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Syria To Allow U.N. Inspectors Full Access; Wildfires In California Rage On; Eight-Year-Old Boy Shoots And Kills 87-Year-Old Caregiver; New York State Attorney General Suing Donald Trump; Republicans Campaign To Shut Down Government In Exchange For Obamacare Implementation

Aired August 25, 2013 - 17:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. I'm Don Lemon. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us.

We are going to begin with news reported first right here on CNN. It is about Syria.

Syria is now agreeing to allow U.N. inspectors to the full access to the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack. As many as 1,300 people died in last week's attack, many of them women and children. The Syrian government continues to deny its forces used chemical weapons and yet another sign the U.S. is moving closer to involvement in Syria, two key members of congressional foreign affairs committees from both sides of the aisle say they expect the United States to strike Syria following the reports of chemical weapons attacks. The Pentagon has already sent four warships with cruise missiles to the region.

Meanwhile, Russia's ministry of foreign affairs is warning against jumping to conclusions on chemical weapons before the U.N. investigation is complete.

So let me bring in now CNN's Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence in Washington. He is in Washington. And CNN's Frederick Pleitgen live in Damascus for us.

I'm going to begin with you, Fred. When can we expect to see these U.N. inspectors actually at the suspected chemical attack site?


Well, the U.N. is saying that the chemical weapons inspectors are going to head to the site tomorrow. They didn't exactly tell us what at time tomorrow. They want to head out there. But they did say that that was a time frame they have because today it was agreed that they would have unrestricted access to all the places where these alleged chemical weapons attacks happened. That the Syrian government would get them free passage all the way up to the border of what the territory it controls. After that, however, they have to negotiate with the rebels on the ground to be able to get in there and to have security on the ground. Those negotiations are apparently are taking place as we speak right now. And very important, Don, the government has also agreed to cease all hostilities as long as the weapons inspectors are on the ground doing their work. I want to give you some of what the deputy foreign minister told me today in his first interview with western media since the allegations were raised. Let's listen in.

LEMON: Hey, Fred, apparently we don't that. But I want to ask you a question. I got a question for you. You have been on the ground in these neighborhoods close to the suspected chemical weapons attack sites. What are Syrians telling you about what's happened?

PLEITGEN: That's interesting. One of the things what we talk about this that we always have to keep in mind is that I'm of course reporting from the government controlled part of Syria and therefore a lot of people we speak to are quite sympathetic to the government.

I went to the border areas of where these attacks allegedly took place and the people there told me that they didn't feel any affects of chemicals on their bodies. They didn't feel as though they have trouble breathing or anything of that nature.

However, they did acknowledge that on the morning of last Wednesday when all this apparently happened there was a large-scale military offensive going on there. There is other people that we have been speaking to as well here in Syria who said that they visited the areas shortly after all of this happened and they did confirm that there was some sort of chemical used that masses of people were dying, other people were having trouble breathing. It is impossible to independently verify, first of all, what might have happened there, what sort of chemical agent might have been used there and who used it at this point in time. That's why this investigation is so very important and that's why the U.S. has been saying for such a long time, it has to happen as fast as possible because with every moment that passes, Don, it becomes more difficult for those inspectors on the ground to find conclusive evidence, what chemical exactly was used and how it was delivered, as well, Don.

LEMON: All right. Fred, stand by.

I want to go to Chris Lawrence now in Washington now.

A senior here official, Chris, calling series agreements to let inspectors visit the attack site a case of too little, too late.

So Chris, CNN has just received new information about evidence from the alleged chemical attack. What do we know?


