Return to Transcripts main page


Trump At Boy Scout Jamboree; Kushner Contradicts Trump team's Denials Of Russian Contacts; Trump Aides Admit To Russia Meetings After Denials; President Trump Routinely Calls Russia Story Fake News; Scaramucci Reveals Anonymous Source To Be President Trump; White House Briefing Back On Camera; Presidential Tweet Storm; Bride To Be Fatally Shot By Police After Calling 911; Policing Ferguson, Policing America; CNN Heroes. Aired 11p - Midnight ET

Aired July 24, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- about politics when I'm in front of the boy scouts, right?


DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS HOST: This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. The president actually went on blast the media, push for the repeal of Obamacare and reminisce about his election victory. All in front of the boy scouts, so much for not talking about politics. Meanwhile, team Trump insisting over and over that nobody in the campaign had any contact with Russia. The President calls it fake news, a witch hunt. Now his own son-in-law admits his word perhaps four encounters with Russians during the campaign and transition, but he says he didn't collude and says he doesn't know if anyone else in the campaign that did. So what should the American people believe when it comes to this White House and Russia? Let's discuss. CNN Senior political commentator David Swerdlick, National Security Juliette Kayyem, Legal Commentator Matthew Whitaker and Political Analyst April Ryan, so good to have you all and David, let's start with you tonight your paper, "the Washington Post" reporting that President Trump is discussing replacing the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This is a President's reaction earlier today when asked about Sessions.




LEMON: What can you tell us?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, look, Don, I think it's a couple of things. One is that with this President, it has proved so far that loyalty is sort of a one-way street, right? He expects maximum loyalty. Frankly, he wants to have flunkies instead of folks that work in politics, are on his side, but are ultimately loyal to the constitution. That may change, but I think that is been the pattern so far. In terms of our report, look, I don't know ultimately if the White House is going to balance this out and say yes, we're going to get rid of Attorney General Sessions. But they have to consider the following things.

Number one, Attorney General Sessions has played this game before. He knows this game better than President Trump. Number two, they have to consider the fact that anybody that they would nominate would have to go through another senate confirmation and another bite at the apple for Democrats to ask that person questions and whoever that nominee is, Don, would now own this entire mess with Russia, with the special prosecutor, with the firing of Director Comey. That would be in the inbox someone coming in on day one. So an end, Sessions knows this. So I think yes, he may ultimately wind up going, but he knows this is not an easy decision for the President.

LEMON: Matt, earlier today you said you didn't think AG Sessions would make it till Christmas. You want to revise that now?

MATTHEW WHITAKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FOUNDATION FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND CIVIC TRUST: This is really a difficult situation that Attorney General Sessions finds himself in. I mean he doesn't have the confidence of his President, ultimately his boss. But who seems to be willing to let him sort of hang out there in the breeze. It's really concerning, as somebody that loves the department of justice like I do and I know Attorney General Sessions does too. It's hard to watch an Attorney General that doesn't have the confidence of the President. I hope that this President takes decisive action either by reaffirming that Sessions will continue on or by allowing him to exit stage right gracefully and appoint somebody else. I agree to, put a new Attorney General in is going to be difficult and it is going to raise a lot of political issues up on Capitol Hill.

LEMON: Juliette Kayyem, every single one of us on this panel has some connection to scouting. This is going to be an interesting conversation to have. Tonight the President addressed boy scouts at a jamboree in West Virginia. Let's listen to some of what he said.


TRUMP: You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians. And I see the swamp and it's not a good place. In fact, today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or perhaps to the word sewer, but it's not good. Not good. Secretary Tom Price is also here. Today, Dr. Price still lives the scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of health and human services and he is doing a great job. And hopefully he is going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that is really hurting us today.

As the scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal, we could use some more loyalty, and I will tell you that. So when they said, there is no way to victory, there is no way to 270, you know, I went to Maine four times because it's one vote. And we won. But we won.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: He was speaking in front of boy scouts.


[23:05:00] LEMON: By the way, the largest boy scouts.

KAYYEM: Did the President win the election? You know? I haven't heard that one before.

