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Franken Attacks Trump; Trump Signs Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Proclamation. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired December 7, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] AB STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND COLUMNIST, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Worry about whether or not there is a plan, you know, in the White House to eventually try to overthrow Robert Mueller as special counsel. You have to listen to the comments she made today about the political leadership of the FBI. That includes obviously Bob Mueller. It includes Andrew McCabe. Obviously Comey at the time. But they're making very clear that they still have issues with the FBI.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to have a lot more on this. But the press secretary saying that she doesn't see a discrepancy in what Christopher Wray said today praising the FBI and the president tweeting the other day the FBI was in tatters.
Let's continue our special coverage. Brooke Baldwin is joining us right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf Blitzer, thanks you my friend. Good to be back in the seat. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN.
You've been watching the White House briefing on the very same day that Senator Al Franken announced he will resign in the next couple of weeks. At least six women, including these three, accuse him of groping or forcing them to kiss him. More than 30 of Senator Franken's Democrat colleagues have also called for him to step down. Franken, who has been a senator since 2009, spoke from the Senate floor just a couple hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do.
I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven't done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently.
I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing, has brought dishonor on this institution. And I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree.
Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.
I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving, while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.
But this decision is not about me. It's about the people of Minnesota. And it's become clear that I can't both pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And so we begin.
I have with me CNN politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp, who also anchors "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered" on HLN, and Zerlina Maxwell is with us today, former Clinton campaign official, who's now director of Progressive for Sirius XM.
So, welcome to all of you.
And, Chris Cillizza, you're up to bat first because I think we should start with the newest bit, which is the White House now reacting to that last piece right from the senator on the irony part.
And so you hear Sarah Sanders. And so she's asked about this and she said -- she said at the podium a second ago, the president addressed those comments during the campaign, plus she essentially said, listen, he won, meaning the people of the U.S. addressed the accusations against Trump and he still won. Is that good enough in the White House?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: No. No. I mean, look, let's say this, at most, and this is the Sarah Sanders argument, at most what the 2016 election proved was the allegations against Donald Trump, as well as his comments on the "Access Hollywood" tape were not determinative in the vote. That people factored it in and they decided to choose other things, change most notably.
What it doesn't prove at all and what Sarah Sanders seems to be trying to serve a lie to say that it proves is that Donald Trump is innocent of these charges, or that the charges have somehow been litigated in a meaningful way and that Donald Trump has been found not guilty by the people of the country. That's not -- there's no exit poll question on that. There's no way to possibly draw that conclusion.
Now, they can say these were allegations, they were out there and Donald Trump won. One hundred percent true. What you can't say is, well, these allegations are all spurious because Donald Trump won. [14:05:02] BALDWIN: Which is sort of what Zerlina was mentioning to me
when we were listening to the whole thing. Go ahead and make your point.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, DIRECTOR OF PROGRESSIVE PROGRAMING, SIRIUS XM: Yes. Right. I mean, you know, he won the Electoral College. Like, let's be specific when we're talking about this. He lost the popular vote by 3 million votes.
In addition to that, to say that the allegations are somehow spurious because he won the Electoral College is really a ridiculous argument.
Despite the allegations, let's put those aside for a moment, he is on a tape saying that he can do whatever he wants to a woman because he's famous. That alone should be disqualifying for the Oval Office. And then there were also 16 women who came forward to corroborate what he said himself on the tape. So I think that if you separate out the "Access Hollywood" tape from the allegations that corroborate what he said with his own voice, I think then you have a moment in which you can roll your eyes at a Sarah Huckabee Sanders who is making that argument from the White House podium.
BALDWIN: Are you rolling your eyes?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I've got to be honest, yes, we all agree what he did was bad. Every night on my show I call out Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John Conyers, name your jerk, but people didn't care. He did -- he won in the court of public opinion. He won enough. Whether you want to parse the popular vote, it's over, it's done. Enough people didn't care.
MAXWELL: Oh, I'm not arguing it's not over.
CUPP: And I lament that. That is lamentable.
MAXWELL: I agree with you.
