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Source: Special Counsel's Team Interviewed Sean Spicer; Carter Page Subpoenaed By Senate Intel Committee; Forbes Downgrades Trump's Fortune; Trump Uses Military Deaths to Pat Himself on the Back, Criticize Obama; Trump Threatens McCain; President To McCain: "I Fight Back... It Won't Be Pretty; McCain on Trump Threats: "I've Faced Far Greater Challenges"; Forbes: Trump's Net worth Plummets during First Year in Office; Forbes: Trump's Net worth Plummets; Trump Falls 92 Spots on Forbes Richest List; Forbes: Trump Loses $600M, Net Worth At $3.1B; 4 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Niger. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 17, 2017 - 21:00   ET



And so here's someone that we know that counsel -- special counsel will be looking to ask questions for instance on the firing of the FBI Director James Comey, on meetings held in the Oval Office between Trump as President and Russian officials. We also know that Sean Spicer took copious notes. That is a dream for lawyers, for special counsel. These are notes, they're going to one have access to those notes are not protected. That will certainly be part of the investigation.

Now, on the flip side, we should mention Spicer not the closest to the President's advisers, not present in every meeting. Would he have been there when key decisions are always made? Not necessarily. But still someone who was involved in the administration after the election. It shows that the special counsel is looking in questions for instance on obstruction of justice and other decisions. The investigation clearly moving beyond meddling an interference in the election.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation is also moving on, they've issued a subpoena to Cater Page.

SCIUTTO: That's right, so Carter Page is a different kind of character here, right. He goes back to the campaign, not to the administration. The President identified him early in the campaign as a foreign policy adviser, but it was never clear how close an adviser he was as you noted when we spoke in the last hour Anderson, it's not even clear that Carter Page met with the President personally. He has been a very public face for some months of this investigation, because he's been willing to speak in open about it. We also know that he did go to travel to Russia, he gave speeches in Russia that were critical of U.S.

So he was definitely present there. Not clear that he's a central focus of the investigation but we also know the Senate Intel Committee often asks witnesses to come forward voluntarily. If they refuse, then they will use their subpoena power to require them to come forward and that's what's happening here.

COOPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, appreciate that. I want to bring in our panel. Kirsten Powers, Mary Katharine Ham, Ed Martin, Tara Setmayer, Paul Begala, and Paul Callan.

Paul, just from a legal standpoint, I mean the fact you have now Priebus, who's been called in last week and Sean Spicer. What does that tell you about the pace of this?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well I think it's moving along very quickly. These prosecutors are like birds of prey and they're circling the White House. And much like birds of prey, they cut sort of the wounded animals, the ones who were fired, Reince Priebus and Spicer who left because they've got a lot of information and that information might be helpful as they move closer to the President.

Now, this does not mean that they've made a case by any means, but it does mean that they are pushing to end this investigation and reach a final conclusion.

COOPER: In a meetings like this, this mind there some, this meeting went on according to Politico reporting a nearly all day long with Spicer. They have documents, normally to meet like this, its document like a deposition, they have documents that they want to present to the person?

CALLAN: Yes. And, he's known as a note taker and it's kind of ironic because he's thought of really is almost a comic figure, because he was bitten up by the press so much at press conference is, but he took a lot of notes and then would go back and talk to the President about it. So even if this is related to the Russia investigation, there are a lot of questions pertaining to that investigation, he would have gone back to the President and asked for specifics. He may have written things down that prosecutors don't know about and will prove useful to them.

COOPER: Yes, I mean Kirsten, the fact that he kept some of the notes is sort of fascinating.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It is, I mean the question is how much information does he have? Because he wasn't particularly close to the President despite his high profile raw, he is somebody who came to the White House, the President wasn't particularly excited about that came with Reince Priebus because we worked with him at the RNC. And so, you know, I think it remains to be seen how much actual information he has. But it does show that they are looking at obstruction of justice here, I mean this isn't so much about the collusion aspect, they're now looking clearly obstruction.

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean I think the notes part is interesting and the Comey part is interesting and he -- I'm surprised that he was taking copious notes. But then the question becomes like that's gold for them, but what are the missing pieces because he may have may not have been in all those meetings in fact was slightly he was not and all of those meaning just Trump didn't want him there.

ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, you know, couple things Anderson. First of all, I only was at Trump Tower during the campaign once and I saw Sean Spicer there in the conference room working. So I have to equivalence Jim's reporting. Spicer was actively on the campaign heavily in the messaging. So I don't know if you can read into him meeting with him as proof positive that it's past the campaign. And I really -- I mean I once we knew that nomination happened at the convention --

COOPER: But he and Reince Priebus right --


COOPER: -- you know, obviously they were working for the RNC until he was a candidate.

MARTIN: Right, but my point, is that, I would know what this about, we're speculating but I would say Paul put his finger on -- it will change, I will change the metaphor. I've said before I think that Mueller is a zombie lawyer. He's going to keep searching until he finds someone to devour. And he's going to search and notes and all these things. And I -- if it's not about Russian collusion, then what's -- what Jim says, then what's it about and the point is you can go forever and find something wrong.

