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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 14, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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starts right now. i was told about his address today on the radio. >> mm-hmm. >> and i looked it up, and i was not just impressed by the message. it's a good solid message, but the context and the contrast to who and what he's dealing with right now. and it is the root of the president's problem. he can't be believed on the topic, don. so every question becomes reasonable. >> that's my question to you. so if every time you speak with me and you ask me something, and i give you a different answer for the same thing, how do you feel about what comes out of my mouth? >> well, often when you make these suppositions, it's hard for me to answer on television because it does mimic our personal relationship. so, you know, it's weird. trump, you, it's kind of the same thing in my life. no, look, the problem is obvious, and that's what is so vexing about all of it. the president never tells the truth on this issue.
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so how are we to believe him? >> yeah. >> what happens, god forbid, when he has to address the american people and say, here's what's happening. here's what we need to do and why, and i've gotten information from -- fill in the blank of the institution that he's probably bashed in the past. that could be a moment of crisis for us, and certainly it's a moment of personal crisis for him now, don. these are real questions. even the, are you a manchurian candidate -- it's an absurd question except when i can't believe you about anything and you keep sheltering russia, this is what you get. >> okay. so when asked a question, have you ever worked for the russian government, a very simple answer would be no, never, instead of, oh, i'm so insulted by this. oh, my gosh. >> i don't think he ducked the question. >> i do think because it's a very simple answer -- no. and you can go on with it's absurd. now, let's go back -- >> but she asked it as a joke, jeanine pirro. she was like, mr. president -- you know, she was joking when she asked it. >> you just answered everything. you just summed up the whole
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thing with what you just said, a joke. so, listen, i'm not saying -- let's just say that you don't believe that the president lies, that you believe that he's a truth teller. then you go back over his statements and the answer -- and i'm talking about beyond russia. the answer to the same question, the answers to the same question are different every single time. and often they negate each other. why would you ever believe anything that comes out of his mouth even if you are a die-hard trump supporter? why would you believe someone who -- some people believe he's a liar, or some people don't, but he never answers consistently and sometimes the exact opposite. >> you can't. so what you must do is run away from that as the test. and what you must run toward is what we see. the probe -- the probe is screwed up. they were out to get him. they put him in a box, don. he had to lie. he had to dodge. they were trying to get him, don. >> oh, please.
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>> that's why he did it. >> cognitive dissonance. >> absolutely. >> that's what it is. >> absolutely. >> no one wants to be proven wrong. people hate that, so they come up with every single excuse in the book to condone their own behavior, to make what they think -- their thinking, i should say, not their behavior, to make what they think is right in their head. it's like, oh, my gosh, that was wrong. he lied about that. how do i fix it? how do i fix it? what excuse can i give so that i can't be wrong on that decision? that's a problem. >> 100%. look, my concern is that i, as you know, i do not see the culmination of this being something that is inherently ruinous to the president. i don't see a legal process that winds up ending this presidency. >> you said something very smart earlier. you said when is that the test for a president, that he's done something wrong that it has to be -- >> it should be never, that it's
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a crime. it should never be. integrity is a high-minded word for some people. not for me. his inability to tell the truth is going to come back to haunt him because i believe no matter which way it goes in the report, the american people and their elected officials in both parties are going to have to stare down the reality that their president lied to them about a ton of things that matter, and he did it for bad reason. what did they do about it? we'll all see. >> yeah. >> but the lying has always mattered. people lost faith in that. >> yeah. >> they still have no faith in it. oh, it won't matter. truth doesn't matter anymore. yes, it does. >> yes, it does. you said it nicer than i would. as we were say if we were out, the president lies about a lot of you know what all the time, and it's also this whole russia thing, what's true and what's not. it can be complicated for a lot of people, but you know what i'm going to do right now? i'm going to break it down in a time line so you can see exactly for yourself, so if you're sitting there and you're the
