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House Democrats Holding Sit-In to Demand Action on Guns; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Exchange Blistering Speeches. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 22, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and it is Breaking News. This is unprecedented what's happening on the House floor. You're looking at live pictures now. This is from Periscope, because the Republicans have turned the cameras off. The majority have turned the cameras off.
The Democrats are holding an extraordinary sit-in demanding action on guns.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Here's what civil rights icon and Democratic Congressman, John Lewis, told our Wolf Blitzer earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS, (D) GEORGIA: We cannot wait. We cannot afford to take a break and go home. We should stay here until we pass the bills.
(END NVIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So we're keeping an eye on this sit-in. Tonight, we're also discussing the blistering dueling speeches by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The gloves are really off now.
And now, I want to get to Capitol Hill, because there is extraordinary developments unfolding here on the House floor by Democrats who are doing this sit-in.
I'm going to bring in Michelle Kosinski in just a moment for some new information that we have just gotten. It says around midnight, they're going to come back for an adjournment vote, it's a procedural vote to end the legislative business for the day. Usually, a voice vote, but expected it will be a roll call -- a roll call vote.
After that, they will adjourn for the night. Typically, the lights are turned off when the House adjourns, cameras will turn off as well. It is unclear still if Democrats will stay on the floor. Though it seems they likely will.
As we have been discussing around the table with my political panel here, Mark Preston is here. David Chalian is here. Dana Bash as well. And then we also have Michael Caputo, formerly of the Trump campaign, because we were going to discuss that.
But, this seems pretty tame. I mean, that seems that what happened with you seems pretty tame as to what's going on.
Now -- so we'll get into all of. But the interesting thing is, at midnight, if they turn the lights off, to turn the lights off on an icon like Jon Stewart would really cause some havoc, don't you think?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, our sense is that, that's probably not going to happen. Steve Israel, the congressman from New York, was just on and he was saying, he doesn't think that that's going to happen, that Republicans won't turn the lights off on them.
Also said that they were preparing with sleeping bags and all kinds of other accoutrements that you needed to pull an all nighter. So, they're definitely planning on going all night.
So I want to get Michelle Kosinski. I think this is an amazing scene as we watch Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives. It really had a stand off. I'm not sure if you saw that argument just a moment ago. This is the 12th hour of the sit-in. The President has been supporting this effort. What can you tell us about that, Michelle?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He has. But as of right now, I mean, as we're all watching this in near disbelief as this reaches the fever pitch that it has, the White House is staying out of it at this moment. We know from our sources that they're watching this closely. I mean, they've been glued to it as we have. But, they want to stay out of the fray at this moment.
We've heard from them earlier today though. Most recently, there was a tweet by the President himself. He retweeted a tweet from John Lewis, saying, "Thank you, John Lewis, for leading on gun violence where we need it most." And the tweet that he tweeted said, "Sometimes you have to get in the way and make some noise by speaking out against injustice and inaction."
And here's what the White House said earlier. This is just when the sit-in started. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What Democrats are asking for is neither radical nor controversial.
They're asking for votes in bipartisan support for policies that are supported by a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans and majority of gun owners all across the country.
These are common sense proposals that do not undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. But they are common sense proposals that would, in fact, succeed in at least making it harder for individuals who shouldn't have guns, from being able to get their hands on them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: The White House is saying on this sit-in in particular that these Democrats are venting much of the anger and frustration, that the White House said many people around the country are feeling right now. So the White House didn't exactly endorse the action itself or call for a sit-in or say, :Yes, a sit-in is the way to go."
But they endorsed it ideologically by saying, you know, the reasoning behind it is -- of course, we've heard the White House speak out on this forcefully and very forcefully over the last couple of days, calling the inaction in the Senate, there's failed votes, the White House blaming Senate Republicans, calling it a shameful display of cowardice and textbook definition of cowardice.
So, we're sure to hear much more from the White House on this tomorrow. The President is traveling tomorrow so he very well may make a statement when he lands, and we'll be hearing from the White House en route.
[23:05:07] LEMON: All right, Michelle, standby because I have a question for the other panel.
Mark, is it interesting that the White House is sort of sitting back? Especially, this is, you know, just a couple of months left. And this is something that he would usually should take a stand on?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right, right. I mean, speaking for myself here, I do think that this is a moment. This whole presidential campaign has been about moments. I know this isn't about the presidential campaign. But in many ways, it is because the presidential candidates are talking about gun violence. We had the worst massacre ever in the history of the United States.
Barack Obama is a lame duck right now. I don't understand why the White House wouldn't put out a paper statement saying we stand with our House Democrats that a vote should happen. This is a moment right now. This is being watched around the world right now. If people are tuning in, I guarantee you, this will be the biggest story tomorrow. I don't understand why they wouldn't weigh in.
And we heard Representative Steve Israel moments ago saying that he was, you know, he had to buy a sleeping bag. He never thought he would have to buy a sleeping bag and really joking, I said, go for the air mattress, the one with the built-in, you know, pump that blows it up.
But, you have new reporting, Dana, that they're handing out pillows and blankets and some information from Representative John Lewis?
BASH: Well, this is coming from our Tom Lobianco who's standing out probably in the speaker's lobby, which is right next to the doors there, which is sort of the culture of the House because that's where reporters stay, and that's where House members come out and mill around.
