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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 10, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> president obama leaving the stage tonight after his farewell address. his message of thanks to the american people and his mission
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for them. a final call of all americans to be a part of his dreams that were made possible. a lot to discuss with our panelist. john king, gloria borger, former georgia republican strategist, and author of the book. >> i think finally we had drama obama tonight. very emotional speech. you know, wiping a tear from his eye as he talked about the importance of his wife during his presidency, and how proud he was of his children and about joe biden, whom he called a brother. there was a speech about the responsibility of citizenship going forward. and i think that was laced
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throughout the entire speech, which is what you can do going forward and how we cannot be governed by fear. and that was so important. it was a clear message from him. my take away from it is this is a president who is very emotional about leaving office. and a little bit worried about what is going to come next. >> also john, giving a perspective of sort of how he sees the country and politics in america today. good and bad. >> and at a time when we do tend to argue over every issue and play out the debate over every issue or every little tweet, we should say, we should recognize the turning of a page and the close of a chapter of our history. this was a huge moment. it was history, he said a lot of people, the volunteers different think it was possible. back when he started to run, a lot of people didn't think he would get past the clintons, the
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country was ready for a first african-american president. so we should recognize the turning of that page. and the process, they can help us at the beginning by republicans. there was some clear admonitions, call them what you will. points of reference for the new president, president trump, whether it is about climate change or respecting muslims or celebrating diversity and respecting your critics, he only mentioned the president-elect at the very beginning when he promised a smooth transition. but some of them were subtle. some not so subtle. it will be interesting to see how it progresses. >> it was rooted in deeply conservative values. it was rooted in deeply american values. he connected to his political faith with the founding fathers quoting george washington. and i think that breaks the soaring context of the speech.
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something deeper and enduring, while he confronted those forces of change he very clearly said that fear is the most destabilizing thing in our democracy. his speech was rooted in basic admonition of citizenship. >> it is also as we think about the next president who is about to take office, their speaking styles could not be any more different. we will not hear a speech like this from a sitting president for the next four or eight years. >> one of the main reasons, the many reasons that barack obama did burst onto the scene is because of the way he gives a speech. he is an orator, that is just who he is. that is why he can hit it out of the park like this. you're absolutely right, anderson, it will be a while. who knows how long before we'll hear a speech like this. i think republicans and democrats alike say if something else, he is a good orator, as i
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watched i was remembering going with then senator barack obama to iowa. in his very first trip to iowa. and witnessing the response and the reaction he had from the democrats there. to join's point earlier about the fact he sort of left over the people who were supposed to be next in line. i had a chance to talk to him and said are you concerned that you're going to be like icarus, flying too close to the sun? and here we are, eight, nine years later, he was a two-term president. people who don't love him, are saying really, are you not understanding this last election? but the one thing that i will say and especially that i would be interested in, are democrats here. there is such a debate inside the democratic party right now as to which way to go. do you go towards the lunch
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bucket economic issues or do you stay with the diversity issues and the racial divide in this country? and he really, in the way that only he could do, brought the two of them together by talking about the fact and gave the democrats a road map by talking about the fact that if you are you know a minority, you also have to seem like a middle age white man who from the outside may seem like he has the advantage. >> which the democratic party has not done, and has lost the voters. >> but it's a false choice, i think most people who want to see the democratic party move forward understand that it's a false choice. we don't have to be a group of people as a country or as a party that looks and says hey, we need to address fly-over country, or white rural america, or we have to address the issue that the hispanic community -- in fact, we can do it all.
