tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 16, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
. hello again everyone. thank you for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the revised gop health care plan is running into unexpected delays. majority leader mitch mcconnell pushed back a vote on the bill so that senator mccain has a chance to recover from eye surgery. the delays gives mcconnell extra time to find the needed votes to pass it and cnn just learned the congressional budget office will not release a much anticipated score on the bill tomorrow. it's unclear when that cbo score will be released. the gop's plan could be in trouble. this morning on cnn's "state of the union" senator susan collins said as many as eight to ten republican senators have serious concerns about the bill. >> vice president pence spoke with the nation the governors friday to allay concerns about what the bill will do with medicaid, the health care program for low-income americans
and others. take a listen. >> let me be clear. president trump and i believe the senate health care bill strengthens and secures medicaid for the neediest in our society, and this bill puts this vital american program on a path to long-term sustainability. >> do you agree with vice president there? is he telling the truth? strengthen health care for the neediest? >> i respectfully disagree. it imposes fundamental sweeping changes in the medicaid program and those include very deep cuts. that would affect some of the most vulnerable people in our society including disabled children, poor seniors. it would affect our rural hospitals and nursing homes, and they would have a very difficult time even staying in existence
and serving vulnerable populations. so, no. i see it very differently. you can't take more than $700 billion out of the medicaid program and not think that it's going to have some kind of affect. >> discuss with ron brownstein, and john thin gruber, and stephen moore is with us. good to see all of you this sunday. all right. so, ron, we begin with you. we heard senator collins say she can't issupport the current heah care bill and rand paul the same. can't lose another senator and pass this bill. how in trouble is it? >> well, right on the ice edge. particularly because yesterday even after the presentations from the vice president and hss
secretary, you saw opposition from democrat govern ares and republican governors of arizona, arkansas, neff nevhef nevada an. republicans talking abblock granting medicaid to ronald reagan and george w. bush. gingrich passed it, bill clinton vetoed it. what's changed, the aca expanded to low-income working people and in essence, reached medicaid up the income ladder at the same time the republican coalition was reaching down the income ladder. when you look at these interior states, west virginia, ohio, arkansas, other kentucky, states like that, the voters who would be hurt the most by these changes, these severe cuts in medicaid, are republican voters, and just no way to get around that. which you look at the role of medicaid responding to the opioid crisis, the role of medicaid supporting the economies of rural hospital. these are republican voters hurt the most and that is in the end i think a very big hill to ask
some of these senators to kind of lay down their political lives on. >> so jonathan, you're nodding your head to that. you helped craft obamacare. if the gop can't find a way to repeal and replace, can the democrat along with perhaps some republicans actually come up with a way to fix the problems facing the affordable care act? >> well, i mean, listening to the previous speaker, i mean, diane roland was very kind. the previous speaker was just lying. this is is a huge cut to medicaid. it doesn't made medicaid safer or promote it, it dramatically reduces is. one of the reasons there is such opposition to the law. there are fixes. it's not working perfectly. 2340 law works perfectly. for example, a good idea in this, both the house and the senate legislation, which is stabilization funds. to help stabilize the exist insurance markets. good idea. end of the day, we know what will happen if the senate bill passes. we might not know whether 21 million lose insurance or 1
million people lose insurance, we know millions will lose insurance and most importantly with an unbelievably mean cruz amendment it is absolutely inexcusable we as a nation return to that time period. >> people taking note of the various version. rand paul has his bit on it. ted cruz among those who says he made offering. this is what he had to say. >> i do want to see more flexibility in the insurance market, but senator cruz's asproech proech approach is not the answer. they agree on this, it's rare they agree -- the cruz plan is unworkable, would result in undermining the protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and would create two separate groups