[21:05:04] And I just think this is a kind of witch hunt in search of a witch and I think it's a disservice to the country.


COOPER: You know, you've been in the White House where there was an ongoing investigation that went from one thing to point A to point Z.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and it's not fun. The problem with Spicer being a note taker is not Spicer's problem. He's a problem, but he's got time to review them, he's a committee counsel, I presume, it's not Sean's problem, it's everyone else's. That the hell about going through these things, about being interviewed, is the asymmetrical information, right. They know more than you do.

So whoever goes in next knows that Mr. Mueller has Spicer's notes and Spicer's testimony. And you have no idea what's in there. And I mean I have friends in the Clinton White House, someone else took a notes. The terrorist says that, you know, that we should fire Comey. You have no idea whether that's accurate, whether -- you know, it's just awful. It's -- the other problem Spicer has that everyone of these witnesses will have, is the penalty of perjury. If the lie to Mueller, they're going to go to prison, he will catch them because he has so much more information than they do. And Spicer distinguished himself as press secretary for his extravagant and aggressive lying. And that disgraced him professionally. This is now legal. He must -- well it's over now, he's already testified. But he better not have lied or I promise you --

(CROSSTALK) MARTIN: Mueller testified, do with the report as you met with them, we don't know if he was -- we don't what --


BEGALA: 18 U.S. code section 1000 says --


BEGALA: -- if you mislead or lie to them --

MARTIN: No but.

BEGALA: -- in any context --

MARTIN: But Paul, but your using the --


MARTIN: Your using or you're testifying --

BEGALA: Then it's a good point.

MARTIN: -- then you made statements on interview or whatever. Testifying --


CALLAN: He lied to the FBI, it's a crime.


BEGALA: Or he lie to the House or Senate committee. It's a crime. You don't have to be square (ph) up. People need to know this by the way. I think it's a pernicious lie (INAUDIBLE) were changing, but if you're talking to the FBI and you say anything --

COOPER: They can lie to you, but you can't lie to them.

BEGALA: That's a good point.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no we're not, I think Paul you agree that is a witch hunt.

BEGALA: I don't think it's a witch hunt but --


SETMAYER: This is exactly why -- this is Donald Trump's worst nightmare. And it always has been which is why he was so upset with Jeff Sessions for stepping down, leading to the Mueller -- the Comey firing and then Mueller and all that, because of how wide the investigation can go. And to say that is outside now collusion and now we're looking at obstruction of justice. This isn't at news, we knew that the obstruction of justice aspect is that would creep in just base on Donald Trump's behavior and the way he handled poorly the Comey firing.

One he did that and then he changed his story about why he did it and this and that. Any investigator is going to look into why because this behavior was not one of a man who was acted was completely innocent.

MARTIN: Except that we're supposed to be governed by an election and the rule of law. And so when you say we'll keep expanding until we can find some way to tie up the President, or whatever, if it's about the Russian collusion, it ought to be about that. After that, leave this White House if you don't like it.


BEGALA: If the rule of law was subverted.

SETMAYER: That's right, why vote in time.

BEGALA: Firing Mr. Comey because of this Russia business --

SETMAYER: That's correct.

BEGALA: -- which is what Donald Trump told NBC News.

MARTIN: That's a good case for obstruction of justice.

SETMAYER: Donald Trump has himself to thank for this investigation being wider than it was.

COOPER: It's so been fascinating when, you know, others in the White House, in the inner circle have to talk to Mueller's team because, you had all them coming out, I mean I remember the day, you know, Comey was fired. They all came out on television and said oh, it's because of -- he was mean to Hillary Clinton and the way he handled that. And then the President gives -- so there must be e-mail traffic and, you know, plenty of memos back and forth and meetings that took place where this was being discussed.

HAM: Yes.

POWERS: Go ahead.

HAM: I actually think, from the beginning this was problematic for the Trump White House even if there was no there, there because they do not have a reputation for being -- let's take the untruth off the table, or lying off the table, just precise. The President is not precise in his language, I mean your talking to investigators and you don't want to get caught in something, or you don't want to mistate something, you have to be precise. And I think that's going to be a real problem for them regardless of what the real -- what we find is the there, there.

POWERS: I there's always a question to just of who knew what, because I think some people were just told to say things. You know, it doesn't mean they necessarily knew what they were saying wasn't true. And then there's some people who probably did know that it wasn't true and we're going out there and saying that.

COOPER: We also know nothing about what happened from the time the White House was informed about Michael Flynn by, you know, law enforcement --

POWERS: Right.

COOPER: -- to when he actual let go because the "Washington Post" had the story. I mean there was, I think I can't remember how many weeks it was, but I mean there was a length of time and we knew very little about the inner discussions that were going on during that time.

POWERS: Right.

SETMAYER: Yes, and --

BEGALA: And we will know because Flynn's temporary replacement Mr. Kellogg is apparently already spoken to prosecutors. Don McGahn, the White House counsel who's the person, Sally Yates was the deputy attorney general. She came to White House counsel, and believed that Flynn was compromise and took -- she says -- she said it under oath to congress that they need to act on this, they need to know about this.

