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President's Personal Attorney John Dowd Now Claims That He Wrote This Tweet Sent From President Trump's Account Which Seems To Suggest That President Trump Knew That Michael Flynn Lied To The Fbi When He Fired Him; "Saturday Night Live" Splicing Together The Trump White House And Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired December 3, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: -- and more running the FBI, its reputation is in tatters, worst in history. But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.
That's not sitting well with the agency's leaders past and present. The former attorney general who oversaw the FBI, Eric Holder, sent out this response.
Quote "no, not letting this go. The FBI's reputation is not in tatters. It's composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job. You'll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue right now."
James Comey also getting involved. The FBI director was fired by President Trump earlier this year and he sent out this message online, quoting himself from Senate testimony that he gave earlier this summer.
He writes quote "I want the American people to know this truth. The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong, and the FBI is and always will be independent."
And just a short time ago, this defiant statement from the President of the FBI agent's association quote "every day FBI special agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats. Agents perform these duties with unwavering integrity and professionalism and a focus on complying with the law and the constitution. This is why the FBI continues to be the premiere law enforcement agency in the world. FBI agents are dedicated to their mission. Suggesting otherwise is simply false."
CNN's crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz is here with us. Also with us, White House reporter Jeremy Diamond.
Shimon, let's start with you. The FBI community not standing idly by while the President criticizes them. What do you make of these responses?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Well, I think people are just fed up at this point, you know. I have been on the phone with some people within the FBI community and it's been a day of sort of here we go again. They went through this once before, a couple of other times, and again it has started today.
And this comes, the President's tweets, come after it was revealed that an FBI -- a senior FBI agent who was investigating Hillary Clinton and then moved over to the Trump investigation was removed after they found texts -- after the inspector general found texts indicating that he was sending things that were unfavorable towards the President during the campaign and perhaps favorable towards Hillary Clinton and Bob Mueller decided to remove him from the investigation.
So the President perhaps saw this as an opportunity to start discrediting, beating up the FBI. This is how they are viewing it. And he is discrediting and beating up people, FBI agents that are investigating him, his campaign and the people in his orbit who are in the campaign. So it's kind of striking and it's kind of odd that he would do this but he continues to do this and it's definitely having somewhat of an effect on people.
It doesn't mean that FBI agents aren't going to do their jobs and keep us safe and protect us from the people who want to harm us. But you know, at some point people have to say enough is enough. And I think we're seeing some of that tonight.
SANCHEZ: Yes. We should point out that that reporting about the text messages exchange by FBI agents that got them reassigned was initially done by "the Washington Post" and "The New York Times" which the President calls fake news and also tries to discredit.
Jeremy, to you on something else. This back and forth between the President and the FBI community going on. As we are hearing details about that twitter message on the President's feed that triggered an avalanche this weekend where he tweeted that he fired his national security adviser Michael Flynn because he had not only lied to the vice President but also because he lied to the FBI as well. We are hearing from John Dowd, the President's outside counsel saying that he wrote that tweet. Still it's kind of confusing and it sends mixed signals about what the President knew and when he knew it.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. Well this tweet, whether it was authored by the President or his attorney, it certainly was not helpful. Because what it did was it revived all these questions about potential obstruction of justice. If the President had known that Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI while he was a White House official and then as James Comey alleges urged James Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, some legal analysts are saying that that could provide the basis for obstruction of justice.
But the President's personal attorney, John Dowd, claiming this morning that he in fact authored the tweet, he didn't post it himself. He says that he thinks that was likely done by the President's social media director, Dan Scavino.
But again, the questions over why this tweet was posted in the first place and what in fact it was doing have come back to before given the fact that the President is of course now trying to move forward from these charges, the first charges against a White House official, against Michael Flynn. But they are clearly continuing to cast a very long and dark shadow over this White House, Boris.
[19:05:00] SANCHEZ: All right. Jeremy Diamond, Shimon Prokupecz. Thank you so much, gentlemen. We appreciate the time.
A lot to discuss so let's bring in our panel. With me writer of the right turn blog for "the Washington Post," Jennifer Rubin and former CIA operative Mike Baker.
Mike, I want to start with you. You didn't work for the FBI. You did work for the CIA. So put us in the shoes of the men and women who work for U.S. intelligence agencies as they perceive these tweets, these attacks coming from the President. Do they actually care about what the commander-in-chief has to say?