LEMON: I just remember being a boy scout and wanting -- I didn't necessarily want to hear about politics. Does he know how to speak to an audience or does he just give campaign style rallies no matter who the audience is?

KAYYEM: He seemed happier. I guess that means something. Wait till you hear the speech he gives to the girl scouts. I'm not quite sure what to say to you at this stage. I mean, I think it is related to something more serious about this President. To the Sessions conversation you were just having. The President has a tendency to denigrate institutions, even institutions that seem not worthy of his denigration like the boy scouts, right? You can talk about trustworthiness and loyalty, but it doesn't have to be about whether you won the state of Maine. I think that gets back to the issue that we were just talking about Sessions, that what's happening is you're denigrating the department of justice overall by leaving Sessions out there, right?

To wonder what's going to happen to him. I have to remind everyone, the only reason why we're having this conversation which is so obvious, President Trump wants to get rid of Sessions so he can have greater control over an investigation that he is clearly starting to worry about in tweet storms and everywhere else. So it's not just a matter of this is an employment decision. This is actually -- we know why he is doing this. He said why he is doing this. But the speech tonight, Don, I was a girl scout. I just -- it's like beyond funny at this stage. It's embarrassing for him, and embarrassing for the institutions that have to suffer through it.

LEMON: I did the face when -- I was sitting in the congregation and my mom got up to sing a solo in church and her three kids were sitting in the back shrinking down. That was my reaction to that. It was embarrassing to watch. April, in addition to the clips we played above, the President also took swipes at the fake news, President Obama, Secretary Clinton. Was that an appropriate venue for that?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALIST: I'm a Girl Scout mom of a brownie and a girl scout. So when you think of boy scouts, girl scouts, brownies even daisies or cub you think of wholesomeness, you think of citizenship and high standards. To have the President of the United States there, that is a momentous occasion, an occasion to champion what they're doing. Instead, it was totally against everything that they're doing to talk about a woman, to talk about Hillary Clinton, to get into the weeds, the gutter or sewer as he says about the election. It was pretty bad. I'm also going to go back to the Sessions thing, as well. I talked to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today, Don, at the NAACP convention and I asked him about the fight, the back and forth between Sessions and the President and asked him should Sessions resign? He said that is between Sessions and the President. But he also said that he is coming back September, because we're in what seems to be a crisis in this nation and he says that he does not want to see the process impeded the way it's being impede.

LEMON: Trump invited members of his cabinet who were boy scouts to the stage including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and previously mentioned Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Absent was Jeff Session who's was an eagle scout. Do you think that was a coincidence?

WHITAKER: It was too bad. I know Rick Perry personally and he was a proud Eagle Scout. He was wearing his Eagle Scout ring there at the ceremony which he wears every day. I know those that have obtained their eagle scout, it colors the rest of their life in a positive manner. And it's something that is difficult to obtain. And is earned and not given away. It was too bad to not see Jeff Sessions there who was also an eagle scout. I'm sure he would have loved to be part of that jamboree.

LEMON: David, I want to get your take on something on the day Jared Kushner and his testimony behind closed doors and the comments he made coming out afterwards at the White House. What did you make of that?

SWERDLICK: So look, I think like a lot of people have said this evening, Jared Kushner acquitted himself better than some members of the Trump administration or the Trump campaign. I thought that he gave what I heard Michael Zeldin say in your last hour as a logical presentation but there were some inconsistencies, right? Now he is saying he is been fully transparent. We know going back in time not all of the meetings with Russians were revealed or were reported, even if those meetings didn't amount to anything, they weren't initially reported. And there was one other comment he made that goes to the heart of where we find ourselves Don, which is this issue about Jared Kushner spoke about the fact that look, to keep going with this Russia story is to make light of the votes of the people who put their faith and trust and vote in President Trump.

[23:10:05] And I would simply respond to that by asking him then how does he square that view with President Trump being the sort of birther in chief from 2011 and 2012 and onward where was that a situation where he was making a mockery of the votes of all the people that voted for President Barack Obama by furthering and giving fuel to this idea that President Obama had not been born in the United States? How do they square that if that is at the heart of what they're saying, if they're saying this is just an attempt to delegitimize the President what, do they say about birtherism?

