tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN April 7, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! this is cnn breaking news. >> you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ana cabrera in new york. our breaking news after months of rumors and speculation, kirstjen nielsen is officially out as secretary of homeland security. and she did not resign willingly, according to a source. this all went down after a scheduled meeting a short time ago between nielsen and the president at the white house. sources telling us it did not go well. the president was frustrated. frustrated with the fact his administration couldn't just stop asylum seekers from entering the united states, contrary to u.s. law. and then there's this. a senior administration official tells cnn secretary nielsen
believed this situation was becoming untenable. with the president becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable and even impossible requests. let's get right to cnn's boris sanchez at the white house tonight. boris, bring us up to speed on what we know. >> that's right. we're just learning from my colleague jeff zeleny about some of the feelings in this meeting on behalf of secretary kirstjen nielsen. a source close to her tells cnn that she did not resign willingly. that she was under pressure to do so by president trump. the source telling us that nielsen did not fight to keep the job and did not grovel or try to beg for the position. we should add some context here. i spoke to a white house source previously who sort of laid it out this way. she was brought in under chief of staff john kelly to head the department of homeland security, but the president was never fully convinced that she was the right person to lead the department. ultimately, she stayed for an
extended period in large part because the white house was going through so much turmoil. so many different people leaving, and they would have a difficult time finding a replacement for her. further, i was told the former chief of staff kelly defended her in that role when he left in december. it kind of opened the door for her to leave. ultimately, she took the brunt of the president's frustration on the issue of immigration. what many in the administration have called a broken system and a crisis at the border. i did want to add to what you noted about the president making these sort of unreasonable or unhinged requests of agents at the border telling them to stop migrants. this is something i hear almost every day from sources that president trump makes requests that are impossible. now critics will charge the president with being authoritarian and try to supersede his actual power. others will defend him in saying that he's somebody who doesn't totally understand politics. he doesn't come from this world. he doesn't know what a president can legally do or cannot do. and he sort of needs guardrails
to sort of instruct him in the right direction. despite all of that, the president clearly upset and frustrated and wanting a change at the department of homeland security. i did want to read to you a portion of nielsen's resignation letter. listen to this. quote, despite our progress in reforming homeland security for a new age, i have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside. i hope that the next secretary will have the support of congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure america's borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation's discourse. our country and the men and women of dhs deserve to have all the tools and resources they need to execute the mission entrusted to them. our homeland is safer today than when i joined the administration. so nielsen sort of pointing the finger at congress and at courts suggesting that's part of the reason she couldn't fulfill the president's vision for the immigration system. and clearly he wanted somebody new in that role, ana.
>> boris sanchez, thank you. cnn had reported as far back as november that trump had been eyeing replacements for nielsen, frustrated at her handling of his signature issue, immigration. on the very day nielsen thanked officials from el salvador, guatemala and honduras for working on what she hailed as an historic pact to target unauthorized migration, the president tweeted that those countries were doing nothing. he threatened to cancel aid to them altogether and to close the u.s./mexico border entirely. the president's forecarustratio immigration evident just yesterday during an event in las vegas. listen. >> so congress must end catch and release so that illegal border crossers can be quickly and safely returned to their home. get out. sorry, get out. sorry. can't handle it. and i told my people yesterday, our country is full.
