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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
2016 Campaign Begins the New Year; President Obama To Discuss His Executive Actions On Gun Control; Protesters In Oregon; Saudi Arabia Breaks Diplomatic Ties With Iran. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 4, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:14] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. Happy New Year.
We begin tonight with breaking news. Tomorrow morning, President Obama announces that he is taking executive action on gun control. He has hinted that he would and now we have details.
Michelle Kosinski joins us from the White House.
So, what about these executive actions? What do we know?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
Yes, you really see the administration is trying to make as many changes as possible but because these are executive actions and not acts of Congress, immediately, you see the limits they are up against. I mean, the changes are presented as guidance or propels or encouragement by no means are these new laws. The biggest deal is background checks. Administration now says if you are in the business of selling guns, whether it is two guns a year or 200,000 guns, whether you're doing it at a gun show or on the dark web, you need a license to do so and all of your buyers need background checks. There will be harsh penalties if you don't do that. But there is a big question out there, how is the federal government going to make you do that and who is going to find you if you don't?
Also, mental health information and that there convictions out there for domestic violence, the White House now has sent a letter to every state governor urging them to put that kind of information into the background system, to make sure it get in there. But again, enforcement is a question, I mean, this is encouragement we're talking about.
The White House also wants to beef up the background check system itself and have much more funding from mental health treatment but ultimately Congress needs to approve that funding, Anderson.
COOPER: What kind of an impact do they think these actions will actually have in preventing gun crime?
KOSINSKI: Well, they put a big ca caveat out there. I mean, they say over and over again, they know that this is not going to prevent every crime, but if you can prevent one, why not? Of course, the biggest questions hanging out there are how many criminals with criminal intent are buying their guns from establishments that are going to register in the first place? And of course, if somebody doesn't have anything on their background to check, then going through a legitimate background check isn't going to turn up anything and opponents often point that, you know, in the mass shootings recently here in this country, many of those guns were purchased legally and the buyers went through that background check system, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Michelle Kosinski, appreciate it. More on this later.
Campaign 2016 now officially campaign 2016. And that's not the only big milestone as the candidates make upwards or 20 campaign stops today crisscrossing New Hampshire and Iowa and states nearby.
Take a look. Leaders in the Republican race, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both holding late events tonight. Another milestone is less than a month until the first vote, the Iowa caucuses.
And yet, another big development, the first campaign appearance by Bill Clinton which is where we begin tonight. He is one of the most effective campaigners in modern memory. He is also, as Donald Trump has been pointing out, a man with a tangled past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You look at whether it is Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them and that certainly will be fair game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump last Tuesday calling President Clinton sexual of history fair game. Although, keeping them honest, he once believed the exact opposite.
This morning on "NEW DAY," CNN's Chris Cuomo asked what changed between then and now. Here is how he answered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As a businessman, I would always stick up for various people whether friends or not because in many cases I needed them, I needed their votes to get things done.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what you are saying is that back then when you needed them, you were OK with what Bill Clinton is doing. But now that you want to take votes from his wife, you're not OK.
TRUMP: No. You have to understand, they called me sexist --
CUOMO: Yes, they called you that because of what you said about women --
TRUMP: She comes out and starts going -- and the reason that happened, Chris, was very simple. The reason that happened is because I'm doing very well in the polls. In some polls I'm beating her and I think I'm going to beat her easily if I get the nomination.
CUOMO: I understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That remains of course, to be seen, so does Bill Clinton's impact on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton. However, it is safe to say that as far as die-hard Democrats are concerned, there is a reason he is called the big dog.
More on his first campaign day from Randi Kaye.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think this election is about restoring broadly shared prosperity. Rebuilding the middle class.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Clinton on the campaign trail in Nashua, New Hampshire trying to keep the focus on issues, speaking for about 30 minutes without even acknowledging Donald Trump's personal attacks on him focusing instead on his wife's credentials.
CLINTON: Everything she touched, she made better.
KAYE: But even if Bill Clinton isn't talking about Trump's comments regarding his infidelities, supporters here are.
What about the fact that Trump is attacking him? Is it fair to attack a spouse like this about these issues?
[20:05:03] NORMA SHULMAN, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, if he wants to attack, I remember the expression about people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I think that he needs to watch where he steps because his personal history is not stellar, and it's really petty.
KAYE: That may be true, but Donald Trump is breathing new life into Bill Clinton's personal affairs tossing about names like Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones. It all began after Trump used the word slanged referring to Mrs. Clinton's 2008 loss to Barack Obama. She told the Des Moines Register Trump had a pension for sexism. Now he is turning those words against her and her husband.
TRUMP: I hit her back and talked about her husband and the abuse of women and the tremendous abuse. No, it's tremendous abuse.