of individuals, and some of them would have very skimpy insurance coverage at a low price, but it might not help them when they get sick and then there would be the group of people who have serious medical problems, and they're premiums and deductibles would go sky high. such that it would -- insurance would be unaffordable for many of them. >> so you still have the death spiral even with their amendment. their amendment gives more freedom. i'm for their amendment, but in the context of keeping most of the obamacare regulations, you will still have a death spiral. that's why even the cruz amendment people saying, oh, we need more money in the insurance bailout fund because the cruz amendment will cost us a lot of taxpayer money to try to stabilize insurance markets. >> all right. a summerization of ted cruz's amendment there. stephen what is the matter with, you know what some are calling a bailout fund? others are calling a stabilizing
fund, as we just heard from jonathan? >> well, let's start with the realization that the cruz amendment, which i actually think is the best feature of the senate bill, because when nobody's mentioned is 90% of americans are going to face lower costs, not higher costs. remember, the reason obamacare is such a fiasco, it's not minor problems. minor problems would be like saying the "titanic" took a bad turn and ran into the iceberg. the obamacare numbers are killing families right now. the average family is paying $3,000 more a year for insurance. they can't afford it. so what the cruz amendment will do for 90% of people with insurance, dramatically reduce their costs. that's something that we now -- there will be people with preexisting conditions that need support and there is money for that in the bill, and people with health problems will be put in a separate inspururance pool
everyone else, $3,000, to $5,000 savings in year. that's a big deal. >> spounounds inducing, but giv policy, come to find out it's not useful. looked in the "washington post," a section talking about junk insurance. and so you know, ron, what's the uphill battle that many of these republicans have by trying to sell this, that people, if they are to get these reduced costs will actually have something that will help them? get care? >> no, no, no. what the cruz plan does is ay lew every american to choose the insurance they want. if you want obamacare under the plan, under the cruz plan, can you have obamacare. if you want the -- >> but steve -- >> want the high costs, can you have that. it's saying for people who do want a slimmed down insurance -- or a higher premium -- you know, higher deductible, but pay lower premiums they can do that. a lot of people don't want
contraceptive coverage. >> that's the problem, right? >> is it idyllic versus reality, ron? >> right. as jonathan i'm sure is waiting to jump in, once you basically say that younger, healthier people can opt out of comprehensive coverage and buy stripped down low-cost plans, the only who by comprehensive, big health care needs, costs rise and you have what the insurance industry in a rare joint letter as fredricka pointed out along apatients would produce a death spiral. here is the paradox. steve, h steve, ledt me finish. the paradox is the losers in that transaction. >> we can't hear you when you're both talking. one at a time. >> can i finish? >> spiral right now for the insurance market is why everybody's dropping coverage. we stay on the current system in now, nobody's going to have health insurance because they can't afford it. >> can i finish? the problem is, if you
disaggregate the insurance markets the biggest losers are older working adults, in the 20 years before roughly before they're eligible for medicare. two-thirds of all americans 45 to 64 are white and three-fifths of thoet those white americans vote republican. look it's a the work the kaiser family foundation has done, 50, 60-year-oldses, $30,000 $4,00,0, all facing higher premiums even before the cruz amendment and after the cruz amendment, might be unaffordable at any price. >> 90% of the -- >> head nodding. go ahead, jonathan. >> i feel it's a classroom and i can raise my hand or something. look, stephen has sensible points and buries them in a barrage of lies. 90% of americans, give me a break, stephen, 80% of americans aren't affected by obamacare. we're talking about a small slice of americans. but within that small slice of americans, a meaningful slice, it's millions.
