tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 12, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST
this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome back. breaking news. multiple u.s. officials telling cnn fbi director james comey and president-elect donald trump had a one-on-one conversation at last week's briefing he. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. during that conversation comey briefed trump on the two-page synopsis of unsubstantiated claims that russia may have compromising information on him. and in the midst of this tumultuous transition a review announced today of the handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. and meanwhile, president barack obama leaves his vice president speechless. well, not for long. a surprise presidential medal of freedom for joe biden in the final days of the obama administration. you have to see it.
let's get right to academy award-winning director michael moore back with me now. and we're going to talk about what i just mentioned in the open. the justice department announcing it's launching a probe into the fbi's investigation of hillary clinton's private e-mail server. what do you think they'll find here? is it too little too late? >> we don't know what they'll find, obviously. i don't know. all my contacts within the fbi have dried up. did you hear what i just said? [ laughter ] >> go on. >> i'm still on the air. >> you're on the air. >> listen, obviously this had a huge impact in the final week of the election. it's not the only thing, though. and so i'm glad there's this investigation. but i doen't -- i think that democrats are doing themselves a disservice if they just focus on the comey thing and not on all the other reasons this happened. it's really -- it's disgraceful,
if i could use a donald trump word, that twice in 16 years the democrats have won the popular vote and somehow lost the electoral college. that they would let this happen again. that nobody did the math, nobody thought this out. everybody knew what the law was. that hillary didn't go to wisconsin for what, seven months. you know, these sorts of things -- >> it's her own fault and democrats' own fault you said in a major way. but i want you to look at this -- >> but, yes, this had something to do with it, though. >> all right. good. let's talk about that. these are the polls. and these are cnn poll of polls, which means it's a number of different polls, a snapshot of where the race stood nationally on february 28th, the day james comey released his letter on the hillary -- excuse me, october 28th. released his letter on the hillary clinton investigation. hillary clinton led donald trump by six points. 47 to 41. on november 5th, including polls taken after the comey letter dropped, her lead was cut by half to just three points.
democrats say comey was the major or a major factor in hillary clinton's loss. do you agree with that? >> yeah, i think he was a factor. on what you just showed there, she went down one point. he went up. >> it says three points. >> right. but here's what i think -- i don't think people all of a sudden decided we're going to vote for hillary, i'm now going to vote for trump. i think what it did was it depressed their vote for hillary and a lot of people just threw their hands up and said i'm not voting, i'm staying home. and it energized certain people who maybe weren't that excited about trump but said okay, i've heard enough of this, i don't want another eight years of clinton, so i'm going to go out and vote for trump. >> is it going to matter because is it too little -- is it too late to have another probe into this? >> no. >> after january 20th can't he just shut it down? >> well, he could. what would that look like for him? >> you think he cares? >> it doesn't matter. the american people care.
i mean, if they don't and if people who voted for hillary don't rise up and raise a ruckus over this, and if it turns out that there is something funny going on here, that the people within the fbi knew that comey was -- i mean, the fact that he would release that information but not the fact that there was this other information about the russian hacking and this other stuff, it really -- if you were an outside observer of this you would say he was playing one certain side in favor of them. and everybody should be outraged by this, and not sit back and take it. but of course liberals and democrats are very used to going oh, geez, we lost. not the other side. if he'd won by 3 million popular votes, believe you me, you and i would be having a different discussion tonight. >> i say you think he cares because he does what he wants to do. and he has said i don't want to hurt her. that's why i'm saying do you think he cares. he may just say it doesn't really matter right now. >> but he cares what people think about him. he cares deeply.
