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Trump Lawyer Sends Cease & Desist Letter to Bannon; Trump Dissolves Voter Fraud Commission. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 4, 2018 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Fists are flying between the president and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

[05:59:30] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump's lawyer now threatening legal action.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Steve Bannon accused the president's son of treasonous behavior.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The book has a lot of things that are completely untrue.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It makes him look like everyone around him feels like he's a bumbling idiot and doesn't tell him.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: They think he doesn't read anything. They think he doesn't know anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Bannon feels he has nothing left to lose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About fifteen states along the East Coast of the U.S. currently under some sort of winter weather advisory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The temperatures are going to be extremely cold, in fact, colder than we've seen the last 11 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't have a reason to be out, don't be out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, January 4, 6 a.m. here in New York. Here's our starting line.

Cease and desist. President Trump's lawyer delivering that message in a letter to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon over Bannon's explosive comments in excerpts from a new book. The president firing back, saying that after Bannon lost his White House job, he lost his mind.

In the book, Bannon blasts Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then- campaign chair Paul Manafort for a meeting with that Russian lawyer at Trump Tower. He calls it treasonous and unpatriotic. And that's not all that has the White House so fired up.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: CNN learning the president already began the year in a fury, fueled in part by anger at his legal team over the Russia investigation and shifting timelines about when it might end. The book now just stoking his anger.

President Trump forced to dissolve his Voter Fraud Commission, because it hasn't gotten any of the work that he was hoping it would, showing that he should have won this popular voter except for voter fraud. And state after state was refusing to participate.

The president insisted that massive fraud was the reason that he lost the 2016 popular vote, you'll remember.

We have it all covered. Let's get first to Joe Johns at the White House -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.

Quite an extraordinary situation here. The president angrily lashing out at Steve Bannon for trashing the president and the first family, using words like "treasonous." The president's lawyers even calling on Bannon to stop talking, despite the fact that at least some of the things he's quoted as saying have been said by Democrats for months.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump's lawyer threatening imminent legal action against Steve Bannon, accusing the president's former chief strategist of defamation and arguing that he violated a nondisclosure agreement when speaking to the author of this bombshell new book. Excerpts published in "The Guardian" quote Bannon suggesting that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort have been treasonous and unpatriotic for meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton at Trump Tower in 2016.

Bannon also reportedly saying that the chance Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father's office to the 26th floor is zero." A claim that runs contrary to the administration's longstanding position.

DON TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell.

JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: The president was not aware of the meeting, did not participate in the meeting.

JOHNS: Bannon is also quoted discussing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, claiming, "They're going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV," allegedly predicting that the investigation will center on money laundering. News of the book prompting a scathing statement from the president,

asserting in part, "Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

SANDERS: I think furious, disgusted would probably certainly fit when you make such outrageous claims and completely false claims against the president.

JOHNS: Bannon saying only this when asked about the controversy last night.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: The president of the United States is a great man. You know I support him day in and day out.

JOHNS: Democrat Andre Carson telling CNN Bannon is scheduled to come before the House Intelligence Committee later this month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to make sure his statements aren't out of emotionalism or spitefulness. We want to really find out what he really thinks.

JOHNS: Bannon's remarks just one part of journalist Michael Wolff's stunning new book, characterizing the first year of the Trump presidency as chaotic and dysfunctional and President Trump as uninformed. Wolff saying this about the impression deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh allegedly had of the president: "He didn't read. He didn't really even skim. Some believed that, for all practical purposes, he was no more than semi-literate. It was, said, Walsh, like trying to figure out what a child wants."

Walsh denies making these remarks, but the passage is similar to a different quote published in "New York Magazine" by aide Sam Nunberg, who reportedly said this about Trump's attention span when he was sent to explain the Constitution: "I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head."

The White House vehemently denying these accounts, saying, "The book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: The president holds several meetings today, none of which are expected to be open to the media for the third straight day. The low profile believed to be over anger with the Russia investigation.

Chris and Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: Joe, thank you very much.

