Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Steve Bannon Joins Roy Moore At Campaign Rally; Pres. Trump Now Fully Supporting Roy Moore; New Charges Could Be Coming In Russia Investigation; Roy Moore Campaign Rally Underway In Alabama; White House Won't Say When Pres. Trump Knew Flynn Lied To FBI; White House: Jerusalem Embassy Move "A Recognition of Reality"; Texas Church Tragedy: One Month Later. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired December 5, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And tonight there's no doubt that despite Moore being in accuse child molester, he has the full support not only Bannon or the White House, Republican national committee and the president of the United States.
Sarah Murray joins us from the White House with the latest. So White House standing behind Moore today saying the president's position had not changed. Explain that, what more you learn.
SARAH MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson it went from what was a sort of a tepid backing of Roy Moore to this week a full blown endorsement. So they maybe insisting that the position hasn't changed, but certainly the president's willingness to go out there, to throw his support behind Moore has got a bit more aggressive, here is what the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had to say about that today.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: But the president feels that he would rather have a person that supports his agenda versus somebody who opposes his agenda every step of the way. And until the rest of that process plays out, you have a choice between two individuals and the president's chosen to support Moore.
COOPER: Sarah, several weeks ago, CNN reported that a part of the reason the president was initially reluctant to speak out on this was that he was worried the conversation, you know, would move to his past accusers. Is the president not worried that anymore?
MURRAY: Well, I certainly think the administration has seen as a conversation has turned to the president's own accusers who obviously seen the Access Hollywood tape from 2005 being talked about yet again. We've seen Billy Bush who is the other party in that Access Hollywood tape out there trying to rehab his image as well as discussing it. We know the president from various reports, has been discussing this tape privately with White House aides. So it's clear that this story has come back to light. But its interesting Anderson when you talk to senior officials within this White House you hear comparisons, you hear them saying, well, you know, for instance, anyone who preys on children, that's a terrible thing. If these allegations are true, that's a terrible thing. But they keep coming back to the bottom line which, as they say, look we have no way of knowing if these things are true. And as you remember, Anderson, President Trump when he was facing these allegations for more than a dozen women himself as a candidate just flatly denied them the entire campaign.
COOPER: Yes, Sarah Murray, thanks very much.
Gary Tuchman is at the Roy Moore rally in Fairhope, Alabama. He joins us now. Gary, it look like Steve Bannon's been on stage for about 20 minutes or so. We're told he was going to bring "fire and fury the stage tonight", what is he saying?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is fire and fury inside this bar in southern Alabama. He started off his speech by saying there's nothing like spending a rainy with a bunch of deplorables. And that was the sweetest thing he said. He really lit into people and his continuing to lighten the people.
Democrats not surprised when (INAUDIBLE) Democrats, the news media who he calls the opposition party, not surprising. But then he's really gone after people he calls establishment Republicans, Mitch McConnell Senate Majority leader, Jeff Flake, Arizona U.S. Senator. But he reserved his most harsh treatment for Mitt Romney who ran for president of the United States eight years ago. Mitt Romney yesterday tweeted Roy Moore and the U.S. Senate would be a stain on the GOP and the nation. Here's what Bannon said about Mitt Romney.
STEVE BANNON, FMR WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: We're talking about another duty (ph), Willard Mitt Romney. Now watch I'm going to say something, it was Willard Mitt Romney's commeters (ph) that it is tell me whoever it was that if the only reason I'm going there is as you started.
All this document that (INAUDIBLE) there you think the separate state, they'll be fine, no to reports there (INAUDIBLE). On ways to get thing, honor and integrity. Honor that Judge Moore lacks honor and integrity and that's why you can't vote for him, right. Let's support him, let's support him.
TUCHMAN: I did say that Romney run eight years ago for president that was in 2012 which is five years ago. But in a way he did run for president. You heard what he said about Romney. It was harsh and it continues to go right now obviously people come here to see Roy Moore running for the U.S. Senate here in Alabama but, many people wanted to tell us they wanted to see Bannon, they wanted to hear and talk like this and he is treating the audience to watch his known for.
I will tell you another person, people here are talking about some is not in the room, Donald Trump, the president of the United States who has made his endorsement explicit for Moore yesterday. Donald Trump will be coming down here, but in a wink and a nod he will be in Pensacola, Florida which is about 17 miles exactly from the border of Alabama and Roy Moore supporters want their people to come into Florida for that Donald Trump rally where there's no question about it Roy Moore and some way shape and form will be mentioned. Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Gary, thanks very much.
Roy Moore is just taking the stage. You saw at the campaign rally. We'll keep an eye in what he says. Lots to talk about. Joining me on the panel tonight, Philip Bump, Asha Rangappa, Jason Miller, Maria Cardona, Scott Jennings and Brian Fallon.
[21:05:02] Jason I want to start with you, because I was looking back, you were on a program couple weeks ago you said, you would urge the president not to endorse Roy Moore and that he doesn't have a place in the U.S. Senate. Now that the president has endorsed him, I wonder what do you make of that?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think there are couple things going on here. One, this was not the president's first candidate. The president supported Luther Strange in the primary, but now Roy Moore is the general election candidate.
