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Trump Angry At Sessions And Comey, Warns Mueller; Trump On Don Jr. Meeting, That Is Standard Political Stuff; Trump Warns Mueller About Looking In To family Finances;, Aired 11-Midnight ET
Aired July 19, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:28] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Breaking news tonight on two huge stories. This is CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon. President Trump on fire about the Russian investigation unloads on his own Attorney General, the FBI Director he fired and the special counsel investigating it all. I want you to listen to what he tells New York Times about Senator Jeff Sessions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sessions should have never recused himself and if he want -- if he was going to recused himself. He should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else. So Jeff Sessions takes the job. Gets into the job and recusses himself. I then have -- which frankly I think is very unfair to the President. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he had recused himself before the job, I would have said thank you Jeff. I'm not going to take you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The president also accuses FBI Director James Comey of using the infamous dossier as leverage over him and issued a warning to Special Counsel Robert Mueller about delving too far into his family's finances. This comes as we're learning tonight. Dates are set next week for his son Don Jr., son in law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort to testify under oath in the Russia investigation. Plus Senator John McCain, patriot, Presidential candidate, war hero facing another battle diagnosed with brain cancer, an out pouring of support for the Senator. We have much more on that throughout this hour. So let's get right to The New York Times. Patrick Healy a CNN political analyst, also Political Commentator David Swerdlick and CNN contributor, John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel. Where do we start? Let's start with we have more audio with the President's interview with The New York Times. I want you to listen to what he said about this undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin, here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: She is sitting next to Putin and somebody else and that is what it is. And for dessert I wanted to say hello to Melania and while I was there said hello to Putin, really pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation. But it was -- could be 15 minutes. We actually it was very interesting. We talked about adoption, Russian adoption. Yes. I always found that interesting because he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because that was part of the conversation that Don had, had that I think as I said most other people when they call up and say we have information on your opponent, I think most politicians -- they said who are you taking a meeting with?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ok. So did you hear what he said? If you think about the timing of that because he mentioned the meeting with Don and he talked about adoption and they're not actually talking about adoption. You're talking about sanctions and CNN and others are reporting the meeting was actually an hour rather than 15 minutes or so. What do you think?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Times reporting the same thing, I mean there are so many strange things going on here Don. One of the most striking parts is how much Don Jr. is still at the front of his mind. The fact he went to adoption. Clearly they talked about many things in this hour to 15 minutes to an hour but its Don Jr. that he brings up. I mean he is still trying to frame that or spin that around like this is something Vladimir Putin cares about so much. It's an extraordinary admission that basically he doesn't have a problem with saying I wasn't meeting with Angela Merkel, I wasn't meeting with Teresa May. I was having another side bar with Vladimir Putin that no Americans were there to give a readout of or analysis.
LEMON: David, remember the reporting that he crafted Don Jr.'s first statement to talk about adoption and then now he is talking about adoption but they denied it. Listen, I think again this interview is jaw dropping and all he has to do is thread the needle. And you know what I'm talking about.
[23:05:08] DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean a couple of things. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the involvement in the President drafting the initial statement was on his way back from Europe. And then as the story unraveled, even the President and his team trying to sort of craft their narrative about what took place between Don Jr. and the various Russians that were in this meeting at Trump Tower, they weren't able to stay ahead of it, but if I can piggy back on something that Patrick said a minute ago about that meeting.
Forget for a minute all the swirl around the President and potential ties to Russia or whatever his ties to Russia are. Just look at what we absolutely know. That he doted on Vladimir Putin with a two-hour reported meeting a one-hour meeting that was only disclosed later while at a dinner. Our staunchest allies, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister May -- he did not pay the same level of attention to them. Allies that would be crucial if any crisis, including crisis involving Russia accrue down the road. It's really shocking. LEMON: What do you make of this, John?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I make of it that he certainly hasn't got his new lawyer Thank you Cobb yet. Who's going to try to vet these sorts of things and get controls on what they were saying about all the legal issues that are swirling around his presidency.
