tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN December 19, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
president's onwn envoy said we'e not going anywhere, because the job ain't done. and the far right revoting as the president's promise of a border wall starts crumbling before it's built. the president is starting to get really worried about the criticism. also, amazon, netflix, yahoo! spotify, just some of the companies reportedly able to read your private facebook messages all thanks to facebook. is anything private any more? this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. we're going to start with breaking news and the money lead. the dow taking a dive after wild swings this afternoon, closing down more than 300 points. this comes after the federal reserve announced today that the organization would raise rates for the fourth time this year. cnn's cristina lesch is at the new york stock exchange. and this closing is rather notable. >> it is. the lowest in the year, jake. this is not something the
president wants to see. this is a clash between economic policy and wall street at this point. and i saw it play out here on the floor of the stock exchange today. as soon as the fed decision came out, the market took a turn, started heading down. and then fed chairman powell started speaking about the decision to raise interest rates. and you saw a little bit of a boun bounceback, but very quickly again turned south. and that is because -- not because it was a surprise that the chairman announced that the federal reserve would raise interest rates, but because the market was looking to next year, 2019. and it thought that perhaps powell was going to cave to political pressure, to pressure from the markets, and maybe back off some of the interest rate hikes that were scheduled for next year. and instead he signaled that they are on the path to doing just that. this is the kind of day that president trump is probably not going to be happy with what
happened, because, again, he was trying to pressure the federal reserve, which is supposed to be an independent body and not subject to that kind of pressure. jake? >> cristina lesch, reporting, the dow closing at its lowest point in 2018, thank you. vice president pence just left capitol hill. the president with drawing all u.s. troops from syria with president trump essentially claiming mission accomplished and that's our world lead today. chairman senator bob corker assailing the president's decision this afternoon, saying that the president seemed to have just woken up and made this decision, deciding that the u.s. won, despite the fact that almost all other presidents, experts, disagree. a pentagon official saying planning is under way for a full and rapid withdrawal from syria, a decision made by president trump via twitter, saying we have defeated isis and syria. my only reason for being there
during the trump presidency, be unquote. a stunning declaration, considering that the u.s. military has sent messages that completely contradict that. they have declared that isis has not been defeated in syria. five days ago, the u.s. coalition shot down any notion of a u.s. withdrawal calling such reports false and designed to sow confusion and chaos. eight days ago, the u.s. special envoy to defeat isis signaled this military conflict was far from over. >> nobody is declaring a mission accomplished. we have obviously learned a lot of lessons in the past. we know once the physical space is defeated, we can't just pick up and leave. >> can't just pick up and leave. earlier this month. marine general joseph dunford said there are only 8,000 troops trained to fight isis and maintain stability in the region right now. only 8,000. and the u.s. needs at least 40,000. >> with regard to stabilization, we still have a long way to go. >> one pentagon official told me of the president's decision,
quote, obviously, the pentagon wasn't consulted like countless other tweets. or if we were, the president is disregarding defense secretary mattis' advice. barbara starr is at the pentagon. and barbara, two things going on here. obviously, deciding the u.s. should no longer be in syria, that's a debate to have, a discussion to have, an opinion to have. but the president's own military experts are saying that his claim that isis is defeated and that the job is done, they're saying that's just false. >> you would be hard-pressed to find anyone at the pentagon in a senior position that says isis is defeated. in fact, u.s. military policy had been to stay on the job, defeat isis and help stabilize iraq. now this very sudden reversal of that policy. devastation and ruin for miles in eastern syria seen in exclusive video obtained by cnn as isis fighters make their stand. still, despite the reality on the ground, president trump says
isis is defeated, and ordered the surprise with dradrawal of 2,000 u.s. ground troops where isis still controls territory. leaving the pentagon, which does not believe isis has been completely defeated, scrambling to did evise a way to get them of harm's way. >> this clearly sends a message to moscow and tehran that syria and, frankly, bigger parts of the middle east, are yours. >> there is confusion on all fronts. several allies caught unaware. on tuesday, the state department was adamant, the isis fight is not done. >> we've made significant progress. recently in the campaign. and -- but the job is not yet done. >> an official dod estimate says there may be up to 30,000 isis fighters in iraq and syria. just days ago, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said
