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ISIS Claims "Fighter" Carried Out Paris Police Shooting; U.S. Prepares Charges Against WikiLeaks' Julian Assange; Promises Made, Promises; Trump: "Good Chance" Of Victory On Health Care Soon; Sessions "Amazed" That "Island" Judge Can Block Travel Ban; Sources: O'Reilly Getting $25 Million Payout. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 20, 2017 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:35] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Topping this hour of "360," everything we're learning about the man who shot and killed a police officer in the very center of the heart of Paris on one of the most famous avenues in the world, Champs Elysee.

CNN Jim Bittermann is there for us tonight. He joins us with the latest. So, what did you learn about the attack. What do we now know?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, the police are still trying to find out exactly all they can about the attacker. They believe they know his identity. They haven't given it to us, but they do say he's a 39-year-old assailant who was known to police.

He had a criminal background. He shot at police once in 2001 and served some prison time for doing that. So, he was someone that should have been on the radar, but apparently wasn't enough on the radar that they were able to stop him from doing what he did tonight.

The fact is that the president of France is going to hold a defense council about five hours from now, probably to talk about what are the things can be done to guarantee the safety of citizens this weekend. This is after all presidential election weekend here in France.

The first round of the presidential election is on Sunday. The campaigning is supposed to stop tomorrow. Some of the candidates have said because of this incident the campaigning should stop. In fact, right now, no further campaigning between now and tomorrow. Anderson?

COOPER: And ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Obviously, this guy was radicalized at some point is much known about that. Or I mean, you said he had interactions with the police before. He was a known extremist, yes?

BITTERMANN: He was a known extremist. One of the things that still hasn't been confirmed, but at least intelligence sources are saying that he was supposed to be under surveillance, a so-called "S" file, the kind of things that they do with radicalized criminals here and he should have been under, probably closer surveillance than he was, obviously.

But in any case, that's one of the questions that will no doubt come up in this. In fact, in some -- there are some questions being raised already tonight about exactly to what extent the police were watching this assailant and how much they should have done from what further things could have been done.

COOPER: Right. I mean, the number of Islamic radicals that they are having to deal with -- I mean, in the last report I saw it said about 15,000 or so, right?

BITTERMANN: That's right, 15,000 of these so-called "S" files. They're different levels of surveillance and in fact some people are under very close surveillance. But nonetheless, 15,000 people in France that police and intelligence officers believed should be kept under watch. So with that kind of a task, you're really at odds to try to keep track of everybody.

They've say for the elections this weekend they've got 50,000 police on the streets, but that pales in comparison the fact that there are 60,000 voting places in France. So, there's a lot of protection out there, but you can't be everywhere all the time, obviously.

COOPER: Jim Bittermann, appreciate it, in Paris tonight. Thank you.

Major action being taken to bring a fugitive holdup in a London embassy to the U.S. for trial, we're talking about Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Late today, we learned the Justice Department wants him.

With more on what he's now wanted for and whether the government thinks they can get him, we're joined by CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown. So what do know, Pamela?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we've learned that U.S. authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to several U.S. officials familiar with this matter.

Now, the Justice Department probe of Assange and WikiLeaks dates back to at least 2010 when the site first gained attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former U.S. army intelligence analyst, now known as Chelsea Manning, and prosecutors over the years have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now they believe according to these officials that they have found a way to move forward.

The attorney general today was asked by our lawyer, Jared (ph), about the focus on Julian Assange. Here's what he said.


JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. This is a matter that's gone beyond anything I'm aware of. We have professionals in it (ph), the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So, yes, it is a priority. We've already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.


COOPER: So what's different now? I mean, why does this administration feel that they can go after WikiLeaks where in the past administration, the Obama administration felt that it would be too difficult.

[21:05:05] BROWN: Right. So during the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined that it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn't alone in publishing stolen documents by Manning. Several newspapers, including "The New York Times" did as well. But the investigation continued, although charges were put on hold.

But more recently, Anderson, the U.S. view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to evolve and change. Apparently, after investigators found what they believed was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cash of classified documents. And then last week as you heard, CIA Director Mike Pompeo gave a strong hint of this.


MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. He has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning intercept to a specific secret information. It overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from any Democratic countries and organizations.


BROWN: So as you heard the CIA director there making the distinction that in the view of the CIA, WikiLeaks wasn't just publishing the stolen information, it played a more active role. Now, WikiLeaks for its part has long defended itself as publishing in the public's interests and compared itself to media organizations.