LEMON: Can I ask you something? You were the special counsel of George Nixon. What would you be thinking or advising or trying to sort of strategized about at this moment had you been doing what you do?
DEAN: Somebody would have tried to get the President to not talk about things that were directly involved in investigation or the investigators who were involved in it. You know, belittling Comey, for example. In one of the excerpts that I read in an interview, he calls Comey dumb. That is just belittling a potential witness against him. That isn't smart. As I say I think Ty Cobb or somebody is going to vet him. Those will be under control in the future.
HEALY: The theory is sitting in the oval office and there's this investigation that Robert Mueller is undertaking and not sure whether President Trump is under investigation or to what extent it is and yet he is still talking about based on lack of faith in Jeff Sessions and how he knew that Jeff Sessions wasn't going to take the right step under the constitution to recuse himself from an investigation and it really sort of raises questions about judgment here. I know you want to point to people who are yes men whether or not the constitution weighs in on it.
LEMON: Do we have the part where we talks about Don Jr.'s emails? Do we have that yet? Audio, this is about the meeting? Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I didn't look at it very closely to be honest with you. I just heard there was an email requesting a meeting that they had information on Hillary Clinton and I said I mean that is standard political stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know at the time they had the email?
TRUMP: No. It must have been a very unimportant meeting because I never heard about it. Sounded like a very unimportant meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Jersey and California and the primaries and you give a speech about Hillary Clinton's corrupt dealings with Russian or other countries and that comes just three hours after --
TRUMP: People are suspicious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ok. So it was so unimportant that there was a translator in there and his son in law was in there, his top advisor, also his campaign manager, CEO of his campaign. That was an unimportant meeting Patrick?
HEALY: The pretext was that the Russians had information that could hurt Hillary Clinton. We've got goods if we can come and bring you to hurt your opponent. This is when Donald Trump is ramping up before the Republican convention, organizing the general election campaign. He doesn't have much of a staff so much so that one of his sons and his son in law are organizing a meeting with the campaign chairman. I mean this is a very big meeting and clearly Don Jr. took it very seriously. Looking at the email exchange that Don Jr. had with the publicist, back and forth, he was dying to get this guy in.
[23:10:07] LEMON: John Dean, let's talk about this, he accused Robert Mueller running the best case full of conflicts and he said this, he said -- asked if Mr. Mueller investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family's finances beyond any relationships to Russia. Mr. Trump said, I would say yes. He did not say what he would do about it, I think that is a violation, look, this is about Russia. Everyone always says you follow the money. That phrase became famous during the Watergate investigation. What's your read on this?
DEAN: He is actually responding to a leading question but he took it farther than the question really needed to go. And he is saying there is a red line. It is mine and outside the area of Russia he sort of acknowledged that was a legitimate area. The subtext which runs through this entire interview is that it's everybody else's fault and not his. That he shouldn't be subject and may not be subject to a Russian investigation. He tries to fog that up again. But he doesn't want it clearly to go outside the boundaries of where he thinks this special counsel has authority that he is not apparently challenging at this point.
LEMON: David, go ahead, David.
SWERDLICK: And done, politically, right, there was a point in time when it might have been more plausible for the President or the administration to argue, look nothing to see here. Why is the media looking into the President's finances? But with each sort of billow in this building cloud of smoke around the President and his team and Russia, it's harder and harder just politically to make a credible case that looking into the President's finances, whatever is found is beyond the pale or somehow an over reach by special prosecutor Mueller. It's something based on what we know that should be looked into even if he doesn't find anything.