Let's discuss all of this. Joining is us now are CNN political analysts John Avlon and David Gregory. Great to see both of you.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: There's so much palace intrigue, it's hard to know where to start. But let's just start with that Bannon was on the radio last night, and all he said was the president is a good man. He didn't deny this stuff.

So if President Trump is really excommunicating Steve Bannon with this cease and desist, where does that leave us? What does that mean for his base? What does that mean for the president's ties to the establishment?

David, go ahead.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we're going to have to watch as this plays out a little bit. Because the palace intrigue to say the least, right? I mean, this is really the kind of reality TV show that Donald Trump seems to love to be in the middle of. And now he is, as president, and he's got the kind of dysfunction that's spilling out all over the place that captures such a tumultuous first year in office.

You know, I think the political fallout of this is what you might expect. I think there's still a core of support for the president that is not necessarily shaken by this. It's events that will shake it. It's the president's reaction to those events that will shake it.

But, you know, in Steve Bannon, you've got somebody who's very media savvy, but somebody who's also been close to the president. And he's providing insight into what this first year was like that really could upend a lot of what has held the place together.

CUOMO: Well, also, look, I mean, Bannon is having it both ways. He's saying he supports the president.

AVLON: Sure.

CUOMO: And he's saying, "But your son, and your son-in-law--"

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: "-- and your friends, they were dirty going to that meeting," and that that was a problem. That's what he's quoted as saying. He hasn't denied the quote.

AVLON: Right.

CUOMO: He can have it both ways, John.

AVLON: Not really. Not in an environment like the Trump family where--

CUOMO: Oh, no. They may not let him have it both ways. But I'm saying, he can say he supports the president. The president is a great man.

AVLON: Right. CUOMO: But then the other part.

AVLON: Look, he is using unvarnished language throughout this, basically calling that alleged meeting treasonous, as we've reported, saying that the larger game is obviously a charge of money laundering to get to the president. He may try to have it both ways, but that ain't going to work. It's not going to work with the base.

There's a core of the base that's going to stick by President Trump, as he said, even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

CUOMO: This cease and desist letter we've got to talk about also.

AVLON: Sure. What--

CUOMO: You know, that -- look, that's something that is very common to Donald Trump. OK?

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: He has a lawyer send you a message saying if you do this, he'll sue you. That's fine when you're a private citizen. But unless they're going to bring back the Sedition Act--

AVLON: Ain't going to happen.

CUOMO: -- in the United States government, where you can't -- you can't criticize the government. Those kinds of letters are a dangerous signal.

AVLON: They're a dangerous signal. But as you said, I mean, it's really a brushback pitch without meaning, given that he's president right now.

Look, this is about incredibly significant. Because the inner circle is turning on itself. You've got a circular firing squad as of yesterday. And they're talking in really unvarnished terms. I mean, you know, the fact that Steve Bannon went from being a genius and incredibly close to being characterized as a hobo they barely know is really -- is really significant.

CAMEROTA: No, a disheveled drunk.

CUOMO: That's what Peter King said he looked like.

AVLON: Yes. Sorry, yes. To quote Peter King.

GREGORY: But also, he is -- he is -- he can stand by the president. He's taking on the family, right, Chris, as you said. I mean, that's the big point here. If you have a president who's obsessed as he has been, we know this. We don't need Michael Wolff's book to tell us this. He's been obsessed with this Russia investigation.

And you've got a guy who is a top adviser saying there's treasonous activity and there's a money laundering investigation when the president is already fuming that the thing isn't done, that it's not resolved, it just shows you how much insight into his head he's going to be.

And I'm sorry. Not only has the president threatened to sue so many people over -- over claims made against him which he doesn't follow through on, just like the voter commission -- the Voter Fraud Commission that he's now disbanded because, oh, they didn't find anything. And the White House protests because of alleged false claims? What about the president's false claims that he's been issuing since the time that he was a candidate?

So the whole thing is such a seedy soap opera that we've been watching for a year. And now we're just getting a closer look inside.