LEMON: Thank you all, I appreciate it. When we come back, some of the President's team now admitting they met with Russians after spending months denying any contact with Russians, is it all part of their strategy, and will it work?


LEMON: President Trump routinely calls news about the Russia investigation fake news. Over the past year, he and his top aides repeatedly denied there were any meetings between the Trump campaign and Russians. We now know those denials are false. Here's CNN Tom Foreman with more.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Twice in the campaign and twice in the transition, the President's son-in-law and White House adviser met with Russians. And Jared Kushner says it was always proper.

JARED KUSHNER, PRESIDENT'S SENIOR ADVISER: Let me be very clear, I did not include with Russia nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.

[23:15:00] FOREMAN: But for months amid questions about Russian meddling in the election, President Trump has pushed a different story.

TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia, folks, ok?

FOREMAN: Dismissing claims anyone on his team even had contact with Russians.

TRUMP: No, nobody that I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election.

TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question? I have nothing to do with Russia, to the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.

FOREMAN: On twitter is has roared Russia is fake news put out by the Dems and played up by the media, such dishonesty or total scam.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have any contact with Russia leading up to the campaign?

FOREMAN: Vice President Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?


FOREMAN: Yet, we know well before those denials, Kushner joined then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. to meet with Russians after Trump Jr. was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. How now he says the meeting was a bust, not even about that subject. But the very next month, there he was ridiculing Democrats for suggesting the Russians were trying to meddle.

DONALD TRUMP JR., OLDEST SON OF DONALD TRUMP: It's disgusting and so phony.

FOREMAN: Paul Manafort vehemently dismissed the idea.

PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't know anything about you what you just said. To say you know, I don't know what you're talking about. It's crazy.

FOREMAN: And that talking point has been echoed repeatedly ever since.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone involved in the Trump campaign have any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the President-Elect just last night. Those conversations never happened.

FOREMAN: As now Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders said earlier this year, it's hard to make a comment on something that never happened. But now members of the President's team are admitting there were meetings with Russians despite all of those denials. And some of the President's opponents are clearly hoping this means he could pay a real price for all of those things that he is called fake news. Don?


LEMON: Tom Foreman, thank you very much. I want to bring in Dylan Buyers is a CNN senior reporter for medium politics, Political Analyst Rebecca Berg National Political Reporter for Real Clear Politics and Frank Sesna, Director of the school of media and public affairs at George Washington University and the author of "Ask more, the power of questions to open doors, uncover solutions and spark change." Good evening to all of you. Mr. Sesna, you first, the President said again and again he has said that Russia's a hoax, its fake news. Then all the Russian meetings were disclosed, the Don Jr. e-mails published showing the suspect line Presidential election. Story after story it's been proven true. How can the President still claim that he is the victim of fake news?

FRANK SESNA, DIRECTOR, MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: He can't. He does because he can say the words. He can't claim he is a victim of fake news. What Tom Foreman's piece showed so clearly is a repeated series of comments that didn't merely say we didn't collude? They said we didn't meet with them. Nobody had anything-to-do with them. Take the words for what they are. This isn't about fake news. This isn't about some kind of partisan spin. This is what they said now and what they say now which is yes, we did meet with them but -- and that is the problem and it hurts the President. It hurts his credibility and it hurts the credibility of anybody who steps near a microphone anywhere near the White House not just this but in other issues, too. The President can attack fake news and attack the media all he wants but this thing boomerangs and it has a very, very serious effect, because at the end of the day, as Sean Spicer knows, all he is got is his credibility.

LEMON: There you go. The president called, very well said by the way. The President called the e-mail story Rebecca, fake till e-mail chain was released by his own son. Then he praised Don Jr. for being transparent, the polar opposite of the truth. Why do people believe it?

REBECCA BERG, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Well, not many people do at this point. Credibility is an issue for this administration. I mean, we look at some of the statements that have come out of the briefing room, some of the statements that have come from the President himself. And time and again, we've seen their credibility thrown into question or even blatantly shown to be wrong. So this does matter ultimately, because the President and the White House need to have some level of authority. When we're talking about the United States dealing with a crisis or a matter of national security or foreign policy, where the President is speaking on behalf of the country, these things credibility does come into play and it really does matter.