LEMON: Let's talk more about - because he took on Comey saying he only brought the so called Dossier full of solicit material, because he wanted to keep his job as sort of leverage. This is how James Comey testified about that moment in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I didn't use the term counterintelligence. I was speaking to him and briefing him about some salacious and unverified material. It was in the context of that, that he had a strong and defensive reaction about that not being true and my reading of it was it was important for me to assure him we weren't personally investigating him. So the context was narrower focused on what I was talking to him about. First all of it was true and I was very much about being in a kind of J Edger Hoover type situation. I didn't want him thinking that I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him on some way. I was briefing him on it because we were told by the media it was about to launch and he needed to know this was being said and I was very keen to leave him with the impression the bureau is trying to do something to him and so that is the context in which I said, sir we are not personally investigating you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Just to be clear, here's what the President said in the interview, ok Patrick, he said Mr. trump believe that Mr. Comey told him about the Dossier too, to make clear he had something to hold over the President. In my opinion, he shared it to think he had it out there. I would think he had it out there he said as leverage? Yes, in retrospect. So is this -- he said the Mueller investigation is a set up as well?
HEALY: Yes. I think that is exactly how he is framing it to his supporters and what he is trying to push out.
LEMON: does he actually believe that?
HEALY: He actually believes -- this is what is so interesting. This is exactly how President Trump thinks? During the campaign he saw staff and they've never liked them bringing him bad news. They didn't like poll numbers that conflicted with his reality of the situation. Now you have him as President of the United States and in some ways he still sees the FBI Director, Attorney General Sessions as staff. He expects loyalty above all things. So for the FBI Director to come in to the oval and say I want to talk to you about this document, this is something President Trump does not respond well to and he is looking for motives in his own mind to try to make sense of this that people are out to get him or put leverage on him and you can see him in Comey's testimony. He was sort of a little baffled by what was setting Trump off that he was so aggrieve by Comey coming in and saying I just want to tell you about this information that is out there.
[23:15:12] LEMON: Why is it - yes go ahead.
SWERDLICK: One inconsistency that I think was small but important in the interview and hats off to Maggie and Peter getting the interview with the President. He said I don't remember talking to him, Comey about any of this stuff, referring to an investigation. But on May 11th, on the interview on TV with Lester Holt he said I actually asked him if I was under investigation. So how could he have asked Comey if he were under investigation but then not remember talking to him about any of this stuff?
LEMON: He misremembered. He misremembered. Go ahead, John. DEAN: Another subpart of this investigation is that Comey I have read
that was a collective decision by the bureau and as well as talking to the White House about whether to give this information to Trump or not.
LEMON: So he sought the advice of different people.
DEAN: Exactly. And I think that is important.
LEMON: Can I ask you real quick John? I just want to ask you about Sessions and I do have to go. For him saying that Sessions if he had known he was going to recuse himself and then saying he gave a really bad answers to simple questions. What do you think Sessions should do or will do?
DEAN: That is a good question because he is in essence saying I have no confidence in my Attorney General. I haven't ever since he recused himself. So the question is that can the Attorney General operate in that atmosphere? I think if I were Sessions, I would walk over to the White House and say do you want me to leave? And have it out and you understand the implications of my leaving at this time. I think that would clear the air and probably what he needs to do.
LEMON: Maybe what he wanted to do. Well thank you, gentleman. When we come right back our breaking news, President Trump takes on his own Attorney General issue as warning to the special counsel and Washington holds its breath. What will all this mean to the Russia investigation?
[23:20:53] LEMON: Our breaking news tonight, President Trump venting in a wide range interview in The New York Times, lashing out at Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, former FBI Director James Comey, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and others. Here to discuss Daniel W. Drezner, contributor to the Washington Post and CNN political commentator Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, gentlemen, good evening to you. I want to get your reaction to President Trump warning special counsel Mueller not to investigate his family finances as part of the Russia probe and put the quote up here and let our viewers see it but basically telling him not to go too far afield. Why does he feel he can tell the special counsel the parameters of his investigation?