the u.s. was not close to finishing its task of training local forces to fight isis. >> we estimate, for example, about 35 to 40,000 local forces have to be trained and equipped in order to provide stability. we're probably somewhere along the line of 20% through the training of those forces. but with regard to stabilization, we still have a long way to go, and so i would be reluctant to affix a time. >> the planned pullout comes just a day after the u.s. announced it was selling turkey a patriot missile defense system, something turkey wanted. and now it's raising questions whether trump's decision paves the way for turkey to move against their long-time rivals, the kurds, who have been allies of the u.s. in the fight against isis. >> erdogan has been asking the u.s. to leave, so that he can deal directly with his kurdish problem. and in return, the u.s. may be pushing for something, including greater arms sales. maybe a way to balance against
turkey's relationship, which has grown stronger with moscow. >> though a state department spokesman tells cnn it has no connection to other policy matters. congressional republicans are already serious. >> if obama had made this decision, republicans would be all over him. i don't think general trump is going to be any better than general obama. >> and now with opposition in congress from both democrats and republicans, defense secretary james mattis may be facing a very heavy road ahead. jake? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you very much. joining me, adam kinzinger of illinois, served in the u.s. air force and currently a major in the air national guard. congressman, you had a rather direct response to the president's tweet asserting that -- isis had been defeated in syria. you said, quote, this is simply not true. >> yes, absolutely not true. i'm speechless today, jake. i just -- i've tried to process this, what led to this. and, in fact, during that intro,
i was looking down. i've worn this since march, it's a buddy of mine killed in iraq, andreas o'keefe, killed this year from isis. and to have the president say today, we've defeated them -- nobody would argue we've defeated them. that's not only going to hamper our current operation, it's going to double or triple the ranks of isis, because when we leave, they're going to say, look, we just defeated the united states without many casualties. and fighting terrorism is not a choice we have. it's just a question of where. do we fight them there or here? this makes no sense to me. i cannot put anything into words about why this makes any sense. it's emboldening iran, emboldening bashar al assad and our enemy. i don't get it. >> john bolton, national security adviser said the u.s. was not going to leave until iran left the region. and is it your understanding that iran has left syria? >> no. and not just john bolton.
every national security member of the president's team has said we're not going to leave. we have a base that straddles a very important supply route where iran wants to have access to israel and to israel's enemies. so this is implications beyond just the fight against isis. this has to do with israel, jordan, everywhere in between. not to mention our allies involved in this fight that also woke up today and goes, oh. okay. so i guess we have to pull all the troops out, too, because the united states is. too bad we never heard that until a tweet was just submitted. >> do you -- explain how. there are probably a lot of people out there who don't understand it or don't agree with you, but who don't understand why -- you're arguing this makes the united states less safe. why? >> so isis' goal, and that mind-set's goal is to destroy anybody that doesn't -- not just believe in islam, but their version of islam, and what we see as violence now against other muslims. but if they have the ability to train, to gather and to project power into places like the
united states of america or in europe, they'll do it. and we have seen them do it before. if we take the pressure off of them and we give them the opportunity to have land, to plan and execute again, the fight will be back here in the united states. we don't have a choice whether or not to fight terrorism. this isn't like, yeah, we'll fight them because it's good to fight them or maybe we won't and just live in peace. they're fighting us. the question is, do we fight them in syria or do we fight them here at home. and i fare that and and i fear that's going to be here at home if the president follows through on this. >> a lot of republicans are outspoken about this today. lindsey graham says this is a win not only for isis, but for iran or russia and for bashar al assad. do you agree? >> absolutely. absolutely. they are cheering right now in tehran. they're cheering in moscow, they're cheering in damascus, they're cheering in the rat's nest of isis. where they're not cheering is in tel aviv. and we're confused in washington because we don't know why this decision was made with relatively small military footprint. we had them on their heels
