tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 1, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
but these days even self-help books help themselves to expletives. >> so [ bleep ] proud of you guys! >> ridiculous [ bleep ]. >> new york. >> thank you for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. with president trump threatening to shout down the entire u.s. southern border and suspending aid, aid which is meant to prevent people from leaving those countries coming to the u.s., we begin tonight with a headline you might have missed. it reads secretary nielsen signs compact to stem migration at the source. that's from a press release from the department of homeland security and, yes, it is not the catchiest title, but the message is clear enough. the trump administration, along with guatemala, honduras and el salvador are working on the root
causes here at home. the signing was on wednesday in honduras. so it would seem that administration policy was pretty focussed on inkreecreasing the s on the front lines in those countries. just a day after that press release the president announced this. >> i have ended payments to guatemala, to honduras and to el salvador. we were giving them $500 million. we're giving them tremendous aid. we stopped payment. to honduras, to guatemala and to el salvador. we were paying them tremendous amounts of money. and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us. >> again, that's just a couple days after his department of homeland security secretary signed an agreement with those same countries about which he said and i quote, together we will prevail. or maybe not. she signed the deal on wednesday.
and by saturday, the state department announced that it is ending more than a half a billion dollars in foreign assistant programs to the north and triangle countries. the question is why the sudden 180? pamela spoke to an administration official who told her there was no interagency process behind the policy change, which is basically a fancy way of saying no meetings involving the departments, experts and various agency. no options considered, no objections registered, no problems identified. apparently just the president, for whatever reason, making the call and providing kind of a dubious justification for it. >> they set up these caravans. in many cases they put their worst people in the caravan. they're not going to put their best in. they get rid of their problems, and they march in here and come into the country. we're not letting them into their country. >> the president seems to be
suggesting they are rounding up their worst people somehow and forcing them to walk several hundred miles north to the united states. there is no evidence that this is the plot by these governments to rid themselves of the worst people, as he said. he's also suggested george soros is bank rolling the caravans. president trump cutoff the money. and according to the experts, even experts within the administration, they have had an impact. maybe not big enough, but they have had an impact. the official telling her before the president made his decision, the department of homeland security, his own department of homeland security was looking at how to increase the aid and better target it within those countries, something even the president's leading defender seems to recognize before glossing it over. >> if we're going to give these countries hundreds of millions of dollars, we would like them to do more of that. it is not a reasonable position.
we could prevent a lot of what's happening in the southern border by preventing people from moving from mexico. >> that's what the money does, is makes these countries more stable. this is not according to me. this is according to experts in your own administration. >> career staffers, but let's talk about that for a second. that's mick mulvaney. but he says, no, only a career staff believes that and is pushing that. i'm not clear when that became an insult. career staffers are people who have spent years working on particular issues. another word for some of them is experts. mulvaney relied on career congressional staffers when he was in the house. he used the work they did. career staffers prepared the briefing material he reads every morning. you can argue that a fresh set of eyes on a problem can be a good thing. but arguing that career staffers
are all bureaucrats that push paper is not the case. it is also not the case that career staffers want increased involvement with foreign countries. the president's appointee seemed to think working with northern triangle countries and funding the programs to do it was a good thing, or at least she did on wednesday. now the president has undone what she did on her central american trip. we'll see if she suddenly has changed her mind. as to whether the president will follow through on his threat to close the border, cnn has obtained the notes of a white house conference call from today. they reveal that steven miller told top administration surrogates that the president has not quite made the decision, saying it depends on how the week goes. quoting miller, we will see how much progress we are able to make in the ensuing days. he described the asylum claims as miraculous. elliot chairs the foreign affairs committee. >> congressman, i know you just
got back from central america. you were in el salvador evaluating the significance of u.s. assistance. what did you find? what did you see? what do you think now of the white house stance? >> we were actually flabbergasted. we were sitting with american officials when we heard that the president decided to cut all foreign aid to these countries. we had been touring and watching different programs that the united states is paying for, which will ensure that less people emigrate to the united states rather than more. we saw programs where young people were making software to show that they could survive and have a good future. and you cut that program, what are they going to do? they will emigrate to america. it seems to me what the president has done is just the wrong thing, the opposite thing. >> there are people who support the president doing this, who say, well, look these programs