[21:10:11] And then I think it was a good two or three weeks before they did act on it and you're right, that interim, what was said then it's going to be going to matter a lot.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. Coming up next, the President goes beyond this the allegation about President Obama and the Gold Star families. Now his brought chief of staff John Kelly who lost a son Afghanistan into it, has he cross a new threshold. We'll keep them honest on that.

And later, how the President might react to a new and much lower assessment of his net worth. Details on that printed in Forbes Magazine when we continue.


COOPER: The White House said President Trump has now called the families of all four U.S. troops who were killed in Niger. This comes nearly two weeks after the fact. It follows the up roar over his remarks yesterday. When ask why he take him so long, he said falsely that President Obama had not called Gold Star families member during his presidency.

Then this morning he brought his chief of staff own son into the debate.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I mean, you could ask General Kelly that he get a call from Obama. You could ask other people. I don't know what Obama's policy was.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Keeping them honest, in the narrowest possible sense that is true, President Obama didn't call the Kellys. He did, however, invite them to a breakfast at the White House for Gold Star families. To Kelly's schedule to seat the first lady's table, not clear if they actually attended. The White House declined to make General Kelly available for comment.

General Kelly, himself has only rarely mentioned the loss of his son publicly and never to settle the beef with the press.

A lot to discuss with our panel, also joining us is Josh Green, author of "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency".

[21:15:07] Josh, is it -- I mean General Kelly has gone out of his way to publicly not talk about his son, even giving a speech in front of a simplified (ph) organization I think in St. Louis in which he asked the marine who was introducing him to not to mention his son, even though his son have been killed four days earlier.

JOSHUA GREEN, AUTHOR: Yes. And there's a striking piece in the "Washington Post" that sort of ticks through his history of really making an effort not to personalize it by bringing his son's death into the public debate, which I think is why it's so jarring to see Trump go on a conservative talk radio show and kind of voice that up as a rationale perhaps for why he decided to criticize President Obama when he was confronted yesterday at the press conference about why you had said more about this dead marine (INAUDIBLE)

COOPER: Ed, I mean do you think it's appropriate?

MARTIN: You know, actually, Anderson, that speech that you mentioned was in St. Louis where I'm in from. And few of the marines that I know were at that speech and then right afterwards and my brothers in marine. Right afterwards, they talked about how he created (ph) mention his son in the speech, he didn't allow to interest (ph).

Look, you said it Anderson. It was factually true what the President said. every -- I can't imagine the weight of a President having to call all these families. It must be --

COOPER: Well actually no, what he said in the Rose Garden was not factually correct. What he said on that radio show about President Obama not calling General Kelly was factual --

MARTIN: Was factual, I mean. But I mean the story is now about how he dragged in and everyone saying he drag in Obama. The fact is Obama -- and I don't blame him by the way. Whatever the time line would be for decisions about calling families of people whose kids, children are killed or spouses, ought to be sort of something we don't understand. We haven't had that responsibility. But it was true, I think Trump were saying --


COOPER: Why and his question was ask last night. Why does he just make stuff up? Why --


COOPER: -- you know, in the Rose Garden, he publicly -- yes he did, he made something up. And then when he was called on it he back tracked. And he backtrack was well I don't know, it what I was told, maybe they did or maybe I don't know that's what I heard.

MARTIN: Well, I think what you said, I mean there was -- at the heart of it was Obama didn't call every one of them at the same schedule anyone else did and he was going to get to it too, I don't know. I think that that seems pretty reasonable to. And again, I don't really know what the problem, what is it -- what is it your --

COOPER: He's lying.

MARTIN: About what?

COOPER: About the problem.

MARTIN: About what?

COOPER: He made something up. He was being --

MARTIN: What is the lie?

COOPER: He did not like the question that was being asked of him. He interpreted it as a hostile question. So he pivoted to blaming predecessors who he is saying did not call or did not do the things exactly as he do.


COOPER: He's saying something which is factually incorrect.

MARTIN: What is it, I don't understand what it is.

SETMAYER: He said that Obama that, in past that Presidents never called


SETMAYER: Right, he never call. Then when a reporter fact checked him on the spot about that --

MARTIN: He proved it.

SETMAYER: Then he -- no --

COOPER: Never called. Never called --


SETMAYER: That's absolutely not true. I mean let's stop this, because this is an asinine argument right now. You're actually -- it's asinine. You're arguing about whether the President of the United States, who clearly lied, we all heard it, back tracked and in a way that was completely inappropriate, still blaming another President instead of taking the high road and being a statesman and simply just saying that I will be contacting the families. And, you know, we've already sent out letters and hard, difficult this is and that we send our condolences. That's what a statesman should have done, instead he has this desire to constantly blame everybody else.

COOPER: And then he has a profile courage to when he's confronted with a lie, he's like hamana, hamana, hamana, maybe --


COOPER: -- I'm wrong, maybe I'm right, is what I head.

MARTIN: The question is whether -- I mean the question right is whether we honor the people that died.

COOPER: You can't ever say the President was wrong, can you?

MARTIN: I think the President was trying to answer a hard question.


COOPER: You can't say that what he said was true.

MARTIN: I think what he said was trying to answer the question. It's a hard question.

