Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Twitter Tirade Continues; Difficult Life for Those in The Military Overseas; Tribute to Those Serving Overseas on Thanksgiving Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 23, 2017 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So let's be really clear about something. Thomas Jefferson when he wrote that all men should be created equal, all hundreds of African-American slaves. So we have always literally from our founding fathers and our founding documents, we have always embodied the exact tensions that Paris is talking about.

You can have black friends, you can have black co-workers and you can still participate in the unconscious or conscious belief of white racial superiority and that is our founding -- that is our founding sin.

I mean, here we are, we're talking about Thanksgiving day, right, where we are literally celebrating the holiday by which white forbearers in this country came and kicked Native American off of their land and slaughtered and pillaged them.

So, like, there's nothing -- you don't have to be ashamed of that, you don't have to be guilty about that. But let's just face facts. And the fact is that Donald Trump has a pattern of treating white supremacists with kid gloves and going after black people and black athletes with outrageous terms.

You didn't like what the guy said? All right, fine, attack him. That's a little weird that you're so sensitive. You're supposed to be the grown-up, you're the president. But you've got to call him Don King. Like, that's just--

(CROSSTALK)

PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Who is also black and his friend for a very, very long time--

KOHN: Great.

DENNARD: -- and supported him as a republican.

KOHN: That's not, like -- that's just weird and, like, go after the white supremacist maybe four times harder than you go after black athletes exercising their First Amendment rights.

I don't know. It is a disturbing pattern. And it can be a disturbing pattern at the same time the guy I'm sure the guy has very nice black friends. You know, we all have to start to confront how we perpetuate racial difference and racial discrimination and racial inequality in our country.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: So, OK, I'm listening to both of you very carefully. And I was just talking to a Trump supporter yesterday on TV who was saying to me, hang on a second, you know, I think President Trump is an equal opportunity offender.

His point was, you know, it doesn't matter what creed, color, race, sexuality, whatever, he says he's going to offend and he's not discriminatory.

But here is my question for you, Paris, on that point. When you look at sports, you know, sports is different with the president. You know, he's attacked NFL players, he's attacked the NFL, and he's attacked NBA players. He's attacked these UCLA basketball players.

But when you look at these two coaches, Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr who have said -- called him a soulless coward, you know, the truth is we all struggle with the idea of spending time with a man who has offended us from Kerr. It doesn't -- it feels different in that regard.

DENNARD: Well, let's unpack a few things that you said. Number one, the president isn't attacking anybody, he's responding to people coming for him.

BALDWIN: Responding?

DENNARD: So there is a difference. Number two, he did not attack the NBA -- sorry, the UCLA students, he actually intervened to help them get out of a Chinese jail, and which was a good thing which we all should be thankful for, especially them spending Thanksgiving with their families and not in jail. So that's what the president did. He didn't attack those three students.

The other point is this, the president cannot help the fact that the NFL is -- when you look at the players, the majority are African- American. But his response to the NFL players was namely a response to one player in particular and the other players who were taking a knee to something that he found and a lot of Americans found offensive to our country, to our soldiers and to our history.

And so that is what he was responding to. When he responded to the NFL in general, when he was talking about those owners, the owners are majority white. The head of the NFL, Goodell, who is the commissioner, is white. And so when he was attacking the NFL as we put it, those are majority white owned individuals that are males, many of which were supportive of him and gave him millions of dollars towards his campaign.

So it's inaccurate to come out and say that the president goes out of his way to attack black athletes or attack black people. That's not the case and it's just factually untrue.

KOHN: But it actually does seem that way, you understand? And when you have, for instance, a group of people marching down the street with tiki torches chanting about white power, the president pressed and pressed and pressed, asked - asked to comment on that, says, well, there are good people on both sides.

It seems as though -- Paris, it seems as though he goes out of his way to say nice things about them. Whereas, nobody is asking them to comment on the NFL. Nobody was asking him, you know, to go -- right -- to go -- he's doing this on his own. He's apparently not governing the country. He's just watching CNN from what we can tell. Thank you for that.

DENNARD: That's a good thing.

KOHN: And he's going after black athletes and their parents who, you know, he's going out of his way to do that.

And let's be clear, again, the point I do think is that we can agree across the board this president's skin is too thin.

[15:34:59] I mean, really, we've got more important things to do. Whatever your ideology, you'd like the guy to be focusing on jobs, or, I don't know, maybe take a moment and write a tax bill that doesn't just help millionaires and billionaires but act -- and instead raises taxes on the middle class, which is what he seems to want to do. Instead, he's got thin skin.

BALDWIN: OK.

KOHN: But let's be clear, it's thin white skin and it keeps getting pricked. He keeps going after black people who hurt his feelings. It's crazy.