I think things are changing quite quickly, actually. What the word were getting from the U.S. officials is that evidence including tissue samples have already been collected by multiple international sources from the site of that attack and this was collected in the hours and the days following the attack. And then moved to a different location where it has been -- where it's being analyzed and has been analyzed. What that does is put a lot of things in context. Thursday and Friday, the call was you have to get the U.N. inspectors in. You got to get them in as quickly as possible. All of a sudden everything sort of shifted today. A senior administration official here in the U.S. saying whatever they find is going to be corrupted. This area's been shelled for a few days. The evidence is probably not reliable. We have good certainty that the Syrian regime did use chemical weapons. The foreign secretary of the UK William Hague also saying the same thing. That evidence likely to be corrupted. So what you have seen really is a 180 by a lot of the international allies from let's get those inspectors in as quickly as possible and I think what you're seeing now is they may already have enough evidence to at least make an initial assumption.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps the president could start and then Congress needs to resolve it and ascend to it. But we cannot sit still. We have the move and move quickly.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: And I think it is time for us to take a step up and take responsibilities here, too. My guess is they will. I have been talking with them recently this week.


LAWRENCE: So what you are seeing, Republicans and Democrats, even though Congress is on recess right now, have been in touch with the White House and are sort of in the loop in urging some sort of action or response, Don.

LEMON: All right. Chris Lawrence in Washington.

Chris, thank you very much.

Other news now. An intense battle against a monstrous wildfire that's burning in California's famed Yosemite National park. Fires especially worrisome, here is why. So far, it's burned more than 200 square miles. It is in nowhere near contained and it is threatening a reservoir which supplies San Francisco with most of the water.

CNN's Nick Valencia now, he is behind the fire lines in Yosemite National Park.

Nick, what do you know?


Firefighters are dealing with a lot at this hour and I want to show you exactly what they have been dealing with all week. We are at this place called the rim of the world or vista. If you have been to Yosemite using 120, then you have probably seen this. But perhaps never like this before.

Don, as you can see, just scorched as far as the eye can see. The thing was aggressive, it moved fast. And talking about why it's been so hard to get a hold on, especially at this hour, it is so dry right now, extremely dry, dangerous conditions for firefighters. The smoke has come and gone. It's really been at times a little difficult to breathe. Earlier, we caught up with the press information officer for the U.S. forest service who told us and sort of give us context about how this fire compares to other fires she has seen.


VALENCIA: Vickie, you have seen a lot in your five years in the U.S. forest service. You have seen a lot of fires. What does this compare to, those you have seen in the past?

VICKIE WRIGHT, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: No fire is a good fire. I have never seen header it is way I did earlier in the week this week. And it was astounding to see the power of what I witnessed earlier. So, our main objectives right now, structure protection, just making sure that we keep everyone safe and we protect that park at all costs.


VALENCIA: And you know, the firefighters have done a really good job, Don, at keeping the fire from going towards Groveland. Right now, the concern is that the fires are moving north towards Tuolumne county, Tuolumne city, and also east, further east towards Yosemite National park.

It is worth noting though, that that iconic area we're all become familiar with if you ever visited Yosemite, there is waterfalls there, the fire is about 30, 40 miles from that. So, right now, we hear just a few cancelations. Fire officials say skies are blue, sky is clear, very little smoke but it is still moving fast. Just since we have been here yesterday, the fire's grown more than 15,000 acres -- Don.

LEMON: Oh, goodness, Nick Valencia.

Nick, thank you for your reporting.

As irony would have it, though, a major rain system and flood threat has areas not far from Yosemite on alert. Flash flood watches in effect for southern California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. Torrential rain is forecast for tropical depression Evo.

Murder in Louisiana. An 87-year-old woman shot and killed. The shooter, sent home with his parents. Yes. You heard that right. That is the story and that's next.

And the Donald being sued. Why the state of New York is going after Donald Trump for $40 million.


LEMON: This is a story that will definitely grab your attention. Police say an 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed his 87- year-old live-in caregiver, Mariz Smothers (ph), with her own gun. Police in slaughter, Louisiana, don't really know why but the child had been playing a violent video game, one in which you score points for shooting people. Police said the two had a normal, loving relationship. Smothers was watching TV when she was shot in the head on Thursday evening. The boy initially said it was an accident. I want you to listen to a neighbor at the Mobile Home park.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surprising. Shocked. It was right behind you. You don't anything about it.


LEMON: Louisiana law exempts children under 10 from criminal responsibility. The boy was sent home with his parents and he won't face any charges.

