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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Trevor Noah: "When I See Trump, I See A Stand-Up Comedian"; Repealing and Replacing Obamacare
Aired March 8, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Appreciate it. Time to hand things over to you. "The Messy Truth" starts right now.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Welcome to "The Messy Truth." I'm Van Jones. I'm Van Jones. We've got a lot to talk about tonight. Plus, I got the most incredible man in the world to talk about it with. Trevor Noah is here tonight in the house. Oh, it's going to be amazing.
So, look, the world is still going crazy. We've got the Obamacare repeal. We've got the Russians. We've got crazy tweets and crazier tweets. But for me, things really got crazy last week. So here's my messy truth. I need to own my messy truth.
I made a lot of you all really mad last Tuesday. Right after the show -- yeah, I see you. I see you. Yeah, you made me -- yeah, I see you. Right after the Trump speech, Anderson Cooper replayed the applause that Congress had given a Navy SEAL widow. And as she stood up there, you know, some people dismiss the whole thing as cynical. You know, my dad was in the military, and that moment really moved me and moved a lot of people. So I said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: If he became President of the United States in that moment, period. There are a lot of people who have a lot of reason to be frustrated with him, to be fearful with him, to be mad at him. But that was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, that was then. A couple days later, Trump went back to like cuckoo for cocoa puffs crazy. And anybody who was worried that he might start sub-normalizing, you ain't got nothing to worry about today. So, I could just move on, but I want to talk about this. I want to talk about this.
First of all, in case it's not clear, I still oppose Trump. I'm still afraid of Trump. When I said he was becoming presidential, that wasn't just a compliment, that was a warning. I saw Trump as a serious threat from day one. Everybody else was laughing at him and I was begging people, "Listen to me, this guy is serious as a heart attack." And people didn't listen.
Listen, I thought he was a serious threat then. I think he's a threat now, today. But by now, I think you know something about me. I'm an emotional guy. I'm an emotional guy. I am. I've cried more on CNN than anybody else times 50. You all know that I'm emotional. And it was an emotional moment. And I'm proud of myself that I can still get teary-eyed, even during a Trump speech. I'm proud of myself that I'm still human and I'm glad that I'm honest enough to tell you what I really think, what I really feel, even if I know my best friend is going to disown me and lose their mind, which they did.
And if that ever changes, if I ever stop telling you my real truth in realtime, no matter how messy it is, no matter how crazy it sounds, I don't deserve to be on T.V. anymore. That's what I'm here to do, is the give you my truth.
Now, that said, I do understand why so many people were shocked and disappointed because for millions of people, and the people I love and I work with and I know and I care about, Trump is the scariest villain of all time. You've got people living in fear. And they don't want to hear Luke Skywalker talking about, "Oh, well, you know, Darth Vader does have some nice things to say." They don't want to hear that. And I hear you, I hear you. But please hear me. Please hear me.
I'm here trying to fight on two fronts and not just one because I think we face two dangers and not just one. Yes, there is a danger of normalizing Trump politically, just kind of resigning ourselves to all these attacks on people and facts. That's bad. We can't let that happen. But there is a second danger that nobody is talking about. Please listen to me. You didn't listen to me when I warned you about the first danger. Listen to me on this one.
There's a danger that we all start to become Trump, that we normalize Trump emotionally. There's a danger that we all become fear-based and fear driven and, you know, we give in 100 percent to this whole as he gets them hysteria that we close up our hearts. We just refuse to ever again take the risk that maybe, maybe, there's still some good in some of the people we disagree with. If that happens, a form of Trumpism has been normalized in our hearts, in our hearts. And as a father and a human being, that worries me, too. That worries me, too.
[21:05:04] So, look, I can honestly say that there is nobody that I'd rather have this kind of conversation with than the man I'm about to bring to the stage. The next guest has been sharing his truth for a long time and we're all better off for it straight off the set of his other show, coming on to my show, the best-selling author of "Born a Crime," the host of "The Daily Show," the one and the only Trevor Noah up in the house. Oh my goodness. Oh, here you go. Oh, I know I'm going to start now. I'm a big deal now. Thank you, very good. Oh, men, it's good to see you.
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": This is nice. JONES: I know. They came to see you, brother.
NOAH: Thank you very much. Thank you.
JONES: That's bad for my self-esteem. They didn't clap that much for me.
NOAH: They're always here for you, man.
JONES: That's good. It's good to see you. Let's talk about it. A lot of people thought that I had jumped the shark and joined the Trump administration, in the tank. Were you one of them? Were you scared?
NOAH: No. You know what I realized in that moment? So, do you remember during the debates?
NOAH: There were moments when Trump would connect with people and I watched Trump do it through a different filter, I always do. When I see Trump, I see a stand-up comedian. He connects with audiences in the same way. He knows how to make you laugh in a moment where you didn't think you would. He knows how to broach a topic in a way that no one normally can, you know.
NOAH: And during that moment with Ryan's wife, Trump even told a joke and people laughed, people connected. And I was like, that is scary, man. That's good.
JONES: Yeah, yeah.
NOAH: And when you watch Trump and what you said, my first instinct was, come again, man?
NOAH: But then when I watched that, I realized what you're saying. And the honest truth is that he became presidential in that moment. What's not scary is that he became presidential in that moment. I think what's scary is that it is that easy to become presidential.
JONES: Right, right, yeah. I feel you on that. Listen, you are somebody that I look at, I study, I'm trying to figure out how to -- no, because you've got -- I mean, you've had a platform. You are our brother with a platform. I'm a brother with there platform.