LEMON: Dylan, the President calls stories he doesn't like fake news but many times the sources are from inside the White House. Then the administration decries the leaks. Do you think people will see through this over time?

[23:20:00] DYLAN BYERS, SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS, CNN: You would hope. But you know this sort of crisis of credibility we've been talking about is something the administration has had since day one. Ever since former press secretary Sean Spicer came out and lied about the size of Trump's inauguration crowd. The question is when does all of this break through? When does that sort of core base of Trump supports begin to question how that can be fake if even the President's son Donald Trump Jr. is acknowledging that these e-mails existed, publishing them himself? How can we trust a President and an administration that consistently says no, there is no contact with the Russians when there's tons of evidence out there now to suggest that there was contact with the Russians?

You know, Don, well you've been on air Trump has tweeted against a Washington Post story talking about the way that Trump Syria's strategy is relying heavily on Russia, he is calling that fake news and using that to go after Amazon, because Jeff Bezos also owns "the Washington Post" despite the fact Jeff Bezos has no editorial say ever "the Washington Post." it is an attempt every time the president uses the term fake news to muddy the waters, to confuse people, undermine the sense of integrity in the press even when stories are entirely accurate. And as Frank was saying, it's detrimental to our society and it's a problem. But as to whether or not people see through it, I don't know if that core base, that 30 to 35 percent of core Trump supporters really gives a damn about what we say.

LEMON: I think it's starting to crack. I think that there are polls that show that. It hasn't completely penetrated but it's starting to crack. Even conservative media now are wondering how we're going to start covering the actual news instead of creating scenarios about leaks and changing what the story actually is. Frank, it is a pattern that we've seen repeatedly, deny a story and admit it when they have to, then say it's not important. Anyone would have done it. Is there any indication this pattern will change.

My son, anyone would have taken the meeting that Don Jr. had. Is that going to change at all, do you think? SESNA: I just don't know. It's so hard to look at this. What's so

fascinating see Scaramucci coming in, the communications Director. Communication Director is supposed to have a strategy to the communication. What is the strategy here? You know, we lurch from one day to the next, one day the President is saying you know, health care is going to be available for everybody and we can't just end it without having a replacement and the next day it's a different story. I've never seen anything like this from a White House. It's a lack of discipline. It's a chaos of message that reflects a chaos I guess of thought and experience. And so where they go from here I don't know. But you know one thing is very interesting and is very dangerous for the President.

That is this becomes the narrative of his presidency, this lack of credibility, this fast and loose with the facts. Every presidency has a narrative that develops around it. And that can be very damaging. It can also be very supportive. To the long time for LBJ to lose Walter Cronkite over Vietnam, I don't know what's going to happen, but when Sheppard Smith over at Fox started saying bad things about the President's story and calling him lies, that is not a good thing if you're over at the White House.

BYERS: You know, don, if I may, one point that Frank just made, part of the strategy here might just be chaos. I would point viewers to a piece that the New Yorker's television critic Emily Nussbaum just wrote about Donald Trump's showmanship, the way he is brought reality television into the business of being President of the United States. Many of the decisions that are being made have to do with sort of keeping people on their toes, have to do with the entertainment value. Putting Scaramucci in that position, a guy with zero experience in politics, zero experience certainly in running a communication shop, a lot of that has to do with the sort of showmanship of a guy like Scaramucci purely for the element of political theater.

LEMON: The problem, save it for the other side. I've got to take a break. If this administration especially this President is at all concerned about legacy at this point, history will not be kind when written about the chaos and the lies and all of that. We'll continue on the other side of the break.


[23:28:15] LEMON: Anthony Scaramucci only a due days into his new job as Communications Director but he is already making changes announcing today the White House will go back to televising press briefings. Back now with my panel, Rebecca, that is a good thing.

BERG: It is a good thing. More transparency the better, certainly it's a good thing for the American public to be able to see reporters asking tough questions of the White House. So certainly a step in the right direction, but as far as anything else we're going to see from Scaramucci as Communications Director in the White House some of the changes we might see, it's an open question. Donald Trump especially recently has taken a very aggressive adversarial stance toward the press and his new communications Director has said he wants to let the President be the President, do what the President wants in terms of his communication strategy. Scaramucci even said that he was expecting he would learn a few things from Donald Trump when it comes to communication strategy out of the White House.