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most ardent trump supporter or you're the most -- or if you can't stand him, i want you to listen to the open of this show. we're going to lay it out for you. then you can make up your mind because there's no other way. the thing about all the coincidences and all the things that he said were not true. i got to go. >> you're so good, don lemon. even my dogs watch you on tv. >> i know, because dogs are smarter than a lot of humans. including the one i'm -- >> there it is. let's go. time for the show. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. can you imagine any other president of the united states saying this? watch. >> i never worked for russia, and you know that answer better than anybody. i never worked for russia. >> guess what? it wouldn't even be a question for any other president. but this president is forced to tell reporters, i never worked for russia, to say it twice. and the reasons for the questions are unitting. we have learned president trump actually took away his interpreter's notes after a july
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2017 meeting after vladimir putin in hamburg, and warned the interpreter not to discuss the meeting with anybody in the administration. not anybody outside, but in the administration. why would you do that if you weren't trying to hide something, right? and as shocking as that is, it comes as more transcripts, these from closed-door congressional intervi interviews, reveal details of how a half dozen senior fbi officials opened an investigation into whether this president was following the directions of russia in the aftermath of firing the fbi director james comey. and there's more. sources are telling cnn that over the last few weeks, the trump legal team has refused a request from robert mueller for an interview in person, an in-person interview. one source saying that mueller is, quote, not satisfied with that. i'll bet. things sure have changed since the president said he was looking forward to talking to robert mueller. >> would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version
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of -- >> 100%. >> are you going to talk to mueller? >> i'm looking forward to it actually. >> to reach a higher standard, you would do it under oath? >> i would do it under oath. >> would you still like to testify to robert mueller, sir? >> i would like to. i would love to speak because we've done nothing wrong. i would love to speak. i would love to go. nothing i want to do more. i would love to speak. i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me. in fact, against my lawyers because most lawyers say never speak on anything. >> are you more likely to sit an interview now? >> my lawyers are working on that. i've always wanted to do an interview because, look, there's been no collusion. >> now, not so much. president trump doesn't want to talk about mueller, and it seems he doesn't want the american people to know what he said to vladimir putin. why does the president of the united states defer to putin, an enemy of this country, over and
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over and over and over again? he's been doing it since the early days of the campaign, you know. >> putin is a nicer person than i am. i think putin's been a very strong leader for russia. a very smart cookie, much smarter, much more cunning than our president. wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along, as an example, with russia? i'm all for it. if he says great things about me, i'm going to say great things about him. >> putin's a killer. >> a lot of killers. we've got a lot of killers, what, you think our country is so innocent? >> putin is the leader of russia. russia's a strong country. donald trump is a friend of putin. well, actually, putin did call me a genius, and he said i'm the future of the republican party. putin's fine. he's fine. we're all fine. we're people. >> would you say vladimir putin is a friend or a foe? >> i really can't say right now. as far as i'm concerned, a competitor. he's a competitor. >> why does the president take actions that seem to be in
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russia's best interests rather than our own? obviously we don't know, but what we do know, the facts, the things we've all seen and heard. they raise extremely serious questions, okay? so here we go. here's just some of it. are you listening? donald trump hired paul manafort for his campaign in march of 2016. manafort went on to be named the campaign chairman, and we have since learned that robert mueller believes that manafort shared polling data and discussed russian-ukrainian policy with a russian intelligence-linked associate while he led the trump presidential campaign. manafort has pleaded guilty to witness tampering and has been convicted of several lobbying-related financial crimes. okay? that's manafort. and then there is michael flynn. here he is seated next to
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vladimir putin at a dinner in moscow in december of 2015. he joined the campaign just weeks later and went on to be named the administration's national security adviser. he resigned after he was caught lying to the fbi about his russia contacts, pleading guilty in december of 2017 and agreeing to cooperate with mueller. and remember that infa musz trump tower meeting with russians in june of 2016, promising dirt on hillary clinton? the one where donald trump jr. told a russian middleman, quote, if it's what you say, i love it. "the new york times" first asked the white house about that meeting on july 7th of 2017, and i have to give a hat tip to andrew s. weiss, who oversees research on russia for the carnegie endowment for this time line. hat tip to him. it turns out that is the same