DAVID W. DREZNER, CONTRIBUTOR WASINGTON POST: Because Donald Trump looks at anyone employed by the federal government as part of his personal staff, basically. And so as a result, he thinks there is no wall between him and special prosecutor or Mueller. So it's not surprising he thinks he can lay out what the contours are. One way is to believe Trump really does believe he is innocent and therefore it's outrageous Mueller would investigate anything beyond Russia or that Donald Trump has really got something serious to hide and is saying don't go to that thing that I don't want you to know about.
LEMON: This is interesting. Scott, senior reporter last week at the FBI as part of its counter intelligence probe and its investigation to Russian meddling has scrutinized some of Donald Trump Jr.'s business dealings and meetings even before the latest meeting. So do you think the President is reacting to how this Russia probe is quickly growing now?
SCOTT JENNINGS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean we talk about this before and for the last several months, these probes start out looking at one thing and other things pop up, that becomes somehow within the purview of these investigators. That can happen with a special counsel and congressional committee. They look at one thing and find something else. It happened in some of the Clinton investigations in the '90s. It happened to Scooter Libby. He was investigated on an intelligence leak issue. But he got convicted on obstruction. But these investigations grow and they're like spider webs and they go out and I imagine it's extremely frustrating for people in the middle of it.
LEMON: I can hear people at home saying its good for it good for the goose then it is good for the gander. Wouldn't you be advising the President and people around him to zip it up? Not to do interviews like that?
JENNINGS: Sure and I wouldn't be giving the President legal advice. But yes, this interview seemed little ill timed to me, specifically when you consider you got Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort and others testifying in front of congress next week, in just a few days and so I imagine now some of the President's statements could come up in the context of those investigations as well. It seem as little strange to have it out there like that tonight but he has extreme confidence in his ability to communicate how he feels about what's going on in the world and if he wakes up and decides I got something to say, he is going to say it no matter what his advice is.
LEMON: Your facial expressions, speaking violence but I'd actually like to hear what you're thinking.
DREZNER: Don, I'm just too overwhelmed by the outrages success of made in America week by the Trump administration. I think they've been so successful at that that I hadn't paid any attention to this interview. I think this is part in parcel of Trump's M.O. as President of the United States which is he constantly steps on whatever message his White House is actually trying to get out there. This week was supposed to be made in America week and with the failure of health care was supposed to be about potentially reviving health care and Donald Trump decides I'm going to speak for 90 minutes about Russia as if somehow that is not going it attract everyone's attention and as we said before and in the program in the past hour, part of the problem here is maybe a couple of months ago they had a case to make that people were being paranoid about this. But the problem is that there are now actual evidence there was some degree of contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians. So anytime he brings this up as an issue it's going to cause more people to pay attention to it.
[23:25:32] LEMON: Let me ask you about this. Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., all scheduled to testify next week in the Russia probe. What do you think we're going to learn about the June 2016 meeting they all had with this Russia lawyer? DREZNER: Whatever we learn we're going to learn it in full. That is
been one of the issues so far is they've been answering questions on a daily basis about it. They have to answer more questions. This is what we've been talking about for several days. This is probably the best opportunity to tell their full side of the story under oath in public all the time not piece-mealed out. I actually think this is the right way to conclude for them as a pr issue instead of discussing it day to day, get it all out there, and answer every single question. I think I might open up with my opening statement saying, I will sit here as long as you want and I will not leave until the last question is answered. That would be a great gesture and great sign of confidence you didn't do anything wrong.
LEMON: All right thank you all. Thank you both, just ahead, more on our breaking news, President Trump warning special counsel Robert Mueller not to cross a red line in investigating the Trump family, that as investigators may be following the money.
LEMON: Here is our breaking news tonight, President Trump in an interview tonight slamming Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former FBI Director James Comey and Specila Counsel Robert Mueller. Joining us now to discuss Matthew the Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary for Europe, Middle East and Africa during the Obama administration, CNN Legal Analyst Michael Zeldin, former Special Assistant to Robert Mueller at the Justice Department, gentleman, I'm glad to have you on. Thank you so much. I want to ask you, Matthew about President Trump's interview with this New York Times interview and he said it would be a violation if Special Counsel Mueller, look under to his family finances as part of any investigations saying it would cross a red line if the investigation went beyond Russia. What's your reaction to that?