>> okay. >> what people think. i mean, there's a terrorist incident in europe can and five hours later he's tweeting about alec 3w5u8d winn and "saturday night live." he cares a lot about -- >> you've been talking about accountability here from the american people. i want to play -- this is just another moment. it's from the press conference yesterday with donald trump. here it is. zp >> the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters. they're the only ones. but no, i don't think so. i won. i mean, i became president. i don't think they care at all. i don't think they care at all. >> do you think people care at all about accountability? he said he's winning and this is sort of his -- >> it's just about winning. we're americans. it's just about winning. i won. people don't care. right? his opinion of us, his fellow americans, is we don't care about accountability, we don't care about honesty, we don't care about the fake news that he
started in 2011 by making up this -- and remember, he had intelligence. he had sources. remember this? he was quoting some nefarious unattributable source that he had that he knew obama was not an american citizen. he started this whole thing. and if he thinks we don't care, i think he's in for a big surprise. because the majority of americans did not want him. not just the 3 million difference between hillary and him. there's another 7 million that voted green and libertarian. they also said they didn't want donald j. trump as their president. that's over 10 million people who voted that didn't want him as president. he should care. if he doesn't care he should care. he should care deeply. and i'm glad that you and other journalists are not going to stop doing your job, stay on this story. it's an important story. and his whole thing -- watching anderson last night on this network was just beautiful. it was like -- and kellyanne
are, what's happened to her? it's just amazing. but anderson would not let up. that is the job here at cnn and all the other networks. you cannot let up. the american people are pretty upset at how trump got into this and was not at the beginning treated in the way he should have been treated. got to say things. got to phone into shows from bed. would you ever let me be on this show from bed? >> depends on if you're running for president i might let you. >> first of all, get that thought out of your head. >> if you were running for president might let you do it. >> really? >> yeah. >> don't. if i ever run for president don't ever let me phone in from bed, don, don, how's it going, don. i'm in my gold plailted b ee ee. no, this is the media fell down on the job at the beginning. not doing it now. this is important that everybody does their job. the american people are -- >> listen, i agree with you. and i think that's -- as you
know, i know it's going to be hard for people to believe because they just don't -- i'm not a partisan person. i'm neither a democrat nor a republican. i'm registered as an independent. not registered with either one. i think they're all politicians. right? and they all work for us. and they all do what they have to do to be politicians. and i understand people like kellyanne conway and other folks, when they come on here, it's their job to spin. it's not their job to lie to the american people but it's their job to spin and that part is very frustrating. but also i have to push back and tell you that if hillary clinton had called from bed from chappaqua or from wherever she was running to be the leader of the free world into this show and she wanted some air time to talk about issues that were important to the american people i would have taken her call and put her on as well. >> with a doctor's note. if she had pneumonia and she was in bed with proof. >> and we asked every single one of them to do it and they said no. and you know who said yes? donald j. trump. >> what? that he -- >> so that's not his fault that others were not on the air when
he was. >> right. but he -- yes, but if you're running for president you should have to show up. how do you conduct an interview with somebody -- >> i don't disagree with you. >> you don't disagree. >> no. >> and by the way, let's remember the historic night. if i was teaching journalism, i would pull up the tape. i can't remember the date. but i was watching you. it was 10:45 p.m. and you were in a -- i don't want to call it a brawl. but you were doing your job as a journalist and kellyanne conway did not like what you were doing. >> i know exactly what it was. >> you know what i'm talking about? >> it was the night he gave the speech i think it was in minnesota or minneapolis or somewhere and he gave a speech on race. >> okay. >> and she proceeded to tell me that the speech was not about race and not about african-americans. >> right. >> but what she didn't tell us, and this is the first time i'm saying this on the air-s she was invested in that speech, probably had written some of it, and the next day she was going to be the campaign manager. so she -- >> she knew that -- >> she knew that while she was sitting here but we didn't know
that. >> because she got up like she had been somehow maligned by you. >> of course. >> and in fact you were doing your job. and then the next morning she's the campaign manager. >> yeah. >> and i thought wow, that was an interesting -- >> people at home don't know that, though. well, they do now. >> they do now because i was on here as your confessor and you were able to -- >> i'm just telling the truth. the truth is the truth. >> more of that, right? because as they said, i don't know if you knew but it said the media and different people knew about this story, the unsubstantiated story. everybody -- that's been around town for a long time. >> but what happens is when people come on, and i'm not just saying her but anyone, whether it's democrat or republican, whatever, when they come on and they don't at the time american people truth and they continue to sidestep questions, it doesn't help the audience or the viewer to even have them on because it's just more misinformation and it doesn't help. so it doesn't behoove anyone to even have them on anymore, i think.
