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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Bannon Tells Media to Shut Up as Trump's Agenda Becomes Jobs, Trade, Inauguration Crowd Size; Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway at March for Life; Trump's Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities Having Impact in Miami-Dade County; Rep. Cardenas Will Opposed Funding for Mexican Border Wall; HLN Original Series on Menendez Brothers. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired January 27, 2017 - 11:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:24] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: One full week into the Trump presidency, and we're getting a clearer sense of what tops his agenda: jobs, trade, and inauguration crowd size. Maybe not in that order.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: To that point, the president spent his first full morning as president picking up his phone to call the head of the National Park Service because the president was so mad about depictions of his crowd size. Specifically, President Trump complained about a comparison that was retweeted on the National Park Service official's Twitter account. The "Washington Post" is reporting the president then ordered the park service chief to produce more photos of the crowd from that day to back him up.

Here is the president addressing the issue once again last night on FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had the largest audience, if you add the television, you add all the sources, the largest in the history of inaugurations. I did. They try and demean it so much. When you look at pictures -- I would love to show you a picture. When I was in that speech, I looked out, it was a sea of people.

UNIDENTIFID HOST CORRESPONDENT: A picture of the West Wing.

TRUMP: And they want to demean it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So there is that. And this, a quick public service announcement: John and I could try to keep our mouths shut, and we would fail miserably, especially John.

BERMAN: It's true. We're referring to something the White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, told "The New York Times," about the election outcome and its effect on news organization. He said, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."

So, we're going to talk about that. We'll talk about keeping our mouths shut with CNN political commentator, Carl Bernstein; and "Daily Beast" politics reporter, Betsy Woodruff.

Carl, I don't want to dwell on this too much. First, I could ask you when you kept your mouth shut, the answer would be never.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely right. My wife would say that.

BERMAN: It's part of our job, isn't it?

BERNSTEIN: No, but let's not get too high on our horses here either. What Bannon said, first of all, is that the opposition party is the media. And in fact, that's not the case. That the opposition party is the truth. And that is the problem they're up against, that they have been lying, the president of the United States has been lying, his propaganda ministers, Ms. Conway and Sean Spicer, have been lying. Let's call out the falsehoods, which is our job.

And at the same time, we have acknowledged and continue to, that Donald Trump has won one of the great election victories, upsets, in our history. And I don't think anybody is trying, that I know of, is trying to demean that fact.

What we just saw President Trump do, again, on FOX News last night is exactly what has got Republicans in Washington, on Capitol Hill, worried about his pathology, to use their words, that they are worried about a delusional aspect that the president keeps seeming to go to in his necessity of projecting I'm the biggest, I'm the greatest, there's never been anything like this, what he said at the CIA, et cetera, and to continue down this road.

Mr. Bannon would not be happy to know the words that Republicans are using to describe his president right now and this kind of conduct and behavior.

BOLDUAN: And the fact of the matter is the core of any journalist's job is to hold the government accountable. That's the core mission and that's what it is. That is the core mission.

BERNSTEIN: The core mission actually is to report the best obtainable version of the truth.

BOLDUAN: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

BERNSTEIN: And not just to hold people accountable. The best obtainable version of the truth.

And one of the things that we do that's the most equally important thing is to decide what is news. That's what reporters, journalists, editors, do.

BOLDUAN: So, to that point --

(CROSSTALK)

BERNSTEIN: So what the president is saying there, and the way he is saying it, is news.

BOLDUAN: Betsy, on that point of deciding what is news, let's talk about the news of the week. We're one week into the Donald Trump presidency. What do we know after this first week about how the Donald Trump White House operates?

BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: We know that he's going to keep a lot of his campaign promises. Of course, the slew of executive orders that he signed indicate, first, that he's going to certainly crack down on undocumented immigrants, both with interior enforcement, and angling to deport undocumented immigrants living in the United States. And also, dramatically ramped up border security and much more detention of undocumented immigrants who cross the border. By all counts, that's something that he's very serious about.

I think when we talk about the way that this news gets covered and the role that the media plays, it's important to remember that a lot of Bannon's criticisms of the media and, of course, that's going to include criticism of the way reporters have covered this past week, aren't unique to Bannon. In conservative circles and on the right, going back for years and years, there has been pointed, explicit criticism of the mainstream media. For instance, in 2015, the Republican primary debates, in one debate, Marco Rubio actually said the mainstream media was a super PAC for the Democratic Party, which is close to what Bannon was saying.

So, for reporters, that's a challenge, with covering these executive orders, many of which are extremely controversial, could have life-or- death implications, because the White House will argue the reason we're covering these issues the way we're covering them could be tainted by political motivations. That's not a new argument to Republican voters and conservatives.

