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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 14, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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congress banning assault weapons, requiring universal background checks, passing a law that would let courts take away guns from people who show warning signs of violent behavior. there are also student walk outs in tanzania, and the czech republic. that's it for us tonight. time to hand it over to don lemon. cnn tonight starts now. /s >> this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. it must have been a tough day to work in this white house. the white house is making excuses for the president's candidate losing a major bellwether election last night. while a source tells cnn president trump has been complaining about his own hand picked cabinet and wants to purge what he calls the dead weight. so, it's no wonder multiple staffers tell cnn they're on edge. not sure who will still have a job tomorrow. one white house official is telling cnn, telling axios, excuse me, quote, this is the most toxic working environment on the planet. well, tonight whether you work
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for this administration or whether you're a republican up for election come november, are you more than a little worried about your job prospects? politics right now in this country, like it or not, is about one man. people have strong feelings about him. you may have noticed that. and right now that man, our president, wants to get rid of the very people he chose and replace them with people who will not restrain him, who will let, you've heard it before, trump be trump. clearly that means between now and november's elections, he is definitely not going to change. harry truman famously had a sign on his desk and it said, the buck stops here. but it seems this president doesn't realize that. he constantly fails to take the blame for the chaos he himself is creating. the blame for the race in pennsylvania that should never have been lost by a republican, or the one in alabama, that should never have been won by a
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democrat. the cabinet reflects the president's choices and the post election spin doesn't deflect from an embarrassing defeat. voters are sending a message. and if the president isn't hearing it, a whole lot of other people are. let's get to cnn's political dal analyst ryan lizza, april ryan and former congressman david jolly. good evening to all of you glad to have you on. ryan, you first. we have all the chaos coming out of this trump white house, and then we have a red district turning blue last night and the president doesn't seem to think it has anything to do with him. >> well, what you said in your intro is right, don. these midterm elections and reelection campaigns are always referenda on the incumbent president and so this entire year, and we are in an election year, is going to be about one person, and that's donald trump. and look, the election in pennsylvania, there were a lot
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of local issues that this democratic candidate campaigned on because it was -- it is a more conservative district. but at the end of the day, trump is what is driving these sort of historic special election turnout for democrats. he's driving some republicans in the suburbs away from the republican party, and he's driving obviously increased turnout on the democratic side. and he's also driving a lot of republicans out of congress. i think the thing to watch for in the next few days is who else retires. there's already been three dozen republicans who have announced their retirement this cycle. and if you're on the cusp of, you know, should i stay, should i go, you see a race like the one in pennsylvania on tuesday and that might push you to the exits. >> april, you're there most days in the briefing room, around the white house. that's your perch. so, the most toxic working environment ever or in the
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country? i mean, and everyone is spinning around this president making excuses. does he know that he is the cause of this chaos? do they know? >> well, let me say this. you know, inside they know it's manic. inside they know that something is not right. but the president is someone who never loses. he never sees it as it's his problem. you know, we talked about this early on, the manic pace and it's now exposing itself. what's done in the dark is coming to the light. and at issue, don, is the fact that this president wants to shake up his administration. he's hearing from his friends. according to my sources, he's consulting and hearing from his friends, his loyalists who are telling him, you need to make cuts now and make major cuts now. not just one, not just two, but get rid of people now. and then bring in those who are loyal to you. i mean, i'm hearing their names -- i'm hearing like major names from various sectors who
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this president is looking at to replace certain people. i mean, people that he even brought in during the transition period. so, this is real. this president is supposedly wanting to, according to sources, wanted to surround himself with those who are loyal and his friends, those who are loyal around him. so, it will not be someone who is a nay sayer, per se, when he gets rid of the rest of the group that he wants to get rid of at this moment. >> david jolly, let me bring you in here because i want to know about your former colleagues in the gop. do you think any of them realize, do they see what's happening here? >> oh, sure, and they're terrified. they are absolutely terrified. ryan is like -- ryan is correct. you're going to see more retirements likely. most states filing deadlines are coming up in the next four to six to eight weeks and you're going to be seeing people begin to relook whether or not they're going to run for reelection.