COOPER: But, Assange -- I mean, he's in the Ecuadorian embassy, unless he leaves, the U.S. can't get him.

BROWN: Right. You know, this could be viewed as a purely political move since he is untouchable at the moment as long as he remains there in the Ecuadorian embassy and Ecuador does not change its stance on Assange's extradition. I can tell you, Anderson, that in recent months U.S. officials had focused on the election in Ecuador and the possibility that a new government there would expel Assange and then he could be arrested, but the left winning presidential candidate who won this recent election in the South American nation has promised to continue to harbor him, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Pamela Brown, appreciate the update. Again, it's quite a change. The Trump Justice Department prosecuting the founder of the organization that candidate Trump at least once had praise for.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks. By the way, did you see another one? Another one came in today. This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.

And by the way, WikiLeaks just came out with lots of really unbelievable things, just minutes ago. In fact, I almost delayed this speech by about two hours. It's so interesting.


COOPER: That was then. Right now we're joined by CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. I want to get to legality of all this, but I mean it is interesting that Donald Trump's Justice Department is, you know, pursuing this when the candidate was praising WikiLeaks.


COOPER: That was then, this is now.

TOOBIN: Right. That's about the sense.

COOPER: So legally, the difference is -- because obviously this raises First Amendment concerns for many journalists and that in the past has limited -- had stopped like the Obama administration for going after him. But the Trump administration is making a different argument.

TOOBIN: Well, it's, you know, it's illegal to possess classified information if you're not authorized. But as a policy matter, the Justice Department has always prosecuted the leakers, the people who gave -- who give the classified information, but they have not prosecuted the journalists who have received it, even though as a technical matter possessing classified information, which you know to be classified, can be seen as a crime.

What appears to be happening now is that the -- that policy is changing, at least as far as WikiLeaks is concerned, because they don't see WikiLeaks just as a media organization like "The New York Times" or CNN, but as an active participant in obtaining the classified information so that they're more like a co-conspirator than a recipient of leaks.

COOPER: The CIA director, Mike Pompeo, said that there is no First Amendment freedom because Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen.

TOOBIN: See that I don't think -- that I don't think matters. The First Amendment applies in the United States whether you are an American citizen or not. You can't prosecute a non-American in the middle of Times Square because they say something that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment applies in the United States for everyone.

But, I do think, you know, that the government may have a good argument against WikiLeaks because they simply possess classified information without authorization and that's true whether they're American citizens or not.

COOPER: But in terms of actually bringing Julian Assange to the United States, unless -- I mean, A, he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy or the embassy -- the government of Ecuador changes their mind and kicks him out.

TOOBIN: Right. Remember, he originally went to the embassy and remains there because Sweden wants him on a sex crime. So, the Ecuadorians have determined to protect him apparently from any sort of prosecution from any country and as long as he stays there, and it's been years.

[21:10:08] COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: But, presumably it will end at some point.

COOPER: Yeah. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks.

Coming up next, the latest on new White House efforts to do what it could not do the first time around and that they were promising up and down that they had no Plan B for, namely, replacing Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.

Later, some other big promises the president has made and what if anything he has done to keep them. We'll keep them honest, ahead.


COOPER: Reaching (ph) his 100-day in the job, the president has a number of executive orders under his belt and won't narrowly confirmed Supreme Court justice, but not much more. He fixed to differ (ph).


TRUMP: No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.


COOPER: Keeping them honest that it's just not true, not only when looking at the conventional expectations as any administration has measured against, there are also what you might called self-imposed challenges to justify early morning tweets and unsubstantiated claims during some cases to fulfilled promises he made to get something done by some specific deadline.

For example, during the transition, President-elect Trump put out a statement on cyberattacks saying, "Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses, we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office." It's been 90 days, pretty much cricket on that. We asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about it. We've got no comment. According to "Politico" quoting a national security council spokesman, the NSE is not involve in drafting any plan and neither Rudy Giuliani who is given the job of building cyber security partnerships with the private sector.

[21:15:10] In any case, the calendar speaks for itself. It's been 90 days, no report. Then there's this, which doesn't involve a specific deadline, but certainly suggests something important enough to treat urgently.