DIANE DANAULT, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: He's not an abuser of women. I know he has a bad history and I wish that didn't happen, but I don't know of any situations where he denigrated women the way Donald Trump has.
KAYE: Do extra marital affairs have a place in the campaign?
PAM MALCUT, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't think so. I think the public is really concerned about world affairs and the economy and kids being able to go to college.
KAYE: Most here are looking to the former president to energize the base, even those still undecided told me whatever Mr. Clinton did, even his impeachment is old news.
Scandal, does that have anything any place on the campaign trail?
KEVIN MOSLY, UNDECIDED VOTER: Well, it will get played up but it's almost old news. I mean, he did what he did. That might be a little trouble with the women vote, maybe. But, Donald Trump has the same problems probably. I think it will be a wash I the end.
COOPER: And Randi Kaye joins us now from New Hampshire where Bill Clinton wrapped up speaking a short time ago.
Did any voters there say how they think he should respond to Donald Trump's comments about him or if they think he should respond?
KAYE: Anderson, I asked a lot of people here they think that Bill Clinton should engage Donald Trump, if he should take him on, and the general response, Anderson, was no. One woman suggesting to me that nobody can win a street fight with the billionaire candidate Donald Trump so it's best to just leave it alone.
These people don't care about the scandals. They don't want to hear about it anymore. They want to know how they are going to pay for college tuition, how are they going to pay their mortgage, if they are going to have a job in the coming year.
But I got to tell you. Bill Clinton, he was at his best tonight. He said all the right things. He talked a great deal about, of course, what a great candidate Hillary Clinton is. But he also, Anderson, revisited their bond and their love affair. He said that he is - she is the same person that he fell in love with 40-something years ago. She hasn't changed and she is the best candidate for president.
COOPER: Randy, thanks very much.
Joining us now is CNN political commentators Donna Brazile and Jeffrey Lord. She is vice chair of the Democratic national Committee voter project. He is a Trump supporter and former Reagan White House political director. Also with us is CNN political analyst and investigative journalist Carl Bernstein and author of "a woman in- charge, the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Carl, I mean, you have covered the Clintons for a long time. Is putting Bill Clinton out on the campaign trail despite all the political baggage that soon Republicans like to point to? Is it still a net plus for Hillary Clinton's campaign?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is going to be an epic battle in the cultural wars this coming election. And Clinton is going to be out there and the issue in the election will be the Clintons, as far as Republicans are Republicans are concerned. And so sure, they want to get Clinton out there. They want to hit this stuff early. They want to respond to it. But it's really about the general election, not about these primaries. There is going to be plenty of time.
But there is a concern among Clinton supporters that the so-called circus is back in the arena, back in the political arena and too much attention is going to be devoted by the enemies of the Clinton family to his past behavior. It's a problem.
COOPER: Well, Donna, how big a problem is it? I mean, Bill Clinton wouldn't respond to Donald Trump on the campaign trail today and Hillary Clinton essentially said the same thing. At some point, though, does he have to respond or is the fact that he is not responding a sign that he doesn't know how to respond?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think I'm the only one on this panel that understands the importance of having a former president with not only his reach, but his ability to communicate very, you know, complex ideas to ordinary people.
Bill Clinton is a tremendous asset, not just to Hillary Clinton's campaign, to Democratic Party, progressives and I think the country. He is a tremendous asset. And she is going to use him, I believe, in the ways and ways that will help her campaign to reach out to voters who might still be on the line. Maybe leaning towards Mr. Sanders or Mr. O'Malley.
So I think Bill Clinton will be able to survive the so-called (INAUDIBLE) attacks by Donald Trump. And let me just say this, Bill Clinton's conduct back in the 1990s did not hurt Hillary Clinton's chances of winning twice. The United States senator from the state of New York becoming secretary of state. She is on the ballot this election is about the future. If the Republicans want to go back and dig in the trash pile, let them do it because they have nothing else but trash talkers.
[20:10:06] COOPER: Jeffrey, I mean Donald Trump has been obviously very critical of Bill Clinton this time around while he is running now. Obviously, before he was and spending a lot of time talking about him. Is it mistake given that Trump needs to win the nomination before he can gets a chance to run against Hillary Clinton or again, is this just another example of Trump sort of making headlines and setting the agenda?
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, I don't think it's a mistake and I think one of the things, it was very interesting in listening to Randi's report of asking people if they thought that Bill Clinton should get into this, should respond. I think what Donald Trump has done here very smartly is put an end to the whole war on women business.
LORD: I don't think that is going to come up again. If it does come up again, I think we know, you know, where Donald Trump will go with it. But I think that this was a shot across the bow. All of that was phony from start to finish anyway, but it was used very effectively. And I think now there is going to be a reluctance to use it.
