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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Calls Warren Pocahontas In Front Of Navajo Group; Moore Speaks After Disappearing From Public Eye for Days; Putting Facts First; Former Intel Chief: "If This Is Who We Are, I Have Wasted 40 Years of My Life; Olde Hickory House Regulars Remember Roy Moore; NYT: President Trump Questions Authenticity of Access Hollywood Tape; Interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 27, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
A lot to get to tonight, and frankly, hard to know where to even begin. That's because we heard several things from this president today and this holiday weekend that were either misrepresentations of the truth or at least in one case, an outright lie.
Let's begin with the reporting by "The New York Times" that President Trump has, on at least two occasions, said that the "Access Hollywood" tape, which came out back in October of last year, in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women, was in the words of "The New York Times," not authentic.
This is a part of that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, THEN-REALITY TV STAR: I got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. I don't even wait.
And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, TV HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump and Billy Bush in a recording from 12 years ago.
Now, here's what "New York Times" correspondents Maggie Haberman, Alex Burns, and Jonathan Martin reported on Saturday, in a story that was mainly focused on why the president is defending Alabama's Roy Moore from the sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations that he's now facing.
Quote, in "The New York Times," he sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous "Access Hollywood" tape in which he boasted about grabbing women's genitalia and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He's suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently.
So, let's just let that sink in for a moment. On two occasions, according to "The New York Times," the president of the United States suggested that the tape that you just saw is somehow not authentic. Now, on one level, this might not be such a bad strategy. There's just the small matter, of course, of timing. Sure, it's a problem that just seconds after you hear those words, you see the two men get out of the bus and, sure, their voices off the bus sound just like their voices on the bus.
But I guess some people will always claim that the on-the-bus dialogue maybe was somehow dubbed in or something? But again, it's all about timing. Denials generally work better if they come before you acknowledge them and actually do something you hardly ever do, which is apologize for the words that you spoke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, that thing that the president reportedly has been casting doubt on was authentic enough back in October of 2016 to apologize for and for Melania Trump to explain when I spoke with her last fall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was ten days ago that "Access Hollywood" released that tape. I'm wondering when you first saw it, when you first heard it, what did you think?
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: I -- I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. It's not acceptable. And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know. And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. It was only a mike. And I wonder if they even knew that the mike was on, because they were kind of a boy talk. And he was lead on, like egg on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that host, Billy Bush, also apologized and was fired for what he said.
Now, outside of a few conspiracy theorists and other assorted fringe figures, no one doubted the tape's authenticity, at least of all, candidate Trump. So, is "The New York Times" reporting wrong? Well, the three on the byline are some of the best reporters out
there. Maggie Haberman is someone the president trusts enough to speak with repeatedly. Her reporting is deeply sourced and you've seen her on this program, you know she's not one given to exaggeration, if anything, she understates thing.
In any case, here's what White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said about the story today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Does the president still accept the authenticity of the "Access Hollywood" tape that he apologized for during the campaign?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, this -- the president addressed this. This was litigated and certainly answered during the election by the overwhelming support for the president and the fact that he's sitting here in the oval office today. He's made his position on that clear at that time, as have the American people and his support of him.
REPORTER: So, he apologized for it, which would seem to acknowledge its authenticity and that position hasn't changed?
SANDERS: No, like I just said, the president hasn't changed his position. I think if anything that the president questions, it's the media's reporting on that accuracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, "The New York Times" is standing by its reporting.
And keeping them honest, this isn't a one-off.
[20:05:01] This president does have a history of rewriting history, whether it's about crowd size at the inauguration, complaining at a rally that we weren't showing the crowd, at the very moment that we were actually showing the crowd, or more recently, this, tweeting on Friday: "TIME" magazine called to say that I was probably going to be named man, person of the year, like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said, probably, is no good and took a pass, thanks, anyway.
Not so, said a top "TIME" executive, quote: Amazing, not a speck of truth here. Trump tweets he took a pass at being TIME's person of the year.
Now, in fairness, he was, as he said, in fact, person of the year last year and he's been on plenty of "TIME" covers over the years, real ones and, of course, a fake one discovered hanging on the wall at some of his golfing clubs. And on that level, it's kind of comical, however, this reported revisionist history on bragging about assaulting women is anything but.
As I mentioned, one of the reporters on that byline in "The New York Times" is Maggie Haberman. She joins us now by phone.
