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U.S.-Mexico Summit Called Off as Wall Feud Rages; Trump Considering 20 Percent Tax on Mexico to Pay for Wall; Four Top State Dept. Officials Asked to Leave. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 26, 2017 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Another big night because of what the Trump administration did today but also for what it was expected today and did not. It did not take action on President Trump's widely debunked election fraud claims, that's being postponed, we're told, until tomorrow or Saturday.

President Trump did however clash with Mexico's president over the border wall and who's going to pay for it. His spokesman floated a plan to fund it with a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico.

Also, a top adviser called the media the opposition party and said in his words that we should keep our mouths shut. More on that tonight.

That and the White House asking four top career officials at the State Department to leave.

Another big day. We start with Mexico and CNN's Jeff Zeleny.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six days after taking office, President Donald Trump is facing his first diplomatic standoff.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week.

ZELENY: But that's not how Mexico sees it. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he was cancelling the meeting, alerting the White House in a morning message on Twitter. Trump learned about it as he made his way to Philadelphia, his first trip aboard Air Force One, presenting his agenda to congressional Republicans who are skeptical of how to pay for a border wall.

TRUMP: Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.

ZELENY: The firestorm between the two leaders has been escalating since their first meeting in August.

TRUMP: We did discuss the wall. We didn't discuss payment of the wall. That will be for a later date.

ZELENY: But that date has now arrived. Paying for the wall is at the heart of a collision between campaign promises --

TRUMP: Better believe it. They're going to pay.

ZELENY: -- and governing realities.

TRUMP: I've said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall and I've made that clear to the government of Mexico.

ZELENY: Mexico says it will not meet Trump's demands to pay for the wall.

PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICO (through translator): Mexico does not believe in walls. I've said time and again, Mexico will not pay for any wall.

ZELENY: Tonight, details are emerging on how the Trump administration might cry and get the money from Mexico. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that one idea being considered is imposing a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as part of a comprehensive tax reform deal with Congress.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: By doing it that way, we can do $10 million a year and easily pay for the wall just for that mechanism alone.

ZELENY: Republican leaders objecting to proposal, saying Americans consumers would wind up footing the bill. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham saying, "Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of corona, tequila or margaritas is a big time bad idea. Mucho sad."


COOPER: Mucho sad.

Jeff Zeleny joins us now.

So, Republican leaders say they will handle the up front costs, but then what?

ZELENY: Anderson, that is the big question here and it is one that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, says could be between $12 billion to $15 billion. That's how much they believe this wall will cost. And they have told President Trump that they will front this money essentially, because they know it is essential to his plan.

There's no talking him out of it at this point. He campaigned on it. He wants to do it. And there is indeed a split inside the Republican Party about this. Some House Republicans are in favor of this tax. I was on Air Force One today. Sean Spicer was talking about this as a leading idea here. It wasn't more than an hour later when they came back to the White House, they were walking that back because it is so controversial inside the Republican Party.

So, Anderson, this is something that House Republicans, Senate Republicans need to reconcile how they will pay for it because Mexico simply will not. And now, it's a diplomatic standoff between the White House here and Mexico, and we do not know how this will end diplomatically or financially -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Jeff Zeleny, appreciate that.

One late development which we'll only get here, we were going to have Mexico's foreign minister on the program tonight, and he canceled at the last minute. A Mexican government official telling 360 he's been summoned back home for an urgent meeting with Mexico's president before a meeting with Mexican lawmakers to decide what to do about President Trump.

Let's bring in the panel. Conservative writer and "Daily Beast" senior columnist Matt Lewis, CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers, Trump supporter and "American Spectator" contributor Jeffrey Lord, and CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, anchor of "AMANPOUR", a program named aptly enough after Christiane Amanpour.

Christiane, I mean, where does this go from here? I mean, this is fascinating that it is happening so early on. And what kind of a signal does this send internationally?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, it sends a massive signal because this is the first example of President Trump negotiating as a businessman in public and this is the result, that there is now a standoff between two leaders of friendly countries, let's face it.

[20:05:03] This is a very important neighbor.

As Jeff said and as you said, actually, the foreign minister has been called back. He was going to be on this program. They're telling me, the Mexican foreign ministry, that Mexicans simply did not see this coming. They were totally blind-sided by President Trump's announcement of the wall and then the announcement that Mexico would pay for it.

So, they see this I'm told as an attack on Mexico and Mexicans and they are gathering their diplomatic forces to figure out how to respond because they, too, have voters who don't want to be humiliated, who don't want to have their back pushed against the wall -- which will happen to the Mexican president. He was forced to cancel this trip after deciding that, obviously, he wasn't going to pay for the wall.

COOPER: Jeffrey, it's interesting that Mexican officials are telling Christiane they were surprised because, clearly, if you listen to Donald Trump during the campaign --

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. COOPER: -- this is time -- I mean, there's one thing --


AMANPOUR: But the timing.

COOPER: Right.

AMANPOUR: The timing happened as the Mexican foreign minister was in the White House preparing the way for the Mexican president.

COOPER: Was it a mistake for Sean Spicer to come out and push this 20 percent tax idea on Mexican imports and then have to walk it back, you know, an hour or so later?