BALDWIN: OK. Paris and Sally, we're going to -- we're going to leave it there. Thank you both so very much. I'm still going to end it on a positive note wishing both of you a very, very happy Thanksgiving. Paris to you there in Washington, and Sally and you're in-laws basement on this Thanksgiving Thursday, thank you both.

KOHN: Happy Thanksgiving.

DENNARD: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next here, a flagship development for the Trump organization. So much so, that the Trump Soho hotel was announced on "The Apprentice."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Trump international hotel and tower in Soho is the site of my latest development. This 50- story building will be the first condominium hotel in the city with world-class accommodations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So why is the Trump organization walking away from this world-class accommodation? We'll explain.

[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Located in the center of Manhattan, chic artist enclave, the Trump international hotel and tower in Soho is the site of my latest development. This 50-story building will be the first condominium in the city with world-class accommodations and panoramic views of lower and midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. When it's completed in 2008, this brilliant $370 million work of art will be an awe-inspiring masterpiece.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That was the voice of Donald Trump praising his Trump Soho hotel project on "The Apprentice," that was back in 2007, but now the current owner of the luxury condo hotel is parting ways with the Trump organization.

Mind you, this is where NBA superstar LeBron James now refused to say. And insiders say the hotel has really struggled to stay afloat since Trump became president.

So, Jeremy Diamond is with me, our CNN White House reporter. Jeremy Diamond, why are they cutting ties now?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, this property has struggled financially for some years now, but especially in the last year. So the Trump organization and CIM Group, which actually owns this building, have decided to part ways. Meaning that you'll see those five letters that spelled "Trump" off that Soho building in just a few months and also the Trump organization will no longer manage the building day-to-day.

And a restaurant has closed in the last year. There have been -- they've struggled to fill the hotel and to sell the condominiums actually in that building. And a lawyer for the restaurant that closed in this last year said -- attributed it to the election, attributed it to the Trump brand that he says has taken a turn for the worst since President Trump's election and in light of his divisive presidency as many see it.

Of course, the Trump Soho hotel is not the first and not the only property that has struggled during the Trump presidency. We've also seen Trump international hotel in Toronto, they also stripped the Trump name from that building. And even at Mar-a-Lago where the president is right now, according to the Washington Post, 19 charities that had scheduled balls or events for this coming year canceled those events and a lot of that appears to be attributed to the Trump brand.

However, on the flip side of that, you also have certain properties like Trump hotel in Washington and even Mar-a-Lago that have started to see an influx of cash especially from conservative groups, republican even members of Congress who have hosted events at that hotel in Washington. So it's unclear as of now what the impact is, but certainly the

president's politics, the way that his presidency has been going have had an effect on his brand for better or worse, Brooke?

BALDWIN: OK. Jeremy Diamond, thank you. Enjoy your turkey with your family there in New York.

DIAMOND: Thanks, you too.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Coming up next, a tribute to our men and women serving overseas this Thanksgiving. You will hear from a military family I met recently stationed in South Korea as nuclear tensions rise with their neighbor to the North.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AARON BRIGHT, COMMANDER, IST BATTALION, 38TH FIELD ARTILLERY: I don't worry about myself or my unit because it's ready. It's trained. It will -- we can do our job. That part doesn't worry me. The only part that worries me is just--

BALDWIN: Your family?

BRIGHT: Sure. And getting them out in a timely manner.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: On this day of thanks, I just wanted to express my profound gratitude to our men and women in uniform. I was recently on assignment in South Korea where I met a military family I'll never forget.

Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Bright and his wife Sharon have moved eight times during his near 20-year army career. Home is now near Seoul and they along with their three precious daughters showed me what it's like for Americans living and serving there. And you will see especially at this time why family means the most.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGHT: We're in Camp Casey. We call this my house. We call the one and also my home.

BALDWIN: Because it's where your family is?

BRIGHT: Right, in a words matter kind of way. Here in Casey I'm in what's called area one. They have South Korea divided into areas based on how far away you are from North Korea. So this is as close as you can get. And then area two encompasses Seoul, and they live in Yongsan which is the base right there in the center of Seoul.

BALDWIN: When did he have a conversation with you, honey, we're moving to Seoul?

SHARON BRIGHT, AARON BRIGHT'S WIFE: I was -- we knew that we were finding out soon. We knew he was getting a command. We were so happy about that. He called and he was like, OK, we know. So I knew like, it was one of those I'm going to ease into it kind of things, you know? So he told me South Korea and I was like, wow!

BRIGHT: These are training exercise with all rockets pads. And this one got a total of six rockets in it or you have one big missile that would take up the whole thing.

BALDWIN: How much of your day is consumed by thinking about North Korea?

[15:50:01] BRIGHT: Quite a bit of it, just trying to think one step ahead, a step ahead of the enemy.

BALDWIN: Do you worry?

BRIGHT: In terms of worry, I don't worry about myself or my unit because it's ready. It's trained. We can do our job. That part doesn't worry me. The only part that worries me is just--

BALDWIN: Your family?

