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Trump Voter Fraud Investigation; Examining President Trump's Body Language; Ryan Speedo Green's Story; Voter Fraud Investigation; CNN's "The Messy Truth" Town Hall. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 25, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Barack Obama's crowds. Get over it. You're the president of the United States, man. You've got bigger things to do.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, furthermore, you know, just to -- just to put a final button on that, all the Republicans, secretaries of state in each state, every battleground state says not in our state. There wasn't any voter fraud in our state in this election.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And, look, and there can be a little bit of a cover-up there by state officials who run the voting. As people should know, it's not federally done under one standard. But it's about the scale. He said 3 to 5 million illegals voted and that's why I lost. Now, he can do a wide ranging investigation into these problems that we know exist, but that's not the bogus notion that he was peddling.

I fear, Ax, this turns out just like the 9/11 celebration BS that we had to deal with where it comes out, well, were some people somewhere -- yes, there were little pockets, but that's not what he said. He said it was a really big deal. And over time, if you are peddling nonsense, it's got to hurt you with the things that matter. And he's wasting that capital on things that don't matter. Has that played out this way before?

AXELROD: Yes. No, I think that that is truth. The difference here is that he's now the president of the United States and everything he does has more weight, and everything he does that distracts from the important business of being president is damaging, not just to his story line, but to the institution of the presidency. What I fear on this voter fraud stuff is that it becomes an impetus for those who want to further erode voter protections for people who legitimately want to vote --

CUOMO: Right.

AXELROD: And are facing a series of barriers. And if you really want to -- if --

CUOMO: Voter suppression is a real issue.

AXELROD: If you want to -- if you want to investigate voting in this country, probably the most productive thing you could do is -- is -- is -- is investigate that and try and ascertain whether these stringent new requirements in some states have -- or more stringent new requirements have -- have kept some people from voting.

We should be encouraging voting in this country, not discouraging voting in this country. That's the hallmark of a strong democracy.

CUOMO: And people will say, you know, wow, you guys are negative on Trump. When Obama said ISIS was a JV team, when Obama said you can keep your doctor, all right, by comparison, you take those two things, they got a ton of coverage because they wound up being false. But you compare it to this. I mean there is no way that this can be true on any level. And there's been like ten of these, you know, in the last three months. That's creating this negative cycle. We started off this show talking about the executive orders --

AXELROD: Well --

CUOMO: Legitimate policy points, where they can go from here, and then this happened.

AXELROD: Yes. No, I think that's right. I think, again, the madness of it is that it distracts from the message that they want to get across. I also think that there is this notion that Kellyanne Conway laid down on Sunday, that you can create, you know, an alternative set of facts, an alternative reality. That may work in -- you know, with his base of supporters who seem to be willing to accept anything the president says, but I don't think it works in the long run with the larger electorate. And if he wants to grow what was, in fact, a losing hand in terms of the overall electorate, if he wants to grow his acceptance and his -- his -- his authority among the American people, then he ought to quit doing this stuff that only further polarizes the country.

CAMEROTA: David Axelrod, thank you very much for all of that.

AXELROD: OK, guys.

CAMEROTA: We need to save time for my favorite segment now. We've talked about President Trump's comments. We've talked about his tweets. Let's talk about his body language.


CAMEROTA: We're bringing in an expert. What do these handshakes means? What does the way he signs the executive actions mean? How about his signature? We're going to look at all of that.

CUOMO: What is my body language telling you?


[08:37:35] CAMEROTA: All right, as we have analyzed President Trump's tweets, now let's take a look at his body language. What does that tell us.

Here to help us, body language expert and president of the Body Language Institute, Janine Driver.

Janine, great to see you.


CAMEROTA: OK, so we have a lot of different clips that you've chosen to help us analyze his body language. Let's begin with the moment that he is signing some of the executive orders. So let's take a look at this, and you can tell us what you see here. What do you see about him sitting at the desk and how he does this?

DRIVER: All right, so Trump's -- President Trump's coat is open and you can even see that as he stretches his hand out. You see more of the white of his shirt. This is seen as likable and approachable. When we unbutton our coat, it's like we're with family or a casual meeting. It's not buttoned, which is -- this is a sense of formality. So there's a family atmosphere.

CAMEROTA: So he's feeling comfortable.


CAMEROTA: He feels like he's among family.


CAMEROTA: There's also, you say, sort of an authenticity --


CAMEROTA: Or genuineness here? What do you -- how (INAUDIBLE)?

DRIVER: Yes. He has an authentic smile. We see that in the wrinkles of his eyes. There's a playfulness here. If you look he has -- I think that's probably one of his granddaughters right next to him. She's playing with the pens. He's not like, knock it off, you know? He's really enjoying this moment. We have Republicans, Democrats all smiling. Kids smiling. This is a very like Kennedy-esque moment, right, this family atmosphere.