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day that trump and putin met in hamburg, date trump seized his interpreter's notes. on the way back to washington the next day, the president dictated that misleading statement claiming that the trump tower meeting was all about adoptions. and then there's what donald trump said himself out loud, in public. remember this? this is from july 27th of 2016, daring russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> well, we later learned that russians did exactly that, and they did it on the very same day. that revelation coming from robert mueller's indictment charging 12 russians with election hacking. and of course there's the president's stunning explanation in his own words, on national television, for why he hired his
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fbi -- fired his fbi director in may of 2017. >> when i decided to do it, i said to myself, i 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. >> just one day earlier, the president bragged about firing comey to russia's foreign minister and ambassador right in the oval office. then there is another stunning moment. remember this? helsinki, july 2018. president trump stood next to vladimir putin and said he didn't see any reason russia would interfere in our election, taking the russian president's word over his own intelligence chiefs. >> people came to me. dan coats came to me and some others. they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it
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would be. >> the u.s. intelligence community concluded unanimously that the russians actively interfered in our election, that they attacked us to help donald trump and to hurt hillary clinton. and vladimir putin seems to agree with that concliegs. >> did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did, because he talked about bringing the u.s.-russia relationship back to normal. >> and then there's the president's former fixer and keeper of secrets, michael cohen. in his guilty plea to robert mueller in november of last year, he said negotiations to build a trump tower in moscow continued well into the 2016 presidential campaign. that means then-candidate trump was trying to do business with russia in the middle of a campaign that russia interfered in to help elect him, and on and
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on. so those are the facts, just the facts that i've given you there. but the big question is, right, the question we all really need to answer, why? why does this president seem to defer to vladimir putin? why would he go to extraordinary lengths to keep his conversations with putin a secret? and taken all together, what do president trump's statements and actions on russia really mean? the answer to all of that could be monumental for the president and for this country. lots to discuss. jim sciutto, asha rangappa, max boot will dig into it next. sim? great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts. so simple, so good. get the recipes at
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tonight we're learning that president trump's legal team has turned down a request by special counsel robert mueller for an in-person interview with the president. let's discuss now with cnn's jim sciutto, also asha rangappa, and max boot, the author of corrosion of conservatism, why i left the right. a special shout out to jim sciutto. asha, these new details about president trump's lawyers rebuffing mueller's requests in recent weeks for an in person interview, does this mean a subpoena could still be on the stable? >> i feel like it's groundhog day. i think we were having this discussion at this time last
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year. you know, i think it's closer to the subpoena possibility. you know, mueller has kind of indulged the president but also gave mueller time to pursue the other threads of his investigation because it kind of gave trump's legal team something to chew on and feel like they had control over. but now, you know, he's gotten things in writing, which is already not great for president trump given things that have transpired since then. he also has democrats in control of the house, which means that he knows that to some extent his findings will make the light of day. i think he can be confident in that. what will happen with the court battle remains to be seen, but i think that the president is on shaky ground. >> yeah, and he's locked in to those answers, right, because they're written answers. >> absolutely. >> jim, one source telling cnn that, quote, mueller not satisfied. what is this new reporting from our colleagues mean from mueller's final report? >> it's interesting because short of a successful subpoena
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battle, it means it's possible that the final report is issued without the special counsel having the opportunity to, in effect, cross-examine the president, and that sets up the possibility that the president's response to this report will be, as it's been to this point, largely in the public's sphere, in his comments from the bully pulpit of the white house, twitter, et cetera, where he can say whatever he wants to about the investigation, circumstances of meetings, the facts of the cate case, et cetera, without legal consequence. he can continue to do as he's done on so many threads of this investigation to mislead the american public, to state flat-out falsehoods, but without legal consequences. now, robert mueller has been a busy man. he has certainly talked to other witnesses who have accounts and i'm sure found ways to corroborate accounts that conflict with the president. but in the final analysis, again, short of a successful subpoena battle, this will ultimately be, i suppose, as it was always likely to be, a