MIKE BAKER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, you try to separate the two, right? The bureau -- and we have done a lot of work with the bureau over the years. It's a very tight relationship. It is much tighter than it used to be. And all the past and current bureau agents that I know are outstanding. I can't say enough good things about them. So I know what they are feeling.
And it's just -- it's frustration over something that's -- it's unnecessary. It's one more in a long line of self-inflicted wounds from the administration primarily because of this crazy twitter world. And so, you know, they continue to march on and do their job as was mentioned earlier, and that's true whether it's the FBI or the CIA or anyone else.
You have your tasking. And in one sense, you don't care who's in that White House. Whatever administration, they come and go, they set the priorities, they set the tasking and you just go out and do it. But on the other hand, you are human, right. And so, you can't help but look at this and think, really? Really? We are on the front lines. We are at the pointy edge of the spear. How about you just not do this. I have said it over and over again, how about some discipline in messages and communications from this White House.
SANCHEZ: Jennifer, to you. I want to point out a tweet from a former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara who was fired by President Trump. He writes quote "praise to high heaven, Putin, Duterte, Erdogan, heap scorn and contempt on your own FBI. This is called ass backwards."
He has been a vocal critic of the President. It seems like he is almost putting him almost in league with these men from around the world. Does Preet Bharara have a valid point here?
JENNIFER RUBIN, RIGHT TURN BLOG, WASHINGTON POST: I think Trump has put himself in that company. He has commiserated and enthusiastically pumped up the egos of these noxious leaders around the world when he in fact is getting into fights with our Democratic allies including most recently Theresa May in Great Britain.
I do think that getting back to the point that you guys were just making, it's not just the President of the United States, it is the justice department as a whole. They have an attorney general who is now trying to climb on the Trump band wagon, accusing one minor FBI agent who was involved and then fired from the investigation of essentially poisoning the entire well. Here's someone who doesn't defend the FBI. It's very unusual for an attorney general and whose own, I think, impartiality is compromised because of the lies he told on the stand and because of his role in firing the FBI director, James Comey.
So I really feel for these professionals who are magnificent, who do keep us safe. They are not only being attacked by the White House but they are not getting the normal defense you would expect from their own attorney general.
SANCHEZ: I want to bring in another voice to the mix here. CNN legal analyst, former prosecutor, Paul Callan. He joins us over the phone.
Paul, I have to ask you about this Trump tweet, that one that he is saying yesterday saying that he fired Michael Flynn not only because he lied to the vice President but also because he lied to the FBI. Since then Trump's attorney John Dowd has said that he authored that tweet. He is taking responsibility for it. Wouldn't an attorney need their client's permission to make that kind of statement on their behalf?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on the phone): You most certainly would require the permission of the client. And I find that what's odd about that is Dowd is a well-respected attorney. And that tweet is a tweet that arguably can create liability, criminal liability possibly for the President.
And to think that Dowd sent it out either on his own or with the authorization of the President is really rather astonishing. That issue, you know, when did he know that Flynn lied to the FBI and did he fire Comey because he wanted Comey to go easy on Flynn, that's all a central part of an obstruction of justice investigation. So that tweet could be damaging to the President. I'm really surprised that a lawyer is acknowledging responsibility for sending it out.
SANCHEZ: Jennifer, while John Dowd says that he wrote the tweet, he doesn't necessarily dispute its accuracy and neither he or the President have actually said that Trump didn't know that Flynn lied to the FBI at the time that he fired him. Isn't that important?
[19:10:09] RUBIN: It sure is. First of all, there's the problem of the authorship. And I think it's bizarre to think that John Dowd actually sent this out. I think this is -- the technical term is falling on your sword. So he got his lawyer to take the fall for this one.
More importantly though is the question of what was in Trump's mind at the time he was firing him. Whoever wrote it, they said that he was doing it because Flynn had lied to the FBI. He then goes to the FBI director at the time the day after Flynn was fired and says can't you see your way to let this guy go. And of course he then fires shortly thereafter, James Comey. So if he has this corrupt intent, this intent to protect Michael Flynn
who by the way would be unusual for Donald Trump since he doesn't have much loyalty to other aides and associates so you do want to know why it was he was so concerned about Michael Flynn. But at any rate, if that's what's in his mind, if he is terminating the national security adviser, very high level person because he lied to the FBI, then what is he doing running to the FBI telling them to lay off him and what is he doing firing the head of the FBI.