within that small slice, everyone, everyone, every objective expert, consumer, insurers policy expert, every single one said the cruz amendment would have the affect of fracturing insurance markets creating low costs, skimpy insurance plans for young healthy plans and unaffordable generous plans for sick people. it's not -- >> wait, stephen. let jonathan finish. go ahead, jonathan? >> it's a matter of opinion, seems the point you're making is the government will force you to buy an insurance plan you don't want and can't afford. the reason we have an election for people voted, it was a mandate to get rid of obamacare because the people can't afford it. the idea of giving people more affordable plans. why are you against that? >> we are not against giving people -- i don't want to speak for ron. i'm not against people getting more affordable plans. obama did not deliver the afford
5b89 many hopes but the answer is not to move backwards and return to a world where insurance was unavailable. basically the question is, do you want to be in a world young, healthy people get 10%, 20% off cost of insurance? only gone up 22% over the past years. and sick people die because they don't have health insurance? or do you want to go to a world where young people have to pay more, which they did under obamacare but you're pooling resources so that everyone is covered? that's the question before us. if the answer is, you are fine letting sick people be uncovered, to give young people a 20% break, a fine answer. give that answer. don't pretend the false choice can somehow have your cake and eat it, too. >> leave it there. all right. gentlemen, thank you so much. we'll have you back we know there is so much more ground to cover. appreciate it for now, ron and jonathan, stephen, thank you, appreciate it. as the gop tries to push its health care bill across the finish line, the president is facing a six-month approval rating that is at an all-time
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welcome back pap brand new poll out today shows president trump's pot latery wpopularity hit. popularity dropped to 36% according to a new abc/"washington post" poll. the lowest rating of any president in 70 years. the president responding on twitter saying poll numbers aren't that bad and questioning the poll's reliability and offering a fresh defense of his son's meeting with the russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign saying "hillary clinton can illegally get the
questions to the debate and delete 33,000 e-mails, but my son don is being
scorned by the fake news media."
cnn's boris sanchez is in new jersey where the president continues to spend the weekend. so boris, there has been more reaction to the 2016 meeting. hasn't there? >> reporter: that's right, fred. we've heard the presidency that anyone would have taken a meeting with russians to gather intelligence negative to hillary clinton's campaign, despite that, this new polling shows that may not necessarily be the case. again, the poll from abc news/"washington post" revealing that 63% of those polled believe that meeting between donald trump jr. and that russian attorney and russian lobbyist was inappropriate. only 23% believe that it was appropriate. this is a story, the russia story, damaging to the white house's popularity, whateverering their ability to keep focus on their agenda and one not likely going away anytime soon, specifically w because we've learned lawmakers
on both side of the aisle wants donald trump jr. and jared kushner and paul manafort to testify. we heard republican susan collins and mark warner both on the senate intelligence committee requesting documents from donald trump jr. and expecting him to testify before their committee in the near future. as for the president, he is enjoying the rest of his weekend here in new jersey before heading back to washington, d.c. later tonight. this week he's going to be taking part in some events dedicated to "made in america" week trying to keep the focus on companies that invest in the american worker and products made here in the united states. but you can bet, fred, that this is going to be another themed week that will likely be overshadowed by the continuing leak, trickling out of information, about this russia investigation, fred. >> all right. you bet. boris sanchez, thank you so much from new jersey. up next, the view from
trump's legal people. the president's lawyer making rounds today insisting there was nothing illegal going on in that mysterious russia meeting. details, after the break. chancee you got a home loan, you got robbed. i know-- i got a loan 20 years ago, and i got robbed. that's why i started lendingtree-- the only place you can compare up to 5 real offers side by side, for free. it's like shopping for hotels online, but our average customer can save twenty thousand dollars. at lendingtree, you know you're getting the best deal. so take the power back and come to lendingtree.com, because at lendingtree when banks compete, you win. when you switch to progressive. as easy as saving $600 winds stirring. too treacherous for a selfie. [ camera shutter clicks ] sure, i've taken discounts to new heights with safe driver and paperless billing. but the prize at the top is worth every last breath. here we go. [ grunts ]
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fomy doctor recommended ibgard. abdominal pain and bloating. now i'm in control of my ibs. nonprescription ibgard- calms the angry gut. welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. president trump's attorney is insisting nothing illegal was going on in that june 2016 meeting between a russian lawyer, the president's son, son-in-law and the campaign chairman at the time. >> what other details about this meeting have not been disclosed? >> well, i want to say again that i represent the president,
and donald trump jr. says he disclosed everything about the meeting, but i represent, one of the counsel for the president of the united states who was not involved in the meeting and not aware of the meeting. so from our perspective, my answer stands, that is, the president was not engaged in this, not aware of it. donald trump jr. made statements about, that this was everything. he said that on the air on sean hannity's broadcast. it speaks for itself. >> when the president says witch-hunt he is talking about robert mueller's special counsel investigation? that is part of this so-called witch-hunt? >> when he calls it a witch-hunt, talks about the scope and nature of the investigation he's concerned about the nature of what's going on here. there are a host of issues that as lawyers we deal with in cases like that. potential conflicts of interest. how would -- how would, for instance, james comey be a witness in a situation when he has this relationship -- not just with the special council, but the way in which he testified. let's also not forget, james comey admitted he was not under investigation. >> all right. let's discuss this now with cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein and cnn presidential historian tim neftali.