So, Maggie, can you just explain your reporting, exactly how and when the president has questioned this -- is it questioning the tape's authenticity? The entire thing? Do we know?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (via telephone): What he has done is -- and thank you for having me to talk about this, because I think it's important. Yes, we stand by the reporting, and what he has done in several conversations, including with yet another person close to him who I spoke to about this about two hours ago, he has (AUDIO GAP) he's not really sure that was him.
What he said to this senator earlier this year was in January, was that he was looking into hiring people, to ascertain whether it was his voice that he and his people didn't think it was his voice. And that has tended to be what he hones in on.
One thing that I would -- I would point out is that -- well, two things that I would point out. One is that Sarah Sanders' answer was not actually an answer to the question. It was circuitous and she has a very hard job, which is to have to stand there and say things that are not true.
And so, yes, she -- this is a choice to have that job, but that is what happened. The day that the tape came out, the day "The Washington Post" reported on it, the president was adamant, when they just had a transcript or a partial transcript or some description of the language on it before he heard the audio, he was adamant that it wasn't him. And it was when he heard his voice that he acknowledged it was him. I think that episode, Anderson, and you've covered him for a while, too, I think that episode is one of the very few times I can think of that this president has been truly and identifiably humiliated in a public way and felt a lot of shame.
And he made that clear at the second debate with Hillary Clinton, that he found this to be very embarrassing. And I think he has tried to wash away that embarrassment, however he could. Part of what he found to be similar to the Roy Moore situation in his own situation that weekend, wasn't just -- you know, that allegations from several women came out after the "Access Hollywood" tape saying that the president had treated them poorly, but part of it was also that Republicans were en masse departing his side. And that is, it is all of a piece. I hope that answers your question.
COOPER: So, let me just be clear. You said you've now -- about two hours ago, you've talked to somebody else. Does that mean a third person has now said that the president has expressed doubts about the authenticity?
HABERMAN: Yes. Yes.
COOPER: So, it's now three people?
COOPER: OK. So -- and just so I'm clear, and you may not know this level of detail, which is why I'm asking, is it all of the comments on the tape? Is he saying some of the comments on the tape might not be authentic? Is it --
HABERMAN: It's not clear, exactly, what he's saying, other than that he's not certain it's his voice.
HABERMAN: I'm not sure exactly what else he's referring to.
COOPER: Maggie Haberman, appreciate your reporting, as always. Thank you very much.
Joining us now, two former White House insiders, former senior Obama advisers. CNN senior political commentator and "Axe Files" host, David Axelrod, and CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen.
David Gergen, let me start off with you.
I mean, you know, that now, there's three people who have told "The New York Times" that the president has raised questions about the authenticity. It's interesting that Maggie Haberman said that to one senator, he talked about maybe hiring people to figure out the authenticity of this. That brings me back to the Obama birth certificate, where then citizen Trump claimed that he had hired private investigators to go to Hawaii.
We actually had our Gary Tuchman among other reporters was on the ground in Hawaii, talking to pretty much anybody you would possibly talk to. And none of those people he had talked to had heard any -- had been questioned by any private investigators and there's no evidence that the president ever did hire private investigators like he said he did.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Anderson, we've been here before. I mean, he said he would hire private investigators, he didn't. He said he was going to sue the women after he became president who had accused him of sexual harassment, over a dozen. He never did that. So, that pattern is clear.
[20:10:00] But there's another pattern that I find troubling -- in fact, disturbing. Several people who were acquainted with him and have worked with him in New York have told me in the past, you know, sometimes he changes his mind about what happens, and he actually start believing the second version, that it becomes a reality to him. I don't know whether he forgets what the first version was or not, but I think the real issue now is, does he actually believe it's not his voice? Has he changed his mind? In which case, you know, that raises a lot of questions about just where he is in life.
COOPER: You know, David Axelrod, maybe it's because I've been off a week and when you're not in this on a daily basis, you suddenly look at it from a slight distance. And you really just how frigging bizarre this is. I mean, it seemed -- when you're doing it every single day, after a while, it starts to seem normal. But when you're away for it for a week and you come back, I -- I mean,
we're talking about the president of the United States telling people, now according to "The New York Times," three people that what he apologized for, what he talked about in the debate that I co- moderated, is not authentic.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, you know, you asked earlier whether this was some kind of strategy. I think David Gergen raises a really important point. I don't know whether it's strategy or sort of a socio pathology that causes him to say these things.