John Lewis just came out there and said that he will confer with his colleagues if they actually sleep tonight inside the chamber but said they're not leaving any time soon.
He also said today's sit-in reminded him of being a young civil rights activist. And this is a quote from John Lewis. "We're going to continue to sit in and sit down. By sitting in and sitting down, we are standing up."
LEMON: Yeah. This is old school ...
BASH: Old school.
LEMON: ... really old school, you know, protests, meets new school with new fangle (ph), because we're looking at this on Periscope.
And, speaking of new technology, Congressman Steve Israel is with us. We -- so kindly we asked him to FaceTime us and he obliged. And now he is ...
LEMON: ... on the House floor.
There are no rules so I'm told, Representative, that you will not get in trouble for this at this moment. But, that's, you know, my colleagues here say that. So, tell us what's going on? What are you seeing?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL, (D) NEW YORK: Well, I very well may get in trouble. But, there are some things worth getting trouble for.
Right now, my colleagues are taking to the microphone. We're in recess. The public cameras are off. The microphones are off. And you can see behind me what's happening on the floor of the House. My colleagues are stepping up to the microphone, asking for a vote on No Fly, No Buy before we go on vacation on Friday and want to going to keep doing this all night long.
LEMON: I'm not sure if you heard what Dana Bash just reported just moments ago saying that they're handing out blankets and pillows. So you better go get yours.
ISRAEL: That's correct.
LEMON: Because you said that you were doing a sleeping bag. But also, saying that, you know, tonight, he's going to sleep inside of the chamber, him and his colleagues. But, they're not leaving any time soon according to
ISRAEL: Well, John is absolutely right. There'll be at least 20, 30 members that will stay the night. I believe there's going to be another vote at some point this evening. After that, the Republican leadership is expected to adjourn. We'll stay here. And we'll stay until tomorrow morning and then resume tomorrow. And keep this going for as long as we can and as long as we must.
LEMON: Representative, were you able to see that confrontation that happened just moments ago as you were, you know, left the court room and was walking ...
ISRAEL: You know what, Don, I'm losing you now because as can you hear, there's some loud voices behind me.
LEMON: Can you hear me now?
ISRAEL: Now, I can, yes.
LEMON: Yeah. Were you able to see the confrontation that happened just moments ago as you were making your way to the House?
ISRAEL: I did. I did. That was Congressman Louie Gohmert, who is outspoken, a very conservative Republican from Texas. Congressman Gohmert ...
ISRAEL: Yes, you bet, you bet. Well, you can see that I've been admonished. But -- and now, I'm in the cloak room.
But, what you saw before was Congressman l Louie Gohmert. Congressman Gohmert is very outspoken when he talks about ...
LEMON: Tilt up, tilt up a little bit.
ISRAEL: Say it again?
LEMON: There you go. Bring the -- there you go. Perfect now.
ISRAEL: There we go.
So real quickly, before you get to that, who admonished you? Who was that?
ISRAEL: I'm sorry. Say it again?
LEMON: Who admonished you? Who was it?
ISRAEL: Oh, well, a staff member from the Sergeant-at-arms was doing his job. And, actually he was quite kind rather than telling me to shut this off, he asked me if I would just turn it in a different direction and step into the Democratic cloak room rather than doing this on the floor of the House. So, he was being kind.
LEMON: OK. But you're in the cloak room. Can you just turn around as long as you're inside the cloak room? Can you turn around so we can (inaudible). Yeah, there you go.
ISRAEL: (Inaudible) admonished the first time. But, we can try it one more time. LEMON: Yeah. No, I mean, you don't have to go out there. You could
just leave the door open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman, it's a good thing you're retiring.
LEMON: Yeah, it's a good thing that you're retiring.
So, OK. So then, what happened with ...
[23:10:00] ISRAEL: Put risks when you're leaving Congress.
LEMON: What happened with the confrontation?
ISRAEL: Yeah. The confrontation that that you saw before was Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas. He is very outspoken and talks about the so-called Islamic radicals and I understand, you know, that he says that. And I think there is an irony, however, that he came to the floor to start screaming about, you know, his Islamic radicals. But he wants those people to be able to have guns if they're on the No Fly list, you can find them having guns. So I think there's a little bit of inconsistency in his argument.
LEMON: David, do you have a question?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Congressman, I do want to -- that was sort of the first engagement we saw where Republicans weren't just sort of letting what Paul Ryan called, you guys have a stunt today and just doing it. But they actually came on the floor to engage the Democrat.
Is your sense -- are you talking to folks across the aisle at all? Is your sense that they're going to start doing more of that? It looks like we may have frozen on Face ...
LEMON: Yeah, I think when he closed the door. OK. We've lost the signal. So if can you hear us, Congressman, come back, come back. That was a great television. But it's interesting, he's been -- he said he was being admonished. And it was by -- was ...
BASH: Somebody at Sergeant-at-arms.
LEMON: ... Sergeant-at-arms.
BASH: They're the people who are in-charge of making sure the rules are followed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're not doing a very good job of it.
BASH: Well, but he was saying earlier, I mean, just the fact that we -- what we're looking at right now is happening, Periscope. The fact that they're not stopping whomever it is who's holding the phone or the iPad or whatever it is, and effectively streaming this, is streaming the House floor because the cameras are off.