A rare and particularly lethal brain-eating parasite claimed another life, this time, a 12-year-old boy in Florida. Zachary Reyna's family believes he was infected while playing in a water-filled ditch three weeks ago. Reyna was given an experimental drug that recently saved the life of an Arkansas girl battling the same sickness and despite hopes, the family's facebook page broke the news yesterday that Reyna had died and his organs are being donated now.

New legal trouble for billionaire, Donald Trump. The real estate mogul has -- he has been slapped with a $40 million lawsuit by the state of New York. The claim that Trump defrauded students at his investment school, Trump University.

CNN's Alison Kosik is here with the details.

Alison, what is this about?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Donald Trump, no stranger to the limelight. Now, he is in the headlines because he is in the middle of a lawsuit that accuses him of fraud through the investment school called Trump University.

So, the New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman is suing Trump for $40 million, money that the state says Trump wrongly took from people led to believe they were going to get rich taking the classes. The lawsuit says how the school made empty promises by using Trump's well-known name to craft what it called a bait and switch and alleges that students were lured in to taking a free workshop that was just what they call a sales pitch for a three-day $1,500 seminar and then the lawsuit says once they got into that seminar, there's an up- sell to get people to pay $35,000 for a yearlong workshop.

Even during the three-day workshop, this is interesting, students were urged to call their credit card companies during breaks in the sessions to request increases with their credit limits on the credit cards for real estate transactions, but in reality so students could sink their money in to even more classes at Trump University.

So, what's interesting about this lawsuit, Don, is that, it really has this laundry list of accusations, even one of them about how the students were sort of led on to believe that Trump was going to be there at the seminars so they were going to be able to get their pictures taken when in reality, all they did is get their pictures next to a life-sized photo of Trump.

LEMON: Oh my goodness. OK. But what's Trump saying? What are his people saying?

KOSIK: OK. So he had several attorneys as you can imagine and one attorney is saying that the lawsuit has no merit, a cheap publicity stunt. The lawyer's saying that 98 percent of Trump's former students were satisfied with their experience.

Now Trump, of course, no stranger to twitter. He's been tweeting up a storm. His response, he called the New York state attorney general, Erich Schneiderman, a lightweight who is trying to extort me with the civil lawsuit. Another tweet that came in this afternoon saying, how can an attorney general ask for campaign contributions during his evaluation of a case? A total sleazebag. And why did lightweight AG Eric Schneiderman come to my office on numerous occasions and begging me for campaign contributions? And what he is referring to is that story that was seen in "The New York Times" today that this lawsuit is politically motivated with one Trump lawyer saying that Schneiderman asked Trump and the family to give contributions to his campaign and that he grew angry when Trump didn't give money. So, that has being reported in the "New York Times."

LEMON: Why don't you tell us how you feel, Mr. Trump. Right?

KOSIK: Exactly.

LEMON: All right. Alison Kosik, thank you. We'll see where it moves and of course following it. Thank you very much.

A report from one of our great cities in one of its most dangerous neighborhoods.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not safe around here no more. Isn't safe at night.


LEMON: Walking the battle lines in Chicago's Englewood community. That's next.


LEMON: We have been talking a lot about violence, a lot about crime and how to get a handle on it, especially in our big cities. Let's go to Chicago now and the question is, who's winning the battle for Chicago? It's unfortunate but when many people hear the name of that city, they think violence or crime.

Back in 2009, I went to the city and talked directly to those in the know, the drug peddlers themselves. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I look like, going to work, check it, two to 300 every week. And I will be charge two, 300 in one sale.

LEMON: What's the violence for? What's the whole reason for shooting? Why do so many people get shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got name. Why people (bleep) and then that traffic don't flow my way.

LEMON: So, do you kill somebody, you get rid of them, that's more money for you. I don't mean you specifically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not me but some people.


LEMON: That was four years ago. And recently WGN's, Mark Suppelsa, went in to the Englewood community of Chicago and here's what he found.


MARK SUPPELSA, WGN REPORTER (voice-over): It's a perfect Friday night. The rain stopped and it's nice and cool out. At first glance, you would never know the neighborhood is one of the most dangerous in Chicago.