I don't think we can expect major changes, because Donald Trump is his communications Director, his press secretary, all of it. And if he is still of the belief as it seems tonight that fake news is a major problem here in Washington, D.C. and around the country, I think that is going to be the tone we're seeing from this White House more than anything.

LEMON: You know what, Frank, I get the feeling and I could be wrong, that Scaramucci wants to sort of change the narrative when it comes to the media to be nicer to the media and not be so adversarial. With him taking the helm of the press shop at the White House, I want to play a clip of him with our colleague, Jake Tapper on state of the union.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: There's a lot of disinformation out there. You know, somebody said to me yesterday, I won't tell you who, that if the Russians actual hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them meaning they're super confident in their deception skills and hacking. My point is all of the information isn't on the table yet.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Wait, wait, Anthony. Anthony.

SCARAMUCCI: Let me finish.

TAPPER: You're making a lot of assertions here. I don't know who this anonymous person is who said if the Russian had actually done it that we wouldn't have been able to detect it.

SCARAMUCCI: How about it was the President, Jake.

TAPPER: It's the consensus of the intelligence community.

SCARAMUCCI: He called me from air force one and he basically said to me, hey, you know, maybe they did it, maybe they didn't do it.


LEMON: As I said a moment ago, we learned that the daily press briefings going on back on camera. In the past, Sean Spicer and Sara Huckabee Sanders, they have been hard pressed to give answers to many questions saying I need to talk to the President. Do you think Scaramucci will be better plugged in than they were?

FRANK SESNO, DIRECTOR, MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It sounds like he is already. He is been brought into the inner sanctum that shoves Spicer away. You can be close to the President but if the President is in one mood one minute and another after the briefing, he sends out another tweet and shoots you down. The Communications Director has a very important job. The communications Director tries to coordinate the communicating from the White House. The White House has the office of congressionally they're working with the hill. They have outreach people working with different constituencies. They try to coordinate information around the departments and agencies so the department of defense says something kind of like what the department of state says. That is different than the briefing. And how you coordinate that if the President continues his freelance tweeting is going to go beyond Scaramucci's ability unless he is a magician here.

LEMON: Dylan, Kellyanne Conway was on "reliable sources" on CNN this weekend. Listen to the exchange about the White House turmoil.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lies, about voter fraud.

CONWAY: Excuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About wiretapping, his repeated lies about those issues.

CONWAY: He doesn't think he is lying about those issues. You know it.


LEMON: Ok, he doesn't think he is lying about those issues and you know it. It sounds like she is saying it's not a lie if the President believes it. What happened to facts?

DYLAN BYERS, SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS, CNN: It's like alternative facts. It's effectively the President can say whatever he wants. And he can get away with it because he is the President of the United States. It reminds me in fact of when people were saying Trump was being un-presidential, she said he is the President so whatever he does is Presidential. Just going back to Scaramucci's really quick. I just want to say I think Trump and the White House generally got tired of being on a defensive posture. I think if you look at Sean Spicer and Sara Huckabee Sanders, it felt defensive like those two didn't know what was going on inside of Trump's head. Clearly you look at that interview that Jake Tapper had with Scaramucci. Scaramucci thinks quickly on his feet and he is a guy who likes to spar. He is quick with words and ideas even if he is not always necessarily telling the truth, if he is really good at spin, it's an aggressive posture and it is something I think Trump who is sort of in the trenches right now in terms of public opinion, I think he likes that and he gets that out of Scaramucci. I think overall, that will be a boon to the administration's communication strategy at least in the short term. As going back on camera, it's good for us as the press. It's also good for them. This is a show. He wants Scaramucci being the face of this organization.

LEMON: Good for the American people ultimately.

BYERS: But it's good for Trump in the short term.