we're full. our system is full. our country is full. can't come in. our country is full. what can you do? we can't handle anymore. our country is full. can't come in. sorry. >> joining us now, david gergen, cnn senior political analyst and former adviser to presidents nixon, ford, reagan and clinton. joe lockhart, clinton white house press secretary, jewuliet kayyem is back, and matt lewis, senior columnist for the daily beast. david, first to you, what are your thoughts regarding kirstjen nielsen resignation? >> it looks like they want to turn off the lights on the statute of liberty, doesn't it? i think the politics of 2020 are playing a significant role in how this is unraveling. the president made, as you say, made immigration a signature issue of his campaign. he created a sense of crisis that wasn't there, but he wanted to make sure everybody knew how
important this was. and then he set off to fix it, and everything he's tried to do hasn't worked. i think he's extremely frustrated because he wants, in 2020, he wants to go back to immigration, scare people again, bring them into -- get himself re-elected and then he'll probably forget about it. but i think for the next couple of years, he really wants to change direction. and it's very clear in what the administration did just a few days ago, with a fellow they had in line for running i.c.e., that they said, no, no, no, we're going to withdraw that because he's not tough enough. we want somebody tougher. it's very clear that's what they want here and we ought to keep an eye on steve mueller. >> we'll talk more about him in a moment. first, joe, since we haven't heard from you yet. what's your reaction? >> well, i think it's an important inflection point to look at what david said was the signature issue for donald trump. it has failed across the board. it's failed politically. the midterms were about it. the republicans lost in a
virtual landslide in the house. from a policy point of view, it has failed because the numbers keep going up. they can't claim anything. and then this whole idea that mexico was going to build the wall and -- or pay for the wall and were going to build a wall. nothing has happened there. nobody really expected that. and even the most troubling is you solve these problems by going to the source of them. you don't solve them by building a wall. if people are leaving the country you increase aid to those countries to help those countries to make life better for people so they don't try to emigrate. they've made every decision and i think she'll be remembered as, you know, one of the worst public servants we've seen in a generation. >> and whose fault is that, that she was one of the worst public servants? >> she has the most unreasonable boss in the president but she's implemented the zero tolerance policy. she's the person who separated
families at the border. she's the person who had to admit that they didn't know where the families were. that it's unconscionable what they did. and none of this has worked. so none of it is surprising. again, this is really about the president, and this is a policy that's failed and i agree with david completely that what he's trying to do is to create so much fear that you'll have to stick with the guy who is there rather than who the democrats nominated. it hasn't worked out on the policy side. >> administration officials telling cnn that secretary nielsen believed the situation was becoming untenable. that the president was becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable, even impossible requests. we keep hearing that word unhinged to describe the president. what do you make of this? >> i am -- this is a very familiar pattern. it sometimes seems to get worse than it was before. but he has been unhinged on any
number of issues. and i think he gets himself all spooled up, really, really angry, lashes out. gets rid of people. blames people. never takes any blame on himself. never takes any blame for mistaken policies, terrible errors of judgment. and by throwing people out, he looks like he's a tough guy. and i come back to this, but the toughness is central to the persona he wants to create for voters. he helped to win with 2016 and he wants to win in 2020 by being this big, tough guy who will break all the rules in order to protect patriotic americans from this terrible scourge. and it's playing upon the fears, and it has the overtones of authoritarianism. he always wants to say, i don't care about the damn rules. we're full. nonsense and it's against the law as you keep saying, ana. >> we van acting dhs secretary now. an acting i.c.e. director. an acting department of defense secretary. matt, a quarter of the president's cabinet is in acting
capacity or unfilled. is this a pattern? >> yeah, it's a pattern. you have to think donald trump likes that. they'll not build their own silos, their own fifedoms. these are people who are more than your normal secretary -- department head. beholden to the president. that's probably just the way he likes it. i don't know if this is going to be ongoing, right, like the chief of staff, acting chief of staff. there may be, just like we have an attorney general now, there may eventually be somebody in charge of dhs. but i think this is part of the trump playbook, certainly. >> juliette, the interesting thing here about nielsen is while we have the reporting that she and the president weren't necessarily always on the same page, she stood by the president. she tried to implement the policies that he desired. and even in her resignation