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political question. does congress take this report, and does a majority of both democrats and republicans and decide that these are offenses that cannot -- you know, they cannot tolerate? that's most likely what the ultimate -- what the bottom line is going to be here. >> max, i got to ask you, one of your articles -- was this the one that was most shared over the weekend? this was one of the most read articles of the weekend. this is it. the latest one from "the washington post," you list 18 reasons why president trump could be a russian asset. so walk me through the most compelling examples and tell me was hillary clinton right to call trump a puppet of putin, a put put putin puppet? >> the evidence certainly points that way. what makes it so compelling is not any individual data point but the fact there's so many of them because you can dismiss individual data points and say that's just a coincidence or there's a benign explanation. it's harder to have a benign explanation for these, and i
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list them out, starting with the fact donald trump had a long financial relationship with russia. both of his sons bragged about how much money he made from russia. we know during the 2016 campaign, he was pursuing a plan to build a trump tower in moscow. those type of financial entangles, potentially placed them at the mercy of the russian intelligence service. among other revelations are the ones in last week or so where we've seen donald trump repeating russian talking points justifying the invasion of afghanistan. we have seen donald trump pulling u.s. troops out of syria, giving a giant geopolitical gift to russia. and of course this weekend we had the blockbuster report in "the washington post" that donald trump tried to destroy the record of his conversations with vladimir putin and tried to hide from his own aides what he was discussing with the russian president. put it all together, and you've got to ask yourself is there a benign explanation for this? and that increasingly looks unlikely. >> asha, you're a former fbi
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agent. when you hear that president trump confiscated the interpreter's notes from one of the meetings with putin, there are so many questions here. number one, where are those notes now, right? what was on the notes? where are they now? did president trump destroy them, save them? what do you think? >> i don't know what he did, but clearly he doesn't want the contents of that to be known. and, you know, this is incredibly telling because talking to a head of state is one of the broadest powers that the president has. i mean he could talk basically about anything that has to do with, you know, policy, with foreign policy with the united states, and he would even be able to, if he brought it back to his white house aides and staff and talked to them, have that covered by executive privilege. and he has a lot of diplomatic inseoul airity from that being
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known. so for him to not want anyone even from his own team present, i mean there's no legitimate secrecy need for him to do that. and when you add that this is a hostile foreign adversary who can then, you know, use what is -- even use their own take or their own spin on it to their own advantage, that harms our national security, i don't see any plausible legitimate reason for that to happen. >> jim, let me talk to you about the reported response from team trump is that he was concerned in the meeting about it getting out about leaks and that having someone in there and having the notes out there might affect his relationship. okay. that would be plausible if he did the same thing or similar things with every single leader who he met with, right? >> which of course he doesn't. in fact, he's been very liberal right down to using an unsecured phone for conversations with other foreign leaders.
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you know, don, earlier today i asked a former very senior u.s. intelligence official whether in his experience he had ever seen a u.s. official at any level, top level, mid level, low level, that he was aware of, who concealed the contents of a conversation with a russian national, and he couldn't think of one. now, a president, as you and others have said, could have legitimate reasons for keeping a conversation like that private. but with the president here, that effort focused solely on conversations with the leader of this particular hostile foreign power. in the hamburg meetings in 2017, in the helsinki meeting in 2018 in which he was the only person in the room -- the president -- along with his translator, you know, intelligence is so much about looking at patterns of behavior. what explains this pattern of behavior when you line it up with the president's other positions and statements that are friendly to russia?
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and contrary to american interests. you know, no one should be under any -- no one should forget that this is america's singular biggest, along with china, national security threat, and that is russia. and the president has a particular way of dealing with russia that is contrary to every other u.s. national security and intelligence official the way they deal with this country, that at a minimum raises legitimate questions that the president hasn't answered. >> thanks to all of you. we've got news tonight on congressman steve king to tell you about. he has stripped of his committee assignments over his latest racist comments. i'm going to talk with former congresswoman mia love, who has been on the phone tonight with republican members of congress and steve king's republican challenger in the 2020 primary, state senator randy feen stra. he's going to join us as well. we'll be right back. last name is "wehadababyit'saboy."