COOPER: But he was embarrassed, I think, I mean there's reporting that he was embarrassed by backing the wrong candidate during the --
MILLER: Yes, and I think he got bad advice on that and Strange was not a very good candidate. But I think what the president's taking a look here now as much as we've seen the revelations coming forward with Al Franken and Bob Menendez, has had his continued legal problems that have put a cloud over it. There's no reason that the Republicans should go and unilaterally disarm and go and take one of their seats off the table when it's such a close majority when you think about their efforts to get tax reform done or infrastructure all the different things.
Now, I'm, again still not a fan of Roy Moore, I don't think he has a place in the Senate, but I certainly can see the argument for saying why should we go ahead and fight with one hand tied behind our back. But I think there's a bigger thing that's going on here as well. And that's the fact that Democrats are going to find a way to blow this election. And they're falling into the exact same trap that they did in 2016, which is attack, attack, and not define their candidate at all.
You haven't seen any national prominent Democrats going now to Alabama to campaign for Doug Jones. No one on this panel could tell you anything about Jones' message and what he's for. And they're going to fall the same mistake they did last year.
COOPER: Maria is that -- are they doing (ph) that?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well first of all, I think it's smart that no Democrats are going down to Alabama, because it is Alabama. The fact that all of the polls have shown Doug Jones ahead I think tells you the kind of trouble that Roy Moore is in. Now, I'm not saying that Doug Jones will win, but I'm saying that these is a possibility, that depends --
COOPER: The latest poll was within the margin of error --
COOPER: -- and as we saw during the presidential race, there may be a lot of people who are going to vote for Roy Moore.
CARDONA: Absolutely. But another thing could happen, which is, I think, something that we could expect. Given that Roy Moore has these accusations of alleged child molestation, you have the women's vote which I think is going to be very much up in the air. We don't know how many Republican women are going to go up to the booth and say, there is no way I can pull this lever for Roy Moore. We just don't know. That's a big unknown. And I think what is underscored here with Donald Trump now saying that he's all for Roy Moore, all of the Republicans that before were turning their backs on him and now are saying, OK well, it's up to the people of Alabama. You're seeing a complete flip-flop of the principles and values of a lot of these Republicans who at the beginning were against having a Senate candidate representing the Republican Party who was accused of child molestation.
And so I think what you're seeing is that a lot of people are looking at the Republican Party, and many Republicans have even said this, that they are shamed about that flip-flop on the moral values. It seems like the moral values and principles are completely out the window, it is party before principles. I commend Romney, I commend Flake. They're in the right place.
COOPER: I mean this is the same sort of tribalism we see on all sides. You know, I mean there are people, you know, talking about John Conyers as an iconic figure and, you know, not addressing the very serious allegations against him.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, in the absence of moral leadership on these issues people revert to their tribes. That's what's happening in large measure. Although I would point out, I think the race in Alabama is very close. This is a race that Republicans ought to win by 20 or 25 points. It's going to be decided by a couple of points one way or the other which goes to show you the effects, the political effects of a candidacy like Roy Moore's. And he might survive in Alabama but you wouldn't survive it in a more purple or blue leaning state.
What I'm worrying about for the president on Roy Moore is, number one, there's no empirical evidence that Moore will be a solid supporter of the Trump agenda. He opposed the Obamacare repeal plan that president preferred back in September. He is back and sort of created by the liberal or trial bar in Alabama. He has been for years and I'll guarantee you the liberal trial bar does not support what the Trump agenda is. I think Roy Moore is a party of one and my prediction is he's going to come back to be a burr under the saddle of the Trump agenda at some point. And he might be with the president most of the time. But there will come a day in a closely divided Senator Roy Moore is going to be a problem.
So I have been against this Moore proposition from the beginning. I think it's going to ultimately haunt the president. And I understand why he did it. I understand why the RNC did what they did. But I ultimately think it's a brand anvil on the Republican Party.
BRIAN FALLON, CONSULTANT, PRIORITIES USA: Well, the thing that was striking to me was if you listen out to Steve Bannon speech, you'd think that Roy Moore is running against Mitch McConnell, not the Democrat down in Alabama. And I think that the most striking and surprising thing to me is not that you seen Donald Trump aligned with Roy Moore, Donald Trump can't surprise me anymore and it doesn't surprise me that the RNC is lining up with Donald Trump. They are the political arm of the president.
What I was surprise by was Mitch McConnell's comment said on Sunday, where he seem to pack pedal of this and say it's up to the people of Alabama. Because, this is -- Scott you know this, this is not a one- off issue about this raise in Alabama. Mitch McConnell is in all-out war with Steve Bannon for the future of the heart and soul or the Republican Party.
[21:10:09] And if the Steve Bannon prevails and Roy Moore wins in this Alabama race, he's going to be emboldened, your going to see him enter races against other Republican incumbents. And so I was Mitch McConnell, I wouldn't be backtracking at all. I'd be drawing a line in the sand and put this idea to rest that Steve Bannon is some Goliath in the Republican Party.