MATTHEW MURRAY, CO-FOUNDER OF AN ANTI-CORRUPTION NGO IN RUSSIA: Of course Mueller has the discretion to do that. We want them to follow the facts and the money if that is where it leads them and it's also important to note that given the record will show according to Don Jr. in 2008 there's a disproportionate amount of Russian money, Russian asset in the Trump portfolio. It's hard to see how if he went into the finances generally, he wouldn't discover Russian assets and so it's increasingly clear that the history of doing business with Russians by working with them to sell them parts could very much come into play during the Mueller investigation. And then for him to make that kind of stretch, it's ironic because the Wall Street Journal did the President a great service Monday night - a very powerful argument to him.
LEMON: About transparency. He needs to be transparent and in the first paragraph they say he was doing exactly what he criticized the Clintons of doing.
MURRAY: Exactly. And they made a call for him to be preemptively disclosing all the information that he could. That it's not too late to get out in front of this investigation and that would logically include him, for example, releasing his tax returns at this point. And they got Trump's response tonight, which was unfortunate. He basically said to The New York Times in answer to a question from The New York Times that I'm drawing a red line here.
LEMON: I want to bring Michael in. Let's talk a little bit more about that, because we have this warning from the President though he would not say what he would do about it. But this comes as we're getting more details about the Don Jr. meeting, other Russia connections and you said early on investigators will follow the money.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That is right. I think there's no question but that we are in the midst of a money laundering investigation. With respect to Manafort and the purchases of properties in New York for cash in violation of perhaps the geographic targeting order rules, we see articles in The New York Times today about indebtedness and limited liability corporations to make them less transparent to investigators, perhaps violation to the foreign tax accountability act. We know that Don Jr. has mentioned in 2008 that they are Russian up with their money. They don't need U.S. banks except the one they used is deutsche bank which is caught in a money laundering inquiry of its own. There's no question but we crossed the line that President Trump has drawn today. When he realizes that he is gone beyond that, what's he going to do? And the only thing he can do is direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller. I think Rosenstein will quit before he does that and I think the associate Attorney General will quit before he does that and then they have to change the regulations so he will fire it. This is a gigantic meshed that he is in and I just -- I don't think he realizes the thickness of the soup that he is in. Maybe when Ty Cobb gets there, he'll be able to set him straight but right now he is wandering in the desert.
LEMON: These were Michael's words. He said he thinks we're in the middle of a money laundering investigation. That is what you said.
ZELDIN: Yes. That is what I said.
LEMON: So Matthew, there is also the New York Times reporting that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was in debt by as much as $17 million to pro-Russians interest before he joined President Trump's campaign. Money that appears to have been owed by shell companies connected to Paul Manafort's business activities in Ukraine in the tax haven of Cyprus. What do you make of this?
MURRAY: This makes Mr. Manafort extremely vulnerable, doesn't it? To the types of pressure that we see Russia was prepared to put on the Trump campaign and the June 9, 2016 meeting, now helps us connect dots on the question of follow the money in a way that was not plausible before because of who was in the room. Who represents the Aguilar family, they were in business with the Trump family during the Ms. Universe pageant 2013 and they've been trying to develop a hotel with the Trump family. So the fact that he was there corroborates that the Russians were approaching the Trump organization with an offer of official information about Hillary Clinton and that they were prepared to perhaps trade that information in exchange to an end of sanctions and in exchange for the ability to work with the Trump administration on a host of economic issues. [23:06:02] How does that connect to Manafort? Manafort's in the room.