CUPP: But all it gets us is an eye roll. That's it. It doesn't -- it doesn't win us anything other than sort of moral certitude that we are on the right side of this argument.
MAXWELL: No, moral certitude matters. And the 22,000 people who -- women who have called Emily's List to sign up to run for office as a result of the election of Donald Trump will matter in the 2018 midterms.
CUPP: Absolutely. But we can talk all we want about whether Donald Trump should stay or go. That was decided. I didn't vote for him. It was disqualifying for me. It's not disqualifying to sit in the Oval Office today.
BALDWIN: But how much of this is about, Chris Cillizza, right, we've talked so much -- tune into our air, you know, all day long, we talk about the moral authority and Democrats and how, you know, listen it must have been quite a dig perhaps at Al Franken to know that a lot of his, you know, friends on his side of the aisle very quickly coalesced together yesterday and were like, you got to go. And so, finally, you know, we know he's going. But at the end of the day, is it really about moral authority or is it about politics? Because fast forward some days, some weeks, some months, if and when Roy Moore gets elected, and they couldn't have that albatross that is Al Franken, and the multitude of allegations around their necks when they want to say basically to Roy Moore, deuces. Do you know what I'm saying?
CILLIZZA: Right. Well, look, what changed, Brooke, from last week when Franken made brief public comments in which he said, I want my -- this matter to be self-referred to the Ethics Committee and I'm going to continue to work, to today when he resigns. The only thing that's changed there is the fact that 30 plus of his colleagues came out and said he needed to resign yesterday.
He said, I can't fight -- you know, deal with the Ethics Committee and represent the people of Minnesota. Well, he was perfectly fine doing that last week.
BALDWIN: Right. Yes. Yes.
CILLIZZA: So, yes, look, I think that we -- I'm with S.E. a little bit in I think we get off on a little bit of a tangent when we focus on Trump here only because I think Franken's speech was sort of remarkable in that he said, I'm resigning in that clip you played. I'm resigning but I don't agree to the fact that I did these things that women are alleging or -- or --
BALDWIN: I'm not apologizing. I'm not saying I did all of this. Right.
CILLIZZA: Or I -- they miss remembered them.
BALDWIN: Right. Right.
CILLIZZA: But I'm resigning anyway. I mean that's kind of a remarkable -- he wanted to say, I'm resigning, but I'm not guilty and, yes, I think I'm being railroaded out of office, which is -- you don't usually see that.
BALDWIN: Right, which isn't -- I mean which isn't sitting -- which isn't sitting very well with a number of his accusers who, you know, a number are --
MAXWELL: Why should they?
BALDWIN: You know, reporters on Capitol Hill have talked to them and they're enraged or they're disappointed.
But here's my question on Democrats, Zerlina, to you.
You know, if the -- what happens now is the Democrat governor of Minnesota gets to appoint whoever will slide into this seat for a finite period of time. Do you think these Democrats would have all come together in the way in which they did had the governor been a Republican?
MAXWELL: Probably not. Certainly we're talking in the political context. But I do think there is value in doing the right thing when it's the right thing regardless of the political fallout.
BALDWIN: But is it politics or is it morals because to me that's (INAUDIBLE) politics?
MAXWELL: I think it's a combination of both. But I also think that, you know, there's a lot of criticism for him bringing up Trump and Roy Moore, but those are -- that's facts, right? He's not stating an opinion. Those are simply objective facts. The president said what he said on the tape. Roy Moore, there are credible allegations against him. And the GOP is fine with that. So I think that certainly we're here talking about politics and so everything is in that context. But the allegations against both of these men are very serious.
BALDWIN: I can feel your body language.
CUPP: I was going to say, well, two things.
That resignation speech was so self-serving. It was I, I, I, me, me, me, here's what I've done. I won my first election by 320 some votes. Who cares. If you're a woman who felt violated by Al Franken, you think your -- that's somehow, you know, reassuring to you? That makes it better?
BALDWIN: Right. Right.
[14:10:11] CUPP: There was nothing about this that was focused on the victims. And also Al Franken doesn't know the meaning of irony, because it's not ironic that Roy Moore and Donald Trump are still OK. It's unfair, it's unjust, but not the meaning of irony.