[11:35:56] BERMAN: I will note that the Obama administration, at one point, directly referred to FOX News and said we should treat them as the opposition. Something that has happened before. If you're in the White House, you don't always like what's reported about you.

Carl, this week's executive actions, that Betsy was just talking about, just because he signs them, it doesn't necessarily mean they all come to pass exactly the way they were described this week. Other things will happen. But -- and -- and but, what it shows is that the president understands the stage that the White House provides him. President Trump may be -- more quickly even than President Obama did -- has learned what people will watch and what people will pay attention to with the power that he has.

BERNSTEIN: He understands more than the stage with these executive orders. He understands that he has enormous power within these orders to make huge changes, not necessarily all that he wants to, but an awful lot of them. There is a lot of power vested in the presidency that can be accomplished through these orders, and he's doing it.

But let's also talk about the larger thing that's going on with Russia right now, and that is we are on the verge, in one week of a new presidency, of, perhaps, and he has promised this, seeing the world order of the last 60 years upended. That is what we're talking about here. And whether or not there has been the due diligence done by him and his aides into upending this world order that we have known in the whole post-war era, this is a hell of a rush. And we need to be covering that. We need to be looking at the questions of whether or not the influence of Putin is outsized and unreasonable in this presidency and whether or not there were things that occurred in that hacking that go to this question. We've got a lot of questions that we need answered. But we're in uncharted territory, both in terms of the president's temperament and also in terms of this new policy agenda, not just domestic, not just immigration, but really turning back 60 years.

And if you listen closely to what Theresa May said last night, she is trying to get this president to root himself partly in the old-world order, and not go forward with the things he's talking about.

BERMAN: Carl, Betsy, thanks so much for being with us.

We're going to take a quick break.

BOLDUAN: This programming note, the CNN special, Michael Smerconish on the first week of President Trump, tonight at 9:00 p.m., right here on CNN.

BERMAN: And as we speak, crowds are gathering in Washington. We're looking at live pictures right now. That is the mall. This is the March for Life. These are marchers speaking out against abortion. And this time, a big guest will join them. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:43:07] BERMAN: Live pictures right now out of Washington. This is the annual March for Life, the protest march against abortion rights. It's set to begin.

BOLDUAN: For the first time this year, a sitting vice president, Mike Pence, of course, and a senior White House adviser, will be attending the event in person.

CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Brianna Keilar, is live from the National Mall. It has been on the National Mall all morning.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Now you're hearing music. They've been going through a worship part of the program and now the music. They'll be starting in 15 or so minutes. And last year, this was a group that was dealing with a blizzard. So, they're obviously very happy that they have many more people.

I'm looking across the mall here. We're by the Washington Monument. Definitely tens of thousands of people. We'll get an exact final count. They're hoping participation is increased in part because the vice president is going to be speaking. You said it, the highest- ranking White House official ever to address the White House March for Life. Kellyanne Conway speaking as well. Had the vice president not been on the schedule here, even Kellyanne Conway would have been the highest-ranking White House official. A signal from the White House that there is much more emphasis on this issue.

I would say, talking to organizers here, they are extremely hopeful that there is going to be some sort of rollback of Roe versus Wade. They do this event today in proximity to the decision that was last Sunday, and this was when they could first get a permit. But they're looking at President Trump, saying that next week, he's going to announce his pick for the vacancy on the Supreme Court, and they're feeling extremely optimistic -- John and Kate?

BERMAN: All of the picks would certainly fall in line with those views, as far as we know.

Brianna Keilar, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

[11:44:58] BOLDUAN: Thanks, Brianna.

Coming up for us, President Trump orders a crackdown on sanctuary cities. It's already having an impact on one major U.S. city. The city's major changing course. Will more follow suit? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: President Trump's crackdown on sanctuary cities already having a real impact on Florida's largest county. The mayor of Miami- Dade says he will comply with the president's executive order, which threatens to take away federal dollars from counties or cities that refuses to cooperate with immigration authorities. But leaders of other cities, like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, have vowed to fight back.

BERMAN: Joining us now is Democratic Congressman from California Tony Cardenas.

Congressman, thank you so much for being with us.

There are a lot of issues at play here. The mayor of Miami-Dade says it comes down to money. He doesn't want to keep undocumented immigrants in local jails. Then there are issues beyond that. What's your take on his decision?

REP. TONY CARDENAS, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, it's unfortunate that President Trump is threatening our local police and sheriffs. And it's unfortunate that the mayor of Dade County in Florida decided to capitulate. But our sheriffs have been doing a great job of keeping our country and communities safe. I hope the federal government will allow them to continue to do that but it looks like this president wants to threaten them.

[11:50:07] BOLDUAN: What Donald Trump's point is, he points to why he is making this move. He points to crime and family members that have been killed by undocumented immigrants. They need to be protected first and foremost. What do you say to those families?