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the president talked about this level of empathy which i thought was amazing. what barack obama did tonight was say that as a young african-american male, i had to step out of my skin and understand what it is like for a factory worker, who although he had a white level of privilege, actually just got laid off from his job. and that person has to understand what it feels like to be stopped coming home from work, by the police -- >> you said talking about the democratic party, the democratic party did not do a very good job of that with this election. i mean, the question with hillary clinton she was playing to various groups and it did not work. >> but i think we're missing what barack obama's speech was about tonight. it was not about yesterday, anderson, it was about tomorrow. and so yes, we can rehash how we
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lost in milwaukee and scranton, john king can talk about where we lost the election, but that is not what it is about. we'll talk about the future and the battle. we have all the breaking news stories about whatever is happening in russia and donald trump. but what was refreshing tonight, you got a chance to see grace, and dignity, you got a chance to see a man love his wife and be an amazing father. >> congressman? >> i think what we saw tonight is reality meets philadelphia. last time i was in a big room like this full of enthusiastic democrats was in philadelphia. and there was so much optimism, and yet that was channeled to one man and one personality. that was barack obama, and to some degree, to barack obama, and michelle, since he has been in office, a thousand democrats, governors, state representatives have lost because his enormous
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popularity which we saw tonight, at one point somebody yelled out. i love you. it was like a justin bieber concert, i say that respectfully. it was respectful. i won't retract it. what i will say, the love was for a personality, not for a platform or policy. >> you can't argue the democratic party is in some level of confusion at this stage, you might even say disarray. >> yeah, so is the republican party, all of our parties, that has to do with where we are in our country right now, which is people rejecting labels and boxes, all of that. that is a global phenomenon. i think it's really important to take a step back and think about what the president said tonight. he talked about things that are a threat to our democracy. he put on not only his state of the union hat, his constitutional law professor
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hat, his founding fathers hat and said we have a threat with economic opportunity, an issue with racism. and finally, we have an issue with taking our democracy for granted. it is so important for us to not look at that through partisan lenses, because he said when we begin to do that and take some of these things for granted that is how we end up in war and not really deeming ourselves as patriotic. this is not about a justin bieber concert or the barack obama phenomenon, this is about a hope of a more perfect country -- >> there was also a very sobering tone to this speech. as we think about barack obama who was somebody who began his national career by talking about optimism, and hope and change and unity, he ended his presidency defending things a
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few years ago he didn't think needed to be defended. science, journalism, facts, the ability for people to be able to talk to each other on the fundamental level. i did hear the optimism in the room that you reflected, i also heard a great concern about that. also i want to say something about the shout out to michelle obama. i tried to report the story of their partnership and how it affected the presidency. but i believe it's so subtle and deep and fascinating that we have to handle the baton, michelle obama pushed him as a politician, a lofty above it all figure. she wanted him to have a different kind of presidency, and a very elevated presidency, just the way that jackie kennedy was in many ways the architect, i think we'll say michelle was in some ways her version in the
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presidency. >> barack obama admitted that tonight. and said he would not be the president i am without her. to your point, jody, he began on hope and talked a lot tonight about not giving in to fear. this was a major theme of his speech. he said you know, we should be vigilant, but we cannot be afraid. and democracy will buckle when we give into fear. i think barack obama was telling the american public, don't do that because you will destroy the constitution. this was his parting point, i think, and maybe it was part of the constitutional scholar in him. but i also think it was his way of saying if you give into fear then you give up the hope -- >> this was a fascinating farewell, most of them are in the oval office, think eisenhower, or open letters. here i have almost a rally-type
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environment. what is consistent is the warning by the departing powers. think about eisenhower, and warning about the industrial complex. gloria is right, there was a discussion about not giving into the fear, or taking our democracy for granted. to a wave of a liberal democracy taking over the western world right now traditionally. that is part of a departing president, not only offering a valid offer, but a warning, the darker currents of change. >> also the presidents talk more on policy because there is more events to talk about. respectfully, why didn't he brag about obamacare? >> he did. >> he mentioned it in passing, and didn't say here is what is great about it. >> that was not the purpose of
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tonight. >> i know it wasn't. but he lost the election. >> tonight was not about me coming down and telling you in the state of the union what we accomplished and will accomplish tomorrow. but congressman, what we need to hear is there are a lot of people in this country on both sides that are afraid. there are a lot of people in this country that are angry, and what he did today to try to stand in that gap. and challenged you as a middle aged white man from georgia who is a republican -- >> right here. >> because he challenged me as well, and challenged anderson, all of us to make this a more perfect union. this was not about the fact that we have 20 million more people on health care or the stock market is nearly at 20,000, or that more people are employed now, or 2 million more people less in poverty. >> actually, i think it was about that. i don't think he expanded on it. go back to reagan's speech. >> do you think -- do the american people want yet another
