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Dakota Pipeline Permit Halted; Importance of Pipeline Protests; Comey Blamed for Loss; Japanese-Americans Voice Concerns; Fake News Story Triggers Confrontation; False Voter Claims. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 5, 2016 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:30:57] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A victory for people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers says it will look for alternate routes for the $3.7 billion project. So why are protesters staying put? Let's ask CNN's Sara Sidner. She's live near Cannonball, North Dakota, with more.

What is the latest, Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, it was jubilation. There was singing. There was crying. There was drumming. With the Standing Rock Sioux and the entire Sioux Nation, along with upwards of 8,000 people who have all crowded into this frigid camp, living with no electricity, no running water, all to stop this pipeline, or at least have it rerouted to keep it away from going underneath the Missouri River. There was jubilation when they heard from the Army Corps of Engineers that the pipeline company would not be getting the permit and would essentially have to be rerouted.

But then, that changed, because we heard from the company that owns the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, and they have said this is all a political ploy, pointing to the Obama administration, and they said they have every legal right to go forward with this pipeline, just as it has been planned after getting approval from the courts and the Army Corps of Engineers initially, and they say they're still going to go under that river even though the folks here, thousands and thousands of people, are saying, don't do it, we're worried that that pipeline will one day rupture and poison the water supply for millions of Americans.

And also there's one last thing. They're worried that this all points to what's going to happen when Donald Trump gets in place, because the people here truly believe that any decision made now could easily be reversed.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right.

CAMEROTA: OK, Sara, thank you.

Chris.

CUOMO: Yes, appreciate it. This is a situation that's been going on for some time. You had a flashpoint. Now we have a little bit of static period. We have to ask, what happens next?

We have CNN political commentator and former special adviser to President Obama, Van Jones.

Now, Van, in your special you have coming up, "The Messy Truth," you take a lot -- a look at a lot of different situations in America. And this one piqued your interest, not just because of what is immediate and known, but what you see as this as a metaphor for a larger civil rights struggle in this country. How so?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, Native Americans have, I think, upwards of 200 -- 300 treaties with the United States, and all of them at one point or another have been violated. So you have the original Americans, the first Americans, who feel that, you know, that this government has not been a friend to them. And suddenly you have something where not only are their rights possibly jeopardized by this pipeline, but it turns out millions and millions of Americans downstream in the Missouri River would also be affected by a spill. And so suddenly their struggle becomes a struggle for water protection for almost, you know, a third of America. And you saw this incredible reaction.

So, this feels like Selma. It feels like Montgomery. It feels like a time when a group that nobody really paid attention to, black folks in the south, stood up and the world stood with them. So it's a very powerful, emotional moment I think for the tribal communities.

CAMEROTA: So the fact that the pipeline company says they're going to move forward anyway and that they have the right to do it, where does that leave us?

JONES: Probably in a bunch of court battles. They'll probably be in court today. You're going to see a back and forth. The reality is, again, you talk about the messy truth, you know, nobody's been perfect here. There was not a normal environmental review in the first place because of the way this thing went forward. That's a problem. Some people are now saying that Native Americans didn't do enough on the front end. That's a problem. So it's messy.

But the -- at the end of the day, pipes leak. That's why we have these people called plumbers, OK. At some point or another, pipes leak and you don't want a pipe leaking up under the Missouri River. Literally millions and millions of Americans could be affected.

CUOMO: So let's discuss an aspect of this dialogue that certainly people in our positions don't usually say because they don't want the heat, but if you're going to do this special and you want to have the conversation, why not. People will say, well, this is different, or not, in this way. People believe that this reservation system didn't work. That Native Americans really aren't separation nations anymore. That they get these casinos and there's all of this -- you know, there's all this indulgence because people don't know the realities of the reservations. And that's a big part of uneducated public sentiment here. How will that play into the dialogue? Because I'm telling you, you're going to hear it --

[08:35:19] JONES: Sure.