JONES: It's not that many of us that have these opportunities.
NOAH: That's going to real.
JONES: No, that's very true.
NOAH: I'm going to be real.
JONES: Yeah, that's true. And so what I want to say to you is, I have -- I wake up worried, man. I feel the stress of feeling like I'm in a "Catch-22." I feel like we have to debunk Trump and a lot of other, you know, phony people. I mean, it's not just the Republicans. We've got to debunk those folks.
But I also worry that when we do what we do, are we adding to the polarization? Are we trying to fight polarization with polarization? Do you worry about that kind of stuff when you're doing your thing?
NOAH: You know, sometimes I worry about it, but the thing I've come to realize is, you've got to be careful that you don't push it so far that you are empathizing. You should understand where people are coming from. But be careful of putting yourself in their position because then you will justify why people do what they do, things that you may not agree with.
So when I'm making the show, I'm trying to find like-minded individuals who agree with what I'm saying. I'm also trying to find people who may slightly disagree, people who are in the middle, but what I think we've got to be careful of is always going out and saying, no, everyone from everywhere can be changed, everyone can be turn. I think that's unrealistic.
JONES: Right. I think that's true.
NOAH: That's not the world. So, you know, you're having conversations and sometimes having a conversation with someone you don't agree with to see if they see, you know, maybe some of the shortcomings of their argument. But, I'm not in the world going, "Oh, I can change everybody and everybody can change me."
JONES: I think that's right. Look, the good thing -- look, in a democracy --
JONES: -- people don't have to agree. Dictatorship, you have to agree. That's the whole point of a dictatorship. You've got to agree. Democracy, you don't have to agree. But -- and I love it. But I do think you have to understand. And my big fear is we seem to be living in world where we can't even understand each other. You may look on your Facebook page saying, "Did I go to high school with this person?" You know, you can't talk to your in-laws.
NOAH: Yeah. But, then, did you really understand them. That's the thing I -- like I ask myself as I go, "Did you really understand them, though, or have we been living in a world where for a long time we've been glossing over everything?"
NOAH: When you look at like -- let's look at something like what's happening to President Obama now. You look at Obamacare. You look at the accusations against him. You know, at some point, is it something beyond just the fact that they didn't like his policies? At some point you go, if it's unprecedented every time, what is the one thing about him that is unprecedented? And you start to look at this and you go, why are we so afraid to call these things out?
JONES: Are you saying it's because he's African-American?
NOAH: Oh, I didn't even notice. I didn't even notice. Is that what you're talking about? I didn't notice. Yeah, of course, I'm talking about that, man.
JONES: Yeah, yeah.
NOAH: Of course, I'm talking about that. At some point, you've got to acknowledge it. You've got to go like, "OK, this is different, this is a black man."
[21:10:03] We know for a fact there are many Americans who say, "I do not want to have Obamacare, because it is named Obamacare." And you go, but it's not named Obamacare. People explicitly called it that --
JONES: To make you not like it.
NOAH: To make you not like it.
NOAH: And now what's scarier? The fact that they did that, or the fact that they knew if they did it, you would be opposed to it. That's frightening.
NOAH: Because politicians in America have learned how to harness hatreds and fears that people possess to get to their ends.
JONES: But, you know, I am trying -- you said you can't change everybody. And I agree with that. I think the struggle is different. I don't reach out because I'm trying to change somebody else or I'm trying to make them be like me. I'm trying to reach out so I don't let this Trumpist environment turn me into something I don't want to be.
I'm concerned that the overall environment of hatred and vitriol means that I might start becoming what I'm fighting. I don't want to feed what I'm fighting here. So, it's not that -- I'm not trying to change the people I meet. I'm trying to make sure I don't change. I want to keep love folks.
NOAH: But then, is that what you think Trumpism is, though?
JONES: What do you mean?
NOAH: Because if I watch Trump, I go, I feel like Trump is about the flip-flopping and the full reaching out. Trump is about posing with the historically black college leaders and going, look, look at all the black colleges that we've gathered here. Did you hear them out? Oh, no, they don't get to talk. We're not actually going to do anything, but I took the picture.
NOAH: I'm reaching out.
JONES: It's tricky.
NOAH: The faux reach out is Trump's game plan. That's what Trump does. Look at me with Obama, we are friends. Oh, and by the way, he's a criminal who tapped my phone. Like, is that a real reach -- I feel like that's the Trumpism is going. One day I'm happy, the next day I'm not. You know, Rand Paul, he's a weird-looking guy, now he's my friend who will agree on Obamacare. I go -- that's Trumpism to me, is going to fights and would love the fight into that. It's reality T.V.
JONES: Well, listen, I want to get other voices in here. You have all these people who came to see you, obviously, and not me, because they ain't clapping for me. And we have another Van in the house. That's not usual. Van White wants to talk. And he got a button on. I hope he tells you about.
VAN WHITE, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER FROM NEW YORK: Yeah, good evening. How you're doing?
NOAH: Good evening.
WHITE: My father marched on the march on Washington and passed away several years ago, but I do carry his button with me, the button that about 250,000 people wore that day. But I think about the marches today in cities like Rochester, Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City, and I've got to be honest, my feeling is that we're reflecting some of the same protests and challenges that my dad and my grandparents faced 50, 60 years ago.
So the question is, do the marches of today, are they more or less effective than the marches in the 1960s? And if you think that's so, should we be doing something different?