What is the area like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crazy. Blue lights. You hear the sirens, don't you? That's what you have all day, every day. Just whole, this is Englewood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not safe around here no more. Not safe in the daytime. Damn sure isn't safe in the night.

SUPPELSA: Englewood's reputation makes it tough on business.

Down on a main drag, the hardware store here is closed for the night, locked up tight. We bumped into the owner's cousin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not coping with the violence at all.

SUPPELSA: Still, he stays.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel ashamed. You know, I feel ashamed of the -- what we're doing to one another.

SUPPELSA: Across the street, at the beauty supply store, Diana is working to pay the bills.

DIANA, RESIDENT: There's always violence. Shooting. Gang fights.

SUPPELSA: Right outside? DIANA: Yes. It's just sad.

SUPPELSA: One police shift leaves, another takes over. We joined Sergeant Sebastian, Englewood district 7 on the third shift, 9:00 to 5:00 a.m. Every night for the last four years, the sergeant has patrolled this small but volatile section of Englewood.

You are working when crazy happens?


SUPPELSA: Crazy comes snout.

SEBASTIAN: Crazy comes out when I come to work.

SUPPELSA: And crazy stays out. Englewood never sleeps, he stays.

SEBASTIAN: If you stay with me until 4:00 in the morning, we can drive down the street to 4:00 in the morning and it will be just as many people out at 4:00 a.m. as there is right now at 10:00. These 12, 13-year-old kids are out here, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning. And do your mother even know where you're at? You name it, I can find it for you. I mean, in a couple of hours. I can find it for you. I mean, you run in to prostitution, shootings, victims of robberies and burglaries and it's here.

SUPPELSA: Is there a good and bad around here?

SEBASTIAN: There absolutely is. You know, I can take you through the neighborhood and I'll show you some home that is are just absolutely beautiful that you and I would love to live in.


SEBASTIAN: And there's some that are just, you don't want to step foot in them. So, Englewood has it all.

SUPPELSA: Up and down we crisscross Englewood as he watches over fellow officers watching over those wandering about, making their presence known.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in vehicle 4428.

SUPPELSA: We say good-bye to the sergeant for now as we head off on our own.

It's after midnight on a beautiful moonlit summer night. But in Englewood, you just don't know what will come next.

ANDREW HOLMES, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: We can zoom in as you see and we can take it back out.

SUPPELSA: Including a visit from community activist, Andrew Holmes, in the tricked out surveillance van. He is like a roving crisis counselor for the victims of violence.

HOLMES: I would rather be in Englewood saving a lot of lives and save a lot of souls and educate those that don't have fathers.

SUPPELSA: It is 2:00 in the morning and Englewood is wide awake. The cops call this trouble time. A time when the calls come in, shots fired once again.

When we arrive, a group of young men are being questioned in a stance we saw here all night. Hands placed on the car hood. Friends and relatives watch and wait.

Down the road, we see it again. This one, the end of a police chase. Guess who we see again supervising? Sergeant Sebastian. We have got a peek, only a glimpse of life in Englewood. We met good people, good police officers and, yet, we have seen the sadness where there are no easy solutions.

We heard the word respect a lot. Respect each other. Respect life.


LEMON: My former Chicago colleague, WGN's Mark Suppelsa joins me now live from Chicago.

Mark, good to see you. Great report, by the way. Thank you for coming on CNN.

SUPPELSA: Thank you, Don. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Listen. Watching this, it is like you can see the battle lines being drawn here. The good people and of course the bad people. Which side do you think is winning after doing this?

SUPPELSA: Well, you know, the point of what we were trying to do here, Don, is take some facts and that would be what was literally the most dangerous police district in the city of Chicago that were struggled this summer with its violence. As you know, many national reports, the White House has addressed it a couple of times and we found that this 7th district of Englewood police district is the one that leads the crime stats. And our goal is to go there for 12 hours and just roll the camera, see what we see. But in addition to that, talk to some of the good people who live there and who have lived in Englewood for years and years and years. Why are you staying? What's this mean to you? How do you handle the violence? And we met some wonderful, wonderful people who have been there four, five decades who say, we're just not going to give up on our street. In many ways, they're winning, still there.