LORD: He's called floating ideas. This is -- this is going to be an ongoing situation.

COOPER: Right. But usually floating ideas are done sort of quietly leaked, kind of running up the flagpole.

LORD: This is the Trump era. Things are going to be different.

And I have to say, it doesn't matter whether the subject is Mexico, the State Department, the press, et cetera. This is a revolution of sorts. These are all the folks, he is the Nigel Farage, if you will, of the United States, and he won.

So, all of these institutions, no matter what they are across the border, are going to be upset.

COOPER: Nigel Farage, he seems to be working for FOX News.


AMANPOUR: I think Jeffrey has just stated, you know, exactly what you all hope, that this is going to be the chaos candidate, the disruptive candidate, and something good could actually come out of it. But we've seen actually today, that something bad very has happened. Two presidents of two neighboring countries, which vitally need each other are now at loggerheads, and we're not sure who's back is against which wall, and how they're going to move this back.

LORD: I don't know --

AMANPOUR: Jeffrey, they nearly started the first step of a trade war, which is why they pulled that 20 percent back. And that is not going to help the United States of America.

COOPER: But, Jeffrey, you don't see this as a bad thing. In fact, I'm guessing and for a lot of folks, they see this as a first move in a negotiation.

LORD: That is correct. This is the art of the deal. All we're doing is seeing it in public.

COOPER: Right.

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Honestly, I don't think it's just a negotiation with Mexico either. I think it's a negotiation with the world.

LORD: Yes, right.

LEWIS: This is Donald Trump signaling -- just like the call to the Taiwan president sent a message to China, this is signaling that we're past the presidency of Barack Obama, which was very cautious, very prudent, very predictable. This is like -- let me pull a line from Jeffrey Lord here and talk about when Reagan went after the air- traffic controllers union and sent a message to the Soviets. I think that might be part of it.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The problem is Mexico's not an enemy. They're actually one of our closest partners and allies in the world, and we're economically intertwined with them in a way we are with almost no other country. They're our second largest trading partner. Canada is our first largest trading partner.

You know, a lot of the goods coming from Mexico, actually -- one today said 40 percent have Americans parts in them. I mean, that's how intertwined we are. And --

AMANPOUR: You know, this first few days we're talking about now has according to many of the observers, David Rothkopf, the editor of foreign affairs and who used to be a cabinet secretary under Clinton, cabinet official under Clinton, has said that this is the most change so fast to rapidly so, you know, quickly in the first week than at any time since the end of the Second World War. That's a major statement.

And the most profound change is America pulling back its global leadership. It is still the head of global superpower, but President Trump in his inauguration, as you'll all agree, discarded the cloak of American leadership around the world. And so, you talk about, you know, disruptive -- discarded. He said it's America fist and, you know, we're going to have bilateral deals but we're not going out there to lead the whole world.

POWERS: Right. I mean --


POWERS: -- harming the Mexican economy. If he went through with this, first of all, it's a violation of NAFTA. Let's just start there. So, he would have to withdraw from NAFTA. He said he wants to renegotiate it.

But it would harm -- it would harm the Mexican economy and a bad Mexican economy means, what, it means more Mexicans coming into this country illegally, which is what he says he doesn't want. So, on every level, it doesn't make sense.

LORD: The Reagan anecdote for the night is early on in his first term, I think it was Al Haig, someone met with him about sea traffic, I forget the issue and said to him literally, "Mr. President, this is how it's always been done," to which Ronald Reagan replied, "Isn't that why we're here?" That is what is going on here.

AMANPOUR: Ronald Reagan had been governor for a long time. He had experience governing. And you've seen with this State Department situation, a huge, you know, swath of the bureaucracy for whatever reason, left at one time, the biggest simultaneous departure ever.

[20:10:09] You've seen --


LORD: Don't worry, (INAUDIBLE) 1993.

AMANPOUR: You've seen all the lack of cabinet secretaries and second tier and all the rest. There's a question now being asked overseas after this Mexican debacle, which is how it's being seen overseas --

LORD: Oh, I'm sure.

AMANPOUR: -- who's governing and what's coming next.


COOPER: It's interesting. You know, we've heard from the Republicans who are kind of voicing concerns about this 20 percent tax idea that was floated, this is not something which is Republicans versus Democrats. I mean, this is Donald Trump and his administration in a way defying conventions and for his supporters, that's exactly what they voted for.

LORD: When Ronald Reagan went to budget cuts, he would get United States senators who were all Republicans saying, not on my watch, you're not cutting this program, you're not cutting that program. He was eternally at battle with my late friend Arlen Specter and others who just were crazy about some of these.

POWERS: But Republicans --

LORD: This was an ongoing battle throughout his entire presidency with his own party.

POWERS: But Republicans have been the ones who have been pro free trade and would normally oppose the idea --

LORD: Well, not Calvin Coolidge, Abraham Lincoln --


POWERS: OK, but really --

LEWIS: The modern era.

POWERS: NAFTA but passed with Republican votes.

(CROSSTALK) AMANPOUR: Security, drugs, you know, immigration across the border, all of that kind of stuff, I mean, they have been helping the United States.

LEWIS: But that's a sort of -- you know, look, President Obama governed sort of the way that you're suggesting. In the way that really was not very effective or very successful. And that's the reason that Donald Trump was elected.