CAMEROTA: I know you're not a handwriting expert, but do you want to take a stab at his signature here? What do you see in it?

DRIVER: Well, Trump, when he's signing his signature, is he's using effort. You can see him really pushing hard on that pen. And this is a typical President Trump move, which is an increase in pressure, it's connected with determining, standing your ground, forging conviction, I'm going to stand my ground. We see that with his gestures all the time.

CAMEROTA: And, also, I mean, he has an interesting signature. Look, you'll -- maybe you can see it there. It's big --


CAMEROTA: And it is, you're right, like bold.

DRIVER: Yes. So this is his typical signature. If you Google "Trump signature," you'll see it. It remains the same. So I am friends with people who are handwriting experts, and the bigger the signature, the more attention you want. Not a surprise. Our president is great at the limelight.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

OK, now let's look at the -- when he's with congressional leaders, and he shakes their hands. And we have this moment. And he goes around shaking their hands. And you see something in the way this happens.

DRIVER: So -- many people, Alisyn, make a mistake. When we shake hands with multiple people, they'll go off to the side. Nice to meet you, Alisyn. Nice to meet you, Mr. Cuomo. Nice to -- and down the line. This is giving the cold shoulder. President Trump faces each of these people, shakes their hand. So we face our bellybutton towards people we like, admire and trust. It's nice and slow. It says respect. It says professionalism. He -- I call this naval intelligence. Naval intelligence. So this bellybutton rule, he's facing his belly -- he's not giving them the cold shoulder.

[08:40:11] CAMEROTA: And so that has a -- that -- that causes a response from the person whose hand you're shaking --


CAMEROTA: That they like you, too.

DRIVER: Yes. Bill Clinton was really -- President Bill Clinton was really great at this. People would say they'd meet him and they felt like you were the most important person in the room. Trump is doing this handshake.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And when you meet him, you feel exactly the same way, in my opinion.

OK, so business leaders, he's at the table, I believe --


CAMEROTA: With business leaders. So let's -- tell me what you see with his body language here.

DRIVER: Well, he's -- so this is interesting. So as he was walking into the room, what he does with these shakes is he'll pull people in towards him. And these -- this particular meeting is the meeting where he's going to tell them, if you take your business out of your country and you bring your product back in, I'm going to tax it. So when he shakes their hand, he's pulling them towards them like, I mean business. It's a little uncomfortable. And I wouldn't be surprised if that's exactly what he wanted. He's saying, I'm calling the shots here. Take me seriously.

CAMEROTA: Let's look at his greeting to James Comey, who, of course, the FBI director, who became this flashpoint during the election. What's happening here? He's -- from across a room he's calling him over. DRIVER: Yes, this is very interesting. These are law enforcement

officials here. I don't know why they're standing in the circumference. It's almost like when we were kids, red rover, red rover, send Comey right over, right? It's -- so Comey comes over. Trump blows him a kiss, outstretches his arms like, listen, we're family now. Again, this family atmosphere. Like mea culpa. Like, let's get along. You're the head of the FBI. Like, let's get along.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, the blowing someone a kiss --


CAMEROTA: I don't even need a body expert to tell me what that means. I like you, right?.

DRIVER: Yes, I like you. I like you.

CAMEROTA: I like you.

DRIVER: This is rapport. This is like, let's let bygones be bygones. We're family. He literally is -- and you see Comey put his head down a little bit as he's coming, like respect -- out of respect. You are the president. You know, thanks for --

CAMEROTA: So that's not chagrin, that's respect?

DRIVER: Well, you don't know what the catalyst is with any body language move, but it will often be perceived as respect when you greet a president, a king, a queen, someone of power.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, I want you to talk about the moment that the Trumps arrive at the White House to meet the Obamas. The Obamas are exiting and the Trumps are coming in. This has gone viral.

DRIVER: I'm really -- I'm really excited about this.

CAMEROTA: Yes, tell me what you see here.

DRIVER: So this has gone crazy viral. Everyone's saying Trump didn't wait for his wife. It's so disrespectful. We don't know what happened inside the car, Alisyn. His wife, Melania, is a very private person. Private people can share and interact with others, but they're going to get worn out. We don't know if in the car she said, give me a second. You like the limelight. You go first. Just -- I'll come behind you. Just give me a minute. It's like recharging your cell phone when it's at 3 percent. You might just charge it for a couple minutes. You get a little -- couple extra bars. We don't know what happened in that limousine. A lot of the company is mind reading that he's so disrespectful. We're taking it and going it really crazy.


DRIVER: We just don't know what the catalyst is here.

