Skip to main content

tv   Smerconish  CNN  June 16, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

3:00 pm
career right now. so it's a great time to talk to him, but i also talked to him about himself as a father. you know, his -- i don't know if you know about this, but his wife had their last baby in the lobby of their apartment. they couldn't get -- >> oh, my gosh. >> they couldn't get to the uber. so he talks about that. >> talk about a traumatic experience. >> exactly. seth meyers is such a genius. that energy goes all over the place as well. he's an amazing guy. >> you can watch it, it's tonight at 7:00 right here on cnn. i'm ana cabrera in new york. i'll see you back here at 8:00 eastern in the "cnn newsroom." "smerconish" starts now. ♪ ♪ i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the real news in this week's
3:01 pm
inspector general report is that it confirmed the juflgs that deputy a.g. rod rosenstein once gave president trump to fire james comey. so what does it mean for mueller tries to tell rosenstein there was obstruction of justice? and much fun was made of the over the top hollywood-style movie the president showed kim jong-un at the singapore summit. but as a propaganda exercise, did it actually deserve five stars? plus, a lawsuit accuses harvard of limiting asian american admissions by downgrading applicants regarding personal traits like likability, kindness and being widely respected. do the ivies discriminate against asians? and john travolta with me to talk about his new movie about convicted gangster john gotti, based on a book by his son gotti jr. i'll ask the two of them if the film glamorizes gangster life.
3:02 pm
but first, we finally got the inspector general's 500-plus page report this week about the fbi's handling of hillary clinton's e-mail and predictably both sides claimed victories of a sort. much has been said, but not that which i think is most important. for me, the i.g. report crystallized the looming conflict that will have to be faced by deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. so let's game this out. the report says that fbi director james comey was right to not charge hillary clinton regarding her extremely careless handling of e-mail. but it criticizes comey for being insubordinate to attorney general loretta lynch. he should not have spoken publicly about an investigation that did not result in an indictment. in doing so, he ignored both practice and protocol. but the report concluded that he did not act with political bias against hillary. hence, there was something for everyone to point to in the report. plenty of blame to go around.
3:03 pm
including for the fbi agent and lawyer who had aaffair and exchanged totally inappropriate texts regarding donald trump including agent strzok saying he'd stop trump's election. terrible judgement, even if his bias didn't impact his work. the i.g. report will soon fade but the issue that will remain is special counsel robert mueller's probe, which is investigating whether the trump campaign colluded with the russian meddling and whether president trump obstructed justice with regard to the probe. presumably, the latter focuses on president trump's firing of comey. did the president act with the intention of thwarting a lawful investigation? that's the issue for mueller. critics will say, well, the president fired comey to stop the russian probe, including the investigation of michael flynn and the president himself. and that he admitted as much to lester holt and the russian ambassador. the president will say he's got an unfetterred right to fire comey and that he did so based
3:04 pm
on the written recommendation of the justice department. and who made that written recommendation? rod rosenstein. remember, it was rosenstein as deputy a.g. who sent this memo to a.g. jeff sessions on may 9, 2017, that provided the justification for president trump to fire comey. in the memo, rosenstein is sharply critical of comey's handling of the hillary investigation. quote, the director ignored another longstanding principle, we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. and there was this, the way the director handled the conclusion of the e-mail investigation was wrong, as a result, the fbi is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. having refused to admit his errors, the director cannot be expected to implement the
3:05 pm
necessary corrective actions, unquote. that language sounds just like the scolding of comey in the i.g. report. so here is my question, how can rosenstein remain the arbiter of what happens to mueller's report on obstruction, given that he, himself, provided the basis for the president to fire comey? even if it was a pretext used by trump, rosenstein wrote it. mueller will soon hand to rosenstein his assessment of whether the president obstructed justice when he fired comey. the president will say that he was following rosenstein's memo. the logic of which was just reaffirmed by the justice department inspector general. that's going to put rosenstein in an untenable position as a fact witness for the president's assertion. it's hard to see how he can carry out his role, but it's easy to surmise that any obstruction case was just made