COOPER: Donna, I see you shaking your head. I mean, does this make it harder for Hillary Clinton to use that whole idea, which is certainly something she even talked about Donald Trump as having a pension for sexism. Does this sort of blunt her ability to do that?
BRAZILE: When you attack Megyn Kelly, when you talk Carly Fiorina, when you attack a woman's access to, you know, having the full range of reproductive health services, when you say women don't deserve equal pay for equal work, you are basically holding women behind and there is no amount of criticism of Bill Clinton that Donald Trump or any other person will, you know, insult him -- that will stop women from speaking for themselves, speaking up for other women, especially poor women and girls.
So Jeffrey, I have news for you tonight, breaking news. We are going to fight for our right to have a seat at the table and we are not going to let one man, including a billionaire --
BRAZILE: And use derogatory, vulgar language to describe how Hillary Clinton lost. That was demeaning, not just to secretary Clinton and yes, demeaning to --
BERNSTEIN: Can I get in the middle here and suggest something --
COOPER: Yes. Carl, go ahead and then Jeffrey.
BRAZILE: I'm finished.
COOPER: Carl, go ahead.
BRAZILE: Go ahead, men.
BERNSTEIN: To both my friends there that this is about a huge political argument at which the Clintons themselves are the issue. And the Clintons themselves are going to be a huge issue in the campaign. They are going to be the great strength of the Democrats and they are going to be the great weakness of the Democrats and this is all part of the record. Hers as a supposed feminist and perhaps what the Republican will say as her hypocrisy in dealing with women's issues giving Bill Clinton's record with what happened with Lewinsky et cetera, et cetera.
We are looking at a preview of the campaign, both Donna and Jeffrey are right about how the advocates are going to respond. But we are now seeing the best preview we possibly can of what is going to be an ugly, ugly campaign and a great cultural moment in terms of warfare, the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time.
COOPER: Jeffrey, go ahead.
LORD: Yes, I would just say, Donna says how they will stand up for women. I would hope they would stand up for Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey. I mean, mysteriously, if you don't have the right political views or, you know, demonstrated proof of things, I mean, Bill Clinton did have to pay a lot of money and lose his law license here. If you done those things, and suddenly you are no longer a woman. I mean, this is what goes on here. It is a double standard and I really hope that we get to continue that discussion if that is where they want to go.
BRAZILE: You know, Jeffrey, whether Bill Cosby or Bill Clinton or any other man -- it doesn't matter Jeffrey, what man you put into the picture. Hillary Clinton is running for president. President for the United States of America.
BRAZILE: Hillary Clinton knows how to talk about complex issues like how we fight ISIS and also very important what I call cultural issues in this country, a women's place in this world, a woman's place at the table. And just because her husband had a mistake, OK, doesn't mean that she should be silenced in terms of talking about women's issues.
LORD: Donna --
BRAZILE: I hope every candidate, both male candidates, Jeffrey, as well as female candidates talk about the importance of women. By the way, we are the majority of voters. We are the majority of college graduates. Yes, we make less money. Well, take us into a 2049 or 2054. I won't be around unless I'm you're mother and got those vitamins --
LORD: I'll take care of you.
BRAZILE: Baby, you know, come to find out, I might be able to take care of you. OK.
BRAZILE: But Anderson, the point here is that we have to talk about women's issues. We got to talk about black lives matter. We got to talk about gun violence. President Obama stated that. I do believe, Carl, that this election is not going to be about the past. It is going to be about the future.
COOPER: Right, but Donna --
BRAZILE: And whether Hillary the nominee or someone else, we are going to talk about the future.
[20:15:02] COOPER: Donna --
BERNSTEIN: I think the past is part of the future.
COOPER: Donna, as you know, what Jeffrey and other critics are pointing to is Hillary Clinton saying that, you know, survivors of sexual abuse of sexual assault should be listened to. There are a lot of people who are, you know, don't like Bill Clinton or point to indiscretions he has had or even what, you know, claim is made by Juanita Broaddrick, you know, long ago saying did Hillary Clinton live up to that?
BRAZILE: You know, you know, I wasn't inside the White House and so I cannot rewrite the script or the book of what happened in the 1990s and secretary Clinton's personal pain, humiliation, what she went through when you have that type of incident that occur in a marriage, I'm not married but still, look, that doesn't mean Hillary Clinton - I mean, I think we're arguing two different issues here.
Hillary Clinton responded to the derogatory insulting vile language that Donald Trump used, and said he had a pension for saying these very vulgar things about women. She drew a line. And Donald Trump came back and I think he has gone over the line. But you know what? That's politics and let's go at it because you know, by the way, I'm not angelic. Although, I'm a praying woman, I'm not angelic. I will fight you on these issues because I do believe at the end of the day under Bill Clinton's presidency and along with my former boss, Al Gore, women in this country are able to prosper, to get jobs, to move ahead, medical leave. We want women to have access to healthcare. We don't want to go back to the days where women had to wait for men in order to speak up. We're not going back.
