tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 11, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
this is cnn tonight i'm don lemon it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast and we're live with breaking news, the shameful racist comments by the president of the united states in an oval office meeting on immigrants complaining about immigrants coming from shithole presidents countries like haiti. not only does the white house not deny they think it is good for them land help with their base. let's talk about with our political commentators. mark have to ask you as a republican what's this mean for the party, what's this all mean to you? >> i mean my first reaction if you ask about the party is this is the farthest thing from the
ideals that i think the republican party intends frankly from the founding of the party. the republican party is founded as a party of abolition and suffrage how far we've fallen this is about country this is about the american creed, about a real disappointment and sadness that i feel that the president of the united states doesn't believe in the american creed. which is that it doesn't matter who you are as an individual, where you are from, what your skin color is, what your religion is, what your gender is, anything other than who you are what you bring to the table as an individual that you have a god-given right and opportunity in this country to apply those god-given skills and spark to the marketplace and our communities and that you are judged simply on that and no other marker and that's the american creed and if the american president doesn't believe that than we're in a world of hurt. >> and we're in a world of hurt. had is a president who keeps
finding ways hit new lows and it debases the office, debases our history, debases our country. and he seemingly doesn't care. they don't deny this. there are sur gates out defending it, the fact t. people saying it is good for the base. >> it's gross. >> the worse kind of cynicism it transcends politics, it's pure uglyness and hurts us on the world stage because is absolutely an instult to our immigrant are tradition, come from a president that shows outright contempt for immigrants over and over and this is straight up racist statement. no question about it. >> from the republicans in the room, graham, cotton, purdue, mccarthy, goodlot and diaz-balart why don't had he say anything. >> same reason they didn't say anything when the president made
comments about charlottesville, same when he pardoned joe and when the president endorsed roy moore even after he said he supported slavery. we have a party that is accomplicit with everything that accomplice complicit with everyd trump is doing. trump is the republican representation going forward. this is short sided perspective from the president because demographically yes you can win a debate for a year or two maybe even five or ten years but the country 2044 whites will no longer be the majority of the country which means how you going to build a country when you have a president that represents all americans. >> hold on i think margaret should defend. >> i know people in the room you pointed out, some i know
personally, we don't know, i would imagine mario is vigoriously shaking his head at the very minimum. i mean come on. >> there is no come on. >> we don't know so let's not -- >> -- i know a lot of republicans in the room do not believe it. >> no one said anything who was in there. >> and i think yes it's important to note all of this is second-hand information. i'm not going to defend the phraseology that's reported. i agree as spokes person from utah, if this is true it's hurtful. i agree with that. that said i have not heard said at the table that the president according to secondhand information said he would welcome immigrants from asia so he is open from people coming from other countries --
>> let her finish. >> can i please continue. so this really has to do more with the broader, if you dig deeper here, to the question of is the immigration policy based on skills, based on merit or is it based on natural disasters, based on war. studies show immigrants kept closer to their origin it's better for the immigrant and also better -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> we can debate all that but -- carrie, carrie, carrie -- that's not what the president said. the president said why do we have to take these people i'm paraphrasing, from shithole countries. he didn't say any of the things you said. >> as we all know trump is a very blunt individual. [ laughter ] >> i think that's important. i will let you respond after this. let me play this. you are saying similar things to
what's being said on conservative media and also over at the fox channel the other cable channel -- the trump channel. >> if it's true this is how the forgotten men and women americans talk in a bar. if you are in a bar in wisconsin thinking they are bringing in bunch of people from these countries this is how people talk, is it offensive, course of it but this doesn't move the needle at all. this is who trump is. he zchbt care. iif he doesn't care. there's so many more offensive things that are happening in this world. >> dh is utterly shameless that people would be such partisan hacks to find a way to justify this. they will hang their head in shame when they look back on that clip in few years. you talk about --