NOAH: Awesome. That's a difficult question. I mean, there is no definitive way to measure the effectiveness of a march. If you look at South Africa, marches upon marches upon marches combine with protests from the outside and the inside, I think culminated in a political change that took place in the country.
You can't deny that in America, politicians are still swayed by their perception in the public. So, when it comes to marching, I don't know if it changes anything immediately. I don't know if it is extremely effective if it's just one march, but you can't deny that it has an effect. You can't deny that people pay attention to it. You can't deny that people see -- politicians see it, as well. So if someone says to me, should I march or should I not march? I would go, march.
NOAH: Because there may not be another way that you would be heard, you know. That's one way for the country to see that it is not in a normal place, even if it's just for that. Even if it's not for Americans to go, all right, its business as usual, because you can't deny that at the end of those marches, the civil rights movement, you know, saw the reaping of those rewards. In South Africa, we saw the results of that. Was it only from the marches? No, but we can't deny that the marches were a big part of why that happened.
JONES: Beautiful. Well, listen, we're just getting started on this. I want you to stick around. We got more to talk about.
NOAH: I was leaving.
JONES: No, you can't go. Lock the door. Lock the door. All right, when we come back, the secret to President Trump's success so far, and why a lot of liberals just can't see it, even though it's sitting right there in their Twitter accounts, when we get back.
[21:18:25] JONES: Welcome back to "The Messy Truth." Don't worry, Trevor Noah is still here. He's, of course, the host of comedy central "The Daily Show," the author of "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood." An amazing book, not a funny book, actually a moving book.
Now, listen, I have been going all over the country. I've been talking to Trump supporters and I'm learning a lot. And one thing I want to share, progressives tend to focus when we critique him on politeness and proper protocols, OK? There's a proper way to deal with reporters or intelligence agency or judges. And then when Trump breaks the rules, we just start fanning ourselves and freaking out and handing out all of these protocol violations.
And for his supporters, his appeal has nothing to do with protocol. It has everything to do, though, with pride and prosperity. He's saying, "I want you to be proud of the country and have a job." So liberals seem to only see like the crazy tweets and then we act like that's all he's doing. But his supporters actually ignore those tweets.
You want to know the tweets they cherish? The one where he's taking credit for the stock market that's rising and their 401(k)s doing better or the jobs he so-called saved. If progressives want to understand Trump supporters, those are the tweets we need to be paying attention to.
So I want to bring you back into the conversation. We were talking a little bit at the break. I sometimes think that liberals just completely miss about the appeal. Why is he having this appeal?
NOAH: Well, I mean, it's a combination of two things. Like you said, we see the madness.
NOAH: And we focus on that. And then you don't focus on why he connects. You can't expect people to disavow him when that's the reason they voted him in.
[21:20:03] JONES: Yeah.
NOAH: Like the one thing a lot of people struggle with is Trump is doing what he said he was going to do. If you voted for Trump right now, you're like, "Yeah, this is what I voted for.
JONES: But I think he is driving liberal insane. And I mean -- I think he is. I think he is. And I think that I'm seeing more people, and I'm seeing little progressives now so mad and distracted, and depressing (ph). I'm like, "I don't want you all to be in charge either." So, it's -- he is -- am I wrong?
NOAH: But I think when people say that I go, like, what is an extreme liberal? Like, what is that?
JONES: They want a healthcare.
NOAH: I do not want to know what is -- so what's the thing you're afraid of, healthcare for everybody, free education? Is that what you're afraid of? Is that really what people are afraid of?
We know what an extreme right-wing person does. But I go like, realistically, when people are saying this, they're going, "It's the same. There are extremes on either end." And I go, "Yes, but what is one extreme shown us that they're capable of repeatedly?" That is what I'm saying.
When it comes to Trump, you have somebody who's saying these things, and you cannot deny that that rhetoric oftentimes spills over. So, yes, it may be protocol, it may be boring, but it's also the thing that stops you from falsely accusing the president who came before you of wiretapping, you know. That's what protocol almost helps you with that.
JONES: That's beyond protocol. That's just cuckoo for cocoa puffs. But, look, I want to get more -- I know you all want to get in and I want you to hear from our good friend, Stephanie, who's got a point she wants to make, totally different than the point we've been making.
STEPHANIE STOKER, TRUMP VOTER: Hi, Trevor, how are you?
NOAH: Hi, Stephanie.
STOKER: Hi. My question has to do with the boycott recently for the Oscars. We're just wondering why do the Hollywood elite think that their opinions matter on the issue of politics and that they represent the American people? And why do they think they can tell the American people how they should think?
NOAH: Well, I think the question you should ask maybe should be framed the other way is, why have the American people given the Hollywood elites the impression for so long that they look to them to shape and give their opinions on their behalf, you know? We can't deny that we live in a country where if you are a celebrity, people are looking to you for those opinions, you know. People report on it every day. This celebrity said this about Trump. This celebrity said that. And then what happens if a celebrity doesn't speak up? People say, "Why aren't you using your platform? Why don't you speak out?" When the person speaks up they go, "Shut up, don't speak out."
Like, these are human beings, too, you know. At the end of the day they vote. At the end of the day they are part of something. Have they made a lot of money doing what they do? Yes. But I think a lot of people appreciate it.
Some people go overboard. Some people are idiots, whether you're a celebrity or not, people have to understand that. And I think it's messy, but it's the truth.
STOKER: I have one more follow up question. It's -- for example, my husband and I are involved in politics in Arizona, at the grassroots level. If -- you have to look at like when you're elected, you're kind of like in that position that people elected you. So, is that kind of like a different platform than I would, say, Hollywood?
