tv Smerconish CNN June 15, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. well, it was four years ago tomorrow, be honest, how many of you thought that donald trump had any chance of being elected president when he descended the escalator at trump tower? >> this is beyond anybody's expectations. there's been no crowd like this. and i can tell you some of the candidates, they went in, they didn't know the air conditioner didn't work. they sweated like dogs. they didn't know the room was too big, because they didn't have anybody there.
how are they going beat isis? i don't think it's going to happen. >> i admit it just by announcing that day, he proved me wrong. i never thought he would throw his hat in the ring. and when he did, i remained convinced he would milk it for publicity and get out down the road. wrong again. 16 months later buzzfeed, what he chronicled 36 hours on the fake campaign trail with donald trump. coppins had escorted trump. and then wrote this, trump can no longer escape the fact that his political career a long con that the blustery billionaire has perpetrated on the country for 25 years by repeatedly pretending to consider various runs for office finally appears to be on the brink of collapse. the reason, nobody seems to
believe anymore. trump came off as a figure in the buzzfeed piece. trump hammered coppins via twitter and banned him from accompanying the pain. coppins appeared on my sirius radio program. we howled like school kids that this would be any different. after all, he'd been threatening to run since 2008. he ran against the stage of seemingly more qualified primary opponents and eventually a candidate deemed the most qualified ever to seek the office. well, he beat her, too. and there's a lesson in that, for all of us now, as we approach 2020, namely, that despite all of the pundits and the polls and prognostications, we have no idea what's about to unfold. the only thing for sure is uncertainty. jeff greenfield has a great essay at politico.
why you're wrong about the democratic primary. and writes this, with the history of modern presidential nominating contests suggests about this moment is that the seemingly daily polling, the she's-surging, he's-failing stories, have all of the staying power of sand castle at high inside. yes, joe biden has a commanding leeds against 22 democratic opponents. and in hypothetical matchups against president trump he wins gig, but jeff greenfield writes that muskie looked invincible. gary hart seemed poise to beat walter mondale. at the end of the went20034, ho dean was the guy while john kerry was sputtering. and 2007, remember this? rudy giuliani seemed a lock for the gop nomination. that, of course, was the same cycle where hillary clinton
seemed destined for the democratic nomination, despite facing a challenge from a junior senator from illinois with a very hard to pronounce name. but nothing in the modern era compares to 2016, reminding us that the only thing we know for sure, we really don't know what's to come. joining me now, he's here to atone, mckay coppins, hey, put those emails back up on the screen where he refers to you as a combination of dumb, garbage, sleaze bag, third rate, yada, yada, yada. i think base you came on the tv show and we had fun at his expense. then i joined the list. put up on the screen what he said, saying cnn has wasted time and money, by theway, mr. president, not enough money. where did we go, mckay?
>> it's funny looking at the tweets, it turns out that would become a regular professional hazard for those of us who cover politics. at that time, that kind of twitter rant was emblematic of my idea of trump. the idea of this man becoming president or even just running for president was so far-fetched and outlandish that it could be easily dismissed. and what i came to realize once he entered the race and clinched the primary, i kind of went back and revisited my notes from spending time with him and spent a lot of time with people who knew him what i realized i was a long line of kind of sneering insiders who throughout his entire life has made him feel like his face is pressed up against the glass and he's not being let into the party. that sounds weird because he's always been rich and famous and powerful. but the reality is, he's also always had this class outside of
borough anxiety. a guy feeling like he's not getting the credit he deserves. he's not getting the respect he deserves. when i was with him at mar-a-lago, he was thirsting for my validation. he wanted me to take him seriously as a political figure. and i wasn't giving it to him and that drove him crazy. >> hearinre's the question, in retrospect, do you think at the politics and eggs in 2014, did you read that he was committe o your words that caused him to say screw this, i am going to win this? >> i've done a lot of reporting back in my repentance process. he definitely had people around
him, urging him to run for president back in 2014 when i saw him going through the motion but my impression from talking to all of the people he was not planning to pull the trigger at that point. he was not serious. he was doing what he had done for 25 years prior which was using a political flirtation to generate publicity. but in 2014 and 2015, my story was one of many, many stories written in the political press. many segments on this network and many others, kind of dismissing him as a political figure. and what i'm told by one former trump aide who helped him launch his presidential campaign is that when he was kind of on the fence in the final weeks in the runup to his announcement, one of the things they would say to him to try to make him pull the trigger and do this was just think of all of the haters you'll prove wrong. think of all of the people who say you would never run. >> so, a last issue, if i may. i want to blend together your
