tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 6, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
information officer, he was nice enough to do an interview with us. one of the challenges we have, we have eye injuries, because of this ash. we're getting these guys as many hot meals as we can. >> paul vercammen, thank you. >> thanks for watch iing 360, te to hand it over to don lemon. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon, we have major breaking news tonight on the russia investigation. the president's own son and namesake refusing today in a marathon all day session to tell the house intel committee what he and his father discussed avenues broke about his meeting in 2016. trump junior believed had turt on hillary clinton's campaign. the president's son invoking attorney client privilege, leading to questions like exactly why he would do that. let's remember, trump junior
first claimed that meeting was about russian adoptions. a story that didn't last long, he admitted he had been promised dirt on hillary clinton's campaign and had learneded russian government, wand his father to win the presidency. paul manafort who was then the campaign chairman also attended that meeting. donald trump jr. says he spoke with white house aid hope hicks when news of the meeting first broke. tonight a lot of people in the white house, are probably looking over their shoulders and wondering who said what to whom. one person who is definitely paying close attention to all this is special council robert mueller. after spending all day testifying and refusing to tell the whole story to investigators, donald trump jr. takes to twitter tonight. nothing like trying to claim the moral high ground years after
you should have. blasting democrats for being late, holding al franken whose days in the senate may well be numbered after the majority of democrats call on him to resign. to account for groping allegations. completely glossing over the fact that his own father has never been held to account for the accusations against him. matthew rosenberg as well as cnn's national security analyst and a correspondent for the new york times. good evening, mano, i'm going to start with you, donald trump jr. refusing to answer questions about communications with his father in a marathon session before the house intel committee today, what do you know about that? >> well, he answered a lot of questions, don. but the one thing he would not answer was, what exactly he discussed with his father after the news broke in the new york times early this year, about this meeting that occurred in june of 2016 at trump tower where jared kushner, paul
manafort is there, and that we have now learned he was promised dirt from the russians, on the clinton campaign and was told in an e-mail communication that the russian government wanted to help his father win the election. >> after donald trump jr. published those e-mails on his twitter account. he did in fact middle east with his father. we're now learning after that occurred, he put those on twitter. now, he said that he would not respond to questions about that meeting with his father, because he said attorney client privilege, since there were attorneys in the room, that's what he told the lawmakers today, as part of the session. now, democrats were not happy about this, adam schiff came on afterwards saying you can't invoke attorney client privilege like this, he's pushing them to respond to those questions. don, republicans on the other end, they seemed satisfied. mike conaway the top republican
who is investigating this russian issue on the house side, said, he's answering all of our questions. they didn't see a need to call donald trump jr. back. >> don junior did say that he spoke to hope hicks when confronted with the news reports of the trump tower meeting with russia, right? >> yeah, that's right. >> sources are telling us that in fact, that's what he did testify today, he changed text messages with hope hicks, once he was confronted that this news was about to break about this trump tower meeting, and, of course, that initial response was not entirely accurate, they gave a small picture of what happened in this meeting, they did not say initially donald trump junior did not say initially he was promised dirt on the clinton campaign, talked instead about russian adoptions. we know there was some white house involvement, according to donald trump jr.'s testimony today. we know there was an effort on air force one to craft a
response that president trump himself was involved with. he did not say he talked directly with his father about the resbons, but by acknowledging that the white house communications director was involved, it raises questions about whether or not the white house is trying to mislead the public in anyway about what this trump tower meeting was about, and whether they were trying to mislead investigators as well, don. >> you're speaking to your sources about don jr.'s testimony, what are you learning? >> there's the issue of whether this conversation was somehow subject to attorney client privilege. we also heard that the subject of his e-mails or twitter messages with wiki leaks came up, he compared wiki leaks to another media organization, said it was just like jake tapper at cnn. and, you know, there are also questions about phone calls he made around the meeting in june 2016 with the russian lawyer. some of those calls still remain unclear, mostly what we heard is
that mr. trump had a lot of i do not recall answers, do not recall this, i do not recall that. certainly frustrating to the democrats on the committee. republicans feel otherwise. going into this, there are a lot of questions, i don't get the impression that many of them were cleared up. >> why are they so concerned about it? they feel that he is just not being straightforward with him? you said republicans are okay with it, democrats are not? >> this incredibly is incredibly divided. far more divided than it's counterpart on how to proceed in this investigation. that meeting, what went on in trump tower, there's questions about who knew what when, whether donald trump himself knew anything about it, i don't think those have been answered as far as the democrats have been concerned or for other investigations. the public still has a lot of questions too. >> matthew, thank you very much, i appreciate that. i want to turn to a member of the house committee.