LEMON: Scaramucci, I don't think I've ever interviewed him. Maybe I have. I interview a lot of people. Just from watching his interviews he doesn't seem as defensive as the other two. And even if he is defensive, it doesn't come off as disingenuous as it did with Sean Spicer and as it do with Kellyanne Conway. It seems like a different posture. Maybe this work for the White House, I hope it does. I'm glad the briefings will be back on camera. Thank you all, I appreciate it. When we come back, is it a good thing? It's a good thing Anthony Scaramucci wants to let Trump be Trump because the President's been tweeting up a storm.


[23:38:43] LEMON: The new White House communications Director says the plan is to let Trump be Trump. Well, it's working so far. President Trump has been tweeting up a storm for days. Here to discuss, CNN political commentator Alice Stewart, communications Director for Ted Cruz and CNN contribute Jason Kander. Hello, good evening. Jason.


LEMON: In the last few days, in just the few days Anthony Scaramucci has been at the helm of the White House communications shop, the President has shot off a bunch of tweets on everything from his pardoning powers calling his Attorney General beleaguered. He continues to call the Russia investigation a witch hunt. The list goes on. You think does this barrage of tweets seem a new and improved strategy to you?

JASON KANDER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I guess it's supposed to be letting Trump be Trump which is confusing to me. Have we instead been seeing some very well behaved representative of the President up till now? I mean, what's been happening up until this moment if this is him being himself? I'm very confused by that. What this is a reflection of what the President himself believes which is that this isn't about policy to him. This is about messaging. Which is really consistent with his approach here which is he is not unfortunately, he is really not taking serious the idea of running a country.

[23:40:00] He is running a television show. So as a result, he is not delivering on anything for the American people. The most common thing including Trump voters, especially Trump voters actually ask me when I talk to them about this, they say do you think he is going to get better. They want to see him get better? Every American wants to see him get better at his job. It doesn't matter whether you're a President or any other job in this country, if you are convinced anytime things don't go well it's somebody else's fault, you'll never get better at your job and that is bad for all of us no matter who we voted for.

LEMON: I mean Alice we had to revise a number during the show. He has sent out 30 tweets since Saturdays, three in just the last hour. Some are the commissioning of the "USS Gerald Ford. The majority of them are President Trump, he is on the attack. Do you think him tweeting is more a good idea or a bad idea? Him tweeting more is a good idea or bad idea?

STEWART: Look, I've always been one to say that he needs to scale back the tweets. Look, I pity the fool that tries to tell Donald Trump to not be Donald Trump. He is going to tweet. That is his way of getting his message directly to the people, whether it's his base or the people across America and by passing the media. What I will say is Scaramucci, I'm encouraged by the fact that he is opening up the White House briefings again, putting these on camera and communicating with the press. The number one rule of a communications Director is to communicate. I'm encouraged by the fact he is being out there answering questions, certainly over the weekend, we had quite a few interviews. But it sounds as though and I'm optimistic that he is going to be more open and transparent with the media. I think that is a good first step.

I think it's also important for him to do what he is also planning to do is to look at the long-term strategy, work with the policy, work with the legislative team and communicate a long-term policy and not just the day-to-day pushback on all of these incoming attacks and from what I hear, there's good energy at the White House now. He is off to a good start. Had a great meeting with the (inaudible) team today, so I think Trump will continue to do what he is been doing with the tweets. While I would recommend scaling them back, he is going to do that. From what I hear, things are off to a good start with him.

LEMON: Jason, the President is adding more tweets and Scaramucci is deleting tweets. He is saying full transparency. I'm deleting old tweets. I serve the potus, his agenda and that is all that matters. Deleted tweets in the name of transparency, really?

KANDER: Yeah, I mean that kind of is the Trump administration in a nutshell, right? We're going to get rid of the evidence and that is transparency.

LEMON: That was a good one. That is a good one, Anthony Scaramucci. I'm going to delete the tweets. Go on. That is pretty good.

KANDER: I'm kind of starting to feel like new guy like if Kellyanne Conway were a more believable liar, it would be this guy. So yeah, I guess if the job is to go out and keep doing the same lying that the President's doing all the time but do it better than other people, he is probably going to be a knockout at this job.

