggerating. i'm worried he does take some weird delight in this. but we are talking to each other with a volume and a kind of vitriol that was not true ten years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. >> and i just want to add that this is part of tproduct of the
contract with america. in the 1990s people entered the political fray saying i'm not going think when i get to washington. i'm going to do exactly what you want me to do, and if i don't, primary me out which means there is no benefit for a member of congress, certainly from the republican side, to compromise in washington, because they're going to be primered out because they promised not to compromise. that has polluted -- >> identifying democrats who don't want to compromise either. >> no doubt about that. but what i'm saying is when you have the new gingrich structure of the '90s has really changed american politics. and then the tea party was a reaction to republicans not doing enough. >> your point is really well taken, anderson. there are democrats who are just as strident. we're not going to get an infrastructure bill because of both democrats and republicans, because neither party is going to want to do something that maybe the other side takes credit for. >> exactly. >> and that's where we are. >> the democrats don't want the give the president a quote/unquote win. >> not going into 2020. >> frank bruni, thank you.
tim naftali, thanks as always. coming up, the proposal to cut millions of dollars in funding for the special olympics. what the president is saying now after his education secretary came under fire on capitol hill. she has been defending it. he just basically totally reversed it, leaving her out to dry pretty much. i'll speak to the chairman of the special olympics, tim shriver. also the interior secretary gets grilled about our report last night about calling in federal workers during the government shutdown to process and approve drilling permits. you'll want to hear what he has to say. it's tough to quit smoking cold turkey. so chantix can help you quit "slow turkey." along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives,
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>> i've been to the special olympics. i think it's incredible, and i just authorized a funding. i heard about it this morning. i have overridden my people. we're funding the special olympics. >> total reversal there. now the money won't be cut after all. shortly after the president spoke, the education secretary released this statement, quote, i am pleased and grateful and the president and i see eye to eye on this issue and that he has decided to fund our special olympics grant. this is funding i have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years. okay. sounds very different than what she's been saying for several days. it doesn't make any sense, because keeping them honest, devos has proposed funding cuts for the special olympics for the past two years before this current effort, and lawmakers rejected it. so this is the third time. this time she didn't even know how many kids with special needs could have been impacted. here what's happened when democratic wisconsin congresswoman mark pocan asked her than on tuesday.
>> the cuts to special olympics, do you know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut, madam secretary? >> mr. pocan, let me just say again, we -- we had to make some difficult decisions with this budget -- >> again, this is a question of how many kids, not the budget. >> i don't know the number of kids. >> it's 272,000 kids. i'll answer it for you. that's okay. no problem. it's 272,000 kids that are affected. >> i think special olympics are awesome organization, one that is well supported by the philanthropic sector as well. >> the grilling didn't end there. she faced more questions on capitol hill. she was still defending it before the president made his announcement. look what happens when cnn's ryan nobles tried to get answers from her. >> madam secretary, you said today that you were not the person that proposed this funding change. can you explain who in your administration did?