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it's one simple reason, donald trump. under donald trump every republican in a congressional special election since he took office has under performed. republicans like to say they won five or six, they've only lost one. yes, but in every single one of those races, republicans under performed. last night they under performed by 20 points. there are at least 20 to 25 seats in the house right now held by republicans that hillary clinton won. there's another 30 to 40 that are within two to three to four points. every single one of those races is now in jeopardy and it's why republicans are more likely than not looking at a wipe out in november. >> i want to ask you this, ryan, because the sources close to the white house says the gop does not view the race as a referendum on trump, but rather rick saccone was a weak candidate. what do you think last night, was it a referendum on this president or on saccone? >> look, when you have a 20-point swing in less than two years, that is not because you had a weak candidate. and, plus, what was the candidate's claim to fame?
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he said he was trump before trump. so, he himself was trying to portray himself like the president. the president is the dominant factor in our politics. he is what everything revolves around. and midterm elections, look, this was a special election so it's a little bit different. but midterm elections are always a statement about the president. they are always a referendum on the president and, you know, most presidents lose, obviously, in their first midterm, but what we're looking at with these numbers in these special elections is a wave forming out there. and, you know, the last thing that was said there about the margin of the swing is much, much more important than who wins or loses. i mean, if every house race in the country swung 20 points towards the democrats, obviously not every democrat would necessarily win, but you would have a wipe out on the republican side and obviously the democrats would take over.
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so, yeah, look, when you lose an election you have to come out and you have to have some line, some spin if you're the white house. it was a local thing, a terrible candidate. trump has a history of saying it was the candidate's fault, not his. these races are about trump. everything revolves around trump. everything in american culture revolves around donald trump for good or bad. >> i said in the open, now they're trying to embrace it and take credit for the supposed win of lamb by saying, well, he embraced all of trump's policies so, therefore, of course he should win. that should be a lesson -- listen, you've got to admire that spin. that's a pretty good spin. but i want to move on. i want to talk about russia and other things and stormy daniels, what have you. two big things hanging over the administration right now, april, russia and stormy daniels. let's start with stormy daniels. according to new documents -- >> yeah. >> we are learning that a second trump organization attorney involved this this ongoing legal battle, a woman by the name of
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jill martin is on the demand for arbitration document. she is a california-based attorney for the organization. and then i thought the story was that this had nothing to do with trump or the trump organization. it's just michael cohen here. but now you see there is another attorney with the trump organization who is part of this. >> yeah, yeah. and basically, you know, sarah huckabee sanders got in trouble last week for saying that the president wasn't involved by saying there was arbitration. this white house wants to stay as clear from stormy daniels and the stormy weather that follows as they can. but the -- i mean, it's true. the allegations, the stories, the innuendos, it's all coming out. at some point they are going to have to address it again because if stormy daniels does even attempt to talk and you find out more about who is involved, who is close, and more about david denison, a.k.a. president trump, they're going to have to speak. it's getting wider.
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they have to say something. and whether it be sarah huckabee sanders or the president himself -- >> or michael cohen. >> it's happening too much and it's causing a plob. yeah, or michael cohen, yes. >> jill martin was asked about the documents. she said she was working in a private capacity on behalf of michael cohen's attorney, rosen. if they want it keep this as far away from the president as possible, why not seek out the thousands of attorneys based in los angeles not affiliated -- not affiliated with the trump organization? >> look, that's exactly right. don, let's be honest. this is a terrible chapter in american politics. i mean, we're talking about the president of the united states caught up in a scandal of paying hush money to a porn star, someone who has a kid about the same age as the length of this scandal now. and it is the type of caricature of this president. that is the reality. this is a president who kind of came in and said, i'm going to be a different type of candidate, but i don't think the american people were asking for this. and at the end of the day, if
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you look back at history, it's these moments, though they seem incidental, that actually trip up a president. whether it results in some form of perjury or some other type of legal culpability that the president didn't see coming. it may be something like this. >> do you think, david, that the -- that michael cohen and the president have met their match? listen, michael avenatti, he seems to be coming forward every couple of days with new information. and if i were on the trump side, i'd be a little bit worried, a lot worried. >> yeah, i think so. look, i would say, you know, it's a push. i think donald trump's lawyering has protected him in this environment. i'm not sure stormy daniels has the leverage that she thinks she perhaps needs. but at the end of the day, where does this lead in terms of the president having to make statements of legal culpability or not? and i do think that is going to be a real issue if this continues to proceed. >> it is always the little things you don't see coming -- >> don? >> the thing -- the talk last