So this is, as Paul said, a liability, potentially a liability, liability-creating event which makes me think that it's Trump and not Dowd.
SANCHEZ: That's some key questions to be answered.
Mike, to you. Mike Flynn's plea deal reveals that he and the transition team were let's say having discussions with Russia to get around sanctions that were put in place by the Obama administration to punish Russia for interfering in the election. The transition team at one point tried to influence a U.N. vote on Israeli sanctions. There are some legal concerns there but what about national security concerns?
BAKER: Well, in a sense, I mean, I think if there's anyone out there arguing that the Trump administration or the Trump transition team should have been the first Presidential transition team in generations not to have contact with foreign government officials. And I think that's a fairly odd argument, so in a sense that's fine. I mean, you know, that happens. Anybody who thinks the Obama transition team in years past didn't do the same thing, didn't reach out and have these contacts, fine.
And if what they are saying is that they were reaching out in part to the Russians and other foreign countries as part of this transition process. I don't think anybody is looking at the Logan act seriously.
But the problem with it was and continues to be with this administration is that things are undisciplined. And so knowing to some degree how Washington works, it is not a big step for me to believe that there was just a failure of communication within the various elements of this transition process to coordinate. And that's -- you can't do that. You have to be buttoned up and you have to be consistent and disciplined right from the very beginning. And I would argue that it's not a stretch of the imagination to believe that they weren't, nor are they particularly disciplined still.
RUBIN: Listen, it's very unusual and it is unprecedented I would say for a transition team to be making policy cutting the legs out from under the sitting President. We do have one President at a time. And the President at the time was trying to punish the Russians for among other things meddling in the election which helped elect Donald Trump. Donald Trump's team is then going to the Russians saying don't worry about it, don't worry about it, we'll take care of it, just don't react. That's the allegation and that's what has come out from both Flynn --
BAKER: The allegation.
RUBIN: Reporting and from K.T. McFarland. They were trying to go to the Russians to undercut the current policy of the United States which was Barack Obama's. That's completely inappropriate and it's totally unprecedented.
SANCHEZ: I wanted to --
BAKER: The allegation --
BAKER: I just wanted to jump in. The allegation was that they went to them to say let's not escalate the existing tensions. And you know, again, we are dealing in speculation because nobody here on this panel really knows the full extent of exactly what was done or said or the intent, but I would argue that it's not unusual and we have seen it in the past.
RUBIN: If it was unusual why were they lying?
SANCHEZ: We still have Paul Callan on the line and I wanted to ask something of Paul - go ahead.
CALLAN: I wanted to jump in, to be clear, we have had other Presidents do this and the most memorable one was Richard Nixon. During the Vietnam peace negotiations that were going on and conducted by the Johnson administration, through the auspices of Henry Kissinger, Nixon sent word to the North Vietnamese that they should wait because they would get a better deal from Nixon when he got elected and he wanted to come in as the peace president. Now of course Nixon wound up being impeached as a result of actions like that which clearly constitute an abuse of power.
I think it's not unusual for Presidents to reach out on foreign policy issues in advance of the inauguration. However, it's very unusual for them to try to disrupt the policy of a sitting President, and that's what they did in this case. There were negotiations going on regarding Israeli settlements. And a message was sent by Flynn clear as day that -- to the Russians about how they could, you know, interfere and change what the Obama policy was toward Israel on that. And that's an interference similar to the Nixon interferes in the peace talks.
[19:15:44] SANCHEZ: It also raises a series of questions because as has been reported, if Michael Flynn had briefings about his meetings with Sergey Kislyak before and after they happened and he told other members of the transition team about them, then why have there been all these denials for almost a year now about contacts between Russians and the Trump campaign.
This conversation could go on. Unfortunately, we are out of time for today.
But Jennifer Rubin, Paul Callan and Mike Baker, we thank you so much for joining us. Ahead this hour, Barack Obama's birth certificate, the "Access
Hollywood" tape, it appears to be that President Trump believes certain things that may not necessarily be accurate and he can't let them go. Is there a strategy though? We will discuss.