JENNINGS: Let me correct the record on Mitch McConnell. All day long we've heard the media spin cycle about this. And he did not backtrack at all, he stated the fact there's going to be an election in Alabama. Mitch McConnell and a whole bunch of Republicans try everything they could do get the governor of Alabama to move this election, to this on Roy Moore. They wouldn't do it down in Alabama. So we are going to have an election.
And today McConnell was very clear, and he said what he said from the beginning, I suspect if Roy Moore gets to Washington there's going to be an investigation in the Senate Ethics Committee. And, you know, if there a silver lining to Roy Moore going to Washington it would be this, these women who've accused Roy Moore in Alabama, they're never going to get a court hearing down there, but they might get to tell their story under oath to the Senate Ethics Committee.
CARDONA: Do you really think that's going to happen? JENNINGS: Yes, I do, I think that's going to happen.
CARDONA: Do you think they will do that?
JENNINGS: Yes, I do.
CARDONA: But everybody is saying that once he gets to Washington, that's it. Republicans are not going to do anything about it.
JENNINGS: Mitch McConnell said before we came on the air tonight, I suspect he's going to have a problem with the ethics committee. They're investigating Al Franken already, this isn't a partisan issue.
FALLON: Why not saying what Cory Gardner he said, and goes so far to say, if he wins, I will vote to unseat him.
FALLON: Why not go that far and send a clear message that this guy does not belong in the Senate and put your money where your mouth (ph) or Democrat say --
FALLON: -- he has said he doesn't belong in the Senate.
FALLON: Yes, but follow that through with a commitment to action, that if he wins this election, that he will support not only putting it before the ethics committee, but voting to unseat him.
JENNINGS: I don't know what the legalities are, on seating or not seating him, but I know this, the clearest way to expel someone is go to the Ethics Committee and get a clear finding of what's come out in this election which is, of course, very troubling.
COOPER: Let's take a quick break. We're going to continue this discussion ahead.
Also ahead, more charges could be coming against one of Trump campaign figures already indicted in the Mueller investigation. The latest in what we know about that when we continue.
ROY MOORE, CANDIDATE, SENATORIAL ELECTION: It will be a little issue. Now we're spending 10 to $12 dollars speaks that by the Democrats in this race, and you can tell that on television.
COOPER: We've been talking about the president's support for Roy Moore who is speaking there tonight in Alabama despite the accusations against him. Moore will face off against Doug Jones in a battle for Senate seat one week from today. Moore's campaigning in Fairhope, Alabama, as you just saw former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was there along with him.
In his speech Bannon took aim at establishment Republicans. But before the break we were talking about Senator Mitch McConnell. Here's what Bannon said about the senator.
BANNON: Mitch McConnell from day one, and this is what you've got to understand with Flake and Romney and McConnell and the whole crowd, this is the scam. They don't mind giving up a seat to a Democrat. You know why? They don't mind being the minority party. They don't mind being in our power, they don't. Because here's -- here's the joke, they can make as much money on the way down as they made on the way up. Right?
They would just assume, because long as they can control the apparatus, right? They'll be -- I mean the Donald Trump won in Wisconsin and brought Ron Johnson across the finish line, he won in Pennsylvania and brought Toomey across the finish line, he won in Missouri, he brought (INAUDIBLE) the finish line, he won in North Carolina and brought Burr across the finish line. Mitch, you owe your job to Donald J. Trump.
COOPER: I'm back now with the panel. It's interesting Phil, I mean the president by finally endorsing Roy Moore, it seems like giving coverage to the RNC to in base (ph) reverse themselves and other Republicans.
PHILIP BUMP, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I mean -- again, listen to the point was made earlier, this isn't a huge surprise, this is President Trump, he's the leader of the Republican Party, the Republican Party ling up behind him. But I think the fascinating thing about this is and the thing that Steve Bannon really exemplifies -- and exemplify in speech tonight is that, Steve Bannon's vision for Republican Party is essentially a completely splintered and fractured Republican Party.
[21:15:04] I mean he's gone after the establishment, he wants to have a Republican Party that is completely different than the party as it is right now. Which is why it sort of any abstract baffling that the RNC is coming down and taking Steve Bannon's side essentially.
But when we look at a poll that came out to do from PRRI, it says that half of Republicans and half of Democrats view the other party, their policies is an actual threat to the nation, that's the motivating factor. It's less about the party, it's all about Republican Party and the leader Mitch McConnell as it is about the ideas that the Republicans broadly stand for. And that's what Bannon and Trump have both tapped into, so Moore has tapped into as well. And truly (ph) dangerous from (INAUDIBLE) down the road.
COOPER: It is very possible, and two point Asher that was made earlier that this won't go away that if Moore does win, it's very possible there will be this ethics investigation. ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: There may be. And, you know, my issue with this is that right now the one check that is failing to perform its function is Congress. And, you know, we need people in there who at least have a minimum ethics bar. This is someone who's been removed from the Alabama court twice for ethics violations. He's expressed an interest in being on the judiciary committee which as we know is overseeing some of the most sensitive and important investigations that are going on. It feels like, OK, he's just one person. But there's a boiling frog syndrome that can happen where once you cross this line it becomes easier to cross, you know, the next one.