that's how i feel about it. >> wow. so what are you going to do now? >> just continue to do what i do. >> in terms of these guests that come on and they just come on here and they look you straight in the eye and you know they know what they're saying isn't really the truth. >> we tell them it's not the truth. that's all we can -- >> you have to do that. you have to say that. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> you're getting me in trouble. but i like it. >> i could get you in more trouble if you have 30 more seconds because i'd like to say something in donald trump's behalf in favor of him. can i have the 30 seconds? >> go ahead. >> the unsubstantiated report which we are not going to discuss here on cnn because you know, i too have been a victim of buzzfeed. i get why you didn't link to them. but the story that everybody's wondering about, and i'm not going to discuss it here, but trump, i mean, it's american -- by not talking about it it's maybe even more salacious in some ways that it's been portrayed as a sex story. it's not a sex story.
if anything, it is a story about -- >> we don't want to go into the details. >> i'm not going to go into any details. i'm just saying it's something a 12-year-old prankster would do, would come up with an idea, if it's even true. and to his favor, to his -- to be respectful of him as a human be being, nothing should be reported about donald trump that isn't true. >> i agree. >> and the only reason cnn reported the existence of this story is because we need to know if the person who's going to sit in the oval office could potentially be blackmailed or for them to have something on them -- >> that's why the intelligence people did what they did -- >> that's why you did what you did. >> we did no different reporting about wikileaks. we report bd wikileaks but not the specifics of what they're saying. and now look at wikileaks -- if we had not reported on wikileaks
compromising information on him. here to discuss cnn's senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and defense attorney alan dershowitz, the author of "electile dysfunction: a guide for unaroused voters" as well as many other. he is a very prolific author. thank you very much for joining us. and so is jeffrey, by the way. "the nine." and what's your new book? >> "american heiress." but i am always alan dershowitz's student. that's my chief claim to fame. >> so then we'll start with you, then, jeffrey. vice president joe biden confirms to cnn that cnn's reporting that he and president barack obama were briefed by intelligence chiefs on claims that russia had compromising information about donald trump. biden says intelligence leaders felt obligated to tell obama because they were planning on informing trump. and sources tell cnn that fbi director james comey also verbally briefed trump on the two-page document. what do you make of this? >> well, i mean, it's a fact in the world that they were
briefed. and this is a developing story. and i don't know where it's going to go. i mean, i just -- you know, we at cnn have been very careful to report what we know, which is that this briefing took place. but what we don't know is what the nature of the relationship between russia and donald trump is. it remains perhaps the greatest american mystery at the moment. >> alan, what do you make of this? >> i don't think it's true. on its face it seems totally, totally false. the idea that donald trump, who's not a stupid man, would go into a hotel room in moscow and do something that he could be videotaped and blackmailed for -- >> well, alan, we're not talking about the specifics. >> i know we're not talking about that. but we're talking about the fact that there was a hotel. i don't think it's true. and i don't think it should have been reported. i think yes, they should have told him about it, had him give them evidence that it didn't happen, which apparently he did. and it's not something that's i think newsworthy at this point.
i think newspapers have to be careful about reporting undocumented, unproven and likely false allegations of this kind. >> alan, here is general james mattis and mike pompeo, nominated for the department of defense and cia, speaking highly of the intelligence community at their confirmation hearings today. >> senator, i can tell you that in my many years of involvement in the military i had a close relationship with the intelligence community, i could evaluate their effectiveness at times on a daily basis, and i have very, very high degree of confidence in our intelligence community. >> i have great confidence in the men and women that work out there. >> so do you think trump's cabinet appointees may improve his relationship with the intelligence community? >> i do. i think so. and i think he's going to learn to appreciate both the intelligence community and their fallibility. they make mistakes but they're
decent people and i don't think they try intentionally to skew the evidence one way or another. but remember, they're relying on sources, many of whom are unreliable, some of whom are double agents. it's a very tough game out there, intelligence. and you have to appreciate the efforts that they're undertaking but you also have to view it with skepticism. john kennedy learned that lesson very hard after the bay of pigs and stopped really giving as much credibility to intelligence. and i think a president has to be both respectful and skeptical at the same time. >> and if i can just add one thing, when you look back to major intelligence failures in american history, it is usually the politicians who are cooking the books, who are trying to skew the intelligence toward their political agenda. this obviously was a very big deal in the leadup to the iraq war. the intelligence professionals themselves tend to be more cautious and less certain, whereas the politicians are the