NOAH: Oh, definitely. Definitely, because, I mean, at the end of the day, Hollywood is -- there's a confluence of factors that isn't directly related to people voting for you, you know.
JONES: People kind of vote with their dollars. But what do you think? So, when you see a Meryl Streep --
JONES: -- say what she says. You know, I get happy, happy, happy in myself. I like it. But, what about the people who've never feel they're ever going to be a part of that A-list crowd? Do you think there's a danger that by having that happen or having the dude at the "Hamilton" play do what he does, that it actually helps to build Trump?
NOAH: Well, this is what I struggle to understand. I understand it, but I struggle to get how it is adopted by people. When people say the Hollywood elite, I go --
NOAH: -- who is your president? I struggle with that concept. I thought Donald Trump is literally a T.V. reality star. He's literally everything that people are saying they hate. I don't --
JONES: Too many facts. You're being too logical.
NOAH: I don't mind. I know what I'm saying. I don't mind. I don't mind. I have never hated the fact that somebody's on T.V. or an elite or, like, I don't mind that what I'm saying is why would you hate the very thing that you have elected?
JONES: Well, I -- well, maybe Eric can help us understand. Eric is a African-American Trump supporter. He has something to say. ERIC JOHNSON, TRUMP VOTER FROM GEORGIA: Yes. And thank you for being here as well, Trevor. I'm one of the 16 percent of African-American males, college-educated, who did vote for Trump.
JOHNSON: So I'm really a minority. And I voted for him because of economics and on the security issue. But, you know, a lot -- there is a perception in the black community that we're the lucky ones. You, Van, President Trump, President Obama, a lot of black people, they look to them as being the lucky ones, the ones that made it. So, they're still suffering with high unemployment, crime, poverty, dysfunction.
So, what do you think President Trump should do to work on this area that President Obama admitted that he failed in that area? So what do you think Trump can do to go beyond that?
JONES: Well, that's deep.
NOAH: Well, that is deep. I will say this. There are so many layers to what you said. First of all, I go, it's interesting that you say you voted for somebody based on security, because -- and that's why I call you guys out to a certain extent, the news terrifies people. Can I just say that? The news terrifies people.
[21:25:04] I watch CNN. I watch different news networks and I'm like, "Do I really need to know about a guy in France waving a knife? Did I really need to know that?" It terrifies people. I mean, you go and you make that decision. But, is that the person who knows the -- is that the person who's going to keep you the safest? We don't know. I mean, you know --
JONES: But I thought he was saying economics, as well.
NOAH: Economics wise.
JONES: And you have to admit, African-Americans didn't do as well under Obama economically as --
NOAH: Completely agree with that. No one will take that away from you.
The question I think you then have to ask is, is Donald Trump listening? Every time I see Donald Trump talk about black people he has to say the phrase "inner city." He does not think a black person exists beyond that.
It's strange to me that in America, black people are not considered any other voting group other than black people. Black people are the working class. Black people are also taxpayers. Black people are also wealthy. Black people have many shades of black. Black is not just the inner city.
So, if you have a president who only sees you as one thing, as a monolith that is crime-ridden, gang infested, is that really the best person? I think if Trump listened more, if Trump really engage, and I'm not saying engage with the Trump supporters around him like yourself, I mean like you know that you -- yes.
JONES: But let me ask you, brother. So, don't you sometimes get offended when it's always inner city, inner city? You somehow got pass that. How can you get pass it? I get insulted by it. I'm not -- I love the inner city, but damn, we're not all that.
JOHNSON: It is a hard thing. I think the hardest thing he's got to do is that he is on the outside. And I think he does need to listen, like you said, to what's really going on in the black community. And I think that we want to have safe communities. We want to have more economics.
So, I think he probably needs to come into our community and listen and find out exactly, talk to those families and find out what's really going on. Don't listen to the talking heads, unfortunately. Don't listen to the politicians.
JONES: Hey dude. Hey, dude.
JOHNSON: Go into those communities and find out what's really going on.
NOAH: You know what I love about this? You asked me the question, but you have the answer. Thank you. I appreciate that. Thank you very much.
JOHNSON: You are very good.
JONES: Trevor, thank you, brother.
I do think, you know, I've done a lot of work in Oakland, a lot of work in our communities. I do think that we leave a door open for Republicans to point at the funerals and to point at the candlelight vigils and to point out --
JONES: -- to point to the teddy bears on the sidewalk and say, "See those Democrats don't do anything for you, they're just using your vote." Not that the Republicans do anything. But, as much as we have marching I will continue to march to make sure that we're not victimized by police brutality.
A lot of times, at least from a media point of view, our pain and our suffering on the inner violence, the violence within our community, either gets ignored or gets -- almost Democrats duck and hide about it. Don't you think that at some point we should come together at least on that issue? NOAH: I don't think anyone would disagree with that, Van. I think just because there is inner city violence does not mean that you should say that all black people are living in this situation.
JONES: No, no, no. I'm not saying that. No, no, no.
NOAH: Just because black people have managed to find a new life that is better and maybe they don't live in the inner city does not mean you have to ignore what is happening in many places.
JONES: All I'm saying --
NOAH: But I do think this. You cannot deny that the back and forth has been shown. And it's like, it's weird to me, because if you go -- if you just read the books, if you just understand, you know, if you look at what over-policing does to communities, not just in America.
Over-policing and under-policing have been shown consistently to create distrust, you know, in the community. People no longer see the police as being protectors and servers because all they see them as these enforcers and a militarized force that keeps them down. And so, if they don't respect the police, they take the law into their own hands. They take the law into their own hands.