Well, if, say, Trump fires Mueller, which a lot of Republicans have said, that's going to be the line. Well, is it? You know, you've already let in a child molester into your chambers. So, you know, what's -- where does the line stop? And I think it can infect the entire body. And we need that branch right now.
COOPER: Jason, you know, Jeff Flake, right after, I guess hours after he was sitting next to the president, the White House write $100 check and Instagram it out to the Doug Jones campaign, saying country over party. Does that help Roy Moore more than anything else?
COOPER: Its $100 is not going to help Doug Jones. That whole thing, does it just hurt?
MILLER: Well first of all, can we talk about what a wimp? I mean write a $2,700 check or, you know, get some other people. If you're write the check and plea you name out there, then write a real check, I mean $100 for someone, you know, for a politician like Flake. But I think one of the thing is going back to a point Phil was somewhat touching on a moment ago is the Republican Party that helped to elect President Trump and that President Trump has now created is a lot different from the Republican Party that Jeff Flake came to Washington with in 2000. And so for some of these folks that are in Washington, whether be Flake, whether be Corker, whether be even McConnell, some of this other people, McConnell came there I believed in 1984, the party has changed a lot since they've been in Washington. They're just now realizing it. So we talk about issues like trade, we talk about certain things that the President Trump -- was this coalition that the president was able to put together, it's a different party. And that's why they seem so out of sorts.
BUMP: Very quick point. I'm not sure they're just realizing it. I think they're realizing during the Tea Party. I think they're just realizing they can't control it, right. During the Tea Party I think they were like, OK this is Grassroots, there's movement. We can stay on top of it and assuming (ph).
MILLER: This is a little bit different. I mean the coalition with Trump was able to put together with union voters, with whole bunch of different coalitions --
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: But this is an evolution from the Tea Party, I mean this is much different than the Tea Party.
MILLER: It's an anti-Washington anger, yes, but now it's not just purely on ideological terms, it's also a lot on the anti- establishment.
MILLER: Anti-Washington in New York.
JENNINGS: But this us versus them talk inside the Republican Party, I mean Mr. Bannon says that Mitch McConnell owes his job to Donald Trump. Well let's see what Donald Trump owes Mitch McConnell, 12 circuit judges by the time this year is over with, one Supreme Court justice, a complete rollback of the Obama regulatory state and oh, by the way, the tax reform plan that McConnell and Trump have been working together for months and month and months. For all -- yes versus them talking the party the Congressional Republicans and the president are going to end the year unified and having accomplished quite a lot when that seemed not probable a few weeks ago.
COOPER: Maria, I think (INAUDIBLE).
CARDONA: Yes, here's I think the danger for the Republican Party. Yes, Trump won in November 2016. He didn't win by a lot. The coalition that he put together isn't sustainable. I mean the guy is at 35% approval rating which is a record low. For the Republican Party and frankly for the Democratic Party too to grow you have to be able to expand your base. He has been completely unable to expand his base. And by -- by supporting somebody like Roy Moore in a political environment where you need more women, where you need more minorities, where you need more, you know, immigrants who are becoming citizens, the Republican Party is absolutely not poised to be able to attract more --
COOPER: Isn't that same argument though being made during -- I seem to remember that argument being made during the campaign a lot that, you know, his base is just too small. He hasn't grown it enough, there's not enough diversity in there. He won.
[21:20:07] FALLON: He did. But he's the president now. And so I think that argument has a certain added urgency to it now. And you've seen it in special elections across the country where Democrats have won deeply red states in the state legislative district that Trump won by triple digits in Oklahoma and New Hampshire, Florida, you're seeing Democrats flip those seats.
You saw in the suburbs and excerpts in Virginia during the gubernatorial and state legislative elections in that state. And so -- and just to disagree with something that Jason said, I actually think that when Jeff Flake does something like that it is a good thing. even though it is a dim (ph) some amount of money, because what Doug Jones is going to need in Alabama is a lot of Republican voters to cross over and vote for the Democrat. And when you see national Republicans like Jeff Flake say it's OK to do that, it does send a signal to rank and file Republicans that you can vote Democrat in this one election and you're not betraying your party.
COOPER: All right, much more to discuss ahead. The White House won't say what, when President Trump knew former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, that's leading to more questions, we're getting to that in a moment.
[21:25:08] COOPER: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is dodging questions about when President Trump knew former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about contacts with Russian officials. The president's side of that, in a tweet, is one of the reason he fired Flynn. Sparking questions about whether the president was obstructing justice when he allegedly asked the FBI director to stop investigating Flynn. The White House attributes that tweet to President Trump's personal lawyer.
Today Sanders referred reporters back to that lawyer's tweet and she didn't answer the timeline questions posed by reporters. Also she would say is the president knew Flynn lied to the vice president and that was the reason for his firing.