And I think that a lot of Americans are tired of the handwringing, like, "Man, if we make the Mexicans mad, they're going to do this or they're going to do that." We're tired of that.

COOPER: But what's so interesting is, I don't know why anybody would be surprised by these latest moves. Maybe it's the timing, but this is exactly what he's campaigned on it, and you can like it or not, but to his credit, he is doing exactly what he said he was going to do during the campaign.

AMANPOUR: Do you think the president's expected to have his first meet with the Mexican president blow up in his face like this?

LEWIS: I don't think he cares at all.

LORD: I don't think it's a blow up, I think he thinks it's the first step in a negotiation.

AMANPOUR: Right. Publicly -- what he's done according to the Mexicans is publicly humiliated the Mexican president.

LORD: Right, which he would not agree.

AMANPOUR: He may not.


COOPER: Much more to happen including a big surprise at the State Department, Christiane referenced. Four top diplomats forced out by the Trump administration.

Later, we'll talk to Los Angeles' Mayor Eric Garcetti on why he is defying President Trump on so-called sanctuary cities.


[20:16:22] COOPER: Well, there are big shoes now to fill at the State Department, with President Trump in, four top management officials are out. Two senior administration officials said the State Department brass were told that their services were no longer needed. This is unusual and that the White House usually asks career officials, not political appointees, career officials to stay on for a few months and leaves a gaping hole in State Department management, with the combine 150 years of experience between the officials.

Our Elise Labott joins me now with more.

So, who are these four senior State Department officials that were asked to leave and what do they do there?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, one of the names you might recognize, undersecretary of management, Patrick Kennedy, a longtime serving top official at the State Department who's been embroiled in the Benghazi controversy, he was in charge of management then, and also in charge of helping handle Secretary Clinton's e-mail when she was at the State Department -- real critics from Republicans about him.

There's also the assistant secretary for administration, Joyce Anne Barr, the assistant secretary for consular affairs, her name is Michele Bond, another long serving official, and Ambassador Gentry Smith, who handled the Office of Foreign Admissions. That's embassies and consulates here in the United States.

So, as you said, these are long-serving career officials, 150 combined years of institutional knowledge among them, and it does leave a gaping hole in the management department of the State Department as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he's not been confirmed yet, but he's expected to be next week. I mean, these bureaus have deputies, but it really does leave a lot of institutional knowledge out the door as this new secretary comes in.

COOPER: I mean, the State Department says they have new people who could fill the slots. How unusual is it for an incoming administration to go after staffers without having a replacement lined up?

LABOTT: It's pretty unusual. I mean, generally, these are career appointees, some of them have served during -- since the Nixon administration. So, clearly, they've served in Republican and Democratic administrations. Usually, they say, listen, stay on for a few months until your successor is confirmed.

Case in point, Patrick Kennedy, when the Bush administration came in, he was assistant secretary for administration and they asked him to stay on until his successor was confirmed and that was six months. And it's not just the management department. There are other officials across the State Department that were told their services were no longer needed. For instance, the assistant secretary and acting undersecretary for arms control, Tom Countryman, was on his way to a conference in Rome when he was told to turn around, your services are no longer required.

So, it's pretty clear that the Trump administration wants to start fresh. The problem is all this, you know, decades and decades of institutional knowledge walking out the door, they're going to be hard-pressed to find those kind of officials that know the inner workings of the State Department the way these people do, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Elise Labott, thanks very much.

Back with the panel.

Christiane, this does get to a point you raised in our last segment about Mexico, essentially just the pace of change -- and again, this is what folks voted for Trump for -- but it's unlike anything I think we've seen in quite a long time.

AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, absolutely. There's a huge pace of change, for want of a better word. I mean, some of the people that Elise is talking about, I understand, were going to retire anyway, they were older. Some have to do it in terms of procedure in terms of incoming and outgoing administrations. Some of them I'm told simply, you know, left because they didn't want to be part of the incoming administration.

So, there is a whole a mixture of reasons for this. But the bigger picture is, you know, when are will all the people get in to actually govern?

[20:20:03] And I'm not the one asking this question. Foreign leaders, foreign, you know, interlocutors and things. I've heard from you know, different European capitals that, you know, they've come over here, haven't had a sense of who their partners are.

Let's just take a for instance -- today, I was interviewing Saeb Areikat and the chief Palestinian negotiator, and the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. about the whole idea, is the embassy going to move, what's it going to mean? I mean, Areikat said that the Palestinians haven't had their letters responded to or anything responded to in terms of questions. That might be political but it might be administrative. We just don't know.

LEWIS: Yes. I think one of the untold stories was hinted at just there is how long it takes to get some of these people confirmed. I mean, it could be six or more months before some of these staff positions are confirmed and in place. It just seems -- you know, look, I totally understand Donald Trump, there is an argument to be made about sort of cleaning house, getting people who have frankly haven't been that effective, or just don't share your philosophy, getting them out, bringing in your team.

But it takes so long to staff up and to sort of get all of your people in place. And that strikes me as maybe that's something we need to focus on is expediting these things.