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week was that stormy daniels could be much more detrimental to this president than the russia investigation. go ahead, april. what did you want to say? >> yeah. it's so interesting. i think back to bill clinton. i was there covering it. and we were talking about the blue dress of monica lewinsky. the ken starr investigation was all about white water. it wound up going into this monica lewinsky candle. white water, how long ago was that? then it went to monica lewinsky, this affair with an intern. but i talked to chris darden, the prosecutor in the o.j. simpson scandal. and i talked to him today. i said, you know, what happens with this kind of thing? is there a broad scope? could bob mueller go into this stormy daniels thing? he said, look if anything, he has a broad scope. chris darden said it's like police officers and prosecutors. if you go in to do a drug bust and you see that there is a child that's been abused, you can't just overlook the child being abused. you have to look at that as well. i mean, you never know. this could also be a part of this and it's all about chris
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darden said, you have to look at the trail of money. there is a trail of money here, too, with stormy daniels. so, it gets very interesting. and i would like to see if the scope of this mueller investigation, this russia investigation does go to stormy daniels. >> ryan, i want to ask you. let's move on to russia now. we know that president trump wants both attorney general jeff sessions and the former fbi director -- deputy director andrew mccabe out. now sessions is weighing whether to fire mccabe just days before he is set to retire on march 18. cnn has learned the office of the professional responsibility made the recommendation after an internal review. found that he misled investigators about a decision to let fbi officials speak to the media about an investigation into the clinton foundation. if sessions fires him, he loses his pension. what's your read on this? >> i mean, i think what most people heard -- saw the headline today about this story, the first reaction was, wait a second. is this the justice department trying to punish mccabe at the behest of donald trump who has been very public about his
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dislike of this guy? but the more some of the experts about internal fbi procedure spoke about this, it does seem that that office has a reputation for being very independent and that their recommendation carries a lot of weight. i think the question i have is, should sessions himself recuse himself from making this decision? because he obviously has quite a bit of political pressure from the white house to fire mccabe and to do it in a way that reportedly will damage his pension. so, that's why i think the politics get a little messy here. this independent entity within the justice department did make this recommendation and it was all on the up and up, they really did find some kind of wrongdoing, i think you have to respect that process. if it was all on the up and up, but is sessions now the person to make this decision given the pressure he has from the president? >> david jolly, i know you want
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to weigh in quickly before we go to break. >> it was the third week in december donald trump said it's 90 days left before mccabe can get the pension. the fix is in. if sessions doesn't fire him, what type of public hugh 34mili does trump put sessions through. >> good point. we're going to talk to outgoing republican congressman charlie dent who says this race should be a warning for republicans around the country. ♪ the fastest samsung ever demands t-mobile, the fastest network ever. preorder the new samsung galaxy s9 for half off. ♪
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pennsylvania republican congressman charlie dent. congressman, appreciate you joining us here this evening on cnn. i want to first get your reaction to democratic connor lamb's apparent win though cnn hasn't called the race yet. others have and he's claimed victory in pennsylvania's 18th district election last night as a 5-alarm fire for the gop. is it? >> well, yeah, this is certainly a clarion call to my republican colleagues that this election cycle is going to be a referendum on the republican party, the president of the united states and his conduct in office. plain and simple. this election in my view was quite a bit more about the national political environment than the candidates themselves. now, with respect to this election, i would say, you know, rick saccone ran saying that he would be donald trump's wing man and that he was trump before trump. and i would argue that basically that's a narrative that people were going to take into consideration as they voted. and i always tell my colleagues,
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you better be able to demonstrate a certain degree of independence from the executive branch regardless if you represent a swing or marginal district like i do. or should be considered a pretty safe reliable republican district like the seat in question in pennsylvania 18. i think you have to be able to do that. they expect you to show some independence. you need to be able to stand up in front of people who oppose the president and say why you may support him on some issues. you need to be able to stand up and tell people, you know, who support the president why you oppose him from time to time. that's just part of being a congressman. you have to show that you're independent. >> let me ask you. you're always honest. i want an honest answer from you because all day we've been seeing people down playing it, even the house speaker saying, you know, he's really -- he ran as a conservative and on and on and on, but then we hear behind doors people are saying they're really scared. i know you've been talking to people. are republicans freaking out? what are you hearing? >> i think most republicans, certainly those in the marginal
