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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Poll: More Americans Say Athletes Should Stand During Anthem; Air Force General Tells Racist Cadets: "Get Out"; Trump Admin Demands Facebook Info on "Anti-Admin Activists". Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired September 29, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: OutFront next, breaking news, Tom Price out. The Health and Human Services secretary resigns under fire. He's not the only Trump cabinet member with a taste for private and military jets. Who's next?
Plus, Puerto Rico crying for help. Why is President Trump praising his administration's response to the disaster while residents there are suffering and, quote, mad as hell?
And, an air force general's passionate speech about race goes viral. Why many are saying that he is just the kind of leader that this country is missing now. He'll be my guest.
Let's go OutFront.
Good evening, I'm Jim Sciutto in tonight for Erin Burnett. And OutFront tonight, breaking news, Price is out. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price forced to resign. President Trump asked as a he arrived moments ago to his New Jersey golf resort if he had accepted Price's resignation, he gave us thumbs up.
Price had been under fire for days since news broke that he had repeatedly chartered private jet at taxpayer expenses for official travel. The secretary took more than 26 flights this year on private or military planes costing taxpayers, that's you and me more than a million dollars. This according to Politico. Trump earlier today seeming to relish in the guessing game over Price's fate said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he's a very fine person. I certainly don't like the outfits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: But CNN has learned that Trump was actually furious at Price and told aides that he thought the scandal was stupid. What made things worse, Price offered to reimburse taxpayers but only for a small portion of the flight's total cost, leading to yet more questions and yet more outrage. As one GOP congressional aide told CNN, quote, you were never going to survive with this president if you're clogging up cable with bad headlines. Jeff Zeleny is OutFront tonight at the White House. And Jeff, the president has not been happy with Tom Price fairly for quite some time.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good evening. Jim, that's right. I mean, largely first and foremost, Tom Price was brought into this cabinet to lead the effort to replace and repeal ObamaCare and we know where that is now, some, you know, almost nine months through this administration.
So the president has been wondering I'm told what exactly Senator Price's value is. What is he -- you know, if he was brought on board to do that, that didn't happen. He was a long time of course Georgia Republican House member, and he was unable to bring any of those, you know, this legislation to bear.
So that is one thing but the president was also so upset by the whole drip, drip, drip of this, of all these new flights, of the idea that the secretary would, you know, pay back some $52,000 on some almost, you know, almost a million dollars of flight. But earlier today as the president left the White House, I asked him about if he has confidence in the secretary. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Have you lost confidence in secretary Price?
TRUMP: I was disappointed because I didn't like it. Cosmetically or otherwise. So I don't like to see somebody that perhaps there's the perception that it wasn't right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So the perception there is something that this president of course is so attuned to, Jim. And the perception was simply that he was not doing what he said he would do during the swamp save taxpayers' money. In fact he was costing them that. So that combined with the fact that healthcare has gone nowhere meant that it was time for Secretary Price to go.
SCIUTTO: Jeff, I understand that the White House has a new policy to make sure that this doesn't happen again.
ZELENY: There is, Jim. We're just getting word of this memo actually from the director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney who basically is saying use common sense. We're just looking through this now and he says put another way, just because something is legal does not make it right, so that is basically the directive going forward here.
The new White House Chief of Staff or the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will simply put a hold on any private flights unless of course those wealthy members of the cabinet who have their own planes who fly them at well. Betsy DeVos, the education secretary and others, they can still fly those. But in terms of spending taxpayer dollars on private jets, that's no more, Jim. SCIUTTO: And you might have thought that was an obvious call, but I supposed not. Jeff Zeleny at the White House, thanks very much.
OutFront now, editor-at-large for CNN Politics, Chris Cillizza, Politico's health care reporter Rachana Pradhan who broke the original story about Price taking private planes. She's been reporting on this extensively. Also, former adviser to four presidents David Gergen.
Chris, if I could begin with you. How big of a loss, perhaps how embarrassing a loss is this for the Trump administration?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I mean, you know, anytime you lose a cabinet member it's -- within the first year, Jim it's not great. When you add up the number of senior level staff that have departed, we have a chief of staff, Reince Priebus gone. Chief strategist Steve Bannon, three communications directors, the White House press secretary Sean Spicer, so I mean, there's a lot.
