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-The President has been accused
of working for a foreign government
while our own government remains shut down.
For more on this, it's time for "A Closer Look."
♪♪
The government shutdown is now the longest in history,
with no end in sight.
In fact, today the President stopped by reporters
to let them know he was carrying on with other business,
like a speech to a group of farmers.
-I'll be going to New Orleans right now.
I'm going to be speaking in front of our great farmers.
-Okay, got it. He's on his way to New Orleans.
Or at least I think he is, because this morning
one of Trump's other personalities tweeted,
"Getting ready to address the farm convention in Nashville."
Hey, at least it started with an "N."
And in fairness to Trump, it was only his fourth guess.
[ Laughter ]
So while Trump was off to New Orleans,
or as he calls it, the home of country music,
the effects of the shutdown were having
very real consequences for millions of people.
For example, over the weekend, federal employees
showed up to food banks in the hundreds.
But that's not the food Trump was concerned with today.
He was much more concerned with the food he'll be serving
at the White House for a ceremony
with the college-football championship team from Clemson,
as he explained to reporters.
-The Clemson championship team, the national championship team,
will be coming tonight.
It will be exciting. Very great team.
An unbelievable team. They'll be coming tonight.
And I think we're going to serve McDonald's, Wendy's,
and Burger Kings with some pizza.
I really mean it. It will be interesting.
And I would think that's their favorite food.
-No, dude, I think that's your favorite food.
He thinks he's being so sly.
"Normally, I would have a salad for dinner on Monday,
but they told me they only eat every fast food."
Also, can we go back to this?
-McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger Kings with some pizza.
-Why does he say "Burger Kings," plural?
Does he think there's more than one?
"We will be having all of the Burger Kings
over to the White House for a summit on trade."
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]
I think...
I think it's safe to say that had he lost the election,
the Burger Kings would have been the name of the food show
Trump hosted with Guy Fieri.
[ Laughter ]
Now, it is entirely possible that Trump thought
shutting down the government would make
the Russia investigation just go away.
I'm sure his lawyers told him that.
"You can't be arrested by the government
if there is no government!"
But as we found out on Friday, that is very much not the case.
In fact, we got one of the biggest blockbusters yet.
-Breaking news tonight from "The New York Times."
The FBI opened an inquiry into whether President Trump
was secretly working on behalf of Russia.
In the days after President Trump fired
James B. Comey as FBI director,
law-enforcement officials
became so concerned by the President's behavior
that they began investigating whether he had been working
on behalf of Russia against American interests.
-Wow. The FBI was investigating
whether Trump was working for the Russians.
I mean, what tipped them off?
Was it Trump's secret meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office,
his son's secret meeting with Russians in Trump Tower,
his lawyer's secret deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow,
Jeff Session's secret meeting with the Russian ambassador,
Jared Kushner's secret back channel with the Kremlin,
Michael Flynn's secret back channel with the Kremlin,
Erik Prince's secret back channel with the Kremlin,
Paul Manafort sharing secret polling data with the Russians,
his foreign policy advisor's secret meeting with the Russians,
the Russian hackers who helped Trump win,
Trump asking the Russian hackers to help him win,
or Vladimir Putin's smile every time he sees Trump?
[ Cheers and applause ]
Look at that.
That's the smile Putin gives when someone says,
"We have captured James Bond."
[ Laughter ]
Trump has also met privately with Putin multiple times,
and over the weekend, "The Washington Post" reported
that Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal
details of his conversations with Putin,
including, on at least one occasion,
taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter.
Now, we don't know what Trump did with those notes,
but we do know that in her tell-all book,
former Trump aide Omarosa said she saw Trump
trying to destroy evidence by eating a piece of paper
in the Oval Office.
And if you forgot that the President
was accused of eating paper by his own aide,
take note of the fact that we are living through a presidency
where that insane fact might actually qualify as forgettable.
For every other president before him, eating paper
would be number one on the list
of craziest [bleep] things, but...
[ Cheers and applause ]
But for Trash Can Jones over here,
it doesn't even crack the top 100.
We for real have a president who may one day say,
"If you want my notes, you'll need a search warrant...
for my belly."
And, of course, Trump wants to keep the details
of his conversation with Putin secret.
Every time we find out about a private conversation
he had with Putin, it turns out he said something suspicious.