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and swing districts, know they are going to be running in an enormously difficult political environment, potential tidal wave or hurricane force wind in their face. they know that. those members are prepared for that fight. and they can -- they're good candidates, they're battle tested and they'll run good races. but even the best candidates and the best campaigns a wave election. the concern i have for my republican colleagues, those who represent what are considered to be reliably republican districts who have never been in a real fight before with a democrat, may be ill prepared for what's coming at them. and they'll be shocked on election day. trust me, this is a very real issue. now, the democrats have a challenge, too. you know, they're going to need to nominate candidates who are more centrist and there's a lot of pressure go full bernie or elizabeth warren. those candidates will do poorly in these districts. >> atlanta is reporting at a fund-raiser this evening the president called the election
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results virtually a tie and he sawed this about connor lamb's victory. he said the young man that ran last night, he said, oh, i'm like trump, second amendment. everything, i love the tax cuts, everything. he ran on that basis. he ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. is he trying to take credit for it? >> well, that's quite a spin. i've got to tell you. >> it's good, right? it is good. >> that's a spin. >> before you answer, he didn't talk about this, that lamb criticized the gop attempt to repeal obamacare. he called the gop tax bill a giveaway to wealthy americans. he personally opposes abortion but backs the supreme court's decision to legalize it. he's for medical marijuana. he supports unions and is endorsed by the afl-cio. he wants to protect medicare, social security and medicaid. those aren't exactly trump platforms. >> correct. i think as i followed the campaign, it seemed like connor lamb was running more against paul ryan than donald trump,
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running against paul ryan on medicaid, medicare, social security. i think it's fair to say that. i don't think we should try to sugar coat this. this is clearly in large part a refr referendum on the party in power. many voters will want a check. just as in 2010, when i ran, the democrats had full control and a number of us said we were going to be a check and a balance to president obama and nancy pelosi and harry reid. and a lot of voters understood that. republicans need to understand that's what the democrats are going to be saying about us. they need a better check and a balance on the executive branch. and i think that's what you saw in southwestern pennsylvania, people wanted a check. even people who may have supported donald trump say, yeah, but you need to keep an eye on him. >> last night, were you like, whew, glad i'm not going to do this again? >> when i actually announced, don, when i announced i was not running again in september, i had no serious threat from the left and no serious threat from the right. i really didn't. i wasn't really concerned.
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but i knew it would be a difficult environment. a lot of my republican colleagues were concerned about primaries and i would tell them, your problem in this election is not going to be the enemy behind you, but the enemy in front of you. you better be ready for that. that's what's coming at you. if you're worried about your primary, boy, you really don't understand what this election issing go to be about. >> congressman dent, always a pleasure. thank you. >> great to be with you. >> thank you very much. when we come back, a new book out with shocking revelations connecting the trump campaign with russia. how moscow got its hooks in the campaign and who was targeted. the two veteran journalists who wrote the book, they join me next. directv gives you more for your thing. your top-rated thing. that five stars, two thumbs up, 12-out-of-10, would recommend thing.
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blaming russia for the attack. i want to bring in the coauthors of russian roulette, the inside story of putin's war on america and the election of donald trump. it's a fascinating read. just a writeoff, who named this book? >> well, it was my 17-year-old daughter. we were struggling. she came up with the obvious name. >> it's a good read and it's actually a really great name. michael, i have to start asking you, the response directly from the president which i talked a little bit about in the open, as opposed to his cabinet officials statements was, as soon as we get the facts straight, as soon as we get the facts straight. if he with agree with them, they say, we'll condemn russia. however, or whoever it might be. why add the whoever it might be? >> because that's what he always does. look what he did during the debates during the campaign. when the u.s. intelligence community had made clear that there was -- this was the russians who hacked the dnc, this was the russians who provided the e-mail to dump on
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wikileaks, the podesta e-mails, and yet trump couldn't accept it. you know, it could have been, we don't know it was the russians. could have been some 400-pound guy in his basement. i mean, and so there's a pattern where he clearly resists blaming putin for anything. and as we describe in the book, it really goes back to trump's interests all these years to doing a business deal in moscow. miss universe pageant in 2013, he flies there. it's all about a business project, getting a trump tower built in moscow and he can't do it without vladimir putin's approval. >> david, let's talk about the house intel committee. they shut down the russia investigation saying russia did interfere, but not to help donald trump in the 2016 election, although your reporting agrees with the intelligence community, that it did. >> let's start with the u.s.