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so listen to this. tonight the house voted to remove congressman steve king from his committee assignments following his racist remarks. the ohio republican's latest questions is he's questioning phrases like white supremacy and white nationalism are racist. i want to bring in the republican who will be challenging steve king in 2020 in the primary is iowa state senator randy feenstra. randy, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining us this evening. >> good evening, don. great to be on with you tonight. >> absolutely. give me your reaction to the congressman being stripped of his committee assignments tonight. >> it's very concerning. the fourth district in iowa
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needs a strong voice and a positive voice. and what this does, it takes -- we no longer have a seat at the table, and that's very concerning. we need somebody that can go to d.c. and be an effective leader. >> yeah. >> and right now we do not have that. >> yeah, here's your quote that i read earlier. sadly the voters and conservative values have lost their seat at the table because of congressman king's caustic behavior. that's a pretty strong rebuke. >> well, it's true, you know. i mean there's no place like that in our society to have that type of discussion. we're better than that. iowans, americans, we're better than that. >> i want you to take a listen to what republican congressman chris stewart of utah just said to my colleague, chris cuomo. watch this. >> it's not the first time that he's said things that the party just cringes at and says, what in the world? perhaps we could have addressed it in a more aggressive manner
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in the past, but i'm glad we're doing it now. >> should he be censured? >> i wish he'd -- i wish he'd resign frankly. like i said, he can't do the work. he's lost the trust and faith of his comrades. for the good of the party, for the good of the american people, i think it's time for us to make a change. >> did you hear from any republicans in congress or officials in iowa who agree that king should resign, or are they supporting you? >> well, i think there's a lot of questions right now. i mean there is a lot of concerns. i think the biggest thing that everybody has to understand is that there's an opportunity to now put somebody in congress that is positive, refreshing, a new face, a very principled conservative, and that's why i'm running. i think it's time that congressman king look seriously in the mirror and decides whether he should step down or not. he's got to make a significant decision. but i'm here to make sure iowans do have a voice and a seat at the table, and i'd love to have people contribute by going to
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feenstra for >> listen, this would affect you. when leader mccarthy was asked if king should resign, he said the voters of his district make those decisions. hugh would that happen other than your race in 2020, or is there some sort of a mechanism for a recall? >> well, there is not a mechanism for a recall. again, he's got to decide what he wants to do. does he want to step aside and allow somebody else to have the opportunity to have a new face in congress? i just look at it and hope he makes the right decision. >> do you believe that congressman steve king is racist or holds racist views? >> i think that his actions and his comments, they speak for themselves. and each voter has to make that decision as we move forward. >> but that's not an answer. i mean honestly i think that's a copout answer. do you believe it or not because -- >> sure. i'll tell you this. i think that what he said what's abhorrent, and there's no place for those type of comments in
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our society today. there's no place for that in our nation. >> mm-hmm. why do you think he keeps getting re-elected, then? >> well, i think over the last 16 years, there was a difference in congressman king than there was in the last several years. and that has changed, and that's what has really pushed me to get in the race and to run. >> mm-hmm. >> after the last election, after some things that came out in the last election, i think everybody saw in the fourth district that maybe it's an opportunity to now have a fresh face, a new opportunity for a good fiscal conservative to run and take his place. >> am i correct? i'm being told it's your 50th birthday? >> it is today. thank you, yes. >> happy birthday. we're glad that you could take the time -- >> and i'm spending it with you, don. >> i appreciate it. thank you so much. if i knew, i would have baked a cake. >> if people can give me a 50th birthday present, contribute to feenstra for >> all right.