LORD: I remember working in the Bush 41 administration for Jack Kemp. And we got the letter that said, thanks, be out by January 20th at noon. We held a party with Secretary Kemp the day before, we took the half day off, and that was it. But those were the political people.

One of the problems here in this town that has been there increasingly is -- are the career folks. Lots of them belong to union, political unions, they donate money, et cetera, and the money goes heavily to Democrats.

I don't care. God bless their First Amendment rights. What I'm suggesting is the culture in these bureaucracies is left-leaning.

And so, when you get a Republican president like Donald Trump who comes in, not to mention somebody who's been such an outsider, they're going to want to flush the system out. And they should. One, so they have career people in there who are representing their point of view, and two, so that things get done here and they get fresh blood in there. That's --

POWERS: Well, are you -- you're saying get rid of career people who they think don't have their political view? Because I don't think that's --

LORD: Because the career people are supposed to represent --

POWERS: But what are you talking about? Career people have protected positions. They've been there their entire lives and they're actually not -- and they're not all partisans, but -- I mean, this is your breaking news here, if you think that -- you're saying the Trump administration is going in and purge career people out of the administration?

LORD: Well, this is what we're seeing here.

POWERS: These are political appointees, aren't they?

LORD: These were career people, were they not?

LEWIS: Some of them.

COOPER: My understanding.

POWERS: Yes. But if leaving on their own accord, that's not the same thing.


LORD: They submit their letters of resignation.

POWERS: Political appointees submit their letters of resignation. But career people are not obliged to submit.

LORD: Well, these folks did.

COOPER: Let me bring in Elise.

Elise Labott, are these all career people?

LABOTT: These are all career people who have been in the administration for decades. The process is when you're in a confirmable position, that the president appoints you to, you are required by law to submit your resignation.

Now, you'll remember a few weeks back, all of the political ambassadors submitted their resignations and they were all told, "Yes, thank you, be out by January 20th." Some of them usually ask to stay on for a couple of weeks. Some of them have kids in school. They were all told, "No, we'd really like you out by January 20th."

Now, on a political realm, that's certainly expected. But with the career officials even though they're required to submit their resignation, they're serving both -- most of them have served several Democratic and several Republican administrations. So, the question is, do they want to just purge and start fresh?

They're not going to be able to fill every position with new people. These are -- as Kristen said, these are protected positions and also, they have a lot of institutional knowledge.

So, it is kind of rare that they would be asked all to leave in this way and I have to respectfully disagree with Jeffrey. I understand what you're saying about how a lot of these officials perhaps lean left, but these are, you know, loyal to the department that they serve. Really, they kind of go with the flow with any administration.

LORD: Therein lies the difference. I mean, I think they don't go -- this whole controversy with -- we were talking about the other night with the websites or whatever where -- the National Park Service and all this sort of thing, that epitomizes what the problem is.

Whether -- it doesn't matter. It could be the FBI. It could be the EPA. It could be the Justice Department, what have you.

You have these folks in this culture, for lack of a better term, a culture of liberalism within the department, that's what they do.

[20:25:00] LEWIS: Everybody says they want change and their politicians come to Washington and then they become part of the system and they become like all the other politicians. And one way to make sure that happens is to have bureaucrats who slow down the works.

Donald Trump is a revolutionary candidate and he wants to do some big things. Those may be good things, those may be bad things, but the way to strangle the baby in the crib and to prevent that from happening is to have people and -- you know, personnel is policy -- and if you have people in key positions who are not implementing your vision, then you're not going to be able to accomplish much.

COOPER: I'm not sure strangling the baby in the crib is the greatest --


COOPER: Let's take a pause. We're going to have more with the panel ahead.

President Trump today was expected to launch an investigation into voter fraud after he made claims, unproven ones, that millions of fraudulent votes were cast against him. So, why was the announcement actually delayed? That is next.


COOPER: There's more breaking news. It's been more than just a running theme with President Trump and before that, candidate Trump, this idea that the election might be tainted by voter fraud.

He warned about it on the campaign trail. He complained about it to senior lawmakers beyond closed doors. He railed about it during his first sit-down interview as president. He promised a federal investigation. All of it based on the false premises, we and many others have reported that.


20:30:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: -- railed about it during his first sit down interview as president, he promised a federal investigation, all of it based on the false premises. We and others have reported that, bipartisan, a slate of lawmakers and state election officials agree, there is no "there" there.

Today we expected the president to sign a document that would spell out just what he wants to do about it. He did not. Details now from our justice correspondent Pamela Brown who joins us. So, do we know when President Trump is planning on signing that executive order on this?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, he was expected to sign an executive order around 4:30 this afternoon calling for this federal investigation into alleged voter fraud. Which really before that we got word from the White House that it was not going to happen today because he was apparently running late after speaking in Philadelphia. The Republican congressional retreat, so now he's expected to sign that order either tomorrow or Saturday. But the question remains, how will this work, how will this proceed from here? It's unclear for officials I've spoken within the Department of Justice because there is no precedent for this. Voter fraud investigations are normally triggered when the FBI and the Justice Department discovered credible evidence to suggest fraud, not because of an order from the president.

And basically Anderson, these officials at DOJ are sprinkle (ph) in a holding pattern waiting to find out more about the language in this executive order and how to proceed from here.