COOPER: Donna, thank you very much. Jeffrey Lord and Carl Bernstein as well. Thanks very much.
LORD: Challenge accepted.
BRAZILE: I'll take care of you, Jeffrey.
COOPER: When we come back, speaking of the future not the past, a closer look, the very immediate future why the presidential campaign could be all but over in 60 days.
Later, we will take you to exactly the kind of gun show that President Obama's executive actions are hoping to target and see how the prospect of tighter regulations is playing there. You might be surprised by some of the answers we got there when "360" continues.
[20:20:39] COOPER: Less than a month until the Iowa caucuses, five weeks until New Hampshire, and judging by the campaigning along, it's getting serious. Nearly two dozen rallies, town halls, bus stops meeting, greets, (INAUDIBLE), not to mention new campaign ads from Donald Trump, Marco Rubio even Rick Santorum.
In two of the coldest states in the country, the campaign head is on.
Joining us are big reasons why by the numbers, chief national correspondent John King - John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, once the voters get their say, it starts to happen in a blur. You mentioned all the candidates out there. Iowa votes first in 28 days. This is the action in February. Iowa goes first on the 1st. Both the Democrats and Republicans has to lead our caucuses, always a big state. We could lose the Republican candidate after that one.
Then eight days later, New Hampshire. Again, both Democrats and Republicans, the first in the nation primary. We will definitely lose the Republican or three after the New Hampshire primary without a doubt.
Then the month rounds out, Democrats and Republicans couldn't agree. So it is Nevada Democrats on the 28th, South Carolina Republicans on the 20th. That's a Saturday contest.
Then the next week, Nevada Republicans get their chance on the 23rd. And we round out the month with South Carolina Democrats on the 27th.
Now, only four percent of the Democratic delegates and only five percent of the Republican delegates decided in the month of February. So not a huge basket when it comes to winning the nomination. February, though, is about momentum and survival. And Anderson, then we go into make no plans, you at home and you Mr. Cooper on your Tuesday nights in March, your Saturday nights in March, they will be spent here.
March is a hugely important and busy month and it kicks off with what could be the most consequential day at least early on the calendar. March 1st, the so-called SEC primary, 13 states will vote. A thousand Democratic delegates, 600 Republicans. We will know by this day whether Bernie Sanders is for real in challenging Hillary Clinton. And Anderson, we should have a good sense by this date, March 1st of whether the Republican race will get an early leader and momentum or whether we are going to go on for a while.
COOPER: And the GOP calendar, it is a little bit different from four years ago. The mix of states voting early. Will that make a difference?
KING: Yes. This is why we call this the SEC primary. The Republicans changed their calendar this year thinking they are going to make it easier to get a nominee early. That's a huge question right now.
Look at these states. The states I'm circling right here, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska is over there. You have Wyoming up here. These are red states. These are conservative states. Now, Virginia is a swing state in presidential politics, and so is Colorado out there. But they are Republican primary electorates are very conservative. These states, especially in the south, almost never get a say in picking the nominee. This year they most likely will. And if you think about it, do you want to be the candidate who is for a path to legal status when it comes to immigration down here? Do you want to be for the common core education standards when these states have already done here?
This is a calendar as you look today, Anderson, you have to say is built for who? Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, not the Republican establishment.
COOPER: John, I want to bring in a voice perhaps appropriate to the next couple of months, political humorous P.J. O'Rourke, "Daily Beast" and "Weekly Standard" contributor who just out with a collection of his greatest hits titled "thrown under the omnibus." And joining us as well is conservative writer and CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter, former communications director for Ted Cruz.
Amanda, you heard the scenario that John has laid out. Where do you see this is going? Because right now, Cruz seems to have obviously the upper hand in Iowa and Trump in New Hampshire.
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Yes. Sure, Ted Cruz has been steadily gaining in the polls. I think it has been a slow and steady claim because he is stealing support from other conservative candidates. You saw today that Mike Huckabee's former director who left the Huckabee campaign is now joined the Ted Cruz campaign which I think is very notable in the state, you know, where Huckabee won.
And so, a good strong finish in Iowa give him momentum to go in New Hampshire and maybe finish number two and number three then go strong into South Carolina. But the Cruz campaign has been very focused for a long time at the primary.