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speech of politicians, talking about all of their accomplishments. >> reagan talked about opening up the soviet union, the relationship with gorbachev. he said you got to cut the cards. i would like to have seen him say and i'm passing the baton on, and want to give a warning. >> just a little bit of perspective. if he would have done more than he did, which i guarantee you many of your colleagues and maybe your former constituents think he did more than enough, he would have been accused of doing too much. also reagan was passing the baton, he didn't have that luxury. but i hear what you're saying. one thing i will say, again you know, you have been listening to
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our partisan friends here, we're all proving his point that he is trying to say of course he is a partisan figure, he is a president. a politician. but he was trying tonight, genuinely so to not be that, to be the president. and say guys we need to figure out a way around this. and i also think to me one of the best lines on that note, it got a standing ovation here, was stop arguing with each other on the internet. look the stranger in the eye in person and have a conversation. >> the congressman does raise an important question, what form does he choose? when it has not about about him, but in 2010, 2014, 2016, the democrats got decimated. he was the president in all
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three of those elections. what form does it take? as a guy who was a community organizers, we're at a different time. they don't have anywhere near the sway they used to have. and donald trump just blew up for republican party. he was not its candidate. and the national democratic party is in bad shape right now. his message seems to be start this in your community. organize locally. and expand the circle, if you're really mad bet the petition signed and run yourself. >> this was not a partisan speech, not a polarizing speech, when he quotes atticus finch, that is a way of -- exactly, the ultimate message is that our independence is inseparable with our inter-dependence.
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>> you have an ironic situation, where they have been hallowed out under his presidency. what he is saying, they admitted it. they didn't pay enough attention. what he is saying, start at the bottom again. we have to start at square one. here we are, you have to organize, he said get out there. go do it. and that is how we have to work our way back. so if i had to guess what -- and they have talked about organizing for america now is now going to be a grass roots organization again to start all over -- he will be involved. >> well, that does beg the question, what he does now, 55 years old. he talks about still being involved as a citizen. is it clear what that means at this point? >> first of all, he really was the ultimate author president, when he was younger he told people he was a writer before a
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politician. i think he will write one of the most fascinating memoirs, he will have to make a choice between being really honest and tonight, we saw obama recognize a paradox, which is often the less partisan you appear, the m more effective of a partisan you can be. if all the presidency he comes out and becomes like a more partisan warrior in the trenches, he will be much less powerful than if he retains the strength and dignity of the offe office. that was obviously his strength. >> yes, he will write a book, they rowed that ofa actually crippled the democratic party. i think i will be surprised if he leans into ofa for that matter. they need to rebuild the dnc, he talked about wanting to retrain
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young leaders after he was elected to the senate. i think the third thing is, he will lean into this foundation and just now started to get the team together. he is going to do it from d.c., that is a big thing for him. >> i think he -- >> he was pretty clear, earlier this week, i think it was or last week, about the fact that he would jump in if donald trump was going to send 800,000 children back home. i mean, this is -- today we actually saw in sessions' confirmation hearing, they would be willing to abandon that. he talked about policy points. i do want to talk about two things in his speech. kind of played out in the action. not only do you have to be willing to challenge and talk about the things that make our democracy the most amazing thing in the world but you also have to be willing to listen. that is very important. and the other thing is, i'm kind
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of speaking to my republican friends and all of us like the president did you have to be willing to love your neighbor even if they don't love you. i think that was something he really harped on today by talking about these groups of people who feel beat down in this country. whether or not you're unemployed or going through problems, gaining civil rights. i just thought tonight was a night that book ended an incredible ascension, the 44th presidency. >> and he said in terms of politics, now seems as if he is starting to stand outside a little bit and critique what our politics has become. he said it is not only dishonest but now we have a selective sorting of the facts and our politics have become self-defeating. self-defeating. >> let me speak a little bit on
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that. as a white guy, you know he said we would not deny that racial relations are better today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. i don't know anybody is debating that. but i think you could debate are racial relations better today than they were eight years ago? and i don't feel like they are. i remember when he was sworn in. i had 11 young people staying at our house, and it was a great racially mixed group. full of optimism, democrats and republicans and mostly students who were not really sure. and i feel a sense of after ferguson and baltimore and milwaukee, here was a man who could have been really, really good in terms of pro active, but i don't think he was. >> go ahead. >> i just want to get some final thoughts here. and talk over to don lemon. do we know -- i mean, it is interesting, john avalon to hear you putting this speech in the context of other farewell
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addresses. >> look, it is a great american tradition. he quoted washington's farewell address directly and rooted a lot of his ideas and the projection forward as part of the founding fathers. but it was part of that communication, and farewell address address tend to be value d vale -- >> if you have the space, to have the grace, there is an inauguration playing, the confirmations are under way. and president bush as obama said was very grace?. he is trying to do the same thing. >> he views it his responsibility to say farewell, and unless some official act of the presidency has to come up, he will largely step aside.