I really don't know if -- I think it may very well be that he persuades himself that he is -- that this is not his voice. That he persuades himself that he's the most accomplished president in his first ten months in history. That he persuades himself of these things and really believes it.
And that may be one reason why he delivers it in ways that some of his supporters find authentic, because in his mind, it's absolutely the truth. Even if it's completely contradictory of what he's said before. So, no, I don't think the problem is that you -- that you took a week off. It was bizarre a week ago and it's bizarre still.
COOPER: But, you know, David Gergen, the idea that the president would bring that tape back up into conversation. I mean, that's not a tape on this program that we have re-played for a long, long time. Even though, you know, we've talked about sexual assault and allegations of sexual assault against other people.
The idea that -- I mean, it just doesn't -- it sort of defies common sense that the president would be engaging in discussions, according to "The New York Times," at least three people that they know about, saying that this is not authentic and that he wants to re-investigate this.
GERGEN: Well, I, you know, it's clear that this wave of allegations against others has re-raised the question about his own behavior and he must understand now that the president is very likely to re-visit the stories of these women, because, actually, sort of time was running out in the campaign to really deal with this.
And I'm sure he must appreciate or the people around him must appreciate that new investigations might be launched by the press. So, he has reason to be concerned inside. I'm just surprised and sort of -- I -- you know, the degree to which he may be occasionally living in an alternative reality is very disturbing, because it's so important when a president is there with, you know, with making decisions about war or peace, and other very significant decisions.
And if he's not quite sure of his -- what's real and what's not, you know, that has -- that has serious implications for the safety and security of the country.
COOPER: You think he may be -- it's possible he's not sure what's real and what's not? AXELROD: Well, I think --
GERGEN: I --
AXELROD: Go ahead, David, I think we agree on this point.
GERGEN: I'm sorry. Go ahead, David, I agreed with what you were saying earlier.
COOPER: David Gergen, you think it -- you think he may -- so you're answering the affirmative on that?
GERGEN: I'm answering the affirmative. I think we may persuade himself of things, as David Axelrod said, that aren't true. But he persuades himself and he states it categorically in various ways, that it does come across as being authentic, even though it's sort of like an alternative set of facts that other people don't share.
AXELROD: But we should, Anderson, point out --
GERGEN: -- David Axelrod.
AXELROD: He's also blazed a trail for others. We see Roy Moore down in Alabama, even as late as tonight, once again denying all of these charges from all of these women. And he's seen the path blazed by the president, because even though the president acknowledged his language back in the summer, he never acknowledged the acts themselves.
[20:15:03] And as David said, he threatened to sue these women. He never did sue the women who made the allegations.
So, you know, in the midst of this really big moment in our culture about how men treat women, you know, the president is very much thrust back in the middle of it here. And he's trying to -- he's trying to set the terms of the debate.
COOPER: David Axelrod and David Gergen, thank you both.
Coming up next, how a White House event to honor Native American war heroes instead touched off an uproar among Native Americans and, frankly, beyond. It was something the president said, as you'll see when we come back.
And later, hear what David Axelrod was just talking about, Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, what he has to say after days of silence, allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, and criticism from so many top Republicans, of course, with the exception of President Trump.
COOPER: If all the president did today was honor some of the last surviving World War II Navajo code talkers, it would be no controversy at all. If all he did was honor them in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson who signed the Indian Removal Act of 1930 which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Native Americans. It would certainly be noted, which it is right now.
And he did do that, not knowing it might provoke comment, which it has. However, the real uproar tonight comes from something he said while honoring the code talkers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:20:02] TRUMP: And I just want to thank you, because you're very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He was talking about Massachusetts Democratic Senator, Elizabeth Warren, who joins us shortly.
And although this was perhaps the most incendiary venue in which to use that term, it's hardly the first time he has.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Pocahontas, that's Elizabeth Warren.
I call her Pocahontas. And that's an insult to Pocahontas.
And Massachusetts is represented by Pocahontas, right? Pocahontas.
It may be Pocahontas, remember that.
What an insult to Pocahontas, isn't it?
I was being hit by Pocahontas.