CUOMO: When this goes forward and it's like, oh, what are they doing there? They should get jobs and assimilate into society like the rest of us. You know you've heard that before as whispers. Could it become a shout now?

JONES: Listen, I think you're going to have a full-on litigation. But, you know, there's reality. And the reality is, you have a few casino tribes that are doing reasonably well, but the vast majority of Native Americans are not. The worst mortality rates, the highest infant mortality rates, incredible level --

CUOMO: Suicide. Addiction.

JONES: Yes, incredible levels of pain and trauma. And, think about it, if some country came over here and bulldozed Americans and put us into little camps for 200 years, Americans probably wouldn't be doing that well either. And so you've got to deal with the reality of it.

At the same time, when Native Americans try to do stuff, for instance, a lot of them want to be involved in wind farming because they're out there on the plains, the red tape and the bureaucracy. You know, you know, the BIA and the this one and that one. They couldn't even do that. And so we -- we really want to see those communities thrive, we should not just look at them when they are screaming, please don't poison my water. We should be looking at them across the board. They have some of the most potentially valuable land for clean energy, wind and solar. If we want to have a big energy country, let's partner with Native Americans and have clean energy, too, with them.

CAMEROTA: Well, this has certainly opened our eyes to lots of those issues now.

Let's talk about something that happened this weekend and that was that Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, went on with Jake Tapper on CNN on Sunday and talked about some of the soul searching, I guess, that they've been doing and who they blame or what they blame for why Hillary Clinton lost the election. So let me play that moment for everyone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBBY MOOK, FMR. CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR HILLARY CLINTON: We were expecting to perform better with suburban women in particular. We saw those numbers a lot stronger than what happened on Election Day. We do think that was because of the Comey letter. We saw a lot of young people go to third party candidates. We think the letter had a lot to do with that, as well. So there were a number of reasons for this. But lead among them in my view would be that letter from Director Comey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: So they think that the James -- why -- I see -- I see the eyebrow raise. I mean it's unknowable, right? We don't -- we'll never know what the Comey letter -- why are you skeptical of all of this? JONES: Listen, I think you should let me say that. I think you should

let other people say that. I think you should let people -- you know, but you should actually admit and confess to some of the things that you did wrong on your campaign. You say that you're the party of the working person, but a lot of working folks in the rust belt felt left out. You say you're the party of women, but you didn't even get a majority of the female vote. There's a lot of things that you got to take responsibility for. I think that's part of the frustration inside the Democratic Party right now.

CUOMO: Democrats have to be passionate about their candidates. How many people said to you, I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, but I don't love her? How many people said that? That's something for them to examine and figure out why.

CAMEROTA: Hold that thought. We'll talk to you tomorrow again, Van. Thanks so much.

CUOMO: Van's going to come back. He's got a lot to say. This town hall is going to raise some eyebrows. "The Messy Truth." It airs tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern only on CNN.

CAMEROTA: Well, Japanese Americans who lived through one of the darkest chapters in U.S. history are speaking out. Their thoughts on the heated rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:42:27] CAMEROTA: Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, announcing that he will visit Pearl Harbor in what will be the first visit from a leader of Japan since the start of World War II. Abe will go later this month with President Obama. This comes as Japanese-Americans are voicing concerns over another World War II scar. They think that Donald Trump's tough talk could make a dark moment in history a reality again. CNN's Kyung Lah has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did it during World War II with Japanese.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Islamism. It is a vicious cancer.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Get the bad ones out.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may call this heated political rhetoric. Pat Sakamoto sees history repeating.

PAT SAKAMOTO, MANZANAR SURVIVOR: The same thing happened to us. It can happen to you.

LAH: Sakamoto was born in Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp in California. An infant. One of the 120,000 Japanese people ordered into captivity. Two-thirds of them, U.S. citizens.

The attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago plunged the U.S. into war. President Roosevelt signed an executive order. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: All persons of Japanese

descent were required to register.

LAH: They lost their homes, businesses, and civil liberties.