And later, it was a chance encounter between a police officer and a pregnant heroin addict, but what happened next is truly remarkable. CNN's Ed Lavandera with some amazing reporting you will not want to miss.
[19:20:47] SANCHEZ: Today the White House is in damage control mode trying to explain a tweet that had many people dusting off that famous question from Watergate, what did the President know and when did he know it.
The President's personal attorney John Dowd now claims that he wrote this tweet sent from President Trump's account which seems to suggest that President Trump knew that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI when he fired him. Further, that would suggest that he knew about the crime when he reportedly asked then FBI director James Comey to back off investigating Michael Flynn.
Dowd falsely claimed that he was trying to mimic the language from another Trump attorney, Ty Cobb, even though if you look at Ty Cobb's statement closely, he does not at all mention lying to the FBI as a reason for Flynn's firing.
Joining me is CNN contributor and a former director of the office of government ethics Walter Shaub.
Walter, thanks so much for coming on for us. John Dowd confirmed to CNN that he wrote the tweet but you seem to have some doubts. I want to show our audience some tweets you sent out.
Quote "I dare you to tell Mueller you logged into the President's twitter account and wrote pled and the rest of that John Dowd. I dare you."
You followed that up with this. Dowd's explanation to CNN makes no sense. He claims that he wrote the tweet claiming that Flynn was fired partly for lying to the FBI but he also rejects the idea that the President knew that Flynn had lied. Why would you write the tweet then, Dowd, or did you?
Is it fair to say, Walter, that you think John Dowd is covering something up?
WALTER SHAUB, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: Well, the problem is I think it's a possibility. I won't go so far as to accuse him of that actually being the case. The problem is that neither alternative is good for him. He is either not being accurate when he tells us that he wrote this tweet or he did something very weird and very reckless for a licensed attorney to do. The thing that concerns me the most is, if he is now taking this
position that he wrote it, it had better be true or he could face some serious consequences. He is a licensed attorney. His client appeared to make a statement on twitter that suggests his mind-set, as you put it, when he fired Comey was that Flynn was under investigation for having at that time lied to the FBI. But that statement in and of itself becomes potential evidence of the President's mind-set when he took that action to fire Comey. And if it's not true that the attorney wrote this, then his saying that starts clouding the evidence and he turns himself into an actor in this matter, a witness or worse if he's not telling the truth. So we are really faced with two very bad alternatives.
SANCHEZ: Now, Dowd says that he wrote the tweet, but he has not said that what he wrote was incorrect. What do you make of that?
SHAUB: So there was the one comment he made that no one at the time knew that Flynn had lied and that's just weird because it's inconsistent with the whole notion that you would write this tweet. If no one knew that Flynn had lied at the time the decision to fire Comey was made, then why would you send out a tweet saying I fired him partly because of lying to the FBI?
So the statement itself is internally inconsistent. The language isn't the language he would be most likely to use, aside from an exclamation mark, he said pled instead of pleaded. And there's some debate in the legal profession about which is the right version but most attorneys use the phrase pleaded. So it doesn't even sound like him in the writing.
SANCHEZ: Now you tweeted yesterday that in the past this tweet alone might have ended a presidency. Has anything we have learned since then including what Dowd has told CNN changed your opinion as to the severity of this?
SHAUB: Well, if it's true that Dowd wrote it, and again I think there's a big question mark over that, then it's not an admission from the President of the United States as to what his mind-set was. The problem is that fact creates an incentive for someone to want to fall on their sword and falsely claim that they wrote it when the President actually wrote it.
Now again, I'm not saying that's what Dowd did, but this is such a strange episode and I thought it was as strange as we would be seeing -- stranger than anything we could imagine when the President tweeted it out and I thought we had reached rock bottom and then things got stranger this weekend with Dowd making that claim.
You know, the interesting thing is if it's true that he wrote it, perhaps I think there was one report that he may have sent the wording to Dan Scavino and had him post it, then there ought to be some email trail, there ought to be some text messages. And for him to come out and say I wrote it, if it's true, it would have required permission from his client because he's revealing attorney/client communications. So the client has essentially waived attorney/client privilege once. There's no reason he couldn't do it again and say go ahead and release the emails or the texts that prove that you actually sent it to Dan and he posted it instead of me.