congressman, thank you for joining us, so many questions this evening. your colleague and ranking member adam schiff wasn't thrilled that donald trump jr. refused to discuss his conversations with president trump about the trump tower meeting, citing attorney client privilege. you heard that in the reporting, and you were -- members were there. what can you tell us about that? >> i can tell you this, don. then candidate donald trump was not donald trump jr.'s attorney. donald trump jr. was not the candidate's attorney. there's no attorney client privilege at work here whatsoever. i want to make another observation about this. in light of the tweet that donald jr. sent out tonight. there's a fundamental misunderstanding being made by the trump administration. they are misapplying their chaos theory, which has worked pretty well for them in the political realm, to the legal realm, the
truth of the matter is, during the campaign and even in the last 11 months, the daily tweet storm of provocative, outrageous things has had a way of serving them well. the truth of the matter is, bob mueller doesn't care at all about donald trump jr.'s tweets or donald trump sr.'s tweets in so far as they may be used as evidence. there's the political environment, there's a legal environment and they're confusing the two. >> i would imagine, i don't want to put words in your mouth, did you think that donald trump jr. was trying to hide something? what do you think he's trying to hide? >> so the fact of the matter is, over several dozen witnesses, if truly i had a nickel for every time somebody had said, i do not recall, i do not believe so, to the best of my recollection, i could add all that together and retire on the interest paid on
the principle sum. >> jackie spears says that donald trump jr. has a serious case of amnesia. that would distinguish him from a lot of the other witnesses. >> by your report tonight you almost were there. >> do you know how many times he said, i do not recall in this meeting? was it -- >> i don't. interestingly enough, a couple witnesses ago, i started making #s on my yellow pad, in the first 40 minutes i hit 23 and i gave up. >> what can you tell us about his demeanor, he was with you guys for eight hours, was he calm, cattive? >> no, mostly calm. i'm not incredibly comfortable characterizing in too particular elements what the transaction
was there, but i will say this. a couple of the gaps have been highlighted here in this report understandably so. we also learned some things, which i'm not at liberty to reveal, that i think helped move this forward. the truth of the matter is, i think we get a little bit of that. notwithstanding the number of times they say, i don't recollect, i don't remember or i don't believe so. we get a little something out of every one of them, it's our job to string them together, identify where the inconsistencies are, and take the seeds of truth and fact and piece it all together in our work product going-forward. >> let's talk about your colleagues on the other side of the aisle. republicans, how did they respond to don jr. invoking attorney client privilege? >> so i think what's a mistake is to characterize what's happening in the select intelligence committee is a purely partisan undertaking, there's no question, and everybody can see it for what it is, that there are varying degrees of enthusiasm from the
majority party. especially compared to those of us who believe this is an existential threat to our democracy, russian interference on our election, we're duty bound to get to the bottom of it. you can't paint all republicans with the same brush. there are some who deeply believe that what the russians did was wrong, and they want to get at the truth, and there are some that believe we have to come up with recommendations about how we can protect ourselves against this going into the future. the truth is, the next general election in this country, they're like 11 months away, we need to get on with our work. >> congressman denny heck, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. when we come back, the president's son claimed attorney/client privilege, when he refused to say what he and his father discussed about his trump tower meeting. why would he need to do that? i'm going to ask two attorneys next. ranked mattress
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donald trump jr. woengt tell lawmakers what he and the president discussed about his meeting with russians. two senior analysts are here good evening to both of you, so glad to have you on. i want to first get your reaction to don jr. refusing to tell the house investigators what he discussed with his father, after reports surfaced about that trump tower meeting.