there, not defeated. now they're going to be emboldened. >> one person celebrating is senator rand paul of kentucky. >> of course. >> he shared on twitter an opinion piece titled, "when will trump bring home u.s. forces from syria," which reads in part, president trump should live up to his promise of america first. at the very least, that should be no more foolish middle eastern wars. pulling out of syria would be a good start. so there are people thinking this is president trump just putting america first. >> rand paul's viewpoint is a legitimate viewpoint for a libertarian. he's a libertarian masking as a republican. when he, in fact, got elected, he put out a budget that slashed the u.s. military by something like 25%. that's what he wanted to do. he wants to bring everybody home and live in isolation in the united states. in the 21st century, we can't do that. so i hope the president wasn't listening to rand paul's op-ed versus all of his, you know, people around him that know this stuff. because i fear that this is going to be a massive disaster and we're going to go to have to
go back to syria again anyway when isis triples in size if we're not careful. >> do you think this kind of decision is the kind of thing that even general -- i'm sorry, secretary mattis should resign over? i mean, is it that big a mistake, in your view? >> well, that's a decision, obviously, for secretary mattis. if i was in that position, i would have a hard time moving forward on executing a strategy that i think will put the united states in more danger. we have to keep this war against isis on -- keep them on their heels. this announcement today, i pray the president reconsiders. and i'll give him great credit for reconsidering. but if this goes through, i mean, it would be tough for anybody in that position that knows this is wrong to continue. but the president can do it. >> what do you say to the viewer at home who thinks we can't just be abroad fighting these wars for the rest of our lives. we're never going to kill every member of isis in syria. we're never going to kill every member of the taliban or isis in afghanistan. what do you say to them? >> yeah, i fully agree. this is a generational fight.
i think it's going to last probably the rest of my life. but i think part of the way to win is showing a commitment to the next generation of people
in those areas that they too can have hope and freedom and leaving them to the hands of isis is only going to encourage more isis members, more desperate regime, more problems and more attacks in the united states and our allies. >> congressman adam kinzinger, thank you for your time. congress is making progress in preventing a government shutdown. why is the president reportedly worried? stay with us. we're drowning in information.
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cnn's kaitlan collins joins me live from the white house. and kaitlan, senate democrats are on board with this stopgap spending measure. we just learned that president trump has agreed to sign it if it passes the house and senate. but the white house somehow is claiming this is neither a blink nor a flip. >> reporter: and they're struggling with that defense. and we're told by sources that behind the scenes as they are struggling with what to say, president trump is becoming increasingly concerned there is this criticism that he's backing off his signature campaign promise of building that wall on the u.s./mexico border, and that concern from the president is coming as there is increasing concern among aides they are running out of ways to potentially fund this wall. the white house bracing to cave. >> we'll see what happens. too early to say. we need border security. >> reporter: after senate majority leader mitch mcconnell announced he'll introduce a bill that would fund the government through the new year and end a looming government shutdown, but deny president trump funding for
his much-promised border wall. >> i am proud to shut down the government for border security, chuck. >> reporter: the move will put funding the government into the hands of newly empowered democrats next year, while effectively closing the door on one of the president's loudest campaign promises. >> build that wall! >> do not worry. we are going to build the wall, okay? >> reporter: three sources close to the president tell cnn he has become increaseingly sensitive to breaking the promise. >> it would have been just a joke presidency that scammed the american people, enraged -- amused the populus for a while. but he'll have no legacy whatsoever. >> reporter: the fight over the wall has created a bitter divide inside the west wing. between aides who consider themselves pragmatists and those who are ideologues. sources tell cnn, steven miller, a hard liner on immigration,
told colleagues that building the wall would be nearly impossible after republican losses in the midterms. yet he continued to dig in this week. >> we're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall. this is a very -- if it comes to it, absolutely. >> reporter: that as other officials have struggled to explain how u.s. taxpayers won't be the ones footing the bill if the wall is built. >> the president has asked every agency to look and see if they have money that can be used for that purpose. and that's exactly what we're doing. >> reporter: critics quick to point out, those agencies are funded by taxpayer dollars. despite aides signaling an impending concession, trump maintaining today the wall will be built one way or another. but the president's aides won't say with confidence if he'll sign the measure without the $5 billion in funding for the wall. recalling this moment from last march when trump threatened to veto the spending bill just hours before signing it.