I think Donald Trump has been focused on Florida and oddly Michigan. And so I think Cruz's strategy is paying off but this is -- we really need to see what happens to the so-called moderate and establishment candidates. They need to dwindle it down to one or two. There is a lot of movement in that segment of the race right now. And so, I think New Hampshire is going to be extraordinarily interesting. It is going to be a killing field for those candidates. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and John Kasich have put a lot at stake in that state. And so, only one or two will emerge and that will reset the whole playing field.
COOPER: You know, P.J., I mean, you are in New Hampshire now. How do you see it playing out there?
[20:25:03] P.J. O'ROURKE, AUTHOR, THROWN UNDER THE OMNIBUS: Well, I think you shouldn't really pay too much attention to New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire primary votes really bring out the nut fudge element. You get a heavy input from cranks on the Republican side and get the sandal and candle types coming in and --
COOPER: Sandal and candle types?
O'ROURKE: Once New Hampshire -- sandal and candle types, yes. Laugh.
O'ROURKE: New Hampshire probably because of its lack of income tax and probably because there is nothing to do here has just attracted a lot of nutty people. And I think New Hampshire may be useful in eliminating some of the weaker candidates. But I think that, that once New Hampshire speaks, the nation will know to say the other thing.
COOPER: John, I mean, the big question, we all thought might be becoming to a head last month, but didn't, is whether Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take of off the gloves against each other. If it comes down to them, in the number one and number two spots, how do they not turn up the heat on each other?
KING: You make the key question. If it comes down to the two of them as the leading candidates after Iowa and New Hampshire maybe South Carolina and Nevada, when you are heading into March and all those delegates and all those states at play, they would have no choice at that point. They have been very gentle about it so far because neither one of them thinks at the moment it's in their interest. Ted Cruz still hopes Donald Trump collapses. Ted Cruz wants those voters, the anti-establishment tea party outsiders and the new voters coming into the party because of Donald Trump. Ted Cruz wants them.
Donald Trump wants to win in Iowa. Ted Cruz has a lot of popularity there especially among evangelicals. They tend to be the largest slice of the caucus electorate so you don't want to anger those people right now. Right now is the key point. It is the game of chess and their personal confrontations are inevitable if they emerge as the two top guys, which at the moment looks quite possible.
COOPER: And Amanda, where do you see a lane for Rubio? I mean, this whole idea that, you know, he done well in debates and yes, new generation and appeal going for him, you know, he had a lot of big donors early on interested in him. It's still unclear to me where he breaks through if he breaks through.
CARPENTER: I think Rubio is really trying to figure that out. I noticed over the winter break, the rebill campaign had a lot of focus on Ted Cruz. I can't count the number of press release at the Rubio campaign sent out against Ted Cruz. But today, one of the Rubio Super PACs launched an ad against Chris Christie. That tells me that they are changing their target. I don't know if that's more of a focus on New Hampshire or out surrender to Cruz in Iowa because Rubio has been attacking Cruz in Iowa on national security issues and immigration hard for weeks and weeks. And yet, Cruz is up and up in the polls.
And so, to me that signals that the Rubio campaign thinks they can't beat Cruz on the issues so they are trying to take out someone else and maybe drift to the more establishment lane in this race to try to carve out a piece.
COOPER: P.J., how do you see Marco Rubio? I mean --
O'ROURKE: Boy, it is game of drones here or something. I don't know what. I think everybody should get together and distance themselves from Trump, Cruz included. And it's all right. It's not going to hurt you with Trump voters. You can say that Trump is an idiot. Trump voters know that Trump is an idiot. They will respect you for it. They will say he is an idiot but and you can say I'm the but. I'm the but because this man, I mean, Hillary Clinton will mop the floor with Donald Trump. I mean, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. And I tell you, if I am forced to vote for Hillary Clinton to keep Donald Trump from being president, I am going after Donald with two weapons he fears most, a building inspector and Kobe Bryant's barber.
COOPER: P.J. O'Rourke, it is always good to have you on. Amanda Carpenter as well. John King, thanks.
O'ROURKE: Always good to be here, Anderson.
COOPER: Thanks, P.J.
Just ahead, breaking news. New details tonight on the executive action that President Obama will unveil tomorrow to reduce gun violence. He met with attorney general Loretta Lynch today and says he is confident in his actions will pass legal muster.
[20:32:22] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news President Obama will discuss executive actions tomorrow morning to curb gun violence. He'll do it from march (ph) from the White House, details came out late today they include closing the so-called gun show loophole and other steps and he says, we'll stand up to legal scrutiny and be welcome by most Americans
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, they are also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support and believe in. This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country. It's not going to prevent every mass shooting. It's not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal. It will potentially save lives in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That said not everyone agrees with him obviously. Some of whom were voting with their wallets buying firearms as if they might not get another chance. Over the weekend our Gary Tuchman spoke to some of them (ph) in the big gun show in Northern Virginia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Organizers referred to it as miles of aisles. You can buy guns here from retail booths and from private dealers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm selling him Mossberg 12-gauge protection.