thinking and jeff greenfield's from politico, the lesson, the takeaway here is the unpredictable nature of what is now beginning to unfold. i'll give you a great example, abc has confirmed that polling data that the "times" first reported where trump loses to biden 55%/39% in p.a., in wisconsin, 51% to 41%, that biden is up seven in florida. that trump leads only by two in texas. anybody who buys into the notion that we know how this is going to unfold would be proven wrong by looking at any of the recent cycles, those that have played themselves out in the modern era, you'd agree with that? >> yes, absolutely. and, you know, the biggest lesson i took away from 2016 and from my experience with trump is that my value as a journalist, as a writer, as an observer of american politics is not in
prognostication. the value i can add to the national conversation is not in guessing who is going to win or what's going to happen based on polls a year out from the iowa caucuses. that's not valuable. it's not worth while and it's almost never effective. it never works. what i hope, if nothing else, i hope the political journalists covering this upcoming cycle, the cycle we're now in, takes that lesson that you never know what's going to happen and you should never been too certain in your predictions and focus on what's happening now. >> a good reminder. that's why i wanted you here. it's a really good reminder. thank you, mckay, appreciate it. >> thanks, mike. >> what are your thoughts, tweet knee @smer kohnish. or go to my facebook page. what do we have? i knew instantly he'd win and win big because he said so many things that people said privately. well, john kern, in retrospect,
he wasn't alone, people would parse the comments that he made. that's the first time we heard that mexico was sending uses rapists. and the sitdown with john luntz and each time you thought, that must be the end, right? up ahead, after trying to remain mutually supportive, the democratic gloves came off this week on the issue of socialism. bernie sanders tweeted a video of fdr in response to an attack from my next guest,hicken hoope. i want to know what you think, should democrats avoid or embrace the seasonist label? plus, the so-called central park five were famously convicted of a brutal attack on a female jogger in 1989. a new netflix miniseries makes
the case that they were wrongly convicted. is it really that simple? one of the arresting officers is here to tell his story. and president trump likes to end his rallies with the roll stones' "you can't always get what you want." so which songs have the democratic rivals been choosing. in iowa, kelsey gabbert chooses "ain't no mountain high enough." . ody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today.
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the moderate versus progressive rift continues to divide the democratic party. the face of the progressive side, senator bernie sanders, made his case for democratic socialism during a speech on wednesday. he also took a swipe at those who attack the concept. >> i and other progressives will face massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word "socialism" as a slur. them may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people. but they absolutely love corporate socialism tha that enriches trump and other billionaires. >> by the way, i notice he's now saying billionaires, not
millionaires, wonder why? my next guest is one of those who says socialism is not the answer. joining me now is presidential candidate, the former governor of the great state of colorado, john hickenlooper who gave a rebuttal to sanders' speech on thursday. governor, the draw suggests now you'll be on the stage, the draw yesterday about the upcoming debate with senator sanders, with former vice president biden, with mayor pete as well. will you be pushing the issue whether the ds should be running understand the banner of socialism? >> well, i'm sure it's going to come up, obviously -- and i feel strongly that democrats have to draw a clean line saying we are not socialists. republicans are already doing it, they're already saying every democrat are socialists, and clearly we're not, if you look in the swing districts, those pragmatic democrats that won
distanced themselves. made a clear line that says we're not socialists, we support pragmatic violations to the nation's problems. >> do you worry that yours is a good message for a general election, but not for someone who is seeking to win primaries and democratic caucuses? >> no i think it's a good message for all of the time. i think massive expansion of government, as a kind of fix-all solution to the challenges facing the country, whether you're talking about trying to get the universal health care or address climate change, they're not what the american people want. i don't think they're what democratic primary voters want. in colorado we were able to bring business and nonprofits together. we worked democrats and republicans and we got to almost universal health care coverage. the number one economy in the country and we passed tough new gun laws. >> senator sanders tweeted in response to you, he incorporated a clip from fdr, let's roll it.