>> i say to congress, i will never sign another bill like this again. >> reporter: now, jake, members of the freedom caucus are set to take to the house floor tonight to urge president trump not to abandon his promise to build a border wall. but white house officials are telling cnn while they won't guarantee it, they do expect the president to sign the short-term funding bill, therefore avoiding that government shutdown. but, jake, they will not make that promise 100%, because they say nothing is final until president trump has put his name on it. >> nothing is final until it's final. indeed. kaitlan collins, thanks so much. let's talk about this with my experts. kristin, i want to start with you as the pollster at the table. can president trump get re-elected -- can he get his base to the polls if he does not deliver on the border wall, which is arguably his biggest campaign promise? >> 100%. because when you ask voters -- when trump talks about a wall, do you think he means a physical border wall, or do you think he means enhanced border security that will include a wall in
part, but will also include stepped up surveillance? democrats think he's talking a wall-wall. republicans, a majority of them, think it's kind of this mix, which is often the language that you'll see white house advisers dip into. that what he's really talking about is border security. i think notably, kellyanne conway was asked today, what's going to happen with this resolution? and when she talked about what the president is committed to, she didn't use the word wall. she used the word border security multiple times. that is the more politically palatable way to go. it's the thing that brings more people together. it's 100% the politically smarter thing to do. and i think for the most part, his base will go along with him if he says i've secured the border. >> i agree with you that the base, a., doesn't care whether mexico pays for it or not or whether it looks like a fence or a great wall to china type of thing. what they do care about is president trump looking weak. the democrats just broke him before they're even sworn in to take over the house. he threatened it shut down and then he ran away from that fight. this was his last best chance to get big funding for that wall.
and it's over. people are waking up to the fact that after two years of the trump presidency, he got tax cut, he got judges. and now you get investigations as far as the eye can see. there's just a lot of fatigue that comes with that. republicans take a lot of incoming supporting trump. if they're not getting anything out of it, they're going to start to go away. >> two facts i want to bring. first, a recent cnn poll shows 57% of americans oppose -- oppose building a border wall. 38% favor it. so it's popular with the republican base, and unpopular with the majority of the country. and then last night the president tweeted, because you're talking about what is this wall going to be. and he's been all over the map, quite frankly, about what the wall will be. he tweeted last night, the democrats are saying loud and clear they do not want to build a concrete wall. but we are not building a concrete wall. we are building artistically designed steel slats.
we should note, this is not the first time we've gotten a preview of the wall. he said it would be see-through one time. another time he said it would have solar panels. what do you make of this? >> it's a big mess. and i wish we could take credit for breaking him. i think he breaks himself every day. but the wall, again, it's more of the same. it's wasteful. you could talk to the congressman from the area where that tcity is. why don't we have more money for the equipment and the people who should be there so we don't have children 7 years old in a bus for 90 minutes dying of dehydration. it's a waste of resources. if they had resources in the right place instead of building a wall, it would be serving the immigrant community. >> and paul, take a listen to kellyanne conway talking this morning about the bill coming before congress. >> this is all breaking news. in other words, what the congress is going to put before him. a short-term cr -- or a cr that
goes through february 8th, keeps the government up and running. but that doesn't mean the president is backing down from a central promise. not a campaign promise, a promise as our commander-in-chief to keep us safe. >> it does sound different than what we heard from the president a week ago. >> or what we heard from steven miller sunday, just a couple days ago. we'll do anything! we'll take any price. the problem with his aides is they have no idea what he's going to do. they have no idea. he wakes up in the morning and says, i have a good idea, let's get out of syria. or now instead of a wall, it's going to be artisanally designed. >> basically, trump tower at the border. >> steel slats. >> that's hilarious. that actually was the name of my garage band in college. he's his own worst enemy. if he would listen to kristen, he would be right. he could cut a deal. the democrats are not against border security, per se. a lot of it has to be people, technology. by the way, a lot of it has to be development and security in central america. so these poor people who are fleeing for their lives won't
have to come here. he could do a lot, and the democrats would help him, they would help him out of his own mess. but he's his own worst enemy on this. >> you know, it's interesting. we continue not to have a border strategy. and then if you listen to every within leaving office, from bush to speaker ryan, oh, i wish i had taken care of the immigration problem. let's please take care of that. he had the platform. he had both branches. he had the white house, he had the senate, he had the house. why was he always on the sidelines before he became speaker? yes, he was actually a co sponsor of the mccain, kennedy, flake, gutierrez bill. he was. and then when he becomes speaker, what is his promise to his party? no, i will not bring an immigration bill. and then did he face up and use his leadership and use his position on his perch to speak up to the white house and say, you know what, that is not the right way to talk about immigrants. no, that is not the right way to treat children.