[19:05:11] For Trump though, I don't think he will view it as much of a loss. I think this was cutting off deadwood in his mind. As Jeff pointed out, he sort of wondered what Tom Price was doing now that healthcare repeal and replace hadn't happened and he was getting a lot of bad headlines.
And look at Trump's statements to the press before -- right before we found out that Price had been -- or his resignation had been accepted. Optic, cosmetics, perception. All Donald Trump's words. He doesn't like bad headlines created by anyone but him. He watches lots and lots of cable. He reads lots of and lots of headlines and he saw lots and lots of headlines out of those two great Politico reporters, one of which, it's awesome that she's here all week.
And he thought, why are we getting all this negative press for a guy that I don't even really know what he does. I don't think it was a tough decision. I don't think Donald Trump will think twice about it.
SCIUTTO: Yes, yes, this administration, those words might amount to a kiss of death.
Rachana, you broke this story, you've been following every detail of Price's flights for some weeks. Did you think when you started reporting this out and getting to those figures, million dollars in taxpayer money that this would lead to Price being forced out?
RACHANA PRADHAN, HEALTH CARE REPORTER, POLITICO: All right, so two quick things. First of all, (INAUDIBLE) for Dan and also, I would be (INAUDIBLE) in not mentioning my same colleague Dan Diamond who helped work the story as well, very (INAUDIBLE) along with me.
So I didn't think necessarily that it would result in Secretary Price's resignation. I think as we've seen in the past, the president has definitely either very publicly undermined or even just, you know, tried to distance himself from certain members of his cabinet. And they're still with the administration.
So, it is -- it was kind of hard to tell whether Secretary Price was going to lose his job. But I do think as Chris mentioned just recently, the optics of this, you know, it just wouldn't go away and I think initially, the response from HHS was that, this is going to blow over, don't worry about it essentially. But it didn't and so that really, really miffed the president.
SCIUTTO: Listen, it's optics. You might say it's ethics. David, Price not alone when it comes to questionable travel. You also have the interior secretary Ryan Zinke took private planes including one owned by oil and gas executives. The EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt taking a private military planes as well. The Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin under review already for a trip on a government. Also criticized for asking about using a government plane for his honeymoon.
As you look at this, are there going to be more heads who could roll over this issue or is pushing Price out enough?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the story is not done. Let's see as Politico breaks more flights. That's going to continue.
And I think the Tom Price resignation standing alone is an embarrassment, but I don't think it hurts the president politically with his base. But having a series of people indicates not only an elitism that contrary to what Donald Trump promised, but the sloppiness of running the White House.
Other administrations have had trouble with -- Clinton administration had trouble with travel as you recall and started getting that straight. But it is now -- it is for central to running a White House that you get this issue under control. It's put in good hands, you don't let people use planes.
There's an approval process and Price had approval on some of these trips. So I think that some of the blame rest right there with the White House staff.
SCIUTTO: And it looks like Chief of Staff John Kelly trying to impose some order here now with a new rule that this kind of travel has to go through him.
I want to look at this week that Donald Trump had because it's easy and so much has happened in this week, it's almost hard to keep track. Let's look back.
Repeal and replace of ObamaCare failed again, likely the nail in the coffin. Trump's candidate lost in the Alabama Senate race. He's very publicly supporting him there. The federal government under fire, nine days after this hurricane hit Puerto Rico for its slow response. And also of course now, we have his Health and Human Services secretary pushed out.
Chris, how bad of a week for this -- for Trump is this?
CILLIZZA: For any other president, it would be disastrous. Jim, for Trump, it's like a five out of 10. The reason being every Friday, I feel as though Monday -- the Monday of that week feels about a century ago. So many things happen, 80 percent of which I would say are bad, just on a neutral judgment for this White House and this administration.
Think about it. Donald trump was in Alabama right around this time a week ago, giving a very over the top speech for Luther Strange and calling the players, NFL players sons of bitches who didn't -- who were kneeling or protesting.
[19:10:13] So we've really -- that's one week ago, right? We had the --
SCIUTTO: The NFL issue is still alive and people are not going to forget the failure of ObamaCare repeal tomorrow.
CILLIZZA: No and I think -- look, at the end of the day, Donald Trump will be judged not by anything other than did he affect change and did he get things done. And I think the biggest issue right now, Jim, is on the get things done front.