COOPER: But whether it's true.

MARTIN: It is true that Obama didn't call Kelly's family.

COOPER: But that's just a sleazy answer. I mean that's not what he said.

MARTIN: It may not be --

COOPER: He said --

MARTIN: -- ever, never call, but it's true that they didn't call on a schedule. So that's a hard question.

BEGALA: And this going to shock you. You're right. In one little -- so let slip out --


BEGALA: The point here is to honor the troops, not to attack Barack Obama or defend Donald Trump. He's their commander-in-chief. And I just got a little bit of time today, I post a column on just little bit of time looking at what's in the public record, most this stars and strides in local news from where these men lived.

Sergeant La David Johnson, one of the men who was killed from Miami Gardens, Florida, he's got a wife who's expecting a baby and a two- year-old and a six-year-old, his so devoted to his wife, he tattooed her name on his chest. This is an American hero. The President needs to -- there's only 1% who defend us, including your brother, God bless him. We need to hear that story not that Barack Obama was a worst President than him this is what's so sinful about what this President did. He had the obligation to tell the country about these heroes, who've given their lives for our country, and instead he as he always does he debate his office by attacking someone else.

MARTIN: Look, I think he called them today, whether he call them today, whatever the time line you guys decided they should have on calling someone who died or family, he called them today. I think he showed honor, I think we're making a mountain out a mole hill of a guy that answered that question.


[21:20:12] SETMAYER: Tell that to the families who lost them.

MARTIN: Tell it Obama never called Kelly. So what's the problem?


SETMAYER: Stop politicizing General Kelly's son.

MARTIN: You're the one politicizing it.

SETMAYER: You guys are -- no. You guys are still using --

MARTIN: You're making death about the President. Oh you're making death about the President.

SETMAYER: You're using this as a talking point the way the President did disgracefully this morning.

MARTIN: You're using it.

SETMAYER: Its not -- you know what? You guys need to take a page out of Dana Perino's book. Take a read on excerpt out of her book where President Bush went to Walter Reed where she described how he shed tears over wounded soldiers there and during the Purple Heart with ceremony. That's how you handled it.

MARTIN: So anyone who disagrees with you is politicizing it?


MARTIN: But you're the one that has the base line.


SETMAYER: I think that the President needs to learn class in this.

HAM: One, I'm fairly certain that General Kelly wants to talk to Obama about this that he could get in touch with him. And I think that's where that conversation could happen.

Two, I believe there's a question as to like why suddenly that specific time line of this things is a story. I'm not sure, it varies from President to President, and that's OK. Your different combats or different standards or different family situations that you have to deal with.

And the President felt attacked. And what he did when he felt attacked is he started to counterpunch on this most solemn of subjects. And there's not an excuse for it because like I work with these Gold Star families and they don't want to be brought into it and you can talk about these heroes without turning it into this. You can just say, look, there's a different timelines for different areas, this is how we're dealing with the sacrifice these families made for generously, and we're doing it very sensitively. End of story.

POWERS: Yes. I agree with all that except for the fact that he wasn't -- I mean I know you don't think he was under attack. I think you're right he thinks he was under attacked.

HAM: Right.

POWERS: But he was actually just being asked a question and he could have just answered in an entirely different way. He didn't need to then start talking about Barack Obama. He could just say, yes, I'm going to call them. You know, are these are heroes and they sacrifice for our country. And so the point is that rather than doing that, he immediately starts debasing, you know, himself and his predecessors.

HAM: And it's easy not to.


SETMAYER: That's the point.

BEGALA: That's what he did at the CIA as well --


BEGALA: -- this very first full day as President. Stood in front of a 171 stars of men and women who've given their lives for our country and instead of honoring them he talked about himself and his stupid crowds at the inaugural.

COOPER: Speaking with Mary Katharine calls counter punching. In just a moment, a different songs, similar lyrics, President Trump on the attack in John McCain. We talk about the -- what he said about McCain to threat sort to levels set in the senator's reaction and just what it says about the President. And he's doing that to an 81-year-old cancer patient.


[21:26:37] COOPER: The President did not just wrap himself in the mental of someone else's loss in grieving today he also attacked an 81-year-old former POW who's battling brain cancer. Last night John McCain without mentioning the President by name issued the sharp part take (ph) of the President's political movement. This morning, the President said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: People have to be careful because at some point I fight back.


TRUMP: You know, I'm being very nice. I'm being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back and it won't be pretty.


COOPER: Senator McCain says he's faced far greater challenges than that.

POWERS: Really, the President fights back sometimes. That's really news worthy. I mean does he really believe about that?

That he -- I mean all he does is basically -- it's not even fighting back, it's just attacking people. So, and I do think that this is not something that's going to be intimidating to John McCain in any way. I don't think at any point in his life? Could it be intimidating by I think in particular he's out of point where I don't think he's going to have any problem standing up to the President.

COOPER: I mean, you know, McCain was pretty sharp in the critique of, you know, a lot of when Donald Trump stands for and, you know, political arguments. Does this go beyond do you think just a political argument, Mary Katharine or?

HAM: Well I think you're right that McCain doesn't care and, frankly, once someone calls you an unsatisfactory POW.