The president's claim he would have won the popular vote if not for millions of people who voted illegally, millions, which would be the biggest case of voter fraud in American history, which didn't happen. He said it on Twitter. He said it to lawmakers. He offered no evidence to back it up. Then as pressure grew he said this.


TRUMP: I'm going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and we're going to look at it very, very carefully.


COOPER: So that was Super Bowl Sunday. More than a month and a whole lot of radio silence later, Sean Spicer was asked for a progress report on whether any evidenced had come to light yet.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that's why he's asked Vice President Pence to look into it. I would disagree with the assertation that I think that there's also factual, you know, evidence of people voting illegally. We saw that in Texas a couple of weeks ago and in other places. So, part of the reason that he's asking Vice President Pence to chair this task force is to look into the issue.


COOPER: Just for fact sake, no evidence of millions of people illegally voting. You heard him there saying the president is asking the vice president to look into it, asking a month and three days after the president announced that he was. Keeping them honest, not only had nothing been done back then, nothing appears to have been done even since then.

Late tonight, a senior White House official tells us the formation of a Pence commission, "Has not been a topic of a lot of conversation in the White House and said that they had not spoken with the vice president about it recently either."

Let's just remember, this would be the largest incident of voter fraud in U.S. history. It would be a huge scandal. It would be a massive deal, but so far no commissioner actually looking into it on the vice president's part. Reached for comment late tonight, Sean Spicer would only say he expects something on the commission within the next week or two.

Now, in fairness, every president has at one time or another failed to fulfill certain promises even in the broadest possible interpretation of any given pledge. Circumstances change, so do priorities. That said it's hard not to see at least some of this as the White House simply making big promises, or the president making promises while hoping we don't notice the lack of actual follow through. We do, and so do voters.

New Gallup polling shows just 45 percent surveyed now believe the president, someone who keeps his promises. That's down 17 points since February. I want to talk about it with Jeffrey Lord, Kirsten Powers, and Ryan Lizza.

Jeff, I mean, do you see these as a number of promises not delivered on, promises not even pursued? I mean, isn't the voter fraud thing that a major allegation that if you say you're going to set up some sort of commission?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that there's room for some honest criticism here, but I think there's also things going on. For instance for the cyber task force, that's being headed by former Mayor Giuliani and it's my understanding that they have been pulling together white papers on the subject. They have a staff person assigned to it. They'd not yet reached out to government agencies on this, but they are getting their ducks in a row here.

COOPER: 90 days is what the president said.

LORD: Right. I understand. But, it is underway. On voter fraud, I honestly don't know. And I note that Hans von, I can never say his last name, Spakovsky, has not been asked yet and I would hope that he is going to be involved in this because this is somebody who has a whole data bank of voter fraud around the country and its history and knows a great deal about the subject.

COOPER: Who is that?

LORD: Thank you very much, Anderson. Hans von Spakovsky, from the Heritage Foundation.

COOPER: Sure, OK. Kirsten, what do you make of this? I mean, is this just, you know -- I mean, it does seem like, you know, the president says things and has, you know, throughout his career as a developer said things and the more he says them people start to believe they're true. But as president when you say you're going to do something and that interest never have materializes it does after while raise some questions.

KIRSTEN POWER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. I mean, look, I do think that Donald Trump makes a lot of promises and he does sort of -- he's very hyperbolic and he, you know, makes a lot of promises. If you look at the promises he made for his first 100 days, you know, he sort of casts as though this has been the greatest first 100 days of, you know, any time. And in fact when you look at what's actually happened, frankly, very little has happened by historical standards.

I mean, even if you -- he has no major piece of legislation. The main thing he said he was going to do with Obamacare, repealing Obamacare hasn't happened. They are trying to make it happen in the first 100 days, but hasn't done it.

Most of the, you know, he set a lot of executive orders. A lot of them are undoing things. They're not even creating new initiatives. They're just undoing initiatives that the Obama administration did. So, I think he made a lot of promises and unfortunately hasn't really been able to deliver on a lot of them.

COOPER: Ryan, I mean, the fact of the matter is President Trump has spent his life making big pronouncements about himself, his wealth, his company. So during that -- during his presidency, I mean, it shouldn't be all that surprising.

[21:20:09] RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That is true. I mean, he does have a bit of a history of overpromising and underdelivering, which often what White Houses do in the first 100 days is they try and do the opposite. They try and set expectations a lot lower.