AVLON: But this is more significant than simply the beginning of the second act. You know, you take the last 72 hours. They've been incredibly significant.

A "New York Times" report showing a totally different timeline with Papadopoulos and when they knew that there was allegedly Russian involvement in stealing -- stealing the e-mails and maybe trying to influence the election on Trump's behalf.

Fusion GPS saying, "Look, make our testimony public. And why aren't you investigating Deutsche Bank loans, which are related to the charges of money laundering," which Steve Bannon elevated and said is really the core of this, in addition to this meeting?

And then this internal squabble falling out into public which is going to end up fueling further interviews and investigations. This is all a bit of a perfect storm and right at the heart of the Trump White House.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's read a few more passages from the book, because they're so juicy and some of them are so peculiar.

[06:10:03] By the way, we should mention that it sounds like Michael Wolff's modus operandi was to let the people that he interviewed spin yarns. And then he didn't necessarily fact-check them. He didn't necessarily need two sources. This isn't journalism. I mean, this is a very interesting read. But in terms of the way he processes this, he admits in the author's note that he let people sort of tell their own stories. And then he printed some of those.

So here's an interesting one about Ivanka. "Between themselves, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner had made an earnest deal. If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she'd be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton. It would be Ivanka Trump."

That sounds fantastical, David. I mean, what? Ivanka's running for president? It's interesting, but I don't know what to do with that.

AVLON: As is her father running for president. Other than it's an indication of an incredible atmosphere of presumption inside the family, but then we knew that.

GREGORY: Right, well, and you know, who knows about that. But I mean, to me it goes to the whole point that you have this -- you know, this ambitious circle and no check on it. You know, there's no sense of what would be the appropriate way to move forward if her father actually won the presidency. The fact that he hired his children, I think, was a huge mistake. He was advised, according to the book, not to do that. We've known that from other sourcing, as well. And he just kind of barreled through.

And I think that's something that comes across that, again, won't surprise a lot of people. The president kind of barreling into this presidency unprepared, not believing that he'd ever become president. And then both presumptuous and arrogant about it and bumbling through in a lot of different ways.

But again, I -- this -- the picture with all of these eccentricities can also be dangerous for critics of the president, because I think from the Russia investigation to something like this, there is a real danger for critics of the president that they will do as Republicans did to Bill Clinton, which is overreach. And I think that's something that we have to always make part of the conversation.

CUOMO: Sure. Meaning what?

GREGORY: Well, meaning that there's a backlash, that people, what they see in criticism of Trump is hatred and an unwillingness to give him any of his due when there is success, when there is an economy that's moving forward, when the financial markets are moving forward really well.

CUOMO: You know what's interesting? You know who said that? Other than your greatness, is Michael Wolff. Michael Wolff, obviously the writer of the book, was on TV a lot. Now, look, I'm sure we've all been around Michael Wolff. I've been around him most of my life, because he's been writing about politics; wrote about my brother, wrote about my father. He is all about access, and he got great access here.

And in politics you don't get the benefit of having somebody fact check what you say. You know, if you tell this guy, "Here's my reality here," it's going to wind up in print.

CAMEROTA: Bingo.

CUOMO: It's a little bit of a reflection, John, of not knowing how to play this game by the people around Trump. A little bit of that.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CUOMO: And also that Wolff was saying the right things to get that access.

AVLON: Right. Early on he really seemed to be buttering up the administration in order to get access and then folks let their guard down and spoke in incredibly unvarnished terms.

CAMEROTA: He admits as such. I just want to chime in here for a second. AVLON: Sure.

CAMEROTA: Michael Wolff says that he wanted fly-on-the-wall access. And he describes himself as an interloper. And he got that because he said it was so chaotic in the first month that nobody was like, "What are you doing here? Get out." So he just sort of hung around.

AVLON: Yes. And got amazing copy. I mean, some of the -- some of this, from the allegation that Trump didn't really expect or even want to necessarily win the election, which is chilling with any sense of history, that there was a larger prize in his mind, which is sort of power not public service, fame not, you know, giving back and the responsibility to the office.