are so great, how come there is this up surge -- there is this, you know, huge number of people still coming? >> well, but i think -- and that's true. i think we need to deal with it. but to sort of have a temper tantrum and say we're picking up all our marbles and leaving, that's the worst thing we could do. >> it does seem like this decision is not something. i mean normally in most administrations, republican and democratic, there is a process for having a major change or eliminating foreign policy to a country or having a major change in foreign policy. there is consultation with various experts, you know, who i think now people in this administration derive as being career staffers but people have actually worked on these issues and have the expertise in it. it doesn't seem like any of that was done. in fact, it doesn't seem like many people in the administration, including secretary nielsen knew this was
coming when she was signing agreements with triangle countries. >> time and time again we have seen this. even if you can take an analogy of syria. one day the president just announced we were pulling out of syria, and the defense secretary was so agitated he resigned. we have these things coming out where the president makes these announcements. i don't know anything about it. he has no obligation to tell me. but you think that people in his cabinet or people who are surrounding him, i think the conclusion we all came to, there were five or six of us on the trip, that pulling out would be the absolute worst thing. and clearly the president should know this. it is just a matter of just scratching your head. >> in terms of the president's threat to close parts of the border, whether you agree or disagree with that, it is within his legal rights to do it, isn't it? >> well, yeah. he's the president of the united states and he can do it. but what does that do to us? what does that do to us in the future? is that going to stop the flow
of people coming, or is it going to accelerate it? i would make the argument it would accelerate it. >> the businesses in mexico and elsewhere will hurt economies. >> absolutely, absolutely, yeah. it's like cutting off your nose to spite your face. i don't understand it at all. and everybody who was there was blind sided by it. even the fbi people and other people from the programs. again, the president talks about ms-13 and these bad groups. well, you know, i saw programs that talk with gangs that try to convert gangs, taking away from what they have been doing. >> it does seem to run counter to what people in this administration have been saying now for quite a while, which is they actually need to figure out ways to make programs more effective, to, you know -- i know one, you know, person who works in the administration
wanted to institute a marshal plan for those countries to really get the u.s. involved preventing people from leaving in the first place. >> that should be as far as i'm concerned our whole policy, our whole focus on what we're doing. >> i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. thank you, anderson. nick mulvanemulvaney. >> when say johnson says it is a crisis, i hope he will believe us. many folks in the media, not you necessarily, but a lot of other networks didn't believe us when we said what was happening at the border was a crisis, a humanitarian crisis, a security crisis. i'm very glad to see that jay johnson now is admitting that we were right and that 100,000 people coming across the border this month, that is not a made up number by the way, that is a
crisis. >> joining us now is the man himself, jay johnson. thanks, secretary, for being with us. is he right? are you admitting that they were right all along? >> well, first, anderson, it is not a matter of admitting and acknowledging somebody is right or wrong. there is a crisis. 4,000 apprehensions in one day on the southern border. it is the equivalent of albany, new york, showing up on the southern border. >> it is unprecedented. we haven't seen numbers like that in 12 years. we haven't seen numbers like that in my years as secretary. the question now is what to do about it. we are hearing talk about trying to shut down the border, which i'm sure you will get to and shutting off aid to central america, which i think is the exact wrong thing to do in this circumstance. >> it also seems to run counter with people in the administration themselves. >> just days before, correct. i was very pleased to see that
the administration is intending to continue the effort we began to invest in eradicating the poverty and violence. i know from personal experience of owning this problem for three years that the push factors, the poverty and violence in those countries, it is the most violent place on earth. what are driving this phenome n phenomenon, there is no amount of border security you can put that is going to stop it. >> when the president says it is the governments in these countries that are sending their worst and putting them in these caravans and getting them up north, is there any truth to that? >> that is not consistent with my experience. illegal migration is driven by smugglers. almost everyone who comes up to mexico to our southern border has paid $2,000, $4,000, 6$,000. >> why are the numbers now growing? >> we saw this, but not at this level in 2014, they have a
snowball effect. they sell some new discount or put out a new message about in 2014 for example, they were telling folks in central america the border patrol are giving out free passes, which is totally false. and the other families going, and they think this will not be going around forever, so it has a snowball effect. that is obviously something happens right now. and the question becomes how do we deal with this very serious, serious situation. i don't believe that cutting off aid to these countries is the answer. you talk to people within dhs and they will say that the limited amount that we have begun to invest is already beginning to have a positive impact. and, so, there are no easy quick answers. >> folks that support the president's policy will say, look, if these programs are actually working, why are we seeing an increase? >> because you can't turn around a region of the world overnight, very clearly. and what is happening now is