wun ones who tend to push the intelligence beyond where the facts lead. >> the justice department inspector general is launching an investigation into how the fbi handled matters involving hillary clinton's private e-mail server. what do we know about this and how is this going to work? >> well, this is i think a very important and valuable function for an inspector general. what inspectors general do is they investigate possible wrongdoing within their own departments. here you have james comey violating the long-established standards of the justice department to make these bombshell announcements on the eve of the election. he said he had a justification. it's a very controversial thing. this is something that an inspector general should investigate. it's not going to change the outcome of the election. but i think for historical purposes, for the purposes of
government ethics this is something that the inspector general should investigate. >> alan, here's -- i want to play something. you can respond. but i just want to play what hillary clinton's campaign manager, former campaign manager robbie mook told cnn earlier tonight. and then you can respond. >> the leaks that were coming left and right from the fbi were so slanted against hillary clinton. director comey also claimed that he needed to send that letter to the hill because he was worried it would leak out. well, we can't punish candidates because of the bad behavior, the improper and unprofessional behavior of bureaucrats. it's just unacceptable. >> so alan, in your response why investigate this now? at this point just days before president trump is sworn in. >> well, it won't happen days before he's sworn in. it will take weeks and perhaps months. of course the president could stop it by firing the inspector general. i don't think he's going to do that. and democrats ought to be of two minds about this. on the one hand, obviously they want to be able to argue that this may have had an impact on
the election -- by the way, the inspector general won't say that. all he'll say at most is that it has the potential of having an impact on the election. but second, i think the last thing, particularly liberal democrats want to do, is see president trump be able to put his person in as head of the fbi. i think comey for all of his faults really does have a very good reputation for being balanced and objective. i think the report may finally conclude that it was lower-ranking rogue agents who were leaking this material and who forced comey's hands because they threatened to leak these facts unless he made a disclosure which he tried to make in a balanced way. it didn't turn out to be balanced. it turned out to potentially have a major impact on the election. but i think we're going to get a report that will be nuanced and will distinguish between comey on the one hand and perhaps some rogue agents on the other hand. >> final thoughts on this, jeffrey. >> i just think this is a moment to let the chips fall where they may. this is a very important moment
in american history. it needs to be investigated. the facts should be aired out. and if they help comey, if they hurt comey, i mean, i don't think the political fallout is what matters. this is part of history that we should know something about. >> thank you. always interesting when we have you on. thank you, gentlemen. appreciate it. when we come right back, a republican president, majorities in the house and the senate. are republicans ready for the power they now have in washington?
president-elect donald trump takes office in eight days, and he appears to have a good working relationship so far with republicans who control congress. will that last, though? here to discuss cnn politics executive editor mark preston, political commentator ryan lizza, washington correspondent for "the new yorker." and richard painter, who was chief white house ethics lawyer under president george w. bush. gentlemen, i appreciate you coming on. mark preston, i'm going to start with you first because you're there tonight at that town hall that cnn just had with speaker ryan. he had an uneasy relationship during the election season with the president-elect, but he is on board now. tell us what he said about working with this new
administration. >> well, a couple things, don. he was very honest about his relationship with donald trump, acknowledging that he was the target of those donald trump tweets when as we all know so well, when donald trump doesn't like what he sees he goes after you and attacks you pretty viciously. and paul ryan said that he was used to that during the campaign. you know, he did say that he has been having several conversations with donald trump when it comes to such issues such as entitlement reform, how they're going to repeal and replace obamacare. but there were some differences, though, don. when it comes to the issue of a deportation force, something that donald trump talked about on the campaign trail, paul ryan said that that's not going to happen. when the issue of russia was discussed tonight, he went directly at vladimir putin. he described russia as a global menace. he said that russia does not share our interests and in fact they violate their neighbors. now, we don't hear this type of
rhetoric from donald trump. and on the issue of intelligence, which i thought was interesting, he walked a very fine line. he tried to tell, you know, the audience here that in fact as time goes on donald trump will begin to start to understand these intelligence officials that are providing him with this information. however, he did come back and he said he was not supportive of the idea that this unsubstantiated report was added into this intelligence briefing and given to donald trump the other day. he certainly showed, paul ryan certainly showed, don, that there were going to be differences with donald trump but clearly is willing to work with him certainly in the days ahead. >> and the gop of course, let's talk about them working with, you know -- working in washington with president-elect. the gop -- this is to ryan. the gop had a nickname, the party of no. now they have full power to say yes to anything they want moving forward. were they expecting to have