no, that is not the right way to treat the latino community and the hispanics and immigrants in general. did he use his power? no, it's a wasted opportunity. he's a good man. and i know he regrets it. but when is it going to happen? if somebody like him was initially committed, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. >> the concern was -- to play defense for paul ryan for one second. i think the concern was that the bill would pass, but it would lose a majority of republicans. it would be a pass -- pass -- >> that is one opportunity, yes. i agree with you. >> i'm just saying, that was a promise he made to the caucus. >> yeah, but then he could have spoken up to the president. >> absolutely. >> and said no. this is wrong time and time again. >> this is also something that democrats could have solved when they had control of congress and had obama in the white house. i think there is a lot of -- >> also true. >> not to be cynical, but there is a lot of political incentive. >> everyone stick around. more to talk about. first, rudy guiliani said that donald trump had never signed a letter of intent about building that trump tower in moscow.
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♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ the politics lead now. paging rudy guiliani. the president's lawyer changing his story today on negotiations for that trump tower in moscow. you know the one that donald trump lied to voters about. the one that special counsel robert mueller claimed was potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
guiliani downplayed the project to cnn's dana bash sunday saying, quote, it was a real estate project but no one signed it. that turns out not to be true. not only is it signed, but it is signed by donald trump himself. let's bring in cnn's jessica schneider. the president denied having any dealings with russia during the campaign. and there is nothing improper about this deal. about the trump tower moscow. why did the president and his associates keep lying about it? >> that's the big question, jake. why the changing stories about russia? if there is nothing to hide? and why does rudy guiliani keep changing his version of events? after this signed letter of intent from the president was revealed last night, guiliani is now backtracking on his statement, where he said it wasn't signed to now saying it's no big deal. the lengthy letter of intent is dated october 28th, 2015, four
months after donald trump announced his bid for the presidency. it bears trump's signature script, and while the letter was nonbinding, it detailed how any eventual trump tower in the heart of moscow would have handed the trump organization a $4 million up-front fee, a percentage of the sales, and control over marketing and design. the deal also included an opportunity to name the hotel spa after trump's daughter, ivanka. but trump's lawyer, rudy guiliani, directly contradicted what is now in black and white, telling cnn it was a real estate project. there was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it. today guiliani admitted to the "new york daily news" that it was signed, but said the letter was bs, because it didn't result in a deal, adding, that was the end of it. it means nothing, but an expression of interest that means very little unless it goes to a contract and it never did. but the discrepancies are just another example of the president's changing stories when it comes to his business dealings with russia. he distanced himself from any deals throughout the campaign
and early days of his administration. >> i have nothing to do with putin. i've never spoken to him. i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia, because we've stayed away. >> reporter: but the president's former personal lawyer and now convicted felon, michael cohen, revealed to special counsel robert mueller that conversations about the trump tower moscow project continued until at least june 2016, after trump secured the republican nomination. and sunday guiliani said in trump's answers to mueller's questions, the president admitted talks went all the way through the election. >> did donald trump know that michael cohen was pursuing the trump tower in moscow into the summer of 2016? >> according to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to november of -- covered to november of 2016. said he had conversations. >> mueller's team may be looking into how the prospects of a moscow deal could have played into russia's interference in the election.