Like when Putin won a rigged election
and Trump's aides wrote in his briefings in all caps,
"DO NOT CONGRATULATE," and then Trump said this.
-I had a call with President Putin
and congratulated him on the victory.
-Now, in fairness to Trump,
he would have read the briefing, but he was hungry.
[ Laughter ]
So the President was being investigated
for possibly working for a foreign government
and at the same time he was shutting down our own government.
If it feels to you like our political system is in chaos
right now, you're not alone.
The only one who disagrees is Trump himself,
and he made that clear in a tweet over the weekend.
-"I just watched a fake reporter
from the Amazon 'Washington Post'
say the White House is chaotic.
There does not seem to be a strategy for this shutdown.
There is no plan.
The fakes always like talking chaos. There is none.
In fact, there's almost nobody in the White House but me."
-What?!
Nothing is more chaotic
than a huge building with only one person working.
That's why RadioShack went out of business.
[ Laughter ]
So Trump says he's all alone in the White House,
which leaves him plenty of time to do important president stuff,
like call into Fox News and scream a lot.
And that's what he did on Saturday.
Fox host Jeanine Pirro started by asking about the shutdown,
and right off the bat, Trump told an obvious lie.
-You're sitting there waiting for a deal.
The Democrats are not sitting with you.
If this isn't an emergency, I don't know what is.
-Well, I haven't actually left the White House in months.
-What?!
We've seen you leave the White House repeatedly.
Last week, you went to the southern border,
and in December you visited the troops in Iraq, remember?
You were wearing one of those oversized jackets
you borrowed from Tom Brady?
[ Laughter ]
Why is your coat so big?
Are you sneaking immigrants over the border?
[ Laughter ]
"We're almost -- We're almost back on the plane."
So, Trump claimed he hadn't left the White House in months,
which led Pirro to grill him
with a series of super-tough follow-up questions.
-Mr. President, when are you gonna get out of the White House?
I mean, Washington after a while gets very depressing.
-Well, I love it.
-Mr. President, I really hope you get out of the White House.
I really do. I think you deserve a vacation.
-Wow, Jeanine. That's a real hard-hitting question.
Just because you're shouting,
it doesn't mean you're grilling him.
"You deserve a vacation! And I'll tell you another thing!
You're a handsome good boy! And your skin's a normal color!"
[ Laughter ]
Then Pirro finally got to the news of the weekend --
the FBI's investigation into Trump.
She asked Trump point-blank if he had ever worked for Russia.
And, now, any normal person in this situation would say,
"No, of course not. That's insane."
That is not how Trump responded.
His entire uninterrupted answer to that question
took almost two minutes.
-Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia,
Mr. President?
-I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked.
I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written.
You know, I fired James Comey. I call him Lyin' James Comey.
Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, his lover, Lisa Page.
They did it.
I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other --
probably any other president, period.
I think it was a great insult,
and "The New York Times" is a disaster as a paper.
They've gone so far that people
that were necessary believers are now big believers,
because they said that was a step too far.
They really are a disaster of a newspaper.
-Not once in that entire answer did he say the word "no."
I mean, that's like if your wife asks you,
"Are you sleeping with Susan?"
And you said...
-I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked.
-So, after dodging the question on Saturday,
Trump tried to rectify the situation today
by stopping by the throng of reporters
gathered on the White House lawn
for his usual chopper-adjacent Q&A,
and they asked Trump for a second time
whether he had ever worked for Russia.
-I never worked for Russia,
and you know that answer better than anybody.
I never worked for Russia.
Not only did I never work for Russia,
I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question.
Because it's a whole, big fat hoax.
-First of all, why does Trump
always choose venues where he has to shout?
He only does interviews on the phone or next to a helicopter.
If the news gets any worse for him,
he's going to do his next press conference on speakerphone
from a wind tunnel at a performance of the musical "Stomp."
[ Laughter ]
Can we go back to this real quick?
-It's a whole, big fat hoax.
-Yeah, that's right. It's a big, fat hoax.
You know, a hoax that only eats...
-McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger Kings with some pizza.
-This has been "A Closer Look."
♪♪
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The FBI Investigated Whether Trump Worked for Russia: A Closer Look

31 Folder Collection
Jingjiang Li published on January 27, 2019
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