Both the Obama and the Bush White Houses tried to get journalists to not even pay attention to the 100-day mark because they argued, you know, and I covered both of them. I remember the White House press officers trying tell us, you know, this 100-day mark is artificial. I'm sure they have a good point to that, right?

COOPER: Right.

LIZZA: The 100-day mark comes out of the FDR's administration where in the middle of a major, major crisis and he had massive goodwill in Congress. He could have, you know, passed anything he wanted. So his 100 days was incredibly energetic and he did a lot.

Most presidents don't have those circumstances. If you want to compare Trump with Obama, Obama's first 100 days was much, much more -- he passed a lot more legislation. He did a whole lot more, but he too was in the middle of a crisis and had big margins in Congress.

I think the biggest problem that Trump has is he has a divided Republican Party in the Congress and unified opposition among Democrats so it's very hard for him to pass any legislation as we saw with health care.

And then on the campaign trail, he made a lot of promises that he sort of smooshed in to this, you know, he do in the first 60 days or first 100 days without really thinking carefully about what those first few months would be like and he's paying a bit of a price now as we go through those promises and see what's -- what he's done and what he hasn't.

COOPER: You know, Jeff, the president has said a number of times, as Kirsten point out, that no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days. I mean, you would agree that that is not the case, right? I mean, just -- from a shared just like legislation standpoint or whatever metric you want to judge it from.

LORD: Well, I think in terms of executive orders and things of that nature. I mean, certainly the accomplishment of getting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court --


LORD: -- that's a very big deal. That's going to have a generational impact.

COOPER: Right. That's one legislative thing.

LORD: Right. Well, but it's a big one. It's a very big one.

COOPER: I know. Others have been --

LORD: Because as I can attest, there were presidents, including President Reagan, who couldn't get that accomplished on occasion. So that's a big deal. So -- and I agree that Ryan is right. I mean, this is -- the Bush and Obama White House had it right.

I mean, this is vastly overblown and what's going to happen here, Anderson, is we're going to have a whole flurry of stories about this when the 100-day mark hits and then we'll move on. At the end of the Trump administration four years, eight years, whatever, that's when history will start to judge. It's not going to be the first 100 days.

LIZZA: You know, Jeffrey, one of my points was it's the Trump White House that is sort of promoting this 100-day mark and it's President Trump who is saying he has had the most successful 90 days of any president.


LIZZA: And that's what is surprising because it's just not true, so you would expect them to sort of play down expectations.

COOPER: Yeah, certainly not doing that. Thank you everyone.

Coming up next, as Ryan Lizza mentioned, we'll get to the promise the president made to repeal and replace Obamacare. A progress report when we return.


[21:27:08] COOPER: The president expressed hope today he'll soon have an Obamacare care replacement bill to sign. Given the history so far, that could be a lot to ask for. The last effort failed in a big way and polling (ph) shows that the public isn't exactly enthusiastic about the whole idea at the state. That's an effort to do seem to be underway to come up with something soon.

Athena Jones has been working her sources, joins us now from the White House. What are you learning? Is there enough support to actually pass a bill by next week? ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Well, that's the question. This Obamacare repeal is something the White House very much wants to get done. Despite all the talk about moving on to tax reform or another issue after the failure of the last push, it's clear that repealing and replacing this law is a major priority, it remains a major priority.

It's something the president hasn't stopped talking about, something he wants to get done soon and he sounded pretty optimistic about the prospects for that happening during the press conference today with the Italian prime minister. Watch.


TRUMP: The plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good and a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but it will be -- I believe we will get it and whether it's next week or shortly thereafter.


JONES: So he's suggesting a vote is imminent, but sources tell CNN that while progress is being made, the legislative text of the proposed changes hasn't been shared with the rest of the caucus and there's no target vote date set yet. Anderson?

COOPER: As far as public opinion is concerned, we mentioned polling. What are the specifics on that?

JONES: This is interesting. There's a new Quinnipiac poll out today that shows just 36 percent of those polled believe the Republicans should try again to repeal and replace Obamacare. 60 percent say they should move on. So that's a very interesting number to look at as they're making this second attempt, especially in the face of a lot of uncertainty about whether the changes they make to win over certain votes will lose them votes -- other votes in the House, not to mention the fate of this -- any perspective bill in the Senate, so a big lift in a short period of time. We'll see what happens.

COOPER: All right, Athena Jones. Athena, thank you.