while the underlying causes may be addressed longer term, there is something fuelling the latest spike. it's a messaging. familying are seeing other families going. president trump has clearly not been able to deter either by his hard line policies, zero tolerance policy and there is something driving this, and there are ways to address this. we addressed it in 2014. we got the numbers down pretty dramatically by the end of the summer and they stayed low. >> how do you address it? is it working with these central american countries? >> well, working with the central american countries is the longer term investment. working with the government of mexico to help them fortify their southern border, which is a smaller border with central america had an impact. that's something that we did in my conversations with my counter part and they agreed to do more on their southern border which had an almost immediate affect
as well as the dangers of the journey. but what happens is you can do short term things that have a short term effect, but as long as the underlying conditions exist, the patterns are going to revert back to normal. >> you could make the argument that president trump threatening to shut down the border with mexico, if it's just a threat, a way to motivate mexico to do more on their southern border. >> well, that's a threat and a gamble, i suppose. it is physically impossible to shut down a 1, 900 mile border. the most a president can do is to shut down ports of entry, the bridges, the bridges along the rio grande valley. but you are driving the migrants away. you are driving them to cross the borders illegally. we will know less about who they are coming into our country, and it will have an adverse effect on legal migration and legal commerce. >> although now the white house is saying that essentially these
are asylum claims. the president saying this is a con job. you have, you know, very big guys coming in claiming they're scared of gangs in their own country. >> that's a stereotype. what you have coming from central america are women, children, families. and i know because i spent hundreds of hours in border patrol holding stations in texas. every time i would go there, i would talk to the kids and say, why did you come here? didn't you hear our messages about the dangers of the journey? y yes. my mom sent me here because the gangs were going to kill me. and these families are making the basic judgment to flee a burning building. it is human nature. and as long as those underlying conditions exist, we're going to be banging our head against the wall trying to address this on our southern border. we have got to address the longer term problem. >> i appreciate your time. thank you.
more on the politics now. joining us, the head of the trump campaign's advisory council. the president still hasn't decided whether he will follow through on the threats to the border. what is going to change this week? do you think he will shut down the border? by that, the ports of entry. >> correct. i think it should be on the table. i hope we don't have to get there because it is really a very severe penalty for both the united states and more mexico. it is a severe price to pay, but i do think that option has to be real and viable because mexico has simply not responded to less onerous threats. they have been willing to make their problems our problems. one of the ways to stop that is to make it their problem. i would rather he go trade sanctions rather than physically closing the border. but, again, i understand why he has to at least threaten that
very drastic action. >> does it seem to you the administration has no coherent policy? because you have secretary nielsen down signing this agreement on wednesday. the press release goes out on thursday saying, nfin fact, we e working together and together is the way forward. and then the president on friday undercutting all that work. i mean, this is not her first trip down there. officials from this administration have gone down plenty of times to south america and have talked openly about increasing involvement. >> sure. no, listen, anderson, i will certainly concede that seems inconsistent to me and i would prefer a more consistent policy. the situation is incredibly fluid. and in just recent weeks it has grown so much worse. here's the demonstrable reality -- >> to a wednesday and thursday when you are announcing this policy to a friday nothing changed in those, you know, st
hours or 24 hours. >> sure, right. i think also, look, it is a vast government. it is a vast administration. different parts have different agendas, and i think the president, though, ultimately is the boss over the executive branch and the commander in chief charged with controlling and protecting our border and america. here's the reality. secretary johnson said this is a stereotype. the reality is these are economic migrants who are coming to our country. the reason i know that is because according to nielsen, 90% of the people are not eligible for asylum. 92% of families who we have let in have ignored their deportation hearings. on top of that, the violence in those countries, while severe, while it is severe, it is less dangerous. yet, the influx is vastly
increasing. why? because they figured out how to game our system and take advantage, quite frankly, of our good will. we welcome the world's oppressed if they are truly oppressed. that's not the case here. >> a couple of things. first of all, if crime is down and things have gotten a little bit better, isn't u.s. aid part of that policy which we have now cutoff? i mean, you know, these programs, according to people in homeland security, were working. people on the fbi were working on these things. state department was working. you're arguing things are getting better. you can argue part of that was the money the u.s. was nvinvestg these programs. you also seem to be agreeing with steven miller and the president that it is all a con job. the administration has changed -- you're saying that the asylum claims are baseless. the administration has changed