SUPPELSA: And I will be honest with you. We got a lot of feedback from people who have said I love Englewood and you put news a bad light. I said, no, no. We rolled the camera. What you saw is what you got.

LEMON: And the numbers are the numbers. They're people. We shouldn't say numbers. They're people. You know, when you do a story about Chicago, you know, you and I will inevitably get a call from the police department, someone is saying, well, you got that wrong. You should be focusing on this or what have you because they are obviously concerned about reputation and rightly so. But city officials point to some progress this year over last year where over 500 people were killed, Mark. Are there things being done in Chicago that other cities could use to fight crime, you think?

SUPPELSA: Well, I think Superintendent Gary McCarthy who did our ride along for a couple of hours, two of the 12 hours, what they have attempted to do, because the gang situation in the city of Chicago is not what it used to be ten, 15, 20 years where you had a couple of kingpins running the show, now, you have a bunch of younger people, factions, if you will, and it's a little tougher to get a handle on who's in charge, where, what and when. So, what McCarthy has done, is I think borrowed from what he did in New York and New Jersey before he came and was hired as the superintendent here, is they have, like, hot spots, via computer, as to who is a troublemaker. Where are the trouble spots and so when a particular gang banger name comes through the system, within seconds, there is like a hot zone, an office if you will, where they immediately try to target who it was that was involved here, how many times has he been involved in the last month or so, and get cops there now. And so, it's sort of like a roving band of let's get the hot spots. Apparently it's been working to a certain degree.


Well, Mark, big day ahead tomorrow. School's open. So, I'm sure you guys will be watching. Lots of reporting to do there.

Mark Suppelsa from our affiliate WGN. Great reporting, Mark. Good to see you. I will see you soon in Chicago. Thank you.

SUPPELSA: Thank you, sir. Good to see you, friend.

LEMON: All right.

Raging wildfires, firefighters sweep in to battle the flames but at what cost? A price tag that's enormous. We will tell you straight ahead.


LEMON: We are going to take you to California now where firefighters are battling with a monstrous wildfire, burning inside the Yosemite National park. Fire start more than 130,000 acres, 12,000 inside Yosemite. Fire is only about seven percent contained making things difficult bone dry brush, steep terrain and gusty winds. About 4,500 structures, many of them homes, lie in the fire's path.

Also in its path, a reservoir that provides San Francisco with most of its water. That, as you can imagine, is a big concern. Here's an image from space of the smoke and the damage. Look at that. The cost of fighting the wildfires growing almost as fast as the fires themselves. Our Tom Foreman illustrates how the numbers are impacting the ability to prevent and contain those fires.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two words you should think about as you consider this fire season, time and money because the time is just creeping on through this fire season but the money is burning up fast.

Look at the stats here. So far, what we have had is about 33,000 fires, three million acres burned. The budget at the federal level is $1.7 billion reduced by sequestration. So the firefighters are down from about 10,500 last year to 10,000 this year.

Why is that not enough? Well, several factors are coming to play here. One, scientists say climate change are actually making the forests more likely to burn. Secondly, because we have suppressed fires so aggressively for generations now, many scientists say the underbrush and the trees are just explosive. We didn't let them naturally burn when we probably should have. So now, these fires are huge and raging and yet we have to fight them because we have also built so many homes out in to these wild lands. That's created a real challenge and pressure to do something about it and raised the cost substantially.

Back in 1985, the number of fires in this country, if you put them in to one place, would be about the size of Connecticut. And fighting those fires back then cost us about, if I can bring the graph in here, and show you again about $240 million.

So, if we look at last year, we had about three Connecticut's worth of fire based on all of those factors we were talking about before. But what was the cost three times as much? Let's take a look.