And Pocahontas is not happy. Elizabeth Warren, she's one of the worst senators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, now candidate Trump has already been criticized for this. He's already been accused of using a racial slur.
Today, when asked about using it as an event ostensibly to honor Native Americans who risked their lives deploying their distinct language to help us win the Second World War, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied it was a slur at all. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Is it appropriate for the president to use a racial slur in any context? SANDERS: I don't believe that it is appropriate for him to make a
racial slur or anybody else.
REPORTER: Well, a lot of people feel this is a racial slur, so why is it appropriate for him to use that?
SANDERS: I think -- like I said, I don't think that it is. And I don't think that was certainly not the president's intent.
REPORTER: Sarah --
SANDERS: Like I said, I think the more -- the most offensive thing --
REPORTER: -- racially?
SANDERS: I'm sorry?
REPORTER: Does he see political value in calling people out racially? Why use that term?
SANDERS: Look, I think that Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about something specifically to advance her career. I don't understand why no one's asking about that question and why that isn't constantly covered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now is Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Warren, thanks for being with us.
So the president referring to you once again as Pocahontas. I'm wondering, what was your reaction when you heard that?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, I really couldn't believe it, that there he was at a ceremony to honor Native Americans, men who have really put it all on the line, to save American lives, to save lives of people, our allies during World War II, really amazing people and President Trump couldn't even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur.
You know, he thinks that somehow he's going to shut me up with that? And it's just not going to happen. It didn't work in the past. It's not going to work in the future.
I'm going to keep fighting for all the issues I'm fighting for. And today in particular, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that's generating a lot of problems for the president. And so he'd sure like to talk about something else. His tax bill, he'd sure like to talk about something else.
The Congressional Budget Office score has now come out, more information about this tax bill, how it's going to be a big giveaway to billionaires, giant corporations run up the debt by $1.4 trillion and raise taxes for people making less than $75,000 here. He doesn't want to talk about any of that.
COOPER: I want to ask you about those in just a moment. I do want to --
COOPER: -- have you address, Sarah Sanders, as you just heard, defended the president's comments, saying, quote, what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career. What do you say about that?
WARREN: Look, I learned about my family the way that most people learn about their families. My brothers and I learned from our mother and our daddy and our grandparents who we are. And that's it. That's how we learned it. That's what we know.
COOPER: And to the allegation that you were using this to advance your career?
WARREN: Never. I never used it to get ahead. I never used it to get into school. I never used it to get a job.
Look, this is just a way for Donald Trump to be able to try to get somebody talking about something other than what he's doing, which is advancing a terrible tax plan, trying to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau --
COOPER: Well, with let's actually talk about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
COOPER: Because it is now this kind of bizarre drama, which is surrounding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
COOPER: Do you believe the president was within his authority to appoint Mick Mulvaney as director?
COOPER: Because now, there's two people basically saying they're the acting directors.
WARREN: Well, you know, look. Donald Trump is trying to bring chaos to the consumer agency. But let's just start with the law. The Dodd/Frank law that was passed by Congress provides for succession. And the way it does that, is it says there's a director. If the director is unavailable, the director has resigned, then the deputy director automatically becomes the director.
There's no appointment, there's nothing fancy that has to be done. It just happens automatically.
[20:25:00] That's the law that Congress passed. And so, Donald Trump claims, well, he can use something called the
Vacancy Act that was passed a couple of decades before that. The problem with that is the Vacancy Act applied to all of the agencies that had been built before the time that the Vacancy Act was passed, but going forward, it would apply as a default unless Congress set up a particular succession plan for an agency. And that's exactly what Congress did.
In fact, there's an amazing thing about the CFPB. In an earlier draft, the Congress had thought about, well, let's just do it under the Vacancy Act. That would have left the president, whoever it was, to be able to name someone when the director left.
But then, in the final version, the one that was voted on and signed into law, Congress said, no, we really don't want to do that. What we want to do is have it happen automatically, if the director's unavailable, it goes to the acting director. The reason for that, push that agency as far away from partisan politics as humanly possible.
COOPER: Because the Republicans are saying it needs more oversight. You're saying, essentially -- well, you're saying that there's a reason it was set up the way it was, so it's not beholden to anybody on either political stripe?
WARREN: And, you know, that's been the idea behind banking regulations since the Civil War. When the very first banking regulator was set up back in the 1860s, the whole idea was to say, for example, the funding should not be done through politics.