the justification for asylum. so fleeing domestic violence or gang violence, that's no longer valid, according to this administration, for gaining entry on an asylum claim. >> well, it's also not valid, not just according to this administration, anderson, but it's not asylum according to u.s. law. look, a lot of americans live in dangerous neighborhoods. i live in chicago. the west side of chicago was a dangerous, violent place. we are not offering asylum to the kids on the west side of chicago. we shouldn't be offering asylum to people fleeing a tough neighborhood in honduras or guatemala. that's not what asylum is about. >> aren't police trying to offer safety to kids in all parts of chicago? isn't the government trying to offer safety to all people? >> just because people live in a tough neighborhood somewhere in the world, someplace that is violent or someplace where
economic opportunity is beriff does not mean they can claim asyl asylum. i would also argue by the way that the right way for these countries to develop is not through u.s. aid. it is not through the united states acting like santa claus. it is follow the model of other latin countries. >> i'm not saying at all, but i'm saying it is not the real route to economic development. >> does it slow the number of people coming, do you think, some of the u.s. aid? >> no. we don't have people from chile crashing our border? why? they have a system where there is largely an absence of corruption and you have real growth. >> okay. so you are saying these programs do not -- you're saying these programs do not work to slow
people from coming, to prevent people. it doesn't give them opportunities they might not otherwise have? so you are fine with cutting off the aid. >> look, i'm certainly fine with cutting off the aid as a punitive measure right now because i think these countries need to cooperate more with us. they're happy to transfer their problems to become our problems. >> there is no evidence that the governments of these countries are sending their worst people. there is no evidence of that. but we got to go. >> i'll agree with that. i don't know where the president got that information. >> okay, yeah. steve, thank you very much. breaking news. new reporting on how the allegations may affect joe biden running for president. inside the long-standing questions about whether senior white house staffers got security clearance over the objections of the field. what that house whistle blower has to say ahead.
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some breaking political news tonight. a source close to joe biden says the recent accusations of inappropriate touching against him will not dissuade him from the presidential nomination if in fact he decides to run. biden still has not made a final decision. there is some background. late friday she said biden kissed her on the back of the head. she said biden made her feel uneasy, gross and confused. today a woman told a newspaper that former vice president rubbed noses with her during a different campaign rally back in 2009. she told the paper she thought biden was going to kiss her on the mouth. all this raises questions about why he would do that, what is and is not appropriate and a whole lot more. it was a question at the forefront of the allegations made against judge brett kavanaugh around his nomination to the supreme court. you might recall this between
jeff flake and a woman who blocked an elevator door. she said she was a victim of sexual assault and i want to play a portion of that encounter. >> do you think that he's able to hold the pain of this country and repair it? you take responsibility for it. and then you begin to repair it. you're allowing someone who is unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions and unwilling to repair it. you are allowing someone who is unwilling to take responsibility for his actions to sit in the highest court of the country and to have the role of repairing the harm that has been done in this country to many people. >> well, that woman joins me now. thanks very much for being with us. based on what vice president
biden has said about this so far, do you feel like he's taken responsibility for his actions? is he doing the appropriate thing here? >> i don't hear him actually acknowledging that he has behaved in a way that was disrespectful to women. the realities that there are many reasons for people to be concerned about joe biden. he has a long history. we can remember the role he played in advancing the crime bill and there is a line which is that men in power are, especially white men, have not had to confront how power flows along race and gender lines. when he says i don't believe i was behaving inappropriate. i believe him. but the reality is that he was using personal touch and intimate space to express his
power. i wonder if he would have stuck his nose in the back of someone's head who was more powerful than him, perhaps a man. >> i think that's an interesting point that you raise. it is a good thing to think about. would he have done that if the woman he was rubbing or, you know, kissing the back of the head, if she was vice president and he was a congressman. i mean, it does seem unlikely that he would have done that. >> that's exactly right. what we are experiencing right now is a real reckoning with how power flows in our society. and the fact that women and people of color have had to stand at the margins while men are making most of the decisions in our country. when we see women say, i will not take it anymore. i will not take not only sexual assault and violence, but i will not simply condone and be quiet with an inappropriate touch or conversation. i will not do that.