JONES: And the things get worse and worse and worse.
NOAH: Just the cycle perpetuates over and over and over again.
JONES: I want to talk about some solutions when we get back. Please stick around. Well, lock the door again. Don't let him out.
I took a road trip a little while ago to the front line of America's border battles. Another place we've got a lot of funerals and I talked to Latino supporters of President Trump. What I found, they'll surprise you, when we get back.
[12:33:54] JONES: Welcome back to "The Messy Truth." I'm Van Jones. Trevor Noah is still here with me.
Listen, during his campaign rallies, Donald Trump could always rely on his one big moment talking about that wall he was going to build. Meanwhile, down on the actual border, millions of people are living on the front line of the whole border battle and they're dealing with real life immigration issues every single day. And a lot of them are Trump voters and a lot of those Trump voters are Latinos. So I took a road trip to meet with some of them.
JONES (voice-over): This is where the debate over border security starts, the Arizona-Mexico border. I went to see it for myself and talk to the people who live this reality every day like the Pinal County Sheriff's deputies. If someone is able to go under, over, or around the border fence, they walk through this desert, aim for the highways, and disappear into the United States.
[12:35:05] (on camera) Why do you think they're so desperate to come here? Not the ones who are coming to bring the drugs, but the other ones who are coming up here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's America. I mean, what better place to come? I don't know what their personal motivation is to come over here. Whether that be work or family or whatever, but they're motivated by something, because it's not an easy trek.
JONES (voice-over): And on this day, a drug bust which is all too common, 600 pounds of pot in the back of a truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is actually packaged for distribution to avoid dog detection.
JONES (on camera): So that's why it doesn't smell?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Now it will. Just like that.
JONES (on camera): So they got the whole routine. So, yeah, well that smells.
(voice-over): Out here, law enforcement doesn't know who's around the corner, whether it's a desperate family or an armed drug smuggler. The danger is real.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all of these mountains back up in here and over here have scouts on them.
JONES (voice-over): And while many people walk through here to find a better life, they're mixed in with smugglers who would do anything to avoid getting caught.
(on camera): Man, if these guys are going through all of this just to get to America, like, you know, doesn't your heart break sometimes? You see these guys and think to yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, my heart doesn't break for them. No, because they're doing something illegal. What's heartbreaking for me is when this stuff gets out to its destination and starts getting, you know, peddled to kids and, you know, the citizens of the United States. That's what's heartbreaking.
JONES (voice-over): And inside Sammy's Mexican Grill, Latinos talk to me about their frustration with the new administration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I, personally take offense and I'm worried and I'm scared and it's terrifying.
JONES (voice-over): But not everyone in here agrees, including the owners. They support the president now and they backed his candidacy, which included displaying a big sign of support.
(on camera): Why do you think that sign caused so much heartburn for some Latinos? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the beginning, Mr. Trump or President Trump now was labeled as a racist. So anyone who supported him was also labeled a racist. And they were saying, how can I -- another Latino can support Donald Trump at all?
JONES (on camera): So what's the answer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, his ideas are very important. Not only for me, for my kids' future, but for the country as a whole.
JONES: Latinos who love Trump. You're just like, stunned.
NOAH: I'm not stunned at all. It makes sense. You know, people are more complicated than we like to believe. They're more complex.
I met a woman during the Cleveland RNC and she was cheering for Trump. And I said to her, "Hey, if you don't mind me asking, you're a Latino woman -- you are Latina and you are cheering for Trump, why?" And she said, "I don't believe in these other policies, because my family is waiting to legally come to this country and I'm seeing other immigrants skip the line and come in, and that's why I'm supporting Trump." And I understood what she was saying.
JONES: You know it's interesting. When I was down on the border, I want people to see because a lot of liberals don't ever see the actual border enforcement. And one thing that's happening now is the drug cartels are taking the good folks who are just coming here to do good work and they're forcing them to carry drugs. And that's messing up the whole thing down there.
So, there's a lot of stuff happening and yet the people who come here, who work so hard to make America better, not making America worse, are caught in the crossfire and nobody's really hearing their stories.
And I want to talk to someone who can put a human face on this. Please welcome Carlos who's here, his wife. Give them a round of applause. His brother is unbelievable. First of all, thank you for being here. Thank you for being here. His wife is here.
This is a story that is shocking to a lot of people. It's amazing to a lot of people. You are facing deportation. You are just in a detention center for a couple weeks. You could still be taken out of the country. How are you feeling?
JUAN CARLOS HERNANDEZ PACHECO, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: I think I just feel wonderful about all the support that I got from my whole community in West Frankfort, Illinois.
PACHECO: And I think about the difference that I make in my community. And if I made that change and that impact in my community, I can make an impact all over the United States. JONES: The reason that he's saying this is because even though the county that he lives in voted 70 percent for Trump. Trump voters came out of the woodwork and fought to get him free, which is an unbelievable thing. Why do you think that they did that? I mean, you had the whole town of Trump voters saying, "Not my guy." How did you do it and why?
[12:40:09] PACHECO: West Frankfort stands for the American values.
JONES: American values.
PACHECO: American values.
PACHECO: They do believe that.
JONES: Well, you have a friend here, Tim. Please stand up and give Tim a round of applause. Tim was one of the Trump voters who stood up for Carlos. I told you it's messy. It's messy.