Healthcare did not go anywhere. The wall is not built or funded yet. Tax reform is a big one.
I mean, that's -- this week, we didn't even mention that he rolled out tax reform, right? That's one he's going to have to get. If Donald Trump has no major accomplishments, it's very hard for him or for Republicans who are going to go to the ballot box, governors, senators, House members and say, see, we changed Washington like we said we would. This is a promise, at least so far, that's broken.
SCIUTTO: But it is early to be fair. Chris, Rachana, David Gergen, as always thanks very much for joining us.
And OutFront next, breaking news. Puerto Rico's cries for help growing even louder tonight as heavy rains are forecast there. Nine days into the crisis. Is President Trump actually listening?
Plus, is Trump winning the fight over the -- with the NFL over the national anthem? A new CNN poll has some revealing numbers.
And, high praise for many for a speech about hate, race, and leadership. The man who made it is my guest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. JAY B. SILVERIA, AIR FORCE ACADEMY SUPERINTENDENT: If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:26] SCIUTTO: Breaking news, President Trump tonight touting his administration's response to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico. This despite millions still without food, power or water there. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As far as Puerto Rico is concerned, that's been going as you know really well. We have done an incredible job. Considering there's absolutely nothing to work with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: An incredible job. Nine days after the storm struck, the mayor of San Juan sees the situation much differently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. I am mad as hell because my people's lives are at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: People's lives at stake. Leyla Santiago is OutFront in San Juan. Leyla, very different respect is there of course from the president and the mayor. You're on the ground there, tell us what you say you're seeing.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we have been to some of the most remote areas of this island, places that -- where when we land, we are some of the first people that are in the area. FEMA hasn't been there, the government hasn't been there. I had a chance to fly over the place I call home, and I saw the devastation from an aerial point of view.
Today, I had a chance to go on the ground. Talk to the people of Corozal, Puerto Rico. That's about 45 minutes west of here in San Juan and what I saw, Jim, not easy.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): This is relief, seeing my family in Corozal for the first time, hearing them tell me they're OK.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): That's the relief I found in Corozal but it's far from the relief needed on this island. At the shelter in Corozal, a school, we find more than 120 people living in classrooms, their generator went out six days ago. No power, no water, and the staff tells us they have people here with cancer, HIV, diabetes, children with asthma like 3-year-old Joanna (ph).
SANTIAGO (on camera): She walks every day, about 15 minutes to get therapy for her daughter who has asthma. She's three and a half years old and needs medical attention that she's not getting here.
(voice-over) We then find Francisca River (ph), she has Parkinson's disease, haven't had access to the medicine she needs in days.
(on camera) She's crying because she doesn't know about her family.
(voice-over) Desperation is growing. People are waiting in line to get water from mountain streams.
SANTIAGO (on camera): He says they can live without power but they can't live without water. That's why they're filling spring water from the mountain side to take a bath, to cook, to eat.
People are even resorting to washing clothes like this. This is Juana (ph).
SANTIAGO (on camera): She's been here since this morning washing clothes. Five to six hours cleaning clothes she tells me.
I'm asking her where's the help.
SANTIAGO (on camera): She says there's no help. No help has arrived here.
(voice-over) No help at all. None from the local government residents say, nor from FEMA which is only been here to do an assessment, not to deliver any aid. The people of Corozal are now in survival mode waiting for their relief.
SCIUTTO: So Leyla, FEMA's only done an assessment. You say the local government hasn't supplied any help yet. Is there a plan, is there a timeline? Did they tell the people there when they can expect to get simple things like food and water?
SANTIAGO: You know, Jim, part of the problem is communication. Power is out, there's no water that's why you saw them going to the mountain side, but there's also no communication. So people are literally left in the dark. They have no idea what the plan is.
When you talk to them and you say, have you heard from the mayor, have you heard from the governor, have you heard from FEMA, they're in the dark. There's no communication.
I left Corozal feeling lucky because I'm one of the few able to reach her family but I also left with several to do's. People handing me notes saying can you call my family. Can you let them know that we are OK.
[19:20:09] They have no idea, Jim what the plan is. Not for themselves, not for their families, certainly not for the town of Corozal.