Manafort was in a discussion in a room where he could have seen the possibility that if he was in debt at that time and it's questionable because he is claiming that any debt he had, he had eradicated by the end of 2015. So let's assume he was still in debt to the Ukraine parliamentarian that was discuss in the article. Then he would have been very interested in knowing what was on the table in that room and you asked your earlier guests this evening as to what we'll find out this week from the witnesses that will appear on the hill. I'm not sure we'll find out exactly what happened in that meeting.
LEMON: I'm running out of time.
ZELDIN: What we will find out next week in those hearings is whether any of these people can tell a coherent truthful story and that is going to be their biggest point of jeopardy moving forward. Even the President today in the New York Times article said that he didn't tell Comey anything about the Flynn firing that Comey testified to --
LEMON: That is not what he said. He said he doesn't recall having that conversation.
ZELDIN: I understand that but Comey has said he flat out said that. And someone's going to be telling the truth and someone's not going to be telling the truth.
LEMON: Thank you Michael. Thank you Matthew, I appreciate it. When we come back as turmoil spreads in Washington and across the country, Senator stands up in defense of opponent running against him. She was under attack for being Muslim, there she is. I am going to speak with her live.
[23:40:00] LEMON: A Muslim American woman, a Democrats running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, barraged with hate filled comments on Facebook, because of her religion but none of that could stop Deedra Abboud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEEDRA ABBOUD, (D) SENATE CANDIDATE ARIZONA: The journey I have decided to take on today is not just for people who look and sound like me but for all Arizona.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The candidate defended by someone you might not expect, her opponent. Joining me now is Senate candidate Deedra Abboud. How are you?
ABBOUD: I'm doing excellent. How are you?
LEMON: I'm great. And I'm so happy that you came on. I want to read part of your Facebook post and you write in part this. You said, "the founding fathers decreed this nation would separate church and state and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach and religion would be free from government interference." can you tell us a little bit about this online piece, this online attacks you've received since posting that.
ABBOUD: It actually started before I posted that, it started on a video similar to the one that you showed and not sure why it suddenly ramped up but two days ago it really started becoming one comment a minute.
LEMON: And before we move on and talk about it, I thought it was extraordinary and I shouldn't say extraordinary because it's the right thing to do. The man whose job you're seeking, he tweeted, hang in there Deedra. Sorry you have to put up with this, lots of wonderful people across Arizona. You'll find them. What's your reaction to his support?
ABBOUD: I appreciate any elected leader for calling out this kind of rhetoric and these attacks on our fellow Americans. I appreciate he did that. And we need to see more of that from our elected leaders. A lot of our elected leaders make the same comments. The rest of our elected leaders are not calling them out and the rest of society isn't making a decision. Is this us or is it not us?
LEMON: The alt-right has shown up at some of the campaign events. Did you expect it?
ABBOUD: I came in this with full -- I knew this was exactly what I was going to pull out of the woodwork and I want to because we need have a conversation about whether or not those people represent America. I believe the majority of Americans they don't either. When the alt right decided to come to our event, we ask the police to let them stay and have their freedom of speech and also to show them they're not going to intimidate them. That is how we deal with bullies. That is how we show them they're not going to make us put their head down.
LEMON: And I want to speak to reports about President Trump has been speaking to and recruiting respective Republican candidate -- challenging Senator Jeff Blake in the primary. What do you think about that?
ABBOUD: I think the administration needs to worry about what going on with the administration and let Arizona decides who their next Senator's going to be.
LEMON: What would you tell others who are thinking for running for office or maybe just exercising their civic rights, they may be afraid of facing the type of abuse online and even in person because it could translate into a real-life incident?
ABBOUD: Muslims may be the flavor of the day but we're not the only flavor on the menu. Every community that can be marginalized or chose as another gets the same attacks. If you're going to run for a political office, you bet ever a thick skin. You better be willing to deal with bullies. They're in the grocery store and it's time we as Americans stood up and say that is not us. LEMON: Deedra Abboud, thank you. Best of luck to you and again I'm
sorry this happened to you.