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thank you, sir. i appreciate your time. i want to bring in now cnn political commentator mia love, a former republican congresswoman, and she joins us on the phone. thank you so much for joining us this evening. we really appreciate it, representative. what are you hearing from members of congress about steve king tonight? >> well, i've spoken to several members -- several republican members of congress, and i've asked them. i was like, do you feel like this decision was appropriate? do you feel like it was too harsh? and every single one i've spoken to said they felt like it was completely appropriate, that members are saying that representative steve king does not represent the sentiments of the party, and they felt like one too many comments, that they needed to speak out, not just speak out but literally strip him from all of his committees, judiciary and ag. they feel like he cannot represent the conference when it comes to voter rights and immigration, all of those things that will be coming up in judiciary that he cannot speak for the conference.
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so they just feel -- everyone that i've spoken to has felt like this was absolutely appropriate and about time. >> i got to ask you because, you know, i got to be honest. he's in lockstep with this president in many ways on many issues. how is he different, then? how do they differ from each other? >> well, you know, i can't really get into the heads of both the president and steve king, but i can tell you that, you know, one of the frustrations i have is i've felt that if there were people there that were saying certain things that didn't represent my values, didn't represent my principles, and certainly weren't the reason i put an "r" behind my name when i was a member of congress. so, you know, these comments keep coming up. it's time for members of congress to get up and say this is not appropriate. this is not what we believe in. if you let that slide, if you let those things slide, then you are associating yourself with
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that type of comment, which is why i'm always outspoken -- you know, i've always been outspoken when the president said some things that i felt was inappropriate, and there are many times i felt like i was on my own there. >> yeah. well, two things. one, i know that you said that tim scott's op-ed really resonated with a lot of people, and that may have changed some minds. >> i think so. >> the other thing is you were in the house, right? you were in congress. what did people say about congressman king behind closed doors? no one talked about this because it's not like this just happened yesterday or last week. he's said many things before. >> yeah. i think there's so many people that would cringe, that would just say, you know, how is he getting elected? how does he continue to get elected? obviously if it were up to the conference and the conference were voting, you know, they were his constituents, there would be
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a different sentiment out there. i don't think he would be a member if it was left up to -- >> but why didn't people say anything, then? >> well, you know, it's a question i asked. but i think better late than never. i think the conference is at this point saying, look, this is way too much. we can't do this. i heard congressman stewart get on, who is a representative in my state, get up and say, too many times is just too much. they can't do it anymore. >> so people did talk about it. the people of color who are in congre congress, in the senate, did you guys talk about steve king and his comments? was that an active discussion? did you openly -- i shouldn't say openly. >> there were only three of us, don. >> that's what i mean. did you go to them and say, hey, listen, this is offensive? mia, are you there? >> yes, i got you. yes. you cut out for a little bit. >> did you talk to people about
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it and tell them how offensive these comments and his stances were or are? >> well, if you remember in my concession speech, there was a point where i said, you know, the policies are good, but there's a sense sometimes that there are members that just don't take you home. and that's what i meant by that. it's that sometimes there's a sentiment that -- >> you said the relationship was transactional, right? >> i'm sorry? say that again. >> you said the relationship with voters of color many times was transactional. >> yes. i said it was transactional. i said people have to know that you care, and those comments are -- doesn't send the message that you actually care about people of color, right? so i think that that is -- this is a perfect example of how we need to do a better job, and when i say we, i'm talking about the party needs to do a better job reaching to people in minority communities and letting them know that this is not --
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this is not transactional, that they actually care about people that they're actually making decisions for. that means something to them and their families. >> mia love, i appreciate you coming on. i appreciate your candor. i haven't had a chance to tell you welcome to cnn. we're glad to have you. thank you so much. >> thank you so much, don. congressman jim heinz, next. [indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪
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president trump went to extraordinary lengths to keep details of his conversations with vladimir putin under wraps. a former state department official tells cnn that after a 2017 meeting in hamburg, president trump took his interpr interpreter's notes, told him not to discuss the meeting with other administration officials. why would you do that if you weren't trying to hide something? joining me now is democratic congressman jim himes of connecticut. good to have you on, congressman. thank you so much. we're going to get to that, but i want to get your reaction to the republican colleagues stripping congressman steve king of his committee assignments. what do you think of that? >> well, i guess i have to go with what mia love said in the statement just before this. better late than never. but, you know, i've been watching steve king for ten years. this is not a new thing for steve king.