LEMON: I want to bring in Michael Caputo now, because Michael is a former campaign director. Is that ... MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Adviser.
LEMON: ... adviser for the Donald Trump campaign and we -- you know, we know what happened this week, Corey Lewandowski was fired. You tweeted, "Ding dong, the witch is dead." And then, you know, found yourself being escorted out. Not necessarily out of Trump Tower but at least out of the campaign.
As you're watching this, what do you think is happening inside the campaign? Are they happy to see Democrats or do they think this is disarray on the Democrats part or Congress's part?
CAPUTO: Well, more importantly, I mean, I was the assistant director of the House Radio and Television Gallery before we ever had any cellphones. And you were never allowed to do anything like this. You would have never seen any of these rules being broken. The members would have been admonished. The staff that allowed it would have been run out of two.
This is absolute anarchy on the House floor. And how Paul Ryan and the Republicans are letting this happen, I'll never know.
Also, Louie Gohmert is absolutely correct. This is a political stunt. It's a stunt that's designed to change the narrative. Because what happened in Orlando was terrorism. What happened was a terrorist got a hold of a gun and he was going to get a hold of gun regardless of the gun laws. And they need to change that topic for very political reasons, for Hillary Clinton. Because she can't win the argument on terrorism. She's a problem with terrorism.
LEMON: Do you think this is about Hillary Clinton?
CAPUTO: I think it's about Hillary Clinton, and every single person who's running for re-election on that floor. They're all looking for political points and they're breaking the rules and the traditions of the House to do that.
LEMON: And they're looking for political points from their own constituents or?
CAPUTO: Absolutely. And also, they're tying trying to make political points against the Republicans on the floor. You know why they want to vote, because they want the Republicans to vote it down.
BASH: But the argument that they're making is that, you know, it was terrorism. And it was a terrorist who had a gun. So why not have a vote on a measure that they think will keep terrorists from having guns?
CAPUTO: Right, and also something that Donald Trump has said he's open to discussing.
BASH: But -- so then do you think he would?
CAPUTO: I think that you're seeing a lot of people in the Republican caucus of the House who are a little bit more conservative on the gun issue than Donald Trump. If Donald Trump were Speaker of the House, he'd probably let the vote go down.
PRESTON: But if Donald Trump were president of the United States, would he, as I was being critical of the current White House not being supportive of Democrats, would he be -- what would he do, do you think at this point? And you know him not just as an adviser in his presidential campaign, but you go way back with Donald.
CAPUTO: Little bit. But I'll tell you what, I think he'd be for decorum. There's no question about it in my mind, and I think ...
LEMON: While allowing a vote?
CAPUTO: He wouldn't -- this would not happen if he were Speaker of the House. He would discourage this from happening if he were President, I think, because this is against all the rules of the House.
They've lost control of the place. If they start bringing in sleeping bags and pillows, look, I know one thing, tonight must have been two for one red wine night in the White House dining room, because this is completely out of hand.
LEMON: Mike, I love the face you made, that was ...
CAPUTO: And if it's any good or is not good.
PRESTON: You know, let me ask you some quick political question, though. When you talk about Donald Trump right now who's having trouble with the Republican Party, certainly with the establishment, OK, would it be smart of him, do you think, to put out a tweet or to put out a statement of support for House Republicans in this situation right now?
[23:15:06] CAPUTO: Far be it for me to advise anyone on Twitter, because not exactly my specialty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see where that got you, right?
CAPUTO: But I mean, but having designed my Twitter feed after Donald Trump, I can tell you that we might see something like this. I think he's very outspoken. And this is something that's captured the attention of America. I think what's happening is really inappropriate. And they're going to have to get a hold of themselves down there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry.
LEMON: You said it's really inappropriate. And I'll let you get in with plenty of time, obviously. We're going to be covering this (inaudible) inappropriate. But what about the optics of it? Who do you think -- is there a winner on the optics of this? CAPUTO: I think that the majority of the American people are
receptive to the idea of not allowing people on the terrorist watch list or at least the No Fly list to buy guns. There's a lot of open discussion of that. And I think Donald Trump is in favor of that kind of discussion.
I think the winners here are probably the Democrats. The losers here are the Republicans. And by the way, the Republicans who are supposed to be keeping control of the House of Representatives. This is anarchy.
You know, let me tell you something, if these were a bunch of Republicans in a Democrat controlled house, the Democrat controlled house of Jim Wright that I work for, out there taking over the House because of an abortion vote, the nation would -- first of all, we wouldn't have seen it because the cameras -- we didn't have handheld cameras then.
But in addition to that, we'd be talking about it very differently right now.
LEMON: Yeah. This is -- sometimes you just, as they say, (inaudible). I'm so lucky to have all of you. I'm so lucky to you have Michael Caputo here, considering your former role as, what, in the House?
CAPUTO: House of -- the House of Representatives Radio and Television Gallery which runs all of the broadcast radio and television ...
LEMON: (Inaudible) the guy showing ...
BASH: He was the person telling us how to follow the rules.
LEMON: Yeah, right.
BASH: And it means, I mean, in the House, you know, even seemingly minor things but important things like when you're in the hallway outside the House ...