invoking attorney client privilege about these hearings. does that apply? >> it doesn't seem to be at all. it would say, because a lawyer is in the room with you, the attorney client privilege attaches, here in washington, d.c., you throw a rock, you're going to hit about 42 attorneys, our conversation right now, would be attorney/client privilege, if that was the even requirement you had to have have you to have a conversation, intended to be confidential. if you're talking too his father, there's no advice being given or advice is being solicited. how could it possibly attach. >> if you agree with that, then, by citing attorney client privilege. the question becomes, what might he be hiding? >> well, it's clear that this was not a spur of the moment invocation.
donald jr. must have anticipated with his attorneys that he would be asked this question, as laura points out, attorney client privilege only applies when an individual is seeking advice from an attorney and providing information in order for the attorney to provide legal advice. we don't know who these lawyers are, i bet you they were not donald trump's attorneys and probably not personal attorneys for his father. a conversation with hope hicks wouldn't be privileged because she wasn't acting in an attorney capacity, so this is bogus and just one more distraction he'll have to come back, i'm sure and collar phi whether he's invoking a fifth amendment privilege which is his privilege to do, or some other valid privilege. >> got you, he's going to have to answer for that, you think?
>> richard, is he in any legal jeopardy? >>. >> he's in legal jeopardy, if he has participated in an unlawful conspiracy, to aid and assist the hacking of information from -- >> not legal jeopardy from his testimony today? invoking the attorney client privilege of saying he doesn't recall? >> no, unless his testimony was -- as i understand it, given under oath, if he stated that he could not recall things that he obviously should have recalled. that's not an absolute guarantee you won't be prosecuted for perjury. i've been involved in the prosecution of individuals including in watergate, who said they couldn't recall and it was proved that they were lying.
>> don jr. also testified that he spoke to hope hicks. not his father when he was confronted with these reports of the june 2016 meeting. does it matter who he spoke to? >> i think he's trying to distance himself and prove loyalty to his father. that's a worthwhile endeavor, it's not going to satisfy robert mueller because it does not exonerate donald trump, if he was a participant in a discussion that was going to mislead either the public which is okay to do, but ultimately to mislead any investigators in this particular claim. even if it was someone who had more of a tertiary or outside role, if it was still a role, he has not exonerated his father. i'm sure he's satisfied the loyalty test that his father often has invoked.
>> he may have sent text messages to a former business colleague about a plan to join russia about an energy project sanctions would be ripped up. his lawyers are denying it, is this going to be about following the money, do you think? >> absolutely. >> you almost have the impression to follow the money, when you do so. you will find that michael flynn first of all -- one of the reasons he convinced him to take a guilty plea on one count. you really find a due miss to us person who had a partisan based interest, removing the sanctions that were imposed while he was a civilian. you also have somebody who was trying to have an actual financial benefit from an actual policy. in both accounts, you have
corroboration, someone with a due miss to us intent was subject to manipulation by someone trying to included with them for interference in the election. >> this is outrageous if it is true, that the national security adviser would immediately upon the swearing-in of the new president be texting a former business partner giving him inside information about allowing russian participation in a nuclear deal. >> could there be more charges? >>. >> only if they are new and haven't been disclosed by flynn. just to clarify, to follow the
money conversation never occurred. >> i had to account for all the president's men. >> you want to believe me or the movie? i believe you. it's important to mention that one of the reasons that the attorneys for at least his business partners are saying this has never taken place, aside from weather it was a movie or figment of my imagination, michael flynn right now, upon having taken a guilty plea is the quintessential persona nongrat ta. they don't know what he's exposed. they do not want to be associated with somebody who may be in the complete line of fire of robert mueller. it's very likely they're saying
this never took place. if he did have this conversation. how did he maintain his security clearance about having a financial interest. he would ultimately have to deal with disclosure. there is a violation of law. >> if he sent a text, bob mueller will find it. >> i have to go. whether it was in the movie or not, he will find it. it's paid off for a lot of investigations. >> richard, i believe you as well. >> we come back, the president setting off a firestorm by recognizing jerusalem as the capital of israel. there are warnings of outrage. ♪shostakovich playing ♪
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the president's stunning decision today setting off a firestorm around the world, senior white house officials forced to acknowledge that decision has derailed the peace process. here to discuss, fareed zakaria. thank you, sir for joining us. do you think this was an unstrategic decision or move? >> well, you know, here we have the guy that keeps telling us he's the world's best negotiator. i don't know anybody who understands why you would do this preemptively without getting anything in return, i completely understand the merits off recording jerusalem as the capital of israel. it is de facto, they will continue to be.