SCIUTTO: Nine days after the storm, 3.5 billion Americans in Puerto Rico. Leyla, thanks very much. Please stay safe. OUTFRONT now from San Juan as well, Democratic congressman from Illinois, Luis Gutierrez. He grew up in Puerto Rico, still has family there, certainly a personal issue for him.
Congressman Gutierrez, thank you for being there, first of all. Thank you for joining us tonight.
You heard the president say today that his team and his words is doing an incredible job and yet, we heard that very emotional comment from the mayor of San Juan, mad as hell, almost moved to tears. What's the reality on the ground?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: The reality on the ground is the one that your reporters are telling the American people. They're handing out maybe a bottle of water at one meal to a family of five or six. And that was after eight days. And some towns, not even that.
I think it isn't a good job. It's a disgraceful job. The United States of America is the most powerful, wealthiest country in the world. And this is not a response that's demonstrative of our power and our wealth, and I'm tired of the president always talking about how much it's going to cost. It's costing lives, Mr. President, of children and the elderly and the infirm.
And we should begin an operation to also evacuate people from this island, especially the elderly, especially those that have sicknesses until they can return to an island to rebuild it.
But right now, I think we also need to talk to -- I was with the mayor of San Juan. We sat down with the director of FEMA this afternoon. There's good news. Tomorrow, all of the hospitals in San Juan will be getting a regular supply of petroleum so they can keep an operation. He promised me that tomorrow, there will be 1.7 million meals delivered to Puerto Rico and 2.5 million liters of water.
And I begged and implored him because I don't want to hold responsible the employees on the front lines. The command has to come from Washington, D.C., from the commander-in-chief and I would hope that as he likes to talk about the fire and the fury of the armed forces of the United States, that he bring them to Puerto Rico. With that same fire and fury to save the people of Puerto Rico from what is going to be a disaster here in this island.
SCIUTTO: I have to say, I listened to you there, I see your reaction. It is impossible to imagine, to reconcile that with what you're hearing from the president, claiming a success there. I wonder who, do you hold responsible?
GUTIERREZ: Look, at the top, it's got to be the president of the United States. I have to tell you, Jim, in Chicago, three days before the hurricane hit, Chicago, we were already preparing. We mobilized. Only four days after the hurricane, the first 59 palettes of Ensure and Pedialyte and Pampers and medicines from Chicago arrived to the people in Puerto Rico.
How is it that a community of people can organize themselves individually and yet the mighty federal government has not done -- I saw corporations and Catholic relief and Christian relief organizations supplying the people of Puerto Rico with more than the federal government. Let me just reiterate that, with more than what the federal government is bringing. That just can't be. They should be there to augment, to supplement what the federal government.
I'm happy the religious leaders are here. I'm happy big corporations are sending stuff. I'm thankful to New York City and to Chicago and to all of the cities that are mobilizing their resources as a city because without them, the disaster would be even worse.
And I want everybody to understand, you're listening to me. This is a mirage. What you see here with me is not the reality of the people of Puerto Rico. I've been here a few hours. I'm going to be fine. But the people of Puerto Rico are not.
SCIUTTO: Nine days, when we saw a reporter in a village that would literally no help. That is at times -- people can die during that time span without basic needs.
GUTIERREZ: There are -- look, what are you going to do in 18 days? That's about the period of time when the mosquitoes come. And we still haven't brought the help here.
Look, you have to understand something. Tomorrow, I'm going out into the interior of the island. I'm going to go on the back roads. I'm going to talk to people there, and I'm going to take the message, I'm going to take the picture, I'm going to take the videos back to my colleagues in the Congress of the United States and tell them next week, we need an appropriation, we need a funding to make sure the people of Puerto Rico have everything that they need.
They are 3.4 million American citizens, and I'm going to demand as their fellow citizen that we treat them with the kind of respect, with the kind of honor that they deserve as human beings.
SCIUTTO: Congressman Gutierrez, we're glad you're there bearing witness to this. We will continue to cover the powerful stories there and we wish you luck on the ground.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
[19:25:51] SCIUTTO: OutFront next, Hillary Clinton on the Republican Party's strategy. Play the race card, she says, over and over again. Is that over the line, or is she right?
Plus, the Trump administration going after specific Facebook users who happen to be critical of the president.