letter, she is not pushing back against him. she continues to toe the line, so to speak. and i think about what happened with mattis when he resigned, and that was because he said i can't do this anymore. i don't see eye to eye. i don't believe this is in the best interest of the american people and the national security of this country. does it surprise you that nielsen went out this way? >> not at all. i don't think there's any evidence in the public record, and she really wasn't known before she became secretary. i don't think there's any evidence in the public record to suggest that she is very different than donald trump. these rumors and stories that we heard about her broken heart, and she's trying to placate trump, but she feels bad about it. those are always put out by people in the administration when they get bad press. but i didn't believe it because, look, she chose to be the face of the family separation. i just want to begin and end with that. an ahistor col, immoral and
unsuccessful policy that ultimately you cannot talk about without talking about secretary nielsen. so i just don't see any evidence to suggest that she was heartbroken about these policies. and her problem was not donald trump. it was reality. it was the reality of what border enforcement is. it is simply you try to minimize the number of unlawful crossings, allow access to lawful crossings, the hundreds of thousands that we have a day. and you protect or at least give some hearing to asylum seekers. it's not rocket science. it is difficult. it is emotional. the president, as david said, by calling it a crisis, by acting like we had no resources to deal with an issue that we had been dealing with. the numbers were going down. simply created this crisis in numbers that we see now. they're going up. and so if everyone just kept their heads, this would have been a challenge that we could address. but instead the president is
basically the instigator of the failed policy which then he uses, of course, to buttress his anti-immigrant stance. one could argue he's doing that purposefully. i won't. i'll simply say that we are in a circular firing squad when it comes to the border and the president has to face reality that his policies are ineffective. >> everyone stand by. got to squeak in a quick break. our breaking news continues right after this with reaction from the 2020 candidates. stay with us. ♪ memories. what we deliver by delivering.
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senator elizabeth warren. about time. nielsen's legacy of tearing innocent families apart will follow her for the rest of her life, and she should be ashamed of the role she played. she was completely unqualified to lead dhs, and that's why i voted against confirming her. julian castro sending this. secretary nielsen has been a willing partner in the most cruel and shortsided immigration agenda in decades. we must defeat donald trump and create a more compassionate and sensible immigration system that puts people first. from senator kamala harris, kirstjen nielsen misled the american people and defended trump's inhumane policy of separating children from their parents. it was long past time for her to go. this from senator kirsten gillibrand. i voted against kirstjen nielsen's nomination and called for her resignation over the administration's inhumane treatment of immigrant families six months ago. what this country truly needs is a moral reset on immigration policies. we won't get that in this administration.
back with us now, david gergen, juliette kayyem andio lockhart. the feeling seems to be good riddance. how are the 2020 hopefuls going to paint nielsen's sudden resignation? or how do they use this issue of immigration now moving forward in the election cycle? >> oh, i think that the issue right now is very ripe for the democrats. and it's not surprising. i think 2020 politics, both sides now, heavily. and what you see here is that democrats are first of all making a point that nielsen was running an immoral policy. that she should be ashamed. and that sort of thing. but they're also talking about the chaos. and how these things aren't working. those are two issues that -- at the end of the day, the democrats have to have their own formula on immigration that is a lot more solidified than where they are right now. they're all over the lot with so
many candidates. but the only way they can really succeed on this issue is to have their own policy, too. >> joe, put yourself in the job of being in the white house press office right now. what's going on there? >> chaos. and i think chaos is what they depend on. there's a pattern here. a couple points. whenever the narrative is going in the wrong direction, like the last week or so has been for the president, on a number of fronts, he always comes back to immigration. he always comes back to where he announced his candidacy. that i'm going to stop the animals, the rapists, the criminals from coming in. so that's a very deliberate strategy. so i think they are pursuing that strategy. >> we saw before the midterm election -- >> we saw before the midterm election that we're going in the wrong direction. it made it worse but that was their strategy. i think the real injustice here, though, and it goes to david's point of what's the democrat strategy going to be? we had a moment when trump became president where there was