BASH: ... you can't shoot your camera in towards the House floor.
LEMON: (Inaudible) the guy who's shutting the guy camera off tonight.
CAPUTO: No, no, but we would -- when the House made that, you know, when the Speaker made that order, we would be helping them make sure that the cameras are off. Not only just off but pointed down ...
CAPUTO: ... in case you left them on.
LEMON: All right, more questions for him on the other side of the break. I have to get to a break and more questions for him. And really -- and then hopefully, we can get Congressman Steve Israel back.
But anyway, you're watching an unprecedented happening on Capitol Hill right now. The House -- there's a sit-in in the House of Representatives being staged by the Democrats and some confrontation between Democrats and Republicans. So don't go anywhere. We'll be right back right after this break with our Breaking News.
[23:21:32] LEMON: OK. We -- how do you react to this? We don't know. This has never happened before as I sit here with my panel. It's an extraordinary scene on the House floor, a day long sit-in by Democrats, demanding action on guns and going head-to-head with the House Speaker Paul Ryan. And you're looking at live pictures, these are pictures from Periscope, because the Republicans, the majority have shut the cameras off. They have adjourned for now. I think they're going to come back at midnight to try to do an official adjournment.
But as we watch these pictures and we listen here, my panel is all here, Mark Preston is here. Gloria Borger is here. Dana Bash is here as well. And David Chalian, all here, I'm lucky to have them.
And we're also joined by Congressman Dan Kildee, one of the Democrats involved in the sit-in. So, Representative, you have been protesting for more than 11 hours now into the 12th hour, is this chaos on the floor?
REP. DAN KILDEE, (D) MICHIGAN: Well, it's certainly a lot of energy on the floor. And, you know, it comes from the fact that we are absolutely exhausted by one minute of silence to commemorate these people in a whole succession of horrific events. And that one minute is followed by hours, and days, and weeks and months of absolutely nothing happening to deal with this problem and to try to prevent it from happening again.
And so we're just fed up. This place is broken. You know, the Republicans, when they don't like the way the rules work, they change the rules and so we decided early this morning, led by John Lewis, somebody who knows a little bit about the effectiveness of civil disobedience, we decided we were going to make a very strong statement to try to get the attention of the American people.
They will continue to gavel us down. We will not win on the floor, but we will win if the American people watch this and come to understand exactly what the House leadership is preventing. A simple vote on two simple bills that have a majority of support by the American people.
LEMON: So I have to ask you. We had a former Trump representative, a Republican, on saying he was shocked that you guys were doing this. He said that this was anarchy, this was chaos. He is surprised the House Speaker is even allowing this to happen.
How do you respond to that? KILDEE: Well, first of all, anyone who calls it anarchy does not know
what anarchy is. We're members of the House of Representatives who are trying to exercise our rights of speech and we're using every tool that we have. We're doing it for this man, for Tevin Crosby, who was the man from Saginaw, Michigan.
LEMON: Hold it up a little higher, please.
KILDEE: He was killed in Orlando. You know, and so when I hear the speaker or others say that this is a publicity stunt, give me a break. Tell the families of the people who lost their lives that their taste is getting too much publicity. You know, this is not anarchy. This is not a publicity stunt. This is us trying to do what the American people think we do anyway. And that is vote on the questions that they raise with us when we go home.
When we go home, people ask, "Why aren't you voting to take people who are on the terror watch list away from the -- take away the right for them to just walk in and purchase any weapon? Why aren't you voting to have universal background checks?"
[23:25:01] Something that most Americans think we already have. The reason is simple, is because the Republican majority is bought and paid for and petrified of the National Rifle Association. It's not their constituents. It's not the issue. It's the fact that they are absolutely petrified of one organization who has promised to come after them if they cross them. If they cross them at all.
And we're just sick of it. We're done with it. And we're not going to stick for it.
LEMON: Representative, you mentioned the whole idea of a publicity stunt, the House Speaker saying that, here's what he said to our Wolf Blitzler today about the sit-in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, first, I would tell you, Wolf, this is nothing more than a publicity stunt. That's point number one. Point number two, this bill was already defeated in the United States Senate.
Number three, we are not going to take away a citizen's due process rights. We're not going to take away a citizen's constitutional rights without due process. That was already defeated in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, that's in reference to what you were saying that it's a publicity stunt and he said there is nothing really -- that's going to -- that nothing can come of this.
KILDEE: Well, nothing will come out of it because he won't bring up the legislation. The last I saw, Speaker Ryan was a member of the House of Representatives, not a member of the Senate. I've heard him on many times say that he does not subject the House to the prerogatives of the Senate. Why can't the people's House have a vote on this question?
And secondly, in terms of the legislation itself, if they have specific questions as to how an individual might have due process rights to get off the terror watch list, that's the subject of legislating. But Speaker Ryan does not want to legislate, because he and the leadership want to protect their members from an attack from an organization that will spend millions to defeat anyone who crosses them. That's what this is all about.
And nobody on the floor has any doubt about that. Republicans know it, they privately share that with us as well.
I mean, the legislation that we're talking about is authored by a Republican member of the House, Peter King.
The other piece of legislation which doesn't get come up as much simply says that if you buy a weapon through the internet or at a gun show, you have to go through the same background check as if you buy it at a registered gun shop. I mean, that's pretty simple and straightforward.