If it were three times as much, it would be about where this line, even if you factor in inflation, it should have cost about this much forest to fight them, but now, the actual ups and downs over the years that lead up to the cost. And, no, much higher. Almost $2 billion at the federal level increase at the local level, too, because of all those factors. The simple truth is acre per acre fighting fires has grown more and more costly in this country and unless those conditions change, that's not going to change either.

LEMON: Thank you, Tom.

To strike or not? As the president considers U.S. military intervention in Syria, we discuss whether he really has a choice. That's next.


LEMON: As we track the latest developments out of Syria this hour, let's talk about the challenges facing U.S. policy and the comments president Obama made to CNN just a few days ago.

I want to bring in Errol Lewis, a CNN political commentator and "At the Politics" anchor for New York One and friend of the show, and Scottie Hughes is the news director from the Tea Party News network and a columnist at

Good to see you. She's a new by on the show since I've been here.

Brand new, brand new.

LEMON: Good to see you.

So, I want to play for you, guys, what President Obama told us Chris Cuomo about options in Syria, U.S. options. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country, without a U.N. mandate, and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work? And, you know, those are considerations that we have to take in to account. Now --


OBAMA: Well, this latest event is something that we have got to take a look at.


LEMON: All right. Errol, he is talking about mandates, He is talking about coalitions, international law. That doesn't sound like a man preparing to take a military action.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it very much does or he is somebody that doesn't want to take military action if he can avoid it. He wants to come in with a coalition. This is very much his style. Frankly, this is the American style in the region. Not to go it alone to the extent they can especially when something like military options are being considered. Because you know, make no mistake, Don, when you talk about no-fly zone, there will be talk about that. And they don't just created no fly zone, that means going in and you know, bombing positions, he is taking out every anti- aircraft gun that that country has. It is in effect going to war. And this is not something that this president wants to do, start yet another war in the Middle East.

LEMON: Especially, we have war fatigue already.

Scottie, you know, he has already talked about the red line. He is taking heat from people like John McCain. So, I don't know, what can the U.S. really do beyond taking military action?

SCOTTIE HUGHES, NEWS DIRECTOR, TEA PARTY NEWS NETWORK: Well, that's a big action, especially when you're the largest military power in the world. That's a huge action. And President Obama right now is wanting to form his coalition. I don't think he needs to worry about the U.N. approval. I think he needs to worry about the American people approval and why to get involved in another civil war. We can remember Korea. We can remember Vietnam. These people continue to have turmoil.

LEMON: But many people would say the answer to that is that people are being killed there. That's why we would want to get involved.

HUGHES: And what's funny about all this, is the shoe on the other foot. Let's go back just ten years ago in Iraq and everybody was sitting here and everybody obviously had some sort of evidence to vote to approve for us to go in to Iraq and, therefore, now we are having President Obama kind to deal with that same issue. Yet, he campaigned against President Bush saying why did we get involved in Iraq? Same issue ten years later.

LEMON: Looking for weapons of mass destruction that weren't --

HUGHES: Yes. They were going against the United States.

LEMON: But now, you see people -- Saddam Hussein killed his own people, as well.

HUGHES: Well, but that is the key. You also -- ten years ago we were using shoe phones and Lindsay Lohan have not have the first criminal arrest record yet. So, it is a different time. Now, these videos who were staying out of Syria are truly camera phones and people using technology. We might have seen the same things in Iraq.

LEMON: Coming out of Iraq.

Let's turn to Errol and talk about government, government surveillance because President Obama defended it to our Chris Cuomo, as well. Take a listen.


OBAMA: It can only work if the American people trust when's going on. And when's been clear since the disclosures that were made by Mr. Snowden is that people don't have enough information and aren't confident enough that between all of the safeguards and checks we put in place within the executive branch and the federal court oversight that takes place on the program and congressional oversight, people are still concerned as to whether their e-mails are being read or the phone calls are being listened to.


LEMON: OK. So he said, people don't trust the government. But then he says we need to trust the government. I mean, realizes people don't trust the government. We need to trust the government. What's the solution here?