WARREN: It should be done separately, through fees and other mechanisms. And the reason was pretty straight forward. We didn't want a world where some giant national bank would lean on Congress, and then Congress would lean on the agency not to do the oversight that was necessary.
COOPER: Yes. Senator Warner, finally, I want to ask you about the reporting from "The New York Times" that the president is now privately questioning the authenticity of that "Access Hollywood" tape. We just spoke to "The Times" reporter who now says a third per person has told her, Maggie Haberman, that the president has questioned the authenticity about this and suggested -- to one of the senators suggested that maybe he would hire people to look into the authenticity.
Does that make any sense to you, given the fact he's already apologized for what he said on it?
WARREN: You know, look, he's already admitted what he said. I watched him during the debates, when he talked about, well, it was just locker room talk and so on.
But if this is a new age of accountability, where Donald Trump wants to be held accountable to the dozen or so women who came forward and said that Donald Trump had forced himself on them in various sexual ways and he thinks it's time to get out there and decide to put his views out, so we can have some real accountability, then -- bring it on.
COOPER: Senator Elizabeth Warren, appreciate your time. Thank you.
WARREN: You bet.
COOPER: We'll return to what the president said today and get the view of two conservatives, next.
[20:31:47] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Before the break, you heard from Senator Elizabeth Warren talking about President Trump's remarks today, referring to her as Pocahontas in front of native Americans at an event that was supposed to honor their extraordinary contributions to victory in World War II. Here again is just what the president said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: And I just want to thank you, because you're very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now, two conservatives, Ed Martin and Tara Setmayer.
So, Ed, is it appropriate for the president to make a comment like this, particularly at this event to honor Native Americans?
ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think the president is a president, right? I mean if I -- three quick observations. Number one is the Navajo code talkers, if he hadn't said something, we probably wouldn't be having these conversations, so the purpose was to lift them up. They're impressive, amazing stories. We lose more World War II vets every day than anything. So I think that's really great.
The second thing observation, Anderson, is whatever Senator Warren meant in her interview just now, which I listen to, she has admitted or at least conceded that her ethnicity or background or characterization of it was used by her schools and to an advantage. So I don't know what she means by now denying it. And the bottom line is that she's made herself out as one of the people who's going to run for president. She talks about it regularly. And the president is, you know, making one of his jabs that he -- that those of us that like him, we smile at. And I think, you know, I it's nothing that's out of the ordinary for him and again, I don't find it offensive. I think it's more fun and effective than anything.
COOPER: Tara, fun and effective?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he never answered your question.
MARTIN: Yes, I did.
SETMAYER: Was it appropriate? So you felt it was completely appropriate?
MARTIN: A 100%, yes.
SETMAYER: OK, well, you know, that doesn't surprise me. You know, who are you to determine what Native Americans find offensive and what they don't? That would be --
MARTIN: I didn't. I was asked what I thought.
SETMAYER: Right, but you said --
COOPER: Let her respond.
SETMAYER: You said that you didn't find it offensive and Sarah Huckabee Sanders that she didn't find it offensive, and you guys are not Native American of -- or maybe you don't find it offensive, but plenty of Native Americans find that offensive. So -- and the fact that the president of the United States doesn't have enough respect or enough tact to even recognize that it's just inappropriate, that you don't make comments like that when you're honoring someone else. He was honoring the Navajo, not -- you know, you don't make a racially insensitive joke in front of people like that, especially standing front of an Andrew Jackson a painting, where the history of what Andrew Jackson did to the Native Americans in this country is atrocious and the trail of tears and everything that happened during that. Perhaps someone should have thought about that before they staged it in that room!
I mean, that was offensive in and of itself. I feel more than even the Pocahontas comment, for goodness sakes. But it's just the unmitigated gall of the president of the United States and other people who are that don't have Native American culture. That politicizes that and then have the nerve to say, well, it's not offensive. I just think it's tasteless! It's tasteless! How is this conservative? How does this advance republicanism? How is this appropriate for the president of the United States in that situation? It just doesn't!