I will say -- I will say, what this sets up now, this unprecedented 30 plus Democrats coming together, most of them women, to tell Senator Franken he had to go, what this sets up, and I hope Republican women in the Senate are listening, Deb Fisher, Murkowski, Collins, Moore, Capito and Joni Ernst.
When Roy Moore is elected, and I believe he will be, you can do the same thing. You can do the same thing that these women, Democrat senators did, to their own guy and you can say, I don't want to serve with this guy.
CUPP: I don't like the allegations. And they're just allegations, just like Franken's, corroborated. I don't want to serve. You have the same opportunity. And men, too, by the way. I will be interested to see if they -- if they can rise up. Whether for politics or not, it's still the right thing to do. And I hope they do.
MAXWELL: I do too. I hope they do.
BALDWIN: S.E. and Zerlina and Chris, thank you all so much.
CILLIZZA: Thank you.
BALDWIN: We will be watching very, very closely. Coming up next here on CNN, the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray,
testifying today and responding directly to President Trump's criticism that the agency is, quote/unquote, in tatters.
Also, you've been hearing a lot about this attorney-client privilege, Don Jr., the president's son, citing that as the reason he refuses to tell lawmakers about a conversations he had with his father. The only problem is that neither the president nor his son are actual attorneys. So how's that going to work out? We'll talk to our legal panel.
And Chuck and Nancy round two. They ditched the president last week because of that tweet. Remember the president said their wouldn't be a deal. Well, this afternoon, the leaders here, Leader Schumer -- Leader Pelosi and Senator Schumer expected to sit down with President Trump. Will there be any political stunts? And can they find a way to avoid a government shutdown? We will take you live to Capitol Hill coming up next here on CNN.
[14:16:34] BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Now to one of the president's sons, a key figure in the Russia investigation, and his refusal to answer questions from members of Congress. During more than eight hours of closed door questioning, Don Junior cited attorney-client privilege and so would not comment on conversations that he had had with his father surrounding that now infamous meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. And so now this ultimatum from investigators, answer the questions or face a subpoena.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: He invoked the privilege and we made it clear, at least on our side of the aisle, that we did not think this was a recognizable privilege. He then, and his counsel, said they would go back and discuss it further with their lawyers, with the president's lawyers, and get back to us. The question comes, if they get back to us and say, no, we're not going to answer those questions, then we'll be required to subpoena Donald Trump Junior back before the committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We'll come back to this in just a second.
Let's go to the president live at the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You never got that game, right? You never got that? You better believe it. I know you won the war. I don't know about football. You won the war.
When bombs --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) going to play that game. TRUMP: Look at you. You look beautiful. Boy, oh, boy, that's pretty --
can you do that one more time for me? I can't believe that. Boy, that's -- I'm not playing him in football.
When bombs began to fall, Micky (ph) reported to his battle station in the crow's nest of the USS Pennsylvania wearing his football uniform and his football helmet, which he threw off because he figured he didn't need it. That's pretty great, huh, and you did a hell of a job. You saw something that few people have ever witnessed before, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TRUMP: Amazing. Thanks, Micky.
Jack Holder (ph). Jack. Jack. Hi, Jack. Jack Holder survived the enemies attack on Fort (ph) Island and went on to fly dozens of missions in the battles of Midway and all along the Solomon Islands.
Thank you, Jack, for being here. I appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
TRUMP: A very brave guy.
Lawrence Perry (ph) carried ammunition to the gunners. And thinking about the lessons of Pearl Harbor, Larry said he hopes we can build up the military again. We are building up the military beyond what you ever thought. It got depleted, you know. You know what happened over the last quite long period of time, but not with us. Our budget's now going to be higher than ever before. We're building it up again. And we'll do it in your honor, OK. We're building it up. The best equipment in the world. We make it. And we're supplying it in very big numbers. Thanks. Thanks. And we are -- we're doing a job.