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intelligence community has said now definitively. and you even have trump appointees in the intelligence community saying they agree with this assessment, that the operation was done, in part, to sow discord and political turmoil in the united states, but also to get donald trump elected. and we have intelligence, we quote in the book, i don't know if the house republicans didn't look at this in which their reports after the election of russian officials high fiving each other, and there is a report that came out prior to the election that really was shocking to people who read it in the white house and elsewhere. >> didn't come out, it was a classified report. >> that wit was produced, it wa classified report and people saw it in top secret capacity. it said the russian officials were taking credit for the dnc hack and the turmoil that was caused when these e-mails were released at the democratic convention. so, there is really little if any doubt. you know, i hate to say it, in
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some way the book that we've produced after a year of work is somewhat of the antidote to the investigation and we have things in it -- mike can talk about this, too -- that the committee, we know, we've learned in the last couple days has not bothered to investigate. >> yeah, there are details in our book that the house intelligence committee was completely unaware of, republicans, you know, said the investigation is over. they reached their conclusions. i'll give you a couple examples. george papadopoulos, the foreign policy advisor, the young kid who has pled guilty and is cooperating witness to -- with robert mueller. we talk about a critical march 31st, 2016 meeting with donald trump with the foreign policy advisory -- >> you said in the book it was at that meeting that papadopoulos first informed trump and then candidate's other foreign policy advisor he had contacts in britain who could arrange a summit between the gop candidate and putin. >> that's right. and trump's reaction was to give
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him a green light, to encourage him to say he's interesting, to go forward. that contradicts all the public accounts so far of what took place at that meeting in which others -- another person there said, no. jeff sessions had put the ka-bash on it. this is what papadopoulos has told mueller's investigators. the house republican intelligence committee never spoke to -- never spoke to papadopoulos. they didn't know what he had said. that's critical testimony. >> and the democrats on the committee who i have interviewed say, when they come on, the people who they did interview, they didn't press them. they didn't follow-up on them. it's as if they're not looking for anything. >> it's pretty obvious if you look at what devin nunes has done over the last year, he's put out distractions and tried to deflect and come up with, you know, different story lines that have nothing to do with russian intervention in the election. and, you know, they are democrats, they are partisan,
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but they've all said the same thing. that we -- when witnesses don't answer questions, they're not subpoenaed, they're not brought back in. they aren't forced to produce documentary records the democrats want. and adam schiff, the top democrat on the committee, has a list of 30 or so witnesses that the democrats have wanted to bring in, but the republicans have said no to. and, you know, it's a highly partisan time we live in. but, you know, mike and i and you, we've alma been covering congressional investigations for a long time. and even when they get partisan, it's never like this. you still have people on both sides who try to get to the bottom of things and they at least do the investigations by the numbers. this is -- it looks like they're in the tank on an issue that is a fundamental importance to american democracy. >> i want to talk about when we come back more -- you said about building a trump tower in moscow, right? and also about the miss universe pageant. >> we have a lot of new details on that. >> a club they supposedly went
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so the white house tonight releasing a statement agreeing with britain and blaming russia for the attempted assassination of a former russian spy on british soil. president trump has not yet publicly called out vladimir putin about this incident. so, why is that? and what might he be holding back? back with me michael isikoff and david cornyn. michael, a lot of people have been investigating president trump's 2013 miss universe in moscow. juicy nuggets you uncovered and behind the scenes information. what do you know? >> well, look, this is a saga that i think is key to understanding everything that came afterwards. and it really goes back before vegas, before moscow to las vegas. five months before in june of 2013, it's the miss usa pageant, the feeder to miss universe. and that's where trump first meets the oligarch, his son
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agalarov, his singer, the publicist rob goldstone, and they reach the agreement to have the miss universe in moscow. trump is really eagerly into this because he thinks with agalarov's backing, he can get that trump tower project he's always wanted. the relationships really begin then. we describe some of what happened in las vegas. it's been known that they all met and went to dinner. we talked for the first time about what happened afterwards in which they went to this raunchy las vegas restaurant. it closed down because of lewd performances and under investigation in tnevada.