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>> and president obama who has been greeting people in this crowd, many of whom have worked on campaigns, president obama over the last eight or i guess ten years, probably even some of the senate race, he spent a lot of time greeting them, talking to them. i want to thank everybody on the panel. it has been an extraordinary night here in chicago, history time, now time to turn things over the don lemon and cnn tonight. >> anderson, thank you very much. very emotional speech, the obamas have left the building. the speech given by the president now with his family in the front row making his farewell address to america from the mccormick center in chicago. tonight in the use, plus, also - this bombshell information on russia. thank you for joining us, this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. president obama comes full circle making his final speech in the place where it all began. >> you were the change.
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you answered people's hopes and because of you by almost every measure america is a better, stronger place than it was when we started. >> and meanwhile, our cnn exclusive, and it is shocking, classified documents presented last week to president-elect donald trump including allegations that russian operatives claimed to have been compromising personal and financial information about him. that is according to multiple u.s. officials with direct knowledge of all the briefings. we'll get right to that. also cnn's jim sciutto, good evening to you gentlemen. this is explosive, some exclusive reporting for us at the nation's top officials. and briefings on the russian
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efforts to compromise the president-elect, what exactly are you learning? >> that is exactly right, don, and a lot of teamwork went into this. multiple u.s. officials with direct knowledge of these briefings, told the president that they had direct knowledge presented to president obama and president-elect trump, including allegations that russian operatives claimed to have compromising, both personal and financial information, on the president-elect, and allegations based on memos compiled by a british operative. the fbi is investigating both the credibility, the accuracy of the allegations of the president-elect, made mostly from russian sources. but i should make clear it has not confirmed most of the details about president-elect trump. they were presented by four of
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the senior-most u.s. intelligence chiefs. the director of national intelligence, james clapper, director of the fbi, james co comey. there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediatearies for the russian government. cnn has confirmed that the information in the documents, we can't confirm if it was discussed in the meetings with the intelligence chiefs. we have reached out multiple times from the trump camp, they have not commented. neither has the director of the fbi. the president-elect called the story, in his words, fake news. there it is, fake news, a total political witchhunt, he said. >> that is not surprising, also
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the documents, confirming. that is going to be what the transition team tries to do, to say they can't be corroborated. there is a comment from kellyanne conway. she was on seth meyers tonight. she was asked about your reporting, and this is how she responded. >> guess what happened. nobody has sourced it. they're all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story, says it was based on a russian investigator to begin with. >> it was based on an mi 6 british investigator. >> right, one of those, they say it may have come with a russian investigator. it said that groups that wanted hillary clinton to win may be behind the investigations themselves. most importantly, it says the fbi is trying to confirm it. nothing has been confirmed. i have to say, as an american citizen, if you don't like politics, we should be concerned that intelligence officials
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leaked to the press and wouldn't go and tell the president or the president-elect now, wouldn't tell the president -- >> but the press report was about them going to the president. >> and it says they never briefed him on it. put two pages -- >> i believe it said they did brief him on it. >> he has said he was not aware of it. >> jim, what is your reaction to that? >> there were a couple of factual inaccuracies in there. but the big picture is yes, it is true, these allegations have not been confirmed. but the fact is, you now have multiple bodies here in washington that are taking them seriously. that includes the intelligence community, which took the really extraordinary step of including this in briefings, intelligence briefings to the president and the president-elect, one, two, the fbi is investigating these allegations now. they're taking them seriously. and the fact is, it is not a partisan issue, because republican and democratic