ROOSEVELT: Treatment of people who may have loyalties to an enemy nation --

LAH (on camera): What did Manzanar do to your mother?

SAKAMOTO: It actually broke up the family.

LAH (voice-over): Her father left his wife and two daughters, refusing to sign a loyalty pledge to the country that imprisoned him. He was deported to Japan, a country he'd never lived in.

LAH (on camera): He was a U.S. citizen?

SAKAMOTO: He was a U.S. citizen.

LAH: You never knew your biological father?

SAKAMOTO: No. My mother, because he made that decision to leave her, it broke her heart. And she would say, there's nothing to remember.

JOYCE NAKAMURO OKAZAKI, MANZANAR SURVIVOR: If you got close to the fence, you would be shot. So don't go near the fence.

LAH (voice-over): Do not call this an internment. It was a prison camp, remembers Joyce Okazaki. She was seven years old in April 1942.

OKAZAKI: It was because we were Japanese. We had the Japanese ancestry.

LAH (on camera): That was your crime?

OKAZAKI: Yes, that was our crime. It took away our freedom is what it did.

CROWD (chanting): Donald Trump, go away, (INAUDIBLE) anti-gay.

LAH (voice-over): The difference today, awareness, and a grassroots opposition to Washington.

SAKAMOTO: They never thought it could happen again. I just -- it's like unbelievable that it's happening. I'm more disappointed than angry, I think, in our country.

LAH (on camera): What's important for us to know today?

[08:45:01] SAKAMOTO: You have to right for your civil rights. You can't just sit back and say that I'll let that happen to me.

LAH (voice-over): Their hope, that America's arc of the moral universe bends this time towards justice.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: All right, a frightening situation to tell you about that was caused by a B.S. conspiracy theory. What can be done to get us back on the road, a real fact, and then everything else. We take it on in "The Bottom Line," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:50:05] CAMEROTA: A conspiracy theory creating a very scary situation. A man firing a gun inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria because he fell for a fake news story. The very same fake news story that General Michael Flynn also fell for. So let's get to "The Bottom Line" with CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston.

Mark, great to see you.

So, this pizzeria story, I mean it was so outrageous on the face of it, it just strained prejulity (ph) at every level, but not --

CUOMO: And it was looked at, the idea that, you know, the story wasn't liked so nobody looked at it. It was looked at. There was no basis of the allegations made in this story that took on a life of its own. Just so people know.

CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: Looked at. Debunked.

CAMEROTA: Sure. And so we've now seen violence as a result. He fired his gun. But this is something that some people in the Trump administration, or certainly his pick for NSA, fell for. What are we to do about this scourge?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, a couple of things. One, I think it's the media's responsibility as we're doing now, talking about how fake it is and the fact is that it's, you know, not only providing entertainment for those who want to read these types of fake stories, but, quite frankly, they have real-life consequences. As you said, to have somebody show up into a business where there are patrons with a gun, fire off a round and say that he's self- investigating a preposterous news story is very, very dangerous.

You know, the president of the United States is asked to do a lot of things. And I think this is one of the times where I think that Donald Trump would show a lot of courage and, quite frankly leadership, if he were to come out and really knock this down. This is not only affecting the person who owns the shop, but the people who live in that neighborhood, and, quite frankly, the patrons that were in that pizza shop yesterday.

CUOMO: I mean I don't get why he wants to own -- I won't use the phrase, "fake news." I don't think anybody should. I think it gives legitimacy to something that deserves no legitimacy. But I don't understand why he wants to own that. Why Huckabee Sanders and his other surrogates will say, well, yes, no, that's fake. But, you know, the main stream media said this --

PRESTON: Right.

CUOMO: And this is fake news too because you said he was going to lose. No, that means you were wrong. It's not a lie. It's not something that was designed to be deceptive. But that then takes you -- go ahead. Were you wanting to --

CAMEROTA: Well, I want to make that point, because that's what she just said to us.

CUOMO: Right.

CAMEROTA: We just had Sarah Huckabee Sanders --

PRESTON: Right.