But also e-mails from a White House aide that says, "It's even worse than it seems. This is an idiot surrounded by clowns." Now, that's pretty incredible. You can look at first-year memoirs of presidencies. And this is -- this is on a totally different surreal level.

CUOMO: You then have the point that David is making, though, is the "so what?" part of this.

AVLON: Sure.

CUOMO: So what do you do with this information, David? For some it will confirm certain things. I mean, what Bannon is saying about the investigation you've been hearing from non-Trump folks since the investigation began that there are real issues. So what's the takeaway here?

GREGORY: Well, I actually think that it -- it's not so much "so what?" It is, OK, this -- we know this, right? We're living through -- we have stepped into the surreal now for over a year. And now we're getting more evidence of how chaotic and surreal it is. And I think John is exactly right. I mean, you know, there can be chaos in the first year. Nothing like this.

You have a president who's redefining what it means to be president almost on a daily basis. I think the "so what?" from this is how the president responds. How it impacts him.

[06:15:00] You know, you look at history. You've got -- you know, you've got dark personalities like Nixon talking to the portraits. Well, we're seeing some of that with Donald Trump in a fury that gets in his way. We know he's not disciplined when it comes to policy making. But this Russia investigation, this kind of -- these kinds of revelations are from people who are close to him, I think has such a potential impact on him the "so what?" is let's see how he responds to it and how -- how, you know, destructive it becomes to his presidency.

AVLON: And we're hearing a lot of the allegations, you know, that have been leveled against the president and regarding the investigation now from his closest aides who were in the White House at the time. That's different. We're getting more accounts of what happened on that Air Force One

trip when there was the alleged dictated response to the allegation that Don Jr. had been in the meeting with the Russians for the first time. That could impact investigations.

So we -- we need to do both. You know, the Trump administration, we need to say, "Look, here are the folks who are doing good work. Here are the things that they deserve success for." But not take our eye off the ball that none of this seems to be normal behind the scenes. And it all has weight in the context of this investigation and in the context of the first draft of history. It's disturbing, strange stuff.

AVLON: So such a great indication of when you know you've got the president's attention, is when he tries to get you to start talking about something else. His first two tweets this morning. One, he's tweeting very early. Two is that he's talking about the election--

CAMEROTA: Voter Commission, Voter Fraud Commission, yes.

CUOMO: The Commission on Voter Fraud. And he's now making the case for voter I.D. Now the irony there is, if they had done a real investigation into voting in this country, you'd realize that there's such problems with disenfranchisement.

GREGORY: Sure.

CUOMO: There's such reasons that having an I.D. qualification chills voting. But that's what he's talking about this morning, not this.

CAMEROTA: All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much. We'll talk about that in a minute.

CUOMO: All right. So what's coming up on the show? We have former White House communications director -- you see him on your screen -- Anthony Scaramucci. He has been so vocal about Steve Bannon when it was not popular to be so. Does he feel vindication? Is this one of the reasons that there's this bubbling up that the Mooch may make a return?

CAMEROTA: OK. We do, then, have to get to this important story. That's President Trump dissolving his controversial Voter Fraud Commission. Why did he do that? Well, one White House advisor says it was, quote, "off the rails." What that means and why they pulled the plug, next.

CUOMO: All right. And we're keeping an eye on this winter storm. It is battering the East Coast. It's going on right now. We'll show you the situations up and down the coast, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:21:12] CUOMO: All right. So the president dissolved his controversial Voter Fraud Commission. Why? Well, that's the big question. We do know that the panel was established after the president claimed

that voter fraud is why he didn't win the popular vote against Hillary Clinton. There has never been substantial proof of that. Do you understand? There has never been proof of it.

The president just is tweeting about this, though, this morning. "Mostly" -- "Many, mostly Democrat states refused to hand over data from the 2016 election to the Commission on Voter Fraud. They fought hard that the commission not see their records or methods. because they know that many people are voting illegally. System is rigged, must go to voter I.D. As Americans, you need identification sometimes in a very strong and accurate form." As opposed to what kind of identification? Anyway. "For almost everything you do, except when it comes to the most important thing, voting for the people that run your country. Push hard for voter identification!"

