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"WaPo": Brazile Considered Replacing Clinton As Nominee; "LBJ" Movie: Director And Actor Talk About LBJ And Trump; "SNL" Takes On Busy Week Of Political News. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 6, 2017 - 06:30   ET


BRYNN GINGRASS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are. We've been able to talk to a few people who are able to put it in perspective, people who have run in races all across the world. And they say this is security that is top-notch.

The New York Police Department does have sort of this pedigree that they rely on and that they trust in and that's why they feel so safe.

But, again, there's also the people that live here that I can say their spirit is intact. We had that event happen Tuesday and we talked about this earlier, but the Halloween parade, which attracted a million people, it's still - a million people still went to it.

So, the same is true here for this New York marathon. People not fazed and certainly feeling secure for this annual event, guys.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: That's great to hear, Brynn. We wish New York and everyone running a great, great day. Thanks very much.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Still to come, former Clinton campaign staffers are slamming former DNC chief Donna Brazile over revelations that she considered replacing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. We'll tell you what they're saying.

Plus, "Saturday Night Live" takes a shot at the president's Asia trip, saying that he sent a body double and he even fooled the first lady.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole trip, you've been so dignified, you know. When we were in Hawaii and they offered you a ley, you didn't make the usual tasteless joke. Also, you didn't call Pearl Harbor fake news. And for once, you didn't finish my dinner. Who knew that just by keeping your mouth shut, you could seem so presidential.



[06:35:49] PAUL: Well, Republican Senator Rand Paul is apparently recovering this morning after he was assaulted. An acquaintance of his has been charged in the attack. Now, the senator suffered minor injuries, we are told, when he was

tackled at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This happened Friday afternoon.

According to police, Paul's neighbor, Rene Albert Boucher, intentionally attacked him. Boucher is charged with one count of fourth degree assault. Still not clear why Boucher went after Paul, but police are investigating.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, new details are emerging from former DNC chief Donna Brazile's book about the inner workings of the Democratic Party. According to "The Washington Post", Brazile considered taking Hillary Clinton off the 2016 ticket and replacing her with then Vice President Joe Biden. The move came after Clinton fainted at 9/11 memorial in New York City during the campaign.

And we're also learning that Brazile thought Clinton's campaign headquarters lacked passion and energy and thought that it felt like someone died. A lot of heavy words there.

Joining me to discuss all of this is political commentator Errol Louis and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer.

Book comes up right in time for the holidays. And the drip, drip, drip just seems to build up all the anticipation.

Julian, first of all, this idea that you would replace Hillary Clinton mid campaign, does that even seem feasible?

No, it really doesn't. This seems more like a speculative moment for Donna Brazile than something that was about to happen and she couldn't have done this single-handedly. She would have had to have a lot of support and the vote of many other Democratic officials.

And so, this is in the category of bad timing for Democrats to be relitigating the election and the tensions during the election.

Right now, when they are probably poised to do pretty well in the mid- term elections, it's just - it's a problem for Democrats that this book is coming out right now.

SAVIDGE: And, certainly, we know the Clinton staffers are outraged. I was going to use another word. And they have put out a statement, including Huma Abedin and John Podesta, in which they responded to Brazile's accounts in her memoir, saying, "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into the false Russian-fueled propaganda spread by both the Russians and our opponent about our candidate's health. We do not recognize the campaign the chief portrays in the book. We are pretty tired of the people who were not part of our campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it"

Errol, how damaging is this? Julian is already alluding to it here. Is it just a fight between Clinton staffers and Donna Brazile? I mean, Donna Brazile was head of the DNC. It was like she's just sort of a person on the sideline.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, that's right. And those of us who have worked with her, she was, of course, a contributor on CNN, have a great deal of respect for her.

Look, I thought that the particular revelation that she had sort of at least considered some of the machinery that is in the DNC charter, that gives her the power, I imagine, in some kind of a health emergency to replace the nominee, if need be, I thought in some ways that was both interesting, but a little bit routine. You know?

If you can go back to a 9/11, I mean, there was a great deal of discussion about what happened. She collapsed, for God's sake. She was carried into her car. There was sort of a blackout period when nobody knew what was going on.

Under the circumstances, for Donna Brazile to sort of say, if I have to, I have to at least be thinking about what we might do.

And she also reveals in the book, in the excerpt at least, she was contacted by Biden's office, by Martin O'Malley's office, the former mayor of Baltimore who was a candidate for president.

So, she wasn't the only one who was thinking we don't know how serious this health thing is. Maybe it's nothing, but if it's serious, we are going to have to take some steps.

[06:40:02] SAVIDGE: But what about her reasoning for not doing it, in which she sort of says, I'm paraphrasing here, so it's not really fair, but something to the effect of she thought of all the women that were supporting Hillary Clinton and just couldn't bring herself to disappointment.