the whole idea was, you give this to the israelis and they give something in return. if you're trying to play that game, trying to get a deal, why would you do only one side? it feels completely unstrategic, not tethers to any process. it feels as though it's a gratuitous symbolic slap in the face of millions of palestinians, tens of millions of arabs without doing anything. >> campaign promise, it was a campaign promise. >> so was building the wall and getting mexico to pay for it. i don't know -- >> this seems purely political in the sense that it was just a campaign promise as you said, the one thing that people are mentioning is, bringing a halt at least or the promise to not expanding settlements. >> we don't -- we have no concession from the israelis on
th this, that we know of that will stick. this whole issue has been a phony issue created for americans. congress in 1995 sponsored a bill saying, israel -- the united states is going to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. why did it go l do that? bob dole wanted to show that he was pro israeli and he didn't have much of a voting record that suggested that, so he latches on to this issue, turns it into a bill. it passes and it has this waiver and everyone understood the president would keep exercising this waiver, so it was meaningless. it started as an act of political pandering, it's ended as an act of political pandering. >> let's listen to the president today. >> we want an agreement that is a great deal for the israelis, and a great deal for the palestinians. so today we call for calm, for
moderation, and for the voices of tolerance. to preveal over the per vares of hate. >> this decision will bolster extremist calls for holy wars and delegitimize the united states as an arbiter in the peace process. do you agree with that? >> i think it makes it hard for the u.s. to be an honest broker, to claim that it's trying to look after the interest of both sides, when you're trying to do these, you are trying to get each side to make concessions. whether it will cause violence i doubt it. the palestinians are so weak, so divided, so dysfunctional. israel is so strong. i don't really think it changes anything. it increases the despair of palestinians, it increases the reality that they are in this kind of lose lose situation. could that at some point explode? yeah, but you know, israel has a tight grip on the situation. they have built a wall, israel's
army is now in a league of its own. it's a regional superpower, no, it just adds to the dysfunction and despair, for those that don't want to live with 6 million people who live on israeli controls. it adds to the moral embarrassment of a country like israel which is a real democracy, having this kind of weird population that's in a quasi colonial situation of dependency on it. >> vice president pence stood prominently behind the president today, in 2002, here's what he said to congressional quarterly. my support for israel stems largely from my personal faith in the bible. god promises abraham, those who bless you i will bless, and those who curse you, i will curse. the vice president is a key go
between with evangelical groups in the administration, this deliberation about jerusalem, why is it so important to you? >> evangelicals do believe -- i mean, they have a liberalist interpretation of the bible. they see israel as part of the narrative particularly of the old testament, you know, it is possible that president trump was thinking about the roy moore election, and the role that i n evangelicals could play there, it's possible he was thinking about sheldon adelson and some of the prominent backers he had. steve bannon has pointed out that sheldon adelson was one of the few people that stayed with trump the day after the access hollywood tapes came out. there is some kind of deep loyalty there. but you know it's an odd thing to be done. the united states has tried to
be an asher of peace in the middle east, and what we are now moving into is the united states kind of nakedly partisan, most of american policy in the middle east, is now nakedly anti-iranian. which is like we signed on to the saudi agenda. whether it's in yemen or qatar. we are supporting saudi arabia, in a war that's about to turn into the worst famine in the world. >> yemen has been destroyed as a country. it may be the world's worst humanitarian crisis. we're exacerbating the divisions of the divide rather than trying to heal it. the idea of the united states as this broader power that had a more peripheral version was worried about peace and stability, is going away, we're turning into one more of the very partisan sectarian actors picking sides. >> that's what president abbas said today that we lost the role of arbiter. >> you have the king of saudi
arabia, the pope and the european union criticizing you, you've probably done something at least questionable. >> always a pleasure, thank you. >> don't miss fareed zakaria sunday on cnn, over 30 democratic senators now calling on al franken to resign, the senator saying he'll make an announcement tomorrow. will he resign, should he resign and could that force the gop to reexamine accusations plaguing their own party. and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (avo) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes
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where we are in politics today. the ranks of democratic senators. calling for al franken's resignation growing and growing. >> this was a coordinated effort, you had the democratic women stepping out first to be the ones to say, we find this unacceptable and then the minority leader chuck schumer having conversations with senator franken. when he did not succeed, also making a public statement near the end of the day. combination of the weight of the multiple accusations now that there have been 7 or 8 against senator franken. and just the length of time that this has gone on, reached a critical mass. most of the caucus now having called on him to resign.