[20:35:03] COOPER: And just -- what I don't understand, I mean what does the president get out of saying something like this? I know, obviously, you know, you think it's funny or, you know, kind of light like his sort of jabbing fighter spirit --
COOPER: But you know, again, I mean is this really the ceremony to be doing that in? MARTIN: Well, I mean Anderson, you know, many people that spend time with President Trump describe him in person and in general as very charming and witty and funny. And I think that the men that were standing there -- I don't know if they were men and women, I didn't see the pictures these Navajo code talkers, they recognize that the kind of humor in it. They also recognize, by the way, that there's lots of people in their lives --
COOPER: I'm not sure you could say that they recognize the humor. They seem to be pretty --
SETMAYER: They look shell shocked.
MARTIN: Let me say it this way is that, I think what he said had an effect on the room and -- but, OK, I don't know what's in their heart.
SETMAYER: What effect was that Ed? There was dead silence.
MARTIN: Tara --
COOPER: Let him answer.
MARTIN: -- listen, I didn't interrupt you. I mean you stood there on national TV and said you could read my mind about who I am. All I'm saying is this --
SETMAYER: No, I didn't.
MARTIN: When the president says that, and I think make something that's kind of witty and funny and all of that, I agree I get it, you guys don't think it's funny. But here's the thing, the people around him, those Navajo code talkers, they're not on here. We have Elizabeth Warren and Tara claiming the aggrieved status. Here's what I would say. He honored these people in front by the way a painting -- let's see how many times Obama stood in front of the painting.
And by the way, in Missouri, the Democrat Day for Democrats is called Jackson Day. So we can get rid of everybody in history, but here's the point. The president honored these folks and we're talking about their great contribution. After that, I think, you know, let's move on. Let's talk about the unnamed sources that Maggie is claiming told her something about something else. We'll do that next.
SETMAYER: OK, let's clear this up. It's not just me. The National Congress of American Indians, which is like the NAACP for the American Indians --
MARTIN: Right, left wing.
SETMAYER: -- they have come out very clearly. They are the largest organization to represent American Indians, the Native Americans in this country. So if they --
COOPER: By the way, the Navajo nation also issued a statement disavowing his remarks.
SETMAYER: There you go. So --
SETMAYER: -- again, just because you sit there and think that it's funny, may -- you know, a lot of people thought Archie Bunker was funny too, but he was also offensive to a lot of people. So we have an Archie Bunker in chief who is disrespecting American Indians and making classless jokes from the podium, when it was supposed to be a ceremony to honor people. It's just unbecoming of the president of the United States and if President Obama or Hillary Clinton had done something in reverse, you would be screaming bloody person. So it's that kind of intellectual dishonesty that is just terrible.
MARTIN: Anderson, I don't mind Tara having a different point of view, but this idea that she's going to get on TV and lecture what I would or wouldn't have done. If you find it offensive, Tara, that's fine --
SETMAYER: Your own actions support your hypocrisy, Ed, so just go ahead. People see right there rough it. Go ahead.
MARTIN: OK. A lot of people watch this president, who he was, and they voted for him for president --
MARTIN: -- and your side lost, Tara. So --
SETMAYER: No, my side were just conservatives who actually -- who actually believe in conservatism and believe that character --
COOPER: All right, let's leave it there.
SETMAYER: -- and respect and honor should be part of the presidency. And know what the American people are losing rate now with President Donald Trump in office doing this.
COOPER: Tara Setmayer, Ed Martin, appreciate both of your perspectives. Thanks.
Next, the latest from Alabama where U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore spoke tonight after disappearing from the public eye for a few days. What he is saying now?
Plus, our Gary Tuchman sat down with women who say Moore was a regular at the Olde Hickory House Restaurant where he allegedly met one of his accusers who allegedly sexually assaulted behind the restaurant. What else they remember, when we return.
[20:42:26] COOPER: It's no secret that one of the president's favorite targets over Twitter is CNN. He does it all the time and it's frankly something that we've come to expect. It's what happens when you stand up for truth and put facts first. But this weekend was different when the president tweeted this, "Fox News is much more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of fake news and they represent our nation to the world very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them."
Now, within minutes, CNN's PR department fired back with this message for the President on Twitter, saying, "It's not CNN's job to represent the U.S. to the world, that's yours. Our job is to report the news #factsfirst."