LOUIS: That's right. He has no good, easy answers here. This is somebody who has been sort of backtracking step by step, and her said in that interview, nobody's -- well, accidentally, we may have listened in a few times. So, if they did it 2,400 times by accident, civil libertarians and frankly, the public at large has to wonder, gee, what if they really wanted to do something bad? He's holding a very weak hand. I think he knows that he is not trusted. That's really what is reflected there. And he has got to step back from being a constitutional law professor who has got, you know, courts overseeing this and some of this and some of that. The public wants something much more transparent and much more clear and much more limited.

LEMON: Yes. Trust us, but I know you don't trust us. So what can -- is there anything that can be done that without infringing upon the rights of privacy for the American people?

HUGHES: There would be. The if there's an eyes plated case, if we were just dealing with maybe the IRS targeting or maybe just Benghazi or maybe just fast and furious, everything else that goes along with it, then I think the American people want to trust the commander in chief.

People on both sides of the aisle want to believe that the White House is working for us. The problem is just time after time after time and whether you believe these are phony or not, there's too many of them so if you don't believe in one scandal, guess what, there's platter of other ones that you can choose from.

LEMON: All right, stick around. We are not going anywhere. Study in there and stay with us. We are going to take a quick break and then we are going to talk about the looming threat of a government shutdown.


LEMON: We are back now and talking about President Obama's exclusive interview on CNN with our Chris Cuomo. Errol Louis and Scottie Hughes is here with me right now in New York. Errol is CNN political commentator and a politics anchor for New York One and Scottie is a news director for the Tea Party News Network.

So, let's talk about money now. The federal budget and funding for the federal budget, funding for Obama care and the threat -- Obama care and the threat of a government shutdown when government gets back to town. Here's what the president said to Chris Cuomo of "New Day."


OBAMA: Republicans talking about the idea that they would shut down the government, bad for the economy, bad for not just people who work for the government, but all the contractors who -- and the defense folks and everybody who is impacted by the services that they receive from the federal government, we should shut that down because Republicans after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of Obama care see this as their last gasp. Sometimes they say to me privately, I agree with you, but I'm worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the tea party back in my district or I'm worried about what Rush Limbaugh's going to say about me on the radio.


LEMON: Errol, I mean, do these people exist, these Republicans who secretly agree with the president and fear rush Limbaugh? LOUIS: No, absolutely they do. I mean, look. People go in to the legislature because they like deal making and compromise. And they probably done it all their life at the city council level or its county commissioners or in their state legislature. They get to Congress in to this incredibly polarized situation and they can't make a move and party leadership demand they take 40 worthless waste of time votes just to make a point and it's not really what a lot of people went in to politics for.

LEMON: Scottie, do you agree with that? That they do exist?

HUGHES: I think the ground's going to shake from the tea party respective, yes. President Obama is right on this point. We will primary them because that is not what the American want. There is 41 percent of the American people want Obamacare or approve of Obamacare. The overwhelming majority of people want it gone. And so, the key is that we have a decision to work about is that let's listen to the American people, the people do not like this system that's been handed to us.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on and talk about Senator Ted Cruz. This is for you, Scottie. I want you to listen to what he said on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" today.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If President Obama makes the decision to shut down the federal government because he's so committed to Obamacare, that's a point where we have got to win the argument.

I will tell you what. If we're successful, mobilizing millions of Americans to reach out to their elected officials and say do the right thing, spare us from this train wreck, get the economy going, get jobs back, that will move Republicans but ultimately moving Democrats, also.


LEMON: All right. This is a bit -- this is tricky territory because the last time we had a big shutdown, Republicans got blamed, not Democrats. Are you sure that's a good idea?

HUGHES: Well, let me point out, the only people that are wanting to shut down this government are the Democrats. In reality, we keep hearing compromise, compromise, compromise. Guess what? We're compromising. We are going to put everything through except for one issue.

LEMON: Yes. But the Democrats aren't saying let's shut down the government. Republicans are out really saying let's shut down the government.

HUGHES: No. We are saying we'll give you 99 percent of what you want. It is all your. One issue we want taken out, Obamacare.

LEMON: Obamacare. But that's a big issue that, you know, that affects a lot of people. Not just that easy to say, OK, this is gone.