when you are seeing people of color riding across the country saying we will not continue to stand down and accept violence on our bodies, it is the same. there is a reckoning with power. there is a real demand from people to say let's share the center. let's make -- let's be powerful together. let's actually build a country where we are all respected and we can all live with dignity. >> do you think this should disqualify him? do you think this should be something that stops him from running? >> i think he should really pause and try to understand how he has used his power in the many decades that he has been invested with so much power in our society, and he should reflect on the role that he can play to make sure that he contributes to building a country where women are respected, where people of color are respected and valued and where we actually advance in these project departments the history of this country, which
is a history of struggling to include more of us. what can he do to advance in that direction? that is a question he has to ask himself. >> i appreciate you being with us. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> more perspective now. you didn't work for the vice president. you were in the obama white house, however. based on your experiences, i'm wondering what you make of these allegations and what impact? >> first, anderson, i think it is real progress as a society that we're having these conversations and having these debates. i have been around politics for a long time. this never would have happened 4 years, 8 years, 12 years ago. i never worked for the vice president directly as you said, but i was around him. there were times when he would grab my hand in meetings to make a point. there were times he probably has kissed the back of my head. i never thought anything of
that. i didn't find it creepy, but, again, i was in the administration. to me the experiences i had with him were one where he was trying to lift people up and make them feel comfortable and help people go through emotionally difficult times. now none of that is to discount the stories of these women, which i think are important here. but we have to be very careful not to group everything together because as lucy has said, this was not assault. we know what happened. it was in public. it stepped over a line. i think he knows that, and i don't think he's going to behave in this way in the future. but we have to be careful about not categorizing this in a way and calling it sexual assault or categorizing it in that category because that is something that happens every day as well to every women and that's real and it's not the same thing. >> no doubt some people will be listening to what jen said and think, well, if it was a republican who had done this, you know, would democrats be arguing that, you know, the same line. i'm wondering what you make of
what biden has been accused of and his reaction to it. >> well, i mean, i think -- first of all, i think jen would be saying the same thing. i'm sure there are activists maybe who wouldn't. but for the most part, people can look at this and see this is definitely not the same thing as sexual assault or even really sexual harassment that we have talked about so much. i certainly, you know, wouldn't even begin to compare it to something like what brett kavanaugh was accused of, which was an actual sexual assault. i wish that biden would offer a more fulsome apology, instead of treating it as kind of like, i'm sorry if you felt that way apology and just say, look, i see that this is inappropriate. i shouldn't do this to people, but i don't know. if it is somebody that knows him, it is totally different. but to walk up to a woman you don't know and kiss her on the back of the head, it isn't appropriate. the first thing we tell little kids is keep your hands to
yourselves. this is basic. don't go up and touch people, kiss people you don't know. that's another one for people to apologize. he's done an i didn't intend for it to be inappropriate. it is inappropriate whether you intended it or not. >> frankly, even if you know somebody but they're not the closest friend, i don't know if these people have come forward, i mean, they knew him clearly, but it just seems an odd thing to do to somebody even if you know them tangentially. >> i don't know. i don't know that if you know somebody and you're trying to encourage them, you are trying to give them sympathy, you are trying to be empathetic, it is not all right to hold their hand or have some affection. >> in a workplace environment. >> but some of these were not workplace environments. look, a few things. first of all, it bothers me that we are having this conversation in a segment where we open up with brett kavanaugh. i think that's very unfair to
joe biden. i think it is very unfair to lucy flores who has said it was not sexual assault and i think it very unfair to the metoo movement. >> it is what the white house is -- kellyanne conway was on television comparing this to brett kavanaugh. >> well, she obviously has an agenda that goes beyond that. you question whether he would do that to a woman of power. we have seen pictures of him holding hillary clinton when she was running, when she was secretary of state very, very closy. he is touchy feely, and it is inappropriate and he has to hear this entire conversation and take that in. if it made one woman feel uncomfortable and obviously at least two were made to feel uncomfortable, he has got to stop it full period stop. you know, no exceptions. that being said, you know, if you are acting -- what has joe biden done to advance women? it's called a violence against women act. he has done tremendous things to
try to advance things for women of color. you know, as to the question of what would we be saying if he was a republican. i don't know if jen talked about it. certainly i did. i remember when there was allegations against president george herbert walker bush, a republican president. and i think the question of intent becomes very crucial when talking about this. and, look, was it appropriate? no. was there intent to be sexually harassing somebody, to be threatening, to sexually assault? no. so we have got to make a clear line between one thing and the other. >> how problematic is it that biden's not even decided if he's running? i mean, do you think that adds to this? i mean, if he had started running earlier, do you think this would be the same situation? he's already apologizing for not only these cases but the apology is sort of, i'm sorry if i made you feel uncomfortable, essentially. i hear you.