His assault against a free press -- a free press that stands up to him will not stop us or any other legitimate news organization. It won't stop my colleagues around the world who put their lives on the line to do their work, to report. It will not stop my friend and colleague, Ben Wedeman, who has spent over a decade living in Cairo, going to the front lines of nearly every conflict in the Middle East during that time. Here he is coming under fire in Libya in 2011. He was the first western journalist inside Libya covering the removal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
It won't stop my friend and colleague Arwa Damon. Last November, she and photojournalist Brice Laine were with Iraqi's Special Forces as they push into ISIS controlled Mosul. Their convoy came under attack several times. They along with the Iraqi soldiers were under siege for more than 28 hours before their rescue. Arwa won a Peabody for that reporting. And it won't stop my friend and colleague, Christiane Amanpour. After the president's tweet, she took to Twitter and wrote, "If President Trump knew the facts, he would have never have sent that tweet. Here is my late camera woman, Margaret Moth, who took a bullet in the face covering the facts and truth in Bosnia facts first." She included this photograph of Margaret that we just showed you, the shooting was in 1992. As soon as Margaret recovered, she was back in conflict zones, back in the Middle East, where I had the pleasure of working with her.
Margaret sought out those tough assignments. She demanded, in fact, she had a desire to see history unfold first hand and share it with the world. Margaret died of cancer in 2010.
We have thick skin here at CNN. We can handle criticism, but we'll damned sure call it out when it's a lie. Retired general Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and National Security Agency is also taking issue with the president's attack against CNN international, writing on Twitter, "If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now, it was not possible for me to conceive of an American president capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press, or the First Amendment."
General Michael Hayden joins us now. Explain to you why you decided to react out, why you reacted so strongly to this.
[20:45:08] MICHAEL HAYDEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Anderson, it was a fundamental threat, I thought to one of the core elements that keeps us a democratic and free people. Anderson, you and I have compared notes about our time in Sarajevo together in the 1990s where Christiane was reporting. And you and I agree that the veneer of civilization is quite thin. And so these blessings under which we live are not guaranteed to us. They have to be nurtured.
And so I read that tweet from the president. It was assault and assault on truth, on the free press, on the First Amendment, and frankly, these institutions, these beliefs are fragile. And I just felt, I had to say something to kind of make the point that that tweet isn't normal. It isn't something about which we should become accustomed.
COOPER: I mean, beyond the issue just of freedom of the press, there is the very real possibility that the president of the United States is putting American citizens who are reporting in foreign countries in danger. This isn't the president -- I mean, the president should, I would assume, be protected the citizens of this country. Shouldn't that be at the front of his mind at all times?
HAYDEN: Oh absolutely. And I think you're right, the suggestion there, particularly singling out CNN, which is forward, its got its weight on its forward foot in many areas of the world. The perception around the world might be that those reporters enjoy less of the protection of the American government while they're out there. And Anderson, there's even broader questions. I mean, it's been one of the core elements of American diplomacy since the Second World War to push freedom of the press, that the press is not something that anyone should intimidate to try to coerce. And now we have the American president seeming to be doing exactly that.
COOPER: Yes, I mean not -- you wonder what message it's sending to authoritarian regimes in countries where there is no free press. I mean the day after he tweeted about CNN international, the minister of foreign affairs in Egypt tweeted using the same language, writing, "As usual, deplorable CNN coverage of Sinai tragedy today. Anchor more interested in reporters' access to Sinai than in those who lost their lives."
HAYDEN: Yes. You know, you see it gives license, it gives head room, it gives a sense of legitimacy to the Putins of the world, the Erdogans of the world, the Sisis of the world, all of whom are leaders, all of whom we need to deal with. But Anderson, when we send these kinds of signals, we appeal to the darker angelus of their nature.
COOPER: You know, Admiral John Kirby the former Pentagon State Department spokesman, he mentioned earlier on air, that there are times that American reporting in foreign countries actually uncover stories and brings to light evidence that American intelligence agencies, American diplomats used to actually move forward policies. And in many ways, American reporting in foreign war zone and to natural disasters is actually and can be a vital resource not only to the American public, but to provide evidence and bear witness in places where, you know, government officials can't necessarily go.
HAYDEN: No, that's absolutely true. And Anderson, you need to be very careful her. No one needs to think that American journalists are in some ways agents of the American intelligence -- COOPER: Right.
HAYDEN: -- enterprise. That I've got a lot of time. I used to fly into Sarajevo during the war there and one of the things I always tried to do was just sit down in the bar of the holiday inn there and talk to members of the press in order to get their impressions, as to what was going on there. They helped build wisdom inside the American intelligence community, because, frankly, they're there, they have a variety of sources, and they have a point of view that might not be naturally arrived at for people who do espionage for a living.