>> -- on you and let me warn the nation against the smooth evasion that says, of course, we believe these things, we believe in social security. we believe in -- >> i guess the point is that john hickenlooper in the era of the new deal would have said the same thing about social security. is that true? >> well, with all due respect to senator sanders, i think he's talking about, you know, apples to oranges. i mean, the bottom line, social security, the worker pays a little. the employer paid a little. it wasn't a massive expansion of government. when he talks about universal health care coverage and medicare for all, he's expecting 160 to 180 million americans to give up the private insurance that many of them want to keep. i mean, there's no -- no
relationship. and you know, the one thing nice about looking at fdr, he was a governor. he actually got stuff done. i keep -- you know, i look at all of the people running right now. and i feel like i'm the only person that's actually done the things that everyone else is just talking about. >> senator sanders also is careful to distinguish between democratic socialism. and socialism. i feel like i'm back in a poly-sci class. how do you see the difference between the two? and does it matter whether we're talking about democratic socialism, or socialism? >> this is an era of hot media. and whether you're looking at cable news, wonder shows like yours or whether you're looking at facebook ads, the republicans are going to use the word "socialism" to try and paint us into a wonder. and i think every democrat is going to be well served to say, wait, we are not socialists, right? we have pragmatic solutions --
here's how colorado became the number one economy in the country. here's how we got to near universal health care coverage. those are the kind of things that should be discussed instead of letting the republicans paint us into this corner of socialism. >> two weeks ago, you walked into a roomful of california democratic activists. you were booed on this subject. by the way, had you you had to t was the reaction you would get in that crowd, right? >> yes, of course. >> i come back to how is this a winning strategy in the short term question? >> well, i think it's something that has to be said, right? if we don't clearly say we're not socialists, we run the risk, and i said this to the group in california, we run the risk of helping to re-elect the worst president in this country's history. and once i got into that in california and started talking
about the things that colorado did. we brought the environmental community and oil and gas together and created the first in the country. they're now being rolled out as national policy in canada. the crowd, as i explained these achievements, they began applauding. i think that the primary voters, when you give them the choice and say here's someone who has actually done what everyone else is talking about, who's got a record of progressive achievement where people said these things couldn't be done, i think the primary democratic voters are going to say that's who's going to beat trump. that's how we win in ohio, michigan and north carolina and pennsylvania. >> on a pfar more lighthearted question, and the if i'm nyour song selection, you went with one republic "good life."
what's the message you convey? >> ryan tenor who wrote that song, they're a colorado band, they wrote that coming back to colorado. ryan co-wrote and co-produced "halo." he's one of the top writers. he's got a new tv show "songland." ryan tener is the future of america. i wanted that to have the same future thrust. >> i thought you were a dead guy. i thought you'd pick something by bob wheeler and the boys. >> idol love the dea do love bo. he plays guitar and i play banjo. the lumeneers, they're a colorado band, so i have to celebrate them. it helps that they're so good.
>> thank you, governor, appreciate it. >> you bet, thank you. >> i will be teasing more of the songs, by the way, that candidates are selecting. i'm fascinated by it. i'm fascinated by it. let's see what you're saying via the smerconish facebook page. socialism is a term republicans are yufgs to creausing to creat. why perpetrate it, michael smerconish? i'm perpetrating it? he's crossed swords with hi hickenlooper? fa take it up with bernie sanders. should democrats avoid or embrace the socialist label? up ahead, the exonerated five. that's how oprah winfrey says we should now refer to the teenagers arrested for the 1989
attack on a new york jogger but is the netflix miniseries telling the truth? find out from one of the new york police officers in central park that night in 1989 and made some of the critical arrests. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. e-commerce deliveries to homes so chantix can help you quit slow turkey.rkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood,
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[ dogs howling ] seriously? embrace the mischief. say "get pets tickets" into your x1 voice remote to see it in theaters. one of the most talked about television shows right now is the netflix four-part series "when they see us." it tells the story of the so-called central park five, the five new york city youths ages 14 to 16 who were convicted of rape after an april 19, 1989 attack in central park. their convictions were all vacated after a serial rapist
named mateas reyes pled guilty and said he acted alone. the 29-year-old victim was white. the crime was sensationalized when donald trump a real estate developer in work paid for a full time ad in all the paper including "the new york times" advocating the death penalty. mayor de blasio settled a lawsuit for $41 million but the city no wrongdoing. in the netflix series showing it being coerced by overzealous cops. fairstein wrote in "wall street journal" this week that the netflix series is, quote, so full of distortions and
falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication. last week, fairstein who has a second career of a best-selling author of crime fiction resigned her position as a board member at vassar college, her alma mater. and this week, the prosecutor of the five resigned from a teaching role at columbia law school. in an interview that aired with both the five and the actors who play them in the tv series, oprah implored everybody to now refer to them as the exonerated five, not the central park five. but is it that simple? joining me now is eric reynolds, a former new york city police officer who on the night of the attack arrested two of the five. eric, thanks for being here. you watched the netflix series, and you thought what? >> well, thank you for having me, michael. i watched the netflix series and i was shocked, okay?