COOPER: Has the attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions responded to this directive from the president at all.

BROWN: Well he may be forced to respond. It's so unclear what he thinks about this, how he will handle this, but he's already been asked about Trump's request for this investigation by senators on the judiciary committee including Senator Leahy and it's likely it's expected he will respond to those questions before the committee votes on his nomination next Tuesday. So it will be really interesting to see exactly how he answers the senators given the fact that this request as I said to DOJ is unprecedented, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Pamela Brown appreciate that. Much more to talk about now with the panel.

Matt, it does seem like the president is moving the goal post on this. Because initially it was 3 to 5 million illegal votes cast by undocumented immigrants, illegal immigrants. Now he's including old voter rolls with people who are registered in multiple states which would include Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, I believe, Tiffany Trump, and I think Jared Kushner as well. And people who are dead who are still on the rolls.


COOPER: Right. But that's actually not voter fraud. That's just rolls that are incomplete.

LEWIS: Right.

COOPER: And, according now to the experts I talk you from Pew the last two nights, things are actually better now than they have ever been in terms of, you know, all these states are doing a much better job, they're trying to clean up their voter rolls. So, is the president trying to move the goal post on this?

LEWIS: I don't know what he's doing. I think its insanity. I mean look, yes, we need to purge people off of rolls who are no longer living because somebody could maybe try to assume their identity and, you know, cast a vote. What I mean I do believe that voter fraud has happened. I'm from Maryland. Ellen Sawyer Briten (ph) may have won that gubernatorial raceway back when Dino Rossi in Washington State probably won -- I think it was Washington who apply that stolen from them.

In Louisiana it's been known to happen, but the notion that Donald Trump lost the popular vote because millions of illegals voted -- illegally voted for Hillary Clinton is insanity. And I would -- I actually interested to see what happens when they've launch this federal investigation. That no idea what is going to turn up because it just it seems like a crazy thing to do.

COOPER: Because Jeff, for the federal government to get involved in this, I mean --


COOPER: -- it's up to state and there's Republicans, you know, heads of elections commissions in states and Democratic ones.

LORD: Anderson, I've learned something interesting today from someone named Bruce Marks. And let me tell you the quick tale. Bruce Marks who used to work for Arlen Specter. He ran for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1993, lost narrowly to a Democrat. There was suspicion of voting irregularities. They took it to court discovered in fact that they were. A judge for the federal third circuit court of appeals overturned the election, installed him, yanked the other guy out of the Pennsylvania State Senate. OK fine.

The next year Bruce Marks had a fund raiser and who came to that fund raiser? Donald Trump. Who was very interested in the chapter and verse of voting fraud in Philadelphia. So my point is I think this idea has been going around in his head for a long time. He's now elected president. He get obsessed whether or not there are 2 to 3 million people or whatever, he clearly believes as to a lot of people that there is fraud in the system. The Bruce Marks episode is one.

COOPER: I mean him believing it doesn't make it true. And just that he held I believed for a long -- because he held the birther --


LEWIS: Donald Trump hears -- find out -- find out exactly what's going on, and that's all.

COOPER: Right. Yeah, no problem with having an investigation, but I --

LORD: Other state senate races, congressional races, and there was incident of that, I mean find out what's going on here.

COOPER: Kirsten, is that make sense?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. You know, it's just not -- this isn't a nationwide problem. This is something that has happened occasionally. Of course we need to have, you know, a good process where we have clear voter rolls and all of that is true. But what he is describing is not voter fraud.

[20:35:11] People being registered in two states is not voter fraud unless they actually should go and vote in two states. See there's a second part to it, it's missing. And so, you know, for him to be using government resources to investigate something that doesn't exist and to undermine democracy basically by telling people that the voting system doesn't work is really dangerous.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of voter fraud and corruption and irregularities in the world.

LEWIS: But Jeffrey's story it does it make perfect sense.

AMANPOUR: -- officials is not healthy for America's ability to lead and find the moral high ground.

COOPER: Christiane, I want to ask you on this other subject about something Steve Bannon said today -- I'm going to read here the "New York Times", he said, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." When you hear Steve Bannon --


AMANPOUR: I would say no chance on that. But, look, seriously, Steve Bannon is playing the role that he set out for himself. There is obviously some kind of strategy here, although it's hard for me to comprehend it because, you know, I operate in the truth and the fact- based universe. But he's playing a strategy which involves creating straw men and women, creating an enemy out of the press and then, you know, dividing, diverting, obfuscating while other things are going on. That's the only thing I can imagine.

Obviously there are many other I want to say totalitarian regimes in the past which use the same kind of strategy. I mean if I was going to be funny I'd say that he's angling for an order of merit from President Sese, Putin, Erdogan and all the others. That is how they treat their press. That is what they believed the press should be a compliant state propaganda unit in the service of the president. It is not the tradition of the American press. So of course we're not going to shut up. And why should we? And what have we done wrong? And why should we be humiliated? About what? The story was right. We reported the story. Whatever it is, we got it right. The polls were right.