There are other new developments the Russia investigation tonight, the lawyer for Rick Gates who was indicted along with Paul Manafort, said in court federal prosecutors have told him more charges could be coming against his client.
Back now with the panel.
Asha, legally speaking, how common is it -- is that that there are more charges coming again, something this already charges filed against them, is that to pressure them?
RANGAPPA: Well, in complex criminal cases, that can happen. It's called superseding an indictment. They don't call it amending, but that's effectively what its doing and it could be that there's new evidence, it could be there's new charges, it could be that there's new defendants. In this case it sounds like they told him that there's going to be new charges. And yes, my -- my gut would tell me that this is to say this is going to keep going. And it could get worse. And we have more on you and he was a deputy aide.
COOPER: To Manafort.
RANGAPPA: To Manafort. So, you know --
COOPER: And clearly and was very close, I mean was very involved according to the charges so far.
RANGAPPA: That's right. And Manafort, we know, has many of these connections to Russia and Russian intelligence and all of that is detailed in the indictment. So, you know, this is, again, the strategy in these criminal investigations. You get people to flip, to get to the people that you want. And if what he -- right now he wants Manafort to talk and Manafort is not talking. He's actually continuing to spy while he's under House arrest. He wrote -- he ghost wrote an op-ed for -- on behalf of -- for Ukraine newspaper. You know, this could be, once again, more pressure for Mueller to use against him.
COOPER: Jason, do you still believe -- I mean because the White House is, you know, kind of arguing that -- or asserting that the investigation is going to be wrapping up soon. Do you believe that?
MILLER: I don't know if soon. Maybe there could be some interesting definition to soon.
MILLER: But one of the things I think we've really kind of missed over the last few days here is the fact this announcement last week with General Flynn had nothing to do with the campaign. And so for months and months all of the speculation, this talk that there was some coordination between the campaign and a foreign entity, we still haven't seen anything about that.
And so Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, they definitely have their own problems. General Flynn obviously lied to the FBI. That's a pretty obvious no, no. Can't go and do that. But still haven't seen anything that says that President Trump did anything wrong or that there's anything connected to the campaign. And so, look -- I know the election deniers like to get back and still try to say that the Russians somehow swung the election. Not true at all. But again, going back to the point about soon, it sort of look like right now.
FALLON: So, I mean, Jason, don't get too excited by thinking that the extent of what you read about on Friday as pertains to Mike Flynn covers it. I mean the reason that we learned so little about what Flynn may be guilty of is because, he's apparently cooperating to such an extent that Bob Mueller is willing to let him plead guilty to a single thousand and one count, but just lying to federal investigators, when has known exposure base on all the press reports that we've read covering everything from fire violations to potential payments that he didn't report, tax evasion.
From my vantage point his exposure is far exceeded Manafort's. And he basically got off with a slap on the wrist in terms of what he was allowed to plead guilty to on Friday. And the clear sign to draw from that is that he's cooperating and may well be shedding light on activities that happened during the campaign.
MILLER: Or it could be just to cover his rear end or to try help out his son.
(CROSSTALK) FALLON: But the fact that it's a potential superseding indictment today, I think back to a couple weeks ago when we first learn of Manafort and his deputy's initial indictments that were being brought against them, people said, well this doesn't have anything to do with the campaign and now we're learning that there's additional charges that maybe coming. So you can't judge from any one news development that happens and this Mueller investigation, you can't judge if that represents the entirety of what Mueller has under his sleeve.
BUMP: But we're pointing out that we've heard the refrain consistently that this hasn't tied back to the campaign. Even after things that obviously involved the campaign, the Trump tower meaning with Don Jr. and the Russian lawyer. We've seen just the last week, we saw another example of someone from Russia reaching out through Rick Dear born to try and make contact to the Trump campaign. We saw that someone from Russia end up seating next to Don Jr. and there all this ways in which there has been shown interactions between Russian individuals and the campaign which have consistently, you know, the most significant of which being the Trump Tower meeting, they have been consistently being brushed away as, oh this is -- this doesn't necessarily prove collusion.
[21:30:08] BUMP: Which he does it, which he does it.
MILLER: It does with a foreign entity.
BUMP: Well I mean when Donald Jr. Responds to an e-mail and says if it's what you say I like it. Then the first e-mail he got says, oh this is part of Russia's effort to win the election to you. I'm not a prosecutor or I'm not going to prosecuting him for that. But there's a lot of smoke coming out of that gun.
CARDONA: To follow that up I mean I think what you're saying is the collusion thing right? I think it has been proven that there has been collusion, the issue is, is this type of collusion illegal? We don't know yet. We don't know. We haven't gotten to the bottom of it yet. I think what is so dangerous about the Flynn thing for Donald Trump is that -- and again this hasn't been proven yet.
But when did Donald Trump know that Flynn lied to the FBI? His tweet was very telling. And this is why I think the White House is so scared and why they had Trump's lawyer try to cover it up for him, because I don't know that there is a single person in this country that believes that Flynn would have acted alone or that anybody in the transition would have acted alone, and having the conversations with Russians and that Trump didn't know about it. I don't think there's anybody that believes that whether that can be proven we'll see.