Robert Fernandez (ph). Robert. Nice seeing you, Robert. Served on the USS Curtis that delivered return fire against the enemy, and he really gave it to them pretty good. They were very successful at the return fire. Good job. You look like you're about 50 years old. Huh? You must have been very young. You look great. What is the age?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety-three now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be 94.
TRUMP: Well, you look great.
George Blake (ph) stood watch on the Hawaii shores, ready to repulse a feared invasion. George. George. Thank you, George. Good. That was pretty -- a pretty wild scene. You'll never forget that, right?
[14:20:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never forgotten.
TRUMP: Nope, you haven't, and you fought hard. Alexander Horazni (ph) enlisted in the Army when he was only 17. Alex
served throughout the war, but if you tried to call him a hero, he'd tell you he was just a regular grunt in the service. That's what he told us, a regular grunt. I don't think so. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Yes, I know it is. You're not a regular anything. You're a hero. You're a hero. All of you are heroes.
In the weeks and months that took place after the surprise attack, and that was a vicious surprise attack, millions of American patriots, like these men, answered the same call and went to war. They fought, they bled, they sacrificed and they triumphed. Many died to defend America against our enemies and to defeat the enemies of all humanity.
The legacy of that legendary American generation is carved deep into the stone monuments of history across the battlefields, oceans and harrowing skies of Europe and the Pacific. Throughout the war, one great battle cry could be heard by American friends and foes alike, remember Pearl Harbor. Have you heard that before? A couple of times? Remember Pearl Harbor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember Pearl Harbor (INAUDIBLE). Just remember Pearl Harbor as we did the Alamo. We shall always remember how they died for liberty. Just remember Pearl Harbor and go on to victory.
TRUMP: What can I say? Boy, that was good. He's a very shy person, too. And a great football player.
Today our entire nation pauses to remember Pearl Harbor and the brave warriors who on that day stood tall and fought for America. As I sign the proclamation making this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I ask that God continue to bless and watch over each of you as very, very special people to our country. And God is watching over you. And we appreciate it. Thank you.
Our surviving World War II veterans are a precious national treasure. So I'm going to sign this proclamation and we're going to -- I see there's one pen, but we're going to get plenty of other pens and other things for you guys so you remember this day.
And, again, we'll do it for another seven years, OK? Seven years. And you all have to promise you're going to be around, right? We're going to be around. We're going to around. We're going to be together. OK?
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Let's sign the proclamation.
That was so great. It was like you really made this very exciting. Some free entertainment, right? OK. This is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2017. We'll get pens for everybody. Great men. What do you think? How's the penmanship? OK? All right? It's OK?
Thank you everybody.
TRUMP: Well, I thought he gave it to you. I thought he gave it to him. That's OK. That's OK. I'll see you next year.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you. Good to see you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. See you all next year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a hat for you to sign for me.
TRUMP: I'll do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You gave -- you gave me a hat but you never signed it, so I brought it with me.
TRUMP: I'll tell you what we're going to do. We're going to bring that into the Oval Office. We're going to take some pictures in the Oval Office, all right? You know the Oval Office, right?
BALDWIN: We just wanted to hang onto every second of this. There are just fewer and fewer of men, servicemen like this. Remember Pearl Harbor. Today marks the 76th anniversary of the attacks.
QUESTION: Do you have a comment about sexual harassment in this country, what the message should be, sir?
BALDWIN: Oh, some questions coming from the press and the president continues on out. He just officially signed today being the national Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7, 2017.
[14:25:04] Coming up next, Don Junior citing attorney-client privilege as the reason that he refuses to tell lawmakers about a conversation he had with his father. Can he legally do that? We'll discuss.
Also, live pictures out of southern California, Ventura County. Hurricane force winds fueling that fire right there, right up against this highway -- look at that sky -- 101. A live report straight ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Back now to the president's son claiming attorney-client privilege when questioned by Congress over conversations he had had with his father over the response to the revelation of his meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. So with me now, CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos, also a defense attorney, and Kari Cordero (ph), she is the former counsel to the U.S. assistant attorney general for national security.
[14:30:08] Good to see both of you on this Thursday afternoon.