it's about are statue of liberty, about bringing in people from war tore areas, it's the american story, that's why we need to think bigger and condemn this. unfortunately the statements show the policy is being advanced by the administration with racial to them. it's been revealed. >> carrie let me ask you this before you respond, carrie, carrie, carrie. >> no what milton freeman said about immigration you could either have open borders or wlfare state you cannot have both. [ overlapping speakers ] >> i was going to ask you what does open borders have to do with calling countries shitholes? >> has to do with the -- >> -- no, no, i will let you
finish but before we get too far from the clip -- what he said -- can we agree the oval office is not a locker room. are you okay with that in the oval office? >> as i said as a girl from utah i agree with mia love that this rhetoric i agree i want to see a shining city on the hill and see the language of reagan and i hope the president will learn. on the issue of will, in the wash post according to national academy of science 58% immigrants are on some form of welfare this is a problem what milton freedman is talking about so if you want to return to the roots of understanding of welfare of having a basically a debt to gdp policy that is rational and not based on emotion. it's a problem. >> republican strategist i just retweeted 43% of these immigrants two or three these so called shithole countries actually have bachelors compared
to 33% americans in this country so they are better educated than the people who live in this country so don't slander them with this racist baloney. and for god's sake for one time let us have a president who lifts us up instead of brings us down. this is what's so disturbing about the rhetoric of donald trump i've never seen a president of any party that's been so divisive as this president has. >> nixon tape's are an embarrassment to the nation, never thought we'd see it broadcast in our time given america today. we have more noble prize winners disproportionately immigrants. -- i think trying to dress this as a policy conversation -- i think really doesn't deal with the heart of what was the uglyness that was said by the president of the united states in the white house.iness
that was said by the president of the united states in the white house. >> let's get to this, that's why this whole talking point that this is about economics and not race is false. if you look at the research this is not about economics it's about flat out racism. >> if he says i want more norwegians what's that about. >> and if he says i want more asian americans that's about. >> have you never heard before, it's an insult to asian americans to suggest that they are somehow the only race acceptable to come in but others are not. that suggests that asian americans are on a pedestal and they don't find it as a flattering portrayal. >> i think what tom cotton and other republicans have said with the rubric they want is to have a immigration system based on skills and merit and what you're bringing in. no matter where they are coming in, wherever, it should be based
on mer it. should not be a color-blind test. >> what carrie is trying to do is keep it often policy because that's what we all want to do. >> that's not what the president did. >> that's what she's trying to do. don't think she is trying to excuse his bad behavior. >> i agree. >> i don't think we can have that policy argument in the face of the kind of ugliness you see from the president of the united states. because it isn't honest about what he said and why he said it. so it's hard. and is the problem he then under mines his ability to be effective on a policy front by speaking this way. >> this is the problem it's no more mr. nice conservative problem. and was identified astutely in 2016 can had is when republicans were polite and kind like mitt romney or john mccain who spoke eloquently and didn't say things that were hurtful. those people were dehumanized by
the main stream media and that's why president trump was able to do what he did? >> what. >> in terms of this rhetoric. >> i'm not following what you are saying. [ overlapping speakers ] >> none of the republicans could get elected, trump is the republican that got elected with 78,000 votes in three state against weak republican candidates and number of other dynamics so this is the key -- look this is not the american creed, not the american religion this is something that unifies and brings our country together and he is not doing that. >> anybody else? i'm going to go to break. i have so much to say and so much to get to about why this president was elected, why he said what he said, everyone keeps pretending it's about economics or about the worker who is voiceless in the mid-west it's not about that. we all know. >> that's a throw away. >> yes. >> entirely. >> not entirely but it is a big