meanwhile, this document now giving a small glimpse into a likely mueller-related mystery that could mean more trouble for trump. the ruling from the d.c. federal appeals court means an unnamed company owned by an unknown foreign country must comply with the grand jury subpoena to hand over information related to a criminal probe. and this mystery company could be anything, from a sovereign-owned bank to a state-backed technology or information company. and jake, mueller's team, they have targeted foreign companies before. of course, it was in february when the special counsel indicted three russian companies for that elaborate social media scheme that was meant to influence voters leading up to the 2016 election. jake? >> jessica schneider, thank you very much. i want to bring in phil mudd who has worked for the cia and the fbi. let's start with this mystery case. the subpoenas for an unnamed company owned by a foreign country. the subpoena wants the company to turn over information about its commercial activity when an
appeals court judge weighed in, they described the actions that took place outside the u.s., but directly affecting the u.s. and the subpoena carries possible fines for each day the company does not comply. first of all, why would this be secret? i don't understand. i mean -- and second of all, as somebody who knows these kinds of investigations, what are we talking about here? it's a mystery to a layman like myself. >> how did they know to even make the request to a foreign company? how did they identify that company? i think in terms of identifying who it is and why you may have made the request, you can lay some bets in vegas. i'm betting russia for one simple reason. if you look at the background for a lot of the investigations so far, money. cohen's background, stormy daniels, that's money. rick gates, that's money. i'm looking at who paid for the facebook ads, for example, during the campaign? did those individuals -- and we know some of those because of the mueller indictments are
russian. did these individuals have other connections? russian companies with american individuals. roger stone. i'm looking at this saying somebody wants to follow the money, that money starts overseas. i suspect in russia. so therefore, because everybody is lying, i want to see the documents. >> will we ultimately find out what this company is, who they are, what's going on here? >> we're going to find out who the company is. whether we find out what they were doing, whether the government actually acquires documents is a different story. that said, let me give you a behind the scenes snapshot. let's say that i'm right. let's say one of the questions is, what were the russians doing to influence people? we've said all along, 80, 90% of the story is invisible to us. let's look at roger stone. we haven't heard about him in months. maybe weeks. the special counsel knows who he called. that's phone records. who he e-mailed. they know travel records, not only immigration records, how his passport was used. they could have talked to the uruguayan embassy about who was visiting there. did stone or any of his
affiliates visit there? i suspect in terms of money, in terms of relationship with wikileaks, in terms of wikileaks, whether wikileaks was ever given data or money, the special counsel knows this. >> let's turn to a big mystery. you were talking about money and the importance of money in all of this. contradicting statements by rudy guiliani about the trump family's negotiations for this trump tower in moscow is this letter of intent signed by donald trump, then a private citizen. what's the relevance of this part of the story? >> there's two pieces. let's go high and let's go low. the high piece is pretty straight forward. understanding somebody's intent. despite whatever was said on the campaign trail and afterwards, did you have any intent in the administration -- or in the campaign if you're the president or below, to have a conversation with russia? the president said no. clearly, answers, yes, i did. let's go low. the president, as we know recently, has offered written responses to the special counsel. let me take a guess. one of those questions was, can you characterize your interactions, especially business or financial interactions, with the russians
over a period of time, 2014, '15, '16? if what the president said, i had no interactions, differs from what we're finding in this documentation, actually i have a written letter of intent, that's a problem. >> the intent letter is dated october 28th, 2015. that's after he launched his presidential bid. is the idea, do you think, that there is a quid -- just a -- a number of different possible quid pro quos that mueller is trying to figure out, what is actually relevant to the help that russia provided the campaign and what might not be relevant? i mean, we all know donald trump likes to make money. that doesn't necessarily mean he was trying to make money and that had anything to do with the russians helping him. >> sure. i think -- let me make this three-dimensional. you've got a time line. people, manafort, flynn, the president, the president's family. you've got financial transactions at that time. are people receiving money for services rendered, whether it's from the turks, ukrainians, russians and also what is the president, for example, saying about russia policy? if i'm looking at this, trying
to put together a time line of what everybody is saying and what the data says and whether we're getting information now that suggests they are lying. >> phil mudd, thank you so much. if you thought it had gone the way of the dough dou do bir wouldn't be alone. congress doing something, getting something done in a bipartisan way. stay with us. the zip code you're born into can determine your future. your school. your job. your dreams. your problems.