>> do you think democrats would be limited in their response to roy more. >> i'm curious of the people who have knowledge how this came to be. they were giving franken some space to do the rights thing and i think when you had the 7th accuser come out, that was when they said, okay, too much, we can't give you any more time. they believe the women. they wanted him to do the right thing, he wasn't doing the right thing. so they called on him to resign. >> where do you think republicans should be on this can they call for franken's invitation? >> i would look at this
differently. there are certain issues in this country. whether you're republican or democrat, we should all be standing up as one, and criticizing this type of behavior, whether it's on either side of the aisle, i would put this on things like racism or religious freedoms, there are some things that transcend politics. a lot of the things we're seeing in the news today, we should be standing up as one, there was a lot of condemnation of moore, just like with franken, it hasn't been universal. a lot of republicans did step up and criticize moore and i'm glad to see the same thing is happening with franken honestly. >> it's pretty universal with franken. >> yes, it's true, a lot of the republican establishment did criticize moore. what's a little dink, they've come back around, and they didn't like moore in the first place, versus democrats really like franken.
kirstin gillibrand has a good relationship with him, this could not have been an easy thing to do. they love al franken, he's a progressive hero. the beranal is donald trump. donald trump, no one is calling on donald trump. >> at the top of the show, i talked about how don junior after testifying today for eight hours or however long he was there, didn't talk about that, according to people who were there, he wasn't very forthcoming, then comes out and talks about democrats. >> he didn't steal it, the apple doesn't fall far. i have to ask you about this, john. i think most people will agree with you, this is something where -- this is universal, everyone should be in the same place on this, chris christie today showed a bit of a double standard we're hearing from republicans on why they won't denounce roy moore, listen to this. >> if roy moore is elected, it's the reflection of the opinion of the voters of bama, nothing
more, nothing less. if we're going to make john conyers leave, the longest serving member of congress has to resign. then al franken should go too. >> he's saying the same standard should apply to everyone, except roy moore, does that make much sense? >> it's literally true that the voters of bama will make this decision, but you know, what he was being asked was what he thinks they should do, and who he thinks deserves to be in the congress. the only people who could fire al franken accept outside of any disciplinary proceedings are the voters of minnesota, that doesn't stop his colleagues and others from weighing in and saying whether they think this is acceptable behavior for somebody who is inned united states senate. you do hear -- you hear this from both sides, this has become a politicized issue. why should we have to abandon roy moore if democrats are
sticking by their people. now you have a lot of democrats saying, it's not fair we have to lose someone we like, al franken, when the republicans get to keep their dirty old man. it is not. i don't think a partisan phenomenon, we are seeing a lot of partisan responses to them. >> this is not the hill you want to die on. this issue is not it, and i think everyone can agree with john, universally, one standard, should be applied to everyone. we'll talk more. when we come back, steve bannon making vicious and republican attacks against the republican establishment, is he in a full on war against the gop, if so, who will win? but it was like, "honey, i am way too decadent for you!" so i came up with o, that's good! a new line of comfort soups with a nutritious twist. we replaced a hunk of this... with velvety butternut squash.