TUCHMAN: How much do you sell?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two hundred dollars.
TUCHMAN: And this gun as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a Mossberg 16-gauge bolt action.
TUCHMAN: How much you want to sell it to me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundred and fifty.
TUCHMAN: In business, what is called the nation's gun show in Chantilly, Virginia is good, so good the ATMs have run out of money. There are first time buyers galore.
What's made you decide to buy a gun?
DEL MARSHA, GUN BUYER: I think it's the possibility that our laws might change and we're not going to have that ability to protect our selves.
TUCHMAN: President Obama taking executive action on guns has alarmed many of the people here. Annette Elliott is the President and owner of the company that puts on the show and above 85 others in the U.S. each year.
What do you think the President of the United States really wants to do when it comes to guns?
ANNETTE ELLIOTT, PRESIDENT, SHOWMASTERS GUN SHOWS: Well, I think the end game with a lot of Democrat is to confiscate. I think that we're the last...
TUCHMAN: Is that what you think?
TUCHMAN: Is that what you think the President wants to do that?
ELLIOTT: Maybe, yeah, well I think maybe he does.
TUCHMAN: Another reason the show is jammed?
ELLIOTT: The ISIS threat has increased it that immediately increased business.
OWEN YUMANG, GUN BUYER: I used to be a zero gun, you know, guy but nowadays you don't even know who your opponents are. You got to be ready.
TUCHMAN: Opinions here are not black and whites. There are people here who feel there should be an increase in firearms regulation but what is extremely prevalent is a deep distrust, suspicion of the motivations of the federal governments.
[20:35:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a Winchester 300 Short Mag.
TUCHMAN: How much do you want to sell it for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe about 600.
TUCHMAN: Six hundred? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
TUCHMAN: If you buy a gun from selling in the business of dealing a firearms federal law requires background check.
And that's what's happening here. The information is then fed into computers, before customers are allowed to buy their guns. Police are present to arrest people when the computer checks indicate criminal violations. But the private dealers are not legally required to conduct background checks.
DARRYL FINE, GUN OWNER: I would ask you for a Virginia driver license. That will I know you're from within the state.
TUCHMAN: But if I gave you a fake Virginia Driver License, you have idea?
FINE: I would have no idea.
TUCHMAN: Would you trust me, do I have honest face would you sell it then.
TUCHMAN: But that being said sometimes if you don't think someone has honest face you get bad vibe, you don't sell it.
TUCHMAN: You got to go with your gut instincts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a competition m18. Its civilian virgin of the m14, this is the SD40VE Smith & Wesson, 40 caliber. It's a lot like a glock.
TUCHMAN: Jerry Cochran is one of the retailers doing a booming business here.
JERRY COCHRAN, TRADER JERRY'S: We sell any kind of gun. Any kind of legal gun you can buy.
TUCHMAN: He is also one of the minority of people here, who think things should be more stringent.
COHRAN: I'm poor expended background checks. I think at a gun -- if somebody is engaging in a business, they already have been through background check. I've been here at least 35 years; I've never sold a gun without a background check.
TUCHMAN: Many here believed the government needs to be more concerned about mental illness and making it heard to buy a gun. But they are aware things are about to change.
MAILLAID STABLE, GUN OWNER: He's Obama, you know. He wants to deal what he thinks is in the best interest of the country. I disagree strongly whether on this issue.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Chantilly, Virginia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well join me now CNN Senior Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin is also calm less for the New Yorker. Can you explain the executive action is going to be unveiled tomorrow? What it does and what it won't do?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well the key, change is a clarification the administration says, of who qualifies as a gun dealer. And that's important because as Gary said on the piece, is that the only people who have to do background checks, are the people who were engaged in the business of selling firearms. What the administration is trying to do is expand and clarify the definition of who is a dealer. Anyone could be someone at gun show, someone selling guns on the internet, people who resell guns for profit, people who sell guns in their original wrapping.
What they're trying to do is let -- if you want to buy a gun from your brother-in-law, that's not going to be that person is not engage in the business of selling firearms. But they want to expand the number of people who do have to do this firearm checks.
COOPER: I mean like the two gentleman of Gary interviewed there. I guess we don't know enough about them to know whether they are full- time in this business or whether they're just one off sale.
TOOBIN: Right exactly. And you know at one off sale is clearly not in the business of selling firearms. But, you know, there have been cases of as few as one or two gun sells without background checks. They have led to criminal prosecutions. So, the number of gun is not the only factor.
COPPER: So it's been reported that the President would be enclosing the so called Gun show loophole, that' not exactly the case.