Now, I am confused, sir. Trump said he was going to deport a bunch of people. Trump said he's going to build a wall. And then you voted for the man, and then he started deporting people, and you said, no. I'm confused.
TIM GRISBY, TRUMP VOTER: Well, I really wasn't confused myself. Obviously, with any politician you don't stand for everything that they're going to preach and try to portray to you. The immigration policy to me is not, you know, building the wall is pretty ludicrous to me. That's not a solution to the problem. Once you step back and maybe look at immigration reform and address the real issues, that's where he needs to be putting his resources.
JONES: So, you know, it's such an amazing story and it's gotten so much attention. Why? I really want to know. I was joking around, but I really want to know. I can look at you and I can tell you're an incredible human being. Why did you vote for Trump and why did you stick up for this guy? Tell me.
GRISBY: Well, you know, with the two candidates that were running, in my opinion, Donald Trump was the one that was more for a decision for me. His --
JONES: What's like about him?
GRISBY: Well, I mean, for number one, our area is very dependent on coal mining. And so, his coal mining legislation was very important to us. My daughter is married to a coal miner.
JONES: Say no more. Say no more, but this guy is an extraordinary guy and you stood up for him and the whole town. How did it make you feel -- I mean, an elected officials, everybody, how did it make you feel when that happened?
PACHECO: That I'm one of them. JONES: Wow. Thank you. Thank you very much. You know, I told you, I get emotional.
Look, how about that? A Trump -- Trump voters coming out in drills to support an undocumented person. It's easy to go ra, ra (ph) when it's on T.V. or, you know, when you're at the ballot box, but then when it comes to your neighbor, totally different.
NOAH: Well, it's two things. One, you go, not every Trump supporter is racist. You could even argue that most of them are not racist. And then I would turn that and say then for Trump supporters, why would you say all immigrants are criminals? Would you not say that that same logic should be applied to them?
Another thing that you've got to look at is, what you said is the truth of it all. You felt like one of them. And that is the thing that separates us so many times, is, when we don't see the victim of a decision, when we don't see the human being on the other side. We don't see them as being them. We see it as an idea. And in South Africa during apartheid -- one of the most powerful things that apartheid was able to do was convince even black people that they were different from each other.
And when people are separated, they go, "Oh, I don't care about those Mexicans. Those Mexicans are criminals. They're immigrants." But you saw a man, you saw a human being, you saw a brother in your community, and that's essentially what it boils down to, we don't put faces to this.
A lot of the time politicians put forth ideas, but there are human beings on the other sides of the ideas. It's not the coal industry. It's a coal miner who is a man. It is not a Mexican. It is a man who is part of a community who is here with his wife. And that's what people seem to miss in all of the political debates, is that there are people on the other side of what is happening.
JONES: Beautiful. Man, I love you, man. I do. Trevor Noah, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
NOAH: Thanks for having me, Van.
JONES: Get this man's book by the way. If you think he's profound here, get the book. It's unbelievable.
When we come back, President Trump promised during the campaign he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare. I don't -- anyway -- when we get back, we're going to have the Trump campaign's chief whisperer on the economy try to explain what is going on. Stephen Moore will be here next. Stephen Moore.
[12:48:56] JONES: Welcome back to "The Messy Truth." I'm Van Jones.
Now, here's a messy truth. When it comes to Obamacare, it turns out repeal is easy, but replace is kind of hard. Republicans have had seven years to figure this out, four national elections. And they still can't get together on a plan.
This week, conservatives from the Club for Growth, The Heritage Foundation, Tea Party patriots have all come out against the Republican's bill. So have American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, AARP, and group after group after group. They come out with a plan and the roof just falls in.
I want to bring in a Trump translator to help us figure this whole thing out. And he's the best one that there is. It's the senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign. He's also a CNN contributor. Bring to the stage, Stephen Moore, an economic mastermind wizard.
Glad to have you here. Get up here. Get up here.
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: How are you my friend?
JONES: Very, very good. So, look --
[12:50:02] MOORE: I've got to say, I've been watching this show for the last 30 minutes.
JONES: Yes, sir.
MOORE: There's not a word that I disagree with. Maybe there is a little coming --
MOORE: -- you're a liberal, I'm a conservative.
JONES: Hey, look --
MOORE: And I'm so happy there are some Trump fans here, too.
MOORE: This is great.
JONES: Because it's the messy, messy truth. So I have a very technical set of questions for you which is, why haven't you all got your act together?
MOORE: Yeah. Well, a lot of conservatives are asking that question about Republicans right now, too.
MOORE: And what you said is right that it has been seven years since Obamacare passed. And Republicans have said they wanted to repeal the bill and now they have the power to do it. They run the White House and the House and the Senate. And there's been some certainly -- some discord within the Republican Party. Look, I happen to think that we can do a lot better than Obamacare.
MOORE: I think that the Affordable Care Act has been the unaffordable care act that is actually raised prices for people. I think about people like, you know, my own family. We're, you know, I thought we were supposed to save $2,500 a year on our health insurance and we're paying several thousand dollars more. And I think a lot of people are in the same boat.
So, I just want to make sure that I want everybody to have health insurance coverage and I think most Republicans do, too. But I want to make sure that we don't ruin our economy and we'll make it affordable to people.
JONES: Look, the critique is great, but the solutions are now where you guys have to deal. If the opposition is easy, proposition is hard.
MOORE: That's true.
JONES: I want to talk to somebody who is actually living this every day. Let's bring her into this conversation.