3:06 pm
that much harder. that's my view. i want to know what you think. go to my website at answer this question, will the rosenstein m regarding comey's firing ultimately protect president trump against a charge of obstruction of justice? i'll give you the results at the end of the hour. joining me now to discuss is nelson cunningham, he served as federal prosecutor in new york's southern district under rudy giuliani. he also served as general counsel on the senate judiciary committee under joe biden. and the office of administration under bill clinton. nelson, thanks for coming back. react to my opinion with your own. >> well, it's a pleasure to be with you. i think if we were talking about criminal charges of obstruction of justice, you might be right. but i think the likelihood that the recommendation by robert mueller will be to indict the president is close to zero. it's a constitutional rabbit hole. it would take years to litigate
3:07 pm
through the courts. whether or not a sitting president could be subject to a criminal indictment for actions that he took either before or during his presidency. i think it's highly unlikely that mueller will go there. so what will mueller do? he might recommend impeachment. if he can colludes that the pattern that the president exhibited, starting with comey -- not even starting with comey, the famous -- the firing of comey, the work on the memo on air force one, the president's reaction to the news of the trump tower meeting, there is a whole pattern and practice here of things that could be construed as obstruction. if mueller concludes and recommends that the president should be taken to tank for that, it will be impeachment, and that will then fall to the house of representatives, and then rod rosenstein is not conflicted. he becomes a fact witness -- >> right, but -- >> and not a decision-making. >> but nelson, it doesn't -- correct me if i'm wrong, but the
3:08 pm
mueller report when it's produced on obstruction, whatever the findings might be, does not go directly to the congress. there is a very important weigh station, and that is rod rosenstein. how can rosenstein take possession of that report where a critical issue was the decision to fire comey where the president's view was drafted by rosenstein himself? do you not see a conflict in that? >> rosenstein's decision when he gets the -- first of all, i think you make a very good point. let me start there. you put your finger on something we all need to give some thought to, but the decision that rosenstein makes when he gets the report is, what do i do with this? do i sit on this and keep it confidential? or do i make all of it or part of it public? do i make all of it or part of it available to the house of representatives and to the senate? that is a fairly simple binary decision. any small role that he might have played in one part of the charges that mueller might be --
3:09 pm
might be recommending, you put your finger on something important but i'm not certain it's going to be at the end of the day dispositive. it's certainly something for all of us to keep an eye on and to view as we see mueller move forward to conclusion. >> so let me now play contrarian with my own opinion, something that you made reference to. there is the view of the president, which is, i have the unfetterred right to fire comey and i was relying on an opinion from rod rosenstein. i fired comey because of the way in which he handled hillary's e-mail, as crazy as that would sound to many. of course, contrary to that is the interview that he gave to lester holt. let's just remind people of some of what he had to say. roll the tape. >> but regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i
3:10 pm
said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election. that they should have won. >> nelson, react to that tape and its significance. >> as a prosecutor, there is nothing better than the witness' own words, especially when captured on tape or videotape. i think the president could not have been clearer in his comments to lester holt about why he fired jim comey. he said whatever the reason -- let's not forget at the beginning of that week he called rosenstein into his office and he said, hey, i want to fire comey, please write me a memo justifying it. rosenstein went off and wrote a memo after the president had already decided to fire him. we know from lester holt -- from his own words to lester holt exactly what was going through the president's mind. whatever the recommendation, i was going to fire him because of this russia thing. as a prosecutor, there is nothing more satisfying than
3:11 pm