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the important thing is the bond between trump and the agalaravs is there. then you go to moscow where trump is obsessed about meeting vladimir putin. we talked to people around there. where is putin? when is he coming? have we heard from him yet? he never does get to meet vladimir putin in moscow, but that's where you start to see all these fawning, flattering comments trump makes about putin because he knows it's key to getting that business deal approved. >> let me read the quote from the book, david. i'll pose the question to you. at the time trump tweeted, do you think putin will be going to the miss universe pageant in november in moscow? if so, will he become my new best friend? was putin playing trump here, do you think? >> i think he's been playing trump all along, and that's actually one of the main big points that steele makes in the dossier, that they had a year's long campaign to cultivate and
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co-opt trump. in 2013 as soon as he envisions the idea of doing a project in moscow with miss universe and maybe a tower, he's been chasing a tower am moscow almost 30 years at this point starting in the 1980s. then starts, as mike says, these fawning comments about putin. now, it's important to remember that this is the point in time where putin has passed a law that if you say anything positive about gay rights, you can go to jail. he's also now later on moving into ukraine in the beginning of 2014 and he's, by now, of course, an autocrat running a regime where it's known dissidents and journalists can lose their lives for criticizing him. throughout all this period, people are puzzling about this and continue to, he acts as if putin is a good guy. and he wants to preserve his right to do business. i think there is a psychological element. he wants to be a strong man himself. he wants to be a global oligarch. he actually seems to identify
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with putin and his new friend. trump is going to be an american oligarch. it's like hiding in plain sight. it ends up when you go back and look at it which is what we tried to do with the book, put together these individual peace pieces, you can see a pattern that looks obvious. >> this is something that you report on that is very disturbing to me and probably to most people, michael, a note about the contest, okay. you write, trump would toss out finalists and replace them with others he preferred if there were too many women of color he would make changes. a miss universe staffer later noted. another miss universe staffer recalled he often thought a woman was too ethnic or too dark skin. he had a particular type of woman he thought was a winner. others were too ethnic. yet another example, if you need one, this president -- about this president's views on race. >> well, first, i should say under the rules of the miss universe pageant, which were -- was his contest --
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>> his rules. >> his rules. he had the right to select the finalists for the miss universe pageant. so, whatever the judges selected, he could overrule them. he could pick the women he wanted. it is interesting that he had this preference or aversion to having people who looked too ethnic. he did seem to like eastern european women, for whatever reason. you can make of that what you will. he liked women -- but miss universe people told us they could get through to him by saying, well, this woman, this contestant is -- >> he's dating a football player -- >> football star. >> from royalty. something special about her and then he might be persuaded. but, look -- >> too ethnic, another quality that would get him over that hurdle. >> oh, got it.
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go on. >> no, that's okay. >> this is important. i want to get this in before we run out of time. you first reported the infamous dossier compiled by british journalist christopher steele. a lot has been made of the fact it is raw intelligence. how much of it, though, has been verified? >> a lot of the particulars have not, and a lot of them can't be because, you know, he's citing inside information from sources working with people in the kremlin or near the kremlin. i think if you look at sort of the big picture, in june of 2016 he is reporting that moscow has an operation to help donald trump. this is before we know about the infamous trump tower meeting where the russians sent an emissary who meets with donald trump, jr., paul manafort, and jared kushner. they think they're getting dirt on hillary in this meeting. he was right on some big picture items. he does say -- he's been telling
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colleagues that he believes, if you look at all the major thematic issues of the dossier, that he was 70 to 90% accurate. when it comes to the salacious allegations, he says oh, maybe just 50/50. >> so, you think that's a conglomeration of stories that have been woven together. what do you think? >> on the salacious stuff? >> yeah. >> it's not been confirm. we do quote someone else in the book talking about trump taking trips to meet women in russia. all i know is this. this is a fact. if you're a prominent person and you go to russia and this time frame, and probably even now, if you do anything untoward, they are watching you and they probably have evidence of it. >> david, michael, thank you very much. russian roulette, right, their new book is called russian roulette: the inside story on putin's war on america and donald trump. we'll be right back.
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when it comes to hibernating, nobody does it better. he also loves swiping picnic baskets.