JENNINGS: You said collusion has been proven. That's false.
CARDONA: Everything is so upon -- from they said its collusion.
JENNINGS: Meddling is different. I believe the Russians tried to meddle in the election. I've thought that for a long time now but that's different than collusion.
Regarding the tweet this weekend, Dowd says he wrote it. We have sources in the "Washington Post" that say Dowd wrote it. I will say this, I'm nervous for the president. I want the president to succeed. I'm nervous he's not getting the best legal advice from Dowd, if what he put in that tweet publicly is indicative of what kind of advice he is getting privately. I'm nervous about that line of advice the president is getting. He needs great advice because the president is on the line here and that tweet makes me think the president cannot be offer.
CARDONA: But lawyer says pled guilty. The lawyers have pled guilty.
JENNINGS: Well he said he dictated it into the phone into the White House social media director. You can see how things will get messed up. I just think the president needs the best advice he can get.
COOPER: All right, let's get another quick break. More with the panel.
When we come back, more breaking news. International concern after President Trump calls Arab leaders to tell about his plans and move the U.S embassy in Israel to Jerusalem now Tel Aviv, now Palestinians infections are calling for three quote days of rage, get into that next.
[21:35:50] COOPER: More breaking news, a short time ago U.S. officials confirmed that President Trump will announce tomorrow that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital in Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy there. This comes at Palestinian factions are calling for three, quote days of rage and the U.S. State Department is warning of violence due to the announcement.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski is at the State Department, joins us tonight. So what are the outlines the president is plan tomorrow? Do we know that?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: So we know he's going to sign that waiver again. So For the time being the U.S. Embassy is actually going to stay in Tel Aviv but as you mentioned his time around the president is going to declare the U.S. now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is going to direct the State Department to move the embassy to Jerusalem but it's going to take a lot of time.
There's no time frame on it and it is bound to take at least several years. So how do you account for Palestinian claims? Well, the White House is saying that the president is going to emphasize a commitment to the peace process, commitment to a two-State solution and that this move doesn't by any means settle the boundaries of Jerusalem. They see this, as they framed it for reporters tonight, as simply stating the truth. They called it a historical and modern truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. But what they wouldn't answer is, how does this advance or help in any way the peace process? They would only say, basically, well, it doesn't hurt it, Anderson.
COOPER: What are you learning about why he's making this decision now?
KOSINSKI: Well, like I said, the White House is framing this as this isn't -- it doesn't really change anything, just stating the truth. I mean Jerusalem functions as the capital of Israel is just internationally it's not recognized as such. But of course sources say this is more the president wanting to keep his campaign promise, which he stated, you know, very forcefully multiple times during the campaign and he wants to appeal to his base that he is very worried right now about losing parts of his base.
COPPER: And also the countries have weighed in about the decision?
KOSINSKI: Yes, I mean, we've heard this throughout the day. And aside from Israel which supports this plan, the reaction from U.S. allies in the region and beyond range from confusion, like why even do this now to condemnation? I think it was remarkable, even from Saudi Arabia, which was quiet for a while and which has been working so closely with the president son-in-law Jared Kushner on trying to solve Middle East peace and other issues, they came out with condemnation, I mean describing this plan right now using words as obstructing, complicating, and provoking, Anderson.
COOPER: Michelle Kosinski, thanks very much.
Back now with the panel. How does this possibly help the peace process I mean if you believe in a two-State solution?
BUMP: There was the garden quote, the senior administration official who I will not named who said, "Essentially that as long as the embassy has been in Tel Aviv, there hasn't been peace. So, maybe this is not a stumbling block anyway", which I guess the best case that was offered.
You know, many think that from my political standpoint this is very true to Donald Trump. Donald Trump came to Washington and had a sense that the things that he's been arguing for, the positions he was taking or the right thing to do regardless of what the establishment in Washington said, this is almost as clear for the case you're going to see of the establishment saying, hey, maybe we should not do this thing because it will inflame tensions and Donald Trump going ahead and doing it anyway.
COOPER: Well I mean also to be fair of the president, plenty of Republicans have run and saying oh, this is what I believe and then let it go once they actually got elected.
BUMP: Democrats. JENNINGS: Not only plenty of Republicans run on this. This has been in the last four Democrat National Committee platform documents, 16, 8, 4, Barack Obama, they've all said Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as far I've read tonight Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs is reporting when he's going to actually do to sign a six-month waiver which is exactly consistent with what presidents have done for the last two decades.
JENNINGS: So this is -- I think people are trying to spin this up today. What the president's doing, you know, is trying to be portrayed as sort of counter to what everyone else wants. This is exactly what everyone is always done in both parties.
[21:40:04] FALLON: I agree with Scott on this point. The reason why it's fairly and controversial position that you see both sides take election after election is because it's actually U.S. law to consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel since 1995 and it is been the law and what happens is every six months the sitting president of the United States signs a waiver that stops the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to CNN's reporting that president tomorrow is going to sign that same waiver once again for another six months and I'm sure what happen was they set in the Oval Office, they told the president that six months is coming up you're going to have to sign this waiver again. And he probably said, dammit, I hate violating my campaign promises let's come up with some dog and pony show to say that I am making it the capital finally once and for all and will still sign the waiver anyway quietly and no one will know the difference.