part of how we got because it is for people who did not prioritize racism. are you going to tell me during this election that he didn't say racist things? so if you prioritize racism in anyway how could you support this person if you prioritize that. so if someone says something about women or something about any minority group or any person if someone calls out someone's wife and compares them and says my wife is prettier than your wife that sort of behavior, if you say what do you have to lose. if you call nfl players sons of bitches, if you say people should be killed and then -- mexicans are rapists and you say people should be killed and then they're exonerated. that means you looked at your pocketbook or whatever priority you had above racism and placed it there and kept pushing it down and making excuses for it. and sadly, women, especially
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things like why do we need haitians take them out. let's bring in our analytics let's educate folks. josh you had wrote a lot, is there anyway interpret donald trump's other than blatantly racist. >> absolutely not. they have an enormous impact. here's the difference between donald trump and 44 presidents before him. many of those presidents had significant flaws, there were good ones and bad ones and many spl where in between but at least they attempted to represent the best of the american instinct and the best of american character at least in public. donald trump doesn't even try. he's not even pretending to have anything more than the most base instinct, the most vulgar
reactions and really degrading this office and i think we will see ripple effects for years to come. it's not just about the presidency, don, also about families. in thousands of classrooms around the country tomorrow will be little kid whose families come from those countries and will walk into that classroom neend their president thinking their country of origin is a hole and they will have kids looking at them and wondering how they feel. is really degrading to both the presidency and our very families as well. >> douglas i want to bring you in now. some presidents of the past have been known to be racist, you say president nixon would talk in private never in the public spear that was decades ago though is there any excuse for that kind of ignorance now in 2018. >> absolutely donald trump is the most racist president since
woodrow wilson at this juncture, shithole gate beats wilson out. george w. bush did amazing work with aids in africa, saved millions of lives, jimmy carter won a noble prize in africa doing crop yields increases, or fighting worm disease, river blindness, the clinton foundation was all over haiti down there doing amazing work. all former president in recent times have love and compassion in their heart, donald trump has a heart of stone and he doesn't like these people. and i think we need to have religious leaders now speak out. people from the catholic church, mormon church. tonight to me is some kind of tipping point. i know it's a trumpism but no sane person can say this isn't just blatant racism that we heard utters out ever the american president's mouth.
where is lindy graham and tom cotton where is their tweet. they always want the to do their interview on television. denounce the president loud and clear. it's a loser in history hit your kite with on this one. >> donald trump was pointing out a statement about martin luther king junior as his story was breaking he said this -- so do you agree with that? >> well, look, i don't -- now that martin luther king weekend is upon us i don't think donald trump has any right to mention the name martin luther king he knows nothing with his historical legacy. as you well know dr. king's
letter from the birmingham city jail was pleading with southern pastors, speak up. what's deafening tonight is the silence coming out of the grand ole party of lincoln they're just sitting this one out. it's inveechbt for some. it's inconvenient for some. and i think trump needs to pay a heavy price and republican party needs to distance them self very quickly. >> he has no right to speak the word king also has no right to speak the word haiti. i'm not sure he understands haiti's history this was a country of west african slaves, beaten down and subjectated and put through the worse imaginable in history until 1791 they rose up and fought one of the greatest empires in the world the french between then and 1804 this band of evolutionaries they
won, they rose up and secured their independence for themselves. they had wonderful decades, some challenging, many in between. they had to endure everything from terrible political leadership to earthquake but are still standing, some of the wisest and most innovativive people in the world trump next to haiti i'd rather stand in porto prince for a year than stand in trump tower. >> thank you for your perspective. we will come back with more. president making a mockery of the words on the statue of liberty. give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to be free.