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back with me now, kirsten powers, molly ball. i want to play what he said last night while campaigning for roadway moore. >> let's talk about the republican establishment. they first came after judge moore. this is the scam. they don't mind giving up a seat to a democrat. do you know why? they don't mind being the
minority party out of power. they don't. here's the joke. they can make as much money on the way down as they made on the way up. >> so kirsten, ban nonslammed any republican who came out against roy moore. if he wins does he get credit for re-energizing the right wing? i opened my jacket. i have my tea. hopefully i can make it through the next hour and ten minutes. i'm sorry. go ahead. >> is he going to get credit? yeah, i think he will. is that something you want credit for? i guess if you're steve bannon, you do. i don't know why anybody wants credit for helping elect roy moore. the reason the establishment doesn't like roy moore isn't because of the reasons he said. it's because of the obvious problems with him. he says a lot of -- separate from the fact that he has accusations against him with the girls, he also says a lot of
troubling, slash, kooky things that make him not fit for the senate. >> considering how he handled himself as judge. >> he's been removed from office two times. >> molly, bannon has a unique position. he served the highest levels of the white house. when he left the white house he said he was going to war for prump against his opponents. talk to us about the bannon effect. how dangerous is it? >> i think credit goes the other way if roy moore wins the race. it's roy moore who reinvigorated the political brand, not the other way around. bannon started gaining speed. roy moore has his own political brand in alabama. bannon has gotten behind
unsuccessful primary candidates. he doesn't have the greatest record as a political strategist. this seems to me a case where bannon inserted himself and jumped on the band wagon of a candidate who was doing well before he came along. as a political attack the thing about the republican establishment resonates with particularly republican voters in alabama. when i was covering the primary i heard it a lot. the name mitch mccontroversinel >> wow. >> it was a reason luther strange couldn't win the primary and roy moore could. >> bannon went after moore critic mitt romney. >> you went to france to be a missionary while guys were dying in vietnam. do not talk to me about honor and integrity.
[ applause ] now i'll get personal. you ran for commander in chief. you had five sons. not one day of service in afghanistan and iraq. >> john, listen. the president, the current president who he fought for was an adviser to, had multiple draft determtdeferments, four f college and another for bone spurs. bannon stayed in college and later after the vietnam war joined the navy. he did serve. but hypocrisy much? >> look. i know steve relatively well. you have to put steve in context a little bit. first he's a smart strategist. he figured out for the president what states to concentrate on to win 270. without steve bannon i don't think trump would have won the
presidency. what steve was trying to do and let's remember steve did serve in the navy. at least he has some authority to speak on this. what steve was trying to do was get the crowd excited and mitt romney was an easy target. i did the race in 2012 against mitt romney in the primary when rick santorum was running. >> that doesn't give you -- >> let me finish. >> license to be an ass and a hypocrite and talk about someone's service. why is he measuring mitt romney -- >> i'm giving you the rationale and context. >> okay. >> i think steve was wrong to do it. >> all right. >> i got to know mitt romney personally as an honorable man. he's done great things for this country. i think he cares a lot about the country. it was unfair criticism. i think that was the motivation of why steve was doing it. >> it's interesting you said it's something he needed to say -- >> can you hold on, kirsten?
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back now with my experts. john was saying he understood the rationale for him doing it, not that he condoned it. >> you were saying bannon was trying to get the audience excited by attacking romney. choosing some, i don't know, establishment democrat figure and making personal attacks against them. that's what the audience wants to hear? >> the whole point is -- >> he's attacking mitt romney who is a guy who ran -- >> what is the race about? in republican politics today it's about making changes, go with the trump agenda, get rid
of the establishment. what they are scared is letting somebody like doug jones go join the democrats and have more votes. >> i have to go. top of the hour. i want to talk about "time" magazine with you guys. we'll talk about it next hour. where was gretchen carlson? >> that's a great question. >> thank you. see you soon. this is cnn tonight. i am don lemon. it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast. the president's own son and name sake donald trump, jr., refusing today in a marathon all day session to tell the house intel community he and his father discussed after news broke about his june 2016 meeting in trump tower with a russian lawyer who trump, jr., believed had dirt on the hillary clinton campaign invoking attorney-client privilege. adam schiff saying this about trump, jr.'s testimony. >> he answered the overwhelming majority of our questions there was one signi