That's what it made it sound. It's kind of a throw-away there. A lot of people supported Hillary Clinton.

LOUIS: Well, just - I don't know if it was her call to make. I read it more as her sort of not feeling that we could step beyond what the facts of the situation really allowed for.

SAVIDGE: Julian, I'm sorry. I cut you there.

ZELIZER: The problem with that excerpt is, on the one hand, there is the natural concern the head of the DNC would have if there is a health issue. And, at that moment, Errol is talking about, it's reasonable to think that Donna Brazile is just looking at the options on the table.

But then the next line suggests it was a more conscious debate about whether she needed to be replaced because the campaign wasn't doing well and Brazile couldn't imagine doing it.

So that kind of throw-away line will play into the debate, whether not only was there a problem with the Clinton campaign, but were Democrats wrestling with the idea of removing her, and removing her for someone who didn't really run, which is the other odd part of the story, meaning Vice President Biden as opposed to Sen. Sanders, which will also fuel the flames from that primary.

SAVIDGE: I got a feeling there is more to come on this book. Errol Louis and Julian Zelizer, thank you.

LOUIS: Thanks.

PAUL: Well, still to come, CNN'S Jake Tapper sits down with actor Woody Harrelson, talking about his role as LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson in that new film "LBJ". You're going to see Woody Harrelson like really you've never seen him before.

SAVIDGE: Plus, "Saturday Night Live" takes on a busy week of news for the Trump administration. They put Trump, Paul Manafort and Jeff Sessions together in a shower scene.


[06:46:10] PAUL: So, the new movie "LBJ" was just released in theaters this weekend. And it chronicles the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson just after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

SAVIDGE: CNN's Jake Tapper sat down with director Rob Reiner and star Woody Harrelson about re-creating the Johnson presidency.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": Joining me is the director of "LBJ" Rob Reiner and the star Woody Harrelson. Thank you for both for coming on. Appreciate it.

So, Woody, one of the things you were able to accomplish in this is showing how LBJ is really different people, depending on the audience.

When he is in front of the Kennedys, he's aggressive, even if they are kind of chuckling at that notion. When he is talking to Southern Democrats, racists like Sen. Richard Russell, he is one of them.

In fact, let me play a little clip. Here is LBJ talking to Sen. Russell, an opponent of the civil rights legislation.


WOODY HARRELSON, ACTOR, PORTRAYING LBJ: The best leaders at the time for both of our states voted for secession. And they were great men who nearly destroyed America. I don't ever want a history book to say that about me.


TAPPER: It's so fascinating because there are tapes of LBJ being racist, and yet he also pushed through the great civil rights legislation of that era.

HARRELSON: Yes. He was very facile that way, I guess you could say. And he did, a lot of times, what was politically expedient. But what's really interesting about him pushing through the civil

rights act is that it was not a time where it would necessarily help him, you know? Because there were times earlier when he did some - basically, where he voted against civil rights legislation because it was politically expedient. He wanted to be on the right side of the southern caucus.

But, this time, right after Kennedy was assassinated in '63, there was nothing that said this was going to help you get re-elected in '64. Or get elected in '64.

So, I think it really was his - he was passionate about it. He did care about it.

TAPPER: And you really see him working the phones, pressing the flash, talking to senators, cajoling, flattening, threatening, is there a lesson President Trump can take from the successes of LBJ legislatively? I know you don't want him to have those successes.

ROB REINER, DIRECTOR, "LBJ": No. I would love to have any kind of success to see government work.

But you asked the question, are there lessons he can take? Unfortunately, I don't think there are any lessons because he is not willing to learn. He doesn't want to learn. And that's really the tragedy of what we see right now. He doesn't have any understanding of how government works and he doesn't want to learn.

Lyndon Johnson came up from the bottom. He came from poverty. He came into the legislature when FDR was president. He was leader of the senate. He understood how government worked.

But he had a strength, which was the ability to get things done and, unfortunately, you ask that question, I don't know that Trump would be able to - I wish he could take some lessons, but I don't think he will.

TAPPER: And, Woody, this is the third actual person that you've played. You've played Larry Flynt in "The People vs. Larry Flynt", you played McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt in "Game Change" and now you're playing LBJ.

How did you become him? Beyond the latex, how did you try to inhabit him? It's the first one of these characters that you've played that you didn't get to actually meet.

HARRELSON: Yes. Well, I tried to focus on how he moved. And there is a lot of him. But what really bogged me down was how he talked because we are both from Texas and you'd think there'd be a benefit. In some ways, it is.

But he is also from the hill country and it's a very different way of speaking. Rob would see me all the time freaking out about - that wasn't right, Rob. We should do that again because - and he'd just go, relax, you just chill out!

[06:50:13] He wanted me to embody the humanity of -

REINER: And the essence of him. And that's really what we wanted. I don't think people are going to nit-pick exactly the outside of Houston accent as opposed to the hill country.