>> well, i think the only person who it is up to, joe biden. he has a team around him who he is close to and, you know, we'll see what happens. but i don't think from talking to these people that this has changed his calculation. what it is opening him up to is the reality that he has a 40 year career in public life and office and if running for president is different than being the vice president and people, your opponent will look for ways to lift you up and pull you down at times. but i think people know joe biden and made a decision whether that's good or bad for him. 99% of the public has made decisions. they love him. they don't like him. i don't know that this is going to change that many people's point of view at this point in time. i guess we'll see. >> all right. thanks very much. just ahead a whistle blower's account of getting security clearances that security experts said they
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professionals. according to a memo today from committee chairman elijah cummings. jared kushner and ivanka trump are among those individuals. i want to talk about it. mark, if the allegations are true, i mean, is there any other way to look at this than just a total disregard for the entire security clearance process? i mean, they're not even doing credit checks apparently anymore. >> that was astounding when i heard that, that they ceased doing credit checks. that's one of the one areas where the federal government can actually find dirt on their own without it having come from the individual. i mean, i wish this was an april fool's story and it's not. it is hard to judge some of it because we do not know the details of who was involved other than possibly jared and ivanka. but we don't know what the
mitigating information might have been. everyone throws out these words disqualifying information. we need to know mitigating. i get adjudicators to reverse their decisions all the time for my clients, but we have never seen or heard of this number of people inside the white house where senior, nonpolitical career staff have recommended denials or revocations and someone, apparently aids to the president -- that's what we're waiting to find out -- have reversed the decisions. >> the skecurity clearance process is there for a reason. it is something frankly president trump during the campaign hammered hillary clinton on. >> that's exactly right, anderson. and the issue is there can't be a two tiered system. there can't be a system for the rest of the intelligence community and the national security community who have to spend six, nine months, a year waiting for this process to be adjudicated so that they can move into their positions of trust and then a separate system
that abandons all of those rules looking for foreign influence, looking for financial -- areas where a person could be financially compromised. there can't be a second system for individuals part of a president's family or in another position where the rules just get waived. >> you said this is unique to this administration. it is kind of unprecedented. this is not common, for security personnel to be over ruled on security clearances? >> not in the white house. i mean, the reality is, i have been doing this for over 20 years and handling clearances throughout the federal government. i have had very few white house cases. neither have any of my colleagues because usually it is people like carey who have been in the government before. they're well established. they're distinguished. they have great credentials and they have existing clearances and they side right over very easily. the cases sometimes we have are low level new staffers, first
time clearance holders and an issue arises. but to have this many people inside the white house have problems, that's unique. if this was the defense department, you know, 25 people out of the hundreds of thousands of people they process, it wouldn't be a big deal. something, you know, what a shock. something is unique within the trump white house. >> but at the end of the day, the president can do what he wants when it comes to security clearances, can't he? >> right. so the president does have the authority to be able to make the security clearance determination. that is his executive authority and there really is no other entity within the government who can challenge that authority. the question is whether he's using that authority appropriately. and i would say there is a question i think as the congress continues to do their investigation of this as to whether or not it was the full 25 people working in the white house or there was some smaller subset of people that actually
presented the concerns. i think there are still some facts we are going to learn as the congress does its investigation on this. >> it is important to point out. appreciate it. great to have you. still ahead, new outrageous claims from conspiracy theorist alex jones in a court deposition he claims psychosis caused him to spread lies about the sandy hook massacre. why this is too little too late for victims' families next. and last longer with fewer pills. so why am i still thinking about this? i'll take aleve. aleve. proven better on pain.