HAM: You can say whatever you want after that. But what I do think there's a part of his speech where he talked about it being unpatriotic to scribe to this "half-baked nationalism" he called. I'm probably closer to McCain on nationalism (ph) than I am to Trump.

But there's a whole part of this country including Democrats that crossed over to vote for Trump who are on board with that because of the failures of the interventionism of the past, which McCain isn't support us. So I think there's a political dynamic there that he shouldn't be aware of. And of course like he's in Arizona and running again anyway, but like this is a dynamic that he sort of ignoring. I think using the word unpatriotic to describe that part of it sort of spread that beyond an attack on Trump but into the people who scribe to that.

MARTIN: Yes. I mean requisite comment, war hero and sorry he's sick. But then McCain is why the Republican Party is -- was fading until Trump. His brand of the interventionist, grow the amnesty for illegals, trade deals, everything.

He lost the election because he wasn't a great candidate on the issues. He's a good man all that stuff, I'm saying it. And so he just grandstands and pound away on the President and the movement, and the President is sick of it. So are people like me. McCain goes out in the floor dramatically, this guy is a seasoned pro.

When he ran for re-election in Arizona, he said over and over I'll vote to repeal Obamacare. He ran to the right, you guys all covered it. And he suddenly was a conservative. He wins re-election, he comes out and drops his thumb. He's grand standing for effect. It may be personal, that's fair in politics. But don't expect when it's personal against the President. You got to pass on whether it's personal for you and McCain knows that.

BEGALA: That's not personal. It's about policy.

MARTIN: That's all -- he's a what?

BEGALA: When he's personal. It's personal -- no Senator McCain voted against the bill. Senators do that everyday.


BEGALA: They do it -- for whatever reasons I think Senator McCain really didn't like the policy the state would have been hurt. By the way he was re-elected by almost 14 points on the same day Donald Trump.

MARTIN: He run as a conservative. Look what he ran on.


BEGALA: John McCain is not afraid of Donald Trump.

MARTIN: Nobody said he was.

BEGALA: Personally or politically, he's much stronger in Arizona than President Trump is. That's demonstrably truth. They both ran on the same day and McCain won a landslide and Trump won narrowly

[21:29:58] But what the President has done from the beginning has attacked Senator McCain personally. It's fine to have this argument about interventionism or versus globalism versus whatever. But he said that Senator McCain wasn't a hero because he got captured. That kind of gets the relationship.

MARTIN: Now off on the wrong --

BEGALA: We're talking about the speech last night and the response too.

MARTIN: He also attacked a Gold Star family, the Khan family of Virginia. He attacked the Pope, he attacks everyone.

BEGALA: McCain represents the Pope now?

MARTIN: No. I'm just saying there's a constellation of people been attacked by Donald Trump. And its -- there is a pattern of human attacking people that no decent person was attacking. MARTIN: The McCain --


MARTIN: -- Republican Party is dead then the party is dead, and that's what McCain is upset about. That's the facts.


GREEN: I don't think -- if you look at the history of Trump attacking McCain, is been after McCain has said something negative about him, usually in a policy sense. Last night speech from John McCain was a policy speech. Trump is attacking him because Trump views everything through the lens of personal loyalty, whereas John McCain is loyal to the American ideal. That was the thrust of his speech and why he's criticizing what he called the "half-baked spurious nationalism" that Trump and other people support.

MARTIN: You know -- I mean you do nonfiction, you're just writing some sort of story about what this John McCain is street fighting politician. He would fight as hard as anybody ever has to try to win. His policies have been rejected soundly by the Republican Party and he stands up on the floor of the Senate and lectures half of America that said we don't want what you want McCain, and suddenly we're also has to sit back and say isn't this great?

GREEN: Well just because the President with different policies wins doesn't mean that everybody in his party has to fall down and bow before him.

MARTIN: Nobody says he did.

GREEN: Even though Trump does, obviously.

MARTIN: But nobody says that he did.

GREEN: This is why he's still offended that McCain is criticizing this policy.



MARTIN: He's saying he'll counterpunch --

GREEN: They makes the (INAUDIBLE) and criticizes his --

MARTIN: He'll counterpunch on the policies.


SETMAYER: But he doesn't. But you have say he counterpunche on the policy when he doesn't. He counterpunches with ad hominen juvenile attacks. And it's started with McCain in the comments that he made in 2015 about him not being a hero. Trump started that. McCain has continued. You can argue, we can argue all day about where McCain is on the Republican spectrum and he's done some things that Republicans don't like. And that's fine from a policy perspective. But John McCain is a hero, right? And John McCain served his country in a way that Donald Trump could never.

The level of self-sacrifice that John McCain gave to this country is something that makes Donald Trump look very small when he attacks John McCain personally, if he'll never measure up. And I think that he realizes that, so he tries to fight back against the man who was an American hero, who has self-sacrifice in ways that Donald Trump could never.

MARTIN: I can just repeat it again. McCain stands up on the floor of the Senate, bad mouths half of the country and the party. And in terrible way and all Trump saying is people can attack me over and over, same thing with Flake.