JULIE ROSS, DEMOCRAT FROM TEXAS: Hi, there. My name is Julie and I'm from Dallas, Texas. And I want to tell you about my daughter and our family. So, five years ago my younger daughter was born premature with Down Syndrome and heart disease and thanks to the ACA, she was able to receive care.
She would have reached her lifetime maximum benefit in her first month of life for the neonatal intensive care unit. And also thanks to the ACA, we were not denied coverage for her, despite having a disability. And we couldn't be charged more, not more for her than we're charged for her sister to be in our private health care plan. And the good news now is that she has Medicaid, and that's been a life saver for her.
So, she has access to her pediatric specialists and I'm able to make sure that she gets the routine medical care that she deserves. So, right now we're looking at a repeal. We're also looking at Medicaid cuts, and the fact is those would put people's lives at risk. People like my daughter, people with disabilities.
And the cuts, when they say things like Medicaid block grants, when they day per capita cuts, those are going to be cuts to services.
ROSS: That could mean warehousing people with disabilities, putting them back into institutions without having community supports that Medicaid provides. So, what I want to know is why is it -- you're an economist. Why is it that the market in making tax credits available to the rich would mean cutting programs for my daughter who depends on a life line ACA protections and Medicaid for her very life and many people with disabilities? Our lives there are hanging in the balance. JONES: I think what's powerful about her point is that she was clearly helped by Obamacare. I know some people have their critiques, but, you know, preexisting condition, she's helped. Medicaid, she's helped. What do you say to folks like that?
MOORE: Well, how is your daughter doing now? How is she?
ROSS: She's good, but she requires routine medical care and she has complex health needs. And Medicaid has made it affordable for us to be able to see the specialists.
MOORE: So, I know exactly what you're talking about. Van, my sister has a daughter who has epilepsy and very similar, you know, health problems and huge medical expenses. And those are the things that need to be covered. No question about it. I don't think there's really --
JONES: Do you think you'll be able to do it, though?
MOORE: I think we can, and I think we should, right? I mean, don't you think that, you know, a person in this situation and like my sister, they should have coverage so that people who have serious conditions. But I just think we can do it better.
You know, health care is consuming so much of our economy right now that the costs have been spiraling out of control. And I would say that one of the problems, Van, is that a lot of middle class families can't afford to pay the rise in premiums. You saw what happened two weeks before the election, that's one point, 22 percent increase in premiums on middle class families. That's one of the reasons --
JONES: And the back breaker. That may have changed the election. That may have changed the election. And we got somebody here who wants to talk with you about that. Pattie?
PATTIE CURRAN, TRUMP VOTER FROM NORTH CAROLINA: Obamacare did not make health care fordable for my family. Before the law, a blood product that my son infuses weekly had $16 co-pay year round. Now we're finding that we have to come up with $6,000 at the beginning of every year to pay for these IDT infusions. And drug company assistance programs are overburdened because of Obamacare.
So my question is, how can anyone say that the law is working when it has made, you know, once affordable lifesaving medications so unaffordable?
[12:55:03] JONES: Now, before you get too happy, Stephen, that's a very good question. But, listen, she's concerned about these deductibles and a lot of people are. As you answer her question, I also want you to explain to me, are you sure your plan is going to actually lower the deductibles, because that seems to be the main pinpoint. You demagogue at some times, but I don't know -- I had not seen one thing is going to bring down the deductibles.
MOORE: Well -- in fact, some people want to buy higher deductible plans because if do that your premiums are going to come down. I mean, think about this. You know, what is the purpose of insurance?
Insurance is to protect against the big events, you know, like your house burning down or something that's why we have homeowners insurance. So, you want -- for routine medical expenses, for the most part Americans should be able to pay those out of pocket. You want insurance so that if you get cancer, you have some kind of serious expense that everyone is covering for it. So, a high deductible policy is not necessarily a bad thing.
JONES: You and I can see that we are completely differently. I mean -- which is not going to shock you.
JONES: I actually don't understand why we have health insurance companies at all for the very reason that you just said. Insurance should be for stuff that you are not sure about.
MOORE: Right, exactly.
JONES: You don't know if you're going to -- if your house is going to burn down, you get fire insurance. You don't know if you're going to have a flood, your crop is going to fail, flood insurance makes sense, crop insurance makes sense. I am sure I'm going to see a doctor. I am sure. Even if it's just to sign the death certificate, I'm going to see a doctor.
JONES: So, why do I need a big insurance company? I don't need health care insurance, I need health care and that's what most countries have. They have health care, not health insurance companies profiteering.
MOORE: OK, let me throw this back with you.
MOORE: What two industries in America have had the biggest increase in prices in inflation of the last 20 years? The answer I think most of you know, education and health care. Now, what's similar about education and health care? Those are the two industries that have the most government involvement, right? So that when the government has a bigger involvement, the prices go up.
I think actually if we had a more rational free market, free enterprise system in health care, I think we could actually see prices fall. But I do agree with this woman who -- you're exactly right, when you have situations like that, we want -- we're a rich country. We can afford to provide everybody with coverage, but we have to make sure we do it in a way that isn't bankrupting our country and it is not bankrupting middle class families.
JONES: The Heritage Foundation says the existing proposal is terrible. Trump seems to be for it. Are you for what Trump is saying? Are you for what Heritage is saying? MOORE: I am for --
MOORE: Honestly, are you trying to get me fired here, Van?
MOORE: But, of course, I think there's a lot of improvement. This bill that came out a couple of days ago was a draft. It's going to be improved and it's going to go through the system.