LEMON: Let me read some of the tweets. Ok? This is 2012. He said we the USA have five percent of the world's population but 50 percent of the world's guns. Enough is enough. It is just common sense to apply more controls or how about this one right here. It says if Hillary Clinton keeps this up, she might be back in play for 2016. I hope she runs. She is incredibly competent. And then there's one from 2015, walls don't work. Never have. Never will. The Berlin wall 1961 and 1989, don't fall for it. So I don't know. What do you all think of those tweets?

STEWART: It sounds as though, Don, he is evolved on the issues. Many of the issues, I think a lot of people do. In regard to him deleting his tweets, many people do that when they take a new job. He wisely made it clear to everyone, hey, I'm deleting tweets. My issues and beliefs have evolved over the years. He wanted to start on a clean slate. In my view, that is a positive thing. More than anything, what we're seeing here is he as well as many of the other people there, they're not just loyal to the President but loyal to the office of the presidency. I think what he is trying to do and trying to show is that from this point moving forward what he says and communicates on social media will be in support of that agenda.

LEMON: The White House hat criticized members of the special counsel Mueller's team for making donations to Democrats. Guess who else has donated to Democrats? Scaramucci and President Trump, they both have donated to Democrats. So Scaramucci says it's ok to scrub back history why does he get the benefit of the doubt and the Mueller investigators don't get the benefit of the doubt, Jason?

KANDER: Well, really, I think the -- this is just they're going to throw everything they can at the wall, right? The President doesn't care that like 90 percent of the things he says contradict other things he said or other things he is done or other things his staff have done. He is just every day, and this is not leadership. Every day he is just trying to get to tomorrow. That is all he is about and I think actually, you mentioned the Russia thing. That is the perfect example of it, right? He refuses to -- this is his biggest problem on his credibility. He refuses to acknowledge that Russia actually tried to influence the elections. That is sort of like if your house was burned down and then the cops went around and they were interviewing the neighbors and one of the neighbors is really good friends with an arsonist and when they interview him, instead of saying I don't know anything about the fire, he is saying there was no fire. Then you're like this guy's a suspect. That is his problem. He just keeps doing this.

[23:45:40] LEMON: I've got to go. All right thank you both. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.


LEMON: A Minneapolis woman, a bride to be, is the latest casualty of an officer-involved shooting. Let's discuss now. Former police chief of Ferguson, Missouri Thomas Jackson is here. He is the author of "Policing Ferguson: policing America, what really happened and what the country can learn from it," it's good to have you on.


LEMON: Thanks for coming in. I want to get your opinion on what recently happened in the twin cities, Justine Ruszczyk, killed by Minneapolis police officer after she called the 911 to report a possible sexual assault. The chief of the Minneapolis police department has resigned. The case has drawn international attention. It's been in the news a lot. What's your reaction?

JACKSON: It's the horrible tragedy. The loss of a life anytime is a horrible tragedy. And the family's obviously grieving. But I think what we need to do is what we always need to do in these situations, is take a step back and let the people who are in charge of investigating these things take a look at it, take a good hard look at it, look at it in detail, because what you just said is all we know. That is what we know. We don't really know everything.

LEMON: As you know from Ferguson, I'm sure you've been following what's been happening with policing all over the country, these stories that make the news. But do you think it makes a difference that the victim is white in this case, because so often people focus on race.

JACKSON: I don't think so. It's an officer-involved shooting. And you have protocols to follow. But to a large part of the country it does. When you think back to Ferguson, a couple of years before Michael Brown Jr. was shot in Ferguson there was another Michael Brown just 20, 30 miles out of the St. Louis area who was shot by police and killed, and he was white. And you never heard anything about that.

LEMON: You didn't hear about it on the news. Chief Jackson, just last week there was video that appeared that allegedly showed a Baltimore officer planting evidence at the scene of a drug arrest. One officer has been suspended and the other two placed on administrative duty pending investigation. Is that why you think that some people don't trust the police in this country?

JACKSON: I think that can contribute to it. You know if that is what it looks like it is. Of course I've also heard that they were re- enacting the finding of it. Again, we don't really know what happened. But people are going to investigate it and they're going to investigate it very critically. At the end there's going to be a finding. What will help people gain trust in the police department is if there is -- that would be a fireable offense if in fact it happened and could be criminal, too.