a deal. where democrats and republicans came together, put $25 billion together to actually strengthen the border, do all sorts of new technology, deal with the daca situation with the kids here because of their parents entering illegally. and the president had signed off on it. and a guy by the name of steven miller killed it. he's never gotten a single vote. three or four years ago was a junior aide to jeff sessions who has hijacked our immigration policy and found a willing person to work with in president trump. and the democrats, i think, what they need to do is go back to that proposal, which is this is a complicated issue. you can't just build a wall and say it's done. and you need to deal with daca, you need to deal with putting more money at the border. democrats instinctually are afraid of this issue because it's a wedge issue. it is an emotional issue, but they shouldn't be afraid now. it can be a very powerful one for them in 2020. >> matt lewis, if it is steven
miller who is sort of orchestrating the immigration policy or position of this administration right now, we know he had a hand in it with ron vitello and his nomination pulled from being the head of i.c.e. should we be bracing for an even intense -- even more intensified border crisis? >> well, that's very possible. look, i think that -- a couple of things. first if you look at the wave of appointments, right, so you start with john kelly. somebody who is a serious person who is independent to some degree from donald trump. then you end up with nielsen who i think was trying to implement policies that steven miller and donald trump wanted. doesn't absolve her, but trying to implement it. i think the next person more likely will be an ideologue, someone like a steven
miller-type person. so look, part of the m.o. of steven miller and i think steve bannon before him was that it doesn't get better until it gets worse. they have this weird apocalyptic strategy. they want things to be bad. they like chaos. that's not -- that's a feature, not a bug. we saw it with the family separation. part of the strategy, they wanted it to be so bad that it would be a deterrent. now, that didn't work out, but that was their strategy. and so that -- i think it would be reasonable to conclude we might be seeing more of that in the coming months. >> and we talked to trump's biographers who have also said that this is a man who thrives in chaos. juliette, how dependent is dhs security in the department on its secretary? >> it's very dependent to set policy. there's a whole bunch of operational components, secret service, fema, i.c.e., cbp.
coast guard, of course. that's what we call the muscle in the department. so that's about 200,000-plus men and women who are, you know, protecting our borders, our infrastructure, protecting our cybersecurity from any threat, whether it's immigrants or terrorists or climate event or a pandemic. so it is important and sort of setting the policy for the department. for the most part, a lot of our public safety and security, obviously, starts at the local level and then goes to a state and then the department. but when it comes to, does the department matter in terms of im -- in terms of border enforcement, the question is absolutely yes. it does in aviation with tsa, maritime, with coast guard and then cbp and i.c.e. with the border. that sounds like a lot of acronyms but dhs' failures at the secretary level in having policies that have been effective permeates the men and women who are on the field every day. i have often said if you think donald trump actually likes cbp
agents, you would -- you would be surprised because you would never put a cbp agent at a border with, let's begin from day one, with a muslim ban that they knew nothing about beforehand. with the family separation plan they were not trained or authorized or had any idea what to do when they separated these kids from their parents. and then, of course, now with this anti-asylum issue. president trump does not support first responders. he uses them. that's what we're seeing on the ground throughout the department and then, of course, at the border. >> my thanks to all of you. juliette, matt, david, and joe, i appreciate it. our breaking news continues after a quick break. i'm sorry i don't understand... ♪ help! i need somebody ♪ help! not just anybody ♪ help! you know i need someone it's kind of unfair that safe drivers have to pay as much for insurance... as not safe drivers!
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the breaking news, kirstjen nielsen has resigned as the nation's homeland security secretary. this comes just one day after president trump made this controversial declaration in las vegas. >> so congress must end catch and release so that illegal border crossers can be quickly and safely returned to their home. get out. sorry. get out. sorry. can't handle it. and i told my people yesterday, our country is full. we're full. our system is full. our country is full. can't come in. our country is full. what can you do? we can't handle any more. our country is full. can't come in. i'm sorry. >> joining us now, cnn chief media correspondent and anchor of "reliable sources" brian stelter. did president trump go too far with that comment, our country is full? did kirstjen nielsen just no longer fit in? >> i hope she'll tell us.