MOORE: And I think we're going to see a new bill that provides coverage for everyone, that increases competition, reduces costs, and covers for people with preexisting conditions.
JONES: Well, I'd say, after seven years of your demagogue and then four elections, I hope to see some kind of bill.
MOORE: Well, you were the ones who promised that you're going to lower the cost of health care and you haven't done it. So, we can do better than this.
JONES: Now is your turn. We will see. I want you to stick around. I really want you to stick around. And when we get back, I have one more question from an audience member on a subject that is very close to my heart. I think this topic is going to surprise you. I'm surprised that I'm bringing this topic up, when we get back.
[22:00:00] VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Welcome back to The Messy Truth. I'm Van jones.
Now, you know, I stick up for the under dogs in the red states and the blue states. That's just me. But a few episodes back I went to West Virginia and I met with some coal miners who voted for Donald Trump.
But Whoopi Goldberg who is no fan of Donald Trump acknowledge, these are some good, good people. And these good people are about to get a very bad deal.
Now I want to give you a little bit of history here. Seventy years ago, America's government made a promise to our coal miners. They said, look, here's what you do. You go down in those holes, you dig out that coal and you keep the lights turned on for America.
Now when you come back out the truth is, your bodies might be broken, you might have black lung disease. But don't worry, America is going to make sure that your pensions are honored and that you're always, always going to be able to see a doctor no matter what.
Well, guess what? Now that little fund that lets America keep our promise to the coal miners is about to run out of money, and this week, 20,000 of those heroes in hard hats and their widows got letters saying that after May 1st, you're on your own, no pension, no money, no doctor, nothing.
Now congress could pass this Miners Protection Act to save these guys. I hope they do. But I want you, Stephen, to hear from a retired coal miner who has been directly impacted by this issue. Welcome Mr. Edward Lee Embry.
Listen, I want to shake your hand. I want to shake your hand. Look, how many years, how many years were you going down in those coal mines?
EDWARD LEE EMBRY, RETIRED COAL MINER: I've been a United mine worker member over 30 years.
JONES: Thirty years.
JONES: Thank you for what you've done. I got a chance to meet with some folks. I don't think people understand how dangerous it is. Have you ever seen anybody get hurt down there?
EMBRY: There have been people -- we also work surface mines. There have been people who get hurt on surface as well as underground, lots of people.
FOSTER: Yes. What's your question, sir?
EMBRY: My question would be, if I could, I'd like to lead in just a bit and I mean, reiterate the fact that I did receive a letter last week that my health care benefits will be cut off at the end of April if Congress doesn't act.
[22:04:55] As I said, I've been a United Mine worker member for over 30 years. We worked in the coal mines producing the fuel that made America the most powerful nation on earth, the company I work for went bankrupt and now I will lose my health benefits.
The federal government has guaranteed for 70 years that coal miners like myself we get our benefits, but now for the first time the government may not live up to that moral commitment. Do you, sir, think that the United States government should honor the promises that were made to miners like myself?
STEPHEN MOORE, DONALD TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISER: Well, first of all let me just salute you for what -- the great work you've done in the coal mines.
(APPLAUSE) This country, Van, was built on coal. So, you truly are the people who turned on the lights and made this industrial revolution possible.
I don't know all the facts of what -- I would ask you this question, sir. What happened to the money? Because you paid into the system, right? And I wonder what happened to the retirement health care dollars that were supposed to be there for you when you retired. I don't know the answer to that.
I agree. You should be made whole. You should be -- it's people like this, workers like this that deserve health insurance.
JONES: I'll tell you what happened.
JONES: What happened is that when fracking hit, the price of natural gas went way down.
JONES: It made coal expensive and the coal companies started going into, running into bankruptcy courts to discharge those obligations.
JONES: And you can argue with that was right or wrong, fair or not, but that 70-year-old commitment said no matter what the coal companies do, America is not going to throw our heroes...
MOORE: Well, I think we should not (Inaudible) that commitment. But I'll just say, I'll just add one thing.
MOORE: It wasn't just the lower price of natural gas. Some of these are environmental laws really put a knife in the back of the coal industry and we need coal. We had 500 years' worth of coal in this country. We should produce it. We need another generation of coal miners.
And I went to a lot of these coal mining towns, sir, you know, with Donald Trump and these towns have been decimated by excessive environmental regulation. Now, it's true, you know, natural gas prices are low, but I'd love to see coal make a big come back in this country.
JONES: Well, here's where I agree with you and here's where I don't agree with you. I believe we need to honor those responsibilities and those commitments.
MOORE: Yes, I do, too.
JONES: I'll tell you what, some of the best people in the world have been doing that work. We also have an opportunity to move to cleaner sources, but we shouldn't leave people behind. And a retired coal miner is not putting any more carbon in the atmosphere so I don't know why...
MOORE: But we have clean coal in -- isn't it true, we have clean coal in this country now, it's cleaner than any other country in the world?
JONES: It's cleaner but it's not clean enough. And here's what I worry about. You had Donald Trump go on put on a hard hat and say he was going to be there for the coal miners. And when it was time to take back those regulations for clean water, he did that quickly.
I haven't seen him yet move quickly to help these folks.
MOORE: I'll bring this up with him.
JONES: Bring it out, I appreciate. I want to thank my guest Stephen Moore. I want to thank Trevor Noah.
I also want to thank my studio audience and everybody watching at home. We had an honest conversation. It got messy at times. But now it's your turn. I hope you keep talking at dinner tables and neighborhoods.
We will be back next Thursday with special guest Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts right now. Thank you. It's beautiful.