CAMEROTA: Who's, you know, head of the transition team and she said, well, you guys got it wrong, too. And I think that she's fastened (ph) on something because people don't trust the main stream media. We did get the -- I mean we're not pollsters, but we obviously reported on what the pollsters said. Their conclusions were wrong about the election. And that's just one reason that people don't trust these so- called main stream media. So what do you think of her rationale there?

PRESTON: Absolute false equivalency. No question about that. And, you know, to all of the viewers out there and to folks who consume news online or what have you, I say, always be skeptical about what you read and try to find out what the truth is. If you question what we're saying right now, you know what, go out and find a second source if you have any questions about that. I mean that is what's great about America is that we have the democracy that allows you to do so. But the fact of the matter is, to buy into some -- some of these really crazy stories is just reckless in many ways, and I do think it's a time for leadership for someone to step up and say that this has got to stop.

CUOMO: Well, you get some things where also you get to the millions of illegal voters, OK. So Donald Trump fastens onto something he read on a bar (ph), somebody told him about a blog on a "Washington Post" site about how millions voted illegally. His supporters will say, well, people did vote illegally. And that goes all the way to the top of his support. Even to Congressman Darrell Issa. Listen to what he said to me today in trying to justify why it's OK for the president of the United States, the next one, to so grossly misstate that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: In every congressional district in America, especially those that don't have any kind of I.D., people do vote illegally. But my own --

CUOMO: You believe that millions of people voted illegally? You believe that?

ISSA: I'm going to -- I'm going to hold you to your facts. You said dozen or handfuls. We all know out of 320 million Americans, it wasn't dozens or handfuls. It was --

CUOMO: No, we don't know that.

ISSA: We do.

CUOMO: We know that there have been many studies done, congressman, and that's an exaggeration what I just said. They came up with smaller numbers --

ISSA: Chris, I --

CUOMO: Prospective (ph) outfits come nowhere close to dozens.

ISSA: I love you -- I love you but you're, in fact, talking about dozens and saying, out of 320 million Americans --

CUOMO: Yes.

ISSA: It is a lot more than dozens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He is just guesting or flat wrong. I'm going to send him a bunch of studies. I get why he's playing cover for the president of the United States, the next one. That's his job, I guess. But how do you deal with something like that, brother Preston?

PRESTON: Well, listen, you're not entitled -- you're entitled to your opinions. You're not entitled to your facts. And, quite frankly, Darrell Issa also said that the system needs to be fixed. I agree with him, it needs to be fixed. But the bottom line is, you got to tell the truth.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for "The Bottom Line," Mark. Nice to talk to you.

Stay with us. We have your late night laughs, next.

CUOMO: A good way to start a Monday.

CAMEROTA: It is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:58:37] CAMEROTA: "Saturday Night Live" taking on, who else, President-elect Donald Trump. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Oops, I did it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Mr. Trump, please stop retweeting all these random, real people. You're not getting any work done.

BALDWIN: That's not true. I was elected 25 days ago and already unemployment is at a nine-year low. Millions and millions of people have health care and Osama bin Laden is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, ACTRESS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Yes. Yes. He is dead. Just like my soul and all of my hair.

We need to get moving because you have that dinner with Mitt Romney tonight.

BALDWIN: Oh, do I have to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.

BALDWIN: Well, then can we at least have a picture of us together where he looks like a little bitch? OK. I'm ready to start this briefing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, good.

BALDWIN: Wait a minute, where is my chief strategist Steve Bannon? I can't start without Steve Bannon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's walking in right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Oh, they're not playing the voice. You can hear a little bit of it. That's funny.

CUOMO: Satire is part of the --

CAMEROTA: Democracy.

CUOMO: President. Well, it's certainly part of democracy, or at least it used to be. But the president-elect has to get used to it. This coms with the job.

[09:00:04] Time for the "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello, the woman in that room. She is the embodiment of news.

CAMEROTA: News.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Am -- I couldn't have said it better myself.