TOOBIN: It's not, no. I mean, its making the loophole smaller. It probably more of the people at that Gun show, would clearly have to file -- do background checks before selling guns. But it would take a law from Congress to make them all do background checks and that clearly...
COPPER: So he is -- I mean is it fair to say he's trying to re interpret existing laws?
TOOBIN: Yes. Yes, he's trying to do what the Federal Government always does, that in Federal Laws are written in a general way and then the government files regulations that explain what the law means. Legally, I don't think he is on in trouble ground.
COOPER: You think he is on firm footing there?
TOOBIN: I think he is on firm footing. I think the bigger question perhaps is what difference it will make. It's not. The number of crimes prevented by this action strikes me as probably going to be pretty low. But...
COOPER: I mean you look at San Bernardino there's guns were purchase legally.
TOOBIN: The guns are purchased legally. That those guns would not be covered by these you know you still have the problem of straw purchaser.
TOOBIN: People who buy them and then give them or sell them to someone else. I mean, guns are still going to be very available also states do most of the gun regulation in this country. Not the Federal Government and many states have very lacks gun laws and that's why crimes in New York, Massachusetts which have strict gun laws often involve guns that come from North Carolina, Georgia et cetera.
COOPER: All right, Jeffery Toobin thanks very much. We'll have a chance to talk to President Obama about a lot of this program note on Thursday. President Obama is going to join me for Town Hall conversation on guns and gun control we're calling "Guns in America."
[20:40:05] The President will take question for me as well as audience members that's Thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, live right here on 360. I hope you join us for that.
Just ahead, gunmen occupy a federal building in Oregon for a third day and said they are not going anywhere anytime soon. But they want and what there now calling themselves when we continue.
COOPER: Welcome back. They call themselves patriot other's including a seeing the National Security Analyst call them domestic terrorist. A group of armed protesters that took over a federal building in Oregon on Saturday say they are not going anywhere. It started as a protest against the sentencing of two ranchers who were convicted of Arson.
The group spokesman said, it's now about restoring and defending the U.S. constitution. So far there is no police present for the occupation is racing the raising the Specter of stand off between the U.S. Government and other groups which tend not to end very well.
Sara Sidner reports tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON REITZHEIMER, PROTESTER: We came very well prepared. We're in it for the longhole.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today they gave themselves a name, The Citizen for Constitutional Freedom. They took us in to the National Park Headquarters that they have taken over on federal lands, saying the government has occupied it illegally.
What are you trying to do with this (inaudible)? JASON PATRICK, PROTESTER: Restore the lands. Restore the lands for the people.
SIDNER: For three days and three nights they've had no resistance from law enforcement.
[12:45:00] SHERIFF DAVID WARD, HARNEY COUNTY, OREGON: You said you were here to help the citizen of Harney County. That help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation.
The Hammonds have turned themselves in. It's time for you to leave our community. Go home to your families. And end this peacefully.
SIDNER: They say they will be peaceful if the police are. But they are armed just in case.
Has anyone said anything to give you some idea that there is going to be bloodshed?
JON RITZHEIMER, PROTESTER: We've been hearing all kinds of reports from people still in town that the sheriff is saying we're leaving either in body bags or handcuffs. So it's of course it just makes people nervous.
SIDNER: So we recognized two of the man right away. That's Jon Ritzheimer, known for recently organizing anti-Islam rallies in Arizona. And the group's leader, Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who made national headlines for his stand against the government on his only ranch over land use rights.
But this time, it's Bundy and the rest of these men supporting a different ranching family, the Hammonds. Prosecutors say the Hammonds were hunting deer on federal land and set fire to cover their tracks. The Hammonds claim they were just trying to clear invasive brush.
Despite serving time and being released, they turned themselves in again today after a federal judge ordered them back to prison for five more years.
That was a call to arms for these men and women. They called themselves patriots, following the constitution, but their critics have other names for them.
There's a lot of social media discussion about what you all are doing out here. They've used words like the Al Qaeda, and vanilla ISIS. While they sound like funny names, they're basically calling you terrorists. How do you respond to these kinds of accusations?
AMMON BUNDY, PROTESTER: Well, I just encourage that they -- and one, I think that is the minority. But I would encourage people to look into what's really happening, and to find out who is truly doing the terrorizing. Who's been taking ranches? This refuge alone, over 100 ranches have been taken so that they can make this park, this refuge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sara Sidner joins me now from Oregon.
Is there any sense that the FBI or the sheriff is planning to actually remove these men and women or they even in discussions with these people?
SIDNER: It is a question that we've been asking at. The sheriff's department has not said what the plans are going forward, the FBI is said that they do know about what's happening with these group and that they will be involved.
However, when we asked these guys "Well, have you talked to the police at all, have you talked to anyone?" They said, "We're not in direct contact but there is some indirect contact through someone else."