CAMEROTA: That -- that's fair. People saw it as bad manners and you just don't know if she said, oh, let me grab the Tiffany box. I have to get out --

DRIVER: We don't know. Michelle and Barack Obama fist bumped and the media went crazy on it. Why are they fist bumping? What's it all about? What does it mean about their presidency? When I was on CNN, I said, listen, I don't know what the catalyst is behind the fist bump. You'd have to ask them. We don't know what happened in the car first. Be careful of being a mind reader. He's our president. Let's cheer him on and hope for the best.

CAMEROTA: Janine Driver, thank you very much. Always great to get your body analysis.

Let's go look at Chris' body language right now. How -- what -- oh, what -- what's happening?

CUOMO: How am I looking?

CAMEROTA: Open? Too open?

CUOMO: No, can't be too open.

DRIVER: A little hot. A little hot. Some hotness.

CUOMO: Hot in a sexy way. I respect that. I appreciate it. But I just aim for professional.


CUOMO: President Trump says he's going to ask for an investigation into voter fraud claims. But, three to five million illegals voting and swaying this election is a lie. Why go down this road? Van Jones weighs in, "The Messy Truth."

CAMEROTA: OK, but, first, a troubled teenager's life is turned around by opera. Here is his story in this week's "Turning Points."


RYAN SPEEDO GREEN: I'm Ryan Speedo Green, opera singer.

When I was younger, I don't think I liked myself as a person or my home life. I lived in low income housing. My mom pretty much raised me. Between nine and 11 I was put in a class of six or seven of the worst kids in my district. This class was taught by Elizabeth Hues (ph). And the way that I introduced myself to her was I threw my desk at her. But she never gave up on me.

Soon after I left her class, I reverted back to my old ways. I threatened my mom's life and my brother's life. And at 12 years old, I remember being taken away in a cop car and driven to a juvenile detention center where I spent two months. It was probably the lowest point in my life. I just didn't want to end up back there again.

[08:45:13] I auditioned for (INAUDIBLE) School for the Arts when I was in ninth grade. That was when I met the -- one of the second most important teachers, Robert Brown. He became almost like a father figure to me. When I was 15, I saw my first opera. I told Mr. Brown, I know what I want to do with my life, I want to sing at the Met. And that was the first time I ever, you know, had a dream. And Mr. Brown told me, you know, everything I needed to do to do it. Slowly I sort of checked off everything on that list.

My last performance was at the Metropolitan Opera singing (INAUDIBLE) by Puccini. The last two years alone I've probably been in about 20 operas.

Opera has been a true blessing for me to have a dream and pursue it.


[08:50:02] CAMEROTA: President Donald Trump calling for a major investigation into voter fraud after peddling false claims for months that millions of people voted illegally and that that cost him the popular vote.

Here to discuss this and more, we have CNN political commentator and host of tonight's CNN's town hall, "The Messy Truth," Van Jones.

Hi, Van.


CAMEROTA: OK, so there's a lot to talk about this morning.

JONES: Very -- very messy, not the truth, that's what I would say about these claims.

CAMEROTA: Are you renaming your franchise?

JONES: No, my franchise will stay "Messy Truth," I'm just saying the president making these claims, these are very messy claims and they are not the truth.

CAMEROTA: Well, he's now calling -- look, he's basically calling for an investigation now --

JONES: Wonderful because --

CAMEROTA: Into it and whether or not millions of people voted illegally during this election. I mean the larger issue is that that means that the underpinning of our democracy is broken and it also calls into question the outcome of the election.

JONES: It can mean that, or it can mean something very different.

CAMEROTA: Like what?

JONES: Well, there are two theories here. One is the theory that he's just doing all this sort of stuff to kind of distract us and keep us, you know, kind of jumping around, worrying about stuff that's not as important as all these executive orders he's signing every day, many of which, you know, will hurt our air and water, will hurt women's rights. So there's the distraction theory. The other theory is that this is something that is key to his understanding of his legitimacy. Most of our leaders in the past have pointed to the Constitution for their source of legitimacy, the Electoral College. For him, he's a different -- he never talks about the Constitution. Almost never mentions it. He talks about polls, crowd sizes, his votes. Why? He sees himself as a populist leader leading a mass movement. He's not a normal politician. And for that, once you start knocking his numbers, you are knocking at the core of the sense of his legitimacy. And so it's not always (INAUDIBLE), he's crazy. No, I think that he feels his legitimacy comes from the people. If you say he doesn't have a lot of people, you're saying he's not legitimate and he has to fight.

CUOMO: Questioning his intelligence is questioning your own. This is not about the president being smart, it's about his tactics. I think you put your finger on that appropriately.

He had no choice but to say he was going to have an investigation because they got called out on it. And if you think something like this happened --


CUOMO: It's so fundamental to the underpinning of democracy, then you have to look at it.