i hope she'll speak out about what happened. maybe what went wrong inside the administration. it seems tonight she's trying to strike a cordial note. try to be friendly on the way out. maybe that will change in the weeks and months to xcome. we've not seen many cabinet officials break with him after leaving. it speaks to the broader problem we've seen with his comments about immigration and why it's been so hard for officials like nielsen to respond. he is talking about a situation that is so far unteths untether the facts. all the inaccuracies about immigration, all his misunderstandings or misimpressions about how this world works has created an almost impossible situation for those trying to provide what he wants. >> it seemed nielsen wanted to hold on to her job. she was making the rounds on tv. >> new reporting she was doing interviews on tv in part to impress president trump in order
to make him pleased with her performance. nielsen was on tucker carlson's show the other night talking about this being like a category 5 hurricane. the situation on the border being like a category 5 hurricane. she was trying to make that impression, maybe trying to reach the president directly. carlson's show is one of these right wing opinion shows that stirs up hatred of immigrants. she chose that show to appear on. also a lot of criticism of nielsen on fox news. >> let's play a quick thought from laura ingraham. >> mr. president, sometimes -- sometimes your rhetoric doesn't match the policy. and we're getting -- sometimes mixed messages. mr. president, you are the only leader on the scene who can keep americans and their wages, frankly, safe. but for that to happen, consistent, bold policy and follow-through with the determined rhetoric. got to have the policy follow-through. >> do you think that has anything to do with what we saw? >> laura ingraham sounds like she's trying to be the white
house communications director. trying to give the president a message. the president has been under pressure not just from laura ingraham but others on fox and right wing media. the pressure has been there for two and a half years but it's been ramped up. lou dobbs on fox business call for him to fire nielsen. said the country is in danger of tens of thousands or even millions of americans being killed by illegal immigrants. the rhetoric on some of these fox shows is extreme. but it is what the president is hearing all the time and contributes to his frustration and struggles on this issue. but that's going to continue. the president wants a black or white solution to what is a situation filled with grays. that's the bottom line problem. >> i also think this is now going to be his third dhs secretary, whoever comes in and replaces nielsen. and does this just go to show that, really, there is no messenger other than the president when it comes to this issue specifically. his signature issue. could anybody do the job to his
liking? >> he believes he's the most tapped in to what his audience wants to hear on this issue. so far seems dissatisfied by everyone coming along trying to solve it for him. but there is no black or white solution. the president thrives on this chaos and change but i'm not sure the country does. >> brian stelter, thanks for being here. quick break. we'll be right back. [child] t, bandit! your dinner in the dark. your mammoth masterpiece. [whispering] your 3:47 am snack. and...whatever happened here... because we make deli fresh with all the good of the deli, no artificial preservatives and no added nitrates or nitrites. make every sandwich count with oscar mayer deli fresh.
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>> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ more on the breaking news. secretary of homeland security kirstjen nielsen resigning just hours ago. sources tell cnn she had been under pressure to step down. house speaker nancy pelosi just issued a scathing statement saying in part, it is deeply alarming that the trump administration official who put children in cages is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the white house's liking. and we have this from senate minority leader chuck schumer. when even the most radical voices in the administration aren't radical enough for president trump, you know he's completely lost touch with the
american people. joining us now, cnn national security analyst samantha vinegrad, a former member of president obama's national security team. what's your reaction to both statements from schumer and pelosi? >> i've been in the white house when presidents decide that it's time for a cabinet secretary to move on or when a cabinet secretary actually resigns. sometimes that is over differences of opinion. the difference here is that president trump and secretary nielsen have really seen eye to eye on the radical policies that schumer and pelosi reference in their statements. and what i really want to know is what happened behind the scenes? was secretary nielsen asking for things the president didn't want to give, or did she really point out to him that laws matter, regulations matter and that she can't do some of the things he's asking her to do. it raises a larger point of, what is president trump actually looking for in a cabinet secretary? what is he actually using them for? i don't think he wants a new secretary of homeland security or new secretary of defense or