They are not saying exactly what those messages are going back and forth. But you heard there pretty clearly from the sheriff that they want them to leave, go home and end this thing peacefully, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Sara Sidner. Thanks very much.
Up next, the tenuous situation gets even more complicated and dangerous in the Mid East.
Protesters stormed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran after Shiite cleric was executed. What this means for the region and efforts to stop ISIS, next.
[20:51:43] COOPER: Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are spilling over onto and already strained in Middle East. These other nations picked sides in the fight against ISIS of course hang in the balance.
Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric. Hours later, protesters in Iran is going to Saudi Embassy and Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei call for divine revenge against Saudi Arabia.
Protesters the Molotov cocktails, the embassy caught fire and did the sectarian dispute throughout the region.
Now diplomatic ties are falling like dominoes.
Joining me is CNN World Affairs Analyst Fareed Zakaria host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN.
Is there more to this crisis than the execution of this cleric and the storming of the embassy?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: If there's much more, this is really the background condition that has been shaping all these violence in the Middle East for the last decade.
You know, we went onto Iraq, we found problems, Syria has collapsed. But under it all is this great sectarian schism, the Sunni versus the Shia. And it placed in some part in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Bahrain. So in a strange way, the wonder is it didn't take longer for this to Iraq. But now you have open hostility between the leading Sunni power in Saudi Arabia and the leading Shia power Iran. And this is going to complicate the Middle East even further if that's even possible.
COOPER: I mean -- Sorry in a way we was obviously upset about the Iran nuclear deal and at any kind of growth or rise of Iran on the international stage is a concern to Saudi Arabia?
ZAKARIA: That's right and Saudi Arabia views this I think from two prisms.
One of them is geostrategic, so sort of the growth of Iran as a regional player and things like that.
But the other one is very sectarian. Remember Saudi Arabia represents a very pure form of Sunni Islam, Wahhabi Islam in which the Shia opposes states and heretics. The Saudi's by in large destroy any kind of Shia shrines in the country.
So they are also viewing this as the growth of any kind of Shia influence in Bahrain, in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq and they view that, you know, in religious term as kind of the spread of heresy and apostasy. And it's important to remember this is very much like the Protestants in Catholics. These things are taken very, very seriously by lots of people in the Sunni world particularly this Wahhabi pure tentacle Saudis.
COOPER: And the Saudi obviously put a lot of money on spreading that belief throughout the world.
In terms of where we see this play out, I mean talked a little about Syria. I mean I guess its Syria, it's the battle against ISIS where for the U.S., this may have the biggest ramification.
ZAKARIA: Absolutely. I think if they the John Kerry's task of getting a political settlement in Syria, just got a lot, lot harder because the only way you're going to get a settlement in Syria is if you can get the major powers who are after our fueling, a lot of the internal ward that's taken place there, funding various militias, sending arms, sending supplies. If you can get the major powers to agree, you're not going to stop it. Even if you got them to agree by the way, who knows whether you'll be able to get to these thousands of militias.
But Saudi Arabia and Iran had only just begun to talk. You know, it was a few weeks ago that I think the foreign minister sat down around this table for the first time.
[20:55:00] And now they've cut off relations, cut off flights. These Saudis have gotten people and, you know, know the governments of Bahrain and Sudan to cut off relation.
So all of a sudden I think its two big steps backward for that one step forward.
COOPER: But, I mean, they're not going to end up fighting each other directly, it seems -- that would seem unlikely. So, how does this play out? It's become sort of more -- a Cold War, does it continue to escalate?
ZAKARIA: I think a Cold War is exactly the right metaphor, because if you think about the Cold War Anderson, while the U.S. and the Soviets never actually fought directly, there were lots of proxy wars, there were lots of, you know, ways in which this tension manifested. So, and that's really what's happening.
And that means that Syria could get more complex and bloody. But it also raises the stakes of internal instability. A place like Bahrain, which, you know, has supported Saudi Arabia, has a Sunni Monarchy, but is a majority Shia country.
Saudi Arabia itself has 15 percent Shias. And they live in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, which is where all the oil is.
The Shia in Saudi Arabia do not seem to support what the Saudi Government has done.
So, all in all, you know, if you thought the Middle East couldn't get more complicated and messy, well, you know, it's just a...
COOPER: Fascinating, Fareed, thank you.
ZAKARIA: All right.
COOPER: Well, coming up, another live hour of 360. Donald Trump taking aim at former President Bill Clinton, and more story and details of his former personal life, Clinton are not responding so far. Question is, well, with voters, that and more next, stick around.
[21:00:09] COOPER: Good evening, 9 p.m. here in New York and campaign and crunch time in New Hampshire and Iowa.