playing a tape like that to the fact-finder. >> nelson cunningham, as always, thanks for your expertise. >> it's a pleasure to be with you. >> remember, i want to know what you at home think. go to my website at analysis the poll question of the day. will the rosenstein memo of comey's firing ultimately protect the president against a charge of obstruction of justice? i know it's a little bit in the weeds. but you can handle it. what's going on via twitter and facebook? i'll read some during the portion of the program. katherine, what do you have? america is nick, your analysis of the i.g. report is off base and biased. it revealed a double standard. the fbi announced news of investigations about clinton but not trump. secondly, trump has publicly stated he fired comey because comey would not stop the russia investigation. i don't think that my view is biased, april. i'm trying to call them as i see them based on the evidence, and i'm just drawing attention to the fact that the president's
3:12 pm
view, in terms of the paper trail, why he fired comey, the rosenstein memo, was bolstered by the i.g. report. the president can now point to the i.g. report and say, see, i told you so. that's why i did it. is that conflicted in the record? is there other evidence? there certainly is, but it's a strong point for him, i think. one more if i'm got time for it, quickly. damn you smerconish for making me think. this obstruction thing is going nowhere. that's my view, aynex. simply trying to say that the claim, we don't know what mueller has. let's begin with that. based on that which is in the public domain, it seems to me that the case for obstruction against the president was this week made more difficult. up ahead, that seemingly sophomoric video that the president delivered to kim jong-un on an ipad. was it more sophisticated than first believed? and the asian american
3:13 pm
students' lawsuit against harvard for discrimination got a new twist. they're accusing the university of rejecting them because of their personalities. plus, i talk with john travolta about his new portrayal of note rugsz mob boss john gotti. why did many in the general public love this gangster? ♪ it can grow out of control, disrupting business and taking on a life of its own. its multi-cloud complexity creating friction... and slowing innovation. with software-defined solutions, like hpe onesphere, you can tame the it monster. hewlett packard enterprise. clouds, apps, and insights faster.
3:14 pm
we believe nutrition is full of possibilities to improve your pet's life. we are redefining what nutrition can do. because the possibility of a longer life and a better life is the greatest possibility of all. purina pro plan. nutrition that performs. it was always our singular focus, a distinct determination. to do whatever it takes, use every possible resource. to fight cancer.
3:15 pm
and never lose sight of the patients we're fighting for. our cancer treatment specialists share the same vision. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. specialists focused on treating cancer. using advanced technologies. and more precise treatments than before. working as hard as we can- doing all that we can- for everyone who walks through our doors. this is cancer treatment centers of america. and these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. treating cancer isn't one thing we do. it's the only thing we do. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now.
3:16 pm
and that's how he intended to keep it. then he met the love of his life. who came with a three foot, two inch bonus. for this new stepdad, it's promising to care for his daughter as if she's his own. every way we look out for those we love is an act of mutuality. we can help with the financial ones. learn more or find an advisor at
3:17 pm
for me, the lingering question about singapore summit had nothing to do with did trump give up too much or what are the details or what's the timeline? no, no, no, no. i'm interested in that four-minute video that the president showed kim on an ipad, showing what north korea can be if it will allow itself to be integrated into the world community. in some corners, the white house is being dried for use of that video. that was my first reaction, too. when i looked at it a second time, what stood out to me was the basketball dunk. in the midst of all of this footage showing progress in north korea, trains and billings and medical advance comes the dunk of a basketball.
3:18 pm
>> a story about a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. >> that's when i said to myself, is this the equivalent of when we went to the drive-in in the '70s and the image of a hotdog would go sailing by and suddenly you felt hungry? in other words is it pop this was not sop slap-dash production but rather was the result of thought and deliberation as to how do we reach based on some phycological profile, how do we reach chairman kim? is it more sophisticated than we might have thought at first blush. joining me now is a former u.s. diplomat and psychiatrist who used to work with the state department. profiled various world leaders including kim. doctor, on a propaganda scale, how many stars out of five? >> good morning, michael. i'd give it 4.5. >> and why 4.5?