good to see you both. welcome back, ron. the president and his team insisting this is still a witch-hunt, heard him explain why the relationship between comey and mueller, et cetera and there was nothing wrong with this meeting between donald trump jr. and the others at the table, and that donald trump jr. revealed everything, but we know now he didn't reveal everything. there were eight in all at the meeting. so how much damage is this doing to the president of the united states right now? >> well, i think there are several things. first, your point there is important. donald trump jr. went before what has been the single most indefadicable, immovable defender of the trump administration in the media and lied to him directly, which ought to be a sobering moment, i think, for all of those who are kind of defending the administration regardless of which way this story turns. second, i think, again, the president using the word "witch-hunt" through jay sekulow
about this special counsel investigation is a clear shot across the bow for congressional republicans, using that language showed he's clearly keeping open the possibility, i think, of firing the special counsel at some point. if congressional republicans believe that is unacceptable to them have to make that unequivocally clear to the white house, i think, beforehand. >> preemptively? >> preemptively. the third quick point, the fact he's talking about witch-hunt, goes to the tweet in the previous segment. 40% in polls is actually pretty good. this is not a white house trying to speak to even 50-plus 1% of the country. they are not trying to rebut the concerns of those who may be anxious about the russia investigation or broader conduct in the presidency but not totally turned against him. they are about stoking and mobilizing a base this presidency is under siege from outside forces trying to undermine not only donald trump
but you, you, my base. that is the path they are heading down. and almost everything they are doing from attacks on the judiciary, to media to special counsel to the policy, reinforce that narrow vision. >> tim, putting this in context when a president's approval rating is this low, historically low, six months into a presidency. 36%, lowest in 70 years, give us an idea how this president is able to continue to move forward, try to push his agenda, no giant legislative victories at this juncture before the august recess, but how does he put a positive spin on this and get something done? >> the only other president with approval ratings this low any other this point in his administration was jared ford and that was because he pardoned richard nixon. i wonder if -- if we looked at the percentage of republicans
who supported the president, i think we'd still see a high level of support among republicans, and what i'm looking to see is the extent to which the republicans in the house and the senate make the calculation that this president is toxic. now, at the moment it looks like they haven't made that calculation and what's the evidence? >> absolute. >> but what's the evidence of that? it's what happening in the senate on health care. the president has made clear in his reaction to the house bill and in his reaction thus far to what's going on in the senate that all he wants is a bill. he doesn't really care about what the bill -- not telling us what he thinks of the cruz amendment. not -- he's not suggesting anything. all these saying is, you better get something out. that means that republicans are signing up for the, the possibility that this president turns on them. and that's what's interesting to me. this is a president who's not popular with the american people.