that, and are they ready? >> well, no. like everybody else they were expecting hillary clinton would win. nobody expected trump to win, right? but i think that the accommodation that republicans have made to trump which i think has surprised some of us, even the fiercest critics on the hill have -- are basically silent in the face of, you know, some of the more outrageous things that went on this week. and there's a reason for that. i think a lot of republicans see trump as malleable on the big issues and flexible maybe is a nicer word, and he's going to be a pen that will sign into law a lot of legislation that has been bottled up on the republican docket for the last eight years with obama as president. so i do see -- following up to what mark said about paul ryan's appearance tonight, you're seeing with trump's nominees and
you're seeing with republicans in congress trying to hem in trump on some of his more outrageous proposals during the campaign. right? so whether it's torture or even parts of building the wall or the deportation force or his sort of very kind words toward putin. you're seeing both republicans and trump's own nominees saying, well, that was really just campaign rhetoric, we don't agree with that, that's not going to be what the trump administration is all about. so you know, obviously trump will have some input on that. but you do see a little bit more of the white house and republicans reverting to a more traditional conservative agenda and trump's agenda not looking quite as different as it did during the campaign. >> yeah. richard, you have been open about the ethics concerns that you have about the president-elect and his conflicts of interest. do you believe that the republicans in congress share
your concerns or will the president-elect be given free rein? >> well, what i've seen today is that the united states house of representatives oversight committee is swinging into action to defend the president-elect against the concerns of the office of government ethics. the chairman of the committee wrote a letter to the director of the office of government ethics starting an investigation of o.g.e. the united states house of representatives investigation of o.g.e. alleging that o.g.e. is politicizing the process merely because o.g.e. is taking the position that the president should divest his businesses, which is exactly the position that i and many other republicans as well as democrats have taken. and the office of government ethics is taking that position. and now the house of representatives oversight committee has also made a veiled threat to pull the appropriation
for the office of government ethics. so it could get shut down next year by the house because the office of government ethics is doing its job and insisting that all officials in this administration including the president be free of conflicts of interest. and i think that's most disturbing that that has happened. and this is the same committee that posted jim comey's letter up there on the internet a week before the election and helped hand the election to president-elect trump. it's a very politicized committee, and i think it has zero credibility at this point, the house oversight committee. >> house oversight committee the chairman you mentioned, that's jason chaffetz. mark, do you have a response to this? >> i mean, look, this is a very tricky issue right now for republicans on many fronts because at a time when we're facing so many very important issues with the nation, whether it's domestic or certainly the foreign threats and you have congress right now dealing with these ethics issues right now, it seems a little bit silly.
in fact, paul ryan tried to prevent his caucus from defunding the office of congressional ethics as their first issue right out of the gate. but yet was almost powerless to do so. in the end they decided not to do it. and they stepped back. i've got to tell you what. it's not very smart. specifically when you have donald trump coming in right now, who has all his own ethics questions, talking about draining the swamp here in washington, don. >> and don, could i just interview you on this? this is one where i have pretty strong opinions. there was a lot of news this week and i think this has gotten a little bit buried, but you have this guy who runs the office of government ethics. this is the sleepy agency that in most presidencies you never hear about, right? what this guy does is he works with nominees to make sure that they comply with all of the complicated ethics laws. and a lot of his job is going to very wealthy people who are asked to join the government and
saying look, mr. rich person who's going to join the obama or trump administration, you have to sell all those assets because it's going to create a big conflict of interest, right? so this guy from day one, the director has been trying to tell donald trump and the people around trump, mr. president, these are the things you need to do so your administration is not swallowed by conflicts of interest. and we know from foias and some of the things the director said yesterday that they just wouldn't listen. and we had an extraordinary event yesterday. donald trump laid out his plan to allegedly avoid conflicts of interest, and the director of the office of government ethics looked at it and said this is wrong, he can't do this, and went public. this guy, the director of that office never speaks to the press, never goes public. he felt so strongly about it he went to brookings, you know, a think tank here in washington, and did a press conference and said nothing in this plan prevents conflicts of interest. so i've been covering washington a long time.
i've never seen a pib servant go before the cameras and call out the guy who's going to be his boss in a few days the way that the director did yesterday. >> and i think that's something that we in the media need to pay more attention to and of course we'll be following it here on cnn. thank you, gentlemen. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. up next, in his final days in office president barack obama surprised his vice president joe biden with a very high honor. biden is so surprised and moved he has to turn away to compose himself. [ applause ] ♪ for millions of baby boomers there's a virus out there. a virus that's serious, like hiv, but it hasn't been talked about much.