LORD: The polls were right that 98 percent chance that Hillary Clinton will win the --

AMANPOUR: Sorry, that wasn't in the polls. That's a sort of prediction. The polls are right, which is why the national polls I'm saying, obviously he won the election. But isn't why all this sort of hysteria has started? Because there's a real anger about this idea of the popular vote and suddenly we have to be the enemy. Or we can't allow others to frame our reference. We are not the opposition. We're not the mainstream. We're the press.

COOPER: Jeffrey, is the media the opposition party to Donald?

LORD: Well, sure, in a permanent sense it is. And I look and I'm a big First Amendment freak here. I believe people should be able to go out there and say and do anything they choose to say and do.

But my point is in a political sense beginning with Spiro Agnew back there in 1969, 1970 when he gave his speech denouncing Des Moines, denouncing television anchors that sat in their studios and, you know, ran the news, et cetera, all the way through to today, you've had this increasing bonfire being built about the national media and it has a liberal tilt to it. We've now got to the point where so many millions of Americans believe that to be gospel.

So what Steve Bannon is basically saying is at this point, yeah, this is it, this is a real problem. And I saw that Ari Fleisher, the President Bush '43, his press secretary said the other day, that there's a massive crisis here for the media. I think there is and I think every individual institution is going to wind up fighting for its credibility --


LORD: -- and the White -- this White House is not going to help them.

AMANPOUR: He witnessed the massive crisis in his president's administration. There was this rush to war by the Bush administration and the press was accused of being either with the terrorists or unpatriotic. If we even reported the objective facts.

LORD: Right.

AMANPOUR: This is unfortunately an unpleasant tradition that we have to understand why it's happening, we have to be calm, be united and do our jobs, because we're not going to allow others, particularly the seats of power, to be our frame of reference.

COOPER: Kirsten, let me ask you about this, you know, Bannon also said that the media is quote, "the opposition party." Anita Dunn back in 2009, who is an aide to President Obama, said about Fox News then, we're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. She said to Chuck Todd today, we didn't say the entire news media. We had an issue with One News Network, that was actually creating news. Is there a difference between Dunn said back then versus the Bannon that saying this?

POWERS: There's a similarity, I mean the difference is Trump has gone after sort of the entire media except for Fox News and the Obama administration really went after Fox News and not the rest of the media. And it wasn't just Anita Dunn. It was sort of orchestrated strategy for a lot of senior White House aides went out. And also went on shows and told other reporters you shouldn't treat Fox News as a legitimate organization. At the time I wrote about it and I thought I was very critical of it, the same way I'm critical of what the Trump administration is doing. I think the media -- and I'm not just saying because I'm part of it plays an important role in our democracy and it's something that a president should recognize and it's not for them to put their thumb on the scale of who's legitimate and who's not legitimate.

[20:40:06] COOPER: There's -- there's a reason why it is the First Amendment.

POWERS: Yes, exactly. And so, you know, but I what I don't see is your very critical of what they did to Fox, but I don't see you giving the same type of criticism to Trump. So to be consistent I think you should see in both situations they're problematic.

LORD: I was using the Fox example when I used it as hypocrisy. That's all.

POWERS: Right, but you're not criticizing Trump for doing similar things --

LORD: Well, what I'm saying --


AMANPOUR: It's ridiculous debate. We know exactly what it is. It is the attempt to delegitimize Trump.



AMANPOUR: It's really important because Donald Trump -- honestly we are trying to do an honest job but it is very disconcerting to every day be told that we are the most dishonest people that his ever met.

COOPER: Let's just look at this Quinnipiac poll. I want to put the poll up. The question is, how is Trump handling his job as president? Approval 36 percent, disapproval 44 percent, 19 percent say they don't know. Kirsten when you see those numbers what?

POWERS: I think that seems about right. I mean that seems about like where the country would be and that I think that, you know, Donald Trump will say that the polls are, you know, wrong and we get everything wrong. But I do think it's worth pointing out that Donald Trump did not think he was going to win the election. So -- they didn't --


POWERS: He said it to a crowd a couple days after the election. He said, he turned to somebody and said it's going to be a bad night, I don't think I'm going to win. So they weren't expecting to win and get somehow we're dishonest because we were following the polls which actually ultimately did show that Hillary Clinton was going to win.

LEWIS: As unpopular as Donald Trump is -- as unpopular as Donald Trump is. There is a reason he has picked us to go after to make his new adversary, and that is because the media is actually less popular than Donald Trump. Why are the media less popular than Donald Trump. Some of that I think is earned. Some of it I think is a product of getting things wrong and of liberal media bias, which I do believe is real. And I think the most subtle -- the sort of -- the most troubling liberal media bias is very subtle. And in fact I would say it's probably subconscious. But --

LORD: Obama is the new FDR, et cetera.

LEWIS: Well, that's not subtle.

AMANPOUR: Well I just, you know, you're all talking about domestic reporting and, you know, you're putting it within political paradigm. And the truth is reporters today around the world not just in the United States but wherever I travel are being increasingly politicized and pulled into corners and treated as partisan and enemies by each side. So it's very, very difficult --

LEWIS: But when journalists basically all in New York or Washington, D.C., they don't go to church --


LEWIS: -- they don't go to church regularly.


LEWIS: They're not like a lot of average regular Americans out there. Their world view is different, our lifestyles are different. We don't represent what a lot of the viewers believe.