i actually laughed out loud when i saw felicity huffman playing linda fairstein, implore the police to go out and round up all black men in harlem. i thought that was absolutely preposterous. it never happened. linda fairstein was never even in the precinct that day when the investigation was started, first of all. second of all, the district attorney does not give orders to the police department. they do not direct our investigation. our investigation was well under way once linda fairstein arrived at the central park precinct. >> someone who knows only of this case what they watched in that four-part series would come away thinking that the admissions, videotaped admissions were all coerced. that this was all the result of cops who were acting in a nefarious way to railroad those five individuals.
as one of the police officers who made critical arrests in this case, you would respond how? >> well, that's ridiculous. all you need to do is look at the videos. watch the videos. look at each one of the defendants. see if they're being coerced. see if they're sleep deprived. you'll see their parents are in every single video. you'll see their rights are being read to them. it's a blatant lie. it's unfortunate. this is the first time that police misconduct is recorded on videotape and the rights alleged by police didn't want it seen. 33 foug they fought for the longest time to keep the videos under wraps. i would implore everybody, look at the videos. watch them from beginning to end, and then make a judgment. >> i know from doing a lengthy
interview with you on my radio program that you were in the park that night. that you participated in apprehending a number of the guys who it was their word, correct me if i'm wrong, were wilding. >> yes. >> you initially didn't associate them with the violent attack on the jogger. what was the moment that caused you to say, i think there is a connection? >> well, it wasn't that i think that there's a connection, we knew there was a connection. we had arrested five. two of which were part of the central park five. raymond santana and kevin richardson. we were going to release them -- we were releasing them to their parents. we did not believe they had anything to do with the attack on the jogger, okay? but we were interviewing them, before we released them so that, just in the event that they saw what happened, we might be able to get that information. i released two of them. we got to kevin richardson.
kevin richardson had a scratch on his face. when we asked him how he got the scratch, he first lied and said my partner did it. when confronted with the fact that we were going to ask my partner. he then admitted that the female jogger scratched his face. that's the first we realized they were involved on the attack on patricia meili. >> had you had any conversation with him up until that moment where there was any reference to the jogger? >> no. no -- well, there was -- >> go ahead, finish. >> there was one reference by raymond santana. my partner had asked them, you know, why were you out in the park -- why would you be out in the park beating people up? you should be with your girlfriend. raymond santana looked to steven lopez and laughingly said i already got mine.
i didn't realize what it meant at the time because the jogger had not been found at that point. >> why would mattias reyes have confessed to doing it and confessed to doing it alone if that was not the case? >> because mattias reyes was in a segregated part of the prison. he was with rapists and child offenders. he had gotten kicked out because he committed several violations in there. now he was out in general circulation and vulnerable to attack. and kelly knew this and he had people threatening reyes. it didn't matter at that point. the statute of limitations were up. there was no legal jeopardy for him to say he had done it. in fact, what happened was, as a psychopath, and i got this from his psychologist, this worked in
his favor. he was able to get attention as a result of coming forward to say he did it by himself. he was looked at as a hero almost in a perverse way. >> well, why was his -- i, eric, was only his dna found in the jogger? >> his dna only was found in the jogger because -- well, first of all, if you look at the videos, every one of the kids said the same thing. they were not able to perform sexually on the jogger, and they pretended to have sex with them because they did not want to look like a punk in front of the rest. and if you think about it, you have a bunch of 13 and 14 year olds in the middle of central park in the middle of the night, beating the life out of this woman that they don't know. and under those circumstances would they be able to perform sexually? no, who could perform sexually? the guy who raped his mother. the guy who was a serial rapist. the guy who raped, tortured and
killed a pregnant woman in front of her two children. that's the guy who is able to have sex and complete the act in the middle of central park in front of everybody. >> let me return to a final question. the subject of whether those admissions captured on videotape were coerced. you weren't in those rooms, correct? so how could you know? >> how could i know they weren't coerced? >> yes. >> well, first of all, you can hear everything that's going on. it's not as though the rooms are soundproof, number one. number two, if you look at the pictures, if you watch the netflix series, you'll see how each kid is getting slapped around. they're getting beaten up. at one point, the cop hits a kid in the face with a helmet several times. now, every news organization in the nation was at the precincts when they were being brought out. if you look at those pictures, not one of them has a scratch on them. none of them.