BRIGHT: Sure. And getting them out in a timely manner.

S. BRIGHT: We know as a family of four, you know, I would know that his job would take him one way and I would be responsible for me and the girls and the dog.

BALDWIN: What is the plan if he were to get that call?

S. BRIGHT: We would have a meeting point with the rest of those and we would have our things that we've been kind of encourage to have whatever you want to take with you. And then you go through a process of they would fly you here, they would take you here, they would you there and then eventually you would be safe and maybe back home.

BALDWIN: How would you describe a typical day in South Korea?

PRISCILLA BRIGHT, AARON BRIGHT'S DAUGHTER: It's pretty normal.

BALDWIN: Pretty normal?

P. BRIGHT: Yes. I go to school. We all go to school for seven hours, come back, do homework on the weekends. You can go out. There's little karaoke things that I do with my friends, and little Korean barbecue dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only sometimes we have sleepovers with our friends.

ANNABELLE BRIGHT, AARON BRIGHT'S DAUGHTER: There's a park just right there, and we go there a lot.

BALDWIN: What's it like when you're waiting for your dad to come home on a Friday?

A. BRIGHT: It's kind of like, is he home yet, is he home yet, is he home yet?

BRIGHT: It was a ticker tape parade, you know.

S. BRIGHT: Every Friday.

BRIGHT: Every Friday. And it just started to wear, it wear on both of us.

S. BRIGHT: It did build like a welcome home party every Friday. And I was like, OK, look, I need some normalcy. I personally asked on a Friday night let's it light on Fridays. It just gives us a minute just to connect again, to ease back in, to being around each other.

And then on Saturday mornings we try to have our moment because then on Sunday mornings I feel like that's the girl's moments with pancakes.

BRIGHT: Yes.

S. BRIGHT: I stay out of that. Like, I usually go partake in the pancakes. It's all them and daddy.

BRIGHT: They're delicious though.

S. BRIGHT: So, and then we see what we have. A lot of times it's just we want simplicity.

BALDWIN: We cover so much of the heated up rhetoric, right, between Washington and Pyongyang. Can you feel that day to day over here?

BRIGHT: A little. The South Korean people are very -- you know, it's just another day. They've seen worse. And it's infectious to us. We know what to do if it does happen. And this is -- this is kind of--

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: What's the "it" happen? What's the "it"?

BRIGHT: Just, you know -- full-on war. We know, my soldiers know, we know exactly what to do.

BALDWIN: If and when that call came in to you and you're ready to roll, what does the call look like between you and your wife?

BRIGHT: I don't want to think about that. I guess it's a phone call. Hey, see you later. Get out.

BALDWIN: Get out?

BRIGHT: Yes.

BALDWIN: Is that tough for you to think about?

BRIGHT: Yes, it is. That part is hard.

BALDWIN: Why?

BRIGHT: Because I'm -- I'm the protector.

BALDWIN: That's your job to protect your family?

BRIGHT: Right. And I can't. They have to go. I have to protect these guys. It's hard. To think about that part is hard.

BALDWIN: What does your dad mean to you?

P. BRIGHT: A lot. He's a great father. I'm glad that he's around with us. He's an amazing person to have in our lives.

A. BRIGHT: He works and makes sure that we're safe and we're good.

BALDWIN: Tell me about your mom.

A. BRIGHT: She helps a lot. She has to put up with so much like taking care of us during the week when daddy is not here.

P. BRIGHT: Since we move so much, family is the thing that keeps constant. Like we always have mom and dad, we always have each other.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Family. While I was also just recently in South Korea, I interviewed a number of sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan and asked them to share their messages for loved ones this Thanksgiving. Here's a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SASHA HASBROUCK, SENIOR CHIEF CULINARY SPECIALIST, U.S. NAVY: I want to say happy Thanksgiving to my daughter in Tennessee and to my parents Kathy and George in Panama City Beach, Florida. I love you, guys, and miss you.

SHARESE GREY, DAMAGE CONTROLMAN, U.S. NAVY: Happy Thanksgiving to my family down in Sanford, Florida. I'm thankful for you all. You're keeping me here. Thank you.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: On behalf of all Americans when I say that we totally support you. In fact, we love you. We really do. We love you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: This Thanksgiving Day, President Trump chatted with U.S. military members overseas, gave video conference thanking them for their service. He also took some time to praise members of the Coast Guard while visiting station in South Florida. As for the Trumps' meal, the first family down in Mar-a-Lago will be eating the usual turkey and stuffing we're told, plus red snapper and the that good old Florida stone crab.

Thank you so much for being with me here on this holiday. I had enough to my own turkey here in Atlanta.

[16:00:01] In the meantime, please watch a marathon of Anthony Bourdain. Parts Unknown starts right now.