3:19 pm
>> i agree with what you were saying in your introduction, that the video is remarkably sophisticated, and i think it was carefully and thoughtfully designed to appeal, not only to chairman kim but also to other members of the north korean elite, and also in an indirect way to the people of south korea and president moon. i thought it was rich with symbolism, powerful emotions and marvelously put together. >> let me run through some of the images. i think we're showing as you're speaking a portion of the propaganda video. the basketball dunk. i'll show a still shot of that. he's a basketball fan. we know that from dennis rodman. that was intended to appeal to his emotions? >> yes. in a nice way. but i think the more important thing about the video overall is
3:20 pm
kim jong-un likely grew up with videos. as you know, his father, the previously leader, kim jong-il, was a media, film and video buff who had a collection of over 30,000 films. saw himself as a film director and was actually in his earlier part of his career the director of propaganda. even went so far as to kidnap two south korean filmmakers who he kept in north korea, i believe for nearly a decade, to help him direct video productions. so a young kim jong-un as a child and adolescent grew up with this exposure. so i think that way of trying to reach out to chairman kim and influence him, again, shows a great deal of sophistication and i believe real thoughtfulness. i think -- >> there is an image of symphony in that propaganda video. why the symphony shot? i want to quickly run through, doctor, some of these and have
3:21 pm
you tell me briefly why are they there? why the symphony? >> absolutely. i think the symphony was wonderful and it echoed the visit of the new york ilharmonic to pyongyang in 2008. at the end of that performance, which was for about i think 1,000 people from the north korean elite, the symphony played a beautiful korean song that all koreans know, and the entire audience wept. writers, christiane amanpour talked about the emotion in the room when she did her piece on cnn, and writers such as anna of "the washington post" how that stirred emotion at the time and raised a lot of video. i think the video touches on that message of hope and that's very beautiful. >> sylvester stallone in the oval office with president trump. why the stallone image? >> i think, again, to -- similar to the basketball dunk and sort
3:22 pm
of hinting at chairman kim's friendship with dennis rodman, i think it was designed to appeal in different ways. >> final question, how will we know if it worked? >> i think we won't know yet, but i think the real way to know if it works is how it plays into the ability of president trump to develop a personal relationship with chairman kim that can lead to a more lasting diplomacy and the beginning, as we've seen already, president trump has said this is part of a long process. but i think the ability to deepen those relationship and hopefully lead to lasting diplomacy. i might add that a personal relationship may not be enough. the work of diplomacy is very difficult. but without that type of
3:23 pm
personal relationship and ability to reach chairman kim's psyche, if you will, diplomacy would be very, very difficult. so i think that -- >> doctor, thank you very much -- >> i think the video was a very unique and singular way to try to reach him. the media reports i've seen is that kim jong-un, chairman kim, liked the video. the other thing we'll look for is whether the official north korean news agency, kcna, posts the video or fragments of the video on their website. >> doctor, thank you for your expertise. we appreciate it. >> thank you very much. i appreciate being on your show. >> what are you saying via twitter and facebook? katherine, what do we have? smerconish, the movie trump showed kim was more suited to pitching a trump resort that achieving denuclearization. pcc texas? that's exactly what i thought. and then i watched it again. and i recognized this, i was not
3:24 pm
the intended audience. one more. quickly. why can't you just give the man credit for what he has done regarding north korea? if it was obama who did this, praise would be coming in in droves. i don't like trump either, but i give credit where it's due. hey, lauren, were you not paying attention? that's exactly what i just did. i said when i saw the video the first time, i didn't get it. and then i gave him the benefit of the doubt and just brought on an expert who is a psychiatrist who worked for the state department who pointed out we were not the intended audience and he thinks it was pretty effective. come on. up ahead, asian americans are now on the vanguard of the latest debate over affirmative action. students are suing harvard, saying that even when they ace standardized tests, they're being discriminated against in the admissions process. and it's being blamed on their personalities. plus, john travolta plays mobster john gotti in a new movie based on gotti jr.'s
3:25 pm
memb memoir. does it glamorize the bad guys? i'll ask travolta and jr. ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪ ♪ brown paper packages tied up with strings ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ sometimes a day at the ballpark is more than just a day at the ballpark. [park announcer] all military members stand and be recognized. sometimes fans cheer for those who wear a different uniform. no matter where or when you served, t-mobile stands ready to serve you. that's why we're providing half off family lines to all military.