really emboldened secretary of state. what he wants is people to be his propaganda puppets and to do what he says when he says it and not come to him with actual facts or analysis that differ from his own opinions which are drawn, by the way, from who knows where. >> how much does it matter who he puts now in that role as nielsen's replacement? >> i actually think it matters a lot less than under any previous administration. i cringe to think who is tougher than kirstjen nielsen and who is going to be more radical in terms of supporting the president's views publicly on these inhumane and horrifically ill-conceived policies. because the president doesn't really listen to his team, to a certain extent, these positions are placeholders and he makes policy by tweet. he discounts what his experts say, and i think that's going to be a big part of the calculus of anybody who was even considering putting their hat in the ring for this position. >> now just add one more to the name of acting cabinet secretaries. we have acting defense
secretary. patrick shanahan. acting secretary of the interior, david bernhart. jonathan cohen, acting ambassador to the united nations, just to name a few. sam, with so many temporary chiefs, what is the potential impact on national security? >> the potential impact is no other government is operating with half a team, right? every other government has almost a fully confirmed cabinet, if not a fully confirmed cabinet. this really speaks to the president's character and signals abroad that he can't retain and attract top talent for any period of time. and i think really gives insights, unfortunately, to our adversaries about what kind of manager he is and what kind of team he runs. that does not do us a great service. it paints him as really an unhinged, to use a word that's been used a lot about him. >> would unpredictable be a good thing in terms of keeping adversaries on their toes? >> i don't think that governing by fear has been a proven national security tactic that's
worked. that is what president trump has done with national security when he's threatened to close a border and then backed down, threatened fire and fury and backed down. in kirstjen nielsen was so scared about getting fired that she want fox news and other outlets and gave these interviews to try and save her job, i wonder what the other cabinet secretaries are feeling about their job security tonight and whether they need to enter some tough of the guy in the room contest. >> samantha, thank you. be right back. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even rooftop parking. strange forces at work? only if you're referring to gravity-and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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news. president trump's homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen out. and a source telling cnn she didn't go willingly. new reaction now to the shakeup coming in from a powerful republican, senator ron johnson, the chair of the senate homeland security committee saying this. as our hearing last week clearly demonstrated, we have a crisis at our southwest border. we need steady, informed and effective leadership in the administration and in congress to have any hope of fixing our out-of-control border security and immigration problems. cnn's polo sandoval is joining us now. you're hearing new reaction from those inside dhs. >> right. my colleague geneva sands hearing from an official at the department of homeland security. it's interesting what we're hearing from this particular official here, which is basically explaining why this official believes that -- or at least one of the factors that went into the decision that happened today. this official telling our colleague that according to what they know is that nielsen did
everything she could to make the problem better, saying this official obviously referring to this surge of migrants at the border that we've seen especially the last couple of weeks. and when asked if she met the president's expectation, this official telling our colleague that she met the expectations of the speed of government. congress has a lever here and the worst place for one to be, according to this official, is in that kind of situation. so what we're getting from this individual is that the problem got bigger on her watch and there was only so much that she could do to actually fix the problem. >> you spent a lot of time at the border. you're from mcallen, texas. you've been in touch with some of the border officials who are working on the ground. what are you hearing from them? >> there's a lot of disappointment and it's important to point out this isn't necessarily the communities along the border. this is the law enforcement community. i've heard from two border patrol officials there on the ground who said they personally liked working with her. she visited the border on many occasions. she told her colleague chris
cuomo, went at least two dozen times to the region during her tenure. you're seeing a lot of concerns from law enforcement on the ground is, will the replacement, whether it be the temporary that we've discussed, or the long-term replacement reflect less of the ideology of the president and more of the operational aspects of the day-to-day performance of the department of homeland security. as we've mentioned, the department -- the border patrol aspects of this, the immigration aspects, it's one piece of the pie. a significant one but there's so much others in what we're seeing now, the temporary replacement, somebody who does have that experience when it comes to immigration, but then there's fema. and hurricane season is around the corner. so there will be, obviously, a lot of pressure on that replacement, whether it be the temporary one or the long-term. but again, yes, she has been the subject of plenty of criticism, but she also had her share of support, particularly among the men and women who patrol that 2,000-mile border. >> polo sandoval, thank you for that reporting.