Coming -- joining us now is Berkeley Professor Public Policy and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, author of "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." And CNN Senior Economic Analyst Stephen Moore, former advisor to the Trump campaign.

Secretary Reich, let me start with you. I mean, is it a good idea for this White House to try to be setting another deadline for them to pass something by next week or shortly thereafter as the president said?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, I don't think so given the record. I mean, Republicans haven't been able to come up with a repeal and replace for Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. Well, it was six years and then they didn't do it again after Trump became president. So, the odds are very, very low.

They have been on recess for the last two weeks, coming back next week, setting a deadline within the first 100 days. I think it's almost impossible. I just don't understand, still don't understand, why they don't try to do a tax cut first or infrastructure first, why it is necessary to keep on going back to this almost impossible task is frankly beyond me.

[21:30:10] COOPER: Steve, is it an impossible task?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: No, it's not impossible. In fact, you know, when you were saying that President Trump wants to get this done, that's for sure. But I would say that the vast, vast majority of Republicans in Congress understand that if they don't get this done, if they don't get Obamacare substantially repealed, they're going to lose the House and Senate and everything in 2018.

It's the central promise that they made, Anderson, to the voters, not just in this election but the last three elections. And it's something conservatives will never forgive them if they don't get rid of this. And that's why it's going to get done because it has, although I was wrong. You may recall a month ago I said on your show that they were going to get this thing passed and that didn't happen. But it will.


REICH: Steve I remember that. I remember at that time when I said I would eat my hat and you said, "Well, you're going to have to eat your hat." I will make the same claim. They're not going to do it next week.


REICH: I think Steve you said, didn't you, that they ought to try to do tax reform before they do this.

MOORE: Yeah, absolutely.

REICH: And I think, again --

MOORE: Well, what I said --


COOPER: Go ahead, Steve.

MOORE. Well, let me just clarify what I said because you had it by half right. I said, look, they should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. They should do both. They should get Obamacare going and they should get going on this tax cut.

You know, Anderson, I'm very worried about what's happened on the tax cut front, even more so than -- on Obamacare repeal because, you know, there was -- you know, when you talk about the first 100 days, you know, there was a big Trump moon bounce in terms of the economy in the first part of his presidency and after the election.

It's flattened out a little bit and there's a lot of nervousness among investors and businessman and woman who I talked who are now saying, "Hmm, I'm not so sure this tax cut is going to happen."

I think there has to be a degree of urgency on both Obamacare, but especially on the tax cut. Get this done. Get it done by this summer. If it does, and I think it's going to hurt the Republicans politically, but also it's going to hurt the economy.

REICH: What about infrastructure. What about infrastructure?

MOORE: Yeah.


REICH: -- is slam -- in fact a slam dunk because you've got Democrats who would argue and vote for infrastructure.

MOORE: All right.

REICH: You've got a lot of Republicans who traditionally want infrastructure.

MOORE: Right.

REICH: I mean, I don't understand why -- I mean, if you were in the White House, Steve, you would say infrastructure first. I certainly would have said that, right?

MOORE: Well, no. Again, let me clarify. In fact, there was a piece by (inaudible) and I and Steve Forbes said -- and Mary Coddler (ph) this -- just the other day in "The New York Times" where we basically said, "Let's make a deal with the Democrats." And, Bob Reich, I want to put this on the table and see if you take it.

You know, the Republicans get the corporate reduction, the business tax cuts that will help the economy. Democrats get some of that infrastructure spending that you want and you got a deal, you call it the jobs bill. Its jobs by the way, Anderson, when you're talking about this polling data, job is still issue number one for the vast majority of Americans.

REICH: Well, that's absolutely true. And I'll tell you something, if Donald Trump and the Republicans ever came up with a way of creating more and better jobs, I would be 100 percent for him. I would be running around the country advocating it.


MOORE: Well, are you for the deal? Are you for the deal? Are you for the deal?


REICH: A big supply side tax cut that's going to reward the rich and not -- nothing is going to trickle down anybody else. It's going to make -- it's going to just be a repeat of what we had under George W. Bush and what we had under Ronald Reagan.

COOPER: Steve, on the tax reform, what a lot of Republicans that were saying is you can't really do the tax reform until you have the health care piece because that was going to play for part of it.