and yet republicans seem to be still afraid of him. we haven't reached the tipping point, but if -- if his ratings go down and republicans start to leave him, maybe we'll reach a tipping point where republicans in congress are afraid of him. we're not there yet, and for that reason, trump -- president trump still has sway. >> hmm. >> powerful -- >> tim, interesting. you can find it in my cnn.com column on tuesday. looking back, trump approval rating, 82%, 85%, among the "washington post" among republicans. that is not an unusually strong grip on your own party at this point. whether it's obama or reagan or w. bush or h.w. bush. they were all in comparable positions and in fact, go back through history, key moments when legislators in their own party confronted presidents from their own side, whether iran/contra, fulbright hearings on watergate, it starts off with a president somewhere around
here in their own party. to some extent republicans on the hill are kind of holding themselves behind a kind of false flag here. if they're waiting for a widespread defection from their own, there own party's voters, they're going to wait a long time. only one republican president ever in the history of gallup polling fell below, nixon, very, very end of watergate. even at the beginning, still in the 70s. >> right. >> so they have to decide whether this hold on their own voters -- yes, people in the deep red districts, sure. a lot of republicans, though, on capitol hill who cannot win solely by mobilizing republicans and they have to look at the way independents are reacting to this president and to what is likely to be the strongest democratic argument in 2018, do you feel republicans have provided enough of a check on a president at best you are ambivalent about? >> wow. very powerful stuff you both have schooled us on so many levels here, because it is very
profound part of histories in which we're in. ron brownstein, tim 1naftali, thank you. to this thursday. o.j. simpson could be granted parole. up next, we discuss his chances of guesting out of prison. depression is a tangle of multiple symptoms. ♪ that's why there's trintellix, a prescription medication for depression. trintellix may help you take a step forward in improving your depression. tell your healthcare professional right away if your depression worsens, or you have unusual changes in mood, behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. do not take with maois. tell your healthcare professional about your medications, including migraine, psychiatric and depression medications, to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition. increased risk of bleeding or bruising may occur, especially if taken with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin or blood thinners. manic episodes or vision problems may occur in some people. may cause low sodium levels.
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you...smells fine, but yourin your passengers smell this bell dinging new febreze car with odorclear technology cleans away odors... ...for up to 30 days smells nice... breathe happy, with new febreze. hello again, everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. syrians officials are trying to figure out what to do with the mothers, wives and girlfriends of isis fighters. were they willing supporters of the horrors, the terrorists inflicted, or innocent victims drawn in my false promises? rounded up as isis sympathizers but haven't been charged with anything in what is essentially a lawless area. here's cnn's nick paton walsh. >> reporter: don't kid yourself. they saw the videos, girls, mothers, some who married into isis, who knew what they were
about, but still came. now jamed in a refugee camp, stuck in limbo as isis collapses trying to go home and want your pity and that you believe them when they say, it was all, all of it, a huge mistake. >> they use women for sex? >> yeah. it's very disgusting. >> reporter: three indonesian sisters say they paid thousands of dollars to get here. lured by the false promise of free health care and schools, but ended up living off selling their jewelry and paying thousands to get smuggled out. it just wasn't as pure caliphate as they expected. >> they say they want to jihad for sake of allah, but what they think is, what they want is only what women, they want sex. oh, it's -- disgusting. >> and i heard that if they marry, a daughter gets thousands of dollars. >> reporter: single women arrivals like them kept in a commune white they look for
husbands. >> the men of the women inside the dorm, very different. far from islam. shout each other. big fighting, and fighting -- between the woman and -- oh. i was very surprised when i see that. >> reporter: she explains the dorm is a bit like tinder. >> when the woman arrives in a dormitory she makes a sort of cv. puts down age, name, how her personality is like what she looks for in a man and men also post their cvs. >> translator: yes, it's dating. you meet, talk 15, 20 minutes and then a yes or no. if they both agree, then they get married. it's very quick. >> reporter: she says she came for charity work but her husband was killed the second time they tried to flee. she's as appalled by the paris terror attacks as by the coalition bombing of raqqa and just wants to go back to france.
>> translator: i love life. i love to work. i love my jeans, my makeup. i love my parents. the only thing i want is to go back. i'm not far from the beach. i used to go to the beach every weekend. in a bikini. yes! in a bikini. >> reporter: a syrian english teacher, whose first husband was killed by a sniper in holmes and says she was traveling to turkey when she was waylaid in raqqa where she met and married a moroccan. >> reporter: were you looking for a man when you went there? >> no. >> reporter: how come you found one? moved into a house, oh, my gosh. who's this guy next door? >> i think god sent him to me. >> reporter: she says a spokesman knew him and allowed him not to fight. he's now in jail. she is disapproving of less pure love stories. >> reporter: did you hear other stories of women who came looking for a husband? >> they look to the european men that they are here and isis they are strong men. you know? with guns.