He had everything that I wanted to see because Johnson was a very complicated Shakespearean type character. As much as he had the bravado and arm twisting and bull in the China shop, he was also incredibly insecure. And we wanted to show that.

And that's why Woody - I was lucky to get Woody because he has all that humanity, all the humor. I'm not just saying because you're here.

HARRELSON: No, it's very nice. It's always lucky to walk with you. You're one of the greatest directors of all time.

REINER: I paid him a little to say that.

HARRELSON: But I've got to say Brian Cranston did help me quite a bit. He played LBJ in "All the Way." And heh really helped me. Like, I talked to him on the phone. He connected me with people in Austin and connected me to go out to the ranch and to the library and really, like, helped me out.

And I was like, I can't believe you're doing this. I'm not sure I'd do this for you. He says, no, it's not competition. It's a big tent. Let's fill it.

TAPPER: That is beautiful. And the movie is "LBJ." It opens nationwide in theaters on November 3rd. Woody Harrelson, Rob Reiner, thanks so much.

HARRELSON: Thank you.

REINER: Thanks for having us.


PAUL: Anybody else have a hard time (INAUDIBLE). He's so talented. He's so, so talented in everything he does. That's Woody.

So, later this morning, Jake Tapper is going to interview House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi talking about the GOP tax plan, the Democrats' agenda, where are they going? That's on "State of the Union". It's at 9:00 a.m. right here on CNN.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, next, Alec Baldwin returns to "Saturday Night Live" as President Trump. He talks to Paul Manafort and others while in the shower.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, can't you just pardon me?

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, PORTRAYING DONALD TRUMP: Unfortunately, it's not that simple, but we have a plan. The great plan. Isn't that right, Jeff?




[06:56:32] SAVIDGE: President Trump's Asia trip, charges for Paul Manafort, and forgetful testimony from Jeff Sessions.

PAUL: Yes. A busy political week, obviously, news week. "Saturday Night Live" all over it. They went down the list of topics point-by- point. And in one scene, all the main players - look at this - they're in a shower together! Why?

Look at Brian Stelter's face. I think he's trying to (INAUDIBLE) as well. CNN senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources", one Mr. Brian Stelter. Was that your initial reaction to that?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh or cry, Christi.

But let's take a look at the clip. We can judge it for ourselves. President Trump said in an interview airing this morning that, as far as he knows, he is not under investigation. Obviously, Robert Mueller probe is the biggest overall story of the week and here is how "SNL" had some fun with it.


BALDWIN: I wanted Mike to get his hands dirty too, OK? Because if I go down, I'm taking the church lady with me. All right? Mike, say cheese. Here we go. You say anything about this, Mike, I'll text that photo straight to Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, can't you just pardon me?

BALDWIN: Unfortunately, it's not that simple. But we have a plan. A great plan. Isn't that right, Jeff?


BALDWIN: I'm all yours, Jeff. I'll all yours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm wearing a bathing costume that I got from my favorite place - the 1890s.

Plus, I thought we should all get used to wearing stripes.


STELTER: That's part of their take on the Manafort news, the indictments, the idea of the White House in crisis, with everybody trying to keep quiet.

It's interesting. There has been talk from the White House about this investigation wrapping up soon. But we know the Manafort trial won't start at least until May. So, "SNL" is going to have to come up with a lot of ways to talk about this.

Here is how "Weekend Update" weighed in. Marking the one-year anniversary of election day, you know that's on Wednesday, so here's what "Weekend Update" said about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's almost the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump getting elected president. And to celebrate, Robert Mueller threw him a surprise party.

After the indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also played Shooter McGavin in "Happy Gilmore," it was reported that Manafort has three different US passports and traveled to Mexico, China and Ecuador with a phone he registered using an alias. So, I don't know what he is guilty of, but it's definitely not nothing. No one has three passports, a burner phone and good intentions, except maybe Santa Claus.


STELTER: There we go. "Weekend Update" recapping the Manafort indictment, recapping the news from Mueller this week. I know it was all the way back on Monday, but when you look back at the last seven days, the Russia investigation probably is the overarching biggest news story of the week.

So, like I said, "SNL" is going to have a lot to say in the weeks, maybe months, maybe years to come.

PAUL: They do it so cleverly as well.

SAVIDGE: In many ways, the material almost writes itself certain weeks.

PAUL: It does. But it does make you wonder, Brian, if there are people out there who - you can push the line of respect because, at the end of the day, this is still a presidency.

STELTER: You're absolutely right. And I think Trump fans, his most loyal supporters are probably not watching "SNL" in the first place. And if they are, they probably aren't watching when they see Alec Baldwin in the shower.

PAUL: Or they're good sports and they just take it as it is. All right. Brian Stelter, we appreciate it always. Thank you for waking up really -