But again, as we are looking at what the possible motives are for this to possibly not be true, the thing is even if the attorney wrote it, if the President posted it, it says if he's adopted that statement as his own. So if you were going to concoct a story to get your client off the hook, you would say not only did I write it but I sent it to someone else who posted it.
Now again, I'm not saying that it's not true because we can't know but the circumstances are so suspicious, they've already waived the attorney/client privilege once. There's no reason they couldn't be forthcoming right now with some evidence.
But I'll tell you this, I stand by that one tweet. If it was untrue, I do dare you, John Dowd, to go ahead and tell Mueller -- if it was untrue, I dare you to tell him it was because that could come with some serious consequences.
SANCHEZ: And certainly seems like an unforced error politically if only because the White House is going to have to answer questions about this tweet instead of talking about what they would like to be talking about like things like tax reform for example.
Walter Shaub, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much, sir.
SANCHEZ: Coming up, this week President Trump yet again questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama's birth certificate. A few days earlier Trump reportedly also expressed doubts about that infamous "Access Hollywood" tape and whether or not it's even his voice on it. What is behind these moves? We will discuss live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:32:13] SANCHEZ: Truthful hyperbole, an innocent form of exaggeration, a play to people's fantasies. That's how President Trump has famously described his rhetorical tools in "the art of the deal." And now we have new indications that when reality boxes him in, the President's answer, just create a new one.
This week, "the New York Times" reported that the President behind closed doors is once again questioning the authenticity of former President Barack Obama's birth certificate. CNN also learning that he thinks he would have done better in the election had he never acknowledged that President Obama was born in the United States, which if you remember the President turned a September press conference into an info mirror shall about his new hotel and minutes before talking after stage said these ten words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Yes, that is definitely a step backward from where he started his political career as a birther and apparently that's now something the President is questioning once again, along with the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape.
The "Times" also reporting that he is telling multiple people in his inner circle that it wasn't his voice on the tape even though it was because the President said so himself and apologized for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Joining us is CNN Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.
Doug, is anything that you heard over the last few weeks changed your mind about the President's state of mind?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, it tells you that Donald Trump really has no shame. Here he in both of these instances seem to have fessed up, admitting that being a birther against Obama was wrong. He apologized for that, although was half-hearted as you just played. And with the "Access Hollywood" tape he famously went on the debate stage and said how embarrassed he was by it and admitted to it. Now he is trying to rewrite the rules of engagement, rewrite history.
That's what authoritarians do around the globe, not what people that believe in democracy or truth, justice do. The thought of the matter, the fact of the matter, President Trump doesn't want a dent. If he feels he's been dented, he tries to fix it.
SANCHEZ: I have to ask you this because it's fascinating that he's doing it privately, right? He apparently told one Republican senator that it wasn't his voice on that tape and he reiterated that claim to other advisers. What does the President stand to gain ultimately by revisiting these conspiracy theories, specifically that Obama was born outside the United States? It seems like it's long past time to let that go. He won the election.
[19:35:06] BRINKLEY: You would think, right? But he is been running this entire 2017 on anything Obama ever touched, did, signed, he is opposed to. It's his all-purpose enemy, President Obama. In many ways he may feel that this whole FBI investigation is a trick that was sprung on him by Obama people. He criticized today the FBI saying during the Obama years the FBI was terrible, forcing Eric Holder to have to end up defending the agency.
But I do think it's important -- he's not giving speeches saying these "Access Hollywood" and Obama birther but behind closed doors he is brooding about it. He wants anybody within earshot of him to think that he is always right and these are two examples where he has been forced to admit wrongness so he's trying to rewrite history, rewrite his own narrative. It does not help him any. It makes him look smaller and smaller and
smaller. It is part of the diminishing presidency we are witnessing. And it is why only 35, maybe 37 percent of the American public even wants to play ball with him.
SANCHEZ: Sixty-two percent disapproval rating as reported today.
Several White House officials have told CNN that the single biggest deficit, the thing that this administration is missing is that Donald Trump doesn't have a Karl Rove or a David Axelrod to be his big picture strategist, someone that could have perhaps warned him about this, the retweeting of anti-Muslim videos on the same day that he is making a tax speech. Does the President need someone like that to kind of be blinders when he gets distracted?