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he's been saying this stuff forever. he was trump before trump was trump. i mean i remember the comment about how illegal, undocumented aliens, you know, all had cavs the size of cantaloupes. >> carrying drugs. >> this has been going on a very long time. i don't mean to be a cynic, and i don't want to leave the impression here that i believe the republican conference or that republicans are inherently racist. but the only difference between what happened to steve king today and 50 other episodes like this is they just got their heads handed to them in an election in november. so, again, i don't want to be cynical, and i'm glad they finally stepped up and said we're not going to tolerate it, but what took them so long? >> yeah. i'm glad you said heads handed to them, because i know what usually goes with that, so i appreciate you doing that. listen, cnn has some new reporting that trump's lawyers rejected mueller's request in recent weeks for an in person interview with the president. what does that say to you, congressman? >> well, you know, no surprise.
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trump's lawyers don't want him speaking to talented legal professionals. i mean you need to watch the guy's twitter feed for about two minutes to know that he does not have a particular appreciation of the difference between truth and falsehood. so if i were the president's lawyers, i'd be doing everything i could to prevent him from being interviewed by anybody, much less somebody who is a professional. but, you know, this could get interesting, right, because, you know, there is some chance that if mueller fields that he needs to, he may subpoena the president. and we could expect to see a resistance from this president that we didn't see from bill clinton and from others who have sort of bumped up against this question in the past. >> why do you think president trump took such extraordinary lengths to conceal what he discussed with vladimir putin like, you know, getting rid of the notes? who know what's they did with them. telling the interpreter don't discussion with the administration. why did he go to such lengths? >> you sort of start with the preposition that the only reason you do that is because you don't
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want other people to know what was said. okay. then the question is why don't you want other people to know? and, you know, don, this is the, you know, 900th question on top of the, you know, 899th question of why are all of his people lying about the contacts that they had with russia? why is the president, every time he gets around vladimir putin, most notably last year, saying exactly what vladimir putin would have him say? you know, i get asked all the time, is there evidence of collusion? when is this investigation going to wrap up? i don't know the answer to that question, but there are just hundreds of puzzling questions that we need to get to the bottom of in this case. >> listen, you're on the intelligence committee. do you think your committee should subpoena that interpreter? >> well, yes, i do. now, i know exactly how that plays out, and of course chairman schiff, when we actually -- when this first came up, when the reykjavik summit so famously landed like a lead balloon, i know that adam schiff at that point wanted to subpoena
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the interpreter, but the republicans who were in control at the time said no. but, look, i know how this plays out. we can subpoena that interpreter, but the white house is going to claim executive privilege. that's what they did with pretty much all of the white house witnesses that we called into our investigation. so now we're in a world of litigation and contempt proceedings and working on what exactly executive privilege comprises, and it's going to be a while. >> listen, i know this is a tough question, but if you can do it for me quickly because i want you to weigh in on the president of the united states saying publicly today that he has never worked for russia. "the new york times" report came out on friday. why do you think it took him until monday to just flat-out say no? >> well, another good question. we'll make that good question number 901. look, i can't put myself in the head of this president. i imagine that when he thinks am i working for vladimir putin, he's thinking, am i drawing a paycheck? you know, do i get a list of instructions every single morning from vladimir putin on
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what i'm supposed to say? and it's quite possible that the answer to that question is no. but, you know, is the president working to change the republican party platform? is the president -- and, again, i want to be very clear. i don't know the answers to these questions, but as you probably know, the treasure departmey department is about to delist a couple of companies owned by oleg deripaska, very, very close to vladimir putin. when all of this stuff happens, is all of it happening because the president feels like he needs to be on vladimir putin's good side? and if he feels that way, why is that? that's the question, and that of course is why mueller needs to not only finish his work but all of what mueller turns up needs to be available for scrutiny by the american public. >> congressman, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, don. the latest racist comments from congressman steve king, well, they weren't his first. so why all the outrageous rage from the gop now?