COOPER: I would actually point out you the newsrooms are more diverse than ever before. In fact when I was growing up there were three white middle-aged men, heterosexual, I should point out, who told the world in 15 minute increments what was happening in the world and that's the way the world is.

LORD: But Anderson.

COOPER: I don't gave religious litmus test to people in my office.

LEWIS: But I don't gave gay litmus test either, but your saying --


COOPER: And you guys, I mean how many Born Again Christians, I don't know how many Born Again Christians, I don't know how many Jewish people work in my office but I do think newsrooms are more diverse than ever before.

LORD: Are they Anderson thinking.

COOPER: Let's say I do think they are and I actually think there's a greater variety of news than ever before and I think that's a good thing. I'm all for this. I love that there is the "Daily Caller" and the "Daily Beast" and Fox News. I think it's good.


COOPER: I like the fact that there's -- that we have more information about our finger tips than ever before.

AMANPOUR: And we should be able to have a huge variety of views without calling each other and treating each other as enemies. And unfortunately, a totalitarian --


COOPER: -- for a number of --

AMANPOUR: It's a long business model, because it doesn't allow real, you know, journalism.

COOPER: I agree.

AMANPOUR: And of course it should be more in the heart land.

COOPER: Absolutely.

LEWIS: But, I also want to be clear I do agree with you --


LEWIS: No I do agree with you in the sense that I obviously believe that we need to have journalists who hold powerful people accountable and tell the truth about it. So I'm not agreeing with Bannon. I'm just saying I think that there is a reason why Donald Trump has picked us to pick on. We're less popular than him.

COOPER: Right, it's an easy target. I mean and this is not anything new as you -- as we said.

POWERS: You know, I'm sort of in the middle of this as usual. I think there is a disconnect between the media and a lot of people in the United States in particular who are Trump supporters and it's a cultural disconnect.

COOPER: Absolutely. POWERS: And it's because we all live in the same place and, you know -- and so there is a different way of thinking. And I think that there some bias that sometimes people don't recognize and that's the problem.

LEWIS: Yeah.

POWERS: It's fine to have a bias but you have to recognize your bias and try to correct for it.

COOPER: Right, I totally agree with this. So I think about this all day long.


COOPER: And I hope all of us doing and I think we all of it.

[20:45:06] AMANPOUR: We're professionals and everybody is a human being. But, you know, you got to get past that and actually do your objective job. I'm saying unfortunately in todays media environment reporters are pushed into political corners just like these panels and things like that. You know, just go out, do an objective job of reporting.

And if anybody wants to see great journalism from the heartland, the Dupont Columbia wars which have just been held, I mean just are exhilarating in the demonstration of the most fantastic American journalism that, you know, you see every single year coming from a diverse group of people and not only the coast but everywhere.

COOPER: We got to take a break. Coming up, the president is targeting undocumented immigrants in a number of ways including threatening sanctuary cities that he'll withhold, essentially withhold federal funds from if they don't get on board. Mayors of numbered cities say they will fight, this including the mayor of Los Angeles. We're going to hear from him, next.


COOPER: At the mayors in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities are fighting back against President Trump targeting undocumented immigrants. Other seem to be falling at line. The president had signed an executive order saying he would block federal money for cities that don't cooperate by turning over undocumented immigrants. They're called sanctuary cities. And the mayors of mayor cities say they are going to stay that way. Here is what the president said today at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia.


[20:50:16] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: We've put in place the first steps in our immigration plan ordering the immediate construction of the border wall, putting an end to catch and release. Expediting the removal of the criminal alien -- this is so important to me from day one I've said it, and I mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens will be gone fast. And finally, at long last, cracking down on sanctuary cities.


COOPER: But the president is praising one mayor tonight tweeting, "Miami-Dade mayor drop sanctuary policy, right decision strong today". Today Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered his county's corrections department to comply with federal immigration detention requests in light of the president's executive order. But as we mentioned, the mayor of some other cities are fighting back.

Joining me is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Mayor Garcetti, what was your reaction when Trump's executive order biz would telling cities like yours to play ball when it comes to immigration enforcement or lose out on federal funding?

ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: Well, I think a lot of us in America cities knows that we're the engines of opportunity of economic come back. We're the places where American goods come through and jobs are generated. And, you know, our own tax dollars coming back to us is something I think that we deserve and separating families or taking away funds doesn't seem like a way forward to create jobs or save streets and save communities.

So we certainly want to speak up and speak out about the quintessential American values that cities represent, whether it's making sure we have safe streets, or is making sure we having family unity or whether we have a strong economy. And I think our constitution has pretty strong president, I mean saying that local governments and state governments can't have a financial gun to their head from the federal government no matter who is in charge and we'll continue to cooperate with our federal authorities but in a lawful constitutional way.

COOPER: Well, but President Trump says essentially there has to be law and order and that you're not cooperating. I mean why not -- for those who disagree with the idea of a sanctuary city, why not turnover people who have committed crimes to immigration authorities?

GARCETTI: Well, we do all the time and I think there is a misconception that we don't. We hand over dangerous criminals to the immigration officials, but what we don't do is we don't do that without a warrant or without a constitutional process, just based on the way somebody looks or where live or who they are. You know, five police chiefs in Los Angeles in a row since the late '70s, very conservative ones in fact, always knew this is the best way to win the trust of the people that they police over, so I don't know a lot of about what they intend, but I do know something about good policing and it keeps our streets safer.