3:26 pm
alicewhich is breast canceratic that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection, liver or kidney problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant. common side effects include low red blood cell and low platelet counts, infections, tiredness, nausea, sore mouth, abnormalities in liver blood tests,
3:27 pm
diarrhea, hair thinning or loss, vomiting, rash, and loss of appetite. alice calls it her new normal because a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor.
3:28 pm
i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network.
3:29 pm
the lawsuit against harvard university for discriminating against asian american applicants just took a new twist with claims that the bias against them is a, quote, personal thing, including such traits as positive personality, likability and attractive to be with. this, according to federal court filings in boston on friday by the group called students for fair admissions based on an analysis of more than 160,000 student records. their argument is that asian americans scored higher than other racial or ethnic groups on quantifiable measures like test scores, grades and extracurricular activities only to be rejected via the more subjective personal ratings. here is the question, is there an unspoken quota on the number of asians at the ivies? joining me now is to discuss is indian american vijay, author of
3:30 pm
the book "almost black: the true story of how i got into medical school by pretending to be black." his sister, by the way, the actress mindy kaling. quickly remind people your own story. >> so many years ago, i posed as an african-american in order to gain admission to medical school and take advantage of the school's racially discriminatory affirmative action policies. i managed to get in despite the fact i had a very low 3.1 gpa. although i don't recommend anyone do the same thing today. >> do you believe that there is an unspoken quota at harvard and elsewhere on the number of asians? >> well, actually, if you look at their statistical data, it shows that. harvard is basically arguing in court that asian americans don't do as well in a category they call personality traits, which is essentially subjective category based on things like letters of recommendation. but if you look at their own
3:31 pm
admissions data, it shows that asian americans actually do as well on personality in interviews as other racial categories. however, in the admissions office, rates personality based on a trait that they call demographics. in other words, when harvard says that asian americans have weaker personalities than other categories to get into admissions, what they really mean is that asian americans don't help us fill our racial quotas. that is what the demographic trait means. >> what's really -- what's really going on here in your view? is it your view that asians do so well on those quantifiable measures that they would frankly be dominant at harvard and elsewhere unless there were these other factors at play? >> according to harvard's own admissions data, based on objective things, test scores, asian americans would be 43% of the class. they are, in fact, 19% of the
3:32 pm
class because harvard uses criteria, quote, unquote, demographics, which is a fancy way of saying racism to discriminate against asian americans. so they're very -- in their internal data, ty're very clear that they consider race as a factor in admissions and that they use these, quote, unquote, subjective criteria to discriminate against asian americans, even though asian americans perform as well in things like interviews as other applicants. >> right. but the purpose, i guess, ultimately, and maybe harward wouldn't say it this way but i will, as a father whose children have gone through the admissions process so i'm therefore familiar generally with the way this thing works. harvard would say we're trying to have balance on our campus, not only asians, students of colors, whites, et cetera, et cetera, they all benefit when we've got a good mix in our student body. is that not a worthy goal?
3:33 pm
>> this is what we call a justification for racism. if you look at other campuses like ucla where i went to or the university of michigan or uc berkeley, you'll find they have diverse student bodies and great educational experiences for their students without practicing racial discrimination in the firm of affirmative action. so i reject your argument that affirmative action racism is essential to improve the quality of education for students. >> i think you're reading a bit too much into what i said, but i'll verbalize it this way. as the father of, you know, four white students, only two of whom are now in school, i think they benefit from being surrounded by a very diverse population. so the goal of diversity is not just for the student who otherwise might not be admitted but also to the benefit of white kids like my own because i think that it's healthy for them to have interactions with people of all perspectives.