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in our politics lead today, something we do not see every day in washington, but perhaps we should see more often. the white house and democratic senators and republican senators all working together on a tough issue for months, and successfully passing some of the most dramatic criminal justice reform in decades. the bipartisan proposal was
engineered by white house senior staffer, jared kushner. it's now expected to easily pass the house of representatives and will allow president trump to sign one of the landmark accomplishments of the trump administration. let's talk about this. one of the things that's very interesting is cnn's jeremy diamond reports, the president's initial hesitation in this was that there could be a -- in his view, a willy horton situation, somebody who benefits from this bill, is released early, and then commits a horrific crime. and the truth is, we should just acknowledge, that anything could happen, really. >> right. and that's the lesser of his worries right now. the president of the united states has bigger problems. but i think this is -- bravo. bravo for congress. and i worked in the building for 25 years. and this kind of stuff has been missing for a long time. the fact that you can have chuck grassley and cruz in the same bill as the democrats and passed by -- >> 87-12. >> exactly. and it's so needed. but it also shows the politics
of getting something like this done. if jared kushner had not been behind this, i think that it would have been hard to believe that we would be seeing this great day. it's a great gift for all of us. because we all pay the price of having people in jail longer and for reasons they should not be there. and without the help they need to get out and be reincorporated into society. it's a huge day. >> one of the things that's interesting, the way it was sold to the president was in terms of his legacy. and people went to the president and said no, willie who are ton is not the poster boy for this. essentially painted the picture for trump. and that vareally is essential. he cares about the visual, the story. and this is something that will go to his legacy. >> and i also think in a -- nixon goes to china moment, in some ways it could have only been someone like trump who has tried to carve out this brand as this -- >> tough on crime. >> tough guy, tough on crime,
law and order kind of guy. that could be able to do this. i mean, it's not hard to imagine an alternate universe where trump is not the president and he's on the outside making the arguments about why this is dangerous, why we shouldn't be releasing people early. so kudos to jared kushner for getting the president there on this issue and getting something done >> and kudos to president trump. i don't care -- >> wait, what did you just say? >> yes. i completely salute him for this. this is an important piece of legislation. he supported it. it would not have passed a republican house or republican senate without him. it's important that his son-in-law, jared kushner, weighed in. and i'm all for thanking staff. but this is the president and he deserves credit for this. i am very proud of our colleague, van jones, has been working on this for years. >> carried it in the senate. >> mike lee, republican, dick durbin, democrat. i'm not his biggest fan, but the president deserves credit for this. this should reflect well in his legacy. >> speaking of bipartisanship,
paul ryan gave his farewell address today and lamented the lack of cooperation in politics today. here's a little excerpt. >> we all struggle. we are all fighting some battle in our lives. so why do we insist on fighting one another so bitterly? this kind of politics starts from a place of outrage and then seeks to tear us down from there. so, key question. how do we get back to aspiration and inclusion? we start with humility and seek to build on that. i don't know the answer to that. >> yeah, it's a nice message. i've been really disappointed to see all of the coverage -- not all, but a lot of it focused on the fact that paul ryan did not accomplish his goals in terms of tackling entitlement spending. if you're worried about that issue, paul ryan is not your problem. the problem is that there's not enough paul ryans. look at the environment we're in. responsible, fiscal conservatism is not compatible with trump's
economic populism. paul ryan tried. i wish -- i have problems with his vote for t.a.r.p., raising the debt ceilings, but there weren't enough people supporting him. i want them to look at the senate. look at the longest-serving senate republican leader in u.s. history and trillions of dollars tallied on mitch mcconnell's watch. he did not lift a finger to help paul ryan and should be blamed much more than paul ryan. >> we'll get to mitch. now that i said nice things about president trump. let me refer -- paul ryan is one of the great frauds of congressional history. >> that's harsh. >> yes, it is. he's been a complete enabler for donald trump and now today going out the door saying we should have humility. >> he went down to the binary choice stuff. but -- you know? >> every day that donald trump has been president, paul ryan has carried his water and abetted. let me give a stat. on the day paul ryan walked into the doors, introduced a budget that had a $100 billion-plus
surplus. i know. 20 years later, paul ryan walks out the door. the deficit is $985 trillion. that's paul ryan's fault. >> billion. >> $985 billion. just under a trillion a year because of paul ryan. >> do you have any thoughts? what do you think his final legacy will be? >> i think the tax reform bill. i think, one, having a nearly impossible job during an impossible time. he didn't want to take the job to begin with. i'm sure if he could have seen what the two-plus years coming his way were going to be like, he probably really wouldn't have taken it. i mean, he had the nearly impossible task of a president who had sort of shown up in his party but didn't really hold on to a lot of the same views that he did. had to keep this conference happy. i think the fact that they were able to do tax reform, something that a lot of republicans had wanted to do for a long time, is the one thing he's going to hang his hat on. >> very quickly. your thoughts. i know you said you think he's a good man but failed by not bringing up immigration reform.