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it's a lie that frankly tormented the family of kids that were murdered but at least 8 of those families sued alex jones and as part of one lawsuit jones was deposed on camera for having to answer for things he said on the radio and elsewhere. before we go further, i want to show you some of the deposition. i want to tell you about two of the families bringing the suit. one is the richmonday family. their 6-year-old daughter was killed in the massacre. he was found dead last week. the cause of death, an apparent suicide. it was because of harassment with jones and his followers. his mom said i would love to go see my son's grave and i don't get to do that. we have been following this
story since the beginning. i've had the honor of meeting with several of the victim's families and what they have been put through because the lies spread is disgusting. >> alex jones of info wars answering for his outlandish theory the 2012 shooting at sandy hook elementary never happened and was instead carried out by crisis actors. this was jones in 2014. >> it took me about a year with sandy hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. even i couldn't believe it. i knew they jumped on it. used the crisis but then i did deep research and my gosh it pretty much didn't happen. >> that twisted conspiracy theory lead to a lawsuit against him by at least 8 newtown
families. in the video deposition, jones is combative. unapologetic and defensive. >> i do not take responsibility or your indictment or presumed conviction of me as the villain or the star of homeland. that's not who i am so i reject it. >> refusing to admit his baseless theories harmed newtown parents that lost children. >> so you do not believe that you have done an outrageous wrong to these parents? >> no. a stunning response especially after stunts like this. >> and then photos of kids that are still alive that they say died, they think we're so dumb it's in plain view. >> for years he pushed the that newtown was a false flag to rally support against gun control and everyone was in on it. >> the trauma of the media and corporations lying so much and then everything begins you don't
trust anything anymore. >> kind of like a child whose parents lie to them over and over again and they don't know what reality is. >> and jones offers up an explanation for his conspiracy theory. >> it's like a form of psychosis where i thought everything was staged. >> jones wasn't along. he corresponded with other con conspiracy stheorists. >> you wouldn't agree with me that that man is a raving lunatic? >> he seemed very credible and put together earlier on. >> he and others like him are known for harang gerassing newt parents. they were sent to prison after sending threatening letters to the parents of noah posner. they were you're going to die,
death is coming to you real soon and there's nothing you can do about it. jones's conspiracies didn't stop at the shooting. he also made the ridiculous claim that anderson cooper faked reporting from the scene. >> we have video of anderson cooper with clear blue screen out there. he's not there in the town square. >> you said that anderson cooper wasn't at sandy hook. he was not there. >> yes. i believe that he faked being on location once. >> all these yaers later jones claims he's had a change of heart and he does believe that the shooting at sandy hook was real. >> >> had a chance to believe that children died and it's a tragedy. >> cnn new york. >> he still apparently thinks i wasn't there even though i travelled all over the world for like 25 years, why wouldn't i go to connecticut that's like an hour and 45 minutes away or 2
hours depending on traffic. he did not respond to our request for comment and he and jones denied it. let's talk to chris. >> good for you staying on that anderson. you have to expose them for what they are. we're down here with a situation that's all too real. we're on hidalgo, texas. near mcallen. this is where it's all happening with the migrants. this is where you get to see all the dysfunction in one place. the constant flooding in of humanity. mostly from the triangle. not really mexico anymore. how overburdened and how overtaxed our customs and border protection people are. how the system doesn't work. how great the need is and here's the worst part, the most obvious part of it all. this could be remedied and our leaders are doing nothing.
i appreciate it. we'll be right back. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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cuomo primetime starts now, chris. >> thank you, anderson. welcome to primetime live from hidalgo, texas. this is the rio grande valley. this is the place you need to see. you're going to witness the systemic failure and tragic potential for our immediate future. this is called the crisis but that word is overused and doesn't do the situation justice. we're going to show you what's happening here. it's not easy to s