MOORE: I think that's completely wrong. I know Anderson, that's what they're saying. I completely-- I think it's completely wrong. And by the way, it plays into the hands of their enemies when they say that because people like Robert Reich will say, "You want to cut people's health care benefits to give people a tax cut." That argument isn't going to fly. I think they have to make the argument that's good for people's health --


REICH: Let me just say --

MOORE: I know because I've been with him on that.

REICH: On this so-called repeal and replace, there's other plan that's just come up. As far as I understand, it has the same problems as the other one had before. I mean, all they're going to do is say to the states you can opt out of the essentially the Affordable Care Act if you want, but it has the same Medicaid phase out.

Why would moderate Republicans who didn't want to go with the repeal and replacement last time, why would they now go with it because they were most concerned about the Medicaid phase out?


COOPER: Steve, we have like 30 seconds, so you answer then we're going to go.

MOORE: OK. And the answer to that question is because we're going to give those low-income people essentially a voucher to go out and buy health insurance that's better than Medicaid. It's going to be a better deal for low-income people.

REICH: It's not. Everybody knows it's not.


REICH: -- faster than any voucher. It's just another Paul Ryan plan.


COOPER: We got to leave it there guys. Thank you. To be continued. Robert Reich, thank you, Stephen Moore as well.

[21:35:05] Coming up, two curiosities tonight involving the Trump administration relationship with judges, the judge appointed in the Dreamer deportation case, he is actually the same one the president had (inaudible) with over his Mexican heritage if you remember during the Trump University case and another ruling which led Attorney General Jeff Sessions to say something it's kind of odd about Hawaii. Details ahead.


COOPER: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is apparently astonished that judges in Hawaii can block president's decisions. On the radio show this week, Sessions was talking about the judge who blocked President Trump's executive order halting immigration from several Muslim majority country. Here's what he actually said.


SESSIONS: I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional powers.


COOPER: An island in the Pacific also known as Hawaii, which of course is one of the great states of the United States of America. Today, Justice Department spokes and put out a statement trying clarify, "Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific, a beautiful one where the Attorney General's granddaughter was born. The point, however, is that there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the president's lawful exercise of authority to keep the entire country safe." In other words, don't get too mad people in Hawaii.

[21:40:16] In other news of judges in the Trump administration tonight, judges has been assigned to hear the case of a 23-year-old Dreamer who says he was improperly deported. It's Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Now, if that names sounds familiar, he is the judge born in Indiana that then candidate Trump said couldn't preside over the Trump University fraud lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage.

Back with us is CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. We'll talk about Judge Curiel in a moment, but what about this coming from Attorney General Sessions?

TOOBIN: Well, I have to say, I think it's bizarre that a single judge can invalidate something in the whole country. Remember, you know, President Obama had his immigration plan invalidated by a single judge in Brownsville, Texas.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: Now, I think we can all agree Brownsville, Texas is part of the United States, as is Hawaii, but this practice of individual judges enjoining the whole country is a little weird.

COOPER: The -- it is a beautiful island, though, you would agree.

TOOBIN: Several beautiful islands.

COOPER: OK. Judge Curiel, I mean this is just coincidence that it's the same judge?

TOOBIN: Total coincidence. It's just out of the -- they have a-- I'm blanking-- when you have a pool -- when we have like --


TOOBIN: Its like -- when you like a last thing. I don't know. But we have people call in and try to help me do it. No. It's a random process.


TOOBIN: And it happened to land on Judge Curiel.

COOPER: The -- legally in terms of the legality and the prior comments from then candidate Trump about the Judge Curiel that will have no --

TOOBIN: No. And, you know, I think if this is whole process has been so unfair to the Judge Curiel, you know, we've had African-American judges for decades deciding civil rights cases. We have had women judges for decades deciding cases involving women's rights. The idea that the ethnic background of a judge is somehow relevant to whether he or she can decide a case is certainly ancient history.

COOPER: Let's play what then candidate Trump said about Judge Curiel.


TRUMP: He's proud of his heritage. I respect him was expecting him for that.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: But you're saying you can't do his job because of that.

TRUMP: Look, he's proud of his heritage, OK? I'm building a wall. Now, I think I'm going to do very well with Hispanics because I'm going to bring back jobs and they're going to get jobs right now. They're going to get jobs. I think I'm going to do very well with Hispanics, but we're building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico.

TAPPER: If you are saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?

TRUMP: I don't think so at all.


TOOBIN: Yes, it is. He's not Mexican.