>> so much more he could have done and i think it's a shame he's a man who cared, but didn't care enough to speak up to power and to speak up to trump and correct him each and every time. >> okay. coming up next. while you're watching netflix, netflix may be watching you. thanks to facebook. stay with us. [speaking in italian] ...i just got my ancestrydna results: 74% italian. and i found out that i'm from the big toe of that sexy italian boot! calabria.
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in our tech lead today, those private facebook messages you sent where you shared intimate details about your life with your old friend, well, facebook let people from netflix have access to them. if you've ever shared your phone number or address on your page, amazon might have accessed that. and all those posts you scroll through every day, the updates
from your relatives and long lost friends, well, who those friends are and what they're saying, microsoft could have seen that. a stunning investigation in the "new york times" details just how facebook shared your private information with more than 150 other companies. cnn's tom foreman joins me now. tom, is any of this criminal, or when we all signed up for facebook did we just sign all of our rights away, including the rights to our private messages? >> well, that comes to a basic question here. even if i can sign my rights away, can i sign away the rights of my friends? for years, facebook gave some of the world's largest technology companies more intrucive access to users' personal data than it has disclosed. that's the opening line from the "new york times" explosive article and the details may be even more troubling if you use facebook. the "times" says the social media giant made deals with more than 150 companies, under which,
among other things, netflix and spotify had the ability to read facebook users' private messages. amazon and a microsoft search engine could access the name of your facebook friends. and yahoo! could even look at your friends' posts, all without your consent. >> keeping people safe will always be more important than maximizing our profits. >> reporter: it's another shot over the bow of mark zuckerberg, who has been grilled by members of congress who want to know, shouldn't users have control of all of their personal data? >> and specific ability to consent to the use of that information. >> senator, i do generally agree with what you're saying. >> reporter: privacy advocacy have railed about the way facebook allowed a political consulting firm to harvest loads of data. again, without the knowledge of users. >> this was a major breach of trust. and i'm really sorry that this happened.
>> reporter: the response to the latest revelations, congress must act promptly and powerfully next session with a strong privacy protection law. opening someone else's mail is a federal crime. why is facebook allowed to let netflix and spotify open your private messages? netflix says it never asked for or accessed anyone's private messages, and several other companies have also denied any wrongdoing. furthermore, a facebook executive says sharing all that info is okay, because facebook considered the partners extensions of itself. but -- >> despite the fact they say these partnerships are fine and okay, they are also winding them all down. >> now, to be sure, none of these companies have said they done anything wrong. cnn has not independently verified all the "new york times" reporting, but facebook has spent the whole year under this issue of personal data and it's only been getting worse.
don't think you're the customer. you are the product. >> indeed. tom foreman, thank you so much. you can follow me on facebook and twitter at jake tapper. you can tweet the show at the lead cnn. our coverage on the cable news network continues right now. happening now. breaking news. mission not accomplished. president trump makes a stunning and surprise foreign policy reversal, ordering u.s. troops out of syria and contradicting his own commanders by claiming isis has been defeated. removing sanctions. the trump administration planning to lift sanctions on two russian companies, including one whose oligarch owner is tied to the convicted former trump campaign chairman, paul manafort. border back down. the president appears to change course after saying he would be proud to shut down the government over a funding for his border wall. now lawmakers are scrambling to pass a tempo