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lawmakers are also taking them seriously. we've spoken to lawmakers of both sides, senators and house members that are taking them seriously. again, they have not confirmed the veracity of the allegations, but also this is key, don, they're not dismissing them. >> the other factual inaccuracies, first you, jim, was it presented to the president and the president-elect? >> it was in the briefing material. >> she was wrong on that. >> she claimed, we made this distinction, we know it was included in the briefing materials presented to both the president and the president-elect, let's keep in mind, they don't put garbage in briefing materials. they just don't waste the time of the senior most people in the country with that kind of thing. i will caveat, this may have been what she was referring to, we don't know that it was also discussed at the briefing, that they went into it in depth. including the materials, we don't know that it was part of
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the verbal discussion. >> but it was in the original document? >> yes, it was. >> okay, go ahead. >> what is your response? >> my response is that this is an extraordinary development that the senior intelligence chiefs of the united states of america have taken this body of information and decided that going into a new presidency they will ensure that there is a full investigation of these allegatio allegations. and it's very true that we do not know the accuracy of these 35 allegations, from the russian operative that was given extensively to a former m-i 6 british operative. the way this came about, was that the mi-6 former intelligence operative with long experience in russia and the former soviet union was hired by
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a washington opposition research firm that was doing work for opponents of donald trump, both republicans and democrats. and these people in washington containment up wi-- came up wit lot of financial information about donald trump's investments, about russia, about his trips to russia and loans from russia. and they decided they needed more investigation. they then hired this former mi-6 investigator who has ostensibly, according to american sources, great sources in russia. and he became so concerned by what he found about donald trump, again, we don't know the accuracy of the allegations given to him by the russians, he then took the information to the fbi. to the fbi station in rome in august, gave them what he had
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found. that information came back to washington. then, in -- it's a very convoluted story. then, a former ambassador to britain also heard about this information and contacted john mccain. and john mccain sent somebody to see the mi-6 former investigator who then came back with these documents. and the documents were turned over to the fbi, again, three months after the first turnover, subsequent documents were given to the fbi, to comey personally, by john mccain. that is the long-winded story. >> and if you consider what happened with the fbi and hillary clinton during the election, why didn't this come out before the election? >> first of all, the question of what is this? did harry reid, the former democratic leader, wrote a letter to the fbi.
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he was aware of some of these materials and demanded that the fbi release them. the fbi did not. the fbi said they didn't want during the middle of the presidential campaign apparently to release this information. now there is a concerted effort by the out going intelligence officials, some will stay on in the trump administration, but they want to make sure this matter is investigated. and that is a big piece -- >> jim, may i ask you the same question, why wasn't it investigated. and james comey discussing similar accusations, he said i'm not really making a commitment. i cannot confirm or deny. which seemed ironic to some of the people questioning him. why didn't this come up before the election? >> well, first of all, the u.s. intelligence had to do some legwork on it. again, they have not confirmed the allegations or the claims in the allegations.
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what we know has changed since then, they have invested the source of these memos, this former mi-6 british official with some credibility based on their experience, too. they have been able to corroborate some of his sources as well. it's a process, before you can raise it to the level of investigation. >> there was no corroboration on the clinton thing either, he containment out d came out days later and said there was nothing. >> well, listen, i can't make comments on how james comey -- i suppose if you compared it he had many e-mails to compare over time. these are allegations that don't have a paper trail in effect yet, or one that they confirmed yet to back it up. that's not my judgment. but listen, it's a fair question as you saw several senators ask james comey today, he didn't really have an answer for it.