TOOBIN: He's not Mexican. I mean, he's an American citizen born in Indiana. I mean, that was one of the many statements Donald Trump made during the campaign, whether it was, you know, about John McCain not being a war hero or making Kelly bleeding out or whatever, that we all thought was going to hurt his chances for president. Well, that-- we were wrong and he was right.

COOPER: And -- but, again, I mean just the irony that it is the same judge who oversaw the Trump University to which we should say never, you know, was settled.

TOOBIN: It was settled, so Judge Curiel didn't have to decide it, but he is perfectly capable of deciding this and any other case.

COOPER: All right. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much.

Coming up, so in the end what are the consequences of being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women? You may lose your job, yes. But if you're Bill O'Reilly, you may also get paid $25 million. And if it's -- it's certainly not the first time someone has cashed in after being accused of such misconduct. We will take a look.

TOOBIN: Anderson, it's called a wheel. That's the word I was looking for.

COOPER: There you go.

TOOBIN: The wheel --


COOPER: The wheel goes round and round. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you. That's next story, next.


[21:47:] COOPER: Bill O'Reilly has been ousted from Fox News after multiple sexual harassment accusations and payoffs came to light an advertiser's fled. The allegations of misconduct may have ultimately caused him his job, but his bank account won't suffer.

Sources tell CNN he's leaving with $25 million payout. He's not the only big names to make big bucks after scandal. Randi Kaye takes a look how that happens.



RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How and why did Bill O'Reilly walk away with so much cash? O'Reilly had recently signed a new contract and has what's called a golden parachute so he's getting what sources tell CNN is about a year's salary.

His contract wasn't set to expire until after the next presidential election. He won't get the full amount because Fox apparently added language to the new contract that gave the network an out in case to fallout from harassment claims grew more severe. Still, a two comma payout after being accused of sexually harassing female staffers and contributors as many shaking their heads. DAN ABRAMS, FOUNDER, MEDIAITE: I think that Fox and Bill O'Reilly both wanted to end this in a way whether wouldn't be major war.

KAYE (voice-over): O'Reilly isn't the first Fox News heavy weight to be paid such an exorbitant amount of money after being accused of sexual harassment. His former boss, Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes, got even more when he resigned amid harassment accusations from Fox employees. Ailes walked away last summer with $40 million, the full remainder of his contract.

BRIAN STELLER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The Murdoch's who own Fox are convinced Ailes was harassing women in his office at Fox News.

KAYE (voice-over): In 2015, the man who was once CEO for United Airlines walked away with $36.8 million severance package after misconduct, too. Jeff Smisek resigned after getting caught up in a corruption scandal.

(on camera): United and Smisek wanted to expand the subway line to New Jersey's, Newark Airport, which would be good for business as the United Hub. In exchange, he was accused of adding a flight for political purposes, a direct flight from Newark to South Carolina on weekends so the head of the port authority could visit his second home with ease.

JACOB FRENKEL, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL, SEC'S DIVISION OF ENFORCEMENT (voice-over): If the purpose of creating this route was in anyway a quid pro quo or some type of kickback in exchange for the considerations that were being sought by United, then it's problematic.

[21:50:14] KAYE (voice-over): And not only men get to walk away with oodles of cash. In 2015, Sony Pictures Executive Amy Pascal got a golden parachute worth $40 million, plus a percentage of movie profits and another $9 million annually.

What had she done? When Sony servers were hacked, Pascal was exposed for sending racist e-mails insinuating President Obama only liked movies with black actors, such as "Django Unchained" and "The Butler." She apologized, but was sent on her way.

AMY PASCAL, FORMER CO-CHAIR, SONY PICTURES: I'm 56. It's not exactly the time you want to like start all over again, but it's kind of great and I have to and it's going to be a new adventure for me.

KAYE (voice-over): Seems like in some cases, it pays to behave badly.

Randi Kaye, CNN New York.


COOPER: Up next, my conversation with Dwayne Johnson. He shares how his love from music started. He is the executive producer of the CNN Original Series "Soundtracks: Songs that Define History," debuting at the top of the hour. He's really fun guy to talk to. We have (ph) our conversation in just a few minutes. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:55:19] COOPER: Well, chances are when you hear certain song it spark a memory and brings you back in time. That's part of the premise for the new CNN Original Series "Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History" that premieres in just a few minutes.

The eight-part docu-series explores the music associated with some Americas most pivotal moments, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the moon landing in 9/11. Actor Dwayne Johnson is the executive producer. I spoke to him earlier.