madam secretary, have you spoken to the president about this at all? if there is some misunderstanding, madam secretary, this is your opportunity to explain it to us. are you concerned about the supporters of the special olympics that are upset with the decision to remove their funding? >> oh my goodness, it's so painful and awkward. i loved how the camera, after focusing on the back of her head, the camera person moves around and then she's looking at i assume that's someone who works with her for some sort of like saving, but the other person was mm-mmm, i'm not
saying anything either. that's an epic nonresponse. that's a wait for the -- that's not even a can't talk, i'm on the phone. i know they can hear, sorry. that was something. let's keep that on hold for later use and just bring it up every now and then. not long after that, the president said, quote, i've overridden my people. we're funding the special olympics, unquote. and then ms. devos was like yay, i wanted that all along. and that's welcome, but obviously it's all welcomed by the special olympians and those who run the program which was founded by the late eunice kennedy shriver more than five decades ago. it's more about winning ribbons and medals. the athletes being encouraged in self-respect and new friends. and all the cheering in the fans gain a lesson in tolerance and inclusion. joining us the chairman of the special olympics. tim, first of all,
congratulations are in order for this happening. what do you make -- >> thank you. >> -- of the president's reversal on the proposed cuts after ms. devos has been arguing about this for days now, defending it? >> well, i think it's a great moment for the country, honestly. i think it's a moment of positivity the likes we haven't seen in years. people from all walks of life, both party, heartland and coastline, volunteer, young people, parent, business leaders, all standing up, sports figures saying that these are american values that we believe in, that we are committed to. and that we will not step down from. and i think the president responded to that in a very positive way and recognized how important these values are in this country right now. and i think we should celebrate the fact that we have a moment of unity in the country. and let's maybe build upon that, not just for people with special needs, although that's obviously critically important. but maybe for broader conversations about what unites us. in the end of the day, that's what this ended up being a
conversation about. >> before the administration changed course, part of what secretary devos' argument was that the special olympics doesn't need federal funding because of what she described as robust support from private donations. is that accurate? the funding cuts she proposed from what i understand would have cut programs for special needs students around the country. >> well, first of all, i think people don't understand that the traditional special olympics program is privately funded. this particular initiative is a school-based initiative. it's trying to teach inclusion, teach empathy, teach connection to kids in schools in this country. we're in about 6,000 schools. we're introducing what we call unified sport where kids with and without special needs get to play on teams, learn from each other, become teammates, recognize that everybody matters. >> that's awesome. >> this is such a fundamental american lesson. and i think people are responding to it right now where we feel maybe that lesson is under threat. this is all about being able to
look into your friend's eye and learn from the child who has downs syndrome, learn from the child who has autism. when you're in sixth grade or eighth grade or tenth grade, learn this most profound -- i dare say it's an american lesson. we are a country founded on at least the hope that we can build a country where everybody matters, no matter what. and that's what we're trying to teach in schools. that's why we're getting funded by the department of education. and that's why we want to grow that effort. we're as i say 6,000 schools. there is 600,000 schools in this country. every one of them, the families in the schools, the teachers in the schools, the young people in the schools are starving for positive messages and for ways to find their purpose and big eyes like these. why not celebrate that, grow it, partner with the private sector philanthropic giving to make these kinds of lessons the norm in our nation's schools. >> it shows my own ignorance on. this i didn't realize that this was something that you've had
working in schools, and that you're in 6,000 schools. it just sounds like a remarkable program. the whole idea of pairing people with different abilities together and learning from each other. what's more important than that. >> i mean, it's the future of our movement, anderson. we call it the inclusion revolution. what we're saying, and i think what the country said in these last 48 hours, and it's really quite remarkable, to parent who have kids with special needs, to people with differences, they heard a message loud and clear, this country cares about you. this country believes in you, this country values you, this country believes yourself important. this country will fight for you. and that's a lesson and a message that for so many days and weeks and months, those families never hear. but they heard it here. they heard it now. we're committed to you as a country. not just to a program. of course i believe in the special olympics movement and the work we're doing in schools is critical. the social and emotional
development of children is critical. right now critical in our schools, and it's growing. so we're at a moment here to celebrate. but for all those young people, life is still very difficult. if you're different, it's still tough. so we got a lot of work to do. >> tim, i appreciate you being on. and i appreciate all the work you're doing. it's extraordinary. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> much more breaking news tonight. up next, the president's nominee for interior secretary gets grilled about our report last night. you'll want to hear what he has to say. different generations get the same quality of customer service that we have been getting. being a usaa member, because of my service in the military, you pass that on to my kids. something that makes me happy. being able to pass down usaa to my girls means a lot to both of us. he's passing part of his heritage of being in the military. we're the edsons. my name is roger zapata. we're the tinch family, and we are usaa members for life. to begin your legacy, get an insurance quote today.