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but that will be part of this process. you know, what was the thinking and how much was invested in each of these various investigations, whether it's clinton e-mails or clinton foundation questions. donald trump -- and keep in mind, there are two categories of allegations in this new material that carl jake and we have been looking for. one, personal and financial indiscretiin indiscretions or compromising materials. and possibly the second one even more serious, the idea of coordination. and i'll tell you, let's look at the categories of people looking into this. intelligence community. fibl. and we know and carl knows, democratic and republican senators on the hill want to look into that issue. this is not a partisan issue. >> there will be serious congressional hearings looking
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into the allegations, especially those about communications between the trump campaign and the russians and consisted of, if indeed there were communications. this will be a long ride, if what we are told by these intelligence people is the case. >> jim, there is you know -- we have not put the entire pdf up. but some news organizations have. we haven't spoken about the news organizati organizations in there. why are we reporting -- >> it's a fair question, we had enormous discussion here. our decision was based on this. we at cnn have not independently confirmed the information. because it was our editorial decision not to put it out there. and because of the public relations people that are taking
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a hard look at this. that they presented it to the president and president-elect. that the fbi is investigating it. that democratic and republican lawmakers are investigating it. that is the reason we have not put forth public knowledge, and our sources, of which there are many, have told us they have not yet substantiated, although they say they're investigating it. our decision was to stick with the investigation and the number of bodies and agencies investigating the allegations. >> carl you said there will be hearings on this, and it will be bipartisan. >> did john mccain have hard copy of this? >> john mccain obtained hard copy, the full set of documents given to him by an intermediary, he took a look, thought they could go to the fbi. he went in to see comey, and
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there was a meeting. >> interesting, how potentially damaging is this. >> i think you don't speculate, let's see where the facts take us, that is what we need to do. >> great reportin ining when we right back. president obama makes his final farewell address to the tearing crowd in chicago. we'll take you there.
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president obama leaving office in just ten days giving his farewell address to the nation tonight in chicago. here to discuss white house correspondent, michelle kosinski. chief analyst, gloria borger, and david axelrod. david, i am going to start with you. what was it like for you to be there tonight? >> well, it was a very bittersweet night.
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because i have known barack obama since he was a young man. i remember my first meeting with him in a little diner. somebody asked me to talk to him. and i met this young guy. and what he said tonight about hitching your wagon to something larger than yourself, i think he expressed to me that day, all this promise, just from law school. i was taken by him then and tonight. because he has never ever deviated from that fundamental principle. and i am just very proud of him tonight. >> let's listen to that moment. >> and that is why i leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started. because i know our work has not only helped so many americans, it has inspired so many americans. especially so many young people out there. to believe that you can make a
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difference. to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourself. >> now, it's interesting when he talks about that, and very -- that sort of sentiment which -- are the sentiments that thrust him into the spotlight during the democratic national convention. >> oh, yeah, i think the spirit of 2004 was very much in this speech. but you know, that is one of -- when people say what is the most important quality that barack obama has? i would say consistency. he has values that he believes in, they're fundamental american values and he articulates them with conviction and passion. that is very important now. there is a lot of disquiet and division in the country. and i think his most important message tonight is that democracy is not a gift. we have to work at it and stay engaged. and you know sometimes your candidate will win, and sometimes your candidate will lose. but it's ultimately this process
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that gives our voice and our power and it only doesn't work if we let cynicism win, and people walk away from it. so i think it's a very important message tonight. >> i want to bring in now cnn political analyst, david gregory. david, i know you watched the speech and the tone that the crowd struck. listen to this. >> if our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation then each one of us need to try to heed the advice of a great character in american fiction. atticus finch, who said you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. until you climb in his skin and walk around in it. for blacks and other minority groups, that means tying our own
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very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face. not only the immigrant, or the rural poor, or the transgender american, but also the middle aged white guy who from the outside may seem like he has advantages but has seen his world upended by economic, and cultural and technological change. we have to pay attention and listen. >> david, he is talking about donald trump's america there. >> well, and i want to pick up on what axelrod was just saying because i think it's so important. what i think the president spoke to tonight was the importance of standing by your democracy even when it's hard. for all of those opponents of donald trump, for all of those who voted for hillary clinton, who were barack obama supporters, now you have a new political reality. it's still a time to be engaged,
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to be civically engaged. he talked about atticus finch. i think about the bopoet, wende barry, speaking of it. they have to engage and heal. a lot of our differences politically are idea idealogical. they're fundamental. a lot of our discussions about who you trust, what you fear. i thought the president would lead more of the opposition tonight. i think he was really in a position to say look there are very few people who can do this. he is an outgoing president who is saying look, we have to make repairs, he presided over a divisive time politicly, and he
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thought we would have a new one. >> and he asked, people who been marginalized in the society, to have empathy, and put themselves in other shoes, but too, he said the average white guy, whose life has been upended by technology and so on. was that a poignant moment for you? does that stand out? >> yeah, i think this whole speech was poignant in a way. and very graceful way for a president of the united states to exit. and i think what he was doing was trying to talk about the political discourse in this country and what it's become. and how dishonest it's become. and how it doesn't serve our purposes any more when we don't trust each other or try and put you know, understand what the other person's argument is. i think tonight we caught our
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first glimpse of citizen obama talking about the responsibilities of citizenship. and as we were talking about earlier, you know, this is a president who came in talking about hope and change. and he left talking about fear and talking about how fear can cripple democracy. when you let it govern democracy. and when you let it cripple the constitution. and you know, i think these are things that need to be said and i think this is something that barack obama has thought a lot about. as we talked earlier he is a constitutional scholar. and he -- and i think these are messages that he wanted to give to the country going forward given the issues that are going to be discussed in this country, going forward. whether it's about our national security and whether you have a muslim ban, and on and on. and so i think it was his way of addressing these issues without directly taking on donald trump.