ABBOUD: Thank you.
LEMON: I want to bring out Dean Obeidallah, the host of The Daily Beast, Opinion Contributor to CNN.com who posted a commentary today about this incident and Senior Political Commentator Andre Bauer. Good evening, gentleman. It's very well spoken, very smart lady there, Dean. I know you feel strongly about this. What's your reaction?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COLUMNIST THE DAILY BEAST: I thought she was great and I must say I have never praised a Republican before ever on CNN. So, wake up Wolf Blitzer. This is breaking news my friend. This is big. Jeff Blake did what everyone should do.
LEMON: It's really shouldn't be extraordinary.
OBEIDALLAH: You know what Jeff Blake spoke out against Muslim bigotry. Blake stands up against bigotry. From Islam hates us, to a thousand cheered in New Jersey in 9/11 which is a lie, to wanting a ban. What Jeff Blake did was such a great thing and Democrats, Republicans. We should applaud each other, when we do something objectively good and bad.
LEMON: Andre, recent study by the counsel and Islamic relationship shows hate crime has increased 91 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same time period last year. What does that tell you?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Again. I look for the shining part of this. This is what America is about respect and decency. You know Bakari Seller, he and I are great friends. We duke it out. But at the end of the day we still respected each other. I admire the Senator for standing up for what could be his opponent and I tried to find the good and not everybody's bad. You got to get in thick skin when you're in politics. People are beating me up left and right. So it's not always about just religion. They always are going to find something negative to come at you with and we still have good folks like Deedra trying to run you out of office.
LEMON: Do you have people wanting to run you out of the country and saying that you are not an American and you don't belong in this country or you are putting up pictures of --
BAUER: Don, they don't say that but they say things that are hate filled, they say things about killing me or I don't belong here.
LEMON: Ok, just be specific. Let's be real. When you look at the first six months of this year compared to last year, hate crime against Muslims has increased by 91 percent. What do you say to the people fuelling this hate against Muslim?
BAUER: The good thing is we have a process whereby the people do these hate crimes are prosecuted and I hope law enforcement will go forward with prosecuting folks committing these crimes.
OBEIDALLAH: First of all there's been I think four or five mosques burned down since January. And you even had it prior to this. A man was just sentenced last month for 19 years in prison for a plot to kill Muslims. But thanks to Trump, we've seen a spike in people boldened, dispute hate, I have never seen a level anti-Muslim.
LEMON: This directly connects.
OBEIDALLAH: I think when the GOP nominee and the President of United States who said things literally Islam hates it. And said thousands of Muslims cheered on 9/11. What message does that send to his followers? And every President has had a Ramadan event at the White House. Trump is the only one not to have one. That is a deliberate message to his supporters that Muslim is not a part of the fabric of his nation that he views this message as not including us. That is dangerous and Andre is right, there is a silver lining here. Jeff Blake was really great and I wish other Republicans, especially Donald Trump, would speak up again.
LEMON: Maybe he'll tweet about the injustice she faces.
BAUER: And that is not the first Republican you've said something nice about. You said something nice about me this past weekend.
OBEIDALLAH: I did Andre.
LEMON: Ok. Get a room, guys. Coming up the child that became a national obsession in the 90's O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder but has been behind bars for 8 1/2 years for armed robbery. Could he be a free man soon?
[23:50:40] LEMON: It was a crime that became an American and worldwide obsession in the 90's, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. After spending the last 8 1/2 years behind bars for another crime, armed robbery, he could be on the verge of being a free man. His parole hearing is set for tomorrow. Joining me now is the acclaimed filmmaker John Singleton the director of the FX miniseries "The people versus O.J. Simpson." as well as boys in the hood. He is featured in CNN's new series the nineties. And your new one in FX is?
JOHN SINGLETON, FILMAKER, BOYZ IN THE HOOD: Snowfall.