SCIUTTO: New tonight, President Trump is claiming victory in his very public battle with the NFL. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRMP: The other owners and I really think it's coming together. I noticed last night or I was told, I didn't see it, but I heard everybody stood for the national anthem. And that shows respect for our country, our flag and for the national anthem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: And tonight, we're learning that more NFL teams may answer that call and stand for the anthem this weekend.
[19:30:03] Drew Brees from the Saints tweeting: As a way the show respect to all, our Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem and stand together during the anthem.
A new CNN poll shows that more Americans think they should stand as well. Overall, 49 percent of Americans, a plurality, say that players are wrong to protest during the anthem. Forty-three percent say it is the right thing to do.
OUTFRONT tonight, Symone Sanders. She's former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders, and communications consultant for Priorities USA Action. Ben Ferguson, he's a conservative radio host.
Symone, you look at those poll numbers there and yet, you have to ask the question. Is the president right? Is more of the country with him on standing for the anthem?
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think -- one, I think the president is wrong and I think have you asked the question in a poll matters. Look, there are a number of people that believe these players are protesting the national anthem. And that's not what they're protesting. They're protesting and they're bringing awareness to police violence, police brutality, specifically, injustice, racism, white supremacy -- a laundry list of things.
But this has been conflated because Donald Trump weighed in on the issue without the facts, which he often does.
SCIUTTO: You make a fair point. I know many of the players have made a point of saying I'm not protesting the anthem, certainly not service members. But the fact is, they are kneeling.
And, Ben, I wonder if you look at these numbers, do you see something different here?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't matter what you're protesting. It's inappropriate to protest during the national anthem. It's inappropriate for any player of any race to be stretching and disrespecting and getting ready for the game by literally stretching and disrespecting during the national anthem, what's going on during that moment, which is about solidarity and respecting those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
SCIUTTO: To be fair though -- (CROSSTALK)
SCIUTTO: Most of the players are not stretching. They're taking a knee.
FERGUSON: No, but some of them. My point is that, we say this, well, at some point, I'm protesting for this reason. Let's be clear. A lot of the people that were protesting last weekend were protesting because Donald Trump talked and it had nothing to do with police brutality. They didn't like the president calling them out for being disrespectful. So, they didn't like the president, so they went back out.
My point is this, I don't care what you're protesting --
SCIUTTO: Finish that thought.
SANDERS: I want to be b clear. Jim, I want to --
SCIUTTO: Ben, just complete the thought. And then we'll go to Symone.
FERGUSON: This is my point. The president was right and the NFL players were wrong. It didn't matter what you're protesting.
The American people are saying this. You don't disrespect the flag and turn it into our own personal moment. You want to do something before or after game, you want to do something else, but during that moment, it is wrong and the American people are saying that this is wrong to do this. And it doesn't matter what they're protesting. It's inappropriate at that moment.
SCIUTTO: So, Symone, tell us how you see it.
SANDERS: So, I want to say two things. I want to say two things. One, the NFL does not have a rule on the national anthem. You saw the NBA commissioner come out today and --
FERGUSON: Actually, they do. They just decided to disregard it.
SANDERS: No, no, let me tell you, let me tell you.
FERGUSON: No, they actually do, Symone. They do a rule.
SANDERS: I read the rule book.
SANDERS: Be clear, hold on, let me go. They have a policy. The NFL differentiates between policies and rules. According to the NFL, a policy is encouraged. They have a policy on the national anthem. They do not have a rule. So, that's the first point.
The second point is, h there ever been -- FERGUSON: Semantics.
SANDERS: -- a form of protest that black people in this country have engaged in? Or anyone -- it's not semantics. You can talk to the NFL about their definitions. I'm not here to speak for the NFL. I'm just here to give you the facts.
FERGUSON: The interest, yes.
SANDERS: That is a policy. They don't have rule, there's really a policy -- no, they have a policy that is encouraged to be followed, but the NFL has come out themselves and said players are allowed to protest in their own way. And so, we cannot and should not police individual folks protest, but it is certainly inappropriate for the president of the United States to weigh in, when there's so much else going on.
FERGUSON: It's the part about the poll, Symone, though --
SANDERS: Secretary just --
SCIUTTO: Ben --
SANDERS: Puerto Rico is underwater. Puerto Rico is in dire straits.
SCIUTTO: OK, but, Ben, I want to quote another number.
FERGUSON: Let's stick with the NFL for a second.