But he can write a book and everybody could say, wow, what an interesting book. He says terrible things about the President. You know what? The President has a right to fight back, that's all he's saying. In America we're glad we have a President who doesn't sit there and take it from these people that lecture us.

SETMAYER: What about common decency though?


MARTIN: John McCain wasn't decent when he went like that, you right --

SETMAYER: That's your definition of not being decent, but Donald Trump --


SETMAYER: -- to calling him not a hero with that's OK for you?

MARTIN: We're going back to that. We all agree he's a hero.

SETMAYER: It's a point for that's what done. You don't take responsibility for Donald Trump's would be own behavior.

COOPER: Ed, was it appropriate for the President to say that if he's not a war hero?

MARTIN: I prefer that he didn't say that, but I also think that he was in a campaign and he was making a point. And I think the President proved something about McCain as a politician by beating the people that subscribed to his position, Rubio and others. And its politics --

COOPER: What was the point he was making about him not being a war hero because he --

MARTIN: I think he was trying that make signal that he was separating from McCain, its politics Anderson, you know, separating from McCain brand and all that. COOPER: It's politics by -- we're not separating any policy, its politics by --

POWERS: Personal --

COOPER: -- attacking him for being a prisoner of war for six years and tortured?

MARTIN: You know, its politics by competing on -- where was Chris, who was interview. I forgot when he did that.

COOPER: It was in front like a face forum.


POWERS: I mean we all --

HAM: Right.

POWERS: -- hear and disagree very adamantly and do not make those kind of statements against each other, no how -- no matter how much you and I disagree.


POWERS: And we disagree on a lot of things. We don't say those kinds of things to each other. So why is it OK for the President of the United States? Why can't he have a disagreement with somebody without having to hit below the belt?

MARTIN: But his statement today is I'm going to counterpunch. McCain gives a speech, he didn't counterpunch yet. McCain gives a speech and he says be careful when I counterpunch. And we're all now saying what he's going to counterpunch?

SETMAYER: Be careful what? Because he's going to call a name, he's going to give him a little nickname like everybody else?


MARTIN: Well maybe. But--

SETMAYER: You think John McCain cares about that. It's ridiculous.


BEGALA: The senator's critique of the President's foreign policy was just that. So policy, he maybe right, he maybe wrong. But the President -- just say the President's not about ideas.

That's Mr. Trump's problem here. Is that he was first single pair healthcare before now he's for destroying Obamacare, he was for the war in Iraq, now he's against it. The politics is not about policy or ideas for him. It is for you and I think he project that onto him. But it's not how he is, its all about his own narcissism.

[21:35:11] And so this is why that when the President's policies are attacked by Senator McCain. He's --

HAM: Yes. He's that --

BEGALA: He response it personal attacks.

HAM: Typically he did use the word unpatriotic --


HAM: -- he describe the policy that his. And that's a pretty heavy word. Like that's not just a policy word, right? I hate the way that Donald Trump counterpunches on record about this for a long time.

BEGALA: Right.

HAM: But I don't think we should ignore that that was a pretty harsh criticism and branched out into the actual voters.

BEGALA: Pretty harsh but not.

MARTIN: Could call them deplorables of each senator McCain could have said he's they're just a basket of deplorables, would have set the mood. That's what he was doing.


HAM: And I do think that even though I wish a lot of more in people in the Republican Party hated the way that Donald Trump counterpunches, the fact is that many of them are matter and I actually kind of see this point. They're matter at McCain about telling them he was going to get rid of Obamacare and then being like, nah. Like that they have (INAUDIBLE) with him for a really --

GREEN: Trump may have a problem and going after people like McCain and like Bob Corker because he's not the one he's going to say anything to lose. And Trump actually does, he has an agenda that he's has. Needs every Republican Senator to get behind that we've seen what happens when one or two doesn't. Probably not a good idea to go after somebody like, OK --


POWERS: Very strategic man.

MARTIN: Corker lost his seat because he didn't go with Trump. He's not running.

SETMAYER: What are you talking about?

MARTIN: He's not running because he knew --

SETMAYER: He chose not to run.

MARTIN: -- because he knew what was coming.

SETMAYER: That's -- You know the way -- (CROSSTALK)

SETMAYER: That's fake news.

COOPER: That's an alternative fact.


COOPER: And it has been as far down the Forbes richest Americans list after the magazine saying his net worth plummeted this year. Few things have upset him more in the past and people questioning as well. We'll get in that next.


[21:40:39] COOPER: If you are among those who questioned whether the President's new job title would help his bottom line. Well we now have an answer. This year he dropped the whopping 92 spots on the "Forbes" list to 400 richest Americans.

The magazine's says that's because his net worth dropped $600 million in one year. He has yet to comment on the demotion but few things have upset the President move over the years in having his net worth questioned. Joining me now is Dan Alexander Associate Editor for Forbes. So Dan the drop, what's behind it?

DAN ALEXANDER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, FORBES. Well, you know, the biggest thing is that people think that Donald Trump has this global real estate business that's all over the world. And the reality is that the majority of his net worth still lies in New York City real estate. Right now New York City real estate, particularly retail is struggling, and that's pushing the President's net worth down pretty significant amount in year when almost everybody else on the list is way up.