LEMON: Is Peter King there tonight?
KILDEE: I have not seen Peter on the floor. But, you know, he -- I assume he is here.
LEMON: OK. Representative Kildee, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
KILDEE: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you.
We'll be right back with the Breaking News.
[23:31:36] LEMON: All right, our breaking news to set-in on the House floor by Democrats demanding gun legislation. That's coming on the day of dueling speeches by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
It's interesting because this takes everything all the attention away from Donald Trump's scathing speech about Hillary Clinton.
Let's discuss now. Andy Dean is here, CNN Political Commentator and its Trump supporter. Angela Rye is here, former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Conservative Radio Host Ben Ferguson and Christine Quinn is here as well our former Speaker of the New York City Council and a Hillary Clinton supporter. Bob Cusack is here, Editor in Chief of "The Hill", also CNN's Mark Preston, Gloria Borger, Dana Bash and David Chalian.
I think that is the biggest panel. We're going to go and begin it, but as the biggest panel that we have had and as we have gotten some new reporting here everyone. So everyone listen and this is from Manu (ph) and our (inaudible). It says, "In a change the House will not adjourn and instead House Republicans are now telling members they are planning more votes late into the evening." So fasten your seatbelts. We're going to be here for a while.
Florida Republican David Jolly said they are expected to do a procedural vote tonight to allow the House to then quickly vote -- to vote quickly on a new $1.1 billion Zika funding bill that has been just been introduced. And Democrats have already said that they oppose the bill. The Republicans have enough votes to pass that bill.
So, there we go. As we look at this live pictures on Periscope. Andy -- Angela, excuse me. We have been watching this drama play out with Congressman John Lewis and the Democrats pushing for the stricter gun control. It's anyone's guess how long this sit in is going to last? What do you think of these tactics?
ANGELICA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Don, there are a couple of things. One is I want to first recognize Congresswoman Robin Kelly for her work on this. Why, because this is not her first rodeo at this.
Congresswoman Kelly came in as an anti-gun violence candidate from Chicago and has been behind the scenes planning this. She is a member who has talked about not standing for moments of silence anymore? Why, because right after they stand for a moment of silence, they sit there and don't do anything.
She produced the Kelly Report and ensured that members and the greater country understood the importance of gun violence and the toll that it takes on lives. So this is very important.
I know you had a commentator on earlier that called this anarchy. What's interesting to me is that after so many lives were lost in Orlando, Don, and time after time when they were talking about Sandy Hook ...
LEMON: Angela, Angela, Angela, standby because Congresswoman Robin Kelly is here, OK?
LEMON: So, yes. So, she is FaceTiming with us. Hi, Congresswoman. How are you? And we just lost her.
RYE: Well then I'll carry on, Don.
LEMON: But, she really was there. Trust me she was there.
RYE: I believe it.
LEMON: All right, now she's back.
RYE: I believe it and -- oh, perfect.
LEMON: Congresswoman, are you there? REP. ROBIN KELLY, (D) ILLINOIS: Yes, I am.
LEMON: OK. So Congresswoman, you know, we had a Republican representative on -- a Republican member of the Republican Party and a former Trump representative on earlier saying this was anarchy and he cannot believe that you Democrats are breaking the rules of the House.
KELLY: Well, they pretty much left us no choice. I mean, we have two bills led by the public -- sponsored by Republican Peter King and they still won't call the bills to the floor. They're bipartisan bills that have bipartisan support and they still won't call the bills to the floor as people are dying.
[23:35:13] LEMON: So you plan to keep up this tactics until when, Congresswoman?
KELLY: As long as it takes. We're dedicated to the cause until we can vote on a bill. They bring the bill to the floor.
Many of us have our pillows and blankets ready to spend the night tonight and we don't think that we should go on break as I -- as I've said earlier, you know, many people can't go home to their families for the holiday because they're not alive anymore.
And we have something to do with that with not passing, not one bill. There's not one gun violence prevention bill that has been brought to the floor and I came here in 2013 and that's ridiculous.
LEMON: So, I'm going -- Andy Dean, Paul Ryan called this a publicity stunt by Democrats. What do you make of that?
ANDY DEAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I disagree with Paul Ryan, actually. Don, you know how conservative I am. If I'm one of the most conservative people you have on CNN and I'm proud of what the Democrats are doing tonight because it's very simple.
If you're on the No-fly list, you shouldn't be able to get a gun. This isn't complex and, Don, if we're talking real numbers here and I think this is important for the American public to understand.
There are 81,000 people -- 81,000 people on the No-fly list. 80,000 of them cannot buy a gun because they aren't U.S. citizens. So there are only about 1,000 Americans that this applies to.
And if they're walking into a gun shop, the FBI or some member of the Justice Department should have a visit with them and after a week investigation, if this person is fine, then they can get their gun. But we need to delay them from purchasing guns.
Now, one final thing, Don, I'll say. I think the sit-in is a good idea because if you're No-fly, you should no gun. But tomorrow night, the Republicans need to have a sit-in about radical Islam and the dangers of that because they'll kill us with pressure cookers, guns, planes and we need to stop Syrian refugees from coming in.
So, I'll agree to you. Tonight is good, but tomorrow night, I'd like to see a sit-in about radical Islam.