SCIUTTO: We're going to stick with the NFL but I want to quote another number from the poll because as often as these polls, the answers are somewhat complicated. It found six in ten Americans think that the president was wrong to criticize the players for kneeling.
So, if question is, to you, Ben, did the president get into this too far?
FERGUSON: Look, I think the president of the United States of America was right to call them out. I think when he used the term SOB, that polarized a lot of people and it took away from his point was. So, when you look at the poll numbers and you see the majority of Americans saying it's wrong to protest during the national anthem, that's where they're backing the president. When they made it personal, it seems that there's more divide there.
Let me also say this --
SANDERS: When he attacked player of color.
[19:35:01] That's what happened. FERGUSON: Let me say this real quick, I think -- no, no, there was
white people that were in the protest before last weekend. This is not about race as much you want it to be about race. This is about disrespecting the flag and again the American people --
SCIUTTO: Ben, to be fair, 70 percent of NFL players are African- Americans. I mean --
SANDERS: Police brutality and white supremacy.
SANDERS: I want to just become clear. The whole reason we even have -- no, the whole reason we're even having this conversation.
SCIUTTO: Ben, give her a second please.
SANDERS: The only reason Donald Trump felt the need to weigh in is because player were engaging and expressed advocacy on the issue, and the issue I police brutality, injustice, racism, and white supremacy in this country. They were calling attention to it.
It's no different than wearing pink during October to highlight the issue of breast cancer awareness. It's no different than wearing a symbol that --
FERGUSON: Symone, it's very different.
SANDERS: We're talking about black people in this country.
SCIUTTO: Symone raises a fair question there.
SANDERS: And I think that was most important in this country.
SCIUTTO: What this is clearly tied to race because the issue the players bring up, they talk about the treatment of African-Americans in the criminal justice system by police, et cetera. And the fact is, the majority of the players are African-Americans. So, it's just, hard to make an argument you can separate race from protest.
FERGUSON: Jim, disrespecting the American flag has nothing to do with race. And the majority, the biggest day of protest was after Donald Trump talked about it. And the majority of these players were protesting Donald Trump.
So, again, to say that all of them are unified on Black Lives Matter or police brutality, the majority of these players did not stay in the locker room a year ago when that was the actual issue that Colin Kaepernick brought up. They stayed in the locker room.
FERGUSON: Because, because they didn't like Donald Trump calling them out for being unpatriotic and calling them out for being disrespectful.
SANDERS: Calling out -- no.
SCIUTTO: We're running out of time.
FERGUSON: As much as you want them to be.
SCIUTTO: I want to give Symone just a final word.
SANDERS: And call them sons of bitches. No, Donald Trump called --
FERGUSON: Again, I said I don't think he should have said that.
SCIUTTO: Can you please let her finish, Ben?
SANDERS: To protest police brutality, sons of bitches, and said that the NFL owners need to get their players in line. If that's not a dog whistle, I don't know is. Look, race is a touchy subject --
FERGUSON: Not everything is race, as much you want it to be.
SCIUTTO: We're going to have to leave it. We're going to have to leave it there.
Ben, listen, Ben and Symone, this is difficult an issue and thank you for taking part of it. It's start, really, a continuation of a conversation. We're going to keep it going and have you back for sure.
SANDERS: Thanks, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Have a good weekend. Thanks for coming out tonight.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, the Justice Department going after anti-Trump Facebook users. Is that really legal?
And how does a true leader respond to racial intolerance and ignorance?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LT. GEN. JAY SILVERIA, U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY SUPERINTENDENT: The appropriate response is a better idea. So that's why I'm here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: The Air Force general whose passionate speech has gone viral. He is my guest tonight.
[19:42:05] SCIUTTO: New tonight, a moving call for a few good men. The head of the Air Force Academy making a powerful and impassioned speech to thousands of cadets after racist notes were left outside the rooms of five black cadets. In short, he told racists to get out.
In a moment, I speak with the general. But take moment here to listen to his words condemning racism and praising our country's diversity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. JAY SILVERIA, U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY SUPERINTENDENT: You may have heard that some people down in the prep school wrote some racial slurs on some message boards. If you haven't heard that, I wanted you to hear it from me. If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place. That kind of behavior has in place at the prep school, it has no place at USAFA and it has no place in the United States Air Force.