3:34 pm
a very quick final word from you. >> i think it is, in many ways, the ultimate form of racism to assume that blacks, hispanics and white people are not going to be able to compete based upon race. and, by the way, i have a recommendation -- >> not what i said. >> -- to all of your listeners today. if you happen to be asian american, don't disclose your race on your application. >> how about this, to be continued? i don't know if that was deliberate, but you misunderstood what i said. my kids benefit by going to school with your kids. that's my point. thank you. i appreciate you being here. okay. i want to remind you to answer the survey question at will the rosenstein memo regarding comey's firing ultimately protect president trump against a charge of obstruction of justice? up next, do the movies glamorize the mobster? my interview with john travolta about playing the late notorious mob boss john gotti in a new film for which he got help from john gotti jr.
3:35 pm
and non-24 can throw my days and nights out of sync, keeping me from the things i love to do. talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424. but as it grew bigger and bigger,ness. it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. everything. and that 2% cash back adds up to thousands of dollars each year... so i can keep growing my business in big leaps! what's in your wallet?
3:36 pm
3:37 pm
3:38 pm
(vo)is ahhhmazing!ful simple goodness meaty morsels. a tender texture. with real meat and a blend of peas and carrots i can see. a totally new kind of awesome going on here! (avo) new beneful simple goodness. tender, meaty morsels with real ingredients you can see.
3:39 pm
john travolta playing john gotti, now that's a movie i had to see. the dapper don was one of the modern era's most notorious mobsters. he rose from poverty to run new york's infamous game bean owe crime family. sent to prison in 1992 where he died from throat cancer a decade later. the new movie is simply called "gotti" based on the book
3:40 pm
"shadow of my father" written by his son john gotti jr. i spoke to john travolta and junior where else, dante's. john gotti jr., i know from reading your book, i know from interviewing you before just how much you revered your father and revere his memory. are you happy with john travolta's depiction of dad? >> over the moon with joy. >> really? >> john did an amazing job. >> if he's given you five stars, does that mean it was too shack a portrayal of his father? >> well, sympathy is a different word than empathy or duplication. my job as an actor is to -- to live up to an authenticity. so that's what i was doing. i have to become john sr. that's my job.
3:41 pm
so how i feel about john sr. has nothing to do with my portrayal of that. i am viewing through his eyes. so, you know, i have to do all the due diligence to earn that viewpoint. john jr. here helped me tremendously understand his father. because, you know, imagine i'm growing up in new york as well. i'm seeing the more glamorous side. you know, i'm seeing the teflon don and the suits and the glamour and the charm and, you know, all that kind of high-end appeal, but i don't understand the, let's say the structure of the mafia as we know it or la cosa nostra. i don't know the family elements. that's my due diligence. that's my job. my job is to be authentic about being john gotti sr. so i don't know if empathy or
3:42 pm
sympathy has anything to do with this. >> how did you approach the due diligence? i know from john jr. that you went into the house, you wanted to see the clothes, you wanted to get the whole vibe, but i'd rather hear it from you. >> well, all of that helps you build a character. i mean, that's my technique from day one. my mother was an acting teacher. you know, i grew up knowing how to build a character. so you take all the elements and you only use what's necessary for the piece you're doing. but every single thing that i -- i would listen to everything john said because only through john's observation and john's mother's observation, victoria, could you absorb the detail that you need to understand the character. so how he felt, how victoria felt, what i saw on video itself or the family footage, all these elements added. john jr. and victoria were kind enough to allow me to wear the
3:43 pm
personal effects. so there was even the cologne scent from the overcoat, the tweed and valure overcute from sr. these beautiful scarves, the jewelry, all these bits help besides my own personal observation. because i'm a physical actor, i'm able to duplicate physicalities well. >> all this adds up to a performance that i felt i owed the family. accuracy. and attention to detail. because, look, i'm a famous face. you can't -- i have -- i have more of a duty to delve deep into disappearing than your average actor. because if you see me in it, you then are not lured into the storytelling process.