>> you can see the mug shots -- i'm showing the five mug shots right now to make the point that i think you're offering. eric reynolds, thank you for being here. it's a complicated case and certainly not as clear as the television adaptation. that's what i would say. >> you're correct. you're 100% correct. >> let's check in on your tweets and your facebook comments. what do we have, katherine? from twitter. smerconish when it comes to white cops and black suspects from the era of the central park five. i don't trust anything from the cops. it hasn't changed much either. m madelyn, did you see my guest, he was a black officer from the bronx. still to come in iowa last week, presidential hopeful tim ryan hit the stage from the
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when you're a presidential candidate there's something potentially as important as any stand on any issue. and that is, what song do you want played when you hit the stage? 19 of the 23 contenders showed up at the democratic hall of fame event in iowa last weekend and had to face that dilemma. what do you play before you're allotted a five-minute chance to woo the potential early voters? i always find it fascinating that president trump chooses to end his rallies with the roll stones' "you can't always get what you want." what message do you expect to get from that? you're telling them you're not always going to get what you want. here's what democratic candidates close. steve boyd who hails from the small town of helena went with "smalltown" by john mellencamp. i think he earned that.
that's a pretty good fit. john delaney, johnny cash "i've been anywhere." at least he didn't go with "a boy named sue" right? he used it because he visited every county in iowa. and spent more time there than any other candidate. i think it works short term in iowa. this is the best match of all. ♪ can you guess, jay inceler. he goes with "blue skies." a congressman, it works. >> beto, beto o'rourke, the clash "clampdown." maybe because he was a punk rocker back in the day, right? bernie sanders goes with a classic, john lennon. "power to the people." i don't know about this one, i get it, but i don't know.
elizabeth warren. dolly parton "nine to five." all i can think of is dabney coleman, a great movie. maybe a little too hokie. i'm not sure. i couldn't get to everybody and a couple skipped the event including the front-runner which got me wondering which song will joe biden use for his campaign. in the opening rally in pittsburgh he went with the boss, springsteen's "we take care of our own." as far as i know, springsteen has no objection to the veep using the song. but in philly three weeks later he switched to elton john's "philadelphia freedom." maybe being in the city of brotherly love, i don't know. and then, of course, there's a song i'd be using in iowa. i already do in my "american life and columns" book tour.
i go with "stuck in the middle with you." by the way, i'm not changing my tune. i want to remind to you answer the survey questio question @smerconish.com. should democrats avoid or embrace the socialist label? still to come, a new onc report said kellyanne conway should be fired for violating the hatch act. but she remains employed. >> if you're trying to silence me with the hatch act, it's not going to work. let me know when the jail sentence starts. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. we're the tenney's and we're usaa members for life. call usaa to start saving on insurance today. but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed.
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the news cycle this week. the appearance that presidential adviser conmade here with me on april 27th was one cited as a violation of the hatch act, the u.s. office of special counsel recommendation is that she be removed from federal service. the report says she's been a quote-unquote repeat offender. says she was using her official position to influence the 2018 mid-term elections and 2020 presidential election through media appearances and social
media. here's our show on pages 10 and 11 of the report it mentions that discussing the neo-nazi march in charlottesville, conway then pivoted to recently announced presidential candidate joe biden. that's an important distinction. she pivoted. the president told "fox & friends" on friday that he would not fire her. >> it looks to me like they are trying to take away her right of free speech and that's just not fair. she's got to have a right of responding to questions. >> yeah, but in terms of her appearance here that defense doesn't hold up. i didn't ask her any questions about biden. i was reminded beforehand from the white house that while conway was happy to discuss policies due to hatch act she cannot talk about specific candidates and i was fine with that provision. but here's how the interview unfolded. >> no fine person would stand alongside torch bearers who were
chanting jews will not replace us. >> those are the ones the president is condemning. if you want to revisit joe biden doesn't want to be held to account for his record or lack thereof. >> the point is i didn't go, there she did. she went on the disparage biden a second time despite me being caused by the white house. she didn't play by the same rules. i'm guessing she knew hatch act is a toothless tiger unlessen forced by the executive branch, her boss, so she will remain in her position. by the way, making this one decision, by the president, that did not draw rebuke via twitter from her husband. still to come your best and worst tweets and facebook comments. one last chance to vote on today ace survey question, should democrats or avoid the socialist label?
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the survey question, should democrats avoid or embrace the socialist label. survey says 6779 votes cast avoid. 73%. john higen lo higgenlooper. >> smerconish, you have no idea what you're talking re the exonerated five. if you think race played no role you really need to take a look at your male white privilege.
>> i didn't say race didn't play a role. i said to someone who wants introduce blame to all cops, i just introduced you to a black cop. i watched netflix with great interest. that series left me wanting to know more. and so in my quest for information, i've watched those videotaped confessions. i also -- you should do this, google something called the armstrong report. google something called the galligan opinion and reach as much as can you. don't draw conclusions based on a television version in four parts of what ava said occurred in that very complicated case. i don't have it figured out but i'm eager to do more. i'll be in denver a week from tomorrow so please join me. catch up with us any time on cnn
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