Back with us, John Avlon, David Gregory.

David Gregory, the last part of that, voter I.D., go ahead, have the debate, have the argument. Legitimate issue. There's a very strong reason that people will push not to have voter I.D. but you can debate it.

The rest of it, where's the debate in that? How is this just not untrue on its face? States did not not comply because they didn't want to reveal illegal voting. Anybody can look at the pleadings. They thought this was a setup. They thought that this was a railroad situation where Trump was trying to show, through Kris Kobach, that something happened in the election that did not happen. And that's why they didn't want to comply.

GREGORY: Right. Because it was a waste of time. It was an abuse of government resources and time. This is a joke. I mean, the president saying that there's voter I.D. problems and voter fraud. Well, he's the same person that said that Barack Obama wasn't born in this country. I mean, just -- let's stop paying attention to this.

He did a big to-do and it went nowhere, because there was nothing to it. If he wants to get serious about voter fraud, he ought to look into voter disenfranchisement. That's the issue. Let's get more people voting.

I mean, he made a big claim. He used the power of the presidency to do it, and he came up with zero. And this was knowable, by the way, right after the election, when Republicans came out and said, "I don't know what they're talking about. We haven't had evidence of voter fraud."

So this is a waste of time. And now this is -- this is exactly what I was talking about in the last segment. This is the president going onto Fantasy Island and becoming his own worst enemy by indulging his basest instincts without fact. And -- and here we go. This is -- this is day one after the book.

CAMEROTA: Yes. This is real fake news, pardon the oxymoron. Because this is the kind of stuff that the president was peddling. And as you know, I do these voter panels, some of them with die-hard, you know, Donald Trump supporters. And the one that caused the face palm was when they told me, you know, unequivocally that three to five -- this is their quote. This is what voters believed. Three to 5 million "illegals," with air quotes, voted in California, and that's what cost the president the popular vote.

AVLON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So in other words, by the president peddling it, then his supporters do believe it, and it does become pernicious. And this could have answered the question; it could have stamped out that false narrative. However, they're disbanding.

AVLON: Well, no. Except for the fact the fix was in from the start.

CUOMO: It would have never shown that he rightfully lost.

AVLON: This was an ideological agenda designed to defend the president's insecure response to losing the popular vote. And the fact that a lot of his supporters repeat that talking point shows again that words do matter.

But this wasn't about a search for the truth. It was about defending the president's instincts.

And the real issue, obviously, in this country is not voter fraud. The real issue is voter disenfranchisement, is obstacles, unnecessary obstacles to voting. And now they've said they're moving this to the Department of Homeland Security, under the auspices of the fact the Department of Homeland Security has authority over critical infrastructure like elections, like election integrity.

[06:25:16] So I ask them, has the Department of Homeland Security done anything to defend our critical infrastructure in the wake of Russia's meddling in our election? Because we haven't seen any evidence of that. That's the demonstrable problem.

CUOMO: But it's also the irony that when it's bad for the country, bad for democracy, this president does not step up and say to homeland security, "You better make sure these Russians can never do this again. Let us know what resources."

But when it's bad for him, which is in his optic of why he lost the election, they go to homeland security and say you better figure this out.

CAMEROTA: Well, the popular vote. He actually won the election.

CUOMO: He certainly won the election, and nobody has ever disputed that except him. The greatest of all ironies.

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON: Why can't you take the win? He won, you know?

CUOMO: Because the popular voted matters to him. AVLON: It rankles. Because he lost it.

CUOMO: It's OK. It's OK for it to burn his butt that he lost. And he can do all he wants to grow his base and win by a lot more the next time.

AVLON: That's a rational response, yes.

CUOMO: But this is a great window into what you're dealing with with Donald Trump as a man, David Gregory. And it's important to analyze it. There's a little bit of truth. There has to be always a little bit of truth. Which is--

CAMEROTA: Well, of course, it is, at times, election fraud, small- scale.