BRINKLEY: Well if only he had somebody like that and we were all hoping it was General Kelley that's gotten thrown out the window. Kelley has no more control over Donald Trump than any of his previous handlers have. Trump is a bull who carries his own China shop around with him. He makes noise wherever he goes. He actually enjoys the fact that nobody around him knows where the sands are going to shift at any second. And that kind of chaotic rule that he has, I mean, he is the only one that really knows what's going on.
If only he had a Ted Sorenson like John F. Kennedy had, you know. If only he had somebody like George Shultz or James Baker like Ronald Reagan had that could communicate to him in an adult and serious fashion. But alas, he is kind of a lone wolf. And the people that he may have confided in, Jared Kushner for example, is the wolves of legal troubles are pounding at that door.
SANCHEZ: Douglas Brinkley. We thank you so much for the perspective, sir. Thank you for joining us.
BRINKLEY: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: "Saturday Night Live" splicing together the Trump White House and Charles Dickens, a Christmas carol. Wait until you see who played Scrooge and Marley.
Stay with us. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:42:31] SANCHEZ: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" didn't waste any time incorporating Michael Flynn's legal troubles into one of their skits. Watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have come to get me, I knew it. It's the Muslim stuff, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is for calling Mexicans, rapists?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Roy Moore stuff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The birther stuff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pocahontas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, wait, making fun of a handicap reporter like this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Michael Flynn, the ghost of witness flipped. Mr. President, I came to warn you it's time for you to come clean for the good of the country.
SANCHEZ: Sirius XM political talk show host and comedian Pete Dominick joins me now.
Pete, SNL has not shy away from not hitting President Trump since the moment that he announced his candidacy. The Flynn matter though is probably the biggest bombshell that he has had to deal with so far. What did you think of this show open?
PETE DOMINICK, POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST, SIRIUS XM: Well, I loved it. I loved what they are doing with, you know, making fun of the President. They have always made fun of every President but this President for us comedians gives us so much material, Boris, just the way he speaks, the way he behaves.
But the Christmas carol idea was great. It was obviously appropriate as my red sweater tonight, being festive. But I wish they would have gone further with caricaturing Michael Flynn who really is a paranoid kind of conspiracy theorist. They have done - they have really gone hard against people like Jeff Sessions, with Kate McKinnon playing him. They have got death playing Steve Bannon.
I would like to see them make more fun of Michael Flynn, but it was great. All three ghosts that visited the President, including Vladimir Putin and a surprise guest at the end which I don't know if you want me to give away or not. SANCHEZ: Let's hold off on that. They have gone pretty hard after
Roy Moore. One of the guests that showed up on this sort of Christmas carol skit was Billy Bush. And he made an interesting joke, kind of poking fun at NBC, didn't he?
DOMINICK: Yes. I mean, it's ironic because of course Billy Bush was on that "Access Hollywood" bus and tape with the President. Used to work for NBC. A lot of people say he was being groomed to take over for Matt Lauer if he ever retired and to be on "Today" show. And of course, now the irony of Billy Bush and Matt Lauer being gone. But they brought him back last night on "SNL." And I thought it was a good idea for a ghost, Billy Bush.
[19:45:00] SANCHEZ: Another ghost that certainly haunts the President, at least his twitter feed is Hillary Clinton, right?
DOMINICK: Yes. So at the end of the sketch, you know, you think it's going to be -- and Trump played by Alec Baldwin, thinking it's going to be Steve Bannon. Actually Hillary Clinton, so excited to be able to say lock him up. It was - you know, Kate McKinnon plays Hillary Clinton, she plays Jeff Sessions, she plays Kellyanne Conway. She is just a superstar on "SNL," did a great, great job and it was a great surprise ending. Everybody's got to watch "SNL's" cold open and the rest of it from last night was really good.
SANCHEZ: The President not the only controversial subject that "SNL" focused on last night. Here's a bit of another skit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey there, boys. We know the last couple months have been freaking insane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All these big cool powerful guys are turning out to be -- what's the word? Habitual predators.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cat's out of the bag. Women get harassed all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's like, dang, is this the world now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a little secret that every girl knows.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This been the damn world.
SANCHEZ: Button under the desk. That probably makes a lot of people at NBC uncomfortable. Obviously an illusion to Matt Lauer. Sexual harassment isn't a laughing matter but they seemed to tow the line here and represent what a lot of women are thinking.