has been reporting on the close ties between acting interior secretary david bernhardt and the industry he once represented. drew has been asking repeated questions about allegations he has been granting favors to his former clients, allegations the department deny, although bernhardt is refusing to talk to drew griffin. last night drew disclosed that bernhardt ordered federal workers back on the job during the government shutdown, specifically to process drilling and oil permits for leases on public land. that came up today on capitol hill as bernhardt sat for a hearing that would confirm him full time. here is an interchange between bernhardt and carolyn masto. >> the blm under your supervision approved 267 drilling permits and 16 leases applied for by oil and gas companies. what exactly was the safety component applied to your decision to continue with the oil and gas permitting during the furloughs and during the government shutdown? >> i made a decision during the
shutdown that we were going to put people back to work because i could guarantee thas going to. and i can tell you, i had employees that were calling our ethics office to see if they could sell their plasma. so i made a decision to put folks to work that i could, and that we had resources for. >> i want to apologize. i misspoke. senator cortez masto is from nevada. joining me mazie hirono. the questions surrounding bernhardt issuing drilling permits during the shutdown, some that went to his former clients, do you buy his reasoning as to why he did that? he said there were people calling saying they were going to have to sell plasma. he was putting them back to work, but they weren't being paid right then. he just said they'd be paid down the road. >> i thought his answer was bizarre. after all, there were 800,000 federal workers, many who were
standing in food banks. so i thought his answer was really strange. but he is very typical of too many of the trump nominees. they have spent a lot of their professional time fighting the laws of the very departments that they're now being asked to head. so in his case, of course, it was oil and gas industry. and that's why this industry is very happy that he is now poised to become the head of interior. they're very happy. so too many, as i said, many of these nominees are very conflicted. and at some point the conflict gets so bad and the ethical violations get so bad that they end up having to resign as his predecessor did. >> bernhard pushed back on criticisms of conflict of interest saying he is set to bolster the ethics guidelines in the ethics department by hire mortgage people to oversee it. >> good for him. good for him. we shall see. i commend him on that point, but
a lot of it are relating to sexual harassment and those kinds of matters that had already been brought to the attention of this department. so, yes, i think that he is making sure that he kind of inoculates himself on those points. but at the same time, there is no question he represented so many oil and gas people that i understand he has a list in his pocket of all the people that he's not supposed to have contact with. and we also learned that he doesn't keep a schedule. and yet in his testimony he said he's met with all these environmental people. how does he even know that if he doesn't keep a schedule? and how are we supposed to ascertain that? just a lot of responses that i thought were not terribly credible. >> but as you say, at the end of the day, he is going to be confirmed. regardless of the concerns you and other democrats have, republicans have the majority and they support the nomination. >> yes. i'm waiting for the day that the republicans wake up to the fact that you can't keep confirming the roosters to guard the hen
houses. so rather than draining the swamp, they are part and parcel of helping all these people who just jumping into the water saying come on in, the water's fine. i am waiting for the republicans to wake up to their responsibility and to recognize that we cannot keep doing this. but you know, so far that hasn't happened. but as i said, meantime, anderson, sometimes there their ethic violations come so close to the bone that they actually have to resign on their own vol learn before they get indicted. >> senator, i appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> sure. >> coming up, the latest on the jussie smollett saga. now president trump is having his say. [music playing] (vo) this is the averys.
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for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. breaking news tonight on the roller coaster drama encircling jussie smollett. president trump says both the department of justice and the fbi will now review the case. this after the cook county states attorneys office says it's dropped all the charges against smollett. before he left for his rally in michigan, president trump weighed in even more. >> i think this smog lllett, i think this case in chicago is an absolute embarrassment to our country, and i have asked that it be -- that they look at it. i think that case is an absolute embarrassment to our country, and somebody has to at least take a very good hard look at it. >> well, for his part, chicago's
mayor rahm emanuel said his city is once again a trump-free zone, unquote. sara sidner is in chicago tonight with the latest. aside from what i just said, i also understand the city of chicago is asking smollett to pay them $130,000 for their work on the case. is that right? >> i mean, this is an extraordinary response in this case. mayor rahm emanuel saying the city was going to send smollett a bill to help pay for the investigation in what he said was a hoax perpetrated by smollett, and indeed, this is the letter that they sent smollett demanding $130,106.15 and asking for it in a money order and certified check. i should mention smollett's attorneys snapped back saying it is the mayor and police chief who owe jussie an apology. and they say it's for dragging an innocent man's character through the mud.