3:44 pm
so it was much more important, i felt, for me to do that. >> leaving gotti off the table for this question, what's john travolta's favorite mob movie? >> "the godfather" i. >> how come? >> i thought it was beautifully structured, beautifully told and visually perfect. every great piece of art is interpretive. what it did for me at a time in my life was just elevated me and i got lost in that. in that film. and what i like about our film compared to that, let's say, is that that was a tale and this is truth. and i think this is the first really with a family supporting the truth. this is the first time it's ever been done. >> why do you think his father was so revered in certain quarters. in the movie, you see that celebration. the firework display. the police show up. he wants the fireworks to go off. and they go off.
3:45 pm
at the end of the movie, those real images where people are disappointed because he's been convicted at the end of the trial. i don't want to give away too much, but it's really stunning, right? that he was able to engender such support. >> well, this is my question because i never -- my memory of capone and dillinger is that they were not liked or adored. john gotti sr. was adored as a human being. i needed to understand why. i only saw one side of it, the side that people saw. i went to long island and went to the businesses where your dad did businesses. >> shops still open from my father's time. >> what did you learn? >> i learned something that started to solve my riddle, which is why he was so loved. i didn't understand hither to that point that small businesses, which have a hard time surviving, could very
3:46 pm
easily go into the red. well, john gotti sr. was able to put them back into the black and into profit so nobody ever went out of business. >> do you think that his father would have been comfortable today looking down at how he was able to disassociate himself from the mob and walk away from that life? >> i'm taking a guess, but yes, because of the following, i don't think it was the same game that john sr. grew up with. i don't think la cosa nostra existed anymore. and he observed that whatever the success was of that life was no longer as valid as it was in his day. so my feeling is that john jr. got out at the right time. john had a very sincere and honest care and concern about his family. more than whether the mob was going to work anymore or not. dad would be saying, you know
3:47 pm
what, that wasn't bad timing, you know? got out of dodge at the right time because could have gotten into more trouble. >> do you worry that this all glamorizes the life? >> i don't actually at all. because how glamorous is it to be dying of stage four cancer in prison and your son who you adore is on the other side and you can't be with him or the rest of your family? how glamorous is it all these stressful court cases and -- this is a group that lived on a cliff. you know? the glamorous part is -- they had a sexy life, but, i mean, underneath that, i mean, let's look at it, you know? honestly, i think this film looks at it for the first time in a very truthful way. >> i agree. you have to look at it from this perspective. my father did make it look glamorous because he looked glamorous. he was handsome. he was easy to look at.
3:48 pm
he was erect. his hair was perfectly cuffed. his clothes were custom made. nobody had the same suit my father had. nobody had the same tie my father had. we made sure of that. we wanted him always to be special. he carried it a special way. however, what most people don't know is he spent so many thousands of meals alone in this cell eating that meal by himself. he spent ten years in solitary confinement. his last days handcuffed to a bed. show you his death certificate, he choked on his own blood and vomit. his muscles corroded and collapsed around his throat. he suffocated on his own blood and vomit. i don't call that glamorous. >> i enjoyed the movie. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you for your time. still to come, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments like this one -- smerconish, you don't think you're glamorizing gotti by featuring him on your show?
3:49 pm
no, i think i'm delving into the personality of a very famous 20th century figure. give you the final results of the survey question in a moment. will the rosenstein memo regarding comey's fire ultimately protect president trump against a charge of obstruction of justice? vote at right now. when i received the diagnosis, i knew at that exact moment, whatever it takes, wherever i have to go...i'm beating this. my main focus was to find a team of doctors that work together. when a patient comes to ctca, they're meeting a team of physicians that specialize in the management of cancer. breast cancer treatment is continuing to evolve. and i would say that ctca is definitely on the cusp of those changes. patients can be overwhelmed ... we really focus on taking the time with each individual patient so they can choose the treatment appropriate for them. the care that ctca brings is the kind of care i've wanted for my patients. being able to spend time with them, have a whole team to look after them is fantastic.