commentators -- good even to all of you. molly, going to start with you. what was your immediate reaction to hearing president trump call african countries and haiti shithole countries? >> quite honestly it was, this again? >> yeah. >> it just seems like this is donald trump's whole world view that he has been expressing, pretty much explicitly from the very beginning of the campaign and before that. this is a man who believes that people are different from one another, different kinds of people are better than other kinds of people. you know people from mexico aren't as good as the people from america and people from certain countries he was reported a while ago as saying they all have aids he thinks in stereotypes, in a very broad brush, in many cases antiquity
ated stereotypes about the broad world and what he thinks of this stuff it just comes out. >> you say donald trump shows the coursening of america. >> i bartended for years and trump's language sounds like the guy at the end of the bar nobody wants to sit next to he's the archie bunker with a twitter feed. talked about nigerian working in huts and we talk about mexican rapists and now haitians from shithole country we're getting donald trump's world view why say it in front of a democratic it congressman trying to strike a deal with republicans on immigration, that's what they were doing in the west wing, all this does is set that process back further. >> we all know this is not the first time he's said something
offensive. >> donald j trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states. >> when mexico sends its people they are not sending their best they're bringing drug, crime, rapists, and some i assume are good people. >> look at my african-american over here, look at him. are you the greatest. >> he's a mexican, we're building a wall between here and mexico. >> his wife if you look at his wife she was standing there with nothing to say maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say, you tell me. >> you had some very bad people in that group but you also had people that were very fine people. on both sides. >> this is a serious and offensive pattern with this president. i mean, does he even -- does he not know he's racist? >> it is exactly that, a pattern. you have people depending the president and a lot of people
criticizing him one thing you heard from literally no one was oh, i don't believe he said that. that doesn't sound like him at all. people heard this and said yeah it probably happened. so that's a big political problem for the president. the deeper problem you have a situation this is graceless, there's no generosity, it shows he has no home training. on its face as you say don a rational person looks at this and says how can you look at it and say it's anything other than racist. big picture this is the person who was elected and now speaks for the american people writ large. this is who is speaking for us as a country someone who doesn't fundamentally understand or resists understanding that i heard rick wilson say this in your last hour, america unlike countries in the world is not a ethnic group we're an idea we're a constitution, we're a society, and we believe in something and it's a nation of immigrants.
and he resists that. >> josh, representative send rick richmond the chairman of the congressional blauk caucus released this statement saying the he president's statement is further prove it's make america white again. >> it's hard to argue against that. not only is he specifying african countries as shitholes and hut dwellers he is saying hey we ought to have more norwegians can you find whiter people than norwegians? i don't think so. >> so you're hearing make america white again if you are white and are offended then you obviously have avenn issue. that's what he said we want more immigrants from norway instead of the shithole country chz are black and brown people. >> again archie bunker with the twitter feed.
he got elected because he activated a lot of rural, white older people. i guess he has internalized the belief that look this is what works for me. i'm going to keep saying it. >> molly the white house is not denying what president trump said. in fact somehow staffers think it will resonate with his base. but shouldn't the president do more than simply appeal to his base? shouldn't he represent the best and not the worst of america. >> well sure. i think first of all it is not family physician he pl as if he planned to say this. wouldn't be the first time they 4 to clean up his mess after finding out that he did something they would not advise him to do. the idea it is helping him is post hoc rationalization. i want to go back to something josh said that i think is really important because i this idea certainly not going to help him make the deal he wants to make
on immigration it is starting to see like he's stopped trying to be better at presidenting. this is not the comment of a guy who is trying to act right and walking on egg shells trying not to alienate people so he can get the deelt done the deal done. the cover package this week is about the trump and white house relationship at the one year mark and there was a feeling after the tax bill done they are past hoping to control him but maybe felt good things could get done if he tried doesn't sound like a guy who is trying frankly. >> to molly's point she said they didn't think he would say it. seems like an ad hoc reaction from the folks who were there. they came out against this wolff book so hard and he wrote the same thing in the book that staffers are often taken back by what the president says and they
have to scramble and a lot of them think like this is too much. how did we fix this. so a lot of people have said what's written in the book is false but this -- one ever the scenarios spoken about heavily in this book, a president who can't seem to control himself. >> yeah can't control himself and look the book is its own topic. there are going to be quotes that are challenged. >> they should be. >> yeah they should be challenged. but the big picture of what michael wolflef was getting at in that book it is sort of validated by an episode like what we see today. i think one of the biggest prisons for his staff and for the frez president and for us as a country is that when you have a presidency whose [ speaking foreign language ]. if i can use that phrase is just a grandizing president trump. is just getting him into the
white house and continually pushing him out there as the sort of mouth piece for some sort of nasty ethos that a certain slice of the electorate likes, and not focused on policy. not focused on really driving an agenda. when the president himself doesn't have a grasp on the fine details of that agenda whether today's slip up with fiezer the other day with daca saying sure i'll sign a clean daca bill you will rung into these problems because if all you're doing is talking and not trying ing tin the point home about this or that legislation and if he's like an archie bunker this is where you wind out. >> it's worse when you think about it. are trump said in that highly touted televised meeting
literally a bipartisan gang of six agreed on a bill came here to present and it he dumped all over it and called immigrants shitholers. i don't know. it speaks to the kind of eradict and unstable port rate of trump that has stood out more for me in michael wolff's book. >> thank you all and for the fancy language. >> is france shithole, i'm not clear. >> reason for being that's really his whole reason for being. thank you all i appreciate it. when we come back seven lawmakers were present when the president made his dispicable comments. will any of them come out against him? did any of them stand up to him in that meet snging? can we do this tomorrow? if you have heart failure symptoms, your risk of hospitalization could increase, making tomorrow uncertain.