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stop me if this sounds familiar. a secretive president under audit, or so he says and facing mounting questions about whether there was something hidden. something fishy deep within his tax returns. no, not donald trump, but richard nixon who gave this speech in 1973. >> i want to say this to the television audience. i made my mistakes, but in all of my years of public life, i have never profited, never profited, from public service. i've earned every cent and in a a all of my years of public life, i've never obstructed justice and i think, too, that i can say that in my years of public life,
that i welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i'm not a crook. i've and earned everything i got. >> nixon's famous "i am not a crook" line spoken about a mostly forgotten tax scandal is getting new attention these days as the fight over trump's tax returns heats up. joining us now, cnn presidential historian and former director of the nixon presidential library, timothy naftali. tim, nixon had been facing allegations he was grossly underpaying the government. do you see parallels between the pressure he was facing and what trump is facing right now? >> well, i see parallels in that richard nixon was hiding things. he didn't want the public to know. and in the end, hi paid over $400,000 in back penalties and taxes to the irs because he'd actually taken a deduction that he wasn't allowed to take. he had sold his papers.
he had basically donated his papers to the u.s. government and taken a huge tax deduction k when it was no longer possible to do so. i don't know whether president trump is guilty of tax evasion, but richard nixon was. >> well, and that's why i was asking about the pressure they were both facing. you're right. we don't know what is, perhaps -- >> we don't know. >> -- in the tax returns. >> but let me ask you, tim -- >> here's -- >> -- what "the new york times" reported this week. sorry. we have a delay. you go ahead first. >> no, i was just going to say that in the end, the house decided in a bipartisan vote not to make cheating on his taxes one of the articles of impeachment against nixon. the house decided that while that's a crime, that's not an impeachable crime. >> "the new york times" reported this week that after democrats took control of the house, trump tried to get the senate to fast track his nominee for irs chief counsel even before the chamber
had held confirmation hearings for attorney general, william barr, and i bring that up because when nixon ultimately released his returns, he had them vetted by congress and congress' inhouse office of nonpartisan tax experts. not the irs. why was that? >> well, i mean, at the time, i believe what nixon was trying to do was to regain some public confidence. one of the really interesting parallels is that nixon had people placed in the irs to make it possible for him to use the irs politically and one of the -- one of the scenes tonight in tonight's episonpisode of "t dick" is a product of the creation of the enemies list which happeneded in 19 7 1 which is nixon's desire to hurt his opponents. his adversaries. by using the irs. one of the reason why we always have to be careful that our
politicians don't politicize the irs is that it is a very dangerous instrument if used improperly. >> there is a brand-new episode of "tricky dick" airing right after this show. top of the hour. exploring how nixon won the presidency in part because of a promise to end the vietnam war. here's a quick preview. >> we are protesting richard nixon's stupid action of expanding the war in southeast asia. >> president nixon doesn't want peace. you're not going to tell me that somebody escalates war that wants peace. he's just lyinging to the american people. >> you know, you see these bums, you know, building up the campuses. >> listen, the boys on the college campuses today are the luckiest people in the world and here they are burning up the books. i mean, storming around about this issue. i mean, you name it. get rid of the war, there will be another one.
>> you can't have the president of the united states alienating students, refer to students as bums. >> the statement, itself, really was an affront to students emotionally. >> quickly, if you will, tim, we got about 30 seconds, but what impact did the student anti-war movement have onyxen nixon's presidency? >> it pushed him to reduce the number of troops as quickly as possible. which put him in a strange position of trying to get the north vietnamese to negotiate. when the north vietnamese understood the longer they waited the fewer the number of boots on the ground there would be in vietnam. so there's no question that the dissidents, dissent movement, not just students but many adults, toor pushed america to leave the war faster which left nixon in a difficult situation. >> all right. tim naftali, looking forward to
tonight's episode. thank you. be sure to tune in. a brand-new "tricky dick" airs next right here on cnn. that does it for me. really appreciate you joining us this weekends. i'm ana cabrera. have a great night and a great week. ♪ every inauguration has its special grammar, i suppose the special grammar of this one is -- eight years ago he was defeated for president of the united states. something few politicians recover from. six years ago he was defeated for the governorship of california and quit politics, something no politician has ever recovered from and he's back toda