COOPER: Growing up, what was your music?

DWAYNE JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SOUNDTRACKS: So the love with music started when I was a kid. So I grew up -- I'm half black and half Samoan, and part of the Polynesian culture is that we're always singing songs and playing ukulele and doing a lot of Polynesian dances, so song was always involved in my growing up.

COOPER: So growing up, it was like traditional music.

JOHNSON: It was traditional Polynesian music growing up when we would do -- when we would dance or we would sing that kind of thing. So Hawaiian music, Samoan music, but then also at a very young age my dad was a professional wrestler, and before wrestling he wrestled for Vincent Mann's dad.

COOPER: Oh, no kidding, you know that?

JOHNSON: Yeah. My grandfather wrestled for Vincent Mann's dad in the '70s. My dad came in, in the '80s. So before the wrestling business really became global, certainly the WWE, we lived on the road like gypsies. And my dad wrestled, so I lived probably in 15 states by the time I was 10.

So being on the road and driving everywhere, my dad would only listen to traditional country music. That was it. So Hank Williams Sr., Charley Pride, Johnny Paycheck, guys like that who really at a time in the '50s, '60s, '70s in country music --

COOPER: Right.

JOHNSON: -- was all about three cords and the truth, right. You heard that?

COOPER: Right, yeah.

JOHNSON: So I grew up with that.

COOPER: Anything that you learned in the producing of this, in terms of a particular time, or genre, or a song that stood out to you?

JOHNSON: I think, yes. So, I heard Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone before. But then to watch our series, and then watch her interviews and, you know, our series was really -- it was like a nice deep dive series, that really opened my eyes to what she was thinking, what she was feeling.

COOPER: Nina Simone, I mean I didn't know much about Nina Simone until there was a documentary a couple of years ago by Liz Garbus called "What Happened, Miss Simone?"


COOPER: And it totally opened my eyes. I mean, I had heard some of her songs before, but I didn't know how the role she played in the civil rights movement and how she really sacrificed her career. I mean, she hurt her career --


COOPER: -- in order to be part of the movement.

JOHNSON: That's right. Something bigger than that, right?


JOHNSON: Which, again, is very reflective I think of the time back then. And give her so much credit. Again, I was a fan of Nina Simone, right?

COOPER: Right.

JOHNSON: And especially in college there were a couple of songs that, you know, had some romantic ties. Nina Simone, but --

COOPER: I actually run to -- this is going to sound pathetic.

JOHNSON: Here we go.

COOPER: I run this the last couple of days to a -- it's like a remixed version of "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone.

JOHNSON: Really?

COOPER: Yeah. It's good.

JOHNSON: You're a good dude. Yeah, I knew. I knew there was something special about you.

COOPER: When you work out, you were -- is that how with the music -- do you work out to music?

JOHNSON: When I -- yeah.


JOHNSON: Of course, absolutely. I work out to my own voice.

COOPER: I mean, I'm sure there's some folks in L.A. who do. (OFF-MIC)

JOHNSON: I soothe myself. No, I'm all about hip-hop. I love hip- hop. And I like -- so for example, there's (inaudible) named Tech N9ne, probably the most successful underground artist unsigned by a big label. It get -- and I think so for me and my training -- since training has become like an anchor, I know you love to work out too as well, right?

COOPER: Not quite as successful as you.

JOHNSON: You know I fake it. It's all lighting in the gym.

COOPER: Yeah, I said you really let yourself go (ph).

JOHNSON: Yeah, (inaudible).

COOPER: Is there anything you hope people come away from the series with?

JOHNSON: Hope would be one and that change is real. And, you know, when we look back in some of these defining moments that we chronicle in the music that has driven and inspired these moments, I think, you know, music has that special thing.

You know, like when you hear a song, and all of a sudden it just -- it moves you. And if you're thinking about a love one that you lost, or you're thinking about a time, you know, that it was amazing time, it's that thing like that just, you know, and you can become emotional, you can become excited, you can become happy.

So I think it would be hope, it would be inspiration, and also -- especially today, I think, right, especially today where change can happen and change is real.

COOPER: Congrats on the series. It's really remarkable.

JOHNSON: Thank you, man. I appreciate that. Thank you.


COOPER: Executive Producer Dwayne Johnson. His new CNN Original Series "Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History" starts right now.