LEMON: Let's talk about the people versus O.J. Simpson, the ongoing and then the miniseries. Let's watch the clip and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have 62 instances of Simpson beating and stalking Nicole.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found blood where there should be no blood. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a murder case, not a domestic violence
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People do admire me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my hope we can treat each other with respect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I try to be respectful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think will happen tomorrow? What do you think should happen?
SINGLETON: They said he hadn't done anything in the nine years he is been there. He is been a model prisoner. Ironically, he hasn't taken an extra ketchup or mail pack. That was an actual quote, something like that. I mean, hey, he is not doing anybody any harm, you know.
LEMON: Can you believe the fascination around this still?
SINGLETON: It's drama. It's soap opera. It's real soap opera, you know. It is very fascinating. You think about where he started, and where he transformed himself to. And then what happened in the '90s with the deaths of Nicole.
LEMON: The thing about the nineties, you're part of this new series we have called "the nineties." there was a lot of racial tension around this, because Rodney king happened around this. I remember where I was for the O.J. Simpson trial. I remember black people and white people in the newsroom where I worked looking at each other like, what the heck is going on here.
SINGLETON: It was a powder keg. L.A. was like, it was interesting, because we were coming off two years, the riots had just happened. So half of L.A. was ironically tossed up for O.J. you wouldn't think black people would do anything for O.J. because we had given up on him. But that time was like, wait a minute, are they going to send this guy to the electric chair over this? Because half the time was like, he did it, and the other half of the time is he didn't do it.
LEMON: You knew Rodney king, right?
SINGLETON: I knew Rodney, yes.
LEMON: And I did a long interview with him. And the series of the nineties is titled can we all get along. Let's watch it and let's talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember the power of stepping out of the D.C. Metro and seeing this sea of faces of color on the national mall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The million-man March was called for by Louis Farrakhan, who is head of the nation's Islam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The basic reason that this was called was for atonement and reconciliation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is always been a controversial figure because of his anti-Semitic utterances. The March becomes bigger than Louis Farrakhan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trapped in second-class schools and first- class jails.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been locked up. We've been brutalized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This became the first mass expression we could make together, that we need to be regarded, respected, and heals this racial breach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We aren't all drug dealers. We have a message.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you stand with your mothers, when you stick it out with your families and start mentoring our young, then we can build a new nation of strong people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to get out of that whole kind of like time bomb mentality, growing up in L.A. gives you. I think the March gave me a sense of hope that things could get better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:55:13] LEMON: It's been great. What did you think? That moved you.
SINGLETON: I'm looking at this right now, and, you know, it's beautiful. And it's just so elegant. It's ironic that it was a recent part of our past. Now thinking of contemporary times it's really sad. There's no solidarity like that amongst black men or black people at all.
LEMON: Not even with black lives matter?
SINGLETON: No, look what happened last year. They squashed that. It's not an ongoing thing. There's not an ongoing thing about the different injustices going on, all the different things that even Mr. Jeff Sessions is trying to roll back, you know, all the gains that happened in the last eight years. I believe that, you know, without -- it should be a methodical thing amongst people to really achieve their liberation, you know what I mean? And we're not asking for anything other than what all Americans are afforded.
LEMON: In the moments we have left, tell me about snowfall on FX.
SINGLETON: It's a show set in 1983. It's in south-central Los Angeles, east L.A., the west side. It's about how cocaine changed L.A. yes.
LEMON: Crack epidemic. SINGLETON: Transcending from the cocaine to the crack epidemic. If
we weren't trying to fight this covert war in Central America, we wouldn't have the proliferation of crack in Los Angeles. We showed that in the show.
LEMON: I can't wait to see it. All your stuff is amazing. Thank you so much for coming on.
SINGLETON: Thank you very much. Good to see you, man.
LEMON: Snowfall airs Wednesday 10:00 p.m. on FX. And don't miss the nineties, Sunday night at 9 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.