LEMON: And there we go. I was wondering what happened to Andy Dean, but now Andy Dean is back for the second part of that statement. But I do find it very interestingly and that is what Senator Susan Collins bill is proposing is what Andy is saying.
But I find it interesting. David, as you were pointing out that she is speaking, this is a second Trump person we've had on who would sort of applauded with the Democrats are doing.
CHALIAN: Right. And Mike Caputo noted also that Donald Trump believes and as Andy was just enunciating the position in this position of the No-fly, No-buy which now raises the question, so is Donald Trump going to pick up the phone and talk to House Speaker Ryan and say is there, you know, obviously we know that that relationship is froth.
But, we have seen previous election cycles that a presidential contender who is not in Congress may speak to their party and control and try to help shape the agenda. It would be very interesting to see if Donald Trump wants to help shape the agenda here.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Or does Donald Trump actually go to the NRA, which he supposed to meet with on this and say, "Look, there has to be some kind of middle ground." Because Trump has also said, "Well, I think the No-fly lists are too large," right and maybe there is a way to narrow that down.
As Dana was talking about earlier there is some proposals to do that. But here we have two Trump supporters applauding, essentially what is going on in the House. So, though I think Mike Caputo called it anarchy because he believes in decorum which a lot of us do. But, ...
DEAN: I'm applauding it.
BORGER: OK and you are ...
BORGER: And so ...
DEAN: I don't really care about decorum. I care about the (inaudible).
BORGER: But, then ...
LEMON: We know, Andy, trust us.
BORGER: But then the question is -- and I know you can't speak for Mr. Trump, but, you know, the question is would you advise Donald Trump then to go out and say, you know, "I applaud what the Democrats did on the House floor last night because this is seem (ph) to get done?
DEAN: Well, look, of course you ask me that -- OK, go ahead.
LEMON: No, no. I want you to finish, Andy then you'll get in Ben.
DEAN: OK, Gloria, I mean, my answer to that will be, look, Donald Trump is a smart man and he's a negotiator. And I truly believe that he thinks if you're No-fly you should be No-buy. But, it's a negotiation.
So let's get something on radical Islam as in, you know, we'll give you this piece and let's go with that and then tomorrow let' have a meeting about the Syrian refugees that Hillary Clinton wants to bring into this country.
So, what I advice him to say -- to go along here, then yes. I would think that -- I would advice him absolutely to make sure that this happens, No-fly, No-buy that's it ...
LEMON: OK, so, Ben Ferguson ...
DEAN: ... and honestly -- and one thing, Don.
DEAN: And I would make a contingent. This is No-fly, No-buy and then I'd like to see more action against radical Islamists. But I think No-fly, No-buy just stands alone in and of itself.
[23:40:02] LEMON: I'm wondering, you know, I can hear the chorus saying see, we told you that the No-Trumpers -- Never Trumper saying, "I told you, you know, he was a Democrats. See, he's going along with the Democrat."
So, Ben, when you say Democrats they're using a tragedy for political gain. Go on.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, let's be clear that the he law that the Democrats are advocating for tonight would not have stopped the shooting in Orlando and that's why this is one of the most embarrassing self serving things I've ever seen in American political history totally getting rid of the decorum here.
The second point is this, many conservatives are not opposed to some sort of rule change where if you're on a No-fly list then you don't -- you're not able to buy a gun. But, what Andy Dean ...
LEMON: So why not vote on it then?
FERGUSON: When they -- well, here's the problem. What the Democrats who are saying they want to compromise will not compromise on any of this. And the fact is, you are deserved as a part of the constitution, due process.
You are not supposed to have your rights taken away from you. The -- you're supposed to have them protected and what the Democrats are saying tonight is they're willing to take away Americans' rights.
You don't know how you get on this list? You don't know how you get off this list? You know it's true. No, even Democrats can't even tell you how you get off this list if you're on the list. More ...
LEMON: Well, Councilwoman Quinn -- hang on Ben.
FERGUSON: Hold on. This is an important point. There is one last thing here. If I'm on the list, should I be notified that I'm on the list instead of randomly finding out one day when I go to buy a gun that my rights have been stripped from me? Those are fixes the Democrats have refused to compromise on.
LEMON: So, Councilwoman Quinn -- hang on. Hang on. Angela, hold on. Hold on. Councilwoman Quinn, part of these bills proposals are that there is some way of getting off of it and be reimbursed for your legal fees. There is process and there is due process in this legislation, correct?
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE NY CITY COUNCIL: Absolutely. And let me also say, Mr. Ferguson presents it as if he would support another bill that was, in his words, more directly connected to Orlando that's simply not true.
The Republican Party who is controlling Congress right now, they are not interested in voting in any kind of gun legislation. And let's be clear, this isn't a political stunt. 49 ...
FERGUSON: Yes it is.
QUINN: No it is not. It is a political protest. Wait a minute.
QUINN: No one interrupted you. So let's be clear here. I didn't interrupt you. So let's be clear.
DEAN: Everybody chill.
QUINN: Let's be -- no. I don't want to chill.
RYE: There is nothing to chill ...
LEMON: Let her speak, please, everyone.
QUINN: 49 people are dead.
RYE: That's right.