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and while some may say the desert is desolate... we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. a high honor today and a big surprise for vice president joe biden. let's discuss now with carlos watson. he's founder and ceo of ozzy, a daily digital news magazine. also cnn political commentators kayleigh mcenany, krirkt to the hill, david answered lik assistant editor at the "washington post," and simone sanders, former press secretary for bernie sanders.
i'm so glad to have all of you. carlos at the white house today. president barack obama surprised the vice president with the presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honor.
will bestow this medal with an additional level of veneration, an honor my three most recent successors reserved for only three others. pope john paul ii, president ronald reagan, and general colin powell. ladies and gentlemen, i am proud to award the presidential medal of freedom with distinction to my brother, joseph robin biden jr. >> a lot of love. your eyes are moist, don. >> you know, when you have a friend, someone who is a friend, and something like that happens, when a friend gets married or they get an honor, whatever. can you imagine? they're best buds. and to have -- being able to do that. and you can see that was completely genuine. do you know of another relationship like that between a president and a vice president? >> it's hard for me to think about one that was that close. certainly you saw cheney and w going very different ways, including even after it. clinton and gore were good but
of course clinton didn't campaign. so it was a special one substantively as you said personally. i was with the vice president a couple months ago and he teared up even while he was talking about running with then candidate and then senator obama. and you know there's been a lot of love, a lot of big decisions. even the decision to go after osama, the raid, bailing out detroit. health care a lot more. he's got a lot of admiration. they just like each other too. >> did you have to call me out that i was tearing up? they started on a wide shot. you can't help it. didn't you when you first saw it? >> i love that kind of relationship. and i think no matter where you stand politically everyone's going to miss the class of the obamas. >> simone, he called me out. and listen, regardless of where you are -- where your politics are, you can tell that was a genuine moment. he said he didn't deserve it. but that just speaks to the kind of person that joe biden is. >> it is. and i mean, everybody loves, you know, quote unquote uncle joe. joe biden is one of those guys that you feel like you can sit down and have a beer with. you can tell your hopes and
dreams to. so it was a well-deserved honor -- >> did you tear up? >> i bawled like a baby when i saw it. i was in an uber on my way home, and i was in the back of the uber. so it was well deserved. he was very surprised. and it's just an honor. i'm definitely going to miss the obamas. >> i know kayleigh mcenany's very emotional. i'm sure she cried as well. what did you think, kayleigh? >> i didn't cry. but what i will say is that is a special relationship and i hope that president-elect trump and mike pence are able to maintain a relationship like that because not every pair has that. you look back at the clinton days and there was some friction between al gore and hillary clinton and some power struggles. you never got that sense with joe biden and barack obama. they were definitely an enviable pair, and we would be lucky to have a vice president and president who have a similar closeness in the white house in the coming four to eight years. >> well said. well said. david, of course you know the elephant in the room, what many people were wondering watching, what would have, what could have been if joe biden had been up to
the emotional and physical job of running for, you know, the white house after losing his son beau to cancer. >> yeah, don, i am one of those who thinks that both vice president biden and/or senator elizabeth warren would have given president-elect trump a better run for their money than secretary clinton. but just to talk about biden for a minute and that nice moment, take it back to 2007. biden was the guy who said about obama, you know, when they were running against each other in the presidential primary, he was the first african-american bright, clean articulate guy. you know, he got in trouble for it. not only did obama say look, we're senate colleagues, let it roll, move on, a year later he looks around and says i want this guy to be my vice president. in some ways to me biden is like the first black vice president. look, he rode shotgun with obama through some tumultuous times, and it ends up today with obama giving him the presidential
medal of freedom with distinction. and as everybody else has said, these guys are best friends. >> this is a very generous night. and david's feeling good, you know. mlk day's right around the corner. and there's a lot of love that's being offered. >> by the time i say we'll be right back this will already be on the blogs and written about. we will be right back. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me. as after a dvt blood clot,ital i sure had a lot to think about. what about the people i care about? ...including this little girl.
and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily ...and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding.