HUGHES: And only 41 percent of Americans believe it. So, I think --

LOUIS: It doesn't just affect a few people. I mean, it affects the entire country and been litigated politically. I mean, it is what the 2012 elections were about, you know. At some point, you have to say, look, we want to move forward with what the people have said in the voting booth. What they told a pollster today is one thing but what they said when it was time to make the policy happen was clear. Everybody campaigned against Obamacare. It didn't win the Senate. It didn't win the White House. It probably won't win the Senate next year on that one issue. You know, I mean, Republicans, the tea parties are welcome to try but at some point --

LEMON: Well, they keep trying and over and over and over again.

Thank you, guys. That has to be the end of it.

Thank you, Scottie Hughes and also Errol Louis. I was going to call you Errol Flynn.

LOUIS: I have been called worse.

HUGHES: We all have.

LEMON: Good to see you again.

All right. She helped organize one of the most memorable events of the civil rights movement but her hard work ended up with her missing, Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest speech because she fell asleep. Her unforgettable story is next.



MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I have a dream. Let freedom ring.


LEMON: Obviously, people didn't have cell phones in 1963 when they were planning the march on Washington. No internet to help spread the word. Back then, you called people on phones that plugged onto a wall. Initial word, the operated the phone things in march n Washington's planning officer job exhausting. She once hung up on Martin King Jr. by mistake. And here is her story about the march on Washington.


PATRICIA WORTHY, PHONE OPERATOR, 1963 MARCH IN WASHINGTON: I was a college student and I was looking for a job for the summer. And I worked in the march on Washington office. I don't think I had a title. I answered the telephone.

March on Washington, may I help you, please?

When I walked in the door the phones were ringing. They rang until I left around 5:30, 6:00.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you want to see what the major work of those of us who worked for the march was, it was, in fact, getting people to come by talking on the phone about how you get there.

WORTHY: I recall a day that I'll never forget it. Heard someone say, where's this young lady who handles the phone? And finally, I looked up and there he was, Dr. King. And he said, I want to meet this young lady. She has put me on hold twice and hung up on me once and I want to know who she is. And I was so embarrassed and he gave me a hug.

The last three weeks before the march, I recall being there until 7:30, 8:00 at night on the phones. And by the time the day of the march, I don't think I have ever been that tired in my entire life.

I finally got to where I was supposed to be seated, and I got a chance to look out. I thought to myself, my goodness, I probably have talked to almost every person out there because I had been on that phone so many days for so many hours. And it just was the most gratifying feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fellow Americans, we are gathered here in the largest demonstration in the history of this nation.

WORTHY: The day went on and on and on. I mean, it just went on. I thought to myself, well, you know, this gives me an opportunity to go and sit down and take maybe a brief nap. So I went, found myself a little spot leaning up against one of the columns, as I recall. It will be just for a moment. I dosed off.

KING: I still have a dream.

WORTHY: And when I woke up, the march was over. Dr. King had spoken, everyone had spoken. And some of my buddies from the office finally found me and woke me up. When I finally did hear Dr. King's speech in its entirety, I realized that I had missed probably the greatest speech of the century.


LEMON: Patricia worthy's story is part of my special documentary. We were there, the march on Washington, an oral history. It airs tonight 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.

Well up next, could you be a billionaire but your time to claim your winning ticket running out?


LEMON: Well, if you're in the mood for a movie, you have got the list of the top five films at the box office right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard you were coming. What's your name?




LEMON: That's number one. That's "the Butler." Forest Whitaker plays the White House butler who serves seven presidents and took him $17 million this weekend. "We are the Millers" was the second place followed by "the Mortal Instruments," "City of Bones," "the World's End," and the Disney movie "Planes."

There is your top right there.

You know, time is running out for a lottery winner to claim $1 million. A New York lottery ticket worth a million bucks will expire tonight. The ticket was purchased on August 25th last year in Rye, New York. If a winner does not step forward, the cash goes back into the jackpot pool. 2002, a $68 million prize was unclaimed. The biggest jackpot to go unclaimed in New York lottery history.