jussie has paid enough. that is what they are saying back to this request or demand if you will for $130,000 plus. >> the states attorney, she stated she was going to unseal the case, but that wasn't actually correct, is that right? >> you are correct, anderson. the state's attorney first said she could have unsealed some of the case, but now her office says she misspoke. the law says she cannot unseal the case, and it's also interesting to note that smollett's attorneys dropped their expungement argument. they basically are not going to ask for an expungement. if you look at, this that actually means that the case will never be unsealed likely because the only way it could be unsealed is if they ask for an expungement. the law allows for an unsealing of the case out there, but since they are not going to ask for an expungement, the case will remain sealed and out of the public's view.
>> there is also information on another case i understand that involves smollett years prior. >> this is a 2007 misdemeanor case. jussie smollett pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement, according to the los angeles city attorney's office. now that case stemmed from a dui stop in which smollett gave police the wrong name. smollett also plead nod contest to driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and driving without a valid driver's license. so this is another case in which wrong information, improper information was given to the police. in that case, he pleaded no case. many the case here in chicago, he says look, i'm an innocent man. this is what happened to me. and none of the words of the police chief or the mayor of the city, they are wrong. he is still proclaiming his innocence in the case here in chicago. >> all right. sara, stick around. i want to bring in cnn legal analyst joey jackson. okay, joey, first of all, the repayment the city of chicago is
requesting, is that a pr thing? do they have any power to demand repayment? >> no. here's what's happening. this case is on so many levels problematic. i think before getting to that they should have called it what it was. it was a plea agreement. they said we're dismissing the case. they were not transparent about it. they also have the discretion as the prosecutor to do what they think is appropriate. >> if it's a plea agreement, what was the plea? >> what they did, as you recall, the initial statement is you're going to forfeit your bail. of the $10,000, it was hundred 100,000, you paid $10,000. in addition to that we evaluated what you have done for the community. then they found out he did community service. the county attorney in this incident can require restitution. that gets to the court of restitution. can the police require him to pay it back? if that's a requirement, the county attorney could have conditioned it on a plea.
but it's not a plea. we're just dismissing the case. i think the mistake was made in it's sort of like the county attorney became his advocate. and they should have just come out, held a press conference and say look, we ran too hard at him. we've indicted him for 16 felonies. we don't think it's appropriate. he think he is a good member of the community. he has done so many things. this is an appropriate resolution. instead they covered it up. we didn't really do it. it's dismissed. then oh, we had the proof to prove the case. it was just nonsense. and we're confused because they were not transparent in the first instance. but in terms of the police department sending anyone a bill, there is no statutory authority for a person who is a defendant in the case with the case resolved to have to pay them back. >> do you think will be ever be unsealed? >> i think it could be unsealed. i'll tell you why. first, we see this federal investigation. and that also is bluster. it's bluster because the county attorney calls the shots. you're not dictated to by the president or anyone else. you are an independent elected official. if you feel that an alternative resolution is appropriate, the world could be upset about it, the president could be upset
about it, the department of justice could be upset about it. you do what you think you need to do. now why do i raise that issue? because if we're talking about unsealing, remember, there is another component to this. that component is the alleged letter that he sent to himself that may be a threat and that may have been a hoax. that allows the federal government to pursue federal charges, and in that regard they could get an unsealing order to find out what the state found out about his case. so the feds could get it unsealed but other than that the feds don't have any authority. >> a lot of twists and turns. >> sarah as well. appreciate it. i want to check in with chris and see what he's working on for cuomo primetime. >> if this situation at the border gets half as bad as they fear you and i will be spending quality time down there in the future. i'm shocked that it's being ignored. you and i see this fatigue on tragedies all the time. god forbid there's a shooting that happens too soon after a shooting it doesn't get the same attention. but we have a president that
literally made his bones on this crisis at the border. he's talking about it right now at his rally and he's deceiving people about what's actually happened there and the fact that he's not done what he needed to do to help him. so we're going into that tonight. we also have the senator from minnesota. what does she think about this? what does she think about the mueller report and the disclosure and we have vicki ward is here tonight. she wrote the book on jared cushner and ivanka trump. what does she have to say about why kushner got called back today. >> i want to show our viewers again the most awkward non-response by betsy devos. this is halfway through it. a person with her and perhaps an attorney and she says nothing. it's like nothing -- it's one of
those, when would the elevator come? it's a little bit of a combination of those two. it's not unlike how you react when i ask you if you have money. >> my reaction is huh? yeah. i can't hear. got to go. see you. >> see you in a few minutes. >> president trump claiming total vindication in the wake of the summary. randy kay talks to some of them just ahead. a record deal? unbelievable. whenever we're about to get on a stage for a huge audience, i always give my dad, like, a facetime kinda moment. you see the crowd, you see the emotion. you know, he has that experience for the first time with me, and that's really important to me. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (announcer) the best network is even better when you share it. buy the latest iphone for you, and get iphone 10r on us for someone else. and get apple music on us, too.