the first black vice president of the united states according to david, joe biden. but i want to talk about this family because we also saw the first lady michelle obama. she was on jimmy fallon last night. and of course there was president obama's farewell speech in chicago this week. this president and his family are really leaving office quite popular with the american people and with a unique place in american history. isn't that at odds with this bitter partisanship that we have been seeing, david swerdlick? >> i don't necessarily think so.
we could sit here and have a really in-depth discussion about everything going on in our world politically right now, but in terms of the way people perceive the obama family, whether or not they were perceived this way at the start of president obama's tenure, the vast majority of americans, even people that didn't vote for president obama, that don't agree with him on issues, see this family as -- i want to use the word regal. upstanding, so emblematic of american values, of the spirit of a generous, inclusive nation. you know, president obama and mrs. obama are just handsome, warm people. you know, people are going to come at me on twitter and say i'm too glowing about president obama. but again, i'm not talking about the politics. these people represent some very high ideals in terms of what people aspire to and look up to in this country. >> it's hard for people to separate sometimes the politics from the truth of the partisanship, they can't see it because they're too close to it.
do you agree with what he said, kayleigh? >> i do. i think sometimes it's important to put aside your partisan affiliation and just to try to see the good in the other side. and something that i will always admire about the obamas is their marriage. as a person who's a christian in this country and cares about marriage and cares about family units and stability, i look at them and i admire them because to go through eight years of scrutiny, intense media scrutiny, ups and downs of the white house, for that family unit to stick together, it's an example. it's an example that i think we on the right can look at and prize and say that is the family unit that we hope all family units look like in this country specificationly their commitment to one another. >> let me ask you this. eight years ago remember when barbara and jenna bush wrote a letter to malia and sasha obama welcoming them to the white house. i don't know if you guys remember that. now they have written yet another letter about life after the white house for them, and i want to read just a bit of it. symone, play close attention to this. they say "now you're about to join another rarefied club, one of the former first children, a
position you didn't seek and one with no guidelines. but you have so much to look forward to. you will be writing the story of your lives beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years. you have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the white house. you have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. you stood by as other precious -- as other precious parents were reduced to rnlz" -- as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. "your parents who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. as always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter, and so will we." those were very, very kind words, symone. that's an example of putting partisanship aside and just being human. >> i absolutely agree. and i've had the opportunity to meet barbara bush and jenna bush
hager and they are absolutely lovely people. the time i met them at a luncheon at girls inc. they talked about writing the first letter to the obama girls and why they did it. they talked about such a special club and that there are no guidelines, there is no road map for this, and they want to help as many people as they can who understand their experiences. so i think this is a good lesson for america really of getting back to the human aspect of our politics and remembering we're all just people, we have shared similar experiences regardless of color, creed, or background. >> and this is where carlos, we were talking a bit about this, about race, when they say that race is worse in this countries. and you look at this as an example. this is obviously something that's very special and this is rarefied as the bush girls put it as a first family. i don't buy it when people say race relations are worse than they were eight years ago. i think they are actually better than they were eight years ago. >> yeah, i agree with you. i think there's no doubt about it. you and i both grew up in
different parts of the south at a time when it wouldn't have been imaginable that that tl would be not just a black president but a black family in the white house. thankfully, mrs. obama's mother was with them for a good bit of time. that was part of the overall narrative across not just one term but two terms. so very healthy, very good in that. now, are there clearly problems? i think black lives matters and others have pointed out things we need to talk about and don't always talk about well. i think they have. one of the interesting questions for me, don, will be will president obama jump back in the political arena sooner than most ex-presidents given the potential repeal of something he cares so much about, obamacare, which for him is not just a political point but is a moral point. >> a fascinating conversation. i appreciate it. thank you all. the only one who isn't afraid of me getting them sick was carlos. >> strong one. >> kayleigh left town because of it. thank you, guys. have a good one. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow.
good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight new developments in the russia/trump story. cnn's reporting of it. and the conflations and fact fudging by the trump transition team surrounding it. this began with cnn's exclusive reporting that mr. trump last week was reported with classified documents alleging that russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about him. we did not report any of the unverified, unproven claims. not a single one. that is the fact. this exclusive story about the briefing was led by a team of experienced cnn correspondents, anchors, producers, backed up by multiple trusted sources. the news today is vice president joe biden confirmed intelligence chiefs