DOMINICK: Yes. It's hard to be funny about sexual harassment. And you know, good for them for making fun of NBC. And if anybody is uncomfortable there, good. That's a good thing. But I thought this was a great sketch. I saw it, Boris, captioned and
talked about it on twitter and I think "Huffington Post" talked about this sketch, welcome to hell, as the anthem that women need. I mean, they went over history from, you know, burning witches to the women's suffrage movement. There was one point in that sketch where they made fun of people who were upset that house of cards had been cancelled. And I agree. It's like really, your show got cancelled.
Women have been having to deal with this for generations and hundreds of years. It's hard to make it funny but they did a good job of depicting what is like everyday life. Women don't have to worry about whether or not their favorite show got cancelled. Women have to worry about being outside alone and all kinds of things, just the workplace harassment that women have to deal within a regular basis. I thought they walked a fine line. Did a great, great job with that last night.
SANCHEZ: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pete Dominick, thank you for the perspective and the holiday cheer with the sweater. Appreciate it, sir.
DOMINICK: Thanks, Boris. Thanks for having me.
SANCHEZ: Thank you.
A police officer makes a stunning discovery. A drug-addicted woman eight months pregnant shooting up heroin. What the officer did for this woman and her baby is simply amazing. This is a story you will not want to miss. Stay tuned.
[19:52:30] SANCHEZ: Now to an incredible story of selflessness. A police officer's encounter with the heroin-addicted woman affected him so much that he was compel to help in an extraordinary way.
CNN's Ed Lavandera explains in beyond the call of duty.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heroin and crystal meth controlled crystal champ's life.
CRYSTAL CHAMP, OPIOID ADDICT: It is everything.
LAVANDERA: The strangling grip of addiction has left her homeless, on the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
CHAMP: I did give up. You know. I just decided that this was not going to be my life.
LAVANDERA: Living in a tent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to your home.
LAVANDERA: In the brush, alongside a highway.
CHAMP: I know how bad it is, you know. I'm pretty knowing how bad my situation is.
LAVANDERA: For Crystal, the thought of a guardian angel walking into her life was unimaginable. But that's what happened when Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets found Crystal and her companion, Tom, shooting up heroin behind a convenience store in September.
RYAN HOLETS, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE OFFICER: Looks like you guys are getting ready to shoot up here.
LAVANDERA: Ryan Holets, a father of four wasn't ready for what he noticed next.
HOLETS: Are you pregnant? It is not every day that I see a sight like that. And it just made me really sad.
How far along with you?
CHAMP: And he goes, and you're pregnant?
HOLETS: Why are you doing that stuff? It's going to ruin your baby. You are going to kill your baby.
CHAMP: His words brought Crystal to tears.
CHAMP: How dare you judge me? You have no idea how hard this is. You have no idea. I know what a horrible person I am. I know what a horrible situation I'm in.
LAVANDERA: In that instant, the moment changed.
CHAMP: His entire being changed. He just became a human being instead of a police officer.
LAVANDERA: A crazy, overwhelming idea crept into Ryan's mind.
HOLETS: Realizing that she was desperately wanting someone to adopt her baby, I just felt God telling me, tell her that you will do it because you can. You can. And so --
LAVANDERA: Three weeks later, Crystal Champ gave birth and Ryan Holets and his wife agreed to adopt the baby they named Hope.
[19:55:00] HOLETS: I have gotten tired of seeing so many situations where I want to help, but can't. And in that moment, I realized that I had a chance to help.
LAVANDERA: Hope suffered through withdrawals during weeks of medical treatment, but she is gaining weight now and doing well.
CHAMP: Her father and me love her, you know, very, very much. And we did not give her up because we didn't want her.
LAVANDERA: But Crystal remains an addict and admits she is in no place to care for a baby.
CHAMP: I just want her to be safe and secure and, you know, be in a family and be loved. And have a chance. You know?
HOLETS: I am so thankful and blessed and humbled that we are allowed to have Hope in our family.
LAVANDERA: When you think about like what it took for all the stars to align for you two to connect in the back of that convenience store parking lot is crazy.
HOLETS: It's like prophets. We will be there for her. And whatever struggles she has, we will be there. And we will work through it. And that's what makes me happy. That we will be there for her.
LAVANDERA: For Officer Ryan Holets, it's proof that even in the darkest moments, you never know when love and hope will reveal itself.
Ed Lavendara, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.