3:50 pm
i empower women with choices. it's not just picking a surgeon. it's picking the care team, and feeling secure where you are. surround yourself with the team of breast cancer experts visit appointments available now. but how do i know if i'm i'm getting a good deal? i tell truecar my zip and which car i want and truecar shows the range of prices people in my area actually paid for the same car so i know if i'm getting a great price. this is how car buying was always meant to be. this is truecar. my dai need my blood sugar i'to stay in control.en. so i asked about tresiba®. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® is a once-daily, long-acting insulin that lasts even longer than 24 hours. i need to shave my a1c. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® works like my body's insulin. releases slow and steady. providing powerful a1c reduction. my week? hectic.
3:51 pm
my weekends? my time. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ i can take tresiba® any time of day. so if i sleep in, and delay my dose, i take it as soon as i can, as long as there's at least eight hours between doses. (renee) once in use, it lasts eight weeks with or without refrigeration, twice as long as the lantus® pen. (announcer) tresiba® is used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. don't use tresiba® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, during episodes of low blood sugar, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. don't share needles or insulin pens. don't reuse needles. the most common side effect is low blood sugar, which may cause dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache. check your blood sugar. low blood sugar can be serious and may be life-threatening. injection site reactions may occur. tell your prescriber about all medicines you take and all your medical conditions. taking tzds with insulins, like tresiba®, may cause serious side effects like heart failure. your insulin dose shouldn't be changed without asking your prescriber. get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, extreme drowsiness, swelling of your face, tongue or throat, dizziness, or confusion. ask your health care provider if you're tresiba® ready. covered by most insurance and medicare plans.
3:52 pm
♪ tresiba® ready ♪
3:53 pm
time to sew see how you respopded tothd question. will the rosenstein memo garding comey's firing ultimately protect the president against a charge of obstruction
3:54 pm
of justice? survey says, 7,9 votes cast. 26% say where he. here's some of what else you thought during the ours of this program. smerconish, what did president trump do to prevent the russia investigation after the firing of comey? if nothing, where is the obstructi obstruction? well, there are a whole series of events. i don't want to limit it to the firing of comey, because there were a whole series of potential aspects maybe that no one in and of itself constitute as claim for on trbstruction of justice. the circumstances suggest that was the case. i'm not roendering any judgment on that. i'm noing the ig report released this week to me, rem siniscent
3:55 pm
what rosenstein wrote as a basis for the president to fire as jim comey. next, quickly. smerconish, you normalizing a totally unacceptable president. no, just not buying spointo the reply you get on fox or msn. quickly. one more if i have time. discrimination is discrimination. i don't like it. sad it still exists. xavier, maybe i wasn't clear. i think we all benefit from a diverse student population at all these ins tuss. thanks for watching. catch with us on cnn go and on demand and i'll see you next week. we are redefining what nutrition can do. because the possibility of a longer life and a better life is the greatest possibility of all. purina pro plan. nutrition that performs. when you're crafting ♪ performance,
3:56 pm
no measure is too extreme. the luxus high performance line. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
sometimes a day at the ballpark is more than just a day at the ballpark. [park announcer] all military members stand and be recognized. sometimes fans cheer for those who wear a different uniform. no matter where or when you served, t-mobile stands ready to serve you. that's why we're providing half off family lines to all military.
3:59 pm
i we worked with pg&eof to save energy because wenie. wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california.
4:00 pm
good evening. welcome to the van jones show. we have another amazing show for you guys tonight with two awesome superstar guests. first up, comic genius, seth meyers is in the building. he's already here. give him some love. seth meyers! now seth meyers is a funny guy. not just a funny guy. he's using his come by platform to take on some of the most