QUINN: 49 of my LGBT brothers and sisters are dead. And something needs to be done about that.
FERGUSON: Then why are you trying to pass a law?
QUINN: And tonight in the greatest John Lewis fashion is a political ...
FERGUSON: Then why are you trying to pass a law that would not have affected the shooting in Orlando? This is the point I don't understand.
RYE: Ben, you've already raise this, so now I'm going to answer this.
FERGUSON: You're being used tonight.
QUINN: I'm not being use by anyone.
FERGUSON: You are being tonight by Democrats because this law would not have stopped the shooting in Orlando.
LEMON: Would that stopped other mass shootings?
QUINN: Would you have supported ...
RYE: They are trying to raise several issues surrounding gun prevention. I spent the whole first 30 seconds of my initial comments talking about Congresswoman Kelly's record on this issue.
The fact of the matter is, whether you're talking about someone who you believe got into this country illegally or not or the scapegoating of Syrian refugees or whatever, we have a serious issues with gun violence in this country, most recently with 49 people dying. This is not a political stunt. It is absolutely a political protest.
LEMON: OK, Ben ...
RYE: How dare you? How dare you trivialize the lives of these people who are no -- wait, who no ...
FERGUSON: I'm not trivializing. I don't want to pass a law that was the meaning of the shooting in Orlando.
RYE: I'm finished. I am not finished, Ben. I'm not finished. You're disrespectful to the people who died.
FERGUSON: Well, that's what it called the conversation. You guys are anarchists on the floor of the House right now.
RYE: You're talking what I'm talking. You're talking while I'm talking.
FERGUSON: What you guys are doing on the floor of the House and acting like ...
RYE: Be quiet.
LEMON: So, OK, so stop guys. This is what -- OK. So, look, this is sort of what's happening with Democrats and Republicans on the House floor and it's playing out here on CNN. So I'm going to bring in someone who can give us some analysis on this and this is Bob Cusack.
And, again, to my point, Bob, the yelling and the people not listening to each other that is sort what's happening now. One side shutting the other side down, Bob Cusack.
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE HILL: Right. And the one thing to think about is that there is a bipartisan bill in the Senate that is moving that has the support of Senator Collins as well as Lindsey Graham and Harry Reid.
And this protest on the House floor could help that compromise move in the Senate. And I do think -- going back to Donald Trump, Donald Trump has been talking to the NRA. The NRA opposes the Collins bill.
[23:45:02] However, I don't think Donald Trump wants to go into the debate with Hillary Clinton saying, "I don't support a bill that would take away the guns from terrorists."
So I think in some ways, Trump can lead this effort. He certainly doesn't owe anything to Congressional Republicans who are not wildly backing him. But this certainly, this is an issue where Republicans are starting to defy the NRA who support -- who the NRA opposes that Senate bill. That's the bill to watch that could become law.
LEMON: OK. I want to get back to Representative Steve Israel. He's back and he is not on FaceTime. He's actually at the camera for us.
So Representative Israel, take us there. You're there. You see what's going on. What is happening?
ISRAEL: Well, they're bringing more Chinese food into the cloak room and more pizza into the cloak room and my colleagues are bringing more pillows on to the floor of the House. And so we expect that this will expect a very long night.
LEMON: I'm not sure if you realize you made history. I think you are the first person to FaceTime live on international television from the House floor. So, congratulations for that.
But you heard the argument playing out. I mean this is a very contentious argument. You know, Radio Talk Show Hosts Ben Ferguson who is a Republican says, "This would have changed nothing about Orlando." ISRAEL: Well, you can make that argument. And he maybe correct about that. There are lots of things that would have changed to Orlando, more mental health screening, more investments in mental health, maybe an assault weapons ban.
What Democrats are saying to Republicans is, "If you're not willing to engage us on all of those issues, then let's pass the one issue where there is a massive agreement." Where members of the NRA agree, where Donald Trump agrees and Hillary Clinton and that is on the No-fly, No- buy bill. And they're not willing to even give us that vote which is why we're forced to do what we're doing this evening.
LEMON: All right, thank you very much Congressman. We appreciate that. That is Congressman Steve Israel reporting to us. He is reporting. He did some reporting for us this evening.
BORGER: He sure did.
LEMON: From the House floor. And, again, I want to say we're following something that is unprecedented in what's happening here and this is something that really stirs passion among Americans.
We're going to hear from a GOP Representative Lee Zeldin on the other side of this break. Don't go anywhere. Breaking news on CNN continues at a moment.
[23:50:47] LEMON: All right, we're back with our breaking news now and you can see that there is a sit-in happening now live on the House floor. Democrats demanding gun legislation.
And the pictures that you're looking at are coming in now from Periscope because the Republicans have shut the camera off. They wanted to adjourn, but they're going to come back and try to handle some business.
Vote on some bills and then do an official adjournment, but who knows how this is going to play out now that there is a sit in and the Democrats have taken over the floor of the House of Representatives.
I want to bring in now Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York. He joins us. And I also have my panel with me.
Congressman, I want to say who I have with me. Bob Cusack is here, Editor in Chief of The Hill, Christine Quinn is here, Andy Dean, Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, David Chalian and Mr. Mark Preston all here as well and they may chime in and have questions for you.
But I have to ask you, Congressman, did the Speaker of the House make a mistake by not allowing this vote?