I would be naive and we would all be naive to think that everything is perfect here. We would be naive to think that we shouldn't discuss this topic. We would also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what's going on in our country. Things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protest in the NFL.
If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can't teach someone from another gender, whether there's a man or woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out.
And if you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.
Grab your phones, I want you to videotape this so that you have it, so you can use it and if you need it and you need my words, then you keep these words. And you use them and you remember them and you share them and you talk about them. If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT tonight, the man you just saw in that video, Lieutenant General Jay Silveria.
Thanks very much, General, for taking the time.
SILVERIA: Absolutely, Jim. Thank you for having me. SCIUTTO: This speech you gave, it was strong. It was noble. And I
think you can say that there was an appetite for this kind of message today.
I want to ask you, what compelled you to give such a forceful rejection of that kind of racism and intolerance with this message to your students?
SILVERIA: Well, the incidents we had in the prep school of the disgusting language put on the message board, I wanted to make it clear to everyone how unacceptable that was to me.
[19:45:01] But I also wanted the cadet wing to see, we have 1,500 of my amazing faculty staff, coaching staff, our pilots that do the training, a lot of our facilities, it's 1,500 people that were there with the cadets. I wanted them to see that as an institution, how unacceptable this was to all of us.
SCIUTTO: This is -- you even referenced it, this is a divisive time in this country. You see it in the wake of Charlottesville, in the demonstrations at the NFL, so many examples. I wonder perspective, you see the culture of inclusiveness in the military? Do you think that it's under threat? Do you see real challenges to that culture?
SILVERIA: Well, Jim, we would be tone deaf to not consider what's going on as a backdrop in the rest of the country, but here at the Air Force Academy, I have to take a longer view. These young men and women are going to be lieutenants in the United States Air Force. So not only do I have to develop these values within them, that they have to take on these values as their own. They're going to have to teach these values and character to those that work for them. They're going to be officers and leaders in the United States Air Force.
SCIUTTO: Officers and leaders in the country at war, right? Challenging times.
Words that stuck out to me in your comments, that we must treat someone with dignity and respect and if not, get out. You said. This is a time where the commander-in-chief has made an issue of transgender troops in the military. He tweeted out a short time ago: Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and can't be burdened with tremendous medical cost and disruption the transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.
Let me ask you, do you think that message and that call to exclude transgender troops, do you think that's fitting with the message that you spoke about to cadets?
SILVERIA: Well, everything that we do here, Jim, is about developing cadets into officers to become part of our fighting force and to become part of a lethal fighting force in the United States Air Force. And we can't do that if we don't consider treating everybody with respect and dignity. We lose the value of all of those that are around us.
So, I want them to take on the power of diversity and realize the power of diversity. That's why those words were so strong. If you can't treat and because of the racial incident that we started this conversation in the past couple of days, but I wanted it to be b a broad message about treating everyone with dignity and respect. And it's men and women and it was racism and skin color and demeaning anyone in any way.
That's an airman that is fighting next to you and they have to be treated with dignity and respect.
SCIUTTO: This is a sensitive time in the country. People have very different views of many of these issues and we've seen that come out, sometimes in awful ways. In the streets of Charlottesville, for instance.
The president's been very public at times here. I don't want the put you on the spot, I know he's the commander-in-chief, but when you speak of leadership, have you heard the kind of leadership that you want to hear on these issues from the president?
SILVERIA: Jim, my responsibility is the 4,000 cadets that are going to be officers in the United States Air Force and the 230 cadet candidates that are going to be cadets in the United States Air Force next year. My responsibility is to teach them the character that they're going to need to be leaders of airmen in the United States Air Force.
And so I want to, I had to take this opportunity from the incident to remind them of how ambiguous that message needs to be.
SCIUTTO: General, thanks very much for your words, but also for your time tonight.
SILVERIA: Thank you very much, Jim.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, anti-Trump posters on Facebook fighting back tonight against search warrants. They're not happy with administration demands for their personal information.
[19:53:08] SCIUTTO: Tonight, the Trump administration is demanding that Facebook identify some users who posted or liked anti-Trump messages on the social media platform. The Justice Department issuing search warrants for personal information of these account holders who have criticized the president. Now, as you might expect, those activists are fighting back.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Legba Carrefour is the self-described anarchist, who urged protesters to flood into the streets of Washington, D.C. on inauguration day. Now, he believes his words are making him the target of the Trump administration. LEGBA CARREFOUR, ANTI-TRUMP FACEBOOK USER: For a fascist government,
it comes as no surprise that they want to suppress dissent in the streets.