LEMON: Let's talk about your book here. Recently out. It's hard to believe it's been three years.

JACKSON: It really is.

LEMON: It's been three years since this happened and all the aftermath. What did you want people to know?

JACKSON: There was one narrative out there that made my town a terrible place to be, that made my police department a terrible police department. And it was really over the top, that whole narrative and I wanted to bring some -- bring it back to the center, bring some sanity back to the dialogue that had been out there and to have my perspective out there. I really just needed to write this book.

LEMON: I haven't had a chance to read the book, but do you think that -- do you tackle officers or bad departments in the book? Do you talk about that, that there are some bad officers.

JACKSON: Oh, sure. Absolutely, yes, but the thing is, we've talked about this before is when we talk about how we support the police or we support the military, I don't think we need to say except the bad ones, because I think that goes without saying. We need to say we support law enforcement.

LEMON: Law enforcement.

JACKSON: They have a job to do. That is to protect life and property. And enforce the law.

LEMON: Why do you say the good guys back the bad guys through the media and political distortion?

JACKSON: Ok. So we would hear things like the militarized police and tanks and things like that and then peaceful protesters who are actually threatening to kill police officers. So it's kind of topsy- turvy. Those vehicles the SWAT Teams had out there? Originally those came into play, because of things like the L.A. bank robbery years ago. Do you remember that? The police were outgunned and outmanned or not outmanned but outgunned and also because of things like Littleton, Colorado. Those are personnel carriers.

LEMON: That may be true, but to talk about the coverage over militarized vehicles being on the street. They are there. So that is not a media distortion to report that there's militarization of police departments. It's not a media distortion.

JACKSON: No, it's not. But there was a slant to it that the police are here to oppress these peaceful protesters. And that wasn't the case at all. The police didn't actually start taking enforcement action until it got to a certain level of violence or rhetoric. Plus when you think about it all those nights that we were there we had hundreds or thousands of people blocking five lanes of traffic for hours at a time. And there's a community there that needs to operate. People need to run their businesses. Kids need to get to school. People needed to get home.

LEMON: What would you do differently?

JACKSON: Oh, lots of things. And not that I think we did things wrong. I think things have changed. We didn't understand first of all social media. So when the first story came out, hands up don't shoot, that went viral.

[23:55:18] There was a young man who was telling a story, believable. You know, the way he was telling it. That there was this young man standing in the middle of a street densely populated area noon on a Saturday hands in the air saying don't shoot and the officer gunned him down. To me that is not believable on its face, but I'm on the side of the issue.

LEMON: And you believe the evidence from the Justice Department and all the investigations that that narrative did not happen, there was no hands up don't shot.

JACKSON: Yes, I believe that. I think the FBI is separate from the rest of the Justice Department and that is strictly a law enforcement agency. And I think they're incorruptible. I think they're the finest law enforce the agency in the world.

LEMON: What can we learn from what happened?

JACKSON: That we've got a long way to go, because we didn't recognize -- people came in from all over the country to protest that incident, because people believe that, that happened. And I couldn't believe something like that would happen. But there were people who did. They came in from all over the country and they destroyed our town.

LEMON: Thank you. Good to see you.

JACKSON: Good to see you.

LEMON: "Policing Ferguson: Policing America. What really happened and what the country can learn from it." Chief Thomas Jackson. Appreciate it.

JACKSON: It's great seeing you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: One of eight American women develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and this week's CNN Hero was one of them. As she battled the disease, she saw the serious toll it took on her husband and young son and was inspired to create a way to give families a chance to reconnect and enjoy life again.

Meet Jeanine Patten-Coble.

JEANINE PATTEN-COBLE, CNN HERO: When the cancer bomb goes off in your house, it's devastating. It's financially, physically, emotionally exhausting.

Our hope and our goal is to put a huge embrace on families as they're going through the breast cancer journey -- to have them hit the pauses button, and just relax and play.

LEMON: To see how Jeanine is helping rejuvenate families impacted by breast cancer, go to And while you're there, nominate someone you think should be a 2017 CNN Hero.

That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll se you right back here tomorrow.