REP. LEE ZELDIN, (R) NEW YORK: Well, no. The Speaker has been focused this week on passing appropriations bill. This week we're supposed to pass the financial services appropriations bill, getting the Zika funding approved, the funding for the V.A., these are all pieces of legislation that we're supposed to pass this week.
The appropriations process is pretty much shutdown right now because of what' going on, on the House floor. So there are a lot of very important priorities. And I wouldn't want to discount all of the other important pieces of legislation that we're working through the process.
LEMON: So are you for or against having a vote on this? Are you for or against this type of legislation?
ZELDIN: I actually have legislation to prevent terrorists from being able to purchase firearms and explosives. I would like to see a vote on my proposal. So, you know, as far as I go, yeah. That would be great.
LEMON: So why not vote on this one and see -- check the outcome and then vote on yours as well?
ZELDIN: Why -- and I think it's real important that as we look at different pieces of legislation, it's important that we prevent terrorists from being able to not just be able to acquire a six hour rifle, but being able to acquire the smallest handgun that was actually we saw it in Orlando, a hand gun was used, any type of explosive.
I don't want to see any access whatsoever to anything that can could be used to carry out a terrorist attack. And the fact is what happened in Orlando is that we had a shooter who is a radicalized Islamic terrorist pledging allegiance to ISIS, chanting Allahu Akbar with deep hatred of the LGBT community.
So while we're having this debate, there is an important reality as well that we have a bigger threat on our hands not just overseas in the Middle East, but here at home with a group and individuals who want to disrupt our way of life.
LEMON: OK. I just want ...
ZELDIN: And that should not be loss on debate.
LEMON: I just want to get a concise answer to my question. Why not vote on this one and then see what happens and then vote on yours, because this doesn't have to be the final outcome? Why not?
ZELDIN: Well, you know, that's -- it's up to Speaker whether he wants to vote on the other bill. I'm not advocating for the bill that provides due process protections for law abiding citizens.
I think that the burden should be on the government before depriving any type of rights for the law-abiding citizen that there is hearing, notice, right to council that you're meeting the standard of probable cause when someone is suspected terrorist.
If you put someone on the watchlist who actually isn't a suspected terrorist, for them to start losing all sorts of other rights is a real problem. And if you start taking away second amendment rights, then maybe, you know, what type of discussion should be had about taking away first amendment rights, fourth amendment rights?
So for me the oath that we take, I believe that we should never bring legislation before the House or the Senate that takes way any constitutional rights whatsoever. And some are advocating for a proposal that doesn't provide due process. So that's my concern with the other piece of legislation or other legislations out there.
LEMON: OK, all right. Gloria Borger has a question.
BORGER: Congressman, do you believe that the Speaker then should just allow a vote on this?
ZELDIN: Well, if the Speaker -- I mean I've been advocating for a vote on my bill since ...
BORGER: Well, no, but on this particular bill which people are discussing. I know you may disagree with parts of this bill and you prefer your bill.
[23:55:02] But, should they allow -- should the Speaker just allow a vote on this?
ZELDIN: Well, here's a great question is what bill exactly are they talking about, because I have heard references to many different pieces of legislation. I bet you if I went on the House floor right now ...
LEMON: This is the Peter King bill.
BORGER: This is King Bill we're talking about, right.
ZELDIN: I don't believe that there should be a vote on that legislation. In my opinion, and it's my opinion, the due process protections is that are there that aren't there is of great concern to me. And we have an oath. We have a duty that we take to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.
So I strongly believe that we should do everything in our power to ensure that terrorists are not able to have access to any type of firearm, any type of explosive. I just think it's incredibly important how we draft the legislation beyond just that sound bite.
So, you know, as far as that one bill, I don't support it. I don't believe that it should be voted on and if it is voted on, I don't believe it should be passed.
BORGER: But, you know, even if they were -- so should they allow a vote on your legislation then? I mean any kind of legislation that addresses this particular issue and should the speaker do that?
ZELDIN: Yeah. I mean, that's up to the Speaker. I don't advocate for votes for bills that I don't support. You know, it's up to the Speaker if he wants to bring votes on any pieces of legislation out there other than the ones that I'm behind and I'm advocating for.
But, it will be very counterproductive for me to be advocating for progress on a piece of legislation and I have some very strong objections to.
As far as bringing the bill up for a vote, if it came up for a vote, that's fine. I would vote no and I would hope that my colleagues would as well because of the due process protections that are in the legislation that I introduced and I strongly advocate for.
LEMON: All right, thank you, Congressman Lee Zeldin. We appreciate it. You're doing as a lot to think about here, again.
You can see that's, you know, he said he is interested in having some sort of legislation. I'm wondering through the questioning if it's, you know, if it's a -- but my bill. What about my bill sort of, you know, does he was his name on it, but he says, no, he doesn't think that this bill is the right one.
BORGER: Well, if you think a measure is unconstitutional, you vote against it.
LEMON: You can vote against it.
BORGER: I mean, you know, there are plenty of measures that have been brought to the floor.
LEMON: I've got to take a break. We'll be right back with our breaking news.
Again, live pictures now that you're looking at from the floor of the House where Democrats have taken over the floor. How long will this go on? It is anybody's guess.