CUOMO: -- we do have problems. There's de minimis cases. They exist, and it plants in people's mind, "I knew this thing. I've heard this story."

GREGORY: Right.

CUOMO: "This person was dead and still voted."

CAMEROTA: Right.

CUOMO: "This person voted by--"

CAMEROTA: There are anecdotal evidence.

CUOMO: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Small voter fraud, for sure.

CUOMO: But the scale has never been there. And why does it matter? Because once again, he's undermining a pillar of our democracy. And that's something that, you know, any self-respecting citizen, let alone a journalist, can't allow, David.

GREGORY: Well, and he's -- look, this is part of his, you know, what I think both supporters and critics would say his political skill. It's cynical, of course. But it's all part of undermining any case against him.

Look at the concerted effort to undermine the Russia investigation. If there's something there, it will be billed as selective prosecution and that the fix was in from the beginning. And if it comes up short, then it will be the deep state and the media and everybody concocting something.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

GREGORY: So he's got to cover it all ways. And this is this megalomania to say, "Oh, no, no, I didn't win the popular vote only because of, you know, this reason," when you know, let's go back to what was an amazing political coup on the part of Donald Trump, upending the Republican Party, overcoming the Democratic establishment. But, you know, why isn't that enough--

CAMEROTA: Yes.

GREGORY: -- is the big question.

CAMEROTA: But just one more thing on this. Because if his die-hard supporters don't want to believe the media's take on there not being vast voter fraud, then believe the Republican secretaries of state.

GREGORY: Right.

CAMEROTA: So the Republican secretaries of state -- this is not a Democratic whitewash. The Republican secretaries of state said, "Not in our state. We don't--"

GREGORY: True.

CAMEROTA: "Sure, we have anecdotal evidence in some precincts that somebody came, they didn't know they had moved. They tried to vote twice."

CUOMO: They prosecuted a handful of cases.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. So--

AVLON: Sometimes Republican.

CAMEROTA: So this why -- that's part of why they couldn't get any secretaries of state in states to cooperate, because as you say, it was a waste of time and spinning their wheels. Also, because as you know, the White House first started acting for people's dates of birth, Social Security numbers. And the secretaries of state were like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, why are we giving -- handing you over all--"

CUOMO: A lot of them don't even have it.

CAMEROTA: Of course. "Why are we handing over personal voter information?"

AVLON: That's not a violation of principles of federalism. I don't know why people would get--

CUOMO: And then they went after people being registered in different places as proof, and they have people in their own administration.

AVLON: Exactly.

CUOMO: Including Bannon.

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: Who was registered in--

AVLON: In multiple states. So we do need election reform in this country. We could use people -- a comprehensive study--

CUOMO: Right.

AVLON: -- about voter disenfranchisement.

CUOMO: That should be changed.

AVLON: Yes, but not an ideological-driven organization like this was. And we'll see now what the Department of Homeland Security actually does.

CUOMO: And that's the shame, though, David, right? Because you could do a panel like this, get into gerrymandering.

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: Get into what they do.

AVLON: That's a rigged system.

CUOMO: And different levels of chilling that they do with the vote. He could have done that and you know what? He would have expanded his base. Instead, he's just got another day of getting a slap-down for a bad political move.

GREGORY: Right. And at the same time that he's threatening more legal action against somebody. You know, all those people who accused him of sexual misconduct, he threatened to sue all of them. Hasn't happened.

Now he's threatening to sue Steve Bannon. You know, we'll see if it happens.

And he said, you know, oh, he only lost because all of these -- you know, there was voter fraud. And then again, uses the government for this big commission that goes nowhere, because it's a joke.

That's what people need to be paying attention to. This is -- this is more of the kind of potential long-term damage that the president can do in office.

CUOMO: On the taxpayer dime, too.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, John Avlon, thank you very much.

All right. Let's get to this enormous winter storm. It's slamming into the northeast as we speak. Some areas could get a foot of snow. We'll tell you where in a live report, next.