JONES: Right.

CUOMO: The problem is, well, what now? If they look at it and they don't find that 3 to 5 million illegals voted in a way that swayed the election --


CUOMO: And I don't know how they could because as Alisyn loves to cite the secretaries of state from all these different states where this would have happened say it didn't, which means now they're implicated, what does the outcome of the investigation mean for you instead of just wasting our tax dollars?

JONES: Well, you're wasting tax dollars. That's one thing. But it also has -- gives you a certain sense about his leadership. There's something called the one-way ratchet where once somebody takes one step, they can never take a step back, so they have to take the next step forward, and the next step forward.

CUOMO: That's not a ratchet, that's a wrench.

JONES: Well, thank you. It's a one way wrench. But I leave it to you (INAUDIBLE) --

CUOMO: Because if you can't go back, that's why I have a ratchet.

JONES: Exactly. Exactly. Well, good enough. My only point is, there are some kinds of people, and you know them in your live, once they start walking down that plank, they can never moonwalk back. They're going to keep walking and keep walking.

What does that mean for foreign policy? What does that mean for a military confrontation? What does that mean -- listen, if you're wrong, say you're wrong, you misspoke, you overstepped. He's going to not over -- just over speak. He may overshoot.

I hope this White House -- listen, this White House, we're still in day six. They can learn a bunch. They can get better. But somebody in that building's got to start saying, you know what, let's make this a case study of what not to do and not a blueprint about what we're -- how we're going to do.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about "The Messy Truth."


CAMEROTA: That's on --

CUOMO: The truth.

CAMEROTA: The truth. It's on tonight. So what are we going to learn?

JONES: Oh, you're going to learn amazing stuff. First of all, I got a chance to go to West Virginia and talk to coal miners who voted for Trump. And -- and it's unbelievable. We're going to show some of the clips --

CAMEROTA: Well, wait, wait, what are they saying? Give us a little something.

JONES: Well, you've got to watch the show. You've got to watch the show.

CAMEROTA: Are they happy with their choice or they don't know yet? They're on --

JONES: Well, they're -- they think they're -- they're happy so far. But the reason -- the conflict as Christians supporting somebody who was mean to people, nobody's talked about that. They talk about that. There's so -- it's so much deeper than just, oh, you know, well they're red state voters. So much deeper.

But we're also going to have Whoopi Goldberg. And Whoopi Goldberg was at the march and she's -- and she's got all this, you know, energy. And -- but we're going to have other women who didn't go to the march, and they're going to be in the crowd, and they're going to have a conversation. I can't give away all of it. I can't give away all of it. I'm sorry. I just can't.

CAMEROTA: I can't wait to tune in.

JONES: Tune in tonight. That's all I've got to say.

CUOMO: He's got a good --

CAMEROTA: That's (INAUDIBLE). CUOMO: He's got a good thing going with the action and reaction that you play out in these things. It's true, he won the catholic vote. Catholics have voted with every winner except Eisenhower. And then you had the big march. Now you've got the right-to-lifers who are going to march. So there's a lot of action and reaction.

CAMEROTA: Van, thank you so much.

Be sure to catch CNN's town hall "The Messy Truth," tonight, 9:00 p.m., hosted by Van Jones with Whoopi Goldberg as his special guest.

CUOMO: "The Good Stuff," next.


[08:58:50] CUOMO: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) "The Good Stuff." An update to an incredible story we told you about on Monday. A woman in Washington state reuniting with the police officer who did this. Her car is on fire. He doesn't care. He bashes the window open. Somebody else comes over, a good Samaritan. They save her. Dramatic body cam footage is what you're looking at. One more reason to have it. Tim Swearing (ph) is the guy doing this work with the baton into Kim Novak's (ph) window. Flames literally engulfing the car. So with a neighbor's help, they save her. Very nice. Now listen to what happens.


KIM NOVAK: My angel. Hi. Oh, my God. Oh, I'm so glad to see you again.

I always give him a hug. I told him he's stuck with me for life now.


CUOMO: My angel, she says to the neighbor and to the officer. Officer Swearing says he's glad he got there in time to help.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, that's so wonderful. As she said, he's stuck with me for life. They will be friends for life. I mean they do now share that unbreakable bond.

CUOMO: And I've got to tell you, I mean, they protect and serve, but to go at a situation where every human's instinct says stay away from the smoke and the fire, he goes, he stays, he saves a life.

[09:00:02] CAMEROTA: That's beautiful. Thank you very much for that "Good Stuff."

It's time now for "Newsroom" with Carol Costello.

Good morning, Carol.


CUOMO: She once punched right through a window once when I was in a car, but it wasn't on fire.

CAMEROTA: Oh, boy.

COSTELLO: Yes, I saved Chris' life and you owe me.