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>> so much -- hang on, dana, i have to get to the break, i will give you the first word on the other side. you and michelle kosinski, and some people wondered where was that message during the campaign, not only from hillary clinton but from democrats and the president as well. we'll be right back. tokyo-style ramen noodles.
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test test test we're back. president obama making a rousing speech in chicago in front of a cheering crowd and with his family looking on. back with me now, sorry to cut you off. in the vein of what i was talking about with gloria. the president is asking everyone to sort of empathize with each other, and i can hear people on the other side saying where was that empathy for marginalized people, hispanics, when they couldn't get a job. and now all of a sudden it is we should have some credence and empathy for you?
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>> before the break you talked about something. you said, was he reaching out to trump's america. and i think that that is a good way to frame it and especially that sort of key nut in this speech that struck you clearly, don, definitely struck me right away, about trying to tie people who are african-american or of color, who feel like they haven't got and fair shake to people who are, you know, white and middle-aged and out of a job. and they feel like they can't get a fair shake and put them all together. and, you know, my original thought of that was that this is barack obama trying to steer the democratic party having an identity crisis about which one of these they should be going for, and really championing, saying you can do both. and to your point about it be being trump's america, i mean, this was him reaching out to trump's america, but it's also the historic democratic party.
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>> yeah. >> so he's trying to sort of bring it all together as he exits the stage to say, you know, we got to do a better job, not just the party, but leaders, but the institutions and everybody and everything that voters who supported donald trump railed against, which is why they demanded change in the form of donald trump. >> michelle kosinski, the question i asked before the break is many democrats are wondering where was this message during the election? why didn't you or hillary clinton or the democratic party reach out to those people in trump america as we put it here during the election? >> yeah, i know, we've seen that circulating plenty on social media, too. i think that's a natural response to this. i mean, i think there are questions about, you know, the power of his speech in that way at that point. i think he felt like he needed to counter the rhetoric at the
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time and counter it strongly. there are questions about how really far does that go, and i think that's part of what he was talking about here. because when you look at this, we were expecting an optimistic message. there was some of that, but i felt like this was as much as anything else, a big cautionary tale. i mean, he laid out in great detail, all of the things that he feels are serious threats to democracy itself right now. inequality, racial divisions, complacency, even people just not listening to each other and fake news. he seemed to be calling it all out, calling out people, retreating into their bubbles. it was like a warning moving forward. at one point he even called out briefly russia and china. so he wanted to put that out there, get it sort of on the record as these are the things that we've seen, and then to try to get that inspirational message there at the end that, you know, if you don't like what
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you're seeing, you need to do something about it and that he still believes that people can work together, but you have to actually get out there and try. so this was really, you know, part optimism, you know, the inspiration, the believer still there, but a big message from the campaign and from the outcome of the election, which is, you know, you have to be careful. you can't let things go out of control or as he put it, with naked partisanship, democracy itself is at risk. >> goodnight from dana bash in chicago. and go ahead, i'll give you "the last word." but quickly. >> i think part of this was his attempt to say to his supporters and democrats, like, you can't assume that these things were done. you elect the first black president. we're not going to have racial problems or you get a coalition of women and minorities and it's a straight line, it's all democrats all the time.
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that there are setbacks. sometimes you lose. en sometimes you have to recalibrate. but his obama coalition is where the country is going, but this is a time when the democrats have to recalibrate. and i think he made it clear, that he's going to be a voice in that reclaiming of the party. >> thank you to our folks and david, thank you as well. we'll be right back. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection
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