CARDENAS: Every time that there's a crime, it needs to be pursued. Every time that somebody loses a family member, we want the government to do everything they can do to catch those perpetrators. I hope you on CNN can go ahead and put those studies up before the public and show that sanctuary cities are, in fact, slightly safer than non- sanctuary cities, and also, immigrants in general, documented or undocumented, says are much less likely to commit a crime than somebody who is born in this country. The values that some -- many of these people bring actually enhance the safety of our communities, and they're just here to work really hard, keep their nose to the grind stone, and just do a good job and feed their families.

BERMAN: Congressman, President Trump wants a wall with Mexico, between Mexico. It will likely come before the Congress for funding, $12 billion to $15 billion. You are opposed to the wall. How will you oppose funding?

CARDENAS: Well, I talk to many Border Patrol agents and they shake their head and say we don't need a wall. It's not going to help us do our job. I think the $12 billion to $15 billion. How many bridges and roads can we build to enhance our economy to put Americans to work and increase our trade and also to make sure that goods and services get to and from. That's what makes our country great, when we focus on the things that make job opportunities better for Americans. And that $12 billion to $15 billion is something I'm going to fight. And it's something that I'm going to be wondering, how the heck are the Republican legislators, U.S. Senators and congressional members, going to try to sell that on the American public? That's our American tax dollars going to a bad plan.

BOLDUAN: How Democrats fight that with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, that's your big challenge that you have in front of you right now.

Congressman, thanks very much for the time. I appreciate it.

CARDENAS: Thank you.

BERMAN: Just a few minutes, big test. President Trump holds his very first meeting with the world leader since taking office. Our special live coverage coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:56:36] BERMAN: Just moments ago, the prime minister of Great Britain, Theresa May, arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump. They walked in, they're meeting right now. They will hold a news conference in a little bit. CNN will carry it live.

In the meantime, they were young, they were rich, and they seemed to have it all, but the Menendez brother, Lyle and Eric, they made their mark with murder, killing their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion. BOLDUAN: The infamous crime and the sensational trial that followed

dominated headlines in the 1990s. Well, now HLN's new original series "How It Really Happened, with Hill Harper," is taking a closer look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFEID JUDGE: The defense may call its next witness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defense calls Joseph Lyle Menendez.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lyle was the first one to take the stand. Even just hearing his voice was dramatic for everyone because it's very rare that you would get to hear from the mouth of someone who has committed a murder exactly how that murder went down.

UNIDENTIFIED MENENDEZ BROTHER: We just burst through the doors, and I start firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sat there, matter of factually, and explained that they did it.

UNIDENTIFIED MENENDEZ BROTHER: I entered the room. I saw two people in the room, and I just started firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh. How many people would do that?

UNIDENTIFIED MENENDEZ BROTHER: I just fired until there was nothing left.

UNIDENTIFIED MENENDEZ BROTHER: There was things shattering and the noise was phenomenal, just chaos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So now the host of "How It Really Happened with Hill Harper," Hill harper, is joining us right now.

Great to see you, Hill. Thanks so much for being here.

Almost 30 years later this trial, this murder, this sensational headlines, what is it about this case as you went through this that has people still so fascinated?

HILL HARPER, HLN HOST: It's a couple of reasons. John and Kate, it's a couple of things. Number one is the amazing occurrence and the confluence around the time. We just had some amazing shows, "O.J., Made in America." We had the FX show that won all the awards that got nominated for an Oscar, the documentary series. This all happened around the exact same time in the exact same place. And what people don't know is that O.J. had dinner at the Menendez house because Jose Menendez was an executive at Hertz, and he invited O.J. over, and O.J. was the spokesperson for this. And the first trial happened before the O.J. trial. There was a hung jury. Same court house in Los Angeles. The O.J. trial happens, not guilty verdict comes down, and then quickly, the second trial happens. Some people think that there's a link between how quickly the guilty verdicts came down. The reason why it's relevant today is that there's a new statute in

the state of California that allows individuals to claim that they were victims of domestic abuse to file for a retrial if they believe they weren't able to present that evidence at their trial, and so there may be a Menendez trial number three possibly happening.

And so, it's amazing. It's great to be doing this show. Obviously, this is the first premier episode tonight, but we have 12 more episodes from now until May that are fantastic. The CNN original, folks, are just the most brilliant people in crawling through the treasure-trove of info that CNN has.

BERMAN: We agree.

Hill Harper, we look forward to watching this tonight. It includes a telephone interview with one of the Menendez brothers.

Do not miss this. The debut of the new original series, "How It Really Happened, with Hill Harper," that's at 8:00, tonight on HLN.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR, everybody.

BERMAN: "Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.

[12:00:12] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: John and Kate, thank you.

And welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King.