COOPER: I was also reading. I mean like Mar-a-Lago, you know, he jacked up prices and that's doing well. But the golf course is in state where he didn't win are doing poorly but he says where did win are doing well. Is that right?

ALEXANDER: Yes. That's exactly right. And what's tricky with Donald Trump's net worth is that most of his assets are now in places where the majority of people don't like him. With his golf course as you can see, you know, a lot of different areas. So up in the northeast, those golf courses aren't doing particularly well.

But if you look in, you know, different places like down in Florida, those golf courses are doing extremely well. Same with the -- for example his tower out in Las Vegas. That's doing very well and that's a part of the country that generally has a more positive view of him.

COOPER: Is estimating the President's worth a difficult thing to do given -- I mean how hard and how long he's fought to keep the specifics under outs?

ALEXANDER: You know, it's something that we've been at for a very long time. And so we've got a long history with it. And, you know, he likes to make it seem like it's really, really complicated to figure out all the details of it The truth is, you know, we do this for over 2,000 people around the world, and he's just one of them. So, yes, he has assets, yes, they're complicated assets, but you take the time and look through them, you can pin it down in a pretty good number.

COOPER: I've heard folks from Forbes say that, of all the people who have ever been on the Forbes 400 list and nobody cares more than Donald Trump. Is that true?

ALEXANDER: That's absolutely true. You know, we started this list in 1982. Donald Trump was on the very first list.

At that time he was with his father and he's been on it for most of the years since. And, you know, people have come and gone, overall there have been about 1,600 people on the list. Of those 1,600 no one has cared more about where he ranks and what we say his worth than the current President of the United States.

COOPER: I think you'll be getting a phone call perhaps for White House or a tweet. Yes, well that's a given. All right, Dan thanks very much.

I want to bring in our panel. Joining us also is Michael D'Antonio, biographer of President Trump. Michael -- I mean is he sitting in the White House reading this somewhere or seeing this somewhere in T.V. and upset?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, DONALD TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: He is absolutely for separating over this. But he's not the only billionaire who does this. I actually happened to be in the home of one of Trump's neighbors in Palm Beach when the list came out and he was very eager to see where he stood.

And there are many of the members of Mar-A-Lago who've now jumped ahead of the President, and that's going to irritate him immensely. The Trump will hear is that there's actually a referee and where Donald Trump has in the past been able to gain the system, he comes out on top. You were discussing john McCain recently.

McCain actually won elections. He's won most of the things he's gone after because they've been campaigns where they measured the votes. Donald Trump in the case of his wealth has insisted it's been two, three, four, five times what other people say it is. And when you get down to the numbers, it's close to what "Forbes" says.

COOPER: We're going to take a break. A lot more of this from the panel when we come back.


[21:48:43] COOPER: Just a recap, President Trump drop 92 spots on the Forbes list of richest Americans. And the President does not enjoy when people crashing his wealth. I want to go back to the panel. Does anybody care about Donald Trumps wealth as much as to Donald Trump? I mean I've never heard somebody who was as wealthy in that kind of bracket talk about their things they're wealthy.

POWERS: Well it's a little bit how he talks about --

COOPER: Think smart too?

POWERS: -- this ratification and how smart he is and then he doesn't high IQ's. So I think he does care a lot about this sort of external markers. He seems, you know, it seems to be important to him to impress. I think he thinks that impresses other people.

COOPER: Isn't that like a poker tell?


COOPER: I mean this in a different a tell of like deep in security or?

POWERS: Of course. I mean its --

SETMAYER: Yes. It stems back to his father being a really tough guy and him always having to prove himself. And obviously he's continuing to do that. I mean it screams insecurity, the three wives and, you know, he cashes one out for a new one that's prettier the next one, bragging about it.

He's always been like that, so it's not surprising. But the thing about that's interesting too is he just lies about this as well. He would over inflate the values of his properties and he was notorious for doing that.

He did it on his financial disclosure forms when that he files for President. He claimed that the Trump West Chester golf course was worth $50 million and it's really only worth 1.4 when it came to tax time and had to pay taxes. They assessed the value at $1.4 million.

[21:50:07] When it came down to his (INAUDIBLE) Florida golf course. Again he claimed that was like 50 or $60 millions. And it was actually when it came time to tax time, oh it was only valued at nine. I mean he's notorious for doing this. And that's why when he says he's worth $10 billion, and Forbes is like, no, it's closer to 3 or 4 that's why because the over inflates. But we don't think -- we don't know what the tax return. We will never know.

MARTIN: I mean -- I think he's somebody who -- someone's earlier he keeps score. And this is referee, so he pays attention to score. But here's the thing Anderson, I just came back from Australia.

Does anybody at this table believe that Donald Trump hasn't secured his brand as one of the greatest brands in the history of all the world? I mean Roosevelt will be a brand everybody. I mean doesn't mean everybody likes it, but all every where in the world the brand is way up.

I mean if he was making money on licensing is --


SETMAYER: You want to go down the list of all his failed properties right now internationally?