and they can protect them. it's an idea, just like movies. many of them want, very shocked, because when they got married to the man, you know -- three, four days, one month, and they divorced. i know a woman, she was married six times and after three days, she go to court and ask the judge to divorce hem from him, and when the judge ask her why you want divorce? and that man -- say that, she prevent him from making any, you know -- sexual, you know. >> reporter: i see. >> and she say, i can't accept him. all the time thinking of my husband. and judge ask, why you get married from him if you won't want him? he say i will send you to the prison and -- she was crying, oh, no. it's the last time. i promise. >> reporter: the husband was one arrested for smoking by the religious police and because they won't talk to women, she had to literally enter a man's
world to get him out of jail. >> and you know what? it was crazy idea. i just but my -- husband -- his shoes, his clothes and you know that -- covered my eyes, with that black glasses, and i a gown from -- i take it from him and i take my boy and let's go to the police. >> use your man voice now? [ talks in low voice. >> that's how men sound. >> reporter: the stories decide their fate. whether they stay in limbo or go home. >> i think that you don't believe me. you know? speaks a language more than mouth, eyes. >> reporter: yes. >> don't you feel there's a trust in my eyes? >> yes. your husband, what if you never see him again? >> i want someone to kill me. because i can't kill myself. it's suicide, and i can't commit suicide. just kill me.
>> reporter: nick paton walsh, cnn, in northern syria. and we'll be right back. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection, which could lead to hospitalizations. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%... ...a 94% decrease. applied the day of chemo, neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta the next day,
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megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. o.j. simpson could soon be a free man facing a parole board this thursday. sentenced in 2008 for trying to steal back pieces of his own memorabilia at gunpoint. if the board decides to release him simpson could be out as early as october. with me to discuss, cnn legal analyst and criminal defense attorney joey jackson.
joey, good to see you. so simpson has now served nine years. he was sentenced to 9 to 33 years. by all accounts, a model prisoner according to many there. so will there be a pretty good chance that he might be paroled out? >> good afternoon fredricka. i say, yes. i think if the parole board really acts in good faith and consider what they need to consider, which are a few things, of course. the offense, and what happened in the offense. they're look at that. there will be a report prepared for them. a parole report concerning how he behaved and acted in prison, as you mentioned. he's been a model prisoner. you know, and look at a risk assessment. his age, and how he has comported himself, what he plans to do upon his release. is he a risk for, for what we call a recidivism, to go back to jail? if they act in good faith they'll spring him and he'll go free. no reason not to. i'll add this, fredricka. you know what he did was horrifically, you could say,
stupid and arrogant, but to think that it warrants 9 to 33 years in jail? a lot of people feel, and i would not disagree with that, that this is somehow payback for what he really did but was acquitted of and not the actual offense for which he's in jail. i would have every expectation that come thursday, the 20th of july, he will be a free man. >> so his attorneys made that same argument that you kind of articulated. if that were to come up in this parole hearing how would he or his representation likely handle that kind of question? >> well, you know, i don't anticipate that it will, because what happens is, that they will not, and they have said as much. remember, there's a parole board that consists of seven members, and four of which will be preceding to the hearing. they need a majority vote. if the four are granted parole he'll be granted parole. eligible, you mentioned in october, even they they would say you're released as of july, meaning okay to go in october. but i don't anticipate that issues concerning his acquittal
as we're looking at the footage offie yesteryear and the dream team of johnnie kocochran. whether or not he's rehabilitated, the community would be safe and i hasan to add, a victim. two, one is dead, said he'll testify on his behalf. in fact, initially, fredricka, said it only warrants one to three years, but the judge gave them 9 to 33. interested fact, convicted 13 days to the day he was supposedly acquitted of the killing of nicole brown and ron goldman. >> full circle on that. the one victim in support of him getting parole, he said he would be willing to testify. would there are others called to testify, too? >> you know, the way the proceeding runs is, he is entitled, that is, mr. simpson, to make a statement on his
>> well, you know, the way the proceeding runs, he's entitled to make a statement on his behalf. i doesn't have to, but i anticipate he would. the rules would permit a family member to give a statement on his behalf. and the rules would permit a victim or the victim that we had been discussing to give such a statement. that's what it's limited to. the parole board would have questions for him. that's how it will be. after the testimony concludes, i would expect they would deliberate in private off camera. if they do what they need to do, they act in good faith. i have faith in the judicial system. i think he served his time, and conventional wisdom is, he'll be released come october 1st, based upon the parole hearing we'll hear thursday of this week at 10:00 a.m. >> thank you so much. cnn will have coverage of the
simpson hearing starting at 1:00 p.m. this thursday. still ahead, as the president pushes a hardline agenda on issues like trade and climate change, a leadership at the state level is taking on a more global approach, how some governors are breaking with tradition under this administration, stay with us.