And the so-called sanctuary county areas have lower crime rates, have less unemployment. I think we know how to build trust and to build an inclusive city and country that helps us be more economically prosperous and safer on the streets.

COOPER: You're set to receive worth $500 million from the federal government this fiscal year to help pay for services like port security, anti-gang programs. How much of that would actually be at risk? Because I know there's big questions about how much teeth this actually has.

GARCETTI: Well I guess that's a question for the administration. I would hope none would be at risk, because I believed this administration believes as we do that veterans who has served their country like I have shouldn't sleep on our streets and a federal voucher that helps a homeless vet move into housing is a good thing. I think that America's port that we have here in Los Angeles, 43 percent of America's goods come through the ports of LA and Long Beach that we need to protect ourselves from attack radiological, biological terrorism and funding goes towards that. But this is not just a question of Los Angeles and other cities' individual needs, these are American needs that come through our cities and I would hope that would be what this administration would help us protect and move forward.

COOPER: The president says that money -- federal money is for law enforcement personnel or reasons that would continue to flow, but other programs might be hurt. I mean, if it came down to losing, you know, $100 million for some programs you think are important law and -- or following federal law, which would you do?

GARCETTI: Well, it's not law today and we think that that demand is both unconstitutional and un-American. In fact, just over a year ago, the Supreme Court agreed with us when the Obama administration tried to force states to expand Medicaid in some states and some governors decided not to, the Supreme Court agreed with them and said that you can't put that financial gun to the head of local and state governments who decide what they want and what is best for their areas.

COOPER: Mayor Garcetti, appreciate your time. Thank you.

GARCETTI: Thank you, Anderson.

Well, another view now, joining us by phone is Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Mayor thanks so much for joining us. You've ordered your county jail to comply with President Trump's executive order on immigration enforcement. What exactly are you instructing them to do?

[20:55:05] CARLOS GIMENEZ, MIAMI-DADE MAYOR: Well, we've always shared information with the federal government. We didn't consider ourselves a sanctuary city, but the Obama administration, there is a resolution that was passed here in Miami-Dade County that said that if immigration wanted us to hold an illegal immigrant that we had in custody because we arrested them for non-immigration issue because our offices are not immigration offices, but since they had that information and then if they wanted us to hold them, we would require them to send us a letter saying they would pay for the cost of incarceration. that was implemented a couple years ago here in Miami- Dade county. that policy was put out by the justice department about five, six months ago saying that that may be in violation and may put us at a sanctuary city and that document was actually issued by the Obama administration. So, all we did today -- all I did today was a we no longer need the immigration decides that somebody who is in our custody, that they want us to hold that person, and we no longer require that letter saying they will pay for the costs.

COOPER: So do you require -- because Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles saying they would require a warrant for that person. Do you require that or simply notification?

GIMENEZ: It's a notification. If a federal agency says look, we're interested in one of your prisoners and they notify us they want us to hold that individual, then we will hold that individual. And what we are worried about and have been is that obviously costs us, there is an expense to that and we wanted the federal government to reimburse us and they hadn't been reimbursing us.

And so for us this is a like -- it was at the time about a $600,000 issue. But really when we just ran the numbers on this, it's $52,000 a year. In order for -- I'm not going to put millions of dollars in federal aid in jeopardy simply because we want the federal government to reimburse us for maintaining these prisoners, especially at that lower cost. So it's not worth it and obviously, we want to comply with the request of the federal government. They are partners and like I said, we have always provided the information to the federal government.

And whenever anybody is arrested, and that means anybody is arrested, and whether it be a normal citizen et cetera, we provide fingerprints and information

COOPER: Right.

GIMENEZ: Some of those folks maybe illegal immigrants and if the federal government is interested in them and right now we will detain them as long as we have a request from the federal government.

COOPER: LA Mayor Garcetti briefly said that, you know, there -- one of their concerns is that this will stop undocumented folks from coming forward, reporting crimes or testifying or, you know, speaking to police. Do you have any of those concerns?

GIMENEZ: No, because really, this is just dealing with illegal immigrants that have been arrested by the Miami-Dade Police Department.


GIMENEZ: They are under arrest for committing some kind of crime in Miami-Dade, not an immigration crime, just some kind of crime. And so we're not in the business of enforcing immigration law per se, we have a lot of other things that we have to police in Miami-Dade County. But once one of these illegal immigrants commits a crime in Miami-Dade and they are arrested, then that information is given to the federal government in compliance with federal law.

The only thing that changed here today by me was that we no longer require a basically a letter, a document from the federal government stating they will reimburse us for the cost --

COOPER: Right.

GIMENEZ: -- of the additional time that we will incarcerate that illegal immigrant on, you know, for the federal government.

COOPER: Mayor Gimenez, appreciate your time and your perspective. Thank you very much.

GIMENEZ: Thank you.

COOPER: We got much more ahead in the second hour of "360" including a fast moving day and the feud over who's going to pay for the border wall. The President Trump ordered. The latest on next goes reaction and other fall out. When we come back.