COOPER: General Michael Hayden, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much.
HAYDEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, Roy Moore under siege, accused of sexual misconduct, speaking out. We'll be right back.
[20:52:08] COOPER: U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore spoke tonight for the first time in days after disappearing from public eye in the campaign trail. Here's part of what he said in tonight's rally in Alabama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, CANDIDATE, U.S. SENATE: These allegations are completely false. They're malicious, specifically, I do not know any of these women nor have I ever engaged in sexual misconduct with any woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Our Gary Tuchman have been following the latest developments in the story of one accuser Beverly Young Nelson. She says Moore sexually assaulted her behind an Alabama restaurant in 1977. Gary has been digging into that story, brings us this report tonight.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This woman says she was 17 years old when she initially met Roy Moore, 40 years ago. Joan does not want her last name used, because she has some fear about talking to us on camera.
(on-camera): Where were you the first time you ever saw Roy Moore?
JOAN, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: The Olde Hickory House.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): That's the restaurant?
JOAN: The restaurant.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The restaurant is now gone, replaced by an urgent care center. But it's the restaurant that Beverly Young Nelson said she worked in the 1977, when she was 16 years old, where she says she was sexually assaulted by Moore in a car behind the restaurant. At a press briefing last week, one of Judge Moore's spokespeople implied that his candidate did not patronize Olde Hickory.
STAN COOK, MOORE SPOKESPERSON: -- traditionally, two former waitresses and two former patrons state that they never saw Judge Moore in that restaurant.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rhonda Ledbetter, who said she was a former waitress there, told CNN affiliate, WHNT.
RHODA LENDBETTER, ALABAMA RESIDENT: I never once saw Roy Moore come into the restaurant.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): When you hear that, what do you think?
JOAN: That's false. I saw him in there four and five times a week.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): So he was a regular?
JOAN: He was a regular.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Joan says she doesn't know Rhoda Ledbetter or the accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, for that matter, but used to work across the street from the restaurant. She said she came to the Olde Hickory House several times a week for at least a year starting in 1977 to pick up her sister who worked there.
(on-camera): You saw him four or five times a week, you said, in that restaurant?
TUCHMAN (on-camera): So for 52 weeks, that would be 100, 125 times. Do you think you saw him that many times in the restaurant?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This woman said she worked at the Hickory House, too. She's so fearful of being shudder verbally attacked that she doesn't want her face on camera.
(on-camera): So you were a waitress there for a few years, starting when you were 17 years old?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): And would you describe Roy Moore as a regular customer?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): And how many times would you see him in a given week?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was either three to four or three. TUCHMAN (on-camera): So between three to four times a week?
(voice-over): Roy Moore's team implying he didn't go to the restaurant angered her and that's why she decided to talk to us.
(on-camera): So someone says he was never there, your response to that is what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is, yes, he was. I mean, I had tips from him. He tipped me. I mean, you know, I waited him on the counter.
[20:55:02] TUCHMAN (voice-over): Both of these women said they voted for Donald Trump for president. Both of them say that they can't be positive that the sexual abuse allegations against Moore are all true. But both are deeply troubled about how he and his campaign have handled these allegations.
JOAN: I don't want him to tell lies and then be elected senator. Once he gets to be senator, he'll just tell more lies.
COOPER: Gary, I know you attended Roy Moore's speech. What else did he have to say during it?
TUCHMAN: Well, even before it all began, Anderson, an organizer of the speech told reporters they could not answer or ask any questions. Now, that's not something we're inclined to agree to, but we wouldn't have been able to, because the room behind us was packed with about 200 people. They're very loud and clapped when he walked in, they're very loud and clapped when Moore walked out. He could not have heard any of our questions. He spoke for about 30 minutes. And in addition to denying the allegations against him, he told us, "I am facing a big spiritual battle." He said that he hasn't run any negative advertising but now it's time to take off the gloves. And he also says he wants to join Donald Trump to make America Great Again. Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman. Gary, thanks.
Up next, a third source talks to the "New York Times" adding to those saying that the president is now questioning the authenticity of the infamous "Access Hollywood" video when he bragged about being able to grope women. The woman on that video, Arianne Zucker joins me for her take on this, just ahead.