CARDONA: I think the big question is in six months from now whether he will then sign the waiver again because I agree that it is vintage Donald Trump to do this, it's something he promised his base. We've already seen how unpopular he is. He is afraid of losing his base. He needs to prove that he has some accomplishments under his belt after a year they've done nothing legislatively thus far.
BUMP: They've done a ton of stuff.
CARDONA: They've done nothing legislatively that far --
JENNINS: Taxes, judges, regulatory, come on.
CARDONA: That's why he set a 35% approval rating. And so again I think that this announcement to Brian's point was more political grand standing. He did sign the waiver I think the big question is going to be in six months from now, is he going to listen to his foreign policy advisers that are going to say this is going to ratchet up tensions, this is going to cause and wreak more havoc. This is going to make your son-in-laws job of acquiring peace in the Middle East a lot harder. Will he listen?
MILLER: Of course you can't go and move the embassy just overnight. It takes a while actually go and do it the security protocols. FALLON: Actually there's a consulate right now in Jerusalem. He could just call the embassy tomorrow.
MILLER: It's not a security right, that's silly --
CARDONA: So you're saying it's not going to happen for several years?
MILLER: Tonight what really -- what we're seeing with this news coming out that the president is going to give a speech tomorrow, I think Israel is really seeing who of these U.S. politicians are going to be allies and for all the -- the lip service that been given over and over that Scott reference one of the votes I think it was 90 to zero last year, the same people who running for the Hills and saying, our withdrawal from TPP and from the Paris Accord and all these things are going to make and make the sky start falling that's totally nonsense, Trump's making good on his promise, and good for him.
BUMP: Well the government issued a warning to folks -- people living in Jerusalem.
COOPER: I think we have a quick break, more ahead.
[21:46:36] COOPER: More now, breaking news from the White House, Senior administration officials say President Trump will announce tomorrow that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and order the U.S. Embassy to eventually relocate there from Tel Aviv. This comes after intense concern from Arab leaders who warn that the move could stabilize the region at more plans for peace in the future. Right now 86 countries, including the U.S. have embassies in Tel Aviv, there have embassies in Jerusalem.
Back now with the panel. If this doesn't mean much other than sort appealing to a base is it worth the potential for violence that it might stoke up in the region?
CARDONA: And that's the argument that I mean a lot of the foreign policy experts are saying is that it looks like it's not going to help the peace process and there was a warning, you mentioned just earlier Philip that they're telling Americans, they're giving warning of Americans and Israel that this is happening.
We already saw there's going to be the days of rage. This, I think, from the analysis of a lot of National Security experts will put the peace process in jeopardy. And I just don't know to what end other than fulfilling a campaign promise, other than fulfilling something that he believes will shore up his base, which I guess he thinks he desperately needs.
FALLON: And it impairs the United States ability to act is the intermediary and be the third party that brings the two sides of the table going forward that is the very project that Donald Trump's on son-in-law is supposed to be in charge of.
I hope -- what I hope is the case is that this is just another one of those instances where Trump gets out ahead of his skis, tweets something rationally or announces something, and then the sort of career civil servants that operate within the government actually prevail.
So you saw this -- well you saw this, Anderson, remember, the president tweeted sort of rationally that he was going to ban all transgender individuals from serving open in the military. And the general said, hold on that's not such a great idea and the court came in and said you can actually do that. And so that sort of threat has sort of gone away. Now the threat has still (INAUDIBLE) that is serving openly in the military but effectively we have not seen the policy change.
On DACA, the president said the same thing. I am going to start -- ending the policy deporting all the kids, but I'm going to give a six- month onramp and hopefully at the end of the year or shortly in the New Year, we'll see a deal work that protects the DACA children. I hope that's what happens here where the president says something that seems to keep a campaign promise, but then the State Department career civil servants actually carry out long-standing U.S. policy.
RANGAPPA: Well this is the consequence of having a State Department that's basically being gutted, right. I mean you have this head of state, our president, who engages in what I call donkey kong diplomacy, you know, we've seen it with North Korea is it just kind of like bang, bang, you know. And then there's this fallout and, you know, you need -- you do need people to pick up the pieces from that, because he is not one for subtleties.
And I don't think fully appreciates that it's not just -- I'm going to do this and then, you know, for everybody will forget and think I did my campaign promise. It has actual repercussions on the ground.
MILLER: And what -- my goodness we're actually recognizing the capital that Israel recognizes their capital. I mean otherwise this is such a revolutionary thing.
RANGAPPA: Well it's a geopolitical issue. You know, it has ripple effects.
MILLER: -- their capital is Jerusalem and that's were all of their elected officials are, that's where their center of government is. And so we're actually recognizing what they want as their capital.