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hee, hee, hee yoooogiiiiiii!! but when it comes to mortgages, he's less confident. here, yogi. thank you boo boo. fortunately, there's rocket mortgage hmmm. hey. by quicken loans. it's simple, so he can understand the details and get approved in as few as eight minutes. my kind of pic-a-nic basket. apply simply. mmm-hmmm. hee, hee. understand fully. mortgage confidently. rocket mortgage by quicken loans. thousands of students across america walk out of class today for national student walkout, calling for stricter gun laws. they left classrooms for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the people killed in parkland, florida one month ago today. but it was a slightly different story in wilson, north carolina.
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where out of 700 students one lone young man got up and walked out. he posted his lonely protest on social media. >> hello twitter this is like six people watching this hopefully. that's about it. but it's national walkout day. i'm the only one in my school out here. no one here but me. no one really said anything besides my home room teacher. i'm in spanish class right now. he didn't really care. it's going to be chilling here the next 15 minutes. >> well a lot more than six people saw that. millions have now seen it since this morning. that young man is justin blackman. he joins me now. i heard your laugh there. justin, hello to you. why did you want to walk out? and how did you feel when you found you were the only one who did at your school? >> well, i wanted to walk out when i realized that there --
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there is a constant issue in the united states, the school shootings. it happens too many times. once is too many times let alone i think it was 17 times at the time of the incident on valentine's day. that's what like three every two weeks or something like. that's crazy. like, i think we need stricter gun laws. i'm not saying gun laws per se but maybe like we need someone in the schools to protect the students, because if the students -- we are the future. if we all just -- if someone gets gun blazing one day, that's the future gone. >> um-hum. >> in one incident. >> how did you feel that you were the only one at your school who walked out? >> i mean, it wasn't -- it wasn't really i felt bad. i felt like surprised sort of, because i was expecting at least like one or two people to come outside with me.
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because i talked about it a little bit before i did did. a couple people didn't know about it. a couple of people said they would. but then first period my teacher said that he -- he don't think -- he doesn't think i should go out but that i should write a letter. but i guess the video was more powerful. >> any time you go from your heart and do what you think is right that's where your power is. we know your mother is there with you. and she must be really proud. what did the other students and teachers say to you afterward? >> they're all just happy for me. they're all like next time next month because on the 14th they will do it again. they are saying next month we're going to do it too. with he with he to it next month we're going to put it on twitter again. i mean, it's what -- it's the same thing, just more people will see it. >> do you think you start add little mini revolution there? >> i wouldn't say that.
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what are the attitudes among your school kids when it comes to guns and school violence? do you guys talk about it? >> oh, yes, definitely. our sixth period class is world history. it's advanced and we finished the class early. we have two months left. it's a current events class and all we do is talk about politics or might talk about something that happened like a hundred yearsing a and somehow related to politics. it's just -- we talk about politics a lot in school. >> we just played some of the video that you recorded while you were outside your school. even some celebrities like clinton, they reacted on twitter. i'm sure that's surprising to you. but why did you decide to record this? >> i mean, because really it was only because i saw my friends that i have in new jersey post-going. i was like all right everyone is
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post-ing their fun. let me post-my loneliness. i post-to do on twitter because i have the least following on twitter. all right i'll just positive it here. not that many people will see it but i don't have to worry about looking good in the video. i was wrong. it was like 2.6 million before i got here i'm sure. >> it's going to continue to climb. why is it so important, justin for you to participate in the walkout? and what would you like to see our leaders do when it comes to guns? >> well, it was important because the 17 people that died in florida, they can't protest for anything anymore because they're dead. and i can. so now that i have this platform that i have now to be able to use the voice that i have like i'm going to do the same thing i would like people of a big are platform to do. and that's speak. don't just hold back your words. just like lebron said -- he is one of my biggest role models.
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he is the only reason i try to be as good as can. he said strive for greatness. he says he is not just an athlete. athletes have voices. and all celebrities have platforms noon and need to use it for something good. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> when we come back another attorney appearing on a legal document related to stormy daniels 6-figure payout. why her lawyer says it's more proof the trump organization was involved. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and.
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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it's 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast, live with breaking news on the stormy daniels saga. evidence newly obtained by cnn of another trump attorney involved in the ongoing legal battle over daniels' allege affair with donald trump.


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