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the house voting to remove republican congressman steve king from his committee assignments. that's after his comments to the "new york times" questioning why phrases such as white sxreems white nationalism are considered racist. i want to bring in now adam serwer, ana navarro and alice stewart. good evening to all of you. alice, you spoke with steve king. am i correct? >> i just got off the phone with him. >> so what did he say? >> he said look, this was in his mind, and he will continue to fight this, this was a statement that he says was taken out of context. and he says this was an interview with a reporter where he was asking the question since when did western civilization become an offensive term? and he said he wasn't referring to white nationalism or any other derogatory term. he says it was taken out of context. and now given the fallout from this he says that in his mind he views this as the gop realizes they were going to be fed to the alligators and hoping that they would be eaten last and he's
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going to continue to fight this. i've known steve king for many, many years and traveled countless days on the road in iowa, and he is a good man. but if he said these things, this is a bridge too far, and this is something that i do support the republican party for taking this stand. but he will continue to defend himself. he told me, he said alice, there's nothing in my head, in my heart that is racist. and he says this is something that he will continue to fight on. and so this is a matter in his mind of his word against this reporter and he will continue to hold his ground on this. >> let me read the comments. "white nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization, how did that language become offensive," mr. king said. "why did i sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?" ana navarro. you heard what alice just said. she spoke to him. he says he's going to fight it. he was talking about western
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civilization and there's not a racist bone in his body. >> really? then he's been playing one on tv and in the florida congress for years and years for his entire career. look, the reason you cannot believe steve king when he says he was taken out of context is because then you would have to believe that his entire life has been taken out of context. maybe if this was a statement made in a vacuum, a one-off, something that happened once, but this is just one more. this is the straw that broke the camel's back. but it's one more racist, divisi divisive, supremacist bigoted statement by steve king. the man who has compared immigrants to dirt, to dogs, said that daca dreamer students have calves the size of cantaloupes where they are bringing in drugs, has proposed an electrified fence at the border. it's been one thing after the other after the other after the other. and i would say look, for
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republicans it's taken too damn long. it's been way too many times. let's not play stupid here. that being said, i am glad that people like joni ernst, the senator from iowa, from his state, has taken a stand. i am grateful and thankful for the voice of tim scott, the one african-american senator, republican -- >> and even mitch mcconnell. >> -- who spoke up, and he said, tim scott said, you know why people call the republican party racist and why we have to deal with this? because for far too long we remained silent in the face of racist comments. >> i'm up against the clock here, and i want to get adam in. so listen, even mitch mcconnell said if he doesn't understand why white supremacy is offensive he should find another line of work. what do you make of that alice said his response and what has happened with republicans now rebuking him? >> well, you know, as ana pointed out, steve king has been saying these things for a long
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time. he said we can't rebuild, quote unquote, our civilization with quote unquote other people's babies. he endorsed a white nationalist anti-semitic person for mayor of toronto. i mean, the record is so long. and what's really extraordinary is that in all these condemnations that you've read from national review, from tim scott, there's been no acknowledgment that the president shares a lot of these views with steve king. and you don't have to take my word for that. it was trump in 2014 who went to iowa and said, you know, steve has all the right stances on the issues and we think the same about everything so we don't even need to compare notes. and the elephant in the room is really that there's almost nothing that steve king has said or that he believes that the president doesn't also believe. so why is steve king -- and to be clear, i want to say that i think it's good that republicans are finally doing something about this. but i don't know how you can believe that steve king is the
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beginning and the end of the problem here. >> you can also read adam's piece in "the atlantic" as well. listen, we thank you for the breaking news. alice, thank you for -- alice just hung up. and we're out of time. but thank you so much. we'll continue this conversation. i appreciate it. meanwhile, hanging over the president's head, russia. with bombshell stories dropping seemingly every day it can be difficult to track them all. make sure you stay with us because we're going to dig into everything that we have learned so far.
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