RANGAPPA: But --
MILLER: There's the two, we don't know in the peace process how long that's going to take. I mean I think kind of waiting around for, you know until Israel and the Palestinians come to some magical agreement, you know, we -- and that's probably not coming up with the next couple of years as much as I like that happen.
[21:50:07] RANGAPPA: So you think this is a decision that was taken with very careful consultation with foreign policy experts, Middle East experts deliberated at length?
COOPER: It's thorough and supposedly against this.
MILLER: We're going to --
RANGAPPA: Secretary of State, that's a good idea.
MILLER: But we're not going to get some, you know, Pollyanna Kumbaya every single country in the world that go and agree to this. Jerusalem is Israel's capital, we're recognizing it, we're starting the process to get the embassy moving, I like it.
JENNINGS: There's a lot of talk of campaign promises. This isn't just Trump's promise he is keeping the promise of every presidential candidate for the last 20 years so I'm adjacent on this.
COOPER: All right, thanks everyone.
Up next, today marks one month since the Texas church shooting. I recently spoke with the pastor and his wife, their 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was among those who killed in the attack, they talk about their new normal, when we continue.
COOPER: One month ago today more than two dozen people were killed when a gunman opened fire the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Among those killed the pastor's 14-year-old daughter Annabelle. Four weeks later life is certainly not the same for the families and never is after tragedy. This magnitude of the pastor and his wife Sheri amid their grief, their faith remains incredibly strong.
[21:55:05] I spoke with Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife Sheri in their first in-depth TV interview they are both were out of town the day of the attack. Here's more of our conversation.
COOPER (on-camera): Can you -- this may be a dumb question, but do you wish you were there?
SHERI POMEROY, ANNABELLE'S MOTHER: Yes.
COOPER (on-camera): You do?
S. POMEROY: I do.
COOPER (on-camera): Can you say why? S. POMEROY: So she wouldn't have been alone. And I have my moments I know I need to be here for the rest of my kids, but when I'm at my worst I wish I was there so I wouldn't have to be sad and --
COOPER (on-camera): So you wouldn't have been to be going through this now?
FRANK POMEROY, PASTOR, SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS: There are times that I wonder if I had been there -- because normally I do conceal carry and that's another thing all the men that conceal carry, that we had active shooter plans for whatever reason none of us was there which is so rare.
Even if I had passed, I feel as though that some, you know, could I -- even if I was down, could I hit him in the legs or anything to drop or was he wouldn't keep going. Maybe I could have stopped the devastation that happened.
People would have died, people would have got hurt, but maybe I could have made it half of what it was. It goes through my mind, I can't change the past of this (INAUDIBLE) forward from now.
COOPER (on-camera): It's hard not to think about -- I mean I mentioned my brother, my mom was -- and my brother comes often in front of my mom and my mom to this day out of the blue will suddenly turn to me and say, you know, if I had been able to -- you know if I had been able to hit him over the head or something or stopped him or something it would have made it difference. And it's still 30 years later and that thought is still stuck in her mind.
F. POMEROY: I don't think we ever step away from the what ifs because we always want to change. We want a tweak, we want to do something differently because the past I'm sure you're familiar with the in 23rd Psalms. Yea who walk to the valley of the shadow of death, it doesn't say yea and take camp or sit there or park there, it says go through like, you stop and harken those kinds of thoughts of the ifs and what ifs, I think that they were staying at the valley of shadow of death we've just get through there and keep on moving.
COPPER (on-camera): Do you feel you're through it?
F. POMEROY: I still have my moments. I still sit and think. In fact I was laying in bed last night, I just thought I'm so thankful that that morning I went with her at school. For whatever reason I get up early and made her a good breakfast and Sheri out to him.
We had a great breakfast together, she like what she thinks and we sat there before school and watch the hunting show, eat a good breakfast in the living room like she wasn't supposed to. You know, that went through my mind last night.
The last night I was with her was -- there was no why didn't you clean your room or why'd you get this grade or there is no at that last moments we -- she and I had together was great before school, Friday morning. And my last words was you'd see me in Monday. We'll go out to eat dinner Monday night. Now, I still remembered very clearly, you know, that was great, but laying in bed last night it hurt. So I won't ever take her to dinner. So I have my hope. I have my moments.
COOPER (voice-over): Sunday service is now held in a tent next to the church. The church stands as it temporary memorial to the victims.
(on-camera): I'm glad that we're talking now, because I think in the immediate aftermath of something like this, you know, we're kind of about reporters to send, people all around the country pay attention and then the cameras leave and people move onto other stories and people go on with their lives, but for you and for everybody whose lives have actually been forever changed, I mean it's going back to when you -- I mean you have to figure what the new normal is.
F. POMEROY: Yes, I think every thing's still too early to see what the new normal is. I'm ready to see what it's going to be. I'm excited to see what God's going to do. The neat thing about Sutherland Springs, there's not much there. But it's on a hill in Wilson County and I just think that the new normal is God's going to build us a church there, and build the people there, and we'll become the beacon on the hill if you will to the community to Wilson County.
[22:00:05] COOPER: Incredibly strong family.
Thanks for watching 360. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon. "CNN Tonight" starts now.