SCHNEIDER: His words are strong. Carrefour argues his organizing actions were illegal which is why he's fighting this search warrant served on Facebook by government lawyers. He's one of three anti- Trump Facebook users the government is demanding wide-ranging details from, like photos and videos, direct messages, chats, video calls, livestreams and credit cards numbers and billing records.
SCOTT MICHELMAN, ACLU ATTORNEY: We should all be shocked. We should all be vigilant and very concerned because this is not what the Constitution allows.
SCHNEIDER: Scott Michelman wants the rescind the search warrants or at the least narrow the focus. The warrants target Carrefour's account, another private user's page, the public Facebook site for DistrupJ20.org, a group that helped organize the protests on inauguration day and that account owner estimates 6,000 users liked.
More than 200 people were arrested and charged for rioting in the street. But Carrefour and the other Facebook user named on the warrant say they weren't there and they have no pending criminal charges.
CARREFOUR: I think it's definitely an attempt to criminalize speech and an attempt to more so than criminalize speech, criminalize organizing.
[19:55:01] SCHNEIDER: The Justice Department isn't commenting and all the other court records are sealed, including any that disclosed the reasons for issuing the warrants.
Facebook went through seven months of legal proceedings so it could make Carrefour and the other two Facebook users aware that the government wanted their online details. It released this statement: We are grateful to the country and civil society organizations that supported us in arguing for people's ability to learn about and challenge overly broad search warrants.
MICHELMAN: Facebook has made clear that they're not going to be a tool of the government, at least in this respect.
SCHNEIDER: It's not completely uncommon for government prosecutors to request this type of wide-ranging personal information from online sources but it usually happens in criminal prosecutions, like child pornography cases. Attorneys for the ACLU point out that no criminal activity has been alleged here and that their client only spoke out against the Trump administration - Jim.
SCIUTTO: Jessica Schneider in Washington.
OUTFRONT next, Lisa Ling's new series. The first episode is all about sex.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And like this fire has kind of fizzled out from me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: This Sunday, the fourth season of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" kicks off with a topic that still -- some are uncomfortable of talking about, sex and intimacy. Here's the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA LING, CNN HOST: Ricky and Jennifer have a great marriage. They love their child and they're still in love with each other. There's just one thing, like an estimated 15 to 20 percent of all married couples, the fire has gone out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every three months or so I have this freak out of like, can we talk about this? All the love is there except for below the waist and it's driving me nuts. It really is.
LING: How is the sporadic intimacy affected you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've gotten insecure, why even try to initiate anything when I'm going to get rejected. Ricky would be tired or there was absolutely no response like physically at all. This is like touching a rock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Lisa Ling is here with me now.
Lisa, this is a truly sensitive issue, and a very real issue. You see that in the reaction of the couple there. What have you learned as you spoke to people?
LING: Well, this episode is about sexual healing. And one of the women that we profiled said something very profound, which is, if you have any blockage to your sexual energy or any deficiencies in your sex life, it affects every aspect of your life. And so, that applies to all of us, because so many of us have body image issues, or we are not intimate with our partner or we have experienced some kind of sexual trauma.
So, it's actually very, very relatable, that I think everyone could benefit from watching and possibly trying to normalize the conversation about sex because so many of us have so much guilt and shame on it.
SCIUTTO: Sure. I'm sure a lot of people are going to be watching. But I know it's a long season. You had a lot -- you touch on a lot of issues this year. LING: We do. Yes, sex is only our first topic, episode. We imbed
with a very heavily armed militia. We explore the roots of America first Muslims in the African-American community and we visit a community that is beneath the Las Vegas strip. It's literally this world, of storm drains that is inhabited by hundreds of people underneath Las Vegas.
SCIUTTO: That's incredible today. Gosh, I have no idea that happens in America today.
Lisa Ling, fantastic series.
LING: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Look forward to watching it.
Don't miss the season premiere of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING". And that is this Sunday night at 10:00, right here on CNN.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Jim Sciutto. You could follow @jimsciutto on Twitter.
"AC360" starts right now.