MARTIN: Monitored. Is anything guys really think that its -- what they -- what we've talked about on the show is that other people is up because the market is booming and Trump has made that happen. And his is not because of the real estate. But the point is his brand, which is what he cares about, whether it was "Apprentice" licensing is (INAUDIBLE) that's ever been, it's the gold inflated with brand.


BEGALA: He's lost $600 million since he became President, which you know somewhere he's going, I should had a prenup with that country. I just think it's weird that he's so upset. So I have direct the negative campaign against both Mitt Romney and President Trump, neither from one it really your taxes.

I always believe with Mitt, he was actually a lot richer that he wanted us to know. And he sort of sheepish about it. He'd earned every penny of it my god. But it's obviously felt like he was going to sheepish about how rich he was. And I think President Trump perhaps is the other way at this one too.

By the way, $3 billion is a ton of money.


NARTIN: Instead of recognizing that, you're projecting whatever your issues are that he's somehow bummed out. He's doing great. He's taking something --


SETMAYER: He sued Tim O'Brien --


SETMAYER: -- about this when he wrote in his book because Tim O'Brien he wasn't --

MARTIN: oh come on. He won for President.

SETMAYER: Let me finish.

MARTIN: Yes. He got your votes so. Yes.


SETMAYER: These are actual facts.

MARTIN: OK. SETMAYER: When he sued Tim O'Brien in his deposition in 2007 and he was specifically asked about his net worth and Trump said in the deposition this is legal record so you can't dispute this. He said it fluctuates with my mood. If I feel as though I'm worth more, then that's what I'm worth.

MARTIN: Well that's actually pretty standard. You listen to what he said?

SETMAYER: His -- Your net worth is more -- are you kidding me?


SETMAYER: And there you have it, America, right there.

D'ANTONIO: It's not standard in business.

MARTIN: No. What standard --


MARTIN: What standard is when you're a guy who's a brand like he is, who's a leader like he is, he has changed his net worth by somebody that everyone recognize.

D'ANTONIO: Baron Hilton who is in the same business didn't do it.

POWERS: That's right.

D'ANTONIO: Milton Hershey if I wrote a biography of it didn't do it.

MARTIN: They didn't top on the modern age.

D'ANTONIO: They live in ages -- age of advertising. Their names were bigger than Trump's at the time. Oh, it was the advertising age.

Hershey and Lipton they both pioneer all the stuff. At one point Lipton was the most photographed man in the world, more than Donald Trump. They never had had to do this. Donald Trump is massively concerned about how we perceive him. It's not even so much whether he has the money is do we agree with him?

MARTIN: Have we met a President that wasn't concern about how we perceive him?

D'ANTONIO: Not on this level. Not on this level of money.

COOPER: I don't think any President has been as needy.

MARTIN: How do you know?

COOPER: Because every time I interview him and you give him a compliment, you can see it wash over him like a bomb. And then you can ask him some tough questions as long as then every (INAUDIBLE) one you say, your crowd size in New Hampshire is really awesome. It's like it washes over him and literally see it happen when you see -- MARTIN: But you're describing him. That's fine. He's also very

successful --


MARTIN: Yes. What is it about Clinton that makes us know that he was needy? What is it about Obama that makes it wrong when he's needy? I mean look you're talking about the top of the Hillary. The top level politicians are people that are needy for the attention. That's how they get there and succeed.

SETMAYER: Donald Trump medicates by self-congratulation.

MARTIN: Well it doesn't --


SETMAYER: This is how he does it. It's obnoxious and petty and unnecessary. And we all see through it.


HAM: I think the branding is very important to him. I think there is insecurity at worked here. I think the branding is more important to him than the actual money.

And here's an area or again where there's an easy win for the President and he wont take it, which is to say read only this. Anyone else on that list the President of the United States in America?


MARTIN: Right.



COOPER: All right. We'll be right back. More ahead.


COOPER: We want to end this hour honoring those four soldiers who lost their lives in Niger. Poor men whose names are for the moment part of a political controversy. But we'll leave here forever in mom's heart or in friend told tales or a daughter's childhood memories of her dad.

Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia came from a military family. A family of people who've been serving our country dating back to war of 1812. Sergeant Wright's join the army in 2012. Wright's aunt told local news that Dustin was lovable, funny, never met a stranger and would give his last dime to help someone in need. He was 29 years old.

Staff sergeant Bryan Black was from Washington State. He was a green beret a Special Forces medic. He was a dad, a husband, a son, a soldier since 2009. Sergeant Black 35 years old.

Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson was 39 years old of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist. He was from Springboro, Ohio, where the flags flew at half staff today in his honor. And where the mayor says if he met Sergeant Johnson you'll like him immediately. And he was all about country, all about family, all about moral fiber. This month marked his 10th year in the army.

And sergeant La David Johnson was from Miami gardens, Florida. He was a faithful church-goer, and beloved husband who went -- has his wife's name tattooed on his chest. Paul Begala mentioned earlier he was nicknamed Wheelie King for his cycling stunts. Sergeant Johnson who was the father of two children, ages 2 and 6. He had a third child on the way. He was just 25 years old.

Tonight we remember these decorated soldiers, their service, their legacy and all who loved them. Thanks for watching 360. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon in "CNN Tonight".