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and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. tonight cnn's original series history of comedy returnings with one nation under comedy. how racial humor has evolved over the decades. >> up until the early '60s, comedy was a segregated proposition. dick gregory changed all of that. >> i see baseball players having double fp that is the only sport in the world where a negro can
shake a stick at a white man and not start a riot. >> i realized if i made people laugh, they would stop talking about me. that's what i set out to do. >> he was one of the first black comedians who crossed over to the mainstream and did so in a way where he kept his integrity. there was not a sense that he became less culturally black or committed to his race because he played white rooms. >> bobby kennedy said 30 years from this year negro will become president. treat me right, i'll raise taxes on him. >> don't get me wrong, i wouldn't mind paying my income tax, if i knew it was going to a friendly country. >> there's something about giving somebody a factor, a piece of information that may be a little confrontational that people maybe object to it. if you can turn it into a punch line, they're much more open to it. >> gregory understood the power of comedy. >> let's discuss all of this.
author of the comedian, drunks, thieves, scoundrels and the history of comedy. >> good to see you. >> we watched that clip about dick gregory. how influential do you think he was in changing standup comedy, in opening up or changing the way america discusses race? >> he was and is one of the most influential comedians of all time. not just in terms what have did on the standup stage. a white comedian cancelled at the last minute, dick gregory filled, in became the media sensation of 1960, '61, he was profiled in the new york times, washington post. because he did so well, and resonated with the serve ilrights era, it opened the door for not just younger black comedians, but younger black comedians who never had a cha e
chance -- he was very influential on the nightclub stage, he was very influential in the streets during the civil rights movement. he marched with the student nonviolent coordinating committee. he was shot, spat at. once he became a celebrity, he used the power of celebrity, to raise the profile of his activism. >> he made an impression in so many levels. the difference between a racial joke and racist joke can be a real challenge for any comedian. dick gregory was able to guide post wasn't he, for people who would follow like redd foxx or richard pryor, who certainly would use race in their jokes, but in a way, comedy about race became healing too. >> yeah, well, it's all about
intent. what is the intent behind the joke, is it to make people understand, raise awareness of the cause, fight for what's right or is the intent to hurt people, put people down and be a racist. with people like richard pryor, redd foxx, dick gregory, the jokes were about respect, and integrity. the people they put down were people who were hostile like the kkk. it wasn't about ridiculing people because of their skin color or amplifying your skin color, it was about fighting for equality. in that context, those jokes are effective, and they have the correct angle. >> sometimes make that statement of i count. >> cliff nestoroff, thank you for being with us. the history of comedy airs tonight 10:00 eastern and pacific only on cnn.
a new poll out today shows president trump's approval rating takes a noticeable hit. >> the trump campaign, we learned this week paid $50,000 to donald trump jr.'s lawyer. is that an acknowledgement that the meeting with the russian lawyer was official campaign business? >> i'm not involved with the discussions on the lawyers on who paid what entity, and i don't represent donald trump jr. >> also, calls to hear testimony from everyone at that 2016 meeting with russians. >> we need to get to the bottom of this. the only way we're going to do it is to talk not just to donald trump jr. who has offered to cooperate. but to everyone who is at that meeting. >> i'm trying to give all these people the benefit of the doubt, but it is very bothersome to me, that jared kushner has forgott