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my god, i never in a million years, look i'm older than i look, i like to think that. >> you look good. >> never thought i would be saying shithole on television or some of the words i've been saying in the last two and half years or having to call the president of the united states a liar because he just flat out lies. it is a bizarre place to be in but governor, let's start with you. thank you both for coming on. >> yeah of course. >> seven elected officials on both sides of the aisle that room when the president said what he said we are not haring anything from them they're not saying it's outrageous maybe they will i don't know. >> yeah maybe they will. let's just say this is a test for them. is a test for the republican party. got a few people who have come out. i think it's a moment for them to be able to say this is not who we are as a nation. and to reject him.
honestly. i mean, don, you have an international audience, right, if i had the power to apologize to the world for what donald trump was saying i would do it in a heart beat but i will say this to anybody who is watching on your international from your international audience that this is not who we are as a country. he does not represent the vast majority of americans. we find him an embarrasment. and many of us are working to make sure that he's never, ever elected. and i would say that to the moderate republicans, the republicans who reject this, to the conservative republican who reject this and the whole spectrum of americans who know this is against our creed i would say this is an opportunity for us to stand up and say who we are. to be the country of statue of liberty not the country of pepe
the frog. this is a moment for us to rise up america and say this is not who we are. >> it is pretty black and white, no pun intended with that, it's pretty clear. nor have any of these issued a statement that i mentioned condemning the remarks, kevin what do you think is that acceptable zm. >> look i think two calculations are made and both are wrong, first is maybe this won't get out. we learned by watching this white house that everything eventually becomes a breaking news story because someone in the white house leaks it out. the second part which is more important to the overall democrats and the overall democracy and fabric who we are as a country is that some of these folks believe it is not their responsibility. that's where they are wrong. it is their responsibility. the old saying that all that's
required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. well it is time that the people who are in the room when the president makes these type of remarks that are a. against everything we stand for as americans confront the president and actually point this out and do so to their con stit unites. there's all sorts of reflects of calculation that's members of congress or senators make about alienating their base but this is one the times it is really important to stand up and talk about who we are as a country and then talk about who we can be as a party when discussing some of the differences amongst id yolgical opponents. >> and also leading on your base too. >> we hope that could happen governor go on. >> i was going to say everybody's talking about it's his base, you know, he has a
moment to actually lead in this world. he can lead his base to something higher and not to the base. he can show them that this is not who we are. i mean, good grief, what is america if it is not this fabulous exceptional collection of people from all over the globe including people who were brought here and people who were originally here. i just think that the people who were in the room have an obligation but i think all republicans have an obligation all people have an obligation. kevin i so appreciate you standing up clearly and saying that tonight that a lot of people on your show tonight have done that don. i'm curious if mitt romney would stand up i'm sure he probably would. >> i expect he will. >> it's a moment for contrast. >> i hope you're right. >> yes. >> this is time where moments like these leadership is forged time for people to confront the
president say this is not going to go away everyone will wake up tomorrow with the pressure only mounting to condemn this time of rhetoric. >> kevin and governor -- >> instead of relishing in it. >> -- thank you both see you next time. we'll come back, news in the russia investigation who else knew about the infamous trump tower meeting with russian officials.