president trump held a rally calling it total vindication. the full mueller report said to be at least 300 pages long won't be released for awhile it seems. earlier on the program frank rooney said we don't know what voters will think of all of this but we went to pennsylvania to find out what some voters think. all of whom consider themselves independents because to vote in their primary elections you have to register as republican or
democrat. four are registered as republicans but can still vote in the general election as independents. >> in the wake of attorney general barr's letter to congress and what we learned about the mueller investigation, is there anyone here that feels more or less supportive of donald trump? >> i feel more supportive. i think it was an exhaustive investigation. >> i think it was a sham from the beginning. >> my mind hasn't changed. i have a pretty firm opinion of him and i didn't need their help. >> yours is a negative opinion and hasn't changed? >> no. >> these 8 independent voters in bucks county, pennsylvania are happy the mueller investigation is complete. they're anxious to move on to issues that matter to them. >> well, the mueller investigation and what we have learned about it so far through the attorney general, will that impact your vote for 2020? >> no. >> no. >> not at all. >> what does this group care about?
>> the economy will be one piece but things like health care and the environment are definitely other pieces. >> raise your hand, how many of you give president donald trump credit for a strong economy? raise your hand. just three. if the issue is doing great, do any of you care if the trump administration or the campaign cole colluded with russia or if he tried to obstruct justice? do any of you care? or does the economy outweigh that? >> no, the economy is way more important to me. >> despite everything the president has been criticized for, his lies, now further investigations with the southern district of new york, the government shutdown, we could go on and on, despite all of that, could you still vote for him if the economy is strong? >> absolutely. >> no. >> yes. >> absolutely not. >> why not? >> it's not specifically him. it's not specifically those
investigations, it's not specifically that. it's just like every tiny little piece of the open like i want to say racist or bigotry. the openness of that for me is of course like number one. >> you look at what's important, the pocketbook issues. the stock market is booming. unemployment is at historic lows. the economy is strong they say, that still wouldn't change your mind? >> it's a trend that has been going on before trump came into office and he has continued it so i think it's continuing to do well i think some what in spite of donald trump. i have voted for a republican for years. 40 plus years and i could not vote for him. you know if donald trump isn't president two years from now i don't think that the economy is going to fall apart at the
seams. >> if the economy happens to be good i'll be really happy about it but i'm not going to give donald trump all the credit. >> we all appreciate their time and their opinion. the news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo and welcome to primetime. as the trump folks celebrate not being felons word that 300 plus pages of findings from mueller will soon be released should chill the mood. you don't have to be a criminal to be exposed as having done things that were wrong. will the american people think it's all fine when the full story comes out. a senate judiciary member fighting to take on president trump in 2020. speaking of people that weren't indicted but are not in the clear, jared kushner was called back by senators today. i wonder what they were curious about. our guest says she knows plenty of reasons why.