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we have news tonight about the russia investigation. president trump apparently getting pointed advice about whether to talk to special counsel robert mueller. here it discuss. kari cord row. form counsel to assistant attorney general for national security and john flannery aba former federal prosecutor for the southern district of new york. thank you for coming on. john, multiple sources tell cnn tonight that close friends and advisers of president trump are warning him against sitting down for of an interview with the special counsel. what are they afraid of. >> they're afraid of a man, trump tourettes, i suppose and mixture of admissions and fancy and him stumbling over himself. but this is a bad game. i mean seneca said fate leads
you to destiny or drags to you it. he is going to end up invoking the fifth amendment. starr served clinton with a subpoena. that's what i imagine mueller will do when he needs that information. it's going to be a disaster for trump. >> carrie, a source from the legal team says trump got a little ahead of himself in his comments yesterday in he had yesterday's news conference about whether he would meet with the special counsel team in the russia investigation. who is the has the upper hand, trump or mueller? >> well i think the special counsel has a lot of leverage in terms of sort of setting the road ahead and determining who is interviewed and when they're sbrfd and what about. the president will cult with lawyers and they'll perhaps try to hold off the interviews for some period of time if they can. and they'll try to negotiate the terms of them. the location, who is going to be
there. what the substance of the interviews will be about. but when the special counsel decides that it's time to interview the president for purposes of continuing the investigation it's- it's going to happen one way or another. >> john, you know the ranking exact on the house intelligence committee says republicans on the committee are blocking witnesses from being interviewed as part of the -- their ongoing russia investigation. including some who may have information on the june 10u6r meeting at trump tower. s in representative adam schiff. he said this he will earlier today on cnn. >> there are individuals that were aware of the meeting and the purpose of the meeting that we would like to have come before our committee. we have requested that they be brought before the committee and asked the majority to do so. they have not been willing to do that. and i don't think we can do a complete investigation unless we take that step. and a great many others. these are very basic foundational investigative steps that we have not been permitted to do by the majority. and i hope we will because there is no way we can represent that
we doator thorough job if we don't. >> so schiff places the blame on devin nunes who at one point had to rekuz himself from the investigation. why do you think nunes is blocking the interviews. >> well in the beginning you saw he a had a favorism if we can put it that little with the white house. and so he has decided to throw himself into the attack the investigation camp. and adam schiff is a worthy opponent because adam is former federal prosecutor. when he says we have 30 witnessance we need to see them and we're not that's important. one of them was ivanka trump who had a chance meeting with the attendees at the june 9th meet meeting. that's a critical meeting and they've done everything they can to keep people away from it. i'm sure the special prosecutor is ahead of everybody on this matter. because we don't no he exactly what he has. what we know publicly he says that is the center of the
obstruction and the center of the connection with the russians. >> i got to ask you, carrie is the house investigation all but dead at this point because of partisan infighting and bickering. >> the house intelligence committee, this investigation has to be on the last legs. people like congressman schiff and some of the other members of the committee have been trying to conduct a serious investigation, have been trying to get to the bottom of russian meddling. but this intelligence committee investigation has become so polarized and so not conducted in a bipartisan way that i think at this point no matter what they come out with even if they were able to complete their investigation and issue some kind of report it's just not going to be credible. because the chair has conducted it in a way that has not been transparent, has not been done in a bipartisan way. and so even if they finish it it's not going to be credible anyway. >> john, carrie, thank you very much. that's all we have time for.
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good evening. the president of the united states is tired of so many black people coming to this country. tired of immigrants from haiti and africa being allowed in. quote, why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here, the president said today at the white house. his comments reported first by "the washington post" confirmed by cnn and amazingly not denied by the president or the people around him. tired of africans and haitianing, the president would like more people from cup trees like norway, norway, white people, in other words. james baldwin, the great writer, the great american said ignorance alied with power is the most ferocious enemy we can have.